[Note: As this file has grown and grown, I decided it would be best to split it into two segments. The first (CowleyCountyBridges_A) will cover for the most part the bridges in Arkansas City crossing the Walnut River and Arkansas River. The second file (CowleyCountyBridges_B) will cover for the most part the bridges in Winfield crossing the creek north of Winfield, which was called by some Dutch Creek and by others Timber Creek, and the bridges that crossed the Walnut River south of Winfield and west of Winfield. I will mention other bridges under file “A” in an attempt to keep the Winfield bridges separate. The articles on bridges are not very satisfactory pertaining to the early years. I was confronted with the gap in coverage by early newspapers up to the period of 1876 when they were microfilmed. MAW Oct. 2000]


An article in 1880 claims that the following was the first bridge in Cowley County...


Winfield Courier, August 12, 1880.

Last Friday afternoon the old bridge near Wood, Jettinger & Co.’s mill, fell in. It has been condemned for over a year as unsafe, and persons who used it were notified that they did it at their own risk. This was the first bridge built in the county, and has stood there since 1872. One of Al. Requa’s teams had crossed the bridge only a few moments before it fell.


                                                                  Part B.

                                        [Concentrates on Bridges at Winfield.]


                                                    WINFIELD BRIDGES.

Winfield Messenger, March 15, 1872.

The prospects of Winfield at this time are, indeed, flatter­ing. An election will soon be called in the township for voting bonds to build two bridges over the Walnut; and a bridge will be constructed over Timber Creek without bonds. The bonds will be voted, and the bridges will be built.

Winfield Messenger, March 15, 1872.

                                                      THE NEW BRIDGES.

Two new bridges across the Walnut will be built the coming spring at this place. The people in this Township will all vote for the bonds and they all recognize that we must have these bridges, for they will not only benefit the town but will benefit all who live in the township and trade at Winfield.

Winfield Messenger, June 28, 1872.

Twenty teams are continually passing through town loaded with rock for the new mill foundations and the bridge piers.

Winfield Messenger, Friday. July 12, 1872. [Editorial.]

                                   “WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT?”

One pretended objection to the courthouse and jail bonds is, that the county seat might be removed. This is simply ridiculous. The Walnut Valley will always be the center of population, east and west, in Cowley County. In the Walnut Valley will be flourishing stations (for a railroad will soon certainly be built down the valley), and towns along the Walnut River in this county will be built, of which, of course, Winfield and Arkansas City will be chief. And while the Grouse is an excellent valley and will sustain two good towns, the Arkansas Valley is much broader, and will contain the heaviest population.

What object then, outside of the immediate locality of an aspirant for county seat, and outside of enmities founded upon envy and malice, could the people have in changing the county seat? What would be the consequence in so doing? We will tell you. Winfield, alone, will pay for one fourth of the taxes of the whole county the coming year. The faster she grows, the more she lightens the county of taxation. Would it be wise now to kill the goose that lays the golden egg? Why try to cripple and stop the growth of the best town in the county, and one of the best (and soon will be the best), in southern Kansas? What is Winfield doing for the county? She is building bridges for the county, which justly belonged to the county to build, and which the county has the benefit of, which will cost her not less than $13,000. Has Winfield no claim upon the good will of the county? Where can the farmer find a better market in which to buy and sell?

Winfield Messenger, July 19, 1872.

Twenty men are employed on the bridges.

Winfield Messenger, July 19, 1872.

The Township Board estimated the amount of work done on the bridge piers up to July 5th, at $725.

Winfield Messenger, July 19, 1872.

The main pier for the bridge at Knowle’s ford is completed and the abutments are going up. The bridge will be 30 feet above low water mark.

Winfield Messenger, July 19, 1872.

ENTERPRISING. Augusta voted against bridge bonds on the 6th inst. Well, thank the Lord, Winfield voted for bridge bonds, and is building them too. Our bridges will enable us during high water, to cross and go up on the divide. No thanks to Augusta.

Winfield Messenger, August 16, 1872.

The piers and abutments of the bridge at Knowles’ ford are finished, and the upper structure is being rapidly put on.

Winfield Messenger, August 30, 1872.

The time is drawing near for the completion of the bridge. By the next time the river rises, the people living on the other side can come to town without waiting for low water.

Winfield Messenger, October 4, 1872.

COMPLETED. The bridge at Knowles’ ford is completed and the Walnut River is being crossed on the best bridge in southern Kansas. This is the first and only bridge built over the Walnut River and speaks well for the people of Winfield, and vicinity. The bridge south of town is progressing very fast.

Winfield Messenger, October 18, 1872.

A bridge should be built across Timber Creek, at the cross­ing north of town, immediately. The dam backs the water a considerable distance above the crossing now, and when the dam is full the water at the crossing will be five or six feet deep. Action should be taken in this matter at once.

Excerpts from editorial...

Winfield Messenger, October 25, 1872.

We clip the following from the Leavenworth Commercial. We would like to publish the whole article, but our space forbids; so we publish the portion relating to our young city. That “Wanderer’s” opinion of Winfield is correct, no one will deny, and we hope to see him here again—and in fact, many more such “wanderers” if their visits will only end with like results.

A fine bridge spans the Walnut at this point, and another is in process of erection about a mile south of town.

Winfield Messenger, November 1, 1872.

The bridge south of town is nearly completed. This makes two bridges across the Walnut at this point.


Winfield Courier, Saturday, January 11, 1873.

Bridge Contract. The severe weather of the past month has prevented the Contractor from making the fills at the approaches to the bridge south of town. When the cold season moderates, the bridge will be put in order and our rural friends can then visit us, regardless of high water.

Winfield Courier, Saturday, February 1, 1873.

We clip the following interesting items from the Arkansas City Traveler of the 29th.

“Parties going to Winfield can cross the Walnut on the bridge, on the west side of town.”

Winfield Courier, Saturday, February 1, 1873.

There has been some trouble about the interest on the bridge bonds of this township. Trustee Short informs us that the bonds were not issued soon enough to have any interest come due this year. Not being registered by the State Auditor, they could not be certified up to the County Clerk, who makes the tax levy to meet the coupons.

Winfield Courier, February 15, 1873.

                                                             Public Notice.

                                        [Trustees Office, Winfield, Feb. 14, 1873.]

The undersigned has erected on the Bridge, Signs, cautioning persons against riding or driving over the same faster than a walk. Those parties who have been in the habit of running horses over the West Bridge, are hereby informed that the law against the same will be strictly enforced. J. P. SHORT, Trustee.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 27, 1873.

For the information of your readers I would state that travel across the bridge south of town has been stopped. It was found that the north abutment was not sufficiently strong to hold the fill, and Maj. Hobson, the contractor, has several men at work putting it in shape. The bridge will probably be ready for crossing early next week.

On behalf of the Township Board I would state that as yet neither bridge has been accepted, nor will they, or the balance of the money be paid, until both are put in shape to conform to the contract. The contractor realizes the fact and is acting accordingly.

                                                       J. P. SHORT, Trustee.

Winfield, March 26, 1873.


Winfield Courier, Thursday, May 8, 1873.

                                               [From the Atchison Champion.]

                                             WINFIELD, KAS., April 24, 1873.

Two very fine bridges of Baker’s patent have been built by Hobson, of Wichita, across the Walnut, one a quarter of a mile west of town, and the other three-quarters south.

                                                                  R. A. H.

                          Bridge Over Dutch or Timber Creek North of Winfield.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 24, 1873.

A Petition, signed by 91 citizens, voters of Winfield, has been presented to the Township Board, petitioning them to call an election for the purpose of voting $2,500 for erecting a bridge over Timber Creek just north of town.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 7, 1873.

Recap: Election Tuesday, August 26, 1873, to vote for or against the issuing of bonds of said township in the amount of $2,500 for the purpose of building a bridge across Dutch or Timber Creek at the point where the county road petitioned for by A. S. Williams and others crosses said creek in the southwest quarter of Section Twenty-One in Township Thirty-Two South of Range Four East in said Township. Said bonds to be issued in sums of $500 each with interest payable semi-annually at 10% with coupons attached; bonds to mature in not less than 12 nor more than 20 years....Ballots: “For the Bridge and Bonds” or “Against the Bridge and Bonds.” J. P. SHORT, Trustee. D. A. MILLINGTON, Clerk.

Winfield, July 29th, 1873.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 28, 1873.

At the election of Tuesday, for the purpose of deciding whether the township should give bonds to the amount of $2,500 for the purpose of building a bridge across Dutch Creek at the point where the road crosses said creek north of Winfield, there were polled, in all, 177 votes, and the bonds carried by a majority of 45.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 23, 1873.

NOTICE. Owing to the impossibility of negotiating bonds of any kind at present, the Township Board have decided to let the building of the bridge across Timber Creek rest for the present. J. P. SHORT, Trustee.

Winfield Courier, December 12, 1873. Last Page.

The Walnut River is spanned by two bridges near Winfield.


Winfield Courier, January 2, 1874.

Bridges of magnificent proportions span all main streams on the roads leading to town.

Winfield Courier, February 13, 1874.

The stage from Wichita has been taking a rest up at Augusta, because the lazy denizens of that place are too stingy to bridge their streams.

Winfield Courier, June 19, 1874.

The bridge across the Walnut below town is reported in an unsafe condition.

                                        Bridge Across Timber or Dutch Creek.

Winfield Courier, August 7, 1874.

                                                            Bridge Notice.

Sealed proposals will be received at the office of the Township Clerk of Winfield Township, in Cowley County, Kansas (The District Clerk’s office), up to Tuesday, the 1st day of September, 1871, at 1 o’clock, p.m., 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, crosses said creek in the S W 1/4 of sec. 21, T P 32, Range 4 east. 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.

Proposal for the building of said bridge must be accompanied with complete plan and specification of the same; the price to be charged therefor in the bonds of said Township 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 reserved. H. S. SILVER, Trustee.

E. S. BEDILION, Tp. Clerk.

Winfield Courier, September 11, 1874.

The contract to build a bridge across Dutch Creek was let to E. P. Kinne, Esq., of Arkansas City, for $2,500 dollars. It is to be what is known as the Fake Truss. The bridge is, we be­lieve, to be completed in sixty days.

Winfield Courier, October 2, 1874.

We would suggest to our Township Trustee that a good coating of coal tar well laid on would help to preserve our bridges. Unless something is done to preserve them, they will be rotted down in a very few years.

Winfield Courier, October 9, 1874.

                                                    Notice of Issuing Bonds.

NOTICE is hereby given that the bridge bonds voted for on the 26th day of August 1873 will be issued by the undersigned on the 24th day of October 1874.

Attest                H. S. SILVER, Tp. Trustee,

                               E. S. BEDILION, Tp. Clerk.

                               O. F. BOYLE, Tp. Treasurer.

Winfield Courier, November 12, 1874.

The bridge across Timber Creek progresses finely under the supervision of E. P. Kinne.

Winfield Courier, December 31, 1874.

The new bridge across Timber Creek at the north of town is completed and accepted. It looks like a good job. Mr. E. P. Kinne of Arkansas City had the contract and has done himself credit in the enterprise.


Winfield Courier, February 11, 1875.

                                                The Winfield Board of Trade.

We are informed that several of our influential citizens have organized an organization to be known as the Winfield City Board of Trade. The purpose of the organization is the welfare of the city and county. We have been presented with the follow­ing resolutions for publication as having been passed at their first meeting.

Resolved: That the interests of Winfield are not promoted by the publication of three papers therein.

Resolved: That the spirit of strife manifested among our people bodes no good to the welfare of the place.

Resolved: That the Winfield city organization is an expen­sive and useless humbug.

Resolved: That our city schools should be closed by the middle of March and that a three months term should immediately be commenced thereafter with female teachers at lower wages as an economical measure.

Resolved: That it is the duty of every citizen of Winfield to aid by word and deed the husbandmen of the county who must soon prepare for seed time.

Resolved: That it is the duty of the Winfield Township authorities to rebuild the bridge across the Walnut south of town.

Resolved: That in the opinion of this board the money collected for liquor licenses in Winfield Township, before the organization of the city, is sufficient to repair said bridge if the funds could be reached.

Winfield Courier, July 29, 1875.

99 men, women, and children were watching the dam, mill, and bridge west of town Monday—More rain—A drouth did you say?—And still another rain!

Winfield Courier, August 19, 1875.

The approaches to the Timber Creek Bridge, just north of town, are in a terrible condition. It is unsafe to attempt to drive over this bridge as it is now. The Road Supervisor should attend to it at once, and while he is at it, he might go and fix up the one west of town, as it is but little better.

Winfield Courier, November 11, 1875.

The bridge south of town is attempting to conform to the advice of the noble Horace G. It’s “going West,” and unless something is done to it soon, it will go South via the Walnut River. Immediate steps should be taken to save it. Twelve hundred dollars will put it in good shape. If not attended to at once, the township will lose six thousand dollars and the use of the bridge.


Winfield Courier, December 16, 1875.

The Walnut River is spanned by two bridges near Winfield.


           The first summation of early bridges in Cowley County was given in 1876.

                                                     CENTENNIAL ISSUE.

                         WINFIELD COURIER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 1876.


There are five bridges in the county, all wood structures. Two span the Walnut near Winfield, built in 1872, at a cost of $6,000 each; one crosses Timber Creek north of Winfield, costing $2,500, built in 1873; one crosses the Arkansas River south of Arkansas City, at an expense of $15,000, built in 1872; the fifth crosses the Walnut River east of Arkansas City, at a cost of $5,000, erected in 1873.


Winfield Courier, January 13, 1876.

J. S. Hunt, trustee of Winfield Township, appeared and asked the board to repair a bridge built by Winfield Township across the Walnut River south of Winfield. The board, after being fully advised in the matter, agreed to lay the matter over for the present.

                                                       JANUARY 11, 1876.

Board met as per adjournment. All present.

In the matter of the Winfield Township bridge, the board have on this day agreed not to repair said bridge for the reason that the county did not appropriate money in the construction thereof; and hence the county has nothing to do with said bridge.

Winfield Courier, January 20, 1876.

                                                       FOR THAT BRIDGE!

Now that the County Commissioners have resolved that they won’t repair the bridge south of town, Winfield Township must do it. The township board should at once make an examination of the structure and, if necessary, call some practical bridge builder to their aid and decide at once what is necessary and then go to work. The township had better spend twelve hundred dollars if necessary than lose the bridge.

Winfield Courier, February 17, 1876.

The lower bridge is not repaired yet.

Winfield Courier, March 30, 1876.

Thanks to the ingenuity and industry of Capt. Hunt, the bridge across the Walnut below town is in using order. The repairs were made two weeks ago, but so quietly and unostentatiously did the Capt. do the work that we failed to learn of it until recently. He put the bridge in shape for less than forty dollars, whereas his predecessor and others had estimated that it would cost several hundred dollars to save the bridge.

                                                THE FLOOD IN MAY 1876.

                                             Destruction of Winfield Bridges.

Winfield Courier, April 6, 1876.

                                                             From Oxford.

                                              OXFORD, KAN., April 1, 1876.

Rain! Rain!! Rain!!!

Arkansas River up high.

Creeks up, carrying away bridges, fences, and otherwise putting on city river airs.


Arkansas City Traveler, May 10, 1876.

A general cry is now made for the County to put up and sustain bridges across the Walnut, Dutch, and Grouse Creeks.

Winfield Courier, May 11, 1876. Editorial Page.



                                    WINFIELD SURROUNDED BY WATER.

                                               Families Driven From Houses.

                                                        BRIDGES GONE.

                                                      STOCK DROWNED.

                                                         $100,000 Damage.

Last Friday night the rain descended in floods in this region of country. Nearly all night and for some hours during Saturday morning the clouds poured a deluge of water upon the face of the earth. During the night light showers of hail accompanied the rain. The ravines and creeks were soon full. Then the larger streams began rising with unparalleled rapidity.

At noon of Saturday the stream north of town, known as Timber Creek, was over its banks and surging against the bridge. About noon the bridge left its moorings.

By this time the water was spreading over the farms in the bottoms. Houses, families, crops, and stock were in peril. The real danger now broke upon the minds of the people. The water had passed all its former limits and was still rising. There was “hurrying to and fro.” The bridges and mills adjoining town on the Walnut were the objects of solicitude next. Bliss & Co. carried all the wheat and flour into the upper story of their mill. Ropes and axes were used to keep flood wood away from the upper bridge. Communication with the lower bridge was cut off before the bridge was in great peril itself.

Up, up, came the water. All the north part of town was overflowed. Families were rescued by boat and team. The brick yard was three feet under water. A heavy current flowed from Timber Creek on the north through town on Loomis street and across Col. Loomis’ farm to the Walnut on the south. The east and west part of town each “stood upon a shining shore, while Jordan rolled between.”

Along the creeks birds took to the air, rabbits to stumps, and serpents to the trees. On the bosom of the mad Walnut, during the afternoon of Saturday, several head of cattle and swine were swept past the bridge. In their struggles for life they cast imploring looks upon the throng above that could but sympathize with them.

By 6 p.m., of Saturday, the water reached the highest point: at least six feet higher than ever before within the knowledge of the oldest settler. About five o’clock the bridge across the Walnut south of town yielded to the torrent. The water was flowing over the floor of the bridge about one feet deep at the time. It lacked one foot of reaching the upper bridge at any time. One vast expanse of water covered all the bottom lands along the river and Timber Creek in this vicinity. The wheat and other growing crops were out of sight and considered lost.

By 7 p.m. it became apparent that the mad element had spent its force. The water began slowly, about one inch in an hour, to recede. It had risen about twenty feet in twelve hours.

At the time of the flood grave apprehensions were enter­tained as to the extent of the damage likely to ensue. But as reports came in

                                                            THE RESULTS

of the unpopular uprising are not so serious as expected. C. A. Bliss & Co. were damaged to the amount of $500; Fin Graham lost sixteen head of cattle, some wheat and corn in bin and grain in field, about $500. McBride & Green, in brick yard, about $200. These are the heaviest individual losses.

The two bridges swept off are a loss to Winfield Township of about $4,000. The bridge across the Walnut at Arkansas City was swept off, damage $5,000.

A great many small losses were experienced in this vicinity and throughout the county. A large amount of planted corn, with the soil and hedges, were washed away.

Along the valleys of Timber, Silver, and Grouse, the bottoms were overflowed.

The total damage throughout the county must approximate $100,000. The most of the water came from Timber Creek. The Walnut above this point rose to the highest water mark, but did not get out of its banks.

Winfield Courier, May 11, 1876.

Let us have an iron bridge across the Walnut south of town.

Winfield Courier, May 11, 1876.

Our Oxford correspondent, writing on the 8th, says: “Friday night and Saturday morning the big rain fell. It was between six and eight inches on the level. Usually quiet little ravines arose to a depth of fifteen feet in a few hours and swept away bridges, culverts, and roads. Lightning killed two horses for Mr. Houser, two miles south of town. Two mules standing in the stable at the same time escaped unhurt. The stable, with fifteen bushels of wheat, also plows, harrows, and other farming imple­ments, were consumed by the fire. Mr. Kelly, living two miles northwest of town, had a mule killed by lightning. The wheat is not injured to any extent. Corn will be late in consequence of the heavy rain.”

                                             Bridge at Bliss’ Mill in Winfield.

Arkansas City Traveler, May 17, 1876.

The bridge at Bliss’ mill is said to be in a bad condition. The abutments on both sides of the river are cracked.

Winfield Courier, May 18, 1876.

FRED KROPP has completed his excursion boat, launched her above the bridge, and is now ready to accommodate all webb-footed pleasure seekers. For 25 cents he will carry you up the river to Island No. 10 and swim you back for nothing. The boat will carry eight persons. It is propelled by an Archimedes lever. Oars are dispensed with.

Winfield Courier, June 1, 1876.

It is time something was being done about replacing the bridges across the Walnut River and Timber Creek.

Winfield Courier, June 15, 1876.

Something should be done to replace the bridges near Winfield. Our friends south of town are becoming very uneasy.


Arkansas City Traveler, July 12, 1876.

A petition, asking the Commissioners to repair the Dutch Creek bridge, above town, is being circulated and extensively signed.

Winfield Courier, August 24, 1876.

The recent rains put the Walnut past fording this week. How about that bridge below town?

Winfield Courier, December 28, 1876.

                                                          Bridge Meeting.

Pursuant to call several of our citizens living in the north end of Winfield Township met to take action in reference to the relocation of the bridge across Timber Creek, which was washed away last spring.

N. E. Newell was elected chairman and Geo. Mentch, Secre­tary. On motion a committee of three was appointed to solicit subscriptions for the purpose of rebuilding said bridge.

Robert Weekly, Peter Paugh, and Geo. Mentch were then selected as such committee.

On motion the meeting adjourned to Saturday night, next.


Winfield Courier, January 4, 1877.

                                                             From Bethel.

EDITOR OF COURIER: The citizens of Dist. No. 37 met at the schoolhouse to hear a report from the committee appointed to take subscriptions for building a bridge across Timber Creek. The report was highly satisfactory. A committee was then appointed to advertise for bids and let the contract, which committee consisted of Robert Weekly, H. L. Barker, G. W. Mentch, Peter Paugh, and the writer hereof. This enterprise illustrates the proverb, “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

In conclusion, I would say to our friends in Winfield, who desire a railroad, lay aside all jealousy and bickering, lay your shoulder to the wheel, make a long, strong pull, and a pull together, and you can count on the hearty cooperation of Dist. No. 37. Bring on your railroad project! Hurrah for a bridge and railroad! S. E. B.

Winfield Courier, January 4, 1877.

                                                       Notice to Contractors.

Notice is hereby given that sealed bids will be received until Saturday, January 24th, 1877, for repairing the superstruc­ture of the bridge across Timber Creek. Contractor to use all the material of the old bridge that is suitable. For plan and specifications, call on or address, S. E. BURGER, Secretary of Committee.

Winfield Courier, January 18, 1877.

The Timber Creek Bridge is going ahead.

Arkansas City Traveler, January 24, 1877.

                                                             County Road.

A petition signed by S. C. Smith, and others, of Winfield Township, asking for a view and a survey for the purpose of locating a certain County road, commencing at or near the north end of a bridge, across the Walnut River, west of the city of Winfield, thence running southwesterly along the high bank of said river to the middle line of the northwest quarter of section 29, township 32, south of range 4 east, thence west on said line to the western boundary of said quarter section, thence northwesterly about 50 rods across a ravine, thence north to the south line of the southeast quarter of section 19, township 32, range 4 east, thence west on said line to the southeast corner of the southwest quarter of section 19, township 32, range 4 east, and for the discontinuance of that part of the road known as the S. C. Smith road, from last mentioned point to the intersection with the Winfield and Nennescah State road, was presented and granted, and that Samuel W. Phenix, H. Harbaugh, and Calvin Coon, viewers, and the County surveyor, will meet on the 10th day of March, A. D. 1877, at 10 o’clock a.m., of said day, and proceed to view and survey said road.

Winfield Courier, February 1, 1877.

The timber for the new bridge across Dutch Creek, north of town, passed through the city one day last week.

Winfield Courier, February 8, 1877.

GIBBS & HYDE were the lowest bidders for putting the bridge across Timber Creek, north of town. Work will commence soon. It ought to be completed before the spring rains.


Arkansas City Traveler, March 7, 1877. Front Page.

The Township board will be petitioned to appropriate a sum of money not exceeding $360.00 to be used in repairing of the bridge across Dutch Creek, just above town. It is now proposed to raise the piers and put in an iron bridge—which can be done at the cost of something over $800.00—the gentlemen proposing to erect it agreeing to take the subscriptions already raised for pay as far as they go. Telegram.

Winfield Courier, March 8, 1877.

J. A. Bullene, brother of our Winfield Bullene, is here as the agent of the Missouri Valley Bridge Manufacturing Co., of Leavenworth, and as such has contracted to put an iron bridge across Timber Creek, north of town.

Winfield Courier, March 8, 1877.

The final letting of a contract to build an iron bridge across Timber Creek shows what a few determined men may accom­plish. A half dozen farmers in the north part of Winfield Township began working that project up a few weeks since and now success crowns their efforts.

Winfield Courier, May 17, 1877.

The iron for the Timber Creek bridge is arriving. Several wagon loads are on the ground. The bridge will withstand the next flood, sure.

Winfield Courier, June 7, 1877.

The new bridge across Dutch Creek, north of town, is rapidly nearing completion. We understand that it will be ready for use Saturday.

Winfield Courier, June 14, 1877.

The new bridge across Dutch Creek, north of town, was accepted by the township officers last Saturday morning. It is built mostly of iron, and is much more substantial than the one washed out last spring, and is about three feet higher. Many citizens visited and crossed it in carriages and buggies last Saturday.

Arkansas City Traveler, July 11, 1877.

WINFIELD votes on a proposition to erect a bridge across the Walnut at the brewery, and to repair the bridge south of that place, on the 17th inst.


Arkansas City Traveler, July 25, 1877.

The bridge bonds were carried by a majority of 24. (3-5 vote) and now we will have bridges “till you can’t rest.”


Arkansas City Traveler, August 22, 1877.

L. Lippmann has the contract for furnishing 24,000 feet of native lumber for the two Winfield bridges. They are to be completed in sixty or ninety days.

Winfield Courier, November 1, 1877.

It will pay our businessmen to volunteer funds to pay for labor to repair the road from the north bridge across the Walnut west to the rise of the bluff, and to grade the approaches to the Timber Creek bridge. The work should be done at once. Who will attend to it?

Winfield Courier, November 29, 1877.

The road to Douglass is in excellent condition. The approaches to the Timber Creek bridge are well graded, the gulch at Grow’s is smoothed down, and the rocky hill this side of Douglass is as smooth as a floor.

Winfield Courier, June 14, 1877.

                                         BRIDGE BOND ELECTION NOTICE.

To the voters of the municipal township of Winfield, in the county of Cowley, State of Kansas.

WHEREAS, on the eleventh day of June, A. D. 1877, a petition signed by more than two fifths of the qualified electors of said township, was presented to the Trustee, Clerk, and Treasurer thereof, praying that an election be called in said township for the purpose of submitting the following question, to-wit: Shall the municipal township of Winfield, in the county of Cowley, State of Kansas, issue its bonds to the amount of three thousand dollars, for the purpose of building a bridge across the Walnut river in said township, on the C. S. Smith county road, at the most practicable point within the distance of one hundred yards of where the north line of the south half of the southwest quarter of section twenty-nine, in township thirty-two, south, of range four east, crosses said river.

And “Shall the municipal township of Winfield, in the county of Cowley, State of Kansas, issue its bonds to the amount of two thousand five hundred dollars, for the purpose of building a bridge across the Walnut river in said township at the site of the W. S. Voris county road.”

Said bonds to be issued in denominations of five hundred dollars each, payable within ten years of the date thereof and bearing interest at the rate of ten percent per annum, payable semi-annually.

Therefore be it known: That on Tuesday, the 17th day of July, A. D. 1877, an election will be held at the usual place of voting in said township, between the hour of eight o’clock a.m., and six o’clock p.m.; for the purpose of determining whether the bonds said township shall be issued for the purpose aforesaid; and at said election all those voting in favor of the proposed bridges and bonds, shall have written or printed on their ballots the words: “For the Bridges and Bonds;” and all those voting against the proposed bridges and bonds, shall have written or printed on their ballots the words: “Against the Bridges and Bonds.”

In witness whereof we have hereto set our hands this 12th day of June, A. D. 1877.

                                           JAMES S. HUNT, Township Trustee.

E. S. BEDILION, Township Clerk.

Winfield Courier, June 28, 1877.

A barrel of tar has arrived for use upon the Winfield Township bridges.

Winfield Courier, June 28, 1877.

Upon the “sober second thought,” the proposition to vote Winfield Township bonds to build two bridges across the Walnut River does not grow in popular favor. Aid would readily be given for a bridge south of town, but the necessity for one west does not seem as pressing at present. This is the way the farmers of Winfield Township talk to us.

Winfield Courier, July 12, 1877.

The election on the bridge bond proposition will be held next Tuesday in this township.

Winfield Courier, July 12, 1877. Editorial Page.

                                                        The Bridge Question.

We, the undersigned, agree to pay the amounts set opposite our names for the purpose of completing an iron bridge across the Walnut, Cowley County, Kansas, and votes aid therefor in the sum of three thousand dollars ($3,000) at an election to be held July 17th, 1877. Said sums of money to be due and payable in consideration of the erection of said bridge, to the order of the party to whom the officers of the said township let the contract for the erection of the said bridge.

                                           WINFIELD, KAN., June 25th, 1877.

John Himelspaugh $60.00. E. S. Sheridan $50.00. John R. Davis and Son $50.00. M. B. Rupp $50.00. C. S. Smith $50.00. L. D. Randall $25.00. Thos. Randall $35.00. C. P. Ward $40.00. Wm. Carter $25.00. A. T. Shenneman $50.00. A. B. Graham $25.00. J. R. Taylor $25.00. J. F. Brooks $20.00. Jesse Chatfield $20.00. P. M. Waite $100.00. M. L. Read’s Bank $200.00. Calvin Kimble $10.00. C. W. Donkin $10.00. B. Alexander $10.00. C. G. Bradbury $10.00. J. C. Poor $5.00. Wesley Bowers $20.00. J. W. Randall $20.00. O. F. Boyle $50.00. Joseph Likowski $20.00. R. Ehret $10.00. Winfield Tunnel Mills $50.00. George Easterly $10.00. Phillip Stump $10.00.

Six hundred dollars ($600.00) has been assured in subscriptions for the completion of the bridge south of town on the W. S. Voris county road. The parties having the matter in charge are confident that the subscription to the two bridges will amount to $2,000 or upward. It now remains for the citizens and voters of Winfield township to say by their ballots whether they will avail themselves of the very liberal subscription or repel the trade seeking admission to our thriving city.

Winfield Courier, July 19, 1877.

The proposition for $5,500 in Winfield Township bonds to be used in constructing two bridges across the Walnut River at this place was carried last Tuesday.

Winfield Courier, August 9, 1877.            

                       Township Board’s Notice for Proposals for Bridge Building.

To all whom it may concern:

Notice is hereby given that sealed proposals will be received by the Township Board of the township of Winfield, in the county of Cowley, State of Kansas, until the hour of 10 o’clock a.m., on Friday, the 17th day of August, A. D. 1877, for the construction of two bridges across the Walnut River, in said township at the following points, to-wit: One on the C. S. Smith county road, and one at the site of the old bridge on the W. S. Voris county road. Proposals for the building of such bridges must be accompanied with complete plans and specifications of the same (including the kind and quality of materials to be used in the construction of each material part thereof) and must state the price to be charged therefore in the bonds of said township at par value, and the difference, if any, between this and the price which would be charged therefor in cash.

Each and all of such proposals must be filed in the office of the clerk of said township in the city of Winfield, and be accompanied by a bond in an amount equal to double the proposed cost of such bridge with sureties to the approval of said board, conditioned for the faithful execution of the proposed work and the carrying into effect by the bidder, of any and all contracts entered into by him with said township, in reference to the building of such bridge or bridges.

The board reserves the right to reject any and all bids. J. S. HUNT, Trustee.

E. S. BEDILION, Township Clerk.


Winfield Courier, August 23, 1877.

The convention of County Attorneys at their late meeting at Topeka have given the following answers to legal questions which were propounded to them.

“In case a bridge is to be built which is to cost more than $1,000 and the county agrees to appropriate $1,000, the delinquent road tax collected, belonging to the township in which said bridge is to be built, cannot be used by said township in completing such bridge.

“Where the cost of the bridge exceeds $1,000, but the excess is raised by private or other means, the County Commissioners can appropriate $1,000 to complete the bridge.”

                              Walnut River Bridges South and West of Winfield.     

Winfield Courier, August 23, 1877.

Messrs. Simpson and Stewart have the contract to build the piers and abutments of the new iron bridges.

Winfield Courier, August 23, 1877. Editorial Page.

                                                             The Bridges.

The township board of Winfield township have let the contract to build the bridges across the Walnut River to the King Bridge Co. for the sum of $7,000.

Several styles of bridges were presented in the bids and specifications and the board selected therefrom King’s best and strongest style of patent tubular wrought iron bridges.

The cost is $600 more than it would have been had one of the lighter styles been selected, but the board have done well in selecting the best.

The South bridge is to be of one span of 150 feet, and the abutments are to be taken down 13 feet, rebuilt, and raised 6 feet higher than before, and is to be completed ready for travel on or before the 27th of next October.

The West bridge is to have a main span 120 feet, an east approach span 60 feet, a west approach span 30 feet, two stone piers 30 feet above low water, and one stone abutment, the whole to be completed by the 17th of November next.

The bridges are to be paid for with the bonds authorized by our late election so far as they go and the balance by private subscriptions, of which nearly the necessary amount is already pledged.

The specifications on file are very voluminous and minute, leaving no loophole, so far as we can see, for a misunderstanding with the contractors or for slighting the work. Everything necessary to a perfect and substantial job seems to have been specified.

We opposed the bonds at the election because we did not believe we were able to build both bridges, and feeling that the South bridge was most important we desired that it alone should be undertaken. It now looks as though we were mistaken and that both will be built in a short time, and we are prepared to give those who have labored so effectually to this end due credit for all the success that shall be achieved.

Winfield Courier, September 20, 1877.

An immense amount of material has been collected at the south bridge. The derrick is up and the abutments will soon be built. The iron will be here about Oct. 10th.

Winfield Courier, November 1, 1877.

SIMPSON & STEWART have finished the abutments of the south bridge and have moved their derrick to the west bridge.

Winfield Courier, November 1, 1877.

The contract is let to grade the approaches to the south bridge, to be completed by the 15th inst. The superstructures will be raised immediately.

Winfield Courier, December 20, 1877.

The bridge iron has arrived and the contractor is at work putting up the superstructure of the south bridge.

Winfield Courier, December 27, 1877.

                                                              Bond Notice.

Notice is hereby given that the board of Winfield Township, in the county of Cowley, state of Kansas, will, on the 21st day of January, 1878, at the office of the township clerk, in the city of Winfield, issue the bonds of said township to the amount of five thousand five hundred ($5,500.00) dollars, in payment for the construction of two bridges across the Walnut River in said township, the one at a point on the W. S. Voris county road, the other at a point on the C. S. Smith county road. C. C. PIERCE, Trustee.

Attest: E. S. Bedilion, Township Clerk.


Winfield Courier, January 10, 1878.

The south bridge is rapidly approaching completion. It will be ready for use in a few days.

Arkansas City Traveler, January 23, 1878.

An agent of King’s Bridge Company has been here estimating the cost of building a bridge across the Arkansas river south and west of town. They have completed the bridge across the Walnut south of Winfield.

Winfield Courier, January 24, 1878. [Editors: D. A. Millington and A. B. Lemmon.]

The south bridge across the Walnut River is completed, accepted, and in operation, and now we swing our hat and give the three times three and a tiger with the best of them. It is ready for operation just in time, for the river has recently come up booming again, nearly ten feet above the ordinary stage. The bridge is one of the most beautiful iron structures we ever saw, and appears to be in every way strong and substantial. It is 150 feet span, 33 feet above low water, on substantial stone abutments, and the approaches are splendidly graded. When the proposition was submitted to vote $2,500 bonds to this bridge and $3,000 to the west bridge, we opposed the proposition because we did not believe we could build both, and voting so small a sum as $2,500 for the south bridge would ensure its failure. But the bonds were carried and the splendid management of the township board with the contributions and active aid of other citizens has proved us to have been mistaken. But while great credit is due to the board and others, we are mainly indebted to the efficient and persistent efforts of M. L. Robinson that this project has been worked up and carried though to complete success at so little cost to the township.

Winfield Courier, January 24, 1878.

The south bridge is up. Bring on your wood.

Winfield Courier, January 24, 1878.

The first load that passed over the new south bridge was Col. McMullen’s safe, headed by six yoke of heavy oxen. The weight of the team and load was not less than twenty thousand pounds.

Winfield Courier, January 24, 1878.

Ed. Bedilion rode a good horse down to examine the south bridge, but while making his inspection, the horse played a joke on him by returning alone. Ed. did not say any cuss words as he waded back through the mud, but don’t say anything to him about it for he may forget himself yet.

Arkansas City Traveler, January 30, 1878.

The bridge across the Walnut south of Winfield, on the old piers from which the Baker bridge was washed away a year and a half ago, is completed and is said to be a good one.

Winfield Courier, February 7, 1878.

There was a full force of men working on the west bridge all day Sunday.

Winfield Courier, February 14, 1878.

The new iron bridge spanning the Walnut River southwest of town is completed.


Winfield Courier, February 14, 1878.

                                                          BEAVER ITEMS.

R. S. Tannehill has completed a new bridge across Beaver Creek, which connects his farm to his timber and pasture lands. Mr. Tannehill will deal largely in stock for which he has every advantage. LINKS AND PINS.


Winfield Courier, February 28, 1878.

                                                      FROM MAPLE CITY.

ED. COURIER: We are seriously thinking, if this kind of weather continues, of having “Grouse” bridged, so that our communication with Winfield will not be interrupted so often.



Winfield Courier, February 28, 1878.

                                 MILLINGTON & LEMMON, PUBLISHERS.

                                  [From the Kansas City Journal of Commerce.]

                     CENTRAL HOTEL, WINFIELD, KANSAS, February 13, 1878.

Two handsome iron bridges have also spanned the Walnut River since my visit last fall, making three bridges across the river within a mile of town. JOE FLUFFER.

Excerpt from very long article...

Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 21, 1878. Front Page.

                                 MILLINGTON & LEMMON, PUBLISHERS.

                                             COWLEY COUNTY, KANSAS.


There are four fine bridges within one mile of Winfield. One crossing Timber Creek, just north of the city, is an arched iron bridge of 100 feet span and 30 feet high stone abutments. The next is a wooden truss bridge across the Walnut River just northwest of the city 200 feet long on stone pier and abutments 35 feet high. The third is an arched iron bridge across Walnut River just southwest of the city one hundred and eighty feet long and thirty-five feet high on stone pier and abutments. The fourth is an iron bridge with a single span 155 feet long on 35 feet high abutments, across Walnut River just south of the city. The total cost of these bridges is about $25,000. Other good bridges are found in various other parts of the county.

Winfield Courier, June 13, 1878.

                                                    THE GREAT STORM.

                                                   Unprecedented Fall of Rain.

                                                High Water — Great Damages.

Winfield and vicinity was visited yesterday morning by one of the greatest storms ever known to this vicinity. It commenced raining about fifteen minutes after 12 o’clock a.m., and continued until about 4 o’clock—nearly four hours. The amount of water which fell during that time is unprecedented. Every vessel standing right side up out of doors which was not more than two feet deep filled with water. Several barrels standing alone received a depth of over 24 inches of water each. The total fall of water could not have been less than 25 inches. The wind blew very strongly from several different directions during the storm. Four small houses in this city were moved from their foundations and turned partly around, and many outbuildings were blown down. The rain seemed to come down in sheets, and the whole county around seemed one vast sheet of water.

Lightning struck the house of J. E. Allen, in the south part of town, splitting open his chimney and stove pipe and stunning his wife. It also struck another house in the north part of town, doing very little damage. The rain was forced through roofs and every crack and cranny of the buildings; and there is scarcely a house in town in which the contents escaped all damage from wet. Many cellars received considerable water. In that of Lynn & Gillelen, stored with merchandise, the damage will be at least $100. Baird Bros. suffered from water and kerosene damage in their cellar of at least $800. Others are damaged lightly.

As we write, 10 o’clock a.m., Wednesday, the whole bottom north of town on both sides of Timber Creek is one vast lake extending into the city limits. This sheet of water is the overflow of Timber Creek.

An immense quantity of wheat sheaves are floating down the Walnut River, having been swept out of the Timber Creek Valley. Many farmers have lost their entire crop. J. F. Graham not only lost his wheat, but thinks 24 hogs have gone down the river. It is probable that much other damage is done in this valley; but we are now unable to learn the extent.

The water in Timber Creek is slowly subsiding; but in the Walnut it is still rising. At Bliss’s mill it is up to within 16 inches of the bridge and as high as ever known before. The rise at this point is already 28 feet. 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 is of course a loss.

We just learn that the rise of Beaver Creek, in Beaver Township, surrounded the house of David W. Frew, who carried his wife to dry land; and while returning for his two children, the house was carried away with the children, who are probably drowned. Dr. Holland’s house is surrounded by water up to the windows; but at this writing, no one had reached the house.

It is impossible at present to learn the extent of the storm and of the damage. It is evident that both are immense.

In town a new stable was blown down; Terrill lost a lot of valuable pictures, the churches were damaged to some extent, a large lot of plastering fell and enveloped one of our druggists, Mr. Giles; many trees were broken down and much fruit shaken off.

Black Crook, two miles east of town, rose 20 feet, carrying off a stone wall and Dunn’s crop of wheat.

LATER. The water is subsiding in the Walnut.


Arkansas City Traveler, June 19, 1878.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday a very heavy rain fell, swelling the streams to an impassable extent, and carrying off saw logs, wood, wheat, and growing corn along their banks. The abutment of the bridge across the Walnut, south of Winfield, is said to be so badly washed that the bridge will fall, and water surrounded the approach of the bridge at Newman’s mill for more than a day. Mr. Bell, the owner of some sheep, near Park’s schoolhouse, was drowned in Badger Creek while attempting to cross, and the house of Mr. Frew, on Beaver Creek, was washed away and two children drowned, while he was making every effort to save his wife. Dr. Holland’s house was surrounded by water, and the occupants compelled to remain in it twenty-four hours before they were rescued. The Arkansas River rose four feet above the bridge pilings at this place, and carried hundreds of bushels of wheat, in the shock, down the stream. From all parts of the county we learn of its destruction to men, beasts, and the grain in the fields. In Pleasant Valley Township a horse belonging to Mr. Lucas was struck dead by lightning, and hundreds of hogs, young chickens, and ducks drowned. The damage to the county will be severely felt.

                                                          The Great Storm.

Winfield Courier, June 20, 1878.

The storm of last week, Wednesday morning, came from the W.N.W. across the north part of Sumner County down the Ninnescah River, where it did a considerable damage. The center of the storm passed over Vernon, Winfield, Tisdale, Dexter, and Otter Townships in Cowley County in a general direction of E.S.E., and left the county in the vicinity of Cedarvale. It could not have been more than about fifteen miles wide and the track of the heaviest rainfall was scarcely more than half of that width. From all the circumstances taken together we conclude, it was a cyclone or rotary storm, of about seven or eight miles in diameter; that the rotation was not extremely rapid, and that the progress of the storm was very slow.

Our statement last week of the amount of waterfall was, we now think, exaggerated, and that twenty inches would be the extent.

DIED. But three lives were lost, namely: the two children of Mr. Frew at Beaver Creek and Mr. Bell at Badger Creek. The circumstances of the loss of the two children is thus described by Horatius in a communication of that day.

“This community was startled this morning by the news that two children of Mr. David M. Frew, aged respectively two months and three years, were swept away by the flood. Mr. Frew and family had retired for the night; and though conscious that a large amount of water was falling, he did not anticipate danger until his house moved. He immediately with his wife and two children attempted to escape from the floating building. In his exertions he slipped and fell in the water, losing his hold on the children, who were immediately swept away from him, and darkness prevailing, he was utterly unable to recover or find them. He barely succeeded in saving himself and wife. The grief-stricken parents have the heartfelt sympathies of the people in this vicinity.”

The bodies of the drowned children have since been recovered. In the vicinity of Mr. Frew’s was the residence of DR. C. G. Holland, which stood on a knoll, surrounded by lower land. The water rose to the windows and the house moved partly from its foundations; but the doctor led a heavy horse and a cow into the house, which so weighted it down that it did not float away. The water subsided and the apprehensions of his neighbors were relieved.

The drowning of Mr. Bell is related in another place. There were two other men, whose names we did not get, who were camped near Mr. Bell at Chaffee’s ford, on Badger. They were swept into the current; but held to the branches or brush until morning light, when they were relieved. Several animals were killed by lightning, including a valuable bull belonging to S. S. Holloway; a mare belonging to Mr. Bryson, and another belonging to Mr. Glass, of Dexter Township; and a horse belonging to Mr. Lucas, of Pleasant Valley.

All the streams and small creeks along the track of the storm were swollen suddenly and excessively, rising from twenty to thirty feet. Beaver, Walnut, Timber, Black Crook, Badger, Silver, Turkey, Plum, Grouse, and Crab Creeks overflowed their banks and swept away large quantities of wheat in the shock, and many hogs. Much damage was done by washing out corn and other crops. Potatoes and onions were washed out of the ground. Stone fences and stone corrals were swept away. We have succeeded in gathering the names of some of the

                                                  LOSERS BY THE STORM.

On Walnut: John Ireton lost 20 hogs and 30 acres of wheat; Mr. Craig and Mr. Clark lost each 30 acres of wheat; F. W. Schwantes lost his stone corral; M. Gessler lost 5 hogs.

On Timber: Thos. Youle lost 100 acres of wheat; Geo. Youle 10 acres; Daniel Knox 12 acres; Mrs. Rutherford 12 acres; J. F. Graham and M. V. Phillips 50 acres; Washburne 28 acres; Mentch 40 acres; Mrs. Cochran 30 acres; G. W. Yount 40 acres; John Parks 60 acres; S. A. Burger 14 acres; W. Cowan 40 acres. J. F. Graham lost 10 hogs; G. W. Yount 19 hogs; John Rhodes 1 horse and 10 acres of wheat; W. W. Limbocker 8 acres; J. W. Orr 20 acres; Mr. Keesey 10 acres; Bryant 10 acres.

On Black Crook: W. Dunn lost 60 acres of wheat; Joe Mack 20; others lost a considerable.

On Badger: J. H. Mounts lost 12 acres of wheat; S. W. Chase 20 acres; Robert Gardener 60 acres; McCullom 20 acres; A. B. Gardener 40 acres; W. Hill 40 acres; Eckles 10 acres. Much corn was washed out.

In Pleasant Valley: Jeffers had the roof of his house blown off.

The losses on Silver, Turkey, Plum, Grouse, and Crab Creeks have not been specially reported to us except as stated by the following from our DEXTER CORRESPONDENT.

“There has been a great flood in this vicinity, which has washed away a large amount of the wheat along Plum and Turkey Creeks and other tributaries of the Grouse. Mr. Clay, on Turkey Creek, lost 22 acres of wheat. Several others suffered severe losses of grain. Plum Creek did not suffer as much. Grouse Creek rose 16 feet at the Winfield crossing. Several head of hogs washed away. Mr. Axley lost his entire crop of wheat, and it is feared the damage to wheat will be great.”

To sum up, we conclude that about 50,000 bushels of wheat have been washed away, and that the total damage to the county will reach at least $100,000. To many, their losses are of a serious character, being their sole dependence, and will occasion much distress.

Winfield Courier, June 20, 1878.

The south bridge was nearly carried away by the recent rise in the Walnut. The north pier was almost entirely washed out. All that is left standing of it is a small column of rock under the northeast corner of the bridge and the west side of the pier under the northwest corner, the center having been washed out. That the bridge stood at all upon such a foundation is surprising. Thursday props of large timbers were placed under the north end and no further damage or loss is expected. The loss of this bridge would have been a serious one to the town and surrounding country, and the timely situation paid by many of the citizens of Winfield to secure it from further damages deserves notice.

Winfield Courier, June 27, 1878.

To Mr. Charles Cole, a painter in this city who came here with the men who put up our iron bridges, Winfield Township is largely indebted for saving the south bridge. He went into the rough and dangerous part of the work, risking his life; and by his skill, energy, and good judgment, was the leading factor in the work. Winfield will remember his services.

Winfield Courier, June 27, 1878.

                                                      Notice for Stone Work.

Bids will be received by the Township Board of Winfield Township, at the Township Clerk’s office, in Winfield, up to July 9th, 1878, for rebuilding pier under the bridge on W. S. Voris’ county road. The Board reserving the right to reject, any and all bids. See specifications at Clerk’s office. E. S. BEDILION, Township Clerk.

Winfield Courier, July 25, 1878.

J. G. Bullene of Winfield, has the supervision of putting up the bridges across the Arkansas River near Arkansas City. The contract is let to the Pillsbury Bridge Co. They have put up the second span and will complete the work in about three weeks. It is a combination bridge, wood upper chords and iron lower chords. It is raised four and a half feet higher than the old bridge.

Winfield Courier, August 8, 1878. Editorial Columns.

                                        THE NEW MAIL ARRANGEMENT.

It has been understood that a new arrangement was to be effected by which we at Winfield would be more promptly supplied with our mails. The idea was that the eastern and northern mails would come and go by way of El Dorado and make close connection with the trains on the railroad; but the change has taken place on a far different basis, one which will not improve our mail facilities in any respect while it will frequently disrupt and delay our mails for days at a time.

Under the new arrangement mails are to leave El Dorado at 8 o’clock a.m., and arrive at Winfield by 7 o’clock p.m., which, at best, is no improvement on the former delivery by way of Wichita, and as there are frequently times when some of the streams between here and El Dorado cannot be crossed for days together on account of high water, the change will greatly damage our mail facilities and is an outrage.

It is true that we are promised the early completion of bridges across the Walnut near Augusta and the Little Walnut between Walnut City and Douglass, but there remain Rock and Muddy Creeks unbridged and frequently impassable.

On the Wichita route are no streams of consequence except the Walnut, which has three good bridges, and the probability of interruption of the mails by heavy rains is slight in comparison with the certainty of frequent interruptions on the El Dorado route.

We should have accepted this change in route without grumbling had we been given some advantage to compensate for this disadvantage. Had the arrangement included close connection with the trains we would have favored the change, for in that case we would get the mails on the next morning after their arrival in El Dorado, whereas now we get them the following evening. But even in this we should suffer one disadvantage. There is no Sunday train on the El Dorado branch while there is one on the Wichita branch, so that while we have been getting on Monday evening the mails which come down the railroad on Sunday, we should not then get them until Tuesday morning.

Under the present arrangement, we do not get them until Tuesday night, which is an additional outrage. We propose to be very careful not to grumble without a cause, but here we have plenty of cause and we propose to follow up this matter until we get relief “if it takes all summer.” We can stand a moderate amount of abuse, but this is piling it on too thick.

We demand that the mails shall leave El Dorado on the arrival of the trains and arrive here the next morning, Sundays included; or if that cannot be done, that they come by way of Wichita as formerly, giving us one mail every week 24 hours earlier than now and all regularly on time, which would be impossible by the El Dorado route.

We do not know by what influence or what kind of sell out the present arrangement was effected. If it is the invention of El Dorado men, they will not make anything by it. It cannot do them any particular good to have our mails lay over in their ambitious city for ten hours to two days; and if they are to be delayed for the purpose of keeping over a few passengers in their town of nights, we will see them in Halifax before we travel that way, or patronize their town in any other way, and there are lots of people about here that feel in the same way.

We are all friendly to El Dorado down here and would gladly trade with her if she wants our trade and will try to treat us well; but when she delays our mails to get trade, it is too black a mail for us and won’t pay.

Winfield Courier, October 17, 1878.

The Township Board of Trustees has awarded the building of the new abutments of the South bridge to Mr. Kavanaugh. If he rushes them up as fast as he did the new stone and brick building of Mr. Bahntge, we can soon have that bridge to use again.



Winfield Courier, February 20, 1879.

                                     NORTHEAST NINNESCAH, Feb. 14, 1879

A bridge across the Walnut is talked of at that place. VERY SOFT.


Arkansas City Traveler, March 19, 1879.

The lowest rate of tax in Cowley County is 13 mills on the dollar; the highest 45 mills; the average about 25 mills. The only localities where taxes are high, being Winfield and Arkansas City, where substantial improvements have been built, such as bridge, schoolhouses, etc. Winfield has two iron and one combination bridge across Dutch creek, as well as a good court­house and jail, each brick structures, and a large stone school house. Arkansas City has a large combination bridge across the Arkansas River, erected at a cost of $13,000, and one across the Walnut River that cost $3,000; also a splendid brick schoolhouse which cost $10,000 and is the finest building in the county. The entire indebtedness of the county is but $31,500. According to the last assessment our taxable property amounted to $2,020,000.

Winfield Courier, July 10, 1879.

At the meeting of the commissioners on Monday some important changes were made in the boundaries of the townships of Vernon, Rock, and Pleasant Valley, and a new township called Walnut was created, composed of the eastern and northern portions of the old township of Winfield, and a slice off the southern portion of Rock. Pleasant Valley gets the south part of Winfield township, including the south bridge and the Tunnel Mills, and Vernon gets the western portion including both west bridges and Bliss’ mill. This leaves Winfield a municipality of itself. This new township of Walnut holds an election for officers on the 23rd of this month.


Winfield Courier, 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.


Winfield Courier, July 24, 1879.

The bridge across Timber creek, north of town, was broken down last Monday by driving a large herd of Texas ponies on at one time. Six of the ponies were killed outright and many were injured. The bridge was made partly of iron and partly of the timber of the old bridge which was washed out some years ago, but was not supposed to be insecure. The weight of a large herd of ponies, together with the springing and crowding, was enough to test the strength of the strongest bridge. The herd belonged to a Mr. Seehorn, who came to town after the accident with the intention of suing the township for damages, but has as yet taken no definite action in the matter. If at all, the damages should be the other way, as the gentleman should never have driven more than fifteen head on at one time. The loss of this bridge will be a great inconvenience to the people in the north part of the county, as it cuts off all access to Winfield during high water. This will perhaps be a lesson to our people in all future works of a public nature to build them right in the first place and do away with the necessity and extra expense of rebuilding a bridge, only to be thrown down by a herd of Texas ponies.


Winfield Courier, July 31, 1879.

One of our friends, who was a mover in the matter of carving up the township, denies that the object was to escape liability on the bridge bonds, but admits that the plan to cut up the township was worked up by a few secretly, and that they were careful to keep the project dark until it was consummated, for they knew if it got out, it would be defeated.

Winfield Courier, July 31, 1879.

Last Saturday Mr. Robert Hudson finished taking out the Timber Creek bridge which was thrown down last week. The bridge is very little damaged, there being only one rod and a wooden cross-beam broken. The opinion of the persons who took the bridge out is that it did not go down in the center as at first supposed, but was thrown off of the abutment by the springing and crowding of the ponies. The irons and belts have all been taken out and are now at the foundry, and will only need to be straightened before they can be put back. It is estimated that three hundred dollars will put the bridge back on the old abut­ments in as good shape as it was before.


Winfield Courier, August 14, 1879.

We interviewed J. C. Roberts, the trustee of Walnut town­ship, in relation to these matters. 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. There seems to us but one way out of this part of the scrape. The commissioners must make the tax levy on the whole property within the lines of the old Winfield township. We think it their duty and the only way to save our credit and cost of suits.

Winfield Courier, August 28, 1879.

The bridge across the Walnut, at Bliss’ mill, has been “closed for repairs.” It is in rather a dilapidated condition.


Winfield Courier, September 11, 1879.

On the east end of the west bridge, a plank has broken and left a large hole through the floor. At the west end there is a similar hole and a number of loose boards. This should be fixed at once.

Winfield Courier, October 9, 1879.

While a lady was driving to town on the road past the depot Monday evening, her horse fell through the culvert opposite Lowry’s ice house, injuring him severely and breaking the buggy in several places. The lady had driven across this bridge earlier in the evening, and noticed while crossing that it was in rather a bad condition. When she returned she concluded to lead the horse across, but when partly over it stepped on the end of a loose board and went down. The cries of the lady brought several men to the spot, who tore away the timbers and released the animal. Someone should look after this matter or the township may have a heavy bill of damages to pay. Twenty-five dollars spent in repairs might save five hundred for damages.


Winfield Courier, December 11, 1879.

                                                   WINFIELD, Dec. 9, 1879.

ED. COURIER: I have just been up to pay my taxes, and on comparing with last year’s receipts find that they are about one-fourth less than last year. This was gratifying, but on a cross-examination I find that the Bridge Bond township tax has disap­peared although the bonds have not been paid off. It seems there was no levy made this year. Of course, they will have to be paid, and probably next year we will have to pay two years’ interest, with the addition of a good bill of United States court costs.

I could not get any light on the subject at the courthouse, and on the supposition that an editor knows everything, or is generally supposed to, I ask you for light on the question. Who is to blame for the levy not being made: the county commission­ers, county clerk, or attorney; or was it the brilliant minds who destroyed Winfield township? Believing that the answering of this question would be of interest to the general tax-payer, I respectfully await your reply.


We have already expressed our opinion on this subject. It has been a case where “one was afraid and the other durst not.” It all grew out of the stupid work of those who were not willing to let well enough alone, during the past year. The itching for a change has brought changes “with a vengeance.” Winfield township was in first-rate condition when it contained a city of the third class, but this “itching” raised this city to one of the second class, making it a township of itself.

This fright­ened some timid citizens of the balance of Winfield township with the idea that the change in the city would saddle all the bonds on the remainder of the township, who got up a secret petition, circulating it in the night, to cut up Winfield township, annex­ing a part of it to Vernon, another part to Pleasant Valley, and erecting the balance into a new township called Walnut. This was acted upon by the commissioners before the project was adver­tised, or even known outside a small coterie of persons.

After this it was assumed that the levy to pay the interest on these bonds could only be made by the trustee of Winfield town­ship; and as there was no Winfield township, the levy could not be made.

We contended that in case the levy was not otherwise made, the commissioners should do it, disregarding legal technicalities which might arise.

We now claim that the authorities of Winfield City, of the townships of Walnut, Pleasant Valley, and Vernon, and of the County, have all been remiss in their duties, in not seeing to it that this tax was levied.

If each board was afraid it had no right to do it, all should have met together, and together should have made the levy. There was no question that somebody ought to make it. The only question was, who? Had all united to make it, we do not doubt that the tax would have been collected on all the property included within the lines of old Winfield township. As it is, the amount must be paid by the same persons together with a probable additional amount in costs.


Winfield Courier, Thursday, December 25, 1879. Front Page.


                                             WALNUT TWP., DEC. 20, 1879.

EDITOR COURIER: In your issue of the 11th inst., under the head of “Bridge Bonds,” you say things that are liable to mis­lead, and with your permission I will give all the facts in the case so far as I known them, and I was connected with the move­ment from first to last, and ought to know the motives which actuated those whom you are pleased to call “timid citizens.”

The reasons for our actions are as follows.

1. Winfield township had built four bridges, issuing bonds and scrip to the amount of $25,000: $5,000 of which was scrip or township orders. (This is not claimed to be the exact amounts, but near enough to illustrate.)

2. Winfield City became a city of the second class, and by the law none but the real estate within the corporate limits of the city could be directly held for the indebtedness of Winfield township, thus leaving all that class of indebtedness known as scrip to be raised by the remainder of the township—say about $5,000—and assuming that the real estate in the township and the real estate in the city were equal, then the taxpayer in the township would have to pay in addition a tax on his personal property which would make the taxes relatively about as follows.

A, being a citizen of the city, would pay on his real estate $1.00, and on his personal property, $0.00.

B, living in the township, would pay on his real estate $1.00, and on his personal property, $1.00. In addition thereto, B would pay 25 or 50 cents on his real property and 25 cents on his personal property for the purpose of liquidating the $5,000 of township orders.

Thus, they would stand:

A. bond tax: $1.00

B. bond tax: $2.00

B. order tax: $.50

These sums are only approximately correct and would vary only as the relative ratio of the different classes of property within the two corporations varied at the time the proper authorities apportioned the debt to each.

3. There were four bridges to maintain at an annual cost, taking 1878 as a criterion, of about $800, for the use of the whole county. It was useless to think of trying the county for assistance; the township had lost half or more of its taxable property, and was saddled with a heavy bonded debt and a large floating debt—what could we do but as we did? Here was Vernon township on the west, with a large area of the best agricultural land in the state, and filled with an intelligent, go-ahead class of people that were, per force of location, compelled to use two of these four bridges all the year round. The same remarks are applicable to Pleasant Valley on the south with reference to one of the bridges, except that Pleasant Valley accepted the present of a new bridge with the best possible grace, while Vernon did not seem to appreciate the munificence of the donors in allotting two and a large additional territory to her domain.

4. After having made up our minds, the “coterie” went to work, got up a petition in legal form, made copies, and gave them to friends of the project. The petitions were duly circulated, and at the next meeting of the County Commissioners they were presented, and after laying the situation before that honorable body, they saw fit to grant the petition, and created a new township, giving two of the bridges to Vernon, which township by virtue of use ought to by right be compelled to maintain them, one to Pleasant Valley, and leaving one to the new township; thus dividing the cost of maintaining the four bridges among the three townships most interested in their use.

And now, as this article is already too long, I will close with a word as to the manner of circulating those petitions, as that seems to be a great “eye sore.” Those who had charge of the project acted upon the principle that you only receive help from friends, and that enemies are at liberty to get all the informa­tion they can. This is a world in which all work for their own interests as they understand them, and neither do they publish all their projects broadcast, but having made up their minds that a certain action is just and would result in bettering their condition, they set about to accomplish it in a legal (if you please) way, and he who says least does most. S. E. B.



Winfield Courier, January 1, 1880.

                                         VERNON TOWNSHIP, Dec. 27, 1879.

ED. COURIER: A communication signed S. E. B. in your issue of Dec. 25th, seems, under the circumstances, to require a few words of comment from someone. The writer sets out with the assertion that “in your issue of Dec. 11th, under the head of “Bridge Bonds,” you say things liable to mislead.”

He may have proved this charge to his own satisfaction, but no one reading his article would be able to perceive how. On the contrary, his statement of “facts” (already patent to everyone who has examined the subject), and the complications growing out of the action taken on these facts, more than justify your editorial in every essential particular.

The argument he makes to justify the course pursued, amounts to simply this: That himself, and a few others, becoming restive under a burden they had voluntarily assumed in the past, with full knowledge of the contingencies that might arise in the future, resolved to shift the same to other shoulders, by any means, fair or foul, so that it might be “legal,” (if you please.)” In doing this, he has but used the means that have done “Yeoman’s service” in plastering over the acts, and soothing the conscience, of every wrong doer since the days of Cain. Selfish interest, caprice, and passion are potent influences, and have swayed the minds and warped the judgment of greater men than those engaged in the “Gift” concern of which we complain.

The light in which the people of Vernon regard this matter is about this: If Winfield city and township, first settled, and possessing superior advantages, think that it will best serve and advance their interests to vote bonds and build bridges, thus attracting trade and travel; well, it is their undoubted right to do so, and displays commendable enterprise in their own behalf and public spirit as well.

And if the people of Vernon township, exercising their own judgment and from motives of prudence, prefer to suffer some inconvenience for a time rather than add to present embarrass­ments by building bridges, decline to do so, who shall say that it is not their undoubted right to so decide?

And if the people of Vernon object to accepting such respon­sibilities, on what rule of law or equity does S. E. B. base the right to “compel” such acceptance.

The people of Vernon township are not deficient in public spirit, nor do they lack enterprise, governed by prudence; but the remarks of S. E. B. on that point must be slightly ironical. There is a manifest lack of intelligence somewhere “there anent,” and a disclaimer on his part at once convicts him of insincerity. Had this matter been gotten up in an open, manly manner, and on the principle that “it takes two to make a bargain,” and after a fair hearing had been decided against us, whatever we might have thought, there would have been no opposition made.

But done as it was, by a few parties in the furtherance of their own selfish interests, and utterly regardless of the means employed to effect their purpose, we think we have good reason to object and shall not very soon cease to do so. VERNON.



Winfield Courier, February 26, 1880.

Public necessity demands a bridge over the Walnut river at Morton & Picket’s mills. Said mills are now ready for grinding both wheat and corn.

Winfield Courier, April 15, 1880.

A few days ago Mr. McKinley, of Ninnescah township, narrowly escaped a collision with a train on the road leading out from town by Bliss’ mill. He had gotten out near the bluff and was on the track with his team when a construction train on the K. C. L. & S. road came backing in towards town. Mr. McKinley had time barely to jerk his horses back from the track and to jump from the wagon when the train was pushing by. The shave was a close one, and hereafter Mr. McKinley will come to town by the west bridge.

Winfield Courier, April 22, 1880.

The road supervisor of the district in which is the west iron bridge should repair the plank roadway at once before some serious accident occurs.


Winfield Courier, August 12, 1880.

Last Friday afternoon the old bridge near Wood, Jettinger & Co.’s mill, fell in. It has been condemned for over a year as unsafe, and persons who used it were notified that they did it at their own risk. This was the first bridge built in the county, and has stood there since 1872. One of Al. Requa’s teams had crossed the bridge only a few moments before it fell.

Winfield Courier, November 25, 1880.

Tax paying commenced at the county treasurer’s office a week ago, and Mr. Harden and Will Wilson are kept busy taking in greenbacks. If on going to pay your taxes, you find them higher than last year, don’t lay it to the assessor, but remember that we had no bridge bond tax, and now have to pay for the two years.

Winfield Courier, December 2, 1880.

There is now in the Cowley County treasury $1,100 of the old Winfield township funds, raised to pay the bridge bond indebted­ness, and it is said that there is no authority to pay it out without an act of the legislature, notwithstanding that there are $2,000 of the old bridge bonds now due besides $200 in interest. If we were Gen. Jackson and had the management of this matter, we would “take the responsibility” and pay out this $1,100 on these bonds “quicker than you can say Jack Robinson.”

Winfield Courier, December 2, 1880.

The Monitor calls attention to the condition of our bridges. That is correct. These matters should be attended to, and the press should keep up a noise about it until it is attended to.

Winfield Courier, December 9, 1880.

Sam Watt, trustee of Pleasant Valley township, is having the south bridge across the Walnut river overhauled, tightened up, and got in first class condition this week.

Winfield Courier, December 16, 1880.

Sam Watt, trustee of Vernon township, has put the south bridge in a safe and first rate condition. Now it is in order for our friend Skinner, trustee of Vernon township, to investigate the west iron bridge and put it in like condition.



Winfield Courier, December 23, 1880.

S. Watt, trustee of Pleasant Valley township, is entitled to the thanks of all the people who live in or come to Winfield. At a small expense he has made the south bridge secure. Now let the other trustees go to work.



Winfield Courier, January 6, 1881. [From Winfield Telegram.]

The following is a summary of the tax levy for the year 1880, as taken from the Clerk’s books, showing the different purposes for which taxes are raised in the county.

                                       Bridge Bond, old Winfield Twp.: $7,439.79

Winfield Courier, January 13, 1881.

Nearly every evening last week the river at the north and west bridge was thronged with young folks skating. The snow Saturday night put a stop to their fun for awhile.

Winfield Courier, January 20, 1881.

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.

Winfield Courier, January 27, 1881.

                                                   OLD TOWNSHIP FUND.

There is in the county treasury about $1,500 to the credit of old Winfield township, which was raised for road purposes, and ought to be appropriated for such purposes and not remain in the treasury. The bridge across Timber creek is such a purpose and is a necessity for an important travel and trade which comes to Winfield. The bulk of this money was paid by citizens of Winfield, and these citizens are interested in keeping the roads open to allow travel and trade to come here. We ask that the legislature pass a law appropriating the amount to put a first-class iron bridge on the Timber creek standing abutments. It can be done for the amount. We think this would meet with general consent. If not, there is no other just way but to appropriate it to pay on the Winfield township bonds.



Winfield Courier, January 27, 1881.

Time and again have the papers in this city called the attention of E. D. Skinner, the trustee of Vernon township, to the danger of the roads running to what was known as the Bliss bridge. At this end there is nothing to stop a team plunging down, as was the case on Saturday night last. The only reason that the trustee gives for not fencing the road is because the commissioners changed the township lines. Legal authority says that this man, Skinner, is liable for all damage that may occur while he leaves the road in such a dangerous condition. We hope this is true, and that he will be obliged to pay for the horse killed last Saturday. He would have no sympathy in this country if he would lose every dollar’s worth of property he has in the world. He will probably learn that the acceptance of an office of trust entails certain duties that are incumbent upon him to perform. We now give you notice, Mr. Skinner, unless you attend to your duties as trustee, you will find yourself involved “in a sea of trouble.”

Last Saturday was an unusually bad day for Winfield. Many men appeared to think it was the last day that a drink of whiskey could ever be procured; and in consequence, those drank who never drank before, and those who were in the habit of drinking, drank the more. The natural result was, lots of fellows got full. One would naturally, under such circumstances, have anticipated many accidents, but there was, as far as we know, but one serious one, and that was to George McIntire, who lives on the farm of his mother-in-law near Seeley.

George got blind drunk and started home about six o’clock Saturday evening: he started his horses on a dead run and instead of taking the road south, to cross the west bridge, the team made for what was the Bliss bridge, that being their old familiar road. In making the turn McIntire was thrown out without injuring himself. The team ran madly down the blind road and plunged down from the abutment fully twenty-five feet to the ice below; one horse fell on top of the other. The horse under­neath had his leg broken and laid on the ice and suffered for upwards of twenty hours before he was killed. The other horse loosened himself from the harness and went home. The wagon made a complete somersault. A man saw the team go over and he rushed uptown for Dr. Graham, taking it for granted there was a dead man down on the ice. The doctor came, the man was found, taken into the office of Bliss & Wood, and our worthy coroner reported the man dead-drunk. The horse, the nobler animal of the two, suf­fered and was killed, while the man still lives. The ways of Providence are indeed inscrutable and past finding out.


Winfield Courier, February 3, 1881.

“BRIDGE OR NO BRIDGE” is the prevailing topic of conversa­tion this week. It certainly looks to us as if this was a one-sided question. That the bridge across Dutch creek is needed no one will deny. The people in North Walnut township are paying taxes on the bonds which were used to build the old Bliss bridge, the west, or brewery bridge, and the south bridge. They can make no possible use of these bridges and they are paying their money for the convenience of others. The time has now come for the balance of the township to help them by allowing the use of the funds now in the treasury to place a new bridge on the abutments which now stand there. The amount, in comparison with that used in the construction of the other three bridges, is small, and it is, in all justice and fairness, due to them that this money be appropriated to build the Dutch creek bridge. The abutments now standing there were built by private subscription; they have spent much time and money in trying to get a good bridge, while they have paid taxes far out of proportion to the amount they have received in improvements. They did not kick and squeal when asked to tax themselves to build bridges over which they would never travel; but as soon as they desire help and ask for money already in the treasury, part of which they themselves have paid, others come in and object. One of the loudest opponents of the bridge scheme wants to apply the money toward paying off the bonds now outstanding, and howls for “a reduction of taxation.” This is very good. We all want to reduce taxation, but it is hardly fair to get all we can out of a fellow, and about the time he wants something substantial in return to sit back on our dignity and tell him that we have inaugurated a system of “re­trenchment and reform.” Be fair, gentlemen, and it will pay in the long run.



Winfield Courier, February 3, 1881.

On Tuesday Messrs. Weakley, Burger, and Brown, of Walnut township, obtained a large number of signatures of our citizens asking that the fifteen hundred dollars now in the county trea­sury be used to build a new bridge across Timber creek. Many of our citizens signed under a misapprehension. We call the atten­tion of our readers to an interesting communication on this subject from a prominent citizen.

The council met in special session on Wednesday to protest against the funds of old Winfield Township being used for any other purpose except to pay the indebtedness of such township according to the original agreement; and further protesting against a petition that had been placed on the streets Tuesday asking that these funds be used to build a new iron bridge across Timber creek. This action was unanimous on the part of the council. The protest was then submitted to a number of our largest taxpayers who signed it, and the entire document was forwarded to our delegation at Topeka.

Winfield Courier, February 24, 1881.

                              FROM THE COURIER LEGISLATIVE REPORTER:

A bill has passed the Senate authorizing the Treasurer of Cowley County to pay to Walnut township the road and tax fund of old Winfield township, providing that Walnut township shall build an iron wagon bridge across Dutch creek, north of Winfield.


Winfield Courier, April 7, 1881.

Last Thursday the Walnut Township Board completed the contract for the erection of the Timber Creek bridge. They worked for five days before getting a satisfactory proposition. The abutments are to be thoroughly repaired and straightened, and the superstructure is to be of the best wrought iron. When completed this will be one of the best bridges we have, and will be “put there to stay.” The Board will superintend the work closely, and see that no inferior material is used. The people are largely indebted to Mr. Robert Weakley, Samuel E. Burger, George Brown, and others for the work which made it possible to secure the bridge. The Board also put in some faithful work and showed much business ability in bringing the propositions within the limit of money on hand.

Winfield Courier, April 21, 1881.

Mr. J. C. Roberts, trustee of Walnut township, has been putting in the week superintending the repairs on the Timber Creek bridge. He informs us that the abutments will be ready for the iron by Friday. The bridge will likely be opened for travel inside of thirty days.

Winfield Courier, June 30, 1881.

The Parks are inundated. The bayou surrounding Island Park is full, and a first class ferryboat is needed to reach the grounds. Riverside Park also proves to be a little too near the creek and is covered with water up to the second bottom. The managers were damming them Monday.

Winfield Courier, June 30, 1881.

J. H. Bullene let the stage pass over his new iron bridge across Timber Creek Monday morning on a temporary crossing, but the bridge was not finished until Tuesday noon.

Winfield Courier, July 7, 1881.

The Timber Creek bridge was not accepted by the board last week, owing to some defects in putting it together. Ten days were allowed the contractors for perfecting the work.


Winfield Courier, July 14, 1881.

J. C. Roberts, Trustee of Walnut Township, called on us last Thursday, and invited us to go along and see the new bridge, while they examined the structure for final acceptance. We soon found ourself at the bridge, where were the treasurer and clerk of the township, Messrs. Blanchard and Joel Mack; Col. Bullene, of Leavenworth, the contractor, and his brother, J. G. Bullene; S. E. Burger, and a few others. We did not go as an expert, so our opinion was not given and did not count, but we were much pleased with the bridge. It appeared to us to be thoroughly well con­structed, and a complete bridge in every particular. It is a beautiful bridge, of a hundred feet span, on abutments far above high-water mark.

We came back, and all took some lemonade, at Col. Bullene’s expense. Then the parties sat down in the COURIER office and settled up, and the board paid for the bridge. A great deal of work has been done by Robert Weakley, S. E. Burger, George Brown, and others, to get up an interest, get the necessary legislation, and the necessary subscriptions. The Township Board have spent their time, and used the greatest care to make the bridge perfect in every respect, and have attended to their work faithfully. The people most interested give them full credit and grateful thanks.

This bridge is of much importance to Winfield in many respects, and the efforts of those whose exertions have secured the bridge will be appreciated.

Winfield Courier, July 28, 1881.

Some unprincipled fellow has defaced M. Hahn & Co.’s sign, the one near the west bridge. Several letters have been scratched from the board with a knife. A man or a boy who will do this, will steal sheep.

Winfield Courier, November 10, 1881.

George Rembaugh waded the Arkansas river last Sunday to avoid paying tariff to the keeper of the ferry. What means this sudden burst of economy?

Cowley County Courant, November 17, 1881.

Mr. T. H. B. Ross took in Winfield last Friday in the interest of our school district. He says there has been many changes there, but few of the old “boys” are left, and Winfield does not appear now as it did in 1870-74. Caldwell Commercial.

Well, that’s a fact; there have been a good many changes in and around Winfield since those days. The old log store has been reduced to ashes, and some of the boys who used to gather there evenings to play “California Jack” and speculate on the future price of corner lots in Winfield, now take their wives and children to the theater in the fine Opera House that has arisen on the site of the old store. Max Shoeb’s blacksmith shop has given place to Read’s bank; the Walnut Valley House, as a hotel, has passed away. Likewise, the firms of Manning & Baker, U. B. Warren & Co., Alexander & Saffold, Bliss & Middaugh, Hitchcock & Boyle, Maris & Hunt, Myton & Brotherton, and Pickering & Benning. S. H. Myton is about the only one that is left. Tisdale’s hack, which came in whenever the river would permit, has given way to our two railroads; Tom Wright’s ferry, south of town, has been replaced by a handsome iron bridge, and Bartlow’s mill and its crew have disappeared.

Cowley County Courant, November 24, 1881.

And now comes another suit against old Winfield Township, this time in the U. S. Court. It is brought by the King Bridge Company, who sue for about $2,000. Mayor Troup and the different township officers have been served with the proper papers.

Cowley County Courant, November 24, 1881.

Walnut, Vernon, and the other townships outside of the city in old Winfield Township, have employed H. C. Sims, of Wichita, to look after their interests in the suit brought in the U. S. Court by the King Bridge company. The company has about $2,500 in scrip which was issued to pay for building the approaches to the south bridge. If necessary, City Attorney Seward will act for the city in the case. In our judgment the above suit should be added to the series of blunders committed in blotting out the old township, and the whole matter should be settled and paid with as little cost as possible.


Winfield Courier, December 8, 1881.

The King Iron Bridge Co. has sued the townships of Vernon, Pleasant Valley, and Walnut, and the City of Winfield in the United States Circuit Court for the sum of $1,879.67 and inter­est, on five township orders of the old Winfield Township, all issued for building the approaches to the South bridge April 10, 1879, except $330.00, Dec. 31, 1878, for iron bridges. Rossington, Johnston & Smith of Topeka are attorneys for the plaintiff. The petition asks for the appointment of a master in chancery who shall take proof of the territorial extent and taxable property of the parts of the old Winfield Township now in each of the defendant limits and apportion the indebtedness to each, and that an order issue that each of the defendant munici­palities pay their proportion immediately. This is in addition to the suit of Carpenter brought by M. G. Troup in the district court of this county for the payment of $2,036.10 of bridge scrip of Winfield Township and interest from October 15, 1881. This is one of the results of bad management in the past in the disrup­tion of Winfield Township. Now there is no other way to pay the indebtedness legally except at the end of a suit in chancery.

Winfield Courier, December 29, 1881.

Mr. E. D. Skinner, trustee of Vernon Township, talked old Winfield bridge scrip with us half an hour Saturday. As Vernon is not very largely interested in the matter, she will let Walnut and Winfield do what fighting there is to be done.


Cowley County Courant, January 12, 1882.

The trustees of townships comprising old Winfield Township have met and apportioned the expense of contesting the payment of the township scrip issued by the officers of the old township for bridge building. The apportionment between the townships based on their property valuation is as follows:

Vernon, $7.35.

Fairview, $4.42.

Walnut, $39.50.

Pleasant Valley, $7.40.

Winfield City, $91.33.

This makes a total of $150.00.

The Courier has stated that the Hon. H. C. Sluss has given a written opinion that the scrip was legally issued. We think the statement of the Courier contained a typographical error, as we saw the written opinion of Mr. Sluss, in which he confidently states that the scrip was not legally issued and that he had no idea that the old territory could be justly held for its payment.

The Courier also misstated in saying that Mr. Sluss demanded $300 for contesting the case. Mr. Sluss has agreed to contest for  $150, three hundred dollars to be paid him if he wins the suit.

Winfield Courier, January 19, 1882.

Rumors have been current that the Supreme Court decision invalidates the bill appropriating the money for the Dutch Creek Bridge. The bill received the constitutional majority and is all right.

Winfield Courier, March 2, 1882. Editorial.

                                     THOSE WINFIELD TOWNSHIP SUITS.

We wish to brace up our city council in relation to these suits. They are in relation to the debts incurred by the last trustee of the old township, in building the bridges in excess of the amount voted by the people. For this excess township scrip was issued, the legality of which was questioned or denied at the time, and has never yet been decided. Three suits against the territory which comprised the old township are commenced to collect this scrip and the question to be determined by the court is: Is this scrip legal and binding? If so, what existing municipal corporation is liable and in what proportion? And in what way shall the money be raised? The suits already commenced involve the sum of about $5,000. It is necessary that these be defended in order that either of these questions should be properly settled and the interests of the corporations interested be protected and secured on equitable principles. John C. Roberts, trustee of Walnut Township, has been at work in the matter for sometime and has made, with the approval of the other townships and a majority of the city council, complete arrangements for the defense of these suits at a minimum cost. The county clerk has furnished the assessment rolls and a schedule of the proportion of the expense to each municipality is agreed upon. The officers of each township interested have signed a contract to pay their proportion of the expenses. It is doubtless the wish of the citizens that the city council also ratify the contract. It will cost $150 to defend these three cases and it is worth much more than this to learn the legal status of the claims. We cannot afford to let it go by default. This sum is the fee of H. C. Sluss, who has been selected as the counsel for the defense. In case the two principal suits are defeated, the sum will be double. The proportion of the $150, among the municipalities, will be about as follows.

Winfield City, $92; Walnut Township, $37; Pleasant Valley, $7.50; Vernon Township, $7; and Fairview Township, $4.50. The city of Winfield can well afford to stand the $92, and the council should promptly ratify. In case the suits are successful, Winfield City alone will have $3,000 to pay besides its proportion of some further claims which will be prosecuted. She can well afford to pay $92 or twice that sum to have her interest thoroughly looked after. Mr. Roberts has done the work; now let the council stand to and go ahead.


Cowley County Courant, March 2, 1882.

                                                   OLD WINFIELD SCRIP.

We have heard considerable comment among our citizens in relation to the payment of the city’s share of the scrip issued by old Winfield Township, for which the city of Winfield has been sued by the King Bridge Company and by Carpenter and Reed.

The city’s proportion to pay, should the courts decide the debt legal, would be considerable, and the people of this city would certainly wish to know that the debt was lawful before they are called upon to tax themselves for two or three thousand dollars. The city council at a meeting resolved to contest, if all the other townships would join, in testing the legality of this large amount of scrip.

Since then we have learned that Pleasant Valley Township has refused to contest, but we suppose of course, the city council will take steps to protect the interests of the people and see that they pay only such debts as are legal. This scrip has not a very good name, and is thought by many to have been illegally issued.

Though Mayor Troup is attorney for the parties bringing the suit, we suppose he will guard the interests of the people as well as those of his clients, and the citizens of this city will look to him and to the city council for full protection of their rights. If these claims are legal, the city will not hesitate a moment or protest an instant over their payment, but a decision of the courts should certainly be obtained.

Excerpts...not sure if the following applies to Winfield or Arkansas City!

Cowley County Courant, April 13, 1882.

The Board of County Commissioners met in regular session Monday morning, and have been busy transacting the usual routine of business. All three members of the Board were in attendance.

The petition of D. S. Roach for a ferry on the Arkansas river was granted, and the County Clerk directed to issue license for one year.



Cowley County Courant, April 20, 1882.

Two or three timber sows are camping near the bridge on Dutch creek. This is a shame. Can’t the officers prevent this nuisance? It’s an insult to all decency. This is the great thoroughfare which a large amount of trade comes to your town, and if our mothers and sisters are to be insulted every time they go to town, it’s better that other arrangements be made.

[Second the motion. Fire them out. Pr.]

Winfield Courier, April 27, 1882.

A team loaded with ladies and children was frightened by the train on the crossing south of the south bridge last Friday and ran away, scattering the folks around over the prairie. We could not learn the names of the parties, and conclude there was no one hurt.

Winfield Courier, May 18, 1882.

W. A. Lee received one of the Gaar Scott engines and separators last Saturday for John Davis and Bros., of Vernon Township. It was unloaded, driven up through the streets, and created quite a commotion. The idea of an engine running along the road without horses and pulling a threshing machine was rather novel, to say the least. After going about through the streets for awhile the engine started for Vernon Township followed by a large procession of farmers. It pulled across the west bridge and up the hill on the opposite side without trouble. Mr. Hess of Vernon engineered the “iron horse.” We wonder what the mechanical ingenuity of man will invent next?

Cowley County Courant, May 18, 1882.

Hahn & Co.’s sign board near the Dutch creek bridge has been mashed up, but then they keep other signs in the papers, which if they are torn up one day, they appear fresh and bright the next.


Cowley County Courant, May 18, 1882.

THE COURANT family loaded itself into one of Schofield & Keck’s best rigs Sunday morning, and made what is sometimes termed a flying trip to the Geuda Springs. We won’t say “far famed,” “world renowned,” “justly celebrated,” for that would not be strictly accurate, and as the truth is all we desire to tell, the facts must be adhered to.

The ride to the Springs on a beautiful morning like yester­day is simply delightful. The road from the time you leave the livery barn, till the springs are reached, is as near perfection as it well can be, stretching as it does, across what we will risk to say, is the most beautiful township in Kansas. Cowley County, in our judgment, is one of the best looking counties in the state, and Beaver township is certainly very near if not quite the garden spot of the county. There are no hills to speak of, and the little streams are all bridged and unless it is immediately after a heavy rain, there is no more delightful drive in the west. The wheat is now headed and is of such uniform height and advancement, and so limitless in acreage, that it requires but little imagination to make it a shoreless green sea. But we must hasten to the Springs.

The Arkansas River is crossed on a good ferry boat, in charge of a careful boatman. Let us stop for a moment on this raging Arkansas, or as Vinnie Beckett would say: “this big rolling muddy.” We have had considerable acquaintance with this river for a number of years. So much so, that we are not afraid of being laughed at on the score of total ignorance on the subject. Thousands of dollars have been squandered—that’s the word—in making surveys of the stream by “competent engi­neers.” These surveys invariably follow the bed of the river on the old theory that nature knows what is best for us, which she don’t. The cutting across of miles of bend here and there, the advantage of crowding that body of water into a new and narrower channel never seems to have entered the “competent engineer’s” mind. The only competency seeming to be requisite was the ability to get through with the appropriation by the time Congress met again.

Cowley County Courant, June 1, 1882.

Mr. J. H. Finch met with a severe accident last Saturday evening. As he, with Gen. Green, was driving on the approach to the west bridge, the team jumped to one side, upset the buggy, and threw Mr. Finch to the ground, breaking both the bones in his left leg, a little above the ankle. Dr. Emerson reduced the fracture, and Uncle Jim is now getting along very well.



Cowley County Courant, June 1, 1882.

                                                 TANNEHILL, May 25, 1882.

The heavy rain of Friday night has put Beaver creek on a high and swept away two bridges.



Winfield Courier, June 1, 1882.

                                                            Tannehill Items.

The heavy rain of last Friday night got Beaver Creek on a “high,” and two highway bridges were swept away.

Winfield Courier, June 8, 1882.

Mr. Powell, a sheep man of Harper County, while returning from the country Tuesday in one of Schofield & Keck’s best rigs met with a very serious accident. In coming down the grade at this end of the west bridge, the buggy struck a large rock, almost upsetting it, and throwing Mr. Powell out. The horses immediately became frightened and began to run. Leaving the road, they ran into the timber at the right, and while going at a terrific rate, one horse struck a large tree, instantly breaking his neck. Luckily there was no lady in the buggy.

Winfield Courier, June 15, 1882.

                                                        A SAD ACCIDENT.

                 Mr. L. F. Wellman, of South Bend, is Killed by Falling From His Wagon.

DIED. Today (Wednesday) just as we go to press, we learn of a very sad accident which happened just across the south Bridge, and which cost Mr. L. F. Wellman his life. Mr. Wellman and his two daughters were coming to town in a two-horse wagon. The wagon was rickety and the hounds which hold the tongue were frail. In coming down the hill just over the south bridge the wagon took a shoot sideways, which threw Mr. Wellman out, his head striking a rock and producing concussion of the brain from which he died in about twenty minutes. As we write the Coroner is arranging for an inquest. Mr. Wellman is a man perhaps forty-five years old and has a family.

Cowley County Courant, June 22, 1882.

DIED. Again we are called upon to record a distressing accident, with fatal result. Mr. L. F. Wellman, of Pleasant Valley, was driving to this city about 11 o’clock Wednesday, and just as he drove over the railroad crossing just beyond the south bridge, the wagon tongue became detached. The wagon ran uncon­trollable to one side of the road, and with a sudden lurch, threw Mr. Wellman out upon his head and shoulders, breaking his neck. His two daughters, aged respectively twelve and sixteen years, were with him when the accident happened. Mr. Wellman was probably about fifty years of age and was rather helpless and clumsy in his movements. The Coroner, Dr. Wells, was notified, but after viewing the remains and the scene of the accident, didn’t deem it necessary to hold an inquest. We understand that the unfortunate man was in poor circumstances, and leaves a wife and quite a family of children. Mr. Joseph Hill, Trustee of that township, has taken charge of the remains and will see that they have decent burial.


Winfield Courier, July 13, 1882. [From Green’s Real Estate News.]


There are two good bridges across the Walnut River at Winfield, one west, and one south of the city. The first one is an arched iron bridge, 180 feet long and 35 feet high. The other the same kind of a bridge with single span 153 feet long. Each of these bridges rests on solid stone abutments. There is also one (an iron bridge) north of town and across Dutch Creek. This bridge is 100 feet long.

Winfield Courier, July 13, 1882.

The Kansas City, Lawrence and Southern Railroad Company has donated to the Fair Association the free use of all the iron they need to build the bridge over Timber Creek to the Fair ground. This will be a great saving to the Association and a kindness that is appreciated.

Winfield Courier, July 27, 1882.

The track at the fair grounds will soon be ready for driving, and the bridge will be finished this week. The managers are pushing things along rapidly.


Winfield Courier, August 10, 1882.

                                                                 The Fair.

The association has recently built, at a large expense, a new bridge across Timber Creek a short distance above the ford leading to the grounds, thus providing both an entrance and exit gate, which will prevent the jam and commotion that would otherwise result from the great number of teams that will be continually going and coming from the fair grounds.

Winfield Courier, November 16, 1882.

The board of Vernon Township are tightening up and repairing the iron bridge west of town. They will also complete the grading.



Winfield Courier, January 4, 1883.

                                              [From Green’s Real Estate News.]

                                              COWLEY COUNTY, KANSAS.

                                          ITS HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION,

                                                      Together with that of the

                                    CITY OF WINFIELD, ITS COUNTY SEAT.


There are two good bridges across the Walnut River at Winfield, one west, and one south of the city. The first one is an arched iron bridge, 180 feet long and 35 feet high. The other, the same kind of a bridge with a single span, 155 feet long. Each of these bridges rests on solid stone abutments. There is also one (an iron bridge) north of town and across Dutch Creek. This bridge is 100 feet long.


Winfield Courier, January 18, 1883.

                                                              Wilmot Items.

The township trustee gave the bridge over Timber Creek a regular overhauling. It was badly out of repair, but it is now safe to drive over. SPECTATOR.


Winfield Courier, January 25, 1883.

                                                            Baltimore Items.

Mr. W. R. Stolp is building a foot bridge across Timber Creek near his house.


Winfield Courier, February 22, 1883.

                                                            Akron Brevities.

The first thing Mr. Burt did after the high water was to warn out hands and fix the bridge across Little Dutch at Akron. We will have good roads as long as Mr. Burt has anything to do with it for whatever he undertakes to do, he does right. AUDUBON.

Winfield Courier, February 22, 1883.

The bridge across the Ninnescah on the Santa Fe road was washed out last week and trains on the Caldwell branch are run to and from Wellington by way of this place.


Winfield Courier, August 23, 1883.

                                                         Northwest Creswell.

We are to have a new bridge across Spring Creek on the Geuda Springs road.

Winfield Courier, September 13, 1883.

The floor of the West bridge is in a bad condition and unless something is done someone will have damages to pay. The embankment on this side ought to be railed, also. Doc. Copple’s team backed off of it some days ago and narrowly escaped injury. The proper authorities should look after it at once.

Winfield Courier, November 1, 1883.

The west bridge has been closed by the authorities as dangerous and will remain so until the necessary repairs can be made. The floor of the bridge is rotten and bad and the iron work loose. It will be perhaps two weeks before the plank for flooring can be got there. This will be a great inconvenience to the citizens of Vernon, Beaver, and the northwest, and the proper authorities should lose no time in putting it in shape.


Winfield Courier, November 15, 1883.

                                                            Bridge Meeting.

For some time the iron bridge west of town has been in a bad condition, and last week the authorities of Vernon Township closed it until the necessary repairs could be made. Many of the people of Vernon objected strongly to the township having to stand all the expense of keeping it in repair, and presented a petition, largely signed, to the trustee asking him to do nothing more with the bridge. Hearing of this, the businessmen of the city had a meeting Friday evening to devise ways and means for assisting Vernon to repair it. The meeting was largely attended and organized by electing A. T. Spotswood, chairman, and D. L. Kretsinger, secretary. Messrs. J. B. Lynn, J. P. Baden, and S. P. Davis were appointed as finance committee and S. H. Myton, A. D. Hendricks, and Ed. P. Greer as a committee to confer with the officers of Vernon Township and see whether an equitable arrangement could not be made whereby both parties could unite in keeping the bridge up. The finance committee secured subscriptions to the amount of           , which amount was placed with the treasurer, W. C. Robinson. The conference committee met H. H. Martin, trustee, and P. B. Lee, clerk, of Vernon Township, on Saturday and made an arrangement with them whereby the citizens of Winfield should pay for the lumber necessary to floor the bridge, and Vernon would put it down, build an abutment under the west end, tighten up the iron work, and fence the approaches. This will put the bridge in first-class shape for a year to come, after which some new arrangement will have to be made for taking care of it. This bridge is used more than any other in the county, and the repair bills are necessarily very heavy. Vernon spent $300 on the west approach last summer and the present work will cost upwards of $600.

At the Friday evening meeting a small fund was raised for temporary repairs, which was placed in the hands of Mr. Kretsinger, and by noon on Saturday he had the bridge in shape for travel.

Winfield Courier, November 22, 1883.

The lumber for the repairs on the west bridge has been shipped and will be here in a few days. It is the best hard oak and will make a floor that will not soon give way.

Winfield Courier, November 29, 1883.

The lumber for the west bridge repairs has arrived and the citizens of Winfield have paid for it in accordance with the agreement between their committee and the officers of Vernon Township. It now remains for Vernon to put the bridge in first-class shape and the problem will be solved for the present.

Winfield Courier, December 27, 1883.

                                                              Bridge Done.

The repairs on the West bridge are finished and teams began to cross Wednesday evening.


Winfield Courier, January 3, 1884.

The west bridge is now thoroughly repaired and was thrown open for travel last week. The repairs are first-class, Trustee Martin having seen that every stone and piece of timber was put in just right. It has cost upwards of five hundred dollars, about half of which was furnished by the businessmen of Winfield and the balance by Vernon Township.

Winfield Courier, January 17, 1884.

An application was made to the Board at a regular meeting last week by the residents of Beaver Township on the west side of the Arkansas River to appropriate two thousand dollars toward building a bridge across that stream. The people have subscribed about fifteen hundred dollars. The feeling of the board seemed to be to make the appropriation, but they can do this only on a careful estimate of the cost of the bridge and other requirements of the statutes.

Winfield Courier, January 31, 1884.

I have had the rods and braces tightened on the iron bridge south of town, in Pleasant Valley Township, and conspicuous notices put up announcing “$5.00 fine for riding or driving over this bridge faster than a walk,” and by the powers of “Gaskell’s Compendium,” the next man that trots cattle or horses across that bridge will hear a racket.

                                                     L. HOLCOMB, Trustee.


Winfield Courier, February 7, 1884.

                                                      MAPLE TOWNSHIP.

A new bridge has arrived and will be put across Pole Cat Creek east of Walter Jacobus.


Winfield Courier, February 7, 1884.

A lot of boys have been in the habit of going out to the west bridge, mornings, firing off pistols, and scaring the teams of passers-by. When remonstrated with by a gentleman the other morning, they used very offensive language. Complaints have been made and the boys will come to grief if the thing is not stopped.

Arkansas City Republican, March 8, 1884.

At a meeting of the assessors last Monday, a committee was appointed to draw up a petition to the county commissioners, and circulate it in the different townships, asking the county to assume control of all bridges in the county and keep them in proper repair.

Winfield Courier, March 20, 1884.

                                                               Bad Bridge.

The trustee and road supervisors of Walnut Township should attend to the northwest approach to the Timber Creek Bridge right away. It is represented as in a bad and dangerous condition. First they know, there will be an accident and damage done which will cost the township five times as much as it will to make the needed repairs.

Winfield Courier, April 3, 1884.

The culvert between the Santa Fe depot and the west bridge has a dangerous hole in it. Somebody ought to look after it.


Winfield Courier, April 10, 1884.

                                                     A BRIDGE! A BRIDGE!

                                                   My Kingdom for a Bridge!!!

The principal grounds mentioned by the Railroad Commissioners for recommending a station between Winfield and Oxford, two stations only ten miles apart, was the lack of bridge facilities to get in to either of those towns. It is about time that the businessmen and citizens of Winfield took active steps to have the bridge at Bliss’ mill reconstructed on a much larger and more substantial plan. Winfield has lost enough business on account of the absence of that bridge. The profits already lost on that account would be sufficient to build more than one such bridge, perhaps half a dozen.

Winfield Courier, April 24, 1884.

                                                          A Narrow Escape.

On last Saturday evening, about six o’clock, as James Whitson of Pleasant Valley Township was crossing the Santa Fe Railroad beyond the south bridge, on his road home, the passenger train coming from Arkansas City dashed around the curve, and, before he could get off the track, struck his wagon. The train was three hours late, and making up time at a lively rate. It knocked the left hind wheel into splinters, threw the wagon-bed about twenty feet, Mr. Whitson with it, and gave everything a fearful jolting up. The horses were crazed with fright, and circled around over the country with a part of the wagon for some time before they could be brought to a halt. Fortunately, Mr. Whitson came out of the wreck with only a few slight bruises, but the wagon will need many poultices to be able to stand alone.


Winfield Courier, April 24, 1884.

On last Saturday afternoon a large meeting was held in the Courthouse for the purpose of discussing the feasibility of the County purchasing the various bridges built over the Walnut and Arkansas Rivers and one over Timber Creek, all of which have been built by the Townships and by individual subscriptions; and also building some others much needed in different portions of the county. It being a fact that all the costly bridges built in the County up to the present time having been built exclusively by the townships and by individual subscriptions, the county itself never having invested a single dollar in any of them, cannot under our present laws expend a single dollar in repair on said bridges, and the burden of keeping them in repair by the townships has become a very onerous one and in consideration of the fact that several townships having control of said bridges, are desirous of selling said bridges to the county for a normal sum, say for one dollar ($1.00) apiece, and thus shift the responsibility of keeping them in repair onto the county. It was thought best by many of the leading citizens, both of the city of Winfield, and also of the several townships, to call a meeting of citizens and discuss the feasibility of the change. The meeting was organized by calling C. A. Bliss to the chair, with H. H. Martin as secretary. A motion being carried that a committee of three be appointed by the chair to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting, Col. McMullen, William Moore, and Jessie Isenagle were appointed as said committee, who after some deliberation reported the following.

WHEREAS, There are many valuable bridges already built in the county, and

WHEREAS, These bridges have been erected at great cost by the townships building the same, and

WHEREAS, These bridges are kept in repair at the expense of said townships, and the same have become burdensome to the people by whom they were built, and in justice to the taxpayers of said locations ought to be transferred to the county,

Therefore, Resolved, That the county ought to own all the bridges within its limits valued at $500 dollars and over, and further,

Resolved, That it is the sense of this meeting—1st: That the county purchase and own all bridges of the value of $500 and over, and—2nd: erect others when the same may be necessary in the county, having in view the greatest good to the greatest number of people.

The above report of the committee was received and unanimously adopted.

A motion was then made, and carried, that it is the sense of this meeting, that a special election be called to submit to the qualified electors of Cowley County, Kansas, the question of the county purchasing all the bridges of the various townships owning bridges of the value of $500 and over at a nominal sum of, say one dollar ($1.00) each, and of building some others, and if the same cannot be done at a special election, that it be submitted to a vote of the qualified electors of the county at the next general election; if it is found upon further investigation that the county has the power under the law to purchase the same.

A motion being put and carried that a committee of three be appointed to confer with the county attorney in regard to the legality of calling a special election, or of submitting to the qualified electors of the county, the question of purchasing the bridges, and also to ascertain whether the county has the power under the law to purchase said bridges, and if so, to prepare through legal advice petitions to the county commissioners to call said election. L. F. Johnson, of Beaver, W. M. Sleeth, of Creswell, and H. H. Martin, of Vernon, were appointed as said committee, with instructions, if necessary, to call another meeting after such meeting adjourned sine die. C. A. BLISS, Chairman.

H. H. MARTIN, Secretary.


Arkansas City Republican, April 26, 1884.

At a meeting last Saturday at the courthouse, in Winfield, held for the purpose of discussing the project of the county’s purchasing all the bridges built by the several townships, and costing $500 or over, for the nominal sum of $1.00, it was decided to be the sense of the persons assembled that such action be taken. A committee of three, consisting of L. F. Johnson, of Beaver; W. M. Sleeth, of Creswell; and H. H. Martin, of Vernon, were appointed to confer with the county attorney concerning the legality of calling a special election, or of submitting to the qualified electors of the county the question of purchasing the bridges and also to ascertain whether the county has the power under the law to purchase said bridges, and if so, to prepare through legal advice petitions to the county commissioners to call said election, and with instructions, if necessary, to call another meeting.


Winfield Courier, May 8, 1884.

                                                   THE BRIDGE MEETING.

I notice in the columns of your paper of last week the proceedings of a bridge meeting. I have talked with several of the taxpayers of this township on the subject, and am satisfied that this township would be in favor of the county buying the bridges already built by the several townships; and of building bridges in the future at the expense of the county instead of the townships. But it seems to me that it would be imprudent to hold a special election about the matter. The expense of an election of this county costs about $800. This is a trifle for a county so large and wealthy as Cowley, but it is worth saving; and I would suggest that we take a vote on that matter at the general election in November, and, instead of spending that amount to hold a special election, that it be appropriated to repair the bridges proposed to be bought.

While there may be no law authorizing appropriations by the county to repair bridges belonging to any township, I believe it would be generally approved from the fact that it is right that any bridge that is free for  the use of everybody should be kept in repair at the expense of the public. Yours Truly, H. J. SANDFORT.


Winfield Courier, May 29, 1884.

We have heard, lately, much complaint regarding the carelessness of engineers on the Santa Fe in whistling at crossings. Several teams have had narrow escapes at the crossing near the south bridge, and on Saturday Mr. S. H. Sparks, of Pleasant Valley, came within a hairs breadth of having his team and wagon demolished. The law requires engineers to whistle within a hundred yards before approaching a crossing, and evidence shows that it is being disregarded in this case. The officials should look into the matter at once. The lay of the land at the crossing referred to makes it impossible to see a train until you are right at the crossing—too late to govern a tiny team. The engineers on the passenger trains seem to be especially derelict in this particular.

Winfield Courier, June 12, 1884.

We notice several dangerous holes in the bridge near the dairy, east of town. The Walnut Township officials should look after it and probably save the township a damage suit.



Winfield Courier, June 19, 1884.

The bill of Jos. O’Hare, $32.50, expenses of trip to Leavenworth in attending to the bridge case against the city, were allowed and ordered paid.


Winfield Courier, June 19, 1884.

A citizen has entered his complaint to the COURIER, in which he avers that he saw with his own eyes and counted with his own counter the remains of seven defunct dogs floating in Timber Creek above the water works; that he has seen wagon loads of garbage thrown off of the Timber Creek Bridge into the stream night after night; that land-owners north of town have stopped allowing the use of their land as garbage ground and for this reason the stuff is dumped into the river from the bridge. This may be a very nice and hand thing for the persons who haul the garbage and carcasses away, but as dead dog soup, has not yet become a favorite or healthy beverage with our people, we desire to enter an emphatic protest against it. If it must be dumped in the river, let the dumping occur from the bridge below the town. The statute gives our city fathers police power in such cases for a mile outside of the city. We ask them to take immediate steps to stop it.

Winfield Courier, September 18, 1884.

A bridge meeting will be held at the Courthouse in Winfield, at two o’clock next Saturday, for the purpose of considering the public bridge question as relating to the people of the county. Let all turn out. Order of Com.


Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, October 1, 1884.

We have today petitions in circulation in this city praying the county commissioners to submit to Cowley’s voters a proposition for the county to purchase the three bridges now owned by Creswell and Bolton Townships. Will the county commissioners act on this before the general election? If Arkansas City, with its Republican majority, defeats King, is anyone foolish enough to suppose the county will help take this bridge burden from our shoulders? In the coming years we may frequently desire to call on the county at large for aid. The county is Republican; so is Arkansas City; and if we do not show a reasonable degree of fairness in politics, we cannot blame the rest of the county for working against us in matters purely local.

Arkansas City Republican, October 11, 1884.

In each township of Cowley County petitions are in circulation asking that the county commissioners submit a proposition to the lawful voters of our county for the purchase of the bridges in the county. The two bridges across the Arkansas River should at least be owned by the county above all others. The Arkansas is a government stream and does anyone else know of bridges being owned by the township, when they span a government stream. All bridges within a county should be owned and sustained by the county, for are they not a benefit to the people at large as well as they are a great benefit to the community in which they are located.


Winfield Courier, October 16, 1884.

The County Commissioners have decided to purchase at a sum not to exceed five dollars all the main-stream bridges in the county, for which an election proclamation is published elsewhere. They will also span the Arkansas near Tannehill with a bridge.

                                                       Election Proclamation.


I. G. H. McIntire, Sheriff of said County, do herein and hereby proclaim and make known to the electors of said County that there will be a general election held in said County at the several election districts therein, on Tuesday, the 4th day of November, A. D. 1884, for the purpose of choosing one President and one Vice President of the United States, one member of Congress for the Third District of the State of Kansas. And the following State officers of the State of Kansas, one Governor, one Lieutenant Governor, one Secretary of State, one Auditor, one Treasurer, one Attorney General, one Superintendent of Public Instruction, one Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and one Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Also the following District officers: One Judge of the District Court of the Thirteenth Judicial District; one State Senator for the 27th Senatorial district of the State of Kansas, one Representative for the 66th Representative District of the State of Kansas, one Representative for the 67th Representative district of the State of Kansas, and one Representative for the 68th Representative district of the State of Kansas. Also the following county officers: Clerk of the District Court, Probate Judge, County Attorney, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and a member of the Board of County Commissioners for the First Commissioner district of said County.

And I, the said G. H. McIntire, by order of the Board of County Commissioners do further proclaim and make known that whereas the Board of County Commissioners of Cowley County, Kansas, have determined that it is necessary to purchase at a sum not exceeding five dollars and forever after maintain a certain iron bridge across the Walnut River at a point about 150 feet north of the ½ [?Could be 1/4 or 1/8..hard to read?] section line running east and west through section No. 20, township No. 34 south, of Range No. 3 East in said County, said bridge being near Searing & Meade’s mill, and has been constructed 8 years and originally cost $3,500, and has a 90 foot span and 30 foot span approach and made of iron with plank floor, in good condition; that an election will be held at the time and places aforesaid for the purpose of determining whether the County shall purchase said bridge at a sum not to exceed five dollars. The ballots in favor of said proposition shall have written or printed thereon, “For the purchase of the iron bridge across the Walnut River near Searing and Meade’s mill,” and those against said proposition shall have written or printed thereon, “Against the purchase of the iron bridge across the Walnut River near Searing & Meade’s mill.”

And, whereas, the Board of County Commissioners of said County have determined that it is necessary to purchase at a cost not to exceed five dollars and forever after maintain the wooden bridge across the Arkansas River about a half mile west of Arkansas City, near the half section line running east and west through sections 25 and 26, township No. 34, Range No. 3 east, in said County, said bridge being built on piles driven 15 to 20 feet deep and is 800 feet long, built about one year ago of wood, cost $5,000. Therefore, I do further proclaim and make known by order of said Board of Commissioners that an election will be held at the time and places aforesaid for the purpose of determining whether the county shall purchase said bridge at a cost not to exceed five dollars. The ballots in favor of said proposition shall have written or printed thereon, “for the purchase of the wooden bridge across the Arkansas River about half mile west of Arkansas City,” and the ballots against that proposition shall have written or printed thereon, “against the purchase of the wooden bridge across the Arkansas River about a half mile west of Arkansas City.”

And, whereas the Board of County Commissioners of Cowley County, Kansas, have determined that it is necessary to purchase at a cost not exceeding five dollars and forever after maintain the combination bridge situated about one mile south of Arkansas City in said county across the Arkansas River at a point about 10 rods east and six rods south of the southwest corner of lot No. 4, in section 36, township 34, range 3 east, in said Cowley County, said bridge being about 750 feet long, partly iron and partly wood, the iron part 3 years old and the wood part 5 years old and cost $10,000. Therefore, I do further proclaim and make known by order of said Board of Commissioners that an election will be held at the time and places aforesaid for the purpose of determining whether the county shall purchase said bridge at a cost not exceeding five dollars. The ballots in favor of said proposition shall have written or printed thereon, “For the purchase of the combination bridge across the Arkansas River about one mile south of Arkansas City.” The ballots against said proposition shall have written or printed thereon “Against the purchase of the combination bridge across the Arkansas River about one mile south of Arkansas City.”

And, whereas the Board of County Commissioners of Cowley County, Kansas, have determined that it is necessary to purchase at a cost not exceeding five dollars and forever after maintain the iron bridge across the Walnut River about a half mile west of the south part of the city of Winfield in Vernon Township and in the southwest quarter of section 29, township 32 south of range No. 4 east in said Cowley County, said bridge being built of iron with stone peers and abutments, one span 120 feet with two iron span approaches, one 26 and the other 30 feet, built in 1877 and now in good repair and cost $4,000. Therefore, I do further proclaim and make known by order of said Board of County Commissioners that an election will be held at the time and places aforesaid for the purpose of determining whether the county shall purchase said bridge at a cost not exceeding five dollars. The ballots in favor of said proposition shall have written or printed thereon, “For the purchase of the iron bridge across the Walnut River in Vernon Township,” and those against said proposition shall have written or printed thereon, “Against the purchase of the iron bridge across the Walnut River in Vernon Township.”

And whereas the Board of County Commissioners of Cowley County, Kansas, have determined that it is necessary to purchase at a cost not exceeding five dollars and forever after maintain the iron bridge across the Walnut River about a half mile south of the city of Winfield in Pleasant Valley Township, Cowley County, Kansas, said bridge being built of iron span 150 ft. with two iron approaches and stone abutments built in 1877; in fair repair, cost $4,500; therefore, I do further proclaim and make known by order of said Board of County Commissioners that an election will be held at the time and place aforesaid for the purpose of determining whether the county shall purchase said bridge at a cost not exceeding five dollars. The ballot in favor of said proposition shall have written or printed thereon, “For the purchase of the iron bridge across the Walnut River about a half mile south of the city of Winfield in Pleasant Valley Township,” and the ballots against said proposition shall have written or printed thereon, “Against the purchase of the iron bridge across the Walnut River about a half mile south of the city of Winfield in Pleasant Valley Township.”

And whereas the said Board of County Commissioners of Cowley County, Kansas, deem it necessary to build a bridge across the Arkansas River about 525 feet south of the half section line running east and west through the middle section of twenty-one (21), township thirty-three (33), range three (3) east in Beaver Township, Cowley County, Kansas, said bridge to be built of iron, with stone and iron piers and abutments, length 300 feet, width 14 feet, the estimated cost of which is $6,500 dollars.

Therefore, by order of the said Board of County Commissioners, I do further proclaim and make known that there will be an election held at the time and place aforesaid for the purpose of determining whether the county shall build said bridge at the estimated cost thereof, the ballots in favor of said proposition shall have written and printed thereon, “For the building of the Iron bridge across the Arkansas River in Beaver Township,” and the ballots against said proposition shall have written or printed thereon, “Against the building of the Iron bridge across the Arkansas River in Beaver Township.”

And Whereas the said Board of Commissioners of Cowley County, Kansas, deem it necessary to build an iron bridge across the Walnut River near the section line between sections seven (7) and eighteen (18), township thirty-one (31), range No. four (4) east in Fairview Township, Cowley County, Kansas, the estimated cost of which is $4,500, said bridge to be built of iron, with stone piers, and is 280 feet long.

Therefore, by order of the said Board of County Commissioners, I do further proclaim and make known that there will be an election held at the time and places aforesaid for the purpose of determining whether the county shall build said bridge at the estimated cost thereof.

The ballots in favor of said proposition shall have written or printed thereon “For the building of the Iron bridge across the Walnut River in Fairview Township,” and the ballots against said proposition shall have written or printed thereon, “Against the building of the Iron bridge across the Walnut River in Fairview Township.”

And I do further make known that two ballot boxes will be necessary at each voting precinct, one for the votes for National, State, District, and County officers, and one for the votes on the bridge propositions.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand as the Sheriff of Cowley County, Kansas, at my office in the city of Winfield, this 13th day of October A. D. 1884.

                                                    G. H. McINTIRE, Sheriff.

Winfield Courier, October 16, 1884.

                                                            Bridge Matters.

EDITOR COURIER: There is some little stir for a new bridge across the Walnut River on the west side of town, main object being to give east and west trade a direct road to the business portion of the city. The writer has talked with some of the Vernonites and citizens of the city and it seems the most desirable place is at the west end of ninth avenue, this road would then run direct to the crossing of Main street and ninth avenue, the center of the business portion of Winfield and run by the fair grounds and within one block of Bliss & Wood’s Mill. Should the bridge be built where the old wooden bridge stood, this would throw teams into the meandering crossings and switches of both the Santa Fe and Southern Kansas Railroads; while if the other was there, there would be but one crossing. It is not thought that the old piers of wood bridge are sufficient for a good double bridge. People of the western part of this county know something of the mud hole they have to encounter in crossing by this route. A direct road coming in at the west end of ninth avenue is surely desirable. CITIZEN.

Arkansas City Republican, October 18, 1884.

The petitions of the several townships of Cowley County asking the county commissioners to submit the propositions to the legal voters of said county for the purchase of the bridges within the county at $5 per bridge was granted at their session of last week, and an election was called for on November 4, 1884. In the county there are five bridges to be purchased: one across the Walnut near Searing and Mead’s mill; one south and one west of Arkansas City spanning the Arkansas River; then, one across the Walnut in Pleasant Valley township. [CONFUSING! I COUNT ONLY FOUR MENTIONED ABOVE.]

The notice of election also calls for erection of two bridges, one upon the Arkansas in Beaver Township, and one to span the Walnut at Fairview.

A separate ballot box from the one used to deposit the votes for the national, state, and county candidates will be had for the votes on the bridge question. This proposition is one which all should stand united upon. It is not political; therefore, all should pull together. It is a subject of vast importance to each and every citizen of Cowley county. What enriches one township augments the remaining ones. Let us all put our shoulders to the wheel and on the first Tuesday in November vote for the purchase and erection of said bridges.

Arkansas City Republican, October 18, 1884.

                                                    Clippings from the Courier.

The county Commissioners have decided to purchase at a sum not to exceed five dollars all the main-stream bridges in the county, for which an election proclamation is published elsewhere. They will also span the Arkansas near Tannehill with a bridge.

Arkansas City Republican, November 8, 1884.

Creswell says unanimously for Cowley to buy the bridges.

Winfield Courier, November 13, 1884.

Rev. J. H. Snyder is putting the finishing touches on his fine new residence just across the west bridge. The architecture is very neat and the location beautiful. Should the projected bridge across the river at the end of Ninth Avenue be built, the splendid table land just over the Walnut will soon contain many handsome suburban residences.

Winfield Courier, November 13, 1884.

                                                               The Bridges.

The bridge questions voted on last week were nearly as uncertain as the New York returns. The result is: For the purchase of the Walnut River bridge south of Winfield, carried by 21 majority. For the purchase of the Walnut River bridge west of Winfield, carried by 22 majority. For the purchase of the Arkansas River bridge west of Arkansas City, lost by 2 majority. For the purchase of the bridge south of Arkansas City, lost by five majority. For the building of the iron bridge across the Arkansas River in Beaver Township, lost by 27 majority. For the building of the iron bridge across the Walnut River in Fairview Township, carried by 334 majority. This matter of the county purchasing the bridges already built, at $5.00 each, seems to be a mistake. The Statute provides that the county cannot at any time appropriate more than the original appropriation for repairing or maintaining a bridge. Thus, if the county buys these bridges at $5.00 each, it can never spend more than $5.00 each in keeping them up. The bridges that were defeated, with the exception of the Beaver bridge, are better off than those which carried. Arkansas City and Winfield both voted solid for the bridges.

Arkansas City Republican, November 15, 1884.

Winfield voted solidly for the purchase of her bridges and scratched Arkansas City’s. Unintentionally Winfield when she scratched us did us a favor. As it is now the Winfield bridges are on the county and only $5 can ever be appropriated for the maintenance of them. Our bridges remain on the township yet. If Winfield had acted squarely, and voted solidly as the Courier stated she did for the purchase of Cowley’s bridges, all our bridges would now be in the same fix as Winfield’s and only $5 could have ever been expended for the maintenance of Cresswell’s bridges in the future. He that scratches last scratches best and longest.

Arkansas City Republican, November 22, 1884.

We are informed that we were too previous in accusing Winfield of scratching Arkansas City on the bridge question. The Courier was right for once and we gladly correct.


Winfield Courier, December 4, 1884.

                                                         The City Parliament.

The following bills were allowed and ordered paid.

Jos. O’Hare, expenses in attending city case in U. S. Court, $25.00.

Also, Jos. O’Hare, for services in the King Bridge Co. vs. City of Winfield, in U. S. Court at Topeka, $160.00.

Arkansas City Republican, December 27, 1884.

                                              Shall Bridges Be County Property?

There seems to be a general desire to place the bridges in charge of the county. The expense of keeping them up falls heavily on the townships in which they are located, while the public at large do most of the traveling over them. We understand that petitions will be presented to the members of the legislature from this county asking that they try to secure legislation covering these points. Courier.

Arkansas City Traveler, December 31, 1884.

                                                            Bridge Meeting.

At a meeting of the voters of Creswell Township, Monday, December 29, business pertaining to the township was transacted, after which the subject of maintaining certain bridges was brought up for discussion. We know that certain bridges have been built and maintained for the benefit and accommodation of other townships and corporations almost exclusively. Now the question is who must support these bridges. So far Creswell Township has been taxed to build and support said bridges, but the fixed determination at the present is to throw off this oppression. Not because we are opposed to internal improvements, or any legitimate expenditure of money whereby we may be benefitted to any reasonable extent.

Speeches were made by F. M. Vaughn, G. Kirkpatrick, R. L. Marshall, and A. B. Sankey. Mr. Kirkpatrick proposed to make said bridges self-supporting by making them toll bridges. Mr. Vaughn proposed to have the bridges vacated and closed, as they are the private property of the township. Others proposed different schemes. It was agreed by all, however, that the supporting of said bridges was an injustice and an imposition. It was thereupon

RESOLVED, (1) That the grievance be placed in the hands of a committee appointed by the chair. (2) That this committee be instructed to bring the matter before the county Commissioners, and to decide what steps should be taken toward righting the wrong. (3) That the Clerk be authorized to present a copy of these proceedings to the different papers of Arkansas City for publication. R. L. MARSHALL, President.

S. E. POLLOCK, Secretary.

                 [Coverage of Winfield Bridges Ceased with the 1884 newspapers.]

I have only two more items to add taken from a Winfield newspaper some years later. MAW

Daily Calamity Howler, Thursday, October 8, 1891.

                                                     Commissioners’ Court.

­      Sealed proposals for the construction of a bridge across Dutch creek in Fairview township was received. The superstruc­ture was awarded to the Wrought Iron Bridge Co., of Canton, Ohio, for $584. The substructure was awarded to Roberts and Webber for $430.

Quite possibly this article should be in the “Arkansas City” file relative to bridges as I do not know where the bridge referred to was located. Article was taken from the Arkansas City Traveler.

Daily Calamity Howler, Friday, October 30, 1891.

                                                              LEE WEST.

                                  Captured by Under Sheriff Trout, Kitchen, and

                                                 Deputy Sheriff John Mann.

                                        West Attempts to Shoot but Gets Shot.

Last evening at about 8 o’clock Under Sheriff Kitchen and Deputy Sheriff Mann came into the city and reported that they had captured Lee West, but had to shoot him to get him. Last Monday, West, while under trial, skipped the town and has been in hiding since. The officers have kept a sharp lookout, but were unable to locate their man. Yesterday morning Under Sheriff Kitchen received word from West that he would kill him on sight. Kitchen was also told that West was coming into the city last night and which way. Accordingly yesterday afternoon Kitchen, accompanied by John Mann, went out to watch the road by which West would come into the city. Kitchen was armed with a Winchester, and Mann with a shot gun loaded with buckshot. They stationed themselves five miles east of the city near Will Martin’s farm at a bridge which West would have to cross to get into the city. They watched there all afternoon and just before 6 o’clock they put Will Martin on guard and went into the house to eat supper. While eating they heard a horse walking across the bridge and they felt that their man had arrived. Jumping up from the table they ran outside and secured their guns and rushed out to the road. West did not see them as they walked into the road as he was ahead of them a short distance. Mann shouted, “Halt and throw up!” West never said a word, but rising in his saddle, turned, and fired, and almost at the same moment Kitchen dis­charged his Winchester. West fell from his horse at the side of the road and lay there.

Will Martin, the farmer, went up to him and found him still clasping his Winchester as if he was ready to shoot. The gun was removed from his grasp and West was taken to Martin’s house. It was found that the load of buck shot had taken effect in the side and back and was a severe wound. The injured man never said a word after he was shot, although he was perfectly conscious. Martin was left to guard the wounded man while Kitchen and Mann came to the city after a physician. The officers brought with them West’s Winchester.

Dr. Morris went out to attend West and at a late hour returned. He reported that West was in a bad condition. He had received thirteen No. 4 shot. This is a size nearly as large as buckshot and made several ugly wounds, two in particular being painful, having struck him near the kidney. The physicians think there is little prospect of West recovering.