C. V. ESKRIDGE.
Emporia News, January 17, 1868.
Change of Time.
By referring to the advertisement it will be seen that the time has been changed on T. C. Hill’s Neosho Valley Stage and Express Line. The hacks now leave Emporia for Fort Scott and all points below, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 12 m., and going to Wamego and all points above, leave here at 12 m., on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. . . .
Passengers are now not required to lay over at Ottumwa, as they were by the old running time. . . . For any information in reference to the line, inquire of C. V. Eskridge, who is the agent at this point.
Emporia News, January 17, 1868.
AD. C. V. ESKRIDGE, EMPORIA, KANSAS, Has Just Received A New Stock of DRY GOODS AND GROCERIES, and has generally replenished all other departments of his business, so that For Quantity, Quality, Variety, and Price, HE WILL NOT BE OUTDONE, NOR UNDERSOLD by any house in Southwestern Kansas. His goods were bought at the Bottom of the Market and will be sold for CASH at correspondingly low rates. Give him a call at THE OLD STAND.
No. 172 corner of Commercial Street and Sixth Avenue.
Emporia News, January 31, 1868.
Mr. Eskridge is at Topeka this week attending the meeting of the Board of Directors of the State Normal School.
Emporia News, February 28, 1868.
A Swap. Messrs. Eskridge and Spicer have swapped residences in the village.
Emporia News, April 24, 1868.
New Local Notices and Advertisements.
C. V. Eskridge: A long list of local notices of interest to the public.
Emporia News, July 24, 1868.
Mr. Eskridge is now in Washington to represent our interests in relation to the Osage treaty and the Lawrence & Emporia Railroad. Several important points had representatives there, and some of our citizens thought it would be well enough to have this point represented, and at a consultation of citizens, Mr. Eskridge was selected to go. It was thought too late to do good, but as Lawrence has sent a delegate since Mr. Eskridge went, we conclude our representative arrived there in time to have a “finger in the pie.” Nothing has been heard from him, and we do not know the status of the Osage treaty.
Emporia News, July 31, 1868.
THE LAWRENCE & EMPORIA R. R.
One Million Acres of Land.
The Building of the Road Assured.
Hon. John Speer, the editor of the Lawrence Tribune, recently went to Washington in the interests of the settlers and of the Emporia Branch Railroad, so intimately affected by the Osage Treaty. Mr. Speer writes to his paper from the Capital under date of July 23rd, and in referring to the Treaty has the following.
“This general fact, however, seems conceded by all, that the treaty lies over till next session, unless the President should call an executive session, which I think is unlikely. Its friends, Messrs. Kalloch and Sturges, have left, agreeing to put it over, at the earnest solicitations of some of its friends in the Senate. The most earnest effort possible was made to have it pass, without the Emporia amendment. Notwithstanding the recommendations of all parties from Lawrence, and from Southwestern Kansas, the treaty was printed not only without the Emporia amendment proposed at Lawrence, and which we hoped was satisfactory to all parties, but even without the useless original Emporia amendment, conditional that the cities, towns, and counties should furnish the “means,” etc., an amendment too familiar to our readers to be necessary to quote here. I have the printed treaty, prepared and amended after Mr. Kalloch’s visit to Kansas, without one word in regard to the Emporia branch. Until Mr. Eskridge arrived, on Thursday, the 8th inst., the Emporia amendment apparently had no friends, and until after my arrival, on Monday, the 21st, Mr. Sturges had never conceded that any of the lands should go to the Emporia enterprise. Gov. Robinson and Mr. Kalloch expressed themselves favorably; but Sturges opposed. Mr. Eskridge and myself visited General Ewing, to solicit his aid with Senator Doolittle, of the Indian Committee. Gen. Ewing conceded that the Emporia amendment was one of great importance and would give strength to the treaty; but, as the attorney of Mr. Sturges, he could not advise it or use his influence, unless with the consent of his client. He gave us a letter to Mr. Sturges, urging his acceptance of the amendment proposed, and after much opposition, and, we believe, being satisfied that the Emporia amendment had so much strength that he couldn’t resist it, Mr. Sturges assented, and we now have the unanimous pledge of all interested in the Osage treaty that one million (not one-tenth, as originally proposed) acres of average lands shall be set apart for constructing the branch from Lawrence to Emporia, within four years, or that the said lands shall revert to any railroad company which will construct said road. I believe and hope we have placed this treaty on such a basis that it can never pass without the Emporia amendment.”
This shows conclusively the wisdom of the determination of the citizens of Emporia to be represented at Washington while the Osage Treaty was pending. Things looked dubious, and many thought there was no show; but the result, as narrated in Mr. Speer’s letter and in that of Mr. Eskridge, shows that the money raised here to send Mr. Eskridge to Washington was well spent. We shall refer to the important results achieved more at length hereafter.
Emporia News, July 31, 1868.
THE AMENDMENT OF THE OSAGE TREATY.
WASHINGTON, D. C., July 22, 1868.
MR. STOTLER: The following amendment among others, has been unanimously agreed to by the friends of the Osage Treaty, and will be made a part of that instrument, as both Senators Ross and Pomeroy favor it.
And provided further, That there shall be reserved from said lands one million acres (the same being average lands, to be selected by three commissioners to be appointed by the Secretary of the Interior) for the construction of the branch of said Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroad, from Lawrence to Emporia in the State of Kansas, as defined in an act of Congress entitled “An act for a grant of lands to the State of Kansas in alternate sections to aid in the construction of certain railroads and telegraphs in said State,” approved March 3, 1863, and an act amendatory thereto, approved _________.
Provided, however, That if the said Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad Company or their assigns shall fail to construct and operate said branch road from Lawrence to Emporia within four years from the date of the promulgation of this treaty, then the title to the lands so as aforesaid reserved shall vest in any railroad company which shall within three years after the time given above to the said Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad Company, construct said branch road as aforesaid and pay the pro rata amount and interest paid by the said Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad Company for said lands so set apart as aforesaid.
This treaty may not be ratified at the present session of Congress, but when it is ratified, if ever, the Lawrence & Emporia road, by reason of its being a branch of the Galveston road, will be included to the amount of a million acres, which will insure its construction. Mr. Sturges, after deliberate consideration, approved the amendment. The treaty is yet in the hands of the committee. The settlers will get their lands at $1.25 per acre, the school fund will be provided for, and settlers going on the lands after the ratification of the treaty will get them at government appraisal. Other amendments will also be made. There is a provision in the treaty which gives the right to amend it if the stipulations as to the pecuniary interests of the Indians are not interfered with by doing so. This may relieve the commissioners and immediate friends of the treaty from the charge that they contemplated no amendments; for if they did not, why did they make provision for doing it? The enemies of this treaty, here, in their zeal to ride popular opinion, as they conceived, have, innocently no doubt, placed themselves in a position that, with any amendments, they cannot consistently favor its ratification. They took a step too far for good policy and the best interests of the State.
Respectfully yours, C. V. ESKRIDGE.
Emporia News, September 18, 1868.
[Part of an article re State Convention...Nominees and Platform.]
C. V. ESKRIDGE. This gentleman is on the ticket for Lieutenant-Governor. He received the nomination on the second ballot. Of him we need not say anything to the people of this section of Kansas, as “Old Honesty” is known by everybody. He served five years in the legislature—three terms in the house and one in the Senate, and it is no reflection on the other aspirants to say that he is one of the best fitted men for this office there is in the State. His ability as a legislator is known and acknowledged by friend and foe. . . .
Emporia News, December 4, 1868.
BIG AD BY C. V. ESKRIDGE, EMPORIA, KANSAS...informs the public that he has been in business at Emporia 12 years.
Emporia News, January 1, 1869.
[Portion of Official Report for 1868, State Normal School, Emporia.]
Estimate for 1869.
H. B. Norton, deficiency in salary as Associate Principal for 1868: $1,200.
L. B. Kellogg, deficiency in salary as Principal for 1868: $500.
Report submitted by
C. V. ESKRIDGE, REV. G. C. MORSE, Executive Com. State Normal School.
Emporia News, January 22, 1869.
[From Topeka...news from a correspondent...S.] Giving only a portion of article.
Among the Emporiaites who have been here, are Messrs. Fraker, Norton, A. R. Bancroft, and John Hammond.
Governor Eskridge, Senators Mead and Murdock, and Messrs. Crocker and Stotler are stopping at the new hotel—the Tefft House, having made satisfactory arrangements with the excellent landlords, Messrs. Harris & Beasly, to that effect. The Tefft is unquestionably the best hotel in Topeka. The furniture and fixtures as well as the building are all new, and in first-class order. Messrs. Tucker, Drake, and Osborne are at their old favorite quarters—Dr. Ashbaugh’s. McNay is at the Capitol House, while Wilson and Case stop with relatives. The friends of Mr. Bronson, of Butler, will be glad to know that he has a first-class clerkship in the Senate. Also, Mrs. Bates, of Morris, is provided with a good place as Assistant Enrolling Clerk of the House.
Emporia News, February 19, 1869.
KANSAS CITY & SANTA FE RAILROAD.
Measures Adopted Looking to Immediate Construction of Road.
As will be seen by the following report, taken from the Kansas City Times, the people of that city are in earnest about building the above named road.
At a meeting of the Board of Directors at Kansas City on the 9th, Maj. P. P. Elder, of Ottawa, President of the road; Gen. W. H. Morgan, of Kansas City, Secretary; Col. Hayes, of Olathe, Treasurer; Maj. T. C. Bowles, of Ottawa; Lieut. Gov. Eskridge, Jacob Stotler, of Emporia; D. R. E. Stevenson, of Olathe; J. B. Bruner, of Gardner; H. F. Sheldon, of Ottawa; and H. M. Holden, of Kansas City, Directors; Gen. Reid and Col. J. D. Williams of Kansas City, were the gentlemen in attendance.
Speeches were made by a number of those present, pointing out the great advantages that would accrue to Kansas City by the building of this railroad. . . .
Emporia News, August 20, 1869.
J. C. Fraker has bought the store of goods of C. V. Eskridge, and the old corner is closed up. The Governor retires from business, having accumulated a sufficient amount of this world’s goods to enable him to spend the declining years of his life in peace and happiness.
Emporia News, September 17, 1869.
Article re the “old corner store” building of C. V. Eskridge being burned to the ground. The burning was the act of an incendiary. Loss included a safe, carpenter’s tools of Mr. McGowan, and the building, estimated at from $1,000 to $1,500. The books and papers in the safe were severely damaged. The building was undergoing repairs for the purpose of occupancy as a store.
Emporia News, October 8, 1869.
Messrs. French & Topliff are about to open the best stock of boots and shoes, hats and caps ever brought to Emporia. These gentlemen are enterprising businessmen, and notwithstanding the destruction of Gov. Eskridge’s building, which was being fitted up for their occupancy, and the delay in receiving goods, will be able to accommodate customers in a few days. They will occupy the room opposite the post office. It is their expectation to wholesale largely. Their goods have been bought of the manufacturers at the lowest, and they are able to say positively that they cannot be undersold, and that their goods cannot be equaled in quality or variety. It is a matter of congratulation and encouragement that we are to have such men amongst us, and we bespeak for them a generous patronage.
[Note: I have a file on Topliff, who moved to Arkansas City and became a good friend of C. M. Scott. Topliff later became the postmaster and was in Arkansas City until he died. MAW]
Emporia News, February 25, 1870.
This new town (formerly called Delphi) at the mouth of the Walnut seems to promise good things. The town company consists of Messrs. Plumb, Stotler, Norton, Eskridge, and Kellogg, of Emporia; Judge Brown and H. L. Hunt, of Cottonwood Falls; Kellogg & Bronson, of El Dorado; Baker & Manning, of Augusta; and Messrs. G. H. Norton, Strain, Brown, Moore, and Wilkinson on the site.
Mr. Clarke’s bill, to remove the Osage Indians and open the land to actual settlers, recently received a decided majority in a test vote in the House of Representatives; and the Senate committee has reported favorably upon a similar bill. It is almost certain that this will speedily become a law, and that the land will be dedicated to civilization within the next thirty days. There is already an immense rush of settlers in that direction. Thousands on thousands of fertile homesteads await the coming of the pioneer.
Emporia News, March 11, 1870.
Paper printed a Biographical Sketch of Lieutenant Governor Eskridge [Emporia].
Brief RECAP only. Eskridge was 38 years old at this time. Born in Virginia. Moved with parents to Ohio when he was one or two; stayed there about two years; then moved to Illinois. Parents poor. Eskridge came to Kansas in 1856, and settled at Lawrence. He was identified with the free State party in the early Kansas troubles—was a correspondent of three or four papers published near his old Illinois home. In the spring of 1857 he moved to Emporia. He was elected representative to the legislature in 1861, re-elected in 1862, and again re-elected in 1863. In the fall of 1864 he was elected State Senator. He secured the location of the State Normal School at Emporia. Married in 1861 to Miss Mary E. Dixon; father of two children. In mercantile business for ten or twelve years. Now Lieutenant Governor of Kansas..1870.
Emporia News, March 11, 1870.
Max Fawcett arrived from Cresswell Tuesday. He reports people pouring in there rapidly, and the flowers in bloom, and grass big enough for cattle to feed upon.
Emporia News, March 11, 1870.
McMillan & Houghton have disposed of their stock of woolen goods, and have put in their store instead a large and magnificent stock of queensware and glassware. These gentlemen are doing a very heavy retail business, and we infer from the number of loaded wagons we see leaving their door, that they are doing considerable in the jobbing line.
Emporia News, March 11, 1870.
This court commenced its spring term on Monday last, his Honor, Judge J. H. Watson, presiding. Clerk, F. G. Hunt; Prosecuting Attorney, P. B. Plumb; Sheriff, E. H. Coats.
Emporia News, March 11, 1870.
For Sale. I have for sale a few cords of building stone. Price, $5 at the quarry east of Normal School; $7.50 delivered to any part of town. L. B. KELLOGG.
A Farm to Rent. Inquire of J. K. Finley at A. N. Hanna’s Real Estate office above Newman Bro.’s.
Groceries at reduced rates at McMILLAN & HOUGHTON’S.
Best Hartford three ply carpets at NEWMAN & BRO.’s.
Emporia News, March 11, 1870.
Real Estate Transfers.
J. C. Stewart to J. H. Hunt, warranty deed, lot 82 Constitution street, Emporia; $200.
J. H. Hunt to C. V. Eskridge, warranty deed, lot 82 Locust street, Emporia; $250.
Emporia News, March 18, 1870.
[Article re Emporia getting supplied with good water...portions only of article.]
“It is notorious, and that too, beyond the town site, that the facilities for obtaining water in Emporia are neither ample, cheap, or convenient. And if this is the case now, with the Neosho and Cottonwood available, how will it be in the hot summer months when the waters of those streams are rendered entirely unfit for drinking purposes by the excrement of hundreds of cattle that stand in them from morning till night to court the shade and avoid the flies? Everyone knows this to be the case. What, then, is to be done? There are not wells enough in the town to supply its wants. At least three-fourths of the houses have no wells, and the two public ones are so much out of repair, and the supply of water so small, that they are almost useless. At the present rate of increase, the population by June will not be much, if any, less than 3,000 souls, and thirsty enough they will be about that time.”
About the only solution “M.” could come up with was Artesian wells...and he was very dubious about that...suggested the city authorities do something soon.
Emporia News, March 25, 1870.
The directors of the Creswell Town Company met in this place on Monday last and effected a permanent organization as follows.
President, H. B. Norton; Vice President, C. V. Eskridge; Secretary, W. R. Brown; Treasurer: L. B. Kellogg.
Executive Committee: C. V. Eskridge, H. D. Kellogg, and Capt. Norton.
Walnut Valley Times, March 25, 1870.
We have just returned from Emporia, and regret to find it too late for a full report of our trip in this issue. Suffice it to say, however, that Emporia is improving beyond all former precedent. As we entered the city, we could not but contrast the village of Emporia as we found it last spring with the city we see it today, with its broad and busy thoroughfares, lined with costly structures. Of course, we stopped at the Robinson House, for it is the only first class hotel in Emporia. The gentlemanly proprietors, L. N. Robinson & Son, received us kindly and treated us cordially. We observed that a large number of the bon ton of the city board at the Robinson House. We also noticed a large number of wholesale drummers and railroad officials, besides Alf. Burnett and his troupe at the Robinson House. . . .
We attended a meeting of the Creswell Town Company, which, besides transacting other important business, elected the following officers.
Prof. Norton, President; Judge Brown, Secretary; Gov. Eskridge, Vice President; Prof. L. B. Kellogg, Treasurer.
Dr. H. D. Kellogg, Capt. Norton, and Gov. Eskridge, Executive Committee.
Adjourned to meet May 5th, on the town site of Creswell. From the interest manifested by the stockholders, and the natural advantages surrounding Creswell, we predict for it the most brilliant future, believing it to be the very best point in Southwestern Kansas.
There was more to this article pertaining to other matters. He ended by saying:
“Dr. Kellogg was our right bower in the whole game, and is, indeed, a very pleasant traveling companion; being like all other doctors, entirely harmless without drugs, and we had a jolly good time of it. D.”
Emporia News, April 15, 1870.
City Council Proceedings Friday Evening, April 8, 1870.
First meeting. C. V. Eskridge elected President of the Council. Balloting led to the election of H. W. McCune, City Clerk; S. B. Riggs, City Treasurer, and Chas. Wilson, City Engineer. On motion Messrs. Robinson, Williams, and Wheelock were appointed a committee on means to protect against fire. . . .
The Commonwealth, May 24, 1870.
THE OSAGE AND KAW INDIAN RESERVATIONS.
“An Open Letter” From Lieutenant Governor Eskridge to Senator Pomeroy.
CRESSWELL, COWLEY COUNTY, KANSAS, May 20th, 1870.
EDITOR COMMONWEALTH: Knowing that the enclosed letter from Lieutenant Governor Eskridge to Senator Pomeroy embodies the sentiments of the settlers on the Osage Indian reservation; and believing that by giving it a wide circulation, it will do much toward hurrying congress to speedy action in our behalf, we request you to publish it.
SEWELL P. SKANNELL [CHANNELL],
and many others, actual settlers on the Osage Indian reservation.
EMPORIA, KANSAS, May 16th, 1870.
Hon. S. C. Pomeroy—
DEAR SIR: Having recently returned from a trip through the Osage Indian reservation, I feel it to be my duty to call your attention to the necessity of speedy action on the part of the government for the removal of the Indians. The best lands are now all occupied by settlers, and the Indians should go, nor “stand upon the order of their going, but go at once.” If I understand the situation rightly, the Indians desire to go and the government, in part, at least, desires to have them go, but the difficulty lies with congress in not being able to agree upon a plan for the disposition of the land after the Indians are gone. Any reasonably fair plan, looking to the interests of the settlers on the lands and others who may go there hereafter, whether it embraces railroads or not, with the school interest protected, it seems to me, would be acceptable. Any plan which just and honorable men might agree upon would be better than no plan at all. The end of the law is justice; when congress through its tardiness fails to do justice to any portion of the people, it does injustice to all, and, committing the sin of omission, in failing to act, defeats justice and breaks the law. Hence the popular branch of the government, failing to meet the just demands of the people, and being unable to keep up with the advancing interests of the country, which it should anticipate, fails of its object and sinks in popular favor. The common people, who make no pretensions, see right where the wrong lies, and rush upon these lands, believing, conscientiously, that were justice done, as good and efficient government contemplates, there would be no question as to their right to do so. There are now ten or fifteen thousand people upon this reservation. It will not do to say that they have gone there in violation of law. They have gone there in justice and for the best interests of the state and country, and to be “ordered off,” would be a most flagrant outrage against which the whole state would protest. Whether it is so or not, the people believe that these Indians would be speedily removed, if our delegation at Washington, or congress, would wipe off the leeches that have fastened themselves on every proposition which has been made for the purpose of this reservation. A united effort in favor of the immediate removal of the Indians should be made, the government being the purchaser of the land. Then while congress wrangles over the disposition of it to various individuals and corporations, the people can go in and take possession of it with more security than under existing circumstances, having now to confront both the government and the Indians.
The Kaw Reservation in this (Lyon) and Morris Counties ought years ago to have been opened for settlement. A mere remnant of a tribe, insignificant in numbers, holding the finest portion of two counties, in the heart of the state, and against loyal citizens desiring homes, is not only a wrong, but an outrage—an increasing outrage, when we consider the fact that the Indians want to leave, and the government, in part, at least, is ready to provide for them elsewhere. Yet, not to be definite, I will say, congress appears unable to agree upon any plan for the disposition of this little tract of land after the Indians are gone. These counties, bearing burdens of taxation which they have taken upon themselves to secure railroads, need the aid of this tract to lighten these burdens. Justice, beyond a doubt, demands the immediate removal of these Indians and the opening of the land to settlement on some terms. Again I repeat the end of the law is justice. Congress, failing to do justice, breaks the law, and the people have a right, in justice, to take possession of the reservation. And why should they not take possession of this, as well as the Osage reservation? A railroad traverses it. It is surrounded by heavily populated counties. It is of no benefit to the Indians, as there is no game upon it. It is now unsettled, uncultivated, and untaxed. Will such a demonstration have to be made, as can only be made by a general uprising of the people, before our representatives and congress will open their eyes to the justice of their demands? It is to be hoped the time will not come, through the tardiness of congress, when the settlement of this reservation will be attempted to be maintained by the militia of these counties. But in many instances “forbearance ceases to be a virtue.” The people have “possessed their souls in patience” for many years, and witnessed the sale of reservations to private parties and corporations, in a wholesale way, and have noted the rapidity with which they have been put through congress and fixed up by the “department,” but have failed to see any brought into “market” upon terms which met the circumstances of the poorer classes. This congress ought not to adjourn leaving these matters as they are. One measure put through is worth more than a dozen bills introduced or twenty amendments offered and lost in the rubbish of the clerk’s desk. Hoping that you, with your colleagues, may be successful in procuring the immediate removal of these Indians, I am, Respectfully yours, C. V. ESKRIDGE.
Emporia News, June 10, 1870.
PROSPECT OF THE OSAGE TREATY.
There seems to be some prospect that the pending Osage Treaty will be ratified at this session. We confess to a lack of faith in anything being done, as we have steadily believed this treaty would be put over to make political capital of in the coming campaign. But there are now good indications that we have been mistaken. We shall rejoice with the 20,000 settlers on the Osage land, if they are given an immediate chance to secure their homes.
In reply to Gov. Eskridge’s “open letter,” Senator Pomeroy writes to that gentleman the following encouraging words.
“I am much pleased with your ‘open letter,’ as I see it published. This bill has been up twice and will pass, I think, at the next reading. We have already made a new land district, embracing these lands, and as soon as this passes and the lands are surveyed, all settlers will get a homestead at $1.25 per acre, and have one year after the survey to pay. School lands will be reserved and granted to the State. After the money is refunded to the Government which is pledged to the Indians, then they are be declared ‘public lands,’ and all the laws applicable will then attach to these lands.”
A discussion took place on this bill on the 24th of May. Its passage was opposed by Senator Morrill, of Maine, and ably advocated by Senator Harlan, of Iowa. Mr. Morrill took occasion to say that the whites did wrong in settling this land; that they had no right there, and reflected severely on the settlers on the Osage land, applying to them various uncalled for and unjust epithets. We received the paper containing this discussion at so late a date as to render extended extracts impossible. We will merely say that we are personally acquainted with many of the settlers on the Osage land, and know they are as intelligent, peaceable, and industrious as the constituents of the Senator from Maine.
From the following extract from Mr. Harlan’s speech, it will be seen that he has very correct ideas about the situation of affairs on this land. His reply to the argument of the Senator from Maine, that the whites had no right to settle on this land, is both true and just.
“This treaty, to which I have referred, was concluded, as I before observed, on the 27th day of May, 1868. Previous to action on the part of the Government and the Indians the white inhabitants were excluded from these lands; afterward, neither the Government nor the Indians objected to their settlement by emigrants. The Indians did not object, because they believed that they had sold their lands; the Interior Department expected the treaty to be ratified in some form, either with or without amendment. No one objecting, the emigrants moved on to these lands as a matter of course, believing that the Government would adopt some practicable means for the removal of the Indians.” . . . .
“But, sir, admit that they did do wrong, that they did wrong willfully, that they are as bad in fact as the honorable Senator from Maine supposed them to be; it is not probable that you can exclude them from the territory. There are too many of them. They have organized county governments, as you, sir (Mr. Pomeroy in the chair), well know. They have organized township and district governments within the limits of their county organizations. The State of Kansas has extended over them its jurisdiction and its laws. They are, in fact, represented in the Legislative Assembly of the State, and aid in making the laws for the government of that Commonwealth. They have been improving their lands, fencing in their fields, putting out their orchards, erecting their houses and barns, erecting their churches and schoolhouses, bridges, and roads. It is believed that at the close of emigration last autumn there not fewer than twenty thousand of them. Even the honorable Senator from Maine, if I understood correctly the proposition with which he closed his speech, is of opinion that their removal had become impracticable, for he said that in such a contest between four thousand Indians and about twenty thousand white people he supposed, judging from the history of the past, that the Indians would have to go to the wall; that the Indian must go under in such a conflict. If that be the result of his matured deliberations, then pray, why not pass a law carrying into effect the substance of this contract which these Indians themselves have made? If they are now under the feet of these bad people, if they are about to be crushed, that furnishes, in my judgment a reason for immediate legislative action on the part of the National Government, rather than for delay.”
[CRESWELL: FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION, 1870.]
Walnut Valley Times, June 10, 1870.
Fourth of July Celebration.
A grand Fourth of July Celebration and picnic will be held at Creswell, Cowley County, Kansas. All are invited to attend. The exercises will take place at Max Fawcett’s well known beautiful and romantic grove, where nature unites all of her varied and enticing resources with the artistic skill of the owner in making it a most interesting and pleasurable locality for such an occasion.
Situated as it is on the bank of the Arkansas River, with innumerable shade trees, splendid springs of good cold water sparkling like diamonds in the sunlight as it issues from the picturesque rocks which border the grove on the east and north. We deem it but just to say, that no place in Cowley County affords better facilities for such an occasion. No pains will be spared by those having the matter in charge to make it agreeable and pleasant for all who may come.
1. Singing ....................... Glee Club.
2. Prayer ......................... Rev. B. C. Swarts.
3. Singing ....................... Glee Club.
4. Declaration of Independence ... J. O. Smith.
5. Music ......................... Creswell String Band.
6. Oration ....................... C. V. Eskridge.
7. Singing ....................... Glee Club.
10. Amusements of all kinds consisting of boat riding, swinging, ball playing, etc.
The procession will form on Summit street and march to the grove.
CAPT. O. SMITH, Marshall of the day.
The Commonwealth, June 24, 1870.
FROM COWLEY COUNTY.
A Correction—Growth of Creswell—Crops, Improvements, Etc.
[Correspondence of the Commonwealth.]
ARKANSAS CITY, (CRESWELL) Ks., June 15th, 1870.
Your recent correspondence from this county is hardly complete or correct in its statements. The letter from Winfield stating that that town was chosen county seat by “a vote of two to one over its ambitious little rival, Cresswell,” is certainly wonderfully cool in its suppressions and mis-statements.
In the first place as to the “little.” Arkansas City has now the following places of business in actual operation: Norton & Co.’s store, general stock; L. B. Goodrich’s store, groceries and clothing; E. D. Bowen’s, general assortment; C. Sipes, a fine and complete stock of hardware; four stores in all. In addition, J. C. Eskridge, a brother to the lieutenant governor, has completed a building for a boot and shoe store, and his stock will probably be opened before this reaches you.
The buildings for Page’s meat market and Woolsey & Beck’s bakery and restaurant, are also nearly completed. Smith, Channell, & Thompson’s lumber yard is in operation, doing a good business. Sleath [Sleeth] & Bro.’s steam saw mill is now in operation, overworked. Mr. Spears [Speers] has just arrived with another steam saw-mill, of fifty horse power, which will also be running in another week. Woolsey’s shingle mill has more orders than it can fill. Some forty buildings, including a large drug store, a clothing store, a livery stable, and a variety of shops and residences, are now under contract or partially completed. Beedy & Newman, of Emporia, have contracted to build and have running by October of next year, a first class water, grist, and sawmill upon the Walnut here, where they have a water-power hardly equaled by any other in southern Kansas. Tisdale & Parker have just commenced running a tri-weekly stage from Eldorado to this point, which is the southern terminus of the line. They will at once erect extensive stables here. The Woolsey House is so far completed that it will be open to the public by July 4th. It has a front of fifty feet on Summit street, our main business thoroughfare. When the buildings now going up are completed—certainly within thirty days—we shall have the largest town in the Walnut Valley, Eldorado alone excepted. I should add that the buildings described above are almost all good frame structures finished with pine. Mr. Truman, of Americus, is now here, at work upon his ferry, which will speedily be running across the Arkansas.
The buildings at Winfield are as follows: One log house, used as a store by Col. Manning and Dr. Mansfield; the upper story which is the “town hall” and “Court House” of which so much has been said; one small frame residence; one empty log house, intended to be used as a hardware store; one stable. That is positively all. There is no hotel, no sawmill nearer than Arkansas City, nor any other building of any sort on the town site, although it is some six months older than Arkansas City. The “water-mill” proposed to be built on Dutch Creek is to be a sawmill. As to the election of May 2nd, it was notoriously a most illegal farce. The Winfield precinct reported more votes than all the rest of the county. J. E. Brown, who went up from Creswell to challenge illegal votes, was set upon by a lawless mob, who threatened his life and drove him into the woods, where he remained till the following morning. Large numbers of illegal votes were cast, his challenges being totally unheeded by the judges, during the time he was allowed to remain at the polls.
The other precincts of the county cast a vote of nearly three to one for Cresswell, but Winfield reported more votes than all the rest.
This election was an epitome of all the villainies ever practiced at county-seat elections on the border. The question will come up again in November.
Business is brisk; everything looks prosperous; settlers are pouring in—the Arkansas valley and the creeks on the south side of it offering the best openings.
This region will soon be known as the garden of the state. Rains have been abundant throughout the season. Let settlers who desire cheap lands, having an unequaled adaptation to corn, fruit, and live stock, take a look at the rich alluvial bottoms of the Arkansas valley.
We are to have a big time here on the Fourth of July. Hon. J. Stotler, Lieutenant-Governor Eskridge, Professors Kelly and Norton, of Emporia, Gen. Ellet, and others, will be heard from. A grand ball at the Woolsey house will wind up the festivities.
One word as to the names of our town. It was first called Cresswell, after our postmaster-general, but it so happened that a post-office in Labette County was recognized under that name a few day’s ahead of us; hence the change, and Arkansas City, which was made by Senator Ross.
I ask for the publication of this, simply because, wrong and one-sided statements have been allowed a place in your columns. We are perfectly willing that our neighbors should glorify their town to their heart’s content, providing that they avoid misrepresenting us.
If I am late in my explanations, please attribute it to the fact that we have heretofore had no mail service, and the handsome and welcome face of the COMMONWEALTH was very slow and uncertain in its visits. N.
[Professor Norton often used “N” to designate messages he sent.]
Emporia News, July 8, 1870.
THE EMPORIA & SOUTHWESTERN RAILROAD.
Articles of incorporation have been filed for the organization of a company to build a railroad from here to the Southwest. The names of the incorporators are as follows: C. V. Eskridge, S. B. Riggs, L. N. Robinson, E. Borton, E. B. Peyton, T. J. Peter, E. B. Crocker, M. G. Mains, Jacob Stotler, T. B. Murdock, and G. H. Norton. The road is to run from here via South Fork and Walnut valleys to Arkansas City, touching at the principal towns along the route, and thence to Fort Belknap, Texas. It is intended as an extension of the Kansas City & Santa Fe road, which will probably be built to this point at an early day.
Walnut Valley Times, July 15, 1870.
EMPORIA & SOUTHWESTERN RAILROAD.
The people of Emporia are alive to the importance of an immediate railroad connection with the Southwest. They are making strenuous efforts to secure the Kansas City & Santa Fe Railroad, and have formed a company for the extension of the road on Southwest. The Emporia News says that articles of incorporation have been filed for the organization of a company to build a railroad from there to the Southwest.
The names of the incorporators are as follows:
C. V. ESKRIDGE, S. B. RIGGS, L. N. ROBINSON, E. BORTON, E. B. PEYTON, T. J. PETER, E. B. CROCKER, M. G. MANES, [MAINS], JACOB STOTLER, T. B. MURDOCK, AND G. H. NORTON.
The road is to run from there via South Fork and Walnut Valleys to Arkansas City, touching at the principal towns along the route, and thence to Fort Belknap, Texas. It is intended as an extension of the Kansas City & Santa Fe road, which will probably be built to that point at an early day.
Excerpt from a lengthy article. Wonder if the “Eskridge” mentioned is a brother of C. V. Eskridge!!!
Emporia News, July 29, 1870.
A HUNT FOR THE SOUTH LINE OF THE STATE.
Interesting Letter From Max. Fawcett.
ARKANSAS CITY, July 22, 1870.
We arrived home in the evening, having been gone five days. We took supper at the Eskridge House. Mr. Eskridge is a natural hotelist and accommodationist. He sets a first class table. He is adding two additions to his house, which will make it quite roomy. He is compelled to do this to accommodate his rapidly increasing number of boarders.
Emporia News, November 18, 1870.
Arkansas City. Wanted—a good Blacksmith at this growing young town. To a live man we can offer first-class inducements. Address C. V. Eskridge, Emporia, or
H. B. NORTON, Arkansas City.
Emporia News, January 27, 1871.
Mr. Eskridge and Prof. Kellogg went to Topeka Tuesday to look after the interests of the Normal school.
Emporia News, February 10, 1871.
STATE NORMAL SCHOOL.
Ex-Gov. Eskridge favored the application of the teachers of the Normal School, and also an increase of their salaries.
Mr. Overstreet opposed any increase in the number of teachers or their salaries.
Mr. Kellogg spoke in explanation of the former action of the board.
Superintendent McCarty urged that we pay the principal of the Normal School a respectable salary and then demand that the money shall be fully earned.
Mr. Eskridge moved that the estimates submitted by him be passed upon by items, and the motion was carried.
The following estimates were then adopted:
Salary of Principal: $2,500.00. [Skipped the rest.]
Mr. Overstreet moved that an itemized account of expenses for fencing be filed with the Secretary of the board, which motion was carried.
[SOUNDS LIKE OVERSTREET IS AGAINST KELLOGG.]
Emporia News, February 17, 1871.
FROM TOPEKA. More About the Normal School.
[Skipping article...seems that Eskridge and Stotler were furnished salary increase figures by Kellogg...Overstreet only heard of meeting after it had started...ended up making Kellogg’s salary $2,000. Many questions raised!]
Emporia News, March 24, 1871.
GOV. ESKRIDGE’S TIRADE.
Mr. Eskridge chooses to take advantage of the temporary absence of Mr. Stotler to ridicule his course as a member of the last Legislature, and to assail by cowardly innuendo, rather than by open manly charges, his private character. He also deals Mr. Overstreet a left handed blow as often as he can find it convenient, and lastly—so great is the personal malignity of this disappointed politician—he goes out of his way to pay his compliments to the Daily NEWS, stigmatizing it as “Jake’s $12 per annum imposition,” insinuating that the proprietors are a set of swindlers, having endeavored to filch from the taxpayers by colluding with the publishers of the Tribune in order to obtain exorbitant prices for doing work for the City and County. To give vent to all this personal animosity his eminence occupies three columns of solid brevier in the last number of the Tribune. . . .
As to Mr. Eskridge’s strictures upon Mr. Stotler’s course in the Legislature, we shall have nothing to say, preferring that Mr. Stotler, who is abundantly able to defend himself, should make, with his own pen, whatever reply he may deem best. Neither do we deem ourselves called upon to say anything in Mr. Overstreet’s defense, as that gentleman, having proved himself more than an equal match for the Governor in the contest for Representative last fall, will undoubtedly be able, if he should choose so to do, to vindicate his course as our Representative, and to prove to the same constituents who put him up, and Eskridge down, that so much of this lengthy criticism as is devoted to Mr. Overstreet is incited by a feeling of hatred and chagrin that still lingers as a puerile consequence of a humiliating defeat.
[ARTICLE GOES ON AND ON FOR TWO WHOLE COLUMNS] It is followed by another article re Eskridge espousing the cause of L. B. Kellogg, and resuming the small controversy about the Normal School, where the Prof. broke down. Article written by R. M. Overstreet.
Emporia News, March 31, 1871.
[An attack is made by Stotler on Eskridge...or else the junior editor...but the wording is more that of Stotler...very nasty...very sarcastic as usual. SKIPPED.]
Emporia News, June 16, 1871.
Saturday hand-bills were posted for a railroad meeting at the courthouse in the evening. The notice was short, and not extensive. Not a great many people were in attendance. The following gentlemen were elected officers of the meeting: Chairman, C. V. Eskridge; Secretary, S. B. Riggs.
Mr. Eskridge stated that the object of the meeting was to talk over railroad and manufacturing interests, and to endorse the recent steps taken by the city council in their direction.
Several brief and pointed speeches were made, in which immediate action was urged in the matter of securing a railroad connection with the east via Kansas City or Holden. The sentiment is unanimous on this matter. . . .
A committee was appointed consisting of H. C. Cross, M. H. Bates, and F. R. Page, to work with the committee appointed by the Council to look after railroad interests.
Editors of the three papers were appointed to circulate notice of next meeting.
Emporia News, July 21, 1871.
OSAGE, NEOSHO AND WALNUT VALLEY RAILROAD.
The papers have been filed for the organization of a company to build a railroad from Ottawa (the present western terminus of the Kansas City and Santa Fe railroad, and soon to be the western terminus of the Holden road) up the Marais des Cygnes River Valley, thence to the Neosho, up the Cottonwood and South Fork to the Walnut Valley, and down that magnificent stream to its mouth, at Arkansas City. This, today, is the most important railroad project on foot in this State, as it traverses five of the best valleys in the western country.
The following gentlemen, who are incorporators of this great enterprise, are men well known for their sagacity, enterprise, and devotion to the interests of Kansas: S. T. Kelsey, Franklin County; J. Mather Jones, Osage County; F. R. Page, C. V. Eskridge, S. J. Crawford, E. P. Bancroft, E. P. Peyton, Lyon County; T. B. Murdock, M. Vaught, J. D. Conner, T. H. Baker, Butler County; D. A. Millington, H. B. Norton, Cowley County.
The length of this road is about 180 miles, and the capital stock is $4,000,000.
Osage and Franklin Counties have already voted bonds to this road to the amount of $175,000. It is supposed that on the balance of the road $600,000 can be voted, making a total of $775,000. This will insure the speedy construction of the entire line. . . .
It will be remembered that about a year ago companies were organized to build over this same route. It has been thought best to consolidate them into one company, and thus have a more united feeling.
We urge, in behalf of the people along this line, immediate action.
Walnut Valley Times, July 21, 1871.
OSAGE, NEOSHO AND WALNUT VALLEY RAILROAD.
The above Railroad Company was organized this week, and will receive its charter from the State within the next few days.
Prominent Railroad men are interested in this organization and give assurance that the road will be built as soon as the franchises are worked up. This road is to start from Ottawa, and run up the Marais Des Cygnes Valley to Arronis, in Osage County, thence up the Neosho Valley to Emporia, thence up the Cottonwood Valley, crossing over to the head of the Walnut and passing directly to the mouth of the stream, via Chelsea, Eldorado, Augusta, Walnut City, Douglass, Winfield, and Arkansas City.
The Directors of this Company are: R. M. Kelsey, of Franklin County; J. Mather Jones, of Osage County; F. R. Page, C. V. Eskridge, Gov. S. J. Crawford, E. P. Bancroft, and E. B. Peyton, of Lyon County; M. Vaught, T. B. Murdock, J. D. Connor, and Hon. T. H. Baker, of Butler County; D. A. Millington and H. G. [B.] Norton, of Cowley County.
One hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars in bonds have already been voted to secure the building of this road from Ottawa to Emporia. Lyon County will give one hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the continuation of this road to the west line of the County in the direction of the Walnut Valley. Should the counties of Butler and Cowley each vote two hundred thousand dollars in bonds to this road, it will be built the entire length of the Valley within fourteen months. We are assured that the Company proposing to build this road will commence at Emporia and build both ways. We consider this road a feasible one that will reach the Valley sooner than any other, giving us a shorter route east, with better connections than any route now proposed. We shall give further particulars next week.
Emporia News, September 8, 1871.
[Previous issue had Rev. R. M. Overstreet attacking C. V. Eskridge. This issue comes back with an attack by S. B. Riggs, H. Bancroft, E. P. Bancroft, and other people attacking the lying reverend.]
Last statement re Normal School Board problems comes from C. V. Eskridge.
“Suppose I should prosecute this ex-rebel chaplain—this ex-temperance tippler—this ex-slave holder—this ex-minister of the gospel—this ex-member of the Normal School Board—this ex-member of the Legislature—I say, suppose I should prosecute rev. R. M. Overstreet for libel, what evidence do you think I would offer to prove his guilt? I would march him into the courtroom and say: ‘Stand up, sir, and let the jury look at you. I would then say: Gentlemen of the jury—All the evidence I will offer to prove this man a liar, is his countenance.’ I am satisfied the jury would take the evidence as conclusive and not retire from the box to find a verdict of guilty. You can judge when you see him.”
Emporia News, October 13, 1871.
Overstreet & Eskridge continue their attacks on one another.
Winfield Messenger, July 12, 1872.
Hon. C. V. Eskridge was in town last Friday evening. He is talking up a railroad from Kansas City via Emporia, Eldorado, and Winfield to Arkansas City. The route is a good one for a local road, but we think bonds at the rate of $7,000 per mile too much for the people of Cowley County to pay for such a road. The people of Cowley stand ready to vote bond sufficient to grade the road, but will not with our advice vote a sufficient amount to pay for the grading and equipping.
The Commonwealth, Wednesday, September 17, 1873.
EMPORIA, KANSAS, September 15th, 1873.
From our Special Correspondent.
The Normal School has opened grandly. The attendance is far greater than ever before. The entering class now numbers one hundred and six, and more are coming. The total, exclusive of the model school, will be nearly two hundred this term.
It is rumored that Gov. Eskridge will run for the legislature in opposition to Mr. Fiery, the grange nominee. RANGER. Emporia, Sept. 13, 1873.
FROM THE BORDER.
Grand Carnival at Arkansas City.
Eskridge and Piffer on the Stump.
Indian Games and Dances, Boat Races, Balloons, Etc.
The Salt Works.
The Commonwealth, Friday Morning, July 10, 1874.
ARKANSAS CITY, July 6, 1874.
To the Editor of the Commonwealth.
Saturday, the 4th, was the occasion of a perfect carnival of patriotism and merriment in this city. The gathering was immense—nearly a thousand people thronged the spacious grove where the exercises were held.
The procession was formed at 10 a.m., headed by Lieut. Gov. Eskridge of Emporia, and Judge Piffer, of Fredonia. In the procession were the fine cornet band of this city, a company of mounted masqueraders, a band of Osage warriors, the barbarian splendor of the plains, a squad of Lipsan [Lipan] and Kickapoo women, in all their finery, and thousands of citizens.
A finely decorated speaker’s stand, and extensive seating arrangements awaited the company at the grove and
LIEUT. GOV. ESKRIDGE
took the rostrum. His address was an able one, treating of topics of current interest. The transportation question was specially discussed.
Governor Eskridge is a prominent candidate for congress from the 3rd district, and will go into the convention with much positive strength from the southwest. He is regarded here as an able and sound man, eminently trustworthy.
HON. W. A. PIFFER
followed in a brilliant off-hand discourse of an hour in length. The judge is one of the rising men of southern Kansas.
After dinner, to which the aboriginal guests did full justice, the committee announced
AN INDIAN WAR DANCE
and some forty of the Wah-satche disciples of Terpsichore took the floor, in the centre of a huge ring, cleared for the purpose. The performance was grotesque, demoniac, and altogether unearthly. I cannot attempt to describe it. All the savagery of the plains was in it. At the close,
TWELVE KICKAPOO SQUAWS
played at their national game of ball for an hour or two, amid a throng of thousands of curious people.
Arkansas City has a superb reach of rowing-water, at the mouth of the Walnut, some two miles in length. Upon this water, which immediately adjoins the grove, there was speedily held a series of
BOAT AND TUB RACES.
Dancing, climbing a greased pole, and other festivities occupied the time till evening, when a grand ball, exhibition of fireworks, and balloon ascension came off in town. The gathering was the largest, and the performance the best carried out of any that have yet occurred in southern Kansas.
Today a large party visited the
located on the county line, six miles west of town. Here is a natural laboratory where many springs, of varying temperature, send up their supply of mineral solutions. One of these is strongly impregnated with Glauber salts, another with bromide of potassium, and others with various gases. The principal product, however, is common salt, which one fountain yields in a very pure solution. The present product, wholly by solar evaporation, is about a ton a week, but it can be indefinitely increased. These springs will yet add much to the wealth and business of Arkansas City. The salt is of the best quality. RANGER.
Hon. C. V. Eskridge on Prominent Public Topics.
The Commonwealth, July 24, 1874.
We make the following extracts from the able and eloquent oration delivered by Hon. C. V. Eskridge at Arkansas City on the 4th.
Whether there should be an increase of the volume of currency at this time, I very much doubt. Perhaps the amount now authorized, with the distribution as required by the recent law, may be sufficient to meet all the legitimate demands. However, I can see no good results in the general business interests of the country in a policy looking to the rapid contraction of the currency or the immediate resumption of specie payment. Therefore, as it appears to me, the policy upon this question most consistent with the interests of the west and not inconsistent with the interests of the entire country, is gradual resumption. By keeping resumption steadily in view, we are not as likely to depart as far from the line of policy which will enable us ultimately to reach it as we might if we failed to keep a specie basis as our guiding star. But if, in the meantime, an emergency should require an increase of the currency, I can see no reason why it should not be authorized. The policy of immediate resumption would undoubtedly prove detrimental to the prosperity of the people. In the defeat of such a policy, there is no danger of repudiation. This vast country of ours, with its inexhaustible resources, can find no pretext, even, for repudiation.
With reference to this point the alarmists themselves are not alarmed, and therefore no one else should be. What is true of the whole country with respect to its undeveloped resources is especially true of the west. It is but a new section of the country. Its settlement is rapidly going on and its development but just commenced. To provide itself with schools, bridges, public buildings, and railroads, it has, to some extent, become debtor to the east. This indebtedness was incurred at a time when the newer western states could hardly be said to have had a credit in the money markets of the world, and they were therefore, of necessity, compelled to place their loans at some disadvantage in comparison with the older and wealthier states; and at a time, also, when the currency
[OUCH! SOME OF THIS IS MISSING.]
The last part of the Eskridge article (given above) ends as follows:
I am not opposed to international improvements by the general government, but I must confess to a little conservatism on such questions, and believe that before the people become involved in such a system as was recently presented in the senate of the United States, we should consider the cost, reverse the paddle wheels of public sentiment, and save ourselves from a sea of trouble. It might be well to wait for a more honest era to dawn on the American people. I doubt very much whether the country is in a condition, financially or morally, to prosecute a successful and satisfactory termination of a system so vast as the one recommended by the transportation committee. While I would not, therefore, demand that all such work should stop, yet through the speaking trumpets of the old ship of state, I would call to the engineers to go slow.
Now, as to a policy for southern and southwestern Kansas upon this question, permit me to say that whatever congress may do in providing a system of artificial water ways for the cheap transportation of western products fifteen hundred miles to eastern markets, we should cast our eyes to the gulf, about one-half the distance; and following up the Mississippi river, we may consider New Orleans less than one-half the distance; or Memphis, less than one-fourth the distance, or even Ft. Smith, less than twelve hundred miles from where we are today, at which point both water and railroad transportation in competition all the year round will soon be available for Memphis, New Orleans, and Galveston. The most practicable thing, it appears to me, for southern and southwestern Kansas to do, and perhaps for the whole state, is to seek and strive for such facilities by railroad competition as will at the least cost and in the shortest time enable us to reach the Mississippi at some point nor higher than St. Louis, when, by the cheaper method of water transportation, we shall find an outlet through the gulf.
[Note: It appears that as early as 1874 Eskridge and others realized how valuable it would be to have steamboats as a means of cheap transportation.]
Winfield Courier, November 18, 1875.
THE RAILROAD MEETING AT ELDORADO.
Last Friday, Nov. 14th, a large and earnest railroad meeting was held at Eldorado. Messrs. Meigs, Channell, McMullen, and Christian, from Arkansas City; Millington and Manning of Winfield, and Holmes and Lee, of Rock Township, were the representatives from Cowley County.
A large turn-out of active men of Butler County were present, and C. V. Eskridge, P. B. Plumb, E. P. Bancroft, and others from Emporia, and Messrs. Danford and Schenk of Osage City, and C. K. Holliday and Lakin, of Topeka, were present.
The meeting organized at 2 p.m. by choosing Neil Wilkie, of Douglass, as chairman. Mr. Bancroft, of Emporia, in a clear and comprehensive manner, presented statistics showing the advantage to the people and company of constructing a narrow gauge railroad in comparison to a wide gauge road.
Gov. Eskridge then spoke at some length demonstrating the ability of the people along the line to build and own a road from Emporia into the Walnut Valley.
Interesting speeches were made by Col. Plumb, D. A. Millington, and others.
Finally the citizens of Butler County present selected eight persons to cooperate with the representatives of Cowley in drafting articles of incorporation for a railroad company. After several hours of conference the two counties by their representatives agreed upon a charter form road beginning at Emporia, and run by the Walnut Valley to the south line of the State below Arkansas City.
The following named gentlemen were chosen directors.
P. B. Plumb, H. C. Cross, and A. A. Baker: Emporia.
J. C. Becker: Chelsie.
T. B. Murdock and A. L. Redden: Eldorado.
E. L. Akin: Augusta.
A. Cox: Walnut City.
Neil Wilkie: Douglass.
J. E. Platter and J. C. Fuller: Winfield.
J. C. McMullen and S. P. Channell: Arkansas City.
The corporation is named the Walnut Valley R. R. Company.
The directors are to meet in Emporia on 23rd inst., to put the enterprise in motion. Of their action, we shall keep our readers posted. If possible, we shall attend the meeting.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 1, 1876.
The Apportionment Bill was worked at some in the Senate, and was turned over to a committee for the finishing touches and passed in the afternoon, 22 to 10. S. B. 104 prescribing how insurance policies shall be printed was recommended for passage in committee of the whole. S. B. 120, allowing railroads to build branches after having filed a notice in the office of the Secretary of State was also recommended. S. B. 71, exempting a years’ crops from taxation was also recommended. Senator Robinson’s bill in regard to the bonds to be given by county commissioners, was recommended subject to amendment. The S. B. giving the counsel for the prisoner at the bar the last speech. S. B. 202 occupied all the evening session. It is an able bodied bill of 69 pages, and is a codification of the school laws, but makes very few radical changes.
The House passed an exciting day over the appropriations for the Normal Schools. The appropriation ($10,348) for the Leavenworth school was the first to come up. Mr. Hackney led off in the fight on the appropriation. Mr. Taylor, of Leavenworth, made a good fight for the school. Most of the talk, however, came from the opposition, and finally Hackney’s motion to indefinitely postpone, was carried, 56 to 37. The Emporia appropriation ($13,667.50) came up next and a very bitter debate took place on Hackney’s motion to indefinitely postpone. Messrs. Eskridge, Cook, Elder and others spoke in favor of the institution. Hackney’s motion was adopted, 53 to 43.
In the afternoon the State University appropriation came up. Mr. Waters offered an amendment appropriating $3,000 to establish a normal department in the University. Mr. Glick thought that the professors were paid too much, and moved that the bill be recommended to the Ways and Means committee with instructions to report a new bill providing for a normal department and giving an itemized statement of teacher’s wages. This motion prevailed.
Mr. Hackney rushed in with a motion to indefinitely postpone the bill appropriating $22,420.56 for the Agricultural College, but was voted down, 83 to 7. Some of the items were stricken out and the bill appropriating $15,300 passed, 65 to 7.
In the evening the House complied with a request of W. C. Webb, counsel for A. J. Mowry, and the order to publish the testimony in his case was rescinded. S. B. 182 passed. As amended it provides for the appointment of the three following institutions: the Blind Asylum and the Deaf and Dumb and Insane Asylums.
THE WINFIELD COURIER. CENTENNIAL ISSUE.
WINFIELD COURIER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 1876.
About the last day of December, 1869, Judge W. R. Brown, H. B. Norton, T. A. Wilkinson, L. B. Kellogg, John Brown, [Silas] Moore, and G. H. Norton drove into camp near Wood’s residence as members and representatives of the Walnut City town company.
A few leading citizens of Emporia, among the number, C. V. Eskridge, P. B. Plumb, J. Stotler, L. B. Kellogg, H. B. Norton, and Judge Brown and H. L. Hunt, of Cottonwood Falls, had organized a town company and sent the party mentioned down into the Walnut Valley to locate a town at the junction of the Walnut River with the Arkansas River. The map of Kansas at that time showed that the junction was about the center of Cowley County. After some conference with the settlers, the newcomers took five claims adjoining Manning’s claim, east, southeast, and south, with the intention of making this the location of the proposed town. In a day or two upon an examination of the country below, the party decided to locate their town at the present town site of Arkansas City.
As specimens of “literature” of that day we produce the following circulars which were issued a short time previous to the first election held in the county, to-wit: May 2nd, 1870.
To the voters of Cowley County:
The Creswell Town Company ask leave to present to you the claims of Creswell as a location for the county seat.
This town is situated on the Arkansas River, twelve miles above its intersection by the State line; said intersection being two and three-fourth miles below the mouth of the Grouse. The Walnut enters the Arkansas at Creswell, and the valleys of other streams on the south side of the Arkansas converge at this point, making it the natural centre of business and population for Cowley County.
Creswell is named as a point upon four chartered lines of railroad, viz: The Walnut Valley Branch of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe road; the Preston, Salina & Denver road; the Emporia & Holden road; and the Arkansas Valley, or Fort Smith & Hays City road. It is also confidently expected that this will be the point of crossing for the Fort Scott & Santa Fe road. The Legislature at its recent session, ordered the immediate survey of a State road, by the most direct route, from Emporia to Creswell.
The company have determined to spare no expense or effort to make Creswell the metropolis of the Arkansas Valley. The following are among the enterprises already inaugurated:
Sleeth & Co., of Eldorado, have contracted to put up their steam saw-mill and a shingle-machine in operation at Creswell by the 15th of May.
Daniel Beedy, now a resident at Emporia, has contracted to build a grist-mill, saw-mill, and planing-mill upon the Creswell water-power; to commence by July 1st, 1870.
G. H. Norton & Co. have opened a general stock of groceries, dry goods, boots and shoes, which they pledge themselves to sell at Eldorado prices.
Betts & Fraser, of Eldorado, will at once open a stock of groceries, provisions, and campers’ supplies.
C. R. Sipes, of Emporia, has purchased an interest in the town, and is preparing to open at Creswell the largest stock of hardware, tinware, and agricultural implements ever offered south or west of Emporia.
A stock of drugs and medicines has been ordered by responsible parties, and a well provided drug-store will be speedily established.
We are also happy to announce that the best job and newspaper office south of the Neosho will commence the publication of a newspaper at Creswell within the next ninety days.
Max Fawcett, recently of the Neosho Valley (Emporia) Nursery, has transferred his entire interest to Creswell, and is arranging to establish there the largest fruit and nursery concern in Kansas.
L. F. Goodrich, of Emporia, is now at work erecting a feed and livery stable.
A ferry has been chartered, and will be running upon the Arkansas by July 1st.
We, the Town Company of Creswell, furthermore pledge ourselves to erect a first-class stone or frame building not less than thirty feet square and two stories high, suitably arranged for a court-room and county offices; and to deed the same, with one entire block of not less than fourteen lots, centrally located, to the county, to be its property so long as the county-seat remains at Creswell; the building to be completed within six months after Creswell is chosen permanent county seat.
The question of taxation is one of great importance to the people of a young and undeveloped country. It is only at the cost of heavy taxes that the county will be able to erect a courthouse and other county buildings. This expense the Creswell town company propose to wholly assume.
The immediate vicinity of the Arkansas River is the natural location for the cities and towns which are to one day adorn this great valley. The natural centers of population and business will be there. Let us choose wisely, and make a choice which will not speedily be reversed.
We commend these facts and offers to the thoughtful consideration of the voters of Cowley County.
H. B. NORTON, Associate Principal State Normal School, President.
C. V. ESKRIDGE, Lieut. Governor, Vice President.
W. R. BROWN, Judge 9th Judicial District, Secretary.
L. B. KELLOGG, Principal State Normal School, Treasurer.
J. STOTLER, Director.
COL. P. B. PLUMB, Director.
CAPT. G. H. NORTON, Director.
H. L. HUNT, Director.
H. D. KELLOGG, M. D., Director.
J. S. DANFORD, Director.
Winfield Courier, February 24, 1876.
Col. Manning writes from Topeka that the Eskridge railroad bill will probably become a law.
Winfield Courier, March 2, 1876.
FEBRUARY 26, 1876.
The bill allowing counties to vote aid to railroads is a law, or will be, as soon as it is published in the Commonwealth. It requires a two-thirds vote to carry the proposition in a county, township, or city. It came very near being defeated in the Senate, only fourteen votes being the number that were favorable to the bill, as it came from the House, and even this vote was obtained by a combination of the friends of Stilling’s narrow gauge and Eskridge’s standard gauge bills. By amending and coaxing, and urgent solicitations, the friends of the measure finally obtained eighteen votes and carried it. Senator St. Clair worked earnestly for the measure.
Winfield Courier, March 15, 1877.
Ex-Gov. Eskridge and Mr. Finley, of Emporia, spent the day here yesterday as agents of Emporia and Kansas City narrow gauge. A basis and conditions upon which our people could aid in the construction of the road was talked over for some time, but no agreement was arrived at. They went from this place to Arkansas City.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 21, 1877.
A party of citizens from this place visited Winfield last Thursday, in company with Gov. Eskridge and J. K. Finley, to talk over railroad matters, and take steps to bring the matter before the people of the county. The proposition asked aid to the amount of $4,000 per mile, and agreed to complete the road in eighteen months from Kansas City to Arkansas City. No meeting was held, but a number of the people of Winfield were conversed with, who evinced a desire to let the matter alone until they could hear from an east and west project. The importance of bringing the matter at once before the people was urged, but not coincided with, so the gentlemen were compelled to leave without any definite understanding.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 21, 1877.
ON PAGE 1 SCOTT GAVE PROPOSITION OF THE KANSAS CITY, EMPORIA & SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY...READY TO FURNISH A RAILWAY, IF THE PEOPLE VOTED $4,000 A MILE TO GET THE NARROW GAUGE ROAD CONSTRUCTED TO THE SOUTH LINE OF THE STATE WITHIN 18 MONTHS. SCOTT MENTIONS THIS IN AN EDITORIAL ALSO: “Petitions will be circulated throughout the county asking that an election be called.”
THE PETITION WAS PRINTED BY SCOTT. IT STATED THAT MORE THAN TWO-FIFTHS OF THE RESIDENT TAXPAYERS OF COWLEY WERE BACKING THE PETITION FOR KANSAS CITY, EMPORIA & SOUTHERN RAILROAD COMPANY. [GAUGE TO BE THREE FEET, DEFINITELY MAKING IT A NARROW GAUGE.]
[I GATHER THIS ROAD DID NOT MEET WITH APPROVAL!]
Arkansas City Traveler, April 3, 1877.
The County to be Deprived of a Railroad
On Account of Local Jealousies.
The following letter from the representatives of the Kansas City, Emporia and Southern Railway, to the committee who were sent from this place to overtake and confer with them, explains itself, and it is plain to all under the present disposition of some parties who claim to represent communities, if their course of action is not changed, the county will be deprived of a railroad.
HOWARD CITY, KAS., March 17th, 1877.
Messrs. W. M. Sleeth and T. H. McLaughlin:
GENTLEMEN: As representatives of the company proposing to construct the Kansas City, Emporia and Southern R. R., we thought it unadvisable to submit the matter to the further consideration of the people of your county, owing to divisions arising from local jealousies. In this view we may be mistaken. As you desire, however, to have an expression of your county, we will say that if you act promptly and favorably upon the proposition, the company will build the road. (Signed) C. V. ESKRIDGE. AND J. K. FINLEY.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 3, 1877.
At a railroad meeting, called at Winfield on the 14th inst., to take in consideration a proposition from the representatives from the Kansas City, Emporia and Southern railroad company to extend their contemplated line of narrow gauge road down the Walnut Valley, in consideration of certain aid to be furnished by the county, the proposition was, by vote, rejected, thus giving the company to understand that the people of Winfield are no narrow gauge men, especially when that gauge is not exclusively in the interest of that city.
[“A. W.” LASHES OUT AT EDITOR E. C. MANNING.]
Arkansas City Traveler, April 11, 1877. Editorial Item.
CLEAR THE DECKS!
Nail Down the Hatchways!
Prepare for Action.
This is the language of the heading of an unfair article in the Courier of March 29. If it means anything, it means a deadly, bitter fight; and it would be well if all the fair and impartial citizens of Cowley County would honestly consider what this man, who thus pretends to represent the city and citizens of Winfield and the people of Cowley County, is determined to fight in such a bitter way. Surely the city of Winfield must be in great danger to thus have to prepare her decks for action. What is it? you ask. Well it is simply this: Certain gentlemen of known wealth and reputation, having secured the confidence and franchises of Lyon County, proposed to build a road of three feet gauge to and through the city of Winfield. The Courier man has said himself that the men who are backing the road are able to build it.
Then flows an enumeration of Winfield objections to the proposition of the company, which is characterized as an arbitrary provision. Now will the people of Cowley County go back on the record a few years and test the sincerity of the citizens of Winfield, and of the writer of the article, “Clear the Decks.” He and they not only advocated such a proposition before, but he, the aforesaid writer, was very anxious to have the escrow part fulfilled. He hankered more after crow a year or two ago than he does now. Then it was perfectly proper and safe; now it is dangerous. Now, again, go back on the record a little over a year ago, when the writer of “Clear the Decks,” was anxious to form a local company and build a narrow gauge road from Emporia. If this gentleman and one or two others who were intimately connected with him will refresh their memories, they will find that they stated over and over again that $150,000 was not enough for building through the county.
You see it makes some difference who is to handle the bonds as to how much the county ought to give—according to some people’s notions. Now we will make a quotation to show the unfairness of this article, and the evident determination of the writer, whose malignant feeling toward Arkansas City is shown in every line. We quote:
“Without coming to any agreement, the gentlemen went to Arkansas City, and soon thereafter we find men in every township in the county from Arkansas City, circulating petitions.”
An omission of the writer makes a lie and a misstatement in the above as much so as though he had put it into words. He should have been sworn to tell the whole truth.
He forgot to tell the people of Cowley County that the gentlemen representing the road returned to Winfield, and with them a deputation of the best citizens of Arkansas City, and that they stayed all day; and that the citizens of Winfield would not even get together in a room room and state what modifications they wanted, nor listen to any terms of agreement, but treated the citizens of their neighboring city with such marked disrespect as to amount almost to insult; that they said, in effect, “Winfield controls the county—when we get ready to say the word, Arkansas City and the country townships can walk up to the trough and drink, and not until then.”
After this, in the same article, comes a statement in regard to a committee from Winfield visiting Arkansas City, and again the writer’s memory proves treacherous, and he only states that their committee offered to put in $100,000 each for an east and west and a north and south road—forgetting entirely to state that they offered to give $120,000 to a north and south road, and take just enough to bring an east and west road to the city of Winfield, and no further.
He forgot, also, to state that they had no reliable, reasonable project to present at Arkansas City, or anywhere else, in regard to a road from the east.
To conclude this article, I would make this one observation in the shape of an appeal to all fair minded citizens, and especially to the farmers and producers of the county: There is in the article referred to a feeling of malignity exhibited against a thriving village in your midst, in which you cannot share. It may be only the members of a bitter political controversy, only existing in the mind of one man, and it may be the feeling of property holders in the city of Winfield, who think that they will be largely benefitted by anything which will destroy the growth of a sister town. But neither reason applies to the large majority of the citizens of the county. Every dollar of taxable property added to either city helps the county so much towards lightening the burden of taxation, and is an aid to them. A. W.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 11, 1877. Editorial Item.
The committee who went from this place to Augusta, learning that Mr. Young and Gov. Eskridge intended going to Winfield to confer with the people of that place, at the urgent request of one of the citizens and a member of the Railroad Committee of Winfield, sent word for a delegation to come up to agree to a new proposition. A number went, but upon their arrival, found that no agreement could be made, as the Committee of Winfield had stated they could not entertain any proposition from the north, as they had one from the east. Mr. Young and Gov. Eskridge then came to this place and submitted the proposition to Creswell Township to build their road down the west side of the Walnut by Township aid. The same proposition will be submitted to Rock, Nennescah, Vernon, Beaver, Creswell, Bolton, and probably Pleasant Valley Townships, and if the aid is rendered, the road will be built.
In the evening a large and enthusiastic meeting was held at the church, during which a stirring speech was made by Mr. Eskridge, and remarks by Mr. Young, Rev. Fleming, Judge Christian, Amos Walton, Mr. Channell, and others, after which a committee of eleven were appointed as follows, as Managing Committee, with power to appoint Finance, Canvassing, and Sub-Committees: Dr. Hughes, O. P. Houghton, C. M. Scott, A. A. Newman, James Christian, J. C. McMullen, S. B. Fleming, M. R. Leonard, Amos Walton, R. C. Haywood and S. P. Channell.
The Committee then elected Dr. Hughes, President, J. C. McMullen, Vice President, Amos Walton, Secretary, and R. C. Haywood, Treasurer. The hour being late, the Committee then adjourned.
Winfield Courier, April 26, 1877. Editorial Page.
STATEMENT OF THE R. R. COMMITTEE.
The undersigned, a railroad committee chosen by the citizens of Winfield, having learned that certain persons opposed to the projected road from Parsons to Winfield and advocates of a road from Emporia to Arkansas City, via Nennescah, have circulated reports that Messrs. Eskridge and Young, at a conference with the committee holden a few weeks since, offered to so modify their proposition, that county bonds voted in aid of the Emporia road via Winfield should not be issued until a certain part of the road should be built in Cowley County, we positively deny that any such offer has ever been made to us by Messrs. Eskridge, Young, or any other person authorized by them.
They insisted that bonds should be issued and placed in escrow.
We further affirm that this committee never refused to entertain a proposition from the Emporia road, but on the contrary at the very first conference with the representatives of this company, we offered to support $100,000 in county bonds for their road (allowing townships chiefly interested to make up the $20,000 additional), providing the objectionable conditions were withdrawn.
We made this offer in good faith and in no way contingent upon any east and west proposition.
This is much better than the terms they are now pretending to accept from the townships to which they are now making propositions and shows that if bad faith exists anywhere, it is on the part of this company and indicates a deliberate purpose to discriminate against Winfield.
The committee never have withdrawn this offer and the only difference between this committee and the representatives of this road is that we would not give the $20,000 additional and they would not consent to the withdrawal of the escrow and litigation clauses.
Messrs. Eskridge and Young never asked for a public meeting to be held in the interest of this road.
S. C. SMITH. W. Q. MANSFIELD. FRANK WILLIAMS. J. E. ALLEN. D. A. MILLINGTON, acting for E. C. MANNING. M. L. ROBINSON, acting for J. E. PLATTER.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 9, 1877.
Did the Representatives of the K. C., E. & S. R. R.
Offer to go Through Winfield?
Letter from Gov. Eskridge.
EMPORIA, KAN., April 30th, 1877.
S. P. Channell, Esq.
DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 27th inst., with copy of Cowley County Telegram, containing a statement of the R. R. committee, of Winfield, came to hand this morning.
You call my attention to the statement of the committee and suggest whether a reply would not be appropriate. I answer, respectfully, no. The high regard I have for the committee forbids a dispute with reference to details merely. It is enough for the people of your county to know that after four different efforts by Mr. Young, and others, to secure the cooperation of the people of Winfield in the construction of the Kansas City, Emporia & Southern railroad, we failed to accomplish the object.
It is sufficient to say that upon the last visit made by Mr. Young and myself, the railroad committee, through its chairman, Mr. Smith, informed Mr. Young that they had one railroad proposition before them (the east and west road) and they did not at that time wish to entertain any other. As near as I can remember, those are his exact words.
The provisions of the modified proposition may have still been objectionable to the committee, but its rejection by the committee, so far as we knew, was on the ground solely that they did not wish to entertain it. The committee did not even invite us to its room to hear its conclusions, but sent its chairman to us at the hotel to inform us (if he reported truly, and I have no doubt he did) that they didn’t wish to entertain it.
Mr. Young thanked the chairman for his prompt answer, and in a short time thereafter we left town. It is no use to multiply words. Those who have been acting for the people of Winfield know very well why a proposition to aid this road via that place was not agreed upon.
Say to the people of the townships, in which the propositions are now pending, if they want the road, vote the aid and they will get it. Greenwood County has carried the proposition and the survey will commence this week, and then work for the construction will be prepared as fast as possible.
The truth will do to stand by. Mr. Young will be here Wednesday next to commence the location of the route. Truly yours, C. V. ESKRIDGE.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 9, 1877.
Railroad Matters in Butler Co.
AUGUSTA, May 2nd, 1877.
R. C. Haywood, Esq.
DEAR SIR: Replying to your letter of the 27th ult., I have to say that the people of the several townships in Butler County, in which propositions are submitted to vote bonds to the Kansas City, Emporia & Southern Railroad Company are generally wide awake and are deeply interested in the result. We shall vote on the propositions in a few days, and shall then know the result beyond any peradventure. But we feel confident that all the townships will vote the necessary aid to this most important enterprise, and that there will be no questions about the road being built to the south line of this county, from Kansas City, Mo., within 18 months from the time the aid is secured along the whole route to Arkansas City. But should your people fail to vote the aid, I am of the opinion the enterprise will either stop entirely, or seek an outlet in Sumner County. I have seen a number of Sumner County people within the last ten days who are very anxious to have the road built through their county.
It is a good route for the people of Southwestern Kansas, giving us easy access to the capital of our State and other Kansas cities, and brings us into close competition with Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, and other Eastern cities, at Kansas City, which is now the focus of railways in the West.
We have no doubt whatever of the financial standing of the men who are backing the project, nor of their good faith in the matter. If the people vote the aid along the proposed line, the railroad will be built on time and there is no question. We are as certain of that as we can be of anything that is not a finality.
It is possible one township in this county may reject the proposition; but if that should be the case, it is also as certain that the proposition will be resubmitted and carried.
Maj. E. P. Bancroft, of Emporia, is in the several townships explaining the facts to the people. He meets with great success, carrying conviction to the minds of the people. They have great confidence in his integrity as a man.
Hoping that you will be successful in your efforts to procure the aid proposed, I remain, respectfully, yours, E. L. AKIN.
Winfield Courier, May 10, 1877. Editorial Page.
THE LIAR’S DEN.
The denizens of Arkansas City who are out over Cowley County are the most unblushing liars on earth; or else the reports that come to Winfield are terribly exaggerated. This charge may not be true of all those itinerants who are roving the county in an effort to defeat the bonds for the east and west road but we believe it is true of some of them. We enumerate the following as a part of the stories that come to us as having been told by Arkansas City men; they say:
The east and west road won’t be built even if the bonds are voted.
The road from Independence to Arkansas City, via Cedarvale and Dexter, will be built if the people in the southeast part of the county will only vote down the Parsons proposition.
The Emporia road will be built through our county from north to south if Rock, Beaver, Creswell, and Bolton will only vote township bonds.
That Winfield men refused to vote on a double proposition on the same day, giving $100,000 in bonds to each an east and west and a north and south road.
S. P. Channell said at the Rock post office store the other day that the Winfield committee went to Arkansas City and refused to aid a north and south road except to the extent of $80,000 and that they would only vote them four days after the east and west vote was taken.
That Winfield was trying to beat Rock Township out of a railroad altogether.
The foregoing and many other equally vicious falsehoods are being told by Arkansas City men to defeat the only decent proposition before the county whereby a railroad can be obtained.
In all of this war made upon Winfield by Arkansas City, the projectors of the Emporia project seem to be active assistants. Mr. Young is reported as saying that he never wanted to see Winfield again; that he would not stay there again over night; that he hoped Winfield would never get a railroad. Similar remarks were made by Mr. Eskridge.
If the projectors of this Emporia road are inspired by such feelings towards Winfield, it might be that even if Winfield should help to build a road down the valley that it would be run exclusively in the interests of Arkansas City and against the interests of Winfield for all time.
Winfield Courier, May 10, 1877. Editorial Page.
The traveling liars from Arkansas City had said so many things that were not true about the railroad committee at Winfield that said committee felt constrained to deny some of the falsehoods in a published card over their signatures. This denial appeared in both of the Winfield papers and put to rest some of the disreputable reports of their authors.
Now comes the Traveler with an attack upon the committee and accuses them of “whining.” Yes, that committee of seven citizens are “whiners.” The Traveler and its agents lie about them and when they contradict the falsehoods, they are “whiners.” If they were not contradicted then the Traveler would have said they dare not deny the statements. Thus the fertile maniacs have an answer for every occasion.
The committee have tried to act for the best interests of Cowley, with all the possible information before them. The Traveler will wake up some fine morning and find that the people of Cowley endorse what that committee did.
Winfield Courier, May 10, 1877.
The Eldorado Times says of Eldorado in railroad matters:
We run our own machine and don’t thank outsiders for any advice. If Wichita, Emporia, or any other town in this portion of the State “get away with us,” all right. Eldorado is the architect of her own fortunes. We have “taken council,” as the Mormons say, and if we get ever-lastingly circumnavigated, we will then admit that we made a mistake. We all commenced with nothing a few years ago and have made all there is here in that time. If we now get left, we will be the sufferers; if we succeed in centering a system of roads here, well and good. People who have undertaken to “buck” us, have generally found out to their sorrow that we are somewhat “set” in our ways.
Winfield Courier, May 31, 1877. Editorial Page.
We feel sorry for poor Winfield! She begins to see where her little, narrow-minded, selfish and chuckle-headed course on railroad matters is about to lead her. She begins to plead for the But End road to save her. O, Winfield, Winfield! How would “that old hen” have gathered thee under her wings because of the love she has for thee, but ye would not. Now you can go to—thunder, and get the But End if you want it. Emporia News, May 25, 1877.
The News had not heard from our bond election when the above was published. It supposed that Gov. “Eskrow” and Prof. Kellogg could “build a road round Winfield,” and that, as said by Gov. “Eskrow,” “an old woman would be picking greens in the streets of Winfield in a year.” The “old hen” don’t know who she is fooling with. Two of Winfield’s talkers knocked Eskridge and Kellogg so badly out of time at Darien schoolhouse that they had to remain in the building all night to get their wind. This chicken is getting old enough to crow, and if the old hen comes round to “gather thee under her wings,” she will get stepped on, that’s all.
Winfield Courier, May 31, 1877. Editorial Page.
“Had Emporia been either Eldorado or Winfield, she would have had a road down that valley several years ago.” Emporia News.
Plumb, Stotler, Eskridge, Bancroft, and other leading lights of Emporia settled in that burgh in 1875. They all went to work to get a railroad.
They had two government land grants of seven millions acres of land to go on.
They worked hard, and they howled railroad just as we have done.
They traveled over the country and attended railroad meetings, just as we have done.
They had an old county seat war, just as we once had.
They got their road in just twelve years seven months and twenty-seven days from the day they commenced howling for a railroad.
Eldorado has just been seven years in getting her first road.
But then, Emporia had a “Free Love” society, just the same, and she did not need a railroad. Eldorado Times.
COMMENTS BY WINFIELD COURIER EDITOR:
If Emporia, by its representatives, J. Stotler, Esq., and another gentleman had not interfered at the Augusta railroad meeting in 1872, Eldorado and Winfield would have had a railroad four years ago.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 27, 1877.
MR. YOUNG, engineer of the Kansas City, Emporia & Southern Railway, with Gov. Eskridge, were at Nenescah [Ninnescah] yesterday. They represent a road that will be built into this section of country within the next two years.
Winfield Courier, July 19, 1877.
K. C. E. & S. RAILROAD.
Between the first and seventh of this month the following charter was filed at the Secretary of State’s office, and from that time the corporation had an existence.
“Kansas City, Emporia & Southern Railroad Company. Place of business: Emporia, Kansas. Directors—J. K. Finley, C. V. Eskridge, C. N. Sterry, Joseph E. Young, and Lloyd B. Fuller.”
[VERNON CORRESPONDENT: “REX.”]
Winfield Courier, March 28, 1878.
Ex-Governor Eskridge’s old lady is now looking up those greens.
[I have no idea what the above remark meant. MAW]
It was many years later that the Cowley County papers mentioned Eskridge...
Arkansas City Traveler, March 22, 1882.
Arrangements have been made to have Judge Christian deliver his remarkable lecture on “Ireland and the Irish,” at Wichita, Augusta, El Dorado, Emporia, Topeka, and Lawrence within the next thirty days. The old friends of Judge Christian have taken hold and promise him a good house wherever he goes. At Wichita, Murdock, of the Eagle, takes an active part, while Gov. Eskridge looks after Emporia, Father Baker at Topeka, and the town of Lawrence looks after itself. The Commonwealth gave the old Judge a very complimentary notice, and assures the people of a rare treat.
Excerpts from an article that mainly deals with Winfield...
Winfield Courier, May 24, 1883.
J. F. Drake to Emporia Republican.
WINFIELD, May 10. The State Editorial Association, now in session in this place, and whose deliberations are noted in another place, could not have chosen a better place for its meeting. Right royally are we welcomed and right royally are we being entertained. To be sure, there is more or less of a hitch in things, caused by the trains being away off time. For instance, the entertainment last evening had to wait till midnight for its music, but it was good when it appeared.
Perhaps at this time a few items about Winfield will not be amiss, but they were hastily gathered and must necessarily be short. Cowley County, of which Winfield is the county seat, dates back to 1870, and I find that in its early history several Emporians figured quite prominently, notably among whom are P. B. Plumb, Jacob Stotler, C. V. Eskridge, and L. B. Kellogg. The county now has a population of over 22,000, and last year reported over 36,000 acres of wheat that averaged thirty bushels to the acre; 141,000 acres of corn, besides its other products. No better class of farmers can be found anywhere, and no better proof of this is needed than the fact that Cowley County is known throughout the length and breadth of the land as the banner prohibition county of the state.
Now the following paper which is mentioned is one to read!...
Winfield Courier, January 3, 1884.
The wonderful New Years edition of the Emporia Republican almost took our breath away. As we unfolded page after page of elegantly printed paper, filled with choice matter, every line of which was worth reading, we were forcibly reminded that the days of newspaper wonders had not ceased. It contains absolutely everything that ever occurred in Lyon County, and racy description of her growth, improvement, and institutions. It covered sixteen large pages, eight columns to the page, and two feet to the column, making two hundred and fifty-six feet of matter. It is the largest single paper ever published in Kansas, and by far the handsomest and brightest. Gov. Eskridge has done himself, his city, and his paper proud by such an issue.
I find the next item re “J. Eskridge.” I have never been able to find the name “Eskridge” on any of the records (census and otherwise) in Creswell Township or Arkansas City for that matter. MAW
Arkansas City Republican, July 19, 1884.
J. Eskridge keeps some of the best lemonade in town. He had us sample it the other day.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 21, 1885.
The Emporia Daily Republican copied our article on Gus. Ivey and concludes with the words: “It looks as though the Missouri Senator should pull down his vest before offering any more resolutions of investigation.” Between Charlie’s weak utterings and the approval of Hon. C. V. Eskridge, we guess we can stand it.
Article referred to...
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, January 14, 1885.
It appears that the individual above mentioned is the sole and only cause of the appointing of the present senate investigating committee to investigate the leasing of the Indian lands in the Territory below us.
There has been no evidence, whatever, adduced to prove anything fraudulent or illegal in the manner of obtaining such leases. We do not claim, nor are we fully convinced, of the advisability of leasing such large bodies of land at such low prices to single individuals; but, at the same time, we do condemn anyone, whoever he may be, who will cause the expense to the government and to private citizens that the individual above named has caused.
We know this Ivey—know all we wish to know about him. Arkansas City had about six months’ knowledge of him, enough to last her through the next two or three decades. It would perhaps be pertinent to mention him gently in this connection; Gus Ivey is a printer. He came here in the fall of 1879 from the Cherokee Nation, where he left an Indian wife, and stayed here until along in the spring of 1880. While here he was a drunken, dissolute, good-for-nothing dog, working until he had a few dollars and then laying off until he could drink it up; in the interim he made what he could out of gambling. The police judge of that time made his acquaintance several times. A dirty, drunken bummer, he spent his time around the saloons, drinking and playing billiards. A dead-beat of the worse character, no one would associate with him. Our people remember him as a beat, a bummer, a loafing, lying, lazy cur. He is the brute who enticed Ben Gardner into giving him all his money, by representing that they could travel together, and by working now and then on daily papers, on any of which he could get a case, and thus go West very cheap. He spent Ben’s money and deserted him up near Topeka or Lawrence, leaving him without a cent. Oh, yes, we know Gus Ivey.
The next time Senator Vest wants to make himself conspicuous, he should choose a different co-partner than a drunken, free-lunch, good-for-nothing vagabond like Gus Ivey.
Vest now wonders why Ivey didn’t appear and testify against the cattlemen! If the senator should see this eulogy of the illustrious gentleman, he would wonder no more, for he would know that Ivey did not dare show his face where decent men have their boots blacked. Selah! We have done.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 21, 1885.
The wise and good Deacon McConn of the dying TRAVELER, in a crushing article on Gus Ivey, takes occasion to annihilate Senator Vest. Our wise and owlish Deacon sitting down on Senator Vest is something like a little termite trying to devour Barnum’s Jumbo.
After several nightly vigils and the burning of much midnight oil with Payne in fine frenzy rolling, the mighty intellect of Charlie dear evolved the above refined and withering sarcasm. We notice a few slight mistakes in which we call attention.
In the first place, the readers of the TRAVELER observe, if at all, that it is dying by issuing each week a paper containing more local news than any paper in the county without a single exception. Another proof is the fact that we do two thirds of the job work done in town, and still another, that we have more subscribers paid for a year in advance than either of our E. C.’s.
In the second place, the article referred to, and which even our imaginative friend does not dispute, does not “take occasion to annihilate Senator Vest,” nor does it contain any attempt in that direction.
Thirdly, the comparison loses its focus, and it lost its grammatical construction by passing through the aforesaid elongated youth’s hands. And,
Fourthly and last, the whole thing is untrue.
These are a few of the mistakes made, not including the typographical errors of which we noticed twenty-five in the first column.
Reference made in the following to “I Eskridge”???...
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 19, 1887.
A few days ago we reported a large sale of city property to Chicago parties, which was made by telegraph. Today we report a sale by telephone to F. C. Jocelynn, also of Chicago. Mr. Jocelynn, who was in the city the first of the week, left last evening for Wichita, after looking at considerable property. This morning Lowe, Hoffman & Barron received a telephone message from him, telling them he would take the two I. Eskridge business lots on north Summit street, opposite the Gladstone Hotel, at $12,000 cash. Mr. Jocelynn is a Chicago capitalist, has large lumber interests in Wichita, and is an extensive real estate owner in Arkansas City. We are informed he contemplates the building of a large three story business block on these lots. And still we boom.
The last item in 1887 was all that I could find on Eskridge.