Arkansas City Republican, October 4, 1884.

The millers held a convention at Winfield last Monday. Our millers attended. The proceedings were secret.

Arkansas City Republican, October 11, 1884.

The Arkansas to be Made Navigable. At the millers’ convention at Winfield several days ago, the question of making the Arkansas River navigable, was sprung. A new plan was discussed, by which it is hoped to be able to ship flour down the river. It is as follows: Flat-boats are to be built with a capacity of seven or eight tons; several of these will be coupled together, similar to railroad cars; at the front and rear, small steamboats will be attached, to furnish the propelling power. It is hoped that in this manner several tons of flour will be taken downstream. A committee, consisting of James Hill, Mr. Bliss, of Wood & Bliss, Winfield, and Mr. Hargis, of Hargis & Clark at Wellington, were appointed to investigate the plausibility of this scheme. As soon as possible, these gentlemen will go down the Arkansas, and if they find water to the depth of one foot all the way, this plan will be put into execution. The boats they contemplate building will draw about 8 inches of water, and will be controlled by our millers.

Should this plan be executed, it will be of great benefit to Arkansas City. The flour from Wichita, Douglass, Wellington, and Winfield will come here for shipment.

Every farmer is interested in this enterprise. Every mechanic will be profited. Every man building a house, and in fact all will be benefitted if these enterprising men should be successful. When the boats return, they can bring lumber, fuel, and other necessaries, which of course will give us a cheapening of freight rates.


Winfield Courier, October 16, 1884.

The A. C. Republican chronicles another scheme for the unraveling of a knotty problem: “At the millers’ convention at Winfield several days ago, the question of making the Arkansas River navigable was sprung. A new plan was discussed, by which it is hoped to be able to ship flour down the river. It is as follows: Flat-boats are to be built with a capacity of seven or eight tons; several of these will be coupled together similar to railroad cars; at the front and rear small steamboats will be attached, to furnish the propelling power. It is hoped that in this manner several tons of flour will be taken down stream. A committee consisting of James Hill, Mr. Bliss of Bliss & Wood, Winfield, and Mr. Hargis, of Hargis & Clark at Wellington, was appointed to investigate the plausibility of this scheme. As soon as possible these gentlemen will go down the Arkansas and if they find water to the depth of one foot all the way, this plan will be put into execution. The boats they contemplate building will draw about eight inches of water, and will be controlled by our millers.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 12, 1884.

The millers of Winfield, Wellington, and Arkansas City have subscribed funds to experiment on a project to establish a line of barges on the Arkansas River for the transportation of flour, grain, etc., to the head of steamboat navigation. Winfield Courier.


Winfield Courier, November 6, 1884.

The millers of Winfield, Wellington, and Arkansas City have subscribed necessary funds to experiment on a project to establish a line of barges on the Arkansas River for the transportation of flour, grain, etc., to the head of steamboat navigation.

Winfield Courier, November 13, 1884.

Engineer R. S. Moorhead and crew will start in a few days down the Arkansas in a boat furnished by the millers of Arkansas City and Winfield. Their object is to ascertain whether the Arkansas can be opened for practical navigation. The prime mover in this enterprise is Mr. J. Hill of our city. Mr. Hill has engineered several enterprises which at first seemed to promise no success to successful results, and while everyone is incredulous there can be but one prayer for the success of the great work. A. C. Democrat.

Excerpt from a lengthy article...

Arkansas City Republican, December 6, 1884.

The scheme which has now been made practicable by our millers was contemplated and experimented on as early as 1875. It will be seen that “Aunt Sally” made a successful voyage and her officers pronounced sufficient water and a safe current for light draught steamers for the entire distance, such as our millers are now building. Mr. Moorhead will remain in Arkansas City for a short time and then go east to pay a visit. His next trip will be up the Arkansas on the millers’ boat, which is now being constructed. He has no doubts whatever but what we will be shipping merchandise down the river within 60 days. It will be a great day when that occurs. The failure of the “Cherokee” and others to make a successful trip was because they were not constructed properly. They were not built for such shallow water.

Arkansas City Republican, December 20, 1884.

The latest scheme is to make the Arkansas River navigable. We reprint a former report published in the REPUBLICAN November 19.

“The scheme of navigating the Arkansas River between this city and Little Rock has proven better than the most sanguine had anticipated. Some two weeks ago a flat boat and crew with Engineer Moorhead in command started down the Arkansas River for the purpose of ascertaining the feasibility of navigating the stream. This was brought about by a desire of cheap freight rates to the south on the flour by our millers. The cruise down the river was easily accomplished, and plenty of water was found all the way. From here to the mouth of the Cimarron River, boats drawing eighteen inches of water can be used. From there on down the water is sufficient to carry any boat that may be utilized. The crew and boat returned Tuesday night and Engineer Moorhead has sent in his report. On Wednesday the projectors met and talked the matter over. Thursday at another meeting the following directors were elected: Jas. Hill, W. M. Sleeth, C. A. Bliss of Winfield, V. M. Ayres, and C. H. Searing. A charter has been granted in the name of the Arkansas River Navigation company. Thursday morning it was decided by the stockholders to send Jas. Hill and Maj. W. M. Sleeth east for the purpose of purchasing the power boat, and enough lighters to form a fleet. They left on the afternoon train. The flat boats will be built as quickly as possible, capable of carrying thirteen tons of flour each. Messrs. Sleeth and Hill are in the east negotiating for the power boat.

Since the construction of the canal, our boom has been rapid and substantial.

Arkansas City Republican, December 20, 1884.

THE CANAL ROLLER MILLS was built about three years ago by Mr. V. M. Ayres. He is the pioneer in the mill business on the canal. He was the first to utilize Arkansas City’s water power. He erected first a combination mill of burrs and rolls and had a capacity of 125 barrels. Lately owing to his brisk trade, he enlarged and remodeled his mill into the complete roller system, including all the latest improvements. By this improvement the capacity of the Canal Roller Mills was almost doubled. They now rank with the best flouring mills of the state. Their new facilities also created a better grade of flour, and now they are turning out flour second to none manufactured in the southwest. Mr. Ayres’ leading brands are Roller Patent, Venus or Half Patent, and Zenith. As the result of Mr. Ayres making these grades of flour, it has given him a name in the principal cities of Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, and the Indian Territory, as being one of the leading millers in the southwest. In these states he does a mammoth wholesale business.


Winfield Courier, December 25, 1884.

Millers Convention. The millers of this and adjoining counties met in convention at the Brettun House in this city Tuesday and, we understand, put flour down in harmony with surrounding circumstances, making a discount of twenty-five cents on the hundred pounds. They also talked over the Arkansas River navigation scheme. A boat drawing ten inches of water and 15 x 75 feet in size will be put on as an experiment. If small steamers can be made to pay, they will try larger ones.

Arkansas City Republican, January 3, 1885.

We copied an item from the Courier last week stating that the millers in convention had lowered the price of flour 25 cents per hundred pounds. Frank Beall says it is a false report. Flour is more likely to go up than down.

Arkansas City Republican, January 3, 1885.

The REPUBLICAN would like to see the steamer to be used on the Arkansas River by our millers named the “Gates City,” which is appropriate because Arkansas City is the “Gates City” to the Indian Territory, the same as Kansas City is to Kansas.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, January 24, 1885.

TO NAVIGATE, IS WHAT THE MILLERS HAVE DECIDED TO DO WITH THE ARKANSAS. But 60 Days to Expire Until Our Denizens Are Visited By a Real Genuine Shallow Water Steamer. One and All sanguine that the Arkansas will be Made Navigable On the Plan Proposed by Civil Engineer Moorhead. Mr. Moorhead Goes to St. Louis to Order the Construction of A Propelling Boat; WHICH WILL BE HERE IN 60 DAYS.

Tuesday Ben. Woods, of Winfield, representing Bliss & Woods, came down and with the stockholders in the navigation company here, held another meeting in the parlors of the Leland Hotel. For some weeks they have been investigating the Arkansas River, and on the day mentioned above crowned their endeavors by issuing a decree for T. S. Moorhead to proceed immediately to St. Louis and order the construction of a shallow water steamer. The steamer will be used in propelling lighters loaded with freight down the Arkansas to Little Rock. Last Monday our Millers received plans and specifications of a shallow water steamer, from a St. Louis firm, which were adopted at the meeting Tuesday with the exception of a few slight changes. The plans adopted are as follows. The steamer is to be 75 feet in length and the beam 15 feet. The hold will be three feet. It is to be a stern-wheeler with two engines of 70 horsepower. Without cargo, it will draw less than 12 inches of water. The engine room at the rear and quarters for the crew and the pilot house at the front compose the compartments of the steamer. No accommodations will be made for passenger traffic. Mr. Moorhead will be in the east until the steamer is completed. Then he will sail down the Mississippi to the mouth of the Arkansas, and thence up the river to the head of navigation: Arkansas City.

Mr. Moorhead is a thorough engineer; he has surveyed the river, finding 10-inches of water all the way down, and has pronounced it navigable, and now he proposes to verify his assertions. The steamer will be running the river trail, and the overhanging trees removed. Lighters will then be built on which the flour is to be conveyed down the river. When our steamer comes sailing up, it will be an “epoch.”

Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 29, 1885.

The “Nile of America” to be Navigated Sure. The Arkansas River Navigation Company, composed of Cowley’s millers and other prominent businessmen, held a meeting at Arkansas City last week, at which full plans were made for the construction of a shallow water steamer. Mr. B. F. Wood represented this city. Engineer T. S. Moorhead is now in St. Louis superintending the building of the boat. The steamer will be used in propelling flat-boats loaded with freight down the river to Little Rock. The Republican says:”The steamer is to be 75 feet in length and the beam 15 feet. The hold will be three feet. It is to be a stern-wheel with two engines of 70 horsepower. Without cargo it will draw less than 12 inches of water. The engine room at the rear and quarters for the crew and the pilot house at the front compose the compartments of the steamer. No accommodations will be made for passenger traffic. Mr. Moorhead will be in the east until the steamer is completed. Then he will sail down the Mississippi to the mouth of the Arkansas, and thence up the river to the head of navigation—Arkansas City. Mr. Moorhead is a thorough engineer. He has surveyed the river, finding 18 inches of water all the way down, and has pronounced it navigable, and now he proposes to verify his assertions. The steamer will be run up the river first and the overhanging trees removed. Lighters will then be built on which the flour is to be conveyed down the river. “When our steamer comes sailing up, it will be an epoch.”

Arkansas City Republican, February 7, 1885.

Engineer Moorhead has contracted for the steamer. Tuesday our millers received notification of the fact.

Arkansas City Republican, February 7, 1885.

Thief at the Door. Since it takes 2½ bushels of wheat to make 100 pounds of flour, after being tolled, and the flour selling at $3 per 100 lbs., how is it that wheat commands only 60 cents in the market here, the wheat costing $1.25 and selling for $3, leaving a net gain of $1.75 on 2½ bushels, giving the millers 70 cents a bushel on the wheat, besides paying for grinding. This kind of discrimination is unjust and ruinous to the producing interests of the country, in favor of a class who have always been a scourge to the country. We have tried to bear it patiently in the hope the better order of things would come around after awhile, but it is waxing worse and worse.

When I took 140 lbs. of wheat to William in the good old times of steam milling and lost a sack costing 35 cents (the miller swore I never took one) and got 50 lbs. of flour that would make any man blush but a miller, I thought it rather rough; but great Jerusalem! Think about selling your wheat at from 40 to 50 cents per bushel and taking it in flour at $3, per 100 lbs., it will net you nearly 21 cents per bushel for your wheat at the outside figure.

Sometimes it looks to me as though all the evils strike us at the same time—Cleveland is elected President, wheat is very low, and money is very scarce, and the old evil genius has not been chained. It looks to me as though there might be a combination of millers, grain dealers, and bankers (if there is not I suggest it for their benefit) to gobble up the products of the country, at their own, and ruinous prices; as, for instance, the miller could afford to pay the grain dealer, say, 2 cents a bushel for buying wheat (the miller reserving the right to fix prices) and take it immediately from the dealer, so he would have 2 cents a bushel simply for buying. This would pay very nicely. Again, he could afford to divide with the banker by paying him interest on his money while it lies idle in the vaults; so that the producer can get no relief from the banks, and the inevitable is, dire necessity compels him to sell his grain to them at their own price. Again, we notice there is very little wheat being shipped out of the country, but on the contrary, the millers are shipping it in, and in my opinion it must cost them more than they are paying for it in our market; but at the same time, it is money in their pockets because it enables them to rob at home.

I ask you, farmers, if you should patronize these fellows; perhaps you do not see the way clearly, but there is a way out of this thing and that with a vengeance. Now, I submit that this thing ought to stop. HOMO.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 14, 1885.

An Answer to Homo. A correspondent in the REPUBLICAN of February 7th, who signs himself “Homo,” seems to think a flouring mill equal to a gold mine. He says that 2½ bushels of wheat at 60 cents costs $1.35 when any school boy knows that at the above rate it would be $1.50. He further says that the flour brings $3.00 per one hundred pounds. His knowledge of milling is evidently as limited as his knowledge of figures, as the percent of $3.00 flour made of 2½ bushels of wheat is so small that if Homo was placed on an allowance of the same for his daily bread, he would have less time to write about a business that he knows nothing of; but would be otherwise engaged in hunting up material to fill up on. He does not tell his readers that in the process of milling this 2½ bushels of wheat that there is four grades of flour made, the whole not averaging $2.00 per hundred pounds. To the miller again he says in the good old times he took 140 pounds of wheat to a steam mill and lost a sack costing 35 cents. The mills of Arkansas City give the farmer 35 pounds of choice fancy flour for one bushel of good wheat, thereby losing 30 cents per bushel. The miller who swore that he did not steal Homo’s sack did so thinking he would come out even but got left after all. The millers do not try to discriminate against the producer of this part of the country; they pay the farmers very near and sometimes more than Kansas City prices for wheat. This is why the wheat is not shipped out of the country and gives the farmer 10 to 15 cents more per bushel, which would otherwise go to the railroad; but most of the time the millers find they can buy wheat in outside markets, ship it in, paying freights on same, and get it for less than they can buy it for on the streets of Arkansas City. Homo also loses sight of the fact that wheat in this country is very trashy and loses from 5 to 7 pounds per bushel, which is a dead loss to the miller. He tries to convey the idea that millers are trying to rob the farmers. Does he judge the millers by himself? Farmers have been known to try and rob the millers by putting musty and inferior wheat in the bottom of sacks and a little good wheat on top, thinking they would get the same price for all. Does a farmer blush at such a thing? Will Homo see that the one evil genius is chained? Now if Homo thinks a mill is a gold mine, he can now have the opportunity to buy all the mills in Arkansas City at much less than cost with all the golden opportunities thrown in. TELEPHONE.

Arkansas City Republican, February 14, 1885.

                                                         The Wheat Market.

M. M. Price & Co., Chicago commission merchants, make the following comments on the wheat market in their weekly circular, which will be read with interest by our farmers and dealers generally.

“Wheat has again commanded the largest share of attention, and while we open and close the week at just the same prices, every day showed a fair amount of activity, with prices varying from ¾ cents to 1½ cents per bushel. In fact, it was another scalper’s market, where the quick trader, whether he bought or sold, could hardly help making a profit. The market is certainly a very nervous one, and quickly responds to the slightest rumor, as on Tuesday last the cable that the English cabinet was in secret session over Egyptian affairs, being construed to mean war, changed the market from a dull to a very active one, and sent prices up 1½ cents per bushel. Receipts at many of our milling centers are running very light, and millers are becoming uneasy about their supplies. The secretary of the Minneapolis exchange estimates that out of a crop of 63,000,000 bushels raised in Dakota and Minnesota, fully 50,000,000 have already been marketed; yet they have eight months until another harvest. The result was, the Minneapolis millers advanced the price of wheat a further 2 cents per bushel. St. Louis is also excited, especially on low grade wheat, which is wanted by the millers, and is quickly picked up, the market advancing 7 and 8 cents per bushel in the past two days. Kansas also falls into line, wheat that would not sell for over 35 cents a month ago, and even today is not worth over 50 cents to ship to this market, sells readily to their home millers at 65 cents, so that all around us there is evidence of the crop giving out. The deficiency in the stocks of wheat and flour, in the principal cities of Europe on the 1st of January, compared with same date last year, is estimated as follows: Great Britain 13,000,000 bu., France 10,000,000 bu., Germany, Holland, Belgium, etc., 5,000,000 bu.; total 28,000,000 bus., while there is an increase in the visible American supply of only 8,000,000 bu. Thus there is “in sight” in the store houses of Europe and America today, 20,000,000 bu. less than at the same time last year, and if we add to this the estimated reduction in stocks of flour, said to be equal to 10,000,000 bu. of wheat instead of having, as many suppose, a large surplus in sight, we are actually 30,000,000 bushels short of last season, and the lightest for several years. But even were our stocks as large as some people would have us believe, we must not forget that our home consumption averages nearly 800,000 bushels per day, so that large as our visible supply seems to be, yet it is only equal to a little over five weeks requirements of our home wants and exports on present basis.”

Arkansas City Republican, February 21, 1885.

                                                       A Reply to Telephone.

Editor Republican: A party signing himself “Telephone,” makes a defense of the millers, through the columns of your paper, against another correspondent signing himself “Homo.” Now, whether “Telephone” or “Homo” is the best mathematician, or whether the farmers or the millers are the most honorable men, is not the question, but it is whether the price of flour in this community is not a grinding monopoly. “Telephone” says the profits on $3.00 flour made from 2½ bushels of wheat is so small, “Homo” would have to find some other employment to earn enough to fill up on, if he had to depend on it for support; and further, that out of this 2½ bushels four grades of flour are made; and that the mills of Arkansas City give the farmer 35 pounds of flour for a bushel of wheat; and we are also reminded that Kansas wheat is very trashy, and thereby causes a dead loss of from 5 to 7 pounds per bushel to the miller. Now, we know that with the old style of grinding, the better grades of flour were far the largest percent, and why this should be reversed now, when it is claimed that the new process makes more and better flour than the old, will have to be explained by some higher intelligence. “Telephone” says the millers give the farmers 35 pounds of flour for a bushel of wheat, which sounds pretty liberal indeed; but we remember an old neighbor who when his grist was delivered wanted to swap it back for the toll. As to the flourish about trashy wheat, I have sold many thousand bushels, and always found the miller to estimate the amount of waste in some way to make the wheat equal to first quality. In my native state of New York, one-tenth was the legal rate of toll, and custom mills did well at that; now is it possible on that basis to lose anything in selling flour made from 60 cent wheat at $2.00 per cwt., or even less? Two and one-half bushels at 60 cents is $1.50, this would leave a balance of 50 cents; add to this the bran and shorts, 52 pounds, worth about 40 cents, and you have 90 cents margin. This rate would give $1.76 margin on the barrel. Now let anyone go to the dealer in this city and if he can find any flour at that price, he can find what I cannot, and can find but little at $2.50, and that little is not warranted; but plenty at $2.90 to $3.00. Now, add the difference to $1.76 and you have a margin of $2.50 on the barrel of 197 pounds. This estimate is based on the lowest priced flour found in the city. We can say that we have known millers who would indeed have thought they had “a gold mine” at such a margin. But we can go further, for we know that 4½ bushels of wheat will make a barrel of as good flour as is to be found in this market, and this too, by the old process, and the new ought and does make more and better flour than the old. And further, we know that flour made in this city has been sold continuously at 25 cents a sack less than the same brands were sold for here, and hauled a distance of 20 miles or over by wagon transportation—$1.00 loss per barrel than sold at home. S. W.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 28, 1885.

COMMUNICATIONS. EDITORS REPUBLICAN: Noticing several communications in your paper relative to the milling industry and local flour market of this place, I have taken the trouble to give this matter a thorough investigation, strictly upon its merits, to see if “all is gold that glitters.” The result I submit for the consideration of “Homo” and “Telephone & Co.,” whose bone of contention seems to be our local flour market and excessive profits on milling, as charged in the general indictment. Well, we find that flour and mill stuffs are high here compared with the low price of wheat, and we find also, that they must of necessity continue so, under the present rates and system of hauling, or the milling industry of Arkansas City must be abandoned.

We find that millers’ prices are one thing, and brokers’ and dealers’ prices are another. Yet, thoughtless and uninformed parties charge it all to the millers, which tends to place the latter in a wrong position with people who have no knowledge of manufacturing and wholesale merchandising and the enormous expense attendant upon all such enterprises. These cranks, who have been lead on by disgruntled local dealers without a nickel invested, cry monopoly louder than Butler and try to discourage local development and enterprise; not with malice, but through ignorance of the results of such agitation. Is it not time to call a halt, before the “pride of Arkansas City” is driven upon the beach of bankruptcy, mouldering monuments of the pluck and enterprise of our best citizens?

The output of the mills is about 600 barrels per day; operating expenses $110. The local market, consuming about 40 barrels per day, leaves 560 barrels for foreign shipment.

It costs the miller $3 per day each to deliver the goods at this market, at the following prices on 30 to 90 days time:

1st grade: $2.75.

2nd grade: $2.50.

3rd grade: $2.50.

4th grade: $2.25.

They pay spot cash for all wheat and expenses.

The 560 barrels are shipped to St. Louis, Arkansas, and Texas, and some is sold in Kansas when cost of production and freight can be obtained. The average in St. Louis today is $4.30 per barrel and that controls the other markets. The cost save wheat $3.00; sacks, 20 cents, freight 90 cents, commission 10 cents, inspection and storage 5 cents—or net 5 cents per barrel. $2.09 per barrel has been paid on shipments to Arkansas. To adduce further evidence would be “casting pearls before swine.”

We catch on to Homo’s “revenge” in the shape of the 500 barrel enterprise, and can assure him in advance that it will take a heavier mill than he dreams of to fill the capacious maws of the Missouri Pacific, Frisco, Iowa, Kansas, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe roads. No merchant mill can exist at this point until we have competing lines south, or an outlet by water. The roads demand a heavy import and export tariff, and no mill can do a continuous business here without importing three-fourths of the raw material, all the mill machinery, etc., and exporting six-sevenths of the manufactured article. We undertake to say and can prove it, that the railroads and brokers in flour are the only ones that have made money out of the present crop. Hence, the racket to divert public attention.

If mills are the bonanza Homo and Telephone & Co., represent them to be, why don’t they invest in the old stone mill on the canal that is now locked up for debt, and will not pay 50 cents on the dollar of its liabilities?

Business is one thing, gab another; the latter seems to be the stock in trade of these very (?) knowing gentlemen. OBSERVER.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 28, 1885.

Milling Agents. We suspect “Telephone” is the man that announces the geese as they come into market. Wheat has dropped. We conclude he acknowledges the charge of combinations as being true spoken of in our previous article. A great shame is that our article was penned fore the advance in wheat and was based on the theory of 50 cents a bushel. Whether it was our mistake or a typo, we do not know. We never had any such idea as that a mill was a gold mine, but a steal mine. We do not claim to be wise in this thing; it looks to us that a man, though a fool, need not be mistaken about it. It is useless for me to contradict your statement about the price of flour, it is too apparent to need contradiction. We are aware that under the new system of grinding, they make different grades of flour, and more of it, but our article was based upon the old system of grinding straight; it would give 100 pounds of flour from 2½ bushels of wheat, after being tolled (not stole) which, at present price of flour, would be worth $3.00. If Telephone knows so much about milling, why does he not show us in figures how much flour a bushel of wheat will produce? I reckon it about thus. Taking wheat on an average: cleaning, 2½ pounds; bran, 8¾ pounds; flour 40 pounds. Total: 60 pounds. I know that some wheat will clean more, but in my experience wheat that cleans five bushels in one hundred is very foul. We can produce evidence of the fact (if we can find our witness and we think we can) that Mr. Woodyard made over fifty pounds of flour from a bushel of wheat on Newman’s mill. I cannot see how you reckon a loss of 30 cents on exchanging 35 pounds of flour for a bushel of wheat, except it be in buying the wheat and selling the flour; 60 pounds of wheat would weigh 45 pounds and 100 pounds of flour would weigh from 90 to 95 pounds.

We think we can cite cases where the millers paid more for wheat up the railroad and shipped it in than they were paying for the same wheat at home.

Well, we are frank to say that the old demon has been a source of trouble to us at home and abroad, but we have been trying with all the powers of our better nature to chain him, but we have not succeeded very well; he still “goes about like a raving lion seeking whom they may devour.”

We are aware that farmers are not all honest, but that is no reason why you and I should be dishonest. We do not try to deceive any person or take advantage of them for gain. We have no desire to engage in milling if it is necessary to pursue the course millers do in this country.

There is one thing more I wish to speak about and that is the deception practiced in grading wheat.

It is currently taught here that we do not produce No. 1 wheat in this country, and in referring to Kansas City prices, they quote No. 2 red winter wheat as the quality of our best wheat, when in reality No. 2 red winter wheat as quoted in the Kansas City prices current is a 3rd grade of wheat. Our wheat grades No. 1, No. 2 (quoted as No. 2 soft winter in Kansas City prices current) and No. 3, etc., No. 3 being No. 2 red winter wheat as quoted in the Kansas City prices current. Hence, you discover the deception.

I have known farmers guilty of some foolish things, but never saw anything to compare with the practice of selling your wheat to the lowest bidder. Grain dealers from Little Rock, Arkansas, have made many dollars for the produce, and they are the only competition we have on wheat in our markets. Many farmers have allowed these fellows to slip behind them  and “take the wheat at the same price.” Shame on the farmer who will be guilty in any such way—it is literal suicide.

While we are complaining we had just as well disgorge at once and be done with it, so I will not add that I never knew such a rage for robbery and swindle in my life as is being practiced in this country. It is not confined to one department of business alone, but the infection is wide-spread, reaching country and city alike. What a comment! Should we not pause and think?

Now we submit that Arkansas City for the sake of her own prosperity and good name, should put in city scales and authorize an honest and competent person to preside over them. We think this thing should be done promptly. The old saying is to put a thief to catch a thief, and under the present manipulations it might be hard to do otherwise; but by the grace of God, try it once at all hazards. HOMO.

Arkansas City Republican, March 7, 1885.

Bliss & Wood, of Winfield, came down to see our millers Thursday.

Arkansas City Republican, March 21, 1885.

Yesterday forenoon Bliss & Wood, the Winfield millers, came down to hold a meeting with the members of the Arkansas River Navigation Company here. The meeting was held at the residence of John Landes.

Arkansas City Republican, April 18, 1885.

Messrs. Landes, Ayres, and Searing attended the Millers Convention at Winfield Thursday afternoon.

Arkansas City Traveler, May 20, 1885.

New Milling Enterprise. We learn from Mr. D. P. Marshall, Secretary of the Farmers’ Co-operative Milling Exchange, that most of the capital stock ($75,000) has been subscribed for, and an assessment made to start operations. The company propose to construct and operate a flouring mill, in this city, on the co-operative system, thus making the farmer his own miller, and substituting identity of interest for the antagonism that generally divides the two classes. The directors are thirteen in number, the majority of them being chosen from the best known businessmen of our city and other portions of the county. A site for the mill will be selected on the canal, and work of erection shortly commenced. We commend the energy of the parties concerned in the enterprise, as it will secure to the farmers a better market for their grain, and will add another important industrial institution to the city. God helps them who help themselves.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 23, 1885.

F. M. Webber and wife are over from Elk Falls. Mr. Webber was present for the Millers’ convention.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 23, 1885.

John Landes, V. M. Ayres, and C. H. Searing represented Arkansas City in the Millers’ convention at the Brettun today. Mr. Searing was accompanied by his wife.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 23, 1885.

G. F. Hargis was in attendance at the Millers’ convention today from Wellington.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 23, 1885.

MILLERS’ CONVENTION. The regular monthly meeting of the Southern Kansas Roller Mill Association was held at the Brettun House today. Arkansas City, Elk Falls, Wellington, Augusta, and this city were represented. Flour will probably go up. The fifteen cent raise in wheat will need an offset.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 30, 1885.

The following letter has just been received by Messrs. Bliss & Wood. Score another for Winfield and our enterprising millers.


At the World’s Exposition at New Orleans, your entry for the “best barrel of flour from winter wheat by patent process,” was accorded the first premium, $10. Under the rules, any exhibitor awarded a money premium may commute the same for a diploma or a medal, designating the class of premium which has been awarded, having an equal money value. I am now working up my report for Division J, Department of Agriculture, in which your entry was made, and desire you to indicate your preference as to a token of award as provided in the said rules. An early answer is desired. Truly,

            G. C. BRACKETT, Division J., Department of Agriculture, World’s Exposition.

The gentlemen will choose the medal. This award was made alone upon the merits of the flour, as Messrs. Bliss & Wood expended not a cent for any display. This was “Winfield against the world,” and as usual in every competition in which Winfield takes a hand, she takes her place at the head of the procession.

Arkansas City Traveler, June 10, 1885.

T. S. Moorhead started from St. Louis yesterday with the steamboat designed for navigation on the Arkansas River. The vessel is of light draft, drawing but twelve inches, 75 feet long with 16 feet length of beam, and cost $6,000. She is named the “Kansas Millers.” Several steel barges, which she is designed to propel, accompany the vessel as towage. If the navigation of the river shall prove a success, as its projectors feel confident, the problem of cheap freight is solved.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 13, 1885.

Arkansas City Determined to Celebrate the Glorious Fourth of July.

Last Monday evening a citizen’s meeting was held in Highland Opera House to take steps toward preparing for the Fourth of July. A committee was appointed to solicit funds and the meeting adjourned. Thursday evening the adjourned meeting convened with Judge Sumner presiding, and Judge Kreamer as scribe. The soliciting committee reported they had received subscriptions to the amount of over $500. The report was accepted and the committee instructed to solicit more funds in order that Arkansas City may have the celebration of the Southwest.

A general arrangement committee of fifteen persons was appointed, consisting of Archie Dunn, R. E. Grubbs, C. R. Sipes, W. D. Kreamer, Capt. C. G. Thompson, W. D. Mowry, John Daniels, W. J. Gray, Ed. Pentecost, J. L. Howard, Al. Daniels, W. M. Blakeney, Robt. Hutchison, Col. Sumner, and Mayor Schiffbauer.

This committee was empowered to attend to everything pertaining to the celebration. After the appointment of this committee, Mayor Schiffbauer arose and told the audience that he had been requested by Messrs. Searing & Mead to announce that they were in receipt of a dispatch from T. S. Moorhead saying that the steamer, The Kansas Millers, sailed out of St. Louis June 10 for Arkansas City and that it would be here positively by July 4th, or burst a boiler.

This speech created a great deal of enthusiasm and right then and there the meeting determined that Arkansas City should have the biggest celebration ever known to the southwest. Other speeches were delivered by citizens present after which the meeting adjourned with instructions to the committee on general arrangements to meet in the council chamber last evening to determine who shall be the orator of the day. It is intended to try and secure Robt. T. Lincoln, secretary of war under Arthur, for this purpose. Music will be plentiful that day. In all probability the four bands of southern Cowley, consisting of the Buckskin Border Band, Mechanics’ Independent Silver Cornet Band, The Cyclone Band, and the cornet band of Bolton Township, will furnish the delightful strains. A rip-roaring good old time will be had and don’t you forget it. The amusements of the day will consist of a slow mule race; sack races; greased pole climbing; dancing; speeches; fireworks at night; drilling by the Arkansas Valley Guards; and riding on the Kansas Millers. Everybody from far and near are invited to come and celebrate Independence day.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 13, 1885.


The “Kansas Millers” Will be Here for a Certainty July 4, 1885!

She Left St. Louis, Tuesday, June 9, for the Mouth of the Arkansas.

About 25 Days Will Elapse Ere the “Kansas Millers” Will Put in Port at Arkansas City.

Let People From All Parts of the Country Come and Enjoy Themselves, July 4, by Taking a Ride on our Steamer.

Judge Bonsall received a letter Tuesday from T. S. Moorhead, at St. Louis. Mr. Moorhead is the gentleman who went to bring the steamer up the “Nile of America.” By permission of the Judge, we reproduce this letter in our columns.

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, June 7, 1885.

DEAR BONSALL: We are here, and, as per Globe-Democrat of today, will leave foot of Morgan Street, near bridge, for Little Rock, Ft. Smith, and Arkansas City, Kansas, Tuesday, 9th. Our boat is called the “Kansas Millers,” is a snug little craft, and will do the work no doubt by river. The distance is 1,595 miles; 500 miles by river to mouth of Arkansas. We can make that in five or six days, and the 1,000 miles on Arkansas will take about 20 days. We may do better or worse. We will get there on the 4th if possible or before.

Respectfully, T. S. MOORHEAD.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 27, 1885.

News from the “Kansas Millers.”


V. M. AYRES, Esq.: DEAR SIR: We landed here at 4 p.m. We will be in Ft. Smith in three days—the distance by river is 255 miles and 350 to Gibson. Unless we are delayed by some unavoidable circumstance, we will land in the Walnut River in nine days—about July 1. We make 6 to 8 miles per hour against the current. Respectfully, T. S. Moorhead.

                                                    SOUTHWARD WE GO.

         Winfield Will Lock its Doors and Hie Away to Arkansas City for the Fourth.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 2, 1885.

The matter of Winfield going down to Arkansas City, in full force, to soar the Great Bird of Independence, is assuming definite proportions. Our reporter, on consultation with a number of our merchants, finds them ready and anxious to close up and go. This is the proper thing to do. The great custom and desire of people everywhere to “go somewhere” on this National Holiday is too great to be curbed. Arkansas City is a part of our grand county, has made big preparations for a glorious celebration, and it is right and proper that Winfield should respond to her invitation. The Democrat says Robert T. Lincoln will deliver the oration without fail. A large excursion train will leave Wichita at 6 a.m., taking on excursionists as they go down. Several coaches will be reserved for this city. It will leave A. C. at 11 p.m. The fare will be one price for the round trip. Let the Winfield folks secure the Courier Cornet Band and go in style. Chief Fire Marshal Clark informs us that our department will go with skeleton paraphernalia and full uniform. The Juvenile Band has already been secured by A. C., and Tony Agler will exhibit his menagerie. The steamer, “Kansas Millers,” will make regular trips up and down the Arkansas River, and everyone, from the small boy with toy pistol and one suspender, to the big country man with his hundreds of acres and a mortgage on his home, can all ride free. Several huge balloons will ascend—giving all a free ride to the moon. We’ll be there, you bet.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 2, 1885.

THE A. R. STEAMER. The Arkansas River Navigation Company expects to have its steamer at Arkansas City as an attraction on the Fourth. Speaking of this boat, on the 14th inst., the St. Louis Globe-Democrat said: “A small tow-boat, intended for the upper waters of the Arkansas River, left this port recently for her destination, Arkansas City, Kansas. The distance she will have to travel before arriving there is over 1,400 miles. The boat was built at Carondelet, by Allen & Blaisdell, is 75 feet long, 15 feet beam, and 3 feet hold. The hull is built entirely of the best boiler steel, is provided with engines of the stern wheel type, 8 inches diameter by 42 inches stroke, with boiler of fifty horsepower.” She draws only twelve inches of water and is designed to go under a bridge with only twelve feet clearance. Attempts have been made heretofore to navigate the shallow waters of our upper rivers and smaller streams, but this is the first boat built, with abundant capital at hand, to develop the navigation in a proper manner.”

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 4, 1885.

A Novel Craft. Through the instrumentality of the Arkansas River Navigation Company, Arkansas City is gaining a widespread and enviable reputation. Nearly every exchange we pick up now-a-days contains a complimentary notice of the steamer “Kansas Millers” and Arkansas City. The latest we notice is in the Fort Smith Daily Tribune, which says:

“Under the above heading the Little Rock Democrat, of the 23rd inst., gives the following description of a little craft that was built to ply the waters of the Upper Arkansas.”

“A novel craft landed at our wharf yesterday. It was a diminutive stern wheel steamboat named ‘Kansas Millers.’ A Democrat man boarded her and found that she was 75 feet long, 10 feet beam, and was built on a steel barge shaped hull. Her papers say she was built at St. Louis the present year, is 21 tons burden, has capacity for 20 passengers, is required to have a master and pilot, one engineer, two crew. She has one boiler, two engines—has cylinders 8 inches by 3½ feet stroke. The captain is T. S. Moorhead, who is also principal owner; engineer, James Johnson. She carries two passengers, Dr. Hull, an excursionist, and ‘Robinson Crusoe,’ a traveling scenic artist. She left this morning for Arkansas City, Kansas, between which point and Ft. Smith she is expected to ply in the interest of the flour mills. As she does not draw no more than a wash tub, she will probably be able to do so.”

Arkansas City Republican, July 4, 1885.

Capt. Barnes, an old navy captain, came in from Howard City Monday. Capt. Barnes was here to see the “Kansas Millers,” and she had not come in. He went to meet her in a row-boat.

Arkansas City Republican, July 4, 1885.

Thursday noon the report was circulated on our streets that our steamer, the “Kansas Millers,” had arrived and was anchored in the Walnut near the mills. The 4th of July printing committee rushed down into our office and ordered 10,000 bills to spread the glad tidings that the “Kansas Millers” had come. Hackman were busy making up loads of parties to go down and see our new steamer. A representative of the REPUBLICAN was busy grinding his shears so as he could report the news in the latest style. Excitement ran high. When everybody was about ready to start for the wharf, word reached us that the steamer had not arrived; that there was a row boat anchored near the mills; that Dick Hess had learned this fact and in thinking the matter over, the row boat was enlarged to a full grown steamer and as he gave voice to his vivid imagination, the report became thoroughly circulated. Consequently, the 4th of July committee has a job at the REPUBLICAN office waiting to be distributed.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 11, 1885.


Anchors at Harmon’s Ford Bridge, July 8, 1885, at 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday afternoon Allen Ayres spread the glad tidings to the effect that the steamer had arrived. For a time it was hardly credited, but soon wagon loads of people were seen going to Harmon’s Ford. On arriving there we saw the long looked for steamer, the “Kansas Millers.” Capt. Moorhead, Fred Barrett, and “Robinson Crusoe” were there. The steamer left St. Louis June 13 and made good time when running a safe voyage, and surpassing the most sanguine expectations of Capt. Moorhead. She would have been here July 4, according to promise, but the drift wood and high water at Tulsa would not permit the steamer to go under the bridge. The railroad company are building a higher bridge, which is nearly completed.

The boat is a novel one indeed, and has to be seen to be appreciated. On several other occasions the REPUBLICAN has given a description of the steamer and it is as we have stated heretofore. In traveling, the steamer averages about seven miles per hour on the Arkansas. It has been practically demonstrated that small boats could run on the river to this point. We will now have a southern outlet. Barges will be built and the steamer will soon be towing great cargoes of flour down to the “tooth-pick.”

For a time the steamer will be used as an excursion boat until the steel barges are built. Fred Barrett will be in command and Capt. Barnes will be the pilot.

All the way up the river, the “Kansas Millers” made the best time of any craft. Sand bars were no hindrance. Capt. Moorhead tells us that any bar he ran onto, he either was able to go across or back off. It was impossible to stick the steel bottomed steamer. He was 20 days in traveling 1,791 miles, the distance by river from St. Louis to Arkansas City.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 11, 1885.

Jim Hill, who has been up constructing the K. C. & S. W. Railway, came home Thursday to view the “Kansas Millers.” He informed us that track was laid into Cowley County Wednesday evening. The grading is ten miles ahead of track laying.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 11, 1885.

Thursday afternoon an excursion was advertised to occur down the river on the “Kansas Millers.” The boat was to cast anchor at 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Immediately after dinner about 150 persons went down to the landing, but they met with disappointment. The engineer took a sudden notion he wanted to return home and left on the afternoon train. No other engineer could be obtained so the excursionists wandered back to the city down-spirited but hopeful.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 16, 1885.

ARRIVED AT LAST. The “Kansas Millers,” the steamboat of the Arkansas River Navigation company, of which Messrs. Bliss & Wood are members, arrived at Arkansas City yesterday, having come fourteen hundred miles from St. Louis, in charge of Capt. T. S. Moorhead. It anchored in the Walnut, at Ayres’ mill. At Tulsa, in the Territory, the high water and drift kept her from passing under a large railroad bridge and delayed her too long to reach Arkansas City for the Fourth. Her crew and passengers, besides the captain, were James Johnson, engineer; Dr. Hull, an excursionist, and “Robinson Crusoe,” a traveling scenic artist. The boat cost $7,000 laid down at Arkansas City; is of twenty-one tons burden; capacity for twenty passengers; requires a master and pilot, one engineer, and a crew of two. She draws ten inches of water, is seventy-five feet long, with fifteen feet beam, and has a steel, barge-shaped hull. The Navigation company expect to ply her between Arkansas City and Fort Smith in shipping flour. She crossed shoals in but four inches of water in coming up.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 16, 1885.


The Kansas Millers Practically Tested by the Arkansas River Navigation Company and a Cargo of Interested Citizens, Grain, Etc. Our Elongated Scribe Sandwiched In.

Cowley’s New Steamer A Big Success.

Through the courtesy of Mr. Spencer Bliss, representing Bliss & Wood in the Arkansas River Navigation Company, our elongated reporter hauled himself from his couch at 3:30 yesterday morning, and in company with Mr. J. W. Millspaugh and Prof. Davis, sped away behind Mr. Bliss’ bay chargers for the city of many “invalids” and much “medicine.” The object was to join the Navigation Company, composed of James Hill, Bliss & Wood, Searing & Mead, and V. M. Ayres, and leading citizens of the Terminus, in an excursion down the “ragin’ Arkinsaw” on the new steamer, Kansas Millers, as a practical test of its ability to master the sand bars and general “cussedness” of the American Nile. The hour of rising, though at first a severe shock to our delicate nerves, was such a charm that it will likely continue a life-time habit—if we have to sit up every night as on this occasion to do it. Dr. Evans and Mr. H. H. Hosmer were also among this bevy of early worms. It was a perfect morning; the tear drops of heaven had descended, making the air as soft and balmy as though wafted from the “fountain of eternal youth”—exhilarating beyond expression. A lovelier country can’t be found under the blue canopy of heaven than that lying between here and Arkansas City. And just now it teems with promises of abundant crops of corn and other prospective cereals, while the shocks of golden wheat and oats continually dot the landscape. All along the road are the houses of many of Cowley’s pioneers, and the evidences of their having laid up lucre where thieves can’t cabbage it—in numerous tasty and substantial improvements exhibited all around. Reaching Arkansas City at 7 o’clock, a destructive raid was made on the ever unexcelled Leland Hotel. The balmy atmosphere inhaled on the road down was so bracing to the invalids of our party that all noses were upturned at the thought of a regulator of interior departments—known in Arkansas City parlance as “medicine” venders. A man is mighty fortunate to be able to stave off the “quick and sure” miasma grip of the canal, on entering the Terminus. Being full of Leland substantials, we delivered ourselves to the tender mercies of Archie Dunn and were soon landed on the banks of the placid Walnut, just east of the city, in the terrible presence of a Kansas steamer—a real, live steamboat, whose shrill voice sounded “all aboard.!” With a recklessness only attributable to enterprise, two more Archimedean levers were here put among the excursionists: Judge McIntire, the venerable and able editor of the Democrat, and Dick Howard, the young, energetic, and talented faberizer of the Republican. The excursion party, aside from those mentioned, contained sixty of Arkansas City’s leading capitalists and businessmen, all the specially invited guests of Capt. Moorhead and the Navigation company. The trip was made for a thorough exhibition of the merits of the boat—to show thinking and enterprising men just what it could do. No ladies were along. They were reserved for a time when less business and seeming experimental danger were ahead. The boat is a surprise to all—exhibits clear through the deep faith and determination of its projectors. It is a steel hull structure, seventy-five feet long and fifteen wide. Its gross capacity is thirty-four tons, with twenty deck or steerage passengers. It has two high pressure engines with eight inch cylinders, one boiler thirteen feet long and three and a half in diameter, giving 60,000 pounds tensible strength. Its canvas-covered deck has one hundred chairs and its license limit to excursions not over forty miles down the river, is one hundred and thirty. She has pilot, berths, cookery, and all the requisites of a first-class tow steamer: life-boats, plank floats, cork life-preservers, etc., with stern wheel propeller. It drew but thirteen inches of water yesterday and when loaded to its fullest capacity, will draw only fourteen. It is managed by T. S. Moorhead, captain; Fred Barrett, mate; Samuel Clarke, formerly a machinist of Winfield, engineer; John Harrigan, fireman; H. P. Barnes, pilot; and Peter Yount, deck hand. James Hill, Spencer Bliss, C. Mead, and Allen Ayres represented the Navigation Company on this trip. At 8:05 the boat pulled out down the river for the land of the Noble Redskin. Prettier scenery can’t be seen in this section than greets the eye upon either bank as you glide down. The velvety verdure was broken here and there by high bluffs, and, after you get down the Arkansas some distance, by low banks, giving a prairie view for miles around. The broad Arkansas, with the air impeded by but little timber, affords a more exhilarating breeze. The trip is delightful—charms one accustomed only to the dingy den of business. Going down, the steamer made over fifteen miles an hour. The river was swelled about thirty inches, but plenty of picturesque sand bars adorned it. As a practical test, the boat left the channel several times and glided over bars on which not more than eight inches of water flowed. The bottom could be heard grinding along on the sand. Being of steel bottom there is no friction and it seems impossible to stick the little steamer. About as bad places as the Arkansas contains were passed over with perfect ease. If the boat should happen to get stuck, however, only the fore could strand, and the aft will draw it back. The first cargo ever sent down the Nile of America was on board: five cwt. of flour and fifty bushels of corn, unloaded at Gilbert & Newman’s cattle ranch, fifteen miles down. Thirty miles below Arkansas City, on the Kaw reservation, was found as pretty a grove as ever grew wild—a beautiful grassy incline, dotted with branching oaks, reminding one of some of the old Pennsylvania hillsides. Here the excursion landed and spent several hours, the principal of which was a grand feast which had been prepared by C. Burnett, of Arkansas City’s St. Louis restaurant. It was soon demonstrated that, in “setting up” such “grub” for the crowd, Capt. Moorhead had a government contract that threatened bankruptcy. Nothing but four life-boats and sixteen cork life-preservers saved the COURIER’s lean man. Unfortunately, there was no “medicine” on board, and Dick Howard, of the Republican, is probably now sleeping his last long sleep. Returning, a speed of about seven miles an hour was maintained, in a current much swifter than when status quo. About half way up, an anchorage was made in a shady nook, and toasts given to the “Kansas Millers.” Mayor Schiffbauer was master of ceremonies and Nate Snyder did the shorthand act. The Mayor voiced the warm interest of Arkansas City’s businessmen in this promising enterprise. James Hill, general manager of the K. C. & S. W. railroad and father of this steamboat scheme, showed up the great saving to Cowley County in freight rates, in the success of this barge line. The company propose to put $5,000 into a barge fleet. It will be composed of five steel barges, enclosed, and forty feet long and ten wide, each with ordinary capacity of twenty-five tons. They will ply them between Arkansas City and Fort Smith and Little Rock. Flour, meat, hay, etc., will be taken down and coal and lumber brought back. Flour, etc., can be taken down for $5 a ton, half what it now costs by rail, to the best market we can get. As good coal as can be found in Colorado and Pennsylvania can be bought at $2.50 per ton at Ft. Smith and lumber at prices to greatly benefit the consumer, laid down at Arkansas City. The daily expense of running this line will be twenty dollars. The boat cost $7,000 laid down at its destination, and with the barges, will show an investment of twelve thousand. Capt. Moorhead, under whose supervision the boat was constructed and brought up, said he had made a careful examination of the river all the way up and is satisfied, beyond a doubt, that it can be navigated with ease and profit to the company and people. The Captain takes great pride in this enterprise and shows an energy and knowledge of water most commendable. He says he can make the down trip to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, in four days, and return in six—three trips a month. He is convinced that in the near future two boats will be numerously plying the Arkansas to Arkansas City. The fifteen thousand dollars, appropriated and yet unused by Congress last winter for the improvement of the Arkansas river, will be applied for and promises to be forthcoming with other appropriations as soon as successful navigation is assured. Spencer Bliss, Judge Sumner, Judge McIntire, A. V. Alexander, and others made good speeches commendatory of the enterprise. The Navigation Company has divided its capital stock into 110 shares of $100 each. They were opened for subscriptions from those on the boat, and well on to $5,000, the amount necessary to construct the barges, was subscribed by H. D. Kellogg, J. H. Sparks, Ira Barnett, Herman Godehard, T. R. Houghton, Snyder & Hutchison, H. O. Meigs, Peter Pearson, Henry Endicott, Frick Bros., Wagner & Howard, S. F. George, C. H. Burroughs, A. V. Alexander, Mayor Schiffbauer, George Cunningham, Kimmel & Moore, Judge Sumner, and others. All were enthusiastic over the success, so far, of navigating the river.

On the boat is a queer character, a navigator and explorer who has been interested for years in the successful navigation of the Arkansas: L. F. Hadley, known along the river as “Old Robinson Crusoe.” He is a Quapaw Indian by adoption, having been with different redskin tribes since he was eighteen, and is known among them as “In-go-nom-pa-she.” Capt. Moorhead found him at Pine Bluffs, Arkansas; he wanted to come along and the Captain took him in. His early hobbies were scenic sketching and shorthand, and he is making a complete map of the river’s channel. His stay among the Indians has been of a missionary character, and his stories of Indian life, as given to the reporter, would make an interesting volume. “Robinson Crusoe” has made the Arkansas a study for years and has always been certain that it could be navigated. He is a native of Michigan and first got in with the Indians of Northern Michigan. In 1881 he came up to Arkansas City in the steamer, “Aunt Sally,” which many here will remember, under Capt. John McClary. It was an old wooden snag boat and of course a poor test. Then Crusoe mapped the river also. He is indeed an eccentric character, possessing an astonishing amount of self-acquired knowledge.

The barges will not be completed for forty days, during which time the “Kansas Millers” will make excursion trips down the river. Winfield people couldn’t spend a day better than in going down for such a trip. Captain Moorhead and the Navigation company were assiduous in attentions to the guests on this trip. And the reporter found in Engineer Clarke a most pleasant and instructive escort through the intricacies of the lower deck. Mr. Clarke is an old Mississippi boatman, a thorough engineer, and the Company made a good strike when they secured him permanently.

We shall not soon forget our first trip down the “ragin’ Arkinsaw” on a steamboat. The construction of this steamer is the inauguration of a great enterprise, and exhibits forcibly the characteristic “git up and git” of Cowley County men. Mr. James Hill, the father of the enterprise, and Capt. Moorhead, who planned and superintended so successfully the construction of the boat, are entitled to special credit. Mr. Hill would like to see three locks in the Walnut, letting the steamer come up to Winfield, which she could easily do with these adjuncts.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 16, 1885.

If the Arkansas River Navigation Company are good schemers and want to advertise themselves and Cowley County, they will get up an excursion down the Arkansas for the Cowley County editors and their wives and sweethearts. The cost would be small, the ride on the steamer, “Kansas Millers,” very pleasant, and the newspaper men would all turn out, witness the practical test, and give the enterprise a big boom. Put in your oars, boys. The navigation company merely need the matter suggested to them. We are certain the invitation will be forthcoming. To properly write up such an enterprise, the reporter must be there, you know.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 18, 1885.



The “Kansas Millers” Takes a Delegation of Businessmen Down the River Tuesday.

Monday an excursion on the “Kansas Millers” down the Arkansas by the businessmen was originated as the next day’s programme. Bright and early two bus loads of our citizens wended their way to the Harmon’s Ford landing and boarded the steamer. All together there were some 60 passengers. At 8:10 the steamer heaved anchor and in a very few moments we were out of sight of the many spectators who came down to see the excursionists start. We steamed down the river at a lively rate. In twenty minutes we were out of the mouth of the Walnut. On entering the Arkansas the speed of the vessel was increased and in a few minutes we were steaming along at the rate of 18 miles per hour. The passengers gave themselves up entirely to the enjoyment of the trip. All were inclined to be jolly and forget business cares one day at least. Cracking jokes, perpetrating harmless tricks, enjoying the beautiful trip down the Rackensack. The steamer had a canvas awning put up to keep out the scorching rays of the sun, and as the cool breezes came up the river, one and all felt it was good to be there.

At 9:15 we landed at the Grouse Creek ferry, about 20 miles downstream, to put off some freight which V. M. Ayres had shipped to Gilbert’s and Newman’s ranches. This was the first consignment of freight to the “Kansas Millers.” It consisted of 50 bushels of corn and several hundred weight of flour. The passengers, full of life, took the place of deck hands and soon had the cargo landed.

Once more we heaved anchor and steamed down the river about five miles, and landed in a beautiful grove on the Kaw reservation. When the steamer had been made fast, all clambered ashore, and ran and jumped like school boys. While ashore C. A. Burnett took advantage of our absence and in a short time had spread a picnic lunch. All ate their fill. It was a splendid bill of fare, and Charley and his efficient cook deserve mention for their efforts to refresh the inner man. After partaking of the bounteous feast and the remnants being cleared away, we steamed up the river for home.

Capt. Moorhead ran the boat across several sand bars to show the passengers that it was impossible to stick the steel-bottomed steamer. After this had been fully demonstrated, the passengers were called to order by A. V. Alexander and a meeting was held for the purpose of organizing a stock company to build steel-bottomed barges. Mayor Schiffbauer was chosen to preside and N. T. Snyder was chosen to be secretary. Mayor Schiffbauer made a few remarks stating what great advantages Arkansas City would gain by having navigation opened on the Arkansas. He stated that Capt. T. S. Moorhead informed him that coal could be bought in quantities for $2, and laid down in Arkansas City so that it could be sold by dealers for $5 or $6 per ton. It was good coal, better than that which we had been paying $8 per ton for. Over 12 tons of the coal had been burned on the “Kansas Millers” and out of that not a clinker had been found. He spoke also of lumber trade with Arkansas. Jim Hill next occupied the attention of the passengers. He was followed by T. S. Moorhead, Dr. Kellogg, Judge McIntire, and several others who spoke in glowing terms of the steamer and the navigation of the river. After the question of building barges had been thoroughly discussed, the meeting proceeded to subscribe stock. Shares were taken until over $2,000 had been subscribed. The sum needed was $5,000. The meeting adjourned then until 7:30 p.m., when they met in Meigs & Nelson’s real estate office to finish up the $5,000 stock company.

After the adjournment of the meeting, the crowd gave themselves up once more to enjoyment. At five o’clock we anchored at Harmon’s Ford. Getting aboard Archie Dunn’s busses, we were soon uptown. And thus ended a day of great recreation and profitable pleasure.


The sun was very warm coming upstream, compelling all passengers to seek shady nooks.

Alexander was the story-teller. He was not a success—cause audience went to sleep.

Spencer Bliss, Dr. Evans, and J. W. Millspaugh of Winfield were down and took in the excursion.

Frank Greer, of the Courier, and Prof. B. T. Davis, of the Tribune, were the representatives of the Winfield press and were busy all day with paper and pencil.

The REPUBLICAN office furnished the bill of fare cards.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 18, 1885.

NAVIGATION COMPANY. Searing & Mead, Wood & Bliss, of Winfield, V. M. Ayres and the Arkansas City Roller Mill Company compose the navigation company. V. M. Ayres is president and C. H. Searing Secretary. These four milling firms, having practicably demonstrated that the Arkansas is navigable by steamers on the pattern of the “Kansas Millers,” and having used $7,000 to further the enterprise already, naturally turn to the town most benefitted for assistance in the furthering of the enterprise. The directors are B. F. Wood, Maj. W. M. Sleeth, and James Hill.

Arkansas City Republican, July 18, 1885.

The grove along the banks of the Walnut River below the Harmon Bridge landing would, if properly cleaned up, afford an elegant park for picnic and excursion gatherings. At the landing, the “Kansas Millers” would be ready to take the picnic parties down the river.

Arkansas City Republican, July 18, 1885.

Judge Bonsall last Tuesday took three different pictures of scenes presented by the businessmen’s excursion. The first was of the “Kansas Millers.” Next was a scene on the bank down in the territory and the next was at meal time on board the steamer. Judge has the pictures for sale and those wanting one should call on him.

Arkansas City Traveler, July 22, 1885.

Our Steamboat Enterprise. The enterprise of the Kansas millers in building their steamboat to carry the product of their mills to a southern market, and return to this city with lumber, coal, and other merchandise, has been duly celebrated by the press of this region, and credit awarded the owners for their useful adventure. She was built in St. Louis and brought to this city by Capt. Moorhead, where she arrived two weeks ago. Since then the vessel has made a number of excursions down the river for the purpose of testing her steaming properties and to afford our citizens the novelty of a steamboat ride on their own rivers. These trial trips have been eminently satisfactory, the vessel making good time, and the engines working with ease and regularity. But the barges are yet to be procured, and the required amount of capital for their construction has not yet been raised. The intention is to have six of these vessels built, with a carrying capacity of 10 tons each, the aggregate cost of which will be $5,000. Two-thirds of this amount has been raised, and the balance will soon be subscribed.

Doubts are expressed by some cautious souls of this attempt to navigate the Upper Arkansas proving a success. They talk of low water and sand bars, and frozen streams, and all kinds of impediments. These difficulties will have to be faced, and the boat owners have made full allowance for their recurrence. During the driest period of the summer, the stagnant water will be so low that the vessel, light draft as she is, will have to lie up. In the winter ice at certain intervals will be apt to impede her passage, and then she must lose a few trips. But making ample allowance for all these drawbacks, there will be navigation for the “Kansas Millers” and other boats of her class, during six or seven months in the year, and this will content their owners. The Upper Ohio during the hot months becomes just as shallow as the Arkansas; and it is a stale joke in that country that the county commissioners are about to fence in the rivers to keep the cows from drinking them dry.

We believe it is an accepted fact that the seasons are changing along our main water courses owing to the diffusion of population. The theory seems now established that the cultivation of the soil promotes evaporation and thus increases the rainfall. This will give us a shorter dry season in the coming years, and most probably render the five or six months of suspended navigation in excess of the realized fact.

Aid may also be expected from congress in clearing the river bed of impediments. Indeed, there is now an unexpended balance of $15,000, as we are informed, appropriated for improving the Arkansas River, which may be rendered available, in whole or in part, for use within the limits of this state, now we have a steamboat navigating the stream, to render its expenditure justifiable.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 23, 1885.

AN EXCURSION. A number of our people, ladies and gentlemen, young and old, are very desirous of an excursion down the “Ragin’ Arkansaw” on the “Kansas Millers.” County Commissioner Walton has consulted with Captain T. S. Moorhead and has the promise of the boat for Thursday. Mr. Walton is also trying to arrange an excursion train down in the morning, but Mr. Ingersoll, of the Santa Fe depot, at the Terminus, is uncertain whether this can be done. A train to return at night is assured and the crowd can go down at noon. One hundred can be comfortably seated on the boat and one hundred and thirty is the limit. It would be a delightful, charming trip. The boat fare, just enough to pay expenses, will be 50 cents per capita, and the whole trip will not cost over $1.50 apiece. Mr. Walton will complete arrangements in time to duly advertise it in THE DAILY.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 23, 1885.

The Udall Sentinel puts in its oar for an excursion of several days on the “Kansas Millers,” for the Cowley County editors and their wives and sweethearts. It is certainly a grand trip and would furnish fine recreation for the tired knights of the faber and be of great benefit to the Navigation Company and the county generally. The company is favorable to it, and it will probably be arranged soon. The editors of the county, with their wives, would make a big crowd when gathered together—one to be proud of.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 23, 1885.

Capt. H. P. Barnes and Samuel Clarke, pilot and engineer of the “Kansas Millers,” came up from Arkansas City Monday. Capt. Barnes came up to see his old friend, Capt. John Lowry, with whom he steam-boated years ago on the Illinois river. Great stories are always insured when two old steamboat captains meet for the first time in fourteen years or more.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 25, 1885.

The “Kansas Millers” awakens the echoes near Arkansas City. It is the first steamboat that has ploughed the mad waves and sand bars of the Arkansas as high as Arkansas City. The trip up the river has demonstrated the fact that the Arkansas is navigable for such steamers as the “Kansas Millers.” This will open a direct connection south and will greatly benefit Cowley County. Burden Eagle.

Arkansas City Traveler, July 29, 1885.

On Monday evening the Kansas Millers made a moonlight excursion down the river, affording her passengers a delightful three hours’ ride. Yesterday afternoon four coach loads of excursionists, accompanied with a band, arrived from Winfield, and enjoyed the novelty of a steamboat ride.

Arkansas City Traveler, July 29, 1885.

Excursion from Wichita. We received a pleasant call on Saturday from Frederic W. Sweet and Sam F. Woolard, both of Wichita. These are energetic young businessmen, who for the purpose of making the people of the two cities better acquainted, have arranged for an excursion party of businessmen and their lady friends to spend a day here. Three hundred persons will compose the party, and a special train will carry them hither and home again. The hour of starting is set at 8 o’clock, and Arkansas City will be reached at 10. They have also chartered the steamboat for the day, and propose running short trips down the river. The fame of the saucy craft, the Kansas Millers, has been heralded through the state, and the curiosity of our neighbor towns has been piqued to see this much described boat. The excursionists will leave here at 8 p.m., arriving home two hours later. We bespeak for them a pleasant and profitable day’s outing.

Arkansas City Traveler, July 29, 1885.

Proposed River Trade. We regret to learn that Capt. Moorhead’s failing health has compelled him to resign his command of the Kansas Millers, and return to his former home in Milton, Pennsylvania, with a view to rest and recuperation. His engagement as surveyor on the Kansas City and Southwestern road brought him into intimate relations with our own citizens, and his estimable qualities and usefulness in enterprises of this nature led to his being placed in charge of the construction of our new steamboat. Those best acquainted with Capt. Moorhead part with him with regret, and trust that he will soon return with restored health. Capt. Alton, late of Ohio, has been engaged to take charge of the boat.

We understand it is the intention of the owners to employ the Kansas Millers till the 6th of August in carrying freight to the various agencies. On the date given she will be used by the Wichita excursionists. Then she will take a trip to Fort Gibson, carrying merchandise. Money has been raised to build the barges to form the vessel’s towage, and an order given to a Kansas City house to do the work. Thus early in September this pioneer in the enterprise of water carriage to the lower Arkansas, will be ready to tow the product of our mills to an eastern market, and bring back coal, lumber, and other bulky freight on her return voyage.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 30, 1885.

Chas. M. Leavitt, Our F. M., represented THE COURIER in the “Kansas Millers” excursion Tuesday. Some accuse us of a premeditated scheme to sink the boat. If it stands this test, we shall warmly advocate a still greater test—embracing Judge Bard, E. C. Seward, et al, with the whole “Fat Man’s Paradise.”

Arkansas City Republican, August 1, 1885.

The “Kansas Millers” took a load of freight down to Pawnee Agency yesterday, stopping at intermediate points. Searing & Mead sent flour; V. M. Ayres, flour and corn; and the Roller Mill Co., flour. Maj. C. H. Searing and wife, Mrs. H. Clevinger and little boy went as passengers. The boat will return in time to take care of the Wichita excursion.

Arkansas City Republican, August 1, 1885.

About 150 excursionists composed of the elite of Winfield came down Tuesday to enjoy a pleasure ride on the “Kansas Millers.” The steamer heaved anchor at 2 p.m. Everything went lovely until the boat started to return, when the pilot ran it on a sand bar. This happened twice. The boat did not get back to pier No. 1 until 4:30 a.m. All say that it was through the ignorance of the pilot that the boat became stranded. The fat man of the Courier was aboard and he was too heavy a burden. We acknowledge a call from Mr. Leavitt. He is a pleasant gentleman and we hope he will come again. A pleasant time was had by the excursionists with the exception of sleeping on the bar all night.

Arkansas City Republican, August 1, 1885.

Capt. T. S. Moorhead has sold his interest in the “Kansas Millers” to Capt. Alton.

Arkansas City Traveler, August 5, 1885.

That Moonlight Excursion. The Winfield excursionists had a rough experience on the river last week, when they stepped aboard the Kansas Millers to enjoy the romance of a moonlight ride. There were too many in the party, some of the excursionists had large avoirdupois, and the boat resented the invasion by getting hard aground. The Courier “fat man” was on board, and the lean editor left in the office; and he irreverently poked fun at his distressed brother. This is the way our neighbor laughs at our expense.

“Our folks, nearly one hundred and fifty of them, got home from the steamboat excursion down the “Ragin’ Rackinsack,” at 6:30 this morning, on the regular north bound freight. The trip was not as tranquil as expected—though the additional romance added spice to the trip and gave a very extensive view of the Nile of America. Then some fellows who hadn’t tampered with labor in many suns were made to work like beavers. The boat was too heavily ladened—a third more people on than should have been, every available space being filled. With 150 on board it was no wonder that the pilot and captain got “all broke up.” The boat stuck twice on sand bars and had to be roped off, staying four or five hours at each “stick,” the whole cargo helping to extricate it. The whole night, with its balmy breezes and silvery moon, was spent on the river, and the excursionists raked their craniums for amusements, succeeding finely. The Courier’s fat man hasn’t turned up yet—possibly buried in the sand of the “Arkinsaw,” but we look for him this evening, when he will give his history of the trip. The stranding of the boat can be easily explained, and augers nothing against the success of navigating America’s Nile. The Juvenile Band was a splendid attraction. The fine music was a source of most acceptable relief and enjoyment.

Arkansas City Traveler, August 5, 1885.

CANNOT BE GRANTED.   We mentioned in our report of the council proceedings, two or three weeks ago, an application made by the Millers’ Co-operative Exchange for aid in the construction of their proposed mill. Mr. Gant, who spoke for the delegation, said that Winfield had offered $20,000 in cash, a commodious and eligible site whereon to erect their buildings, and fuel free of cost for five years. But their articles of incorporation required the location of the mill in Arkansas City, and the majority of the stockholders preferred to have the enterprise come here. It was, in fact, an Arkansas City undertaking. He said further that a fund of $50,000 would be necessary to carry out the enterprise, and a donation not exceeding $15,000 from the city would put them in possession of the needed amount. On inquiry from Mr. Hight, the petitioner said a donation of $10,000 would fill their expectations and requirements. The matter was taken under advisement.

Since then a written answer has been given to the Millers’ Co-operative Exchange, signed by the mayor and council, denying the request on the ground that the money cannot be raised. Under a state law the city is not allowed to issue bonds to a greater amount than ten percent of the assessed value of the property. Bonds of $20,000 are now outstanding issued in behalf of the water power company, and $5,000 additional to provide a sinking fund. Recently the city voted $20,000 to be issued to the Kansas City and Southwestern railway, and this exceeds the limits imposed by law. An application to businessmen and property holders has been suggested, but the time is inauspicious for any such request. What steps the association will take, with this refusal before them, we are not informed.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 6, 1885.


Our F. M. on the “Kansas Millers.”

Sights and Incidents of the Winfield Steamboat Exercise.

Through the courtesy of Messrs. Bliss & Wood, our fat man procured a “dead head” ticket and joined the excursion down the muddy Arkansas last Tuesday. We left Winfield on the regular passenger train going south; our hearts were filled with gladness and our baskets filled with eatables that made the reporter drop all thoughts of trouble and feel like a school boy. We numbered ninety-five souls besides several children. We reached Arkansas City with care. Here the cars were run down to the second crossing below the depot, where we expected conveyances would be in waiting to take us to the river, but “nary one” was there, and half a mile of dusty road ahead that insured our landing on the “Kansas Millers,” but equal to the occasion, we took our lunch baskets in our hands and faced all difficulties by starting for the bridge east of town across the Walnut, where the “Kansas Millers” was tied up tight and fast. Vast volumes of smoke could be seen issuing from the smoke stack. Like all such picnics, each and everyone ran, of the notion that hurrying was the thing or we would get left. We soon reached the bank and viewed the Kansas wonder. As it has been described heretofore in this paper, it will not be necessary now. Getting on board about 1 p.m., we were joined by some twenty from the Terminus. We now numbered 120. Now commenced our troubles. The drinking water failed to come and, of course, after walking through the hot sun and sand, we felt a “leetle” like imbibing. However, all we could do was to smack our lips and imagine there was a dozen cases of beer on deck, instead of water. About 2 p.m., the water came, and we sailed out of harbor at once, and down the stream so merrily. Everything went all right going down. The reporter’s soul felt such joy as he has been a stranger to for a long while. We ran down at the rate of about twelve miles per hour, running twenty-five miles down the stream. We had been looking for some time for a landing place close to some shady nook, where we could land and go ashore and explore the mysteries of our lunch baskets. Some of us had been in such a hurry upon leaving home that our stomachs had been strangers to food since early in the morning. The reporter especially longed for the good time to come when some worthy individual would tap him on the shoulder and say lobsters, spring chicken, ice cream and cake, come along! And we wondered if the party would be scared to see how quick we would come. Finding no suitable place to land, we unfurled the table cloths and napkins and went to work. We partook of the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Parmer, Miss Rena Crampton, and Mrs. F. P. Nichols, four dinners in all, for which we are under many obligations. There was plenty to eat but little to drink. To be sure, the waters of the “Arkansaw” lapped the sides of our boat, and though water was all around us, we were perishing with thirst. Two or three ate this water—they parted it with a knife and swallowed without tasting. They reported some hours afterward a depressed, heavy feeling, like unto being weighted down by sand. About this time we struck for shore and quite a number landed in a shady place. It was found well stocked with the festive chigger and they (the excursionists), soon struck a B line for the boat, except one dude. We had fairly pulled out into the channel when we heard a piteous wail from the bank, and lo and behold, the dude was standing on the shore with a wild and haunted look on his countenance. We had to pull back and take him in, and this is where we got stuck—on a sand bar. Now our sticking troubles began and lasted off and on during the night. There was a colored deck hand, of the genuine southern type, that proved very handy. When we got stuck he would step off with a pole and wade around up and down the river for some distance. He did this probably to assure the passengers there was no danger of them getting into deep water and sinking. At least, we all felt that we were stuck safe and sure every time the “coon” took one of these walks. The capstan was in constant use with the trees along the shore. Several sand bars were torn up by the roots and were reported striking for the Missouri when last seen. If there had been any accommodations for sleeping, we could have got along first rate. As it was, we had to sit bolt upright all night, or stretch ourselves out on a board, and there was not much chance to sleep then, with the talking and laughing going on; and having no water made it worse, though water was found about 3 a.m., which alleviated our condition to a great extent. We reached the starting point at 5 a.m., Wednesday morning, and had to walk to the depot. We felt pretty well tuckered out, you can guess. The Winfield Juvenile band was along and discoursed sweet music. We had an organ aboard and had some good vocal music by E. F. Blair, A. F. Hopkins, Louie [Lewis] Brown, Mrs. Allen Ayres, Mrs. Cunningham, Mrs. Campbell, Mrs. C. A. Bliss, and Miss Lola Silliman, organist. The mills of Arkansas City were represented by the proprietors themselves. These gentlemen did everything they could, taking a hand at the capstan and working like truck horses. The Kansas Millers has made several trips when the river was much lower than now, and came up all right. We attribute the trouble to new officers. There was a new outfit in command, and, no matter how competent, necessarily they would have to have some experience with the channel of the river before running successfully. Again, we were too heavily ladened. No doubt this boat will run all right with the proper load. She has done it, and will right along. Though it was very hard to sit up all night, the jovial company caused the hours to pass away. The owners of the Kansas Millers made it as agreeable as possible to all on board. Though there were several things which were not in the programme, yet this was not the fault of the owners. The scenery as far as we went is only ordinary. Though the day was very hot, when the boat was in motion we got a good breeze. We don’t feel this morning as if we wished to excurt again for two or three days.


We walked to the—

The stream was very muddy.

We got stuck on a sand bar coming up.

There were too many captains aboard.

We want to go again as soon as we get well.

The band boys took dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Goodrich.

Ed. Pentecost dispensed ice cream and lemonade until it ran out.

Five ministers and the reporter were aboard—this was the trouble.

We advise the Wichita party to bring along some of “Adam’s ale.”

We were to be back to Arkansas City at 10 p.m., and take the train at 10:30.

The fat, heavy weights aboard are supposed to be the ones that stuck the boat.

Conductor Myers watched for our return until 1 a.m., and went home disgusted.

During the water famine Dr. Park was seen to step outside and drink a bottle of eye-water.

We had lots of good things to eat, but the water was some distance from shore that was fit to drink.

The ladies’ white dresses were spotted with black from the smoke stack, as well as the gentlemen’s clothes.

There was some talk of a moonlight dance, but the presence of five ministers and the fat man put a damper on it.

There was a mistake made in not having a sufficient supply of water put aboard when the boat left Arkansas City.

During the scarcity of water, some salt ice, left in the cooler, was found and devoured instantly. The cooler was not touched.

Joe Maus, of the Winfield Roller mills, showed the reporter many favors, as well as to others. Joe is a good man to have along.

The officers of the boat were: Alton, captain; Barnes, pilot; Clarke, engineer. Robinson Crusoe was aboard, but had no dog or gun.

Judge Gans sat in the center of the boat and held on to a rope during the entire trip. Since the Judge’s Chicago experience, he don’t believe in immersion.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 6, 1885.

In the last issue of the Telegram, the editor, alias “linked sweetness long drawn out,” makes the charge that our fat man was threatened with being lynched while the “Kansas Millers” was aground, the passengers having the erroneous idea that the avoirdupois of the F. M. sunk the boat. One thing; the spiritual shadow of the Telegram can congratulate himself on never being threatened with such a thing as sinking a feather. It is rumored around town that George has had the colic since the Fourth and he is not certain as yet whether it is the colic or the backache. If George is ever threatened with being lynched, it will be for pulling a hen roost, but never for sinking anything.

Arkansas City Republican, August 8, 1885.

The “Kansas Millers” returned Tuesday evening from her first trip down the river with freight. She had a safe and prosperous voyage. The passengers aboard had a pleasant time.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 13, 1885.

WICHITA EXCURSION. About two hundred Wichita people, filling four coaches, passed through on a special S. F. train Thursday morning to Arkansas City. The excursion was gotten up for a ride on the “Kansas Millers,” which will make short trips up and down the river. The A. C. folks had made big preparations to entertain their visitors in various ways. The big attraction was a second contest between the Wichita base ball club and the Terminus Borders, now claiming themselves the crack nines of the southwest. The purse was $100. Fifteen or twenty of our people accompanied the excursion from here.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 13, 1885.

The Winfield excursionists had a rough experience on the river last week, when they stepped aboard the “Kansas Millers” to enjoy the romance of a moonlight ride. There were too many in the party, some of the excursionists had large avoirdupois, and the boat resented the invasion by getting hard aground. The COURIER “fat man” was on board, and the lean editor, left in the office, irreverently poked fun at his distressed brother. Traveler.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 13, 1885.

LEAN BUT FUNNY NEWSPAPERDOM. The faber of Charley McIntire, the religious and funny man of the A. C. Democrat, emits some sparkling things occasionally. The following fits Charley as a competitor with Bill Nye, Alex Sweet, and other “phunnyistic” fellows.

“One more week and the Democrat will be six years old, and still we live. When we launched out into journalism, it was not done with a view of amassing a colossal fortune, for having been engaged in sticking type for ten years previous we had saved a pile, most of which we had invested in real estate in the shape of one town lot near the canal, which was sold for taxes. But with a good supply of cheek and an abundance of stick-to-a-tive-ness, we have managed to pull through and at the end of the sixth volume, we are still in possession of a wife, three babies, and a print shop, all our own, unencumbered by mortgage or debt. Although we have managed to keep our head out of water, we have not handled more of the dollars of our dads than could be taken out of our port by the Kansas Millers as one cargo; still we are not discouraged and expect to keep the Democrat on its pins until ‘death doth us part.’ But I can say without the least equivocation, mental reservation, or self-evasion whatsoever, that there is no big money in the newspaper business, and have decided after our six years experience that the best way for the average country editor to make his paper a success financially is to get his life insured and then die. The widow, with the insurance money, could ‘jine hands’ with the office foreman or devil and make newspaper business lively for a time. We think of trying this plan, and commend it to the boys generally.”

Arkansas City Traveler, August 19, 1885.

The steamboat Kansas Millers is reported stranded on a bar near Ponca Agency, with a load of flour aboard.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 20, 1885.


He Compares Cowley’s “Git Up and Git” to Indiana’s Poke-Easiness.

Enthusiastic Praises.

Mr. W. A. Pickens, one of the editors of the Spencer, Owen County, Democrat, and who, with his sister, spent the last few weeks here visiting his brother, Dr. F. M. Pickens, writes as follows to his paper.

“When the Creator put the finishing touch on the earth, he made Southern Kansas. Some of your Owen County readers may think the reports of the great prosperity of Kansas are lies gotten up by real estate men and railroad managers, but they are not. When you remember that Kansas took the premiums at the late World’s Fair at New Orleans on grains, on fruits, and on flour, you will not be surprised at the reports of her wealth that reach you. The best grains, the best fruits, the best flour in the world—that is the whole tale shortly told.

“The firm of Bliss & Wood, millers, at Winfield, handles over four hundred thousand bushels of wheat a year. This is not the only mill here. Ask your millers at Spencer what they handle and you may have some idea of the wheat product of this country. The leading grocery firm here handles over one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars worth of poultry a year. Ask your leading grocer at Spencer the amount of his business in this line. A few instances of individual prosperity and success will give you an idea of the general growth of wealth. I will take Owen County men. Wm. Bonnewell came to this vicinity about 1872. He came from near Vandalia and brought with him two teams and a small amount of money. His corn crop last year was 8,000 bushels; this year he estimates it at 10,000 bushels. John Cain came here from the same neighborhood a little later. Last year he had 1,560 bushels of corn and 800 bushels of wheat. This year he estimates his wheat crop at 1,800 bushels. He is only a renter and these figures represent only his share of the crops he has raised. I might give numerous instances like the above, but your readers who are used to the hills of Owen would not credit them. These things look unreasonable to the people in Owen County, but you must remember that there is scarcely an acre of ground in this country that is not tillable and that it is all richer than the best of your White River bottoms. The people here are public spirited and free with their money when it comes to any public enterprise. A few weeks ago the M. E. Church at this place decided to re-furnish and re-paint their church house and to buy a bell. It required $1,100. They raised the money by contributed subscriptions in less than a week. The other churches are equally well supported.”

Arkansas City Republican, August 22, 1885.

An Appropriation to be Obtained from Congress as soon as that Body Meets for the Improvement of the Arkansas River from Fort Gibson to Arkansas City.

It will be remembered by our readers that the REPUBLICAN published a letter in regard to the improvement of the Upper Arkansas a short time ago. The letter had been received by Mr. Moorhead and was from Mr. Taber. The following is another letter received in regard to the matter.


August 10, 1885.

Mr. I. H. Bonsall, U. S. C. C. Commissioner, Arkansas City, Kansas.

SIR: I am very glad to get your letter of the 5th. There is one matter that is specially acceptable, and that is your direct manner of presenting facts. Your letter will be of great service in connection with preparing estimates. There is one point that you will be pained to learn, but yet should know and that is there is now no money on hand especially appropriated for the reach from Fort Smith to Wichita, Kansas. The last of it was expended in accord with my predecessor’s plans in January last. There being no actual navigation above Fort Gibson, it could not be expended above there until the river was improved below. When I came into this district, there was only a small balance left, and I simply carried out my predecessor’s plans. It is a great pity that the “Kansas Millers” did not arrive about a year earlier. As it is now, it will simply require patience until congress meets. You are practically opening an entirely new question. Neither myself or my predecessors have dared lay very much stress on this stream of river, for there was no actual navigation; now all this is changed, and when I send my report of the survey on to Washington, I shall send with it matured plans for the improvement of this reach as far as Arkansas City at least. There should be no reason why an appropriation should not be made, as you can offer some of the grandest statistics I have ever received. The river has been made first class except a few shoals as high as Gibson from Fort Smith with the money to which you refer. There is now $6,590.61 available for the entire reach from Wichita, Kansas, to its mouth. This has been reserved for the snag-boat service on the lower river, which reservation has been approved by the Chief of Engineers. You will see that I may be able to use a little of this to give you temporary relief. None of this appropriation has been used anywhere else since the “Kansas Millers” passed Little Rock, or rather since I saw a notice in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat that such a boat was building. If you had only sent me word say last February of what was expected, I could have held some money. As it is, however, I was in duty bound to expend it where navigation urgently needed it. I am intensely interested in the new departure and you may depend upon my making good use of every argument you can give me. I have already sent a recommendation to the Secretary of War that the bridge at Tulsa be changed, this being based on Mr. Moorhead’s letter to said Secretary. Until Congress meets, little can be done. Everything favors an appropriation for I am able to say the river can be improved. The people demand an improvement and the commerce warrants it. I will try and spare a thousand dollars to fix the worst places. There is also a way by which arrangements can be made with the Secretary of War by which the citizens of Arkansas City can deposit to my credit at Little Rock, say $2,000, as a contingent fund. I have to reserve about this amount to care for property in case there should be no new appropriation. If the citizens are practically sure there will be, they can make this deposit and I will use up my own contingent. Then when the new appropriation comes along, and I have not drawn on the contingent, it reverts to the citizens. If I have been obliged to so draw, all that is drawn of course is used and only the balance will be returned. I am not allowed to spend any money in advance of an appropriation. This I believe gives you the whole scope of the question. I will visit you before writing my report. This is a large district and I have Fort Smith, Dardanelle, Batesville, St. Francis, and Pine Bluff to visit yet, where important matters wait my attention, before turning to you. A free interchange of thoughts, opinions, and views is earnestly requested. Respectfully Yours, H. S. TABER, Captain of Engineers.

Arkansas City, Kansas, August 17, 1885.

EDITOR REPUBLICAN: In connection with the above letter, I would suggest that a public meeting be called so that all persons interested in this matter (and every citizen of Cowley County is interested) can attend and take part, and that the ways and means of accomplishing this most desirable object be thoroughly discussed. Now is the time to give Cowley County such a shove ahead that all doubts as to her future will be a thing of the past. Make this river navigable and the future of Cowley County is assured.

The great need of Southern Kansas is transportation. Give us cheap freight rates and we can then successfully compete with the grain producers in Illinois and other points north and east of us. It will give us competition over nature’s highway, where there can be no pooling, as it is free to all. Depending upon railroads where combinations are formed and earnings pooled is folly when river navigation can be obtained. Keep this boat on the river until congress meets and prove that the river can be made useful, and then make an effort to have an appropriation for the permanent improvement of the river and this will accomplish the object in view. Let a public meeting be called at once, inviting all the farmers and businessmen of Cowley to attend and give the matter a fair discussion, and then let us all put our shoulders to the wheel and push this through. It can be done; all that is needed is united action. Most Respectfully, I. H. BONSALL.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 3, 1885.


Newsy Notes Gathered by The “Courier’s” Corps of Neighborhood Correspondents.


We are waiting, sweetly waiting, to greet the K. C. & S. W. surveying corps within the boundaries of our own beloved bend. Now should this road fail to materialize in this precinct, we will send our swine and maize down to Dixie on the “Kansas Millers.” We are willing to acknowledge our lung capacity, but if South Bend arises with all her civilized might, something will pop.

Arkansas City Traveler, September 16, 1885.

That saucy river craft, the Kansas Millers, returned to her wharf in this city on Friday with her cargo of flour undischarged. The vessel has been tied up somewhere near Stewart’s ranch, on the Ponca reservation, for the past month. The boys seem to have grown discouraged at the difficulties they encountered, so they turned round and came home with their errand unperformed.

Arkansas City Republican, September 19, 1885.

The Kansas Millers returned from her trip down the Arkansas last Friday. She only got as far as Ponca Agency when she struck a sand bar. Before she was gotten off, Fred. Barrett, the pilot, was taken sick and he came back to Arkansas City overland. The captain did not know hardly what to do, under the circumstances. Without a pilot he did not like to venture down the river, but when he did get a start down again, the engineer was taken sick with an attack of malaria. There was nothing to do but for the Kansas Millers to once more return to her home port.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 8, 1885.

V. M. Ayres & Co., Arkansas City millers, have made an assignment.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 14, 1885.

G. W. Cunningham, with a party of Nimrods, have chartered the Kansas Millers to carry them down the river to engage in a hunt in the territory. They expect to be absent about two weeks.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 14, 1885.

Barge Builders At Work. On Monday Mr. E. Palmer, senior proprietor of the Mid-Continent Boiler Works, of Kansas City, arrived in town with six workmen, to construct a steel barge for towage by the Steamer, “Kansas Millers.” The materials, it seems, have been standing unloaded at the depot for several weeks, but the steamboat company, having a depleted treasury, have taken no steps to have the barge put together, waiting the return home of Mr. James Hill. The workmen are now employed erecting a stage on the other side of the Walnut River, at Harmon’s ford, for the construction of the barge. During the detention of the materials here we learn from Mr. Palmer several kegs of nails and washers have been abstracted from the car, and more material will have to be sent before the work can be completed. The vessel when put together will be 60 feet long, with a breadth of 12 feet, and her capacity is estimated at 20 tons. With a full cargo her draft of water will not be over 2½ or 3 inches. The steel plates are 12 feet long by 3 feet wide; those which compose the hull are ¼ inch thick, while the bow will be made of plates three-sixteenths thick. Four lengths will compose the stowage portion of the barge, the ends fastened with strip iron secured to the steel by four rows of rivets placed 1½ inches apart. Bars and braces and angle iron will be freely used to give the vessel the necessary staunchness. An inside deck or flooring with plank will be laid over the bottom of the barge, and at the gunwale, or upper portion of the sides, an upper deck will be laid. The sides, we should have mentioned, will be three feet high. The addition of the bows and stern will extend the vessel 12 feet, and give it shapeliness as a river craft. It will be built in six water tight compartments. Three of these vessels were ordered, but the order has since been modified to two, and the materials for the other barge will arrive here in a few days. The cost of the two will be about $2,600. Mr. Palmer and his crew of workmen are staying at the Central Hotel.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, October 17, 1885.


The Work of Building Barges to Carry Freight Commenced.



Last week the material for one barge arrived. Monday last E. Palmer, representing the Mid-Continent Boiler Works of Kansas City, arrived with six workmen to set the barge up, and have been employed all this week at it. The barge when put together will be 60 feet long by 16 feet wide with a capacity for carrying 20 tons. It will draw about 3 inches of water when loaded. The Navigation Company have ordered the material for another barge, and they are now determined to have navigation opened up on the Arkansas before fall is over. The steamer, Kansas Millers, will tow the barges downstream. The trouble heretofore experienced will now be avoided. No cargo will be put on the steamer. It will be used to tow the barges, and as it only draws 10 inches of water, no difficulty will be found in navigating the Arkansas. Jas. Hill came home from New York this week and set everything to going. He says the scheme must work and we have no doubt but what it will.

Arkansas City Republican, October 17, 1885.

G. W. Cunningham has secured the Kansas Millers for several days and organized a party to go down in the Territory on a hunting expedition. The party will start Tuesday and will be gone a week or so. It will do down the river some 50 miles. About 40 of our citizens will engage in the excursion.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 28, 1885.

The workmen have finished one of the barges that will form the towage of the Steamboat, Kansas Millers, and are now putting the second barge together. The vessel is sixty feet long, and is not an unshapely specimen of river architecture. It is built in six water tight compartments, and although the steel which forms the hull of the barge is ¼ of an inch thick, it is so well stayed with bars and angle iron that it is really a staunch vessel. Its burden is 20 tons and when loaded will displace 2½ inches of water.

Arkansas City Traveler, November 11, 1885.

Arkansas City Visited. Bro. Merydith, of the Dexter Eye, visited Arkansas City lately, and here is his account of what he saw and reflections pertinent thereto.

“Last Saturday in company with Mr. R. Hite, we made a visit to Arkansas City. We found the streets crowded with teams and everything lively. The stores and shops were crowded with men, women, and Indians. They have some of the finest stores, hotels, etc., in southern Kansas. We met several of the prominent men of the town and we learned one of the secrets of their success. They have a committee of twenty-five of their leading citizens who subscribe a certain amount to raise a fund to be used in carrying out any project or scheme to advance the interest of their town and surrounding country. On Sunday we were furnished a good rig by Messrs. Bryson & Moore, and in company with R. Hite and C. W. Barnes, we went to see the sights along the river and canal. The first thing visited was the steamboat, ‘Kansas Millers.’ We found it manned by Robinson Crusoe, a translator of the Indian language. The boat is 16 feet wide and 75 feet long and draws about two feet of water. They have just finished a new steel barge and will be ready for business shortly. We believe from what we saw and learned that they will make the enterprise a grand success. We next went to look at the canal. They were drawing the water off in order to wash out the channel and instead of the banks caving in or its washing out too much, as some said, we found that the sand from the river caused it to be a kind of self-feeder and is regulated on Sunday by raising the water gates and running the surplus sand off. There are three large flouring mills and water enough for a dozen more. One cooper shop where they put up their own barrels. There is 22 feet of a fall and water enough to run all the factories in the state. Arkansas City is building up rapidly. There are nine large business houses in course of construction, and altogether there is not a town in Kansas that has a more glorious future before her.”


Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, November 14, 1885.


As Seen by the Editor of The Dexter Eye.

Last Saturday, in company with Mr. R. Hite, we made a visit to Arkansas City. We found the streets crowded with teams and everything lively. The stores and shops were crowded with men, women, and Indians. They have some of the finest stores, hotels, etc., in southern Kansas. We met several of the prominent men of the town and we learned one of the secrets of her success. They have a committee of twenty-five of their leading citizens who subscribe a certain amount to raise a fund to be used in carrying out any project or scheme to advance the interest of their town and surrounding country. On Sunday we were furnished a rig by Messrs. Bryson & Moore, and in company with R. Hite and C. W. Barnes, we went to see the sights along the river and canal. The first thing visited was the steamboat, “Kansas Millers.” We found it manned by Robinson Crusoe, a translator of the Indian language. The boat is 16 feet wide and 75 feet long and draws about two feet of water. They have just finished a new steel barge and will be ready for business shortly. We believe from what we saw and learned that they will make the enterprise a grand success. We next went to look at the canal. They were draining the water off in order to wash out the channel and instead of the banks caving in or it washing out too much, as some said, we found that the sand from the river caused it to be a kind of self-feeder, and is regulated on Sunday by raising the water gates and running the surplus sand off. There are three large flourishing mills and water for a dozen more. One cooper shop, where they put up their own barrels.

There is 22 feet of a fall and water enough to run all the factories in the state. Arkansas City is building up rapidly. There are nine large business houses in course of construction and altogether there is not a town in Kansas that has a more glorious future before her.

Winfield Courier, December 3, 1885.

Robinson Crusoe, alias L. F. Bradley, pilot of the “Kansas Millers” and for years among the Indians, is introducing a new society game at Arkansas City, “The Game of Indian,” played with cards containing the Indian Sign Language. The Democrat says it promises a big fever. Anything from the majestic, sweet-scented Noble Red Man usually does produce a fever: a loud-smelling, decaying fever.

Arkansas City Republican, December 5, 1885.

Huey & Co., the millers, are putting in more new machinery in their flouring mill. They will be at it most all winter. The Richmond City Mill Works furnish the machinery per their agent, J. W. Heck, of this city.


Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, January 6, 1886.

The FARM AND HOME greets its thousands of readers with a Happy New Year! In its visits to the households of farmers, merchants, and mechanics, it invariably comes with smiling face, the messenger of progress and development, and, like the herald, Mercury, alighting on a heaven-kissed hill, diffusing good cheer and encouragement around. We welcome the new year with the same inspiriting testimony. A constant accession of population to the state, bringing skill and enterprise to wrestle with crude nature, and infuse life and energy into her inert forces, that they may subserve the purposes of civilized man. New counties organizing, railroads extending, new towns and cities springing up, and domestic commerce spreading out on all hands.

The growth of Cowley County during the past year has kept pace with that of any sister county in Kansas; its rich soil, its numerous streams, its highly advantageous location, attracting settlers from all parts of the country, and encouraging its inhabitants to unwearied effort. And Arkansas City has borne a foremost part in the progress and prosperity which mark the upward career of Southern Kansas. An addition of twenty-five percent to its permanent population, new and substantial business blocks erected or in process of construction; while new, and many of them handsome residences, have been built by the hundred within our limits. A new railroad has been brought to our doors, giving direct access to St. Louis, and a saucy river craft, the “Kansas Millers,” has been built, with commodious steel barges for a towage, to carry our flour to Arkansas and bring back lumber and coal.

This is a creditable record for a year characterized by severe business depression and a failure of grain crops in many states, which visited severe suffering on their inhabitants. But conscious of the priceless advantages nature has placed in their hands, and counting nothing as done while more remains to do, the people of Arkansas City, at this dawning of the new year, are full of useful enterprises, both public and private, which when carried out to completion will render the year 1886 the most eventful and progressive in the history of the city.

First may be mentioned a water supply franchise granted by the city council to a solid company in St. Louis, by which an ample supply of pure water will be furnished to our citizens, and adequate provision made for the prompt extinguishment of fire. Eight blocks, fronting on Summit Street, are now being guttered and curbed, and solid stone cross-walks will be laid at the principal crossings along this main business thoroughfare. A commodious brick schoolhouse, two stories high, to cost $12,000, will soon be commenced in the Second Ward, to furnish accommodation for the increasing school population, which will be ready for occupation at the beginning of the next school year.

The Co-operative Farmers’ Exchange have purchased a site on the canal for the erection of the most capacious flouring mill in the state, and will have started on the erection by the time this issue reaches the hands of its readers. They also contemplate building an elevator of large proportions for the accommodation of the farmers of Cowley County, where grain can be stored, an advance being paid on the same, in order that jobbers may be ruled out, and the full value of the product secured to the grower.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 14, 1886.

We are informed that another movement is on foot at Geuda Springs to organize a joint-stock company to construct an excursion steamer to run from Geuda to various points on the river in this vicinity, especially to Arkansas City and Oxford. It is proposed to build a boat of about the dimensions of the “Kansas Millers.” A. C. Democrat.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 18, 1886.

Samuel Clark, of this city, who has had charge of the K. C. & S. W. engineers this winter, has again gone into the employ of the Arkansas River Navigation Company. The Kansas Millers, with her two barges, is being prepared for a voyage to Ft. Smith just as soon as the ice in the Nile of America breaks.

Arkansas City Republican, April 10, 1886.

The much talked of steel barges for the navigation of the Arkansas River have at last been completed. There are two of them, each 10 x 60 feet. They are capable of hauling three car loads of flour, drawing only about 10 inches of water. Next week the “Kansas Millers” will tow them down to Ft. Smith with a cargo of flour and other freight. With the Ft. Smith Road and a line of steamboats plying up and down the Arkansaw to this city, won’t our boom be immense!

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, May 22, 1886. From Wednesday’s Daily.

At last the barges for the steamer, “Kansas Millers,” are completed. A trial trip of towing them down and up the river has been made and it has been found that trips can be made without much difficulty. Capt. Barnes informs us that he took the steamer and her barges through the most difficult channels in the river between here and Ft. Smith. A load of flour will be sent down the river soon.


Arkansas City Republican, June 12, 1886.

THE NAVIGATION OF THE ARKANSAS RIVER TO BE AN ACCOMPLISHED FACT. The Craft, the Kansas Millers, Well on Her Way Down to Ft. Smith, With More than Six Car-Loads of Flour. Lumber to be Brought Up On the Return Trip.

As our readers are well aware, for several years the navigation of the Arkansas River has been agitated. A few months ago matters began to arrange themselves into definite shape. The millers of Cowley County had foreseen that they must have a southern market opened up to them at a cheaper freight rate than they were obtaining from the railroad companies or else their milling interests would suffer materially. Accordingly they formed themselves into an association and had the steamer, “Kansas Millers,” constructed to ply upon the upper Arkansas from this city down to the larger cities in the state of Arkansas. Captain T. S. Moorhead brought the “Kansas Millers” to its landing in the Walnut in July of last summer. This clearly demonstrated that the Arkansas River could be navigated as far up as this city. The plucky Millers in their venture had met with more than the most sanguine dared to hope for: SUCCESS.

Later on the steel barges have been constructed for the carrying of the cargo, and yesterday morning the first consignment of freight was made. The steamer with its barges glided gracefully down the Walnut into the Arkansas with Capt. Barnes in command without a mishap and disappeared from view in the distance.

This navigation of the Arkansas River means much for the future welfare of Arkansas City.

Heretofore the transportation rates on a carload of flour, by railroad, to Ft. Smith has been almost $100. It is now being sent down to the same destination for less than $50 per carload. On the six car-loads sent down Wednesday, some $300 in freight rates has been saved to the shipping millers of Cowley County. This is an item that is worth looking after and will have a tendency to make the efforts of both seller and buyer double what they have been heretofore in the navigation of the river. On the return trip Capt. Barnes will load up his barges with lumber. On a carload of lumber from Arkansas, the freight rate is about $8 per thousand. The “Kansas Millers” will bring the same to Arkansas City for half of that sum. Thus it will be seen what the navigation of the Arkansas River means for us.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 12, 1886. From Monday’s Daily.

Today the “Kansas Millers” and their barges are being loaded with flour. Tomorrow Capt. Barnes will start on his way down the Arkansas to Ft. Smith.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 12, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.

Shortly after noon today the “Kansas Millers” and her three barges, loaded with flour, went down the Arkansas River to Ft. Smith. The barges were loaded as follows: 30 tons of flour from Bliss & Wood’s at Winfield; 15 tons from the Arkansas City Roller Mills; and 15 tons from the Canal Roller Mills. Capt. Barnes was as joyful as a school boy over his proposed trip.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 12, 1886. From Thursday’s Daily.

Farmer Johnson, who resides down upon the Arkansas River some five miles, called this morning upon the REPUBLICAN. Mr. Johnson informs us that the “Kansas Millers” and her barges passed his place very early the morning she left the Arkansas City port. The barges were pushed in front and were going at a good speed.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 12, 1886. From Thursday’s Daily.

Captain E. S. Bliss, of Bliss & Wood, leaves Arkansas City today with the “Kansas Millers,” loaded with 100,000 pounds of Bliss & Wood’s best flour, for Ft. Smith and other points. The Kansas Millers is provided with steel barges that only draw five inches empty and sixteen loaded. Bliss & Wood say it will be a success and that they can lay their goods down at Ft. Smith and other points on the route at one-half the usual railroad rates.

Winfield Courier.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 12, 1886. From Friday’s Daily.

Captain Thompson, a steamboat captain on the Ohio River, is in the city. He came here to investigate the navigating of the Arkansas. He arrived 24 hours too late to take the “Kansas Millers” for Fort Smith. Capt. Thompson says the Arkansas is navigable upon the plan proposed by our millers. He will remain in our city several days.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 12, 1886. From Friday’s Daily.

Capt. M. Thompson, of London, Ohio, is in the city looking after the purchasing of an interest in the “Kansas Millers” navigation steamboat line upon the Arkansas River.

Capt. Thompson came up the river several years ago on the “Rob-Roy.” He thinks the navigation of the river is possible and would be a paying investment.

He tells us he would gladly lay all the flour the millers of Cowley County could manufacture down at Ft. Smith at half freight rates charged by the railroads.

Should Capt. Thompson make the necessary arrangements to take charge of the “Kansas Millers,” he will bring a small steamer he has at present upon the White River above Evansville in Indiana and use it in going up the Walnut and Arkansas Rivers from this city to gather up the cargo. The REPUBLICAN hopes the Captain will succeed in making the purchase.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 19, 1886. From Monday’s Daily.

Capt. M. Thompson, who has been in the city several days, will leave for St. Louis in the morning. Capt. Thompson came here from London, Ohio, to purchase an interest in the “Kansas Millers,” but as it had gone down the river with a cargo of flour, the trade was not made.

The Captain desires to undertake the task of navigating the Arkansas from this city down and should he make the necessary arrangements to do so, he will bring his steamer here from the White River in Indiana. It is 12 x 56 feet and only draws 10 inches of water when in operation. The Captain informs us he will bind himself to navigate the Arkansas for two years, making a trip at least once a month to Fort Smith, sometimes, twice, if our two steel barges are furnished him. Flour will be laid down at Ft. Smith for 25 cents per hundred, just half the rate charged by the railroad companies.

Today Capt. Thompson met with the Navigation Company to come to an understanding in regard to the matter. Should the agreement be favorable, Capt. Thompson will remove his family here and make Arkansas City his home.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 19, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.

Capt. M. Thompson met with the navigation company Monday. It is very probable that the captain will purchase a half-interest in the “Kansas Millers,” and bring his small steamer here from the White River. It will run between here and Ponca Agency, while the “Kansas Millers” runs from Ponca to Ft. Smith. The matter will be definitely settled in a day or so.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 19, 1886. From Friday’s Daily.

Information has been received of the arrival of the “Kansas Millers” and her two barges of flour at Tulsa.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 3, 1886. From Wednesday’s Daily.

John Landes informs us that the steamer, “Kansas Millers,” with her barges has arrived at Ft. Smith. They arrived there Monday, having made the trip in safety. At Ponca Agency a delay of three or four days was caused by the engineer getting sick. The boat did not stick upon any sandbars.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 10, 1886. From Wednesday’s Daily.

Capt. E. S. Bliss, of “The Kansas Millers,” got in today by rail, and reports a jolly and successful trip down the “ragin’ Arkansaw.” He was 66 hours and 5 minutes making the trip with a crew of eight, and no trouble, with the exception of a little between Salt Fork and Pawnee. About one-half of the cargo of 100,000 pounds of flour was sold in the Territory. The captain says the river was about three feet above low water mark and says there is no doubt “The Kansas Millers” is a success. On account of pressing business, he left the boat at Ft. Smith and came back by rail. Mr. Bliss is highly pleased with the trip, and says it is better than going to the mountains. Courier.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 24, 1886. From Monday’s Daily.

The Ft. Smith Daily Tribune reports that Capt. H. B. Barnes, of the steamer, “Kansas Millers,” has been quite sick for several days, but is fast recovering.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, July 31, 1886. From Monday’s Daily.

The steamer, “Kansas Millers,” has made the trip from Arkansas City to Ft. Smith. Her cargo consists of 200,000 pounds of Kansas flour. Of this 100,000 pounds were disposed of in the Territory. Harper Sentinel.

Arkansas City Republican, August 7, 1886.

Capt. Thompson arrived in this city last evening from Ohio. He came to take charge of the “Kansas Millers,” having been telegraphed for by the Navigation Company. After remaining in the city overnight, he left this morning for Ft. Smith, where he went to take charge of the steamer and bring it up the river to this city. He intends to be here in ample time to run an excursion Saturday, August 14. On the following week Capt. Thompson will start for Ft. Smith with another load of flour. He will endeavor to make two trips per month. The navigation of the Arkansas from this city down to Ft. Smith has now begun in earnest.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, August 27, 1886. From Monday’s Daily.

Capt. Thompson, of Ohio, has effected the purchase of a two-thirds interest in the “Kansas Millers.” He will go down to Ft. Smith tomorrow and bring her up. Bliss & Wood have sold their one-third interest in the boat to parties at Ft. Smith.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, September 25, 1886. From Monday’s Daily.

W. D. Cary was in the city yesterday, returning to the sand hills last night. Mr. Cary has lately returned from Ft. Smith, where he went to get the “Kansas Millers” out of trouble, and now reports that she is free and at work running in the trade down here. Visitor.

Arkansas City Traveler, October 27, 1886.

The work on the canal extension is sufficiently advanced to admit of the water being turned in, and the millers who have had so tedious a trial of it, watching and waiting, are now busy turning out flour. They have been assiduous during their resting spell in laying up wheat, and now they are prepared for a good long run. H. T. Roberts, with his new planing mill, has also been waiting for the tide to start his machinery, and we may now look for him to give a good account of himself.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, December 11, 1886. From Tuesday’s Daily.

A Monster Monopoly.

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 5. The millers of Minneapolis are discussing a stupendous scheme to consolidate all mills under one management. Active steps have been taken, which are expected to result in the consolidation. Such a combination would make as much or little flour as desired, and would control such product as it was placed upon the market. Its effects upon the trade would be enormous, and it would be an institution as powerful as the Standard Oil Company. At a meeting of millers held several days ago, a committee was appointed to consider and report on a feasible plan for making the consolidation.


Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, February 12, 1887. From Wednesday’s Daily.

John Landes and C. Mead were up to Newton yesterday attending the millers’ state convention. A permanent organization was effected with J. Underwood, of Salina, as president; Ben Wood, of Winfield, first vice-president. This organization is for the advancement of the milling business of the state.

Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, March 19, 1887. From Friday’s Daily.

The “Kansas Millers” would (?) do to run an excursion to Ft. Smith to attend the auction sale of lots on the 21st.