A. A. NEWMAN FAMILY RECAP.
The Newman Family came from England and were colonial settlers in Massachusetts. A. A.’s great grandfather, Ebenezer Newman, Sr., fought with the Massachusetts troops in the Revolution. His grandfather, Ebenezer Newman, Jr., was born in Massachusetts, but when a young man went to Weld, Maine, and was a farmer by occupation and remained so throughout his lifetime. His father, Augustus G. Newman, was born in Weld, Maine, in 1821. He didn’t care for farming and decided on merchandising. When he began his budding career, he was a Democrat but subsequently turned to the Republican party. He held all of the local town offices and for many years was a selectman. He was a Baptist and helped to build the Baptist church in this village.
Augustus G. Newman, the father of A. A. Newman, married Caroline Beedy.
A. A. Newman (Albert Augustus Newman).
A. A. Newman was born at Weld, Maine, January 19, 1843. He died July 31, 1922.
[After A. A. Newman’s death, Earl G. Newman, his oldest took the helm of the Newman Dry Goods Company in Arkansas City until he died on October 31, 1926, at the age of 47. His brother, Albert L. Newman, then took charge.]
A. A. Newman had two younger brothers, who came to Kansas after A. A. moved to Emporia. Both stayed in Emporia. G. W. (George Washington) continued to operate the clothing store that A. A. started. Fred C. Newman was connected with an Emporia bank.
A. A. Newman, who was 19 years of age in 1862, withdrew from the Maine State Seminary at Lewiston and enlisted in the Union Army. He came under fire in some of the great battles. On his first day of service, he was ordered to gather up his equipment from dead Union soldiers in a nearby field. He marched into the Shenandoah Valley with Sherman’s forces. In his war diary he told of scouring the district around Vicksburg during the winter for apples and selling them to other soldiers, manifesting at an early age his ability to be a merchant. After leaving the army A. A. Newman and his foster brother, T. H. McLaughlin, made a horrible mistake. They opened up a dry-goods store in Fayetteville, Tennessee, where they became known as “Damn Yankees.”
Because Newman was a Mason, he was alerted to the fact that he had better leave quickly or else face the consequences of being “tarred and feathered.” His foster brother, T. H. McLaughlin, hearing that they planned to treat him in this fashion and then ride him out of town on a rail, managed to climb out of the back window of their living quarters over the store, and escaped in the middle of the night. McLaughlin had lost the use of one leg during the War of the Rebellion. Still he managed to get around on his cork leg quite well.
Newman had many relatives who enter into the Newman participation in changing the little village of Arkansas City, Cowley County, Kansas, from a “sandhill” (the term used for this city in the early days by Winfield residents) into a thriving city.
Newman and one of his relatives, O. P. Houghton, journeyed from Maine to Emporia Kansas in August 1868, where they opened up a general store.
They announced their opening on September 4, 1868, in the Emporia News, a paper run by a Quaker, Jacob Stotler. They sold goods cheap for cash, handling dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, clothing, notions and Queensware. They announced that they bought their goods at first hand in New York and Boston, saving second profits paid by merchants buying in Chicago, St. Louis, or Leavenworth. They warranted all their goods as represented or refunded money if customers were dissatisfied.
A year later Newman and Houghton were doing so well that they added carpeting to their list of goods and played up tea! Business was very good in Emporia. Houghton started another store with a man called McMillan in Emporia, and at the same time still had a vested interest in Newman’s store. Newman’s younger brother, George W., came from Maine to assist Newman in running his store.
On September 6, 1869, now 26 years of age, A. A. Newman married Mary M. Houghton at Weld, Maine, and brought back with him on their honeymoon trip to Emporia Maria Bisbee, of Sumner, Maine, who married Orrin P. Houghton, his partner, on September 18, 1869. [I still do not know the relationship of O. P. Houghton to Mary M. Houghton.]
A month later T. H. McLaughlin, he with the peg leg who had to flee in the night down south, arrived in Emporia. He started constructing a new business house of stone and brick, planning to have it ready for occupancy in May 1870.
Newman’s brother, George, became involved in the temperance program started at the Methodist church in Emporia. Newman became a stockholder in an insurance firm on which Jacob Stotler was a director. Now Stotler was one of the members of a group in Emporia who had determined that a railroad (now built to Emporia) would reach the southern part of Kansas in the near future and that the location which became Arkansas City would be of vital importance. In the latter part of 1869 a group from Emporia took off for Cowley County to search for the proper place to make claims on the land. They realized the necessity of starting a post office quickly. The group that left for Cowley County thought about calling the future town “Walnut City.” They learned when they went through Butler County that there already existed a town by that name. They then decided to call their chosen site “Delphi,” after a railroad charter that had already been drawn for this area. The Postmaster General objected to the name. They quickly came up with Creswell (the name of the Postmaster General), thinking that name would fly. He did not buy their package. Finally, the name of Arkansas City was chosen, and that worked. [Newman was not part of the initial group.]
A. A. Newman, accompanied by his father and brother, George Newman, an Uncle, Daniel Beedy, and others took up a claim near Creswell (as Arkansas City was called at that time) in March 1870. All left but Beedy, who commenced to build a flour mill on the east
side of the Walnut River on the road that later became Kansas Avenue.
In June 1870 the Emporia News advised the public that Beedy and Newman were under contract to erect a water flouring and saw mill at Creswell (later known as Arkansas City).
In the November 30, 1870, issue of the Arkansas City Traveler, the news came that Beedy had commenced work upon his water-power, and that he was constructing a saw-mill and grist-mill on the Walnut. The paper pointed out that Beedy was a mill-wright of extensive means, and of many years experience, having built mills on many rivers from Maine to Oregon.
The mill was built with the grain-receiving bin higher up on the east bank of the Walnut River. The grain slid by gravity down chutes to the grinder. The dam extended to the west.
In May 1871 the Traveler reported on the progress of Beedy and Newman’s mill.
“Without any noise or ostentation, a great work is going on in our midst. Mr. Beedy, with a strong force, is steadily pushing ahead. The dam is almost completed; the machinery for the sawmill has been ordered; the whole establishment will be in running order by October 1st. A careful estimate gives, at the lowest stage of water, an available force of 270 horse power. Three powerful turbines will at once be put in position; a grist mill, having three run of stones, a sawmill, a lath and shingle mill, will all be speedily running at this point.
“The sawmill is about ready to raise. It is thirty-five by fifty-five feet. The flouring mill is 35 x 40 feet, four stories high.”
On July 15, 1871, the Arkansas City Town Company Corporation was formed by Daniel Beedy, L. B. Kellogg, M. R. Leonard, H. O. Meigs, A. A. Newman, G. H. Norton, H. B. Norton, C. R. Sipes, and W. M. Sleeth. It was capitalized for 300 shares at Fifty dollars each or a total of $15,000. The life of the corporation was to be ten years.
In August 1871 Editor Stotler visited Arkansas City and reported on its progress.
He stated that Arkansas City now had over 100 buildings. Stotler mentioned former Emporia men who had settled there, among whom was O. P. Houghton, who had started a grocery store in 1870. He stated that Beedy & Newman had already expended $8,000 on the large water mill being built.
In November 1872 Beedy and Newman, proprietors of the Arkansas City Water Mill, on the Walnut, announced that it was in successful operation, stating that they would handle custom grinding at all hours, providing shelling and bolting without extra charge.
By this time Newman had moved to Arkansas City, leaving his brother George in charge of the Emporia store. Other Newman relatives were in Arkansas City also: Houghton, McLaughlin, Haywood, and Sherburne among them. Beedy soon departed.
Newman ran the mill and also started a dry goods store in Arkansas City.
The original Newman store was opened at 205 South Summit Street (on the west side of Summit Street) in a small frame building, 20 x 40 feet. Due to the small amount of space, the stock was limited to men’s clothing and furnishings, boots and shoes (high-laced boots were a popular item). It is believed that the first merchandise came from the Emporia store as it took so long to get an order in and back from the east before the opening of the store.
His second move was across the street to the east side of Summit Street: 206 South Summit Street. He had three times as much space as he did in the first store. He added groceries and dry goods to his stock, most of which were staples.
In August 1875 the Leavenworth Times wrote about Cowley County and Arkansas City.
“Cowley County, away down here on the Indian border, is running over with peace and plenty. Her crops were so abundant, the days so delightful, the nights so delicious, her people happy and contented, that indeed:
‘If there’s peace to be found in the world,
A heart that was humble, might hope for it here!’
“Arkansas City has the most enterprise, the wealthier merchants, and one newspaper well supported by her businessmen. Her merchants advertise extensively, and are drawing a large trade which naturally belongs to Winfield. One of her firms, A. A. Newman & Co., have the government contract to furnish Pawnee Agency with 750,000 pounds of flour, delivered at the Agency. This, besides aiding our wheat market, will furnish employment for a large number of teams. The distance is ninety miles.”
A. A. Newman kept up his membership as a Mason, joining the Winfield organization at first, until a chapter was established in Arkansas City.
Newman was president and a director of the second bank in Arkansas City: the “Cowley County Bank.” It was the first bank organized under state laws. W. M. Sleeth was vice president, and H. P. Farrar was the cashier and secretary. Later, he became one of the founders of the Home National Bank. T. H. McLaughlin and R. C. Haywood, Newman relatives, were also directors as was H. O. Meigs, originally from Emporia.
Note: The bank was located on the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Summit Street, which is now a portion of the Home National Bank in Arkansas City.
In 1876 O. P. Houghton was the mayor of Arkansas City.
R. C. Haywood was a partner of S. P. Channell. Their store handled groceries, stoneware, woodenware, shelf and heavy hardware, agricultural implements, etc.
Joseph H. Sherburne was running a dry goods store.
Haywood soon became involved in furnishing people who would handle the large trains of oxen and mule teams taking flour from Newman’s mill to Indian Territory.
Sherburne’s interest in his store was purchased by Newman. Sherburne became an Indian trader at various agencies in Indian Territory: Ponca and Otoe.
As I have related in the Indian book, Newman was the one who got trade started with the various Indian tribes on reservations in the Indian Territory: Osage, Kaw, Ponca, Nez Perce, Otoe and Missouria, Pawnee, Cheyenne and Arapaho, Kiowa and Comanche, Sac and Fox, and Wichita. He had lots of help from his relatives.
Quite often Newman made personal visits (usually accompanied by another person from Arkansas City) to the various tribes.
In August 1876 Newman offered to build the piers of the old bridge four or five feet higher if the township would bear the expense of putting a new bridge across the Walnut river leading to his mill. Eventually the township came through with the money to handle this work.
Arkansas City was very crowded. In November 1876 a gentleman asked A. A. Newman what he would take for his house. Newman said $800. The gentleman responded: “Make out your deed.” Newman answered: “Well, but, ah, are you in a hurry?” The man replied, “Yes.”
Newman answered: “I guess I don’t want to sell.”
It was very fortunate that he declined the offer. I suspect that Mrs. Newman would not have been happy at such a move when their family was growing. They had one daughter (Pearl) and two sons (Earl G. and Albert L.).
In 1876 Newman moved his dry goods store for the third time. He bought a two-story frame building at 116-118 South Summit, about the present site of the Burford Building. The store remained at this location for nearly five years, and with this move he gained another 500 square feet, which allowed him to add some more piece goods and other necessities.
The Traveler had an unusual announcement on December 20, 1876, pertaining to a festival to be held at Newman’s new building on Christmas night.
Everybody and his wife are expected, and cordially invited to come. Besides the Christmas tree, there will be a charade acted by the ladies and gentlemen of Arkansas City; a Yankee kitchen in “ye olden style” with pumpkin pies and baked beans one hundred years old, fresh and nice, and a supper of modern times, with all the luxuries of the season. Fresh fish from the fish pond, caught on the spot, to order, and oysters from the Walnut. Now, young ladies, remember leap year is drawing to a close, and only a few days are left, and you should not lose the last chance you may have for four years to come. Who knows what fate may have in store for you, or what the fish pond may produce? And everybody should remember that but few of us will be on hand to attend the next Centennial festival, and make the most of this opportunity.
Come, everybody, and have a good time. The Christmas tree will be decorated in the afternoon, and persons wishing to have gifts put on the tree will please hand them to someone of the committee before 4 p.m., as there will be too much to attend to in decorating the hall to receive packages after that hour.
Newman, generally accompanied by his brother, George, made numerous trips to New York and Boston, lining up government flour contracts and purchasing dry goods for both the Emporia and Arkansas City store.
The Newman family were members of the Presbyterian Church in Arkansas City. One of the few items about A. A. Newman appeared in the January 10, 1877, issue of the Traveler.
“The supremacy and power of mind over matter were strikingly illustrated during last Sunday’s services by the undivided attention which A. A. Newman’s dog, ‘Bob,’ paid to Mr. Fleming’s remarks. He has evidently been the object of much careful training at home, and knows how to listen respectfully, though his exploring propensities will sooner or later lead him into difficulty.”
In January 1877 Newman gave a bond agreeing to complete the Walnut River Bridge for $2,000. The paper announced this fact, stating that Newman expected it to cost him $2,500, but that he was willing to pay the additional $500 rather than not have a bridge. Eventually the township paid for the building of a new bridge.
With each event involving Newman, his relatives cooperated. The following item appearing in the January 10, 1877, issue of the Traveler clarifies their movements.
“The large stock of goods of A. A. Newman & Co., some $10,000 worth, recently purchased by Houghton & McLaughlin, is now being removed to the Green Front, until the New Brick Store is ready for them on the opposite corner.
“This, with their own stock of goods, has so crowded their store as to make it almost impossible to get around, and in order to dispose of them before spring, they offer better bargains than any other house this side of Emporia, notice of which will be seen in their new advertisement. This firm was well named ‘Old Reliable,’ having commenced here at the first settlement of the town six years ago, occupying a small room in the building now owned by L. C. Wood, and doing mostly their own hauling.
“Business began to increase on their hands so rapidly that they were obliged to have an addition to the building, in all 50 feet long. This store was occupied three years, when, their business still further increasing, they were obliged to build the present large business house, known as the ‘Green Front,’ with several store-houses to hold their immense stock of goods, and now for the fourth time they are compelled to look for larger quarters.”
In late November 1877 A. A. Newman and relatives joined with others in starting a building association in Arkansas City. Housing was desperately needed.
Two Arkansas City citizens built a little steamboat that traveled in the local area. The Traveler printed the following item June 5, 1878.
“There were 27 persons on Speers’ and Walton’s steamboat, ‘Arkansas Traveler,’ last Tuesday week. They were conveyed to the river in a wagon, and from the ford at Harmon’s went to the large island about three miles below the mouth of the Walnut. The trip was enjoyed by all. A. A. Newman and R. A. Houghton unfortunately were tipped from the small row boat into the river while attempting to get on the boat.”
Newman got around on crutches for about a month after his ankle was strained by flour sacks falling on him in September 1878, as reported by the Traveler.
“An accident of quite a serious nature happened to Mr. A. A. Newman, at his flouring mill on the Walnut. It would appear that Mr. Newman was superintending the loading of some teams. While standing with his back to the pile of 100 lb. sacks of flour from which the loads were being taken, the stack toppled over upon him, crushing him to the ground. He was quickly rescued from his perilous position and was laid upon the mill floor. An examination was made and very luckily nothing more serious was discovered than several bad bruises and a severely sprained ankle. He was, however, so badly shaken as to be unable to stand for several hours and could not be brought to his home until late in the afternoon. At this writing he is progressing favorably.”
A month later the flour sacks fell again, breaking a man’s ribs.
The July 30, 1879, issue of the Arkansas City Traveler stated: “Charles H. Searing purchased A. A. Newman’s Mill last Saturday, and will hereafter run the same. He will supply the flour necessary to complete Mr. Newman’s contract for the Indian Agencies.”
Newman was involved in many activities. Time does not allow me to cover many.
One of these: his partnership with Mitchell in Geuda Springs in 1879.
C. R. Mitchell and A. A. Newman purchased the Geuda Springs from Hackney & McDonald, law partners living in Winfield in 1879. Newman paid $3,000 for his half of the 159 acres of land on which the springs were located.
A correspondent covered this event in September 1879.
“Mitchell and Newman came up with shovels, forks, rods, and pipes, to play in the springs, and upon drawing an auger attached to a rod 20 feet long from a spring which had the old pipe, stones were thrown out as large as a goose-egg, which had every appearance of having been melted by extreme heat. What these gentlemen will accomplish they themselves do not know, but it will take a small fortune to employ competent men to put things in order, to make a paying investment. Then look out for a nickle a glass for this medicinal water. Better all come this year, while you can pitch your tent anywhere, wear calico dresses, dispense with cosmetics, shoot birds, and romp to your heart’s content.”
Newman and Mitchell erected a bath house, cemented the floor of the spring area, and built a two-story building over them. Newman sold his share back to Mitchell in 1881 for $10,000.
In January 1881 James Hill (a story unto himself) got involved with others in a mass meeting of Arkansas City citizens at the schoolhouse for the purpose of discussing the construction of a canal from the Arkansas to the Walnut river. As a result, on January 12, 1881, James Hill, R. C. Haywood, W. M. Sleeth, A. A. Newman, and Steve Matlack became charter members of a company that raised $50,000 to build the canal. The citizens of Arkansas City raised $20,000 by a bond election held January 17, 1881. (Out of 158 votes cast, 144 were for the proposition.)
In February 1883 (when A. A. Newman was Mayor of Arkansas City for the first time) a petition was presented to the City Council for construction of another flour mill on the canal by James Hill, president of the Arkansas City Water Power Company, in exchange for the transfer of $6,000 of the city’s claim against his company.
The City Clerk was instructed to draw up an ordinance in compliance with the contract entered into with Hill to expend $2,000 in transmitting power from their canal to the pump at the spring now used by the city with water for the exclusive use of the city, free of expense, for 99 years. The city agreed to transfer and assign all its interest and title and right to its stock in said water power company.
Numerous business entities cropped up along the canal, the first being the flour mill constructed by V. M. Ayres. This was followed in time by another flour mill, the Kirkwood Wind Engine Company, the Sleeth Chair factory, the Kansas Mattress factory, and the Land and Power Electric plant.
By 1884 James Hill was involved in railroad development into Cowley County. At first he took an interest in obtaining a road to Arkansas City when the “push” began to get an east-west railroad.
In time Hill became the manager of the Missouri, Winfield & South Western railroad company, and in 1884 he visited St. Louis, Chicago, and other cities in the east conferring with capitalists and railroad builders to induce them to take hold of the organization he represented and build a road into Cowley County. He and an attorney from Winfield, Mr. Asp, finally got the attention of Latham, Towle, and Young. It turned out that the old Missouri, Winfield & South Western charter could not be used since it did not cover the ground from Coffey County to Kansas City directly. As a result, a new organization and charter was established, with the general office of the company at Winfield and Kansas City, Kansas.
In April 1884 Arkansas City citizens assembled at Highland Hall (our community hall at that time) to take action upon a proposition presented by the directors of the Kansas City and Southwestern railroad (the name of the new railroad entity) that Creswell Township vote bonds for $35,000 of the capital stock of this road. James N. Young, president of the railroad company, was present. A committee was appointed to have petitions printed and circulated in favor of a bond election for the railroad. Matters dragged on.
James Hill blew the whistle in March 1885 on a Winfield group in favor of the Kansas City and Southwestern Railroad coming to Winfield, locating their machine shops in Winfield, and then going west to Geuda Springs, cutting out Arkansas City completely. He stated that the railroad company could not and would not accept the proposition presented by the Winfield group.
The action of Winfield in this matter was severely dwelt upon, and excited the just ridicule of the speakers.
A week later a number of Arkansas City citizens met with a committee from Burden.
The Burden committee reported: “Winfield was attempting to take the bit in her teeth and walk off with the whole bakery.” They proposed that Arkansas City and Burden combine their efforts and thus guide the unruly animal of the porcine species out of harm’s way. Their argument was to the effect that if Burden was given the go-by so would Arkansas City and vice versa. Arkansas City and Burden combined could compel Winfield to come down from her pedestal of egotism and self-glory; as she could have no hopes of carrying county bonds. This would also cut off the hope of her getting sufficient bonds from the townships. The way to the Territory line is just as near and over better country from Burden via Winfield to Arkansas City as by any other proposed route. In short, their proposal was to enter into such an agreement as would forbid the acceptance of any proposition not altogether favorable to both Burden and Arkansas City. Burden was ready to vote $35,000 for the railroad.
During this conversation a delegate from Winfield, who had become alarmed at the visiting of Burden’s diplomats, of which they were aware, called out a member of the meeting, and notified him that Winfield was ready to agree to any terms that might be offered by Arkansas City, and that it was altogether unnecessary to call in Burden to our assistance, as their intentions were fair and just toward us.
A month later James Hill and H. W. Young, representing the Kansas City and Southwestern railroad, informed a group of Arkansas City citizens that county aid could be secured for their road if the interested townships all pulled together. Otherwise, they would be compelled to seek other routes.
A petition was immediately signed to hold a special election to subscribe $160,000 for a standard gauge railroad built by the Kansas City and Southwestern Railroad Company from Kansas City, Missouri, to the south line of Cowley County, Kansas. The road would enter Cowley County on the north side, going through the townships of Omnia, Richland, Fairview, and Walnut, to Winfield, and from there to Arkansas City, and then proceed to the south or west line of Bolton Township, on or before nine months.
On April 29, 1885, the Traveler reported on a railroad meeting some days before.
“Several gentlemen interested in the Kansas City and Southwestern railroad visited the city for the purpose of submitting a new proposition to our citizens for aid to that road.
The railroad company was represented by Henry Asp, Esq., their attorney, who was accompanied by ex-senator Long and W. P. Hackney, both of Winfield. The proposition originally made was for this county to issue bonds to the amount of $160,000, on certain conditions known to our readers. Whether such a proposition would carry with the voters of the county was considered doubtful by some, as the eastern portion of the county would be less directly benefitted by the road. The modification made in the proposal submitted on Wednesday, was the issue of $100,000 in county bonds, with $20,000 of city bonds by this city and a similar amount by the city of Winfield.
“Approval of the modified proposition was finally given. On motion Judge Pyburn, H. O. Meigs, and A. A. Newman were appointed a committee to lay before the County Commissioners, in session in Winfield, the petition of the people of Arkansas City, that a county election be called to vote on the $100,000 bonds to aid in the construction of the Kansas City and Southwestern road. The issue of city bonds by this city and Winfield will, of course, be determined by a city election in both of these places.”
A special election took place in Arkansas City June 1, 1885, for $20,000 by the city and $100,000 by the county to the Kansas City and Southwestern Railroad Company.
The election proved favorable for bonds to be provided.
Many more obstacles were posed about the Kansas City and Southwestern Railroad. A. A. Newman and others had to fight several opposing factors.
The truth came to light in October 1885. Burden was mad because Arkansas City went along with the Winfield people, and accepted the proposition that the road would be built from Winfield to Arkansas City. Winfield, with the help of Henry E. Asp, then the Cowley County attorney, planned to make the main line of the railroad go to Geuda Springs and Caldwell, and leaving only a stub to run to Arkansas City. Mr. Hill, now a member of the railroad, was asked to explain what was happening.
Mr. Hill said that the company intended to build the road through Arkansas City to the state line, and that the Caldwell branch would also undoubtedly be built, and that it would be to his interest, and to the company’s interest, to have the branch start from Arkansas City, as it would require but one bridge. He also stated that the company, outside of the Winfield element, was favorable to Arkansas City. He acknowledged that the company was morally, if not legally bound, to make the junction here, because it was upon these express promises that they had obtained the aid of Arkansas City in voting the bonds.
“Rev. Fleming made a forcible speech, charging it as conspiracy on the part of Winfield to leave Arkansas City out in the cold and a violation of the promises made by Asp and others when they obtained our aid.
“Amos Walton said that it was a conspiracy that was entered into at the time the company approached Winfield. Every opposition was made to Mr. Hill’s efforts to get the road through the east part of the city and east of the Santa Fe. The city council was even in the conspiracy, as shown by the fact that they would not grant the right of way of street crossings unless the road went west of the city. The road going west, he estimated, cost $25,000 more than the east route. ‘Winfield voted $20,000 bonds to get them in there and charged them $25,000 to get out.’
“A. A. Newman moved that a committee of five be appointed to confer with Mr. Hill as regards the best means of attaining the object of the meeting. The chair appointed A. A. Newman, Geo. W. Cunningham, Amos Walton, Rev. Fleming, and S. Matlack as that committee.
“The following resolution was passed.
“Resolved, That the K. C. & S. W. Railroad Company is not treating the city of Arkansas City fairly, and in the same generous spirit which the citizens treated them in the inception of the road in the matter of building a road diverging from their line north of this city. In support of this proposition, would say that it was promised and agreed by Mr. Asp, attorney for the road, in order to obtain our aid, that the line of road should come down east of the A. T. & S. F., and yet the leading citizens of Winfield antagonized the road sufficient to prevent its coming through Winfield on a line to accomplish that object and to the injury of the company forced it upon the west side of the city of Winfield, and then as a part of the scheme for the injury of Arkansas City proposed and looked up a line leading west only three miles north of the city of Arkansas City. Feeling that it is a violation of the good faith pledged to the city, we would respectfully state that the said line should be left open until the line to the territory on the south of us is built. We would further state as to the matter of expense that in case the company will make a survey and establish the cost of the road from the point in Beaver Township, to the west line of Walton Township, Sumner Co., and a corresponding survey from Arkansas City or south of it, west through Walton Township, Sumner County, that we will willingly make the difference in case it should be favorable to the first mentioned line. (Signed) W. D. KREAMER, Chairman, N. T. SNYDER, Secretary.”
A little known bit of history pertaining to the building of the Kansas City and Southwestern Railroad from Winfield to Arkansas City came to light months later in the Republican.
“About the time the K. C. & S. W. folks were building into Arkansas City, Winfield offered the company some $50,000 if they would build to Geuda Springs, three miles north of Arkansas City, and thereby give Arkansas City a stub road or bob-tail. Our citizens saw that if this was done, it would be a great detriment to the city and met Jas. Young, one of the head men of the company, in this city, to see what could be done to head off this threatened catastrophe. Mr. Young told several of our businessmen that if they would put up the extra cost of building the road direct from Arkansas City to Geuda, which was $7,500, his company would construct the road and not give us the threatened “bob-tail.” Mr. Young had to have his answer that day, so he could tell the Winfield parties what he and his company intended to do. No decision was reached in the small gathering of businessmen and upon its adjournment, A. A. Newman accompanied Mr. Young to the Frisco depot. On the way down Mr. Newman gave his word to stand good for the amount. This settled the matter and when Mr. Newman came back uptown, he reported what he had done. Immediately some 30 names of businessmen were placed to an agreement to stand a proportionate share of the $7,500, if the city refused to vote that amount of bonds. Yesterday the bonds were voted and this morning there are 30 businessmen breathing more freely. The load has been lifted from their shoulders and assumed by the city. We doubt if there is another city in the universe, in which one man can speak for 1,200 voters and have that man’s word so unanimously sanctioned. As long as there is this grand unity of action, the prosperity of Arkansas City is not to be questioned. We believe there is scarcely a voter in Arkansas City who does not love the dear old ‘sandhill’ upon which he lives, better than his life. They all may have their petty, personal, and political differences; yet when it comes to a question of benefit to the city, there is one grand unity of action.”
In mid October, 1885, the city council met. Mr. James Hill introduced an ordinance, prepared by Henry E. Asp, attorney for the Kansas City and Southwestern Railway Company, granting the right of way through Arkansas City. Two routes were considered before the group decided on the best one.
A month later trouble loomed up with Caldwell.
“Rev. S. B. Fleming, Geo. Cunningham, H. O. Meigs, and T. H. McLaughlin were delegated by the Citizen’s committee to visit Caldwell the first of the week and ascertain the animus there relative to the extension of the K. C. & S. W. Railroad west from Arkansas City. Our commission found Caldwell’s railroad committee somewhat opposed to the proposed line; it preferred that the road run west from Winfield. Tuesday morning the council met in this city and passed the ordinance granting the railroad company the right-of-way through the city on 13th street. The ordinance was to have appeared in the Traveler, of last Wednesday, but when our committee ascertained the feeling in Caldwell, it telegraphed to withhold its publication, which was accordingly done by Major Schiffbauer. A committee from Caldwell came along with Arkansas City’s committee to Winfield to confer with the
K. C. & S. W. officials and learn their intentions. Wednesday morning Mayor Schiffbauer and A. A. Newman went up to Winfield to join the conference. Everything was amicably settled. Caldwell, on learning that the company was going west from Arkansas City, acquiesced, and our committee came home Thursday morning satisfied with what they had accomplished. Arkansas City, Geuda Springs, and Caldwell are now joined hand in hand, working for the same cause—the building of the Geuda Springs and Caldwell branch. ‘Tis well.”
Eventually the road went from Arkansas City to Geuda Springs and from there to Caldwell. The Frisco later took over the line.
Newman and others fought hard to get the road extended from Geuda Springs to Caldwell, according to the Arkansas City Republican issue of January 16, 1886.
“Messrs. A. A. Newman, T. H. McLaughlin, H. T. Sumner, Geo. Howard, Jas. Hill, W. B. Wingate, Dr. H. D. Kellogg, Frank Austin, Geo. Cunningham, Herman Godehard, W. D. Mowry, S. P. Burress, and F. B. Hutchison went over into the townships in Sumner County along the line of the proposed Geuda Springs & Caldwell Road Tuesday and worked like Turks to secure the carrying of the bonds. Elsewhere we give the good results of their labors. Wonderful stories are told by the boys as to how they walked mile after mile over enormous snow drifts, and how Herman Godehard captured the German vote and also about A. A. Newman’s big speech on the tariff question. ‘Tis no wonder that Arkansas City booms, when she has such patriotic and enterprising citizens pushing at the helm. These gentlemen realized that the carrying of these bonds was a necessary factor in the future welfare of Arkansas City, and accordingly went over to the contested territory, through the piercing winds and snow, and put their shoulders to the wheel. A great deal of credit is due the above mentioned gentlemen for what they did for Arkansas City last Tuesday.”
In November 1885 Newman became one of the directors of the “Board of Trade” started in Arkansas City. He worked hard with many others to secure railroads to Arkansas City.
Newman became very friendly with Wyard Gooch, who assisted in getting repairs made to the bridge and road leading to Newman’s mill. Gooch married Mrs. Newman’s sister. In time, Newman made Gooch a partner in the dry goods business.
The Traveler refrained from personal items relative to A. A. Newman. They did cover one item however, which involved Mr. and Mrs. Wyard Gooch.
“A little social gathering was held at the residence of Wyard E. Gooch, Saturday evening, Dec. 24th, the prominent feature of course being a Christmas tree, which was generously loaded with costly and elegant, as well as worthless, yet comical, presents for the assembled guests. Wyard E. Gooch received a hand-some gold watch, as also did Tom Mantor. Miss Alma Dixon packed an elegant celluloid toilet set home, while Sara Reed rejoiced in a beautiful Atlas, and John Gooch in an unabridged Webster’s dictionary, all of which were the Christmas gifts of A. A. Newman, by his agent, Santa Claus, Esq.
Through the same medium, Mrs. R. C. Haywood received a very elegant pair of diamond set earrings, and Mrs. A. A. Newman a beautifully set diamond ring and brooch. Mr. A. A. Newman was jubilant in the acquisition of a neatly packed parcel, which, upon examination, revealed the well picked backbone of a turkey, an evident recognition of his love for the bird. His exuberant joy, however, was somewhat modified upon Santa Claus handling him an elegant walnut paper and magazine stand. Many other choice presents were donated by Santa Claus, who being present, had the pleasure of presiding at one of the most eminently social gatherings of the Holiday season.”
[ORAL HISTORY - NEWMAN.]
[Sent to Mary Ann Wortman December 1996 from Mrs. Robert A. Reynolds.]
My grandfather, Phillip D. Finch, died October 7, 1887, leaving his wife, Mary Elizabeth, with six children: Hugh, Blanche, Roy, Jacie, Otus, and Stacy.
Grandfather’s wish was to be buried in the family plot in Indiana, but Grandmother didn’t have the means to do this for Grandfather.
A. A. Newman, hearing about the wish and the circumstances, outfitted all of them, gave them a trunk and the means to take Grandfather’s body to Indiana for burial.
Ernestine Finch Reynolds.
Excerpts about Newman taken from the following...
[The following data was taken from one side of a tape made by Ruth Bedell, Arkansas City Historical Society Treasurer, at a meeting of the Society at Cowley County Community College in March 1978. All of the report was not taped. In November 1996 Catharine Goehring transcribed the tape for use by the Society.]
THE NEWMAN STORY.
Narrated by Lura Hodges Newman.
Newman was forced to move his store as the need arose. Mrs. Newman was wrong about some of the dates and locations. About his fourth move was to a location now occupied by Graves Drug Store. She had the following to say:
“All of the departments were enlarged. Mr. Newman was beginning to think about some of the things that he could do for some of his customers—special things to bring more people into the store. He was a kind man. He liked people, and people liked him, often coming to him for his advice because they knew he could be trusted. He wanted to give these people—his customers and friends—a real bargain. Keeping this in mind, he left for market. He met his brother, George, in Emporia, and the two spent the next month on the train and in New York City. Mr. A. A. was a fine merchant. He knew quality, and he wanted the best available merchandise possible in all price ranges. Calico was a popular material in those days, and he decided that calico was going to be his “special,” and that women would not be able to buy calico for any less anywhere than for what they could buy it in his store. He bought bolts and bolts and bolts and bolts of material. Every time he went to market, he bought bolts of calico, and it ranged in price from 3½ cents to 7 cents. That was the wholesale price. He would sell it for 4 cents regardless of the market cost. If he and George thought that the price was too high, George would dicker with the salesmen—sometimes getting the price lowered from ½ to 1 cent per yard because of the volume of the material they purchased. The family always said A. A. couldn’t argue over price, but it didn’t bother George at all. He was the “dickerer.”
When the new merchandise arrived, the calico was put on the tables and in the windows with the 4 cent price mark. Knowing what an excellent value this was, the ladies in town hurried in to get yardage. Many thought it would be a one-time buy, but Mr. Newman kept on and continued the sale of calico at 4 cents for a long, long time; consequently, some of them jokingly used to say that the Newman Dry Goods Company was built on “four-cent calico,” and maybe it was.
It was while in the same location that A. A. Newman bought a three-story and basement building with a seventy-five foot front at 302 South Summit Street. Mr. Newman remodeled the building suitable for the various departments that he was enlarging considerably now; and also while he was remodeling, he put in an elevator. In 1895 the store was moved to this location and remained there until the present store was completed in 1917. It was in this location that Newman Dry Goods Company became a complete department store carrying everything except groceries and furniture.
It was after they came to 302 South Summit Street and about five years before moving from that store that they began deliveries. In one of the old pictures out at the museum, it shows the front of the store and a covered wagon: not like they went across country in, but shaped up square with an entrance and with black oil cloth and big white letters with “Newman’s” on it. That was the delivery wagon drawn by two horses.
I was talking to Lois Hinsey [Arkansas City Historical Society member], and as a little girl she said that one of the things that she remembered in that store—and she must have been pretty little—was right in the center of the building was an elevator, and she said, “I couldn’t help but think when I was shopping at Towne East in Wichita that Mr. Newman was way ahead of himself and way ahead of others in the merchandising business.” She said: “At Towne East right in the center, I believe it’s Henry’s—it has an elevator going down, and this is an open cage elevator. Newman’s didn’t have lucite or unbreakable glass in those days, and so the elevator was just an open elevator with grill work out in the center of the store.” She commented that she was very much impressed when she went downstairs with her mother, stating that she had never seen so much glassware and so much china. She just didn’t know anyone could have that much china and glassware.
The thing I remember about that store, and I think I must have been about five or six years old, because it was shortly before they opened the other store, were the rows and rows of shoes around the walls and these tall ladders on rollers, and I used to think that it would be fun to climb those ladders and sell shoes.
Another thing that I was very much impressed with was the story about Mr. A. A. Newman told to me by a very dear friend of ours in Newkirk, Oklahoma. He and his wife were married after 1895 and had a little girl, and they lived up here, and he worked for the Santa Fe. He said they didn’t have much but they were happy. One fall day they decided they would take their little girl, Laura, and go for a walk. They didn’t live too far from town. They wrapped her in a blanket and went walking downtown; and as they were going along, stopped in front of Newman’s store and were looking at things in the window and saw among other things a coat for a little girl. He stated: “The wife and I turned around and I said, ‘Now, Anna, when I get paid on Friday, we are coming down and get Laura a coat.’” About that time Mr. Newman came by and spoke to them, commenting that it was a pretty chilly day to have that little girl out without a coat. Roy told Mr. Newman that was what he and his wife were just talking about and that they were coming in on Friday to buy one. Mr. Newman took the keys out of his pocket and said: “You are coming in now to get a coat.” He opened the door and took them in, and they chose the coat. Mr. Newman said: “If you can’t pay for this on Friday, it is all right. You can come in next Friday—and if you can’t pay all of it, pay what you can, and you tell them I said so.”
So that is another example of the sort of person that Mr. Newman was. Everybody loved him, and he had a great deal of compassion.
It was while they were in this location that Earl G. Newman [out of school] joined his father in the business. At that time Mr. A. A. Newman began planning for another store. It was also while they were in this location that our beloved Floyd Wright went to work for Mr. Newman—and that was when he was 14 years old, and Floyd Wright is now 85. That is a long, long time, so he was part of Newman’s, as everybody in town knows, and there are so many people who have worked for the Newman store that you can’t begin to name all of them. Floyd was employed in many capacities and became the buyer of the men’s department and remained such until his retirement. Mr. Wright is still on the Board of Directors.
Mr. Wright also stated that Mr. Newman told him about due bills. “Another thing he said (and I don’t know whether you know about these things), but I didn’t, was in regard to due bills. He asked me, ‘Do you know what a due bill is? Do you? Do you know what it is? Well, maybe you do, and maybe you don’t, but anyway I am going to tell you and I hope this is something new. A long time ago some of the hotel managers back east would send advertising things out to the Arkansas City Traveler, and not only the Traveler but other newspapers all around in some of the towns smaller and a little larger, and oftentimes they came about market time.’ Floyd was informed by “Mr. A. A.” before going to market to go by Oscar Stauffer’s before leaving for the east to see if there was a due bill. Apparently Mr. Stauffer then would give the Newman buyers a statement to present to the hotel, and they would stay in one of these hotels that had sent out the advertising. Floyd remembered staying in the Pennsylvania Hotel a number of times. When they got ready to pay for their rooms for the time they were in market, they would take Mr. Stauffer’s bill to the manager; he would give them credit for that amount on their bill for the time they were in market. In the meantime, the buyer or whoever was there would give the statement to the manager, who would mark the bill paid, giving Newman’s credit for that much on their bill, and then when the buyer returned to Arkansas City, Mr. Stauffer paid fifty percent of whatever the hotel owed him. Mr. Wright said, “It made that trip that much less than what it used to be, and I guess they did quite a little advertising with Mr. Stauffer and probably did it with others—I don’t know—but we were always told to go by Stauffer’s to get the due bill before we went to market. I thought that was kinda funny.”
In February 1908 Albert L. Newman and Mate McMillen were married in Arkansas City, and made it their home. They had four sons. Albert W. Newman was the oldest. In later years they moved to 301 North B Street, which had been the home of his parents.
In June 1908 Earl Newman, Sr., went to Boston, where he married Miss Gertrude Waterhouse and brought her to Arkansas City. They established their home at 305 North B Street. Earl and Gertrude had one son, Earl, Jr., and four daughters.
There may be some taller buildings but none built better than the Newman building. It is 100 x 134 feet. It is five stories high and has a basement and sub-basement. The heating facilities are in the sub-basement, and steam heat is used throughout. The building is constructed throughout of concrete and fireproof material; and this certainly was proved in 1953 when there was a big fire on the top floor of the store. Had this fire occurred in the previously occupied building, everything would have been lost. If you remember, it was along in the ’50s, I think, when Montgomery Ward lost their store by fire, and that is when Montgomery Ward moved into the building they now have.
The present Newman store has a large freight elevator that runs from ground level to the loading dock and to the basement and on up to all floors above. There is also a passenger elevator in the basement and to all floors.
The basement floor when the store was first built was really a department store and had lower-priced merchandise. Mr. A. A. Newman always made it very clear that he did not buy cheap merchandise. The merchandise in the basement was not cheap but less expensive from what Newman’s carried upstairs, and that is what I mean when you knew how to buy. Here is an example of his lower-priced merchandise. Lorraine, a popular selling lingerie today, was carried in the basement when we had a full basement store. It was good merchandise. It wasn’t fancy and lace-trimmed at that time, but it was good and it was made of good material and well stitched. The basement store also had shoes, all kinds of general merchandise, clothing, and hardware. Better china and gift wares were in one section, and then they had the regular kitchen ware things. Also, there was a tea room which was back along the north wall where there is the basement now. Now a lot of you would remember the tea room, but there are a lot of you who wouldn’t. It was really lovely, and it would seat from seventy-five to ninety people, and they had elegant food. They served civic clubs, and they were open for the noon meal, which made it nice for the men who worked downtown. They had a nice place to go to and could get back to work easily; and also they would serve parties for the ladies. If they wanted to have a bridge party down there, they could, or they would take teas or have a special party at night; but the only night they were open regularly was on Saturdays, and everybody came in to shop on Saturday night from the towns around and the countryside, and so they would open for Saturday evenings. It never made money, but it didn’t lose money, so for a long time until things got hard and really difficult after the first world war and into the late ’20s and just before the ’30s was when they closed it.
The first floor, at the time the store was opened, had the men’s clothing and all kinds of men’s furnishings. The shoes were in the far east end of the store—rows and rows of shoes—and I’ll tell you (I had forgotten this) but Terry said I goofed—tell about the x-ray machine. A lot of you probably stood on the x-ray machine. She said that was the reason she liked to go shopping for shoes there because she could look at her feet through the x-ray machine. They later decided it was not a good thing to x-ray feet so often, so they did away with it. The medical group decided on this action.
Also on the first floor was a large piece goods department with everything from the very finest ginghams to satins and silks and all of that.
Toward the back part of the store we had other domestic things and the lower-priced cottons. There were purses, jewelry, and really there was a drug department where you could buy almost anything you wanted except prescription drugs, and a transfer desk. Now at the transfer desk almost all the people—if they were going to do very much shopping and if they were going to pay cash—would have the merchandise sent to the transfer desk. It was right there by the elevator on the first floor. If they were going to charge it, they could still have it all sent there, put in one big package, and they didn’t have a lot of things to carry out.
And for his out-of-town customers, Mr. Newman gave a rebate for coming to shop with him, and that was when they came up on the train from Newkirk or down from Winfield. He gave a percentage discount—enough they thought to pay for their way up and back to shop; or if they drove up and brought five people in their car, there was a rebate depending on what they spent in the store to the person who drove the car. So when I was little, if it was under a dollar, I could go get it; but when it was $3, $4, or $5, Dad got it.
The balcony had the boy’s department where the gift department is now. Down the south side was the beauty shop with a number of booths along there with the manicuring tables out by the railing of the balcony. Around the corner there was a shoe shining chair at the end of the beauty shop. Then around the corner from there was the knit shop and art gift work and a shop where they had packages of things, and around the corner from that were the towels and linens and now they had the luggage department. Everybody had wardrobe trunks with lids that lifted up in sections that would come out, or the little steamer trunks. And they couldn’t stack them because if they wanted to show them, they were too heavy to lift down, so they were just lined all the way around the room, and the Chilocco Indians used to come up on—Well, I don’t know how they come now but for a long, long time the girls would come one Saturday and the boys would come another Saturday. They came up on a train that got into Arkansas City around 11:00 o’clock—between 11:00 and 11:30. They all had a sack lunch, and they marched up the street from the depot in their uniforms with capes and everything right to Newman’s. They came in the north door, went right up those steps to where the luggage was, and that is where they would sit and eat their lunch except if there were too many of them, some would go on down and sit at the side of the balcony because there were some chairs there.
Floyd Wright told me about this when I was talking to him one day. “One Saturday morning there was a salesman there—he was from the east—and a lot of you know the people from the east think (at least I think some of them still think) we are kinda heathenish out here. Salesmen were in the habit of putting their shirts out on a table. Oh, yes! They decided the luggage should be covered because the children just weren’t too careful—the boys and girls! I mean they weren’t doing too much, but they had a clean-up job to do. They would have to wipe them all off. So one Saturday morning the salesman was in and showing merchandise in the men’s department. He laid his shirts out—about ten or twelve of them, one on top of the other so that you could see the stripes and the color and the little figure in the pattern and what not. All at once John Robson, who was standing by the door, looked out and saw the little Indians from Chilocco come marching up the way. He came running and said, ‘Get the covers! Here come the Indians!’
The salesman started screaming and started out the door, running down the street, because he really thought the Indians were coming. Well, they were! They were coming to eat lunch. I asked John what happened, and he said that the salesman had dropped some shirts along the way. That took care of the balcony, and it’s been quite a joke since then.”
On the second floor was ready-to-wear. It was carpeted and had a large ready-to-wear and millinery department. You could buy an array of beautifully trimmed hats. From the last of 1917 through the ’20s you didn’t go downtown if you didn’t wear a hat. The women would make fun of us! If you didn’t like the way the hat was trimmed, Newman’s had all kinds of trimmings: they would take the trimmings off a hat and put on what you wanted. Or they had hats that were just plain. Ada Dewey, who was here for many years, was the milliner at that time and did the hat trimming. Lillian Sanderson helped Ada with the trimming of the hats. I guess that is really where Lillian and Sandy met. Sandy worked in the shoe department and later opened his own shoe store.
Some of you may remember all those pillars on the second floor had mirrors around them. The prettiest hat I ever had came from Ada Dewey. It had daisies all around the brim.
The children’s and infants’ wear was on that floor and the corset and lingerie department.
[Unfortunately, the first side of tape ended here and the rest of her story cannot be told.]
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Monday, August 22, 1921.
What has heretofore been known as the Paris Park No. 2, at the southernmost part of Summit street, this morning was officially titled “Newman Park,” in honor of A. A. Newman. This was made upon recommendation of Ulman Paris, promulgator of the park idea, and the name of Newman was advised following a drawing from the names of the contributors to the park, at which time Mr. Newman’s name was selected. The commissioners voted to call the park, Newman Park. The number drawn was 115.
Mr. Paris this morning before the commissioners read the report of Otis Fowler, secretary and treasurer for the new park fund. Twenty-five hundred dollars was spent on the lots and for incidentals, and interest thirty-nine dollars and eighty-six cents was spent. From subscriptions over the town $2,234.18 was raised. The request was made from the city that the deficit of $305.50 be paid by the city, and the commissioners voted to pay this deficit.
ANOTHER PARIS PARK PLAN.
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Wednesday, October 26, 1921.
Ulman Paris, of Paris park fame, who has been instrumental in the past several years of adding two parks to the city of Arkansas City, the first one known as Paris park, and the second as Newman park, has shown his loyalty to the city, by acquiring title to another plot of ground on South Summit street, which will be turned over to the city very soon, as an extension to the Newman park.
The plot in question lies east of Summit street, and will be a valuable addition to the Newman park, which was recently turned over to the city authorities. The new plot contains about four and one-half acres of ground and is two and one-half blocks long and one-half block wide.
This new proposition in the line of purchasing more ground to be used as a city park was started some weeks ago when an Arkansas City man donated the sum of $1,000 to apply on the ground which Mr. Paris desired to secure for this purpose. Then the city agreed to put up $500 on the plan and soon afterwards there were two donations of $100 each and one for $300.
The house and other buildings on a part of this land, known as the Matt Chadwell place, will be sold for the sum of $250, it is said by Mr. Paris; and this also will be applied on the purchase price of the entire plot.
Mr. Paris suggests along this line that the approach to the city from the south is a fine place for a park, as it will beautify the city in that section and will also be a valuable asset to Arkansas City in other ways than this. The new park place will be a valuable addition to the Newman park and will be an extension of that plot, for park purposes.
Mr. Paris and the others who have been instrumental in this latest move for park grounds (whose names have not yet been made public) are to be commended for this bit of enterprise. Further announcement along this line, in the matter of the time when the ground shall be turned over to the city, and other plans along this same line, will be made in the very near future, it is promised by Mr. Paris.
Since the above story was written, Mr. Paris states that he has sold the houses on the ground there to Henry Russell, and they will be moved immediately. Mr. Paris says that the deed to the new plot for park purposes will be turned over to the city just as soon as all the money to pay for the land has been collected, which probably will be by tomorrow.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, April 12, 1922.
At a Chamber of Commerce meeting, it was learned that the Lions Club was already working on the establishment and equipment of an auto tourist park.
The Chamber named a committee composed of Ol Paris, Geo. Cornish, and O. B. Seyster to assist Lions. The Lions have decided on the Paris park site for the camp, while others seem to think the camp should be located at the New Newman park on South Summit street. This matter to be decided later. R. W. Oldroyd, W. N. Harris, C. E. St. John and others gave their views on this subject. Pat Somerfield suggested that local Boy Scouts could assist.
Chamber will urge city commission to establish the park board, which is to be composed of five members with the mayor as the chairman of the board.
Arkansas City Traveler, Monday, May 8, 1922.
Ol Paris stated that the Henneberry boys were desirous of securing the Newman park at the south end of Summit Street, on the west side of the road, for a baseball park, their intention being to put the grounds in shape and build a grandstand. Mr. Paris’ request was granted, and a lease for one year at $1 is to be drawn up accordingly.
[NEW NEWMAN PARK: SOUTH END OF SUMMIT STREET.]
Arkansas City Traveler, Friday, September 8, 1922.
It has been suggested that a special landscape man be brought here from the state agricultural college at Manhattan to advise the local committee and effect plans for the construction and beautifying of the new Newman Park at the end of South Summit Street. The city street commissioner, Frank L. Thompson, has been operating for some time looking to the improvement of the Newman Park. His work has been of a preparatory nature, which has been in process for a long time back. This consists of using the ditches in the park for dumping city refuse, also the gradual removal of the big sand hill on the west side of the street, which was formerly the site of the old Empire gasoline plant. The sand in this hill is good for plastering and cement work, and the city commissioner has been getting a nominal price for it by the wagon load.
While the mayor and city commissioners have been working with a general plan in view, it is believed that it would be advisable to consult a special landscape artist, who would be brought here from the state college at a small cost, probably not much more than his actual expenses, who might make some valuable suggestions and in conjunction with the local men arrive at definite plans to work to.
The park on the east side of the street has already been reserved by the boy scouts, with the intention of having the improving largely done by the scouts, such as planting trees, building a boy scout house, etc. An expert park man might also make some valuable suggestions with reference to this part of the park, it is thought.
In any event the present intention is to convert the unsightly grounds at the south approach to the city into a beautiful park, the work to be prosecuted only as rapidly as circumstances will permit.
C.M. Scott’s diary reports that Newman’s house burnt on March 12, 1891. It cost $40,000 and took a hour and a half to burn. The fire was at 9:30 p m.
C. M. Scott’s diary also reported that on March 14, 1891, A. A. Newman leased one-half of the Ponca reservation (65,000 acres) for one year, but the price was not given.
[RKW thought the price was 8 or 10 cents per acre. MAW]
G. W. Miller, of Winfield leased the other half of the Ponca reservation.
Stacy Matlack, of Arkansas City, leased one-half of the Otoe reservation. This comprised 50,000 acres.