Groceryman, Arkansas City.
Notes by Kay...
The Feb. 1870 census of Cowley County does not list any Page.
The June 1870 Federal census lists Elizabeth Page, age 20, from Canada, and Mary A., age 1 and born in Kansas.
The Vernon township census of 1874 lists H. J., age 28, and his wife, Evaline A., age 30.
The Silver Creek township census of 1878 lists P. B., age 34, and his wife, E. A., age 31.
[LETTER FROM CRESWELL: T. A. WILKINSON.]
Walnut Valley Times, June 3, 1870. Front Page.
[Correspondence of the Times.]
LETTER FROM CRESWELL.
MESSRS. EDITORS: In my last I promised to begin where I left off, but as events of that time are now in a fossil state compared with those of the present, I will merely state that since the Indians went to their mission east of here, we have seen nothing of them. Everything we once hoped for in regard to our town enterprise, is being reduced to practical tangibility.
Stores are being erected by parties who fully appreciate the importance of our location, and who mean business. Capt. Norton has a store well stocked with groceries, dry goods, and provisions, and is having a brisk trade.
Mr. Sipes has just opened his new hardware store on Summit street, and presents a fine display of goods in his line.
Mr. Walsey [Woolsey], of Iowa, has returned with his family, and will soon begin the erection of a large hotel. Mr. Wolsey [Woolsey] is a very fine appearing gentleman, and brings with him a son and two beautiful daughters, who share in a great degree their worthy parent’s polite and cultivated manners. And what makes him extremely welcome among us is the fact that he will start his house on the temperance principle.
The teams, we understand, have gone to your town to aid Mr. Sleeth in bringing down his mill, and we hope soon to manufacture our own lumber, which will certainly enhance the energy already manifested among businessmen here.
Mr. Bowen has the lumber on hand for another grocery store, and Mr. Goodrich hopes to complete his store the coming week. He tells me he has a thousand dollar stock ready packed in Emporia, and is only waiting to complete his building when he will have them sent down.
But I will pass over the business prospects of the town as an established fact, needing no further comment, and speak on a subject quite as important to us.
Society in all new countries necessarily is somewhat chaotic, and takes time to settle down to a permanent basis. It is therefore difficult under such circumstances for order loving and moral people seeking homes to always find a location suited to their past customs of life, and one where society will improve with age. Business prospects are important to all, but those bringing in families and wishing to educate them, and also realizing that influence outside of the family circle has much to do in moulding the character of their children, look for locations that ultimately promise something aside from mere money making.
As I said before, it is difficult to always find just such locations. But as we can nearly always judge the character of any whole by being familiar with its component parts, so we can of society; regarding each individual as an element, and easily determine the general character of any settlement or community.
Old Mr. Endicott, familiarly known among us as Uncle H., comes properly upon our list of permanent residents, as he is the first pioneer we found when we came, is a man in every sense of the word, a gentleman—generous, hospitable, solicitous for the welfare of all whose good fortune it is to share his acquaintance, and the number is truly legion, for his claim on the banks of the Walnut has been the general rendezvous for claim hunters during the past winter; and the old gentleman is still ready to accommodate newcomers to plenty of wood, and has always a kind word of welcome to offer to everyone. He has settled around him several sons and step sons, some of them with their families, and the old adage “a black sheep in every family,” does not apply to them in any respect whatever, for they all seem to be moral, energetic, and intelligent, and well suited to the work of building up and improving a new country.
Our worthy minister, Elder Swarts, knows not only how to instruct us in the ways of truth and religious duty, but also makes his religion practical by his examples of honest industry, which, though they sometimes soil his hands and outer garments, never seem to ruffle his well balanced mind; for under all circumstances, one is improved by his presence. He amuses while he interests, blending truth and good humor together in such harmony as to always please while he convicts. He holds a fine claim a half mile from the town site, and having just completed his house, he has offered it as a place of public worship each sabbath until a suitable house can be erected elsewhere. We understand that his standing as minister of the gospel was a very important one in Illinois, from whence he came, he having held the position of presiding elder for several years.
His daughter, a very fine looking, intelligent young lady, proposes to open a select school as soon as the condition of the town demands it, and from the recent numerous arrivals, that time is not far off. She is also prepared to give instructions in music and painting, and brings a fine piano with her. Having had the pleasure of examining some of her oil paintings, I simply add my testimony to that of many others, when I say they manifest very much artistic skill and workmanship; not only in the choice and blending of colors, lights and shades, etc., but in the design and general execution of the work. Painting, like poetry, is a natural gift, and those elegant and graceful touches which so much enhance the beauty of a picture, can only be accomplished when the brush is in the hands of one whose mind has an instinctive adaptation to the work.
Dr. Alexander and wife, recently from the best ranks of society in Wisconsin, show by their general deportment that they are well calculated to adorn it here, and make it better by the addition of themselves as members.
More recently among us is Professor Norton, with his family, who is so well known that we need hardly repeat that he is a leading spirit and general favorite, because of his impartiality, his mild and unpresuming deportment, his unlimited generosity, uniform urbanity, and constant self-control and good nature, and greatest of all his eminent knowledge on all scientific as well as general topics, making him doubly important to us as a citizen, for the simple reason that we are always benefitted when we enjoy the privilege of associating with our superiors.
Capt. Norton, the Professor’s brother, of whom we have spoken before, is noted for his energy and perseverance, and is doing much for the enterprise by imparting to others considerable of that go-ahead spirit which characterizes his general movements, and which is so necessary to give vitality to any great project when in an embryo state.
Thus you can easily see that we are not even now devoid of the advantages of good society, and I might say in a general way that Kansas is not being settled up after the old order of things.
In this State, under the present system, we are simply transplanting in great numbers, very rapidly, too, the youngest, best, and most enterprising portion of eastern society into new and better soil, for development. Kansas is being settled up by people who have left their aristocratic armor behind, and have come with open hearts and hands to aid in building up society, and seeking only to draw lines of distinction between virtue and vice, morality and immorality.
The poor man here actually enjoys what he simply hears tell of in the more eastern States in a sort of beautiful theory, or tradition of times gone by, viz: opportunity to improve his condition if he will. There is a kind of mutual dependence existing in all new countries that compels humanity to manifest its noblest and most liberal, whole-souled, benevolent qualities. Liberality, generosity, and charity pervades the public mind, of necessity, and the best impulses of our nature are developed and brought into action by the very requirements of our social condition.
In the east men’s fields are fenced to keep out their neighbor’s stock, and their hearts are also hedged in by a wall of selfishness and aristocratic austerity that prevents their neighbors, if they happen to be poor, from offering, or obtaining that sympathy that binds human hearts together.
As far as my experience goes, society in Kansas is free from such corruption, and being no longer infected by border ruffianism, Quantrell raids, or drouth, she will this year receive an impulse which shall continue to move her onward and upward until she attains the rank of one of the first States in the Union.
I have endeavored to give you a fair idea of the progress of events with us in this article. There are many other items which I might mention, but time and space will not permit.
Among the many projects in view, however, I will mention that of constructing a bridge across the Arkansas, and another important item which I almost forgot, is the new well. The first attempt by the town company was a failure, but they have just completed an excellent well, which furnishes plenty of good water.
Before many months we shall have a brass band connected with our settlement. We have now three players, Messrs. Baker, Chapin, and Max Fawcett.
Since I began this article, Mr. Page, a gentleman from Emporia, has taken a lot, and will commence a butcher shop shortly. More anon. T. A. WILKINSON.
Note made by RKW...
Richard Page came to Cowley County in 1870, at the age of 29, and took a farm in Pleasant Valley. In 1872 he entered into partnership with Hermann Godehard, age 22, and established the Page-Godehard Grocery store, in Arkansas City, which had a bakery. We are unsure when Godehard came to Cowley County.
Emporia News, August 25, 1871.
We [Stotler] spent a few days in this beautiful and thriving young town, which sets upon an elevation at the junction of the Arkansas and Walnut Rivers. We were perfectly delighted with the town and surrounding country. If we were going to change our location in this State, we would go to Arkansas City as quick as we could get there. Its location is good for at least two railroads, one down the Walnut and one through the Arkansas valley. The Arkansas valley is much broader and more fertile than we had expected to find it. We firmly believe the Arkansas Valley soil will excel every section in the State in corn and vegetable crops.
In Cowley and Sumner Counties nearly every quarter section has upon it a bona fide settler. Fortunately the speculators were not allowed to get their clutches on an acre of it. On account of this heavy settlement, Arkansas City is bound to have a good trade. She will also receive a share of the Texas trade.
This town has over 100 buildings. Among the rest, and about the largest and best, is the city hotel, kept by our friend, H. O. Meigs. It is the best kept hotel in the Walnut Valley. The table is supplied with good, substantial food, and what is not the case with all tables, it is clean and well cooked; altogether, this is the cleanest, best ventilated, and most homelike public house we have found in our travels lately.
We found here a large number of old Emporia men in business, among whom we may mention O. P. Houghton, Judge McIntire and sons, the Mortons, Charley Sipes, Mr. Page, Mr. Beck, and others. They are all doing well, and have unlimited faith in their town and county.
Beedy & Newman are building a large water mill near the town. They have already expended $8,000 in the enterprise, and will soon be ready for sawing.
Close to the town we found Max Fawcett upon a beautiful piece of land amid grape vines, trees, shrubs, and flowers. He is testing the capabilities of the soil for all kinds of fruits, and has so far the best encouragement. Wherever he is, Max. will be a public benefactor.
We shall go to Arkansas City again in two or three years on the cars. We shall ride up to Meigs’ hotel in a comfortable bus from the depot, and see a town of two thousand inhabitants. You see if we don’t. Cowley is the prettiest, healthiest, and most fertile county we have seen in the State.
Winfield Messenger, July 12, 1872.
Board of County Commissioners met in Co. Clerk’s office in Winfield July 1st, 1872. Present: Frank Cox, O. C. Smith, and J. D. Maurer.
Proceeded to act on the following Road Petitions.
One of Richard Page, for change of State Road, granted and ordered on Section line.
Report on A. S. Williams Road was then taken up, and their report was laid on the table, and new viewers appointed as follows: Lewis Stevens, Richard Page, and J. M. Jackson, survey 30th day of July.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 6, 1873.
List of Letters remaining in the
Post-office at Winfield, Kansas, March 1st, 1873.
Thomas Anderson; Enos W. Buffington; Thomas W. Dickin (3); Kendal E. Dryden; William Davis; Hustin Erwin; John Flink; L. F. Fisher (3); J. C. Fislor; James Greenshields; Samuel Harrison; Howe; John N. Hall; F. M. Higginbottom; Frank K. Johnson; Louis P. King; Milton Laycock; Emmet Mark; Mrs. A. McLellan; McMiller; Mrs. Jane Melson; Edward Province; John Pack; Peter Pixler; Richard Page; Francis Stillway; Jacob B. Shin; C. W. Smith; Thomas Tharp; Sammie Taylor; Joseph D. Wilson; T. F. Weels; W. E. Woodard; Philo Winter; Win Winfred; Elemuel Wilson; C. R. Wilson.
Persons calling for the above will please say “Advertised.”
T. K. JOHNSTON, Postmaster.
[ANNOUNCEMENT: FRANK GALLOTTI FOR COUNTY TREASURER.]
Winfield Courier, September 16, 1875.
TO THE VOTERS OF COWLEY COUNTY.
This is to certify that we, whose names are hereto subscribed, do most heartily recommend for our next County Treasurer, FRANK GALLOTTI, who has for the last year and a half faithfully and satisfactorily performed the duties of said office while acting in the capacity of Deputy; and we do hereby further certify that his character during that time has been such as to fully entitle him to the recommendation. The records of said office kept by him, bears ample testimony of his capability and efficiency. We consider him well qualified to fulfill the duties of said office, and therefore cheerfully recommend him to the voters of Cowley County as well worth of their cordial support, and who, if elected, will most faithfully and systematically perform the duties of said office.
Two of those who signed petition: H. Godehard and R. Page.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 26, 1876.
PAGE & GODEHARD’S!
CASH OR WHEAT TAKEN AT PAGE & GODEHARD’S! FOR ANYTHING IN THEIR LINE OF GROCERIES & QUEENSWARE, of which they keep a full and well-assorted stock. Also, everything in the Bakery & Confectionery Line. We invite our friends to give us a call and see our new stock of Queensware and Stoneware. We shall be glad to see you whether your buy or not.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 26, 1876.
Queensware. We have added a full stock of Queensware to our stock.
PAGE & GODEHARD.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 26, 1876.
R. Page will build on the foundation made by M. C. Baker, on the northwest side of town.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 16, 1876.
POSTPONED. The Social to be held at Mr. Page’s this evening has been postponed until after the protracted meetings.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 1, 1876.
The frame work of Mr. Page’s house is completed; Thomas Baird is doing the work.
[COMMUNICATION FROM “OBSERVER”—COWLEY COUNTY.]
Arkansas City Traveler, March 15, 1876. Front Page.
From the Spirit of Kansas.
Although not a Granger, I venture to drop you a line from “The Great Southwest.” There is little to write about except the weather and crops. In the first place, our weather is all that could be desired—warm and pleasant. There has been but one day since Christmas that a man could not work out of doors in his shirt sleeves. In fact, carpenters and masons keep pecking away as though it was the month of September, and in all directions of our county you may see farmers plowing away as if it was in the early fall or spring. I am informed several have sown wheat and rye in the past month. The wheat that was sown in the proper season in the fall is looking remarkably well, and the acreage sown is at least a third more this fall than last.
While everything seems dull and but little going on here on the border, we have “peace and plenty.” Crops of all kinds were so abundant the past year that we have no suffering for something to eat. Corn is plentiful, and selling very low, but not quite so low as a little north of us. Stock looks in fine condition. Still, this country lacks a good deal of being what it might be with a little industry, thrift, and economy.
As I ride over the country and see the large fields of wheat and corn, miles of hedge fence; neat and comfortable farm houses dotting almost every quarter section; neat little frame houses in all directions, painted white, with three windows on each side and a door in the end, with the ground tramped all around as though it was a base ball ground—it don’t require a great stretch of imagination to tell you what such places are used for.
Although I have lived now twenty-six years on the border, and have witnessed the first settlement of this great State, when I look around me and see the wonderful development and great improvement in this section of our State, I am absolutely astonished; and to an Eastern man it is incomprehensive how so much could be accomplished in so short a time. Cowley County, you are aware, was only organized in 1870.
Previous to that time it was an Indian reservation. Now we have over 10,000 inhabitants; 120 organized school districts, and some 90 good schoolhouses, valued at over $100,000. The one in this city alone cost over $10,000. But then what a country. We have 1,122 sections, or square miles—over 716,000 acres, and scarcely a waste acre in the county.
Our county is well watered—the Arkansas River running the entire length of the western portion; the Walnut and its branches running from north to south, almost through the center of the county, making a junction with the Arkansas at Arkansas City, and forming what is known as the famous Walnut Valley; Grouse Creek and its tributaries running the entire length of the county, from the northeast to the southwest, where it empties into the Arkansas, a few miles east of Arkansas City. The Arkansas River, below the junction of the Walnut and Grouse, is now a considerable stream, with at least twice the volume of water that is in the Kaw, and were it not for the impediment of the Indian Nation, through which it passes, would be navigable for steamboats of light draught seven or eight months in the year, between this place and Fort Smith.
As another evidence of our growth and prosperity as a five-year-old county, I will state what I believe to be true, from the best information I can get—that for the past five months there have been shipped from Cowley County, on an average, twenty wagon loads of wheat per day, averaging thirty-five bushels to the load—making in all over 107,000 bushels of wheat. I have counted as many as sixty loads per day between this place and Wichita. Some 2,000 bushels of wheat were shipped from our town in one day by Houghton & McLaughlin.
As another evidence of the prosperity of our farmers along the line, one firm in this city—Channell & Haywood (and they are not Grange agents, either)—sold during the past summer and fall 25 wagons, 85 plows, 42 reapers and mowers, 45 cultivators, 3 threshing machines, 10 wheat drills, 6 seeders, 15 sulky rakes, 2 sorghum mills, 10 fanning mills, besides a large number of small farming implements. It is no uncommon sight to see forty or fifty farm wagons in our town in a day.
And every once in awhile, our merchants send large amounts of flour into the Indian Nation to feed the noble red man and his interesting family. In one week, Channell & Haywood, the firm above alluded to, sent over 20,000 pounds of flour to the Sac & Foxes. Newman & Co., the same week sent 25,000 pounds on an 800,000 pound contract with the Osages.
But, notwithstanding these large exports of wheat and flour, our people are not happy. They want a railroad, and at the least mention of the words “railroad meeting,” the people flock together to see and hear what is going on.
A few weeks ago we had one of the most enthusiastic railroad meetings at Winfield I have ever attended. There must have been 1,500 people on the ground. This city sent a delegation of about 100 of her best citizens, accompanied by our famous silver cornet band.
The usual events of dying, marrying, and being born are still going on, and our city has its quota of each. As the two latter are gaining on the former, it necessitates the building of more houses, both public and private.
I notice preparations for quite a number of new dwellings to be put up this spring. O. P. Houghton, one of our leading merchants, has commenced hauling the brick and putting in the sills of his new residence. The Rev. S. B. Fleming is having a neat brick parsonage built that will be ready for occupation in a couple of months. Our grocery merchants, Page & Godehard, each contemplate building this spring. We hear of others who will need a house soon. Our Methodist brethren have contracted for a new church to be completed by the first of June. OBSERVER.
Arkansas City, February 27.
[RICHARD PAGE POISONED: DIED WITHIN TEN MINUTES.]
Arkansas City Traveler, July 5, 1876.
One of the most startling occurrences that ever took place in this city was made known last Saturday. Richard Page, aged 35 years, and for the past six years a resident of this county (with the exception of one winter spent in Canada) was at his place of business at the City Bakery, as usual, until about one o’clock p.m., when he started home to dinner, taking a chew of tobacco on the way, saturated with strychnia, which caused his death within ten minutes. The circumstances, as far as could be gathered from evidence, and what the dying man said to his wife and others, are as follows.
On Monday morning Mrs. Page told her husband that mice had already got into their new cellar, and she wanted them killed before they got into the house. Mr. Page stated that he would get some strychnia and poison them, and as he passed Kellogg & Hoyt’s drug store, he stopped in and purchased a few grains, which he carelessly put in his vest pocket with his tobacco; carrying it until Saturday, when he took a chew as above stated, and discovered his mistake. On arriving at the house, he complained of being sick, and went to the cellar to get a mug of ale, but could not drink it. He then called for sweet milk, and drank some, when he found he was unable to get to his bed except by crawling. Mrs. Page then asked him what was the matter, when he said: ‘I have taken strychnia with tobacco, by mistake! He then called his wife and two little girls to him, and bid them good-bye.
Mr. Hutchinson was called in, and Drs. Shepard and Hughes sent for, but they arrived too late to lend assistance. On Sunday afternoon he was buried, being followed to the grave by a host of friends, making as large, if not the largest, funeral procession ever attending the remains of anyone from this place.
As a man, Richard Page was a respected citizen and devoted Christian, honored and respected by all who knew him. His life was insured in an Express Agents Insurance Company for $3,000, which, with what capital he had, will provide for the family.
Winfield Courier, July 6, 1876.
RICHARD PAGE, an old resident of Arkansas City, died last Saturday at that place from the effect of chewing tobacco saturated with strychnine. The poison had been carelessly put into his vest pocket by himself to be carried home for mouse poisoning and it came in contact with some tobacco which he afterwards chewed, with the fatal result. He leaves a wife and two children and considerable property for their support. He was universally respected and a large funeral attended his burial.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 19, 1876.
ALL PERSONS knowing themselves indebted to the old firm of Page & Godehard will please call and make settlement.