PRESS PREVAILS AGAINST THE JUDGE.
In May 1877 it was noted that Kansas had more newspapers in proportion to population than any other state in the Union: 172. Newspaper men began to hold editorial conventions, often followed by excursions via the early trains in existence, being treated like royalty.
The power of the press was felt when the editors of the Winfield Courier and Telegram became incensed by being charged with contempt and fined by Judge W. P. Campbell of the 13th judicial court in May 1880, being allowed ten days in which to make a case for the Supreme Court of Kansas.
Those involved in this case, directly and indirectly, are the following.
District Court Judge W. P. Campbell.
Kansas was divided into judicial districts at an early date. On May 23, 1871, the first session of the district court in Cowley County was held in Winfield on May 23, 1871, by Henry G. Webb, Judge of the 11th judicial district; the same judge held a second session on October 9, 1871. In February 1872 Governor Harvey of Kansas appointed W. P. Campbell, 27, of Eldorado, Butler County, as Judge of the 13th Judicial District. [It must be noted that in its infancy El Dorado was known as “Eldorado.”]
John A. Campbell, a son of William Pitt Campbell, wrote a letter March 25, 1963, to Judge Doyle E. White of Cowley County, Kansas, giving him information on his father.
“William P. Campbell was born in Stanford, Kentucky, February 13th, 1845. He enlisted in the First Kentucky Cavalry as a musician in 1861 at the age of sixteen; re-enlisted as a private in 1862 in the Sixth Kentucky Cavalry; was a prisoner of war for six months in Belle Isle, Virginia. At the close of the civil war he was mustered out as a Sergeant Major, the highest ranking noncommissioned officer.
“He was admitted to the bar in Pulaski County, Kentucky, October 10, 1866. In 1869 he married Mary Katharine Barnes, daughter of a distinguished Kentucky lawyer, Colonel Sidney M. Barnes. The same year, he and his young wife arrived in El Dorado, Kansas. Ten children (four boys and six girls) were born to this union.
“The young lawyer rented an office built of cottonwood boards, size 14 by 16, from old Doc White, the town druggist and father of William Allen White. Doc White’s greeting was ‘Young man, if you can live on sowbelly, drink creek water, and will leave whiskey alone, I think you can make it!’ He obtained his first case three days after he set up his office, and his fee was a pony. Money was scarce in those days. It was said that they sent O. L. McCabe to the legislature because he was the only man in the county with a cloth coat.
“Young Campbell was first appointed County Attorney of Butler County by Governor Harvey, and later was elected to the legislature but declined to serve. El Dorado soon became a thriving community and politics became important. These were the stormy days of El Dorado’s fight for the County seat. It was during this fray that Bill Campbell earned his title of ‘Tiger Bill,’ for his fiery conduct when hecklers tried to break up one of the county meetings.
“He was appointed Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial District by Governor Harvey in 1872 at the age of 27 years, was elected for two four-year terms and served to 1881. There were six counties: Sedgwick, Sumner, Cowley, Butler, Howard, and Greenwood. Judge Campbell covered the territory by pony or horse and buggy to hold court in the county seats. Many important and famous cases were decided during his nine-year tenure on the bench. He served in his profession when a man’s character was tested to the limit. He chose the hard way, the way of the builder and the creator.
“Judge Campbell moved to Wichita in 1874 with his family. He became active in the civic and cultural life of the community. After he retired from the bench, he was appointed City Attorney of Wichita. He was one of the founders of the City Library and Garfield University (now Friends University), and afterward was Department Commander of the G. A. R. of Kansas (1894). There were 20,000 Union Soldiers living in the state at that time. In 1895, he was appointed Asst. Attorney General to enforce the prohibitory law of Kansas and closed up the ‘blind tigers’ in Wichita. His title of ‘Tiger Bill’ was revived because of his vigorous fight on the violators of the law. He was a talented amateur singer and actor, with a good baritone voice and a flair for the dramatic. He played the title role of the ‘Union Spy’ in 28 performances at the Turner Opera House, and sang in numerous musicals—including the Mikado, Belshazzar, The Persian King, and others.
“At the turn of the century, he moved to Howell County, Missouri, where he ran a fruit farm and continued his law practice in Willow Springs and West Plains. He returned to Wichita in 1910 and resumed his law practice. In 1920, at the age of 75, when most men have retired, he was elected Judge of the City Court and served for one term. This is now Common Pleas Court. He was honored by his fellow lawyers by being chosen president of the Wichita Bar. He had retired to his books and flowers after his long and eventful life. He was again honored by the bar with a banquet at the Wichita Club to celebrate his 90th birthday anniversary on February 18, 1935. He held their rapt attention for an hour recounting his experiences in the legal profession and on the bench. He fell and broke his hip January 3, 1935, and passed away ten weeks later, March 12, 1938, at the age of 91 years and 22 days.”
District Court Judge W. P. Campbell first held court at Winfield on March 25, 1872. He was re-elected many times and was fully prepared to run again in 1880, at which time the six counties comprising the 13th Judicial District in Kansas were Sedgwick, Sumner, Cowley, Butler, Chautauqua, and Elk.
Elisha S. Torrance, County Attorney.
Elisha S. Torrance was born at New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, in 1846, the son of the Rev. Adam Torrance, of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania [1801-1881], of Scotch-Irish extraction, an ordained minister of the Presbyterian church, who served as chaplain of the 11th Pennsylvania Reserve Corps in the war of the rebellion; and grandson of an officer in the war of the revolution. Torrance graduated at the Washington and Jefferson College in Pennsylvania in 1867 at the age of 21. He then continued the study of law under various attorneys. Between January and September 1870 he became a member of the bar and was connected with an attorney at Emporia, Kansas, the Hon. Almerin Gillett. He moved to Winfield on September 14, 1870. He served as the Cowley County Attorney from January 1871 to January 1875, during which time he built up a large collection of law books. He read, studied, and practiced law tirelessly and incessantly. On January 11, 1875, Torrance resigned as county attorney and dissolved his law partnership with J. B. Fairbank and A. H. Green. On January 19, 1875, E. S. Torrance and L. J. Webb were admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of Kansas. In June 1876 Torrance and Webb started a law firm in Winfield. On December 20, 1876, their partnership was dissolved. On February 1, 1877, E. S. Torrance married Virginia Stewart at the residence of the bride’s sister in Winfield. He also took in Mr. Henry Asp as an assistant in his busy practice, where he became noted as a brilliant criminal lawyer. He easily won election to become county attorney again on January 1879.
In January 1880 Torrance became a partner in the Manzanares Mining Company in New Mexico, which found silver, copper, and lead in a mountain three miles from the Santa Fe railroad within two miles of the Rio Grande. Individuals from Cowley County who became involved with this venture started the town of “Torrance,” named after E. S. Torrance.
Daniel Azro Millington.
D. A. Millington was born in Hubbardton, Vermont, on May 17, 1823. Receiving an education in the common and higher schools, he became proficient in mathematics and the sciences. He taught in the common schools five winters. Millington moved to Will County, Illinois, in 1844. Four years later he married Mary A. Smith. In 1850 he wrote in his diary, “Having come to the conclusion that I could not make money fast enough in Illinois, my adopted (home), I concluded to start for the famous land of gold, California.” He left on horseback and traveled by way of St. Louis, St. Joseph, and Salt Lake City, reaching Sacramento, California, on July 19, 1850. He met with some success in gold mining, and boarded a steamship on September 1, 1851, to return home. He then rode a mule across the isthmus of Panama and boarded another steamship in the Atlantic. He went into the lumber business at Joliet, Illinois, on his return. In 1856 he moved with his family to Iowa City, Iowa, and entered the general mercantile business; relocating in 1862 to Leavenworth, Kansas, where due to the war he was successful. In January 1866 the Millington family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and D. A. Millington met with heavy losses. He then moved with his family to Fort Scott, Kansas, and continued in the mercantile business.
At. Fort Scott Millington became acquainted with James C. Fuller, a native of New York, and Addison Richards. These three gentlemen left Fort Scott, Kansas, in late July 1870 for Sumner County, Kansas, where they became proprietors of “Sumner,” a new town being laid out. Among other proprietors they met Col. J. McMullen, of Clarksville, Tennessee.
(It appears that all did not go well at Sumner. On August 16, 1870, Millington and Fuller started the Winfield Town Company with E. C. Manning. Col. McMullen moved to Arkansas City, where he started a private bank in 1871. All three became linked together again in April 1879 when the Citizens’ Bank and Winfield Bank were consolidated into a new entity called the “Winfield Bank.”)
A. J. Patrick was the editor and proprietor of the Winfield Censor. In late November 1870 an article appeared stating that the president of the town company, Mr. J. C. Fuller, had informed them that twenty-three business houses were now under contract and in course of construction, adding “How’s that for a town only four months old?”
Millington had some experience as a surveyor. He completed laying out into town lots and blocks all the west half of Fuller’s claim and the east half of Manning’s claim in January 1871 after the government survey. Millington and Fuller erected a small frame building on the southwest corner of 9th Avenue and Main Street, called “The Winfield Bank of J. C. Fuller.” It was the first bank in Cowley County, established in the spring of 1871.
In May 1871 D. A. Millington served as a road viewer in seeking a favorable route from Winfield to Howard County and opened a land office for the town company at the bank, prepared to receive pre-emption statements for the U. S. Land Office from settlers. He replaced the first Cowley County surveyor, H. L. Barker, who was appointed on November 8, 1870, and resigned on July 1, 1871.
D. A. Millington was appointed Winfield township clerk on July 1, 1872, by the Cowley County Board of Commissioners after F. A. Hunt resigned.
Millington was part of a committee appointed on August 31, 1872, to consider extending aid to build a section of the Nebraska and Kansas Railroad from Peabody to Cowley County.
In response to a petition presented by a majority of the electors of the unincorporated town of Winfield, containing a population of about six hundred inhabitants, the Judge of the 13th Judicial District of the State of Kansas, W. P. Campbell, called for an election to be held on March 7, 1873, at which Millington was one of the judges. The electors made Winfield an incorporated city of the third class. He lectured about astronomy before the teachers attending the Normal Institute in Winfield in April 1873 and became a justice of the peace in May. In December 1873 Squire Millington held the first of many parties in his residence, 420 East Tenth Avenue, assisted by Mrs. Millington and their four daughters. Fifteen couples made the double parlor floor ring with the heel and toe. Supper was served at midnight.
Millington was busy in 1874. In March he sold half of the block upon which his house stood to Rev. James E. Platter, who erected a fine residence. In that same month he was admitted to the Bar in Cowley County and formed a co-partnership with attorney L. J. Webb. He resigned as Justice of the Peace in April so that there would be two Justices to elect in the township instead of one. In June he was appointed as a member of the reception committee for the planned 4th of July celebration in Winfield. In August he became a director of the Cowley County Agricultural Society and a director of the school board. In September Webb and Millington moved their law office into the Winfield Bank.
D. A. Millington was one of the citizens in Winfield interested in promoting moral and intellectual improvement and to consider establishment of a Library and Reading Room. In November 1874 a series of meetings were held at the Winfield courthouse, and in mid-December a board of directors was elected. Millington was made president. The Institute’s goal was to establish a public library and reading room. In June 1875 a library was opened at the law office of Mr. Millington every Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m. Mr. Millington acted as the Librarian.
In April 1870 a group of citizens living in the south of Butler County and the north part of Cowley County mounted a campaign to create a separate county consisting of a twenty- mile strip to be taken from the south part of Butler and a six-mile strip from the north end of Cowley County. Millington was warned in January 1875 that the movement was gaining momentum. He quickly called for a meeting and a resolution was passed, opposing the giving away of any part of Cowley County.
Millington was the Mayor of Winfield for two years: 1875 and 1876. In January 1876 Millington was appointed U. S. Commissioner vice L. B. Kellogg, resigned.
Millington continued his efforts to get a railroad that would come to Cowley County. His efforts and that of others was noted in the Winfield Courier on May 24, 1877. “The lightning killed a mule belonging to Mr. Slemmons, at the Vernon schoolhouse Saturday night. Messrs. Millington, Jennings, Kelly, Seward, and railroad speakers from Arkansas City and Emporia were there. It’s kind of funny that the lightning selected that mule.”
A. B. Lemmon, who married Millington’s oldest daughter, Clara, on November 24, 1875, became a partner in purchasing the Winfield Courier from E. C. Manning. The first issue of the paper, jointly edited and conducted by them and James Kelly, appeared on July 12, 1877. Mr. Millington soon took charge and handled most of the editorials. He also answered some peculiar queries such as the following: “If 3 cats will catch 8 rats in 3 minutes, how many cats will it take to catch 100 rats in 100 minutes at the same ratio?” His response: “This is not so simple a problem as it looks on its face, yet it is readily solved as follows: If three cats can catch 8 rats in 3 minutes, then three cats can catch a rat a minute and 100 rats in 100 minutes. Answer—three cats. Give us something hard. ED.”
D. A. Millington received his commission and assumed the office of postmaster at Winfield on February 1, 1879. He served for five years.
On April 24, 1879, Mr. Lemmon sold his interest. Mr. Millington became sole editor and publisher of the paper.
In July 1879 D. A. Millington told about a trip that he and Mrs. Millington made to Colorado after visiting with their daughter and son-in-law, A. B. Lemmon, in Topeka. Lemmon asked who they were going with. Millington answered, “M. L. Robinson and J. C. Fuller.” Lemmon rejoined: “Correct. Never think of going to Colorado with less than two bankers with you.”
Millington, then fifty-six years of age, told about his trip to Pike’s Peak with M. L. Robinson. “We started from Colorado Springs before six o’clock in the morning and rode in a buggy six miles, up to Manitou Springs at the entrance of the canon at the foot of the trail. Here we mounted hardy and sure-footed ponies and entered upon the trail at about seven o’clock. Our route was steep uphill, winding around mountain peaks and precipices, up a stupendous gorge or canon; past numerous water falls—many of them covered by enormous granite rocks which had tumbled down from thousands of feet above; winding along in a narrow mule path in the steep sides of fine debris, which had tumbled down from the heights above; hugging overhanging rocks to keep from falling into the stupendous chasm below; crossing over the gorge back and forth to avoid impassible precipices; and finally at the end of four and a half miles, and having risen 3,000 feet, we emerged from the canon into a wider valley, in which there was much vegetation, and which was crowded with splendid quaking aspen trees and many firs; along which valley we passed westward toward the peak, still rising rapidly and winding between lofty peaks. Following this valley a mile and a half we turned to the left, directly south, and went up along the backbone of a very steep ridge for two miles, which brought us up to the Lake House, a log hotel on the margin of a beautiful lake lying in an ancient crater at an elevation of 9,700 feet.
“From this point we went west and southwest, climbing diagonally up the steep side of a spur or ridge, running down southwest from the peak. A mile and a half of the steepest kind of climbing brought us around the point of the ridge. A storm was raging above us, and we rode into it, winding up the west slope of the peak. The storm was rain, snow, and hail with the sharp reports of lightning and thunder reverberating among the crags around us. One discharge splintered a granite rock to pieces but two or three hundred feet from us. But we were well wrapped and comfortable and kept climbing and winding up spirally from the west side of the peak around the north and east sides to the south side, where we emerged above the storm, and still climbing up toward the north, arrived at the signal station on the very summit, having risen above the lake nearly 5,000 feet, about 2,000 up to the storm, 2,000 through the storm, and 1,000 above it.
“We arrived at the summit at about a quarter past three o’clock in the afternoon. The storm was still raging below us. Far down the sides of the peak, all around from 1,000 to 5,000 feet below us, rolled the dark clouds, the lightning flashed incessantly, and the thunder crashed and reverberated; but we looked over the storm down to the east and saw the city of Colorado Springs, eighteen miles distant, lying apparently immediately below us, and many other objects stretching away in the distance. But the storm though still far below us was widening toward the east and soon shut off our vision from the lower world. Sometimes a little fraction of the cloud would roll up from below on one side of the top and plunge down on the other side, but otherwise it was fair on the top.
“At four o’clock p.m. we commenced our descent. Before we had proceeded a mile down the trail we found ourselves entering the upper side of the storm, and by the time we had descended another mile, we found ourselves surrounded by a war of the elements which cannot be described. The rain, snow, and hail were in themselves terrible, but the lightning and thunder were too frightful to contemplate. The air was filled with rapid flashes, and reports sharp, loud, and incessant, crashed and reverberated among the crags about us. We heard the splintered and exploded rocks rattling and jingling all about us, but could not see them for the darkness and density of the storm.
“My companion, M. L. Robinson, got down from his pony and by the light of the lurid flashes, I thought he looked rather pale. There were several strangers on their ponies along, and not only men but ponies seemed almost paralyzed by fright. There was one woman, strong and courageous as she went up, now entirely demoralized. She and her husband had dismounted when we overtook them coming down. He was standing pale and speechless by the side of the trail. She was on her knees, her face deformed by her fears and distress, large tears rolling down her face, moaning, praying, begging for life. She prayed and promised the Lord that if he would save her from this terrible danger, she would never go to Pike’s Peak again, the longest day she ever lived. M. L. tried to soothe and quiet her, but he might as well have attempted to quiet the storm that was crashing around us. We told them that that was no place to stop, to get on their ponies and ride down out of the storm. We proceeded to follow our own advice and were soon below the worst of the storm; and when we reached the Lake House, the storm was all above us toward the top of the peak. We arrived at Manitou from the top of the peak in four hours. It had taken us eight hours to go up. We arrived at Colorado Springs at nine o’clock p.m.”
Mr. Millington concluded his article with another event. “Judge Hallett delivered in the U. S. Court his decision dismissing the Receiver appointed by the state court of Colorado, in whose hands was placed the Denver and Rio Grande railroad. The Receiver immediately turned the property over to the D. & R. G. company and that company, being in contempt of court for not having turned the property over to the A., T. & S. F., in compliance with an order of Judge Hallett in June, turned over the road to the latter company at noon. There was great rejoicing among the friends of the A., T. & S. F. Guns were fired, bonfires, illuminations, and speeches were made.
“We were among those who heartily rejoiced at the result and we congratulate Manager W. B. Strong and his friends on the able and glorious fight they have made and on this fair measure of success. We were then at Colorado Springs and took the first train under the new management to go south to the Rio Grande.
“Arriving at Pueblo, a large number of the discharged employees of the former management with their friends numbering two or three hundred, assembled around the train and made an attack on the employees of the A., T. & S. F.
“An extensive fight ensued. Some three hundred pairs of fists were hitting around in a lively manner and the Santa Fe forces were whipped out. The engineer and conductor whose lives were threatened skipped out and disappeared. The train was detained two and a half hours until the Santa Fe authorities accepted an engineer, conductor, and hands that were dictated by the mob. The civil authorities pretended to be trying to keep the peace and preserve order, but were evidently in sympathy with the mob. Nevertheless we went on with the train to Alamosa on the Rio Grande and returned to Pueblo the next day.
“At Alamosa no friends of the Santa Fe company dared to appear. At El Moro the Rio Grande roughs bought all the fire arms and ammunition that could be had and held the ground. The whole southern part of the road was in the hands of the mob and what the result will be it is hard to guess. Doubtless blood will be spilt and the U. S. Marshals with posse will be called to quell the mob and completely carry out the orders of the court.
“At seven o’clock on the morning of last Friday, we were at Alamosa on the west side of the Rio Grande in Colorado. At the same hour on the next morning we were at Newton, Kansas, having traveled 576 miles in 24 hours, including stoppages, one of which was two hours at Pueblo. The narrow gauge train carried us up the Sangre De Christo range, down the frightful gorges and windings of the Veta Pass, and over the high mesa skirting the mountain ranges, 136 miles to Pueblo; then the A., T. & S. F. train slid smoothly down the Arkansas at the rate of 35 miles per hour, 440 miles to Newton.
“As we came down from Wichita last Saturday evening, we found that the railroad track was laid as far as the creek a mile this side of El Paso and the grading completed several miles farther; in fact, as far as we could see it from the wagon road. Work appeared to be progressing vigorously. We saw a construction train loaded with railroad material about 13 miles this side of Wichita.”
Mr. Millington retired from active business in 1886, but remained connected in an official capacity with the Winfield Gas Company.
D. A. Millington died suddenly on May 6, 1891, of heart failure at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Hackney, where a group had assembled to visit with two of his daughters, Mrs. W. J. Wilson and Mrs. Ezra Nixon. Both ladies planned to leave the next day: Mrs. Wilson going to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Mrs. Nixon to Medicine Lodge, Kansas. Besides the two daughters mentioned, Mr. Millington was survived by his wife and two other daughters: Mrs. J. Ex Saint, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Mrs. A. B. Lemmon, of Santa Rosa, California.
Ed. P. Greer.
Ed. P. Greer was the oldest son of Samuel W. Greer, who was born in Alleghany County, Pa., on June 2, 1826. Samuel W. Greer moved to Oskaloosa, Iowa, and married Clotilda Hilton in 1855. They moved to Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1856. Edwin Patterson Greer was born in Leavenworth on September 13, 1857. In October 1858 Samuel W. Greer was elected Territorial Supt. of Public Instruction in a campaign that was the first free state triumph at the polls, holding this office for three years. On April 14, 1861, he became a private in the Frontier Guard, which protected President Abraham Lincoln.
Jno. K. Bartlett, a resident of Leavenworth, Kansas, became a member of the Frontier Guard. He stated there were 180 men in the Guard. On April 19, 1861, he wrote a letter to the Daily Times at Leavenworth, telling about the assignment of the Frontier Guard to the post of honor, the East room of the President’s House, where they took up their quarters, being furnished with arms, ammunition, and “put through” a short drill after which Gen. James H. Lane, acting as Captain, was presented with a sword by Major Hunter.
“The people at the Capital were greatly agitated and excited all day yesterday. The news of the secession of Virginia and the rumors that Harper’s Ferry had been taken, together with the fact that many secession families have been moving out of the city within the past few days, induced the belief that an attack was about to be made on Washington. This naturally gave rise to much anxiety and apprehension, for this place is at present unprepared for an assault from any considerable force. Defensive operations have been vigorously pushed ahead for the last twenty-four hours. Many volunteer companies have been formed, composed mostly of strangers now visiting the seat of government.”
Samuel Greer assisted in protecting the White House until other troops were transported, when he returned to Kansas and was enrolling officer at Ft. Leavenworth for a time, after which Gov. Carney gave him a commission of Second Lieutenant as a recruiting officer, and he recruited Company I, 15th vol. Cav., after which he was unanimously elected captain and commissioned by the Governor, in which capacity he served until mustered out in October 1865. Mr. Greer was engaged in active business in Leavenworth until January 1871 when the family moved to Cowley County, settling on a claim southwest of Winfield. Samuel Greer became an early merchant, selling school desks, etc. He had two different partners (W. M. Boyer and A. B. Close) before retiring from business due to consumption. J. B. Lynn purchased the building formerly occupied by Close and Greer in February 1874. Samuel W. Greer died at the age of fifty-seven at his residence in Winfield on September 30, 1882, survived by his wife, four boys, and two girls.
Edwin Patterson Greer started working at an early age doing odd jobs. In 1873, when he was thirteen, he worked in a brick-yard near Winfield. He became an apprentice in the Courier office on June 1, 1874, under James Kelly, then the editor of the Winfield Courier.
Ed. P. Greer married Lizzie Kinne, daughter of E. P. Kinne, in Winfield on Wednesday morning, October 30, 1878. Their first child, Edwin Prentis Greer, was born in 1879.
On May 1, 1880, Ed. P. Greer became a member of the Courier Company, with a third interest in the concern. He continued running the local and business department, taking over as editor when Mr. D. A. Millington retired. On October 15, 1924, Edwin P. Greer retired. He died on board the steamer “City of Los Angeles” on Sunday, December 7, 1924.
Will M. Allison.
Will M. Allison learned about printing in Illinois. A mere boy with a handful of type and a cheap press, he commenced publication of the Cowley County Telegram at Tisdale, Cowley County, Kansas, on September 12, 1872, with a dozen or two subscribers and very little patronage to “fill the great want of a newspaper at the geographical center of the county.” After issuing five weekly numbers at Tisdale during a time when settlers were scarce and poor and it was a struggle to make a living at anything much more to build up a great newspaper from such small beginnings, Allison removed to Winfield. In its first years the newspaper was independent or granger in politics, but in its last years it was democratic. Allison had others associated with him: Arthur H. Hane, Abe B. Steinberger, and Bret Crapster. In May 1880 Allison was running both a daily and weekly Telegram.
In January 1881 W. M. Allison purchased the Sumner County Democrat at Wellington, Kansas, and came out with the first number of its successor, The Wellingtonian, in February 1881. He sold the Wellington newspaper in July 1883. In September 1883 Mr. Allison and his family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he became editor of the Albuquerque Daily Journal. In October 1884 he again took over the Wellingtonian when the mortgage was foreclosed in his favor; disposing of his newspaper in Albuquerque. In October 1885 the two dailies in Wellington, Kansas, were consolidated by Jacob Stotler, who purchased the Wellingtonian from W. M. Allison and started the Daily Press. Later that month W. M. Allison became the proprietor of a new paper called The Guardian, published at West Plains, Kansas. By March 1886 Mr. Allison and his family had again become residents in Winfield and he soon started a newspaper called the Winfield Visitor.
Fight Between Judge W. P. Campbell and Winfield Newspaper Editors.
In April 1880 the Winfield Courier advocated the election of Mr. E. S. Torrance because they thought he was the best man for the position of district judge.
On May 13, 1880, Editor Millington wrote an article about the trial of Chas. H. Payson.
“The trial of Chas. H. Payson, for obtaining property under false pretenses, terminated last Monday by the jury bringing in a verdict of guilty. While this case was pending, we carefully avoided saying anything that would tend to prejudice the minds of our readers for or against the unfortunate victim; but now that the matter has been fully tried, a verdict rendered, and the case no longer before the jury and court, we shall attempt a review of the testimony and facts pertaining to the prosecution and conviction.
“On or about the 26th of January, Mr. Payson filed for record a deed from Lena McNeil to himself, conveying certain real estate known as the ‘Curns property.’ This deed he claimed to have obtained for services rendered in the trial of Dick Rhonimus (a brother of Mrs. McNeil who was then in jail charged with stealing cattle), and for legal services to be rendered during the year. Soon after obtaining the deed, he mortgaged the property to James Jordan for $480, and subsequently sold it to G. H. Buckman, subject to the mortgage, for $200. About this time Rhonimus escaped from jail, and soon after Payson was arrested for obtaining the deed under false pretenses, and after a preliminary examination, was remanded to jail until this term of the district court.
“At this trial the examination was full and searching, every effort being put forward by the prosecution and the defense. Mrs. McNeil, and her daughter, Lena, testified that their intention was to convey the property to Mrs. McNeil, and that Payson produced and read to them a deed making such conveyance; but afterward, while going from Mrs. McNeil’s house to the notary public’s office, substituted another conveying the property to himself, which was signed and acknowledged by Lena upon his representation.
“These are the facts as gleaned from the evidence; and in our opinion, the jury brought in a verdict in accordance, as they were sworn to do, ‘with the law and evidence in the case.’”
On Monday, May 17, 1880, Judge W. P. Campbell presented an attachment for contempt of court against W. M. Allison of the Telegram and D. A. Millington and E. P. Greer of the Winfield Courier. A fine of two hundred dollars each was assessed against Messrs. Allison and Millington, and one dollar against Mr. Greer, parties to stand committed until paid. A stay of execution, without bond, for ten days was granted to allow the defendants to make a case for the Supreme Court.
D. A. Millington responded on May 20, 1880. “Last Monday morning we were taken completely by surprise by an attachment issued for us by Judge Campbell for contempt of court. On examining the complaint, which was written by the judge himself, we found that the contempt consisted in, and was entirely made up of, articles which appeared in last week’s COURIER.”
The articles referred to, printed in the May 13th issue, were as follows.
“Probably no case was ever tried in this county which has created so much interest as the trial of C. H. Payson, just terminated with the verdict of guilty in the District Court. After the verdict large squads of men were gathered on each corner discussing it with much warmth, and criticizing scathingly those who took part in the trial either as witnesses, attorneys, jury, or judge. The majority seemed to sympathize strongly with Payson; eulogized his plea in his own defense as one of the best forensic efforts ever heard; thought that though Payson was probably guilty of something bad, he was not guilty of the offense charged in the indictment; and that if he was guilty of another offense, the prosecuting witness was equally guilty of the same offense. They criticize the county attorney for being too zealous in the prosecution; and the judge as acting as prosecuting attorney, and ruling out evidence supposed to be favorable to Payson. The minority seemed to be equally sure that Payson was guilty as charged, and had been given a fair trial; that Torrance had done his whole duty and nothing more; that the judge was fair and impartial; and that the jury could not have done otherwise than it did. The new jury of the whole public will probably never be able to agree.”
“The boys tell us that in the trial of Payson, when the witness Goodrich was on the stand for cross-examination, Judge Campbell took the witness out of the hands of the attorneys and cross-examined him for an hour in an effort to make him contradict himself. This reminds us of a case before Judge Davis, of Illinois, in which the attorney for the prosecution demanded that the case proceed to trial at the time set, though the attorney for the defense was absent. Judge Davis said the case could go to trial, but would mention that a similar case happened in La Salle County, and this court looked to the interest of the absent attorney for the defense, and said Judge Davis, ‘You remember that we beat ’em.’
“The argument of E. S. Torrance for the prosecution, and of C. H. Payson for the defense, in the trial of the latter are both spoken of as remarkable for power and brilliancy.”
Newspapers throughout the state of Kansas began to criticize Judge Campbell. An article printed in the June 3, 1880, issue of the Augusta Gazette, was typical of the complaints about Judge Campbell registered by the editors of many papers in the state of Kansas.
“The people of the Thirteenth Judicial District will be called upon, next fall, to elect a successor to Judge W. P. Campbell. The more prominent candidates thus far mentioned are Mr. Torrance, present County Attorney for Cowley County; Judge M. S. Adams, of Wichita; and W. P. Campbell.
“Judge Campbell has filled the position for eight years. His decisions have been subjected to much criticism, sometimes warmly approved, other times condemned by many people. The bulk of our readers are conversant with his demeanor, both on and off the bench, but the majority of them do not know that he has been ‘stage struck.’ The Wichita Guards, a military organization, prepared a play entitled ‘The Union Spy,’: and Judge Campbell essays the roll of the spy. He appears possessed of considerable dramatic talent and having given excellent satisfaction as an actor, his services appear to be in demand in various parts of the State. During the latter part of March, the play was performed at Emporia, with the Judge as the bright particular star. In order to be present and participate, we are told that he adjourned court in Chautauqua County. Last week the play was performed at Topeka, and large pictures of the Judge’s handsome person were profusely posted, throughout the city. But another difficulty was in the way, Court was in session with a full docket in Cowley County. There was but one way to remove the difficulty—an adjournment. Notwithstanding the presence of the litigants, who were ready for trial, we are told the Judge refused to listen to the appeals of interested parties and adjourned court.
“A few weeks since Court was in session in Sumner County, the Judge’s wife wished to visit her friends in Colorado and New Mexico, and he wanted to accompany her. Notwithstanding the two hundred cases on the docket, and the many pleas for him to continue the court, reporters say he adjourned the same until about the first of June.
“Now the Judge has a perfect right as a man, to develop any dramatic talent he may possess, and no one should say him nay. At the same time the people have a right to demand of the person whom they elect to this responsible position, a prompt, faithful, and efficient discharge of the duties pertaining thereto. Again, there is a certain dignity belonging to the office of Judge, and some queer-minded people might imagine that going about the country playing the buffoon for the amusement of the populace would have a tendency to degrade that office and win the contempt of the people for the occupant. . . .”
On June 21, 1880, Judge Campbell called upon the editors of the Winfield Courier and Telegram. He announced that he was no longer a candidate for re-election. By December 1881 Campbell had purchased the Wichita Daily Times.
E. S. Torrance was easily elected as Judge of the 13th Judicial Court. He donned the judicial ermine on Tuesday, January 11, 1881, in Wichita where he sat down before the bar and jury to listen to the testimony of a witness in his first case, being a suit for damages.
C. H. Payson was pardoned out of the penitentiary by November 1881 and began to hold lectures. He was later arrested and lodged in jail at Topeka for embezzlement, where his parents sent him $250 to pay back the money. The Winfield Courier printed the following item relative to Mr. Payson in its March 23, 1882, issue.
“The criminal genius of Charles Payson is something remarkable and will lead him either to glory or the grave. His getting the money sent him by his father while he was in jail at Topeka and getting away with it in his possession was an act calculated to call forth admiration for a brilliant criminal exploit if such a thing could be done. This man slides around in society plundering wherever he goes, and escapes from the meshes of the law like an eel through a man's hand. The fact that a man just out of the penitentiary should use his disgraceful punishment as the foundation for a lecture, and travel around as a high toned gentleman, is enough to take a man's breath away to contemplate. Wherever he has gone he has played the dead beat, and at the same time made friends who would be ready to swear to the purity of the man's character, and consider him an unfortunate and much abused gentleman. The man is inherently bad and can no more keep out of the penitentiary than a
piece of wood can drift against the current of a river. . . .”
Charles C. Black.
Charles C. Black graduated at Hampton College, Rock Island County, Illinois, after which he came to Cowley County and herded cattle during the fall of 1872 when he was nineteen years of age. Mr. Black was the grandson of S. L. Brettun and a cousin of Brettun Crapster, Illinois citizens. He formed a partnership with James J. Ellis in January 1873 and they ran a grocery store on the corner of Main and Ninth in Winfield, Kansas. Mr. Black became acquainted in 1873 with Col. Thomas E. Braidwood, who lived in a country home six miles east of Winfield with his wife and daughters, Marian E. and Annie. Many an evening was spent in partaking of an excellent repast, dancing, singing, and general amusement at the Braidwood residence. Colonel Braidwood left for New York in October 1873. Both Marian E. Braidwood and Charles Black participated in the cantata of Esther at the courthouse for two successive nights in March 1874. They were married on July 4, 1874, at the Congregational Parsonage in Winfield by Rev. J. B. Parmelee. On March 31, 1875, Annie Braidwood was married to W. M. Allison at the Black residence by Rev. N. L. Rigby.
C. C. Black was elected as a city councilman in Winfield in April 1875. On April 14, 1875, Mr. and Mrs. Black had a daughter, who died in August 1875. Mr. Black lost interest in the store and sold it in March 1876 to Charley Harter. Black, a Democrat, began to take an interest in local politics and became a “capitalist” when he was not engaged in social pursuits and hunting expeditions. Mr. and Mrs. Black took in the Centennial and often visited with her mother, Mrs. Braidwood, who had moved to Leavenworth. He was a charter member and director of the “Evening Star Club,” formed in October 1876. In December 1876 he was an officer of Adelphi Lodge, No. 110, of A. F. and A. M. On January 22, 1877, he was installed as Secretary of Winfield Chapter No. 51, Royal Arch Masons. He was an active member of the Philomatic Society. In August 1877 Charles C. Black, secretary of the local Democratic party, was admitted to the bar of Cowley County. Mr. Black invited the officers of the court and members of the bar and press to refreshments that night at Jim Hill’s.
By April 1878 Black was an agent for the New York Life Insurance company and the law partner of L. J. Webb. In June 1878 he defended Webb, accused of killing Jay Page: “Various statements in relation to this affair have appeared in the newspapers or been told about the country which have no foundation in fact; but have grown out of the surmises of excited men. Much interest and a desire to learn the facts are manifested.”
By July 1878 the Black residence was fitted up amid a profusion of cut stone walks and steps, bay windows, French windows, verandas, and other fixings to make their home light, airy, and cosy on their quarter block well filled with luxuriant fruit and shade trees, grape arbors, and shrubbery. The Fourth was spent in viewing Newman’s dam and “Aunt Sally” in Arkansas City while awaiting the arrival of Black’s grandfather, S. L. Brettun, for a visit.
The partnership between Leland J. Webb and Chas. C. Black was dissolved in September 1878, one week before Mr. Black was nominated at the State Democratic Convention for State Treasurer. Mr. C. C. Black received a flattering vote in Cowley County for the position in the state election that fall.
Black joined with others in defending his former partner, L. J. Webb: Judge W. C. Webb of Topeka; E. S. Torrance, Coldwell & Coldwell of Winfield; H. G. Webb of Oswego; James D. Snoddy of Linn County; and Sluss & Hatton of Wichita.
In October 1878 Black was a delegate to the Masonic Grand Lodge held at Atchison. He was selected as W. M. of Adelphi Lodge in December 1878.
In January 1879 Mr. Black became secretary of Winfield chapter, No. 31, R. A. M. In February 1879 Mr. and Mrs. Chas. C. Black kindly loaned their magnificent parlor furniture to the Winfield Dramatic Association for their play.
In April 1879 Black easily won election as the short-term city councilman from the first ward in Winfield. Charles C. Black was one of the charter members of a commandery of Knight Templars instituted in Winfield on August 27, 1879.
On January 22, 1880, the Winfield Courier printed an announcement.
“One of the most important property exchanges we have yet chronicled was made last week. Mr. Chas. C. Black purchased from W. H. H. Maris the building now being occupied by J. B. Lynn’s store, the one occupied by W. C. Root & Co.’s boot and shore store, and his residence on Elm Row, for $12,000. Mr. Maris receives in part payment the J. G. Titus farm of 640 acres, southeast of town, and the balance, $5,000, in cash.”
In the same issue, the Winfield Courier had the following item: “Charley Black, on Saturday night, was awakened by a burglar trying to raise his windows. He got out his pistol as soon as convenient and fired it twice to hurry up the retreating burglar.”
In May 1880 Black went to Topeka for several days to fight the Allison-Millington contempt case started by Judge W. P. Campbell before the Supreme Court.
Arrangements had been completed by June 1880 to build a new $12,000 hotel on lots opposite the new stone building on north Main street after subscriptions were made by the citizens of Winfield and lots purchased and deeded to Mr. S. L. Brettun, who gave bond for the erection of the building. Black became involved in looking out for the interests of his grandfather in construction of the Brettun Hotel, located at 623 Main Street, and purchasing the interest held by his cousin, Brettun Crapster, in the Cowley County Telegram, at that time owned by both his cousin and his brother-in-law, W. M. Allison. Black was soon hard at work editing and controlling the paper’s contents.
In July 1880 Mr. Chas. C. Black purchased lots and began constructing a stone building at 112 East Eighth Street in Winfield for the Telegram. In September 1880 he began running on the Democratic ticket for State Senator against Senator W. P. Hackney, the Republican incumbent.
A Most Unusual Parade.
Black realized the value of publicity. He engaged in a lively dispute that started in September with editor D. A. Millington of the Winfield Courier relative to the November 1880 election when voters would decide whether the Republican ticket (James A. Garfield for President and Chester A. Arthur for Vice President) or the Democratic ticket (Winfield S. Hancock for President and William English for Vice President) would be the victor.
Black proposed that if Garfield and Arthur won, he would push Millington on Main Street in a wheelbarrow from the Brettun Hotel (Main and Seventh) to the Stewart Hotel (Main and Blanden), the party being wheeled furnishing suitable music for the occasion; if Hancock and English were the victors, then Millington would wheel Black. Millington responded: “All right. It is a bargain. We accept on the ground that the election returns will sound to Charley so like ‘the rack of empires and the crash of worlds,’ that he will certainly go daft unless his mind is diverted at once by good vigorous wheelbarrow exercise.”
On Saturday, November 6, 1880, the citizens of Winfield were provided with a memorable spectacle: a most unusual parade that started at the intersection where the Brettun Hotel was still under construction.
The Winfield Cornet Band, reorganized in September under the leadership of George Crippen, started the parade. Members of St. John’s Battery marched behind them, without their leader, watchmaker E. E. Bacon, who was in the process of moving to Topeka.
O. M. Seward, city attorney and Republican Committee Chairman, came next. A resident of Keene, Ohio, Seward was twenty-two years old when he arrived in Winfield in June 1876, a graduate of Ann Arbor law school. Within a month Seward became the junior partner in a law firm with A. J. Pyburn. Seward was mounted on a fiery steed that looked as though he had just had a race of a hundred miles and distanced his competitor. The horse bore the legend, “This is the Maud S. that won the race.” (Seward never married. In July 1922 he was a resident at the Cowley County Poor Farm.)
Next came Samuel L. Gilbert, chairman of the Democratic Committee, on a used up mule labeled, “This is the mule that beat us.” Samuel L. Gilbert teamed up with S. M. Jarvis in 1878 when Gilbert was a notary public and Jarvis was an attorney in Winfield as real estate and loan agents. In August 1880 Roland R. Conklin was admitted as a member of the firm, at that time called “Gilbert, Jarvis & Co.”
Mayor Lynn, bare-headed and bare-footed, in overalls and flannel shirt, was next. He wheeled a large load of rock.
The loser, editor Black of the Telegram, followed, wheeling the victor, editor Millington of the Courier. They were followed by forty strong working men from the Brettun Hotel, with their trowels, hammers, saws, hods, etc. The Courier force, with plug hats and canes headed by Ed. P. Greer, came next.
The postal service department was represented next by Charles Kelly, with the motto: “A clean sweep. No post-offices for rent.”
Next came the Telegram force, mounted on a huge dray with a large job press printing Telegram extras and passing them out to the crowd.
When the procession reached the Courier office, both Millington and Black addressed the crowd from the top of a chair placed on their wheelbarrows.