SHORT DISPOSITION OF LOTS AND BUILDINGS.
Located to the east of McCommon & Harter Drug Store in 1879 were buildings located on Lot 12, Block 128, owned by J. P. Short.
J. F. Hyskell was responsible for putting on a tin roof on the new $5,000 brick building erected by E. C. Manning and other members of the Winfield Town Company in late 1876. This roof had a standing seam and was the only tin roof in Winfield that did not leak. In December 1877 J. T. Weston, a resident of Creston, Iowa, came to Winfield and soon joined with Hyskell in leasing a portion of the Short lot and erecting a hardware and engaging in the stove and tinware business.
First Building East of Drug Store on East 9th Avenue.
Construction began on the first building east of the drug store on East 9th Avenue in December 1877 after Short leased ground to J. T. Weston and J. F. Hyskell, who erected a hardware and stove store, opening their store in late January 1878. Hyskell departed in May 1878. Weston built a sheet-iron storehouse in the back of his store in October 1878. In November 1878 the J. T. Weston Hardware, Stove, and Tin Store moved into the Page building on Main Street and occupied an entire room, half of which had formerly been used by B. F. and A. D. Sparr, who came from Wellington in March 1878 to start a grocery store.
In March 1874 S. H. Myton, a hardware dealer, was handling cutlery, farming implements, edge tools, stoves, tinware, etc. on the west side of Main Street, two doors north of the “Log Store.” In July 1874 Myton began erection on his present site of a two-story brick, 25 ft. by 60 ft., with a cellar the full size of the building, used as well as the first story as his hardware store. The upper story became the Masonic Hall.
In September 1875 Cornelius Trump, a former employee of Myton, again took up his place at his old bench at Myton’s tin shop, a building at the back end of Myton’s new brick which had formerly been used as an office. In April 1877 Mr. Trump made two or three sheet-iron machines for fighting grasshoppers. In October 1880 Mr. Trump again quit working for S. H. Myton and started a tin ship, hardware, and stove store in the former Weston building on East 9th Avenue. In February 1883 Mr. Trump sold his shop, going back to work for Sam Myton. Myton bought his hardware. N. C. Myers bought Trump’s tinware and departed for Nebraska.
On February 1, 1883, Judge S. Bard and T. J. Harris, realtors, rented the room back of the drug store, now known as Harter’s Drug Store, formerly occupied by Trump.
Judge S. Bard came from Santa Rosa, California, in May 1881. He became a member of the executive committee, serving on the finance committee, when the Old Soldiers organized in August 1881. He purchased the Coldwell residence in October 1881. Judge Bard and his daughters, Ida and Josie, were soon participating in Winfield social affairs. On April 20, 1882, the Cowley County Courant had an item. “Our own Judge Bard was a passenger on the train, when at Gads hill it was robbed by the James gang, and contributed his share. The Judge graphically tells the story, and says that there is no assessment that a man will pay so promptly and cheerfully as the one in which he is persuaded with a whole arsenal of guns in the hands of men in whom he has the utmost confidence—that they will shoot.”
On April 27, 1882, the Winfield Courier had an item. “Judge Bard’s little son, Charlie, was severely injured Saturday afternoon by inhaling steam. He had a tin tube and was experimenting with the steam from the nozzle of a tea pot, when he inhaled a mouthful of the steam, scalding his throat terribly. He was in a very critical condition Sunday, but is getting along nicely now under Dr. Emerson’s care.”
In May 1882 Judge Bard was commissioned as First Lieutenant of the First Battery by Kansas Governor St. John. In June 1882 Samuel Bard became the Commanding Captain of Company “A” for a short time when a new set of officers were elected.
T. J. Harris was first mentioned in February 1879, when he moved the headquarters of the St. John Sewing Machine to Main Street, Winfield. His wife, Anna, opened a millinery store two doors north of Bliss & Co. in March 1879, succeeding Misses Olds & Curry. She moved her shop to a new building next door to her old stand in December 1879.
In April 1880 F. M. Friend and T. J. Harris formed a co-partnership in the sewing-machine business. In June 1880 Mrs. Harris retired and J. H. Doty opened up a cigar and
tobacco store in her old stand. Friend and Harris soon dissolved their partnership.
In March 1881 T. J. Harris and T. R. Bryan became partners doing business as “Bryan & Harris, Land, Loan, and Collecting Agents.” They had their office on the first floor of the Winfield Bank building with an entrance on 9th Avenue. More will be told about T. R. Bryan as he had an interest in a number of Winfield buildings. He served as a Justice of the Peace in Dexter until he was elected as Cowley County Representative in November 1874. He was elected as Cowley County Treasurer in November 1875 and served for two terms before becoming partner of T. J. Harris.
In August 1882 Judge Samuel Bard purchased T. R. Bryan’s interest in the real estate business of Bryan & Harris. Judge Bard and his family moved from Santa Rosa, California, to Winfield in May 1881. Bard was a member of the finance committee when a permanent organization was formed on August 20, 1881, of the “Old Soldiers.” Bard purchased the Coldwell residence in October 1881 and soon he and members of his family were participants in social activities in Winfield. Judge Bard assisted J. L. Horning as a floor manager at the masquerade ball in January 1882 at Winfield. He and his wife attended the February 882 Knights Templars’ ball and banquet at Wichita with other prominent members of Winfield society.
The Cowley County Courant had the following item in its April 20, 1882, issue.
“Our own Judge Bard was a passenger on the train, when at Gads hill it was robbed by the James gang, and contributed his share. The Judge graphically tells the story, and says that there is no assessment that a man will pay so promptly and cheerfully as the one in which he is persuaded with a whole arsenal of guns in the hands of men in whom he has the utmost confidence—that they will shoot.”
On April 27, 1882, the Winfield Courier covered another incident. “Judge Bard’s little son, Charlie, was severely injured Saturday afternoon by inhaling steam. He had a tin tube and was experimenting with the steam from the nozzle of a tea pot, when he inhaled a mouthful of the steam, scalding his throat terribly. He was in a very critical condition Sunday, but is getting along nicely now under Dr. Emerson’s care.”
Judge Bard was commissioned as First Lieutenant of the First Battery by Gov. St. John
in May 1882. On June 29, 1882, Samuel Bard, Capt. Commanding Company “A,” 1st Veterans, notified the company that a meeting would be held that evening to elect a new set of officers. Bard was transferred on July 5, 1882, and replaced by John A. McGuire as Captain.
On August 1, 1882, Judge Bard purchased Mr. T. R. Bryan’s interest in the real estate business of Bryan & Harris. They immediately announced that they had sold the J. B. Corson half section in Vernon Township for $9,700 to R. J. Yeoman, from Good Hope, Ohio, one of the biggest real estate transfers made that season.
On the evenings of December 14, 15, and 16, 1882, Judge Bard was chairman of the committee that presented on behalf of Winfield Post No. 85, G. A. R., and St. John’s Battery of Winfield, the highly acclaimed “Spy of Atlanta,” presented by Col. L. D. Dobbs.
On February 1, 1883, Bard and Harris rented the room to the east of Harter’s drug store, formerly occupied by Trump’s tin ship, and moved their real estate office to that location. They covered the front of their office with an immense land sign.
In February 1883 Judge Bard became ill with the mumps. Sales for Bard & Harris kept increasing. In October they erected a large and handsome gilt sign over their office and their office became the center of attention with agricultural relics from the Cowley County Fair: mammoth onions, corn, potatoes, and a squash as big as a ten gallon keg.
On November 29, 1883, the Winfield Courier had an article relative to Item No. 60 listed by Bard & Harris in their bulletin of lands for sale. The Courier ad stated the following.
“60. 640 acres, under cultivation 300, timber 106, in grass 240, 300 acres first bottom land, 2 good houses, one 24 x 36, 7 rooms, one 16 x 24, 44 rooms; good corral, stable, 2 old box houses, 1½ miles of hedge, watered by Silver Creek running through place, 400 fruit trees, plenty of government land close to place, ½ mile to school, 12 miles to Winfield. $1,200.”
The Winfield Courier had the following to say about this ad: “The notice was all right except the price, which was a misprint and should read $12,000 instead of $1,200. However, the mistake has succeeded in showing them one thing at least: that thousands of persons read their advertisements every week. Since the above notice has been standing among others in their list, they have received hundreds of letters about it. One person from New York wrote saying he would take it, and ordering them to draw on him for the amount. Others write for information concerning it, and one says he thinks he will take it if he can get ‘part time.’ The letters come from every locality, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Owing to the fact that but few of their correspondents send stamps for return, Messrs. Bard & Harris are crying loudly for us to correct the mistake, which will be done next week. It has cost them heavily in postage bills already.”
Judge Samuel Bard retired from the real estate firm of Bard & Harris in late February 1884, leaving the business in the hands of Thomas J. Harris. Bard took a trip to Texas and returned in early April 1884, as jolly and corpulent as ever.
Harris handled the firm by himself until Mr. F. G. Willson, from Barnard County, Illinois, visited his uncle, Mr. W. H. Thompson, in Winfield and soon bought an interest in the real estate and loan business of T. J. Harris. In April 1884 they put in a new safe, repainted their office, and made changes in order to have neat and convenient quarters. By May 1884 the firm produced a neat four page real estate bulletin for the “Southwestern Land Office” in Winfield, and their sales were very heavy. Everything changed in June 1884.
The June 26, 1884, issue of the Winfield Courier covered the tragedy that occurred.
“Winfield Courier, June 26, 1884. Our community was shocked Tuesday afternoon by the drowning, in the whirlpool near the Tunnel Mill, of Frank G. Willson, one of the most promising young men of the city and a member of the real estate firm of Harris & Willson. He and C. C. Harris went to the river to bathe about three o’clock that afternoon and had been swimming in the water for some time when the accident occurred. The water in this pool is very deep and swift, though, with a little care, is not considered dangerous when the river is in a normal condition. It has several currents in a depth of fifteen feet and flows with a whirling motion, the current continually eddying around the pool. Frank and Mr. Harris had started down the current to swim around, the latter considerably ahead. When Frank got about half way through, he called for help and immediately went under. The current prevented Mr. Harris from swimming upstream to his rescue and the only thing to be done was to circle around and come down to him. But the body was held down by the undercurrent and only rose once after the first submersion, making all efforts at rescue fruitless. The alarm was immediately given and in a few minutes many willing hands were searching for the body. The swift, deep, and eddying water shifted the body in such a manner as to prevent its recovery until it had been submerged fifty minutes. Drs. Wright, Pugh, Taylor, and Wells were on the ground and everything within human possibility was done to resuscitate the body, but in vain. Its spirit had flown to the inevitable and voiceless Eternity. It is supposed that cramp or strangulation by a back-water wave caused the terrible result. Those acquainted with the water at this place don’t attribute it to the suction, though this undoubtedly increased the helplessness of the victim. It is hard to estimate the number of persons that have been drowned in this pool—fifteen or twenty. This alone is sufficient to brand this place as dangerous, and should warn people to go elsewhere to bath.
“Frank G. Willson was about twenty-five years of age. He came to Winfield some seven months ago and associated himself with T. J. Harris in the real estate and loan business. During his short residence among us he won the esteem of all with whom he came in contact. His only relatives here are the family of his uncle, Mr. W. H. Thompson. His parents reside in Jacksonville, Illinois. They were immediately telegraphed the fate of their son and answered, requesting his remains to be sent home for interment, which was done yesterday. The father is a prominent banker of Jacksonville. Frank was one of those bright, progressive, and substantial young men whose future indicates great usefulness and advancement. The writer had many pleasant conversations with him and found him possessed of those finer feelings which indicate morality and refinement and are always agreeable. Nothing is sadder than the snatching away of a life buoyant with bright hopes for the future. Truly ‘in the midst of life we are in death.’”
[C. C. Harris was not related to T. J. Harris. He was an early arrival in Cowley County from Ringgold, Georgia, and at one time was involved with the Tunnel Mill. At the time of the drowning he was semi-retired and a money lender in Winfield.]
In July 1884 a relative of A. J. Thompson, John R. Clark, from Butler County, Ohio, came for a visit. On August 21, 1884, the Winfield Courier noted that the Southwestern Land office, Harris & Clark, proprietors, have commenced on their fall sales and have sold in the last few days about $15,000 worth of real estate, including farm and city property.
The Winfield Courier had a lengthy article about Harris & Clark in its December 11, 1884, issue, in which it stated that their firm, The Southwestern Land Office, had published with the help of the Courier mechanical department a large edition of a twenty-four column real estate paper descriptive of the Cowley County and their business. The Real Estate News of Harris & Clark became a big advertisement of Cowley County and was mailed to many eastern cities.
On June 4, 1885, The Courier had the following item: “Messrs. Harris & Clark are stumped. Their valuable qualities have never failed them till now in answering any question the human brain could formulate regarding the Garden of Eden, Cowley County. But one fellow has got ahead of them at last. A letter has come from New Orleans ‘which art very important,’ and the firm wants to see a Frenchman badly. Several have already turned away with the excuse of being ‘rusty on French.’”
On June 25, 1885, the Winfield Courier had an announcement. “The Farmer’s Bank has purchased, through Messrs. Harris & Clark, the J. P. Short corner, where Harter’s drug store is. They get seventy-five feet of the lot for $7,500. They will immediately begin the erection of a fine two story bank building. J. P. Short will also build three two story buildings, one fronting on Main street and two on Ninth Avenue.”
Plans changed within a very short time. John A. Eaton, from Bucyrus, Ohio, a law partner with the Attorney General of Ohio, purchased an interest in the Farmer’s Bank in Winfield and assumed the position of cashier in September 1884. In July 1885 Eaton showed some fine architectural drawings done by Willis A. Ritchie, an architect from Lima, Ohio, who was chosen to draw up the plans for the new bank building. Ritchie outlined that the bank building should include space for J. P. Short in lieu of separate buildings by Short.
The sale of the Harris & Clark office and other J. P. Short landmarks took place on August 10, 1885. Mr. A. P. Johnson, a law partner of James McDermott, purchased the Harris & Clark office for $100. On August 20, 1885, The Winfield Courier announced that Messrs. Harris & Clark would occupy rooms in the Winfield National Bank until their new extension was finished, at which time they would take its first room.
On September 3, 1885, the Winfield Courier commented on the bank. “The excavation for the new Farmer’s Bank block is progressing right along. Paris & Harrod are throwing the dirt. Architect Ritchie gave us a glimpse of this block this morning. It will be the champion block of the city. The first seventy-five feet will be three stories, with Mansard roof and crested cornice. The corner entrance is artistic. The stairway entrance is central, from Main. The block is metropolitan in everything, with beautiful interior and exterior finish. The construction contract will be let next week.”
In October 1885 a Courier reporter noted that John R. Clark’s residence had an addition in excess of $1.000. Mr. and Mrs. Clark sustained personal losses. The January 21, 1886, issue of the Winfield Courier had the following item. “Again are parental hearts bleeding in the realization that with the joys of life, come also the sorrows. The last child, a sweet little three-year-old girl, of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Clark, died Sunday of congestion of the brain. This is the third child Mr. and Mrs. Clark have lost since they came here—they are all taken away in a year. Sad indeed do the inevitable rulings seem to these grief stricken parents. The funeral took place from the residence, 718 East 7th avenue, at 2 o’clock Monday.”
John B. Holmes from Indiana was an early settler in Rock Creek township (later called Rock township). In October 1872 the township voting took place in his store. He soon started growing wheat and raising hogs that he delivered to Wichita. On March 14, 1878, the Winfield Courier had the following item on Holmes. “A good joke is told on the Telegram agent. He called on John B. Holmes, the great Rock township farmer, and solicited a subscription for his paper. J. B. answered that he had been hunting three weeks for a job of work to earn money to pay for the other paper. The agent thought he had struck too poor a customer and ‘slid out.’” In June 1878 Holmes plowed 90 acres of his wheat stubble and planted corn with the intention of sowing rye in the fall, making three crops in one year. The Courier commented that Holmes was bound to pay for his paper next year without hunting up a day’s work. By July 1878 the corn was standing 18 inches high.
In November 1878 Ira N. Holmes, a brother of John B. Holmes, arrived in Winfield. Ira purchased a lot on the corner of Eleventh Avenue and Main Street and with the assistance of his brother built a frame two-story packing house. By December 12, 1878 “Holmes & Brother” were buying hogs. In February 1879 Ira Holmes, pork packer, was running the business with the help of his son, Charles F. Holmes, erected a smoke-house. His brother, John B. Holmes, had again returned to farming over 1,000 acres in Rock township. In August 1879 J. B. Holmes sold his Rock creek farm of 320 acres to some Indiana parties for $3,500. He and his sons began handling sheep in June 1881, purchasing 840 ewes from which they had 500 lambs. Holmes sold his wool clip at Winfield at about 16 cents per pound.
Charles F. Holmes, son of Ira N. Holmes, departed in March 1881 for Indiana, returning a month later with one of Indiana’s fair daughters. In March 1882 Mr. and Mrs. Charles Holmes became the proud parents of a nine pound boy.
On February 8, 1883, Holmes & Son featured back bone, ribs, and tenderloin. On March 22, 1883, they featured dry salt shoulders at 8½ cents, stating that the cheapest cured meats in Winfield were at the “Packing House.”
I. N. Holmes turned over the running of the packing house to Charley when he purchased C. C. Harris’ interest in the Tunnel Mills in August 1884 and Elam Harter purchased Lou Harter’s interest in the mill. “Holmes & Harter” announced they would refit and fix up the mill to do first-class work.
Holmes & Son’s featured smoked bacon at 10 cents per pound by the side in September 1884. Charles F. Holmes left in early October 1884 to visit the St. Louis Exposition. He planned to then visit with relatives at Indianapolis before returning with his family, who had been there for some time.
In early November 1884 Holmes & Son made preparations to occupy a large brick addition to their pork packing establishment.
On November 26, 1884, the Arkansas City Traveler had the following item: “Ivan Robinson and Mr. Holmes, of Winfield, were in our city last week looking for a location for a coal yard. After looking the field over, they left Snyder & Hutchison to secure a suitable location. These gentlemen then bought out Pitts Ellis’ scales and office with fixtures and bins and leased of Newman & McLaughlin two lots on Central Avenue, opposite Fairclo Bro.’s livery stable. Messrs. Robinson & Holmes will immediately commence the erection of sheds, and will have seven cars of coal, hard and soft, in our city this week. These gentlemen are men who will always have coal of all kinds in hand, and we need have no more fear of a coal famine as we have been having. They will keep not less than ten car loads on hand at all times. Their office will be on the corner of Summit Street and Central Avenue.”
The Winfield Courier confirmed this development on December 4, 1884. “Ivan Robinson and Charley Holmes, of this City, have opened a coal yard at Arkansas City, with Ivan in charge.” Holmes & Son were soon selling coal to the city of Winfield.
In April 1885 Holmes & Son sold their interest in the Tunnel Mills to S. S. Copple and W. H. Dunn. During this same month Captain P. A. Huffman, father-in-law of Charles F. Holmes, arrived from Indiana and rented the Sol. Burkhalter property on Manning Street. He was soon involved with purchasing twenty acres of land adjoining the town of Ashland, Clark County, for $1,500. In May 1885 Huffman returned to Indianapolis and arranged to ship a lot of fine Jersey cattle to Winfield. He sold a Jersey cow and calf to A. H. Doane for $275.
In June 1885 Holmes & Son made preparations to put a stock of groceries in their new building located on the corner of 11th Avenue and Main Street.
On June 25, 1885, a real estate transfer was listed between Emanuel Klauser and wife to Peter A. Huffman of lots 11 and 12, block 208, Fuller’s addition, for $3,000. Capt. Huffman made it his home.
When the Cowley County Fair was held in October 1885, Capt. P. A. Huffman joined in the judging of events at the speed ring along with A. T. Spotswood and Sol. Burkhalter, all three described as being old in turf experience and able to tell every point in a race.
The entire fruit exhibit, over a hundred and fifty plates of every variety, was carefully packed in barrels and left via Adams Express over the S. K. for the State Fair at Indianapolis, accompanied by the committee appointed by Cowley’s real estate men.
The exhibit was noticed by the Indiana newspapers. On October 8, 1885, the Winfield Courier stated that the Indianapolis Evening Minute gave the exhibit of Cowley County at the Indiana state fair this meritorious send-off. “Cowley County, Kansas, comes to the front with a display that is unparalleled in the history of our fairs, and the show is more marvelous when we learn that the entire exhibit is from this one county alone, and not gathered up from the entire state. To enumerate more particularly, there are forty-seven varieties of apples along, seven varieties of pears, and an endless profusion of peaches and grapes, mammoth melons and enormous pumpkins, corn, wheat, oats, rye, and barley, and many other items that must be seen to be fully appreciated. As this exhibit is intended more to advertise Cowley County, it has been placed in charge of representative men, including Capt. P. A. Huffman, a well known citizen of Indiana, who now makes Kansas his home; J. F. Martin, president of the Cowley County Agricultural Society; S. P. Strong, vice president; and J. D. Guthrie, one of the directors. These gentlemen are prepared to give all the information desired; but for fear some may miss seeing them and fail to learn the facts, we will state that Winfield is the county seat, with 7,000 inhabitants, and possessing all modern conveniences in the way of gas, water, etc., and as the city is, so is the county, fully up to the march of modern improvement in all that makes life pleasant. The moral tone of the county is exemplified in the fact that prohibition of the liquor traffic is strictly enforced, schools and churches abound on every side, and the emigrant leaving his home in the east for Cowley County finds that instead of moving into the wilderness, he has only exchanged one civilization for another and perhaps a better one.”
Many of the Indiana papers began to notice the fruit exhibit from Cowley County.
Mr. James F. Martin gave a report in the Winfield Courier on Thursday, October 8, 1885.
“I arrived home Sunday morning from Indianapolis, having left our fruit exhibit on Friday evening last in care of Capt. Huffman, Mr. Guthrie, and Mr. Strong. The directors decided on Friday to continue the fair through Saturday, hence the necessity for some of us to remain. The anxiety on my part in regard to health of my family caused me to turn thus early homeward, not even remaining long enough to take a look at the city and its suburban residences and public buildings. While I am glad to find my family comfortable, I am led almost to regret being deprived of their pleasure. Mr. Guthrie will probably return on Tuesday, and Mr. Strong in eight or ten days. Capt. Huffman will start homeward with a splendid lot of Jersey cattle about the middle of the week. The Captain had a splendid opportunity to make his selections and Cowley will thus have a fine acquisition. My companions no doubt had a world of trouble with the fruit, etc., on yesterday, from which knowingly, I made an escape. During the fair we had hundreds of appeals for samples of the exhibit, that they might carry them to their homes, but from necessity we could not grant such requests during the fair, but finally arranged that at 12 o’clock on Saturday, the distribution would take place. Just think of about fifteen hundred people, more or less, clamoring for a share. Penning these lines in haste, I leave the reader to imagine the dilemma of my friends, and how, at this distance, I can enjoy, to them, a terrible ordeal.”
Martin’s letter was followed by one written by Capt. P. A. Huffman.
“The Cowley County fruit exhibit at the Indiana State Fair was the envy and the admiration of the thousands of Hoosiers who saw it, and your modest exhibitors were overwhelmed with congratulations. The questions regarding Cowley County that were showered upon us, we answered to the best of our ability and we venture to say that the information was put where it would do the most good. There is a strong interest in Indiana regarding Kansas and the eyes of enterprising Hoosiers by the thousands are turned in that direction. I think you had better make preparation for a large influx of Indianians into Cowley if one tenth of the promises we have heard come to anything. Our display was in competition with that of five states and carried off all the honors. We had some difficulty in getting a proper location for our exhibit, owing to the very narrow mind of the superintendent, he thinking that it was all out of order to give us a space from the fact that our exhibit was calculated to take away their citizens. I at once proposed to box our fruit and leave, knowing full well that it would be a large advertisement for us, but the President, learning the fact, stopped it, and we were treated with much kindness. We really now have nothing to complain of, as the Cowley County exhibit received from the newspapers here, from all the horticulturists, even those who were in competition with us, and from everybody else, the most friendly and hearty praise. When we told the Hoosiers that Winfield was a city of 7,000 people, with gas, water works, and all the comforts of civilization, and that Arkansas City was a beautiful place of nearly 4,000 people, and both cities in a county 15 years old, which in 1870 had only 700 population, and today has over 35,000, they rolled their eyes in the wildest wonder. Tomorrow is the last day of the fair, but today closes our exhibit. I only wish to say as a steward of the people of Winfield, that I feel as I had done my whole duty, and further, never in all my life have I had the pleasure of working with a more liberal and industrious committee of men, generous to a fault.”
In its October 15, 1885, edition, the Winfield Courier made the following comments about the Cowley County fruit exhibit taken by a committee to the Indiana State Fair.
“The committee were continuously besieged by eager witnesses and enquirers. Our committee did stalwart work in advertising Cowley. Besides the wonderful surprise and admiration elicited by our mammoth productions, thousands of circulars were distributed, showing up the vast resources of our county. Our fame was spread all over the east by this grand display, and an immense immigration is a surety. But the crowning point to our exhibit was the fact that a Michigan exhibitor who was downed by Cowley, bought thirty-five varieties of fruit from our display, took them to St. Louis, and took the first premium with them as Michigan apples—Cowley’s victory, you see.”
On October 22, 1885, P. A. Huffman had an advertisement in the Winfield Courier.
“BARGAINS! BARGAINS! A car load of purely bred Jersey heifers and cows for sale cheap. Also a Registered bull, all solid squirrel grays with black paints. I will only keep them here two weeks, after which they will be moved to Wichita. Come at once for bargains. I can be found at Holmes & Son’s grocery store. P. A. Huffman.”
The Thursday, October 29, 1885, issue of the Winfield Courier had a letter written by P. A. Huffman in reaction to an article by Thomas A. Blanchard in the daily Courier on the 28th. Blanchard had served as an Orderly Sergeant in Company I, 7th Missouri Cavalry.
“UNION SOLDIERS. I noticed quite a nice letter in THE COURIER of Wednesday from Mr. Blanchard. I only wish to add that a few years ago it was very properly conceded by all parties in the north that other things being equal, the fact that a candidate for office had been a union soldier was to be taken to his advantage over a candidate who has not been a soldier. This was right and proper then and it is right and proper now. The man who volunteered in the service of his country as a soldier had and has a superior claim to recognition at the hands of the people who remained at home. The man who went to serve his country at $13 a month, leaving behind him the comforts and quiet of home, encountering the perils of the march, the camp, and the battle has certainly a superior claim to favor over a man who sat by his fireside and read of these things in the papers. Few, if any, men went into the army to make money. They entered the service from patriotic motives and to them should be accorded all proper benefits. Some might say that patriotism is having a market price attached to it. It is true that men went into the army as a matter of patriotism or duty, but the duty was alike to all the men who went as to the man who did not go. But it is not true that they claimed a price for their patriotism. It very ill becomes the man who remained at home in the peace and quiet of his fireside or who being too young to or who for any other reason did not go to say that the soldier has no superior claim on the country. These army associations are not partisan associations, but if they were, why might they not be so in the north as they are in the south. No man in the south or of the south can get an office unless he was a confederate soldier. Service in the confederate army has been a claim for all candidates. The truth is the soldiers of the union have been self-denying in their demand for office. There has not been an election in the north since the war closed at which federal soldiers have not voted for men who were not in the army. How times have changed since the close of the war. Mr. Lamar, the present Secretary of the Interior, who has the final decision of all questions relating to the granting of pensions to union soldiers, was not only a confederate soldier but he resigned his seat in Congress to become a confederate officer. More than fifty brigadier generals were members of the last House of Representatives, and every member of the United States Senate from the States lately in rebellion, was either in the rebel army or in the rebel congress. These are the men who with the dough faces of the north make the laws for the loyal soldiers of the nation, and who pass upon their pensions and the bills in which they have an interest. It ill becomes any man in the north to complain that union soldiers hold their camp fires, have their army organizations, and their re-unions. Has the time come when the Union soldier must apologize for the part he took in the war? I hope not. But soldiers, I do hope that the few chickens that were taken from the enemy by way of business, will not be recorded against you in the big book, but that the Provo guard now on duty at the gates of the new Jerusalem will present arms to you as you come straggling in and tell you that you are welcome to the best they have. P. A. HUFFMAN.”
[Huffman’s letter made reference to Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, a Confederate statesman (1825-1893). A lawyer and legislator, Lamar served with the Confederate Army although opposed to secession. After the war he sat in both houses of Congress, was President Cleveland’s Secretary of the Interior, and was Associate Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court (1888-1893).]
Another event took place in October 1885 during the time that Huffman was attending the Indiana Fair. T. J. Harris, senior member of the firm of “Harris & Clark,” attended the Grand Reunion of about 5,000 veterans at Camp Grant in Topeka, Kansas. As he entered the headquarters tent for Illinois soldiers in order to register, someone called his name. On looking around, he beheld one of his old comrades lying just as he left him over 22 years ago on the battlefield. Both were on the skirmish line, when Harris’ comrade was wounded and fell, and they had never seen each other until they met at the reunion. As the wounded comrade could not get around through the crowd, he had laid down to rest, and was resting his head on his arm just like Harris left him on the battlefield. “Well, my comrade, have you been lying here for 22 years?” said Harris. “No!” said the comrade, with tears in his eyes, “but it overwhelms my heart with joy to be able to be at this reunion to grasp the hardy hands of my old comrades.”
P. A. Huffman was privileged in having excellent company in a hunt made into the Indian Territory in early November 1885. He was accompanied by Kendall F. Smith, an Arkansas City resident who became the government blacksmith at Ponca Agency in February 1880 and was replaced by a Democrat blacksmith in October 1885. Smith was well acquainted with the Whiting family. Col. Wm. Whiting, accompanied by his son, Will, arrived at Ponca Agency in April 1880 (two months after Smith) to become the U. S. Indian Agent in charge of the Ponca and Nez Perce Indians. In May 1881 Col. Whiting was replaced and the family moved to Winfield, with the Colonel involved in various enterprises. Capt. Wm. O. Whiting and his brother, Fred W. Whiting, alternated trips into Indian Territory to purchase cattle for their market. Another member of the group was John M. Keck, who often hunted in the Territory, especially after he became semi-retired in June 1885 after selling his livery stable stock, retaining his livery barn in Winfield. The last member, A. J. Thompson, was an old citizen of Cowley County and the first feed merchant in Winfield. He plied the saw and hatchet, the only tools required by a carpenter in the early days. Thompson got into fruit raising extensively at his farm near the mounds east of Winfield. His neighbors concluded that he was a confirmed bachelor and were greatly surprised when he returned to his native Ohio for a visit and came back with a wife. Thompson bought and sold real estate in Winfield and Walnut Township, where he resided, for years. He was not in the habit of taking trips. The group were lucky enough to secure the full swing and liberty of a Ranch upon getting into the happy hunting grounds, the owner wishing to go off on a short visit. They took in three deer, one hundred ducks, ten turkeys, several wagon loads of chickens and quails. They reported plenty of soldiers were in the Territory guarding Uncle Sam’s domain.
Soon after Captain Huffman felt confident enough to take three friends of his from Cincinnati, Ohio, conductors on the C. H. & D. railroad (the “Bee Line”) into the Territory along with their friend from Sedan. The party brought fine bird dogs and some hunting outfits. They had a delightful time but failed to report on taking any game.
On Thursday night, November 26, 1885, the annual banquet of the Winfield Sportsmen’s Club took place. The annual hunt had occurred the day before and it was time to eat, drink (water), and be merry at the Brettun, the bill being paid by the losing team. Captain Huffman’s team, of which Harris was a member, was the winning team.
On December 10, 1885, the following announcement appeared in the Winfield Courier.
“Harris & Clark, our real estate firm, have taken in a new partner, Captain Huffman, who is well known here to be a good businessman and a rustler. The old firm stands upon a solid basis as live real estate men, and with the new acquisition will be still stronger. They will make real estate hum in this part of the world. They will make loans a speciality and will furnish money to parties desiring it in any amount as cheap as anybody.”
Harris, Clark, & Huffman settled into their new office in the Winfield National Bank extension. By February 1886 they had on exhibition a crayon portrait of Governor Morton, Indiana’s famous war governor, a close acquaintance of Mr. Huffman, and a three ft. tall wildcat, killed in the Territory, that stared out of the window with wicked mien.
On Thursday, March 11, 1886, the Winfield Courier revealed a change in this firm.
“A. J. Thompson has bought the interest of Capt. Huffman in the real estate business. The firm now stands Harris, Clark & Thompson, and will make things hustle this spring.”
This was followed by a lengthy article on March 18, 1886, relative to Thompson.
“What man hasn’t looked with admiring eyes on the A. J. Thompson tract of land, including about everything vacant between the city limits and the mounds. Preempting this ‘claim’ in the pioneer days of Winfield, when everything lay entirely in the uncertain and unfathomable lap of the future, the city has gradually spread until now it has reached this tract on every side. Though just platted and placed in the hands of Harris, Clark & Thompson, under the very pretty and appropriate name of ‘Grand View,’ it is already going rapidly. No part of the city affords such desirable residence property. Embracing eighty acres between the city and the mounds and Fifth and Twelfth avenues, it certainly affords a ‘Grand View’ of the city and must become permanently the most valuable residence portion. With a gradual slope to the business portion of The Queen City, lying on the city’s principal boulevards, adjacent to the Methodist College, all in a good state of cultivation, with splendid drainage and agreeable surroundings, only ten blocks from Main street and on the street railway routes, it will at once become popular for homes. It will locate, before the summer is past, at least four hundred people, the number it will comfortably accommodate. And the residences will be of the best, those that will rapidly popularize ‘Grand View.’ In addition to ‘Grand View,’ the Southwestern Land Office still has on sale many desirable lots in Highland Park, which abuts the Methodist College grounds, and extends from there to Main street and from Fifth to Cemetery avenues. Already this tract contains many fine homes, and others are rapidly going up. Its view is commanding and very desirable for ‘villa’ homes. We might as well remark right here, parenthetically, that the firm of Harris, Clark & Thompson stands in the van of real estate firms of Winfield and Cowley County. One of the oldest firms in the city, with a few variations in the name, and by honorable dealing, strict integrity, a watchful vision for both buyer and seller, together with a keen appreciation of judicious advertising—as their half page ad in THE COURIER attests—they have thoroughly established themselves in the public confidence. Their list of farm and city property is very large and their sales reach enviable proportions.”
[Capt. P. A. Huffman became a member of the firm of “Curns & Manser” in the real estate business in March 1886. The Daily Calamity Howler issue of Wednesday, October 7, 1891, had the following item. “Capt. P. A. Huffman returned this week from a business trip to Velasco, Texas. While gone he accepted a position as business manager of a large real estate firm at Velasco. He has gone to Chicago and other eastern points. He will go to Texas as soon as he returns from the east. This is a good hit for the Captain, who will give satisfaction to his employers.”]
On March 25, 1886, the Winfield Courier had the following item. “Harris, Clark & Thompson and Bliss & Wood will occupy the first room of the Farmers’ Bank basement. It will make them an elegant office.”
The final resting place of the first building east of the McCommon & Harter drug store in 1879, last used by “Harris & Clark,” and purchased by A. P. Johnson, a Winfield lawyer, on August 10, 1885, for $100, from J. P. Short was never given in the Winfield Courier.