SOME HAD PARTNERS. SOME DID NOT.
Early Citizens and Events Taking Place in Cowley County.
The early citizens of the county that became known as “Cowley” in Kansas came from many places: Canada, Germany, European countries, and many states east, north, and south of the county that bordered Indian Territory. Kansas Territory was organized in 1854; Kansas was admitted as a state in 1861. The huge county of Hunter in Kansas was subdivided on March 3, 1867, and Cowley County, (named for First Lieutenant Matthew Cowley, a member of Company I of the Ninth Kansas Cavalry, killed in service at Little Rock, Arkansas, in August 1864), was created and the boundaries were surveyed. On February 28, 1870, the Governor of Kansas proclaimed that Cowley County was organized. He was premature in announcing this date. The U. S. Government did not work matters out with the Osage Indians, who owned Cowley County and other lands in Kansas, until September 29, 1870, when the Osage signed a treaty for the sale of their lands and removal to Indian Territory. Prior to this the early settlers fully expected to take over the Osage lands in Cowley County; the Osage Indians, in turn, fully expected to move once terms were reached.
It did not matter to many what date the land became available. They were determined to stake their claim as early as possible. Some commenced sneaking into the future Cowley County in 1868, and it will never be known whether some did indeed lose their scalps. By late 1869 the Osage Indians were anticipating their removal from their Kansas reserve and became more lenient to most white men encroaching upon their land.
C. M. Wood Meets A. A. Jackson.
C. M. Wood’s story and that of other early settlers was told in the first volume. Seventeen years later Cliff Wood gave a more detailed account of a council held with Osage Chiefs White Hair, Hard Rope, Strike Axe, and Chetopa in an attempt to stay on his claim. He received written instructions from Chetopa to leave, go up the river, and when the Osage Indians had departed on their hunt, to come back. Hard Rope’s warriors assisted in moving Wood’s wagon and goods over the swollen river. Wood was told his cabin would not be burned providing he brought more goods. After getting fresh goods and drivers for his wagons, Wood learned on his way back to his claim that it had been burned down. Undaunted he continued, leaving his trade goods at Douglass, and built another cabin. Thanks to the timely arrival of Chetopa and his party, Wood and his companion, Patterson, were assisted in saving the second structure by an elderly member of Chetopa’s party after the Osage Indians returned from their hunt. However, this time Wood also left with the other claim jumpers. Only T. B. Ross and his family stayed. Ross insisted that they would not leave unless the Osage Indians returned the horses they had stolen from them The horses were not returned; the Ross family stayed on their claim.
Wood wrote in 1886 that Judge Ross made fun of him and others, saying that they did not have the right kind of grit for successful pioneers. Ross stated, “I was born in a fort, cradled in a fort, and know what Indians and danger are.” T. B. Ross was the first Probate Judge of Cowley County, in fact, the only judge on all laws in 1870. His name is on all deeds issued from the government to individuals on the original town site of Winfield.
By November 1869 C. M. Wood was once more back in Cowley County and was part of the group that started the “Cowley County Citizens’ Protective Union.” This association was formed to provide mutual protection to citizens, both in claims and property. At that time the settlement of numerous squatter cabins was known as Lagonda, an Osage Indian name for “clear water,” but most of the settlers used the old name, “Dutch Creek.” In late December 1869 there were only two structures on the site: the replacement log cabin built by C. M. Wood (later described as being in the Island Park addition) and the log house used by T. H. Baker and E. C. Manning as their trading post and claim house. Manning in later years stated that he first came to Cowley County in June 1869 and helped Mr. P. Y. Becker erect a claim cabin in a bend of the Walnut River about two miles south of Winfield; and that on June 11, 1869, assisted by Becker, he laid a claim foundation for himself upon the south end of the town. C. M. Wood stated that he arranged with T. H. Baker to build the log cabin, 14 by 22 feet, used by Baker and Manning.
E. C. Manning arrived in December 1869 with Mr. A. A. Jackson, who proceeded at once to claim the property that later became known as the Fuller addition. Mr. Jackson built a foundation and then secured some lumber with which to build a frame house. While at work on his material in front of Baker & Manning’s store, where he was employed by them to look after the store, sells goods, etc., some parties hailing from Topeka took Jackson’s claim by hauling logs onto the land and putting them up for a house. The settlers called together members of the “Protection Union” and notified the claim jumpers to appear and show cause for such a proceeding. They did not come. As a result a committee composed of C. M. Wood and others was sent to tell the claim-jumpers they had until 9:00 a.m. on the following morning to vacate the claim or face the consequences. The committee was met with hostility, one man pulling his gun. However, they moved on down the river and took up some good claims in what became known as “South Bend.” They soon sold their claims to good advantage and departed. Mr. Jackson went on with his building and sold his claim to J. C. Fuller for $1,000: a big sale at the time.
Departure of C. M. Wood Family in 1875.
C. M. Wood farmed and participated in activities in Winfield: the veterans’ meetings and the start of fair grounds (24 acres on the east side of Main Street just south of the city) in 1872. In August 1873 he was required to give a $2,000 bond to obey an injunction brought against him by J. W. Millspaugh, receiver. A suit against C. M. Wood by Millspaugh dragged on for a number of years. Mr. Wood was forced to sell his farm adjoining the townsite of Winfield for a reputed $4,000 in 1875 to the father of Mrs. W. P. Hackney, Mr. Barnett B. Vandeventer of Versailles, Iowa. Cliff Wood and his family left Winfield in December 1875, settling in Ohio, where he became a senior member in a firm dealing largely in Government contracts, furnishing heavy block stone for public parks.
A. A. Jackson.
A. A. Jackson was the Cowley County Clerk from November 8, 1870, until January 11, 1874. He established and operated the first furniture store in Winfield during October 1870.
By 1872 he had taken on a partner, Capt. T. B. Myers. This partnership was dissolved in August 1872 when Myers and Mr. J. W. Johnston, a cabinet maker and undertaker, took over the furniture business, then located on the west side of Main Street, opposite Hitchcock & Boyle’s. In 1873 Johnston became sole owner of the furniture business and built a new shop on the east side of Main Street, three doors south of the Post Office.
A. A. Jackson constructed a building in 1873 on the east side of Main Street, three doors south of the Lagonda House. It was soon occupied by Dr. Black and T. M. Concannon, a photographer. Presbyterian services were held for some time in the Jackson building.
Jackson was involved in many civic events. He joined up with L. J. Webb in giving a ball at the Lagonda House in July 1873. Jackson served in the Illinois 12th Voluntary Infantry. He called a meeting of soldiers who had served in the Union Army living in Cowley and adjoining counties to a meeting at Winfield on October 18, 1873, to get acquainted. As a result, about 150 veterans showed up and a permanent organization was started in Cowley County. Jackson and Webb put on a soldiers’ ball in December 1873 attended by about 90 couples, who stated “the courtroom makes a splendid dancing-hall.” The team of Jackson and Webb putting on another benefit for Adelphi Lodge, A. F. & A. M., in the same location.
St. Nicholas Restaurant.
John H. Myers and George M. Miller started the St. Nicholas Restaurant in July 1873. The restaurant was located in a room under the new bank building of M. L. Read on Main Street in Winfield. In August 1873 the co-partnership between Myers and Miller was dissolved. Geo. M. Miller became the sole proprietor. In December 1873 A. A. Jackson and George M. Miller formed a co-partnership and the restaurant continued under the name of “St. Nicholas Restaurant.” George M. Miller entered into partnership with T. J. Jones in July 1874 and they built a meat market adjoining the St. Nicholas restaurant. In August 1874 the interest of George M. Miller was purchased by A. A. Jackson, making him sole proprietor of the restaurant. In September 1874 a bakery was put into running order by Brown & Markwort in the St. Nicholas Restaurant. It had a complete stock of all kinds of bakery goods and kept canned fruits, nuts, and confectionery. They also kept a lunch room in connection with the restaurant, open at all hours, stating that “farmers and others can get a meal worth from ten cents to as much higher as liked.” The bakery folded after six months.
J. L. M. (“Jim”) Hill.
J. L. M. Hill was born in Newfoundland. Hill left Illinois when he was 27 years of age and moved to Winfield in 1873. He was a member of Adelphi Lodge, No. 110, A. F. and A. M. He served in various capacities in 1874: Deputy Sheriff, Constable, and Bailiff. On July 15, 1874, he sent the following letter to the editor of the Winfield Courier, which was published July 17, 1874: “Dear Sir, In the last week’s Telegram, I find that my dog is blamed with causing the unfortunate run-away of Mrs. Darrah’s team, and further, that the dog was not to blame because he had been so trained by his master. Please allow me to say that Allison is altogether mistaken as my dog is not a worthless, contemptible cur—as he would have his readers believe—and bark at him, as my dog never barks at such people. Neither was it my dog that startled Mrs. Darrah’s team, because I have no dog, and never owned one in Winfield.” Hill changed from being a law man to a clerk in Joseph Requa’s Clothing Store in Winfield by September 1874.
J. L. M. Hill and A. A. Jackson.
Baker Markwort and his partner, Brown, sold their stock of goods to A. A. Jackson and J. L. M. Hill when they dissolved their partnership in March 1875.
Jim Hill became noted as the genial host at the St. Nicholas Restaurant ever ready to get up a choice dish of oysters, and hand out cigars, apples, candies, or anything else in his line. Luxuries such as oranges and lemons were furnished. By May 1875 Jackson & Hill installed a soda fountain. They kept an ice cream parlor open every night and became noted for their lemonade.
In September 1875 Hill bought out Jackson. In 1876 Hill had teams running day and night putting up three-inch ice. By April 1876 he had the only supply in the county for his customers. He was furnishing a square meal for 25 cents at the St. Nicholas Restaurant.
W. L. Mullen.
Mr. W. L. Mullen was a veteran, serving with Co. I, 16th Illinois Infantry. In 1873 at the age of forty-six, Mr. Mullen was a merchant in Winfield, handling groceries and provisions. He went back to Illinois in 1873 and married a lady he had known in his youth, Mrs. Anna Doane, also forty-six, who was a childhood sweetheart. The couple returned to Winfield, where he continued in business as a grocer. Mrs. Anna Mullen was the mother of A. H. and F. W. Doane, both of whom at a later date settled in Winfield. Mrs. Mullen devoted herself to assisting in the local Ladies’ Library Association.
A. A. Jackson and W. L. Mullen.
A. A. Jackson acquired 200 head of hogs in October 1874, putting the fat on them at the rate of 2½ pounds a day each. In November 1874 Mr. Jackson became a partner of W. L. Mullen, who often paid cash for hogs and by 1874 owned over 1,000 hogs. Jackson and Mullen established an extensive pork packing house in Winfield in November 1874, having on hand 500 head of fine porkers to slaughter, and bought and packed pork all winter. They advertised that they would have constantly on hand for sale bacon, hams, shoulders, and lard at the lowest rates, calling attention to their hog’s heads, pig’s feet, spare ribs, and back-bone. Their venture started when feed for hogs was cheap. The packing house was discontinued after one season.
W. L. Mullen announced that he would retire as a grocer in October 1875.
Another person who dealt in handling hogs was Judge R. B. Saffold, who severed his relationship with his partner, J. M. Alexander, and put his entire herd of blooded cattle, swine, and horses up for sale. Before the sale took place in November 1875, W. L. Mullen privately purchased all of Saffold’s stock. He sold some of the cattle he had purchased from Judge Saffold in May 1876 at Kansas City. In June 1876 Mullen sold the remainder of his stock of goods to Messrs. McGuire & Smith. They took over Mullen’s old stand, and began selling dry goods and groceries.
J. L. M. Hill, W. L. Mullen, C. R. Williamson: Partners in Selling Cattle.
In early August 1876 J. L. M. Hill, W. L. Mullen, and Charles R. Williamson, at that time the clerk of Bolton Township, became partners in selling their cattle herd. Williamson took four car loads of two- and three-year old steers to Kansas City for sale and then went east to visit his old Virginia home and the Centennial at Philadelphia. He never returned.
C. M. Wood and W. L. Mullen.
Cliff Wood’s firm did not get the contract renewed to furnish heavy block stone for public parks in Ohio. The family moved back to Winfield in April 1876 and in August 1876 C. M. Wood engaged in the hog business with W. L. Mullen. By October they were selling thoroughbred Berkshire and Poland China shoats for breeding purposes. The partners soon established a feed lot for their hogs. They received by wagon a Poland China shoat, weighing 27½ pounds, on January 3, 1877. By feeding it corn and water, its weight was 330 pounds on January 30, 1877.
Hog shipments by Mullen and Wood were reported in the local newspapers. On February 22, 1877, the Winfield Courier had the following item: “Messrs. Mullen & Wood have gone to Wichita with their hogs. It will cost them over two hundred dollars to drive them to that point. But for all that Mr. Wood is opposed to changing the law so that we can get a railroad.” In 1879 one of their biggest “drives” occurred one week after W. J. Hodges, a Winfield citizen, sent 700 hogs to Wichita. Mullen and Wood took a drove of 1,206 on July 1st. This totaled up to 4,500 hogs taken since January 1, 1879. The average price paid was about $2.50 per hundred pounds. At the time they made their July trip the price had jumped to $2.90, which was nearly equal to Wichita prices at that time.
W. L. Mullen and C. M. Wood broke up their partnership in 1880. Mullen continued handling hogs until August 1880. He purchased 5,000 head of Colorado stock wethers at Caldwell, Kansas, which he sold in September 1880.
W. L. Mullen and the “Kansas Queen.”
In 1882 W. L. Mullen purchased a three-fourths English Durham heifer, born in 1878, raised by a Cowley County resident who lived on Timber creek about seven miles northeast of Winfield. Mr. Mullen began receiving offers from Chicago and Kansas City to purchase the heifer. He contracted with the Santa Fe for a special car, fixed up to accommodate the calf, and began exhibiting the “Kansas Queen,” referred to by some newspapers as the largest heifer in the world. His first stop was at Wichita, where he charged an admission of 15 and 25 cents to view the animal in order to pay for traveling expenses. On April 27, 1882, the Wichita Eagle described the heifer. “She is a cream white of perfect form and weighs three thousand pounds. She measures seventeen feet from nose to tip of tail, ten feet in the girth, and stands seventeen hands high. She is simply a magnificent beauty. She was raised in Cowley County and is four years old. When lying down the tips of her horns are as high as a man’s head. She will be taken to Chicago and other eastern cities and will be a good advertisement for Kansas.”
Mullen exhibited the heifer at Wichita, Emporia, Topeka, and Atchison, Kansas. He then sold the “Kansas Queen” to a gentleman in Quincy Illinois, for $2,500 in July 1882.
In July 1883 Mr. Mullen changed his occupation to that of an insurance agent and soon became a real estate agent and land broker.
George W. Miller of the 101 Ranch, Winfield Resident.
George Washington Miller was the founder of the 101 Ranch near Ponca City, Oklahoma. Mr. Miller was born in Crab Orchard, Kentucky, in 1841. His parents were G. W. and Elmina Fish Miller. His father died when G. W. Miller was three. He was then raised on the plantation owned by his grandfather, John Fish. G. W. Miller sold horses and mules to the army. It was thought by some that he was a confederate veteran.
Mr. Miller had a brother, Walter T. Miller, born in 1837, who resided in Tisdale township in 1911 and 1912. Walter T. Miller died in 1917 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Winfield, Kansas, where he had been a patient for five years. The Miller family paid for the funeral.
George W. Miller married Mary Ann (Molly) Carson in 1866. A son, Joseph Carson Miller, was born March 12, 1868, in Crab Orchard. In 1870 Miller sold his interest in his grandfather’s plantation. The Miller family planned to settle in California. In the fall of 1870 they arrived at Newtonia, Missouri, and decided to spend the winter there. G. W. Miller started buying hogs for slaughter, and making bacon and smoked hams. He also started a store in this town of 200 residents. He heard that he could trade 100 pounds of bacon in Texas for a marketable steer. On February 16, 1871, he left his wife in charge of the store as he loaded 10 wagons with 20,000 pounds of slab bacon and ham and started on the trail to Texas. He found that in San Saba County, Texas, he could get one steer for 50 pounds of bacon. He acquired 400 steers and drove them over the eastern trail to arrive at the south border of Kansas near Baxter Springs after Easter Sunday. He obtained permission from the Quapaw Indians to graze his cattle on their reservation near Miami, Oklahoma. This was his first cattle ranch and it was so successful that he gave up all thought of going to California.
G. W. Miller built a comfortable house for his family in Newtonia. On his first trip to Texas Miller discovered Texans cared little for any form of paper money and that he could buy steers that were priced at $6.00 in paper money for $3.00 in gold. They could be sold at the railhead in Baxter Springs for $20.00 to $30.00 per head. The Arkansas City Traveler noted on May 15, 1878, that G. W. Miller had 1,900 beef cattle on the trail, driven from Gonzales County, Texas, and that he would locate for the season at Baxter Springs, Kansas. In the fall of 1880 Col. Miller moved his family to Baxter Springs to be nearer the cattle ranch he established at Miami, Oklahoma. They stayed but a short time. The Miller family moved to Winfield, Kansas in late December 1881, where G. W. Miller purchased a residence at 602 Manning street, known as the “Lindsey place,” and quickly built a neat addition to the house, erected a barn, put down walks, and added other improvements. (The Miller family lived there until 1888, when they moved to the house built by Col. J. C. McMullen at 508 West Ninth Street, Winfield, Kansas.)
C. M. Wood, Livestock Dealer & Shipper.
In November 1881 C. M. Wood opened up an office in Winfield as a “live stock dealer and shipper.” Soon after his children were poisoned by eating cheese, caused by something used in curing the rennet. They recovered.
He became a victim twice to “hog swindles,” which were being perpetrated not only in Cowley County but in adjacent counties at that time. The first swindle occurred in December 1881 when Wood advanced $60 on a hog contract to a “Mr. Ladd.” When Wood came to get the hogs, they had been sold to another party and the man was missing.
Soon after this a man claiming to be J. Parr, of Grouse Creek, went to Arkansas City and sold a lot of hogs at a fixed price to be delivered at a certain time and secured twenty dollars down to bind the bargain with a local hog buyer. He then repeated the sale with C. M. Wood, getting sixty dollars down. When the time came for delivery and the hogs were not brought in, an officer was sent to Grouse Creek, where he found Townsend Parr, who was astonished to learn that he had sold eighty dollars worth of hogs and got the money for them. Parr went with the officer to Arkansas City. As soon as the hog buyers saw him, they realized he wasn’t the man who had swindled them.
Mr. C. M. Wood Becomes Employee of George W. Miller.
In January 1882 C. M. Wood began working for George W. Miller, a new buyer of hogs in Winfield, who had been assisted by Wood in obtaining some excellent hogs. It was soon noted that Miller & Wood were leading Southern Kansas in the purchase of hogs for shipment, having shipped about forty carloads from Oxford, Winfield, Cambridge, and Burden. G. W. Miller remained in Winfield looking after the business; Cliff Wood was scouring the country buying all the hogs he could find. George W. Miller divided his time between handling hogs in Winfield and cattle on his cattle range on the Salt Fork, Indian Territory. All went smoothly until around June 1884, when C. M. Wood retired.
George W. Miller was forced to take his son, Joe Miller, out of his school at Richmond, Kentucky, and put him in charge of the Miller hog business in Winfield.
In time the buying and selling of hogs by George W. Miller ceased as he began to spend more time in handling cattle on his ranch.
Disposition of B. B. Vandeventer Property Called “Island Park.”
Mr. Vandeventer became a resident in Cowley County in 1875 for about six years, moving back to Versailles, Iowa, in 1881. He died there on Wednesday, March 17, 1886.
In May 1881 Mr. Vandeventer granted the city of Winfield the usage of his timber land north of the city, known in those days as the “bayou.” The grounds were cleaned up and put in order by E. P. Kinne. Funds were raised by Winfield citizens to complete the work so that the grounds could be used as a park for a grand camp meeting held in the fall of 1881 for picnics and celebrations.
H. G. Fuller, C. E. Fuller, C. C. Black, and J. B. Lynn purchased the B. B. Vandeventer tract just north of Winfield (originally owned by C. M. Wood) in October 1885. This land was located just to the left of the section line joining north Main street and took in nearly all of Island Park and all that land lying in the bend of Timber creek north of the Southern Kansas railroad track. The tract contained one hundred and forty-seven acres and was purchased for $11,032. It became known as “Island Park Place.”
Livery Stable and St. Nicholas Restaurant Experience Changes in Ownership.
In January 1877 a large lamp in front of the livery stable owned by Mr. A. G. Wilson caught fire and exploded, throwing coal oil over the front end of the stable, which caught fire, the blaze extending almost to the roof. The stable, and probably half the block, was saved by the gentleman who slept in the office, and who happened to be taking care of a team at the time. In September 1877 the A. G. Wilson “Winfield Livery, Feed, and Sale Stable” underwent a change: Mr. Wilson had a partner, C. L. Harter. In that same month A. A. Jackson took over the St. Nicholas Restaurant from J. L. M. Hill, who bought Wilson’s interest in the livery business, becoming Harter’s partner. In November 1877 a 42 foot addition was added to the stable, located two doors south of the Central Hotel on Main Street. In January 1878 Hill was appointed as Deputy Sheriff under Sheriff Charles Harter. In April 1878 Hill sold his interest in the livery stable to A. D. Speed.
J. L. M. Hill and J. W. Johnston.
J. L. M. Hill became a partner of J. W. Johnston in May 1878. Johnston was one of the men who had replaced A. A. Jackson in the furniture business in 1872. Hill and Johnston moved from place to place until their new stone building was completed. It was located at 918 Main Street in Winfield. Hill was gone much of the time.
In July 1879 J. L. M. Hill received a commission as Captain and Brigadier Quartermaster of Gen. A. H. Green’s staff in the militia at Winfield. This led to a delightful visit to Canada and Chicago. Hill resigned in September 1879 when he took a position at the post-tradership conducted by Dr. Hughes at Sac and Fox Agency was replaced by W. P. Hackney.
Hill soon returned to the furniture business with Johnston. In May 1880 it appeared that he might depart from Winfield as he sold his building and residence. In June he departed with Mr. and Mrs. Boyle for Leadville, Colorado. He visited New Mexico in August and then returned to Winfield and assisted Johnston.
In January 1881 Hill leased the Hitchcock building occupied by John Ledlie as a restaurant and began running an oyster house. He also sold canned oysters as evidenced by the following item in the Winfield Courier on February 24, 1881.
“W. C. Root, wife, and child, came in from McPherson on Monday week, having been four days on the road. Between Peabody and Walton his train got stuck in a snow drift at about eight o’clock in the morning, and it was full forty-eight hours before all the efforts put forth succeeded in extricating it. There were 150 passengers on board who had to fast all the first day until eight o’clock in the evening, when the conductor went through the express car and got out everything in it that was edible. The passengers got outside of oysters, crackers, etc., with incredible dispatch. A can of Jim Hill’s “selects” fell to the lot of our friend Root and family. The fair half of that family could never bear the sight of a raw oyster, but under the stress of circumstances, expressed her surprise that they could be so good. In the second morning more edibles were secured from the little farm houses scattered over the prairie, and the wolf did not get away with anyone.”
[Note: W. C. Root, considered the leading boot and shoe merchant in Winfield in 1881, married Judge C. Coldwell’s daughter, Leonora, in 1879. Leonora Root died in 1886. Her older sister, Jennie Coldwell, married Judge W. H. Boyer in 1886. Judge Boyer also died in 1886. Jennie (Coldwell) Boyer married W. C. Root in June 1890.]
J. L. M. Hill kept busy at his restaurant in 1881 supplying the cravings for those who wanted ice cream, peaches, oysters, and iced drinks as well as good food.
In October 1881 Mr. Hill departed for New Mexico with a newspaper man, Vinnie B. Beckett, in search of a different life. They began erecting buildings and putting in dug-outs at Robinson, New Mexico, the new village in the Black Range started by banker Mart C. Robinson. They started erecting a two-story hotel, 30 by 70 feet, in November 1881.
In January 1882 a rumor persisted for some time that Jim Hill was shot through the head and killed during an altercation over some papers pertaining to a town site in the mountains of Colorado. The truth was finally told: a man by the name of Charles Hill was shot in the head and died at Socorro, New Mexico. Some papers stated that the victim was the proprietor of a dance house; others stated that he was a miner.
In February the news came to Winfield citizens that Beckett and Hill were starting a newspaper in Robinson, New Mexico, a town that was having a big boom at that time due to railroad and mining activity.
Steinberger, editor of the Cowley County Courant, a friend of both Beckett and Hill, revealed the latest on February 23, 1882: “V. B. Beckett, well known to some of our citizens, and who in the ‘long ago’ livened up the Courier with his versatile genius, came in from Robinson, New Mexico, today. Mr. Beckett is the partner of Jim Hill, formerly of this city, in the grocery business of Robinson, but of course Vin couldn’t exist any length of time without a paper and he will soon start one at that place. The sign of ‘Spike’ is like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land to his friends who always wish for his prosperity wherever he may be. Mr. Beckett has been so foolish as to possess himself with twenty or thirty gold mines, each one an elephant on his hands and supposed to contain millions. Of course, Vin sees himself in the future the Croesus of the world if someone doesn’t run away with his holes in the ground, but while he has piles of wealth in his mind, he contents himself for the present by jingling an old bunch of keys in his pantaloons pocket.”
Beckett and Hill’s newspaper, the Black Range, began publication around April 1882 in the territory of New Mexico. Jim Hill returned to Winfield in May 1883 and occupied himself in helping Johnston and began to buy and sell property.
J. L. M. Hill and C. L. Harter, Partners Again.
In February 1884 J. L. M. Hill once more became a partner of C. L. Harter, when he bought a half interest in the Brettun House equipments and business. Mr. Hill sold his interest in the furniture business. J. W. Johnston continued the business alone.
A. D. Speed.
A. D. Speed was the son of Mrs. Mary C. Speed Boyer, first wife of Wallis M. Boyer.
A. D. Speed and his two sisters were born in New York. Mary C. Speed met W. M. Boyer in Maryland. The Boyer family and A. D. Speed moved to Winfield in early 1871.
Amasa D. Speed and W. W. Andrews donated twenty acres of land to the Cowley County Agricultural Society on August 17, 1871. Speed was the assistant general superintendent of the first annual fair, which commenced on October 12, 1871.
Speed was gone for years handling cattle. He returned in 1875 to visit while waiting for a trial in regard to some Texas cattle. Some of his friends (L. J. Webb, Burt Covert, and Will Doty) accompanied him on his trips to Kansas City waiting for his case to be heard.
A. D. Speed returned in 1876 and sold his farm adjoining town to Mr. B. B. Vandeventer at the rate of $17 per acre before leaving in March for Colorado in search of a stock ranch.
Mr. Vandeventer built a residence on the farm and made other improvements.
In April 1878 A. D. Speed returned and for $1,500 bought the interest of J. L. M. Hill in the livery business of Harter & Hill. The firm name was changed to “Harter & Speed.”
On January 23, 1879, A. D. Speed’s mother, Mrs. Mary C. Boyer, died after a lengthy illness. In July 1879 Mr. A. D. Speed met Emma Thompson, who was visiting her sister, Mrs. J. Wade McDonald.
In August 1879 Mr. John Moffitt purchased C. L. Harter’s interest in the livery stable. Speed purchased W. L. Mullen’s property on North Main Street consisting of five lots and an old livery barn for $1,800 in September 1879.
Amasa D. Speed and Emma Thompson were married in January 1880 at a private ceremony in Judge McDonald’s home by Rev. J. E. Platter.
John Moffitt sold his half of the livery business to Mr. James Schofield, of Maple City, on May 5, 1881, leaving A. D. Speed with a new partner.
In July 1881 Mr. A. D. Speed testified at the Frank Manny trial that he had obtained “ginger” at Manny’s, stating that it was a pleasant drink, having a dark color—the color of beer; that he had no idea whether it was fermented or not; he had only two drinks and could not determine whether it was intoxicating or not.
Speed enjoyed socializing with his old buddies and was a member of the “Grand Hunt” in November 1881. He was on the losing team, receiving only 170 points.
In March 1882 John Keck purchased Speed’s interest in the livery business and paid $3,000 for the two lots and livery barn that Speed had purchased from W. L. Mullen.
Speed was known in his youth for playing devilish tricks on people. The Cowley County Courant on March 30, 1882, had the following item: “A. D. Speed never will quit his fiendishness if he lives to be six hundred years old. Sunday morning, when everybody close was in bed, Speed took O. M. Seward’s law sign and put it up in front of Mrs. Page’s window, and several times during the day parties called to get information concerning an action for a divorce. It is now rumored that Speed will be arrested for trying to force a person to practice law who had not yet been admitted to the bar.”
Speed and his wife journeyed to Ithaca, New York in May 1882. He returned in November. His wife quickly departed with her sister, Mrs. J. Wade McDonald, to attend to their sick brother at Denver, Colorado. Aaron C. Thompson died January 14, 1883.
At the annual hunt of the Winfield Sportsmen’s Club in November 1882 Speed was once more on the losing side, scoring only 240 points.
Amasa D. Speed disappeared for a number of years. He made a visit to Winfield friends in October 1884. He was then living in Spirit Lake, Iowa.
In June 1885 a building located on the corner of Main Street and 8th Avenue that had been sold by A. D. Speed to Judge Ide for $6,000 about two years before was sold through Curns & Manser to S. H. and A. H. Jennings for $8,000.
In July Speed sold lot 6, block 128, in Winfield to J. C. McMullen for $4,000.
On August 27, 1885, the Winfield Courier had the following item about Speed.
“A. D. Speed secured Deacon Smith’s horse and buggy Friday for a ride six miles north to see his country cousins. Arriving there, he jerked off the harness and turned the bay loose in the stable. He forgot to close the door—in fact, was so preoccupied that he thought very little about his chances for getting home until a notification came that the steed had taken in the situation and with nothing but his halter on, lit out. To say Speed was nervous wouldn’t half express it. He paid a neighbor a handsome price to scour the country for the animal, and getting a fresh scent, started afoot, hoping to find the bay before he got far. He pulled into town last night about 2:40, mounted on Shanks Old Mare, his coat on his arm, and two tubs full of perspiration on his brow. He tried to keep the matter still, but it moved too much for that. John Pomyea and Lobdell, coming from Douglass, ran across the Deacon’s nag, recognized him, and brought him in. Speed has had his shoes half soled and will come out all right in time.”
Mr. A. D. Speed and a partner, J. V. Crenshaw, of the Phillips House in Wellington, Kansas, purchased the Arlington Hotel in Wellington, Kansas, in September 1885. He made the trip from Wellington to attend the interment of the remains of Judge Boyer.
Disposition of B. B. Vandeventer Property called “Highland Park.”
Mr. Barnett B. Vandeventer purchased land from A. D. Speed in March 1876, paying about $17 per acre. In April 1879 the Winfield Courier announced that the real estate firm of Curns & Manser had sold the Vandeventer farm northeast of Winfield for $6,200 cash down to Judge Ide of Leavenworth. The sale was not completed.
In March 1885 the B. B. Vandeventer land purchased from A. D. Speed was sold by Mr. Vandeventer to W. G. Graham, T. R. Bryan, S. H. Myton, A. B. Graham, H. D. Gans, H. B. Schuler, J. B. Lynn, and Wm. Newton for $11,744. The land was located in the northeastern part of Winfield abutting the mounds and consisted of one hundred and forty-six acres. The purchasers called themselves the “Highland Park Company.” The land was soon platted for an addition to the city and the lots were put up for sale.
Amasa D. Speed’s stepfather was not a stockman, but his story is important. I have included it in this chapter to give some details about Speed’s mother and sisters.
Wallis M. Boyer, Stepfather of A. D. Speed.
Wallis M. Boyer was born in New York. He was about thirty-four years of age when he came with his family in 1871. He met his wife, Mary C. (Speed) Boyer, in Maryland.
Wallis M. Boyer held many positions in early Winfield. In March 1871 he was part of the firm of Fairbanks, Torrance & Boyer, attorneys and counselors at law, who handled real estate, insurance, and U. S. claims. (Boyer became an attorney in 1875.)
In 1871 Boyer for a short time had a partner, Mr. Dale. They handled fine rigs. W. M. Boyer and Samuel W. Greer sold school furniture in 1871. Their partnership was dissolved by mutual agreement in February 1872. Boyer’s News Depot immediately started and an attorney, Leland J. Webb, took up space in Boyer’s book store and news depot, buying it in April 1873. Four months later Boyer repurchased the News Store from Webb. Boyer was the superintendent in charge of “Blooded Horses” at the 1872 National Horse Fair on the grounds of the Cowley County Agricultural Society. He again acted as a superintendent in 1873 for the agricultural society. Boyer became a Justice of the Peace and served as Police Judge in Winfield for many years. He was often chosen as a Republican delegate to township conventions. In October 1873 Boyer, who had served in Company G of the 15th New York Volunteer Cavalry, was one of the group calling for a soldiers’ reunion in Winfield. He was a prominent member of Adelphi Lodge, A. F. & A. M., in Winfield.
Many items appeared in the early newspapers relative to Judge Boyer’s cases when he served as Police Judge. The following item entitled “A Stampede,” appeared in the July 24, 1874, edition of the Winfield Courier.
“Reader, perhaps you have seen a herd of Texas cattle stampede; perhaps the rush of animals, the clatter of hoofs, the cracking of horns that give terror to the scene are familiar to you; perhaps the thunder of a million buffaloes shaking the earth and startling all living things in their rush from the hills down into the waters of the Arkansas may have wakened you from your nap by the camp-fire, and sent the blood leaping through its courses like an electric shock; perhaps the sight of the sudden retreat of five thousand men as they were hurled back over the reserves by an overwhelming force may have clenched your teeth in fear and anger some day.
“We have seen, and felt, all of these things, but the terror of men and stampede of animals was never more perfect than the occurrence that transpired last Monday in the building occupied by Curns & Manser at the time Justice Boyer discharged the prisoners, Brown, Onstott, and Brocknell.
“The house was full of spectators, at least one hundred and fifty in number. Some of the knowing ones had predicted ‘bloody work’ that day and expectation was on tiptoe.
“Sheriff Walker had warrants for the re-arrest of the prisoners in the event of their discharge, while deputy U. S. Marshal Hill, backed by two or three resolute men from the Territory, was determined to take the prisoners with a U. S. warrant. At the instant the word ‘discharged’ escaped the mouth of the Justice, Sheriff Walker and deputies took possession of the prisoners and at the same instant Hill and his posse attempted to seize them.
“At this instant revolvers were drawn by some of the officers, and a panic struck the spectators. A rush was made for the doors and windows. Small men were knocked down and run over, a board petition extending clear across the room was thrown flat down, a long railing was torn out, windows were smashed out and tables, chairs, and bookcases, upset.
“A man, who had boasted of having looked down the belching cannon’s throat, appeared suddenly from some aperture hatless, and with hair on end. A burley merchant escaped through a window, and was seen to cross the street at full speed with a window sash sticking midway upon his body. Two long legged lawyers, who have boasted of their exploits in bullying county justices into favorable decisions, escaped through the nearest window, hatless and breathless. One took refuge in the nearest kitchen, while the other held his panting bowels against the unexposed side of a small ‘out house.’ A fleeing spectator declared, ‘They were killing lots of men in there.’ Two ministers of the gospel were thrown down and tramped upon by the rabble, and at least twenty laymen suffered the same treatment.
“Not a shot was fired!
“Next week this blood-thirsty mob start for the front to clean out the redmen.”
In 1875 Mrs. W. M. Boyer was poisoned by eating some canned lobsters. In June 1876 she went by train to relatives in New York and soon learned there was little hope of recovery.
Many changes took place after that for the Boyer family.
In January 1876 Boyer sold his business to Frank Gallotti, who opened a clothing store at Boyer’s old stand while A. H. Green purchased the news department and stationery of Boyer. Jim Hill took all of the tobaccos and cigars that Boyer had. In February 1876 Boyer & Gallotti’s New Clothing Store opened up on Main street in Winfield. In October Boyer joined with his partner, Gallotti, in starting a social organization called “Evening Star Club,” in Winfield. Other charter members included E. W. Holloway, T. K. Johnston, R. L. Walker, J. B. Lynn, W. P. Hackney, C. C. Black, J. O. Houx, and A. E. Baird. In January 1877 Robert Wallis and family, relatives of Wallis M. Boyer, arrived. Robert and C. C. Wallis opened up a grocery store at Ford’s old stand. On January 25, 1877, M. B. Wallis, a brother of Robert and C. C. Wallis, purchased Frank Gallotti’s interest in the clothing store, which changes its name to Boyer & Wallis.
In May 1877 Mrs. W. M. Boyer returned from New York with her two children and her sister-in-law.
In December 1877 a two-story brick business house was started by Jay Page on the lot between Wallis & Wallis’ grocery house and the Boyer & Wallis clothing store on Main street. In June 1878 a hearing was held before Justice W. M. Boyer concerning the murder of Jay Page by attorney Leland J. Webb. In November 1878 John Stuart took the place of W. M. Boyer, of the firm of Boyer & Wallis. By January 1879 Wallis M. Boyer was a partner of A. J. Pyburn, State Senator, in a law firm located in the Page building in Winfield.
On January 23, 1879, Mrs. Mary C. Boyer, wife of W. M. Boyer, Esq., died. The funeral took place on January 25th with Rev. J. E. Platter officiating.
Police Judge W. M. Boyer was mentioned in an article in the Winfield Courier on June 26, 1879, concerning two of the local hog leaders. (At this time W. L. Mullen and C. M. Wood were partners in taking hogs to Wichita; W. J. Hodges also did the same thing.)
“Two of our leading hog men had a lively scuffle on Main street last Monday, resulting from a diversity of opinion in regard to swine, but Judge Boyer was of the opinion that $2.00 and costs would be about the right thing, which was paid.”
Boyer began to experience problems due to his close connection to Democrats: A. J. Pyburn and Colbert Coldwell. His marriage to Coldwell’s eldest daughter, Jennie, on March 24, 1880, did not help matters. He was defeated in his election bid to become Police Judge in April 1880 by James Kelly and G. H. Buckman.
In May 1880 Boyer became a partner of a young lawyer named Burlingame. One month later Judge Coldwell became associated in the law business with Boyer and Burlingame.
The plight of Boyer grew worse in July 1880 when Judge Coldwell was battling it out with H. D. Gans for the position of Probate Judge and Boyer’s name was brought up as being the originator of a letter about Gans, calling Judge Gans a rebel sympathizer during the war.
Judge Coldwell was defeated and moved to McPherson, Kansas, in 1880. W. M. Boyer left for Durango, Colorado, in 1881. He began to suffer from Bright’s disease soon after he moved to Colorado and in 1886 went to the home of his father-in-law, Judge Coldwell, in McPherson, Kansas, where he died on March 16, 1886. Twenty-five members of the Masonic order in Winfield were at the head of a procession that marched from the Santa Fe depot to Union Cemetery, where Judge Wallis M. Boyer was laid beside that of his first wife.
A. D. Speed came over from Wellington Thursday to attend the interment of the remains of Judge Boyer.