SURVEYING IN COWLEY COUNTY.
Emporia News, May 29, 1868.
An account of the late brutal murder by Osage Indians will be found in another place. We hope severe justice will be meted out to the perpetrators. The brother of the murdered Dunn is now visiting the Osage Mission to see what can be done, while other citizens are moving to bring the Indians to justice. Persons bound for Butler County need not apprehend any danger from going there, as this is not the commencement of Indian hostilities, but an incidental affair liable to happen even among whites.
Emporia News, May 29, 1868.
THE LATE INDIAN OUTRAGE IN BUTLER COUNTY.
EDITOR EMPORIA NEWS: Many of your readers, and especially those having friends in this county, have, no doubt, heard various and perhaps exaggerated accounts of the outrage committed by a band of roving Indians, supposed to be Osages, on our southern frontier; and to such the following account, which has been obtained from perfectly reliable sources, and is, so far as known, correct in every particular, will be acceptable.
It seems that two young men named Dunn settled last fall, on a homestead claim, below the mouth of the Little Walnut, on the south line of what is known as the “twenty mile strip,” that is the Osage trust lands recently surveyed and opened for settlement; and there have been reports that they were in the habit of getting their timber from the lands still belonging to the Osages. However that may be, it seems that Samuel Dunn and a young man named James Anderson, who will be remembered by many as one of a party of four Pennsylvanians who passed down the Walnut on foot, within a month—a tall, fair-haired, and boyish-looking young man—were out on Sunday evening, May 17th, looking at their farms and the land around. Birney Dunn, a man named Edwards, and a colored man remained about the house. The Negro first saw a band of Indians coming toward the house in pursuit of a couple of mules and a pony belonging to them. They ran out with their guns and the Indians retreated, giving up the pony but taking the mules with them. No pursuit was made by Birney Dunn and the men with him, and as the other men did not come in, their absence was accounted for by supposing that they had seen the Indians and gone in pursuit, hoping to recover the mules. As they failed to come in, a search was begun in the morning, which resulted in finding the bodies of the unfortunate young men near a field about half a mile from the house. They were shockingly mutilated, the heads of both being severed from the bodies, the scalps torn away, and three fingers unjointed from Dunn’s hand; his pockets were also turned inside out, and $250 which he was known to have with him taken.
The neighbors were then aroused and the trail was followed till the party was convinced from articles dropped by the Indians that they were Osages, numbering about fourteen—supposed to be a straggling party from a large band who had been out to the Arkansas.
The citizens met as soon as possible, at the house of David Yates, Esq., on Little Walnut Creek, and resolved to organize a company of 25 men, who should draw the arms belonging to the county from the State arsenal, and hold themselves in readiness to defend the border from any attacks, and to punish outrages, and appointed Messrs. Donaldson, Boutwell, and Carr a committee to procure arms and assistance from the Governor in such protection. D. Yates, D. W. Boutwell, and B. F. Gordy were appointed to raise the company, which was to meet as soon as practicable, at such time and place as should be most convenient; and everything will be done that is possible for the settlers on the frontier. At the same time rash and hasty action was deprecated by those whose experience in such matters gives weight to their opinion, as tending to exasperate the Osages without accomplishing any permanent good; and it is to be hoped that settlers will not give them the pretext for such outrages by trespassing on their land, and will use all possible precautions against surprise. There are no apprehensions that any attacks will be made except on those who venture out alone unarmed, on the extreme frontier; but the case certainly demands help from the Government, and prompt action on the border.
Butler County, May 23rd.
Emporia News, June 5, 1868.
THE OSAGE TREATY MADE.
The treaty with the Osage Indians, in regard to which so many contradictory statements have been published, has at last been made. The following statement of its provisions—copied from the Lawrence Journal, is, in the main, correct.
Article 1st declares that whereas the Osages are desirous to remove from their home in Kansas to the Indian Territory, and wishing to dispose of their lands in Kansas, and being desirous to sell so as to aid in the speedy extension of the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston Road to and through the Indian Territory, being the only road in process of construction passing direct through said Territory, which is to be their future home, the Government is willing that said Company shall be the purchaser of said lands on terms favorable to the Osages and the settlers, because said Road will be a great Trunk Line from the Missouri to the Gulf; therefore, said Railroad Company shall have the privilege of purchasing the present Reservation and the Trunk Lines (about 8,000,000 acres), on the following terms:
Within three months after the ratification and promulgation of the treaty, they shall pay the Secretary of the Interior $100,000 cash, and shall execute their bonds for $1,400,000 (said bonds to bear interest at the rate of five percent, per annum), to be paid in semi-annual payments after the Indians remove from their present Reservation, in yearly payments of $100,000 each year. An appraisement of the lands by three Commissioners, the expense paid by the Company, is to be made, and upon the second payment of $100,000, patents will be issued for the 1-15th of the lands in value will be issued [? Not sure I understand the last sentence???]
The Company are required to sell the lands to settlers within five years from date of patent. If the Company fail to make the payments, the lands are to be surveyed and appraised by three Commissioners and offered for sale to settlers for one year, at the appraised value, the balance, at the close of the year, to be sold at no less than the appraised value.
The proceeds of the sale are to be invested in United States registered stock, and the interest on the same to be paid in semi-annual payments to the Indians. The Company are forbidden to sell to an assignee until the patent is issued.
The payments to the Indians are to be as follows:
$5,000 to schools; $15,000 to the Council of the Nation for government purposes; $5,200 thereof to go to the Chiefs and councillors; $5,000 for the encouragement of agriculture; the remaining $4,800 to be expended for general and necessary expenses under the direction of the Council and the agent, and the balance, about $50,000, to be distributed per capita to the tribe in money and goods, or provisions, as the Council may direct.
All settlers on the trust lands at the signing of this treaty can purchase during one year from the ratification of the same 160 acres at $1.25 per acre, said quarter section not to be made up of parts of different sections.
The rights of half bloods, the heirs of Joseph Swiss, are not impaired, and half bloods are to have the same rights as full bloods.
The improvements of half bloods upon the lands sold to be appraised and paid for within six months by the Company buying the lands.
All just debts are to be paid upon examination by the Superintendent and Agent within one year from the ratification of the treaty, evidence to be submitted to the National Council for their rejection or approval, and the decision to be forwarded to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, whose decision shall be final.
A head of family, being a member of the tribe, wishing to cultivate ground, is to have 320 acres in his own right. A man not head of a family is to have eighty acres.
This Treaty has been signed on the part of the Government, and by every head chief, every second chief, and all the leading braves of the Osage tribe. The land treated for all lies in the State of Kansas. It is fifty miles in width from north to south, and two hundred and fifty miles in length, from east to west—or an oblong of the general shape and nearly as long as the State of Massachusetts. This immense tract of land is now occupied by the Osage Indians, who number only 3,500 persons. That Tribe will now be removed to the Indian Territory, and these magnificent lands will be opened for settlement and cultivation. The Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston Railroad will be directly benefitted by the Treaty, as it deserves to be, but Kansas and the whole country—civilization itself—will reap the ultimate and permanent harvest. The Osage lands are already filling up with settlers, and it is time that means were taken to extinguish the Indian title, and to give these lands in fee to the actual settlers.
[GOOD NEWS FOR KANSAS.]
Emporia News, August 20, 1869.
By private letter from Washington we learn that the surveyed portion of the Osage Reservation known as the “twenty mile strip,” is now open to settlement, under instructions from the Interior Department, to the local Land Offices, dated June 3, 1869, the material portions of which we quote below.
“1. That the said resolution is designed to protect and secure the rights of bona fide actual settlers—citizens of the United States, or who have declared their intentions, where such settlement claims may be duly proved and paid for at any time prior to the 10th of April, 1871, the period of limitation fixed in the aforesaid resolution, except where a valid adverse right exists.
“2. The late Secretary of the Interior, under date November 8, 1867, ruled that in virtue of the acts of Congress approved March 3, 1863, and July 26, 1865, the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston, and Union Pacific Southern Branch railroads were entitled to the odd numbered sections along the line of their routes which fall within the tract of country ceded by the first article of the treaty with the Osage Indians of September 29, 1865, the sections in place restricted to ten miles additional.
“The Department decides that the aforesaid ruling of 8th November, 1867, is of controlling authority, and consequently that the rights of said companies are protected by the last proviso of the aforesaid joint resolution.
“The withdrawal for the above named roads, viz: Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston, and Union Pacific Southern Branch, was made by letter of January 21, 1868, and became effective from February 4, 1868, the date of its receipt at your office.
“Therefore the lands thus withdrawn and awarded by the Secretary’s decision are to be regarded as set apart for said companies, with the exception of any such tracts on which actual settlement may have been made prior to said withdrawal. Such prior settlements of this class being protected by the act of 27th March, 1854, ‘for the relief of settlers on lands reserved for railroad purposes.’
“The 16th and 36th sections are reserved by said resolution for school purposes, and are to be respected accordingly, having due regard, however, for the rights of settlers coming within the terms of the resolution of March 3, 1857 (stat. vol. 2, page 254), wherein it is provided that where settlements are made upon any portion of such 16th and 36th sections prior to survey, the settler shall have the right to purchase the tracts settled upon or occupied, ‘as if such sections had not been previously reserved for school purposes.’”
It will be seen that anyone, no matter if he has exercised the right of pre-emption, who settles upon this land can obtain the same, by proving settlement and cultivation, and paying $1.25 per acre cash, prior to April 10, 1871. The only excepted portions are sections 16 and 36, which are reserved for common schools, and the odd numbered sections along the line of L. L. & G. and U. P. S. B. railroads. The reservation for railroads only affects Neosho and Labette Counties, while all the land except school land, in the southern part of Sedgwick, Butler, and Greenwood, and the northern part of Howard, and nearly all of Wilson Counties is open for settlement.
This will be good news for the hundreds of settlers now on the land, and for thousands of others who are awaiting this opportunity. We are personally acquainted with a large portion of this land, and we unhesitatingly state that thee is no better in the country. It is well watered by such streams as the Neosho, Verdigris, Fall River, Walnut, Whitewater, Little and Big Arkansas. These all have numerous branches, nearly all of which are well timbered, and whose valleys, varying in width with the size of the streams, are as rich as any in the State.
The great bulk of these lands lie west of a line running south from this place, and this is the direct route for the vast tide of immigration which will soon settle up this magnificent domain. Within three years, the “seat of empire” in this State will be in the Neosho and Cottonwood valleys. Mark the prediction. Bancroft & Co.’s Real Estate Register.
[THE OSAGE RESERVE.]
Emporia News, January 14, 1870.
EDS. NEWS: With your permission, I will use your columns as a convenient medium for answering numerous questions concerning the Walnut and Arkansas valleys. Probably it will be hardly worthwhile to narrate all the ups and downs of a two weeks’ camping expedition; the game which we did not shoot, the poor jokes, and short rations. I will rather follow Mr. Gradgrind’s lead, and narrate the more important “facks.”
Three miles south of Douglass we enter Cowley County and the Osage Reserve. The valleys grow in breadth and beauty, and numerous squatter cabins are visible, as we approach Lagonda, better known on the border as Dutch Creek. The word Lagonda is said to signify clear water, in the language of the Osages, and the name is well applied to a most beautiful stream, but the border settlers are not poetical, and adhere to the old name. The town consists, at present, of one log house and a log store, the former being the residence of Mr. C. Wood, formerly of Cottonwood Falls, and the latter owned by Baker & Manning of Augusta. This is a pleasant site, has one of the finest water-powers in Kansas, and is surrounded by a good country.
The peninsula between the Walnut and Arkansas, towards its southern extremity, breaks off into a smooth swelling ridge, much like that upon which Emporia is situated, but narrower and somewhat lower. Timber, building-stone, sand, water power, all abound in the immediate vicinity. The site has every natural advantage to be found in Kansas; and here, on Monday, in the newest stage of the moon, and near the first day of the year, we laid the rude log foundations on which a thriving town may some day rise. We were spared the trouble of naming it; the charter of the Preston (Texas) and Salina railroad has already christened it Delphi.
Most of the timbered claims along the lower Walnut are now taken. The prairie claims are almost untouched. The valleys of the lower Grouse, the Arkansas, Neniskaw, and Shikaska, are almost totally unclaimed, and the best timbered lands await the pioneer. In its adaptation to grass, corn, fruit, and livestock, this region is hardly equaled in Kansas. The
survey of the Walnut Valley branch of the A., T. & S. F. R. R. passes across the site of Delphi. A ferry for this point has been chartered, and will be put in operation early next spring. Other good things are in progress. Should the Osage title be extinguished this winter, the growth of this country will be wonderful; and it is impossible to describe the anxiety of the pioneers upon this point. Above all, they desire that the lands be sold only to actual settlers, and not made the plunder of great monopolists, in which prayer most of us will heartily join. If the present Osage Treaty be ratified, actual settlers will receive each a quarter section at $1.25 per acre. Now is the time to act. H. B. NORTON.
Emporia News, April 1, 1870.
FROM CRESWELL. [Header had only one “s”.]
MESSRS. EDITORS: For the benefit of those of your readers who are interested in hearing from Cresswell, I give you what items of interest I have from that very modern city. Inquiries are constantly being made as to the chance of obtaining good claims in the vicinity of Cresswell. To all such anxious inquirers I would say that within a radius of eight miles from the town site there are still a large number of excellent claims remaining untouched, composed of choice bottom and timbered lands, lying on the Arkansas and Grouse, and a nameless creek on the south side of the former. The distance from Cresswell to the State line, measuring down the Arkansas River, is from twelve to thirteen miles, the river leaving the State two and three-fourths miles below the mouth of the Grouse. Not more than four or five claims are taken in this whole distance. A large number of fine claims can be found here on both sides of the river, many of them being well timbered, especially those in the vicinity of the mouth of the Grouse, and from there down to the State line. Up the Arkansas excellent bottom claims can be found on both sides of the river, but no timber is to be had except Cottonwood and Black Jack. South of the Arkansas, about five miles from the mouth of Walnut, is a fine creek, whose name we do not know, running nearly parallel with the Arkansas in a southeasterly direction, and entering it near the State line, probably a little below. This is a beautiful stream, timbered with hard timber, mostly Oak and Walnut. The land, judging from its appearance, is of the very best quality and is virgin soil indeed: not a claim has yet been taken on the stream to my knowledge. It runs a distance of at least fifteen or twenty miles in the State, affording room for thirty or forty good claims at the lowest calculation. Many beautiful springs rise in the hills and flow down to the stream, and all things considered, I think it one of the most desirable locations in Cowley County.
Much uncertainty has heretofore been felt as to the exact location of the State line, and certain interested parties above us on the Walnut have been in the habit of informing all those emigrating to our locality that Cresswell was in the Indian Territory, the State line passing some two miles to the north of us. These reports we have been unable to contradict, not knowing ourselves exactly where the State line was; but within the last week the Cresswell Town Company have obtained from the Hon. Sidney Clarke a copy of the field notes of Johnston’s survey of the State line, which settles the matter beyond dispute, and locates the State line as crossing the Arkansas two and three-fourths miles below the mouth of Grouse, and passing from six to eight miles south of Cresswell. Within the next four weeks the entire southern line of the county will be hunted out.
The State Legislature at its last session ordered that a State road be opened from Emporia to Cresswell by the most direct route by the first of August next.
Respectfully, G. HYDE NORTON.
[Note reference to Johnston’s survey of the State Line.]
Walnut Valley Times, Friday, March 4, 1870.
[Correspondence of the Times.]
(Note: Started trip on Monday, February 14, 1870.)
TRIP TO DELPHI.
The second day of our sojourn at Delphi about noon, while surveying claims, etc., getting somewhat tired and dry, we stopped to take a drink—not of the “over joyful,” but out of the pure and sparking waters of the Walnut, and while so doing, our horses became frightened, and ran off. We immediately started after them. The horses after running through the woods came out leaving the wagon a wreck, scattered in different parts of the woods. After running a couple of miles, our horses were secured by a friend, and in an hour we had picked up the pieces, and returning to our camp, we went to work, and before night we had everything mended up, and ready to start home next day.
Walnut Valley Times, March 11, 1870.
[Correspondence of the Times.]
A TRIP DOWN THE WALNUT.
A Description of Delphi and Vicinity.
The undeveloped resources which are crowded together at the junction of the Walnut and Arkansas have no equal in this State. The Walnut Valley increases in size and beauty from its source to its mouth, and the timber and bottom lands increase in the same proportion until they spread out near the mouth and join the bottoms of the Arkansas, forming a vast tract of rich, deep soiled arable land.
This tract is skirted on every side except the northwest by heavy belts of all kinds of timber, and terminates at its southern extremity by a beautiful mound like Watershed nearly four miles in circumference, and upon this our party, under the supervision of Prof. Norton, has surveyed out one mile square for a town site.
T. A. WILKINSON.
Editor Murdock wrote following item...
Walnut Valley Times, April 8, 1870.
The town of Creswell is being surveyed this week. Danford and Kellogg have gone down to see that it is well done. We authorized them to buy a “corner lot” for us.
Walnut Valley Times, April 15, 1870. Editorial Page.
The town site of Creswell has been surveyed and improvement is progressing rapidly. The town Company is liberally donating lots to parties who will build on them. They offer to dispose of 300 lots in this way. This is a rare opportunity for businessmen to obtain valuable real property, commence business at a good point, and grow up with one of the best towns in the West.
Emporia News, June 10, 1870.
PROSPECT OF THE OSAGE TREATY.
There seems to be some prospect that the pending Osage Treaty will be ratified at this session. We confess to a lack of faith in anything being done, as we have steadily believed this treaty would be put over to make political capital of in the coming campaign. But there are now good indications that we have been mistaken. We shall rejoice with the 20,000 settlers on the Osage land, if they are given an immediate chance to secure their homes.
In reply to Gov. Eskridge’s “open letter,” Senator Pomeroy writes to that gentleman the following encouraging words.
“I am much pleased with your ‘open letter,’ as I see it published. This bill has been up twice and will pass, I think, at the next reading. We have already made a new land district, embracing these lands, and as soon as this passes and the lands are surveyed, all settlers will get a homestead at $1.25 per acre, and have one year after the survey to pay. School lands will be reserved and granted to the State. After the money is refunded to the Government which is pledged to the Indians, then they are be declared ‘public lands,’ and all the laws applicable will then attach to these lands.”
A discussion took place on this bill on the 24th of May. Its passage was opposed by Senator Morrill, of Maine, and ably advocated by Senator Harlan, of Iowa. Mr. Morrill took occasion to say that the whites did wrong in settling this land; that they had no right there, and reflected severely on the settlers on the Osage land, applying to them various uncalled for and unjust epithets. We received the paper containing this discussion at so late a date as to render extended extracts impossible. We will merely say that we are personally acquainted with many of the settlers on the Osage land, and know they are as intelligent, peaceable, and industrious as the constituents of the Senator from Maine.
From the following extract from Mr. Harlan’s speech, it will be seen that he has very correct ideas about the situation of affairs on this land. His reply to the argument of the Senator from Maine, that the whites had no right to settle on this land, is both true and just.
“This treaty, to which I have referred, was concluded, as I before observed, on the 27th day of May, 1868. Previous to action on the part of the Government and the Indians the white inhabitants were excluded from these lands; afterward, neither the Government nor the Indians objected to their settlement by emigrants. The Indians did not object, because they believed that they had sold their lands; the Interior Department expected the treaty to be ratified in some form, either with or without amendment. No one objecting, the emigrants moved on to these lands as a matter of course, believing that the Government would adopt some practicable means for the removal of the Indians.” . . . .
“But, sir, admit that they did do wrong, that they did wrong willfully, that they are as bad in fact as the honorable Senator from Maine supposed them to be; it is not probable that you can exclude them from the territory. There are too many of them. They have organized county governments, as you, sir (Mr. Pomeroy in the chair), well know. They have organized township and district governments within the limits of their county organizations. The State of Kansas has extended over them its jurisdiction and its laws. They are, in fact, represented in the Legislative Assembly of the State, and aid in making the laws for the government of that Commonwealth. They have been improving their lands, fencing in their fields, putting out their orchards, erecting their houses and barns, erecting their churches and schoolhouses, bridges, and roads. It is believed that at the close of emigration last autumn there not fewer than twenty thousand of them. Even the honorable Senator from Maine, if I understood correctly the proposition with which he closed his speech, is of opinion that their removal had become impracticable, for he said that in such a contest between four thousand Indians and about twenty thousand white people he supposed, judging from the history of the past, that the Indians would have to go to the wall; that the Indian must go under in such a conflict. If that be the result of his matured deliberations, then pray, why not pass a law carrying into effect the substance of this contract which these Indians themselves have made? If they are now under the feet of these bad people, if they are about to be crushed, that furnishes, in my judgment a reason for immediate legislative action on the part of the National Government, rather than for delay.”
Walnut Valley Times, July 22, 1870. Editorial Page.
THE OSAGE LANDS.
A brief dispatch states that the Osage Indian Lands will be disposed of to actual settlers at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, except school lands. This will be good news to the settlers on the thirty mile strip. The land will probably be surveyed soon.
Walnut Valley Times, July 29, 1870.
CORRECT COPY OF THE OSAGE BILL.
We take great pleasure in being able to present to our readers an official copy of the Osage bill as it passed Congress and became a law. It will be recollected that provision was attached to the Indian appropriation bill, and of course we omit all that portion relating to Indian appropriations. This is a triumph for Kansas. It reads as follows.
Sec. 15. And be it further enacted, That whenever the Great and Little Osage Indians shall agree thereto in such manner as the President shall prescribe, it shall be the duty of the President to remove said Indians from the State of Kansas to lands provided, or to be provided, for them, for a permanent home in the Indian Territory, to consist of a tract of land in compact form, equal in quantity to one hundred and sixty acres for each member of said tribe, or such part thereof as said Indians may desire, to be paid for out of the proceeds of the sales of their lands in the State of Kansas, the price per acre for such lands to be procured in the Indian Territory not to exceed the price paid, or to be paid, by the United States for the same.
And to defray the expenses of said removal, and to aid in the subsistence of the said Indians during the first year, there is hereby appropriated out of the treasury, out of any money not otherwise appropriated, to be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, the sum of fifty thousand dollars; to be reimbursed to the United States from the proceeds of the sale of the lands of the said Indians in Kansas, including the trust lands north of their present diminished reservation, which lands shall be opened to settlement after survey excepting the sixteenth and thirty-sixth section which shall be reserved to the State of Kansas for school purposes, and shall be sold to actual settlers only, said settlers being heads of families or over twenty-one years of age, in quantities not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres, in square form, to each settler, at the price of one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre; payment to be made in cash, within one year from the date of settlement, or of the passage of this act; and the United States, in consideration of the relinquishment by said Indians of their lands in Kansas, shall pay annually interest on the amount of money received as proceeds of sale of said lands, at the rate of five per centum, to be expended by the President for the benefit of said Indians in such manner as he may deem proper. And for this purpose an accurate account shall be kept by the Secretary of the Interior of the money received as proceeds of sale, and the aggregate amount received prior to the first day of November of each year shall be the amount upon which the payment of interest shall be based. The proceeds of the sale of said lands shall be carried to the credit of said Indians in the books of the treasury, and shall bear interest at the rate of five percent per annum: Provided, That the diminished reserve of said Indians in Kansas shall be surveyed under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, as other public lands are surveyed, as soon as the consent of said Indians is obtained, as above provided, the expense of said survey to be paid from the proceeds of sale of said lands.
SEC. 16. And be it further enacted, That there be and is hereby appropriated out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, as compensation to the Osages for the stock of farming utensils which the United States agreed to furnish them by the second article of the treaty of January 11th, 1839, and which are only partly furnished, twenty thousand dollars; and as compensation for the saw and grist mill which the United States agreed by said treaty to maintain for them for fifteen years, and which were only maintained five years, ten thousand dollars, which sums shall be expended under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, in the following manner: Twelve thousand dollars in erecting agency buildings and warehouses, a blacksmith’s dwellings, and a blacksmith’s shop, and the remaining eighteen thousand dollars in the erection of a schoolhouse and church, and a saw and grist mill, at their new home in the Indian Territory.
Approved July 15, 1870.
Emporia News, September 16, 1870.
A telegram states that Vincent Collyer and others who for three weeks have been in consultation with the Osage Indians, arrived at St. Louis on the 14th with the gratifying intelligence that these Indians have agreed to accept the terms of the bill lately passed by Congress providing for the sale of their lands and their removal to the Indian Territory. Mr. Collyer has gone to Washington to push the matter along, and the prospect now is that the surveyors will soon be at work on the Reserve.
Emporia News, October 7, 1870.
FROM ARKANSAS CITY.
EDITORS NEWS: Possibly an item or two from our young city may not be entirely devoid of interest.
And first of all, I wish to correct one ridiculous rumor which has come down from Emporia—that the government survey has located Parker and Arkansas City in the Indian Territory. The fact is that no government survey has yet been made at all. Max Fawcett’s survey shows our town to be six or eight miles north of the line. There is not the slightest reason to believe the contrary. The report is pure nonsense,—a lie, manufactured out of whole cloth, probably through the jealousy of rival towns above.
H. B. N. [NORTON]
Survey of Arkansas City was made January 2, 1870, according to next item...
Walnut Valley Times, November 4, 1870.
From the Arkansas Traveler we take the following.
Arkansas City has now fifty-two buildings up, and a recent saunter through town revealed forty-one more, in various steps of progress. Such growth seems incredible, and we can scarcely believe our senses when we recollect how this site looked on the 2nd day of last January: the day we surveyed out its boundaries. The world does move! The fifty-second building is Mr. Balcom’s residence.
Surveyors: Deifendorf & Mitchell, of Leavenworth...
Emporia News, November 11, 1870.
SURVEY OF THE OSAGE LANDS.
A party of surveyors left Lawrence a few days ago, as we learn from the Tribune, to survey the Osage lands recently treated for. The party is headed by Deifendorf & Mitchell, of Leavenworth. The party numbers about thirty men, and are fully equipped for camp life. The work of the survey will commence at the northwest corner of Howard County and be pushed with the utmost expedition to completion, without doubt to the great gratification of the settlers on these lands.
[Note: The next article refers to Angell and Dieffendorf.]
Surveying party of Osage Indian Trust Lands, Sumner and Cowley Counties...
Emporia News, November 18, 1870.
Capt. A. J. Angell, D. P. U. S. Engineer, with a party of thirty-two men and a full outfit for his winter’s work on the “thirty mile strip,” left here today to begin the work of surveying that portion of the Osage Reserve, commencing at the sixth principal meridian, running through near Wichita, and extending west 79 miles. Capt. Angell has also the general supervision of the work of the division on the east of the one above named, under the immediate charge of Mr. Dieffendorf, and the one on the west, extending to the western line of the State, under Robert M. Armstrong. This entire strip of land will probably be surveyed and open to settlement by the first of July next.
Walnut Valley Times, November 25, 1870.
Col. A. J. Angell, Contracting Surveyor of Leavenworth, accompanied by his assistants, O. F. Short, of Leavenworth, Jeremiah Ellis, of Adams Co., Ohio; Lieut. Ludwitz, and M. Athey passed through our town on Monday last, en route to survey the Osage Indian Trust Lands, in Sumner and Cowley Counties. They expect to complete the survey by the middle of next April. The outfit consisted of 25 men, 6 horses, 9 yoke of oxen, and six two-wheel carts for hauling corner stones.
ARKANSAS CITY—THE LATE TROUBLE IN BUTLER COUNTY.
ARKANSAS CITY, KANSAS, December 9, 1870.
As most of your readers will know, this new city is built between the Walnut and Arkansas Rivers, within a mile and a half of their confluence. It is also within a few miles of the southern line of the State, dividing our territory from that of the Osage Indians.
In this little city people are paying five cents per apple, and will do so for years, unless they at once begin to plant the seeds and the young trees. Inasmuch as their lands have not been surveyed, leaving them in uncertainty as to their future lines, they have a better excuse for delaying their orchards than others. But this obstacle is soon to disappear, since the Government surveyors are now in the field.
Note: Cowley County Surveyor elected was H. L. Barker.
The Commonwealth, November 15, 1870.
The people’s ticket, with the exception of county attorney and register of deeds, is elected by about 50 majority. Col. E. C. Manning is elected representative by 64 majority. Stover’s majority in the county is 348. The following are the county officers elect: T. B. Ross, probate judge; J. M. Patterson [Pattison], sheriff; E. P. Hickok, district clerk; A. A. Jackson, county clerk; George B. Green, treasurer; E. S. Torrence [Torrance], county attorney; W. A. Smith, register of deeds; H. L. Barker, surveyor; Dr. H. B. Kellogg, coroner; L. B. Walmsley, school superintendent; E. Simpson, G. H. Norton and T. A. Blanchard, commissioners.
The Commonwealth, November 18, 1870.
ARKANSAS CITY, KAN., Nov. 14, 1870.
To the Editor of the Commonwealth:
The election of the 8th was favorable in its result. The entire republican ticket was elected: H. B. Norton, for representative, carrying four out of the six townships over E. C. Manning, “people’s” candidate.
However, the county commissioners have thrown out the vote of four townships—just two-thirds of the county—in order to give Manning and his compeers, themselves included, the certificates! Even Jim Lane and Sam Wood would have recoiled from such a trick. This was done on the plea of informality; a stale, played-out shyster’s dodge. It won’t hold water. The proceedings in the contest have already begun, and the lawyers are delighted.
Arkansas City has some sixty business houses and residences, and is fully five times as large as any other town in the county. Our streets are crowded, all sorts of business enterprises are in progress, and all things go ahead. Our people are very mad, but confident and happy. X.
The Commonwealth, November 26, 1870.
FROM COWLEY COUNTY.
WINFIELD, KAS., Nov. 20, 1870.
To the Editor of the Commonwealth:
In your daily issue of the 18th inst. appears a sensational article from Arkansas City, relative to the result of the election in this county, signed X. It contains some errors. Here are the main ones taken from the letter, the remainder of which is lost.
“The election of the 8th was favorable in its result. The entire republican ticket was elected—H. B. Norton, for representative, carrying four out of six townships over E. C. Manning, “people’s” candidate.
“However, the county commissioners have thrown out the vote of four townships—just two-thirds of the county—in order to give Manning and his compeers, themselves included, the certificates! Even Jim Lane and Sam Wood would have recoiled from such a trick. This was done on the plea of informality; a stale, played-out shyster’s dodge.”
The entire “people’s ticket” was elected except two. If every vote and pretended vote in the county had been counted, ten out of fourteen candidates on the people’s ticket were elected. Error No. 1 corrected. There are but three instead of six legally established townships in the county. Error No. 2 corrected. Two of those townships were counted and one rejected. Error No. 3 corrected. The vote of three precincts (97 votes in all) were not contested because the poll books did not state where the election was held. The returns from the localities were not taken cognizance of by the board of commissioners because no precincts had ever been established there. Capt. G. H. Norton, a brother of the candidate for the legislature, is one of the county commissioners and was the first member of the board to vote to throw out the first precinct that was rejected. Capt. G. H. Norton and T. A. Blanchard are two of the commissioners re-elected by the “people’s ticket,” and hence the Captain is one of Manning’s “compeers.”
There are eight precincts established in the county. The returns from three of them were rejected. Had the three rejected returns been counted, it would have made no difference in the result. Winfield cast 171 votes, Arkansas City 143. XX.
The Commonwealth, November 29, 1870.
COWLEY COUNTY AGAIN.
To the Editor of the Commonwealth:
In your issue of the 26th, “XX,” writing from Winfield, makes a statement that certainly “contains some errors.”
He says “there are but three instead of six legally established townships in the county.”
I find on file in the office of the secretary of state, a record in the hand and also the signature of E. P. Hickok, clerk of Cowley County, describing the organization of Rock Creek, Winfield, Creswell, Cedar, Grouse, and Dexter townships, by the county commissioners last May; accompanied with a full map of the same!
This record is not to be found in the office of the present (deputy) county clerk. What villain’s hand has abstracted and destroyed it?
I have also on file the poll books from the rejected precincts. The informalities are very slight; the clerks and judges were as well known to the county commissioners as their own brothers; the case will not hold one moment against the legality of the returns in any court of justice.
It is flatly false that Capt. G. H. Norton was the first to object to the returns. T. A. Blanchard did that, and Capt. Norton’s vote, in opposition to the entire iniquity, is on record.
“XX” says “there are eight precincts established in the county.” I find in the Censor, of Oct. 8th, over the signature of W. Q. Mansfield, deputy county clerk, and T. A. Blanchard, county commissioner, the following statement:
“The precincts, as established by law, are as follows: Rock Creek precinct, Nenescah precinct, Floral precinct, Armstrong precinct, Dwyer precinct, Dexter precinct, Grouse precinct, South Bend precinct, Creswell precinct, Winfield precinct.”
Just ten precincts in six townships; of which four townships, or two-thirds of the county, were rejected.
“Arkansas City cast 143 votes,” almost every vote being challenged by Mr. Cook.
“Winfield cast 171 votes,” not a vote being challenged, upon the ruling that no person not residing in the township, had the right to challenge.
Winfield village has about one fifth the buildings, business, and population of Arkansas City. “Villainy somewhere; whose?”
The republican ticket has a legal majority of ninety votes, as will appear at the pending trial.
Notwithstanding the frauds, a counting of all the votes would give H. B. Norton eight majority. XXX. Topeka, Nov. 27, 1870.
Emporia News, December 16, 1870.
The Surveyors for the Government are on the west side of the county getting ready to commence the survey of that, Cowley, and Howard Counties. The county of Sumner is bounded as follows: Commencing at the southwest corner of Butler County, thence south with the east line of range two east, to the Thirty-sixth Degree of North latitude; thence west with said parallel to the west line of range four west, thence north with said range line to the Southwest corner of Sedgwick County to the place of beginning, being 30 miles north and south and 36 miles east and west. . . . Walnut Valley Times.
[FROM ARKANSAS CITY.]
Emporia News, January 13, 1871.
The survey of the lands is in progress, and we are beginning to know where our claims are. A. G. O. A. C.
Emporia News, January 27, 1871.
FROM ARKANSAS CITY.
ARKANSAS CITY, KANSAS, January 16th, 1871.
EDS. EMPORIA NEWS: Your readers may feel some interest in a few lines sent you from this new and rapidly settling region of our State. This City, or rather an enterprising settler, built the first house last April. Having to wagon all the lumber from Emporia, 120 miles, until a saw could be started on the ground, one would infer that building must progress slowly. But from various causes, chiefly the favorable climate, soil, water, and timber, emigrants rushed in at such a rate, and demanded so much lumber as scarcely to appreciate the quantity sawed out by that one mill. Of course, the drawing continued, indeed increased, from Emporia. At length a second mill was put to work, and now a third is on the way, and still Emporia sells lumber to our people. There are now near 80 houses inhabited, and 8 or 10 building. The country is fast coming up to the city in the cheerful work of settling. A good woman five miles northeast told me lately that when they built their house, six weeks before, she could see but two more houses, and she could now count fifteen. Even the inhospitable weather of this unusually hard winter stops neither the tide of emigration nor the erection of houses.
The corps of surveyors now in this vicinity will rather facilitate all this progress, since men would rather settle by the lines than risk guessing out their claims. Besides there is now a vigorous movement on foot, and indeed before our Legislature, to open up a great highway from this point through the Indian Territory to Texas for stages, wagons, horsemen, cattle, and a railroad. Congress will be asked to neutralize a strip 10 miles in width, more especially for the accommodation of Texas herds. The distance will be shortened as compared to the old trail, while the annoyance of Indians will be much less, if not entirely avoided. Besides the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad will be completed to Florence at the mouth of Doyle, and ready to transport beeves to the Eastern markets decidedly cheaper than they have been going over the Abilene route. There being a strip of high unsettled land between this place and Florence, an act will be passed by our Legislature allowing herds to be driven along it. All this must make Arkansas City the largest town in Southwestern Kansas.
One week ago 16 or 18 men with 8 teams started in the mildest weather West for buffalo. On Tuesday the wind stormed down from the North and continued till Saturday night. Travelers, and teamsters of all kinds, were driven into the best attainable shelter. The Woolsey House and stable were made more than full. The new City Hotel is warm, neat, and luxurious in all its appointments. A more cozy or better conducted house is not found in Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Meigs, proprietors, leave nothing undone to promote the comfort of their guests, even their neat bed chambers are so arranged as to be warmed from the fires below. Two schools and two churches, Methodist and Presbyterian, are doing much to aid to the happiness of the people, and soon will all this region, as I am fully persuaded, be behind none in all that makes life desirable. W. P.
The Commonwealth, January 18, 1871.
FROM COWLEY COUNTY.
ARKANSAS CITY, KAS., Jan. 10, 1871.
Correspondence of the Commonwealth.
This city was started last April, and has now about seventy houses, nine stores, two hotels, two physicians in practice, and two lawyers, with divers mechanics, etc. Emigrants are coming daily, and settling wisely in the country. As the land is not yet surveyed, they go on the squatter sovereignty doctrine, expecting however to be independent of Uncle Sam ere long, as his surveyors are now on the ground.
As it is invidious to mention names, I forbear to do so at this time, only as to my kind host of the Woolsey House. A more obliging, honest, faithful landlord is not found, nor a better table this side of Topeka and Emporia. Let those who need a happy home for a few days try Mr. and Mrs. Smith of the Woolsey House at Arkansas City, and if they do not find it, I will pay their bill. As I am starting for the Osages, I will write about them and the country in a few days again. CITIZEN.
Emporia News, March 3, 1871.
THE FORM OF CLAIMS FOR OSAGE LANDS.
A great deal of embarrassment and trouble has been occasioned among the settlers on the Osage lands by the survey recently made by the engineer corps. They find that their original lines did not fall in the correct places, however pleasant they may have or would have been if properly located. Some find that their improvements are in one section, and the larger part of their original claim in another. The idea prevails that they must take a particular quarter of one section, and in order to adjust matters by this rule, they have been trading off, buying up, jumping, and quarreling. To get information in regard to the matter, our townsman, Mr. C. E. Kelsey, addressed Commissioner Drummond a letter, in reply to which he received the following letter.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, GENERAL LAND OFFICE, Feb. 15, 1871.
Mr. E. C. KELSEY, Emporia, Kansas. SIR: I am in receipt of your letter of the 3rd inst., relative to the form of claims made upon Osage Indian lands.
In reply I say that a claim of 160 acres may be made in one section, or in different sections making 160 acres provided they are contiguous to each other, but not with other lands intervening. Very Respectfully,
WILLIS DRUMMOND, Commissioner.
From the above it will be seen that a man who has made improvements upon his claim does not necessarily lose them if the section or quarter lines happen to divide them from the larger part of the claim. He can retain a forty of one quarter and three forties of another; if it so happens that his claim is divided by the newly established lines; or he can hold his claim if one forty should be in one section and three forties in another, provided, in all cases, that his 160 acres are in one body.
The Commonwealth, March 7, 1871.
FROM COWLEY COUNTY.
DEXTER, Kas., March 1st, 1871.
The surveyors have reached within two miles of the place and will soon be here. Farming will then be commenced in earnest, and by next fall I expect this valley to blossom like a garden.
Our community has been perfectly quiet during the entire season, being entirely unaffected by the troubles on the Walnut, northwest of us. We are perfectly secure in the possession of our property. With the single exception of one span of horses stolen early last spring, nothing has ever been stolen in this valley. The people are very careless and take no precautions against thefts and yet lose nothing. Our storekeeper has said time and again that he was not afraid to leave his store in the charge of any man in the valley; and he practices what he preaches, showing that it is not all gas by any means.
The only cause of complaint that we have had was the action of our county board of commissioners who, to elect their man to the legislature, outraged decency and everything else by disfranchising the entire eastern half of the county. But we have an enduring faith in the principles of everlasting justice, and believe that “truth crushed to earth will rise again,” and that our time is coming.
[CORRESPONDENT: “L. B. W.]
The Commonwealth, April 20, 1871.
OSAGE DIMINISHED RESERVE.
The Arkansas River.—Cowley County.—The New Town of Ninneskah.
[Correspondence to the Commonwealth.]
Perhaps some of your readers will be benefitted by the knowledge of our part of the thirty-mile strip, known as the “Osage Diminished Reserve,” now in the market to actual settlers only. I am writing from the town of Ninneskah, situate on the western edge of Cowley County, on the Arkansas river, opposite the mouth of the Ninneskah river. The town is yet in its infancy, but boasts of a good hotel, postoffice, two grocery stores, one drug store, one shoe shop, and a lumber yard. A saw mill is on the way for this place, which will give the place a new impetus. A good dry goods store is among the things most needed. W. A. Parks, of Lyndon, is starting a wagon shop, and J. A. Churchill a hardware and tin store. L. B. Goodrich is extending his large building forty feet. A corresponding stock of dry goods and groceries will be on hand before the building is ready to receive them. Chadwick Bro.’s livery stable will soon supply all wants in that line. Wells & Metcalf, blacksmiths, will save farmers much trouble as soon as their outfit is placed in position. Romine’s shingle machine is now ready to furnish parties wishing to build with a superior quality of cut shingles. Town lots are still given away to parties building thereon. The surveying party from Thayer will reach here tomorrow. We are so situated that we cannot miss a railroad up the Arkansas Valley. No place in Kansas offers greater inducements to persons wishing to start in a new place than this new town of Ninneskah. The surrounding country presents a gentle undulating surface, and not a quarter section within a radius of ten miles but will admit of cultivation. The soil is a warm, sandy loam, varying in depth from two to seven feet. Of its productiveness, its luxuriant crop of grass, both last year and the present, testifies in too strong terms to admit of doubt. Of timber we have a liberal share, while numerous streams and springs furnish a never failing supply of water. Nowhere have I seen a new country settle with a more enterprising, honest, industrious class than there is on thirty mile strip. The passage of the herd law gives all a chance to raise a crop the present season and a glorious opportunity of hedging their farms the next. I hope everyone moving into this country will not fail to bring a stock of fruit trees.
Both soil and climate are especially adapted by nature and nature’s God for the culture of all kinds of fruit. Let all look to it. I know no country that can compare with this for soil, climate, health, society; indeed all natural advantages. Men of limited means are wasting both time and money by the delay. L. B. W. April 12.
The Commonwealth, April 22, 1871.
We have the most flattering reports from Cowley County. Several persons from Topeka have visited that locality and return with lips flowing with laudations of this newly opened territory. The class of settlers are of the highest order. They are breaking the soil, planting corn and gardens, fencing the land, building houses, and making every arrangement to stay. Ten saw mills are busily engaged in the county cutting the beautiful timber for use. There are over four thousand quarter sections of land in the county and not one quarter section of waste land. Not more than one-third of it is claimed or occupied, but it is all being settled very fast. That fifty-mile strip laying along the south border of the state, but lately in possession of the Osages, is soon to be the most densely settled part of our state.
Robert Armstrong, Deputy U. S. Surveyor...
Emporia News, April 28, 1871.
Robert Armstrong, Deputy U. S. Surveyor, has finished his portion of the work on the Osage Reservation. Last Monday he paid off his hands, some forty in number. The boys were not long, after receiving their currency, in laying in good clothes and other little tricks for human comfort and appearance. We are pleased to state that we did not see or hear of one of them getting under the influence of benzine. As a general thing they purchased what they were compelled to have and then put for home. Wichita Vidette.
Emporia News, May 12, 1871.
The Fort Scott Monitor says the survey of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad line in Texas is completed from Preston, on Red River, where the line leaves the Indian Territory, to Austin, crossing the Brazos River at Waco.
Emporia News, May 19, 1871.
ARKANSAS CITY, COWLEY COUNTY, KANSAS, May 4th, 1871.
Bell Plain. [Later called Belle Plaine.]
A mail route has been established from Wichita to Arkansas City, and stages will soon be running. A stage route from Thayer, via Winfield, to Belle Plain has been surveyed out, and it is expected that stages will be running on that route also soon.
T. A. WILKINSON.
Emporia News, September 29, 1871.
FROM ARKANSAS CITY.
Settlers Moving North—Railroad and Other Matters.
ARKANSAS CITY, September 24, 1871.
DEAR NEWS: As your readers have not had a letter from this section for some time, I thought one might prove interesting.
What seems to be agitating the minds of a great many of our people just now is the vexed question of the exact location of the State line. Emigrants came in last spring and settled up the country immediately south of here quite densely. In their eagerness to get good claims, many of them, I am afraid, got too far south, and settled in the Territory. Superintendent Hoag’s recent instructions, ordering intruders out of the Territory, has created quite a sensation. Many are moving their houses one, two, and three miles north, upon unoccupied claims. It is unfortunate for them because many of them have made improvements, such as breaking, etc., which they are compelled to abandon, thereby losing one season’s labor.
The sectioning of the Territory is under rapid headway. Col. E. N. Darling has four hundred men employed on the work. His aim is to get it completed in January next. Quite a good many men have gone from here to engage in the work. The survey headquarters have been established on Deer Creek, twelve miles south of here. Major A. N. Deming, of New York, is in charge. This being their basis of supplies, our merchants are wearing smiling countenances.
Touching railroad matters, Cowley congratulates Lyon County for her work on the 13th inst. This county is alive to her interests, and when called upon she will follow your noble example.
The Nortons are down in the Territory among their Wausasha friends. All miss the graceful Professor and the fair haired Captain.
The drawing of lots due on certificates is announced to come off on the 30th inst. Everything bids fair that the drawing will be conducted in an honorable manner. M. J. M.
The Commonwealth, October 8, 1871.
The Arkansas City Traveler says that another surveying outfit is to be recruited at Arkansas City, within the next ten days, and in a few weeks thirty hands can secure work on the Arkansas river truss bridge. Parties seeking employment will do well to go to that point.
Walnut Valley Times, October 13, 1871.
Another surveying outfit is to be recruited at Arkansas City, within the next ten days, and in a few weeks thirty hands can secure work on the Arkansas River Truss Bridge.
Message of Lewis Downing, Chief of the Cherokees.
The Commonwealth, December 8, 1871.
Lewis Downing, chief of the Cherokees, has issued his annual message to the council of that nation, and says in the course of his observations:
Since the adjournment last session of the national council, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroad has entered our country on the north, and passed through it and gone several miles south into the Creek Nation.
The Atlantic and Pacific railroad has also entered our nation on the east, entering it at the corner of the Seneca Nation, and it has been completed to the junction with the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroad. At this point, on the west side, the A. and P. railroad company have established a depot, and on both sides of that road the commissioners, provided for by an act of the National council at its last session, have laid off the town of Downingville. Also four miles east of the confluence of Spring river with the Neosho or Grand river, on the A. and P. railroad, they have laid out the town of Rossville. Lots have been sold at a good price in each of these towns, and there is a prospect of their becoming places of importance.
The M. K. & T. is blamed for avoiding Fort Gibson and for its exorbitant rates of fare and freight, and both roads are censured for taking wood ties illegally.
As a remedy, I would suggest, first, that we confer with other tribes or Indian nations through whose country this road may pass, and by the acts of the national councils of the several nations, establish uniform and reasonable rates of far and freight on the railroad through the whole Indian country for citizens of the country.
Secondly, that the Cherokee nation charter in some form or other another railroad to run from north to south, through the nation on the east side of Grand river, and if possible, have Tahlequah and Fort Gibson designated as points through which it shall run, and thus bring down the high rates by competition.
This second proposition probably contemplates an extension of the M. K., Ft. S. and G. railroad.
The Atlantic and Pacific railroad company require more than two hundred additional feet granted by treaty, at stations, at the junction of the two roads, in order to form a Y, or switch to connect the Atlantic and Pacific railroad with the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroad, as will be seen by reference to the plat of Downingville. This seems to be a necessity, and I would recommend that it should receive your sanction under certain restrictions.
Mr. John L. Adair, who was elected by the national council at its last session, as commissioner on the part of the Cherokee nation to survey and mark the boundary lines, separating this nation from the states of Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas, has been diligently engaged in the work assigned him in connection with Hon. Jas. M. Ashley, commissioner on the part of the United States.
The work of surveying said boundary line is now completed, and the making and setting up of monuments will be completed in a short time. I learn that portions of what was claimed as parts of adjoining states have fallen into the Cherokee nation, at several important points, and carrying with them several valuable improvements which by law of the nation approved November 8, 1869, are public property, and are subject to be sold to the highest bidder by the sheriff of the district in which they are situated, after fifteen days notice. But the circumstances are of such a nature that I would suggest a suspension of the law in respect to these improvements for a definite period, while I would suggest that means be taken to secure these improvements to the use and benefit of the nation.
Winfield Messenger, August 16, 1872.
The survey of the Wichita and Arkansas City railroad is completed. The distance is about forty-five miles, and the grade is excellent. An effort will at once be made to put this line under contract.
The Commonwealth, Saturday, January 10, 1873.
The Walnut Valley Times understands the surveyors have made a preliminary survey of the Kansas and Nebraska railroad from Peabody to Arkansas City, and that they are now on the back track establishing the line, all of which looks like business.
[Note: Skipped massacre of U. S. surveyors (Deming and others) given in the Commonwealth starting with April 2, 1873, issue. Article in Indian book.]
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 2, 1873.
The ball given by the United States Surveying Corps, at Arkansas City, was a grand affair. It was no doubt the best conducted, and in every way the finest affair of the kind ever witnessed in Southern Kansas. The music was splendid and the supper was such that the variant epicure could have found no fault, either in the variety or quality of the eatables. Great credit is due the managers for the taste and ability displayed in every feature of the entertainment.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 16, 1873.
The U. S. Survey corps left Arkansas City on the 4th inst. for their field of labor in the Indian Territory. They expect to be gone two years.
Winfield Courier, December 12, 1873.
General Barrett and Captain Darling have paid out over $40,000, through the Arkansas City Bank alone, in defraying the expenses of the surveys now being brought to a close.
Winfield Courier, May 27, 1875.
In response to an inquiry by B. E. Smith, Esq., the Commissioner of the Land Office, S. S. Burdett, says that there is no authority of law for moving a corner of the public surveys which can in any way be identified as the original corner established by the U. S. Deputy Surveyor and approved by the Surveyor General.
WINFIELD COURIER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 1876.
Winter of 1869 and 1870.
At that time there was no land surveyed in the county and the settlers marked the boundaries of their claims with stakes driven at the corners, and claim disputes were settled by tribunals, called settlers’ unions, or by public meetings before whom the respective claimants presented their cases.
In January, 1871, a U. S. surveying party, under O. F. Short, began the survey of the county. They were followed very industriously by claim hunters, who hoped the survey would develop unoccupied tracts. On the other hand, the settlers were on the alert and many lines were run just in advance of the compassmen of the surveying party, and when a little deviation would leave a squatter on the claim that he wanted, the deviation was sure to be made. As a consequence, the section lines in this county are very crooked.
Though this country was practically open for settlement on the passage of the act of Congress of July 15th, 1870, in relation thereto; yet no one knew where his claim lines would run, because there had been no government survey. This survey did not occur until January, 1871. Immediately after the survey D. A. Millington, who was the first engineer and surveyor, surveyed and laid out into town lots and blocks, all the west half of Fuller’s claim and east half of Manning’s claim (not already laid out), and platted the whole as the town site of Winfield. Settlers continued to locate in Winfield until on the 10th day of July, 1871, there were 72 lots improved with 80 buildings. On that day the town site was entered by the Probate Judge, T. B. Ross.
The town plat covers an area of 23 acres and contains about 100 lots. It was surveyed and platted by W. W. Walton, county surveyor, Nov. 13th, 1875, and the plats have not been filed for record yet, but will be in a few days, after which the lots will be offered for sale. Lots will be donated to parties who desire to improve them. The lots on Main street are 25 feet front by 160 deep. The other lots are 50 feet front and of the same depth. The vacant lots are the property of the “Dexter Town Association,” and information in regard to them or the town, or county, can be obtained either of P. G. Smith, President, or James McDermott, Secretary of the association.
On January 1st, 1870, the first stake was driven in the town site by the town company. On March 1st, 1870, G. H. Norton built the first house on the town site, which he occupied as a residence and store. It is now occupied by Mrs. Gray. G. H. Norton, appointed in April, 1870, was the first postmaster. The town site is one mile square. Its streets are laid out north and south and east and west. The main street traverses the summit of the mound upon which the town is located. During the summer of 1870, the town grew very fast and in the fall there were about forty buildings up. It soon became, and remains, the outfitting point for intercourse with the Indian Territory, and a very large and important trade centers there from this county, and from the Agencies and Government Surveying expeditions located and operating in the Territory below. Settled at the outset by an energetic and intelligent people, they soon brought about them the evidences of cultivation. The finest schoolhouse southeast of Emporia adorns the town site; constructed of brick with cut stone trimmings, designed by J. G. Haskell, the first architect in the State; its attractive and inviting form is a noble monument of the present, and promising prestige of the future.
H. L. BARKER Nov. 8, 1870; resigned July 1, 1871.
D. A. MILLINGTON July 1, 1871. Jan. 8, 1872.
M. HEMINGWAY Nov. 7, 1871. Jan. 11, 1874.
W. W. WALTON Nov. 4, 1873. Jan. 11, 1876.
W. W. WALTON Nov. 2, 1875.
Winfield Courier, March 30, 1876.
Many farmers are having their “lines” surveyed preparatory to hedge planting this spring.
Winfield Courier, April 6, 1876. Editorial Page.
LAZETTE, KAN., Mar. 31, 1876.
Some days ago Messrs. Hall and Clover made a survey of the country east of Lazette and between Grouse and Cana. They found that the two valleys could be joined by a road bed with but little labor.
Cowley County Democrat, Thursday, April 6, 1876.
County Surveyor Walton, now has the U. S. field notes for the Township, in your section of the county. And now is the time to have your lines established. Don’t forget or neglect to have it done this spring.
Winfield Courier, April 13, 1876.
The entire State of Kansas has been surveyed by the General Government, and the Surveyor-General’s office was discontinued April 1st.
Winfield Courier, May 11, 1876.
Deputy Surveyor Tell Walton is busily engaged surveying roads over about Dexter.
[CORRESPONDENCE RE SURVEYS IN COWLEY COUNTY.]
Winfield Courier, June 22, 1876.
The following letter explains itself. It is the opinion of the ablest young lawyer in the State, on a question that has sorely vexed the surveyor of this and adjoining counties. The fact that the original survey was so poorly made and the corners and lines so indefinitely established, has been the cause of much trouble among the people of this county. The County Surveyor is not to blame for these crooked lines. In many cases the corner stones have been moved and kicked about by the old “claim jumpers” who infested this country in an early day. In our opinion it is the duty of the Surveyor to determine the proper location of such corners in the manner described as follows.
TOPEKA, KANSAS, May 18, 1876.
TELL W. WALTON, Esq., Dep. Surveyor,
Oxford, Sumner Co., Kansas.
DEAR SIR: I am in receipt of your letter of the 20th inst., containing the following interrogatories:
“1st. Should I not, in determining the true location of effaced, destroyed, or doubtful government corners, be governed wholly by well authenticated lines and corners properly identified by the original plats and notes and re-establish them to correspond therewith, as near as ordinary professional skill admit?
“2nd. In such cases are not the original field notes and plats, or certified copies thereof, my only guide in determining the true location of such lines and corners?
“3rd. Should a stone or other monument found near the point designated as the original location of a corner be considered as prima facie evidence of its having been thus established by the Dep. U. S. Surveyor, or should the field notes, coupled with properly identified lines and corners, be equally considered in the matter?”
In reply to the first interrogatory, I am of the opinion that the true location of effaced, destroyed, missing, and doubtful corners must be determined by the original plats and notes and well authenticated monuments.
To the second interrogatory I answer, yes, qualified by an observance of the above mentioned rule.
To the third interrogatory I reply, always bearing in mind, as a governing rule, that course and distances must yield to undoubted monuments. That much depends upon the circum-stances. If the stone or monument is of such type and permanency as to indicate that it was placed there as a monument, it should be regarded as prima facia evidence of having been so established by competent authority, especially if it be near the point designated as the original location of a corner. But if such stone or possible monument is of a movable, uncertain, and doubtful character, the field notes, coupled with clearly identified lines and corners, should be consulted. Very Respectfully, GEO. R. PECK, U. S. Attorney.
Cowley County Democrat, Winfield, Kansas, Thursday, July 13, 1876.
HISTORY OF COWLEY COUNTY.
Read at the Centennial Celebration, July 4th, 1876, at Winfield, Kansas.
BY WIRT W. WALTON
During the Winter of 1869, Alonzo Howland, W. W. Andrews, Joel Mack, H. C. Loomis, A. Meanor, and others took the claims upon which the most of them reside. Mr. Howland built the first frame house in the county—his present residence—which was considered at the time a herculean task, having to haul the lumber over 100 miles without the sign of a road. About this time E. C. Manning erected a small log building on the claim south of C. M. Wood’s. In this Baker & Manning kept a small stock of goods, which they sold to the settlers and traded to the Indians.
At this time the land was neither surveyed nor subject to entry. Claim corners were designated by stakes, and the claim holders’ intentions set forth on a shingle with letters of charcoal, often in about the following style.
“This klaim was taken by me on the 20th day of January 1869. I am gone after my family. Anybody who dairs to squat on my claim while I am gone will git a load of buckshot when I get back. Plenty of good klaims not taken just south of me.
Yours truly, JOHN SMITH.”
Claim disputes were settled by tribunals called “Settlers Unions” or by public meetings before whom the respective claimants presented their cases.
In January, 1871, a surveying party under O. F. Short, began the survey of the county. They were followed industriously by claim-hunters, who hoped the survey would develop unoccupied tracts. The settlers were on the alert, and many lines were run just in front of the deputy surveyor by them. Fifty dollars, and often a less sum, would so influence the magnetic needle of this United States official, that a line would be run cutting the original settler off his particular claim, and leaving it for these unscrupulous land banditti following him. In consequence, the lines of the original survey are very crooked.
On July 12th Congress passed a law allowing actual settlers to enter from 40 to 160 acres of these Osage lands at $1.25 per acre. On March 2, 1871, the town site laws of the U. S. were extended to these lands, and on May 11, 1872, Congress passed a law allowing actual settlers to enter the Cherokee lands. The terms were similar to those of the Osage lands, except that all lands east of the Arkansas River were sold at $1.50 per acre, and all west at $2.00 per acre.
Winfield Courier, July 20, 1876.
The “equity court” convened at Arkansas City last Saturday to hear certain facts in reference to a disputed corner between sections 12 and 13 in township 35, range 4. The parties interested were Messrs. Skinner and Kay. Kay claimed one hundred and sixty acres of land in the section as surveyed by the county surveyor. Skinner claimed one hundred and sixty eight, as was supposed to have been surveyed by the U. S. Surveyor. They agreed to arbitrate the matter and entered into bonds to abide the decision of the arbitrators. Esq. J. H. Bonsall, R. Hoffmaster, and Mr. Cline were chosen. Judge Christian appeared as attorney for Kay and W. P. Hackney for Skinner. Several witnesses were sworn, a majority of whom testified that the government corner had been standing there ever since they came to the country, which dated back to the survey. The witnesses for the other side swore that several government corners had been moved in that neighborhood and that there were no natural objects in the vicinity of this corner to show that it was standing where the original survey placed it. The county surveyor was called, the original field notes produced, and a plat of his survey presented and explained. The field notes and the old corner did not correspond by about eleven rods, so the arbitrators decided that the corner was not correct, and therefore awarded the land to Mr. Kay. They each now have the same amount of land, just what their respective patents call for, whereas before there was quite a difference. The procedure was under the new law passed last winter and is an improvement on the old way. If justice is what a man wants, an arbitration is the place to apply for it. If, like the Irishman, “Be Jasus, justice is what we don’t want,” then go into the courts.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 30, 1876. Front Page.
Centennial Notes, Sights and Wonders.
[Article by C. M. Scott.]
In the General Land Office we met G. P. Strum and Wm. Naylor, formerly of Barrett’s Surveying Corps, stationed at Arkansas City, a few years ago, and in the Government Printing office we saw Johnny Jones. In the evening we met John Lanfer, and together, called on Capt. Darling at his private residence. The Captain was as lively and social as ever, and greeted us cordially, and would hardly consent to our leaving the city until he had shown us around behind his span of black thoroughbreds. We enjoyed our visit with the boys, and believe it actually did them good to see an Arkansas City man once more. Strum and Billy are studying law in their spare moments, and declare their intentions of returning to Cowley County to practice as soon as they have completed their labors.
From Washington we went to Philadelphia, and made our home with Mrs. M. A. McManus, mother of John E. McManus, formerly a surveyor of this place, and a lady of more than ordinary influence in the city; being a sister of the Hon. Wm. Moran, Secretary of Legation at England. The home was a quiet, retired, and pleasant one, affording us great comfort after an all day’s sight seeing.
Winfield Courier, September 14, 1876.
JETHRO COCHRAN and Dr. Davis own adjoining farms near town. They have both claimed a certain spring or well. The line was run the other day and it crosses the well precisely in the middle. If we didn’t know the County Surveyor intimately, personally we might say, we might be inclined to think that it was not “a singular coincidence.”
Winfield Courier, September 21, 1876.
Minutes of the Cowley County Teachers’ Institute.
Wirt W. Walton led the institute in an excellent exercise on the “surveyed divisions of public lands.” He showed the different methods of survey that had been adopted at different times, and then proceeded to illustrate the simple and excellent plan in use in our country. By means of diagrams and maps placed upon the board, the meaning and use of base and meridian lines, the manner of numbering townships and the sections of the township, and many other points valuable to all.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 8, 1876. Editorial.
LINES TO SUIT.
The County Surveyor Accepts $5 for Surveying Lands Fraudulently.
Charges sufficient to disqualify our present County Surveyor have been brought to our notice within the past ten days. While surveying a road from Wintin’s, up Silver Creek, he dined at the house of J. G. Titus, and was asked in reference to moving established Government corners, when he said:
“In my official capacity, it would not be advisable for me to advise anyone to move the Government corner stones, but I frequently tell them that if their lines do not suit them, if they would hide the Government stones, I would set one to suit.” J. G. Titus and John Brannon are witnesses to the fact.
Then Mr. Charles Seward testified that for five dollars, Mr. Walton moved a corner stone himself, on Squaw Creek, three miles below Winfield, so as to make a farm “take in water.” There are a number of other complaints afloat in reference to the gentleman’s actions that should be looked into and the perpetrator held accountable for “in his official capacity.”
Winfield Courier, November 9, 1876. Editorial Page.
A THIEF AND A LIAR.
Just as we go to press we see in the Traveler a base insinuation that we, as County Surveyor, have been surveying lands fraudulently. This is the remark attributed to us in reply to some question asked us nearly four years ago.
“In my official capacity, it would not be advisable for me to advise anyone to move the Government corner stones, but I frequently tell them that if their lines do not suit them, if they would hide the Government stones, I would set one to suit.”
That lie has been nailed twice at the ballot box in Silverdale Township, and by the people of this county, and we here nail it again.
Then he says:
“Mr. Charles Seward testifies that for five dollars, Mr. Walton moved a corner stone himself, on Squaw Creek, three miles below Winfield, so as to make a farm “take in water.”
That is a base lie, and the author of it knew it when he uttered it. Charles Seward never testified a word impeaching our official record in his life. We can produce a dozen men, living “three miles below Winfield,” who will say it is an infamous lie.
Then he winds up with a sweeping charge that,
“There are a number of other complaints afloat in reference to the gentleman’s actions that should be looked into and the perpetrator held accountable for in his official capacity.”
In conclusion we have to say, that for nearly six years we have been surveying in this county, and we defy any man, friend or foe, to substantiate a single charge reflecting upon our honor or integrity “in our official capacity.” This man, Scott, who is charged with stealing goods in Emporia, and whom we now charge with stealing the Arkansas City post office from one of the best, the bravest, and truest men that ever lived there, thereby throwing him out of employment and forcing him to leave the country or starve, seeks to drag every man who disagrees with him down to his own miserable level. By crying “Stop thief!” he hopes to turn the attention of the public from his own dirty, narrow-minded carcass.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 15, 1876.
LINES TO SUIT.
A Little Evidence to Substantiate a Charge.
Mr. Walton, in last week’s Courier, denies the charge of fraudulent surveys, and says: “We defy any man, friend or foe, to substantiate a single charge reflecting upon our honor or integrity in our official capacity.” Now we do not desire a personal wrangle with the man, but since he openly defies anyone to “substantiate a single charge,” we gave place to the following, which can be verified by several others.
EDITOR TRAVELER: In the Courier of the 9th inst., I noticed an editorial making charges against you, and denying any charges made against Wirt W. Walton as County Surveyor.
In 1874 I employed him to survey a quarter section of land. On the east line, or near the line, there was a very valuable spring. I had my doubts about the spring being on my land, and so told Walton. I also told him that if, on surveying the land, he found the spring to be east of the line, I would like to have the corner so placed as to take in the spring, which would give me a chance to buy the land east of me. This he has sworn to in court in this town. He commenced the survey at a quarter section corner, and ran east 40 chains. This let the spring about ten rods off from me. The chainmen, O. C. Skinner and John Wooley, then stopped, when Walton shouted to them to go on, that he was running to the river. They then surveyed to the river, which was about thirty rods further east. From the river he ran back so as to give me the spring by two rods, and there placed a corner. He then changed the quarter section corner (which he stated he believed to be a Government corner) eleven rods, to correspond with the distance called for by the Government field notes. When the survey was over, he stated to A. H. Acton, of Salt Springs, in substance, that if trouble should follow, the corner he had removed would have to be put back.
I was not satisfied with the removal of the Government corner, and urged him to re-establish it. This he refused to do, stating as a reason that he had made other surveys to correspond with the removal, and it would be too bare-faced to do so. I then employed Mr. Kager to make arrangements to have him come down and re-establish the corner, or I would have him indicted in the United States Court at Topeka. He told Mr. Kager that as soon as the Legislature adjourned, he would come down and make the survey, so that I could establish or identify the corner in the future, as there would probably be litigation about it, and so mark it as a Government corner on the records. I do not say I paid Mr. Walton for making a corner to give me the spring, but I do say that to oblige me, as he thought, he changed a Government corner, or at least a corner that he swore in court had every appearance of a Government corner, and a corner that no one disputed. And if he so desires, a few facts not here stated, that can be sustained, might be given that will put an end to his acting as County Surveyor. WM. B. SKINNER.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 22, 1876.
The Courier has nothing to say about Mr. Skinner’s statement of fraudulent surveys. The facts are too plain and the evidence too positive.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 29, 1876.
LINES TO SUIT.
A Few More Facts for Our County Surveyor.
For some inscrutable purpose, Providence sent W. W. Walton into the world, scarce half made up in brains, to vilify and abuse others through the columns of his dirty sheet, and as he has seen fit to attack me personally, I claim your indulgence to reply.
Every sentence contains a lie. To his first charge of leaving Illinois, I will only say that I was not the clerk in the House of Representatives who was kicked out of the back door of a fourth rate hotel at Topeka for having a mass of corruption in his room.
He lies when he says I sold land (or told him I did), describing it by metes and bounds. Walton swore that the corner he moved “had the usual marks of a Government corner.” You may believe him under oath or not, as you like.
He lied when he said I tried to steal land of Mr. Acton. I never claimed an acre of land that Mr. Acton claimed, or thought I owned any, until Walton, while surveying for Mr. Acton, cut off several acres of Mr. Acton’s land and gave them to me; and if I “tried to steal the land,” it must have been through this County official that I did it. I still hold the land, given me by this honest official, which (as he says) I tried to steal.
He was either a dishonest scoundrel in giving me Mr. Acton’s land, or a liar in making the charge.
I tried “to steal land from Mr. Myers.” Had he let the old corner stand, I should not have got the springs by eight rods, according to the field notes. He moved the corner about eleven rods and I now hold the springs (worth to my place five hundred dollars) by about three rods; so the fact still remains, that by moving the corner eleven rods, he gave me the spring by about three rods. Many thanks, Mr. Walton, whether you were paid for it or not.
Now, I assert that he lied, or ought to have known it was false, when he said I had a suit with Mr. Kay and had the costs to pay. The court, as the records show, ordered the costs on Mr. Kay, who paid them like a man. By his bungling, or ignorance of surveying (more likely the latter), he succeeded in getting us into trouble. Mr. Kay is out of pocket fully two hundred dollars, which he would have in his pocket today, but for that swell head, who promised to see him out, only to send him a bill of over ten dollars for his lordship’s attendance as witness.
He lied, and knew he was lying, when he said any one of the witnesses, either directly or indirectly, uttered a single word under oath that could be construed as reflecting on me.
He utters one truth when he says he was a witness in that case. He was, and he swore that “he had pencilings of the Government field notes.”
Finally, this brainless figure-head of the Courier says, “The TRAVELER gave Skinner a terrible skinning a short time ago.” This statement will be branded as a lie by every reader of the TRAVELER.
Come out, Wirt, for once, and act the man. Don’t try to cover your tracks by the old cry of “Stop, thief!” For your sake, and with the sincere hope that you may reform, I will not in this place ask you to explain how it is that your bills, to the extent of fifty dollars at a lick, are rejected by the County Commissioners. I will not produce the records to show that you have taken hundreds of dollars out of the tax-payers’ pockets, to pay for platting private surveys, and to which you had no legal right, whatever.
Now, Wirt, if you will reform, I will not speak of your survey where W. T. Estus, J. C. Smith, and others were interested—never lisp a word about little wash bills. And should you ever become a candidate again, you might get more than one vote in East Bolton—always provided that you can convince the public that you have truly reformed.
Wm. B. SKINNER.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 29, 1876.
The attack the Courier makes on our fellow-townsman, W. B. Skinner, does not answer the charges of fraudulent surveys, but is only an attempt to get around them. Mr. Skinner’s statements can be substantiated by some of the best citizens in the county. And the charge he makes of the TRAVELER skinning him, all of the readers of the paper know to be entirely false.
Winfield Courier, December 28, 1876.
In justice to Mr. Seward, more than for our personal vindication, we give space to the following letter.
WINFIELD, KANSAS, DEC. 13, 1876.
WIRT W. WALTON, County Surveyor.
DEAR SIR: The statements made in a recent number of the Arkansas City Traveler to the effect that you “moved a government corner stone on Squaw Creek for $5.00 so that a certain farm could take in water” is utterly false. I never made such a statement and the writer who gave my name as authority for such a statement uttered a falsehood. I have twice written to Mr. Scott to do myself justice by correcting the falsehood, and up to the present time he has refused so to do. In justice to you then, and to myself, I write this.
CHAS. A. SEWARD.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 3, 1877.
Charles A. Seward denies that he ever said “Wirt Walton moved a Government corner stone for $5,” and gives a letter to the Courier to that effect.
Now that he has so completely vindicated Mr. Walton, we have to say we can prove he did say so, and we give his letters as written to us Nov. 20th and Dec. 3rd. The Courier is noted for the faculty of “bringing men around,” and the cause of Seward’s change we can’t account for.
First Letter from Seward.
Winfield, November 20, 1876.
Mr. C. M. Scott:
SIR. Today, for the first time, I find in the Cowley County Telegram a report said to have been published in your excellent paper, to the effect that I said W. W. Walton had moved a corner stone for money. Said statement is false, as concerning my having said so—though there has been such report.
For the facts, I would refer to G. W. Melville, now at Wichita, having a farm on Posey Creek, where said surveying is said to have been done. Now I have no particular regards for Walton, or the tribe he is now connected with, in proof of which, though I am a Republican, I helped to elect your townsman, Hon. A. J. Pyburn, instead of one of my own party in whom I had no faith. I say this to prove my interest in the welfare of the people of this county. Yet I cannot permit my name to be abused and scandalized as it has been in the Courier, a paper which I ceased to take on account of the low origin of its contents.
Please rectify said mistake of the reporter. Yours, with regard, CHARLES A. SEWARD.
Second Letter from Seward.
Winfield, December 3, 1876.
Dear Sir. I do not want you to make a correction of the statement published in your paper in regard to Walton moving a Government corner stone for money. I have heard such a report. That is all. Your reporter made a mistake when he said I had made such report to him, knowing the same to be true. I did not, neither do I think Walton a proper person for County Surveyor, for in my opinion he is not an honest man. Trusting you will correct the mistake (?) made by your reporter, I subscribe myself, Yours, with respect, CHARLES A. SEWARD.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 20, 1877.
LEGAL. WM. NAYLOR and GUSTAVE P. STRUM, two of the most well known and popular of the “Surveyor Boys” of bygone days, have turned their attention to the study of law and received diplomas from the Law Department of the Columbian University on the 13th inst. They have the best wishes of their many friends in this community for their success in their profession.
Winfield Courier, February 15, 1877.
SQUAW CREEK, February 14th, 1877.
ED. COURIER. DEAR SIR: Having read about all the correspondence in reference to that Squaw Creek survey, we have come to the conclusion that somebody needs vindication, and not being able to make up our minds as to who that personage is, we have concluded to submit the facts and let the public draw its own conclusion.
W. W. Walton, after making a very careful survey of the lines between sections three and ten, found a very nice stone, very nicely set in the ground, about nine rods west and seven links north of a point midway between the east and west corners, and which Mr. Nauman told W. W. Walton, in the presence of the whole surveying party, that he (Nauman) set himself. Walton also found about one rod east of the center, one oak post, which Mr. Seward said Mr. Nauman showed him at the time he bought his land as being about the corner. Walton, with his good eye and quick perception, saw that by such an arrangement Mr. Nauman’s lands would not corner, but would lap ten rods, and remarked that it was “too thin.” After carefully examining the stone he failed to find any of Uncle Sam’s ear marks, and consequently, within the majesty of the law, proceeded to locate a corner in accordance with the Government field notes.
This letter is not written to bulldoze Judge Campbell, neither is it written by W. W. Walton, and “we uns” bulldozed into signing it.
JACOB SEELY, Flagman; SAMPSON JOHNSON, Chainman; S. D. KLINGMAN; C. C. PIERCE.
Winfield Courier, May 10, 1877. Editorial Page.
Secretary Fish recently paid $500 for the original journal of Mason and Dixon, the English surveyors who laid the line of demarcation which bears their name. The paper was found among a mass of rubbish in the Parliament buildings of Nova Scotia. The Clerk of the House discovered it and sold it to Mr. Fish.
Winfield Courier, June 14, 1877.
We received a call last Tuesday from Mr. John Hoenscheidt, an architect, surveyor, and civil engineer. He is at present temporarily located at Eureka, but informs us that he will return in about two weeks to locate permanently in Winfield. When he returns he wishes to sketch a bird’s eye view of our city. His sketch of Eureka, also of the courthouse and schoolhouse of that place, is correct in every particular. It is a splendid specimen.
[FROM THE EMPORIA NEWS.]
Arkansas City Traveler, July 25, 1877.
We learn that the A., T. & S. F. road has decided to survey a line from Pueblo to the Rio Grande, to meet there a line from San Francisco. The people of that city propose to extend a road to the Rio Grande to meet the A., T. & S. F. in order to head off the Tom Scott project to build a Southern Pacific road to San Diego. The A., T. & S. F. has also decided to survey from Elinor to Arkansas City, as soon as its branch to El Dorado is finished.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 12, 1877.
At the urgent request of many friends, N. A. Haight, of Bolton Township, has consented to become a candidate before the Republican convention, for the office of County Surveyor. Mr. Haight makes surveying his profession, and for many years was in the U. S. Government employ as compassman. Time and again he has been at the head of surveying parties, and is probably one of the best and most experienced surveyors to be found in Southern Kansas.
Winfield Courier, September 20, 1877.
We would call special attention to the announcement of G. S. Manser as a candidate for nomination to the office of county surveyor in another column. The matter of sheriff and some other offices has so absorbed the attention of the party that the office of county surveyor has received very little attention. Yet this is the office above all others in which incompetency is most disastrous to a county. If your surveyor is incompetent, if he makes mistakes, endless litigation will follow, and the county will be continually disturbed with neighborhood wars. There are plenty of men in the county capable of performing well the duties of any other office in the county, but the men who are fully competent for the office of county surveyor are scarce indeed. We know G. S. Manser well, know him to be thoroughly well qualified for the office. He is a mathematician by nature and education; was educated as a surveyor and engineer, has had long experience in the business in the employ of the government, and of the public, and as a railroad engineer. He is careful and accurate, and a skillful draftsman. The convention will honor itself and confer a great benefit on the county by making him its nominee, not because he is thorough Republican, but because he is eminently fit for the place.
ANNOUNCEMENT: County Surveyor. We are authorized to announce Mr. G. S. Manser as a candidate for the office of County Surveyor, before the Republican convention which meets next Saturday.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 24, 1877.
We notice the name of S. T. Wood, of Falls Township, Sumner County, as a candidate for county surveyor on the ticket nominated lately. We have known Mr. Wood for several years, and should take pride in seeing him elected. He is a surveyor of more than ordinary experience, and has worked extensively for the U. S. Government in the survey of the Indian Territory, Utah, and elsewhere. In the surveyor’s camp he was recognized to be one of the best workmen that ever shouldered a compass. Every man who knows him will be sure to vote for him.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 21, 1877.
Survey of the Arkansas.
Thomas Ryan, representative in Congress from the third district of Kansas, introduced a bill in the House on the morning of No. 14th, to provide for an examination and survey of the Arkansas River from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to the mouth of the Little Arkansas, in Sedgwick County, Kansas, to ascertain whether it is practical and what it will cost to improve the same that it will be suitable for navigation of commercial boats and vessels. Mr. Ryan has been advised by men familiar with the river that it is susceptible of such improvement at a cost not exceeding two hundred thousand dollars. Parties who have made the voyage from this place to Little Rock say the river can be made navigable at a comparatively small expense.
[SURVEY OF WESTERN PART OF INDIAN TERRITORY COMPLETED.]
Arkansas City Traveler, November 28, 1877.
Col. Topping and the other two U. S. Commissioners appointed to appraise the lands in the western part of the Indian Territory, finished up their work some ten days ago and passed east through this place Friday. Owing to failing weather, the last month’s services were very tedious. There is found to be valuable lands in the section appraised, but much that will not begin to average with this portion of Kansas. Col. Topping says the western part of the Territory is alive with herds of buffalo and other game. Capt. Smith of the party a few days ago killed a large bear, very fat and fine. Wichita Eagle.
Winfield Courier, December 13, 1877.
Court convened on the 3rd inst., with an unusually small docket. Forty-three cases composed the term’s work. The criminal business was exceedingly light, there being but two or three cases for trail.
The cases of Dawson vs. Funk and Dawson vs. Brown, involving the title to about five acres of land, which Dawson claimed under a line, as he supposed, established by the government surveyor. Funk and Brown claimed the same land under a survey made by the county surveyor, Walton, and denied that the corner claimed by Dawson was the government corner. The land in dispute is worth probably $50; the costs in both cases is approximately $500. The court gave judgment in favor of Funk and Brown and established the line on the Walton survey. It is quite probable the case will go to the supreme court.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 2, 1878.
We learn from G. P. Strum, now in Washington, that Ed. Harbaugh, formerly of Barrett’s surveying corps, was married last week.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 6, 1878.
The County Surveyor, Ed. Haight, was at work surveying town lots at this place on Monday. While we think of it, Ed’s name is North A. Haight, but somehow he has always been recognized as Ed.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 20, 1878.
The Cherokee Strip.
In response to numerous inquiries about the “Cherokee Strip,” we present the following facts obtained, as we believe, from a reliable source.
The “Strip” consists of a somewhat wedge shaped tract of land along the south line of the State some 200 miles from east to west and varying from about one and a half miles in width at its eastern and to some four and a half miles at the west end. It lies between the south line of the Osage Diminished Reserve and the Indian Territory. It was caused by a defective survey of the north line of the Indian Territory some years ago.
Some four years ago the “Strip” first came into market by an act of Congress and by the terms of the law, was to be sold to actual settlers only at $1.50 an acre for all east of the Arkansas river, and $1.25 for all west of that river, for one year, after which it was to be sold under sealed bids to the highest bidder, regardless of actual occupancy. Under this law, the land was settled and all the best portion of it taken as far west as the west line of Sumner county.
This past winter by the efforts of our Congressman from this district, Hon. Thomas Ryan, practically the old law for the sale of the strip was re-enacted, and the land is now open for sale to actual settlers in tracts not exceeding 160 acres to a settler, at $1.25 per acre. But all the best land has been culled out and taken as far west as the west line of Sumner County, beyond which we should not advise settlers to go on the strip except in the few favored parts where it is coursed by creeks. Emporia News.
[REPORT FROM “A”—“HELL’S HALF ACRE”—EAST END OF BOLTON.]
Arkansas City Traveler, February 27, 1878.
As “C. C. H.” reports from East Bolton, I will only give such items as relate to the east end of Bolton, known as “Hell’s Half Acre.”
Ed. Haight, our popular County Surveyor, has been here surveying the disputed territory, and has done it to the satisfaction of all concerned.
[FROM THE SUMNER COUNTY PRESS.]
Arkansas City Traveler, February 27, 1878.
Many settlers are proving up and paying for their homes on the Strip. Some of the finest farms and best improvements in the country are to be found on these lands.
According to a decision of Gov. Anthony, no vacancy exists in the office of County Surveyor, by reason of the failure of S. T. Wood to qualify in the time prescribed by law. The present incumbent, Geo. T. Walton, will hold the office till the next general election.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 10, 1878.
Survey of the Arkansas River.
The following letter from our energetic representative in Congress, shows that the “improbable” survey of the Arkansas is to be made. Thanks to our wide awake member.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
WASHINGTON, D. C., April 2, 1878.
Friend Scott: The House Committee on Commerce has agreed to provide for a survey of the Arkansas river from Fort Smith up to the mouth of the Little Arkansas, to determine the practicability and cost of making it navigable for commercial boats. The survey will be thorough, embracing the subjects of river, slack water, and casual navigation.
[Note: There was much more said about surveying river. I skipped.]
Arkansas City Traveler, July 17, 1878.
ED. HAIGHT, our efficient County Surveyor, is preparing a map of the county, the dimensions of which are to be 51 x 49 inches. It will show the exact location of every farm in Cowley County, together with are all the principal buildings in the county, and will be completed in about three months. Ed. is a hard worker, and is universally liked at the county seat.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 6, 1878.
Orville Smith, well known in this county as one of the U. S. surveyors, is a candidate for surveyor of Sumner County, with a good prospect of being elected, as he should be. Ed. Haight, our present surveyor, was one of the same corps, and has done excellent work for Cowley.
Note: The following item covers “Santa Fe” branch to Arkansas City.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 27, 1878.
The surveying party running the preliminary lines for the Cowley, Sumner and Ft. Smith R. R. reached here on Saturday afternoon. They remained over Sabbath, and continued the survey to the south line of the county on Monday.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 4, 1878.
The surveying party report the latitude of Wichita 245 feet greater than this place.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 18, 1878.
We received a pleasant call on Monday afternoon from Mr. Morley, Engineer of the Surveying Corps for the Cowley, Sumner and Ft. Smith railroad line. This company is ready to push the work as soon as the bonds are voted.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 21, 1878. Front Page.
MILLINGTON & LEMMON, PUBLISHERS.
COWLEY COUNTY, KANSAS.
This county was named in honor of Matthew Cowley, a brave Kansas soldier who died in the service at Little Rock, Arkansas, in August, 1864. It is a part of what is known as the Osage Diminished Reserve. In 1870 a treaty was made with the Osage Indians, by which this Reserve was opened up for settlement under the act of congress of July 15th, 1870. Before this, and as early as the fall of 1869, settlements were made along the principal streams, the Osages taxing the settlers $5.00 each and permitting them to remain among them peaceably. The county was organized in the summer of 1870, and Winfield, then only one cheap house, was made the county seat. The county then contained a population of about 700. The survey of these lands was made in January and February, 1871, but the plats of the survey were not received at the district land office at Augusta until July 10th, 1871. The Winfield town site was the first tract of land in this county which was entered at the land office. The first assessment and taxation of property in the county was in 1872.
Winfield Courier, April 4, 1878.
Ed. Haight finds so much surveying to do that he has appointed Mr. Hoenscheidt deputy surveyor.
[NOTE: I QUIT AFTER 1878.]
Another case came to note in 1879...
Cowley County Courant, April 6, 1882.
Burden comes to the front with a shooting affray, though so far we have been unable to get the full particulars, only being able to get one side of the story, that of the man who did the shooting. The man who was shot is Ben Saunders, and his assailant is Henry Causey. The two live on adjoining farms about four miles west of Burden, and from what we can learn, have not been on the most friendly terms. Causey is an old resident; and according to his story, some eight years or more ago had his land surveyed and planted a hedge on the line, as then established between him and the farm now owned by Saunders. It appears that recently Saunders had a new survey made without giving notice to Causey, and the new line established runs over onto Causey’s land, taking away from his hedge and a strip of cultivated land. Thursday, Saunders went over into Causey’s field and began plowing, when Causey went out with a shotgun and ordered him off. Saunders refused to go, and said he had a notion to go and get his gun. Causey said to go ahead and get it, when Saunders replied that if he should, Causey would run. Causey said for him to try it and see, and Saunders started toward his house, but after going about a hundred yards turned and came back and picked up some stones and threw them at Causey. He then started on to plowing when Causey fired at him, the shot taking effect in Saunders’ legs, which seemed to lessen his appetite for agricultural pursuits the remainder of the day.
Causey came over to Winfield in the evening and tried to have the County Attorney have him arrested for assault and battery, but Mr. Jennings refused to file a complaint against him until he had time to look up the case. Causey has retained Henry Asp to defend him, and is expecting to be arrested any hour. He says he would much rather have a preliminary examination here in Winfield than over at Burden.