E. E. AND R. L. THORPE.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 9, 1881.
Mr. John D. Pryor and Mr. Thorpe, of Winfield, spent a few hours in the city yesterday, and of course visited the TRAVELER. The latter gentleman is thinking of starting a tannery at the “hub,” and came down to look at an engine for sale here. This enterprise is needed in this section, and will pay well.
Cowley County Courant, December 1, 1881.
Some weeks ago we mentioned the fact that Mr. E. E. Thorpe, from New York, was figuring on starting a tannery in our city. We are now glad to say that the project is an assured fact. Mr. Thorpe has purchased a lot on South Main street, a well has been dug, and the excavation for the cellar is being made. Messrs. Benton & Connor have the contract for the stone work, and I. W. Randall the carpenter work for the building, which, if the weather proves favorable, will be completed about the first of January. This adds another industry to Winfield, of which we shall have more to say as the work progresses.
Winfield Courier, December 8, 1881.
Mr. E. E. Thorpe is pushing his tannery along rapidly, and expects to have it ready for business by January first. He will call it the “Kansas Tannery” as it will be the only one in the State.
Winfield Courier, December 15, 1881.
BIRTH. Mr. E. E. Thorpe came down with the cigars right handsomely Monday, the cause of which was the advent of a bright little nine pound boy, come to gladden his home and make life worth living.
Cowley County Courant, January 12, 1882.
We are glad to note the starting of a new enterprise in our city: the Kansas Tannery, owned and managed by E. E. Thorpe, and situated on South Main Street. Mr. Thorpe has erected a building 25 x 50 feet, and is fitting it out in complete shape for a first-class tannery.
The property, when in running shape, will represent a capital of about $7,000, and will be provided with first-class machinery, which is now ordered from Boston, and will be at work in about ten days.
Mr. Thorpe uses the most improved methods, using bark extract without any acid. He is experienced in the business, and thoroughly conversant with all its details, having formerly operated in New York State. The tannery will handle all kinds of skins, from that of a cockroach to an elephant. Mr. Thorpe has associated with him his brother, Mr. R. L. Thorpe, who has lately been in the Montana and Wyoming territories. The two gentlemen are young and social, and, besides, the industry they will establish here will be a good acquisition to our society. We certainly wish Mr. Thorpe success in his venture, and bespeak for him the hearty support of the people of the county. The tannery will be able to turn out about sixty sides of leather per week, and will be enabled to purchase a large quantity of hides from our farmers. We are glad to welcome every such enterprise to this county.
[INTERVIEW WITH THORPE, BROTHER OF OWNER OF TANNERY.]
Cowley County Courant, January 12, 1882.
We recently had the pleasure of an interview with Mr. Thorpe, a brother of the gentleman who owns the Kansas tannery, in which we were given the history of some thrilling incidents.
For the past few years Mr. Thorpe has been in Wyoming and Montana Territories, engaged in the Indian service, and his life in that time has been crowned with startling scenes and stirring events. What makes his conversation of more than common interest is the fact that he was with Reno at the time of the Custer massacre, and passed through scenes calculated to try the bravest heart. He was acquainted with Custer, and helped to bury him after the saddest and most terrible tragedy of modern times. He heard Custer tell Reno when they separated to go forward, cross the Little Horn River, and attack the Indians, and he did not see Custer again until he helped to bury him in his lonely grave. He says Reno did not know of Custer’s danger until two days after the massacre, when he was informed by the reinforcements under Terry, who saved Reno’s own men from a like terrible fate. Reno has been severely handled for cowardice and neglect of a comrade in danger, but Mr. Thorpe says the accusations are unjust and that Reno exhibited no sign of a coward. Reno was in a desperate straight himself; hemmed in on a bluff by five or six thousand Indians, he was exposed to a merciless fire, certain massacre stared himself and his men in the face, and if Terry had not arrived, their fate would have been the same as the brave three hundred under Custer. Mr. Thorpe’s experiences are well worth listening to, and we shall endeavor to call upon him often.
[An official copy, made in 1878, was made of a petition to promote Reno and Benteen. That copy shows Rollins Thorpe, a private in company M of the 7th Calvary under the command of Capt. Thomas H. French was under the command of Major Marcus A. Reno during the battle of the Little Big Horn. This petition was reprinted in the book “The Custer Myth” written by Colonel W. A. Graham and published in 1953.]
Cowley County Courant, March 2, 1882.
We call the attention of our citizens to the communication from Mr. Thorpe in this issue, and we are glad to see them investigating the matter. The prospect of such a manufactory is decidedly pleasant to us, and we would like to see the matter given full attention. We don’t think there is any danger of Winfield becoming a “way station,” but we would not lose an opportunity to build up this city or advance her interests. Winfield is flourishing now, and we want it to continue in so doing and we think all our businessmen are with us in that desire.
EDITOR COURANT: I find that there are some people who feel rather dubious as to the success of the enterprise which I suggested in the COURANT the other day. To these people I would kindly offer this explanation of the “modus operandi” of such an enterprise. All of the eastern manufactories of a like nature have to buy their leather, paying four profits for it, namely, the manufacturers, commissioners, wholesalers, and retailers. Now in my suggestion I propose manufacturing my own leather, and thereby combining all of the aforesaid profits with the profits derived from the manufacture of boots and shoes.
In regard to competition, we invite it, for in a country like this, where there is always a plentiful supply of hides at lower rates than can be procured at any point in the east; we candidly say we invite and defy competition.
The town of Winfield has about reached its limits as regards the population, and is allowing other adjacent towns, much smaller than she is, to out-rival her by the intrepidity of their citizens. What will be the consequences? The result will be that she will awake one day to find that during her slumber she has allowed her once inferior neighboring towns to become large manufacturing cities, while she receives the flattering title of a “way station.” Now the question is, are the citizens of Winfield going to allow this opportunity to pass by without the slightest effort on their part to save it from the four winds. I for one, am willing to risk all I have towards the furtherance of such an enterprise. Most every man, woman, and child in Kansas wears boots or shoes at some period of the year, and as Kansas gives great encouragement to home industry, the chances of disposing of goods would be great. I am speaking of Kansas as the home market. Such an enterprise would not alone fill the pockets of the stock holders, but would give employment to many men and women.
The following are some of the well known citizens who fully endorse my proposition and who also agree to take shares in the corporation.
J. C. McMullen.
J. C. Fuller.
Messrs. S. D. Pryor & Bro.
J. P. Baden.
J. S. Mann.
Messrs. Hendricks & Wilson.
W. H. Albro.
M. L. Read.
C. C. Black.
J. B. Lynn.
J. A. Earnest.
Messrs. Hughes & Cooper.
Quincy A. Glass.
Messrs. Smith & Bro.
A. H. Doane & Co.
C. A. Bliss.
Messrs. Johnston & Hill.
A. T. Spotswood.
James E. Platter.
J. H. Bullen
J. L. Horning.
Trusting that others as well as the above citizens will endorse and subscribe to it, I remain
Respectfully Yours, EDWARD F. THORPE, Winfield, February 2, 1882.
Cowley County Courant, March 2, 1882.
ED. COURANT: If there are any enterprising men that would like to see Winfield “booming” in the way of a manufacturing city, and at the same time make money, I would suggest that there is not a better or more remunerative way than to organize a “Boot and Shoe Stock Company” in connection with my Tannery. The proposition I offer is to issue 150 shares of $100 each, dividends to be paid quarterly. The inducements I offer in starting such an enterprise are, large profits, converting the town of Winfield into a city of great importance, inducing other parties to start like enterprises, such as “woolen mills,” etc., and last, but not least, increasing the value of the above parties. I would like to meet them at the Tannery or communicate with them further upon the subject.
Winfield, Kas., Feb. 23, 1882. E. E. THORPE.
Winfield Courier, March 2, 1882.
Mr. E. E. Thorpe is agitating the establishment of a boot and shoe manufactory here and has enlisted the support of many leading citizens who agree to take stock in the enterprise. This would be an excellent thing for our city and seems to us to be a practical scheme. Winfield needs to encourage everything in the manufacturing line, and any proposition that looks toward the building up of such enterprises here should receive the careful consideration of every citizen.
Cowley County Courant, March 16, 1882.
Mr. Thorpe, proprietor of the Kansas Tannery in this city, has on exhibition at the Winfield bank a beautifully tanned calf skin, upon which all the work was performed in just eight days.
Winfield Courier, March 16, 1882.
Our attention was attracted a day or two ago by a fine piece of calf skin hanging in the Winfield Bank. This skin is thoroughly tanned and was the work of the Kansas tannery, managed by E. E. Thorpe. The tanning was accomplished in eight days.
Cowley County Courant, March 23, 1882.
Mr. Thorpe, proprietor of the Kansas Tannery, left for New York Wednesday for the purpose, in connection with other business, of working up a boot and shoe manufactory at this place. Mr. Thorpe is in earnest in establishing this enterprise, and we hope he will be assisted as much as possible by our businessmen. We might just as well manufacture our own hides and those of the surrounding country as to have them shipped east, manufactured into boots and shoes, and returned for us to purchase and pay the expense of shipping each way, together with the profits left in the hands of several middle men. We are close to a large stock range where the supply of hides would never fail, and there is all the southern and western country we might supply with boots and shoes.
Winfield Courier, March 30, 1882.
Mr. E. E. Thorpe returned from New York Tuesday. He investigated the leather manufactory business some and is more convinced than ever that it can be made a success. He will rush his tannery and begin operations at once.
Cowley County Courant, April 13, 1882.
Charles Campbell, Esq., of Short Hills, New Jersey, is here looking up a location. He thinks some of joining Mr. Thorpe in the tanning business. We hope he may, as it would make a strong firm.
Cowley County Courant, June 1, 1882.
We were truly sorry to be unable to attend the party at the residence of our young friend, Chas. Bahntge, Thursday evening, but those who attended enjoyed one of the most pleasant evenings spent in Winfield for some time. Mr. and Mrs. Bahntge have a large number of friends in Winfield, and those who were so royally entertained at their home Thursday evening think more of them now than ever before. The following is a list of those who were present: Misses McCoy, Jennie Hane, Amy Scothorn, Jessie Millington, Kate Millington, Margie Wallis, Lizzie Wallis, Roberts, Florence Beeny, Josie Bard, Mrs. French, Miss Smith, W. C. Robinson, Ivan Robinson, Lou. Zenor, Lovell Webb, H. Goldsmith, C. C. Harris, Mr. and Mrs. M. L. Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. M. L. Read, Mr. and Mrs. Spotswood, Mr. and Mrs. Hackney, Mr. and Mrs. Buckman, Mr. and Mrs. Soward, Mr. and Mrs. Fuller, Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Emerson, Mr. and Mrs. Thorpe, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hunt, Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. George Whitney, of Sedgwick, Mrs. Carson, of Cherryvale, Mrs. Geo. Rhodes, W. H. Smith, Chas. Fuller, Jas. Lawton, Mr. Campbell, C. H. Connell, Sam Davis, Richard Bowles, Eugene Wallis, O. M. Seward.
Winfield Courier, April 20, 1882.
Mr. Chas. Campbell, of New York, has taken an interest with Mr. Thorpe in the Kansas Tannery. Mr. Campbell is an energetic businessman of considerable means and will be a valuable acquisition to our business and social circles.
Winfield Courier, April 20, 1882.
On last Friday evening the residence of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Fuller was the scene of one of the merriest as well as the “toniest” parties ever given in Winfield. Mrs. Fuller has entertained her friends several times this winter without any of the young folks being present, but this time she honored them by giving this party, which was duly appreciated. Everyone invited, with but two exceptions, was present and never were guests more hospitably entertained. The evening was spent in dancing and other amusements, while an elegant collation consisting of cakes and ice cream was served at eleven o’clock. At a late hour the guests dispersed, all thanking their kind host and hostess for the pleasant evening so happily spent. The costumes of the guests were elegant and worthy of mention. We give below a list which we hope will be satisfactory to the ladies mentioned.
Mrs. Fred C. Hunt wore a pale steel blue silk and brocaded satin dress with fine Spanish lace trimmings, white flowers.
Mrs. Colgate, white nuns veiling en train, white satin trimmings.
Mrs. George Robinson, pink brocade satin, underskirt of black silk velvet, point lace.
Mrs. Joe Harter, black silk velvet skirt, pink bunting over dress.
Mrs. W. C. Garvey, of Topeka, white Swiss muslin, red sash and natural flowers.
Mrs. Rhodes, silver gray silk, pink ribbons.
Mrs. Thorpe, very handsome costume of heliotrope silk and silk tissue.
Mrs. Steinberger, black brocade and gros grain silk, red flowers.
Mrs. Dr. Emerson, black satin dress, cashmere bead passementerie, diamond jewelry.
Miss Jennie Hane, fine white polka dot mull trimmed in Spanish lace, pink flowers.
Miss Clara Andrews, pink bunting polonaise, black skirt.
Miss Kelly, handsome black silk.
Miss McCoy, blue silk velvet skirt and blue and old gold brocaded polonaise, Honiton lace and flowers.
Miss Jackson, navy blue silk dress, lace sleeves and fichu.
The Misses Wallis were prettily attired in cream colored mull, Miss Lizzie with pale blue sash and Miss Margie in lavender.
Miss Ama Scothorn, cream colored cheese cloth, Spanish lace trimming.
Miss Alice Dunham, dainty dress of cream bunting.
Miss Julia Smith, beautifully flowered white silk polonaise, black silk velvet skirt, diamond jewelry.
Miss Ellis, elegant gray silk.
Miss Klingman, fine white Swiss, and wine colored silk.
Miss Bryant, brown silk dress, pink ribbons.
Miss Beeny, blue and gold changeable silk fine thread lace fichu, natural flowers.
Miss Cora Berkey, black silk skirt, pink satin pointed bodice.
Miss French, black gros grain silk, very elegant.
Miss Josie Mansfield, black silk and velvet, Spanish lace.
Mrs. Bullock, black silk trimmed in Spanish lace.
Miss Belle Roberts, light silk, with red flowers.
Miss Curry, striped silk, beautifully trimmed.
Miss Bee Carruthers, cream nuns veiling, aesthetic style.
Miss Kate Millington, peacock blue silk, Spanish lace sleeves and fichu.
Miss Jessie Millington, black silk velvet and gros grain.
The following gentlemen were in attendance. Their “costumes” were remarkable for subdued elegance and the absence of aesthetic adornment.
Messrs. Steinberger; J. N. Harter; G. A. Rhodes; E. E. Thorpe; George, Will, and Ivan Robinson; Fred and Will Whiting; Mr. Colgate; F. C. Hunt; C. E. Fuller; C. C. Harris; W. H. Smith; Will Smith; W. J. Wilson; Jos. O’Hare; Jas. Lorton; Frank and E. P. Greer; Eugene Wallis; Saml. E. Davis; L. H. Webb; Harry and Chas. F. Bahntge; Chas. Campbell; Ezra Nixon; L. D. Zenor; E. G. Cole; C. H. Connell; Mr. Ed. M. Clark of McPherson; and W. C. Garvey of Topeka.
Winfield Courier, April 27, 1882.
E. E. Thorpe and Mr. Campbell are in the East purchasing the machinery for the Kansas Tannery.
[FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION AT WINFIELD.]
Winfield Courier, July 6, 1882.
A number of our public spirited citizens concluded that it would not do to let the Fourth pass without the citizens of Winfield and vicinity celebrating in some way, the 100th anniversary of the Nation’s birth, so they got up a picnic at Riverside Park and arranged a program which proved a success, and drew a very large crowd with well-filled baskets from the city and surrounding country. The forenoon was passed in a very agreeable manner with music, singing, and various amusements. At 1 o’clock, after all had feasted sumptuously, the afternoon exercises began with music by a quartette selection from Winfield’s best musical talent, consisting of Messrs. Buckman and Snow and Mrs. Jewell and Swain, with Miss McCoy as instrumentalist, after which was the opening prayer by Rev. Cairns. The Declaration of Independence was read in a very able manner by Mr. Will Robinson. Samuel E. Davis then made his first appearance before the public as a speaker in a very eloquent and poetical oration. Sam astonished the audience by his pleasing manners and the ability with which he handled the subject of our Country’s Greatness, and it was a production that is not only a credit and an honor to himself, but one of which everyone may feel proud, coming as it did from a young man who has grown up with Cowley County, and whom we all feel is one of “our boys.” He was followed by Judges McDonald and Tipton, who delivered very sound and flowery addresses, overflowing with eloquence and true sentiment. These gentlemen are too well known throughout Cowley as able orators to make further comment necessary. After more music came the most interesting feature of the program to the mothers—the “baby show.” Three of our best looking old bachelors had been selected as judges: Messrs. Will Robinson, S. C. Smith, and Henry Goldsmith. They were to award the $3.00 premium to the prettiest cherub, $2.00 to the next, and $1.00 to the third. The boys gave the mothers a “fair and impartial” chance, and did their duty manfully, though their faces at times resembled a full bloom rose. A decision was finally reached and the following happy mothers received the premiums. Mrs. David Wilson, first premium; Mrs. Rev. Lahr, second; and Mrs. Thorpe, third. There were several foot races, boating, and many sources of amusement afforded those present. Taking the affair as a whole, it was a decided success, and the originators are entitled to much credit for the patriotic spirit shown in getting up the picnic.
Winfield Courier, August 17, 1882.
RECAP OF ARTICLE POINTING OUT IMPROVEMENTS IN WINFIELD.
Messrs. Thorpe and Campbell have completed the Kansas Tannery, and it is now engaged in manufacturing.
Winfield Courier, August 24, 1882.
The firm of Thorpe and Campbell has been dissolved, Mr. Thorpe continuing the Tannery.
Winfield Courier, August 24, 1882.
NOTICE is hereby given that the partnership heretofore existing under the firm name of Thorpe & Campbell is this day dissolved by mutual consent, Charles Campbell retiring. E. E. Thorpe will continue the business at the same place. Said Thorpe assumes the firm debts, and he alone is authorized to collect debts due or owing said firm.
Dated: Winfield, August 18th, 1882.
E. E. THORPE, CHAS. CAMPBELL.
Winfield Courier, September 28, 1882.
The Winfield Dramatic Club was organized at the Telegram office last Wednesday evening, D. L. Kretsinger, President; Will Robinson, Vice-president; Charlie Bahntge, Secretary; Richard M. Bowles, Stage Manager; and Will Wilson, Treasurer. The membership was limited to twenty and all admissions must be by unanimous vote. The charter members are A. T. Spotswood, W. C. Robinson, D. L. Kretsinger, W. J. Wilson, Sam E. Davis, L. D. Zenor, R. M. Bowles, C. F. Bahntge, L. H. Webb, Henry Goldsmith, E. E. Thorpe, and Ed. P. Greer.
[COWLEY COUNTY FAIR.]
Winfield Courier, September 28, 1882.
A Complete Summary of the Premium Articles and Their Exhibitors.
“CLASS M”—TEXTILE FABRICS.
This department was magnificent, and both in quantity and quality, and was an honor to the county and the ladies, whose skill with the needle was so well attested by the many beautiful articles, wrought in all conceivable shapes and styles.
The judges had a difficult job to perform, but they did it as well as could be expected, many of the tags being lost and misplaced.
Miss Bertha Wallis took the honors on the best specimen of embroidery; Mrs. R. B. Waite on worsted log cabin quilt; H. B. Eslinger on plain sewing; Mrs. E. F. Nelson for the most beautiful article; Minnie Fahey for pin cushion cover; Ida Trezise on crochet Fascinator; Mrs. E. E. Thorpe, tatting; Mrs. Geo. C. Robinson, lace item, stitch and application work; Mrs. A. T. Spotswood, dress, two patch silk quilts and cotton patch quilt; Mrs. Waite, fancy work; Mrs. J. O. Taylor, floss embroidery; Mrs. Olds, wax work; Mrs. Trezise, fancy knitting; Miss Bee Carruthers, bead cushion.
THE BABY SHOW.
This was the biggest feature of the fair and was really enjoyed by the spectators. There were four entries for the Association purse—Alice Ethel Wright, Lula Wood, J. H. Daugherty, and Mable Kinzie. The babies were ranged along in a row and the three able-bodied judges, in the persons of Col. Loomis, Ben Cox, and O. M. Seward, appeared on the ground. After carefully hefting the babies, tickling them under the chin, and other amusing and interesting performances, the judges withdrew and after much vehement discussion awarded the premium to J. H. Daugherty, son of B. B. Daugherty. As the contesting babies filed off the floor, one of them was heard to remark that it didn’t want any more bald-headed men for judges.
The next thing in order was a free for all baby show on a $2.50 purse. There were eleven entries, and a lot of prettier, brighter babies were never gathered together. The judges realized this, and it was with great difficulty that they were enabled to make a decision. The babies competing for the prize were: Maud Lahr, Edward E. Thorpe, Ethel Wright, J. H. Daugherty, Lula Woods, Morris Brown, Belle Crawford, Mable Kinzie, Mamie Murphey, Eddie Weitzel, Gracie Crabtree. It was a trying hour for Messrs. Loomis, Cox, and Seward, and as they went from one baby to another, and the full measure of the task in hand dawned upon them, the perspiration stood out on their massive foreheads as prominent as points in a democratic platform. They finally awarded the prize to Edward E. Thorpe. The judges disappeared immediately after the decision was rendered.
Most puzzling! No more mention of Thorpe is made...only reference I found to tannery was in 1883 when the “Editorial Convention” took place in Winfield...
Winfield Courier, May 24, 1883.
WHAT THEY SAY OF US.
The train over the Santa Fe from Kansas City that should have reached Winfield at 11 o’clock a.m., on the 9th inst., was delayed by accident and did not arrive until midnight, much to the annoyance of many, but more especially D. A. Millington, who was the acting committee to assign lodging places to the 100 guests who might come on that train.
A hall at the Opera House was in order for the evening, and was well attended by guests and citizens of the town. Winfield has about the population of Oswego, and its citizens seem very proud of the town, and spared no pains to make it pleasant for the Editorial Association who are here at this time by invitation of the city. The ladies of Winfield were at the ball in full dress and numbers. The music was discoursed by a band from Wichita.
Thursday morning a business meeting was at the Opera House. Appropriate song by male quartette. Enthusiastically received by the audience. Address by Noble L. Prentis, which was worthy of the man and occasion.
Through the kindness of Mr. Rembaugh, of the Telegram, some of the Oswego delegation were nicely entertained and shown over the city and its surroundings. Winfield is a nice town. Fine and expensive brick, stone, and wood residences are seen all over the city. They have stone sidewalks of superior quality, two flouring mills, foundries, tannery, creamery, three elevators, carriage, factory, two brick yards, three stone quarries, the stone of which is of superior quality and easily worked, hardening by exposure. Among the things of interest at Winfield is the twelve-acre park on the west of town on the Walnut River. It is well timbered, and naturally a nice piece of ground. The people of Winfield have spared no pains to make it pleasant for the newspaper men, and at 11 p.m., we move out from the depot amid the booming of cannon, and the shouts of the small boys, whom we find have increased their lung power at the expense of our lunch baskets while in the baggage room, which baskets were further interviewed by the train men who run from Winfield to Newton.
Winfield Courier, December 6, 1883.
Rev. P. F. Jones and W. H. Dawson have purchased the old tannery building on South Main Street. They got it with the machinery and fixings for $1,500. Mr. Dawson will move his marble works there as soon as he can get it fixed up. He will do his polishing and sawing by steam hereafter.
Winfield Courier, December 20, 1883.
Marble Works Removed.
W. H. Dawson has removed his Winfield Marble Works to his new building on South Main street. The building is the one formerly owned by the Kansas Tannery. Mr. Dawson has enlarged the works, put in new machinery, and is able to turn out a better grade of work than ever before.