WINFIELD TOWN COMPANIES.
In trying to recreate the beginnings of the town and later city of Winfield, with the scant information I have from the early newspapers, I have run into some entries that do nothing but raise questions.
1. Were there two town companies? It appears to me that there were.
Number One: Composed of E. C. Manning, D. A. Millington, J. C. Fuller, T. H. Johnson, J. M. Alexander, and possibly some others.
Cowley County Censor, March 18, 1871.
WINFIELD TOWN COMPANY.
BIG AD PUT OUT BY T. H. JOHNSON, SECRETARY.
PLAYS UP NEED FOR MERCHANTS!
PLAYS UP GOOD CLAIMS OF 160 ACRES OF LAND TO BE FOUND WITHIN FROM TWO TO SIX MILES OF TOWN.
[SOURCE: CARTER’S MONTHLY. ARTICLE ENTITLED “A MODEL CITY.”
By Col. Edwin C. Manning.]
“In January 1871 the land in this vicinity was cut into quarters by the government surveyors, and the feeling of suspense as to what was his or hers substantially vanished. It took a long time to plat the surveys, send them to Washington for approval, and return the copies to the local land office at Augusta in Butler county, thirty-two miles distant. But the Winfield town company, composed of Millington, Fuller and Manning, had long ears, and one of those ears was laying very close to the Land office building in Augusta on July 9, 1871, when the plats arrived.
“Cautiously after dark that Sabbath a team crept away from Winfield with three passengers, stopped at Judge Ross’ residence on the north and took him in, and arrived in Augusta at sunrise July 10, and when the land office opened that morning, the Winfield town site was the first tract of land entered in Cowley county. Manning’s eight on the west was next in order, and Fuller’s eighty on the east was next in order. At this time the era of substantial growth may be said to have set in for both town and county.”
[Seem funny to me that Alexander and Johnson were not mentioned by Manning.]
Proof that Alexander was a member of the original Winfield town company...
Walnut Valley Times, May 26, 1871.
Among the principal men of the town are Col. Manning, Col. Alexander of Leavenworth, D. A. Millington, and J. C. Fuller, of Fort Scott, who are all members of the town company.
The town site of Winfield is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. From an eminence on Col. Alexander’s claim, adjoining the town, the view is perfectly enchanting. Wells and springs abound, one of the latter flowing from a hillside into a deep rocky basin, in volume sufficient if carried into pipes, to supply the town.
Original Winfield town company...
THE WINFIELD COURIER.
WINFIELD COURIER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 1876.
PRODUCED EVERY THURSDAY BY E. C. MANNING.
About January 10th, 1870, the preliminary steps were taken for organizing a town company and starting a town upon the claim of E. C. Manning. A. A. Jackson owned the claim adjoining Manning’s on the east, W. W. Andrews, H. C. Loomis, A. Menor, and P. Knowles held claims adjoining and upon which they still reside. The farm owned by John Lowrey to the west was held by one G. Green.
CLIFF M. WOOD. REMINISCENCES.
[The personal reminiscences of Cliff M. Wood were given by the Winfield Courier in a series of articles in the following issues: January 14, January 21, January 28, February 4, and February 11, 1886. He then provided further stories on March 4 and March 11, 1886. The latest item comes from the April 8, 1886, Winfield Courier.]
Upon the arrival of Col. Manning in December 1869, Mr. A. A. Jackson, who came with him, proceeded at once to claim the piece of ground known as the Fuller addition. He built a foundation and then secured some lumber with which to build a frame house (the second frame house in the county). While at work on his material in front of Baker & Manning’s store, being employed by them to look after the store, sell goods, etc., and not being at work directly on the ground claimed by him, some parties hailing from Topeka took it into their heads to jump Mr. Jackson’s claim, and proceeded at once to haul logs on the claim and put them up for a house. The settlers were apprized of the fact and rallied as one man, called the “Protection Union” together, and notified the claim jumpers that they should appear and show cause for such a proceeding. A sufficient length of time was given them to appear; but they came not, when the meeting went into executive session, discussed the matter to its fullest extent, listened to Mr. Jackson, and decided that the claim jumpers’ case had gone by default. Talked some of arraigning them for contempt, but upon motion, a committee of five, of which I was chairman, was appointed to notify said defendants that they would be allowed until the next morning at 9 o’clock to vacate said claim. We proceeded to their camp by the side of the house they were building. Though it was very dark and quite late in the evening, we could see their camp-fire, so we had no trouble in finding them. They had not gone to bed yet but were sitting around the camp-fire. As we came up I said, “Good evening, gentlemen.” They responded by saying, “Yes, this is a good evening.” I said, “Gentlemen, we were appointed as a committee by the Protection Union to inform you that you must leave this claim by 9 o’clock tomorrow morning and not return again with the intent to hold and improve the same. This order you must obey or take such consequence as the Protection Union may deem best for the purpose of enforcing its mandates.
One of the party replied that he would go when he d d pleased, or not at all.
At this moment Em. Yeoman, one of the committee, whipped out his navy and said, “You will go now, and d quick too, if I hear any more of your insolence.”
I told Yeoman to put up his gun, that I hoped that nothing of that kind would be necessary to enforce our order, that these men had the appearance of gentlemen, and that I was sure that nothing further was necessary. They gave us assurance that they wished to do right and would give us no more trouble, so we bid them good night and retired.
Next morning the claim jumpers moved on down the river and took some good claims in what is known as South Bend. They never came here to make permanent homes, but finally sold out to pretty good advantage and since that time I have lost sight of them.
Mr. A. A. Jackson went on with his building and finally sold his claim to J. C. Fuller for $1,000 and thought, at that time, it was a big sale. Mr. Jackson and Miss Genera [Geneva] Kelsey were married sometime in the summer of 1870 and were the first to get married in the county. They came and boarded with me until Mr. Jackson could finish his house, which was the first frame house built in Winfield, and was on the northeast corner of 8th avenue and Andrews street. When finished they set up housekeeping in pretty good style for those days.
STEALING THE TOWN SITE.
A SCRAP OF HISTORY.
Winfield Courier, October 24, 1878.
Allison and other speakers in the interest of Troup, in their violent efforts to charge some evil against E. C. Manning, are making the statement that Manning stole the townsite of Winfield, and that it is from the money that he got for lots belonging to others, which has erected his magnificent building.
Now, some of the men who most strenuously insisted on Manning’s candidacy at this time, and who are among his most earnest supporters, are men who fought him all through this townsite contest and know, if anyone does, of any wrong that he did in relation to that matter. If they do not know of any, no one does.
But when such a charge is made, it is not against Manning alone, but becomes a personal charge against the senior editor of this paper and others associated with Manning in the town site enterprise, and we now propose to answer it by stating the facts which all who are familiar with the past history of this city know to be true, for the information of such voters as were not here, and know these matters only by hearsay.
The settlement of this county commenced in 1869, before the treaty for the removal of the Indians was made; before there was any survey of the lands or any steps taken to open these lands up for settlement, by settlers coming in and making claims of 160 acres each and improving them, which claims were afterward secured to these settlers by law. Among these claimants were E. C. Manning and A. A. Jackson, who made claims on what is now the north half of section 28. A. Menor and H. C. Loomis laid claims on the south half of same section, and C. M. Wood and W. W. Andrews claimed the half section next north of this section. Each of these claimants proceeded to occupy and improve his claim, and had as good a right to his claim as any man had on this reserve. Each had the undisputed right to prove up and enter his claim when the land should be ready to be offered.
In 1870 these several parties and others formed the project of making a town site. A town company was formed and Manning was to give the town company a certain 40 acres of his claim when he had entered it, for which the company was to pay one-half of the expense of building the old log store. Jackson, Wood, Andrews, Loomis, and Menor were all to sell portions of their claims to the town company at about seven dollars per acre, so that in the aggregate the town site should be 160 acres.
In August, 1870, we, in company with J. C. Fuller, came here. Jackson was then “off the track,” denying having agreed to sell any part of his claim and stating that he never would sell any of it to the town company. We bought Jackson’s claim for J. C. Fuller, paying Jackson $1,000 in cash for it.
It was found that neither of the other parties would sell any part of their claims to the town company, but Manning turned over his 40 acres to the town company as it had been agreed, and this was all the land that the town company could get out of the original arrangement.
No one then doubted the right of E. C. Manning to the remaining 120 acres of his claim, or of J. C. Fuller to his 160 acre claim bought of Jackson. In the meantime, through the efforts of Manning exclusively, the county seat had been located at Winfield, at which time Manning was the only occupant, and, deeming it necessary to move ahead in building up the town in order to retain the county seat and other advantages, and as there was not land enough belonging to the town company, the Winfield Town Association was formed by Manning, Fuller, and others, including ourself, to handle another 40 acres of Manning’s claim with the west 80 acres of Fuller’s claim, which, with the town company’s 40 acres, made a town site of 160 acres in square form. This was surveyed and platted, and the two companies proceeded to give away lots to persons who would improve and occupy them, to other persons who would work for the benefit of the town in any way, and for other purposes to benefit the town. More than one-third, and nearly one-half of the lots in value, have been given to occupants, to stage companies to induce stage service to Winfield, for services in and outside of Winfield, for churches, schools, courthouse and jail, and for other public purposes.
The two companies with Manning, Fuller, and ourself, have paid out in the aggregate more than five thousand dollars in cash for the general benefit of the town site in various ways, aside from buildings for personal use. These expenses are too various for enumeration, and perhaps some of these expenditures were not judicious. One hundred dollars to procure early railroad surveys to this place, for instance, also ninety dollars for printing and circulating posters and papers to advertise the town, two hundred dollars to enter the town site, expenses in traveling to railroad director’s meetings, making a ferry across the Walnut, running roads, surveying the town site, employing legal counsel, etc. Each of us have expended a great deal of time in various ways intended to benefit the town.
The parties who were induced to occupy and improve lots on the town site before the survey and before the entry, did so under an express agreement, generally in writing, as to what their individual interests in the town site should be and what should be the interests of the town companies. The government survey took place in January, 1871, and on the 10th day of July, 1871, the land became subject to entry at the land office at Augusta.
In nearly all the other town sites of the state made before entry, the original claimants entered the land and then deeded to the occupants, town companies, and others, according to previous agreement, and that was originally the intention with regard to this town site, but the commissioner of the general land office had made a ruling in the case of this reserve, that the claimant must, before entering, subscribe an oath, that he had not sold or agreed to sell or otherwise dispose of, any part of the claim he proposed to enter, and though this ruling was clearly outside of law and the oath if taken would not be an oath at all in fact (as afterwards decided by the courts) yet Manning and Fuller did not like to conform to it as others were doing. They, therefore, procured the probate judge of the county to enter the town site under the town site laws, and then each entered the other 80 acres of his claim in his own name.
About this time became manifest a disposition of some of the occupants to claim more of the town site than the lots they had improved and quite an excitement sprung up. In order to avoid litigation and make an equitable settlement, Manning called a public meeting in which he offered for the two companies to submit all the matters of difference to arbitration, the companies naming one arbitrator, the dissatisfied occupants the second, and the two thus appointed to select the third, who should hear the evidence of all parties and determine their interests and rights in the town site and their decision should be final, which proposition was voted down and rejected by the dissatisfied occupants. It has since frequently been offered to individuals.
The probate judge, under the law, appointed three commissioners to set off the lots to the several occupants according to their respective interests, and they made their award in accordance with the previous agreement between the occupants and companies as to what those interests should be as above stated and the probate judge executed the deeds accordingly.
The larger number of the occupants expressed themselves satisfied, and to quiet the titles made quit claim deeds to the companies of their interests in the unimproved lots. A few would not be satisfied, but commenced an action to set aside the deeds made by the probate judge. This action was in the courts some time and was finally beaten in the Supreme court on demurrer.
Another action was commenced having the same final object in view, which was finally beaten in the Supreme court. The companies in order to try to get the people to work in harmony for the general benefit of the city, made a great many concessions to pacify these litigants.
During the pendency of the first action, a settlement was made with A. A. Jackson, a leading disturber and plaintiff in that action, by which, in addition to the $1,000 and the two valuable lots that had already been given him, the companies gave him two other valuable lots for any remaining or supposed interest he had in the balance of the town site and the nominal sum of $25, and he withdrew from the suit.
Others were compromised with in various ways, and made quit claims, quiet was restored and all seemed united to promote the general prosperity. These litigations had been very expensive and damaging to the prosperity of the town and had stirred up much bad blood, making Manning many bitter opposers, but in the few years since, the bitterness has mostly died away.
Jackson concluded to grab another valuable lot and Hill & Christie brought suit for possession. Jackson defended on the ground that the deed of the probate judge to the Winfield town company on which Hill & Christie’s title was founded was illegal and void. Jackson employed Hon. A. J. Pyburn and two other attorneys to defend, but was beaten in the trial. As the law provides for a second trial in a case of this nature, this action is now pending in the district court for a new trial.
Two attorneys whom Jackson employed were newcomers and had not gained a practice in the courts. They attempted to start a practice and make a reputation by stirring up a grand litigation on this old town site matter, assured parties that they could burst up the whole thing, get the deeds of the probate judge set aside and a new deal of the town lots. They offered to take the job for one-third of the spoils and urged upon the city council to commence litigation at the public expense.
They finally got A. A. Jackson to go in as plaintiff and a suit was commenced against the Town Company, Manning and Fuller, with a great flourish of trumpets about their ponderous papers and pleadings, but no notice was taken of their summons until court time and they demanded judgment for default, when they learned that they did not know how to get a case into court. They now seemed to conclude that the reason they got beat each time was the fault of the law, and set themselves to manipulate politics so as to get a law passed that would help them beat in these cases, and in another case in which they have succeeded in getting an elderly woman, who had a lot given her, and a slab shanty on it at the time of the entry, to start another suit for a rip up of titles and a new deal.
Pyburn, one of Jackson’s attorneys, is a member of the State Senate and it is thought he can be depended upon to get the new law through the Senate, and, if they can get Troup elected to the House, they feel confident they can pass a law that will beat Hill & Christie, town company, et al., in their pending suits and everybody else that holds title under either of the town companies.
This is the real attempt to steal the town site, but not by Manning. We have no apprehension that any law they can get passed, or any litigation under it, or under the present law, will ever void the titles to the town site, but we do apprehend that it might promote and cause a vast amount of expensive litigation which would be a great detriment to the city by throwing doubt upon titles; make much room for vicious lawyers to practice barratry and champerty, and stir up more bad blood without the least benefit to anyone except the lawyers employed in the matter.
By the way, the lots which Manning has been selling to help build his brick block are in the part of his original claim which he entered himself, and not in that part which was entered by the probate judge, if that makes any difference. Manning probably never got much, if anything, more for lots on the town site than he has expended for the general benefit of the town.
This way of commencing a suit in the courts and then getting a law passed by the legislature to rule and decide the case is a new invention in litigation which no Yankee lawyer would have ever thought of. Such are the facts about stealing the town site.
Winfield Courier, December 5, 1878.
Jackson vs. Winfield Town Company. Demurrer sustained.
Now the above article by Millington does not compare very well with the following:
Back to surveys and first Winfield Town Company...
SOURCE: The Winfield Courier Supplemental Edition, March 14, 1901.
January 1871: Survey of county by U. S. Deputy Surveyors O. F. Short and Angell.
Survey showed E. C. Manning’s claim to be the northwest quarter and J. C. Fuller’s claim the northeast quarter of section 28, township 32, south of range 4 east.
Town company’s claim [40 acres] was the northeast quarter of Manning’s claim. Immediately after the government survey [January 1871] E. C. Manning, J. C. Fuller, and D. A. Millington formed themselves into another company, called the “Winfield Town Association,” and joined the southeast quarter of Manning’s claim with the west half of Fuller’s claim, as the property of the association. This added to the town company’s 40 acres made a town site of 160 acres, in square form, and D. A. Millington, who was then the only surveyor and engineer settled in the county, surveyed this town site off into blocks and lots, streets and alleys.
Though the three [Manning, Fuller, Millington] had control of most of the stock of the town company, yet there were several other stockholders in the company, so that the addition of the town site being wholly controlled by the three men made it a different ownership and created the need of the new corporation, the “Town Association.”
The plan that had been adopted to secure the erection of buildings in Winfield was to contract to give a deed of the lot built upon free, and the adjoining lot at value, when the said Manning and Fuller should be able to enter their claims at the U. S. land office. It was intended and expected that when the land office should be opened, Manning and Fuller should each enter his entire claim, and then deed the 40 acres of town site to the town company, and the 120 acres to the town association, and these corporations should then deed the improved lots to the owners of the improvements, and sell them the adjoining lots at value. Such entries and dispositions had been made in the cases of the town sites of Wichita and Augusta, and it was considered the true way in such cases.
During the spring , new buildings continued to be built on the town site, stores and shops were filled, and dwellings occupied. It took a long time, or until July 10th, for the notes, plats, and records of the survey to be made out and recorded in the offices at Washington and Lawrence, and get ready to open the land office at Augusta.
During this time the occupants of the town site began to get restless, and demand that the companies should give them more lots free. Some urged that the companies had no more right to the town site than anyone else, and that all the unimproved lots legally belonged to the owners of the improved lots, to be divided pro rata. These disaffected parties became so numerous as to embrace a great portion of the 72 owners of buildings on the town site.
They procured the service of a great land lawyer of Columbus, named Sanford, made an assessment, and collected money to carry out their measures. They held meetings in which exciting speeches were made against the two corporations, and were prepared, at a moments notice, when the land office was open, to rush in and enter the town site, through the Probate Judge, who should distribute the lots to the inhabitants, according to their theory. Thus commenced the famous Winfield town site controversy.
On Sunday evening, July 9th , the town association got information that the plats would arrive at Augusta that evening. They, with T. B. Ross, Probate Judge, were in Augusta at sunrise the nest morning, the 10th, and the Winfield town site was the first entry in this county. Having made their other entries, they returned. During the next night, the citizens, having heard of the arrival of the plats, went up in considerable force, to enter the town site, but they did not do it.
[The above item certainly does not agree with what was said before where it was intimated that Arkansas City people were the ones who were late in filing. This indicates that “Winfield citizens” were late in getting to land office. Or have I not read this correctly??]
After the entry, Judge appointed W. W. Andrews, H. C. Loomis, and L. M. Kennedy Commissioners, under the law, to set off to the occupants of the Winfield town site, the lots to which they were entitled, according to their respective interests.
The time of meeting was advertised, and all parties met September 20th. The town companies presented to the Commissioners a list of the lots, showing what lots were improved, and who were entitled to them, and showing that the vacant lots were the property of the two companies respectively. The citizens spoke only through their lawyer, and demanded that the vacant lots should be divided up among the occupants, in proportion to the value of their buildings. After a full hearing, the Commissioners decided according to the schedule of the companies, and Judge Ross immediately executed deeds accordingly. This decision was accepted by a large part of the citizens, who, to prevent further trouble, executed quit claim deeds of all the vacant lots to the two companies. But Sanford was irrepressible, and a suit was commenced in the District court by Enoch Maris, A. A. Jackson, et al, to set aside the deeds from the Probate Judge [Ross] to the companies as void. The case was thrown out of court, on demurrer by Judge Webb, commenced again, tried on demurrer before Judge Campbell, who overruled the demurrer, and promptly rendered judgment for the plaintiffs. This case was carried to the Supreme court on error and reversed, in the spring of 1873.
Another case was commenced by ten of those who had quit-claimed, ran the course of the courts, and failed in the end.
For years whenever a lawyer came to Winfield who desired to make a sudden reputation, he gave out that he was a great real estate lawyer, who knew how to break up the titles to the lots deeded by the Probate Judge to the companies, and could tell why the former attacks had failed.
The three members of the town association [Manning, Millington, and Fuller?] spent much of their time in reading up authorities and gaining information bearing upon laws and decisions in regard to town sites, and the attacking lawyers always failed, either in the District or Supreme Court, but these repeated and continued litigations were very expensive to both sides, and kept titles in doubt.
A. A. Jackson was the most regular and persevering plaintiff in these cases. No failure would discourage, no difficulty intimidate him. His last effort to get his rights, the last of the town litigation, failed by a decision of the Supreme Court in 1877.
THE WINFIELD COURIER.
WINFIELD COURIER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 1876.
Cowley County was organized Feb. 28, 1870, by the order of Gov. Harvey on petition, and Winfield was designated as the temporary county seat. W. W. Andrews, of Winfield, G. H. Norton, of Creswell, S. F. Graham, of Dexter, were appointed County Commissioners, Feb. 28, 1870, and E. P. Hickok was appointed County Clerk at the same time by the same authority.
The first meeting of the County Board was held March 23, 1870, at the house of W. W. Andrews, at which time W. W. Andrews was chosen chairman.
This Board of Commissioners ordered an election to be held May 2nd, 1870; at which time the permanent location of the county seat was voted upon, and a full set of county officers were also elected. At that election there were two places voted upon for county seat, to-wit: Winfield and Arkansas City. The former received 108 votes and the latter 55 votes, and the following officers were elected.
Commissioners: T. A. Blanchard, Winfield; Morgan Willett, Rock Creek; G. H. Norton, Creswell; H. C. Loomis, Winfield, County Clerk; John Devore, Creswell, Treasurer; E. P. Hickok, Winfield, District Clerk; T. B. Ross, Winfield, Probate Judge; W. E. Cook, Creswell, Recorder; W. G. Graham, Winfield, Coroner; F. A. Hunt, Rock Creek, Sheriff; F. S. Graham, Grouse Creek, Surveyor.
There was but one ticket in the field, and 163 was the total number of votes polled. These officers qualified and took possession of the respective offices May 21st, 1870.
May 2, 1870: T. B. ROSS, WINFIELD, PROBATE JUDGE...
T. B. ROSS Elected Nov. 8, 1870; resigned Oct. 31, 1871.
L. H. COON Appointed October 31, 1871. Ran away.
T. H. JOHNSON Appointed Jan. 3, 1872, expired Jan. 10, 1873.
T. H. JOHNSON Elected Nov. 5, 1872; expired Jan. 10, 1875.
H. D. GANS. Nov. 3, 1874.
T. B. Ross, Ordained Methodist Minister.
[RKW received a xerox of the “History of the Southern Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church.” T. B. Ross is mentioned in 1864. The Southern Conference was divided
between the Loyalists and the Southern (Democratic) members.]
At some unknown date Thomas Benton Ross was ordained a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, south. He was a circuit rider preacher over several counties of Illinois. He is mentioned in Evers’s history of the Methodist Church as being active in 1864. His picture hangs on the wall of the State House at Springfield, Illinois.
T. B. Ross was among the group that split from the Methodist Church with the belief that politics should not be reflected from the “Pulpit.” In time the original conference acceded to the same view and the splinter group rejoined the main group.
The Ross family arrived in Cowley County sometime in January of 1869. T. B. Ross was the first preacher of the Gospel to settle in the county. He settled three miles northwest of Winfield, on section 17, on the Walnut River. The Osage Indians drove out the settlers in the fall of 1869. When they told him to go, Ross refused unless they returned the team of horses they had stolen. They did not return the horses but allowed him to remain unscathed.
Thomas Benton Ross was the first Probate Judge of Cowley County; in fact, the only judge on all laws in 1870. His name is on all deeds issued from the government to individuals on the original town site of Winfield.
He went to Augusta as an officer from Cowley County, and laid out the city of Winfield. The Winfield delegation wanted him to drive to Augusta, the nearest land office, on Sunday afternoon to be there early Monday morning. He refused, but told them to drive to his claim three miles northwest of Winfield at midnight, and one minute after twelve o'clock he would go. They arrived early Monday morning, ahead of the Arkansas City delegation, and had Winfield declared the temporary county site.
Note: Second Winfield Town Company did not include Millington and Fuller as members thereof.
Crucial election in March 1873...
SOURCE: The Winfield Courier Supplemental Edition, 1901.
Winfield was incorporated as a city of the third class, on Feb. 22nd, 1873, and March 7th following, the first city election was held.
Mayor: W. H. H. Maris.
Police Judge: A. A. Jackson.
Councilmen: O. F. Boyle, C. A. Bliss, J. D. Cochran, H. S. Silver, and S. C. Smith.
Council elected S. C. Smith, president; J. W. Curns, clerk; M. L. Robinson, Treasurer; C. W. Richmond, Marshal; and J. M. Alexander, Attorney.
C. A. Bliss was succeeded by Samuel Darrah in April 1873.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 6, 1873.
The first named is the “City Ticket:”
For Mayor. J. B. Fairbanks.
For Police Judge. Wallis M. Boyer.
For Councilmen: Owen F. Boyle, Alonso [?] T. Stewart, Jas. P. Short, James D. Cochran, and James M. Dever.
The other is as follows:
For Mayor. W. H. H. Maris.
For Police Judge. Add. A. Jackson.
For Councilmen: Owen F. Boyle, Samuel C. Smith, Jas. D. Cochran, Hiram S. Silver, Chas. A. Bliss.
It behooves the people of Winfield to examine into the standing of these opposing candidates, and weigh their qualifications for the different offices judiciously before entrusting to their care the welfare of our town.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 6, 1873.
Winfield, March 4th.
EDITOR COURIER: Much has been said about the coming city election, and the various factions in our midst are busy circulating reports for or against this or that candidate. It seems that the principal question is that of the liquor traffic. It is a notorious fact that the otherwise good name of our town has been blackened by the curse of intemperance. It was said by one of our divines last Sabbath evening that “this is a glorious opportunity to redeem ourselves.” No greater truth could have been spoken. We must elect good men to the various offices of our newly incorporated city; men whose known integrity and purity of character in the past is a sufficient guarantee for the good they can and will do us in the future. We do not lack for such men, and although some of them are not “office seekers,” they are willing to take up the work and assist in carrying it through.
Monday evening a caucus was held and among other nominations made, was that of John B. Fairbanks for Mayor. Mr. Fairbanks is well known to all of our people; he came here at an early day and has done much for the good of the community. A Christian gentleman, he has shown his faith by his works.
Among the reports circulated is one which is false, and is only made for “political capital” against Mr. Fairbanks. When the controversy between the citizens and the Town Company began, Mr. Fairbanks was on the side of the citizens. Mr. Fairbanks was employed to procure a continuance of the case, and he did so. He has been a consistent advocate of the rights of the citizen from the inception of the case to the present time, and has done more good for the plaintiffs than any other one man. Now, for the purpose of defeating him, it is said he is a Town Company man. No one knows more the falsity of the statement than those who make it. It is base ingratitude on the part of those who tell this story, and—“Ingratitude is the worse of crimes.”
The writer knows full well the views of Mr. Fairbanks and knows that he is not a “Town Company man.” We are apt to look at others and judge them by ourselves; some of the very men actively engaged in circulating this report, have been “flopping” from Town Company ____________ [REST IMPOSSIBLE TO READ IN THIS COLUMN AND IN FACT THE LAST LINE OR TWO APPEARS TO BE GONE]. NEXT COLUMN STARTS OUT:
could make money, others for popularity.
But, Mr. Editor, town-site matters do not enter into this controversy—they are not, ought not to be an issue.
We need good, true, sober, intelligent businessmen for city officers; men who, knowing the wants of the city, will provide for them. Such a man is John B. Fairbanks.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 6, 1873.
Notice of Election.
In the matter of the application of the majority of the electors of the unincorporated town of Winfield, in the county of Cowley, and state of Kansas, to be incorporated into a city of the third class, under the laws in such case made and provided.
Whereas, a petition to me presented, duly signed by a majority of the electors of said town of Winfield, setting forth:
1. The metes and bounds of said town to be as follows, to-wit: Beginning at a point 80 rods east of the n w corner of the n w qr of sec 23 t 32, south of r 4 east, thence s to the n line of the s w qr of said sec, thence s 1 deg, e 1900 feet, thence e 1309 ft. to the center line, thence n on said center line 1884 feet to the n e corner of the s w qr of said section, thence e 80 rods, thence n to the n line of said qr, to a point 1 chain and 10½ links e of the n w cor of said qr, thence n 1 deg w 19 Chains., thence w 1 chain and 21 links, thence s along the line between s e and s w qr sections of 21, 19 Chains to the s e corner of the s e qr of sec 21, thence w 80 rods to the place of beginning.
2. That said town contains a population of about six hundred inhabitants.
3. That said petition contains a prayer to be incorporated as a city of the third class. And, if appearing to my satisfaction that a majority of the taxable inhabitants of said town are in favor of such incorporation, and that the number of the inhabitants of said town exceeds two hundred and fifty, and does not exceed two thousand, therefore:
I, W. P. Campbell, Judge of the 13th Judicial District of the State of Kansas, being further satisfied that the prayer of the petitioners, in said petition, is reasonable, do hereby order and declare said town incorporated as a City of the Third Class, by the name and style of THE CITY OF WINFIELD, according to the metes and bounds aforesaid, and according to the law in such case made and provided:
And it is by me further ordered that, the first election in said City, for City officers, shall be held at the LAW OFFICE OF SUITS & WOOD, in said City, on the 7th day of March, A. D., 1873. And I hereby designate W. M. Boyer, D. A. Millington, and J. P. Short, to act as judges of said election, and J. W. Curns and J. M. Dever to act as Clerks of said election, and also, A. A. Jackson, A. T. Stewart, and O. F. Boyle to act as a Board of Canvassers.
It is further by me ordered, that the Clerk of the District Court in the county of Cowley, in said Judicial District, shall forthwith enter this order at length on the journal of proceedings of the District Court of said county of Cowley, and shall make publication of the same in some newspaper published in said City, at least one week before the said City election.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand at El Dorado, Kansas, in chambers this 22nd day of February, A. D. 1873. W. P. CAMPBELL, Judge.
Results of the city election called by Campbell: ????!!!!
Newspaper never revealed who won or what the votes were.
If they did, the article did not appear on the microfilm [which was a disaster].
The following is what I was able to type up...
An Infamous Electioneering Dodge!!
Pusillanimous Attacks Upon Innocent Parties the Key-Note of Success.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 13, 1873.
The result of the City election heralded abroad as a “good old Democratic victory.”
What Republicans shared the honors?
The under-current of professed friends fully developed.
SHOW YOUR COLORS!
“A Card to the Public!”
“The way some men have of expressing themselves and the peculiar habit of indulging unlimited and unwarranted prejudice in matters of local character will forever appear strange and incomprehensible to thoughtful and consistent men.
“The matter of city election is today on hand in Winfield, and perhaps no community of the same population ever was more racked or shaken from its very center than is this community on the identical question of city organization.
“To this special feeling of interest manifested by citizens no one can object, but to the introduction of selfish motives and contemptible prejudices as a governing medium, is to be despised and scorned by any man of character and standing.”
This card and explanation was born into existence by the unsolicited aid of one C. A. Bliss, whose name now appears on the city ticket asking the support of this people for his election as a City Councilman. The ticket that Mr. Bliss peddles and espouses the cause of is headed by our worthy citizen, W. H. H. Maris for Mayor, and the ticket I voted this morning, for which I received unconditional censure, is headed by our worthy citizen, John B. Fairbanks Now, as I polled my vote, Mr. Bliss seized me by the collar, and leading me into the middle of the street, demanded of me my right to oppose the ticket upon which his name appeared, and stated in the presence of witnesses that the “jig was up with all patronage of the COURIER from him and his friends,” and that “I and R. S. Waddell had been carrying water on both shoulders and throwing dirt promiscuously at the Citizen’s Ticket, which he had the honor of supporting.”
I wish to say to Mr. Bliss, just here, inasmuch as he has blown his horn so loudly, I exercise the right of franchise to suit my own feelings and preferences in the matter, and if he wishes to withdraw his patronage in connection with that of his friends from this office, he has a perfect right to do so.
And I will further state for the benefit of the gentleman, that he has placed himself in a very erroneous position, by accusing and associating my name in a business connection with that of R. S. Waddell, as well also as saddling us together in the matter of support to any ticket before an employee of Mr. Waddell’s in the COURIER office, and I exercise all rights of constitutional liberty without the aid of any man, suiting my own feelings in the matter; and in my opinion, Mr. Waddell possesses the same happy faculty of understanding himself in matters of this character. It is now left to you, Mr. Bliss, to make all the electioneering capital (in the absence of Mr. Waddell) out of this new cut and shuffle that you can, but in the meantime, I beg of you to adhere as strictly as possible, to truthful statements, and in no wise speak of R. S. Waddell in connection with myself. J. C. LILLIE.
Winfield, Kansas, March 7, 1873.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 13, 1873.
The above circular was printed by our foreman, Mr. Lillie, in connection with a communication from a reliable citizen and circulated by the friends of the “City Ticket” on election day.
In a recent interview with Mr. Bliss he gave us choice of three alternatives: either compromise principle by discharging Mr. Lillie from our service; condemn him through the columns of the next paper; or consider his (Mr. Bliss’) patronage withdrawn from the COURIER.
As an American citizen we have always claimed the right to use the ballot in obedience to our convictions upon a subject and freely accord the same right to others, never attempting to control the vote of an employee through the fear of being discharged.
Mr. Bliss withdraws his advertising and patronage, and in so doing invites the condemnation of every true born American for the attempt to gain a petty office through his support of a county paper. The principle is selfish and derogatory to the character of any man.
After the defeat of the “city ticket” was announced, the Black Racer of the community stretched his ostrichian neck above the anxious crowd gathered around the corner and proclaimed it a “good old democratic victory.”
And does Mr. Bliss share the honors of the handsome victory achieved over his party?
His position is not one to be envied.
We are glad to see the undercurrent that has permeated the porous, transparent natures of some professed friends showing itself. That’s right, show your colors and let us know where you stand that we may have an opportunity to defend ourselves by perforating your shallow schemes.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 13, 1873.
Police Judge of Winfield.
Six Drunken Loafers.
Several members of Whiskey Ring on sidewalk.
Scene: Main street, Winfield, Kansas.
Time: March 12, 1873, at 4 p.m.
Police Judge: “I say, chappies, better go a little slow: this is a City now.”
First Loafer: “So you’re the Police Judge, are ye? Well, just go to h__l, go to h__l, G__d d__n ye!”
Second Loafer: “We’re running this institution now!”
Third Loafer: “Hurrah!”
Fourth Loafer: “Whoop-ee.”
Members of Whiskey Ring (In chorus). “Ha! Ha!”
(Exit Police Judge, leaving drunken men masters of the situation.)
Will His Honor, the Mayor, and the Council “rise to explain,” why it is that they allow such proceedings as the above, after the piteous howl they made about electing a “temperance ticket.” CITIZEN.
Inasmuch as Messrs. Waddell & Co., have peremptorily refused to comply with the demand of C. A. Bliss in the matter of the circular issued by me on city election day, in which was shown the true character of this man Bliss, I deem it my duty and privilege to place before the public the facts in the closing scene of this drama.
The circular issued by me, and read generally in the city, was issued for the purpose of defending R. S. Waddell & Co., in their absence, against the malignant, unwanton attacks made by Mr. Bliss for electioneering purposes. At the time he became very wrathy, and only succeeded in waiting with fretful patience the return of Mr. Waddell, from whom he was determined to exact one of the following amends:
That it were wholly unnecessary for me, as a common day laborer, to pick a flaw in his (bliss’) weakness, and publish the same, and that I certainly had not the right to oppose his election by casting my ballot against him, and that he demanded an apology for my conduct of Messrs. Waddell & Co. through the columns of their paper, or my immediate discharge from the employ, or lastly, the withdrawal of his patronage from the paper. I am happy to say that manly principle decided the question, immediately, and that Mr. bliss must withdraw his patronage from the columns of this paper.
Now, just one word to the thinking men of Winfield and vicinity. This man is a merchant in our city, and from the hard earnings of poor men he hoards up his hundreds. I say then, to free and untrammeled citizens, would you not burn with self-shame at the very thought of a man, who would by force of circumstances, attempt to coerce you and deprive you of the inalienable rights of a free born American citizen, while at the same time you can hear chinking in his dishonest pocket the hard earned dollars of an honest man? Will you patronize such a man when you know him? J. C. LILLIE.
Walnut Valley Times, March 28, 1873.
STATE NEWS AND NOTES.
The Winfield Courier and the Winfield Telegram are not as affectionate as they might be.
[Note: Matters were so bad over this election that Waddell & Co. sold the paper in a very short time to James Kelly.]
The Second Winfield Town Company???
THE WINFIELD COURIER.
E. C. MANNING, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER.
WINFIELD COURIER, THURSDAY, JANUARY 6, 1876.
About January 10th, 1870, the preliminary steps were taken for organizing a town company and starting a town upon the claim of E. C. Manning. A. A. Jackson owned the claim adjoining Manning’s on the east, W. W. Andrews, H. C. Loomis, A. Menor, and P. Knowles held claims adjoining and upon which they still reside. The farm owned by John Lowrey [Lowry] to the west was held by one G. Green.
The following is a short history of the town.
E. C. Manning built his claim house in January, 1870, and moved his family into it March 10th, 1870. It is the house just north of the stage stable in block 108 and is the oldest house in the city. What afterwards became the Winfield town site was then known as his claim.
And here is where I pose the question: Was the following the outline for the Second Town Company or Association in Winfield???
The Winfield Town Company was organized Jan. 13th, 1872, with E. C. Manning, president; W. W. Andrews, vice president; C. M. Wood, treasurer; W. G. Graham, secretary; E. C. Manning, J. H. Land, A. A. Jackson, W. G. Graham, and J. C. Monforte, directors, and the foregoing named persons with T. H. Baker, S. S. Prouty, Thos. Moonlight, and H. C. Loomis, corporators; and that the object of this corporation was “to lay out a town site on the rolling prairie east of the Walnut River and south of Dutch Creek, the same being in Cowley County and embracing the particular forty acres of land on which the residence of E. C. Manning is situated, with the privilege of increasing the area of the town site as soon as practicable.”
In the organization the question of name was discussed, and finally the Christian name of Winfield Scott was honored. He was at that time the minister in charge of the Baptist church in Leavenworth.
In the course of the next four months after the organization, Manning, with the aid of the town company, had surveyed 20 acres of “the particular 40 acres” of his claim into the six blocks along Main street from 5th to 9th streets, and had built the old log store, now occupied by the Post Office and COURIER office, and had moved his stock of goods into it. Dr. Mansfield opened a small drug store in one corner of the Log Store May 1st, and shortly after erected a small drug store where the present store stands.
August 20th, A. A. Jackson sold out his claim to J. C. Fuller and D. A. Millington, who, with Manning, made arrangements to lay out more territory as town site and induce persons to settle rapidly on the town site—giving them the lots they should improve. During the fall of 1870 many persons settled upon the town site and made improvements. We cannot from this on, name all the persons that settled in Winfield in order, as that would be too voluminous, but will name the first in kind, business, or profession.
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 city of Winfield was incorporated Feb. 22nd, 1873. The first city election was held March 7th, 1873, at which W. H. H. Maris was elected Mayor.
A. A. Jackson, Probate Judge.
O. F. Boyle, J. D. Cochran, H. S. Silver, S. C. Smith, and C. A. Bliss, for Councilmen.
The Council chose S. C. Smith, its President; J. W. Curns, Clerk; M. L. Robinson, Treasurer; C. W. Richmond, Marshal; and J. M. Alexander, Attorney.
The first annual election was held April 7th, 1873, and the same persons were re-elected to the various offices, excepting that S. Darrah succeeded C. A. Bliss, and the Council re-appointed the same persons to the other offices, with the exception that W. T. Dougherty succeeded Richmond as Marshal.
The second annual election was held April 8th, 1874. S. C. Smith was elected Mayor; N. H. Wood, Police Judge; and S. Darrah, J. D. Cochran, H. S. Silver, R. B. Saffold, and J. P.
The Council appointed J. W. Curns, Clerk; M. L. Robinson, Treasurer; T. H. Suits, Attorney; Z. T. Swigart, Marshal.
Nov. 16th, 1874, T. H. Johnson was appointed to fill the vacancy, N. H. Wood having resigned as Police Judge. W. P. Hackney was appointed Attorney, T. H. Suits having resigned.
The third annual election was held April 5th, 1875. D. A. Millington was elected Mayor; W. M. Boyer, Police Judge; and M. G. Troup, N. M. Powers, J. Newman, J. M. Dever, and C. C. Black, Councilmen
The Mayor and Council appointed B. F. Baldwin, Clerk; E. R. Evans, Marshal; J. E. Allen, Attorney; J. C. Fuller, Treasurer; and M. G. Troup, President of Council.
The present population of the city of Winfield is about 800 on an area of 200 acres. It has 221 buildings among which the most prominent are the Courthouse, built in 1873 at a cost of $12,000, of brick with a showy belfry and cupola, probably the best courthouse in Kansas, costing no more than it did. The residence of J. E. Platter ranks next in value but first in beauty, built in 1874 of brick, ornamented cut stone, costing $8,000. The banking house of M. L. Read is a fine brick structure costing $6,000, and the hardware store of S. H. Myton is larger and equally imposing of brick, costing $6,000. The schoolhouse is a substantial stone structure costing $6,000. The residence of Dr. Mansfield, M. L. Read, C. A. Bliss, D. A. Millington, J. P. McMillen, W. G. Graham, W. W. Andrews, S. H. Myton, and many others are good substantial structures and ornaments to the city.
Winfield is supplied with mail communication as follows: Daily mail by coach from railroad at Wichita to Arkansas City. Daily mail from Florence on railroad by hack. Tri-weekly mail from Wellington to Independence via Lazette. Tri-weekly mail from Winfield to Independence via Tisdale and Dexter.
The following covers settlement of town site suit mentioned earlier in 1901 Supplemental Edition of Winfield Courier....
Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 17, 1873.
Town Site Suit Settled.
The following glorious news for the people of Winfield was received by the Clerk of the District Court of Cowley County last Saturday.
THE STATE OF KANSAS. ss.
To the District Court within and for the 13th Judicial District, Cowley county, Kansas, Greeting:
WHEREAS, In a certain civil action lately pending before you, wherein Enoch Maris et al were Plaintiffs and the Winfield Town Co. were Defendants, a Judgment was rendered by you in favor of the said E. Maris et al. on a transcript of which Judgment and record said Winfield Town Company prosecuted a petition in error in the Supreme Court within and for the state of Kansas.
AND WHEREAS, At the January term of said Supreme Court, A. D 1873, on consideration of the said petition in error, it was ordered and adjudged by the said Supreme Court, that the said Judgment of the court below be reversed with cost, and the cause remanded for further proceedings, you are therefore commanded, that without delay, you cause execution to be had of the said Judgment of the Supreme Court, according to Law the said petition in error to the contrary notwithstanding.
WITNESS my hand and the seal of said Supreme Court, affixed at my office in the City of Topeka on the 9th day of April A. D. 1873. A. HAMMETT, Clerk.
Thus the vexed suit to set aside the deeds made by the Probate Judge to the Winfield Town Company is now settled and everybody can take hold in earnest to make Winfield what it ought to be—the queen of the Walnut Valley. We have never taken sides in this controversy because it was in the Courts and different persons had different views. Now that Mr. Maris is out of court with his suit, there is nothing in the way of making a prosperous town of Winfield. The town company is also now in a position where it can afford to be generous and pursue a policy that shall contribute largely to the fullest development of the town.
THE WINFIELD TOWN COMPANY VS. ENOCH MARIS AND CO.
Error from Cowley County.
The Commonwealth, Saturday, May 13, 1873.
BY THE COURT. KINGMAN, C. J.
1. A demurrer to a petition on the ground that the plaintiff has not legal capacity to sue can only be sustained where the petition discloses some legal incapacity attaching to the plaintiff, such as infancy, lunacy and the like.
2. The act of congress for “the relief of the inhabitants of cities and town upon the public lands” (14 U. S. Statutes at large, ?41) was intended for the benefit of those actually occupying the town site by settlement and improvement thereon, and if a person seeks in an action the benefit of the law, he must by suitable averments in his petition bring himself within its provisions, and if the petition does not show that the plaintiff has such an interest in the town site as makes him an occupant within the meaning of the law, a demurrer therefor should be sustained.
3. Said act of congress was for the use of the inhabitants of such towns and cities as might grow up on government lands, and to secure to them severally at the minimum price all lands actually occupied by them and to the same inhabitants the benefit of the sale of such other lands within the limits of the town or city as were not actually occupied.
4. The rules and regulations for the determination of the respective rights of the several inhabitants of such towns and cities is left to the legislature of the state where such town or city may be; and while much discretion as to details is left to the legislature, still these rules and regulations must be such as will carry out the trust, not defeat or destroy it, or pervert it from its proper uses. The act of congress creates the right and prescribes who shall be entitled thereto. The legislature provides the rules by which the rights are ascertained and determined.
5. So far as section 12 of chapter 109 of the general statutes undertakes to dispose of the trust otherwise than as is prescribed by the act of congress, it is inoperative and void.
All the justices concurring.
[THE FOLLOWING REFERS TO THE ABOVE ITEM.]
The Commonwealth, Saturday, May 14, 1873.
The decision of the supreme court in the Cowley County case reached here last night, and threw the whole town into consternation, as this decision makes the deed of the mayor to the town company illegal and void, and of course all deeds of the town company are also void. This will, however, be an advantage to the town, as the people here will take it into their own hands, and people will get lots much cheaper, and those here will quit paying money to a town company that never had any title to the lots or town.