Transcribed from Biographical history of Barton County, Kansas. ; Illustrated. Published by Great Bend Tribune, Great Bend, KS : 1912. 318 p. : ill. ; 28 cm. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, July 2006.

1912 Biographical History of Barton County, Kansas


N. Smallwood, secretary of state.

Appointed deputy county serveyor, July 13th, 1872, by John Favrow, county surveyor.

Appointed city treasurer of Great Bend, Kansas, July 14th, 1874, by Samuel Maher, mayor.

Elected November 2nd, 1880, to office of representative of the 120th district, Barton County.

Appointed April 2nd, 1881, Member republican state central committee of Kansas, J. B. Johnson, chairman.

Appointed 27th of June, 1883, appraiser of Ft. Larned Reservation by secretary of interior. U. S.

Elected 1886 to office of mayor of Great Bend, Kansas.

Residence of Ferdnand C. Maneth (See page 188)


Extracts From an Old Diary Kept by D. N. Heizer, 1871-72

Oct. 2, 1871—Went out to see the Pawnee Indians and traveled all day on the trail with them. Bought one pony and had a merry time with the Indians. Stayed all night at Landon's Ranch on the Smoky River.

Nov. 14, 1871—Up in the morning early, traps together, we set sail with three yokes of bulls to a bull wagon, Henry Huffines principal "whacker." Company consisted of Charlie Prescott, George N. Moses, (commonly called Mose,) Henry Huffines, Albert B. Robinson (Bob) and D. N. Heizer. After a drive of a few miles with no excitement, we pitched our camp at what is known as the "12-Mile Timber" on the Arkansas. Here Charles, an unerring rifleman, shed the first blood for the company by slaying a swan, a beautiful bird and we ate it. I committed the next murder, which, need not be told, it could be smelled.

Sunday, Oct. 29, 1871—Rev. D. J. Glenn, a Presbyterian minister, preached at J. H. Hubbard's. He came last week with a large family and they are occupying my dugout temporarily. He was robbed of what little money he had on his way out. He lived at Meridian, Miss., several years, but being a Pennsylvanian, the Ku Klux made it too uncomfortable for him in the south.

Was on my way to Ellsworth when in hills three miles out of Ellsworth I met a muley ox team. A short, fair haired man was Lording it over them, who, from the brogue cn his tongue and the limburger expression on his countenance was evidently of Teutonic origin. His wagon was freighted with flour, bacon, some farming and cooking utensils, a pig in a box,—these making his sole earthly possessions. Behind, with slow and measured pace, in keeping with the gait of the oxen, came his loving frau, bareheaded and barefooted. They halted and after a few inquiries of me concerning the land of their destination, they kept on their way toward the Star of the Empire. This was the last I saw of the Teutonic Tinker and his gentle Frou for more than a week when I was again returning to Ellsworth. Away out on the wild prairie, out of sight of house, friends or anything, save buffalo or antelope, stood the tinker's muley team, and there too, stood the tinker. They had started across the Cheyenne Bottoms, the oxen had given out, and growing discouraged, had given a long look homeward and were now trying to urge the oxen in that direction. He told me his sorrowful story. There sat his frou, weeping and bitterly reproaching her lord for having brought her into that wild country and meekly he sat on his wagon tongue like longour on an hour glass, timing the duration of woe. I condoled and encouraged them and to some purpose, as I put them on a plan to get back on the road and they finally landed safely in the valley and took

Old Congregational Church, Great Bend

up a homestead on section 20-18-13. Soon after their arrival, a son was born to them, the first white child born in the county. Nick was a bugler and the next morning after the arrival of the boy, there rang out through the valley, every bugle call known to the bugle and then some. He was the wildest Dutchman in American.

Nov. 15, 1871—Broke camp in the morning and jogged along on our way. Weather clear with cool breeze from southwest. Passed Pawnee Rock about noon. (Said Rock named from a fight the Pawnees had at that place.) Arkansas Valley very flat and low on the left. Came to Boyd & Beal's Ranch and stayed over night.

Nov. 16, 1871—Went to Ft. Larned and laid in more supplies and in the afternoon went on to the river and camped on the old Sully Trail. Day bright and clear until late that night.

Nov. 17, 1871—Awakened before daybreak and heard the gentle patter of rain, first from the southwest, but while getting breakfast, it wheeled around to the north. Rained all forenoon, then began a sleet which finally ended in a snow. During this cold, bleak rain, we sat around, stood around and stamped around. Getting colder, we took off our boots, packed our pedestals in a heap and packed a blanket about them—Sang songs, told stories and made merry. After noon it began to sleet and Chas. Henry and I took the cattle and drove them back to the Boyd Ranch, where we stayed all night in a hard crowd of bull whackers and buffalo hunters.

Saturday, Nov. 18, 1871—Still housed in the ranch and still a fearful storm is raging. Around some are smoking, some playing cards and others reading newspapers, such as you find at Western ranches being "The Day's Doings," "Sporting Times," etc. One thing favorable, no whiskey.

Sunday, Nov. 19. 1871—Spent the day on the ranch. In the morning, "Mose" and "Bob" came in from the camp after a lay-a-bed of forty-eight hours. Henry and Charles then went down, the storm being over. The boys at the ranch spent the day in playing cards and vulgar jesting. Three of them gambled all night.

Monday, November 20, 1871—In the morning "Mose" and I set out for the camp and on our way, saw three buffalo lying on the river bank. We went to camp, found Henry and Charles all right, took some cartridges, crawled down along the river bank and killed three bulls. Skinned and cut them up. Took some meat to camp, cooked it in skunk oil and ate our fill. At night we came back to the ranch.

Tuesday, Nov. 21, 1871—Went out again from ranch and "Mose" killed two more buffalo. We then went to camp, got dinner, skinned the two buffalo that "Mose" had killed Sunday morning, got supper and started back to ranch. Came by and skinned the two he had killed in the morning and came on in. For the last few days weather moderately warm, some clouds but thawing.

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 1871.—Started home on old "Satanta" but it was very cold and he could not travel, so I turned back, took the team out and we gathered up the load to start home the next day.

Thursday, Nov. 23, 1871—Started home and got as far as the old "12-Mile Timber" on the Arkansas and camped at Boyd & Beal's hay train camp. Came in late at night, cold and the wolves made music with their howling.

Friday, Nov. 24, 1871—Kept camp. Took breakfast at 12 M, and started on a hunt. "Mose and I" killed one buffalo and put out wolf bait. "Ike" (one of the hay train men) killed a mess of grouse and quail.

Saturday, Nov. 25, 1871—Came home by night time and lay our booty down, tired and weary, glad the trip was over.

Sunday, Nov. 26, 1871—Henry, Charles and I spent the day at Capt. Rugers. Enjoyed a wild turkey with him. Bitter cold and stormy.

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 1871—Bill showing prices:

1 gallon molasses   $1.25
6 2-3 lbs. sugar 1.00
5 bushels corn at $1.25 6.25
1 pair gloves 3.25
4 lbs. lard 1.00
12 lbs. butter at 35¢ 4.20
1-4 bushel apples .60
Buffalo meat 3 cents per lb  

Monday, Dec. 25, 1871—First dance in Barton County. During the day nothing of interest occurred, excepting that a party and dance which had been intended by the settlers, was given up on account of bad weather. Mr. Buckby invited a few of us to come down to Zarah and eat oysters and dance. Capt. Ruger and wife, Logan Reynolds and wife and daughter, Ed Reynolds, wife and daughter, E. J. Dodge, wife, son and two daughters, Ed Dewey and wife, John Light and Miss Josie Cunningham were of those attending a good supper and dance all night and Christmas was duly celebrated.

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 1872—First "candy pulling" in Barton County. 12 M. tonight I am all alone in front of my own fire place for the first time as an actual resident of my own house. Have been spending the evening at Mr. Hubbard's to a "candy pulling."

Sunday, Feb. 4, 1872—Cold and stormy. Alone in the dugout all morning. Dressed up to stay at home. People are concerned about what the Indians will do in the spring. Jack Jamison has just been down among the Osages and Kiowas and thinks they will be hostile in the spring.

Wednesday, Feb. 7th, 1872—Exploits of the "Great Buffalo Trio," Chas. Prescott, E. W. Morphy and I started for a hunt. Camped in the evening at 12-Mile Timber. Fair weather and we sat around our bright, blazing campfire and gazed on the starry heavens. We poetized, moralized, sang songs, and our gallant Morphy was unmindful of the saying


"Laugh and grow fat," excited our risibles by all sorts of comical scenes from his stock of theatricals. We lay down after smoking the pipe of peace and slept. But lo, in the dead hours of the night, Morphy, feeling the heat at his toes, raised the cry of fire. Our bed was ablaze and we presented a wierd spectacle as we had to hustle and put it out, it would have done for the witch scene in Richard III.

Up in the morning early, had breakfast and went south. What a country we saw. Range after range of sand hills, barren and desolate. No tree in sight. A long, weary drive had we reached Rattlesnake creek, where our spirits were revived by the sight of a herd of buffalo. Charles and Morphy tried to steal up to them but the flatness of the country was against them. It being night, we pitched our camp on the wild, desolate prairie and here we sat, our horses tied to the back of the wagon, our bed made beside it on the ground. Alongside is our camp fire of buffalo chips. Charles has retired and Morphy, with the ease and comfort of a King in his Palace, site on a stick and smokes his pipe, while "Dick Turpin," my dog, races back and forth after the wolves prowling around our camp. We have formed our plan of attack and with the rising sun, the ball will open.

Friday, Feb. 9, 1872—While eating our breakfast, the impudent wolves came in numbers within two hundred yards of the camp. "Dick Turpin" ran out at them and at one time, formed an interesting tableau. Three stood in a row, stone still, while he stood a few paces from them, intently eying them, each afraid of the other. How they dared each other. After breakfast, we sat out after buffalo and Morphy and I chased them on foot all day long with ill luck. They were very wild and we only succeeded in wounding a few. Late in the evening, he and Charles killed an old bull; we took his pelt, cut his llver out, cut it in chunks an inch square, seasoned each with strychnine and distributed them about his remains for wolf bait. Camped near by for the night, and such wailing and howling was never heard before.

Found eleven dead wolves within fifty feet of His Majesty's carcass and there would have been more had there been more bait. Again we renewed the chase; Charles took a horse and killed a cow that had been wounded the day before; rain set in and we, with our meat, started on our hunt for timber. Drove about ten miles, facing a bleak, cold rain and getting colder, down came the snow; no tree appeared and our team being tired, we halted and fixed for the storm. Tried to cook in the wagon box by building a fire in the Dutch oven. No go! Sheltered it and cooked a meal outside, after which we went to bed in order to keep warm. A cold north wind howled all night—so did the wolves—although we did get some sleep.

Sunday, Feb. 11, 1872—After breakfast, three men came to our camp with them, we drove back to the hunting ground and killed three fine buffalo that evening. We sold our coyote pelts for 65 cents each.

Thursday, Feb. 15, 1872—Reached the Arkansas river by noon, fed our teams and started across with half our load. The last two days thawing had started the ice in the river and today it again turned cold with a gale from the northwest. Great chunks of ice were floating and the river seemed to be rising. Got in the main current and horses mired in the quicksand. I had to plunge out into the icy water up to my arm pits, loose the horses from the wagon, turn them over to get their feet loose from the quicksand and then go to Great Bend, where I got Louis Frey with his team of mules, to come and help pull us out. All this time, I left Charles and Morphy sitting in the wagon in the middle of the river. I was mad at them because they would not get out in the water and help me. My clothes froze stiff on me but after we got the load over, I trotted all the way home, five miles, behind the wagon to keep warm. Got home late in the evening.

"Labor omnia vincent improbus."

Went to Sunday school. It was a pleasant day and everybody was out and glad to see me back to lead the music. Mr. A. C. Moses, who came with his family from New York and built the first frame house in the county, and who was the Sunday school superintendent, asked some questions on the lesson—the subject being, "The Brazen Serpent and the Healing of Children of Israel." He asked in what respect we were like the children of Israel and his wife, who was not partial to frontier life answered, "In that we are in a wilderness and dissatisfied with our lot." It created a great deal of merriment. She is a cultured woman and has never before seen any frontier life. Went to Great Bend Hotel where a new family had taken possession, by the name of Stone and who had also started a store.

NOTE—(Out of this first Sunday school established by these good people grew the First Congregational Church of Great Bend.)

Monday, Feb. 19 1872—I hunted my cattle and started to plow for Uncle Dick Demis at $5.00 per acre. Plowing by myself with two yoke of Texas cattle I found not calculated to cultivate the most elegant manner or style of expression. The leaders would turn and look at me and the furrows were very crooked.

(NOTE—I think this the first land broken in Barton County.)

Thursday, Feb. 22, 1872—Went to a ball given by Tom Stone at the Great Bend Hotel, a party of pleasant people and a good time. After plowing prairie all day with two yoke of Texas cattle, just the thing to go to a ball and ease my mind. I danced like a good fellow. I shined my boots and wore a standup collar. I danced with every lady there and some of them, two or three times. We danced quadrilles and the Virginia Reel. Got home very late.

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 1872—Bad day. Got Hubbard interested in going to Topeka to find out


what the railroad was going to do in regard to building the town. Whether it was going to favor Zarah or Great Bend. Also to try to secure the agency for selling their lands for him and me. I secured the first notary commission in the county.

First Notary Commission D. N. Heizer, January, 1872.

Saturday, Dec. 16, 1871.


Tonight we had a school meeting and next week our school house will be built, after the school meeting closed we had a meeting to determine what we should do for Christmas. Concluded to have a general meeting of the settlers. Have one grand supper, social and dance. The supper to represent all the different kinds of game the country afforded. We will have it at the New Hotel, which is about completed at Great Bend. A committee on arrangements was appointed, consisting of six ladies and five gentlemen, myself being one of the number.

Tuesday, Jan. 18, 1872—I am somewhat anxious about the Indians in the spring. We are on the extreme frontier and if there is any trouble, we must suffer first, being the most exposed. If they are disposed to be ugly, there is nothing to prevent them from attacking us. Within the last few days we have had reports that they have driven some of the settlers out of the country south of us. As soon as grass comes so that ponies can live, they may try us. We now get mail at Zarah most every week. It is a new office and there was no regular mail carrier.

Tuesday, April 23, 1872—We have had a lively day in town today. A great many new men came in and thirteen business sites were chosen since noon. I have been busy as a bee with the lumber trade and directing men where to find claims. At the rate the town is going now, we will have quite a place by next fall. It already makes quite a showing and every day records a new house.

Friday, May 3, 1872—How this week has gone. Have been as busy as a bee all the time. We have sold a great deal of lumber this week to put into houses at Great Bend. There are now some very good ones being built in town. Monday I went two miles to survey and did not get back until late at night. Tuesday I went eight miles and located four men and was late in getting home again. That evening, April 31st, there was a horrible murder committed at Zarah. Zake Light, a clerk and brother-in-law of Mr. Buckby, who was about eighteen years of age, shot a young man who had been here two weeks looking for land. He went into the store in the evening and asked for some crackers and cheese. Zake gave him the crackers but said they had no cheese. The young man made a joking remark about such a store keeping nothing to eat. Zake was insulted and ordered him out of the store. He refused to go and Zake shot him through the head. It was unprovoked and Zake ought to be hung if it was right for any man to be hung.

Monday, May 6, 1872—Today I have been out on the range surveying. When I got back to town in the evening, Capt. Heath of the Santa Fe engineer corps, told me of having seen three hundred Arapahoes and Cheyennes within about thirty miles of here, he was in their camp and talked to them and says they are disposed to be sulky and mad. Have no squaws, lodges or dogs with them and are well armed and well mounted, and he thinks we are going to have trouble. He is acquainted with a great many of them and says they mean no good. This valey is beginning to look like a little Paradise, with its green waving grass and blooming flowers.

Friday, May 16, 1872—Went up to the west line of the county to where an old German couple live. His wife cannot talk English, but they both thing a good deal of me and when I go there she always wants to talk with me and has to talk in German to her husband and he interprets it in English to me, she never knew until today that I had no Frou and when I told her she said I ought to be ashamed of myself. The old gentleman said, "You brings de Frou mit de dugout first, and yen you makes more money you makes un better house, und makes tin better Frou." It is worth riding eighteen miles just to hear othese old people talk and see how happy and contentedly they live in a dug-out.

Monday, May 20, 1872—We moved today to the town of Great Bend to live. Tom and I shall continue to dwell here henceforth.

Wednesday, May 22, 1872—All week we have been kept busy with settlers and locating land and have put several men on the lookout. Would have taken some men out today, but that Walnut is on a bender and cannot be crossed except by swimming. We had some sport today. Just before noon two buffalo came just in sight of town, and in less than ten minutes every horse in the livery barn was out in pursuit or rather, to meet them. After they had chased them out of sight seven more buffalo came into the Walnut north of town. Everybody, including women and children, came out in a stampede to see the fun. A skirmish line of men with guns started out on foot. I seized an Indian pony, belonging to Mr. Hubbard which was hitched outside the store, and after giving Mr. Hubbard by pocket book to take care of, off I went with a needle gun on the pony. I soon got beyond the footmen and away I went for the burly old fellows across the Bottoms. When about one-fourth of a mile from them, they turned and ran northeast toward the bend of the creek. I was lucky enough to shoot one just as he was going down into the creek. Hubbard, the trustee of my pocket book, lost $5.00 of my money on my success. There was a big crowd standing in the northern part of town watching me, and Jack Conkie pulled out a bill and wanted to bet I would get one and Hubbard took him up.


Sunday, May 26, 1872—This is a hot, sultry day. My first Sunday as a resident of the town of Great Bend, a city now of over forty houses. Most all having been built during the last six weeks. My census report was received and accepted by the governor and we have just had our county clerk and commissioner appointed and now in about thirty days, we will hold an election. Several of the leading citizens have been at me to run for probate judge. Have not yet made up my mind whether I will or not.

Sunday, June 2, 1872—Dr. Truesdale just came rushing up stairs and wanted to get the keys to Dr. Baker's desk as he wanted his case of instruments. A man at the hotel had shot himself and he must help him. Dr. Baker had gone to Quincy and taken his keys with him and the only thing to do was to break open his desk, which we did and have since performed the operation by way of extracting the ball. He was intoxicated and was fooling with a six-shooter when it went off, shooting him through the left side, the ball lodging in his back. Poor fellow, he should have learned when he was a little boy that it was very naughty to play with fire arms and get drunk on Sunday.

This morning I drove over to Hubbard's to Sunday school with Jake Miller, our new photographer. We had some new recruits at Sunday school. Last week I went from ten to forty miles per day; we have been having competition now in another land firm. One of their firm is agent for a town company and last Wednesday we had some little excitement over their movements. It became known they had formed another company to start another town fourteen miles west of this place and men who had invested money here could not see how they could run two towns in the same locality and be true to the interests of both. The citizens got up a petition for their removal from the agency for this town. Said petition was being carried around and everybody was signing it when the gentlemen got sight of it. They tried to tear it up but did not succeed. A crowd collected and very exciting was the talk. Hubbard made some rather sarcastic remarks, as was his custom, and Morris struck him. Hubbard kicked Morris out of doors and there the matter ended. A meeting was called and said gents tried to explain their connection with the Pawnee Town Company but did not do so to their satisfaction. First the citizens voted to send me to Quincy, Ill., to see the Town Company of this place and have them come out here to look after the interests of this town. After talking the matter over more fully, concluded as Dr. Baker was going back on the next day, a letter should be written to the company, stating the facts and send it by Dr. Baker.

Saturday, June 8th, 1872—I have had a busy week and the prospect of a day's rest so near at hand, is refreshing. I am always away all day long; get home late in the evening and am generally tired and hungry and have a whole raft of papers to make out, or letters to write, to some one wanting to come west, or inquiring about homesteads, etc. The people here seem to be very much dissatisfied with the way the affairs are conducted by the town company and there is so much bickering that I am almost disgusted. "I am somewhat in doubt about these mushroom towns, as some call them. I do think this (Great Bend) will some day make a fine town; it has the country to support it but it is now stepping far in advance of the country and men are investing widely, expecting to make their fortunes out of the cattle trade this summer. I really think from present prospects that it will not amount to anything great for this point. Some days here, everybody seems to be excited and carried away by some influence almost unaccountable, and other days everything will be dull and everybody discouraged and despondent.

Friday, June 13, 1872.


Have been in Great Bend all day, busy in the lumber yard. In the evening attended the city caucus for the nomination of city officers for Great Bend. Not being able to claim my residence in the city, (having a claim outside the city limits), I took no part in the city caucus. (My recollection is, that this caucus was held in a frame building on Allen's corner or near that place.)

Saturday, June 5, 1872—Today I worked at the lumber yard until noon and then drove with Tom to the eastern part of the county to attend a township convention. Drove home in the cool of the evening, got our supper and then went down to see Morris about election matters, as the county election was coming on and we were all interested in working for Great Bend as the county seat. In this interest, I had made a visit to the township convention in the eastern part of the county.

Monday, June 17, 1872.


In the morning, John Favrow, one of the railroad engineers, asked me to take him over to Hubbard's to Sunday school, where we stayed until after dinner. We drove back to Great Bend and at four o'clock we attended the organization of the first Sunday school at Great Bend. In the evening we took supper with Mr. W. H. Odell, our nominee for county clerk, at his home.

Wednesday, June 19, 1872.


Our county convention came off today and we made our nominations. I was honored with the nomination for clerk of the district court, which was afterward changed to the office of probate judge. I was secretary of the convention. I am feeling very much flattered by the people telling me that I could have any office I desired. We had a great time. A clique of the more adventurous class tried to run the meeting by tricks and fraudulent vot-


ing but we managed to out number them sufficiently and fought them clear back into their seats. Being unexperienced in politics, I was very much displeased at the methods attempted.

I have begun the erection of a house on block 95, which is 16x24 in size and one story high.

Wednesday, June 24, 1872—Am a little discouraged about this country here of late. It has been very hot and dry now for some time and there is so little farming being done in proportion to the number of settlers that it does not look right. People do not seem to have the faith in the country that they should have. Perhaps I am giving way to temporary influences and something may occur to banish all my fears. Another thing, we have a very tough class of people coming in here along with the good; a class that have no respect for virtue, morality, decency cr anything else. It is true, there are many refined and cultivated people coming with the idea of permanently making their homes and it almost looks now as though they might be out numbered by the other class.

Sunday, June 30, 1872—During the past three days, I have ridden over one hundred and fifty miles canvassing the county in the interest of our county election, and particularly in the interest of Great Bend as our county seat. All has been rush and hurry with us for the last few days.

Monday, July 1, 1872—Our county election came off today and it has been a lively day and a day of anxiety as to the contest over the county seat. I acted as one of the clerks of the election from 8 o'clock in the morning until after 2 o'clock at night. All passed off quietly and in good order and the results were very satisfactory. Our town, Great Bend, has nearly 100 majority for county seat. I received about 150 majority for probate judge. We had a great deal of sport over the election and some of those in the habit of imbibing, tonight made merry music on the street in exaltation over our great success.

Wednesday, July 3, 1872—According to instructions, Miss Ida Mitchell and I, as a committee to select picnic grounds for the 4th of July, went on a trip up the Walnut Valley seven or eight miles. We finally selected suitable grounds for our first 4th of July celebration at a bend of the creek on the southeast quarter of section 10-19-14, the claim of Henry Shultz. On the way up the creek we had a chase after a bunch of buffalo.

Thursday, July 4th, 1872—Most everybody went up the creek to our 4th of July celebration grounds in buggies, wagons and on horseback. There was quite a respectable crowd of us. We hung swings in the trees for the children and young folks and had plenty of ice cream and lemonade, and a bountiful dinner. After dinner I read the Declaration of Independence and E. W. Cowgill made a speech. We then had singing and a general good time, after which we all went home. The day was ideal and was very pleasantly spent. We had a delightful place for the celebration, which was the first one ever held in the county, unless by the Indians.

Saturday, July 6th, 1872—In the evening a gentleman called at the store and asked for me. I went down and found there a law student from Iowa City, who was there the last year I was. That was the first appearance ot George W. Nimocks, who was touring the state in a wagon with a camping outfit and who had established his camp near the southeast corner of the public square.

Sunday, July 7, 1872—I am considering a trip to Iowa very soon on very important business. The railroad will be completed to that place by the last of next week and I will be able to make the trip from my own town on the frontier by rail. I feel very much elated over this fact. Just to think how a person must feel, having came here only one year ago when the country was almost as wild as the day it was made, inhabited solely by the wild game of the plains and now the iron horse is about to come dashing in, bringing all the changes of civilization. Bringing stout hearts and sturdy hands to subdue these wild prairies and make them contribute to the advancement and wellfare of mankind. "'Tis strange! 'Tis strange, how quickly all this has come about."

Friday, July 12, 1872—I have concluded to go to Iowa as soon as possible and if nothing prevents, will be there during the week, probably about Thursday.

Santa Fe Depot, Great Bend
Residence of Andrew J. Deckert (See page 123)

Residence of Carl Schneider, South Bend Township


T. L. Stone
Proprietor of Great Bend's First Hotel

THE subject of this sketch was one or the early settlers in Barton County, and a man almost intimately acquainted with all of our citizens, a brief account of his life will be appreciated by our readers.

Thomas Longdon Stone was born near Lexington, Ky., June 27, 1830, only lacking a few days of being 48 years old at the time of his death, June 2, 1887. When about 7 years old his parents moved to Paris, Mo., living there about five years, when they returned to their old home in Kentucky, where they remained until 1849, when they returned to Missouri, making their home in Shelby County. On the 12th of September, 1849, T. L. Stone was married to Miss Jane W. McCracken, with whom he lived happily until his death. In 1852, during the gold excitement, Mr. Stone went to California, where he spent two years in the gold mines, and accumulated some money. He traveled all over that state and like all the early emigrants, endured many hardships, and doubtless contracted rheumatic afflictions thero, from which he never entirely recovered, and which laid the foundation for other bodily infirmities. He came to Great Bend in 1872, being one of the first settlers, and for two years kept a dry goods store and was proprietor of the Drover's Cottage, the first hotel in this place, later the Southern. He afterward opened a meat market which he operated successfully for about two years, when he went to farming. He had 240 acres of land about 9 miles south of Great Bend, nearly all of which is in cultivation. He leaves a wife and three children, the oldest being the wife of Sheriff Winstead, Mrs. Crain and Josie, a little girl. Three daughters and two sons died when quite young.

For the last two years, Mr. Stone's health had been gradually but steadily failing, and though every attention was given him he found but temporary relief. He died of general dropsy.

The Odd Fellows of this place took part in the burial ceremonies, showing that respect which was due to the deceased both as a citizen and former member of the order.

The deceased was a man of many excellent traits of character, a warm friend, genial and happy in disposition, and generous to a fault. The community deeply sympathize with the grief-stricken family and relatives, in their hour of suffering. "Earth hath no sorrow that Heaven cannot cure."



During the summer of 1872 Great Bend was organzied as a city of the third class with A. A. Hurd as mayor. In September, 1872, final proof was made and a patent for section 28 issued to the mayor in trust for the use and benefit of the occupants. These, under the laws of Kansas, were considered to be the Great Bend Town Company, most of whom resided at Quincy, Ill. Accordingly a deed was made to said town company * by the mayor. The U. S. courts afterward decided that the provision making a non-resident town company occupants was not in keeping with and according to the spirit of the law of congress and that the deed must be made by the mayor to each of the actual occupants, according to his respective interest. Accordingly, suit was brought by the occupants against the Great Bend Town Company to set aside the deed from the mayor to them. However, a compromise was effected wherein it was agreed that a decree should be entered setting aside said deed, and the mayor should proceed to appoint commissioners to divide the property according to law, giving to each actual occupant his quota of lots, and that each occupant should deed one-half of the same to the Great Bend Town Company. Thus the question of title was settled, and each occupant found himself to be a great deal richer than he had supposed.

*The officers and stockholders of the company, as appears from the Arkansas Valley, published in July, 1872, were as follows:

J. L. Curtis, President, Keokuk, Iowa.
M. F. Bassett, M. D., Vice-President, Quincy, Illinois.
C. R. S. Curtis, M. D., Corresponding Secretary, Quincy, Illinois.
Hon. D. L. Lakin, Land Commissioner A., T. & S. F. R. R., Topeka, Kansas.
Hon. T. J. Peter, General Manager A., T. & S. R. R., Topeka, Kansas.
Hon. A. L. Williams, Attorney of Company, Topeka. Kansas.
Additional stockholders
James Israel, Esq., Mt. Vernon, O., Judge T. J. Mitchell, Quincy, Ill., Rev. R. F. Shinn, Paysor, Ill., Rev. W. E. Johnson, Jacksonville, Ill., T. L. Morris, Great Bend, Kansas, Hon. John T. Morton, Topeka, Kansas.


A complete list of the men who served the city of Great Bend as its chief executive from 1872 to 1912:

Name— Date.
A. A. Hurd 1872 and 1873
Samuel Maher 1874
Richard Taylor 1875
C. F. Diffenbacher 1876
A. C. Fair 1877
G. N. Moses 1878
A. W. Gray 1879
E. L. Chapman 1880
Henry Kline 1881
S. V. Brinkman 1882
G. W. Nimocks 1883
E. W. Moses 1884 and 1885
D. N. Heizer 1886
After 1886 mayors were elected for two-year terms.
A. J. Buckland 1887
O. B. Wilson 1889
A. Laidlaw 1891
G. N. Moses 1895
G. N. Moses 1897
G. H. Hulme 1899
L. P. Aber 1901
Martin Weirauch 1903
E. W. Moses 1905
E. W. Moses 1907
E. W. Moses 1909
O. W. Dawson 1911

Birdseye View of Great Bend
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