The following was transcribed by Jane Becker. She recently purchased a copy of this booklet and wanted to share it with others who have an interest in its contents. "Thank you, Jane."

The Westmoreland Recorder

Railroad Edition

by W.F. Hill

Westmoreland, Kansas, November 2, 1899

Early History

The first settlers in the vicinity of the present site of Westmoreland were James Darnell, James Limerick, Charles Jenkins, and Isaac Hazen. The first three named came in the spring and summer of 1855, while Mr. Hazen and family arrived on November 5. Darnell, Limerick, and Jenkins have long since died or moved away, and the wife of Mr. Hazen, now Mrs. Elizabeth McKimens, is the oldest settler in this part of the country. When she came to Kansas there were an Indian mission at St. Marys, a house or two in St. George, and a man by the name of Wilson kept a store, the post office and an Indian trading post at Louisville. Mr. and Mrs. Hazen settled on the farm now owned by her son, John McKimens, Jr. On the last day of March, 1855, Mr. Hazen died and left his wife with one son, Brazill. The death of a husband and father is sad at any time, but this bereavement was especially so. Mrs. Hazen and her little son were strangers in a strange and almost uninhabited land. She went to work heroically to earn a support for herself and child. On October 22, 1856, she married John McKimens, who had arrived from Pennsylvania some six months previous.

In those early days the market and principal trading place was Leavenworth. The farmer garnered his crop of wheat and corn and hauled it in the fall to Fort Leavenworth, where he sold it and laid in a supply of provisions and clothing sufficient for the winter. Those early pioneers endured many hardships in blazing the way for civilization. Schools, churches and social organizations, which form so large a part of the life of the people today, were unknown to early inhabitants. Homes were to build, farms to reduce to a state of cultivation. Local governments for the enforcement of law and for the development of the country were to be established. Most of the people had small means, and for many years the homes were not very comfortable. Almost no luxuries of life could be enjoyed, while some at times suffered for want of necessities. The border troubles of 1859 and 1860 proved a blessing to Kansas in sending many of the best families of New England and anti-slavery men of other sections to the new territory. The large increase of population made schools possible and established churches. History pubilshed in this edition elsewhere shows that Westmoreland kept well up to the front in matters of these natures.

The Westmoreland post office was established in 1858. The mail was carried from Louisville to Marysville, and the round trip was made once each week. The post office was named by John McKimens, in honor of his native county, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. Mr. McKimens was the first postmaster, and the office was, of course, located in his home.

Among those who came to this locality soon after Mr. and Mrs. McKimens, were Uriah Cook, Russell church, the Pease brothers, Jethro B. Pray, John and George Dailey, Dave Vroman, David Gard, the four Spalding boys (Dan, David, William, and Lish), George Bertram, Josiah Comfort, Volney Baker, Levi H. Stout and John Thompson.

The first house built upon the present site of Westmoreland was a log structure erected in 1860 by Volney Baker. This house stood in the southeast part of town, upon the site of the residence lately purchased by Ben Lunbeck. The old building was later moved two or three hundred feet north, where it was used for a stable.

Volney Baker was surveyor of Pottawatomie county from 1860 to 1869. In 1860, soon after coming to Westmoreland, he built a saw mill on Rock creek, on the farm now occupied by Charles Zabel. This mill was a great convenience in those early days. It furnished lumber for most of the early buildings in this section. In the year 1869, Baker sold the mill to Charles Zabel, who for a time had associated with him in the business J.Q. Buffington [sic]. Mr. Zabel enlarged the mill and added machinery for making flour and meal. This mill was a great convenience in those early days. It burned in 187_, and was never rebuilt. Mr. Baker succeeded John McKimens as postmaster, and held this important position for many years. He moved to California in 1869, where he still resides.

Josiah Comfort was one of the first men in this section to obtain a living from the public. He was a blacksmith, and for many years followed his trade at a shop on his farm.

The first store in Westmoreland was established by A.C Cochrun. He was one of the early settlers of Kansas, having settled near what is now known as Buck's Grove, southeast of Havensville, in 1860. he put up a small building on the northwest corner of what is now the Cochrun property. He occupied this structure as a residence, and put in a small stock of general merchandise, which he purchased at America City. His business propered, and he built an addition to his building. Mr. Cochrun's store was the second building within the present townsite of Westmoreland. The building was moved a block north and is now occupied by the RECORDER office. Mr. Cochrun was postmaster many years and was one of the most enterprising of Westmoreland's business men. He died in 1885.

The other oldest merchants in the town were Mrs. L.L. Van Brunt and D.B. Kitts.

The foregoing covers the principal part of the early history of Westmoreland previous to the time it became the county seat, except the history of its schools and churches, which are treated elsewhere under other headings.

The county seat was located in Westmoreland in the summer of 1882. At that time the town contained two stores, those of A.C. Cochrun and Mrs. L.L. Van Brunt.

James Detro accommodated the travling public at his residence, but his place could hardly be styled properly a hotel.

A.C. Cochrun had owned the blacksmith shop, and H.H. Good did the work for him, but at this time the shop was owned by Bill Jenkins, and Mr. Good ran it.

Dr. C.A. Skene arrived in Westmoreland in 1873, and has been practicing medicine here since that time.

The parties mentioned lived in Westmoreland with their families, and in addition there were J. Whims (justice of the peace), D.B. Kitts, Mary Hinekle, E.B. Place, and Rev. C. C.Culmer, pastor of the M. E. church.

The Methodists and Congregationalists had church buildings and parsonages, and the little old stone school house had been built many years before. Many new-comers arrived with the county seat, and rapid improvement was made from that time.

It was generally believed that Westmoreland would not hold the county seat, and even the Westmoreland Period admitted some months later that the county seat would be on wheels until a suitable court house should be built.

The removal of the county seat to Westmoreland is treated elsewhere.


Collins and Davis' store burglarized October 8, 1885 Telephone service from Wamego to Westmoreland completed December 22, 1885 W.F. Gehrke, the jeweler, was egged on August 16, 1887 A county band tournament was held in the city August 25 & 26, 1887 Dr. J.S. Spangler had S. Fowler and R.M. Chilcott arrested for criminal libel, and the case was tried in the April term of district court (1892), and both were acquitted. Westmoreland post office and C.P. Brown's store were burglarized June 11, 1892 L.W. Crowl's residence burned January 7, 1893 J.B. Pierce broke his leg, September 30, 1894 McComas house caught fire, February 9, 1895 Rev. T.S. Rooks was tarred and feathered, July 23, 1895 J. Stein's store was robbed, Saturday night, November 2, 1895 Mr. and Mrs. John Collins celebrated their silver wedding, December 11, 1895 Ella Della Challis was shot, January 4, 1896 G.G. Wheat's residence was struck by lightning, May 26, 1898 George W. Etchison was hurt, May 8, 1899 George Proctor, insane, while attempting to enter Mrs. J.P. Finuf's house, was, by her, shot through the arm, June 1, 1899 Mr. Proctor died in the insane asylum, July 6, 1899


A.S. Kemper Hattie McComas January 6, 1883 Jacob Emmons Prudence S. Martin April 5, 1883 J.H. Whearty L.M. Davis June 30, 1883 George T. Codding Eva Witter August 7, 1883 T.H. Brown Julia Bills February 4, 1884 Charles W. McComas Hattie E. Irish April 20, 1884 M.D. Keeney Ella B. Scholes Decemter 27, 1884 J. L. Rogers Bettie Richards January 2_, 1885 H.A. Hale Iza Siddens February 16, 1885 W.F. Grutzmacher Laura Cochrun March 25, 1885 George G. Wheat Eva Jenner May 16, 1885 C.P. Brown Anna Laura Crowl June 1, 1885 O.J. Washburn Susie Kitts June 26, 1885 Dr. J.S. Spangler Augusta Allen July 23, 1885 L.W. Spalding Mary Whearty October 11 or 14, 1885 A.J. Ward Ida Scritchfield March 25, 1886 W.E. Ross Mary Zabel July 4, 1886 J.K. Codding Mamie B. Henry July 26, 1886 R.C. Burkett Nannie C. Richards October 26, 1886 James P. Walker Mary Fink Mary 12, 1887 J.R. Allen May Jones May 22, 1887 R.H. McClure Addie Rotherick May 25, 1887 L.J. Spalding Anna Area July 4, 1887 William Steele Dora B. Rucker September 18, 1887 Herbert E. Davis Flora Whearty September 22, 1887 M.T. Walden Flora Fisher October 9, 1887 N. Comfort Sarah E. Murphy November 13, 1887 John McKimens Lucy Jones December 22, 1887 Herman Knitter Louisa Lauer December 24, 1887 I.A. Fifield Nora J. Edgerton January 12, 1888 A.P. Scritchfield Lottie A. McKinney May 3, 1888 H.V. Scholes Rosa Conaway June 9, 1888 L.B. Pierce Katie A Cronin June 27, 1888 L.C. Siddens Viola Bentley September 29, 1888 Henry Mitchell Tillie Zabel February 25, 1889 J.H. Abbott Amanda E. Plummer September 17, 1889 Dr. A.A. McMahon Fannie McComas September 18, 1889 C.C. Townsley Minnie L. Mowder December 24, 1889 Louis Katzenstein Berta Stein January 1, 1890 Amos Plummer Mrs. W.H. Wilson January 30, 1890 S.H. Ellis Julia E. Wyatt February 22, 1890 W.T. Sillex Mary Lee June 26, 1890 L.L. Comfort Jennie Brown August 30, 1890 I.B. Plummer Ora L. Moody December 11, 1890 James T. Mark Alzina Gentine March 12, 1891 William S. Selby Addie Frazier 1891 ____ E. Cobb Ruth Townsend October 1891 Andrew Larson S.E. Hopkins October 19, 1891 S. F. Baines Georgia Anna Hughes November 10, 1891 A.J. Hutto Ellen Hilliard March 2, 1892 W.W. Plummer Mattie M. Fisher March 16, 1892 J.W. Tatman Stella Hayes May 6, 1892 C.A. Grutzmacher Lillie Campbell September 22, 1892 E.W. Egelston Jennettie Pressler September 25, 1892 Roy C. Witter Hattie A. Bentley October 19, 1892 A.A. Richards Susie Ora Wyatt December 15, 1892 A.I. Lolly Mary Lenhart December 29, 1892 W.E. Cochrun Jessie Murray February 9, 1893 Benj F. Wyatt Louie Moore March 2, 1893 Sigmund C. Stulz Katie Stein April 11, 1893 D.F. McAlister Rosa E. Whearty April 20, 1893 M.E. Wood Mattie L. Spaulding May 11, 1893 George A. Brown Nannie McAlister May 18, 1893 John Connors Emma Stevenson June 21, 1893 John F. Richards Annie M. Price August 2, 1893 George H. Taylor Emma Pawling September 5, 1893 W.L. Cotton Sybella Scott September 6, 1893 George W. Etchison Emma Chapman September 20, 1893 W.E. Allen Anna Herron November 11, 1893 Frank Davis May Combs December 23, 1893 Will F. Bartlett Nellie Tibbetts January 31, 1894 Asa H. Lolly Ida J. Lenhart February 28, 1894 W.V. Codding Tillie Bothe April 20, 1894 H.M. Pomeroy Melva L. Morris July 17, 1894 Frank Tibbetts Randa McSpadden August 8, 1894 Den Lunbeck Lucy Vroman September 11, 1894 Fred T. Warner Lillie McKee September 11, 1894 Herman Kastner Eva Walker October 9, 1894 Charles A. Zabel Clara Jung October 23, 1894 Judge James Logsdon Mrs. Sarah Mitchell November 20, 1894 Homer Pressler Harriet J. Goddard October 24, 1894 James F. Lee Mary Jackson December 26, 1894 J.W. Scritchfield Anna J. Hough December 30, 1894 J.H. Plummer Anna P. Robson February 20, 1895 C.A. Egelston Maggie J. Hutchins February 20, 1895 William A. Rodgers Anna Plummer February 28, 1895 W.J. Keyser Janette Ratcliffe August 22, 1895 Edgar Forrester Nora Ott November 27, 1895 Truman O. Brown Anna Graham December 4, 1895 E.A. Walker Josephine Campbell May 29, 1895 Fred L. Cooper Mary Galloway June 12, 195 J.W. O'Daniel Nannie Cave August 21, 1895 William Prothrow Margaret Campbell August 30, 1895 Henry. M Mark Ada Delzen Good May 1, 1895 John Frederick Eliza Brockish April 23, 1895 F.D. Woodford Maude Moriarty April 25, 1895 Frank Whearty Elsie Clara Barr April 20, 1895 Charles Doolittle Maggie Detimore March 12, 1895 F.H. Cochrun Ida E. Chapman March 8, 1895 Lannie Harter Bertha S. Wells March 15, 1895 Charles Sebring Eliza Whearty February 20, 1896 Dr. W.D. Silkman Viola Townsend March 1, 1896 Marion L. Barr Ella Whearty March 3, 1896 John Elmer Mark Josephine Bills March 4, 1896 W.L. Good Maude Moody March 4, 1896 H.C. Bolen Lou J. Waln (in Winchester Colorado) March 25, 1896 Frank Codding Nellie G. Mayfield April 1, 1896 Hayes J. Graham Agnes Good May 27, 1896 J.L. Brown Laura Blaylock August 12, 1896 Jasper Fink Rosa Thomas August 24, 1896 Horace A. Hale Georgia Siddens October 7, 1896 George R. Scritchfield Sadie Selby December 30, 1896 E.C. Kastner Minnie Walker January 27, 1897 T.H. Good Mary J. Clark March 3, 1897 R.H. Neill Georgia Webster March 3, 1897 E.H. Brenton Vina Buffington March 3, 1897 D.O. Cochrun Lena J. Grutzmacher March 16, 1897 E.A. Grutzmacher Anna Perrin March 21, 1897 Warren Anthony Estella McKee July 21, 1897 J.B. Pray Nancy Noah September 16, 1897 Thomas E. Hilliard Ina S. Etchison November 10, 1897 Clarence G. Miles Chessie B. Wells, November 10, 1897 Alex M. Scott Fannie E. Morris November 17, 1897 Albert E. Chapman Emma M. Weber November 25, 1897 C.W. Skene Maud G. McKowen November 25, 1897 P.G. Skene Susie Walden December 19, 1897 J.W. Kelly E.A. Lefler January 4, 1898 George S. Good Mary F. Walden January 19, 1898 W.A. Snapp Clara L. Miller April 11, 1898 John W. Grindall Annettie Lemon June 29, 1898 Will A. Scott Elizabeth O'Daniel August 17, 1898 Herman Harter El Desta Duncan November 3, 1898 C.W. Carter Della E. Carley December 25, 1898 Mike W. Pirang Lillie R. Zabel January 9, 1899 J.L. Rogers Nannie O'Daniel February 12, 1899 Harry K. Kagee Rosa Bowman February 23, 1899 M.L. Barr Elva Plummer March 21, 1899 Robert Comfort Alice L. Cougher April 6, 1899 William Barr, Jr. Addie Tibbetts May 10, 1899 H.E. Barrett Bessie I. Leland June 28, 1899 O.W. Armentrout Lillie L. Smith July 12, 1899 Charles C. Jackson Emma J. O'Daniel August 9, 1899 John J. Lee Ida M. Evans August 20, 1899 J.B. McClure Theressa P. Comfort August 30, 1899 Edwin M. Brown Jessie Clark August 29, 1899 Charles R. Lee Jennie B. Pressler October 1, 1899


Frank Stol___ was killed in August (1884), at Windsor, Mo. while undertaking to board a moving train. James Whearty died February 11, 1885 A.C. Cochrun died May 19, 1885 Mrs. J. Comfort died June 25, 1885 Joseph Wain - January 14, 1886 Mary Gard - March 4, 1886 Mrs. Ella Pierce - September 2, 1886 Mary M. Mitchell - September 17, 1886 Mrs. Josie Detro - September 19, 1886 Mrs. W.T. Schritchfield - October 21, 1886 Clara Mitchell - November 9, 1886 David Gard - July 24, 1887 Lloyd Moriarty - September 1, 1887 (Lloyd Moriarty and Merrit Beal were struck by lightning on the street. Lloyd died the same night that he was injured while Merrit lingered between life and death for many days but finally recovered.) Abner Johnson - September 13, 1888 Mr. J.T. Barkus October 30, 1888 Mattie Lee - Juyl 1, 1889 James Hunter - killed September 3, 1889 M.E. Townsend - April 12, 1890 Elizabeth Ault - April 26, 1890 J.L. Detwiler - December 9, 1890 Mrs. Etta Keller - February 23, 1891 James Watters - February 27, 1891 Mrs. George H. Taylor - June 27, 1891 Amos Smith January 11, 1892 John M. Brush January 19, 1892 Alex Webster February 16, 1892 Uda Cochrun February 20, 1892 Mrs. N. Comfort April 6, 1892 Roy Morris april 11, 1892 Mrs. Sarah G. Finuf August 2, 1892 Ebenezer Scott January 2, 1893 Mrs. H.H. Ayers February 3, 1893 Mrs. Robert Beattie April 23, 1893 Louisa Washburn July 28, 1893 Mrs. Abe Siddens December 3, 1893 J.H. Hilliard January 24, 1894 Mrs. O.J. Washburn February 26, 1894 Forest V. Hill March 2, 1894 Joseph Myers May 22, 1894 Mrs. W.J. Fink June 8, 1894 Mrs. H.A. Hale August 4, 1894 Mrs. Mary Detro November 22, 1894 Mrs. James Siddens January 2, 1895 Mr. James Siddens February 10, 1895 Arthur Baldwin May 28, 1895 Mrs. Al McKimens June 21, 1895 Lillie May Blume September 20, 1895 Mrs. A.A. Murray October 20, 1895 Mrs. Rachel Armer November 16, 1895 Mrs. Meta Disney November 15, 1895 Martha Evans January 16, 1896 Mrs. George Scott February 11, 1896 Willie O'Daniel April 6, 1896 John McKimens, Sr. August 8, 1896 Mrs. William Bump September 10, 1896 Clarence Carleson November 10, 1896 D.B. Kitts November 15, 1896 Louisa B. Schuyler December 15, 1896 Mrs. Herman Zabel April 18, 1897 Mrs. C.A. McKinney April 20, 1897 James T. Bowman May 23, 1897 Mrs. J. Whims July 26, 1897 Fred Huber (while plowing) November 20, 1897 Ellen Scott January 2, 1898 James McKowen January 11, 1898 William C. McKee March 8, 1898 Henry G. Lemon March 25, 1898 John H. Richards July 18, 1898 D.S. Hatch August 30, 1898 Mrs. Wesley Wel__ October 21, 1898 E.E. Enzor December 2, 1898 Edith Mitchell December, 1898 Jasper Whims January 17, 1899 John Weber (of heart disease) January 17, 1899 J.S. Codding January 25, 1899 William Henry January 26, 1899 Ella May Garrison March 6, 1899 Ann Cronin March 27, 1899 Mrs. George Stolicker March 30, 1899 George Urquhart April 18, 1899 Elva Davis May 23, 1899 Mrs. A.J. Gumm August 25, 1899 Mrs. Samuel Brashear (at Rossville) September 24, 1899 George Proctor (in insane asylum), July 6, 1899
More will be added, as it is transcribed.

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