1901 History of Republic County Kansas

A history of Republic County, Kansas : embracing a full and complete account of all the leading events in its history, from its first settlement down to June 1, '01 ... Also the topography of the County ... and other valuable information never before published. by I. O. Savage.; Illustrated. Published by Jones & Chubbic, Beloit, KS : 1901. 321 p. ill., plates, ports., fold. map ; 23 cm. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, July 2006.

History of Republic County. 11

vember 19th, 1858, and who continued in office until January, 1861, and was the Democratic candidate for Governor under the Wyandotte constitution, against Charles Robinson, December 6th, 1859, but was defeated by over 2,500 votes.

In January, 1859, the civil strife having partially subsided in the territory, and the Free State men having a majority in the Legislature, a convention was summoned at Wyandotte. It met in July and adopted a Free State constitution, which was submitted to the people October 4th and ratified by a majority of 5,000. The Wyandotte constitution was then laid before Congress, and a bill admitting Kansas into the Union passed the House early in 1860. The Senate, however, failed to act upon the bill. At the next session the measure was revived, and on the 29th of January, 1861, the opposition of the south having eased by reason of the withdrawal of a large number of the southern Representatives and Senators from Congress, Kansas was admitted into the Union as a free state, adopting as her motto, "Ad astra per aspera" — To the stars through difficulties.

List of Territorial Governors of Kansas and the term of office of each:

Andrew H. Reeder, of Pennsylvania, from October 7, 1854, to August 16, 1855.

Daniel Woodson, of Virginia, Secretary and Acting Governor from August 16 to September 7, 1855; June 24 to July 7, 1856; August 18 to September 9, 1856, and March 12 to April 16, 1857.

Wilson Shannon, of Ohio, from September 7, 1855, to August 18, 1856.

John W. Geary, of Pennsylvania, from September 9, 1856, to March 12, 1857.

Frederick P. Stanton, of Tennessee, Secretary and Acting Governor from November 16 to December 21, 1857.

Robert J. Walker, of Mississippi, from May 27 to November 16, 1857.

12 History of Republic County.

James W. Denver, of California, Secretary and Acting Governor from December 21, 1857, to May 12, 1858, when he was appointed Governor.

Hugh S. Walsh, born in New Winsor, Orange county, N. Y.; came to Kansas from Alabama in April, 1857; was Secretary and Acting Governor from October 10 to December 17, 1858.

Samuel Medary, of Ohio, from December 18, 1858, to December 17, 1860.

George M. Beebe, born at New Vernon, N. Y.; came to Kansas in 1859; Secretary and Acting Governor from December 17, 1860, to February 9, 1861.

Governors of Kansas since its admission as a state:

Charles Robinson, elected December 6, 1859; sworn into office February 9, 1861.

Thomas Carney, elected November, 1862.

S. J. Crawford, elected November, 1864; was re-elected November, 1866; resigned November 4, 1868, to take command of 19th Regiment, Kansas Volunteer Cavalry.

Nehimiah Green, Acting Governor after the resignation of Governor Crawford.

James M. Harvey, elected November 3, 1868. Served two terms.

Thomas A. Osborn, elected November 5, 1872. Served two terms.

Geo. T. Anthony, elected November 7, 1876.

John P. St. John, elected November 5, 1878. Served two terms.

George W. Glick, elected November 7, 1882.

John A. Martin, elected Nov. 4, 1884. Served two terms.

Lyman U. Humphrey, elected November 6, 1888. Served two terms.

Lorenzo D. Lewelling, elected November 8, 1892.

Edmund N. Morrill, elected November 6, 1894.

John W. Leedy, elected November 3, 1896.

William E. Stanley, elected November 8, 1898. Re-elected November, 1900.

History of Republic County. 13



On the 15th day of July, 1806, Zebulon M. Pike, a young army officer, being at that time only twenty-seven years of age, left Belle Fontaine, a small town near the mouth of the Missouri river, to make explorations in our newly acquired territory known as the Louisiana purchase. The party consisted of twenty-three white men, and a party of fifty-one Indians of the Osage and Pawnee tribes, who had been redeemed from captivity among the Pottawatomies. These he was to take back to their friends on the head-waters of the Osage river, on the border of what is now Kansas. The safe delivery of this charge at the point of destination, seems to have been the primary object of the expedition. This being accomplished, he was to push on to the seat of government of the Pawnee Republic and establish as far as possible friendly relations and a good understanding between the various Indian tribes as well as to cultivate the friendship of all of them towards the government of the United States. He was also instructed "to remark particularly upon the geographical structure, the natural history and population of the country through which he passed, taking especial care to collect and preserve specimens of everything curious in the mineral and botanical worlds, which can be preserved and are portable." This expedition was planned in April, 1806, on the return of Lieut. Pike from a successful tour of discovery and exploration to the head-waters of the Mississippi. He was chosen to conduct these expeditions on account of his great proficiency in mathematics, astronomy and the languages.

Capt. Pike camped on White Rock creek on the evening of September 24th, and the following day he entered

14 History of Republic County.

the Pawnee village, the exact location of which has only recently been established, different historians locating it at different points, some placing it at, or near the present site of Scandia, others at Red Cloud, Nebr., but all agreeing that it was located in the valley of the Republican. During the year 1896 researches were made which established beyond a reasonable doubt the site of this historic village, locating it on section 3, * in township 2 south, range 5 west, known as White Rock township. This fact is established by a careful study of the route of Pike's travels, he being easily traced into Republic county and by many relics consisting of broken mills, pottery, pipes of red pipe stone, dressed and undressed flints and many other articles of Indian workmanship, also many large circular excavations, within what was once a wall of earth works, an adjoining cemetery, all distinguishing characteristics of the permanent villages of the Indian tribes of the plains. At what time this village was established is only a matter of conjecture. All the information the Pawnees themselves can give is that it was a long time ago. Neither is there any record as to when it was abandoned, but probably not later than 1833 as in that year the Pawnees, by treaty surrendered all their possessions south of the Platte river, but for a long time thereafter continued to hunt throughout their ancient hunting grounds on the plains, their hunting parties frequently visiting the White Rock valley after its settlement by white men.

September 29th Capt. Pike held a grand council with the Pawnees at which a large number of warriors were present. The Spanish flag was floating from a pole in front of the head chief's lodge, a large party of Spanish troops having passed this way but a short time previous. Pike, although having but twenty men under his com-

* The N. E. 1/4 of section 3, town 2, range 5, on which was located the Pawnee Indian village, was pre-empted in 1871 by John Johnson, known by the early settlers as White Horse Johnson to distinguish him from other Johnsons In the same neighborhood, as he was the owner of a fine team of white horses.
History of Republic County.

Residence of George Johnson, White Rock Township.

History of Republic County. 15

mand, ordered the Spanish flag hauled down, and the American flag run up to which demand the grand chief, Characterish, demurred. Here Pike's tact and ingenuity were called into play and he applied the art of persuasion with so great effect that the chief permitted the flag to be taken down and the stars and stripes hoisted in its place with the promise that the Spanish flag should not again be displayed in the village during Capt. Pike's stay. It is thus established beyond a reasonable doubt that the stars and stripes first floated to the breeze in Republic county on September 29, 1806, this event being now annually commemorated by the Pawnee Republic Historical Society. (In a former edition of this history it was stated the flag was first raised at Scandia, September 25, 1806, but was given as traditional only and from the best information then obtainable).

At a meeting of the citizens of White Rock and Big Bend township held at the Pawnee school house, January 4, 1896, Col. Thomas Shuler was chosen chairman, and James Lacey, secretary. At this meeting it was decided to effect a permanent organization which was accordingly done. The name adopted was "The Pawnee Republic Historical Society," and the first officers elected were, Col. Shuler, president; Mrs. George Johnson, vice-president; Hon. Gomer T. Davies, secretary; Mrs. W. H. Charles, assistant secretary and Geo. Johnson, treasurer. An investigating committee was appointed at this meeting consisting of E. D. Haney, Mrs. E. A. Johnson, J. C. Price, Dr. J. W. McIntosh and Major C. W. Gulick. This committee visited Red Cloud, Nebr., but found nothing in support of the claim that the Pawnee village was located at that point, the theory that at or near Scandia was the place having already been abandoned. The valley of the Republican has been visited and carefully scrutinized by members of this committee and officers of the society for many miles up and down, finding no other traces of permanent Indian occupancy at all comparable with the well

16 History of Republic County.

defined and unmistakable evidences which exist at this point, and so reported to the society.

The next step was to get the State Historical Society interested in this investigation which was done by laying before it a large amount of accumulated evidence at its annual meeting in January, 1896, at which time the following committee was appointed by Gov. Morrill, president of the society, viz: The late Judge F. G. Adams, at that time secretary of the state society; the late Noble L. Prentis, author of "Pike of Pike's Peak," and Prof. E. B. Cowgill, of the Kansas Farmer, with instructions to investigate and make a complete and exhaustive report to the State Historical Society at its annual meeting in January, 1897. Accordingly Judge Adams and Professor Cowgill visited the site on July 15, 1896, Mr. Prentis being disabled by an accident which made it impossible for him to visit the field. This committee reported as directed, an advance copy being furnished the Pawnee society at the request of Mrs. Johnson, its vice president, as follows:

                    TOPEKA, KANSAS, August 22, 1896.

     President Pawnee Republic Historical Society,
          White Rock, Kansas.

DEAR SIR: — In conformity to the wishes expressed by your respected vice-president, Mrs. George Johnson, and in compliance with our duty in the premises, the undersigned, members of the committee appointed by the Kansas State Historical Society at its annual meeting in January last, to co-operate with your society in an effort to identify the location of the village of the Pawnee Indian Republic visited by Lieut. Z. M. Pike in 1806, hereby give you the conclusion arrived at by us as the result of our recent visit to the ancient village site in White Rock township, and our inspection of the same, accompanied by officers and members of your society. In giving you the conclusion to which we have arrived in the matter it is proper that we should say that in the first place we have

History of Republic County. 17

been guided by the narrative of Lieut. Pike, giving as it does an account of his journey to and from the village, with such description as the narrative contains; this, taken in connection with such an account as is given by Lieut. Wilkinson, who accompanied the explorer.

These descriptions, though meager and somewhat conflicting, by careful examination have been of service. Next we take into consideration the local information on the subject derived from the fact that the entire valley of the Republican and the adjacent country of the region, above and below, has for many years been settled up and brought into cultivation, and that your society has made diligent inquiry among all the inhabitants and, though your committee, has visited the only other locality believed by any of the inhabitants to have ever been the site of an Indian village; and that at that place there had been seen at one time merely slight evidences of a temporary Indian camp; no remains of a permanent Indian village. In regard to the inquiries and investigations made by you, it is of course out of our power to do otherwise than rely upon your information. In this we place implicit confidence.

The final consideration influencing us has been the markings at the place which we visited with you and which clearly exhibits evidence that there was at a time as remote as Pike's visit, an Indian village of the character described by him.

In respect to this the evidences are quite satisfactory. They conform to those well known artificial features which have identified sites of other ancient villages of the Indians of the plains country.

There are the clearly marked remains of a surrounding wall, and within the bounds of the wall circular ridges marking the situations of the numerous permanent lodges. There is the debris left from the destruction of these habitations. All these evidences are distinct and unmistakable. From these considerations we have ar-

18 History of Republic County.

rived at the conclusion that the spot pointed out to us by your society is the identical site of the village in question. There is but a bare possibility that it can be otherwise.

We beg to give you our sincere thanks for the courtesies extended to us during our visit to the now rich and fruitful region ushered into history ninety years ago; then an uncultivated wilderness, now one of the most productive portions of Kansas, bearing all the evidences of thrift and culture among the people. The existence of your society organized for the laudable object of promoting an important branch of information respecting the history of the state and country, is in all respects highly praiseworthy, and should receive due consideration from the Kansas State Historical Society, which we have the honor to represent. With great respect,
                              Yours truly,
                                        F. G. ADAMS.
                                        E. B. COWGILL.

The Pawnee Republic Historical Society holds its regular annual meetings at the Pawnee school house near the village site, on the 29th of September, this being the anniversary of the hoisting of the American flag in Republic county, and special meetings whenever deemed necessary, but the annual celebrations and flag raisings are held on the town site, one of the most beautiful and picturesque spots in the great state of Kansas. The present officers of the society are: J. C. Price, president; Mrs. John Moore, secretary, and George Johnson, treasurer.

The site of the village, embracing eleven acres was deeded by Mrs. Johnson to the state, conditioned that an appropriation be made by the legislature for the purpose of suitably marking this place as one of the leading historic spots of Kansas. The importance of doing this was strongly presented to the legislature by the Pawnee Republic Historical Society in which it was ably assisted by the Daughters of the Revolution.

Accordingly Senator R. B. Ward introduced the fol-

History of Republic County.

View near the Pawnee Indian Village. Road leaving the
Grove at foot of the hill.

History of Republic County. 19

lowing bill January 14, 1901, and ably championed it to final passage February 11th; yeas 28, nays none, absent or not voting 12. Hon. W. H. Woodward, representing Republic county, introduced the same bill in the House, where it met with some opposition, being at one time stricken from the calendar, but it finally passed that body without a dissenting vote and was approved by the governor February 14, 1901:


An act accepting title to the site of Pike's Pawnee Indian village, in Republic county, Kansas, making appropriation for fencing and suitably marking the said premises, and placing the same under the care and control of the Kansas State Historical Society.

WHEREAS, Elizabeth A. Johnson and George Johnson, of of White Rock, Republic county, Kansas, have, by their joint deed of general warranty, tendered as a gift to the state of Kansas a clear and unencumbered title to the following described real estate situated in Republic county, Kansas, which deed is now held in escrow by the secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, to wit: Beginning at a point six chains west of the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 3, township 2, south of range 5 west; thence west sixteen chains, thence north seven chains, thence east sixteen chains, thence south seven chains to the place of beginning, containing eleven and two-tenths acres, more or less, being in the site of Pike's Pawnee Indian village, which conveyance of title is to be made upon condition that within four years from the 29th day of March, 1899, the state of Kansas shall accept the title to said premises so tendered, and shall cause the said premises to be fenced and suitably marked to commemorate the first raising of the American flag on Kansas territory; therefore,

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:

SECTION 1. That the title to the premises aforesaid and described as follows, to wit: Beginning at a point six

20 History of Republic County.

chains west of the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 3, township 2, south of range 5 west; thence west sixteen chains, thence north seven chains, thence east sixteen chains, thence south seven chains to the place of beginning, containing eleven and two-tenths acres, more or less, being the site of Pike's Pawnee Indian village, tendered as a gift to the state of Kansas by Elizabeth A. Johnson and George Johnson, by their deed of general warranty, dated March 29, 1899, be and the same is hereby accepted by and on behalf of the state of Kansas; provided, however, that the title to said premises so tendered and accepted shall revert to the said donors in the event the state shall fail to fence and mark said premises as hereinafter provided within four years from the 29th day of March, 1899.

SEC. 2. That upon the vesting of the title to said premises in the state of Kansas, under the provisions of this act, the Kansas State Historical Society shall have the care and control of said premises for and on behalf of the state, and shall fence the said premises and suitably mark the same by monument or otherwise, to commemorate the first raising of the American flag on Kansas territory.

SEC. 3. That the sum of three thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, be and the same is hereby appropriated out of any money in the state treasury not otherwise appropriated, to fence and suitably mark said premises by monument or otherwise, as hereinbefore provided, the money so expended to be paid upon warrants of the State Auditor, allowed and drawn upon vouchers approved by the secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society.

SEC. 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the statute book.

Approved February 14, 1901.

The corner stone of the monument provided for in the above act was laid with impressive ceremonies by the Grand Lodge, A. F. and A. M., under the auspices of Belleville Lodge, No. 129, July 4, 1901, and at which time and place other patriotic exercises were held. Hon. George W. Martin, secretary of the State Historical Society, called the assembled multitude to order and introduced Senator R. B. Ward as president of the day, who in

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