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. 241

republican paper by Nutter & Novak; is a bright and newsy local paper and well patronized.


The White Rock Independent, a weekly newspaper, was published at White Rock for about a year in 1877 and 78, by Harlan Taylor, a brother of the late A. E. Taylor, and was what its name indicated, independent in politics.


The Weekly Record, an independent paper was published at Belleville for a few months in 1883 and '84 by J. M. McAfee.


The Republic County Chief, a republican paper was published at Scandia in 1884, A. E. Blank, editor and pubusher.


The Wayne Register, republican in politics, was published at Wayne in 1885 and '86, by B. W. Curtis, editor and proprietor.


The first newspaper at Cuba was The Cuban, published in the summer of 1885, by John D. Bennett.


The Republic County Pilot was published at Cuba in 1886 and '87 by W. S. Elliott. Republican in politics.


The Cortland Register, (now Courtland) was established by F. M. Coffey and the first issue published Febuary 2nd, 1889. After about six months J. A. Litsinger was pen pusher. About 1893 H. A. Hoyt came into possession of the paper and continued to publish it for five years. On the 1st of May 1898 it came under its present management. This paper has seen its ups and downs.

242 History of Republic County.

Twice its suspension has been announced but both times it failed to suspend and now is a money maker. It has had almost as many changes of politics as of editors but is now straight republican.


The Cuba Advocate, a People's party paper is published weekly at Cuba, John Brown, editor, proprietor and publisher. It is ably edited, has a large circulation and good advertising patronage.


The Independent, a four page paper, in size about 7x9, possibly a little larger, greenback in politics, was published in 1875 in the rear of Hart's furniture store in Belleville, by W. C. Thornton, commonly known as "Dirty Shirt Thornton," and this paper was pretty nearly, if not quite as dirty as its editor.


The Scandia Independent, a Democrat newspaper, was published at Scandia in 1888 by Newton and Scott.



The population of the county was, in
1860 00     1876 8758     1885, 17540     1894 16771
1861 5 1877*
1886 18070 1895 16676
1862 13 1878 10132 1887 17539 1896 15658
1863 47 1879 12193 1888 17575 1897 16059
1868 630 1880 14913 1889 17539 1898 17161
1870 1281 1881 13117 1890 19002 1899 17925
1873 7055 1882 14057 1891 17018 1900 18248
1874 8020 1883 14897 1892 16933 1901 18562
1875 8048 1884 16237 1893 17047    

* No report for 1877.

History of Republic County. 243

In 1880 about 1500 laborers employed in building the B. & M. railroad were enumerated by the United States census takers in the townships of Big Bend and Rose Creek, which accounts for the large increase from 1878 to 1880, and the falling off from 1880 to 1881.

Census of Republic county by townships and cities for 1900 and 1901:

  Assessors Government.
Townships  1901  1900
Albion   725   707
Beaver   625   612
Belleville   663   658
Big Bend   772   772
Courtland   724   704
Elk Creek   757   757
Fairview   915   894
Farmington   763   753
Freedom   667   667
Grant   804   800
Jefferson   649   649
Liberty   752   747
Lincoln   709   709
Norway   724   726
Richland   881   877
Rose Creek   742   738
Scandia   701   699
Union   740   740
Washington   776   776
White Rock   602   602
Belleville City  1984  1833
Scandia City   601   598
Cuba City   476   445
Courtland City   287   286
Narka City   275   258
Republic City   248   241

Total 18562 18248


244 History of Republic County.

Abstract of the Assessment Roll of Republic county, 1901.

Name of Township or
Incorporated City.
No. acres
lands un-
der culti
No. acres
lands not
under cul-
Total No.
acres of
per acre.
value of
all lands
value of
all town
value of
all person-
al prop-
value of
all railroad
Total val-
ue of all

Aiblon 17050 5851 22201 $4 609 $106620 $.... $23750 $42894 $173264
Beaver 15890 6979 22869 3 333 76220 536 19540 29964 126260
Belleville 12790 9160 21950 3 965 87035 ..... 24160 50731 161926
Big Bend 16874 5381 22235 4 421 96310 1183 40300 73639 223432
Courtland 17470 5463 22873 4 508 103120 ..... 20370 67654 191144
Elk Creek 18820 4074 22894 3 769 86295 828 21120 43818 152061
Fairview 15580 7294 22829 4 452 101635 2082 26270 73131 203118
Farmington 14470 8435 22905 3 385 77600 256 20350 16326 113732
Freedom 16380 5690 22070 4 550 100420 ..... 20660 15763 136843
Grant 12060 10593 22653 3 302 74840 3874 21810 60719 161243
Jefferson 13990 8938 22928 3 430 78555 ..... 21555 37103 137213
Liberty 18060 4924 22984 4 242 98510 ..... 20350 ..... 117960
Lincoln 12910 10098 23008 3 618 88250 ..... 14850 3066 101166
Norway 12940 9486 22426 4 041 90630 690 20650 31896 152866
Richland 12740 9828 22558 3 609 81455 ..... 19870 58516 159841
Rose Creek 17510 5588 23008 4 170 96340 ..... 24540 60061 180941
Scandia 14210 8009 22217 4 429 98420 ..... 35320 73191 206931
Union 18830 7877 26207 4 463 116970 ..... 25210 27152 169332
Washington 18990 4024 23014 4 299 98935 642 21050 16568 137195
White Rock 13260 6179 194439 4 495 87405 274 23900 ..... 111579
Narka City ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... 9635 14830 7035 31500
Cuba City ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... 20541 14570 4378 38389
Belleville City B T 334 ..... 334 9 715 3245 78180 53020 14636 149081
Belleville City F T 380 45 415 6 941 2950 15074 5880 36411 60315
Scandia City 18 ..... 18 16 111 290 15400 40040 8583 64313
Republic City ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... 19485 15990 2478 28953
Courtland City 70 12 82 9 146 750 10375 17030 10411 38566

Total 311126 143801 454927 4 066 1849800 170055 614985 865224 3530064
History of Republic County. 245



A public meeting was held in Belleville November 29th, 1878, for the purpose of making arrangements for holding a reunion of the ex-soldiers of the county, at which time a committee of arrangements was appointed, with instructions to report program, time and place of holding the meeting, etc.

The committee reported on the 7th of December, naming December 13th as the time and Belleville the place for holding the same, which report was accepted and adopted.

Friday, the 13th, the day set for the reunion, turned out to be the stormiest of the season thus far; the wind being one of those peculiar Kansas zephyrs which, farther east, would be called a high wind, blowing at its best gait all day, and the snow flying so as to render traveling well nigh impossible. Notwithstanding all this, some 200 of the "boys," fired by the patriotism still so fresh in their bosoms, managed to be present, besides quite a number of citizens, including many ladies, who so kindly furnished the most bountiful supply of luscious rations, of which there was a large quantity left over. The day was passed in exercises, in drill, speaking, story telling, and drinking genuine soldiers' coffee, etc., all within doors, the weather being too inclement for outdoor exercises.

The welcome address was delivered by Mayor Woodward, who was followed by Mr. Ed. Knowles, H. G. Dow and others. Hon. E. J. Jenkins, of Concordia, who had been expected to speak, expressed his inability to be present in the following sympathetic and patriotic letter:

CONCORDIA, December 11th, 1878.

W. H. Woodward, Mayor, Belleville, Kan.:

Dear Sir: Yours of the 7th has just been received. The time between this and the day of your reunion is so

246 History of Republic County.

short that it will be impossible for me to arrange to be present. Nothing would afford me more pleasure than to be present at a reunion of the soldiers who defended the republic. During my official career in the Republican land district I have met many gallant fellows among the homestead settlers who, having done gallant and noble service in the defense of their country, in time of peace exhibit the best evidence of good citizenship by improving and developing the prairies of the west, thus aiding the nation by advancing civilization westward, into the hitherto wild waste of wilderness.

Many of them carry as many scars as were upon the person of Coriolanus of old, and I have frequently thought that our government, in the disposition of public lands, has not done as much for the honorably discharged soldiers as they deserve for their services. I believe every honorably discharged soldier, who fought for the defense of the Union, should have a quarter section of land, free of charge, to be selected from the public lands belonging to the government. If the odd-numbered sections within the limits of grants to the railroad companies, that have been granted to such companies since the close of the war, and during that struggle, had been reserved for and given to the honorably discharged soldiers, their widows and orphans, the government would have done a noble work as a partial compensation to the men whose patriotism and valor saved the government and the nation as a unit, with its escutcheon untarnished.

A feeling of sadness comes o'er my mind as I contemplate the remembrance of the departed who fell in battle, while there is one thought that is consoling,—that they are not forgotten by the true patriots living, while the mystic chord of memory stretches from every battle field and soldier's grave to every hamlet and dwelling place throughout the land.
Very Respectfully,

No steps were taken at this time to effect a permanent

History of Republic County. 247

organization, but on the 9th day of August, 1879, in pursuance of previous notice a meeting was held for that purpose, at the court-house in Belleville, and a permanent organization effected by the election of the following officers for the ensuing year: President, J. G. McCathron; vice-president, S. A. McKay; secretary, P. F. Grant; treasurer H. G. Wallin.

A committee of arrangements was then appointed, viz., J. H. Crane, George Lembke, S. A. McKay, E. C. Baker, Capt. W. W. Wait, and H. C. Swartz. At this meeting, it was decided to hold the annual reunion on the public square in Belleville, on September 18th. The following persons were announced as speakers: E. J. Jenkins, Concordia; Hon. I. O. Savage, Freedom township; Dr. W. H. Woodward, Belleville; L. C. Hanson, Scandia.

The Second annual reunion was held at Belleville, September 18th, 1879, and proved to be a perfect success, a more enjoyable affair having never before taken place in Republic county. From 7 A. M. until nearly noon, crowds flocked in from all parts of the county, until the number reached the neighborhood of 2,000. They were about 500 soldiers present, who were formed into companies, and, under the command of Col. D. C. Gamble and their respective captains, they were drilled add marched, marched and drilled, until some of the boys cried, "Give us a rest."

After dinner, the assembly repaired to the grove on the public square, which had been neatly seated, and where a stand had been erected for the speakers, so as to listen to eloquent and patriotic addresses by Mayor Woodward and others, all of whom were attentively listened to and loudly applauded. The music and singing, by the choir, was excellent; also, the martial music to the White Rock and Cuba martial bands did much to enliven the occasion. Great credit is due Messrs. J. E. Hallowell, J. H. Crane, S. A. McKay, and others of the committee of arrangements, for the zealous and earnest manner in which they

248 History of Republic County.

worked to make the second soldiers' reunion a grand success.

It was decided to hold the third annual reunion at Belleville on the first Thursday and Friday of September, 1880. The third annual reunion was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 14th and 15th, 1880. Gov. St. John and Senator Plumb were advertised to address the meeting, but, failing to attend, their places were filled by Colonel Gamble, Dr. W. H. Woodward, Hon. R. P. West, and others. There were fully 400 soldiers in attendance, and the best of feeling prevailed. The weather was fine, the attendance of citizens large, and everything passed off in a most harmonious and satisfactory manner.

The fourth annual reunion was held at Belleville, September 9th and 10th, 1881. The crowd the second day exceeded by far that of any former gathering in Republic county, and the programme was carried out to the letter. Not less than 3,000 people were in attendance.

The fifth annual reunion took place at BelIeville, September 1st, 1882, and was well attended by the old soldier boys, as well as by citizens generally throughout the county. Dr. Griffith made the address of welcome to the boys, Thursday forenoon, which was able, interesting and well delivered. The oration delivered by Col. M. M. Miller was a masterly effort, and was listened to with the greatest interest and attention by all present. Captain Dixon was officer of the day, and acquitted himself nobly in the discharge of his duties. This occasion was one long to be remembered by all present.

The sixth reunion was held at Belleville September 6th and 7th, 1883. Music was furnished by the K. of P. cornet band from Washington, the band from Republic City and two martial bands.

Hon. Wm. Glasgow was president of the day. One of the leading features was the parade of Co. "E," composed of soldiers from Freedom and Liberty townships under command of Capt. B. Dutton.

History of Republic County. 249

The principal addresses were made by Col. Dan L. Brown, of Concordia, Hon. David Heron, of Mankato, and Col. David C. Gamble, of Seapo.

The "Virginia Veteran" was played to crowded houses both evenings and everybody voted the sixth reunion a decided success.

The seventh reunion was held at Belleville September 25th and 26th, 1884. Col. D. C. Gamble, president, and Capt. Adam Dixon, officer of the day. Music by the Belleville cornet band, Walker's martial band of Freedom, Mosher's, of Scandia, and Wagener's, of Cuba.

Hon. John A. Anderson, our member of congress, was the orator of the day, delivering a very able address, which was followed by a short address by John M. Lawrence.


Speaking by Rev. R. A. Hoffman, T. M. Noble, E. B. Towle, J. F. Close and others interspersed with music. A recitation by Miss M. O. Davies, entitled "The Irish Veteran's Wife," rendered with pathos and feeling, was warmly applauded by her appreciative hearers. Much credit was due to Colonel Gamble and Captain Dixon for the very able and efficient manner in which they discharged their duties on this occasion.

The eighth reunion was held at Scandia August 6th and 7th, 1885, and was one of the largest ever held in Republic county. Although the weather was exceedingly warm, the exercises were highly enjoyed by all. The citizens of Scandia acquitted themselves nobly, doing everything in their power for the comfort and enjoyment of the vast number of veterans in attendance.

The inter-state reunion at Beatrice was held the second week in September, 1885. Republic county was represented there by about 200 veterans, John Brown Post attending practically in a body, carrying the new banner received by the Post September 3d, 1885. This banner

250 History of Republic County.

was made of dark blue silk, surrounded by a heavy gold fringe, hung by a gold cord. The front contained a large painting of old John Brown, after whom the Post was named and the finest likeness of him I ever saw, and the lettering John Brown Post, No. 44, Belleville, Kansas, and the letters G. A. R. On the reverse side the grand army badge and the words "Mustered in March 25th, 1882, Department of Kansas."

This was the finest banner in the parade, admired by all and of which the Post justly felt proud. It was destroyed by fire November 4th, 1890, when the G. A. R. hall and all its contents were swept away. The sickness and sudden death of Comrade John M. Thompson while at this reunion cast a gloom over what otherwise would have been a most enjoyable occasion. The boys returned home one day earlier than they had intended on that account.

The eight annual reunion, September 9th and 10th, 1887. Weather unfavorable and the attendance light. All the exercises were held in doors, owing to the inclement weather. Addresses by Rev. Geo. W. Wood in the court room, on Friday forenoon, and Gen. J. C. Caldwell in the afternoon. Ex-Governor Geo. T. Anthony spoke on Saturday. Music of a high class was furnished by the Belleville Cornet band and Walker's martial band of Freedom.

A broom brigade from Republic City, was also in attendance, composed of young ladies in uniform, under command of Thomas F. Marlatt. Their drill was very fine, and had the weather been pleasant, they could have given a very interesting exhibition. The addresses of General Caldwell and Governor Anthony, on this occasion, were very able, and pleased the soldier boys so well a committee of three were appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the association. The resolutions were as follows:

RESOLVED—First, that our asssociation has been very highly favored during the reunion, just held, by having the

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