on the Secretary of War to ‘crush it out;’ and, although General Jessup, the acting major general, (Author’s note: Evidently meant to be quartermaster general) had approved Colonel Montgomery’s return as made, Governor Dewis (Author’s note: Obviously, a misprint as the writer is referring to Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War) so altered the lines as to make it include Pawnee. This was on the 5th of May, after the town had been considerably improved, after shares had been sold and resold, and after the governor had issued his proclamation calling the legislature there. All the other lines of the reserve were reduced, he approved and adopted.

“At the same time he sent Generals Clarke and Churchill to Fort Riley with instructions to investigate the course of Colonel Montgomery, etc., and these experienced and intelligent officers remained there for some time collecting facts and finally reporting.”

The boundary established by Generals Clarke and Churchill, starting at the Sixth Street dam (Fogarty’s Mill) extended down the Smoky Hill, past Clarke’s gate to a point about due south of Post Headquarters and from there it extended across to the Kansas River, thus excluding all of the present aviation field. It extended down the Kansas River to approximately the location of Engineer Bridge, then slightly west of north, along One Mile Creek to the north boundary as established by Secretary Davis. From the northern edge of the reservation counter-clockwise to Fogarty’s Mill. all boundaries were the same. This report made the reservation much smaller than Major Montgomery had contemplated and confirmed his action in excluding Pawnee. In spite of this he was tried and convicted


as we have seen. (Note: The proceedings of the court martial that tried Major Montgomery are very interesting. A complete and detailed report is on file in the Library of the Kansas State Historical Society in Topeka.)

The legislature convened at Pawnee July 2, 1855. Reeder himself was a Free-State man and hoped to convene a Free­ State legislature. The members of the legislature did not desire to convene at Pawnee but had selected Shawnee Mission as the Capital. Reeder objected to this on the grounds that it was too near the border of Missouri, a Pro-Slavery state. The legislature proceeded to unseat all the Free-State members except S. D. Houston, who resigned July 23rd. After settling the membership question, the legislature proceeded to enact a bill to remove the seat of government “temporarily” to Shawnee Mission.

Reeder promptly vetoed this bill on the grounds that the Executive department received its authority directly from the Federal Government as long as Kansas remained a Territory and that the Legislative department had no authority to change the seat of government “temporarily” until a permanent seat had been designated by Congress. (No mention is made of the authority by which Reeder himself had located the capital at Pawnee). The bill was passed over Reeder’s veto.

Extracts from an article by Colonel W. A. Phillips, President of the Kansas Historical Society, entitled, “Kansas History,” and published in Volume 4 of the Kansas Historical Collections throw some light on this legislature:

”The March election ( 1855) , which threw a great shadow in Kansas history, witnessed an invasion of nearly 5,000 armed men from the State of Missouri. who invaded every voting district. In some cases they had artillery with them. They themselves voted and then in many places prevented the legal voters from voting. Of the men elected, many were residents of Missouri. The legislative stay at Pawnee was very brief. They took refuge at the Shawnee Mission. The ‘laws’ they enacted were largely manufactured by scissors and paste-pot. In a number of cases, the death penalty was affixed to alleged offenses against the existence of slavery in Kansas. To write, speak, or utter a word against slavery was an infamous crime. It was thus sought to make Kansas a slave state by law-‘bogus law’ we called it. They would risk nothing; instead of allowing the people to select the county officers, that alien body proceeded to elect sheriffs, commissioners and probate judges for their counties and thus launched their complete territorial government. They got two of the Federal judges, Lecompte and Elmore, to decide as to the validity of this Legislature, when no case was before them, and be-


cause the third, Judge Johnston, refused to take a part in this non judicial proceeding, he was removed by President Pierce.”

The legislation referred to in which it was made a crime to speak or utter a word against slavery was an act entitled, “An Act for the protection of Slave Property,” and provided that, “If any free person, by speaking or writing. shall assert or maintain that persons have not the right to hold slaves in this territory, or shall introduce into the territory, print, publish, write, circulate or cause to be introduced into the territory, written, printed, published or circulated in this territory, any book, paper, magazine, pamphlet, or circular containing any denial of the right of persons to hold slaves in this territory, such persons shall be deemed guilty of felony, and punished by imprisonment at hard labor for a term of not less than two years.” It further provided that, “No person who is conscientiously opposed to holding slaves, or who does not admit the right to put slaves in this territory, shall sit as a juror on the trial of any prosecution for any violation of any of the sections of this act.”

The legislature at Pawnee adjourned at one o’clock In the afternoon of July 6th and reassembled at Shawnee Mission July 16th. At Shawnee, Reeder vetoed the first bill passed on the grounds that the legislature was an illegal body. The Chief Justice upheld the legislature which promptly prepared a petition to the President preferring charges against Reeder and requesting his removal from office. The principal excuse or cause for bis removal was his land speculations. In addition to Pawnee, Governor Reeder had speculated in land at various points throughout the territory. July 3 I. 1855, Reeder’s removal was officially announced. August 5, 1855, the Shawnee legislature located the permanent capital at Lecompton. From the date of Governor Reeder’s removal. Secretary Woodson was acting governor until the arrival of Governor Wilson Shannon, September 7, 1855. The executive offices remained at Shaw­ nee until the spring of 185 6.

By order of Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, the boundaries of the reservation of Fort Riley were enlarged to include Pawnee. This order was not executed until the fall of 1855 when Colonel Philip St. George Cooke arrived from Texas with the Second Dragoons and pulled the houses down. At its height, Pawnee had about five hundred inhabitants. Most accounts state that the capital building at Pawnee was erected for that purpose by Robert Wilson. Mr. George W. Knapp, who was a settler in old Pawnee. stated that as near as he could remember (in 1908) the building was about 150 feet from the river bank, as the military road ran between the building and the river. A steamboat landing was on the bank of the

river near the building. The building itself, according to Mr.


Knapp was not built for a statehouse, but was erected by the town company as a warehouse. (Vol. X, Kansas Historical Collections, page 631) .

In the west end of the old building is a large hole. Many old

settlers claim this was made by a solid shot fired from a bat­ tery at the post. Others claim it was a bole left by workmen through which building material was passed. The appearance of the aperture would tend to confirm the latter theory, as it has an appearance of regularity not likely to have been left had it been made by a shot.

On Three Mile Creek about three-fourths of a mile south­ east of the crossing of the Golden Belt Highway, there is a ford constructed of masonry. It was built before the days of Funston and its appearance indicates great age. The finding of this old fording place, together with the statement of Mr. Knapp that the road passed between the river and the capitol at Pawnee, led the writer to believe that that portion of the old military road that extended between Fort Riley and Ogden was nearer the river than the present Golden Belt Highway. However, there is nothing to substantiate this belief as all the old settlers maintain that the military road followed the course of the present highway.

The banks of the river have changed so rapidly in the last

seventy-five years that the exact course of the old road probably would be very difficult to trace. There is no doubt that it did follow in general the course of the present highway. The old ford may have been built in the early days to supply another crossing of Three Mile Creek.

After the destruction of Pawnee several small towns sprang up in the vicinity, founded, for the most part, by the original settlers of that town. The most important of these, and the only one in existence today, was Ogden. Thomas Reynolds is credited with being the first settler in Ogden. He built a small log cabin in June, I 854, on a knoll a little east of where the iron bridge crosses Seven Mile Creek. Reynolds was also the first settler in Davis (now Geary) County. Dr. Daniel L. Chandler, the Reverend John W. Parsons, Benjamin Edmunds and Moses Walker were some of the earliest settlers of the town itself. They came there in the fall of 1856 and may be called the founders of the town. Much of the material for the first buildings was taken from the ruins of Pawnee.

Theodore Weichselbaum, who has been mentioned in a previous chapter in connection with the Mormon Trail. was an early settler in Ogden, coming there late in December I 85 7, or early in January 1858. At that time the county seat and the land office were at Ogden. Mr. Weichselbaum became financially interested in sutler’s stores at Forts Larned, Dodge, Harker, Wallace and Camp Supply. Early in the seventies be built a


brewery at Ogden and ran it until the Kansas prohibition law went into effect in 1881. The beer was hauled around the country and sold to sutlers’ stores and saloons (The old brewery building is still in existence and may be seen near the center of town, on the north side of the road, as one enters Ogden from Fort Riley. It is used as a barn at present).

Mrs. Mary Marchesseault came over the Mormon Trail in 1857 and has resided in Fort Riley and at Whiskey Lake since that time.

  • Some accounts state that a school called the Kansas Female Collegiate Institute was established at Ogden in February 185 7, but a careful search through the files of the library of the Kansas State Historical Society revealed nothing on the subject. Quoting a letter from the Secretary, Mr. Connelley, ·”We find nothing here about this institute. It probably was one of those things devised by the booster and boomer and advertised in the hope of influencing people to settle at Ogden. Very likely it never did exist except in the mind of the booster and never was founded except in bis mind.“

Across the river from Pawnee two or three little towns sprang up, offshoots from Pawnee. These towns were variously known as West Point, Whiskey Point, Riley City and Island City. Under the heading “Extinct Geographical Locations” the Kansas Historical Society published a list of old towns in Volume XII of its Collections. In that compilation, Riley City, West Point and Whiskey Point are designated as one and the same town and the date of establishment is given as 1854. In checking up and gathering data on these old towns, the writer has become convinced that it was Island City, and not Riley City, that might have been confused with Whiskey Point or West Point.

The following account was taken from an old “History of the State of Kansas,” by A. T. Andreas and published in 1883: “In the early sixties soldiers stationed at Riley were causing considerable trouble in the adjoining towns. There were several regiments encamped in and about Fort Riley among which were the Twelfth and Thirteenth Wisconsin and the First and Seventh Kansas. Provost guards were established to maintain order. On the 6th of May, 1862, at a place called Island City, 13 barrels of whiskey were spilled, either by order of the Provost Marshal or someone else. Island City got its name from the fact that it was located on a piece of land, which, in some seasons, would be entirely surrounded by water, owing to a slough or strip of low, wet land, by which it was encompassed. (Author’s note: This slough, or strip of low, wetland was obviously Whiskey Lake) . At the extreme west point of this island, so called, some parties had once undertaken to build a town to which they gave the name of West Point,


but the town never had an existence outside the imagination of its would-be founders. The name of the place was afterward changed to Whiskey Point, having derived this name from someone in court having said he would rather die in Junction City than live at Whiskey Point, referring, by this remark, to West Point. Since that time the place has been known as Whiskey Point.

“On May 14, 1862, a very unpleasant affair occurred at Whiskey Point between a party of soldiers in which two were killed and one wounded. On the same day, the provost marshal. with a squad of men, went around -and closed up every saloon in which intoxicating liquors were sold.”

An excavation, or basement, for one of the buildings of Island City or Whiskey Point may still be seen about two hundred ‘yards east of the reservation boundary and three or four hundred yards back from the present bank of the river in a direction about northwest from the old Junction City Country Club at Whiskey Lake. This town was located between the heels of the horseshoe formed by Whiskey Lake. The land included within the horseshoe and particularly near the toe was called the “Island” by early settlers and Island City, if it ever had an existence separate from Whiskey Point, probably was located there.

The writer was informed by Mr. George Faringhy, whose father was a hospital steward at Fort Riley in 1866 and later, and who spent some thirty-five years of his life at Fort Riley, that it was a common story in those days that Whiskey Point was originally called West Point’ but “some preacher said it should be called Whiskey Point and the name stuck.••

Riley City was about a mile north of Whiskey Point about opposite the site of Pawnee and the writer has been informed by several old settlers in the vicinity that the site of this town has long since been absorbed by the river.

In 1856, a man named L. B. Perry and his wife settled on an “island” near Fc:>rt Riley and for nine years Mr. Perry operated a ferry between Whiskey Point and Fort Riley. (This island was the island referred to above, encompassed by Whiskey Lake). N. S. Ransehoff opened the first store in Jackson Township in 1855 at Riley City. Island City is reported to· were founded in July 1855 and Riley City in September 1855. thus making Island City the first town in Jackson Township. The first hotel was kept by G. F. Gordon and the first meeting of the commissioners of Riley county was held at Riley City in 1856. All of these towns consisted mainly of saloons and stores and gained their business by selling liquor to soldiers. With the development of Junction City, Ogden, and Manhattan, they were gradually forced out of existence and none of them lasted more than ten or twelve years.


The Smoky Hill and Republican Union under date of November 28, 1861, contained the following notice:


“At Island City on the 17th inst., by G. F. Gordon, Esq., Colonel Fox Booth of Riley City, to Miss Martha Ann Biddle, formerly of Indiana.”

It is the opinion of the writer, based on search of records and conversations with old settlers, that there is no doubt as to the existence of two towns opposite Fort Riley. Riley City was the eastern one. The settlement around Whiskey Lake probably consisted of one town which was originally Island City. Later it may have been called Whiskey Point or a second town may have existed very close to Island City and not clearly distinguished from it-a suburb as it were.

During the fifties and up to the Civil War, there were many slave owners in Kansas. In an article entitled “Slavery in Kansas” in Volume VII of the Kansas Historical Collections, Mr. William H. Mackey, srJunction City has stated: “Fox Booth, a North Carolinian, who came from some point on the Platte to Fort Riley, in 1854. owned a negro woman slave. She worked a ferry-boat for him, and rowed me across the raging Kaw many times. (Booth lived in Riley City). Booth tired of her and brought her down to McDowell’s Creek to Tom Reynolds’ place, and offered her for trade. Reynolds looked her over and came to the conclusion that she would make a good herder. Booth wanted a few cows for her, but Reynolds would not part with the cows and finally offered an old white stallion and the deal went. I was a witness to the transaction. This was in the fall of 1855. There were several slaves at Fort Riley. Dr. William P. Hammond, post surgeon. owned one or two. The post chaplain also owned one. Two slaves known as Aunt Cely and Patsey, owned at Fort Riley, were accused of poisoning an ordnance sergeant who died mysteriously. They were taken to the sawmill, near where the Union Pacific now crosses the Republican, set astride the log, and the saw started. When the saw came uncomfortably close Aunt Cely declared ‘Fo’ Gawd, lse innocent.’ The saw was stopped and she was released. She died in the neighborhood of old age and neglect. The slaves were all fe­ male house servants at Fort Riley.”

Mr. George Faringhy, previously referred to, stated in a let­ter

to the writer: “Southeast of the present Post Exchange, once upon a time there was a hill, upon this hill a log house stood with a brick fireplace and chimney at the end. One night, during the ·Civil War time. This building caught fire and burned down. The bodies of a soldier and his wife were found in the rum. A colored girl named ‘Celie’ was a servant and lived


with this couple and when the bodies were discovered and that of the girl not with them, she was accused of murdering them and setting fire to the building to cover the crime. Accordingly, Celie was arrested and confined to a cell in the guard house. She was tortured by hanging her to a crossbeam under the guard house. Celie protested her innocence but was forced to submit to various indignities until finally a letter was found written by a dying soldier in which he confessed the crime. Celie was released and went around the post, falling upon her knees and ‘Bressin’ Gawd,’ for her deliverance. She later took up a patch of ground around Humboldt and lived there fo1 many years. She frequently came to the post to do laundry work and later was known as Aunt Celie.”

It is very probable that the two stories just cited refer to the same incident.

Wilson Shannon, who succeeded Reeder as Governor of Kansas Territory, was a native of Ohio. He was Democratic Governor of that state in 1838 and was a member of Congress in 1852. He·approved the Kansas-Nebraska Bill and the Repeal of the Missouri Compromise. His commission as Governor of Kansas Territory was dated August 10, 1855. In his views Shannon was pro-slavery. His tenure of office was brief but in credit to him it has been justly stated, “had Shannon possessed the wisdom of Solomon and the courage of Caesar, he could not have successfully administered the affairs of Kansas during his gubernatorial incumbency.”

The Southern States were as firm in their intention to make Kansas a slave state as the Free-State Party and the North were to make it a free state. In January, 1856, the State of Alabama appropriated $25,000 to “equip and transport emigrants to Kansas.” The term “Border-Ruffian” was applied to Missourians and all the promoted emigration from the south, who took an active part in the effort to force slavery on Kansas. Governor Shannon set himself the task of enforcing the laws passed by the Territorial Legislature, now called the Bogus Legislature. The political caldron in Kansas had been heated to the boiling point. The Bogus Legislature made the issue for itself and its party Slavery. The Free-State party was organized in self-defense. The laws passed by the Bogus Legislature so aroused the Free-State men that at the Big Springs convention they not only met the issue of slavery but they avowed resistance to all the bogus laws. This brought about the organization of the Law and Order party by the pro-slav­ery men. This party has been characterized by Mr. Connelley in his “Kansas and Kansans” as: “- a vigilance committee or assassination society as vicious and bloodthirsty as ever walked a Paris street or stole through the darkness of a Corsican waste.”


Both parties were armed and, in the fights and petty wars that followed, the new territory honestly earned the name of “Bloody Kansas.” The Wakarusa War in Douglas county, in 1855, started over the murder of a Free-State man named Dow, by a Pro-Slavery man named Coleman. The cause of the quarrel was personal and not political but friends of the two men took up the issue and the parties became involved. The sheriff of the county called on Governor Shannon for “3,000 men to carry out the laws.” Governor Shannon expected, or he so stated later, that the men he called out would be drawn from the citizens of Kansas Territory subject to military duty and it did not occur to him that the citizens of Missouri would cross into Kansas and volunteer to assist. The Kansas militia was unprepared and unorganized and the Free-State men got the jump on them. Shannon then called on Colonel E. V. Sumner, commanding the I st Cavalry at Leavenworth, for assistance but Sumner declined to move without authority from Washington. This mighty warfare, mainly of threats and boastful shouted words. finally resulted in the sacking of Lawrence May 21. 1856, by the Border-Ruffians.

About this time John Brown started his famous career in Kansas. Born in Connecticut in 1800, he was an ardent Abolitionist from his youth and came to Kansas to wage war on slavery in October, I 855. He lost no time in getting into action and on May 24, 1856, the famous Pottawatomie Massacre took place. John Brown, with his sons and thirty or forty men murdered five Pro-Slavery men at Dutch Henry’s Cross­ ing on Pottawatomie Creek. This was the first decisive blow struck by the Free-State people. Brown and his men later participated in the Battle of Black Jack.

On the 23d of April. in 1926, at Salina, Kansas, occurred the death of Luke F. Parsons, who, it is claimed, was the last survivor of the John Brown army of Kansas. Mr. Parsons was with Brown throughout his entire career in Kansas but did not accompany him to the East. Parsons was later sheriff of Saline County for a time.

The Border-Ruffians insisted upon the removal of Governor Shannon. He resigned and left the Territory June 23d, after having ordered Colonel Sumner to disperse the Free-State Legislature at Topeka. Colonel Sumner’s report to Colonel S. Cooper, the Adjutant General of the Army, concerning this affair is of interest.

“I concentrated five companies of my regiment at Topeka on the 3d instant, and brought up two pieces of artillery on that night. On the morning of the 4th the proclamation (enclosed) was read to the people by the Marshal. and also that from the President. A part of the members complied with


them, and did not assemble; but a number of both houses determined to meet at all hazards, and I was obliged to march my command into the town and draw it up in front of the building in which the Legislature was to meet. I then went into the House of Representatives and said to them that, under the proclamations of the President and the Governor, the Topeka Legislature could not assemble and must disperse. They bad the good sense to yield at once, and to say that they should not array themselves against the authorities of the United States. I then went into the upper house, or Council, and made a few remarks to them, and they at once coincided with the lower house, and thus the Topeka government was brought to an end. There were about five hundred men present, and it was a more delicate affair from the fact that it happened amidst the festivities of the 4th of July.”

John White Geary (for whom Geary County is now named) of Pennsylvania, was the third Governor of Kansas Territory. He was appointed Governor July 31, 1856, and he reached Le­ Compton September 10th. Almost immediately Lawrence was again threatened by the Border-Ruffians under the guise of the Law and Order party and such leaders as John W. Reid, Atchi­ son, Stringfellow, McLean and others. Geary went to Law­rence with a detachment of the Second Dragoons under command of Colonel Philip St. George Cooke and dispersed the Border-Ruffians, largely through his own efforts. This was the last organized effort of th’! Missourians to subjugate Kansas by force of arms.

Governor Geary made a tour of inspection through the Territory in the fall of 1856. In October, he visited Fort Riley. His escort was a company of dragoons under command of Major Sibley. Coming from the south he crossed the river at Riley City by ferry to Pawnee. Riley City at that time contained eight houses.

The Topeka, or Free-State, Legislature met January 6, 1857, but no quorum was present so it adjourned. The Territorial Legislature met January 12, 1857, resolved to oppose anything the Governor proposed. Governor Geary held his office until March but met with such opposition that he finally quit and left the territory at night to avoid assassination.

The next territorial governor was Robert J. Walker of Pennsylvania. He arrived at Lecompton May 27, 1857, after an understanding with the President that the people of Kansas should be compelled to submit to the Bogus Laws and that a constitution should be formed under which Kansas could be admitted as a State. President Buchanan feared that if the Free-State men put the government formed under the Topeka Constitution into effect that civil war might result, not


only in Kansas but in the Union. Walker was a strong man and an able one. He managed affairs so fairly that the Free­ State Party gained control of the Territorial Legislature. The President, whose policy in Kansas was influenced by the slave power, did not give Walker much support after this and Walker finally became discouraged and resigned in December, 1857.

James W. Denver succeeded Walker, being appointed May 12, 185 8. His administration was much more satisfactory to the President than to the people of Kansas. He resigned October 10, 1858, and was followed by Samuel Medary, December 1. 1858.

Medary’s administration was not as exciting as some of the

administrations of his predecessors but during that time the present constitution of the state was developed. He resigned in December, 1860, because he saw the early admission of Kansas into the Union and realized his term of office would be terminated thereby.

The act admitting Kansas into the Union was signed by President Buchanan, January 29, 1861. and the victory of freedom over slavery was won in Kansas.

Charles Robinson, the first governor of the State of Kansas, took his oath of office February 9, 18.61. The first Legislature met at Topeka March 26, 1861. James H. Lane was the first United States Senator from Kansas.

At that time there were few troops in Washington and a number of volunteer organizations were formed to protect the capitol. Senator Lane organized the Kansas men, then in Washington, into a company called the “Frontier Guard.” This company with the “Clay Guards,” organized by Cassius

M. Clay, of Kentucky, guarded the White House. The members of the Frontier Guard were quartered in the East Room.

No attempt has been made, in this brief record of events, to discuss in detail the history of Kansas. Volumes have been written on that subject. The history of no other state in the Union is more replete with interest. The early days of Kansas Territory bear the same relation to the Civil War that the Boston Tea Party does to the War of the Revolution. Kansas has names engraved on her roll of honor as precious to her as those Paul Revere and Israel Putnam are in New England. John Brown started his career in Kansas. James H. Lane is a name that will never be forgotten as long as a memory of the Free­ State Party remains.

If any reader who is interested in stirring, red-blooded, political history will delve into the early days of Kansas lore he will be more than repaid for his effort. It was the old, old story of right versus wrong and Kansas will always have it to her credit that right prevailed.



The first business card for Junction City read as follows:


“The Cincinnati and Kansas Manufacturing Company (Incorporated Oct. 3, 1855) has made arrangements for the construction of manufacturing establishments upon their town site (Millard City) and will encourage mechanics of all kinds. The inducements offered to settlers at this point are equal, if not superior, to any in the West.

“J.M. McArthur, President, Cincinnati, Ohio. D. Wilson, Agent, Millard City, K. T.”

On the opposite side was the following:


Is situated upon a gentle slope, in the forks of the Kansas River, near Fort Riley, Kansas. It is at the head of navigation and on the military road to Santa Fe, and the emigrant road to California, Salt Lake, and Oregon. Two railroads are already projected to this point and will soon be built. Fine stone quarries in the vicinity and every facility for building.”

Truly, land speculators have been the same in all ages!

The site now occupied by Junction City was first called Manhattan. A company represented by Pipher, Mead and others from Cincinnati sent a boat loaded with building material • up the Kaw to the head of navigation, which they thought was where Junction City now is. The boat was commanded by a Captain Millard and could only get as far as the mouth of the Big Blue River. Pipher and Mead soon became convinced that navigation of the Kaw was doubtful west of that point and decided to establish a to}Vn there, to which they transferred the name of Manhattan.

In the spring of 18 56, Samuel Dean, Captain Millard, Davies Wilson and others organized a company consisting of ten shareholders to locate Millard. To secure the sale of lots in the east, they took in Mr. Gregory of the Ohio Life and Trust Company and J. M. McArthur. Dean and Wilson held down the town site as long as they could without more funds and all



applications to the office in Cincinnati remaining unanswered, they abandoned it.

The Millard Company erected a rough building near where the Court House now stands. Part of the timbers of this building later went into the Washington House and part into Captain McClure’s stable.

Captain Robert Henderson who has been previously mentioned in connection with the Quivira Monument at Logan Grove, was one of the earliest settlers in this vicinity who remained and became active in Junction City affairs. The brief account of his career which follows was gathered by the writer partly from conversation with his son, Mr. Robert D. Henderson, and partly from an article written by George W. Martin for the Kansas Historical Society entitled, “A Kansas Soldier’s Escape from Camp Ford, Texas.”

Robert Henderson, born near Belfast, Ireland, January 8, 1834, came to the United States in 1851. In March, 1852, he enlisted in Company F, Second Dragoons, under Captain Patrick Calhoun. The next three years he spent chasing Indians in Texas. In 1854, his company, together with three companies of Texas rangers, went on a hazardous expedition to the Wichita Mountains, and for this special service he received a land warrant for 160 acres.

In October, 1855, he came to Fort Riley, by way of Council Grove, under command of Colonel Philip St. George Cooke.

R. E. Laurenson, Hartman Lichtenhan, E. S. McFarland and Patrick King, afterward citizens of Geary County, were members of the same company. In October, 1856, when Governor Geary visited Fort Riley, Henderson was one of the men detailed to fire a salute for him. At this time there was a tailor in Henderson’s company, by the name of Richard Chivers, who, apparently, was one of Henderson’s “buddies.” One day while hunting, Chivers discovered the site of what is now Henderson place, a short distance south of Junction City. The land then had not been surveyed and was not open to preemption but Chivers was so struck with the beauty of the place that he decided to claim it. Later he showed it to Henderson, who liked it so much that he gave Chivers ten dollars for his claim to the land by right of discovery:

While a soldier at Fort Riley, young Henderson witnessed an incident that left a lasting impression on his mind. One morn­ ing a negro woman slave, belonging to an officer at the post who afterwards became famous, was tied to the wheels of a cannon and whipped. A few years later when the Civil War broke out the memory of this incident was all that was necessary to cause Henderson to join the Union forces.


In March, 185 7, Henderson was discharged from the service and promptly preempted a claim on the land discovered by Chivers. The claim was entered at the land office in Ogden in 1858. At the time Chivers discovered this spot there was a log cabin in the timber comprising what is now Logan Grove. The cabin showed signs of age when Chivers found it. It was used as a dwelling place by Henderson and his bride, while “proving up” on their claim. This cabin is still standing not far from the Quivira Monument. It may be seen in the picture with that monument and, save for the roof, is the same today as it was in 1857. It probably was built by hunters or trappers.

July 14, 1857, Mr. Henderson was married to Miss Eliza­ beth Douglas, by Chaplain Clarkson, in the Chaplain’s quarters at Fort Riley. After living in the log cabin for about a year, they moved to Junction City and on August 6, 1858, Lizzie Henderson was born (the first white child to be born) in the new town. Henry Thiele shares with Lizzie Henderson the similar distinction of having been the first white male infant to be born in Junction City.

In October, 1856, a party led by P. B. Plumb, afterwards Colonel Plumb and U. S. Senator from Kansas, arrived at what is now Junction City. The members of the party were looking for a place to locate. A. C. Pierce, one of the party, was in favor of locating on the townsite of Millard but Plumb did not agree, so they • went on to the west and located the town of Mariposa in Saline County. The town they created was soon abandoned and the party dissolved, Plumb going to Emporia and Pierce to the present Junction City.

It would not be fair, in even so brief an account of the early days of Junction City as this chapter must contain, to pass over the coming of two such distinguished citizens of Kansas so lightly. The author had many pleasant conversations with Captain Pierce on the early history of Kansas and the country about Junction City.

In 1856 emigration of Free-State settlers to Kansas, through Missouri, became increasingly difficult owing to the opposition of the Missourians and it was necessary to find another route. General Lane began to plan a route through Iowa and Nebraska and July 4, 1856, a circular was issued in Iowa announcing the establishment of the Lane Trail. The following extracts from this circular are quoted from an article entitled “The Lane Trail” by William E. Connelley in Volume XIII of the Kansas Historical Collections:


“The undersigned, IOWA STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE, for the benefit of FREE KANSAS, beg to leave to represent


that the dangers and difficulties of sending Emigrants to Kansas through Missouri has been attempted to be remedied by open­ ing through Iowa an Overland Route. * * * *

“It is proposed to take the following course through Iowa.

“Leaving Iowa City-proceed to Sigourney, thence to Oskaloosa, thence to Knoxville, thence to Indianola, thence to Osceola, thence to Sidney, and to Quincy in Fremont County, Iowa, on the Missouri River, 80 miles from Topeka, the capital of Kansas. An Agent has been through the State by this Route, and the citizens in each of the aforesaid towns have appointed active committees. The inhabitants of this line will do all in their power to assist Emigrants. The distance from Iowa City to Sidney on the Missouri River is 300 miles, and the cost of conveying passengers will be about $25.00. The ‘Western Stage Company’ have formed a new line of coaches and will put on all the stock necessary for the accommodation of every Emigrant who may come.

“As Iowa is more deeply interested than any other State in saving Kansas from the grasp of the Slave power and in the success of the proposed project, the people of this State are urgently requested to organize Committees and contribute to the prosecution of this scheme of settling Kansas with FREE STATE men:-”

These circulars were distributed all over the North and the route became known as the Lane Trail. It was later marked by piles of stone built so as to be visible from one hill to the next. It was over this trail that Plumb and Pierce came to Kansas.

Alfred C. Pierce was born in Otsego County, New York, September 13, 1835, of a family distantly connected with that of President Pierce. When a young man twenty years old, he read an account, in the New York Tribune, of the murder of a Free State man (Brown) by the Border-Ruffians in Leavenworth, Kansas. Then and there he decided to go to Kansas. He had little money but he left New York in March, 1856, and worked and taught school along the way to pay his expenses. In August, 1856, he arrived at Iowa City. There he secured work in a law office and in September he met Preston B. Plumb in a barber shop. Plumb was two or three years younger than Pierce and the two formed an acquaintance that ripened into friendship. Plumb was in Iowa City to aid in the transportation of arms for the use of the Free State party in Kansas and had three teams. He told Pierce that he was going to Kansas and that Pierce might go with him.

One of the wagons was loaded with supplies and one with Sharp’s rifles, revolvers, bowie knives and ammunition. There were two hundred and fifty each of the rifles, revolvers and


knives. The other wagon carried a brass cannon and ammunition. The munitions were obtained from a Dr. Bowen who was agent for the National Kansas Committee. The party left Iowa City early in September and consisted of about ten men. Plumb was in charge. 0. A. Curtis (father of Senator Charles Curtis) was a member of the party. Captain Pierce told the author that the rifles were left at Tabor post office. The night before reaching Topeka the cannon was hidden in the brush.

After stopping in Topeka a few days, Plumb and most of the party, including Pierce, started up the Kansas River. They camped at Juniata on the Big Blue. Pierce and two other r.1en went up that river, stopping the first night with an old man named Garrison where the town of Garrison now is and the next at the house of a man named Randolph where Randolph is now. There they turned back, as Pierce became convinced that the first railroad would be built up the Kansas and not up the Blue and that their settlement, for they were seeking a townsite, should be on the Kansas River.

In the meantime Plumb had gone up the Kansas valley to where Salina is now. Plumb and Pierce’s party met at Chap­ man’s Creek. Pierce wanted to locate where Junction City is now but Plumbobjected because of its proximity to Fort Ri­ ley, the officers of which were all pro-slavery. The townsite of Mariposa was laid out about a mile from the present site of Salina. Plumb went back to Ohio to get emigrants. Pierce built a house at Mariposa but did not remain there long. He went to Ogden to work and came to Junction City when that town was started. The last of the settlers at Mariposa drifted away in March, 185 7.

In the summer of 1857 a town company was organized by Thomas Reynolds, A. J. Mead, J. R. McClure, Robert Wilson and Abram Barry. This company started a town, or rather selected a site, to which they gave the name of Humboldt. The object of the organizers was to locate their town on the abandoned townsite of Millard but the attempt was a failure.

The history of Junction City actually began with the organization of the Junction City Town Company in the fall of 1857. The name Junction City was derived from the location of the proposed townsite at the junction of the Republican and Smoky Hill forks of the Kansas River. The nickname “Junktown ” was first applied to the town by plainsmen in the early days and was not first used in derision by military officers at Fort Riley, as has been commonly supposed. J. R. McClure was president of this company, Daniel Mitchell secretary, and Robert Wilson, treasurer. Other members were F.

N. Blake, John T. Price and P. Z. Taylor. The survey of the townsite was begun in the latter part of December and finished in the summer of 1858.










(Copied from en11:ravin11: owned by Henry Thiele, Junction City)


Work on the first building in Junction City began in May 1858. It was near the intersection of Washington and Seventh Streets. In an article entitled “My First Days in Kansas” by Mrs. S. B. White, published in Volume XI of the Kansas Historical Collections, R. C. Whitney is credited with building the first frame house in Junction City. A footnote states, “The first frame house in Jun_ction City built by him was torn down in the spring of 1910 to give place for a large modern stone building for the Central National Bank.” This was probably the building referred to above and erected in 1858, although George W. Martin, in an address delivered at the opening of the George Smith Library in 1908, states: “A few months ago I had some correspondence in an attempt to locate the site of the first building erected in Junction City. There is some difference of opinion as to whether it was on this corner, or diagonally across the street on the Wiley corner. But I ran across the fact that prior to the days of Junction City, Davies Wilson, representing the Millard Town Company, had a frame shanty on this site.” (Author’s note: Where the library is located.)

Among· the officers and enlisted men stationed at Fort Riley in 1856, were several Master Masons, who, being desirous of organizing a lodge, extended invitations to all masons living at, or in the immediate vicinity of the Post to attend a meeting to be held at the quarters of Major Lewis A. Armistead, at that time Commanding Officer. Major Armistead’s quarters were then at the west end of the south line, directly across the parade from the present club. The meeting was held in the fall or 1856 and numerous names were suggested, but as the new lodge was to be composed of both civilians and soldiers it was finally decided to call it Union Lodge.

The lodge met at regular intervals at Fort Riley until the summer of 1858. The first meeting in Junction City was held July 18, 1858, in a small cabin standing on the premises of John Miller, in the northwestern part of the city. near the intersection of Webster and 11th Streets. Of the charter members of the lodge, William Cuddy opened the first store in Junction City; Chaplain Clarkson remained at Fort Riley until 1861 when he resigned;l; Armistead became a general in the Confederate Army and was killed in Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg.

This was the only fraternal organization to have its origin in Fort Riley. The next to appear in Junction City was Frontier Lodge Number 125, I. 0. 0. F. organized March 29, 1867 and that was followed by Junction City Chapter Number 17

R. A. M.. October 18, 1870. Centennial Lodge Number 18,


K. of P. was chartered April 24, 1876, and Junction City Lodge Number 32, A. 0. U. W., January 30, 1880.

In the summer of 18 59, a contest arose between the Junction City Town Company and the Millard Company over some land embraced in the townsite, each claiming it by virtue of its organization and location. A U. S. land office was established in the fall of 1857 at Ogden and the dispute over the townsite was heard there and decided in favor of the Junction City Company.

During this year, Junction City was visited, as nearly as can be determined, for the last time by a steamboat. Mention has already been made of the Excel, a small boat that brought building material from Missouri to Fort Riley in 1854. In 1859, the Gus Linn made several trips to Junction City. The railroads secured the passage of a bill in the Kansas legislature in 1864 which effectively put a stop to efforts at navigation. This bill provided that the Kansas, Republican, Smoky Hill, Solomon and Big Blue rivers were not navigable and authorized the bridging or damming of those rivers. Efforts at navigation persisted, however, in one form or another, for we find that on the 15th of March, 1879, Major Chas. R. Suter, C. of E., reported to Brig. Gen. A. A. Humphreys, Chief of Engineers, U. S. A., that the Kansas River could be made navigable from Junction City to its mouth for $450,000. The controversy over the navigability of the Kansas has existed for many years and there is no lack of arguments on either side, but it is unlikely that active interest will ever be revived.

In April, 1859, the first election of town officers was held. William Cuddy was elected mayor but imperfections were found in the organization and the elected officers never qualified. Another election was held in July and J. C. Whitney became the first mayor. The first councilmen were Samuel Orr, Edward Cobb and W. K. Bartlett. The first town clerk was V. K. Speer.

The Junction City Sentinel was the first newspaper started in the town. It was a Democratic paper and Ben Keyser was its first editor. The first number was issued in June, 1858. In July, 1859, Keyser was succeeded by Samuel Medary, Jr., who changed the name to the Kansas Statesman. W.W. Herb­ ert and William Cuddy bought it in 1860 and the paper passed out of existence in 1861.

In accordance with a petition presented to the board of commissioners asking for a change in the location of the county seat, which was at that time at Ashland, the question was submitted to the people and an election ordered to be held on June 25, 1860. The contesting places were Junction City, Union, Ash­ land, and Riley City. Ashland was a post office in 1855;


discontinued in 1868 and the town was vacated in 1873. It was located south of the river near Manhattan, northwest of what is now Dewey’s Ranch and is what is sometimes locally referred to as the Ashland Bottom. Union was a very small town or township located near the mouth of Clark’s Creek. (Author’s Note: Information in regard to Union is rather vague but Captain A. C. Pierce who was here in 1860 and who took the census about that time, informed the writer that the above location is approximately correct.) There were 287

votes for Junction City, 129 for Union, 3 for Ashland and 3 for Riley City. The first meeting of the county commissioners was held at Junction City July 2, 1860.

The county in which Junction City is located was originally named Davis County for Jefferson Davis. It was established by the pro-slavery legislature of 1855. Riley County got its name directly from Fort Riley. Ogden was named for Major Ogden. There seems to have been a bit of political chicanery in the subsequent juggling of the county lines.

George W. Martin prepared a paper which was read at a Home-corning Week in Junction City in August, 1909, bearing on this subject and extracts from it are of interest.

“Davis and Riley were very reasonably shaped counties. Og­ den was the county seat of Riley and it also had the U. S. land office and was reasonably situated. Manhattan and Junction City combined to crucify Ogden. I have no documents to prove this, but that is the way it looks to me.. Manhattan took the county seat of Riley and Junction City took the land office. But Junction City was without a county and hence the gradual reconstruction into its present shape of Davis or Geary County. Riley City was an ambitious point and had also to be wiped out.

“And here we come to a point where we have some documents. The legislature of 1857 directed that the people of Riley hold an election for a county seat on the first Monday of October, 1857. The same date was fixed for a county seat vote in Davis but this did not happen until June 25, 1860, at which time Davis was extended north of the river. But Riley voted on the 5th of October, 1857. In placing in order certain archives of our library we came across a bunch of testimony about that election, causing grave suspicion of crookedness, and upon which Manhattan made a contest before the legislature of 1858. Andrew J. Mead was a member of the council and Abraham Berry a member of the house. The latter was chairman of the special committee to investigate and he reported that Ogden received 193 votes and Manhattan 156; majority for Ogden 37. They found 59 illegal votes at Ogden for Ogden, which were thrown out, leaving a majority


of 22 for Manhattan. Governor Denver signed a bill January 30, 1858, making Manhattan the county seat.

“Junction was now comparatively at ease concerning county lines. But the extreme length of Riley County north, extending westward across the hills to the Republican, gave Manhattan constant distress. The town needed strength in the south and in 1871 Riley gobbled Zeandale township from Wabaunsee. Milford was a thorn in the flesh of Manhattan, though friendly enough to Junction. McDowell was of no use to Junction City, except to come here to pay their taxes; the people did all their trading in Manhattan. One night during the session of 1873, Junction City and Manhattan got together and swapped territory. How Milford roared! The dear people in either township knew nothing of it until it was all over.”

The above interesting and diverting bit of local history was inserted in this narrative, not with a desire to revive old disputes, but merely as an interesting incident. History has ever been thus. We have seen how the United States juggled its states about, one for the South and one for the North, a concession here and again there. In like manner a new state shuffles its counties over the board like pawns and, in turn the countries play their townships against each other. And towns and cities manipulate their wards. It reminds one of the fleas that have “lesser fleas to bite ’em. And so on, ad infinitum.”

The first post office in Davis County was established by Robert Wilson, the sutler, at Fort Riley in 1853. The first post office in Junction City was opened in 1858 with L. J. Harris as postmaster. Casper Bundle opened the first hotel in 1859 and in May 1860, work commenced on the Episcopal Church which was the first church in town. “Jeb” Stuart, afterward the great cavalry leader of the Confederacy, was then stationed at Fort Riley as a lieutenant. Captain A. C. Pierce told the writer that Lieutenant Stuart was a very religious man and that he helped to raise part of the money to finance the building of this church.

Space does not permit going into details concerning the early settlers of Junction City and vicinity. The story of each of them would reveal much interesting personal and local history.

Stephen B. White, the first lawyer in Junction City, came to Riley County with his family in 1854 and grew up with Og­ den and Junction City. In 1859 they lived for a time in a shack where the George Smith Memorial Library now stands.

William H. Mackey was another early settler who maintained a carriage and smith shop in Junction City for many years. He was in charge of the blacksmith shops at Fort Riley in 1855 for a time and erected the first railing around the Ogden Monument. His daughter, Miss Ella Mackey, gave the


writer many personal reminiscences of those early days. Wil­ liam H. Mackey, Jr. has made an enviable reputation as a peace officer and is now warden of the Kansas State Penitentiary.

The McClures, Orrs, Rosses and many other early families would be worthy of mention in a more detailed history. (Author’s note: While not a part of Junction City history, it will be of interest to military readers to know that John Erwin, father of “Big Red” and “Little Red” Erwin, settled on Chapman Creek in 1858. At that time he was the only settler in the vicinity. Mr. Erwin operated a stage station for some time in the early days.)

George Smith, for whom the library is named, was an eccentric and wealthy bachelor who lived here for many years and in his will, donated the funds for the building and perpetual care of the library. •

Following the demise of the Junction City Sentinel the town was without a paper for a short time until the Frontier Guide was started by H. T. Geery. In September, 1861, the name was changed to the Kansas Frontier and in November, 1861, Geery was succeeded by George E. Dummer. On the 10th of March, 1862, the soldiers stationed at Fort Riley came to the conclusion that the editor of the Kansas Frontier conducted his paper more in favor of Secession than the. Union and that his sentiments as expressed therein were disloyal, and being impatient and restless at being kept inactive, charged upon the office of the Frontier, doing considerable damage to the property. Some of the citizens became indignant at this and held a meeting the next day in Taylor’s Hall denouncing the action of the soldiers. The meeting was not one of the most orderly and quite a boisterous time was had over a resolution introduced to the effect that the paper was loyal and asking the meeting to endorse it as such. Whether it was the proceedings of this meeting, or something said by the editor, that further aroused the indignation of the soldiers is not known, but on the evening of March 15th they· made another attack upon the office and utterly demolished it. George Montague in a statement in Volume X, of the Kansas Historical Collections, says these soldiers were from Company F of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry and Company C of the Eighth Kansas Infantry.

. Dummer left town and many caustic comments were made in the Union. The last reference to him was under the date of May 15th: “Dummer, ex-brother of the quill, who lately suffered martyrdom in this city, has enlisted in the Second Kansas Regiment. As he has got himself into pretty good company, some hope may be entertained for him.”

(Photo loaned by Geo. Smith Memorial Library, Junction City)

Looking South from North Washington Street tn 1879


The Junction City Union made its first appearance September 12, 1861, under the name of the Smoky Hill and Republican Union. It was Union in politics and its first editor and proprietor was G. W. Kingsbury. April 15, 1865, George W. Martin took over the paper under the name of the Junction City Union. The paper did not start issuing as a daily until 1896. In 1869, Martin and Delaney were publishers and proprietors of the Weekly Union. George W. Martin has done so much for Kansas and Junction City, by collecting and preserving, as well as writing, historical notes, that his name will never be forgotten.

George Washington Martin was born at Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, June 30, 1841. He came to Kansas with his parents in 1857 and his first employment was with the Lecompton Union as a printer and chore boy. He continued at Lecompton until October, 1859, when he went back East to Philadelphia where he entered a book publishing house to complete his five years’ apprenticeship. In the spring of 1861, he returned to Kansas, reaching Junction City in August of that year. Martin became associated with the Union almost at once. At the time the Union was the only newspaper published between Manhattan and Denver and continued so until 1867, when B. J. F. Hanna started the Salina Herald. Martin immediately began to boom Kansas, and the vicinity of Junction City in particular.

The Leavenworth Conservative in 1864, stated, “The editor of the Junction city Union believes that when God made things he put one point of the compass where Junction City now stands and gave it a twirl.” Enthusiasm was Martin’s . outstanding characteristic in everything he undertook. He was very successful as an editor and this work brought him prestige and public preference. He was postmaster at Junction City in 1865, register of the land office and assessor of internal revenue for all the region between Manhattan and the west line of the state. He was state printer in 1873,. 1875, 1877, and 1879; in the state legislature of 1883 and mayor of Junction City in 1883 and 1884.

The Gazette of Kansas City, Kansas came under Martin’s hand in 1888 and with it he won great editorial prestige. Through its columns he took up the fight for the rebuilding of Fort Riley, which will be referred to later, and the fight to change the name of Davis County to Geary County. Perhaps his greatest work was in connection with the Kansas Historical Society. His assistance in securing funds made it possible for the Society to build its present home the Memorial and Historical Building at Topeka. He was Secretary of that society from December, 1899, to February, 1914. He was buried at Junction City, March 30, 1914.


The Junction City Avalanche was a Democratic paper that made its first appearance July 17, 1868, and had a brief career of about three months.

August 14, 1873, the Junction City Tribute was started as an independent paper. In 1902 it became the Republic un­ der its present owner and proprietor, Mr. C. H. Manley, Jr.

Another Junction City Sentinel was established in the late eighties. It had various owners and finally was bought by Mr. Manley in 1921.

The Davis County Republican was a seven column sheet that appeared in September, 1882, under the ownership of George A. Clark. This paper was later sold to the Union and the Sentinel just referred to.

Prior to 1861, there was no contract for carrying the mail farther west than Junction City, but in April of that year a contract was let to Samuel Orr, for carrying the mail once a week from Junction City to Salina.

In November of 1861, Streeter and Strickler commenced work on their brick building on the corner of Sixth and Wash­ ington. It was a two-story building and the first one in town to be constructed of brick. This was a very famous firm. Their motto is best expressed in the words of their “ad” as it appeared in the old Weekly Union:


Wholesale and Retail Dealers in


“Everything” was their trademark and it was copyrighted.

Another of George W. Martin’s papers called “A Chapter from the Archives” in Volume XII of the Kansas Historical Collections contains some notes of interest regarding this firm.

“They were not very prudent, but quite useful. exhibiting the general utility demanded of all successful business men at that time. They are supposed to be the first firm to use the word ·everything.’ A joker from the East settled near Solomon, and struck with their advertisement ‘everything,’ in a very formal manner ordered a $1,000.00 bull. The firm very seriously reported that they were out of that line of bulls but expected to have one any day. They telegraphed to Illinois for such a bull and in a few days it was delivered at Solomon. The man who attempted the joke was equal to the occasion, took the bull and paid for it. The firm sometimes differed on


local matters and in one city election both took money from the same till to spend against each other.”

These men did a huge business, making and losing large sums of money. They were very active in Junction City as the old newspapers of that date show. In the Weekly Union of May 15, 1869, appeared the following notice:

“The partnership heretofore existing between Daniel H. Smith and James Streeter under the firm name of Smith and Streeter in keeping hotel knowt:t as ‘Hale House’ in Junction City, Kansas, is this day dissolved.”

And in the issue of July 17, 1869, “James Streeter and Company, Bankers. James Streeter and R. 0. Rizer. On Washington Street in Streeter and Strickler’s Block.”

In May, 1872, Streeter was again.interested in a bank, for at that time the First National Bank was established with Rob­ ert McBratney as president and Streeter as cashier.

In May, 1862, we find that considerable excitement was created, not only in Davis County, but in those adjacent, from the fact that a body of Comanche Indians had entered the Republican Valley and were driving off the settlers, and committing other dep·”dations. The large number of troops in and around Fort Riley afforded protection to people within easy reach of that place and Junction City was sought as a place of refuge. •

On the fourth of August in the same year, the first stage coach left Junction City for the far west. This was quite an event as it made a through stage route from Leavenworth to Fort Larned, via Topeka, Manhattan, Fort Riley, Junction City, Abilene, and Salina. About this time, Abilene consisted of a house, a small store and a blacksmith shop and Salina was only slightly larger, having two or three houses, a hotel, a store and a blacksmith shop. Salina was the farthest west settlement in Kansas. This line was operated by the Kansas Stage Company and the fare from Leavenworth to Junction City was about ten dollars.

On the 17th of September, 1862, the whole frontier was thrown into a state of feverish excitement by a band of bushwhackers who made a dash through the country and raided Sa­ lina. Guards were posted every night around Junction City for several weeks after this.

During the Civil War, and even before that time, many of the people desired to change the name of the county from Davis to one more agreeable to the Union sentiment of the county. In 1861 or 1862, an effort was made to change it to Lyon in honor of General Lyon. Failing in this, another attempt was made in 1864 to have it changed to Lincoln but this was likewise a failure.


Prairie fires were frequent in these days and were little like the fires of today when a farmer selects a favorable wind and deliberately burns over a field. Then, death and destruction lurked in the path of a fire, for the thick grass was shoulder high in many places and burned with a flash and a roar. In March, 1863, a prairie fire approached Junction City and swept over the uninhabited part of the townsite but fortunately caused little damage.

The first bridge over the Republican, west of Fort Riley, was constructed in June, 1856, by the Government. It was located a little above the mouth of that river but lasted only a short time when it was washed away by high water. After that for some time a ferry was the only means of crossing the river.

In 1864, a company was formed, called the Republican River Bridge Company, for the purpose of erecting a toll bridge across the Republican. March 2. in 1867, an Act of Congress was passed, releasing from the reservation some 4,000 acres of land (all that between the Republican and Smoky Hill Rivers) to the State of Kansas to aid in the construction of a bridge over the Republican River, on the public highway. on condition that the State should keep up and maintain the bridge and that the bridge should be free to the use of the Government of the United States for all transit purposes forever, without toll or charges. By a special law of the State Legislature February 26, 1867. the State of Kansas accepted this grant and authorized the Republican River Bridge Company of Davis County to build the bridge and deposit with the Governor of the State satisfactory surety and guarantee to fully indemnify the State against any loss by reason of guarantee given to the United States. In consideration thereof, or words to that effect, the company was to receive the land.

In the Weekly Union of May 22, 1869, the following item appeared: “The Republican River Bridge Company held its annual meeting last Thursday evening the 20th instant. The following Board of Directors was elected: S. M. Strickler,

G. E. Beates, James Streeter, H. F. Hale, S. D. Houston, R. McBratney. Thomas L. Price, S. M. Strickler, president; G.

E. Beates, Secretary and James Streeter, Treasurer.”

On the 20th of August, 1877, the bridge fell into the river. But by that time the company had divided up the spoils and was dissolved; it no longer existed. Theoretically the State of Kansas was left holding the sack. Actually, a compromise of some sort was affected by which the Government built the present bridge and the State assisted to some extent with the approaches to it.

The first schools in Davis County were maintained by the parents interested. Three such schools were conducted in the





(Photo loaned by Geo. Smith Memorial Librnry, Junction City)

Harmony Fire Department in 1869

This company was nicknamed “The Hornets”









winter of 185 8 and 1859; one was at Milford, one in Junction City, and one about four miles northeast of Junction City. The teachers were A. B. Whiting, Samuel Orr and Marcia Pierce. In 1860 Mrs. Charlotte McFarland taught a term in the kitchen of the City Hotel. then vacant, in Junction City. (Author’s note: The City Hotel was on the corner of Eighth and Madison). The first district school in Junction City was opened December 10, 1862, and the district included about ten square miles.

In January, 1866, great excitement was created in Junction City over what would now be considered a trivial matter. A little four year old colored boy, a child of one George Young, made his appearance in the public school. The school at that time was located in the upper story of a two-story stone building on Sixth Street. Those in favor of educating the boy with the white children prevailed and January 18th the building occupied by the school was burned down, the general supposition being that it was burned as a result of the row. The boy was later educated in the public schools but probably in a colored school as a separate school for colored children was opened September 14, 1868. •

The years 1866 to 1870 marked the beginning of a new era in transportation for this section of the country. Existing stage lines were improved and new ones were started, but most important of all was the coming of the railroads. The first through mail for Santa Fe over the Smoky Hill route left Junction City July 2, 1866. In 1867, a tri-weekly line of mail coaches was established between Junction City and Santa Fe. The time of the through trip from Junction City to Santa Fe by time card was fourteen days.

The Kansas Pacific Railroad was the first to enter Davis County. In October, 1866, the depot grounds were marked off and a turn-table erected. The railroad reached Junction City November 10, 1866, and the same month trains began to run between Leavenworth and that point.

The Union Pacific Southern Branch, now the M. K. and T., was the next railroad at Junction City, work beginning at the north end of the road in April. 1869. The contract for the building of the Junction City and Fort Kearney Railroad as far as Clay Center was let April 9, 1872.

At about the time these lines were written a movement was under way, initiated by business men of Clay Center, to have the U. P. buy the Missouri Pacific’s Prosser branch, running from Concordia to Hastings, Nebraska. They desired to establish through service between Kansas City and the U. P.. main line through Nebraska, by way of Junction City. As may be seen from the name, it was originally intended to ex-


tend this line from Junction City to Kearney. Actually, it never got any further than Belleville. Purchase of the Prosser branch would practically complete the Fort Kearney branch of the U. P. to the point its originators intended..

On the 15th of May, I 866, the cornerstone of the Trott Brothers building on Washington Street was laid and in it was placed a copy of the Junction City Union in a tin box.

An issue of the Weekly Union of May 15, 1869, was selected by the writer at random with the belief that the following advertisements of the various business and professional men of that date might be of interest.

The Great Western Billiard Rooms on Sixth Street had a large ad in which the reader was informed that they had the “best kept tables in the city. House furnished with choicest brands of liquors, cigars, etc. Free lunch every night.” C. F. Carroll was the proprietor.

W. S. Blakely was Clerk of the District Court and C. H. Trott was Postmaster.

W. D. Knox advertised wagons for sale.

Blattner and Blakely sold reapers and· mowers. Under the heading “Attorneys at Law”· were White and Austin; S. B. Wh te; Canfield. McClure and Claggett; Gilpatrick and Cas­ well; John Williams, and H. H. Snyder.

The Washington House was on the corner of Sixth and Washington, three doors from the land office and G. L. Pat­ rick was the proprietor. (The Bartell House was not opened until January, 1879). The Hale House was across the street where the Bartell House is now located. It was destroyed by fire in 1874 and was followed by the Bartell House.

Alfred Pray was a Gunmaker. He sold and repaired guns, rifles, pistols, Wheeler and Wilson’s Sewing Machines (the old reliable standby of those days). melodeons, pianos and organs.

C. Smith we find a Wholesale Dealer in Wines and Liquors. “Keeps constantly on hand a superior article of old Bourbon Whiskey. Also all kinds of bottled Wines and Liquors.” Seventh Street, Junction City.

Wm. Lockstone was a dealer in confections, soda water, fruits, nuts, toys, musical instruments, etc. (One might pause to wonder how extensive the sale of soda water was in those days).

Peter Schimmer and Ernest Thiele were engaged in Furniture Upholstering and Cabinet Making on Seventh Street between Washington and Jefferson.

Horne and Jones, and W. Finlaw, M. D. were Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. L. Hall was a Physician, Surgeon and Ac­ coucher with his office in the Drug Store Building of Hall and Porter. W. J. Jackson was a Surgeon Dentist.

o0 ·










(Photo loaned by “Jake” Callen)

Arizona or Bust

Old Grizzly (A. W. Callen) at the start of one of his expeditions to Arizona about 1873. Old Grizzly mounted in foreground shaking hands._


Stickney and Company, Successors to Latshaw, Quade and Company, were dealers in lumber, on Jefferson Street near Seventh.

Probably the oldest business in town that has continued unchanged is Sargent’s Drug Store, in these days the home of the “Coca-Cola Senate ” where “Chief” Nicholson and other city fathers gather in the evening to settle the affairs of the town. W.W. Sargent moved to his new store on Washington Street in June, 1869. The firm name was W.W. Sargent and Company, Druggists, and the building was in the same loca- tion as the present one. •

The B. Rockwell Company, Department Store, was established in 1865, and remained in business until 1926. In March, 1889, their new store was opened in the building on the corner of Eighth and Washington where the firm recently went out of business. At the time of the opening of their store in 1889, the Weekly Union of March 16th states: “The Notions counter was presided over by Mrs. Wills and Mrs. Gaylord; the Boot and Shoe Department by Frank Brooks; Men’s Furnishings by George Faringhy (this is the same Mr. Faringhy referred to in other places by the writer) ; and the Grocery Department was in charge of George A. Rockwell, who had as assistants, M. L. Coryell, Harry Sawtelle, Harry Ellis, and August Rubin.”

P. Z. Taylor sold Mitchell’s Premium Wagons.

The New York Store, under the management of H. Ganz and Bro., sold Dry Goods and Notions and was located opposite the Park.

F. S. Mead and B. Harney were Merchant Tailors. W. E. Sutliff and Company were dealers in Ready Made Clothing, on Washington Street between Seventh and Eighth.

A. W. Callen, located one door north of the Hale House, and N. Gilbert were Grocers, while Walter Daly was a Butcher and Provision Dealer.

The bankers included: Hale and Company, Bankers and Dealers in Exchange, Gold and Silver Coin and Gold Dust; Robert S. Miller; James Streeter and Company (Streeter and Rizer).

There were no morticians, but John Gross advertised Furniture and Coffins.

Patterson and Hall were Hardware Dealers on Wiley’s Corner at Seventh and Washington. McKenzie and Smith were metal workers and also sold stoves and furniture. (Author’s note: This is George Smith previously mentioned.)

Drechsel and Beeler apparently had the only Wagon Factory in town. This was on Seventh Street. The only bakery advertised was the New Bakery operated by H. P. Hynes, “Bakery, family grocery and provisions.”


It was located on Washington Street, one door north of M. E. Clark’s new building.

The M. E. Clark was referred to as Milton E. Clark who ran a General Merchandise store advertised as the “Stone Store with the Iron Front,” on Washington Street.

Strickler, Hyatt and Company operated the Junction City Lime Works. “Fresh lime every three hours.”

Streeter and Strickler have already been mentioned. Hall and Porter sold Condition Powders, Drugs, etc. The Scandinavian Line (tourist) had a local agent in the person of John

P. Swenson. • B. Harvey was a wholesale and retail liquor dealer. A. C. Pierce was apparently the only real estate dealer. James Cormack wanted hauling to do.

The city election of April 5, 1869, was one of the liveliest ever held in Junction City. The candidates for mayor were R. O. Rizer and R. 0. Miller. There was a great deal of argument and political furor and Miller finally won.

Civilization’s softening influence may be detected in the following notice: “Proclamation. Mayor’s Office, J. C. June 24, 1869. The exigencies of the times demand that hereafter, no citizen, officer or soldier, except when on duty, shall carry on their persons any pistol, revolver, bowie knife, or slung shot or other deadly weapon, either concealed or otherwise, within the limits of Junction City:


A. C. Schnell Clerk.

R. S. Miller,


June 24, 1869, this section of the The·country was visited by a great flood. On Thursday morning it rained, but no one thought it unusual. About 5: 30 that evening there was a cloudburst lasting fifteen minutes and at 9: 00 o’clock it began to rain steadily and continued until Friday morning. About noon on Friday news began to arrive that men, women and children were clinging to branches of trees and that houses, bridges and cattle were being swept away. Twelve or fifteen lives were lost on Chapman Creek. The Smoky Hill was four miles wide at some places and was ten feet higher than

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