Crawford County, Kansas
 
 

First Biennial Report of the State Board of Agriculturefor Years 1877 - 1878
Crawford County, Kansas

 

Information from the First Biennial Report of the State Board of Agriculture to the Legislature of the State of Kansas, for the Years 1877-78;
Topeka, Kansas: Kansas State Board of Agriculture. Rand, McNally & Co., Printers and Engravers, Chicago. 1878

 
First Settlements:
  • Crawford Township: on Big Cow Creek, settled 1861; West Banks in Girard, April 1868 by Dr. Charles Strong.
  • Osage Township: August 1865
  • Sheridan Township: Summer of 1865 by J. F. Gates, Stephen Odgen, W. J. McWirt, John Hamilton and others.
  • Washington Township: Fall 1866
  • Grant Township: 1866
  • Lincoln Township: 1840 by the Cherokee Indians; 1852 by the whites - Hathaways, Coonrods, Gallia, Howard, Fowler, Markmans, Hale & others.
  • Sherman Township: 1850 Harden Matthews
  • Walnut Township: 1857
 
First Churches Erected:
  • Crawford Township: Girard - Presbyterian 1870
  • Sheridan Township: Monmouth - Presbyterian 1873; Cherokee City - Methodist 1874 (at that place there is now one Christian and one Baptist church)
  • Washington Township: Mulberry Grove - Methodist Fall of 1871
  • Grant Township: Catholic 1868
  • Walnut Township: Walnut Station - Catholic 1872
    School houses are generally used for religious services throughout the county.
 
 
First School Houses:
  • Crawford Township: on Cow Creek, a log house, District No. 36, since replaced by a frame
  • Osage Township: April 1870, District No. 55 - the first school was opened in November 1867 by Miss Florence Ives, in a private residence.
  • Sheridan Township: 1867 by J. W. McWirt, John Hamilton and others
  • Washington Township: 1868, District No. 40, a log house, since replaced by frame.
  • Lincoln Township: 1858, the first school was held in a small log house, formerly occupied as a dwelling, in the NE part of the township, the settlers joining to defray the expenses.
  • Sherman Township: 1870, District No. 12
  • Walnut Township: 1868, District No. 52, the settlers hauled the logs and the windows and shingles were brought from Kansas City.
 
 
First Business Establishments:
  • Crawford Township: Crawfordsville - Percy Daniels opened a General Merchandise store in 1868; also same year in Girard J. N. Sinnett opened same
  • Lincoln Township: Arcadia 1844, blacksmithing by James Hathaway; the inhabitants were generally engaged in stock raising.
 
First Marriages:
  • Crawford Township: Homer Howell and Mrs. Rachel Turney
  • Osage Township: Mr. Phillips and Miss Margraves
  • Sheridan Township: William Lamb and Miss Collisn (1867)
  • Washington Township: Thomas Gaskins and Mary Craven (spring 1868)
  • Lincoln Township: Crit. Burton and Pauline Gray
  • Sherman Townshp: William D. Mance and Jane Williams (12 December 1867)
  • Walnut Township: John McNeary and Susan Sullivan (1860)
 
 
First Births:
  • Crawford Township: Elizabeth Terrell, January 1868
  • Osage Township: Ida L. Collins
  • Sheridan Township: Mary Painter, June 1866
  • Washington Township: Rockie Anna Smilie, January 12, 1867
  • Lincoln Township: Louis Fowler, February 10, 1863
  • Sherman Township: Clay Simons, October 20, 1864
  • Walnut Township: John Leman, 1859
 
First Post Offices:
  • Crawford Township: Crawfordsville, 1868 W. W. Jones, postmaster
  • Osage Township: Mount Carmel, H. Townley, postmaster
  • Sheridan Township: Monmouth, Lafayette Manlove, postmaster
  • Washington Township: Mulberry Grove, spring of 1869, Wm. H. Myers, postmaster
  • Grant Township: Idell, C. W. McCloud, postmaster
  • Lincoln Township: Cato, Sept 22, 1866, G. W. Fowler, postmaster
  • Sherman Township: Farlington, 1873, E. D. Farley, postmaster
 
 
Other Firsts:
  • A man by the name of John Lemans, a blacksmith, settled in Osage Township, in 1848, and resided there until the summer of 1861, when he was "run off" by a squad of U. S. troops, under the command of the agent of the Cherokee Indians. His house was burned, with nearly all of its contents
  • The first orchard in Sheridan township, was planted by Mr. Scott, on Thunderbolt creek, in 1865.
  • The first house in the town of Cherokee, was built by William Sharp, in 1870, and used as a dry goods store.
  • The first election in Washington township was held in the fall of 1867, and seven votes were polled.
  • In 1861, Captain Rodgers was killed by guerrillas at Cato, Lincoln township, where he established the first business house in 1858.
  • In Sherman township, Clay Simons was killed by rebel bushwhackers, October 21, 1864. His wife had recently been confined, her child being but twenty-four hours old; she left her bed and brought her husband into the house from the yard where he had been shot. The child was named after his dead father.
 
 
Population:
  • Crawford county was organized in 1867.
  • Population in 1870, 8,160; in 1875, 9,386; increase in five years, 1,226
  • Population in 1878, 12,759; increase in eight years, 4,599
  • Rural population, 10,092; city or town population, 2,667; per cent of rural to city or town population, 79.10%
 
1878 Population By Townships
Baker 1623
Crawford 1929
Grant 877
Lincoln 1929
Osage 1385
Sherman 650
Sheridan 2030
Walnut 977
Washington 936
 
 
Miscellaneous Information:
 
Face of the Country. - Bottom lands, 15 per cent.; upland, 85 per cent.; forest, (Government survey), 10 per cent.; prairie, 90 per cent. Average width of bottoms, from one-half to one mile; general surface of the country, undulating.
 
Timber. - Average width of timber belts, one-half mile. Varieties: black and red oak, hickory, walnut, hackberry, cottonwood, elm, post oak, burr oak, poplar. Artificial timber is grown successfully, but in small amounts, estimated at about one acre in a thousand. The principal varieties are cottonwood, soft maple and black walnut.
 
Principal Streams. - Lightning, Thunderbolt, Hickory, Walnut, and Limestone creeks running southwest, and Big, Little, and Middle Cow creeks running southeast; Pawnee, Drywood, Bone and Cox creeks running northeast. The streams running southwest and southeast are separated from those running northeast by the Ozark range. The county is not well supplied with springs, but good well water is reached at a depth of from 10 to 30 feet.
 
Coal. - Coal underlies the entire surface of the county, the veins ranging in thickness from five feet downwards. Quality good. The different varieties are called "black," "red," and "gray." It is in general use for domestic purposes, and considerable quantities are exported. Much of the so-called Fort Scott coal comes from this county. The zinc smelting works, established by J. Lyford, are located at New Pittsburg
 
Building Stone, etc. - There is a good supply of sand and limestone, well distributed; also some slate. A good grindstone quarry has been opened in Osage township, and fire clay underlies the coal veins in the same township. Pottery clay reported abundant in Crawford township, though not utilized. Some hydraulic cement found in Washington township. Fire and pottery clay have been developed successfully near the city of Cherokee.
 
Railroad Connections. - The Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad runs through the centre of the county from north to south; principal stations: Drywood, Girard and Cherokee. The Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad traverses the northwestern portion of the county, near the corner; principal stations, Hepler and Glenwood. The Joplin Railroad runs in a southeasterly direction from Girard to Joplin, Missouri.
 
Agricultural Statistics. - Acres in the county, 378,880; taxable acres, 373,165; under cultivation, 133,219.01; cultivated to taxable acres, 35.70 per cent.; increase of cultivated acres during the year, 15,719.51.
 
 
Statement Showing the Acreage (in thousands) of Field Crops Named From 1872 to 1878, Inclusive
Crop 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878
Winter Wheat 19617 19617 19579 19134 15737 2549 9849
Rye 192 192 566 179 184 66 112
Spring Wheat 18 59 14 3 14 95 26
Corn 29881 28895 31571 48025 486112 62534 58606
Barley 8 -- -- 33 34 152 95
Oats 8530 10354 8267 9231 10353 7513 11658
Buckwheat 99 49 48 97.5 83.75 123 356
Irish Potatoes 404 671 684 591 935 781 928
Sweet Potatoes 13 14 29 19 20.3 22 49
Sorghum 103 315 487 1048 482 700 895
Castor Beans 1 85 272 2242 1898 6645 4431
Cotton .75 51 54 45 .63 45.75 333
Flax .25 92 1184 5130 7090 3822 5584
Hemp .5 -- 53 -- .12 28 16
Tobacco 11 10 10 12 28 28 16
Broom Corn -- -- 81 277 487 458 582
Millet & Hungarian 123 280 372 766 1355 2224 4941
Timothy Meadow 253 253 372 163 202 217 388
Clover Meadow 192 192 312 87 122 66 95
Prairie Meadow 11909 2738 60608 2023 2373 4204 9311
Timothy Pasture -- -- 16 40 9 173 291
Clover Pasture 7 4 33 12 3 -- 24
Blue-Grass Pasture -- -- 161 125 66 95 604
Prairie Pasture 19064 14817 16960 28680 15551 24986 24026
TOTAL 90426 76688 87193 117954 105639 117499 133219
Increase in Six years: 47%
Average Increase Per Annum: 7.83%
 
 
Value of Garden Produce, Poultry and Eggs Sold during the Year. - Garden produce, $2,906.10; poultry and eggs, $5,184.20
 
Old Corn on Hand. - Old corn on hand March 1, 1878, 268,208 bushels, or an average of 105 bushels to each family
 
Dairy Products. - Cheese manufactured in 1875, 4,235 lbs., in 1878, 5,260 lbs.; increase, 1,025 lbs. Butter manufactured in 1875, 189,821 lbs.; in 1878, 270,915 lbs.; increase, 81,094 lbs
 
 
Farm Animals:
  • Number of horses, in 1877, 4,589, in 1878, 4,962; increase, 373
  • Mules and asses, in 1877, 877; in 1878, 1,078; increase, 201
  • Milch cows, in 1877, 4,071; in 1878, 3,871; decrease, 200
  • Other cattle, in 1877, 7,147; in 1878, 7,796; increase, 649
  • Sheep, in 1877, 3,514; in 1878, 4,105; increase, 591
  • Swine, in 1877, 12,926; in 1878, 25,019; increase, 12,093
  • Sheep Killed by Dogs. - 58; value of sheep killed by dogs, $174.
  • Wool - Clip of 1877 - 11204 pounds.
  • Value of animals slaughtered and sold for slaughter during the year, $123,682.68.
 
 
Horticulture:
  • Number of acres nurseries: 67.06
  • Number of trees in bearing: apple - 34,725; pear - 1,179; peach - 79,176; plum - 1,263; cherry - 9,998
  • Number of trees not in bearing: apple - 113,900; pear - 6,943; peach - 21,022; plum - 2,115; cherry - 15,912.
 
Herd Law:

The herd law has been in operation since 1872. There is a wide diversity of opinion regarding it, but a decided majority are believed to be friendly to the law. It retards fencing, for the reason that the farmers have faith in the stability of the law, and that, therefore, fences will never be necessary. It stimulates the growth of small grains. In favor of the law it is urged that it encourages farming, as it enables men of small means, who could not afford to fence, to engage in the industry; that it tends to make settlements more compact, stock raising requiring an extensive range. It is urged in opposition, that stock raising should be encouraged by law as more profitable than grain growing.

 
 
Fence:
  • Stone, 3,721 rods; cost, $5,581.50
  • Rail, 126,282 rods; cost, $180,480.70
  • Board, 13,828 rods; cost, $19,857.80
  • Wire, 14,971 rods; cost, $10,479.70
  • Hedge, 376,435 rods; cost, $169,395.75
  • Total rods of fence, 535,237; total cost, $385,295.45
 
Apiaculture - Number of stands of bees, 629, pounds of honey, 7,397; wax, 204
 
Value of Agricultural Implements - Amount invested in agricultural implements, $41,417
 
 
Manufacturing:
  • Crawford township: steam flouring mills, 2, capital invested, $20,000
  • Lincoln township: steam flouring mills, capital, $2,000
  • Sheridan: steam flouring mills, 2; capital invested, $15,000, pottery, capital, $3,000
  • Walnut township: steam elevator, capital, $2,000; harness manufactory, capital, $300
 
 
Value and Indebtedness:
  • Assessed valuation of personal property, $243,215.28
  • Assessed valuation of railroad property, $396,996.73
  • Total assessed valuation all property, $2,115,228.65
  • True valuation of all property, $3,525,381.08
  • Total indebtedness of county, township, city and school districts, $47,149.92
  • Per cent. of indebtedness to assessed valuation, .02 +
 
 
Schools:
  • Number of organized districts, 102
  • School population, 5,526
  • Average salary of teachers, per month, males, $33.26; females, $27.82
  • School houses built during 1878, frame, 5
  • Total number of school houses, 104; log, 2; frame, 98; brick, 1; stone, 3
  • Value of all school property, $67,470
  • A few of the school grounds are partially shaded by natural growths of timber. Most of the remaining are shaded by artificial growth.
 
 
Churches:
  • Baptist: organizations, 6; membership, 212; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $1,000
  • Episcopal: organization, 1; membership, 34; church edifices, 1; value of church property, $1,000
  • Methodist Episcopal: organizations, 20; membership, 800; church edifices, 4; value of church property, $8,000
  • Presbyterian: organizations, 5; membership, 120; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $5,400
  • Roman Catholic: organizations, 3; membership, 1,000; church edifices, 2; value of church property, $1,000
  • Universalist: organizations, 1; membership, 9
 
 
Newspaper History

The Girard Press was established by Warner & Wasser. November 11, 1869. It was the first paper regularly published in the county. April 16, 1868, one number of the Crawford County Times was issued by Scott & Cole. The former had been publishing the Journal at Osage Mission, and, some dissatisfaction arising, he moved to Girard, where he got out one number of the Times, as above mentioned. The difficulties having been satisfactorily adjusted, the establishment was returned to Osage Mission. The Press was regularly issued until July 14, 1871, when the establishment was burned by a mob, and nearly everything it contained destroyed. This mob violence was the outgrowth of ill-feeling occasioned by the Neutral Land troubles. Three weeks after its destruction the paper was again issued in enlarged form. June 16, 1873, A. P. Riddle purchased the interest of Dr. Warner, and the paper has since been published by the firm of Wasser & Riddle. It is Republican in politics

The People's Vindicator was first published at Girard, July 28, 1870, by P. R. Crisp and Charles R. Lindsey. Lindsey left the establishment in October, and the paper ceased to exist in November following.

The Girard Pharos, a "Reform" paper, was established by W. K. Goode, March 12, 1873. July 16, following, C. C. Goode became a partner. In May, 1874, the paper was removed to Cherokee, in the southern part of the county, where it remained until September 2 of the same year, when it was removed to Girard. It was published a few weeks longer, when it was sold to J. F. McDowell, who removed it to Columbus, Cherokee county, where the material is used in the publication of the Courier.

The Cherokee Pharos was first published May 27, 1874, by W. K. Goode, and continued until September 2 of the same year, when the establishment was returned to Girard, from which place it had been brought.

The Cherokee Index was started June 3, 1875, by Mary A. Spring. It was a five-column quarto, Independent. July 8, 1875, H. C. Brandon was announced as editor, who was succeeded by P. J. Coston on the 29th of the same month, Mrs. Spring continuing as publisher. November 5, 1875, Coston resigned the editorship, and December 17, following, Mrs. Spring sold the establishment to G. W. B. Hoffman and John T. Metcalf, who published the paper until April, 1876, when Metcalf retired, and Hoffman converted it into a Democratic paper. Hecontinued it until March 16, 1878, when Metcalf again became a partner. They continued the publication until September 21, 1877, when they removed the establishment to Columbus, Cherokee county, and published a Democratic paper there. The material was subsequently sold to James Wilson, who now publishes the Star, at Columbus.

The Crawford County News, "Reform," was first published at Girard, August 6, 1875, by T. P. Fulton and C. G. Covell. November 19, 1875. George W. Tipton was added to the firm, the style then being Tipton, Fulton & Covell. February 17, 1876, Fulton retired from the firm, and the paper thereafter became Democratic. March 19, 1876, Covell sold to H. C. Brandon, and the firm became Tipton & Brandon, and continued the paper until November 2, 1876, when J. W. Lamoreaux become a partner. Tipton sold his interest to Lamoreaux, March 22, 1877, who conducted the paper until June 21, 1877, when Tipton bought out Lamoreaux, and carried on the business for a time. September 27, 1877, Tipton resigned the editorial control to Jacob S. Moore, but resumed it again after the campaign. February 7, 1878, H. S. Kline and W. M. Clarke, as Kline & Clarke, purchased the paper, and Kline became editor. On April 1, following, Clarke sold out to Kline, and the latter continued the paper until July 20, 1878, when E. R. Ridgley purchased it, changed its politics to "National," but retained Kline as editor. September 5, 1878, Ridgley and Kline retired from the establishment, the former having sold it to R. T. Root, of Burlington, Iowa, who leased it to J. J. Hadley, of Wyandotte.

The Young Cherokee was at first a small amateur paper, published by two boys, named H. H. Webb and H. L. St. Clair, the first number appearing May 13, 1876. June 17, St. Clair retired, and on August 12, Webb largely increased the size of the paper. With the breaking out of the lead excitement, he removed the paper to Short Creek, and issued his first number there, May 26, 1877. Its name was soon after changed to the Mining Echo.

The Cherokee Banner was first issued October 6, 1877, by H. H. Webb. It was a five-column quarto, Republican. July 12, 1878, Sol. Smith purchased the paper, and still publishes it.

The Temperance Rural was established at Cherokee, July 4, 1878, by James F. St. Clair and Jacob S. Moore. It is a four-column quarto, devoted to the temperance work. It is still being published.

The Girard Herald, Democratic, was first published July 26, 1878, with J. W. Womack as editor. It is still published.