Clay County Township History
As Published in the Clay Center Times, 1899
Athelstane Twp. and Blaine Twp.
Athelstane--One of the foremost men in this township ever since its first settlement has been Robert Hamilton,
who formerly lived near Athelstane Ford, in Scotland. When the post office was established at his
house he named it Athelstane; and when the township was formed it took its name from the post office.
The first settlers in this township were William Price and his son Martin, who came Feb. 17, 1860.
In 1862 Martin enlisted and his father returned to New Jersey. After the war, Martin returned, and
settled first in Dickinson county, and afterwards in Chapman township, in this county. He is now
the honored and respected postmaster of Industry, which is the only town or post office in old
Athelstane. Industry is on the line between Clay and Dickinson counties and is about equally divided
between the two.
In February, 1866, John Jones settled in the township, but died August 22, 1867, and his family
returned to Iowa. The first permanent was made by James H. Murray and family, Dec. 28, 1867, one
mile north of Industry. McMurray Creek is named for this pioneer family.
In the spring of 1868 Christopher Kassebaum and John Bergman settled on Chapman creek in this
township. The first house was built in October, 1869, by Rudolph Berger, who settled on the creek
on the west side of the township and who now is one of the county commissioners, representing that
part of the county faithfully and well. The first school house was built in the fall of 1873, on
R. Hamilton's farm by school district No. 45.
Athelstane post office was established in 1873, with Robert Hamilton as postmaster. His commission
was dated May 23, 1873. In 1877 it was moved two miles south, and its name changed to Industry
by Christopher Kassebaum. Later another Athelstane post office was established at Athelstane a few
miles north of the old office, but it was discontinued.
As a matter of reminiscence, purely, January 22, 1869, Chapman creek overflowed its banks and
thirteen persons were drowned in this township and across the line in Dickinson county.
Industry was laid out in the fall of 1879 by A. L. Beard, an eastern speculator H. Bateham Jones,
who by the way is still there, opened a drug store November 7, 1876. A. Munroe, who was a long
time postmaster, now a flourishing merchant in Abilene, started a hardware store in the spring
of 1880. A few months later, J. H. Brown opened the first restaurant and hotel. Then came
growth and development too numerous and too recent to warrant mention here. R. Hamilton and S. R.
Randall the first treasurer of the township, all in 1876.
Blaine--This township was organized in the spring of 1880, when Maine's favorite statesman was prominently
before the country as candidate for the nomination of the presidency of the United States. The
leading citizens of the township being warm admirers of the great statesman named it after him.
There were no settlements made in this township until 1866. In February of that year, J. B.
McLaughlin settled near the mouth of Five Creeks. In March of the same year, D. C. and Russel
Allen took their claims near him. Towards the last of the month Wesley McLaughlin arrived. Three
months later Levi Arnold took up a homestead. In the fall of the same year J. W. Reeder and A. R.
Hand became residents of the township. The next spring David Rankin took the claim where he now
lives, and J. J. Beatty took the claim out near there where he lived so long and which fine farm
still bears his name. The first school house was built on J. J. Beatty's farm in the fall of
1868. About the same time the school district of Republican City bought the house of Amos Reeder
and used it for school purposes.
The first child born in the township was Letitia M. McLaughlin, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. B.
McLaughlin; the date was the 25th of June, 1866.
J. G. Tieken and Leury E. Beck were married by O. Huntress, justice of the peace, on the 21st of
March, 1867. The first death was that of Mrs. Mary Arnold who died June 11, 1867.
Five Creeks post office was established in the fall of 1868, with J. W. Reeder as postmaster. It
was soon afterward changed to Republican City.
The first township board was: W. H. Fletcher, trustee; A. Wingrove, clerk; W. H. Roberts, treasurer.
Republican City was the only regularly laid out, incorporated city ever within the boundaries of old
Blaine. It was laid out by Stickney & Streeter in 1867, and they opened a store there at that time.
The next year Milton Clark started a dry goods store, and D. M. Gillespie, M. D., a drug store.
Blattner & Blakely of Junction City opened a branch hardware store. Ezra Martin, who is now down
in Arkansas, worked at his trade, that of blacksmith.
Republican City was in its day a rival of Clay Center. It deserves a chapter of history by itself.
Many of the leading men in the county did business there at one time and its memory is sacred and
tender as that of any other dead and buried pleasant recollection. But Clay Center secured the county seat,
and when the railroad went up on the east side of the river in 1873, Republican City with all its
hopes and aspirations became a thing of the past.
When this township was organized, several names were proposed, and it was decided by lot. The
name of Bloom was suggested by John Schwab, and it happened to be the one drawn.
The first settlement was made by Joseph P. Ryan, probably in the spring of 1866. He took a
homestead in the bend of the river, at the Rocky Ford crossing.
Phillip Beamer and J. W. Whiting were the next to come. They took their claims in the north
part of the township, near the mouth of Mulberry Creek.
Thomas Wheeler, W. D. Brenner and J. W. Coffman came in November, 1868. Charles and Alfred
Ehrhart arrived in April, 1869.
The first marriage was at the house of Joseph P. Ryan, March 4, 1869. The couple was W. H.
Edelblute of Riley County, and Miss A. V. Ryan. The ceremony was performed by J. B. McLaughlin,
justice of the peace.
The first schoolhouse was probably the Washington schoolhouse, which was built in the winter
A son was born to J. W. and Eunice Coffman, on the 24th of January, 1869, and died the next day.
The first store was started by W. B. Whitaker, Sept. 27, 1871.
J. W. Whiting was the first postmaster, in the fall of 1868. The name of the first postoffice was
Mulberry Creek. It was afterward changed to Riverdale and moved into Mulberry township.
The first trustee of the township was George L. Worland, the first clerk H. C. Cooper and the first
treasurer J. B. Mudge, all in 1875.
Champman is the extreme southwestern township of Clay County. It derives its name from the beautiful
little creek that flows through it. In April, 1866, the first settlement was made by J. Stewardson,
W. Tripp, A. Backus and John Wedd on the south side of the township. The next fall N. Gollober settled
near them. C. Dulohery came in the spring of 1867.
The first school was built by private subscription in the fall of 1870. It is now used by school
district No. 25.
The first marriage was that of George Heath to Martha J. Backus. The marriage ceremony was peformed
by Charles E. Lindsly, justice of the peace, on the 21st of April, 1867.
Alfred Heath was born March 17, 1869. Mrs. Gollober died Dec. 28, 1869. This was the first death
in the township.
George Emerich was appointed postmaster and New Grant postoffice was establish in 1872.
The first township board was J. George Dieter, trustee; W. S. Hutchinson, clerk; John Wedd, jr.,
Ever so abbreviated a history of Chapman township would not be complete with more or less extended
reference to Longford, the only town and postoffice in the township. Originally the postoffice
bearing this name was several miles to the south of where it is now and have ever since been, one
of the best towns and trading points in the county. The plaster works and creamery have done wonders
for the little burg until now business is fine and extending all the time.
This township is awkward in shape, being probably fourteen miles long and not over four wide at
the widest point. It lies wholly on the east side of the river and envelopes the city of Clay
Center on three sides. Running through it it, also, diagonally, following the Republican river
pretty closely are the Rock Island and Union Pacific railroads.
The first settler in the township of which there is any authentic account was E. H. Witherell,
who came in June, 1860. J. H. Hemphill arrived a little later the same summer. Witherell has been
a long time dead, but Hemphill is pretty strong and hearty for so old a man, and is now living
May 31, 1861, Orville Huntress settled on the farm adjoining the present town site of Clay Center on
the west, at the crossing of the creek now bearing the name Huntress. He kept the first store,
postoffice and hotel in the county; his house was the first frame house in the limits of the county
and he was always remarkably active in promoting its welfare. He died a great many years ago; his
wife, Mrs. C. M. Anthony, who was a most worthy successor in all that went towards making a model
pioneer, died in this city she loved so much, only a few years since, mourned by everybody.
In the spring of 1862 C. W. Finney settled on a farm a few miles southeast of Clay Center. It is from
him the little creek that skirts aong the southeast corner of the fairgrounds, and so on to the
river, takes its name.
In August, 1865, Dr. J. W. Sheppard, Phillip Rothman, F. Kuhnle and Solomon Miller took their
homesteads on Lincoln creek. Two months later M. H. Ristine took his claim just south of them.
Dr. Sheppard built a most remarkable stone house on the east slope of the creek. The walls were
of stone, thick and heavy, the whole very tall and narrow, cutting the air like a knife. There it
stood for years, an uncompleted suggestion of something pretentious. This spring it was torn down
and now there is but little to mark the place. The Rothman homestead is the present county farm.
This is a remarkably rich section of county, and in an early day the most flourishing and
hospitable settlement in the county, as well as the most populous.
The first schoolhouse in the county was built on Lincoln creek in 1863 and is now known as the
Upper Lincoln school, directly west of town several miles.
Dr. J. W. Sheppard, justice of the peace, performed the first marriage ceremony uniting Andrew
Smith and Mary Morey, both from Cloud county. The exact date of that momentious event is Nov.
Probably the first death was Mrs. J. W. Sheppard, who departed this life on the 20th of February,
1864. Willard, the son of E. H. Witherell, was born June 3, 1860.
D. C. Allen was elected the first trustee in 1867 but he resigned and J. P. Ryan was appointed in his place. For some
reason now forgotten, no other township officers were elected that year, but in 1868 T. B. Pinkerton
was elected trustee, J. W. Reeder (who still lives here, hale and hearty), clerk, and M. H. Ristine,
History of this county, even so abbreviated a is this, would not be fair or complete without more
than a passing note of the happy little village of Broughton, seven miles to the southeast of Clay
Center on the two big railroads. A postoffice was established there under the name of Rosevale years
and years ago, by Theodore Ingersoll who was the first postmaster. At that time the mail came overland
by pony express from Manhattan. The mail carrier objected to making the little detour to Ingersoll's
house, so Mrs. Bunnell, up where the main part of town is now located was made deputy and Mr. Ingersoll
only gave the office passing attention. Along about 1880, perhaps a little later, Dan Householder
laid out the town as it now exists, on land bought of Mr. Tompkins. Brilliant dreams centered about
the little city. After much consultation, grave consideration and all that, the name Morena was
chosen on suggestion of W. W. Walton, probably, who had in mind some friend's sweetheart. Previously
the railroad had objected to the name Rosevale because there was a town of Rosedale already on the
line. Investigation showed there was a Merino in Kansas, or something very similar, so the
government refused to accept Morena. After a time came "Springfield." Whether that was
unsatisfactory or where there was a town of similar name nearby, this historian's memory recordeth
not, but at any rate, after a time, that was changed to Broughton, in honor of W. S. Broughton,
who was then an energetic and popular business man in the burg. The town is now better, bigger
and busier than ever before.
This township is in the extreme northwestern corner of Clay county and was originally much larger than
now. Ten or twelve years ago, perhaps longer, a four mile strip was taken off the west side and
added to a two mile strip taken from the east side of of Sherman township, thus forming Garfield
township. But the change left old Goshen a perfectly square body of good land, located as above
stated. Capt. G. Schauble, and others of the early settlers in this township, came from Goshen,
Indiana, and when the township was organized they named it thus in remembrance of their former home.
The first settlement in this township was made by Gabriel Spurrier, March 18, 1860. James Carter,
to whom Carter creek owes its name, settled here about 1861, but he went to the war in 1862 and was
J. A. D. Frazell took his claim in July, 1866. John Malin came in July 1867, J. Heimerich and
Henry Schauble in May 1868, and Capt. G. Schauble and J. C. McCurdy in the spring of 1869.
Joseph Spurrier, the first child born in the township, was born April 25, 1863.
Riley Shidler was married to Susannah Matthews on the 14th of July, 1869, by Rev. D. Worley. This
was probably the first marriage in the township.
J. A. D. Frazell was the first postmaster at Fancy Creek postoffice which was established about 1870.
He also taught the first school in the log school house.
Ann E. McCurdy died May 10, 1879 (1869?) and was this was likely the first death in the township.
In April 1870, the first store in the township was opened by F. Usher.
The first trustee in the township was R. M. "Dick" Frazier, the first clerk was F. McNeal, and the
first treasurer, J. G. Shockley.
Goshen alternate by A. W. Wolcott--
The first settlement in this township was in 1858 by a man named Johnson. His claim was 160 acres
in the exact center of section 27, township 6, range 4 east His broke four or five acres of land
and built a log house. This was the most desirable tract in the township, it being nearly all
bottom land on lower Fancy Creek, having about four acres of timber. Johnson did not stay very long
here. He left the place and where he went or what became of his the oldest inhabitant saith not.
About this time John Trimbull took a claim on what is now known as Dead Man Creek, named from the fact
that in 1859 or 1860 a man was found dead in the creek on what is now known as the Wolcott place.
The circumstances surrounding this case as gleaned from the first settlers down the creek are
that three parties, two men and one woman, were encamped there having come from the west with two
or three yoke of cattle, wagon, etc., and that they were there some two or three weeks. During this
time Gabe Spurrier and Lihew Moon were at their camp and found out that the woman was the wife of
one of the men. Sometime later the body of one of the men was found at the campground somewhat
decomposed, and the tracks of the oxen and wagon going in the northeast direction. The tracks were
very old, indicating that they had long since taken their departure. Nothing was done about it and
this creek still clings to the same.
The next people who made permanent settlement were Gabe and Joseph Spurrier, brothers. They came
from Kentuck in 1859 and took claims in section 34. Not long after this Joseph died and his claim
passed into the hands of J. A. D. Frazell. Frazell was a hospital steward in the Rebellion and acquired
quite a smattering of medicine and was all the M.D. in the neighborhood at that time. He also
taught the first school in the township in a log school house covered with sod and dirt. He was
also instrumental in establishing a mail route from Clay Center to Waterville and also a postoffice at his
house, he being the postmaster. He also carried the mail on this route. The name of the postoffice
was Fancy Creek, which it still retains. Frazell was also instrumental in organizing the township.
He later removed to Clay Center and kept the hotel. He finally moved to Garrison, Riley county,
where he died, his remains being brought back to his old home for burial.
Gabe Spurrier made a good farmer and was fairly prosperous. His wife was the first death in the
township, and their son Joseph was the first born. Spurrier married again and son after or in
about 18-- he died on the old homestead respected by all who knew them.
John Malin and George Van (Vann?) took claims in June or July, 1867. Both built log houses and commenced
improvements. Malin is still living on the same place. George Van sold his place some eighteen or
twenty years ago, moved to Atchison, went down the river on a canoe, down the Mississippi and up
the Arkansas where he and his wife both died.
From this time up to the year 1868 little or nothing was done and the first to take claims this year
were Capt. G. Schauble and brother Henry, and John Heimrich. Henry Schauble and Geimrich built
houses and moved up from Manhattan that fall. The captain came the next year and built. They all
built good houses and had fine land with plenty of timber and water. Later on Henry Schauble sold
out and moved to Clay Center where he now resides. John Heimrich still lives on the old place,
having added many acres thereto. He has now one of the finest farm in the county. Capt. Schauble
now lives with one of his sons in Oklahoma, his wife having died seven or eight years ago.
This same year, 1868, came A. W. Wolcott and William Rook. Wolcott took up his claim on Dead Man
one half of the southwest quarter of section 21, township 6, range 4. About 1880 he bought the east
half of the southeast quarter of the same section. He built a log house and did some breaking and
made other improvements. He was one of three delegates from this county that fall to a senatorial
convention at Abilene, H. H. Taylor and Major J. R. McLaughlin being the other two. He also
materially assisted in organizing the township and later on was elected justice of the peace. In
1885 he removed to Clay Center where he now resides. Rook also took a claim, built a log house and
some years later sold the place to H. H. Jenkins.
The same year, 1868, Robert Miles, R. M. Frazier, James Polk Clark, Henry Putnam, J. B. Allen,
Tom Pickett, and J. C. McCurdy came. Robert Miles (Uncle Bob, as we called him) raised a large
family and built up a nice home. Both he and his wife have long since passes over the river.
Well may we say that they did their duty towards the uplifting of mankind.
Grant--The first settlers of this township were Moses, Jerry and William Younkin and John P. King, who came
from Pennsylvania in 1856. They settled on Timber creek in the south part of the town. In the
fall of 1857, Lorenzo Gates, who had recently graduated from college in Ohio, sought the Kansas
prairies to recuperate his health. He settled near the present Gatesville station where he remained
till his death in 1877. He served the county as commissioner and representative. John Gill came
the same year from Boston under the auspices of the Emigrant Aid Society and located on the farm
now occupied by Norman Laflin. Mr. Gill died in 1880, leaving the bulk of the estate to the M. E.
church. Lorenzo Gates, after living the life of a batchelor for several years, married Miss Lucinda
Gill, sister of John Gill, to whom were born six children.
In the spring of 1858, Rev. John Butler and James H. Simpson settled on what was then known and
platted as the Mount Pleasant town site. Uncle John Butler, as he was called, was the local
M. E. preacher for many years. A few years after the death of his wife he sold his farm to Joseph
Bradbury, with whom he lived until his death, about ten years ago. The farm is now owned by J. M.
Younkin, son of Moses Younkin. Uncle Jim Simpson is now retired and lives in Clay Center, renting
In the spring of 1858 D. H. Myers left his home in Pennsylvania and joined the expedition bound for
Utah under Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston of the First U S. dragoons, sent out there by President
Buchanan to suppress the Mormon outrages that were then being committed. He returned to Kansas in
1860 and located on the farm southeast of town and since then has accumulated land until he has
about 2,000 acres and cattle to occupy the land and is now the cattle king of the county. He
is president of the First National Bank at Clay Center, and the Bank of Wakefield, and incidentally
takes a hand in politics when he has a friend to please or an enemy to punish. Several years later
the balance of the Myers family came from Pennsylvania and located in and around Grant township
where they are now located, save Mrs. J. A. Pogue, who lives on the farm recently bought by John
Pogue near Clay Center.
In the spring of 1861 S. D. Hartzell, after a few years sojourn in Texas from Pennsylvania, came
to Kansas with a colony of northern men who found the secession element in Texas too strong for
them, and located on the farm now occupied by him. He is now living on his income and at 74 is well
preserved and good for thirty or forty years more.
Riley A. Elkins came here in 1868 from Vermont and took the claim he now lives on and takes life easy
in his old age. His children are living around him, three of them married and settled down.
Further up the creek we find among the early settlers Jacob Mall, Lewis Laflin, D. C. Pierce, Father
E. P. Ingersoll, Uncle George Taylor, James R. Regester, Reuben Kipp, Thomas Playford, William Leach,
J. H. Hemphill, A. VanAustin and Captain Gordon. Gordon lived on the land now occupied by his son,
John. The stealing of the two mile strip and annexing it to Riley county set him, with several others
into Riley county.
Uncle George Taylor came here from Newark, N. J., where he had been one of the most prominent men
in the state. He was for three years president of the Union league of the state of New Jersey and
upon leaving for Kansas was presented with the flag that flew at the headquarters of the league,
which he presented to the Grant township Veteran Soldiers' asssociation, and which is now in the
custody of S. P. Burnell. Mr. Taylor served two terms as representative for Clay county in the
legislature and a short time before his death sold his farm to his grandson, G. W. Taylor, and moved
to Clay Center.
Later on the population was again increased by the arrival of H. R. Dunham, Joseph Bradbury, Dan
Ladd, Duncan McBeth, Joseph Bauers, Aiken Sherbert, Moses Ladd, Thomas Davis, Joe and John
Barkyoumb, Perry McMann, Joe Keeler, Wesley Fair, J. G. and Fritz Vogleman, Sam Mall, J. C. Mall,
P. S. Loofborrow, L. J. McGoflin, J. A. Pogue, Joseph Worley, J. G. Birden, Martin Jones (better
known as Pie Jones), Andy Worley and M. Potter.
The first schoolhouse built in the township was No. 3, near John P. King's. The next on the list
was No. 5, near J. C. Mall's, this was followed by No. 10 near the cemetery at Gatesville. In the
summer of 1884, No. 10 was divided upon petition of voters, creating district No. 93.
The first M. E. preacher in the town was Frank Cunningham, a graduate of Harvard college and a lawyer
by profession. He built the parsonage now owned by George Woodbury in Riley. This was before the
loss of the two mile strip. His circuit took in Grant, Milford, Mall Creek and several other points.
He lived in Clay Center and walked from there to his charge to preach. Brother Cunningham was an
eloquent orator, a great political campaigner, and as a linguist at that time had no equal in the
state. While Mr. Seabury was the county superintendent, he took the examination before the board
as a teacher, and wrote out his answers in five different languages, but one of which any one of the
board could read. He was followed by the Rev. Wolpert, who was afterward killed by one True, the Revs.
Brown, Glendening, young Wolpert and host of others since that time.
The Wilder brothers came in the early '70's and took claims at the north end of the town. Matthew
was licensed as a local preacher and for several years was supplied to help the others out. Uncle
John Butler was one of the most gifted local preachers of the time and always on demand. The United
Brethren held services at several places in the town under the leadership of Cam England, under
whose supervision many converts were made. It was said that Pap Simpson and Jim Regester were converted
three times, each under the influence of Bro. England, who several years ago moved to Missouri to
continue in his work in the ministry.
The next immigration from Pennsylvania brought us J. N. Humbert, H. A. Elias, Sol Enfield, A. A.
Ammerman and the Hostettler family. They have settled in and around Grant and are doing well.
J. N. Humbert taught several terms of school at districts No. 3 and No. 10 but continued to run the farm.
Chauncy Phinney, one of the early settlers who we have nearly omitted, settled on the eighty now
owned by John Bradbury and lived for many years on the Clay Center townsite.
Rev. A. W. Schenberger located just west of the Hartzell homestead and now owns the farm but for
many years was presiding elder of a circuit in Nebraska, in the Evangelical church. He is now
engaged in the grain business in Nebraska.
H. P. Chase bought the farm of J. R. Regester and built thereon the big stone house now occupied by John
L. Dunham. After living here about two years he returned to Boston and went into the distillery
business where he is now engaged, being the largest distiller of rum in New England.
Grant furnished more men for the army during the war than all the rest of the county. Among the
number to the credit of the town were Moses Younkin, J. H. and John Simpson, Thomas Sanders, J. R.
Regester, Lewis Laflin, Jacob Mall, George Thomas, John Hemphill and William Leach, who served in
the Eleventh Kansas Cavalry under the late Capt. Henry Booth, who recently died at Larned, Kansas.
Harry Sanders, Joseph Worley and William Edwards joined the Ninth Kansas Cavalry, and Captain Gordon
was in the Sixth Kansas Cavalry.
Among the settlers in Grant who served in the Union army were Comrades Little, Moses Younkin, Silas
Younkin, J. N. Humpert, Riley Elkins, Percy McMann, J. G. Birden, S. Y. E. Dixon, S. P. Burnell,
J. H. Simpson, John Simpson, Joseph Bradbury, Ed B. Scott, Daniel Sanders, Robert Regester, James
Dalrymple, Lewis Laflin, C. Phinney, James Brannon, C. A. Thomas, William Leach, L. J. McGofin,
Samuel Mall, Jacob Mall, Joseph Barkyoumb, H. C. Taylor, M. A. Jones, Henry Huntzmyer, P. S.
Loofborrow, Joseph Worley, H. R. Dunham, H. P. Chase and A. W. Schenberger. This accounts largely for
the large Republican majorities in the township. Some others may have been overlooked in making our
list of veterans.
Summary--John P. King, S. P. Hartzell and William Younkin are taking life easy, living upon the
income of their farms. Moses Younkin took a colony to Washington in 1880 and settled near Whatcom
and married Mary Thompson as his second wife. Moses was killed one night while on his way home
from Whatcom, having been robbed by his murderers. Two men were arrested and tried for murder but
were acquitted. Silas Younkin, after the death of his wife, returned to Pennsylvania where he now
Grandpa Ingersoll died a few years ago, mourned by all. He left three sons and two daughters.
Theodore is now retired from the farm and lives as a plutocrat in Clay Center. George died a short
time ago in California. Fred is in Oklahoma. Mrs. Smith died a few years ago and Mrs. Chapman
lives in California.
Simon Y. E. Dixon was killed by a mad bull several years ago.
Reuben Kipp, Joseph Bauers, Aiken Sherbert, Uncle John Butler, John Gill, Uncle George Taylor,
Moses Ladd, Thomas Davis, P. S. Loofborrow, Reney McMann, H. C. Taylor, George W. Taylor, Mrs. R.
G. Bradbury, Mrs. J. H. Simpson, Mrs. J. R. Regester, Mrs. Kipp and Wesley Fair have passed away.
Wesley Fair for several years was an invalid afflicted with consumption. Three months before his
death he called upon Dr. Warren, his family doctor, and asked him to examine him and tell him
truly how long a time he had to live. The doctor made the examination and fixed the time at 100
days, during which time he made all of his arrangements for the future, having deeded his property
to his daughter, assigned to her al the notes he held, paid for his coffin, paid his burial expenses
and requested that there be no services over his body. His remains were followed to the cemetery
at Bala, the largest procession of mourners that ever assembled in the township.
J. C. Birden is now living in Oklahoma. Joseph Bradbury has sold his farm to his son William and
lives in town.
H. R. Dunham after several years of sickness returned in 1877 to his old home in Pennsylvania and died
the 7th of September. He left a widow, now Mrs. S. P.. Burnell, and Ethlin M., now one of
our popular school teachers, and John L., now married and settled on his farm.
Jake Mall several years ago moved to town and lives upon his income. Mrs. Sam Mall died
about two years ago.
J. C. Mall raised a family of six boys and three girls, all living and doing well, save
William who died in Kansas City a few months ago. The family now owns about 2,000 acres of
Joseph Bradbury raised a family of three sons and one daughter. His oldest son is now
representative from Clay county. His daughter Lizzie is now living in California, married
and the mother of two children.
Daniel Ladd's wife died four years ago. He is at present one of the plutocrats of the
town and owns about 800 acres of Clay county land.
Walter C. Avery came here from Massachusetts in 1876 as a farm hand for his uncle, Henry,
the present postmaster of Wakefield. Walter by close attention to business has 680 acres
of Clay county soil and is still residing on the farm.
Mrs. Lilly Taylor, widow of George W. Taylor and daughter of Moses Ladd is one of the largest
dealers of cattle of any farmer in the township. Starting with a debt of $2,400, she has
cleared the incumbrance, built a new house and barn and bought another quarter section of
B. Baxter & Son do a large business in cattle and hogs.
Anthony Reed and son now occupy the farm formerly owned by J. G. Birden.
Sam Davis, who was for several years our trustee, and R. V. Jones, his brother in law,
are now in Colorado living on the fat of the land.
John P. Jones and Henry Eslinger, our Welsh and German friends, have been here for many years
and have got together all the land in sight. John Lloyd, who came from Wales, had one half
section of land and is one of our best citizens.
Two of the sons of Moses Younkin are now among our largest cattle men. They have together almost
300 head of stock. John married Emma, the oldest daughter of John Mall, by whom he has six children,
while Robert is looking for a wife.
Two sons of Reuben Kipp still live in the town. Norman kept the beautiful homestead and has added
120 acres. George owns 400 acres and a big bunch of cattle. The Bauers farm is in the hands of Marion
who is one of the cattle kings of the county. Thomas Playford started here with a raw prairie and is now one of
our plutocrats, having 400 acres and a big bung of cattle and cribs filled.
S. P. Burnell is hard at work attending to 400 acres of land and 100 head of cattle.
Sam Mall is taking life easy in his old age, renting his farm to his son Albert, who owns his own farm
Big John Brown from Pennsylvania is a big corn raiser and has a fine bunch of cattle.
Matt Dietrich and Fritz Vogleman and J. G. Vogleman are among the most popular Franco-German citizens
of the county, all well fixed and happy.
In our report we have doubtless omitted many who ought to be mentioned but space prevents.
In short Grant has the most cattle, the least debt, the most timber and the largest Republican
population in proportion to its size of any in the county.
The first postmaster of Grant was Lorenzo Gates who held the postoffice for several years and for
whom the Gatesville postoffice was named. He was followed by J. R. Regester who served several years,
Another postoffice was opened at Deep Creek with George Taylor as postmaster. Lorenzo Gates served
the county as commissioner and for two terms as representative for Clay county in the legislature.
He was an eloquent speaker and a great scholar and his loss was deeply lamented by a large number
Grant township contains only seventy-nine farms within its boundaries, being a fewer number than any other
in the whole county.
This township was organized at the time when the president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes,
was ingratiating himself with the Republican party, by vetoing the obnoxious bills whih the
Democratic congress passed; hence the name.
A. Heliot, four miles north and one east of Clay Center, across the road north of the place so well
and so long known as the Lamb place, was probably the first settler. He was a small Frenchman who was
tinged with the socialistic idea somewhat, so when the opportunity offered joined a colony that went
into Mexico to develop its ideas, Topolobampo, probably. Victor Anderson, who is now employed in Wickstrum
& Swenson's office in the city, bought the Heliot farm and is now the owner. Heliot reached the
township in June, 1868. James Lockhard came the next month and Frederick Bishoff in September; they
both settled in the southeastern part of the township. William Niles arrived in November, 1869, and
took the claim across the road west of the Lamb place, the farm now owned and occupied by S. S.
Smith and family. When Niles was building the house he fell from the upper window on the west side
of the house and was severely injured. He managed to walk and crawl to Mr. Dexter's house where he
died on the 15th of March, 1870. The patent on the place was issued to Mrs. Niles, who in time deeded
the place to Eb Niles who moved to Ottawa county a long time ago.
In 1870, James Hathaway settled in the northern part of the township and built the first house on the road
from Clay Center to Waterville, which was a very important thoroughfare those days.
In the spring of 1870, William Moore, A. R. Keeler (the squire), S. L. Armstrong and others settled
in the southern part of the township. Orville Lockhard was born about the 20th of February, 1870,
and this was the first birth in the township.
Feb. 2, 1871, S. L. Armstrong was married to Mary L. Robinson, by C. M. Kellogg, who was then the
The first school house was built by District #35, probably in March, 183. This is the school house
now so well known as the Thornton school house, where the road to Green crosses the Kansas Central
railroad. In 1879 this building burned to the ground, but soon thereafter the building now occupying
the old site was erected.
Delavan postoffice was established in November, 1873, and A. Lapham appointed postmaster. It was five
miles north and three east of Clay Center. After only a few years it was discontinued.
We believe the township was not organized until 1880 or 1881, possibly. The first trustee was A. E.
Keeler, the first clerk Charles Gilbert, first treasurer B. Thomas.
Hayes is an exact congressional township, six miles square. There are 131 farms within the township.
We have not been able to gather together much about this township. As a matter of fact we have been
compelled to fall back upon the brief story as told in the old plat book of Clay County, issued about
1880. According to it, and as all people hereabouts now know, nearly the entire surface of the
township is upland, rolling prairie; it is probably from this circumstance that it derived its name.
The first settler was Samuel Harris, who settled there Nov. 3, 1868; the next to come was J. Robedan,
who arrived soon after Mr. Harris. During the next two years, several immigrants came, but did not stay.
D. C. (Clint) Morris, now living far from his friends of former days, down in Oklahoma, who arrived
in Highland on the 4th of Oct., 1870, and William Ogden, who came in December of the same year, were
the next settlers. Willie Odgen died Dec. 20, 1870. This was probably the first death within the
limits of the township.
Robert G. Dugan and Clare E. Hulen were married on the 5th of Feb., 1872, by J. W. Smith (now far in
the south), justice of the peace.
The first birth was that of Emma Robedan, who was born June 12, 1870.
The Elder school house was built in the summer of 1872.
The township was organized in 1874, and D. C. Morris was the first trustee, W. S. Baldwin the first
clerk, and D. McBeth the first treasurer.
In Highland township there are 139 farms, with a total acreage of 20, 838 acres.
Clay Co. KHHP
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