Kansas History and Heritage Project-Clay County History

Clay County History
The Wakefield Colony

Below are several chapters of "The Wakefield Colony: A Contribution to the Local History of Kansas". by William J. Chapman, published by the Clay Center Times, in 1907. I omitted a couple of chapters that had little genealogical information. This interesting little book tells of the founding of Wakefield and most of the southeast section of Clay County. If your families lived in Union, Republican, Gill or Athelstane township, you will find it an interesting read.

Chapter 1 -- Republican Township Before the Coming of the English.

The earliest American settlers in this neighborhood came in the years 1858 and 1857. In April of the former year Moses, William and Jeremiah Younkins and John King, from Somerset Co., Pennsylvania, settled on Timber Creek, in what is now Grant township. (Mr. King died at his home near Wakefield May 22, 1906, aged 72 years.)

The following year (1857) was marked by the coming of the first New England settlers, when Messrs. J. B. Quinby and W. B. Payne settled in S. E. Republican. Persons belonging to the Pennsylvania colony say that the population of Somerset Co. was of mixed origin; containing both Scotch-Irish and Pennsylvania Dutch elements. They believe the date of settlement to go back to the close of the colonial period. The New England settlers were colonial Americana of English descent. ln the Autumn of 1857 came another group of settlers. Lorenzo Gates, John Guy and William Mall, located higher up the river where the names of Gatesville and Mall Creek commemorate them. The Mall family were natives of Baden, in South Germany. In 1868 the New England colony was reinforced by the coming of Rev. William Todd, formerly a missionary at Madura, in Southern India.

The first actual settler on the site of Wakefield was James Gilbert who came in 1858. "In the Summer of 1858 James Gilbert and family took up their residence there (i. e. the 80 south of Wakefield), he filing on it. They remained about two years and during that time built a larger and better house a few rods north of the present site of Wakefield, which was occupied by them to 1860, making them the first settlers actually living in what is now Wakefield. In the Spring of 1860 he very suddenly left the country and his family soon followed." (Address by J. B. Quinby Esq., Oct. 10, 1894.)

The settlers, few as they were, were much depleted by the troublous times of the Civil War. "In 1860, there were eleven families in the Quinby neighborhood. In 1863 J. B. Quinby and Ed Kerby were the only men left there. John Butler, Lorenzo Gates and Jacob Mall were the only ones left on Mall Creek." Henry Avery Esq., of this city, recollects having been on picket duty at Fort Riley when the news of the burning of Lawrence (Aug. 21, 1863) came to the frontier settlements.

Dr. Burt, who came to Kansas in the Spring of 1868, has thus described the area of settlement:

"In coming from Bachelor, now Milford, the first house after leaving Mr. Hopkins' this side of the river, was Mr. Quinby's log cabin, then Mr. Todd's stone house, then an old-fashioned log cabin where Mr. Payne's house now stands, then a log house in what is now Wakefield. The next house to the north was, I think, Harvey Ramsey's, and the next ones were in the Avery district, which seemed well on toward Clay Centre. There was a cabin at the river where Mr. Manual now lives, then occupied by Mr. North, of pleasant memories—we used to hunt wild turkeys from there. To the west Mr. Kerby's, also of logs, was, I think, the only house between us and Chapman Creek—we had to go half way to Junction City before finding a house.”

“The first public improvement I heard of after I came was to finish school house No. 8, so it could be used as a meeting house."

"In January, 1870, there were no houses between Clay Centre and Fancy Creek, between Clay Centre and Chapman's Creek, nor between the head of Ohapman's Creek and Wakefield."

Chapter 2 -- The Origin of the Kansas Land and Emigration Company

The Rev. Richard Wake, to whom the first impulse toward the formation. of an English colony in this neighborhood was due, came to the United States in 1854, settling at first near New York. In 1859 he removed to Illinois. Soon after the close of the Civil War be began to advocate through the English press the advantages of colonization on the western prairies. Two parties of Englishmen were in this way settled in the vicinity of Lincoln, Neb. Mr. Wake subsequently returned to Illinois and, as he tells us, did not anticipate further experience in colonization.

At least three separate factors may be traced in the formation of the "Company" which colonized Wakefield. Mr. B. H. Drew was a land agent in London, and Mr. Wake was also widely known in Great Britain through his advocacy of the prairie states as a field for immigration. At the same time, Mr. John Wormald, of Wakefield, Yorkshire, was anticipating the formation of an English settlement in northern Missouri. By what chain of circumstances these gentlemen were led to merge their respective purposes in a single plan, the writer confesses himself uninformed. Those of their number who were in England seem to have realized, the advisability of enlisting the services of Mr. Wake, and, with this in view, to have opened correspondence with him. The correspondence at first took the form of a request for information concerning Government Lands in Kansas and Nebraska. How the first inquiries developed into a colonial enterprise may best be told In Mr. Wake's own words: "Later a scheme was proposed for the purchase of a large tract of land for co-operative farming and asking my advice on the merits of the scheme generally. I discouraged the co-operative features of the plan, but was in favor of associative immigration on a plan which would give to each settler individual ownership of land and absolute control of the products of his own labor, and proposed the plan adopted later of the purchase of a large tract of land by a few who should sell it again in quantities to suit, at a slight advance over cost, to first settlers, depending upon later sales for profit on the investment. Late in June, 1869, I received a cablegram saying, 'Select 100,000 acres in Kansas for colony,' and on the 8th of July I arrived in Topeka. I came west to Junction City with a letter of introduction to Capt. Pierce. July 13th we took a team to view the land lying between the Republican river and Chapman Creek, taking the divide west of Junction City and following it to the head of Chapman Creek. We saw but one house between the two points. 1868 was a fruitful year. Grass in the ravines would meet above the backs of the horses, and on the highland was knee high or more. Reaching on our return the present site of Wakefield, I thought, as I looked down the valley, I had never seen a more beautiful landscape. Securing the withdrawal of the land from the market, I reported to London, and in August Messrs. Wormald, Maitland, Batchelor and others arrived, Messrs. Wormald and Maitland being empowered to purchase the land if it met their approval." The purchase of the land was ratified by Messrs. Wormald and Maitland and steps were immediately taken to organize the colony. The land that was purchased Is thus described by Mr. Quinby: "Their tract of land consisted of the odd sections in the vicinity of Wakefield, and held by the Union Pacific Railroad, from whom they purchased it." On the same subject Mr. Wake says: "Contracts were made with the Kansas Railroad Co. and the National Land Co. for 83,000 acres at a cost of $102,000, one-fifth being paid down at the time of purchase."

The following list of the pioneers of Wakefield was furnished by MR. K. T. Batchelor:

The pioneer party consisting of Messrs. Wormald, Maitland and others sailed from England on the Steamship Main (North German Lloyd) on Aug. 3, 1869, and arrived in New York the 13th, reaching Junction City about the 21st of the same month The party included:

Mr. John Wormald of Wakefield, Yorkshire.
Mr, Alexander Maitland, of London, afterwards secretary of the Kansas Land & Emigration Co., and one of the directors of the colony.
Mr. Spence, the agricultural director of the proposed co-operative colony. Mr. R. T. Batchelor, Mrs. R. T. Batchelor and two children, of Bateham, Hampshire.
Mr. Martin.
Mr. Stone (afterwards removed to Topeka).
Mr. Fitzgibbons, the first proprietor of the "eighty" adjoining Wakefield on the S. W. known as the Allaway farm.

August the 25th, 1869, the founders of the colony were incorporated as the Kansas Land & Emigration Co., and on the day following the townsite was formally laid out. A cairn of stones was raised on the slope of Cedar Bluff and in it was deposited a parchment certifying the founding of the town and naming the parties therein concerned. The cairn stood near the present site of Dr. Hewitt’s residence.

The Plat-Book makes the following statement about the beginnings of Wakefield: "The town was laid out by the Kansas Land and Emigration Company, consisting of Richard Wake, John Wormald, Alexander Maitland, Col. Loomis, C. Wake, R. H. Drew and J. D. Bennett. The four first named of these selected the townsite of Wakefield Aug. 26,1869. Col. Loomis named the town "Wakefield" partly In honor of the President of the Company and partly because Wakefield, England, was the former home of John Wormald, the Secretary of the Company." Col. Loomis, who named the town, was president of the National Land Co., and like the Rev. Richard Wake, a citizen of Illinois. His connection with Wakefield was due to the fact that the English colony acquired a part of their hand from the National Land Co. On Oct. 6th the first large party of colonists arrived, and on the 12th of the same month the stockholders of the Company met for permanent organization in the Hale House at Junction City. The new corporation henceforth appears as "The Kansas Land and Emigration Company, incorporated Aug. 26, 1869." The capital for the enterprise was fumished by Mr. John Wormald who invested a fortune of $72,000 in the Wakefield colony.

We pass now from the formation of the company to the story of the settlers whom its inducements brought out to the prairies of Kansas.

Chapter 3 -- The English Settlers.

The Kansas Land and Emigration Company aimed from the start to stimulate the immigration of English settlers. Popular tradition charges the advertising material employed with being highly colored and not wanting in deliberate misstatement. In his address Mr. Quinby puts the matter more dispassionately: "To colonize their lands, their prospectuses and advertisements were circulated wholly in England, and the colonists were mostly English tradespeople from the cities, a poor class to settle up a new country." (Address Oct. 10,1884.)

Yet in all fairness to the newcomers, it most be said that the hardships of pioneer life were such as neither townsman nor landsman were prepared to meet. In many instances it was precisely the experienced English farmer who proved least adapted to the new conditions. He had as much to learn and more to unlearn than the townspeople had. Some of the earliest English settlers came out independently of the Company's plans. Foremost among these were Messrs. P. Gillies and H. S. Walter. Mr. Walter has kindly furnished the following account of his coming to Kansas: "I met Mr. Gillies (who had been in Junction about two weeks) the day I arrived In Junction City, Aug. 11, 1869, and the next day took up laid in Republican Township, on section 28, adjoining Dr. Burt’s.

Mr. Walter also gives some additional particulars concerning the pioneers of the Kansas Land and Emigration Company. He says: "The pioneer party who came Aug. 21st consisted of B. Wake, J. Wormald, Spence, Miller, Maitland, George Gates and a young man named Meek, all of London, England, and also Mr. Loomis, Land Agent, of New York."

Messrs. Savage and Wooley were also in the neighborhood before the coming of the Wakefield colonists. They lived in the same district and owned claims not far from that of Mr. Walter.

The first large party of settlers came over on the steamship Nebraska, of the Guion Line, sailing from Liverpool on Sept. 15, 1869, and reaching New York on the 29th. The voyage is remembered as an exceptionally stormy one. The party came west by way of the Great Lakes, visiting Niagara Falls en route, and arrived in Junction City on Oct. 6th. The number of persons, old and young, comprised in the "Nebraska party" amounted to 77. The following list of its members was furnished me by Messrs. John Chapman and William Guy:

Mr. James Billingham (Warwickshire.)
Mr. and Mrs. Boyce.
Mr. John Farington Alsop (was the eldest son of Mr. William Alsop, one of the leaders of a subsequent party.)
Rev. Joseph Binns.
Mr. Samuel Binns.
Mr. and Mrs. Ison (from Wolverham.)
All of whom came from the West Midlands.
Mr. John Muston (Lincolnshire.)
Mr. Christopher Deere, Mr. John Deere (Buckinghamshire)

The foregoing were from the East Midlands.
Mr. William Guy, (Sussex) A native of the parish of Ripe (1833), seven miles from Lewes; proprietor of one of our leading business houses, and my principal informant concerning the early history of Wakefield.
Mr. Abner Shrives (Sussex.)
Mr. John Chapman (Somerset), “My father was a native of Montacute, in Somerset, where my grandfather (John Chapman Sr.) and great-grandfather (Zacharias Chapman) were quarry owners and stone merchants, the quarry (Ham Hill) being leased of the Duchy of Cornwall.”
Mr. George Taylor (Somerset.)
Mr. T. P. Pettigrew (Hampshire.)
Mr. John Spooner and family (London.) The foregoing all came from the Mouth or Southwest of England.
Other members of the party were:
Mr. H. H. Meade.
Mr, Edward Moore.
Mr, Poppleton and family.
Mr. Johnson.
Mr. Gwyn.
Mr. John Cole.
Mr. and Mrs. Butcher.
Mr. and Mrs. Woodward

The party arrived in Junction City on Wednesday, Oct. fifth, and celebrated their arrival by holding a religious and social gathering at the Methodist church, corner of 8th and Jackson, on which occasion the Rev. Joseph Binns was one of the principal speakers.

During the Winter settlers came singly, or by families. Mr. John Pett (from Cambridgeshire) came out as agent for Mr. Docking. He reached Junction City Dec. 6,1869, and in the following Spring moved out on a farm southwest of Wakefield. Information concerning others who came during the Winter is not now obtainable.

Not many weeks passed before the English began to feel the hardships of pioneer life. My father, who was staying with the Rev. William Todd at Madura, had a severe attack of inflammatory rheumatism. No one thought he would recover. To add to his danger, his landlady, Mrs. Todd, was at this time afflicted with a felon. Under these circumstances it became necessary to move him to another house. He was carried, at the dead of Winter, from the Todd farm to the home of Mr. William Streeter. At the Streeter homestead he lay in an unplastered upper room whose only ceiling was a roof of badly warped native lumber shingles. At night he could see the blink of the stars and in stormy weather the snow sifted in on his bed. What this must have been to one suffering with rheumatic fever can't be but faintly imagined.

The dry continental climate with its fitful and violent changes of temperature proved very trying to the English Settlers. Those who were here during the first winter recall a memorable storm that occurred on the 16th of January, 1870. It was a Sunday morning, and the weather delightfully mild, when a party of nine started for the Madura School House to attend the preaching service. Messrs. Billingham and Guy, a runaway midshipman named Broome, and, if my memory serves me, a Mr. Laundy, the first proprietor of the Moutelle farm in Union Township, were in the party. While the meeting was in progress the wind veered to the north and blew at th& rate of about 60 knots an hour. The temperature fell very rapidly. Mr. Todd told his hearers that he had never seen but one storm as bad, and that no one could drive a team in the face of such a hurricane. But those who had come from Wakefield resolved to make a dash, for the Pioneer House. The distance to be covered was a little more than two miles. Young Broome was the first to reach, the house, but he was so benumbed with the cold that he could not open the door. He had to wait in the tempest till others came to his assistance. The continual privation of pioneer life was harder to bear than occasional sufferings. In Winter a large part of one's time most be consumed in getting wood and water. To settlers on the high prairie this often meant a journey of several miles. Besides all this, there was a serious economic drawback. The country had scarcely recovered from the effects of the Civil War and for many commodities one must still pay "war time" prices. This had much to do with the apparent failure of the colony during its earner years.

The Spring of 1870 was marked by the coming of a second party of colonists. They were for the most part from Montgomeryshire, in Wales, or from the adjoining English county of Shropshire. The leader of the party was Mr. William Alsop who invented very considerable capital in the settlement of Wakefield. The Alsop party sailed from Liverpool in the steamshlp Colorado (Guion Line) on Wednesday, the 8th of April, 1870. They set out from New York on Tuesday, the 19th, and reached Kansas City on the following Saturday. On Monday, the 26th, they were met at Junction City by the Rev. Richard Wake. The following persons were members of the party:

Mr. William Alsop and family (Co. Montgomery). Known at Wakefield as Mr. William Alsop of Cain's Creek.
Mr. Richard Alsop and family (Co. Montgomery.)
Mr. Edward Jones and family (Co. Montgomery,)
Mr. T. C. Roscoe, of Union Township (sec. 22), my principal informant of the history of the Alsop party.
Mr. S. E. Richards, Proprietor of the Wakefield Cash Store.
Mr. William Richards, brother of the preceding Mr. Thomas Newell.
Mr. Thomas Woods.
Mr. Swinbourne (from Cumberland.)
Mr. William Dalton (Warwickshire.)
Mr. Farmer, subsequently a merchant in White City.
Mr. Richard Bird.
Mr. Bird, brother of the preceding.
Mr. J. W. Sampson, afterwards removed to the western part of the State, probably to Osborne County.
Mr. I. W. Thomas (from Cornwall.)
Mr. A. R. Goffin, from London, also came out on the Colorado, although he was not a member of the Alsop party

. A settler by the name of Seimew (or Siemee) came out about the same time the aforementioned and took a claim In Union Township.

A smaller party consisting of Mr. James Eustace, Mr. and Mrs. Jardine, Miss Kynaston (an aunt of the Reed brothers), Mr. Alfred Taylor (brother of George Taylor who came out on the Nebraska), Mrs. John Chapman, her two children, Miss Jennie Taylor (with Mrs. Chapman as her companion, and a servant girl named Harriet, also came out in April, 1870. The writer has the distinction of the two children before-mentioned. This party sailed on the City of Washington, one of the swiftest and best equipped vessels afloat. In New York they stayed at the Astor House, and found American travel decidedly expensive. None of them had any notion of what pioneer life was like. Of course they took it for granted that America was an El Dorado.

In April, 1870, Mr. Benjamin Budden, a naturalized American, came from Illinois. He was a native of Bridport, in Dorset, but had lived in America for several years. In May of the same year two brothers named Yarroll and a young man named John Brett, from Hastings, in Sussex, came to Wakefield. They lived temporarily in a "dug-out" on the George Taylor farm southwest of Wakefield. Mr. Brett was a brother and Mr. Joseph Yarroll the first husband of Mrs. T. C. Roscoe.

The coming of the English colony greatly increased the number of voters to Clay County, as the following quotation from the Plat-Book will show: "The number of votes cast in 1866 was 112; in 1887,166; in 1868, 196; in 1889, 232; in 1870, 483; in 1871, 1,003: in 1872, 966; in 1073, 1,158. The number of votes cast in 1880 was 2,872."

In the year 1870 Kansas suffered from a severe drought. The experience of the settlers seemed in almost every respect to belie the glowing reports that had lured them to the far West. On every side they murmured against the founders of the colony as the Israelites of old did against Moses and Aaron. Mr. Wake was especially blamed. They charged him with being the author of their calamities. Late in the year 1870 Mr. Alexander Maitland, the Secretary of the Kansas Land and Emigration Company, revisted Great Britain, and during his absence the man whom he had left in charge of his property pillaged the house and tossed his papers and correspondence out of doors. After this high-handed proceeding the culprit fled to Missouri.

About the same time Mr. James Eustace also returned to England for the purpose of organizing another group of settlers. But in spite of the most strenuous efforts of the Kansas Land and Emigration Company, the time of immigration was checked.

Chapter 5 -- Colonists from the Upper Thames Valley.

In spite of the severe check which, the stream of immigration received in the year 1870, it subsequently underwent a partial revival. The Wakefield Herald thus notices the coming of the next large party of settlers:

"We learn that James Eustace Esq., will leave England for Wakefield on the 6th of April, accompanied by a large party of English agriculturalists, whom he has prevailed upon to remove to the broad prairies of Kansas. Golden opportunities await them here." (Wakefield Herald, April, 1871.)

It was, perhaps, the business relations that existed between some of the Oxfordshire colonists and George Grant, Esq., founder of the English colony at Victoria, Ellis Co., that led Noble L. Prentis to place the beginnings of Wakefield in the year 1871. In his history of Kansas he says: "In 1871 the Kansas Pacific sold to a Swedish colony, in Saline county, 33.000 acres; to an English colony, in Clay county, 33,000 acres, and to a Welsh colony, in Riley county, 19,000 acres. In 1873 George Grant, of England, purchased of the Kansas Pacific Company 60.000 acres in the eastern portion of Ellis county, with the design of colonizing English people of means." (History of Kansas, p. 146.)

So far as the date is concerned, the historian is evidently mistaken, for at the time spoken of the English colony in Clay county had been in existence very nearly two years. The efforts made in 1871 to retrieve the fortunes of the Wakefield colony brought it more prominently before the public eye, and may, not unnaturally, have created the impression that it originated at that time.

The first party belonging to the new stream of immigration we shall term the "Sparrowhawk party," Mr. Robert Sparrowhawk being one of Its leading members. The Wakefield Herald, as we have seen, states that it was conducted by James Eustace, Esq., and fixes the date of its departure from England, on April 6, 1871. Mr. Eustace, it will be remembered, came out on the "City of Washington" in 1870 and and in the meantime revisited England.

The names of the following persons belonging to the Sparrowhawk party were furnished by Mr. E. R. Hawes and Mrs. William Sparrowhawk:

Mr. and Mrs. R. Sparrowhawk and family, from Aston under Wychwood, Oxfordshire.
Mr. and Mrs. Tilbury and family: Mr. Tilbury returned to England and was afterwards a curate at Exeter.
Mr. and Mrs. Shirley and family.
Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Hawes; settled on the Geo. Taylor farm; are now living in Wakefield. Mr. Hawes is one of my informants concerning the party of which he was a member.
Mr. and Mrs. Cox and family.
Mr. and Mrs. James Loader and family.
Mr. Bettridge.
Mr. Herman Walter.
Mr. William Thurlow.
Mr. Richard Jones (brother of Mrs. James Loader.)
Mr. and Mrs. Arkell and family.
Mr. and Mrs. Parsons.
Mrs. Wightman (lived just east of Tom Roller's place.)

Most of these came from Oxfordshire and adjoining counties, the streams of which flow into the Thames, and may, therefore, be described as settlers from the Upper Thames valley.

Among others who came from Oxfordshire about this time were the Clinches. Their names were Harold, Charles and Duncan Clinch. The two first named were sons, the third a nephew, of a wealthy brewer in Witney on the Windrush. Witney, so the local saying affirms, is famed for four B's—"beauty, bread, beer and blankets." During their stay at Wakefield, Messrs. Charles and Harold Clinch engaged in sheep and cattle raising. Their father supplied them with ample capital for the enterprise—not less than 40 or 60 thousand dollars, it is said. In addition, Duncan Clinch received an allowance of 176.00 a month from his father. Frank Harris, an experienced shepherd, was commissioned to bring out some 65 or 70 pure blooded sheep of the best English breeds. The Clinches also imported several head of choice cattle and two Clydesdale stallions that subsequently took the premium at the Topeka State Fair. Although a claim was taken up in their interest, by one of the Buckles on sec. 34 in Gill township, they made their headquarters nearer Wakefield. They kept "bachelors' hall" at Chill Creek, on what is now known as the Haynes' farm, then owned by Mr. Lewinton Howse. But in spite of abundant means, the young men did not adapt themselves to pioneer life. The domestic arrangements and housekeeping are said to have resembled those of primitive man, and many anecdotes are told of their father's disgust when he visited Wakefield.

Among other settlers from Oxfordshire were Mr. H. B. Jones, afterwards a druggist in Industry, Kan. Mr. Thomas Irons is said to have come from the same county. Messrs. Cumber and (Charles) Harris, who held claims on the south halves of sections 38 and 32, respectively, in Gill township, were also Oxfordshire people. The Buckle family, to whom reference has already been made, were from Cawbury in Wychwood (Oxfordshire), having lived on a farm that had been cleared under the disafforesting act. The family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Buckle, three sons (Ted, Will and Charley) and two or three daughters, one of whom married the Rev. J. H. Young, an Episcopal clergyman. The Buckle homestead was the south ½ of the N. E. 1/2 of Sec. 26 in Gill township. The Rev. J. H. Young the south half, on the farm now owned by my brother, Mr. Herbert Chapman . In the meantime matters went from bad to worse at Chill Creek. The Clinch brothers ran up bills from $100.00 to $150.00 yearly for tobacco and similar luxuries, and the ranch proved anything but a success, At length Mr. Clinch Sr., decided to come out and see things for himself. He was thoroughly incensed at his sons’ slipshod ways and after satisfying himself that the enterprise would not succeed, he sold out and took both sons and nephew back to England. The flock of sheep were disposed of to George Grant, Esq., then engaged in founding the English colony at Victoria, Ellis Co. While Mr. Clinch was in Wakefield a cattle show was held, at which he presided as judge. In this capacity he awarded the prize of a silver cup (for the best bull shown) to the Gifford. brothers of Hillside. Mr. Clinch had already sold out and returned to England when Mr. Edwin Buataoe visited Ellis Co. in the Spring of 1874.

The events just related may be said to close the first chapter in the history of Wakefield. The colony rapidly lost its associative character. The monthly market was early discontinued, and, one by one, the remaining corporations, including the Kansas Land and Emigration Company, passed out of existence.

Several later settlers came from Shropshire, following in the course of the Alsop party. Messrs. Benjamin Adams, William Kynaston and Ralph Fowler sailed from Liverpool on April 1, 1871, and landed in New York after a nine days' voyage. The two former settled in Union township. Miss Adams came out in the following August. A number of colonists came to the vicinity of Wakefield under the influence of the Kansas Land, and Emigration Company but without connecting themselves with the Wakefield Colony. The Bundles and Winsors came to Junction City and took up claims in Dickinson County. Those of the Wakefield colonists, the time of whose coming is not definitely ascertained, will be noticed at greater length in the following account of the distribution and location of the Settlers.

Chapter 6 -- The Distribution of the Early Settlers.

(Remark: The following notation will be employed to define the situation of farms belonging to the settlers mentioned. Fractional expressions will be used to denote the subdivisions both of sections and quarter-sections; thus, S. 1/2 of N. E. 1/4 of sec. 26, is to to be read, the south half of the northeast quarter of Section 28.)

In describing the distribution of the Wakefield colonists the writer will be guided chiefly by the second Marshall map. Many incidents of a. descriptive nature, as well as many particulars concerning the settlers themselves, have been furnished by Mr. William Guy of Wakefield. The Map, to which reference has already been made, was drawn by Mr. J. P. Marshall about the year 1874. The area which it describes is bounded on the east by the line running between sections 4 and 6 (33-32) in Republican township; and on the east by the second section line in Athelstane Township. It includes, therefore, the whole of Township 10, Ranges east (Gill township) and part of the Townships adjoining it on the east and west respectively. The townsite of Wakefield, lying mainly in Section 5, Township 10, Range 4 east, occupies the upper right hand corner of the map.


Our survey of the district occupied by the American settlers will begin with sections. The proprietors of the northwest quarter of this section were Messrs. Gilbert and Streeter. They were Americans and had taken up their claims before the coming of the English colonists. Mr. Ed Southwick, the owner of the S. ½ of the S. E. 1/4, was the nephew of the Rev. William Todd of Madura. The occupants of the north half of the section will be mentioned in our account of the English settlers. The S. W. 1/4 of Section 8 was owned by the State Agricultural College (Organized, 1863; established at Manhattan, 1873.)

On Section 17 the S. 1/2 was owned by Mr. J. B. Quinby and the N. E. 1/4 by Mr. W. E. Payne (N. 1/2) and Rev. Wm. Todd (S. 1/2) The Todd house is still standing and is a typical representative of the better class of pioneer dwellings. The deep-set windows, the woodwork of native walnut lumber, the rooms long and low, all characterize the dwelling as unlike anything erected since the coming of the railroad. School district No. 8, and subsequently the church organised there, derived their name from the fact of Mr. Todd's having been a missionary at Madura, lndia. Mr. J.B. Quinby, who settled in Republican Township in 1857, owned the south half of section 17, and, subsequently, also the N. W. 1/4 of section 20. From him Quinby Creek derives its name.

The east 1/2 of the S. E. 1/4 of Section 20 was owned by Dr. Burt who had been an army surgeon in the Civil War. The Dr. and his wife (nee Locke) were both New England settlers. In the same neighborhood lived W. P. Gates, who, as a mere lad, had also seen military service. In his address of Oct. 10, 1894, Dr. Burt mentions a settler named French who likewise lived in that vicinity. In the district north of Wakefield the Avery family had taken up claims before the coming of the English colonists. The first to settle in that vicinity was Mr. Albert Avery. His brother, Mr. Henry Avery, came some time later. They were natives of Orleans Co., Vt., and were of English descent. The following account of the coming of the Avery family to this country occurs In the "Avery Family Record, Dedham Branch, 1860-1883":

"Dr. William Avery: We now take up the record of our earliest ancestors who crossed the Atlantic. He (Dr. W. Avery) in 1660 cast in his lot with the settlers of the town of Dedham, Mass., bringing with him his wife Margaret and three children from the parish of Barkham, county of Berkshire, England."

The pioneer settler in Gill township was Mr. Kirby (Kerby?). His claim included the S. 1/2 of the S. W. 1/4 of section 13 and the N 1/2 of the N. E. 1/4 of section M. In the year 1868 his house was the only dwelling in the township.

With regard to Athelstane township the following information Is to be found in the Plat-Book (p. 21):

"The first settlers in this township were William Price and his son Martin, who came Feb. 17,1860."


(1) Settlers in Twp. 10, Range 4, East.

The townsite of Wakefield consisted of 120 acres in the N. W. 1/4 of section 5, and the two "eighties" (E. 1/2 of N. E. 1/4, sec. 6; and N. 1/2 of S. W. 1/4 of sec. 5) adjoining It on the west and south respectively. In Sec. 6, the east 1/2 was owned by Mr. R. T. Batchelor, the west half by Mr. Fitzgibbons, both of whom were members of the pioneer party. When the Marshall map was drawn the Fitzgibbons homestead was owned by William Allaway. The west ½ of the N. E. 1/4 adjoining the site of Wakefield was owned by Mr. John Chapman.

An account of my father's family has been given, in connection with the list of those who came out in the steamship Nebraska in 1869. My mother was the second daughter of Mr. William Hellier of Poundsford (Pitminster), near Taunton. The Helliers had been settled for several generations at Hennock, near Bovey Tracey (Devon). Mrs. William Hellier was a daughter of Edmund Rich, Esq., of Cross House, Over-Stowey. The Riches of Stowey, Butcombe, and Bagborough were descended from "Samuel Rich, Esq., Gentleman," (Mural tablet in the parish church, Over-Stowey), who flourished in the last quarter of the seventeenth century. On the extinction of the elder branch of the family (in 1816) my maternal great grandfather removed from Butcombe to Over-Stowey.

The west half of the section was divided into four "eighties," lying east and west. The original proprietors were Messrs. Pettigrew (N. 1/2 of N. W. 1/4), Billingham (S. 1/2 of same, Geo. Taylor (N. 1/2 of S. W. 1/4), and John Spooner (S. 1/2 of same), all of whom. came out in tie steamship Nebraska in 1869. In 1873-4 the Geo. Taylor farm was owned by Mr. E. R. Hawes who came out with the Sparrowhawk party.

Section 7, lying southwest of Wakefield, was assigned to the Directors of the colony: The N. E. 1/4 to Mr. John Wormald, the N. W. 1/4 to Mr. Alexander Maitland, the S. W. 1/4 to Rev. Richard Wake, and the S. E, 1/4 to Mr. R. H. Drew. Of the proprietors mentioned, Mr. Drew never became an actual settler, although he paid a visit to the colony in the early days and stayed with my father at his farm on section 6. In addition to the quarter section above-mentioned, Mr. Alex Maitland owned the "eighty" (in T. 10, R. 3 east) adjoining it on the west and also the S. 1/2 of the S. W. 1/4 of Sec. 5 adjoining the townsite of Wakefield. He erected a dwelling house on the first-named eighty and also commenced to build a stone residence on the farm lying south of the townsite. About the year 1873-4 the Wormald quarter-section appears to have changed hands. At some later time, the farm adjoining Wakefield on the south passed into the hands of Mr. Wormald and became known as the Wormald farm.

The proprietors of Sec. 18 (adjoining Sec. 7 on the south) were Messrs. Skinner, Dodson and Dibben. The N. E. ¼ of the section belonged to the State Agricultural College.

Concerning Mr. Skinner I find the following entry in the "Forty-seventh Annual Session" of the Congregational State Association:

"Edward Skinner was born in Old Dallay, Leicestershire, England, Aug. 24, 1837. He commenced preaching in England when 18 years of age. Came to America May 14,1873. Pastor of Madura (Wakefield) and Milford churches in Kansas from 1978 to December 1879. Church was built in Milford during his pastorate, which was the first church In Kansas built without missionary-aid. Died at his Home in Blue Rapids Kan., Jan. 8, 1901." (pp. 42-43.)

Mr. Skinner's homestead was the N. 1/2 of the N. W. ¼ of section 18. On the S. W. 1/4 Mr. A. Gaston appears to have been preceded by a settler named Jacobus.

On section 19, the proprietors were Messrs. Mark Dodson, Emory White and William Gaston. All these were of American birth. The Gaston family were Scotch-Irish Pennsylvanians. The south half of section 20 was owned by the following: Messrs. Walters, Gates, Eustace and Burt. The Walters and. Eustace families were English. The N. E. 1/4 of section 80 was owned by Messrs. Lumb (N. 1/2) and Wheelright (S. 1/2.} They were Yorkshire people. It may deserve mention that Mr. Lumb (now residing in Wakefield) possesses a copy of the "Breeches Bible" (so-called from its curious rendering of Gn. 3:7. Mr. Lumb's Bible was printed in 1598), that has come down from the reign of Queen Elizabeth. No entries appear on sections 29 and 31; the west 1/2 of section 33 has been mentioned as belonging to the State Agricultural College. The proprietors of the east half of the same section were Messrs. Thurlow and Lawton. The N 1/2 of the N. E. 1/4 belonged to William Eustace whose homestead was on section 20. Mr. Robert Sparrowhawk came out with a large party in April, 1871, and settled on the N. E. ¼ of section 28. His former home was at Aston under Wychwood (Oxfordshire.) A carious passage In Florence of Worcester's Chronicle shows that this surname is a survival of an Anglo-Saxon proper name current in the upper Thames valley in the days of Edward the Confessor. The entry reads: "A. D. 105O. Spearhafoc (Sparrowhawk), abbot of Abingdon, was elected bishop of London, but was ejected by King Edward before consecration." The circumstance is remarkable because Anglo-Saxon proper names fell into complete disuse soon after the Conquest. J. T. Tate and H. S. Walters also held claims on section 28.


We shall begin our survey of the township with the northeast corner— the point nearest Wakefield. Here, on section 1, the N. E. 1/4 belonged to Mr. T. P. Pettigrew Forty acres of the S. E. 1/4, adjoining the Spooner farm on the west appear to have belonged to John Spooner. On section 13, there were eight proprietors. The E. 1/2 of the N. E. 1/4, adjoining his quarter section in Republican Township belonged to Mr. Alexander Maitland. In like manner, the E. 1/2 of the S.E. 1/4 belonged to the Rev. Richard Wake. The W. 1/2 of the N. E. 1/4 was the homestead of Mr. Benj. Budden. The eaat and west halves of the N. W. 1/4 belonged to Messrs. Eustace and Cowdery, respectively. E. N. Cowdery came from the neighborhood of Salisbury, in Wiltshire; Mr. Eustace was from Oxfordshire. The W. 1/2 of the S. E. 1/4 belonged to Dr. Chas. Hewitt; the E. 1/2 of the S. W. 1/4 to Jason Withers; the W. 1/2 to Arthur Marshall, a brother of Mr. J, P. Marshall. There were two Withers brothers, Ralph and Jason. Jason was a son-in-law of Mr. Cowdery.

On section 13, the S. 1/2 of the S, W. 1/4 belonged to Mr. Kirby. The W. 1/2 of the N. W. 1/4 was the property of Mr. J. P. Marshall. (This claim was originally purchased by Mr. James Marshall.) Mr. Marshall, to whom we owe the map upon which this account is largely baaed, was a native of New Alresford, in Hampshire, On section 24, the N. W. 1/4 belonged to D. H. Dudy, an American and a veteran of the Civil War. The S. 1/2 of the N.E. 1/4 adjoining Mr. Kirby's farm, belonged to an Englishman named (Thomas) Goosey. A son of Mr. Goosey's died in Wakefield and was buried on his father's farm. On the S.1/2 several of the names have been re-written. The entires are: S. E. 1/4, E. 1/2 Gaston; W. 1/2, T. White; S. W. 1/4, E. 1/2, (William) Ware; W. 1/2, Buckle. T. K. White was an American; William Ware, a Devonshire man. The latter had lived for many years in the United States. On the N. W. 1/4 of Sec. 26 appears the name Blatch, on the corresponding 1/4 of Sec, 36, B. Jones. Section 28 was school land. We shall now resume our survey from the northern boundary of the township, beginning with sections 2 and 3. On the former section the N. E. 1/4 was owned by Mr. O. R. Sweezey, an American. His claim was "jumped" by an adventurer named Jack Beatty. Both names appear on the Marshall map. The E. 1/2 of the N. W. 1/4 belonged to Isaiah Jevons, a native of Staffordshire, but many years a resident in America. The W. 1/2 was owned by Mr. Lewin, but occupied by Alfred Yarrow. The S. 1/2 was divided into four eighties. The east and west halves of the S. E. 1/4 were owned by Messrs. Shrivers and day, respectively. Both were from, the county of Sussex. Mr. William Guy, to whom the writer is more extensively indebted than to any other informant, was a native of Ripe, near Lewes, and came out on the Steamship Nebraska. In the early days of the settlement he lived on his farm on section 2. He is now proprietor of one of the leading business houses in Wakefield.

The following changes in the ownership of the S. W. 1/4 of Sec. 2 took place before the Marshall map was drawn:

The W. 1/2 was first occupied by Humphrey Hughes, afterwards by a Mr. Phillips. The E. 1/2 of the quarter section was taken up by John Cole who came out on the Nebraska. It afterwards paused into the hands of Walter Parsons, whose sister married Mr. Phillips, the proprietor of the adjoining "eighty." Both farms were eventually purchased by B. P. Jevons, son of Isaiah Jevons.

The N. 1/2 of Sec. 8 was owned by Mr. Charles Ingram, a native of. Dorset, England. St. John's Church (Episcopal) was built on the N. E. corner of his estate. Mr. Ingram was a member of the executive committee of the Wakefield Agricultural and Literary Society. He sustained serious injuries in trying to rescue some haystacks from, a prairie fire, and, shortly afterwards, retained to England and died there. Three "eighties" on the N. 1/2 of Sec. 10 were owned by members of the Titcomb family, (Mrs. Titcomb and two sons, Mark and Edwin.) They were from London. The E. 1/2 of the N. E. 1/4 belonged to John Bulmer. The S. E. 1/4 belonged to Thomas Holt and Richard Cawcutt. In 1873-4 the Holt farm was owned by Geo. Pearson. Both claims were afterwards purchased by J. K. Hammond.

On section 10, the N. W. 1/4 was occupied by Gilbert Jones, son of a chemist in Sloane Street, Chelsea. The claim was railroad land and seems later to have reverted to the Railway Company. Gilbert Jones went back to England, probably about 1874.

The W. 1/2 of the N. W. 1/4 of Sec. 14 was owned by Mr. John Muston, the E. 1/2 of the same quarter by Edward Moore. The latter was associate pastor of the Madura Union Church in the early days. They came out on the Nebraska in 1868. The Moore farm was afterwards purchased by Thomas Waller who came from the Lancashire border, not far from Staleybrldge. The proprietor of the E. 1/2 of the N. E. 1/4 of Sec. 14 was James Marshall, a brother of Mr. J. P. Marshall. He married Miss Downey, a sister of Mrs. Alexander Maitland. He subsequently lived in St. Louis for about six years, and then returned to London, England. The W. 1/2 of the same quarter section was the homestead of Mr. J. P. Marshall. In a letter of recent date (Sept. 31, '06,) he says:

"My homestead was the W. 1/2 of N. E. 1/4 of Sec. 14. T. 10, R. 3, and my brother James had the E. 1/2 of the same quarter. He also bought the W. ¼ of N. W. 1/4 of 13. When he left I bought both pieces from him."

Mr. Poppleton and his sons owned claims on the S. 1/2 of the section. The W. 1/2 of the S. W. 1/4 belonged to Edward Jones who came out with the Alsop party in 1870. Mr. Jones afterwards purchased the Batchelor farm on Sec. 6, in Republican Township. By far the largest tract of land in Gill Township (Sec. 23, and 1/2 Sec. 15) was owned, nominally at least, by parties named Southworth. It is probable that they were not actual settlers and that the land eventually reverted to the company. The later proprietors of the Southworth section were C. M. Stone and J. M. McDougal.

On section 22, the E. 1/2 of the N. W. 1/4 was owned by Mr. Gillett. He married a Miss Eustace. On the S. W. 1/4, the W. 1/2 was owned by John Pett who came out in the winter of 1869-70, The E. 1/2 belonged to J.W. Sampson who was a member of the Alsop party. On the S. E. 1/4, the N. 1/2 was owned by Joseph Starling, the 8.1/2 by Charles Harris. Mr. Harris was a member of the Oxfordshire colony and the neatly painted house which he erected on his claim was a land-mark in the pioneer days.

The proprietors of the N. W. 1/4 of Sec. 28 were Messrs. Poppleton and Exley; the N. E. 1/4, Messrs. Gaston and Buckle. On the S. 1/2 of the section, the E. 1/2 of the S. W. 1/4 was owned by one of the Oxfordshire settlers named Cumber; the W. 1/2 was the property of James Clark. John Chambers (of Co. Kent, England) owned the E. 1/2 of the S. E. 1/4. On section 28, three eighties were owned by members of the Seal family and one (E. 1/2 of N. E. 1/4) by Thos. Newell. Two "eighties" forming the eastern third of Sec. 31 were owned by Mr. Docking, and the S. 1/2 of section 4 belonged to members of the Haden family. The N. E. 1/4 of the same section was the property of Mr. Moutree. The W. 1/2 belonged to an American settler named Lake. Concerning the remaining occupants of the township no definite information has been procured.

Concerning Mr. R. Hamilton of Athelstane Township, (N. ½ of N. E. 1/4 of Sec. 26) the Plat-Book makes the following statement:

One of the foremost men in this township was R. Hamilton, who formerly lived in Athelstane Ford, in Scotland. When the postoffice was established at this house he named it Athelstane; and, when the township was formed, it took its name from the postoffice. The postoffice was established in 1873.

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