History of Reeder Township, Anderson County, Kansas
From: The History of Anderson County, Kansas
From its first settlement to the fourth of July, 1876.
BY: W. A. Johnson Chairman of Historical Committee.
Published by: Kauffman & Iler, Garnett Plaindealer, 1877

Reeder Township

AT an adjourned meeting of the board of county commissioners of Anderson county on the 7th day of October, 1857, the county was divided into municipal townships, and that portion of the county commencing at the northeast corner of section 24, township 19, range 18; running thence west on the county 'line eight miles to the northwest corner of the county; thence south on the county line sixteen miles; thence east eight miles; thence north on the range line between ranges 18 and 19, sixteen miles, to the place of beginning, constituted the townships of Reeder and Geary, being each eight miles square, and at a meeting of the board of county commissioners in March, 1858, the township of Geary was added to that of Reeder. Reeder township was named in honor of Andrew H. Reeder, the first Governor of the Territory; contains an area of 128 square miles, and is watered by North Pottowatomie creek and its numerous branches, the largest of which are Sac, Ianthe, Kenoma, Elm, Cherry and Thomas creeks.

The first white settlers in Reeder township were John H. Wolken and family, who came to the county in July, 1855, and settled on a claim near where Central City was afterwards located. He built a cabin and made some other improvements, but there being no settlement nearer than ten miles, and the Indians passing, and frequently stopping at their cabin, his family became alarmed, and in September following he removed with his family some twelve miles farther down the creek, and took a claim where he still resides.

About the first of April, 1856, James Carl, William Dukes and George Hamilton located in the township, on one of the central branches of Pottowatomie creek, and soon thereafter were followed by Allen Dukes, Casey Dukes, John Bobier and Otis Dagget and their families. Mr. Carl and family were formerly from the State of New York. They settled and improved the farm now owned by Samuel Earnest. They sold their claim in the spring of 1857 to James R. Means, and moved to Middle creek, in Franklin county, where they still reside. The Dukes and Hamilton came from Missouri, and were Pro Slavery men in sentiment. Mr. Bobier and his son in law, Mr. Dagget, came from Canada; were first class citizens, and possessed of considerable property and means. Mr. Bobier settled and improved the farm since owned by Jackson Means, while Mr. Dagget made some improvements on the farm afterwards owned by Robert S. Perry. About this time Thomas J. Owens, with his family; took possession of the cabin built and abandoned the previous summer by John H. Wolken, where he resided until the spring of 1857, when he sold his claim for $800 to Messrs. Marsh and, Hoskins, and took a claim near where Garnett is now located.

On the last day of April, 1856, a few days after Col. Buford landed at Kansas City, Missouri, with 300 men, to make Kansas a slave State, Solomon Kauffman and Joseph J. Ingliss, formerly of Pennsylvania, landed at the same place, and on the day following passed through Buford's camp at Westport, Missouri, and on the 3d day of May arrived at Lawrence, Kansas. After spending two weeks in looking over the Territory, they arrived at Mineral Point, on the 17th day of May, where they had a fair view of the western half of the county. Here they determined to stop, and, after visiting some of the settlers, they on the 19th of the same month selected their claims and commenced improving them, under very unfavorable circumstances, having nothing but their axes and hoes to work with. After getting the logs ready for their cabins, Kauffman drove Allen Dukes' breaking team during the working days of the week, for the use of his team to draw the logs to the place for his cabin on Sunday, that being the only day that he could get the use of the team.

This little settlement was isolated on the Pottowatomie, being fifteen miles from it to the neatest house, and the nearest postoffice or store was at the Sac and Fox Indian agency, a distance of eighteen miles, where either Kauffman or Ingliss would make an occasional trip for their mail, and to learn what was going on in the outside world. The news of the sacking of Lawrence, on the 21st of May, 1856, was not received in this settlement until the week following. It was brought by a Pro Slavery man named Ivey, and was very much exaggerated. He stated that all of the houses in Lawrence except three were in ashes, when in fact but three houses were burned. The killing of Sherman, Doyle and sons at Dutch Henry crossing of the Pottowatomie was not known for many days, and as soon as received the Dukes and their connections, all being Pro Slavery, sold their claims and left for Missouri.

In August following Otis Dagget and family left the Territory, and Kauffman and Ingliss went to Lawrence and enlisted in the Free State cause, leaving but two families, Bobier's and Carl's, in the neighborhood, with Thomas J. Owens and family residing some eight miles to the southeast, on the main Pottowatomie creek, isolated and alone, except when visited by the Indians, with whom he trafficked, exchanging "firewater" for ponies and pelts.

About the 15th of December, 1856, Kauffman returned to his claim, and with him came John S. Robinson, Charles W. Peckham and William G. Hill, who took claims in the same neighborhood, and were followed soon after by Robert D. Chase, ____ Caveness. and their families.

In the spring of 1857 there was a large immigration into this neighborhood, prominent among which were David Buffon, Cyrus H. James, James R. Means, Jackson Means, William C. Howard, David Duff, Rev. Isaac Eaton, John Eaton, Dr. Jacob Messic, Dr. D. B. Swallow, S. S. Tipton, James Donaldson and their families.

On the Fourth of July, 1857, the people in the western part of the township celebrated the nation's birth at Mineral Point, which was the first celebration in the township, and on that day those present gave the name "Mineral Point" to the mound where S. S. Tipton had located.

A military company was organized for mutual protection, the same day. The following is a complete roll of the company:

Captain, J. Miff; first lieutenant, Levi L. Hayden; second lieutenant, James H. Hadley; first sergeant, S. S. Patton; second sergeant, David P. Bethurem; first corporal, Edward Drum; second corporal, W. W. Whitaker; commissary, Q. A. Jordon; quartermaster, S. S. Tipton; privates, Nelson F. Tipton, George Hinde, Isaac Bethurem, David Sheener, James Caffrey, John Hayes, E. F. Boughton, Ezekiel Bull, Benj. Folk, John Folk, Isaac Van Camp, John Owen, H. H. Stone, George Linken, Francis Keeny, David F. Tabler, Chas. Boggus, E. W. Parmley, Thomas Runyan, John Groves, Peter Catner, James Hood.

Among the prominent settlers of this year, south and west of Mineral Point, were Levi L. Hayden, David P. Bethurem, D. F. Tabler, A. V. Poindexter, Daniel Lankard, Tobias Lankard, James H. Hadley, Samuel S. Patton, Samuel W. Arrant, T. W. Painter, Christopher Fox, Christian Bowman, Ezekiel Bull, John Groves, John T. Martin, Asa J. Yoder, John C. Kelso and Thomas McElroy.

In the summer the settlement was thrown into great excitement over the disappearance of a noted ox. After considerable search the head and hide were found in a hollow in the neighborhood, and the flesh in a well. The settlers met and organized a people's court - A. V. Poindexter, judge; Asa J. Yoder, clerk; and John Eaton, prosecuting attorney; and the parties suspicioned were placed en trial for stealing the ox. The farce of a trial was continued several days, nearly all the settlers in the immediate neighborhood being present. The court decided that the accused should pay for the ox and leave the Territory. The finding of the court was followed by forcibly compelling the accused and their families to leave the neighborhood, leaving good timbered claims. The parties who were clamorous for them to leave soon commenced cutting and hauling away the timber, to improve their own claims. In after years the accused returned and commenced suits against the trespassers; also a number of criminal prosecutions, which kept the settlement in confusion for several years, until many of the participants left the township, and their places were filled with industrious farmers.

The first death that occurred in the township was the wife of John Bobier, who died of consumption, contracted before she came to the Territory. She was buried July 19, 1857, south of the creek, on the farm afterwards owned by Robt. S. Perry.

The first marriage in the township was that of S. S. Patton and Rebecca Tipton, in the winter of 1857. They still reside in the township.

The first child born in the township was George Means, son of Jackson Means, in 1858.

In the spring of 1857 James B. Lowry, D. H. Shields, James S. Duncan and their families located in the eastern part of the township. Lowry was a lawyer, had been practicing his profession prior to leaving Ohio, and continued to practice in this. State for three or four years. He was a man of sound judgment, a fine lawyer, and was elected to the House of Representatives of the State in 1861.

In June, Stephen Marsh, Mrs. Hoskins, C. C. Hoskins, Simpson Lake and others from Iowa settled near Central City, in this township. In the following winter John B. Lambdin and his sons put up a good saw mill near Central City, and about the same time the Cresco town company set up a steam saw mill on a branch of the Pottowatomie, near the farm now owned by Joel T. Walker, which did good service.

On the 16th day of May, 1857, the Cresco town company was formed, with John S. Robinson, president; Wm. C. Howard, treasurer; and Solomon Kauffman, secretary; and was incorporated by an act of the Legislature of February 11, 1858. The company claimed, under the pre-emption act, the southwest quarter of section 21, and the northwest quarter of section 28, township zo, range 18, as a townsite. The company filed a plat of the same in the district land office.

Several buildings were erected the following summer. A blacksmith shop was established by Wm. C. Howard, and a wagon shop by James C. Kelso; also a postoffice, with Wm. C. Howard as postmaster, which was the second postoffice established in the county. Not being on a regular mail route it was supplied by mail from Hyatt, by private conveyance. James C. Kelso succeeded Mr. Howard as postmaster in the spring of 1859, and resigned in the autumn following. James R. Means was then appointed, and the office was moved to his house, some three miles north of Cresco.

The voting precinct for this part of the county was at Cresco, it being centrally located. In the spring of 1859 the inhabitants of the town, and many of the settlers in the neighborhood, caught the "Pike's Peak" gold fever, and the town was abandoned. The voting precinct was moved to Central City the same fall, where it still remains.

The first store in Central City was established by W. S. Eastwood and H. N. F. Reed, in the summer of 1858. Stephen Marsh and his son Oliver erected a large two story frame building at Central City, the same year, and established a good store, consisting of dry goods, groceries, hardware, boots and shoes, etc., and it was for several years the best mercantile establishment in the county. The Marshes opened a store in Humboldt in 1860, and J. S. Johnson succeeded them in Central City.

The first school district in the township was organized in 1859, with James R. Eaton, director; James R. Means, treasurer, and Solomon Kauffman, clerk. A school was taught the same year, with Jackson Means as teacher; using an abandoned log cabin, near where Samuel Earnest now resides, for a school house. This was the first school taught in the township, and was well attended. A school was taught in the same cabin the following winter by the same teacher, and in the spring of 1861 a permanent school house site for this district (No. 16) was selected one mile farther west, and a better building erected, which was soon after followed by a good substantial stone building, since known as the Moler school house, and, besides being used for school purposes, it has been used for religious services, Sabbath school and public meetings. The Reeder township fair, in the fall of 1871, was held at this place, and was equal to our county fairs in former years.

Among the prominent men who settled in this township during 1859 were John L. Hill, Mathew Porter, H. Facklam, A. O. Cooper, H. R. Hall, Robert Burk, James R. Wood, John S. Wood and A. L. Osborn, who took claims and made valuable improvements. A. L. Osborn established a blacksmith shop on the Humboldt road, south of where Cyrus H. Lowry now resides, and afterwards moved to Garnett, where he still carries on the same business.

John L. Hill took a claim on Cherry creek, and commenced improving it, with little or no means. Being a shoemaker by trade, he worked at the bench evenings, on wet days, and when he could spare the time from his plow. He now owns one of the best improved farms in the county, and has located several members of his family on good farms near him. Mathew Porter has improved a fine farm near Central City, and has been a very successful farmer. A. O. Cooper and his sons, William H. and Charles T. Cooper, improved fine farms in the same neighborhood.

Prominent among the settlers in 1860 were John Moler, Peter S. Patton, A. S. Blackstone, Michael Williams, Terance McGrath and A. V. Saunders. John Moler purchased the claim of 160 acres taken and improved by Dr. Messic, and has since purchased other land, and added to it, and has now one of the largest and best improved farms in the county, which he has stocked with a fine lot of thoroughbred and graded Durham cattle.

In 1857 a settlement was commenced on Ianthe creek, in the northwest part of the township. Prominent among the early settlers were Dr. D. B. Swallow, Joseph Benedum, Daniel Doolin, William Fitzgerald and Michael Glennen.

This is known as the Emerald (or Irish) settlement; it has a postoffice, and a fine church building, erected on an elevated point, where it can be seen for many miles. The congregation is Catholic, of good membership.

In 1865 C. H. Lowry established a steam saw mill on Pottowatomie creek, where he now resides, and continued to operate it for several years. S. W. Arrant built a small mill, run by water power, on his farm, west of Central City, but it never proved successful. A good steam saw mill was established in the spring of 1871, on the farm owned by Michael Williams; was afterwards sold to Smith P. Cornell, who subsequently moved it to Cherry creek, where it is still operated.

TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS.

1858, Solomon Kauffman, chairman; T. W. Painter and Joseph Benedum; 1859, J. R. Eaton, chairman.

TOWNSHIP TRUSTEES.

1860, H. N. F. Reed; 1861, Jackson Means; 1862-3-4, S. W. Arrant; 1865-6-7, John S. Johnson; 1868, John Moler; 1869, Jackson Means; 1870, Robert Burk; 1871, Jackson Means; 1872-3, James Legg; 1874, H. C. Reppert; 1875, Henry Facklam.

TOWNSHIP CLERKS.

1858, Asa J. Yoder; 1859, ___ ___; 1868-9-70, Daniel Hitchcock; 1871-2-3, John Aldridge; 1874, S. A. Baird; 1875, James McGahey.

TOWNSHIP TREASURERS.

From 1868 to 1875, inclusive, M. Porter.

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.

1858, S. W. Arrant, J. R. Eaton, Milan Grout and Stephen Marsh; 1860, S. W. Arrant and J. R. Eaton; 1861, J. R. Eaton and M. Porter; 1863, H. R. Hall and A. V. Saunders; 1865, M. Porter and Daniel Doolin; 1867, M. Porter and Jas. McGahey; 1869. M. Porter and Robert Burk; 1871, M. Porter and John H. Keiser; 1873, J. H. Keiser and Benj. Bacon; 1874, John Aldridge, to fill a vacancy; 1875, Thomas McGrath and S. A. Baird.


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