By George W. Stinson.
On the eleventh day of July, 1879, a petition was presented to the board of county commissioners, signed by
P. J. Hawes and fifty two others, asking that certain territory be taken from Chelsea and Sycamore townships and
organized as a township, to be called Lincoln township. The petition was laid over until the next regular meeting
of the board, and in October, 1879, the petition was granted and an election ordered held at the regular election
in November at Woodward precinct, for the election of township officers, which resulted as f lows: George Hobbs,
trustee; William Hoover, treasurer; A. H. Rose, clerk; C. Wing and John M. William, justices of the peace; Frank
Freeman and James Rhodes, Jr., constables.
A great portion of the northern part of the township was known as "Speculator's Land," that is, land
belonging to non residents, having been located by land warrants or script of some kind at a price of from fifty
cents per acre, up to $1.25. The odd numbered sections had been granted the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad
Company by the government to assist in constructing the railroad through the State.
The first settlement was in the southern portion by Charles Jefferson, in the late fifties, who came here with
Dr. Lewellyn, followed by Nattie Thompson and John Hobbs in the early sixties. In the summer of 1869, a family
by the name of Johnson located on what is now the Nuttle ranch, in the southwestern part of the township, and the
whole family, consisting of father, mother and three children, were drowned during that year.
An Englishman, name now forgotten, settled on what is now a portion of the Dowse farm, north of DeGraff. Section
27 was owned by Dr. Allen White and was always known as the Doctor's. Peter Hawes, John and F. C. Riley, Jr., William
Bost, the writer, George W. Stinson and a few others were among the early settlers of what is now Lincoln township.
A man by the name of Dick owned the land in section 26, through which the F. E. & W. V. railroad now runs,
and Dick's Station was at one time the first station north of El Dorado, the postoffice being kept there and was
called Woodward, after the maiden name of Mrs. Dick. There was no settlement north of this until you crossed the
county line. A public road ran north to Florence and the United States mail was carried through by that way to
El Dorado, Winfield and Arkansas City. Later, Col. A. C. Ramsey located near where the town of DeGraff now stands,
purchaing nearly all the then vacant land in the township. He laid out the town of DeGraff, moved Dick's Station
to that place, was instrumental in having a depot erected and stock yards built to accommodate himself and the
cattle men of northeast Butler, and it is a fact that at one time more cattle were unloaded at those stock yards
for grazing purposes than at any railroad station in the world.
But very few of the early settlers survive. Some have moved to other lands; some have gone to that country from
which they do not return. Some few and descendants of others are still living in the county.
Lincoln township is one of the banner townships of the county, adapted to both agriculture and stock raising, having
some of the finest farms and ranches in the county, with a branch of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad
traversing its entire length from north to south, a distance of about fifteen miles.