History of Richland Township, Kansas
From: History of Butler County, Kansas
BY: Vol. P. Mooney
Standard Publishing Company
Lawrence, Kansas 1916

RICHLAND TOWNSHIP.
By L. D. Himebaugh.

Richland township is bounded on the north by Pleasant township, on the east by Douglass township, on the south by Cowley county, on the west by Sedgwick county, situated in the center of a prosperous and productive area known as the Big Four Counties of Kansas.

Pioneer Period. - The pioneer period in the writer's view and experience terminated proper with the grasshopper plaugue and devastation of 1874. What can be said of events and endurance of settlers in one section or township of this domain (unequalled in a like area today within the bounds of Kansas) will apply in a great measure to all parts of the territory. The first white settlement within the bounds of what is now known as Richland township was made on Eight Mile Creek in the summer of 1868 by John Steock, James Olmstead and Harve Henderson. This was the year of the Indian depredation to the extent of the killing of Mr. Dunn and his associate about three fourths of a mile southwest of the Olmstead mill, built in 1872 and later known as Dunn's mill. This had a tendency to confine settlement to near town (or rather town site) of Douglass for that summer; but the following year the valley of Eight Mile was claimed as far as the north line of the township, and cabins were erected by A. Liddle, H. Kellems, V. Love, M. G. Jones and Dick Reed. In the early spring of 1870 the writer laid claim to a share of this beautiful domain, locating on the south line of the township, which was then bounded on the south by Indian Territory. No soldiers patrolled the line and such a person as a "sooner" was not known. No person was a trespasser; anywhere he wished to go he had only to take his chances on meeting with half civilized or hostile Indians or being visited by that class of people in sheep's clothing, who made a business of borrowing horses at night and never returning them. It was a necessary custom with settlers that summer to bring all work stock from the lariat and tie them to a wagon or near a tent or shanty before retiring for the night. But over in Douglass township in November of that year they began tying up suspicious men at the rate of eight per month, which had a telling effect in keeping horses from straying off at night. In July of this year all the Indian land to the south side of the State was treated for and surveyed the following winter.

This started a flow of immigration into this part of the State and Richland got her share for several years, when the grasshopper invasion and devastation of 1874 caused a lull in this line. Not only this, but many settlers left the township and some the State to spend the winter with wives' folks and other kindred. While the grasshopper invasion of this year came without warning in August, yet one month previous, July 26, the settlers of south Butler and north Cowley received a midnight warning that later proved to be false, but not until nearly every settler from the Arkansas River east to Walnut had deserted their homes in haste. Some children were loaded into wagons in their night garments with such supplies as were at hand and off they went, fleeing as they thought from a band of hostile Indians reported to have burned Belle Plain and coming east, killing and scalping every woman and child enroute.

The Cheyenne and Osage Indians being a little on the warpath that year as to tribal claims, afforded some grounds for the belief of the report that was started by two parties who were making a night ride east to unknown parts, and for a sensational motive called at a farm house and reported that a band of Indians was slaughtering the settlers just west of the river and they were fleeing from them. They reported the same at every house they passed, not giving any explanation only that they saw the Indians and Belle Plain was in flames. A paririe fire in that direction helped to give credence to their report. They soon had some follows, and they, feeling an interest in the safety of their neighbors, the tidings spread and the thoughs of defending wife and little ones at home prompted many to join the sampede for a more numerous and defensive stronghold. The writer was routed out by a lad, who with his parents was several miles from home, just as the first ray of morning light was visible in the eastern horizon. He related his Indian story, and requested him to get a gun and join them about eighty rods west at the house of Mr. Broughton. After getting on boots, and starting a fire, we sauntered out to learn the cause for all this, and found that the boy was not trying to play a joke on a lone bachelor. After consoling myself with the thought that no Indians were coming our way, I returned, got breakfast, did the morning chores, then saddled my horse and galloped south a mile to learn how the widow Daniels and her large family were feeling over this Indian scare report. To my surprise all were gone save the old gray mare that was grazing leisurely about the yard. The kitchen door was open and sugar, flour and other supplies were scattered about the floor. Not seeing any marks of Indian depredations or moccasin footprints, we at once concluded that they, too, had got up earlier than usual and hastened away to save their scalps. On returning home we learned that Eight Mile and Walnut woods were full of men, women and children, and on half rations and ammunition, caused by their hasty exit from home. Sam Parker and several others went out west to spy out the situation, returning soon after the noon hour with the report that no Indians were in it at all. The whole thing was a sham ands a false report. This was tidings of great joy, and all returned to their homes swearng vengeance against the ones who originated the stampede. It was later reported that those two fellows never stopped till they struck the blackjacks in Missouri.

The winter of 1874-1875 is known and remembered as the "aid winter," not alone for the amount of aid the remaining settlers of the township received in the full sense of the emergency, but the style of supplies sent by the kind, sympathetic people of other States for gratuitous distribution among the grasshopper sufferers of Kansas. Augusta being the county central supply headquarters, everything was sent there, and every two weeks it was appropriated to the different township committees and brought by one of them or their order for final distribution. The aid distributing point for this township was at the home of Deacon Harris, one half mile west of the center of the township. Here nearly all he Richlanders met on the first and third Saturday afternoons of each month, more to see and associate together than to receive. The style of wearing apparel placed on exhibition for claimants and distribution caused great amusement and was more varied, than their wardrobe had ever contained and might have put even the Indians to flight. At the present day it would be styled a rummage sale. They were the cast off garments of forty years ago or more, gathered from attics "way down East," such as old Shaker and pasteboard bonnets, stove pipe hat with ventilators in the top, homespun dress skirts, striped threadbare shawls, cutaway swallow tail coats, old barn door pants, etc. The supplies for the inner man were more fitting and more sought for, which consisted of corn meal, flour, sugar, beans and occasionally bacon and dried fruit. At one time by mistake a barrel of coffee was sent instead of a barrel of beans. It was not distributed, the committee saying that it came by mistake and would be returned and corrected. It was returned to the back room and was lost in the hands of the committee. The writer doesn't vouch for the accuracy of this saying, not being a beneficiary, but was several times a member of said distributing committee, which was revised in part or whole each month. This gratuitous distribution ceased long before grass started, but the people and stock went through the winter in fair working trim. Prominent among those who survived this period and are 'still residents of the township are Dick Reed, James McCluggage, L. M. Williams, Nathan Davis, R. L. Hodgin, J. H. Harris, A. J. Cramer and a few others. Since the writer changed his residence from the farm to Wichita, the first named of this list is now the only resident of the township still residing on the claims settled on in the early spring of 1870. The closing of this period is generally considered to have been a "blessing in disguise." The continued drought of 1874 had doomed most of the crops when the grasshopper invasion of August came and consumed what little there was left save a few small fields of early planting on the streams, so the grasshopper was the leading issue of destruction. Meetings were called at various places and the situation discussed; expense funds were raised and a soliciting agent was sent back East to his old home and friends with circulars and even official affidavits of the horrible state of the grasshopper devastation in Kansas, which was liberally responded to and very encouraging reports and supplies followed. The first cash in many instances was returned to the donors in defraying railroad expenses of the party sent, after which all donations were equally divided among the needy of that section. A stock company of ten was formed in North Cowley county by advancing five dollars each to send Adam Walck back to Ohio. This committee of ten was to have full benefit of all aid solicitations by him while in Ohio. The first consignment was clothing and one hundred dollars. This was too per cent profit in cash to the stockholders and their stock at once went to a premium. One young fellow sold his stock to a poor widow for her only cow. Later another party sold his twice in one day, as he was ready to leave the country, realizing twenty dollars. No further cash contributions came through that channel. The most lasting benefit to the State at large in this line was in the individual and Congressional contribution of seeds in abundance of various kinds, which started the country afresh with the best seeds of the land. Yet, in short, all church, public and individual aid from the East was duly appreciated as will be later noted.

Richland township during this pioneer period was visited by several destructive prairie fires caused by Indians firing the prairie. South of us, near the State line, with favorable wind and little obstruction, it soon swept north for many miles. In October, 1871, the greater part of Richland surface was swept by one of these fires, the loss of much property and one death resulting. George Cline, then at work on Eight Mile for M. G. Jones, perceiving that a fire was coming from the south, at once set out to protect his claim shanty, located one mile south, but the raging flames reached there before he did. His only hope was to hasten back, but was soon overtaken by the oncoming fire sand in an effort to run through the flames all his clothing was burned from his person. In this agonizing state he managed to get back to Mr. Jones', and died from his injuries the following day. In his conscious hours he related his experience, stating that he had on his person $230 in a leather pocketbook. After his sufferings ended several parties went up to search for the lost purse. A few buttons and a pocket knife were found and also footprints of a horse, which was followed to a place two miles northeast, a light rain having fallen after the fire passed over, making it an easy matter to follow the footprints. The peculiar shape of the track led to the ownership of the horse, and on inquiry it was learned that he had started on business for Emporia that morning. Two parties with a legally executed search warrant were hastened up the valley, overtaking their man above El Dorado, who denied finding the purse, but on being informed that he would have to submit to a search, as they held papers to that effect, he confessed and produced the outward scorched purse with full contents and was permitted to go on. In the same fire, Mrs. M. H. 'Lea, near the center of the township, on seeing the coming flames nearing her house, and thinking it would be consumed, in her excitement picked up the feather bed and ran out of doors in order to save it, but before she found a suitable place for it the smoke and heat caused her to drop the bed and get back in the house. The feather bed was cremated, but the house and contents were uninjured. The following year in an electric storm, Joseph Kellems, only son of Harmon Kellems, and a brother of Mrs. Jesse Perry, was instantly killed by lightning a few hundred yards west of where Pleasant Valley school house now stands. Following this, another respected citizen residing in the west part of the township, Mr. Meeker, lost his hay barn from this cause, consuming two horses and a wagon. Recovering somewhat from this loss, he left the township and later, With a member of his family, met death on a railroad crossing in Cowley county.

It can be said to the credit of Richland that during this period when unwritten law and expert bluffing and spasmodic use of firearms predominated, no serious blood was shed in adjusting rights of settlers and their deliberations one with the other. On the other hand, every settler's latch string hung out, and his, supplies for the inner man (if he had any) were in a measure free and it was no crime or trespass for one settler to stop and get feed for himself and horse in the absence of the proprietor. He would leave his card of thanks and move on, perhaps looking for a claim, a stray horse, or something else. It was a period of socialism in its true sense, as one person was just as good as his best neighbor and had just as much (nothing) and could easily and readily divide.

Exports of this period consisted principally of hides from long horn cattle that had failed to tide through the winters after having been driven from Texas late in the season; a few deer pelts and furs, such as mink, otter, wolf, raccoon and feathered game during the winter season. The imports were everything else of necessity, wagoned from Emporia and later from Florence, except venison and buffalo meat, which was then obtained near at hand, but not without some hardships and suffering when overtaken by blizzards so frequent in those days on the treeless prairie. Jake VanBuskirk described the outcome of those days in this manner: On being interrogated by a new comer, the following year, as to how the people managed to live through this trying pioneer period, said: "Well, sir, it was just this way: Our garments waxed not old in those days, and we subsisted principally on grasshoppers, buffalo meat, dead prairie chickens, jack rabbits, slippery elm bark and catfish."

On or about the beginning of the year of 1875, the cloud of pioneer gloom and adversity rapidly dispersed and the sunlight of progress and prosperity rewarded the toilers with bountiful crops for many years to the extent that Richland had plenty and to spare. In just one decade, from 1874 to 1884, when the township conributed a full car of No. I corn to the Ohio Valley sufferers, caused by the highest water ever known in that valley, a whole train load was sent from Kansas, a reciprocal donation for past favors, with interest, based on money value. This corn was sold to a Kentucky syndicate and the proceeds given to the destitue. We learned that it was converted into wh?skey and presume shipped back to the West under the label of Kentucky Bourbon or Old Rye, and sold for four or five dollars per gallon. This was equal to assisting a mule from the mire and when his going is established, to have him right about and kick you. The rapid settlement of Richland during this decade (and previous) were by an industrious class of people and early advocates of schools, education and political equal rights.

Richland township, in its primitive state previous to 1874, politically was under Douglass township rule, they having the balance of power, controlling the nomination and election of all township officers. All judiciary was held in Douglass and heavy assessing in Richland. The trustee would come over into Richland and assess everything he could find on a claim whether the owner was there or not, regardless to whom it belonged, just so he knew who was holding down the claim; assess all rails and posts anywhere on the land at five dollars per hundred and all dead animals (if he could learn that they were alive on March 1st of that year) and all in school district No. 20. This and the course of other events, of taxation without representation, caused the circulation of a petition praying that we might be set off as a separate township, which petition was at first rejected by the county commissioners on grounds that it was penciled instead of being penned, and a few other minor technicalities. A meeting was then called at Maple Creek school house, the petition renewed and enlarged and names suggested for the township. H. B. Furgeson claims to have suggested the name Richland, which being most appropriate and fitting, was adopted. The prayed for petition was granted in January, 1874, and the first election was held on April 19th of that year in a claim house owned by Mrs. Snodgrass, situated near the southeast corner of southwest one fourth of section 15. A few days previous to the election a called meeting was held at Maple Creek school house, and the following ticket formulated: Trustee, J. H. Lowery; clerk, B. M. Hodgin; treasurer, A. J. Cramer; justices, Smith Goodspeed and J. Vanhouton; constables, F. Fleck and J. Oldham. At this first election forty eight votes were cast. Early on election day a bolt was made on the nominee for trustee and L. B. Hull was elected in his stead along with the balance of the ticket.

This election board was composed of, judges, Smith Goodspeed, T. Fleck, M. H. Lee; clerks, J. H. Lowery and L. D. Himebaugh.

This being the hopper devastation year, our State motto, "Ad Astra Per Aspera," can be very fittingly applied to this little subdivision. All the elect qualified in due time, save treasurer, who, for cause of absence from township, L. D. Himebaugh was appointed in his stead for ensuing year. Same officers were re-elected the following year. L. B. Hull served the township as trustee for several years, and was succeeded by James McCluggage for two terms. Up to this time party politics was not known or recognized in selection of candidates for township officers, which was usually done with little or no previous arrangement, on the morning of election. Clerks and judges of election after being duly sworn and opening of polls, would have a temporary recess, till ticket was formulated and ready to be passed by a judge from the hand of a voter to a paper box (usually a shoe box) with hole in top covered with a primer, almanac or a pamphlet of recent election laws. At this period and for a few years later, township elections were held in February, until Richland Centre school house was built in 1878. All elections were held one half mile west at "Deacon Harris's," or on south side of road at Rev. Harrison's. Just previous to the spring election of 188o the first township (Republican') caucus was held and the following township ticket nominated: Trustee, L. D. Himebaugh; treasurer, D. W. Ulam; clerk, James Walton; justices, Smith Goodspeed and A. Vanhouton; constables, H. B. Furgeson and Than Fleck.

This year in early summer Smith Goodspeed moved from Kansas to Oregon, after having served as justice eight years and having had many important as well as many unimportant justice of peace cases to dispose of which when carried to higher courts, his finding was generally sustained. One on change of venue was the noted civil action, wherein Niel Wilkie was plaintiff and Sam Parker, defendant. Controversy was over an old stone wagon worth $10 or $12 used by plaintiff while making the fill in Walnut river west of Douglass. Both plaintiff and defendant claiming ownership of wagon by purchase from different parties. After being used several days by plaintiff, it disappeared between two days, and its whereabouts were only known (or supposed to be known) by defendant. A legal search did not reveal all parts of the wagon. The plaintiff at a hearing before Justice Goodspeed was represented by Attorney A. L. Redden of El Dorado, and defense by Wall Webb of Winfield. The proceeding was to establish ownership of property. After all evidence had been produced and ably commented on by attorneys, the Court's finding was for defendant. Appeal was taken to a higher court, which, in time, sustained the justice Court's decision, and the wagon, if ever found, was probably by this time in some junk pile. Mr. Goodspeed was a justice in the full sense of the term, would always bring about a compromise between litigants, if in his power to do so. At one time two of his neighbors, of equal merit in his estimation, became angered and a little bloodthirsty at each other over trespassing of stock pro and con between them, one had exacted several dollars' damage by retaining his stock, when found on his premises a few days later, his cattle was lured across the road and corralled. Notice was given the owner, of which he paid no heed, but at a late hour of the 'night, stole across and drove his stock home. On finding his neighbor's stock was back home in the morning without his knowledge, his indignation was then ripe for a fight or a suit. Squire Goodspeed was consulted, failing to effect a peaceable settlement and wishing to avoid a suit, suggested a settlement by referee, by taking thirteen names of householders in the community, and each party striking off alternately one name till twelve were challenged, and the remaining one should hear the evidence and his decision be final. This being agreed upon, the referee honor, task or misfortune fell to L. D. Himebaugh, who, after hearing the sworn testimony of plaintiff and defendant, revealing the fact that defendant had wilfully opened carroll and driven the cattle from plaintiff's enclosure, in violation of herd law custom, his decision was $1 damages to be paid plaintiff by defendant and cost of referee proceedings in all, $4.40. Justice Goodspeed enjoyed or rather endured nearly all township, judiciary and legal business, even in officiating in occasional marriages, whose tying up, like that of his judiciary, was seldom reversed. The justice of the peace business in central and southern part of township was later administered by H. B. Furgeson, James Walton, L. D. Himebaugh, J. H. Price and A. J. Thetgee, all of whom, save latter, enjoyed all the business they desired and more too, and gladly passed it on to some one else at expiration of office term. The same can be said of Staley, Smith, Hall, Oldham and Vanhouton, in north part of township, who officiated at different times, in that capacity.

Republican nominees with L. B. Hull as trustee met with success at polls in 1882-3-4-5, head of ticket suffered defeat, first by a Republican and later a Democrat, (B. M. Hodgin), who held the office two years, by' reason of a legislative act setting aside spring elections and continuing township officers till November election. The November election of 1886 resulted as follows: Trustee, James McCluggage; clerk, A. Simpson; treasurer, D. W. Ulam; justices, Rev. Woodward and H. B. Furgeson. Trustee elected November, 1887, A. J. Cramer; trustee elected November, 1888, James McCluggage; trustee elected November, 1889, B. M. Hodgin; trustee elected November, 1890, Elias Mitchell; trustee elected November, 1891, Elias Mitchell; trustee elected November, 1892, A. J. Cramer; trustee elected November, 1893, W. S. Bacon; trustee elected Novmber, 1894, H. B. Furgeson; trustee elected November, 1895 and 1896, H. D. Olmstead; trustee elected November, 1897 and 1898, B. G. Chauncy; trustee elected November, 1899, J. M. Kuhn; trustee elected. November, 1900 and 1901, N. Russell; trustee elected November, 1902 and 1903, F. Staley. which office was made vacant by person elect moving from township, and L. D. Himebaugh was appointed by county commissioners to fill vacancy. After this date by legislative act, township officers were elected for two years, instead of one. Trustee elected 1904, Ralph McCluggage; trustee elected 1906, Ralph McCluggage; trustee elected 1908, O. E. King; trustee elected 1910, O. E. King. Three members of first county commissioner's district were chosen from Richland during this period: A. Masterson, Lafe Stone, and L. B. Hull (later by appointment to fill vacancy). Several of her.worthy citizens have been honored with a place on county ticket, but generally location and not qualification were adverse to success at polls, except on educational lines, treated of in following subject.

As formerly stated, Richland pioneers were early advocates of schools and methods of education. And like all new countries, efforts to organize a school district had its adversaries, as a small per cent. of the land was dedded and subject to taxation, many householders were bachelors. A school district, to enumerate fifteen children of school age. required in the early '70's nine or ten square miles in order to erect a school building by bond issue, and in many cases this bond proposition met with defeat through those who would have the burden of taxation to bear for a few years, and those whose time had not yet come to have children of their own to educate. In districts where this interest predominated a claim house was donated, by some bachelor who had made final entry on his claim or perhaps moved in with a neighbor bachelor, to let his house be fixed up and used for school purposes. Law made it necessary for a term of three months school to be taught by a qualified teacher in a newly formed district before being entitled to any state funds. This first school by subscription, like many other requirements in pioneer days, was breaking the ice and paving the way for smoother sailing and better days. Yet, with few exceptions, all settlers subscribed freely towards maintaining the first school, but in many instances, drouth, grasshoppers or prairie fires caused some to fall short of their subscription when time and effort to collect rolled round. A teacher's order in those days, like some other commercial paper, was not worth much at home and less abroad, necessitating a few to increase their original subscriptions to meet delinquency. School district No. 63, being the first to organize within the bounds of township embracing three and one half miles North and South, and three miles East and West. First school was taught in early summer of '73, by Mrs. Freeman at $15 per month, in a claim house near the southeast corner of northeast quarter of section 27, belonging to James Lee, repaired and fitted up for school purposes. There being no travelled roads or visible lines, it was thought best by patrons to run a furrow from school house to northeast corner of district, which was done with breaking plow to aid pupils in that part of the district to go to and from school. The following year district 8o was organized in southwest corner of township, being the first to erect a school building by aid of bonds. Said bonds were sold at eighty cents. Seventy eight, (Diamond), district followed in organizing and soon erected a fine stone school building. Eighty one was organized and completed its school building a short time prior to that of 78. One hundred nine was next organized and several terms were taught in a claim house before a school building proper was erected. District No. too, previously numerically given, but later organized in limitation by taking territory from districts 63, 78, and 1909, in order that a suitable location of said district 100 would be in centre of township, convenient for both school and township purposes. District 110, on or near north line of township, was also organized in the latter '70's, being very artistically finished for that day, but like that of 81, got too big for its clothes, and merged with several other districts, (or parts of them), into a consolidated union in 1907 for methods of advanced education.

In less than one decade from date of organization in Richland township had seven public school buildings within her borders, where, in each a school was maintained from three to seven months during the year, and Richland soon took place in first column and near the top too for good school buildings, good schools and good teachers. From the ranks of its teachers came the first female county superintendent of Butler county, Mrs. Florence Holcomb Olmstead, who devoted her time, talent, and energy in the discharge of her official duty, giving, as it were, her life in the line of education and reform. She, coming to Kansas from Indiana with her parents in seventy two, began teaching at the age of sixteen, was Federal census enumerator of Richland township in 1880. She died at the age of thirty three, near the close of her office term as county superintendent. Four years later, 1894, another one of Richland's teachers, K. M. Holcomb, a member of same family, was called by vote of the people to the high and honorable office of county superintenden of public institutions. Like that of his sister, his administration was up to date, of that day in theory and practice, full of flowers and reforms; pertaining to education and social interest, leaving footprints, not in the sands, but indelibly stamped in the minds of the rising generation to his official credit and the fair land if Richland.

On completion of the Sante Fe cut off from Augusta to Mulvane, the name and business of Rose Hill was moved one mile west, and enjoyed a steady growth in business and population; that the town with a little adjoining territory formed a school district, erecting the eighth school building within the township, in the year 189o, numerically known as district No. .... or the New Rose Hill school. A few years later the consolidation of rural districts for a township, or central high school, was strongly advocated by leading educators and being adopted and tried with good results in some sections of the State; the energetic people of Rose Hill and vicinity were enthused with the opportunity for establishing a high consolidated school in the young town as a further incentive to progress and prosperity. After due and legal primaries, an election was called, resulting in favor of consolidation of four school districts. A bond election was held in due time to vote on the proposition to issue bonds to the amount of $10,000 for the erection of a consolidated high school building. Said election resulted in favor of bond issue; the city hall was fitted up and seated for school purposes, where the first school was held, commencing September, 1908, with 200 pupils attending. On completion of the new, commodious and imposing school building, a feeling of good cheer went up from patrons and pupils. September, 1909, the four departments with principal and four assistants, opened with renewed vigor and increased enrollment of pupils, for a nine month term for ensuing year. Lilly Picket and Merl Moon have the honor of being the first graduates of this institution, which exercises were held at close of term, 1909.

Under amusements is classed the various methods of social sporting and beneficial entertainments during this historical period. The first indulgence in this line by early settlers was as much of a necessity as amusement. Deer, antelope, badger, (and along the streams, wild turkey, raccoons and beaver), were quite numerous, affording both sport and meat, in their capture. At times several hcrsemen with hounds and guns would chase a bunch of deer or antelope, as much for the sport as their capture. Mr. Couch and his boys, (later of Oklahoma fame), would often indulge in that kind of sport between the Walnut and Arkansas generally bagging their game by the time the chase reached one of the extremes. The writer well remembers when at one time his newly made garden suffered a tramping up by two does and a buck, leading four hounds followed by several broncos and riders; none ever so much as halted to offer an apology for the intrusion; one half mile west the creek was crossed and a counter chase was made down north side of creek, resulting in the capture of one doe; the other two were permitted to go on for the chase another day, or target for some settler's rifle. The still and hide hunt was more successful in bagging of antelope and turkey. A pony purse, horse race and occasional shooting match for a hog, goose or turkey was indulged in with much compelling interest in those days; until the fair sex numbers and influence changed the order of things somewhat, when social gatherings at some ranch dwelling was of frequent occurance, where quadrille and waltz kept pace and step to violin music.

Like all pioneer settlements, the dance mania like the ague, of that day, was nearly unanimous, at least the majority had it bad, yes and good too, as later on, when Richland was part of Rev. Harrison's mission field, the proceeds of a social dance and supper was occasionally means for a pastor's donation; and by him accepted in good faith. These social entertainments were soon varied somewhat by organization of literary societies for social and mutual benefit. The first in the township was organized December 14, 1872, at John Gardener's house, situated near south line of section 17. The prime movers being Mr. Goodspeed, Mr. Gardner, Mrs. Weston, Miss Jennie Weston and Miss Maria Walton. This was principally a debating society, of questions pertaining to best interest and needs of settlers, herd law, female suffrage, credit system, etc. The participants were Gardner, Goodspeed, Roberts, Doc. Berger, Tucker, Walton, Gaymon, Stansberry, McCluggage, Carlton, Furgeson, and Mrs. Weston. The society was well attended and well conducted, meeting semi monthly during the winter. It was re-organized at same place in early winter of seventy three, and changed place of meeting to Maple Creek school house on its completion in 1874, at which place it was re-organized and held for several consecutive winters. Soon after the completion of school building in district 78, (Diamond), an interesting debating society was organized in that part of township. The leading lights being L. B. Hull and sons, Williams, Cox, Sinclair, Davis, Picket and the Hodgin brothers. A good literary program, consisting of vocal and instrumental music, readings, dialogues and paper, was rendered semi monthly. L. M. Williams held the standing appointment as critic at all meetings, whose criticisms were beneficially and well rendered. The society continued with unabated interest for several winters. The third organization of this nature within the borders of the township was at Providence school house during the winter of 1883-4, and known as the Rose Lawn Literary society which met semi monthly during the winter, being a debating society, in general. Participants were W. G. Giesy, George Bannon, J. R. McKay, Dr. Work, H. B. Furgeson, Himebaugh, A. C. Thetgee and others. Following this, a few years later, the Mutual Information Society was organized and held meetings for mutual benefit in town hall over the store, during the winter and early spring. This being a select or restricted organization, a clause in the by-laws required all members to prepare and take part in all duties and subjects assigned them by president or committee on program, which made it diversified and no less interesting and beneficial. Another known as the Twilight Club, composed of school "marms," male teachers and students, met for mutual benefit at stated intervals in south part of the township, during the closing winter of the nineteenth century, Miss Cora Stanley being the prime mover. In north part of township, reading clubs and spelling contests greatly interested the progressive class during the nineties. The growth of Rose Hill during this and the following decade brought about the more up to date instruction and entertainments. Aside from the high school entertainments, and base ball contests, a series of lecture courses was held during the winter of 1909 and 1910 through auspices of the Lyceum Bureau, at the Rose Hill high school building.

As the primitive customs, of no noted observance of the Sabbath day, in the business routine of labor and sociability with the early settlement of S. W. Kansas, like that of all other pioneer sections, grew in numerical strength, a Christian spirit, leading to Sabbath observance naturally begins to find favor and endorsement among all civilized people, so it was in Richland. 'Tis conceded that the first Sunday school organized within the bounds of Richland township was at the claim house of Miss Maria Walton, situated on northwest corner of southwest quarter section thirty three, in the summer of 1872. The prime movers being Miss Walton and brothers, all supplies being sent from Waukesha, Wis., their former home. The school continued to grow in interest and was later moved to the home of Mr. Hatch and on completion of the school house was for years held there, known as the Maple Creek Sunday school.

At one period under the superintendency of L. P. Carlton was recognized the banner Sunday school of Richland township. Following this a Union Sunday school was organized in the north part of township, which was well attended and much interest manifested. Mr. and Mrs. Haines and Mr. Staley were active in advancing the cause. In the late summer of seventy two, Rev. Green of the M. E. faith and order was given a Mission field in Southwest Butler and adjoining territory. He held a series of meetings at Stanberry's house the following winter. The second missionary awakening was in the north part of to township, by one or more parties advocating the Seventh day Advent doctrine. Meetings were held at the home of B. M. Hodgen, (a bachelor), whose home and hospitality were always open for religious services, as well as social entertainments, which often varied the evangelistic service with a change of program, for one evening. Rev. Harrison followed Rev. Green in his Mission field for a few years, organizing several classes. He was later followed by Rev. McCollister who changed the denominational order to that of Protestant Methodist which gained numerical strength and following, resulting in the erection and dedication of the first church house within the bounds of the township, in eighty four, situated on northeast quarter of section 23, known as the Pleasant Hill church. Several years later, Rose Hill class built a good church house, and later in 1906 the same denomination erected a church two miles south of township, known as the Red Bud Church. The three classes constituted a ministerial field till 1909 when at the convening of the general conference, Rose Hill was set off as a station. Since then one minister is employed for Rose Hill class and one for Pleasant Hill and Red Bud.

The faith and order known as Friends were early in exercising their influence and worship, holding meetings from time to time at various places in north part of the township, and as early as 1881 completed a church house near the north line of the township, from which the good benefits have emanated equal in a great measure to that of Penn in colonial days. The next awakening was that of the Christian order by Revs. Harvey, Barret, Yard, in the latter seventies which gained endorsement and following through series of meetings held in various parts of township, setting forth Scripture teaching and the duty of man to man, and man to God, not fully in harmony with other orthodox creeds and belief. A joint discussion on this line worthy of historic note between Rev. Yard and an M. E. clergyman was held at Pleasant valley school house in July, 1879. The day was warm and sultry and the house filled to overflowing; during services a small cloud was seen to form apparently from a clear sky followed by a distant peal of thunder. As the approaching cloud grew more dense and gradually taking on the form of a twister, the knowledge being conveyed by the onlookers outside to the attentive listeners inside, soon marred the real interest of the discussion, which was changed to that of fear of the approaching storm. Some with their rigs hastily departed for home. The services had a premature concluding, as the approaching dense twister lowered and drew nearer, causing many to desert the dwelling and seek outside protection along the hedges to which they clung with a firm grip, trusting divine power beyond the elements for protection. It is said as Mr. Turner Holcomb and wife came and saw the impending danger, Mrs. Holcomb, realizing that they could not reach home, said, "We must trust to Providence," while her husband remarked, "Yes, trust in Providence, but cling to the hedge roots." The center of the storm passed near, followed by a slight sprinkle of hail and drenching rain. The fierceness of the twister lowered to earth northwest of the school house and swept everything in its path in a northeasterly direction, stricking the house of John Nichols, swept it from foundation, scattering contents and material for a mile or more along its path, also vehicles and some stock on the premises. Occupants sought refuge in an out door cellar, the only thing not torn asunder by the cyclone. No lives were lost in Richland and no thoughts or theory attributes the freak elements of that Sabbath day to the joint discussion in the little school house, where both art and nature was made manifest, not soon to be forgotten, by those who heard, saw, feared and felt.

Later the religious work was furthered along through the labors of Revs. Wright and Cain, resulting in the erection of a fine church building in the latter eighties, situated on south line of section 15 as a beacon light and gospel dispensary; gaining numerical strength, as well as being the early Christian home of Harold Olmstead, son of H. D. Olmstead, who later has won distinction in his evangelistic work in other states as well as at home. With three denominational churches, within her borders and four nearby (Friends) in which two or more ordained ministers of today had their early Christian home, Revs. Wells and Hinshaw, and two of the M. P. denomination, A. Shipman and H. Woodward, who later joined the M. E. church in his early ministry; which all goes to show Richland's output and progress in Christian workers and work in line with all other advances during this historical period and greater results of the seed sown will doubtles later be known.

In 1890 the Federal census of Richland (taken by the writer) recorded the least percent. of illiteracy of any enumerator district in the state, save one, being a fraction over one and one half per cent. of all who were ten years old and over, and the same can be said on the line of poverty and pauperism.

The first Federal postoffice established within bounds of the township was in 1873 at the residence of L. M. Williams, situated on southeast quarter of section 5, and known as Rose Hill postoffice, deriving the name through J. H. Lowrey who had a great fancy for botanical culture and made great effort to beautify his home claim, the northwest quarter of section 8, in the early summer of seventy three by growing roses and other flowers and shrubbery to his fancy to be known as the Rose farm. But his efforts were badly blighted the following year by the grasshopper invasion, and all he had left to start with on the following spring was the name, which was perpetuated in the name of the postoffice, L. M. Williams being first postmaster and continued as such for five years, when the office was moved north one mile to the house of H. C. Staley who succeeded Mr. Williams as postmaster. A few years later, Mr. Meeker succeeded Mr. Staley till Rose Hill became a railroad village and office established, The second Federal office was at Rev. Harrison's on section 21 and known as Richland Centre, in 1878 or 1879, being discontinued in 1882. The third Federal postoffice within bounds, was in the early summer of 1883 on section 34, Providence postoffice, the name given the inland mineral water resort. John Dunnell was appointed postmaster, whose son, C. F. Dunnell, pre-empted the land and sunk a well to the depth of 142 feet and struck water of a salty, peculiar taste. He was advised to have it analyzed rather than discarding its use entirely for domestic purposes; which was done. The great beneficial and curative properties were tested by several, for ailments and infirmities. Among those was A. Hide of Wichita, who, after receiving great benefit from the use of water, was instrumental and prime mover in the organizing of a stock company, for improvements of well, comforts and convenience of any who stood in need of the healing balm.

A general supply store was built north of the road by A. A. Hyde, also the fine country dwelling (now owned by K. M. Holcomb). The store building was one of two stories. Norman Hagan acted as proprietor of the store, his family occupying the rooms above. This continued for a time. The stock was later purchased by H. T. Holcomb who continued the store and postoffice for •several years. N. M. Hare put up a convenient blacksmith shop on the new town site, Warrender & Beedy a good livery barn; a dwelling of modern architecture was also built nearby and occupied several years by R. Warrender. Copner built on Mineral street and kept a fair stock of merchandise in connection with the postoffice. C. F. Dunnell and another family had their residences on this street, and Rev. Latham later conducted a store on Providence row. Dr. Adams for a time occupied the hotel and conducted a drug store. The north building on Mineral street was a neat cottage built and occupied by the builder, as a residence and confectionary in a small degree. All lines of business enjoyed a profitable patronage so long as the prime movers and patrons, during the Wichita boom days, lent support and advocated the beneficial effects of a few weeks' outing at the Providence mineral resort. Numerous parties during the summer of 1885-6 and later, from Wichita, enjoyed (or endured) a few weeks' stay at Providence, Butler county.

Causing a depression or cessation of business and interest of Providence, on par, with that of the Peerless Princess collapse period. When Wichita lost faith in herself, Providence was sold to the farmers in that vicinity. Following this was the Oklahoma boom and opening, and many of the village residents winged that way. Soon many dwellings of the mineral well village left on wheels. George Osborn has several on his farm which have been twice wrecked by cyclone since moving; he said it was Providentially so ordained and no fault of his. One store and the postoffice was kept alive by various parties until 1898 when it was discontinued and the building moved off, leaving the hotel and K. M. Holcomb's residence of the original Providence, which still remain. The hotel is now by beqeathment the property of Ed Dunnell, son of C. F. Dunnell. With the gradual decline and patronage of the healing qualities of the Providence mineral output, during the eighties, was the incentive for Rose Hill to forge to the front, which it did on completion of the railroad in 1887. Situated in the northwest part of the township, surrounded by a fine agricultural and stock company, it soon became a very prominent shipping point which, like the town, has been on the increase, keeping pace with progress.

Rose Hill is noted as a clean, tidy village. A larger per cent. of its buildings are more artistically painted than any town in the county and boasts of more and better sidewalks in proportion to population than any wide awake town in the county. Good walks extend to the high school building in the south part of the village, all pupils attending this school residing one half mile distant are conveyed to and from school at the expense of district in comfortable rigs fitted for that purpose.

Rose Hill is the distributing point of two rural routes, and has up to date phone service with surrounding country and towns.

Of the forty seven personal tax payers of 1875, only seven are found on the personal tax roll of 1910, as follows: Briles, A. J.; Cramer, A. J.; Himebaugh, L. D.; Millison, Wm.; Pulver, Wm.; Williams, L. M.; McCluggage, Jas.

One branch of the Texas cattle drive via Wichita to Abiline traversed Richland township from southeast to northwest, where a herd of moo or more long horns could be seen most any day during midsummer of 1870, and a few drives were made the following year, when settlement interfered, forcing the drive west of the Arkansas river, terminating at Dodge City on completion of railroad to that point. The class of cattle and the men who handled them (cowboys) were monarch of all they surveyed and their rights there were none to dispute, resulted in many tragic fatalities. The cattle were chuck full of the same spirit; settlers often rode out to see the herds when grazing, with a view of purchasing one for beef, and would naturally dismount to look more closely, but he was warned by several long horns facing him, indicating, "You get off the grass, or, into your saddle, or we will raise you one." No time was lost in getting back into saddle. Many of these Texas cattle were purchased and wintered here and sent to market the following summer. There being no railroad they were driven to Kansas City or some point in Missouri. Texas cattle wintered in the state of Kansas were by statutory law exempt from quarantine and permitted to be driven to market on certificate of county clerk of county, where wintered.


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