By M. L. Arnold.
Spring township was named by Henry M. Wingert, because of its numerous and beautiful springs. Was incorporated
by the board of county commissioners September 4, 1871. The first election was held at the home of O. Greer, September
19, 1871. The following were elected: Kane Garrison, trustee; James Crawford, treasurer; C. F. Miller, clerk; E.
H. Clark and G. Stephens, justices of the peace; H. King and D. Church, constables.
The early settlers of Spring endured all the privations, hardships and pleasures incident to life in a new country.
Those who stayed were more than compensated for all the self denial practiced and all the struggles through which
they passed. But few are left. Those living on their homesteads at the present time are L. A. Ridge, B. F. Arnold,
J. B. Smock, H. C. Morgan, and I. G. Morgan, C. C. Currier, who resides in El Dorado still owns the quarter he
preempted. Children owning the land pre-empted by their fathers are J. C. Green, George Deedond, J. J. Mannion,
of Augusta; W. A. Warner, O. Cody and John White. Among the early settlers who bought their land and still remain
are W. B. Earll, L. Bolinger, D. T. Willits, Mrs. Carrie Bankey, Mrs. James Conest, Mrs. W. Sharrock and J. H.
Armstrong and G. W. McGahey, of El Dorado.
Thus we can see that the pioneers who moved from comfortable homes in the East, many of them, and broke the prairie,
built the homes, planted the hedges and orchards, established the churches and schools are almost gone. Those who
are left are northe vigorous men of forty five years ago, many of them are broken in health, old, retired; the
second generation have active charge of affairs today and the third is fast coming on. Next to the name of the
soldier should be placed the name of the pioneer who gave much of his life that we might enjoy the luxuries that
are ours today.
Among the important accounts in the early history of Spring township was the building of the St. 'Louis & San
Francisco railroad in the summer of 1880. The establishment of a general store at Haverhill in the same year by
the late Joseph W. Brown was another important event. From a small beginning Mr. Brown built up a good business
and prospered. For twenty five years he was agent for the Frisco at Haverhill, at the time of his retirement being
in point of service the oldest agent of the road between St. Louis and Wichita. Mr. Brown always took an active
part in public affairs, was a man of strong personality and always stood for what he thought was right and for
the best interests of the community. Before his death he sold his stock of goods to McDowell Brothers, who conduct
the business at the present time. The store was a favorite meeting place for the exchange of ideas, gossip and
the discussion of all kinds of subjects. The man who would do his trading and hurry away was looked upon with a
H. H. Leonard, now of Wichita, and one of the finest citizens any community ever had, for many years held the
checker championship of the store. He perhaps did not always play the best game, but played more of them. It was
here that the first Haverhill base ball team was organized under the leadership of Will Glaze and for many years
Haverhill has had one of the best teams in the county. J. C. Greer, who still ambles around first base with as
much agility, if not quite as much grace, as he did twenty years ago, is the only member of this first team who
still plays. J. C. Glaze, now one of the prosperous farmers of Spring township, at one time conducted a store at
Haverhill. In 1902, C. R. Marshall and Sam Frank opened a general store at Haverhill. This business was successfully
conducted in turn by Frank, J. B. and E. L. Marshall until 1915, when it was closed out by E. L. Marshall, that
he might devote all of his time to his veterinary practice.
From an agricultural standpoint, it is an ideal township. It is divided up, as a rule, into small farms, a very
large majority of the residents owning their own homes. It is drained by the Walnut and Little Walnut rivers. Along
these streams and their branches are many acres of fine bottom land. The people are and always have been progressive,
intelligent and law abiding. In the forty five years of its history, its criminal record consisted of one murder,
that of William Jones, who was killed by an unknown party in December, 1903. C. C. Currier was justice of the peace
for twenty five years and never had a criminal case.
There are three churches in the township. These organizations, with their splendid membership, have always exerted
a great influence for good over the entire community. In 1891, C. Y. Trice located a number of families from Illinois
in Spring township, among whom were the families of C. R. Marshall, S. Kenyon, A. Bailey, J. H. Leonard, Knute
Seglem and A. Kneutson. These families were a splendid addition to the community. Cave Springs, located in the
northeast corner of the township on the A. C. Smock farm, has attracted much attention and is one of the natural
wonders of the State. In this article time and space forbid the mention of many names that have been prominently
identified with the history of the township and county. This story in its completeness is offered without apology
in the hope that it will contribute to some extent to the memory of the pioneers of Butler county, Spring township,
located in line of the developed oil and gas fields, and, with its wonderful natural resources, will contribute
to the happiness and prosperity of its people for a century yet to come.