Towns of Sedgwick County, Kansas (Page 4)
From: History of Wichita and Sedgwick County, Kansas
Past and Present
O. H. Bentley, Editor-in-Chief
C. F. Cooper & Co. Publisher.
Chicago 1910


Huckle is now numbered among the extinct towns of Sedgwick county. It was located in Ohio township. This station was located through the efforts of Hon. R. J. Huckle, of Sumner county, who owned a fine farm to the south of the station; it was at the time of the building of the Leroy & Western Railway, a subsidiary line of the Santa Fe system. At one time the Santa Fe Company projected a numerous lot of lines, so many that it was thought there would not remain sufficient farm land after the proposed lines were constructed. Suffice is to say that the Leroy & Western was projected westward from Mulvane. "This line was built to Englewood, Kan., on the southern border of Kansas; illy advised people at that time claimed that this line should have been built out of Wichita, but the Santa Fe pursuing its policy of building up a large number of towns and no large ones, thought proper to build this line westward from Mulvane and operate their trains from Wichita southward to Mulvane, and then turning a square corner and running westward from that point. The ways of railway projectors are past finding out, and in this way the Leroy & Western was operated at this time. But we were speaking of Huckle, which was laid out at this time and flourished for a season, but the Rock Island came along and crossed the Santa Fe at Peck, this was too near to Huckle, and after a vain and inglorious struggle, Huckle gave up the ghost and faded from the map, it is now only a memory. A weary and unsightly pile of cinders now marks the spot where once was a station at Huckle; the railway company made some kind of a right of way deal with Mr. Huckle and they still hang onto that. The Leroy & Western Railway Company has been absorbed by the Santa Fe, and they usually do as they please in Kansas, at least that is what Bob Huckle thinks. Some months since Huckle began a suit against the Santa Fe in the district court, but after one or two hitches at it, the case petered out and like its namesake had faded from the map, this case faded from the records. Today not a single building exists upon the town site of Huckle, but the railway company still hangs onto the 200 feet right of way through the town.


The early settlers of Sedgwick county will recall the town of Jamesburg; the main distinguishing feature of this town was that it was situated near the Cowskin creek and not far from the farm of Aaron Seiver. All around it was some of the very best land in Sedgwick county and the fine bottom lands of the Cowskin. North and northwest it was settled by a very thrifty German class of farmers and west of it Esquire McCallister, in an early day, held court in his front yard. In this court it was the habit of Frank Dale, Dave Dale, T. B. Wall, O. H. Bentley, W. E. Stanley and others of the early day lawyers of Sedgwick county to appear and try law suits of various kinds and en route to Esquire MeCallisters they always crossed the Cowskin creek, just west of the town of Jamesburg.

There was in those days an angling road leading eastward from Jamesburg towards Wichita. This was the main artery of travel, and after a case was tried in Esquire McCallister's front yard, the jury usually retired to a convenient straw stack to deliberate upon their verdict. In those days there was no convenient jury room, properly warmed and lighted, but only the sighing of the summer wind as it whistled around the corner of the stack in Esquire McCallister's field. The personnel of this court was never complete without the presence of William Black, of Garden Plain township, who could scent a lawsuit for miles away, and who always in some way took a hand in any lawsuit from his locality, which embraced the four townships of Attica, Afton, Union and Garden Plain, and he sometimes deadened over the line. Later on the fifth parallel neighborhood passed away, the railway was built and the towns of Colwich, Andale, Goddard, Bentley and Mt. Hope were built, and Esquire McCallister court faded away with Jamesburg. The old Justice and William Black were gathered to their fathers, the old timers went to the territory and Jamesburg today is but a memory in the minds of the old timers.


The hamlet of Kechi, is located upon sections 12 and 13, in Kechi township in Sedgwick county, and it is a station upon the Rock Island Railway; fortunate indeed is any hamlet in Kansas located upon a great trunk line of railway; Kechi is located in one of the best townships in the state of Kansas, it is in the alfalfa belt; the Santa Fe, Frisco & Rock Island railways cross the township and the Missouri Pacific cuts its southeast corner. Because of its nearness to Wichita, Kechi will never hope to make a large town, but it has a good market, good agricultural surroundings and is a pleasant place to live, send the children to school and raise a family. It is a Christian community, and all of the surroundings are strictly moral. The following named are well known and well to do farmers of that locality: Garrison Scott, Henry Tjaden, Jacob Hockey, and C E Mull.


Maize became a station upon the Wichita & Colorado railway, now the Missouri Pacific, when that line reached its present site and a town company was formed, depot grounds laid out and a railway station built. Wm. Williams was the first postmaster, a nucleus for a small hamlet was formed, a general store was started and soon after its location, Maize Academy was erected and flourished for a season, however, the location of the town was only nine miles from Wichita; everything seemed to centralize in the larger town and Maize never became a large hamlet. Henry Loudenslager, his brother, Sam Loudenslager, Lewis Rhodes, Leroy Scott, L. B. Dotson and Cornelius Oldfather resided in or near the town and the hamlet felt the influence of their thrift and energy. Later on R. B. Warren, H. B. Marshall, uncle Joe Norris and others took hold of the town, but it still remained a hamlet and will likely do so until the end of the chapter. It is a prosperous farming community around Maize, and a pleasant place to live, however the men like Frank Dofflemeyer and Cal Major upon retiring from their farms moved to Wichita Maize is the Indian name for corn and Maize, Kan., is truly in the corn belt and this fact gave it its name, which was suggested by the promoters of the Wichita & Colorado Railway. Maize is located on section 19, in Park township. For a long time J. C. Major was postmaster. The original town company consisted of N. F. Neiderlander, president; Cornelius Old father, vice president; M. W. Levy, treasurer, and Kos Harris, secretary. J C Major started the first store in the town and sold out to Tapp Bros.; the first church was a Congregational.


The old residents of Sedgwick county will recall the location of and the town of Old Marshall, on the Ninnescah river, in the western portion of the county. It was on the banks of the north Ninnescah river hard by the flouring mill, of Bill Hays. Lafe Jones was one of the moving spirits of the town, so was John Gader and Fritz Kuhl. Marshall had great hopes of the future, its founders expected to make the large town, between Wichita and Kingman, but the Santa Fe Railway system, then under the management of A. A. Robinson, kept a careful eye upon the tributary territory of the system; that railway company early saw the possibilities of the Ninnescah valleys, the Wichita & Western railway was projected from Wichita to Kingman and westward. The road was originally projected from Sedgwick to Kingman, but the Wichita hustlers took the matter up and were instrumental in securing the right of way from Wichita to the west line of Sedgwiek county, this fixed the line and old Marshall a town for great possibilities for the future was left about two and one half miles to the north east. The railroad was its death knell. Cheney sprang into being, a good location, the railroad, and a fine territory tributary to Cheney has made it the second town in size in Sedgwiek county; Marshall has dwindled away; its mill moved away and only a fine grove of cottonwood trees marks the spot of a once flourishing village. It was the evolution of the town, from the prairie sod the favorite feeding ground of the buffalo, then a town with its streets and mill, its business houses and its hopes of the future, now back to the buffalo sod. When Marshall was in its prime, the patriotic citizens projected a fourth of July celebration, the morning opened with the usual firing of anvils and fire crackers and all the incidentals of such a celebration in the country. A young lawyer from Wichita was the orator of the day and stood upon a wagon in a grove of cottonwood trees and made his speech, the trees were so small that the bald head of the orator of the day, stuck out above the tree tops. Today some of those trees are more than one hundred feet high. Marshall has gone, it is only a memory but the grove is there as a landmark; a few scattered cellars and small excavations mark the spot of the early village, the village of Marshall beside the softly flowing river.


Mount Hope, located on the Missouri Pacific Railway, Wichita-Geneseo branch, is twenty five miles from Wichita and is one of the most prosperous towns in the county. It is a thriving little city of about 700 wide awake and progressive souls. It is perhaps the only city in the United States that has the four main corners of the town on that many different sections of land. Years ago when Mount Hope was laid out by the founders they bought up four sections of land and began to build houses of every description on them. Later on the First National Bank Building was erected. The plot of ground on which the bank now stands was then the northeastern point or corner of one of the sections of land. A little while later the building now occupied by the Race Mercantile Company was erected on the southwestern corner of another section. Following that the buildings now owned and occupied by the Kennedy General Merchandise Company on the northwestern corner and the restaurant of W. C. Fauss on the southeastern part of another section were built, thus making the four principal corners of the city occupying four different parts of different sections. As the city grew and spread out these sections were sold out gradually until today the former owners of those sections of land have no interest in them whatever.

Mount Hope is prosperous in every way. It has up to date business concerns, fine churches and an excellent school building. The enrollment this year exceeds 300, which is remarkably well for a town of its size. In one part of the business section three different business concerns are located in the same building. They are the office and printing establishment of The Clarion, the store rooms of C. A. Marshall and E. E. Tyler. The town itself lies some distance back from the railroad, and the street up which one passes on his way to the business part, is lined with beautiful shade trees of every description. Mount Hope is really, in a botanical sense of the word, the greenest town in Sedgwick county. It has the prettiest shade trees of any town in the county for its size. Tall stately cottonwoods and maples line both sides of Main street from the depot all the way up town and far beyond the main corners, which are really beautiful to behold when they are covered with their foliage during the summer months.

Two banks, one of them a national bank and the only one in the county outside of Wichita; three restaurants, one weekly newspaper, general merchandise stores, one drug store, an independent telephone system, two first class hardware stores, two barber shops, one men's furnishing goods store, one jeweler, one meat market, two livery barns, one elegant opera house with a seating capacity of 600, one lumber yard, two blacksmith shops, one photograph gallery, one millinery store, two elevators and several doctors. Mount Hope's opera house is one of the finest in the state. It is fitted up with opera chairs, seats which are seldom found in theater buildings in much larger places, and a stage 40x30. Three elegant sets of scenery and all the property and furniture necessary to produce some heavy attractions are to be found within the building. It has two floors and a fine lighting system. The building which is also used for the city hall as well as the opera house, was erected at a cost of over $8,000.

No history of Mount Hope would be complete without a mention of Thos. H. Randall, its founder, long since gathered to his fathers, full of years and with the earnest respect of his friends whose name was legion. William A. Daily, Jas. P. McCormiek and C. C. Thomas were always at the front in anything concerning the welfare of Mount Hope. This town is the natural halfway station between Wichita and Hutchinson.

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