History of Auburn Township, Kansas
From: History of Shawnee County, Kansas
and Representative Citizens.
Edited by James L. King, Topeka, Kansas
Richmond & Arnold Publishers
Chicago 1905

AUBURN TOWNSHIP - Located in the southwestern corner of the county. It was originally known as Brownsville township, so called in honor of John W. Brown, the first white settler, but the name was changed in 1860 to Auburn. The Wakarusa River flows through the township, and at a point where the three branches of the river come together the Catholics established an Indian mission in 1847, for the benefit of the Pottawatoniie tribe. The land was subsequently relinquished to the Shawnees, who occupied the 20 log cabins built for their Indian brothers, remaining there about six years. Some of the cabins and a portion of the land were bought from the Shawnees August 1o, 1854, by John W. Brown. On the following day a party of seven men, from Jackson County, Missouri, took up claims in the same locality. The new comers were: E. Carriger, W. F. Johnston, M. A. Reed, J. J. Webb, B. B. Jones, Eli Snyder and L. T. Cook. Other settlers, and the dates of their arrival, were: James Moran, October 20, 1854; James Turner, December 2, 1854; Rev. James Gilpatrick, George Holt, Henry Fox, Milton C. Dickey, Loring Farnsworth, C. Gilpatrick and Samuel Cavender, in 1855; John Price, W. S. Hibbard, Daniel Haney and A. H. Hale, 1856; L. J. Atwood, B. Ingrund, P. S. Spangler, Barney Williams, W. A. Simmerwell and John E. Moore, 1857.


One of the oldest towns in the State was established here in 1856, under the name of Brownsville, which was changed to Auburn in 1857, for the reason that a Brownsville post office already existed in another part of the Territory. At one time there were 400 people living in Auburn. Many good buildings were erectel, including a three story hotel, a brick church and numerous brick residences of the old Dutch pattern, with walls rising above the gables, and roofs sloping to the street. A weekly newspaper called the Auburn Dockct was started in 186o by David B. Emmert, later of Fort Scott. The paper existed nearly a year. It was the ambition of Auburn to become the county seat, but a change of county lines, and the projection of a railroad seven miles east of town, frustrated this plan. John W. Brown, the original settler, continued to occupy his farm until 1896, when he disposed of the land and moved to Topeka, where he still resides. He was born in Belmont County, Ohio, May 9, 1829.

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