History of Menoken Township, Kansas
From: History of Shawnee County, Kansas
and Representative Citizens.
Edited by James L. King, Topeka, Kansas
Richmond & Arnold Publishers
MENOKEN TOWNSHIP - This is the youngest township in the county, having been established July 18, 1879.
It is located in the center of the northern half of the county, and was formerly a part of Silver Lake township.
Robert Forbes lived on one of the Menoken farms in 1868, and the new settlers in 1869 were B. T. Payne, W. K. Elliott
and H. E. Close. E. T. Matthews bought the Payne farm in 187o, and in the same year property was bought and improvements
made by S. M. Allen, Frank Workman, E. B. Robinson, F. A. Diffenbacher, R. Wells, M. Kiernan, Priddy brothers and
P. Madden. Later in the same year homes were established by W. D. McCormick, G. P. Mitchell, H. Sharper, J. Blackler,
J. P. Bowser, J. P. Cole, J. R. Insley, H. Ausherman, and G. W. R. Ward. In 1871 other farms were opened and homes
built by W. T. Pence, W. T. Prewitt, W. Canfield and D. B. Groshong. The first settlers endured many hardships,
as the only crop they could raise the first year was corn on newly broken sod. Many additional farms were occupied
in 1872 and 1873, and considerable trouble resulted from contests with squatters.
A CATTLE GROWING DISTRICT.
The increased population and development of the district in the next five years induced the formation of the
separate township. The two branches of Soldier Creek, called Big and Little Soldier, supply the township with water.
There are several large cattle ranches, and the farming and stock operations are extensive. Good schools and church
buildings are to be found in all parts of the township. On the Union Pacific Railroad, five miles northwest from
Topeka, the station of Menoken is located. It is a small village, with a few of the customary stores and shops,
and affords a central point for trading and shipping.