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

SILVER LAKE TOWNSHIP - Located north of the Kansas River, directly east of Rossville township, and extending north to the Jackson County line. Soldier Creek runs through the township from the northwest to the southeast corner. The Union Pacific Railroad and the Kansas River are along its southern boundary. The township was detached from Soldier township March 16, 1868. The first white settlers were men employed as instructors for the Kaw Indians. Maj. Robert W. Cummings and Thomas Huffaker were on the ground as early as 1835, but there was no settlement of consequence until 1847, when the following names appeared upon the records: E. B. Kennedy, Charles Rodd, Joseph G. Kennedy, Lucius Darling, Stephen McPherson, J. Frap, William Martell, William Johnson, John Harden, Allen Harden, W. H. Wells, William Alley, John D. Scroggins, George Mullen, P. Malosh, Fred H. Counterman, John and Joseph Ogee and F. Trombley. The following came in 1848; James A. Gray, Wesley Hopkins, C. B. Randall, H. McDowell, J. C. Vanderpool, and Messrs. VanHorne and Browne. Charles Dean and E. M. Sloan came in 1849; Samuel Cummings, L. B. M. Kennedy, Joseph Wellfelt and Joseph La Frame in 185o; Hiram Wells, J. C. Freeman, Enoch Stevens and Joseph Layton in 1852. The Pottawatomie Indians owned much of the land, and descendants of the tribe still reside in the township.


Silver Lake, the principal town in the township, was platted in February, 1868, the proprietors being M. B. Beaubien and A. S. Thomas. It is located on the railroad at a point where a bend in the river forms a beautiful sheet of water, from which the name is derived. Beaubien was one of the head-men of the Pottawatomies. A. S. Thomas is still living on his Silver Lake farm. He was for many years clerk of the United States courts in Topeka. J. B. Oliver was the first postmaster in 1868. Cyrus Corning published the Silver Lake News in 1882, but the paper had a short life. H. D. McMeekin had a store in this locality in 1853, and afterwards became a well known hotel man in Kansas. Some of the names familiarly connected with Silver Lake are Samuel Beal, C. D. Ward, Dr. A. G. McGill, Thomas Neiswender, C. W. Edson, B. F. Vanorsdal, Dr. H. D. Tuttle, George W. Vanorsdal, J. E. Guild, L. H. Neiswender, J. S. Kelly and O. N. Wilson.

Kingsville is another railroad station in the township, the site of the H. M. Holden stock ranch, formerly operated by Andrew Wilson. Kingsville is 13 miles northwest from Topeka and does a considerable amount of shipping, principally of cattle.

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