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

SOLDIER TOWNSHIP - This township was erected April 20, 186o, from territory added to Shawnee County on the north side of the river. One purpose of the addition was to preserve Topeka as the county seat by making it a more central point in the county. The new territory was taken from Calhoun (now Jackson) County. Most of it was Kaw Indian land and was occupied only by the Indians and half breeds down to 1848, except that there was a small band of French settlers in the locality as early as 1840. Among these were the Papuan brothers, Joseph, Ashcan and Louis. Louis Catalon, a nephew of the Papans, joined them in 1848, and James McPherson came the same year. Fred Swice and George L. Young, both farmers, arrived in 1850.

ARRIVALS IN THE '50'S.

New settlers in 1854 were James Kuykendall, John Cunningham, R. J. Fulton, H. D. McMeekin, Perry Freshman. W. S. Kuykendall, John B. Chapman, D. Milne, James A. Gray. G. P. Dorris, J. M. Hand and Charles Tipton. These early settlers assisted in organizing Calhoun County, and some of them were the promoters of the town of Calhoun, the first county seat. Calhoun County was originally named for John Calhoun, first Surveyor General of Kansas, but was changed to Jackson in 1858, in honor of Andrew Jackson, and the county seat changed to Holton.

In 1855 Soldier township gained the following settlers: Vincent Cohe, Samuel Lockhart, J. F. Callioz, E. Bollotte, T. Bruno, A. Colomb, E. Chambourniere, H. Roberti, Alme Malespine, J. Seal, H. Seal, J. E. Thompson and Thomas Jenner. Ink 1856 the new comers were Jacob Johnson, G. Cummings, J. M. Harding, Joseph Neiddaugh, J. W. Price, Ezekiel Marple and William Owen.

William Tecumseh Sherman, afterwards Lieutenant General of the United States Army, was a settler in the township in 1859. At the instance of Hon. Thomas Ewing, of Ohio, he undertook the opening and management of a farm of 1,000 acres on Indian Creek, for the benefit of his grand nephew, Henry Clark, and his grand niece, Mrs. Walker, who joined him on the farm in the spring of that year. He fenced too acres and built a small frame house and a barn. He returned to Leavenworth in the fall of 1859 to resume his law business. Some of the Sherman farm buildings have been preserved as historic landmarks.

Some of the persons identified with the county in later years were Rev. David Bartram, F. W. Fleischer, George W. Kistler, J. H. Miller, J. Q. A. Peyton, A. W. Pliley, W. W. Reed, Edward Sipes, John M. Wilkerson, Thomas M. James and Samuel J. Reader.

A DESERTED CITY.

The town of Indianola was started in the township in November, 1854, by H. D. McMeekin, who bought the site from Louis View, a half breed Indian. The name of the town was borrowed from an Indianola in Texas. A rival town, called Delaware City, was started about the same time by J. Butler Chapman. During its brief existence, Chapman's town was known as Delaware City, Whitfield City, Kansopolis and Rochester, the last being the name finally settled upon it. One of the first school houses in the county was built at this point, and near it was one of the depots of John Brown's famous "Underground Railroad." The so called depot was built in 1857 by William Owen, and was occupied for many years by Dr. Morrow. Rochester was too close to Indianola to thrive, and Indianola was killed by the building of the railroad three miles away.

The Union Pacific Railroad runs along the southern boundary of the township; the Atchison, Topeka Santa Fe crosses the southeastern corner; and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific extends across the western part of the township, north from Topeka. On the latter line are the towns of Shorey and Elmont. Shorey has a population of 400 and Elmont 50. Kilmer is a small station on the Atchison road.


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