History of Topeka, Kansas (Part 2)
From: History of Shawnee County, Kansas
and Representative Citizens.
Edited by James L. King, Topeka, Kansas
Richmond & Arnold Publishers
DROUGH OF 1860, GROWTH OF TOPEKA, ASSOCIATION OF OLD SETTLERS
Topeka's growth, as well as that of Shawnee County, was greatly retarded by the memorable drought of 1860. The labors of agriculture at that time were entirely confined to the raising of corn and vegetables, of which a scant supply matured. It is estimated that the population of the city and county decreased fully 20 per cent. in that year and the general stagnation was added to by the outbreak of the Civil War. Following the close of the war, the tide of immigration again set in, capital sought investment, property felt the stimulus of increased value, there was abundant work for the mechanic and laborer, and enterprises of great pith and moment were undertaken with a confidence inspired by the general firmness, politically and socially, that marked the new life in Kansas.
In the year 1862 Topeka had a population of less than 700. All that portion of the country north of the river
was practically uninhabited, there being but a few log houses in the valley between Indianola and the river. Dr.
Franklin L. Crane was farming that portion of the city lying north of Fifth street and' east of Monroe, including
the land where the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe depot now stands. Col. Cyrus K. Holliday lived on the farm adjoining
Dr. Crane's on the south, now the center of a big city where the family residence has been maintained for 50 years.
South and east of Kansas and loth avenues was John Ritchie's farm. South and west of the Ritchie property were
the claims of Col. Joel Huntoon, Milton C. Dickey, J. C. Gordon and Daniel H. Home. Southeast of the city were
the farms of W. B. Wade, L. C. Conwell and Justus Brockway, and close by were farms belonging to Dr. S. E. Martin,
R. S. Martin, John Long and D. R. Young. Fry W. Giles had a farm on the Shunganunga, and was operating an express
and stage office in town. The Topeka House stood on the present site of the Government Building, and opposite it
was the Garvey House. The Chase House stood where the Stormont office building now stands, and on Sixth avenue
were the Tuttle and Ashbaugh hotels.
AFTER THE WAR.
Topeka's activity suffered no abatement between the years 1865 and 1870. In that period many fine business blocks
were erected and handsome residences built. It was also the era of bridge building, railroad projection and general
improvement. School houses and churches were built, sidewalks laid and much public work done. The city rapidly
outgrew its original dimensions, and the first farm claims were nearly all converted into town lots. Many additions
were platted and taken into the city, known as Young's, Home's, Crane's, Ritchie's, King's, Holliday's and Huntoon's
additions. The Kaw Indian land opposite the city, on the north side of the Kansas River, came into market through
an act of Congress authorizing the Indians to sell their property, and reservation No. 4 of the land belonging
to the half breeds was bought and platted for town purposes. Eugenia was the name first given to the town, but
the territory was attached to Topeka in April, 1867, and thenceforth took the name of North Topeka, being the first
ward of the main city.
BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL MEN.
In addition to those already named, the well known business and professional men of that period were: Barnum & Company, George C. Kenyon, Bates & Company, C. A. Butts, Geiger & McGrath and G. F. Merriam, dry goods; A. J. Arnold, Rowley Brothers, Stringham & Brown and C. C. Kellam, druggists; Benjamin Haywood, John Worth and Andrew Seiler, furniture; Guilford Dudley, private banker; Crane & Byron, blank books; A. H. Thompson, dentist; John P. Cole, Whitton & Weiss, E. G. Moon, Rodgers Brothers, Craigue & Company and R. E. Randolph, groceries; J. A. McLaughlin. firearms; Smith & Hale, J. M. Baird, E. H. Blake & Company and T. H. Whitmer, hardware; Burkhard & Oswald, harness; Hartsock & Gossett, hides; Henry Clarkson, Gavitt & Scott, Orrin T. Welch and Stone & Bodine, insurance; J. & R. Thomas, Shellabarger & Leidigh and C. Reed, lumber; J. Lee Knight and J. V. Wintrode, photographers; James Douglass, John Lahmer and Fred Ortman, jewelers; David Brier, Bishop Crumrine, Edgar W. Dennis, M. P. Garretson, John Guthrie, N. F. Handy, Lewis Hanback, A. W. Hayes, John M. McDonald, Noah C. McFarland, Ross Burns, John Mileham, J. H. Moss, J. H. Putnam, B. J. Ricker, Thomas Ryan, John G. Searle, Hugh M. Spalding, A. H. Vance, J. G. Wood, J. G. Waters and A. L. Williams, attorneys; W. S. Baker, George Dick, Eli Lewis, John McClintock, M. Bailey, L. G. Murphy, M. F. Price, W. W. Rodgers, Silas E. Shelden, E. Tefft, D. W. Stormont and George Wyman, physicians.
The Episcopal Female Seminary was in operation at the corner of Topeka avenue and Ninth street, under the patronage of Bishop Thomas H. Vail. Rev. J. N. Lee was principal and Mrs. R. N. Baldwin, vice principal. Miss Minnie Beales, Kansas' most famous vocalist, was one of the teachers. The Masons, Odd Fellows and Good Templars were the only secret societies in existence. The Union Pacific Railroad had been extended as far west as Carson, Colorado, and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe line was running trains to Emporia. The wagon roads leading out of the city were marked as follows: To Grasshopper Falls, Kansas avenue due north across Soldier Creek; to Tecumseh, Sixth avenue east; to Clinton, loth avenue to Shunganunga bridge, thence south; to Burlingame, Jackson street south; to Auburn, loth avenue west to Fillmore street, thence in a southwesterly direction; to Mission Creek, on the Auburn road to the crossing of nth street, and then branching off to the west; to Wabaunsee, Sixth avenue west.
ASSOCIATION OF OLD SETTLERS.
At various meetings of the Old Settlers' Association of Topeka, the following persons signed the roll of membership,
giving their names and the date of their citizenship: