History of Fairview Township, Kansas
From: History of Butler County, Kansas
BY: Vol. P. Mooney
Standard Publishing Company
Lawrence, Kansas 1916

January 6, 1873.

Fairview township is described as follows: Township 25, range 4, east. The first officers were elected April 5, 1873, as follows: For justice, J. M. Randall received 31 votes and Lewis Maxwell received 31 votes. They cast lots and Maxwell won. For clerk, H. H. Hulburt, 31 votes (elected), and G. S. Nye, 31 votes; for treasurer, J. A. Godfrey, 31 votes (elected), and H. G. Whitcomb, 31 votes; justices of the peace, Milton Braley and Isaac Varner were elected; constables, E. A. McAnally and Benjamin Atkison were elected.

By H. H. Hulburt, in 1895.

It is pleasant to look over the past and to note the events of long ago. In my boyhood days I used to take great delight listening to my father, and an uncle whose name I bear, talking over their early history, incidents of their boyhood days, and of scenes and neighbors of their old home in old Connecticut. There is a fellow feeling the old settlers of any community have for each other, and to recount the scenes and events of which each one is a part and personally interested is pleasant and helps to bind the ties of friendship and the bonds that make us neighbors and friends.

The first settlement made in my township, Fairview, was by a Swede named John Hink, in 1857, near the mouth of Rock creek. The same year, but a little later in the season, a man by the name of Burge Atwood settled in the northwest corner of the township. Atwood went to the war and died in the service of his country. In 1866 John Fulk bought the place of his widow. Fulk lived on the place ten or twelve years and moved to Elk County. Wesley Hager settled in the southwest part of the township in 1858. He did not own the place and left it, and a man by the name of McKee sold it to Martin Green, who in turn sold it to J. R. Appleman. In 1858 Peter Johnson settled in the northwest part of the. township. He went to California. Isaac Gillian, Daniel Mosier, Anthony Davis, Ben Atkinson and Kirk and Perkins lived on section 19 at different times between 186o and 1870. The first really permanent settlement on this section was made by Lewis Maxwell in the spring of 1872. Christian Jacobs settled in the northwest part of the township in 1866. His time of residence dates back farther than anyone now residing in the township. S. S. McFarlane settled in 1868 and is the second oldest resident. J. P. Blankenship settled on the townsite in 1867. He left years ago and when last heard from was in Arizona. Twenty four years ago, during the summer and fall of 187o, the following persons made permanent settlement in the township: J. A. Godfrey, Hezekiah Hayman and son Robert, W. H. Fountain, Levi Thompson, E. B. Cook, J. F. Wheaton, F. M. McNally, A. J. Boyles; E. O., G. S. and J. T. Nue, Martin Pierce, A. S. Cory, G. D. McDonald, H. B. Hulburt, L. V. Olin, Silas Welch. Joseph Sharp and Frank Tipton, and of these twenty nine are still residents of the township. Hezekiah Hayman and wife are both dead and are buried in the West El Dorado cemetery. His youngest son, H. C. Hayman, now lives on the old place; Robert Hayman lives in Middleport, Ohio; Levi Thompson lives in Michigan; J. T. Wheaton, when last heard from, lived near Charlotte, Mich. G. S. Nye left here twenty years ago, married and lives at Galesburg, Mich. His oldest daughter came to Kansas last summer and is teaching the school in the Coppins district in Plum Grove. G. D. McDonald, when last heard from, was in Chicago; Martin Pierce died some fifteen years ago and is buried in the West El Dorado cemetery; his widow still lives on the old farm. Joeph Sharp lives in El Dorado and is an extensive fruit grower; Frank Tipton died in Colorado and was brought back and buried in the Towanda cemetery.

During the spring, summer and fall of 1871, the following persons settled in the township: I. D. Varner, George Byers, Thomas Andrews, William Paul, Levi Varner, H. H. Hulburt, J. A. Haymaker, Bert Olin, William Snyder, J. F. White. D. D. Winkler, William Painter, A. L. Wheaton, Richard Childers, Richard Taylor, J. M. Randall, H. G. Whitcomb, F. Flagg, Jacob DeCou, Mrs. S. J. Foskett, George Foulk, F. Meyers, Martin Reynolds, J. R. Appleman, William Grey, John Edmiston, E. G. Richards, John Hayes, John Stunkard, D. W. Weidman, Milton Braley, Charles Torrey, D. M. Baker, J. S. Dick, Mr. Potter and Charles Girod. Of these thirty six only nine are still here in the township. Three, Milton Braley, William Paul, William Grey, are dead. Four are living in EI Dorado. Richard Childers, Jacob DeCou, Martin Reynolds and D. W. Weidman. Thomas Andrews and L. M. Varner are in Oklahoma, Bert Olin is in Ohio, J. F. White is in Iowa, H. G. Whitcomb is in New Mexico, J. A. Haymaker is in Colorado and D. M. Baker is in Iowa. The whereabouts of the rest are unknown.

As this is not designed as a complete history, but to recall the early scenes of the county, I will not follow the settlement farther than the year 1871.

The first township election was held in April, 1873, nearly twenty two years ago. I. D. Varner was elected one of the justices at that election. He is still a resident of the township and was elected to the same office last November. E. B. Cook and FL B. Hulburt killed a deer near where the Springdale school house now stands, during the winter of 1870 and 1871.

There are a few persons who deserve mention as early corners who are not usually spoken of in that connection. They were boys and girls when they came with their parents, but have grown to be men and women and the heads of families. Miss Rosette Childers is Mrs. E. B. Cook and has six daughters to help wash the dishes and make things lively. H. T. Foskett is married and has two pretty little girls and lives within a few rods of where he held the plow while his mother drove the ox team to break the first sod. Henry Hayman lives on the place his father homesteaded a quarter century ago; his wife was Miss Maud Heath, of Towanda. Then there are the Baker boys, Warren, Jake and Milton. Warren went to Iowa and got a wife and Jacob married Miss Minnie Varner, whose parents were among the first settlers here. Milt has rented a farm with a house on it and married Miss Dona Cameron. I. D. Varner has so many girls scattered around here and there that he can hardly keep track of them. Susie, however, is still a resident of the township, the wife of A. N. Torrey, and is prosperous and happy. Emery Varner was a small kid when he came here. He is married now and lives near his old home. Most of the young people who came here at an early day and have married have, like their fathers, gone west or to Oklahoma.

In these early times it used to be a pleasant pastime in the fall of the year for two, three or more neighbors to drive to the Medicine Lodge country and hunt buffalo and lay in a supply of meat for the winter. "Jerked" buffalo is good, but the bison of the prairie, like the noble Red Man, is a thing of the past.

We look back with many pleasant reminiscences, contemplate with pleasure and meditate upon the scenes and incidents of the past. Most of these recollections are pleasing, but there are some that cast a gloom and a sadness over us.

A tragedy occurred during the fall of 1872. On the afternoon of October 20, a prairie fire started in the west part of the township, and the "head" fire spread in a northeast direction. Al Wheaton, his wife and two children, a girl and boy, were on the prairie with an Ox team near Four Mile creek. When they saw the fire approaching, Mrs. Wheaton became frightened and took her little boy and jumped from the wagon. There were no improvements near and at that time no hedge rows broken, nothing to stop a prairie fire when once started. There were but few roads in the township at that time except the old California trail, but that would have no effect in stopping such a prairie fire. A prairie fire in those days was a fearful thing. Mr. Wheaton saw the danger they were in and tried to save his wife and boy. The little girl was left in the wagon, the team ran away, and this was the means of saving the little girl's life. The roaring, panting, awful flames came rolling on. They were all badly burned, and in a few hours death relieved Mrs. Wheaton and the little boy of their sufferings. Mr. Wheaton was so badly burned that he barely escaped with his life and was helpless all winter. One of their nearest neighbors saw the sad affair and caught the team and took the family home. The tragic death of Ainsworth Baker, son of D. M. Baker, was another sad event in early history. He was herding cattle for James F. White and went out in the morning as usual and was never seen alive. He rode a mule and it was seen late in the afternoon without a rider. Search was made, but young Baker was not found until the next day and was so mangled as not to be recognizable. Three Indians were seen in the vicinity that day, but whether they had anything to do with the death is not known.

Edwin Corey is one of the boys who grew up here, married and is still a resident of the township.

The early pioneer did not have the easiest time by any means. There were difficulties to overcome and trials and privations to endure. In 1871 Emporia was the nearest railroad point and freighting was a business that gave employment to many, and to be caught out on the prairie with a load of freight in a blizzard placed a fellow in a trying situation; and yet that was the way many of the well to do farmers of the present day paid for their sugar and coffee, their flour and bacon, while they were getting a start.

The grasshopper year of 1874 was peculiarly distressing and fraught with trials and difficulties that tried the pluck and energies and stick to itiveness of the average Kansan. Butler county was in an undeveloped condition. Her resources were dormant and what at that time made her grateful for the kindness and help of friends and the charity of the world would at this time be thought to be trifling and insignificant. The summer of 1874 was a dry one; the amount of cultivated land was small, the experience in farming in Kansas was limited and the teams almost invariably small. Added to the drouth was the inevitable chinch hug, and when the first of August came there was little left to encourage the farmer and nothing left to appease the appetite of man or beast. On Saturday, August 7, a little before noon, grasshoppers came in countless millions. They literally obscured the sun, and what little of corn and potatoes and "garden truck" there was was licked up immediately. Something had to be done to relieve the wants of the people and make it possible for the settlers to live through the winter. And let me say right here that a wrong impression prevails in the East to this day in regard to this time and trial. It is still thrown at our State that we had to depend on the charity of friends. The older States seem to think we are not a producing people, and this, too, right in the face of the fact that Butler county has sent train loads of corn and provisions to relieve the flooded districts of Ohio, and the destitute of other places. Dr. Allen White and others went East and solicited aid for the people here. Donations came in generously, for which the people were very, grateful. A county committee, J. C. Riley, Sr., C. C. Currier, J. D. Connor and Dr. Allen White were appointed to receive and distribute the provisions and clothing donated. Augusta also had a committee and made appeals for help. Lewis Maxwell, of Fairview, went to his old home in McLean county, Illinois, and secured a carload of corn. When it came it was divided up into ten bushel lots and given to the farmers. That ten bushels of corn to each was all that many a man had to feed his team while he put in his next crop.

Those days are of the past, and Butler county and Kansas are able to take care of themselves and are ready and willing to help others of new and stricken lands if need be.

Added by Rollo Hulburt, 1916.

S. S. McFarlane died several years ago and his widow lives in El Dorado. J. A. Godfrey moved to Arkansas eighteen or twenty years ago, where he died. E. B. Cook and wife live at Elcelsior Springs, Mo. F. M. McAnally died and his widow lives on the old place. A. J. Boyles lives on the old place, his wife having died in 1916. S. A. Cory and wife live in Towanda. H. B. Huihurt and wife are one of the few couples that live on the old homestead. 1. D. Varner lives with his son Emery in Southwest Fairview and is in very poor health. H. H. Hulburt's widow lives on the old homestead. Richard Childers lives in El Dorado. J. M. Randall lives on the old home place with his daughter; his wife died some years ago. Mrs. L. J. Foskett lives on her old homestead with her son, Herman. He has bought the place. John Edmiston and wife live in Towanda. Charley Torrey moved to Colorado years ago. Charles Girod and wife live in the township. J. T. Nye died a few years ago. His son, Roy, lives on the old place. Mrs. Martin Pierce is deceased, and her youngest son Will lives on their old place. Chris Jacobs is dead and his youngest son Charley lives on the old homestead. Warren Baker, wife and family live in Fairview. Jacob Baker and family moved to Sumner county three years ago. Milton Baker and family moved to California years ago.

Return to [ Kansas History ] [ History at Rays Place ] [ Rays Place ] [ Illinois Biographies ]

Kansas Counties at this web site - Anderson - Atchison - Butler - Leavenworth - Lyon - Sedgwick - Shawnee

Also see the local histories for [ CT ] [ IA ] [ IL ] [ IN ] [ KS ] [ ME ] [ MO ] [ MI ] [ NE ] [ NJ ] [ NY ] [ OH ] [ PA ] [ WI ]

All pages copyright 2003-2013. All items on this site are copyrighted by their author(s). These pages may be linked to but not used on another web site. Anyone may copy and use the information provided here freely for personal use only. Privacy Policy