Pages 608-609, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.





Toronto is a thriving and progressive town of nearly 800 population, situated in the southwest corner of Woodson county, on the Verdigris river. It was laid out in 1869 by the Toronto Town company. The town did not grow much until the Missouri Pacific railroad entered its domain in 1882 and a few years later the Santa Fe.

Toronto's leading enterprise is the roller mills which was erected in 1894 by its present owner, W. P. Dickerson, and is the best equipped flour mill in this section, having a capacity of 50 barrels per day and a grinding capacity of 400 sacks daily. The brands of flour turned out are the Gem Patent, Pride of Toronto and Wild Rose, and all give general satisfaction Mr. Dickerson is also an extensive stock feeder, and uses the surplus mill stuff to good advantage as some of the finest cattle ever shipped from this section were fed on the output of this mill.

Another industry is the Broom factory which has been in operation since 1885 and is owned and operated by a practical broom maker, C. B. Stuart, and places a broom on the market which for neatness and durability cannot be improved on by any of the larger factories.

The various business and professional lines are represented as follows: Two dry goods stores, four general merchandise stores, three hardware stores, one meat market, two furniture stores, two grocery stores, two harness shops, three millinery stores, six restaurants, two druggists, one jeweler, two hotels, four blacksmith shops, three painters and paper hangers, several carpenters; one undertaking establishment, four doctors, one newspaper, two lawyers, one dentist, two real estate agents, one bank, two barbers, three livery barns and one lumber yard. A public school building was erected in the 80's, two stories high and containing four rooms. In 1899 two additional rooms were built but only one of them was finished. It is expected the upper room will be finished this year, 1901, in time for the fall term, which will necessitate the hiring of another teacher making six in all.

Toronto people are alive to their spiritual needs and requirements and have three church buildings. Methodist, Presbyterian and United Brethren. The Methodist made Toronto a station at the last annual conference held in Eureka, March, 1901, which gives them a pastor who preaches every Sunday, morning and night. Rev. W. Emerson is the present pastor. They also have a good parsonage of six rooms.

The Presbyterians have not had a pastor for two years, but expect one this year.


The United Brethren is the newest of the three churches having been built in 1890. There is preaching every Sunday night and alternate Sundays in the morning. Also a good Sunday school is held every Sunday morning. A parsonage was bought in 1898 about two blocks from the church. The present pastor, Rev. T. A. Darling, is young, and active in the Master's cause.

Toronto has eleven secret societies, fraternal and beneficiary, each having claims to the individual seeking protection for the home, or for social and pleasant intercourse with each other, and by that means, help relieve the dreary vicissitudes of life in which so many of us come in contact.

Another great factor in Toronto's business circles is its bank, with a capital of $5,000, organized in 1892. The arrangement of the counting room is in accordance with the ideas of metropolitan banks having fire and burglar proof steel vault and safe with time lock. The funds and valuable documents are further protected against loss by a policy in the Bankers' Mutual Insurance company.

The progressive business men and citizens formed a company in 1899 for the purpose of drilling for gas. Three wells have been sunk at an expense of about $1,000 for each well and the results are far from satisfactory. The first well was abandoned after going down 942 feet as the conditions would not justify them in going to any greater expense, but gas and salt water is still running from the pipes and is being drank by some of our rheumatic citizens with beneficial results. Gas well No. 2 was sunk 792 feet and the conditions were almost similar to No. 1. The last well, or No. 3 was sunk 1,000 feet with better results than the other two, and it was [Transcriber's note: the following two lines of text in the original seem to be reversed.]
town. Pipes were accordingly laid, and most of the business men had it put
claimed by some experts that we had enough gas in that one well to run the
in their stores, but the flow was not what was expected as lamps had to be used in addition to the gas to make good lights. At present there is some talk of raising funds to sink another well, and as the citizens have already sunk over $3,000 in the bowels of the earth it will take a good deal of argument to get them to invest in another hole.

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