Transcribed from History of Bourbon County, Kansas : to the close of 1865 by T. F. Robley. Fort Scott, Kan.: Press of the Monitor Book & Print. Co., 1894.

1894 Robley's History of Bourbon County, Kansas




THE election of delegates to the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention occurred on the 4th of June. The candidates for delegates from Bourbon County were J. C. Burnett and W. R. Griffith, Republicans, and Ezra Gilbert and Hugh Glen, Democrats. The election resulted as follows:
     J. C. Burnett, . . . . . . . . . 281
     W. R. Griffith,. . . . . . . . . 294
     Ezra Gilbert,  . . . . . . . . . 229
     Hugh Glen, . . . . . . . . . . . 229

In the Territory 14,000 votes were cast. The Republicans elected 35 and the Democrats 17 delegates. The Convention was to meet at Wyandotte on the 5th of July, 1859,

Affairs in Bourbon County were now quiet. Peace had apparently come to stay. As the 4th of July approached the people decided to celebrate in the good old-fashioned way. Meetings were held, committees appointed and all the preliminary arrangements made. They proposed to invite everybody to come and participate, and give them a good dinner. The preparations were on an enormous scale. There were loads of cooked


beef, pork and mutton, mountains of bread; immense quantities of cake and pie, prepared by the ladies. A four-horse wagon load of ice was brought from the Marais des Cygnes at a cost of 10 cents per pound, for manufacture of lemonade. The ground selected was in the bottom, just west of the point of the bluff back of town, near the big spring. Governor Ransom was President of the Day; Hon. Jos. Williams, Colonel Judson, Judge Farwell, M. E. Hudson, Thomas Helm, W. T. Campbell and Colonel Morin, Vice-presidents; Rev. Mr. Thompson, Chaplain; Mason Williams, Reader; L. A. McCord, Orator.

The crowd was immense; the usual proceedings were had; all were filled, some of them apparently for a month ahead.


In the evening there was a "grand ball" at the Fort Scott Hotel. Again Joe Ray "called," assisted by C. W. Goodlander. The boys were supplied with "invitations" printed on small sheets of note paper, with display type and gold-tinted letters, gotten up in the very best style of the job office.

The boys would take these "ball tickets," fill in the name of their "first choice," and in the event that she was already engaged or couldn't go, would fill out another invitation and send to some other girl. Keep trying.

The colored people had a ball that same night, just in the rear of the hotel. They didn't have to go to the expense of music or the trouble of "calling." They just waited till the white folks started up, and then went at it with a whoop.



Sometime before this, J. E. Jones had suspended the publication of the Democrat, and left town. The Town Company, who owned the material, was desirous that the paper should be revived, so negotiations with that end in view, were opened with William Smith and his son, E. A. Smith, who decided to give it a trial. The first number under their management was issued on the 14th of July, 1859, and they continued its publication regularly until the summer of 1861, some time after the breaking out of the war, when E. A. Smith left the editorial chair and went into the army.

In 1882 he published in one of the city papers a considerable amount of excerpts from the Democrat, something in the diary form, which he said "was not designed as a connected narative or history, but rather as data which may aid some one else in such a work." These data were principally in reference to events which occurred in Fort Scott, and were of great assistance in the preparation of this work, especially in the matter of dates.

The advertising columns of the first number of the Democrat show at that time a very respectable business community. Of lawyers there were Ellison & Blair, William Margrave, S. A. Williams, John C. Sims, C. P. Bullock, Richard Stadden, Williams & Bro. (Mason and Wm. M.,) James J. Parley, George A. Crawford, and L. A. McCord; there were doctors J. H. Couch, A. M. H. Bills, and A. G. Osbun. E. A. Smith was County Surveyor. General merchandise was represented by H. T. Wilson, Hill & Riggins, George A. Crawford & Co.


John S. Caulkins was in the clothing, Malone in the grocery, and C. F. Drake in the stove and tinware business. Then there were Robert Blackett and Daniel Funk, tailors; C. W. Goodlander and Dennison & Waterhouse, carpenters; John G. Stuart, carriage and wagon maker; E. L. Marble, boot and shoemaker; Tom Huston, saddle and harnessmaker; Fort Scott Hotel, B. B. Dillon, prop.; Western Hotel, Linn & Harris, props.; Harry Hartman, bakery and ice cream saloon.


The Wyandotte convention completed their labors on the 4th day of October, 1859.

The vote in the Territory was as follows:
     For the Constitution . . . . . 10,421
     Against  . . . . . . . . . . .  5,530
The vote in Bourbon County was:
     For the Constitution . . . . . .  464
     Against  . . . . . . . . . . . .  256

This was the Constitution under which the Territory was finally admitted into the Union as a State.

On the 8th of November an election was held for delegate to Congress, and for Territorial Legislature.

In Bourbon County the vote was as follows: For Delegate, M. J. Parrott, Republican, 368; S. W. Johnson, Democrat, 251. For Representative, H. Knowles, Republican, 359; G. Hubbard, Democrat, 259.

On the 6th day of December an election was had under the Wyandotte Constitution for State officers,


Representative in Congress and State Legislature, to take effect when the Territory should be admitted as a State. Charles Robinson was the Republican and Samuel Medary the Democratic candidate for Governor, Martin F. Conway, Republican, and J. A. Halderman, Democrat, for Congress; W. R. Griffith of Bourbon County was the Republican candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction. The entire Republican State ticket was elected by about 7,900, against 5,400. The vote in Bourbon County on Governor—and about the same on the other officers—was: Robinson, 275; Medary, 149. J. C. Burnett, Republican, was elected for State Senator by 270, against Geo. A. Crawford, Democrat, 141. Horatio Knowles was elected Representative by the same vote.

A District Judge was also elected December 6th, under the Wyandotte Constitution. Bourbon County was to be in the Fourth District with Allen, Anderson, Douglas, Franklin, Johnson, Linn and Lykins, (afterwards Miami). Solon O. Thatcher, Republican, and James Christian, Democrat, were the candidates. The vote in this county was substantially the same as for Governor, and Solon O. Thatcher became our first District Judge.

Judge Thatcher served until 1864 when he resigned. and Hon. D. P. Lowe, then of Linn County, was appointed to fill the vacancy.

Epaphroditus Ransom died at his residence in Fort Scott, Nov. 11th. B. B. Dillon died on the 16th.

Mr. Rankin organized a Presbyterian church in Fort Scott. It was composed of John S. Caulkins, Mrs. A. McDonald and Mrs. Wm. Smith.

Near Bandera on the Marmaton/Residence, near Marmaton, or W. R. Griffith, First State Supt. of Public Instruction. 1861.
Near Bandera on the Marmaton/Residence, near Marmaton, or W. R. Griffith, First State Supt. of Public Instruction. 1861.