Transcribed from History of Jewell County, Kansas, with a Full Account of the Early Settlements and Indian Atrocities Committed Within Its Borders; Its final Settlement, Organization and Progress, Its Present Society, Churches and Schools, Its Towns, Streams; Topography; Soil and Products, Its Population; Township Organization and Officers, Its Industries; Business, Resources, Etc. by M. Winsor and James A. Scarbrough, Jewell City, Kansas, Diamond Printing Office, 1878. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, 2001.

1878 History of Jewell County, Kansas

Final Settlement
The Great Influx of 1870. -- The
Permanent Settlement of the County. --
Its Organization, First Election and Some
Interesting Incidents Connected Therewith --
Also a Few More Indian Raids

Before detailing the great influx of immigration, which came in 1870, we will go back to 1869, and give a list of the few claims taken that year that were finally proved up on, and the settlers became permanent residents.

May 22, 1869, James A. Highland homesteaded the s 1/2 ne 1/4 and n 1/2 se 1/4 Section 8, Township 6 south, Range 6 west. Proved up April 9, 1876. Still lives in county.

May 24, 1869, Nels. S. Cederberg homesteaded the s 1/2 se 1/4 Section 5 and n 1/2 and 1/4 Section 8, Township 2, south, Range 7 west. Commuted July 16, 1870.

May 26, 1869, William D. Street homesteaded the ne 1/4 Section 8, Township 5 south, Range 7 west. Commuted July 2, 1871. Farm now owned by Hon. Benj. F. Ransford, Chairman Board of County Commissioners.

November 6, 1869, Peter Kearns homesteaded the se 1/4 Section 2, Township 2 south, Range 7 west. Commuted July 21, 1873.

November 13, 1869, James McCraith homesteaded the sw 1/4 Section , Township 2 south, Range 6 west. Proved up August 16, 1876. McCraith came back in January 1870, and has remained a permanent resident ever since.

The Tidal Wave

of 1870 commenced in February. In that month John O'Roak, William Scott, Samuel Sweet, Wils. McBride, Chris. Erns, John W. McRoberts, Sam. Bowles, T. Bowles, Phil. Baker, Adams and Gregory came in, all taking claims on White Rock. In the same month, A.J. Davis, Jerry Burnett, L.M. Stults, Benjamin Lewis and Charles Lewis came in and settled on Buffalo creek.

Too Numerous to Mention

From this time, (February, 1870) the settlers came in so thick and fast that we find it impossible to keep track of them with any kind of accuracy. Consequently we are under the necessity in this place of omitting the names of many, and only giving those of a few of the most prominent in each section of the county. The names of the first settlers of each Township will appear in our description of Townships.

The Buffalo Pioneers

The first permanent settlers of the Buffalo Valley were Henry Sorick, Geo. A. Sorick, John A. Sorick, Geo. W. Waters, R.F. Hudsonpeller, Thomas B. Hart, and William Cox, who took claims in the immediate vicinity of Jewell City, April 8, 1870.

The next arrivals were S.R. Worrick, John H. Worick, John Hoffer, Joseph W. Fogle, Cyrus Richart, Chris. Bender, David J. Rockey, William H. Cameron, Samuel Krape, C.A. Bellnap and A.J. Wise, known as the "Illinois Colony," who arrived at the forks of Buffalo creek, April 12, 1870. They all took claims in the vicinity of Jewell City, and all, with the exception of Mr. Cameron, remained until "the war was over" and very materially assisted in "holding the creek" during the somewhat troubleous [sic] season of 1870.

The next arrivals on this side of the county were James A. Scarbrough and William Queen, who took claims four miles north west of Jewell City, April 24, 1870. Mr. Queen went back to Clyde, where he had left his family and remained until the first of the following October, when he returned, and has lived here ever since. Scarbrough remained with "the boys" and took an active part in the stirring events of the succeeding summer and fall.

During the month of April, 1870, quite a number of other settlers arrived and took claims in the southern part of the county. Prominent among them were Charles L. Seeley, Isaac A. Sawin, Allen Lightner, Wm. M. Jones, James W. Hall, Richard D. Fardy, L.J. Calvin, F.A. May and John R. Wilson. The majority of them remained, and are among our most enterprising and respectable citizens.

Big Indian Scare --
Three Men Killed
At the Mouth of the Limestone

The settlers all went to work with a will, breaking prairie, building cabins, digging "dug outs" and otherwise improving their claims, with scarcely a thought of danger, until the night of May 12, 1870, when they were all aroused from their peaceful slumbers by a couple of couriers from the mouth of the Limestone who brought the unpleasant news that the noble Cheyennes were

Again on the War Path

and had only the day before killed three white men who were working on a mill dam on the Solomon, the present site of the fine flouring mill at Glen Elder. The couriers advised all the settlers to repair at once to "Hoffer's shanty," near the forks of Buffalo creek, and take some steps toward an organization for self protection, as in their scattered condition they would fall an easy prey to the blood-thirsty savages, in case they should take a notion to pay them a visit. It is almost needless to say that this advice was taken and acted upon in the promptest manner imaginable.

By daybreak the next morning, (May 13, 1870) 28 settlers had gathered together at the designated place of rendezvous, and to draw it mild, while the excitement was not intense, the cause of their coming together was the all absorbing topic of conversation. After a hasty breakfast, the meeting was called to order by William D. Street, who, in a few brief remarks, explained the object of the same, and strong argued the immediate organization of a company of militia with regularly elected officers for the protection of the lives and property of the

Scattered Settlers

He also recommended the erection of a fort, and a fraternal banding together for the purpose of "holding the creek." He was followed by several others with remarks of similar import, all agreeing that if the Indians were allowed to run riot all over this valley the present season, the settlement, at least of this portion of the county, would perhaps be deferred for years. All had come here with the avowed intention of remaining and securing homes for themselves and "the loves ones to come," and they did not propose to be run out of the country, simply by a little Indian scare, or, at least, until they had had a sample interview with Mr. Lo. The consequence was, a resolution was adopted to the effect that they organize a company, and

Build a Fort

at once. On the organization of the company, the following volunteers stepped to the front and placed their names on the roll of the "Buffalo Militia." We give their names in the exact order in which they appear on the original roll, which was a common buff envelope, now in our possession:

L. J. Calvin, F.A. May, W.M. Jones, Samuel Krape, Louis A. Dapron, C.L. Seeley, J.A. Scarbrough, Cyrus Richart, Chris. Bender, J.H. Worick, David J. Rockey, James W. Hall, Richard D. Fardy, Charles J. Lewis, C.A. Bellnap, A.J. Wise, John Hoffer, William Cox, S.R. Worick, Allen Lightner, James F. Queen, J.W. Fogel, J.A. Sorick, R.F. Hudsonpeller, I.A. Sawin, Henry Sorick, Wm. D. Street and John R. Wilson.

These names (28 in number) comprised all the settlers on Buffalo creek at that time, west of "Davis' Ranch." On the election of officers, William D. Street was elected Captain; Charles J. Lewis, First Lieutenant; Louis A. Dapron, Second Lieutenant, and James A. Scarbrough, Orderly Sergeant. Having their teams and breaking plows with them, this spartan band at once repaired tot he present town site of Jewell City, and commenced the erection of

Fort Jewell,

by selecting a spot of ground 50 yards square, around which they immediately commenced breaking the sod, cutting it into squares of the desired size, and laying up a wall. In two days their work was complete, showing a good substantial wall, four feet thick and seven feet high. As soon as the fort was completed, the company turned their attention to digging and walling a well in the northwest corner of the inclosure [sic], which was soon finished, affording an abundance of the best of cold water. This was

The First Well Dug

in the county that we have any account of. It is 29 feet deep, and is still in good condition. It is now the property of the Jewell City town Company, being situated in the edge of Delaware street.

Mounting Guard

The settlers remained in the fort, off and on, until the 28th of June, 1870, mounting guard a part of the time, during the night, and keeping scouts out during the day. During this time, the men would work on their claims in the day time, but at night they generally returned to the fort, feeling a little safer under the protection of the friendly walls than on their claims. However they were never attacked, and the Indians, although often seen in the immediate vicinity of the fort, never gave the settlers any trouble. At this time, (June 28, 1870), after the Indian scare was all over, Col. Weir, of the 3rd U.S. Mounted Artillery, sent a company of soldiers to our relief, who took up their quarters in the fort, and gallantly remained with and protected us until late in the fall. But as soon as the soldiers came, the settlers deserted the fort almost entirely, only returning occasionally to beg tobacco of each other, and laugh over the funny incidents of the every memorable 12th and 13th of May.

Our Limited Space

forbids as extensive an account of the early settlement of the Buffalo Valley as we would like to give, and those of our friends among the pioneers, who fail to find their names and date of settlement in this little volume, will please attribute the fact to the proper cause.

More New Settlers

During the months of May and June, our numbers were increased by the arrival of Col. E. Barker, O.L. McClung, W.C. McClung, R.R. McClung, Z.F. Dodge, J.K. Dodge, F.T. Gandy, H.P. Gandy, L.C. Gandy, Gabe. B. Wade, P.R. Deal, Samuel Cameron, C.E. Plowman, Jonathan Street, Geo. F. Lewis, James Carpenter, Jacob S. Jackson, W.R. Phillips, and many others, whose names we have forgotten. The name of Jesse N. Carpenter does not appear in either of the above lists, from the fact that we copy from the old muster roll, and as Mr. Carpenter was not a member of the organization, his name fails to appear. He was a resident of the county, however, from early in the spring of 1870, and still remains, one of our most influential and worthy citizens.

The First White Woman

who became a resident of the southern part of Jewell county, was Mrs. Annie Billings, wife of N.H. Billings, who arrived at Fort Jewell, May 22, 1870. She was accompanied by her little 10 year old sister, Miss Jennie Jones, who is now married and lives on Wolf creek, in Cloud county.

The Second Invoice

of white women who came to cheer the bachelor pioneers with their refining and moralizing presence were: Mrs. Adaline Sorick, Mrs. Jennie Halstead, Mrs. Annie Waters and Mrs. Mariah Dodge, all of whom arrived at Fort Jewell on the evening of July 3, 1870.

The Fourth of July

The Indians having taken their departure to more inviting fields of blood and plunder, and, the country being comparatively safe, the pioneers resolved to celebrate the anniversary of the Nation's birth-day on rather a novel plan. To this end, a committee was appointed to build an arbor near the fort; another to go out on the buffalo grounds and kill a load of fresh beef, and still another to barbecue the buffalo meat after it was brought in. Col. E. Barker was appointed President, and W.R. Phillips Orator of the day. The various committees discharged the duties assigned them with fidelity, and when the day dawned all was in readiness. The ladies of Clyde and Lake Sibley kindly furnished the light bread, pies, cakes, butter and preserves, and many of them favored the occasion with their fair presence. The attendance was good, all the settlers in the southern part of the county being present, with the exception of a small settlement on Brown's creek, consisting of B.G. Williams and wife, Al. Williams, Wesley Harberson and wife, Jacob Presler, wife and daughter, James Presler and James Williams. They had settled there only a short time previous, and were unaware of any settlement but their own in the county. Besides the settlers there were very respectable delegations from Clyde, Lake Sibley and Manhattan. Among the latter was our present respected fellow citizen, J.C. Postlethwaite, who acted in the capacity of Chaplain and invoked the Divine favor. The program was carried out to the letter. Col. Barker presided with his usual dignity, and Mr. Phillips "soared the eagle." The dinner was all that could be desired. There was an abundance for all, and plenty left. The "Buffalo Militia" fired a National salute, and the "day's doings" closed with three rousing cheers for our country and the Buffalo Pioneers. At night there was a platform dance under the arbor, of the most primitive character, in which nearly the entire company participated.

Pioneer Friendship

We have enjoyed seven recurrences of "the day we celebrate" in Jewell City since that time, in which there was more display, but you can not make one of those old pioneers believe but what he had a better time at the "Fourth" in 1870 than he has ever had since. We will not shock our eastern readers with the intimation that the absence of the "jerked buffalo meat" from these latter occasions may be the cause of all this. No, it was the associations of the time; the hardships, trials, dangers and privations of these early days, mutually shared together, that causes the heart of the early pioneer to beat with a quicker throb as he grasps with alacrity the hand of one of those old time-tried friends. They love to live those days over again. They never tire of the buffalo hunts they have taken together; of the bivoune [?] by that little creek "over yonder," or on the silent prairies, with nothing but a buffalo robe and the broad, blue canopy of Heaven for a shelter. Their hearts are indelibly intertwined, and no changes of time or place can effect any permanent change in their feelings towards each other. But we will spare our readers any further elaboration of the subject. Space forbids, and even if we made the attempt, no one would understand it but the old pioneers themselves. Deep down in the secret recesses of their hearts they feel and know how it is, but language is inadequate to the task of expressing it. They are friends in the deepest, broadest, fullest acceptance of the term, and pioneering has made them so. Pioneers, are we correct or not? We know your kind, sympathetic hears. "Yes!"

Jewell City

The beautiful town site of Jewell City was selected and filed on under the Town Site Act, May 6, 1870. On Friday, May 28, 1870, the Jewell City Town Company was organized the following members: Henry Sorick, Geo. A. Sorick, Geo. W. Waters, R.F. Hudsonpeller, William D. Street, James A. Scarbrough, S.R. Worick, Dennis Taylor, and N.H. Billings. The company met at the house of Esquire Collins, near the mouth of Buffalo creek, in Cloud county, on Friday, June 11, 1870, and acknowledged the signing of the charter, which was sent to Col. Thomas Moonlight, Secretary of State, at Topeka, and by him recorded and a certified copy returned to them. The town site comprised the sw 1/4 Section 32, Township 1/4 south, Range 7 west. The south west quarter of the town site was at once surveyed and laid off into town lots, the remainder being left "until further orders." No improvements were made, however, until the 30th day of June 1870, when

The First Building

was erected by James A. Scarbrough, for an office and store. This was one of the most primitive buildings ever erected in any country. It was 16 feet square and was constructed by setting a lot of posts in the ground and boarding them up with box lumber. The roof was composed of the same material. The building was commenced in the morning, and by the middle of the afternoon was completed. That evening Scarbrough's goods arrive, and

The First Store

was opened in Jewell City, being also the first one every opened in Jewell county. The stock consisted of groceries, provisions, cigars, chewing and smoking tobacco, baking powders and Hostetter's bitters, and involved just $130.65. Mrs. Mariah Dodge and David H. Halstead soon after erected a dwelling house each, and Scarbrough soon followed with a more substantial building, known then and now as

The Pioneer Drug Store

These were the only buildings in the town when the county was organized.

The Last Indian Raid

made in Jewell county, was on the 10th day of May, 1870, when a band of Indians, supposed to be Cheyennes, made a descent on Bowles' settlement on White Rock, and stole two spans of horses -- one from Sam. C. Bowles and the other from Peter Tanner. Bowles made a gallant fight for his, firing thirteen shots at the Indians, who in turn fired six gun shots and seven arrows at Mr. Bowles. None of the shots, however, took effect, as Sam, escaped with his scalp lock in the accustomed place, and no dead Indians were found lying around loose. They got his team, however, which he never recovered. Peter Tanner was more lucky. Towards night of the same day, while out looking for them, Peter found his horses in a ravine, on the north side of White Rock, where they had been hid by the Indians.

A Funny Incident

connected with the Indian visit to Bowles, goes to prove that their object was more for plunder than blood. One old Indian who appeared to be the leader, stepping up close to Mr. Bowles, fired his pistol in the direction of Bowles, the shot striking the ground a few feet from him. Bowles is accused of making the remark: "You d----d old scoundrel; give me that pistol, and I'll make a better shot than that." The Indian, however, did not comply with Bowles' request, whereupon Sam made for the house, met his wife who was coming to him with his weapons, and fired the ineffectual shots above noted.