Transcribed from A History of Meade County, Kansas by Frank S. Sullivan. ; [c1916] ; Crane & Company. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, September 2006.

1916 A History of Meade County, Kansas



On March 15th, 1888, Meade County issued one hundred twenty bonds of one thousand dollars each, bearing six per cent and due in twenty years, in aid of the Chicago, Kansas & Nebraska Railroad. These are the only bonds ever issued by the county as an original obligation, all subsequent issues—and there have been several—being for the purpose of taking care of these original bonds, and other accrued indebtedness.

The bonds standing against the county at the close of the fiscal year, July 1st, 1915, are as follows:

$26,000 due in 1929, bearing 5 per cent interest
$95,000 due in 1936, bearing 4-1/2 per cent interest.
$50,000 due in 1938, bearing 4-1/2 per cent interest.

The present bonded indebtedness of the different townships is as follows:

Meade Center $7,500
West Plains 6,000
Sand Creek 2,000

The cities are bonded as follows:

Meade $37,350
Plains 20,000
Fowler 29,300


The various school districts had in outstanding bonds, July 1st. 1915, as follows:
Joint No.  1    $800
No.  2 23,500
No.  5 600
No. 10 1,000
No. 14 200
No. 16 10,000
No. 18 12,200
No. 22 400
No. 39 400
No. 58 600
No. 60 800
No. 61 1,200
No. 62 500
No. 66 1,000
No. 69 100


In the construction and maintenance of highways and bridges Meade County has expended considerable money dining the last ten years. In 1889 the Legislature enacted a law declaring all section lines in Meade County to be public highways. As the country was largely devoted to stock-raising, this law soon proved to be very objectionable to a majority of the citizens, and was repealed by Chapter 212 of the Laws of 1895.

So long as the country was used largely as a grazing proposition, little farming being done, there was but little use for roads, and very little money was expended on their upkeep. But as the country developed, as farmers required means for marketing their crops, and especially since the automobile has come into general use, the demand for more and better roads has been insistent, and Meade County today probably has better roads than any other county of the same population.

Up to this time 77 miles have been designated as county roads as follows: A road extending from the northwest corner of the city of Plains north to the county line, 14 miles; extending from the southeast corner of the city of Plains south to the State line, practically 18 miles; a road extending north from Missler to the county line, 11 miles; a road connecting Plains, Meade and Fowler, located as follows: Commencing at the northeast corner of the city of Plains, thence 1 mile north, thence 5 miles east, thence 2 miles


north, thence 4 miles east, thence one half-mile south, thence 1 mile east, thence one half-mile south, to the northwest corner of Section 5, Township 32, Range 28; thence, commencing at the southeast corner of said Section 5 and extending east to the city of Meade; from Meade the road goes north about one half-mile, thence east one half-mile, then north 1 mile, east one half-mile, north 2 miles, east 1 mile, north 2 miles, thence east 6 miles, to Fowler, thence north from the northwest corner of Fowler 6 miles, to the county line.

It will be noted there is a gap in this road around Section 5, Township 32, Range 28. The reason for this is that when this road was designated the Commissioners were unable to determine whether the road should follow the section line around Section 5, or whether to angle through this section, and so this matter was left to be decided later.

All county roads are graded and dragged at the expense of the county, and many of the township roads are graded and dragged at the expense of the various townships.

The steel bridge across Crooked Creek, on Road No. 1, just east of Meade, was built in 1909, at a cost of $1,765.

In 1910 three bridges were built under the same contract, the aggregate cost being $5,381. These are all concrete bridges, and are known as the Brinckman bridge, crossing Crooked Creek on Road No. 88; the Bunyan bridge, crossing Crooked Creek on Road No. 68; and the Conrad bridge, crossing Crooked Creek on Road No. 6.

Eight bridges were built in 1913, all of concrete.


They are as follows: The Adams bridge, just north of Meade, on Road No. 72; cost $1,776. Prior to this time a wooden bridge had stood here. The Pinnick bridge, on Road No. 3, about a mile west of Fowler, at a cost of $1,500. The Watt bridge, on Road No 63, across Crooked Creek, north of Fowler, at a cost of $1,448. The Fanchar bridge, across Sand Creek, on Road No. 39, Logan Township, at an original cost of $1,375. Scarcely had this bridge been completed than high water caused the creek to cut a new channel, and it became necessary to extend the bridge at an additional cost of $1,200. A bridge across Crooked Creek, on the line between Meade and Ford Counties, was built by the two counties jointly, each county paying the sum of $545. This is on Road No. 54.

The McMeel bridge, just south of Meade, on Road No. 8, was built by Meade Center Township, the county contributing $300. The Boyer bridge, on Road No. 32, was also built by the township, the county contributing $400.

The year 1915 brought four bridges. On Road No. 32, across Skunk Arroya, in Odee Township, a cement ford was constructed at a cost of $250. A low-water bridge was built across Stump Arroya, on Road No. 32, in Odee Township, at a cost of $1,917.

The Stalder bridge, on Road No. 70, across Crooked Creek, in Meade Center Township, cost $600; the Hughbanks bridge, on Road No. 32, Meade Center Township, cost $2,355.80. This creek was spanned by a bridge which stood up for a year or two, but the high waters of 1915 undermined the foundation, wrecking the bridge, and making the construction of a larger and better one imperative.


About ten years ago the county built a low wooden bridge across the Cimarron river, on Road No. 95, at a cost of about $750, of which the Meade Commercial Club paid one-third. This bridge was taken out by flood, and in 1909 the county built a one-hundred-foot span steel bridge where the wooden bridge had stood, at a cost of $2,830. In 1913 the approach to the south end of this bridge burned out, and was replaced at a cost of $388.

In May, 1914, a flood, the like of which is not in the memory of the oldest inhabitant, came down the Cimarron, taking this bridge out completely. When the waters subsided, of the structure costing more than three thousand dollars nothing remained save three or four pillars, the remainder of the bridge being buried somewhere in the treacherous sands, from which no part of it has ever been recovered.



On August 29th, 1904, there was delivered to John W. Baughman, at Plains, the first automobile to enter Meade County. It was a two-passenger Winton Surrey, capable of a speed of fifteen miles an hour under favorable conditions, but there is no recerd of its ever having attained so great a velocity. In consideration of this car, which was a "second-hand" one, Mr. Baughman exchanged a quarter-section of land for which he had paid the sum of one hundred twenty-five dollars. Dr. Fee was the second Meade County man to own a car, and his first was of the old-style buggy type; and when C. P. Fullington appeared with his one-cylinder Cadillac and a regular chauffeur, Meade took on metropolitan airs.

On May 1st, 1916, there were 360 cars registered, of 43 different makes, classified as follows: Ford, 147; Overland, 35; Maxwell, 31; Reo, 25; Buick, 18; Studebaker, Hudson, and Dodge, 10 each; Allen, 9; E. M. F., 5; Chandler, Halliday, Flanders, Saxon, and Hupmobile, 4 each; Jackson, Brush, and Chalmers, 3 each; Moline, Regal, Case, Krit, Mitchell, and Oakland, 2 each; and 1 each of Lambert, Sterling, Paige, Apperson, Partin-Palmer, Glide, Detroiter, Wescot, Metz, Paige-Detroit, Chevrolet, Dort, Mason, Carter, King, Auburn, Anchor, Jones, and Coey.

At the same time there were 73 motor-cycles, of the following makes: Harley-Davidson, 41; Indian, 16;



Excelsior, 9; Henderson, 2; and one each of Thor, Apache, Sears Leader, Light, and Pope.

Dealers' licenses were in effect for the Harley-Davidson motor-cycle, and for the following cars: Empire, Interstate, Ford, Detroiter, Allen, Hupmobile, Krit, Halliday, Moon, Maxwell, Hudson, Overland, Saxon, Buick, Dodge, Studebaker.

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