Greenwood County's Earliest Years

Forward by

Helen Bradford

This booklet is a collection of old settler's reminiscences about life in Greenwood County from 1856, when the first settlers came, to 1868 when S.G. Meade started "The Eureka Herald". Without these reminscences, little would be known about the twelve-year period. Here, as elsewhere, history seemed to begin with the coming of the press.

Many of the most colorful episodes of the county history occurred during this pre-press period. Luckily, "Herald" editors preserved these recollections in the form of reports of old settlers' meetings, reports of interviews, and letters to the editor.

This booklet consists of the following five of these newspaper accounts:

  1. In 1876 Edwin Tucker wrote a history of the county and gave it as an oration at Greenwood County's Centennial celebration. It appeared in the "Herald" as the first written history of the earliest years.
  2. In 1893, R.L. Barrier, historian of the Old Settlers' Association organized the previous year, gave a rather comprehensive speech about the history of Kansas, as well a a summary of the changes occuring in the county from 1856 to 1893.
  3. In the following year, 1894, Erasmus Mahan gave the historian's paper for the Association, contributing his version of the early years.
  4. In 1896, historian J.W. Kenner referred to the histories of Tucker, Barrier, and Mahan, and made a conscious effort to record events and conditions not touched upon by those earlier writers.
  5. Ten years later, in 1906, J.W. Smyth made a special effort to record names of early settlers not referred to by the four historians mentioned above.

Combined with forthcoming collections of more random recollections of early settlers, these five speeches will shed considerable light on the pre-"Herald" days. It is the hope of this collector that these accounts will bring about a greater appreciation of the idealism, courage, and stamina of Greenwood County's earliest settlers.

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Transcribed from early Greenwood County Kansas newspapers
Jeff Hokanson.

Used by permission of the Greenwood County Historical Society

Transcribed to electronic format by Betty I. Ralph

since 19 February 1997.

Copyright ©1997  Debbie Wafford / SLC, Utah

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