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in 1877

From the Saline Valley Register, Jan. 10, 1877

[Transcriberís note: This is a probably the earliest rundown available of Lincoln Center businesses; the town was not even five years old at the time.]

Lincoln Center Businesses and Businessmen in 1877

Lincoln Center, the county seat of Lincoln County, Kan., and the only town in the county, is located on the Saline River, about 140 miles due west of Topeka, and 25 miles nearly due north of Ellsworth, on the Kansas Pacific railroad. The country roundabout is one of the richest farming and stock growing regions to be found in the States. Our town in a little upwards of four years old, and contains about 300 inhabitants, of as good and intelligent a class of citizens as can be found anywhere. Our growth has not been as rapid as some places in the western country, but it has been steady and substantial. The county, in this respect, is far ahead of the town, which all will admit, shows a good healthy condition for the future. The population of the county at this time, we believe, is fully 4,000. The chief pursuit of the farming community is the raising of wheat, cattle and sheep. More good timber and better water is found here than in any other county in the central part of the state. The most pleasing and beautiful panoramic view ever presented to mortal eyes, and unequalled east of the Sierra Nevadas, can be seen at any season of the year, by anyone who will take the pains to ascend to the cupola of the court house, where you can "view the landscape oíer" and meditate at your leisure on the beauties of nature, presented to your admiring gaze -- the fine belts of timber, with the happy little brooklets traversing the rolling prairies, irrigating in their course hundreds of beautiful farms, with their comfortable homes, growing orchards and forest groves. Without saying more of our location, we will proceed to notice briefly some of our


We have, on the public square, situated on a high piece of ground, the finest and best constructed court house in central or western Kansas. It is 40x44 feet, two 12-foot stories high, built of the finest quality of white magnesium limestone, uniformly cut and pointed in the best manner. It is well finished on the interior, and the different offices nicely and comfortably fitted up with all necessary furniture.

Our school house, 32x44, two tall stories in height, is built of the same substantial material as the courthouse, well finished on the inside, supplied with patent seats, maps apparatus, etc. A clear sounding bell in the observatory warns the pupils of school time. About 100 scholars are now in attendance. Prof. J.D. Miller is the Principal, with Miss Hattie Davis as Assistant.

The new Presbyterian church, which is now up to the height of nearly one story, and which will probably be finished during the coming summer, is of dressed stone (rustic in style and variegated in color). Its size, we believe, is 30x50.

A number of the business houses and residences are also built of this fine white stone, which abounds here in unlimited quantities. Next in order, we will notice a few of the business houses, commencing with

Dry Goods

D.E. Coolbaugh, dealer in dry goods, clothing, groceries, boots and shoes, hats, caps, queensware, notions, etc., is the oldest businessman in the place, having been here upwards of four years. He carries a heavy stock of everything suitable to this market. His stock of goods will compare favorably with Topeka or Kansas City. He is a man of strict integrity and enjoys the confidence of all parties. His superiors as a businessman are few. Mr. C. is assisted in his business by Mr. J.B. Travis, as correct and reliable a gentleman as we have among [us]. Mr. T. sold the first dimeís worth of goods ever sold on the town site.

Ober Bond & Wilson, proprietors of the mammoth "Stone Palace" dry goods emporium, at Salina, have a large branch house here, under the immediate control of Mr. H.C. Angel, an old eastern tradesman, and a gentleman who cannot be walked around by any man, when you come right down to business. He is a gentleman who stands high in the estimation of all, liberal in his views and dealings, he cannot be otherwise than popular. Mr. A. is assisted by Mr. D.B. Day and Allen Elgin, both good salesmen and good boys. Everybody likes "Dan" and "Al." This house carries a large stock of dry goods, groceries, clothing, hardware, queensware, etc., and is doing a large business.

Mr. Elias Rees, at his mill, a few rods south of town, keeps on hand at all times a heavy stock of dry goods, clothing, boots and shoes, groceries and provisions. Mr. R. is an old pioneer of the county, and is well known to every inhabitant as a good businessman, reliable and trustworthy and the friend of the needy. He has a healthy trade, principally from the farmers. W.S. Rees, his son, is principal salesman and manager of this branch of his fatherís large business.


R.F. Bryant, proprietor of the "Old Reliable Drug House," keeps a well selected stock of drugs, medicines, paints, oils, glass, stationery, and in fact everything usually found in a first class house. The Dr. is a practicing physician, a good citizen, and we are glad to say is making money, not only out of his business, but by the improvement of his fine farm, one mile north of town, where he resides.

C.B. Cheney has also, within the past three weeks, opened up in his neat, new building, a complete stock of drugs, tobaccos and fancy goods of every description. He has things in good shape, and keeps one of the neatest retail drug stores in the country. Charlie is a young man of good qualities and fine business abilities.


Mr. G.W. Brooking, lately of Salina, who has just purchased of A.C. Jackson his large stock of groceries and provisions, handles a large amount of goods in his line. He deals exclusively in groceries, flour, tobaccos, fruits and confectionary, keeps a neat store and is having a good trade. Mr. Jackson is assisting him temporarily. M.B. is a liberal gentleman and deserves the large patronage he receives.

In the two-story stone building nearly opposite Mr. Brooking will be found Mr. C.W. Perkins, who also keeps a complete stock of groceries, tobaccos, fruits, confectionary, etc., in addition a full stock of boots and shoes, hats, caps and notions. He makes a specialty of green fruits, is doing a good business and is justly entitled to it.


H. Holcomb is the only exclusive hardware dealer in town. Everything, from a three-penny nail to a Marsh Harvester, can be found in his store. In its season he makes farm machinery a special business, selling at Kansas City prices, freight added. He done a thriving business in this line last season and proposes to increase it during the coming one. In addition to his hardware, he also handles woodenware, tin ware, furniture and wagon makerís material. We are glad to know that he is prospering for he is one of our best citizens.


N.B. Rees has fitted up in good style a photographic gallery, where all work coming under this head is done in the highest style of the art. In addition to this he is a practical watchmaker and jeweler, frames and pictures in any desired style, and keeps a full line of toys and showcase goods. In fact he is one of those kind of men that can do anything you wish done.


The Pioneer House, presided over by that genial landlord, A.S. Robinson, is the oldest hotel in the county, and is known far and near as comfortably home for the weary traveler.

The Farley House, H.L. Farley proprietor, is also a favorite house, where the comforts of a home are enjoyed, the tables well supplied and the sleeping apartments desirable.


Hiram Williams, one of the best workmen that ever "struck the country," is doing a lively business -- the song of his anvil being heard early and late.

John Klepper, who opened the first shop in the place, is also a first-class workman, and is always on hand to do everything and anything in the blacksmithing line.

Cabinet and Wagon Makers

Messrs. D.H. Malone and Ira W. Russell, manufacture all kinds of furniture, wagons, carriages, and so on. They have a turning lathe and all conveniences for successful and speedy work. These gentlemen are also contractors and builders, and do all manner of work coming under the head of carpentering. Coffins made to order and general repairing done.

J.L. Carpenter also manufactures everything in the line of furniture, showcases, etc. He is a carriage builder by trade and a first-class mechanic, having served his apprenticeship in one of the large cities of the east, where fine work is demanded.

Harness and Saddles

C.L. Pierce, at his busy shop on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Main Streets, is well supplied at all times with all manner of goods in his line. Two hands are kept constantly busy putting up new work. Charlie understands his business and is thriving.


D.F. Sehrman, a perfect master of his trade, manufactures all kinds of work from the finest city finish to the coarsest stoga. He is crowded with work at all times and is making money.

C.L. Pierce, in connection with his harness shop, keeps a good workman busy at all times on boots and shoes. He does all kinds of new work and also repairing.

Livery Stable

There is but one livery stable in the place, but it is a good one, A.S. Robinson, proprietor. The building is large and commodious, with good stockyards. About a dozen head of horses with an ample number of carriages and buggies are always in readiness for duty.

Flouring and Saw Mill

Elias Rees is proprietor of the popular and well-known Abraham Mills, on the river south of town, where as good an article of flour is made as at any mill in the state. His miller, W.M. Chidester, is an experienced and competent man. A saw mill is also attached.

Tombstones and Monuments

M. Robertson, without a doubt, one of the best workmen in stone to be found east or west, and a natural sculptor, manufactures all kinds of monuments and tombstones of the beautiful white or blue stone found so plentifully near this place, and which is susceptible of a polish equal to the finest Italian marble. Mr. R. is also an architect and builder.

Meat Market

J.T. Barnhart, partially fulfilling the scripture, "feeds the hungry" with the choicest of meats -- buffalo, antelope, beef, pork, mutton, etc. -- sweet, tender and juicy. He contemplates putting up an ice house for his summerís trade.


Mrs. Annie Hughes, in this branch of business is doing well and receiving all the work she can do. She carries a full stock of goods usually sold in the country markets.


The following is a list of the attorneys and real estate dealers of the place: W.S. Wait, Ira C. Buzick, S.O. Hinds, and H. Vernon. We have not the space to make personal mention of each, and can only say that they are all gentlemen of ability and enjoy the confidence and respect of their friends. Col. W.W. Brown, who has lately moved on to his farm, in the northwestern part of the county, continues to practice law here, although his post office address is Cedron, this county.


There are three physicians here: R.F. Bryant, Henry Vernon and J.D. Gilpin, all graduates of first-class colleges, but the field here for active operations is somewhat limited, owing to the extreme healthfulness of the country.

Insurance Agents

Capt. D.W. Henderson and M.C. Springer each represent the leading companies of the country and take risks in the same.


The Saline Valley Register is the only paper published in the county. It was established in June 1875 by its present publisher. Republican in politics, opposed to the grasshoppers and in favor of Tom Osborn for U.S. Senator. Two dollars secures it for one year.

Our Cornet Band

This sketch would be incomplete without a brief mention of this enterprising association -- one of the best in the State, and which numbers among its members, some of our best citizens. The boys have 10 instruments, varying in price from 35 to 100 dollars each, and are masters of anything set to music. They attend calls from a distance at reasonable figures. C.L. Pierce is their leader.


There is not a vacant house in the place, and they are in demand. Parties with capital to invest could do not better than to come here and put up buildings, both business houses and residences. Any number could be rented at good figures. We have men of means among ourselves, but they prefer to use their surplus in their different branches of business, beside, they have their hands full of other matters, and have neither the time nor inclination to traffic in real estate.

The Masons and Odd Fellows each have flourishing lodges here. We have a daily mail to Salina and a tri-weekly to Ellsworth. Our prospects for a railroad are flattering, the initiatory steps, looking to an early commencement of operations, having already been taken. The future outlook for our town is cheery and hopeful, and to those who are on the lookout for a peaceable, quiet, orderly town, in which to settle, where there are no saloons and rowdyism, but where good schools and churches abound; where the atmosphere is pure and healthy; where morality and intelligence are the characteristics of its people, and to those desiring to engage in legitimate business, where they may grow up with an industrious and enterprising community, we offer you, with open hands of welcome, superior inducements, and invite you to come and be our neighbors.

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