The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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seat of Norton county, designated by Governor Harvey in organizing the county was on the Jones farm southwest of Norton one mile.  The same land is now owned by G. H. Griffin.  It was Billing's homestead in 1872. 

Ernest Broquet was born in France but came to the United States with his parents before the war.  They remained in Iowa a short time and then returned to France.  Shortly after the war Ernest came to Chicago where he went to school a short time.  In 1871 he came to Labette county, Kansas, where he was married at Oswego to Mary Blue.  Seven children have been born to them, five of them still living.  In 1874 he moved to Jasper county, Indiana, where he lived until the spring of 1878, when he moved to Rooks county, Kansas, and from there to Norton county in the spring of 1879, and has lived here continuously ever since.  He deals extensively in live stock and real estate and is engaged in the mercantile business in connection with various other enterprises at this time.  His mother, Madam Ve Broquet-Delcourt, came here from France in 1882; she is the largest real estate owner in Norton and has considerable money invested in other enterprises. 

William H. Croco came here in 1878 and has resided here continuously ever since.  He is under sheriff at this time. 

Since their biographies have been printed and during the progress of publication, the following Old Settlers have died: 
Mrs. N. E. Kelly, wife of John Kelly, February 4, 1894. 

At Ashton, Kansas, April 21, 1894, R. H. Seymour. 

David Wood Mills, April 28, 1894. 

Mary Ann Spencer, wife of James N. Spencer, June 6, 1894 

Major O. M. Dannevik, August 4, 1894. 

The foregoing history of Norton county, people and incidents, was begun to employ a few idle hours on my hands, and published from week to week in THE NORTON CHAMPION without having been first outlined in chronological order.  Much of the information received was under question for accuracy, and the settlement of historical questions was made after careful inquiry of present people whose memory was liable to be most accurate.  From this standpoint I have stated as facts some things still disputed; however, when a question of importance was under consideration it was the safest thing to publish both sides as was done.  To many of the Old Settlers I am under great obligations for their help and interest in this work, and especially to J. H. Simmons, Henry Oliver and Sol Marsh. 

The publication in book form was an afterthought, the first object being to print a few pamphlets for private circulation, and on being asked by numerous friends to extend the work, it was decided to admit many biographies not properly classed as old settlers.

With this apology for the manifest irregularities, I dedicate the book to the public trusting that they will look upon the difficult labors connected with the work in as charitable and uncritical a light as the performance warrants. 

It is m order now to submit the following personal biography: 

My maternal ancestors immigrated from southern England in 1760 and settled in Frederic county, Virginia.  My mother's grandfather was born there in 1761.  He became a slave owner, but later had conscientious scruples against chattel slavery and in 1810 he attempted to liberate his slaves. but the laws of Virginia compelled persons liberating their slaves to file a bond with the county making themselves financially 

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