Wilson County Kansas
Township Histories

Chetopa Township

The township history material was taken from the Historical Atlas of Wilson County Kansas published in 1881, and submitted by Bill Bentley.

Chetopa Township. - Jan. 4, 1870, the County Commissioners, on petition of John Woolman, created Chetopa tp. by dividing Cedar tp., the east half of the latter constituting the new township. The first election was held at the house of Dr. G. O. Beam, April 5th, 1870, on Chetopa creek. It was the annual election for choosing township officers. The first settler in Chetopa tp. was E. Babcock, from Piatt Co., Illinois. He took a claim on South Chetopa creek and located Nov. 30th, 1865. After him came C. Dixon and family, N. J. Woodard, R. Richards, E. Wood, G. Qualls, G. Oliver, Z. Martino, W. Osborn and L. Wyrick. They all left, by order of a squad of Osage Indians, but they returned to their claims in Oct 1866. Wyrick had his house burned by the Indians. W. Osborn was the first white man to break sod, in the spring of 1866. In 1866, Mr. Parker, a minister of M. E. Church, held the first religious services in the township, at the house of J. Connell, on North Chetopa. Between the two Chetopa creeks was an Indian burying ground, in which have been found implements of war and cooking utensils that were buried with defunct aborigines. "The graves were generally dug about 18 inches deep, then walled up with stones or poles and covered over with the same materials. The position of the corpse in the grave is a sitting posture, with the face turned toward the rising sun." It was Gen. W. T. Sherman who said "a good Indian is a dead Indian." In 1866 the Indians raised their final crop of roasting ears, beans and watermelons, and in 1870 the frame-work of their last wigwams was leveled by the hand of the pale-faced invader. In 1870 there was not an eligible claim untaken in the township. The tide of immigration of 1869-70 absorbed all the land worth entering and improving. The M. & N. W. R. R. was graded through Chetopa tp. in 1873, but the road was never built.

Additional histories included are:

Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

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Last updated 12/20/1998

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