From a series of articles detailing visits to Franklin County township in the
Ottawa Republican, Sept. 13, 1877
Head Waters of Toy [Tauy] Creek
The Ranking Settlements of Franklin
Hub of Franklin County Wheel
Choice Farms and Their Owners
How They Make Beef and Pork in Kansas
THE PARENT ORCHARDS OF THE COUNTY
A Chapter of Border Ruffianisms
What “Jayhawker” Means
FIRST SETTLEMENT AND WHO MADE IT
A Hospitable People at Their Homes
General Description of the Country
Farm Notices Boiled Down
The square bit of country which composes Hayes Township, is a most pleasing one. There are beautifully wooden hills; there are open plains, diversified by meadows and grainfields; there are neat, embowered farm houses, making their quiet assertions of thrift and comfort, and the scene is, truth to tell, of the best and most interesting we have seen in Kansas. The township area now known as Hayes was at one time within the limits of Centropolis, and prior to that in Ottawa, and here were made some of the earliest settlements of Franklin county. The old cabins of those pioneers may yet be seen, almost invariably along the creeks, and in the timber, and comfortable looking, old-fashioned farm cabins they are, too, generally located in picturesque positions.
A WELL WATERED COUNTY
Toy Creek—sometimes known as Ottawa Creek—makes this township, to the lover of a varied scenery, an enchanted land. It is a sort of Trinity, having three heads which come together just after leaving the township on the south, and there these heads, or estuaries, are known respectively as East, Middle, and West Toy creek. They divide the township into V shaped tracts, and from some commanding position the topography presents a most beautiful view. Take, for instance, such a glorious September day as was vouchsafed us for a first sight, from the highlands on what is known as “Ottawa mound.” There was a rushing wind and for miles everything rustled and waved and danced, and the grass undulated in long billows until the emerald swells rolled into the dim distance. The wind enjoyed himself like a mad creature: he had no forests to oppose him, no water to roll up—nothing but merry swaying grasses, and graceful, rustling corn. On each side, and in front, stretched the level green land, far as the eye could reach, broken only by the diverging creek lines, which, starting from the south, spread out fan like, their deeper, denser green making them look like emerald ribs set to stay the country from being “rolled together as a scroll.” Over there was a noble hill, crested with herds of cattle, just here a fair stretch of table land purple with the castor plant, and musical with the rustle of corn, and anon a little valley and a nestling home—every where the fairest expanse, with no fault in it,
AS A STOCK REGION,
Hayes cannot be excelled. These creeks afford an abundance of water, the year round; the broad belts of bottomlands which run up and down on either side, produce wonderous growths of the most succulent grasses and there are extensive sweeps of hills and rolling table lands, where the b4st of grazing facilities may be had.
Among those who settled in the township in an early day, were the following persons, who made claims as early as 1857: Jacob Copple; John, Lemon, William and Elvill Copple; Rudolph Miller and seven sons, [four of whom are now in the county], Reuben Hackett, William Hackett, Amos Hanna, C.P. Sherman, Louis Allison, Dan. Heverland, Mr. Coaven, Wm. Sutton, Dan. Storrs, Jessie Moore, John Moore, Mr. Wright, F.M. Hodges, Tom. M.E. Whinney [Mewhinney], Jacob Brunk, and David Hodges, all of whom settled on West Branch. On the East Branch the following persons settled: Squire Merchant, Calvin Leonard, John Leonard, and John Heck.
The first settlements were made in 1854, by Reuben Hackett, and Amos Hanna, who both located on West Branch. Mr. Hackett was the first Justice of the Peace, Jacob Brunk was the first constable. The first school house was built in 1858, on David Hodges’ place—it was of logs. A Mr. Moshier was the first teacher.
THE FIRST JAYHAWKER
Many of the early pioneers of Hayes were of those patriotic free-soilers commonly called “Jayhawkers,” and it may not be out of place to give here a brief description of the manner in which the name came to used in this connection. “We copy an account written by Judge James Hanway, of Potawatomie township: “In the summer of 1856, during the troubles which existed throughout Kansas, one morning before the sun was up, an individual by the name of Pat Devlin, was seen entering the village of Osawatomie, Miami county. He was riding a horse or mule, and loaded with no inconsiderable amount of articles, of a various character, which entirely covered his beast. A neighbor accosted him in a familiar manner: “Pat, you look as if you had been out on an excursion.” “Yes,” said Pat, “I have been out Jayhawking.” Not fully understanding the meaning of the term “Jayhawking,” he inquired of Pat what he meant. Pat, who was a bold free-state man, replied that he had been foraging off the enemy, meaning the proslavery party: He then like a true lexicographer, explained the meaning of the word “Jayhawker.” He said in Ireland there was a bird called the joy hawk, which worried its prey before devouring it. From this little incident, from the “reedy shores of the Marais des cygnes” has sprung the term of “Jayhawking,” a term which was adopted throughout the territory to designate the practice which existed for many years along the border between the free state and proslavery parties of foraging upon each other.
A.E. Staley cultivates 115 acres out of 160, about as follows this season, 9 acres oats, 65 corn, 22 beans, and a small area to timothy. Has sowed 15 acres to wheat, and 12 to rye. Owns 3 cows, 7 horses and 22 hogs.
E.W. Hume, Esq., owns 200 acres, about 40 of which are in cultivation, to corn exclusively. Mr. H. also cultivates 50 acres on ad adjoining farm, this season. Has about 40 head of cattle, one span of mules, and about 50 hogs.
F.M. Hodge, who resides near the northwest corner, owns 160 acres, of which 100 are improved. He raises corn and all kinds of small grain. Owns 10 head of horses, and 13 hogs, has about 90 bearing apple trees.
J. Copple, whose place is nearly in the extreme northwest corner, owns 160 acres, 100 in cultivation. He produces corn principally, but had 10 acres of wheat, and 16 of oats. Owns 38 head of cattle, has recently sold 11 three year old steers. Has 23 hogs, and 8 horses. His orchard comprises about 8 acres, the oldest trees being about 15 years old. His house is a good frame.
Lemon Copple has 100 acres, of which 50 are improved, the balance being timber. He has in 25 acres of corn, and 10 of beans. Had 8 acres of oats. Owns 8 head of cattle, 6 horses, and 18 hogs.
J.S. Marshall has 120 acres on West Branch, which he is putting into tillable shape as fast as possible. He has recently broken 40 acres, and intends to put it into wheat. Mr. M. is a young man, very much in love with Kansas and its beauties.
T.J. Johnson owns 120 acres, 68 being in cultivation, to corn principally. He harvested 10 acres of oats, and has sowed 8 acres of wheat. Owns 54 head of cattle, 6 horses, and 19 hogs.
J.M. Mecham, Esq., we found enjoying a siesta at his pleasant home on Middle Creek. Mr. Mechem owns 320 acres of fine land, of which some 120 acres are under improvement. He has harvested this year 20 acres of wheat and 20 of flax, and has about 60 in corn, and 40 in wheat. Owns 12 head of cattle, 8 horses, and between 50 and 60 hogs. Mr. M. has been very fortunate in wheat growing—has succeeded in getting continuous crops for the last seven years.
J.W. Murray, Esq., owns 82 acres of Middle Toy Creek, and was sowing fall wheat when we called. He cultivates 40 acres to corn, flax, and wheat. Owns 4 head of cattle, 3 horses and 13 hogs. Has a nice 2 acre orchard, and story and a half frame house.
J.D. Lewis operates the John Rhinley farm, and has 55 acres in corn and 10 acres in beans. Has harvested 8 acres of oats. Owns 2 head of cattle, 3 horses, and 10 hogs.
C. Hester owns 40 acres not far from the northeast corner. He is operating other farms, and has 150 acres in corn. Harvested 10 acres of oats, and has sowed about 5 acres of wheat this fall. Has about 100 head of cattle on hand—recently he turned off 55 head of steers. Has 150 hogs, and sold 50 a few weeks since. He also runs 12 head of horses.
Frederick Fiehler, near the east line, owns 80 acres—55 in cultivation, mostly to corn. He harvested 10 acres of oats. Owns about 30 head of cattle—generally keeps 50 head. Has 3 horses and 21 hogs.
Sam’l Scott, at the east line, has 80 acres—60 in cultivation, to corn principally. Has sowed 5 acres to wheat. Owns 50 head of cattle, 3 horses, and 80 hogs.
D.J. Matheny, than whom the REPUBLICAN has not a better friend, owns 80 acres of most excellent farm land, not far from Ottawa Mound. He has 30 acres in cultivation to corn principally and has sowed 15 acres of wheat. Owns 10 head of cattle, 3 horses, and 7 hogs.
Henry Fiehler, near the east line, owns 80 acres, 50 of which are in cultivation mainly to corn. Harvested a small field of oats. Has recently disposed of 14 head of cattle, and has 25 on hand. Owns 3 horses, and 20 hogs.
Friend J.E. Sneath was engaged in harrowing in a field of wheat, but not so busy that he could not spend a few minutes on the REPUBLICAN. Mr. S. has 148 acres near the south east corner of the township. Of this he cultivates 70 acres, mostly to corn. He planted 18 acres in beans, but had bad luck with them. Has sowed considerable wheat and rye. Owns 14 head of cattle, 2 horses, and a number of hogs.
William Gibson, near the south line, owns 157 acres—100 being in cultivation to corn, oats, wheat, and beans. Has in 20 acres in wheat. Owns 15 head of cattle, 4 horses, and 24 hogs. In his orchard are 125 apple, and 150 peach trees.
E.G. Lawrence, who lives southwest of Ottawa Mound, has 73 acres—65 in cultivation to corn, beans and flax. Has 8 head of cattle on the place, 4 horses and 6 hogs.
W.F. Leonard, on East Toy Creek, owns 125 acres, of which 50 are in cultivation to corn mainly. He owns 9 head of cattle, 2 horses, and 18 hogs. Has a small young orchard.
S.D. Risor, near East Branch, owns 80 acres, of which he cultivates 35 acres—20 to corn, 8 to beans, and the balance to various crops. Owns 8 head of cattle, 2 horses, and 6 hogs. Has a good frame house.
John D. Shepherd, on the north line, operates the Davenport farm, of 105 acres. He had 60 acres in cultivation to corn and wheat. Sowed 14 acres to wheat this fall. Owns 4 horses, 35 hogs.
Wm. Wright, whose handsome place is near the southwest corner of the township, owns 98 acres, of which 35 are in prime cultivation to corn and potatoes. Owns 20 head of cattle, 2 horses, and 10 hogs. Has lived in the township 7 years. Has in his orchard 100 peach, 25 apple, and some cherry trees.
B.K. Sutton own 80 acres—60 in cultivation, to corn principally. Harvested 7 acres of oats, and has in 10 acres of wheat. Owns 15 head of cattle, 8 horses, and 24 hogs.
James H. Shade, near the southwest corner, owns 80 acres, all improved. Harvested 8 acres of oats, and 5 of wheat, and has sowed 10 acres of wheat. Owns 17 head of cattle, 9 horses and mules, and 12 hogs. In the orchard are 180 apple and 80 peach trees. His house is a very handsome story and a half frame.
Joseph Shade owns 40 acres of an excellent farm, of which all are improved. He produces corn principally. Owns 16 head of cattle, 2 horses, and a number of hogs. His orchard comprises an acre and a half of ground.
A.C. Shinn, Esq., has one of the handsomest residence lots in the township, the location being a commanding one, and there being a splendid grove well under way. Mr. Shinn owns 280 acres of land, 180 of which are fenced. He raises this year, wheat, corn, oats and potatoes, and has sowed 20 acres this fall to wheat and grass. Owns 70 head of cattle, 7 horses, and 40 hogs. He has one of the finest stallions we have seen in our travels. In his orchard are 600 apple trees, and several hundred peaches.
The Kallock farm, now owned by Wm. Conard, and comprising some 880 acres, is operated by Wm. Waddle. Of this magnificent farm 300 acres are improved. Mr. W. has 200 acres in corn, and 15 in beans, and he has sowed 30 acres to wheat. There are 100 acres of fine meadow land on the farm, and a fine orchard of several hundred trees. Mr. Waddle owns 60 head of cattle, 10 horses, and about 60 hogs. He is putting up about 100 tons of hay this fall.
W.W. Gibson owns 80 acres of number one farming land, 55 of which are in cultivation—30 to corn, 14 to beans, and the rest in a variety of crops. He owns 2 cows, 2 horses, and 11 head of swine. Has lived only about a year on the place. His orchard comprises 150 apple and 100 peach trees.
J.N. Blanche owns 80 acres, all of which is fenced, and 50 acres under cultivation. He raises corn, principally, but had in 12 acres of oats. Owns 10 head of cattle, 6 horses and 9 hogs. Has a good young orchard of five acres.
G.W. Cree, who lives near the south line in the vicinity of Toy Mound, has 90 acres, 50 of which he cultivates to corn, oats, and flax this year. Has sowed 11 acres of wheat. Owns 14 head of cattle, 3 horses and 13 hogs.