From a series of articles detailing visits to Franklin County townships in the
Ottawa Republican, July 26, 1877
“A Land by Nature Blest”
First Settlers and their Trials
Ohio City in its Glory!
Magnificent Farming Operations and Extensive Stock Enterprises!
ILLUSTRATIVE SCENES OF STIRRING TIMES
Robbery of County Safe—Moral Effect of Judge Lynch-
Breaking the “Red Head” Ring—Capture of Bushwhacker’s Horses—
Mrs. Shank Demoralizes a Constable—Hanging of Shaw & Johnson
That part of Franklin County which lies within the lines bounding Ohio Township—the subject of this sketch—is fairly representative of the most desirable agricultural lands of the State. It has a generous portion of high, rolling prairie, and a bountiful allowance of timer as well, and its soils, from the warm corn lands of the higher ground to the denser deposits on broad creek bottoms, are so varied that the immigrant, be he from Maine or Texas can find a farm to suit his taste for “land like he had at home.”
traverses the township from west to east to a point near the eastern line, when it turns suddenly to the north. This creek is in the likeness of all other Kansas streams—it has a narrow, deep bed, and flows through a considerable bottom which it enriches in its periodical uproarious seasons with plentiful deposits of rich black soil. These creek bottoms, generally well timbered, proved most attractive to the old pioneers who were predisposed to the protection afforded by trees, and they were the first settled portions of the county. Ohio township was no exception to this rule, and we find all the old cabins of bygone days strung along the banks of this stream. The fairest prairies stretch away on either side of the creek, their blooming bosoms offering no opposition to the course of the plow share, and yet they contain many acres of untilled soil, while the rougher lands contiguous to the creek form a continuous chain of farms despite their ravines, their unshapely angles, their formi8dable stumps and grubs.
In an early day, unfortunately cast its evil eye over this favored region, and grasped many of its choicest scenes from the reach of the humble immigrant, and to-day a large portion of the township area lies dormant. Could this be remedied—could these broad acres be drawn upon for their hidden wealth, Ohio would stand, in dint of aggregate productions, in the front ranks with the richest township in the State.
But despite these barren stretches of speculative lands, the country lies “fair as the garden of the Lord.” For in every direction one finds enterprising, energetic men who long since grasped the coy hand of Prosperity and are now leading that gentle goddess towards the court of Opulence.
The first white settler in that part of the county now known as Ohio township, was undoubtedly Thomas Ivy, who was located on upper Middle Creek as early as 1856. He was followed by other settlers, and at the opening of the year 1857, the following heads of families had claims along the stream.
Judge Merritt, (first Probate Judge), Mr. Carter, Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Robinson, Jac. Bolman, Mr. Agnew, D.R. Ricker, Hiram Howard, Calvin Randall, Thos. Ivy, James and John Dietrich, Wm. Fugate, Wm. Nightingale, Mr. Epperson and James McFadden. Nearly all these men were Missourians and had violent pro-slavery predilections. The year 1857—when the lands came into market—set an immense immigration towards Kansas, and Ohio came in for its share. During this year the following gentlemen filed on pre-emption claims.
Messrs. Miller, Smith, Jno. E. Baer, Thomas, Ezekial and Manuel Jenkins, P.P. Elder, W.E. Kibbie, John Hendricks, J.W. Iliff, D.C. Wetherwax, Shanks, Briggs, Sanford, J.H. Cook, A. R. Morton, Painter, David Bear, John Bair, Wm Servatius, John Funk, Wm. A Morton, L. DeStiguer, and Mrs. Robinson. These persons were all of the Free State stripe, and figured prominently in the affairs of the township and county.
Founding Ohio City
Early in 1857 a town-site company, composed of citizens of the township and of Lawrence, was formed, for the purpose of locating a town in some favorable situation. Among some original members of this company were H.M. Hendry, P.D. Ridenour, Abe Morton, A.H. Ross, J.W. Iliff, Painter, L. DeStiguer and Jacob Bolman. John E. Baer, P.P. Elder, and others were afterwards members.
The first building erected in Ohio City was a two story frame hotel, for which the lumber was hauled from Kansas City. Wm. Morton was the first proprietor, and John Hendricks the last, the house being burned July 4th 1864. Another hotel, which was dignified with a painted sign, was also built in an early day, and kept by Jacob Bolman. This ancient building now serves as a tenant house on one of Governor Elder’s farms contiguous to the town site. J.W. Iliff (the great Colorado Cattle King) erected the first store, which was a considerable building by a popular subscription; the purpose being to build a church. For this purpose the Company donated $200, and individual members and others, sums ranging from $25 to $50, many farmers also donating labor. Prices for material were naturally high, and by the time the stone work had reached the gables the fund was exhausted. Work stopped, and several years after, the unfinished building was formally turned over to the school district and completed.
W.E. Kibbie built the first frame house south of Lawrence, on the prairie. He also taught the first school—a private one-and was the first postmaster.
The first post office was named “Bowling Green,” but with the influx of free-state people, and the growth of the town, the old pro-slavery regime was done away with, and from a semi-occasional mail service they grew into a tri-weekly and ultimate daily service, the name of the office being changed to “Ohio City.”
Rev. Mr. Finckbine preached the first sermon, and Rev. H.C. Moys, a Methodist minister, was the first regular preacher. Rev. Mr. Frakes (recently disgraced in Wichita) also preached occasionally.
The first Justice of the Peace was P.P. Elder, and the first Judge of Probate – Merrill, also resided there.
The first celebration of the national anniversary was held in Ohio City in 1857, and was conducted right loyally. It was indeed the first in the county, held on the prairie. An arbor was built, wherein a great feast was spread. Dr. Finckbine delivered the oration, and W.E. Kibbie read the Declaration. About one hundred persons were present, and the happiest time imaginable was had. Very patriotic were those brave pioneers, and they made the most of their resources. Old muskets were mounted, and did excellent salute service, rounded being fired at morning, noon, and night.
The first steam saw-mill was erected on Middle Creek, some little distance above Ohio City, by Morton & Painter, in 1857. Because of their connection with the town company they removed this mill, in 1860 to a location below the town, and nearer, where they did a considerable business during the best days of the town. The frame of this old mill is used as a barn on Tom Brown’s farm at Princeton.
The first election was held at Ohio City in April, 1858, and E.Y. Smith and Joe Stevens were the first constables.
P.P. Elder, of Ohio City was the first Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors—practically the County Board as now constituted. Under the law which then existed the chairmen of the several township boards was a member of, and they collectively constituted the County Board.
The prosperity of the little town suffered materially, at one time, from intemperance—or rather from the sale of liquor—and a very considerable temperance excitement arose. Stevens, at one time, kept an inconsiderable stock of groceries, and extended his stock to the “wet” variety, and Sanford also sold liquor. It was only during two years of its existence however, that the uncivilizing fluid was sold under license, and then the County Board undertook to make its sale unprofitable by fixing a high rate of license. The first year they placed the figures at $100, and Sanford came promptly to time, and took out his papers. The Temperance people then exerted themselves to the utmost, but could only influence the Board to promise an increase in the rate. Wetherwax was a most powerful worker in this temperance work, and came to be looked upon as a leader. The second year the Board fixed the license at $250, and Mr. Sanford was popularly supposed to be distanced. To the exceeding great dismay, and no little astonishment of the temperance party, however, he came to the scratch with $250 in cash, and took out his license. It very soon transpired that he had borrowed that sum of Mr. Wetherwax, who doubtless found his temperance principles of no weight as compared to four per cent per month.
County Seat Experience
After several contests with Minneola (then the seat of County Government), and Peoria, the decision of the Supreme Court in 1861, relative to the legality of acts of the Territorial Legislature succeeding the admission of the State (referred to in a former article) carried the county seat to Ohio City in 1862, and she held that post of honor undisturbed until 1864. The Indian title to the land whereon Ottawa is now located, becoming extinct at that time, a smart little town sprang up as an inevitable result of the “fitness of the thing,” [Editor’s Note: The land upon which Ottawa sits was purchased by its Town Company with an agreement that it would create an Indian school—Ottawa University—in exchange.] and the county seat was removed to Ottawa. It had, however, for some time been apparent that a successful town could never be built on the site occupied by Ohio City, as it was impossible to obtain water there. The Company expended a good deal of money in the vain attempt to strike a vein, and when Ottawa loomed up in fair proportions, Ohio City gracefully accepted the fact and the little town soon contained some eight or nine houses and a population of perhaps one hundred. This was in its palmy day, in the years 1862, ’63 and ’64. John Hendricks built a store in 1859. Ben Sanford (whose widow is now Mrs. J.Y. Hewitt), also kept a store at the time and sold it to H.C. Branson. The Stone School House was begun in ’57 being two stories, 30 by 60 feet, the upper part finished off for a hall. In after years, when Ohio City became a thing of the past, this building was torn down and reconstructed into a barn for another of Gov. Elder’s farms. One of the original resolutions of the Company was to the effect that each members thereof should build a house on the site, or make improvements equivalent thereto, inevitably yielded the ghost. Three of the buildings were removed bodily to Ottawa, eight miles. One now occupies the corner opposite the big brick house erected by John Walruff; another stood where Burton’s brick store now is, and the other was placed on one of the lots occupied by Hunter for a lumber yard. It was built for a Methodist parsonage, and was used in Ottawa for that purpose.
Ohio City has passed from the sight of man, but in plain view from her site may be seen the thriving little village of Princeton, a station on the L.L & G Railroad containing fifteen or twenty buildings, and a number of enterprising and prosperous business men and mechanics.
A RAID ON BUSH-WHACKERS
During the fall of 1856, while there were few, if any open ruptures between the pro-slavery and free state men, there was nevertheless an inimical feeling between them, as an inevitable result of the determined efforts of the free state party to establish a foot-hold in the State. Organizations on both sides existed everywhere, and petty raids were of frequent occurrence, the proslavery men being generally the aggressive ones. In August of that year a free state organization with headquarters at Centropolis, woke up one fine morning to find themselves horseless, those valuable animals having been stolen during the night. They readily traced the theft to a party of proslavery men who made occasional dashes into that vicinity, and they were determined to get even at the first opportunity. A few days afterward a man by the name of Barrington—formerly an employee at the Sac and Fox Agency at Greenwood, but discharged for his free state proclivities—appeared at Centropolis, and informed Powell, leader of the Free State party, that a number of horses had been left with H.S. Randall by the pro-slavery fellows to be recruited, and that they were then in Randall’s pasture on Middle Creek, in Ohio Township. That evening the party, composed of some thirteen or fourteen, among whom were Powell, J.P. Moore, Thos. Shirley, Sam. McManus, Chas. Robbins, J.S. Cleveland and J.M. Robbins, securing indifferent mounts on Indian ponies, proceeded to Middle Creek, and quietly took possession of those horses. It afterward transpired that a few of the animals belonged to other than the organization of pro slaverites, and these were returned to the owners.
A MODEL DOCUMENT
The following is a verbatim copy of a record noted in a Justice’s docket, and now a much prized treasure in the collection of old settler’s annals:
STATE OF KANSAS)
Franklin County )
Mariag of A.A. Gregg and S.E. Watkins
I hereby certify that I solemnized the mariag of Anton A. Gregg, born in the State of Ohio, Bas county, old 23 years, and resides at Ohio City, Franklin, with Sara E. Watkins, born in Potters County, Misoure, old 17 years, at the 8 day of Januar, A.D. 1865, and was performt in the house of W. Gregg.
JOHN DIETRICK, J.P.
It is also related—as we are on the subject of legal documents—of a gentleman who shall be nameless, but who held at one time, in an early day, the responsible office of Justice of the Peace, that he committed a ludicrous blunder in the performance of official business. A certain case of replevin, the property in question being a cow and calf, was tried before him, and the jury rendered a verdict in favor of the defendant. In recording the case our Justice copied the verdict of the jury, and added: “I hereby render judgment for defendant for one cow and calf.”
STRINGING HORSE THIEVES
As early as 1858 the settlers began to suffer serious losses at the hands of the lawless vagabonds who seek new countries in which to commit their depredations with greater immunity, and they took effective measures towards eradicating the evil. A number of horses had been stolen, and suspicious had fallen upon two men by name Shaw and Johnson, and finally their guilt became apparent. A band of resolute settlers thereupon determined to so effectually punish them that their fate would prove a salutary warning to all others. They were taken into custody, and given the benefit of a trial, at a house on upper Middle Creek. Word of the affair reached Ohio City and a number of men, among them Gov. Elder, went up to the scene. They found the two culprits in possession of a band, and Mr. Gates pleading for their lives. His appeal was to no effect, however, and the men would have been strung up then and there but for the interference of the party from Ohio City, who induced the crowd to desist.
That night, however, after the Ohio City party had returned home, the two men were taken from their beds, carried to the Sac Agency, and hung. It is unnecessary to say that horse property was safe for a number of years in that community.
A Plucky Woman
A.D. Richardson, in his famous book, “Beyond the Mississippi,” recounts what purports to be a true story concerning an amusing affair at Ohio City, between a constable and a woman. With his usual penchant for drawing on a vivid imagination, the story was over-colored. The facts are simply these: In 1858, E.Y. Smith, constable at Ohio City, was instructed to levy on a yoke of oxen owned by one Shanks, who lived on the farm now occupied by E. Dunnock. Smith rode down to the house, clothed with official authority, and halting at the door inquired for Mr. Shanks. That gentleman was sick—too sick to appear, and his wife came to the door and asked Smith’s business. He informed her that he had come to take that yoke of cattle. She replied that she guessed he wouldn’t, and retired. Smith was about to dismount, when Mrs. S. again appeared, this time armed with one of those pepper-box revolvers, calculated to depopulate whole counties at one fire, and sweetly requested Mr. Smith to retire. He did it in good shape, his astonished horse being urged to a rate of speed he had never before developed.
ROBBERY OF THE COUNTY SAFE
In 1863, there was, in Johnson county, Missouri, a gang of some seventy-five “desperate” characters, known as the “Red Heads,” who robbed and murdered Unionists and Rebels, indiscriminately, until their lawlessness and utter disregard of party, led to mutual attempts by both sides to capture them. They were therefore compelled to flee from that State, and came to Kansas, breaking up into squads of four or five, and scattering over the State.
In January of 1864, a man by the name of Baily came from Lawrence and engaged work at Ohio City with John Hendricks, and also secured the job of carrying the mail. About the last of February it was discovered, one morning, that the county safe had been robbed of between twelve and thirteen hundred dollars, and valuable papers (to the county), and that this man Baily was missing, as was also a horse, the property of Hendricks. Fitton was at this time Treasurer, but he was away from home, and the key to the safe was in the possession of H.F. Sheldon, Register. After the robbery, the key was still in Sheldon’s possession, and as the safe had evidently been opened with a key, a mystery was there to be solved by the capture of the thief. Sheldon started in pursuit, and tracked him to Sedalia, the nearest railroad point, took the first train out, and at Gasconade, where an up train was passed, met his man. Although alone, in the midst of rebel sympathizers, he collared the chap, and claimed his prisoner. Baily yelled “murder!” and appealed for protection from a “Kansas Jay-hawker” and the surrounding crowd was anything but friendly toward Sheldon. Yet he bravely held to his man, and by the assistance of the loyal conductor got him on the up train. He was watchful of every move of his prisoner, and detected him in throwing something out of the car window while passing through a cut. Arriving at Jefferson City, he placed Baily in the guard house—matters being then under military rule—and sought the conductor of an outward bound freight train to whom he related the circumstance of the window act. Suffice it to say that at the cut designated, a pocket book containing papers taken from the safe, and about $300 in money, was found, and afterward secured by Sheldon. That night Baily escaped, but was afterward recaptured at Springfield, Missouri, and secured by Sheldon and Robbins and conveyed to Lawrence, and incarcerated in the jail there. Upon being urged to confess, he steadfastly declined, until a little buncombe talk of lynching was judiciously convey to him by Tom. McGlinn, when he made a clean breast of his guilty connect with the
HORSE THIEF GANG
Commonly known as the “Red Head” gang. The various squads, to one of which he belonged, were in constant communication, and had committed all of the various thefts of recent occurrence in this region. Five of them, among them an old man Stevens and his two sons, lived near Ohio City on the Miami county line, and they, Baily said, had committed several thefts in that vicinity. A week or ten days previous to his, Tellous, of Ohio City, had lost a pair of mules, and on Bailey’s information a posse went down and captured Stevens and a younger son. They refused to “squeal,” and it was not until they had been repeatedly “elevated” at the end of a rope that they would consent to tell what they knew about things. They had not only stolen Tellous’ mules, but the boy had stolen a span of mares from a Mr. Roberts, and sold them at Fort Scott for $400. Upon his return he had received $25 from Roberts to engage in the hunt for the thieves. The mules had been taken to Leavenworth by Jim Stevens, the other brother. The next night eighty three heavy citizens settled back upon one end of a double rope, to the other end of which Stevens and son were attached, and a grave-yard was started then and there. The Sheriff was at Leavenworth, at this time, in search of Jim, who was finally captured at Lawrence and taken to Ohio City. The night of his arrival sixty or seventy citizens took him, also, to the green wood, and weighted a stout rope with his carcass. This decisive action put a summary stop to the lawlessness in that direction, and by reason of the powerful argument used upon the Messrs. Stevens and Baily prior to the last grant act, information sufficient to break up the various gangs in the State was obtained. Civil proceedings never have and never can accomplish this—there are not terrors enough in court punishments to frighten desperate men into confessions which will injure a brotherhood. Through Baily’s and Stevens’ confessions, the leader of the whole gang was captured. This individual was then playing the role of a Methodist preacher, and when arrested was leading a camp meeting in Jefferson county, this State. He and four others were hung within half a mile of the camp ground. Baily cheated the law by hanging himself in the jail at Lawrence.
Crop Statistics for 1877.
|No. of acres cultivated||7,254|
|Old corn on hand||20,681|
|Butter made in family, lbs.||11,920|
|No. of horses||319|
|No. of cattle||1,468|
|No. of hogs||915|
|No. of apple trees||2,354|
|No. of pear trees||138|
|No. of peach trees||4,375|
|Acres of cultiv. forest trees||265|
FARMERS AND THEIR FARMS
We subjoin brief mention of many of the fine farm establishments of the township, and if we could have found everybody at home we could have made the list complete.
We first called at the pleasant home of Hugh M. Robb, on the Ottawa road, near the north line of the township. Mr. Robb has a very handsome residence, and substantial out buildings. His farm comprises some 240 acres. 140 of them are under cultivation. He has 60 acres in corn, 10 in oats, 26 in castor beans, and 20 in broom corn. He has 1,000 bushels of corn on hand, about 40 head of cattle, and 30 hogs. He also has 400 fine apple trees, and about 100 peach trees.
E.M. Peck, whose fine residence and property lies across the road from Mr. Robb, cultivates 120 acres out of 160 as follows: 60 of corn, 14 of oats, 10 of flax, 12 of millet,3 of potatoes, and the balance in other crops. He has an orchard comprising some four acres, about 75 head of cattle, 7 horses, and 25 hogs. Mr. P. has resided in the township about 7 years, and is one of the hardest workers among the farmers.
The magnificent Thompson Jones farm, at the village of Princeton, is successfully operated by our friend R.H. Stewart, who has 105 acres in corn, 10 in oats, and 75 acres of tame grass. He also has 14 head of cattle, 8 horses, and 100 hogs. On this farm there is an orchard comprising upwards of 50 acres, all bearing trees. It is undoubtedly one of the best improved farms in the county, and Bob. Is keeping it up in shape.
Wm. Leonard has 60 acres in cultivation, mostly in corn. He also raised a small field of winter wheat. He owns 5 horses, 53 head of cattle, and 23 hogs. Mr. Leonard is industrious, and his fields have a good appearance.
Upon Middle Creek we found the farm of W.H. English, which is operated by a renter this season. This farm comprises some 165 acres, and the acreage cultivated shows good results.
Another Middle Creek farm, which was noticeable for the fine condition of crops, was the one operated by Nathan Wemmer and brother, who have 173 acres.
Mr. L.G. Messenger, whose property is on the south line of the township, has 80 acres under good cultivation—20 in corn, 10 in millet, and various other crops. He has a very considerable orchard. Has resided in the township 8 years.
In the southwest corner of the township, on Middle Creek, lies the farm of J.M. Gentry, of which 60 acres are cultivated. Mr. Gentry pays especial attention to the production of corn. He has a good frame house, handsomely located in a grove. He also has a fine orchard of some 250 apple and peach trees. His stock comprises about 12 head of cattle and 15 hogs.
Chas. Roberts, of Middle Creek, has a one hundred and fifty acre farm, with 50 in cultivation. Corn and oats are his principal crops. We observed one fine field of the latter cereal, which would go about 25 bushels to the acre. Mr. Roberts generally keeps over about 30 head of cattle. He has lived in Ohio about eight years.
Charles Brown operates the Baker farm out near the west line, and has about 60 acres in cultivation this season. Charley is industrious, and enterprising, and is making his property bloom as the rose. He has lived there but six years, and beside raising and tending some prodigious crops has found time to clear off 25 acres of bottom land. He owns 26 head of cattle, 4 horses, and 15 hogs.
Squire A.H. Ford, of Middle Creek, is a prosperous farmer who has resided there since 1860. He has a farm of 157 acres, 127 of which is in cultivation. Of this 110 acres, 93 are in corn, 12 in oats, and 5 in castor beans. Mr. Ford pays a good deal of attention to the production of fruit, and has 300 apple trees, 100 bearing peach trees, and about 500 bearing grape vines. He also has 40 head of cattle.
A short distance beyond Mr. Ford’s place, we approached a thrifty looking farm, with fields well tilled and bearing remarkably heavy crops, and were not surprised at learning that it was the property of Wm. Servatus. Mr. S’s farm is famous throughout this country. He has 320 acres, and devotes his attention most especially to cattle raising. He cultivates, this year, about 80 acres, the major portion of which is devoted to corn. He has at present about 50 head of cattle, 14 horses, and 50 hogs. Fruit is not neglected—he has 400 apple trees, a fine peach orchard, and half an acre in grapes and blackberries. His house and barn are neat and substantial, and everything about him betokens industry and prosperity.
J.P. Morris cultivates 50 acres out of 125, raising corn mostly. Mr. Morris’ farm lives in the extreme northwest corner of the township, and convenient to Maywood station. He has about 30 head of cattle. His house is a handsome frame, in a nice location—all in all a very comfortable home.
Going back towards the eastern line again, we find the farm of Andrew Stinebaugh, on the Ottawa-Princeton road. Mr. S. has 60 acres, most of which he cultivates, raising corn and oats this year. He believes in a diversity of crops. He has about 15 head of cattle, and a very fine apple and peach orchard; has lived in the township about 18 years.
H.V. Bacon, in this neighborhood, has 100 acres of choice land, and 55 in cultivation. He has this year, 35 acres of corn, 10 of beans, and 5 of oats, and intends to put in a field of winter wheat., Of stock he has 18 head of cattle, and 14 hogs. Among the most noticeable features of Mr. Bacon’s farm were the artificial ponds, made by daming (sic) small streams, are quite extensive and answer the purpose thoroughly. Mr. Bacon has tended his entire crop this year, along, with the assistance of one team. He expects to set out about 100 plus and cherry trees another season.
An adjoining farm of 220 acres, the property of H.V. Bacon of Ottawa, evinced good soil and careful attention.
Uncle John Hendricks, one of the old settlers, and an esteemed citizen, has a 100 acre farm near Ohio City town site, and cultivates about 75 acres, corn and beans principally. He has 15 head of cattle, 5 horses and 30 hogs. Mr. H. was proprietor of the “Ohio City House” during five years of the town’s prosperity.
Mr. Alvah Elder’s farm also adjoins Ohio City site, on the east. Mr. Elder has a handsome property here, with about 147 acres, 55 of which are under cultivation. He raised 5 acres of winter wheat, and has in 65 acres of corn, and ten or twelve in oats and beans. There is no more intelligent or industrious farmer in the country.
W.E. Kibbie, an old and tried friend of the REPUBLICAN, is happily located on a valuable farm near the north line of the township. He has 300 acres all in fence, and 125 acres under the plow. His principal crop is corn, of which he has 65 acres this year. During the past season he broke 40 acres of prairie. He does not go into stock very extensively, but has about 40 hogs. In his orchard he has 40 apple trees, 300 peach trees, and 200 grape vines. He also has a made grove of 25 acres of maple, and a frame house surrounded by beautiful shade trees.
Mr. E.W. Fiske, whose farm lies one and a half miles west of Princeton, has 240 acres, of which 90 are in cultivation. He raises corn altogether, for stock purposes. At the present time he has 100 head of cattle, 30 horse, and 25 hogs. His aim is to constantly improve his stock, and he breeds to thoroughbreds exclusively.
Mr. Fred Ellenbeck is another of Ohio’s prosperous farmers. He has 160 acres, 55 acres of which are in corn. He also has 2300 fruit trees, 60 head of cattle, 18 hogs, and 8 horses.
John Tompkins, whose farm is near the western border of the township, cultivates 40 acres, and the condition of his crops proves that he attends to his business.
John Bair, a resident of 20 years standing, has a 170 acre farm all fenced. He pays attention to corn almost exclusively this year—has 80 acres of a splendid stand. He has 30 head of cattle, 6 horses, and 60 hogs.
Nat. S. Risdon, whose pretty farm overlooks Princeton from the north, has 150 acres, 130 of which are in cultivation—principally in corn. Nat is in to the hog business rather extensively, also. He has 70 head, big and little, all of good strains. He is breeding in the famous Mc Gee strain, and exhibited to the writer a handsome boar, four months old, and a sow and litter of eight, all of which animals are remarkably promising. This breed comes from pens of G. Burgess, of Fort Wayne, Ind., a gentleman who has acquired considerable note as a breeder of thoroughbred stock.
T.V. Ashby has 320 acres in his homeplace, and 100 of this is in corn. Mr. Ashby’s farm gave evidence of a thorough acquaintance with the principles of successful farming.
At Princeton we made the acquaintance of Mr. K. Sharon, railroad agent at that place, and Messrs. Leeds & Wright, all of which gentlemen we found to be affable and accommodating. The latter named gentlemen keep a general merchandise store, and buy corn and produce of all kinds.
Mr. F. Finkbine has 160 acres of fine land which he has well improved. Of this 130 acres are tillable, and 100 are in corn. He has 40 head of cattle of good stock, and 5 horses.
C.W. Embry also has a fine farm of 145 acres, of which 90 are in corn and 35 in beans. His stock comprises 17 horses, 4 cows, and 65 hogs.
W.B. Mann, who operates one of Gov. Elder’s fine farms, has 140 acres into corn, 16 acres of millet, and has harvested 18 acres of wheat. He has 15 head of cattle, 27 hogs, and 8 horses.
Mrs. Bare, who lives on upper Middle Creek, has a number one farm of 160 acres, with 75 acres in corn this year. She has a nice lot of stock, and an orchard containing upwards of 200 fruit trees.
Dr. A.J. Martin, who combines agricultural recreation with the practice of his profession, has a nice little homelike place, of 40 acres or more.
Mr. H. Davidson boasts of a fine place, and continues to adorn it. He has recently built a new house, and proposes to take comfort. His crops—corn and flax—look well.
Dan. D. Drum has 160 acres under fence, and 80 in cultivation, of which 60 are in corn. He has also, 6 horses and 27 head of cattle.
Another small farm, but one well cultivated, is that of Mr. E.H. Adams, who has 80 acres improved, 60 in corn. Mr. Adams cut a fine field of oats, this season, also. He owns 6 horses and 13 head of cattle.
David R. Blair cultivates 50 acres and has quite a flock of sheep. He has 4 horses also, and is withal an indefatigable worker.
E.Y. Smith, an old resident, and prominently connected with affairs in ye olden time, cultivates 50 acres. He cut a six acre field of winter wheat this season, and has 38 acres in corn. He owns 21 head of cattle.
Mr. James Shaw, who lives near the west line of the township, cultivated 100 acres of choice land, 75 of which he devotes, this year, to corn. He also produced 12 acres of oats. He has 38 head of cattle, 24 hogs, and about 1200 bushels of old corn on hand.
C.H. Carleton, Esq., has a well regulated farm, of which he cultivates about 40 acres, mostly corn. He has 10 head of cattle and 3 horses.
Mr. C. Tawney cultivates 70 acres and has harvested 3 acres of fine winter wheat. He also made an experimental trial of spring wheat. In corn, he has 30 acres, an acre of barley, and 3 of oats—it will be observed that Mr. C. believes in diversifying his labor.
James Lingard, a well know citizen of Upper Middle Creek, cultivates about 100 acres, 80 of which he has devoted to corn, and 10 to oats. He has 30 head of cattle, and 60 hogs, and about 150 apple and peach trees.
Our attention was also attracted by the fine appearance of the crops on the farm of Mr. J.C. Beal, who has 30 acres in cultivation this year, principally in corn and oats.
Among the other farms over which we had time to take but a cursory glance, we would mention favorably those of Messrs G. W. Davis, Geo. Hadcock, Wm. Easterly, and W.H. Sharp.
We met Doc. Thornbury, of Princeton, who officiates as postmaster, and who is a pleasant and accommodating gentleman. He is one of the leading physicians of the county, and has a very large practice.
While a very considerable portion of the township is yet unbroken, that which is cultivated will compare favorably with any portion of the county, and the day is not far distant when honest industry will fatten on the broad acres now lying barren.