Although Clinton Carter Hutchinson didn’t live in Franklin County all that long, he is considered one of Ottawa’s founders. Below is a timeline for his life. Information is taken from papers in FCHS’s biographical file for Hutchinson, including his entry in the Kansas volume of The United States Biographical Dictionary published by S. Lewis & Co. in 1879.
1833–Born at Barnard, Windsor County, Vermont on December 11, 1833. Educated in the common schools and prepared himself for civil engineering, finishing his studies with a partial course at Rochester University, New York.
1852–Left school at age of 19, came west, and entered service of the Rock Island & Pacific Railroad at Iowa City, Iowa in the engineer corps.
1854–Purchased a farm near Chicago in Will County, Illinois, paying three dollars per acre, the usual price of unimproved lands in that section of the country at that time. He improved and cultivated this land for two seasons, and taught school during the winter months.
1855–Married on May 1 to Martha A. Young, the eldest daughter of Captain John W. Young of Green Garden, Will County.
1856–Sold his farm for a profit and came west, arriving in Lawrence on May 14. He immediately identified himself with the Free State Party by joining one of the military companies. Following the “sacking” of Lawrence later that month, he was sent East to make known to the free-state men of the North the facts of that outrage. He returned to Lawrence in the fall, a few days before the invasion of Reed’s army, and joined with his old company to take part in that conflict. That same fall he purchased a claim ten miles south of Lawrence, which he improved and upon which he resided for two years. Upon the establishment of T. Dwight Thacher’s “Lawrence Republican,” he became its agricultural editor.
1860–In the fall and winter he was sent East to solicit aid for the drought-stricken Kansas settlers, and the Legislature of New York made an appropriation of $50,000 for relief. 1861–Appointed agent for the confederated tribes of the Sac and Fax, Chippewa, Munsee and Ottawa Indians.
1862–Highly involved in the treaty on June 24 with Ottawas by which 20,000 acres were set aside for Roger Williams University, later named Ottawa University. The remainder of their reservation was placed in the market for sale to “actual settlers” only. This was the first Indian reserve disposed of in the state. Daughter Annie B. died October 4, aged 12 mo. A stone in her memory and that of her brother, sister, and mother is in Ottawa’s Hope Cemetery.
1863–Reappointed agent to the Ottawas & Chippewas but not Sac & Fox. Took his Masonic degree in Lawrence Lodge # 6. He was there for Quantrill’s raid in August.
1864–Bought section for the original townsite of Ottawa with the help of his father-in-law J.W. Young and sold the townsite to Ottawa Town Company for $10,000. Other incorporators of the town company with him are Rev. Isaac Kalloch, John C. Richmond, Asa S. Lathrop, and Charles T. Evans. Demitted from Lawrence Masonic Lodge to become charter member of Ottawa Lodge. Helped organize Second Baptist Church that eventually becomes First Baptist Church. Son Isaac K. died July 30, aged six months.
1865–Supply minister to Second Baptist Church January -September.
1866–Trip east. Sent back 8-10 articles for Kalloch’s “Western Home Journal.”
1867–Attended all meetings of Ottawa Town Company, 1864-1867. Questions arose about his handling of Indian funds for education, and the trustees of Ottawa University wrote Secretary of the Interior about his financial affairs. A shortage of some $42,000 in the accounts was claimed. Albert Wiley replaced him as Indian Agent. An audit in Washington exonerated Hutchinson of misdoing, through he refunded $1,000 to the treasury.
1868–Daughter Laura May died November 11, aged 15 months.
1869–Wife died February 6, aged 30 years. Left Ottawa for Topeka.
1870/1–Wrote “Resources of Kansas,” promoting the state to the rest of the nation and was paid $2500 for it by the Kansas Legislature. Following a close association with Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, he purchased a section of land and in late 1871 laid out the town of Hutchinson, Kansas. He sold land there and over the next few years was involved in establishing many of its first businesses.
1872–Declared a special election to elect himself to the Kansas House of Representatives where he served for three years.
1873–Married Gertrude Sherman of Castleton, Vermont on October 15. He named Sherman Street after her and later named a town and township after her home city. They had two children, Helen S. and Reno H.
1878–Sold out holdings in Hutchinson and left for North Carolina to promote a town on the axis of lines drawn from Chicago to Savannah and from New Orleans to New York. Along with Samuel T. Kelsey, whom he knew from his Ottawa and Hutchinson days, he was considered a founder of Highlands, North Carolina.
1894–He moved on to eastern Oregon. With the assistance of eastern capital and a federal grant, he pioneered the first irrigation project in eastern Oregon and was hailed there as “the Father of Irrigation.”
1909–Died at his residence at 486 East Everett, Portland, Oregon on May 10.