SUMNER COUNTY AND SUMNER CITY.

[Note: From Jerry L. Wallace, the following information was obtained relative to Sumner City.]

Jerry said he obtained the first item from the Gwendoline and Paul Sanders’ THE SUMNER COUNTY STORY printed by the following: North Newton, KS: Mennonite Press, 1966, page 10.]

Sumner City, Sumner County, Kansas.

“On December 20, 1870, Sumner City was laid out on the Southeast quarter of Section 25 and Northeast quarter of Section 36; township 31, south range 2 west. Sumner City continued to flourish during the cattle drives of 1871 and until the final location of the county seat April 19, 1872. The buildings were removed, most of them into Wellington and the site of Sumner City became a fertile farm.”

Jerry obtained the next item from William G. Cutler’s History of the State of Kansas (1883).

Meridian and Sumner City, Sumner County.

“A word of explanation as to how a spot of bare prairie [that is, Meridian] should be named the county seat is in place. In the fall of 1870, Sumner City, a few miles from Wellington, had been laid out and preparations were making for presentation of its claims to county-seat honors to the Governor. This movement certain parties determined to frustrate, and on December 26, 1870, Chas. A. Phillips, J. J. Albert, Wm. J. Uhler, and E. H. Nugent, all of Wichita, camped four miles southeast of Wellington. Here they met Col. A. J. Angell, with a surveying party, running section lines. Overtures were made to Angell, and accepted, and on January 15, 1871, Meridian was located on Section 32, township 32, range 1 east. A bogus census was made by John C. Nugent, and showed the county to have 651 inhabitants. Armed with this document, Angell started for the capital, where he arrived on Feb. 7th. J. M. Steele was already in the city in the interest of Sumner City, but Angell secured an interview with Gov. Harvey, and before Steele knew of his presence, had secured the appointment of Meridian.”

Jerry obtained the next item from KANSAS: A CYCLOPEDIA OF STATE HISTORY, 1912.

Meridian, Sumner City, Wellington, Belle Plaine, and Oxford, Sumner County.


“In 1871 the citizens thinking a corps of county officers would better social conditions petitioned Gov. Harvey for organization. In order to frustrate the plans of Sumner City to become the county seat, and that William J. Uhler, Hon. J. Alber, and John S. McMahon, three Wichita men favorable to Wellington, be nominated commissioners. This was done and the commissioners camped on the bare prairie, where Meridian was supposed to be, and awaited developments. Their first record was dated in June 1871; and they ordered that, inasmuch as the county had failed to provide buildings at Meridian, the county business be transacted at Wellington until the permanent seat should be chosen by ballot. One of the commissioners went to another county and the remaining two appointed David Richardson in his place. Clark R. Godfrey was appointed county clerk. In August the county was divided into three election precincts and an election for county seat and officers ordered for Sept. 26. The contesting towns were Wellington, Sumner City, Meridian, and Belle Plaine. The total number of votes cast was 805. . . . The county business was still transacted a Meridian, where a temporary county building had been erected. There was no choice for county seat and pending the second election, which was to be held in November, the citizens of Wellington took a wagon and went to Meridian to take possession of the county records. As they came to the place, they saw a party from Oxford begin on the same mission just coming over the hill. Wellington secured the books without trouble but a hand to hand fight occurred over the persons of the commissioners. In the end the Wellington party secured two of them, minus some of their clothes. The November election failed to settle the matter and another was held in January 1872, the vote of which was never canvassed on account of the sudden resignation of one of the commissioners. Another election was held in March in which Wellington received the highest number of votes and Oxford the second highest. A vote then took place on the following month [April] which resulted in favor of Wellington. A petition was presented in January 1873 for relocation. It was denied and no further effort was made to change the seat of justice.”

Thanks, Jerry!

To add to the above data, I found the following in Volume II of Frank W. Blackmar’s KANSAS CYCLOPEDIA, copyright 1912, by the Standard Publishing Company, pages 785-789. MAW

“Sumner County, one of the southern tier, is crossed east of the center by the 6th principal meridian, and hence is but a short distance east of a line dividing the state into halves. It is bounded on the north by Sedgwick county; on the east by Cowley; on the south by the State of Oklahoma, and on the west by Harper and Kingman counties. It was named in 1871 in honor of the Hon. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts. At that time many of his friends objected to applying the name of so great a man to what they deemed a worthless strip of territory.

“Settlement began early in 1869 when John Degolia and A. Cadou started a ranch on Slate creek. This neighborhood was one of the first in the county to be settled. Those who came during the years of 1869 and 1870 were, in the order of their coming, J. M. Buffington, Lafayette Binkley, John Horton, Charles Wichern, Edwin Wiggins, Charles Russell, Frank Holcroft, J. D. Holmes, J. J. Ferguson, J. O. West, A. D. Clewell with his wife and six children, G. C. Walton, his wife Sarah and nine children, T. L. Cambridge with his wife and seven children, J. B. Leforce, Sr., wife and six children, their son J. B. Leforce and wife; William Leforce, wife and one child; W. C. Foraker, Nelson Holmes, Thomas A. Woodward, Thomas Fuller, James Sullivan, John F. Denogan, Capt. A. B. Barnes, Charles Russell, Harry Holcroft, Edward Wiggins, T. V. McMahon, John McMahon, Robert Symington, Albert Brown, John and Simon Bodkin, John P. McCullock, John Burnett and wife, Mrs. Lillie Wallace (86 years old), A. B. and A. E. Mayhew, Thomas, J. L., and W. B. McCammon, Samuel and Luther Spencer, William Meek and family, John E. Reid, George Pottman, George A. Jewitt, John Carpenter, H. H. and H. D. Coulter, with their families, Charles A. Phillips, John J. Abel, A. Moovil, and Perry Binkley.


“This brings the settlements up to the last day of 1870. By that time a number of trading posts had been established; one on the site of Oxford, where a number of families had been located; one on Slate creek, and one at Ninnescah. In 1871 there was a large influx of settlers and a number of towns were founded, among them Belle Plaine, where David Richards put the first ferry in the county into operation. The Napawalla Town company was formed and a town of that name laid out on the site of Oxford. The Oxford Town company was formed shortly afterward, ordered a printing outfit, and attempted to make Oxford the county seat. Wellington also was founded early in 1871 for the same purpose and Sumner City had its beginning about this time. The Fourth of July was celebrated with a great deal of zest in all the new towns.

“The first white child born in the county was Oxford Bufit, born July 20, 1871, at the place indicated by his first name. The first recorded death in the county occurred on July 3, when George Peary was shot and killed by O. Bannon. In August a company was formed to build a bridge across the Arkansas. The first meeting of old soldiers was held at Wellington on Sept. 1, and the first marriage was in November between George W. Clark and Mary C. Wright, the ceremony being performed by Rev. J. C. Ferguson.


“It seems from all accounts and records that Sumner county was unusually turbulent in the early days, A book by G. D. Freeman of Caldwell gives twenty or more cases of violence, ranging from single murders and lynchings to fights with whole gangs of desperadoes in which numbers of men were killed. Before the county organization the citizens had various committees for dispensing justice. One of these was the “Vigilants,” which dealt out justice and sometimes injustice in a summary manner. In 1871 the citizens thinking a corps of county officers would better social conditions petitioned Gov. Harvey for organization. In order to frustrate the plans of Sumner City to become the county seat, the petition asked that Meridian be named the temporary county seat, and that William J. Uhler, John J. Albert, and John S. McMahon, three Wichita men favorable to Wellington, be nominated commission-ers. This was done and the commissioners camped on the bare prairie, where Meridian was supposed to be, and awaited developments. Their first record was dated in June, 1871, and they ordered that, inasmuch as the county had failed to provide buildings at Meridian, the county business be transacted at Wellington until the permanent seat should be chosen by ballot. One of the commissioners went to another county and the remaining two appointed David Richardson in his place. Clark R. Godfrey was appointed county clerk. In August the county was divided into three election precincts and an election for county seat and officers ordered for Sept. 26. The contesting towns were Wellington, Sumner City, Meridian, and Belle Plaine. The total number of votes cast was 805. The officers chosen were: Clerk, C. S. Brodbent; clerk of the district court, W. A. Thompson; superintendent of public instruction, A. M. Colson; county attorney, George N. Godfrey; probate judge, George M. Miller; sheriff, J. J. Ferguson; register of deeds, J. Romine; county treasurer, R. Freeman; two of the three commissioners were A. D. Rosencrans and R. W. Stevenson. The county business was still transacted at Meridian, where a temporary county building had been erected. There was no choice for county seat and pending the second election, which was to be held in November, the citizens of Wellington took a wagon and went to Meridian to take possession of the county records. As they came to the place they saw a party from Oxford bent on the same mission just coming over the hill. Wellington secured the books without trouble but a hand to hand fight occurred over the persons of them, minus some of their clothes. The November election failed to settle the matter and another was held in January, 1872, the vote of which was never canvassed on account of the sudden resignation of one of the commissioners. Another election was held in March in which Wellington received the highest number of votes and Oxford the second highest. A vote taken the next month resulted in favor of Wellington. A petition was presented in January, 1873, for relocation. It was denied and no further effort was made to change the seat of justice.

“Settlement was so rapid that by 1874 there were fully 8,000 people in the county. That year proved to be a disastrous one in many ways. Added to the grasshopper plague, which was general throughout Kansas, were the drought and the Indian raids. While the Indians did not come into Sumner county, attacks were threatened at various times and months. They left their homes and gathered into the towns, hundreds being encamped at Wellington. Finally a great many became discouraged and left for the east, some of them in the most pitiable state of poverty and despair. This state of affairs did not last long. In 1880 there were 20,886 people living in the county, and 200,000 acres of land were under cultivation, half of which was sowed to wheat. Flour mills had been erected and the first railroads were built that year, so that the product could be marketed.

“The first railroad to enter the county was the Cowley, Sumner & Fort Smith, an extension of the Wichita branch of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. Bonds to the amount of $180,000 were voted and the road was completed to Caldwell in May, 1880. In 1879 Oxford, Wellington, and Dixon townships voted bonds to the amount of $54,000 for the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston, which is now a part of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe system. It was completed to Wellington in March, 1880. Another road which later became a part of the Santa Fe was built during the same year between Wellington and Hunnewell. At the present time there are 252 miles of main track in the county, which entitles it to rank among the first in the state as regards railroad facilities. A line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe enters in the northeast, crosses southwest to Wellington, thence south into Oklahoma, with a branch southwest from Wellington to Caldwell in the southwest. Another line of the same system from Winfield, Cowley county, enters in the east and crosses directly west through Wellington into Harper county. A branch of this road northwest from Winfield crosses the extreme northeast corner and west a few miles along the northern border. A line of the Missouri Pacific enters in the east and crosses northwest and west into Kingman county, and a branch of the same road from Wichita enters in the north and crosses southwest into Harper county. The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific enters in the north, crosses south to Wellington and southwest to Caldwell. The Kansas City, Mexico & Orient R. R. crosses the extreme northwest corner. The Kansas Southwestern, a railroad from Anthony, Harper county, to Arkansas City, crosses the southern part east and west.

“Sumner county is divided into 30 townships, Avon, Belle Plaine, Bluff, Caldwell, Chikaskia, Conway, Creek, Dixon, Downs, Eden, Falls, Gore, Greene, Guelph, Harmon, Illinois, Jackson, London, Morris, Osborne, Oxford, Palestine, Ryan, Seventy-six, South Haven, Springdale, Sumner, Valverde, Walton, and Wellington. The post offices are Wellington, Anson, Argonia, Ashton, Belle Plaine, Caldwell, Cicero, Conway Springs, Corbin, Dalton, Drury, Geuda Springs, Hunnewell, Mayfield, Milan, Millerton, Milton, Mulvane, Oxford, Peck, Perth, Portland, Riverdale, Rome, and South Haven.


“The general surface of the county is prairie, which in many places is nearly level. Bottom lands comprise 20 per cent, of the total area. The timber belts along the streams vary from five rods to one-half mile in width and the principal varieties of wood are cottonwood, box elder, ash, willow, elm, hackberry, burr-oak, mulberry, coffee-bean, and locust. Limestone, sandstone, gypsum, and potter’s clay are found in small quantities. Salt exists in large deposits and the county is noted for the number and quality of its mineral springs. Well water is found at a depth of from ten to forty feet. The principal stream is the Arkansas river, which flows south along the eastern boundary. The Ninnescah enters in the north and flows southeast to the eastern border where it joins the Arkansas. The Chikaskia enters in the west and flows southeast. Slate creek in the east and Bluff creek in the west are important streams.

“The area is 1,188 square miles or 760,320 acres, of which about 600,000 have been brought under cultivation. From its early beginnings Sumner was always a leader as an agricultural county. Its rivals Barton for first place in the state. In 1906 it ranked highest in corn and led all others in the production of winter wheat and oats. The wheal yield of 1901 was 6,812,102 bushels, more than was produced in the same year by the whole state of Texas, North Carolina, or in any one of 22 other states and territories, and exceeded by over a million bushels the aggregate of the wheat raised in New England, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Wyoming all put together.

“The farm produce per annum brings from $4,000,000 to $7,000,000. In the year of 1909 it brought $6,870,000. The product for 1910 which was below the average was nearly $5,000,000. Wheat in that year brought $441,000; corn, $951,000; hay, $385,000; oats, $1,178,000; live stock, nearly $1,000,000. Other important products are rye, Irish potatoes, sorghum, Kafir-corn, poultry, and dairy products. There are 250,000 bearing fruit trees.

“The population in 1910, according to the government census, was 30,654, a gain of about 20 per cent, over the population of 1900. The assessed valuation of property was approximately $53,758,000. This makes the wealth per capita a little more than $1,700. Many of the farmers have been known to pay for their farms entirely with one crop of corn or wheat. There is room in Sumner county for 4,725 farms of 160 acres each.”

                                        FROM THE EARLY NEWSPAPERS.

                                          Items About Sumner County Towns.

Sumner County.

Walnut Valley Times, July 1, 1870. Front Page.

[From the Fort Scott Monitor.]

THE OSAGE PURCHASE. Information of the purchase of the Osage lands has already spread over the country to such an extent that immigration has even now set in, and white covered wagons may be seen almost daily winding their way to the Southwest.

This large domain contains over 8,000,000 acres of land, and comprises eight large counties, as follows: Montgomery, Howard, Cowley, Sumner, Harper, Barbour, Comanche, and Clarke.

Walnut Valley Times, November 11, 1870.

From the Cowley County Censor of November 3rd, we take the following:


COUNTY LINES. Prof. Norton has pledged himself not to change the county lines of Cowley County if elected. He has been driven to this position by the people of the county. He started out with the full determination of cutting a strip off from the north end of Cowley, but he found the measure so unpopular that he has abandoned it for the present. He is still in favor of the measure, but offers to not favor it this winter if elected. Besides this project, we have been told that Prof. Norton report­ed on Grouse Creek that we and Mr. Manning, especially, intended if elected, to cut a piece off from the east of Sumner, and attach it to Cowley, and to drop a piece off of the east of Cowley on to Howard. We are authorized by Mr. Manning to say that he has no such desire or intentions; but that he is opposed to any change in our county lines.

Walnut Valley Times, November 25, 1870.

Col. A. J. Angell, Contracting Surveyor of Leavenworth, accompanied by his assistants, O. F. Short, of Leavenworth, Jeremiah Ellis, of Adams Co., Ohio; Lieut. Ludwitz, and M. Athey passed through our town on Monday last, en route to survey the Osage Indian Trust Lands, in Sumner and Cowley Counties. They expect to complete the survey by the middle of next April. The outfit consisted of 25 men, 6 horses, 9 yoke of oxen, and six two-wheel carts for hauling corner stones.

Sumner, Sumner County.

Emporia News, September 2, 1870.

New Town. A new town, called Sumner, has just been laid out in Sumner County. The proprietors are: J. M. Steele, C. S. Roe, and J. H. Liggett, of Wichita; J. Jay Buck and E. W. Cunningham, of Emporia; James C. Fuller, Addison Richards, and Mr. Millington, of Fort Scott; Col. J. C. McMullen, of Clarksville, Tennessee; and Maj. Woodsmall, of Gosport, Indiana.

This town is situated in the geographical center of Sumner County, on Slate Creek, and about thirty miles south from Wichita. A stock of goods is already on the ground. A full and complete newspaper outfit is already secured, and it is the intention of the proprietors to have a hotel up and a saw mill in operation soon. This place is immediately on the Texas cattle trail, and may soon be a brisk town. The finest wood and water claims are there to be had. We look for the organization of Sumner County at the next session of the Legislature.

Sumner County.

Emporia News, December 16, 1870.

SUMNER COUNTY. The Surveyors for the Government are on the west side of the county getting ready to commence the survey of that, Cowley, and Howard Counties. The county of Sumner is bounded as follows: Commencing at the southwest corner of Butler County, thence south with the east line of range two east, to the Thirty-sixth Degree of North latitude; thence west with said parallel to the west line of range four west, thence north with said range line to the Southwest corner of Sedgwick County to the place of beginning, being 30 miles north and south and 36 miles east and west. . . . Walnut Valley Times.

Caldwell, Sumner County.

Emporia News, February 17, 1871.

The last sensation in the way of a city is that of the new town of Caldwell, recently laid off in Sumner County.


It is located near Fall River at the crossing of the Texas cattle trail. The town company is principally composed of Southwestern Kansas men. Wm. Baldwin is president, C. F. Gilbert treasurer, and G. H. Smith, secretary. The location is an excellent one, the valley being extremely wide in this vicinity. There will be three stores opened immediately, also one hotel and a livery stable. Liberal inducements are offered to a first-class blacksmith. For information address G. H. Smith, Wichita.

Sumner County.

Emporia News, February 17, 1871.

Col. J. C. McMullen, an attorney at law of Clarksville, Tennessee, and Judge Cunningham intended to start Saturday morning on a tour through Sumner County, the promised land in which some of their possessions lie, but when the stage-driver called for them they concluded they would not start that day—there being twelve passengers inside of the vehicle and three on the outside. We understand that Col. McMullen is making arrangements to locate in Kansas, and we hope he will.

Rival Cities: Sumner County.

Emporia News, March 3, 1871.

On February 21, 1871, a correspondent known as “W. P.” wrote about a trip to Winfield and other places and ended up with the following paragraph.

“In the morning I am going to start for Sumner County, west, where two rival towns are starting up, and all about which, and Arkansas City, I will soon write. W. P.”

Wellington, Sumner County.

Emporia News, May 12, 1871.

Paola men have laid out a new town in Sumner County called Wellington.

Bell Plain, Sumner County. [Later named “Belle Plaine, Sumner County.]

Note: Item was sent by T. A. Wilkinson, a correspondent from Arkansas City...

Emporia News, May 19, 1871.

ARKANSAS CITY, COWLEY COUNTY, KANSAS, May 4th, 1871.

MESSRS. EDITORS: To those unacquainted with the rapid growth of this part of the State, and with the enterprising spirit which characterizes the greater part of the people now immigrating, the changes which have taken place may seem incredible, but they are nevertheless facts. Newcomers expect to find a wilderness, but find a garden. Men of ability and sagacity, who came down here in advance of spring immigration, have traveled this strip over thoroughly, and have become familiar with all the best land, and points where soil, timber, water, building material, and commercial advantages were centered; they have located and surveyed out town sites, and are keeping pace with the tide of immigration, building up places of business as fast as the country settles up around them. And it now bids fair to be a lively race between the town and country to see which shall grow the fastest.


After examining the whole county of Sumner, a party of men have organized a town company, and chosen the most favorable location in that county for a town site. This enterprise I am told started sometime during the past winter, and since then few towns have grown so fast as Belle Plain. It is situated in the richest and most fertile part of the county between the Arkansas and the Ninnescah Rivers, about ten miles from the mouth of the latter, and surrounded by a vast tract of bottom land extending from river to river. They are quite sure of the county seat, and bid fair, judging from their present progress, to rival any town in the Arkansas valley. The main current of emigration into this strip seems to be heading in that direction, and inasmuch as I judge from a disinterested standpoint, I must say their part of the country is getting more than its proportion. Businessmen of moderate capital will find there an opening not to be found in older towns where the requirements for building call for too much expense.

There are a great many who come into this State with capital just sufficient to put up an inexpensive building, and have enough left to go into trade; but many of our western towns, when donating a lot, place the conditions upon which the lot is given beyond the reach of men with ordinary means. For the present this is not the case at Belle Plain. The town company have appropriated a large number of lots to be given to men wishing to start in any honorable business, and those who wish to make a sure investment, and a large percentage on their money, whether the amount be great or small, cannot do better now than either to go and see or write to the proprietors of the Belle Plain townsite. The country adapted to general farming or stock raising is so extensive in their vicinity that trade cannot be overdone for the next year at least. Business houses are going up quite fast, and trade is thriving.

The following buildings are either filled with goods, or expecting to be in running order soon: Town Hall, Thurman and Richards, 20 x 40; Lambertson, livery stable, 40 x 60; Hotel, Barton and Son, main building, 30 x 30, two stories high with an ell 16 x 24; J. Hamilton’s store, 16 x 20, general assortment of groceries; George Hamilton, 16 x 20, dry goods; H. D. Kellogg, 18 x 30, drugs; Davenport, first class stock of hardware, 20 x 40; Miller, 16 x 20, flour and feed; Kinne, 16 x 20, groceries; Chamberlain, 16 x 20, land office. A good ferry crosses the Arkansas near the town.

A mail route has been established from Wichita to Arkansas City, and stages will soon be running. A stage route from Thayer, via Winfield, to Belle Plain has been surveyed out, and it is expected that stages will be running on that route also soon. T. A. WILKINSON.

Buffalo, Sumner County.

Emporia News, May 26, 1871.

BUFFALO. This is the name of a new town which has just been located on the west bank of the Arkansas River, in Sumner County, fifteen miles northwest of Arkansas City. E. R. Trask is one of the founders and will soon start a paper there. Trask has considerable reputation as a builder of towns. He has not undertaken a job of this kind yet that failed. This new town is on the site of Buffalo Bill’s old camping ground.

Belle Plaine, Sumner County.

Emporia News, June 23, 1871.

Rev. R. M. Overstreet is to deliver the fourth of July oration at Belle Plaine, Sumner County.

Emporia News, July 14, 1871.

[Portion of article re Belle Plaine.]

“We shall long remember with pleasure the attention and hospitality shown us at Belle Plaine, and none more pleasantly than that of the accomplished family of Mr. Wm. J. Hackney, the President of the town company. My trip to Sumner and Cowley counties was rendered the more pleasant by the accompaniment of C. B. Chapman, who shared the honors and privileges of the Fourth of July celebrations. . . . R. M. O.”

[Wm. J. Hackney....do they mean Wm. P. Hackney????]

Sumner, Cowley, and Howard Counties.


Emporia News, August 18, 1871.

The Augusta Crescent says the following statement shows the business transactions at the U. S. Land office at that place for the month of July. The filings upon the Osage Lands were 743, the largest number being in Cowley County, but many in Sumner and Howard. Also the largest number of proofs and payments in any one county have been in Cowley. The fees and commissions on homestead entries amounted to $2,049.95. Homestead entries, 17,011.61 acres; Osage entries, 26,898.76 acres; Pre-emption and private entries, 2,587.45 acres. Total: 46,977.82. Cash receipts: $36,767.57.

Sumner and Cowley County. [Article was mainly about Arkansas City.]

Emporia News, August 25, 1871.

ARKANSAS CITY. We [Stotler] spent a few days in this beautiful and thriving young town, which sets upon an elevation at the junction of the Arkansas and Walnut Rivers. We were perfectly delighted with the town and surrounding country. If we were going to change our location in this State, we would go to Arkansas City as quick as we could get there. Its location is good for at least two railroads, one down the Walnut and one through the Arkansas valley. The Arkansas valley is much broader and more fertile than we had expected to find it. We firmly believe the Arkansas Valley soil will excel every section in the State in corn and vegetable crops.

In Cowley and Sumner Counties nearly every quarter section has upon it a bona fide settler. Fortunately the speculators were not allowed to get their clutches on an acre of it. On account of this heavy settlement, Arkansas City is bound to have a good trade. She will also receive a share of the Texas trade.

Salt Springs City, Sumner County.

Walnut Valley Times, September 8, 1871.

A new town has been laid out at the salt springs, in the southeast corner of Sumner County, called Salt Springs City.

Sumner County.

Walnut Valley Times, December 15, 1871.

[From the Arkansas Traveler.]

FERRET THEM OUT. It is well known that there is a band of horse thieves and marauders in the Southwestern part of Sumner County. Can’t they be cleaned out? What say the law abiding citizens of Sumner?

New Judicial District: Six counties in Kansas mentioned.

Walnut Valley Times, January 19, 1872.

A new Judicial District, composed of the counties of Greenwood, Howard, Butler, Cowley, Sedgwick, and Sumner, is talked of.

Thirteenth Judicial District: Four counties in Kansas mentioned.

Walnut Valley Times, Friday, February 2, 1872.

Mr. Nichols, Howard County, has introduced a bill in the Legislature creating the Thirteenth Judicial District, comprised of the counties of Greenwood, Howard, Cowley, and Sumner.

Thirteenth Judicial District: Six counties in Kansas mentioned.

Walnut Valley Times, February 23, 1872.


NEW DISTRICT. The House of Representatives has passed a bill creating the 13th Judicial District to be composed of the counties of Green­wood, Howard, Butler, Cowley, Sedgwick, and Sumner. This will no doubt meet the approbation of all the counties interested. We hope this bill will pass the Senate.

Sumner County & Oxford, Sumner County.

Walnut Valley Times, February 23, 1872.

Cowley County.

[From the Winfield Messenger.]

The election for the location of the County seat in Sumner County seems to be a fraud. An Injunction was served upon the County Commissioners prohibiting them from counting the votes. Oxford polled 500 votes. A report is circulating that the Oxford ballot box was stolen and that the citizens had a lively chase to get it. They will hold another election for the location of the County seat.

Thirteenth Judicial District: Composed of Six Counties. Judge W. P. Campbell.

Walnut Valley Times, March 22, 1872.

Our readers are aware that at the last session of the Legislature, a new Judicial District was formed, composing the counties of Greenwood, Howard, Butler, Cowley, Sedgwick, and Sumner, and called the thirteenth Judicial District. . . .

The friends of various lawyers in the District presented the names of about half a dozen, as suitable candidates for the office of Judge.

Greenwood: I. R. Phenis.

Cowley: Col. Alexander; Mr. Fairbank.

Sumner: Hon. W. P. Hackney; Hon. R. C. Sluss; and Judge Tucker.

Butler: W. P. Campbell.

The friends of W. P. Campbell, and especially the lawyers of this city, were unanimous in their request that he should receive the appointment. Besides receiving the support of his friends here, he was highly recommended by many of the prominent lawyers, Judges, and Legislators throughout the State. On last Friday, we were happy in receiving the intelligence that W. P. Campbell had received the appointment.

Judge Campbell came to this State from Kentucky over two years ago, and since his location here, has always been consid­ered one of the leading lawyers of Southwestern Kansas; and while here has received the support and patronage of those who desired the services of the best legal talent that could be secured. As a lawyer, he has the friendship and good will of the profession; as a citizen, he is courteous and gentlemanly, and has many warm friends who feel honored in his promotion. As a Judge, we feel assured that he will not only do honor to the bench, but that he will also receive the substantial support and recommendation of the legal profession throughout the entire District. We certainly wish him every success in his new field of labor.

South Haven, Sumner County.

Note: Article sent by a correspondent known as “More Anon.”

Winfield Courier, Thursday, June 5, 1873. Front Page.

SOUTH HAVEN, Sumner Co., May 25, 1873.


The town site of South Haven was selected and laid out by the Meester Bro’s., in 1871, since which time they have fought the battles of a frontier town, unaided by the great civilizer—a country newspaper—until their own county has reached its present state of prosperity.

The town is located on a splendid tract of prairie upland, between the creeks of West and Middle Shoo Fly, being fifteen miles south of Wellington, the county seat of Sumner County, and four miles north of the state line.

In the vicinity of South Haven there is a class of farmers who for downright industry and close attention to their home interests, cannot be surpassed in any locality. Nearly every claim has an occupant and in almost every direction can be seen a breaking team turning over the sod, preparatory for the fall crops.

The town has three first class country stores. Hunt & Hunt, late of your city, are the proprietors of the largest and best business house in the place. They carry a heavy stock of dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, queensware and provisions. The Captain is an old Kansas merchant and gives general satisfac­tion.

Sain & Co., are doing a thriving business in the drug line. Gee & Butler are hard at work shaping the horse shoe or sharpen­ing plows for the sturdy farmer. Col. Hunter is the proprietor of the Hunter House, and is always ready to tender his best bed and choicest food to the weary traveler for a fair consideration. The inimitable Jake Musgrove, one of the old members of the order of “I. O. M. B’s,” of Winfield, is here doing a good trade in the hardware line, large sales and small profit is his motto.

There is to be a large schoolhouse built on the town site during the present season, the foundation of which is already laid, and the lumber is on the ground to complete the building. The upper story is to be used for a Lodge Room by the Mason and Odd Fellows.

There will be a tri-weekly stage running through here from Arkansas City to Caldwell, on and after the first day of July, i.e., leave Arkansas City one week and try to get back the next.

Several of the farmers of South Haven Township are exten­sively engaged in sheep raising. Mr. Hamilton probably has the largest herd in Southwestern Kansas, numbering between one and two thousand head. MORE ANON.

Bridge Across Arkansas below Oxford, Sumner County.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 24, 1873.

The people of Sumner and Cowley are agitating the erection of a free bridge across the Arkansas three miles below Oxford.

[DISTRICTING THE STATE.]

Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 14, 1873.

The Topeka Times is informed that our members of Congress have agreed upon the following division of the state, for the convenience of themselves and the people.

Hon. S. A. Cobb’s district, has the counties of Douglas, Wyandotte, Leavenworth, Atchison, Doniphan, Nemaha, Johnson, Brown, Jackson, and Jefferson.

Hon. D. P. Lowe’s district, has the counties of Franklin, Miami, Coffey, Anderson, Linn, Bourbon, Allen, Woodson, Green­wood, Butler, Sedgwick, Sumner, Cowley, Howard, Wilson, Montgom­ery, Neosho, Crawford, Labette, and Cherokee.

Hon. W. A. Phillips’ district comprises all of the remaining territory of the state.


The appointments and all local business of each district are to be controlled by the members as above. Appointments at large are controlled by the Senator.

Texas Cattle: Sumner, Cowley, Butler, and Sedgwick Counties.

Winfield Courier, November 27, 1873.

Judge C. C. Quinlin, R. F. Crawford, and Sim Holstein have made arrangements for the wintering of 14,000 head of cattle in this, Sumner, and Cowley counties. These gentlemen are in co-partnership, and have shipped largely during the season. The wintering of the cattle belonging to this single firm is money to the amount of $70,000 to the people of the counties named. From information at hand we estimate that not less than 35,000 head of Texas cattle will be wintered in the counties of Sumner, Cowley, Butler, and Sedgwick. Eagle.

NOTE: THE ABOVE WAS THE LAST ITEM COVERED RELATIVE TO SUMNER COUNTY AND THE DEFUNCT CITY OF SUMNER, SUMNER COUNTY.

MAW