Larry Rhodes gave me a xerox copy of following booklet that he got from Terry Eaton, who in turn got the booklet from Lora M. Mitchell.
Reverend B. C. Swarts in 1870 made some investments in the Geuda area and acted as Notary Public and as minister to early settlers of Geuda. His daughter, Mary E., “Lizzy,” married C. R. Mitchell, attorney, who with A. A. Newman started some of the early development of Geuda Springs. Gather Lora M. Mitchell was a daughter of C. R. and Mary E. Mitchell. MAW
The Legend of Geuda Springs
Printed by McCormick Armstrong Press, Wichita.
[Someone wrote in Pencil “1911”]
We are promised improved facilities for transportation to Geuda in the near future. If so, we deem it safe to predict that by mid-season of next year there will be one hundred visitors at the Springs where there is one today.
A question in your mind, when contemplating a visit for pleasure or health, is “Rates.” We will say that the object of the management is to make accommodations first class at Geuda and rates reasonable, about as cheap as if living in one’s own home.
* * * * * * * *
This Souvenir, “The Legend of Augwa Geuda,” will be given visitors to the Spring, or sent to any address on receipt of a two-cent stamp. Address
J. E. HOPKINS, Geuda Springs, Kans.
THE LEGEND OF GEUDA SPRINGS
By Dr. J. W. Shults
JACOB KLEPPER, a farmer, born 1821 in the hills of East Tennessee, when he became of age was ordained a Minister of the Dunkard Church. He possessed a kind and noble spirit, self-sacrificing to the last degree, his greatest ambition being to do good unto others. After preaching but a few years among his own people he searched for a more extensive field of usefulness. Learning that there were many in the great West who needed his moralizing influence, he started for the Indian Territory, April, 1857, making the journey on horseback with all of his personal effects packed in saddle bags and a roll strapped to the back of his saddle. After a long and arduous journey he reached the main village of the Cherokee Nation. It was situated in the Indian Territory on the banks of the Cana River south of the line of Kansas Territory (which was not then a State). This village was nearly surrounded by small hills which were covered with plum brush and one approaching it by the only trail would come upon it suddenly and unexpectedly. The first sight of the village must have made a lasting impression upon the mind of the Missionary, for he graphically described it in minutest detail to friends at his old home while on a visit there thirty years after the event. He said:
My meager knowledge of the red man was obtained from books, and the only real live Indians that I had ever seen were at an Indian Show, where were given dances of many kinds, but the one that made the greatest impression on my mind was the War Dance. It was participated in by a dozen warriors clad in fringed buckskin and feathers. Each carried in one hand a large glittering knife and in the other a tomahawk. While the sight of these savage weapons frightened me, the feeling was naught compared to the chill of terror that froze the blood in my veins when I saw dangling from their belts human scalps covered with long hair of many shades. None of it, however, was black, which assured me that it all came from the heads of the white race; the hair on the greater number was so long that I felt sure that it was cut from the heads of women, or men who wore exceptionally long hair, as many of the brethren of my church do. This thought caused me to fear that all Indians might have an antipathy for Dunkards, and as I sat on my horse watching the mysterious movements of the villagers the recollection of the scene at the War Dance caused me to involuntarily pass my fingers through my own hair to satisfy myself that it would not make an attractive scalp. The movements of the Indians were weird and suspicious; the women and children skipped lightly but rapidly from one tepee to another, their bodies bent forward and their faces never turned squarely toward me. While I sat there undetermined whether to approach the village or return to the haunts of the white man, three men appeared and stood facing me. They seemed in earnest conversation and within a short time started toward me. Seeing that they carried no arms my fears vanished. When nearer I could see that one was a white man, the remaining two were Indians. The white man advanced and took my hand and said in good English, “How-de-do, brother.” Until then I had never felt the full force of the salutation. He spoke with a foreign accent and told me that his name was Caspar Valenzo, a Spaniard by birth. The younger of the two Indians was Grey-Eagle, who after became famous as a chief of the Cherokees. The elder was Chief Flat-Foot, who was then in his dotage and by his method of computation was more than a hundred years old.
From the time of entering the village I was the inseparable companion of Valenzo and Grey-Eagle.
Thrice daily I thanked God for directing my steps to these people. From Grey-Eagle I learned much that was good of the Indians. From Valenzo I learned much of the Spaniards, their customs and religion which was the Catholic faith. Valenzo had been with this tribe for many years and had married the only daughter of Chief Flat-Foot, and to the pair was born a daughter, Mona Lona, who became the idol of the tribe and today the memory of her is held in reverence by the people.
At this time, when Grey-Eagle had reached manhood, he was a giant in intellect, a Hercules of physical manhood, with a disposition suave, tender, and loving as that of a child. To him there was none to love, none to worship but Mona Lona. For Mona Lona there was none other to give even a thought but Grey-Eagle.
The now cool mornings of the early Fall were a reminder to the buffalo that a frigid winter would soon follow; a similar impulse prompted the Indians to look forward with pleasure to the coming, from the plains of the great North, of herds of fabulous numbers of fat, sleek buffaloes, when the braves could show their prowess and marksmanship in bringing the royal game to earth.
One moonlight night an Indian from the North came riding into camp and gave information of the approach of a large herd coming South. The reputation of Grey-Eagle as a wonderful marksman and strategic buffalo hunter had permeated a circle of many miles and many were present to witness his exhibition. Before dawn of the following day the hunters were deployed in the path of the herd, and before the rising of the sun the herd could be seen rocking over the plain followed by a great cloud of dust. As they came, their line appeared to reach for miles east and west. The advance was led by a monster bull, rocking a hundred yards ahead of the multitude.
Grey-Eagle on his swift bronco sprang from a shallow wash that led to a deep canon. The horse kept pace with the swiftly flying bull. Grey-Eagle sat well back on his horse with heels pressing its flanks, his mouth was opened wide, his eyes glistened in the bright sunlight, his bow was sprung to almost the breaking point. He gave three unearthly yells in quick succession that mingled with the awful thunder of the beating hoofs of the moving throng. The arrow hit the mark and penetrated the eye of the monster. The wounded buffalo quickly turned and with the arrow still in its socket, he caught the bronco in the flank with one of his great black horns and completely turned it over—breaking the leg of the rider. The herd passed over. Grey-Eagle was rescued, bruised and bleeding, and carried to the camp in an unconscious condition.
As he laid on his couch of buffalo skins, Mona Lona, pale and nervous, was the first to reach the wounded Eagle. She knelt by his side, with tender touch gently raised his head and kissed his brow, and for a few moments continued to kneel and gaze on his pallid and bleeding face. Then nervously clasping her hands tightly she silently staggered to the door of the wigwam and apparently looked off into space. Making the sign of the cross, she returned to the side of Grey-Eagle; her sorrow seemed so deep that tears would have been inappropriate, yes, a sacrilege. For four long days and nights this guardian angel sat by the side of her lover, never taking food, nor slumbering for an instant. She became haggard, her eyes became sunken in their sockets, and she resembled one risen from the dead.
Medicine men came from several tribes, looked upon the wounded Eagle, shook their heads and went their way. Mona Lona was present during the stay of the medicine men and closely watched their every move and expression but saw nothing in their looks to lend encouragement or hope of recovery.
On the fourth night at the hour of twelve, when the whole village was wrapped in slumber, Mona Lona sat by her lover chief, her rosary in her right hand, her left softly smoothing his brow while she muttered her supplication to the Holy Mother for his recovery. Suddenly he opened wide his eyes and with a frightened stare looked at her as one dazed. She bent her face near to his and his trembling hands raised, he pressed her cheeks and drew her face to his, as she muttered “Holy Mother, my prayer has been answered and I am happy.” The following morning the town was rejoicing.
However, convalescence came slowly and for several weeks improvement was scarcely perceptible. The people seemed to be all of one opinion that the patient should be taken to a distant fountain of life where by drinking of its waters, the blind were made to see, the lame to walk, and the wounded to be healed; the whole tribe seemed to have the greatest faith in the efficacy of the waters of this wonderful spring.
Preparations for the journey were hastily made, a litter was prepared by two long poles bound to the sides of horses, one following the other, forming an easy bed for the sick. After several days of weary marching, the only trail being marked by stones sat on the tops of barren hills, they reached their Mecca. The coming of the Eagle had been announced by couriers and many of his race, of many tribes, were in waiting at the pool prepared to welcome him; the banks of the little stream marked the camps of the hundreds of Indian invalids. Here were Omahas, Cheyennes, Apaches, and Comanches, all as anxious to see Grey-Eagle as if he had been a member of their own tribe.
The weary pilgrims were met and piloted to the top of a small hill southwest of the spring and scarcely more than a hundred yards distant. Mona Lona came on horseback looking like a bronze statue, with angelic mein, leading the van. Water from the spring had been carried to the top of the hill in every available vessel and all who were to take part in the festivities were provided with buffalo horns, which if used in taking the water, increased the potency thereof. The signal for the activities of the dance was the giving to Grey-Eagle his first potion of the healing draught, which was taken from a huge black horn held in the hand of Mona Lona. She stooped, raised his head, and held the cup to his trembling lips, when instantly the multitude was rapidly moving, dancing, and chanting a weird song as each held aloft the Magic Vessel filled with Augwa Geuda.
Twenty days after the arrival of Grey-Eagle and Mona Lona, they were married and the event was celebrated by the members of all the tribes present.
Jacob Klepper, now 90, bent and gray, while stopping at the Springs this season, stated to the author that since his first visit to Geuda in 1857, in company with Grey-Eagle and Mona Lona, he has had the greatest faith in the curative properties of Geuda Water; regarding it as the Fountain of Youth, the Elixir of Life, and the great Panacea for human ills.
ITEMS TAKEN FROM BOOK BY MARGARET RUSSELL STALLARD:
Remembering Geuda Springs
NOTE: NO DATE ON BOOK, NO COPYRIGHT.
Remanto was the original, but not very popular, name of Salt City. The area was so well known then for the salt which it produced that it was usually referred to as the Salt City. The original Remanto (Salt City area) was on land bordered by the Geuda Springs School on the north and by the present grain elevator property on the south. Although lots had been sought and sold, as is usually the case, the survey of the plots were not registered and filed at the courthouse until 1873.
Remanto. Town Plat located in East half of Southeast Quarter of the Northeast Quarter, Section 12, Township 34, Range 2 East, of the 6th Principal meridian containing twenty acres more or less according to Government Survey.
Salt Springs City Company.
Edwards: Atlas of Sumner County, Kansas.
July 29, 1871: Salt Springs City Company was organized and obtained its charter August 18, 1871. First Directors: B. P. Foster, W. J. Walpole, O. J. Ward, and S. W. Wright.
From Margaret Russell Stallard book on Geuda Springs:
Prior to July 29, 1871: Location known as “Remanto.” Since then it has popularly been called Salt City. This name was given to the town because of the fact that it was located near numerous salt springs, which are now proving a source of great profit.
The pioneers of all that section drew upon the brine of these springs for their supply of salt, which they obtained by boiling or evaporation.
1872: March 19. Legal Instrument between Daniel Grable, Brainard Goff, and W. J. Walpole of Cowley County, parties of the first part, and J. C. Loomis, party of the 2nd part, in consideration of the sum of $248.00: Southeast quarter of Section 1, Township 34, South Range 2E, containing 160 acres. Grant intended as a mortgage to secure payment of $248.00 at 12 percent interest. Executed by Daniel Grable, Brainard Goff, and W. J. Walpole to J. C. Loomis.
1872: March 24, Indenture between Daniel Grable, Cowley County, 1st party; and Brainard Goff and W. J. Walpole, 2nd parties. Consideration of $700.00. Southeast quarter of Section 1, Township 34, South of Range 2E, containing 160 acres of land. Property to pay lien held by J. C. Loomis dated March 19, 1872. Mortgage to J. C. Loomis for $248.00 March 19, 1872.
1872: Land mortgaged in 1872 for $240. I. C. held the mortgage, which was released March 13, 1873. I. C. and Harriet R. Loomis, his wife, assigned to Samuel Hoyt, attorney at law, their power of attorney.
Numerous land transactions recorded in 1873 and later.
1873: O. J. Ward constructed a vat 8 feet long, 20 inches wide, 3 inches deep. By use of this vat he evaporated 63 lbs. of excellent salt in the first seven days.
1874: Brainard Goff undertook to make salt by solar evaporation on a more extended scale. He used 100 vats and pumped his brine from a five-foot well which was very imperfectly protected from fresh water seeps. He did all his own work and succeeded in making an average of 1,000 lbs. of salt per day. He soon overstocked the market as Wichita was then the nearest railroad point.
1875: Title involved in litigation. Goff became discouraged and abandoned his enterprise.
1881: James Hill & Company erected a successful regular salt manufactory.
[HOTEL IN WHICH SHORT DIED FIRST CALLED “THE LOOMIS.”]
Pages 38-39 of Stallard Book [two photos shown on these pages]. MAW
Luke Short Died in Geuda Springs.
“Five copies of an article published in The Arkansas City Traveler about the life and death of Luke Short, have been sent to me. The name of the author and the date is missing from each story. The picture below is included in the article showing the old Gilbert Hotel where Luke Short died.
“Luke Short was a friend of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. He was a gunman and had killed a number of men. He was short and a dapper dresser. He had sold whiskey to Sioux Indians, which got him in trouble with the law, but somehow he escaped. He was raised in Texas and went from western town to western town and always worked in or operated a bar of some kind. The Museum in Tribune had a considerable amount of information concerning Luke Short and of course he and other gun fighters have been glamorized by present day television.
“In September of 1893 Geuda Springs was full of the overflowing crowd who had come to Arkansas City to prepare for the race on the Cherokee Strip on 16 September 1893. This is probably why the appearance of Luke Short, who was very ill and had come to the springs to restore his health, went unnoticed.
“Luke Short died 8 September 1893 of dropsy in the Gilbert Hotel, was embalmed by W. A. Repp, a Geuda Springs undertaker, and his body was sent to Fort Worth, Texas, for burial. His wife and two of his brothers were here and accompanied his body to Texas, according to an article in The Geuda Springs Herald.
“By 1893 the Midland Valley Railroad brought many people to Geuda Springs. This depot was still standing in the late 1930s or perhaps the early 1940s. This was probably where Luke Short arrived in Geuda. As late as 1926 large number of people arrived in Geuda on excursions to drink the water and for recreation on the lake.
“Many large homes and the Lakeview Hotel was on the north side of the lake. Elaborate plans were drawn for North Geuda Springs. There is no date on the plans but for the most part it was only a dream, but what a dream!”
Picture caption: LUKE SHORT’S LAST HOME.—This is the old Gilbert hotel at Geuda Springs, where one-time gambler and gun-slinger Luke Short died on Sept. 8, 1893. The then plush resort hotel later was destroyed by fire. This picture is from a photograph belonging to Miss Lora M. Mitchell, Rt. 2, whose father was one of the founders of Geuda Springs.
Loomis Hotel. On Page 38.
“I have three pictures showing the same hotel but with different names. The hotel was probably first the Loomis Hotel, then it was remodeled and called Hotel Geuda, and in this picture it is called the Gilbert. The hotel and all of the buildings in the block were destroyed during the Geuda fire of 1908. The Loomis hotel was remembered as there was written on the sidewalk in front of the hotel, “THE LOOMIS,” which could be seen until at least the 1940s and may even be there now. (We couldn’t find it a few years back.) It was built in the East Geuda Springs addition and was in Cowley County.” [Stallard]
Loomis Hotel: Book refers to such a structure being built in East Geuda Springs. Along with other buildings, it burned in 1908.
Page 54 of book has picture:
“This scene is between Walnut and Oak on the Cowley County side of the street. I have seen pictures of this hotel called The Geuda Hotel, The Gilbert Hotel, and The Loomis Hotel. It did change hands several times, the name could have been also changed. Several descriptions of the hotel are described in various articles included in this book. Most of the buildings in this block were burned. I do not have a date of the fire, but it was not long after the 1908 fire.” [Stallard]
VISITS BY INDIANS TO GEUDA SPRINGS.
Page 50, Stallard Book.
She noted that she had no author or date when published.
“Long before the settlement of Kansas by the white man and while the Indian and the buffalo were the only occupants of the prairies along the southern border of the state, the medicinal virtues of these waters were known to the Osages and Poncas in whose territory they were located, and from the information that was transmitted to other tribes, who came in large companies from long distances to drink at the springs and be healed. In the Ponca tongue they were called Ge-u-da-ne, the first three syllables meaning healing, and the fourth and last meaning waters.
“At that time and in fact for many years after the first white settlers arrived, the different springs were not separated, but flowed in one common stream into a large circular pool, or as one of the ‘oldest’ describes it, mud hole, and while of course, in those primitive days no analysis had ever been made of the waters they were known to cure rheumatism and stomach trouble, both of which ailments of civilization were known to the aborigines. Exposure and dampness brought rheumatism and over-feeding, indigestion to the Indian of that period as surely as they do to his pale-face brother of the present, and the water was used for both drinking and bathing. The Osages, Sac and Fox, Kiowas, Comanches, Cheyennes, Arapahos, Cherokees, and Poncas were frequent visitors, each tribe having a different name in their own language for the springs, but all meaning the same thing, ‘healing’ or ‘curing.’
“The first whites to see these springs were a party of buffalo hunters who in March 1867 came upon a band of nearly five hundred Osage Indians camped near them and using the water in many ways, apparently for medicinal purposes. These hunters tried the waters themselves and discovered they had a different taste from most water and not altogether pleasant, and no further investigations were made at that time, although the location of the springs and their use by the Indians were reported by the party in many towns in the eastern part of the state. (This tradition has been accepted by most historians.
“Being so far from the nearest settlements, they were, however, neglected, perhaps forgotten until in 1870, when W. J. Walpole, a civil engineer, finding several salt-beds and springs in addition to the mineral springs on the quarter section, filed upon the land and in July, 1872, proved up on it as a pre-emption. The Indians continued to camp at the springs to use the waters and get salt, but interpreters being scarce, little attention was paid and the land was sold several times and finally bought by Messrs. Hackney and McDonald, attorneys of Winfield, they paying $500.00 for them.
“Mr. McDonald, having been cured of a serious skin disease by the use of the water, was responsible for the purchase. Other patients having been treated beneficially, A. A. Newman and C. R. Mitchell, being convinced of its value, purchased the springs, paying $4,000 for them. Mr. Mitchell is still a resident of the town. The original town site was laid out and platted in 1872, half a mile south of the present town and was named Remanto after Earnest Reiman, who platted it.
“A short time after a company was formed to manufacture salt from the numerous springs just north of the lake in which a number of men were interested, among them Goff, Marshall, Taylor, and Mitchell, under the name of Goff & Company, Timothy McIntire being the manager. Wells were sunk and the solar process used, and one hundred and ten vats built, giving an output of twenty barrels per day of the article which was sold to the settlers and used by them for their stock. There being, however, a demand for table salt, McIntire procreated a coffee-mill; and with this primitive appliance, the crystals were ground to a fineness that made it suitable for table use. The new industry was considered of sufficient importance to rechristen the town, and accordingly it was replatted and called Salt City. Settlers attracted by the curative properties of the water, kept purchasing land and settling to the north of the original town, which had by this time three or four stores and a hotel, until in 1880 (1882) the land south of the lake was platted and the town named Geuda Springs.
“The first building on the new town was erected by an Indian woman of the Sac & Fox tribe and now forms a part of the Central Avenue house. Central Avenue running north and south is the dividing line between Sumner and Cowley counties, though all of the business portion of the place is located on the west side of the street and is consequently in Sumner County. Besides this, the portion on the west side is incorporated: has a mayor and city council, with good sidewalks, and other improvements, while that on the east is merely village.
“The Frisco, now known as the Kansas Southwestern, was built through the town in 1886, and located its depot at the site of the original town, one block west and half a mile south of the center of the business portion of the new Geuda. As a result, the street running north from the depot is built up with residences for nearly the entire distance and the school house is located on ‘the Hill’ about midway between the two. The mayor of Geuda Springs at the present time is W. C. Smith and the following are members of the city council: J. M. Nester, M. H. Nelson, H. C. Seanor, U. S. Bricker, Albert Arnold, C. C. Woodside, clerk, and J. H. Smith, treasurer. The business buildings that were originally put up in the old town (Salt City) near the depot, have all been moved up to the new business street or to other towns until now there are no stores in that locality, and the building originally used as a hotel is now occupied as a residence.
“The first bath house was built immediately after the purchase by Hackney and McDonald, a two-story frame building, which was later removed and is now used for the bottling works, and a fine new spring house built, two stories in height, with a basement of stone. The latter has a cement floor and here the springs are located, seven in number, all coming from the ground within a space of 20 x 30 feet and all entirely different and distinct, as their chemical analysis shows. In addition to the seven springs there is a salt spring only about sixty feet from the others and a short distance from this two new springs have recently been discovered, one sulphur and one iron.
“The Geuda, the largest of the hotels in the place, a fine brick three-story building surrounded by broad plazas, stands at the north end of the (illegible word) on the bank of the lake. It contains fifty rooms, large corridors, and numerous windows, which insures perfect ventilation and makes it an ideal summer resort. The house opens in May and closes in October or November, according to the season. J. L. Tuttle is the owner and he also owns the springs and bottling works which are just a few roads directly east of the hotel and rare in Cowley County. [Notation by Stallard: After 1901.]
“The waters of Nos. 5 & 7 springs are pumped directly into the bottling works and into glass containers holding five gallons. These containers have a wooden crate to protect them in shipment and are tagged and shipped to users. For the bottled goods the water is filtered, as are also the syrups used, and all the extracts employed for flavoring are the very best, many of them to insure their purity being compounded in the laboratory connected with the works. W. Walker, the superintendent, has been connected with the business ever since its start. Each step in the process of making the different carbonated drinks sold is looked after by him to insure the purity and excellence of the product. The latest and best machinery is used for filtering, bottling, flavoring, carbonating, corking, and labeling the different kinds of soda water, generally known as ‘pop’ that they sell. The ‘ginger ale’ made by them in flavor and quality is comparable to the imported ‘Belfast’ product. Besides their palatable quality, these drinks being made from the waters of Nos. 5 & 7 springs possess their medicinal qualities, thus serving a double purpose, something out of the common in taking medicine. Their product is shipped to nearly every state, from New York to Colorado, their greatest demand, of course, being in Kansas and Oklahoma.”
[Note by MAW: Larry Rhodes has one of the Tuttle bottles.
Page 57 has picture of bottle like the one Rhodes has...on three lines:
Engraved: (THREE LINES) “J. E. TUTTLE. GEUDA SPRINGS. KANS.”]
SOME ITEMS ON OWNERSHIP.
1878. Hackney & McDonald: paid $500, February 27, 1878, for their quarter of land.
They built a bath house, and covered the springs with a very nice spring house.
1879. Hackney & McDonald sold it August 18, 1878, to C. R. Mitchell for $4,000.
1879. August 18, 1878, Mitchell sold one-half of the quarter to A. A. Newman for $3,000.
1881. September 3, 1881. Newman sold back to Mitchell his share for $10,000. This left
Mitchell the sole owner of land except for the one-half acre Mr. Walpole sold to Mr.
Goff in 1871 so that Goff could make salt.
1882. Mitchell platted the town site of East Geuda Springs.
1890. Mitchell formed his own corporation, operating it successfully until about 1900, when
records show several trusteeships involved and the land changed hands.
1901. December 1901. James L. Tuttle bought land for $5,700. Made improvements.
1911. Tuttle sold land to The Geuda Springs Town site and Mineral Water Company for
$100,000. (He received $50,000 cash; held mortgage for $50,000.)
1914. Mortgage to Tuttle had not been paid. Foreclosure took place. Tuttle bought the land
and the company for $50,660.00.
1916. Law suits brought against Tuttle.
Land began to be sold in parcels and plots. The land had been in litigation so long that little more was built. The depression, floods, fires, and hard feelings brought about downfall of Geuda.