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RILEY COUNTY RAMBLINGS – 100 YEARS AGO
From the Manhattan Republic March 6, 1908:
Mayor Paddock is building a substantial addition to his residence at 601 Fremont Street.
(Note: J.J. Paddock was elected Mayor of Manhattan in 1907 and served in 1908. He was born in Indiana in 1848. His father died when he was a year old and his mother died when he was sixteen. He moved to Pottawatomie County with his sister’s family in 1867 and by 1870 farmed at Pleasant Run in Pottawatomie County. He married Julia Walker in 1871. He moved his family to Manhattan in 1881 and bought an interest in the J.M. Root Monument Company in 1891. In 1906 he became sole owner of the company, which was known as the Manhattan Marble and Granite Works. The Manhattan Marble and Granite Works was located in the 100 block of North Third Street. After J.J. Paddock’s death, the business was run by his son Charles Paddock, who with a partner, operated the firm as Paddock and Ball. The Beaudette family bought the firm in 1952 and renamed it Manhattan Monument Company. The Paddock house at 601 Fremont was probably built in 1883. J.J. and Julia Paddock had three sons and a daughter. J.J. Paddock died October 2, 1934 and Julia Paddock died March 29, 1928.)
From the Manhattan Republic March 6, 1908:
Back to Manhattan
Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Brown and son, Ed arrived Wednesday from Burchard, Nebr., and are now settled in their property at 1025 Humboldt street. Mrs. L. L. Gray, a sister of Mrs. Brown accompanied them and will make an extended visit here.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown are among the early settlers in Manhattan and have a great many old friends here. About twenty-eight years ago Mr. Brown served two terms as sheriff of Riley county.
(Note: Jefferson D. Brown was born in Indiana in 1842. In 1865 he married Selena F. Dye. The family moved to Riley County in the late 1860’s and farmed in the area that later became South Milford Township. J.D. Brown served as the first Trustee of South Milford Township in 1872 – 1873. Most of South Milford Township was transferred to Davis (Geary) County in 1874. Evidently J.D. Brown’s farm continued to be in Riley County (or he moved to another part of Riley County) as he won election as Sheriff in 1874 and served until 1878. One controversy during his term of office was the appointment of an African-American Deputy Sheriff (likely the first African-American Sheriff in Riley County) to serve during the annual Emancipation celebration in 1875. After his term as Riley County Sheriff he joined the Brown and Limbocker real estate firm. In 1880 J.D. and Selena Brown and their five children (Frank, Selena, Blanche, Joseph and Charles) moved to Nebraska. After their move back to Manhattan J.D. Brown died September 11, 1910 and Selena Dye Brown died April 12, 1924. Both are buried in Manhattan’s Sunset Cemetery.)
From the Manhattan Republic March 24, 1908:
President Ernest R. Nichols came to the Kansas State Agricultural college from Iowa eighteen years ago as professor of physics. He was quiet, earnest and studious. His tact and courtesy soon made him very popular among the students. At the end of four or five years, the populists obtained control of the institution and many changes were made, but Professor Nichols was retained. Two years later the republicans came into power and ousted President Will, who had displaced President Fairchild. The institution was in bad shape. The appropriations had been overdrawn and the standing of the institution in every way had been injured by the political changes. Its finances were in rotten condition. No educator of experience could be found who was willing to undertake the work of restoring the college in the position it should occupy.
The board of regents were in a dilemma. Unless the college was placed in good hands the state administration would be open to sure criticism. They finally elected the young professor of physics, E.R. Nichols, as acting president until they could find a man.
Professor Nichols thus became president in all but name with all the tremendous duties and responsibilities thrust upon him. Great difficulties must be overcome and his inexperience was not even backed up with the title of the office.
But President Nichols made good. He overcame every difficulty from without. He placed the finances of the college where they have been above criticism ever since. He extended and enlarged the scope and usefulness of the college in every way. It has grown ever since at a tremendous pace, the attendance has doubled and quadrupled in the eighteen years that he has been here.
President Nichols was acting president for one year and then was elected president. He himself has grown with the college. He is today one of the big men of Kansas.
The people of Manhattan have grown to value President Nichols very highly and they as friends of the college will be glad to be assured that the next head of the great institution will be as competent to forward its work.
(Note: E.R. Nichols came to Kansas State Agricultural College in 1890 as an instructor in physics and superintendant of telegraphy. He became President of KSAC in July 1899, serving until June 1909. In 1901 the Kansas legislature appropriated money to pay the deficits at KSAC and the next year President Nichols became the first President to complete a budget year in the black and there were no further deficits incurred during his administration. During the tenure of President Nichols the student body at KSAC increased from 870 in 1898/99 to 2,308 in 1908/09. A number of new buildings were built during his term of office: Holton Hall, Denison Hall (old Denison Hall that burned in 1934), Chemical Engineering Hall, Dickens Hall, Leasure Hall, Calvin Hall, the Auditorium (burned in 1965), and the east wing of what in 2008 is Seaton Hall. Nichols Gymnasium was built in 1910 and named in honor of President Nichols.)