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RILEY COUNTY RAMBLINGS – 100 YEARS AGO

 
From the Manhattan Republic
December 13, 1907:

 

A Little History and Some Mystery. 
    At an early day in the settlement of the upper Fancy Creek country, two men, Johnson and Trimble, were holding claim for the purpose of preemption, each claim being at the confluence of Fancy Creek and a tributary, both coming in from the north and known to this day as the Johnson and Trimble branch, or Dead Man’s Creek.  These men would sometimes go down the creek and work for some of the settlers who were improving, at other times they would resort to their claims for weeks and months at a time.  There was no road running east and west in this vicinity and the Mormon trail was the only thoroughfare excepting north and south between the Big Blue and the Republican (this portion of the paper is almost illegible, it possibly says: rivers, in the spring of 1860 a few newcomers located) on the creek between the claims alluded to and the older settlement.  It was at this time that Johnson came in and reported to have found the skeleton of a man on Trimble creek.  A number of men four or five were a number in those days, went to the spot indicated, which was two miles west of the Mormon trail, and not more than eighty rods from the north line of Trimble’s claim. 

     There lay the bones of some person with a bullet hole in the center of the forehead, some remnants of clothing scattered around, locks of hair, tinged with grey, which went to show that the unfortunate had been a man of age.  The grass had been eaten off for several rods around what to all appearances had been a camp of several weeks duration.  Deep tracks of a wagon drawn by oxen were followed from there in a northwest direction to the “trail” where subsequent travel had obliterated all traces.  After a close examination of the “signs” these old pioneers came to the conclusion that the man had been decoyed in this remote place by some one during a dry time in the spring of ’59, as no trace could be seen of a wagon going in, which was followed by a wet spell, when the wagon drawn by cattle was driven out, as could plainly be seen.  It was evident that a companion, or some one else was connected with the deed and that it was not an accident, for how could a team be hitched to a wagon and get away without assistance?  The two men named above left the country in a short time.  The facts are as above stated but conjecture went some further.

 

From the Riley Regent
December 27, 1907:

 

Fire at Garrison.  
    Last Saturday morning the hotel at Garrison burned down.  The building, wasn’t large one (sic) having been built by the railroad company several years ago.  A few months ago it was sold to S.D. Covert, who owned it when it burned.

     Two negro children perished in the flames, they were the cook’s children.

    The cause of the fire is not known, nor the room in which it started.

 

    (Note:  Garrison was on the Leavenworth, Kansas and Western Railroad in Pottawatomie County, just across the Blue River from Garrison Crossing in Riley County.  The Randolph Enterprise December 26, 1907 reported that the children were the four year old daughter and the infant son of Mrs. Eva Dale.  They were buried in the Garrison cemetery.  The Enterprise said that the fire started in the second story of the summer kitchen where the children were left alone while their mother engaged in her duties.)

 

From the Manhattan Republic
December 31, 1907:

 

Automobile Club. 
    A meeting of automobile owners was held in Dr. J.D. Colt’s office Thursday evening for the purpose of organizing an Automobile club.  The organization was perfected with a membership of eleven, and is to be known as the Riley County Automobile Club, member of the American Motor League.

     The object of this organization shall be to promote the use of motor vehicles and the general interests of all users of such vehicles; to ascertain, defend and protect their rights; to facilitate traveling; to secure improvement in the condition of public roads and highways, and generally to sustain the work and objects of the American Motor League.  There are twenty-five motor cars in Riley County and it is expected that the owner of every car in the county will become a member of this organization.

     The election of officers resulted as follows:  J.L. Berkey, consul; J.D. Colt vice consul; C.J. Davis, secretary-treasurer.  Executive committee:  J.L. Berkey, J.D. Colt,  C.J. Davis, Chas. McDonald, S.N. Higinbotham, N.E. Engel, R.J. Brock.