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COUNTY RAMBLINGS – 100 YEARS AGO
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.
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.
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.)
the Manhattan Republic
December 31, 1907:
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,