BONES UNCOVERED AT SOUTH HAVEN 1876
TRAVELER, MAY 31, 1876 - FRONT PAGE.
SOUTH HAVEN, May 20, 1876.
One of the "world's wonders has just been unearthed at South Haven, in the shape of a gigantic skeleton, which is supposed to have once supported the body of one of those pre-historic monsters that roamed over the plains and through the forests long before there was a man to till the ground.
The thing was exhumed from its ancient sepulture [?] on last Friday, in the presence of a large number of spectators, who unanimously pronounced it a "mastodon;" but the name did not convey to my mind any idea of the immensity of its size until after I had seen and handled the several ponderous masses of its bony structure. How shall I describe what I saw without presuming upon the credulity of your readers? To say that it was huge, would only mean that it was larger than that stupid elephant that could not cross the Walnut to get to our "big show." In fact, the world does not afford any living organism with which to compare this fossilated relic of antiquity.
However, you may form some faint conception of its magnitude when I tell you that one of its teeth, the smallest organs of the skeleton, weighed just five pounds! Now take one of the large grinders from the mouth of an adult horse, and if it weighs one ounce, you will have an exact proportion, the ratio of which will be as one to eighty, and which may be reduced to this startling equation: the South Haven "what is it?" equal to eighty horses! What an engine he would be to break prairie with! Why, sir, Walker's livery stable "chuck full" of elephants would be but a side show compared with this pre-Adamite quadruped. His legs resemble four inverted pyramids swinging pendulous from a bony-arched sky. Do you suppose a little shower up the Walnut would stop him? He could drink down the gushing Grouse at a single gulp, wade the Winfield marshes, and leap the "unbridgable" Walnut at a bound. But if you will pardon this digression, I will return to the bones.
They are in a semi-petrified condition, though in a tolerably good state of preservation. The petrifying process seems to have been prematurely arrested, with slight decomposition at the articulations as a result. The shafts of the "long bones" are solid stone, and as heavy as iron. The dentive or ivory of the teeth is the hardest and heaviest portion of the skeleton.
Mr. Sain, of Caldwell, informed me that one of the teeth weighed five pounds. Now if the number corresponds with that of man, the whole dental composition would weigh 160 pounds--equal to the weight of an average sized man. . . .
But to "the bones." If anyone doubts the bona fide existence of these relics, let him, or her, go to South Haven and see the bones. They are, for the most part, distributed among the citizens, who prize them very highly. Through the kindness of Mr. Musgrove, the merchant of South Haven, I procured a small fragment of one of the "flat bones." It shows the vast thickness of the bones of this class, and can be seen at my office at any time. But-- "Cui Bono."
[MISCELLANEOUS: MASTADON FOUND IN JEWELL COUNTY.]
TRAVELER, AUGUST 30, 1876.
Jewell county has unearthed a mastadon which answers to this description: Tusks 9 feet long and 9 inches in diameter; thigh bone 4 feet and 6 inches; shoulder blade bone 2 feet and 4 inches in length, and 2 feet in width; teeth 4 inches wide and 9 inches long, with 4 teeth on each side, 20 inches between the eyes; length of carcass 52 feet; height 15 feet; coupling 8 feet from shoulder to hip; 5 feet across hips of solid bone; socket joint of fore leg 15-1/2 inches in diameter; 4 feet from the top of the head to the lower end of the jaw, solid bone.
TRAVELER, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1876.
MR. RAY lost another horse this week.
GEESE fly over town almost every day.
EDDY has begun to prepare for the holidays.
HENRY FRANKLIN left for Iowa last Sunday.
OUR MAYOR is rrusticating in the suburbs, granging.
RICHARD ROSEY has just returned from the sight-seeing at Philadelphia.
DR. KELLOGG has to hobble about yet, from the effect of the needle in his foot.
The first oppossum ever seen in this county was caught a few evenings since.
There is now on exhibition at T. K. Johnson's drug store, the petrified tooth of a Mastodon, which measures 4-1/2 inches in width and 7-1/2 inches in length. The eentire root has been broken off, and yet the remainder of the tooth-enameled part--weighs something near four pounds. It is a monster and well worth looking at. Was found in Silverdale township, near the mouth of Silver creek. Telegram.
TRAVELER, SEPTEMBER 26, 1877.
ANOTHER CARDIFF GIANT. For several years past parties living on Grouse creek have found from time to time, large specimens of petrified bone, supposed to have been a portion of the once living monster known as the mastodon. One week from yesterday as Mr. William Hatfield was looking about, he found a huge Bone, perfectly sound, and in good state of preservation, the exact image of a human being.
It does not resemble the work of man wholly, yet indications are plain enough to make the supposition reasonable. Some predict that it might have been carried to the creek and left to be found, so as to cause a sensation, but that is generally disputed by those that have seen it and pronounce it a natural growth. The whole neighborhood was considerably excited over the matter, and to prove that Mr. Hatfield actually possessed the treasure, he was prevailed upon to appear before Mr. Herbert, the Justice of the Township, to whom he made an affidavit proving its identity. Many persons have called to see it and many more contemplate doing so. The lucky owner of the relic would not part with it for any sum of money, but might be prevailed upon to furnish a facsimile of it. We hope to hear more about it.
[COMMUNICATION FFROM "NITRO-GLYCERINE" - SILVERDALE.]
TRAVELER, DECEMBER 19, 1877.
SILVERDALE, Dec. 15, 1877.
The excitement caused by the passing of that Bone through the air, and in such close proximity to the nasal organs of those young men, mentioned in my last letter, has subsided. Truly this is an age of wonders: That Bone that Mr. Hatfield found on Grouse some time ago has turned out to be an animate object--an organic being, composed of real elements, such as potash, soda, lime, magnesia, silex, iron, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, chlorine, and a few proximate elements, such as albumen fibrin, gelatin, mucus, fat, caseine, lactic acid, osmazome, and chondrine--in fact, a human being with perfect running gear, without any modern improvements, and is compelled to eat organic food. The whole thing was got up by a sharper, to swindle some poor idiot of a specimen hunter. Only a short time ago, I was informed that a Colorado man had offered $15,000 (or less) for the fossil, if it was as represented. But if you want to get scalped, just mention fossil, relic, or specimen to Mr. Hatfield.
[REPORT FROM "X. Y. CAESAR' - MANHATTAN, KANSAS.]
NOVEMBER 4, 1880.
MANHATTAN, KS., OCT. 25, 1880.
ED. COURIER: Probably a few items from this point would be of interest to some of your readers.
Caesar does not this year have the pleasure of attending the College, as he has a "sit" on the Nationalist, "ending up type."
S. C. Mason, a scientific student, found the remains of a pre-historic elephant near this place a few days ago. Two tusks, nearly ten feet in length, were unearthed; also two teeth, one of which was eighteen inches in length, and nine inches deep. This is a "big fish story," but seeing is convincing. The remains are in charge of Prof. Fallier, of the College. They will probably be given to the Kansas Academy of Science.
X. Y. CAESAR.
[REPORT FROM M. C. SELTER, WILMOT, ABOUT CAVE DISCOVERY.]
FEBRUARY 10, 1881.
Wilmot, Feb. 8, 1881.
EDS. COURIER: Situated in Richland township near the beautiful Big Dutch creek, 17 miles northeast of Winfield, is Wilmot P. O., which same is presided over by the venerable Mr. McPherson. Near McPherson's house is what is known as a natural well, 40 feet deep. To the east of McPherson's house a quarter of a mile is another natural well, and near the last named one is J. V. Curd's store. Mr. Curd, wishing to utilize the well near his store and to obtain water, employed two of McPherson's sons to go down in the well and clean it out. When the boys went to the bottom of the well, to their surprise they found a large cave.
After making the discovery the boys ascended, procured torches, again descended to the bottom of the well and found a large cave hewn from the solid rock, 50 yards long, 40 yards wide, and 25 feet high.
The news soon spread, about twenty men arrived, and then commenced a general exploration. They found, as above stated, a large cave, and strewn over the floor were skeletons of animals and men. In the center of the cave is a large pillar about 12 feet in circumference; this pillar, it is supposed, was intended as a support to the ceiling, and is covered with hieroglyphics. At the foot of the pillar is a large spring. The water from the spring flows to the west side of the cave, where it enters a large tunnel that leads by Mr. McPherson's house down to the creek. Among the relics obtained from the cave and on exhibition at McPherson's are the petrified body of a man 10 feet high, one large stone ax, weight 50 pounds, and the head of a mastodon with one tusk attached nine feet long.
There is great excitement at present in the neighborhood over the find and people are flocking in from all directions to see the wonders. More next week.
M. C. SELTER.
Richland township will go down to history as the battle ground of David and Goliah, if that ten foot petrified man doesn't prove a canard.
Sykes says that the nine foot tooth discovered in the Wilmot cave must be from the jaw of an ancient politician and indicates a twenty-seven foot cheek.
FEBRUARY 17, 1881.
A reporter comes in from the Wilmot cave, and gives us the following facts, to the truth of which he is willing to swear. Many visitors went to the cave last week, and a thorough exploration was made.
One party, taking several day's rations in their haversacks, followed the northern prong. They had little difficulty in traveling after the first obstacles had been overcome. Within the cave the air was pure and delightful, in strong contrast to the blizzard which was tearing around just outside. The explorers caught fish, which supplied them with fresh meat. Of course, the fish were blind, living as they did in currents of water not visited by light. Fires were built of the bones of mastodons, which were numerous in all the rooms of this cave. The party followed the channel three days, coming out somewhere in Butler county.
Specimens of the stone age were to be seen on every hand. A large pair of snow shoes were found, turned to solid stone. Near these shoes there were also found a pair of garters, a night shirt, a pocket flask, and a huge demijohn, all turned to stone, and all of a pattern that indicated that those who used these ornaments were men of giant stature: stalwarts of the age of stalwarts.
In one chamber our explorers found a throne, surrounded by stone seats, evidently the reception room of the mastadon and the giant. On the walls could be faintly traced several poetical looking inscriptions, doubtless songs written in honor of the blushing maidens of that remote age. A little further on the explorers struck what was evidently a kitchen, for the utensils, all stone, resembled many of the articles that the good housewife now shies at her liege lord when he intrudes on her kingdom. One of the party picked up some fossilized biscuit as hard as dornicks; but one other, a skeptical fellow, vowed that they were exactly the article that he had at his boarding house for breakfast every day. Space forbids our giving more of these facts just now, but we hope to do better next week.
[BACK TO PERSONALS.]
FEBRUARY 17, 1881.
The people living in the neighborhood of the Wilmot cave pronounce the hoax of last week a good one. The only truth in the matter seems to be the hole in the ground and the water in the bottom of the hole. The hieroglyphics are said to be Jim Kelly's, while the other relics of the stone age are about equally antiquated; so says an unimaginative iconoclast who has been up that way.
MAY 12, 1881.
Mentions renovation of the old paper mill (of which paper mill company E. C. MANNING was once secretary) into a flouring mill by the firm of Higinbotham, Stingley & Huntress at Manhattan.
Also, CAESAR mentions Dr. S. W. Williston, of whom Cowley people will be glad to learn. Dr. Williston and folks lived on Silver Creek for a few years, a few miles below where Burden now stands; but the dry weather of 1874 drove them to Manhattan, where Williston was born and raised. He graduated at Kansas State College in 1872 with high honors. After devoting a few years with the late Prof. Mudge in the study of science, he concluded to go to Yale College, where he graduated about a year ago. Immediately after graduation, he was employed as lecturer on anatomy and teacher of paleontology. Dr. Williston has worked his way up to this position by his own exertions, and will teach in Yale the coming year at a very good salary. He has been in Manhattan about a week visiting parents and friends. While here he delivered a fine lecture upon "Fossil wonders of America," under the auspices of the Webster Society, of which he was an organizing member. Everyone was well pleased with the lecture and wish him future success.
April 30, 1881. X. Y. CAESAR.
Arkansas City Republican, November 7, 1885.
A Volcanic Eruption.
A citizen of Harper, who has a claim three miles from Meade Center, came into this office yesterday morning and unraveled one of the greatest mysteries that has ever been heard of in the annals of the earth=s eruptions.
Last Monday he was quietly walking over his claim, when he was startled by a rumbling sound resembling distant thunder. He stopped walking and distinctly felt the earth quiver under his feet, that, to use his own language, Amade the cold sweat gather on my forehead.@ All at once a hissing sound was heard coming from a small knoll or raise in the ground, about two hundred yards from where he stood, resembling the sound peculiar to ten thousand sky rockets going off at once. A vast cloud of steam, vapor, and dust arose and ascended in the heavens, looking not unlike a ponderous balloon starting on a trip to the moon. Birds that flew into the mass, in passing, fell lifeless to the ground. Large chunks of rock, salt, and sod were thrown into the air, and fell scattered for a hundred yards or more over the prairie. Immediately following the eruption, steam was seen rising and following the first black cloud. The rumbling noise had ceased, and the lone witness of the frightful scene stood riveted in his tracks, and scared almost to death. He said, AI knew not which way to turn, or what to do. My first thought was that it was the beginning of the end of the world. I stood gazing at that rising steam for at least twenty minutes perfectly mystified and terror stricken. I woke up however and walked to my cabin and laid down.@
On going out of his cabin Tuesday morning, he was astonished to see the steam still rising from the knoll. He ventured to approach it, and his surprise can be imagined when he saw before him a round hole about a hundred feet in diameter, filled to within eighteen inches of the surface with water. He tied a rock to forty feet of rope and threw it in the new pond. It sank, but struck no bottom. He afterwards attempted to test the depth of the pool with three hundred and forty feet of rope, but still no bottom was touched. It is quite evident from the hot water and salt that there is no bottom to this rupture in the earth, reaching, no doubt, away down for miles into the fire that is known to exist at a certain depth; be that as it may, can anyone give any explanation, or assign any cause for such a phenomenal on the open prairies of southern Kansas? Our informant came to Harper and gave us the above report. Our readers now know as much about the strange event as we do. We of course cannot vouch for the truth of the story, yet it comes from a reliable source, and an investigation will probably prove its truth.
Arkansas City Republican, August 27, 1886.
The men who are excavating at the head of the canal unearthed the head bones of a large buffalo yesterday. It was nearly seven feet under ground, and probably was once in the bed of the river. T. J. Mitts says it was a mastodon.