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The Trial Trip of the Miniature Seamboat "Necedah", Dec. 11, 1879


Winfield Courier, DECEMBER 11, 1879.

Last Saturday we took a trial trip on the miniature steamboat, the "Necedah," of which we have spoken before as being built by Mr. E. R. Appleby for the Walnut at this place. The boat is a perfect little beauty, is 31 feet long, and 7 feet wide, will carry 40 persons, and is propelled by a "Corney" engine, three-horse power, built especially for this boat. We steamed up the river over five miles, made several stoppages, and returned in less than two hours. The boat was as smooth as a Mississippi river steamer, and can be propelled at the rate of 8 miles an hour. It is the intention of the builder to run it as a pleasure boat, and no person could pass an hour more pleasantly than by taking a ride up the river on the little "Necedah."


Mr. Appleby left for Salt City with the steamer "Necedah" yesterday, but requests us to state that he will be at Harmon's ford on the Walnut next Sunday, ready to give another one of those delightful excursions. The Walnut at this place is a most beautiful stream, and there is nothing nicer than to be one of a good crowd gilding over its placid waters in the "Necedah."


Winfield Courier, APRIL 29, 1880.


. . . . In due time an engine arrived, and at half past twelve the train steamed into Winfield, as pretty a little city as lies in Southern Kansas. The band, military company, and citizens, who had awaited our arrival for hours, hearing of the accident to the train, had gone home, but the reception committee were there, with carriages and omnibuses, and in a short time the party were being driven to hotels and private residences, where they had been assigned. It was our good fortune to be placed under the care of Mr. J. P. Short, city clerk, and to him and his excellent lady we owe much for the enjoyment of the day.

At four o'clock the editors, their ladies, and the invited guests, were taken about the city in carriages, and then to the wharf on the Walnut, where was tied up the steamer Necedah, a small steamboat, 31 feet long, built to run on the Walnut. For several hours the little craft was kept busy steaming up and down the river, giving the editors and their ladies an opportunity to try a life on the ocean wave. The Necedah carries twenty passengers and navigates the river fourteen miles above the city.

In the evening a grand ball was given at the opera house, and at 12 o'clock a banquet was tendered the guests at the Central Hotel.

The entertainment of the association by the citizens of Winfield was elaborate. No expense, time, or trouble was spared to make the occasion the happiest and most enjoyable since the inauguration of their quarterly meetings. The work of entertaining was not left alone to the committees, but each citizen appeared to make the day a pleasant one for visitors. Winfield is a city of 3,000 or 3,500 inhabitants, beautifully located in the Walnut valley, surrounded on the north, west, and south by timber and on the east by a range of hills and mounds. The town is built on a slight elevation, just enough to make the drainage good. It has two railroads, the A., T. & S. F., and the K. C., L. & S.; three newspapers, the Daily Telegram, W. M. Allison, editor; the Monitor, J. E. Conklin, editor, and the COURIER, D. A. Millington, editor.

Nearly every branch of mercantile business is represented. Stores, hotels, banks, mills, foundries, and breweries had the appearance of active business. Owing to their quarries of superior building stone, Winfield has in the whole a better class of buildings than most young towns in Kansas. Their walks are laid with flagstone, and altogether there is a little over ten miles of sidewalk in that lively little city.

Winfield Courier, May 6, 1880.

Steamer Necedah

Will leave her landing at Bliss' mill, on Saturdays, at 2 and 4 o'clock p.m. on a trip up the Walnut, 5 miles and return, to accommodate any and all who may wish to take a boat ride on a live steamer. On Sundays will go out every 2 hours. Parties wishing the services of the boat on other days during the week, for picnics, etc., should leave orders on slate in cabinet shop in old ten pin alley.

Also all kinds and styles of boats neatly built to order.


Winfield Courier, March 22, 1883.


Examine the Plano Harvester with Appleby binder. W. A. LEE.

Winfield Courier, June 26, 1884.


The most wonderful freak of nature we have heard of for some time was the birth of a calf with two heads, one body, four ears, one tail, and seven eyes. This monstrosity was the property of John Appleby, of northwest Creswell. The calf lived only a short time, which is to be regretted, as the introduction of this new breed might have been of incalculable value to stock raisers.


Subject: Necedah
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 1998
From: "Ralph R. Reinhold"

Do you have anything on why a Texas boat got named Necedah?

Necedah is a Winnebego Indian name for 'yellow water.' It is a VERY
small town in Wisconsin.


We hear from Dee Appleby that Neceday, Wisconsin was the home town of Edwin R. Appleby and thus the source of the name of the boat.

From the Necedah historical web page:

Necedah, Wisconsin is situated at the base of a high cliff on the Yellow River, a few miles from its mouth, and is opposite the famous Petenwell Rock. It was one of the most important lumbering towns of this region and was the first place in Juneau County to have manufacturing interests.

The name "Necedah" comes from the Ho Chunk peoples who inhabited the area before the arrival of European settlers and means "Land of the Yellow Waters", a reference to the Yellow River.

Settlers began to explore the area in the early 1840's. In 1848 the land was "ceded" to the U.S. government and Thomas Weston and J.T. Kingston arrived in the area and, as was the custom, staked claims by "blazing" a tree on either side of the river and carving their names and date on them.

After building a rough log hut, they returned to their homes in Grand Rapids (now Wisconsin Rapids) and formed a saw mill company. The T. Weston & Co. Saw Mill built in 1848-1849. The town of Necedah was built around the mill.

Settlement soon began and the Weston's crew drove 700,000 feet of logs from Wisconsin Rapids down to the proposed mill in Necedah. By 1849 they had cleared six acres of land, from the base of the bluff in what is now Necedah to the waters edge near the present Necedah dam.

The town became an important lumber center in its early years. Sixty-five million feet of logs were sawed annually and then shipped down the Yellow River and into the Wisconsin River before finally arriving in Galena, Illinois where most of it was sold for $11 to $12 per thousand feet.

In 1852, by an order of the Board of Supervisors, the election precinct was established. The first school was also opened at this time by T. Weston and the first teacher was a Miss M. C. Kay.

In 1853 the mail route was extended to Necedah and an E. S. Minor was appointed the first postmaster. In April of the same year the territory was organized as a town.

The village was laid out and platted in 1856 by T. Weston and incorporated as a village in 1870. Businesses such as a jewelry store, physician services, lumber, cranberries, mills, livery service and a hardware store were established.

In 1881 when one of the first railroads came to town, the Necedah Lumber Company shipped out 900 cars of lumber in the first nine months. Trains were loaded with red and white oak, elm, ash, basswood and birch.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum