The First Train into Winfield, KS, September 30, 1879
Photo courtesy of the Cowley County Museum
On that day 4,000 people arrived on two trains from Wichita. A parade was held from the depot to the fairgrounds. Attendees cheered their favorite baseball team as Wichita played Winfield. Winfield won the game (anyone know the score?)and afterward a ball was held at Manning's Opera House.
ARKANSAS CITY TRAVELER, JULY 16, 1879.
The Rackensacks having challenged the base ball clubs of the county for money, marbles, or chalk, the "Winfield Whites" offer them a game for marbles, the game to be played at Winfield next week. Next Saturday the Rackensacks will play the Jack Oaks on the grounds west of town.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 4, 1879.
The contract to grade the Sumner & Cowley R. R. has been let from El Paso to Arkansas City, and General Manager W. B. Strong said to us last Saturday evening that the road would be completed to this place by the first of next November. Hurray for the Iron Horse.
Baseball. The Jack Oaks of Cresswell and the Winfield nine played a match game of baseball last Tuesday, at Winfield, which resulted in the disastrous defeat of the Winfield nine, the Jack Oak's winning the game by a score of 64 to 7.
Winfield Courier, July 31, 1879.
On Monday evening of this week the construction train on the C. S. & F. S. railroad was at Brown's Dog Creek Ranche, eighteen miles this side of Wichita. As we go to press we learn that twenty miles of track are laid, to within twenty-five miles of Winfield, and track is being laid at the rate of a mile a day. The grading is nearly completed to within four miles of Winfield.
JULY 31, 1879.
Mr. Robert Weekly has been over on the railroad work between here and Independence and reports that the grading is about completed all the way from Independence to Elk Falls, thirty-six miles, that eight miles of grading this side of Elk Falls is nearly completed, and that work is being done all along to the top of the Flint Hills. The bridging and track laying are in progress and not far behind the grading. The track is already laid up to the Elk county line. He thinks that next week the last division will be contracted
General Manager W. B. Strong, of the A., T. & S. F. railroad, in company with Mr. Savery and Engineer ______ came down on Tuesday last to locate the depots at Winfield and Arkansas City.
He held conference with many of our citizens and then passed on to Arkansas City. Yesterday morning (Wednesday) he returned and received propositions from citizens concerning the location, considered them, and finally located the depot on the west side of town. The Arkansas City depot is located southwest of town.
Gen. Strong looks bright and hearty after his long struggle in Colorado in the legal "battle of the giants," in which he has won a substantial victory against unlimited capital and the most crafty adversaries. Such labors might well have given him an appearance of exhaustion. His name is no misnomer as the Jay Gould outfit has discovered to their cost.
What has become of the Arkansas City base ball club? Come, gentlemen, this is later than July 10th, yet you do not come up. The Tisdale nine challenge you to a match game, at Winfield, anytime you choose after August 10th [? COULD NOT READ DATE ?]. We will play you for bat and ball and championship of the county, or if you choose to gamble on the game will "see you" a little way. Come up or stop blowing.
The above is taken from the Courier's letter from Tisdale, and would lead a prejudiced person to think our club wasn't on the play. But such is not the case. Our boys will play you Tisdale fellows a series of three games, and will "see you" all day if you don't run too fast.
Walnut Valley Fair Opens at Winfield Fair Grounds on Sept. 30, '79,
A GRAND BARBECUE
GOVERNOR J. P. ST. JOHN
The balloon must have come in on the first train, it would have been too unwieldy to bring with horse and wagon.
Notice the condition and quality of the Cross Ties, do they look like reject fence posts?
The dirt covering the middle of the track, for sanitary purposes?
The small building to the right of the engine, out house facility?
Which depot is this and where was is located?
Who was the man standing on the box car?
Who was the photographer?
What are some other interesting questions which we could ask about the photograph.
Arkansas City Traveler, SEPTEMBER 24, 1879.
WINFIELD, KAN., Sept. 22, 1879.
Editor Traveler: We are going to celebrate the completion of the railroad to this point on Tuesday, Sept. 30. Excursion trains are coming from Wichita. The Fair will open that day and give a big barbecue on the grounds. An excursion train, with four coaches, and 20 platform cars, with seats, will go up the road from here, at noon, and return at 5 p.m., giving all an opportunity to see and ride over the road, free of charge.
Your city government has been invited, through our Mayor, and a general invitation is extended to you and your readers to come and help us celebrate.
The track is laid to the river. The last abutment will be finished tomorrow, and the bridge will be on by the last of the week, and cars running to the depot, on time.
J. P. SHORT.
We wish to warn the parents of certain small boys who loaf around the depot, that unless they are kept away, some of them will be crippled. Last Sunday while the trains were being made up, about twenty of these boys were running from car to car, stopping on the bumpers which are set on springs and liable at any moment to mash a foot or leg or throw them under the wheels. A word to the wise is sufficient.
OUR JUBILEE: TWO EXCURSION TRAINS LOADED DOWN WITH PEOPLE.
Winfield Courier, OCTOBER 2, 1879.
Sedgwick and Sumner Counties Enthuse With Us.
Tuesday was a day long to be remembered by our citizens. Long before the time advertised for the arrival of the excursion train, the ground around the depot was crowded with Cowley's people waiting to welcome the people of Sumner and Sedgwick who were coming to celebrate with us the completion of our first railroad. The city officials were there marshaling their committees to take charge of the ladies, every available vehicle in town being pressed into service to accommodate them. All were on the tip-toe of expectation when the news flashed over the wires that the Wichita train had passed Mulvane, and that there were four hundred ladies and twelve hundred men on board, with the Wellington train just behind with as many more. Then it was that our people realized the full extent of the inundation about to take place. Arrangements had been made to accommodate about five hundred people, but when they began to drop down on us one and two thousand at a time, all these arrangements were upset, and a majority of the people had to get off the train and make their way to town the best way they could.
The procession was formed at the depot, headed by the Wichita Guards and the Wichita Fire Company, followed by a carriage containing the orator of the day, then the city authorities of Wichita, Wellington, and Winfield, followed by the Wichita cornet band and ladies in carriages. The procession was fully a mile long. At the grounds Judge McDonald delivered a speech of welcome, which was highly spoken of by all who heard it, and fully sustained the high reputation which he has won as an orator.
After the speech the crowd dispersed for dinner. A table had been prepared for the militia and fire company, and the crowd repaired to the barbecue, where there was plenty for all. After dinner there was a grand drill by the Wichita Guards under Capt. Woodcock, who acquitted themselves nobly. The dance in the evening, for the benefit of our visitors (?) was well attended, a good many of the Wichita people being present by virtue of an invitation issued by the ball committee that their "uniforms would be their passports," but which proved to be a pretext for making a dollar a piece out of them. With the exception of the ball, and the change in the time of starting the Cowley county excursion train, everything passed off
We are sorry that our space does not admit of a more ex-tended account of all that transpired. The crowd from Wichita and Wellington was estimated at four thousand.
From Winfield to Wellington.
Last Sunday our local received an invitation from Engineer Archer, who runs engine No. 22, to accompany him on a trip to Wellington. Having never visited that town, and desiring to ride over the new road, we accepted the invitation; and at 1 o'clock the whistle sounded "off breaks" and we pulled out for Mulvane. The rain was pouring down steadily, and the iron horse groaned, puffed, and snizzled as if trying to express its disgust of the weather and everything connected with the trip. Seated beside Engineer Archer, with the cab windows drawn down, and our coat buttoned close around us, the novelty
The track from Winfield to Mulvane is a good deal like the Dutchman's description of the Allegheny mountains, "up a leedle and down some more," twisting and winding around, with several heavy cuts and fills and numerous culverts. There are several large fields of wheat along the line, which are up and looking well. At Mulvane the engine, which had been going up tail end foremost, was turned around and headed for Wellington, where we arrived about 3 o'clock. The town has a live appearance and is building up rapidly, although the buildings are mostly frame and rather small.
We left Wellington at seven minutes past four. The rain having ceased, the cab windows were thrown open and we had a fair view of the country through which the road runs. The prairie stretching away in the distance, dotted here and there with fields of green wheat, and fine farms with good, substantial buildings enclosed by miles of hedge fence, line the track on either side.
We were almost led to believe, by the evidence of thrift and enterprise passing before us that we were in Cowley instead of Sumner county. The track from Mulvane to Wellington, 28 miles, has only three curves and one grade, four miles long, of 45 feet to the mile. With the exception of this grade, which takes the road from the Arkansas valley to the highlands, the track is nearly level.
Mulvane has a thriving appearance, several new houses being in process of erection, among them a good-sized hotel. As yet no depot has been built, but we learned from Mr. Row, superintendent of construction, that one would be built there soon.
Our passage through Belle Plaine was so rapid that we only obtained a passing glance at the town. Several buildings are going up near the depot, and a general air of activity is noticeable. After turning around at Mulvane on a contrivance which the railroad men called a "Y," and which is made by a circular track from the "Wellington branch" across to the main line, we started homeward. After turning the curve coming down to the bridge, the engine ran afoul of a handcar which had been put on the track by some mischievous boys, who left on hearing the approach of the engine. Had it been dark the engine would undoubtedly have been ditched; and was only just stopped in time to avert the catastrophe. We arrived at the depot in Winfield about 6 o'clock, in a condition which may be described as "Sherman's luck," having
Arkansas City Traveler, OCTOBER 8, 1879.
Yellow Bull's Speech at the Cowley County Fair.
At the request of the fair managers, Yellow Bull, 2nd chief, Red Elk, chief of a band, and Yellow Bear, a young chief, all of the tribe of the Nez Perce Indians, were escorted to the grounds of the Cowley County Fair by Mr. C. M. Scott, on Friday last. They were invited to the platform with the Governor, and after the Governor's speech, Yellow Bull responded through his interpreter, Capt. Chapman, saying that he was glad to meet the people there. Last summer he fought the whites, but wanted them to know now that he knew how to make friends. The Great Spirit made this world for them all to stand on, and he wanted to live like one people, under one roof, with one law to govern them all. He said that he knew that the people were friendly towards him because they did not turn away from him as though they were mad.
The Chiefs took a great interest in the display of fine stock, especially horses and cattle, and showed their appreciation of the same. In the fine art hall the things that called out the most praise from Yellow Bull were a tanned dog skin, and a variegated rug, which he remarked would make a good saddle blanket.
We hope that each fair may be visited by a delegation of Indians, and that every delegation will be treated with the same respect that was shown to these, and have no doubt but that it will reach our neighboring tribes with a civilizing influence.
Arkansas City Traveler, OCTOBER 8, 1879 - EDITORIAL PAGE.
The Cowley County Fair.
To criticize properly the recent display at our county fair, we must take into consideration all the surrounding circumstances, which would help or mar a good display. To give the managers and officers credit or discredit in the conduct and details, we must bear in mind that we are a new county, that heretofore our fairs have not been financially a success, that to present charges of bad faith this year,
Taking these things into consideration with the fact that they were unable to offer enough inducements for speed, to make the speed ring a success, we are bound to say that under the circumstances, the managers have done well, and that we believe that with the success financially of this year, the society can offer inducements sufficient by another year to make the Cowley County Fair equal to the best.
The ladies department as usual was well represented and made a display worth taking time to look at. The agricultural display, although not large, was sufficient to show the capacity of Cowley county soil to produce grain and vegetables equal to the best raised anywhere.
Right here we offer an idea with regard to the exhibit of grains and vegetables, which is that each exhibitor should furnish so that the public can read its information in regard to kind, manner of culture, land raised on, bottom or upland, amount per acre, and every other item which may teach the people the way to secure a better crop and more of it.
The display of sheep, although small, was good. The representations of the Merino and Coarse Wool sheep, both showing that some of our farmers are taking an interest in introducing the best of stock. From careful inquiry we find that this branch of stock raising has scarcely a drawback, if the first stock are entirely free from disease.
The cattle display we do not think was a large or as fine as the county can do even now, but at the same time the gentlemen making the display deserve thanks for the effort they made considering the small chance they had to get pay for their trouble and exhibited some very fine animals all the way through from Durham to Jersey's.
The showing of horse stock should be larger next year. We have them in the county, and they should be induced to come out, believing as we do that any county can raise the standard of its horses to a high grade as well as it can raise scrubs. We believe that a general showing of horses and their colts will tend to vast improvement in this respect. Give the large premiums to the horses that show the best stock.
Of the speed ring we will say that no more competent gentleman or harder worker could have been selected, and that we don't believe many besides Bill Hackney could have worked up the entertainment he did under the adverse circumstances and lack of inducement to horse men he had to contend with. As it was, the races were fair and gave good satisfaction.
To close, let us say to the farmers you must not expect to go to a fair simply to look on if you want that fair to be a success. There may be a good many just like you, and then how will the county show anything. We say commence in time and resolve that you will show something and that it shall be the best of the kind, and if a good many of you do this you will go home saying we have had a rousing old fair, whether you take a premium or not.
Capt. C. M. Scott, with his Indians, was the center of attraction last Friday. C. M. has the thanks of the association as well
A very large crowd gathered on the fair ground last Friday to hear Gov. St. John speak. The officers of the association had announced that he would be here on Thursday, but he was taken ill on the road and telegraphed that he could not get here until Friday. He spoke from the judge's stand, and was listened to with eager attention by the sea of faces around him. His speech was full of good points, and contained some advice in regard to small farming and machinery. In the evening he was tendered a social reception at the residence of C. A. Bliss.
Last Saturday ended the most successful fair ever held in Cowley county. The display, especially of blooded stock, was large, and shows that our people are awake to the advantage of well-bred over common scrub stock. We hope this may result in rooting out the old scrubby breeds that are so numerous at present.
The department alloted to
The herd of Durhams owned by Mr. Heath received much notice from stock men, and were ceartainly a fine lot of cattle. They carried two premiums.
The three Short Horn cows and calves, owned by N. J. Thompson, showed many fine points, and carried the blue ribbon.
The premium three-year-old bull, graded Durham, owned by Mr. Limbocker, was without doubt the finest three-year-old on the ground.
Marsh & Lee's herd of thoroughbreds received much notice and were decorated with both red and blue ribbons. These gentlemen are old stock men and are bound to raise good stock or none at all.
Mr. Millard, of Silverdale township, exhibited two of his thoroughbred Devonshires, one of which carried the blue ribbon. Mr. Millard has long ago learned the superiority of well-bred over common stock, and is now raising some of the best calves that can be found anywhere.
Perhaps the largest and best herd of thoroughbreds in the county, owned by Mr. C. C. Pierce, of Pleasant Valley township, was exhibited here. His thoroughbred bull, "Julian," 27 months old and weighing 1250 pounds, was the envy of all the lovers of fine stock on the grounds. His grand-sire, the third Duke of Oneida, was sold at the Utica mills sale for $12,000. He is, perhaps, the most thoroughbred of any bull in the southwest.
The display of
The exhibit of J. A. Hood, of Graded Cotswolds, was very good. He took 1st and 2nd premium on best buck lamb, under one year, 1st premium on best ewes one year and over, and 1st premium on best lambs under one year. He says his flock, in fleece and increase, have netted him $4.50 per head for the last year. He is strongly in favor of coarse wooled sheep.
Mr. J. W. Thomas, of Tisdale, exhibited several of his flock of Merinos, of the celebrated Hammond stock. He sheared last spring 50 bucks that averaged 20-1/2 pounds per head, and sold the wool for 19 cents per pound.
Mr. M. N. Chaffee, who owns a flock of 900 of the common breed, exhibited several specimens. He was not present at the time we visited this department.
Several fine Merinos were exhibited by Mr. Raymond, of Knox county, Ohio, who has recently located in our county, and intends to deal exclusively in sheep and wool. He has a flock of 500 thoroughbred Merinos, and is decidedly in favor of fine wooled sheep.
Mr. Meech exhibited several of his Merinos, and carried off two premiums. He recently sold from his flock over twenty thoroughbred bucks, which will be scattered throughout the county.
The exhibit of Mr. S. S. Holloway, of Berkshire and Poland China, crossed, was very fine, and received much notice. He has taken great pains in the selection and crosses of the different breeds, and has a good lot of hogs.
The thoroughbred Poland China boar, owned by Mr. Wood, carried a whole tail full of blue ribbons, and was a magnificent hog.
Mr. N. F. Wright exhibited several of his thoroughbred Berkshire hogs, which were considered the finest lot there. One boar, 11 months old, and weighing 300 pounds, with not enough hair on his skin to make a tooth brush, attracted as much attention as any hog on the grounds, hardly excepting the 1010 pound hog belonging to Mr. W. J. Hodges.
Mr. C. C. Pierce also exhibited several of his fine Poland China hogs, of which breed he has the best in the county.
The yearling colt, exhibited by Mr. Jas. M. Marshall, was undoubtedly the finest animal of his age on the grounds. He was one year old the 15th of June, weighs 1040 pounds, and is Norman and Messenger. He carried off two premiums.
Mr. C. G. Handy, of Tisdale, exhibited a colt five months old, weighing 578 pounds, Norman and Messenger, which was a perfect beauty.
Mr. Treadway also exhibited a five months cold, graded Norman, weighing 510 pounds. It took a red ribbon.
The graded Norman colt, owned by Mr. Furman, attracted much notice, and is a promising animal.
Mr. Joel Mack exhibited a two-year-old colt, which had many fine points.
Mr. Stout, of Richland, also exhibited a two-year-old mare, and carried off two premiums.
Several colts exhibited by Mr. Chas. Eastman, were universally admired, and were as promising colts as we saw on the grounds.
J. L. Johnson, of Maple City, had one of the best mule colts that we ever saw. It was one year old, and weighed 780 pounds. It carried a blue ribbon.
Mr. Hurst exhibited a splendid stallion, which was the center of attraction for horsemen. It took the first premium in the sweepstakes ring.
There were a large number of horses exhibited, whose owners we did not see. Altogether the display in this department was very fine.
One coop of Buff Cochins deserve special mention, and were admired by all who saw them. There were also several choice specimens of Dark Brahmas, Golden Pheasants, and Pekin ducks. We think the display in this department was as fine as any we have seen.
The display of
Taken all in all, the fair has been a grand success, and our people may well feel proud of the display. Messrs. Bacon, Kinne, Burden, and other officers of the association have worked unremittingly to place it upon a solid foundation, and deserve much credit for their labors.
OCTOBER 16, 1879.
"Major Cohen was on the first train that entered Winfield on their new road, and takes a great deal of pride in telling of the vast concourse of people, a brass band and a four-horse omnibus that were in waiting for them at the station, for besides the train men, he was the only passenger on board."CMonitor.
Cohen must have been drunk. Had he been sober, we think we should have recognized him. We came down on that first train. But few people were at the Winfield depot waiting for the train, but there were two omnibuses and other carriages, which were quickly filled with passengers and driven uptown.
Charlie Clayton tells the following story illustrative of the crowded state of the Winfield hotels during the fair, and as the story is reasonable, "we take it in" without a murmur. A couple of regular lodgers at the Olds House were out rather late one evening, and when they came in, found a couple of transients occupying their bed sleeping as soundly as a log while every nook and corner in the hotel large enough to lie down in was filled. The regular lodgers were not to be cheated out of their sleeping facilities in that way, so they stood the two transients up in one corner of the room and went to bed in their places. When they woke in the morning, the transients were still standing asleep, but soon awoke and remarked that
A very remarkable freak of lightning occurred in Pleasant Valley township last week. During a thunder shower the lightning struck the house of Mr. B. B. Wells, the electric current passing down the stove pipe into the stove, and then out the stove door and through the door of the house into the open air. When the lightning struck the house, Mr. Wells was standing between the stove and the door, the current passing over his feet, striking them just above the instep and tearing his boots to ribbons. We never saw a pair of boots so completely demolished. The most remarkable part of the performance was that Mr. Wells escaped with only a scratch on the ball of one foot. His son, who was standing near the door, was stunned so that he did not recover for some time.
OCTOBER 16, 1879.
ED. COURIER: In my saunterings about your beautiful little city, during the past few days, certain things have come under my observation, which I furnish herewith. Give them to the "comp." or the waste-basket, as you please.
Stencil-plate sign-writing, in a town where so much printing can be had for so little money as here in Winfield, does not speak well for the enterprise of the parties who use that style of advertising. "Oysters stued and fride" graces the front of a new restaurant on Main street. We takes our "wraugh!"
On dit, that a wedding in high-life is on the tapis, and the time draweth nigh when the bridegroom cometh.
Apropros of the above, it is said that certain of the fancy things which carried away first premiums at the late fair were part and parcel of the bridal trosseau. Pretty enough, they certainly were.
Talking about the fair, how is it that three or four individuals received first premiums on the same kind of stock or article? Has "somebody blundered," or is it a sort of mutual-admiration society?
And how is it that a foreign newspaper office is allowed to compete with the home offices on printing? Is not this doing our friends of the Telegram an injustice?
And who is responsible for the wholesale gambling carried on, night and day, on the fair grounds?
But there were so many mysterious things connected with the fair that I refrain from asking any more conundrums, but will fling in just one interrogation point in a matter in which everybody is interested. Would it not be well to arrange a railing at the post office general delivery, in such manner that persons could approach the window only one at a time and in regular turn? It is very annoying to a lady, or a modest man, after having waited ten or fifteen minutes, until the crowd begins to thin out, to have a fresh influx of saucy boys and men crowd to the front, without as much as "by your leave," or "d__n your soul," or "any other bit of politeness."
I am pleased to see the placards announcing the Emma Leland Theatrical Combination. I speak by the card when I say this is a fairly-good company and worthy of patronage.
A gentleman from the cast remarked in our hearing, on the fair ground, that a better-looking or better-dressed crowd could not be convened in any agricultural community in the States, than was there assembled.
The success of the "fakirs," in the various gambling schemes licensed by the managers of the fair, demonstrates the unwelcome fact that there are just as many "suckers" to the square rod here in Winfield as any place else.
I notice the little subterranean daily is dealing sledge-hammer blows at that glaring nuisance, the Saturday street auction. But the Telegram has not yet struck at the root of the matter. Not only is the institution a nuisance, by reason of the uproar and obstruction of the streets, but it is an unmitigated swindle, as well; a mock-auction, in fact, in which the purchaser, and not the article, is the thing sold. Frequently a single animal is put up and sold (?) as many as five times in one day. I do not know that all the auctioneers have
Next Sunday services will be held at the little Catholic church, on 8th avenue, at the regular hours. The services are interesting, and you will be welcome. Father Kelly, of Topeka, the new priest, is expected to officiate.
I tumbled against an itinerant spectacle-pedlar, on one of the back streets, who knew more (I took his word for it) than all the opticians since the time of Galileo. Good people, there are men of honor doing business in Winfield, who handle such articles, and who, you may be confidentCif they do not know much about the goods, or how to fit themCwill not swindle you any quicker than would a stranger, and whom you know where to find if they do.
The keno room is apparently doing a fine business. The medical, legal, and literary talent, as well as the bone and sinew of the city, is well represented at its nightly sittings, and the cry of "Stop her!" "Hold her!" etc., alternates regularly with the monotonous 4C11C44 of the caller. As this institution of learning is only tolerated by the city authorities for the sake of the money they expect to get from it in the way of licenses, fines, and costs (as is claimed with the saloon nuisance), I would suggest that it is about time they were "run in" again.
Curious, isn't it? That men and women who have lived in towns all their lives have not learned to "keep to the right?" It is not only amusing, but ludicrous, and sometimes ridiculous to see handsomely-dressed ladies and gentlemen, bowing and scraping and dodging to avoid collision, simply because they failed to observe this simple rule, "Keep to the right." A good rule in politics and religion, as well as in walking and driving.
By the way, can you or anyone tell what imp of discomfort prompted the city fathers to construct such narrow walks at many of the street-crossings? Either a fellow or his girl must go in the mud these dark nights. The idea of Indian file is preposterous.
Hand-bills are out for a birthday "fizz" in honor of one of our enterprisng merchants, on Thursday evening. Of course, it will be one of the most "rechurchy" affairs of the season. (They always are, you know.) We should like to go, but fear we shall not be able to attend for several reasons.
1.Girls are a sine qua non, and we have no girl.