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After the emigrant train left Garden City officers telegraphed to Lakin and had Cartney's partner, who had kept shooting from the rear platform, arrested. He was brought back and taken before Justice of Peace H. M. Wheeler. He was told that he had committed a terrible outrage, and that he was probably the cause of the death of his friend. A sort of trial was held, and the jury was then sent out to deliberate on what they had better do with him. They returned directly, and one of the men had a saddle rope. Their faces looked very grave, as they announced they had decided on a "neck-tie party". The man was almost scared to death, but they showed no mercy, and started to take him out. At that moment a train whistled. The Justice of Peace cleared his throat. "Men," he said, "let's give him a chance. If he can catch that train he is a free man. What do you say?" There was a shout of assent, and the man was turned loose. He bolted like a flash of lightning. Probably the foot race he made to catch the train broke the record for all time in Garden City, but he made it and got away. No doubt he thought he had narrowly escaped being the victim of real "Western justice", but the fact was that the trial and the whole proceeding was all a bluff to teach him and others like him a lesson.

Garden City, a village in the unorganized county of Sequoyah, was incorporated and became a city of the third class on January 13, 1883. An election was held January 26, 1883, at which time the following city officers were elected: C. J. Jones, Mayor; J. A. Stevens, George W. Ricker, A. Hurst, and 0. T. Knight were elected councilmen, and J. L. Dunn police judge.

There were approximately three hundred people living in Garden City. The poll books of the first election show there were thirty-four votes cast, and the names of the voters were: N. C. Jones, A. H. Burtis, J. W. Lewis, M. E. Wolf, George Edwards, M. J. Abbott, P. C. Pegan, T. A. Wright, W. H. Butts, J. L. Dunn, W. E. Carr, H. W. Crow, A. J. Shorb, L. A. Bearsley, J. E. Biggs, B. B. Black, J. D. Hose, George W. Ricker, John A. Stevens, C. J. Jones, J. S. Edwards, J. J. Erisman, Daniel Goff, J. H. Jones, R. M. Morton, H. S. Lowrance, George H. DeWaters, Wm. D. Fulton, A. Hurst, B. L. Stotts, H. M. deCordova, H. M. Christian, B. Russell and Geo. Martin.

The first ordinance was adopted February 8, 1883. It prohibited the running at large of cattle and all live stock within the city limits. The second ordinance related to offenses against the public safety, principally to regulate the speed of trains through the city limits, and to restrain them from holding street crossings for longer than five minutes. An ordinance was passed April 30, 1883, requiring property owners to erect hitching racks in front of their premises, that growing trees might be properly protected.

George T. Inge, an ambitious young merchant, came to Garden City to establish a store in the spring of 1883. This was his first independent business, and he continued to sell goods in Garden City for the next twenty-four years. For a few years of that time, the store was conducted as Inge Brothers. Mr. Inge married Miss Sallie M. Finnup March 11, 1903, and they have one son, George.

The Kansas Lumber Company established a lumber yard in Garden City early in 1883. L. Nean Akers was the manager from September 1, 1883, until 1889. They were the first lumber company in Western Kansas to build iron sheds, and probably sold more lumber than any other one yard, their sales often amounting to $20,000 per month. In 1886 they put in a branch yard at Scott City. The lumber to start that yard was shipped to Garden City and then hauled across country in wagons. The first wagon train of lumber they sent to Scott City consisted of ninety-six loads, drawn by a continuous stream of teams. Including those ninety-six loads there were one hundred twenty-nine hauled out from the yard that day.

The first burials made at Garden City were on the private property of George E. Morgan on the brow of the hill north of town, but he objected to his land being used for this purpose. In December, 1882, Joseph W. Weeks offered to sell a tract of land to be used as a cemetery on his land north of town. This offer was accepted. February 2, 1885, an ordinance, No. 27, was passed and approved by the city making an appropriation to pay Mr. Weeks for the five acres of ground which was outside the city limits. That ordinance also provided for the survey and platting of the ground; for the sale of lots therein; and for a sexton to take care of the cemetery. In the spring of 1885 Squire Worrell agreed to furnish and plant 200 trees and guarantee them at 20 cents a piece. He also agreed to wait until the spring of 1886 for his pay.

In June 1884, Jacob V. Carter came to Garden City and engaged in the mercantile business with his brother, N. M. Carter, who had located in Garden City in 1879. The Carter Brother's Hardware Store is one of the oldest establishments in Garden City. The Carter families are distinguished as being steadily progressive, and they have prospered accordingly.

J. W. Mack came to Garden City in June, 1884, and developed a fine farm north of town. In the spring of 1886 he planted thirty acres of trees, his order amounting to $718. This included 1000 apple trees, 500 peach trees, and 100 each of plum, pear and cherry trees, and 10,000 Concord grapes. Also a variety of berries, shrubs, and ornamental trees. His son, George H. Mack, opened a grocery store in 1889, and has been in the same room in the Windsor building since that time. Working with him is his brother Robert Mack.

One of the saddest affairs that ever occurred in this section was the strange disappearance of Joseph Foy, a lad of eleven years, son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Foy, who lived northeast of Garden City. He left his home on horseback to hunt the cows about noon on April 16, 1884, and was never seen again. The whole country was scoured over but not a trace could be found. Three days later the horse was found north of Syracuse, at a point sixty miles from his home. The horse, saddle and bridle were all right. The rope bridle rein was tied around the front leg of the horse, and proved that the boy had got off and hobbled him. Several well-beaten trails lay between the horse and his home, and since the boy was well used to prairie life it is thought impossible that he had wandered away.

On September 17, 1885, more than a year later, Dr. J. W. Holmes received a telegram announcing that a skeleton had been found thirteen miles north of there. Mr. and Mrs. Foy, accompanied by the coroner, Dr. Lowrance, and attorney W. R. Hopkins, left on the train at once for Syracuse. They learned that settlers had found the skeleton laying on the prairie. The parents recognized the boots and clothing as that worn by their son when he left home. He had a sore foot and had cut a hole in his boot on account of it; he had also tacked a piece of saddle girth on the sole, and these marks helped to identify them. The bones were gathered up and taken to Syracuse where an inquest was held, and the following verdict was reached after considerable consideration:

"We believe the skeleton before us to be that of Joseph Foy and we further find that he came to his death by means unknown to this jury." The jury was strong in the belief that there had been foul play, but there was not enough evidence on which to base a verdict of that kind. The bones were placed in a tin box and brought to Garden City and buried near the Foy home.

During the years of 1885-86-87 a rush was made for Western Kansas, and a settler came in for every quarter section. The United States Land Office was located at Garden City and this drew people to Southwest Kansas, and they came to Garden City to make filings on their land. There were also many contests to be settled, and this brought many men of the legal profession. I. R. Holmes was agent for the sale of lands of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad and the offices of himself and his excellent partner, A. C. McKeever, were located at Garden City. During the year 1885 this firm sold thousands of acres of railroad and private land.

The streets of Garden City were crowded with horses, wagons, buggies and ox teams. Long lines of people stood out in the weather waiting in turn to call for mail at the post office, and there was always a crowd in front of the United States Land Office to make filings on land. The space in front of the door would be jammed with people at closing time, and they would be there long before opening time in the morning. In order to escape the crowd during closing hours, the officials used a ladder both in entering and leaving the building, which they lowered from a rear window.

A serious incident took place in front of the United States Land Office October 24, 1885. There had been a change made in the office and the register, H. P. Myton, was very angry over the deal, and seemed to think Col. B. L. Stotts was responsible for bringing the change about. On this day Col. Stotts drove in after a trip to the country and stopped in front of the office about 2 p.m. Myton was standing in the door and as soon as he saw Stotts he drew his gun and with a curse started to push his way toward him, for as usual there was a long line of people waiting in front of the office. Instantly the crowd parted and the two men began shooting at each other down this open aisle, firing nine shots. Stotts had a small revolver and shot Myton in the breast and also shot his finger off, and then he stopped. Turning his gun up, he exclaimed, "The damn thing is empty." He stood still and faced Myton, who was swearing to kill him, and was holding him with a fatal aim, but just as he pulled the trigger, some one struck the gun. The bullet missed its mark, but it hit Stotts in the leg, just below the knee. The men were taken to their homes, and it was thought Myton would not live. Feeling ran high among the citizens of the town, and certain friends of Mr. Stotts took it upon themselves to guard him, fearing trouble in the event Myton should die. But Mr. Myton recovered quickly, while Mr. Stotts was confined for a long while with his wound, and it left him lame for the rest of his life.

Garden City grew very rapidly and soon reached a population of six thousand. About fifty large and small additions were laid out to the town, and there was much speculation in buying and selling lots. The largest additions were those of C. J. Jones and John A. Stevens. Both were true pioneers of a new country and each pushed his addition and spent fortunes in building up properties far ahead of the needs of the country. There was keen rivalry between these two, and their efforts to out-do each other did much to boost the town. But in the depression which followed the boom, property values shrunk, and their holdings went into other hands for merely a small part of the original cost. The following notes from the Garden City papers of 1886 show a little of the spirit of rivalry which existed between the two men:

"Mr. Stevens bought a strip of land just west of the Buffalo Hotel, paying $1,500. He now owns the outlet to Grant Avenue, and intends to hold it to prevent any more buildings going up in that direction, and thus force the business to go to Main Street, where his property is. Signed, C. J. Jones."

"If Jones is elected, I will not build the opera house. Signed, J. A. Stevens."

"Mr. Stevens would have abandoned this months ago if he could reasonably have gotten out of it. The facts are, it looks as though the opera house has all been a myth, as he has advertised the third time for bids, and has each time cancelled them, except the last, and it will go as before, no doubt. Signed, C. J. Jones."

"Jones is going ahead with his stone block and that compels me to build. Signed, J. A. Stevens."

C. J. Jones built the "Buffalo Block" from stone quarried at Kendall, Kansas. Mr. Stevens built the opera house, and then went Jones one better in 1887, by building the Windsor block to a height of four stories. These were built mostly of brick that were manufactured in Garden City. The night the Stevens Opera House was formally opened a committee of Mr. Stevens' friends raised a fund, and presented him with a $65 gold-headed cane, which they bought of W. G. Dickinson, jeweler. Mrs. Stevens, beautifully dressed, entered her private box through a door which connected it with her suite of rooms in the Windsor Hotel. Her appearance with a group of friends always created a stir in the audience.

Mr. Jones donated a block in his addition for court house purposes, and so did Mr. Stevens. Each was determined to hold the building to his addition. But these men, while business rivals, were not enemies. Many years after the boom of 1886, just before his death, Mr. Jones wrote affectionately of Mr. Stevens:

"John Stevens and I shared many ups and downs with a small number of sturdy pioneers. Some of our achievements will stand out as `footprints in the sands of time'. Some of the landmarks of the town are the Stevens block, the Buffalo block, and the thousands of trees we planted, and the hundreds of miles of irrigation ditches that were built." His daughter Olive added to the letter:

"Papa is very feeble now, and can hardly stand alone, and it is only a question of time until he goes on that `last adventure'. He has had a wonderful life and enjoyed to the full the glorious time he had. He is quite ready to go on and meet his old friends over there. His thoughts and conversation are largely of John Stevens, Frederick Finnup, the Fultons and John Biggs, and others whose lives were interwoven with his own. He said one day: `I would like to move into the old court house (Jones Addition) and die there. I would like to lie and watch my old friends pass by, and look through the windows at the buildings we erected there. Garden City has always been home to me.

During the height of the boom the town had nine lumber yards. Lumber was hauled from these in all directions to build up inland towns, and to improve the homesteads over the country. Thirteen drug stores were in operation. The town had two daily newspapers. Everybody used coal oil lamps and a few were on posts up and down Main Street, as street lamps. There was no city water works, and everybody drank from wells, which were strong of alkali, as they were only put down to the shallow water. Ice was $2.50 per hundred.

Passenger trains of two and three sections came in daily, loaded with people and most of them got off at Garden City. It was a common joke that the trains might as well stop at Garden City for everybody got off here.

S. P. Reynolds of the Reynolds Land Company of Dodge City, and his father P. G. Reynolds, operated stage lines all over Southwest Kansas. From Garden City to Leoti; Springfield, Fargo Springs; Hartland to Hugoton; Granada to Springfield, Colorado. Mr. Reynolds says: "I have enjoyed life during what I think has been a very interesting period. The one thought which now comes to mind is personally seeing transportation from bull trains to airplanes.

The prairie adjacent to Garden City was dotted with ever-changing groups of tents and covered wagons, the temporary homes of people waiting to file on land. There were many rooming houses and hotels, but they did not have rooms enough to accommodate all the people. The Metropolitan Hotel, Dr. F. Hall, prop.; Kankakee House, W. 0. Finch, prop.; Valley House, A. S. Van Patten, owner. The Buffalo Hotel was built by C. J. Jones in 1885, and the Windsor Hotel was built by John Stevens in 1887.

The streets were graded in February and March, 1886, and on March 12 a street sprinkler was put on the streets with J. Grantham in charge.

The Garden City Railway Company filed a charter December 2, 1885. The capital stock was $5,000. Directors were: R. A. Baird, H. P. Myton, A. C. McKeever, all of Garden City; E. J. Hudson and J. A. Hudson of Lincoln, Ill. Allen Ditson, proprietor of the Larned Foundry, was awarded the contract to build a mile of street railroad and furnish two cars. Consideration $3,000. The cars were built at Larned and shipped to Garden City. The line began at the Santa Fe depot and extended north on Main street one mile. The cars were small and were pulled by a mule team.

Several manufacturing projects were in operation; the Western Planing Mills, of Hillyer and Green. This firm employed twenty-five to thirty men and turned out all kinds of wood work; the Carriage and Wagon Shop of Davidson & George; L. C. Reed, concrete stone works; Robert & Malernee, Plow Works; P. H. Hall, Hillyer & Green, Stewart & Haynes, and J. L. Wiley, Brick Works. These four brick yards made more than 500,000 bricks per month. The Arkansas river carried a large volume of water, and there was much talk of a flour mill and various larger industries being built and operated by water power. Surveys were made by various men to establish a cane sugar factory in Garden City.

The first calaboose was built in May, 1885. It was 12x16 feet and 7 feet in the clear, and was built of 2x6 timbers, spiked together.

The Garden City Water Works was installed in the spring of 1886. It consisted of two pumps of a combined capacity of 1,500,000 gallons per day, two boilers, and an engine house, a stand pipe eight feet in diameter and one hundred and forty feet high. This stand pipe stood until April 28, 1896, at which time it was blown over by a strong wind.

The Garden City Bank was the first to be established in Southwest Kansas. It was opened for business about February 1, 1884, with a capital stock of $50,000. J. W. Rush was president; C. M. Niles, vice-president; and W. S. Bish, cashier. The First National Bank was organized in the spring of 1886. Authorized capital stock $200,000, and it started in with $50,000 paid up. The officers elected were Chas. E. Niles, president; Andrew Sabine, vice-president; C. E. Morrison, cashier; and W. S. Bish, assistant cashier. At that time it was the only National bank in Western Kansas. The Bank of Western Kansas was opened for business October 15, 1885. Capital stock $50,000. I. R. Holmes, president, and J. M. Dickey, cashier. The Finney County Bank was organized 1885. A. J. Hoisington, president; H. P. Myton, vice-president; A. H. Adkinson, cashier. Directors, Frederick Finnup, George H. DeWaters, A. Bennett, A. J. Hoisington and H. M. deCordova.

The Garden City Building and Loan Association received its charter in July, 1885. The capital stock of $1,000,000 was to be paid in weekly installments of twenty-five cents each. The directors were: Andrew Sabine, J. V. Carter, C. W. Morse, C. F. M. Niles, A. W. Stubbs, Geo. H. DeWaters, J. H. Borders, W. 0. Finch, and W. E. Thralls. Dr. Andrew Sabine was elected president, and J. V. Carter vice-president.

Not all of the people who came to Garden City in 1885-86 were boomers. A great many substantial business firms were established at that time by men who have remained permanent residents since that time.

The name Hoskinson has been continuously and honorably identified with the history of the legal profession in Finney county since 1885. Andrew J. Hoskinson came to Finney county in 1885. He was a hard-working lawyer, giving the closest attention to the business that engaged his time and abilities. For some years he was a partner of William R. Hopkins under the firm name of Hopkins & Hoskinson. His two sons were Albert and Ralph, both lawyers.

The firm of McGee and Bill, General Hardware, was established in 1885, and E. C. Bill has been actively engaged in business since that time.

H. M. Knox has been a resident of Garden City since March 18, 1886. The capital of about $1,400 which he brought with him was invested in a store and bakery. Two generations of people, including most of the pioneers and all of the later residents knew his store under his individual name of H. M. Knox. Many pioneer Finney county people look back now and wonder what they would have done if it had not been for the credit extended them by H. M. Knox. He has been succeeded in activity by his oldest son, George S. Knox, who has spent his life in Garden City as a merchant. Other children of Mr. Knox are Dwight, Howard M. Junior, Edith and Ethel. Eugene died at the age of fifteen.

The Dickinson Jewelry Store is one of the oldest firms in Garden City. It was established March 9, 1885, by G. W. Dickinson. His son, C. E. Dickinson, took over the store in 1891, and has conducted the business continuously since that time.

B. F. Stocks began his career as a lawyer in Garden City in October, 1885, but his activities were not confined strictly to the legal profession. He entered the real estate field as a buyer and seller. His office was also a medium of making loans and abstracts. His son, Ralph C., was associated with him for many years until his death in 1922, and has now succeeded him in the business. Other children in the family were Herbert G., Edith, Brainard R., Ruth E., and Mary Belle.

James M. Dunn, Sr., opened his store in Garden City in the mid-eighties and operated it many years. For a number of years, later, it was under the management of his son, Frank M., Jr. At the present, J. M. Dunn and Donald of the third generation are conducting the business.

Miss Mary Hopper came to Garden City in 1885 and took a claim near Pierceville. She returned in February, 1886, to make settlement. Miss Hopper has devoted the greater part of her life to the school interests of Garden City and Finney county. Miss Hopper began teaching in Illinois in 1873, and was continuously connected with school work until 1927, making her a record of fifty-four years in service. Thirty-seven of those years were in the schools of Finney county. Her salary has varied from $25 to $125 per month. Miss Hopper is still ambitious at seventy-seven, but is now retired.

George 0. Abbott who has lived in Garden City since 1882 and has witnessed most of its development, gives the following account of the first telephone system and electric light plant in Garden City:

"When the depression took place the country was depopulated even more rapidly than it had settled up, and after a time the ones who still had faith in the country began gathering up some of the wreckage that lay mostly in real estate. An eastern trust company had come into possession of the Windsor Hotel and D. R. Menke was made their agent. In 1898 he persuaded them to make an appropriation to build a small electric light plant to light up the hotel, and as much of the town as would use lights. I was employed to operate the plant, look after the plumbing and heating systems, and in this way I became the first electric light and power plant operator in Garden City.

"Mr. Menke soon found that with his banking business, hotel and farming interests, he needed telephone service, and as an experiment, three telephone instruments were installed in the fall of 1900, one in the First National Bank, one in the Windsor Hotel office and one in the Santa Fe depot. This was the first telephone system in Garden City. The need of a more extensive system was apparent, and after careful deliberation, Mr. Menke purchased an automatic telephone switchboard of 100 instrument capacity, with seven phones connected to start with. R. M. Lawrence had No. 2 installed in his office, which was the first phone, because No. 1 would not work, and he has retained the same number throughout all the changes of the company. George Menke was in charge until he was obliged on account of poor health to change climate and Clarence Thomas became my assistant. The telephone exchange and the light plant expanded steadily until they were loaded to capacity. A few engine and dynamo were bought for the light plant, 1905, and a new manual call 250 drop switchboard for the telephone exchange."

When the first telephone line was built trees were growing on both sides of Main street. These interfered with the wires, but the citizens who had lived here and knew the value of trees in Western Kansas would not allow them to be cut, and the telephone poles were set down the center of the street.

The first long distance telephone out of Garden City was a line nine miles long, and was built in 1902 to ranches belonging to Bruce Holcomb, W. P. Gunar and Sam Leonard, all living northwest of Holcomb. J. A. Cobb lived on the Leonard place when the telephone was installed. Sam Austin built the line and was assisted by C. E. Dickinson. They received $175 for building the line. Another line was built a short time later to the Bullard, Burnside, and other ranches south of town.

One does not explore very far into the history of Finney county before coming upon the activity of those men who followed the profession of physician and surgeon. They began coming into this region as early as 1879 to offer service to the scattered population, for the dugouts and sod houses were often miles apart. In the years that followed they travelled over wide stretches of prairie on horseback or in buggy. There were no telephones, improved highways or automobiles. It involved tremendous physical toil and hardship to be a doctor in those days, but they never stopped to figure the cost to themselves, ministering with all their skill to any who called.

Dr. R. N. Hall was the first physician to locate in Garden City. He came in the spring of 1879. Dr. Morrison came next. Both of these men left in a short time for want of practice. Dr. H. S. Lowrance came to Garden City in 1881, and hung out his shingle as physician and surgeon. He had a large and lucrative practice and remained in Garden City several years. He married Miss Ida Rich of Garden City in 1884.

H. D. Niles, M.D., came to Garden City in 1885. He was a member of the firm of Huber & Company, druggists, and was a popular physician.

Joseph W. Holmes came to Garden City about 1883, and practiced successfully for a number of years.

Dr. Andrew Sabine came to Garden City July 1, 1884, coming here from Marysville, Ohio. He was a thoroughly competent and educated physician and surgeon, and had the love and respect of everyone. In later years he was connected with banking and other business institutions of the city, and engaged extensively in cattle ranching. He died in Garden City February 14, 1915. A great block of granite has been placed to mark his grave in Valley View cemetery, and the Andrew Sabine junior high school was named in his honor.

Dr. 0. L. Helwig was a successful physician and surgeon in Garden City for a long term of years until his death. He first had a small hospital over Dunn's store for awhile, and then for several years he and Dr. Chas. Rewerts maintained a hospital in the building now used by Garnand's funeral home.

For a number of years after his graduation from the University Medical School in Kansas City, Dr. Chas. Rewerts was associated with his old friend, Dr. Helwig. In 1916 he built a modern 25-room hospital at 612 Fifth street. In 1928 he and Dr. 0. W. Miner built the 50-room addition to the Rewerts-Miner Hospital, which will ever stand as a monument to the services of Dr. Rewerts. His death, which occurred suddenly December 17, 1930, caused sorrow to hundreds to whom he had ministered.

Loren V. Miner has the longest record of service in the medical profession of any in this region. He was born in Athens county, Ohio, March 14, 1860. He graduated from the Columbus Medical College in 1886. In search of a location, he first came to Garfield county and established himself at Eminence in 1887, and continued to live there long after Garfield county had lost its identity. Since 1913 he has lived in Sublette, and is still active in general practice. Oliver W. Miner has followed the profession of his father, and for a number of years has lived in Garden City, in connection with Dr. Rewerts of the Rewerts Miner hospital.

Dr. R. E. Gray has been a druggist and successful physician in Garden City since 1885. Thinking he could give better service to patients living at a distance, he bought a Locomobile in the spring of 1901. This was the first car to be used by anyone in Garden City. It was a steamer, and until the doctor bought a condenser, it would run out of water about every ten miles, but at that he got over the county faster than with a horse and buggy.

Dr. G. L. Neal, a graduate of the New York Medical School, came to Garden City from Salem, Indiana, in May, 1886. He retired after twenty years of general practice at the age of seventy-six. Dr. Neal is now ninety-six years old and the oldest member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the United States.

POSTMASTERS OF GARDEN CITY



  • David R. Menke, October 8, 1878, to June 16, 1881.
  • Norman C. Jones, June 16, 1881, to August 11, 1885.
  • Hiram N. Christian, Aug. 11, 1885, to February 18, 1886.
  • Lewis C. Martin, February 18, 1886, to April 19, 1890.
  • David W. Pitts, April 19, 1890, to May 15, 1894.
  • Enos L. Stephenson, May 15, 1894, to July 1, 1898.
  • Joseph C. Kitchen, July 1, 1898, to February 28, 1907.
  • Israel L. Diesem, February 28, 1907, to December 13, 1909.
  • Raymond E. Stotts, December 23, 1913, to August 5, 1922.
  • Charles I. Zirkle, August 5, 1922, and still serving.
  • J. E. Baker came to Garden City in 1885. For a number of years he engaged in banking and in the cattle industry. Since 1905 he has been continuously in the mercantile business.
Note: Text taken from "Conquest of Southwest Kansas" by Leola Howard Blanchard, which can be ordered through the Finney County Historical Museum.

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