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The Seminole War of 1816 and 1817 – Indian Wars

After the close of the war with Great Britain, in 1815, when the British forces were withdrawn from the Florida’s, Edward Nicholls, formerly a colonel, and James Woodbine, a captain in the British service, who had both been engaged in exciting the Indians and Blacks to hostility, remained in the territory for the purpose of forming combinations against the southwestern frontier of the United States. Nicholls even went so far as to assume the character of a British agent, promising the Creeks the assistance of the British forces if they would rise and assert their claim to the land which had been ceded to the United States. As an aid in effecting their purposes, Nicholls and Woodbine erected a fort on the Appalachicola River, between East and West Florida, as a rendezvous for runaway Blacks and hostile Indians. In July, 1816, upwards of four hundred Blacks and Indians were collected at this place, which was strong by its position, well supplied with ammunition and provisions, and with twelve pieces of artillery. To break up this horde of outlaws, Colonel Clinch, with a detachment of United States troops and five hundred friendly Indians, under the celebrated McIntosh, proceeded from the head waters of the Appalachicola, and laid siege to the fort on the land side. After exacting an oath from their followers not to suffer an American to approach the fort alive, Nicholls and Woodbine left the fort to their keeping. To supply Colonel Clinch’s forces with munitions and provisions for the siege, two schooners, from New Orleans, proceeded up the river on the 10th of July, under convoy of...

Biography of Rev. William E. Means

Rev. William E. Means, proprietor of the Atwood Herald, was born at Paris, Edgar county, Illinois, June 28, 1850. He attended the district school during the winter, working on prepared to enter Paris high school. In 1874 he matriculated at the Northwestern University, and was graduated from the theological department of this well-known institution in the farm (luring the summer months, until the class of 1879. After graduation he was admitted to the Minnesota conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was appointed pastor of the Rushmore charge, where a hand-some four-thousand-dollar church was built, free from debt. In the middle of the second year he was appointed to Lu Verne, where the church was greatly blessed during his labors with a sweeping revival, the church completed, and the way prepared for the paying- off of a crushing debt. Finding the Minnesota winters colder than he liked, he found an opportunity, in the spring of 1884, to transfer to South Kansas conference, where during the year he was instrumental in building two places of worship, a temporary building in Fort Scott, Kansas, which afterward became Grace church, and a beautiful village church at Hiattville, Kansas. The two years following were spent at Moran, Kansas, and were very fruitful. More than a hundred were gathered into the church, and the church thoroughly organized. A pastorate of three and a half years on the Caney charge was likewise fruitful in revivals, debt paying and church building. In October, 1891, Mr. Means was invited to become pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church at Sidney, Illinois, and the following year passed a prosperous...

Biographical Sketch of Capt. John Hamilton

Capt. John Hamilton, acting under orders from Gen. Zachary Taylor, founded Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1842. He was a native of Pennsylvania, a soldier in the regular army, and first came to Kansas as a youth of nineteen and a United States dragoon, stationed at Fort Leavenworth. In 1842, as a sergeant of the First Dragoons, under Capt. Benjamin D. Moore, he left Fort Wayne, Cherokee Nation, to assist in selecting a site and to establish a military post in Kansas. There wore twenty men in the party and, after selecting the ground, the captain and surgeon of the expedition, detailed directly under Sergeant Hamilton, returned to Fort Wayne, leaving the execution of the work to the latter. Sergeant Hamilton himself cut the first tree on the site of Fort Scott on the 9th of April, 1842, an additional working force was sent in the following month, and in June Captain Moore, with two companies of the First Dragoons, arrived to take command of the post. Maj. William M. Graham and Capt. Thomas Swords were afterwards placed in command, Hamilton being quartermaster sergeant under the latter. He was then appointed ordnance sergeant by the secretary of war and ordered to Fort Jessup, Louisiana. After serving his term of enlistment in the army Sergeant Hamilton returned to Fort Scott in March, 1855, and became a permaneut resident of that place. During the border troubles he was made captain of the first company of militia, which was organized in January, 1859, and experienced considerable rough service. In 1865 Captain Hamilton moved to Sheridan Township, Crawford County, and was elected from that...

Biography of Col. Lewis R. Jewell

Various members of the Jewell family have been well known at Fort Scott and vicinity for many years. Both Col. Lewis R. and his son, by the same name, were active, and the father quite prominent, in the days of the Civil war. He came of old Massachusetts lineage, moved to Ohio early in life, and while a resident of Washington County married Susan Hutchinson. Mr. Jewell became interested in river transportation, and when he moved to St. Louis, several years before the war, was the owner of several boats plying the Mississippi and Ohio, and had reached the rank of “Captain.” In 1859 Captain Jewell located in the central strip of Kansas near Arcadia, and there established himself as a farmer and stock-raiser. By the vigorous resistance of settlers, in which he was a leader, the aggressive Cherokecs were barred from the country, but to make their tenure more secure a delegation of the whites was sent to Washington to seek Government backing and to protect the settlement of a large contemplated colony from the East. The captain was one of this delegation, but before anything definite was accomplished the Civil war broke like a sudden storm on the country, and colonization and all else were thrust aside in face of the great danger and disaster. Captain Jewell had been known as a strong democrat, and some had even denounced him as pro-slavery, but when the danger of disunion loomed he rejected an offer of service in the Confederate army and joined a company of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry of the Union forces. He was elected captain of...

Biography of William R. Smith

One of the fine buildings bordering the State Capitol grounds at Topeka is the Kansas State Printing plant. That is the official headquarters of William R. Smith, state printer, and also secretary of the State Printing Commission and chairman of the School Book Commission of the state. Doubtless any citizen, and particularly a printer, would deem it an honor to be at the head of an establishment which experts pronounce to be the equal in mechanical equipment and operating effieiency of any commercial printing establishment in the country. When Mr. Smith went into office on July 1, 1915, he brought with him a ripe experience, including an extensive service in all the grades of the printing business, years of editorial and newspaper publishing work, and perhaps best of all an inheritance and training in the progressive Kansas spirit. When the advancement of the welfare of the state is concerned, W. R. Smith can always be found in the ranks of the workers and usually among the leaders. The influence for good he has exercised as an editor in various sections of the state can hardly be overestimated. While his life has been distinctive in more than one particular, he is in every sense a typical Kansan. He was born at the old land office and capital, Lecompton, March 21, 1872. His grandparents, William L. and America C. (Barton) Smith were Kentucky peoplo who moved west in 1854, the year the Kansas-Nebraska bill was passed through Congress, and they located at Lecompton, the historie capital of Kansas Territory. Both grandparents died in Lecompton. George W. Smith, father of the state...

Biography of Peter P. Elder

Peter P. Elder, deceased, ex-lieutenant governor of Kansas, and for many years a resident of Ottawa, was one of the most notable characters of Kansas and one of the select few who gave it a unique and substantial standing among the western states of the Union. He was a native of Maine, born in Somerset County, September 30, 1823; was of North-of-Ireland ancestry and Revolutionary stock. Mr. Elder spent the first thirty-four years of his life in his native county, getting an education and teaching school. He became an ardent abolitionist early in life, and in 1857 located in Franklin County, Kansas, prepared to do his part in defending his principles and possessions. First taking up a claim near Ohio City he commenced farming, immediately joined the Kansas militia, and in 1861 President Lincoln appointed him agent for the Osage and Seneca Indians at Fort Scott. In that position he rendered valuable service to the Union by keeping the Indians to its support, and when he resigned the agency he returned to Franklin County and located at Ottawa, which had been recently platted. In the late ’60s Mr. Elder erected the first substantial residence at Ottawa, and also established the banking firm of P. P. Elder & Company. It continued a successful business until the organization of its successor, in 1871–the First National Bank of Ottawa, of which Mr. Elder was also the first president. For the succeeding thirty years he developed into one of the largest and most successful farmers and stock raisers of the county. During all that period he had also been very active and prominent...

Biographical Sketch of Charles W. Goodlander

Charles W. Goodlander was an able and large hearted business man, and among other tributes to his benevolence is the Home for Children which he founded at Fort Scott. He was a Pennsylvanian of English-Quaker ancestry, born at Milton, April 25, 1834. He obtained a partial high school education and mastered and followed the carpenter’s trade in Ponnsylvania, Maryland, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, before deciding to venture west of the Mississippi in his search for a location. Finally, in April, 1857, he arrived at Fort Scott, the first passenger to come from Kansas City by stage coach. Mr. Goodlander at once established himself at that point as a contractor and builder, in which line he continued with success for twelve years. Subsequently he became interested in the lumber trade, a large brick yard and other enterprises. The panie of 1873 much reduced the value of his properties, and in 1876 his mill and elevator were almost destroyed by a boiler explosion. He then retrieved his fortune by returning to his old business of building and contrasting, bought back his mill property and suffered a heavy loss by fire in 1887. The mill was rebuilt. For some time he was also president of the Citizens’ National Bank, and operated the Goodlandor Hotel. He invested in grain elevators, the manufacture of yellow pine and a variety of other enterprises. In 1901 he purchased the old home of his father-in-law, Col. H. T. Wilson, and converted it into the Goodlander Home for Children. This useful institution is open to dependent children of Fort Scott and vienity, and, in exceptional cases, to older...

Biography of John H. Rice

John H. Rice had the distinction of having made his mark in two states of the Union of widely different tendencies–Georgia and Kansas. He was born in Greene County, Tennessee, November 14, 1825, and his father, a native of Virginia, was surveyor of the county, named for twenty-six consecutive terms. Mr. Rice commenced his higher education at Tusculum College, in his native county, of which his maternal uncle, Dr. Samuel W. Doak, was president. He was admitted to the bar in 1845 and, a few months afterward, opened an office at Cassville, Georgia. In 1855, in addition to conducting a fair legal business, he became editor of the Cassville Standard. In the following year he was elected major general of the Twelfth Division of the Georgia State Militia, as the Union candidate, and in 1857 located at Atlanta. There he founded the Franklin Printing Company, which, under his management, had become a large book publishing concern at the time of its destruction in the Civil war. Always a consistent opponent of secession, General Rice was prevented from taking part in the War of the Rebellion on account of a stroke of paralysis which he suffered in 1861. In May, 1865, he was appointed purchasing agent for the Federal cavalry forces then operating in Georgia, and served in that capacity until the forces were mustered out of the service in August of that year. In the fall of 1865 he moved to Westport, Missouri, soon afterward to Cass County, that state, and in 1867 to a farm on Pony Creek, Miami County, Kansas. On June 22, 1872, General Rice suffered...

Biographical Sketch of Hiero T. Wilson

Hiero T. Wilson, one of the first white settlers in Southern Kansas, was born at Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky, September 2, 1806, of Virginian ancestry. His father was a native of the Old Dominion, a Kentucky farmer and for many years surveyor of Logan County. Hiero Wilson was reared on his father’s farm and had some schooling and considerable training in mereantile pursults before he joined his brother in Indian Territory during the year 1834. The latter was then post sutler and trader at Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation. In 1843, when Fort Scott was established as a military post, Hiero T. Wilson was appointed its sutler, holding the position for ten years. When the post was abandoned in 1855, Mr. Wilson continued in business and a year later, when the Government buildings were sold, bought a home on the plaza. This he transformed into a beautiful residence and there died August 6, 1892; but not before the post had become a prosperous city. As secretary and treasurer of the Town Company, of which George A. Crawford was president, he was a large contributor to its development. He purchased much real estate and platted an addition to Fort Scott; was director of the First National Bank and of the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad, and a leader in all the progress of the city and section. One of the streets in Fort Scott and Wilson County are also named in his...

Biography of Hon. Charles P. Hangen

Hon. Charles P. Hangen, who has recently finished his second term as member of the State Legislature, is one of the prominent bankers of Sumner County, being cashier of the National Bank of Commerce at Wellington. He was born in Darke County, Ohio, November 9, 1877, but has lived in Kansas since 1882. In that year his parents, Christian and Sarah Hangen, came to Kansas and located six miles southwest of Wellington on the farm still owned by Mrs. Hangen. Christian Hangen was a native of Germany and his wife of Ohio. He was successfully identified with general farming and stock raising in Sumner County until his death in 1903 at the age of fifty-five. In the meantime he had acquired a fine place of three quarter sections of land. His widow now resides in Wellington. Charles P. Hangen in addition to the local schools attended the business college at Fort Scott, and has lived in Wellington since he was twenty-one years of age. In 1906 upon the organization of the National Bank of Commerce he was elected cashier, and his financial ability and his personal popularity have been important factors in the success and growth of that institution to one of the strongest banks in that part of Kansas. Mr. Hangen is an active democrat. He was first elected a member of the House of Representatives from the Sixty-ninth District, including the northern part of Sumner County, in 1912, and was re-elected in 1914. He has served on the committees of banking, education and public health, and was especially active in shaping the health conservation law and also...
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