History of Greene County, Missouri
1883

R. I. Holcombe, Editing Historian


Chapter 16
History of the County from 1875

Part 1
1875—Miscellaneous—Bond Meetings, Chinch Bugs, Floods, Crimes, Casualties, etc. 1876 — Celebrations — The Big Flood — The Political Campaign — Reception of Col. Phelps — A Greene County Man Elected Governor — Representative Districts — Census. 1877 — Suicide of Saml. Fulbright — Murder of Bion Mason — School Statistics — During the Great Strike. 1878 — Miscellaneous — The Murphy Movement — Meeting of the Missouri Press Association — The Grange — Anti-Bond Meeting — The First Train Over the "Gulf" Railroad — The County Bond Litigation — The Greenbackers — Elections.


1875—MISCELLANEOUS.

Bond Meeting. —June 14th there was a large public meeting at the court-house in Springfield, to consider the railroad bond question. The county, in its efforts to escape the payment of its bonds, had been defeated, and the county court had refused to appeal the case. Many members of this meeting were among those whose names were signed to petitions asking the county court to issue the bonds in the first instance, and now they wished the county to refuse to pay them, for the reason that they claimed the court had no power to issue them, after being induced to do so by their own prayers and petitions. Hon. S. W. Headlee presided. A committee on resolutions composed of T. A Reed, Ira S. Haseltine, Sol. Cotner, T. J. Whitlock, and H. C. Young, the latter one of the attorneys for the county in the suit decided against it, reported a resolution asking the county court to appeal the bond case of Heidekoper vs. Greene county. After speeches pro and con by Young, Nathan Bray, Garoutte, Haseltine, and Odell, the resolution passed by nine majority.

Chinch Bugs.—This season the chinch bugs were very destructive to the crops of this county, and this also was the "grasshopper year," when such great damage was done in Johnson, Henry, and other counties to the northwest of this. To abate this latter pest, Governor Hardin ordered June 1st to be held as a day of fasting and prayer by the people of the State, and the day was duly observed in Springfield. Later in the same month a concert was given at Springfield for the benefit of the grasshopper sufferers, and a nice little sun was realized. [547]

Stabbing Affray.—June 1st Amos Cooper, in an affray with R. C. Taylor, then the superintendent of the National Cemetery, stabbed the latter very badly, so badly, in fact, that his life was despaired of for a time. The affray occurred in Annie Boyer's house of ill-fame, in the southwest part of Springfield.

Died. — J. S. Garoutte died suddenly at his residence in this county, May 31st, aged 84. He fell while walking across the floor, and immediately expired. Mr. Garoutte was one of the oldest settlers in the county, having lived here since 1837.

Taxes. -The amount of taxes levied this year was as follows:

State revenue tax

$10,414.10

State interest fund tax

13,017.68

County revenue tax

19,999.11

County poor tax

9,998.98

Railroad tax

24,990.98

School tax

30,666.14

Total

$109,086.99


The vote on the new constitution (the present), at the November election was very light, only about 800 votes being cast. The majority for the constitution was over 400.

THE STORM OF JUNE, 1875.

On the 25th of June, of this year, an extraordinary rain storm visited this county. Every little stream became a river, and the creeks were out of their banks and causing great destruction of property. Wilson's creek in Springfield was 100 yards wide. The wagon factory, the foundry, the gas factory, Eversol's mill, Schmook's mill, Raithel's lumber yard, and other building and establishments along the creek were flooded and injured, and a store building of Mr. Schmook's was washed down the stream. The damage in Springfield was at least $5,000. Two large flouring mills on Sac river, the property of Messrs. Hackney and Evans, were washed away. The storm was general throughout Southwest Missouri. So many bridges and culverts were washed out on the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad that the company asked the county courts to give time for the payment of taxes, without interest.

January 26th the election for delegates to the Constitutional Convention came off. In this district (Senatorial), the candidates were C. B. McAfee and R. W. Fyan, Democrats, and S. H. Boyd and Noah H. Hampton, Republicans. The election resulted in the choice of McAfee and Fyan. The latter gentleman (Fyan), was classed in the convention as a "Liberal." [548]

1876—THE CENTENNIAL YEAR.

Celebrations.— A grand 4th of July celebration was held at Springfield this year. The exercises were had on the Drury College grounds, which were crowded with the large attendance. Rev. E. B. Cake read the Declaration of Independence and addresses were delivered by W. W. Ellis, J. W. Mack, Charles Crawford, and Dabney C. Dade. A lengthy and interesting historical sketch of Greene county was read by Col. S. B. Boyd.

On the 5th of August an old settlers' meeting was held in Weaver's Grove, two miles west of Springfield. There was a large crowd. Mr. Junius T. Campbell, the first merchant in Greene county was the president, and Hon. D. C. Dade was secretary. Upon request of the president a large number of citizens enrolled themselves as members of the Old Settlers' Association. Speeches were made and reminiscenses related by John Y. Fulbright, E. M. Campbell, Z. M. Rountree, S. W. Headlee, F. T. Frazier, J. J. Weaver, and S. H. Julian.

THE FLOODS OF 1876.

There was a general prevalence of floods in Southwest Missouri this year. Over in Douglas county, in June, the waters were so high and rose so rapidly that many persons living along small creeks were overtaken by them and drowned. Some twelve persous living on Dry, Fox, and Bryant creeks, in that county, lost their lives in this manner, and there was great destruction of property. In this county the most damage was done about the middle of July along Sac river bottom. Hale's, Hackney's, and Appleby's mills were more or less injured, and grain stored in them destroyed, while thousands of rails and acres of growing crops in the bottom lands were washed away. [549]

THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OF 1876.

The Democrats had nominated Tilden and Hendricks, the Republicans Hayes and Wheeler when the political campaign of this year in this county fairly opened. July 19th Greene county's honored and honorable citizen, Hon. John S. Phelps, was nominated by the Democrats for Governor, and then the interest in the contest was heightened. The Republican candidate for Congress, Hon. H. E. Havens, was also a Greene county man, and as usual in political contests Greene county was well to the fore.

Upon learning that Col. Phelps had been nominated for Governor, the citizens of Springfield, almost without respect to party, arranged to give him a befitting reception on his return home from the convention. July 22, on the arrival of the "Frisco" train at North Springfield a large concourse of people were there assembled to welcome their fellow-citizen and to congratulate him on his certain prospect of elevation to the highest office within the gift of Missouri. A large procession escorted the Colonel to "old town." It was headed by the brass band and then came the "Hickory Nut Rangers," a Democratic campaign organization, the Springfield fire company, and hundreds of other citizens.

At night Springfield was illuminated, there was a great display of fire-works, and an immense public meeting was held in Market square. Speeches were delivered from the bell tower by Col. Bray, Major J. C. Cravens, Mr. McGowan, of Jasper county, Col. Phelps himself, and others. There was the greatest enthusiasm, and even Republicans, who did not intend voting for him, were warm in their congratulations of their distinguished neighbor and friend. In his brief speech Col. Phelps said he proposed if elected not to be a partisan Governor. He should extend protection to all alike, without regard to their politics, race, or color. He regarded the negro the same as the white man before the law, and should see that justice was done to the highest and lowest in the land.

The Republicans ratified the nomination of Hayes and Wheeler by a large mass meeting, June 24th. Hon. S. H. Boyd was the principal speaker. September 15th they held another meeting and went in torchlight procession over to North Springfield, and had a large meeting there. The Democrats held numerous meetings also during the campaign, and made what in political parlance is called a hard fight.

The candidates for Congress in this district were Hon. Chas. H. Morgan (Democrat), of Barton, and Hon. R. E. Havens (Republican), of this county. For representatives from this county the Republicans nominated S. W. Headlee for the eastern district and Jared E. Smith for the western. The Democratic candidates were Sam Woods in the eastern and F. T. Frazier in the western. For sheriff, A. J. Potter was the Republican and H. R. Skeen the Democratic nominee. For treasurer, A. F. Ingram (Republican), and W. G. Porter (Democrat). At the November election the following was the vote by townships on president, Governor, congressman, representatives, and sheriff. [550]

NOVEMBER ELECTION, 1876.

[See note below chart]

Representatives

 

 

President

Governor

Congress

W. District

E. District

Sheriff

 Townships

 TILDEN

 Hayes

 Cooper

 PHELPS

 Finkelnburg

 Alexander

MORGAN

Havens

Haseltine

FRAZIER

Smith

Lawson

WOOD

Headlee 

 SKEEN

 Potter

 Garoutte

Campbell, 1st Precinct

199

272

10

202

271

14

205

258

15

--

--

--

200

272

181

291

12

Campbell, 2d Precinct

186

302

8

192

300

5

187

296

7

--

--

--

188

300

175

321

4

Campbell, 3d Precinct

305

263

18

306

261

15

298

265

16

280

260

19

--

--

284

285

16

Campbell, 4th Precinct

201

163

7

198

164

--

203

163

4

185

164

8

--

--

191

176

5

Clay

55

83

--

56

81

--

58

76

--

--

--

--

52

81

52

82

--

North Springfield

114

73

1

112

75

1

105

82

1

--

--

--

107

77

112

75

1

Washington

54

91

2

53

88

2

54

88

2

--

--

--

57

88

56

88

--

Taylor

66

83

4

66

83

4

67

82

3

--

--

--

69

83

67

82

1

Jackson, Strafford

46

63

24

46

65

20

47

64

22

--

--

--

69

60

50

67

10

Jackson, Fair Grove

111

76

--

117

76

--

110

75

--

--

--

--

105

73

102

73

--

Franklin

105

145

--

102

146

--

109

139

--

--

--

--

99

149

101

147

--

Robberson

86

116

1

79

118

--

89

104

2

72

112

3

--

--

74

124

--

Cass

157

178

10

153

179

5

166

177

2

136

183

17

--

--

172

173

--

Walnut Grove

78

80

2

76

82

1

80

71

--

52

80

23

--

--

79

81

--

Boone

174

161

4

172

163

3

171

162

3

164

160

7

--

--

172

165

1

West Center

32

65

12

35

67

6

37

65

6

29

62

17

--

--

35

70

3

East Center

100

34

9

98

34

8

100

34

8

98

34

7

--

--

96

37

8

Brookline

136

162

11

140

166

1

146

155

2

--

--

--

146

163

134

171

2

Wilson Creek

82

77

1

80

80

1

82

77

1

--

--

--

83

7+

71

84

--

Pond Creek

28

79

10

32

78

6

33

76

6

29

75

11

--

--

32

80

--

TOTAL

2315

2566

134

2315

2577

92

2347

2509

100

1045

1130

112

1175

1422

2236

2672

63

NOTE: Democrats in SMALL CAPITALS; Republicans in Italic; Greenbackers in Roman.

The vote on other offices was: For collector, A. H. Wilson 2,415, L. A. NEWTON 2,228; for treasurer, A. F. Ingram 2,435, W. G. PORTER 2,175; for county judge, Benj. Kite 2,479, SAMPSON BASS 2,169; for county attorney, W. D. Hubbard 2,340, J. R. WADDILL 2,317; assessor, D. W. Turner 2,338, J. G. DALLISON 2,220; surveyor, I. N. Jones 2,458, H. M. PARRISH 2,210; public administrator, S. H. Julian 2,423, I.WILSON 2,185; coroner, Anthony Fisher 2,307, DR. VAN HOOSE 2,220. Charley Morgan'e majority over Havens in this congressional district was 747. The district (then the 6th) was composed of the following counties: Barry, Barton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Greene, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Polk, Stone, Taney, Vernon, and Webster. [551]

REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICTS.

 In July the county court, agreeable to the provisions of the new constitution, divided the county into two representative districts, the eastern and western. The following is a copy of the order of the court making the division:

Whereas, under the present Constitution of the State of Missouri, it is made the duty of the court to divide this county into two representative districts, and under which each of such districts will be entitled to one representative in the House of Representatives of this State from and after the general election, to be held in November, 1876. It is, therefore, ordered and decreed by this court that Greene county be, and it is hereby, divided in accordance with the requirement of said Constitution, and for the purpose and object as before mentioned the division shall be as follows, to wit. All that territory embraced within the present limits of the following townships shall be known as the western representative district of Greene county, viz.: Robberson, Cass, Walnut Grove, Boone, Center, Pond Creek and all that portion of Campbell township embraced within the present limits of the third and fourth precincts of said Campbell township, as defined by an order of record of this court on the 11th day of January, 1873, in Record Book C, page 268. All that territory embraced within the present limits of the following townships shall be known as the eastern representative district of Greene county, viz.: Brookline, Wilson, Clay, Washington, Taylor, Jackson, Franklin, and all that portion of Campbell township embraced within the limits of the first and second precincts of said Campbell township, and including the town of North Springfield, as defined in said order of record of January 11th, 1873. [552]

THE CENSUS OF 1876—POPULATION.

 

White Males

White Females

Total Whites

Townships

21 and under 45

45 and over

Total white males

21 and under 45

45 and over

Total white females

Total white population

Whites between 6 and 18

Whites can read and write

Campbell

377

158

1222

365

164

1211

2433

837

1459

City of Springfield

711

319

2183

856

227

2269

4452

1280

2973

North Springfield

216

51

513

192

35

492

1005

274

669

Cass

228

104

829

229

91

770

1599

521

959

Clay

97

45

349

93

48

359

708

229

424

Center

232

104

882

229

105

881

1763

632

1060

Brookline

185

67

585

178

51

577

1162

375

697

Boone

248

88

919

237

78

893

1812

575

1097

Franklin

183

78

638

187

84

580

1218

380

555

Jackson

164

84

655

180

76

590

1245

386

557

Pond Creek

81

33

311

83

44

297

608

213

244

Robberson

159

67

567

173

63

555

1122

351

673

Washington

102

44

416

85

43

385

801

284

480

Walnut Grove

109

51

373

113

41

353

726

189

435

Wilson

120

38

395

111

30

383

778

266

466

Taylor

151

64

486

128

56

434

920

272

471

Total

3,363

1,395

11,323

3,439

1,236

11,029

22,352

7,064

13,219

 

 

 

Colored Males

Colored Females

Total Colored

 

Townships

18 and under 21

21 AND UNDER 45

45 AND OVER

Total colored males

18 and under 21

21 and under 45

45 and over

Total colored females

Total colored population

Colored between 6 and 18 years

Colored can read and write

 Total Population

Campbell

4

40

17

176

8

50

25

191

367

139

92

2800

City of Springfield

29

156

62

528

40

242

78

673

1201

356

280

5653

North Springfield

4

4

3

21

1

7

--

12

33

9

9

1038

Cass

8

11

4

55

3

15

9

55

110

39

10

1709

Clay

--

2

2

15

1

1

3

10

25

10

10

733

Center

--

1

--

2

--

1

--

2

4

--

--

1767

Brookline

--

1

--

1

1

--

--

1

2

--

--

1164

Boone

13

8

2

47

5

14

5

49

96

30

10

1908

Franklin

10

15

9

84

4

22

5

65

149

38

5

1367

Jackson

4

2

4

16

2

2

3

16

32

10

1

1277

Pond Creek

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

--

608

Robberson

--

6

3

25

2

7

5

25

50

16

5

1172

Washington

1

--

1

6

--

2

1

8

14

5

5

815

Walnut Grove

1

5

2

17

--

3

4

20

37

30

4

763

Wilson

2

18

8

61

1

21

6

44

105

33

51

883

Taylor

7

13

8

58

6

17

7

58

116

33

6

1036

TOTAL

83

282

125

1,112

74

404

151

1,229

2,341

728

478

24,693

LIVE STOCK AND PRODUCTS.

 

Live Stock

Products

Townships

Horses

Mules

Jacks

Jennets

Cattle

Sheep

Hogs

Wheat

Bu. Corn

Bu. Oats

Bu. Rye

Lbs. Tobacco

lbs. Wool

Tons Hay

Gal. Molasses

Campbell

816

281

2

7

1289

1150

3633

26168

211765

1107

500

7112

2200

1886

3040

City of Springfield

612

55

00

00

736

35

928

00

00

00

00

00

00

00

00

North Springfield

57

4

00

00

74

00

171

00

00

00

00

00

00

00

00

Cass

679

256

00

00

1338

1157

2845

22610

138185

7515

645

3265

2314

865

3298

Clay

238

162

2

7

455

535

1094

10828

58260

2100

00

9400

1070

246

600

Center

579

231

1

10

1142

1318

1841

42120

140255

11000

500

3000

2336

1262

2000

Brookline

387

159

1

2

648

1189

1356

17140

77050

2150

00

2000

2357

385

500

Boone

554

265

2

00

839

1006

3069

36718

129325

5516

550

1550

2012

523

2187

Franklin

509

230

2

5

675

998

2023

10048

70860

5841

253

14715

1175

427

2858

Jackson

586

195

00

00

904

1570

2322

6886

61304

11466

335

18425

2279

287

2754

Pond Creek

254

54

00

00

344

538

694

9720

49730

550

00

1000

1076

487

500

Robberson

483

146

00

00

767

1075

2137

8610

62030

4790

525

7250

2140

519

2021

Washington

248

169

2

5

344

468

1437

5219

48015

2835

00

32350

1074

220

475

Walnut Grove

286

77

00

00

551

587

1662

5181

41862

2803

151

8150

1210

126

1105

Wilson

266

182

1

00

661

815

1707

20737

100450

2060

00

4000

1630

447

450

Taylor

281

176

00

00

510

709

1791

7550

54823

4130

349

38715

1395

327

2124

Total

6838

2642

13

36

11277

13150

28710

229529

1243914

73833

3808

150932

24268

8007

23912

1877—SUICIDE OF SAMUEL FULBRIGHT.

March 20th Samuel Fulbright, an old and well known citizen of Greene county, living just west of Springfield, committed suicide, to the astonishment and horror of his friends and the general regret of the community. A short time previously he had lost by death his devoted wife, to whom he was much attached, and after she had passed away he was extremely low-spirited and seemed broken- hearted. For a few days before his decease he had been slightly ill. [553]

On the evening of his death Mr. Fulbright caused search to be made by sundry members of his household, for a vial of strychnine, which had been in the house for some time, saying he wanted the poison to administer to his hogs as a remedy for some disease. It was not found at the time, but after the other members of the family had retired, Mr. Fulbright procured it himself, and took a fatal dose, leaving the vial and spoon on the table by his bedside. After the poison had begun to take effect, his little boy was awakened by his father's struggles, and the family was aroused and some of the neighbors called on. Dr. Means was sent for, but the deadly drug had done its work, and Mr. Fulbright expired about midnight. When the neighbors came in he was yet in condition to admit that he had taken the fatal dose with suicidal intent, as he was tired of life and wanted to join his wife in a better world.

Coroner Fisher held an inquest over the body of Mr. Fulbright, and the verdict of the jury—J. B. Lawson, C. R. Evans, J. H. Cay nor, S. Stone, G. W. Fricke and J. J. Weaver—was in accordance with the foregoing statements.

As before stated, Samuel Fulbright was one of the early pioneers of Greene county, being a member of the Fulbright family whose members were among the first settlers. In August, 1854, he was elected sheriff of the county, and one of his very first official acts was to hang old Willis Washam for the murder of his step-son; but the silly story that this act had anything to do with his self-slaughter was false as it is unreasonable and preposterous. (The reader will find particulars of the Washam case in another chapter).

BURNED TO DEATH.

On the 3d of April a little girl, four years of age, a granddaughter of Allen Mitchell, was burned. to death in a clearing near Springfield. Her clothing caught fire from the smouldering of a brush heap and she was fatally burned before the flames could be extinguished. [554]

MURDER OF BION MASON BY CHARLES LEIGHTON.

About the 1st of January, 1877, a young man named Bion was killed by a companion, named Charles Leighton, at a low dance in the suburbs of Springfield. The two young men, it is said, had no previous enmity toward each other, but, on the night mentioned, were engaged in drinking and other revelry of a questionable character. Being half crazed with whisky, a quarrel arose between them over a trivial matter—a position in a quadrille—the favor of a siren—or some such thing. A broil took place upstairs in the building where the dance was held, but the young men were separated before either was hurt. Mason then went down stairs whither he was followed by Leighton, who shot him through the heart.

Leighton was arrested, indicted, and, on being arraigned, pleaded guilty to the charge of murder and was sentenced to the penitentiary for life.

KILLED BY LIGHTNING.

August 25th a young man named Wm. Carter, aged about 17, a son of a widow living on Clear creek, while driving his team along Jefferson street, in Springfield, nearly opposite Drury College, was struck by lightning and instantly killed.The mule team was knocked down but soon recovered. The casualty was witnessed by several badly frightened ladies. The remains of the unfortunate young man were taken to Kassler & Paxson's, undertakers, where an inquest was held and a verdict rendered according to the facts above set forth.

SCHOOL STATISTICS.

According to the report of School Commissioner M. H. Williams, the number of white persons of school age (between 6 and 20) in the county this year was 8,047, as follows: Males, 4,030; females, 4,017. Number of colored persons of school age, males, 435; females, 509; total, 944.

Number of white scholars attending the public schools during the year—males, 2,493; females, 2,640; total, 5,133. Colored—males, 250; females, 280, total, 530.

Number of teachers employed in the county during the year—male, 62; female, 51; total 113. Average salaries per month—males, $38; females, $27. Amount paid for teachers' wages during the year, $12,690. Number of white schools in operation, 105; colored, 6. Number of school houses in the county, 105. [555]

DURING THE GREAT STRIKE.

Of July, 1877, while there were daily received exciting news from St. Louis and other places, nothing of consequence occurred in this county. The railroad men held a meeting in North Springfield, resolved in favor of a restoration of wages to a former standard, and appointed a committee to confer with the railroad authorities to that end, but depreccated violence of any sort. A number of the members of the meeting withdrew and organized anew on the outside. Everything passed off quietly.

DEATHS IN 1877.

April 27, in Springfield, Louisa Caroline Turner, wife of D. W. Turner and a daughter of John Ropes, one of the pioneer ministers of the M. E. Church in Missouri. Mrs. Turner was one of the first native white children in Greene county, having been born in 1833. She left an infant, two weeks old.

June 16, Hon. Chesley Cannefax, of apoplexy, aged 69. He was born in Campbell county, Virginia, September 1, 1808. He came to this county with his father in 1831, and was the second sheriff after its organization. Mr. Cannefax's public services are fully mentioned on other pages of this history. He was the last member that petitioned for the establishment of the first Masonic lodge of Springfield. During the civil war he was a Union man, and for some years was a justice of the peace. At the time of his death he was master of the Springfield grange.

July 19, Prof. Geo. R. Ashley, the first chosen professor of Drury college.

1878—MISCELLANEOUS.

In January Alfred Adams (colored) was appointed coroner, in the room of Anthony Fisher, who had removed to Douglas county. Adams was voted for by County Judges M. J. Rountree and Benj. Kite. The other county judge, J. T. Morton, voted for Dr. Van Hoose. Adams was the first colored man to hold a county office in this county, and his first services were to bold an inquest over the body of Joe McKinney, killed by Calvin Eldridge. [556]

The Murphy temperance movement struck Greene county in Jannary of this year and lasted until in March. There was considerable interest manifested. Very many meetings were held in Springfield, Ash Grove, and other places. Those signing the pledge wore a red ribbon as a token of their identity with the great reform movement then sweeping the country. At Springfield over 3,500 persons took the pledge; and several hundred dollars were raised for the good of the cause. At Ash Grove 600 names were obtained and $1,100 raised. By March 1st the following number of names were reported from other localities in the county. From McCrary's school house, 124; from Kickapoo, do., 120; Ross's do., 120; Rock Springs, do., 132; Hopedale, do., 26; Bellview, do., 76; Ward's, do., 139; Bill's, do., 100; Walnut Grove, 150; Pisgah, 122; Republic, 126; total, 1,135.

During the prevalence of yellow fever at Memphis, Holly Springs, Grenada, and elsewhere in the South this summer Greene county sent down over $700 in aid of the sufferers. More than $600 were sent from Springfield alone.

MEETING OF THE MISSOURI PRESS ASSOCIATION IN SPRINGFIELD.

May 21st the Missouri Press Association convened in annual session at Springfield. About 150 editors, members of the association, and 50 ladies from abroad were in attendance. The citizens met them at the Frisco depot and escorted them into town in carriages. A formal reception was given in the opera house. Mayor H. F. Follows and Hon. John S. Phelps made reception speeches, which were responded to by Col. J. E. Hutton, of the Mexico Intelligencer, who was the president of the association at that time. Other addresses before the association were delivered by J. B. McCullagh of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat; Col.. T. S. Case, of Kansas City; and T. W. Park, of the Platte City Landmark (the latter a humorous address, subject "Babies").

The session lasted three days, beginning on Tuesday. Wednesday was devoted to business. In the evening there was a ball in the opera house hall, which had been profusely and appropriately decorated. A banquet was spread in the Odd Fellows Hall, and 200 guests sat down. Hon. John S. Phelps presided. Numerous toasts were proposed and responded to, and a poem was read by J. H. Turner, of the Carrollton Record. Thursday there was a railroad excursion to Ash Grove and return, and then, after passing highly complimentary resolutions to the citizens of Springfield for their great generosity and kind treatment, the association adjourned. [557]

THE GRANGE.

This year the Grange organization, or order of Patron's of Husbandry, flourished more than in any other year of its existence. Its county secretary, Mrs. N. M. McKibben, was active in pushing forward its interests, in publishing its proceedings, and in various other ways keeping it in the public view. Numerous meetings were held, several picnics given, and various other assemblages of the order were had. But in this year, also, the Grange went into politics. The doctrines of the Greenback party were indorsed in the meetings, and other questions of party politics became topics of discussion. The majority of the Grangers were Greeenbackers.

DEATHS OF PROMINENT CITIZENS IN 1878.

February 15th, Junius T. Campbell died. Mr. Campbell is mentioned on other pages of this work as the first merchant in Springfield, the first postmaster, etc. He was a native of Tennessee and came to Greene county in 1830.

Mrs. Mary E. Phelps, wife of Hon. John S. Phelps, died January 25th, of pneumonia. A biographical sketch of this noted and noble lady appears elsewhere.

Judge Wm. B. Farmer, died in May. He was born in Robertson county, Tenn., Sept. 20, 1811. He came to Greene county in 1840.

April 7th, Joseph H. Goodin, died in Cass township, near Cave Spring, at the age of 80. Mr. Goodin came to Greene county in 1842. He was one of the 42 Republicans that voted for Lincoln in 1860.

ANTI-BOND MEETING IN SPRINGFIELD.

This year the opposition to the collection of taxes for the payment of either principal or interest of the coiinty's railroad bonds took the form of a large public meeting, held at Springfield, May 21st, under the auspices of the National Greenback party. Numerous suits had been instituted against parties who had refused to pay their railroad taxes, pending the decision of what were regarded as test cases in the Supreme Court. The beginning of these suits had caused great dissatisfaction.

The Greenback party had openly declared its hostility toward the payment of the county's bonds, and to it were soon gathered, as to King David when he went up to the cave of Adullam,—"every one that was in distress, every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented." At the meeting in Springfield, speeches were made by W. B. Garoutte, F. J. Underwood, Ira S. Haseltine, and John McCabe. The Adullamites were numerous and enthusiastic.

Resolutions were adopted, with cheers, protesting against the further collection of railroad taxes; that the bonds of the county, amounting to $123,000, which had never been issued or sold should be destroyed, and that Judge Geiger should allow some "impartial judge " to sit in his place in the trial of any and all railroad cases. [558]

While the meeting was in progress in the hall two young men named Cunningham, who were outside, were arrested by a policeman and incarcerated in the calaboose. A few minutes later their father obtained from the marshal an order for their release, and at the head of a wild crowd went down College street to the calaboose, and extricating his sons, with threats of tearing down the building, if the door was not opened "d — d quick," a sentiment that the crowd applauded.

THE FIRST TRAIN OVER THE SPRINGFIELD AND WESTERN RAILROAD.

In the spring of this year track-laying began from Springfield westward on the Springfield & Western Missouri railroad, now called the Gulf road. Iron was brought over the Frisco road to Junction City and from thence the work proceeded. As Mr. Escott, in his "History of Springfield," says, this was the first railroad track ever laid within the limits of Springfield, and the first road that could really be claimed by this city; so it is not strange that more than an ordinary degree of interest was felt by the citizens in the laying of the last few rails, which should connect the city with the great net-work of railroads of the country.

About 3 p.m., on the 20th day of May, 1878, the people of Springfield were startled by the prolonged whistling of the engines in the wagon factory and the iron works, and by the ringing of the alarm bell in the bell tower in the center of the public square. Nearly all at first thought it was a fire alarm, but in a few moments word was passed from one to the other that it was the signal announcing the approach of the first regular train on the Springfield & Western Missouri railroad.

This discovery, however, did not check, but rather added to the excitement which prevailed upon the streets, and hundreds of people—men, women and children, white and black, old and young—were seen hastening toward the depot, or gathering in groups along the brow of the hill which commands a view of the track. When the whistles began to blow in town they were answered by the shrill whistle of the "Thomas A. Scott," the locomotive which was bringing in the train, and a halt was made near the bridge over Wilson creek to give the crowd sufficient time to secure suitable places of observation. Four or five hundred of the more eager and enthusiastic "citizens and small boys" went up the road to meet and welcome the train. For a few years the train only ran as far as Ash Grove, and it was not until in the fall of 1882 that train ran through to Kansas City, and the track was extended eastward from Springfield towards its final terminus, Memphis, Tennessee. [559]

THE COUNTY BOND LITIGATION.

In this year fairly began that long period of litigation over the railroad bonds of the county issued in aid of the Springfield & Western railroad, with other aliases. In November Judges Kite and Dillard, of the county court (Judge Rountree dissenting) employed Messrs. Thrasher & Young, attorneys, of Springfield, to assist the prosecuting attorney in defending the county in a suit brought against it by J. Weil, one of the holders of the county's bonds. The compensation of Messrs. Thrasher & Young was to be $5,000, "and in addition to said $5,000 the additional sum of five per cent on all sums they may relieve and save the county from paying, whether it be bonds or unissued subscriptions, and pay said five per cent when any part of said subscription of bonds may be defeated," as well as all of certain traveling expenses.

There was great dissatisfaction at the employment of additional counsel on the terms named, and the judges were roundly denounced for their action. But the contract was made and signed and the attorneys went to work.

THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN OF 1878.

The political fight this year in Greene county was a three-sided one, and no longer only between the Democrats and Republicans. The Greenback party had come to the fore with its demand for the abolition of national banks; that the general government alone should issue the money of the country, which money should be of sufficient volume to meet the demands of all regular and legitimate business; that the bonds of the country should be retired as rapidly as possible and no more issued, and taking a liberal stand generally in favor of what it called "the masses of the people and against their oppressors, the gold-grabbers and Shylocks of the country.:

In 1876 the vote in this county for Peter Cooper, the first Greenback candidate for President, was insufficient; in 1877 the number of Greenbackers had increased somewhat; in 1878 they were very formidable, and, taking a bold stand against the payment of the county's railroad bonds, attracted to their ranks numbers of men, who were not wholly in sympathy with their financial theories generally. [560]

All three of the parties had full State, district, and county tickets in the field, supported by their respective stump orators and newspapers, and the canvass was of considerable interest. Greene county, as has been customary, had a Congressional candidate in the person of Hon. J. E. Waddill, the Democratic nominee. The following was the general result of the November election in the county: It will be seen that the successful candidates on the county ticket were pretty evenly divided in numbers among the three parties.

For Supreme Judge.—Alex. F. Denny (Republican), 1496; E. H. Norton (Democrat), 1957; E. L. Gilstrap (Greenbacker), 1385.

Congress.—J. R. Waddill (D.), 1456; C. G. Burton (R.), 1434; M. H. Ritchey (G.), 1922.

State Senator.—J. B. Perkins (D.), 1421; H. E. Havens (R.), 1171; H. F. Follows (G.), 1996.
RepresentativesEastern District.—J. H. Show (D.), 436; S. W. Headlee (R.), 900; M. V. Ingram (G.), 1039. Western District.—D. C. Dade (G.), 865; Wm. Denby (R.), 662; C. F. Leavitt (D.), 750.

The following officers were elected: Representatives, M. V. Ingram and D. C. Dade, Greenbackers; county judges, Benj. Kite and Chas. Likens (Rs.), and R. Dillard, (G.); sheriff, A. J. Potter (R.); collector, A. H. Wilson (R.); circuit clerk, J. R. Ferguson (R.); Recorder, Jesse Kelley (R.); treasurer, A. F. Ingram (R.); prosecuting attorney, O. H. Travers (D.); county clerk, J. D. Van Bibber (D.); probate clerk, E. D. Ott (D.); coroner, Dr. Z. Van Hoose (D.); assessor, M. O. Bedell (D.). [561]


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