xt776h4crp5v https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt776h4crp5v/data/mets.xml Historical Records Survey (Kan.) United States. Work Projects Administration. Division of Professional and Service Projects Kansas Historical Records Survey (Kan.) United States. Work Projects Administration. Division of Professional and Service Projects 1939 v, 249 l. 27 cm. UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Library Program libraries and the Federal Information Preservation Network. Call Number FW 4.14:K 133/no.30 books  English Topeka, Kan.: the Survey  This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Kansas Works Progress Administration Publications Archives--Kansas--Franklin County--Catalogs Franklin County (Kan.)--History--Sources Franklin County (Kan.)--Genealogy Inventory of the County Archives of Kansas. No. 30. Franklin county (Ottawa), 1939 text Inventory of the County Archives of Kansas. No. 30. Franklin county (Ottawa), 1939 1939 1939 2020 true xt776h4crp5v section xt776h4crp5v Jl IIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

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Pnégéflgjofi” ;
’ ’COPY i V,




Prepared by
The Historical Records Survey
Division of Professional and Service Projects
work Projects Administration


Topeka, Kansas
The Historical Records Survey
August 1959



The Historical Records Survey

Luther H. Evens, National Director.
Harold J. Henderson, State Director.

Division of Professional and Service Projects


Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner.
Mrs. Harrison Parkman, State Director.

work Projects Administration

F. C. Harrington, Commissioner.
Clarence G. Nevins, State Administrator.



The Inventory of County Archives of Kansas is one of a number of
bibliographies of historical materials prepared throughout the United
States by workers on the Historical Records Survey of the Work Projects
Administration. The publication herewith presented, an inventory of
the archives of Franklin County, is number 30 of the Kansas series.


The Historical Records Survey was undertaken in the winter of
1955—36 for the purpose of providing useful employment to needy unem-
ployed historians, lawyers, teachers and research and clerical workers.
In carrying out this objective, the project was organized to compile
inventories of historical materials, particularly the unpublished gov-
ernment documents and records which are basic in the administration of
local government, and which provide invaluable data for students of
political, economic and social history. The archival guide herewith
presented is intended to meet the requirements of day-to-day adminis-
tration by the officials of the county, and also the needs of lawyers,
business men and other citizens who require facts from the public
records for the proper conduct of their affairs. The volume is so
designed that it can be used by the historian in his research in un—
printed sources in the same way he uses the library card catalog for
printed sources.

The inventories produced by the Historical Records Survey attempt
to do more than give merely a list of records -- they attempt further
to sketch in the historical background of the county or other unit of
government, and to describe precisely and in detail the organization
and functions of the government agencies whose records they list. The
county, town and other local inventories for the entire county will,
when completed, constitute an encyclopedia of local government as well
as a bibliography of local archives.

The successful conclusion of the Work of the Historical Records
Survey, even in a single county, would not be possible without the
support of public officials, historical and legal specialists, and
many other groups in the community. Their cooperation is gratefully

The Survey was organized and has been directed by luther H. Evans,
and operates as a nationuwido project in the Division of Professional
and Service Projects, of which Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner,
is in charge.





The Historical Records Survey was initiated in Kansas in February
1956, under the state direction of A. Q. Miller, and since October 1956,
when it became an independent part of Federal Project No. 1, has been
under the supervision of Harold J. Henderson as state director.

When completed the Inventory of the County Archives of Kansas will
consist of a separate volume for each county. The volumes are numbered
respectively according to the position occupied by each county in alpha-
betical order. Thus, the inventory herewith presented for Franklin
County is number 30. Although a condensed form of entry is used, a
brief description of the nature, general contents and inclusive dates
of all extant records is given, together with their location at the
tine of the survey.

The Historical Records Survey has proved itself of valuable assist-
ance to county governments in Kansas. Records have been rearranged and
made more accessible, material believed to have been lost has been diSé
covered and many county officials have been encouraged to take a greater
interest in proper preservation of their records and provide better
storage space. Since administrations are constantly changing, the in-
ventories provide new officials with a ready guide to records in their
own offices, or which may be stored in other vaults or rooms, as well as
supplying the public generally with a comprehensive epitome of all ex-
tant public archives of the county.

In Franklin County the Survey opened April 23, 1957 with an inven—
tory of the county records, which was completed Harch 28, 1958. The
finished draft then was checked against the records, which work was
completed in December 1958. The Survey was directed by Harold J. Hender-
son, state director, with Mrs. hargaret Grandle, of Pittsburg, Kansas,
acting in supervisory capacity. The research work was performed by
Mahlon Little and Nettie Donelson. The editorial work was performed
under the supervision of Walter h. harkley.

For the most part, the county officials extended every courtesy to
the workers, and a new interest was aroused by the Survey in public
records and their preservation. Much of the unbound material in the
county clerk's offiCe was grouped and rearranged to make it more easily
accessible for reference.

The various units of the Inventory of the County Archives of Kansas
will be issued in mimeograph form for free distribution to state and
local public officials and public libraries in KansaS, and to a limited




number of libraries and government agencies outside the state. Requests
for particular units of the inventory should be addressed to Harold J.
Henderson, State Director, 812 Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas.

Inasmuch as the major portion of this volume was compiled prior to
publication of the laws enacted by the 1959 legislature, no citations
are given to the law f 1939. However, no material changes affecting
county records or the functions of the county offices were made by the
1959 session.

To the public officials of Franklin County and all others whose
cooperation was received in the preparation of this volume, the State
Director and his staff extend their gratitude.

State Director
The Historical Records Survey

Topeka, Kansas
July 10, 1959











Part A. Franklin County and its Records System


Historical Sketch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Governmental Organization and Records Systemo . . . . . 15
Chart . . . . . . . a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Housing, Care and Accessibility of Records. . . . . . . 55
List of Abbreviations, Symbols and Explanatory Notes. . 56

Part B. County Offices and Their Records

Board of County Commissioners . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Proceedings. Taxation. County Property. Roads and
Bridges. Petitions and Applications. County Charges.
General Accounts: claims and vouchers; fees and reports.
Surety Bonds. Miscellaneous.

Countyclerk...................... 80
Taxation: aSsessment; budgets and levies; collection;
delinquency; redemption and refund. Fiscal Bonds.

Land records: transfers; school lands. Roads and
Bridges. Elections: registration and nomination; poll
books and ballots; election expense; contests. Oaths

and Bonds. Reports. General Accounts: lodgers; re-
ceipts; bank accounts. Registration. Licenses. Jurors.
Liquor Records. Maps and Plats. Miscellaneous.

Register of Deeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
General Recordings. Real Property: indexes; deeds;
mortgages; plats and surveys. Personal Property.
Appointments and Bonds. Miscellaneous. '

District Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Civil Cases: proceedings; case files; general dockets;
judgment and execution; workmen; bends. Criminal Cases:
case files; dockets; bonds. Jurors and Witnesses. Nat—
uralization. Receipts and Disbursements. Miscellaneous.

Probate Court. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154
General Recordings. Estates: case files; wills; letters
and bonds; inventory and appraisement; sale of property;
claims and settlements. Marriages. lfinors. Lunacy.
Liquor Records. Miscellaneous.


 Table of Contents












Juvenile Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Civil Cases. Criminal Cases.


Sheriff. 0 J O I I I I 0 I I I O I I 0 I D O l I l 0
Civil Process. Delinquent Taxes. Criminal Records.
Receipts and Disbursements. Miscellaneous.

County Attorney. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

County Assessor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Taxation. Statistical Records.

County Board Of Equalization o a o o c t l c a a o 0

County Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Taxation: tax rolls; collection; delinquency; re-
demption and refund. General Accounts: ledgers;
warrants and orders; receipts; bank accounts. Motor
Vehicles. Fiscal Bonds. Surety Bonds. Miscellaneous.

County Superintendent of Public Instruction . . . . .
Organization and Boundaries. District Officers.
Teachers. Pupils. Reports. School Funds. Mis—


County Social Welfare Board. . . . . . . . . . . . .
Proceedings. Indexes. Applications. Notices and
Appeals. Certification of Eligibility. Budgets
and Grants. General Reports. Financial Reports.

Road and Work Records. Surveys. Maps and Plats.

Chronological Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Index o I I a I g u I o o 0 v u a I o c I n a c a o I













(First entry, p. 68)


Franklin County was one of the thirty-three original counties
created by the first territorial legislature which met at Shawnee
Mission July 5, and adjourned August 5, 1855 (S.T.K. 1855, ch. 50, sec.
7). It was named after Benjamin Franklin (Kansas—TfiEifirical Collec-
tions, vol. 7, p. 475).


The area now comprising Franklin County was included in a tract of
land ceded to the Great and Little Osage Indians in 1808, and receded
by them to the federal government in 1825. Between 1825 and 1867 a
number of treaties with various Indian tribes set off parts of the coun-
ty for their use. By a treaty with the government ratified April 6,
1852, approximately 74,000 acres in the center of the present county of
Franklin, including the site of the present city of Ottawa, was ceded
to the Ottawas residing at Blanchard's Fork, Oquanoxas and Roche de
Boluf in Ohio. In 1857 the Rev. Jotham Meeker and his wife, Baptist
missionaries, established a mission among the Ottawas near the present
site of the city of Ottawa.

The first white settler in Franklin County was Reuben Hackett who
located in what is now Hayes township on June 7, 1854 (A, T. Andreas,
History of the State of Kansas, 1885, pp. 600-604).


The first territorial legislature laid out the boundaries of
Franklin County twenty-four miles square, adjoining Douglas County on
the south (S.T.K. 1855, ch. 30, sec. 7). The boundaries were more defin—
itely defined by statutes in 1857, as follows: Beginning at the south-
east corner of Douglas County; thence south, along the west boundary of
'kains County, to the southwest corner of said Lykins County; thence
west, along the sectien lines to the corner of sections 14, 15, 22 and
23, township 19 south, of range 17 east; thence north along the section
lines between the second and third tier of sections, to the southwest
corner of Douglas County; thence east, along the south boundary of said
Douglas County, to the place of beginning (L.T.K. 1857, p. 59, sec. 7).
The boundaries remain unchanged today (G.S._1§55T‘EKT‘18, sec. 130).

The legislature of 1857 incorporated the Centropolis Town Company
by an act approved on February 20. The act provided that Perry Fuller,
J. K. Goodin, John F. Javins and G. W} Smith constituted a body corpor—
ate by the name of that company. The corporation was authorized to
hold lands not to exceed 320 acres. (L.T.K. 1857, p. 315.) Centropolis
College also was incorporated by a legislative*33t approved the same
day. Joel K. Girdin, G. W} Smith, William Moore, Perry Fuller, J. F.~
Garfin and Cyrus Currier were declared a body corporate under that name
(ibid., p. 115). '

The same legislature also made provision for the appointment of
county officials to serve until officials were selected at the general
election of 1857, and designated St. Bernard, located in section 29 of



Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 68)

township 15, range 19, as the temporary county seat (ibid., p. 92, secs.
2, 5). A partial set of officers was appointed by Governor walker, and
their successors were named at the general election of that year.

All of the elective officials did not qualify and vacancies were
not filled until the spring of 1858. St. Bernard was destroyed by Free—
State men (Andreas, op. cit., pp. 605, 606) and the first recorded
meeting of the Franklin County commissioners was held March 15, 1858 at
Minneola. The county commissioners at this meeting were J. A. Mareell,
William Thornbrough and John F. Javens. (Record, 1858—68, p. 28, in
Commissioners' Journal, er try 2. ) MinneolETWEE-located in the southwest
quarter of section 50, township 15, range 19, one section west of the
site of St. Bernard (passim). The linneola Town Company had been incor-
porated that year by an act of the legislature approved on January 29
(P-L-T-K- 1858, ch. 144, secs. 1, 2). Minneola had been designated as
the*capitol of the territory of Kansas by an act of the territorial
assembly, which was passed over the governor's vote, and became effective
February 9, 1858 (G.L.T.K. 1858, ch. 65, sec. 1). The United States
attorney general dEETEEEH’EEE”Taw to be a violation of the organic act
for the territory, and Minneola failed to become the sea t of government
(Andreas, op. cit., p. 605). The building erected at Minneola for a
territoriajfeapital thereafter served as the courthouse (passim).


On December, 50, 1858, the commissioners levied the first tax for
county purposes. The rate was four mills on each dollar valuation of
taxable property, and the total value of real and personal property in
the county was estimated at W88 ,246. 57 (Record, 1858—68, pp. 56, 37,
in Commissioners' Journal, entry 2).


The legislature of 1858 provided for an election in April of that
year to select a permanent county seat (G.L.T.K. 1858, ch. 18) but there
is no record of an election ever having been held under the provision of
that act.

The legislature on three other occasions in the next five years
made special statutory provisions for the selection ofa . county seat of
Franklin County, and the sect of government was moved twice before being
permanently lothed.

The Ohio City Association was incorporated by a legislative act
approved February 9, 1859 to lay out 640 acres where the town of Ohio
was located (P.L.T.K. 1859, ch. 122, secs. 1- 3). MinneolL was incorpor«
ated as a city the same yeLr by a legislative act which became effec—
tive June 1. Under this act the incorporLtion embraced the townsites
of Centrepolis and Minneola, together with the southeast quarter of
section 30 of range 19, township 15. (Ibid., ch. 102, secs. 1- 5. )

A special act in 1860 directed again the selection of CL county
seat by electors, fixing the fourth Monday of March of tth yeL r Ls the
time of the election (G. L._T .K. 1860, ch. 54, see. 1). Three communi—
ties contested for the designation Lnd the votes polled were: Ohio City,



Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 68)

245; Peoria, 206; hinneola, 182 (Record, 1858—68, p. 52, in Commission:
ers' Journal, entry 2). Since none~offthe contestants received a
majority, a second election was held on April 16, in which the vote was
limited to the two communities having received the highest vote in the
March 26 election (ibid., p. 54) in accordance with a special lav of
1850 (GoL.T.K. 1860, ch. 54, sec. 2). Peoria received 542 votes and
Ohio City 520, and—the county commissioners declared Peoria the county
seat (Record, 1858-68, pp. 54, 55, in Commissioners’ Journal, entry 2).

Minneola, however, obtained an injunction forbidding removal of the
county records and Peoria made an appeal to the territorial supreme
court from the judgment of the district court (Andreas, op. cit., p.
606). Nine months later, while the case was still pending in the su—
preme court, the legislature passed an act which was approved January
50, 1861, providing for an election to be held on the fourth Monday of
that year for the location of the Franklin County seat (G.L.T.K..l861,
ch. 10). In this election, Ohio City led a field of five contestants,.
receiving 243 votes, but failed to receive a majority.. The other votes
were distributed as follows: Peoria, 127; Contropolis, 98; Mount
Vernon, 26; Minneola, 1 (Record, 1858—68, p. 87, in Conmnssioners’
Journal, entry 2). In a run—off election also provided by the act of
1861, Ohio City received 565 votes to 257 for Peoria, and as declared
the county seat (ibid., p. 90). However, a question of the validity of
the election was raised before the supreme court on the ground that the
act authorizing the election was illegal because it had been passed by
the territorial legislature after Kansas had received statehood (Andreas,
op. cit., p. 606). With the question of the location of the county seat
stiljfpending in the courts, the county commissioners continued to meet
at Minneola until January 8, 1862.

On April 1 of that year the commissioners held their first meeting
at Ohio City (Record, 1858-68, pp. 109, 110, in Commissioners' Journal
entry 2), which was located in the southeast quarter of section 1,
township 18, range 19, six miles south and one mile east of Ottawa. The
county offices were housed in one room of an old wooden building, and
the various officers had but one safe to share among themselves (ibid.,
p. 208).

The state supreme court at the July term in 1862 ruled that the
act providing for an election to locate the county seat of Franklin
County in 1861 was not invalid by reason of having been approved after
Kansas had received statehood. The court, in upholding the act, also
ruled that it was not invalid because it originated in the council of
the territorial legislature, declaring that the council, under the
terms of the schedule of the constitution, became ad interim state
officers on the admission of the state (Reports of_CE§es—ngued and De—
termined in the Supreme Court of the State of Kansas, vol I, 1864).


A special act of the legislature of 1863 provided for an election
to relocate the county seat of Franklin, upon petition of voters of a
number equal to two-thirds of the votes cast at the preceding general


 Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 68)

election (L. 1865, ch. 25). A petition meeting the requirements was
submitted to the-county commissioners July 5, 1864 (Record, 1858—68, p.
222, in Commissioners' Journal, entry 2). An electibnftEE held on
August 1, 1864, under the provisions of the act, and Ottawa received a
majority, polling 261 votes. Peoria received 40 votes, Ohio City 56,
and Centropolis 1. Ottawa became the permanent county seat and the
first meeting of the county commissioners was held there on October 5.
(Ibid., pp. 257-240).



The Ottawa Town Company of Franklin County was incorporated by the
state on September 6, 1864 (Corporations, office of Secretary of State,
State of Kansas, book 1, p. 15). Ihe city of Ottawa was platted Febru-
ary 27, 1865 by Clinton C. Hutchinson, vice—president, and Asa S. Lath—
rop, secretary of the Ottawa City Company (Plat Book, vol. A, p. 1;
see entry 181).

The courthouse square, comprising block 85, was purchased by the
board of county commissioners from the Ottawa Town Company on larch 17,
1865 for $1,180 (Deed Record, vol. D, p. 184; see entry 175). A special
act of the legislature of that year authorized the county conmassioners
of Franklin to issue bonds not exceeding $10,000 for the purpose of
erecting a jail, subject to a vote of the electors at the municipal elec-
tion on March 4 (L. 1865, ch. 10, secs. 1, 8). A canvass of the election
on April 50 revealed the bends carried by a vote of 204 to 58 (Record,
1858-65, p. 257, in Commissioners' Journal, entry 2). On July'8fia§§_
board of county commissioners authorized the breaking of ground for the.
jail on block 85 (ibid., p. 275), and on January 1, 1866 the contract
for the building or—tso jail was let to John Whetstone for s20,ooo (ibid.,
p. 295). _———


The townsite of Minneola was declared vacated by an act of the
legislature of 1866, approved February 26 (L. 1866, ch. 125, secs. 1, 2).
The commissioners ordered on January 11, 1868 that a quitclaim deed to
the townsite of Ohio City be given by Franklin County to H. F. Sheldon
for a consideration of $500 (Record, 1858-68, p. 428, in Commissioners'
Journal, entry 2).


The first railroad in Franklin County was the Leavenworth, Lawrence
and Galveston (Santa Fe), which was built from Lawrence to Ottawa in
1867. It was constructed southward to Thayer in 1870. (Kansas Histori-
cal Collections, 1911-12, vol. 12, pp. 47, 48.) At the oizififiifififi*”‘*‘
November 9, 1866, the electors of Franklin County had voted to subscribe
$125,000 of county bonds to purchase capital stock of the railroad, but
these bonds were forfeited (Record, 1858-68, pp. 542, 594, in.Cormissien-
ers' Journal, entry 2)° However, on September 27, 1867 the electors _“~
voted 565 to 555 to subscribe $200,000 of county bonds to stock of the
railroad (ibid., p. 598). On January 50, 1868 the commissioners assigned
$100,000 of these bonds to wm. S. Potwin and Company, contractors for the
railroad (ibid., pp. 440—444), and on June 16 the remainder were issued
to the railroad (ibid., p. 460). Agents of the Leavenworth, Lawrence and



Historical Sketch (First entry, p.68)

Galveston asked the county commissioners for the surrender of the cer—
tificates of its stock held by Franklin County, claiming this would’
remove the only obstacle to operation of the road. The commissioners,
wanting the road to operate and being "unwilling that our county should
occupy so objectionable a position before the people of the state",
agreed July 19, 1869 to transfer the county's stock for the sum of $100
(Journal, 1869—72, p. 78, in Commissioners' Journal, entry 2).


The legislature of 1867 made section lines in Franklin public high-
ways and provided for the opening of such roads upon written application
by ten freeholders to the county commissioners under the provision of the
road law; The roads were to extend one—and-a-half rods on each side of
the section line. (L. 1867, ch. 67, secs. 1, 2.)

Tell rates of the Ottawa Bridge Company were regulated by an act
of the special session of the legislature of 1868. The rates could not
exceed twenty—five cents for one vehicle drawn by not more than two
animals, and not more than twenty cents for one pleasure carriage drawn
by one horse or mule. The rate for pedestrians was not to exceed five
cents and children under twenty-one years going to or returning from
school or church in Ottawa, and funeral processions, were to pass free.
(L. 1868, ch. 54, sec. 1, Special Session.)

In September 1869 Ottawa University was opened (F.W} Blackmar, A
Kansas Cyclopedia of State History, 1912, vol. 2, p. 427). The legisla—
ture of that year exempted the Ottawa University Farm from the provisions
of the act of 1867 which declared section lines in Franklin public high—
ways, but provided that the university trustees should maintain a roadway
not less than sixty feet wide around the university famn if public
necessity required it (12“1862, ch. 54, sec. 1).

At the election April 6, 1869 the voters favored subscribing
$100,000 of county bonds to the capital stock of the Kansas City and
Santa Fe Railroad (Journal, 1869-72, p. 55, in Commissioners' Journal,
entry 2). On September 15, 1870 the voters authorized issuance of
$150,000 of county bonds to purchase capital stock of the Missouri,
Kansas and Texas Railroad (ibid., p. 227). These bonds were forfeited,
as the railroad companies failed to meet the requirements, but on June
15, 1872 the commissioners accepted a petition calling for a vote on the
following proposition: to subscribe $150,000 of county bonds to the
capital stock of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, or any other company
building and operating a line by way of Ottawa east and west through the
county; to subscribe $50,000 in county bonds to the Kansas City, Burling-
ton and Santa Fe, or any other company building a line from Ottawa to
the southwestern part of the county; to subscribe $100,000 of county
bonds to the Topeka, Ottawa and Fort Scott, or any other company con—
structing and operating a railroad across the county from northeast to
southeast (ibid., pp. 462—465). The proposition carried on July 22 by
a vote of 1:03? to 826 (ibid., p. 478). The Kansas City, Burlington
and Santa Fe was the only one of these roads that obtained the bonds




Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 68)

iSSued to it by constructing a road in Franklin County; it contracted
With the county October 25, 1875 for the building of a line and deposit
of the bonds (ibid., 1872—79, pp. 110—115).

In 1870 the legislature empowered the onmers of certain land, be-
cause of improvements made, to fence all of the land in a body for a
term of five years from April 1, 1870, providing gates were maintained
at the entrances of any highways. The act did not prevent the laying
out of roads according to the road law. The land named in this act was
secs. ll, l2, l5, 14, 23, 24, 25, 26, 55 and 56 in township 16, range
17; also, Sections 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, l6, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28,
29, 50, 31, 52, 53, 34, and the west fractional part of 55 and 56 in
township 16, range 18 (L. 1870, ch. 100, secs. 1, 2). An amendment in
1871 to the section line act of 1867 eliminated its application to
Franklin but continued the exemption to the Ottawa University Farm
(L. 1871, ch. 155, sec. 1).

A legislative act of the following year declared again that sec—
tion lines in Franklin were public highways (L. 1872, ch. 177, sec. 1).

On June 10, 1871 the county commissioners leased from H. F. Sheldon
five rooms on the second floor of his building on Main Street, Ottawa,
for county offices at $780 per year (Journal, 1869-72, p. 319, in
Commissioners' Journal, entry 2).


That year Ottawa University was suspended because of financial diffi-
culties but was reopendd in 1873 (Blackmar, op. cit.).

At the general election of November 5, 1872 the electors ordered
by a vote of 1,050 to 409 that the county commissioners appropriate not
more than $6,000 for the purchase of a county poor farm (Record of
Proceedings Board County Commissioners, vol. C, pp. 2, 15:—iETEEEfifissionw
ers' Journal, entry 2). The J. 1. Tower farm was bought for'flffifjififiiiag
“—Jan‘uary‘z'é, 1873 for $5,000 (ibid., p. 44).


On July 12, 1875'Mason and Parkman were given a lease on a site in
the courthouse square, north of the jail, for the erection of a building
to be used by them as a law office. The commissioners were to be allowed
to hold their meetings in these quarters and the county was to receive
$12 per year as rental on the ground (ibid., pp. 88, 89). On June 11,
1874 the commissioners entered into a newflease with H. F. Sheldon for
the five rooms already occupied by the county offices, with the addition-
al use of the hall for the district and probate courts, the rent being
reduced to $600 a year (ibid., p. 179).

The legislature of 1875 passed an act enabling counties of more
than 10,000 population to issue up to $20,000 in relief bonds for the
aid of the destitute, such bonds to bear 10 per cent interest and be
repaid by the county in from three to ten years. The proceeds of the
bond sales were to be invested in wheat, corn, oats and potatoes, which
were to be sold to the farmers on their notes payable in one year, thus



Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 68)

enabling them to produce a crop for that season (L. 1875, ch. 41, secs.
1—17). At a special election held March 8, the Franklin County electors
voted 894 to 522 in favor of issuing $20,000 in relief bonds (Record of
Proceedings Board County Commissioners, vol. 0, pp. 249—252, in Com-
missioners' Journal, entry 2).




There had been an almost total failure of crops in Franklin County
in 1874 due to unusual weather conditions and the ravages of grass—
hoppers, chinch bugs and other insects. It was estimated by the
commissioners that there were at least 2,500 persons in the county need-
ing food and clothing. On March 16, 1875 the commissioners sent a letter
to the State Central Relief Committee requesting food, clothing and seed
for their destitute citizens. (Ibid., pp. 248—255.) The poverty—
stricken condition of so many of_the people and the general prostration
of business caused an unprecedently large delinquent tax list in 1875,
and on October 5 the commissioners decided not to make a levy for the
payment of interest on the railroad bonds for that year (ibid., pp. 298,
299). ___-_

By the terms of the legislative act of 1879 the Franklin County
commissioners were authorized upon presentation of a petition by two-
fifths of the resident taxpayers of the county to call an election on
the proposition of appropriating not more than $20,000 to any railroad
company which would construct a railroad to Ottawa and in an easterly
direction, connecting with the Missouri Pacific Railroad at Holden,
Missouri (L. 1879, ch. 109, secs. 1, 2). On March 15, six days after
the law became effective, a petition signed by 1,127 electors asking for
an election was presented to the county commissioners (Record of Pro—
ceedings Board County Commissioners, vol. C, p. 551, in Commissioners'
Journal, entry 2). An election was called for April 15 and the '——
EFEEEEEtion of subscribing to $20,000 of stock in the Saint Louis, Kan—
sas and Arizona Railroad Company (now a part of the Missouri Pacific)
and issuing bonds therefor carried by 1,455 votes to 915. The appropria—
tion was made on May 7. (Ibid., pp. 569, 574.)


The legislature of 1879 also authorized any county, city, township
or school district to compromise and refund its indebtedness of every
kind upon such terms as could be agreed upon, and to issue new bonds for
the sum thus required. Such bonds were not to be issued at less than
par, nor for a longer period than 50 years, and were not to exceed the
total amount of outstanding indebtedness, nor draw more than six per
cent interest (L. 1879, ch. 50, sec. 1).

Franklin County had issued $200,000 in bonds to the Leavenworth,
Lawrence and Galveston Railroad and $50,000 to the Kansas City and Santa
Fe. Default had been made in payment of the interest, and judgments
had been obtained against the county in the United States District Court
for the District of Kansas. The county and the bond holders mutually
agreed to compromise the bonds, interest and judgments. On June 18,
1880 the commissioners agreed to pay upon the county's aggregate indebt-
edness, including principal and accrued interest to July 1 that year,


 _ 10 _
Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 68)

at the rate of 80 per cent in new bonds of the