Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Ghost Town Of Geneva Kansas.

GENEVA Kansas.

This town is situated in the northwestern part of the county, north of the Neosho River, and between Martin and Indian creeks. The location is a beautiful one, and the place is surrounded by a thrifty and enterprising class of citizens. The village contains a store, post office and blacksmith shop, and has a population of about one hundred.

The town of Geneva was founded in the summer of 1857. A colony was formed in New York under the leadership of Ephraim Fisk, and another in Michigan under the leadership of Merritt Moore. These united, forming the Union Settlement Association, among the prominent members in which were Dr. B. L. G. Stone, G. L. Wait, S. T. Jones, Rev. G. S. Northrup, I. A. Holman, P. P. Phillips, E. J. Brinkerhoff, J. H. Spicer, A. P. Sain, H. R. Somers, Frank Ureidenberg, J. C. Redfield and J. M. Mattoon.

The colony selected the northwestern part of Allen County for a location, and started out with great expectations. There were about 300 families engaged to settle at once. It was decided to locate and lay out a town comprising not less than 640 acres of land. The present site of Geneva was chosen on account of the fertile prairie land around, as well as the heavy timber so close along the banks of the streams. It was decided to at once begin the building of a large structure and to found a non-sectarian college and academy.

Plans having been made for so much building and so many families having promised to locate, the next thing was to erect a saw-mill. Therefore a contract was entered into with L. L. Northrup that he should build a steam saw-mill, and that the colony should, in turn, give him 160 acres of good timber land and furnish him all the sawing he could do, and pay him $15 per thousand feet. The mill was brought and set up on the bank of Indian Creek, in the summer of the year 1858. But the sawing was not provided in any great quantities and L. L. Northrup soon opened a store.

Though the settlement started with such brilliant prospects, the idea of building a large town was soon give up. Not one-fourth of the projected colony of 300 families ever came, and those who did were rather poor, and through the lack of money and settlement the college was not built, though an academy afterward took its place.

The settlers from the first were an intelligent and enterprising class of people, who regarded the moral and mental culture of the young as one of the first things to be looked to, after opening their farms, therefore churches and schools were established.

There was at first considerable controversy over claims, which resulted in occasional riots, but aside from this the neighborhood has generally been very peaceable.

Geneva continued to exist as a small town, and by the year 1869 it contained two stores, one blacksmith shop, a wagon shop, a hotel, a Congregational Church built of stone, and an academy. This building was a frame structure two stories high, and the school had been established in 1866, and was then as now, under charge of the Neosho Presbytery. The population was then about one hundred. From the above date until 1872 some improvements were made, and several business enterprises were undertaken that afterward fell through. It was expected that a railroad would be built through that part of the county, and when the town failed to secure it, it began to go down, and now it can only be said to be a thriving country village, surrounded by a prosperous settlement.

People of Geneva.

EPHRAIM FISK, farmer, Section 23, P. O. Geneva, was born at Strafford, Orange Co., Vt., September 10, 1811, and spent his youth on a farm. In 1842, he moved to Wyoming County, N. Y., where he was employed in agricultural pursuits, and also worked in woolen mills in that and Seneca County. In March, 1857, he came to Kansas and located on this farm. He conducted the farm until lately, when he turned it over to his step-son, Alroy B. Curtis. Mr. Fisk took up 160 acres of raw land on his arrival here, and made a highly improved farm of it. He has been a deacon of the Congregational Church in this locality since 1858.

ALONZO W. HOWLAND, dealer in live stock, Section 29, P. O. Geneva, was born in Saratoga County, N. Y., in 1834, and reared on a farm in Calhoun County, Mich. He has earned his own livelihood since thirteen years of age. Mr. H. was employed for some time in grocery business, and also learned the trade of stone mason in Calhoun County. He came to Kansas in April, 1859; located in Allen County, pre-empting 160 acres in this township, on which he resided some five years. In 1864, he moved on to his present farm, Section 29, Township 23, Range 18. Mr. H. had very small means on his arrival in this State. He worked some at his trade, and farmed, and by industry and energy, has made himself one of the representative men of Allen County. He owns about 440 acres of land, and is an extensive raiser and dealer in live stock. On his place is a fine stone residence, which he built some fourteen years ago, and an orchard of about 500 fruit trees. Mr. H. was elected a member of the Board of Commissioners of Allen County, in 1872, and re- elected in 1874. He was married in Calhoun County, Mich., when twenty years of age, to Miss Eveline Gardner, who died here in May, 1873, leaving three children. He was married again, in Allen County, Kan., in December, 1874, to Miss Emma Harlow.

REV. SALATHIEL M. IRWIN, Section 25, P. O. Geneva, was born at South Salem, Ross Co., Ohio, November 23, 1836, and received his preparatory education at the Presbyterian Academy of that place, after which he attended Hanover College, Ind., graduating in 1861, and then taught Hanover High School for two years. Mr. Irwin attended Princeton Theological Seminary for three years, graduating there in April, 1866. He was licensed to preach in 1865, and ordained a minister in the following year, at Little Osage, Mo., where he had charge of the Presbyterian Church for one year. In September, 1867, he came to Allen County, Kan., and has since resided at Geneva. He has charge of the Presbyterian Church here, also the Liberty Presbyterian Church, and the church at Carlyle. During his first six years' residence at this place, he was principal of the Presbyterian Academy. Mr. Irwin has a nice farm here of about 135 acres, and has also eighty acres in Woodson County.

CHAS. L. KNOWLTON, merchant, Geneva, was born in Clark County, Ind., June 23, 1849. His father was a doctor and also carried on a farm, and the subject of our sketch assisted him in the latter business. The doctor resided for four years in Cumberland County, Ill., and in April, 1867, moved to Allen County, Kan., locating at Geneva. His son, Chas. L. accompanied him, and was engaged in agricultural pursuits in this township until January 15, 1882, when he embarked in general merchandise business. He carries a nice stock of about $3,000, and is building up a good trade. He also has a small farm of fifty-three acres. Mr. Knowlton is a member of the order of A., F. & A. M., and is one of the trustees of Tuscan Lodge, No. 82, at Neosho Falls.

JONATHAN M. MATTOON, Postmaster, Geneva, was born in Jefferson County, N. Y., December 17, 1813, and worked on his father's farm until twenty-one years of age. He then learned the trade of machinist and worked at it in New York and Detroit, Mich. He came to Allen County, Kan., in the spring of 1857, located at Geneva, and was employed as a carpenter. He was Deputy Postmaster under Dr. Stone, from 1858 until 1861, when he was commissioned Postmaster, an office which he has filled ever since. He also carries a small stock of goods and has a small farm. Mr. M. has been Justice of the Peace since 1859, and is also Notary Public. He served a two years term on the Board of Commissioners for Allen County, during the war. The subject of this sketch was married in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., in 1837, to Lucy Hancock, she died in 1859, leaving six children and two of these, sons died in the late war. Mr. Mattoon was married again in Allen County, Kan., in January, 1861, to Nancy Dickey. They have two daughters.

JONATHAN H. SPICER, farmer, Section 24, P. O. Geneva, was born in Plymouth, N. H., April 12, 1816, and reared principally on farms in the State of New York. His father Jabez Spicer was a medical doctor and a missionary of the Presbyterian Church, but also engaged in agricultural pursuits. The subject of our sketch was, during the years of 1851 and 1852, in the employ of the Panama Railroad Company, in charge of a body of men engaged in building a railroad across the Isthmus. In 1853, he went to California, where he remained one year engaged in mining pursuits. Returning east he carried on mercantile business at Wacousta, Clinton Co., Mich., for three years. Mr. Spicer came to Kansas, in the spring of 1857, and located on his present farm in Allen County. He has 167 acres of land all improved, has a nice orchard, and is quite an extensive raiser of cattle, horses, etc. On October 16, 1861, he enlisted in Company D, Ninth Kansas Cavalry, serving three years and three months. He was Quartermaster Sergeant of the regiment. He was for some years Justice of the Peace and Notary Public, at this place. Mr. S. was married at Watertown, Mich., September 3, 1839, to Miss Emily Phinney. They have one son, Duane D.

DEXTER L. WARNER, proprietor of the Geneva House, was born in Franklin County, Mass., March 12, 1842, and reared on a farm. He enlisted May 6, 1861, in Company D, Twelfth Massachusetts Infantry; was shot in left hip joint at Groveton, Va., August 30, 1862, and discharged May 26, 1863. Returning to Franklin he remained until 1871, when he moved to Worcester, where he was employed as a painter and also worked in boot factory. Three years later he moved to Oxford where he was engaged in the capacity of a clerk in general merchandise business. In July, 1879, he came to Allen County, located in Geneva Township and followed agricultural pursuits. In April, 1882, he engaged in his present business and also continues to farm same. Mr. Warner was elected Trustee of Geneva Township in February, 1882, and again in February, 1883.

Civil War pensioners of Geneva.

1. Ambrose L. Bell, Private, 40th., Indiana Infantry.
Wounded in right forearm, $18. per month.

2. Dexter L. Warner, Private, 12th., Massachusetts, Infantry Co. D.
Wounded in left hip, $14., per month.

3. Lewis Clukey, Private, 8th., New York, Heavy Artillery, Co. C.
Gun shot wound in left forearm, $6., per month, started April 1871.

4. Horace A. Cowles, Private, 40th., Iowa Infantry, Co. E.
Loss sight right eye affec. left, $10., per month.

5. George C. Barrick, private, either the 145 indiana Infantry or 82nd.,Indiana Infantry.
Injured in left leg, $4., per month, started July 1879.

6. Asa Hoppes, Private, either the 136th., New York Infantry or 55th., Ohio Infantry.
Wounded in right thigh, $2., per month, Started November 1873.

Geneva's 1880 census.
I have listed the head of the families only.  These names are not in alphabetical order.  I have the wife's names and the childrens, if you need this information write me and I will be glad to send it to you.

1. Dexter L. Warner---Farmer.
2. Charles Knowlton---Farmer.
3. John D. Knowlton---Farmer.
4. John W. Cleek---Farmer.
5. Amos Edson---Farmer.
6. Henry Van Deman---Horticulturist.
7. James P. Boyd---Farmer.
8. Newton Edson---Farmer.
9. Jesse Hibbs---Farmer.
10. Martin Garman---Farmer.
11. James Mack---Farmer.
12. John Palmer---Farmer.
13. William Palmer---Retired farmer.
14. Michael Vanderhoof---Farmer.
15. Edward Mabie---Farmer.
16. Marion M. Swan---Farmer.
17. Benjamin S. Swan---Farmer.
18. Joseph Davis---Farmer.
19. Henry Howland---Farmer.
20. Orin Leake---Farmer.
21. Samuel E. Cooley---Farmer.
22. Alexander Newman---Farmer.
23. Thomas Lawson---Farmer.
24. Charles Pickering---Farmer.
25. D. Roberting---Farmer.
26. Clinton Hawley---Farmer.
27. Henry Cease---Retired speculator.
28. Frank Cease---Farmer.
29. Jasper Powell---Farmer.
30. Aaron T. Leake---Farmer.
31. John P. Dickey---Farmer.
32. Alonzo W. Howland---Farmer & stock dealer.
33. Lucas S. Childs---Farmer.
34. George Barrick---Farmer.
35. Alroy B. Curtis---Farmer.
36. Herman Halcomb---Farmer.
37. Plamer McClure---Blacksmith.
38. Francis Inge---Keeping house.
39. Margaret Welch---Keeping house.
40. Ephraham Fisk---Job not stated.
41. Columbus Denney---Farmer.
42. William Hyde---Farmer.
43. Rachel Hastings---Keeping house.
44. Charles Rhodes---Farmer.
45. Salafhiel Irwin---Farmer.
46. Ebinezer Wolford---Farmer.
47. William R. Norris---Farmer.
48. Charles Norris---Farmer.
49. Elesebeth Evans---Keeping house.
50. William Miller---Farmer.
51. Squir J. McGrew---Farmer.
52. William Cross---Farmer.
53. Abraham Burton---Farmer.
54. Edward Doolittle---Farmer.
55. Edwin G. Steele---Farmer.
56. Duane D. Spicer---Farmer.
57. Jonathan H. Spicer---Farmer.
58. Marcus Vinton---Farmer.
59. Philander Blackledge---Farmer.
60. Henry N. Gray---Farmer.
61. Jonathan Mattoon---Postmaster.
62. Eugene Esse---Farmer.
63. Lewis Dickerson---Farmer.
64. Newton I. Funston---Farmer.
65. Andrew J. Estep---Farmer.
66. John W. Mead---Farmer.
67. James Templin---Farmer.
68. Nancy Carpenter---Keeping house.
69. Josephis Newbro---Farmer.
70. James Christy---Farmer.
71. Amanda Leake---Job not stated.
72. Henry Grimm---Farmer.
73. Elias Miller---Farmer.
74. John Merrel---Farmer.
75. Jesse Smith---Farmer.
76. Michel Welch---Farmer laborer.
77. Jerome Goforth---Job not stated.
78. Manoah Ratlif---Farmer.
79. Lewis A. Boner---Farmer.
80. John R. Pickett---Farmer.
81. George W. Butt---Farmer.
82. Samuel Kelly---Farmer.
83. John C. Thomas---Farmer.
84. Jack Fields---Farmer laborer.
85. Calvin Fields---Farm laborer.
86. Samuel Baxter---Farmer.
87. George Hall---Farmer.
88. Adrian McKelvey---Farmer.
89. Solomon Edwards---Farmer.
90. William Banta---Farmer.
91. Alexander C. Pickerel---Farmer.
92. Portor Poe---Farmer.
93. Harrison Newman---Farmer.
94. Steven Trien---Farmer.
95. David Hutton---Farmer.
96. John Grimm---Farmer.
97. Mary Noble---Keeping house.
98. Las Searls---Farmer.
99. Enos Thompson---Farmer.
100. James K. Mcquigg---Farmer.
101. Dexter E. Curtis---Farmer.
102. Mary J. Edwards---Keeping house.
103. Mary Mortimore---Keeping house.
104. Edwin Harting---Farmer.
105. Martha Miller---Keeping house.
106. John R. Berry---Farmer.
107. Lewis White---Farmer.
108. David Carman---Farmer.
109. James B. Dickey---Farmer.
110. Henry Lester---Farmer.
111. Wilson Vaught---Farmer.
112. William Lane---Sawyer.
113. Robert White---Farmer.
114. Daniel Cornell---Farmer.
115. Charles Newton---Farmer.
116. John E. Yingling---Farmer.
117. Theodore F. Hazzard---Farmer.
118. Cary Roush---Farmer.
119. William Allenbaugh---Farmer.
120. Jacob Heath---Farmer & stockman.
121. Joseph Ackerman---Farmer.
122. John T. Cornell---Farmer.
123. Charles Scoville---Farmer.
124. Emma Black---Keeping house.
125. Theodore Elliot---Dry goods.
126. Pollard S. Ano---Farmer.
127. John Shelden---Farmer.
128. Benjamin Berry---Job not stated.
129. Richard Brown--- Carpenter.
130. George Esse---Farmer.
131. Marion Johnston---Farm laborer.
132. Dwight S. Leavitt--Wagon maker.
133. Benjamin Potnam---Stone mason.
134. James F. Knowlton---Physician.
135. Franklin Newbrough---Retired farmer.
136. Henry F. Osland---Job not stated.

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