The town of Mapleton is situated in the northern part of Bourbon County, about six miles west of Fulton. The site was located in May, 1857, by a company of New Englanders under the direction of William Hutchinson, Rev. Mr. Morton, B. B. Newton, J. C. Burnett, E. P. Higby, S. W. Cheever and D. Scott. The town site was located and laid off by this company, but not pre-empted or improved. After it was apparently abandoned, a new company, composed of Western men, and consisting of Ellis Greenfield, William Baker, S. O. Hinoe, (sic) A. Wilson, John Hawk, James Hoffnagle and M. E. Hudson, formed themselves into a company known as the Eldora Town Company, and pre-empted the same town site. The company was organized by the election of E. Greenfield, President; William Baker, Treasurer; James Hoffnagle, Secretary. Although the town was called Eldora for a time it was soon changed to Mapleton, the post office having been established by that name in 1857, with S. O. Hinoe (sic) Postmaster. The name was given from the beautiful and stately maples that shadowed the waters of Lost Creek on the north, the Osage on the south, and Possum Creek on the west of the town. The first store was started in the fall of 1858, by E. Greenfield, and consisted of a general stock. In 1859, a mill was built on the Osage River, south of the town, the company contributing toward its establishment. The mill was built and run by Mr. Jackson. It is still in operation, now a first-class custom mill with saw-mill attached.
After the completion of the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Road and the establishment of the village of Fulton, much of the trade and business of Mapleton was drawn to that point, but it is still sustained by a large and flourishing country trade. It has a fine school building 46x24, built of stone, two stories, well finished, with both rooms occupied for school purposes nine months of the year, and attended by about 114 pupils. The place now contains three general stores, a drug store, boot and shoe store, blacksmith shop, wagon shop and butcher shop. Mapleton Postmasters have been, S. O. Hinoe, (sic) whose office was at his farm residence; E. P. Higby, who was appointed by President Buchanan and has occupied the position since that time.
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Jonathan Coleman Burnett (1825-1899). A lawyer from Morristown, Vermont he migrated, in the spring of 1857, to Leavenworth, Kansas. His arrival in the Kansas territory prompted him and seven other Vermonters to organize a "Vermont Colony". The group set out for southeast Kansas, in May of 1857, and founded the town of Mapleton in Bourbon County. The town never developed into a thriving community but Burnett remained in the area. As anti-slavery forces debated the future of the territory, Burnett was chosen as a delegate to the Wyandotte Convention from Bourbon, McGee and Dorn counties. After the convention he continued his career as a public servant by serving as a land office register and a member of the last territorial legislature. In 1861, Burnett was elected as a Republican to the Kansas Senate from the Ninth District of Bourbon County. Later in life he moved to Lawrence, Kansas to work as a director and land commissioner for the Leavenworth, Lawrence, & Galveston Railroad. On July 2, 1899, Jonathan Burnett died at the age of 74 in Wichita, Kansas and was buried in Lawrence, Kansas.
Mapleton Kansas 1878.
Mapleton, post office open on March 15, 1857 and closed some time in 1961.
Mapleton is in Timber Hill Township, Township 23S. and Range 23E.
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People of Mapleton.
J. Amer, Section 25, Farmer, Stock Raiser & Dealer, from Will Co., Ill., came 1860.
M. E. Hudson, Section 35, Farmer, Stock Raiser, from Montgomery Co., Ind., came 1857.
J. B. Brittion, Section 27, Framer & Physician, from Halfax Va., came 1861.
E. P. Higby, Town, Merchant & Postmaster, from Essex Co., N. Y., came 1857.
John Cross, Town, Merchant, from Beaver Co., Pa., came 1862.
J. W. Bainum, Section 29, Farmer, Noble Co., Ohio, came 1858.
J. R. Myrick, Section 33, Pro. Flour, Saw & Grist Mill, from Henry Co., Tn., camr 1857.
Anson Camp, Section 33, Farmer, Stock Raiser, from Tioga Co., N. Y, came 1866.
William Chenoweth, Section 22, Framer, Stock Raiser, from Ross Co., Ohio, came 1867.
L. Hessong, Section 29, Farmer, Stock Raiser, from Richland Co., Ohio, came 1857.
George Barrett, Section 34, Farmer, Stock Raiser, from England, came 1858.
S. J. Brimhall, Section 23, Farmer & Teacher, from Clinton Co., N. Y., came 1864.
William Nesbitt, Town, Farmer, from Orleans Co., Vt., came 1865.
Note. The men I stated as being from N. Y., may be from North Virginia, it was hard to tell.
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES - TIMBER HILL TOWNSHIP.
WILLIAM BAKER, farmer, Section 24, P. O. Mapleton, native of Bourbon County, Ky., born in 1805, and when twenty-five years of age, or in 1830, he moved to Indiana; while there he was called to join a vigilance committee, and while a member, followed a horse-thief into what was the village of Chicago, shooting the thief there. In 1856, he came to Kansas and located on his farm. The first night on his landing, he was informed of the shooting of three men about claim troubles, and from that time to 1865, they were more or less disturbed. In 1859, they found it necessary to organize a vigilance committee, of which he was a member. In 1857, he had sold out and went to Kentucky, but returned to Kansas in a few months, and stood his ground through all of the perils that menaced person and property. In 1857 or 1868, he moved to his present home. He has 200 acres in his farm and reports good crops; he has gone into stock-raising, keeping the best of Durham blood and blooded horses. In 1830, he married Miss Inlow; they have two daughters--Phoebe E., who married Dr. C. R. Clark, and Mary J., who is the relict of M. E. Hudson; he died in 1882. Mr. Hudson was a pioneer, and stood the brunt of most of the troubles in early times. Being a man of more than average intelligence, he was prominent in this section up to the time of his death, having held the office of Grand Master of State Grange, and other offices of trust. He left three children.
J. B. BRITTON, physician and farmer, Section 27, P. O. Mapleton, is a native of Halifax County, Va., born in 1830. In 1850 he commenced the study of medicine and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1852. Located in Winston, N. C., in 1854, where he practiced his profession up to the spring of 1858, when he returned to Virginia. In the fall of that year he left Virginia for the West, and was on his way to Washington, D. C., when the troops were conveyed to Harper's Ferry to guard John Brown, of Kansas. He located in St. Joseph, Mo., where he remained until June, 1861, when he received the appointment of United States Physician for the Osage Indians from the Indian Commissioner, Dr. Robertson, whose headquarters were then in St. Joseph. He proceeded to the Osage territory, as in August a treaty was to be confirmed between the United States, and the Osage tribe, but owing to the unlooked for magnitude of the Southern rebellion and the fact that a number of Osages were implicated in it, the Government deferred making a treaty at that time. He then returned to Fort Scott, where he remained a short time, when he located at Fort Lincoln, a fort established by Gen. James H. Lane, fifteen miles north of Fort Scott, for the better protection of the border tier counties in Kansas. Dr. Britton remained in practice there until the fall of 1862, during which time he was instrumental in establishing a post office at Fort Lincoln, and was appointed first Postmaster, which he held until September, 1862, when he removed to Mapleton to take the practice of Dr. S. O. Himor, who had been commissioned as a surgeon in a Wisconsin regiment, the regiment having been raised in his native State and at his former home. Dr. Britton lived in the village until 1867, and then located on his present farm, which is located three-quarters of a mile east of Mapleton, and is beautifully improved, containing 220 acres, with an abundance of water. He farms in the most improved style and consequently successfully. In 1858, he lost his first wife in Virginia, which induced him to go West. Was married again in 1864, and has a family of four sons. The eldest, Walter, is at Lawrence, attending the University of Kansas, from which he will graduate in the classical course in 1884. The other sons are at home.
JOHN CROSS, merchant, Mapleton, is a native of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, born in 1837. He was raised in the mercantile business, and tried farming for the first time on going to Missouri in 1859, locating in Dane County; but the life not suiting him, he came to Kansas in 1861, and entered the employ of Dr. Lyon, of Mapleton. In 1862, he clerked for D. L. Campbell, and for Hudson, Campbell & Co. in 1866, and he was with E. P. Higby till 1869, when he opened a store for himself, having a partner for a while George Darling, and since 1873 has been alone, carrying a complete assortment and doing a fair business. During the war, he was with the State militia at the battle of Wilson's Creek. In 1859, he married Miss Blackmore. They have three children. Mr. Cross has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1868, and is now Secretary of the lodge, which was established October 17, 1860.
WILLIAM D. DEEDS, farmer, Section 10, P. O. Mapleton, is a native of Madison County, Ill., born 1819. While in the State of Illinois he was engaged in farming, and for a number of years was in the lead mines of Georgia. Coming from that State, he arrived in the State of Kansas in November, 1857, at once locating on Section 10, buying 160 acres of John Pitkin. This farm was unimproved, having only seven acres in corn, Mr. Deeds building his own cabin. At this time there was peace among the people of this part of the State, but it was not lasting, for in 1859 there was a party of men who came to his cabin one night intending to take his life, but, as it unfortunately happened, his son-in-law, Benjamin Bishop, was in the adjoining cabin, and, not suspecting danger, went to the door of the cabin and was shot by some of the marauders. He died six days afterward. Mr. Deeds went to Fort Scott that night, and after hunting the parties with help he obtained there he went to Missouri. This was in 1859. Soon afterward, his wife was induced by these same parties to abandon their home and follow her husband. It was while living in Missouri and trading back and forth that he was accused of carrying dispatches to the rebels, and was imprisoned in the guard house at Fort Scott. He sees in this act an attempt to deprive him of character as a loyal citizen of the United States, but it miscarried, for he found a strong friend in the Government scout, Jeff Denton, who at once cleared him of all suspicion, and related how Mr. Deeds, at a great risk to himself, had preserved, not only his (the scout's) life, but the Government dispatches also, at his home in Missouri. These scenes are still vivid in the mind of this pioneer case although the actors have all disappeared from the country. Mr. Deeds returned to his farm in 1864, and took part in the closing action of the war in this State, that of Westport; since then he has given his whole attention to farming, succeeding in accumulating a competence, and being blessed with plentiful harvests has prospered, and now has some 320 acres of well-improved land, raising stock and corn. He has been married five times, living with his last wife since 1857, formerly Miss Lawhorn. They have eleven children; there were four by the former marriages. Two of his sons were in the Union army.
E. P. HIGBY, merchant, native of Essex County, N. Y.; born in 1831; he grew to manhood, having the ordinary advantages of the farm boy, and at the age of twenty-one, changed his course of life by entering a mercantile house in Burlington, Vt., that dealt in hardware. Here he applied himself for four years, and, in 1857, came to Kansas in company with Sheaver, Byington, and others. He located on Section 21, in Timber Hill Township, Bourbon County, and the same year laid out the village of Mapleton, being one of the Town Commissioners. In 1858, he opened a general merchandise business in company with S. O. Himoe (sic); in 1861, his partner entered the service as Surgeon of the Fifteenth Wisconsin; his brother, J. E. Himoe, (sic) entered the firm in 1863. M. Wilson took his place. Mr. Higby, however, has conducted the business since 1865, himself carrying a stock of $3,000, and doing a business of $6,000 a year, also carrying on a farm. In 1863, he married Miss Baldwin, daughter of S. D. Baldwin, of Neosho, Newton County, Mo. They have three children.
J. R. MYRICK, farmer and miller, Section 31, P. O. Mapleton; native of Henry County, Tenn., born in 1843. He came to Kansas with his father in 1857, and located on Section 32. He has three brothers. His father died in 1863. In the troubles of this section they took no part, their father was too old and the boys too young, so they were unmolested. His father was away from the State in 1858 and again in 1861, but then settled down. Mr. Myrick farmed until 1878, when he bought the Mapleton Flour and Saw Mills, running them since in connection with his farming. He is doing well. This season he has completed a fine residence and improved the mill greatly. In 1865, he married, and now has six children.
WILLIAM M. NESBITT, farmer and hotel proprietor, is a native of Greensboro Township, Orleans Co., Vt., born in 1832. In 1858 he first came to Kansas and located a claim in the northern part of the State, but was taken sick and returned to Vermont, where he remained until 1861, when he enlisted in the Fourth Vermont Volunteer Infantry and served until May 12, 1864. He had his left arm shattered by a musket-ball in the battle of Spottsylvania Court House. He was conveyed to Fredericksburg, where his arm was amputated at the shoulder. On the 21st he was moved to Alexandria, and July 1, taken to Brattleboro Hospital, Vermont, from there he returned home and as soon as he recovered reported to the same place. From there he got transferred to Burlington. While there he attended Bryant & Stratton's College. In 1865 he came to Kansas again, where he located on a farm in Linn County just north of Mapleton. In 1866 he started back to Vermont, but stopped in Iowa and taught school for awhile. In 1867 he returned to Kansas and married Miss Tout; she was a native of Indiana. He farmed here until 1877, when he moved to Mapleton and repaired his hotel, still owning the farm. In 1871 he was elected Clerk of Linn County, and served one term. They have four children--Mary A., Leafy J., Lizzie G. and Vina E.
JOHN REESE, farmer, Section 17, P. O. Mapleton, native of Lebanon County, Penn., born March 28, 1816. In his migration westward he stopped first in Ohio and then in Northwest Missouri, but not being able to procure a farm to suit him he came to Kansas and located on his present farm, taking a claim of 160 acres in 1859. When he came to the State he was a Democrat, but did not want to take any side or part in the troubles of this section; after losing a steer and a valuable horse, he concluded to save the rest of his property by joining the ruling party, and after doing so, was not molested. He served in the State Militia, and has prospered so in his farming industry that his farm of 160 acres has increased to 600. Since the year 1860 he has not wanted, raising good crops since. In 1857, he married Miss Burkholder. They have four children--two sons and two daughters. His wife died in March, 1881. Mr. Reese has been a member of the I. O. O. F. since 1852.
A. H. TANNER, farmer, Section 7, P. O. Mapleton, is a native of Huron County, Ohio, born in 1837; was raised in Lorain County and educated at Oberlin College, leaving there in 1855; coming to Kansas in 1856, with a party of other men, they met a small party of Missourians, who ordered them back, until meeting a larger force near the Nebraska line, they were compelled to return to Iowa. In March, 1857, he got to Lawrence and from there went to Linn County, where he located on a farm and took an active part in Free-State proceedings, being nominated as one of the delegates to frame the Wyandotte Constitution. He was the recipient of one of the hundred Sharpe's rifles that were sent to John Brown and distributed at that time, and was with Montgomery on numerous raids. He was in Fort Scott under his command when Mr. Little was killed, and in 1861 joined Col. Jennison's Sharpe's rifle corps, imperiling his life in many instance under that daring leader. In 1860, he took a trip to Colorado, returning in the fall of the same year, he went back to Ohio, in 1862, but came to Kansas again in 1865, where he has been since. In 1860, he located his farm of 160 acres on Section 7, in Bourbon County. It was not until within the last few years that he was able to make farming pay, but since then he has made giant strides, perfecting his seed corn in a manner peculiar to himself; has succeeded in raising over one hundred bushels per acre, and raising and handling 100 cattle a year and about 150 hogs. His farm is now 250 acres. In 1859, he married Miss Wilson, of Kalamazoo, Mich. He has two children by his first wife, and a son by the second. His eldest son is attending school in Topeka. Mr. Tanner has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1870. His father was a member for fifty-six years, and died at Newburg, Ohio, in 1879.
D. VAN BUSKIRK, farmer, Section 36, P. O. Mapleton, native of Appanoose County, Iowa, born in December, 1849; he was raised in Davis County, and thinks there is no place like this section of Iowa, for in 1869 he came to Kansas, going to Wichita, from there to the State of Texas, then to Missouri and back to Iowa. This same year, however, he took a claim in Chautauqua County, Kan., where he farmed until 1872, when he returned to Iowa, seeming to be able to breathe freer; but Kansas offering better opportunities for stock raising, he came to his present location in December, 1877, buying eighty acres and opening up a farm, clearing and improving; his crops are good. In 1877, he married, and has one child--a girl. Mr. Van Buskirk is a Greenbacker.