Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Bloomington Guards.

Bloomington, a village of Osborne county, is a station on the division of the Missouri Pacific R. R. that runs from Downs to Stockton, 5 miles west of Osborne, the county seat. It has a money order postoffice with one rural route, telephone connections, a hotel, some general stores, telegraph and express offices, and does some shipping. The population in 1910 was 88.

Bloomington Guards.   An old map of Kansas shows the town of Bloomington about 7 or 8 miles up the Wakarusa river from Lawrence.  Among the early settlers in that neighborhood was Samuel Walker, who, with others, arrived in April, 1855. In his "annals" Mr. Walker tells how, about six weeks after the settlers had made a beginning, he was working on his cabin one day, when some 150 border ruffians under the leadership of Samuel J. Jones, afterward sheriff of Douglas county, rode into the settlement and gave Walker two weeks to leave the territory. Mr. Walker then tells the story of the Bloomington Guards, as follows :

As soon as the Missourians were out of sight, I dropped my ax and started around the settlement to let my friends know what was up. I traveled all night afoot, and the next day 86 men met at my cabin. We
organized ourselves into a military company, calling it the 'Bloomington Guards,' and choosing for it the following officers : Captain, Mr. Read ; first lieutenant, Mr. Vermilya; second lieutenant, Dr. Miller; and myself first sergeant. This was the first company organized in Kansas." For a time Judge Wakefield acted as drill master. As the company was without arms, a levy was made and Capt. Read went to Massachusetts for a supply of Sharp's rifles. He never returned to Kansas, but in Dec, 1855, he sent to Walker 80 Sharp's rifles, the arms arriving just in time for the company to march to Lawrence when that place was threatened by an invasion of the pro-slavery forces.

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