Easton, one of the important early settlements of Leavenworth :ounty, is situated on the Stranger river and the Union Pacific R. R. in the northwestern part of the county 11 miles northwest of Leavenworth. In the autumn of 1854, Gen. L. J. Eastin, and his associates located the town of Eastin and it was named in honor of the general. The spelling was changed to Easton through the influence of Gov. Reeder, for his native town in Pennsylvania. The first settler was Andrew Dawson, who opened a store just above the bridge in 1852. In 1855 Stephen Minard bought this store, settled in the village and opened the first hotel. In Dec, 1855, a postoffice was opened and the village began to thrive. A number of free-state men settled in the town and vicinity and during the border troubles it was regarded as a headquarters for men of this political faith. Several churches were built at an early day, a school was opened and great things were expected of the town. Early in the '80s it had two general stores, a blacksmith shop and grocery. Today the town is the supply and shipping point for a rich agricultural community, has several general stores, a hardware and implement house, lumber yard, money order postoffice, express and telegraph facilities, hotel, good graded school, and is one of the leading towns in the western part of the county. In 1910 the population was 310.
In the early autumn of 1854, Andrew Dawson, Col. Wm. G. Mathias, Gen. L. J. Eastin and others located the village of "Eastin," its name being given in honor of the last named gentleman, the editor of the Herald. Through Governor Reeder's liking for his native town in Pennsylvania, "Easton," the "i" was dropped and the name of the village was spelled as it is now. Andrew J. Dawson was probably the first white settler in the township, having opened a ranch and store in 1852, near what was known as Dawson's Ford, the crossing of the Big Stranger on the Fort Riley road just above the bridge. Stephen Minard bought out the Dawson place in 1855, settled in the village, and opened a hotel, S. F. Rhea having laid out and platted the town in March of that year. Mr. Rea settled in the township in October, 1854. In December 1855, a post-office was established and Mr. Dawson appointed Postmaster. Samuel J. Kookagee, after marrying Mrs. Dawson, also opened a ranch and store and did a flourishing business in Easton for several years. Among the other early settlers of the village and township may be mentioned: H. B. Gale (1854), Jackson Crane (1854), John Thornburg (1855), A. K. Adamson, Joshua Turner, Dr. Oliphant, Claude Oliphant, Wm. Kelsey, Robert Kelsey, Robert Bishop, Thomas Snoddy (1855), and Charles Foster (1855). Easton has now a population of between seventy-five and one hundred people, has three church societies-Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, and Catholic-a Masonic Lodge (No. 45, forty members), two general stores, one blacksmith shop, and a grocery store. The Baptists have a society numbering sixty members, under Rev. Mr. Hotchkiss. The Methodists have a neat church building valued at $1,000, the society being in charge of Rev. J. O. Roberts, of Oskaloosa, and having a membership of twenty-five. The Catholics, in charge of Father B. Vanderlage, have a $1,200 house of worship and a membership of about one hundred. He also has a charge in Alexandria Township. At Round Prairie, in the same township, the Christian Church has quite a flourishing society and the Presbyterians have also an organization. Easton is a rich farming township. There is also a flour and corn-meal mill on the Big Stranger, at Millwood. Its proprietor is Mrs. J. P. Rupp. She has some $10,000 invested in the property. St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, is located in Easton Township, Leavenworth County, near the village of Millwood. It was incorporated by the State authorities at Topeka, October 19, 1880. The structure is of frame 24 x 32 feet, and cost about $800, which was contributed by the members of the congregation. The first trustees were Mrs. John Heim, Martin Nieman and Henry Meinert, who are still in office. The building was commenced in 1880 and completed the same year. The first services were held on Sunday, June 15, 1881, by the Rev. Mr. Meyer, of Leavenworth, who preached in the morning, and by the Rev. Mr. Zschoche, of Atchison, who officiated at the afternoon services. The congregation at present is without pastor, but it is supplied in the mean time by a young and talented student, Ernst Kirchner, from Concordia College, Springfield, Ill., who in addition to preaching the Gospel, also has charge of the school, consisting of ninteen (sic) pupils, held in the same building.
J. C. BAIRD, fruit grower and shipper, Section 14, P. O. Easton, Leavenworth County, came to Kansas in April, 1861, locating on his farm in Easton Township, where he has since resided. He was Trustee of Easton Township two terms. He is a member of Easton Lodge, No. 45, A., F. & A. M. and of Custer Post No. 6, G. A. R. of the city of Leavenworth. He participated in the war of the rebellion as First Sergeant of Company C. Seventeenth Regiment of Kansas Infantry and enlisted in the city of Leavenworth August 23, 1864, and was mustered out November 15, 1864, at Fort Leavenworth. His regiment served mostly on the western frontier. Mr. Baird was born in Brown County, Ohio, March 11, 1836, and lived in his native State until his nineteenth year, when he left Ohio for the West. After residing in Missouri until the fall of 1858, he, with fifteen others, went to Pike's Peak. He remained there about two years and then returned to Ohio, and from there came to Kansas. He was married March 19, 1861, in Scioto County, Ohio, to Miss Martha Tucker, a native of Ohio. They have five children living - Charles B., Ellen S., Eva B., William A., and Arthur C. Mr. B. owns a choice upland farm of thirty acres, all enclosed with an excellent hedge and all under cultivation. The firm of which he is senior member (Baird & Son) devote their attention exclusively to raising and shipping fruit. Their orchard covers about twenty-five acres and contains about 4,000 apple, 200 pear, cherry, quince and other fruit trees. They have six acres in small fruits-principally raspberries and blackberries-and about two acres in grapes. They use one of Zimmerman's, No. 4, fruit and vegetable dryers. Its capacity is fifty bushels per day and it is driven to its fullest extent. They also make a specialty of manufacturing a superior article of pure cider vinegar, of which they average seventy-five barrels yearly. The improvements on the farm consist of a seven-room handsome frame cottage dwelling house two stories high, eligibly situated on an elevated site which commands a fine view of the surrounding country, the grounds being tastefully laid out and filled with evergreens, shrubbery and shade trees. There is also a fruit house 20 x 40 feet, with cellar, large stock barn, smoke house and other buildings on the property.
WILIAM N. BORDEN, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 23, P. O. Easton, came to Kansas in the spring of 1843, and located in what is now Kickapoo Township, where he lived six months, and from there removed to Platte County, Mo., where he lived until July, 1844, when he returned to Kansas and located in the village of Easton, Leavenworth County, where he resided three years, and was engaged in the grocery business. From Easton he removed to Denver, Colo., where he resided about one and a half years, and then returned to Easton. From there he removed to his farm in Easton Township, where he has resided since. He was Road Supervisor of Easton Township for two years, and member of the School Board of District No. 72, Leavenworth County, two years. He is a member of Easton Lodge, No. 45, A., F. & A. M. During the war of the Rebellion, Mr. Borden was engaged in freighting and furnishing cattle for the United States Government. He was born in Green County, Tenn., December 25, 1813, and lived in his native State until his eighteenth year, when, after spending a short time in Kentucky and Indiana, he went to Augusta, Ga., where he lived two years, and then removed to Platte County, Mo., where he lived twelve years, and then went to California, where he lived two years, and was engaged in mining and keeping a boarding-house. He then returned to Missouri via the Isthmus of Panama and Havana, where, after remaining a short time, he came to Kansas. He was married in Platte County, Mo., May 15, 1839, to Miss Martha Adamson, a native of Tennessee. They have had fourteen children, five of whom are living - Rebecca Ann (married to Robert Bishop, a native of Kentucky, and a resident of Easton, Leavenworth County), Jacob W. (a resident of Colorado), Samuel K. (a farmer, residing in Easton Township, married to Miss Mary Sparks, a native of Kansas), Nancy C. (married to Walter B. Townsend, a resident of the city of Atchison), and Robert S. Mr. Borden has an upland farm of 120 acres, all inclosed (sic), and 100 acres of which are in cultivation, the balance being timber land. His orchard covers five acres, and contains 250 apple, 500 peach, fifty cherry, and a number of pear and plum trees. There is also an abundance of small fruits and grapes. The farm is well supplied with water, having a good well and two large springs. The improvements consist of a four-room frame dwelling house, 18 x 32, with cellar; stock stable and granary 36 x 40, and other outbuildings.
JOHN L. BRISTOW, farmer, Section 26, P. O. Easton, came to Kansas, March 1, 1855, and located in Easton Township, Leavenworth County, where he has resided since. He has been Supervisor of the roads of Easton Township one term, member of the School Board of District No. 72, Leavenworth County, three terms. He is a member of the Old School Baptist Church. Mr. Bristow participated in the war of the Rebellion as Sergeant of Company A, Eleventh Regiment, Kansas Volunteers, and enlisted in Easton, in August, 1862, and was discharged at Fort Leavenworth, in September, 1865. He took part in the battles of Fort Wayne, Ark., Cane Hill, Prairie Grove, Lexington, Independence, Westport, and other minor engagements and skirmishes. He was born in Boone County, Ind., June 27, 1837, and lived in his native State until September, 1854, when he started for Kansas, stopping in Warren County, Ind., where he remained through the winter. He was married in Easton Township, March 6, 1862, to Miss Missouri A. Wilburn, a native of Ohio. They have eight children living - William Francis, Ephraim Linsey, Mary Delliah, Joseph Albert, Eliza Ann, James Jesse, Lydia Alice, and John. Mr. Bristow has a small upland farm of forty acres, all inclosed (sic) and all under cultivation. The orchard covers two acres, and contains 150 apple, 300 peach, and twenty-five cherry trees. The water supply is excellent. The improvements consist of a small frame dwelling house, stock stable, smoke-house (sic) and other outbuildings. He had twenty-five acres in corn this year, which averaged fifty bushels to the acre.
ETHBERT CAULK, farmer, P. O. Easton, came to Kansas, January 1, 1863, locating in Kickapoo Township, Leavenworth County, where he lived five years, and then removed to Easton of the same county, where he has resided since. He is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Caulk was in the United States service during the "Price Raid," in the war of the Rebellion, as a member of Company I, Nineteenth Regiment, Kansas Militia, and enlisted in the fall of 1864, in Kickapoo Township, and was discharged with his regiment at Leavenworth, after serving eighteen days. Mr. C. also served a short time in the Confederate army, having been pressed into the Rebel service while residing in Arkansas, in 1861. He was born in Guilford County, N. C., September 6, 1828, and lived in his native State until his nineteenth year, and then removed to East Tennessee, where he lived seven years. From there he removed to Washington County, Ark., where he also lived seven years, and then came to Kansas. He was married in Morgan County, Tenn., May 4, 1855, to Miss Mary S. Goddard, a native of Tennessee. They have thirteen children, of whom nine are living - William Henry, John Milton, Juliana, Samuel Ethbert, Margaret Emma, Ulysses Grant, Gideon Wesley, Mary, and Norah. Mr. Caulk has a fine upland farm of 160 acres, which is mostly enclosed, and seventy acres of which are in cultivation. His orchard contains 180 apple and 100 peach trees. The water supply is good, there being two never-failing wells, and Jones Creek running through the northeast corner of his farm. The improvements consist of a good log house, stock stable, and other farm buildings.
BARTON ELLISON, farmer, Section 24, P. O. Easton; came to Kansas in February, 1876, and located in Easton Township, where he has resided since. He was Road Supervisor of Easton Township three terms. He is a member of the Baptist Church and of Easton Lodge No. 45, A. F. & A. M. He participated in the last war as a member of Company K. Twenty-Fifth Missouri Militia, and enlisted in DeKalb, Mo., in the fall of 1862, and was discharged after serving one month at St. Joe. Shortly after his discharge he came to Kansas, where he resided until the September of the following year, when he returned to DeKalb, where he again entered the United States service as a member of Company K. Eighty-First Regiment Missouri Militia, and served until the close of the war. Mr. Ellison was born near Rushville, Rush Co., Ind., September 9, 1840, and lived in his native State until March 8, 1845, when his parents removed to DeKalb, Mo., where Mr. E. lived until he came to Kansas. He was married in 1860, in DeKalb, to Miss Nancy M. Clinkinbeard, a native of Missouri. They have one child, a daughter, Ivy Annie, the wife of S. A. Roberson, a native of Missouri and a resident of Nebraska. Mr. Ellison has a fine upland farm of eighty acres, mostly enclosed, thirty-five acres of which are under cultivation, the balance being timber and pasture land. The water supply is fair. There is a small orchard on the farm which is filled with apple, peach and cherry trees. The improvements consist of a stone dwelling house, stock barn and other outbuildings.
ROBERT FEVURLY, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 23, P. O. Easton, came to Kansas in June 1868, locating on his farm in Easton Township, Leavenworth County, where he has resided since. He is a member of Easton Lodge No. 33, A. F. & A. M. He participated in the war of the Rebellion as a member of Company H, One Hundred and Fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and enlisted in Pittsburg, Pa., October 27, 1861, and was discharged at Petersburg, Va., October 28, 1864. He took part in the battles of Fair Oaks, Seven Days Fight, Second Bull Run, Fredricksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and numerous other engagements and skirmishes. Mr. Fevurly was born in Germany November 16, 1837, but left his native country at a very early age with his parents who emigrated to America, and who located at Philadelphia, where they lived about five years and then removed to Elk County, Pa., where they lived until Mr. F. attained his ninth year, when they removed to Jefferson County, in the same State, where Mr. F. lived until the breaking out of the Rebellion. After his discharge from the army he returned to Jefferson County, Pa., where he resided until he came to Kansas. He has been married twice. The first marriage took place June 19, 1870, in the city of Leavenworth, to Miss Mary A. Behler, a native of Ohio. She died October 14, 1874. Three children were the result of this marriage-Ida, Emma, and Joseph. The second marriage occurred November 28, 1875, in Easton Township, to Miss Martha McCarty, a native of Missouri. By this marriage they had four children, three of whom are living - Mollie, Edna, and Kate. Mr. Fevurly has a fine prairie farm of 320 acres, all enclosed; 160 acres are in cultivation, the balance being pasture land. The orchard covers five acres and contains 200 apple, 200 peach, 40 pear, and 30 plum trees. The farm is well supplied with water. The improvements consist of a four-roomed frame dwelling house, good barn, granary, smoke-house, etc. There is also a small tenant house on the place for the use of the farm hands.
BARTHOLOMEW GRIFFIN, laborer U. P. R. R. (K. C. Division), P. O. Easton, came to Kansas in November, 1876, locating at Fort Leavenworth, where he was a member of Company D, Twenty-Third Regiment United States Infantry. He enlisted in Boston, Mass., in October, 1875, served three years and six months-one year in Omaha, and the remainder of the time in Kansas-and was discharged for disability on account of injuries received while in the line of his duty, at Fort Leavenworth in January, 1878. After his discharge from the army, he located in the city of Leavenworth, where he lived until the fall of 1881, when he removed to Easton Township, Leavenworth County, where he has resided since. Mr. Griffin was born in Lawrence, Mass., but lived there only six months when his mother left America with him for Ireland, where he lived until his fifteenth year, when he returned to the place of his nativity, where he lived four years, and then left for Worcester, Mass., where he lived one year. From Worcester he again returned to Lawrence, where he lived four years and then entered the United States Army. He is a member of the Catholic Church and of the United Sons of Freedom. He was married in the city of Leavenworth in July, 1878, to Miss Julia Carpenter, a native of the State of New York.
Corporal, Thornton James B. H. residence Easton, Enlisted Sept. 16, 1861, Mustered in Sept. 16, 1861. Promoted Captain 12th U. S. Col'd Aug. 17, 1863.