Sunday, September 2, 2012

De Soto Kansas.

The Business Directory of 1867, for North Missouri and Eastern Kansas, describes De Soto as a village siuated on the south bank of the Kaw or Kansas river, in the north part of Johnson county not far from its north-west corner and eleen miles north-west of Olathe, the county seat.

Business Men of De Soto, as of 1867.
A. Bernstein, General Store.
G. W. Fisher, Blacksmith.
R. Kenedy, Physician.
J. Overasker, Shoemaker.
J. P. Robinson, Physician.
D. Rolf, General Store.
James Smith, Postmaster.
C. H. Strotter, Flour Mill.
W. P. Subbs, Physician.
H. Tatlor, Hotel.
J. T. Taylor, Blacksmith.
Baldwin Taylor & Co, General Store.

Business Men of De soto, as of 1874.

James B. Abbott, Farmer, From Conn., came to county 1860.
K. Dow, Insurance Agent, from Vermont, came to county 1866.
George W. Frain, farmer, from Mich., came to county 1857.
A. W. French, Farmer.
Warren Kinball, Sand Merchant, from Mass., came to county 1857.
Joseph Landon, Physician and Surdeon, from Ohio, came to county 1870.
James A. Moseley, Farmer, from Indiana, came to county 1872.
J. A. Moseley, Farmer, from Missouri, came to county 1872.
William H. Smith, Minister, from New York, came to county 1860.
W. P. Stubbs, Physician.
Boldwin & Taylor General Mdse., from Ohio, came to county 1860.
J. Weathers, Groceries, from Ky., came to county 1857.

Business men who used De Soto as their P. O. address as of  1902.

Charles W. Bell, Farmer and Stock Raiser, came to county 1855.
A. T. Brown, Manager, De Soto Lumber, came to county 1880.
Charles P. Dicken, Farmer and Stock Raiser, came to county 1860.
Lewis C. Dow, Postmaster, Notary Public and Dealer in Notions, came to county 1875.
J. J. Houston, Nursey, Fruit Bees, Bee Supplies, came to county 1871.
George McDougall, Prop. Standard Implement House, came to county 1860.
James L. Morgan, Farmer and Stock Raiser, came to county 1858.
A. J. Ouderkiak, Farmer and Stock Raiser, came to county 1876.
John R. Penner, Farmer and Stock Raiser, came to county, 1865.
Fred Thomas, Farmer and Stock Raiser, came to county 1870.
Wilard & Wiard, Publishers ot the News Paper "Eagle."

De Soto as it was described in 1912.
De Soto, an incorporated town of Johnson county, is located in the northwestern part on the south bank of the Kansas river and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. i6 miles east of Lawrence. The town Avas laid out in the spring of 1857 by a company and named after the great Spanish explorer. A store was soon opened and a sawmill built on the river. Late in the year several more buildings were elected and the De Soto hotel was opened. In i860 the postoffice was established
with James Smith as postmaster. The Methodist church was the pioneer religious denomination, an organization having been perfected in 1858, but no church was erected until 1870. De Soto now contains several general stores, a hardware and implement house, lumber yard, good public school system, money order postoffice, telegraph and express facilities,- and is the shipping and supply point for a considerable district. The population in 1910 was 500.

The following was taken from the history Johnson County.

De Soto, Kan., is situated in the northern part of Lexington township, on the Santa Fe railroad, sixteen miles east of Lawrence. It is a thriving little city, and is surrounded by a good farming territory. It has a city light plant, a grain elevator, and Hodge Brothers have a large lumber yard there of which J. E. Dewees is manager. The Kaw Valley Mercantile Company and the Taylor Mercantile Company have large establishments, carrying full lines of general merchandise. All
lines of business are well represented. The city has a population of  about 500.

The De Soto "Eagle Eye" is published by Wiard & Wiard, and is a newsy paper of genuine merit, and covers the surrounding territory thoroughly.

The De Soto State Bank has a capital and surplus of $18,000. B. S. Taylor is president and Andrew Smith, cashier. It is one of the solid financial institutions of the county.

Other business firms are: Ralph Jinks (successor to Coker Brothers, general merchandise ; Davis & Ore, implement store ; J. M. Stuchberry, hardware ; Nicholson & Chambers, hardware, furniture and undertaking; Baker & Company, furniture and undertaking; John Boen, livery; B. C. Gulp, Rexall drug store; L. C. Blaylock, garage; Charles Kaegie, blacksmith ; James Hidleston, second-hand store ; George Wyland, barber; Dr. Marks, physician; Dr. Fortney, physician; J. F. Mason, stockman ; M. Rakestraw, postmaster.


De Soto was organized in the spring of 1857 D . v a town company, composed of B. W. Woodward, James F. Ligate, James Findley and G. W. Hutchinson. It was named after the great Spanish explorer, De Soto.

Zera Nichols occupied the first frame building in the town as a general store in 1857, and Stratton & Williams built a saw mill on the river bank. D. Rolfe was employed as engineer for a year and he liked the country so well that he sent for his family and they arrived here in April, 1858. Two or three buildings were erected in 1857. Percy Teters built a double dwelling- in 1858, and his family and that of John Van Rankin occupied it. The first hotel was built in 1858 and Mr. Rolfe
moved into it that year. John Van Rankin started a general store in 1859. Tli e postoffice was established in i860 and James Smith was  the first postmaster.


The Methodist church was organized in 1858 with Elder Buch as minister. Meetings were held in private houses and in the hotel until 1866 when a stone church, costing $2,500, was erected. The Presbyterian church also was organized in 1858. In 1879 they built a stone building costing $2,000. Rev. William H. Smith became pastor in 1860 and remained pastor for about thirty years.

The first birth in De Soto was a child of Mr. and Mrs. Gentry. It. died soon after birth and this was the first death in the town.

The first marriage was a double one, that of Trusdale Barclay to Mellisa Gentry and Robert Todd to Mary Gentry, the ceremony occurring in 1859.

A two-story flouring mill was erected in 1879, near the depot, by Skinner & Barrett.


The excitement of the border war was as great at De Soto as in other border towns, and the people of that vicinity organized the home guards and picketed the roads. Robert Todd, of this place owned a horse named "Buckskin" that used to stroll across the Kill creek bridge, near his home, where pasture was greener than on his side of  the creek. Sometimes he would go over in the evening and along" about daylight the next morning return home. A Mr. Lewellyn. who did not know "Buckskin," nor his way, was placed near the bridge one night after "Buckskin" had crossed, with orders to halt everyone that attempted to cross the creek. Early next morning he heard the horse coming across the bridge. Mr. Lewellyn called "Halt" and "Buckskin" stopped. "Advance and give the countersign," yelled Mr. Lewellyn, and "Buckskin" started on and kept advancing. Mr. Lewellyn, thinking it was a bushwhacker, blazed away, putting a bullet in "Buckskin's"
jaw. "Old Buckskin" was a tough animal though and a few days' doctoring by Mr. Todd brought him back to his usual good health.
Business men of De Soto as of 1922.
G. L. Beecroft, Electrical Shop.
J. E. Deweese, Lumber.
J. G. Freeman, Township Trustee.
G. H. Frisbie, Elevator.
R. Goehner, Druggist.
F. M. Gordon, Farmer and Stock Raiser.
W. A. Gordon, Farmer.
C. S. Hambleton, Vice President De Soto State Bank.
C. E. Jewett, Farmer.
J. T. Large, Garage.
E. S. Marshall, Farmer.
F. E. Stuchbery, Hardwarw and Furniure.
Taylor's Cafe and Restaurant.

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