Wolf River Township, Map, 1882.
Severance Kansas, 1912.
Severance, one of the incorporated towns of Doniphan county, is located in Wolf River township on the Wolf river and on the St. Joseph & Grand Island R. R., 12 miles west of Troy, the county seat. It has banking facilities, a weekly newspaper (the News), telegraph and express offices, and a money order postoffice with two rural routes. The population in 1910 was 500. The town was founded in 1869 and named after John Severance, who with C. C. Clonch and Dr. Robert Gunn laid out the town. A postoffice was established with A. Gunn, who owned the first store, as postmaster. The promoters of the town gave the railroad company $500 to build a depot. They put up a platform, thereby violating an agreement they had with Joel Ryan of Ryan's Station not to build a station within 3 miles of his town. This led to litigation which ended in 1874, and the depot was built at Severance that year. Some of the first settlers in the community were C. C. Clonch, Swintz and Waggoner. In 1855 Clonch was attacked in his cabin by Swintz and Waggoner, both of whom he killed. There is an account of a battle being fought on the site of Severance in 1844 between the Sacs and Foxes and the Pawnees.
Some of the first business men were D. J. Grandstaff, physician ; W. H. H. Curtis, lumberman; L. C. Nelson, hardware and harness; J. A. Campbell & Co., druggists; Adam Brenner, grain dealer; M. E. Holmes, tinner; Winchester Bell, shoes; J. J. Glass, saloon. The first teacher was Miss Laura Hern, who taught school about a mile and a half from town. everance was incorporated in 1877, the following were the first officers: W. H. H. Curtis, mayor; L. C. Nelson, city clerk; J. A. Campbell, police judge; Amos Sanford, Dr. G. S. Hopkins, W. D. Rippy, Walter Clonch and John T. Kirwin, councilmen. This council bought and improved a city park.