[Note: Name Changed from “Constant” to “Hackney.”]
[Vol. I, History of Cowley County, Kansas.]
The town of Constant opened its first post office July 3, 1871, with Henry H. Constant as postmaster. The office was closed November 13, 1872. The town opened its second post office April 5, 1880, which remained open until March 31, 1894, when the town name was changed to Hackney.
[HACKNEY CORRESPONDENT: “GRAPHITE.”]
Arkansas City Republican, January 3, 1885.
Constant has passed over to the “silent majority in that unmapped country.” Our new station, Hackney, nearly a mile north of said defunct Constant, is now the energetic metropolis of this beautiful valley.
Cowley County Heritage, 1990.
The foundation of the village of Hackney started when the Santa Fe railroad company established a station in 1881. Hackney was named in honor of the master mechanic of the road, W. P. Hackney. [Note: This is wrong! Hackney was named for W. P. Hackney, an attorney at Winfield, who did work for the railroad. MAW] As time progressed, the Baden grain elevator was erected; Charlie Fisher had a blacksmith shop; the Everhart brothers had a lumber yard. As demands were great upon the store at Constant, operated by Mr. and Mrs. John W. Feuquay, and located one-half mile to the south, it was moved to Hackney and a second story added, with an outside entrance, for Grange meetings and other occasions. The store was then run by Johnny Johnson. Farmers drove livestock to the holding pens at Hackney to load onto the train and ship to market.
On August 27, 1885, the morning train took twenty minutes to stop at the Hackney Hotel for refreshments. The hotel was run by Mrs. Lewis Brown.
On May 24, 1892, the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church was organized at Hackney.
In 1892, the Farm and Home Institute (originally the South Bend Institute) was started at Hackney.
The first Grange was called the “South Bend Cooperative Association and Pleasant Valley Grange.” It was reorganized as the “Farm and Home Institute,” which held meetings in the second-floor room of the store building in Hackney. The Institute continued to meet each year, except two, until its closing and seventieth year in 1964. The object of the institute was to “instruct the farmers in more scientific methods of farming and in other ways add to the material, moral, and intellectual advancement of the farmer and his family.” In the early days institute meetings were held for two to four days with a basket dinner each day. Those attending met above the Whitson store and various other places until the township hall was built in 1928. After that meetings were held in the township hall.
On August 29, 1894, Hackney became the birthplace of the “Cowley County Old Settler’s Society,” when a number of pioneers met and started the society. Their object was to perpetuate and preserve the memory of pioneer days, to maintain acquaintances and good fellowship among the citizens of the county.
On February 25, 1901, the Hackney Temperance Union was organized to fight the liquor problem. S. A. Beach was president; Frank Chapin was secretary.
In 1902 the store and post office were purchased and operated by the Whitson brothers and John and Basil Whitson. The store functioned at least until the end of 1918.
In 1909 the Southwestern Inter-urban Railway Company built a trolley rail line from Winfield to Arkansas City. A power station was located about 2½ miles north of Hackney. Tracks ran along the west side of the row of houses in Hackney and existed for about ten years.
On April 20, 1918, the Hackney Farmers Union Co-op was organized. Plans were made to build a grain elevator along the Santa Fe railroad tracks, with permission of the railroad company. The first president was “Col.” C. W. Russell. R. A. Reynolds was the temporary secretary. The board of directors of the Hackney Co-op were elected representatives from Farmers Union Locals of South Bend, Lone Star, Beaver, and Odessa.
On November 30, 1918, the Southwestern Interurban Railway Company was sold.
On May 19, 1926, the Hackney Farmers Union launched a project to erect a community hall for the use of worthwhile entertainment as well as a place for Grange meetings, elections, literary entertainments, Farmers’ Institutes, and as a monument to the Farmers Union ideals. Construction began on March 1928. On May 23, 1928, the tenth annual meeting of the Farmers Union Co-op was held in the new hall.
In 1942 the United States government bought farm land west of Hackney for an Air Force training base. This base was named “Strother Field.” The land is now owned by Winfield and Arkansas City and is used as an industrial site with the balance of the land utilized by local farmers.
On August 17, 1963, the Hackney Evangelical United Brethren Church was struck by lightning and burned. It ws located a half mile south of Hackney. Most of the members joined the Baptist Church in Hackney and the building was enlarged to accommodate the increased membership. The name was changed to “Hackney Community Baptist Church.”
In February 1893 the Pleasant Valley Township Hall was torn down and replaced with a one-story building.
Hackney today has a church, a grain cooperative, a township hall, and nine resident homes with a population of about twenty-five.
Article was submitted by Doris J. Priest.
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 4, 1880.
Sifford Bros. have erected a blacksmith shop in the vicinity of the Constant P. O. in Pleasant Valley.
[COWLEY COUNTY TEACHERS.]
Winfield Courier, September 2, 1880.
CONSTANT. F. A. Chapin. - Grade C.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 22, 1880.
GREENBACK MEETINGS. Rev. D. P. Mitchell, candidate for Congress from the third district, and one of the first Greenback orators of the day, will speak in this county at the following named places and times:
Dexter, October 7, 11 a.m.
Arkansas City, October 7, 7:30 p.m.
Constant, October 8, 2 p.m.
Winfield, October 8, 7:30 p.m.
[CONSTANT, PLEASANT VALLEY, CORRESPONDENT: “HAPPY DICK.”]
Winfield Courier, January 13, 1881.
Constant is located about half way between Winfield and Arkansas City; and consists of one dwelling house, the residence of Mr. Holland, one granary or out house, one threshing machine, and one straw stack. There is also one grocery store kept by one John W. Feuquay, an enterprising young man who will buy or sell anything from a shoe string to a jack rabbit, and is prepared to sell groceries as cheap and pay as good a price for produce as any man in that business.
The Holland schoolhouse of district number 10 is located one half mile south of this place and Miss Mattie Mitchell is teaching the young idea how to shoot.
We have a Literary Society here in good running order under the auspices of Messrs. Bailey, Feuquay, Holland, and McKerlie, assisted by Miss Nancy Zimmerman as treasurer and first class speeches can be heard from there every Wednesday evening.
We attended a turkey dinner at the residence of D. W. Mumaw. The only drawback to the pleasure of the day was the absence of our host. D. W. Mumaw had gone to visit his brothers in Pottawatomie County and was unable to return in time due to the storm. We were treated by Mrs. Mumaw, and her brother, Mr. Isaac Ruth.
On Christmas day Mr. and Mrs. Bailey celebrated the anniversary of their 15th wedding, and in the evening they were treated to a surprise party by their neighbors, supper being brought and set by the company. HAPPY DICK.
[TEACHERS DIRECTORY: 1881-1882.]
Winfield Courier, January 12, 1882.
Constant. J. E. Grimes, District No. 115. Monthly Salary $35.00.
[PLEASANT VALLEY CORRESPONDENT: “SCHUYLERIUS.”]
Winfield Courier, April 6, 1882.
Mr. Feuquay of Constant has a good stock of groceries on hand now. Call and see him.
[PLEASANT VALLEY CORRESPONDENT: “SCHUYLERIUS.”]
Winfield Courier, May 4, 1882.
We understand that the A. T. & S. F. Co., are putting in a platform at Constant station.
[PLEASANT VALLEY CORRESPONDENT: “HORATIUS.”]
Winfield Courier, May 4, 1882.
After a pleasant visit of several weeks among relatives, friends, and acquaintances, Mrs. Lizzie J. Page took the train at Constant for her home in the Dominion of Canada. She acted the part of a good Samaritan to perfection, and her visit will not soon be forgotten by those who were the special recipients of her kindest attention.
[CONSTANT, PLEASANT VALLEY, CORRESPONDENT: “MARK.”]
Arkansas City Traveler, August 23, 1882.
Eds. Traveler: Delightful weather for haying and threshing, but “mighty dry” plowing.
BIRTH. Born to Mr. and Mrs. Will Wilson on the 11th inst., a bouncing baby boy.
Last week John Walton started for the mountains of Colorado to look after his mining interests. The Finley farm changed hands for a consideration of $2,500. Mr. Silliman, of Winfield, purchaser. Mr. Wilson Shaw and wife contemplate making a visit next month to the Hoosier and Buckeye States.
D. W. Mumaw can scarcely sleep of nights for making plans and specifications for a new dwelling house.
Having a few leisure moments at my disposal, I will devote them to penning a few items of news for your appreciative readers. A few days ago John Rarick pulled up stakes, and, unlike the Arab, folded his lariats and quietly stole over to Maple City. The preliminaries have been arranged by the Methodist church, South, for the construction of a suitable building for worship, at Tannehill. On the strength of a good crop of our staple cereal, Mr. Williams, Sr., will make a visit next week to the State of Pukedom to see his daughter and son-in-law. At Washington schoolhouse the Followers of Christ are conducting a series of meetings with unfavorable results thus far. Cassius Roseberry now airs his lady in the neatest driving outfit to be seen in this community, while Cassius is the rattiest, prettiest, and jolliest married man in this township. Ye reporter is in receipt of neat, nobby, and artistic invitation cards politely requesting his presence at the wedding, which occurs on the 17th inst. at Baltimore, this county. Of course he will go, even if he has to knock down the whole neighborhood to get away. Will tell you more about it later.
Last week Louis P. King and family accompanied Mr. Winton and wife on their return to Colorado. They intend engaging in the grocery business at Pueblo. Mrs. Winton had the misfortune of losing her little boy during her visit here among relatives. We regret very much to part with Louis, but wish him all manner of success in his new enterprise.
Last week Zack Whitson had the audacity to refuse $8,000 for his half-section farm. Perhaps he will not be censured for doing so, when it is known that his wheat crop averaged 44½ bushels per acre and his oats 79 bushels. Zack has decidedly the highest average yield of any farmer in this vicinity, and merits the same as he is a model husbandman. Other crops so far as threshed, are yielding from 25 to 30 bushels per acre.
All hail to St. John and prohibition! Still higher goes our temperance banner, and may it forever grandly, majestically, and triumphantly wave o’er the land of sobriety and homes of soberness. Let all who have any regard for honor, morality, virtue, decency, and progress, cast their ballot, when comes the November ides, in favor of the champion of prohibition once more holding the gubernatorial reins, while our proud young State continues her course: “Ad Astra Per Aspera.”
Our “dear people” seem considerably relieved since the holding of the Republican County Convention, because of the cessation of the “chin music” and hearty hand gripping of pleasant, cheerful, hopeful candidates for public favors. On the whole, with but a solitary exception, we are satisfied with the nominees. Defeated candidates have our hearty sympathy and consolation in this their great bereavement. They will derive comfort, of course, from the thought that retaliation shall be theirs in the “sweet bye and bye.”
By the way, what shall we do with our colored nominee for Auditor of State? Will he be whitewashed by the dear people and then swallowed by the “white trash?” Now I have no particular objection to our Ethiopian brother having such high aspirations, but we most emphatically dislike to see his colors soiled and morals corrupted by evil associations. Have we at last reached that period in history of the Caucasian race, when there is no longer a sufficient number of the white race self-sacrificing enough to act as public officials, without defiling and debasing the African. This is a conundrum that somewhat perplexes us.
[Note: on State Republican Ticket, For Auditor, E. P. McCabe. MAW]
The steam threshers have this season driven the horse power machines to Hades, or some other equally obscure locality, as they are no longer visible. The engine is a grand improvement—economically, financially, and in quality of work—over the old, time-honored and laborious method of threshing grain. To be sure, it extracts a larger percent of the vinegar element out of the hands who have the pleasure (?) of assisting in operating one of them, but the duration required to complete a job is comparatively short. It furnishes all active exercise in measuring and handling the grain as it rolls in torrents from the machine, and nearly buries alive all the young men in the straw stack. Messrs. Coulter and Herron and the Davis brothers command the throttle valves in this vicinity. MARK.