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J. J. Plank

                                                        Gunsmith. Winfield.
Winfield 1878: J. J. Plank, 47; spouse, L. L. Plank, 36.
Walnut Township 1881: John Plank, 50; spouse, Lora, 38.
Walnut Township 1882: Jno. J. Plank, 51; spouse, Laura, 40.
Winfield Directory 1880.
Plank, J. J., Gun Smith, 9th avenue bet Main and Millington;
r. Court House, s. s. bet Davis and Thompson.
Winfield Directory 1885.
Plank J J, guns and ammunition, 122 e 9th, res e Myrtle
                                               FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Winfield Courier, December 23, 1875.
Mr. J. T. Shields, of the firm of McMillen & Shields, is with us again. He arrived last Friday, bringing with him D. Sleighbaugh, J. J. Plank, and John McMillen, all from Wooster, Ohio. They had visited various portions of Kansas before coming here, but like Cowley the best.
Winfield Courier, September 14, 1876.
For delegates to the Republican convention of the 88th Representative district: N. C. McCulloch, J. H. Hill, G. S. Manser, J. S. Hunt, W. D. Roberts, Chas. Love, W. G. Graham,
J. M. Baer, G. W. Arnold, E. G. Sheridan. Alternates: I. W. Randall, W. E. Christie, Perry Hill, J. H. Curfman, A. B. Lemmon, Z. B. Myers, A. Howland, J. J. Plank, E. P. Hickok, and Thos. Dunn.
Winfield Courier, September 28, 1876. Front Page.
From Kansas.
WINFIELD, COWLEY CO., KAN., August 18th, 1876.
EDITORS REPUBLICAN: Thinking a line from a Wayne County boy would interest you, I take the liberty of addressing you. I left Wooster in April last, and located here in Cowley County in May. Three month’s residence here but confirms, in my estimation, the glowing but truthful report you gave this great State as you observed it on your Editorial Excursion to the west.
Kansas is a great State, and Cowley County is without doubt one of the best counties in it. Its geographical situation is all that could be wished for; the Arkansas and Walnut valleys, with the adjacent upland, offer to the agriculturalist and stock raiser advantages far superior to anything in old Wayne County. One great advantage is the cheapness of land; land as productive as any on this continent can be bought for from $1.25 to $10.00 per acre. The improvements on land making the higher price; these lands vary in depth of soil according to location, but runs all along from 7 inches to 3 feet in depth, and thousands of acres even more than the latter figure, and all of it with proper culture will prove almost inexhaustible; enormous crops are grown, and on an average will produce from one-third to one-half more than Ohio soil. This is the verdict of farmers who have experimented in the east.

This county is not yet 7 years old, but it would astonish you to see the progress made in that line. No longer a wilder­ness of grass, but in place, waving crops of splendid grain which promptly ripens in its proper season.
Mr. Lo, with his wigwam, has gone westward, while the enterprising and tireless white man is erecting good, substantial dwelling houses everywhere.
Ten thousand people, within seven years, have gathered within the limits of this county, which is 30 miles square. Well constructed schoolhouses are located at proper distances through­out the settled portion of the county and State. The school system is the pride of the state. It is the counterpart of the Ohio system. The Legislature has made ample provision by enact­ment, by endowment, and by local taxation, to warrant school boards in employing the best of talent; the effect has been magical. Evidences of thrift and intelligence are wayside marks on every highway, and as a direct result of all this I will say the County and State is largely Republican. But as is natural it should be so, as the past history of the country at large shows us that where we have no schools or educational facilities, there you can look for Democratic majorities.
Hayes and Wheeler stock is at a premium here. The civil and war records of our gallant Buckeye candidate is so well known that the wrecker will stand no chance at all. The external surface of the Tilden ticket has been polished to such a degree that thousands of Democratic voters are sliding off, afraid to trust such a treacherous, transparent thing. From appearances our ticket will have 20,000 majority in the state of Kansas. There are a dozen or more Wayne County men here; I know a large majority of them will vote right; had J. J. Plank and I been six days later in entering the state, we would have lost our votes by non-residence.
J. J. Johnson, formerly a resident of Wooster, is a resident here; he is largely engaged in agriculture and stock raising. He owns 480 acres of land in one body, on which he grazes a herd of splendid cattle that are growing into money every day; he is surrounded with an interesting family and everything calculated to make home pleasant. His success is evidence of what energy coupled with intelligent, systematic management will do when surrounded with such local advantage—as this State offers within its limits.
J. P. McMillen has gone to Colorado to recruit his health; the firm of McMillen & Shields, representative Wayne County men, do a good business in general merchandise; what J. P. don’t know about the dry goods business is not worth knowing.
There is no special inducement for any more mercantile men to engage in business here, but in all other pursuits the way is open, and there is money in it. By today’s mail I send you samples of grain and grass grown here; it will speak for itself. I will add that the Kansas exhibition of agricultural products at the Centennial is the best ever made in this county. We can grow almost anything that will sprout in the ground.
There are no grasshoppers here as yet and should they visit us now, the crops are so well matured that they could do no great damage. I believe the severe trials to which the settlers were subjected has been a profitable lesson to all; you can see immense cribs of corn almost everywhere as a guard against want in case of another raid by the hooked nosed, crooked legged pest.
An immense acreage of wheat is being sown, no danger of starving now, as the railroads cannot carry the crops fast enough to market, leaving a large surplus on hand.
At some future time I may write you how our Wayne County men prosper, for prosper they will; let others take notice.

J. J. Plank is in his glory, as the hunting season has commenced; he has shot more game since the 15th than any man in the township. What a place this would be for Bolus, Plank, Faber, Baumgardner, and the rest of the boys. Prairie chickens by the thousand, and other game in proportion.
This is Monday evening, and I anxiously await the mail, for it brings the WOOSTER REPUBLICAN regular. I read it first, then pass it around. I have been a subscriber for it for twelve years and shall keep it up. J. M. BAIR.
Winfield Courier, May 10, 1877.
DIED. On Sunday, at 5:30 a.m., of pneumonia, JOSEPHINE, infant daughter of J. J. and L. L. Plank. Aged 14 months.
Nellie Plank...
Winfield Courier, June 14, 1877.
The Closing Exercises of the Winfield public schools came off Friday afternoon of last week under the direction of Geo. W. Robinson, principal. The four schools united in giving an entertainment in the Courthouse hall. These exercises consisted of songs, declamations, essays, dialogues, and a paper. Jay Bryan, in a well delivered declamation, told us why a dog’s nose is always cold, and Samuel Aldrich rendered the “Wedding of Whitinsville” quite well. Three little girls, Ada Rushbridge, Minnie Andrews, and Nellie Plank gave a dialogue teaching the true source of pleasure, and Minnie Quarles and Anna Hunt illustrated the difference between the “good old times” and the present degenerate age. Frank Robinson came to the rescue of the much-abused grandmothers, while George Black advised us to “smile” whenever we can. Berkey Bartlett gave a good rendition of “The Sculptor Boy,” and Johnny Howland told us how well we look “sitting around.”
Winfield Courier, March 27, 1879.
The following is a list of the principal business firms of Winfield.
GUN SHOPS. John Easton, J. J. Plank.
Winfield Courier, July 10, 1879.
Pratt & Plank have erected a neat sign which will direct any of our people needing their fire-arms repaired to the shop in the basement of Fahey’s saloon.
[Note: Unable to find out who Pratt was.]
Winfield Courier, July 14, 1881.
Frank Manny was again arrested last Friday: this time for maintaining a nuisance, under the prohibitory law, which makes the keeping a place where intoxicating liquors are sold, a public nuisance, to be suppressed by due process, and the keeper thereof fined not less than one hundred dollars.
Saturday a jury was impaneled, consisting of W. C. Garvey, W. C. Robinson,  D. F. Long, Frank Weakley, W. W. Limbocker, Jacob Seiley, J. J. Plank,          Smith, A. H. Doane, Ed. Burnett, John Moffitt, and T. J. Harris. This jury is a strong one, which could be depended upon for an intelligent and just verdict.
The case was set for hearing on Monday morning. On that morning Mr. Manny was arrested five times, successively, on different complaints for selling intoxicating drinks in violation of law.

This began to look more like a tornado than like a little squall, and the defendant was inclined to compromise. It was finally agreed that he should confess judgment on the nuisance complaint, and judgment be entered up against him, with a fine of $100, which he should pay, and also pay all the costs of the seven cases against him, close his place of sale, and abide the law, when the six other cases would be dismissed.
We have no unkind feelings against Mr. Manny, but the law must be enforced, whoever it may hurt. He stood in a position that, if others violated the law, it would be charged to him. Now others will have to stand on their own merits, and cannot shuffle off on him.
Winfield Courier, June 14, 1883.
Little Tommy Wilson, son of Councilman Wilson, was seriously injured Monday. He climbed a tree in Mr. Plank’s yard, when the limb broke and he fell, breaking an arm and cutting his head severely.
Winfield Courier, July 12, 1883.
The Secretary of the Baptist Sunday School furnishes us with the following report.
No. of teachers and officers: 23.
Average attendance: 19.
Total attendance of the school: 187.
The following named teachers have been present every Sunday this year: B. F. Wood, J. S. Mann, and Miss Mary E. Miller.
Roll of Honor.
The following named scholars have been present every Sunday this year.
Adult Department: J. M. Fahnestock, Mrs. Deacon Sherrard, Mrs. Dora Coe, Deacon Miller, and A. B. Arment.
Intermediate Department: Charlie Plank, Harry Hunt, Abbie Rowland, Ella Gentry, Laura Herpich, and Johnny Trezise. The last named scholar has been present every Sunday for more than three years.
Primary Department: Otis Wood.
The financial account for six months shows a total received of $115.91, with $89.77 paid out, leaving a balance of $26.14.
Plank was still at his old stand on the northwest corner of 9th Avenue and Millington in Fahey’s building...
Winfield Courier, October 4, 1883.
J. J. PLANK has just received a new and choice stock of Guns, Gun Material, Ammunition, etc., which will bear the closest scrutiny, and would solicit a call from purchasers of such articles. All job work and repairing done on short notice and warranted.
Old stand, northwest corner of 9th and Millington Street.
Winfield Courier, July 24, 1884.
Talisman: J. J. Plank.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 22, 1885.
THE LUCKY NAMES AT THE Bee Hive Prize Drawing.
[Am Listing Names Only and not the Lucky Numbers.]
Mrs. J. J. Plank was one of those listed.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 9, 1885.

The Cowley County Normal Institute opened Monday in the High School building with a splendid outlook. One hundred and six were enrolled—almost double the first day’s enrollment of any year since the Institute’s inception. Sixty is the largest recorded for any first day up to this year. Prof. J. N. Wilkinson, of the State Normal School, is conductor, and Prof. A. Gridley, Miss Ella Kelly, and Mr. Will C. Barnes, all educators of experience and ability, are instructors. Of course, County Superintendent Limerick has general supervision. The teachers are vigorous and ambitious, exhibiting great interest in the enhancement of their vocation. The Institute is a marked contrast to that of last year, in attendance. Over half are new faces, if anything an improvement in appearance over any past Normal. Last year the Institute was held seven weeks, with one session a day. This year it will be but four weeks, with two sessions daily; morning, from 10 to 12; evening, 4 to 6. Following is Monday’s enrollment.
C. GRADE. Nellie Plank.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, November 26, 1885.
The following are the real estate transfers filed in the office of Register of Deeds since our last issue.
W H Albro et ux to J J Plank, lot 20, Parsonage ad to Winfield: $75.00.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 14, 1886.

OLD BOREAS LOOSE. Yes, we have had a lovely winter so far, almost continual autumn. Surprises are said to be the spice of life. Perhaps they are. But the surprise Old Boreas has heaped upon us, all in a pile, doubled everybody and everything into a double-twisted, double-concentrated bow-knot. Wednesday night a genuine, Simon-pure, old fashioned Kansas blizzard struck the town on the northwest corner. Old Boreas came down on his muscle, his breath laden with snow and ice, scooped up among the rugged hills of Alaska and the bleak prairies of Manitoba and Dakota. It howled and shrieked around the corners and split in thin whistles among the telephone wires, driving everybody indoors, except the “oldest inhabitants,” who appeared to be perfectly at home. Two or three of him struck THE COURIER with the declaration that this was the only day of the winter that reminded him of old times. Yes, it was a regular. It made ground hogs, Jack rabbits, and coyotes hunt their holes and the old family cat crawl under the stove. The little birds that only a day or two ago were swindled into the belief that this was to be the mildest winter for many a year, winked and blinked and tucked their heads under their wings, looking stiffer’n a poker. The benign countenance of the stove was the sweetest consolation. No business was done and nobody appeared to care. The clerks gazed listlessly out of the store doors and shivered at the prospect without. The center of the street was as uninviting as the ragged edge of a barbed wire fence. A gentleman just from Bliss & Wood’s mill declared that the streak of smoke issuing from the smoke stack of the mill was solidified and the boys, dressed in buffalo coats and caps and pants made of coon skins, were amusing themselves by sliding up that column of smoke and climbing down. A gentleman had a gun repaired at Plank’s and loaded it up to see how it would work, but the blaze froze into an icicle at the muzzle before it could escape. The head of the only whiskey barrel in town was knocked in and the stuff chopped out with a hatchet and sold at fifty cents an inch. A beer keg in a church member’s cellar froze solid, bursted, and the explosion tore up the whole neighborhood, like a dynamite invasion. The only drink that wasn’t frozen was kerosene oil, which, with ice pudding and frosted pancakes, have been the diet of the day. The intellectual machinery of poor e. c. is all frozen into a conglomerate mass and can’t be thawed out before the Fourth of July. Everybody swears that all the matches in town have been consumed trying to thaw out the coal to make it combustible. The electricity froze around the instruments in the depots in great chunks. All the concentrated lye and plug tobacco in the town is frozen solid and dead hogs stand around on their hind feet—in the butcher shops, while dogs’ tails about three feet long and as stiff as pokers, stick out of the sausage grinders. The merchants declare the necessity of keeping red hot pokers to run down the throats of their customers to thaw out their talking apparatus so they can tell what they want. We hear that Arkansas City held a mass meeting today, around a red hot stove, to talk up the feasibility of moving their town to South Africa, while it is froze up into a little round ball about as big as your fist. The Telegram is said to be one solid cake of ice and no editorials need be expected before the next Democratic convention. Every news item in town is frozen up so tight that a fifty horse power engine couldn’t phase ’em. We haven’t told half. And it wasn’t a very cold day either.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 14, 1886.
The storm shut off everything Thursday. The attendance at the revival meetings at the Baptist church was in vast contrast to the previous night. Only a very few were out and the exercises were of a general nature.
Most confusing! Does the following item indicate that Hunt, the tailor, was next to J. J. Plank’s gunshop on the north side of East Ninth Avenue. Could it be that Plank had moved to the south side of East Ninth Avenue???
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 11, 1886.
John Osborne, the shoemaker, has moved his shop into the shop formerly occupied by Mr. Hunt, the tailor, next to J. J. Plank’s gunshop. Mr. Hunt is now with J. J. Carson & Co.



Cowley County Historical Society Museum