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Will R. Stivers

                                                Fredonia, Winfield, Fredonia.
Also: Covered some items concerning his brother, George Stivers.
Winfield 1878: W. R. Stivers, 22.
                                               FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Winfield Courier, December 7, 1876.
The Fredonia Citizen says: “M. G. Troup, and wife, of Winfield, arrived in Fredonia last week and are visiting Mrs. Troup’s father, Judge Stivers. Mr. Troup is serving a second term as county Clerk of Cowley County, and is an able official and a fine man.”
Winfield Courier, April 19, 1877.
W. R. Stivers, tax sale index: $100.00.
Winfield Courier, October 18, 1877.
The Philomatic Society met last Friday evening with a very respectable attendance. The society elected M. G. Troup, President; J. E. Allen, Vice President; Kate Millington, Secretary; Fred Hunt, Treasurer. The music was excellent, and the debate was ably conducted by Messrs. Seward, Rushbridge, and Jennings.
Next meeting Friday evening, Oct. 19. Music, Paper by F. C. Hunt and Kate Millington; Select Reading, Will Stivers; Discussion, J. E. Allen, W. Q. Mansfield, and others, with sundry exercises.
Winfield Courier, December 27, 1877.
Among the late appointments of the governor, we notice the name of W. R. Stivers, notary public for Cowley County. All correct. He is a gentleman and a scholar.
Winfield Courier, January 24, 1878.
Wm. Stivers, Jr., is at Winfield, and is doing most of the work in the county clerk’s office for Cowley County, as deputy, or assistant. It is said that he proves a worthy “chip off the old block,” and makes a popular and efficient official. Fredonia Citizen.
Winfield Courier, April 11, 1878.
Mr. and Mrs. McGinnis and W. R. Stivers did themselves great credit on Monday evening in their delineation of the characters in the drama of “Led Astray.” There was a full house, and the audience expressed their appreciation by alternate merriment and tears. The performance, considering the lack of facilities for a good representation, was first class.
Winfield Courier, April 18, 1878.
Commissioners’ Proceedings. We are indebted to W. R. Stivers, the efficient assistant of the county clerk, for the following report.
The board of commissioners of Cowley County met in regular session at the county clerk’s office on the 8th day of April, 1878. Present: R. F. Burden, W. M. Sleeth, and George L. Gale, commissioners; James McDermott, county attorney, and M. G. Troup, county clerk.
Erroneous tax remitted on w. ½ of ne. ¼ and w. ½ of se. ¼. sec. 17, twp 30, range 5.
Jonathan Elswick was granted an exemption on his personal property assessment for the year 1877.

Upon presentation of a petition and bond by M. L. Robinson et al., of Winfield Township, asking for view and survey of county road, the board appointed G. W. Youle, H. C. Loomis, and A. W. Wilson viewers, to meet on the 8th day of May, 1878.
Upon presentation of a petition and bond by J. L. H. Darnall et al., of Liberty Township, asking for a view and survey of a county road, the board appointed C. C. Robinson, Henry Wilson, and J. H. Mounts viewers, to meet on the 17th day of May, 1878.
Upon presentation of a petition and bond by E. J. Horseman et al, of Omnia Township, asking for a view and survey of a county road, the board appointed R. S. Strother, Jonas Messenger, and L. M. Brown viewers, to meet on the 14th day of May, 1878.
Upon presentation of a petition and bond by C. C. Pierce et. al., of Winfield Township, asking for a view and survey of a road, the board appointed S. H. Sparks, S. Johnson, and C. J. Brane viewers, to meet on the 10th day of May, 1878.
The board examined and approved the official bonds of the following township officers: J. L. Huey, trustee, Creswell tp.; Jas. A. Barr, trustee, Silver Creek tp; K. McClung, constable, Vernon tp.; W. A. Freeman, clerk, Beaver tp.; G. W. Savage, clerk, Harvey tp.; G. B. Darlington, clerk, Omnia tp.; W. B. Wimer, trustee, Rock tp.; David Walck, constable, Maple tp.; J. J. Smith, justice of peace, Otter tp.; A. B. Odell, constable, Ninnescah tp.; C. N. Gates, constable, Dexter tp.; Wm. Morgan, constable, Cedar tp.; J. M. Barrick, justice of peace, Rock tp.; W. D. Mowry, clerk, Creswell tp.
In the matter of an appeal from the action of the county superintendent in the formation of School District 116, the board, after being fully advised of the facts, sustained the action of the county superintendent, except the board detached the n w. 172, sec. 19, twp 33, range 4, from said District No. 116, and attached the same to District No. 10.
Winfield Courier, April 18, 1878.
THEATER. The performances of Mr. and Mrs. McGinnis and Mr. Stivers at the courthouse last Monday evening were very fine indeed.
Winfield Courier, December 12, 1878. Editorial Page.
ROCK, KANSAS, Nov. 27, 1878. EDITOR COURIER: Please answer the following questions in your next issue. In your last you claim that somebody has saved the county the excess of the difference between $180,000 and $144,000 on the A., T. & S. F. railroad proposition now before the people. I desire to ask you whether as a lawyer you believe that the remitter and stipulations published in the Telegram will be binding on the said railway company, and is that instrument properly signed so as to bind the company? In fine, is it not signed in such a manner as to bind nobody but Ross Burns? And lastly does it not mean that the citizens of Cowley County will have to pay $180,000 in bonds if they vote that amount? Very respectfully, C. H. EAGIN.

Well, suppose the bonds to be carried on the proposition as published, then suppose the company comes and demands that the county commissioners subscribe $180,000 to the capital stock of the company. They will of course refuse to subscribe more than $144,000, and how can they be compelled to subscribe the balance? Will you try mandamus? “As a lawyer” we venture the opinion that no court, with the existing facts before it, would make the mandamus absolute. Well, suppose the road be built 45 miles in the county and the company demand the issue of $180,000 in bonds. The commissioners will refuse to issue more than $141,000, and how can they be compelled to issue more? We venture the opinion that it cannot be done and that it never would be undertaken.
It is usual that the action of an attorney is binding on his principal. Ross Burns is the accredited attorney for the company.
But we are not left to the equities in a court nor to the signature of Ross Burns as attorney for the company.
A copy of the stipulation has just been filed with the county clerk, stating that it is for publication for the information of voters, signed by the proper officers of the company in as binding a manner as any corporation can execute a contract. And this contract has a consideration—It tells the voters that in consideration of their votes for the proposition the county shall only subscribe $144,000 and the company shall receive only $144,000 of bonds. That stipulation is published below. Is it satisfactory to our correspondent?
WHEREAS, Ross Burns, the attorney of the Cowley, Sumner & Fort Smith railroad company, did on the 19th day of November, 1878, make and execute for and on behalf of said company the following agreement:
  County of Cowley,          )   ss:
WHEREAS, It has been ascertained that the total length of the line of the Cowley, Sumner & Fort Smith railroad from where it enters the said county of Cowley to a point on the south line of said county and the state line will not exceed thirty-six miles, in place of forty-five miles, as the same is petitioned for and acted upon by the board of county commissioners of said county, and
WHEREAS, It is desirable to secure the shortest practicable line with the view of forming a connection with the Little Rock & Fort Smith railroad and thus completing a through line between the Southern States and the Pacific Ocean.
It is therefore stipulated and agreed by the said Cowley, Sumner & Fort Smith railroad company, that said proposition be so modified and changed that the total number of miles of railroad for which aid is voted shall not exceed thirty-six miles in said county of Cowley and that the total amount of stock subscribed by said county of Cowley under said proposition and the total amount of bonds to be issued by the said county of Cowley shall not exceed the sum of stock and issue of bonds of said county of Cowley to the amount of one hundred and forty-four thousand (141,000) dollars.

And it is further agreed and stipulated on the part of the Cowley, Sumner & Ft. Smith railroad company, that in consideration that the proposition to take stock by the said county of Cowley in said railroad company and to issue the bonds of said county in pursuance of the terms contained in the petition this day presented to the board of county commissioners of said Cowley County, with the modifications or abatement made by said railroad company in the amount of one hundred and forty-four thousand (144,000) dollars, is voted by the qualified voters of the said county at the election this day ordered for that purpose the said railroad company agree to modify or change the said proposition, as follows, to-wit: It will locate a freight and passenger depot on the East side of the Walnut River, and the South side of Timber Creek, within one-half mile of the crossing of Main street and Ninth avenue in said city of Winfield; provided that three acres of land in a suitable location and shape so as to be acceptable to the engineer of said company for depot purposes and the right of way through said city of Winfield by way of said depot grounds, be furnished said company free of costs, but in no event shall said depot be more than three-quarters of a mile from said crossing of Main street and Ninth avenue in said city of Winfield. And it is further stipulated and agreed in consideration aforesaid, that said railroad company will locate a freight and passenger depot within three-fourths of a one mile of the crossing of Summit street and Central avenue in said city of Arkansas City.
ROSS BURNS, Attorney for said R. R. Co.
Now, the said railroad company by Wm. B. Strong, vice President and General Manager and acting President does hereby consent to ratify, approve, and agree to carry out each and every of the above agreements entered into by said Ross Burns, and a duly attested copy of this approval is directed to be filed in the office of the county clerk of said Cowley County, and the same be published in the Cowley County Telegram, along with the proposition as submitted for the benefit and information of the electors of said Cowley County.
Dated this 28th day of Nov. 1878.
WM. B. STRONG, Vice President and General Manager and acting President.
E. WILDER, Secretary.
  [L. S.]
Cowley County,            )    ss.
I, M. G. Troup, county clerk in and for the county and State aforesaid, do hereby certify the above and foregoing to be a true copy of a document now on file in this office.
Witness my hand and seal this 5th day of December, 1878.
[L. S.]                                       M. G. TROUP, County Clerk.
                                                   By Will. R. Stivers, Deputy.
Winfield Courier, January 23, 1879.
The Winfield Amateur Dramatic Association, which was orga­nized last winter, had a meeting on last Saturday evening to attend to the election of officers and other business. The following were elected officers.
W. M. Allison, president; George Walker, vice president; Will R. Stivers, secretary; E. E. Bacon, treasurer; T. A. Wilkinson, manager.
Several new members were taken in, and it was decided that the company give a dramatic entertainment in a short time.
Winfield Courier, February 13, 1879.
Winfield Amateur Dramatic Association. The Winfield Amateur Dramatic Association gave one of their best entertainments on Monday evening, which was well attended. The play was the “Streets of New York.”
The cast was as follows.
Badger: W. M. Allison; Gideon Bloodgood: Geo. Walker; Adam Fairweather: Geo. W. Robinson; Paul: Fred Hunt; Mark Livingston: W. R. Stivers; Puffy: T. A. Wilkinson; Dan: W. J. Wilson; Edward: Bret Crapster; Mrs. Fairweather: Miss Jessie Millington; Mrs. Puffy: Miss Clara Brass; Lucy: Miss Minnie Bacon; Alida: Miss Kate Millington.

The play was one of peculiar interest and the characters were well sustained, the sufferings of the poor in our large cities being well depicted.
George Stivers was a brother of Will R. Stivers...
Winfield Courier, November 27, 1879.
Mr. George Stivers has obtained a position in Read’s Bank as assistant bookkeeper.
Winfield Courier, January 8, 1880.
Mr. Will R. Stivers, one of Winfield’s brightest young men, left last week for Topeka, where he has accepted a position in State Supt. Lemmon’s office. Will has been Deputy County Clerk for over six years.
Winfield Courier, July 1, 1880.
Will R. Stivers came down from Topeka Monday evening. He will spend Christmas with us.
Winfield Courier, September 23, 1880.
We see from the Topeka papers that our Will R. Stivers is one of the Young Men’s Republican Club orators in that city.
Winfield Courier, December 2, 1880.
Judge Stivers and wife, of Fredonia, Kansas, came over to eat turkey with their children, M. G. Troup and wife, and George R. Stivers. The judge is hale and looks in the prime of life.
Winfield Courier, January 6, 1881.
Mr. Will R. Stivers, the efficient assistant of State Superintendent Lemmon, who has been confined to his bed by a serious sickness, which nearly amounted to typhoid fever, was feeling better yesterday. No fears for him are entertained by his friends. He has many here and in other cities of Kansas who will be glad to hear that he is rapidly recovering.
Winfield Courier, January 27, 1881.
Mr. Will R. Stivers, who was chief clerk for A. B. Lemmon, while that gentleman was State Superintendent, left Friday for Fredonia, Kansas, where his parents reside. Mr. Stivers will be greatly missed by his many friends. Topeka Papers.
Winfield Courier, February 10, 1881.
Will Stivers came in Saturday and will spend a week.
Winfield Courier, March 17, 1881.
A party of Winfieldites left for New Mexico on a prospecting tour Tuesday. The party consisted of Lafe Pence, Will Stivers, Lee Beckett, and Vinnie Beckett, of Norton.
Winfield Courier, June 16, 1881.
The party consisting of F. S. Jennings, Ed. P. Greer, L. H. Webb, James Kelly, Will Stivers, T. H. Soward, Sol Burkhalter, Will Whitney, and W. H. Albro went last week to the Territory for fun, fish, and foolishness. All returned Tuesday evening except Ed., who returned the night before. They report lots of fun, fish, and squirrels. Grizzly’s and other large game were neglected. Most of them returned with their hair on.
Winfield Courier, June 23, 1881, and June 30, 1881.

ED. COURIER: It is now customary, I believe, when a party makes a trip anywhere, especially to the Indian Territory, for someone of the number to furnish an account of the same to the newspapers. As one of a squad of nine, who recently made a pilgrimage to the land of the Kaw, I will try to inform your readers of some of the matters and things connected therewith.
The party consisted of F. S. Jennings, Judge Tom Soward, W. R. Stivers, W. H. Albro, Will Whitney, L. H. Webb, E. P. Greer, James Kelly, and last but by no means least, Sol Burkhalter. The latter gentleman furnished the rigs and was of course wagon-master.
Grouse Creek was reached by noon of the first day, said day being, curiously enough, Thursday, June 9th, 1881, which should have been mentioned sooner.
Here a halt was called for dinner, and here also the verdancy of the party began to crop out. The temporary camp was made in a dense jungle on the lee side of a hill with a perpendicular front some twenty or thirty feet high. Underbrush, weeds, nettles, vines: pooh [?], but wasn’t it hot! Not a breath of air stirred a leaf in that miserable forest. Yes, it was hot, and some of us thought that spot would compare favorably with a modified hades according to the new version. But we had the shade.
While some of us built a fire and got dinner, Mr. Jennings, Judge Soward, and Will Stivers went in quest of game. Soon word was sent to send another gun and more ammunition, which request being speedily complied with, such a roar of musketing opened out as I’ll wager, the waters of the Grouse had not heard for many a day. Presently the mighty nimrods returned.
“Where’s your game?” chorused we of the bread and butter stay-at-home brigade.
“It crumbled in a hole,” mourned the Judge, “but I think it’s certainly wounded.”
“By the bones of my grandfather,” howled Webb (he never swears), “if those three big stout men with two double barreled shotguns and a rifle, haven’t been banging away at a poor little squirrel.”
After dinner the company was formally organized by electing Jim Kelly to the office of           . Brother Greer made the point that this being a civil company, the title should be “president.” This however was promptly rejected. “What?” said the Judge  “Suppose we have trouble with the redskins, which is more than likely, how would it sound to say our President marched us up the hill and then marched us down again. I move it be Captain.” But here the beneficiary declared that he would be no miserable captain and unless he be at once made Colonel, he would resign and leave the company to its fate. This settled it and the train moved out after dinner in the following order.
1. The elegant three-seated barouche containing the colo­nel, the major, the judge, Dr. Webb, Sergeant Whitney, and wagon-master Burkhalter, followed by the baggage wagon in which on the seat were Captain Albro and Chaplain Greer, with Will Stivers behind to look after things generally. Brother Greer drove the team, that is he drove it to the foot of the first hill, when the team stopped and would not be driven any further. We all got round the wagon, however, and pushed it up the hill notwithstand­ing the remonstrance of the team.

This Grouse Creek, I verily believe, is enchanted, or at least this company was, for all at once we couldn’t agree as to which side of the stream we were on. Of course, it made no difference, only it depended on a proper solution of this con­founding mystery whether we were going up or down, towards or away from the Territory. Finally we came to a standstill and waited for two gentlemen who were plowing in a field to come to the end of their rows, which were headed off by the road, or more properly cow-path, we were then on. But our consternation was only increased when on inquiring, we found those gentlemen seemed to be as much at a loss as we were ourselves. One said we were on this side of the Grouse and would have to cross over to arrive at our destination; the other said as he had been in the country but a short time and was, unfortunately, from Missouri, really knew nothing about it. Just here a bright intelligent looking girl with a hoe in her hand, cut the miserable knot, not with the hoe, however. She explained by saying that dame nature had, right there, succeeded in reversing the old order, and made the bed so crooked that for a full half mile the water actually ran up stream. But I think if we could have told these good people where we wanted to go lucidly and plainly, they could have told us how to get there. But we couldn’t.
The caravan here parted in the middle, Chaplain Greer believing as he could successively steer the local columns of the COURIER, he certainly ought to be able to steer a two-horse wagon to the mouth of Grouse Creek. So he left us and drove out of sight into the wilderness. We, that is the other rig, took the opposite course. We drove into a pasture fenced with brush; out of that into a cornfield fenced with stone, and traveled down a row of corn about two miles—so we thought—let down a pair of bars and brought up in a cowpen. We were, however, more fortu­nate here for we found a man who could and would not only tell us where to go, but could actually tell us where we at that moment ought to be, instead of driving over his corn and garden patch, as we had done. Will Whitney, however, very adroitly mentioned “that those were the finest hogs he had seen in a long time,” which somewhat mollified the old man, who then told us how to get out. Thus, you see, kind words never die; and a little taffy, which Mr. Whitney after told us, was cheap, applied to the slab sides and ungainly snouts of the old man’s hogs, and got us out of an embarrassing dilemma.
In a short time after bidding good bye to the old man of the good hogs, we arrived at the house of Drury Warren, a gentleman well and favorably known to some of our crowd. Mr. Warren, however, was absent in the territory at the big “round up,” he having some six hundred head of cattle on the range on Black Bear Creek.
Having heard Mr. Warren speak favorably of some of us, and representing ourselves as “some of our best citizens of Winfield,” we soon got into the good graces of kindly Mrs. Warren: to about half a bushel of onions, and permission to drive through the field, thus cutting off some three miles of long, hilly road. Let me here remark that Mr. Warren has one of the most valuable farms in Cowley County, or I might say, in the state. He has 520 acres in a body. Two-thirds of it lies in the rich bottom at the very mouth of Grouse Creek, which is in corn, and such corn! The like of which is duly seen on the Illinois and Sangamon river bottoms, and there but seldom.
Here we passed out at the south gate of the state and entered the Territory when Messrs. Greer, Albro, and Stivers caught up with us and when your correspondent shot a squirrel, found a nice spring of water, and where we camped for the first night.
Nothing of any importance happened to us except the bites of some huge mosquitos, which happened rather often.

The next morning we tried fishing in the raging Arkansas with but poor success. An old blood-thirsty villain of a fisher­man, who I have no doubt now was anxious to get us away from there, told us of a good place where he said we would find bass in abundance, well on toward the Kaw agency. Here trouble commenced. Some wanted to pull up stakes and go at once, some wanted to send a scouting party first to spy out the land and report. But the goers-at-once being in the majority, carried the point, so strike the tent, hitch up, and pull out was the order.
Sometime that afternoon we overtook an Indian afoot, leading a dog. Someone of our party asked him some questions, which he wouldn’t answer. Then someone asked him what he intended doing with the dog. He then very politely told us to go to hades, saying, however, the old version pronunciation of that word.
We pitched our tents on the banks of the Arkansas River that night. Another meeting was held at noon to determine whether or not we would move again. The colonel, by virtue of his office, of course, presided. The debate was long, learned, and digni­fied. Greer, Webb, Stivers, Whitney, and Albro, for the move, ably presented their side of the case.
“You see, gentlemen,” said Webb, “that we are on the very verge of starvation. No water, nothing to eat.”
“That shows,” said Jennings, “that you do not know what you are talking about. Here we are on one of the most delightful spots the sun ever shone upon. Look at that mighty river and tell me that there is no water. Look at the countless turkey tracks, and tell me there is no game, nothing to eat. Why, we are here in the very bowels of plenty, and I, for one, won’t move a peg.”
The motion was, however, put and carried, so move it was. That same evening the company arrived at the mouth of Otter Creek, where it empties into the Grouse, and once more the tent was pitched. The next morning, it being Sunday, it was agreed that no fishing, hunting, or euchre be indulged in but that this Sabbath be spent quietly and reverently as became our best citizens.
After breakfast some of the boys thought they would have some fun at the expense of the others. Word was accordingly passed along that a meeting would be held to consider the propri­ety of returning to the camp vacated the day before. The presi­dent being in the seat of course, proclaimed and made known that a meeting would be held at once. Every member being present the trouble began.
“Now, may the devil take me,” said Chaplain Greer, “if this move don’t beat all the moves I ever heard of.”
“I opposed coming here in the first place, but now that we are here, I propose to stay,” said Jennings.
“Me too,” said Judge Soward, “let go who will, I shan’t.”
“Question! Question!” shouted the mob.
The motion being put, the chair declared it carried unani­mously. That was a straw too much.
“Give me my blanket,” groaned Greer, “I can hire a farmer to take me home.”
“Give me my things,” howled Jennings, “I can walk.”
“Don’t take my gun,” yellowed Judge Soward, “I won’t budge an inch.”

Seeing that the joke had gone far enough, the boys were informed of the “sell” and soon all was again serene.

Monday morning, Mr. Greer, having been really in bad health when he started, was found to be much worse. It was accordingly decided to send him home. He was taken by Mr. Burkhalter to Arkansas City, put aboard the train, and we saw him no more.
And, now to conclude, for every good writer must conclude, I have endeavored to chronicle events just as they transpired. If perchance there may be a few little things that didn’t happen exactly as I have said, I certainly cannot be held responsible.
Winfield Courier, July 28, 1881.
Will Stivers seems to put new life into the local page of the Telegram.
Winfield Courier, July 28, 1881.
D. L. Kretsinger has gone to Kansas City on business for himself. Mr. Will Stivers is localizing for the Telegram during his absence.
Winfield Courier, August 25, 1881.
Will Stivers is doing Chicago by gas light.
Cowley County Courant, December 29, 1881.
Will Stivers, formerly of this city, is now a resident of Newton, in the money loaning business.
Winfield Courier, August 17, 1882.
We received this week a very welcome addition to our exchange list—the Del Norte (California) Cactus, by Will R. Stivers and Chas. E. Hill. Will was for six years our Deputy County Clerk and one of Cowley’s most reliable and responsible young men. We welcome him to the ranks of journalism believing that he will prove one of its brightest lights.
Winfield Courier, May 8, 1884.
Mrs. M. G. Troup, of Winfield, who has been visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Stivers of this city, was suddenly called home last Saturday by a telegram to the effect that her husband was seriously ill of pleurisy of the lungs. Fredonia Times.
Winfield Courier, December 18, 1884.
Will Stivers came in from Fredonia Tuesday. He will visit with his many friends here during the holidays, as the guest of his sister, Mrs. M. G. Troup.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 5, 1885.
George Stivers came in from Fredonia Saturday for a visit with his sister, Mrs. M. G. Troup, and old friends, looking as handsome and “cute” as ever.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 30, 1885.
George Stivers has retired from Howard & Meigs’, at Arkansas City, and will put in some time in the Probate Judge’s office, after which he will probably take a position with John D. Pryor. We are glad to see George rounding up on his old stamping grounds.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 10, 1885.
Albright & Co. are chuck full of business. Miss Belle Linn has taken a chair in this institution as shorthand reporter and correspondent and Miss Anna Hyde as copyist. Besides this force is George Stivers, Grant Stafford, P. S. Hills, and the old man himself, P. H. Albright.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 8, 1885.

Will R. Stivers, brother of our George, and highly esteemed in Winfield as formerly one of “our boys,” led to the altar of matrimony on Thursday at Fredonia, Miss Edith M. Condat, one of that city’s most accomplished and winsome young ladies. Will is one of the best boys in the land, including everything—brilliant, sturdy, and natty. Congratulations will be many and warm. Here’s our old boy, and may you live long, prosperously, and happily in the blissful wedded bonds.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum