Also see these early written accounts of Eudora!
Abraham Still and the Wakarusa Indian Mission. Kevin Abing, in “Before Bleeding Kansas: Christian Missionaries, Slavery, and the Shawnee Indians in Pre-Territorial Kansas, 1844-1854,” wrote that the Methodist Episcopal Church split in 1844 because of slavery and other issues. The Indian Mission Conference, including those on Shawnee reservation, allied with the Methodist Church, South, and within this faction the Ohio and Missouri Shawnee quarreled over money and land.
The Missouri Conference appointed Thomas Markham a missionary to Shawnee in 1849; Kathie Graziano, a Baldwin historical writer, said Methodist minutes say that Markham was sent to Eudora and built a log structure. By 1850, many Shawnee wanted Markham ousted but not Charles Fish, John Fish, and James Captain who represented 85 Shawnee. Several prominent Shawnee, including William Rodgers and Paschal Fish, also sent a letter to Commissioner of Indian Affairs Brown protesting the removal of Markham.
Abraham Still, born in North Carolina, was appointed Superintendent of Indian Missions and chose to start the mission school on 100 acres in Section 8, Township 13, Range 21, according to Frank Blacmar’s Kansas Cyclopedia of State History, at a site his grandson, Summerfield Still, pointed out one time as 1215 Elm Street. He built a two-story, four room, hewn-log building with clapboard roof with the help of Cephas Fish, son of John Fish, in the winter of 1850 for his family in Missouri who joined him in 1851.
James Griffing, a traveling missionary, stayed at the mission and wrote of resident Indians in December 2, 1854 letter:
“I am now at the house of Dr. Abraham Still where at times I am allowed to have a home, after several days travel about my circuit. . . .in actual contact, traveling among and dealing with them, attending their meetings, &c., I begin to entertain quite different views concerning them. I always supposed, from descriptions given, that they possessed much more of native talent and genius than the whites and that it only needed education and religion to develop and refine these powers [for them] to become a nation superior to the whites. But I have yet to see the first thing to give indication of this. . . .Seldom can he be induced to apply himself mentally to study and, for this reason, very seldom becomes much versed even in the most common branches of an education. . . .Yet with these advantages I do think that their becoming familiar with our language only enables them at every visit to our frontier villages to become acquainted and initiated in all the vices of the whites. And there is in them a proclivity for an evil rather than good such that they quickly imbibe all our bad habits. If we could only keep them away from the dens of iniquity continually opening on the frontiers by the whites to get from them their annuity money for vile liquor, probably something of a reformation might after a long time be effected. …Monday ― the Lord willing ― I commence building a log cabin on my claim which I am obliged to do in order to retain it and then must make it my home. So that probably my next letter will be written from my prairie home on the banks of the Wakarusa. Dr. Still's son [has a] claim [that] joins mine and [he] will help me keep house. After our cabin is built, we intend it for a studio. He is preparing for college and will study and recite to me. I do hope I may get some time for study….”
Still was said to be a tall, thin man who looked similar to Abraham Lincoln. A pioneer minister and medical doctor, Still was 55 years old when he came to Eudora. Married to Mary (Moore), Still also was a physician. Of his nine children, six went into the medical field, including Edward, who stayed in North Carolina and took over his father’s practice in Bloomington. Son James worked with his father at the mission and was a Eudora physician for several decades.
Sons James and Thomas went to an osteopathy school in Kirksville, Missouri, founded by another son, Andrew, “the father of osteopathy,” a member of the Kansas Legislature, and scout surgeon for General J. C. Fremont. Other Still children were: Barbara, Mary, John, Marovia, and Cassandra.
The mission, which offered training to pupils up to eighth grade, closed in 1854. Marovia Clark, daughter of Abraham and Mary and age seven at the time,
linked the closure to Still’s anti-slavery stance. Others, too, have said the Methodist Church’s division over slavery caused its relationship with area Indians. The Nov. 4, 1854 Daily Sentinel in Milwaukee wrote that slavery non-support was an issue and claimed that stance influenced Still’s landholding when the United States divided the Shawnee reservation into individual ownership:
“The intolerant and proscriptive spirit of slavery, has recently manifested itself in two marked causes. The first is the case of Rev. Dr . Still, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who had a flourishing and prosperous mission among the Shawnee Indians; but because he believed and taught the doctrines of the Declaration of Independence, the doctrines of humanity, and of the Bible, in reference to the rights of his fellow man he was proscribed by the slavocracy, and, at investigation and by the management of his Rev. brother in Christ—the intolerant, sensual, slaveholding missionary to the same tribe of Indians—the Rev. Mr. [Thomas] Johnson of the same Methodist Episcopal Church, of whom I spoke in my first letter—the Mission of Dr. Still was not recognized at the conclusion of the treaty, and in consequence he was made a trespasser upon their lands, and was obliged to break up his mission, sacrifice all his property except $800 which a brother, more Christian than the former, though one of the red men of the forest, gave him.
Supporting that opinion, Fred Parrish wrote:
“Wakarusa Mission had a sudden end in store for it. W. H. Goode, soon to organize the Methodist work among the whites, came out to Kansas in 1854, having been appointed to Wakarusa Mission. While en route with his family he learned that the Shawnee (Wakarusa) Mission premises, to which he was going, had been transferred and papers sealed, to an Indian whose claim included the Wakarusa tract. This simply took away both the farm and all the improvements, without a word being said or any redress possible.”
John Endacott, a Eudora Methodist minister in the late 1880s, said the closure was the result of an erroneous land survey. The land title also may have been part of the larger battle over white demand for Kansas reservation land and the Shawnee treaty. Also to note is that the Shawnee Mission was in a decline at this time, too, and the Shawnee ultimately withdrew their support of it during the 1850s. Nathan Mosher eventually acquired the Eudora’s mission buildings, which then were sold to settlers from Ohio, and, in time, to the Joseph Snyder family.
German Settlement Society. The area around Eudora was considered desirable because trails made it a heavily-trafficked travel route between the East and California. During the early founding years of Douglas County, many Germans, often directly from their home country, came to this area for a variety of reasons, including a changing economic situation in Europe, rising land prices, political repression, the failed 1848 political revolution, military service avoidance, overpopulation, marriage restrictions, lure of good land at cheap prices, improved transportation, religious convictions, and glowing advertisements. Some communities, too, paid travels costs for undesirable individuals in exchange for the individual giving up all citizenship rights.
German immigration reached its peak in 1854, the same year, a group of German emigrants in Chicago formed a settlement company known variously as the “Deutsche Ansiedlungs Verein” (German Settlement Society), Neuer Ansiedlungsverein (New Settlement Association), Eudora Town Company, or Eudora Homestead Association (which appeared in legal land transactions). According to records research done by Stefan Klinke, a Kansas University graduate student, the company headed by Edward Schlaeger, a German newspaper publisher, had 50 members at first and ultimately numbered more than 600 stockholders. Three company agents, H. Heimann, Friedrich Barteldes, and Christian Schleifer, traveled west to find a settlement site.
The trio visited sites in Missouri and Kansas and reported back to the shareholders about land recently received by the Fish Tribe from the U.S. government. The May 10, 1854 treaty between the United States government and the United Tribe of Shawnee Indians had decreed that the Indians must cede all the land they were given in the 1825 treaty except for 200,000 acres. By 1857, the land was divided: Each “single man” received 200 acres and “the head of a family a quantity equal to 200 acres for each member of his or her family.”
Fish could have sold the land to individuals, but he decided to set up his holdings as a townsite, a package deal where he retained select town lots. This land speculation was complicated by the procedures he had to follow to sell the land, which necessitated obtaining a certificate from a Shawnee chief declaring his competency as well as a certificate from the Shawnee land agent. Once that was done, the the two certificates were sent to the Interior Department in Washington, D.C., an agency known for its slow processing, for approval. Edward Clark, Fish’s attorney, in a September 19, 1859 letter complained about the process to the acting commissioner of Indian affairs, Charles Ellis. Fish, owner of 2,000 lots in the proposed town of Eudora, wanted to sell 500 and use the money to improve the rest. However, the approval procedure was so slow that buyers weren’t interested and for the town to grow, it needed tax money, which couldn’t be generated if the lots were not sold. Fish said the proposed towns of Tecumseh, DeSoto, Chillicothe, and Shawnee City, all were having the same problems as his speculative town of Eudora, according to an 1981 article in the Journal of the Kansas Anthropological Association (Volume 2).
Slow sales processing wasn’t the only problem Fish faced. Negotiation and exploitation marked the 1850s in regard to Indian land. For example, Hancks writes that August 19, 1856, the new Wyandot Tribal Council requested Wyandott Commissioners to modify treaty lists: to strike out Eudora Fish and Leander J. Fish (children of Paschal and Hester Zane Fish), and Sarah Zane, and to several others including all infants born between March 1 and December 8, 1855. In The End of Indian Kansas, H. Craig Miner and William Unrau claimed land agents and attorney exploited several tribes; Fish himself complained that attorneys he paid to go to Washington charged him 25% in negotiations, added on 7.5% for risk, and tacked on 10% for extra services.
Tribal leadership played a large part in negotiations and often land speculators picked Inidan leaders based on how easy an individual was to persuade. Fish inherited his title; however, elections replaced hereditary leadership during the 1850s. In Larry Hancks’ The Emigrant Tribes: Wynadot, Delaware, and Shawnee, A Chronlogy, Paschal Fish was reported as having replaced Captain Joseph Parks in elections as the head chief of the Shawnee Nation in January 1, 1858.
Besides the Germans, others, too, had interest in buying the Fish Tribe land.
One was Samuel Clarke Pomeroy, one of the first Kansas senators to Congress. In his 1855 letter to James Blood, the first mayor of Lawrence, Pomeroy wrote that he was negotiating with Fish Jr. and Charles Fish, “two half-breed Shawnees-educated-honest and both are Methodist Preachers” to lay out a town with a mill, school, and place for religious worship. In return, Pomeroy was to get “ a good title to one half of the City Site (every other lot) also to all the lots we build upon and improve. Also they give us 320 [acres] of wood land lying between the Wakarusa & Kansas Rivers.”
Pomeroy also wrote he planned to name “every point and place in this city” with Indian words and suggested calling his settlement: ‘Fish Crossing City.” At least 20 others, had expressed interest in buying the land, Pomeroy wrote. One apparently was James Lane. His name appears on quit claim deeds to Paschal Fish dated in 1865 that state: “Remise, release and quit claim in Douglas County, Kansas; All the lands included in the boundaries of the City of Eudora, in said County.”
Authorized by the society, Louis Pfeif (also spelled “Pfeiffer” or “Pfief”), a Chicago draftsman who stayed in Illinois, and Charles Christian Durr (spelled “Duerr” in land records) bought 774 l/2 acres from Fish Jr. to found the town of Eudora and acted as land trustees. They paid $10,000 in February 1857 to Fish Jr. who retained the odd numbered lots in an area between the Kansas River and Wakarusa River. According to Miner and Unrau, Fish also required the Germans to build 75 houses, a large sawmill, a grist mill, a shingle mill, and a bridge over Nakanwa Creek (valued at $100,000) [the Wakarusa? the Kansas River?] in addition to supplying graded streets. Whether or how this was done is uncertain. What is known is that A formal title for the purchase was given on February 4, 1860 and recorded in Eudora Book B, page 5.
Louis Pfeif, the draftsman who came on the first visit with Charles Durr, apparently just came once and returned to his job at the Chicago land and financial office called Iglehart & Co., according to Stefan Klinke, who studied Eudora’s real estate transactions of the time. Land abstracts in 1862 show that Pfeif and his wife, Elizabeth, who appeared with him on transactions, enlisted in the Civil War causing the Eudora Homestead Association to have Theodore Tiedemann to act in his place. However, Louis Pfeiffer, who may have been the same person, and his wife left Eudora around 1870 and moved to San Francisco. Holy Family histories report he died there in 1916. Charles Durr (1821-1889), who ran Eudora’s saw mill, corn cracker, and steam flouring mill, did settle in Eudora. He moved the sawmill to Lawrence around 1867, but returned to Eudora a few years later when he bought back his Eudora flour mill.
It was said that the settlement society named the town Eudora to honor Fish’s daughter, Eudora, a name from the Greek language that means "beautiful." However, Oscar Richards, a land agent who knew Paschal Fish and handled his real estate transactions starting in 1857, said in 1893 that Fish requested the city be named after his daughter, and, the island in the Kansas River north of Eudora, to be called “Leander” after one of his sons. James Albert Hadley, who lived in Eudora, left his memories of Fish’s daughter, Eudora, in a 1907 letter to the Kansas State Historical Society:
“This young woman had little Indian blood. Her father [Paschal Fish] was 7/8 white & her mother was the daughter of an important Ohio White family. The mother died & left the daughter, Eudora, & a younger Bro, Leander, who were raised & educated by their white grandmother in Ohio . . . . I called at Paschal Fish’s place in October 1866 and was introduced to his daughter Eudora. She had no sign in face, figure or complexion of Indian blood.”
Another account, this one from text accompanying Leander’s photograph from the Smithsonian Institution archives, claimed Paschal Fish, Jr., was half-Shawnee, one-eighth Miami and one-sixteenth Delaware, and the mother of Leander and Eudora was one-fourth Wyandot. In time, Paschal Fish, Jr., left Eudora, and by 1880 was living in southeast Kansas. He, his son, and daughter-in-law asked to be adopted into the Quapaw tribe living on land by Baxter Springs in 1880. This allowed Fish, the first non-Quapaw to be adopted into this tribe, to build a house on their reservation and rent it and the reservation land for grazing to cattle ranchers. The U.S. Secretary of Interior ruled the adoptions legal in 1883 in spite of protests as long as the Fishes lived on the reservation. The Quapaw on the reservation were open to adoption as the tribe had only 31 members, according to their Indian agent in 1880. Others had joined the Osage or lived elsewhere. However, in the next couple of years as adoptions increased, other Quapaw came to live on the reservation that was allotted into individual sections after the Dawes Allotment Act of 1887. To read more, see Larry Johnson’s 2009 Tar Creek: A History of Quapaw Indians, the Largest Lead and Zinc Discovery, and the Tar Creek Superfund Site. (Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing).
The association selected townsite members representing different trades and professions and sent them under the leadership of Peter Hartig. The group, also referred to as the “Sixteeners,” included Julius Fischer, J. Scheisswold (also spelled Schiswold, Scheiswald or Schiesswohl in other accounts), J. Loederle (or Loedere), A. Herling, J. Schwartz, George Buttner, A. Schirmer, Michael Marthey, Frederick Deichmann (or Dischmann), A. Veroh, Christian Epple, Joseph Herz, Kasper Marfelius, Anton Getker, and Henry Basemann. However, Lee Ann Rohrer in a January 28, 1957 Lawrence Daily Journal-World article about Eudora's 100th anniversary didn't include some of these names such as Herz, Marfelius, or Getker and listed a G. Kerg, C. Maxillus, and Anton Goethhes (which may have been misspellings? of the three ommited). Four of the settlers ― Hartig, Herz, Basemann, and Epple ― were said to have brought their wives and children, according to Cutler's History of the State of Kansas; in addition, Theckla Fischer’s family said she came with her husband, Julius, in 1857, too, in a October 4, 1923 Eudora Weekly News article.
History of Kansas also lists George Brender, a blacksmith, as part of this group; however, this was probably a reference to John Brender, who came a little later than the first group because he had a desire to go “out West,” said his obituary, and became part of the town company. The 1896 Eudora newspaper also listed the living townsiters by their last names only, which were Hartig, Herz, and Getker, but these two were not mentioned in the Cutler listing: Kraus and Fendt. Also, the September 7, 1902 Eudora newspaper contained ran a short mention of “Mr. A. Urbansky, one of the original townsite company here in 1857” who was from St. Mary’s and running for a state office. Did the original townsiters stay in Eudora? Read What Became of Original Townsiters? to find out.
The Eudora Town Company gave the settlers $4,000 for buildings, furniture, six yoke of oxen and mills for corn, grain, and lumber under the administration of Charles Dürr and Samuel A. Johnson. The party left Chicago and arrived at their destination, April 18, 1857. They settled near the Kansas River and Wakarusa River by the north side of the present Main Street.
The settlers built an 18-foot by 20-foot log cabin on a site directly behind (or east) of 714 Main Street, which they shared for awhile. Althought the log cabin in the photograph belonged to the Schneider family who lived on east Seventh Street, it gives an idea of the appearance of this communal home. Years later, the Gardner, Hill, and Company department store would use it for a warehouse, wrote Will Stadler in his 1907 account “Eudora Fifty Years Old!” They may have thought about living further south, because James Hadley, Hesper, wrote in his 1907 letter to George Martin: “The Chicago Germans located their colony first at ‘South Chicago’ 3 miles south of ‘Hesper’ early in the spring of 1857, but one house was buildt there when they bought the ground of Paschal Fish at the mouth of the Big Wakarusa & named the place Eudora for the great Shawnee’s daughter.”
A related group also came, but paid their own expenses, including: Anton Gufler, Charles Lothholz, Frederick Pilla, Friedrich Bartheldes, August Ziesenis, C. Neuman, Dan Kraus, and Abraham Summerfield, who had emigrated from Russia in 1850 to New York where he lived for five years. John Buck, a Prussian from Baymunden who came to the United States in 1847, also came in 1857 as did C. H. Richards, who moved to Lawrence after Quantrill’s Raid and was a brother of long-time Eudora noteworthy Oscar Richards. In addition, Joseph Jacobs "came to this state in the spring of 1857" and "assisted in laying out the village of Eudora," claimed his biography.
Said David Katzman, a Kansas University professor, in a June 17, 1979 Lawrence Journal World article: “The town was founded by German immigrants many of whom had left after the revolution of 1848. They were called the ‘48ers.’ Several in the group such as Summerfield and Cohn were Jewish. Katzman said they probably viewed their stay in the United States as temporary and sought out a German community. The Jewish arrival n Eudora makes the city the second oldest Jewish community in Kansas with Leavenworth holding the title of "oldest" by one year. In 18959, of the 29 households in the city, seven were Jewish. with the birth of several children, by 1863, Eudora had about 50 Jewish citizens.
A time of “firsts.” Henry Crumrine, who had come to the Eudora area in 1856, surveyed the first streets of Eudora as a member of the committee that laid out the town of Eudora. August Ziesenis was on that committee and built the first house. Several of the early houses and stores were built, too, under his supervision. During the summer of 1857, Summerfield (also spelled Sommerfield) opened and established the first post office. The first hotel — The American Hotel (on west side of Main Street between Eighth Street and Seventh Street) and sawmill— also opened that year. Julius Fischer operated the sawmill with Ferdinand Guefknow, who came to Eudora from Chicago in 1857 and married Fredericka Spietz. (The Guefknows moved to Lawrence in 1869, according to a October 7, 1897 news item.)
John Brender opened the first blacksmith and wagon making ship in 1857 at the "Prang property" on the Santa Fe Trail. A few years later, he moved his operation to the southwest corner of Eighth Street and Main Street. The first general store may have been that of Abraham Summerfield, who moved to Lawrence in 1863 but was buried in the Eudora Jewish cemetery. He operated the store (and saloon) with his son-in-law, Joseph Jacobs, who then opened a mercantile store in DeSoto the next year. Or it could have been that of Asher Cohn and I. Bernstein, Cohn's brother-in-law. Cohn, according to his daughter, Rachel (Cohn) Passon, in a 1956 interview, said her father also built in Eudora the first grain elevator west of the Mississippi. He is pictured to the left with his wife.
A few years later, Schliefer Grocery and Hobbs Grocery operated on opposite sides of Main Street between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. They opened in the late 1850s or early 1860s and were in operation maybe until 1885. The Schleifers had a restaurant until 1892. In another first, Charles Lothholz brought in the first steamboat shipment of general merchandise. He bought the goods in St. Louis, which came by steamboat to Kansas City. Smaller boats brought the goods to Eudora where Lothholz operated a grocery store on the west side of “Market Square” for his first 10 years in Eudora, according to a 1939 news article detailing his life and William Stadler.
The Epples had the first birth, a daughter, in the emigrant party. George Brechiesen, son of Peter Brecheisen, may have been the second when he was born in October 1857. Loederle, in the 1857 summer, was the first to die. And, one of the first marriages was that of Frederick Diechmann and Henriette, the former Mrs. George Harbolt in 1858. In another first, the Book of Commission for the City of Eudora, which began its records in March of 1859, lists A. L. Cohen, Charles Hagen, and Ellis Phillips as the first to obtain liquor licenses in 1859; by 1865, that list would also include Carl Achning, Henry Basemann, P. Braeder, George Brown, W. Edmon, A. Erb, Christian Muller, and B. H. “Hermann” Fegler.
In May 1857, the society sent Charles Durr to St. Louis with money to buy machinery for a circular saw mill and "corn cracker," shown here to the right.The saw mill prosperity was short lived and Julius Fischer, who had made $2.50 a day there, lost his job. In the 1899 Portrait and Biographical Record of Leavenworth, Douglas and Franklin Counties, Kansas, an account of the saw mill closing and Fischer's time in Eudora, it was written: "Every one was financially distressed, and work was exceedingly difficult to secure." So, Fischer began making saddle stirrubps, which he fastened on his back, and then walked to Lawrence where he sold them.) In 1862, Durr and Leo Vitt built a steam flouring mill to make three kinds of flour. A couple of decades later, Durr’s son, Albert, would build corn cribs on the site of his father’s former four mill, seen in the following photograph.
Besides grains and garden produce, the early Eudora settlers lived off the rich bounty of the land. Henry Basemann, for example, fished the Wakarusa River and was known for catching spoonbill catfish weighing up to 80 pounds and using the fish oil for several purposes. In the fall of 1857, Basemann shot an 8-point buck deer and killed numerous wild turkeys that were plentiful along the Kansas River east of Eudora. The next fall, a Eudora hunting party (Henry Basemann, Henry Basemann Jr., Lother Hartig, Ernest Ziesenis, and Julius Fischer) took an ox wagon and two prairie schooners to Salina. They returned with wagon loads of buffalo meat to jerk and dry for the winter months.
The Basemanns also operated a “road house” north of the Wakarusa bridge on the road to Lawrence, according to John Cook, the author of The Border and the Buffalo. Basemann sold beer, pies, cakes, bologna, cheese, and other food to travelers from the front part of his house across from his living room. Surrounded by a garden, the inn was a few feet off the road.
Eudora becomes a city. Eudora was incorporated as a city under territorial laws February 8, 1858. At the first regular election, held in March 1859, Eudora residents elected Fred Faerber as mayor. For council members, they chose: August Ziesenis, Michael Marthey, P. Hoffenau (or Peter Hoppenau), and A. Summerfield. Other elected officials were Fred Schawartz (also spelled Schowarte) (justice of the peace), Charles Achning (city treasurer), Fred Soelte (marshall), and C. F. Shwartz (city clerk). The city clerk was paid $6 a month, and councilmen were to be paid for committee work if it took longer than a quarter of a day. Eudora records show the first city ordinance to be instituted was the registration and licensing of all dogs.
A couple of German students translated early city business transactions and claimed that a March 1859 account said the Eudora City Council agreed to commission a city seal with the design of a white settler shaking hands with an Indian enclosed in a circle with the words: “City of Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas Territory.” Considering the high standards of engraving and craftsman ship of the time, it appears the “seal” decorating the Eudora Community Heritage was a probable sketch of the Council’s intent and the true seal never completed or lost. City business transactions were written in German until 1860. The original copies are at Kansas University Spencer Research Library. Examples include:
March 17, 1859: "All carcasses found within the presets of the town shall be buried by the former owner, deep enough so they will be covered with at least three feet of soil. In case of transgression, the owner shall be fined not less than one and not more than five dollars.”
March 21, 1859: "Every house or lot owner who planned to grow something on his lot has to have a fence at least five feet high, strong enough and close enough to fend off cattle and hogs." [Someone tried to reduce the height to 4 ½ ft. but it didn't pass the council. Lengthy discussion was held about the problems of the trestle bridge over the Wakarusa. The bridge was finally built for $2,000.00 with Mr. Harterscheidt of Leavenworth as the architect. The question of liquor selling was decided by motion in 1859, stating that "Anybody, who after May 1, without a license, sells liquor in draft shall be fined $20.00, in case of repetition, the find shall be doubled."
June 29, 1859: Council minutes discussed an upcoming circus coming to town. The council decreed, "In case someone wants to put up a liquor stall to sell liquor, he shall have to provide a license from the city and such license shall be $5.00." The prominent citizen, Charles Lothholz, was fined for unlicensed sale of liquor, but his punishment was to be remitted if he took out a license immediately. Several weeks later he made a down payment of $7.60 on it and had promised to pay the $2.40 remainder that week.
January 10, 1860: "The Committee on taxes moves that it will be proclaimed by the mayor and the Councilmen of the city of Eudora that all those who are in arrears with their taxes, shall have the opportunity to pay such taxes until May 15, 1860 to the treasurer at 12 per cent. After May 15 due process will be taken against those who remain in arrears in accordance with a law which will be passed on for that purpose.
January 17, 1860: "He (the mayor) desires to conclude completely the ordinance by adding to it, that after that date (May 15, 1860) all property on which taxes are still due shall be sold for taxes through the City Marshall. The owners, however, shall be entitled to reacquire their property within a period of five years by paying all the taxes and other expenses.
February 1, 1860: "The wrench made by Smith [blacksmith] John Brender, shall be returned and be bent at both ends." H. Basemann, Peter Hoppenau and August Ziesenis were appointed as election judges for the municipal election to be held on the first Monday of March in the City of Eudora. The house of August Ziesenis will serve as the polling place.”
February 3, 1860: "H. Basemann reports the ferry boat was lying half under water and that it could only be raised with dredges. That he, himself, along with workmen had worked at it but it was impossible to bring it to shore without machinery." [The ferry may have been across the Kansas River. Besides the Fish ferry, Joseph Snyder operated a ferry at the mouth of the Wakarusa River.]
March election results were: Charles Durr (mayor); H. Wittler, August Ziesenis, Michael Marthey, Anton Getker and Christian Shoren [Thoren?] (council); Charles Lothholz (treasurer); and Dan Kraus ( marshall ). The council selected Julius Karnish for city clerk.
March 17, 1860: "The Mayor presented for consideration the problem of investigating whether the city is justified in collecting real estate taxes, and in selling the lots which have accrued to the city through nonpayment of the assessed taxes."
April 21, 1860: "M. Manthey explained in regard to the ferry, that the boat was not yet completely withdrawn from the water because the chain had been broken. Agreed: Charles Durr is to be authorized to provide the lumber for the building (schoolhouse) and to have the logs felled on city property.
May 7, 1860: "The mayor requests the Bridge Committee to inspect the bridge below Hoppenau's house, since repeated complaints have been received." (Note: This did not pertain to the newly-built bridge, so one must have existed for some years to be in need of repairs.)
May 21, 1860: “Agreed: to send an inquiry to the township Trustee, whether anything can be done or is being done in the matter of the Eudora-DeSoto road."
The city also designated an area between Sixth Street and Seventh Street as the “Market,” also known as the “public Square,” along Block 136 on the west of Main Street and Block 144 on the east. Property owners on the west side were required to set back their sidewalks and to plant shade trees in 1896 a uniform distance from the Market. Henrietta Durr in 1896 requested the city council to remove the weighing scales on the street adjoining her property on the corner of Seventh Street and the Market. In 1980, the city vacated part of the area and gave half of the land back to the owners of Block 136 and kept the east side, which extends east of Main Street, for public use, according to Ordinance No. 437.
Copyright 2015. Cindy Higgins. Where the Wakarusa Meets the Kaw: A History of Eudora, Kansas. Eudora, KS: Author.