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Courier-Democrat Representative Visits Clear Creek

Seneca Courier-Democrat
15 June 1900

      On Monday morning bright and early as the sun was peeping through the gray tinted clouds, we made our way to Clear Creek township. A little over half a century ago this part of the country was the home of the red man. Here, it was that the American bison, that had never heard the hunter's horn roamed unmolested and unharmed, but civilization stalked boldly forth and mutation is the result. Where once the Indian drowsily lay in his wigwam, now stand the palatial residences of the white man; where once the buffalo pastured or sought rest during the heat of the day along the banks of some beautiful wooded stream, now are waving fields of corn and wheat, and here and there, dotting the hill sides, stands the school house, that beacon light of civilization, where the farmers' sons and daughters are trained to become the leaders in American thought and action.

      The first white men to tread the soil of Nemaha County and Clear Creek township, were, as the records in the Smithsonian Institute show, Francisco Vasquez de CORONADO and his thirty five followers. This was in August 1541. However, the next inhabitants of Clear Creek township were and in fact the first were the Pottawatomie Indians. The next white men to visit Clear Creek were those under the command of FREMONT in 1842. The first permanent white settlement in Clear Creek was made by John O'LAUGHLIN in 1854. In that year, he built a log cabin on what is now Albert C. EIGENMANN's farm at the junction of Turkey and Clear Creeks. The old house is still standing and within a stone's throw of Mr. EIGENMANN's fine residence. Mr. O'LAUGHLIN was the founder and owner of the site of Ash Point, which was on the old trail from Ft. Leavenworth to the gold fields in California. This was the route traveled by thousands of eastern gold hunters from 1848 to 1860. Ash Point was a state station until 1872.

      The first person we met was our old friend Robert LADWIG. Bob was hauling a binder to town, and when we met him had just broken down and was repairing his machine without the use of profanity. After this Mr. LADWIG will read the Courier-Democrat.

      We then visited Antone WEBBER and found him plowing corn. Mrs. and Mrs. WEBBER are both natives of Germany. They have a nice little home and are laying in their share of this world's goods. The Courier-Democrat will keep them posted on current events in Nemaha County.

      That good natured Bohemian, John ECKEL, who came to America thirty years ago will study the English language by reading the Courier-Democrat

      The elegant home of Uncle James WEEKS was visited next. Mr. WEEKS settled in Clear Creek township in 1872. He didn't have much money then, but by hard work and shrewd management has acquired 320 acres of good land. Mr. WEEKS' home place is a fine home indeed. Mr. and Mrs. WEEKS were both born in England. Uncle James is a might good democrat, and the only democrat paper in Nemaha county makes its regular visit to his house.

      The Courier-Democrat representative then drove from Mr. WEEKS' to the fine farm of that rock-ribbed democrat, Albert C. EIGENMAN. Down here behind the hills admidst a fine natural grove, Mr. EIGENMAN has built himself a beautiful home.

      We passed on to the home of J. W. LYNN. Here we stopped for rest and dinner. Mr. LYNN was in Seneca when we arrived as his place, but Mrs. LYNN and John entertained us and invited us to partake of some dinner. Mrs. LYNN is a very intelligent woman, a good conversationalist and a strong republican; however, she is no stranger to the art of good cooking. Mr. LYNN came home just as we were ready to leave. He is a narrow minded man. We had a very pleasant chat with him, and of course, hereafter he will read the Courier-Democrat and keep thoroughly posted on county news.

      South from LYNN's we met August POPPE, the postmaster at Clear Creek. Mr. POPPE enjoys the distinction of being one of the few Democrats who hold a position under the McKINLEY administration. Hereafter, when he distributes the mail, he will put a Courier-Democrat in August POPPE's box. With him we met our friend of boyhood days, L. L. NOTT. Mr. NOTT is a hale fellow well met, and a good industrious young man. He will leave shortly for the home of his parents near Council Grove, Morris county and being a judge of good literature he will have the Courier-Democrat visit his home every week.

      The next point of interest was the home of L. H. MCINTYRE, who is a much better looking man than the Courier-Democrat MCINTYRE. He is a thoroughbred democrat and of course reads democratic literature, via the Courier-Democrat.

      We drove down to William F. WEEKS and took a glass of -- water with him. He also joined his neighbors in the Courier-Democrat club. Mr. WEEKS is a tip top man and a good farmer.

      We whipped up our horses and drive to the Widow SUDBECK's. She is the only woman in Clear Creek township who runs a farm without the aid of men. She with her three industrious daughters own and farm 160 acres, and it will bear comparison as to the manner of farming with any quarter section in that locality. She will also read our paper.

      We passed Herman BUELTEL on the run. He gave us the sign that he reads the Courier-Democrat every week, which is evidence enough to us that he is a good farmer and citizen.

      Tuesday morning found us entering Clear Creek township at the farm of Frank FANGMAN, Sr. Mr. FANGMAN is an old settler of this township and has read the Courier-Democrat for many years.

      Forty-five years ago John DICK, Sr. came to Kansas from Germany. As we passed his comfortable home, we admired Kansas more than ever. For many years Mr. DICK has read the Courier-Democrat.

      We opened two gates and drove back a cranky canine before we reached the house of John DICK, Jr. Mr. DICK took us for a patent medicine fakir, but when we told him we represented the Courier-Democrat he came down off his perch and became quite pleasant. Mr. DICK is a native of Kansas and is a pleasant gentleman to talk with.

      We next ushered ourselves into the neighborhood of the BERGMAN brothers. Barney, Frank and Joseph have been in Kansas 15 years and during that time each one has acquired a large farm and has it stocked with thoroughbred horses, cattle and hogs, and are numbered among the best farmers and stockmen of Nemaha County. The boys all read the Courier-Democrat. We stopped at Barney BERGMAN's on account of the rain, and found Chet MURPHY and Frank LOEFLER, in Filipino garb, adorning the walls of Mr. BERGMAN's fine residence with a net coat of paint, and W. B. CAVE arrived soon afterwards to chase the rain-water into the cistern. We were invited to take dinner and of course accepted. We found Miss Lena to be as good a cook as her brother is a farmer. We all enjoyed the dinner immensely, especially Chet MURPHY who had an appetite like a bear that had been in a dormant state all winter and had just waked up in time for dinner.

      After dinner, the first place we passed by was that of H. H. OLBERDING. Mr. OLBERDING has a fine farm and to all appearances is making money.

      Farther up the hill we passed the elegant farm residence of August RONNEBAUM. From here we could get a splendid view of the surrounding country. Both of the proceeding read the Courier-Democrat every week.

      We drove in to see our old friend, Frank SKOCH, Sr. Mr SKOCH is a native of Bohemia. He came to Kansas twenty-one years ago. He now owns a fine farm and has enough laid up to keep him comfortably in his declining years. He now gets all the news through the Courier-Democrat.

      The Courier-Democrat now visits the home of Barney KUHLMAN every week. Mr. KUHLMAN has been in Kansas six years and thinks there is no place like Nemaha county.

      Our next visit was to J. W. MEEK's, whose politics are of the democratic order and who reads our paper.

      Barney ENNEKING will hereafter study the English language through the columns of the Courier-Democrat.

      Frank FIENHAGE came to Kansas twenty-two years ago from Germany. Mr. FIENHAGE is a well-educated farmer and enjoys reading good literature like the Courier-Democrat.

      When H. M. MEYER saw us coming through the field, he began to fold up his sleeves and prepare to defend himself against signing a contract that would turn out to be a bankable note. He thought we were the notorious osteopath doctor that has been doing Seneca and vicinity, but as soon as our subject was mentioned to him he became quite peaceable and subscribed.

      John GUCKEL was the next man we interviewed. Mr. GUCKEL was born in Germany and came to Kansas thirty years ago and located in Seneca where he followed his trade, that of carpenter, for many years. He now lives on his well-improved farm of 240 acres.

Prepared for posting on the
Kansas Heritage Server
University of Kansas

June 1997

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