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JEWELL COUNTY NEWS

July 20, 2017 issue

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County board considers cost share with Mitchell County for bridges

Jewell Council accepts bid for demolition

Mankato Council discusses vacating streets

1878 booklet offers account of tragedy near town of Reubens

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The Superior Express & Jewell County News 20 July 2017

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County board considers cost share with Mitchell County for bridges

The Jewell County Board met last Monday with commissioners Steve Greene, Mark Fleming and Keith Roe present. Carla J. Waugh, county clerk, was present for the meeting.
Travis Garst, solid waste director, reviewed the monthly report of activity for June.
Keith Roe discussed the possibility of the cabin sites land near Lovewell Lake being returned to private property ownership and the local tax rolls.
Carla J. Waugh discussed a funeral purchase contract for which Steve Melby, Melby Mortuary, requested a county signature. Carla said she sent it to Darrell Miller, county attorney, for his review and he advised the county commissioners are the only ones who have the authority to sign the purchase contract. The commissioners declined signing the document.
Don Jacobs, sheriff, requested an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. Upon return to regular session, no action was taken.
Don Jacobs reviewed the quote from Navrats to replace the lockers in his department. Commissioners approved the purchase of equipment lockers from Navrats for the sheriff's office.
Anna Porter, county appraiser, requested an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. Back in regular session, the commissioners offered a contract to Anna Porter for a half-time position as county appraiser.
Joel Elkins, general superintendent, introduced Stuart Porter, Schwab Eaton. Porter discussed cost sharing bridges with Mitchell County. The commissioners said they are willing to work with Mitchell County on the cost sharing.
Elkins provided the two tire bids he received. The commissioners opened the following tire bids: Randall Co-op, $23,320; and Lloyd's Sinclair, $24,370. Mark Fleming moved to accept the low bid of $23,320 from Randall Co-op. Keith Roe seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously. Lloyd Johnson was also present for the bid opening.
Commissioners approved Resolution 17-07, appointing Anna Porter as Jewell County Appraiser for a term of four years through June 30, 2021.
Commissioners approved the file safe maintenance agreement.
Commissioners appointed Peggy Wilson as Burr Oak Township trustee.
Approval was given by the commissioners for the 12th Judicial District Supervised Visitation and Child Exchange Service memorandum of understanding to use the courthouse meeting room.
Minutes of the July 3 county commissioners meeting were approved with several amendments.
Brenda Eakins, county treasurer, discussed personnel.
Dwight S. Frost telephoned about bridges.
Carla Waugh reviewed the draft county budget with the commissioners. The auditor will be here next week to work on the budget with the commissioners.
Meeting adjourned at 11:55 a.m.


Jewell Council accepts bid for demolition
The Jewell City Council met July 6. Those present were Mayor Darrell Bohnert and council members Josh Burks, Max Burks, Gaye Daniels, Wade Wilson and Derek Birdsell; and Amber Loomis, city clerk.
Minutes of the June 5 regular meeting were approved.
Billing Ordinance No. 1057 was reviewed and approved for payment.
David Knappert arrived to present the monthly maintenance report. He presented the council with a street repair plan and informed them what materials would need to be purchased to complete this.
It was also approved to hire John Paul Knappert as extra help with summer projects and street repairs.
Preparation for the upcoming audit and 2018 budget continued.
A bid was presented from Smith Construction Services for the demolition of the downtown buildings. After discussion the council accepted the bid. Further discussion of the downtown buildings took place.
A list of items that was presented last month to be sold on Purple Wave was reviewed and approved.
Don Jacobs, Jewell County Sheriff, asked the council to set a monthly municipal court date. The city clerk will visit with Jim Johnson, city judge, and get this arranged. Jacobs suggested having an ambulance at next year's Lake Emerson fireworks and said he is planning on attending the Jewell City Council meetings every other month.
Jewell Library submitted a request letter to add Marilyn Griest to the current library board to fill a vacant spot. The request was approved.
A building permit for Frosty and Kerma Crouse was approved.
Equipment upgrades were discussed.
The Jewell Apartment board of directors meeting followed.
Attending the meeting were Darrell Bohnert, Max Burks, Josh Burks, Gaye Daniels, Wade Wilson, Derek Birdsell, Zachary Gibson and Amber Loomis.
Minutes of the June 5 meeting were approved.
Bills were approved.
Gibson reported there could be a potential new tenant.
The board inquired about the planning of an open house for viewing of the newly remodeled apartment. Zach said he is hoping to host something around the end of this month.

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Mankato Council discusses vacating streets
The Mankato City Council met last Tuesday. Present were Mayor Don Koester and council members Lyle Dauner, Chris Klos, Marvin Loomis, John Tyler and Jim Ross. Darrell Miller, city attorney, was absent.
Minutes from the June 6 council meeting were read and approved.
Tammy Kimminau, Solomon Valley Transportation, was present to request continued funding support. The city administrator will look into budgeting, previous pledges and recent disbursements.
Bobi Fogo was present to discuss vacating the remaining unvacated portions of East Modoc Street between blocks 4 and 11, and North Lincoln Street between blocks 3 and 4 in the original town. Discussion was held. Council member Dauner moved and Loomis seconded to begin the process of vacating East Modoc Street from Center Street east to the vacated alley, and North Lincoln Street from the previously vacated portion to East North Street with easement rights maintained by the city. Motion passed 5-0.
Don Jacobs, sheriff, was present to discuss any concerns of the council. The sheriff brought up his concern regarding the south end of the drainage culvert running under South Street between High Street and Commercial Street. The culvert is large enough for people to enter, creating a potential safety concern. The city administrator will look in to the issue.
John Grace and Jenny Russell were present to discuss the possible construction of an assisted living facility in Mankato. The council expressed their support and the city administrator will work with John Grace on identifying potential locations.
Rob Peschel, CES Group P.A., was present to describe the capital improvement planning services that CES Group can provide. Council approved to initiate the process with CES Group partnering with North Central Regional Planning Commission to develop a capital improvement plan.
Council considered and approved the application for a cereal malt beverage license for the Mankato Volunteer Fire Department.
A building permit for Richard Rightmeier, Lot 6 Block 4 in Bishop's Addition, to construct a wooden storage building was reviewed and approved.
Employee reviews were presented by the council.
Council approved to increase the city administrator's salary with an additional performance bonus as a result of the six month review.
Council also approved an employee appreciation dinner for employees and spouses.
Discussion was held regarding the 2018 city budget.
Information was provided regarding rural water rates.
Information was also shared with the council regarding the transfer of land from Rolling Hills Electric north property to the City of Mankato.
Bills were approved by the council.

1878 booklet offers account of tragedy near town or Reubens

Following the publication two weeks ago in this newspaper which contained a picture of a cross at Lovewell Lake and a brief account of the tragedy which the cross serves as a memorial to, several people have contacted this newspaper asking for more information. The following story is taken from an account of Jewell County history published by the Diamond Printing Office at Jewell in 1878 and more recently reprinted by the Superior Publishing Company. Copies of the book are available for sale at our offices in Superior and Mankato. Mail and internet orders are also accepted. The booklet was written by M. Winsor and James A. Scarbrough, Jewell City, Kansas, Diamond Printing Office, 1878
The events happened near the former community of Reubens. Reubens was one of the earliest settlements in Jewell County and played an important role in the county's early history. However, when the railroads came they missed Reubens and the town began to wither. By 1910 the population had declined to 30. Today the townsite is beneath the waters of Lovewell Lake.
Here's the account of the events which caused the death of the settlers now buried on a hill overlooking Lovewell Lake as recorded in 1878:
The second settlement of Jewell County was made in the spring of 1866 by William Belknap, John Rice, wife and two children;, Nicholas Ward, wife and adopted son, an old man by the name of Flint, Mrs. Sutzer and son, Al Dart, Arch Bump, Erastus Bartlett and John Marling, wife and child. All took claims on White Rock Creek. Belknap's claim was five miles west of what was to become the town of White Rock. Marling took a claim near the future town of Rubens, Ward took a claim one mile and a half east of Rubens. Rice and all the others took claims in the immediate vicinity of Ward's. All of them went industriously to work, improving their new homes, with no fears of danger or molestation. But a change soon came over the spirit of their dreams, which culminated in one of the most terrible Indian outrages, that every took place on our western frontier.
One evening in August of the same year, (1866) a war party of Cheyennes, numbering about 10, came dashing up to Marling's cabin. When Marling saw them coming, he ran out to where his horses were lariated for the purpose of getting one of them to ride down the creek and give the alarm. Immediately after he left, the Indian fiends entered the cabin and placing a rope around Mrs. Marling's neck, they dragged her a short distance into the timber, where the whole party outraged her in the most brutal and fiendish manner, and left her in an insensible condition.
Marling fled for assistance to the stockade, just below White Rock city. Thomas Lovewell, an old settler of Republic county, Rice and Bump early the next morning accompanied Marling back up the creek. About four miles west of the county line and about six miles east of the scene of the outrage, they discovered Mrs. Marling roaming about in a dazed condition. Her late terrible sufferings had rendered her perfectly wild. When she discovered the relief party, she could only see in them her late fiendish persecutors. In order to escape being retaken, she continually darted from place to place as fast as her little child, who accompanied her, would permit.
It was with considerable difficulty that her husband could get near enough to make her hear her name,Elizabeth called. After hearing her name called, she knew they were friends and stopped.
In the mean time, the Indians who had taken all the provisions and everything in the way of cloth about the cabin, even emptying the feather beds for the ticks, had set fire to the cabin and taken their departure.
The entire settlement then took the alarm and fell back to the stockade in Republic county, where they remained for two days, before going down to Clyde, in Cloud county, because of a reported general Indian massacre, which, however, proved unfounded.
In about five days Mr. Lovewell and his wife returned to their claim and on the sixth day Ward came back and killed a load of buffalo meat, which he took back to the settlements around Clyde for sale.
Directly afterwards Lovewell and his wife started out on a buffalo hunt, and found Rice and Bartlett on their claims, to which they had returned by another route. The scare being over, the settlers all returned to their claims during the fall, where they remained undisturbed until the next spring, when a second dash upon this unfortunate settlement cost the lives of four settlers and drove the rest from the county forever.
On the 9th day of April,1867, the Cheyenne made another descent upon this settlement, killing Bartlett, Mrs. Sutzer, her little son, and Nicholas Ward, and desperately wounding Ward's adopted son, leaving him for dead, and carrying Mrs. Ward off, a captive.
The particulars of this horrible massacre are as follows: The Indians came to Mrs. Sutzer's cabin, where Bartlett was boarding, and demanded dinner, which she proceeded to prepare. In the mean time she sent her little son across the creek to Ward's to inform them of the presence of the Indians. Bartlett was down in the timber, splitting rails. Returning for dinner, he was met by the Indians and tomahawked as he was passing around the corner of the house. He was found lying on his back, his iron wedge near his right hand and his own knife--a dirk--sticking in his throat.
It is thought that when Bartlett was killed, Mrs. Sutzer started to run. She was found dead about 30 yards from the house with her skull crushed with a rock. It appears that the cunning fiends had refrained from using firearms for fear of raising an alarm.
After completing their bloody work at Mrs. Sutzer's, the Indians crossed the creek to Ward's cabin, and again called for dinner, which Mrs. Ward prepared for them. They eat their dinner, smoked their pipes and chatted away in the most friendly manner.
At the conclusion of their "smoke," one of them very coolly loaded his gun and asked Ward if he thought it would kill a buffalo. Ward replied that he thought it would. Whereupon the Indian instantly leveled his gun at Ward's breast and shot him through the heart, killing him immediately.
The two boys -- Ward's and Mrs. Sutzer's--then started to run. The Indians pursued them, following them to the bank of the creek, and shooting them down in the bed of the stream. The Sutzer boy was shot through the heart; instantly killed. The Ward boy was shot through the neck and left for dead. Some time during the succeeding night, however, he recovered his senses, and groping his way back to the cabin in the dark, found the door broken down and entered. Feeling around in the dark with his hands he stumbled and fell over the dead body of his adopted father.
Procuring some blankets from one of the beds, he returned to the timber, where he remained the balance of the night, and was found the next morning by a party of claim hunters, to whom he told the above sad and harrowing tale.
It appears that when the Indians ran out to shoot the boys, Mrs. Ward must have shut and bolted the door, when the Indians returned, they broke it down and took her prisoner.
Her sad tale will probably never be known, as up to the present time, after the lapse of 11 years, nothing definite has ever been heard of her. Every effort to find her, by Mr. Flint, her grandfather, and by her relatives in southern Illinois, was made, that love or money could devise, but all to no purpose. She was never found.
About two months after her capture an article appeared in the Junction City Union which probably throws a little ray of light on this dark page. It was a description of a white woman seen by some black soldiers, wandering solitary and alone on the Saline River. At their approach, she ran out of an old, deserted cabin, and made for the timber, apparently in great terror, evidently mistaking the soldiers for Indians.
The soldiers, on the other hand, fearing she might be an Indian decoy, did not follow. As their description corresponds with that given of Mrs. Ward, and as nothing has ever since been heard of her, there is but little doubt that it was her, and that she had escaped from the Indians, only to perish of hunger and terror, alone on the silent prairie. Mrs. Ward was described as a tall and prepossessing young woman, not over 22 years of age, respectably connected and beloved by all who had the pleasure of her acquaintance.
The uncertain fate of Mrs. Ward; the fact that the government never made any effort to rescue her, or ascertain anything concerning her; the fact that the Indians were all supplied with the most approved arms and ammunition; the fact that the frontier settlers were left wholly unprotected; all, together with a thousand other facts of similar import, go to make up a sad commentary on our Indian policy, as it was, as it is, and as it always will be, until the
"Government learns that it is as much its duty to give full and ample protection to its own citizens as to its murderous, lazy, thieving and treacherous "wards."
Mr. Flint was gone to Clyde after a stove for Mrs. Ward at that time of the massacre, and thus escaped the sad fate of his friends. He afterwards returned to Illinois, where he was appointed administrator of a large estate that poor Mrs. Ward had fallen heir to. He never returned to Kansas. His claim was eventually owned by Jno. H. Wadley, one mile east of Rubens. In 1878 Bartlett's and Bump's claims were owned by Martin Dahl and Rice's claim by Peter Tanner.
Marling got his feet frozen in March before the massacre, and with his wife and child, had gone to Missouri. In 1878 he lived near Fort Scott, Kan., and was talking about a return to Jewell county.
Arch. Bump was waylaid, shot and instantly killed on Upton Creek, in Cloud county, five miles west of Clyde, in May. Vincent Davis was also shot at the same time, and severely wounded, dying several years afterwards, from the wound. The shooting was supposed to have been done by a couple of Jew peddlers. At least the evidence was so strong against them that they were hung to a tree on Elm creek, in Cloud county.
Al. Dart was absent after a load of provisions. Mrs. Dart returned to Clyde, where she met her husband. Coming to the conclusion that White Rock was not a very healthy locality in which to reside, Dart took a claim south of the Republican River, near Clyde, until his death a few days before the book was printed. Mrs. Dart was still living on the Cloud county homestead when the history was written.
Rice left Jewell County but came back in 1868 on a buffalo hunt, with a company of "tender feet" -- new comers -- and went into camp one night, four miles up Burr Oak Creek. That night their horses were stolen by Indians and had to hire a man in Republic County to haul their wagons back to the settlements. Rice never came back for he said he had had "Too much Indian."
The greatest desire of the Indians, in the matter of plunder, appeared to be cotton cloth and to that end beds, flour sacks, and even small sacks containing seeds, were emptied of their contents and carried off. The horses and mules of the settlers were taken, but the cattle were left unmolested.

 

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