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Our History

Republic County was first mentioned by the Kansas Legislature in 1860 when it defined the county’s boundaries and gave it a name.

Daniel and Conrad Myers were the first white settlers of Republic county. Daniel built the first dwelling house in September 1861, a log structure in which he lived during his entire residence in the county. John Myers, a cousin, who came with Daniel and Conrad, but didn’t take up any land was the first white settler who died in the county. He died the last of April 1861.

The following is an Indian story that happened during the early settling of the Republic county. The winter of 1862-63 was very mild, no snow or rain falling, little freezing weather, and no snow or rain so spring came early. One of the settlers, James G. Tuthill, started planting a garden by Feb. 10, 1863 and had it all planted by March 10. He had a huge garden that year with melons that were ripe by July 4. On the Sunday after the 4th about 6,000 Indians, principally Pawnees, Iowas, and Otoes, camped near Mr. Tuthill’s place and harvested his melons. The Indians were not violent to Tuthill and his family. After everything on the place had been stolen, the chief in command placed a double guard around the garden patch. This action of the chief was very considerate and appreciated by Mr. Tuthill after his property had been stolen. There are other Indian stories too numerous to mention here that are a part of Republic County history.

Sidney S. Way and Madora Tuthill were the first persons married in the county at Salt Marsh near the town site of Seapo. The first school district that was formed was six miles wide and twelve long in the territory occupied by the first settlers. On the division of this district, by some mistake, that part having the first school house, and where the first school was taught, was named District No. 2. District No. 1 was formed from territory lying next on the south. The first post office was established at Salt Marsh with James G. Tuthill appointed postmaster. The first minister in the county was Wm. Harshberger. The first Justice of Peace was James E. VanNatta who was appointed by Gov. Crawford. The first election was held the 4th Monday of March 1868. These are some of the firsts for Republic County, Kansas, that are recorded in the history book History of Republic County Kansas by I. O. Savage and was printed in 1901.

photo grouping of historical black and white photos