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The advocate. (Topeka, Kan.) 1894-1897, September 19, 1894, Image 1

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85032018/1894-09-19/ed-1/seq-1/

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V0L.VI.NO. 38.
$1.00 A YEAS.
H8 Extorted Money Irom Poor Home
steadersA Eecord That Ought to
Drive Him Irom Decent
It takes more than, sensational cam
paign utterances to prove a man a crimi
nal after ha has made a practice of con
fining his business acts to the require
ments of the law. Yet R. N. Morrill,
candidate for governor, stands convicted
of the most inhuman selfishness and
cruelty to his fellow men that could be
practiced within the bounds of law. lie
stands charged by his neighbors of hav
ing made false statements to the
assessor in order to avoid paying his just
share of taxes, and of having collected
usurious interest from the poor. He
may be a law-abiding man but in these
days it takes mere qualifications than
that to gain a man the confidence and
respect of the people of Kansas. A man
may stand up for law, as Bhylock of old
did, and be a villain still.
The matter of Mr. Morrill avoiding the
payment of taxes on his possessions and
of praoticiig usury we leave for the
future and pay attention to his rec
ord of robbing the homestead settlers of
Kansas. The facta stated below, to
gether with the affidavits corroborating
them, were published by the Washing
ton Republic, in a locality where hun
dreds of witnesses stand ready to
verify them. Those who do cot con
sider this statement satisfactory should
write to L. J. Sprengle, Washington,
Kas,, for a list of names of those who
have been swindled by E. N. MorrilL
There is plenty of time in which to do
so before deciding as to whether he is a
fit man for governor of Kansas:
In aid of thebuildingof theSt Joseph
& Denver City railroad, the general gov
eminent by act of congress granted to
said railroad company IK million acres
of land through portions of Marshall and
Washington counties Kansas, and several
southern counties in Nebraska. The
original grant consisted of every odd
numbered section for ten mile on each
side of the railroad through the territory
named, which had cot already been
settled on through homestead, pre
emption, etc. As many of these lands
had been settled on, the railroad was
given an additional ten mile on each side
of the original grant from which out of
the odd numbered sections it could se
lect enough land to make good all that
was lacking in the original grant. This
last concession was known as the 'in
ctemnity limit" or grant, so called be
cause it was to indemnify the railroad
oompany for the shortage in the original
grant. The original grant was dated
March 21, 1870, but the land office at
Concordia did not receive the word until
April 15, 1870.
May 14, 1870, the said railway com
pany mortgaged its lands to the Farm
ers' Loan & Trust company, of New
York for S million dollars. In oourse
of time this mortgage was foreclosed,
and August 30, 1876, was bought in by
what was known as the "purchasing
committee" September 23, 1876, this
"purchasing committee" deeded the
lands to the Kansas & Nebraska Rail
way oompany. The same day the latter
issued a "deed of trust" to Henry M.
Batterworth and Charles W. Hassler,
trustees, to a large part of the lands.
December 20 of the same year, 1876, the
trustees gave a power of attorney to
Alfred Mitchell, a Wall street million
aire, empowering him in their names to
sell the lands. Morrill & Janes, bankers
and real estate men of Hiawatha, Kas.,
were made the agents for the sale of
the lands by Mitchell, and as Mr. Janes'
part of the business was to run the
bank, Mr. Morrill bad charge of the
real estate business of the firm, and that
he had practically unlimited powar to
fix prices and dispose of the lands will
shortly appear.
The spring of 1870 was when the
great bulk of Washington county was
homestaaded, and the number of tracts
entered between the date of the land
grant, March 21,1870, and the time
the land office at Concordia was first
notified of the grant, viz , April 14, 1870,
was very large. These settlers went
ahead and improved their places, totally
unconscious of the lines that were work
ing and being worked to finally deprive
many of them of their homes. At that
time few newspapers were read by the
settlers, because few were published and
they were too poor to buy them had
they been obtainable. Hence it was a
long time before many of them learned
that there were adverse claims to their
hxnb7 speebs experience.
"Static of Kansas, )
Washington County. )
Henry Speers, of lawful age being first
duly sworn deposes and says: I am a
resident of Washington county, residing
on the north half of the northwest quar
ter and north half of the northeast quar
ter, section 31, township 1, range 2,
which I homesteaded in 1871, it having
pretiously been filed on. In 1872 1 got
notice that my homestead entry was
cancelled and that I had ninety days in
which to appeal I, with others who
had been served with similar notice,
made the appeal and in 1872 Mrs. Eliza
Taylor, who then resided on the same
cscticn of land I did, received word from
SEPTEMBER 19,1894.
the land cfflce that her land "had been
relieved of suspension," and as her land
had been filed on the same day mine
was, I took it for granted that mice had
also been releived. I paid no attention
to the matter and in 1877 went to the
county se at and made my "proof" papers
before John A. Bull, clerk of the court
I paid the usual fee and proof notico
was published. I received my final re
ceipt in due time, end in 1870 1 sent this
receipt to the landcffice and asked for my
patent. I was notified some weeks after
ward that my homestead entry and final
receipt had been cancelled, and that the
land had been patented to the St. Joe Sc
Denver City Railroad company. Just
about that time one A. Q. Speer came
to my place stating that he had been
sent out by Morrill & Janes to appraise
all the lands claimed by them and also
the improvements. I ran him off the
place, bat reconsidering, I called him
back and told him if his principals bad
any claim on the land that they would
doubtless have it appraised any way.
But I was naturally incensed over the
matter as it was my home and I had
staked my all on it. He told me that he
would intercede with Morrill in my be
half, and would tell Morrill that he had
discovered he and I were related, and
that Morrill might thereby do a little
better by me than he otherwise would.
Later I found that he had cot forgotten
his promise, for I received a letter from
Mr. Morrill in which he stated that Mr.
Speer had spoken particularly about my
case. He offered me a deed to the land
for $80. Th ereupon I spoke to my neigh
bor, T. W. Baird, whose land was simi
larly clouded. We went to Washington,
the county seat and asked Law
yer T. J. Humes what we had
better do in the matter. He advised
buying. Believing that the whole busi
ness was a steal, we concluded that the
best thing to do was to send Mr. Humes
to see Morrill and have matters arranged
in a legal way. This we did as soon as
we could "rustle" the money, part of
which I borrowed from J.W.Taylor,
then a resident of Haddam, my nearest
postoffice and trading place. Mr. Humes
went to Hiawatha and found to hia as
tonishment that Morrill had raised the
price on me to $160. This was only a
few weeks after receiving word that I
could hare it for $30. I sent the money I
just as soon as I could secure it, and I
want to say that on account of disposing
of everything I could spare, I had noth
ing left with which to buy sufficient
clothing for the following winter, and
as a consequence myself and family
nearly froze to death that winter. To
this day I never get cold but that I feel
like abusing E. N. Morrill. Mr. Humes
told Morrill that he hadn't ought to be
hard on Spers,as ha had rabsd the
money as soon as he could, and that ha
wanted the land for a home, and didn't
want anything against it. Morrill r
pked that I had waited too long and ha
would do no better. Thereupon Mr.
Humes paid him the $30, and Morrill
prepared a bond for a deed, and two
cotes of 040 each for me to elgn and
entrusted Mr. Humes with the bond. I
signed the notes and Mr. Humes gave ma
the bond, remarking: "Henry, you bed
better put the bond on record risbt
away, for there is no telling what tha
old d 1 might take a notion to do.
"Mrs. Taylor above referred to in du.i
time obtained a patent for her land, but
notwithstanding that fact the party io
whom I afterward sold the laid as hsr
administrator had to pay Morrill $1C0
for a quit claim deed. I know of cmy
in my neighborhood who had to even
mortgage their farms in order to git
the same kind of a cloud removed from
their titles by Morrill. I know of other
oates where money was paid to Morrill
for the same purpose, even after a
patent had bees issued to the purty
living on the land, and in nearly every
case it worked a hardship.
"My brother-in-law, Martin L. Bower,
homesteaded the same day I did, I acci
dentally saw a list of the Morrill & Jizzi
land for sale in this county. Amonjf
them wa3 that of Mr. Bower the north
west quarter section 7, township 2
range 2. Knowing that he had proved
up and had hia final receipt, but had cot
received his patent, I became uneasy
and wrote to him, he being at that tima
temporarily in Illinois. At that time I
wrote to Morrill to know what it would
cost for the deed, stating that Bower wa3
an old soldier and all that he had in the
world was this land. Morrill replied
that under the circumstances he would
deed to Mr. Bower for $100. About
that time I heard by the merest acci
dent that one John Swicson living cost
Cuba, Republic county, Kas., had de
posited $480 for Bowers' land. Imme
diately I wrote to Morrill to know bow
I should send the $100. On the 14th
of Jane I received word to send it by
draft and that he would have to have it
by June 17.' I had no time to loaa, and
started to ride my horae to Washington,
without going home. I stopped at Will
Qray's and he put a horse in and W3
hitched to his wagon and drove to Jacob
Blocker's to get him to go to Washis
ton with us to help secure the money
He said he had 225, and he nnhesitat
ingly advanced it, so we only had to
borrow $175. This we borrowed cf H.
0. Sprengle and sent the draft that me j
day through Fred Heads bank, and the :i
saved my friend's home. And yet & v
tell me 'Morrill is thsfrlatdcf thecU
soldiar.' don't believe a word of is.
They cay we got geed hom3 from Mcr
Continued on page it.

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