I have always been interested in my ancestors, who they were where they came from and what they did for a living. But the history of where my ancestors settled is also very interesting.
Kansas was opened for settlement in 1854. Before they allowed the pioneers in the land had to be surveyed. The buffalo were in large herds and as the surveyors worked the buffalo moved on west. After the land had been measured and marked with corner stones, it was opened for settlement May 30, 1854. Many pioneers came and staked out their claims in 1854. Some settled at that time and others came back in 1855 to settle on their claims. A quarter section of land, 160 acres was given to a family that would live on it five years and build a residence. First come, first choice. Some made dugouts, but many made log cabins.
Padonia, I believe was the first settlement in what became Brown County. As the pioneers came in they spread out to other regions. Carson was one of the early settlements in Brown County also.
Corn grew large, but there was no market for it. Also, Carson was so far from the Missouri River and a railroad. There was very few horses in the first few years as the pioneers had oxen.
The only other people who lived in this area were the Indians. They lived on the reservation, but would often wander about and beg for food from the pioneers.
My ancestors who settled in the Carson vicinity were the Philip Daniel Weis family and some of the children of John Schmitt. They had settled first at Padonia. Philip Daniel Weis died there in December 1855. His son’s, Philip, John, Lewis and daughters Elizabeth, Barbara and Catherine, when married also settled in the Carson area. Henry, Michael & Adam Schmitt and sister Anna Maria who married John William Guider also settled in the Carson area.
Robert Rhea and the Sawin familes were among the few to arrive in 1854. Frank Sawin was an early sherrif of Brown County. The first store in Brown County was owned by M. L.Sawin at Carson. The post office was officially made December 9, 1857 with Mr. M.L. Sawin as postmaster.
Carson was in contention for the County Seat of Brown County. Others in contention were Padonia, Hamlin, Hiawatha and Claytonville.
Phillip Weiss was the first mail carrier for Carson Post Office. He lived in a cabin near Spring Creek. He was contracted for this job and made regular weekly trips to the Missouri River at Iowa Point. He received $2.00 using a team and wagon. He also hauled freight, express and passengers to make it pay. This lasted a few years, until mail routes were established to Marysville.
Harriet Chase was the first lady teacher at Carson in 1860. Carson also had the first church (Congregational), first post office, first store, a windmill and a little later the Evangelical Church
The Brown County Genealogical Library as the country school records for Brown County. They have these for Carson: 1869-1903 and 1922-1932. Anyone can come in to check out these records located at 116 S. 7th Street.
Carson School District #1: The teacher was Eugene Northrup. Here is a list of the students in 1869, name and age: Allie Anderson, 6; Guy Barnum, 10; Isaac Chase, 7; George Hawks, 10; Oscar Hanson, 7; Charles King, 8; John Kaserman, 9; Frank Robbins, 9; Alfred Sawin, 16; John Schmitt, 10; Henry Schmitt, 7; David Schmitt, 4; George Willard, 10; Andrew Willard, 12; Phillip Weis, 5; Louis Kesler, 11; Mary Anderson, 5; Eda Barnum, 19; Libbie Bacon, 4; Lizzie Berry, 12; Jennie Craig, 5; Sarah Draper, 10, Rhoda A. Green, 12; Sqrah King, 10; Rebecca Haywood, 16; Maggie Heyward, 4; Ella Hawke, 17; Alice Hawke, 13; Mary Kesler, 10; Fannie Kesler, 7; Ruth Nichols, 7; Lov icia Robbins, 12; Abbie Robbins, 5; Elizabeth Weis, 15; Lizzie Weis, 10; Annie E. Weis, 9; Mary J. Weis, 6; Francews Weis, 8; Maggie Westerfield, 10; Nannie Westerfield, 8; Maggie Green, 19; Charles Nichols, 5; Sylvester Massey, 7; Frank Major, 9; Minnie Kassermon, 14; Joseph Westerfield, 6; Clarence Major, 6; Walter Hanson, 12; Frank Artrhere.
Carrie Parker, wife of L. E. Harding of Hamlin wrote a beautiful poem:
‘A Tribute to the Pioneer’
God bless the dear old settler;
They came to Kansas, young;
And homesteaded these prairies,
And a noble work began.
They brot true courage with them;
Great hardships they endured,
But they trusted God, and Iabored
Until victory was assured.
The builded well our statehood,
They laid foundations deep;
And today we sing their praises,
For the benefits we reap.
From their forethought and wise planning.
Which has made our future great;
And we love them for their labors,
In this dear old Sunflower State.
But the ranks are growing thinner;
Year by year they’re passing on,
And the ones who meet together,
Feel a sadness for those gone.
They are resting from their labors;
In the place of their retreat,
And perhaps they think of Kansas,
And their memories are sweet.
Of those early days and struggles,
Or those friendships strong and
Born of mutual endeavor.
Now with hearts of true affection,
We salute this honored throng
Of heroic men and women;
May they live and prosper long.
Three cheers for the early settlers,
Those brave old pioneers,
When we think of all they suffered,
Again for them---three cheers.
Taken from the History of Carson, Kansas by Stanley Smith; Carson School Records and Family History.