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As the Years Roll On

Story ID:6507
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Poem
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Person:Thoughtful Chelsea Kansas Kid
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As the Years Roll On

As the Years Roll On

As the Years Roll On

As the Years Roll On
(Things lost due to a new lake)

As the years roll on
Chelseaís gone
Under thirty feet of water

One thing that they didnít bury
Was the Chelsea Cemetery
High above the water

But in granite or cement
They should build a monument
Standing by the water

To let the new ones not ignore
The pioneers that were here before
Only prairie and no water

To those brave settlers that remained
Weather, food, Indians a constant strain
With only a hand dug well for water

Give them their place in History
Donít let it be a mystery
Names of these sons and daughters

Etch them in Granite or Stone
Where once stood the Sylvester Carter home
At the north edge of the water.
Monte L. Manka 11-08-10

(Chelsea, once remarked the late Editor Sheldon,
"whatever she may have become since,
was once the Athens of Butler county.")

The first deed recorded in the county was to P. G. D. Morton of Chelsea, Butler county, territory of Kansas, and is in book A, page 1.

It is dated August 7, 1860, and was acknowledged before "J. R. Lambdin, clerk of the court in and for Butler county," on August 27, 1860, and was made by George Birch and Sarah Birch, his wife, and conveyed "one house 13x16 and three lots, two on which the house now stands, the other some one of the business lots on town plat of Chelsea townsite, being the same house in which said Birch now resides, and same lots promised to said Birch for building said house standing on south-half of southeast quarter of section 28, township 24, range 6." Sylvester Carter is the present owner of this eighty acres of land.

It seems that at an early period Chelsea had been the county seat of Butler, but the old timers, being mostly interested in stock raising and having, so they said, "no proper place to keep the records," had, in an unguarded hour, allowed the same to be transferred to El Dorado. Later, some years having elapsed, the people got ambitious and an effort was made in connection with Augusta, to regain the county seat.

The argument was that Butler was large enough for two counties, with Augusta the county seat of one, and Chelsea the other. But the scheme proved futle.[sic]

The El Dorado voters stood "shoulder to shoulder" in the matter. The other side had too many "Barkis is willing." So that is where Chelsea as a town lost prestige. A change came over the spirit of her dream.

Slowly but surely began the process of disintegration. J. B. Shough, proprietor of the hotel, sold out and moved to Kansas City. Dr. Zimmerman, druggist, went back to Cincinnati. J. M. and M. C. Rayburn, with their families, also went to Kansas City, all but Jennie, who had married George W. Stinson.

The saw mill vanished. Dwelling houses were moved out onto surrounding farms. The church, denuded of most of its members, languished, and the town site gradually lapsed into a corn field.

But did Chelsea put on sack cloth and sit down in the ashes, By no means! Divested of all county seat illusions, she girded herself and put on new strength, but along different lines. New people came and were stayers. The Bensons, Osborns, Joshua Carter, Daily brothers, Joseph McDaniel, John Houser and others.

These were solid citizens, developing the country. Mr. and Mrs. N. B. Coggeshall are still with us.

The Methodist Episcopal brethren took up the church work. We have always had preaching and Sunday school.

The postoffice, of course, went out of business. Then the rural route was established.

"Chelsea," once remarked the late Editor Sheldon, "whatever she may have become since, was once the Athens of Butler county."

In those days buffalo and wolf hunting was a source of revenue. Wolf pelts were worth $1.25 to $2 each and buffalo skins brought from $3 to $6. These furs had to be taken in the winter, and danger from storms and Indians made hunting no pleasant work.

*Sylvester Carter was my Great Uncle, lived with us for years until he died.

*I never knew Joshua Carter, a Great, Great, Uncle and his wife Nannie Carter

This History was copied as is and the misspellings are left in. Monte