History of Beautiful Downtown Derby History of Beautiful Downtown Derby

A Glimpse of Rockford Township

Historical Sketch in the Wichita Beacon of March 12, 1879, gives us another account of the leading citizens and their occupations. It Reads as follows:
From Rockford Township, one of the first organized, we are furnished the following names of the progressive farmers, who have lived there from three to nine years.
Major Burr, first on the list, has his farm all under cultivation. He has a fine apple orchard from which he has already gathered several barrels of apples. He has many other varieties of fruit.
John Hufbauer has his entire farm under cultivation; hedged in, a good apple orchard of five hundred trees, and one of the best peach orchards in the country, from which he has been selling fruit for the past four years, he has a vineyard of two acres and thirty-five varieties of budded peaches.
J. Hart Minnich is one of the largest farmers, cultivating 325 acres.
William Quinnell has his large farm under cultivation, finest grove of forest trees and the largest orchard in the township.

A. Moon has his farm in number one condition with a fine grove of forest trees and a choice variety of peaches. He grows the now famous early peach.
Among the many on Spring Creek who have cultivated and well improved farms and comfortable homes, all made within the past eight years are Mr. Bowen, H. and L. Synder, C. Pittman, L. High, A. Law, J. Cantrell, H. Herren, John Goodacre, H.W. Whalley, Thos. Barnes, Jas. McBee, and Frank Huff.

J.C. Sampson is an extensive orchardist and nursery-man, with his farm in tiptop shape.
Hugh Fortner has done his full share in developing the resources and beauties of the neighborhood.
W.G. Dunshee, Wm. Sutton and J.W. Fink each have a farm and home to be proud of.
W.T. Carlton, D. K. Carlton, Dr. J. Berger, Mr. Pennick and R.A. Hall have possession of a fine portion of East Rockford and they are making the waste place smile, Farmer Doolittle has an excellent farm on Dog Creek. He has all modern improvements.
Such reports could be had from every section of the country, with the same refrain of the wild prairie wilderness being transformed into productive farms and comfortable homes. Ten years ago there was not a white family in the county who expected to permanently settle, today almost every quarter section is occupied and improved.

The First Train of Cars Arrives

AT&SF passenger train, circa 1895

The first train of cars arrived July 18, 1879. The depot was completed in November, and during the Winter following, another bridge was constructed, the old one having been washed away by the flood of 1877. On the last of March, 1879, a portion of the town was consumed by fire; but it has been rapidly rebuilt. In September following, the Town Company, was reorganized — the Railroad Company becoming interested. Derby (El Paso) is the second town in the county, and with its splendid farming country around it, bids fair to continue in the grade. The original name of the town was El Paso.

 

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