The following newspaper abstracts were sent by HAROLD DANFORD. They tell the story of J.S. Danford's life in KS and his involvement with a bank failure in Caldwell, KS in 1881. According to Harold, "These files were painstakingly typed in by Mary Ann Wortman of Arkansas City, KS." Harold, who is researching J.S. Danford, would appreciate hearing from other Danford researchers.

NOTE: No effort has been made to edit the articles, as the style of writing indicates a lot about life in KS in the last half of the 1800s.

Emporia News, September 18, 1868.

[Part of an article re State Convention...Nominees and Platform.]

 A. DANFORD.. The nominee for Attorney-General is at present editor of the Ft. Scott Monitor. He has been in the Legislature several terms, and is an old resident of Kansas. He is vouched for by the members of the Fort Scott bar as a good lawyer. He is one of the ablest speakers in the State, and will do good work for the ticket.

 Emporia News, September 10, 1869.

NEW AGENCY. Hanna & Danford have opened an office in Jones’ building, over Newman & Houghton’s store, in the room lately occupied as a Presbyterian church, where they will do a general agency business. They will buy and sell lands, furnish abstracts of titles, pay taxes, do conveyancing, insurance, etc. . . .

Emporia News, December 24, 1869.

PAPER AT EL DORADO. T. B. Murdock and J. S. Danford, of this place, propose to start a paper at El Dorado, Butler County, Kansas, the first number of which will be issued about the 15th of February. . . . We are sorry to lose Bent. from our office, because he has always been industrious and devoted to the interests of THE NEWS. He has the tact and talent for a successful newspaper man, and in his new field we expect to see these qualities developed to a degree that will place his at the very head of the country press in Kansas. Mr. Danford has also had experience as a writer, and will be a valuable hand in the newspaper profession. . . .




[Starting with Friday, March 4, 1870, issue.]










Wilson's Addition comes last in order, but greatest in point of importance. It is eminently more essential to have a location of health and beauty, with salubrious air and water, and fertile soil on which to build your residence, grow your orchard, and make your home than to own a whole block of business lots on Main street.

Wilson's addition offers all these attractions and inducements. It joins the old town site on the west, and contains 86 acres of good undulating prairie, affording natural building sites, and especially adapted to parks, gardens, vineyards, etc. Prof. T. R. Wilson has for this purpose very generously disposed of this land to the following company: Dr's. H. D. Kellogg and A. White, J. S. Danford, J. K. Finley, and Mr. Knowlton, who have had it surveyed into blocks of two acres each, and sub-divided into lots of one quarter acre each, and now offer it for sale in lots of any size to suit their customers, and at prices so reasonable, that the poorest man may buy a home, while the rich and noble will have all the guidance of nature to enrich, magnify, and display their improvements. Were they to traverse famous Italy, they could not find a building site more surpassing in beauty, loveliness, and healthiness than now offered in Wilson's addition.



The town of Creswell is being surveyed this week. Danford and Kellogg have gone down to see that is well done. We authorized them to buy a "corner lot" for us.




We the undersigned, voters of Butler county, Kansas, hereby express our willingness to aid all in our power in the formation of a new county out of the territory now

composing the counties of Butler and Cowley; and to that end we will vote to spare from the county of Butler a fair, equal, and just proportion of our territory to

form said new county, taking into consideration the arable land in the county.


J. S. Danford M. K. Ferguson

Eldorado, Kansas, April 22nd, 1870.





NOTICE is hereby given that the special partnership herefore extisting between T. B. Murdock and J. S. Danford, is this day dissolved by mutual consent. T. B. Murdock is authorized to settle all business of the old firm, and will pay all debts of its contracting.




Eldorado, Kansas, June 1, 1870.



Emporia News, June 10, 1870.

PERSONAL. A party of El Dorado gentlemen were in town a few days ago, consisting of T. B. Murdock and J. S. Danford, of the Walnut Valley Times, and D. M. Bronson, Esq. Mr. Murdock has bought out the interest of Mr. Danford in the Times.


Emporia News, June 17, 1870.

THE FOURTH AT ARKANSAS CITY. Our friends at Arkansas City (Creswell) will hold a grand celebration on the Fourth of July. Max Fawcett’s celebrated claim is the spot selected. Music, a big dinner, an oration by H. B. Norton, toasts, responses, and short speeches by Prof. L. B. Kellogg, General Ellet, J. S. Danford, and others, and unlimited boating, swinging, and sight seeing are on the programme. A large party will leave for the new town on the 31st inst.




J. S. Danford was appointed County Clerk, vice H. D. Kellogg, resigned.


 Emporia News, September 2, 1870.



ARKANSAS CITY, July 31, 1870.

MESSRS. EDITORS: When we left Emporia in January last, I promised you that I would try to write frequently the progress of events connected with our town project; but as I passed through El Dorado, my good friend, Danford, took a potent grasp upon my sympathies by means of an excellent dinner, and I must needs have written for his paper, or incur the lasting displeasure of my lacteal system. So I Awrit,@ and my wants being all supplied (physically, I mean), I forgot my moral obligations to you, and to you I did not Awrit,@ hence the theorem, etc. And I now return as did the prodigal, full of repentance and literary husks, to eat the fatted calf which, of course (following the example of Scriptural injunction are in duty bound to kill for me), will have in readiness. If I should set out to write a fairy story, I could find no fitter subject for my plan than to describe a wild region of country, inhabited by savage beasts and a degraded and ignorant race of human beings, transformed in an inconceivably short time, as it were, by some mysterious hand, into a lively town of civilized people, bringing with them refinement, moral culture, and social advantages far superior to a great many towns of a number of years standing in the east.




Dr. H. D. Kellogg has ordered me to bring suit on all notes and accounts not paid by the first of November. Those who owe him and desire to save costs, will please call at my office at once and pay up.



Emporia News, December 16, 1870.

J. S. Danford, of El Dorado, has been in town for several days. He is to be the cashier of the Walnut Valley Bank, which will be ready for business at El Dorado the first of next month. Mr. Danford received a letter from El Dorado yesterday stating that all of the 20 prisoners confined at that place for murder were released but four.





Messrs. Danford and Foulks, formerly of this town, have concluded to locate at Cannon City, Colorado Territory.






Last Friday, Nov. 14th, a large and earnest railroad meeting was held at Eldorado. Messrs. Meigs, Channel, McMullen, and Christian, from Arkansas City; Millington and Manning of Winfield, and Holmes and Lee, of Rock township, were the representatives from Cowley county.

A large turn out of active men of Butler county were present, and C. V. Eskridge, P. B. Plumb, E. P. Bancroft, and others from Emporia, and Messrs. Danford and Schenk of Osage City, and C. K. Holliday and Lakin, of Topeka, were present.

The meeting organized at 2 p.m. by choosing Neil Wilkie, of Douglass, as chairman. Mr. Bancroft, of Emporia, in a clear and comprehensive manner, presented statistics showing the advantage to the people and company of constructing a narrow gauge railroad in comparison to a wide gauge road.

Gov. Eskridge then spoke at some length demonstrating the ability of the people along the line to build and own a road from Emporia into the Walnut Valley.

Interesting speeches were made by Col. Plumb, D. A. Millington, and others.

Finally the citizens of Butler county present selected eight persons to cooperate with the representatives of Cowley in drafting articles of incorporation for a railroad company. After several hours of conference the two counties by their representatives agreed upon a charter form road beginning at Emporia, and run by the Walnut Valley to the south line of the State below Arkansas City.

The following named gentlemen were chosen directors.

P. B. Plum, H. C. Cross, and A. A. Baker: Emporia.

J. C. Becker: Chelsie.

T. B. Murdock and A. L. Redden: Eldorado.

E. L. Akin: Augusta.

A. Cox: Walnut City.

Neil Wilkie: Douglass.

J. E. Platter and J. C. Fuller: Winfield.

J. C. McMullen and S. P. Channel: Arkansas City.

The corporation is named the Walnut Valley R. R. Company.

The directors are to meet in Emporia on 23rd inst., to put the enterprise in motion. Of their action, we shall keep our readers posted. If possible, we shall attend the meeting.




[Covering Period January 6, 1876 - December 28, 1876.]




VOL. 4, NO. 1.




JANUARY 1st, A. D. 1876.


As specimens of "literature" of that day we produce the following circulars which were issued a short time previous to the first election held in the county, to-wit: May 2nd, 1870.


We, the Town Company of Creswell, furthermore pledge ourselves to erect a first-class stone or frame building not less than thirty feet square and two stories high, suitably arranged for a court-room and county offices; and to deed the same, with one entire block of not less than fourteen lots, centrally located, to the county, to be its property so long as the county-seat remains at Creswell; the building to be completed within six months after Creswell is chosen permanent county seat.

The question of taxation is one of great importance to the people of a young and undeveloped country. It is only at the cost of heavy taxes that the county will be able to erect a court-house and other county buildings. This expense the Creswell town company propose to wholly assume.

The immediate vicinity of the Arkansas river is the natural location for the cities and towns which are to one day adorn this great valley. The natural centers of population and business will be there. Let us choose wisely, and make a choice which will not speedily be reversed.

We commend these facts and offers to the thoughtful consideration of the voters of Cowley county.

H. B. NORTON, Associate Principal State Normal School, President.

C. V. ESKRIDGE, Lieut. Governor, Vice President.

W. R. BROWN, Judge 9th Judicial District, Secretary.

L. B. KELLOGG, Principal State Normal School, Treasurer.

J. STOTLER, Director.

COL. P. B. PLUMB, Director.

CAPT. G. H. NORTON, Director.

H. L. HUNT, Director.

H. D. KELLOGG, M. D., Director.


J. S. DANFORD, Director.





The Hunnewell bank was incorporated on the 13th inst. Capital stock: $50,000. J. S. Danford, president; Byrron Bowers, cashier.



DECEMBER 1, 1881.


 J. S. Danford's banks at Hunnewell, Caldwell, and Osage City are reported as suspended.





Through the kindness of Mr. Scribner, the K. C., L. & S. operator, we learn something of the doings of a mob at Wellington Tuesday night. Our readers will remember our mention of the failure and closing up of the banks at Caldwell and Hunnewell a short time ago. The proprietor, J. S. Danford, and Smith, the cashier, of the Caldwell institution, were in Wellington last night and sometime during the night, about one hundred mounted men fully armed with shotguns, rifles, and revolvers, appeared and demanded the surrender of Danford and Smith from the Sheriff, who seemed to have them in charge. Securing their prisoners, the mob started for Caldwell, but the bankers, fearing they would be hung on the road, proposed to the leaders to pay for a special train to take them to Caldwell, which was done. On their arrival there they were locked up in the bank. Further information we have been unable to get up to the hour of going to press.





Smith and Danford, of the bank which failed in Caldwell, were in the hands of a mob Monday night. The mob threatened to hang the bank officials unless they made up the deficiencies.





Bank Suspended.

Great excitement has prevailed at Caldwell and Hunnewell during the past week in consequence of the suspension of the banks at both places. Danford, the owner of the banks, was evidently on the make, but a posse of the bank's depositors got possession of him and his cashier and held them by mob force for several days. The excitement is subsiding, and the present status of affairs will be seen from the following dispatch.

Caldwell, Kansas, Dec. 5. Danford and his creditors made a settlement by which Danford turns over assets amounting to $74,433 to cover his liabilities of $59,666; and S. S. Richmond, of Caldwell, was appointed turstee under bond of $80,000. Danford and party are now rejoicing in sweet liberty. The town is now quiet and depositors feeling better, though not sanguine of a full payment. Danford and committee of creditors are now en route to Newton to complete the transfers and assignments. All proceedings are to be dismissed upon the completion of the transfers.



An Excurting Party.

Mr. M. M. St. John, brother of the Governor of Kansas; Mr. J. R. Ritchie, Sheriff of Richardson county, Illinois; Mr. C. Fleming, son-in-law of Mr. St. John, and Mr. John P. Higgans, all of Olney, Illinois; arrived in the city yesterday morning and left by this morning's train for the Indian Territory for a hunt. They will be under the care of Capt. C. M. Scott, which is a guarantee that they will enjoy their holiday. Gov. St. John intended to be of the party, but he felt obliged to forego the anticipated pleasure on account of the Danford trouble.



Winfield Courier, December 8, 1881.

Judge Campbell went down to Caldwell to help Danford out of his difficulty, but about train time was waited upon by a committee who informed him that they did not wish to incur unnecessary expense in lawyer's fees and that he had better take the first train for the north: and to be careful and not miss the train. The Judge had become impressed with the unhealthy state of the atmosphere before, and did not miss the train.


Winfield Courier, December 8, 1881.

And now comes the story that Tell Walton had $180 in the busted bank at Caldwell. It taxes our credulity to the utmost to believe it. The only way we can at all account for a newspaper man's having a bank account is that he was probably saving it to pay a last year's paper bill, or that he was holding it in trust for some widow and orphan fund.






We have noted elsewhere the failure of the Danford Banks at Hunnewell, Caldwell, and Osage City. On Monday it was found at Caldwell that Danford had been there and that he and his cashier Smith had left carrying with them all the cash, notes, and other movable assets of the bank. A warrant of arrest against them was issued under the charge of embezzlement in receiving deposits after the bank was in a failing condition, and they were arrested and brought to Wellington when their bail was fixed at $25,000 each to appear at preliminary examination. Some fifty depositors of Caldwell representing about $50,000 of deposits were there to appear against the bankers. These took Danford and Smith away from the officears and were about to take them to Caldwell, but D. & S., fearing they would be hung on the way, procured a special train and they were taken to Caldwell and held as prisoners in the bank at last accounts. What will be the result is not known, but the depositors are desperate.



When the safe of Danford's bank was broken open, all that was found was a pile of nickles and a newspaperman's note for ten dollars. They seem to have carried away everything in which the bulk anywhere near equalled the value.


Tell Walton dropped in Monday morning fresh from the seat of war at Caldwell. Having deposited all his money in Danford's Bank, it is fair to presume that he walked over. The conductor wouldn't accept a certificate of deposit as legal tender.





To begin at the beginning and tell the whole story would occupy this entire page. A synopsis is all we can give.

Rumors of the unstability of the bank had been floating around for some two or three weeks, but the depositors, as a body, did not give them much credence, thinking all would be right, and having faith in the president, J. S. Danford, no runs were started. On Monday several drafts on New York came back protested. The owners of them went to the cashier, W. D. C. Smith, and inquired of him the reason of their return. Smith held out that there was only a temporary shortage on that bank, and that the same draft would be honored if sent to the bank on which it was drawn. Smith continued to hold out that every train running the entire week would bring from $5,000 to $20,000 in currency, and all depositors could then get their money if they would only wait.

It was evident that the M. & D. bank was very short of currency, the cashier prevailing upon many to take only $25 or $100 when they would present checks for sums well up in the hundreds. Many took the stand-off simply out of friendship for the bank, while many, wishing to lend confidence and aid to the bank, would go down into their pockets and deposit their last cent, which would be thankfully received by the slick cashier of the concern, with the assurance of a speedy return of all money. The object was to gain time. Deposits were received up to within twenty minutes of three o'clock Saturday afternoon, while the cashier, packing up the securities of the bank, prepared to jump the train at 3 o'clock. Fred Dewman, a friend of Danford, from Osage City, came down Saturday on the noon train, accompanied Smith in his flight, and took the securities on with him to a place that the creditors know not of. Smith got off at Wellington and met Danford. Danford deeded the bank building to Major Hood, Smith refusing to sign the deed until two thousand dollars was given him. His signature does not appear on the deed, so it is safe to suppose that he did not get the stamps.

Smith and Danford left Wellington in a private conveyance Sunday morning, and drove to Wichita, where a telegram was sent by Sheriff Thrall to have them arrested on a warrant sworn out by I. B. Gilmore, who happened to be in Wellington and learned of the flight.

The sheriff of Sedgwick county started to Winfield Sunday evening with the prisoners to have their preliminary tried before Judge Torrance, but telegraphed Thrall to meet him at Mulvane. The party from here got to Mulvane before the Thrall party arrived, but a telegraphic warrant had been served upon them before the Caldwell officers arrived.

The party came to Wellington where they were met by a delegation of creditors from this point. Talks were had but nothing could be got out of Danford. They were arraigned before Squire King, and $50,000 bonds required of them for their appearance on the Gilmore warrant, which they claimed they would give on Tuesday. On the afternoon train a delegation of nearly one hundred arrived, repudiated the action of the first party, and demanded that the prisoners be taken back to Caldwell or the full amount of the deposits paid at once. The depositors were not satisfied, and Mr. Rhodes and posse proceeded to gather in the sheriff and prisoners. A special train was secured from Wichita, which arrived about 12 o'clock Monday night, on which the prisoners were brought to this city.

A meeting of the creditors was held in the Hall Tuesday morning. Sim Donaldson was chosen Chairman and Charles Hassard Secretary.

A Committee on Resolutions was appointed, report of same submitted, and adopted, and committee discharged.

The following preambles and resolutions were unanimously adopted.

WHEREAS, The Merchants and Drovers' Bank of Caldwell, Kansas, has suspended without any visible assets whatever wherewith to pay the claims of its creditors; and,

WHEREAS, The said creditors, having met to consider the ways and means to secure their claims against said bank and its officers.

Resolved, That it is the sense of this meeting that all the securities and moneys of said bank have been fraudulently appropriated and made way with by its president, J. S. Danford, and by his direction and connivance.

Resolved, That the said creditors demand a full and complete showing of the status of said bank, and full and complete settlement and liquidation of all their several claims; and that if immediate payment cannot be made, that the said creditors be secured by ample securities, and that immediately.

Resolved, That we hold each and all the officers of said bank strictly accountable for their acts and deeds in the management of said bank, and that they be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for any violation of their said duties.

Resolved, That we declare it our firm determination to make use of all lawful means to make said J. S. Danford settle and liquidate his liabilities caused by his fraudulent practices in the management of said Merchants and Drovers' Bank.

Resolved, That, if deemed necessary, the following attorneys be retained by the creditors of said bank for the prosecution of all claims and demands of these creditors against the Merchants and Drovers' Bank and its several officers, namely: Mr. Thomas George and Mr. Quigley, of Wellington, and Mr. L. M. Lange, of Caldwell, and that a committee be appointed to raise funds for the carrying into execution the resolution, and that a pro rata assessment be made on all creditors for that purpose. And, finally,

Resolved, That we demand that the prisoners, J. S. Danford and W. D. C. Smith, President and Secretary of said Merchants and Drovers' Bank, be immediately turned over and delivered to Constable Rhodes, who first legally arrested the said J. S. Danford and W. D. C. Smith, by virtue of a warrant issed by J. D. Kelly, Esq., of Caldwell, Kansas, and that said Rhodes keep the said prisoners in his custody until they are disposed of in due form.


Chairman of Committee.

A committee was appointed to wait upon Mr. Danford and have him make a statement to the creditors.


Danford came into the meeting and said, in substance, that he did not know what the assets of the bank were, but could produce the securities carried off by Smith and Denman; also, that the securities were carried off for the purpose of giving the depositors an equal show at the general divide, and avoid attaching creditors.

A committee was then appointed by the chair to wait upon Danford in the interests of the creditors, and report at 7 o'clock to the meeting.

The meeting was adjourned till 2 o'clock p.m.

Judge Storry came in on the noon train Tuesday in the interest of Major Hood. The committee appointed to settle with Danford submitted a report to the meeting at 7 o'clock, which, after a considerable debate, was at once adopted.

The committee's report was Danford's proposition, the substance of which is as follows: Danford gave his individual note for $56,000, secured by $32,500 [? HARD TO READ ?] in notes, etc., of the M. D. Bank; the bank building at $10,000; half a section adjoining the city, valued at $2,000; all his individual and the M. & D. Bank's real estate, etc., in Sumner county the value of which is known at the present; when the collateral is exhausted, the balance to be paid by him. This proposition was accepted by the creditors.

A committee was appointed to take charge of the affair. John G. Woods was elected trustee by the depositors.

The committee went to Wichita yesterday morning to examine the notes and bank securities, and had not returned yesterday evening.

Dr. Tanner was arrested in Wellington Tuesday night and brought to this city. He made affidavit to the fact that the drug store in the corner room of the bank building had been sold to him without a consideration and was to be returned to Danford when the trouble was over. A bill of sale of the property was given to him.

Dr. Sinex states that he is simply employed by Mr. Danford to run the store on a salary of $75 per month; that he has no money invested in it.

Fred Denman stated that he was acting as a friend of Danford, and carried off the money and securities of the bank to a place of safety.

Samuel Berry was placed under arrest yesterday.

Caldwell Post.





It is announced that Danford has been released at Caldwell, and has gone to Osage City. The liabilities of the Caldwell bank are $54,932.33; assets $64,180.25.



DECEMBER 15, 1881.


J. S. Danford was once a strict member of the M. E. church at ElDorado.


Danford is at home at Osage City with his family. It is thought that his matters will be amicably settled.

Winfield Courier, December 29, 1881.

The worst is to come. It is said that Danford, the ex-banker of Caldwell, will enter the lecture field.





The Topeka Capital furnishes us the following synopsis of the statement just made by Danford, the Caldwell-Hunnewell-Osage City banker, and recently printed in the Osage City paper.

After various vicissitudes Danford came to Kansas twelve years ago with $1,000, and engaged in the real estate business at Eldorado. He went into various ventures, all of which, he says, were profitable. His bank experiences at various points are also noted; and nine years ago he put himself down worth $25,00 in cash, besides real estate. He tells how he went into the Osage bank, and says during his first three years' residence at Osage City he made no money; went into the Harvey County Savings Bank, sold out at a profit of $10,000, and then organized the Caldwell bank.

He had some experience in lending money to Texas cattle men at Eldorado, and that was why he established the Merchants' and Drovers' bank, with a capital of $10,000; then he opened a small bank at Hunnewell, and also aided in the organization of the bank at Carbondale, at the request of the people there. During the past six months, realizing that he had undertaken more than he could comfortably manage, he thought best to sell out his banks in Sumner county and concentrate his energies at Osage City. His Sumner county banks kept an average balance of over $50,000 with the Chase National Bank of New York, but when he applied for accommodations to meet the withdrawal of funds from his banks, incident to the closing of the cattle season, the bank directors told him they had decided to make no more loans in the West.

In the meanwhile, in addition to the natural falling off of deposits, a run was begun upon the Merchants and Drovers' bank, instigated, he claims, by his former cashier, who had an ill-feeling toward his successor. The former was about to organize a bank himself at Caldwell. About $100,000 had been withdrawn when the final trouble came,. His friends deserted him, and he could raise money in no way, neither in the East, nor at Kansas City, Leavenworth, Topeka, or Emporia. He took a special train from Topeka, as has heretofore been related, met Major Hood in Emporia, paid him what he owed him, and received the surplus collateral which he (Hood) had in his possession belonging to the Osage City Savings Bank. He wanted to transfer all his Sumner county property to Major Hood for the benefit of his Caldwell creditors so that litigation would not cut it all up. He investigated the affairs of the bank at Hunnewell, and instructed the cashier to return and settle with the creditors. Maj. Hood, however, had declined to receive the securities assigned to him, and that embarrassed him greatly. He wanted to settle with the people at Caldwell, and pay them everything. He says he could have escaped before he was arrested, but he had never any intention of becoming a fugitive. It was his intention to go to Osage City, prevent the suspension of his bank there, and return to Caldwell Sunday night, so as to be ready to meet the people Monday morning. He was not tenderly handled at Caldwell when the people took him back there from Wellington, was allowed no liberty, and says his treatment was about as rough as imagination can paint it.

He says he is not disheartened; will go to work again, and men who fondly imagine he is wrecked and stranded for good will learn differently. Had he not been prostrated on a bed of sickness, the creditors of the Osage City Savings bank would have been indemnified for their losses. He further asks the public to suspend its judgment for a few days.





A committee of creditors has examined the affairs of Danford's Osage City bank, and find that its assets aggregate $150,076, while its liabilities are only $41,647. It has $87,575 in real estate, and nearly $15,000 in cash.


The Winfield Courier, January 12, 1882.

Danford has sued several citizens of Caldwell for $90,000 damages for carrying him by force to Caldwell, keeping him in durance and torture there for several days in which his life was threatened. We suppose he has a good case in law and will probably recover some damages.



[Beginning with Wednesday, January 18, 1882.]




A few days ago S. S. Richmond, one of the leaders of the Danford mob at Caldwell, went to Osage City on business connected with the wrecked bank. Danford at once served upon him the necessary papers in a suit for $100,000 damages.




Danford to the Front.


Danford has been arranging and fixing matters for the past three or four weeks, and from the following from Osage City we presume his labor will result in "a time" for some of his Caldwell friends who participated in the mob festival:

S. S. Richmond, one of the principal leaders of the Caldwell-Danford mob, who was appointed trustee of the assets of the Merchants and Drovers Bank, of Caldwell, with powers to settle up the business, came to confer with Danford in regard to some unfinished business. A suit was at once instituted by Danford against members of the Caldwell mob for $100,000 damages, and the papers were served upon Richmond by the Sheriff of this county. This takes the case to that county, and enables Danford to have papers served upon other members of the mob in Sumner county and compel them to go to that county for trial. There will be over fifty defendants.


The Winfield Courier, January 19, 1882.


Caldwell Post man one of the defendants in Danfords $100,000 damage suit; editor tries to get funny over it.





Tell Walton, among others, has been sued by Danford for $10,000. As Tell lost some money in the bank failure, he is sitting up nights trying to figure the thing out. Can't you do it, Tell?


Winfield Courier, January 26, 1882.

We are told that Tell W. Walton, the bright editor of the Post, is one of the defendants in Danford’s suit for damage in the sum of $100,000. If in addition to the loss of his $180 deposit, he should have the whole $100,000 to pay, it would cut down his profits for 1881 at least one half.



Forty-six Sumner County people are defendants in the suit instituted by J. S. Danford, the Osage City banker, for $100,000 damages.




Danford has succeeded in getting the attachments on his property at Caldwell discharged.




Hunnewell is to have another bank. Byron Bowers, the late cashier of Danford's bank, at that place, is the banker.


Winfield Courier, February 16, 1882.


The latest political gossip that reaches us is to the effect that J. S. Danford, of Osage City, is a sure enough candidate for U. S. Senate.




The city counsel of Hunnewell have passed a series of resolutions declaring that $16,000 worth of bonds, which Danford manipulated, illegal, and issued without authority of law, and that the public be notified through advertisement in the N. Y. Herald that said bonds are illegal and held by Donnell, Lawson & Co., without consideration.




The half forgotten excitement incident to the Caldwell bank failure, in which Danford so conspicuously figured, has been revived by the arrest of W. D. C. Smith, late bookkeeper of the bank, at Fort Worth, Texas, upon a charge of grand larceny.





Governor Saint John's refusal to sign a requisition upon the Governor of Texas for Smith, the defaulting cashier of Danford's bank at Caldwell, may prove a serious matter to his Excellency. This thing of favoring men because they have held the political prestige enjoyed by Danford, is not becoming even to a man so unscrupulous as the evangelist.


Winfield Courier, May 11, 1882.


The service in the damage case of J. Danford against the Caldwell vigilantes was held to be good and the cases are set for trial at the next term of court in Osage County.


The Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, September 21, 1882.

The committee of the creditors in the Danford affair went to Wellington on Tuesday afternoon expecting to make a settlement through Danford’s attorneys. It is perhaps unnecessary to add, they came back disappointed. It occurs to us it is about time to stop throwing grass at J. S.

The Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, September 28, 1882.

The Danford Troubles Settled.

On the authority of the attorneys in the difficulty arising between J. S. Danford and his Caldwell creditors, it gives us pleasure to state that everything has been amicably settled, and that every creditor will shortly receive his proportion of the amount due him from the M. & D. Bank.

The basis of compromise, as we understand it, is that Danford agrees to pay 40 cents on the dollar, to withdraw any and all suits against the creditors, and to pay his own costs and expenses. The creditors on their part to release all attachments, turn over all property, books, and papers belonging to the M. & D. Bank, and to dismiss all suits with prejudice. A few other small matters remain to be arranged, which will be done within the next three or four days, after which the proper parties will be ready to disburse the pro rata amount to those holding claims against Mr. Danford growing out of the failure of the M. & D. Bank.

We are assured that, contrary to the belief which has prevailed in this community, Mr. Danford has been making every exertion to secure the means whereby to pay his creditors, or at least offer them something in satisfaction of the amounts they had lost by the failure of the bank, and it is only within the past few weeks that he has been able to make any arrangement whereby he could offer even 40 cents on the dollar. He has no money of his own and was powerless to raise any by reason of his property being tied up with attachments and in law suits growing out of his failure, and it is only through friends who have the utmost confidence in his integrity and business capacity, that he is now able to pay even the 40 cents and free himself from the burden which has hung upon him like a dead weight for nearly a year.

During the first few months following the failure of the M. & D. Bank, the COMMERCIAL published many things against J. S. Danford, under the impression, from the developments at that time, that his failure was a move merely made to swindle his creditors. However that may have been, now that he has made the best restitution in his power, we are glad that the cloud has been removed from his character in a measure, and trust that he may yet be able to satisfy all parties that no wrong was intended on his part, and that he may in time fully recover the ground he lost by reason of his misfortunes.


[Beginning Wednesday, October 4, 1882.]

STANDLEY & SWARTS, Publishers.





The Danford troubles are settled, so says the Commercial, from which we learn that the basis of compromise, as we understand it, is, that Danford agrees to pay 40 cents on the dollar, to withdraw any and all suits against the creditors, and to pay his own costs and expenses. The creditors on their part to release all attachments, turn over all property, books, and papers belonging to the M. & D. Bank, and to dismiss all suits with prejudice. A few other small matters remain to be arranged, which will be arranged within the next three or four days, after which the proper parties will be ready to disburse the pro rata amount to those holding claims against Mr. Danford growing out of the failure of the M. & D. Bank.


The Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, October 12, 1882.

Still a Hitch in the Danford Affair.

Mr. Hangbey [?] was in town on Tuesday having come through from Osage City, on business connected with the settlement of the Danford affair. In conversation with him, we learned that the only hitch to a complete settlement of the deficiency between Mr. Danford and his Caldwell creditors, was W. D. C. Smith’s suit against the Caldwell people for damages claimed by reason of his detention here. Danford and Smith’s attorney had agreed that Smith’s suit would be withdrawn with prejudice; but upon writing to Smith, who is now at Fort Worth, Texas, the latter wired back to know how much Danford would pay to have him retire. Since that time the fellow has refused his consent to a withdrawal of the suit unless paid for so doing by Danford or some other party.

The impression seems to be that Smith’s management as cashier of the D. & M. Bank did much to injure the credit of the bank and place Danford in the position he now occupies. At all events, it is asserted, upon good authority, that on the memorable day of last December when he closed the doors of the bank, he took with him $300 in money belonging to the depositors. This money he appropriated for his own use, in direct violation of laws, and therefore, is liable to a criminal prosecution.

Mr. Haughey [?] asserts that the compromise made between Danford and his creditors, has been made in good faith on Danford’s part, and that if Mr. Smith puts any further hindrances in the way of its early and complete consummation, Mr. Smith must run the risk of a prompt and vigorous prosecution for the attempt he has made to swindle both sides.

However that may be, from all we can learn, gathered from both sides, although the final settlement has been delayed a week longer than at first announced, all will be fixed in a few days. Smith will not be allowed to stand in the way; and we hope to announce next week that the money to settle all claims, on the basis agreed upon, is in the hands of the proper parties and ready for disbursement.



The settlement of the Danford trouble has been deferred on account of the refusal of Smith, the former cashier of the bank, to withdraw his suit against the people of Caldwell unless he is paid therefor.


The Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, November 30, 1882.

Hon. J. S. Danford’s Condition.


Mr. J. S. Danford is very seriously ill and it is impossible to tell when he will be better. His present condition is the result of a concentration of causes, starting with the terrible shock to his nervous system by the brutal mob at Caldwell, and going through more than a year of anxious business work, culminating in the disappointment of a business trip to Denver, and terminating in complete cerebral exhaustion and paralysis of the brain. Seventeen days ago he was brought home from Denver in a state of dementia, from which there has been very little improvement. Dr. Eastman of the State Insane Asylum, has been here in consultation with his family physician and agrees with him that there is little promise of speedy recovery, but that with faithful care there will probably be recuperation and restoration to mental and physical vigor. This statement is made by the authority of his physician, Dr. W. L. Schenck, of this city.

In regard to Mr. Danford’s business matters, we know nothing tangible. Prior to his trip to Colorado, after a long and patient effort, his Caldwell affairs were on the eve of settlement, and would have undoubtedly been settled only for a new and unforeseen difficulty. One of the stipulations of the settlement on the part of the Caldwell creditors was that the suits of both Danford and his cashier, W. D. C. Smith, now of Fort Worth, Texas, for damages, should be dismissed. Mr. Smith, it is said, demanded $7,000. This, the Caldwell people nor Mr. Danford were willing to pay. Negotiations with Smith were pending when Mr. Danford was prostrated by his present sickness. We know too little of his affairs to make any statements or even guess as to the future. Osage Free Press.

We have no objection to the Free Press sympathizing with Mr. Danford in his present condition, but it won’t do to make the Abrutal mob at Caldwell@ responsible for all the ills Mr. Danford is now suffering. Perhaps if the Press would put on its thinking cap, it might come to the conclusion that Danford’s habits had more to do with his downfall and his sufferings than any action on the part of others. It is the old story, old as Adam and Noah: It was the woman and wine that did it.


The Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, December 7, 1882.

Concerning Danford’s condition, who has lost his senses from business troubles and anxieties, so they say, the Wichita Times gets off the following, in which there is more truth than poetry.

ABosh! Call his disease by its right name and shame the devil. >He that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.’ Let us not deceive our boys even if we do try to delude ourselves.@




J. S. Danford, he of the savory bank fame, has been examined by an eminent medical expert, and pronounced hopelessly insane. Is it consciousness of his misdeeds that has dethroned his reason? Verily, the way of the transgressor is hard. Post.


The Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, December 28, 1882.

There will be a meeting of the creditors of the Danford Bank at the Opera Hall at one o’clock p.m., Saturday, January 6, 1883. All creditors are requested to be present.

By order of the Committee.


The Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, March 22, 1883.


Away back last fall, on representations made by one or more of the attorneys of Mr. Danford, and some of the creditors in the city, the COMMERCIAL announced that satisfactory arrangements had been made whereby said creditors would receive at least 40 cents on the dollar due them from the defunct M. & D. Bank.

Then came stories of Danford’s illness, insanity, etc., growing out of the Abrutal treatment by the Caldwell mob,@ and those innocents of the press who are so rich in sentiment, but wonderfully poor as to a sense of justice, wept scalding tears over the hardships of the poor, persecuted J. S., and the robbed people of Caldwell were advertised all over the country as men whom it was base flattery to call barbarians.

Well, the people of Caldwell maintained a patience aimed of despair hoping that finally, under all the profuse promises made, they would be able to obtain a moitey of the money they had entrusted to the very respectable J. S. Danford’s keeping, until last Friday night, when they were summoned together in order to confer with J. W. Haughey and Chas. W. Wilsie in reference to a new proposition. The proposition was unctuously stated by Haughey, and divested of its verbiage and legal technicalities, simply amounted to the creditors giving up everything and letting Mr. Danford go free with the booty in his pocket, and opportunity to play the same game upon another unsuspecting community.

The medicine failed to work, and the man who, while county attorney, had taken a fee from another whom he should have prosecuted as a criminal, with his slick partner, quietly took the morning train and returned to Wellington. The creditors, on the other hand, proceeded to business at once, and decided to enter criminal prosecution against Danford and his assistants in rascality. Complaints have been prepared, and, we presume, warrants issued before this, and if there is any justice, the creditors will yet obtain a portion of their money and Danford will enjoy the privileges of a felon’s cell.

P. S. Since the above was put in type, it is stated that Danford’s attorneys and the committee on the part of the creditors, are still at work endeavoring to effect some kind of an arrangement satisfactory to all parties. At present writing no one can tell what the outcome will be.


The Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, April 5, 1883.

Settled at Last.

The matter between J. S. Danford and his Caldwell creditors was settled last week, by the former turning over to the latter all his property in Sumner County. Of course, this will not give the creditors a very large percentage on the amounts due them, but it is better than nothing, as they can now fully understand what they are to rely upon.


Winfield Courier, April 5, 1883.


A full and complete settlement has just been made between J. S. Danford and the Merchant’s and Drover’s Bank of Caldwell, Kansas, on the one hand and their creditors on the other. By the terms of this settlement, all the Sumner County property, real and personal, held and owned by J. S. Danford and the Merchant’s and Drover’s Bank was accepted in full settlement of all claims against them. These claims amounted to nearly $76,000. This is a settlement also of all claims or damages on the part of J. S. Danford, and by its terms he agrees to dismiss the suit for $100,000 now pending in the courts against S. S. Richmond and others. This settlement was effected by Charles Wilsie and J. W. Huey, of Wellington, attorneys for Danford, and W. A. McDonald, of Wellington, attorney on behalf of the creditors.


THE CALDWELL JOURNAL, August 16, 1883.

The Danford property on the corner of Main and Fifth Streets, comprising three store rooms and the opera house, has been sold to Wewerke & Busick [?] for $8,000. They were the highest bidders, and of course after the award was made to them, lots of other fellows wanted awful bad to buy the property at $10,000. It is a valuable piece of property, and Messrs. W. & B. got it cheap only because they had the nerve to bid. In this connection it might not be out of place to ask: Isn’t it time that Danford business was settled up and the creditors given something to show for the money they expended?


The Caldwell Journal, October 11, 1883.

The Kansas City Times says of an individual whom many of our people remember not in the most kindly spirit:

A Mr. J. S. Danford, a well known banker at Osage City, Kansas, is in the city from Colorado, where he has been prospecting for some time. Mr. Danford has concluded to remove to Washington Territory, where he will engage in active business, establishing a bank at a thriving town in that territory. Mr. Ainsworth, formerly associated with Mr. Danford at Osage City, contemplates accompanying him to the northwest.@


The Caldwell Journal, November 29, 1883.

Almost everybody in town has wondered why that safe belonging to the old Merchants’ & Drovers’ Bank had been hauled out to the edge of the sidewalk and allowed to remain in the way of pedestrians. Finally, the other day, the cause was learned. It seems that one of the depositors in the aforesaid bank, being in Wellington at the time Danford was arrested, immediately secured an attachment upon such property as Danford owned in this county not already covered by writs of that kind. The only property found available was that same safe, the vault which held it, and some other fixtures. Under the compromise finally effected with all parties except the chap who attached the safe, etc., that same safe was sold to a party in Wellington. The purchaser had succeeded in getting the safe out of the vault and to the edge of the sidewalk, when the attaching creditor came along and advised him to let the weighty subject alone. On a comparison of notes and a free interchange of ideas, pro and con, the safe was allowed to remain where it was, taking up considerable space, and a constant wonderment, by reason of its position, to the public generally. The safe would make a splendid monument to the confidence of human nature and the banking qualifications of J. S. Danford, and as such it ought to be set up in some prominent place, surrounded by an iron railing and labeled, ASacred to the Memory of J. S. Danford, who loved (wine and women) not wisely but too well.@ Unless some plan of that kind is adopted, the safe will continue to repose on that sidewalk until that insatiate creditor is satisfied.


Arkansas City Traveler, July 16, 1884.

Wants Another Chance.


J. S. Danford, of notorious memory in connection with the old Merchants’ and Drovers’ Bank of Caldwell, is attempting to organize a bank at Independence, Oregon; and in response to an inquiry of a citizen of that place as to said J. S. D.’s previous record, the Caldwell Journal, among other pleasantries, founded on fact, says: He defrauded our citizens out of their hard-earned money in a manner that came near causing that gentleman to swing from the end of a rope. He spent the money of the old Merchants’ and Drovers’ Bank in keeping fast women, gambling, and drinking. We warn the people of Oregon against having anything to do with this man, or he will surely defraud them if they deposit their money with him.


Arkansas City Traveler, October 1, 1884.

Everybody in the country remembers Danford, the Caldwell banker, who stole a pile of money from his depositors a few years since. He has again come before the public, this time at Cheney, Washington Territory, where he stole $20,000, and skipped out to Victoria, B. C., from which place he openly defies his victims. He ought to be hung.


Arkansas City Traveler, October 1, 1884.

It was rumored in town this morning that Dan Ainsworth, of Newton, who went off with the notorious Danford to start a bank in Washington territory, and which bank had promptly failed, had been hung by a mob of swindled depositors. We can’t understand how these people could be so green as to be picked up after J. M. Steele, of this city, published a full history of Danford’s doings in Kansas. Wichita Eagle.