The following is a short summary of the Vienna community in
addition to the family stories of the settlement as taken from
Old Settlers Tales.
Almon and Betsey Benton and family of New York arrived in Oskaloosa
in 1859, in company with R. W. Jenkins and I.M. Benedict. The next
year, Mr. and Mrs. Benedict and their children -- C. Othello, Lucia
(Mrs. A. Chase, Topeka) J. Ordo and Lewis came to Vienna and lived
a year on the George McVicar place. Then they moved to their own
farm where Otis I. was born. J. O. married Belle Walker in 1873.
Almon Benton was county superintendent of schools in 1862. L.M.
Benedict came to this region in 1861, and settled in the southwest
80 of section 12 Vienna Township.
Christian B. Huffman came to Vienna in 1862 and settled on the
southeast 80 of Section 12. He was a carpenter. The early settlers
raised wheat and sold it to the Indians. This was practically the
only way they had of making money. They took their wheat to Circleville
to be ground. Much of the trading was done at Louisville.
Miles Furman and wife were natives of New York. They had two
sons, Isaac and Daniel. When they came to Kansas in 1859, he started
a nursery business. He died in 1874. Mr. Furman's second wife,
Mrs. Ellison, had three children from her first marriage. The oldest,
Mary, married James Blain. After Mr. Furman's death, Mrs. Furman
married Elijah Collins, also of New York. They lived at Vienna
in the 1870's.
Samuel Blain and his wife, Elmira, and children, James, George,
and Anna, came to Vienna in 1857, and settled on the Jamor Jenkins
farm. The Indians used to gather rushes that grew at a spring near
where the Blains lived, which they wove into mats and traded to
the settlers for flour, bacon and other products. The Indians also
bought calico and other things at St. Marys when they received
their government allowance which they traded to their white neighbor
for something to eat.
Tunis J. Roosa, Sr. and family came to Vienna in 1865. He settled
on the DeGraw place and ran a sawmill.
William A. Heald came from Colorado in 1867. He lived with J.
Albert Butts until he married Anna Blain in 1875. He served in
Company B, first Ohio Cavalry, during the war. Mr. Butts settled
on the Henry Schwarz farm and built the house. They were natives
of New York.
Major Jenkins came from Kentucky and purchased the George McVicar
farm in the northeast quarter of Section 14. He was in the Colorado
Cavalry, so he didn't move until 1866. He was then elected to the
state legislature and re-elected the next year. He was a commissioner
of the Kansas Penitentiary in 1867-68. He was then commissioned
a Major of the 19th Kansas Cavalry and was with General Custer
int he march against the Commanches and Kiowas and helped rescue
two women held captive, Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. White. He also let
a group to resist General Price in his trip into Kansas. The Jenkins
family had two 1,000-pound gray horses, "Billy", that
Major Jenkins had ridden in the Civil War, and "Doc",
from which the brother of Mrs. Jenkins had been shot and killed
in the same war.
In 1866, he built a frame house and later they sold the farm
to George McVicar when the Major engaged in railroad building.
Mrs. Emily Jenkins died in 1899. In 1906, Mr. Jenkins sold his
land to the McGuires and moved to California. He married Mary McGuire.
It became necessary for the people to locate a cemetery, so Mrs.
Benedict, Benton, Blain, and Day, met with Mr. Jenkins, who agreed
to give a piece of land for a cemetery. It was chartered as Jenkin's
Cemetery, but later was called Vienna. Jenkin's daughter, Alla
Dell, died in February of 1867. She was the first person buried
there. Mr. Blain died a few months later and was buried there,
as were many of the early settlers for miles around. Mr. Curliss
came to Vienna about 1869, and lived on the Anthony farm and worked
in the grist mill.
In June of 1873, L. M. Benedict, Frank Alvord, Sarah Grossnickle,
and Lenora Hill were baptized by immersion in the Vermillion River,
west of the Vienna school house, by the Reverend Peter McVicar,
President of Washburn College of Topeka.
There was a water power saw mill on the Vermillion on the farm
that was owned for many years by George T. Anthony, who was governor
of Kansas. In 1856, Dr. Angle, St. Marys, came to Vienna and, together
with Robert Wooley, built a grist mill. For a time the mill shut
down because of a lack of water. Later, heavy rains washed out
the dam and it was not rebuilt. Amos E. Landon came to Vienna in
1870. He established a store at Vienna near the mill. He kept the
post office in his store from 1870 to 1873. The merchandise for
the store was hauled over the prairie before any roads were built
from Wamego, St. Marys, Holton and Corning. He moved the store
and post office to west of the Huffman place, now owned by Merrill
Schlegel. There it remained until 1877, when he moved both to Onaga.
The Vienna mill and store were located on the Vermillion about
one-half mile southeast of Henry Lieb's home.
*The History of Onaga And....., The Onaga Historical
Society, 1982, Valley Ho! Publishing Co, St. Marys, KS 66536