My Present Past
A genealogical experience
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Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad
Named for a market center in Greece, Emporia, Kansas was founded in February of 1857 by Preston B. Plumb,
G. W. Brown. George B. Ditzler, Lyman Allen and Columbus Hornsby of what was then Breckenridge County
(1856) . Charles H. Withington is thought to be the oldest settler in the county, locating here in June of 1854.  
In 1855-56, mail was brought by the Santa Fe stage to Withington's, who had set up an office. Ira Hadley then
took the mail and distributed it by horseback to the settlers on the Cottonwood and Neosho. Emporia is the
county seat of Lyon county and contains a population of about 3,000 people (1871) and located on the prairie
near and between the Neosho and Cottonwood rivers, which provide fine water power for saw and grain mills.
The valleys about Emporia are famous for their well tilled farms and the town commands a very expensive
trade, owing to its advantageous position relative to the vast and rapidly growing region laying south and west.
The citizens also look with confidence for the speedy construction of another railroad from the direction of
Ottawa. Emporia is at the crossing of two established railroads, the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe and the
Missouri Kansas & Texas. Many fine businesses are located here with churches and school houses. The city has
added to its fame by rigorously prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquor and the State Normal School is
located here and is doing quite well.
Edward and Sadie Engel came to Emporia , Kansas in the Summer of 1881 along with Sadie's brother,
Clifford L. Nichols and family. Clifford had just secured a position with the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe as a
Dispatcher at Emporia in late 1880. Edward was an agent at Emporia for the Santa Fe until the summer of
1882, where he then took a position as an operator at
Halstead, Kansas. He was at Halstead until the summer
of 1883 where he secured a similar position with the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad at Argentine, Kansas.
Living and working in Emporia, Kansas, Edward and Sadie became friends with the people in the community.
Below are two of the people they became acquainted with from Emporia.
In 1882,Amanda J. Wicks was a schoolteacher
in Emporia, Kansas. Afterwards she was the
City Librarian.

She was married to William M. Wicks, a
merchant in Emporia.

William was elected in 1872 as a councilman
for the third ward in Emporia.
1870 Census
William Wicks Emporia, Kansas
1875 Census
William Wicks Emporia, Kansas
1880 Census
Amanda J. Wicks Emporia, Kansas
Jennie Wicks was born in Emporia in 1871. Her brother William was also born in Emporia in 1879.
After the death of William M. Wicks, Amanda, Jennie and William moved to Delaware Township, Jefferson
County,Kansas in 1884, living with the Osenbaugh family.

Amanda, Jennie and William moved back to Emporia, Kansas sometime before 1895.
1885 Census Amanda Wicks
Delaware, Jefferson County, Kansas
1900 Census                                                Amanda J. Wicks
Jennie A. Wicks

Emporia, Kansas

February 26, 1882
Clifford Nichols was the dispatcher for the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe at Emporia, Kansas starting in 1880. In
1881 he was promoted to Chief Dispatcher and Operator at Emporia, a position that would last until June of 1883.
In October of that same year,  Clifford transferred to Topeka, Kansas to become Trainmaster of the same road.
Below and Left:

1882 Advertisement for the Lyon County Fair