Prior to April 1, 1880,  what is now Graham County Kansas was Graham Township of Rooks County Kansas.  On April 1, 1880, The Honorable Governor St. Peter signed a proclamation founding Graham County Kansas.

   A.E. Moses was appointed County Commissioner by Governor St. Peter largely because of his community involvement in establishing Graham as a county.

   On June 1, 1880,  A.E. Moses was elected as the first sheriff of Graham County Kansas. That first election was only temporary until the general election later that same year in November of 1880. During the November General Election A.E. Moses was again elected and served for two years.

   A.E. Moses had a grand reputation as a talker and historic rumors tell us that upon one occasion the District Judge had to call a halt to the verbal expounding that was being announced by A.E. Moses during a trial. He could reportedly cross one leg, lean back in a chair and carry on for hours about almost any topic of the day.


The following information was provided to the Graham County Historical Society by Don Cross, the great grandson of A. E. Moses.

   Andrew E. Moses was born in Michigan, across Lake Michigan from Chicago, September 20, 1839. He died April 24, 1917 at the age of 77 years, 7 months, 4 days.

   When but a child his parents moved to Illinois, where he grew to young manhood. At 17, he left the home of his youth and came west and located where the city of Denver is now. He helped build the first cabin in that city.

   In 1858 he returned to St. Joe, Missouri, equipped himself with a freighting outfit, including 60 ox teams, and for two years freighted supplies and provisions from St Joe, Mo. to Denver, Colorado. After disposing of his freight outfit he went to Leadville, Colorado to prospect. There were no mines there at the time, but in 1862 the famous camp of Leadville was started. Here he made his first strike in mining.

   At the outbreak of the civil war he returned to Denver. In 1865 he went to a camp called Black Hawk, where he took out a water right, furnishing water from the springs above Black Hawk to the camp two miles distant. This water was hauled in large tanks on wagons.

   In 1866 A. E. Moses returned to Illinois and was united in marriage to Miss Nellie Hathway. To this union there were three children born (a daughter who died at 11 months) and 2 surviving sons, In 1874 Mrs. Moses passed away. In 1875 A. E. Moses was married a second time, to Miss Sarah Shaw of the old home in Illinois. With his two small sons and his wife he returned to his ranch 20 miles north of Denver.

   To this Mr. and Mrs. Moses three sons were born. With his family he moved to Western Kansas. In 1880 he was elected Sheriff of Graham County Kansas. During his service to this state the second Mrs. Moses died. In 1883 he was married a third time to Mrs. Louise Cowell. To this union were born three children, all of whom survived.

   In the year 1897 A. E. Moses, with three companions, left Springfield, Missouri for Alaska. He experienced many hardships while in route over the trail and in the Klondike. This trail was known as White Pass, over which many attempted to travel in their zest for wealth.

   He traveled all over this trail and into the gold fields of the Klondike. In that bleak and lonely land, he remained two winters, returning to organize a new company. This company consisted of sixteen stalwart men and one woman. Reaching Seattle, they at once busied themselves in making necessary preparation for the ocean voyage. In July 1900, this party set sail for the gold fields, arriving at Colschibute Sound. Their boat, the Elk, was anchored and the party of prospectors began to prospect in the vicinity of the boat. But four of them, including A. E. Moses, F. Bowman of Seattle and Lynn of Springfield, Mo., and another whose name is unknown, prospected the Yukon, a distance of some 400 miles. In this vicinity there was no gold, so the four men returned by small boats to the anchor boat. Here a council was held to determine what to do with the boat. The majority ruled that they would remain there for the winter. So A. E. Moses, Frank Bowman and Lynn in a small skiff with a portion of provisions set out down the Yukon River to the nearest settlement. From a trading post on the river they set sail for Seattle on the last boat out that fall and spent the winter at home in Springfield, Missouri.

   In the spring of 1904 A. E. Moses went to Grangeville, Idaho where he bought a ranch and sent East for his family. He remained in Idaho until the year of 1913, and then with his wife and son drove overland and located at Fort Simcoe, purchased the home of Mrs. Lee Moody at 820 South E. Street, Toppenish, Washington. He spent his summers on the Fort Simcoe ranch and the winters in town.

   He had just been out to the ranch and had come back home when he was taken ill on Sunday April 15, and passed away on April 24, 1917. He is laid to rest in the Elmwood Cemetery, Toppenish, Washington.

A. E. Moses, first Sheriff of Graham County Kansas

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