In 1870, Hiram Bull stopped at Cawker City, where he met Michigan native Lyman Earl, who also was interested in starting a town. The two followed the course of the South Fork Solomon River and found a spot on Sept. 12, 1870, that would be the first town site of Osborne County.
"When he first ventured out here, it was a true frontier," Rothenberger said.
The two flipped a coin for the official name, with Bull winning. His town, also along the Bull City Russell Trail, soon became a major distribution point and supply station for settlers, Rothenberger wrote.
Bull began building the first log structure on the new town site on Nov. 29, 1870. However, a major snowstorm left it uncompleted and forced the Bull family to spend the winter in a tent.
He finished the work that spring, making a two-room log structure. One room was the family's living quarters, the other served as a general store.
"Hiram was the first town postmaster and used his former military title to good effect in promoting his town," Rothenberger wrote in an article. "Mrs. Bull minded the store while the General, as he was universally known, hired drummers to haul goods from Russell, Kansas, to Bull City in freight wagon trains numbering 15 to 20 wagons each, pulled by either horses or oxen that could be heard coming for miles."
A natural leader, Bull continued to advocate settlement to the northwest. Osborne County officially formed in 1871, and in 1872, Bull was elected the county's first probate judge.
|The Bull City store built by Hiriam Bull.|