The country around Mankato is the most rolling and broken of any part of the county. It was the last in the county to be taken up, and it was thought when the first settlements were made that it would never be suitable for anything but grazing; but it now has some very fine farms. Had the land been as suitable for a town as Jewell City, it is quite likely the founders of that city would have chosen the present site of Mankato.
Water is reached, in permanent supply, at a depth of from ten to ninety feet. This is certainly a great consideration to those who come here to live. The town is mostly settled by live young business men from the East, who brought with them, especially, the educational ideas of that older section of the country. The school advantages of Mankato have always, therefore, been good. The attendance is at present about 140. It is the purpose of the citizens soon to replace the wooden school building with the finest structure in the county.
There are four organized religious denominations here, namely: - the Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Lutheran. The last has been organized for about three years, but is at present without a pastor. Most of the members reside in the country. They are intending to soon erect a church building.
The Mankato Baptist Church was organized in 1876, by Rev. Mr. Howard. They worship in the Methodist Church, but are now making arrangements to build. They have about forty-five members, and Rev. J. Shutz is their pastor; he also has charge of East Buffalo Baptist Church, of eighteen members, which was organized in 1882, and of the Holmwood Church, with twenty-five members, organized in 1880.
The Presbyterian Church has about forty members, and was organized February 18, 1877, by Rev. A. R. Naylor and Elder R. R. McClung. November 28, 1880, they dedicated their church. It cost $1,400. Rev. A. R. Naylor supplied the pulpit until March, 1880, when he was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. Warren Mayo, who also has charge of the Ionia Presbyterian Church, organized by himself, Rev. H. F. Albright, and Elder Patterson Alexander, May 11, 1882, with eight members.
The Methodist denomination organized in March, 1877. The membership has increased from ten to sixty-five. Rev. G. H. Woodward was pastor in 1877, '78 and '79. Rev. J. R. Schultz in 1880, and J. C. Dana in 1881, '82. The Mankato circuit includes three other points in the county.
Mankato has reached a population of over 600, and is steadily increasing in business and wealth. The town has grown more rapidly since the completion of the Central Branch, three years ago, than for any equal period previous. It was incorporated as a city of the third class, April 22, 1880. The first city officers were: B. J. Thompson, Mayor; A. Evans, City Clerk; L. P. Vance, Treasurer; J. W. McRoberts, Police Judge; M. Stone, C. Angevine, L. M. Butts, S. C. Bowles and G. S. Bishop, Councilmen.
In 1881: M. Stone, Mayor; L. M. Butts, D. Heron, A. Evans, J. M. Ketchum and Ed. E. Chapman, Councilmen; W. G. Stowell, Clerk; L. P. Vance, Treasurer; J. W. McRoberts, Police Judge.
1882: M. Stone, Mayor; L. M. Butts, J. J. Lamar, A. Evans, W. O. John and J. J. Dalton, Councilmen; G. W. Collins, City Clerk; Herbert Evans, Treasurer, and B. J. Thompson, Police Judge.
The Press, Societies, Etc.
The Jewell County Monitor was established at Jewell Center, now Mankato, May 19, 1874, with Frank Kirk as editor and publisher. The press and equipment was purchased by the citizens of Mankato of A. B. Wilder, Belleville, Kan., having been used in printing the Belleville Republic. In June, 1874, W. P. Henderson succeeded Mr. Kirk as publisher, and in October following, Byron J. Thompson became editor and sole proprietor. In April, 1878, it was consolidated with the Diamond, edited by M. Winsor. B. J. Thompson soon bought out the establishment, and continued as editor until April, 1882, when he sold to W. S. Thompson. In October, 1882, Mr. Thompson sold the paper to Vaughan Brothers, who had been publishing the Western Advocate, at Omio, since August, 1881, The Monitor is an eight-column folio, Republican in politics.
Jewell County Review. - This paper, which enjoys the largest circulation of any paper in the county, was established in July, 1879, by L. D. Raynolds, and purchased by M. Winsor, formerly connected with the Clarion and Diamond of this county. It is an eight-column folio, printed on a steam-power press. Mr. Winsor has been for a long time in the newspaper business, and issues a neat, spicy, well-edited paper, although it is independent in politics and published in a Republican county.
The Jewellite was established August 16, 1882, by E. P. Worcester, the present editor and proprietor. It is an eight-column folio, Republican in politics.
Mankato Lodge, No. 186, I. O. O. F., was instituted May 28, 1881. The society is in a flourishing condition, with forty-five members. Officers: C. Angevine, N. G.; N. Stone, V. G.; J. F. Hudson, Sec'y, and L. A. Saunders, Treas.
Mankato Lodqe, No. 87, A. F. & A. M., was instituted March 18, 1882. L. M. Butts, W. M.; E. E. Chapman, S. W.; B. W. Slagle, J. W.; L. P. Vance, Treas., and A. Evans, Sec'y. They have about forty members in good standing.
Jewell Lodge, No. 31, K. of P., was instituted September 22, 1880, and has seventy-five members, being the strongest society in the county. H. S. Hanley, C. C.; George Caswell, V. C.; Ira Harrison, K. of R. & S.
Jim Lane Post, No. 34, G. A. R., was organized in December, 1881. There are about 1,500 soldiers in the county. It has over forty members. J. W. McRoberts, Post Commander; G. W. McGehee, Adjutant.
I. O. G. T., Lodge No. 180, organized February 3, 1881, and has seventy members. Rev. W. Mayo, W. C. T.; Miss Emma Nichols, W. V. T.; G. F. Van Velzer, W. S.; Rev. J. C. Dana, W. C.; F. W. Cutler, L. D.
Mankato has three hotels, the Central House, operated by W. O. John, being the first erected in the town. The Commercial House was built in 1878, by S. C. Bowles, its present owner. Its size is 34x60 feet; contains twenty-four rooms, and the house is well patronized.
The private bank of Bishop & Co. was organized by Case, Vance &, Co., in October, 1877. The present firm assumed the management in March, 1880. It has a capital of $40,000.
Mankato is located at 39°47'14N, 98°12'33W (39.787220, -98.209274). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.6 km² (1.0 mi²), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 976 people, 436 households, and 256 families residing in the city. The population density was 373.1/km² (964.0/mi²). There were 509 housing units at an average density of 194.6/km² (502.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.67% White, 0.10% Asian, 0.20% from other races, and 1.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.92% of the population.
There were 436 households out of which 24.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 39.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 21.1% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 29.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,286, and the median income for a family was $41,429. Males had a median income of $30,000 versus $17,813 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,457. About 4.9% of families and 9.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.0% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.