|Birth: ||Aug. 19, 1820|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Oct. 12, 1879|
Hiram Bull was the son of Thomas Watkins Bull and Sally Cooley Bull. He served with distinction as a Captain in the 9th Iowa volunteer regiment during the Civil War. He was seriously wounded in the thigh leading a charge during the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas. He served as a Captain, but his nickname later in life was "General"
He came to Kansas in September, 1870. He opened a crude log cabin store. Legend has it that Hiram and his friend, Lyman Earl, flipped a coin to see who would get to name the townsite after himself. Hiram won and Bull City was born. The first wedding in the new town took place in the Bull store and the store also housed the first post office. Hiram once told a visitor that the area had something no other place could claim, he pointed to his wife, Sarah A. (Fifield) Bull and said, "A female bull".
Hiram had an elk that he had raised from a baby as part of a small animal park. One morning Hiram's hired man informed him that the elk was behaving unusually. The 900 pound elk went on a rampage and killed Hiram, the hired man - Robert Bricknell and a third man, George Nicholas, who had tried to help. A fourth man, William Sherman, was also seriously injured but he survived his wounds after being caught on the elk's horns and being thrown out of the pen.
At the time of his death, Hiram was Osbourne County's most prominent citizen. He was a Kansas State Representive and the funeral of the three men drew over 2,000 mourners. It is still regarded as the largest funeral ever held in northern Kansas.
The elk was slaughtered and the antlers ended up being put on display at the county courthouse. After Hiram's death, the name of the town was changed to Alton as the more delicate (female) citizens of the town thought that "Bull City" was too vulgar.
Hiram is still remembered and honored in Alton, Kansas. They erected a large monument in 1930 at Hiram's grave and on October 12, 2004 there was a reenactment of that fateful day. Elk was served at the festivities.
**Special thanks to Kenneth Young for providing the memorial photo for this page.**
Sarah Abigail Fifield Bull (1827 - 1912)
Created by: scrap
Record added: Sep 16, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9469971