George A. Cutler

George Albert Cutler was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1832 and graduated from the University Medical College in New York in 1853. His first medical practice was in Gentry County, Missouri before moving to the town of Doniphan in Kansas Territory in 1854. He ran in the March 1855 "bogus" election, but lost to pro-slavery candidate John Stringfellow. He was elected to the Topeka Convention in October 1855 and stayed on in Topeka as a member of the town company. He was made Territorial Auditor under the Topeka constitution and was reelected to that position in 1857. [Root, First Day's Battle, 44]

Gueda Springs Sanitarium 1963

A sanitarium at the salt spring was begun in 1881. The curative powers of the spring attracted George Cutler and other medical practitioners
[Grace Muilenburg, Kansas Geological Survey]

Cutler fought in many of the early Kansas battles. He was captured by the pro-slavery Douglas County sheriff in the 1855 Wakarusa War and "suffered everything but death at the hands of Sheriff Jones." [Robinson, The Wakarusa War, 471] He fought at the Battle at Hickory Point in 1856 and was remembered as "a very youthful looking man but no doubt a good surgeon." [Root, First Day's Battle, 44] He was wounded in the Battle of Osawatomie by John Reid's Missouri forces in August 1856. [Minutes of Governor Geary, KHC 4:618] As a member of "Kansas Rifle Company Number One," Cutler openly joined in an invitation to a ball in Lawrence celebrating Washington's Birthday in 1856, thus exposing his free-state leanings. [KSHS Call Number: K 394 So1 Vol. 1]

In Spring 1859, Cutler and some friends founded a new town at the juncture of the Cottonwood and Neosho rivers near Emporia and Cutler was elected to the first State Legislature from the district in 1861. He later moved to the town of Leroy, downstream on the Neosho. He was living in Leroy when appointed by President Lincoln as Agent for the Creek Nation. One of his jobs as agent was to recruit Oklahoma Indians for the Union in the Civil War. In Autumn 1861, a delegation of Creeks, Seminoles and Chickasaws arrived in Leroy and Cutler decided to take them to Ft. Scott to meet Senator James H. Lane. But Lane had gone to Washington, so Cutler took the delegation to the capital city. "The result of that journey," Cutler wrote, "has strengthened their confidence and belief in the power and stability of the Government." But while they were gone, Confederate forces under Stand Watie had routed the loyal tribes as they fled toward Kansas in severe winter weather. Seven hundred died. [Trickett, Civil War, 153]

Resigning from the Indian Service in 1864, Cutler "engaged in the commission business in Kansas City," later moving to Sherman, Texas and starting two newspapers. He founded another in Dallas and began the Texas Press Association, serving as its president in 1873. [Root, First Day's Battle, 44] In 1881, Cutler returned to Kansas, setting up a drug store and medical practice at the salt springs at Guenda, near Arkansas City. [Ballard, First State Legislature, 246] A dam was built to form a salt lake and a bath-house and hotel were built. A number of doctors moved to the small town to treat patients who came to benefit from the curative waters. The springs were on a branch of the St. Louis & San Francisco railroad and water was also bottled and shipped to points in Kansas and adjoining states. [Arkansas City Traveler, September 14, 1881.] Cutler left the area around 1887 and was living in San Francisco in 1907. [Ballard, First State Legislature, 246]

Charles Clark