Geneva’s infamous, glorious genesis

Early white settlement traded with indigenous people. Proslavery and abolitionists clashed in the area.

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October 12, 2020 - 10:15 AM

A new series of decorations adorns the entryway to the Geneva cemetery. Photo by Trevor Hoag / Iola Register

Geneva’s memory is deep, with roots stretching back to the very beginnings of white settlement in Allen County.

Richard Fuqua (pronounced Fu-qway) set up shop to trade with the indigenous people of the area before Geneva and its sister city, Neosho Falls, had even come into being, in his cabin on a rocky hill beside a now almost-dry bend in the river.

Fuqua and his family arrived in the deathly frigid winter of 1855, bringing along with them about 60 head of cattle, and he took advantage of a nearby labyrinth of limestone that formed natural “chutes” to drive them to slaughter.

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