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The first permanent settler in the town of Sutton was Luther French, who arrived in 1870. He and his seven children lived near here in a dugout on the bank of School Creek. This dugout had a tunnel to the creek bank; the inside entrance could be concealed by a crude cupboard. In the event of an Indian attack, the children were instructed to take cover in the tunnel. Apparently, Indians never bothered the family.

In 1871 the French homestead was laid out as a townsite and named for Sutton, Massachusetts. Soon after its founding, the town found itself engaged in conflict with the Burlington and Missouri Railroad. Sutton wished to have a depot and offered land for the construction of facilities. Because the title to the Sutton land was not clear, the railroad located its depot 4-1/2 miles from Sutton and laid out a townsite there. By 1873, the railroad had decided to relocate the depot in Sutton.

This area was hard hit by the grasshopper plague of 1874. Sutton became a distribution center for federal, state and private aid. Without this aid, many settlers might not have survived the following winter.

Sutton Community Betterment Committee
Historical Land Mark Council
City Park, Sutton
Clay County
Marker 49


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Last updated 4 June 2004

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