The first man to make permanent settlement in
the Plum Grove community was Joseph H. Adams. It is thought that he
was the first white man to make the trip from Emporia to the
Whitewater River. The story has it that the Whitewater River was
originally called the White Woman River by the Indians, because of a
white woman they had killed. Her body was thrown into the stream.
Charles Lyon was another early homesteader. He married Harriet
Adams, daughter of Joseph H. Adams. Mr. Lyon died of exposure while
on a buffalo hunt with James R. Mead west of Wichita. Later Mrs.
Lyon married John R. Wentworth who made final proof on the Lyon
homestead [east of the Whitewater River]. (0. Claassen, Whitewater
A mail route was established from Peabody to Holden, in Milton Township, and to Plum Grove, and Oliver P. Bruinback carried the mail twice a week, walking and carrying it on his back. Some-time later the route was changed to run from Newton to EI Dorado, and another post office was established in the Plum Grove Township at the house of W. H. Randall.
This post office was named Ayr and Mrs. Randall was appointed postmaster. When the town of Potwin was started, the office was moved there and the name changed to Potwin.
The new town of Plum Grove on the west side of the Whitewater had two general stores, a drug store and a blacksmith shop. Stark M. Spencer was one of the merchants, M. C. Snorf the other. Dr. I. V. Davis had the drug store and practiced medicine, and W. W. Kemper had a blacksmith shop. A school house was built and the prospect was good for a nice little country town. In 1885, when the MissouriPacific railroad was finished, Plum Grove, being bypassed by the line, was divided, part going to the town of Brainerd and part to Potwin. (Mooney)