The early history of Jewell City can be found at length in the County history. The origin of this city, which is situated ten miles east of south of Mankato, was the building of a fort, in 1870, for the protection of the settlers in its vicinity. It was called Fort Jewell, and was a large sod enclosure in which the first well in the county was dug. It was a false alarm that caused its erection, and, happily for the settlers, they were never called upon to use it as a means of defense. The town is well situated between the middle and west branches of Buffalo Creek, on a comparatively level tract of land. It is surrounded by rich lands, and adjacent to the Limestone and Marsh valleys.
In May 1871, George James established himself in town as the first shoemaker in the county, or in fact in the country, west of Concordia. The first store in the town was opened June 4, 1871, by John D. Robertson. In September 1871, the Jewell House, the first hotel in the place, was built by James Kelsey. The town has grown steadily and substantially ever since, although it had the misfortune, early in its existence, to loose the county seat.
In March 1872, W. P. Day and W. D. Jenkins established the Jewell City Clarion, the first paper in the county. It was purchased by M. Winsor in February 1873, and enlarged from a four-column folio to one of seven columns. Mr. Winsor changed the name of it to the Diamond, retaining possession of it until April 1878, when it was consolidated with the Monitor. The post office was established July 4, 1870, with J. Hoffer as Postmaster who was succeeded by J. A. Scarbrough, and in November, 1874, by S. R. Worick, the Money Order department having been established the previous July.
Sunday morning, at 5 o’clock, July 28, 1873, a cyclone from the northwest visited the prosperous town and blew down a $4,000 schoolhouse; several partially finished buildings, and removed several from their foundations. Fortunately, no lives were lost. The storm continued in a southeasterly direction, and did considerable damage in Cloud County, especially at Concordia.
There is an excellent quality of limestone in this vicinity, which has been used in the finest buildings of the town.
In 1880 the town was organized as a city of the third class, with the following officers:
- H. C. Jennings, Mayor
- H. A. Schulenberg, Clerk
- J. D. Robertson, Treasurer;
- G. B. Crandall, R. W. Hill, J. T. Bunch, A. L. Marks, and Thomas Miller, Councilmen
- H. F. Stone, Police Judge
The officers of 1881 were
- J. T. Bunch, Mayor
- H. A. Schulenberg, City Clerk
- J. D. Robertson, Treasurer
- J. Hoffer, Police Judge
The following were chosen in 1882
- G. B. Crandall, Mayor
- M. F. Knappenberger, city clerk
- J. D. Robertson, Treasurer
- A. L. Marks, Police Judge
Source: Jewell County, Cutlers History of Kansas, 1883