Muse and Spivey Land Office, regional agents for Santa Fe Railway. Per an 1896 article in the Newton Kansan, what early settlers found when they arrived in the area was “…a wild sea of waving grass, and wild game of all kinds abounded….” It was in these surroundings that R.W.P. Muse, having lived in Abilene (KS) for a time, decided to seek his fortunes when he moved to Newton’s site in May of 1871. Locating a land office close to the depot on Newton’s Main Street, Muse and his business partners Capt. R.M. Spivey and John A. Randall “negotiated the sale and exchange of property, farms, and farming lands as regional agents for AT&SF Railway, Arkansas Valley Company, and Newton Town Company.” Also Muse, Spivey and Co. advertised “We keep…on hand the largest and best assorted stock of lumber, sash, doors, etc. in the Arkansas Valley.” With this double pronged business model, the partners improved their success rate by selling land and then offering the materials needed for constructing buildings on the buyer’s property. Photo from HCHM collection.