I believe that William L. Webster, his wife Julia, and two or three year old daughter Martha, arrived In Garnett, Kansas from California 1857. If so, this was just after the first sacking of Lawrence Kansas in the Spring of 1856, and at a time in Kansas history known as Bleeding Kansas.
William Webster and his family settled on a large farm, just to the north of Garnett, on modern day Highway 169. The US Census of 1860 records that it was 4,000 acres, but county land records do not reflect as large a number.
William was a Free Stater and involved in the movement to establish a Free State Constitution. From a History of Anderson County, from Its First Settlement to July 1876, by W. A. Johnson
November 16, 1857
M. T. Williams was appointed county clerk by the board of county
A mass meeting of the citizens of Anderson county was held in the timber near
the residence of A. Simons, on the 15th of August, 1857. Wm. Puett was elected
chairman, and J. G. Reese, secretary. The meeting was addressed by Dr. J. G.
Blunt, who stated the object of the meeting; also, W. F. M. Arny, Dr. Rufus
Gilpatrick, D. B. Jackman and William Spriggs made addresses.
A committee of nine was appointed to report candidates for county offices; also, for
representatives to the Territorial Legislature, on motion of Dr. Gilpatrick; and
on the adoption of this motion, Judge Arny and others withdrew from the meeting
a short distance, across a ravine, and organized another meeting. Arny and his
friends were opposed to the meeting doing any act that would recognize the bogus
laws, or yield obedience thereto.
The committee reported the names for candidates, as follows:
Samuel Anderson, for probate judge;
G. A. Cook, for sheriff:
James Fitten, for coroner;
A. Simons, for clerk;
Isaac Hiner, for treasurer;
William Puett, for assessor;
B. F. Ridgeway, for surveyor;
for justices of the peace, James Sutton, Samuel Mack, William Smith and Rezin Porter;
for constables, John Anderson, Oliver Rand, William H. Ambrose and Benjamin Clark.
The following persons were chosen delegates to the district
convention, to be held at the house of Mr. Grant:
James Hanway, James Snodgrass, W. O. Cloud, Samuel Anderson, Dr. Thos. Lindsay,
Isaac Hiner, John B. Stitt, Darius Frankenberger and W. L. Webster.
John B. Stitt was nominated as a candidate for representative to the Territorial Legislature.
The following gentlemen were appointed to confer with other county delegations of this
district, in regard to the nomination of candidates for representatives: Samuel
Anderson, Dr. Lindsay, D. Frankenberger, John Pryor and G. A. Cook.
January 4, 1858
A second election was held,
under the act of Congress of the 17th of December, 1857, on the adoption of the
Lecompton constitution. The results in Anderson County, 177 votes against
and none for.
March 9, 1858
Three delegates from Anderson County were elected to a
constitutional convention to frame a State constitution and State government. The delegates elected were W. F. M. Arny, William Spriggs and W. L. Webster. The convention met, on the 13th of March,
1858, at Minneola, and elected James H. Lane as president, and then adjourned to
Leavenworth to reassemble on the 25th of March.
(Id. chapter 61.)