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Full text of "History of Richardson County, Nebraska : its people, industries and institutions"

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Gc M. L 






3 1833 01103 3641 




Richardson County 





With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and 
Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families 




Indianapolis, Indiana 



To the memory of the i)ioneers of Richardson county who worked with 
earnest purpose and unflinching hearts through tlie trials and privations of 
this frontier and to those generous and progressiAe citizens of today whose 
loyal support has made its publication possible, this vohinie is respectfully 



Extensive efforts have been made fur years liy archaeulogisls and 
ethnologists in an effort to recover and preserxe for our i;eneral infcjrnia- 
tioii everything tliat it has l)een possible to discover of otlier races of peoples 
who have inhabited this eartii. In this great \V(jrk the scientific men of all 
countries have been engaged, expending much money, time and energ}- in 
tracing the history of races with whom we sustain no kinship or direct rela- 

We think it equally laudable of us in a more local wa\ to want to know 
and try to preserve what little is possible of the story of those wlio have 
gone directly before us, not only for our own pleasure and benefit but for 
th(ise who will follow. 

It was for this reason that the work of preparing the present volume 
was undertaken and it was not Ijegun a da\- out of season, for l)ut few <if 
the pioneers are still among us and in a short time they tno may have moved 

There are \et among us those who saw Richardson cuunt}' as an 
unpeo])led wilderness and who were so charmed with its natural lieautx' as 
a land to li\e in that tliey would go no further in search of homes. 

They have remained through all the years and have contributed much 
toward the steady march of progress which has so changed the land that luit 
little remains to remind them of the cinuUr\ the\- once knew as a part <'f 
the Great I'lains. 

The story of tiie settlement, growth and (le\elopnieni of Richard'-on 
county is set forth in tlie succeeding pages. I'^very eft'ort was made to 
ascertain the facts in so far as it has been able to cover the ground. 

It is desired iierewith to make due and fulsome acknowledgment of 
the great kindness and uniform courtesy extended us from all sides in the 
preparation of the material used herein. 

In this connection we feel under especial oliiigation to Mr. Ch-is. l.oree 
for his unfailing courtes}- and kindness. Mis early, wide and intimate 
acquaintance and perfect memory of men and e\ents connected with Rich- 
ardson L'ounty Histor\- is trul\- marxelous and ha\e been inxaluable to us. 

Grateful acknowledgment also is due man\" iiersons wJio ha\-e cu- 

triluiltd materially to the progress of the work. Amor.g tiiese are: Jose])h 
H. Miles, Governor John H. JMorehead. Arthur J- Weaver. David D. Reavi>. 
-Mrs. Thomas J. Gist. H. C. Davis. A. R. Keim. .Mr. and :\lrs. W. II. Keeling. 
Drs. C. T. Biirchard and J. A. Waggener. Stipt. D. H. \\'eber, J. O. Shroyer. 
Mrs. J. R. Wilhite. Eunice Ha.skins. Dr. E. R. Matthers. and nian\ others 
who ha\e given us kindly words of encounigenient. 



All life and achie\eineiit is t\oluti(iu: present wisiloni cnines fnnii past 
experience, and present commercial prosperit}' has come only from past exer- 
tion and sacrifice. The tleeds and motives of the men who have gone before 
ha\e been instrnmental in shaping the destinies of later communities and 
states. The develoj)ment of a new conntry was at once a task and a privi- 
legs. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the pres- 
ent conditions of the people of Richardson county. Nebraska, with what they 
were sixty years ago. bVoni a trackless wilderness and virgin land, the county 
h;is come to be a center of prosperity and civilization, with millions of wealth, 
systems of railways, educational and religious institutions, \aried industries 
and immense agricultural and dairy interests. Can an\- thinking person be 
insensible to the fascination of the study which discloses the aspirations and 
efforts of the early pioneers who so strongly laid the foundation upon which 
has been reared the magnificent prosperity of later days? To perpetuate the 
story of these people and to trace and record the social, religious, educational, 
political and industrial progress of the community from its first inception, is 
the function of the local historian. A sincere purpose to preserve facts and 
personal memoirs that are deserving of perpetuation, and which unite the 
present to the past, is the motive for the present publication. The publishers 
desire to extend their thanks to those who have so faithfully labored to this 
end. Thanks are also due to the citizens of Richardson county, for the uni- 
form kindness with which they have regarded this undertaking, and for their 
many services rendered in the gaining of necessary information. 

In placing the "History of Richardson County. Nebraska." before the 
citizens, the publishers can conscientiously claim that they have carried out 
the plan as outlined in the prospectus. Every biographical sketch in the work 
has been submitted to the party interested, for correction, and therefore any 
error of fact, if there be any, is solely due to the person for whom the sketch 
was prepared. Confident that our effort to please will fully meet the appro- 
bation of the public, we are. , 





Rolling Prairies of This Section of Nebraska Were an Alluring Feature That 
Did Xot Escape the Eye of the Settler in Quest of a Home in the Xew 
Country — Streams of F'ine \Vater. the Banks of Which Were Well Tini- 
liered — Xative Timber Restored by the Mastery of the Old Prairie Fires 
and the Former Aspect of the Country Has Been Changed Thereby — 
• Juality of the Soil — Inexhaustive Quarries of Excellent Building Stone — 
Trilnitaries of the Great Nemaha River — Description of the Area of the 
County — Climatic Conditions and a Scientific Analysis of the Physiographic 
Position of the County. 


Pawnees .\ppear to Have Had the Best Claim as the Aboriginal Inhabitants 
of the Country Now Comprised in Richardson County — Story of Their ( )ccu- 
pane3' and of That of the Sacs and Foxes — Review of the Various Treaties 
Under \\'hich the Red Man Gradually Gave Up His Lands — Evidences of 
Prehistoric Occupancy Based Upon the Finding of Skeletons and Relics at 
Several Points in County — Coming of the Missionaries to the Indians and 
Sometliini; of the llabits of Living and of the Religion of the Red Man. 


F'irst \\hite Men to Set F'oot on the Land Xow Comprised Within the 
Conlines of This County Were the .\dvcnturous Cavaliers of Coronado"s 
liand Which Came Up F'rom the .\ztec Country Seeking What They Might 
I'ind in the Xorth Country and Who Left a Record of Having Reached 
The I'-ortieth Parallel of Latitude, Together With a Report of the Condi- 
tions of Life of the Indians at That Time Occupying This Country — Later 
\'isit of the I'rench F2xplorers, the Coming of the Lewis and Clark Expedition 
the .\cc|uirement of the Louisiana Territory and the Gradual Development 
of Settlements Leading Up to the F.ventual Creation of Nebraska Territory 
and the Passing of the Kansas-Xeliraska Act. 


I'itting Tribute to the American Pioneer, Who Is Descril)cd as a Distinct 
Tyi>e Well Qualified to I-^nter Upon the X'eritable Garden of lulen Which 
.\waited His .Advent Out Here Beyond the Missouri — Review of Conditions 
\\ hich Led to the Immigration Stream in This Direction and Bit of Refer- 
ence to the Character and Stock of That Hardy Band Which Sought a Wider 
Horizon Here On the Limitless Prairies — Influence of the Missouri River 
in Directing Settlement IlitherwanI — l'"our l-'.pochs in Settlement Period — 


Roster of Pioneers Who Settled Here Prior to 1860. Together With a Brief 
Review of Conditions They Faced and the Hardships They Were Compelled 
to Undergo While Making Habitable a Place for Those Who Should Come 
After — Land Speculation, Claim Jumpers, Jayhawkers, the "Underground 
Railroad" and Something Regarding the Various Separate "Colonies" Which 
Settled Here, Closing With a Review of the Early Surveys of County, and 
a Story of the Iron Monument. 


Name of County Was Given in Compliment to First Territorial Governor — 
Temporary Organization in 1854 Was Definitely Established bj' the Terri- 
torial Legislature in 18SS, and the First Election Was Held in This Latter 
Year — First County Officers Chosen — Original Boundaries of County — The 
Half Breed Tract — First Census and Polling Places — Organization of Pre- 
cincts — Legislative .\cts With Reference to the County and the Gradual 
Development of a Stable Form of Local Government. 


Historian Has Been at Pains to Examine the Official Records With a View 
to Determining the Influences Underlying the Long Struggle Which Per- 
sisted in the h'.arly Days of the County in the Matter of the Location of the 
County Seat and Which hinally Resulted in the Rejection of the Respective 
Claims of Archer and of Salem and the Establishment of the Seat of Local 
Government at I'"alls City — Vote by Precincts Attesting the Final Choice 
of the People — County Buildings and a Word Regarding Early Political 
Conditions in the County. 


In the List Given in This Chapter of Those Who Have Served the People 
of Richardson County in an Official Capacity, It Is Gratifying to Note That 
Some of the Very /Vblest Men in the County Have Thus Rendered Efficient 

Service and That the County Government Has From the Very Beginning 
Been Singularly Free From Scandal — Names of Officers, Including County 
Clerks, Probate Judges, County Judges, Registers of Deeds, Clerks of Dis- 
trict Court, County Treasurers. Sheriffs, County Commissioners, Superin- 
tendents of Public Instruction, Surveyors, Coroners, Supervisors, County 

Attorneys and the New Commissioners .appointed Under the Recently 
Adopted Commission I'orm of County Government. 


Here WiU Be Found the Stories Regarding the I'"ormation of the Several 
Townships or Precincts Which h'orm Units of Civic Government in the 
(General Government of the County, Beginning With Barada. Which Was 
Xamed for Old Antoine Barada. One of the Most Interesting and Picturesque 
Figures of the Plains Country in the Early Days. Together With an Interest- 
ing Collection of Narratives of Incidents Relating to the Early Life of the 
County and Personal and Illuminating Reference to Many of Tliose Hardy 
I'igures Which Made Possible the -Settlement of This Favored Region — 
Topulation Statistics and Sonietlnni; in Relation to Townsites That Early 
Were Located lor I'ublie .Mlolnient and Sale. 



In This Chapter There Is Set Out in Interesting Form a Mass of Official 
Information Taken From the Records of the County and Bearing on the 
Original Orders of Incorporation of the Towns and Precincts of the County, 
Together With F'urthcr References to the Men Who Were the Foremost 
Figures in Such Transactions. With Stories Relating to Many of Them, and 
a Brief History of the Various Towns and Villages Which Have F'rom the 
Beginning Constituted Valuable Social and Commercial Centers for the Peo- 
ple of the Several Communities in the Countj'. 


Nothing in the History of Any Community Carries More of Interest Than a 
Narration of the First Incidents Bearing on the Settlement of Such a Com- 
munitj'. and This Chapter Relating to the "Firsts" of Richardson County 
Ought to Be Regarded as One of the Most Interesting in the Book, for Here 
Will Be F"ound Set Out in Orderly Ai-Vay the Story of the Beginnings ot 
Things in This Region Based Upon the Activities of Those Who Were 
Among the First of Those Who Dared and Did in the Days of the Beginning 
of the Establishment of a Definite Social Order on This Side of tlu 


From the Days of the Unbroken Growths of Luxuriant Prairie Grass Which 
Covered the Rich Plains Throughout This Region to the Present Period of 
llighlj' Developed and Specialized Agriculture Is Not a Far Cry as Meas- 
ured in Years, for There Are Those Still Living Here Who Helped to Turn 
the First F'urrows in These Prairies, But in the Measure of Results Accom- 
plished an Astonishing Distance Has Been Covered, and This Chapter Is 
Designed to Present the Story of the Wonderful Development That Has 
Marked Agricultural Processes During the Comparatively Short Period in 
Which the White Man Has Been in Possession of the Countrj'. 

ROADS 292 

Herein Will Be Found the Story of the Development of the Means of Travel 
and Transportation From the Days of the l-tiver Steamboat and the "Prairie 
Schooner" to the Present Day of the Transcontinental Steel "Flyers" and 
the High-powered .\utomobiIes, Which Latter, in Particular. Are Serving 
to Bind Communities More Closely Together and to Bring the Farm Into 
Close Communication With the Markets and Social Centers — Interesting 
Story of the Old Days of the River Boats and the Great Trains of the 
h'reighters Along the Overland Trails of a Day Gone By — First Effort in 
Behalf of a Railroad — When the Railroad Reached Falls City — Excursion to 
Atchison — Coming of the Automobile and a Comparison With Condition'^ 
That Existed in the Days of llie Old Overland Stage. 


In This Chapter Countj- Superintendent Weber Presents an Interesting 
Review of the School Activities of Richardson County From the Time of the 
County's Early Settlement arid the Humble "Subscription" Schools to the 


I'lcsent Day of the Highly Specialized School Systtm Comprising the VVcU- 
Orsanized Schools of the Cities and Villages and the Equally Well-Organ- 
ized Consolidated Schools of the Rural Districts, All Being Operated I'nder 
a Definite Plan, \\'ith a View to Securing the liest .\ttain;il)le Kcsults in the 
Way of Educating the Youth of the County. 

chai'T1-:r XIV— chlrciiI':s oi- riciiardsox couxty i7i 

( hurch History of a Locality Is Inseparable From Its Growth and Devel- 
opment, the Induence of the Church Being Felt in Every Force That Goes 
to Make Up a Prosperous and Moral Community, and in Xo Phase of the 
Development of Richardson County Has There Been a Stronger Influence 
for Good Than the Church Organizations of the County; a Story of Which, 
Together With Many Interesting Incidents Relating to the Religious Ob- 
servances of the Pioneers Has Been Compiled Under the Direction of 
David D. Reavis and Is Here Set Out for the Information and Inspiration 
of the Present Generation and the- Guidance of the Future. 


In This Chapter the Historian Has Presented a Comprehensive and Enter- 
taining Review of the Operations of "the Fourth Estate" in Richardson 
County and Has Incidentally Preserved for the Edification of the Present 
and the Information of Future Generations of Readers Numerous Stories 
of the Doings of the Newspaper Editors Who Proved Such Powerful and 
Influential F'actors in the General Life of the Community in the Old Days, 
and Whose Unselfish and Untiring Efforts in Behalf of the New Country 
Worked Such Wonders of Accomplishment in the Way of Assisting in the 
Development of the Various Interests of the County at a Time When the 
"Getting Out" of a Newspaper Was Very Much More a Pure Labor of Love 
Than It Is Today— Veteran Editor's Tribute to the Old-Timers in Local 


Close and Intimate Relation Borne by the I'amily Physician to the Real Life 
of the Community to Which He Ministers Makes Him One of the Most 
Vital Factors for Good in That Community, and in the Chapter to Which 
the Reader Here Refers the Importance of This Situation Is Clearly Brought 
Out, the Medical History of the County of Richardson Being Interestingly 
and Entertainingly Reviewed by Doctor Burchard and Doctor Waggener, 
Whose Long and Intimate Acquaintance With the Conditions They Portray 
Gives to Their Narratives an Informative Importance That Will Be Valued 
and Appreciated More and More as the Years Pass. 

CIIAI'Tl-.k XX'IU^TIII". r.l-.XCll AXD TllIC P.AR 440 

.\o History Is Complete Without Some Specific Reference to the Courts 
and Lawyers of the Section That History Seeks to Cover, for to the Bench 
and to the Bar Fall a No Unimportant and a No Indecisive Part in the 
Development of the Human Progress l"pon Which History Is liased. and 
the Development of Social Conditions in Richardson County Has Been Xo 
h'xeeption to This Rule, the Courts and the Lawyers Having Played Con- 
sijicuous Parts in the Creation of the Splendid Conditions .\mid Which 
the I'cople nf This County Today I'ind Themselves. .Ml of Which Is Enter- 



During the Pioiieir I'criod in Richardson County There Were Xo Banks and 
\'ery Little liankiiii;- lUisiness Done Except Such as Was Conducted by the 
I'.arly Merchants. I!ut as Settlement Developed and Communities V^xpanded 
the Xecessity for the F.stablishment of Recognized Mediums Through 
Which the Credit h'acilities of the Community Might Systematically ( )perate 
Led to the Organization of Fn.pcrly Accredited Hanks. Cntil Xow There Is 
Xo Appreciable Social Center in the County That Is Xot Provided With 
(^ne or More Stal)K- I'inancial Institutions for the Proper Accommoda- 
tion of the Community Thus Served, and This Chapter Gives in a Nutshell 
tlie Story of the I'reation id" Tliese I'.anking Institutions. Together With a 
Statement Relative to the Respective Present Status of Each. 


Though Nebraska Had Not Been Admitted to Statehood at the Time of the 
I'.reaking Out <>! the Civil War the Hardy Pioneers Who Had Even Then 
I'ound a b'oothold On the Soil Here Did Well Their Part in That Struggle 
in Defense- of the Cuion, as the Reader Will Kind Is Made Clear in the 
Chapter Here Ueferred to. Wherein Is Set Out the Story of the Participation 
of Richardson County in That Struggle, as Well as the Story of Her I'ar- 
ticipation in the Subsequent Spanish-American War and in the Present 
Great World \\ ar. in Which Latter Supreme Str'uggle So Many of the 
Active and Determined Young Men of This County Are Taking Part at the 
Time These Words Are Being Written. 


In This Chapter There Is Set Out at Informative Length and in an Enter- 
taining h'ashion the History of the County Seat of Richardson County E'rom 
the Days of Its Inception to the Present Day of Its Important Develop- 
ment, With a View to Giving the Reader Some Notion of the Various Steps 
in This Process of Development and of Preserving for the Future a Record 
of the Same. 


The Historian I las Here Set (Hit a Comprehensive Review of the Variou.s 
Phases Through Which the Second City in Richardson County Has Passed 
in .Vttaining Its I'resent High State of Development, and Has Presented at 
the Same Time an Interesting Collection of Pioneer Reminiscences Relating 
to Huml)oldt and the Humboldt Neighborhood, With Biographical Sketches 
of Many of the l-.arliest Settlers Therein. 


Beginning With a Story of the First Pre-F"mptors .'Klong the Rich Valley of 
the Nemaha, William I'enton Has Presented in This Chapter a Review of 
the Beginning and the Development of the Pleasant Village of Dawson and 
Has Set Out in That Connection Much Exceedingly Interesting Information 
Relating to the ICarly Days of That Xeighborhood. 

\pti-:r xxiii— di-:i'CXCt 'I'owxs of richardsox cocxtv _. -^75 

The "Ohl-Timer- W ill I'ind Numerous References in This Chapter Relating 

to Towns and Townsites That Gave Promise in the Days of the Pioneers 

.That Will Revive Many Pleasant Recollections in His Mind of the Days 

Gone P.y. for Here .\re Set Out, as Tales That Were Told, the Stories of 


the De|);irte(l Glories of Such Onc-Tiine Ambitious Sites as Those of Archer. 
Yankton. W'innebago, Stumps Station. Shasta, Ehiiore, Cottage Grove, Elk- 
ton. Breckenridge, Peora, Springfield. Geneva, Flowerdale, Dorrington. Xora- 
ville, Monterey, Meonond. Pleasant Valley, Old St. Stephens, and the Be- 
s^inning and End of Arago. Which at One Time Had a Population Right 
Around Fifteen Hundred and Which Now Boasts of a Bare Half Dozen 


This Ouglit to Prove One of the Most Interesting Chapters in the Book, 
for Here -\re Given at First Hand Xumerous Stories of the Old Days, Pre- 
serving the Recollections of the Pioneers With Respect to a Xumljer of the 
Most Interesting and Important Events in the Early Days of the Settlement 
of the County; a Symposium That Will Prove of Incalculable Value to 
Those Who in After Years May Feel Called On to Compile a Later History 
of the County. 


For the Information of the Present Generation There Are Presented Here 
a Xumber of Brief Biographical Sketches of Some of the Sturdy Pioneers 
Who Helped' to Bring This Region to a Habitable State and Make Clear a 
Way for the Enjoyment of the Many Blessings of a Settled Social Order: 
Included in This Distinguished Roll Being Such Xames as Those of John 

B. Didier. David Thomas Brincgar. Jonathan J. Marvin. Jesse Crook. David 
Kinney, Francis L. Goldslierry. David Dorrington, David R. Holt, Thomas 

C. Cunningham. James Henry Lane. Fulton Peters. Antoine Barada, James 
Robert Cain. Sr., David L. Thompson, DiUard Walker, Mrs. Mary S. Quick. 
James I,. Overman and Others. 


In This Exceedingly Interesting and Engaging Bit of Autobio.graphy Writ- 
ten by the Hon. Isham Reavis in 1909 the Reader \\"\\\ Find One of the 
Most Entertaining and Informative Collections of Reminiscences of the Old 
Days in Xebraska That Has Ever Been Written, Including References to 
the Days Back "in the Beginning of Things" When This Region Was as 
Completely Isolated From the World and Civilization as Was Alaska at the 
I )i)cniiig of the Past Century. 


Here Are Collected a Series of Valuable Reminiscent Papers From the 
Hands of Such Pioneers as David Dorrington. E. H. Johnson, William 
Witherow. Jesse Crook, Thomas F. Brown. Isaac Crook. William G. Goolsliy. 
J. C. Lincoln. F.lisha Dorian and Antoine Barada Relating to Incidents of llie 
Early Days. 


In This Concluding Chai)tcr There Are Presented, Just as Its Title Indi- 
cates. Several Matters of Engrossing Local Interest That Fit In Well to the 
(General Scheme of the Book, Covering Details of Pioneer History Xot 
1-Usewhere Touched On; Typical Tales of Pioneers Told First Hand and 
Thus Informative to a Degree Xot Possible of Attainment by One Who 
Has Merelv Heard Them Instead of Having Lived Them. 



Adventurous llomcseekcrs 101 . 

Agricultural Development 282 

Agriculture and Stockraising — 253-291 
Alfalfa No Longer an l'"xperiment_ 250 

Altitude 3-4 

Alumni of Falls City High School, 341 
Alumni of Humboldt High School. 351 
American Pioneer, a Distinct Type 99 

Apple Orchards 265-27(i 

Arago Precinct — 

Early Settlers from P.uffalo 198 

Establishment of 148 

Old Pork-packing Plant 198. 055 

Population of 211 

Seat of Early iMetropolis 429.577 

Settled in 1858 198 

Arago. the Old Town of-293. 429, 577. 585 

Archer Camp Meeting Grove 195 

Archer, Old Town of— 

Backset in 1856 220 

First County Seat 219 

First Settler 199 

Incorporation of 212 

Made County Seat 149 

Promoters of 220 

Old Cemetery, the 22^ 

Seat of Government Departs 199 

Townsite Vacated 153 

When Laid Out loS 

Who Laid It Out 578 

Ara1)ility of Land 34 

Area of County 34.30 

Area of the State of Nebraska 97 

Auto Enlarges Social Life 289 

Automobile, the .i22 

Average Size of Farms 01 

Awakening of the Farmers 240 

Banks and Banking 472-480 

Barada. Antoine 252. 7.i5 

Barada Precinct — 

Boundaries of 190 

First Settled by Frencli 190 

Old Home of Governor Morehead 192 

Old Settlers of 192 

Population of 211 

Story of .\ntoine Barada 19(1 

The King Settlement 192 

Bar of Richardson County 440 

Base Line Established 12'' 

Battle with Missouri Bandits 492 

Beef Cattle 259 

Beginning and End of .\rago 585 

Bench and Bar. the 449-471 

Bitter County-Seat Feud 169.700 

■•Black Land" Farms .>5 

lilizzards ___025. 710 

"Bloody Flux" l'ro\es l-'.piclemic 110 

Bluffton 240 

Bohemian Benevolent Association. 118 
Bohemian Settlement at Hunilxddt Ho 

Bonded Indelitedncss 214 

"Boomers" Face Ruin 10) 

Boundaries of County 30. 134. 143 

Boundary Road, Marking ..f 145 581 

Brinegar. David Thomas 608 

Broady. Judge JetTerson H 4.56 

Brown. John 113,028 

Brown. Thomas F. 721 

Bruun Memorial Li1)rary 551 

Buffalo's Service to Indians 87 

Building Stone Plentiful 34, .i5 

Burbank, John A 501, O.W 

Burchard. Dr. C. T 428.442 

Butler. Gov. David 166.001 

(.ain. James Rclicrt. Sr O/S 

tharters of N'illagcs 2\2 

Chaiitauquas -287 

Cluap Land in ICarly Days 202 

ClK.lera. Visitation of 443.594 

Christmas Day Anioni; IMon'eers 735 

Clnirches of Ricliardson County-373-4(l3 

City Physicians 44(1 

Civilization Restores Timber 33 

Civil War, the . 487 

Claim "Jumping" in I'arly Days 110 

Clerk of District Court 17li. 4()7 

Climatic Conditions 01 

Coal Formerly Mined in Speiscr — 2(17 

Comc-to-Sunday-School Day 299 

Coming of the Railroad 295 

Commercial Orchards in County-- 25ii 
Commodore O'Grady's Shrewd Deal 12(1 

Commissioner System Adopted 188 

Company D. Fifth Nebraska 50(1 

Company ¥.. Fifth Nebraska 494 

Completion of First Railroad 303 

Conservation of Orchards 275 

Contrary Creek 205 

Contrast with the I'ast 239 

Corn and Wheat Conditions 253 

Corn Used for Fuel 287 

Coronado's Expedition 8fi 

Coroners 183.439 

Costly Railway Bridge 239 

Cottage Grove 591 

County Agricultural Society 205 

County Attorneys 189, 4()8 

County Bar Association 470 

County Buildings l(v4. 507 

County Clerks 171 

County Coinniissioncrs 181 

County Fairs _205. 281 

County Insanity Conmiission 44(1 

County Medical Society 44(i 

County Officers. Roster of-. .171-189 

County. Organization 133-153 

County, Original Boundary of.. .130-143 

County Physicians 44(1 

County Seat I'llcction Contested... IijO 
County Seat. Location of 1.54-170. .^07. 700 

County Seat War 109. 7(!:i 

County's Name. Origin i)f 133 

Ct.unlv Surveyors 183 

County Treasurers 17ij 

Courts and Lawyers 449-471 

"Crime of Agriculture." the 267 

Crook, Jesse.. -103. 106. 169. 205. 246. 

250. 561, 625. 650, 671. 715 

Crop Conditions Set Out 36-62.254 

Cunnin.gham, Thomas C, 6/5 

Curriculum .>f Public Schools .»3 


Dairying, Live Stock and P..ultry.. 259 
Dalbey. J. L. 418 

Davidson. Judge Samuel Presley— 455 

Dawson Mills, the 121 

Dawson. Town of — 

Coming of Railroad 563 

Karly Settlers of 562 

Historical Sketch 561 

Newspapers 572 

Old Settlers .\ssociation 568 

Physicians 436 

Population of ■— 213 

Schools and Churches .569 

\\'hen Surveyed 5(>4. 571 

Dean of the Bar 405 

Defunct Towns of the County 575 

Deserted \'illage of Arago 590 

Development of Modern School 327 

Didier. John B 114. 6o5 

Died Within Sight of Help 028 

Disastrous Fires at Stella 230 

District .\ttorneys 189 

Distressing Railway .Vccident 30 i 

District Schools of County i5S-272 

District School Teachers .?71 

Dividing Line between States 129 

Dorian. lUisha 731 

Dorrin.gton, Postoliice ..f .5S3 

Dorrington, "Cncle" David 518. 


Dorrin.gton. William 1'. Oil 

Drainage System 34, 58, 276-281 

Duel l)etween Lawyers 46^' 

Dundy, Judge I'.lmer S 221.452 

IHinkard Cdony, the 122 

Karly (.-harters ..f \ iUa^e. 212 

l-.arlv Indian Histnrv 731 


ICarly Judges of IClection 157 

ICarly Legislative .\cts 148 

I'^ai-ly Marriage Roonrds 24S 

I'arly Political Items 71:-: 

ICarly Schools, Crude ICc|iiipnieiit of 32o 

I'.arly Settlement of County 99-132 

Early Surveys of County 125 

ICarthquake of 1866 594 

"ICconomy" Measure Defeated 185 

Educational i2b-i71 

l-:iUton Postoffice 581 

IClniore 58(1 

ICngineer's Cool Presence of Mind- 316 

Epidemic of 1860 110 

■■ICvery Man His Neighbor" 288 

ICxcursion to Atchison 315 

ICxplorer's Mistaken Conclusion 9(1 

Extortion of Steanilioat Lines 19/ 


Falls City High School Alumni 341 

Falls City Precinct — 

Boundaries of 194 

I'-Stablishment of 19i) 

Falls of the Nemaha 194 

Loree Bridge, tlic 195 

Old Indian Village 195 

I'opulation of 211 

Town of Falls City 190,501 

Walnut Creek 195 

Falls City Rifle Club 494 

Falls City, the County Seat— 

P)eautiful for Location 501 

Court House \'ictory 162 

Creation of County Scat 507 

First House in 1^1 

Hinton Park 514 

Hotels 517 

Incorporation of 135 

Industrial Concerns 533 

In Retrospect 504 

In 1870 509 

Library Association 521 

Modern Improvements 502 

Municipal Improvements 503. 528 

Naming of _ loo 

Newspapers _ 407 

Physicians 432 

Population of 211.213 

Falls City — Continued — 

Postoffice 520 

Public Schools 336 

Secret Societies 518 

When Laid Ofif 196 

Falls of the Nemaha 194 

Farmers Mutual Insurance Company 486 

Farmers Union, the 289 

Farming and Cattle Raising 253-291 

Farming, Methods of 260 

Farm Labor. Adequate Supply of„ 261 

Farms. Size and X'alue of 262 

Father's Heroism Saves Family... 627 

Fa\ored Sites of Early Homes 280 

Fenton. William 561.003 

Fertility and Quality of Soil 34 

Fine Future for Farmers 290 

Fire Destroys Flour-Mill 229 

Fires at Falls City 515 

First Bohemian Settlement 116 

First Case in County Court 459 

First Census and Polling Places 137 

First Cluirch in County 373 

First Circus at Arago 593 

First Commercial ( )rcliard 257 

First County ( Xlicers 134.220 

First Couple Married 220 

First County Seat 149 

First Court House 104.507 

First Court in Log House 252 

First Election in County 134.155,220 

First Events, a Series of 245-252 

First Flour-Mill in the County— 204. 246 

First French Settlement 114 

First Funeral in County 247 

First Governor's Reception 166 

First trrand ]\.\vy 461 

First Harvest, the 107 

First Homeseckcrs, the 101 

First Licensed Ferry 290 

First Locomotive \Velcomed ,306 

First Mail Carrier and Banker 250 

First Mill Dam Authorized 148 

First Ne1)raska Regiment 489 

P^irst Newspaper in County 404 

First Newspaper in Falls 'city._._ 410 

First School at F'alls City 33o 

First School at Humboldt 349 

First School in County 246,355,614 

First Settler at Archer Grove 199 


First Settlors of County H'i 

First .Steamboat, the 89 

First Survey in Territory 125 

First \'aluation of Property 139 

First White Men to \'isit this Re- 
gion 89 

First W'oman Mail Carrier 251 

Flood of 1858. the 711 

Flowerdale .583 

Forays with "Jayhawkers" 112.749 

Forney, the Rev. John 12.^ 

Four Eras of Development 101 

Franklin Precinct 146 

Franklin. Town of .596 

Frauds Practiced on Indians 82 

Freighting in the Old Days 297 

French Explorers Early on Scene. 89 

■'Front Door" of County 238 


Geneva 218, 582. 597 

Geology of County 33-62 

Goolsby, Uncle Billy 200,696.720 

Grain Farming Takes the Lead 254 

Grant Precinct— 

Dawson Mills 20() 

Elements of Wealth 206 

Compliment to General Grant — 205 

Population of 211 

The Miles Ranch 206.263 

Grasshopper Period, the 6.^0 

Great American Desert, Solitude of 105 

Great Nemaha River 34. 194. 21 IS 

Great Plains, the .- .53 

"Gretna Green" of Pioneers 220 

(irnvcs and Orchards ii. 2bS 


. Half-1'.reed Tract, the 125. 1. in 

Hamilton, the Rev. William 799 

Hardships of Pioneers 104,715 

Harrison, Frank .\ 621 

Haskins, Miss Eunice 227, 646 

Hay Crops 255 

Highway of Gold Seekers 95.278 

Highways and Railroads 214.292 

Historical Sketches 711 

Hogs 2S^' 

Holt. David R (.74 

Homesteaders, the 102,206 

Horses 259 

Horse Thieves 470 

Horticultural Society 258 

Howe. Ed. W. 408 

Huml)oldt, City of — 

As an Early Market 203 

Business Interests 538 

Churches 387, 539 

City Government 539 

Distinguishing Features 555 

Early Events 543 

Early Settlers 540,557 

Glimpses of in 1873 544 

Lodges 553 

Naming of 542 

Newspapers 412, 539 

Physicians 4.34 

Population of 211 

Puldic Library 551 

Public Utilities 538 

Schools 348, 539 

Humboldt Precinct- 
Boundaries of 217 

City of Humboldt 538 

Estaldishment of 146 

Petition for Organization 217 

Hunting the Buffalo 752 


Incorporation of Humbcddt 540 

Incorporation of Towns 216-244 

Indian History 63-84,731 

Indians Troublesome 615 

Indomitable Spirit of I'ioneers 105 

Industrial Statistics 214 

Industries at County ,Seal 533 

In the Days of the Indians 63-84.731 

Inundation of 1858. the 711 

Iowa Indiana Reserve (i4 

Iowa Indians, Number .if SI 

Irish Pioneers, First Ccdony of 119 

Iron Monument, the 129 

.u, Sewell R 
nvkers," the 
y-Cake Ridge 
Hon. Cass— 


740, 747 


Jones, William M., the Story of 740 

Journal of Lewis and Clark 92 

Judges of County 173, 181. 408 

Judicial Reapportionment 436 

"Jumping" of Claims Resisted 110 


Kansas-Nebraska Act, the 98. 10(j 

Kansas. Territory of 95 

Kinney. David 672 

Kinsman of Abraham Lincoln 234 

Kirk. Abel D. 404 


Ladies Research Club 231 

Lad Stolen by Indians 191 

Land Rentals 61 

Land Speculators a Detriment 201 

Lane. James Henry 675 

Large Farms in County 262 

Last County Scat Election 160 

Law Cases of Another Day 459 

Laws Relating to Drainage 277 

Legislative Representation 139 

Lewis and Clark Expedition 90 

Liberty Precinct — 

Boundaries of 203 

I'arly Settlers of 204 

Population of 211 

Subdivided in 1869 203 

Village of \'erdon 204 

Library at Falls City 521 

Lincoln, J. C. 234,248,728 

Local Man Constructs Early Auto- 322 
Local Nomenclature. Comment on._ 206 
Location of County Scat-154-170, 507, 700 

Location of Tovvnsites 213 

Long, Major Stephen 89 

I.oree Bridge, the 195 

Louisiana Purchase, the 93 

Lynch Law 470,694 


Maddox, Margaret M 735 

Magnificent View from Salem 235 

Mail Delivery and Telephones 215 

Mail Routes and Post Roads 638 

Maple Grove Cemetery 247 

Margrave Ranch, the 264 

Mark Twain Has His Say 294 

Martin. Charles 115,713 

Marvin, Jonathan J 670,708 

Medical Profession, the 428 

Medical Societies 445 

Meek-Davis Tragedy, the 168,651 

Memories of Other Days Recalled 

225, 236, 282. 603,611 

Meonond 584 

Messler's Fife Band "Hails the 

Chief" 167 

Methods of Agriculture 260 

Middleburg 208 

Miles Ranch, the 263,585 

Miles, Stephen B 206.250,298 

Military History 487-500 

Miscellaneous Matters 73} 

Missionaries Early on the Ground 7S 

Missionary's Life Threatened 81 

Missouri, Territory of 94 

Modern District School 328 

Monterey 203, 584 

Monument, the Iron 129 

Morehead, Gov. John H 192 

Mortgage Indebtedness 659 

"Most Sanguine Hopes Realized"-- 162 
Muddy Precinct — 

Boundaries of 201 

ICast and West Divisions 201 

Establishment of 147 

Population of 211 

Stella and Shubert 202 

Municipalities of County 211 

Mythology of the Sauk 77 


McC.iy, the Rev. Isaac 78 

McKesson. Jolm C 592 


Native Timljer Growth Restored— 33 

"Nebraska," a Poem 99 

Nebraska, Origin of Name 656 

Nebraska Territory, Creation of— 96, 139 

Nemaha Falls, the Town of 218 

Nemaha Precinct — 

.\bundanee of Stone 209 

Colonized l)y Swiss 209 


Xeniaha Precinct — Continued — 

Named for River -W 

Population of -H 

"Rattlesnake" District ^W 

Well Watered -^"S 

Well's Mills -"9 

New Board of Commissioners 1S8 

News Items in 1864 421 

Newspapers of Richardson Coutny. 


Xims City, the \illagc of 241 

Noraville 57.1 .-iH-l 


Ohio Precinct- 
Archer Grove IW 

Estahlishment of 148 

First Settlement in County 199 

Old Town of Archer 199 

Population of -H 

Official Directory of 1804 42(1 

Old Archer Cemetery 222.22?: 

Old Coal Mining Company 252 

Old Fair Grounds 205.281 

Oldest House in County <W 

Old Pork-packing- Establishment _- 198 

Old Settlers Association -iti8 

Old Settler's Feat of Strength 191 

Old Settler's Notion of a "Living".- 204 
"Old-Timers in Newspaperdoni"--- 418 

Old-Time Teacher's Story .^34 

Old Village of St. Stephens 24,=; 

"Orcharding," by A. J. Weaver 2o,^ 

Organization of County l.W-l.^,i 

Organization of Precincts 140 

Organization of School Districts— .i.^,5 

(Jrganization of Townships 190-21.i 

Original Boundary of County 1.36. 14.i 

Origin of Place Names 200 

Otoe Indian Lands 9.1 

Overflow Lands, Drainage of 276 

Overland Freighting 297 

Overman, James L "80 


Padonia. Battle of 'i41 

Paradise for Nomadic Indians W 

Parochial Schools -"0 

i>-,,.ii..,. ("iiiinlv 14.5 

Pawnees, the — '" 

Peora S«- 

Pension Surgeons -1-*" 

Peters, Fulton 67(i 

Physicians at Falls City 4.52 

Physicians of Richardson County-- 428 

Pioneer Banking Methods 472 

Pioneer Exploits 7.i.i 

Pioneer Funeral -*-' 

Pioneer Mothers, a Tribute to 2'JI) 

Pioneer Recollection 225, 23() 

232, 603, 611 

I'ioneers of Huinl...UU .557 

I'ioneers of Kichanls.m County-l()2. 247 

Pleasant N'alley ■'^85 

Plum Creek Mission, the 84 

Population Statistics 211.21.1 

Pork Packing in the (^Id Days 198 

Porter Precinct — 

l-:arly Mail Facilities 203 

Establishment of 14*1 

Location and llonndaries 202 

Monterey ^(^13. 384 

Named for First Settler 202 

Organization of -1" 

Population of -H 

Town of Humboldt 203.5.58 

i^ostoffices and Post Roads ''<i3 

Postoffices in 1864 420 

Pottery of Prehistoric Origin 71 

Powder River E.xpcdition, the 751 

Prairie Fires 33, oH) 

Prairies, Appalling Vastness of 105 

Prairie Sod, the Breaking of 117,121 

Precincts, Organization of 140 

Prehistoric Times 0.5-84 

Present County Officers 189 

Preston, Town of — 

In the Old Indian Days 241 

Old Shippin.g Point 2-iO 

Original Name "Bluffton" 240 

Population of ^13 

Preston Picnic Grounds 31.i 

Primitive Methods of Travel 2):<'^> 

Principal Money Crop, the 2.=i4 

Probate Judges 172 

Products of the Dairy 2.59 

Prominent Pioneers '>'>5 

Prospective Settlers Impatient ^X' 

Prosperity of Farmers -525 


(JuacUs and Charlatans 44-4 

Quaint Marriage Contract 249 

Quality uf Soil .54 

Quarries of First-class Stone 3-i. 209 

Quick, Mrs. Mary 080 


Kailroad Bonds Contriiversy 242 Kural M 

Railroads and HiKhways__-_' 214.292 ''^i'"''' ' '' 

Railr.iad I'rojects Numerous ,502's Completion t'elel. rated- 1()7 

In .Steamlioat Days 29.5 

Original Residents 2,59 

Physicians of 4,5.5 

Population of 211 

Rich in History 2.5K 

Schools and Churches 240 

When Laid Out 2.5K 

Rural lluilding 284 

Railroad Surgeons 440 Sacs and Fo.xes 6.5,19-1 

Raper, Judge John llutler 457 Salem Collegiate Institute .5,5(. 

Rattlesnake District 210 Salem Precinct — 

Rcavis. David D 37,^ Building Stone 20.- 

Reavis. Hon. Isham 166, 225, 427. I'.arly Settlement of 20-1 

46.5.081 I'.stablishment of 14'- 

Recollections of Jesse Crook O.-O First Flour-Mill in County 204 

Register of Deeds 174 Population of 211 

Relating to .\griculture 25,5-291 Settled liy Missourians 205 

Relics of a Prehistoric Race 07 \ illage of Salem 204 

Religion of the Indians 8,' Salem, Town of— 

Religious .\ctivities .57.5-40.1 Conditions in 1857 204 

Reminiscences of a Wayfarer 081 l.arly Trading Post 2.54 

Richardson. William .\ 9o. 1,5.- Clim'pses into the Past 2.5o 

River Towns of the ( )ld Days 29.' lnc,u-p<, ration of 148 

Rock Island Highway, the .50(1 Made County Seat 1,50 

Roll of the Bar 400 Physicians of 4,57 

Roll of the First Settlers— 102 Population of 211 

Roster of Company 1"., Fifth Present Status of 2,55 

Xe])raska 497 Promoters of 2.5.5 

Roster of County Officers 171-189 .Sauk Indians 7o 

Rotation of Crops 261 Schocds and l-".ducatioii 326-.572 

Rouleau. Charles Scho.d Teacher "Skips" ,5o.5 

Rulo Precinct^ Second County Seat l-.lection 155 

Boundaries of 19o Second Xeliraska I'axalry 491 

F.stablishmcnt of 148 Seimering. F. W. i62 

Former Indian Reservation 197 Series of First l".\ents 245-252 

Founded by Charles Rouleau 19<] Settlement of County 99-1.52 

Order of Court Regarding- 219 Settlers' Claims. Register of 12." 

Physicians of 4.5.5 Shasta 57'-' 

Population of 211 Sheep 25" 

Rulo, Town of— Sheriffs 178. 4o7 

I'.cautiful for Location 2.58 Shooting Matches in Old Days 205 

Fifty Years .\go 68.5 Shroycr, J. O., Reminiscences of— 2"^! 

.'Front Door" of County 23S Sluibert. Town of— 

How and Why Named 238 .\dniirah1e for Location 2.',7 

Incorporation of 142 Commerce and Industry 237 


Sliubert — Continued — 

Many Substantial Homes -'37 

I'opulation of 213 

Schools anil Churches 238 

Sidelights of County History 603 

Silver Creek Community 122 

Sioux and \Vinnel)a80CS 03 

Skalak, Wenzel 117 

Slave Auction Broken Up 749 

Smith, the Rev. James S 33-1 

Social Conditions in Old Days 288 

Soil Survey 36-62 

Soil, \'arieties of 35 

South Fork of Xcmaha 207 

Spanish-American War, the 493 

Spanish Explorations 8.5 

Speculation in Townsites 108 

Speiser Precinct — 

Ample Water Supply 207 

Coal Formerly Mined 207 

Early Settlers 207 

Establishinent of 146 

Old Middleburs 208 

Population of _^ 211 

Springfield 582 

Springs of ExCL-llent Water 20(1 

Stage Coaches 301 

State Board of Health 441 

Statistics Relating to Banks 474 

Statistics Relating to Schools 329 

Steamboat Days in Richardson 292 

Steamboat, First on the Missouri— 89 
Stella. Town of — 

Coming of the Railroad 321 

Commercial and Professional 232 

Early Industries 229 

First Church 229 

First School 228 

How and Why Named 231 

Interesting History of 227 

Newspapers 415 

Physicians 439 

Population of 213 

Public Schools 369 

When Incorporated 228 

When Organized 227 

Story. Stephen __116. 738 

Strausville. tlie \illage of 241 

St. Stephen- (11,1 'r..w., of .599, C45 

St. Stephens Precinct — 

ICstablishment of 147 

How Named 11(. 

Now Part of Barada 193 

Old Village of 245 

I'etition for Organization of 217 

Population of - 211 

Postoffice of Williamsville 193 

Stumbo, Francis M 619 

.Stuml)o, James L 501 

Stumps Station 579.598 

Subscription Schools 326 

Sunday School Association 395 

Superintendent of Instruction 181 

Supervisors 184 

Surgeons in World War 447 

Surgery, Past and Present 442 

Survey of Soil Conditions 36-62 

Surveyors Erect Iron Monument 129 

Surveys of Richardson County 125 

Swiss Colonists Early on Ground- 209 


Tabic Rock, the 621 

Taxes Collected in 1857 141 

Teachers Institutes 332 

Teachers. Wages of 331 

Telephones and Mail Delivery 215 

Territorial Legislature. Acts of 148 

Third County Seat Election 156 

Thompson, David L 679 

Timlier Growth Restt)red 3.i 

Tinker. Hon. (J. J 542 

Tisdell, D. A 2M, 

Toll Bridge Early Established 251 

Topography of County 33-(iJ 

Towle, Hon. Edwin S 4()5 

Township Sectional Divisions 131 

Townships, Organization of 190-215 

Towns, Incorporation of .216-244 

Townsitc Locations 213 

Trackless Wilderness, the 105 

Transportation in Old Days 292 

Travel by Primitive Methods 2>i'i 

Treasurer of County.- 17(i 

Treaties with Indians 04,95 

Trials and Adversities of Pioneers 105 
Tributaries of th<- Great Nemaha— SS 


L- to I'ionci-r 
Hanging A\ 
1 Talc of tl 

■■L'ikUtht..,,.,,! Railr,.a,l," tlu- 11,? 


\accination in Old Days -t4i 

Valleys First Attract Settlers ,1.1 

\'alues of Farm Lands (il 

\erdon, Town of — 

Contented Residents 2-44 

ICarly Legal 24-' 

Location of 241 

Original Tlat Filed 242 

Physicians 4.iiS 

Population of 213.242 

X' Government 242 

\icw into Three States 23X 

Xillage Charters 212 

X'oting Precincts, Kstablisliment of 14(j 


\Vages of Teachers 331 

Waggener, Dr. J. A 434,441 

Walker, Dillard ,y9 

Water Power in the Old Days 531 

Waterworks at Falls City 530 

Wealth of Richardson County 058 

Weaver Brothers' Farms.--, 262 

XX'caver. Judge .Archibald j 455 

Weber. Daniel H 182,326 

Welsh Colonists 645 

Wlieat anil Corn Conditions 253 

Whisky Ruin of Indians 83 

Wicked Fraud of Surveyors 690 

•\\ ild-Cat" Money 108 

Wild Game and Fish 653 

Wilhite. Mrs. J. R 608.625 

Williamsville 193 

Winnebago, the Town of 216, 578 

Withee, Francis 633 

World War. the 494 

Yankton 57o, 597 

Zulek. Charles lid 



Ahern, John 880 

Allemend, Eugene 984 

Allison, Cyrus X., D. D. S 1358 

Atkins. Martin B. 1411 

Atwood, Theodore G. 1172 

Auxier. Edward E. 1168 

Auxier. Xathaniel D. 1287 

Aycrs. Oliver C. 960 


Bacon. Alfred G. 1080 

Uahr. l->ed 1228 

Barlow, Stephen C. 770 

Bates, William R. 1237 

Bauer, John H. 1398 

Baync, Samuel H. 938 

Becker, August B. 821 

Billings, Lewis M. 951 

Bloom. Jacob 1137 

Bloom, Joshua 1021 

Bobst. Samuel B. 1037 

Bolejack. Emery E. 1001 

Boose. William R.. M. D 893 

Bowers. Emerson L. 1256 

Bowers. Impertous M. 1236 

Bowker, George 1140 

Bowker. Thomas G. 1184 

Boyd. Hugh E. 788 

Brandow, William M. 1133 

Brecht, Conrad 1309 

Brecht, Fred 1416 

Brecht, Henry 1166 

Bucher, Fredrick, Sr. 1052 

Burns. James W. 1350 

Butler. William F. 1016 


Cade, William 1333 

Campbell. Xewton C. 1147 

Church, Frank E. 1143^. 

I lark. Isaac S. - 1220 

Colglazier, William S. 1266 

Coons. John H. 1032 

looper, Orrin A. 1248 

Cornelius, Joseph K. 784 

loupe. Richard A. 1351 

Crook. Guy A. 1383 

Crook, John A 1383 

I rook. Hon. William H. 1230 

CuUen, Joseph W. 1204 

Cummings. Edward W. 1213 

Cunningham, Thomas C. 901 


iJaeschner, Henry 1253 

Davis, Henry C. 973 

Davis, Jairus S. 1092 

Davis, James B. 1123 

Davis, Levi L. 864 

DeMcrs. Xapoleon 1006 

Dennis. Prof. David 971 

Deweese. Lena 10(M 

Didier, John B 976 

Dorrington, David 1284 

Dorrington, William E. 1319 

Draper, William I. 1063 

Duerfcldt. Gustav W. 795 

Durl'ee. Edmond J. 1128 

Durfee, Edward E 920 

Durfee. Mark J. S40 

Duryea. Elva J. 1264 



l-.asley, Williiim D. 1346 

ICbel, Albert 818 

l-.els. Hiram E.. D. D. S 982 

lulwards, Lewis C. 1353 

Kickhoff, Joachim U 992 

i:is, Frank . 950 

Else, William H 1232 

J'.vans, John M, 862 

reverts. James S 1339 


lalloon, Edwin >76 

1-ankhauser. John 957 

l'"ellers, Hon. .\ugnstns H. llSt! 

Ich. Charles 1067 

lonton. William T 1192 

I'crgus, Ernest S 1019 

I'indlay, John 823 

I'-inck, Lonis 1258 

I'ischer, Herman A. i:95 

I'isher, Chester A 1409 

lonts, Roy W., M. D 1345 

I'lanklin. Allen 904 

l-riend, Morris 1289 

l-imk. George 1". 1077 


Gandy, George G., M. D 948 

(;el)hard, Charley M. 1283 

Gerdes, Henry 1259 

Gergens. Peter M 871 

Gerweck. Wendelin 1321 

Giannini, Marino 1194 

(.ill.ert, J. Edward 1075 

Gird, George 1392 

(.ist, Thomas J 1377 

Goctz, William 970 

Greene, John M.. M. D 875 

Gridley. Charles 1! 1096 

(irinstead. Koliert E. 1267 

Gutzmer. Cieorge 1407 

llaeffele, Fred 1134 

llanika, -Anthony j. 925 

Harden, Emerson A 1224 

llargrave. Charles G. 947 

Harding, Merrick W. 1251 

llarkendorff, I'rederick H. 1365 

Harkendorff, John F. 1382 

Harrah, Jess R 867 

Harris. Isaac W 1200 

I larshbargcr, Reuben 879 

Hasler, Rev. Paul 1311 

Hays, Edward R., M. D 910 

Hays. Michael L 1100 

Heacock. Hon. Philo S 1360 

llebenstreit. Frank A. 1012 

Heim, Israel L. 1061 

I leim, Jacob S 1034 

Heim, John 1087 

Heim. Jonathan W, 1085 

I leim, Joseph G. 1331 

Heim, Samuel F. 945 

lleinenian, Fred W. 1294 

Iklfenbein, John C. 810 

I lellmann, John W. 826 

Henderson. Charles G. 1222 

Herbstcr, William 1401 

Jlessler. Paul 935 

Hews. J. Abner 988 

Hews. William S. 1182 

Higgins. Daniel 1070 

Hill. Elijah C, Jr. 1108 

Hill, Marshall N. 861 

Hill. Reuben J. 997 

Hill, Roland M. 932 

Hillyard, James S. 944 

Hoffman, Rev. John J. 1110 

Holland, George W. 1336 

Holland. John H. 928 

Holt. George P.. 975 

Holt. John W. 780 

Holt. William R. 891 

Horn, Christian 1226 

Horton, Joseph O. 1150 

Hustead. Charles I... M. D. 900 

Hutchins, Warren 1341 

llutchings, John H. 1356 


James, Richard C. 820 

James, William W. 1125 

Jenne. William \V. 1117 

Jones, Hon. Cass 1185 


Jones, William G. 1102 

Jorn, Christian A. 1107 

Judd, Xorman B. 838 


Kammerer, Christian 1176 

Kanaly, Jeremiah 829 

Kean, David 1026 

Keeling, Major William H 1104 

Keim, Albert R. 1120 

Kelly, James 1362 

Kelly, James F., M. D. 851 

Kelly, Martin 1247 

Kelly, P. J. 1406 

Kentopp, William F. 1238 

Kirk, Homer D. 1136 

Kinimel, Samuel 977 

Korner, Wilson S. --•- 843 

Kors, George E. 1088 

Koso, John H. 954 

Kotouc, Frank, Jr. 800 

Kotouc.Otto 981 

Knight, Ward K.' 898 

Kupcr, 1-ienry H. 1164 


LcClere. George W. 1219 

Lewis, Daniel D. 1000 

Lewis, George W. 1095 

Lewis. Ellis O. 941 

Leyda, W. S. 1315 

Lihhee, Elijah T. : 1048 

Lichty, John 854 

Lietzke, William L. 1400 

Linn. Claude M. 918 

Lord, Joshua S. 802 

Lichty, Samuel 1374 

Loree, Charles 816 

Lord, Charles A. 1379 

Luni, Clyde V. 1216 

Lundy, James W. 952 

l.yford, Victor G. 877 

Lynch. Thomas 11. 1074 


McCarthy, Dennis 966 

McMahon. Matthew 1244 

McMiillen. .Mcxander R. 1179 


Maddox, Wilson M. , 845 

Madowsc, Christ. 790 

Majerus. Jacob 872 

Mann, Leonard R. 1146 

Marburger, Lewis F. 1139 

Margrave, James T. 1387 

Marcjrave, William C. 1202 

Marsh, Orion O. 1344 

Marsh. William S. 1208 

Martin, Charles H. 930 

Martin, William 1199 

Mathers, Edgar R., D. D. S 1082 

Maust. Albert 836 

Maust. Irvin C. 1338 

Mez. Max 1408 

Miles, Joseph H. 755 

Miles, Stephen B. 1372 

Mooncy, John W 1394 

Morchcad, Hon. John 11. 1296 

Morris, Edward D. 1098 

Morrison. Joseph E. 1198 

Mosiman. John. Jr 1240 

Mosiman. William 1229 

Mullen. Barney 1008 

Mullen. John C 993 

Mun.hy, Patrick F. 1181 


Xiemeyer, William G. 1277 

Xims, Charles E. 1090 

Xims. Frank A. 848 

Xims, Joy M. 824 

Xitzsche, Frederick E. 827 

Xofsger, Louis W. 1047 

Xoltc. John H. 1402 

Xorton, William e\ 1031 


O-Hrien, Father Francis A. 1151 

O'Connell, Bryan 1215 

Ogle, John ___' 1163 

Ogle, Joseph 1072 

O'Grady, John 1045 

Oswald, William C. 798 

Ovcnnan, James 11. 989 


I 'age 


Cleon 1206 

•ercival, William 1306 

'cters, Fulton "23 

Vtersen, Leroy T.. M. D. 121- 

'hillips, Clifford F. 1030 

'hilpot, John 


'hi'.pot, Ralph R. 1131 

'ittock, Henry P. 1278 

•oilard, Perry — 956 

•orr. Leopold 1024 

'ower, William S. 104O 

'rihbeno, Charles F. 1369 

'ril>l)cno, Henry F. 1178 

'richard, Leander C. 814 

'ntnam. William H 1324 

Katekin, Daniel 13. 808 

Rcavis, Hon. Charles F. 1367 

Reavis, David D. 1218 

I'teavis. Hon. Isham 760 

Kedwood. William L. 841 

Rell. Josiah F. 1042 

RevcUe, Benjamin F. 1161 

Richardson, John H. 1160 

Rickards, Charles H. 859 

Rieschick, John W 1335 

Rieschick, William 1189 

Rieschick. Hon. William F 1245 

Rife. William M, 1081 

Riky. Bernard 1035 

Rik-v. Daniel 804 

Riky. Dan J 834 

Rilcy. Michael 884 

Riley, William 10.56 

Ivuegsje, Henry L. 783 

Ivnnihaugh. Rev. .\ndrc\v J. 1386 

Sailors. Washington 1291 

.Sailors, William H 968 

Schneider, Charles F 894 

Schock, Charles H 940 

Schock, Frederick H. 959 

Scholl, William 779 

Schr.uler, Harry H 1242 

Schnlenberg, Matthias 

Segrist, Louis J. 

Shellenbarger, Leonard G. 
Shelly, John R. 

,.- 1234 
-_ 1270 
__ 1404 
__ 1303 

Shildneck, Charles 1142 

Shildneck Family, The 1141 

Shildneck, Hiram S. 1141 

Shildneck, William 1142 

Shubert, .\ustin G. 1010 

Shubert, Henry W 757 

Shubert, James F. 986 

Shubert, Williard M, 995 

Siemering, Henry 936 

Sinianton, Brevet 1304 

Skalak, Wenzel 1348 

.Slagle, William E — 1389 

Slocum, James L. 774 

Smith. Charles 1144 

Smith, Julius 912 

Spicklcr, Joseph W 998 

Spragins, Judge John D. 765 

Staver, Hon, Hugh O. 1280 

Steele, Edwin F. 1152 

Steele, Joseph 1152 

Steele, Robert Edwin 1152 

Stephens, William L. 933 

Sterns, Bernard W 1322 

Stettler. .•\lfred 980 

Stitzcr, Henry 1156 

Stoltz, Charles E. 1114 

Stoltz, William F. 917 

Strawn, Charles A 1112 

Suess, Louis U. 1210 


Tanner. Jacob C. 865 

Taylor. George E. 852 

Thornton. Charles 11. 

Tiehen. Herman 

Timcrman. Jason 882 

Timerman, Romanc 921 

Towlc, Edwin H 1326 

Towle, John W 130O 

Tvnan, Andrew 856 


Lhri, Edward — 
L'lmer, Martin D. 
L'lmer, Emanuel - 




N'anilevcnter, Morgan H. 868 

Wij^ele, lidward C. 1175 

\oii r.ergen. J. Louis 906 


Waggener. J. A. 965 

W'aKKoner, Riley D. 896 

Walil, Samuel 1078 

Walkiiis. George 1262 

Weaver, lion. Archibald J. 1272 

Weaver, lion. Arthur J 1328 

Weaver, I'aul B 1413 

Weber. Daniel H 1020 

Weddle, John F ^_ 1028 

W eddle. William M 1054 

Weick, Charles F. 1044 

Wheeler. James M 888 

Wheeler. William H. 786 

Wiekham, Ernest . 1368 

Wilhite. James R. 1014 

Wilkinson, Thomas M. 832 

Williamson. Charnock W'. 1363 

Williamson. J. Rock 914 

Wilson, Frank P. . 1,327 

Wilson. Lester C. 1022 

Wilson. Millard L., M. D. 768 

Wiltse. John 874 

Windle. Grant L. 1307 

Windle. Joseph 1127 

AV'issinger. Jacob F. 1317 

Wissler. John E. ... 962 

Withee. Francis 1058 

Wittwer, Frederick lOSO 

W'ixon. John W. 1064 

VVuster. Christ 1149 

Wuster. Thomas I-'. 927 

Wyatt. Henry F. 1312 

Vutzy. Josei.h C. D. D. S. 885 


Zimmermann, Ernest 1399 

Zimmermann, Gust. 1415 

Zoeller. llenrv C. 1396 


Topography, Geology, Etc., of Richardson County. 

The rolling prairies of wiiich Richardson county is largely made up, are 
an alluring feature which did not escape the eye of the early settler in quest 
of a home in this new countr}-. The recurring prairie fires of the period 
when it was only inhabited by Indians had retarded the growth of the timber 
to a great extent in large portions of the county, and those coming across 
the Alissouri were so impressed with the openness of the country that it was 
long known as a portion of the Great Plains. 

It is traversed from west to east by streams of living water, the banks 
of which are well timbered. I'pon the coming of the white man and the 
breaking up of the soil, the prairie fire disappeared and the trees thus pro- 
tected, together with those set out and planted by the thousands, now give 
the country the appearance of a woodland and especially is this noticeable 
in and about the towns, rivers and creeks, and farm homes- throughout the 
county. Tliis fact is now so prominent, that to the traveler passing through 
the country nor to those residing therein, does the w-ord "prairie" have any 
significance in a descriptive way and indeed it is no longer used in the vocabu- 
lary of the people. The prairie in the old sense is gone forever. 

The forest gro\-es are made up of box elder, maple, cottomvood. walnut. 
oak, elm, ash, hickory and willow. In tlie east end of the county the Mis- 
souri river bluffs ha\-e always been and are today heavily overgrown with 
timber, and in later \-ears extensive orchards are replacing cleared portions 
and rank in ])roducti\'e cai)acit\- and f|u;dity and f|uantity of fruit with the 
liest in the I'nitetl States. 

The \-alleys and low lantls adjacent to the streams were the first choice 
with the early settler and in the earlier years of less rainfall were most 
profitablv worked as farms, but the heavv rainfall of more recent vears has 


necessitated extensixe drainage s\stems for relief from overtlows. The 
uplands or early prairie farms ha\e proven most valuable for all purposes 
and are the most desirable of all and most productive at this time. 

Inexhaustive quarries of first-class building stone are available in mam- 
parts of the county and of easy access near the surface of the ground. Coal 
in numerous places over the county has been found, but never, so far. in 
sufficient (juantities to ser\e any great number of the people as a fuel. 

The lowest altitude is found near Rulo, in the extreme southeast corner 
of the county, w here but eight hundred and seventy-five feet above sea level 
is registered. Passing toward the northwest and west end of the county a 
gradual and gentle rise is noted. 

The county is now eighteen miles wide, north and south, and thirty-six 
miles long, east and west at the southern, and twenty-seven miles at the north- 
ern boundary, containing in the aggregate in round numbers, five hundred and 
fifty square miles, or three hundred fifty-two thousand six hundred acres. 
The townships, except in the eastern portion are six miles square and con- 
tain thirty-six sections, ^^'ithin this area the land is all tillable, except on 
the lowest river bottoms, which is now used as pasture and grass lands. So 
it may be stated that there is Init a very small per cent of the land which may 
not be utilized. 

The Great Xemaha rixer. which traxerses the southern precincts, east 
and west, and empties into the Missouri river near Rulo, in its meanderings, 
prior to numerous cut-ofifs made by the drainage ditches to shorten it, 
was (iiie lunulred miles long. It is now reiluced to less than half that dis- 
tance and is fed by numerous small streams from a \-ast watershed. The 
Mudd\- creek drains the east precincts, being fed by many small streams and 
empties into the Xemaha in Jefferson precinct. 

Tlie most extensive valley is that of tne Great Nemaha, which varies 
from one to three miles in width and. being the repository for the rich soil of 
the uplands, is most fertile. 


Tliere is excellent clay for the manufacture of brick, which on account 
of the absence of saw timber and the distance from the lumber regions, has 
been extensixely used as tlie principal building material and much of the out- 
put is in great demand at points outside the state. 

The soil of the hills is perfectlv adapted for fruit culture and extensive 
iirchanls of apjjle, of all kinds, peaches, i^ear. plum and grapes are success- 


fully grown. The soil is a deep black loam from eighteen to thirty-six inches 
in depth. The "Ijlack land farm" is a reality the county over and its well- 
known richness, after fifty years continuous usage, precludes the necessity 
for fertilization so much in vogue in Eastern states. Small grain of all kinds 
is raised in al)undance, and farming here is a pleasure rather than a drudgery, 
and well it may be, for the soil is easil\- worked, and the farmer has e\-ery 
assurance of a crop annually. 14'? ^ilfifi 


The Great Xemaha river, of Richardson county, enters the Missouri 
near the southeast corner of the county and traverses its entire length. The 
river forks near the center of the county (near Salem), one branch coming 
from the Northwest, called the North Fork and the other heading in Nemaha 
county, Kansas, called the South Fork of the Nemaha. 

Muddy creek comes also from the northwest, running parallel with the 
Nemaha, which it enters four miles east of Falls City. 

The principal tributaries of the Nemaha and Muddy in this countv are 
Walnut, Long Branch, Four-Mile. Rattlesnake, Easley, Sardine, Half-Breed 
and Harvey Creeks. 

The Nemaha and Muddy are mill streams, and there is timber imi all 
the branches. It will thus be seen that Richardson county is the liest tim- 
bered as well as the best watered county in Nebraska. 

Good limestone for lime and building purposes abounds on the streams 
and coal of good quality has in other days been found on the Nemaha and 
its tributaries, the latter in quality as good if not better than that mined suc- 
cessfully for years in the \icinity of Leavenworth, Kansas. 

The county as a whole is most highly improved and has more 
good farms and farmers than any county in the state. 

.\11 the grains of this latitude flourish here, and it is without a doulit 
the best adapted for fruit, which is now being produced on a larger scale than 
in any section of the state. 

Both spring and fall wheat do well, and it is doubtful if there be a better 
corn-growing region \\est of the Missouri. Oats, rye. ]iotatoes and other 
vegetables produce finely. 



By A. H. Meyer, of the United States Department of Agriculture. 
Stewart, and C. W. Watson, of the Nebraska Soil Sii 
D. Rice. 


Richardson county is situated in the extreme southeastern part of Ne- 
braska, about fifty-four miles south of the Platte river. It is bounded on 
the north by Nemaha county, on the east by the Missouri river, which 
forms the state line, on the south by Doniphan, Brown, and Nemaha coun- 
ties, Kansas, and on the west by Pawnee county, Nebraska. The county 
is approximately rectangular in shape, with one irregular side, its greatest 
length from east to west being thirty-six miles and its widtii from north 
to south eighteen miles. It has an area of 545 square miles, or 348.800 
acres. The northwestern corner of the county is about seventy miles from 
Lincoln and the southeastern corner approximately halfway between Omaha 
and Kansas City. 

The surface features of the upland, which constitutes far the greater 
part of the county, are variable, though in general the topography is rolling. 
In the southwestern and extreme western parts of the county the drainage 
system is intricate and the surface is marked by numerous steep and pre- 
cipitous slopes, largely the result of high rock ledges. The steep slopes occur 
largely along the stream courses of the Nemaha river drainage system. How- 
ever, there are in this section gently arched divides or plains and gently 
sloping areas. The remainder of the county, except the bluff zone along 
the Missouri river, is gently rolling to rolling, with no abrupt slopes. The 
divides are gently sloping to almost flat, and in a few instances attain the 
elevation of the original constructional surface of the loess plains. These 
topographic features occur mainly lietween the Nemaha and Little Mudd\- 
Creek drainage systems, with their best development in Franklin town- 
-ship. In the eastern part of the county the upland merges through a nar- 
row strip of hilly land into the Missouri river bluff zone, which in some 
places is two and one-half miles in width. This strip is characterized by 
V-shaped valleys with a depth of about three hundred and fifty feet. The 
roughest and most dissected topography occurs in the northeastern and 
southeastern parts of the county. 

There are some alluvial terraces in the count)", l)ut tiiey are of \ery 
small extent and occur onlv in the southwestern section. Thev varv from 


five to ten feet above the present flood plain of the streams. The terraces 
are flat, benchHke, and uneroded. 

The greater part of the first-bottom land occurs along the Nemaha 
river and its branches. The Missouri river flows so near the west side of 
the valley that there is scarcely any first bottom along the course in this 
stream within the county. The surface of the bottom-land areas is level, 
except along the Missouri river, where the topography is relieved by low 
ridges with intervening depressions, sloughs, and ox-bow lakes. 

The upland has an average elevation of about i,ioo feet abo\e sea 
level. The highest point, 1,220 feet, occurs in the northwestern part of 
the countv. The average elevation of the bottom land is about 900 feet 
above sea level and the lowest elevation is about 850 feet. The general 
slope of the county is southeastward. 

The Missouri river flows along the eastern boundary and receives the 
drainage of the entire county. The Nemaha river is the only tributary 
of any consequence, and drains practically all the county. It flows in a 
southeasterh' direction through the area. The north fork and south fork 
of the Nemaha unite at Salem. Muddy creek is an important branch of 
this stream. The Nemaha river and its tributary streams are winding and 
rather sluggish, and have reached base level. The Missouri river is navig- 
able. The streams in this region are not used for power development. 

There is a complete system of drainage ways in the county, and adequ- 
ate drainage is provided for all sections. Springs are numerous in the 
southwestern part of the survey, and on many farms furnish most of the 
water for the stock. All the first bottoms are overflowed annually, but 
rarely are the overflows of a destructive nature, and the water seldom re- 
mains more than twelve hours on the surface of the flood plain. However, 
in the season of 1915, a number of destructive floods occurred, and practi- 
cally no crops were harA^ested. 

The first permanent white settlements in Richardson county were made 
in 1855, about a mile north of Falls City, by settlers from Tennessee. The 
county was created in 1854, and reorganized in 1855 by the first territorial 
Legislature. When first created the county contained a large part of the 
area now included in Johnson and Pawnee counties, but within a few years 
it was reduced to its present size. Most of the early settlers came from 
Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and the New England states. Later 
some foreigners, including Germans, Swedes, Welsh, Bohemians, Irish, Eng- 
lish and French settled in the county. Less than eight per cent of the popu- 
lation, however, is of foreign birth. 


The mean annual rainfall of Richardson county is 32.71 inches, the 
highest mean annual precipitation recorded in the state of Nebraska. From 
seventy-five to eighty per cent, of the rainfall occurs during the growing 
season, from April to September, inclusive. About forty-five per cent, falls 
during the months of May, June, and July, with the maximum during 
July. December, January and February are the driest months, with a total 
precipitation of 2.53 inches. 

Most of the rainfall in the summer occurs in the form of thunder 
showers, and the precipitation is very heavy within short periods of time, 
ranging from one inch to six inches in single storms. Something over 
one-half the rainfall of May, June, and July occurrs in quantities of one 
inch or more in twenty-four hours. The rainfall in May and June usually 
is well distributed, and droughts in these months are practically unknown. 
In July the distribution is not quite so favorable, though on the average 
rain falls at least once every four days during the months of May, June, 
and July. During August and September the precipitation is lighter and 
less favorably distributed. Periods of drought, of only occasional occur- 
rence, are chiefiv confined to July, August, and September. The average 
annual snowfall is about twenty inches. Little snow falls Ijefore December 
or after March. 

The mean annual temperature is about 53" F. January and February 
are the coldest months, with an average temperature of about 27 . July 
is the warmest month, with an average of "jf. The lowest temperature 
recorded at Dawson and Falls City, Nebraska, is 30^ below zero, and the 
highest III" F. The average date of the first kilHng in the fall is 
October 8, and of the last in the spring, April 24. The date of the earliest 
recorded killing frost in autumn is September 12 and of the latest in si)ring. 
May 27. There is an average growing season of about one himdred and 
seventv davs, which is sufliciently long for the maturing of all the ordinary 
farm crops. 

The winds are prevailingly from the northwest. During the mouths 
of June. July, and .\ugust, however, they are mainly from the south and 
southeast. Tlie average velocity of the wind at Omaha is about nine miles 
per hour. Tn storms winds of thirty to fifty miles per hour are common. 
Tornadoes are of rare occurrence. 

The relative humidity is quite regular, the average for the vear being 



about seventy per cent. The humidity is about seventeen per cent, lower 
at eight o'clock in the evening than at nine o'clock in the morning. On the 
average there are one hundred and seventy to one hundred and eighty clear 
days and eighty to ninety cloudy days during the year, the remainder being 
partly cloudy. 

The following table, compiled from the records of the weather bureau, 
gives the normal monthly, seasonal, and annual temperature at Dawson and 
precipitation at Dawson and Falls City. 

Xoniial Dioiithly. seasonal, and annual temperature at Dazcsoii ami precipita- 
tion at Dawson and Falls Citv, Nebraska. 






driest .vear 

wet. year 


Abs. ma.\-. 

Abs. min 








Inches:. i 





— l.T 



























— 2 















— 2 





72 5 



4 30 


6 73 






1.22 • 



Summer _ 






















— 8 







— S 











Upon the basis of physiographic position, the soils of Richardson county 
may be divided into three groups, upland, terrace, and first-bottom soils. 
The upland group embraces the Marshall, Grundy, Knox, Carrington, and 
Shelby series, and Rough stony land; the terrace group includes the Wau- 
kesha series; and the first-bottom group the Wabash, Cass, and Sarpy series 
and Riverwash. 

Practically all the soils are derived from transported material, except 


most of the Rough stony land. The upland originallj- was covered with a 
thick veneer of plains loess, which has been almost entirely removed by 
erosion. Where erosion has progressed enough to give rise to a rolling 
topography, as in the eastern part of the county, the loess subsoil as well 
as soil is loose and friable. Along the bluff line of the Missouri the loess 
has been modified by material blown from the sand and silt bars of the 
river. The loess beds vary in color from yellow or pale yellow to light 
gray, and are always more or less calcareous and blotched with iron stains. 
It is thought by the state survey that the plains loess was laid down in 
sluggish waters as outwash from the glaciers to the north. 

Only two remnants of the original constructional surface remain, ami 
they are located in the northwestern part of the county. Owing lo the tlat 
to slightly undulating topography in that section, the clay has not been 
carried away by rain waters. Init has Ijeen washed down into the subsoil, 
forming a hardpanlike layer. 

Below the plains loess lies the upjier or weathered phase of the Kansan 
drift, which is very similar to the loess. The material is yellowish brown 
or pale yellow to light gray, and is smooth and silty, and contains fewer 
lime concretions than the loess. It also contains some sand and « few small 
pebbles, which are absent from the loess. In a vertical section there is no 
well-defined line of demarcation Ijetween the loess and the weathered drift. 
However, the loess has a more decided tendency to weather in perpendicular 
walls than the drift. The soil derived from this phase of the drift has a 
heavier and more compact subsoil than that derived from the eroded loess. 

Below the weathered phase of the drift is the Kansan drift proper. 
There is a sharp line of demarcation in color and te.xture between these 
two divisions. The upper part of the Kansan drift is thoroughly o.xidized, 
showing that it has been subjected to weathering. The Kansan sheet is 
distinctly till, and consists of a heterogeneous mass of clay, silt, sand, gravel, 
and bowlders. The upper part of the till varies in color from yellowish 
brown or brown to reddish brown, and the lower part from light gray t'> 
pale yellow, with numerous iron stains. 

Below the Kansan drift lies the Aftonian material, which consists largely 
of stratified sand and gravel, witli a few bowlders. This does hot occur 
as a continuous stratum, but as sand or gravel trains. The material outcrops 
west and northwest of Humlioldt and northeast of .Salem. It has given 
rise to local sandy spots in the drift soils. 

The lowest drift sheet, the Xel)raskan, consi.'^ts of lilue clav, contain- 



R I, 










ing smell pebbles and large numbers of bowlders. It is exposed only in 
deep-cut banks. It may be seen north of Rulo and also west of Rulo in 
the railroad cut. 

The loess and drift beds lie on a very uneven surface of bedrock belong- 
ing to the Pennsylvania division of the Carboniferous system. In many 
places the streams have cut through the loess and drift and exposed large 
areas of bedrock. Most of these are in the southwestern part of the county. 
In the northern and eastern parts of the county, the mantle of rock is from 
fifty to one hundred feet deep, with only local outcrops. The upper layers 
of the bedrock consist of well-defined beds of shale and limestone; in places 
the shale is wholly composed of clay and in other places it grades into 
sandstone. The rocks dip northwestward in the southeastern corner of Rich- 
ardson county, then flatten out to near Salem, beyond which they are nearly 
level in an east-west section, remaining so to a north-south line just west 
of Humboldt. Between this line and Table Rock there is a sharp rise of 
the beds amounting to about four hundred feet, and some of the formations 
exposed in the eastern part of the county are again brought to the surface. 
The most important rocks are the Cottonwood, Falls City, .\spinwall, Tarkio, 
Preston, Fargo, Burlington, and Rulo limestones. 

The lower limestones named above outcrop near Rulo and in an anticline 
southwest of Humboldt. The limestones are of use for building purposes, 
and are of value in road making. There are about thirty-five square miles 
of bedrock exposed, giving rise to a thin, stony soil, seldom more than two 
to ten inches deep. 

The terraces .of Richardson county are very inextensive. The ma- 
terial forming them consists largely of silt, known in the State of Ne- 
braska as valley loess. It was deposited at a time when the streams were 
flowing at a higher level. The material was largely derived from the plains 
loess and finely divided drift debris. 


The main areas of alluvial soils occur along the Missouri and Nemaha 
rivers, with small areas widely distributed throughout the county. They 
are of recent origin and are constantly receiving additional sediments from 
the overflow waters of the streams. The material along the Missouri river 
represents waste mainly from the glacial and loessial Rocky Mountain and 
Great Plains provinces. The soils along the other streams represent re- 
worked and deposited loessial and glacial material. 


The Marshall series includes types with darJi-brown to black surface 
soils and a lighter, yellowish-brown subsoil. This series comprises the dark- 
colored upland loessial soils which predominate in the prairie region of the 
Central West. The soils are characterized and distinguished from those of 
the Knox series by the large quantity of organic matter in the surface soil. 
The topography is level to rolling. The series is represented in Richardson 
county by a single type, the silt loam. 

The soils of the Grundy series are dark brown to black to. an aver- 
age depth of about eight inches. The soiL becomes somewhat heavier with 
depth, more rapidly as it approaches the subsoil. The transition from soil 
to subsoil, however, is not abrupt. The upper subsoil is mottled, heavy, and 
rather plastic when wet and hard when dry. The mottling consists of 
dark drab and yellowish brown. This layer is six to ten inches thick and 
passes gradually into material of somewhat lighter color and texture. As 
a rule the mottlings are not well defined in the lower subsoil. This series 
is derived by thorough weathering from silty material overlying the Kansan 
drift. The silt loam is the only representative of this series in the county. 

The Knox soils are prevailingly light brown and the subsoil is light 
yellow or light grayish yellow. These soils occur mainly in the central 
prairie states. They are derived from loessial deposits. The loessial cover- 
ing where the Knox series is found is always thick enough to fonn a subsoil 
as well as a surface soil, the deeper lying glacial till being far enough from 
the surface to have no marked influence on the general character of the 
soil. The topography is gently undulating to rolling, and the surface drain- 
age is generally good. The silt loam is the only member of the Knox series 
encountered in Richardson county. 

The Carrington soils are derived through weathering of glacial till, 
with little or no modification from loessial deposits. The series is developed 
in the central and western prairie region and consists mainly of prairie 
soils. The soil generally is black, ranging in some cases to dark brown. 
The subsoil is lighter colored, generally light brown or yellowish. The topog- 
rapliy is gently undulating to rolling, though some areas are nearly flat. 
In Richardson county only the Carrington silt loam is recognized. 

The soils of the Shelby series are dark brown to Ijrown ; the subsoil 
is a yellow, reddish-yellow or light-brown, tenacious, sandy clay. These soils 
are derived from the Kansan drift. Only the Shelby loam is mapped in 
Richardson county. 

The surface soils of the Waukesha series are dark brown to black, 
and the subsoil is yellow. These soils occur in areas of deep glacial drift. 


They are derived from water-assorted glacial debris deposited on broad 
filled-in valleys or as outwasli plains and terraces. The topograph}- is mainly 
flat to undulating. Drainage is good. 

The Wabash soils are prevailingly black, ranging to dark brown, and 
contain a high percentage of organic matter. The subsoil is brown or brown- 
ish gray. These soils occur in the first bottoms of streams in the central 
prairie states. They extend for long distances along the Mississippi river. 
The material is derived principally from the loessial and associated soils 
of the region. The Wabash areas are flat and poorly drained. 

The surface soils of the Cass series are dark brown to black. The 
subsoil is lighter in color and in texture. These soils are alluvial, and are 
most extensively developed in the bottoms along the Mississippi and Mis- 
souri rivers and their tributaries. They occur in association with the Sarp}- 
soils, occupying, however, areas which are somewhat less well drained, being 
subject to overflow. Between the high stages of the streams the drainage 
is good. 

The soils of the Sarpy series range from light gray to dark brownish 
gray or nearly black. They differ from the Wabash soils in having loose, 
silty or fine sandy subsoils, distinctly lighter in texture than the surface soils. 
The material is alluvial in origin. Owing to their low position these soils 
are subject to overflow, although the nature of the soil and subsoil is such 
that drainage is thorough to excessive between flood stages of the streams. 
In general the topography is flat. 

The following table gives the name and actual and relative extent 
of each soil type mapped in Richardson county: 

Areas of different soils. 

Sciil. .Veres. Per Ct. 8oil. Acres. PerCt. 

Slielh.v loiini 8.570 2.5 Ciiiriugtou silt lo;iui 162,624 46.5 

W:il);isli cla.v 3.136 .9 Wabash silt loam 62,288 19.6 

Itiveiwash 1,004 0.5 Marshall silt loam 57.472 16.5 

Wtiiikeslm silt loam 1.152 .3 Kough stou.v land 17,408 5.0 

Sarp.v very fine sandy loam 960 .3 Wabash silty clay loam 13,568 3.9 

Cass <-lay 320 .1 Knox silt loam 12,864 3.7 

(Iniiidy silt loam 320 .1 Total 348.800 

Sarpy silt loam 2."i0 .1 


The Marshall silt loam is a dark -brown, moderately heavy silt loam, 
eight to fifteen inches deep, having a decidedly siuooth feel. It grades through 


a thin brown layer of silt loam, about four inches thick, into yellowish- 
brown material, the color changing with increasing depth to yellow. As 
a rule the color of the subsoil is uniform, though occasionally the lower 
part is slightly mottled with light gray and streaked with rusty iron stains. 
The subsoil is open and friable and becomes more so with depth; as a rule 
the fourth foot is highly calcareous, the lime occurring chiefly in the form 
of concretions. As the color indicates, the soil is high in organic matter. 

The depth of the soil is variable, and depends upon the topographic 
position. In the flatter areas and on the gently arched divides it is fifteen 
to eighteen inches deep, while on the shoulders of hills and along gullies 
the depth is only six to eight inches, and often the yellowish-brown subsoil 
is exposed. On the lower parts of slopes the soil is darker in color and 
deeper, owing to the deposition of colluvial material, and at the foot it is 
commonly twenty-four inches or more in depth. Included with this type are 
small, narrow strips of colluvial material, occurring along intermittent streams. 
Where the Marshall silt loam gives way to the Knox silt loam, small spots 
of the latter tj^pe are included. In general, the color of the Marshall silt 
loam is lighter where the type adjoins areas of the Knox silt loam. 

The Marshall silt loam dififers from the Knox silt loam in having a 
higher content of organic matter. It is very difficult to draw a definite 
boundary line between the two soils, because of their patchy occurrence 
where they unite. In texture and structure the two soils are similar. Both 
have the vertical structure and extremely smooth feel characteristic of loess 

The Marshall silt loam occurs as a belt about six miles in width in 
the eastern part of the county, running parallel with the Alissouri river bluff. 
On the east it gives way to the Knox silt loam, and nn the west to the Car- 
rington silt loam. 

In general the topography is rolling. Where the type adjoins the Kno.x 
silt loam, it is steeply rolling, and where it adjoins the Carrington silt loam 
it occupies rather gently sloping divides. In the vicinity of Zion church 
and in the area south of Preston the soil has a gently undulating surface. 
The drainage is good and the physical condition of the soil is such that it 
withstands protracted droughts. Where the slopes are steep there is con- 
siderable wash, though less than would be expected on such slopes on ac- 
count of the favoral)le texture and structure of the soil. The tyi)e lies 
at an elevation of eight hundred and eighty to one thuusand one hundred 
and sixtv feet above sea level. 


The Marshall silt loam originally supported a thick growth of the prairie 
grasses common to this region, but very little of the native sod remains. 
Approximately ninety-five per cent, of the type is under cultivation. It 
is considered by farmers the best upland corn soil of eastern Nebraska. 
About one-half the farm land is devoted to the production of this crop, and 
the remainder is largely in wheat and oats, with some clover and timothy 
and alfalfa. In average seasons corn yields thirty to forty bushels per 
acre, and occasionally as much as sixty bushels. Oats ranks second in acre- 
age, and ordinarily yield thirty to thirty-five bushels an acre. The acreage 
in wheat is being gradually extended, as the crop has proved very profitable. 
Yields of twenty to thirty bushels an acre, and sometimes as much as forty 
bushels per acre, are obtained. Clover and timothy and alfalfa are the 
principal hay crops, though some millet and sorghum are grown. 

In wet seasons clover does well, but in dry seasons it is difficult to get 
a stand. In view of this fact, alfalfa is coming more in favor, even though 
it does not fit nearly so well in the crop rotation. In favorable seasons 
clover yields one and one-half to two tons per acre, while alfalfa yields 
three to five tons. Small patches of barley and rye also are produced. 
About one-half the corn crop and all the wheat are sold. The remainder 
of the corn is largely fed to hogs. The oats and hay produced are chiefly 
fed to the work stock. The present tendency on the Marshall silt loam is 
to grow less corn, more wheat, and more leguminous crops, and to keep 
more live stock. In the vicinity of Shubert there are a number of commercial 
apple orchards. The apple does especially well on this type. 

At present no definite rotations are followed on this type. The gen- 
eral practice is to keep the land in corn from two to three years, oats one 
year, and wheat one year, returning the field to corn. Occasionally the 
wheat field is sowed either to clover and timothy or to alfalfa. Tenant 
farmers pay less attention to the rotation of crops, and often use the same 
field for corn or wheat four or five years in succession. 

This soil is friable, silty, free from stones, and very easy to handle. 
It can be cultivated under a wide range of moisture conditions, without 
clodding or baking badly on drying. Though the natural productiveness 
of the type is high, it responds readily to good methods of cultivation, ferti- 
lization, and the growing of leguminous crops. Only small quantities of 
barnyard manure are applied, and no commercial fertilizer is used. 

The value of the Marshall silt loam ranges from one hundred ti) two 
hundred dollars an acre, depending on location, improvements, and tlie con- 
dition of the land. 


The Marshall silt loam is a very productive soil and it is only in cases 
where the same fields have been devoted to the same crops for a series of 
years that the soil has materially deteriorated in productiveness. Deeper 
plowing is needed on most farms, and though the type is high in organic 
matter, it is advisable to rotate the cereal crops with leguminous crops e\ery 
four or five years in order to keep up the organic-matter content. On steep 
slopes where erosion is a serious factor the type should be kept in cover crops 
as much as possible. The Alarshall silt loam is well suited to the produc- 
tion of apples on a commercial scale, and within reasonable distances from 
railroad points this industry might be profitably extended. 


The surface soil of the Grundy silt loam is a dark-brown, heavy silt 
loam, about fifteen inches in depth. It passes rather abruptly into a very 
compact, plastic silty clay of darb color, mottled with yellowish brown. When 
dry the upper part of the subsoil is tough and decidedly granular. Below 
twenty-four to thirty inches the color as well as the texture becomes lighter 
and the structure is more friable. As a rule the mottlings are not so con- 
spicuous in the lower part of the subsoil. The soil is high in organic matter, 
and as a rule lime concretions are encountered in the lower part of the sulisoil. 
The upper subsoil layer is locally called "hardpan." 

This soil is very similar to the extensive areas of Grundy silt loam 
mapped in Gage county, Nebraska. It appears heavier than that mapped 
in Seward and Polk counties, but not quite so heavy as that in Gage count}-. 

The type is very inextensive; it occurs as two small areas in the north- 
western part of the county, which extend into Nemaha county. It occupies 
a high, slightly undulating divide which undoubtedly represents the original 
constructional surface of the loess plains. The type is well drained in 
normal seasons. In wet seasons the drainage is somewhat deficient on ac- 
count of the hardpan layer and in very dr\' years the soil is rather cIroug!u\- 
for the same reason. 

The agriculture on the Grundy silt 1( vim is the same as that on the sur- 
rounding Carrington silt loam. The land is valued at one hundred and hft\ 
to two hundred dollars an acre. 


The surface soil of the Knox silt loam is a yellowish-brown, light- 
brown or bufif -colored, friable, smooth silt loam, from six to eight indies 


deep. It is underlain by a bro\vnish-}'ellow or yellow, open, loose, friable 
silt loam. Light-gray mottlings and yellowish-brown or reddish iron stains 
are frequent in the lower subsoil, and often occur throughout the substratum. 
Lime concretions are very common in the subsoil. The soil varies consider- 
ably with difiference in topographic position. On the sharp divides and 
upper steep slopes a light yellowish gray variation with numerous lime con- 
cretions occurs. Where erosion has been very severe, the surface has a 
whitish appearance. On the tops of divides or on the lower slopes of hills 
and in forested areas the soil is brown, and in places approaches a dark- 
brown color. In the timbered areas the color is due largely to leaf mold, 
which would soon disappear with cultivation. The soil has a vertical and 
open structure, a characteristic of the Missouri river bluff loess. The typical 
soil contains very little black organic matter. 

The Knox silt loam is rather inextensive in this county, having a total 
area of 20.1 square miles. It is confined to the Missouri river blufifs. It 
is best developed in the northeastern and southeastern parts of the county. 

This soil has an extremely dissected topography and is thoroughly drained. 
The valleys are V-shaped, with very steep slopes, and are two to three hundred 
feet deep, but steplike slopes are very conspicuous features in some places. 
The hills are usually rounded, a characteristic of loess soils. Along the 
Missouri river slopes are extremely steep to precipitous. The type is sub- 
ject to severe erosion, though since the subsoil is of practically the same 
character as the surface soil, the washing away of the surface material does 
not greatly change the character of the type nor render it useless for agri- 

Practically all this type originally was forested. The chief growth on 
the upper slopes and crests of the hills was hazel brush, sumac, and scrubbx- 
bur oak, and in the draws elm, oak, hickory, bitter hickory, basswood, box 
elder, ash, and some black walnut, with an undergrowth of hazel brush, 
prickly ash, and dogwood. At least fifty per cent, and probablv more of 
the type is still forested, though it is slowly being cleared. 

Owing to the steep slopes the growing of small grains is impractical)le. 
Some oats and wheat, however, are grown where the topographv is more 
favorable. Oats constitute the most important grain crop, and are used 
largely for feeding work stock. Oats yield an a^^erage of twenty-five bushels 
per acre, and wheat sixteen to eighteen bushels. At present corn is the prin- 
cipal cereal and is mainly a cash crop. On the lower slopes, and where 
there is sufficient organic matter, it does well and vields from twentv to 


forty bushels per acre. On the high crests and steep slopes the growing 
corn has a yellowish appearance and makes a stunted growth unless heavily 
manured. ^AJfalfa is grown very extensively and promises to become the 
leading cash crop. It does well, owing to the thorough drainage and favor- 
able distribution of lime. On some farms it is produced extensively, and is 
baled and shipped to St. Joseph or Kansas City. Ordinarily alfalfa yields 
three to four tons per acre per season. Clover and timothy do well, but it 
is difificult to get a sand in dry years. Sweet clover grows luxuriantly on 
this type, and is found along roads and in uncultivated fields, but the crop 
is not utilized. Apples and small fruits are grown to a small extent. The 
type is too far from railroad points for the successful production of fruit 
on a commercial scale. 

Owing to its dissected surface the type is hard to manage, notwith- 
standing its loose structure and favorable texture. As very little live stock is 
kept on this soil, very little barnyard manure is applied. Commercial fertil- 
izers are not used. 

This type is valued at twenty to seventy-five dollars an acre, depending 
largely on the proportion of land suitable for cultivation. 

For the improvement of the Knox silt loam it is necessary to handle 
in with considerable care in order to prevent erosion and gullying. The type 
should be kept in pasture as much as possible, the cuhivated areas should 
be plowed deeper, and more organic matter should be incorporated with 
the soil. Where sufiicient barnyard manure is applied, crops do as well 
as on the Marshall silt loam. As the timber is very stunted, the forested 
areas should be cleared and used for pasture or seeded to alfalfa. Grass 
crops do well, and dairying and stock raising should prove profitable on 
this type. With proper attention the commercial production of apples should 
meet with success, where transportation and market conditions are favorable. 


The soil of the Carrington silt loam consists of a dark-brown, heav)- 
silt loam, eight to fifteen inches deep. In the flatter areas the soil is darker 
and approaches a black color. The soil carries a higher j>ercentage of 
clay than the Marshall silt loam, and as a result breaks down upon drying 
into angular granules instead of a fine powder like the ^larshall silt loam. 
The subsoil is a yellowish-brown or liglit-brown, very compact silty clay. 
with a decided grayish cast. Below twenty-four to thirty inches the subsoil 
is ligliter in color, and the gray appears as light-gray mottlings. In the 


lower part of the subsoil Ijright }-ellowish brown iron stains are common. 
In places there is a la\er of material between the soil and subsoil, from 
two to four inches in thickness and consisting of a brown, heavy silt loam, 
heavier than the surface soil. There is a pronounced difference between 
the soil and sulisoil in te.xture, but the change is not abrupt, except in the 
flatter areas. The subsoil is moderately plastic when wet, though when dry 
it is very hard and compact and difficult td break down between the fingers. 
At thirty to forty inches the subsoil is likely to be looser in structure and 
lighter in texture. The soil is high in organic matter. 

There are a number of patches of heavy soil in the Carrington silt 
loam, known locally as "gumbo spots." In these places the soil is a dark- 
brown, heavy silty clay loam, eight to twelve inches deep, with a grayish 
cast at the surface. The soil has numerous cracks aiid is extremely difficult 
to handle. The subsoil is a drab, plastic silty clay, mottled with yellowish 
brown. The drab becomes lighter, changing to light gray, and the mottling 
decreases with depth. Lime and iron concretions are numerous in the lower 
subsoil. Crops do not mature in these spots. 

In the gently undulating region in Franklin precinct there is a varia- 
tion of this type marked by a "hardpan" layer. This is similar to the fi^f 
phase of this type mapped in Gage county, Nebraska. It consists of a dark- 
brown, heavy silt loam, twelve to fifteen inches deep, underlain abruptly by 
a rather tough. Ijlack clay. The material is extremely difficult to penetrate 
with a soil auger and is decidedly plastic. At twent}- to twenty-four inches 
the subsoil changes to a drab silty clay. niLittled with yellowish brown. The 
lower part of the subsoil is not so compact and heavy as the upper layer. 

On shoulders of hills and moderatel\- steep slopes the soil is not so 
deep and is usually lighter in color than typical. In places the subsoil is 
exposed, but downward along the slopes the soil becomes deeper and darker 
in color, and at the foot of the slopes it is a dark-brown to black, heavy 
silt loam from twenty to forty inches deep. The type also includes narrow 
strips of colluvial material along the intermittent streams. The variations 
I if this type are not sufficiently extensive to be shown on the soil map. 

The Carrington silt loam differs from the Marshall silt loam in origin, 
texture, and structure. The Carrington is a glacial soil, while the Marshall 
is a loessial soil, free from stones. The Carrington soil, and particularlv 
the subsoil, is heavier than the Marshall silt loam. These soils also differ 
in that the Carrington silt loam does not stand up so well in vertical banks 
as the Marshall silt Inam. Even with these differences, the tvpes grade 


into each other so that the boundaries are difficult to estabHsli and are more 
or less arbitrary. 

The Carrington silt loam is the most extensive t}pe in the county, and 
covers about two-thirds of the western upland region. It is more or less 
broken with areas of Rough stony land and Shelby loam. 

This type is gently rolling to rolling and is thoroughly drained. West 
and northwest of Humboldt, where it is associated with the Shelby loam, 
it occupies the gentler slopes and the divides. It has a similar topography 
in the southwestern part of the county, where most of the steeper slopes 
are occupied by Rough stony land. The gently undulating areas are con- 
fined to the divide between the Nemaha river and Muddy creek, which 
extends from Falls City northwestward into Nemaha county. Other areas 
with a gently undulating surface occur south of Falls City. It is only on 
the steeper slopes that there has been any serious erosion. With proper 
tillage and crop rotation this soil, owing to its rather high organic-matter 
content, is very retentive of moisture. 

The type originally was prairie. About ninety-five per cent, of it is 
now in cultivation, the remainder being in permanent pastures and farm 
lots. Corn is the most important cash crop, though a large part of the 
corn produced is fed to hogs. About one-third of this soil is in this crop, 
and the yields average about thirty bushels per acre, though much higher 
yields are obtained with careful cultivation. Oats rank second in acreage 
to corn and yield from thirty to forty bushels an acre. The oats are largely 
fed to work stock. Wheat is strictly a cash crop, and is receiving increased 
attention. Ordinarily, yields of twenty to twentj'-five bushels per acre are 
obtained. Clover and timothy are grown more extensively than alfalfa, 
though alfalfa is becoming more popular. Clover and timothy do well in 
wet years, though in dry years considerable difficulty is experienced in getting 
a stand. In favorable years yields of one and one-half to two tons per acre 
are obtained. Some timothy and clover are grown alone for seed with very 
profitable returns. Alfalfa does well, and three to four cuttings per season 
are made, with a total yield of three to five tons per acre. The tendency 
on this type is to produce less corn and more wheat and alfalfa and to keep 
more dairy cows and other live stock. 

A few potatoes are grown, but scarcely enough to supply the home 
demand. Some sorghum is produced for sirup. There are only a few com- 
mercial orchards on this type; they give profitable returns, though the trees 
do not do so well as on the Marshall silt loam. 


The general practice on this type is to keep the land two or three years 
in corn, one year in oats, one or two years in wheat, and in every second 
or third rotation to grow clover and timothy. The land is usually kept 
two or three years in clover and timothy and seven to ten years or longer 
in alfalfa. 

The four-hitch team is used almost entirely in the preparation of the 
seed bed on this type ; gang plows generally are used for turning the soil. 
Owing to its stone-free nature, favorable topography, silty texture, and 
granular structure, this type is very easy to handle. When plowed too wet 
it bakes and clods. Only small quantities of barnyard manure are applied, 
and no commercial fertilizers are used. 

The price of farm land on the Carrington silt loam varies from one hun- 
dred to one hundred and seventy-five dollars an acre. In the vicinity- of 
the towns this land is held for two hundred dollars an acre. 

On most farms deeper and more thorough tillage of this soil would 
prove beneficial. Leguminous crops should I)e grown in order to keep up 
the organic-matter content of the soil. 


The surface soil of the Shelby loam is a dark-brown to brown loam, 
with an average depth of about eight inches. The subsoil is a yellowish- 
brown sandy clay loam, which becomes lighter in texture with depth. Below 
about thirty inches the material is almost yellow. In the northwestern part 
of the county and other localities where the Aftonian material is near the 
surface, the subsoil is considerably lighter in texture and the surface soil 
is often a sandy loam. This variation, however, is too patchy to be .shown 
on the soil map. In places the subsoil has a reddish tint, which is due to 
the color of the original material and not to oxidation. The content of 
organic matter is moderately high. The subsoil contains considerable gravel 
and rock deliris. Gravel is usually scattered over the surface, and a few 
bowlders are present, though in the most fields these are not sufficiently 
numerous to prevent cultivation. 

The Shelby loam occurs as small areas scattered throughout the Car- 
rington silt loam type. It is best developed west and northwest of Hum- 
boldt in the Long Branch drainage basin. The type usually occurs along 
the steep slopes between the Carrington silt loam on the higher land and 
the Wabash silt loam in the Ijottom land. The drainage is thorough, and 
is excessive in local spots where the Aftonian sands lie near the surface. 


W'liere the snljsdil is typical the soil withstands dnjtight well. The type is 
subject to destructive enision, gullies ten to fifteen feet deep, with numerous 
branching laterals, being very common. 

The Shelby loam is derived from the Kansan drift sheet, but is more 
or less influenced by the w"ash from the silty upland soils. The large bowlders 
and pebbles on the surface and the gritty or sandy cla\' subsoil distinguish 
it from the Carrington silt loam. 

The native vegetation on the Shelby loam consists of the prairie grasses 
common to this region. Along the drainage ways a large part of the type 
is forested. About forty per cent, of the Shelby loam is under cultivation, 
and the remainder is largely in permanent pasture.- with some hay land. Xo 
farms are composed entirely of this type. The yields of crops are lower 
than on the Carrington silt loam, though the same crops are grown. Corn 
yields fifteen to thirty-five bushels, oats twenty to twenty-fi\e bushels, wheat 
fifteen to twent}- bushels, and alfalfa two and one-half to three and one- 
half tons per acre. 

No definite crop rotation is practi.sed on this type. The general meth- 
ods are about the same as on the Carrington silt loam. Owing to the steeper 
surface and the larger quantity of stony material present, this soil is much 
less desirable than the Carrington silt loam, with which it is closely asso- 
ciated. When cultivated too wet, the Shelby loam clods and bakes, and 
large checks and cracks form. .\ heavv farm equipment is required in 
cultivating this type, except in the sand spots. Onl_\- small (|uantities of 
manure are applied, and no commercial fertilizers are used Land values 
on this t\"pe range from fift\ to ninety dollars an acre. 

b'or the improvement of the Shelby loam consideral)le care is necessary 
to prexent gullying on the .^teej) slopes. The steeji areas should remain in 
permanent pasture or cover crops as much of the time as jiossible. The 
content of <irganic matter shoukl be maintaineed by turning under green 
crops and growing leguminrius cr<ips. 


The W'aukesha silt loam consists of a ilark-brown. smooth, friable silt 
loam, having an average depth of about eighteen inches. The soil 
through a brown, heavy silt loam into a brownish-yellow silt loam which 
is hea\-ier and more compact than the surface soil. The sulisoil liecomes 
lighter in color with depth, lieiiig yellowish in the lower pan. The sul)- 
stratuni is oi)en :ind verv triable, and the material in the fourth foot is 


calcareous. The soil section of the Waukesha silt loam is similar to that 
of the Marshall silt loam. As the color indicates, the Waukesha silt loam 
is high in organic matter. 

In extent the ^Vaukesha silt loam is very unimportant, having a total 
area of only 1.8 square miles. It occurs as .small, isolated areas along the 
streams of the county. 

This type occupies distinctly benchlike areas, modified to some extent 
by stream erosion. The terraces are from ten to fifteen feet above the present 
flood plain. The Waukesha silt loam is well drained and withstands drought 
over long periods. 

Originally this soil was covered with a luxuriant growth of prairie 
grasses. Xearly all the type is now under cultivation to the staple crops 
commonly grown in the county. No farms consist entirely of this type. 
Corn yields twenty-five to fort)-five bushels, oats thirty-five to forty bushels, 
and wheat twenty to thirty bushels per acre. Leguminous crops receive little 

The methods of cultivation, rotation, and fertilization are similar to 
those on the Marshall and Carrington silt loams. The productive capacit\' 
of this soil has been somewhat impaired by the failure to grow clover and 

The value of farm lands on the Waukesha silt loam varies from one 
hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars an acre. 

For the improvement of this soil there is a general need for more, 
thorough cultivation and the growing of leguminous crops to maintain the 
organic-matter content. 


The soil of the Wabash silt loam is nearly black, and to an average 
depth (if about twenty inches consists of a heavy, smooth silt loam. This 
is underlain by a slightly heavier and more compact silt loam, which usually 
is somewhat lighter in color, though it is not uncommon to find little difi'er- 
ence in color or texture in the three- foot section. In places, usually along 
the edge of the bottoms, the subsoil is a black, compact siltv clav. Lime 
concretions and also iron stains are common in the lower part of the subsoil. 
In poorly drained situations the lower subsoil usually is gray, mottled with 
yellowish brown. A high content of organic matter is characteristic of the 
surface soil of this type. In section 24, township i north, range 17 east, 
and section ig, township i north, range 18 east, there is a variation of the 


Wabash silt loam, characterized by the admixture of large quantities of 
sand. Otherwise the soil is similar to the main type. The higher sand 
content has given it a somewhat more friable structure. 

This type is the most important bottom-land soil in the county and 
has a total area of 106.7 square miles. It occupies the first bottoms along 
the Nemaha river and its north and south forks, Muddy creek, and along 
the smaller streams of the county. 

The surface is generally fiat, with only slight topographic relief where 
old cut-offs occur. Originally the drainage of this type was poor, but by 
clearing and straightening the channels of streams the drainage conditions 
have been very much improved. About sixty miles of ditches have been 
constructed. Practically all the type is subject to overflow in the spring. 

Along the stream channels the type originally was forested with elm, 
box elder, willow, cottonwood, ash, linden, hackberry. bitter hickory, and 
black walnut, and a large part of this timber remains. Other parts of the 
type support a luxuriant growth of marsh grasses. About sixty per cent 
of this soil is devoted to the production of staple crops, and the acreage in 
cultivation is rapidly being extended. Corn is the dominant crop, and there 
are about six acres of corn to one acre of wheat and oats combined. Higher 
yields of corn are obtained on this land than on any other soil in the county. 
The yields ordinarily range from forty-five to fifty-five bushels per acre, but 
with good cultivation in favorable seasons as much as ninety bushels has 
been obtained. About one-half the corn is fed and the remainder is sold. 
Where this soil has been devoted to the production of corn for a numl^er 
of years, and is well drained, wheat does well, producng from twenty-five 
to thirty bushels per acre. Wheat, however, is not grown extensively. Kher- 
son oats do fairly well, yielding from thirty to forty bushels per acre. The 
long-straw varieties are likely to lodge. On farms that do not include 
some upland not enough oats are grown for the feeding of work stock. 
In well-drained areas alfalfa does well, although very little of this crop is 
grown. A large area of the type is hay land and pasture, ^^'ild ha\- 
vields from one to two tons per acre. Owing to the fact that this type 
affords good pasturage and produces good yields of hay, the raising of 
beef cattle has been more extensively developed than on the upland. No 
crop rotation is practiced, owing to the high natural productiveness of the 
soil. In many cases it is reported that fields have been in corn continuouslv 
fi>r ten \ears or longer. Occasionally is corn alternated with oats or wheat. 

The flat topography, silty texture, and desirable structure of this soil 


make it very easy to handle. In the spots of heavier material there is a ten- 
dency for the soil to form hard lumps when cultivated too wet. No barn- 
yard manure or commercial fertilizers are used. The Wabash silt loam 
ranges in value from one hundred and twenty-five dollars to one hundred and 
seventy-five dollars an acre, depending on location and drainage conditions. 
The important problem confronting the farmers on this type is that of 
drainage. The installation of a standard drainage system to remove the 
excess soil moisture as well as the overflow water is needed. In the better 
drained situations ditches would serve the purpose, while in the low, poorly 
drained areas tiles should be laid about three rods apart. 


The soil of the Wabash silty clay loam is a black silty clay loam, ranging 
from twelve to fifteen inches in depth. It grades into a hard, compact silty 
clay, which does not smooth out, but breaks into small aggregates when 
crushed between the fingers. The subsoil becomes heavier and denser with 
depth. At twenty-four to thirty inches the material is lighter in color, being 
dark drab, mottled slightly with yellowish brown. The soil as well as the 
subsoil has a granular structure, a characteristic of soils consisting largely of 
clay. Locally this type is called "gumbo." The soil is very high in organic 

The Wabash silty ciay loam is an extensive bottom-land type. It has a 
total area of 21.2 square miles', and occurs in the first bottoms of the Nemaha 
river and the north and south forks of this stream. 

The topography is flat to slightly depressed. The drainage is very poor, 
owing to the impervious character of the subsoil. The type is subject to 
annual overflow. 

The original growth on this type consisted of slough grasses and water- 
loving plants. Most of the type is in hay land and pasture; about 20 per 
cent, of it is under cultivation. Corn, wheat, and Kherson oats do well. 
except in wet years. Corn yields forty to fiity bushels per acre, wheat about 
thirty bushels, with a maximum of forty-five bushels per acre, and Kherson 
oats about thirty bushels per acre. This soil is particularly well adapted to 
wheat, owing to its heavy texture. In dry seasons a fairly good quality of 
wild hay is produced on this tj'pe, yielding from one to two tons per acre, 
though in wet years the hay is too coarse to be of much feeding value. In 
very wet seasons crops are practically a failure because of the frequent over- 


flows. Owing to the abundance of pasturage and ha\-. more live stock is 
i<ept on farms of this type than on the upland. 

The Wabash silty clay loam is much harder to handle than the Wabash 
silt loam. Under favorable moisture conditions it granulates and works up 
into a mellow seed bed, but when worked too wet it bakes and forms in- 
tractable clods. The type receives no fertilization of any kind. This land 
is \ alued at twenty-five dollars to eighty dollars an acre, depending largely on 
the drainage conditions. 

The establishment of efficient ilrainage b}- supplementing the present 
ditches with tiles alxmt three rods apart is necessarv nver a large part of 
the type. 


The Wabash clay is a black, waxy, plastic clay, fifteen to eighteen 
inches deep, underlain by a dark slate colored subsoil of the same texture. 
The subsoil becomes lighter in color with depth, and below thirty to thirty- 
six inches is gray, mottled with bright yellowish brown. Small iron and 
lime concretions are encountered in the subsoil. Both soil and subsoil have 
a granular structure and are very high m organic matter. The soil checks 
and cracks considerably during periods of dry weather. The AVabash clay is 
similar to the Wabash silty clay loam, except that it is heavier in texture. 

This type is relatively inextensive, and is confined to the southeastern 
part of the county. It occurs in the first bottom at the mouth of the 
Xemaha river. 

The W^abash clay has a flat to depressed topograph}- and is ver_\- poorly 
drained. The type has been provided with several ditches, although addi- 
tional laterals are needed to remove the surface water. It is subject to 
annual overflows, which usually occur early in the spring. It is sometimes 
inundated in the growing season. 

The Wabash clay is largely utilized for pasture land. In dry seasons 
it furnishes good pasturage, but during wet seasons or when overflows 
occur little or no pasturage is available. About one-half the cultivated 
area is in wheat, which in dr_\' seasons produces fnun tliirt\- to fort}- bu>hels 
per acre. Corn does well, but is less extensively grow n than in former years. 
It yields from thirty to forty-five bu.shels per acre. The soil is too rich for 
the production of oats. Wild hay yields from one ton to one and one-half 
tons per acre. The hay is mainly fed. Most of the stuck raised on this type 
consists of beef cattle, few dairy cattle being kept. 

This is the most difficult soil in- the county to handle, and ;i lieavv farm 


equipment is required. When cultivated too wet it forms clods, though 
under favorable moisture conditions the soil works up into a mellow seed 
bed. No fertilizers are used. The value of this land ranges from twenty 
dollars to sixty dollars an acre, depending mainly on drainage conditions. 

This type requires the same treatment as the \\'abash silty clay loam. 
It is greatly in need of drainage. 


The surface soil of the Cass clay is a dark-drab to black, sticky clay, 
six to ten inches deep. It is underlain by a drab or gray clay, faintly mottled 
with brown and rusty brown. In places the mottling is reddish yellow. 
Below twenty-four to thirty inches a yellowish-gray mottled with reddish- 
yellow ^'ery fine sandy loam is encountered. This t)-pe differs from the 
Wabash clay in that it has a sandy subsoil. The soil is high in organic 

The Cass cla_\- is inextensive in this county, having a total area of less 
than one square mile. It is encountered in the Missouri river first bottoms. 
occurring north of Rulo and in the northeastern part of the county. 

The surface is generally flat, with a few meandering sloughs. Owing 
to the underlying light-textured material, this type possesses fair drainage. 
The sloughs occasionally are inundated. 

Practically all this type is reclaimed. It is largely devoted to the pro- 
duction i>f corn, wheat, oats, and alfalfa. Corn is by far the most important 
crop, and yields from forty to fifty bushels an acre. Oats do fairly well, 
but are likely to lodge. Wheat does well, yielding about thirty btishels per 
acre. ^ Alfalfa is grown cjuite extensively with seasonal yields of three to 
six tons an acre. Owing to the natural productiveness of this soil, the rota- 
tion I if crops receives little attention, and the fields usually are planted in 
corn until an appreciable reduction in crop yields takes place, when some 
small grain crop is substituted for a few years. Corn, wheat, and alfalfa are 
cash crops. 

This type is difficult to handle, although easier than the \\'abash clay. 
A heavy farm e(|uipment is required for thorough tillage. No barnvard 
man-iu'e is applied and no commercial fertilizers are used. The Cass clay is 
valued at sixt\- dollars to one hundred dollars an acre, depending on the 
extent to which it is subject to erosion by the Missouri river. 

.\s on all bottom-land soils there is a general need for die practice of 
crop rotation on this type. 



As it occurs in Richardson county, the Sarpy very fine sandy loam 
consists of a light-brown to brown very fine sandy loam to a depth of ten 
to fifteen inches, containing an appreciable quantity of coarse silt. This is 
underlain by a yellowish-gray, lighter textured very fine sandy loam which 
contains but little silt or clay. Below twenty-four inches the subsoil is 
mottled with light gra}' and shows bright yellowish brown iron stains. The 
low percentage of organic matter is indicated by the light color of the soil. 

This type is very inextensive, occurring as small areas in the Missouri 
river bottoms. It lies usually about eight feet above the normal flow of the 
stream. The surface is generally flat, though marked by slight ridges. 
Between stages of high water, the drainage is good; at high stages of the 
stream the low areas are overflowed. 

The greater part of this type is under cultivation, and is almost entirely 
devoted to the production of corn. In seasons of favorable rainfall corn 
does well, yielding from twenty-five to thirty-five bushels per acre. Some 
wheat and oats are grown. Wheat yields fifteen to twenty bushels, and 
oats thirty bushels an acre. Potatoes of good quality are produced on this 
soil, though the crop is grown only to supply the home demand. Some 
alfalfa is grown and does fairly well. 

The Sarpy very fine sandy loam works up into a very mellow seed 
bed and can be tilled under any moisture conditions as long as there is no 
water standing on the surface. Small quantities of manure are added to 
the reclaimed areas; no commercial fertilizers are used. T-and values range 
from thirty dollars to eighty dollars an acre. 

For the improvement of the Sarpy very fine sandy loam it is recom- 
mended that green crops be turned under to increase the organic-matter 


Areas of the Sarpy silt loam are indicated on the soil map b\- inclusion 
symljols in the Sarpy very fine sandy loam color. The soil of tlie Sarpv 
loam is a light-brown to brown silt loam, twelve to fifteen inches deep, con- 
taining a high percentage of very fine sand. The subsoil is a yellowish or 
brownish-gray very fine sand>' loam with streaks of coarser as well as heavier 
material. The change in color between the soil and subsoil is not marked 
In- a distinct line, nlthougli as a rule the lower subsoil i.^ a shade lighter in 


color and streaked with rusty-brown iron stains. The soil is not nearly so 
high in organic matter as the Wabash silt loam. 

This soil occurs in a single small area east of Rule in the Missouri 
river bottoms; it covers two hundred and fifty-six acres. 

The type is flat, but owing to its sandy subsoil it is well drained between 
stages of high water. It lies about eight to ten feet above the normal level 
of the river. Owing to the high water table, it is very drought resistant. 

Practically all this type is under cultivation, being devoted mainly to 
com. This crop does well, yielding from forty to fifty bushels an acre. 
Some alfalfa is grown, and this is a very profitable crop. The value of 
land of this type ranges from eighty dollars to one hundred dollars an acre, 
depending on the extent to which it is subject to erosion by the Missouri 

For the improvement of the Sarpy silt loam the incorporation of 
organic matter is needed. Liberal applications of manure should be made. 


The areas mapped as Rough stony land consist of land too stony and 
rocky to permit cultivation. The soil is seldom deeper than eight inches, 
and over large areas the bedrock is exposed. What little soil has remained 
is chiefly a black silt loam to silty clay, underlain by rotten limestone or shale 
of the Pennsylvania formation which vary in color from white to red. In 
local spots the soil contains some sand and is a loam in texture. Consid- 
erable coarse material, such as bowlders and gravel, is scattered over the 
surface. It is probable that most of the soil is derived from the bedrock 
and not from glacial debris. 

Rough stony land is rather extensive in this countv. It occurs as small 
areas mainly in the southwestern part of the county, scattered throughout 
areas of the Carrington silt loam. 

The topography is broken and marked by an intricate drainage svstem. 
Along streams the slopes frequently are precipitous. The areas- mapped 
include rock blufifs along streams and occasional low -knobs in the higher 
lying land. 

Along the drainage ways most of the Rough stony land supports a 
scrubby growth of bur oak. The other areas support a fairh- luxuriant 
growth of the prairie grasses common to the region. 

6o . Ricn \RDsoN cnrxTv, Nebraska. 

This land is used only for grazing. Beef cattle, mainly Herefords, are 
raised, and are sold chiefly in Kansas City and St. Joseph. Land values 
range from ten dollars to forty dollars an acre. 


Ri\er\vash, as mapped in Richardson count}-, comprises mainlv areas 
of mud, silty tiats, and sand bars in the Missouri river. The material is 
very light colored and ranges in texture from a clay to a fine sand. A 
large part of the Riverwash supports a growth of young willows, and is 
in the transitional stage from Riverwash to soil of the Sarpv series. 

There are two and six-hundredths square miles of Riverwash in this 
county. The surface is only a few feet above the normal level of the river, 
and the areas are overflowed with slight rises of the stream. The Riverwash 
changes with each overflow and even during the normal flow of the stream 
the outlines of the areas are constantly changing. The new deposits are 
considerably modified by wind action, and in stormy davs form dust clouds. 


Richardson county lies in the extreme southeastern corner of Nebraska, 
bordering the Missouri river. It has an area of five hundred and forty-five 
square miles, or three hundred and forty-eight thousand eight hundred 

The topography varies from gently undulating to steeply rolling or 
broken, though most of the area is rolling. The elexation of the county 
above sea level ranges from eiglit hundred and fifty to one thousantl two 
hundred and twenty feet. The greater part of the area lies between one 
thousand and one thousand i;)ne hundred feet above sea level. The general 
slope of the county is southeastward. .\11 sections are provided with ade- 
quate surface drainage by a complete system of drainage ways belonging 
to the system of the Nemaha river, an importaiit tributary of the Missouri. 

According to the census nf igjo, Richardson county has a population 
of se\-enteen thousand four hundred and forty-eight, of which eighty-one 
and three-tenths per cent, is classed. as rural. The principal town is Falls 
City, the county seat. The transportation facilities, except in the north- 
eastern corner of the county, are gotxl. Tn general, the countx is pro\ided 
with excellent dirt roads. Kansas City. St. Joseph, and Omaha are the 


principal markets. All parts of the count}- are provided with rural mail 
delivery and telephone ser\ice and good schools. 

The climate of Richardson county is pleasant and is well suited to agri- 
culture. There is an average growing season of about one hundred and 
seventy days. The mean annual precipitation is about thirtv-three inches, 
and the mean annual temperature about fifty-three degrees ¥. 

Grain farming is the main type of agriculture. Corn, oats, wheat, 
timothy and clover mi.xed, alfalfa, and wild grasses are the principal crops, 
ranking in acreage in the order named. The raising of hogs and beet 
cattle and dairying are important industries. The farm buildings are sub- 
stantial and the surroundings present an appearance of thrift and prosperitv. 

Systematic crop n nations are not practiced. On!\- small quantities of 
barnyard manure are applied, and scarcely any commercial fertilizers are 
used. There is an abundance of farm labnr, but it is hard to obtain efficient 
help. Most farms consist of one hundred and si.xt_\- acres, though the 
average size is reported in the 1910 census as about one hundred and fiftv- 
cit^ht acres. About fifty-three per cent, of the farms are operated b\' the 
owners, and practically all the remainder i)y tenants. About ninety-fi\e per 
cent, of the area nf the county is reported in farms and of the land in farms 
eight\-six ])er cent, is reijorted impnned. The value of farm land ranges 
from twenty dollars to two hundred dnllars an acre. Land is rented mainh 
by the share SN'stem. Cash rents range frdui aliout three dollars to si.\ 
dollars per acre. 

The county lies almost entirely within the glacial and loessial region, 
with only a small area belonging to the River b'lood Plain province. The 
.soils of the glacial and loes.sial region are deri\ed from the weathering of 
the loess and drift. The loess material has given rise to the Marshall. 
Grundy and Knox soils and the drift to the Carrington and Shelby soils. 
The second bottoms are occupied b\' the Waukesha soil. The recent deposits 
along the streams are classed with the W.abasb, Cass, and Sarpv soils, antl 

Small areas closely iissociated with the drift have l)een formed through 
the tlisintegration of the shales antl limestones of the I'enns\l\ani;i forma- 
tion. This material is classed with Ri)ugh stony land. 

The Marshall silt loam is one of the extensive soil types in Richardson 
county. It is well suited U> the production of corn, oats, wheat, and hay. 
The utilization of the (irundv silt loam is simila.r to that of the Marsli:dl. 


The Knox silt loam is chiefly devoted to corn and alfalfa, as it is too hilly 
for the production of the small grains. 

The Carrington silt loam is by far the most extensive and important 
type of soil in the county. This soil, together with the Marshall silt loam, 
dominates the agriculture of the county. The Shelby loam and Rough 
stony land are best used for pasture. 

The Waukesha silt loam is well adapted to corn, oats, and wheat. 

The bottom-land soils are best suited to com. though considerable hay 
and some wheat and oats are produced. 

Indian History and Prehistoric Times. 

The Indians, found along the west bank of the Pekitanoui or Missouri 
river in this county by the first white men who came up the river as voyagers, 
explorers, trappers, or missionaries or across the plains from the southwest 
Spanish settlements in New Mexico, who had resided within the present 
limits of the county so long that they were regarded as the original occu- 
pants of the country, were the Panias, Paunias, or Pawnees. The Pawnee 
nation was divided into four tribes, each of which had an Indian name and 
a white name : Chau-i, Grand ; Kitke-hahk-i, Republican ; Pita-hau-erat, 
Noisy; Ski-di, Wolf. These tribes were each divided into bands and lived 
together in groups and kept together on the march. The Sacs and Foxes 
and lowas came later and were the only tribes who were here by removal. 
The Pawnees appear to have the best claim as the original red Indian inhabi- 
tants of this section. They were holding it at the time the Spaniards first 
came out of Mexico and appear from records to have been in possession 
perhaps for three or four hundred years. They were open prairie dwellers, 
and are believed to have drifted into the country from the southwest. The 
Pawnees were a very religious people and given much to the ceremonies of 
the same; their language and customs marked them as differing much from 
other tribes and as a whole never were at war with the white people. They 
were distinct from other Indians who, like themselves, were crowded out 
of this Missouri river valley country, such as the lowas, Winnebagoes, Sioux, 
Sacs and Foxes, all of whom were forced westward from the shores of the 
Great Lakes by stronger peoples, and the white settler from the East. 

In the interregnum between 1825 and 1827 the United States govern- 
ment established tiiese tribes or parts of them in this county. The Sacs and 
Foxes, whose homes were on the \\'isconsin and Fox rivers, united in the 
early part of the nineteenth century and began a migration to the southwest 
and acquired a large territory in Iowa and Missouri. Under a treaty made 
between tliem and the government on September 17, 1836, they made an 
exchange of tliese lands for territory west of the river. The territory thus 
receixed was for the most part in Kansas and north of the Kickapoo river, 


but extended nortli to the Great Xenialia river in this county. By \-irtue of 
this treaty tlie lowas. Sacs and Foxes became permanent neiglibors in this 
county under wliat was known, until aljout i860, as tlie Great Xemaha 
agency. .Anch^ew S. Huglies \\as the first appointed to have charge of this 
agency. The lands so held were described as being "The small strip of land 
on the south side of the ^lissouri river lying between the Kickapoo boundary 
line and the Great Xemaha river, and extending from the ^lissouri and west- 
wardly to the said Kickapoo line and the Grand X'emaha, making four hun- 
dred sections to l.)e di\-iderl between the said lowas and the Missouri band of 
Sacs and Foxes, the lower half to the Sacs and Foxes and the upper half to 
the lowas." 

By treaty of May 18, 1S54 ( 10 Stats. 1074), the Sacs and Foxes ceded 
to the United States all of the country above described, except fifty sections of 
six hundred and forty acres each, to be selected in the western part of the 
cession. The fifty sections were selected in 1854, having been surveyed and 
established by John Leonard, a deputy surveyor. 

Under a joint treaty of March 6, 1861, with the Sac and Fnx and Iowa 
Indians, all that part of their reservation lying west of Xohart creek and 
within the boundary as surve\'ed by Leonard, was to be suld to the govern- 
ment, half of the proceeds to go to each nf the tribes. This cession was 
sold and the money invested for the Indians. 

L'nder the terms of treaties at various times the boundaries of the tribal 
lands sufifered changes but the last home of the Sacs and Foxes comprised 
lands as follows : Beginning at the intersection of the south line of the Iowa 
reserve with Xoharts creek, thence along this line to the south fork of the 
Nemaha, or Walnut creek, thence down this creek to its mouth, thence down 
the Great X'emaha river to the mouth of X'oharts creek, thence up this creek 
to the place of beginning. The lowas retained the lands to the east, which 
lay between the (n-eat Xemaha and Missouri rixers. a \cr\- large part of 
which was in the state of Kansas. 

By authority of the act of Congress of August 15, 1876, ten sections of 
the west end of this resen^e were sold with the consent of the tribe, which 
was given on January 8, 1877. The sale was made through the land office 
at Beatrice and Charles Loree, of Falls City, had local charge of the same, 
under direction of the land office. 

In IQO-' what was left of the Iowa reserve consisted of ele\en tliousand 
six hundred acres, all allotted, and that of the Sacs and Foxes, eight thousand 
and thirteen acres, all allotted, except nine liundred and sixtv acres. The 
earlier enumeration of these bands by the government places the figure at 


nearly a thousand. These Indians being so long isolated on their small 
reservation and separated from other and larger bands of wild Indians, 
dropped their roving disposition and were quite friendly with the whites and 
ne\er gave trouble to the settlers. But few are left in this county at the 
present day. 

In i860 a remnant of the W'innebagos, who for a long time had lived 
with the Sacs and I'oxes at the Nemaha agency went back to their tribe in 
Minnesota. \^'. P. Richardson, Daniel Vanderslice. Major John A. Burbank 
and C. H. Norris were in charge of the Nemaha agency during the period 
between 1850 and 1867, the latter two being residents of Falls City. 

On account of their participation in the Black Hawk War in Illinois and 
Iowa, the Sacs and Foxes were taken in hand by the United States govern- 
ment and removed to reservations in IMissouri and Iowa first, and later to 
this county. 


L'nder a treat}- witli the various tribes of Sioux and other Indians on 
July 15, 1830, at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, a strip ten miles wide between 
the Great Nemaha river in this county and the Little Nemaha river in 
Xemaha county, being about twenty miles long, was set aside as a reservation 
for the half-breeds and mixed bloods of the Omahas, lowas, Otoes and 
Yankton and Santee bands of the Sioux family of Indians. The Winne- 
bago Indians, who were a branch of the Sioux, at one time occupied a tract 
of land in the northeast part of the county having a village on what is known 
as Winnebago creek in Arago township, this being within the "half-breed" 
strip or reservation. So it is apparent that the Indians found here in 1853-4, 
when Nebraska was first opened to white settlers, were, themselves, early 
arrivals in this part of Nebraska territory and are not to be taken into account 
when an effort is made to discover what people antedated the Pawnees. 

The Sacs and Foxes were of the Algonquin family or Eastern Indians 
and were distinct from the lowas, Winnebagoes, Omaha and Sioux family 
tribes with whom thev were closely associated while living in the Great Lake 
region. "The Hand Book of American Indians", a publication of the United 
States Bureau of .\merican Etlmology, lias the following to say relative to 
the Sacs : 

"The culture of the Sauk was that of the eastern or wooded area. They 

were a canoe people while they were in the country of the Great Lakes, using 

both the birch-bark canoe and the dug-out. They still retain the dug-out, 

and learned the use and construction of the bull boat on coming nut upon 



the i)lains. Thev practiced agriculture on an extensive scale. Despite their 
fixed abode and villages they did not live a sedentary life together and fish 
almost the whole year around. They were acquainted with wild rice, and 
hunted the buffalo. They did not get possession of horses until after the 
Black Hawk War in 1832, and they did not become very familiar with the 
horse and the mule until following their arrival in Kansas after the year 
1837. Their abode was the bark house in warm weather and the oval flag 
reed lodge in winter; the bark house was characteristic of the village. Every 
gens had one large bark house, wherein were celebrated the festivals of the 
gens. In this lodge hung the sacred bundle of gens, and here dwelt the 
priests who watched over them. It is said that some of these houses were 
of the length required to accommodate five council fires. The ordinary bark 
dwelling had but a single fire, which was in the center. 

"The Pawnees are by many regarded as having attained a higher culture 
than the Indians who were placed on reservations. They possessed horses 
sooner, and were great buflfalo hunters. Xo Indians, of course, had guns or 
horses before the white man came. 


"But liack and before the Indians whom the white men ever met, were 
tribes of men in possession of the Missouri river country, delighting especially 
to build their houses on the high bluffs where the eye could have a wide 
sweep over the waters and surrounding country. These old house sites are 
now hidden from view by the acaimulated dust of centuries and to be seen 
and appreciated must be excavated and dug out of the rubbish heap of time, 
like buried cities of antiquity." 

The articles foinid in these house sites indicate, so archeologists claim, 
a higher state of culture and mental development than possessed by the 
Indians who occu])ied the ground later. InU were less warlike. Some believe 
that there was a large population, while (jthers hold to the belief that the 
c()untr\- could not have been thickly settled even along the river bluffs, but 
that the settlements endured over long periods of time. It is most probable 
that the number was not great, as the means of subsistence was not so easily 
1 litained by the early or primitive peoples. They cultivated the soil and 
raised crops of some kinds, probably pumpkins, gourds, squash, corn and 
I)eans. but as they had no tools with which to cultivate the soil, except bone 
ini])lenients, it is unlikel\- they could ha\e worked on an extensive scale. 

The)- jjossessed neither horses nor metal tocils, !)ut were hunters, as evi- 


• lenced by the fact that many articles used were made of the bones of deer 
and buffalo and are found among their remains. They were also fishermen, 
as shown by the bone fish-hooks, and living so long on the river they knew 
the use of boats and dugouts. They built quite large one-story houses, made 
pottery and many kitchen and household utensils out of the clay found on 
ihe hills. 

One of the seats of this ancient tribe was on the Stephen Cunningham 
farm. al30ut a mile north of Rulo, near the old townsite of Yankton in sec- 
tions 5 and 8, of township i, north of range No. i8, east of the sixth p. m. 
The story of its discovery in December, 1913, is as follows and very inter- 
esting : 


A story had been sent out from Rulo some time previous and given wide 
])ublicity in the state press to the effect that the remains of a prehistoric race 
iiad l)een found near that city. The editor of this work together with Mr. 
.\. R. Keim, editor of the Falls City Journal, went to Rulo for the purpose 
of making a personal investigation. Arriving there we were directed to the . 
farm of Stephen Cunningham about a mile and a half north of Rulo. The 
farm at that time was occupied by A. R. Morehouse, a tenant, who was kind 
enough to give us every assistance required. The land is adjacent to the 
Missouri river and a good-sized creek, which drains the farm and surround- 
ing country, empties into the Big Muddy, near the site of the obsolete village 
of Yankton, which was located on the east side of the farm, fronting the 
river. The village and all traces of it except cellars over which building had 
stood ha\e long disappeared, and it is said to have been at its best in the days 
when steamboats were numenrus on the river. The creek referred to. at the 
]iresent time, has but little water in it, but the waters from heavy rains and 
the hack water from the Missouri river, at times when it has been high, have 
washed a deep and wide gorge. It is on the south banks of this ravine and 
at a distance of about a thousand feet west of a point where it formerly 
emptied into the Missouri river, that the find of skeletal remains was made. 
The first find of human bones had been made some weeks prior to our visit ; 
further recent heavy rains brought more tones to view. When we arrived 
at the scene we found quite a quantity of bones lying around on the ground 
and were told that the students of the schools at Rulo had visited the scene 
and removed many good specimens. 

However, as some bones were in plain view protruding from the bank. 
shovels were brought and after a little digging two more complete skeletons 


were iinco\ered and plenty of evidence to show that many more might be 
found in the wall of the ravine. The skeletons were all found with the head 
to the east and at a depth from the surface of the. ground of six or seven 
feet and were found embedded in a formation of joint clay, which gave no 
evidence of having been distmbed in centuries. A string of white shell beads 
were found around the neck of each and all the bones were in a good state 
of preservation. The oldest inhabitants of that section were interrogated, 
but had no memory of any burial ground located in this spot and no one 
could he found who could throw any light on the presence of the skeletons in 
such a place. One skull and a number of the bones was sent to the Nebraska 
State Museum, where they are now placed on exhibition. 


Professor Barbour made the following report of the receipt and examina- 
ti(jn of the skull, tones and shell beads: "I have received and examined the 
skull, l^ones and beads recently received submitted for examination. The 
shells used for these beads are Paludina dccapitsta, so named because the apex 
of the S])ire is truncated, suppressed or "cut off". The Paludinas are fresh 
water gasteriwd "shells", which live in lakes and large swamps. The par- 
ticular specia which were u.^ed in making these beads had very thick walls 
and an inflated bod}- whorl, which gave the shell a rounded appearance, and 
the thickness gave the bead strength and lasting qualities. We know of no 
other paludina with equally thick walls. The lx)dy whorls are ridged and 
ornamented in a pleasing way. . Altogether, these shells seem to have been 
wisely chosen by early Nebra.^kans. The apertures of these shells are large 
and by grinding or rubbing the shells, presumably on rough stones, a second 
hole was made through the body whorl just back of the aperture. Thus, two 
openings were made and the shell could be easily strung. The shells are 
used very considerabl\- and it may not be over fanciful, perhaps, to imagine 
that the necklace may have been graduated much as necklaces of modern 
l)eads are graduated, with the larger in front and the smaller ones back. 

"Tlie skull and bones appeared to be those of a tvpical Indian. The 
forehead is of good size, the frontal eminence well developed, the dome of 
the skull large, the face erect, with little, if any, protrusions of the muzzle, 
superciliary ridges very reduced and cheek bones of average prominence, 
eyes well apart, average cross temples. It appears to be the skull of an 
Indian of the higher rather than the lower tribes. The tibia is characterized 
by an tinc<imm(inly high crest and pronounced anterior curvature, but this is 




not uncommon. The skull seems to be finely preserved, with mandible in 
place and the dentition complete. Even the hyoids may he seen between the 
rami of the jaws." 

A reporter for the Nebraska Journal interviewed the professor, 
after the report was sent out that Spanish coins had been found among the 
Indian remains and this reporter made the statement that it was now the 
Professor's opinion on re-examination that the skull represented a low type 
of Indian. The interview was as follows: "Spanish coins near the place 
where a number of skeletons were found may have been brought there by 
Coronado, but the skeletons are not those of followers of the Spanish explorer. 
This is the decision reached by Professor Barbour of the state museum, after 
he had examined for the second time the skull sent him from the recent find 
at Rulo. The skull is typically Indian and a low type of Indian at that. 
There is not the least possibility that it could be a member of the famous 
Spanish expedition, which passed through the country, in the early days of 
American discovery and exploration. The examination showed that the 
skull had a peculiar triangular shaped bone at the back. The bone is found 
almost exclusively in Indian tribes. The professor measured the facial angle 
and discovered that it was by far too low for that of the European and even 
abnormally low for that of the Indian. This latter does not point to the 
fact that the skull is that (^f a specia of mankind lower than that of the 
Indian. Rather it shows an individual variation in the particular specimen. 
The skull is that of a middle-aged man. This is pr')ven by the fact that the 
sutures are well formed and closed. They are not closed tightly enough, 
however, to be that of a man in advanced years. In making this observa- 
tion the professor pointed out that the sutures remained partly opened until 
mature vears, to allow the brain a chance for growth and consequently give 
the individual a chance for intellectual expansion. In the ape family the 
sutures close early in the life of the individual. As the different races of 
mankind become more advanced, sutures close at correspondingly later periods 
of Hfe." 

Following closely upon the finding of the skeletons mentioned above 
came stories of the finding with them of Spanish coins of gold and the .story 
created a sensation in this section and was widely commented upon by the 
press of this and other states. The story of the "'coins" came from parties 
who had visited the scene in our absence and the matter of their having been 
"actually found"' in the place indicated was never fully authenticated to our 
satisfaction. We saw the purported coins, which, in fact, were not coins 
at all, but more in the nature of medals about the size of an American half 


dollar and made of a cheap metal and coated to resemble gold. Upon 
examination the\- proved to be emblems of the Catholic Knights of St. George 
and l)ore Latin inscriptions. On one side of the coin was a figure of St. 
George nicnnted on a horse with a spear in his hand fighting a dragon, and 
the words "St. Georgins l<>|uitnm Patronns." On the reverse side of the 
coin were the figure of a small sailing ^■essel of the style of the days of 
Liilunilius. the rising sun over the sea and the words "In tempestiis Securitas.'" 


Hon. R(jbert ]•'. (iilder, of Omaha, a member of the Omaha Jl'orld 
Herald staff and field archeologist for the Nebraska State Museum, who 
came here at the instance of myself and made a personal examination of the 
house -ite and bones and assisted in some excavations while at the scene him- 
self, had the following to say: 

"I am not prepared to sa\- how old the skeletal parts in the burial are 
but believe it would not be stretching the truth to place an age on them of 
one thousand five hundred to three thousand years. I find upon analysis 
that some of the .skull bones I brought home with me are mineralized to a 
very large degree, that practically all their animal matter has been displaced 
by mineral matter and that they are very highly mineralized or "fossilized." 
Wy reasons for estimating the age of the skeletons are: 

I'irst : Uy finding absolutely prehistoric beads closely associated with 
the liones. In fact, linding them in place, and highly impregnated or covered 
with oxide oi manganese, giving to some of them the appearance of having 
real cuticle composed of mineral. 

Second: By finding pre-Columbian utensils with the skeletons, viz., 
two scajnila implements, commonly called hoes or digging tools, differing 
from the modern bone hoes. 

Third: By finding an antler implement, not at all unlikt a terra-cotta 
phallus in my possession, not u^ecl liy any Missouri river Indians. 

Innirth ; By finding a part of a familiar tlint blade closelv associated 
with the bones and other f;imiliar boulders, only found by me in Xebraska's 
oldest aboriginal house ruin>. wiiicb certain!}- b;i\e a geological age of from 
two thousand to fi\e thousand years. 

I have not heard of any iron knives or arrow heads being found as.soci- 
ated with the skeletons and it is known that the Americans had 
metal point;- ])rior to metal adornments. 



The beautiful modern towns and cities we live in with their paved streets, 
electric lights, telephones, sewers and all modern conveniences, including the 
automobile, with -which we can race across the country and enjoy the view 
of large improved farms \\ith their beautiful homes, in a way lull us into a 
sense of believing it was ever thus and that we were the beginning of all in 
what we call a new country. Such conclusions receive a rude shock when 
evidence is produced to the contrary and we see that this land was the home 
of peoples in the distant past of whom we can know but little. We were 
again reminded of this fact in May of last year (May ii, 1916), when a 
large olla was found nine feet below the surface in the side walls of a drain- 
age ditch on lot No. 8 of the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of 
section 19, township i, north of range 17, east of the sixth princii>al meridian, 
which is about three miles cast of Falls City and one mile west of the old 
village of f'reston. The place where found is a United States government 
tract in the Iowa Indian lands. At this point the Great Nemaha river makes 
a loop or horseshoe and a drainage ditch had been built across the neck of 
land running east and west. It was found in the south wall of the large 
ditch about eight or nine feet below the surface of the ground at the top of 
the ditch. This piece of ancient pottery was fashioned by hands that had 
long since laid aside the working tools of life; how long since we do not 

It has been observed that the making of pottery was not much carried 
on by nomadic tribes because of the fragility of the vessels, but found its 
highest development among peoples of sedentary habits. The clay used was 
mixed with various tempering ingredients, such as sand and pulverized stone, 
potsherds and shells ; the shapes were extremely varied and generally worked 
out by the hand, aided by simple modeling tools. The baking was done in 
open or smothered ovens or fires or in extremely crude furnaces. Many 
ollas found in dififerent parts of the country are highly decorated. Author- 
ities agree that the tribes of the plains did not practice the art of making 
potter}- except in the most simplest forms, but those of the ancient tribes of 
the middle and lower Mississippi valley and Gulf states were excellent potters. 

The olla above referred to was found in the flood plain of the Nemaha. 
It measured eighteen inches in depth and about three feet in circumference 
and the top opening was twelve inches. It was found in a sub-soil of clay. 
The entire bottom has received many feet of soil deposit brought down from 


flood and overflow, but those best acquainted with the country say that not 
more than three or four feet have been added in this way in the past fifty 
years they have known the country. The olla was photographed, just as 
found by L. C. Edwards, in an upright position, as if it had been sitting on 
a floor. A vase similar was found at the Yankton townsite of the Missouri 
river bluffs, north of Rulo, but these two are so far as known, the only ones 
ever found in Richardson county. 

The manner in which the olla chanced to see the light of day and tell a 
tale of partly civilized human life, as it existed in the Xemaha valley, long 
centuries before the white man saw that tortuous stream's winding course 
through the broad flood plain fringed with groves and guarded on either 
hand by the rolling, indented hills, was due to the digging of the cut-off 
channel for the Nemaha river from the Burlington railroad bridge, a mile 
west of Preston, in a northeast course, to cut off a sharp bend and shorten 
the stream. The work was done for the drainage district No. i, of Richard- 
son county, with a drag line dredge. The line of the ditch was over a tract 
of land belonging to the Sac and Fox tribes of Indians and is still owned by 
the tribe, being reserved by the government as a mill site, when all the other 
lands were allotted. The olla was not exposed l)y the dredge, although it 
cut deeper than the position where it was found. The olla was exposed by 
the erosion and widening of the ditch by the floods of 19 15 and was brought 
so near the slope of the ditch, thus widened, that the action of the frost of 
the previous winter or spring after the ice went out, cracked and broke it. 
It was not injured by the dynamite used in blasting to any preceptible degree, 
but its being found was due to C. G. Buchholz, being in charge of the dyna- 
mite gang, blowing the ditch deeper. The location would have been favor- 
able for a fishing camp or a permanent home, as it is protected on all sides 
by heavy timber and was in a high bend of the river and very seldom over- 
flowed. The high bluff, within a few hundred feet, would have furnished a 
good lookout and it was at all times accessible from the south, as the high 
prairie came right up to the bluff. There was and is a good spring of water 
within five hundred feet of this ancient house site. The fact that this olla 
was found in an upright position, ten feet underground, is not strange, as 
it was supposed to have been the custom of the ancient peoples to whom this 
Wonged, to live in large community or communal houses, or at least to have 
had one such for community worship or ceremony. Those houses were four 
or five feet under ground with the remainder above. There is apparently 
three or four feet of fill from the dift'erence in the nature of the soil. The 
clay of the Nemaha valley plains originally scoured down when the stream 


•:let()x yan( 



was a real river about the time of the ice age ended and the great lake that 
occupied the whole south half of Nebraska drained off in this direction. 
Since the stream dwindled down to its present size, it has been overflowing, 
but not as much as formerly, as within the period of the white man's settle- 
ment and the breaking of the prairies and the plowing of the fields soon filled 
the narrow, deep stream and caused overflows that carried the suspended 
soil out upon the bottom lands and all of these places have been filled up by 
the new soil deposits, in many places as much as five feet, since 1870. The 
belief is prevalent that any ten years since 1870 have seen as much filling on 
an average over the flood plain as was made in one hundred, before the sod 
was broken. The olla was brought to Falls City. 


On January 14, 1914, in company with a party of well-known Falls City, 
Nebraska, citizens, I examined a "burial" about one and one-half miles north 
of the village of Rulo, Nebraska, in Richardson county, not far north of the 
Kansas line. In the party were Rev. James Noble, rector of St. Thomas's 
Episcopal church; Lewis C. Edwards, register of deeds of Richardson county; 
.V. R. Keim, editor of the Falls City Daily Journal; Robert Rule and Harry 
Jenne, Falls City business men, and Col. Charles Marion, a well-known auc- 
tioneer of that part of Nebraska. 

Several weeks prior to my visit 1 had been informed of the fact that 
human bones had been found protruding from the south wall of a ravine, 
which had been cut into the hills by rains. As it is a common thing to find 
bones almost anywhere in the Missouri valley, I was not especially interested, 
but I learned later that "Spanish" coins of a "very ancient date" and many 
trinkets of "silver", had also been found with the remains. I decided to 
make a personal investigation in l^ehalf of the state museum. University of 
Nebraska. As this paper is not intended as an expose of a "plant" of value- 
less "junk", it is only necessary to state that the job was a very bungling 
affair and has been pretty thoroughly aired through the investigations of Mr. 
Floyd Morehouse, a son of the tenant of the farm. It might be stated, how- 
ever, before disposing of that part of the matter, that the supposed Spanish 
coins were in reality emblems of the Catholic Knights of St. George, on which 
were inscriptions in Latin. The fact that Nebraska has had for a year a 
statute making such forgeries a crime, was one of the agencies in prevent- 
mg a very large traffic in the spurious "relics", planted with what were with- 
out question pre-Columbian remains. 


The above article and photos appeared in the March- April, 1914, issue 
of "Records of the Past" Magazine, published at Washington, D. C. The 
author, Mr. Robert F. Gilder, of Omaha, has kindly consented to the use of 
the storv in this History of Richard.son County. 


The Indian, like his white brother, had a certain amount of caste or 
rank. They were divided into "gentes". They had as many as fourteen 
gentes : Trout, Sturgeon, Bass, Great Lynx, or Fire Dragon, Sea, Fox, 
Wolf, Bear, Bear-Potato. Elk, Swan, Grouse, Eagle and Thunder. In 
earlier periods there seemed to have l)een a more rigid order or rank, both 
socially and politically. For example, chiefs came from the Trout or 
Sturgeon tribes, and war chiefs from the Fox gens; and there were certain 
relationships between one gens and another, as when one acted the role of 
servant to another, seen on occasion of the gens ceremony. Marriage was 
restricted to men and women of the different gentes, and was generally 
attended with the exchange of presents between the family of the pair. 

In the case of death, a man might marry the sister of his deceased wife, 
or the widow might become the wife of the brother of her dead husband. 

Polygamy was practiced, but was not usual ; it was the privilege that 
went with wealth and social prestige. A child followed the gens of his 
father, but it frequently happened that the mother was given the right to 
name ; in that case the child took a name peculiar to the gens of the mother, 
Init was yet in the gens of the father. But for this fact the gens of an indi- 
vidual could generalh- be known from the nature of the name. The name 
is intimately connected with the gens; for example, a name meaning "he 
that moves ahead flashing light," refers to lightning, and is a name peculiar 
to the Thunder gens. Besides the grouping into gentes, the tribe was further 
divided into two great social groups or phratries : Kishko and Oskrash. The 
painting color of the first was white clay and that of the second, was char- 
coal. A child entered into the group at birth, sometimes the father, some- 
limes the mother, determining which group. The several groups engaged 
one another in all manner of contests, especially in athletics. The Sauk 
never developed a soldier society with the same degree of success as did the 
Foxes, but they did have a buffalo society; it is said that the first was due 
to contact with the Sioux, and it is reasonable to suppose that the second 
was due to influence also of the plains. There was a chief and a council. 


XEBKASKA. ' ' -^ ' > ■ 


As stated, the chiefs came from the Trout and Sturgeon gentes, and the 
council consisted of these, the war chiefs, or heads of families, and all the 
warriors. Politically, the chief was little more than a figurehead, but socially 
he occupied the first place in the tribe. Not infrequently, however, by force 
of character and by natural astuteness in the management of tribal affairs, 
the chief might exercise virtually autocratic powers. Furthermore, his per- 
son was held sacred, and for that reason he was given royal homage. 

The religion of the Sauk is fundamentally in the belief in what are now 
commonly known as Manitos. The sense of the term is best given by the 
combined use of the two words "power" and "magic". The world is looked 
on as inhabited by beings permeated with certain magic force, not necessarily 
malicious and not necessarily beneficent, the manifestation of which might 
produce one or the other effect. Objects in nature held to be endowed with 
this force become the recipients of varying degrees of adoration. A child 
is early taught to get into personal relation with some Manito by means of 
fasting and vigil to secure his tutelary or genus. The Manitos of the Sauk 
mythology and religious worship are represented in all nature. They are 
human beings, animals, birds, fishes, reptiles, insects, plants, fire, water and 
all the elements personified. The mythology of the Sauk is rich with fables 
of anthropomorphic beasts and beings. The principal myth is concerned with 
the god of life, called Nanaboszo, by cognate tril^es. with die flood and with 
the restoration of the earth. 

The Sauk had numerous ceremonies, social and religious. Some of 
these they still retain. The chief two religious ceremonies still in existence 
are the gens festivals and the secret rite of the Midewiwin. or Grand Medi- 
cine Society. The gens festival is held twice a year — in the spring, when 
thanksgiving, is offered to the Manitos for the new season, and in the sum- 
mer after the fields ripen. The meeting of the Midewiwin is generally held 
but once a year, during the spring, when a ceremony is conducted by a group 
of men and women bound together by vows of secrecy. The society is 
entered by initiation and the payment of a fee. and the ceremony is con- 
ducted by an elaborate ritual on the occasion of the admittance of a new 
member, who takes the place of one who died during the preceding year. 

Next in importance to these, are the rites connected with death and 
adoption. To express grief for dead kindred, they blackened their faces 
with charcoal, fasted, and abstained from the use of vermilion and orna- 


RicriARDSON cou: 

ments in dress. The Sauk practiced four different methods of burial: ( i) 
the corpse was laid away in the branches of a tree or upon a scaffold; (2) it 
was placed in a sitting posture, with the back supported, out on the open 
ground; (3) it was seated in a shallow grave, with all but the face buried 
and a shelter was placed over the grave; (4) there was complete burial in 
the ground. The ghost world is said to be in the West, beyond the setting 
sun. and thither it is said the people go after death. The brother of the 
culture-hero is master of the ghost world, while the culture-hero himself is 
said to be at the North, in the region of the snow and ice. The Sauk are 
looking for his return, when they believe the world will come to an end, and 
they and the culture-hero will go to join his brother. The Sauk was first 
known to history in 1650. 

— From the "Hand Book of Americans," Bureau of Ethnology, Washing- 
ton, D. C. 


The churches, as in these later da}'s, were pioneers in the new country, 
and the great work done by these institutions is deserving of the highest 
commendation. Viewed in the light of more recent history, as it relates to 
the troublesome times encountered by those who would become settlers, it 
is almost unthinkable that they should have found men ready and willing 
to sacrifice themselves and who would have dared to enter this then deso- 
late, unsettled country and spend the greater portion of their lives among 
the early Indians of this region. Yet, we have the proof in reports made 
by those early missionaries to the missionary boards of the Baptist, Method- 
ist, Catholic, Episcopal and Presbyterian churches. 

It appears that they were here long in advance of those whom we desig- 
nate as the pioneers of the county; The first missions were located to the south 
and, in what is now known as northeast Kansas, but a short distance 
south of the Kansas-Xebraska state line. One of these missions is still 
maintained in Doniphan county, Kansas. Rev. Isaac McCoy, of the Bap- 
tist church, was one of the earliest of these missionaries and was well 
acquainted with conditions on the Iowa and Sauk reservations, both of 
which extended into this county. He was here in 1839, which, of course, 
was long before the erection of Nebraska Territory and found the lowas 
at that time to number more than, one thousand, while the Sauks, located but 
a little way to the west, had more than five hundred members in the parts of 
their tribe occupying this territory. In reports made by him he indicated 
that the ciinditi<-)ns of these people were inipro\ing somewhat and that tlie 


general government, under treaty stipulations, was affording them consid- 
erable assistance in the building of dwellings and mills ; in fencing and plow- 
ing their lands, and in caring for live stock and the building of schools. .\t 
this earlv time the Western Missionary Society of the Presbyterian church 
had established a mission, which was for a time in charge of Mr. and Mrs. 
Ballard. Upon their retirement it was taken over by Rev. \\'illiam Hamil- 
ton and Messrs. and Mesdames Irving and Bradley. The assistance ren- 
dered by the government to the Indians in the building of houses was great- 
ly appreciated and some of the old houses so built were located south of 
the Great Nemaha, near Falls city, and the ruins of the same were found 
by the pioneers coming- here in the earlv fifties. 

The Methodists at this time had a small mission in charge of Reverend 
Berryman and the Catholics, likewise, were in the field with a small mission. 


The Rev. William Hamilton, who was as well known as any of the 
early missionaries after coming here in 1837, spent the remainder of his 
life in Nebraska. 

He was born in Lycoming county, Pennsylvania, on the banks of the 
Suscpehanna, West Branch, on August i, 1811, and although his father 
was killed by the Indians, while peaceably engaged on his farm, the young 
man, upon offering himself as a foreign missionary, requested that he be 
sent among the Indians of this country. 

After completing his studies at college Mr. Hamilton was licensed to 
preach b)^ the Presbytery of Northumberland, in the spring of 1837, and 
returned to a seminary to resume studies with his old class. During that 
summer he was accepted by the Presb}terian Ijoard of foreign missions as 
their missionary, and at the same time was married to Julia Ann N. McGiffin 
of \\^ashington, Pennsylvania. He was ordained by the Presbytery of North- 
umberland in 1837, and immediately started to his field in the West. He 
left Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 30, 1837, and reached Liberty Land- 
ing on Saturday, November i8th, having been en route nearly a month from 
Pittsburgh, and traveled from St. Louis to a point, the present site of Glas- 
gow, Missouri, within eighty-six miles from the field to his future labors. 
Forty-five miles of this was on horseback to the old agency, nine miles below 
East Black Snake Hills, the present site of St. Joseph, Missouri. He reached 
this place on the 27th of Deceml^er, and was detained at the agency on 


account of there being no way to make a crossing of the ^Missouri river until 
it might freeze. 

From the agency at St. Joseph he footed it, while his wife, a little 
Indian girl and a white girl in Mr. Ballard's family, rode horseback. The 
ice was only strong enough to cross on foot, and they waited until a trader 
bought a mule from an Indian, and hiring it and an Indian pony, his wife 
rode the mule and the two girls rode the pony, while he took tt afoot. They 
had twenty-five miles to go to reach the Indians on Wolf creek, and night 
overtook them at Mosquito creek, seven or eight miles from their destination. 
As they had intended to get through, no provision had been made ' for camp- 
ing out, or for dinner, supper or breakfast. It was very dark and knowing 
nothing of the road they camped by that stream, and he spent most of that 
night cutting wood that the party might not freeze, having an extra axe in 
his saddle bags and succeeded in affixing a temporary handle. The follow- 
ing morning they started without breakfast and reached Wolf creek about 
eleven o'clock. The water at the ford lacked but three or four inches of 
overreaching the pony's back and the bank was very miry; not until four 
o'clock in the afternoon did they succeed in gaining the other bank, and all 
were wet to the skin. The weather for that time was quite warm or they 
might all have perished with cold, as it was the 29th day of December. 

Mr. Irving and wife and other missionaries were there in a log shanty, 
and they were most kindly received by them and shared their hospitality 
until thev could fix up the other end of the log house for their home. Irving- 
had a small quantity of flour which he gave to the Hamilton party and with 
some corn and beef they were able to get from a trader at Iowa Point, some 
six miles away, when it was issued to the Indians, they were able to make 
out. Mr. Hamilton walked the six miles on one occasion and ground the 
corn on a hand mill, as long as it was prudent to stay, and carried the meal 
home on his back. On another occasion he went to Ft. Leavenworth, fifty- 
one miles, to take the borrowed mule home, expecting to cross there and go 
thirty miles further to St. Joseph, that is, over eighty miles, to get to a 
place only twenty-five miles from the mission, and return the same way; but 
when he got to the fort the cold of the preceding night rendered the river 
impassable on account of the ice. Alxiut sundown, when he was nearly 
twenty miles from the garrison, though he know nothing of the distance, 
there came up suddenly what would now be called a blizzard, and it seemed 
as though he should perish, if he had not had a buffalo robe on his saddle 
which a trader, who had traveled with them from St. Louis, when he parted 
with them at Fayette, gave to Mr. Hamilton, saying he might need it some 


time. The next day he started back, having obtained a sack of flour at the 
garrison through the kindness of General Kearney, and arrived at his home 
on the third night near midnight, having had to break the ice to cross Wolf 
creek. It was February before they were able to get their trunks, and then 
in doing so he had to make another trip occupying ten days. During his 
absence his wife and Mr. Irving and wife had the pleasure of trying to live 
on the siftings of corn meal. 

The Iowa Indians at that time numbered some eight hundred souls, and 
the Missouri Sacs about five hundred. They were much given to heavy 
drinking in those days, when they were able to obtain liquor, and sometimes 
the sprees might extend for days at a time, or until they had killed some of 
their number, when they would swear ofif, as it was called, for a certain 
number of days, but before the expiration of the allotted time some of them 
would break over the rule, and then, like one sheep going to water, it was a 
signal for all to follow. Mr. Hamilton spent more than fifteen years of 
his life among tliem, and Mr. Irving who had kept a diary, claimed that the 
Indians had at different times during their drunken sprees, murdered as 
many as sixty of their number, while not one of their people had been killed 
by any other tribe, though they had killed others. At first they were very 
jealous of the missionaries, thinking they had come to trade, and when 
told that this was not the object of the party, suggested that they might as 
well return home, as they could. see no higher object for their being there. 
The Indians, however, in due time became very friendly with the missionaries. 

missioner's life threatened. 

Reverend Hamilton was once waylaid, as the interpreter had told him, 
by the head chief, a very bad man, when he had gone to the mill and was 
returning after night. He, however, took a different road when nearing 
his home, with no apparent reason, and thus avoided him. The mission- 
aries had also been under consideration by the Indians when they were in 
a mood to commit murder, but they had crossed the river and shot a white 
man living on the bottoms. No-Heart (for whom No-Heart creek and an 
earlv village by that name south of Rulo was named), when a little drunk, 
told Mr. Irving that the missionaries should not die — a remark not under- 
stood at the time — but plain enough when they heard of the shooting on the 
east side of the Missouri river. All this happened before the purchase of 
the country in 1854. Mr. Hamilton's life was threatened at one time by a 


man who had been a blacksmith, the latter drawing a pistol and a bowie knife 
on him. The culprit was at a later time burned in Te.xas for the shooting 
of a prosecuting attorney in a court room, and confessed at the stake the 
murder of several whites and an Indian. 

Reverend Hamilton, after enduring the years of hardships among the 
Iowa and Sacs at the mission on Wolf river, was transferred to the Otoe 
and Omaha mission at Bellevue, Nebraska, in 1853. reaching this latter 
place on the 6th of June of that year. 

]\Ir. Hamilton, who had spent most of his active life working among 
the tribes of Indians in this state, writing on the subject, on May 22, 1884, 
had the following to say: 

"I could relate many things in connection with the treatment of the 
Indians, that ought to make us, as a nation, blush, but it would require a 
book to tell all I have witnessed of fraud practiced upon them, and by many 
persons; things that I have personally known to be true, would now hardly 
be believed. The policy of teaching them English is well enough, but the 
idea of driving their ovvii language out of their minds, may do to talk about, 
but will not be done in many generations. Even the few who seem to un- 
derstand our language as well as we do ourselves (only a few), prefer 
speaking their own. Their mode of thought is so different from the English, 
and I might sav, from all modern European languages, that it is a great 
l)arrier to their acquiring our language perfectly. It must be the work tif 
time, and while they are instructed in English, the great truths of the Gospel 
must be heard in their own language wherein they were born. With these 
instructions in religion and the education of the young, strict justice on the 
part of the government should be done them. They ha\-e rights that seem 
to have been little respected. 

"Although I seemed to offend an agent forty-si.x years ago by saying 
the whites would have this country before long, and I could not believe what 
he so confidently asserted again and again, that they could not, for it was 
set apart forever for the Indians, yet time has shown what he could not then 
believe has literally come to pass. When the treaty was ratified, it was not 
long until great numbers were seeking a home in what was thought, not a 
centurv ago, to be a desert country, and not fit for the hunting grounds of 
the Tndian.s. \\'hen I came ^^'est in 1837. most of Iowa was unsettle*.! 
and owned b\- the Indians, and the buffalo roamed tn-er it. there being 
.1 few settlements on the Mississippi. 1 have seen all of Missouri settled up. 
.-ind 1 might sa\ as far smith as Arkansas. When asked in an early day 


how far my diocese extended. I replied, I supposed north to the forty-ninth 
degree of latitude, and west to the summit of the Rocky mountains, as at 
that time I knew of no other Preshyterian minister within these bounds. 
Reverend Dunbar had been among the Pawnees, but had left. The popula- 
tion of the United States did not at that time exceed fifteen million of souls. 
Now what do we see? Churches and schools all over this then Indian coun- 
try and a population of fifty-five millions. 

"When I came among the Indians fifty years ago I saw the red man 
riding on horseback, and his wife walking and carrying a load, and the little 
girls carrying something, and boys, if there were any, carrying bows and 
arrows. Before I left the lowas, I saw the v>ife on the horse, and the man 
walking. The same may be said of the Omahas. Now, it is quite common 
to see the man and his wife riding together in a wagon. Then, the women 
packed the wood, often three miles, on their backs — that was in summer : 
now it is hauled in wagons, the men generally doing the work, when able. 
Then, when not on the hunt, the}- were, when sober, either playing ball or 
cards, or some other game ; now they are engaged in farming. True, they 
keep up their dances, i. e., the heathen part, but generally take the Sabbath 
for them, as they pretend to work on the other days, but they also work on 
the Sabbath. It is over thirty years since I left the lowas. and they have 
greatly diminished, as have the Otoes and Sacs. Whiskey has been their 

"The Indians do not worship idols as many heathens, that is, carved 
idols or images, but are idolaters in the true sense of the word; but the idol 
is more in the mind and they apply the name of god to many things and 
ideas — different gods for different things. Wakanda in Omaha, Ponca, 
etc. ; Wankanta in Iowa, Otoe, etc. : Wa-ka-tangka in Sioux, which is reall\- 
the great or war god; Tanga, Sioux; Tangga, Omaha; Tanra, Iowa, signify- 
ing great. Waka is a snake in Iowa and Otoe, and uda is good in Omaha : 
perhaps, good snake, as pe is good in Iowa, and peskunya is bad, or not 
good: while uda is good, in Omaha, but pe-azhe in Omaha is not good, 
showing the pe retained in the negative Great Spirit is introduced, I have 
no doubt by the whites, as the only idea of that spirit is the spirit of the per- 
son. Moleto, or meneto, is the name of God in the Sac and kindred lan- 
guages, and a Sac interpreter told me it meant big snake. The Sac language 
is as musical as the Greek. The Winnebagoes use a term for God signifying 
the maker of the earth, but also the same nearl\- as the lowas." 



In 1834 two Presljyterian workers. Rev. John Dunbar and Samuel Allis, 
began work among the Pawnees of Nebraska under the auspices of the 
American board, and were later joined by Doctor Satterlee. After some 
time spent in getting acquainted with the people and the language, a per- 
manent station was selected, in 1838, on Plum creek, a small tributary of 
the Loup river, by consent of the Pawnees, who in the meantime had acknowl- 
edged the authority of the government. Circumstances delayed the work 
until 1844, when a considerable mission and a government station were begun, 
and a number of families from the different bands took up a residence adja- 
cent thereto. In consequence, however, of destructive inroads of the Sioux, 
the ancient enemies of the Pawnee, the mission effort was abandoned in 
1847 3nd the tribe returned to its former wild life. 

About the year 1835 work was begun by the Presbyterian Board of For- 
eign Missions among the Iowa and Sauk, then residing on the Missouri river, 
in east Nebraska ( Richardson county that now is ) . Attention was also given 
to some others of the removed tribes, and about ten years later a mission 
was established among the Omaha and Otoe at Bellevue, near the present 
Omaha, Nebraska, where, in 1850, Rev. Edward IMcKinney compiled a small 
Omaha primer, the first 'publication in that language. Both missions con- 
tinued on down to a modern period, despite the shifting fortunes of the tribes. 
Other prominent workers were Rev. Samuel Irvin, who gave thirt\- years of 
his life, beginning in 1837, to the first tribes named; and Rev. William Ham- 
ilton, who, beginning in 1837, with the same tribes, was transferred to the 
Bellevue Mission in 1853, rounding out a long life with a record of a half a 
century spent in service. Working in collaboration these two produced 
several linguistic works in the Iowa language, published by the ^lission Press, 
between 1843 to 1850, besides a collection of Omaha hymns and some manu- 
script translations by Hamilton alone at a latter period. 

The earliest Baptist worker in the central region was the Rev. Isaac 
McCov, afterward for nearly thirty years the general agent in the Indian mis- 
sion work of that denomination. 

The ]'4)iscopalians appear to have done no work in the interior until 
<il)out 18^0. — Prom the "Hand Book of American Indians." 

Spanish Explorations. 

To no agency other or more than the natural greed that possessed the 
early Spanish explorers, do we owe the discovery of what we now know 
as Nebraska. There were men in the old world country who, while slow 
to believe in the theories of Columbus and slow enough in giving him assist- 
ance when most needed, were, however, awakened to the greatest of activity 
when stories of the wonders of the New World were brought back b}- the 
first expedition. This same spirit possessed the early conquerors of the new 
world. Each expedition fitted out brought to western shores adventurers 
lired with a desire to investigate the stories told, retold, magnified and dis- 
torted to unbelievable proportions. Those, while bearing no semblance 
of probability, only served to whet the desires of those who had come. No 
manner of privation could stop these early adventurers. 

The spirit of the cavalier, fired with the romance of treading strange 
paths and communing with strange races of people, whose existence on this 
side of tlie planet until those days was absolutely unknown to the world, was 
as if at this late date after the world had been, as we believe, thoroughly 
tra\erstd. we or some one should happen to discover ways and means of 
communication or intercourse with another race of mankind on some other 
planet. The existence of peoples in a western hemisphere, not known to be 
existent, must have been an event sufficient to fire the imagination of the 
then civilized world as had nothing before or since. That its effect was 
(if stupendous importance, and so regarded at that time, we have ample e\i- 
dence from the record of subsequent events. 

The adventurous Spaniard was fired with excitement after the return 
of Columbus and efforts were at once commenced to outfit expeditions which 
should conquer the new world for the Spanish crown. Of these numerous 
expeditions we have neither time nor space here to speak, but must point out 
that the same spirit which prompted them, pervaded those of a later time, 
who hearkened to the voice of legendary stories reaching their ears from 
various sources, telling of famous peoples to the north nf ^Mexico, who had 
not been visited by the European. The desire to inxade tlie great tractless 


unknown Xorth, led to nn expedition headed by one Francisco \^asquez 
Coronado. which in the hght of more subsequent knowledge of the country 
traversed, the distance covered, the people likely to have been encountered, 
and the climatic conditions and other innumerable obstacles, of necessity, to 
be overcome, not to mention their mode of travel, seems to have been more 
really Quixotic than any of the many vagaries ascribed to the unbalanced 
mind of that mythical gallant in the days of knight errantry, described by 
the noted .Spaniard, Cervantes. 

It was here that the nature of the early Spaniard manifested itself most 
plainly. He had pillaged ever_\- people with whom he had come in contact 
in the new world and by the same promptings in a desire for what he 
might obtain by force, gave ear to the stories of beautiful cities and peo- 
ples of fabulous wealth to be found in the North. Hence it is that he and 
his followers were the first to visit the land we now prize as our state. 

Gathering aliout him a band of some few hundred of his countrymen on 
horseback, together with se\eral hundred Indians with supplies, a start was 
made in February, 1540. During that year they journeyed as far north 
as the territory now included in the present state of Arizona, where they 
spent the winter. In the following spring, in the month of April, the 
journe\- was continued on northward. The expedition was a failure and so 
foredoomed from the start, if measured by its accomplishment of any of 
the purposes originally set forth, for the reason that it failed utterly in 
finding any of the fabled cities or peoples, the like of which had been 
described to them : but it did succeed, or, at least, a very few survivors of 
the original part}- succeeded, in penetrating to a farther point north and 
west than had an) exploring party up to that date. In accounts made of the 
trip it seems most certain that they reached the fortieth parallel north 
degree of latitude (Kansas-Nebraska state line), and by sonnie it is believed 
that they may have actually invaded the interior of Nebraska. This being 
true, they were the first besides the natives to see what is now Nebraska. 
This expedition started out originally from a point about four hundred 
miles north of the Cit\- of Mexico and their wanderings covered a period 
of two years. 1540 to 1542, and in the path of their travels for the first time 
beheld the grandeur of the grand canyon of the Colorado. This great can- 
yon, which in these later days is considered the grandest spot in the western 
hemisphere, fur its scenic wonders, made but little impression on them as 
compared witii what the\- had been led to hope would be found, and they 
pressed on tln-Dugh the hot summer months and endured much suffering 
and pri\'ation. 



Coronado, in writing of what he had found, said: "I have reached 
the fortieth parallel of latitude," "The inhabitants are good hunters, culti- 
vate corn, and exhibit a friendly disposition. They said that tv^^o months 
would not sufifice to visit them entirely. In the whole extent of the prov- 
ince, I have seen but about twenty-five villages, and these are built of straw. 
The men are large and the women well formed. The soil is the best which 
it is possible to see for all kinds of Spanish fruits. Besides being strong and 
black, it is very well watered by creeks, fountains and rivers. Here I found 
plums, such as I have seen in Spain, walnuts and excellent ripe grapes." 

Jarmacillo, one of Coronado's lieutenants, writing at a later time in 
regard to the expedition, had the following to say of his observations: 
"The country has a fine appearance, such as I have not seen excelled in 
France, Italy, or in any of the countries which I have visited in the service 
of his majesty. It is not a country of mountains, there being but hillocks 
and plains, with streams of excellent water. It afforded me entire satisfac- 
tion. I judge that it must be quite fertile and well suited to the cultivation 
of all sorts of fruits. For a grazing countr}-, experience proves that it is 
admirably adapted; when we consider the herds of bison and other wild 
animals, vast as the imagination can conceive, find sustenance there. I 
noticed a kind of plum of excellent flavor, something like those of Spain: 
the stems and blue flowers of a sort of wild flax, sumach, along the margins 
of the streams, like the sumach of Spain, and palatable wild grapes." 


Speaking further in regard to this part of the new world those chron- 
iclers, who were the first from the then civilized world to see. made report 
as follows referring to the buffalo: "These oxen are of the bigness and 
color of our bulls, but their horns are not so great. Tliey have a great 
bunch on their foreshoulders and more hair on their forepart, tlian on their 
hinder part, and it is like wool. They have, as it were, a horse mane upon 
their backbone, and much hair and very long from their knees downward. 
They have great tufts of hair hanging down from their foreheads, and it 
seemeth that they have bears, because of the great store of hair hanging 
down from their chins and tiiroats. The males have very long tails , and a 
great knol) or flock at the end, so tliat in some respects they resemble the 

88 rickai;dsox county, Nebraska. 

lion, and in some other, the camel. They push with their horns, they run, 
thev overtake and kill a horse, when they are in their rage and anger. 
Finally, it is a foul and fierce beast of countenance and form of body. 
The horses fled from them, either because they were afraid of their deformed 
shape or else because they had never seen them. Their masters have no 
other riches, nor substance; of them they eat, they drink, they apparel, they 
shoe themselves; and of their hides they make many things, as house shoes, 
apparel and ropes; of their bones they make bodkins, of their sinews and 
hair, thread; of their homs, maws and bladders, vessels; of their dung, fire; 
and of their calves, skins, budgets (buckets), wherein they draw and keep 
water. To be short, they make so many things of them as they have need 
of, or as many as suffice them in the use of this life." 

The party encountered a storm and while the same happened four 
hundred years ago, yet in detail it would pass for similar disturbances many 
of us have witnessed in our own time : "One evening, there came up a ter- 
rible storm of wind and hail, which left in the camp hailstones as large as 
porringers and even larger. They fell thick as rain drops, and in some 
spots the ground was covered with them to the depth of eight or ten inches. 
The storm caused, said one, many tears, weakness and vows. The horses 
broke their reins, some were even blown down the banks of the ravine, the 
tents were torn, and every in the camp broken." 

The authorities do not positively fix it as a fact that Coronado ever 
actually penetrated far enough north to have touched Nebraska, having only 
his word for it, and to make that doubtful, the fact that the early explorers 
invariably erred from one to two points off, in reckoning or computing the 
degrees of latitude. If correct, he undoubtedly, as he said, did reach the 
south boundary of our state ; and if in error, as much as indicated above, 
he would then have reached central Kansas. In any event, the undertaking 
was most wonderful, considered from any angle regardless of the motives 
of its prompting. People residing in the vicinity of Junction City, Kansas, 
so certainly believe the story of this party's visit to their section of the coun- 
try at the time indicated, that in 1902 they erected a monument with suitable 
inscriptions for the purpose of commemorating the e\ent. 

There are recorded many other and wonderful tales of romantic value 
telling of adventurous explorers, who at later dates may have visited the 
land of Qui vera, hut they savor so much of the fable that they can have 
but little interest of historical value, except for showing the state of mystery 
that must have surrounded this unknown region in those shadowy days of 
the past. 



Not until nearly two hundred years later do we find an authenicated 
case of any visit to this region by the white man, and it is then a party of 
Frenchmen under the leadership of the Mallet brothers, Pierre and Paul. 
They, like the later exploring parties, made use of the good old Missouri 
river as a means of transit and in their description of the trip gave the 
length in leagues of the distance between points along the stream from 
St. Louis to the northern part of the state of Nebraska, where they appear 
to have disembarked and from this point traversed the state, going to the 
southwest and on to Mexico. They are said to have been the first white men 
to visit the state and they it was who were the first of this race to negotiate 
the Platte river and name it. From reports of their visit was obtained the 
first really authentic description of the country now included in what is 

Stories told by this party encouraged others to come up the river and 
we find that many of the early visitors soon began to carry on quite an 
extensive and (to them) profitable trade with the natives, taking their furs 
in exchange for cheap trinkets they were able to bring from the East and 
from Europe. Manuel Lista was the most widely known among these 
early traders so far as this part of the country is concerned. 

As soon as the country was acquired by the government from France 
tinder what was known as the "Louisiana Purchase," Lewis and Clark 
were sent to make an in\-estigation for our government. This famous 
expedition was sent out in 1804 and consumed the greater part of two 
years on the trip. The various visitors to the West in those days made the 
trip up the river in open boats, using oars, and sometimes pulled the lioats 
with horses on the shore or by men with a rope attached to the Ix)at. This 
method of travel was both tedious and slow. 


The first steamlx)at used on the Missouri river for navigation pur- 
poses was that of Major Stephen Long, who was in the government serv- 
ice and had been sent West to explore the Platte river and the region east 
of the mountains in 1819. This boat, the "Western Engineer," was out- 
fitted at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and left that point on its long journey 
on Mav 5. 1819. This party went down the Ohio river to St. Louis and 


thence up the Missouri to Council Bluffs. The boat, being the largest and 
first of its kind under its own power to make the voyage, was a strange 
sight to the simple natives and the smoke emitted from its funnels was 
terrifving to them. The party arrived at Omaha, or near the later site of 
that city, some time in the month of September of that year. Those people 
spent many months among the Indians of the state, then going west to the 
mountains. The Major had in his party a number of scientific men who 
made a close study of the country and the people. 

That the country from the Missouri river west to the mountains at 
that period, was regarded as unlikely to ever become of much value for 
agriculture, will appear from what he reported to the government, speaking 
in this connection: He said: "It, (the country) is almost wholly unfit for 
cultivation and of course uninhabitable for people depending upon agricul- 
ture for their subsistence." 

Major Long and his men proved no Ijetter prophets as to the future 
of Nebraska than many who came later; but, being a representative of the 
go\ernment, his report was given undue credence and its effect was detri- 
mental to this country for many years. However, notwithstanding what he 
said, it is a well-known fact that the Indians then living here had in their 
crude way succeeded in raising a considerable quantity of vegetable and 
cereal crops. The Pawnees, Omahas, Poncas and Otoes were raising a 
number of varieties of all the different kinds of corn we now have: besides 
they cultivated some fifteen kinds of beans, eight kinds of S(|uash. one of 
melons and innumerable other articles of food value. 

From what source Major Long drew his conclusions is not clear as the 
native had found it ix)ssible and had raised all that was sufficient for his 
well being, for centuries before the advent of the white man upon the scene, 
and subsequent e\ents ha\e more than proven that the white man could do 

LEWIS ANn Clark's expedition. 

Soon after the acquirement of the Louisiana Territory from the French, 
the American government, desirous of having authoritatixe information 
relative to the same, commissioned Capt. Meriwether Lewis and C'apt. Will- 
iam Clark. l)oth of whom at the time were officers in the United States 
army, to set out on an expedition and explore and report on the same. They 
were to ascertain the source and courses of the Missouri and determine the 
most convenient water route to the Pacific and, incidenth', to gather all pos- 
sible information in regard tn tlie new countr\'. Tliev made tlieir wav to 


St. Louis, Missouri, and al that place outfitted themselves for the long 
journey up the Missouri river. The start on this memorable trip was made 
from the above place on May 14, 1804. 

P'oUowing is a description of the company and outfit taken from the 
journal of Lewis and Clark: 

"The party consisted of nine young- men from the state of Kentucky, 
fourteen soldiers of the L'nited States army, who volunteered their services, 
two French watermen, an interpreter and hunter, and a black servant belong- 
ing to Captain Clark — all of these, except the last, were enlisted to serve as 
privates during the expedition, and three sergeants appointed from amongst 
them by the captains. In addition to this were engaged a corporal and 
six soldiers, and nine watermen to accompany the expedition as far as the 
Mandan nation, in order to assist in carrying the stores, or repelling an 
attack, which was most to be apprehended, between Woos river and that 
tribe. The necessary stores were subdivided into seven bales, and one box, 
containing a small portion of each article in case of accident. They con- 
sisted of a great variety of clothing, working utensils, locks, flints, powder, 
ball, and articles of the greatest use. To these were added fourteen bales 
and one box of Indian presents, distributed in about the same manner, and 
consisted of richly-laced coats and other articles of dress, medals, flags, 
knives and tomahawks for the chiefs — ornaments of dififerent kinds par- 
ticularly beads, looking glasses, handkerchiefs, paints, and generally such 
articles as were deemed best calculated for the taste of the Indians. 

"The party was to embark on board of three boats; the first was a keel 
boat, fifty-five feet long, drawing three feet of water, one large scjuare sail 
and twenty-two oars; a deck of ten feet in the bow and stern formed a 
forecastle and cabin, while the middle was covered by lockers, which might 
be raised so as to form a breast work in case of attack. This was accom- 
panied by two perioques [pirogues] or open boats, one of six and the other 
of seven oars. Two horses were at the .same time to be led along the banks 
of. the river for the purpose of bringing in game, or hunting in case of 

.\fter a slow and laborious voyage they reached a point opposite to 
where the Great Nemaha empties into the Missouri, on the afternoon of 
July nth, where they went into camp for a couple of days. (The Great 
Nemaha at the present time empties into the Missouri river at a jwint sev- 
eral miles north of the spot located liy Lewis and Clark, it having changed its 
course in later years, during times of liigh water." 



The following from the journal of Lewis and Clark, describes what 
they found at the mouth of the Xemaha : 

"Jul)- 12, 1804 — (Thursday) — We remained here today for the pur- 
pose of refreshing the party and making hmar observations. The Nemaha 
empties itself into the Missouri from the South, and is eighty (80) yards 
wide at its confluence, which is in latitude 39'' 55' 56". Captain Clark 
ascended it in a piroque about two miles, to the mouth of a small creek on 
the lower side. On going ashore, he found in the level plain several arti- 
ficial mounds, or graves, and, on the adjoining hills, others of larger size. 
This appearance indicates sufficiently the former population of this country, 
the mounds being certainly intended as tombs, the Indians of the Missouri 
still preserving the custom of interring the dead on high ground. From the 
top of the highest mound a delightful prospect presented itself — the level' 
and extensive meadows watered b}- the Nemaha and enlivened by the few 
trees and shrubs skirting the borders of the river and its tributary streams; 
the lowland of the Missouri covered with undulating grass, nearly five feet 
high, gradually rising into a .second plain, where rich weeds and flowers are 
interspersed with copses of the Osage plum ; farther back were seen small 
groves of trees, an a,bundance of grapes, the wild cherry of the Missouri, 
resembling our own, but larger, and growing on a small bush, and the 
choke-cherry, which we observed for the first time. Some of the grapes 
gathered today are nearly ripe. On the south of the Nemaha and aliout 
a quarter of a mile from its mouth, is a cliff of freestone, in which are 
\arious inscriptions and marks made by the Indians. The sand island on 
which we are encamped is covered with the two species of willow — broad 
and narrow leaf." 

"July 13. — W'e proceeded at sunrise with a fair wind from the south, 
and at two miles passed the mouth of a small river on the north called 
Big Tarkio. A channel from the bed of the Missouri once ran into this 
river and formed an island called St. Joseph's, but the channel is now filled 
up and the island is now added to the northern shore. Farther on to 
the south is situated an extensive plain, covered with a grass resembling 
timothy in its general appearance, except the seed, which is like flax seed, 
and also a number of grape ^•ines. At twelve miles we passed an island on 
the north, al)()\e which is a big sand bar covered with willows, and at 
twenty and a half miles, stopped on a large sand bar in the middle of the 
ri\er, op];)osite a high, handsome prairie, which extends to the hills four or 



five miles distant, though near the bank the land is low and subject to be 
overflowed. This day was exceedingly fine and pleasant, the storm of wind 
last night from the northeast having cooled the air." 

"July 14th.— \\^e had some hard showers of rain before seven o'clock, 
when we set out. We had just reached the end of the sand island, and seen 
the o))posite banks fall in, and so lined with timber that we could not 
approach it without danger, when a sudden squall from the northeast struck 
the boat on the starboard quarter and would certainly have dashed her to 
pieces on the sand island if the party had not leai^ed into the river, and with 
the aid of the anchor and cable, kept her oft" — the waves dashing over her 
for a space of forty minutes, after which the river became almost instantly 
calm and smooth. The two pirogues were ahead, in a situation nearly 
similar, Init fortunately no damage was done to the boats or the loading. 
The wind having shifted to the southeast, we came, at the distance of two 
miles, to an island on the north, where we dined. One mile above, on the 
same side of the river, is a small factory, where a merchant of St. I-ouis 
traded with the Otoes and Pawnees two years ago. Near this is an exten- 
sive lowland, part of which is overflowed occasionally, the rest is rich and 
well limbered. The wind again changed to the northwest by north. At 
seven and one-half miles, we reached the lower point of a large island. A 
small distance above this point is a river, called by the Maha (now Omaha 
Indians ) , the Nish-na-ba-tona. This is a considerable creek, nearly as large 
as the Mine river, and runs parallel to the Missouri the greater part of its 
cfiurse, lieing fifty yards wide at its mouth. In the prairies or glades, we saw 
wild timothy, lambsc[uarter, cuckleberries, and. on the edge of the river, 
summer grapes, plums and gooseberries. We also saw today for the first 
time, some elk, at which some of the party shot, but at too great a distance. 
We encamped on the north side of the island, a little above the Nishnaba- 
tona, having made nine miles. The river fell a little. 

"July 15th. — A thick fog prevented us leaving the encampment before 
seven. yVt about four miles, we reached the extremity of the large island, 
and crossing to the south (side of the Missouri!, at a distance of seven 
miles, arrived at the Little Nemaha, a small river from the south, forty 
yards wide a little above its mouth, but contracting as do most all rivers 
em])tying into the Missouri at its confluence. '■' * * 


Because of the con(]uest of Canada in 1760, the province of Louisiana 
alone remained to France, Init not for long. On November 3, 17OJ, it was 


ceded to Spain, witli tlie exception of the eastern half, which fell to Eng- 
land. The portion west of the Mississippi river, including what is now the 
state of Nebraska, was thenceforth for thirty-eight years Spanish territory, 
Ijut the Spaniards did not at once assume possession of the same. The east 
])ortion taken by the English, passed on September 3, 1783, to the 
Unitetl States, following the close of the Re\olutionary War. Later, (ju 
October i, 1800, by the terms of a treaty concluded between the Emperor of 
France, Napoleon Bonaparte, and the King of Spain, the western part then 
under Spanish domination was re-ceded to France. This treaty was con- 
firmed by a treaty at Madrid, starch 21, 1801. France, however, sold Louis- 
iana Territory to the United States on April 30, 1803, which date was the 
first that Nebraska passed officially under the fiag an.d authority of the 
American government. An act was passed on Octoljer 31, 1803, l)y the 
American Congress authorizing the President to take formal possession (if 
the Louisiana Territory and form a temporary government thereof. Auth- 
ority from this act vested the powers of government in such person or per- 
sons and was to be exercised in the manner the President of the L^nited 
States might direct. Amos Stoddard was then appointed as governor of 
the new territory, which was known as Upper Louisiana. A later act of 
Congress erected Louisiana into the "Territory of Orleans and the District 
of Louisiana." 

The purchase of Louisiana was negotiated under the administration 
of Thomas JefYerson and the price paid amounted to fifteen million dollars. 
France received in payment more than eleven million dollars in bonds from 
the United States and the remainder of the purchase price was paid In- the 
United States to citizens of this country in settlement of claims held b\- them 
against the French government. No census of the territory had been taken, 
but estimates placed the number of whites as l>eing no more than fifty thou- 
-sand. James Wilkinson was appointed governor by President Jefiferson. and 
I<'rederick Bates, secretary. St. Louis was made the capital. The judges 
were J. Meigs and John P>. C. Lucas. Those, together with the governor, 
constituted the Legislature. 


On June 4, 18 12, an act of Congress changed the Territory of Louis- 
iana to the Territory of Missouri, included in the boundaries of which was 
tlie present state of Nel)raska. This act provided for a g<nernor and secre- 
tary, together with a Legislature composed of a council and House of Pc])- 


resentatives. Under , this arrangement the members of the House of Repre- 
sentatives were to be elected Ijy the people and they, the House members, 
were to submit the names of eighteen other persons from whom the Presi- 
dent by and with the consent and advice of the Senate, would select nine to 
serve as a council or upper branch of the Legislature. Judicial power was 
vested in superior and inferior courts and justices of tlie peace. The judges 
of these courts were selected by the President. On the 19th day of January, 
18 16, the Legislature passed a law adopting the common law of England as 
the law governing the territory and it so remained until the later davs, when 
Governor Richardson was called upon to serve tiie people of Nebraska in 
its more limited lx)undaries, and the repeal of the criminal code of this law 
by an act of the Nebraska Territorial Legislature, was one of the first 
troublesome features with which he had to deal upon his arrival to assume 
charge of his new post. 


Out of what was known as the Territory of Missouri the new Territory 
of Kansas came into being on the second day of March, 1819. Two years 
later, on the 2nd day of March, 1821, the state of Missouri was created. 
At first the boundary line on the west passed north and south at the mouth 
of the Kansas river. In 1836, when the title of the lowas, Sacs and Foxes 
was extinguished by a treaty, the boundary lines of Missouri was extended 
west to the river, as it now exists. The new addition was known as the 
Platte Purchase. On the west side of the river was what we n(jw know- 
as southeast Nebraska, Richardson, Nemaha and Otoe counties. 

In 1825 the United States government made a deal with the Kansas 
Indians, whereljy they got lands held by that tribe l>etvveen the Kansas, 
Missouri, Nemaha and Nodaway rivers, and later, in 1834, the Pawnee 
Indians relinqui.shed their holding to the government. Their lands were all 
located south 'of the Platte river in Nebraska. At aljout the same time most 
of the land held by the Otoes and Missouri Indians between the Little and 
Great Nemaha rivers passed to the government. In lieu of these concessions 
Congress passed an act on June 30. 1834, designating that all of the country 
west of the Mississippi, and not within the states of Louisiajia and Missouri 
or tlie Territory of Arkansas, should be taken for the purposes set forth 
in an act to be Indian country. This included what is now Nebraska. 

During the years which followed until the erection of Nebraska as a 
territorv, there was a flood of tra\el by gold seekers lured to the I'acilic 


slopes, and before them tlie Mormon migratory movement and the niihtary 
expeditions. Nebraska Territory lay in the path and must be crossed by all 
on the long journey westward. It was the grand highway then as now for 
western travel. 


It required several attempts before Nebraska Territory was finally and 
definitely erected by an act of Congress. The first effort in Congress to 
make a territory west of the Missouri river was made in 1851, but this 
atempt did not get to the voting stage. At a meeting of Congress the fol- 
lowing year, 1S52-3, a bill was introduced by \\'illard P. Hall, a member of 
the House from Missouri, organizing what should be known as the "Terri- 
tory of the Platte," which included much of what is now Nebraska. The 
bill was referred to the committee on territories, of which William A. Rich- 
ardson, of Illinois, later to be governor of Nebraska, was a member. 

Mr. Richardson reported a bill organizing about the same territory- into 
a territory which he desired should be known as the "Territory of Ne- 
braska". The bill met with strenuous opposition, but finally passed the 
house on a vote standing ninety-eight to forty -three, on February 10, 1853. 
It went to the Senate, where it also found opposition which prevented its 
passage, at that session. When the following Congress convened, on Decem- 
ber 14, 1853, Senator August C. Dodge, of Iowa, introduced a bill to organ- 
ize the Territory of Nebraska. His bill had reference to the same territory 
mentioned in the bills before former sessions of Congress, all of which 
contemplated- the Platte river as the northern boundary line. Opposition to 
the entry of Nebraska as a territory turned principally upon the question 
of whether it should be lawful or not to hold slaves within the new territory. 
Those members from the Southern states desired that slave territory be 
extended while the Northern members were opposed to it. 

During those several years while Congress was haggling over the mat- 
ter, prospective settlers were gathering in the border states, desirous of being 
allowed to enter the state for the purpose of taking up land for homes. people were restive of the dilatory tactics in Congress and at a meet- 
ing held at Bellevue, Hadley D. Johnson, of their number, was selected and 
commissioned to go to \\'^ashington to explain their wishes in the matter. 
He was received by the committee having in charge the bill and given a 
hearing. His efforts in the cause of the settlers so impressed Senator 
Douglas that the latter secured the recommittal of the bill. On January 23, 
1854, another bill was oft'ered in the Senate, greatly changed in form, which 


passed that body on March 4th of that year. WiUiam A. Richardson, in the 
House again introduced a bill, which in its form was very similar to the 
Senate measure. 

The final vote on the measure, and the one which carried it, was had on 
May 24th and the same was approved by President Pierce, May 30, 1854. 
The act, as passed, provided that Congress had no jurisdiction over the new 
territory as regards the status of slave holding, but granted that the people 
of the new territory should have the right and privilege of making laws 
suitable to themselves covering this c|uestion. 

The new territory thus taken in covered an area of three hundred and 
fifty-one thousand five hundred and fifty-eight square miles and extended north 
from the fortieth parallel of north latitude (the line between Kansas and 
Nebraska) to the British possessions (the line between Canada and the 
United States), from the eastern boundary (the Missouri river, dividing 
Missouri and Iowa from Nebraska), west to the summit of the Rocky 
mountains. On the 28th of February, 1861, the Territory of Colorado was 
created and this reduced the area of Nebraska by some sixteen thousand 
thirty-live square miles. On March 16, 1867, the Dakotas were formed and 
further reduced Nebraska by two hundred and twenty-eight thousand nine 
hundred and seven square miles ; and still later a tract of fifteen thousand 
three hundred and seventy-eight was taken from Washington and Utah, 
but this was later included in some forty-five thousand ninety-nine square 
miles, which now forms a part of the state of Idaho. The present area of 
the state of Nebraska is seventy-five thousand nine hundred and ninet)-five 
square miles. 

At the time the Louisiana Purchase was arranged between the United 
States and the government of France, in 1803, slavery was a legalized insti- 
tution, and many of the residents held slaves. In the treaty ceding the 
territory to the United States, Napoleon had incorporated an expressed 
stipulation that the inhabitants of Louisiana "Should be incorporated into 
the Union of the United States and admitted as soon as possible, according 
to the principles of the federal Constitution, to the enjoyment of all the 
rights, advantages and immunities of citizens of the United States, and in 
the meantime they should be maintained and protected in the free enjoy- 
ment of their liberties, property and the religion which they professed." 
The effect of this clause was to have much attention in later years when the 
Territory of Nebraska was formed and was much debated in Congress when 
the matter of slave holding in the territory was before Congress. 



Tliis act passed by Congress in 1854, during the administration of 
Franklin Pierce, for the purpose of organizing the Territories of Kansas 
and Nebraska. It provided among other things, that the questions of slav- 
ery should be left to the people; that questions involving the title of slaves 
were to be left to the local courts, with the right to appeal to the United 
States Supreme court ; and that the Fugitive slave laws were to apply to the 
territories. Further, so far as this region was concerned, the ^lissouri Com- 
promise of 1820, which excluded slavery from the Louisiana Purchase north 
of latitude 36° 30' north, except from the state of Missouri, was declared 
repealed. This measure disrupted the Whig party, most of the Southern 
Whigs joining the Democrats, and led to the organization of the Republican 
party in 1856. It was also one of the prime factors in bringing about the 
Civil War. 

Early Settlement and Early Surveys. 

"Now let us climb Nebraska's loftiest hill. 
And from its summit view the scene beyond ; 
The moon comes like an angel down from Heaven, 
Its radiant face is the unclouded sun, 
Its outspread wings, the overreaching sky. 
Its voice, the charming minstrels of the sky. 
Its breath, the fragrance of the bright wild flowers. 
Behold the prairie, broad and grand and free — 
'Tis God's own garden, unprofaned by man." 

— -"Nebraska:" A Poem, 1854. 

The unsettled region of southeastern Nebraska presented an attractive 
and seductive picture to the pioneers of sixty years ago. The beautiful 
and fertile wocxied valleys, the flowing streams, the vast reaches of the 
upland prairies — all provided an enticemeent not equalled anywhere else in 
this land. The early visitors to the country, from Coronado to the mem- 
bers of the Lewis and Clark expedition, were all united in singing the 
praises of the region which is now Richardson county, as being a fitting 
abode for the industrious white man. The country round about, was a 
paradise for the nomadic Indian tribes and the adventurous hunters and 
trappers. It was a veritable Garden of Eden, awaiting the advent of the 
hardy American pioneers, who would break the way for less venturous settlers, 
who were to figure in the development of tlie land. The Missouri river was 
an easy and comfortable method of reaching this land of plenty and afforded 
transportation for the necessities of life and the meager lielongings of the 
first comers and homeseekers to the county. 

The earlv American pioneer was a distinct specimen oi humanity, fie 
was dififerent from his fellow .-Xmericans in many ways. In Ins veins flowed 


the blood of generations of forbears, who had Hved on the frontier of civiH- 
zation and were continuous homeseekers from both choice and necessity. 
The pioneer ever had his vision turned to the Westward and dreamed of 
wide ranges and far-reaching soHtudes, where he could live free and un- 
molested far away from the trammels of civilization. It was his habit to be 
moving- onward as each new section became peopled with followers, who 
came to reap the benefits of his early hardships and toil in hewing a home 
from the wilderness and prairies of the West. To the pioneer of the early 
fifties must be given the credit for proving to the world that man could 
exist and be comfortable in what was formerly called the "Great American 


The first families to journey to the region which is now Richardson 
county, were of the real pioneer class, whose ancestors preceding them 
were pioneers for many generations. They were from the state of Ten- 
nessee, which had not yet reached its full development and has not done 
so to this day. and from Missouri, ^''irginia, the mother of presidents and 
the seat of some of the oldest families of the nation, mothered the progenitors 
of this pioneer class. The Carolinas,-no doubt, had a share in producing 
some of the ancestors of those venturous people who came to the banks of 
the Missouri in the early fifties, to found homes and cities for themselves 
and children. Their forbears were a restless and ambitious lot, who were 
continually, from generation to generation, moving onward to newer fields 
wherein to rear their families and find sustenance. From Virginia and 
the Carolinas this migration spread to Tennessee and Kentucky. The chil- 
dren of the Tennessee and Kentucky pioneers followed the river routes north- 
westward to the newer lands. The navigable streams which coursed through 
Tennessee to the Ohio, thence to the Mississippi and then up the Missouri 
river, afforded a safe and easy means of transportation for their goods and 

Beyond certain sections, or more proper!}- speaking, the eastern section of 
Nebraska, nature had placed difticulties in the way of the pioneer for founding 
homes that to this day have not been fully overcome. Richardson county, 
being situated in the basin of the ^lissouri river and its afiluents. made an 
ideal place of residence and afforded a certainty of crop raising which the 
more western sections of the state do not furnish. Hence, we find tliat 
many of the earlier pioneers of this county remained aiKJ here reared fami- 


lies, who are at present the proud descendants of those who were the real 
pioneers of the county. 

The first homeseekers in the early fifties chose the breaks of the Mis- 
souri and Nemaha rivers for their abiding places and avoided the high 
uplands of the fertile prairie section for good and sufficient reasons. The 
broken land in the region of old St. Stephens and Archer afforded two things 
which the settler must have to sustain life — wood and water in abundance, 
without the trouble of digging wells and carting the wood for his fireplace 
a long distance. The settler selected the site for his home in the vicinity of 
a forest and stream and more often near a gushing spring. He felled the 
forest trees with which to build his cabin; game was plentiful in the woods 
and fish abounded in the streams. His wants were simple and easily sup- 
plied; he was comfortable and well fed. The pioneer and early homeseeker 
passed by the marsh lands of the Nemaha and its smaller branch and sought 
the high breaks of the southwestern part of the county, where were beauti- 
ful and wooded valleys with flowing streams, which furnished ideal sites for 
primitive homes. Some of the oldest families of Richardson county, who 
are descended from these early pioneers, still reside in Speiser and Hum- 
boldt precincts. They have broad acres and comfortable homes and are 
prosperous and contented. The high hills and ranges afliord pasturage for 
their herds and the wooded valleys afford homesites and areas of fertile, 
cultivated land. This hilly country, which embraces the highest points in 
the county, bids fair to witness another important development at the present 
time. Geologists have stated that oil may be found in the depths of the 
ground and capitalists are already drilling for the coveted mineral wealth. 
Coal is found in the hills. Altogether, it is a desirable place of residence. 

The pioneers who settled the eastern part of the county and made homes 
in the Missouri river breaks, were the town builders and took an active part 
in the early organization of the county. Their descendants at this day are 
among the most prominent of the county citizenry and have accumulated 
wealth and position through the foresight of their parents and their t)wn 
inherent abilitv, in taking ad\'antage of the opportunities afforded by the 
development of a new country. 


For purposes of classification the settlement of Richardson county may 
be divided into four distinct epochs, which include well-defined classes of 
settlers. These epochs are as follow : 


First. The real pioneer era, which dates from the year 1854 to i860 or 
1 86 1. The men who came during this era were the hardy and adventurous 
homeseekers, who left friends and relatives and old home ties behind them in 
the older states in order to be the first to assist in building up a new state. Too 
much credit cannot be given this class, inasmuch as they bore the brunt of the 
solitude and the lonesome life and hardships incidental to living in an almost 
unpeopled wilderness. 

Second. The old settlers, or early settlement period. — The people who 
came during the years from i860 to 1869 or 1870, were of a class who 
came after the way was broken and while the population of the county 
was yet sparse. They traveled overland from the older states and followed 
the Missouri river as had their predecessors, found the land inviting and 
remained to make a home and grow up with the county. \\^hile these people 
are pioneers in a certain sense they can be better classed as "old settlers 
of the second era of settlement.'" This era included 1866-1870. 

Third. The homesteaders. After the enactment of the Homestead 
Law. there was a rush of Civil ^\'ar veterans and people from the 
older Middle West states to the county, to take advantage of the free 
homesteads provided for in this act. The settlers came from Ohio, Illinois. 
Indiana. Kentucky and Missouri during this era and settled upon the uplands 
or prairies. The earl\- part of this period was a trying time to all classes 
of settlers on account of the dry years. Many settlers and homesteaders 
were forced to relinquish their homes and return to old home places. Those 
who stayed and fought the good fight, reaped the rewards in later years of 
abundant crops and prosperity which followed. 

F^nirth. The era of building and development, and permanent settlers, 
1 870- 1 890. — The free lands having all been taken up during the homesteading 
era, another influx of settlers came to purchase the lands of their predecessors 
and make permanent homes in the county. This class came from the older 
states to the Eastward and from foreign lands. Many of these came with 
funds with which to Iniy their farms and live stock. They were the builders 
and developers of the county in a certain sense and the greatest industrial 
progress which the c<nint\' has made dates from this influx. 


The following is a list of those whd settled in Richardson county before 
i860, as near as can be ascertained : 



1854: Wilson M. Maddox, Fred Harkendorff, Jesse Crook, Mary 
Harkendorff. Mrs. Jesse Crook, Mr. William R. Crook. Mrs. J. R. Wilhite, 

D. L. Thompson, Elias Minshell. 

1855 : Benjamin F. Leechman and family, Lucinda Crook, James 
Forney, \\'. H. Keeling. 

1856: James Stumbo, G. J. Crook, John Crook. 

1857: Frank Crook, J. R. Dowty, Polly Wamsle}-, Chris Wamsley. 

1858: W. R. Goolsby, A. P. Forney, Mrs. Rose A. Allison, William 

E. Dorrington, Isham Reavis and family, Mrs. Sarah Goolsby. 

1859: John Fallstead, William McK. Maddox and family; Mrs. Daniel 
Gantt, Anderson Miller, George W. Marsh, Margaret Miller, S. T. Miller, 
Ike Allison, Elias Firebaugh. 




George Goolsby, A. D. Goolsby, A. H. Sloan. 

J. F. Cornell, W. H. Cornell, Lavina Cornell. 

C. F. Peabody, Isaac Clark and wife; T. C. Cunningham. 

George D. Clark, J. W. Patterson, C. C. Parsons. 

W. H. Mark, Emerson Smith, J. M. Dietrich, John Hossack, 

W. S. Marsh, R. L. Marsh, T. S. Marsh. 

1854: Abner Boyd, Mrs. J. T. Adams, W. H. Whitney. 

1855: S. H. Roberts, Joseph Hare, Mrs. W. \\'. Spurlock, daughter 
of J. C. Lincoln; S. P. Gist, J. C. Lincoln and wife. 
" 1856: W. A. Crook. 

1857: William Kinsey, and family: Will Whitney. 

1859: Ester Waggoner, H. C. Jemiings, Morris Malone, J. H. Cum- 
mings, Stewart Russell. 


J. Robert Cain. 

William C. Hall. Mrs. Kate Messier. 

G. W. Smith, M. H. Van Deventer. 


1854: John B. Didier. 

1856: Charles Jenkins, Fulton Peters 

1855 : Ellis Goolsby. 
1859: Daniel Riley. 


1853 : Joseph Zulek, Charles Zulek. 

1854: Samuel Bobst. 

1857: H. D. Tinker, O. J. Tinker, Edward P. Tinker, Franklin 

1854: Thomas F. Brown, Davis Speiser, Sr. 
1856: George Riechers (now of Falls City). 


1855 • William R. Cain, and family. 

1848: Stephen Story and wife. 

Others who settled in the county before i860, were: 1854. Rebecca 
T. Edwards, 1855: George Coffman, 1856; J. O. Stout, James Dedrich, Mrs. 
A. H. Cornell; 1857, Z. J. Parsons, L. A. Kinsey; 1858, S. J. Harris. James 
Clark, William Colerick: 1859, William Parchen. A\'illiam Rieschick; 1858, 
J. G. Wist, 1859. Mrs. George Linsicum; 1858, Airs. J. B. Morton; 1859, 
Margaret Maddox; 1855, J. C. Miller; 1854, Christian Bobst; 1853, Con- 
rad Smith, Rulo; 1855, Mrs. Dan Van \'alkenburg, Rulo; 1854, 
C. W. Roberts, Salem; 1856. J. R. Kelley, Salem; 1855, Mrs. Mary A. 
Hurley. Humboldt: 1855, Margaret Higgins Edwards, J. F. Shubert; 1859, 
Sarah K. Goolsby, Verdon.; 1858, Mrs. Eliza Clark, Verdon; 1858, Mrs. Kate 
Thomas; 1855, Isaac Crook, Archer; 1854, Charles Rouleau and Eli Bedard. 
Rulo; 1857, Eli Plante, Rulo; 1854, William Level, Archer, and Frank L. 


Surrounded as we are in Richardson county today with comforts in- 
numerable and attendant prosperity, ,so prodigal that its resources seem ex- 



haustless, many of us are inclined to scorn the achievements of the pasi, 
claiming, as we do, for ourselves the credit for what our county is today. 
We would not minimize what is being done nor what has been done, fully 
recognizing, as we do, the high standard of the present sojourner here; 
but while giving credit in fulsome measure, it is urged that it should not 
be carried to the point of forgetting our debt for this heritage from those 
who have gone before, and that they are responsible to a very large degree 
for the present happy condition. 

While we have grown from a few scattered hamlets on the Missouri 
river bluffs to a county recognized throughout the state as one among the 
very first in wealth and importance, we must recognize that these blessings 
are but the ripened fruit from the sacrifices, privations, labor and forethought 
of the men, and women, too, who first came to the county and caught the 
vision of its possibilities. Through all the trials and adversities common 
to that period, their courage stood firm, and their spirit mounted to a vision 
that many lived to see in the fulness of its fruition. In the face of all the 
seemingly unsurmountable difficulties and obstacles, there was ever among 
them an indomitable spirit which did not falter, but was as proud and true 
as found in the peoples who liave pioneered any country in the history of 

It is almost impossible for us of this day and generation, to properly 
visualize the foreboding prospect \\hich faced' the pioneer who came here 
in the first, second and third decades of the county's settlement. Where 
we find paved streets, well-defined roads and good bridges, green fields and 
beautiful groves, they saw only pathless prairies and tangled grasses in the 
valleys — a part of the center and solitude of the Great American Desert 
or great plains. Land was the cheapest thing in sight; its expanse and vast- 
ness were appalling. The countrv was one open wilderness, trackless, un- 
known, and the home only of the wild animals and aborigines, whose habita- 
tion dates back of written history. Where we retire each night in comfortable, 
modern homes, protected by an established order of government, at peace 
with all mankind, they sought slumber under the starry canopy of Heaven, 
beside the trail, or in the dug-out or sod house, never knowing when their 
lonely shelter might l>e sought out by the Indian on the warpatli. and their 
lives made to pay forfeit for their intrusion. Over the same country that 
they viewed from the heavy, ox-drawn, cumbersome wagon in long, weari- 
some journey, we speed in high-powered motor, with hundredfold more 
radius of travel.' With the telegraph, and the telephone in every house, we 


are enabled to have instant and personal communication with distant friends. 
where they had to wait for weeks and months for the letter l)rought by the 
freighter or passing traveler. 

But they came ; not because they had been actually crowded out at home 
— many leaving comparative comfort behind, and staked their all on the 
caprice of a bare, naked chance that they would be able to survive the 
rigorous vicissitudes that must come before such a world could be con- 
quered. They found arid ands of the prairie and conquered them; they 
built towns and villages where before had been a solitude. 


The white race, unlike their brethren of other peoples, ha\e been pre- 
eminent from the dawn of history as the pathfinders who have migrated to 
the four corners of the globe and traversed the recesses of the darkest conti- 
nents in quest of adventure and excitement, with the consequent gain that 
has always followed in the wake of their undertakings. The stout hearts 
of this pioneering people have braved every danger, overcome every obstacle 
incident to travel or climate, conquered the savage wherever found, subdued 
the wild beast and the land, and prepared and made safe the sections visited 
for the host that followed. Leaving Europe, they played star parts in 
bringing dominion over the Americas. Our pioneers were the advance guard 
of the great movement, which has now penetrated every part of North Amer- 
ica. Those coming here were in advance of their time and because the 
title to the lands were still held by the aborigines, had to be restrained 
by the government from entering the territory until the spring of 1854. 
Those pioneers, many of them, had reached western Missouri a year or two 
previous and had taken up temporary residence there, pending such action 
by the government as might open the country for settlement to the whites. 
The Indian titles under the treaties made many years before were not extin- 
guished until 1854, and the act known as the Kansas-Nebraska bill, did 
not reach its final stage of passage until May, 1854. 

This being the case when the settlers arrived in 1854, they found the 
season far too much advanced for the preparation of the land, so necessary 
for the successful growing of crops that year. Jesse Crook had taken a claim, 
included in which was the land now known as the William Nutter farm, the 
east half of the northeast quarter of section 2. of township 1. uortii of 
range 16, and had succeeded in breaking up a jiart of it: to be exact, that 
part south of the present new home of Mr. Nutter; luit what lie or his few 


neighbors were able to Ijreak that year was very Httle, and the claim is 
made by some that not one entire section was brought under the plow that 
year. Under such conditions, those who came in that year, not being able 
to subsist on what could be produced in the ntw country, were obliged to 
rel\- on what they had brought, or were able to obtain, fmm the other side 
of the river. The following winter is said to have been mild compared 
to what had been expected, and with the coming of spring and the infln.x 
of a new crop of settlers, a real, earnest effort was made to break up the 
land. This was a tedious, difficult and slow task to be performed with the 
farming utensils at hand, but a good showing was made. We, of today, 
can scarcely gauge the intense interest that must have been manifest among 
those people, who had the honor of putting in the first crop ever attempted 
to be raised by white men in this unknown and untried region. But we 
know they must have had little time to moralize on what they were doing 
as, the while, their interest was quickened by the ever-present wolf of dire 
necessity, which stalked their foosteps, and then as now, there were mouths 
to • feed. Those people, with scanty stores, who had come long distance.^ 
from friends or loved ones, expecting to wring an existence from the soil, 
watched those efforts with many misgivings; but the season of 1855 was 
on its good behavior and all conditions considered, the harvest was ample. 
What had been regarded in the light of an experiment, had now developed 
into a wondrous reality — the land properly handled had proved, as it has 
ever proved, the one Ijest friend to its children. The story of the success 
of those who had come, quickly found its way Eastward to those who had 
waited for another to open the gate, and they came in ever-increasing num- 
bers to try their fortunes in the West. The press of the countr\- was solic- 
ited in a campaign made to induce settlement in the ne\\- territory and the 
results were effective in the way of inducing many to join in the develop- 
ment of the country : but the country was new and large and the settlement 
seemed slow to those from the more densely settled section of the East. Land 
was cheaj): it seemed like all out-of-doors was lying here awaiting the hand 
of the plowman — but the market was not good and money was scarce. 


It was at this period — in 1856 — that the Territorial Legislature took 
a hand and thought to alleviate conditions in a financial way, by the intro- 
duction of systems of finance, calculated to make money easier to lie had. 

What thev did, if viewed in the light of present conditions, seemetl to 


have teen the height of folly; but judged from conditions as the\ subse- 
quently existed, notably in 1896, when the entire country was aroused over 
the nation's finances — the mantle of charity might well be used in considera- 
tion of what was done by these embryo legislators, who had thought to 
ameliorate the condition of a handful of settlers in the western territory. 

This wild-cat money period was initiated by the Territorial AssemJ^ly 
meeting at Omaha, in the winter of 1856, where it was arranged for the 
establishment of what was known as "banks of issue," which it claimed 
would accomplish the ends desired. Six of such banks were soon in opera- 
tion and represented one for each five hundred of the population in the 
territory at the time mentioned. 

Under the charters given, they were allowed pnwer to issue as many 
dollars of indebtedness as the circumstances of each individual shareholder 
might demand for themselves. This country had not. at that time, progressed 
so far as now, in a knowledge of correct financial methods, and the effect 
that followed the operations of these banks when they got into business, 
seemed at first to have solved the problem, and perhaps to a greater degree 
than was anticipated. 

Undertakings, previously forestalled for lack of capital, were now under 
no such impediment, for money, such as it was, was plentiful. Under this 
stimulus, the wildest speculation was indulged in; cities sprang up as if In- 
magic — townsites were platted and staked out. Beautifully lithographed 
stock shares in these townsite companies were bandied about, and everyone 
seemed engaged in boosting for some town which was sure to become the 
metropolis. Smooth dealers had agents in other states, where many of these 
lots were sold to unsuspecting purchasers at fabulous prices. Every man 
who had a claim, became obsessed with the idea that his was the location 
for the city of the future and interested himself in getting townsite companies 
formed and spent too much of his time in chasing such phantoms, when hv 
might better have been employed in looking after the development of his 


The fe\er for speculation in all manner of schemes jiut afloat, possessed 
the people of all communities and had the effect of luring men away from 
the land, and in such a state of affairs, a less acreage, acconling t" the 
population, was tilled than formerly. The b<wm thus occasioned, lunvexer. 
was characteristic of similar fluctuating inflations which have visited the stale. 
Init was temporary. There were a few far-sighted men in the territory 


at the time who could forecast the results sure to follow what was happen- 
ing, but the}- were so much in the minority that in 1857 the elections of 
the fall brought together another legislative assembly, which, instead of 
gi\-ing relief, was so thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the times that 
more of the wild-cat banks were given charters, and further aid was ex- 
tended those fostering schemes for making easy money. 

Many new towns were mapped out and more agents were at work selling 
stock and lots. A period of the wildest speculation existed around those 
paper towns: but the bubble was soon to burst and carry down the usual 
crop of fools, ruined and bankrupt. Ruin, poverty and utter desolation 
were now the common fare of an entire population which had been seduced 
into strange paths in c|uest of easy money. 

Those few not enamored by the glittering prospects so temptingly offered 
and who had remained with the soil as actual producers, were the ones 
best pi-epared to weather the storm. The long, dreary, cold winter of 1858 
found the people but little prepared as they had produced little and had 
exhausted the supplies they had. During this period a chance offered for 
study and reflection and many learned that the new country was more in 
need of producers and people to till the soil than of real-estate and town 
boomers. The experience thus gained was read into revision and improve- 
ment of the banking laws, which have ever proved beneficent to the people 
of the state. 

The following year was none too good for the real-estate broker and 
town-lot hawkers, and they quickly di.sappeared as a class. With their going 
a renewed and rightly directed interest was manifest in the work of improv- 
ing agricultural conditions, which has since kept a continual flow of gold 
inward to the people of the state. Thus, for the first time the boats leaving 
for the South bore away cargoes of grain and live stock, which in turn 
brought back monev to be used for the further de\elopment of the countr)-. 

Right at that time the people became embroiled in one of the bitterest 
of contests — that of designating a permanent point for the county seat. 
In all new countries might makes right to a far greater extent than in 
those more fully systemized. The settlement of the river tier i.f counties, 
of which Richardson is the farthest south and of the first, so far preceded 
that of the counties King further west, that much of what was endured 
here was not repeatetl in the latter. 


From the date of the organization of the count}- in Marcli, 1855, when 
Archer was designated as the county seat, there was a brief period of peace, 
liut from the following year, when the county seat was removed to Salem, 
there was for nearly fifteen years a constant strife, which stirred the people 
from one end of the county to the other and the effects of which was felt 
in the community for many years. 

An act approved by the Territorial Legislature on February g. 1857, 
provided for an election to determine the county seat of Richardson county 
and appointed the first Thursday of April, the same year, the date of 
balloting. The election resulted in the defeat of Falls City and the choice 
of Salem as the county seat. The county offices were not, however, moved 
to Salem at once, and before their removal an election for a permanent loca- 
tion of the county seat had been held, the contestants receiving an equal 
number of ballots each, and the election was virtually undecided. Although 
the first election had resulted in the choice of Salem, many of the appurte- 
nances of the county seat had not been removed to that point and when the 
later elections finally determined that Falls City should be the county seat, 
they took up their final al^ode in this cit}-. 


The early summer of i860 was signalized by the advent of the most 
fatal and contagious disease which has ever visited the county. This was the 
bloodv flux; something resembling acute dysentery. The disease was supposed 
to have started at Rulo. having been brought there by emigrants cm smne 
river steamer. It was not confined to that town, but spread rapidl\-. untd 
only the sparseness of the population prevented a strong likeness to the 
scenes of the great plague in London. In Salem as many as sixteen died 
fnim this disease in one week, but at the other settlements it was not so bad, 
I'alls City having had scarcely an\- cases. In the newspapers of the time, it 
was magnified beyond all due proportions, but a careful investigation of 
the matter robs it of much of its terror. It was epidemic, and caused many 
deaths, yet ran its course rapidly and disappeared so quickly as to leave 
little impression on the memory of the busy pioneers. 


The process of "claim jum]iing."' or obtaining by means at least ques- 
tionable, the lands nu which others had made settlement, was frct|uently 


in practice in 1857. The person who was "jumped." very frequently was 
a non-resident, and had simply made a claim as a speculation, intending 
to pre-empt if there seemed a probability of rapid increase in the value 
of his land, or to allow a lapse if it suited his convenience. Many of those 
who built claim shanties to hold the land for them until they could return 
with their families from Missouri or points East, returned to find the claim 
house demolished and some newcomer fully settled. An apt illustration of 
the state of things at that time is the case of Mr. Berry, who came to a 
point near Humboldt and located a claim by building thereon a log affair 
of legal size. Returning to his former home in Kansas, he loaded his wagons 
and started out on his return in the spring of 1858. When near Salem, his 
wife became so ill as imperatively to need rest, and Mr. Berry, accompanied 
by his son, proceeded up the Nemaha to the location of their claims. 

The son's claim was the first visited, and here were found the ruins 
of the claim hut and evidences of calm usurpation on someone's part. This 
could hardly be called a surprise, for the son was unmarried, and had small 
hopes of retaining his claim in any event. Continuing their investigation 
in the dusk, which had already commenced, the father and son saw a light 
gleaming from the house, which had been put up on the preceding visit. 
Without attempting to dispossess the intruders, the Berrys turned to the 
cabin of a settler on the next claim, where they learned that a young married 
couple had thought the new nest just what they needed, and had taken 
possession without the formality of a lease. 

It must be remembered that although the Berrys had put up a claim 
shanty, they had not a scrap of paper to show in proof of their legal right 
to the land. Armed, then, only with the unwritten code of those early days, 
voung Berry entered the cabin and demanded of the wife of the "jumper." 
she being its only occupant, instant evacuation. This was as promptly re- 
fused, and after allowing five minutes for the removal of the household goods. 
Berry, with the assistance of a sister, who had joined him, deposited them 
in a heap on the ground, just outside the door. This done, the wagons (jf 
the settlers were driven up, and the goods unpacked and placed in the dwelling. 

At about this time young Berry saw the man whose goods he had so 
summarily evicted, stealing along beside a pile of firewood. On reaching 
the chopping block he seized tlie ax, which was lying there, and rushed 
toward the house, pouring out vile epithets upon his enemies and apparentl) 
intending to drive them out again. Young Berry, however, caught up an 
old musket, and returned the attack of the ax man with a ba\onet charge. 


It was ancient warfare against the modern — the battle ax against firearms : 
and the latter won the day, the intruder being run down and forced to 
return and offer an ample apology for his scurrilous language. 

Shortly after that young Berry was returning home in the afternoon, 
when he discovered the rudiments of an adobe hut on his claim, and near 
it was a boy guarding some tools. Inquiry developed the fact that his 
enemy was again attempting to gain a foothold on which to get a title to 
the land. The boy was dispatched to the owner of the tools with a lucid and 
laconic message to the effect that further building on that site would be 
unhealthy, and the hint was frankly accepted. In other parts of the county 
"claim jumpers" were much more harshly treated, and old settlers could 
probably tell many tales of the vindication of innate right, did not the sense 
of prudence forbid. 


All through the years of the War of the Rebellion, there were scattered 
bands of men who went by the name of "jayhawkers." Those bands were 
plentiful enough along the frontier line of the North and South parties, and 
although nominally under one flag or the other, had oftentimes a freedom 
from allegiance to anyone save themselves that was very convenient. Odier 
bands, while fully as freebooting, were strong in their allegiance to their 
party. Such a band was raised near the Kansas and Nebraska line early 
in the war and made constant forays into the vexed and rebellious Missouri 
border. On one occasion, this band, passing eastward through Falls City and 
returning to a camp just west of town, were pursued by a force of Union 
soldiers, who had perforce acceded to the demands of despoiled Missourians 
for redress. Upon the arrival of the Federal troops at Falls City, the camp 
of the jayhawkers was in full sight; but while the troops were resting and 
giving a hearing to the various charges of the "secesh," who had accompanied 
them in the hope of getting extra advantages thereby, the marauders moved 
over to the south of the Kansas line. Here no engagement took place, for 
the simple reason that the jayhawking party had l)een increased to formidable 
proportions and the handful of soldiers were powerless. It is broadly hinted 
that the Federalists surrendered with very good grace and without any 
needless bitterness, and some old settlers make still stronger statements. The 
fact remains that the troops returned peaceably to their (|uarters in IMis- 
souri, and that the most serious result of their attack was the depleted larders 
of the l^'alls Citv citizens. 

Dawsdu IMoiieer. 

rolice JwlKe. 


At the time of tlieir first occupation of Falls Citv, manv of the most 
pronounced Union men felt anything but easy, and undoubtedly there was 
considerable danger, as the charges preferred against them by the fire-eating 
delegation which accompanied the troops were of the most serious character, 
and had they been acted upon by the troops, would have made matters un- 
pleasant. Other jayhawking- parties made their appearance from time to time, 
and executed their peculiar tactics, but none of these later forays were 
prolific of incidents worthy of remembrance. \\'ith the close of the war. 
fighting and jayhawking for a living fell into disfavor and later was entireh- 

THE "underground" RAILROAD. 

Old John Brown, who died just before the war in a futile attempt to 
hasten the "good time coming," which had formed so large a part of his 
life's hopes, spent a large amount of his time in Richardson county. One 
of his stations was located on the blufif near Falls City, and after a time in 
the city itself. Many of the older residents ha\e vivid remembrances of 
the stalwart old hero and his eccentric ways of bringing sinners to book. 
A sample of his quality comes out in strong relief in the simple story of 
one of the last trips of his dusky train. On the route a child was born, and, 
with the grateful courtesy so natural with the race, was named "John 
Brown."' Arriving at the station near Falls City, the refugees were overtaken 
by a band of South Carolina rangers, who proposed to reconvey their chattels, 
without loss of time, to the galling serfdom of the "sunny South." In this, 
however, the proud Southerners reckoned wrongly, for John Brown's force 
surrounded them and forced submission to a superior force. What fol- 
lowed must have been a sight for the gods and men, f(jr old John Brown, 
stepping to the front, deUvered a scathing rebuke for the profanity which 
had been so freely heaped upon the colored folks, and then forced the rangers 
kneeling, to repeat the Lord's Prayer after him. Then depriving them of 
their horses and arms, he started them homeward. It is safe to say that 
the Lord's Prayer was fully remembered 1)}' them as the\- plodded wearily 
back to the coast, and that "nigger catching" seemed less amusing by half 
ere the trip was over. 

A little prior to this time, the "nigger catchers" had made a neat specu- 
lation out of the avarice of the Indians living nearby. Emancipation was 
breathed on every wind that blew from the South to the North, and the 
slaves could not wait for that great boon to come. They must reach out 


and grasp it for themselves. Thus it came about that the exodus of scatter- 
ing slaves was nearly constant, and the rewards of their exasperated owners 
placed at a high figure. It was hardly profitable for a white man to hunt 
negroes, for the whole sport had acquired a bad, in fact a villainous, odor 
in the nostrils of the community. Yet, many did not scruple to detain 
the fugitives under one pretext or another, until the owners could send for 
them, and some even employed the Indian braves, who were familiar with 
all the hiding places along the heavily timbered river bottoms, to bring in 
captives. On one occasion, Sewall Jemison, the editor of the Broad, 
came upon two parties who were haggling over the price to be paid for a 
runaway slave, who stood near them, apparently resigned to his fate. While 
the Indian buck was explaining that for so fat and large a prize a liberal 
price should be paid, Jemison captured the bone of contention, and sent him 
off by a special train of the underground railway. To record a tithe of the 
exploits of John Brown and his friends on the northern Kansas trail, through 
Brown county to Richardson county, Nebraska, and thence northward, would 
require a book of considerable size. Of these daring feats Falls City and 
points nearby were oftentimes the theater, but the history of the time so 
recent, and yet so old in the life of a Western town, has already drifted 
out of the memory of its witnesses, and is written nowhere so fully as in that 
ledger whose fast-filling pages are ever unfilled and whose balance sheet 
is perfect. 


To the French must be awarded the honor of having been among the 
very first of the white settlers of the county, and looking backward at this 
late date, it seems strange that it should have been so from the fact that 
there now remain so few of that nationality in the county and they but the 
descendants of those early pioneers. 

The first settlement was made in the summer of 1855, when E. H. 
Johnson together with William Kenceleur, Charles Rouleau, Eli Bedard and 
Eli Plante reached the present site of Rulo, coming thereto from Sioux Cit}-, 
Iowa. This party stopped overnight, as they entered the county at the north, 
and were guests of John B. Didier, also a Frenchman, who then resided in 
what is now Barada township. It is worthy of note that j\Ir. Didier. who had 
preceded them as a resident of Richardson county, has outlived them all, and 
now at tlie advanced age of more tiian ninety years, is still among us and a 
resident of the identical farm on which these early pioneers found him. 


Their visit was made for the purpose of inspecting lands allotted to 
their wives under the treaty of 1831, made with the Indians at Prairie du 
Chien, Wisconsin. Under the terms of this treaty the wives of these men, 
being classed as partly Indian blood or mixed bloods, were entitled each 
to a half section of land in what is known as the half-breed tract, in the 
east part of the county, along the Missouri. 

At the time of their arrival they found but two white men resiiling 
here, and they the husbands of Indian women. One of the two was U. X. 
DuPuis, the husband of the widow of "White Cloud," the noted old head 
chief of the Iowa Indians. "White Cloud," the last and most famous of die 
real and regular chiefs of this tribe had died but a short time prior to 
the arrival of this party and was interred in the Rulo cemetery, located a 
little to the north and west of the village. The other of the two "whites" 
was Charles Martin, tlian whom, there never lived a more pict.urescjue or 
chivalric character of the old plains and mountains. Martin was a daring 
and wonderful hunter, who had spent years on the plains and Western 
mountains, before there had been any thought of settlement by the white 
people in this section of the country. He was possessed in full measure 
of distinguishing traits, which marked him well, even at a period and among 
a class of people not at all lacking in great personal courage. He was 
remarkable even in his person and appearance and is described like most 
of the great plainsman type, tall and straight, like the Indian with whom he 
had spent much of his life, and was of commanding figure, Roman-nosed 
and keen of eye. In his life on the plains he had spent many years in 
the tractless solitudes of the great prairies as a trapper and hunter. In 
the late forties he had, while hunting high up in the mountains of Utah, 
come accidently upon a camp of an Indian tribe, who had lately lost their 
chief in battle with another hostile Indian band, and had captured an Indian 
maiden of the enemy people. According to custom with them, the Indians 
were at the time engaged in the work of making a sacrifice of the dusky 
captive partly to appease the spirit of the departed chief and in retaliation 
for the great loss they had suffered. The ceremony, which was of a highly 
religious order had been viewed for some time by the hunter at a safe dis- 
tance, but when he realized the ghastly significance of it all and saw that 
thev really meant to destroy the life of the maiden, who had already been 
bound to the pyre, he at once interceded and after much parley succeeded 
in effecting her purchase, explaining to them that the ends would all be 
served bv her utter banishment from the land, as he would carr\- her away 


to an unknown country far from the land of her fathers. In exchange he 
gave some ponies and tents he had in his equipment 

When the French party of settlers led by Rouleau and Bedard. and 
Plante. arri\ed at Rouleau, or Rulo, as it is now called, they found Martin and 
his captive, who had but recently journeyed thither and she was his wife. 
It is attested b\- those who knew them in the many }-ears that followed. 
that she made for him a most estimable helpmate. Martin was one of the 
pioneer merchants of Rulo, putting up the first store and engaging in busi- 
ness with F. I,. Goldsberry, the latter for many years a prominent figure 
in the county. 

In the year following — 1856 — this party made permanent settlement 
at Rulo and the town took its name from Charles Rouleau, the h>enchman, 
and member of the expedition. Rouleau and Bedard had married sisters and 
were the chief founders of the city. At that time Stephen Story was the 
other I inly wliite settler of the county, e.xcept John B. Didier, known to this 
part}- and he was found near the site of what was afterwards the village of 
St. Stej.hens founded and named by him. 


Alany people of many lands, impelled to leave their old homes through 
persecutions and misrule at various periods in their mother countries, have 
sought and still continue to seek new and peaceful homes in this land of 
the free. But nf all these, few, perhaps have a histor\- so dramatic, e\en 
tragical as it has often been referred to, as the Bohemian immigrant. 

The first Bohemian to locate near the present site of Humlx)ldt was 
Charles Zulek. Leaving his native home with his family in 1854 he came 
direct to America, spending the first winter in Illinois. In the winter of 
1855 he started west in search of a home, arriving at St. Joseph, Missouri. 
in the early days of June. Proceeding thence by Jioat to .\rago. in tiiis 
county, where they were attracted l)y the fertility of the country, they 
decided to settle. The early hardships of this pioneer family were typical 
of all the settlers of that period. It is said that Zulek often walked to St. 
Joseph (a distance of seventy miles) for ins iirovisious. carrying them home 
on his back. And when the l)urden became too heavy, he divided it, carrying 
a part foi- ^ome distance, then returning for the other ])art, and so on until 
he reached lionie. 

Later, when the homestead law was put into effect, a number of liohemi- 
ans came to Xeliniska. I'"irst among them was b'rank Skaiak. who was also 


tlie first to take a homestead on the prairie. Skalal< left Bohemia in iS(>5, 
coming- West by way of Chicago, where there was a flourishing Bohemian 
settement. At St. Joseph, Missouri, Frank Skalak with his farnily took a Ijoat 
for Arago, where they accidentally became acquainted with Zulek. On that 
day Zulek had come to Arago to secure, if possiljle, a loan to pa\- off an 
obligation he was owing a party in Missouri. Being a countryman he imme- 
diately secured the loan from Skalak, although they had never met before. 
Thereupon, Skalak with his family returned with Zulek to locate in this sec- 
tion of the country. Wenzel Skalak, then a boy, now one of the prominent 
Ijusiness men of Humboldt, declares that the loan then made was a most 
fortunate one indeed, as it was the means of causing- them to locate here. 
However, he does not advise so hazardous a method of curbstone banking as 
that was. 

In recounting- those early clays he related that he hired out to Zulek 
for the munificent sum of forty dollars per year, Ijreaking sod barefooted 
in grass, waist high, using a twenty- four-inch plow and driving from four 
to six yoke of oxen. He had to walk to Arago or \eliraska Cit)- to have 
his plow sharpened. Their provisions were also secured at those places. 
In 1867 Ruel Nims & Company opened the first store in Humboldt, occu- 
pying the old stone store facing the old bed of the Long Branch, a short 
distance south of the present business section of Humboldt. Young Wenzel 
at once secured a position as a clerk with this firm, receiving five dollars 
per month salary. Being an efficient clerk his salary was soon increased to 
ten dollars per month, the following year. He afterwards was in the employ- 
ment of various firms in the city until he engaged in business for himself, 
n(3w owning- the large hardware and implement business on the west side 
of the public square in the city. John Wohoun, another pioneer, setlleil 
on the prairie with the Skalaks and in\ited their friends (Bohemians) and 
soon had a nucleus, from which grew one of the largest settlements of 
foreigners in the county. Those who secured homesteads at this time were : 
Anton Eis, M. Nemechek, Ferdinand I'idermutz, John Petrashek. \'acia\ 
Prachal, Vaclav Holechek, Jan Janata, Ferd Blecha, Fr. Xemecliek, Jos. 
Musil, Jno. Cizner, and X'aclav Hlavaty. All of these men who braved tlie 
hardships of the early pioneer are n(jw dead, save one, b'rank Xeniechek, Sr.. 
who still resides on the place he chose when coming to the state. The 
Bohemian settlement at Hunijjoldt is without doubt the oldest of that peoi)Ie 
in the state. One of the chief factors in holding the settlement together was 
the organization of a fraternal society known as the C. S. V. S. (Bohemian 


Slavonic Benevolent Association), which was organized in the United States 
but a few years before their coming here. The local lodge was organized 
May 31, 1879, with the following charter members: Fr. Novak, F. A. Witt, 
Wenzel Skalak, Fr. Hubwa, Vaclav Pracheji, Jos. Hon, Fr. Hon, Jos. Novak, 
\'ojta Kohn, Vojta Blecha, Vac. Wiesner, Jas. Blecha, Fr. Hnizda, J. J. 
Dvorak, Jos. Rousek, and R. \^ertisaka. But three of the charter members 
now reside here and only half of them are still living. The lodge was organized 
for fraternal, beneficiary, educational and social purposes. For many years 
a Bohemian school was maintained, so that the younger generation might 
have opportunity to learn something of the mother tongue and the history 
of the great men among the people, the pictures of many of whom adorned the 
walls of the homes beside those of Washington and Lincoln, and to whom 
they were often compared. A library was also established, from which 
Bohemian books could be had free by those desiring the same. In later times 
other Bohemian societies were formed among which were the J. C. D. 
(Bohemian Ladies Society) and among the young people the Sokols and 
Komensky Club; the former, an organization of Bohemian Turners and 
the latter, a literary society. The C. S. P. S. is in the most flourishing con- 
dition of them all at the present time, having a membership of more than a 
hundred and owns its own home and grounds. 

Inasmuch as the chief industry of the Bohemian in his native land was 
that of agriculture, so it has been here, and they are today numbered among 
the most industrious and successful of the farming community here. Vet 
all along the Bohemian has been well represented in the business circles of 
Humboldt. All are prosperous and well-to-do and more than ordinarily 
successful in the various occupations in which they may he found engaged. 
All along they have taken a keen interest in the upbuilding of the commun- 
ity to which they gave a large impetus for settlement. Although at first, 
many of the customs and traditions of the old world were adhered tn, yet 
they have now been discarded and even the most typical Bohemian immi- 
grant has been transformed into a patriotic, peaceful, contented American. 
Although they still cling to their mother tongue, even that is giving wa\ 
to the language of the new world. It will be, too, only a matter of time 
when even this pioneer settlement will lose its Bohemian characteristics 
altogether and become thoroughly Americanized. Only the old Bohemian 
cemetery in the west end of the county will bear testimony to the fact 
that here the Bohemian settler had once found that haven which he sought 
and in return gave birth to a newer, happier posterity. 




Daniel Webster, at the dedication of the Bunker Hill monument, immor- 
talized the Pilgrim Fathers for their heroism in the settlement of New 
England, but not less worthy of commendation was the love of home and 
spirit of lofty independence that animated the pioneers who crossed the 
Missouri river half a century and more ago. 

Michael Riley and Thomas F"arrell, brothers-in-law, found conditions 
in their native land as intolerable as did the "Mayflower' Pilgrims, and the 
saine aspiration for freedom and manly independence impelled them to join 
in the wake of many thousands of their countrymen who were immigrating 
from Ireland in the middle of the last century. After a few years residence at 
Salem, New Jersey, they and their equally plucky young wives determined to 
go West in quest of homes and independence. 

They landed in Richardson county in 1859 practically penniless. From 
the first observation of the country they were impressed with its future 
possibilities and they wisely decided to cast anchor and grow up with it. 
In the meantime they continued to correspond with relatives in New England, 
with the result that in the spring of 1867 Bryan Riley and two sons, and 
Thomas, Dennis and Nora Fenton proceeded West, on the strength of the 
pioneer representation. St-. Joseph, Missouri, was at this period the nearest 
point by rail, and after passage on the river steamboat to Aspinwall and a 
drive across the boundless prairie, at last the humble but hospitable log 
cabin home of Michael Riley was located on the bank of the Nemaha, not 
far from the site of the present village of Dawson. On entering the home 
of his long-separated brother, Bryan Riley was first awakened to the changed 
conditions of Western life: the door of the log house was too low to admit 
of a tall man's entrance without making a low bow, and as Mr. Rilev was 
of an unbending spirit, he received a bump on the forehead that made him 
declare forcibly that he was ready to go back to civilization on the return 
steamboat. After breakfast on the following morning and a look through 
the yards of fine cattle and fat hogs, not overlooking well-filled smoke 
houses and bulging corncribs, the lump on his forehead gave way to a 
desire to possess a portion of the rich soil, and after perfecting titles to as 
much of it as their means afforded, Thomas Fenton at once returned to 
his home in Norwich, Connecticut, to report progress and organize a colonx- 
of neighbors and relatives for the following spring. 

In the meantime, \\^i]liam Fenton, with Mrs. Brvan Rilev, her son 


and daughter and grandson, M. B. Miller, proceeded \\'est, and landed at 
Dawson in June, 1867. The missionary labors of Thomas I~enton. backed 
Ijy encouraging letters from those on the ground, resulted in a colony of 
about twenty families setting out for the West in April, 1868. They were: 
The Ryans, Rileys, Fentons, O'Gradys, Murphys, Clancys, Carvers, and 
O'Donnells. besides a number of young people who located in (3maha. Those 
old neighbors and relatives and the Rothenbergers and Tiehens constituted 
what was termed the Irish settlement, or the Dawson Catholic colony. 

The radical change from the New England factory villages to the bound- 
less plains of Nebraska caused the young people to feel like Robinson Crusoe 
on his island, but the elders of the colony recognized a soil and climate 
very like their native Ireland, and like the signers of the Declaration of 
Independence, they agreed to stand or fall together. The loss most keenl\- 
felt by the younger members was the social life so much accustomed to in 
the Eastern factory villages, but even in this matter the Yankee spirit 
asserted itself, and spelling schools, lyceunis, etc., were started to dispel the 
ennui of frontier life. The inventive genius of the Yankee, coupled with 
the native wit of the transplanted son of Erin, found a rich field in the early 
days of the little colony and a judicious application of these traits surmounted 
many an obstacle that would perplex settlers of greater wealth. As an instance 
we may cite the case of Commodore O'Grady. After purchasing his first 
eighty acres and a little mule team, he had left for working capital just 
five dollars and a shot-gun, with which to provide a house and tide his little 
family over until a crop was raised. As an old sailor he had weathered 
too many rough seas to be discouraged and he went about putting on as bold 
a front as a millionaire. He made a deal with a timber owner for some 
old trees that leaned into the river, for the shot-gun, and the timber man 
at once went chuckling among his neighbors telling how he had beaten the 
sailor out of his gun for the trees that never could be gotten out of the river 
bed. It suited the sailor to be taken for a lamb, while making similar deals, 
Ijut when the river was frozen over the next winter, he appeared on the 
ground with a gang of neighbors with whom he had exchanged summer 
work The trees were felled on the ice, and to the surprise of the timber 
lords, the "old sailor" with his mules rolled the logs out of the river like 
so many empty barrels. The logs were next hauled to a saw-mill and ripped 
into himber, that made a plain l)ut comfortable house, in which w;is reared 
a family of robust boys and girls, and whose tinited industry while minors, 
built up an estate that would excite the envy of an English liaron. 



The breaking of the prairie sod was a matter that tested the patience 
of the primitive farmers, but after the usual experimenting it was accom- 
plished, as in the case of getting the logs out of the river, by the doubling 
up of the neighboring forces. Here a description of an earl\- breaking team 
may be of interest to those who may imagine the early settlers had nothing 
to do but sit and watch their land grow into value. Commodore O'Grady's 
little mules alone could no more break the tough sod than a span of goats, 
and after all the teams in the settlement were paired, there was no match 
for the mules but a yoke of oxen, possessed by the Hon. Jerry Fenton, and 
as Hugh O'Grady hated oxen and Jerry distrusted mules, there was no 
harmony of action between the team or drivers. At this stage William 
Fenton, who had found empoyment in the quartermaster's department in 
Omaha, invested his first season's wages in a span of cavalry horses at a 
governent sale, and hitching them on in the lead of the mules and oxen, the 
latter, recognizing true leadership, struck out in a manner to excite the admi- 
ration of the joint-stock company. 

The year previous to the arrival of the colony from Connecticut, there 
were an equal number of congenial spirits who had moved into the settle- 
ment from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa; notably, the Drapers, Lib- 
bees, Aliens, Biisers, Bennett, E. C. Hill, Sr., George Smith, I. H. Burr, 
H. S. Belden, Ben Miles, and S. C. Barlow. While this aggregation of early 
settlers earned the jocular title of a community, "half Irish and half Yankee," 
it is to their credit that from the date of their first ac(|uaintance to tiie 
present time they were a unit in everything of a progressive nature. 

In the autumn (if 1867 the hearts of the settlers were elated at the sight 
of an ox-train heading toward the ford of the Xemaha. Their joy was 
caused bv the knowledge that the nnmigrant train consisted of Joshua 
Dawson and a son, with material for building a saw- and grist-mill on the 
Nemaha. The completion of the mill in 1868 attracted a .store, postoffice 
and blacksmith shop and from this date on "Dawson Mills'' on the map 
has had as prominent a space as towns of greater aspiration. While the 
present village that was platted with the advent of the railroad is officially 
styled "Noraville." Xora, herself, would not recognize any reference to the 
present village than the good, old-fashioned name of Dawson. The mill 
and store afforded the early settlers a convenient center to congregate and 
discuss all matters pertaining to public welfare and que.'^tions of a hcrtl law. 


and voting bonds for a railroad through the county created much differ- 
ence of opinion. 

The breaking up of the land, the building of houses and stables, hum- 
ble in their day, and the planting of groves, orchards, and hedges engaged 
the time and attention of the early settlers, but they did not lose sight of 
the importance of providing the schools and churches for the education and 
religious training of their children. In fact, since the date of the first settle- 
ment the writer can testify that there has never been aught but a friendly 
rivalry among the citizens in their generous desire to keep the Dawson 
schools up to the highest standard of excellence. The character and zeal 
of the colonist in this respect were subjected to the severest test at a time 
when their financial ability was very limited. The first attempted church 
edifice was wrecked by a storm, when only partially completed. A vear 
later saw it rebuilt and immediately destroyed by fire. A third time it was 
built stronger and better and after serving its usefulness it was destroyed 
by an electrical storm and replaced by the present substantial brick structure. 
But the aged and many youthful members of the colony have long since 
pre-empted claims in the silent city on the hill, while a few surviving mem- 
bers, who, as romping boys and girls, served an apprenticeship in New Eng- 
land factories, are waiting their turn to be ferried across the river. No 
doubt many of them fell short of attaining the goal of their highest aspira- 
tions, but they came west in quest of homes and independence, and they 
succeeded in leaving their children far better equipped to grapple with the 
battles of life than they were on landing in Richardson county. 


The settlement of people from Illinois and Somerset county, Pennsyl- 
vania, four miles north of Falls City, began in 1868, with the arrival of 
Francis .Shaffer, C. Forney, J. Johnson, and Philip Meyers. They were soon 
followed by Samuel Kimmel, the Lichtys, Pecks, J. ^Meyers and others. 
Elder Samuel Stump, who came with his family from Ohio, was (|uite 
an acquisition to the colony. He was considered a fearless expounder of 
the old Gospel until he died. 

At that time these people paid from seven to ten dollars an acre for 
this one-hundred-and-fifty-doUar land, and being before the days of either 
railroad, there was much tedious hauling to make the needed improvements. 
Wiien the frightful drought and grasshoppers came in 1874 the Silver 



Creek community stood the calamity remarkably well and went right on 
gaining new citizens from the East. 

Any history of that part of Richardson county would be incomplete 
without reference to Rev. John Forney. He was not only a builder of the 
community, but served faithfully as a preacher and medical doctor for a 
great number of people, for a very small consideration. 

The school house was built in 1870. For many years it served for church 
services, school and literary societies. Many weighty problems of national 
importance have been threshed out on this old school house floor, by the 
lyceums that met weekly during the winter months. 

Silver Creek Brethren church was built in 1878. The cemetery was 
laid out years before and the first burial there was in 1870. Most of the old 
settlers of the Silver Creek neighborhood have now removed to the city, while 
their descendants are occupying the well-improved homes they built. All are 
living and dying as American citizens, except Joseph Meyers and family. They 
moved to Jerusalem, Palestine, years ago, where nov*' in the hills of Judea, 
Uncle Joe and some of his family lie buried. Mrs. Meyers and the other chil- 
dren are still living. 


The claims of the first settlers, together with the dates they settled on the 
lands of the United States, on the Great Xemaha river, were as follow : 

John O'Laughlin March 22 1854 

John Blew March 21 1854 

J.icob B. Newton March 29 1854 

Francis N. Purkett March 28 _i854 

Samuel Crozier March 28 1854 

J. B. Key April 29 1854 

H. Cleney May 20 1854 

Thomas Newton May 20 1854 

Meredith Teed June t6 1854 

Decatur Putney June i 1854 

S. C. Cieamen March 29 1S54 

John S. Lumpkins March 27 1854 

Joel Heney June 12 1854 

James Matthew February 25 1854 

Ambrose Howeston June 12 1854 


Pierson Hoiiser June 17 

Jespa Adamson June 17 

W. C. Forster June 17 

A. C. Forester June 17 

Francis A. Mc\'ey June 17 

Charles W. ^rc\'ey June 17 

Robert H. :\Ic\'ey June 17 

James T. Davenport July i 

Ann T. Hashbarger July i 

Christian Bobst \pril 12 

Robert T. Archer \pril 12 

Jacob Adams \pril 12 

Robert L. Turner \pril 12 

George T. Bobst ^__April 12 

Harry Abrams June 4 

Thomas Dragon \iiril 12 

A. J. Dragon \pril 12 

Joseph Frice April 11 

John R. ^Morris \pril 24 

B. Frank Leachnian \pril 24 

Daniel Picklris May 15 

Henry Shellliorn August 2 

John T. Williams Vugust 12 

denrge W. Cowlev .-August 12 

James T. Runels August 19 

Gerhom Shellhorn \ugust 19 

John Shellhorn \ugust 19 

John Lore August 18 

Henry G. Lore \ugust 18 

Thomas F. Brown July 3 

Washington Cobb July 3 

Thomas C. Dunken \ugust 10 

Merion Kingston September 15 _. 

William W. Soper September 15 __ 

Samuel S. Soper September 15 __ 

Redmond \\'arren September 16 _. 

Winslow L. Soper September 16 _. 

Jerr}- P.lair September iG _. 

11. Ilonner September 21 _. 


F. Homier September Ji 1854 

J. Onstott S'eiitember 21 1854 

Christian Iseley September 18 18^4 

John Luginliill ___^ October 3 1854 

Peter Luginl>ill October 3 181^4 

Christian Luginbill : October 3 1854 

John B. Rothenberger Octi)l;er 2S 1854 

Harmon Warden Oclolier 2H 1854 

Echnond Shellhorn March 3 1855 

J. Russell Octo];er 1 1854 


The reser\ation known as the Half-Breed Tract, which was set aside 
for half-breeds and mixed bloods of the Omaha. Iowa, Otoe and Yankton, 
and Santee bands of Sioux, by a treaty concluded at Prairie du Chien, 
Wisconsin on July 15, 1830, was surveyed by John C. McCoy, a son of 
a Rev. Isaac McCoy, an early Baptist missionary among the Indians, in 
1837-38, the former working under directions of his father. 

This work was the first surveying done in this territory and preliminar\- 
to the movement of the Indians to the above tract. Under the terms of the 
above treaty the reser\-ation was located in the east part of this county 
and Nemaha county and was bounded on the east by the Missouri ri\-er. 
which also was and has always been the boundary lietween the territories 
of later states of Missouri and Nebraska. 

The north boundary being the Little Nemaha river, in what is now 
Nemaha county; the west by a line known as the "Half-Breed line." which 
was drawn, starting at a point west, ten miles from the mouth of the Little 
Nehama river and running direct southeasterlv to a point ten miles west from 
the mouth of the Great Nemaha in Richanlson county, which latter river 
formed the south boundary of said reservation. 

It was here that a dispute arose after the first survey had been made, 
as there was a difference of opinion as to whether the distance from the 
mouth (jf the Great Nemaha river west, should be measured in a direct 
line from the mouth of the river ten miles west, or whether the ten miles 
should be ascertained Ijy following the meanders of the stream. 

This difference of opinion did not become a matter of vital importance 
until \ears afterward, when, in 18^^ t'le matter of the location of Archer 


as a county seat became a moot question and the jealousies of other [Mjints 
desiring the honor, caused an investigation to be made. It was claimed that 
if the line were correctly run, Archer would be inside the reservation and 
therefore not eligible as a site for a city, much less a county seat, and 
the question also involved the right of white settlers- to lands. The dispute 
all hinged on the manner of calculating the distance west from the Great 
Nemaha river, the ten miles. The new survey was begun by William H. 
Goodwin in December, 1856, and was concluded in October of the follow- 
ing year. 

The Half-Breed or west boundary line, as established bv the first survey 
made by McCoy, struck the Great Nemaha at the north quarter section 
corners between sections 16 and 17, in what is now known as Jefferson town- 
ship, its north point intersecting the Little Nemaha river in Nemaha county, 
at about the center of section 15, just east of the city of Auburn, in what 
is now known as Douglas precinct. 

The change as made by the later survey of Goodwin, moved the Half- 
Breed line to the west and its south point of intersection with the Great 
Nemaha river was placed in the southeast corner of the northeast quarter 
of section 25, in what is now Falls City township. Archer had been desig- 
nated by the governor as county seat of this county and might have remained 
so until this day but for the change of this line by the early surveyors. 

In the interim between the running of the first and second lines, a 
number of settlers had come into the country and settled on land which, 
like Archer, was efifected by the change of this selfsame line, and hoping 
to hold the same, carried the controversy to the halls of the national Con- 
gress at Washington. 

The following memorial to Congress, passed by the Territorial Legisla- 
ture shortly after the abrogation of the McCoy survey, and the making of 
another, asked Congress to relieve the settlers who had been surveyed into 
the Half-Breed tract, if within its constitutional power to do so. 


For the Relief of Certain Citizens of Riehardsoii County. 

Whereas, A portion of the inhabitants of Richardson county in lliis 
territory, have in good faith, settled upon, and made all the improvements, 
many of which are highly valuable that were required by neighlxirhood, 
territorial and the L^nited States laws, to enable them lo acquire title to 
the same, bv strict conformitv with law, and 


Whereas, Such settlement and improvement was made after the surveys 
made by authority of the United States, had determined that their settle- 
ment and improvement did not encroach upon, or include any portion of 
the public land reserved from sale, or settlement, by reason of any treaty 
then known to exist; and, 

Whereas, It has since such settlement was made, been ascertained that the 
authorized surveys were erroneous, and that the correction of such error, will 
include within the boundaries (of the Half-Breed Reservation), a portion 
of the lands so settled upon, therefore placing an inseparable barrier to their 
acquiring title thereto, by pre-emption or any other known law, and summar- 
ily depriving them of their homesteads, taking from them the fruits of their 
toil and labor without redress, except the same can be given them by a special 
act of Congress, for their relief and believing it to l>e a duty incumbent 
upon us, as the representatives of the people, to aid them in obtaining redress 
for grievances, which in no wise resulted from any disregard of law on 
their part, so far as it may be legitimately within our power, and believing 
as we do, that the hardships and losses that must inevitably result to the 
inhabitants aforesaid, makes it an imperative duty for our most earnest 
effort; therefore, be it 

Resolved, By the council and house of representatives of the territory 
of Nebraska, that our delegate in Congress is hereby respectfully requested 
to present to that honorable body a bill, setting forth the hardships which 
must result to a portion of our inhabitants, and to urge the immediate pas- 
sage of such bill, for their relief, so far as they may have power to do, and 
strict justice to the parties agreed, demand; and be it further 

Resolved, That the secretary of the Territory be requested to transmit 
a copy of the foregoing preamble and resolution forthwith to our delegate 
in Congress. 

Approved, February the 9th, 1857. Third session. 

The mouth of the Great Nemaha in 1838, at the time when the first 
survey above referred to, was made, was located in the southeast part of 
section 25, township i, north of range 18, and was likewise at the same 
point when the later survey was made in 1856, but in more recent years the 
Missouri river broke through an old bed of- the Nemaha at a point further 
north and about two miles west of the older point indicated first by Lewis 
and Clark in notes of their journey up the river in 1804, and the later survey 
of 1838. 

The new survev of the Nemaha that was ordered in 1856, was made 


over the same ground, from the same point on the ^lissouri, but by some 
process extended the initial point of the west boundary of the Half-Breed 
tract, two miles further west than did the McCoy survey and about two 
and one half miles to the south of that point. The effect of the change 
was to push the entire line further west. 

The resolution above was sent to the Nebraska delegate in Congress 
at the time, Fenner Ferguson, who bad been in the state at the Lime the 
later survey was made and he took the matter up and succeeded in having 
a bill passed in June, 1858, which settled the matter by readopting the old 
or first survey. This action settled the location of the Half-Breed line, but 
did not save Archer. It was claimed that some sixty settlers were on the 
land in question. A bill, which was passed in 1859, gave the proceeds of 
the land between the two lines, to the half-breeds who had not received 
allotments, which amounted to about $400 each, as the land was sold at 
one dollar and a quarter per acre, the government price for a half section, 
as long as the fund lasted. 


The survey and sectionizing of Richardson county, was of the lands of 
Nebraska Territory commenced first, for the reason that the initial p(Mnt 
of all the surveys of Nebraska lands is located at the southeast corner 
of Nebraska, which, likewise, is the southeast corner of the county. This 
work was commenced in 1854, the year of the arrival of the first of the 
Richardson county pioneers, who arrived here on April 17th, and the surveyors 
began their work in the month of November of that year. 

The first party sent out by the government were charged with the 
work of running the base line west from the Missouri river for a distance 
of one hundred and eight miles. The fortieth parallel of north latitude, 
the dividing line between the states of Nebraska and Kansas, was designated 
as the base line and required to be marked. 

The first party arriving at the point where the survey was t<> be com- 
menced, went to great pains with the instruments they had at hand and 
their knowledge of the business, to locate the exact line r.f the fortieth 
parallel. The first thing to be done was to establish the initial point and 
mark the same; this was done bv the erection of a large iron monument. 




A large iron monument was intended to be placed at the exact south- 
east corner of the state of Nebraska (which also marks the southeast corner 
of Richardson county), but this would have been on the river's edge between 
the states of Nebraska and Kansas, and because of the habits of the Missouri 
river was not deemed a practical location for a permanent marker, hence 
it was placed on the bluff nearly one hundred and fifty feet above and 
overlooking the river. It marks a dividing line between the states, and 
was placed there under directions made by Surveyor-general John Calhoun, 
of the territories of Nebraska and Kansas, at that time located at Wyan- 
dotte, near Kansas City, Missouri. 

The contract for the erection of the monument had been let to Charles 
A. Manners & Company, a firm which had some surveying contracts in the 
territories of Kansas and Nebraska. Orders from the surveyor-general, 
land office, Washington, D. C, set forth the point at which a monument 
should be erected. The matter of officially fixing a spot where the monu- 
ment should be placed was given by the land commissioner in the following 
language, contained in instructions forwarded to those who were to deter- 
mine the corner and erect a monument marking same : 

"Your township corner binding on the Missouri river will be the south- 
east corner of township or fractional township No. i, north of the base 
line of range number i8, and at the intersection of the point on the Missouri 
river, a conspicious and enduring monument is to be erected by your deputy. 

The first work done in this locality was that of a party in charge of a 
surveyor, John P. Johnson, who, with his men, surve3-ed the Kansas and 
Nebraska dividing line on the fortieth parallel west for a distance of sixty 
miles and they had marked the starting place with a wooden stake sur- 
rounded by a pile of stones which they had gathered nearby. The work 
done by this party was highly unsatisfactory and had not fulfilled the re- 
quirements of the government and Manners & Company had been employed 
to go over the work and rectify the mistakes. A party consisting of twenty- 
four men in the employ of this company, were sent to St. Joseph, Missouri, 
with instructions to get the iron post or monument which had been sent 
to that place a year previous and haul it to the point southeast of Ruio 
and erect the same on a permanent foundation. 



The monument is of iron and was cast in the form of a pyramid, meas- 
uring fourteen inches square at the Ijase and eight inches at the top and is 
seven feet long. It bears on its sides in raised letters the following words 
and figures: On the north side the word, "Nebraska," and on the opposite, 
or south side, the word, "Kansas," and on the west, "40'' in latitude," 
and on the east, "1854," which represented the year the monument was 
erected. The words Kansas and Nebraska run perpendicular with the post, 
while the figures of the date are horizontal. 

This party arrived at St. Joseph and after loading the monument in 
a wagon, hauled it north to a point on the ^Missouri side of the river opposite 
from the point where it was to be erected. 

There were no ferries in operation in this vicinity at that time and 
they must depend upon other means of conveying it to the western shore. 
An Indian was found, who owned a canoe and he agreed to take them o\er. 
His boat was small and he could take but eight men on each of the three 
trips. On the third trip the monument was loaded in for passage and its 
weight, together with that of the liien, really overloaded the light bark. 
The Indian, however, was skilled in the use of his oars and while the 
top of the boat barely missed the water two inches and although the river 
was quite rough, yet he succeeded in landing them all safely on the Nebraska 
shore, but not before the men, some of whom could not swim and who were 
riding astride of the iron monument, had the scare of tlieir lives, fearing 
death in the tur1)id and muddy water. 

The monument was hauled up to the summit of the bluff and in due 
time placed on a firm foundation, where it remained through all the years 
until 1890, when David D. Reavis and Fred W. Miller, both of Falls Cit\-. 
who were employed in the work of making a resurvey of some lands on 
the Io\\ a Indian Reservation, found it lying upon the ground. 

.Vfter the first party had completed the work of setting up the monu- 
ment, the\- were compelled to wait for some time pending further instruc- 
tions, which were not received until June. 1855. \\'hen these were received 
it was learned that the\- were to make corrections on the entire base line 
as far as it hatl lieen surveyed, wliich they proceeded to do. 

Soon after the completit)n of the work of establishing correctly the 
l);ise line, work was commenced on making sur\e\s to" the north in Richard- 
son cipuntx'. The accurate sur\e\" and markings jjlaced at section corners 


greatly facilitated the matter of describing the lands taken by settlers. The 
orders for the survey instructed that the land be surveyed in divisions or 
blocks, six miles square, to be designated a township, and the townships 
were divided into blocks one mile square and known as sections, containing 
six hundred and forty acres. The townships were numbered beginning at 
the northeast corner with number one; on running west six miles the last 
section on the west side was numbered six; the one immediately south being 
numbered seven, and thence eastward to number twelve, the one immediately 
below being thirteen; this sytem of numbering being continued as before 
described until number thirty-six was reached in the southeast corner of 
each township. The rows of townships from east to west are known as 
ranges. The townships run consecutively from a meridian and a base line, 
which were first run with great accuracy, at right angles to each other, 
forming a cross, the north and south line being a meridian, the east and 
west a base line. All lands east of the meridian line are described as range 
east; all lands west of the meridian are described as range west. All 
lands north of the base line are described as township north ; all lands 
south of the base line are described as township south. 

From the intersection of the meridian and base line begins a survey. 
and also the numbering of the various townships and ranges. I'^ach six 
miles square is called a "congressional township," and are numbered from 
one up, thus, township number i, 2, 3, etc., south of the base line, and i, 2, 
3, etc., north of the base line, and range i, 2, 3, etc., east of the meridian, 
and range i, 2, 3. etc., west of the meridian. Each township, or six miles 
square, has, therefore, two numbers on its face — a range number and a 
township number. Each of these townships is subdivided into thirty-six 
scjuares, called sections, and are, as nearly as ma\- he. each one nn'le square. 

These sections contain six hundred and fortx* acres of land, except the 
north and west sides of the township, which are al\va\s fractional, owing to 
the fact that it is impracticable to make a township precisely six miles 
square. The surveying of a township always began at the southwest conier 
of section thirty-six. 

The state line between Kansas and Nebraska is the Ixise line for all 
the surveys in these two states; hence the entire state of Nebraska is town- 
ship north, while the entire state of Kansas is townshi]> south. The meridian 
line for these two states is called the sixth principal meridian, and runs 
north from Oklahoma, passing a little east of Wellington, Sumner countv. 
and a little west of ^\'ichita, Sedgwick county, and on north through the 


state of Nebraska, to a point on the Missouri river opposite Yankton, South 

Each section in a township is divided into four equal parts, called 
quarter sections, the lines running north and south and east and west 
through the center of the section are called the one-half section line, and 
at their intersection, in the center of the section by a long-established custom 
the section number is placed. Each quarter section contains one hundred and 
sixty acres, except the following sections on the north and west sides of 
the township, viz: i, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 18, 19, 30, 31. The fractional lots 
of either more than or less than forty acres are usually numbered from 
I to 4. \'ery frequently they are not numbered at all, and never when 
the lot is a full forty-acre tract. 

The work of the early surveyors, under the efficient service of Charles 
A. Manners, in establishing and correcting the base line, was completed 
for a distance of one hundred and eight miles by June, 1856. The work 
of carrying the line on west to the summit of the Rocky mountains was 
done later, being completed in 1859. In this work were employed at differ- 
ent times, Charles A. Manners, N. P. Cook, Jared Todd and William Withe- 
row, the latter being a resident of this county. Rulo township, located 
in the southeast corner of the county, was the first surveyed, the lines being 
run by Meriwetiier Thompson, in the month of September, 1855. the work of 
subdividing the township being done by Michael McManus, a resident of St. 
Stephens in this county, in June of the following year. 

The work of surveying the county was completed, or practicallv so, 
by 1858, and Maj. ^^'. H. Keeling, still a resident of the city, was among 
those employed in the work. 

Organization of Richardson County. 

Our county takes its name from that of William A. Richardson, who, 
holding a commission from President Buchanan as territorial governor, 
arrived in the state on January ii, 1858. Richardson had been a member 
of Congress from his home state, Illinois, and with Stephen A. Douglas was 
largely identified with the struggles incident to the passage of the Kansas- 
Xebraska bill in 1854. 

Governor Richardson was appointed to succeed Governor Izard and 
arrived at Omaha early in January, 1858, assuming his duties on January 
12th. Upon his arrival here he found the Territorial Legislature torn by 
factional strife, engendered over a desire among some of the members who 
represented a constituency desiring the removal of the capitol from Omaha 
to some other place. Immediately upon his arrival he waS confronted with 
a joint resolution presented to him by a committee from some seceding mem- 
bers who had met at Florence, a suburb of Omaha. 

In the resolution it was pointed out that they had been forced to 
"Adjourn to the nearest place of safety, by the disorganizing and turbulent 
acts of a minority of their own body, aided by the violence of an unre- 
strained mob at Omaha, causing well-grounded apprehension as to the per- 
sonal safety of the majority and re(iuesting His Excellency to communicate 
with the Legislature at this place at his earliest convenience." 

The record shows that the new governor was not seriously impressed 
with the cause of the "seceders'" and failed to officially recognize them as the 
"Legislature." He, however, importuned them to return to the capitol and 
guaranteed their personal safety, but the closing date for the session being 
near at hand, his friendly overtures were not accepted. 

Later, a proclamation was issued by Governor Richardson on August 
14, 1858, calling a special session of the Legislature and that body assembled 
at Omaha on September 21st of that year. 

Governor Richardson held his office only until December 5. 1858, when 
he resigned and at once returned to his home state, Illinois, to assist his 
friend. Stephen A. Douglas, in his contest against Al>raham Lincoln for the 


United States senatorship. It came to the knowledge of Richardson that 
the national administration was opposed to Douglas and this attitude on 
tlie part of tlie government displeased the governor, who cared no longer to 
hold an appointive position under it. 

Richardson county is the southeast corner county of the state 
of Nebraska. It was one of the original eight counties organized in the 
territorv. It is now bovmded on the north by Nemaha county, on the west 
by Pawnee county, on the south by the line dividing the states of Nebraska 
and Kansas, and on the east by the Missouri river. Being one of the first 
counties organized in the state it has always been known and numbered as 
first in the districts, being from its earliest days the first representative dis- 
trict in the Legislature, and first state senatorial district and so numbered in 
tlie larger judicial and still larger congressional district. 


As a county it was so ordered by proclamation made by Acting Go\er- 
nor Cuming in 1854. which made its organization but temix3rary. The year 
following, in 1853, it was reorganized by act of the Territorial Legislature. 


The first election was held in the county as then (in 1855) bounded, 
including part of Nemaha. Johnson, Pawnee and what is still included as 
Richardson. At this election but ten votes were cast. But two voting places 
were named in the governor's proclamation, at Level's cabin, north of pres- 
ent site of Falls City in the woods, and Christian Bobst's cabin, near Cincin- 
nati, in what is now Pawnee county. At this election the first re])resenta- 
tives to tlie first Territorial Legislature tn he held at Omaha City were 
chosen. I. L. Sharp for the council, or upper branch of that body, was 
not a resident of the county, Ijut claimed as his home, Glenwood. Iowa, and 
Jolm .^. Singleton, wiiose family had not yet crossed to this side of the 
ri\er, was honored with election to the House. 


At the election the following were chosen as officers of the county : 
County judge. John C. Miller; county clerk. ¥. L. Goldsberry: county treas- 
urer. Louis Mesplais. At this election Salem. Archer and Speiscr were 
nruned as the polling places. 



From the Richardson county records appears the following report of a 
meeting of the county commissioners held at Salem, Nebraska, on May 17, 

Saiciii. Ricliardsoii County, ycbraska. 

Special Term of County Court. May 17th, 1858. 

At a special meeting of the Board of County Commissioners of Rich- 
ardson county, Nebraska, Territory, began and hdd at their usual place of 
holding court in the town of Salem on Monday the 17th day of May, 1858. 
Present, Joseph Yount and Arnett Roberts, commissioners. 

Now comes into open court, John A. Burbank, Isaac L. Hamby, J. 
Edward Burbank and others of the Town of Falls City in said county and 
file their petition to be incorporated under the name and style of the Town 
of Falls City, which petition reads in the following words : 

Richardson County. Territory of Nebraska, ss. 

To the Hon., the County Commissioners of the county of Richardson: 

We, the undersigned petitioners, citizens of the aforesaid county in the 
Town of Falls City, would represent to your honorable body, the utility and 
public benefit of the incorporation of said town of Falls City, as located on 
the southeast quarter of section ten (10) and the northeast quarter of sec- 
tion fifteen (15) in township one (i) north of range No. sixteen (16) 
east, for which we ])ray for polity established for local government of the 
undersigned, for which we, your petitioners, will ever pray. 

And further pra> that John A. Burl^ank, Isaac L. Hamby and J. 
Edward Burbank. William W. Buchanan and Alexander Rickard he ap- 
pointed as officers for said incorporation. 

(Signed) J. E. Burbank, Isaac L. Hamby, John A. Burbank, Alex- 
ander Rickard, William W. Buchanan and others. 

It is therefore ordered and declared liy the l)oard that all the territory 
within the geographical limits of Falls City, together with all the addititon 
that may hereafter be made thereto according to law. be and the same is 
hereby declared to be a town by the name and style of Falls City. That said 
town is made a body corporate and politic and is \ested with all the powers 
and attributes of a municipal corporation, under and by virtue of an act of 
the Territory of Nebraska approved. January 23. 1856. 

And it is further ordered bv the board tliat John A. Burbank. Isaac L. 


Hamb\-, J. Edward Burbank, Alexander Rickard and William W. Buchanan 
be and are hereliv appointed as trustees for said town and they shall hold 
their offices until their successors are elected and qualified. 
By order of the commissioneers, 

James R. Trammell, Clerk County Court. 

By Charles McDonald, Deputy. 


Richardson was one of the eight original counties created by the first 
Territorial Legislature, which convened at Omaha on January 16, 1855, in 
pursuance of a proclamation issued by Acting Governor T. B. Cuming, 
designating that city as a meeting place. It is located in the southeast corner 
of the state, the line dividing the states of Kansas and Nebraska, or the 
fortieth parallel, being its south boundary. Its boundary was defined as 
follows : 

"Began at the northwest corner of the half-breed tract; thence west- 
wardly along the south bank of the Little Nemaha river; thence westerly to 
a point sixty miles west of the Missouri ; thence south to the fortieth parallel, 
the boundary of the territory; thence east along said boundary to the Mis- 
souri river, thence north along the Missouri and west ten miles to the south- 
east corner of the half-breed tract; thence northerly along the boundary of 
said tract to the place of beginning." 


The necessity for the provision of some place to which the half-breeds, 
who were largely the progeny of French adventurers, trappers and traders, 
could be assigned, was plainly evident early in the last century. It required 
but little logic to show that the lawful son of a Frenchman could not be sub- 
ject to the laws governing Indians of full blood, or forcibly amalgamated 
with a tribe, nor could the half-Indain assume the full rights of his father. 
The half-breeds were a new element in Uncle Sam's cosmopolitan brood, and 
special measures were necessary to meet their case. Having decided on a 
modified form of reservation for this large class, it remained for the gov- 
ernment to select a fitting location for such a grant. It must be remembered 
that, at this time, all beyond the Missouri was "the wilderness". When, 
then, in 1839, the chiefs of the various tribes and the representatives of the 
government met at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, there was a vast amount 


of land which answered all the requirements of a good reserve, being watered 
and wooded, and abounding in game. 

The treaty setting aside the lands for the half-breeds in Richardson 
and Xemaha counties was made between William Clark, superintendent of 
Indian afifairs, and Willoughby Morgan, a colonel of the regular army, with 
deputies from the Sacs and Foxes, four bands of Siouxs, the Medawah- 
Kantons, Sissetongs, W^ahpetons and Wahpacootah, the Omahas, Otoes and 
Missouris, on July 15, 1830. The provisions of the treaty read: 

The Omahas, lowas and Otoes. for themselves and in behalf of the 
Yankton and Santee bands of Sioux, having earnestly requested that they 
might be permitted to make some provision for their half-breeds, and par- 
ticularly that they might bestow upon the tract of country within the fol- 
lowing limits, to-wit : 

Beginning at the mouth of the Little Xe-mohaw river and running up 
the main channel of said river to a point ten miles from its mouth in a 
direct line; from thence in a direct line to strike the Great Ne-mohaw ten 
miles above its mouth, in a direct line (the distance between the two Ne- 
mohaws being about twenty miles); thence down said river to its mouth; 
thence up with the meanders of the Missouri river to the point of begin- 
ning. * * * The President of the United States may hereafter assign 
to any of the said half-breeds * * =i= any portion of said tract not 
exceeding a section of si.x hundred and forty acres to each individual. 

This territory was surveyed in 1857, ^^^ the domain of the half- 
breeds thus officially designated, but, before the line was fairly run, it was 
condemned as being incorrect, and a new survey ordered. The new line 
started at a point some distance farther up the Great Nemaha river, but 
preserved the original point on the Little Nemaha. The additional terri- 
tory thus given the Indians was of little value, but the new line passing 
through the county seat, Archer, forever destroyed that thriving village. 
The existence of a county seat on an Indian reserve was an anomaly, and 
it was at once removed. Archer had been designated as the county seat in 
March, 1855. 


The lirst formal census of Nebraska Territory was ordered taken in 
1855, for the purpose of making a readjustment of the legislative repre- 
sentation. Reports from Richardson county showed a total of two hun- 
dred and ninety-nine persons on the enumeration rolls. The census was 
taken by deputy marshals Joseph L. Sharp, Charles P.. Smith, ]\Iichael 


I\Iiirphy, E. R. Do\le, !•". W. Synimes, Munsen S. Clark and Charles W. 
Pierce. They were empowered to designate suitable places for voting pre- 
cincts and also name the judges and clerks of election. The work incident 
to the enumeration was commenced on October 24th, 1854, and to be com- 
pleted by November _'oth. The voting precincts designated in Richardson 
county were two in numlier : One at the house of William Level, with 
John Purket, Robert T. Archer, and James M. Roberts as judges ; William 
\'. Soper and John A. Singleton, clerks. The second precinct was at the 
house of Christian P.obst. with Henry Shellhorn. Henry Abrams, and V/ill- 
iam J. Burns, judges; Christian Bobst and W. L. Soper. clerks." The 
house of William Level referred to was located north of the present site 
of Falls City, while that of Christian Bobst was near the present town of 
DuBois in Pawnee county, then a part of Richardson county. 

Following the enumeration, notices of an election were distributed among 
the people stating that the same would be held for the purix)se of choosing 
a delegate to Congress and a territorial Legislature to convene during the 
following winter. The election was held on December 12 and Richardson 
county cast forty-se\en votes. 

The proclamation ordering the census was as follows: 

rroclainatioii by the Acting Governor. 
Executive Deportment. Xebraska Tern'forx. 

October 21, 1854. 

An enumeration of the inhabitants of the territory will commence on 
Tuesday next, October 24. 1854. under the officers instructed to complete 
the same, if possible, within four weeks. Immediately after said census, 
notices will be distributed for the election of a delegate to Congress, and a 
territorial Legislature, to convene this winter. Said enumeration in the 
districts bordering on the Missouri river, will commence one week from the 
above date, viz., on Tuesday, October 31st. and simultaneously on that day 
in each of said districts. The purpose of this notice is to enable persons 
who have removed temporarily from the territory to return in time for 
said census, but in no case wall names be enrolled except of actual and 
permanent residents of the territory. 

Given under my hand at Omaha Citw Xebraska Territory on the 21st 
day of October. 1854. 

T. B. Cuming. 

Acting Governor of Xebraska. 



Based on a populatidii of two tliousand seven hundred and thirty-two 
found by the first census in the Territory of Nebraska, ordered b\- Acting 
Governor Cuming, Richardson county was given the following representation 
in the first Legislature : One councilman, two representatives. 

That session of the Legislature met at Omaha on January 16, 1855, 
and was a day fraught with intense excitement owing to the disappointment 
of men throughout the territory o\er the fact that the territorial capitol had 
not been located in their part of the territory and many had vowed that no 
session of the Legislature should be held. The day passed off, however, 
without serious friction. 

In that session, J. L. Sharp had the honor of representing Richardson 
county in the upper branch, or council, as president. In the House the 
honor fell to D. M. Johnson and J. A. Singleton. There were thirteen coun- 
ciimen and thirty-six representatives, a total of forty-nine members. 


From a report of the auditor made in 1855. we learn that the valuation 
returned on both real and personal property in Richardson county totaled 
the sum of twenty-six thousand six hundred and forty-three dollars. 


First session — Councilman, J. L. Sharp, president. House, D. M. John- 
son, J. A. Singleton. (January 16, 1855.) 

Second session — Councilman (no change.) House, A. D. Kirk. Rich- 
ardson, W. H. Hoover. Richard.son and Xemaha, jointl)'. (December 18, 

Third session — Richardson and Pawnee counties, Charles McDonald. 
(January 5, 1857.) House, .\. V. Cromwell, X. J. Sharp. 

lM)urth session — (."ouncilman. no change from preceding sessioiL House. 
A. v. Cromwell. \\'ingate King, i-lichardson and Pawnee counties. Decem- 
ber 8. 1857. 

Fifth session— (.'ouncilman, Charles McDonald, I'iichardson and Pawnee: 
seat contested by F.. S. Dundy. (Extra .session September _m, 1858.) 
House, Richardson and Pawnee, William C. h'leming, A. C. Dean. At this 
ses-^ion Governor Richardson, for whom tin's county was named, was then 


chief executive and in his message he called attention to the fact that the 
previous Legislature had repealed the criminal code, and the sole method of 
procedure then in vogue, was the common law of England, under the pro- 
visions of which perjury, forgery and other crimes less than capital, were 
punishable Ijy death. 

Sixth session — Decemlier 5, 1859 (no change in council). House, 
Richardson. Houston Nuckolls, J. E. Burbank and Nathan Meyers. 

Seventh session — December 3, i860. Council, Richardson and Pawnee, 
E. S. Dundy. House, F. A. Tisdel, A. M. Acton, H. B. Porter. 

Eighth session — (No change in council). House. Richardson, L. Allga- 
wahr, J. S. Ewing, H. B. Porter. 

Ninth session— January 7, 1864. House, Richardson, Lewis Allga- 
wahr, J. C. Lincoln, M. ^^^ Breman. 

Tenth session — January 5, 1865. Council divided into districts and 
Richardson county, nth and represented by J. N. McCasland. House, 
Richardson, Oliver \\'. Dunning. F. A. Tisdel, Charles F. ^,^^1lther, E. H. 

I^leventh session — January 4, 1866. (Omaha) J. N. McCasland, coun- 
cil. House, Richardson, Lorenzo Crounse (later governor), William Parchen, 
J. D. Ramsey, John Jay Hart. At this session Hon. E. S. Towle. of this 
city, was chosen as assistant clerk of the house. 


At an election held in the territory on June _', 1866, upon the adoption 
of the constitution, Richardson county voted as follows: For, 503; against, 

37 ^■ 

LTnder the terms of that constitution, provisiun was made for the meet- 
ing of the Legislature on Jul\- 4. 1866. M this meeting Richardson cmmty 
was represented as follows: House, William I'archen, B. F. Cunningham. 
J. M. Deweese, J. T. Hoile. 

Twelfth session — January 10, 1867. House, Richardson, G. Duerfeldt. 
J. M. Deweese and Joseph T. Hoile. 


Board of county commissioners meeting at Salem on July 6, 1857: 
The county commissioners of Richardson county had divided said county 

into three precincts and to include, respectively, the following described terri- 

torv. to-wit : 


No. I — Archer precinct contains townships Nos. i, 2 and 3 of ranges 
Nos. 16, 17 and 18, in said county. 

No. 2 — Salem precinct contains townships Nos. i, 2 and 3 of range No. 
15 and the east half of townships No. i, 2 and 3 of range 14, in said county. 

No. 3 — Speiser precinct contains the west half of townships Nos. i, 2 
and 3 of range No. 14 and townships Nos. i, 2 and 3 of range No. 13 in said 

By order of the board of count\- commissioners of said county. F. L. 
Goldsbury, county clerk. 

The county commissioners met according to law and ordered that there 
be three notices for each precinct naming the various officers to be balloted 
for at the August election in 1857 in Richardson county, Nebraska Territory. 

Ordered that Alexander Rickard, Wingate King and William Goolsby 
be and the same are hereby appointed judges of election, at Archer precinct 
and Joseph Hare. John W. Brinegar and John Ogden be and the same are 
hereby appointed Judges of election at Salem precinct, and John Luginbill, 
Henry Abrams and James Cameron be and the same are hereby appointed 
judges of election at Speiser precinct. Ordered that notices be given to each 
of said judges at least ten days prexious to said election. Court adjourned 
until July 6, 1857. 

F. L. Goldsbury, County Clerk. 

The county commissioners met at Salem, July 6, 1857, according to law, 
Joseph Yount being absent, the following business being transacted : The 
account of R. W. Furnas was presented for striking two hundred assessors' 
blanks for the sheriff of Richardson county — but was not accepted. The 
account of W". H. Mann was next presented for services rendered in record- 
ing the plat of the road from Archer in Richardson county to Brownville in 
Nemaha county. Allowed for said services — $5.00. An account of said 
Mann ffir services rendered in writing election notices for Richardson county 
was allowed by said commissioners — $6.00. 

TAXES COl.I.F.CTEP, 1857. 

Samuel Keiffer on behalf of Isaac Crook, county treasurer, presented a 
statement of the amount of taxes collected by him for the year 1857, which 
was as follows : 

Whole amount of county tax $291.91 

Whole amount of territorial tax 179-94 

Whole amount of school tax 59-98 


The sum of two hundred ninety-nine dollars and ninety-one cents of 
county tax was paid over to the court and an order issued to Samuel Keififer 
for the sum of fifteen dollars for commission as collector on the part of the 
county, the territorial and school tax remaining in his hands. 

William Tramwell presented and was allowed by the commissioners 
at Salem on January 4, 1857, the sum of seventeen dollars for making tax 
list of Richardson ciiunty. 

TAX LEVY, 1857. 

5 mills on the dollar levied for county. 
3 mills on the dollar lex'ied for territory. 
I mill for school. 
Poll ta.x of 50 cents. 

Samuel Keiffer was county assessor of the county in the year 1858 and 
was paid for that service the sum of twenty-seven dollars and seventy-tive 
cents. The assessment rolls contained three hundred and seventy names. 

At a meeting of the county commissioners held at Salem, Nebraska 
Territory, on January 4, 1858, a petition was presented by F. L. Goldsbur\- 
for a precinct to he called Rulo, with the folldwing result: 


At a meeting df commissioners held at Salem. Xebraska Territory, in 
April. 1858. A. D. Kirk presented a petition signed by M. H. W'oodhn and 
twenty-seven other citizens of the town of Rulo, praying for a municipal 
corporation for said town of Rulo. with the following result: 

The court being satisfied that a majority of the taxable inhabitants of 
said town have signed said petition praying for such corporation it is there- 
fore ordered that the inhabitants within the following boundaries as set forth 
in said ])etition to-wit : Beginning at a point on the Missouri river, where 
the line dividing sections 8 and 17 strike the same, thence west along said 
line to the northwest corner of section t8; thence south to the southwest 
corner of section 18; thence east to the Missouri river; thence up said river 
to the ])lace of beginning, be and they are hereby declared incorporated as 
a body corpcjrate and politic b\- the name and style of the town of Rulo. 
Charles Martin, l-:ii Redard. Tames D. Ramsev. .\. D. Kirk and P. B. McCoy 


are herein' appointed trustees for said town vmtil their successors are elected 
and qualified. 

Eli Bedard, A. D. Kirk and P. B. McCoy were at once appointed judges 
of the election, for offices of the said municipal corporation, to be held on 
the first :\Ionday of May, 1858. 


Richardson county was bounded as follows : Commencing at the north- 
west corner of the half-breed tract, thence westwardly along the south bank 
of the Little Nemaha River, thence westwardly to a point sixty miles west 
of the Missouri river, thence south to the fortieth parallel (the boundary 
between Kansas and Nebraska ), thence east along said territory boundary to 
the Missouri river, thence north along the Missouri river, and west ten miles 
to the southwest corner of the half-breed tract, and thence northerly along 
the boundary of said tract to the place of beginning. 

Precincts. — There shall be two precincts or places of voting in said Rich- 
ardson county, viz., one to be held at the house of William Level (a cabin in 
the woods, northeast of present site of Falls City), in precinct No. i. The 
second at the house of Christian Bobst, precinct No. 2. John Purket, Robert 
T. Archer, and James \Y. Roberts shall be the judges of election of the first 
precinct, and William \W. Soper and John A. Singleton, clerks of the same; 
and Henry Shellhorn, Henry Abranis and William F. Bums, judges of elec- 
tion of precinct No. 2, and Christian Bobst and \^^ L. Soper, clerks of the 


Pawnee county, which now joins Richardson county on the west, was 
made uji from territory contained in the original boundaries of Richardson 
county — the latter being originally, sixty miles long east and west from the 
Missouri river. The new county, later to be known as I'awnee, was laid off 
in 1855 ''ito townships, and sectionized in 1856. At first it contained but 
four townshi]xs, or twenty-four miles square. One row of townships was 
taken from off the north side later and added to what is now 4<nown as John- 
son county. 

Christian Bobst, residing southeast of the present site of Pawnee city, 
arrived there on the 4th of April. 1854, in company with Robert Turner, 
Jacob .\dams and Robert Arclier ( the latter being the man for whom Archer 
\illage in this countx" was named). Christian Bdbst. the leader of the party. 


selected the best timber claim probably in southern Nebraska, the northwest 
quarter, section 25. township i, range 12, South Fork precinct. Mr. Bobst 
erected what was the first dwelling house in that part of Richardson county. 
He was appointed probate judge by Governor Izard, in the fall of 1854, for 
Richardson county. No lines at that time having been regularly established, 
his jurisdiction extended over all the settlements west of the Missouri river. 
Joseph Frey, who came the same summer, was appointed justice of the 
peace, and Robert Turner, constable, by the same authority. For the first 
few years after the territorial government was formed. Pawnee was attached 
to Richardson county and for the most part during that period the offices 
were lield by men living in tlie eastern part of what is now Richardson county, 
wiiich state of affairs was not the most pleasing to the settlement to the 
west and had much to do with the early effort to form the new county of 
Pawnee. For a considerable time the whole of the country to the west had 
to get their mail at the residence of Judge Christian Bobst on South Fork. 
An office was established at Pawnee city long before there was any estab- 
lished route to supply it, and had to depend on private enterprise for its sup- 
ply from Pleasant valley — Bobst's office. 

An election was held on the 25th day of August, 1856, for the purpose 
of selecting a seat of justice for the new county. Three points were entered 
in the contest. Pawnee city. Table Rock and Turkey creek. By some means 
the poll books of the election held at Table Rock were not signed by the 
officers of the election board, but when the returns were , carried down to 
Archer, the then county seat of Richardson county, the county clerk, Neal 
J. Sharp, after canvassing the returns, declared the Pawnee city site duly 
elected as the seat of justice (county seat) for Pawnee county. This point 
was then called "Enon" (Bibical reference.) 

Notwithstanding the certificate had been issued by Mr. Sharp in favor 
of Pawnee city, the Hon. Judge John C. Miller, probate judge of Richard- 
son county, when the matter was brought properly before him, declared such 
certificate null and \oid ; that no choice had been legally made, and therefore 
ordered that a new election be held on the 4th day of November, 1856. At 
this latter election Pawnee city, the present county seat, was chosen. All 
accounts agree that the first white men who were ever on what is now the 
present site of Pawnee city, formerly a part of Richardson county, were 
James O'Loughlan, Charles McDonald and Arthur McDonald. These men 
had settled at Salem in this county and visitetl the site on July 20. 1854. 
Looking o\er the ground fnim a jxiint of vantage, they espied a large body 









?■ ■ 11 


■ .- 


' j^jp'.^K.J'iW 















of Indians with ponies grazing. They did not make themsehes known, but 
withdrew to tlieir homes on South Fork. This was doubtless the first time 
white men had ever stood on this ground. 


From minutes of Ijoard of count}- commissioners. Falls City. August 
29, i860. 

Falls City, Richardson County, Nebraska Territory. 

Commissioners Court, August 29, i860. 
Richardson County, 
Nebraska Territory, ss: 

Having been appointed and commissioned to view and locate a county 
road by the county commissioners court of Richardson county, Nebraska 
Territory in July, i860,' I proceeded on the 7th day of August, i860, witli 
Joseph Broady, surveyor, and F. Bnxady and John Furrow, chain carriers, 
and were all sworn as the law directs by .\. D. S. Ayers, a justice of the 
peace in and for Richardson county, Nebraska Territory. We then pro- 
ceeded with the aforesaid surveyor and chain carriers and J. G. Babcock, for 
i^agman. and J. S. Babcock and E. P. Tinker with four yoke of oxen and 
plow to mark the road. J. S. Babcock furnished two yoke of oxen and E. 
P. Tinker furnished two yoke of oxen. 

We then went to the line between sections thirty (30) and thirty-one 
(31), town three ( 3 ) , range thirteen (13), in Richardson county, Nebraska 

Commencing at the west line of said county we proceeded on route 
descriljed in said petition to the Nemaha county line, observing all the points 
mentioned in petition. The surveyor will make a report of said road. I 
find it a good and practicable route. I therefore report favorable to said 
road and recommend your honorable body to establish the same. 

Oliver J. Tinker. Commissioner. 

In the bill of expense for the use of the oxen appears the following 
claims : 

J. S. Babcock and 2 yoke of oxen $8.00 

E. P. Tinker and 2 yoke of oxen 8.00 

A. J. Deshazo, County Clerk. 



Clerks Office, Falls City, Nebraska Territory, January 6, 1862. 

Commissioners court. Commissioners met pursuant to adjournment. 
Present — C. S. Cornell, George W. Scott and Levi Forbe, commissioners, 
and George \^andeventer, county clerk. 

Ordered that the election precincts of Richardson county be described 
and bounded as follows, to-\vit : 

l-Vanklin precinct consists of congressional township. No. 3, north, range 

13, east. 

Porter precinct consists of township 3, north of range 14, east. 

Humboldt precinct to be bounded as follows : Commencing at the 
northwest corner of congressional township No. 2, on the dividing line 
lietween Pawnee and I^ichardson counties, thence south five miles to the south- 
west corner of section 30, township 2, range 13, east; thence east along the 
section line nine miles to the southeast corner of section 28, in township 2, 
north of range 14, east; thence north along the section line five miles, to the 
township line, between townships 2 and 3 north of range 14, east; thence 
west along the township line nine miles to the place of beginning. 

Speiser precinct to he bounded as follows : Commencing at the north- 
west corner of section 31, township 2, range 13, east on the dividing line 
between Pawnee and Richardson counties, thence south along the county line 
to the line between Kansas and Nebraska; thence east along said line, nine 
miles, to the section line between sections 33 and 34 of township i, range 14, 
east; thence north along the section line to the northeast corner of section 
T,!,. township 2, north range 14, east; thence west along section line nine miles, 
to the place of beginning. 

Salem precinct bounded as follows ; Commencing at the northwest 
corner of section 3, township 2, north of range 14, east; thence running 
south, along the section line, dividing townships one and two, north range 

14, east to the line between Kansas and Nebraska; thence east along said 
line to the range line; ijetween ranges 15 and 16, east; thence north along 
said range line nine miles, to the northeast corner of section 24, in township 
2, north, range 15 east; thence west along the section line to the range line 
between ranges 14 and 15; thence north along the range line three miles, 
to the township line between townships 2 and 3, nurth; thence west along the 
township line to the place of beginning. 

Commissioners Court, Special Term, May 14. i860. 


Muddy precinct. A petition praying ior a voting precinct to be formed 
out of Fails City and Salem precincts. The petition was granted. Said pre- 
cinct to be called Muddy precinct and Ixjunded as follows beginning at the 
southeast corner of section 13, township 2, north of range 16, east; thence 
west on said line to the Franklin precinct; thence north to the county line; 
thence east to the range line between ranges 16 and 17, east. William J. 
McCord was appointed justice of the peace for Muddy precinct. O. M. 
Johnson and E. S. Slagle were appointed constables for Muddy precinct. 

Humboldt precinct. A petition was presented on April i, 1861, signed 
by A. J. Halbert, Merrit Wells, James Cameron and twenty-two others, pray- 
ing that a new precinct be organized in township 2, range T3, bounded as fol- 
-lows : Commencing one mile north of the southwest corner of township 2, 
range 13, at the Pawnee county line and running east nine miles to the center 
or range 14; thence north along the section line to the north line of said 
township, five miles; thence west along the township line, nine miles to the 
Pawnee county line ; thence south five miles along the county line to the place 
of beginning, all of which was granted by the board. 

Falls City precinct bounded as follows : Commencing at the northwest 
corner of section 19, township 2, range 16, east on the range line between 
ranges 15 and 16; thence south on said range line, nine miles to the line 
between Kansas and Nebraska; thence east on said line, nine miles to the 
section line between sections 33 and 34 in township i, north of range 17; 
thence north along the section line eight miles to the northeast corner of 
section 28, township 2, range 17; thence west along the section line, three 
miles to the range line between ranges 16 and 17; thence north one mile 
along the range line to the section line dividing sections 13 and 24, township 
2, north range t6, east; thence west along said section line six miles to the 
place of beginning. 

Muddy precinct bounded as follows : Commencing at the place where 
the range line between ranges 14 and 15, east, intersects the county line 
between Nemaha and Kichardson counties; thence south along said range 
line, nine miles to the section line, between sections 18 and 19 in township 
2, north of range 15, east; thence east along said section line, twelve miles 
to the range line between ranges 16 and 17, east; thence north along said 
range line, nine miles to the county line between NemaJia and Richard.son 
counties; thence west along said county line, twelve miles, to the place of 

St. Stephens precinct bounded as follows: Commencing at a place 
where the range line between ranges 16 and 17 intersects the county line, 


between Xemaha and Richardson counties, thence south along said range 
Hne, seven miles to the section line between sections 6 and 7 of township 
2, north of range 17; thence east along said section line, to the Missouri 
river ; thence up the Missouri river, to the line between Nemaha and Rich- 
ardson counties: thence west along said county line to the place of beginning. 

Arago precinct bounded as follows: Commencing at the northwest 
ct)rner of section, township 2, range 17, east, on the range line between ranges 
16 and 17: thence south along range line, three miles to the section line 
lyClween sections 19 and 20, township 2, north of range 17, east; thence east 
along said section line to the Missouri river, thence up the Missouri river to 
the section line dividing sections i and 2 of township 2, north of range 17, 
east : thence west along the section line to the place of beginning. 

Rulo precinct bounded as follows: Commencing at the northwest cor- 
ner of section zy on the section line between sections 28 and 27 of township 
2, range 17, east; thence south along said section line, eight miles to the line 
between Kansas and Nerbaska : thence east along said line to the Missouri 
river: then.ce up the Missouri river to the section line between sections 19 and 
30 of township 2, range 18: thence west along said section line to the place 
of beginning. 

Action of the board of commissioners at a meeting held On October 
6, 1862, in response to a petition signed by citizens of Arago and St. Stephens 
])recincts, merged the two precincts into one to be known as Arago. 

Ohio. — S. J; Harris had the honor of naming Ohio township. It was 
he who petitioned to have the township organized to its present boundary 
and named it tor his native state, Ohio. 


An act passed and approved on February lo, 1857, authorized Charles 
McDonald to erect a mill dam across the north fork of the Grand Nemaha 
river, on the northwest quarter of section 22, township 2, north of range No. 
14, east of the sixth p. m., Richardson county, Nebraska Territory. 

.\n act passed ant! aj^proved at the same session, February 10, 1857, pro- 
\idcd for the incorporation of the town of Salem, Richardson county, 
Xeliraska Territory. Section I\' of this act provided that "Whenever eight 
of the resident householders of said town shall petition the county clerk of 
said Richardson county, asking for the organization of said municipal gov- 
ernment the said clerk shall fix the time for tlie municipal election, which 


shall not be more than twenty daj's after the petition is presented to him, and 
shall appoint three judges of said election, and shall give notice thereof by 
posting up notices in three public places in said town * * *." 

Section V. At the aforesaid election the legal voters shall elect a town 
council consisting of five, who shall possess the qualifications of electors: 
Provided, That (the) person receiving the highest number of votes shall be 
president until otherwise provided In- law, also a town clerk and marshal, 
which election shall be the first organization of the said town, and thereafter 
said offices may be abolished or new nftices created as may be prescribed by 


Section I. Of an act passed and approved on March 7th, 1855, entitled 
an Act defining the boundaries of counties herein named and for other pur- 
poses. (Had reference to Richardson, Nemaha, Blackbird and Dakota 
counties.) This act materially reduced the boundary of Richardson county 
and contained the following important sentence : "The seat of justice is 
hereby located at the town of Archer, in said Richardson county." 

An act to provide for the permanent location of the county seat of 
Richardson county : 

Section I. Be it enacted by the council and House of Representatives 
of die Territory of Nebraska, That the Board of County Commissioners, of 
Richardson County, Territory of Nebra.ska, are hereby authorized and 
empowered to cause an election to be held on the first Tuesday of April, A. 
D. 1857, at the different voting precincts in said county, for the purpose of 
permanently locating the county scat of said Richardson county. For this 
purpose each voter may designate upon his l^allot the place of his choice for 
the county seat, and when the votes are canvassed, the place having the 
majority of all votes polled shall be the county seat, and public notice of said 
election shall be given within thirty days, by the Board of County Commis- 
sioners, by posting up notices, in three several places in each precinct in 
said count}'. * 

Section II. It shall be the duty of said Board of County Commission- 
ers to give at least twenty days notice of said election, by causing notices to 
be posted up at three different places in each precinct, and the qualifications 
of voters, the manner of holding elections and making returns thereof, shall 
be in accordance with the statutes of this territory governing elections. 

Section III. If no one place has a majority of all the votes polled as 
provided for in section i of this act, it shall be the duty of the county com- 


missioners of said county, within one month after said election, to order a 
special election and give ten days notice thereof, by posting up notices in 
three public places in each precinct in said county, at which election votes 
shall be taken by ballot between the two highest places voted for at the first 
election, and the place having the highest number of votes shall be the county 
seat of said county, and notice thereof shall be given as required by section 
one of this act. 

Section No. IV. Any contest of any election held under the provisions 
of this act shall be brought before the county clerk and shall be conducted 
and deti.-rmined according to law governing elections in this territory. 

Section Xo. W That the county seat of said county be and the same 
is herebv temporarily located at the town of Salem, in said Richardson 
countv. until said election is held anil determined according to the provisions 
of this act : 

Provided, that the county commissioners of said county shall become 
satisfied that the town of Archer, the present location of the county seat of 
said county, is located on and embraced within the limits of the half-breed 
Indian reservation in said county. 

Section AT. This act to take effect and be in force from and after 
its passage. 

Approved. February 9, 1857. 

An act supplementary to an act to provide the permanent location of 
the seat of justice of Richardson county. 

Section i. Be it enacted by the Council and House of Representatives 
of the Territory of Nebraska, That the seat of justice of Richardson county 
be and the same is hereby located at West Salem on the west half of the 
southwest y4 of section Xo. (3) three, and the east yi of the S. E. ^4 of 
section X'o. (4 1 four in township Xo. (i) one, north of range X^o. (15) 
fifteen east in said county. 

Section 2. That it shall be the duty of the county commissioners to 
remove the records of said county to said place above named immediately 
3,frer the taking of efi"ect of this act. 

Section 3. That so much of the act to which this act is supplementary 
as conflicts with the provisions of this act. be and the same are hereby 

Section 4. This act shall take efl:'ect and l>e in force from and after the 
first day of March. .\. D. 1857. 

Approved Fel)ruary 13. 1857. 


The first act to come under this head affecting Richardson county was 
that incorporating the "Town of Archer," which was approved on January 
25, 1856. 


Proclamation of acting Governor Cuming, of the Territory of Nebraska, 
issued from the executive department of Nebraska Territory on December 
20, 1854, assigned "Hon. Edward R. Hardin, assistant justice of the Supreme 
Court, to the second judicial district, embracing all that portion of territory 
lying south of the Platte river in Nebraska Territory." The proclamation 
recited that the appointment was made for the "purpose of administering 
justice in the Territory of Nebraska." 

An Act to provide for permanent location of county seat of Richardson 
county. Approved February 9, 1857. 

An Act to establish permanently County Seat, Richardson Countv, bv 
vote of the people. Approved October 3, 1858. 

An Act to authorize H. W. Summerlad, and George Walther to keep 
a ferry across the Missouri at Arago. Approved January 3rd, 1862. 

An Act to authorize Felix Kitch, A. P. Forney, and Joshua Murray 
to keep a ferry across the Missouri at Rulo, Nebraska Territory. Approved 
January 11, 186 i. 

They were allowed to charge : For two horses or mules and buggy, 
!|5i.oo; for each extra pair, 25 cts; for horse, or mule and rider. 25c; for two 
horses or mules, and buggy, 75c ; i horse or mule and buggy, 50c : for horse 
or mule led, 25c; loose cattle per head, loc; hogs and sheep per head, 5c: 
f(_)otmen, loc; each cwt. of freight loc; lumber $3.00 per feet. 

An Act to establish and keep a ferry at Winnebago, by Neal J. Sharp 
and John Singleton. Approved March 6, 1855. 

An Act to Incorporate the "German Sangerbund of Arago"' by F. Kam- 
merer, H. W. Sommerlad, J. O. W'irth, H. Volbrecht, Charles F. \\'alther 
and L. Allegewahr, had for its object the promotion of artistic taste in gen- 
eral and vocal music in particular by the practice and performance of sacred 
and secular music. Approved January 9th, 1862. 

An Act to Incorporate Arago. Approved January 10, i860. 

An Act to Incorporate Falls City. Approved January 13th, i860. 

An Act to Incorporate Falls City Library Association, by C. H. Norris. 
David Dorrington, H. O. Hanna. George Van Deventer, J. H. Burbank. J. 
Edward Burbank, S. H. Schuyler. E. S. Dundy and Jacob Good. Approved 
December 21st, 1861. 


An Act to Incorporate Riilo. Approved November ist, 1858. 

An Act Supplemental. Approved January 11, 1861. 

An Act to locate Road "Little Xemaha River to Kansas Line." Will- 
iam Trammel, Louis Misplay and Levi Dodge, empowered to view and locate 
road, at or near where military Road crosses same near Dr. Jerome Hoover's 
mill, running thence southerly on most direct and feasible route by way of 
Maple Grove ford, on Muddy Creek, thence to ford the Grand Nemaha river 
below the falls, known as Singleton's Ford, thence to the Kansas line. 

Approved January 22, 1856. 

An Act to authorize Charles McDonald to erect a mill dam across the 
north fork of the Grand Nemaha River in Richardson County," on n. w. % 
of Section Xo. 22, Twp. 2, North of Range No. 14. Approved February 
10, 1857. 

An Act defining the boundaries of counties herein mentioned and for 
other purposes. This Act reduced the size of Richardson county to the pres- 
ent size and located the county seat at Archer. Approved March 7th, 1855. 

An Act to authorize Silas Babcock, to erect mill dam across Long 
Branch at "any point within four miles from town of Franklin, in Richard- 
son Co." Approved January 6th, i860. 

An .\ct to authorize \\^illiam A. TafHemire and Garret N. Martindale 
to erect a mill dam across Muddy Creek, Richardson County, on n. w. y^ 
Sec. 16, Twp. I, N. of Range No. 16. Approved February 11, 1865. 

An Act to attach the Counties of Gage & Jones to the Council Districts 
composed of Pawnee and Richardson. Approved January 11, 1862. 

An .Act to locate road from Brownville to Archer. A. L. Coot, Strander 
Fronian. F. G. McMillen, appointed Commissioners to meet in .\rcher. May 
1st, 1856. $3.00 per day for time actually employed. Approved January 
2nd, 1856. 

An .\ct to appoint Commissioners to view and locate a territorial road 
from Pbttsriiouth in Cass County to Archer in Richardson County. Will- 
iam kakes, Cass County; John Singleton, Richardson County, and Gideon 
Bennett, of Pierce County. "The nearest and most practicable route to 
Nebraska City, thence to Brownville, to Archer in Richardson County, thence 
to the Kansas line by way of the ford on the Grand Nemaha river, known 
as the Singleton's ford, having due regard for personal property as well as 
ground o\er which road shall pass; to be 30 feet wide; all male inhabitants 
between ages of 21 and 43 required to work 2 days each year on road. 
Approved, Alarch 14, 1855. 


xAn Act to Inc. Town of Salem. Approved February loth, 1857. 

An Act to Inc. Town of St. Stephens. Approved November 3, 1858. 

An Act to Authorize School District No. 37 to issue bonds for the pur- 
pose of erecting High School, $20.00. Approved February 2nd, 1875. 

An Act to restore Civil Rights to Joseph Deroin. Approved February 
1 8th, 1867. 

An x\ct to vacate Block No. 126, Falls City, Richardson County. 
Approved February 12, 1867. 

An Act to authorize Falls City Precinct, in Richardson County, to issue 
bonds to aid in the construction of a court house for Richardson County, 
$20,000. Approved February 14th, 1873. 

An Act to vacate the alleys in Blks 6, ^2, and 125 Falls City, Richard- 
son county. Approved February 9th, 187 1. 

An Act to authorize Zachariah J. Parsons to establish a ferry across the 
Missouri at Rulo. Approved February 5th, 1866. 

An Act extending the time for commencing of a railroad in Richardson 
County. St. Louis and Nebraska Trunk R. R. Was to be located so as to 
pass through Rulo and Arago. 

' An act to provide for the perfecting the probate records of Richardson 
County and confirming the same. Approved February 9th, 1871. 

An act to provide for selling 10 acres of northeast J4 sec. 16 twp. i 
north of Range No. 16 in Richardson county, so as to include the burying 
ground situated on said land. Approved June 24th, 1867. 

An act to revive the herd law within precincts of Muddy, Porter, 
Franklin, Humboldt. Grant. Tibert}-, in Richardson county. Approved June 
3rd, 1871. 

.\n Act to vacate the townsite of ^Vinnebago. Approved February 5th, 

An Act to vacate the Townsite of Yankton. Approved February lotli, 

An Act tn vacate the Townsite of Archer, in Richardson County. 
Approved February 10, 1866. 

Location of County Seat. 

We have gone to a great deal of pains to examine the official records 
of the county in tracing the various elections on the .matter of locating the 
county capital the one eA^ent among all others important in the beginning 
of county government. The matter of its location in Richardson county 
differs little, perhaps, from that of other counties from the fact, that of the 
citizens of a new country, many at the very outset become excited over this 
one momentous event from other causes than a desire in getting a point most 
advantageous to all as to geographical location. In all new countries the 
matter of real-estate values are at once effected and it thus becomes a matter 
of pecuniary interest to a very great number of the people. So it was in 
our case, as will be seen by following the history of the various contests. 
If the historian were confined strictly to the official minutes of the meetings of 
the commissioners' court in session at th eearly territorial county seat of 
Archer, or that of the later one at Salem, the story told in the minutes would 
convey but little information bearing upon the various phases of the elec- 
tions. The record made by them is here given, however, for the 
purpose of showing that official notice of the various elections was taken 
and for the further purpose of showing officially the dates of such elections 
and the names of those present on the several occasions, who took part in an 
official sense. This we have believed was important in an historical story, 
such as this, of what was no doubt the most hotly contested elections ever 
held in the county and the ones upon which the turning point in the history 
of a very great area of the county was most largely affected. 

The official minutes of the commissioners court go so far as to say in 
the various instances that "no choice was had between the various contest- 
ants," but gave no result in figures throwing light on the result of the canvass 
of the votes in a definite sense. Nor do they give any idea of the struggles 
in every precinct of the county in the matter of the work done by the friends 
and various partisans of the towns entered in the races. This part is left 
for others to tell and much of it will never be told, as no record of it is now 



That an election for the purpose of giving the people of the county a 
chance to make a selection of a town within the county for a seat of gov- 
ernment was long expected, and that events had for years been shaping to 
that end. is more than proven from the fact that more than one townsite had 
been laid out by speculators with an idea single to its availability for just 
such a purpose and those sponsoring the same had bended every energy pos- 
sible at their command in an attempt to win friends for their particular town. 


Taken from minutes of board of county commissioners' meeting held 
at Salem, Nebraska, Territory on (special term) November 15, 1858: 

"Now comes the county commissioners and in pursuance of an act of 
the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Nebraska, entitled an act to 
establish permanently the county seat of Richardson county, approved Octo- 
ber 3, 1858, it is by said board ordered that an election shall be held at the 
several voting precincts of Richardson county on Monday, the sixth day of 
December, 1858, for the purpose of determining the choice of a majority 
of the voters of said county as to the location of said county seat. 

"It is also ordered that in pursuance of law an election shall be held "at 
the same time and places to ascertain the choice of a majority of the voters 
of said county on the question whether an act passed at the fourth regular 
session of the Legislature of the Territory of Nebraska to Restrain Sheep 
and Swine from running at large shall l)e enforced in Richardson County." 

The following were appointed as judges and clerks of election : 

Archer precinct No. i : Ambrose Shelly, Archibald McMillan, ^Vingato 

Salem precinct No. 2 : John Cornell, John W". Brinegar, Richard M. 

Speiser precinct No. 3 : John Luginbill, Elijah G. Davenport, James 
M. Allen. 

.Rulo precinct Ni 1. 4 : Charles Martin, John Stone, R. F. Cunningham. 

St. Stephens No. 5 : William R. Cain. Jacob Wagoner, Lewis Philip. 

Franklin precinct No. 6 : John Corlett, H. B. Porter. William Furrow. 


Taken from minutes of board of county commissioners held at Salem, 
Richardson count}-, Nebraska Territory, December 9, 1858, there being pres- 
ent Commissioners F. L. Goldsburv and Arnett Roberts : 


"Xow comes the Board of County Commissioners and by them it is 
ordered that a second election shall Ije held in the several voting precincts of 
said county on Saturday, the 25th day of December, 1S58, for the purpose of 
determining the location of the coiuity seat of said county in pursuance of 
the provisions of an act of the Legislature of said territory, entitled an Act 
to Locate permanently the County Seat of Richardson County, approved 
October 3, 1858. there having been no place elected to be the said county 
seat at the election on the 6th day of December, 1858, and it is further set 
forth in said order that the town of Rulo, St. Stephens, Falls City, and Salem 
are to be the four contending points for said county seat, they being the four 
highest points voted for at said election on the 6th day of December, 1858." 


Taken from minutes of county commissioners at meeting held at Salem 
• on the 27th day of December, 1858: 

"Special Term of the County Court held at Salem on the 27th day of 
December, 1858, a petition from the citizens of Archer Precinct praying for 
the removal of the voting place from Archer to Falls City, presented and 
si^ed by Phillip Breamer and eighty-nine others, of which said prayer was 

A third election on the coiuity seat question was then ordered to be held 
on the tenth day of January, 1859, for the purpose of permanently locating 
the county seat of Richardson County. 

The following named persons were judges of said election to serve in 
the different precincts: 

Archer No. i : W. AL Maddox, W. King, Isaac Crook. 

Salem No. 2 : J. Coffman, R. M. DeLong, T. Greenup. 

Speiser No. 3 : J- Luginbill, J. B. Shellhorn, E. J- Davenport. 

Rulo No. 4: C. ■Martin, B. F. Cunningham, J. W. Stone. 

St. Stephens No. 5 : J. Campbell, F. Chauvin, J. Cowan. 

Franklin No. 6 : J. Scott, J. Corlett. A. D. S. Ayers. 

The foregoing business was transacted by Commissioners F. L. Golds- 
bur\- and Arnett Roberts. 


Cop\- (if tlie following appears on the minute book of the county com- 
missioners, l-'ebruary. 18^9: 


"Salem. Richardson Coiint\-, Nebraska Territory, February ii, 1S59. 

"Know All Men by These Presents: 

"That John A. Burbank. }»Iayor of Falls City, on behalf of the corporate 
authorities of the Town of Falls City is firmly held and bound to the county 
of Richardson and Territory of Nebraska in the penal sum of Five Thousand 
Dollars, lawful money of the United States, for the payment of which I bind 
myself and successors. 

"The conditions vi the above is that if the above named parties shall 
erect or cause to be erected upon the public square in Falls City a two-story 
Brick or Concrete Court House, Thirty bv Fifty feet in dimensions and to 
cost not less than ($3,000.00) Three Thousand Dollars to commence the 
same on the First Da>- of A'lay next and to donate the same with the Twenty- 
J''our Lots contained in the Public Square to the County of Richardson. 

"Provided the County Seat should be located at Falls City by Vote of 
the People at coming election and to be held so long as the County seat shall 
remain at Falls City and no Longer, then this obligation to be void other- 
wise to remain in full force. 

"^^'itness M}- fland and Official seal this igth December, 1858. 

"John A. Burbank (Mayor.) F. C. 

•'S. R. Jamison. Dct. Clk." 

locating county seat. 

From minutes of county commissioners court held at Salem, Nebraska, 
iMarch 7, i860: 

The following named persons are api»inted judges of election : Falls 
Cit\- precinct, David Dorrington. James Buchanan and E. W. Hutchinson. 

St. Stephens precinct, Jacob Wagoner, William R. Cain and L. Allege- 

Ruk) precinct. Isaac May, A. P. btirney and Joshua Murry. 

I'ranklin precinct, H. B. Porter. J. W. Davis and Boyd Reeves. 

Salem precinct. Thomas Greenup. S. McDaniel and R. M. DeLong. 

Speiser precinct. L. DeWebber, J. Shellhorn and J. Luginbill. 

Ordered that there be an election held in the several voting precincts of 
Richardson County. Nebraska Territory, according to an act of the Legis- 
lature approved January, i860, for the jnu-pose of locating the county seat 
of said county, on the Thirst ^Monday in .\pril, i860. 


Commissioners Omrl, April 7, i860. Present. Thomas ]\lclntire and 
Charles Cornell. 

At an electiim held in Richardson county on the first jMonda}' of April, 
1866, for the purixise of locating the county seat of Richardson county. No 
place getting a majority of all the votes polled, the board ordered that an 
election be held on the i6th day of April, i860, to decide which of the fol- 
lowing named places shall be tlie county seat, viz : Salem, Falls City, Rulo 
and Arago. 

Present, Thomas ]\lclntire and Charles Cornell. At an election held on 
the i6th day of April, i860, in Richardson county for the purpose of locat- 
ing the county seat of said county. No one place getting a majority of all 
the votes polled the board ordered that another election be held on Monday 
the 4th of June, i860, to decide which of the following named places shall 
be the county seat viz : Falls City and Rulo. they being the two places which 
received the highest number of votes at the election held on the i6th of April. 

A. J. De.shazo. County Clerk. 


"Seven petitions were presented asking to change the time appointed for 
the County Seat Election be changed from June to an earlier day. The 
petitions were granted. The time was changed from the first Monday in 
June to Tuesda}' the 22nd day of May." 

A. J. Deshazo, County Clerk. 

"On to wit: 25th day of b'ebruary A. D. 1859: 

"Xow at this day the matter of the contested election for the County 
Seat of Richardson county being for determination as between Falls City, 
Contestant, and Salem, Defendant. The same having been hereto before 
on to wit the 19th day of February A. D. 1859 argued and submitted by 
counsel for said parties respectively. And having been considered and duly 
weighed. It is considered, determined and adjudged that the judges of 
election at the St. Stephens Precinct were not lawfully qualified to hold said 
election ^^•herefore in canvassing the votes cast at said election. The votes 
cast at said St. Stephens Precinct were properly and of right should have 
been rejected. And it is further determined and considered and proved by 
evidence produced in said contest and by the admission of parties that more 
votes were cast at the Falls City Precinct at .said election in favor of Salem 
for Cnunty Seat than were returned by the election Board of said precinct 


also that at least one illegal vote was at said election and at said Falls City 
Precinct cast and connted by the election Board of said Precinct in Favor of 
said Falls City for County Seat wherefore by reason of the premises afore- 
said it appears that a majority of the legal votes cast at said election were 
cast in favor of Salem. 

"And it is therefore considered adjudged and determined that at an 
election held in the county of Richardson and Territory of Nebraska on the 
loth day of January A. D. 1859 under the provision of an act of the Legis- 
lature of the Territory of Nebraska approved on the 3rd day of October A. 
D. 1858 entitled 'a Bill for an Act to establish permanently the County Seat 
of Richardson County by a vote of the people' the Town of Salem in said 
county was Chosen and is hereby under the provisions of said act adjudged 
and determined to be the County Seat of Said County. 

"James T. Wright, County Clerk." 

The foregoing is taken verbatim from the minute books of the county 

The following is taken from official minutes in county clerk's office: 
Salem, Richardson County, Nebraska Territory. 
County Clerk's Office February 4th, 1859. 

Personally appeared before me County Clerk of Richardson County, N. 
T. E. S. Dundy in behalf of the town of Falls City wherein they contest the 
election for County Seat in Richardson County, Nebraska Territory. 

Because the Board of Canvassers refused to count the vote polled at 
the St. Stephens Precinct — Second because the said Board of Canvassers 
acted erroneously, illegally and without authority of law in rejecting and 
refusing to count the votes taken at the St. Stephens Precinct on the loth 
day of January 1859. 

There being no disposition taken and no witnesses present in behalf 
of Falls City, all they asked was that the poll books of St. Stephens Precinct 
be taken as evidence in the case which was agreed to and the testimony in 
behalf of Falls City was closed. 

It was further agreed to by both parties that the matter lay over for one 
week for the purpose of the defense procuring further evidence and Satur- 
day the 19th day of February 1859 being the day appointed for that trial. 

James S. Wright. County Clerk. 



•Falls City 

Before A. J. Deshazo 
County Clerk of Richardson County Nebraska 
Territory, on the 5th of June, i860. 

Contested election Held for County Seat of said County on 22nd May, 

Now nth August A. D. i860 the above entitled case after having been 
continued from day to day for the cNamination of witnesses, taking testi- 
monv ect. came up for argument and final disposition. And after examina- 
tion of the testimony and the papers in the case, and the law regulating elec- 
tions ect. and after hearing the arguments of counsel for the parties, Plfifs. 
and Defendants, the Clerk being fully advised in the premises, it is ascer- 
tained, considered and determined, decided and adjudged that Falls City 
received a Majority of All The Legal Votes polled at the election held in 
said county on the 22nd May i860, for the location of the county seat of said 
county, under and by virtue of the provision of the act of the Territorial 
Legislature, entitled, an Act for the Location of the County Seat of Richard- 
son County by a vote of the People, approved 13th January i860. 

It is hereby further determined, decided and adjudged that Falls City, 
the Plaintiff in this case is the lawful and Permanent County Seat of Richard- 
son County aforesaid, it having received a majority of all the legal votes 
polled in said county on the 22nd May i860, that being the last election held 
for the location of the same, and that Rulo the Defendant, has no lawful 
and valid claim to the same, as appears from the law and the evidence in 
the case. 

This 13th (lay of August i860. 

A. J. Deshazo, County Clerk. 


The final effort to cliange the county seat in Richardson county was set- 
tled by an election held on October 10, 1871, in response to a petition which 
had been presented to the county board of commissioners by citizens of Salem. 
In canvassing the county for signers the Salemites represented that thev 
wanted to make just one more effort, and that this should be the last. The 


petition was circulated in every nook and corner of the county and the parti- 
sans of Salem worked as they had never worked before. When a sufficient 
number (two-thirds) of the vote, had been obtained, the petition was pre- 
sented on August 31, 1871. In arranging for the election, the county board 
had decided to be governed in the registrations made for the election of dele- 
gates to the constitutional convention in May, and upon a canvass of the 
different precmcts it was found that there were 2,421 names registered and 
that it would require 1,614 signers to the petition to get the election. The 
Salem committee found that they had only 1,587 names and asked until Sat- 
urday morning of that week to procure the remainder of what would be 
required. The request was granted and Saturday morning they again appeared 
with a sufficient number of signatures to bring the total to 1,650. The com- 
missioners thereupon ordered that an election be held as requested and desig- 
nated as the day, October 10, 1871. 

In the intervening days was staged one of the fiercest contests in the 
annals of Richardson countv elections. The result was as follows : 

County Seat. fllli lllllll^ail 

Falls City 77 133 470 33 8 104 11 103 53 ___ 67 3 81 C 17 1171 

Siileni 119 23 4 12 100 56 01 26 .31 m 162 157 28 06 26 10.30 

Geneva ___ ___ _._ 2 1 — ._ 3 

Humboldt ___ ___ 1 __ ___ __ ._ 

On October 12. 1871, the AU^inaha J'allcy Joiinial, published at h'alls 
City, had the following to say, descriptive of the election just held : 

"Last Tuesday, Octol^er loth, 1871, was another eventful da\- in the 
history of Richardson county. The question for decision was this: 'Shall 
the Coimty Seat be Removed from Falls City to Salem?" Under the law it 
requires two-thirds of the vote polled to be given to a certain point before a 
removal can be effected. In this case Salem was the point, but instead of get- 
ting the two-thirds majority, she lacked about seventy-seven votes of getting 
half the vote polled. 

"This virtuallv settles the question, and leaves l-"alls City as the seat of 
government for Richardson countv. 

"There was an immense throng of people in town from early on Tuesday 
morning until late Wednesdav evening — all extremely an.xious as to the results 


of the election, Ijoth in regard to the county-seat (|uestiiin and tlie election of 
county officers. Excitement ran very high, I)ut no quarreling, and very little 
drunkenness was visible. The election board brought their labors to a close 
about daylight on Wednesday morning and the result showed four hundred 
and seventy for Falls City and four for Salem in the city on the county-seat 
question. By this time there was enough precincts heard from to show a 
majority in favor of Falls City. There was rejoicing among the people, and 
town property was declared to be worth thirty-three per cent, more than it 
was before the result was known, and it was resolved by unanimous consent 
that some store boxes should be .sacrificed on Wednesday evening. 

"About twenty-five new buildings are now proposed to be built imme- 
diately, and business men are looking about them with renewed energ\-. 


"On Wednesday evening a large number of the leading citizens, half- 
grown boys, etc., congregated in front of the City Hotel at the southwest 
corner of the court house square (Seventeenth and Stone streets, as it is now 
known), and determined to have a 'blow out' on a small scale on the pros- 
pects of the election and the result of the county-seat vote in particular. So 
a huge bonfire was built and enjoyed for awhile when the 'village blacksmith' 
turned out his artillery and fired a national salute of thirty-seven guns in 
honor of the victory. George Van Deventer, Colonel Burbank and Hon. A. 
R. Scott were then called for, in the order of their names, and responded with 
appropriate remarks for the occasion. The crowd then dispersed with deaf- 
ening cheers for the speakers and for Falls City, the county-seat of Rich- 

Commenting on the result of the election insofar as it affected the ]5rin- 
cipal contestants and the people of the county as a whole, W. S. Stretch had 
the following to say in his paper, the Xciiialia Valley Journal, under date of 
October 19th, 1871 : 

"Our most sanguine hopes and ardent wishes in respect to the county- 
seat question are being realized with far greater rapidity than an\- one could 
reasonably anticipate ten days ago. 

"Salem and Falls City have fought their liattle nobly, bravelw persist- 
ently, and the verdict has Ijeen rendered in favor of the latter. The defeated 
army accepts the situation and is now willing to let bygones be li>gones and 
all join hands and work togetlier for the best interests of the county. 

■'Tohn Holt. T- Cass Lincoln, and Doctor Brooke, Salem's most ardent 


workers for ten years past — men who had thousands of dollars depending 
upon the issue, and who gave unsparingly of their money, time and energies, 
not hesitating to sacrifice personal friendships where they conflicted with their 
purpose, we are told, have buried the hatchet forever. There are a few, how- 
ever, who are unwilling to let the fire be quenched, but, fortunately, they are 
very few in numbers and are to be pitied rather than feared. 

"AH honor to Holt, Lincoln, Brooke and others, who have shown the 
wisdom and manliness to drop the vexatious and harmful question. They 
have come to the conclusion that it cannot benefit Salem, and realize that it 
has been a great injury to themselves and the county at large. \Vhen we 
realize that these men have been the life and soul of the contest from its 
commencement, and that the)' have now alxindoned it and withdrawn their 
material support and influence, it will be conceded to be a dead issue by all. 

"Falls City holds no grudge against Salem for bringing all her force 
and influence to bear upon the vote for county seat, neither should the latter 
feel aggrieved at Falls City for equal vigilance and energy in maintaining 
what she legally possessed, for to sum up the whole thing, it was only a mat- 
ter of dollars and cents between the two towns. We regret, however, that 
much was said and done by both parties, which is calculated to irritate and 
do great injustice and harm to all concerned. But we are glad to know that 
Falls City, while she cannot help rejoicing over the victor}', has no desire to 
detract one iota from the merits of Salem, but manifests a disjiosition to 
heal the wounds of the late conflict, and lay aside all of those local dissensions 
which have proven so disastrous to the development of our county for years 
past. She recognizes in the leading citizens of Salem a noble and manly 
spirit, and we can assure them and the people of the county generally that 
she will in the future, as she has tried to do heretofore, work for the best 
interests of the county, and do all in her power to elevate it to that standard 
of wealth, prosperity and population, where it should already stand, and ulti- 
mately will attain — the first in the state. 

"But. however essential it is for us to dwell together in harmony, this 
alone will not develop, build up and beautify our country and enrich our 
people. We must have mo^e substantial improvements, for without them no 
})eople ever have or ever will prosper. We want factories, railroads, county 
buildings, improved highways, etc.. and to obtain all of these it require.^- 
money and manual labor. We Jlre opposed to the people voting further 
count}- aids to railroads, but are very much in favor of ])recinct aid to rail- 
roads or any other public improvement or convenience. I'or instance, if a 


railroad should be proposed to run via Falls City north through this county, 
we do not think it just to tax Humboldt or Speiser precinct in the west end 
to build it : but we think it would be right and proper and highly remunerative 
for Falls City, Muddy, Ohio and Barada precincts to render liberal aid to the 
project. And we confidently expect that those precincts will be asked to aid 
a narrow gauge railroad from Grasshopper Falls northward through this 
county before two years elapse. 

"W'e believe, too. that the people of Richardson county will be called 
before many months to vote a tax for the building of a court house, and 
when they are asked to do so. we think it will be for the best interests 
of every property-holder and voter of the county to support the measure. 
The counties all around us l:ave good court houses, and they look upon 
us as penurious and miserly for not providing ourselves with proper public 
buildings. Let us not be sneered at any longer, for we are amply able 
to afford as good buildings as any county in Nebraska. We have now 
as gdod a jail as can be found in the state, and for thirty or forty thou- 
.sand dollars on twenty-}ear eight per cent, bonds, we can have as good 
a court house. When we have, this county will soon be thickly popu- 
lated, and in a few years we can take our stand as the banner county in 
the state in point of wealth and population." 


The first court house erected for that sole use was built in 1863, at a 
cost of three thousand dollars. It occupied the center of the public square 
in block Xo. 59. the site of the present court house and was built as per agree- 
ment I>y the citizens of Falls City made prior to the elections held to determine 
a location for the county seat at the time the same was removed from Salem. 
It was a frame structure and gave way in the days of the early seventies to 
tilt tiieii new and now present building; 

On .\pril JO, 1872, a proposition for the issuing of twenty-five thousand 
(Inllars in coupon bonds, to be used in the building of a new court house, was 
sul)niitted to the county com.missioners in due form. The provisions of the 
proposal were that a building of brick and stone, two stories high, and not 
less than thirty-six by sixty-six feet on the ground floor and containing two 
fireproof vaults, should l)e erected. The bonds issued were to bear ten per 
cent interest, which was to be met by an annual special tax. The principal 
wa> to be paid in ten years time, the county retaining the right to make pay- 
ment at an earlier date if it seemed preferable. In accordance with this 


proposition, the commissioners authorized an election to take place on May 
13, iS/2, in the several precincts. At this election the measure failed to 
secure a majority, and was lost. 

On February 14, 1873, the Legislature passed an act enabling the pre- 
cinct of Falls City to issue bonds for the building of a court house of stone 
and brick, not less than forty-seven by eighty-five feet, and containing fire- 
proof vaults for the safe keeping of the county records. 

In accordance with this act, a proposition was submitted to the county 
commissioners, who by the provisions of the act were duly authorized, and 
I)v them an election was ordered for May 13, 1873. These bonds were to 
be in the sum of fifteen thousand dollars, to be payable on ®r before the 
expiration of ten years, and to draw ten per cent interest, which was to be 
paid 1)y a special tax, to be levied on the first of May, each year. The pre- 
cinct decided on the issuing of the bonds by a vote of two hundred and eighty 
to one hundred and fourteen. Shorth- after the election, the work of remov- 
ing the old court house and erecting the new court house was commenced 
under the charge of H. E. Moritz, of Speiser township, president of the 
board of county commissioners, and pushed to completion. 

The fifteen thousand dollars in bonds were sold for Ijetween eigiUy and 
ninety cents on the dollar, and the proceeds used for the new building. The 
sale of the bonds did not, however, supply sufficient means to meet the cost 
of completion and furnishing of the court house and as much as fifteen thou- 
sand dollars were raised for this purpose. Maddox had the contract for the 
excavation of the cellar and employed some of the county prisoners on the 
job while it lasted. The brick used in the construction were of home manu- 
facture, the same coming from the kilns of Mr. Beagle on the banks of the 
Nemaha. Rock for the foundation was procured, at what at that time was 
known as the Dundy quarries, and now owned by Doctor Minor, south of 
the city. These rocks were first class and the quarries still furnish an abund- 
ance of building material to this day. The sand used was furnished by Chris. 
Hershey and was procured at the Maddox and Brannin farms. Charles 
Loree, clerk of the district court at the present time, says that he was busy 
in those days hauling wood from his father's timber to the Beagle brick kilns, 
where it was used in burning the brick. 

In 1882 further improvement was made b\- enlargement and the build- 
ing of additional rooms in wings on both the north and .south side of the 
main building. 



The count}- jail is the most substantial structure owned by the county, 
being constructed entirely of stone and is located on the northeast corner of 
the court house square. It is arranged with the cell houses on the first floor, 
while the jailer and family have rooms on the second floor. It was erected 
in 1871 at a cost of three thousand five hundred dollars, by J. H. Burbank. 


It is saitl that many of those who had to do with the laying out and 
building of Falls City desired that it be named Lanesville in honor of one 
of its founders, a man by the name of Jim Lane. Falls City, however, was 
later decided upon from the fact that on account of a flood which washed 
away many of the homes of those then residing at a village on the banks of 
the Nemaha named Nemaha Falls, had come up on the higher ground and 
they insisted that the vt'ord falls l^e retained because of the name of their 
town and from the fact that it had been so named on account of the falls of 
the Xeniaha river at that point. Accordingly, Falls City was chosen and has 
so remained as the name of the city to this day. 

When Joseph Hare arrived at Salem in 1854 he found but two others 
had preceded him, S. H. Roberts and John Singleton. 

W. T. Stout sold the land on which the town of Falls City is now 
located for the sum of fifty dollars. Jim Lane, of the Town Company, was 
the buyer. 


The first reception to Nebraska's first governor, Hon. David Butler, 
who was a resident of Pawnee City, was given by the citizens of Falls City, 
soon after he was inaugurated governor and at a time when he was a guest 
of Hon. E. S. Dundy, of this city, who was later a United States district 
judge at Omaha. Hon. Isham Reavis gave an address of welcome and Doc- 
tor Messier was leader of the band that furnished the music. 

While on this \'isit the governor issued his first proclamation conven- 
ing the state Legislature. Judge Dundy wrote the proclamation and the 
governor sign.eil it. 

On the (juarter century anni\er>ary of Nebraska's statehood, R. D. 
Messier recalled to mind the following interesting incident in connection with 
the reception of the governor in Falls City on a visit made while chief 


executive. Pie said "1 am reminded of an interesting little circumstance of 
those early days wlien Falls City was a stage station and "Scotty" would 
blow his 'orn." ("Scotty" was Scotty Bradford, a driver of one of the 
stages owned by Squire Dorrington.) 

"I was then a boy, when, walking up Stone street at the old "Dorring- 
ton corner." so well known to all old settlers and where now stands the Dorr- 
ington Ijlock (at corner of Sixteenth and Stone street) I met Hon. E. S. 
Dundy. He stopped and informed me that that night Falls City was to be 
honored as a city by the arrival of her hrst governor — the later great and 
good Governor Butler. I say great and good, for who ever knew Governor 
Butler intimately, but to love him for his big heart and generous nature. 

"What I want," said Judge Dundy, "is to know if you can drum up 
some music?" I had an old fife and the judge had some drums, so we went 
to his little old brick law office and fished them out of the back room and by 
procuring a few feet of rope, fixed them so they could be used. Then the 
question was, who could beat them. Col. W. A. Presson happening along 
volunteered to hammer the bass, and I skirmished around and found some- 
one else to beat the snare. We then retired to the suburbs of the city (and 
by the way it was not far ) and practiced. \Yt\\. the music was not as fine as 
Gilmore's band or Thomas's orchestra, but it was the best the town afforded. 

"Six o'clock came and with it the stage and in the stage, the governor. 
He was the guest of Judge Dundy. After supper we repaired to the resi- 
dence and commenced. The late Flon. Judge Marvin introduced the gov- 
ernor and the Hon. Isham Reavis made the speech of welcome. (Here we 
must make a little statement.) We as a band thought we were giving the 
occasion a rosewood finish with our music, when Judge Reavis apologized to 
the governor for ouf poor music on the ground that we were out of practice. 

"This was the first reception of the first governor of our great state. 
Nebraska has had several governors since but none so good nor any with such 
a checkered career." 


At the time the .\tcliison & Nebraska railroad (now owned by and a 
Itart of the Chicago, Burlington & Ouincy system), from Atchison to 
coln was completed through to the latter place, a proper celebration of the 
event took place at Lincoln. The company ran an excursion from Atchison 
to Lincoln and prominent citizens from each of the stations along the line 


were invited to the same. Falls City was honored with al)out forty invitations 
and the train was scheduled to leave Atchison early in the day and was timed 
to reach this station I)y 8 o'clock a. m., but failed to arrive although our dele- 
gation were present at the station. Many waited about the station during 
most of the forenoon and still the belated train did not put in its appearance. 
The delay caused many to forego the pleasure and they returned to their 
homes. Among the party was a number of young mothers who with their 
babes h?d intended to go, but among them was Mrs. Sarah Schoenheit (now 
Mrs. J. R. Wilhite) who changed her mind and decided to stay at home. 
The excursion train reached Falls City about noon. Returning to her home 
in the bus. she conversed with the station agent and inquired of him if she 
might not be able to go on the regular train which would be along about 3 
o'clock as she now felt that she must not miss this historic event. The agent 
advised her that her ticket could be fi.xed so that it would be acceptable and 
with her baby and a small nurse girl she returned in the afternoon and made 
the journey, arriving at Lincoln in the evening, but not too late to enjoy most 
of the program arranged for the occasion. The Falls City party, who had 
gone on the earlier train were much surprised to see her later, but tliey all 
joined with the enormous crowd present in Lincoln that evening in making 
it an event memorable in the history of that city. 


In the summer of 1855, a town was surveyed out, about two and one- 
half miles northeast of Falls City, which was christened Archer. In the 
same year, at a point seven miles west of the site of Falls City, the village of 
Salem was platted. At that time Archer was the county seat, so designated 
by the Territorial Legislature, and the residents and promoters of the place 
felt at first secure in the idea that it would remain so, but a dispute arose 
over the location of the half-breed line to the east, which was a boundary line 
of land reserved to the Indians. To settle the misunderstanding the gov- 
ernment ordered a re-survey for the purpose of making corrections, if the 
same were found necessary. The new surveyors found an error, w'hich 
caused the line to take in a goodly portion of the Archer townsite. This 
condition robbed Archer of any possibility of remaining the county seat at 
that time. The residents of Salem, therefore, sent a petition to the Terri- 
torial Legislature asking that the county seat l>e removed to that place and 
it was accordingly done. 

In 1857 the noted F'ree-Soil leaders, Jim Lane, Judge Hunt, Ike Hamby 


and John A. Burbank took a section of land for a townsite, and had it platted 
and recorded as Falls City, and began the erection of improvements thereon : 
but in 1859 that portion of the townsite lying on the west was vacated by a 
legislative act, and was taken up by the town company as individual prop- 
erty. Included in the land located originally were the farms of Anderson 
Miller and George Roy. 

In the same year Jesse and Isaac Crook and others removed their fam- 
ilies from Archer to Falls City, giving it quite a little boom, and resulted in 
calling the county commissioners together and they were asked to arrange 
for the holding of an election for the purpose of again locating the county 
seat. This was done and the election was held, resulting in a plurality of 
si.x votes in favor of Falls City. In the contest as aspirants for county scat 
honors, were Falls City, Rulo, Salem, Geneva and St. Stephens. This elec- 
tion took place in the summer of i860. .\t that time Geneva, which was 
located in the exact geographical center of the county, was a town of con- 
siderable importance, having several business houses and quite a number of 
residences, but after the county seat question was settled the town went into 
rapid decline, and all that remains of it are two tall trees and traces of cel- 
lars, over which the houses stood. 

During the years that preceded the final location of the count)- seat at 
Falls City, much bitterness between the citizens of the various competing 
points was engendered, and many was the rough and tumble firstcuffs that 
took place, but nothing of a serious nature happened until on the day of the 
election, when Doctor Davis, of Rulo, and a man by the name of Thomas J. 
Meek, of Falls City, were killed in the old frame hotel, known as the City 
Hotel, and kept at that time by Isaac Minnick. The hotel building was 
located on the corner lot on Stone street, now occupied by the three-story 
brick building owned by the Richardson County Bank, Holland & Slocum and 
Falls City Lodge No. 9 of the Masonic fraternity. The City Hotel was built 
by Jesse Crook, who with his wife operated it for a time as a hotel and the 
same was later in charge of Isaac Minnick. 


The building faced the west on Stone street with a side entrance on the 
north side. It was a story-and-a-half building, the stairway leading to the 
upper story going ;directly up from the north entrance. It was in the room 
at the head of those stairs that Doctor Davis was killed by Meek, and it 
was on the stairs that Meek was killed by Doctor Dunn, of Salem, under 


the following circumstances : So great was the anxiety of Rulo, and of 
Salem, which had joined hands to defeat the location of the county seat of 
Falls Citv, that Doctor Davis had been sent to Falls City from Rulo and Doc- 
tor Dunn from Salem, to watch the polls and see that no illegal votes were 
polled. Mr. Meek had been selected by the people of Falls City for the 
same purpose. During the day an altercation ensued between the men, in 
which Mr. Meek had been worsted and was forced to retire to repair dam- 
ages. He went across the street to the business house of J. Burbank, where 
he loaded two re\olvers and prepared to return to the hotel. In the mean- 
time. Davis, who had become hurt in the melee, had laid down on a bed, in 
the room at the head of the stairs mentioned above. When Meek returned 
he w ent to the head of the stairs and began firing at Doctor Davis, who w-as 
King on the bed. In the meantime Doctor Dunn came to the foot of the 
stairs and perceiving what was going on, drew his gun and began firing at 
Meek, one ball piercing his heart and he fell dead. Doctor Davis lived 
for a few days after being shot. Having killed Meek, Doctor Dimn went 
out and mounted his horse and escaped to Salem. As he went, however, he 
was fired at by the editor of the Broad Axe, a Mr. Jameson, who had a 
shotgun in his hand, and by another person who had a rifle, but neither of 
which hit him. He was never arrested, although he passed through Falls 
City a few days afterwards, with a wagon-load of ladies, bound for Rulo. 
He was counted a brave, mad man — dangerous with a gun, and the people 
"wanted no truck with him.'" Such was the baptism of blood that gave to 
our citv the countv seat and started it on its course of advancement. 

Roster of County Officers. 

The records disclose that the first officers of Richardson county could 
not have been rightly accused of having been attracted to public service for 
any reason on account of the emoluments attached thereto, as the first officers 
were appointive, and tlierefore temporary, and carried with them but very 
little, if anything, in the \\a\' of salary. Yet, as the years went by, tliere 
arose the keenest rivalry between candidates, a condition that exists to this 

Ijut, as a review of the lists of those elected will show — some of the 
ver\ ablest men of the county have from time to time served its neople in 
puljlic capacity, rendering most efficient service and the history of county 
government in Richardson county has been singularly free on the whole from 
scandal of any kind by those entrusted with public duty. 

The first definite record in the court house shows that the county began 
its official career with the is.suance of commissions by Acting Governor Cum- 
ing at Omaha on January i, 1855. 


At that time (January i, 1855). Xeal J. Sharp became the lirst county 
clerk, which office was combined in this count\- with that of regi.ster of deeds, 
b\- appointment. The salar)- in this instance was provided for by fees and 
for the first year: so little was done, it could not have amounted to more 
than one hundred dollars. Sharp held the office until the spring of 1856, 
when he was succeeded by J. C. Lincoln, of Salem. Lincoln served only 
until the fall of that same year, when it appears that ¥. L. Goldsbery assumed 
charge. In the fall of 1857, William H. Mann was elected to the office and 
held the same until 1861, when George \^andeventer, from near Stella, was 
the successful candidate at an election held and occupied the office until 1864. 

.\t the election in 1864 James Cameron and William Mann were the 
candidates. The election was indecisive and James ^^'ard was api)ointed to 
act as clerk until the contest might he settled. On March ir. 1865, a deci- 


sioii was had giving the office to Mann, ahhough the election boards had 
favored Cameron. Mann served continuously until 1870, when August 
Falsken was chosen as his successor. Falsken was impeached on July 21, 
1 87 1, and Frank Rathen named to succeed him, for the unexpired time. 

I'^alsken, however, came back and was re-elected by the people of the 
county and served during the term of 1872-73. At the end of this lime 
L. A. Ryan was elected and served a term of two years. He was succeeded 
as follows : Ruel Nims, two years, W. H. Hay, four years ; George Pearson, 
two years; M. W. Musselman, four years: George Marsh, four years: E. O. 
Lewis, four years, ending in 1896. 

In the year 1886, owing to result of last state census taken in 1885. 
the office of county clerk and that of register of deeds, which had always been 
together, were now separated and in the fall of that year Charles Loree was 
elected as the first to serve as register of deeds. The office remained in the 
same room with that of the clerk, however, and the register occupied the 
north part of the room next to the vault while the clerk and the commis- 
sioners occupied the south and east portion. Charles Loree served as reg- 
ister for six \ears, when the population of the county, as ascertained by the 
census of 1890, sliovved a falling off (the population required at that time 
under the statute for the separate office of register of deeds was 18,003), and. 
the office of register of deeds was again merged with that of county clerk and 
Mr. Loree, foreseeing the change that was to come, w'isely ran for county 
clerk that year and was elected. He served as such until January l. 1S98. 
when he was succeeded by George E. Schneider, who served four \ears or 
until 1902 and Loree was retained as deputy county clerk. 

Following Schneider, J. C. Tanner was elected and served four years. 
On January i, 1906, John H. Hutchings, of Falls City, who had been elected 
in November, 1905, became county clerk and served four years. He was 
followed by George A\'. Morris, who served four years, and he by Ora Marsh, 
the present incumbent. 


The man having the honor to be first probate judge was Christian Bol)st, 
the father of Samuel Bobst, who is still a resident of Humboldt. The elder 
Bobst was the leader of a party of the first settlers in this part of the West. 
He was a native of Baltimore, ^Maryland, and was born in that city on Sep- 
tember 2, 1802. He and his party came into the country in 1854. in the 
month of April, and he located his cabin on the south fork of the Xemaha on 


the iKjrthwest quarter of section 25, township i, north of range 12, on April 
4tli. His house was the first erected in what w as later to Ije a part of Pawnee 
county; however, at that time, a part of Richardson county. 

Christian Bobst receixed the appointment of probate judge from the first 
governor of the .Territoi-y of Nebraska, Hon. Francis Burt, in the fall of 
1854. with the designation that he was to act for Richardson county, at that 
time one of the eight original counties of the state. His jurisdiction extended 
over the county as then bounded: comprising territory now included in the 
counties of Pawnee, Johnson, Nemaha and Richardson; the south line being 
the Kansas-Nebraska boundary to a distance of sixty miles west from the 
Missouri river, and the north line being the Little Nemaha river, in what is 
now Nemaha county, with the Missouri river as the east line, and on the west 
by what was then Tones county. This appointment was made through recom- 
mendations of Col. Neal J. Sharp, of this county, who was a memlser of the 
first territorial Legislature. Mr. Bobst and the Frey family, also early set- 
tlers in that neighborhood, started the town of Cincinnati, long ago dead with 
all its founders. When Pawnee county came into being, old Cincinnati was 
included in the newer county. 

Mr. Bobst was an able and fearless man and made himself conspicuous 
in much of the work incident to the formative period in those days of the 
pioneers. He and his party came into the state from the south, coming up 
through Kansas from Leavenworth, and entering the state near where they 
settled and were there when the first settlers entered this more easterly part 
of the count) at St. Stephens. For many years all of the residents of the county 
got their mail at the home of Judge Bobst. 


A little later, however, when the size of the county was materially reduced 
in area. J. O. Miller, of Archer, and the father of Mrs. William M. Maddox, 
now a resident of Falls City, was appointed probate judge and is generally 
recognized as having the best claims for having been the first judge of Rich- 
ardson county; however, the officer was at that time from (1855 to 1875). 
known as probate judge. The duties of this office under the early terri- 
torial laws were vastly different than now. covering, as the\- did, a much 
larger field of importance in man\- ways. Many of the duties of this oftice 
have since been distributed to other offices. |. O. Miller held the office niUil 



An act was passed and the same appro\ed by the Territorial Legislature 
on February 21. 1855, establishing the office of register of deeds, or recorder 
of deeds, as sometimes known, the purpose of which was an office where deeds 
conveying real estate are officially made a matter of record for publication. 
The office was at first established in the eight counties first to be organized in 
the territory and under the law was called the register's office. The office was 
established as a fee office, viz., the incumbent depending upon the fees earned 
for his salary, and it has so remained. The first persons to hold the office were 

Xeil J. Sharp was the first to serve in this iiuportant office and held it 
by appointment from the governor of the territory, Mr. Gumming. He 
served from 1855 until 1861, when he was succeeded by William H. Mann. 

The first deed to appear in the records of the office appears in book A 
at page No. i and was as follows : 

Francis X. Purket 

Ambrose Shelley. 

I'or and in consideration of the sum uf Two Hundred Dollars paid in 
hand, 1 hereby sell and con\-ey, quit-claim, unto Ambrose Shelley all my right, 
title and interest to certain of the public lands upon which I now reside situate 
upon the Muddy Creek, Richardson County, Territory of Nebraska and 
jjounded north l>y the claim sold by John Purket to Joseph Minter — being one 
mile east and west and one mile north and south, the creek running through 
the claim. The tiiuber on the northwest corner. To have and to hold the' 
same with all the improvements thereon. 

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, the nth day of Nov- 
ember, 1855. 

Franci.s M. Purket. 
Territory of Nebraska, 
Count}- of Richardson, ss. : 

I liereb\ certif}- that on the 12th day of .\pril, 1855, personally appeared 
before me iM-ancis M. Purket known to me to be the identical person whose 
name appears on the foregoing deed as grantor and acknowledged the same 
to be her \oluntary act and deed for the purposes therein set forth. 


In testimony whereof I liave hereunto set my name and affixed prixate 
seal. No pul^lic seal having )et Iieen provided at Archer, day and date alxive 
written. N. J. Sharp, 

Register of Deeds. 

The record does not show an\- other to hold the office as register of deeds 
until the election of Charles Loree in the fall of 1885. The office in the 
meantime having been administered in conjunction with that of county clerk. 

The national census was taken in 1900 and it was ascertained that the 
county had gained sufficient population for the office (18,003) and in igo2 
William H. Rieger was elected register of deeds for a term of four years. 
He was followed by L. C. Edwards, of Humboldt, who was elected in Novem- 
ber, 1905, and served from January 4, 1906, until January 7, 1915 — nine 
years. He was succeeded by Norman B. Judd, of Falls City, the present 
incumbent, who was elected for a term of four years. 

In the register of deeds office as it is conducted in Richardson county 
ami throughout the .state, for that matter, is kept a record of all real estate 
land conveyances. The earliest records to be found there are dated in 1856 
and 1857. Deeds, mortgages, releases, assignments, mechanics liens, wills 
and all papers affecting the titles to real estate, are brought to this office and 
there copies of same are made in large books arranged especially for that 
purpose. In the early days all this work was done with pen and ink in what 
is called "long hand" and the work was quite arduous. Exact copies of such 
instruments as are offered for record are made and the same properly indexed 
that they ma}- be easily found by parties desiring to see the same. The first 
books used were small and with but few pages and the indexing was done in 
the fore part of same. Later, large books were provided, containing some 
se\en hundred pages and books of equal and larger size for indexes. The 
method pursued was still to write the copied instrument with pen and ink ; yet, 
at a later date a system in vogue in older states, was adopted, of having a por- 
tion of the instruments printed on the pages of the records, leaving the 
recorder to supply the portion necessary for each individual instrument com- 
ing into his hands. Looking back from the present time, it is amusing to 
recall that some of the able members of the legal profession of the county 
objected to the latter method of using the printed forms, and the officer in 
charge in those days went so far in answer to the objectors as to make dili- 
gent inquiries from some twenty-five or thirty counties of the state to learn 
the custom emploxed. It was found that the counties over the state were 
adopting the printed tonus very generally, and this seems to have silenced 


those who would have re(|uired the recorder to continue the antiquated method 
of reducing his entire record by the old method of writing the same in long 
hand. A later method, and one which has proved a great saving in the mat- 
ter of space used and time saved, besides making a much neater record, was 
the adoption of the "loose-leaf" system in the office by the writer, while in 
charge of the office. The deed mortgage and index records were all changed 
to the loose-leaf system and the same is Ijeing adopted in other offices at the 
court house, although the same first found favor in the office of the clerk of 
the district court. With a loose-leaf system, a wide-carriage typewriter is used 
and displaces almost entirely the old long-hand method. 


For several years after the organization of Richardson county, the duties 
of clerk of the district court were performed by the county clerk, and it was 
not until the entry of Nebraska in the sisterhood of states and the adoption 
of the new Nebraska state Constitution in 1875, that the new office of clerk 
of the district court was formed and the duties of its incumbent separated 
finally from that of the county clerk. 

The first to hold the office of clerk of the district court in Richardson 
county was W. S. Stretch, who was appointed in 1875 ^"d '^^Id office until 1879. 
He was succeeded as follows: T. C. Cunningham, from 1879 to 188.^; 
Charles Loree. 1883 to 1887 — (Loree this year being elected register of 
deeds.) Thomas Brannin, 1887 to 1889 (resigned); John L. Cleaver, 
appointed to fill vacancy, or until December 10, when he was succeeded bv 
C. L. Metz, who served out the remainder of Brannin's term until 1891, when 
he was re-elected for four years, or until January i, 1896. Charles L. Metz, 
1896 to igoo: G. J. Crook, 1900 to 1904; Charles Loree, 1904 to 1917; 
re-elected 1916,- for term of four years. 


The county treasurer's office, which has always been considered as one 
of the most important offices in the county was first entrusted to the hands 
of Isaac Crook, a brother of Jesse Crook, and one of the very first 
settlers of the county. Mr. Crook, coming first, had no precedents to 
guide him and the duties at that time were very similar to a practice yet 
maintained in some states, where the treasurer is more properly designated as 
"ta.x collector." The latter term more fully describes the duties of the first 
treasurer, as it was rec|uired of him that he go about the county and per- 


sonally meet and collect funds due from the taxpayers. This practice was 
later discontinued. 

Mr. Crook was appointed in 1856 and continued in office until about 
i860. He was followed by D. A. Tisdell, of Salem, who served until 1863. 
Others follow in this order : D. R. Holt, 1865 to 1871 ; P. B. Miller, 1871 to 
1875; Fred W. Miller, 1875 to 1877; John W. Holt, 1877 to 1882; J. R. 
Cain, 1882 to 1886; William A. Greenwald, 1886 to 1890; Jack F. Walsh, 
1890 to 1892; George W. Marsh, 1892 to 1896; John H. Morehead, 1896 to 
1900; Robert Wyatt, 1900 to 1902; O. E. Zook, 1902 to 1906; Joshua S. 
Lord, 1906 to 1910; John H. Hutchings. 1910 to 1915; G. W. Morris, 1915 
to 1917; Morris now serving second term. 



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Year. County Surveyor. 


1857-J. J. Lebo [2] 
1858— Ml. McManus [2] 
1859 — A. J. Cur ranee 
i860 — A. J. Currance 
1861 — Joseph Broady 
1862 — Joseph Broady 
1863 — John Gray 
1864 — John Gray 
1865 — ^John Gray 
1866— M. Adam 
1867 — M. Adam 
1868 — Allen J. Currance 
1869 — Allen J. Currance 
1870 — Allen J. Currance 
1 87 1 — Allen J. Currance 
1872 — Ira Beckwith 
1873 — Ira Beckwith 
1874— Thomas V. Wilson 
1875— Thomas V. Wilson 
1876— P. A. Tisdell 
1877— P. A. Tisdell 
1878— Thos. W. Moore 
1879— Thos. W. Moore 
1880— S. C. McElroy 
188 1— S. C. McElrov 
1882— J. L. McElroy 
1883— J. L. McElroy 
1884 — Creighton Morris 
1885 — Creighton Morris 
1886 — Creighton Morris 

Register of Deeds. 


1892— F. W. Miller 
1893— F. W. Miller 
1894— R. E. Grinstead 
1895— R. E. Grinstead 
1896— R. E. Grinstead 
1897— R. E. Grinstead 
1898— R. E. Grinstead 

G. W. Parker 

S. S. Keiffer 

S. S. Keiffer 

S. S. Keiffer 

S. S. Keiffer 

W. M. Maddox 

Henry C. Burnam 
Russell Peery 
B. M. Nelson 
B. M. Nelson 
G. R. Summers 
G. R. Summers 
N. B. McPherson 
N. B. McPherson 
John Schulenberg 
John Schulenberg 
\Vm. ^^an Lue 
Wm. Van I.ue 
A. Miller [12] 

A. Miller 

B. F. Leechman 
B. F. Leechman 
M. C. Ryan 

M. C. Ryan Chas. Loree 

M. C. Ryan Chas. Loree 

M. C. Ryan Chas. Loree 

M. C. Ryan Chas. Loree 

M. C. Ryan Chas. Loree 

H. H. Pierce Chas. Loree 

H. H. Pierce 

H. O. Staver 

H. O. Staver 

H. O. Staver 

H. O. Staver 

1 84 


1899— R. 




1905— R. 
1906— R. 
1907— R. 
1908— R. 
1909 — R. 
1910 — R. 
191 i-R. 
191 3— R. 

1914— R. 
191 5— J- 
1917— J. 

County Surveyor. 
E. Grinstead 




E. Grinstead 
E. Grinstead 
E. Grinstead 
E. Grinstead 
E. Grinstead 
E. Grinstead 
E. Grinstead 
E. Grinstead 
E. Grinstead 

E. Grinstead 

F. Relf 
F. Relf 
F. Relf 


Wm. J. Wells 
Wm. J. Wells 

J. A. Waggoner 
J. A. Waggoner 
J. A. Waggoner 
J. A. Waggoner 
Dr. M. L. Wilson 
Dr. M. L. Wilson 
W. R. Waggoner 
W. R. Waggoner 
W. R. Waggoner 
George W. Reneker 
George W. Reneker 
George W. Reneker 
George W. Reneker 
George W. Reneker 

Register of Deeds. 

William Rieger 
William Rieger 
William Rieger 
William Rieger 
L. C. Edwards 
L. C. Edwards 
L. C. Edwards 
L. C. Edwards 
L. C. Edwards 
L. C. Edwards 
L. C. Edwards 
L. C. Edwards 
L. C. Edwards 
N. B. Judd 
N. B. Judd 
N. B. Judd 

( 2 ) J. .1. I.eho resigned and Michael McManus was appointed to fill out the term. 
(12) A. Miller, wlio was regularly elected, did not qualify. Alex Kerr was appointed. 


Tlie act creating this office was passed hy the Territorial Legislature 
and approved February 21, 1855. and Xeal J. Sharp was appointed as the 
first register of deeds of the countw The cjffice was later comliined with 
that of county clerk and so remained until 1885, when the population had 
increased tn such an extent that the Inisiness was changed to a separate and 
distinct office as it liad lieen originally. 


The board of superxisors organized according to law and elected W. \\'. 
Abbey, of Falls City, as permanent chairman, the board of county commis- 
sioners having surrendered their offices as previously stated. 

1886: Alember.s— W^ W. .Vbbey, Samuel Lichty, Falls City: Charles 
E. Nims. G. R. Grinstead. Humboldt township and precinct; Leopold Porr. 
Speiser; James Johnson, Porter; Joseph McGinnis, Nemaha; Philander Hall, 
Salem; John F. Cornell, Liberty; George \\'atkins, Muddy; R. .\nkrom, 
Barada ; Francis Shaffer, Ohio ; Jerry Kanaly. Jefferson ; James T. Kinzer, 
.\rago; W. H. Rowell. St. Stepiiens. and Charles Cole, Franklin. 



The first work of the new organization was to make inquiry iiitu the 
matter of delinquent taxes, which state of affairs at that time in the count)- 
was a pressing ciuestion, and the adoption of a new set of rules. 

Samuel Lichty, of the new Ijoard, offered the following resolution, 
which was intended as a matter of economy, no doubt: 

"Whereas: $300.00 a year has heretofore been paid for the services of 
the court house janitor. Resolved, This Board of Supervisors will not allow 
any bills for sweeping, attending fires (stoves then being used for heating 
purpose in each of the county offices), or furnishing water for any cif the 
county offices." 

Be it said for the good sense of a Richardson county board of super- 
visors that the above resolution did not carry, the vote (if the meniljers 
present standing, three for, and nine against. 

1888: Hugh Boyd, Rulo; C. C. Sloan, Ohio; W. H. Logan, Falls City; 
Leopold Porr, Speiser; Charles B. Gridley, Franklin; Jos. Johnson, Porter; 
Felix Kitch, Jefferson ; D. M. Neher, Humboldt ; J. G. ^NIcGinnis, Nemaha ; 
I. G. Burr, Grant; Philander Hall, Salem; J. F. Cornell. Liberty; W. H. 
Crook, Falls City; Henry Fisher, Arago; Henry D. VVeller, Muddy. 

1889: Felix Kitch, C. E. Nims, R. Coupe, Thomas F. Brown. V. A. 
Smidi, Robert Lord, Charles Cole. Cyrus Jones ; \Y. PL Crook, Francis 
Shaffer, John Cornell, August Buchholz. Henry Fisher, T. R. Jones, J. \\'. 
Jones, B. F. :^Iiles. 

1890: James Tangney, August Buchholz, Thomas Lynch, B. F. Miles, 
Thomas F. Brown, August Xeitzel. J. F. Cornell, W. H. Crook, C. W. 
Hedges, J. A. Boyd, Charles Cole, Cyrus Jones, Francis Shaft'er, Robert. 
Lord, Richard Coupe. P.- .\. Smith, David Neher, J. W. Jones. 

1891 : C. A. Hedge, C. B. Gridley, S. C. Stump, J. H. Smith, of Hum- 
boldt; J. W. Jones, Isaac Fisher. B. I-. Miles, C. I'red Cain. Falls City: John 
Gagnon, Rulo. 

1892: William Stephenson, Speiser; Joseph Boyd, .\rago: W. J. 
McCray, Porter; Oliver Fuller, Liberty; j. W. Spicier, Barada: J. H. Smitli. 
Humboldt ; T. P. Jones, Falls City ; James Tangney, Jefferson ; Isaac I-'isher, 
Nemaha ; John Gagnon, Rulo ; C. B. Gridley, Franklin ; C. A. Hedges, l-'alls 
City; J. W. Jones. ^Muddy; B. F. Miles. Grant: Sol C. Stump, Ohio. 

1893: R. K. Davis. Humboldt; T. P. Jones, Falls City; Alex McGehie. 
Muddy; George Smith, Grant; W. R. Smith, Ohio; C. A. Fledges. Falls Cii> : 
G. E. Schneider, Nemaha: C. B. Gridley, Franklin: John Gagnon, Rulo. 

1894: J. FI. Smith. Humboldt: Joseph Frederick, Arago; C. A. 
Stewart, Salem: W. H. Sailors, Barada: Henry Ebel. Jefferson; G. R. Grin- 


stead, Humboldt: William Stephenson. Speiser; Oliver Fuelo, Liberty; T. P. 
Jones, Falls City: W. J. McCray, Porter; John Gagnon, Rulo; C. B. Gridley, 
Franklin ; C. A. Hedges, Falls City ; G. E. Schneider, Nemaha ; A. H. 
jMcGehie, W. R. Smith, George Smith. Grant. 

1895: Joseph Johnson, William Cade, M. M. Stearns; M. B. Miller, 
C. A. Hedges, S. D. Hoffnel, George E. Schneider; Charles Bright, C. E. 
Nims. W. R. Smith. 


Special meeting of the county board of supervisors: 

To Ellis O. Lewis, clerk of the Board of Supervisors of Richardson 
county, Neljraska. 

W^e, the undersigned members of the Board of Supervisors, in and for 
Richardson county, Nebraska, request you to notify each member of the 
said board and publish notice in some newspaper in said county that a meet- 
ing of said board will be had at the court house in Falls City in said countv 
and that on the 13th day of .\ugust, 1895, at 10 o'clock P. I\[. for the trans- 
action of the following business: "To divide the said county into seven 
districts, such districts to be known as supervisor districts, the same to be 
numbered from one to seven, to assign one member to each district. To 
organize the board, elect a chairman and appoint the different committees." 

Jo-seph Frederick. Henry Ebel. 

C. A. Hedges. William Cade. 

C. A. Stewart. George R. Grinstead. 

M. B. ]\Iiller. George E. Schneider. 

In compliance with the above request I have hereby called a special 
meeting of the county board, .\ 13, 1895, at 10 o'clock P. M. 

E. O. Lewis, County Clerk. 

1806: Joseph Frederick ( i) ; Jason Timmerman (2) ; C. E. Nims (3) ; 
li. S. Belden (4) : Charles Hedges (5) : R. .\. Wherry (6) ; Frederick \^'itt- 
wer (71. 

1897: H. S. Belden, Jacob Daeschner, Joseph Frederick. Joseph Glasser, 
G. Iv Schneider, Jason Timmerman. R. .\. ^\"herry. 

1898: W. J. AlcCray. K. F. Auxier, k. .V. Wherry, Jacob Daeschner, 
Joseph I'Vedei'ick. Joseph (ilasser. l-'red. Wittwer. 

1899: John Ramsey, W. J. AFcCray, Josepli Glnsser. 1{. E. .\u\ier, 
Jacol) Daeschner. ^^■. ^\■. K-nne, I'-mest \\'ickham. 


1900: John Ramsey, E. Wickham, J.'Daeschner, Joseph Glasser, J. J. 
Tanner, E. E. Auxier, J. ^V. Spickler. 

1901 : Chris. Madovvse, Joseph Glasser, John ]^Jooney, William 

1902 : Chris. Madowse. Joseph Spickler, Joseph Glasser. W. G. Hum- 
mel, J. W. iVIooney, John Hinton, William Stephen. 

1903 : G. J. Santo, J. W. Spickler, W. G. Hummel, Joseph Glasser, 
John H. Hatchings, John ETinton, C. B. Snyder. 

1904 : Charles Santo, Charles Snyder, John H. Hutchings, Joseph 
Glasser, John Hinton, W. J. McCray, J. J. Bauer. 

1905: John Hinton. W. J. McCray, J. J. Bauer, C. J. Santo, C. F. 
Zoeller, Charles Atwood, J. O. Stalder. 

1906: John Elinton, W. J. McCray, Joseph Bauer, C. J. Santo, C. F. 
Zoeller, Charles Atwood, J. O. Stalder. 

1907: Henry Stemmering, W'. J. McCray, Joseph Glasser, J. J. Bauer, 
C. F. Zoeller, John Hinton, J. O. Stalder. 

1908: John Hinton, William McCray, H. H. Fritz, J. O. Stalder, H. 
Siemmering, Henry Zoellers. 

1909: Harmon Loennig, R. .-\. Coupe, H. Siemmering, Henrv Stitzer. 
EL H. Fritz, W. J. McCray, John Hinton. 

1910: R. A. Coupe, Henry Fritz, H. Stitzer, Harmon Eoennig, John 
Hinton, H. Siemmering, L. M. Weddle. 

191 1 : N. C. Campbell, R. A. Coupe, H. Nutzman, M. ]\IcHouver. John 
Elinton, E. M. Weddle, H. Fritz. 

1912: M. Sheehan, J. A. Weaver, T. R. Edwards, M. McHouver, X. 
C. Campbell, H. Nutzman, R. A. Coupe. 

1913: N. C. Campbell, H. Zoeller, Chris. :\Eidowse, H. Stitzer, T. R. 
Edwards, M. Sheehan, J. A. Weaver. 

1914: C. Madowse, N. C. Campbell. H. Stitzer, H. Zoeller, T. R. 
Edwards, I\E Sheehan, J. A. Weaver. 

191 5: N. C. Campl)ell, H. W. Wyatt, E. J. Duryea, C. Madowse, T. 
R. Edwards, M. Sheehan, J. A. Weaver. 

1916: The following members were elected but were not allowed to 
take their office on account of change to county commissioner system: 
X. C. Campljell, H. Wyatt, J. .\. Weaver, A. Eouchs. E. J. Duryea, Ciiris. 
Madowse, Morris Shellenberger. No organization. 



During the fall of 1916 a petition having the requisite number of signa- 
tories (resident voters of the county), as required by statute, a proposition 
was submitted to the voters at the general election held in the montli of 
November, giving opportunity to affirm or negative a change in the form of 
county government. 

The sujjervisor system, witl: seven districts, had been in vogue since 
August 13, 1895, and it was proposed to return to the original commissioner 
system of three meml^ers, as had obtained in the Aery early days of the 

No proposition ever submitted to the \-oters of the cnuntv had been so 
little agitated, nor one where there seemed so little sentiment expressed one 
way or the other, among the voters of the county. 

It being a national election, the largest vote e\er polled was recorded: 

The total official vote polled in the co'.intx- that year 

(November. 19x6) was 5-074 

Those A'oting in favor of change to commissiuner 

system 1.498 

Those voting for continuance of supervisor system 1.444 

Total of those voters — voting on the proposition ^,942 

Total of those not voting on the proposition -.1,^- 

jy.lajority in favor of tlie change 54 


Under the law the county judge, count\ clerk and treasurer are con- 
stituted a lx)ard to appoint members (;f the board of county commissioners, 
the latter to serve initil the next regular election, \\hen their successors will 
be chosen by the voters of the county. 

l"he following from the official records in the county clerk's office tells 
its own stor\- : 

"Whereas, at the general election iield in Richardson county, Nebraska, 
on the 7th day of November, 1916, the (|uestion of continuance of township 
organization form of county government was lawfully submitted to the voters 
of the county and a canvass of the votes cast at said election, it was found 
and declared that a majority of the votes cast on said (|uestion were against 
the coniinuance of tow!ishi]i organization in said county. 


"On January 6, 1917. O. O. Alarsh, amnty clerk: George W. Murris, 
county treasurer; and John W'iltse, county judge, met in the county clerk's 
office at Falls City, Neliraska, pursuant to law for the purpose of appointing 
three commissioners for Richardson county, Nebraska. 

"The availability of tlie various candidates for said appointment in the 
\arious districts was considered and discussed by the appointive Ijoard, and 
tlie following were appointed :'" 

1917: Hugh E. JMiyd, Humboldt: Aaron Louchs. Falls City; X. D. 
Vu.xier, Verdon. 


E. A. Tucker, Edwin Falloon, Jule Schoenheit. Frank Martin. Amos 
Gantt, Jaines E. Leyda, Richard C. James, 1916-8. 


John P. Maule, Dan J. Osgood, A. J. Weaver, Isham Reavis. 


Clerk of tlie district court, Charles Loree. 

Deputy clerk of the district court, L. C. Edwards. 

Sherifif, Dan B.. Ratekin. 

Deputy sheriff, Rice McNulty. 

County superintendent, Daniel Webber. 

County treasurer, George W. Morris. 

Deputv county treasurer, l-'rank Smith. 

County clerk, Ora Marsh. 

Deputy county clerk, Ray Daggett. 

County judge, Virgil" Falloon. 

Clerk county judges office, Mrs. Lorena Ilumbarger. 

Recorder of deeds, Norman B. Judd. 

Assistant recorder of deeds, Charleotta P.Ianding. 

Surveyor, J. F. Relf. 

County attorney, Richard C. James. 

District judge, John B. Raper. 

County commissioners — (Appointed on the adoption of the commission 
system or countv govermnent at the 1916 election) — Aaron Louchs. Falls 
Citv; X. D. .\uxier. X'erdon : Hugh Iv Boyd. Humboldt. 




liarada precinct, as now constituted, lies in the northeast corner of tlie 
c(jiinty, and is one of the very first parts of the countv to be settled. It con- 
tains an abundant supply of excellent water and is well timbered. The soil 
is very fertile, producing heavy crops of all kinds of grain, grown in this 
latitude. For the most part the land lies well. 

As in its earliest days, its soil has in the driest years stood the drought 
better than any part of the county. At times when other parts of the county 
and the lands on the opposite side of the river have been hard hit from this 
cause, old Barada has produced a crop. This was particularlv true a few 
years ago, when there was bitt little corn grown on account of drought — at 
that time Barada produced almost a normal yield. 

This township lies mostly in what was formerly known as the Half- 
Breed Tract or Reservation, and was first settled by the French and half- 
breed Indians, to whom the land was allotted in tracts of three hundred and 
twenty acres to each individual who was fortunate enough to have his or 
her name on the list. 


Antoine Barada, for whom the precinct and village of Barada was named 
was among the first white settlers in this part of the county, Firmin Douville 
and Zephyr Recontre, the latter of whom lived to be over one hundred years of 
age and in the latter part of his life resided in South Dakota and who accom- 
panied the famous Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804 on its journey up the 
Missouri and west over the Rocky mountains to the mouth of the Columbia 
river, near .Vstoria, Oregon, being the first, with Stephen Story and John B. 
Didier, to settle in Barada precinct. 

Mr. Barada was a most remarkable man in his day and time and was 
born at St. Marv's, near Ft. Calhoun, across the Missouri river from Omaha, 


in 1807, the son of a Frenchman from France, Michael Barada, and his 
mother, a full-blood member of the Omaha tribe of Indians. His father, 
Michael Barada, was an educated Frenchman, and was employed by the 
United States government as an interpreter and served in that capacity in 
the making of the famous Prairie du Chien treaty, which was negotiated at 
a town in Wisconsin bearing that name and the treaty is known as the Treaty 
of Prairie du Chien. 

The elder Barada and his wife and young Antoine were stationed at Ft. 
Liasr on the Missouri, about two hundred miles north of St. ]\Iary's (above 
Omaha). It was here that the lad was stolen from his parents at the fort l)y 
a band of Sioux warriors and held in captivit}' at a point some distance farther 
west, and a ransom demanded. The lad was recovered some six months later 
by his father upon the payment of "two ponies" as a ransom. Upon his re- 
turn to the fort with the lad, the father, fearful of repeated abductions, gave 
the boy to some soldiers who had promised to take him East, where he would 
be educated at the West Point Military Academy. The boy was, accordingly, 
taken down the river to Carondolet, south of the City of St. Louis by the sol- 
diers, who, however, upon their arrival there and after imbibing freely in 
spirits, immediately forgot their high resolves in his behalf and abandoned 
him in the streets where, after their departure, he was found stranded and 
restored to his aunt, Mrs. Moosac. Later, he was employed in a stone (|uarry 
owned by Coates & Whitnell, an English concern. He resided for some time 
in St. Louis and was perfectly familiar with the mountain and plain from the 
Missouri river to the Pacific coast. 

Barada visited this county with a party of Indiains in the year 1816 and 
in later years when the first of the pioneers came, they found him here where 
he spent the remainder of his life. On his first trip here with the Indians in 
1816 they found a drove of elk and deer stranded in the frozen mud on the 
banks of the Missouri, near the mouth of the Nemaha, south of Rule, and 
which they slaughtered for meat. He made many trips across the plains and 
over the mountains. On one occasion he was met by his mother in the 
Blackbird hills north of Omaha and she tried in vain to dissuade him from 
such travel, but being under contract he continued in service for one year l)e- 
fore returning to her. He was a thick, heavy-set man of broad shoulders 
and of prodigious strength and is remembered by Richardson county people 
particularly for this trait. Many stories are told among those who knew 
him best of instances where he lifted great weights and performed feats 
demonstrating his great physical prowess. .\t the government arsenal in St. 


Louis there remains unto this day a great stone fashioned for a doorsill which 
he lifted "clear of the ground." It bears carved on its sides the following 
witness: "1700 pounds'' and his name and date inscribed thereon. 

Barada died in this county in 1887 and was buried in the Catholic ceme- 
tery about a half mile east of the village of Barada, which bears his name. 
His sister, Euphraisia, was the wufe of Fulton Peters, another pioneer of 
Barada township. He left a number of descendants, the result of his mar- 
riage to a French woman, Josephine \'ierhen, who was familiarh- known as 
"IMarcelite". He had nine children of whom three are living : Julia ( Provo) , 
at W'althill, Nebraska; Celistia (Kuhn), Rosalia, Nebraska, and Thomas 
Barada. also of the Blackbird reservation, north of Omaha. 

The French Indians to whom these lands were allotted originally, soon 
sold out their holdings to immigrate to points further \\"est. where they 
figured for a time in some capacity or another on the very verge of civiliza- 


Among the oldest .settlers of the township was J. L. Stephens, familiarly 
known and hailed throughout that portion of the county as "Stephens."' 
Jack was "a fellow of infinite jest" and his description of the difficulties of 
swine culture in those earh days, must have been heard to be rightly appre- 

John May was another of the early pioneers who by a strict attention 
to business, early secured a competence. In the eastern part of the town- 
ship was a settlement of Germans who largely predominate to this day. This 
part of the township early had a very neat and substantial Catholic church 
erected by the enterprise of Buchholz, Spadth, the Kelleys and other Cath- 
olics. In the northern part of the township there was an abimdance of saw 
timber, consisting of oak and walnut. There was located a steam saw-mill 
by Hiram Browning, who supplied the people of the surrounding country 
with a large amount of fencing and frame timlser for houses. In the north- 
west corner of the township was what was known as the King settlement, 
so called from the fact that Squire J. P. King was the first to commence in 
this corner. Here Henry and Milton Shubert produced ten thousand bushels 
of corn in one season, about 1870, and in the same season Slocum produced 
five thousand bushels. This township has good schools and a progressive 
people who are always in the forefront. 

The last governor, the Hon. John H. Morehead, began his life in this 
count\ in this iirecinct. where for inanv vears he conducted successfullv a 


mercantile business and later Iiecanie the owner of many highly-improved 
farms, which he still owns. 

Hon. Henry Gerdes, number of the state board of control of state insti- 
tutions, spent most of his life in this precinct, where he and his son still have 
valuable holdings of real estate. 

The apple orchards alone have made this precinct famous throughout 
the state, as the (juality raised there always command the highest prices. 


St. Stephens precinct lies in the northeast corner of tiie county ex- 
tending to the Missouri river on the east and the county line on the north. 
It has in later years been joined on to Barada and is now so known. The 
precinct took its name from the old town of St. Stephens, which no doubt 
took its name from the predeliction of some Frenchman for a saintlv name 
for a cluster of very rough and ragged hills and bluffs that constituted the 
site upon which the so-called town was located. The precinct had a fewer 
number of acres than any other precinct in the county. 

The surface of the country in this section is quite uneven and a large 
portion of the lands being broken and bluffy. This disadvantage was how- 
ever counterbalanced by a goodly supply of good hard wood timber and 
excellent water. There is a considerable amount of good tillable land lying 
in the southwest part of the precinct, on the head waters of the Half-Breed 

The Missouri bottom lands in this precinct amount to several tiiousand 
acres and. include timber, swamp and some of the best land in the countv. 
The timber is mostly cottonwood, walnut and sycamore. The timber in tlie 
early daj's was large and afforded abundant supply of saw logs, which were 
rapidly transformed into lumber of the first quality by Sweet & Patterson, 
who owned a good saw-mill, to which they later added a grist-mill. The 
demand at this point for lumber was great and these early lumbermen were 
not able to supply the f|uantity required, yet running their mill to its utmost 

James Cottier was one of tlie early landholders of prominence, as well 
as Gus Duerfeldt. Mr. .Stump, and William Parchen. 

The precinct in the early days had a postoffice known as Williamsvillc. 
but its market at that time was at Arago. 



rails Cit_\- precinct is six miles s(|imre, bordered on the south by the 
Kansas-Nebraska state line and is sonthermost of the second tier of precincts 
west from the Missouri river, and includes some of the most beautiful and 
fertile lands to be found in southeast Nebraska. 

Nature has dealt most generously with, this localit}^ bestowing upon it 
such a combination of her favors as is seldom granted to any section. The 
land is smooth, undulating and almost inexhaustible in fertility. An abund- 
ance of never-failing stock water, supplied by springs and small streams, is 
found almost upon every quarter section in the precinct. A plentiful supply 
of good building stone is found on the Great Xemaha river and Pony creek. 
In addition to all this, a most beautiful landscape is afforded by a combina- 
tion of uplands, broad valleys and beautiful groves constantly presented, to 
the eye. 

These are some of the general features and advantages of this precinct, 
besides which it has many special ones that are deserving of notice. Of these 
the most important is the (ireat Nemaha river, which runs entirely through, 
the precinct from west to east: its \alley, the most beautiful in the west, is 
from one to two miles in width. The lands it embraces are rich, alluvial 
flats or Ijottom lands, wet in places, but all susceptible to drainage, and as 
corn and grass lands unexcelled by any that the sun ever shone upon. 

The Great Nemaha is more than one hundred miles in length, reaching 
far into Kansas, with its southwest branches and nearly to the state capitol in 
the northwest, draining an immense area of country anil furnishing a ne\er- 
failing volume of water. 

The Falls of the Xemaha, where the banks and bed of the stream in the 
earh- times were formed of stone and where the water had a perpendicular 
fall lit four feet over a ledge of rock, gave the name to the precinct as well 
as to the city, which we know as Falls City. 

The power furnished !\v these falls was used for many years by String- 
lield & .Stumbo for a mill. 

On the south side of the Nemaha river, and extending to the Kansas 
line, is a Iwdy of fine land that once formed a part of the Sac & Fox Indian 
reservation, but which was purchased from the Indians and thrown open for 
occupation and improvement by the white man. This section now presents 
one of the best settled neighborhoods in the entire county. 

The Nemaha has two tributaries from the south within the limits of the 
precinct. The lirst is Ponv creek, a small creek which empties into the 



Nemaha a half mile below the falls. The land lying between the Pony creek 
and the Nemaha is very choice, being mostly second bottom lands of great 
richness and beautifully situated. The corn patches, or farms, of the Sac & 
Fox Indians were located here. The old Indian village occupied the bluff, or 
line plateau, above and south of the Falls of the Nemaha. 

The village site and adjacent lands are now corn and wheat fields; and 
within a half mile from the spot where the bark wigwams once stood was 
later a neat and substantial school house, indicating the intelligence and enter- 
prise of this later commmunity. 

Below Ponv creek, some two or three miles, the waters tif Walnut creek 
flow into the Nemaha. This stream is of considerable size and runs due 
north for a distance of seven or eight miles from Hiawatha, Kansas. 
Tlie Southern Nebraska & Northern Kansas railroad was, as surveyed, to 
run from Hiawatha to Falls City along this valley. The Walnut lands are 
generally excellent in quality and among the highest priced lands in the county. 


At the crossing of the Nemaha near the old Burliank farm, a portion of 
which is now owned by James Neeld, and on the main line of travel from 
southern Nebraska to northern Kansas was the Loree bridge, a substantial 
structure above high water, erected b}' the county at a cost of three thousand 
dollars. This bridge was liuilt by Majnr Loree and the mud sills used were 
hewn from trees grown in the count}-. One, an oak, was obtained from the 
farm of \Villiam Boyd, near Salem, and the other, a walnut, was got from 
the Indian reservation east of Falls City, special permission being had from 
the government to cut the same. The remarkable fact about these two heavy 
timbers, so far as this country is concerned, if judged from the present when 
there is hardly any timber in the county which might properly be called "saw- 
timber^" is the fact that they each squared eighteen inches on both ends and 
were fortv feet long. Imagine the size of a tree at the base which, when 
hewn, might .square as above indicated and forty feet in length and the value 
i:f either (oak or walnut) at the present-day prices. In placing them, special 
block and tackle equipment was brought from St. Joseph, ^lissouri. 

The Muddy creek runs through the northeast part of the precinct. What 
was known in the earlier days as the .\rcher bridge spanned this stream on 
the road between Falls City and Arago. Near the bridge on the .south side 
of the Muddy was the old .\rcber caniji meeting gro\e where many revivals 
had been experienced and immense c.mcourses had often met: where l-'ourth 


of July picnics and celel:)rations had been -held and man)' interesting events 
transpired, tliat will form a part of the unwritten history of this community 
and count}'. 

Not far from the camp ground was the residence of Isaac Crook, one of 
the fust pioneers settlers of the precinct and county, who arrived in 1855 and 
who was the first county treasurer. 

The lands lying between the ^Fuddy and the Nemaha could not be 
improved upon, either as to situation or soil. It is no exaggeration to say 
that of the twenty or thirty sections of upland that lie between these two 
streams within the precinct, there is not one foot that cannot easily be culti- 

The town of Falls City is located upon the beautiful ridge that divides 
the waters of the (ireat Nemaha river and Muddy creek. Its location is 
declared by all who have ever visited it, to be one of the most delightful — the 
grounds upon which it is built, sloping gently to the south and commanding 
a view of the country for miles in every direction. The to\\nsite was laid 
ofif and occupied some time during the summer of 1857 by James Lane, John 
A. and J. E. Burbank, Isaac L. Ilamby and others. Among the early resi- 
dents and those who have done most to upbuild this town and to advance its 
interests and who were its most active citizens, were Hon. E. S. Dundy, Hon. 
Isham Reavis, Daniel Reavis, August Schoenheit, David R. Holt. Jesse Crook, 
Ed. S. Towle, James Cameron, Anderson Miller, W. M. Maddox, Dr. H. O. 
Haniia, David Dorrington and William H. Mann. 

LTp until 1870-71 the population had not reached above about seven hun- 
dred, l)ut with the coming of the railroad the business interests exiierienced 
a boom and the town grew very rapidly. The next greatest period of boom 
was in later years, in 1912 and 1913, when the Missouri Pacific Division was 
finally located here, when it experienced the greatest boom in all its history 
for the same period nf time. 


Rulo precinct occupies die southeast corner and takes its name from the 
city of Rulo. The town was founded by Charles Rouleau, a bYenchman, who 
settled on the site of the town in 1855. The town is located on the Missouri 
river alx)ut two miles north of the Great Nemaha, and lies on what was 
l(irmerl\- known as the Half-Breed tract: consequently, the town and the 
land surrciunding it were allotted to and for a long time held by the half- 
jjreed Indians and white men who bad married into the Lo family. 


This class of occupants was not particularly distinguished for enter- 
prise, if we accept the lively manner in which the}- conducted their real-estate 
transactions, frequently disposing of the same piece of land two or three 
times, and their very liberal patronage of the dealer in the fluid extract of 
sod corn. 

For some years this element seriously retarded the progress ant! growth 
of this section of our county, but they disappeared before the tide of immi- 
gration that was attracted to this \icinity by its many natural advantages. 
The town of Rulo contained several hundred (perhaps seven or eight hun- 
dred) people prior to the coming of the railroad in 1871 and thereafter rapidly 
improved. In the year 1870, just prior to the coming of the railroad, which 
was built in from the south on this side of the river, this point handled more 
than one hundred thousand bushels of corn. A steam corn sheller was used 
for shelling the corn and the grain merchants there had much to complain of 
in regard to transportation facilities. One line of steamers had a monopoly 
upon the entire carrying trade on the river and practiced extortion in the way 
of high freight rates and, like the later and greater railroad monopoly, were 
as much displeasing to the shipper, as they carried the grain when they pleased, 
witliout reference to the convenience or interest of the shippers. This condi- 
tion caused the shippers to pray for the speedy arri\al of the "iron horse," 
which forever (or at least to the present time), has put the boats out of busi- 
ness. They felt that the first snort of the iron horse coming from the south 
or east, along the valley of the Missouri, would spoil the nice little thing so 
long enjoyed by the steamboat men exclusively. 

This precinct embraces a very excellent body of land, all of which is now 
highly improved. The character of the farm buildings, improvements and 
so forth, will compare favorably with those of any other part of the state. 

In the early days cheap lumber was obtained from the Rush bottoms just 
across the river and from the extensive establishment of Mr. Sprinkle, near 
the Yankton townsite north of Rulo. The Great Nemaha river runs through 
the southern part of the precinct. The uplands of this valley consist of smooth 
undulating prairie, which in most cases slopes gradually doAvn to the bottom 
lands of the Nemaha, which are from one to two miles wide. Several small 
streams afiford an abundance of water and groves of timber. 

A portion of the Sac and Fox and Iowa Indian reservations were located 
in this precinct, on the south side of the Nemaha river. 

Rulo precinct has grown rapidlv and is one of the wealthv precincts of 
the countv. 



Arago precinct lies in the central east portion of the connty. and extends 
to the Missouri river. 

The town of Arago gives the name to the precinct. This town was 
founded by a colony of Germans from Buffalo, Xew York, in the summer 
of 1858. Owing to its location on the ^Missouri river, where it had a boat 
service both up and down that stream, and its other flattering prospects as 
a town, the sale of town lots was quite lively. Judge C. H. Walther was 
the pioneer merchant of the place, antl there also was at the time Hon. Lewis 
Algewahr, who was then running a saw-mill, surveying the township, etc. 
Somerland was with the Burchards, Fredericks (Uncle Peter), the Neitzels, 
Nutzmans, Stock and Wirth among its citizens. The first and greatest 
attempt at a packing house was the pork-packing establishment conducted 
at this place, by Mr. Lewis Algewahr. As a grain market Arago stood 
second to no other place in the county in the early days. It had dry goods, 
drugs, meat market, pork-packing establishment, cooper shop, flour- and 
saw-mills, grain merchants, brewery, furniture store, jewelry, blacksmith, 
tin, and shoe shops, hotels, saloon, a singer hall, a fine brass band, etc.. etc., 
besides a jolly, good-natured population. 

The precinct embraces some very fine land, and is well supplied with 
those essentials for farming purposes — timber and good water. The land 
in some portions of the precinct is a little rough, but is used as pastures. 
The population is now, as in the older days, largely German, as any one 
can see not only from the dialect and customs prevailing, but from the thrift 
and prosperity exerywhere prevailing. 

The German settlement was first commenced by a colony from Buft'alo. 
to which we ha\e already alluded as founding the village of Arago in 1858. 
Rallying around the little nucleus formed at Arago, the settlement rapidly 
extended until it became a large and distinctive element in our population. 
Prior to the organization and location of the German colony, there was 
some settlement made in this precinct, but mostly from Missouri. The 
lands of this i)recinct being altogether on the Half-Breed Reserve, were 
allotted to half-breed Indians. 

Among the early settlers in this \icinity were Houston Xuckols, Stephen 
Story, Steve Lyon Picotte, William R. Cain. Mr. Cain remained on his 
farm for many \ears an honored and honorable citizen, Ijut in later years 
reniined to balls Citv, where he spent his declining years. Houston Nuckols 
has passed from this stage of action "to that bourne from whence no 


traveler ever returns. '" Who among the old settlers can forget Houston 
Nuckols and his schemes? How he ruled the limited world in which he 
moved; how he carried on his real-estate transactions, much as boys would 
swap jack knives, and how, after a few years of active and, in many respects, 
successful strife with the world, he at last fell a victim to the fatal cup. 
St. Stephens, which was founded Ijy Nuckols and Story, flourished for a 
few years as a trading post and ferry crossing the Missouri, but was Anally 
absorbed by the more enterprising town of Arago. Many of the pioneers 
crossed on this ferry, with its captain, sometimes called "Pap Price." 

The precinct made very little progress until the coming of the Germans 
from Buffalo, since which time it has improved steadily and rapidly until 
at the present time it is one continuous field of highly improved farms. 

Winnebago Branch runs through this precinct from northwest to south- 
east, and the Half-Breed Branch from the north through the entire length 
of the precinct to the south, with many diverging branches that afiford an 
abundant supply of water. 

The soil, location and exposure of the lands in this precinct are well 
adapted to the culture of all kinds of fruit. It must take first rank in this 
respect. The precinct is well supplied with schools in the hands of very 
competent instructors and as a consequence contains a highly intelligent 
class of people. The advantages of soil, water, etc., together with the 
energy and enterprise of the people, combine to make it a powerful com- 


The first permanent settlement made in Richardson covmty was at a 
point now embraced within the limits of what is known as Ohio precinct 
or township. 

During the summer of 1854 John Level settled at Archer Grove. He 
was the first white man who broke the solitude of this beautiful expanse of 
prairie wilderness: the first of a population now numbering many thousand 
people. He did not have time to sing "Oh! solitude, where are thy charms," 
for he was quickly followed by others and in a few months a settlement was 
formed and the town of old Archer laid off at which the seat of government 
was at once established. 

The Half-Breed Reservation complication which arose about this time 
soon ruined the prospects of the new town, the seat of government departed, 
and with it the glory of Archer. 

But this did not verv much retard the settleiuent of the rich fine lands 


of Ohio township. Prior to the laying- out of old Archer and early in the 
year of 1855 Uncle Billy Goolsby located on Goolsby Branch at Goolsby 
Grove, where he at once inaugurated a vigorous war of extermination upon 
the wolves and wildcats of that section, which he prosecuted as long as a 
wolf or wildcat could be started within five miles of the premises, and where 
he lived for many years in the possession of one of the most beautiful and 
valuable farms in the county. At about the same time or perhaps a little 
earlier John F. Harkendorf settled on Muddy creek, near the present crossing 
of that stream, known as the Harkendorf bridge. He was probably the 
first German settler in the county and a fair representative of that thriving 
and prosperous class of our citizens. 

These were among the first settlers of the county. In the spring of 
1856 the Widow McElroy settled on McElroy Branch and gave name to 
that stream. Since that time, each succeeding year, saw an influx of immi- 
gration. The settlement of this township was for most part in the ordinary 
way, by people from different states and countries. In the northeast part of 
the township a settlement of Germans had been formed who, with their 
usual industry, rapidly improved their lands. 

Within two years antedating 1870 the most important event in the set- 
tlement of this precinct was the advent of a large class of Dunkards. They 
were sober and industrious in habits, normal and upright in principle and 
possessing energy and intelligence and means, which made them ever useful 
and desirable citizens. 

The natural resources and character of the land entitle it to especial 
notice. The soil is the best, being deep, rich and fine. From the location 
of the principal stream through the southern part of the township the lands 
nearly all lie to the south, causing grass and grains to start earlier than 
with any other exposure. It is well watered. The Muddy creek runs 
entirely through the southern part of the township. Three smaller streams 
empty into it from the north, affording abundant water in every section. 
These streams are all fed by unfailing springs of excellent soft water, and 
do not dry up in the dryest season. The lands lie smooth down to the 
water's edge, there being no bluffs or rough lands in the whole towaiship. 
The valley of the Muddy is from one to two miles wide and consists of 
first bottom lands. From the Muddy northward the land rises gradually 
to the north end of the precinct. 

This township is amply supi)lied with good schools and churches and is 
one oi the best of the countv. 



]\Iuddy precinct is at present composed of a single township, witli two 
voting places, the one at Stella and the other at Shubert, and for conven- 
ience known as east and west Muddy. Formerly it embraced about one- 
fifth the area of the entire county, including the Muddy creek for several 
miles and all north of that stream to the county line. As at present bounded 
it comprises a fine body of land on the north side of the Muddy and extend- 
ing to the county line. Sardine branch and several other streams pen*"- 
trating it in various directions, afiford to this part of the county an abundance 
of good water. The soil, like that of most of the uplands of the county, 
is a rich, sand)' loam, well adapted to the culture of corn, wheat, oats, rye, 
barley and potatoes. The supply of timber within the precinct is not \ery 

The first settlement of this precinct was made as early as 1858. About 
this time G. B. Patterson and C. Slagel located on Sardine branch : C. 
Van Deventer and the Wilkinson family on "Johnny Cake ridge," and the 
Hays family on Muddy creek. A large amount of lands in this precinct 
early fell into the hands of land speculators, who proved a curse to the 
country and much retarded the early and rapid settlement, holding their 
lands until the sweat and toil of the pioneer had enhanced prices and enabled 
them to obtain enormous returns upon their small investments. The lands 
are now among the best and command the highest prices paid for land in 
the county. The land warrants with which they were entered cost the 
speculator from seventy-five to eighty cents per acre. Of course the increased 
value was owing to the increased value made by the actual occupants, and 
it is not strange that all manner of expedients were resorted to. to oblige 
the capitalists to pay for a small portion of the improvements in the way 
of school houses and road taxes. 

The large amount of these speculators' land for a long time accounted 
for the light populatiou of this precinct, but in time, like in all the country, 
this impediment was swept away and the precinct is now as well settled 
as any and as prosperous as the best. 

The citizens of Muddy are intelligent and wideawake and have always 
taken an active interest in the political and material questions connected 
with the history oi our county. 

The vote of the precinct has always been counted as being solid for tiie 
party of progress. Since the first settlement in 1858, schools have been 
maintained in the different neighborhoods of the precinct. In the earlier 


times mail facilities were poorly arranged and mail from this point was 
routed to cross the Missouri river and thence was carried north nearly to 
the Iowa state line, where it again crossed the Missouri at Aspinwall and 
thence to its destination in Liberty precinct. 

Muddy is the home of two of the liveliest towns of the county, Stella and 
Shubert, the former in the extreme west and the latter in the extreme east 
part of the precinct, both having railway connection, the former on the Mis- 
souri-Pacific railroad and the latter on the Nebraska City branch of the 
Burlington railroad. 


Porter precinct, named in honor of Colonel Porter, the first settler in 
this locality, is situated in the northwestern part of the county. It contains 
thirty-six sections of as fine land as Nebraska affords. There was early a 
scarcity of timber in this part of the country, but wherever settlements 
were made groves and hedges were planted so this deficiency was not long 
felt. The branches of the Little Muddy, a tributary of Muddy creek, waters 
the township. 

The precinct settled slowly from the fact that large bodies of the land 
was held by speculators, who were slow to part with it; but in later times 
it got more and more into the hands of actual occupants, who speedily 
went to work in a way of making development of the same. 

Dr. R. S. Molony, Sr., of Galesburg, Illinois, was the owner of one 
of these tracts containing some four thousand acres. This tract was put 
on the market in such a way as to prove profitable to the new owners and 
convenient to many persons of limited means, who were seeking homes. 
The owner, Dr. R. S. Molony, sold alternate sections in farms of eighty 
to one hundred and sixty acres on ten years' time at ten dollars per acre, 
with ten per cent interest. He rapidly found purchasers for a considerable 
portion of his land, and a live, energetic settlement of people was soon formed 
in that vicinity. His son, R. S. Molony, a very enterprising young gentle- 
man, soon made a fine three hundred and sixty acre farm adjoining this 
tract and acted as agent for the sale of the remainder of the land. This 
land, which is accounted among the very best in Richardson county today, 
and readily sells for more than two hundred dollars per acre, was originally 
bought by the senior Molony with school script during war times for the 
very meager sum of but a few cents per acre. 

One of the very earliest settlers in this part of the county was J. E. 
Crowe, who for a number of years carried on farming operations in this 


precinct on an extensive scale. About i<SCi8 Mr. Crowe sold the s,n-eater 
part of his fine tract of three or four thousand acres, and his fine farm, 
known and famed in the west end of- .the county as the "Crowe Farm" to 
Capt. W. T. Wilhite. who occupied it for many years and was ably assisted 
for a time in its cultivation by his brother, Hon. J. R. Wilhite, afterwards 
and for many years county judge of the county and now a resident of Falls 
Citv. About the same time a brother of Mr. Crowe — John Crowe — opened 
a fine large farm in the same neighborhood. 

Barney Mullen, James Cornelius and J. Corwin Fergus and E. C. Hill, 
Sr.. were early and substantial settlers of this precinct and possessed of 
many hundred of acres of the finest land in the precinct, the two former of 
whom are still living residents of the county. 

The prairie land of this precinct was exceptionally fine and smooth. 
The attention of farmers in this locality has heretofore been tinmed largel\- 
to the cultivation of wheat, which succeeds well. 

The stock both of cattle and hogs of this precinct is of a superior quality, 
owing to the enterprise and intelligence of the leading farmers in improving 

This locality, being remote from market, its growth was for a time 
greatly retarded; but this inconvenience was removed by the building of 
the town of Humboldt, which immediately, by its rapid growth, supplied 
the facilities for buying and selling so essential to successful farming. The 
improvements made have been generally of most substantial character and 
th*^ precinct is amply supplied with school houses and churches. 

The postofifice at Monterev in the early days accommodated the people 
with mail facilities but in these later days the rural mail routes supply each 
farmer with the mail he receives. 

Porter i)recinct is now in the forefront of the precincts of the county, 
having as small a percentage as any of unusable lands and is the home of 
some of the wealthy and most extensive farmers of the county. 


Liberty precinct lies immediately north of Salem, and was part of Salem 
and Aluddy precincts until 1869, when the county commissioners in revising 
precinct boundaries, determined, as far as practicable, to constitute each 
township of lands within the county a voting precinct. Thus, Liberty came 
into existence and consists of the territory embraced in township 2 of range 
No. 15. Eacli township in the county at this time. 1917, constitutes a voting 


The precinct occupies the divide between the ^[uddy and Xemaha. The 
raih'oad village of Verdon, located in this precinct with the coming of the 
Missouri- Pacific railroad in 1882, has grown to be one of the very prettiest 
of the towns of the county and has a fine business section, well built up. and 
many beautiful homes. 

The lands of the precinct are niostl\- uplands, and are very well situated 
for agricultural purposes. 

The Muddy creek flows through the northern part of the precinct. Some 
of the earliest settlements of the county were made in this precinct. Of these 
were: Mr. Borden, on the Mudd\-, who came into the precincf in 1855 ; John 
and Charles Cornell, who came in 1857: John S. Ewing, William Kinser and 
Robert Worley, who settled there in 1858. 


Salem precinct is composed of township No. i, range No. 15, and com- 
prises some of the choicest lands and one of the oldest settlements of the 
county. The town of Salem is one of the first in the county. In the sum- 
mer of 1857 there was already quite a village there with stores, postoffice and 
blacksmith shop. It is said that one son of Vulcan, who presided over 
a pioneer forge at this place, was often complained of by his customers wu'th 
having charged exorbitant prices for his work. Upon one occasion one of 
them remarked that he "ought to make a pretty good living at such prices for 
his work." With a fine blending of humor and impudence he replied: "I 
didn't come awa}- out here to make a living, but to make a raise." 

-Vmong the early settlers in Salem and pioneers in the mercantile busi- 
ness in this county were J. Cass Lincoln and John Holt, who built up one of 
the most extensive businesses in the county and were powerful men in the 
formative period in this county. The town of Salem is situated in the forks 
ot the Great Xemaha river and possesses many natural advantages. It is the 
first station west of Falls Cit\- located on the main line of the Burlington & 
Missouri River railroad. The first flouring-mill of the county was located at 
this point and continued in l)usiness until recent years, when, on account of 
the installation of the drainage system, when the waters were diverted, it dis- 
continued l)usiness. 

Many of the earlier settlers of the county resided at Salem or along the 
Xemaha. Among them were: J. C. Lincoln, John Holt, Mr. Pierce. F. A. 
Tisdel, Sr., U. .\. Tisdel, .\. |. Currence. Doctor Brooke, Oliver Jennings, 


and of the farmers, A. S. Russell, Washington Whiting, James Billings, 
Andrew Ogden and Abner Bo}d. 

Alany of the earlier settlers of this precinct were from the adjoining state 
of Missouri, and brought with them their customs of that section, one of 
which was a weekly shooting match, which usually occurred on Saturday 
afternoons, when the adult male population assembled in some grove and 
engaged in the manly sport of shooting at a mark with rifles, the prize usually 
being a quarter of beef or a plump, fat turkey. These gatherings were invari- 
ably jolly and sociable, and sometimes under the exhilarating influence of a 
little "old rye," became decidedly lively. During the summer of 1857 those 
matters were quite popular; but now, alas, owing to the sad and degenerate 
times into which we have fallen, they have totally disappeared, and instead 
the 3-oung men play baseball and the older ones talk politics or war, all of 
which goes to demonstrate that man is a progressive animal. 

All along the bluffs of the Nemaha an abundance of building stone is 
found. The lands north of the Nemaha are very fine, reclining to the south 
with an undulating surface, a deep, rich soil, and are well improved. On the 
south side of the Nemaha are several beautiful streams, with ver}' fine valleys; 
Rock creek is the largest of these and its valleys afford some of the most 
beautiful situations and richest and most valuable lands in the state. 

Contrary creek is another fiiie stream, with a considerable amount of 
timber skirting its banks. It was so named by Jesse Crook, a pioneer, who, 
on coming to it for the .*irst time, was struck with its apparent contrary course 
in its meandering. 

The fair grounds of the old-time Richardson County Agricultural Society, 
were located near the town of Salem and the fairs which were held at this 
beautiful place annually from the very earliest times, were the best attended 
in the state and the meetings were looked forward to each year with the 
greatest interest. Those annual fairs had an educational value to an agri- 
cultural community such as ours, that has been wholly lacking in the modern 
meetings which have sought to take their places. Salem precinct with her 
manifold natural advantages and intelligent population, has always kept even 
with the development of our county and her place as one of our best precincts 
will always be secure. 


When the lx)ard ui county cunimissioners organized this precinct they 
conceived the nol)le and patriotic idea of doing a special honor to the b.ero 


of Appomatox, and so they called this little territory of thirty-six sections, 
Grant. The names of individuals, more or less distinguished, have been 
attached to nine of the fifteen precincts composing the covmty. 

These have been most appropriately arranged in groups or pairs as fol- 
lows : In the west we find two eminent Germans, Humboldt and Speiser. 
In the east two distinguished Frenchmen, Rouleau and Arago. In the center 
two celebrated Americans, Grant and Porter. In the northeast a pair of rare 
examples of goodness and virtue. St. Stephens and Barada, and in the north- 
west the philosopher, who chained the lightning and brought the subtle electric 
fluid from the clouds — Franklin. 

Notwithstanding that the subject of this article is honored with the name 
of the great Ulysses, yet its greatness is not all in its name. It contains an 
enterprising community of several thousand people, good soil, water, wood, 
stone, etc. It has the elements of wealth and consequent greatness within 
itself. The north fork of the Great Nemaha runs through the south part of 
the precinct, affording wood, water and a splendid mill site. 

The Burlington & Missouri River railroad runs through this portion of 
the precinct along the Nemaha Aalley. The company located the depot and 
station about a half mile north of what was known as the Dawson Mills, 
where one of the best of the smaller towns of the county now stands. 

The village is located about half way Ijetween Humboldt and Salem. 
The southwest portion of Grant precinct extends to and includes the south 
fork of the Nemaha in the vicinity of Miles' ranch. This ranch, or farm, 
embraces several thousand acres and was founded by Stephen B. Miles, Sr.. a 
wealthy man and one of the older citizens of the county, and is still owned 
intact by a .son, Joseph H. Miles, and his sons. Stephen and \\'arren. Mr. 
Miles has erected some of the best buildings of the county upon the ranch. 
The original owner, S. B. Miles, Sr., made his home nn this ranch for years 
and gave his personal attention to its development. There was for years in 
the earlier times a good store building containing an extensive stock of goods 
in this vicinity, the proprietor of which was Warren Cooper. 

This precinct contains a goodly supply of timber situated on the Nemaha 
also a good proportion of bottom and upland. The general features are much 
the same as in adjoining- townships, with a better quality and a greater (juan- 
tity of building stone. 

The land, for the most part, except along the water courses, was occu- 
pied as homesteads under the act of Congress, and these homesteads, in all 
instances have been converted into homes of substantial farmers. School 


houses have been built and schools are maintained in all the districts. The 
first settlements of the precinct were made along the streams, but extended 
rapidly to the high prairies or divides. 


There was a settlement emljracing a considerable number of families 
from the Emerald Isle established in this locality. It was at this settlement 
that a son of Erin was accosted on the day following the presidential election 
in November, 1868, by a bearer of returns from another precinct with "How 
did this preciiTct go?" Pat answered readily, "All right, to be shure." "Yes, 
but what do >ou call 'all right' "? "Dim-my-cratic, av coorse." "Well, what 
majority did you give?" "Ten majority for Grant, be jabers." The inter- 
rogator, thinking that Patrick was getting political matters "slightly mixed," 
passed on with his returns and an jncident of the election, which he thought 
would be worth repeating when he reached town. 

^^ ith the completion of the railroad and the increased facilities for trans- 
portation, this precinct like all others along the line of railwa}.-, received a 
new impetus in its development. 

The citizens looked forward with anxiety for the coming of the iron 
horse and in due time their desires were realized. 


Speiser townshi]i is in the extreme corner of the county and is one of 
the oldest townships of the county. In its earliest ])eriod it embraced almost 
the west third of the present county. The lands are, many of them, very 
fine ; the soil rich and well adapted- to the raising of western staples, and 
especial!}- wheat and corn, of which large quantities are annually produced. 

The south fork of the Nemaha with its tributaries, Easley creek. Four 
Mile and other small creeks afford an ample supply of water. It, like most 
of the western portion of the county is well supplied with all kinds of the 
best building stone. In the earlier years a quantity of good coal was suc- 
cessfully mined and supplied the farmers and the people at Humbohlt and 
surrounding to\\ns with am])le fuel. 

Among the earlv settlers and substantial farmers were: George Gird, 
at one time county commissioner : H. Holcombe, Hon. O. P. Dunning, S. M. 
Durvea, Peter and John Fankhauser, Jacob Hunzer. J. U. Hunzeker, David 
Speiser, Sr., for whom the township was named, and Thomas F. Brown and 


Christian Buljst. This precinct has more than kept pace with other portions 
of the county in settlement and general improvement. 

A large number of Germans and Swiss settled in this precinct along 
Four Mile and Dry Branch and the Xemaha, and by their industry and perse- 
verance have done much to develop this part of the county. 

Middleburg, on the south Xemaha, was the postoffice, presided over for 
many years by Uncle Jacob I'^rey, a pioneer, and where the citizens of Speiser 
received their mail. The office was in later years discontinued and the place 
known as 2\Iiddleburg is no more, except in name. 

The people of this precinct are blessed with a number of the best of 
country schools, which have always been in the hands of very competent 
instructors, and where the young idea is taught to ''shoot." 

Speiser has always been an important section of the county and the 
people residing there have in all the years, played a leading part in the affairs 
of the county. 


It was most fitting that one of the precincts of the county should bear 
the name of the great river which traverses and drains the county from one 
end to the other, the Great Nemaha river, mentioned by the first white men 
to explore the country, as they passed by on the Missouri and known to the 
Indians for centuries before. 

Ne-ma-ha is an Indian name and the word belongs to and is a part of 
the language of the Omaha Indians of this state. The tribe is now on a 
reservation north of the city of Omaha in this state and that city was named 
in their honor. 

Henry Fontenelle, a descendant of the early French Indian fur traders 
and related to the Omaha tribe of Indians, in his writings of the word 
Nemaha, says: "Ne-ma-ha": Name of Nemaha river, meaning "Omaha's 
river." From this it would seem that the prefix "Ne" before "maha" 
indicated the possessive, meaning "river of the Omahas." Whether this 
trilje of Indians ever had any connection with this part of the state is more 
than we are able to say, but from a perusal of the earliest maps obtainable, 
always will be found the name "Xemaha" in reference to the river so well 
known in Richardson county. 

Nemaha is one of the best watered townships in the count\ . The S<nith 
Fork of the X^emaha runs through the entire northern part of the precinct, 
and Honev, Rattlesnake, Easley, and Four Mile creeks all empty into the 


Nemaha from the south. Portions of the precinct afford very fine farming 
land, while some parts are rough, but all can be used for grazing. There is 
an abundance of stone in this vicinity, affording cheap and desirable ijuilding 

In the early days a flouring and grist mill and postoffice at Well's mills, 
accommodated the community of that part of the county with the staff of 
life and mail facilities. 

The Wells family of that precinct established the mills aliout i860 and 
were among the first settlers of that locality. David Barrow was a one-time 
proprietor of the mills. Hon. O. C. Jones was one of the early settlers of 
that region. There was a population in 1870 of about four hundred within 
the limits of the precinct, and about si.\t\- improved places or farms. 


The many hills, winding streams and sequestered valleys of Nemaha 
and Speiser precincts proved an incentive to the rugged and honest moun- 
taineers of Switzerland in the pioneer days, and many of them with their 
characteristic love of freedom and industry, settled among the hills and 
breaks of a wilderness between the Nemahas, where few of the native born 
would have cared to undertake the task of making homes. Most of the 
dauntless pioneers who first settled along the state line in these precincts 
have long since passed to their reward, leaving behind to the younger gen- 
eration the legacy of rich homes, nestling in sheltered valleys that would be 
the envy of an old world prince. 

Among the early settlers of this precinct were the Wittwer brothers, 
John and Gottlieb, soon to be followed by their other brothers, Frederick, 
David and Christian, and William Wrighton, who came in the late fifties. 
The farm homes at that time were few and far between. Middleburg ( in 
the edge of Speiser) was in full bloom as a town, with a sawmill owned 
by Peter Emeigh and a store run by a Mr. Tindale. The sawmill and store 
moved away and left nothing but a postoffice, which, with a town hall used 
for dancing and social entertainments, remained for years. The early set- 
tlers thought that the\- would always have all the range for cattle that the\ 
would need, but in a few years the range was fenced into well-improved 
farms. Salem was the nearest town, but two or three trips each year had to 
be made to St. Joseph for clothing and implements. During the year 1868 
the first school district of tlie precinct as organized three miles .s(|uare, known 


as district No. 70, or the "Rattlesnake District." This district has always 
remained as originally laid out. The residents of this district made a "bee" 
and built a log school house near its center. 

A subscription was taken up for the floor, doors and windows. The 
seats and desks were home-made. Charles Nelson taught the first school for 
twenty dollars per month and "board around." Twenty pupils were all that 
were enrolled. The first school board was composed of John Wittwer, Mr. 
Rodgers and William Wrighton. In 1879 the present house was built and 
furnished with all modern conveniences. The school population has grown 
until there has been as many as eighty in attendance and the teacher's wages 
have kept apace until fifty dollars is paid. 

In 1873 a church was organized in the old log school house, that has 
been well attended ever since, and during the summer of 1895 a new church, 
twenty-eight by forty-five feet, was built, which is known as the Reformed 

It is impossible at this time to give a complete and accurate list of the 
earlv Swiss pioneers of this precinct, but among those prominent and whom 
we now call to mind were, besides those enumerated : M. VonBergen, Julius 
Schmitt. Gottlieb, John and Fred Marmott, S. C. Duryea, John O. Stalder, 
Charles Dankmeyer and Frederick Feldman. 


The storv of the organization of Porter precinct is briefly told in the 
following minutes copied from the record of the commissioners court : 

June ist, 1861. Present: Thos. Mclntyre, C. S. Cornell and Levi 
Forbes, commissioners. 

The following petition was presented : 


Petition to organize and establish a Voting Precinct in Township Three 
range Fourteen signed by Twenty-six voters was presented to the Board of 
Commissioners, said voting place to be at the house of T. Workman and 
known as "Porter Precinct." all of which was granted by the Board. — 
From page 27 of Minute Book No. i of the records of the county clerk's 
office of Richardson countv. 



1870 1880 

Arago precinct, including Arago village (a) i.^45 888 

Arago village 364 154 

Barada precinct, including Barada village 886 1,207 

Barada village 70 

Falls City precinct, including Falls City village (b) 1,166 2,819 

Falls City village 607 1.583 

Franklin precinct 225 677 

Grant precinct 515 739 

Humboldt precinct, including Humboldt city 605 1,627 

Humboldt city 917 

Liberty precinct 506 685 

Muddy precinct 408 728 

Nemaha precinct 404 566 

Ohio precinct 622 921 

Porter precinct 219 546 

Rulo precinct, including Rulo village (b) 1.326 1.418 

Rulo village 611 673 

Saint Stephens precinct 601 484 

Salem precinct, including Salem village 681 1.035 

Salem village 3^4 473 

Speiser precinct 3?i^ ^^ 

Note. — (a) Since 1870, parts to Falls City and Rulo. (h) Since 1870, 
from part of Arago. 


1855 1856 i860 1870 T874 1875 1876 
299 532 2,385 9.780 15,000 15,000 I 1.3-7 

1877 1878 1879 1880 1890 1900 19 10 
12,223 12.509 13.433 15.031 16,700 19,774 17.774 


Villages incorporated bv special act of Territorial Legislature from 1855 
until the enactment of general incorporation laws in 1 864-69 : 


Archer Richardson county January 25, 1856 

Salem Richardson county Feljruary 10, 1857 

Rulo Richardson county Xoveml)er i. 1858 

St. Stephens Richardson county November 3, 1858 

Arago Richardsdu county January 10. i860 

Falls City Ricliardson county January 13. i860 

Reference to the charters of these cities discloses the fact that authority 
was jjenerally vested in the city council, consisting of a mayor and three 
aldermen ; a recorder, assessor, marshal and treasurer, all electixe officers 
being chosen for a term of one year, b\' the voters of the entire \illage, the 
powers of these officers iieiug s]jecified in detail. The maxnr was ex-officio 
police judge and the marshal, the officer of the court. The powers conferred 
were regulation of health, order licensing of various business and entertain- 
ments by an occupation tax, establishing of streets and alleys, and the fixing 
of penalties for violation, b'unds were raised by selling at public auction by 
the marshal of lots upon which delinquent taxes were due and deeds for 
same were executed by the marshal or mayor. Under such charters the city 
government was allowed ' to lx)rrow money for any purpose and in any 
amount, when authorized to do so b\- a two-thirds majority of the legal voters 
assembled in a regularly notified town meeting. (General incorporation acts 
passed by the state Legislature in 1864 and 1869 made an end of the special 
legislation granting municii)al charters to Nebraska cities and villages. 
While succeeding .sessions of the Legislature have made many changes in 
the laws, yet the early plan of reposing authority in the ma\or and council 
has largely remained. 


Town. Date. .Acres. 

.Salem .May 22. 1858 200 

Xemaha I'alls June 23, [858 ^00.53 

Geneva July 20. 1858 320 

Falls City \ug. 16. 1858 320 

.\rchcr l'"eb. 25. 183c) -5.>97 

LIST OF row xs, crriKs .\xi) villages ix i86(). 

.Vanie. SectioiL Township. Range. 

.\thens 17 2 X. l-:ast of 6th p. ul 

.\rago 12 2 .\. i':ast of 6tb p. UL 


Name. Section. Township. Range. 

Archer i i X. East of 6th p. ni. 

Dawson's Mill 22 2 X- East of 6th p. ni. 

Elmore 20 2 X. East (if 6th p. m. 

Falls City 10 i X. East of 6th p. m. 

Humboldt 3 2 X'. East of 6th p. m. 

Long Branch 20 3 N. East of 6th p. m. 

Middleburg 25 i X. East of 6th p. m. 

Miles' Ranch 33 2 X^. East of 6th p. m. 

Mills I I X. East of 6th p. m. 

Monond 19 2 X. of 6th p. m. 

Monterey 17 3 X. East of 6th p. m. 

Nohart 34 i X. East of 6th p. m. 

St. Stephens i 2 X. East of 6th p. m. 

Salem 3 i X. East of 6th p. m. 

Wells 31 2 X. East of 6th p. m. 

Williamsville 30 3 X\ East of 6th p. m. 


Xame. iQio 1900 1890 1880 1870 i860 

Arago 154 3^4 I93 

Barada village . 118 147 70 886* 

Dawson village 340 },22 153 

Falls City 3.253 3,022 2,102 1,583 607 473 

Franklin 2},-/ 

Hnmboidt city 1,176 1,218 1,114 91/ 605* 

Xoraville village 93 

Preston village 122 149 

Rulo village 661 877 786 673 611 440 

St. Stephens 6or'^ 404 

Salem ,^91 533 .S04 47.i 304 ''>94 

Shubert village 311 303 

Speiser 394 

Stella village 430 49'*^^ 399 

\ erdon village 406 340 353 

^■M'opulatiou of precinct or village not separated by census. 



Statement showing bonded indebtedness on ist day of October, 191. 

City and 




? 1 26, 500.00 




The total population of Richardson county, according to the 1910 census, 
is 17,448, of which 81.3 per cent is reported as rural. The density of the 
population is given as twenty-six per square mile. The rural population is 
uniformly distributed throughout the county. There has been a slight de- 
crease in the population since 1900. 

Falls City, the county seat, with a reported population of 3,255, is 
located in the southeastern section at a junction of two railroads, and is 
a distributing point for farm implements and supplies. Humboldt, Rulo, 
Stella, Verdon, Salem, Preston, Dawson, and Shubert are other towns of 
local importance. Straussville is a, railroad point. Barada and Nim City 
are small inland towns. 

Richardson county is well supplied with railroads, few points being- 
more than nine miles from a railroad station, except in the northeastern 
part of the county, where the greatest distance is about thirteen miles. The 
Missouri Pacific (Omaha and Kansas City line), crosses the county from 
north to south, giving direct connections with Omaha and Kansas City. The 
main line of the Chicago, Burlington & Ouincy from Denver to Kansas 
City crosses from east to west, and gives direct access to the markets of 
Lincoln, Denver, and Kansas City. The Nebraska City line of the same 
system extends northward from Salem and terminates at Nebraska City. 
From Rulo the Atchison and Rulo branch extends southeastward into Kan- 
sas. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific (Horton branch) tnuches the 
extreme southwestern corner of the county. 

There are many excellent graded roads through the county, including 
the Omaha-Kansas City highway. Most of the roads follow section or 
land lines. All the roads are of earth, and little attention is given to the 
minor roads. The more important highways are dragged as .soon as the 
ground permits after each train. There are no toll roads. 

Kansas City. St. Joseph, and Omaha constitute the principal markets 


for the county. Some dairy products are shipped to Lincohi. Most of the 

cattle are shipped to St. Joseph and Kansas City, and some to Omaha. In 

the local towns there is a small demand for dairy products, berries, and 

Rural mail delivery and telephone lines reach practically all parts of 
the county. Most of the public schools are well kept, and are accessible 
to all communities. 

Incorporation of Towns and Precincts. 


Taken from mintues of board of county commissioners of Richardson 
county, Xebraska Territory, special term, August i6, 1858: 

"Xow comes into open court H. Conklin, David W. Thomas, Lafayette 
Spears, H. I. Vandal and twenty-three others citizens of the town of Winne- 
bago in said county and present their petition praying for the incorpora- 
tion of said town and that a police be established for their regulation and 
go\erament under the name and style of the Town of Winnebago which 
petition is in the following words towit : 

"To the Honorable the County Commissioners of Richardson County, 
X'ebraska Territory. 

"The undersigned petitioners residents and taxables of the town of 
Winnebago, Richardson county, N. T. respectfully represent that the said 
town is located on the west bank of the Missouri river in said county of 
Richardson that the said Town has been well and accurately surveyed and 
the lots, streets, alleys, be named numbered and marked and staked off 
according to law and that the plat of the official survey duly certified and 
acknowledged is a correct representation of the said town. A number of 
buildings in the said town have been completed and are now occupied by 
bonified settlers therein, and others are now in prospect of erection. We 
therefore pray that the town may be incorporated and a police established 
for the government and regulation thereof and they will pray, etc. 

"(Signed.) H. Conklin, Da\id W. Thomas, Lafayette Spears and 


"The court Ijeing satisfied that a majority of the taxable inhabitants 
of said town ha\e signed said petition it is therefore ordered ami declared 
by said court that all the territory within the geographical limits of said 


town as sliown and tlesignated 1j\' said plat of said town be and the same 
is declared a town by the name and style of the town of Winnebago; that 
said town is made a body corporate and politic and is vested with all the 
powers and attributes of a municipal corporation under and by virtue by 
an act of a legislative assembly of the 'i^rritory of Nebraska, approved 
January 25th, 1856, and it is further ordered by the court that Joseph Pecotte, 
Paul Pecotte, Levi Dodge, Lewis Philips and Bruno Connoyer Ije and 
are hereby appointed Trustees to Organize the First Municipal Government 
for said town and to hold said office under their successors are elected and 


The first mention found in the records of the county commissioners 
about that tract of land now comprising what is known as Humboldt town- 
ship was in a petition presented to a meeting of the commissioners by O. J. 
Tinker, at their meeting in April, 1858, which was as follows: 

"A petition was presented signed by O. J. Tinker and Thirty-Three 
others praying that a precinct be formed and established composed of tlie 
following territory to-wit : 

"Township No. 3 and the North 14 of Town 2, North of Range 13 
East and Township 3 North of Range 14 East, and that Beneilict AIc.\tlee 
be appointed to the office of Justice of the Peace aiid A. B. Young and 
Daniel Shadley be appointed Constables in said Precinct. Ordered that said 
Precinct be thus established and certificates of appointment and commis- 
sion be issued in accordance with said petition." No name was mentioned 
for said precinct. 


On Tuesday morning at 9 o'clock on .\pril 6, 1858. the county commis- 
sioners received the following petition : 

"A petition was presented signed b>- William R. Cain and Thirty- 
Eight others praying for the establishment of a voting precinct with St. 
Stephen for the voting ground. Ordered that St. Stephen Precinct Xo. 5 
be established with the following boundaries to-wit: 

"Beginning at a point on the Missouri River where the North line 
of Richardson county intersects the same; Thence west along said line to the 
N. W. corner (^f Township No. 3 North of Range No. 17 E. Thence 


South along the Hne dividing Ranges 17 & 16 to the South west corner of 
Section No. 18 in Township No. 2 N. of Range No. 17 E. Thence east 
along said section line to the Missouri river; Thence up the middle of the 
main channel of the Missouri river to the place of beginning; and that St. 
Stephen be made the place of voting therein. It is further ordered that 
John McFarland be appointed to the office of Justice of the Peace and 
Henry R. Price be appointed to the office of Constable for said Precinct." 

From records of county commissioners in session at Saleiu. Nebraska 
Territory — Tuesday morning, 9 o'clock, July 6, 1858: 

The Honorable the County Court met pursuant to adjournment, Arnett 
Roberts and Joseph Yount present and acting Commissioners. 

Incorporation of the town of Geneva. Now comes into open court 
Joseph Embody, Henry Hill, I. W. Davis and others of the Town of 
Geneva in said county and file their petition to be incorporated under the 
name and style of the Town of Gene\a, which petition reads in the words 
following : 

"We the undersigiied citizens and petitioners of the Town of Geneva 
pray that our Honorable Commissioners of the County of Richardson that 
we may be corporated and a place established for their local government. 
We wish to be incorporated by the name of Geneva. Geneva is situated 
on the Northeast Quarter of Section 22 and the Southwest Quarter of 
Section No. 15, Township No. 2 Range No. 15 East of the 6th Principal 
Meridian, Richardson County, Nebraska Territory. 

"(Signed) Joseph Embody, Henry Hill, I. A\'. Davis, and others." 

The prayer of the petitioners was immediately granted, vested with all 
the powers under and b}' virtue of an act of the Legislature of the Territory 
of Nebraska, apporved January 25, 1856, and the following were appointed 
as trustees of the village : Joseph Embody, Henry Hill, Francis M. May. 
I. W. Davis and Henry Pilcher, to serve until their successors were duly 
elected and qualified. 


From records of commissioners of Richardson county, Nebraska Ter- 
ritory, in session at Salem, June 7, 1858: 

June Term County Court. June 7th, 1838. 

"At a special meeting of the Board of County Commissioners of Rich- 


ardson County, Nebraska Territory, being held at the usual place of holding 
court in the Town of Salem, on Monday the /th day of June A. D. 1858, 
Present Joseph Yount and Arnett Roberts, Commissioners. 

"Being a petition constitution presented for the Town of Nemaha Falls. 
Now come in open court. A. I. Deshozo, E. Hamilton. S. T. E. Willis, A. W. 
Barnes, Henry Warnecke, I. Hamilton and others of the town of Nemaha 
Falls in said county, prayer of their petition to be incorporated under the 
name and style of the Town of Nemaha Falls." 


From minutes of the board of county commissioners meeting at Salem, 
Nebraska Territory, April 6, 1858: 

"Ordered that the Boundaries of Rulo Precinct Number Four be estab- 
lished as Follows : Beginning at a Point on the Missouri River where the 
section line dividing Sections 18 and 19 in Township No. 2 North of 
Range No. 18 intersects the same; thence west along said line to the center 
of Township No. 2, North of Range No. 17 E. Thence South along the 
section line to the Great Nemaha River ; Thence down the main channel of the 
Great Nemaha river to the Missouri river; Thence up the middle of tlie 
main channel of the Missouri river to the place of beginning, and that tlie 
town of Rulo be the voting place therein." 


In almost every new county opened for settlement there are organized 
many new towns which, in the minds of the promoters, are destined to 
become famous. There are usually multitudes of reasons why each town 
should become a metropolis, but these reasons are usually apparent only to 
the minds of the promoters. 

.\rcher, our first county seat, was the most important of such little 
towns in the early days of this county. That it did not prosper and remain 
the county seat is due not so much to lack of interest on the part of the people 
or to the purely visionary qualifications as seen by the promoters, as to the 
Territorial Legislature which, in granting the land for a townsite, located 
it upon what was thought to be the Half-Breed Indian Reservation. 

Early in 1855 a grant for a county-seat townsite was secured through 
the efl'orts of Col. Neil J. Sharp, who had been elected to the Legislature at 
the first election held in the territory. December 12, 1855. This tract was 


on the east side of the .Miuldy, about three and one-half miles northeast of 
the present site of Falls City, in section Xo. 36, township No. 2, north of 
range No. 16, in what is now known as Ohio township, and from the town- 
site Falls City is easily visible. In the summer of 1855 a townsite company 
was organized. Among those taking an active part in starting the new town 
were John C. Miller, the father of Mrs. Margaret Maddox, at present (191 /J 
a resident of Falls City; Colonel Sharp. AM D. Kirk, Huston Xuckols, 
Ambrose Shellcx- and Robert Archer, for whom the town was named. The 
affairs of the count} were then in the hands of county officers appointed by 
Acting-Governor Cuming during the previous winter and the offices were 
purely nominal. The first county election was held in Xovember, 1855, when 
John C. Miller was elected probate judge: Col. Neil J'. Sharp, clerk and reg- 
ister of deeds : M G. McMullin, sheriff, and, it is believed, Ambrose Shelley, 
or Isaac Crook, as treasurer. 


Wilson AL Maddox and Margaret A. Miller, the daughter of Judge John 
C. Miller, were the first couple married after the county seat was established 
at Archer, and the thirtl couple to be married in the county. Licenses were 
not required then, but marriages were recorded by the clerk and certificates 
issued by the judge and officiating minister, if one was present. The counts- 
seat became the Gretna Green of Kansas couples, where a license and age 
limit were not observed. For a few years the present age limit and license 
were not required in this territory. 

The little village seemed to thri\e wonderfull\- for a new town in a 
sparsely settled country and all went well until early in January, 1856. when 
it became known that I)}- \irtue of an early treaty the town was on the half- 
breed lands. This treaty was made in 1840. when the Omahas, Otoes and 
lowas, who also represented the Santie and Yankton bands of Sioux, asked 
that a tract of land be set aside for their half-breeds or mixed-bloods. Will- 
iam Clark, superintendent of Indian affairs and Willoughby Morgan acted 
for the government, .\mong the rivers designated in this treaty as bound- 
aries of the half-breed lands are the Big or Great Ne-mo-haw and Little 
Xe-mo-haw, which afterwards become known as the Nemahas. \\'hat a pity 
the old Indian names and their true meanings could not lie retained. 

The first survey, which pmved incorrect, did not include Archer. Init 
liefore it wa^^ hardl)- lucated. a new line was run and though it added little to 
the half-breed lands, it took in the townsite. It was the death warrant of 


tlie county scat, though numerous efforts were made to save it. Aljel D. 
Kirk, prominent here at that time, was sent to Washington, D. C. but his 
efforts were of no avail. 1 1on. KUner S. Dundy, then a young man without 
money or renown, Init with unliounded ambition, had settled at Archer and 
took up the light for the villagers and settlers, whose claims laid in the con- 
demnefl tract. He entered into an agreement with them that for two per 
cent of the assessed \alue of their property he would go to Washington and 
tr\- to save their lands. Right well, too, did he plead their cause, for he suc- 
ceeded in getting an act through Congress by which the settlers were per- 
mitted to retain the lands they had started to improve. Tn many cases the 
settlers would have been better off fmanciall)- to have let their claims revert 
to the government, moved their buildings and taken other claims; but most 
of the people had a horror of getting away from the river and the timljer 
along its banks, out upon the open prairie. 


It might truthfull) be stated that right here was where Judge Dundy 
laitl the foundation of his success of later years. When he landed at Archer 
his sole possessions were die clothes on his l)ack; a limited — very limited — 
nun-.ber of law books in a "satchel", and a fiddle. Clients were few, fees 
fewer and small, when they could be collected at all, and Dundy's only equip- 
ments for life at that time were, a fine education, a cheerful disposition, 
coupled with a keen sense of humor, faith in tlie new country, amljition to 
succeed, assets that did not balance well against dollars when pay-day rolled 
around — but the stuff that makes a man. 

Judge Dundy w^as in every sense a social favorite in the settlement. 
Alanv a dance at the hotel in Archer was arranged by him and he seemed 
happiest when doing the fiddling. At every social gathering, Dundy, the 
future federal judge at Omaha, and his fiddle were on hand. He is remem- 
bered in later years as a white-haired but distinguished old man. still fiddling, 
alwavs coming down with his heel to mark the time and was watched with 
as much admiration perhaps as are the noted violinists of the present day. 

Hut, back to .Archer. As soon as it became evident that the townsite 
a.uM not be saved, many other towns were started. Falls City was backed 
bv most of the Archer residents and many buildings were moved there from 
the old town. The house now owned by I'" red Keller, at the corner of 
Xineteenth and Stone streets in block No. 2j. was a two-story house built 


and owned by the Goldsberrys at Archer. Perhaps there were others, but 
they were destroyed by earh-day fires. 

Rulo became prominent because of river advantages; Salem, because of 
its central location and because in the meantime several settlers, considered 
wealthy in those days, had located there. All the new towns wanted the 
county seat and the contest which finally settled between Falls City and Salem 
was long and bitter, extending over a period of nearly seventeen years, result- 
ing in an enmity which has never been entirely overcome in many instances. 

Considerable time elapsed before Archer was entirely extinct. Event- 
ually, all the town lots and adjoining land were bought up by Wilson M. 
Maddox and Ijecame a part of the old Maddox farm across the Muddy, now 
owned by Benjamin Poteet. 

The old Archer cemetery still exists, though the remains of the first set- 
tlers who were buried there, have in many cases been removed to other ceme- 
teries. But many were left and the old-time headstones mark not only 
the graves of the loved ones, pioneers young and old, but the graves of hopes 
and ambitions and the grave of the first county seat of Richardson county. 


The following petition bearing the date of January 19, 1859, was pre- 
sented to the county commissioners at Salem, and the following copy of same 
is taken from the minutes of the board : 

"To the Honorable the County Commissioners of Richardson County. 

"Your Petitioners, residents and legal voters of the town of Archer, Rich- 
ardson County, respectfully pray your Honorable body to Incorporate the 
said Town of Archer and appoint Five Trustees to form and constitute the 
corporate authorities of the said town under and by Notice of the statute 
in such cases made and provided and they will pray. 

Archer, 19th January, 1859. 

"E. S. Dundy, D. F. Thompson, Jolin P. W'elty. J. C. Miller. John S. 
Skaggs, Michael Skaggs." 

The prayer of the petition was granted by the board on January 27, 1859. 

The plat of Archer was filed for record on July 4, 1855. The streets 
were named for the founders of the town, Trammel, \\'^hite. Miller, Sharpe, 
Shelley, Kirk, Hare, Crook, and Howard. There were one hundred blocks 
in the town with an open square in center for court house. 

The following taken from pages 50 to 53 of "Deed Record." .\. B, 



and D, in the register of deeds office of Richardson county, shows recorded 
plat of Archer as follows : 

Plat of Archer, Richardson County, Nebraska Territory, 1855. 
"We the undersigned proprietors of the Town of Archer, Richardson 
County, Nebraska Territory, have caused to be surveyed and platted the town 
of Archer and have set apart the claim upon which the same is located for 
that purpose with lots, streets and alleys with out lots and reservations as 
designated upon the within platte. July 4th, 1855." 

A. D. Kirk, 
John C. Miller, 
Ambrose Shelley, 
N. J. Sharp. 

Territory of Nebraska, County of Richardson, ss. 

On the loth day of July personally appeared before me Ambrose Shelley, 
A. D. Kirk, John C. Miller, and N. J. Sharp known to me to be the identical 
persons whose names appear to the foregoing instrument and acknowledged 
the same to be their voluntary act and deed for the purpose therein set 

William Trammel, Justice of the Peace. 

Territory of Nebraska, County of Richardson, ss. 

I, Christian Bobst hereby certify that I have examined the within sur- 
vey and platte of the town of Archer and believing that the requirements 
of the law has been substantially complied with by the owners of the claim 
upon which the same is located do hereby direct the same to be placed upon 

Christian Bobst, Judge of Probate. 
July loth, A. D. 1855. 

All lots are 132 feet Nortli & South by 66 feet East and West. Out 
lots show their own size. All streets are 66 feet wide except Hickory and 
Sharp which are 99 feet wide. All alleys are i6i/< feet wide. Lots on the 
East and West side of the Square are reserved but are the same size of 
others. All lines are run east and west and North and South at a varia- 
tion north 10', 30" East. I hereby certify that the within platte of the Town 
of Archer is surveyed as thereon set forth and that the same is correct with 
the exceptions of a few Blocks. July 9th, 1855. 

N. J. Sharp, Surveyor. 


.\ line in Block jf) shows the original purchase. Approved and filed the 
loth day of July, A. D. 1855. 

C. BoBST, Judge of Probate. 
I'^iled for recortl the 10th day of July, 1855. 

X. J. Sharp, Register of Deeds. 
Taken from page 6 of "Deed Record," A, B and D of records of regis- 
ter of deeds office, Richardson county. 

Ambrose Shelley, et al., to Town of Archer. 

Articles of association Archer Townsite Company made and entered into 
the 14th day of June A. D., 1855, by and between Ambrose Shelley, John 
C. Miller, A. D. Kirk, and N. J. Sharp, all of the County of Richardson. 
Territory of Nebraska, the object and purpose of this association is and shall 
be to purchase claims for the purpose of establishing the Town of Archer, 
the Seat of Justice, for the County of Richardson, Nebraska Territory, and 
deal in town lots and lands, in said county. The said Town of Archer is 
to be Located upon the prairie tract of land at a stake about 30 rods East 
of the South East Corner of a Piece of Brakeing or plowed land extending 
80 rods South, east North and west to be 160 rods square said stake being 
in the center which is together with the remainder the claim now occupied 
by the said Shelley and known as the M inter Claim and the claim now owned 
by P. Pollard embracing the mill site near the Indian Ford and Stone Druary 
(320) acres on the Muddy Creek the whole containing (600) acres with 
the improvements thereon are hereby conveyed by the said Shelley to the 
said company for and in consideration of the sum of five hundred and fifty 
dollars which sum is to be paid as per agreement. 

Ambrose Shelley. 
(Signed) John C. Miller. 
A. D. Kirk. 
N. J. Sharp. 
Recorded July 2nd, 1855. 

County Commissioners met according to law, November 24, 1856. the 
whole Board being present and the following business was transacted. Viz : 
Account of Jacob Cofifman for acting as Clerk of election McMahan's Precinct 
at the November election of 1856 allowed. $1.50. 

C. McDonald Acct. for acting as Clerk of Election in Pawnee County 
at the -Vugust election of 1856 — allowed. $1.50. 


N. J. Sharp for extra services rendered as Register of Deeds for tlie 
years 1855 and 1856 allowed, $50.00. 
Court Adjourned. 


The County Commissioners met according to law. January 5th. 1857, the 
whole Board being present. The following business was transacted : Peti- 
tion of Citizens of McMahan's Precinct for the Appointment of a Justice 
of the Peace for said Precinct and recommended J. N. Johnson be appointed. 

J. N. Johnson was appointed. Justice of the Peace for McMahan's Pre- 
cinct. Account of F. L. Goldsbury presented and allowed for Canvassing 
election Pawnee County August 25th, 1856. $1.50. 

Acct. of G. W. Miller, allowed $3.15. 

Acct. of J. P. Weltz, allowed $1.50. 

The oath of Office was administered to J. N. Johnson. 

F. L. Goldsbury, County Clerk. 


Salem, N. T., April 6th, 1857. 
County Commissioners did not appear e.xcept Arnett Roberts, nothing 
done. Adjourned till Court in Course. 

F. L. Goldsbury, County Clerk. 

By Isham Reavis. 

On a bright Sunday afternoon last summer, 18 — , while John W. Dor- 
rington, of Yuma, Arizona, an old-timer in Falls City, was here on a visit. 
he proposed that we go out to Archer, that is to say, where it once stood, 
and take a look at the old place. It was agreed and we went. There 
were four of us; three have seen the town in its decadency, the other had 
seen only its abandoned site, and the cemetery over the ravine to the north, 
in which many of its early settlers lie buried. There is nothing in the pros- 
pect suggestive of the fact that a town of three hundred people or more ever 
stood there or that it had ever been anything but the cornfield it now is. 

The cemetery mentioned is now Archer; the once living \illage has 
vanished, and is but a memory. 

Most people have an unexplainable desire to visit a graveyard, and tlie 


party that went over on that beautiful Sunday afternoon were no exception 
to the rule. 

I had in mind the fear that the place might have been neglected and 
become overgrown with weeds and underbrush. Such things happen some- 
times to these places, especially where they are isolated from a town and 
left for whoever may be willing, to give them attention and care. In this 
case I was agreeably disappointed in my expectations. 

We found the cemetery in good presentable order, finely located on 
grounds gently sloping to the west and south, with a thick covering of 
grass over which the lawn mower had recently passed : there was no sign 
of neglect anywhere, but just the reverse. 

What interested me most was the community of the dead who lie buried 
there. Some have been there — two to my knowledge — for more than half 
a century. Dr. B. S. Hutchins was one, McMullen the other. Doctor 
Hutchins died in the summer or fall of 1858. I never met him but once, and 
then I knew he was going slowly down to his grave, with that fell disease, 
consumption. He left a little daughter, ten or eleven years old. who grew 
to womanhood in the county and is with us yet, the wife of our respected 
townsman, F. M. Harlow. 

Passing from one gravestone to another, I found that I had known 
all those people when in life, and I regret to say, though I have lived in 
the near vicinity of this out-of-the-way God's acre for more than fifty 
years, that was my first visit to it. It was like a revival of old acquaintance, 
going among those silent heralils, each announcing the resting-place of some- 
one I had known in the days of yore : each one of them as I read the names 
of the gravestones, w^as present to my mental \isi()n, as I last saw him or 
her in life, and the time in which they lived. 

W'ith Judge Miller and Doctor Hutchins, I saw the spreading, vacant 
prairie again, and the crumbling town they helped to build. The old, van- 
ished life and surroundings came back td me like ghnstly xisitations, and 
so with all the others. 

.\ little to the west on the south side of die creek, is the old camp 
meeting ground, where the pious Alethodists of Archer and surrounding 
countrv used to repair exery \ear to worship God in one of His first temples, 
according to the poet, a ijeautiful grove of }Oung timber, but that, too, is 
gone. Without the grove the camping ground could not be located, or at 
least we could not do it, and so that, with the shadowy congregation that 
worshipped there in the long ago, have become mere misty and confused 



We finally stood on the spot wliere the town once was. A plowshare 
had passed over it and in all the wide expanse about us, there was nothing 
that even whispered of the times when a bustling and energetic people li\ed 
there, except the graves of some of their dead. 

But what of the others of the three hundred or more ( and that was a 
considerable population for a town in those days), who inhabited, hoped, 
and wrought here? Gone, in their several and restless wanderings about 
the world and out of it, with only the two ladies I ha\e mentioned above, 
remaining. The story of Archer is both pathetic and tragic. 

By Miss Eunice Haskii 

Ancient history of Stella chronicles that the town had its beginning 
when, in August, 1881, a public meeting was held at the Muddy school 
house in the Tynan- Vandeventer district, where farmers of this locality 
and business men from Falls City discussed the proposition of trying to 
get a railroad and locate a new town at this point. A proposition was 
submitted to the Missouri Pacific Company and a few weeks later the pre- 
liminary survey for a road to run from Hiawatha to Omaha was made. 
Grading was begun September 6, and finished as far as Stella, November 
25. The next month the track was laid and a switch put in. On Saturday. 
January 7. 1882, the station building was raised. From a mere switch 
Stella began to spread out, and in the fall of the same year there were 
twenty-five business firms in the new town. One thing necessary to the 
existence of the place was a postoffice and this was moved bodily to Stella 
from Dorrington, a star route office which stood on the corners one and 
a half miles west. 

The first house erected in Stella belonged to D(ictor Livingston and 
occupied a prominent position in the middle of what is now Alain street. 
It was first built near the present site of the Lutheran church, hut when 
the streets were laid out it was moved south onto a lot near the Christian 
church. The house was struck by lightning and burned in April, 1S8-'. .Mrs. 
Livingston was killed by the same bolt. 

The pioneer merchants of Stella were Moore & Higgins, Graham & 
l^aslev and Hull & Coldren. John Higgins started the creamery and Xutter 
& Knapp were the first stock buyers, Metzger & Fisher the first millers. 


Nearly all the first stores were located on Second street, which runs south 
of the lumber yard, but as the town grew it became evident that Main 
street, which runs lengthwise of the ridge on which the town is built, was 
a much better location for business houses, and the first merchants either 
moved their buildings or built new ones on that street. 

The village of Stella was incorporated in 1882 and the first village 
board consisted of L. G. Ciphers, chairman ; A. Graham, Sol. Jameson, 
John Higgins and G. M. Gates. C. M. Shepherd was clerk and George 
Smith, marshal, all of whom are dead or moved away long ago. Mr. Gates 
entered the ministry; he resides at University Place, and the past two years 
has preached at the Methodist church in Stella, on alternate Sundays. 

Tlie school district was organized in October, 1882. H. D. Weller 
was moderator; T. W. Moore, director; L. F. Quint, treasurer. Like the 
village officers, all are dead, or moved away. The first settlers in the town 
sent their children to the country to attend Muddy school in the Tynan- 
\'andeventer district, but in those days the Muddy school building was 
nearer town than now — located near the J. L. Hay's home, where D. S. Hinds 
now lives. 


The first school in Stella was begun in July. 1884, in the Ferguson 
& Coldren hall, and continued with but one week's vacation until the next 
June. This hall was then located on the corner, east of the lumber yard. 
Later, it was moved to Main street, on the corner north of J^Iartin's store, 
and there it was burned with several other buildings in the spring of 1908. 
The wife of the Rev. G. M. Gates was the first teacher. 

.\ school house was built in 1884, on the hill east of town, on the site 
now occupied by C. M. Harrison's bungalow. This school building burned 
in the spring of 1889, and the remaining six weeks of the term were taught 
Ijy the principal and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Lawson, as a private 
school in the Christian church. 

.\. new building was erected on the site of the burned building, and 
school opened in it in November, 1889. In 1898, the school became so 
crowded that more space was necessary, and a school building was erected 
for the primary department. In 1914 this school building was converted 
into a residence by .\lfred Shellenbarger. 

In June, 191 3, bonds were voted for a new building, and earl\- in 
T914, it was readv for occupancy, and "the bell on the hill" called fi>r the 
last time. The new school building is modem, and with equipment and 


campus, has an approximate valuation of $20,000. The location is at the 
north end of Main street. Seven teachers are employed for the twelve 
grades. R. A. Clark is president of the school board; ]\Irs. I. L. Callison, 
secretary, and E. C. Roberts, treasurer. The other membe*-,. are Mrs. Fred 
Gilbert, J. F. Folly and J. F. Weddle. Graduates of the school have reorgan- 
ized the alumni, and are endeavoring to build a strong society. 


The Baptist church at Prairie Union was the first religious organiza- 
tion in this part of the county. It was organized March 3, 1867. Within 
the corporation of Stella the Methodists are the oldest organization and 
they began the erection of their church in October, 1882. The edifice was 
dedicated on Sunday, August 26, 1883, and the first pastor was Rev. G. W. 
Southwell. The next denomination to establish a church in Stella was the 
Christian, whose building was dedicated November 25, 1883. The church 
was organized by Rev. R. C. Barrow, state evangelist. The Lutherans 
organized their church here in March, 1884, and the first minister was Rev. 
J. Vy. Kimmel. The Baptist church of Stella, was organized on March 
19, 1891. This church is modern in its construction, and on July 15, 1917, 
held dedicatory services for the completion of a new modern basement under 
the entire building. The Lutheran and Methodist churches each have par- 

The first flouring-mills were built in 1882 and were owned and operated 
by Metzger & Fisher. In 1887 the Metzger & Clark mill burned, a loss 
that was a great blow not only to the owners but to the community. .V 
new mill was built, however, with the finest of improved machinery and in 
1896 this, too, was burned. Jameson Brothers and the Clarks were among 
those interested in this mill. 

The first elevator in Stella was erected by JamesiMi Brothers in 1882, 
and for five years they merely bought and sold grain. In 1888 they enlarged 
their plant by adding machinery' for making corn meal. On April 30, 1889, 
their plant was destroyed by fire, but they rebuilt immediately on the same 
site and moved into their new quarters in July, 1889. Three years later 
this mill was sold to the Stella Grain Company and was run as a Farmers 
Mutual Elevator for two years. 

Then, Jameson Brothers went into a stock company known as the 
Stella Corn Meal Mills, and a six-hundred-barrel mill was built at a cost 
of $11,000. This mill (burned in 1896), was closed on account of the 


depression of Inisiness in 1894, and Jameson Brodiers leased tlieir former 
building from the Stella Grain Company, and operated it until they built 
a flour and cnrn meal mill in 1899. This new mill had a capacity of three 
hundred barrels, and cost $8,000. About 1902, Jameson Brothers dissolved 
]jartnership. The mill was dismantled about 1905, and part of the ma- 
chinery shipjied away. Henry Brenner is now the owner of the building, 
which he uses fi)r a grain elevator, and which also houses the electric light 
plant. John .\. Mayer owns and manages the other grain elevator in Stella. 
In iHHj. Stella boasted a waterworks. A reservoir was Iniilt on Main 
street, where now stands the Baptist church. Pipes were laid and water 
was served to patrons of the works. The old creamery building on the hill 
east of town, once did a flourishing business here. It finallv passed out of 
usefulness for lack of an active manager. 


Fire, at dift'erent times, has wrought great destruction in the business 
part of Stella. In 1888, several buildings were burned on the corner where 
The Press ofiice now stands. Ten years afterward several buildings on the 
solid business blocks on the west side of Main street were burned, and in 
1903 almost all the east side went up in one smoke. 

Stella has a good opera house, erected in 1898 by a stock company — 
now owned by R. .\. Clark and managed by A. E. CambUn. The Stella 
Telephone Company was organized in 1899, ''^"'^' ser\-es both Stella and 
Shubert, with a central station at each town. The lines of the company 
extend east as far as the Missouri river. In all, about .seven hundred patrons 
are served. 

About i8gy, an electric light, heat and in)wer company was granted a 
franchise. In 1907, John H. Brenner ol)tained this franchise, installed a 
plant, and in the spring of 1908 Stella was electric lighted. In a few years 
transmission lines were built and Shubert supplied with current fron> Stella. 
In March, 1916, an accident happened to some of the machinery at the light 
plant, and the Ihenners <lid not care to go to the e.xi)ense of replacing it. 
In the fall, they dispo.sed of their plant to the Nebraska Cas and I-'lectric 
Com[)any. of Cle\e!and. ( )hio, with \\'estern headquarters at Omaha. By 
January, \')\J. the new owners had rehabilitated the plant and again Stella 
and Shubert l>ecanie electric lighted. 

Stella has .s])lendi(] sidewalks of brick or cement. bVom the new school 
building, or the home of U. .\. I'lark. in the extreme north part of the 


town, to the Stella cemetery gate, a mile awav, there is a continuous walk 
of brick or cement. The cement walk from town to the Stella cemetery, 
with a bridge of cement and iron across the little stream in the east part 
of town, is one of the big achievements of the community within the past 
few years, at a cost of considerably more than a thousand dollars. 

At the time this history is written, July, 191 7. Stella and vicinity are 
actively engaged in Red Cross work, and nearly two thousand dollars in 
money has been subscribed. The officers of the Stella Red Cross auxiliary 
are R. A. Clark, president; Dick Curtis, vice-president: ]\Iiss Lucile Harris, 
secretary, and J- M. Wright, treasurer. 


The Ladies' Research Club, organized March 13, 1896, has taken a 
leading part and has been a tremendous force for good in the community 
for more than twenty years. This club has far outgrown the original pur- 
pose of organization, which was to study history and literature. The club 
has earned money in various ways to be used for public purposes, such 
as the improvement of the city park. Mrs. A. W. Montgomery is president. 

The Ladies' Auxiliary of the Stella Cemetery Association has done 
nobly during the ten years of its existence. During that time the Stella 
cem.etery has been changed from an unkept place to a thing of beauty ; 
various improvements and conveniences added to the cemetery: strong, 
attractive front entrance gates built, and the cement walk with bridge, 
made between town and cemetery. Mrs. Angeline Raper is president. Each 
of the four churches has strong, active women's societies, each doing a 
good work. Various lodges and other societies flourish in the town. The 
Stella orchestra gives its services free to play whenever the occasion demands. 

Stella has been a good business town, from the very beginning. The 
town and railroad were badly needed by the farmers, and that gave the 
place a good start. J. W. Clark, of Covington, Kentucky, was the father 
of Stella. The town is named for a daughter. Stella, who is dead; and the 
Florence hotel, which he built here when the town started, was named 
for another daughter, also dead. 

In 1857, treaties were concluded with the Indians which enabled the 
government to sell the land, and by attending these sales Mr. Clark obtained 
titles to numerous tracts in this vicinity. He himself never lived here, but 
after the town started he sent his son, H. E. Clark, to Stella to look after his 
interests. H. E. Clark moved to Kansas City in 1904, and since then his 


brother, R. A. Clark, is the onh' member of the family residing in Stella. 
J. W. Clark passed away eighteen years ago. 

The original townsite of Stella comprised forty acres. It was four 
blocks square, extending from the street south of the Christian church to 
the street north of the Lutheran church. The boundaries on the east and 
west were the same then as now. 


Stella has two strong banks, The Bank of Stella, owned by Hull and 
Ferguson, and the State Bank of Stella, at that time owned by Sweet 
Brothers, were purchased by J. R. Cain for a corporation, and both merged 
into the present State Bank of Stella in January, 1886. The incorporators 
were Sol Jameson, J. L. Slocum, George W. Holland, B. R. Williams, J. 
R. Cain and Charles Metz. Mr. Cain is still connected with the bank. 
He is the president, and is assisted by E. C. Roberts, as cashier and H. 
V. Davis, as assistant cashier. 

The Farmers State Bank was organized with fourteen stockholders in 
the fall of 191 5, and opened for business in January, 1916. I. L. Plasters 
is president; George W. Lambert, vice-president, and J. M. Wright, cashier. 
The directors are I. L. Plasters. G. W. Lambert. C. A. Larimore, John 
Sayer and J F. Shubert. 

The Stella Press was started by Gird Brothers in August, 1882. The 
paper changed names a time or two. and had eleven differeent editors during 
the first twenty years of its existence. For fifteen years the Stella Press 
has been owned and edited and published by Clyde G. Haskins and Miss 
Eunice Haskins. The Press had strenuous times until alxiut twenty years 
ago, and for a while had to battle for existence with other papers in the 


Three physicians are located at Stella at the present time: Dr. G. -M. 
Andrews, Dr. A. \\\ Montgomery and Dr. George Egermayer. Dr. I. L. 
Callison and Dr. E. W. James are the dentists. Dr. J. H. Brey is the veterin- 
arian. .\. J. Baldwin and L. R. Chaney are engaged in the real-estate and in- 
surance business. E. E. Marr is agent for the Missouri Pacific, and H. T. 
Wilson is postmaster. Miss Mabel James has the millinery store, and W. 
K. Knight, of Falls City, kcejis his Stella photographer's studio open on 


^ :m^ :M ... 


11 m 




The Hays lumber yard is managed by Neil Duncan. J. \\'. Curtis, Jr., 
does the town draying, and Amil Moritz keeps the livery stable. John S. 
Mann runs the harness shop, as he did in the beginning of things at Stella. 
H. C. Frankell sells implements and automobiles, and J. M. Goodloe, in 
his garage, and Stine & Freed, in their blacksmith shop, do repair work. 

D. C. Allen keeps busy making walks and doing other cement work. 

Dishman & TomHnson dispense drugs at the Rexall store ; J. F. Weddle 
sells hardware, furniture and implements; C. M. Byrd manages the Farmers 
Union Store; J. S. Kimsey is owner of the city meat market and sells ice; 
H. W. Wolf still keeps his carpenter shop open; Marion C. Marts does a 
big business at his poultry station; W. K. Frankel stays at his jewelry store 
when he is not papering and painting; J. M. Loney and E. B. McCann 
run the restaurants; E. C. \^erhune and Guy Dodson are the barbers; G. 

E. Hansen sells dry goods and groceries ; Joe Wagner is the live stock 
dealer. Esburn Wheeler and Ira H. Martin have the big general stores in 
Stella. Mr. Wheeler's store is a department business, with a balcony for 
furniture and undertaking. Mr. Martin is conducting the business founded 
by his uncle, the late W. H. Hogrefe, soon after the town started. 

Stella has a splendid modern hotel, centrally located on Main street — 
"The Overman,'' built in 1904, by J. H. Overman, the proprietor. 

Stella is an ideal small town — clean, well kept and pretty; a good place 
in which to live, and to trade; a good market for live stock and grain; near 
to the big markets of the west — Kansas City, St. Joseph and Omaha; on 
the main line of the Missouri Pacific railway, with good shipping facilities 
and good passenger service. It has good schools and good churches: a 
healthy place, with good water, situated on a hill rising from the valley of 
Muddy creek, where the boys go swimming in summer, and where they 
skate and ice is cut in winter. On the route covered by three great automo- 
bile highways — the Scenic, between Omaha and Kansas City; the George 
Washington, between Savannah, Georgia, and Seattle, Washington, and the 
King of Trails between Galveston, Texas and Winnipeg, Canada. Truly, 
the people of Stella live in a community that is wonderfully blessed. 


The site for the village was chosen by J. C. Lincoln, Thomas Hare and 
J. W. Roberts oli the 30th day of January, 1855, and a plat of the original 
town may still be found in the first record kept b)- the county commissioners. 


where it was recurded. West Salem, which was an addition to the original 
town, was laid out to the west on May 14th, 1857, and is now well built up. 
The latter addition was surveyed by Joseph B. Nickle and was the property 
of Charles McDonald and J. C. Lincoln. In an effort to get the counly .seat 
a large portion of the lots in what is known as West Salem was deeded to 
Richardson county. 

The first village trustees were appointed by territorial authorities as 
follows : I*. W. Birkhauser, H. Price. J. X'andervortt and Anson Rising, 
with Samuel H. Roberts as mayor. 

The first to visit the site of the town were Joseph and Thomas Hare, 
John Roberts and John A. Singleton, who, with Jesse Crook, came upon the 
scene in 1854 from Missouri, while on a trip of inspection of the new coun- 
try with an idea of locating here permanently. These men were at once 
pleased with the place from the fact that they found the waters of the ri\er 
available to furnish power for mill sites, while the banks of the streams were 
at that time heavily wooded with a growth of heavy timber which could be 
used for building purposes. The Hare brothers conceived the idea of estab- 
lishing a saw-mill to provide lumber for early settlers and soon had machin- 
ery on the ground and set up a lumber mill. 

The same year J. C. Lincoln, a relative of President Abraham Lincoln, 
who greatly resembled the martyred president, arrived and opened up the 
first trading post, selling to the Indians and white settlers who came in. 
John W. Holt, who was later to play an important part in the business his- 
tory of the county, was an early arrival and became associated in the business 
with Mr. Lincoln, which firm continued as one of the leading business con- 
cerns for more than a quarter of a century. 

Salem became early an important factor in county affairs from the fact 
that the county seat of government was removed to it from Archer. This 
incident attracted many of the early settlers to that vicinity and materially 
assisted in making it one of the permanent towns of the county. 

J. C. Lincoln was the first to serve the people as postmaster and was 
succeeded by John W. Holt,- who resigned the office in March, 1869. The 
office was first located in the store building of Mr. Lincoln, while he served. 

D. .\. Tisdell was the pioneer hotel man at Salem and remained in the 
business for many years and owned a number of the hotels at that place. 
The first was built in 1859 and stood on the brow of the hill. It was 
destroyed by fire in 1878. 

The l""irst Baptist church was the first to be built at Salem and was 


erected in 1869. At that time they were joined h-v the Presbyterians. It was 
located in a prominent site and had a seating cap:icit\- of three hundred. The 
first pastor to serve the congregation was Rev. E. D. Thomas. 

The Free Will Baptist church was one of the early churches repre- 
sented and a church was built in 1868 with Rev. A. Curtis in charge. 

The Presbyterian church was organized in 1863 '^y l'^e\- John Lilh and 
twenty others. 

The Salem Lodge Xo. 21. Independent Order of Odd h'ellows, is one 
c>f the oldest and most prosperous of the Odd h^ellow lodges of the count_\- 
and was first established on July 9th, 1870, with the following charter mem- 
bers: D. H. Hull, X. Snyder, D. C. Simmons, Joseph H. .\llen, G. Hard and 
X. Snider. 

Lodge Xo. 47, Free and Accepted Masons, was organized on June 26th, 

The Salem of tixla}- is a town of six or se\en hundred inhabitants, situ- 
ated on the Burlington & Missouri railroad, se\-en miles west of b'alls C^ity. 
.\t this point the railroad branches, the branch forming a short line to 
Xebraska City, in Otoe county, to the north, and intervening points. The 
depot is located more than half a mile from the business section of the city 
and the visitor having entered a conveyance, that makes all the trains, is 
driven past the grain elevator and stockyards and along a beautifully shaded 
street that leads past the old fair grounds across the iron bridge that spans 
the Xemaha, near one of the first mill sites of the county, and thence winds 
uj) the long hill and on to the main street of the town. 

Along this street are the business houses, being for the most part sub- 
stantial brick structures, the fine nati\e building stone having been largely 
used in their construction. All lines of business usually found in a thriving, 
up-to-date city, are to be found represented there anil represented by a li\e 
bunch of business men. 

The people of Salem are progressive and enterprising and in the long 
vears since the town was founded, it has kei)t |)ace with the growth of the 
country that surrounds it. .\bove the tree tops in the valleys, the church 
spires ascend to the very summit of the highest hill, two public school buildings 
accommodate the sons and daughters of Salem, and capable teachers attend 
to the educational wants of the community. It is from this hill that the mag- 
nificent view before mentioned is afforded. To the north and northeast the 
eve can see for miles and miles. 


By D. A. Tisdell. 

In 1854 two men named John A. Singleton and William Roberts, took 
claims on the south fork of the Nemaha and one Mr. Short took a mill claim 
at the junction of the north and south Nemahas, where Salem now stands. 
The first election in Richardson county, which then included what is now 
Pawnee count)^ was held in the fall of 1854, and John A. Singleton, from 
our precinct, was elected to the House of Representatives of the Territorial 
Legislature, being the first, with D. M. Johnson, to represent our county in 
the Legislature, which convened in Omaha, January 16, 1855. The next 
settlers in the precinct were : J. W. Roberts, Thomas and Joseph R. Hare. J. 
C. Lincoln and Charles McDonald. The two latter located and laid out the 
town of Salem, in January, 1855, J. Cass Lincoln starting a trading post and 
Thomas R. Hare erecting a sawmill to supply lumber to the three settlers 
who preceded him, and afterwards a gristmill to crack the corn that Single- 
ton and Roberts raised to feed McDonald, who was in the real estate busi- 
ness and who disposed of corner lots in Salem at fabulous prices to Eastern 

West Salem was laid out on May 14th. 1857. This addition, now prac- 
tically included in the town, was surveyed by Joseph B. Nickle, and was the 
property of Charles McDonald and J. C. Lincoln. (J. C. Lincoln was a 
second cousin of President Abraham Lincoln.) A part of West Salem was 
donated to the county as an inducement to retain the county seat. 

Among the number who settled in the precinct in 1855 were : John and 
Weston Ogden, Galliger, Abe Roberts. W. H. Whitney and J. W. Headrick. 
Those of 1856 were Mr. Oliver and Green. Additions of 1857 were A. J. 
Currence, Lara Hoppes, David and Robert Boyd. 

Up to that time nothing unusual transpired outside of the usual walks 
of life incident to the settling of a new country. In the spring of 1859 there 
was (juite an influx into the precinct. Among those who settled in the pre- 
cinct were: F. .\. Tisdell, Sr., and Jr.. J. W. Leverett. J. M. Wa.shburn. 
J. R. Brooks, M. D.: \\'illiam Slossen Peres, .\. Tisdell. John Billings, A. 
Rising. Levi Wheeler. .\. I-Vitz. Lemmon lioys. H. C. Jennings, and S. \'an- 
dervort. The two latter returned to Illinois in the following fall. 

Tisdell & Company brought a steam saw-mill with them that was kept 
running for several years supplying lumber for the needy. In the winter of 
i860 I came to Nebraska and located at Salem on the 26th dav of Februarv. 



Soon thereafter I bought eighty acres of land adjoining the townsite from 
John Billings, and got some of it liroke tlie following spring, with the expec- 
tation of bringing my family in the near future and making that my perman- 
ent home. The gold excitement in the far West induced me w ith others to 
seek our fortune, if possible, among the mountains near Pike's Peak. 


About sixteen miles due north of Falls City the town of Shubert is 
located, and of all the towns in the county this is one of the most important, 
from the standpoint of business transacted and general commercial activity. 
It is the principal trading point for a wide extent of country, that is not only 
well adapted for all kinds of farming and agricultural pursuits, but for stock 
raising as well. 

Having a most advantageous location, it is not wonderful that there 
should have grown here a thriving town of some five hundred people and 
tiiat the town should from the first show a degree of progress and a growth 
that showed the site to be well chosen and the town to fill a want in that sec- 
tion of the country. Those who have built up Shubert to what it is today, 
have not only built wisely but they have built well. The town is laid out on a 
generous scale, the streets being, very wide, and along the main street are to 
be found many business blocks of brick that would be a credit to larger towns. 
One thing that impresses the visitor is that nothing seems to be overdone, but 
each branch of industry is just sufficiently represented to induce good, healthy 
competition, which is the life of trade and hence the very life of the town. 
Shubert is fortunate in possessing a class of business men who are not only 
progressive and up-to-date, but who are accommodating and congenial. Their 
stores are all large and well kept and are stocked with a sufficient variety of 
merchandise to meet the demands of an ever increasing trade. 

What is true of the business section of the town, as to appearance, 
applies to the residence section. There are many substantial homes, whose 
appearance stands as evidence of the prosperity of the owners and their pride 
in living well and in the appearance and beauty of the town. 

The Nebraska City Branch of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad passes 
through Shubert and in the course of a }ear immense amounts of stock, grain, 
etc., are shipped out. Shubert is also reached by the county telephone lines. 

Shubert people may well boast of their public school building, which 


is a large two-story brick structure and as fine as any in the county. The 
schools are kept ever in the front rank, and no teachers but the most compe- 
tent are ever employed. In the way of churches the town is supplied with 
a number of creditable edifices and all churches are largely attended and 
are in a prosperous condition. 

One newspaper, the Slmhcri Citizen, is published there by J. L. Dalby, 
who is a veteran newspaper man of the county, and his paper has always 
championed the best interests of Shubert. 


The town of Rulo, might well be termed the "front door of Richardson 
county." It is located on the eastern boundary of the county on a series 
of high hills that overlook the Missouri river and at a point where the old 
.^.tchison & Nebraska, now known as the Burlington & Alissouri railroad, 
enters the state. 

There is much of historical interest connected with the town of Rulo, 
and much of the earlier history of the county was formed in the vicinit}- of 
this place. It was originally one of the many settlements that were made 
along the Missouri river at the time when the flood of emigration first met 
the flood waters of this river and rested a moment as it were, before sweep- 
ing westward to inundate the great plains that lay beyond and to ulti- 
mately sweep away the last vestige of all that was aboriginal and uncivilized. 
The land upon which Rulo now stands was originally part of the lands 
granted to the wife of Charles Rouleau under the terms of the treaty of 
Prairie Du Chien. It is from her that the town takes its name and it 
should be so spelled, but time has brought into use the shorter form (^f 

It was first laid out in 1856 and incorporated in 1859, at which time 
l)art nf the lands belonging to Mrs. Bedard, a sister of Mrs. Rouleau, was 
included in a plat of the townsite. The location is one that nnist have com- 
mended itself strongly to the pioneers, as a better site for a town couUl not 
be found. It stands on a cluster of hills from the top of which the eye 
may follow the graceful curves of the Missouri river for miles and miles, 
and may gaze across the bottom land upon the opposite side until vision 
is shut out by the veil of distance. The person standing on one of these 
hills may look into three states for he is standing in Nebraska and to the 
south loom the hills of northern Kansas, and to the east the spreading flats 
of western Missouri. 



The older residents of this county will recall many names that are 
closely linked with the history of Rulo. Charles Rouleau, Eli Bedard, E. 
H. Johnson, Charles Martin. Eli Plante, F. X. Dupuis and scores of others 
have long since gone to their last long rest, but it seems as though their 
spirit still dwells amid the familiar haunt of the hills. The earlier settlers 
of Rulo came with the various expeditions that set out to explore the mys- 
teries of the then unknown West, but who stopped to cast their lots on 
the banks of the turbid Missouri. The Rulo of today is a far different 
place and the linger of time has so marked it, as it has the whole West. 
Many of the descendants of the pioneers still reside there and have shared 
m the foresight of their ancestors, who knew a good thing when they saw 
it, and founded the town of Rulo. 

When the Atchison & Nebraska railroad was built (the first rail of 
this road was laid across the Nebraska-Kansas state line on May 12, 1871), 
a station was established a few miles west of Rulo known as the "Rulo 
Y," and from there a stub line was built to Rulo. But in 1885 the rail- 
road company found that this arrangement was unsatisfactory and accord- 
ingly a magnificent steel bridge was built to span the Missouri at Rulo and 
the line built to connect with what is known as the Kansas City and Council 
Bluffs line on the other side of the river. This line connects at Napier, 
Missouri, and thus rail connection was had with Kansas City and St. Joseph, 
iNIissouri, on both sides of the river. The bridge is one of the largest 
spanning that stream. The Missouri at this point is quite treacherous and 
the cutting by the current has given the government and the railroad com- 
panj^ much trouble and large sums of money have been expended in trying 
to curb it. The bridge was more than two years in process of construction 
and cost more than a million dollars. The bridge came to be the subject of 
warm legal controversy soon after its completion, when it came to be assessed 
for taxation. Richardson county wanted it taxed ( i. e., that is. the west half 
of it, ) at its value, independent of the other part of the company's roadbed in 
the c<junty. The case was carried to the supreme court and in course of time 
a decision was rendered adverse to the county, which in efifect allows it to be 
taxed the same as other mileage of the railroad in the county. The company, 
however, has alwa\s charged an additional sum of fifty cents extra for each 
passenger carried over it, and the same is true as to freight, which is burdened 
with an extra charge for transport over the structure. 

The early days, with their thrilling history, have passed away, and where 
lawlessness once reigned in a rough river town of the border, a thoroughlv 



modern little citv now stands, inhabited by more than a thousand prosperous 
and contented people. The town is well built, the business blocks for the 
most part being two-story brick structures and occupied by successful mer- 
chants, who enjoy a good trade and a patronage that is merited. 

The rugged topography lends a peculiar beauty to the town and neat 
and comfortable homes nestle in the valleys and on the hill sides, hidden 
beneath a veritable forest of trees. Above the tops of these trees the spires 
of many churches testify to the religious sentiment that prevails and on 
the quiet Sabbath morning the sound of the bells float out on the air that 
once bore the red man's war song or the cry of wild animals, succeeded first 
by the weird song of the steamboat whistle, followed by the song of civili- 
zation, the church bell. Rulo boasts of as fine a public school building as 
may be found in the county. It is a large, brick building, equipped with 
all the modern appliances and capable teachers are always employed. Rulo 
is also a good market, having a large territory to draw from and affording 
good shipping facilities. A large grain and stock business is transacted 
here and a great deal of all kinds of produce is shipped out. 


The town of Preston was laid out and plattetl on land bordering the edge 
of the great Sac and Fox Indian Reservation, which comprised thousands of 
acres of land lying in the southeastern part of the county. It was for many 
years one of the principal shipping points of the county. Jeft'erson precinct, 
in which Preston is located, is one of the most fertile and productive precincts 
in the county and the great majority of the products is shipped to the outer 
world from Preston. The town is located about a mile south of the point 
where the Muddy flows into the Nemaha and six miles southeast of Falls City. 
Its existence dates from 1881, when the town was first platted by a man from 
Hiawatha as "Bluffton," but as there was at that time another town in the 
state having the same name, or one \ery similar, the postal authorities made 
objections and the name was changed to Preston. 

The construction of the Atchison & Nebraska railroad line marked the 
beginning of an era of development and prosperity for the surrounding 
country and rendered imperative the need of a station with adequate shipping 
facilities, .\round this station the pretty little town of Preston sprang up. A 
big elevator was constructed to take care of the grain that was to l>e shipped 
while the railroad yards furnished accommodations for the stock raisers who 
desired to ship stock to the markets of Kansas City and St. Joseph. The 




town was very nicely located on the high banks that adjoins the Nemaha bot- 
toms on the south and overlooks the rich lands that stretch away on every 

The close proximity of the large tribe of Sac and Fox Indians was a 
great source of revenue to the merchants of Preston. Here a great portion 
of the Indian annuities were paid and spent and the presence of the red man 
on the streets was a very common sight. 

Preston was well supplied with stores, a bank, an opera house, school 
building and many homes as beautiful as might be found in the countv. 


This little inland town was located several miles south of the town of 
Dawson, in Nemaha township, on the southwest quarter of southeast quarter 
of section 17, township i, north of range 14 east of the sixth principal 
meridian, by Mrs. Betsey U. Nims. The little place occupies the space of 
about one city block and was regularly platted and the same duly recorded. 
The plat bears the date of July 20, 1903. Its promoters probably started it 
as a rival of a much older little place to the southwest of it, which was known 
as Middleburg. The latter had been a little mail station from the very early 
days, and was in the same township. Nims City was at its best in 1906-7-8, 
and boasted of a church, several stores, a blacksmith shop, barber shop and a 
large public hall and hotel. The hall, or opera house, was and is still used 
much like a town hall and was a very popular place for many years past for 
the young people who desired to gather there in the winter evenings to dance 
away the hours. Frank Nims of Falls City, a son of the founder, was the 
moving spirit in the place and resided on a farm nearby. Since his departure 
and that of others prominent there, the place has not continued to prosper as 


Verdon is the second station north on the Missouri Pacific line from 
Falls City ; Strausville, being the first, and is eleven miles distant. The land 
on which stands the village is the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter 
of section 10, township 2. north of range 15, east of the sixth prime meridian, 
and was patented to William McK. Maddox, under date, September 15, i860. 
The land was later owned by Mr. and Mrs. John A. Hall and it was they who 
founded the town. The plat, signed by John A. Hall and his wife Julia, was 


filed in the office of the register of deeds on February 22. 1S82, at the time 
of the building- of the ^Missouri Pacific railroad north and south across Rich- 
ardson county. Since the original plat was made a part of the otificial records 
of the county a number of additions have been added to the village as follows : 
By Joseph H. Meyers antl wife Maggie A., on the west, being a part of the 
west half of the southeast (|uarter of section 10, township 2, nordi of range 
15, dated November 10, 1884. This addition was surveyed by Creighton 
Morris, of Humboldt, on October 6, 1884, and the plat was filed on Noveniljer 
12, 1884; and another addition by Miss Camma Hall, being the southeast one- 
half of the nortlieast quarter of the southeast quarter, filed on September 1, 
1885. This addition was also surveyed by Creighton Morris, October 8, 
1 884 : and another by the Lincoln Land Company, on the east side of the town. 

The town is beautifully located on a hill overlooking Muddy Creek val- 
ley and occupied a most picturesque location. The town has a village gov- 
ernment, a board of trustees, constituted as follows : G. C. Goolsby, chairman ; 
C. H. Wear, H. J. Corn, trustees: C. G. Humphrey, clerk; H. X. Timmerman. 
treasurer, and Frank Waggner. marshal. The population of \'erdon has 
been reported as follows, according to the United States government census: 
1890, 253: 1900, 340: 1910, 406. The town has electric lights and a good 
.-vstem of local telephones, and nearly every line of business is well represented. 

There was for a time much uncertainty as to where the town which we 
know as Verdon would be located. This uncertainty was the result of the 
railroads, or the uncertainty of the location of the railroad. Prior to the 
locatiiin of the Missouri Pacific right-of-way. the Republican River \ alley 
Railroad Company, which is the Burlington Line, now extending from Salem 
to Nemaha City, had surveyed a line from Salem to Nemaha City, by way of 
the present line, and had graded the road from the north down to Muddy creek, 
just south of the town of \'erdon. As Salem was the trading point of that entire 
communit\- in those da\s, the community was anxious that the Burlington be 
extended to tap -the main line of the Burlington at Salem. It was at this time 
tliat John A. Hall, then one of the foremost men and progressive citizens of 
that section, together with other public-spirited citizens of that community, 
worked up an interest in the matter and the precinct voted bonds, the proceeds 
of which were to be used in the constructiim of a railroad. The line was to lie 
run to Salem, but after the l)on(ls were voted the railway company changed 
its surveys and turned the road down Muddy creek, from the point where 
X'erdon now is located, and ran the line to Falls City by way of the Muddy 
vallev and over the divide east of Freeling Switch, which is now. or was, 
located on the Missouri Pacitic. |ohn Hall then brouijlit an iniunction siu't. 


enjoining collection on the I)on(ls. This suit was successful and accounts 
for the fact that Liberty precinct was relieved from paying the bonds that 
were voted. All the other precincts involved in this action were parties in 
the suit and escaped liability for payment on the bonds with the exception 
of Muddy, which, in default of appearance, was held and obliged to pay, which 
it did. The Republican River \'alley Railway Company's project was then 
abandoned; this all being prior to the building of the Missouri Pacific. 

The Missouri Pacific then acquired its right-of-way and J. l^^. Houtz, of 
Omaha, located the towns on that line. It is alleged that his nnethods of doing 
so were by going to different landowners along the proposed line of right- 
of-way, and undertaking to work up a contest between them for the location 
of the towns on the line. In this way the farmers of one section were 
induced to bid against one another. They knew that the\- were reasonably 
sure that it was only a cjuestion of time until the Burlington would build a 
cut-off from Salem to Nemaha City and knew that the point where Verdon 
was afterward located would be the junction between the two roads, but, 
nevertheless Houtz got Captain Ewing interested and it is said that the latter 
offered thirty acres of land if he would locate the town at a point designated 
by him, about two and one-half miles of the present location of Verdon. 
John Hall gave to the Missouri Pacific, or to the representative, J. E. Houtz, 
the undivided half of the southeast c|uarter of the southeast (|uarter of sec- 
tion 10, township 2, north of range 15, in consideration of the location of a 
depot and depot facilities at that point. Besides this he granted a right of 
wa\' north through the north half of that section. 

August Schoenheit, of Falls Cit\-, was at that time local representatixc 
or attorney for the Missouri Pacific and when the townsite was platted he 
made a visit to the home of Mr. Hall (near \'erdon) for the puqwse of 
making a division of the lots between Mr. Hall and the railway company. 
Mr. Hall was away from home at the time and was represented in the division 
by his son, Thomas L. Hall, now chairman of the Nebraska state railwa\- 
commission, who was familiar with the lay of the ground, and who proceeded 
to assist in dividing up the lots. The di\ision was made by each in turn 
taking a lot, Mr. Hall taking the first and Mr. Schoenheit the second. This 
procedure was continued to the end. The action <jn the part of the younger 
Hall was made subject to the approval of his father on his return, and was 
later ratified by the elder Hall. In 1883 or 1884 the Burlington jjuilt its line 
down from Xemaha City to Salem and established its depot, which location 
has remained the same until this day. 

This matter becomes interesting from the fact that such methods could not 


now be used in tlie location of depots an<l townsites in tlie state of Nebraska. 
The state railway commission would not now allow the railroads to become 
entangled in real-estate deals and locate the depots and arrange station facili- 
ties for their sole satisfaction and profit. The public, which patronizes such 
places, is now considered to have an interest and the same is protected by the 
commission. In this connection is worthy of note that the commission has 
compelled the removal and change of several depots in the state of Nebraska 
that had been located by the railroads without taking into consideration the 
interest of the community and the traffic in each particular community in 
locating the roads, or rather the depots, on account of some real-estate entan- 
glement. This was true of Gering, I'^linchville, Gandy and a number of other 
places, so it is said. 

Verdon is just one of those little centers which serves its own particular 
community and is typically representative of a great class of this size towns in 
the county and state. There are those who believe that it is much lietter 
to have a great number of small towns serving each community, rather than 
to have great cities. It tends to better moral and civic conditions in e\ery 
respect. It tends to a more economic way of living. It tends to prevent peo- 
ple in general from getting the wanderlust. People in the smaller towns are 
often happier and more contented than those in the larger cities. 


Strausville is the youngest village in the county and was laid out b\' its 
founder, Gustave Strauss, and his wife on land owned by them and bears 
liis name. It is located on parts of the southeast quarter of section 29 and 
parts of the southwest cjuarter of section 28 of township 2, north of range 
16, Ohio township. The little village, which contains four blocks, was sur- 
veyed and platted by M. N. Bair, at that time a resident of Falls City, IVIay i, 
1901, but the plat was not filed for record in the register's office at Falls City 
until June i. 1912. Straussville has always been quite a grain-receiving station 
fur the farmers in that section and boasts of a store and Iilacksmith shop. 




Series of First Events. 


St. Stephens was the first city of Richardson county. In 1861 it was 
I lie largest, most flourishing and only town of any conse(|uence in the county. 
Today it is known only to the old settlers. Even the precinct which once 
bore that name now forms a part of Barada, and twenty years hence St. 
Stephens will be known only in the archives of the court house and to the 
historian. The townsite was laid out by Gen. Ben F. Loan and Stephen 
Story in the spring of 1855, on land belonging to Israel Price. Henry Dukes, 
Stephen Lyons and Stephen Story. S. F. Nuckolls & Company conducted 
the first store. A A'Ir. Archer kept the first hotel. The late William R. 
Cain, of Falls City, built the third dwelling house in town. In 1856 Israel 
Price started a blacksmith shop and in the next year J. W. Crane, of St. 
Joseph, Missouri, started the second store. During the years 1857, 1858 and 
1859, the town grew rapidly, reaching the height of its glory in 1861, at 
which time it had two general stores, one kept by Crane & Lewis, and the 
other by D. J. Martin ; two saloons, one kept by Henly Price and Henry 
Dukes, and the other by George Cooley. Henry Smith was the blacksmith 
and Allen Gleason ran the ferry across the ^lissouri river. In 1857 Huston 
Nuckolls, Stephen Story and W. P. Loan started a general land office and 
in the spring of 1858 they held a public sale of land and town lots. Father 
Thomas, as Tie was called, a Baptist preacher, living near Rulo. preached the 
first sermon ever preached in the toivn. John McFarland was the first 
justice of the peace; Stephen Lyons, the second; William Morgan, the third; 
S. G. Lewis, the fourth and William R. Cain, the fifth, who held the office 
for eight consecutive years, without an appeal from his decisions. Israel 
Price was the first constable. The first school was taught by William Bell 
and the second, by William McMurren. The first school board was elected 
in 1859, with William R. Cain as president, and for twenty-one years Mr. 


Cain held a position on the school board and only resigned when he removed 
to Falls Cit\-. Mr. Cain was the father of Hon. J. R. Cain, president of 
the Bank of Stella: C. Fred Cain, now of Miami, Florida, and for years a 
merchant of Falls City; John Cain, of Boseman, Montana; Mrs. Laura B. 
Ta-vton, of Falls City, and Mrs. James Smith, of Butler, Missouri. The 
first postmaster was T. C. Sicafoos. The first doctor was David Whitmire, 
and \\ . 1'. Loan, was the first lawyer. The prominent citizens of St. Stephens, 
when at the height of its prosperitv. were Aury Ballard, Doctor Whitmire, 
J. W. Crain, William M. Morrison, D. S. Phillips, Press Martin, Huston 
Nuckolls and W". P. Loan. — "Pioneer Record." 


The first mill in the count\- ;it whicli grist was ground was located at 
or near Salem and was built by the Hare boys. 

The first white man to settle on the ALiddy was John Harkendorff, who 
located there in 1854. 

.\. H. Sloan claimed the credit of ha\'ing cast the first vote recorded 
in Liberty township. 

The Goolsby district in Ohio township had the first public school in 
Richardson county. Air. Bartlett was the teacher. 

Jane Cooper taught the first school in the "Cupolo" district in a house 
later occupied by Reece Williams, as a dwelling. 

William H. Crook disputes the generall\- accepted story that the first 
school of the county was taught at or near Falls City. He says that he remem- 
bers going to a good school in a little log house that stood on the banks of 
the creek, a little west of old Archer, Ijefore Falls City was e\er laid off : and 
that the second school was taught by a one-armed lady, wh(ise name was 
Samuels. He also recalls that she was great on "lickin' and larnin'." She 
was a teacher (jf the "old school," who Ijelieved that to "spare the rod was 
to spoil the child:" hence, it was a large factor in her method of discipline, 
and good traits in the character of Mr. Crook are some of the results of that 
first school. 

The first electiun in Ohio town.ship was in tlie fall of 1868 at the Goolsby 
school house. Twenty-eight Denuicratic and fifty-six Republican votes were 

The first while men to e.xplore the county adjacent to the Great Xemaha 
river in Richardson countv were Jesse Crook, Isaac Crook. Tuhn Singleton. 


and W. G. Goolsby. They came over from Missouri and went as far west 
as the present site of Salem. The visit was made in 1854. 

The Maple Grove cemetery in Ohio township, was located in 1859 ^v 
John HarkendorlY, Amos Frank and S. J. Harris, the occasion being the 
death of Phelix Misplis, a lad about thirteen years of age. 

The first .session of the Nebraska state Legislature that met at Lincoln, 
after the removal of the territorial capitol from Omaha, was convened on 
January 7, 1869, the four previous sessions having met at Omalia after 
the adoption of the state Constitution. 

E. E. Cunningham had the honor of being the first to represent Richard- 
son county in the first state Senate to meet at Lincoln, and Isham Reavis 
was "rtoat" senator for Richardson, Nemaha and Johnson counties at the same 
time and place. 

The village of Arclier, which became the county seat for a time, was 
located in 1855. 

David L. Thompson was one of the first white men to enter Richard- 
son county with the idea of making it a permanent home. He came in the 
early fifties and located at the county seat. Archer, where he was united in 
marriage to China M. Miller, a daughter of Judge J. C. Miller, who was the 
first judge of the county and who at the time of the arrival of Thompson 
kept a hotel and store in the new town. As soon as l'"alls City got fairly 
started as a town he came here and made it his home for many years ant! 
served for a time as deputy sherifY. 


The first religious service which could have been classed in the nature 
of a funeral for a white woman in Richardson county, is said to liave been 
held for Mrs. Frank Purkett, who, with her child, froze to death during 
child-birth. The husband had been drinking heavily and was absent, accord- 
ing to reports at the time. 


Numbered among the very first settlers of the county was James 
Stumbo, who came here in 1856 and was prominent at Nemaha Falls, an 
obsolete town on the banks of the Nemaha river, near the present site of 
Falls City. He was the father of twelve children, eight sons and four 
daughters. His death occurred on January 21, 1894. 

T. L. Overman, of Stella, took up his residence at first at St. Deroin 


in Xemaha countv, coming to that place in March, 1858. In tlie month 
of June of that year Joseph Deroin, an Indian chief for whom the place 
was named, was shot by another Indian by the name of James Bedo. Mr. 
Overman succeeded in getting many things at a sale of Indian goods, whicli 
liad been the property of the chief, and still has them. 


Tlie Falls City, Nebraska, Journal, under date of December 22, 1893, 
liad the following to say relative to the early marriages in Richardson 
county : ; 

"In all probability some marriage contracts were entered into in 1854 
and 1855 that were never recorded, and no license was necessary for the 
performance of a marriage, and even a law requiring the contract to be 
recorded in the register's office was not passed until the spring of 1855. The 
contract that appears on the record as of the earliest date is that of Mr. 
and Mrs. W. I\I. Maddox, which is given below, although diis was the third 
contract filed. 

"Below are given some of the first contracts filed, which will be of inter- 
est on account of the events of the past that they will bring to the minds 
of the older settlers. 

"Married, November the 29th. In the year A. D. 1855 By Pharagus 
Pollard, Acting Justice of the Peace, of Richardson county, Nebraska Ter- 
ritory, Joshua Boyd, of Holt County. Missouri, to i\Iiss Elizabeth Miller, 
of Richardson County, Nebraska Territory. Pharagus Pollard, J. P." 

Territory of Nebraska,) 
County of Richardson, ) ss. 

I. J. C. Lincoln, Register of Deeds, of said county do hereby certify 
that the above is a correct copy left on file for record in this office. 

Given under my hand and private seal (there being no public seal pro- 
vided in this county) at this office January 15th, A. D. 1856. 

(Sealj J. C. Lincoln, Register of Deeds. 

The second instrument recorded showed that on December i6th, 1855, 
Pharagus -Pollard, acting justice of the peace, united in marriage, Samuel 
Howard and Miss Mary Gallaher, both of this county, at the home of 
David Gallaher. This instrument was recorded in the office of register of 
deeds, January 15th, 1855. 


The tliird instrument was recorded on February 2nd, 1856, in tlie regis- 
ter of deeds office and read as follows : 

"This may certify that on the Fourth day of October, 1855, I, William 
D. Gage, Minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, did unite in the 
bonds of matrimony, Mr. W. M. :\Iaddox, of Nebraska City, and Margaret 
Miller, of Archer, Richardson County, all in the Territory of Nebraska. 
^VILLIAM D. Gage, M. M. E. Church. 

Territory of Nebraska,) 
Richardson County, ) ss. 

I, E. S. Sharp, Dept. Register of Deeds, of said county do hereby 
certify that the above is a true copy left on file in this office for record. Given 
under my hand and private seal (there being no public seal yet provided 
for the use of the county). Done at Archer this 2nd day of Februarv, 
A. D. 1856. 

(Seal) E. S. Sh.\rp, Dept. Register. 


The fourth instrument was filed for record on July 7, 1856, and was 
something of a curiosity. It was recorded by VV. H. Mann, deputy register, 
and read as follows : 

"Know All Men By These Presents: That Richard Clinsey and 
Perilla Adamson have consented together in Holy Wedlock and have wit- 
nessed the same before me, Joseph Friese, a Justice of the Peace for Rich- 
ardson County, Nebraska Territory, and thereto have pledged their faith 
either to the other, and ha\-e declared the same by their consent, I do declare 
that they are Man and W^ife fore\er on and after this Thirteentli day of 
March, A. D. 1856. 

Joseph Friese, Justice of the Peace. 

The fifth instrument was recorded on the same da\' and was identical 
in date, phraseology and official signature, except that it proclaimed tlie 
marriage of James O. Loughlin and Liddy Adamson. 

The sixth instrument was recorded on August 21, 1856, and showed 
that Justice Pharagus Pollard had united in marriage on June 20, 1856, 
Marcellus Housner and I'olly N. Shelley, both of this county at the house 
of A. Shellev. 




The first couple united in marriage in Lil^erty precinct, was George 
Miller and Elizabeth Cornell. The happy event occurred on February i6, 
1856, Rev. Wingate King officiating. 

Dilliard Walker, who for many years resided near Humboldt, entered 
the county in 1855. His wagon was the third to cross the south fork of 
the Nemaha in this county. A man named Jemeson and Richard Gird 
preceded him. 

Stephen B. Aliles, one of the largest landowners in the county at his 
death and one of the wealthiest men in the state, was the man who first car- 
ried United States mail into Richardson count}-, and it was he who organ- 
ized the first bank in the county. 

The first school in the county was taught by Mrs. Saunders, on what 
was at that time known as the Kirk Branch, a half mile northwest of Archer. 
The school was held in the year 1856. 

\y. R. Crook assisted in the work of surveying the town of Falls City 
in 1857. 

The Broad Axe, one of the very first newspapers published in the county, 
was for a time printed at the hotel then standing on the lots now occupied 
by the Richardson Countv Bank, and owned by Jesse Crook. It was edited 
by Edwin Burbank and S. R. Jameson. This was in 1858. 

The first court to be held in Richardson county was presided over by 
a judge at Archer, at that time the county seat. 

B. Frank Leechman, now residing on his farm north of i'^alls Citv. was 
the first white child, so far as known, to be born in Richardson county. He 
still resides on the farm on which he first saw the light of dav and is one 
of the prosperous farmers of the county. 

William Level, long since deceased, is deserving of the honor of having 
built the first log cabin in the count}-. It was constructed in 1853 on a farm 
east of the site of Archer, and the first election ever held in tiie cotmtv was 
held in this same cabin. 

Jesse Crook w as the first white man to raise a crop of corn in Richard- 
son county, and the same was grown on land now- owned by William Xutter, 
southwest of Archer in 1855, 


The honcir belongs to Miss Lydia A. Giddings, a daugliter of Elder C. 
W. Giddings, the founder of the town of Table Rock, a town just west of 


Humboldt and in Pawnee county, about thirty miles west of Falls City. 
Prior to the coming of the Burlington railroad, as it is known today, a mail 
route was in operation between Falls City and Table Rock, but the stations 
were very much different from those now on the line of the railroad between 
the two points, i. e., Falls City and Table Rock, -many of them being men- 
tioned in the story. of Defunct Towns of the County in another part of this 
work. Miss Giddings was one of the carriers on the route. Later, she 
was united in marriage to a man b\' the name of Holmes, and again to a 
Mr. John Gere. When last heard from she was a resident of Honolulu, in 
the Hawaiian islands, of the mid-Pacific, and her sons. Giles H. and John 
N. Gere, Jr., held responsible positions with the government. 


An act approved January, i860, authorized Silas Babcock, his heirs 
or assigns, to erect a mill dam not to e.xceed ten feet high across Long Branch 
creek in Franklin precinct, at any point within four miles of the town of 


Julia Tiu-ner was the first girl baby born in Richardson county, but 
a later survey left her birthplace in what is now Pawnee county. When 
first surveyed Richardson county also included Pawnee county and Cincin- 
nati was a young and thriving town near the site of the present village 
of DuBois on the Rock Island railroad. It was near this place that the 
little lady first saw the light of day. 


An act of a session of the Territorial Legislature authorized Jacob M. 
Davis and A. C. Anderson to establish and keep a toll bridge and ferry 
across the Great Xemaha river in Richardson county, at a point within 
six miles from its mouth. The rate of tolls or ferriage was limited to 
fifty cents per team and wagon : footman or stock, ten cents. 


One of the first companies organized and incorporated for the purpose 
of mining in the county was known as the Richardson County Mining Com- 
pany, and was incorporated by an act of the Legislature passed and approved 
on February 12, 1866. Those named in the act incorporating the company 
were : Peter P. Smith, Charles A. Hergesheimer, William R. Cain, Stephen 
Belliles, Alexander St. Louis. They proposed to prospect for coal. 



The first houses in Falls City were in most instances built from houses 
formerly doing service at Archer, Winnebago and Yankton, towns which 
disappeared from the map. The first hotel, the Union Hotel, occupying 
the same location as the present "Union House," was constructed from a 
building removed to Falls City from Yankton, by Jacob Good. 

Billiard Walker, pioneer, assisted in the building of the First house 
erected in Salem, the same being owned by Thomas Hare. Walker also 
furnished the lumber and stone for the first church at Salem, known as the 
Close Communion Baptist. 

Barada precinct, in Richardson county, was named for Antoine Barada, 
a well-kno\\n half-breed Indian. It is said of him that he was a man of 
unusual strength and fine physical proportions, with features that showed 
his Indian blood most unmistakably. 


The residence of John C. Aliller, known as Judge Miller, located at 
Archer, was a double log one story and a half high and one of the finest 
homes of the time in this county. At different times it served as hotel, 
postoffice and court house. 

Isaac H. Jones, for many years a resident of Rulo, settled opposite the 
Big Nemaha in 1848, removing to Nebraska seventeen years later. 


F'rom the family record of Stewart Russell, of Salem, it is learned that 
his son, S. A. Russell, was born in Liberty precinct, Richardson county, 
February 13, 1858, and from this it is claimed that he was the first white 
child born in that precinct. 



Richardson county originally was covered with a luxuriant growth of 
prairie grasses, with marginal areas of timber along the streams. The 
first settlers located along the edges of first bottoms, where there was an 
abundant supply of fuel. 

During the first few years vegetables, corn, and wheat were grown for 
the subsistence of the family. As claims were permanently located and 
conditions became more stable, the farmers began to break the prairie land 
for the more extensive production of corn and wheat, with some oats for 
stock feed. A wide variety of vegetables was grown. Some hemp was pro- 
duced, but this crop was soon abandoned. No clover, timothy, or bluegrass 
was grown while the country was agriculturally new. Up to about 1874 
the farmers produced spring wheat and corn as their main cash crops, and 
some oats, winter wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, and flax. Very few cattle 
and hogs were raised. The yields reported by the early settlers were in 
many cases higher than at present, but with poor methods of farming- the 
yields soon decreased. The prices of crops were very low and as a result 
the farmers generally were poor. 

Wheat and corn continued the important cash crops, but within the last 
twenty to twenty-five years agricultural conditions have graduall}- improved 
and today most of the farmers are thrifty and prosperous. The dairy indus- 
try, the raising of hogs and cattle, and the feeding of beef cattle have no 
doubt been important factors in this progress, I)ut the impro\ed conditions 
are due chiefly to better methods of handling the soil. 

In 1879 corn was the most important crop in the county. The 1880 
census reports eighty-six thousand seven hundred sixty-six acres in ctjrn and 
thirty-one thousand five hundred seventy-nine acres in wheat. Oats are 
reported on about six thousand acres, and barley on something over three 
thousand acres. Hay was cut from a total of fifteen thousand four huntlred 
ninety-two acres. After 1880 spring wheat declined in importance, as 
owing to tlie poor yields of this crop it was found more profital)le to grow 
corn. The chinch Inig. the grasshopper, and gnnvino; wheal continuously 


on the same land for many }ears in succession were the main causes for the 
poor yields of this crop. Hay was an important crop, and some rye, buck- 
wheat, and tobacco were grown. The orchard products were vahied at 
nine thousand three hundred twenty-eight dohars, and market-garden crops 
at fifty-one thousand nine luindred sixty dollars. 

By 1890 the area in corn had increased to one hundred fifteen thousand 
seven hundred eighty-live acres and the area in oats to twenty-one thousand 
eight hundred twenty-six acres. Wheat is reported in the census of 1890 
on only ten thousand two hundred and twenty-tliree acres. Hay was grown 
on twenty-seven thousand and twenty-four acres. r}e on nearly two tliou- 
sand acres, and barley on less than five hundred acres. Potatoes are reported 
on nearly one thousand ti\e hundred acres. Market-garden products and 
small fruits had a total value of only two thousand and seventy-five dollars. 

From 1889 to 1899 there was a steady advance in the acreage of all 
the staple crops. In the 1900 census alxjut one hundred and thirty thousand 
acres are reported in corn, twenty-nine thousand acres in oats, and twenty 
thousand acres in wheat. Of the hay crops, wild grasses, reported on about 
eighteen th(jusand acres, tame grasses on about ten thousand acres, and 
alfalfa on nearly one thousand acres were the most important. The acreage 
in r}e, barley, and buckwheat was small. There were about two hundred 
and fifty thousand apple trees in the county, nearh one hundred thousand 
grapevines, and about seventy-five thousand peach trees. Of the live-stock 
products, animals sold and slaughtered were valued at one million one hun- 
dred sixty-seven thousand four hundred and ninety dollars, dairy products 
at sixty-five thousand four hundred seventy-four dollars, and poultry at 
ninety-four thousand eight hundred ninety-six dollars. From 1899 to 1909 
there was an increase in the number of acres of wheat and a decrease in the 
acreage of other crops, especially corn. 

At present the production of grain is the cliief tvpe of farming in 
Richardson county, though dairying and the raising of hogs and other live 
stock are important industries. Corn, oats, wheat, timothy and clover mixed, 
alfalfa, and wild grasses are the chief general farm crops. The tendency is 
to grow less corn and more wheat and leguminous crops. 


Corn is by far the most important crop in acreage, and is the principal 
money crop. The 1910 census reports corn on one hundred and three 
thousand three hundred eightv-six acres. There are about two acres of corn 


to every acre of all other cereals combined, even though the acreage has 
declined considerably in the last decade. About one-half the total area of 
improved farm land in Richardson county is devoted to the production of 
com. The crop is grown on practically all the soil types of the county, but 
does best on the Marshall silt loam. The average yield for the county is 
about thirty bushels per acre. Reid's Yellow Dent and Iowa Silver Mine are 
the most popular varieties. About eighty-five per cent, of the corn is listed, 
some is check-rowed, and in a few cases the crop is double-listed. Most of 
the corn is sold, though a large part is fed to hogs and beef cattle. It is 
the general practice to pasture the corn lands after the ears have Ijeen re- 
moved. There are only a few silos in the county. 

Oats rank second in acreage to corri, and the area in this crop seems 
to be increasing steadily. In 1909 there were twenty-five thousand and 
ninet)'-three acres in this crop. Most of the crop is fed to horses and mules ; 
the remainder is sold largely in local markets, though some is shipped to 
Kansas City. White and Green Russian, Kherson, and Swedish Select are 
the principal varieties grown. 

The third crop in imiMrtance is wheat. The census of 19 10 reports 
twenty-one thousand eight hundred seventy-one acres devoted to this crop. 
About 1895 ^^'^^ state experiment station demonstrated the superior qualities 
of a variety of Russian winter wheat known as Turkey Red, and this has 
almost entirely displaced the spring varieties formerly grown, as it produces 
better yields, can be sown in the fall, a time of the year when it does not 
interfere with other farm labor, and matures before the .season of dry 
weather and hot winds. Wlieat is strictly a cash crop, and most of it is 
sold directl\- fr(im the threshing machine to local elevators. Most of it is 
shipped later to Kansas Cit\'. A small proportion of the crop is storetl in 
farm elevators or granaries, and held for higher prices. Scarcely any wheat 
is grown for lionie use. the flour used in tiie county lieing shipped in. Tiie 
value of cereal crops is reported in the 1910 census as two million iliree 
hundred forty-si.x thousand seven hundred eighty-seven dollars, and of other 
grains ancl seeds as ten thousand three hundred forty-eight dollars. 

Timothy and clover mixed is the most important ha}' crop It is 
re])orted in the census of 1910 on eleven thousand three hundred twentv- 
nine acres. During the progress of the survey excellent stands of this croii 
were seen, though it is reported that in dry years the crop is not nearly as 
good. In dry seasons considerable difiiculty is experienced in obtaining a 
good seeding of clover. There arc reported four thousand seven hundred 


ninetv-nine acres in timothy alone, three thousand three hundred and six 
acres in clover alone, seven thousand seven hundred and three acres in wild 
grasses, two hundred ninety acres in millet and one hundred sixty-one acres 
in other tame grasses. Some red-clover seed and timothy seed are produced. 
Ordinarily clover yields two to four bushels of seed an acre and timothy, 
four to eight bushels. Practically all the hay is fed to work stock and cattle, 
with a small part sold in local towns and some hay shipped to outside 
markets. Large quantities of hay are imported from the West. 


The growing of alfalfa has passed beyond the experimental stage, and 
this promises to become the principal hay crop of the county. In 1909 
there were seven thousand seven hundred twenty-two acres in alfalfa. The 
crop does well both on the upland and on the well-drained bottom-land soils, 
three and sometimes four cuttings being obtained each year, with a total 
yield ranging from three to five tons per acre. Most of the crop is fed to 
cattle and work stock, and some is used as hog pasturage. Alfalfa hay is not 
shipped out of the county, except from a few farms where it is the main 
cash crop. It is sent chiefly to Kansas City and St. Joseph, and sells for 
twelve dollars to fifteen dollars a ton. The total value of hay and forage 
crops is reported in the census of 1910 as five hundred thirty-two thousand 
five hundred nineteen dollars. 

The less important crops of Richardson county are potatoes, barley, 
rye. kafir, sorghum, and buckwheat. Potatoes are reported in the 1910 
census on nine hundred forty acres. The production is inadequate to meet 
the local demand. 

Trucking receives but little attention, owing to the distance from large 
markets. Some vegetables are grown on a commercial scale near the cities 
and \illages of the county. The 19 10 census reports the value of vegetables 
produced in the county in 1909 as eighty-three thousand six hundred eighty- 
two dollars. 

Most of the farmers have small orchards of apple, plum, peach and 
pear trees. These fruits do well when properly cared for, but owing to 
lack of care the trees in most orchards are gradually dying and less apples 
are produced now than ten years ago. There are several commercial orchards 
in the county, mainly in the vicinity of Falls City and Shubert. Though the 
blufi" zone of the Missouri river is admirably adapted to apples, it has tew 


commercial orchards, owing to the fact that it is too far from railroad points. 
In the vicinity of Shubert the apples are sold through the Central Fruit 
Growers Association; in other localities they are sold direct by the producer. 
Most of the apples are shipped to points in western Nebraska, Kansas, and 
South Dakota. 

Apples of the better grades are stored in Omaha for shipment at the 
time of greatest demand. The culls are made into cider and vinegar, and 
bring from twenty to thirty cents a hundred pounds. Graded apples sell for 
an average of two dollars and fifty cents a barrel. The principal varieties 
of apples grown are the Ben Davis, Winesap, Jonathan. Mammoth Black 
Twig, Missouri Pippin, Grimes, York Imperial, Gano, Duchess, and 
Wealthy. There are approximately eight hundred acres in commercial apple 
orchards. Only a few pears are produced commercially. The value of all 
orchard products, including small fruits and nuts, is given in the 1910 
census as fifty-four thousand two hundred twelve dollars. The number of 
apple trees is given as one hundred seventy-five thousand one hundred sev- 
enty-nine, with about sixty-seven thousand peach trees and about thirty- 
five thousand grapevines. 


Elias Beaver, who came to Richardson county in the sixties established 
the first commercial apple orchard on a farm six miles southwest of Falls 
City. Mr. Beaver was a skilled orchardist and the success of his orchards 
fully established the fact that very fine commercial apples could be success- 
fully grown in this section of Nebraska. 

The late Henry W. Shubert was the pioneer orchardist of the northern 
part of the county and his son, A. G. Shubert, of Falls City, set out the 
first apple trees in that part of the state in an orchard intended for commer- 
cial purposes. The success of the Shubert orchards has induced others in 
that section to plant orchards. Shubert Brothers have continued the work 
started by their father and now have the largest orchard acreage in the 
county and probably in the state of Nebraska. Their trees are cared for 
scientifically and cultivation of the soil with staple crops is continued until 
the trees are large enough to bear commercial crops of fruit. 

Allan Franklin, of Barada, established a splendid orchard in Barada 
precinct and the work is carried on b\' his sons, who are thorough-going 
fruit men and orchardists who have made a pronouncetl and well-paving 


success of the orchard business. The FrankHn orchards present a splendid 
appearance at all seasons of the year and the crop outlook in this year 
(1917) is gratifying. The fruit from the Franklin orchards commands a 
ready sale at high prices. 

In 1896 Henry C. Smith established an orchard which has been a pro- 
nounced success. Napoleon DeMers has a hne small orchard in the north- 
east section of Falls City — and there are many well kept small orchards 
scattered about the eastern part of the county. However, it has been dem- 
onstrated that the large, scientifically-kept commercial orchard pays best. 

Weaver Brothers, A. J. and Paul B. Weaver, have two hundred acres 
of bearing orchard, the output of which is sold to the same buyers year in 
and year out at top prices. Weaver Brothers planted their first commercial 
orchard in 1893 and their success has been well merited. Both A. J- and 
Paul B. Weaver are recognized authorities on apple growing in this section 
of the country and there is published in connection with this chapter an 
address delivered by A. J- Weaver upon fruit growing at the Missouri Valley 
Industrial and Farmers Congress in December, 19 14, which is a classic in 
itself and ably portrays the methods used and jiecessary for the successful 
cultivation of apple orchards. There is shipped from the Weaver Brothers" 
orchards each year from fifty to seventy-five cars of select fruit to Minnesota 
buyers in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Chicago. The fruit produced in these 
orchards each year from fift\- to seventy-five cars of select fruit to 
the famous orcliard country of the Northwest and brings equally high prices. 
The value of the orchard products produced in the Weaver Brothers' 
orchards will range from twenty-five to thirty thousand dollars annually, 
and a force of skilled workers are constantly engaged in the orchards which 
received the direct supervision of the owners. 


Henry C. Smith was instrumental in organizing the first Horticultural 
Societ}- in the count}" as early as 1872. The first meeting of the society, 
with Mr. Smith as secretary, was held in the city hall on September 18 
and i<) lit that year. A fine exhibit of fruits, jellies and flowers was made 
l:.v the different fruit growers in the ciuuit}- and it was decided to hold 
quai^terly meetings of the ^society. 



Dairying is receiving increased attention. Most of the fanners keep 
dairy cows, chiefly Shorthorn grades. The number of cows per farm varies 
from three to ten, with upward of forty on the dairy farms in the vicinity 
of Falls City. A few farmers keep no dairy cows. J\Iost of the dairying is 
carried on during the summer months, and in the winter not enough milk and 
butter is produced for home use. Most of the cream is separated on the farm. 
The surplus cream is shipped mainly to St. Joseph, and some is sent to Lin- 
coln, Omaha, and Kansas City. The local creamery at Falls City handles 
a small part of the cream. Some butter is made on the farms and sold at 
local markets. The average price obtained for butterfat in the summer is 
twenty-five to twenty-eight cents per pound, and in the winter thirty to thirty- 
two cents. The 1910 census reports the total value of all dairy products, 
excluding home use, as $124,021. The number of dairy cows on farms re- 
porting dairy products is 6,726. 

There are some herds of beef cattle, mostly on the farms in the south- 
western part of the county, on areas of Rough stony land. The cattle are 
mainly of Shorthorn and Hereford bi'eeding, though there are some herds 
of Polled Durham. A number of farmers feed one or two carloads of 
cattle, obtained from stockyards, with good returns. In other cases a few 
head are fattened on the farm each year, and sold when prices are most 
favorable. Alost of the beef cattle are marketed in St. Joseph and Kansas 
City. The 1910 census reports 19,246 other cattle and 1.219 '^alve^ sold 
or slaughtered. 

Considerable attention is being paid to the breeding of farm and draft 
horses. Nearly every farmer raises one or two colts each vear, and some 
as many as six. In this way the farmers supply their own work stock, and 
occasionally have a team to sell. The Percheron and Clydesdale are the fav- 
orite breeds. About one-fourth to one-fifth of the colts are mules. The 
census of 1910 reports a total of 1.848 horses and mules sold. 

There are only a few flocks of sheep in the county, though some sheeji 
are shipped in from Kansas Cit\- for feeding. There is one large goat 
ranch, carrying about one thousand head, in the northeastern part of the 
county, on the Knox silt loam. The iqio census re])orts 6.960 sheep and 
goats sold or slaughtered. 

The raising of hogs is the most important li\-e-stock industrv. Xearh 
every farmer fattens from twenty-fi\-e to thirty hogs each year, and some as 


many as one hundred and fifty. On tenant farms not nearly so many hogs 
are kept, which is also true of other Hve stock. Pork production is profitable, 
though cholera is prevalent and reduces the profits considerably. Most of 
tlie hogs are marketed in St. Joseph and Kansas City, and some in Omaha. 
Xearlv everv farmer butchers enough hogs to supply the home with meat the 
year round. Poland China, Duroc-Jersey, and Berkshire are the leading 
breeds, though there are very few registered herds. According to the 19 lo 
census 46,982 hogs were sold or slaughtered in 1909. The total value of 
all animals sold and slaughtered is reported in the 1910 census as $1,875,319. 
According to the same authority the total value of poultry and eggs 
is $240,815. Practicallv ever\- farmer keeps a small flock of chickens, rang- 
ing from forty to one hundred and fifty. Most of the eggs and poultry are 
handled by the two poultry establishments at Falls City. The dressed chickens 
are shipped mainly to Buffalo and New York. About thirty-two carloads 
of chickens and ninety carloads of eggs are sln'pped out of Falls City each 


Considerably more attention is paid to the adaptation of crops to the 
different soils than ten years ago. The farmers realize that the Marshall 
silt loam and Carrington silt loam are best suited to corns, wheat, oats 
and grass. They recognize that the Knox silt loam and steep slopes of the 
Shelby loam are best suited to alfalfa and for use as pasture. The Wabash 
soils are generally recognized as well adapted to corn and less well suited 
to the small grains, and the same is known to be true of the other l)ottom- 
land txpes. The topography of the Rough stony land makes it suitable 
only for grazing. 

The stubble land generally is plowed in the fall, either for winter 
wheat or corn. Corn land usually is li.sted and sometimes double listed 
where the crop succeeds itself. If the field is put in oats, it is either double 
disked or the oats are sowed broadcast between tlie rows of corn. \'aria- 
tions and modifications of the alwve practices are common. It is necessary 
to exercise considerably greater care in the preparation of the seed beds 
on the heaxier tvpes of the countv. .\ little barnyard manure is used. 
Tt is a])|)lied to corn or as a topdressing for winter wheat. .As a rule the 
barn van! is cleaned twice a year, but on many farms a large part of the 
manure is wasted. Green manuring is not practiced and scarcely any C(^m- 
mercial fertilizers are used. According to the census of 1910,' the total ex- 


penditure for fertilizers in this county in 1909 was only six hundied and 
twenty-six dollars, only six farms reporting their use. 

The fann buildings, especially the houses, usually are well painted and 
kept in good repair. There are many large, modern houses in the count}-. 
The barns are usually small, but as a rule are substantial and well kept. 
Hedge fences, established before the introduction of barbed wire, are com- 
mon. Most of these consist of Osage orange. Most of the cross fences 
and some boundary fences are of barbed wire, though woven wire is coming 
into more general use. 

The work stock consists mainly of medium-weight draft horses and 
mules. There are only a few gasoline tractors in the county. On most 
farms the four-horse hitch is used. The farm equipment consists of gang 
or sulky plows, disk harrows, straight-tooth harrows, drills, listers, corn 
planters, mowing machines, cultivators, rakes, hay loaders, stackers, binders. 
and wagons. Thrashing-machines are favorably distributed for use by the 
iarmers in all sections immediately after harvest. 

Definite systems of rotation are followed by only a few progress! \e 
farmers. The general tendency is to keep the land in corn two or three 
years or even longer, following with one year of oats, and from one to 
three years of wheat. Occasionally the wheat land is seeded to clover for 
two or three years, and then planted to corn. Of late alfalfa is taking the 
place of clover, and occupies the land from seven to ten years, or longer. 
On farms where there is no permanent pasture, clover and timothy fields 
usually are pastured the second year. 

There is an adequate supply of farm labor, but it is rather difificult to 
secure efficient help. The usual wage paid is twenty to thirtv-five dollars 
a month with board and washing. Most of the laborers are hired from 
March i to October i or December i, though a few farmers employ labor 
by the year, because it is easier in this way to get efficient men. Where the\' 
are hired only to October i the laborers are paid additional rates of three 
to three and one-half cents a bushel for husking corn. The daily wage for 
transient labor during han^est time ranges from two to three dollars per 
day, with board. The farmers are beginning to hire married men with their 
families, and the owners furnish them with tenant houses, milch cov/s. 
chickens, gardens, and fruit. Under this plan the wages range from thirty 
to forty dollars a month. Most of the farm work in the countv, however, 
is performed by the farmers and tlieir families. The expenditure for la1x)r 
in TQOQ was $314,735;. 



Most uf the farms in Richardson county contain one hundred and sixty 
acres. There are a few as small as eighty acres, and several ranging from 
four hundred to several thousand acres. According to the 1910 census, 
about ninety-five per cent, of the area of the county is in farms, and of 
the land in farms eighty-six per cent, is improved. The average size of 
the farms is 157.9 acres. About fift\-three per cent, of the famis are oper- 
ated by the owners and practically all the remainder by tenants. Both the 
cash and share systems of renting, as well as a combination of the two, are 
practiced, the share system being most popular. Cash rents vary from three 
to six dollars an acre for general-farm land, depending largely on the char- 
acter of the soil. Under the share system the owner receives two-fifths 
to one-half the products of the farm when the tenant furnishes all imple- 
ments and stock. Where the land is not so productive the owner furnishes 
one-half the work stock and tools and there is an equal division of crops. 
In the combination system of cash and share renting the permanent pastures 
and lands not used for crops are rented for cash. 

The value of farm land in Richardson county ranges from twenty to 
two hundred dollars an acre, depending on the nature of the soil, the topog- 
raphy, improvements, and distance from railroad points. The lowest-priced 
land is in the blufT zone of the Missouri river, and the highest-priced in 
the vicinity of Falls Cit\-. In the 19 10 census the average value of farm 
land is reported as $80.71. 

While there are man\- large farms in Richardson county and some 
extensive land holdings the large estates which are farmed under the direct 
supervision of their owners are small in number. Among the largest in- 
dividual farmers of the county is Weaver Brothers, A. J. and P. B. Weaver, 
who own and farm directly over three thousand acres of land located in 
Richardson county. The land is farmed according to the latest scientific 
agricultural methdds adapted to the land cultivated. .\ small army of men 
is em|)l(iyed in the farm work and in this \ear (1917) sixty men are on 
the pa\- roll, whicli will exceed $40,000 annuallv. Weaver Brothers market 
from fifteen hundred to two thousand head of hogs annually and produce 
and feed fur the market over five hundred head of cattle each vear. 


:he miles ranch. 


The Miles ranch, located in the vicinity of Dawson, in a southerly di- 
rection, embraces a total of five thousand acres of land operated in a body 
as one great farm. This famous ranch was established by the late Col. 
Stephen B. Miles in 1856 as a place to recuperate the hundreds of horses 
and mules used in the mail and stage-route traffic conducted by Mr. Miles 
for years by contract with the United States government. It was the first 
of the great ranches established west of the Missouri river and is now owned 
by Joseph H. Miles, son of the founder. 

The Miles ranch house is one of the best-built farm houses in this section 
of Nebraska and the materials which went into the making of the residence 
were obtained from the forests along the banks of the Nemaha river by 
the builder. The Miles house is built entirely of native lumber, cut and 
finished on the place ; and everything about the construction of the residence 
is of native materials, even to the stair rails, the newel posts and the inside 
woodwork, which is of native hardwood. At the time this residence was 
completed, in 1867, there were no railroads for transportating material, and 
the windows, doors and shingles of the building were transported from St. 
Louis by boat and then hauled to the ranch. 

One of the finest barns in the country, built entirely of native lumber 
and stone obtained on the ranch is found on tlie Miles ranch. This barn 
is modeled after the famous Pennsylvania ■type of bank -barn and no nails 
whatever are used in its construction. The timbers are morticed and fastened 
together with wooden pins. The barn is in a remarkable state of preserva- 
tion, notwithstanding the fact that it was Iniilt in 1861 bv the late S. B. 

Twelve ranch or tenant houses are located on the farm for the housing 
of the present tenants, and which were used up to three years ago ( 1914), 
for the housing of the many hands who were employed in doing tlie ranch 
work. The ranch is equipped with its own private grain elevators and water 
system, a stand pipe having been erected which would do credit to a small 
town, and gives sufficient pressure to reach the tops of the highest build- 
ings. The water supply is obtained from wells and an immense cistern, 
having a capacity of two thousand barrels. 

Since 1914 the ranch has been in cliarge of Stephen Miles, son 
of the owner and the farm lands which are cultivated for tlie raisin"- of 


grain crops have been farmed on the share system. Prior to 1914, the 
ranch was ojjerated in an entire body by Joseph H. Miles, the owner. 

The ranch proper consists of five thousand acres in all, although ]\Ir. 
Miles's holdings in the county total fifteen thousand acres in all. Fifteen 
hundred acres of the land is planted jearly to corn and produce from forty 
to sixty bushels of corn to the acre, making an average total of over seventy- 
five thousand bushels yearly. This year (191 7) there has been harvested 
five himdred acres of wheat, which produced from twenty to forty-eight 
bushels of grain to the acre, or an average of thirty-five bushels to the 
acre, making a total of seventeen thousand five hundred bushels of wheat. 
Three hundred acres were sown to oats, which produced from forty to si.xty 
bushels to the acre. One hundred acres of barley were harvested, which 
gave a good yield. F(3ur hundred acres of tame hay or timothy were cut. 
which yielded fifteen hundred tons. The ranch has over three hundred acres 
of natural growth timber, which furnishes all the lumber used in erecting 
new buildings or .sheds and making repairs. There are fifteen hundred acres 
of pasture land. The ranch is bisected by the south fork of the Nemaha 
river, which causes the only waste land in the entire ranch. The private 
Miles drainage ditch was only recently completed (in July, 191 7). for a 
distance of three miles through the ranch bottom lands, at a cost of nearly 
twenty thousand dollars. 

Three hundred head of fine fat cattle are marketed yearly from the 
rancli, all of which are thoroughbred stock such as Hereford. Shorthorn 
and .\ngus breeds. From one thousand to fifteen hundred hogs of the 
Poland China and Duroc -Jersey breeds are marketed annually. The ranch 
has always prided itself in producing only pure bred stock. 


Tiie Margrave ranch, consisting of several thousantl acres of land in 
the southeastern part of the county and in Brown county, Kansas, was 
established by the late W. .\.. Margrave and is operated by the Margrave 
Corporation, under the direct supervision of William A. and James Mar- 
grave. The shipping headquarters of the ranch are located at Preston and 
the ranch proper is located a few miles east and south of Preston. 



Address made by Hon. A. .J. Weaver, of Falls City, before the Missouri Valley Industrial 
and Farmers' Congress, held at St. Joseph, Missouri, in December, 1914, and later 
given before the State Horticultural Association at Lincoln. Nebraska, and printed 
in Horticultural journals and widely published as the best article on scientific apple 
grovi'ing ever presented in the middle west. 

Ladies aud Gentlemen: Bill Nye once said ttiat he was not much of a spealver, 
liimself, but that he was a good extemporaneous listener, aud after the interesting and 
instructive addresses already made to this congress, I would prefer to continue as a good 
listener; and I feel that in attempting your further instruction I am but illustrating 
Joseph's dream, that after the feast came the famine. However, as one deeply inter- 
ested in the puiposes of this congress, I am glad to join in this wonderful conservation 
movement, aud today I want to congratulate St. Joseph uix)n placing at the head of this 
movement Col. R. M. Bacheler, who is a real benefactor of your city. For months, when 
he should have been thinking of his own business, his own pleasure and comfort, he has 
been siJending weary hours for the success of this congress. Such men are never repaid, 
only in the consciousness of a public duty well performed. How well Colonel Bacheler's 
duty has been performed toward St. Joseph, and the great country tributary to it, the 
success of this meeting attests. 


There is in attendance here, and uix>u this program, representatives of every imiwr- 
tant business aud industry in the Missouri valley, from high railroad officials to bankers 
and farmers. And we are particularly pleased to learn that the great railroad systems 
in the Middle West are interested in the work of this congress. A few years ago 
railroads were in politics, and at this time of the year vvere guardians of our I.«gislatures 
and were electing our United States senators. Today they are strictly in legitimate busi- 
ness. They are sending out demonstration trains for better grain, grasses and live stock, 
promoting good roads aud assisting materially in the uplift of agriculture, and in e.\tend- 
ing the limits of this empire of wealth and prosperity. The attendance of W. C. Brown, 
ex-president of the New York Central Railroad, and the trained experts of the different 
railroads, clearly demonstrate that we are entering upon a new era. 


Repeating what I said to this congress last year, it is proper that St. Joseph, Mis- 
souri, should be the center of this new movement in the Missouri valley ; St. Joseph, 
the inspiration and life of the early histoiy of the Sliddle AVest, where the first pony 
exiDress started blazing the trail westward across the continent ; St. Joseph, the stay 
and support of this great valley when reverses and set-backs came, and now the leader 
and first on the firing line of this new movement; St. Joseph, full of romance and his- 
tory, full of wealth and conservatism, yet as full of real men and progress, combining 
enough of the Xew England spirit, the old life of the South, the newer life of the free 
West, and the real spirit of the age, to make it the magnificent center of this great agri- 
cultural empire. St. Joseph, our banking, live-stock and mercantile center, we thank 
you for this congress aud for the hospitality extended to ns. 


It has been lieautifully sjiid that •'Nature makes the whole world kiu." aud not long 
ago, as I looked out of my window from the eighth .story of your beautiful hotel. 1 


thought how true this was. I saw the smoke rising from a liuiuUetl smoliestacks, rei)re- 
senting the industrial life of this city. I saw the smolce from tlie railroad yards and 
the great paoking plants of South St. Joseph. I looked back of these and saw nestling 
in the wooded slopes churches and school houses and homes. Back of these, for hun- 
dreds of miles, I knew extended fertile farms, the basis of all our wealth ; and I thought 
how everything went back to nature and the soil and how all these things were dependent 
one upon the other. Tour industries would he silent, your railroads would become dis- 
used streaks of rust if it were not for these farms surrounding you. On the other hand, 
without these great railroads, which are the arteries of commerce and trade, and these 
packing plants, which are the farmers market, agriculture would stagnate, in fact it 
would never have been born upon these prairies. 


Then I contrasted all this peace and progress and prosperity with the conditions 
across the water, where half the world is at war, where nation grapples at the throat 
of nation, where men are mere pawns of monaix'hs and where human life and property, 
by the thousands and tens of thousands, are being daily swallowed up in the terrible 
vortex of war. 

It is said that Confucius, the great Chinese statesman, once traveled in a distant 
part of the empire which was infested with ferocious wild beasts. One day he came 
upon a woman weeping bitterly and stopping to inquire the cause of her grief, learned 
that her husband had recently been killed by a tiger. "Why," asked the Chinaman, "do 
you remain in a province infested with such danger?" "We have a good governuient 
here," was the woman's reply. "Behold," exclaimed the sage, "a bad government is 
more to be feared than the rapacious tiger." Today in peaceful and prosperous America 
we can exclaim with the Chinese sage: "A bad government is more to be feared than 
the rapacious tiger." For fifty years every farmer in Europe has carried a soldier on his 
back. Today he struggles with the weight of two or three, and next year, or the next, 
when this cruel war is over, and the terrible and appalling cost in men and treasure is 
reckoned, the load will be intolerable; for his nation, whether victor or vanquished, will 
be hopelessly in debt and its citizen, nominally free, will be a tax vassal for a lunidred 
years to come. 


America, fortunate in her isolation, doubly fortunate in her form of government 
and the genius of her people, thrice fortunate in her wonderful resources of mines and 
forests and fields; practically free from debt, with the wholesome inclination to spend 
her resources for better homes and better food, for agricultural and other colleges, for 
better roads and the hundreds of other things conducing to her happiness and prosijerity. 
rather than upon vast armaments and navies ! America, wonderful America I We. a 
handful of your peaceful citizens, engaged today in St. Joseph, in quiet conference con- 
cerning the pursuits of peace, salute you as truly the "Land of the free and home of the 
brave.". The land of the free, because we are free from the military systems of the old 
world, and because we, the people, are the real sovereigns, and our public officials our 
servants, and not our master.s. The land of the brave, because we are brave enough to be 
just to every man beneath our flag, and every nation on earth. Our flag has floated over 
Cuba and Mexico, but not for conquest. It is the emblem of iieace on eartli and good 
will to men, and when its mission in foreign lands is performed, it comes home with all 
the honor and dignity and justice which it took .-iway. 

My friends, you will pardon this digression from the sul>ject assignetl nic. but 1 li.ive 


merely mentioued these tbiugs to emiiliusize the traiuiuility miuI prosperity, wbiili we as 
a nation are enjoying, and for whicb we should be thankful. In this connection I might 
add that this conference represents a territory which iu size and wealth would be an 
empire in Europe. Each of its magnificent counties would be a principality. In fertility 
of soil, iu climate, in the character and intelligence of its people, the Missouri Valley 
country Is the equal of the best of Europe. In population we are deficient, but popula- 
tion Is fast increasing and to meet this added responsibility we are iu conference today 
as an Intelligent citizenship, to devise the best ways and means for Hie future of our 
industrial and. farming activities. 


The past is gone, and with it its train of mistakes. One of these was in mining our 
soil instead of farming it, in selling its fertility at wholefsale In grain Instead of in con- 
centrates of meat. Another was in neglecting clover, alfalfa and the other legumes. 
Another was iu allowing out lands to be gullied and washed into the sea. Another was 
in trying to produce beef and pork on much coru and little roughage. Another was in 
planting orchards, then allowini,' the cattle, hogs and Insects to destroy them. Another 
was in raising wheat year after year on the same laud, and then corn, year after year 
on the same land. Coburn of Kansas, in referring to the average of thirteen to fifteen 
bushels per acre on Kansas wheat land once said. "Men write of the 'Shame of Cities" and 
the 'Crime of Society,' but this Is the 'Crime of Agriculture"." These old methods were 
sad mistakes, and were indeed costly, not only to the individual, but to the aggregate 
wealth of the community. And today we congratulate ourselves and the country that 
we are teaching and practicing better ways. 

We know now that we nnist farm and husband the land instead of mining It. We 
liuow now that if we would preserve the fertlity of the soil, we must handle live stock 
and market our crops In the form of beef and ikh-U and mutton. We know now that 
clover and alfalfa are as necessary to the life of our laud as red blood is to the life of 
our bodies. We know now what nitrogen and humus .ire. and that they are the soil's 
capital. We know now that lands which wash away ue\er return, and that ugly ditches, 
like ugly wounds, are not only unsightly, but are sometimes fatal. Fields have been 
ruined by being gullied and washed to pieces. Xature"s remedy is grass. We know now 
that cornstalks in a silo are better for the fanner and his herds than cornstalks in 
winter-swept and suow-bound fields: and that we must save this and all other roughage, 
if we are to handle live stock successfully on high-priced land. We know now that the 
hog is a grazing animal and that alfalfa should be on his bill of fare the year round. 
He should not only have alfalfa pasture from April to November, but should be fed 
alfalfa hay the rest of the year in racks, the same as cattle. We know that while the 
hog is growing we should furnish him with this cheap iirotein ration, but that when he is 
fattening on a full feed of coru, .ilfalfa hay should be suiiplementetl with a coueeutrated 
protein ration in the form of tankage. Feed a hog all the alfalfa he will eat and at the 
present price of corn you cut off tweuty cents on ever.\- bushel. We know now that every 
hog-yard should have its cement feeding floor, for every bushel of corn fed on a feeding 
floor saves a pound of pork. We know now that lice and worms are the two greatest 
enemies of the hog raiser, and that these are easily controlled. We know that the great 
hog scourge can be prevented by vaccination, and that the man who proiJerly guards his 
hogs need spend no sleepless nights on account of hog cholera. These observations are 
made from some cxiierionce in the hog business. Weaver Brothers raise two thousand 
hogs every year, and we believe that bogs and alfalfa are the mr>st profitable combina- 
tions on the farm. 


Yes, we used to tbink that aiiybixly couUl l>e a fanner. We kuow l)etter uow. It 
requires as luiR-b or more braius to farm successfully as it does to succeed in any 
other business. We used to think that we had to sow and reap like our fathers. We 
know better uow. We eveu change our owu methods in the light of our own experience. 
We used to think that orchards were planted to grow snialJ. imperfect and .scabby apples. 
We know better uow. A new age is here, and, regardless of our (X"cupations, we 
should be iu sympathy with it. Xo matter what our'vocation, we are all farmers in 
this country, in the sense that it is our one great community business and asset. 
Farming is the basis of all wealth, and especially in the Middle West, and we should 
doff our hats to the modern, uivto-date farmer, and accord to him the dignity and 
worth he merits as one of our most useful citizens. 


I have been requested to deliver at this session^ a brief address upon orcharding 
in the Missouri valley. While I am but incidentally engaged iu raising apples, and 
would rather talk about hogs and alfalfa, silos and cattle raising and general conservation 
of the soil, yet orcharding, and particularly apple raising, is a great industry in this 
section, and if given the s;ime attention as grain or live-stock farming, would become a 
notable industry and highly profitable. I make this statement from my own observations 
of the orchard business in the Missouri valley, and i)articularly my experience iu 
southeastern Nebraska, where Weaver Brothers own and control and operate over 
two hundred acres of apple orchard. We produce annually from thirty-five to one 
hundred ear-loads of apples, aud sell ou an average more thau twenty thousand dollars 
worth of apples each year. These orchards will produce annually a net average revenue 
of ten thousand dollars a year or fifty dollars an acre. This takes into consideration 
the original investment, the frost damage in occasional years aud unfavorable seasons, 
both as to production aud markets. The average orchard in this section and particularly 
the small orchard, is not profitable, aud on the ordinary farm may be considered as a 
liability instead of an asset. This is because of the failure to properly care for the 
same. Success iu the orchard business will come only with proper cultivation, fertiliza- 
tion, pruning, .spraying, proiier grading, and reasonable ability to market the crop. In 
other words, commercial apple raising is a business and must be handled on business 
principles, if it is to succeed. An orchard handled in this way will not only yield a 
nice profit, but will afford a great deal of pleasure to the man engaged iu it. The 
apples produceil in this section are the equal, if not the superior, iu flavor and quality 
of any produced in the United States, and the fruit from sprayed and cared-for oi'chards 
is eagerly sought by the buyers for the best city markets. 

Fortunately the values of our best apple lands, which .ire the hill or bluff laiiils 
adjacent to the Mi.ssouri river, have never been inflated and can be purchase<l from 
fifty to one hundred twenty-five dollars au acre. Fpoii this Ii.-isis orcharding Is a 
safe business venture, particularly so wheu we consider the inflated values of orchard 
land in the irrigated sections, from which points the freii-'lit rate to Minneapolis ami 
Chicago is as much per bushel box .-is it is for a tbroc-li\islicl barrel from St. .Joseiili u> 
the same markets. 

A large fruit dealer from .Minneapolis, who has just returned from the ra<ifii- 
coast, and who is familiar with every detail of the .■ipple-marketing bu.siness told me 
last September, that the orchardists of the Missouri valley, who es<'aped the expense of 
irrigation and the exiiensive long haul, were the masters of the apple situation, and 
that all that was uecessju-)- to the highest success was proper methods. I might add 
that the highest compliment I have ever had, as au orchardist. was paid uje when this 


man, iiitrocUioecl uie to two large orclianlists of the Yakima valley, Washiugtou, .as 
one of the very few men in the southwest who knew how to raise and pack apples. 
These two men, one of them an ex-superior court judge, were in Minneapolis to sell 
their crop of Western box apples. I dou't know what success they had, but after a 
thirty-miuute conference with the fruit merchant, I sold him thirteen cars of Nebraska 
apples, and have in previous years in less time, sokl him as many as thirty cars, and 
always at a satisfactory price. Our apples are sold year after year to the same parties, 
on the same basis as your grain merchant sells No. 1, No. 2, or No. 3 wheat and corn, 
and with no dispute over the grades and quality. liaising apples under these conditions 
in the Missouri valley, where natural conditions are almost ideal, makes the business 
a desirable one. 1 will now discuss the essentials necessary for the production of good 
apples, as practiced in our own orchards. 


We spray our orchards thoroughly. We siiray three, and sometimes four times 
during the season. The first is the dormant spray, before any foliage has appeared, 
with either Bordeaux mixture or lime and sulphur. We prefer the lime and sulphur. 
We use Bordeaux spray after the foliage appears, as it produces a rusty appearance of 
the apple, especially ou the Ben Davis variety. These sprays are used as a fungicide, 
controlling all diseases of a foreign nature, such as scab, scale and kindred diseases. 
For the dormant spray one gallon of lime and sulphur should be u.sed with twelve to 
fourteen gallons of water. Where Bordeaux is used it should consist of four pounds 
of copper sulphate, four pounds of lime and fifty gallons of water. 

The next most important spraying is what is known as the blos.som spray, which 
is a combination of lime and sulphur and arsenate of lead, the arsenate of lead being 
the recognized insecticide for all leaf-eating insects, and the one great apple pest, 
the codling moth. This sjiray is made by using lime and sulphur diluted, one to 
thirty-five, into which is added three pounds of arsenate of lead to fifty gallons of 
water. This spray should be applied with a pressure of from two hundred to two 
hundred and fifty ix)uuds so that the poison spray will be forced into the calyx cup 
of every blossom. The spray nozzles should be attached to the siiray rod with a 
forty -five degree elbow, so that every blossom eau be reached from any angle. 

The man handling the spray rod is the "man behind the gun." Carelessness and 
indifference here may cost an orchardist hundreds of dollars. Every inside and top 
blossom should be reached. To do this continuous driving with the sprayer is impossible. 
The machine should be stopped at each tree so that thorough work can be done. If the 
blossom spraying is not thorough and complete, the apples will be wormy, no matter 
how many sprayings you give later. I will briefly explain the reason for this, 

The codling moth is of a color and about one-half inch in length. It 
deposits its eggfe on the bark of the tree and on its foliage shortly after the ]ietals of 
the blossom falls. These eggs are white specks about the size of a small pin head. 
Tiny worms which hatch from these eggs gradually work their way to the small apples 
and through the cal,vx cup mto the apple core. If the spraying has been thorough 
this calyx cup is full of poison and the little worm dies from poison food without getting 
into the apple. 

In this latitude there are generally two broods of these worms, the second brood 
appearing in from forty to sixty days after the first. This brood conies from the full- 
grown worms surviving from the first. After about three weeks spent in the apple 
these survivors come out. seek a biding place and here spin cocoons and change to 



a chrysalis. From tbis comes again the codling moth, then the eggs, then the brood 
of worms. 

In the South, and sometimes here, this operation is repeated a third time, hence 
more spraying is necessary in some sections and seasons than iu others. In this latitude 
we have been able to control the moth with two poison sprays, one immediately following 
the first at the time of the calyx spray. This catches the late bloom and also any of the 
earlier bloom missed in the first application. 

To spray successfully and economically, the orchardist should provide himself with 
a first-class high-power spraying outfit. We use in our orchards seven iwwer machines, 
one New Beau machine, with a magueto and six Cushmaus, manufactured in St. Joseph, 


Next in importance iu the care of an orchard is systematic and heavy pruning. Do 
not do it all in oue year, but do part of it every year. Keep the tops cut bade, the 
center cleaned out and the lower branches cut away, so that the air and sunshine will 
be admitted. After doing this have your pruners take stepladders and go around the 
tree, thinning the sides of the tree which are liable to become too bushy. This side 
trimmiug is very important, a lesson which we have learned within the last few years. 
In this connection, however, I would caution the orchardist against cutting away too 
many side branches on the south and west. These parts of the tree get enough sun in 
any event to properly color the fruit and too much pruning on the south and west 
may subject the limbs and trunk of the tree to injury from the hot summer sun. We 
keep all water sprouts out of the trees by sending a foreman with eight or ten boys 
through the orchard, the last of June each year, and with gloved hands all sprouts 
are rubbed off with no injury to the tree, and at small expense. 

In pruning leave no stubs as these are a source of infection from disease and borers. 
Stubs do not heal readily as the wound is too far from the sap circulation of the tree. 
Many orchards have been ruined and are being ruined by the stubs left in pruning. 
The limbs should be taken off close to the trunk or at the fork. Paint every wound 
at once, that means within two or three days. If you allow the wood to dry and 
check you have left an opening for disease, insects and the weather. We have always 
used white lead and oil, colored with lamp black, to produce the tree-trunk color. 
The last two seasons we used a pruning compound, an asiili.ilt paint, which been 
recommended to us, and found it very satisfactory. 

We prune only in May and June, and iu any event ncit l;\tcr tli;ni the middle of 
July. These are ideal mouths, both for healing and painting. In tlie winter tinii' 
wounds cannot always be proni]itly i)ainteil .-ukI :ire siili.i(H-t to the killing ]irncess of 
zero weather. 

After a tree is put in shai)e and proiwrly triunned, a little work each year will 
keep it in good condition. I would urge on every orchardist the necessity of making 
pruning secondary only to spraying. AVe have learned that we caiuiot grow both wood 
and good fruit on the same tree. We have .ilso learned that fancy ,i|iiiles do not grow 
in dense foliage. 


As spraying and pruning are the Siamese twins ut' orcharding. «i are culliv.ition 
and fertilization likewise twins in the same family 
are well colored, fair size and free from worms 
but you will have larger apples, more of them an 
year by adding proper cultivation and fertilization. 

on can grow good 


))runing and spra; 

ving pr. 

inie nearer raising 

a croi. 


We use tlie ordinary disk as soou as the ground is dry and free from frost and tlicii 
harrow after every rain. This keeps a dust mulch in the orchard aud conserves all the 
moisture. This cultivation should be kept up until the middle of July, even until the 
first of August. If there is any sod in the orchard this should be plowed up, and then 
the disk and harrow used. 

Every bearing orchard should be systematically fertilized. We use the ordinary 
barnyard manure every year, where available. When not, we use nitrate of soda and 
get even better results. Tliis year we used a carload of nitrate of soda purchased of 
Swift & Company, St. Joseph. Some day we expect to have a soil analysis made in all 
our orchards aud then supply only those elements in which we are deficient. We have 
secured excellent results, however, from the ordinary manure. A few years ago we 
manured, heavily, ten acres in one orchard. Since then we have noticed the increased 
yield and superior quality to the very tree row. This was the best investment we 
ever made in the orchard business. 

We contend that by conserving the moisture by cultivation, aud feeding the tree.-i 
by fertilization we can raise apples every year, barring loss by frost. We have been 
raising apples every year from the same trees for the last three years and if we can 
continue this for the next three years, will be quite sure that this continued production 
is from proper cultivation and fertilization. 

By spraying and pruning, the tree is kept healthy and vigorous; by cultivation and 
fertilization, there is enough moisture and strength of soil to set healthy and strong 
fruit buds every year. 


Each spring the hanging bark on the trunk and limbs of the trees should lie removed. 
This should be done just before the dormant spray. This clinging bark furuishes a 
breeding place for insects, worms and disease. For its removal we use the ordinary 
mud currycomb, the surface of which has no sharp points but consists of circular pieces 
of corrugated tin. These can be purchased at any hardware store and are the best 
things we have found for this work. 


The old uncared-for orchards in this country are dying as if by an eiiideniic. Some 
day we will wake up and find that the only orchards which are left are the commercial 
orchards, which have received proiJer and attention. The flat- and round-headed 
borers are doing this deadly work. P^ach sununer we go through our orchards and cut 
away all diseased parts, dig out the borers and cvit away the affected part back to 
the live wood and bark, disinfect the wouuds with Bordeaux mixture and paint the wounds. 

The round-headed borer works in the wood, the flat-headed borer works between the 
wood and the bark and keeps killing back the bark. Poor pnining. esiiecially where stubs 
.ire left, is responsible for much of the trouble from borers. 

There is also considerable Illinois canker in the orchards of this territory, which 
esiiecially affects the Ben Davis. The same treatment is recommended and by use of the 
Bordeaux spray at the dormant stflte, and the use of lime and sulphur, combined with 
arsenate of lead, as a summer .spray, it is claimed that the ravages of this new disease 
can lie kept in check. We have thoroughly tried this treatment and in normal years had 
fair success, but the last two dry seasons have .shown the weakness of such trees, aud 
where a tree is much affected, we recommend its destruction. 

The planting of an orchard should be with great care as to distance between the trees 
and the selection of varieties. Apple trees should be planted forty feet apart and upon 


good ricli ground. This will eiwble the trees to develop to good size aud give room for 
work iu the orehanl. There is also sutHcieut room to grow crops between the rows during 
the productive iieriod, aud thus raise the orchard at small expense. 

As to the selections of varieties, 1 would plant one-sixth Winesap, one-sixth Jonathan, 
one-sixth Delicious, one-sixth Grimes Golden, one-sixth Blaektwig and one-sixth Ben Davis. 
In a small orchard it might be advisjible to increase the Jonathan and Winesjip. but in 
a larger orchard I would limit these varieties, on account of their propensity to drop 
before the proper packing season. The .separate varieties should be planted in separate 
blocks on account of economy in picking and packing. 

The figures I have given in this address as to the production and returns of our 
orchards are based on the Ben Davis variety, nine-tenths of our trees being Ben Davis, and 
we never regretted this proportion, notwithstanding the i)rojudice existing in some sections 
against the Ben Davis apple. On account of the serious ravages of Illinois canker during 
the last two dry seasons, however, we would not lie enthusiastic about planting too many 
of this variety. 

The Ben Davis is really .1 high-class commercial apple. The Ben Davis may be an 
inferior apple in the East, but in the Jllssouri valley it grows to perfection, attains size 
and color, has few superiors as a cooking apple, is a large and regular producer, and 
packs, ships and stores better than any apple that we can raise. 

The foregoing observations on orcharding are but the essentials of this important 
industry. There are many other interesting phases of this business, but I will not discuss 
them owing to lack of time. One thing, however, I would emphasize, and that is that 
profitable fruit crops are not the gifts of Providence any more than the other crops we 

In conclusion. I desire to say th.-it orcharding in the Jlissouri valley country is but in 
its infancy, and that the time will come when the famous orchards tributary to the 
.Missouri river will be famed the world over, and their fruit will not only add wealth 
to the owners and this section, but will bring health and happiness to iieoples who are 
not so fortunately situated as we are. 

From the FalU City Journal. December 12. 1912. 

Who had the honor of planting the first fruit tree in Richardson county 
has not been recorded in the annals of the pioneers. The presumption is 
fair that some of the ox-teams that treked covered wagons into this section 
in 1855, holding all the hopes and possessions of the incoming settlers, had 
stowed awav some plants, herbs and small fruit trees from the home land. 
\\'hile manv of the new homeseekers and makers were from distant states 
and lands, tliere were many also from nearby Missouri, sections of wliich had 
been settled from thirty to fifty years and already enjoyed some of the 
home comforts that come with the possession of a fruitful orchard. How- 
ever, after the start was made a few years only were required to find sdine 
fruit trees growing near the dwelling house of the thrifty citizens. Of 
course, there were those who had been born to the inheritance of a nomadic 
and shiftless frontier sort of life, who failed to plant even the cottonwood 


and box-elder aud seemed to prefer the bleakness of the wind-swept prairie 
to the groves and orchards that soon sprang up around the buildings of the 
settlers from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New England. No 
thought was given to commercial orchards at that early day. The plaritings 
were of a few trees to a very few acres. This land was too remote from 
markets to think of anything but trying to supply the needs of tlie planters. 
The Germany colony that settled in the wooded hills along the IMissouri 
river and founded the town of Arago, in 1858, were impressed with the 
idea that where forest trees grew so luxuriantly that fruit trees would also 
do well. They had occasion to remark the abundance of wild fruits such 
as crab apples, plums, pawpaws, cherries, haws, mulberries, grapes, straw- 
berries, gooseberries and many other kinds, and after the first year's expe- 
rience in farming in 1859 or i860 sent to Buffalo, New York, from whence 
they had come, for fruit trees. The treasurer and general agent of the 
Arago colony at the time was Hon. Gust Duerfeldt, Sr., still residing at the 
age of eighty-5ix on the farm he settled upon in Barada township in 1858. 
It was through him that the trees were purchased from the eastern nurser}' 
and he may be regarded as the first fruit-tree agent in the county. A 
number of farmers planted small orchards from the trees so obtained, some 
of the trees are yet alive and producing fruit, but most of the trees were 
of varieties that did not respond to the change in climate and soil and have 
long since been displaced for varieties that proved better adapted to the 
new situation. While the settlers along the ^lissouri river bluft"s took early 
to the planting of fruit trees, the people who were forced to take the open 
prairie lands, because all the wooded hills had been gobbled up by the first 
comers, were in doubt about trees doing well and because of this doubt 
and the high price of the trees and the lack of money were much slower in 


There was not much done towards planting small orchards on these 
prairie lands until after the new settlers began to pour in from the country 
east of the Mississippi river, about 1870. Then in a few years it was not 
difficult to tell the homestead of a man who was born and reared on the 
frontier from one of the down-east farmers, who surrounded his buildings 
with fruit trees and groves and settled down to grow up with the ccnuitry 
and develop its agricultural and horticultural possibilities, while the fron- 


tier's man liad it in his blood to love cows, ponies, dogs, and herds, and nearly 
always had a ramshackled, run down, shiftless, treeless sort of a surround- 
ing to his habitation. Between the planting of an orchard and the eating 
of fruit therefrom from five to ten years intervened and it was back to old 
.Missouri in the neighborhood of St. Joseph that many an early settler went 
with a load of corn to exchange for apples before his own began to produce. 
This trading of corn and wheat and money for Missouri apples went on 
from the settlement of the country to 1880, with this difference, that after 
about 1875, the Missourians came with loaded wagons seeking a market 
and Init few from this county crossed the Missouri river seeking fruit. 
About 1880 the local orchards were able to supply the home trade, but 
for some years longer wagon-loads of Missouri apples went through this 
c(nmty seventy-five to one hundred and fifty miles west to the newer settle- 
ment where fruit was scarce: but after a while the Missouri apples and 
the apple wagons disappeared and the Nebraskan who wanted apples came 
to Richardson county and, finding all and more than he could carry away, 
returned home ladened, spreading the news of a new land of Egypt to 
which all might come and be satisfied, with fruit. It was probably this 
wagon traffic in apples that attracted the attention and induced some to 
plant larger orchards, believing that for many years, and perhaps always, 
there would be a market for this fruit in the semi-arid portions of this state. 
The farm journals, nursery men, tree agents and agricultural lecturers, at 
least since 1875. had persistently preached the planting of trees and orchards. 
This free advice had some effect, for there were but few fanns on which 
an orchard of some size was not planted, but it was not until about i8go. 
or later that rirchards of much size were planted in this county. Then there 
was an era of planting, but after several years it was apparent that there 
was considerable labor and care necessary to start an orchard: that there 
were hail storms, insects, rabbits, mice, weeds and droughts to fight and 
guard against and loss of grain crops on the land set apart for orchards, 
and the enthusiasm for this method of getting rich quick and without work, 
lessened and has never been regained. Then as the orchards grew and 
began to come into bearing there was an occasional frost or an unsea- 
sonable vear when the fruit was poor, undeveloped, wormy and unsalable. 
.-md in the vears when there was a good crop the markets were overstocked 
and the pvke was so low that the (Orchard was a burden and many were 
tempted to uproot them. :is a few did. 



With the muhiplication of bearing trees the insects and fungus enemies 
increased and it appeared that the growing of apples was destined to be 
an unprofitable business, but just then a new light dawned on the owners 
of a few orchards. They had heard of spraying and they took the trouble 
of going to see what other orchards had done both East and West, and 
were convinced that spraying was necessary to produce salable fruit. The 
late Henry C. Smith was one of the first to undertake spraying. Congress- 
man Pollard had government experts sent here to demonstrate the benefits. 
Slowly the idea soaked in so that now no one expects to raise first class 
apples without spraying. Then along came a dry, hot year and notwith- 
standing the spraying the fruit was inferior, lacking both size and quality, 
then it occurred to Smith that the fruit grower in the arid region not only 
sprayed his trees but also cultivated the soil and conserved the moisture. 
He acted upon the theory that such a plan might also be of advantage here. 
The first year's trial dispelled all doubt. From that demonstration, both 
spraying and cultivation have come to be accepted dogma with up-to-date 
orchardists. The Weaver and Smith orchards have ))een through very dry 
seasons, in both 1911 and 1912, yet the fruit was full}' developed and un- 
injured by the drought, whereas the uncultivated orchards in the same lo- 
cality produced small, defective apples, although they were sprayed. 

But there is still something more that is necessary for rm orchardist 
to understand, if he is going to get any profit. He must have the business 
capacity to sell his product for what it is worth, for, of what avail is it 
to him to prune, spray, cultivate and grow a perfect apple and then sell 
it to some scalper at the price of cider apples. Ex}>erience, organization 
and a selling combination, among fruit growers in this locality, will take 
care of that after a while. It has been said that Richardson countv alone 
produced more car-loads of apples than some of the Northwestern states 
whose fame is world wide as apple producers. In igii six hundred cars 
were shipped out, while TQ12 has a record of one thousand cars. There 
are several differences to l)e taken into account in considering the capacity 
of Richardson county to produce apples, in comparison with a Northwestern 
state that grows its apples under irrigation in favored spots on hill tops 
adjacent to deep valleys that drain the frosty air into their recesses and allow 
the hill tops to escape harm. The valley lands here are unsuitable as orchard 
sites also, but the whole of Richardson countv is in the rain 1>elt and all is eood 


apple land except the rive^valley^. and so far as expansion of the business 
is concerned it would be easier for Richardson county to produce tiity 
thou?aiid cars of apples in a year than it would for Oregon. Idaho or Utah, 
for the acreage in those states that is suited for apples is verv- restricted 
because of lack of water and suitable land in juxtaposition. 

After it is all said and dtme there is no better place to embark in 
the apple business than right here, for the same amount of attention and 
care devoted to orcharding will produce as g<X)d an apple as is grown any- 
where in the \\'est: then this localir\- has the advantage of nearness to 
large markets and less expensive maintenance charges in the way of water, 
tax and fertilizer. It is quite as necessar}- to fertilize the soil in an orchard 
here as an}-where. if good crops of fruit are to be expected yearly. The 
experience of the most successful apple producers show that ^-igorous growth 
in the tree can be maintained that way and this vigor is what tells in the 
qualitv- and quantity- of the fruit. 

The most persistent and difficult to eradicate of all the enemies of 
the apple tree is the borer. Sprapng and prmiing help some in the control 
of this pest anil danger, but a close examination of each tree is necessarv- to 
locate the borer and he must be dug out and the wound treated scientifi- 
cally or great injiuA- follows and death results, if the borer is allowed to 
work out his life hisior\- in that tree and girdle it. Many imagine that orchards 
are subject to other ailments, but the holding of such opinions is the result 
of incomplete invesrigati«^. The borer is at the bottom of it when a tree 
dies in this counrv- from other than accidental causes. 


Previous to the digging of the drainage ditches through the rich bot- 
ttwn lands of the main stream of the Xemaha river and the nonh and south 
forks of the Xemaha. the bottom lands, alth.-ugh the richest in the world, 
were unproductive to a great extent: w^.rth ver>- linle for farming pur- 
poses, and valued ver\- low in dollars and cents, and were subject to fre- 
quent overflow. The old channel of the Xemaha and its two forks is ver\- 
crooked and inadequate to carr>- the great volume of water which comes 
dow-n the valley in time of hea\-A- rains in the spring and simimer season. 
The farmer who trieil to sow a crop did so with the chances against liim. 
the .>lds being in favor of the river overflowing and destro\-ing the crop 


before it was ready to harvest. It was to be expected that someone or 
group of individuals would eventually undertake to redeem this vast acreage 
of appearently worthless land and make it fit for crop production by re- 
moving the flood menace through the digging of drainage ditches. The 
movement began in 1903, when the first agitation for a drainage ditch was 
commenced. Then it was discovered that Nebraska had no laws providing 
for incorporating drainage districts, and also that permission had to be 
obtained from the federal government in order to incorporate the Indian 
lands along the lower stretches of the Xemaha within the district. These 
difficulties were overcome, however, and drainage district Xo. i \vas suc- 
cessfully undertaken and the ditch pushed to completion. Three drainage 
districts Xos. I, 2. and 4. are now in successful operation in Richardson 
county, and a second attempt is now being made to revive the defeated 
project for drainage district Xo. 3. wliich is intended to drain the overflow 
lands of the Muddy river. 


Drainage district Xo. i Ijegins at the mouth of the Xemaha river, 
where it empties into the Missouri, and drains the Xemaha valley as far 
as Dawson. The river, before the completion of the drainage ditch, had 
a total length of sixty-five miles from Dawson to its mouth. This distance 
has been shortened to a length of thirty-one miles, and vast benefit to the 
contiguous lands has been noticeable. Fifty-three miles of public highway 
were affected and the benefit to the highways has l^een estimated by engi- 
neers to exceed seventy-seven thousand dollars. Thirty thousand acres of 
rich land are directly affected and drained by the completed ditch. The 
fall of the stream as it flows through the new channel has an average of 
three and one-half feet to the mile. The project was started at a time when 
there were no drainage laws on the statutes of the state v)f Xeliraska. The 
promoters of the undertaking, hi i\\ ever, succeded in ha\ing a wise law 
enacted by the state Legislature and the work moved onward to a success- 
ful conclusion. 

The Legislature of Xebraska at the session of 1905, enacted a drain- 
age law mi^re comprehensive than any then existing in the statute books 
• if this .state. This drainage act. with subsequent amendments, is found in 
Statutes of 1907. Compiled Statutes of Xebraska. Chapter eighty-nine, .\rticle 
four. Sections one to thirtv->even. 


Under the provisions of this statute the owners of about sixteen thou- 
sand acres of wet and overflowed lands signed articles of association and 
organized themselves into a drainage district with outlines embracing twen- 
ty-six thousand acres and presented a petition to the district court of Rich- 
ardson county, asking to be declared a public corporation of Nebraska. After 
ail the parties whose lands or interests were affected were brought into 
court and after proper hearing on all contested matters, the court entered 
a decree on the 14th of February, 1906, duly establishing and forming 
the organization into drainage district No. i, of Richardson county, Ne- 
braska, as prayed for by the petitioners, with boundaries as modified by 
the court, and declaring the drainage district a public corporation of the state. 

On the 17th day of March thereafter the landowners of the drainage 
district assembled at the court house in Falls City, and elected as a board of 
supervisors, Daniel Riley, R. E. Grinstead, J. H. Miles, C. F. Pribbeno and 
J. P. Mooney, to carry out the provisions of the drainage law and the pur- 
pose of the drainage organization. The board qualified and organized by 
electing J. H. Miles, chairman, and J. P. Mooney, secretary, and employed 
.\. M. Munn, a drainage engineer, to make the survey, maps, plats, esti- 
mates, schedules and plans required by section 9 of the drainage act. 

In December, 1906, the engineer filed his report with the board and 
notice was given to all parties affected as required by section 13 of the act. 
and on Fe1)ruary 2, 1907, and subsequently hearings were had upon the 
oljjections and claims filed under sections 14 and 15, and upon the con- 
clusion of the hearings and the equalization of the assessments on April 
27, 1908, the lx)ard levied the same assessments against the land and other 
propert}' in the district and certified the same to the county clerk as pro- 
vided in section 18. The engineer reported that other lands than those 
incorporated originally by the decree of the court would be benefited by 
the drainage improvement and these, by a subsequent proceeding in the 
district court instituted under the provisions of section 1 1 were added to 
the district and notice was also given of the assessments upon these added 
lands and a hearing was had thereon. 

^^'ithin the limits of the district were found certain lands belonging 
to members of the Iowa tribe of Indians and the Sac and^Fo.x tribe of 
Indians. Tliese lands could not be taxed under existing laws. To permit 
these Indian lands to be reclaimed, the Congress of the United States 
enacted a law, ajjproved June 14. 1906, the title being- as follows: ".\n 
act to enalile the Indians allotted lands in severaltv within the boundaries 


of district No. i, in Richardson county, Nebraska, to protect their lands from 
overflow, and for the segregation of such of said Indians from their tribal 
relations as may be expedient and for other purposes." The lands have 
all been allotted, and the funds segregated, but the secretary of the interior 
has held back fifty-seven thousand dollars belonging to these Indians against 
the Indian lands. 

When drainage district No. i was established and declared a public 
corporation by decree of court, February 14, 1906, the Chicago, Burlington 
& Quincy railroad took an appeal to the supreme court from the order in- 
cluding its roadbed in the district and making the railroad company an in- 
voluntary member of the political organization known as drainage district 
No. I. In the supreme court the railroad company assailed the constitu- 
tionality of the act under which the district was organized. No such ques- 
tion has been raised in the lower court, and when the railroad company 
first disclosed its purpose in its brief filed in April. 1907, attacking the 
drainage law on that ground, the board of supervisors thought it wise to 
suspend active work until the supreme court passed upon the question pre- 
sented. On December 7, 1907. the court filed an opinion holding the act con- 
stitutional in respect to the points on which it was assailed, but the second 
contention of the railroad company that it was not "A necessary party to 
the proceeding in the district court to declare the drainage district a public 
cor];)oration," was sustained. 

Before the landowners organized this drainage district they appealed 
to the powers at Washington for expert assistance to determine for them 
whether the wet, submerged and overflowed lands of the Nemaha river 
could be reclaimed and protected. The department of agriculture sent C. 
G. Elliot, engineer in cliarge of drainage investigation, who looked the 
situation over and reported that the work was feasible and the valley could 
l)e reclaimed at reasonable cost. After the survey by A. M. Munn, the 
engineers employed 1)y tlie drainage board, had been reported, the board 
called to his assistance C. G. Elliot, expert drainage engineer, who approved 
the ])lans and estimates of the engineer in charge of the work. The esti- 
mates were lilieral. and the report set out that the works and improvements 
formulated and agreetl upmi could l)e constructed safely within the esti- 
mates, the total estimated cost being $285,900. The number of acres in 
tlie district are as follows : .Sac and Fox Indians, 2,392.72 : Iowa Indians, 
378.67; other lands, 26,630.90; total, 29,402.29. 

The maximum assessment provided for was nine dollars and seventeen 


cents an acre. These lands were assessed for state and count)- purposes 
at a valuation of twenty-five to fifty dollars per acre, while the adjoining 
uplands were assessed at from fifty to one hundred dollars per acre. In 
addition to assessments against the lands the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
railroad was assessed $16,014; the Missouri Pacific railroad, $3,500; the 
county, on its public roads, $18,600, a total of $38,114. 

On June 15, 1908, the board of supervisors authorized the issuance 
of negotiable bonds to the amount of $260,000 to defray the immediate 
cost of the undertaking, the bonds to bear date of June 30, 1908, and to 
mature in different years; the first bond being redeemable or reaching ma- 
turity on July I, 1913, and the last portion of the issue reaching maturity 
on July I, 1927. The bonds were issued by the board of supervisors, who 
were as fcillow: Daniel Riley, chairman; J. P. Mooney, secretary; R. E. 
Grinstead, J. H. Allies, \\ F. Pribbeno. A. R. Keim, attorney, and A. ]\I. 
Munn, engineer. 

The drainage ditch was completed in 1913. just five years after the 
actual work of dredging was begun. Bonds to the amount of $202,000, 
bearing interest at six per cent, were issued. The grand total cost of the 
ditch to date has been $297,564. 

Thomas Wilkinson, of Dawson, is the present chairman of district 
Xo. I, and C. F. Bucholz is secretary. Since the completion of the ditch 
many landowners have supplemented the work by ditching and tiling their 
own lands as individuals and are reaping considerable benefits from the ven- 
ture in the way of increased crop yields. Over one thousand acres of 
land in the bottoms are now tile drained and other owners are making 
preparations to lay tile for the purpose of more rapidly draining the snil 
in time of heav)- rains. 

The drainage on the main channel of the Xemaha river has not lieen 
a complete success, because of the fact that too much of tlie old channel 
of the stream was used. In the further dredging of the south fork of the 
Xemaha the district is getting away from this method and is dredging an 
entirely new channel, it being noticeable that in places where the old channel 
was abandoned entirely it very rapidly filled up and the new stream was worn 
deeper I)y erosion, thus making a more rapid current to carry awav the 
>uiplus flood waters. 

J. H. Miles, owner nf tlie great Aliles ranch in the vicinitv (^f Dawxm. 
dredged a continuation of the ditch incori^oralcd in district Xo. r, on liis 


own account through his land on the upper end or terminus of district 
No. I. Mr. Miles completed three miles of ditch, which is of vast benefit 
to his bottom ranch lands. 


Drainage district No. 4 begins at the terminus of the Miles ditch and 
continues to the county hne for a distance of six and one-half miles. This 
ditch drains a total of three thousand four hundred acres and the flowing 
water has a fall of four feet to the mile and is now in charge of County 
Engineer J. F. Relf. The estimated cost of this ditch is fifty-nine thou- 
sand dollars. The work in this district is well under way and is being dredged 
along plans formulated from knowledge gleaned from the dredging of the 
ditch in district No. i. John E. Wissler is chairman of the Iward of super- 
visors in this district. 


Drainage district Xo. 2 extends from Dawson to the county line north- 
west of Humboldt and embraces a total of five thousand eight hundred 


The Richardson county fair ceased to be an institution in the year 
1894. During the long career of the fair and agricultural exhibit it was 
easily the most popular institution in this section of Nebraska. The first 
fair was organized in 1867 and the fair grounds were laid out at Salem 
in one of the most picturesque and beautifully wooded spots in the ^^'est, 
along the banks of the Nemaha river. Nature has so endowed this spot, 
located just to the east of the town of Salem, that it was a natural recreation 
ground shaded with great, natural forest trees and well watered and carpeted 
with velvety blue-grass. A splendid race-track, one-half mile in circum- 
ference, was laid out, and for years the race meets were exciting and inter- 
esting e^•ents in connection with the fair. An impetus was given to the 
breeding of racing animals and fine live stock, and many of the old-time 
horsemen lired horses which became famous the country o\er for speed 
and endurance on the track. The late John ^^^ Holt was one of the prime 
movers in the establishment of the county fair; Ralph Andersun served as 


president of the Fair Association for a number of years; many of those 
who were prominently identified with the association have gone to their 
rewards in the hfe eternal and owing to the lack of recorded data available 
concerning the history of the county fair it is impossible to give any very 
authentic account of the various fairs which were held for nearly thirty 
3ears on the Salem grounds. 

The county fair was an institution to which people looked forward 
during the year, when, with the crops laid aside and care thrown to the 
winds, entire families would gather at Salem for the one great event of 
the whole year. Everybody deemed it necessary to attend the fair and there 
were hundreds of exhibitors at each annual session. The Salem fair was 
— the annual reunion and home-coming meet for the greater part of south- 
eastern Nebraska during the heyday of its prosperity. With the coming of 
the nineties and the advent of the chautauquas in the' land the popularity of 
the county fair gradually waned and the yearly chautauqua has taken its 
place. The county fair ceased to exist after 1894 and the chautauqua 
then came into its own. The first chautauqua in the county was held at 
the Salem fair grounds and soon became an even more popular institution 
than the annual fair. Before the popularity of the automobile had reached 
such a great height, as high as ten thousand people attended the Salem 
chautauqua and a large part of this number lived in tents throughout the 
session. Such famous men as Gen. Fitzinigh Lee, General Gordon, Gov. 
Bob Taylor, of Tennessee, T. Dewitt Talmage, and Sam Jones, the great 
evangelist, were among the attractions during the early years of the chau- 
tauqua. Of late years several chautauquas are held in the county each season, 
practically every town in Richardson county having its list of attractions 
during the late summer season, and it is evident that tlie chautauqua has come 
to stay as an established institution. Attempts to resuscitate the county fair 
at different times oi late years have not been successful. 

By J. O. Shroyer. 

A thousand years ago the Indian recognized these beautiful valleys, the 
gently undulating uplands and the sunny hillsides as the land of homes. 
The mighty Missouri, the winding Nemahas and the wandering creeks pro- 
\-ided wood, shelter and water. 

The first wanderers who crossed the desert, paused here on the edge 


of the great unknown and recuperated their forces before plunging into the 
terrors of an unpathed wilderness. The flowing waters, sheltering timber 
belts and the luxuriant pasturage recuperated their stock and put energy 
into the human heart. When the first real homemaker rafted across the 
river and ascended the bluffs of the western shore, he turned his eyes 
back toward the Eastern home. He remembered those groves, orchards, 
productive fields; he thought of the well-filled granaries, those splendid 
gardens and all the comforts of that far-off land. But as he turned his face 
to the West the rising sun of that splendid morning dashed a golden glow 
over the landscape, the fogs lifted from the valleys of the Nemahas and 
drifted off into the azure of a perfect day; the emeralds of the hills and 
plains caught a little of the gilt of the sunlight, the darker sombers of 
the timber belts lay enticingly winding away, the prairies were dotted by the 
golden flowers of the gumweed, the crimson of the phlox, the tawn of 
the lily, the purity of the plum and the chokecherry. The wild cucumber 
was just clambering over tlie tops of the underbrush along the streams, 
and the clematis clung more sturdily to the chosen tree, while the wild 
grape flung its flaunting tendrils graspingly towards the swaying bough, put- 
ting forth the bloom that should later be followed by the purple fruits of 

There he saw the deer, antelope, and buffalo; he saw the plover, wild 
duck, the honking goose and the everpresent grouse. And as the rising 
sunlight began to simmer the ether of the plains, his vision blurred, and in 
the optimism of the hour a new and a greater land lay smilingly before him. 
He saw the homesteads spring up over the land, he saw the fields of waving 
corn, the herds of cattle: he saw the wild fowl translated into flocks of 
poultry and, vision of visions, he saw a thousand spires of smoke arising 
from tlie firesides of a thousand homes. 

Then the development went on, and he beheld the church spires as 
they pointed upward, he saw the children playing about the school maid, 
as she cared for them and moulded them into characters of worth. He 
saw more than corn and wheat, cattle, hogs and fruits; he saw a great com- 
monwealth producing sturdv men and women, to go forth building a greater 
and a better nation than the world had ever known. 

Who was the first man to grasp the plow and urge his strong oxen 
across the wild sod and watch the ribbon of chocolate loam that strung out 
its productive length as he trailed across a chosen plot of ground? Xo 


man knows; his name is not recorded, bnt the inspiration and example of 
his act, the success of his achievement, taught a thousand imitators, and 
unawares a great agricultural industry sprang up. 


Forty years ago we visited one of the real pioneer homes of Nebraska, 
it was on the north bank of Porter run, and the owner was a pioneer of 
the true type. 

He iiad dug out a cavern and walled it with stones from the creek, 
a joint of pipe projected through the roof at the north end, a door opened 
to the sunny end on the south. In one room they had lived and reared a 
family of boys and girls. Far and near it was l^nown as the dug-out of 
Tommy Hodkins. The nearby timber provided his fuel, the spring on the 
creek the water, the luxuriant grass the food for his oxen, the wild meat 
.of the plains his food, supplemented by a little flour or meal transported 
in the earlier days from Nebraska City. Few of the children from those 
very earliest homes ever stayed to enjoy the fruits of their fathers" exer- 
tion and ambition. They inherited the wild instinct of the pioneer ; they 
loved the open lands, and the encroachments of the second brigade of settlers 
drove them on into the lands of the setting sun. But this type of home 
was the first and it was a comfortable retreat from the blasts of winter. 

The breaking plow was the first requirement in the way of farm ma- 
chinery; it was a long-beamed, low-built affair and had a long curving 
mouldlxiard that gently turned the sod and left it in an unbroken ribbon. 
It had a standing cutter and a depth-gauging wheel at the end of the 
beam. Then came the "grasshopper" plow. It had long rods curved in 
mouldboard fashion that turned the sod, and the share was a flat steel 
blade that sat ]ierfect1y flat in the furrow and cut a root or stem in parallel 

T have followed both these plows down the long furrow and ha\e 
often sorrowed as they turned a plover nest, with its speckled eggs, (ir 
caught a full dozen prairie chicken eggs and whirled them under the sod. 
Sometimes it was different when a two-foot rattlesnake came buzzing ui> 
with the sod and the driver jumped swiftly over the handles and onto the 
lieam to avuid the poison fangs. The little six-inch lizard often left his 
tail wriggling in the gra.'ss and hurried off to shelter. The swift, darting 
liluerncer glittered in the sun as he sped more swiftK" than an\- reptile and 


disappeared in a nearby clump of redroots or weeds. The redroot was a 
familiar weed in those days, and I often heard the judgment of a piece 
of ground placed on the number of redroots that infested it. But as a bo)- 
I considered them only a plow-duller that forced me oftener to pound out the 
clay. They were helped in this by the shoestring, a lowly plant that sent 
long, stringy roots through the soil and the sound of their cutting was 
disquieting to the driver and discouraging to the team. 

The plover were so plentiful that I have often knocked them over 
with a handy redroot or the whip I carried to urge the team. The chicken 
of the prairies crowed and strutted within a rod of me as I hitched and 
began tlie morning work. The quail was more plentiful than today and 
many deplore the passing of those splendid fowl of the prairies. I ha\'e 
I if ten noted the great green-headed mallards as they sank into some nearby 
pool and at noon, while the team rested, it was common sport for the 
jiicineer to crawl up to the slough-grass border and with his old shotgun, 
drop a couple of the fine birds. 

The pioneer had no modern disc and no harrow of sufficient cutting 
])ower to pulverize those sods, hence he was compelled to let them rot through 
tlie long summer, stopping his plowing on that account about the first of 
July or at least by the middle of that month. Then in September, or pre- 
ferably .\ugust, he l)ackset the sod, cutting a little deeper and throwing 
u|) an inch or so of fine soil on top of the sod. Then with a wooden 
liarrow with perfect))- round teeth, he harrowed the field and sowed his 
wlieat. broadcasting in the earlier vears and sowing with a hoe-drill later 
(in. I can remem1)er the stir the first press-drill made some thirty years 

The big-bcader was the instrument of harxesting. We had three long 
lieader-boxes on wagons. These boxes were sitled with house siding, and 
luu! tlie oft^ side some two or three feet the higher; and woe be to the driver 
who piled tlie wheat too high on the high side, as the whole wagon would 
upset w itli ease. This heading-machine was propelled by si.x or eight horses 
that walked side by side heliind the machine and pushed it through the 
fields, a long sickle cutting the grain that fell on the carrier and was elevated 
to the wagon. Tlie Marsh harvester came about 1881. the wire binder a 
little later, but it was not :\ success, ai^^^iut few were used ; the Marsh 
harvester lasted but a few }ears and was driven from the field in short 
order b\- the twine-binder. 



Along the ^Missouri bluffs there were nooks and corners among the 
hills that afforded sites for some of the tirst pioneer homes. The timber 
provided the logs and the old log house of the Eastern states was common 
as well as dug-outs in the hills. The hunting was good and helped won- 
derfully in the agricultural development, as the sale of furs often was 
the largest money income the pioneer had. In those sheltered nooks he 
could raise corn and vegetables, and the tobacco patch was no uncommon 
sight. The plums, grapes, choke-cherries, gooseberries and wild raspberries 
afforded a fair fruitage. The fish was plentiful, but the real agriculture 
never started in that locality. Among the native fruits we must not. forget 
the pawpaw that appealed to the emigrant from Indiana as no other. There 
are still groves of this tree along the bluffs and I have many times dined 
on the pawpaw. 

Perhaps we should not forget the old water-mills that helped forward 
the agricultural progress of this country. They sprang up along the Xemahas 
and afforded the pioneer a chance to secure flour and meal at home; here 
he could go with his grist some three or four a year and get his grain 
ground. I have often driven to Luthy's mill west of Humlx)ldt. on the 
Nemaha, and stayed until my turn came to get a grist ground. 

The tree-fringed streams were enticing to the first settlers and alnno 
their banks we saw the first homes established. It was not the best land, 
but the wood, shade, prdtection and home comfort of these natural groxes 
appealed to the settler. And many of the great farms of Richardson count} 
still ha\e the home upon the site of one of those pioneer-day spots. \\'hen 
the owner found that his land was not so convenient and valuable to 
farm, he did not sell the old home, but bought some of the uplands of the 
open prairies and adding this to the old homestead, went on with grain 
farming on the open land and caring for the stock on the old timbereil 
homestead. The Corwin Fergus home, the old Barney Mullen estate and 
many other such farms still attest to the wisdom of this plan and are monu- 
mental examples of mixed farming that brought comfort and plenty. 

The early settler found a Wuti f ul land. Larkspur gleamed in white 
and blue: the red phlox of the prairies and the blue phlox of the timber 
dazzled the eye : the yellow gold of the gumweed bent beneath the beam 
of the old breaking ])l()w and the aster and lily swayed in the winds of 
the prairies. .\nd as we led our cows out to the lariat ropes atid tied the 


halter in the swivel, we crunched through thousands of violets. Many a 
wind-swept, sun-baked prairie home was sheltered by a wild cucumber or 
grape vine. 

The first pastures were fenced in the seventies, with barb wire, and 
soon afterward farming meant stock raising as well as grain growing. We 
planted hedges on our own farm, bringing the seed from the old Illinois 
home. The early settler had no money to buy fencing, but could grow the 
osage and it was a great advantage to the country ; it shut oft the hot south- 
ern winds, tempered the northern blasts of winter and set the landscape 
of the prairies in frames of living green. We may deplore the osage hedge, 
but it had a wonderful part in the civilization of Richardson county. 

Stock growing in those early days was discouraging, but many a settler 
soon saw his herd of cattle grow and become valuable. Today we sell our 
hogs at fifteen cents a pound. I remember when we bought three splendid 
Poland sows for three cents a pound. 

I went into a modern farm home the other day. Tlie electric light 
plant flashed out and ever}^ room was agleam ; the steam-heating plant in 
the cellar gives it an atmosphere of summer all winter long; a splendid 
water system sends a stream of liquid all over the Iiouse, and toilets, lava- 
tories and every convenience lighten the burden of the housewife and make 
the farm home as modern as that in the city. In our early pioneer home we 
lived with only a ship-lap siding; the winds swept in the snows of winter. 
and I distinctly remember sitting by the stove all day long clad in the heaviest 
overcoat I could get hold of. Our barns were forks set in the ground, poles 
and brush laid on and all banked with straws and covered with slough grass. 
Toda\- our horses stand in barns that are comfortable and commodious. 


Corn was so cheap and coal so high in those early days that the farmer 
burned corn, and we have carried in many a bushel of corn and thrust the 
big ears into the blaze and saw the kernels crisp, darken, and glow in the 
lieat. F.xtravagant? No, it was economy, for the coal was dearer than 
the corn. 

We raised tliat corn with walking cultivators and it w'as about 1886 
betore we bought the first riding cultivators. In those early days we had 
one wav of getting a little back from the railroads. Some adventurous 
farmer would hie awav in the dead of night and the next morning a couple 


of teams would sweep across a big field of corn stalks and the heavy iron 
rail would do the breaking most effectively and quickly. It was strange 
how hard it was to discover who got that iron from the railroad premises. 
Everyone used it, but no one ever saw it brought into the neighborhood. 
It had no owner, but many users. All summer long it lay in the shelter of 
a weed patch and only in the dry frosty days of early spring did it come 

Alfalfa came into our agriculture some thirty years ago and it has 
largely assisted in the progress and development of the same, but clover 
was the first and perhaps the greatest factor in maintaining the fertility 
of the virgin soil. It is the great agent of rotation; it is the cheapest fertil- 
izer, it is the greatest combined grazing and hay plant. 

Many a farm is today growing more grain, hay and stock than it could 
have produced in the pioneer days of its virginity. When I read or hear 
speakers tell of the wasteful depletion of the soil under the hands of the 
.\merican farmer, I am sure that such a condemnation is not upon the 
farmers of Richardson county. Great train loads of meat animals, great 
warehouses filled with wheat, corn and oats, hundreds of cellars filled with 
fruits and vegetables and groaning tables loaded with the best living that 
any section of the world knows of, all attest to the tremendous production 
of the land today. Richardson county can, and does today, grow more 
tons of hay, more bushels of grain, more pounds of meat and more fruits, 
vegetables and poultry than at any period in its history. The stability of our 
agricultural development and future attainments are increased every decade. 


The first wells upon the farms of Richardson countv were bored or 
dug and a long tin or galvanized iron pail was wound up at the end of a 
rope and the water poured into a half-barrel tub. Today the wind-mills 
assisted by the panting gasoline engines throw the pure steams through 
piping systems, to every lot, pasture, shed and barn about the premises; 
automatically the supply is regulated, it flows into the house and the water 
system is as complete as that of a city. Great standpipes hold barrels of 
water stored for stock and man. Deep cisterns and convenient tanks com- 
plete the arrangements. 

The pioneer called every man his neighbor. There was a freedom. 
a charitable assumption, an equality and hungering desire for companion- 
ship that broke down evcrv barrier of caste and clan. 


The groveless prairies permitted the eye to wander for miles across 
the plains and some morning when we saw the white gleam of new lumber 
as a shack arose, perhaps many miles away, we knew another friend had 
come to our country. Many an evening as I have stood upon some rising 
knoll and seen the lights of the little homes flash out across the prairies, 
I would count the friends who clustered about those lamps. We met in the 
little white school houses and spelling bees "liter-aries," revivals, funerals 
and weddings were all well attended. 

Our ways of traveling were primitive. If it was not too far we went 
afoot, otherwise we used the best we had. Sometimes it was a saddle on 
one of the old farm horses, sometimes it was a spring wagon, sometimes 
it was the old farm wagon. Then along in the eighties it became common for 
the top buggy to appear on the farm roads. About this time we saw the 
orchards and groves spring up until they hid the gleam of the evening 
lamps; the social life of the old communities became a little more limited, 
our neighborhoods a little more narrow. We beheld a little of the unknown 
caste begin to grow into the social Hfe. 

The grading of the schools threw the interest of the older boys and 
girls from the old school house; it no longer was a recognized center of 
sociability, it became too circumscribed for the religious life and as few 
of them were ever remodeled or rebuilt to keep pace with the community 
and farm growth, the agricultural society has been diverted largely to the 
villages, towns and cities. Even the country churches felt that progress 
had left them sitting by the wayside in many instances. The fact that 
fifty per cent, of the faims became the homes of renters also had its effect 
on tlie social life; it lost some of the stability that originally characterized 
it. But tlie automobile is again enlarging the social life of our county, 
permitting the establishment of larger business, educational atid social activi- 
ties. The coming together of the rural people is now bringing about a 
new era. Cars drive miles to the school, the picnic or the business meetings 
of the rural people. 

The Farmers Union has come into being and organized agriculture 
is now upon us. Numerous local organizations, each composed of from 
fifteen to one hundred members, are united in one county organization. 
These locals also unite in district organizations that own elevators, stores 
smd exchanges: the farmer is demonstrating that he is a business man as 
well as a tiller of tlie soil. Tliev ]m\e again enlarged the neiglihorhood 


bounds and today these bounds are even wider than in the pioneer days. 
The county organization is connected with the state union and through it 
to a national organization, in^ twenty-seven states. 

By this rural organization, the i,iri:(.,- ■•. !i(hards(in cuuniy have 
united into one community, one thousand homes; five thousand farm people 
that are working in a solid body for the uplift of the agricultural develop- 
ment of the community. This movement being just in its infancy, no hand 
may write the tremendous import of the awakening of the farmers of this 
rich agricultural land to the possibilities that lie before them. It is causing 
them to think and think hard and fast. We can easily predict that almost 
every farm home will be reached ; the farmers will solve the social life, the 
economic distribution of their products and the soil maintenance far more 
efifectively than it has ever been done by entrusting it to outside interests. 
Fully conversant with his working power, the strength of his will and the 
possibilities of organized effort, the future of this county is contemplated 
serenely by the farmer. 

If working almost alone, we have reached the climax of the first half 
century ; that we see today, as the palatial homes beside our highways attest, 
the commodious barns testify and the well tilled fields beside the road dem- 
onstrate, how mighty will be the achievements of the united farmers of 
the next half century. The tractor turns the stubble with a rapidity and 
ease never known; the cars carry the farmer swiftly and comfortable on 
his way to pleasure and business; his organization will enable him to secure 
just legislation and effectively to study and practice economical distribution 
and marketing of his products, build and equip tjie best rural schools in 
the world, educate and entertain his children on the farm, extend the social 
vision of his neighborhood life and build an agricultural environment sur- 
passing the wildest visions of the most optimistic dreamer. 


She buikled the greatest achievement of them all — mother, the archi- 
tect of "home, sweet home." With a courage born of the love and hope 
of a parent she stepped across the gangplank of the ferry and turning 
reverentlv she gave -one last, longing look toward the Eastern horizon, where 
far away in the dimming distance lay the home of her youth. Tender and 
strong were the chords that bound her to the past. 

Perhaps a tear fell into the surging waters as she placed her foot upon 


tlie Western sands. But no tear, no tide, no wave of rushing tiood can 
e\er wash out the imprint of the footsteps of mother. 

Hope, love, ambition for the children and the instinct that bade her 
rise above selfishness, were stronger than any chain that ever clanked from 
the forge. Upon this hope and love she saw the rising vision of a million 

The past was but a memory, the future a stern Ijut beautiful realit}- ; 
the heart of our nation bows reverently upon her hearth-stone. Xot with the 
martyrdom of an hour did she lay her life upon the altar of home, but 
with an everlasting self-abnegation she faced the blizzards of a score of 
years and the droughts of their summers. Self -ambitions and the anticijia- 
tion of her youth she gently, but firmly, laid away and drew the curtain 
of hope and love before them. Let them lie in the secret place of her heart. 
Her God alone knows the sacrifices she made that day. and when the hands 
of the recording angel shall write the last record of her life, they will be 
emblazoned upon the unsullied page and we shall behold a tremenddus 

She brought the flowers and fruits of that Eastern home and planted 
them upon the sun-baked, wind-swept jirairies: she watered and cared for 
them, shaded them from the sweltering sun and protected them from the 
lilasts of the blizzards until she saw the .splendid groves, the flower-adorned 
lawns and the fruitful gardens throwing their shade and colors across the 
plain. The footsteps and achieved ambitions of the pioneer mothers ha\e 
marked an impress upon our empire that time and eternitv cannot eflt'ace. 
Tt shall ever grow grandly and sublimel\- in our appreciation. 

The mothers of Nebraska need no towering monuments to remind us 
that they lived and loved ; no tablets of bronze or stone, as every fireside 
w ithin our domain stands as a tribute to her memory. As the vine entwined 
and embowered the home that .she built, her love entwines our lives. 

Ungrateful the heart that forgets the pioneer mothers of Nebraska, the 
architect^' of "home, sweet home." 

Early Transportation, Navigation and Railroads. 

Richardson county, lying- in the southeast corner of Nebraska and first 
from the south of the river counties of the state was at once effected by the 
vohnne of travel coming up the river from the South and East. 

At the time men first began to look "toward Richardson county with 
an e}e to making settlement here, no railroad was within hundreds of miles 
of it and tlie only means of reaching this country was either by making 
the journey hither overland through a wilderness as j^et without well-defined 
wagon trails, or up the river by boat. This latter method most appealed to 
the early adventurer and many no doubt had journeyed up the river long 
before any thought of settlement in this part of the West was entertained. 
Bordering on the river was of immense advantage to the early peoples and 
caused the river counties to be first choice of the pioneers. 

In those days the railroad was by no means a new thing in the older 
and more thickly settled parts of the East, but necessity hatl not caused 
its extension to any great degree in this direction. 

In these days when capital is more easily available, the railroad verv 
often goes into the fastnesses of the newer countries in advance of immi- 
gration and is the first cause of its settlement ; but in the davs of wliich we 
s])eak, the people were pushing out in advance of transportation facilities and 
were dependent on the hope that at some future time there might be a rail- 
road — but to many, as we of later days know, the railroad was onlv a dream, 
which held many of them here. 

Being forced to use the river, which was then as now, full of snags 
and sand bars and subject to overflow and with the low water stages, 
the early navigator was not without his troubles: but under such dire neces- 
sity the obstacles were overcome and navigation had reached a high state 
of development. In those days the steamboats, both for the carrying of all 
kind of freight and passengers, were numerous and while slow and tedious 
served remarkably well until at last the coming of tlie railroad made that 
mode of tra\el obselete. 

The tremendous subsidies in the way of vast land grants by the gov- 



ernment, given as aid to railroad building and intended to stimulate this 
■line of industry, coupled with the big profits in the projection and operation 
of new lines, had its effect in turning attention to this speedier mode of 
transportation to the great detriment of our inland waterways. While 
they have in the past and do still receive government aid, the same has 
been used for most part in restraining the encroachment of the river and 
not with any idea of preserving it as a navigable stream. 

In Richardson county, Rulo, Yankton, Arago, and St. Stephens were 
river towns and ports of entrance for many of the pioneers who either 
remained here or made their way on west into the interior or to tlie moun- 
tains. Yankton and St. Stephens were the first points touched by river boats, 
which discharged cargoes and the latter had the honor of being the first 
point in the county which had a ferry comiecting with the Missouri shore, 
and the same was in charge of the elder Stephen Story, who gave the name 
to the latter village. Rulo came next, but Arago soon outdistanced all in 
position as a port of importance and continued to hold its supremacy until 
the coming of the railroad. These cities enjoyed trade from long distances 
inland, serving the country for hundreds of miles to the West. Arago, with 
its packing house, distillery, saw- and flour-mills bid fair to become quite a 
metropolis and was for a time a place of first importance in the county as 
neither of the other places in that early day had the same energetic boosters. 

At the time of the very early settlement of the county, the only regular 
means of communication for mail, passengers and freight with the outside 
world, was by steamboat; although later, because of the railroad reaching 
Atchison, Kansas, in advance of any rail connection from other directions, 
the mail was sent first to Atchison by rail and thence north either by boat 
or carriers on regularly established postroads which came via Hiawatha, 
Kansas, or Rulo. In tlie matter of river tran.sportation' for all purposes, it 
must be remembered that amongst its other disadvantages to the early pioneer 
in the way of a dependable convenience, was the fact that during the winter 
months it was practically suspended because of the ice in the river for long 
periods, when the boats were obliged to tie up until the ice would go out 
in the spring. 

The better river boats had a capacity for carrying as many as four 
hundred passengers and the fare from St. Louis, Missouri, to Rulo or St. 
Stephens would range about fifteen or twenty dollars, which, of course, 
included meals and state rooms. The culinary department of those boats 
was generally in good hands anrl the larder well supplied with the best that 
money could Iniv. 


The lengtli of time usually re(|uire(l iu luakin^;- the up trip from St. 
Louis to this county was about seven or eight days, equal, if not longer 
in length of time, than would be required for modern liners in crossing 
the Atlantic in times of peace. Those having had the pleasure of such 
journeys in the old days generallv described them as having been quite dull 
and e\entless. Such an experience was very aptly described by the noted 
Mark Twain in his "Rou,ghing It." when he said: 

"W'e were six days in going from St. Louis to St. Joseph. Missouri. 
a trip that was so dull and sleepy and eventless, that it has left no more 
impression on my memory than if its duration had been six minutes instead 
of that many days. No record is left on my mind now concerning it, but 
a confused jumble of savage-looking snags, which we deliberately walked 
over with one wheel or the other, and of reefs, which we butted and butted 
and then retired from, and climbed over in some other places, and of sand 
bars, which we roosted on occasionally and rested, and then got our crutches 
and sparred over. In fact, the boat might have gone to St. Joseph by 
land, for she was walking most of the time, anyhow, climbing over reefs 
and clambering over snags, patiently and laboriously, all day long. The 
captain said it was a bully boat and all she wanted was more 'shear' and 
a bigger wheel. I thought she wanted a pair of stilts, but I had the sa,gacit\ 
not to say so." 

In addition to passengers those boats carried from five hundred to 
six hundred tons of freight and the rates were as high as two dollars and 
fifty cents per hundred weight on merchandise that would not cost to exceed 
fifteen cents per hundred weight in these days. The crews consisted of 
from eighty to one hundred men and the value of these boats were estimated 
to be nearly fifty thousand dollars each. The river then as at the present 
time, was filled with sand bars and it required all the skill of the most 
experienced river men to negotiate it in safety to his destination with the boat. 

Government regulations concerning river traffic required two experienced 
ri\ er pilots on board of each lioat employed as c<5mmon carriers, and they 
readily commanded salaries of from two hundred and fifty to five hundred 
dollars per month. With the passing of river traffic on the Missouri many 
of these well-known river men, such as captains and pilots, were left with- 
out opportunitv for further service while many, as in other lines of business, 
kft for other fields, where they might continue iu the same line of employ- 
ment. Thus it was our pleasure during the month of August iu the year 
1916 to meet on the steamer "deorgiana," on the Columbia ri\er. while 
making a trip from I'ortland to Astoria, Oregon, and return, one who in 


the old days had been regularly employed on the Missouri boats and it is to 
him we are in some measure indebted for first-hand information in regard 
to river traffic. 

Gambling on the ri\er boats in those days was b)- no means restricted 
and furnished means for amusement, which at times provided all the thrills 
which might be lacking from other sources, and all early accounts seem to 
agree that while tlie "plunger" was as common then as now. the stakes were 
as high or higher. 

There were lines of boats which might be termed "through" boats 
destined to and from certain ports, scheduled for regular and direct service 
to and from those places onl}-. while others had longer routes. The boats were 
run much as trains nowadays, in that there were "through" boats, and the 
local or "slow" boat, which might stop to pick up or discharge freight or 
passengers at every stop en route. 


First in importance of all the drawijacks of this new country as it 
was found by the pioneers, was the lack of adequate transportation facili- 
ties and the question of finding a remedy was one that occupied the minds 
of the people from the beginning. The first official action to be found looking 
toward the solution of this then weighty problem may be found in the 
territorial statutes, where is recorded the passage of an act by the Terri- 
torial Legislature, which was approved on November 4, 1858. This act 
was for the purpose of incorporating what was to be known as "The 
Missouri River & Nemaha Valley Railroad Company." Section i of this act 
named the following well-known pioneer business men and farmers as the 
incorporators and moving spirits in the enterprise ; Francis .L. (joldsi^erry. 
Archer; Charles Martin, Rulo; Eli Bedard. Rulo; D. T. Easley. Rulo; B. 
F. Cunningham, Rulo; S. B. Miles: Joseph G. Ramsey; William Kenceleur, 
Rulo; A. C. Lierft. A. L. Currance, Joseph Yount, William P. Loan,. St. 
Stephens; William Goolsby, Archer; Jesse Crook, Archer; Samuel Keiffer, J. 
Cass Lincoln, Salem ; T. R. Hare, Salem ; Arnett Roberts, Salem ; J. Lebo, 
John A. Rurbank, Falls City; Thomas J. Whitney, Christian Bobst. Cincin- 
nati; John Frice. F. F. Limming. H. N. Gere, J. P. Sutton. J. C. Peavy, 
E. W. Fowler, E. Jordan, and their successors and assigns. The objects 
of this act, as stated therein, "was to locate, construct and finally complete 
a railroad at, or as near as practicable, the junction of the Missouri and 
the Great Nemaha rivers, upon the most eligible route to Ft. Kearney. 


there to unite with any railroad which may hereafter be constructed up 
the \'alley of the Great Platte." The capital stock of the company was 
to consist of $3,000,000. This road did not materialize. 


An act passed by the Legislature and approved on January 3, 1862, 
authorized H. \\'. Summerland and George Walther to keep a ferry across 
the Missouri river at Arago, Richardson county, Nebraska Territory. They 
were allowed to charge the following rates: For two horses, mules, oxen 
and wagon, 75 cents; for each extra pair, 25 cents; for each horse or mule 
and rider, 25 cents; for two horses or mules and buggy, 75 cents; for one 
horse or mule and buggy, 50 cents; for each horse or mule led, 25 cents; 
for loose cattle per head, 10 cents; for hogs and sheep under the number 
of ID, each 5 cents; for over 10 and under 50, each 3 cents; for over 50, 
each I cent; for each footman, 10 cents; for each crate of freight, 5 cents, 
for lumber per hundred feet, $1. 


A petition was presented to the commissioners court of Richardson 
county on April 3, i860, praying that a ferry license be granted to Daniel 
Reavis to keep a ferry across the Great Nemaha river. The said petition was 
granted for the term of one year and the following rates for ferriage were 
affixed : 

One pair of horses or yoke of oxen and wagon 25 cents 

Jor each additional span of horses or oxen 10 cents 

Man and horse 10 cents 

One horse and carriage 15 cents 

One Footman 5 cents 

Loose cattle per head 3 cents 

Hogs and sheep per head 2 cents 

The said Daniel Reavis to pay into the county treasury for said license 
the sum of two dollars. In addition to the above ferriage fees fifty cents 
mav be added when tine river is more than two-thirds liank full. 




There was no regular outfitting point for freighting in the early days 
in the confines of what is now Richardson county. Alost of this kind of 
traffic, either passenger, freight or mail, was carried on from other points 
on the river, notably from Atchison, Kansas, and Brownville or Nebraska 
City, in this state. Atchison was the principal point and was chosen as 
an outfitting point for most of the Salt Lake freighters, because it had 
one of the best steamboat landings on the river, and the country lying west 
made possible the best wagon road in the country. 

Twenty-four miles west of Atchison this road was intersected by an 
old overland mail trail from St. Joseph. Leavenworth also had a road 
west, over which was planned to run the Pike's Peak express stages in the 
spring of 1859. During the period of overland freighting on the plains more 
trains left Atchison than at any other point on the river. 

The cost of shipping merchandise to Denver was very high, as every- 
thing was carried by the pound rather than the hundred pounds. Flour, 
bacon, molasses, whiskey, furniture and trunks were carried at pound rates. 
The rates per pound on merchandise shipped by ox or mule wagons to 
Denver, prior to i860, were as follow: Flour, 9 cents; tobacco, 12I/2 
cents; sugar, 13I/2 -cents; bacon, 15 cents; dry goods, 15 cents; crackers, 
17 cents; whiskey. 18 cents; groceries, 19'/. cents; trunks, 25 cents; furni- 
ture, 31 cents. 

It has been said by those who witnessed the tremendous overland traffic 

of the late fifties and early sixties, that the people of this generation can 

form no conception of the enormous amount of traffic overland there was 

in those days. Trains were being constantly outfitted, not only at Atchison, 

but at all points on the river. Twenty-one days were about the time required 

for a span of horses or mules to make the trip to Denver and keep the 

stock in good condition. It required five weeks for ox trains to make 

the same distance, and to Salt Lake, horses and mules were about si.x 

weeks making the trip, and ox trains were on the road sixty-five or seventy 

days. It was the ox upon which mankind depended in those days to carry on 

the commerce of the plains. They were the surest and safest for hauling 

the large part of the freight destined for the towns and military camps 

or srarrisons of the frontier. Xext in importance to the ox, was the mule, 

urtji^^l iffw. 

because m^were tough and reliable and could endure fatigue. The year 

r^fivsiimg tc, 'cm^of the l^ig years nf freighting across the plains, 
"f-e parties 'i'."V^V - " 


It was not unusual to see a number of steamboats lying at the levees 
discharging freight, while as many more were in sight either going up the 
river from St. Louis or down from St. Joseph. It was very common for 
boats to be loaded at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or Cincinnati, Ohio, destined 
for Kansas and Nebraska points and not unusual to see these boats loaded 
with wagons, ox yokes, mining machinery, boilers, and other material neces- 
sary for the immense trade in the W'est. 

A very large part of this traffic West from river points was over 
what was known as military roads along the south bank of the Platte. On 
these roads could be seen six or eight yoke of cattle hauling heavily loaded 
wagons and strings of four or six horse, or mule teams. These formed 
an almost endless procession. 


The liveliest period of overland trade extended from 1859 until after 
the war in 1865, during which time there was on the plains and in the 
mountains, an estimated floating population of two hundred and fifty thou- 
sand. The greatest majority of people on the plains produced but few of 
the necessities of life, and consequently they must be supplied from the 
river points. During the closing year of the Civil Wrt. the travel was 
immense, most of the immigration being lured to the mining camps of the 
West and Northwest. 

Those trails had been used during the Great Mormon exodus to Salt 
Lake and by the California forty-niners, in their dash for the fascinating 
gold fields. By this time people were beginning to stop in Nebraska and 
stake out claims, and to become residents. Among the early-day freighters 
and mail contractors and carriers were Col. Stephen B. Miles, later a mil- 
lionaire resident of this county and his able assistant, Joel T. Jones, and . 
l'"rancis Withee, a freighter, and others. Colonel Miles and his men car- 
ried mail from St. Louis to Salt Lake and their experiences, if reduced to 
the printed page, would make a good sized volume in itself. 

In the vicinity of Sabetha, Kansas, are many graves of travelers, over 
the Santa Fe and California trails, who. unable to survive the hardships 
of the trip, died and were buried with scant ceremony. In the woods 
surrounding Sabetha were many wild plum trees. A\'hen the body of a 
fortv-niner was buried, the rest of the train would sit around the while'^ncl 
eat plums. As a result a small plum thicket grew up around ev<»--'>it: of 
the early-day graves. A well-known resident of that section in 


a distance of sixteen miles from Salietha, he has counted thirteen of such 
graves, all of them being directly on the old trail, which has now become a 
highway. A few graves are scattered on adjacent farms. A famous one 
is on the farm of Matthias Strahm, near Sabetha, which is called the McCloud 
grave. McCloud was returning from California, when he was followed and 
struck down by an enemy. It was afterward learned that McCloud was 
not the party sought by his murderer. 


A regular train consisted of from forty to sixty wagons, each wagon 
drawn by six or seven 3'oke of oxen. The driver of each team outfit walked 
beside the wagon. The wagon boss rode on a pony and took great privilege 
with the king's English. Each driver carried a whip over his shoulder 
when not in use. The lashes on the whips were fifteen feet long. On either 
side of the trails, for many years after the wagon travel ceased, could be 
discerned plainly the footpaths made by these drivers. The regular gov- 
ernment trains passed over the roads every two weeks ; in addition there 
was a multitude of individual freighters. The great trails were sixty feet 
wide and perfectly smooth. There were from five hundred to one thousand 
tons in a train of fifty or sixty wagons. Wlien the wagon boss had secured 
a camping place, the lead team made a circle; then the next team stopped 
the front wheel against the front one's hind wheel, and so on until the 
forty or sixty wagons were in a circle with an opening of only a rod or 
two to leave the highway clear. At night the oxen were unyoked and 
turned loose to graze, and regularly employed herders looked after them 
until morning. The hind wheels of the wagons were as high as a man's 
head, while the front wheels were no higher than those in use on wagons 
of the present day. The tires of the wheels were four inches wide. 

If there had been nothing other to lure people into the West in the 
early days, there was the ever recurring stories of gold to be found in 
the Western mountain slopes and these stories became greath' magnified 
as they traveled Eastward. The press, too, of those days, was not adverse 
to "playing up" the stories and the result was a rush to the mountains. 
Such a rush occurred in 1859 when the great Tike's T'eak excitement was 
on. There was a continuous stream of jienple, some of whom appeared in 
grotesc^ue equipment. Men were on the trail with packs on their bucks, some 
pushing carts, and others using every conceivable means of conveyance. In 
these parties every man had a pick, spade and pan to be used in getting his 


share of the coveted gold. On one occasion during this great rush to Pike's 
Peak when the wagons had reached Julesburg, ninety miles from Denver, some 
Irishmen were met who had gone out the previous year, but were now 
returning empty-handed. They declared that there was no gold to be found, 
that the stories circulated to the contrary were all humbug. This statement 
caused a stampede Eastward again. Men on this trip declare that they 
do not believe that there was a spot of ground on the trail for fifty miles 
that did not show where a wagon had turned around and headed Eastward. 

Tliis trail is now marked as the Rock Island highway, with the poles 
painted with a ring of white and, where wagons with four to six inch 
tires, heavy laden, were drawn by fourteen long-eared oxen at a gait ap- 
proximating not more than two miles per hour. It is now a national high- 
way for the high-powered auto in the hands of the tourists, who ma}' 
speed along at forty or fifty miles per houh and negotiate the distance to 
Pikes Peak in a couple or three days. 

A few of the pioneer freighters still living can recall the gathering 
of these immense trains of fifty or sixty wagons, ten to sixteen horses to 
the wagon, as they would go into camp on the prairie for the night. The 
big circle was made, fires built, horses, oxen or mules tied to the wagon 
wheels or turned loose for the night while the party gathered under the 
starry canopy of the heavens, to indulge in story or song and the few 
straggling settlers of that day, drawn by the spectacle, would hover on 
the outskirts, thrilled by the adventures of the traveler pilgrims who had 
braved the desert, plain and Indian in quest of gold. 

In 1861 a daily overland mail and stage line w-as established from the 
river points west to the Pacific coast and with the exception of but a few 
weeks in 1862-64-65, on accotint of the Indian uprisings, the service was 
continuous for more than five years. 


The distance by the overland stage line from Atchison to Placerville 
was 1,913 miles, and was the longest and most important stage line in 
America. There were 153 stations between the above points, located about 
twelve and one-half miles apart. The local fare was $225, or about twelve 
cents per mile, and as high as $2,000 was frequenth- taken in at the Atchison 
office for fare alone. The fare between the river points and Denver was $75, 
or a little over 8 cents per mile, and to Salt Lake City, $150. Local fares 
ran as higii as fifteen cents per mile. Each passenger was allowed t\vent\- 


five pounds baggage, and all in excess of that amount was charged for at 
the rate of $i per pound. During the war the fares ran as high as $ioo 
and $175, or nearly 27 cents per mile. 

It required 2,750 horses and mules to run the stage line between 
Atchison and Placerville. It required, in addition to the regular supply of 
horses to operate the stage lines, some additional animals for emergencies, 
and it was calculated that the total cost of the horses on this stage line 
was about $500,000. The harness used was the finest that could be made, 
and cost about $150 for a complete set of four, or about $55,000 for 
the whole line. The feeding of the stock was one of the big items of 
expense, and there were annually consumed at each station from forty to 
eighty tons of hay, at a cost of $15 to $40 dollars per ton. Each animal 
was apportioned an average of twelve quarts of corn per day, which cost 
from 2 to 10 cents per pound. On the Salt Lake and California divisions, 
oats and barley, grown in Utah, was substituted for corn, but cost about 
the same. 

The stage coaches used by those lines were manufactured at Concord, 
New Hampshire, and their quality made them famous wherever stages were 
used. They were built to accommodate nine passengers inside, and one or 
two could ride on the box with the driver. Some of the stages were built 
with an extra seat above and in the rear of the driver, so that three addi- 
tional persons could ride there, making fourteen, with the driver, and some 
times an extra man would be crowded on the box, making as manv as fifteen 
persons who could ride on the Concord coach without verv much incon- 

The coaches cost about $1,000 each. and the company owned about 100 
of them; besides which they were financially interested in about one-half 
of the stations, in addition to thousands of dollars worth of miscellaneous 
property, at different places on the lines. There was a crew of superintendents, 
general and local attorneys, paymasters and division agents, all of whom 
drew large salaries. 

Those were the greatest stage lines the Western world has e\er known, 
carrying passengers, mail and express. They were also regarded as the 
safest and most rapid lueans of transit across the plains and mountain 
ranges. The investment in the undertaking was huge and the cost of main- 
tenance, like that of the railways of later days, gigantic, and the receipts 
at the time seemed in keeping with the bigness of the enterprise. }et the 
great loss soon to l>e sustained by those thus engaged with the coming 


of the railroad left many of them almost paupers, as their loss was enorm- 
ous, the property being rendered practically worthless. 

The Oregon trail was the best known of the trails in Xeljraska and the 
first. It commenced at Indeijendence, a small town just east of the present 
site of Kansas City, Missouri, and cutting across the northeast cnrner of 
Kansas, struck the Nebraska state line near the dividing line between Gage 
and Jefferson counties. The beginning of this trail in Nebraska was made 
in 1813 by a party returning from the mouth of the Columbia river. This 
party left no trail that might be followed, but their coming opened up the 
way for others who traversed the ground later from both directions. 

Father DeSmet, who knew the trail well and had traversed it, had 
the following to say in describing a trip made with a compan\- uf Indians 
in 185 1 : "Our Indian companions, who had never seen Init the narrow 
hunting paths by which they transport themselves and their lodges, were 
filled with admiration on seeing this noble highway, which is as smooth 
as a barn floor swept by the winds, and not a blade of grass can shoot up on 
it on account of the continual passing. They conceived a high idea of the 
countless white nations. They fancied that all had gone over that road 
and that an immense void must exist in the land of the rising sun. They 
styled the route the 'Great Medicine Road of the Whites." " Some of the 
wagon trains on these trails were flft\- miles long. 


During the early .settlement of the county, and in fact, until more re- 
cent years, many projects and schemes were formeil for tlie building of 
railroads across the cmmt}-, antl several were built — on paper — that ha\c 
never to this da>" materialized. .\niong those were the St. Louis 
& Nebraska Trunk railway. This road was to run northwest from 
I'tulo, passing through Rulo, .\rago and St. Stephens precincts, ;md on to 
Brownville and north to Omaha. For the Iniilding of this niilroad the iieople 
were to issue to the railroad company $60,800 in bonds. The election to 
vote on the proposition to issue the bonds was called for Jul\- (y, iSjj. 
at which time the proposition was defeated, and the road \\a-~ ne\er l)uilt. 
In the fall of 1875, what was then known as the Midland I'acitic railway. 
by some, and by others, the balls City, l>rown\ille X: i-ort Kcarncx railway. 
was projected. This road was to run from I'alls City to Xeniaha Cit\ , 
and from there to Brownville and Xcbrask.i City. in order to hel]) the 
project along, I-'alls City voted ^ and .\lufldy ])recinct, $i_'.ooo. and 



grading was commenced. During the grading of the bed, howexer, dissatis- 
fied parties got into courts and tlie courts decided that the precincts had 
no right to issue the bonds. Those of Falls City were destroyed in open 
court by Judge Weaver, but the ones issued by Muddy precinct, for some 
rea.son, were declared legal and had to be paid. The grading, however, was 
all that was ever done to the road, part of which remains to this daw 

Prior to either one of these projects, however, there were a few men 
in Falls City, who, looking down through the years, could discern the 
magnitude and development of the agricultural and shipping interests of 
the county, well believing that so grand a producing county should have a 
more rapid system of transportation for its productions than that offered 
by the boats on the ^lissouri river, conceived the idea of Ijuilding a road 
from Atchison to Falls City, and to continue from here up die vallevs 
along the Xemaha with its objective point the city of Lincoln. A company 
was formed for this purpose, with the following officers : John Force, 
president: F. A. Tisdell, treasurer; J. F. Gardner, secretary; Ishani Reavis, 
attorney: with the following board of directors: John Loree, August 
Schoenheit, Daniel Reavis, Fdward S. Towle, F. A. Tisdell, D. T. Brinegar 
and W. G. Sargent. The road was to be called the Xemaha Valley, Lincoln 
& Loup F(irk rail\\ay. The building of the .\tchison & Nebraska rail- 
road, however, "filled a long felt want" and the comix-\ny was dislianded. 
without doing other business. 


Without doubt the most momentous event in the historv of Richardson 
county, the one which forever secured its future, which sped up its de- 
\eloi)nient and brought a high tide of immigration, extended its commercial 
activity, increased the selling value of every foot of real estate within its 
Ixjrders, and opened up new homes for thousands of ])eople, who until then 
had been awaiting its completion, was the railroad. 

It is not necessary here to recite of the years of patient waiting and 
hardships incident to the isolation that had gone before, or to dilate upon 
the energy expended by those wiio had fought and worked to bring about 
the building of the various roads, which had been proposed, Init never l)uilt. 
and the consequent disappointment of many connected therewith. It is 
rather for us to tell of the road that was built — the glorious consuniniatitm 
of years of desire among the then pioneers. They did their part tlie while: 
what they did do did not liring the mads they had hoped to see, nor through 


the territory they had hoped a road would follow, vet the sum total of all 
the agitation did succeed in interesting capital in the building of a road 
and that was what the people really wanted. 

The first road to enter this part of the state and the one directly in- 
teresting to us, was what was then known as the Atchison & Nebraska rail- 
road, connecting southeastern Nebraska with Atchison, Leavenworth, and 
Kansas City, which cities at the time were already connected by rail with 
Mississippi river points and the East. The road is now known as a part 
of the Burlington & Missouri, or Chicago, Burlington & Ouincy branch of 
the Northern Pacific system. 

The Atchison & Nebraska was one of the famous "Joy" roads and 
was owned and controlled in Boston, Massachusetts; all of the directors, 
except James F. Joy, Detroit, Michigan, and Col. P. T. Abell. of Atchison, 
Kansas, were of Boston. This important line of railroad was projected 
by Atchison citizens in 1868, Col. P. T. Abell being the prime mo\ er. Atchi- 
son county voted $150,000 in bonds, Doniphan county, $200,000, in aid of 
the building of the road. These bonds were expended in grading the line 
from Atchison to Nebraska-Kansas state line, thirty-eight miles. Brown 
& Bier, of Atchison, were contractors and built the road north to the state 

Every county along the entire line voted bonds in aid of this great 
enterprise. In 1870 the road and its franchise were transferred to Hon. 
James F. Joy. who immediately organized a new company. Hon. G. W. 
Glick, of Atchison, was elected president of the first organization, which 
position he filled with ability for several months, after it had passed into 
the hands of Mr. Joy, when he resigned, and Col. P. T. Abell was duly 
installed as president of the road. Colonel Abell discharged the duties of 
president with distinguished ability. He was a thorough railroad man and 
an able legislator, and did as much, if not more, for the organization, and 
building of railroads than any man in northern Kansas. His best years 
were spent in laboring for the railroad interests of Kansas and Nebraska. 

Soon after the franchise was transferred to Mr. Joy, Col. O. Chanute 
was appointed chief engineer, Maj. F. R. Firth, resident engineer and acting 
superintendent, but Colonel Chanute was soon appointed superintendent of 
the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston railroad, and Major Firth received 
an appointment as chief engineer of the .\tchison & Nebraska railroad. Al- 
though Major Firth was not yet twenty-five years of age, he manifested 
ability of one twice his years. E. B. Couch was appointed cashier, and 
Henry Deitz, supply agent, both excellent appointments. Soon after the 



building of the road commenced, E. L. Bostwick, was made chief carpenter, 
which position he occupied while the road was being constructed. 

On the 22nd day of September, 1870, the first rail was laid, and on the 
loth day of January, 1871. the road was completed to the Nebraska state 
line. It was the original intention of the projectors of this company to 
follow the west branch of the Missouri river, via Brownville and Nebraska 
City, to Omaha, but the inducements of the location were not sufficient, and 
they decided on the location of what was chartered as the Burlington & 
Southwestern railroad, and the property franchise of this road in Nebraska, 
consisting of ten miles ironed and about thirty-five miles graded, were trans- 
ferred to the Atchison & Nebraska Railroad Company. 


Grading was commenced in 1871 between the state line and the Rulo 
"Y," where a junction with the Burlington & Southwestern was made. On 
the Fofirth of July of that year the Atchison & Nebraska was opened to 
Falls City, or at least to a point just east of the city (about a mile), known 
as Piersons Point — a point of land jutting out on the bottom^ fifty miles 
from Atchison. On the 6th of December following, the road was completed 
to Table Rock in Pawnee county, eighty-four miles from Atchison. 

Cold weather now set in, and the company deemed it best to suspend 
operations until the following spring. Work was resumed about the ist 
of April, 1872, and on the 15th of that month the line was open to Tecum- 
seh, the seat of justice in Johnson county. In June, Capt. M. AI. Towne 
accepted the appointment of assistant superintendent and W. \^'. Rhoads 
was appointed acting general freight and ticket agent. Early in August 
the road was completed to Lincoln, Nebraska. On the 27th day of the 
same month, the first passenger train went through to the Nebraska state 
capitol, a distance of one hundred and si.\ and one-half miles from Atchison. 

The completion of the Atchison & Nebraska railroad opened up a 
country that was unsurpassed from a farming and stock-raising point of 
view — a combination of prairie, forest, river and valley. It penetrated a 
country hitherto inconvenient to market, thus affording farmers and stock 
raisers an excellent opportunity to market their production. It opened 
up a business and social intercourse between the business men along and 
contiguous to the road and the business men of Atchison and the East. 
Their interests were closely identified and they worked earnestly togetlier 


for the promotion of every branch of commerce and trade. This fertile 
country, which had so long been fated to blush unseen and waste its 
sweetness on the desert air, was now brought into direct communication 
with the rest of civilization. This wedding was formally solemnized 
when was heard the whistle of the first iron horse which, with its train, 
came roaring up the valley of the Nemaha, and with this invasion the 
old West was crowded back farther toward the mountains. 

The first great and deplorable accident and the one which caused the 
death of the bright young superintendent, Major Firth, who had acted as the 
first superintendent and had personally supervised the construction of the 
road into this county, occurred at a point between Highland and Doniphan, 
Kansas, on June 8, 1872, on the road he had built. He was riding on the 
pilot of one of his engines when a bridge gave way and he was crushed 
beneath the engine and died within two weeks. He died when engaged in 
the faithful discharge of his duty to the railroad company. Immediately 
after his death, Maj. F. O. ^^'yatt was appointed chief engineer, which 
position he occupied, performing his duties intelligently and faithfully until 
the 1st day of December, when lie resigned, and Col. Charles C. Smith was 
given his place. Colonel Smith was a practical railroad man in every sense 
of the word, and under his efficient management this popular through route 
from St. Louis and the South and East to the Union Pacific, in a short 
time became a trunk line and a great channel for rapidly increasing traffic 
between the North and West and St. Louis. The road was substantially 
built for those days of the best material, and the rolling stock was all new 
and of the latest improved pattern for the time. Until that time no accident 
had befallen any passenger over the line. 

The completion of the road to this place came about just in time to 
be celebrated jointly with the national holiday on the Fourth of July, 1871. 
It must not, therefore, be presumed that the old-time people of this com- 
munity did not take advantage of such an occasion to blow ofif some surplus 
steam and give vent to their feelings at such a time. It came about in 
this wise : 

Tuesday, tlie I'ourth of July, was perhaps as favorable a day as 
this season has offered — clear and bright, but not "hot"; a cool wind was 
blowing all day, and certainly no one could have asked for a better day for 
outdoor exercises. Notwithstanding, owing to the uncertainty of the appear- 
ance of the locomotive on that day, without which the majority were in 
favor of having no celebration, Sheriff Faulkner, of this county, as mar- 
shal of the day, organized a procession and marched around town and to the 


grounds which had been arranged for the accommodation of tlie guests. 
As ma}^ be sup])osed, the procession was not large, but- nevertheless interest- 
ing, as it was headed by the Falls City brass band in their red, white and 
blue-trimmed wagon. The band did well, and was the subject of many 
compliments during the day. The orations, readings, etc., by different gentle- 
men of this city, were all good, and the public dinner was a success, except 
that a few perhaps failed to get their share in consequence of there Ijeing 
a larger crowd than was expected, and more than there was provision made 
for. .The most interesting part of the program to almost all, was that con- 
cerning the excursion party, which commenced at about two o'clock, when, 
the people started for the' terminus of the Atchison & Nebraska railroad, 
where the excursionists were to stop. At 3 130 o'clock p. m., a whistle 
was sounded, and shortly a train made its appearance. There were two 
cars, one coach and one flat car, drawn by engine No. i. As soon as the 
train stopped the band struck up a lively piece. After which they adjourned 
to a grove close by. 

Hon. Edwin S. Towle delivered the welcoming address, followed 1)y 
Col. P. T. Abell, the president of the road, who spoke ably on the future 
prospects of this state and Kansas, the railroad, etc. Judge Ishani Reavis 
being called for, made his appearance and delivered a short and appropriate 
address. G. W. Glick, later governor of the state of Kansas, was then 
uproariously called for; he spoke at some length, and closed by inviting S. S. 
Price, of Rulo, to address the assembly, which he did, closing the cere- 

Among the excursionists were Messrs. Abel, Hartford, Quick, Gus 
Byram, George W. Glick, Nelson Abbott, editor of the Atchison Patriot: 
H. E. Nickerson. Alderson, C. Rohr, Doctor Challis, George Challis, W. W. 
Guthrie, David Auld, Adam Bremer, C. H. Phillips, Frank Brier, P. Brown, 
of Atchison ; Judge Price, of Troy, and others. 


What the fore part of the day lacked in the way of agreeable amuse- 
ments, certainly the evening and night made up for. At dusk the display 
of fireworks was commenced and was kept up until a late hour, also about 
the same time the Odd Fellows ball opened in the Journal building, which 
owing to the large attendance, good music, the excellent floor and ample 
room, was certainly a success. In this connection we may state one remark- 
able fact — the lady guests were in excess of the gentlemen, which was 


contrary to all precedent in Falls City. Heretofore we had expected to see 
at least fonr gentlemen to one lady. The (juestion was where did they 
come from ? \\'h)-, there were more [jeople here now than we had had 
at our last hall: liesides there were people here from all parts of the county 
and from Kansas. The hall party took supper, at the cit\- hotel. In this. 
Mr. Collins, of that popular house, had an opportunity to show what he 
could do' in the way of getting up meals for special occasions, and he took 
advantage of it. The supper was CNxellent, and reflected much credit upon 
the house, its proprietor and the landlady, under whose personal supervision 
the tahles were arranged. Ahout fort\- couples were seated at one time at 
the tables. 

The railroad was now here, a reality, and writing to Mr. W. S. Stretch, 
the editor of the Xciiiaha J 'alley Journal, of Falls City, V. R. Firth, super- 
intendent of the Atchison & Nebraska railroad, said: "I have issued an 
order to have a long whistle blown half an hour before trains leave Trails 
City, so as to gi\e passengers ample time to get to the trains." 

In further celebration of the completion of the road, word was re- 
ceived here on Thursday morning that it was the intention of the managers 
of the Atchison & Nebraska railroad to give a grand free excursion to 
Atchison on Friday, the 7th inst. Accordingly on F"riday morning, a large 
number of our citizens went to the end of the track near town, and at about 
7:30 o'clock a. m., found themselves gliding smoothly along over a Rich- 
ardson count}- railway for the first time. Among the part\- were some of 
our most prominent business men, wjio intended to see for themselves the 
far-famed cit}- of Atchison, and the beautiful country which the new road 
opened up. The gentlemanly conductor. Mr. J- Wiseman, did all in his 
power to render the party comfortable, and w ith his efficient corps of attaches. 
succeeded admirably. The road was one which would compare favorably 
with any in the state at that time, being solidly bifilt. well ballasted, and 
good bridges, etc. 

At 8:10 Rulo was announced, where a large party joined them, swelling 
the number to (}ver five hundred persons, .\fler the train had fairly started on 
its gratuitous mission, the excursionists formed themselves into small parties 
all through the train, where vocal music, jovial conversation, etc.. tended t" 
enliven the spirits of the already hapjiy crowd. 

.\fter a pleasant four hours ride through the beautiful valleys of the 
Xeniaha and Missouri, during which they feasted their e\es upon some of 
the nio^t ni;ignificenl scener\ in the wurld. thev arri\ed .al the busy city 


of Atchison. Mayor Smith, in a hriei speech, welcomed them to the city, 
and tendered them the hospitahties of the citizens. He closed by introducing 
Judge Mills, also of. Atchison, who spoke at some length, of the Nemaha 
Valley and the Atchison & Nebraska railroad. Falls City, etc. 

Judge Reavis, of Falls City, being called for, said that he had not in- 
tended addressing the enlightened citizens of Atchison, and therefore, begged 
to introduce his young and eloquent friend, Capt. George \'an De\ enter. 
\'an DeVenter was in his element. With his wanton aptitude he jx)rtrayed, 
in glowing terms, the rapid advancement of the great West, what it had 
been and what it is, and closing with a pleasing compliment to the citizens 
of the Nemaha Valley, Atchison and L^alls City. With three rousing cheers 
for Atchison, Falls City and the Atchison & Nebraska railroad, the partv 
dispersed for dinner. 

After dinner quite a number of excursionists procured carriages and 
visited various points of interest in the city. The excursionists were uni- 
versally treated with great cordiality by the citizens of Atchisnn, who were 
undoubtedly a go-ahead and progressive people. They found the citv to 
be growing rapidly. Business of all kinds was in flourishing condition, 
and they were agreeably surprised at the metropolitan aspect of the citv. 

At 3 130 p. m. they started on the return trip, fully convinced that Atchi- 
son's prospects for becoming the city of the Missouri river was very flatter- 
ing, and that ere long it would command the immense trade of the entire 
Missouri \'alley. 

The ladies were prettw the gentlemen good natured and the day pleasant, 
and all tended to make tlie entire part\- enjoy themselves hugeh-, wliich 
they undoubtedly did. Doctor Horn, the genial local of the Patriot, said 
that without saying anything in any way detrimental to Atchison, he was 
of the opinion that Falls City excelled in handsome ladies. Imt being a 
married man he could not accept of many fine opportunities. 

Messrs. Dolan & Ouigg, the enterprising wholesale grocers and li(|U(ii 
dealers of Atchison, tendered the hospitalities of their large establishment 
to the party, who were in no way backward in accepting thereof. 

The train consisted of seven coaches and two flat cars, drawn lj\- enginu 
No. 12, George Rapp. engineer, and were filled to overflowing. 

A meeting was organized on July 7, 1871, l)y the b'alls City delegation 
on board the above train on its return trip to that place and the f(illi)\ving 
proceedings were had : 


On motion of ]\Iaj. John Loree (father of Charles Loree), Judge 
Thomas Spragins was called to the chair, and Howard Leland was ap- 
pointed secretary. The judge on assuming the chair said : 

Ladies and gentlemen of Falls City: We have enjoyed one of those 
da)'s that come to a people 1)ut once in a lifetime. A hundred iron roads 
ma\- he Iniilt to and through our growing little city, but the same joyous 
emotions that have swelled our hearts this day will not come with them. 
It is like the first baby in a family — the little stranger is such a stranger. 
But do not let me further occupy the time of the meeting. I understand 
the object is to express, in some appropriate manner, our appreciation of 
the kindness of the ofificers of the Atchison & Nebraska Railroad Company, 
and t(i thank them for the many courtesies they have extended to our people 
on this occasion. What is the further pleasure of the meeting? 

On motion of Charles H. Rickards (the present county assessor of 
this county), a committee of three was appointed by the chair to draft reso- 
lutions expressing of the sentiment of the meeting. The chair appointed 
Maj. John Loree, the Hon. W. M. Maddox and Martin Ryan as said com- 

^^''hile the committee was absent in the discharge of its dut\-. the meet- 
ing was regaled by our young and promising townsman, George \'an De 
\'enter. in one of his most happy and telling speeches. The speech cannot 
be given here, it would have required a corps of phonographic reporters lu 
catch his glowing words as they dropped in rapid succession from his elo- 
quent lips. Init those who heard him on that day were slow to forget the 

The committee on resolutions through their chairman. Maj. John Loree. 
made the following report, which was adopted unanimously amid the most 
intense enthusiasm : 

NVhereas, Through the kindness of Col. P. T. .\bell, the able president, 
and Major Firth, the gentlemanly and efificient superintendent of the .Atchi- 
son & Nebraska railroad, we Iiave this day en. joyed one of the most delightful 
pleasure excursions of our lives, and 

Whereas. It is our desire to express more publicly our appreciation 
of this mark of their friendly regard as well as to bear testimony to the 
abilitv and energy of these gentlemen and their associates, who in the 
prosecution and management of the affairs of what in our judgment, is the 
most significant enterprise in the Northwest, have furnished their fellow 
citizens indubitable evidence that difficulties, however difficult, may still lie 
mastered, therefore, be it 


Resolved, That the thanks of the whole people of the Valley of the 
Nemaha are due, and in their name we hereby tender same to the officers 
and employees of the railroad for the courtesies extended to us today, no 
less than for the immeasurable benefits conferred upon us in the construc- 
tion of the iron road in our beautiful valley. 

That we hereby pledge our hearty support to the company in the further 
construction of the road, and we heartily recommend that every citizen in 
the valley, from Rulo to Lincoln, do all that men may do to further the 
great enterprise, until the accomplished fact shall be a continuous line of 
railwav in our midst which shall reach from sea to sea. 

That we never felt better in our lives, and especially are we glad that 
we visited Atchison. 

That the secretary be directed to furnish a copy of these proceedings 
to the local press for publication and that this meeting adjourn with three 
cheers for the people of Atchison and the Atchison & Nebraska railway. 

Thomas Spragins. president. 

Howard Leland, secretary. 


On Saturday, July 9, 1871, the myriads of good people of Atchison, 
through the kindness of the Atchison & Nebraska Railroad Company visited 
our citv on half-fare tickets. They arrived at alx)Ut half-past twelve, and 
were transferred to the hotels in buggies, carriages, lumber wagons, and 
every other description of conveyances that could be engaged for the oc- 
casion. Thev remained in town about two hours, or about long enough to 
supply the inner man with something substantial, and then took their depar- 
ture for home. Owing to the general "hub-bub" and hurry to get back 
to their train for fear of being late, it was impossible for the people here 
to get a list of or make the acquaintance of many of them. 

But it was observed that there were about five hundred visitors in the 
crowd, and an intelligent one, besprinkled with a goodly share of the fair 
sex, whose beautiful faces, agreeable manners and elegant attire were the 
subject of much admiration among the Nemaha Valleyites. Our hotel men 
were unable to get but few of the names registered, though their guests 
might be numbered by hundreds. The following registered at the City and 
Union Hotels: City Hotel— F. E. Sheldon, C. E. Peck, A. H. Martin, J. 
D. Higgins, A. H. Allen, W. S. Thacker, S. Collins, L. E. Gordon, J. Wilson 
and ladies, C. E. Gavlord, H. Denton, L. Gilbert, Sarah Riddle. D. Dickerson, 


Nancy Riddle, D. C. Hull, \\\ A. Foley, A. A. Parson, ^I. Gerber, F ^1. 
Parsons, J. F. Pigin, E. Parson, J. P. Smith, D. S. IMcKinney, \\'. F. Onnis, 
C. M. Abbott, M. Utt, J. Wiseman and lady, H. M. McDaus, J. ^f. Idol 
and lady, J. Hehn, J. Reisner, W. McKee, E. Shaw, T. J. Ward and family, 
H. Barnes, G. \"an Camp and lady, B. Miller, \Y. B. Bull, Judge Mills, 
H. B. Horn, Miss Ella ^IcFarland. Union Hotel— \\'. H. Mann, S. \V. 
Bivins, B. Teemey, H. H. Wood. W. Straw, M. A. Albright. J. M. Cro- 
well, J. Hoke and lady, F. K. Armstrong, Miss Louie Flick, W. S. Good- 
rich, Shaw Beery and ladv, P. C. Hugh, ^^lollie Moore, P. T. Abell, Miss 
Ahell, L. T. Woolfork, Miss Zull, C. H. Caller, B. W. Forbes, F. ^L 
Pierce, G. L. Moore, J- ^^^ Mussey, B. S. Campbell and family, A. T. 
Onis. D. C. Jagglers and wife. J- E- Ingles, W. F. Goodrich, C. H. Chass- 
ney, Z. Smith, S. Gourner, A. J. Brown, G. H. Rapp, J. C. Dudley, W. R. 
Smith, P. Z. Owens, H. :\IcCormick, H. Smith, F. M. A'anner, F. H. Smith, 
N. Thomas, J. W. Lincoln, J. Millard, P. T. Abell, Jr. 


The first time schedule of this road was put into effect during the 
week of July 13, 1871, between this city and Atchison. It embraced four 
trains a day — two arrivals and two departures. The accommodation train 
left Falls City at 7:15 o'clock in the morning and the mail and express at 
2 :45 o'clock in the afternoon and the accommodation arrived from the 
South or East at i 135 o'clock in the afternoon, and the mail and express 
at 7 130 o'clock, night. Parties desiring to visit .Atchison could leave Falls 
City at 7:15 o'clock a. m., and return home at 7:30 p. m., giving them three 
hours and ten minutes to spend in Atchison at an expense of $4. 


Charles Loree, the present ( 191 7) clerk of the district court, who had 
been employed b\- the .\tchison & Nebraska Railroad Company as car ac- 
countant in the }ards at .Atchison, although a resident of Falls Cit\-, was 
appointed as the first station agent at Falls City and rode the first train in 
to arrive at this point. He had his new office for nearly a month, or until 
August 1st, in conjunction with that of Dr. H. O. Hanna, who occupied 
rooms in a building located on the present site of the Samuel W'ahl & 
Company's store at the corner of Fifteenth and Stone streets in block 
Xo. loj. In .\ugust. 1871. he bmisht ior himself a desk and took uii 



quarters with Joseph Burbank in the latter's grain office, near the present 
site of the BurHngton & Missouri depot and there remained until a depot 
which, at the time was under construction, was completed. His office was 
the western headquarters of the construction crew of engineers until the 
latter moved on further west as the building of the road progressed. No 
tickets were received or sold until September and the patrons of the road 
were obliged to make settlement with the conductors of the trains. He 
served for alx)ut a year, or until the coming of the telegraph, when he 
gave the place to another, as he had had no training in the use of the Morse 
code and the road at that time had insufficient business to require the presence 
or expense of more than one man at this point. 

The first noticeable effect of the railroad was to cut rates on the shipping 
of produce. In the years immediately preceding, much of the produce of 
the farms in this section had either to be hauled to Rulo, .\rago or other 
river points for the steamboats, or was taken to Hamlin or Hiawatha in 
Kansas, for transportation. Besides the distance that had to be covered 
the prices were high. The rate from Falls City to Troy Junction, thirtx- 
eight miles, was first fixed at $18 or 9 cents per hundred and to Atchison, 
a distance of fifty-five miles, $28 or 14 cents per hundred. At this time 
but one freight boat was still doing business — the "Elkhorn." The river 
boats had suffered from the first (in 1866), with the advent of tlie railroad's 
coming to Kansas and Missouri, and points further south and the further 
extension north acted at once to put them out of business that would be 
profitable to them. 


At the second crossing of the Xemaha river coming up from Atchison, 
and in this county midway between Rulo and Falls City, in point of north- 
west quarter of southwest quarter of section 22, township No. i, north of 
range 1,7, about a nu'le east of the present village of Preston and east of 
the Nemaha river, was a tract of about ten acres of land owned bv the 
railroad company. In, 1871, Major Firth had these grounds laid 
off into one of the finest picnic grounds that could at that time be found 
in two states. These acres were heavily covered with natural timber and 
the compan\- had them cleared of brush, weeds and rubbish and sowed to 
blue grass. .\ fence was built and a broad platform made at the railroad, 
an ice house set in the bank of the river, and board tents put up in various 
places. This soon became one of the most attractive places in the valley 
and peo])Ie came by tlie hundreds from Atchison. Doniphan, Hiawatha and 


all over this county. Many big events took place there and it continued 
popular until its beauty was destroyed by the floods and storms in later 

The Atchison & Nebraska railroad was completed to Salem by the 
24th of August, 1871, and the regular trains all ran west to that place 
and connected with the stages for Humboldt, Table Rock, Pawnee City, 
Beatrice and Tecumseh and all points north and west. 


The first railroad depot consisted of five rooms, a freight room on the 
west, twenty-nine by thjrty-six feet, a neat little ticket office on the south- 
east corner, ladies waiting room on the northeast, and gents waiting room 
on the south center — the entire building being thirty by sixty feet, with a 
twelve-foot platform all around it, and twelve by one hundred feet on the 
front or south side. Two or three hundred yards east of the depot was 
a turntable, and about a mile farther east was a water tank, which was 
supplied with a wind wheel for pumping water. Burbank & Holt had a 
grain warehouse just west of the depot, at which place they bought grain. 
Keim & Maust at once built an elevator a few rods east of the depot. Coal 
was delivered from Ft. Scott to patrons in Fall City at from thirty to thirty- 
five cents per bushel, while wood was selling here at three dollars and a half 
per cord. 

The Atchison & Nebraska railroad reached Humboldt the first week in 
October, 1871, and on Friday, October 6, 1871. the citizens of Humboldt 
were given an excursion to Atchison, Kansas. 


On May 5, 1867, the charter of the Atchison & Nebraska City Railroad 
Company was filed in the office of the secretary of the state of Kansas. 
The original incorporators of this road were Peter T. Able, George W. 
Click, Alfred G. Ottis, John M. Price, W. W. Cochrane, Albert H. Horton, 
Samuel A. Kingman, J. T. Hereford and August Byram, all ni whom were 
citizens of Atchison, Kansas. The charter provided for the cmistructiun of 
a railroad "from some point in the City of Atchison to some point on the 
north line of the state of Kansas, not farther west than twenty-five miles 
from the Missouri river, and the lengtli of the proposed railroad will not 
exceed forty-five miles." 


Shortly after the road was incorporated the name was changed to the 
Atchison & Nebraska Railroad Company, and under this name subscrip- 
tions and bonds, and capital stock were made in Atchison and Doniphan 
counties. Atchison county subscribed $150,000, and in addition to the sub- 
scription of the county, there were individual subscriptions amounting to 
$80,000 in the county. Work was commenced on the road in 1869, and 
it was completed in 1871 to the northern boundary of Doniphan county, 
three miles north of White Cloud, Kansas. The stockholders of the Atchi- 
son & Nebraska graded the roadbed to the state line north from Atchison, 
constructed bridges and furnished the ties, after which the entire property 
was given to a Boston syndicate in consideration of the completion and 
operation of the railroad. This railroad was afterwards consolidated wuth 
the Atchison, Lincoln & Columbus Railroad Company of Nebraska, which 
railroad had been authorized to construct a railroad from the northern termi- 
nal point of the Atchison & Nebraska railroad to Columbus, on the Union 
Pacific railroad, by way of Lincoln, and the railroad was completed to 
Lincoln in the fall of 1872. This consolidated road was purchased by the 
Burlington & Missouri Railroad Company in 1880. 

The first railroad built between the Mississippi and the Missouri rivers 
was the Hannibal & St. Joseph, which was completed to St. Joseph, Mis- 
souri, February 23, 1859, and the new railroad from Atchison connected 
with the Hannibal & St. Joseph at the latter point. 


Thursday, June 15, 1882, was a day long remembered by those who 
went to Atchison, Kansas, on an excursion and partook of the hospitality 
of that generous city, the occasion being the completion of the Missouri 
Pacific line through to Omaha. 

The morning of that memorable day dawned with threatening rain, 
but despite this, those who held tickets were up early and preparing for 
the trip. At eight o'clock it began and it looked very much as if the festivi- 
ties of the day would be marred, but fortune favored us and by noon the 
clouds had disappeared and the sun came forth with such a blaze and splendor, 
that those who had taken the precaution to clothe themselves in heavy 
apparel regretted the deed. 

.'Xt 9:10 o'clock a. m.. the train having on board the excursionists 
from the towns farther to the north, drew up at the depot in Falls City 
and our delegation was soon seated in the car set apart for tiieir accom- 


moclation. In a few minutes "all aboard" was shouted li_\- the conductor 
and away we whirled. At Hiawatha the train was stopped long entnigh to 
take on board their quota of excursionists and the band and once more 
the journey was resumed. From Hiawatha to Atchison the train passed 
over as fine a country as the sun ever shone upon. Those who gazed out 
upon the country for the first time were so charmed with its appearance 
that they were mute with astonishment. This road was unlike most of the 
roads built early in the West, in that it does not run along the creeks and 
valleys, but passes through one of the loveliest and most fertile sections 
of the West, along high divides, where the view nn either side is almost 

While the excursionists were in the zenith of their pleasure and pre- 
paring to make their debut in the cit}-. an accident occurred, which, but 
for the coolness of the engineer, the excursion might have been turned into 
a funeral. While rounding a curve, the train running about twenty miles 
an hour, a cow was discovered standing upon the track. The engineer 
knew that to stop would only enhance the danger of a wreck and his only 
hope was to knock the cow clear of the track. He acted on this hypothesis 
and throwing the valve wide open, the train sprang forward to the accomp- 
lishment of his designs. The cow was thrown from the track but the l)ank 
being so steep at that point she rolled back just in time to throw the front 
trucks of the tender off the rails. The track was instantly sanded by the 
cool and nervy engineer, brakes put on and engine reversed and the train 
stopped at the very edge of the trestle work of a bridge thirty feet alxive 
the bed of a stream. To the coolness of the engineer the lives of the 
excursionists were due, and many, if not all, of the party t(^i)k time to give 
verbal expression of their sincere appreciation. 

While the work of putting the tender on the track w;.s going on the 
passengers took occasion to get ofif and stretch themselves. The band akso 
came on terra firma and discoursed some fine music, .\fter an hour's 
dela\- the welcome sound of "all aboard" was heard and the party was 
en route once more for their destination, where they arrived without further 


.\t the dejjot awaiting their arrival was a large crowd, who had began 
to grow impatient at the ncin-arrival of the train, when it came into view. 
.\s the train drew up at the station there was such a shout as must have 
awakened the iMilated "rush lidttumer" from his noon-dav nap. .Xccnrding 



to instructions of the committee, who had accompanied the train from I'alls 
City to Atchison, the party was formed in hne, each town in a hody, and 
headed by Col. John A. ]\Iartin and Henry Clay Park, with bands playing, 
the procession moved to Apollo Hall, where a banquet awaited them. 

The whole city of Atchison was gaily decorated with bunting, ever- 
green and other attractive material and presented a very beautiful appear- 
ance, which was conclusive evidence that the hosts had spared neither pains 
nor mone)- to make the occasion one long to be remembered. 

Apollo Hall, at which place the ladies presided, was transformed into 
a beautiful banquet room by the tasteful arrangement of decorative mate- 
rial; festoons of red and white bunting were gracefully hung along the 
walls, the chandeliers were wrapped in evergreens, and long loops of leaves 
and flowers crossed each other in every direction and added greatly tf) the 
artistic merit of the arrangement. In the center of the floor a magnificent 
pyramid of fruits and flowers was arranged, and from this center jjiece 
the tables were arranged to form a Maltese, cross — and each table bore 
cjuantities 'of tempting viands of the most appetizing- description. Beautiful 
bouquets enhanced the beauty of the spread, and at each plate a charming 
button-hole bouquet was placed. In the windows were potted flowers in 
bloom and all sorts of foliage plants. The ro(jm was ful| of fragrance and 
beauty, and made a banquet hall fit for a king. 

Covers had been laid for three hundred guests, and as the partv filed 
in they were seated at the tables by the ladies in attendance, and were 
surprised and delighted wdth the magnificent dinner provided. There were 
a number who were not seated at the first tables, because of lack of space, 
and these and the Hiawatha band occupied the gallery, at intervals the 
band playing beautiful selections to enliven the feast. The ser\ice could 
not have been Isetter. A number of ladies were stationed at each table 
who quietly, gracefully and hospitably served everything the guests desired. 
Room was soon made for the waiting guests and the band in the gallery, 
and when all had been seated and pro\ided for, Henry Clay Park, who 
acted as toastmaster. or master of ceremonies, introduced i\Iayor King, who 
said that in his pfiicial capacity it became his pleasant duty to thank the 
guests for their acceptance of their invitations and to extend to them a 
hearty welcome. In behalf of the citizens of .\tchison, he extended a warm 
and hospitable welcome and greeting. 

On behalf of the visiting ])arty, .\. H. Gilmore, of Auburn, Nebraska, 
returned the thanks of the \isitors to the mayor and people of Atcliison 


for their magnificent reception, and stated that the meeting would undoubtedh- 
redound to the material advantage of both sections now connected with 
the new railroad. 


After the banquet came toasts and responses by Col. A. S. Everst, 
of Atchison, Judge August Schoenheit, of Falls City, Rev. Dr. Krohn. 
of Atchison, and Webster Wilder of the Hiawatlia World, in the order named. 
The responses were short and appropriate and greatly enjoyed by those 

At this point a dispatch was read from the Board of Trade at St. 
Joseph, Missouri, inviting the excursionists to that place. It was moved that 
the thanks of the excursionists be extended to the people of St. Joseph 
for their kind invitation, but as they were in good hands it behooved them 
to remain, but at some future time a proposition of this kind would be 
entertained. The motion was carried unanimously. 

Recognizing the fact that it was a day to entertain and not a da)- 
to transact business, the business men of Atchison threw all care aside 
and devoted themselves exclusively to making their guests comfortable and 
happy. The exercises in the evening consisted of a display of the fire de- 
partment, Knights of Pythias drill, flambeau parade and fireworks, concert 
at Turner Garden Hall and a ball at Apollo Hall, all of which was wit- 
nessed and highly enjoyed by the visitors. The only part of the program 
that was omitted was the failure of the balloon to ascend, which was due 
to an accident overtaking it just at the time it was expected to have gone 
up. But there were so many other attractions that the failure of this event 
to happen caused but little comment. At 1 1 .^o p. m. the guests took leave 
of Atchison and returned by a train which was made up and awaiting 
them at the depot. 


A proposition to vote bonds for the building of this road was suli- 
mitted to the voters of Richardson county in the summer of 1872. This 
called for the issuance of $22,300 by Rulo precinct; Arago, $25,500, and 
$13,000 from St. Stephens precinct. The bonds were to be issued by 
September i, 1872, to run twenty years and bear eight per cent, interest. 
\Vhen issued they were to be placed in the hands of three trustees and by 
them held until the completion of the contract b\- the railroad company. 


A provision was stipulated therein, however, that upon the completion of 
five miles of grading and bridging, Rulo precinct should give $2,500 per 
mile for that portion of the line running through said precinct, and $500 
and $1,000, respectivel)^ for the portion of the line in the north precincts 
of Arago and St. Stephens. Arago was to give $2,000 and St. Stephens 
$1,500 per mile, at the same time, and under the conditions as above cited 
for Rulo precinct. The road was to be completed by September i, 1873, 
and the election at which the above was submitted was held on July 6, 1872. 
The bonds did not carry. 


A railroad under the above title was projected to run from the city 
of Leavenworth, Kansas, along the Missouri, north to Rulo and thence to 
Arago and St. Stephens. It had been arranged to have a branch line go 
west up the valley of the Muddy and on north to Lincoln. This line never 
got farther than the most of the paper railroads of those days, but was a 
subject for much comment and of great concern to the people of the east 
end precincts. 

In the fall of 1875, the Midland Pacific railroad, the line now owned 
and a part of the Burlington System, from Nebraska City to Lincoln, graded 
a roadbed from Nemaha City to Falls City, a distance of twenty-two miles. 
For this extension, i. e., from Nemaha City to Fails City, Falls City voted 
$70,000 in ]x)nds, on which seventy per cent, was to be paid on the com- 
pletion of the grading. Pending the completion of the work, it was decided 
by the courts that the precinct could not legally issue bonds, and if they 
should issue them, could not be held liable for the payment of either principal 
or interest. This resulted in the non-completion of the road. The only 
bonds issued were the first installment of those due from Muddy precinct, 
amounting to $12,000. 

A meeting of the stockholders of the Nenialia \"alley, Lincoln & Loup 
Fork Railway was held on February 27, 1869, and John Loree, August 
Schoenheit, Daniel Reavis, Edwin S. Towle, F. A. Tisdell, David T. Brine- 
gar and \V. G. Sergent were chosen directors for the ensuing year. The 
officers of the road were John Loree, president; F. A. Tisdell, treasurer; 
J. F. Gardner, secretan^; Isham Reavis, attorney. About March ist of 
the same year, John Loree and August Schoenheit, of this road, met with 
the directors of the Atchison & Nebraska railwav, and a consolidation was 


agreed upon, after which the Nemaha \'alley. Lincohi & Loup Fork rail- 
way disappeared from the records. It was not built. 

The Southern Nebraska & Northern Kansas. This railway was proj- 
ected in 1870, and was to receive $10,000 in bonds from the county, but 
never graded more than one hundred feet of road bed and passed out of 
practical existence. 

The Kansas & Nebraska Narrow Gauge. This was another of the list 
of paper railroads which never amounted to anything but talk. 

The Missouri Pacific. On April 26, 1876, the directors of the Mis- 
souri Pacific considered a proposition submitted by citizens along the towns 
of the proposed line to build a road from Falls City to Plattsmouth, at 
a distance of about ten miles from the Missouri river, taking the present 
route from Atchison, Kansas, to Falls City, and between Plattsmouth and 
Omaha, using the Burlington & Missouri River railroad tracks. A delegation 
from Nebraska was present at this meeting and consisted of D. H. Wheeler, 
J. A. Horback, T. P. Kennard. J. T. Hoile. S. S. Caldwell. J. G. Klopper 
and R. W. Furnace. The report of the road was delivered by Mayor Brown, 
and was a rejection of the ofifer made, accompanied by the reasons for such 
action too numerous to mention in detail. 

In 1881, the Missouri Pacific entered the county at a point a few miles 
southwest of Falls City and the road was completed through the county 
during the following year. 

The Burlington & Southwestern. This road, sometimes called the "Joy" 
road, was begun in December, 1869, and built ten miles from Rulo in 
order to secure the bonds voted for it, which were due on the completion 
of that amount of work. These bonds amounted to $3,500 per mile, and 
were exclusive of the land grant to the railroad company. In the spring 
of 1870, grading was continued up the Nemaha bottoms and in June of 
that year the road was sold to the Atchison & Nebraska railroad, of which 
]'. T. Abel was president. Joshua Tracy was vice-president and J. K. Hornish. 
superintendent of the Burlington & Southw^estern. 

The St. Joseph & Nemaha. The St. Joseph & Nemaha Railroad Com- 
pany once made a sur\-ey of a route of a railroad from the mouth of the 
Great Nemaha to Tecumseh, in Johnson county, nearly the present route 
of the Atchison & Nebraska division of the Burlington, but beyond the 
survey, under Fix. -Gov. Robert Stewart, of Missouri. 'nothing was ever done. 

Other lines talked of in recent years, and for a time considered some- 
what seriously, have been rail cmniection with the Sycamore Springs in 


tlie south central part of the county; but the one most referred to is rail 
connection with the northeast section of the county, where the immense 
apple production has attracted so much attention in the last decade. 


The new station located in Porter precinct has been named "Stella," 
after the daughter of Mr. Clarke, the founder of the town and the owner 
of the land upon which the town is to be located. Already, preparations 
are going on to build soon as the spring opens. The depot grounds and 
stock yards are being laid out, and arrangements for the building of a large 
elevator. Stella is beautifully located and promises to become quite a place. 
Of course the Porterites are happy. — Falls City Xcu's. January 5. 1882. 

January 5, 1882 — The Missouri Pacific is now built within six miles 
of Carson City, in Nemaha county. 

Engineer Wright, who has charge of the first nineteen miles of road 
of the Missouri Pacific out of Atchison, spent last Sunday in the city. He 
informs us that regular trains will run between Atchison and Omaha bv 
the 15th of March. — Falls City Ncws_, January 5, 1882. 

The Hall Station boom has petered out. The owner of the lands wanted 
to get rich too fast. For instance, corner lots, in his estimation, are worth 
$300 and resident lots from $50 to $100. The company did not see it in 
this light and moved on to Porter precinct. Lots at this place can be 
had at from $5 to $10 each. — Falls City Ncivs, January 5, 1882. 

August 3, 1882 — On Saturday, last, we made a flying visit t(^ the 
thriving little village of Stella, situated about twenty miles northwest of 
Falls City on the line of the Missouri Pacific railroad. There is in the 
village about fifty houses all told, including four general stores, two drug 
stores, two hardware stores, two lumber yards, two restaurants, cMie bil- 
liard hall, one harness shop, one barljer shop, two blacksmith shops, one 
grocery store, two meat markets, one photograph gallery, one livery stable, 
two physicians, one millinery and dressmaking establishment, and a fine hotel 
building just finished. The Gird Brothers have the material on liand, and 
will soon issue the first number of a paper to be called Tlic Stella Tribune. 
The new station is kept by Mr. J. S. Mason, formerly of Missouri. Mr. 
Mason is well liked by the business men of Stella, being pleasant and ac- 
commodating. Stella in time will be one of the most important .shipping 
stations between Falls City and Omaha. — Falls City News. 



The automobile as a means of transportation came I)ut slowly into use 
in Richardson county and until tlie last year or two has remained princi- 
pally as a \ehicle of pleasure. 

The first automobile to make its appearance in the west end of the county 
was at Humboldt and appeared in 1898 or 1899 and was owned by Louis 
Slama. a Bohemian jeweler, who at the time had a shop in the city and gave 
his principal attention to the sale and repair of watches. He was one of the 
first to adopt the "safety" bicycle and being of an inventive turn became at 
once interested in power vehicles or "horseless carriages'' as they were some- 
times called in those days. 

Slama built the engine which he used in his first automobile, using steam 
as a driving power, and made the entire equipment for his machine with the 
exception of the wheels and tires, which he ordered from an Eastern firm. 
He worked at spare moments for some months in assembling and perfecting 
the entire machine, but when completed it was found to be practical and he 
was able to go about the country and negotiated some of the steepest hills and 
grades. As compared to some of the gas machines which made their appear- 
ance at about the same period his machine was really superior, as the gas 
engine at the time had not been so far perfected as now and was not so 
generally understood when applied as a power for driving an autmobile. It 
is needless to say that his machine, which in general appearance was very much 
like the single-seated gas cars comnK)n in tliose days, made a commotion in 
the community, ^^^^enever and wherever he appeared he was tlie cynosure of 
all eyes and he never lacked for company on his rides about the countryside. 

The next machine to make its appearance in Humboldt was owned by 
F. \y. Samuel'^on, president of the First National Bank, and was a single- 
seated gas-driven auto (single-cylinder type") of the Olds manufacture. The 
Tittle machine in appearance looked fine, liut gave Mr. Samuelson more trou- 
ble than anvthing he had probalily ever tried to operate. As measured by 
the more recent tvpes of machines it lacked much that goes to make a practical 
machine f^r country roads, but he had lots of sport witli it and was able 
to get about the country to some extent. 

Frank Xims and Frank Blakeney, now residents of b~alls City, but in 
former times resident of farms in the west end of the county, were the next 
to berrme interested in autos. were pioneer owners of machines and contril> 
uted mucii in the introduction of antomoliiies in the count}'. The latter re- 


maincd ever a lover of the auto and has sold hundreds of them to the farmers 
of the county. 

Daniel Blakeney, die father of Frank Blakeney mentioned al)Ove, was 
one of the first to conceive tlie idea of the commercial value of the auto for 
use on the country roads, estahlished the first auto livery in the county at 
Falls City and equipped himself with a number of machines. Being faster 
than horses he thought to use them on tlie country roads for hauling passen- 
gers about the county and solicited the trade ni die traveling salesmen whose 
business took them to the smaller towns. The business at that time was not 
a success for many reasons, among which principall}- was the imperfection 
of the early machines and the lack of good roads. After operating for some 
time under these and other disadvantages the business was discontinued. It 
must be rememl)ered that this kind of business was undertaken by Mr. Blake- 
ney in the very early stages of the introduction of the automobile in Richard- 
son county, and die machines he used were the first to make their 
appearance here. 

The first auto ever to travel the streets of Falls City under its own 
power was brought here by a circus and was listed as one of the big exhibits 
of the show. The first machine ever owned in Falls City was, like the one 
mentioned above, made by a mechanic, ]\I. N. Bair, residing there, and was 
as successfully used and proved as much of a curiosity as the one abo\e 
referred to. 

The ne.xt to own a machine at b'alls City was .\lbert ^laust, wiio liad 
his machine in 1905-06 and was much envied 1j\- his friends as he was seen 
going about the town. Mr. Maust was engaged in the business of bu\ing of 
grain and live stock from the farmers adjacent to the city and soon incurred 
the enmity of many of his patrons, from the fact that their teams took fright 
as they saw this machine on the countr\- roads. This [jliase of the matter 
came to such a pass that there were many who were heard to advocate the 
passage of some kind of a law barring the autos from the use of the pul)lic 

Looking backward from the present it seems amusing to remember iiow 
greatly wrought up tlie people of those times l)ecanie toward the owners of 
autos. From this feeling expression was given in the passage of laws govern- 
ing machines on the public highway. 

The first machines were hard to sell, as the prices asked for them seemed 
highly exorbitant to the farmers and citizens who were accustomed to the use 
of horses and like all new things were regarded seriously as impractical. 


Tliose who first engaged in the business had trying times in making sales and 
were obhged to do a great deal of "demonstrating" to the prospective pur- 
chasers, which process resulted in the use of much "gas" of both the vocal 
and fluid sort. 

The first regular agency for the sale of automobiles in Falls City was 
opened by Guy Crook and Peter Frederick, Jr.. who entered the business in 
1908, and remained in the business for a year or two. selling many of the 
first machines used on the roads in the east part of the county. Their first 
sale of a touring car was made to Charles Harkendorf, a farmer, residing 
northeast of Falls City. The next machine was sold to Roy Heacock. resid- 
ing in Falls City. The physicians of the city who had a large country prac- 
tice and had been obliged to keep horses for this purpose, were among the 
first to see the convenience, economy and saving of time that would result 
if the machines were found able to do their work and each in turn provided 
himself with one. It is related of one of the leading physicians who had 
been slow to believe in the practicability of the auto tliat, upon being inter- 
viewed by one of the above salesmen, he proposed that a "try-out" be made 
on one of his worst trips, whicli took him some twenty-five miles from the city 
and over the worst roads in the county. If this was done and the machine 
found to be reasonably satisfactory he could be regarded as a "prospect." 
The trip was made in record time, with the expectation that on the return to 
town the sale would be completed, but the Doctor was not yet convinced, or 
at least not in so far as tliat machine was concerned, but did soon procure 
a machine from other parties. 

Automobiles are now owned 1)\ tlie hundreds in all parts of the county 
and principally by the farmers, who have found them more useful than they 
had dreamed, and their coming and adoption have, as a consequence, awakened 
a live interest in the good-roads movement and resulted in great betterment 
of the highwavs throughout the county. No machine used by man has been 
so universally accepted in so short a time; where a dozen years ago there 
were not a half dozen machines in Richardson county, it now ranks third 
in tlie state in the number of machines owned per capita. 

When in the early stages of the introduction of the automobile it was 
seen that the auto had met witli almost instant and universal favor there 
were those who believed their purchase on so large a scale would bankrupt 
the county, but, in so far as we have been able to learn, there has never 
lieen a foreclosure of a mortgage in Richardson county on real estate that 
might be traced directly to the purchase of automobiles, notwithstanding the 
fact that so manv are owned here. As a matter of fact the farmers of 


Richardson county are prosperous to a degree not known in many sections of 
the country and are amply able to bu)- and pay outright for whatever num- 
ber of machines they may find necessary to use in their business. 

The introduction of the auto-truck is now fast finding its way into the 
country districts of Richardson county and is being used for all kinds of 
hauling and is greatly appreciated. The same is true in the cities and 
villages, where most of tlie horse-drawn dray lines have substituted the auto- 
truck and found it much more satisfactory. The stage line has gone and 
with it the horse-drawn omnibus, which has given way to the auto-bus 
now used in all the towns and most of the villages, much t(i the satisfacti<ni 
of the patrons of the same. 

Schools and Education. 

B.v Daniel H. Weber. County Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

The request has been made of me that I briefly review the school activi- 
ties of this county from the time of its early settlement until the present 
time. This is not easily done, because until comparatively recently no com- 
plete records were left in this office. Some schools were conducted in what 
is now Richardson county as early as the fifties, many years before Nebraska 
was admitted to the sisterhood of states. These early schools were largely 
subscription schools and were held anywhere where the number of pupils 
warranted it. The schools were not authorized and governed Ij}- law . Ijut 
were held by common consent. Usually some deserted squatter's cabin was 
conscripted or some hospitable settler offered his rude log home for this 
purpose. Indeed, many times the school was taught by some married man 
iir woman who had obtained the rudiments of an education in the East 
liefore embarking upon the journey to the land that Horace Greele}- later 
stated spelled "opportunity." Each parent paid his mite in proportion to 
the number of pupils attending and the mite wasn't very large. If someone 
outside of tlie community was selected as teacher he drew a portion of his 
salary, if. we might term the paltry wages salary, by Ijoarding with liis 
his various patrons. 


In 1854, there was not a public school in Richardson county, and it 
is said bj- reliable parties that Willis Maddox, Fred Harkendorf, AIar\ 
Harkendorf, Jesse ("rook and family, Dave L. Thompson and Elias Menshall 
were the only white persons within the limits of \yhat is now Richardson 
county. Instead of listening to the chimes of the school bells and feasting 
upon the views of well ordered farms and buildings, these sturdy and fear- 
less pioneers were compelled to be contented with the howl of the wolf and 
the bark of the prairie dog. The county was peopled with Indians, Init 
tlie al)originals lived on amicable relations witli tlie white settlers. Little 


did those early pioneers dream that this count}' would ever be dotted with 
farm houses, churches and schools as we find it today. Today we have, a 
school for every four or five sections of land and very few pupils have to 
trudge over two miles in getting to school. The roads are open and no 
dangers beset them on the way. The schools are open from seven to nine 
months; the same teacher has charge of the school for the entire year, the 
school houses are Imilt comfortably and attention is being paid to sanita- 
tion, seating, lighting and ventilation. The equipments are complete. Con- 
trast this condition with the pioneer school which was built of logs, the 
crevices of which were filled with straw. to keep out some of the wintry 
blasts and drifting snows. Shoe boxes were used as desks and soap boxes 
as seats. Slate blackboards were unknown, but slates instead of paper tablets 
predominated with the pupils. .\ slab or two of fiat boards painted black 
sufficed for the board need's of the early teacher. Strange to say, similar 
boards are still found in some of our present-day schools. In the early 
days the school year was divided into the fall, winter and spring term and 
each term had a different teacher. Each pupil furnished his own text-books 
and all were of a different kind, which condititm presented many difficult 
problems to the early progressive teacher who endeavored to secure anything 
like a semblance of uniformity. Unless one actually attended or taught 
one of the pioneer schools, it is indeed difficult for the uninitiated to visualize 
clearly the many drawbacks of these .schools. 


From 1854 to i860 settlers came to this county very slowly and then 
settled near the Missouri river because of the traffic that was wont to ply 
up and down this great body of water. It was the only means of trans- 
portation, as the nearest railroad was many miles from this county. Gradu- 
ally the old superstition of starving to death or being blown away by the 
winds if one lived on the prairies was dissipated, and the settlers pushed 
farther Westward. From i860 to 1867, in which latter year Nebraska was 
admitted to the union a great influx of ix)pulation was seen. Many came to 
escape the scenes of the war, others because of the opportunities offered in 
a new land. Alx)ut this time, and l)e fore general settlement, schools began 
'to be established. As time went on the various school districts were organ- 
ized, the early records of which are missing. On other pages appears the 
earlv historv of a number of these districts. .\t first all the .school houses 


were of log or sod, but in the seventies and eighties these were displaced 
with frame buildings. About 1885 a building boom began to sweep the 
school districts. In that year eight new school houses were built at a cost 
of $10,000; in 1886, two buildings, at a cost of $11,000; in 1887, three, 
at a cost of $2,600; in 1888, four at a cost of $8,500; in 1889, two at a 
cost of $7,000; in 1890, three at a cost of $4,600; in 1891, three at $2,060; 
in 1892, four at a cost of $3,400; in 1893, six at a cost of $3,400, making 
thirty-five new school buildings, costing $82,000 in round numbers, built in 
nine years. No information is available as to the number built since then. 
A few years ago the people of Stella voted bonds and built one of the finest 
buildings in the county, .\bout four years ago Falls City, realizing that 
the needs of the pupils demanded another building, erected one of the best 
and most costly high schcjol Iniildings in the state. Last year (1916), Daw- 
son reconstructed its building, making some imi^rtant and needed change.'^. 
A few years ago, Verdon and Shubert each erected a separate room fur 
the primary grades. Since I have been superintendent a number of new 
buildings have been erected. In 191 5, district No. 31 tore down the old 
structure and erected a modern building costing over one thousand dollars. 
Last year (1916), districts 8 and 9 of this county and 2 of Nemaha county 
consolidated and a splendid four-room brick building, costing over ten thou- 
sand dollars was erected, which is pronounced by educators as the best and 
most admirably equipped consolidated school in the state. It has a Delco 
lighting system, a water pressure system, steam-heating plant and toilets. 
Two of the rooms are so constructed that they can be thrown together for 
social and community gatherings; a large gymnasium has Ijeen built, and 
the school has domestic science and manual training ecjuipment. In every 
\va\- the school has been arranged so that it can take its place in looking 
alter every need of the pupils of this agricultural center. Twelve grades 
will lie Iiandled next \ear, under the supervision of four esj)ecially trained 
ami wel!-(|ualifie(l teachers. .\ teacherage. modern in all its equijiment. has 
been erected for the needs of the faculty. The district owns six acres of 
land and nuich iiractical demonstration work will be done. The principal 
owns an automobile and thus has a convenient means of conveyance. A 
lecture course will Ije held there next year. Short courses will also lie given 
annuall}-. The transportation of the pupils is looked after by three men., 
two of whom transport the pujiils with autonioljiles. \'isitors from all sec- 
tions of this county as well as from other counties have called to see this 
new departure in education. District No. 80 is erecting a larger and iielter 


building than it had before, the same to cost well over one thousand dollars, 
exclusive of the equipment. District No. i, which boasted one of the oldest 
and, I might add, one of the worst frame buildings in the count}', was 
visited by the Missouri recently, the encroaching waters advising thai a 
new building had best be erected on higher ground. Consequently the old 
building was razed and a new one was built in the summer of 1917. Dis- 
trict Xo. 22 is the name of a new district recently organized in the old 
Iowa Indian reservation country southeast of Rulo. and a new eighty-hun- 
dred-dollar building was erected there during this same summer. Other 
buildings will be erected next year and in the years immediately following, 
as a number would be condemned by any building- inspector visiting us. 


While we can boast of more and better buildings, and a greater number 
and better qualified teachers, yet we cannot boast of any increase in the 
school census, between the ages of five and twenty-one. In 1886 we had 
6,901 children of school age, and 126 teachers. In 1890, it was 6,8[-| 
and 133. In 1893, we had 6,846 school children and 141 teachers. Today 
we have barely over 6,000 school children and 175 teachers. In the earl\' 
days it was not unusual to find an enrollment of from fifty to eighty. Toda\ 
the average is not over fifteen and a school with thirty or more is tlu 
exception. District No. 20, near Barada, had nearly fifty on its list last 
year, but the attendance was very irregular. Districts 53 and 42 still ha\c 
verj' good enrollments. 

.\t present there are one hundred and ten public school houses in tlic 
county and in addition there are four parochial schools. Ninety- four are 
frame and sixteen are brick. In 1883 there were 108 buildings \alued at 
$145,000; today they are valued at $230,000, of which Falls City alone 
claims over $100,000. Text-books are valued at $75,000. At least $350,000 
is invested for educational purposes in this count}'. 

In 1880 there were two grade schools in the county — Falls City and 
Humboldt, this former having eight teachers and the latter four. At present 
Falls City has thirty-three teachers, including special experts for manual 
training, domestic science, athletics, art, penmanship, etc. Departmental 
work is carried on in the seventh and eighth grades. Humboldt has four- 
teen teachers and is represented in practically all the departments mentioned 
for brails Citv. Roth schools are accredited for normal training work and 


eacli year from live t^i fifteen teachers complete this department of the 
work. In 1881 the Rulo school was partially graded and in 1888 the progres- 
sive people of that citj- decided that better conditions were necessary. Hence 
a fine ten-thousand-dollar brick building was erected, which is even today 
sufficiently large for the growing needs of that thriving little city. When 
the building was completed the course of study was revised and the course 
increased so as to include the work of ten grades. A few years ago the 
eleventh grade was added. There is ample room for twelve grades, manual 
training, domestic science, etc., whenever the sentiment of the conmiunit} 
favors their installation. In point of attendance the school ranks third in 
the county. During the past year five teachers were employed in the grades. 
In 1885 Salem, Stella and \^erdon were added to the list of graded schools, 
each at that time planning to carry nine grades. At that time Verdon and 
Stella both built new frame buildings, costing about three thousand dollars 
each. \^erdon gradually increased the number of grades until 1916, when the 
school was recognized by the state department as a twelve-grade school. 
During the past year several attempts were made to vote bonds for a new 
building, but each time the necessary two-thirds majority could nut be ob- 
tained. Stella grew in grace rapidly and has had twelve grades for a num- 
ber of vears. and also l)oasts one of the best and most complete average- 
sized school buildings in the state, ^'erd<ln employs six teachers and Stella, 
seven. In 1888 Salem built a three-room lirick building which aliuost im- 
mediately proved inadequate for the needs nf the school. Since that time 
two frame buildings, in different parts of the city, have been commandeered 
for the primary and intermediate grades. Several efforts have been made 
b\ the citizens to build a new building, but on account of the other heavy 
taxes the proposal has each time been defeated. The school now has elevtn 
.!L;rades. In 1884 Dawson was added to the list and bit by bit she has in- 
creased her course until now she has twelve grades fully accredited. Six 
teachers are on the facult\-. Preston and Barada have two-room buildings 
and some years carrv nine grades and <nhers ten. Usually two teachers 
are employed. It is not known exactly when Shubert became a high .school. 
but in 1912, the eleventh grade was installed and a frame building was 
])urchased for the primary grades. The citizens of Shubert are progressive. 
l)ut are now paying the limit allowed by law for school purposes, so it ma\- 
])c a number of years l)efore another grade is installed. Dawson has a 
parochial school in charge of Fr. F. \. O'Brien, with three teachers. Rulo's 
l)arochial school was not in session last year, but will have two teachers 


next year. The Falls City parocliial .school, under the management of Fr. 
J. J. Hoffman, ha.s eight teachers and an enrollment of about one hundred 
and fifty. Twelve grades are carried and full credit is given for the normal 
training work. It is one of three sch<ools in this county able to secure credit 
in this branch. The Dawson and Rulo parochial schools carry eight grades. 
C. Merz teaches a German school in Ohio township, under the supervision 
of the Lutheran church. Half the instruction is in German and half in 
English. On another page will appear the names of the teachers of Rich- 
ardson county for the school year 1917-18, also a list of the school officers 
fur the same period. 


In comparing- the schools of fifty years ago with the schools of toda\-, 
one will be startled by the striking changes that have taken place. A perusal 
of the lists of early teachers will reveal a large preponderance of men. but 
slowly, as the years rolled b\-. fewer and fewer men volunteered their serv- 
ices until today, in the rural schools, the proportion is twelve to one in 
favor of the women. In fact, last year there were but nine men on the 
list and this year the num!)er has diminished to eight, with several of 
these eligible for the draft. A number of reasons are ascribed for this. 
In tile first place, many young men seem to feel that they are not fitted 
by nature to be teachers, especially where younger pupils predominate. I 
concur in that view. Others feel that the work is not a man's task and feel 
that it savors of housework. Others do not like it because it lacks per- 
manency and leaves the individual without much independence. The great- 
est objection is the poor wages. While the prices of the necessities of life 
have doubled and tripled and then some, teachers wages have hardly been 
aft'ected. Ten years ago I received from forty to forty seven dollars and 
a half for my services. Today the standard is forty-five dollars to the 
lieginner and fifty dollars after one has attained a year of experience. After 
that it depends. A man feels that he cannot ec|uip himself for teaching, 
work seven or eight months at fifty dollars a month and then be idle four 
months. The young women look at the matter a little differently, yinny 
of them feel that wages are only of temporary importance and are oiil} 
waiting for tardy cupid to get busy. However, there is a trend toward 
better wages and the teacher, male or female, who is worth it, will have no 


difficulty in obtaining from sixty to seventy dollars a month. In fact, one 
or two rural schools are paymg from sixty-five to seventy dollars now. 

In the early days, teachers taught without certificates or without taking 
any kind of an examination. Later the county superintendent gave those 
who desired to teach an oral examination, which was neither difficult nor 
lengthy. \\'. A. Greenwald often tells about appearing l^efore a superin- 
tendent, who was under the influence of John Barleycom, and hence was 
not in condition to know who was present, let alone ask any intelligent 
questions. Greenwald was fortunate and was not asked any questions. 
Later, when he failed to receive a diploma, he wrote the superintendent 
asking if he had not passed a satisfactory examination. In a few days, he 
received his diploma with a statement of apologj' for forgetting to send it 
and with a statement that he had passed an excellent examination and wa> 
in every wav worthy to be a pedagogue. In the eighties and nineties the 
county superintendents gave written examinations and corrected the papers 
themselves. So many superintendents were charged with favoritism that 
this method soon became unpopular. About twelve or fifteen years ago 
the Legislature passed a law requiring that uniform examinations be given 
over the state of Nebraska and that the county superintendent should mail 
all the pai>ers to the state superintendent for correction, which is now done. 
The teachers pay one dollar and a half as an examination fee. Fifty cents 
of this goes to the state department and one dollar remains at home for 
the institute fund. Three kinds of certificates are issued, first, second and 
third. Gradually the third-grade certificates have been outlawed, until last 
year there was only one issued in this county. Next year, there won't be 
any issued. More first-grade and second-with-honor certificates w'ill be is- 
sued than ever before. More teachers are attending summer school than 
before. We have a vigorous campaign on for Ijetter teachers and as a result 
we have better schools. 

Each year an institute covering a week is held for the teachers and 
at this time supplies are distributed and plans made and explained for the 
year. Instructors who are experts usually are present and assist with the 
instruction. The average cost of an institute is about four hundred dollars. 
There is considerable agitation in favor of abandoning the week institute 
and sul)stituting a one-day meeting with tlie county superintendent. This 
will probalily Ije done next year. In addition, several teachers meetings are 
usualh held duriu" the vear. 



Feeling that the study of spelHng had been neglected, 1 inaugurated, 
last year, the county spelling contests, on which occasions the best spellers 
in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades from each school in the county 
gather at Falls City and have a written contest, after which suitable prizes 
are awarded. Each time the interest has been excellent. This year I called 
all the eighth-grade graduates over the county to meet at Falls City and 
receive their diplomas. JMore than one hundred were present and it was 
felt that the meeting was worth while. It will be repeated each year. Dur- 
ing the fall of 191 7 a writing contest for every pupil in each grade was held. 
The Palmer system is being installed and ought to produce excellent results. 

Feeling that a uniformity in text-books is desirable, I issued a little 
pamphlet containing a list of recommended books. .These were distributed 
to the school boards and teachers. The schools are more closely graded 
than formerly and a closer check is kept on the work. A course of study 
is furnished to each teacher and she is expected to follow it closely. 

Most of the schools are supplied with plenty of text-books, which are 
purchased by the district. Most of them have an abundance of maps, globes, 
charts, etc. Nearly all the schools have single seats and slat blackboards. 
A number of schools are purchasing phonographs. Over fifty per cent, of 
the schools have a Waterbury or Smith system of heating and ventilating. 
District 48, while maintaining its organization, has been sending its pupils 
to Falls City for a number of years. Districts 12 and 36, near Humboldt 
have been sending their pupils to Humboldt. District 105 closed its doois 
last fall and is sending its four or five pupils to neighboring districts. 

Each year a school directory is issued giving the names of the teachers, 
the kind of certificate held, years of experience and the salary of each. It 
also contains a list of the names and addresses of the school officers, a list 
of the transfers in force and the valuation of each district, in addition to 
the mill levies. During the past two years exhibits have been .';ent to the 
state fair and last year this county won a number of "firsts." This vear 
(1917), a bigger and better exhibit tlian ever was sent. 

In my opinion, the schools are on their way to progress and prosperity. 
They have been slow in getting started, but the people are getting more and 
more liberal and the school officers are co-operating loyally with the teachers 
and superintendent in order to improve conditions. The progress of the 


schools during the next score of years ought to be even greater than it has 
been during the past twenty years. 


Education promotes material prosperity. It quickens the moral and 
intellectual life of the people and it leads to higher ideals of living. Rich- 
ardson county has for some time taken this view of education. In laying 
the foundation for and in developing a great commonwealth, our people 
have never lost sight of the value 6f the public schools. Hence, while the 
hostile Indians were being driven back, while the raw prairies were bein 
broken up and being put into a state of cultivation, and while the onslaughts 
of the grasshoppers in the summer and the coyotes in the winter were being 
contended with, this ideal of a free education was the beacon light to the 
early pioneers of the state, enabling them to see a future citizenship not only 
rich and powerful, but enlightened, high-minded and true-hearted. These 
early settlers laid the foundations. They fought the first and hardest battles. 
But their sons and daughters, who several decades ago took their places, hokl 
the same ideals and retain the same zeal for human betterment and happi- 
ness. The early settlers gave Nebraska the lowest per cent, of illiteracy. 
The present generation is striving to give the state the highest degree nf 
educational efficiency. So here's to those who have the destiny of the 
schools in hand! May they never swerve from duty and may they ever 
be faithful to the trust that is placed in them. Someone has said : "The 
ideal teacher is as wise as Solomon, as impartial as a telephone directory, 
as untiring as a steam engine, as tender as a sore throat, as patient as a 
glacier, as alert as a mongoose, and as rare as a lien's tooth.'" 

ISy KfV. JaiiH's S. Smitli 

In 1870 the trustees of St. Stephen's school asked me if I would teach 
their schools. They said die l)oys had run the tcirnier teachers nff. and that 
they would probably give me tnnxble. 

I repUed, that I would teach the sciiool on one condition; that the 
tru.stees must agree before hand to back me up in what I might do in the 
way of discipline. They asked me what I meant, and I said, "If I tell a bo\ 
to take .his liooks and go home, he must go." 


They finally agreed to stand by me. 1 recei\ed my certificate from ]•'. 
M. Williams. 

On the first morning of the school I explained the situation to the 
school. I inade two rules: i. There is to be no swearing. 2. There 
shall be no fighting. Any one too big to l^e whipped will be expelled. 

"Now," I said, "3'ou young men can help me if you will. Your example 
and influence will be a great help if it is good. Help me." 

They did, and I had no trouble until the last day of school. Twn 
boys about fourteen years of age made up a fake fight for me to see. 
They reasoned, "He has company today, and will not whip us." When I saw 
the fight, I told the boys to follow me to the house, which they did, and 
I flogged them before the company. 

On the way home that evening, John Cain. <ine of the Ijovs, said : 
"W'c were not fighting, we did that to see if }-ou would whip us before 

On the last day Bob Gentry came to me and said. "The boys are going 
to ride you on a rail, as a compliment. The rail will be across the door 
as >()U go (Hit." I said: "Bob, will you help me?" He agreed, and I 
told him my plans. I was the last one, along with Bob, to go out. When 
we got to the door the boys said. "Get on and ride to the wagon." Then 
Bob gave the rail a sudden push, the boys fell and I ran to the wagon, 
stepped on the hub of the wheel and landed in the wagon before they cbuUl 
catch me. Altogether we had a very jjleasant time, with no" "ether trouble 
worth mentioning. 


During the year I rode out to Beatrice, in Gage county, on a mule be- 
longing to William R. Cain. This trip I was making in connection with my 
work as presiding elder of the Methodist Episcopal church and had gone 
there to see if I could find a congregation of our people there. The mule 
in question was hard enough to catch, even in the stable. 

There were scattered settlements on the streams and wide stretches 
of wild prairie. On my return trip, when some forty miles from home. 
I got off to rest and in my carelessness let the mule get away from me. 
Down the road he struck for home and I though I was in for a fort>'-mile 
walk. But the mule soon stopped to eat grass and I circled around him 
and came up slowly to catch the bridle, the reins of which were dangling. 


Jii-^t as I reached for them, the mule jumped away and took oft down the 
road for Irome. Again he stopped to eat grass and again I circled around 
him and crept up to catch the reins. I made my spring and the mule made 
his, but I had him this time. With a great sense of relief I mounted that 
mule and stuck to him until we got home. 


That the desire for the general dissemination of knowledge took early 
root among the sturdy pioneers who were most anxious to establish schools 
of the higher order is shown by an act passed by a session of the Terri- 
torial Legislature of Nebraska. The act was passed and approved on Feb- 
ruary 10, 1857, and was for the purpose of incorporating what was known 
as "The Salem Collegiate Institute.'" Section i of the act referred to 
named the incorporators as follow : J. Cass Lincoln. John Brinegar, James 
W. Roberts, Thomas H. Hare, Charles McDonald, Samuel Keiffer, Jacob 
Coffman, Ewing L. Sharp and Joseph Yount. 

Section 2 stated the objects contemplated as Ijeing: "To !)uild up 
and maintain, in the town of Salem, Nebraska, an institution of learning 
of the highest class for males and females, to teach and inculcate the Chris- 
tian faith, and morality of the sacred Scriptures, for the promotion of the 
arts and sciences." The above-named persons or any five of them were 
empowered to constitute a board of trustees. 

It is worthy of note that all of the above-named gentlemen were among 
the very first settlers of the county, all became prominent in the early affairs 
of the county and nearly e\ery one of them later served the county well 
in ofificial capacities. 


.\s exemplary of tlie high class of pioneers coming to Falls City it is 
with no small degree of pride that we record the fact that one of the first 
things considered essential was the establishment of schools suitable for 
the education of the young people. In order to do so calletl for great sac- 
rifice among the people of that early time because of the lack of funds, 
but it appears that as early .is 1858 there was a little scliool on Main street 
in the village, taught by a Miss BarnunL 




The scliool district was organized in 1859, with David Dorrington, 
Anderson Miller and Thomas Mclntyre as trustees. F. M. Dorrington 
was the first teacher under the new regime, and tatight the first school 
during the academic year of 1859-60. The following year the first district 
school house was erected a short distance southeast of the court house 
scjuare. The new building, although a vast improvement on the various 
makeshifts that had been in use previously, was far from an elaborate struc- 
ture. It was solidly built and capable of housing far more pupils than 
there was any immediate prospect of the town furnishing, but it was innocent 
of paint, both inside and out, and its seats were not calculated to afford 
Sybaritic pleasures. .\s the only public place where meetings of any sort 
could be conveniently lield, it was constantly appropriated for various uses, 
varying from the dignity of a court room to the uproarious mirth of some 
minstrel performance. Through all these changes the building was still used 
for its original purpose until about the beginning of 1875, when it was sold 
and the proceeds invested in material with which to build a new and larger 
structure. What followed is accurately described by Professor Rich : "Some 
wretch, having neither the fear of the Lord before his eyes, nor the wel- 
fare of youth at heart, stole all the lumber." Meantime the purchaser of 
the old building had removed it to Stone street and put it in the service 
of a business house. After nearly a year, during which time the district 
owned no school building, the old school building was moved back to its 
original place and repurchased by the school board. From 1865 to 1871. 
the district school again occupied the building, and shortly after the latter 
date it was purchased by W. S. Stretch and converted into a dwelling. In 
its new location the remodeled shell, with all its historic memories, for 
many years echoed to childish laughter and grief and pleasant teachings. 

In the spring of 1870, prior to the final sale of the first school house, 
it was decided to erect a new, large and more fitting building. This work 
was done in the year 1870-71, at a cost of two thousand five hundred 
dollars, Jonathan Spragins being the contractor. The new building contained 
two departments, one on each floor, and was opened in the winter of 1871. 
immediately after its completion. The principal of the school in that year 
was D. O. Howe. Miss ?iIcGlashen became principal of the school, witlt 
Miss F. Kingman as assistant, in the fall of 187^. .\t the same time the 
school, already too large for its new t|uarters. overflowed into the basement 
of the Episcopal church, where a third grade was organized, under tlie 



charge of Mrs. Olive Kline. Miss AIcGlashen held her position for two 
years and was succeeded in the fall of 1872 by John Rickards, who found 
it necessary to branch nut, and he created a fourth department, which was 
taut,dit in the Baptist church. 

In the spring of 1876, !\lr. Rickards resigned and was succeeded b)- 
j. \\'. Johnson, who had for some time acted as his assistant, and who 
completed the duties of the school year. G. W. Holland was elected prin- 
cipal of the school in the fall of 1876, with Miss F. Kingman, Miss Delia 
Lemmon and Mrs. Olive Kline as assistants. At the commencement of 
their school duties, the building erected in 187 1 was used for all purposes, 
but before January i, 1877, the high school and the grammar departments 
were transferred to the then partly completed building, later in use for 
all grades. During this year the small-pox broke out in a very virulent tyjic 
in the town, and instituted a reign of terror that precluded for many weeks 
the holding of any form of public meeting. Although fighting against ter- 
rible odds, ?klr. Holland accomplished a fair amount of work and left an 
enviable record. 

In the summer of 1877, I'rof. W. Rich was elected to fill the posi- 
tion of principal. At the time of his engagement the school labored under 
man\ serious disadvantages, having no properly-finished recitation rooms, 
and having greatly disorganized by the necessary irregularity of the pre- 
ceding winter. It had, also, been under varied systems, incident to the 
frequent change of instructors, who, although able, did not remain long 
enough to mould the mixed material into a -specific form. Since the time 
of his first election Professor Rich had been returned to his work each 
vear up to that time and had been able to raise the standard of acquirement 
necessary to a position in the higher classes to an enviable point. The 
first-class to graduate under the standard then in force consisted of Miss 
Wynona Wardell, Charles r.rahle, I'-llis O. Lewis and Sherman Cameron. 
The school at that time had seven departments under the charge of the 
following corps of teachers: High school, rrnf. W. Rich, principal; A. 
Rus.sell Keim, assistant: second grammar school. Mrs. A. L. Sanderson; 
first grammar school. Anna Schuckman ; second intermediate, Mrs. Olive 
Kline: first intermediate, Mattie \\'illiams; second jirimary. .\nnie Smith; 
first primarv, Hattie Stone. 



Falls City having been a live town for the twenty vears prior to the 
advent of the railroad, was ripe for further advaneement when this new 
method of transportation was brought to its doors and had experienced such 
growth the need of substantial and commodious quarters for its school 
population was imperative. Accordingly, in the winter of 1874-75, Edwin 
S. Towle, at that time representing the county in the state Legislature, pro- 
cured the passage of a siiecial act by which the district was authorized to 
issue bonds to the amount of twenty thousand dollars, Ijearing ten per 
cent., and redeemable in twenty years. On June 30. 1875, shortlv after 
the i>assage of this act, a petition signed by Judge .V. J. Weaver, C. H. 
Weaver, W. S. Stretch, .\. S. Fulton, C. S. Keim, John Hinton, R. A. 
Wherry, J. H. Burbank and H. Leland, was presented to the board of edu- 
cation. In accordance with this petition the board called a special meeting 
to be held on July 9, 1865, for the purpose of examining the details of 
the project and obtaining a vote thereon. After mature deliberation the 
ballot of the electors was taken and the measure was carried by almost 
unanimous vote, only two persons voting in the negative. The board of 
education at once advertised for plans and specifications for the new struc- 
ture, and on August 3, of the same year, accepted those furnished by L. 
S. Steges & Company, of St. Joseph, Missouri, agreeing to pav two per 
cent, of the contract price of the structure to die architects. On Septem- 
ber II. 1875, the contract for the erection of this building was awarded 
to J. H. Burbank on his bid of nineteen thousand dollars in bonds and work 
was at once begun. The foundation and part of the walls were built in 
the same year, and during the following season the building was enclosed 
and part of the woodwork finished. In the summer of 1877 four rooms 
in the west side, the office on the second floor and the stair and hall fixtures 
were completed, and all given a single coat of pahit. Here the contractor, 
after many disputes with the board, withdrew entirely from the work aufl 
the finishing was done by the board, no formal surrender 1)eing made on 
one side, or acceptance on the other. The structure was one of the finest 
in the city and has been in continuous use every since completion. Tt 
stands on the west half of block Xo. 100. between Fourteenth and Fifteenth 
streets, and faces west. It stands two blocks east of Main or Stone street 
and in the third square south from the court house s(|uare. It is of brick. 

340 RTrriAKnsox corxTV, Nebraska. 

with stone trimmings and basement of Stone, and is surmounted by a tower 
that tends to lighten the lieavy effect. 


In 1877 I'rof. Wellington Rich was chosen principal and held the posi- 
tion until 1883; after him came a number of worthy successors, well within 
the memory of most of the younger generation. Falls City has had the 
reputation of standing by her school superintendents and of giving them 
terms of three to five years and even longer tenure; probably some of them 
were retained after they could be used to advantage, for it is a demonstrated 
fact that a school teacher, like a preacher, can stay too long in one place. The 
public school system has always been a credit to the town. Not infrequentlx 
the school building would become crowded and the district would enlarge 
its plant. About 1875 the city grew rapidly and the schools had to be 
held in rented buildings. At this time Edwin S. Towle represented this 
county in the state Legislature and through him an act was passed giving 
this district, No. 56, the right to issue bonds for the erection of the Cen- 
tral high school building, as noted above. As the town grew, further demands 
for room were made and the Harlan street school, with two rooms, was 
erected. The town outgrew its three buildings and what was for long known 
as the "new" high school buildiiig, at the north end of Stone street, was 
erected, bonds being voted for the same. And yet again tlie rooms were all 
tilled up and the third ward school building was erected on lots long owned 
1)\ the city on South Harlan street. This latter building was built and jiaid 
for at once bv a special levy made for the same. 

.\t about this time the city found itself again short of room for stu- 
dents, owing to the great increase of population, accounted for by the build- 
ing of the Missouri Pacific shops and the consequent influx of many new 
people. To satisfy the demand for more room a proposition was suli- 
mitted to the voters to issue tends for the sum of sixty-five thousand d('llar> 
for the building of a new high school Iniilding to he located on the !i>ts in 
the blix-k north of the old Central ijuilding. The bonds carried and the 
new building, which would lie a credit to any city of the size, was at once 
erected by Bohrer Brothers, resident contractors. The work of erecting 
this building was commenced in 1913 .ind was lirst occupied by students 
in September, 1914. 



The Falls City high school has reason to be proud of her graduates. 
From 1880 to the present time over five hundred students have graduated. 
In 1916 a iew of the old graduates became enthused and met at the high 
school and reorganized the Alumni Association, which had been dead for 
nearly twenty years; electing the following officers: Virgil Falloon, presi- 
dent; Edna Spencer, vice-president; Allan Gilmore, secretary, and Arthur 
Chesley, treasurer ; with the following committees : Executive, E. O. Lewis, 
chairman; Chester McDowell, Myrtle Yocam, Virgil Falloon and Edna 
Spencer. Membership, Alice Yoder, chairman; Andrew Cameron, Josephine 
Gehling, C. L. Marts, Mrs. Everett Peckingpaugh, Lulu Crush, Grace Reavis, 
Jesse Crush and Charleotta Blanding. Entertainment, Anita Wilson, chair- 
man; Mrs. J. F. Leyda, Mrs. E. K. Hurst, David Reavis and Mabel Crush. 
Reception, Mrs. L C. Maust, chairman ; May Maddox. J. R. Simanton, Mrs. 
C. P. Fordyce and James Jaquet. 

Following is a list of the graduates of the Falls City high school by 
years : 

Class of 1880 — C. J. Grable, address unknown; E. O. Lewis, Falls 
Citv; \\'inona Wardell (Mrs. William Jones), Gates, Oklahoma: Sherman 
Cameron, deceased. 

1883 — Jessie Cameron (Mrs. C. Baker), Los .Vngeles, Cahfornia ; Mary 
Campbell (Mrs. McLain). Leadville, Colorado; Grace Keim, deceased; .\n- 
nette Newcomer, Des Moines, Iowa; C. B. Newcomer, professor of Ger- 
man, Michigan University, Ann Arbor, Alichigan: May Maddox, Falls City: 
Delia Meriam (Mrs. Fisher), Omaha; Emma \\ Stump (Mrs. Edwin Fal- 
loon), Falls City. 

1885 — Anna Clegg, Denver, Colorado; James Hooi>er, Chicago, Illinois: 
Josephine Gehling, Falls City ; Nora Wormsley, address unknown ; D. D. 
Reavis, Falls City. 

1886— George Adams, Walla Walla. Washington; Dr. Will Boyer, Paw- 
nee City, Nebraska; Mallie Newkirk, Los .\ngeles, California: .Vddie 
Stewart, Vermillion, Kansas. 

1887 — .Andrew Cameron. Falls City; John Ewalt, deceased; Nellie Gil- 
man, Falls City ; Ralph Kerr, deceased ; Jennie Newcomer, address unknown ; 
Blanche Norris (Mrs. I. C. Maust), Falls City: C. F. Reavis, Falls City: 
Eva Scott, Falls City; E. H. Towle, Falls City; Grace Yutzy (Mr.s. D. D. 
Reavis), Falls Citv: Nettie Wills (Mrs. Shugart). Lincoln. Nebraska. 


1888— M3rta Reavis [Mrs. C. F. Reavisj, Washington, D. C. ; George 
F. Abbott. Omaha; June A. Abbott, Omaha; .\Hce Cleaver, l-alls City. 
IHorence Cleaver, Falls City; Vinnie Coleman (Mrs. W. T. FentonJ, Lincoln, 
Nebraska; Agnes Dalbey (Mrs. Tipton), deceased; Fred Farrington, Falls 
City; Lillian Farrington (Mrs: E. H. Towle), Falls City: Emma Boose 
(Mrs. William Tucker), Techow, Fhanting, China. 

1889 — Mamie Cain (Mrs. D. H. McCoy), Sioux City. Iowa; Xettie. 
F'orney, Falls City; Lucy Hergesheimer," address unknown; Stella Lock- 
ridge, address unknown; Jule Schoenheit, deceased; Edward Thomas, de- 
ceased; John Towle, Omaha; Perry Williams, deceased. 

1890 — Bert Boyer, Clarinda, Iowa; Frank Clegg, Excelsior Springs. 
Missouri; Pauline Falsken (Mrs. A. Albach), Kansas City, Missouri; Susan 
Gehling, Falls City; George Newcomer, deceased; Jennie Schuyler (Mrs. 
Hill), address unknown; Eva Schock (Mrs. Hollenback), Denver, Colorado: 
Ada Stretch (Mrs. Burt Coleman). ?ililes City, ^Montana; H. C. Yutzy. 
Albert Lea. Minnesota. 

1891 — Minnie Brown, address unknown; Neva Burnham, address un- 
known; Sue Cain (Mrs. William Julian), Long Beach, California; Mamie 
Cameron (Mrs. S. W. Marvon), Nephi, Utah; Chloe Culp (Mrs. H. F. 
Lewis), Hooper, Colorado; Millie Jenkins, deceased; Mollie Moran, Kansas 
City, Missouri; Theodora Richards (Mrs. James Mettz), Falls City; Chappie 
Snidow (Mrs. Lawrence Wheeler), Falls City:'T. G. Thomas, deceased. 

1892 — Mabel Abbott (Mrs. Charles Robbins), LaGrange, Illinois; Nellie 
Cleaver, Falls City ; Thomas Coleman, Omaha ; May Day, address unknown : 
Philo Heacock, deceased; Lois Keeling. Falls City; Maud Leekins (Mrs. H. 
C. Yutzy), Albert Lea, Minnesota: John Martin. Omaha: Elizabeth Miller. 
I'^alls City; Grace Saylor, Falls City; Fernanda Godtirnon (Airs. Will S. 
Keim), Falls City; J. R. Simanton, Falls City. 

1893^ — Valeria Babb (Mrs. Delos Graham), Dawson, Nebraska; Clara 
Carney, address unknown; Lucinda Cordell (Mrs. Pennell), deceased; Zeno 
Crook, Denver, Colorado; Maud Dorrington (Mrs. H. P. Kauffman). Lin- 
coln, Nebraska; Ella Heckler (Mrs. B. Burdick). Durango. Colorado; W'\\\ 
Hutchings, Wallace, Idaho; Allan May, .\uburn, Nebraska: Clo Powers, 
address unknown; Frank Schiable, Falls City: Maud Schock (Mrs. Will 
Hutchins), deceased; Nellie Schock. Falls City: Cora Williams, Kansas 
City, Missouri; Kit Wilson (Mrs. E. B. Booth), Albuquerque. New Mex- 
ico: May VanDuseii. Falls City; George B. Holt, deceased. 

1894— Daisy Abliot (Mrs. Charles D. Stanton). Falls City: John A. 


Crook, Falls City; Lillian Dorrington (Mrs. Ed. Fisher.), Falls City; May 
Dorrington (Mrs. J. C. Martin), Omaha; Nellie . Downs, Modesta, Cali- 
fornia: Grace Keeling, deceased; Iva Kent (Mrs. Oilman. Chaptnan), Berlin, 
Xew Hampshire; Ella ^liller (Mrs. John Ward), Tecumseh, Nebraska: 
Jessie Morton (Mrs. James E. Leyda), Falls City; Ada Mtissellman, Coun- 
cil Bluffs. Iowa; Albert Maust. Falls City; Ina Smith (Airs. T. J. Whitaker), 
Falls City; Helen Stretch (Mrs. Ed Morgan), Strausville, Nebraska: Stella 
Stretch (Mrs. Mike Sweeny). Golden. Colorado: Walter Thomas, Lawyer, 
Omaha; Lawrence Weaver. Spokane, W'ashington ; Jennie Simanton (Mrs. 
J. R. Pence), Falls City. 

1895 — John Boose. Marrinette, Michigan: Myrta Bowers (Mrs. Jerome 
Kiefer), Fahs City; Meda Carney, address unknown: Elizabeth Culp, Los 
Angele.s., California; Margaret Custer (Mrs. R. R. Norton), San Francisco: 
Nettie Fox (Mrs. C. S. Deaver), Miles City, Montatia: Charles Koehler, 
address unknown: C. L. Alarts. Falls City; Pearl Lutz (Mrs. Yoder), South 
America: Burton I. Reavis. Falls City; Edgar Thacker. San Franci.'Jco. 
California; Verna Wagner (Mrs. Andrew Cameron), Falls City. 

1896 — Alice Abbot (Mrs. Charles Ro we), deceased; Jennie Bucher (Mrs. 
Clarence Smith), Falls City; Ada Fisher, St. Joseph, Missouri; Fred Keller. 
Falls City; George Pickett, Fresno, California: Guy R. Spencer, Omaha: 
Samuel Stewart, address unknown; Will Uhlig, Falls City: P. B. Weaver, 
Falls Cit)-. 

1897 — Anna Crook (Mrs. P. B. Weaver), Falls City; Thomas Elson. 
Los Angeles, California; Elfie Foster (Mrs. Thomas E. Snyder), Chicago: 
Clare Foster, Falls City: Pearl Beatty. Auburn, Nebraska; Meda Anderson, 
address unknown; Edward Holbrook, St. Louis, Missouri; Nellie Holbrook 
(Mrs. Charles Ball), Amarilla, Texas: Maud Jessen (Airs. W. A. Stewart). 
Okmulgee. Oklahoma: Frankie Fox (Mrs. Charles Hood), Miles City, Alon- 
tana: Kathleen Ryan, Kansas City, Missouri; Carrie Stettler, I'awnee City. 
Nebraska; Maud Wylie (Mrs. .Mian May), .\uburn. Nebraska; Nellie Yutzy 
(Mrs. Frank Uhlig), Falls City. 

1898— Florence Boose (Mrs. J. M. Holferty), Pontiac, Illinois: Ada 
Bowers (Mrs. F. L. Smith), Omaha: Ina Fergus (Mrs. Fergus). Hutn- 
boklt, Nebraska; Zola Jones (Mrs. Simon Davies), South Dakota; Stella 
Inskecp, Chicago. Illinois: Pearl Lawrence (Airs. August Unkle). Nickerson. 
Nebraska: J<).sephine Graves. Wayne. Nebraska; Lois Spencer. Pierre, South 
Dakota: Katherine Thomas, Omaha: Alabel Wilson (Airs. W. R. Boose). 
Falls Citv : ATarv Wiltse, Falls Citv. 


1899 — Laura Kirkwood (]\Irs. Howard Plumb), Reading, Kansas; 
Ariel Mabel Macomber (Mrs. Thompson j, address unknown; Maud Mohler 
(Mrs. Jonas Trimmer), Miami, Texas; William Schock, Falls City; Hal 
Sowles, St. Joseph, Missouri; Florence Sullivan, Oklahoma. 

1900 — Clarence Baldwin, Beloit, Wisconsin ; Clara Boose, Banning, Cali- 
fornia; Walter Boyle, Memphis, Tennessee; Delia Gardner (Mrs. W. L. 
Turner), Sterling, Colorado; Guy Greenwald, Falls City; Pearl Hartna, 
Valley, Nebraska; Edna Holland (Mrs. Ray DePutran), Lincoln, Nebraska; 
Minnie Jussen (Mrs. W. E. Kennedy), Okmulgee. Oklahoma; AVill Jenne, 
deceased; Maud Maddox (Mrs. C. P. Fordyce), Falls City; Myrtle Pit- 
tock (Mrs. W. H. Redden), Burbank. Washington; Weaker Veach, Verdon, 

1901 — Lettie Cain (^Irs. Dr. Von Oven), Spokane, Washington; Ed- 
ward Durfee, Farmer, Falls City; Kate Heacock, Falls City; Clara Gagnon. 
Falls City; Ralph Jenne, "Falls City; Elizabeth Naylor (Mrs. Thomas Hewitt), 
Lexington, Nebraska; Hal Norris, Omaha; Pearl Prater (Mrs. C. E. Pea- 
body), St. Joseph, Missouri; Bessie Schock (Mrs. R. L. Moore), Denver, 
Colorado; Albert \^igelein, address unknown; Lilah ^^'illa^d, St. Joseph, Mis- 

1902 — Elta Boose (Mrs. D. P. De Young), Mount Claire, New Jersey: 
Dr. Harry Burchard, Falls City; Grace Bucher, Falls City; Iva Lowe (Mrs. 
Morris), address unknown; Elva Sears (Mrs. E. 1'". N'incent). deceased. 

1903 — Arthur Alexander, York, Nebraska; Mallei Greenwald, Falls 
City; Beulah Greenwald (Mrs. Lee Huber), Wolf Point, Montana; George 
Jaquet, Canada; Miranda Me3ers, Lucknow, China; William Schmelzel, Min- 
neapolis, Minnesota; Stella Schock (Mrs. Glenn McMillan), Falls City; Edna 
Spencer, State Bank, Falls City: Winifred \\'ertz. Alma. Ncliraska: .Mabel 
Whitaker, Colorado. 

1904 — Elizabeth Brecht (Mrs. C. C. Davis). l-"alls lity: Meeker Cain 
(Mrs. Robert Neitzel), Falls City; Nellie Cain (Mrs. lulwin Hays), I-"alls 
City; Guy A. Crook, Falls City; Alice Douglas, address unknown: Maggie 
Fergus (Mrs. Fergus), Humboldt, Nebraska; Harry Gardner, deceased: Nel- 
lie Emma Hanna (Mrs. Austin Crush), Falls City; John O. Hossack, Omaha; 
-Mice Jaquet (Mrs. Fred K. Hauck), Canada; Mabel Lyford (Mr.s. Fred 
Brown), Montana: George S. Lyons, Falls City: May Maddov (Mrs. Nathan 
Reynolds), Lincoln, Nebraska: Laura Naylor (Mrs. (',. V. Cummins). I-all^ 
City; Stella Stone. Falls City. 

1905 — Lena .\iken, address unknown: Ruth Aiken, address unknown: 


Frank Boose, deceased; Earl Cline, Nebraska City, Nebraska; Jaiiies Coupe, 
Omaha; Jacob Greenwald, El Paso, Texas; Fred M. Graham, Buffalo, Wyom- 
ing; Mildred Holland, Falls City; Vesta Lively (Mrs. Ben Franklin), ad- 
dress unknown; Anna Freshe (Mrs. Peter Toellmerj, Falls City; Kate Mad- 
dox. Falls City; Stephen A. Mower, Falls City; Martha Meyers, Pasadena, 
California; Una Snidow, Broken Bow, Nebraska; John Taylor, Des Moines, 
Iowa; Alice Vogelien, Napierville, Illinois; Florence Wylie (Mrs. Everett 
Peckinpaugh), Falls City. 

1906 — Ethel Cade (Mrs. R. B. Simpson), Gering, Nebraska; Zetta 
Camblin, Falls City; Nettie Cleveland (Mrs. F. B. Hall), Coaticook, Quebec, 
Canada; Edna Crook (Mrs. E. K. Hurst), Falls City; Guy Ebersole, Elk 
Creek, Nebraska; Reba Eversole, Elk Creek, Nebraska"; Edna Horrocks, 
Falls City; Frank Nietzel, Falls City; Leah V. Poteet (Mrs. Earl Carroth- 
ers), Falls City; Paul Lloyd Shaffer, Cedar Falls, Iowa; Ruth Schock, 
Temple, Texas ; Anita Wilson, Falls City. 

1907 — Edith DeMers, Falls City; Grace DeMers (Mrs. James), Oak- 
land, California; Jessie Finley, Gordon, Nebraska; Ruth Heacock (Mrs 
Kline), University Place, Nebraska; Lucy Lemon, Ravenna, Nebraska; Gert- 
rude Lyford (Mrs. Lloyd Shaffer), Cedar Falls, Iowa; Grace Lyford (Mrs. 
Fred Graham), Buffalo, Wyoming; Minnie Macomber (Mrs. Ralph Rhoads), 
Falls City; Anna Mason. Colorado; Dorothy Morehead, Falls City; Har- 
riett Plumb, deceased; Lillie Stump (Mrs. Price), Falls City; Inez Wachtel 
(Mrs. Dill Cole), Peru, Nebraska; Dorothea White (Mrs. Judson Hill), 
Sioux City, Iowa; Ramona Wilcox (Mrs. Frank Nietzel), Falls City; Harry 
N. Cain, Cleveland, Ohio; Sterling A. Falloon, Chicago, Illinois; Bayard T. 
Greenwald, Edmonson, South Dakota; James R. Jaquet, Falls City; John 
R. Mason, United States Surveying Corps, Mexican border; Dr. Harry J. 
Pittock, Alta, California; Lewis F. Rodewald, deceased. 

1908 — Helen May Burchanl, Falls City: INIaude Helen Davies, Falls 
City: Kathryn Margaret Meliza, Falls City: Ruth Dexter McMillan (Mrs. 
George A. Martin), New York City; Dorothy Anna Miller (Mrs. E. H. 
Sward). Falls City; Frances Mary Ramsey, Falls City; Nellie Jennings, Mis- 
souri ; Oscar Rhoads, Falls City ; Lloyd Blaine Schock, Ft. Clark, Bracket- 
ville, Texas: Edgar Schock, Falls City; Lili Belle Vogelien, Evanston. Illi- 
nois : Myrtelle Belle Yocum. Falls City ; Mary Alice Yoder. Falls City : Blaine 
Yoder, Falls City. 

1909 — Blanche Armljrusler, Shubert, X'ebraska; Fannie Dustin Beaver, 
St. .\nth(inv. Idaho: Maude Margaret Davis (Mrs. Jack Hutcliins), Conn- 


cil Bluffs, Iowa: May Edwidge DeMers (Mrs. Slump). Falls City; X'irgil 
Falloon, Falls City; Mary Pearl Fields (Mrs. J. Karsten J, Minnesota; 
Isham Reavis Gist, Humboldt, Nebraska; Gertrude Alice Gossett, Falls City; 
Ra}' Graham, Falls City; Lulu Marie Crush, F'alls City; Fred Herbster. 
Kansas City, Missouri; Nellie Myrtle Hossack (Mrs. George ^I. Hall), Falls 
City ; Cinderilla Houston, Spokane, Washington ; Anna Wherry Lowe ( Mrs. 
Roy Mastin), Seward, Nebraska: Lillus Ruth Lewis, Falls City; Gladys 
Mae McDonald (Mrs. Miller), address unknown; Chester H. McDowell, 
Falls City; Gertrude McDowell (Mrs. Bert Newall), Falls City; William 
Archibald Paxton, Falls City; Hazel White (Mrs. Clyde Wait), Kansas City, 
Missouri; Helen Resterer, Goodman, Missouri. 

1910- — Elsie Bailey, Minnesota; Loretta Beaver, Seattle, Washington: 
Ethyl Bohrer (Mrs. Earl Sullivan), St. Louis; JeanB. Cain, Falls City; 
Sadie Daeschner (Mrs. E. R. Riebel), Detroit, Michigan; Edna DeWald 
( Mrs. Vernon Mikesell ) , Lawrence, Kansas ; Helen Gagnon, Falls City ; 
Florence Gerhardt, Flails City; Mary Jenkins, F"alls City; Ouinton Lively, 
Falls City; Emma ]\L-ittill, Falls City; Florence McMahon. Preston. Ne- 
braska; Florence Nietzel. deceased; Maybelle Poteet (Mrs. R. G. Wright), 
Kansas City, Missouri; Lela Powell (Mrs. James F. Mullin). Falls City: 
David Reavis. Jr.. Falls City; Ruth Reavis, F'alls City; Louise Rule (j\Irs. 
Lewis Stillwell), Waukon. Minnesota; Gladys Ratekin, address unknown; 
Helen Schock, Falls City; Merion Simaton (Mrs. Ried Burchard), Howe. 
Nebraska ; Robert Steele, Falls City : Amos Yoder. Falls City ; Ballon ^Van- 
ncr. Falls City. 

191 1 — Thomas Coupe. Falls City; Faye DeWald (Mrs. ByraiT Ahern ) . 
Shubert. Nebraska: Celia Dittmar (Mrs. Chester McDowel). Falls City: 
Xenia Gladwell, Falls City; Jeffrey B. Horrocks, Falls City; James W. 
Hutchins, Falls City; Robert Mason, Chicago. Illinois; Leon Norris, Lin- 
coln, Nebraska; Rinice Nanninga, F"alls City; Lena Raniel, Mason City: 
Grace Reavis, Falls City: Flora Shock, Falls City; Bertha Stumbo (Mrs. 
Ben Martin), Odell, Nebraska; Bertha Trefzer. Falls City; Laura Trefzer. 
Falls City; Ruth. Wilson, Falls City; Priscilla Woodring (Mrs. R. B. Heck). 
Falls City. 

1912 — Beatrice Bollman. Falls City: Edna Carico (i\Irs. Robert Wil- 
liamson), Sabetha, Kansas; Ruth DeMers, Falls City; Nellie Craig. Peru. 
Nebraska; James H. Falloon. New York City: Hazel Herzell, Falls City: 
Camille Leyda, Crete. Nebraska ; Lucille Leyda. Walla Walla. Washington : 
Helen Lvford (Mrs. Richard Dittmar). Hannibal. Mis.souri; Herbert Marr. 


Falls City; Byrd AIcDoiiald, Falls City; Ruth Messier. Falls City: Florence 
Parchen, Falls City; Anna Seff,' Sioux City. Iowa; Fred Thompson. Stella. 
Nebraska; Bess Wilson (Mrs. F. R. Settle). Kansas City, Missouri; Amanda 
Jorn, Verdon, Nebraska. 

1913 — Leota Barton, Falls City; Bertha Deurfeldt, Falls City; Jillia 
I'^rederick, Falls City; Grace Hays, Lincoln, Nebraska; Marian Horrocks, 
Falls City; Elsie Kruse, Falls City; Constance Lyford, Lincoln, Nebraska: 
Louise Lutz, Falls City; Mary Lemmon, Falls City; lantha Leyda, Lincoln. 
Nebraska; Chester Lippokl, Falls City; Ruth Metzger, Falls City; Frank 
Reavis, Ithaca, New York ; Glenn Russ, Shrevesport, Louisiana ; Irene Wacli- 
tel, Peru, Nebraska; Martha Werner, Falls City: Ellen Wyler, Tiffin. Ohio: 
Cora Zoellers, Falls City. 

1914 — Helen Baldwin, Falls City; Eunice Bode, Omaha: Roy Bohrer, 
Champaign, Illinois; Ruth Bohrer, Falls City; David Crow, Baldwin, Kan- 
sas; Charles Gagnon, Falls City; Helen Gerhardt, Falls City; Anna Mar- 
garet Gist, Lincoln, Nebraska; Ina Crush, Falls City; Jesse Grush, Falls 
City; Gladys E. Holland. Falls City; Flora Hoselton, Preston, Nebraska; 
Rutli Knickerbocker, Falls City; Marie Lichty, Ashland, Ohio; Beachy Mus- 
selman, IJncoln, Nebraska ; Alverta Prichard, Falls City ; Arthur Schmechel. 
Falls City; Lauretta Sheehan, Falls City; Louis Wirth, Peru, Nebraska; 
Loise Young, Falls City. 

1915 — Cecil L Bowers, Falls City; Herschel E. Bowers, Lincoln, Ne- 
braska; Mildred L. Bowers, Lincoln, Nebraska; Lena M. Brackhahn, Falls 
City ; Martha Daeschner, Falls City ; Kate Falloon. Lincoln, Nebraska : Murial 
Field, Falls City; Albert Freshe, Beatrice. Nebraska; Helen McGerr. Lincoln, 
Nebraska; Bessie E. Harris, Falls City; Richard J. King, "Somewhere on 
the High Seas;" Ha M. Loucks, Falls City; William M. Maddox, University 
Place. Nebraska; EInora M. Platz, Napierville, Illinois; Emett Prater, Falls 
City; Wilbur J. Prichard, Falls City; Nellie W. Rule, Falls City; Martin 
R. Scbnute, Falls City : Frances E. Vinyard, Falls City ; Charles P> Whit- 
aker, Falls City: Helen G. Whitford. Falls City; Besse Lucile Wyatt (Mrs. 
). Salem. Nebraska. 

J 916 — Nina Shubert. Peru. Nebraska; Flora Ticknor, Bellevue, Ne- 
braska; Ruby Casky. Shubert, Nebraska; Paul Frederick, Falls City; Ethel 
Pearson. Falls City: Charlotta Blanding. Falls City; Joe Gagnon. Falls 
City ; Wilma Russ, Shreveport, Louisiana ; Esther Abbey. Peru, Nebraska : 
Bayard Clark. Lincoln. Neliraska ; Ed Fisher. Falls City; Edna Stalder. 
Falls Citv; Mvrtle Dodds. Falls Citv: Iva Wood (Mrs. \\'. T- B. Norris). 


Falls City; Syble Bowers, Falls City; Myrtle Xaylor. Falls City; Hildred 
Harris, Texas; Matilda Mathews, Falls City; Louise Daeschner, Falls City; 
Albert Weinert, Falls City; Florence Lyford, Falls City; Audrey Marion, 
Falls City; Arthur Yost, Lincoln, Nebraska; Mable Yrush, Falls City; Alma 
Mosiman, Falls City; Helen Kottman, Falls City; Stella Gates, Falls City; 
Arthur Chesley, Falls City; Ruth Lichty, Ashland, Ohio; Velma Moss, Falls 
City; Fay Hanna, Falls City: Allan Gilmore, Falls City. 


The following advertisement appearing in the Xciiialia rallcy Journal, 
published at Falls City, under date of Thursday, August 6, 1874, speaks 
for itself : 


Ric-Iiarclson County, Nebraska. 

L. I'. HoyiL A. P... 

Mr. A. I'. Uukefer, 1st .Vsst; Miss Martha Hillebert, 2ik1 As%'t; Miss Kate Cox, :ir.l Ass't : 

Mrs. Kuel Niuis, lustrumeiital Music. J. G. Cox, M. D., Anatomy 

and Physiology Lectures. 


Fall Term Seirteuiber 7tU. 1.S74. 

Winter Term January 4tli, lS7.j. 

Tuition, $2.40 per mouth, payalile to the Treasurer- on or before the miildle of the 
second week of attendance. Music t-.xtra. l>is<i)unt in case of protractwl illness. 

W. W. TruK. Tre.i surer. 
Composition and DeclaiiiMtion will be iininTative studies. 
X. B. :— For information .iddrcss tli.- Princiiial. llumboklt. Nebraska. 


In a history of the Humboldt schools, it is essential, in order to under- 
stand the educational development, that consideration first be given to the 
type of people who settled in the community. The pioneers, who possessed 
themselves of the land here, were, as a rule, intelligent, having been privi- 
leged to store their minds with much useful knowledge in their luistcni 
homes; many of them were qualified to teach the youth in this new land and 
so it was that almost simultaneous with the settlement, came the organi- 
zation of the local school. 


In 1867, the 3ear in which Nebraska was admitted as a state and also 
the year that the town of Humboldt was platted, the first school was organ- 
ized. O. J. Tinker, together with several others, furnished the three hundred 
dollars by means of which the school house was erected. 

The one-stoy stone building standing at corner of Second and Nemaha 
streets, on lot 8, block 5, original town plat, and used today as a cream station, 
is none other than Humboldt's first school, known as the Grant school. It is 
a very humble looking building to be sure, but one must look at it with some 
reverence, when he realizes how important a part it once played in the life 
of the community. It served not only as the school house, but also as a church, 
town hall and opera house; in fact, it was used for every kind of meeting 
which was held in Humlx>ldt or vicinity. 

If we could go back half a century and on a spring afternoon steal a 
glimpse through the open window of this school in session we should be sur- 
prised to see the ten or twelve pupils seated on an uncomfortable looking 
Ijench, which extended continuously along the wall. Above the children's 
heads we notice a shelf upon which books and slates are piled; and in the 
center of the room sits the teacher at her table, liefore her a small primer 
class droning their lesson. There is no need to dwell upon the contrast 
l)etween this and our present well-equipped school rooms; however tine 
must not underestimate the splendid lessons learned under those former 
primitive conditions. During the six years that this building was used for 
school purposes, the following teachers served successively: Miss Linn, Ed 
Tinker. Dr. Clover, Albert Therwood, Miss Helen Sterns and Uhri Babcock. 

Humboldt's rapid progress and her increasing population now demanded 
a larger school building. The people recognized this need, and realized, 
too. the influence of good schools in attracting to the town a desirable class 
of citizens. Accordingly, bonds were voted to the amount of three thousand 
dollars, and the second school house was built. This can be identified today 
as the Bohemian hall. Two years later an additional two thousand dollars 
was voted in order to complete tlie building. Tiiis school, which served 
the ci immunity for thirteen years, was a very, great improvement over the 
former one. The seats were of the well-known double kind and much 
more comfortal)le than the ojtl Iienches. The school was divided into grades, 
the high school occupying the up-stairs room. The first superintendent 
here was S. V. Boyd, who served from 1872 to 1875, and again from 1877 
to 1879. Others who directed the work are: J. D. ^^'ood. Mr. Pomeroy, 
Tnm Hitt, T. C. Sniutz and Miss :\rcGlashan. 


During the last few years that this building was used, conditions were 
so crowded that a small two-roomed building was erected to house the 
lower grades. This was west of the main building. It is today the doul>le 
tenement house, facing west on Nemaha street, in block 30, Luther Xim's 
addition. The foresight shown in the planning of Humboldt's third school, 
the one which to tts is the Humboldt school, is t|uite remarkable. Even with 
changing conditions it has met the needs very well indeed. This building was 
erected in 1885, at a cost of fifteen thousand dollars — a two-story brick struc- 
ture, originally seventy feet by seventy-three feet, ground plan. In 191 3. an 
addition was made, extending to the north. This contains two school rooms 
below and the gymnasium above. 

The year 1886 brought forth the first graikiating class of the Humljokll 
high school, a class made up of five graduates. The alumni now number 
two hundred and eighty-seven. No records of the earl}- years of the school 
seem to be available, except fragmentary information to be found in old 
files of the newspapers. The list of superintendents aiid the years of their 
service follows: Mr. Chamberlain, 1886-89; ^^r. Leach, 1889-90; George 
Chatburn, 1890-92; Mr. Carleton, 1892-93; Mr. Dinsmore, 1893-96; Arthur 
McMurray, 1896-97; Mr. Cortelyou, 1897-98; Mr. Jones, 1898-1900; ]\Ir. 
Crocker, 1900-02; R. L. Hoff, 1902-11 ; B. A. Burdick, from 191 1. Professor 
Chatburn is now head of the department of applied mechanics and machine 
design at the University of Nebraska. Mr. Dinsmore has given up teach- 
ing and has taken tip banking in Ohio. Mr. Hofif is at the head of the educa- 
tional department in Cotner L^niversity. 

As a man is known Ijy the lx)oks he loves, and the friends he keeps, 
so a community is judged by the character of its schools and the manner 
in which they are supported. In this respect Humboldt stands well to the 
front now as, in fact, it has always since the' first organization as a school 
district. In 191 4 the Humboldt high school was placed upon the accredited 
list of the North Central Association of Calleges and Secondary Schools. 
This enables a graduate of tliis high school to enter any of the leading 
colleges or universities of Wyoming, Indiana, Colorado, Montana. .Michi- 
gan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma. Ohio, 
Minnesota, Nebraska and Missouri, without taking examinations. Only about 
one-fourth of Nebraska's four-year high schools are doing the grade of 
work to entitle them to a place on this list. 



The following is a list of the graduates of the Humboldt high school, 
b\- years : 

Class of 1886 — Ida Brockman Cornelius, Humboldt; Nellie Gandy 
Timmerman, Seattle, Washington ; Lue Hilbert, St. Louis, Missouri ; Cora 
Barngrover Boyd, Marquette, Nebraska; Eugenia Linn Perrin, Glenlea. 

1887 — Aretas R. Scott, Seattle, Washington; Howard Norton, Lincoln, 
Nebraska; Ella Morton Beals, Los Angeles, California; J. M. Joseph, Renton, 
Washington; Frank Snethen, Humboldt; Allie Cornelius, Humboldt; A. L 
Babcock, North Loup, Nebraska. 

1888 — Nellie Matten Brandow, Humboldt; Fred W. Sweeney, Wash- 
ington, D. C. ; Carrie Hasness, Omaha ; Elton Nims, San Antonio, Texas ; 
Lida Connor, Omaha; Fred Linn, Henderson, Montana; Roxie Lynch 
Menzendorf, Lincoln, Nebraska; Claude Filson, Seattle, Washington; Lillie 
William.son Metz, Hatton, Washington; Bert Esterbrook, Lincoln, 
Nebraska; Homer Howe, Humboldt; Emma Berry Joseph, Renton, Wash- 
ington; Ernest Walsh, deceased; Daisy Hilbert Linn. Henderson, ^Montana: 
May Daigh Welch, Seattle, Washington. 

1889 — Huber Morris, Sacramento, California; Allie Craig Ellis, Los 
Angeles, California; Maud Filson Stroble, Nebraska City, Nebraska; Sophia 
Uhri Koes, Salida, California; Myrtle Campbell Healey, Omaha; Frank 
Novak. Omaha ; Viola Bush Chism, Humboldt ; Edith Miller Voeller. 
deceased; Howard Jones, deceased; John Rothenburger, Humboldt. 

1890 — Elivin H. Eyerly, Nortonville. Kansas; Lute B. Smutz, St. Lmiis. 
Missouri; L. Daisy Eyerly, Nortonville, Kansas; Ella Wilson, Humboldt; 
Alonzo C. Tinker, Coldwater, Kansas. 

1891 — Ethelyn Glasser, Henderson, Arkansas: llert Kuper, Auburn. 
Nebraska; Claude M. Linn, Humboldt; Persa Morris Weaver, deceased; 
Lew Marburger, Humboldt ; Edward Wittwer, ^fountain Grove, Missouri ; 
Mary Novak Truxaw, Riverside. Iowa ; Benjamin F. Revelle. Humboldt ; 
Charles Robbins. LaGrange, Illinois; Lute B. Sweeney, deceased; Ora Tidball 
Green, Carlisle, Iowa; Bohumil Wiesner, St. Louis, Missouri. 

1892 — Charles Berry, Renton, Washington; Maggie Woods, I'eru, 
Nebraska; Ida Wood.s. Peru. Nebraska; Grace Cooper McMurrav. deceased; 
Minnie Rothenburger, Falls City, Nebraska. 

1893 — Boyd Unkefer, Lestershire, New York; Beratha No\ak. 


Onialia; Ora Wittwer Linn, Humboldt; Frances Dewees Davis. York, 
Xebraska; Mary ^^^illiamson Emigh, South Omaha; George Joseph, Ard- 
inore. South Dakota; Lester Allen, address unknown; Frances Fry 
.McDougall, Xokomis. Saskatchewan. Canada: Hattie Webster Madison. St. 
Joseph, Missouhi. 

1894 — Lottie Keedwell Patton, address unknown; Mary Strunk, 
Hiawatha, Kansas; Susan Revelle Nelson, Mankato, Kansas; Kittie Cor- 
nelius. Humboldt; Nellie Cornelius, Hum1x)ldt; Mrgie Hudson Avery, 
Humboldt; Bessie Holman Howe, Humboldt; Jennie Butterfield Fergus, 
Humboldt; Enid Bewick, deceased; Mary Lionberger Scott. Seattle. W'ash- 
ington ; Gertrude fiird Trwin. Lincoln, Nebraska; Onia Fergus Johnston, 
deceased; Orma Hull Kline. Lincoln, Nebraska; Nellie CHft Adams. Salem, 
Xebraska; Charles Hummel. St. Louis, Missouri; Willard Hawley. San 
Francisco, California. 

1895 — Celia Revelle, Humlx)ldt: Lydia Reichers. deceased; Ida Morris 
Wittwer, Mountain Grove, Missouri; Mary ^Morris Alexander. Dawson. 
Ne1)raska ; Rose Novak Dworak. Chicago, Illinois ; George Tucker, Riverside. 
California; Ludwig Skalak, Humboldt; Stanle}- Kramer. Tabor, South 
Dakota; Charles Bracelin. Minneapolis, Minnesota; Joy Nims, Humboldt; 
Delia Segrist Shirley, Humboldt; Mary Frank Tanner, Lincoln, Nebraska. 

1896 — Rosa Till, deceased; Logan Cornelius, Humboldt; Ida Hall Gird. 
Lincoln, Nebraska; Grace Sansom, deceased; Ray Hummel, Lincoln. 
Xebraska; Pearl Hasness, Rathdrum, Idaho; Lottie McDowell Grinstead. 
Humboldt; Orin Shrauger, Pawnee City. Nebraska; Mary Loenning Glathar. 
Humboldt; Ella Johnston, Beaver City. Xebraska. 

1897 — Minnie I'etrashek. Palstell, Montana; lone Norton Wolfe, Car- 
son, Iowa ; Grace Xims Brown, deceased ; Rev. Cecil Phillips. Wamego, 
Kansas; Claude Fergus, Humlx)ldt; James Ayers. \'erdon. Nebraska; Carey 
K. Cooper, Elcentro, California. 

1898 — Olin Hawley. .\uburn, Nebraska; Otis Unkefer, Fillmore. Cali- 
fornia ; Bessie Cornelius. Huml)oldt ; Myra Shrauger Shallenberger. Stam- 
ford. Nebraska; Minnie Clift Williamson. Humboldt; Daisy Morris l'"lliott. 
Beaver Crossing. Nel^raska ; Lelia l-'rank Clydesdale, Gaylord, Kansas; 
lunula Loennig INIcClintock. Mitchell. South Dakota; Kathryn Bracelin 
Dennis. Lincoln. Nebraska; Sue Crawford A\'heeler, Falls City. Nebraska; 
(iuy L. Cooper. Huniljoldt; Don Gridley, Diller, Nebraska; Howard Hawlev. 
Auburn. Nebraska; Fmil Krasny. La Mesa. California; Archie Hummel. 
St. Louis. Missouri. 





1899 — John Johnson, Omaha, Nebraska; George E. Lee, Seattle. Wash- 
ington: Wayne Coons, Riverside, California; Charles Novak, Humboldt: 
Margaret Bracelin, I-incoln. Nebraska; Ida Stalder Porr. Humlioklt : iMiinia 
Novak Kotouc, Humboldt; Charles Speiser, address unknown. 

1900 — Cass Wells, Vivian, South Dakota: Estella \Villiams(jn Sanford. 
Humboldt; Persis Price, address unknown; Ada \'iets Winn, (".rant. 
Nebraska; Anna Segrist Colhapp, Humboldt: Elsie Davis, Macon. Missouri: 
-Vlwin Tinker. Coldwater, Kansas ; William McDougall. deceased ; Bohumil 
Hnizda, Blue Rapids, Kansas : August Burrow, address unknown ; George 

A. Hoagland, Humboldt: Florence Hawkins, address unknown: Bertha 
Frank Myers, Humboldt ; Mary Hawkins, address unknown. 

1901 — Zoe Nims, Humboldt; Helen Weisner, St. Louis, Mi.ssouri : 
Grace Williamson Hunter, Humboldt; Matilda Klossner Gingerich. Hum- 
boldt; Georgia Gandy. Nokomis, Sask., Canada; Eva Cooper Stanley. 
Bremerton, Washington; Grace Colson, Humboldt. 

1902 — Fred Riechers, Wichita, Kansas; Viola Houser Walker. Hia- 
watha, Kansas; Minnie Hudson Mason, .Salem, Nebraska: Lulu Harding 
Smith, Lincoln, Nebraska : Nellie Gandy, Nokomis, Saskatchewan, Canada. 

1903 — Otto Kotouc, Huni1x)ldt: Dessie Lee Jacobs, Denver, Colorado: 
Myrtle Stratton Craig, Argentine, Missouri; Lois Hummel, St. Louis, Mis- 
souri ; Palmer Fisher, Washington, Kansas : George Hummel, St. Louis, 
Missouri: Earl Beery, Renton, Washington; Gustav Herr. Humboldt; Rex 

B. Craig, Argentine. Missouri; Rudolph Hnizda. Table Rock, Nebraska: 
Milton King, Havelock, Nebraska. 

1904 — Edward Hodapp. Curtis. Nebraska: Jennie Gravatt Rist, Hum- 
boldt; Clara Garver Curl, Guthrie, Oklahoma: A\'ilma \\'right Marshall. 
St. Edwards, Nebraska; Georgia Wells Hummel, Nokomis. Saskatchewan. 
Canada: Nora Stalder Shrauger, Pawnee City, Nebraska: Maude Tosland 
Xofsger, Humlxildt: Ralph Hummel, Humboldt. 

1905 — George Petrashek. Waiser, Llaho; Joseph G. ^b)rris, St. Joseph. 
Montana: Louise Power Stalder, Humboldt: Anna May Gravatt Miller, 
Grand Island, Nebraska: Lloyd Stalder, Hum1x)ldt: Linnie Bemer.t Siiethen, 
Humboldt; Fred Arnold, L^rbana, Ohio: Oakley James, Humboldt. 

1906 — Garnett Murray, Spokane, Washington; Jessie Draper. Huni- 
l)oldt: Herbert Ford, West Duluth, Minnesota. ^ 

1907 — Delia Oberly Porr, Humboldt; Emma Strauss. Humboldt: 
l-lsther Maxwell Rist. Humboldt ; Roxie \\'ells Fankhauser. Humboldt ; Ralph 


Cleon Beery, Reiiton. Washington: Lillie Oberly Schwertzfeger, Lincoln, 
Nebraska; Alary B. Howell, address unknown; Hattie Cooper Travers. 
Lincoln, Nebraska; Dell Parsons, Humboldt; Charles Watzek, Hunihcildt; 
Patrick K. Walsh, Humboldt. 

1908 — Harry Drieljelbies, Warren, Illinois: Wamia Zimmerman, Lin- 
coln, Nebraska; Harry Boyd, Omaha. Nebraska: Alvin Porr, Humboldt; 
Francis Klossner Eis, Humboldt; Ina Xeher \\'aclitel. Lincoln. Nebraska; 
Genevra Lockard Warsham, Kansas City. Missouri; lunest Rist. Humboldt; 
Marguerite Linn, Moscow, Idaho; Helen Allen Mann. Humboldt; Harold 
Davis, Fillmore, California; Mildred Briggs, Sumniertield, Kansas: Mor- 
ence Hummel, St. Louis, Missouri: Madge I'ord Lancaster, Pickrcll. 

1909 — Tom James. Humboldt; Emma Schwass. Humboldt; Nina Snow. 
Falls City, Nebraska; Frances Hynek, Humboldt; Ruby Bash Reid, Hum- 
boldt; Anna Brier Weber, Russell, Kansas; Vesta Cass. Crofton, Nebraska: 
Morgan Walsh. Omaha; Cahert Edwards, Lincoln. Nebraska: lunma ( )rr. 

igio — Daisy Albright Morris, St. Joseph, Montana: Nettie Wozab. San 
Francisco. California; Nellie Rist Cernohlavek, Falls City, Nebraska: Hattie 
Dorland, Humboldt; Cecil Youngman Puis, Holbrook. Nebraska: I'lorencc 
Hosford Faust, Pittston, Pennsylvania; Helen Smith Newton. Hun)boldt : 
Alfred Rist, Humboldt; Sam Zimmerman. Lincoln. Xel)raska; lioyd ki>t. 
Humboldt: Mittie Gridley Sollenberger. Fairbury. .Xebraska; l'"a\e Sanfonl 
Davis, Fillmore California. 

191 1 — Zora Marble, Ke.shena, Wisconsin; Rose Hnizda. Humlxildt; 
Olga Holechek Biggs, Hiunboldt; Morton ^'oun,t:nian. Humboldt: Rose 
Wozab, Omaha; Eleanor Williamson, Humboldt: Lois (Iridley. Humboldt; 
Bessie Little, Humboldt; Paule Walsh, Omaha; Ivoy Rist. deceased, 

1912 — Abagail Parsons, Humboldt; Harvey M.inn. Humboldt: (.ladxs 
Boyd, Humljoldt; Clinton Williamson. Htimboldt ; i-Joss Morris. I luntli. .Idi : 
Ellen Cope, Dawson, Nebraska. 

1913— Charles Bement, Lincoln, Nebraska: Hazel Ciraxatt. ilunibojdi; 
Pearl Kinter, Humboldt; Lillian Butterfield. Humboldt; b'.lsie Smith, liuni- 
boldt; Sophia Uhri. Humboldt; Bessie Klos.sner, Huml)i>ldt; Esther i'ricke, 
Papillion. Xebrasl^; Oleta Youngman. Salem. Xebraska; Rudolph l"is. 
Humlioldt; Roy A\'illiam,son, Humboldt; William Hynek, Hiniiboldt ; Ruth 
Hendricks. Humboldt; December Babcock. Humboldt: Marv McKee. linui- 


1914 — Melvin Ford, West Duluth, Minnesota: Dean Snetlien, lluni- 
lx)ldt; Alfred Wissler, Humboldt; Errold G. Bahl, Lincoln, Nebraska: Otto 
Petrashek, Humboldt; Arlo Coons, Dawson, Nebraska: Roland Bash, Hum- 
boldt: Ransom Davis, Jr., Humboldt; Margaret Griffith, Salem, Nebraska; 
Bessie James, Humboldt; Alary Petrashek, Humboldt; Juanita Brown. 
Humboldt: \'era Biggs, Humboldt; Gertrude Seits, Humboldt: Hazel 
Snethen, Humboldt; Marie Smith, deceased. 


The first public school in Richardson county was built of logs, each 
patron contributing a certain number. It was located a little south of the 
present school in district No. 82 and was built in the spring of 1S57. The 
first teacher was George Walman, who had recently come from Tcnnes.see. 
Fifteen students were enrolled. T. C. Cunningham, now living at Shubert, 
and formerly sherifif and district clerk of this county, attended this scho(jl. 
as did the six Goolsby children, Lizzie, afterwards the wife of Levi Hitch- 
cock, and who died in 1865 ; George, of near Shuliert, and Mark, of near 
Falls City; Allan, who died in 1877; Sarah, who married \V. H. Clark and 
died in 1882, and Ap, of \^erdon. Alary and Cordelia Misplais returned 
with their parents to Illinois, The former was married, but after that all 
trace of them was lost. They were the only ones of the entire school who 
did not marry and settle in this county. John Harkendorf, another ini])il. 
died in 1866. His brother Fred still lives on the old homestead near balls 
Cit)'. Sophia, their sister, married A. J. b^alsken and had two children. 
John and Charles, now living near Falls City. The abo\e was taken from 
an early publication and is presumed to he authentic. 


Previous to the year 1869 the school districts of this county were num- 
bered as the road districts later were numbered, viz : beginning at tlie nortlu 
east corner of the precinct .afoing- west, south, then east. In the vear i8f«) 
they were renumbered and like the sections began at the northeast corner 
of the county with No. i, going west to the Pawnee county line, then 
east and west alternately to the corner of the countv at Rulo. 
Both the old and the new numbers were at first given until the peojile became 
familiar with the new numbers. This latter work of renumbering took 
place under the superintendency of F. M. Williams. 


District Xo. 3 — In 1866 Mrs. Amanda INlcCabe, then Miss Amanda 
Davis, moved with her parents, Mr. and ^Irs. IVIatthias Davis, to the dis- 
trict now known as the Ankrom school, or district No. 3. There was no 
organization of a district and no school, so Mrs. Mathias extended the 
use of her kitchen, which was accepted, and that winter Miss Matilda Winder- 
venter taught the school and boarded with Joseph Noel. She had about 
twenty pupils. At that time they used slab benches. An old cookstove 
was borrowed, and the parents of the children would bring the necessary 
wood for fuel. The house was a double log house, weatherboarded, lathed 
and plastered and two rooms of frame on the east, one of these was where 
the school was held. There was a porch on the west end and a fireplace at 
l)oth ends. The house still stands as a relic of earlier times. During the 
following year a school* house was built and the district permanently or- 

District No. 4 — This district was organized in 1867 ^^ith the following 
officers : J. P. King, L. K. Barnes, and S. E. Slocum. The first school 
district was named King because several of the King family were living 
in that community. The first teacher was Miss Phoebe A. Slocum, who 
taught in 1867 for twenty dollars and boarded at home. She was followed 
by Frank M. King, Mrs. J. M. Wheeler, of Shubert, taught in 1868 and 
J. W. Shubert, in 1870. Some of the other early teachers were Miss Mahala 
Cooper, P. B. Ruch (now living at University Place), Mrs. L. K. Barnes, 
Mary Bagley, Mary Linn, George Cornell, Ben Lorance, Ltiella Ford, Thomas 
Hitt, Thomas Ouiggle, A. B. Mutz, Ida Pattison, \\\ E. Slagle. Jennie 
Thompson (of Stella), Mollie Scott, Gamma Hall, Anna \^each, Ora Marsh, 
Myrtle King and Fannie Harper. One teacher. Miss Olive Clark, died 
while in the district. The new school house was built in 1879 and the 
name was changed to Walnut Grove. It cost about one thousand dollars. 
The largest number of pupils attending at one time was sixty. The wages 
ranged from twenty to fifty dollars. It is said that in the early days, 
when a school-girl appeared in a program attired in male clothing, the dig- 
nity of the patrons was severely shocked. Another incident is recalled of 
the early days, when J. P. King, now deceased, was treasurer of the dis- 
trict. There were no banks nearer than Falls City and all money had to 
be kept in the house. Robberies were common and the white desperadoes 
were more feared than the worst Indian. Mrs. J. P. King tells of a white 
man, quite respectably dressed, applying for the school one afternoon. Her 
woman's intuition warned her that all was not well, so she persuaded !\lr. 


King to prepare adequately, which he did, in the sight and hearing of tlic 
stranger, who asked to remain all night. Next morning he left with a 
scowl on his face and his hat pulled well down and forgot to say anything 
more about the school. Mrs. King has always been a believer in preparedness 
since then. The first Christmas tree ever set up in that part of the county 
was displayed at this school house when the second building was completed. 
I am indebted to Mrs. J. I'- King and Mrs. ^^'illianl Fish for mucli of the 
above information. 

District No. 5 — The hrst school was held in what is now known as 
district 5 in 1861. School was held in a small house buih and afterwards 
deserted Ijy a squatter. Dan Higgins, of Shubert, and three sisters and 
two lirothers of Morg \'andevanter were among those attending the lir-^t 
school, which was taught by H. D. King, father of E. D. King, now en- 
gaged in the automobile business at Lincoln. The salary was about twenty- 
five dollars, which was paid by the parents sending pupils to school. Mr. 
King boarded with the \arious patrons. No school was held in 1862, Inn 
in 1863 Mrs. Louis Turner conducted school in her house. In 1864 Maggie 
Vandevanter, now living at Red Cloud, conducted school in Captain Hen- 
derson's kitchen. Henry Parch taught in the same school in 1865 at the 
same place. In 1866, a school district was organized in Nemaha county, 
about one and one-half miles from the county line. Henry Parch taught 
this school and in 1867-68 this school was taught liy J. L. Slocum of the 
Richardson County Bank of Falls City. District 5 was organized in 18! 17. 
but the, school house was not built until 1870, when it was erected a mile 
east of the present location. .Charles Pealx)dy taught the school in 1S67. 
which was still held in Captain Henderson's kitchen. W. W. James, of 
Shul)ert, attended this school. The country was very sparingly settled and 
the attendance was small. The first director was J. T. James. In 1868 (n) 
school was held in Web King's shanty and the teacher was Mrs. James 
Kinton, living near Shubert. In 1870 David R. Jtines. now deceased, donatetl 
the ground for the first school house. Mrs. James Kinton taught three years 
in succession. The attendance began to increase until 1875, when it was 
over si.xty. Other teachers were Miss Rose King, Mr. Schockey, Mr. and 
Mrs. Norman Catlin, Whitney Cook, Maggie Penny and Emma Shoutz. 
Earlv school officers were J. T. James, Warren Parch, Alexander McGechie. 
Charles P>right, J. W. Davis. Web King, D. N. Jones, J. Kinton, Charles 
Pond, M. A. Veach and \\'. ^^'. James. In 1884 the district was subdivided. 
Shubert was growing in numbers and wanted a school in town. District 


]i)2 was organized Ijy taking sections i and 12 from district 5. At auction 
district 5 sold their building to Jenkin James and he sold it to district 102. 
It was moved to Shubert and for many years was used as a school room. 
Later it was sold to Harvey Harmon and during nearly a score of years 
it has been used as a feed store. In 1885 district 5 built a new school house 
on the present site, AI. A. Veach donating an acre of ground. The school 
is called Pioneer, because of its early history. It is a good building, well 
e(|uipped and one of the standard schools of the county. David Jones and 
Don Higgins are the sources of information on which this brief history of 
district 5 is based. 

District Xo. 9 — (By Mrs. P. O. Avery). This district was organized 
in the seventies and the first school house was erected in 1875. The hrst 
teacher was Hannah Elwell. The teachers who have had charge of the 
school are as follow : Hannah Elwell, Creighton Morris, Flora Pool. George 
McKean, Henry Poe, Dora Skillman, Perry Ailer. Ina Parker, Allie Craig, 
Josie Morris. Georgia Morris, Mary Morris, Daisy Morris, .\nna .\t\vood. 
Bell Gavitt. G. M. Fisher, Bell Newcomer, .\lbert Sargent, Ashford Kelle>-, 
Harry Lenglebach, Lina Shirley, Lizzie Jones, Emma Beery, Cora Leech, 
.Xellie Clift, Ollie Shurtleff, Maud Montgomery, Will Atwood, Xellie Leech, 
Pearl Hasness, Allie Hoagland, Rose Beals, Nellie Davidson, Jessie Mc- 
Derniot. Mary Wiltse, Helen Allen, Daisy A11)right, Helen Smith, Eva 
Spencer, Mary Lutz and Mary Van Campen. 

The school house was eventually sold and moved and tiie district was 
consolidated with three other districts. Oak Grove. Bratton and Sunnyside. 
The consolidated school is called the Bratton Union school and is a fine 
brick building erected in 1916. Eleven grades are now taught. 

Miss Ina Parker was teacher at No. 9 during the winter of the \er\ 
se\ere blizzard of January 13, 1886. She was boarding at Grandma Shroyer's. 
a good half mile from the school house. She nearly succumbed to the intense 
cold, but assistance came before she reached home. The teachers boarded 
with Grandma Shroyer, who was loving and motherh- to them nil. the 
family all joining her in making the home pleasant for the teacher, 'ilic 
dear old lady only charged them one dollar and fifty cents a week fur tiieir 
board and sometimes did their washing. The following teachers arc living 
in the county: George McKean, Mrs. Mary (Morris) .Alexander. Mrs. 
Helen (Allen) Mann. .Mrs. Helen (SmitlO Stalder. Mrs. Nellie 1 Leach i 
.\very. Mary ^Viltse and .\lbert Sargent. 

District No. 10 — District No. to was org.-inized in 1868 and comprised 



the nortlnvest quarter of l-'ranklin township. The first school board was 
composed of H. M. Preston, Ahner Dolby and J. S. Bowers. The school 
house was built in 1870 and is still standing. The first school w^as of three 
months duration and was taught by Cornelia Gridley, who received thirty 
dollars a month. This was the winter of. 1870-71. The next winter Alpheus 
Scott taught a three-months term at thirty-five dollars. The next \\inter, 
1872-73, a three-months term was taught Ijy Saxton Chesebro, at fortv 
dollars. Then followed .\nna Stewart, at twenty-five dollars. She lived 
eight miles away and rode to school on a pony. Xext came August Frank 
and Ada Sowle. The latter is now Mrs. C. 1"). (Iridley and is the oni\- 
teacher that the district has had, who is now living in that neighborhood. 
Mr. Gridley says in his article: "V\^e have had all kinds of teachers, vet 
all were good; some for something and some for nothing." Several parts 
of the district have been detached at different times. Mr. Gridley savs that 
the district has never produced any bright and shining lights, yet he does 
not recall that any have ever proved a disgrace. The attendance is now 
hardly large enough to make a good-sized family. 

District No. 11 — Before the present school house in district No. 11 
was built, which was in 1876, school was held in a house about one-half 
mile east of where the present building now stands, (^nly one school house 
has been built. The first teacher was a Mr. Fowler, who not only was a 
good teacher but an excellent practical farmer. George Snoke w'as a be- 
ginner at this time and did not know much about farming. Mr. F'owler 
assisted with the work and earned free Ijoard and lodging in that way. 
The teachers who succeeded him paid two dollars each week for jjoard. 
Some of the other teachers were Eva Gentry. Mollie Bratt, Jessie Davis. 
Minnie \\'ilson, Messrs. Howley and Carrol, Miss I.ockard, Mrs. Isham. 
Uri Babcock, Miss Wells, Georgia Morris, Ida I-'owler, Daisy Halbert, 
Anthony Day, Etta Campbell. Ella Mordon. Misses .Vbbott and Alli.son, 
Jerome Wiltse, Messrs. Lively and Fisher, Misses Keedwell and Bracelin, 
Minnie Clift, Emma Loening, Grace Bain, Nellie Snoke, J. G. Dodds, P. K. 
Walsh, Sam Zimmerman, Lois Gridley, Oleta ^'oungman, Gustav Herr, 
Emma Staus, Audrey Wileman and Juanita Brown. George Snoke has 
kindly furnished most of the above information. 

District Xo. 14 — School district No. 14 was organized on June _', 
186(5, '\v Supt. I". M. \\'illiams. - Members of the first board were Tolui 
Tighe, director; A. j. Fium. moderator, and Reuben Hill, treasurer. The 
first school house was built in 1871 and the second in 1890. The iirst 


building was not adequate to the needs of the thstrict. It measured t\vent\- 
by twenty-four feet and cost six hundred and sixty-eight dollars. The 
building now standing cost one thousand dollars and measures twenty-six 
by forty feet. It is one of the best buildings in the county and is 1x"autifull\ 
located. On August 10, the number was changed from 4. to 14. The list 
of earlier teachers follows: Al. E. Linn, Belle Osborne, Helen DeW'ese 
(now Mrs. R. R. Draper), Luzetta Bray, L. N. Mills, Helen Burr, Belle 
Paterson (now Mrs. John Cornell), W. U. Snyder, Allie Lockard. Annie 
Worley, Bettie Wilkinson, Mary Cole, John Davis, A\'. S. Jones, L. A. Sells. 
J. M. Evans, L. Wilkinson, Nina Gentry, S. L. Mains, B. F. Cniok, R. 
Cully, Anna Smith, C. W. Stratton and F. Stoltz. Those who assisted in 
the organization of the first school were John Tighe, Alurtey Tighe. A. J. 
Flum, Reuben Hill, George Smith, W. W. Fields and E. C. Hill. All 
have passed to the great beyond but George Smith. In 1873 Geurge Smith 
was elected treasurer and held the office until 1889. The first school census 
in 1869 found thirteen persons of school age in the district. The largest 
census ever taken was in 1879, when sixty-nine were enumerated. George 
Smith was elected director in 1889 and held that position until 1909, when 
he moved to Dawson. He was a school officer for more than forty years. 
I'^or many years Mr. Smith was a supervisor and commissioner of this 
county. During the past fi au" \ears he has been county assessor. We 
are indebted to Mr. Smith for much of the information embodied in this 

District Xo. 16 — The first school ever taught within the boundary line 
of district Xo. 16 was in a log house one-half mile east of the Cupola school 
house. l)y Miss Jane Cooper, in 1862, and another term in 1864. The third 
term was taught by Miss Francis McLain, in 1868, in a log house near 
Sardine creek. In 1870 A\'. W. Abbey, county superintendent, appointed 
John Parker, William Osmon and G. B. Patterson as school officers until 
the regular meeting time. In 1871 Francis .Shaw taught a spring term in 
a house which stood near the present home of W. S. On the first 
.Monday in .\]iril. in 1872, a school meeting was held at Mrs. Parker's 
house, at which time it was decided to build a school house. Mrs. Parker 
offered to donate I)\ tlced one acre of land for the school site, which was 
accepted and the present site is still used for school purjtoses. It was de- 
cided to build a building eighteen by twenty-eight by ten feet, witii a l)elfrv. 
eight windows and so forth. The contract for the building was let t<i 
diaries lienderson. The hciiise was not completely finished with lath and 


plaster until 1878. The house cost six hundretl and hfty dollars. Some 
of the early teachers were Libbie Conrad, Anna Bagle\-, Mattie Jones. Mis.s 
G. A. Lacy, Ida Cornell. Lucinda Marsh, Hattie Wood, Belle Patterson, 
Harriett Ruch, Sadie Ross, Flora Huff, Delia Alerriam, H. H. Levey, 
Rebecca Cully, C. A. Watkins, Belle Parsons, F. E. Xorthup, Lulu Col- 
glazier, George W. Morris, Winnie Watkins and Ora Marsh. This school 
can boast of at least two county officers on its school faculty. Li August. 
1892. the first school house was blown down during a severe storm ant! 
conipletelv destroyed, with most of its furniture. In the same month a 
meeting was held and it was decided to rebuild the Ivuilding, making the 
new dimensions eighteen by thirty-six by ten feet. G. W. Morris was em- 
ployed to build the school house and also was elected to teach the first 
school in the Jiew building. This school house is still one of the best build- 
ings in the county. 

District No. it, — Mrs. George Linsacuni is author of the following state- 
ments. District No. 23 was organized in 1862 and the first school Ikusc 
was located one mile west of the present location. Mrs. Linsacuni was a 
I'jupil of this first school, which was conducted in a log school house. Pro- 
fessor Williams, afterwards county superintendent, was the first teacher. 
William Parchen was the next teacher. Twelve attended the first school. 
A postoffice was estal)lished in this neighborhood and Profes.sor Williams 
was the postmaster. The settlement was named Williamsville in honor of 
-Mr. Williams. 

District Xo. 24 — (By M. A. Arnold). The first school was held in 
this district, in 1872. at the home of Henry Nesbit, who resided about three- 
fourths of a mile west of the present school house, and a three-months 
term of school was taught by Aliss Ella Spickler. The teacher's salary was 
raised by subscription at three dollars per pupil and the enrollment was 
about fourteen during the first term. The two succeeding terms were of 
four months each and were taught at the home of Jacob Arnold. In i87<) 
a school house was erected — a frame building eighteen by twenty- four feet, 
which was .subsequently sold to Jacob Arnold, in 1876, for twenty-fi\e dol- 
lars. This house still stands on a farm one-quarter of a mile west of the 
present school house. The new building erected was twenty-six by thirty- 
six feet in dimension and to build, six hundred- dollars. It is still 
standing. The first school board was composed of the following men : 
Jacob Arnold, Henrv Xesbit and Charles Spickler. During the early years 
the school terms were from two to four months in length and were held 


at any time during the }ear. G. \V. .Marsh, now a resident of Lincoln, 
taught this school in 1881. H. M. Lint was the teacher in 1886 and re- 
ceived a salary of thirty-five dollars a month for a term of four months. 
I'^annie Birdsley taught in 1887; William E. Slagle had charge in 1888; 
G. W. Stump, 1889-91; J. R. Reed, 1891-92; George Martin, 1892-93; L 
T. Peck, 1893-97; I^- J- D'lnn, 1897-1902; C. E. Benson, 1902-03; Daisy 
.\rnold, 1903-04; Nellie Arnold, 1904-05. Others were W. J. Cavin. Vesta 
Lively, .Mice Yoder, Marie Dodds, Ruth W^heeler, Tola Wiles. Fred Meinzer 
and Mary Kean. 

The discipline in the early days was difficnlt at times, on account of the 
larger Ixiys wanting to have their own way. The teacher generally settled 
the disputes satisfactorly to all, although it was sometimes necessary to call 
in the school board. The present district moderator, R. Faller, has held 
the office for seventeen years and his father held office three years previously ; 
the son taking his father's place upon the latter"s death. George Martin, 
who taught here in 1892-93, is now one of the prominent educators of the 
state. The site of the school was deeded to the district by Jacob Arntjld and 

District Xo. 26 — The early history of this district "runneth back to the 
time that men knoweth not of," for it is not known when the district was 
organized, who the first school officers were, when the first school house 
was built, nor who the first teachers were. The first record that is known 
dates back to 1862, when school was "kept" in an old log- house that soon 
liecame too small and in 1864 a new house was built, with two stories, at 
a cost of three thousand dollars. At one time there were so many in the 
district that desired instruction in Orman that two schools were held. Eng- was taught on the first Hour and German on the second. Following are 
the names of a number of the earlier teachers: .Mice Walter, Mr. Massock, 
Mr. Ginter, W. R. Thorndorf, H. H. Brunstetter, B. V. Cling, J. F. Layson. 
.\manda Sellers. J. Plouing, C. F. Cain, Thomas Cain, G. \\. Munson, J. \'. 
Anderson, Lizzie Anderson, C. B. .Schaeffer and Mary 1'".. Danner. .\t an 
early day Arago was the leadmg point in the county because of its pro.ximity 
to the Missouri, in the days of steamboat navigation. Information is not 
available as to the time when the present school house was built, flowever. 
it must have been many years agn. as the district will soon need a new 
building and more e(|uipment. 

/district Xo. j~ — This school district was organized on januar\- 14. 
i8r)i;. and the following officers were elected: Henr\- I''isrher, directi^r; 


Charles Pribl)eno, treasurer; Maurice Lang-don, mo(lerat(ir. The school house 
was built the same year. It measured eighteen by twenty-six feet and cost 
five hundred dollars. h'ollowing are some of the earlier teachers: H. 
Brunstetter, John Teeter, David Noyes, Mr. Zonhesier, Ellen Raleigh, Emily 
Shore, Emma Lawrence, Miss McCowen, Maggie Stewart, Sopliia Gehling, 
John and William Leonhardt, Susan Gehling, Mable Abl)ott and Mina Dan- 
ner. Henry Fischer, of this district, served in the Nebraska Legislature as 
re])resentative in 1885. 

Pisfn'cf Xo. 31 — District Xo. 31, in Ohio precinct, was organized in 
the vear i8ri9, and the following ofificers were elected: A. B. Foutch, di- 
rector; W". H. Mark, moderator; B. C. Zumbrunn, treasurer. In the spring 
of 1S70 the school bnard decided to have a school. The building to be used 
for the purpose was an old house used jointl}- by this district and district Xo. 
yj and was known as the Allison school. It was located one mile south 
of where the present building is situated. Charles F. Pealxxly taught several 
months in this building in 1870. In April, 1870. the school board decided 
to build a school house for district No. 31 only, to be twenty-eight by twenty- 
four by ten feet in dimensions, and appointed B. C. Zumbrunn, J. (i. Hein- 
zelman and L. D. Cunningham as the building committee. The exact cost 
of the building cannot be ascertained, as it was not built bv contract, b'ol- 
lowing are some of the earlier teachers : I. W. b\inck, William Jones, G. 
C. Waggoner, Mrs. X. E. Pierce, A. LI. Sloan, Mar\- Moore. Senora Cor- 
nell, \\'illiam Snyder, INIrs. G. A. Schelhorn, E. E. Shouse, Harriett Ruch, 
ITora Huff, G. W^ Stump, Susie iMelvin, S. I'". Smith, Frank Wiser. C. 
T. Roberts, N^ellie Long, \\'. H. Carter. Delia Harkins, X'ellie Sloan and 
G. I''. Jones. In the year 1874 the district was involved in a little trouble 
which was decided in the circuit court. The trouble was with G. C. Wag- 
goner, who taught the school without a certificate, but with the understanding 
that he would get one. He completed the term without making an attempt 
to secure a certificate and afterwards was unsuccessful, whereupon the board 
refused to pay his salary. The case was carried to the circuit court and 
there was deciiled in fa\-or of the district. Waggoner also sued .\mos Frank 
for his salary as preacher. He stole some clothing from J. D. Lorton and 
a ])ony from William Aynes and dien "skipjied." In the vear i88y W. 
11. .Mark, of this district, was ;i candidate for sheriff .mi the Republican 
ticket, but was defeated I)y a few votes. I. \^■. innick, the second teacher 
in this district, was afterwards a successful dentist at Beatrice and. in 1888. 
ser\ed in the Legislature as state senator from Gage countv. Last \ear 


the district, feeling that they needed a new building, erected a line new 
structure on the same location. It was made modern both in and out and 
is a decided credit to the communit}-. 

District No. 34 — We are largely indebted to William Fenton for the 
following account. School district No. 34 originallv comprised the north- 
east quarter of Grant township, including the north half of the present vil- 
lage of Dawson. Since then much of its territory has been annexed to 
districts 14, 43, 92 and 95. In the fall of 1867 an informal meeting of the 
voters of district No. 34 was held at the residence of the Fenton brothers, 
where now stands the imposing dwelling oi J. G. Heini. Among the old 
settlers present at that meeting were M. L. Libbe, S. C. Barlow, Dennis 
Fenton, R. B. and S. A. Allen, M. Riley, :\I. Bennet. lien .Miles and Wil- 
liam Fenton. A numl)er of the above are still hale and hearty residents of 
Dawson and vicinitw At the annual meeting in 1868 the citizens were 
a unit in favor of building a school house. The officers elected were ^^'il- 
liam Fenton, moderator; M. L. Liblje, director, and ]\I. Bennet, treasurer. 
The location of a site was difficult to agree uiwn and the summer was far 
gone before a decision was made. E. C. Hill, with his characteristic pug- 
nacity, contended for the geographical center and declared he would die 
in his boots before he gave up. The geographical center was found to lie 
a duck pond. The committee in charge felt that it had no right to select 
a mill by a dam site, so a different lix-ation was agreed upon. The lir^t 
school opened in 1869, with S. C. Barlnw as teacher. District No. 34 
claims the honor of having had the first school bell in this county. Shmtly 
after the school house was built the young people of the conununity pre- 
sented a petition to the board, signed by most of the inhabitants of the 
district, petitioning the board to allow the .school house to be used for a 
dance, the proceeds to be used for a l^ell. .\gainst the opjxisition of .\l. L. 
Libbe the request was granted. When the time for the dance arrived the 
young people from Richards<)n and several adjoining counties were in at- 
tenilance and. as Mr. I'enton says, "I ne\er saw such a nioli in mx life." 
Barlow's hou>-e was conscripted for the eniergenc\- to hel|) take care of a 
bad bargain. But in the end enough money was on band to buy the best 
liell in lirownxille at that time. The bell is gone now and no other informa- 
tion is a\ailable upon the subject. 

Di.'itrict \o. 42 — District No. 42, of Grant precinct, was organized in 
1S68. On the first Monday in 1869 die i|ualitied voters met and elected 
ihe fcjllowing: A. Page, director; R. S. Ruth ford, treasurer; Jacob E. 


Johnson, moderator. In January, 1870, a meeting was held at tlie home 
of John Homes for the puqwse of selecting a site for the school house. 
This was finally located on H. H. Hunt's property. The school house was 
built by subscription and was twenty-six by eighteen by ten feet, and in addi- 
tion to the donations cost one hundred and forty-two and one-half dollars. It 
was used as a school house for about nineteen years, at the end of which 
time it was sold to W. J. Williams, who afterwards used it for many years 
as a granary. Mr. Hunt taught the first term of school and was followed 
by A. H. and S. W. Sloan, Ellen DeWeese, R. E. Lemmon, John Evans. 
A. P. Unkefer, IViiss F. J. Pool, R. E. Grinstead. E. M. Broughton, A. M. 
Fowler, Hannah Elwell, Minnie Young, Charles Pool, Emma Young, B. 
F. Crook, R. L. Hoff, E. W. Lawsen and S. L Hilbert. A special meeting 
was held at the school house in 1888, at which time it was agreed to build 
a ne\v school house, forty by twenty-four by twelve feet. It was erectetl 
before the close of the summer and cost one thousand dollars. The school 
oflficers at that time were J. K. Kelley, A. Page, H. F. Richart, J. A. Kuhl- 
man taught the first term in the new school house and was followed by Neva 
Ray, W. M. Estes, Nora Gninn, Aggie Richart. Mary Ray, A. P. Unkefer, 
Emma Grinstead and Boyd Unkefer. This district still boasts one of the liest 
schools in the county. 

District No. 44 — District No. 44 was organized in 1870 with John 
W. Headrick, Z. H. Riggs and William Lee as members of the first board. 
Charles Rinhart was the first teacher and was followed by Reuben Messier, 
now of Falls City. Other early teachers were Earl Lemmon, William Steven- 
son, Mr. Bissell, Ida Cornell and Mollie Andrews. Only one school house 
has been built. Samuel Lee, J. O. Lyons and Douglas Lee attendetl tlic 
first school in the district, and reside in the district at the present time. 
The school is now named the Chafin school. 

District A'o. 46 — District No. 46 was organized on June 30. 1869. 
Members of the first board were William Kinsey, N. R. Wickham and 
Isaac Clark. In February, 1870, it was voted to build a school house. The 
first teacher was Miss Clara Davis. D. D. Houtz and Mrs. Dora Kinnev 
Arnold, former teachers, still live in the district. The present school house 
was built in 1891. The largest attendance was sixtj^-two at the time Alvia 
Kinney was the teacher. In the early days only chalk was furnished. In 
the opinion of our contrilnitor, Mrs. Clark, the methods of teaching and 
governing were far behind those of today. The teacher usuallv boardet! 
witin some family in the district and paid about two dollars a week tor 


board. The puorest salary e\er paid was fifteen dollars a month and board. 
Following are the names of some of the teachers: Clara Davis, Solomon 
Lesley, David James, W. S. Bewick, W. H. Davis, Lida Jones, Jennie 
Graham, Mrs. John Abbey, John R. Owens, Maggie Williams, Mary Cole. 
Alice Thayer, flattie Ritter, Eva Jarvis, Ida Cornell, Mrs. Lafe Da\is. 
Dora Kinney, Alvia Kinney, Alverda Allen, Kate Cminingham, Mary \'an- 
dervork, Ada Allen, O. O. Marsh, Linvel Sears, Kate Jennings. D. D. Hnutz, 
Alartha King, Ida Kernon, Oueen Chism, Ethel Sailors. Amanda Jorn, iuiid 
Colgiazier, Allan Gilmore and Grace Burke. 

District Xo. 47 — The first school district organized in this county was 
organized before Nebraska was a state. Its first number was 2. afterwards 
being changed to 47, thus making it the second oldest school in the count} . 
At first embraced all the country from the Nemaha on the south to the 
county line on the north and west to the township line l>etween Ohio and 
Liberty, including the west half of Falls City. Ohio and Barada townships. 
But fifteen pupils were enumerated at first by W. H. Mark. The lirsi 
school house was built in 1856 or 1857. each patron contributing a few 
logs. The frame work was well covered with sod. It was located on \\". 
G. Goolsl)y"s farm. The first teachers were Cyrus Bartlett, G. W. W'altcr.s. 
1'. A. Tisdal, !"".. !•",. Cunningham and J. Cooper. .V part of nne term 
was taught l)y a man who appeared to be an outlaw, by his actions. He 
kept a double-))arrel shotgun with him all the time and at noon would hide 
in the brush. Finally someone told him that the officers were after him 
and that was the last seen or heard of him. W. A. Campbell, W. H. Mark 
and W. G. (loolsby were members of the first school board. .Mrs. C. C. 
Parsons taught one term at her own home and one term in a room of A. 
W. Frank's building before there was a school house in the district. There 
have been two school houses built, the first alx)ut 1867-68 ;uid the second, 
in 1880. Among the early teachers were Mahala Cooper. Nellie Rockwell, 
luneline Lewis, Melissa Yantiss, D. D. Houtz. Spencer Hammer, Thomas 
Wilson, Mary JM-ank, Lesley Lewis, Linnie Frank. James .\nderson, J. W. 
Stump, i'.mma Lawrence, Belle Newcomer, Charles Slagle, Rebecca Culle\ . 
Charles Melvin, Belle Parsons, H. M. Lint, Maggie .\. Peck, Lula Sloan, 
H. J. Prichard and Jincie Finders. E. O. Lewis was living in this district 
when he was elected county clerk early in the nineties. John R. Dowty of 
this district served in the Legislature and D. D. Houtz was elected county 
superintendent while a resident of the district. The enrollment of the school 
is now the smallest of any school in the county. 


District Xo. 48 — Schoul district Xo. 48 was organized on Alay _'o, 
1869, and Ralph Anderson was chosen director; WiUiam Aladdox, moder- 
ator, and J. F. Catron, treasurer. But one school house has been built in 
the district, and that was built in 1869 at a cost of six hundred and fifty 
dollars, size, twenty by twenty-four by nine feet. Ray Taylor taught a 
school in this district for a few months in 1861. A decade or more agLi 
the attendance dwindled to such a small number that the i)atrons decided 
to close the school temporarily and send their children to the l~alls City 
public schools. This arrangement proved so satisfactory from every stand- 
p(jint that it has been continued and is very likely to continue indefinitely. 
The district still maintains its organization and site, but the old school 
h(3use is gone. The teachers from 1869 to 1893 were Mary Martin. W. 
R. Crook, Isaac Rhine, A. S. McDwell, Emeline Lewis, J. G. Crook, Allie 
Fisher, B. F. Crook, Chloe Truesdal, Alia Church, John Hershberger, Ida 
Cornell, Frances Kingman, E. E. Brown, Bell Newcomer. Lydia \\'illiams. 
May Maddox, Helen TurnbuU, Nora Woniser, Lillie Eichelberger. Maud 
X'auDeusen, Jennie Newcomer, Fannie Birdsley, Mamie Hutchings, Nettie 
Wills, Dora Richards, Mary Carico and Frank Schaible. 

District No. 50 — This district was first known as district No. 2. hi 
the spring of 1865 the residents of this district met at Thomas Harpster"s 
house and organized a school meeting. Charles Montgomery was elected 
director ; Thomas Harpster, moderator, and Paul Augustine, treasurer. A 
site was .selected for the schot)l house and the meeting adjourned. The di- 
rector reported the pnjceedings to Charles Mann, the county clerk and 
acting county superintendent, and he organized the territory represented at 
the meeting at district No. 2. The district was three miles wide, north and 
S(;utii, and five miles long, east and west, containing about fourteen sections 
of land in all. On August 10. 1866, Superintendent Williams notified 
Director Kaiser that district No. 2 would thereafter l)e known as district 
No. 50. The residents of the district hauled cottcMiwood lugs from tlit 
Missouri river bottoms that year and erected the body of the .school house 
on the selected spot. But it was never completed and for a time all interest 
in the school abated. After the district was divided the building was made 
use of by the other district. In May, 1867, a school meeting was called 
for the purpose of dividing the district. At this meeting there was a ma- 
jority of one opposed to dividing the district, but the action of the district 
was rendered indecisive by the director forgetting to vote, i^roducing a tie. 
The matter was adjusted in 1868 and the superintendent ai^pointed tlie 


fdllowing officers of the new district : Jerome W'iltsc, director ; Fritz W'acluer 
moderator, and William Heater, treasurer. A special meeting was called, 
a school tax voted and the [)resent site of the school house selected. Wil- 
liam Heater donated Ijy deed one acre of land. Paul Augustine built the 
school and ecjuipped it with furniture for six hundred and fifty dollars. 
The measurements -were twenty-six by twenty b\- twelve feet. George 
Shock was the first teacher, followed by Mr. Noise. Some of the earlier 
teachers were Messrs Plumb, l*\ench, Choot, P)rown, Stratton, Daughters. 
Lason, Reed, Newcomer, I<"rank Revelle, Albert and Clarence Wiltse, and 
Misses Maria Montgomery, Emma Martin, Lambert, Spoonamore, Raleigh, 
Jessie Cameron, Emma Lawrence, Long and Carney. The school house 
was burned in 1884. .\fter much contention another was built in 1886. 
The school today has a splendid enrollment and is a prosperous school. 

District No. 51 — J. Kloepfel has kindly given us a few items con- 
cerning district No. 51. Augusta Burchard was the first teacher. N. Auxier, 
now county commissioner, was one of the early teachers. Will Jones. Wil- 
liam Wallace, Charles French, Eva Scott, H. L. Kloepfel and James and 
Marv Wiltse were other early teachers. The highest enumeration was one 
hundred and six. It is not definitely known when the district w^as organized. 

District No. 55 — District No. 55 was organized in 1865. Joe Forney 
and Albert Dickison were members of the first board. Austin Sloan was 
the first teacher. R. R. Hanna, Mrs. Otto McLane and John Powell at- 
tended the first school. Previous to the school in 1865 a neighborhood school 
was held and was taught for a few years by the late George Abbott's sister. 
The second school house was built in 1872 and the third one in 11)07. 
Charles Sloan taught the second school in the district and Messrs. Hamin 
and Anderson the third and fourth. The attendance always was good and 
the salary paid in the early days was twenty-five dollars. Many of the 
earlier teachers boarded with R. R. Hanna's father. In thirt\-five years 
R. R. Hanna has missed but a year or two of having served consecutivel\ 
for that length of time. The school is now called Lakeside. 

District No. J^ — Tlie first school in district No. y^, was held for three 
months during the w^inter of 1869-70, on the Ransom or Irving place. The 
first teacher was Miss Cooper. The school officers w'tere Messrs. Hall, Ran- 
som and Pirtle. The second term was for a period of twelve weeks during 
the winter of 1870-71, and was taught by .Vbby Dunn, now Mrs. George 
Slavton. A part of the Pirtle house was used for the school house. .\t 
that time twenty-one pui)ils were enrolled, the oldest being Tom Pirtle and 


llie youngest, Jim Kelly, luich pupil had to furnish his own split-bottom 
chair and most of them came to school on horseback. The second school 
closed with a dinner and performances on horseback by the boys. The tirst 
school house was built in the early seventies. Later it was moved away 
and is now used by Jess Shaw as a corn crib. I. Shirley, of Humboldt: 
George Saville, of Lincoln ; Lina Shirley, of Lincoln ; lutima Grinstead Hoff ; 
Mrs. Anna Smith Wertz, Florence Jones, of Auburn; Sadie and Lula Jones, 
of Fairbury, and Maynard Stitzer, of Salem, are prominent citizens who 
obtained a portion of their education in district No. jt,. Teachers now 
living in the county who have taught here are Belle Smith, Florence Saville, 
Ola Crook, Nora Lamerance, Oscar Rhoades, .\udrey Wileman, Grace Ken- 
nedy, May Gagnon and Anna McCool. Some of the early teachers were Miles 
Jones (later county superintendent), Florence Jones, Pearl French, Mrs. 
C. A. Stewart, Emma Boose, Letha Crook, Lula Lawler, Mary Browne, 
and Hubert Shirley. The present school house was built in 1887. Mrs. 
C. A. Stewart is the only teacher living in the district at the present time. 
It has l)een her privilege to have boarded nearly all of the teachers for a 
decade or more and she has pleasant recollections of mam- of them. 

District No. 76 — (Stella Public Schools). The first school in Stella 
was begun in July, 1884, in the Ferguson & Coldren Hall and continued 
with but one week's vacation until the following June. A school house 
was built during the summer of 1885 on the hill southeast of town. This 
structure was struck by lightning in 1888 and a new building was erected 
during the same summer. At first only two teachers were employed, but 
gradually this number has been increased until at tlie present time there 
are four teachers in the grades and three in the high school. In i8yS. the 
congested condition of the scIkioI house caused another small building to 
be erected on \'ine street for the jjriniary pupils. Realizing that the okl 
school house and equipment Avere not a(le(|uate to the growing needs of the 
busy little town, bonds were voted a few years ago, and a fine brick builil- 
ing was erected, which is one of the finest, most up-to-date and best-e(iuii)ped 
school houses in the state. The district is small and the enrollment is not 
as large as it should be. In the high school more than fiftv per cent, of 
the pupils are non-residents. 

District \'(>. yj — This district was organized in iSix). the lirst meeting 
being held at the residence of J. S. Ewing. with fifteen voters in attendance. 
I. S. Ewing was elected moderator; \\'. D. Price, director, and 10. Coi^jier. 


treasurer. Like must ut the schoul districts, district Xo. ■]■] was formed 
from surrounding districts, mostly from the one southwest, known as Fair- 
view. There has l:)een but one school house erected, the present one, which 
is thirty by twenty-two feet in dimensions and cost six hundred dollars. It 
was built in 1872. A new school house is needed now and will probably 
l)e built in the near future. The first school was taught by Miss Carrie 
Howe in a log house located on the northeast (|uarter of section 13. Other 
early teachers were T. L. Lewis, (i. \V. Crouch, B. I'. Chute. A. C. Troup. 
Landon Yantiss, D. D. Houtz, Mary Jones, I-'mma Shouse, Linnie I'Vank. 
Cammie Hall. Lenora Cornell, B. B. Davis, L. L. Linderman, Julia Smeade. 
J. W. .^tump, W. G. Fisher, .Mr. Leively, H. H. I'ugh, J. R. Reed. W. 
\'an \\'yrner, Delia Marion, Nettie Wills, Abliie and Susan Melvin, Linnie 
Frank, Hoke Simpson, Carrie and Lowell Leslie, Emerson Bowers and H. 
B. Kleeberger. The salaries paid the teachers a\'eraged nearly thirty dollars. 
Oliver l'\iller. of this district, was supervisor of this county for a number 
of years. Somewhere between 1863 and 1869 a postoffice was located 
two miles east of here and named Elmore, and shortly afterward moved 
near the present location of the school house, and in i86g moved to tlie 
log house, where school was first taught and shortly afterward, when \'erdon 
started as a town, was discontinued. While the postoffice was held in the 
log house, Isaac Cooper was postmaster. The school house was used fm" 
public meetings and gatherings of every nature and was in truth the C( im- 
munity social center. 

District \o. 79 — This district was organized in the early seventies, 
exact date unknown. Members of the first board were W. W. Abbey, J.. 
J. Flitchcock and William Cook. The new school house was built about 
twenty-two years ago. Mary Jones, who afterward married Oliver Fuller, 
was one of the first pupils. Some of the earlier teachers were John Den- 
nings and Emma Lawrence, the latter of whom is now holding a position 
in the school for feeble-minded at Beatrice. Tlie attendance has fluctuated, 
ranging from eight to sixty. The building is ideally located and is in excellent 
repair. It is almost completeh- equipped. 

District Xo. 95 — This district was organizetl in 1877. The members 
of the school l)oard were William Fenton, Stephen C. Barlow and \\'illiani 
Knipe and the first teacher was D. W. James. The first school session 
was held in the town hall. A frame school house was built in 1880 and 
was succeeded ])y a l)rick structure in igor, the frame building having been 
burned in U)00. The first class was graduated frum the high school (Daw- 


son), in 1891. Among the prominent men who received their elementary 
education in the Dawson schools are ; Dr. Brjan M. Riley, an instructor 
in Creighton Medical College; O. W. Belden, an attorney at Lewistown, 
-Montana; Dan J- Riley, attorney and banker, of Dawson; Charles J. Allen, 
I if Chicago; Dr. H. A. Waggener, Omaha; Dr. W. R. W'aggener, Hum- 
boldt; Dr. J. T. W'aggener, Adams, Nebraska; Dr. Walter Draper, Manilla, 
Iowa; Willard Thomas, county superintendent of schools, South Dakota; 
-May Thomas, educator in Moody Institute, Chicago; A. Edward Thomas, 
an educator in Canada; E. E. Barlow, of San Diego, California, and Lillitli 
W'aggener, a teacher at Hamburg, Iowa. 

District Xo. 99 — Previous to the organization of district No. 99, one 
term of school was taught b\- Julia Richards White, in 1879. Her school 
room was a little dwelling owned by P. R. Shelly. Soap boxes were used 
for seats and shoe boxes for desks. On account of the distance from town 
the school was moved to the David Ouinlan place, a quarter of a mile 
from Preston. Mrs. Ellen Higgins Rawley taught there two terms, in 
1880, and Alma Ouinlan, in 1881. The school district was organized in 
1880 and the following otilicers were elected: D. M. Craig, moderator; 
.V. J. Cair, director; John P\le, Sr., treasurer. The first school house built 
in the district was erected in 1889. It was twenty-four by twenty-eight by 
fourteen feet, and cost five hundred dollars. The district soon grew in 
pt)pulati(5n and the old building was found inadequate for the needs of 
the school. Consec[uently, a number of years ago, a splendid two-room 
building was erected on a fine elevated site in the heart of Preston. This 
Iniilding amply suffices for all the needs and is a decided credit to the town. 
.Some of the earlier teachers were W'inona J(3nes W'ardell, Carlos W'iltse, 
llattie Merritt. Mrs. C. A. Brown, Joe Bagnell, Isaiah Kratz, Ada Abbott. 
James Martin, Judge Joseph, May Maddox, l^nnia Lawrence, Henrv Lint. 
John E. Sullivan, R. H. Langford and Susan C.ehling. P. R. Shellv, of 
this district, was a candidate fur state representative in the fall of i88y. 
but was defeated i)y ten votes. 

DiSTRU'i' stnooi. Ti-:.\c Ulcus. 

Tlie district school teachers of Richardson county for the current scho(jl 
year ( i9r7-iX), are set out in the following list, by chstricts : District 
I. I'.dna Karst;'-', Bessie James; 3, Cdad}s Ray; 4. Cieorge Morgan; 5. 
Leta Baldwin; (>, .\nna Sheehan ; 7, Anna Seibel ; 8-<), Principal E. L. Ta\ - 
lor, Mrs. 1".. L. Tavlor. \'i\ ian Knight, Willie Davis; 10. Pearl Smith; 


II. Juanita Brown; 12. nri school: 13. Nellie Powell; 14, Lucile Chisni ; 
1^. Ruby Knickerbocker; 16, Rosa Burr; 17. Hazel Goolsbv ; 18, Florence 

Deyo; 19, Helen Whitford. Lulu Bro; 20. ; 21, Elsie 

Iniliof ; 22, ; 2t,. Lulu Laukemper; 24, Mary Kean; 25. 

Nina Aikman; 26, Nina Landrigan ; 2j. ]. G. Dodds; 28, Minnie Kammerer; 
29, Mildred Arnold; 30, Helen Kottnian; 31. Hattie Johnson; 32, C. L. 
Jones, Emma D. Christensen, Helen Bradlex-, Lloyd Shildneck. Ma\nie 
Byerly, Amanda Jorn ; 33, Ruth Knickerbocker; 34, Josephine 0'Grad\ ; 
35, J. H. Judd; 36, no school; 37, D. R. Kuns (Humboldt), H. H. Thiesen. 
Josephine Wible, Hazel Burns, Eunice Johnson, H. L. Sterner. Cecylle \\'hite. 
Gail Parsons, Hazel Gravatte, Emma Schwass, Hattie Borland, Mary Mc- 
Kee, Irene C. Byam, Gladys E. Train, Maline Mortensen: 38. Vera Biggs: 
39, Josephine Gaede; 40. lone Rist; 41, Elsie Smith; 42, Helen Gerhardt; 
43, Luverne Lesley; 44, Helen Damon; 45, ^Matilda Mathews; 46, Grace 
Burke; 47, }tlabel Grush ; 48, no school; 49, Morence Stewart; 50. Mar- 
guerite O'Donnell; 51, Mrs. R. Randolph; 52. L. P. Grundy (Rulo), Ruth 
Xoyes. Hope Ward, I'^lora Shuck, Helen ]\Iurphy, Agnes Schroeder; 53, 
T. F. Weinert: 54. Alma IMosiman; 55, Elsie Kruse; 56, B. H. Groves; 
SJ, Jeannette Knepper; 58, Winifred Ryan; 59, A. D. Sargent (Salem). 
Maude Lawrence. Hugh Brown, Harriett Horton, Olive Shafer; (')0. Mil- 
dred Jorn; 61, Alma Arnold; 62, Theresa Kean; 63, Margaret Kean: 64. 
Mrs. F. Eis; 65, Eva Bohl; 66, Faye Gunn ; 67. Zelma Moss; 68, Waldo 
Porr: 69, Edna Stalder; 70, Alice Garver; 71. Pearl Kinter; /2, Jessie 
Shildneck; y;^, Rebecca Dodds; 74, Leta Meyers: 75, ^Myrtle Dodds: 76. 
I., R. Stanley (Stella), Marie Burrus, Fred Thompson. Jennie Thompson. 
Jeniiie R. Thompson. AA^aunita Williams, Hazel DeWeese; jy, Edith Brown: 
78, Albert Weinert: 79, Emily Burns; 80, Loretta Sheehan; 81, Florence 
Epler; 82, Effie Goolsby; 83, Inez Weber: 84. Hanna Kean; 85, Marie 

Zentner; 86, Ida Elliott; 87. ; 88, Clara Hoover: !^9. 

Bessie Klossner; 90. Rose Klossner; 91, Lillie Brinegar: 92, Elby Boring; 
93, Lova Beard; 94, Helen McMahon ; 93. \'. E. Chatelain (Dawson"). 
Ruth Redfern, Lola Temple. Bessie Little, Rosella Riley. Anna Klima : (/>. 
Claude Montgomery; 97. ^Marguerite O'Grady; 98. Grace Auxier: 1^9. 
Chauncey Peck, Ethel Pearson; 100, Mabel Beard; 101. Opal Reagan; 
102. William Keubler (Shuliert). Helen Parker, Edith Lewis. F.Ita Davis. 
Minnie \*. Jones: 103. Floy Smith; 104, Louise Daeschner< 105, no schcoi. 
Note; The I-"alls Cit\ teachers, thirty-tour in number, arc not in- 
cluded in the above list. — D. H. Weber, superintendent. 


Churches of Richardson County. 

compiled by David D. Reavis. 

Persecution of sects for their religious beliefs, led to some of the 
earliest settlements made in this great republic. In the olden time the 
man of God worshiped with his rifle within easy reach, and the parishioner 
was the sturdy, but determined settler, who had left the mother country 
that he might enjoy the privilege of worshiping God according to the dic- 
tates of his own conscience. And so it has been that the church played 
such a powerful part in the early history of our county. 

In the early settlement of this county the pioneer came to church with 
his o.x-team and P>ible, after a week's work converting a desert into a habit- 
able ground. The Sabbath was spent in cultivating the soul and holding 
the mind and heart in line with the Creator. The preacher's auditors wore 
home-spun garments and his pulpit was perhaps a rough hewn slab. His 
Christianity was pure and sincere, and his teachings earnest and effective. 
The simple prelate of those days gave his services to Christianity, look- 
ing only for his reward at the hands of his Master on that day wlien 
his life's work was done. The church hi.story of a localit}' is in.separable 
from its growth and development. Church influence is felt in business, in 
government and educational institutions, and in everything that goes to make 
up a prosperous and moral community. 


The church history of Richardson county commenced simultaneously 
with the coming of the pioneers, as does the history of all such movements. 
The first immigration of importance brought many early settlers from An- 
drew county, Missouri, in 1856, and among them was Wingate King, spoken 
of with great reverence by all who knew him, and who was a Methodist 
preacher. He pre-empted a (|uarter section of land near the townsite of 
Falls City and immediately organized a church society that held their meet- 
ings in the natural groves along Muddy creek. There was such a society 
on the old Isaac Crook farm, afterwards better known as the old Martin 

farm, and one on the did Catron farm, lately dwned by \\". M. Maddox. 
It was here in nature's temples that many prayers were offered by earnest 
people for the success of the Union army during the bloody Civil \Var. 
Henry T. Davis, that saint of early Methodism in Nebraska, was a notable 
figure in camp-meeting days. 

There were no church buildings erected in Falls City until 1867. Church 
was held in different places. J. R- Cain told me that the first time he attended 
church in a building was in Falls City, in i860, accompanied by Mrs. Sarah 
Wilhite, in the law office of Isham Reavis. a little old building that stood 
near where Lyford's store building now stands — lot i, block 90. Rev. 
Kay Taylor was the Methodist minister holding the service. The ]\Iethod- 
ists perfected the first religious organization that I can discover in Richanl- 
son county. Rev. David Hart was stationed in Archer in 18O5, and moved 
the appointment to Falls City. In 1867 the society purchased the groimd 
upon which the present edifice stands and erected the first church building 
in the count}-. It was a pretentious affair and had a steeple in which a 
church bell was to be hung. This bell was the source of much endeavor 
and enterprise. Since there was no money in the country, the hardy pio- 
neers were determined to overcome all obstacles and immediately set out 
on the enterprise of providing the funds for a bell. This was done mostly 
by the ladies, who organized the mite society which met regularlx every 
week at first one house and another, each one bringing his or her mite 
towards the payment of the purchase price of the bell. After a time the 
liell was secured, and the raising of it into its place was the occasion of 
public interest and rejoicing. ^Irs. W. .M. Mann was one of the principal 
workers in this direction and, ujion the occasion -of the tin wedding anni- 
versary of Mr. and Mrs. ■\Iann, March 15, i86y, R. S. Towle. in presenting 
the present of the evening, said this among other things : "Our church, 
which rears its tapering spire towards tlie vault of Heaven was pushed 
onward towards completion as much, if not more. l)y your individual efforts 
and persistent energy, than 1)y those of any other person. Our festivals 
of the past year, around which so many pleasant memories cluster and 
linger and \\hicli were mostly conceived in your brain and executed by ^our 
hand, have had their fruition in the IkjII which, on e\ery Sabbath da\ . rolls 
its deep tones over our prairie homes, ringing the death knell of frontier 
barbarism and ushering in the long-wished-for era of the star of empire 
;ind religion : besides carrying us back in sjiirit. at least, to the happv Eastern 
homes ..f our childhood." 


The first church huikling- was erected during the pasturate of Rev. 
W. A. Presson. The succeeding ministers, as 1 remember them, were: 
Reverend Pritchard, Lemon. Ma\. Britt. Crosthvvaith, Adams, Sleeth, Slavens, 
Hobbs and Gallagher. It was during the second pastorate of the last one 
named that the new l)rick church, which stands on the site of the old one. 
was erected at a cost of ten thousand dollars, and is one of the most hand- 
some and comfnodious church buildings in the city. The corner stone of 
the new building was laid in 1892 and the services conducted by Revs. L. 
F. Britt and John Gallagher, two of the strongest men in pioneer Methodism 
that the state has produced. This first Methodist Episcopal church, which 
is the largest congregation in the county, has recently installed an elegant 
pipe organ. The church property, including the parsonage, is now valued 
at thirty-thousand dollars. 

The Ladies' Missionary Society of this church held their hrst meeting 
on Sunday evening, July 23. 1876, at eight o'clock, for the purpose of 
perfecting an organization. The program for that evening was as follows, 
as gleaned from a report of the same appearing at the time and published 
in a current number of the FaJls City Press : 

Reading of scriptures, Mrs. Rodalxnigh : praxer. D. F. I'iodalKmgh : 
reading of minutes. Miss F. Kingman, statement of work. Mrs. Spurlock : 
reading piece. Miss L Schock ; speech. Judge Weaver, and remarks. D. F. 


The First Christian church of Falls City had no real organization prior 
to 1876, although there were many members of that denominati(;n living 
in the citv. In that vear W. E. Neal moved here frf)m ^Liysville. Kentucky, 
and at once .set himself to the task of organizing the adherents of this 
denomination into a church society. At the preliminary meeting in the 
Odd Fellows hall, which had been rented for the purpose, three persons 
were present: Mr. Neal. James Burnham and S. Zimmerman. One week 
later a .second meeting was held and at thai time a permanent organization 
was effected. This new church, wiiich comprised twenty-lhree members, called 
Rev. R. C. Barrow as its first pastor and in a sliort time forty new members 
were added to the flock. In the same year, a lot was purchased and a church 
edifice was erected at the cost of twenty-five hundred dollars. This building, 
which was dedicated in June. 1877, by Rev. J. B. Briney. of Kansas. w;is 
remodeled at different times. 


In the spring of 1910 the old editice was torn down to make way for 
the new, modern place of worship which is more in keeping with the growth 
and opportunities of the church. This building was dedicated on Februarv 
5. 191 1, by Z. T. Sweeney, of Xew York City. The building contains thirty- 
nine rooms and is adapted to modern methods of institutional work. Jt 
contains rest rooms, parlors, dining rooms, kitchen, club rooms and a large 
room suitable for gymnasium purposes with shower baths. The entire church 
plant is valued at thirty-five thousand dollars. It is especially planned for 
a modern Sunday school plant and recent methods of Bible school work 
have been adopted. Since the new building was occupied, the growth uf 
the church has been most satisfying, and the past year has been the most 
successful in the history of the society, more than fifty new members having 
been added. 

The first pastor was the Rev. Charles Lawrence Wheeler and the official 
board to sene in the new church was made up of the following members: 
\\'. L. Redwood. T. J. Oliver. J. R. Cain. G. R. Grinstead. M. Meliza. J. L. 
Slocum, J. L. Speece. E. L. Sandusky. O. P. Heck. J. E. Leyda. C. H. Marion. 
). R. Wilhite. Dr. O. F. Lang. W. J. McCray. I. B. Whitake. 


\\ork was just begtin by the church in Falls City in i860 when Reverend 
Talbot drove over from Nebraska City and held service. In 1867 Re\-. 
Thomas Betts was appointed missionary in charge of Falls City. Rulo and 
Salem. As Rulo was a river town it seemed to offer better prospects, so 
Father Betts took up his residence there and built the St. Peters church. 

In 1868 the corner stone of the first church of St. Thomas wa> laid 
and Mr. John Lyon was appointed lay reader. On .\i)ril .20. 1871. the 
first class of eight [persons was confirmed by Reverend Clarkson. In 1873 
the first church was completed and Rev. Francis Burdette Xash took charge. 
In 1877 Reverend Xash resigned and was succeeded by Reverend Jones, 
who remained about a year, when Reverend Russell, of Tecuniseh. was i)laced 
in charge. In 1885 Rev. \N'. V. Whitten took charge, but resigned at the 
end of 1886 on account of ill health. The Rev. I. .\. Russell, who suc- 
ceeded him. also resigned an account of ill health in 1888. when Mr. \\'hittcn 
returned and remained until 1892. He was succeeded by Rev. T. B. Whaling, 
who remained only eight months, and was followed by Rev. I. I-^. Baxter, 
who remained until 1898. when the Rev. T. Gardner, of Tecuniseh. was 
placed in charge. Mr. Gardner resigned in Xovemher. 1899. and Re\ . W'il- 


liani Moody took charge. Reverend Aioody was followed by Reverend 
Smith," who was followed by Rev. G. L. Neide. He, in turn, was succeeded 
by the present rector, Rev. James Nobel. 

Tuesday, June i8, 1901, was an important day for St. Thomas Episco- 
pal church in Falls City, for it marked the consecration of tlie magnificent 
new church, the fruits of the personal sacrifice and united efforts of the 
people of the parish and their friends. The church had been for many 
years in urgent need of a new building. The old frame structure, which 
had done its duty for so many years, had not only become too small, but 
was no longer in any wise fitted for its purpose. Realizing the pressing 
need for a new church, plans were set on foot to this end and little by little 
the fund grew until at last it was of sui^cient size to warrant the beginning 
of the new church. The new St. Thomas church stands on the corner of 
Fifth and Harlan streets, just south of the old building, and is an im- 
posing structure of pressed brick, with a large square tower, rising from 
the southwest corner. The style of architecture is beautiful and the sim- 
plicity of the whole is just balanced by the beauty arid size of the large 
stained-glass windows, each a work of art. The interior of the church is 
especially fine. The wood work is finished in hard pine and the walls 
elaborately frescoed. The vestry room, the choir, sacristv and all parts 
are planned and constructed according to the most approved plans. 

The bishop and his assisting clergy arrived in the city on the dav pre- 
vious and that evening the order of confirmation was administered to Mrs. 
Rawley, A'liss Willie Gilespie, Miss Amilia Lindeman and Miss Meeker 
Cain, who were the first to be confirmed in the new church. On the follo\\- 
ing day the formal consecration of the church took place. In the morning, 
at seven o'clock, holy C(imniunion was celebrated by the rector. Rev. ^\'il- 
liam Moody, and at ten o'clock occurred consecration services. .\t that huur 
the church was filled and the procession entered at the main entrance, where 
it was met by the wardens and vestrymen, and moved up the main aisle in 
the following order : Bishops Worthington and Williams, followed by Rev. 
Charles Young, Reverend Moore and Rev. Francis White, of Omaha, Rev- 
erend Murphy, of Auburn; Reverend Kim, of Tecumseh; Reverend Baxter, 
and Reverend Mize, of Salina, Kansas; Reverend Randall, of Hiawatha, 
and Re^■erend Dent, of Kansas ; the full vested choir, the wardens and vestrv- 
men. The procession halted at the altar and warden A. E. Gantt read tlie 
instrument of donation and Bishop \\'illiams, in turn, read the instrument 
of consecration. The morning service then proceeded, Bisho]) \\"ortliington 


sa)in,s^ the consecration praters and the morning- ])rayer by Reverend 
Baxter. The lessons was read by Reverend Murpliy and Reverend \Vhite 
and the sermon was preached by Reverend Young. Holy communion was 
celebrated by Bishop NVilliams with Bishop Worthinorton as deacon and 
Reverend Moody as sub-deacon. Thus the new church was set aside to the 
])urpose for which it was built under the most auspicious circiunstances. 

The following pastors have served the needs of the congregation : Rev. 
Thomas Betts, Rev. John L\ons. Reverends Xash. Stoddart, Jones. Rus- 
sell. Carry, W'hitten, Whaling, Johnson. Spencer. Rev. T. Gardner. Re\ . 
William Moody. Rev. (i. L. Xeide and Rev. James Xoble. 


The Brethren churches of all conferences have about one hundred thirty 
thou.sand communicants, which numljer means that more than half a mil- 
lion people in this countrx are directly, or indirectly, connected with this 
church. The Brethren cliurch at I''alls City was organized in 1897. Its 
Sunday school, which is one of the most important auxiliaries of the society. 
1)egan with an enrollment of nine and has increased each year until the 
enrollment is now two hundred fifty. The church is in a very prosperous 
condition and numbers among its members some of the best citizens of 
the community. The society enlarged their place of worship during the 
summer of 191 5. While the church does not favor a large and expensive 
building at the present, it contributes more than six hundred dollars a year 
■to \arious missionar\- enterprises. In addition to its church edifice, the 
society owns a \ery substantial parsonage. At i)resent the members of the 
society number nearl\ two hundred and fifty. 


The Silver Creek church, which was the first societv of the lirethren 
denomination in Richardson countw was organized on Octol)er 16. 1869. 
Since this was a rural church, its field for labor was chiefly in the country. 
its members being in the main farmers. The first love feast and communion 
service was held at the home of U. W. Miller. On March 6, 1885. this 
church, by a large majority, voted to separate from the main conference of 
the church and became affiliated with the liberal conference, representing 
more progressive sentiment in many ways. Since then the church has pros- 
pered and is again growing into a strong congregation. 



The First I'resliyterian church at Falls City was the second one of tiiat 
denomination organized in Richardson county. The organization was effected 
in 1866 by the authority of the ])resbytery at Highland, Kansas, which ap- 
pointed a committee, consisting of KV\s. J. R. Ramsey. John Lilly and Folder 
McCollough, who carried on the work. At this time six persons were re- 
ceived into the church and F. C. Coole)- was ordained elder. Reverend 
Ramsey was at that time acting as missionary of the Presbyterian denom- 
ination in this county and supplied the new organization until his removal 
to what was then Indian Territory. Since he took with him the early records 
of the society, they were consequently lost, but the records were replaced 
in 1 88 1 by Rev. W. W. Howell, the pastor, after much hard labor. 

Shortly after the departure of Reverend Ramsey, the church became 
disrupted from various reasons and did not until 1871 have an active 
existence. In the May of that year a reorganization was effected and Re\-. 
A. P. Wood assumed the pastorate of the church, which position he retained 
until 1873. From this time forward the church organization w-as kept up 
arid the congregation grew, and in 1909 the society decided to abandon its 
old frame building, which was erected in 1873 on the corner of b'ifteenth 
and Harlan streets, and build its present magnificent place of worship 
which stands on the corner of Twentieth and Harlan streets. The work 
was begun in May, 1909, and the church was dedicated in the fall of the 
same year. The property is now worth twenty thousand dollars. 

Several ministers have served this congregation during its existence, 
among whom are: Revs. J. R. Ramsey, .\. I'. Wood, J- B. Finskev, F^. M. 
Lewis. S. F. Bogn, David Street, W. M. Howell. J. W. I-uItcm. S. P.. Xeilson 
and R. Cooper Bailev. 


Early in September, 1913, the general synod of the Evangelical 
Lutheran church sent its missionary to Falls City, Nebraska, to preach 
Lutheran doctrine and, if possible, to establish a mission. Services were 
condticted in the Electric theatre. On December 3, 1913. Reverend Kanse, 
the missionary secretary, called a meeting of men interested in the work. 
At this meeting resolutions were adopted, making the organization perni;i- 


nent. Officers were elected, and a committee was also elected to proceed 
at once to purchase lots for a building site. 

The committee l)ought lots 13 and 14, in block 9, of Boulexard addi- 
tion, on December 13, 1913. The old frame church at St. Mark's congre- 
gation at Verdon was then secured and moved to our lots. The building 
came through in good condition and, with a number of impro\ ements. 
made an excellent place of worship. The church was provided with electric 
lights and furnace, was connected with city water, and a cloak room was 

The church was dedicated on March 29, 1914, and on the day of dedi- 
cation all necessary money was secured and the church stands free of del)t. 
Dr. H. L. Yarger, the president of the general synod, was present on that 
day and delivered a sermon. A call was extended at this time to Rev. 
J. Matthiesen, asking him to serve our church as pastor and missionary. 
Reverend IMatthiesen took up his work as the church's first regular minister 
on ^lay i, 19 14. 

The church today has a modern Sunday school, with an enrollment of 
( )ne hundred and five and seventeen on the cradle roll, ^^'e have a church 
membership of sixty-seven and a baptised membership of one hundred and 
twenty-five. The officers of the church are: Rev. J. Matthiesen, pastor, and 
Henry Roesch, Martin Nolte, Andrew Ketter, L. A. JNIeinzer, church coun- 
cil. These officers and Rev. W. T. Kashe also acted as the building com- 
mittee. The order of services is so arranged that we give the German 
members of our church a German service on alternate Sunday mornings. 
.V Lutheran league of sixteen members has been active since July. 

ST. mark's evangelical LUTHERAN CHURCH. 

St. Mark's, formerly known as St. Marien's Evangelical Lutheran 
church, had its beginning almost four decades ago. It was early in the 
eighties when some of the Lutheran people of this vicinity met every two 
weeks in what is known as the Harkendorff school house for worship. But 
it was not until 1883 that a congregation was organized, and John G. 
1 leinzelman, Sr., Henry Jorn, Sr., and William Oswald were elected trustees. 
Under the guidance of their faithful pastor, Reverend Gromish, they soon 
realized the need of a church building and a special meeting was called 
to deliberate upon the proposition in the June of 1883. In this meeting it 
was decided to build a church thirty-six feet long and twenty-f(Xir feet wide. 
for which suliscriptions were to ])e received. To look after the construction 


ct the same, a building- committee was appointed whicli consisted of John 
C". Heinzehiian, John F. Harkendorff and A. B. Erenninger. The churcli 
was dedicated in the selfsame year. 

At the annual church meeting on January 6, 1913, the majority of 
those present voted in favor of a new church building, since they realized 
that the old place of worship did not afford adequate accommodations for 
the rapidly growing congregation. Mr. and Mrs. Falskin were chosen solici- 
tors and a building committee was appointed which consisted of the fol- 
lowing: August Falskin. Charles Heinzelman, Edwin Friedly, John and 
Charles Harkendorfif. After the solicitors submitted a favorable report some 
weeks later, the committee immediately took action. The plans for the new 
building, drawn by Carl Ruthman, of Falls City, were accepted. Mr. Buth- 
man, the architect, superintended the wood work and the Bohrer brothers 
had charge of the brick laying. On May li, 1913, the corner stone was 
laid, the pastor. Rev. S. de Freese officiating, assisted by Doctor Ludden. 
It was at that time that the name of the society was changed from St. 
Marien's to St. Mark's. On October 12, 1913, the large and beautiful new 
church was dedicated to the worship of God. It is located in the midst of 
a prosperous community of farmers and will be a landmark for many years 
to come. 

During the past thirty years the following pastors have served the 
congregation : Reverends Gromish, Neumaker. Miller, Hennig, Mosner. 
Beuchner, Jenson and the [)resent pastor, de Freese. 


While other denominations had -gained a strong foothold in the early 
days of the city, it was not until December 9, 1873, that the First Baptist 
church of Falls City was organized with thirteen constituent members. At 
the meeting for the organization of the church. Rev. J. W. Webster was 
moderator and Rev. E. D. Thomas was clerk of the council of recognition. 
The New Hampshire Confession of Faith was adopted and the church was 
admitted and took its place in the denomination as a regular Baptist church 
with Revs. E. D. Thomas and .\. J. Jones serving jointly as pastors. Soon 
after the organization of the society, it was decided to purchase the un- 
finished building of the Disciples church, and a loan of five hundred dollar^ 
was acijuired from 'the American Baptist Home Mission Societ\ . Thi'- 
tran.saction along with some other matters came nearly breaking up the or- 
ganizati(Mi. Until 1880 the church struggled on making little progress, and in 


tliat \ear the church Inuldini;' was iiKJved from its lucation near the Central 
school to lots just north of the pubhc square. At the same time the mem- 
bership was increased to fifty. In 1882 and 1883 dissensions arose between 
the members and the pastor and the .society was <hsbanded. The house was 
sold and now forms a part of the Ijuilding- which was used for so lont;- Ijy 
the Falls City News. 

It was not tintil Xo\'eml)er, 1890, that an\" movement was made fur 
another organization in this city, but in that }ear ]"". T. Houston and W. 
A. Moran and their families from Stanberry, Missouri, settled here and 
soon began preparations for another Baptist society. On April 7, 1891. 
Rev. T. K. Tyson effected the organization of the new church .societ\' with 
the fdllowing constituent members: Mrs. Ellen B. Houston, W. A. Moran, 
Mrs. Lizzie Moran, Mrs. Cordelia Gundy, Mrs. Alice Geiger, Mrs. J. .\. 
Lawrence, Mrs. Hattie Snidow, Mrs. Nettie Brenzier, Mrs. E. J. Eversole, 
Mr. E. Rumsey, Mrs. Josephine Larimore, Jessie Moran and S. Bryan. 
During a series of meetings, during July of that year the membership was 
increased horn fourteen to seventy-one. In the fall of that year, prepara- 
tions were made for the erection of a church buililing. and the present 
edifice was completed in the fall of 1892. On .\ugust 23, 1896, the church 
was dedicated free from debt, Re\-. M. B. Rariden D. D.. of Omaha, preach- 
ing the dedicatory sermon. 

The following pastors have served the ct)ngregation : E. D. Thoma> 
and .\. J. Jones, 1873-74; .\. J. Jones, May, 1874, to November, 1875: 
E. D. Thomas, 1875 to September, 1876; J. T. \\'ebster, 1876-78; B. !•. 
Lawler, 187S-1880: W. W. Beardslee, 1880-83; W. A. Biggart. September. 
1891, to 1894; L. W. Terry, Lee Hunt and A. K. Myattway, 1896 to May. 
i(j03; \\'. \\'. Laughlin, few months in 1903; George L. White; E. H. 
Jackson. 1907; C. K. HiUis. George H. Reichel. S. J. Miner and E. B. 


h'or tiftv years Prairie L'nion Baptist church has been rendering \alu- 
able service, and is yet in a very flourishing condition. Linked with the 
early history of this society are the names of Thomas Higgin and his wife. 
Catherine Davis Higgins, who, in an early da\' when there were no meeting 
houses and no facilities for public worship opened up their dwelling for 
the use of a union Sunday school, the meetings of which were subse(|uentl\- 
transferred in a school liouse near Mr. Higgins" home. It was at the latter 


place on March 3, 1867, tliat the Welsh Baptist church, which later became 
the Prairie Union Baptist church, was organized. There is no reconleil 
action on the part of the congregation relating to the calling of a pastm- 
prior to March 9, 1872, hut it has been learned from some of the older 
members that Rev. J- T. James supplied the church with, preaching during 
the interval. 

At a regular covenant meeting, held on February 28, J869, it was xoted 
that, as the membership consisted of both Welsh and I'^nglish, the service^ 
of Re\-. E. D. Thomas be secured in addition to those of Reverend James, 
so that the congregation could have preaching in both the English and 
\Vebh languages. On April 9, 1869, at the regular meeting of the year, 
it \\as v(ited that the name of the church be changed, and in the place ol 
being called the Welsh Baptist church the society was henceforth designated 
as the Prairie Union Baptist church. In 1870 some interesting changes 
were made in the church. Formerly the Sunday school was undenominational, 
but in the April of the year mentioned, it became a P.aptist Sunday school. 
Later in the year, in December, at a regular meeting it was resolved to elimi- 
nate the clause in the church's constitution re(|uiring members be received 
by the laying on of hands. This plainly shows what had been the custom 
I if the church in the reception of new members. 

.\lmost until 1872 the church had been without a place of worslnp 
of its own, but on Xovember 26 of the year preceding it was voted, ai 
a business meeting to erect a church edifice, and a board of trustees, which 
was to have this matter in hand, consisted of the following: Thomas Flig- 
gins, J. D. Jones, B. S. Hart, E. D. Evans and J. P>. Evans. To ac(|uire 
funds for this purpose the church applied for loans to the American P>aptisl 
Home ^Mission Society for five hundred dollars in .\])ril, 1873. During this 
year, the house was inclosed and occupied but not rtnished. Before the 
completion of it, the house took fire and was, with great difficulty, saved 
from total loss. On August 3. 1874, the new house of worship was formally 
dedicated and in the following September the association convened in it. 
It was not, however, until February i"], 1879, the church paid one hun- 
dred dollars, the balance of its indebtedness on the erection of the edifice. 
This old church served the needs of the congregation until September 15. 
1905, when it was struck b\' lightning and burned to the ground. Immedi- 
ately afterward a committee was appointed to plan for a new building, and 
it was decided to erect a new edifice which would cost about three thousand 
dollars. The work was begun in Novemlier and cai-ried on throughout 


the winter. It was cnmpleted on August 12. 1906. and detlicated on Septeml)er 
12. free from debt, the total cost being four thousand dollars. 

During the fifty years of its existence this society has been quite active. 
In the history of the church the total number baptised has been two hundred 
and ninety-five, the total membership, four hundred and seventy-four; and 
the present membership is one hundred and twenty-four. Several pastors 
have served the needs of the congregation during its existence; they are: 
Rev.s. J. T. James and E. D. Thomas, 1867-72; D. \'. Thomas. 1872-76: 

B. V. Lawler. 1876-82; John Powell, 1882-84; T. D. Xewell. 1884-88: J. 

C. Lewis, 1888-90: F. C. Bingham. 1890-93; J. W. I'-vans, 1894-97: A. B. 
Bohannon. 1897-99: I. D. Newell, 1899-1904; D. L. ]\IcBride, 1904-05: 
I'. C Lusk, 1906-09; Samuel Miller, igio-15. and 1*'. H. Teall. 191 5 to the 
present time, 1917. 


The first Catholic services were held in I'alls City Ijy traveling priests 
from Rulo, the nearest place where there was a regular ijastor. It was not. 
how^ever, until 1870 that the St. Francis Xavier church was built. In that 
year, the members of the little Roman Catholic society, assisted by many 
citizens who, while belonging to other denominations, were Catholic in 
the best and broadest sense of the word, erected a church building. The 
following year Father Lechleither l>ecanie resident pastor of the new jjari.'^h 
and increased the society from its five original members to a substantial 
body. On his retirement after a year of service. Rev. J. Hays assumed the 
pastorate and held it tor nearly two \ears. and din"iug his term and largel\' 
througb his efforts, the parochial residence was erected. His successor. 
Reverend Bobal. in his year of residence, continued the work of his prede- 
cessor. In 1877 Rev. C. J. Ouinn was installed, after whom came many 
good men to serve the congregation. 

In 1 89 1 the church bought the Dundy property in the east part of the 
city, and there opened the Ursuline convent, which school has been kept in 
ojieration almost constantly since its establishment. After acquiring this 
sightly property, the eft'ort was at once begun to raise funds which should 
be used for the building of a new church which, as it was planned, was to 
occupy a site near the convent. The efforts of the committee having this 
matter in hands during the >ear that followed were \erv .successful and in 
191 1 the society's beautiful church was completed. Father Bex began the 
plans for the new church building, but increasing years cau.sed him to turn 



the work over to a younger man, Rev. J. J. Hoffman, under wliose guidance 
tiie edifice was completed. The vaUie of the property now belonging to the 
society is estimated at rifty thousand dollas. This is known as Sts. Peter 
and Paul's church. 

ST. Ann's parish. 

By Rev. Paul Hasler. 

The first year which records Catholic activity in this vicinity was 1868, 
when Berg's cemetery was started two miles east and one and a half miles 
north of the present church. St. Ann's church was built in 1885 by Father 
Lee. It was so named at tlie request of Anna Lite)-, who donated one thousand 
dollars toward the building fund ; the balance, amounting to two thousand dol- 
lars, being contributed by the other members. The following are the names of 
those old settlers: Miles Kelly, who donated three acres for the church site; 
Michael O'Connell. John Ahern, Anthony Ege. Thomas Murphy, John and 
James Hanley, Michael Casey, Martin Kelly. \V. B. Wells, John H. Kelly, 
John Duser and W. E. Kelly. 

-V sanctuary addition to the north side of the church was made in 
1896, and during the following year the organ gallery was built. The 
name of the church appears for the first time in the official church di- 
rectory -of the year 1889, as St. Ann's church in New Barada. 

Since the establishment of this Catholic society, it has been served by 
several pastors. Father Lee, the builder of the church, was also pastor of 
the Falls City church. From that city he attended to the needs of Barada. 
and was in charge of the new congregation of St. Ann's church for many 
years. From 1889 to 1914 the priests of Dawson were the pastors of this 
congregation and lived near Shubert. Besides Father Lee, the following 
pastors have served the needs of this church: Rev. William McDonald. 
1889 to August 31. 1894; Rev. James H. Conly. 1894 to February 7, 
1895: Rev. P. L. McShane, February 15, 1895. to November 23. 1898: 
Rev. Thomas Corcoran, 1898 to May 15. 1907: Rev. Bernard Ulbrich, 
1907 to January i, 1908; Rev. John J. Loughran, 1908 to September 28, 
191 1, and Rev. F. A. O'Brien, 1911 to December 6, 1914. 

During Father O'Brien's pastorate, the congregation was attached to 
the mission at Salem with Rev. John Kornbrust as pastor, which arrange- 
ment, 'however, never went into eft'ect. In December, 1914, the two mis- 
sions received a common pastor, Rev. Paul Hasler, who for half a year had 
been in charge of Salem missions alone. He, with the approbation of the 


Rt. Rev. Bishop Tilien, changed his residence to Shubert, and with the 
generous help of the congregation, put up the priest's house, west of tlie 
church, in the following year of 191 5. 


The beginning of Evangelical church societies in this county dates back 
to 1866, when the first adherents of that creed settled in this county. Among 
the first who moved here were William Meier, Christian Kaiser. Carl 
Daeschner and Henry Rieger, and a little later C. Yoesel, John Yoesel and 
otliers; all coming from, or near, the same place, Barrington, Illinois. They 
all bought land near where Zion church now stands, six miles east of Falls 
City. Soon after these people settled in this county, they felt the need of 
their religious society for they did not intend to rear their children away 
from the influence of their church. Soon they effected an organization and 
made inquiries as to the nearest point where thej^ could obtain the services 
of a minister. Soon the little band was increased by the coming of 1". and 
L. Hilgenfield, John Mohring and wife, L. Rippe and wife and Samuel 
.\rnoId and wife, wlio were among the first converts to this church. 

The Zion E\angelical church, the first of that denomination to erect a 
place of worship in the county, was built in 1871 ; but the first preaching 
point 'was at old Arago, soon after the Civil War. Our fellow-citizen, 
John Mosiman, who moved here from Indiana, was early identified with the 
work of this church, and he was douljtless the oldest memlier of this denom- 
ination in the county. 

The German Evangelical churclies have largely to date used the German 
language, but the demand for English is growing out of a \ery natural 
condition, since the public schools are English and the demand of the young 
people for this language is a vital question for these churches. There are. 
at least, four English Evangelical churches in the county, the nearest one tn 
Falls City being Maple Grove church, north of Strauss\ille. Another is the 
church society at Barada, which is yet comparatively new but flourishing. A 
third such church of this denomination is located at Dawson, which society 
owns a good building, has a strong and efficient membership and are able 
to be instrumental for much good. .A fourth luiglish Evangelical church 
is at X'erdon. 

It was not until 1888 that the ministers of the Evangelical Association 
liegan to preach in Falls City, serving the appointment in connection with 


the organized church at Preston, under the charge of Rev. F. Harder, as- 
sisted by Rev. J. Rohrig. In the following year Rev. J. R. Nanninga 
became the assistant, and in 1890 the appointment was organized into a 
mission and supplied with Rev. A. Rodewald as the first regular pastor. Tho 
first church building, belonging to this society, was erected in 1892 on a lot 
at the corner of Harlan and Nineteenth streets, but this building was en- 
larged to its present capacity during the pastorate of Rev. M. Manshardt 
in 1907. The following pastors have served the congregation: F. Harder, 
J. Rohrig, J. R. Nanninga, A. Rodewald, A. Mattill, W. F. Wolthausen, C. 
Brandt, J. Schniidli. M. Alanshardt, P. Schumann, J- R- Nanninga and 
M. C. I'latz. 


So far as we have been able to learn, the first church organization in 
the vicinitv of Humboldt was formed by the Christian denomination. There 
had been religious meetings held before any regular organizations were 
formed, but the early historian has failed to record where and Ijy whom 
the first of these were conducted. The Christian church was organized, 
April 15, i860, with sixteen members. O. J. Tinker was its first ordained 
elder, and Silas Morphew and A. M. Gentry were chosen deacons. R. C. 
Barrows and Thomas Edwards held services for the new organization in 
i860 and 1861, and Reverend Mullis then supplied the church for }ears. 
The first regular pastor was Rev. William Smith, who began liis labors in 
July, 1870. At first the services were held in private homes, the room being 
sufficient to accommodate the faithful few but devout members. When tiie 
first school house was completed in Humboldt, services were held there by 
this mission until 1876, when the society purchased the privilege of wor- 
shipping in the Methodist church, which had Ijeen erected in the meantime. 

The church building was completed in 1878 at a cost of two thdusand 
five hundred dollars. • The buildmg was thirty by sixty-four feet, with an 
alcove twelve by two and one-half feet, and had a seating capacitv of about 
three hundred. The first regular lx)ard of trustees as elected, May 5, 1884. 
were: J. G. Cox, E. P. Tinker, Cyrus Jones, J. K. Cornelius and Charleton 
Hall. The first ministers appear in the following order: William Smith, 
Roach Parkinson, W. H. Tucker, A. D. Finch, C. W. Elder, James Shields, 
E. L. Poston, Robert Jones, O. H. Derry, W. M. .\danis and L. L. Combs. 

In very recent years the Christian congregation razed the first church 
and, in its. stead, erected a fine large modern church which ranks as one of 
the best in the countv- 



Shortly after the organization of the Christian church came that of 
the German Methodist Episcopal church. During the first twenty-five 
years of its life, it was a mission, served by preachers, who were forced to 
divide their time between five congregations. The first date in the record 
of this society is i860 Avhen its membership was stated as fourteen. The 
first preacher to supply the Humboldt circuit was Rev. J. Lange. He was 
followed by Reverends j\Ieke, Meyer, Dreyer, Muelhenbrook, Schatz. C. 
Bauer, H. H. Menger, C. Bruegger. E. Schumacher, Fred Unland, J. H. 
Mertens, H. C. Schee, G. Bermenter, G. G. Gracsmueck, J. Kracker, F. H. 
Wipperman and H. A. Sickman. The present pastor of this con- 
gregation is Rev. John Kracker. The first church building was completed 
in 1879 and was, at that time, one of the finest churches in the city. Like 
the Christian congregation, they, too, have in recent years built an entirely 
new church which far out-ranks the early church in size and cost. 


This church was organized in 1871 and on March 29 of the same year, 
the general conference recognizing its needs, appointed Martin Prichard to 
preach God's word and build up the society. In 1873 the society built the 
first church building in Humboldt, completing the same at a cost of one 
thousand four hundred dollars. Since that time, extensive repairs and ex- 
tensions have increased its cost to more than three thousand dollars. The. 
society built a parsonage on Nemaha street in 1879. whicli building was 
later sold and another bought and remodeled. This church, which is one 
•of the strongest religious organizations in Humboldt, a few years ago 
razed the earlier church and built new a fine large brick structure which 
ranks as ne of the most expensive church edifices in the county. 

The church at Pleasant View, north of Humboldt, is comiected with 
the Humboldt churcli in its religious work and is one of the strongest 
country churches in the county. The pastors of the Pleasant \'iew church 
in its earlier years were as follow: Martin Prichard, R. C. Johnson. I.. \\'. 
Smith, C. W. Comstock, John Gallaher, J. R. Reed, G. H. Wehn. A. Brig- 
ham, J. C. H. Hobb. R. Pearson, J. S. Hall. F. ^[. Esterbrook. J. A. Cliapin. 
G. W. Hawlev. H. C. Harmon. T. W. Swan and T. K. Maxsfield. 



The I'irst Presbyterian church was organized, June 23, 1871, eight 
members constituting the entire roll of communicants. The organization 
was the cHrect result of a call issued by A. H. Bratt, C. E. Rice and wife, 
P. A. Ninis, John R. Clark and wife, and Mrs. Phoebe McConkey. The 
hrst sermon was preached on that date by Rev. George R. Carnoll, at that 
time the district missionary of the American Board of Home Missions and 
having charge of western Iowa. Nebraska and Dakota. 

The meetings of this church, after it was founded, were held in the 
school house until December, 1878, when a church edifice was completed 
at a cost of two thousand one hundred dollars. Changes and additions were 
made to this building, bringing the total cost up to nearly three thousand 
five hundred dollars. T'le I)uilding was occupied by the society until Jan- 
uary, 1892, when it was sold to James Hnizda and torn down to give place 
for his residence. It was located on Fourth street between Central avenue and 
lulwartls street. In 1884, during the pastorate of Rev. Joel S. Kelsey, the 
church divided, part of the congregation following Mr. Kelsey to the People's 
church. This branch had erected an edifice, or rather Mrs. Lydia Bnmn 
Woods and the congregation erected one, she contributing the sum of five 
thousand dollars for the same, stipulating that the congregation should keep it 
in repair and provide it with a pastor without further cost to her and that its 
services should be non-sectarian. Services were held here for a short time 
by ^Ir. Kelsey. Upon his departure from the city, the church had no regu- 
lar pastor, most of the members returning to their former church home. 

In Jaiuiary, 1890, Mrs. Woods presented her interests to the Presbv- 
terian church, merely requiring the lifting of a small debt then against 
it. This was for long, the finest church edifice in the city, costing originallv 
nearly nine thousand dollars and having a seating capacity of four hundred. 
It remains to this day one of the most active and efficient religious organiz;i- 
tions in the county. The pastors of its earlier years were : A. F. Hale. 
C. S. Marvin, J. B. Linskea, F. M. Hickok, Joel S. Kelsey, L. D. Wells, 
G. G. P>arnes, Lewis Jessup, R. Cooper Bailey, S. H. McClanaghan anrl 
Charles C. Meek. 


The First Baptist church of Humboldt came into existence, March 10, 
1883. It was organized by Rev. Peter Bolinger, B. F. Lawlor. B. Bedell 
and J. C. Jordan. B. F. Lawlor was its first pastor and the church profited 


much by his good work. During his pastorate the church building 
was erected. It was completed in 1884 at a cost of three thou- 
sand three hundred dollars. The first board of trustees was composed of 
S. C. Bewick. S. Sansom. J. H. Smith, A. H. Coffield, Frank Coons and 
William Patton. The ministers who liave followed the first pastor were : 
Revs. T. W. Scott. .\. F. Xewcomb. J. T. Wood and J. S. Hadden. 


The teaching of Christian Science was first introduced at Huml:)oldt 
in 1888. but made but very little progress until June, i8g6, when steps were 
taken towards perfecting an organization. The society was formally organ- 
ized January i, 1897, in the old school room of the Bohemian Hall, for- 
merly the high school. The church, as yet, does not own a building. It 
has no pastors and its service, which is conducted by readers, consists of 
reading from the scriptures and the text-book of Christian Science. Cyrus 
Milam was the first reader and Mrs. Hattie Fraker, the second. The board 
of directors is composed of Cyrus Milam, C. S. Bulless and John C. Hoag- 


In the early sixties the German Lutherans built a stone church edifice 
in the country, due north of the present site of Humboldt. For more tlran 
hft\- \ears this has stood with its spire pointing heavenward, indicating 
to tiie weary of heart a haven of rest, and to the traveler the direction for 
his journey. It was one of the oldest landmarks of this vicinity, and for 
more than half a century its walls echoed the teachings of Jesus Christ, as 
interpreted by his devoted disciples. Its first pastor was tlie Reverend Bick- 

Tlie bell, which called its band of worshipers together on Sal)batli 
day. was cast from the brass of an old cannon captured during the Franco- 
Prussian war. in 1870. and was pre.sented to the church in 1874 by Emi^eror 
\\'illielm. Before its reception, the congregation had to 1)uild a new belfry 
for it. Henry .\lspatch constructed tlie l)elfry and placed the ])ell in posi- 
tion. I'or more than a quarter of a centur\- Rev. John Dirks acted as iiastor 
of this church. To many Richardson and Nemaha county people tliis oM 
landmark was a mecca to wliicli tlic)- journeyed for spiritual comfort. 


By H. H. Oriffiths. of Salem. 1S92. 

The first case of organized Presbyterianism in Richardson county, that 
is of record, made its appearance at Salem, April 9, 1863, as a result of 
the following- action of Highland Presbytery: "At a meeting of the pres- 
bytery of Highland, held at Highland, Kansas, September, A. D., 1864, Revs. 
J. R. Ramsay and John Lilly were appointed a committee to organize a 
church at Salem, Nebraska, if the way be clear." 

In accordance with the above action a meeting was called at Salem on 
Sabbath, April 9, 1865, when a sermon suited to the occasion was preached 
by Rev. J. R. Ramsay. The way being clear in the judgment of the com- 
mittee, they proceeded to constitute a church with the title of the "Pres- 
byterian Church of Salem," when the following persons were admitted to 
membership on certificate: Alar) A. Lilly, Margaret A. \Vashburn. Cor- 
nelia S. Lilly, R. R. McCollough, Elizabeth, his wife, and Elizabeth, their 
daughter. Those admitted on examination were: G. W. Baker, Elizabeth 
P. Baker, his wife, Isabelle Holt, Pelina R. Robertson, and Douglass O. 
Lilly. R. B. McCollough was elected ruling elder and, having been pre- 
viouslv ordained, was duly installed. Said organization was duly enrolled 
on the books of the presbytery, April i, 1865. 

Rev. J- R- Ramsay was officiating clergyman until 1868, when the name 
of Rev. John Lilly appears, followed by A. F. Wood in 187 1, under whose 
administration many members were added. In 1872, J. W. Margrave was 
elected an elder to assist R. B. McCollough, the lone officer of the church 
up to this time. Rev. D. ¥. Wood's successor was J. N. Young, in 1873. 
\ considerable increase in numl)er of membership appears during his labors, 
the writer among others joining his fortunes with the struggling church. 
In 1872, Rev. Charles S. Marvin took charge of the work in connection 
with Humboldt work. Our brick church building was started, enclosed be- 
fore January i, 1876, and dedicated, April. 1876. cost of building being 
about one thousand eight hundred dollars. .\t this time, there being but 
five male members in the church, it needed a "pull and a pull all together" 
to accomplish the work of l:)uilding. But the people had a mind to work, 
and. nothwithstanding the grasshopper destruction of that year, they com- 
pleted the work as above stated. 

In tiie fall of 1876. Rev. J. B. Linskea took charge of this and the 
Humboldt church, doing faithful and efficient work for one vear; followed 


early in 1878 l)y Rev. i\ AJ. Hickok, the Mind preacher, who is "so well re- 
membered by all who ever met him, being instrumental in organizing Pros- 
pect, Bulah and Stella churches, in addition to his regular work at Hum- 
boldt and Salem. 

In August, 1879, Rev. David Street, in connection with his work al 
I'alls City, took charge of the Salem church. It was during this year that 
William Marshall and the late James Hearst were elected elders, also H. 
H. Griffiths was elected, ordained and, in company with the two above 
named were installed elders in the congregation. The prospects of this church 
were encouraging about this time. On the 8th of Alarch, 1880, our senior 
ruling elder, R. B. McCollough, departed this life. 

The first Sabbath in Ma}^, 1880, Rev. John Foy preached his first ser- 
mon in Salem church, having moved here from Martinsburg, Ohio. His 
ministrations continued about four years, the first two preaching to Bulah 
church, seven miles north of Salem and one and one-half miles north and 
two miles west of Verdon (Cornell school house), each Sabbath at three 
p. m., anrl at Salem at eleven a. m. and seven p. m. The last two years his 
entire time was occupied at Salem. His work was faithful, conscientious 
and well done. Religious interest was far-reaching and members were added 
to the church continually: 

During the year 1883, D. A. Tisdel and H. ^\'. Kennon were elected, 
ordained and installed elders in this church. 

About July I, 1884, Rev. G. W. Borden, a graduate of Union Seminary, 
arrived on the ground and at once took up the work laid down by his honored 
predecessor, full of enthusiasm, courage and fidelity to the "head of the 
church." He at once won the hearts of the people, and was known as the 
living epistle of his [jrofcssion. On .\pril 23, 1885, a formal call was issued 
to Mr. Borden to become pastor of the church, which he accepted. The 
presbytery set September J3, 1885. at seven-twenty o'clock as the time 
and the church at Salem as the place where Mr. Borden should l)e ordained 
for the full work of the ministry. This work was performed by Reverends 
Wells, Thompson and Chestnut, as a committee of the presbyterv, and Mr. 
Borden became first ])astor of the Salem church, his predecessors being 
stated supplies. This pleasant relationship was abruptly terminated about 
January, 1886. b\- the failing health of Mrs. Borden, antl on the advice of 
their physician this consecntcd cnuple (|uitteil this field, thereby creatin;^ 
a \acancy not yet filled. 

In .\pril, i88r.. J. S. I'.nyd and J. .\. llanna were accepted as eklers by 


the church. Ahout this time many of the members moved to- other locahties 
and states. This and a vacant pulpit soon lessened the influetice of the church 
to such a degree that discouragement was plainly visible in every effort. 
Rev. W. S. Boyd preached in the church for about six months in 1887, 
followed in the fall of 1888 by Rev. H. M. Goodell, who ministered for 
us some eighteen months, faithful and diligent in every work. The church 
again revived and put forth aggressive efforts and pushed the work to favor- 
able results. But again about May, 1890, the church's pulpit was vacated 
by the removal of Mr. Goodell to Del Norte, Colorado. 

About May i, 1891, Rev. R. T. Bell began in connection with Falls 
City \^■ork to suppl}^ our pulpit, preaching each Sabbath afternoon for us and 
morning and evening at Falls City. His ministrations were very acceptable 
to all the people, but the increase of duties at Falls City compelled him 
to Cjuit this work January i, 1892, and devote all his time at home. So 
our pulpit is practically vacant again. 

Having brought this narration down to 189-', allow me to supply some 
omissions, namely, Rev. .\. F. Hale preached for the church for two ov 
three months in 1874; J. W. McDowell, a student from Allegheny Seminary, 
who preached for the church for four months during vacation in 1886. and 
Charles B. Williams, from Princeton, during vacati(Mi in 1890. 

On June 30, 1889, Elder James Hearst died, which was a great loss to 
the church. During the ups and downs of nearly twenty-seven years this 
church has enrolled (ine hundred and fifty names, of which fortj^-four are 
now resident members. None of the original members are at present in the 
organization, G. W. Baker, to the best of our knowledge, died more than 
two years since. 

The Prospect church, east of Humboldt, was organized, March 26, 1882. 
by George S. Little, synodical missionary for the state. This church was 
organized with twenty-five members, and in 1883 erected a building which 
cost about one thousand four hundred dollars. Many of the original mem- 
bers, retiring from their farms, moved into Humboldt. J. W. Van Emmon 
was its first regular pastor, since which time T am unalile to give any history. 

The Stella church was organized about the same time with the Pros- 
])ect church. Having no building it finally disbanded and merged into other 
organizations. The same may lie said of Bulah church which for several 
years held fortli at the Cornell school liouse, its members going to other 
localities. Upon the removal of the Congregational church into Verdon, the 
remaining members of Bulah placed their membership with that organiza- 


tion, which act- is in full accord with the comity policy of the two denomi- 
nations, entered into years ago, that neither one will enter territory occupied 
by the other, until full)- justified by a plain demand that they should. 

Not having access to any records but the Salem church, I am unable 
to give in detail progress of the work of each church year after year. 

B.v Uii ai. Babcock, J;iiiu:ir,v 8, 1S;12. 

The Long Branch Seventh-Day Baptist church was organized on Long 
Branch, about five miles northwest from Humboldt, by Rev. Thomas E. 
Babcock, on July 9, 1863. The names of the constituent, or charter mem- 
bers were as follows: William S. Furrow. Jonathan Maxson, A. D. S. 
Ayers, Lydia Avers, Mary Reeves, Susan R. Furrow, Cecilia \'. Furrow. 
Rebecca Pierce, Joshua G. Babcock, Charlotte T. Babcock. John Smally 
Babcock, Sarah Babcock. Silas Babcock, Emily Babcock, John W-. Davis. 
Amy Davis, Anna Davis, Rhoda Davis, Andrew Henshaw and Wilomina 
Henshaw. The first services of the church were held from house to house. 

The first and only church was built in 1866 and cost about one thou- 
sand dollars. It stood about four miles northwest from Humboldt. Ne- 
braska, but in the fall of 1888 the church was moved one-half mile south 
and. consequentlv, one-half mile nearer Humlx^ldt. It was then repaired 
and looked like a new church. A parsonage had been built on the lot to 
which the church was moved a number of years ago. 

The first pastor of the church was Rev. Benjamin Clement. .Vfter 
his pastorate Uri Martin Babcock, a licentiate, served the church for aijout 
two years, supporting himself by teaching school, receiving no salary what- 
ever from the church. After this. Rev. Samuel R. Wheeler, who lived 
near Atchison. Kansas, served the church as missionary jiastor for a term 
I if vear.^. Following this service, Rev. Henry B. Lewis served the church 
as a missionary pastor for six months. In the years i88j and 1883. Rev. 
John T. Davis served the church as its pastor about ten months. The first 
Sabbath of July, 1883. Rev. Darius K. Davis l>ecame pastor and served the 
church for about three years. The church then called Rev. Uri Martin 
Babcock. the same person wlm had served the church about two years pre- 
vious ti> ^^7,^- In the spring of 1887 he came from Dayton, Florida, and 
took the pastoral care of the church on the first Sabbath of July, 1887. 
and served the church as its pastor for three years at the nominal salary 
of one hundred and fift\- dollars from tlie church and one hundred dollars 


from the missionary society. Afterwards they called him for one year to 
serve the church for eighty dollars from the church and one hundred dollars 
from the missionary society, which service closed on the July i> 1891. 
Since that time he has served the church without any salary antl will con- 
tinue to do so until he removes to some other field of labor, which he is 
contemplating doing at an early day. There is l)ut one Seventh-Day Baptist 
church in Richardson coiuit}- and but one other in the state, it being located 
at North Loup, Nebraska. The present membership, all tok!, residents and 
non-residents, is seventy-two. 

Dr. E. R. Mathers 

The knowledge of earh- Bible school work in Richar(lst)n county has 
been greatly obscured by a failure in the keeping of proper records. Be- 
cause of this fact it becomes almost impossible to offer exact data on the 
organization of individual schools. Early, however, in the seventies the 
county \vas fairly well covered by denominational schools or those under 
the supervision of the American Sunday School Union. Organizations were 
found in Humboldt, Salem, Falls City and several other places, names 
of which are not now familiar to our i>eople. 


The need of a co-operative effort was early felt, growing out of which 
a call was made for a meeting to unite the various schools in a county or- 
ganization. This gathering was held in the INIethodist church of Falls City 
on Ni>vember 10, 1875. The registration for the first session shows the 
following persons present: Rev. C. S. Marvin. O. J- Tinker, W". D. Bissel 
and wife, Mrs. Sarah Nims and I^Irs. H. Gardner, of Humljoldt; George 
W. Aloore and Thomas ¥. Brooks, of Unionxille ; William Wrighton, Pleas- 
ant \^alley: J. D. Harris, Olive Tree, William Metcalf and P. Hall, of Salem: 
William R. Cain, St. Stephens, E. Cooper, J. S. Clark and wife, of North 
Star: H. B. Grable, J. W. Maynard, Mrs. T. H. Collins, Rev. D. F. Roda- 
baugh, S. .\. Intlton, V. M. Spalding, Rev. F. B. Nash and Rev. I-". Gilbert 
of Falls City. This number was increa.sed at the evening session by the 
presence of Prof. I. D. Simmons and wife, of Salem; J. P. Pool and .\. J. 
Ely, of Pleasant Hill; a Mr. Moore, of Flowerdale, and Mrs. ^^"i!Iiam Wil- 
son, Mrs. Doctor Shaw, C. R. Banks and F. C. Grable of Falls Citv. 


With these thirty-three representative Sunday school workers from over 
the county an organization was effectetl with S. A. Fulton as chairman, and 
J. W. Maynard as secretary. .\ constitution was formulated and adopted, 
calling for an annual gathering of the organization on the second Wednesday 
of each October, with a full corps of officers, made up of a president and 
a vice-president from each precinct in the county ; a recording and a corre- 
sponding secretary, a treasurer, and an executive committee of five members. 
Provisions were made that this organization be affiliated, as an auxiliary, 
with the State Sunday School Association. 

It is unfortunate from the viewpoint of history that the early records 
of the Richardson County Sunday School Association have been lost, and 
very little of a definite character has been retained until within the past ten 

The absence of a definite program for work on the part of the slate 
organization as a working inspiration to the county organization did not 
bring out the best possible efforts in this county until within recent years. 
Much credit is due, however, to a few, untiring, faitiiful workers who kept 
the fire alive through these trying years, until the state force mapped out a 
co-operative course of work, which put a new purpose and energy into the 
county organization. The ^•ision and consecration of such persons as H. 
E. Boyd and J. O. Shroyer, of Humboldt; Samuel Lichty and Mrs. J. J. 
Cully, of Falls City, and Mrs. J. A. Tyner, of Salem, did much to tide ovei 
the critical periods in the association's life. 


At the October annual gathering held in the Stella Baptist church, 
in lyii, the crisis of the county organization seemed at hand. President 
J. O. Shroyer was leaving the state and no one seemed ready to take his place. 
As a final solution of the situation Rev. R. Cooper Bailv, then pastor of the 
Falls City Presbyterian church, now gone to his reward, consented to accept 
the presidency and Dr. 1".. U. :\Iathers, of Falls City, was chosen as secretary- 

The spirit of that gathering .seemed to breathe new life into the or- 
ganization. Early in November an executive council was called to meet in 
the Falls City library Iniilding. The county was di\ided into five districts 
an,d arrangements were made for a meeting in each for the purpose of perfect- 
ing a district organization. As a result of this constructive work, the as- 


sociation came to the 1912 convention in Verdon with a better showing 
along ail lines. This gathering was held in the Verdon Congregational 
church and was attended by about two hundred delegates. A spirit of progress 
and purpose was evident. Because of Reverend Bailey's intended removal 
from the state, the association again found itself without a president and 
Rev. S. deFreese, of Verdon, was chosen to fill the vacancy, while Dr. 
1'^. R. Mathers was re-elected as secretary-treasurer. The year's work con- 
sisted, largely, in visiting the various schools of the county and familiariz- 
ing them with the possibilities and helpfulness of the organization. As 
yet, however, no definite plan was placed before die individual scliools for 
a co-operative efifort along Sunday school lines. 

October. 1913, found the yearly meeting in session in the Congre- 
gational church of Salem, with an aggregated attendance of over four hun- 
dred in the three sessions. Doctor Mathers was selected as the new presi- 
dent and Dr. C. N. Allison, of Falls City, as secretary-treasurer. 


It was at this gathering where a new and lasting impetus was given to 
the county work upon the announcement of the state secretary, ^Margaret 
Ellen Brown, that a four years' program of definite work was being mapped 
out for all the schools in the state. This program contemplated an effort 
on the part of all the schools in Nebraska, to reach a certain standard of 
efficiency in four years. The schools were asked to make gains of one-fourtli 
for each of the four years on the following standard : 

An organized cradle roll ; an organized, recognized teen-age class ; an 
organized, recognized adult class; at least two classes using grade instruc- 
tion; a home department, organized; an organized teacher training class; 
a missionary- superintendent or a missionary committee : temperance sujier- 
intendent, or a temperance committee, and at least one won for Christ and 
for the church each year. Such a plan was to be used in all Sunday schools. 
To those best acquainted with conditions in the comity the .successful termi- 
nation of such a program seemed next to impossible, so indifferent were the 
schools to the idea of systematic organization. 

On Novemlier 28, following the Salem convention, at the invitation of 
the new president all but one of the county officers, department superin- 
tendents and district presidents met at his home for a conference on present 
conditions and to formulate plans for definite work during the year. A 
new vision appeared to all those attending this cnnference and a for\^■ar^I 


Step in the Richardson County Sunday School Association was apparent. 
At the state convention, in June, 19 14, recognition was to be given to 
the counties which might ht successful in reaching the first twenty-five per 
cent, goal, and Richardson was one of eight ready for such recognition. 
The spirit of this co-operative movement was being felt over the entire 
county and, when the 1914 convention was held in Falls City, on October 
28 and 29, an aggregate of one thousand six hundred persons was present 
for the five sessions, making the largest county convention ever held in 
Nebraska up to that date. All departments of the organization had been 
active and the fifty per cent, goal, scheduled for the June, 1915, state con- 
vention, had been reached eight months ahead of time — the first county in 
the state to make the second goal point. A ntJtable feature of this conven- 
tion was the presence of three-fourths of the ministers of the county, nearly 
all of the remaining fourth being out of the county at the time or detained 
by sickness. By a unanimous action an earnest invitation was given for 
the 1916 state convention to l)e held in Falls City. This invitatinn was 
subsequently accepted at the 19 15 state convention held in Broken Bow. 
Great enthusiasm was shown in the final effort to gain the 1916 con\en- 
tion by the seventeen representatives from the county, whi> traveled an aggre- 
gate of ten thousand miles to and from Broken Bow to present the formal 
invitation of the state. The Booster Club of Falls City delegated -\tty. 
Jean B. Cain as its representative and a special period was granted on 
one evening's program for the presentation and showing of Falls City views 
by means of the stereopticon. Richardson county went to this convention 
with the se\ent\-five per cent, goal gained one j'ear ahead of schedule. 

The 1 91 5 county convention was held in the Humboldt Christian churcli 
with an aggregate attendance of over one thousand two hundred. The old 
officers were re-elected and a spirit of aggressiveness \vas evident. .V strain 
of sadness marked a part of the convention in the memorial service held in 
memory of the home department superintendent, Mrs. J. J. Cully, who had 
jiassed away during the year. Fitting tribute was given to the splendid work 
done in her department. Miss Gertrude Lum, suijerintendent of the sec- 
ondary department, who was at tlie time in a hospital, was also remembered 
in a special way. 

Richardson county was becoming recognized over the entire state a-^ 
the leader in all Sunday school work and man\- calls were made upon its 
officers to visit other counties and instruct them in methods of org-ani/.ed 
efficiency-. Charts devised to help systematize and check up goal jxiints 
as gained, were adopted over the entire state, and many of our ])lans were 
eagerly sought and used. 



A ''reel letter" year was 1916. in the county's Sunday school history, 
because the one iiundred per cent, goal was reached twelve months ahead of 
schedule, and because it was our privilege to entertain for the first time a 
state Sunday school convention. Plans had been well worked out in ample 
time to assure a royal reception and a satisfactory entertainment to visiting 
delegates during the period of the convention, June 19-21. .\ fitting tribute 
was given to Falls City's reception in the "open letter" of the Nebraska 
Smuiay Scluwl Record, under the date of August, 1916, in part as follows; 
"We did have such a great meeting at Falls City: people were so enthusi- 
astic, everyone was good natured, Sunday school people always are ; the 
local committees did everything so splendidly, that everyone wants Falls City 
to have the state convention again just as soon as it would be polite to ask 
for it. * * * Falls City did more than the\- promised to do in money, in 
printing, for the pageant and everything. We just do not know how to 
thank them enough." 

Then in the same issue, under the heading, "Falls City Did Xot Fail,"' 
the following appeared : "We thought the Broken Bow people had reached 
the height of possibilities of extending a cordial welcome and showing hos- 
pitality to state convention delegates, but Falls City surpassed everything 
we have experienced in this line in a Nebraska state convention. They 
had dozens of automobiles labeled "guest car," and these were at the dis- 
posal of delegates all the time, apparently. They met all trains. l)rought 
all tlie delegates up to headquarters (not just the officers), took them to 
their homes, and took them to the station again when the convention was 
over. It was simply great. Then those boys who carried the grips, suitcases, 
bags and bundles; did you ever see a more willing bunch? I never did. 
The local florists, Simanton and Pence, sent two thousand carnations td 
head(|uarters to be given to delegates as they registered. The auditorium 
and churches were beautifully decorated. Falls City certainly made a repu- 
tation for Christian hospitality."' 

Though this was the largest convention of Sunday school workers ever 
held in Nebraska up to that time, b'alls City found no difficulty in providing 
entertainment for all. 


Stella entertained the county convention for this year on October 19- 
20. One of the interesting features of this gathering was the presentation 


of a I^eautiful new silk flag;, three l:)y five feet, to the Cottier Union sch^^f 1 
for having made the best record in point of increased attendance on "Come- 
to-.Sunday-School Day," October 8. A united effort was being made over 
the entire state to secure a record attendance on that date, and the Richard- 
son County Sunday School ,\ssociation had oft'ered a flag to the scIkjoI which, 
on that day, would have an attendance showing tlie greatest percentage of 
increase as compared with its own average attendance for the past year. 
The schools entered heartily into this effort with the result that Richardson 
county reported the second largest attendance in the state, the various schools 
having reported an aggregate of some six thousand five hundred for tliat 
day. Again credit was given to the work in this county by an editorial 
in the Nebraska Sunday School Record which stated that the "Come-to- 
Sunday-School" campaign in Richardson county was the best example of 
a well-outlined plan carried into successful execution ever witnessed in the 


At the Stella convention Doctor Mathers asked to be relieved of the 
duties of president, and Mr. M. E. Ruddy, of Humboldt, was unanimously 
chosen to head the county work. To his unusual \-ision and indomitable 
energy, the later growth of the county association is largely due, and there 
could have been no one in the county chosen who would have measured up 
to the standard of leadership outlined and carried into successful execution 
by Mr. Ruddy except himself. Because of the unusual efficiency of Dr. C. 
N. Allison, as secretary-treasurer, he was asked to remain in his present 
position and Mr. J. S. Johnson, of Shubert, was chosen as the vice-presi- 
dent. Superintendents of the various departments were selected as follow: 
Elementary, Nellie Cleaver, Falls City ; secondary, Mrs. W. F. Veach. Verdon ; 
adult. Gertrude Lum. Verdon; home, Mrs. J. E. Culbertson, Humboldt: 
teacher training, Rev. H. J. Hill. Humboldt; visitation, Dr. E. R. Mathers. 
Falls City; superintendents. Mrs. Luella Ciphers, Stella; missionary, Almeda 
Hill, Falls City; temperance, Mrs. Ellen G. Lichty, Falls City, and pastors. 
Rev. E. M. Teal. Shubert. 


At the Falls Cit\- state convention it had been ;uuu)unced that, since 
Richardson county had reached the one hundred per cent, standard of or- 
ganized efficienc\-. the challenge was thnnvn out for an effort to maintain that 



Standard for one year, or until the jubilee convention to be held in Omaha, 
June, 191 7, at which time the four years' campaign over the state was to 
close. The challenge was accepted by the Richardson county workers and 
the effort began in earnest. President Ruddy began early to organize the 
schools in the county not only to hold the standard, but to increase the effici- 
ency, and to send a large delegation to Omaha by an automobile caravan. 
The results justified the splendid work he did, for the standard was not 
only maintained but an average increase of twenty per cent, was shown in 
all departments. The automobile caravan, composed of some fifty cars and 
carrying two hundred and fifty people, made a sensation at the convention. 
As trophies Richardson county brought back from this convention, credit 
for having the largest cradle roll and home department in the state, a l)eau- 
tiful silk flag for the greatest number of miles traveled by delegates in 
going to and from the convention, another flag for the largest countv dele- 
gation in the state, and the honor of having one of its workers, Dr. E. R. 
Mathers, chosen as president of the State Association. 


This history would not be complete without the mention of other names 
which have had a telling influence in making the organized Sunday school 
work in Richardson county what it is at this time. To the efficient, faithful 
work of S. H. Knisely has Ijeen largely due the thorough organization of 
the adult department in the forty schools of the county. J. L. ^\^n Bergen, 
Oscar Leech, H. O. Layson, E. T. Peck, O. P. Veal, and Edward Daeschner, 
the district presidents, figured largely in the successful working out of the 
many plans of the county organization. Their hearty co-operation in all 
methods and advanced steps never came into (|uestion, and what the organi- 
zation came to be is largely due to the fact that they stood shoulder to 
shoulder with the county ofticers and department superintendents in ad\anc- 
ing the work. To the untiring efforts of Florence Cleaver, of Falls City, 
is Clue the credit Richardson county holds for the largest cradle roll and 
home department in the state. 

Richardson county's methods have lieen largely copied over the state 
and hold first place in point of efficiency and support of the state organiza- 
tion. What her future will be will depend upon the vision of service given 
to her leaders and the consecration of effort on the part of Sunday school 
friends to help to make this vision real. . 


At tlie meeting called for the first organizati<jn of the Richardson County 
Sunday School Association on November lo, 1875, the following delegates 
were appointed a committee to draft the constitution of the organizati(jn : 
Reverend Metcalf, H. B. Grable, William \\^righton. George B. Moore and 
E. Cooper. The following constitution was brought in l)y this commutec 
and adopted : 

.Vitklc 1. Name and Ob.)eot. 

Section 1. The Society shall be called the "Kichardsm County Sabbath School 
Association," and it shall be auxiliary to the Nebraska State Sabbath School Association. 

Sec. 2. The object of the society sliall be to promote the interest of the Sabl)ath 
school cause in the county. 

Any person may becoi 
the annual fee of ten cents, 

Article 2. Membershi 

Article 3. Officers 

Section 1. The officers of this association shall be a presidciil. and for each iireciiict 
in the county a vice-president, recording secretary, corresijondiui; .'secretary, treasurer, 
and an executive committee of live, of which the president and corresponding secretary, 
shall be ex-offlcio members. 

Sec. 2. It shall be the duty of the president to preside at all meetings of the siH-icly 
and have general oversight of the Sabbath school interest of the county. 

Sec. 3. The vice-presidents shall have general supervision of the work in their 
respective pi-ecincts and shall make reports of the condition of the Saljbath schools in 
their fields at the annual meeting. 

Sec. 4. The recording secretary shall keep a true ri^ord of the proceedings of eacli 
meeting of the six-iety and co-operate with the other officers in all Sunday school work. 

See. 5. The corresiwuding secretary shall hold all needful correspondence for the 
society, collect statistics from the several schools iu the county for the state society, 
keep a list of the Sabbath schools of the county, with the name and address of each 
suiierintendent of each school, and make a report at each amnial meeting. 

Sec. 6. The teeasurer shall receive and hold all moneys for the society sub.iect 
illscretion of the couiuiittee. i)ay out the s;ime on their order, and make a report at each 
annual meeting. 

Sec. 7. This society shall meet annually on the second Wednesday in October, at 
seven o'clock P. M.. and continue in session during Thursday at such place as may be 
agreed upon l)y the society at their annual session. 

Sec. 8. The president may. at any time U]ion the writlcn iictiliou of three or more 
vice-presidents, call an extra se.ssion of the society to meet at ibe place designated in said 
petition, whenever the interest of the society requires it. 

Sec. 9. The executive <-ommittee shall arrange the pro;:i.uii for ea<h meelini:. .-md 
shall constitute tlie business connnittee of the association. 


Sec. 10. Tbe officers of the as.socialiou sli.-iU be elected .luiuially iu such manner as 
the convention may decide, except in the case of the corresiwudiug secretary, who shall 
lie a permanent officer of the society, and shall be chosen whenever a vacancy may occur, 
or whenever the society slinll decide by a special vote to hold such election. 

Sec. 11. This constitution may be amended ,it any annual meednir of tlie society 
liy a two-thirds vote of the members present. 

Respectfully sulmiittcd by .vour committee: 

W. Metcalf. 
H. B. Gbablk. 
G. W. MooRE. 
Wm. Wbighton, 
E. Cooper. 

The constitution wns adopted and the city of Humboldt agreed upon 
as a place for the lioldino- of the next annual ineetingf of the society. 


Newspapers of Richardson County. 

The first newspaper to make its appearance in Richardson count)- was 
pubHshed at Rulo and bore swinging at its masthead as a name. The Ruio 
Western Guide. The country was new and the few pioneers residing here 
felt that the country was suffering from lack of proper advertising. This 
state of mind on the part of the public, together with the other business 
and iinancial interests of its promoters, led them to establish the paper. 
Those immediately responsible and who fathered the venture were a com- 
])any of men associated together as the Rulo Town and Ferry Company, 
the founders and promoters of Rulo. Abel Downing Kirk and F. Al. Bar- 
rett, the former a lawyer and the latter a practical newspaper man. were 
in charge as editor and publishers, respectively. At the end of the iirst 
>-ear Barrett retired and his place was taken by Charles A. Hergescheimer. 
also a practical newspaper man. who had from the first been an employee 
in the shop and who for many years was directly interested in tlie newspaper 
liusiness in this county. 

The first issue of the Western Guide was dated in 1858 and under 
tlie management above referred to it continued to serve the people of Rulo 
and the county generally until the beginning of the Civil \\'ar, when changed 
conditions brought about by the general depression in the county at that 
time did not warrant the expense incident to its publication, hence it was 
suspended for a time. 

Toward the close of tiie war the paper reappeared. l)ut under a new 
n.inie; this time as the Xebrasica Register. Under this title it continued 
until 1869, when H. A. Buell became the owner. He continued tiie Imsi- 
ness but a little while and then sold it to Dr. Samuel Brooks, who after 
nperating it for some time and becoming dissatisfied with business condi- 
tions as thev were at the time at Rulo removed his residence and the busi- 
ness to Salem, which he thought a more likely place. Here the Register 
was published for but a short time and then was landed in the newspaper 

Abel D. Kirk, tlie first editor of the first newspaper published in Rich- 


ardson county, arrived in the county in 1855 and located at the old county 
seat, Archer, where he erected the first store building in the village and 
engaged in the mercantile business. In the fall of 1855 he was nominated 
and elected, on the Democratic ticket, to represent the people of his district 
in this county in the second session of the Nebraska Territorial Legislature, 
which then convened at Omaha. He was the leading candidate of the South 
Platte for the position of speaker of the council, or House of Representa- 
tives as it is now known, and but for his refusal to n'lake certain pledges 
he undoubtedly would have been elected. As a member of the various 
committees he rendered efficient service on behalf of his constituents at 
home. At the second session of the Nebraska Territorial Legislature, several 
state banks were established, and he was constituted a special committee 
on banks, having their organization in charge. 

In 1857 Mr. Kirk located at Rulo and served as postmaster of that 
place for a time. While residing there he was appointed aid-de-camp with 
the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel on Gen. John M. Thayer's staff, in the Ne- 
braska State Militia. He also represented the people of the community be- 
fore the war department at Washington, whither he was sent in order to 
make an effort to effect a settlement with the Indians and half-breeds of 
the east end of the county, during the differences incident to the misunder- 
standing over the half breed line, wherein there were Indian lands that 
had been settled on by the whites. In 1862 Mr. Kirk removed to St. Joseph, 
Missouri, where for many years he was actively identified with the practice 
of law. He retired from active business in 1898, when he removed to Long 
Beach, California, at which point he died on October 6, 191 5. He was a 
man of wide travel and had visited almost every portion of the United 
States, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the lakes to the gulf. 
A close observer, he gained a broad knowledge of men and things, and 
was well informed upon all general questions of importance as well as 
on matters of local interest. 

Born in Bracken county, Kentucky, March 21,, 1826, Abel D. Kirk 
was only two years of age when he accompanied his parents to Mason 
county in the same state, where he grew to man's estate. He was descendetl 
from men of valor and patriotism. His paternal grandfather, Thomas 
Kirk, a native of Maryland, served with distinguished bravery in the War 
of 1812, while the great-grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier. Grand- 
father Kirk removed in an early day to Kentucky, where he engaged in 
farming until his death. Thomas Kirk, Jr., the father of Abel D., was 
born near Hagerstuwn, Maryland, antl accompanied his parents to the Blue 


(irass state, where he early liecanie ac(]uainted with agriculture. For many 
years he operated as a drover, and it was his custom to drive liogs over 
the mountains to Richmond. \'irginia. also to trade with the Indian tribes 
of Mississippi and Alabama. These journeys occupied the winter months, 
while during the summer he cultivated his farm. His death occurred in 
February, 1854. The maternal grandfatlier of Aljel D. Kirk, Joseph Down- 
ing, was born in Maryland, a descendant of English and Welsh ancestors, 
and was a pioneer of Mason county, Kentucky. His daughter, Rebecca, 
the mother of Abel D., was born in Mason county, where the greater part 
of her useful life was passed. When advanced in years, she moved to 
Falls City, Nebraska, where she passed from earth at the age of eighty- 
one. Her marriage had been ])lessed by the birth of twelve children, ten 
of whom grew to maturity. 

At the age of twenty Abel D. Kirk began to teach school, receiving 
five cents a day for each pupil, and continued thus employed for nine 
months. He then located in Maysville, in Mason county, Kentucky, where 
for one year he was employed as a clerk in a clothing establishment, and 
later commenced the study of law under Judge R. H. Stanton and Theo 
Campbell. In 1850 he embarked in the general mercantile business and 
conducted a store there until 1854,. when he removed by boat to Weston, 
Missouri. One year later he came over into the then Territory of Nebraska 
and settled in Archer, where he erected the first store building in the village 
and engaged in merchandising. While the war was raging between the North 
and South, Mr. Kirk removed to St. Joseph, in 1862, and for two years 
made his home on a farm in old Sparta. Upon that place his wife died, 
in 1863, and within tlie following year he moved to St. Joseph to establish 
his home permanently. For a few months he served as clerk in tlie office 
of the county clerk and also conducted a legal practice in the probate court. 
Subsequently he was associated with Judge Tutt for a time, then he opened 
an office for the practice of his profession, which he afterward conducted 

In Tazewell county. Illinois. Mr. Kirk married Mary A. Hammett, 
who was born in Illinois and died in Nebraska. The second marriage of 
Mr. Kirk uniteld him with Helen Donovan, who was born in Brackett 
county, Kentucky, and was reared in Sparta, Missouri. She died, in 1863. 
leaving one child. Lulu M., who passed from earth when eleven years old. 
The third wife of Mr. Kirk was Elizalieth A. Beattie, who was born in 
Saline county, Missouri. She and Mr. Kirk were married in Andrew county. 
Missouri, in 1865, and their union was blessed by the birth of two children. 


William B., of Glendale, California, and Angeline R., wife of George E. 
Mclninch, a prominent citizen of St. Joseph, Missouri. In his religious 
belief, Mr. Kirk was identified with the Christian church, and was a worthy 
and devoted member of the same. 


The Broad was the title first swung to the breeze by a Falls City 
newspaper. This paper made its initial appearance in 1858. It was owned 
by J. Edward Burbank and the editorial management was in the hands of 
Sewel Jamison. Before coming to Nebraska Burbank and Jamison were 
the owners of a paper bearing a similar name published in the state of 
Indiana. As was customary in those days, and a practice still indulged 
in to a great extent by the publishers of country newspapers, the Broad 
.Isc bore a "'motto" under the masthead calculated to convey in brief at 
once to the reader in a forcible way that the paper had an urgent purpose 
in the world. In the case of the Broad the following served the pur- 
pose : "Hew to the mark, let the chips fall where they will." "There is 
a destiny which shapes our ends, rough hew them as we will." The paper 
was independent in order and was evidently a town boomer, because it 
soon fell into the hands of Judge Jonathan J. Marvin, who for some reason 
changed the name to the Southern Nebras,kan, and moved the paper at 
once to the town of Arago, on the banks of the Missouri river, to be used 
in the interests of the Arago Town Company, which was anxious to induce 
Eastern people to locate there. At this place it was published for a time 
in both English and German. The latter for the benefit of the major part 
of the Arago people, who were Germans from Buffalo, New York, and 
who were being colonized in the new country. 

While newspapers were much desired in those days, the publishers did 
not find them money-makers, as was evidenced by the fact tliat this paper 
passed rapidly through various hands; among those getting "experience" 
in this line at that time being: C. L. Mather, G. A. Hill, E. L. Martin, 
Metz & Sanderson and H. A. Buel. The English type and equipment at last 
passed into the hands of F. Barrett, who moved the plant to Falls City and 
for a time published the Times. Later the Times was sold to Scott & 
Webster, who merged it with the Little Globe, then being published by Ed. 
W. Howe, who later liecame known the country over as the editor of the 
Atchison (Kansas) Globe. 

The Nemaha TaJley .foiinial first made its appearance as a newspaper 


at Nemaha Cit}- ( Xemaha county), where it was pubHshed in 1857. It was 
later moved to Brownville, in that same county, where it was pubHshed 
for a short time, in 1867-68, by Blacklnun & Hill. At that time W. S. 
Stretch became interested in it financially and it was removed to Falls City, 
where it has Ijeen published continuously ever since. While the name has 
changed some, yet the title Jonnuil has ever been retained, and the jiajjcr 
is now known as the Falls City Journal. Gen. E. E. Cunningham, who 
became interested with Stretch in the paper in 1869, was at that time ([uite 
prominent as a politician in the state. This management lasted a year or 
so, at the end of which time the paper was sold to the firm of Weaver & 
Fulton. The Journal has always been a Republican organ and Judge Weaver, 
who at that time had his eye on Congress, recognized the value of a pa])er 
that would support him. 

It was at this time that Frank Barrett recognized die necessity of an 
opposition paper and accordingly bought the English part of the paper at 
.\rago and brought it to Falls City and published it as the Times. He did 
not long remain in charge, but sold the business he had established to Judge 
A. R. Scott, Rev. George T. Webster and James Fuson. Judge Scott re- 
mained with the firm but a little while, presently selling his holdings to W. T. 
Chadwick. The paper did not last long under this management and e\i- 
dently suspended. 

It was at this juncture that \'a\. W. Howe, who iiad been in the news- 
paper business at Golden, Colorado, started the fJttlc Globe here. Mr. Howe 
thought so much of the name Globe that he always retained it. later using it 
as the name of his paper at Atchison. Prior to 1875 for a time the fJttlr 
Globe ceased to be and at that time the Journal went into the hands of .\. L. 
Rich and D. W. Hanlin. but in 1875 ^^r. Howe revived the Little Globe and 
during that year also secured the Nemaha J 'alley Journal and consolidated 
the names of the two publications, calling the new pajier the Globe-Journal. 
He did not long keep the Journal, however, Init sold it to Jacol) Bailey. 
Under this latter arrangement the papers were entirely in the hands of the 

This condition was met In- Wes Spurlock, a leading merchant of Salem, 
and Judge Francis Martin, under whose management the Falls City Pres.^ 
was launched in February. .1875. The mercantile business had charms for 
Mr. Spurlock, who is at this present time engaged in the same at Salem, 
although he was a practical printer. Judge Martin knew his forte was the 
law business and the paper occupied so much of his time that on July i, 1875, 
Henrv Clay Davis, the present publisher of the Falls City Xezcs. and George 


I'. Marvin, who was the publisher of the Weekly Democrat at Beatrice and 
the Democratic postmaster at that point, purchased the paper and after pulj- 
lishing the same for about eighteen months sold out to Stephen B. Miles, Sr. 
Local politics at that time was at (juite a red heat and Colonel Miles secured 
the services of Hon. J. F. Gardner, quite a politician at that time, as the 
editor and the paper was so conducted for a period of about six months. 
Mr. Gardner was succeeded on The Press by H. C. Davis and Ed. Ford. 
The latter remained for a time and then went to St. Joseph, Missouri. 

In May. 1877, Ruel Nims, later county clerk, established the Richardson 
County Record and managed it until the end of the campaign that year, 
which resulted in the election of John W. Holt as county treasurer and W. 
H. Hay as county clerk. Mr. Nims conducted the l)anking business in I'^alls 
City for a number of years and then went to the I'acific coast, where he 
became interested in land speculations and built a town which was called 
Cosmopolis. located on the south side of Grays Harbor, west, on the coast, 
from Olympia, Washington. It was during the time that Mr. Nims was 
publishing the Record that Ed. Howe again started up the Little Globe. 
and one of the interesting features about the matter was that the Little Globe 
as well as the Record were issued at the Press office, which at that time was 
conducted by H. Clay Davis and Ed. Ford. The increasing interest in the 
campaign aroused Nims's suspicions of the publishing office, as it was pretty 
thick there with three papers, and he equipped an office, for the Record. 
After the campaign the Record was published by Col. \V. S. Stretch, who 
published it until the following May, when he suspended its publication. At 
the suspension of the Record, Colonel Stretch surjirised some of the people 
by refunding unexpired subscription and compelling man}- delinquent sub- 
scribers to pay up by the aid of the justice courts. 

After Davis & Ford had published the Press about a year they retired 
from the office and A. J. Reed assumed charge of it. Mr. Ford went with 
Mr. Howe, who moved the Little Globe down to Atchison, Kansas, where 
they commenced the publication of the Atchison Globe, which paper is still 
published at Atchison. Soon after the Press went under the management 
of Mr. Reed, some disagreement arose l^etween him and Col. Stephen B. 
Miles, who owned the material in the office. Reed having been brought to 
the city from Washington. D. C. I)y Mr. Miles, and Mr. Reed purchased 
a new outfit, organized a stock company, abruptly stopped the Press and 
commenced the publication of the Mezi's. in the spring of 1880. The Press 
was ne\er revived. In the fall of 1880 A. J. Reed died and the Xeics was 
managed for a short time by Polder T. W. Pinkerton of the Christian church. 


liut in January, 1881. the Xcics office was purcliased liy Henry Clay Davis, 
the present publisher, who has continued uninterruptedly from that day to 
the present time. 

I.on M. May and H. C. Davis effected a partnership and took control 
of the Journal, hut the partnership did not last long'. Mr. ;\lay being left 
in charge by the retirement of Mr. Davis, who started a jo1)-printing office. 
In the fall of 1881 T. \V. Peppoon, of Pawnee City, purchased a half 
interest in the Journal and assumed editorial charge of that paper, Mr. May 
attending to the business management. Presently May sold his remaining 
interest to Peppoon and entered the postal service, in which he continued 
until his death in 1890. In 1882 Mr. Peppoon took his son Percy into 
partnership, which was continued throughout the year 1883, when the son, 
Percv Peppoon, retired. The elder Peppoon controlled the management of 
the paper throughout 1884 and 1885 and then formed a partnership with 
L"\ rus Thurman, which lasted about a year, at the end of which time the\- 
sold the paper to W. W. Abbey, who controlled the ownership from 1887 
to 1890. During the year 1890 John J. Faulkner, a son-in-law of W. W. 
Abbey, appeared as editor. From 1891 to 1894 F. O. Fdgecoml>e was the 
owner and editor. It was while publishing the Journal that Mr. Edge- 
combe lost the sight of his eyes in a hunting accident in northern Nebraska. 
Possibly he was discouraged at the time by this accident, for he sold the 
paper to Norman Musselman, who published it during 1895. Musselman 
found newspaper life too strenuous and, in 1896, sold out to Judge Francis 
Martin, A. J. Weaver and 1"". E. Martin. The free-silver wave came along 
and carried Weaver away as a follower of Bryan and he sold his interests 
to his partners. Martin & Martin continued in possession from 1897 to 
1 899, in which latter year they sold the paper to Allan D. May, Grant 
Southard and George W. Marsh, who published it from 1900 to 1903. In 
1902 George W. Marsh, who had been acting editor, was unexpectedly car- 
ried into office bv a Republican landslide that year and moved to Lincoln 
to enter upon his official duties as secretary of state. " After a time this 
lirought about another change in the management of the Journal. John 
Martin and his brother, Frank E. Martin, regained possession of the paper 
in 1904 and continued until 1907, building up in the meantime a large job- 
printing business, largely the publication of catalogues, which business arose 
mostly outside of the county, and to better take care of this job business 
thev desired to move to some nearby city, where help was more readily 
obtainable. Council Bluffs. Iowa, was selected and the Journal was put on 
the market. It was a slow sale the judicial fight of 1903. in which 


the Martins had used tlie Journal as a weajx)!! to tight C. Frank Reavis, the 
Repubhcan candidate for district judge, had taken away much of the paper's 
patronage, which had gone very largely to, an opposition Republican paper, 
the Iribnnc. whicli had by this time become a formidable competitor. Many 
of the partisan subscribers also had gone. Finally, in 1907, L. J. Harris, 
of Omaha, became the owner of the Joiinuil and lie changed the paper 
to a daily. He succeeded in increasing the subscription list, but was em- 
barrassed by lack of financial support and, in March, 1909, Martin & Martin 
took possession of the plant under a chattel mortgage. They sold it on 
May 3, 1909, at which time it passed into the hands of A. R. Keim and 
Miss Jennie Keim, the present owners and under whose management the 
publication has been made one of the strongest country dailies in this part 
of tlie state. 

In the fall of 1881 G. W. Holton, believing that a third paper was a 
necessity at Falls City, moved the Register up from Rulo, but after a short 
time sold it out to a company which continued it as the Obscn'er, under the 
editorial management of Dr. Stephen Bowers. The third paper did not suc- 
ceed as Doctor Bowers thought it should, and after a short time he went 
to Buena Vista, California, where he conducted a daily paper with success. 
The Observer fell into the hands of John Saxton. an attorney, who con- 
tinued the publication of the same under many difficulties and it was finall}' 
moved "by him back to Rulo. 

It was on the 24th of May, 1885, that Colonel Stretcli started the 
Daily Argus, a five-column folio, which he conducted until the time of his 
death, July 20. 1885. 

The Argils was purchased b}' Davis, who conducted it for some time 
The Journal also published a daily during the summer and fall of that year, 
but the patronage was not sufficient and liotli were discontinued at tlie ap- 
proach of cold weather. 

Coming into the possession of the material on which John Saxton had 
been running the now defunct Observer, George Gird, of Humboldt, and 
J. I.. Dalbey started a seven-column folio paper, independent in politics, 
called the Richardson County Leader. This paper had a good patronage 
and increased in circulation rapidly, but at the end of three months J. L. 
Dalbey withdrew from the firm and soon after purchasing the Stella Tribune 
moved to that town. Soon after the retirement of Mr. Dalbey, Mr. Gird 
consolidated the Leader with the Humboldt Sentinel, removed tlie latter 
plant to Falls Cit\- and published the paper under the name of the Leader- 


Sentinel; but by bad management the paper lost favor in the community, 
and after a career of a few months went to "join the great majority." 

\\"\t\\ the advent of the Popuhst party, Jule Schoenheit. recognizing 
the need uf a party organ, on February 13, i8qi. started the Xchraska 
Plcbian, which he pubHshed for one year, at the end of which time he 
sold it to Watson & Kellog, who soon allowed it to go to the newsiiaper 
heaven. \Mth the belief that a non-partisan paper would meet with encour- 
agement, Joseph Mason started up the Falls City Bazoo with the material of 
the defunct Plcbian, November 10, 1892. but after publishing the peeper 
for only a few months he suspended and paid back t<i the subscribers all 
unexpired and paid-up subscriptions. 

The Falls City Tribune, which figuretl in recent \ears as one of the most 
influential papers in Richardson county, was founded by T. T. and Ora 
Ross, who had for many years Ijeen employed on \arious papers of the cit}- 
and county. It made its first appearance in 1904 as a third paper in I~alls 
City, there being at that time the Falls City Joiinial and the Falls City \e-aw. 
the one a Republican and the other a Democratic organ. Its advent in the 
newspaper field fell at a time just prior to a ixilitical upheaval in the county 
and it was eagerly seized by a faction of the Republican party, who l)ought 
it and used it with intent to further their individual interests politically. It 
passed into the hands of what was known as the' Tribune Publishing Com- 
pany, and this company was soon able to induce E. F. Sharts, at Humboldt, 
to bring his Ihiinholdt Fnter/^risc to brails City and consolidate tiie same 
with the Tribune and assume the management of tiie plant. This he did 
and the Tribune at once became one'of the most widely read and important 
papers of the county. As soon, liowever, as it