(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Nebraska history"

HISTORY 

PIONEER DAYS 




January-March, 1921 



Number 1 



CONTENTS 




Editorial Notes 


1-3 


History of Louisiana 


4-7 


The Old Settlers' View 


8 


The Lillie Com Husker 

Historical Society Library 

Historical Society Museum _ 


—9-11 

12 

13-14 


First Hat Factory in Nebraska 

Wyuka Cemetery— Origin of the Name 

James Murie and the Skidi Pawnee 


14 

15 

16 


PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY THE NEBRASKA 
HISTORICAL SOCIETY 


STATE 


LINCOLN 




Application made at Lincoln, Nebraska for admission to 
second class matter— under act of July 16, 1804. 


mall as 


GENEALOGY DEFT. 




OCT 20 m 





AHmCooityftiMeLihwy 



* ***** WW* k**** 



THE NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Founded September 25, 1878 

The Nebraska State Historical Society was founded Sep- 
tember 25, 1878, at a public meeting held in the Commercial 
Hotel at Lincoln. About thirty well known citizens of the 
State were present. Robert W. Furnas was chosen president 
and Professor Samuel Aughey, secretary. Previous to this 
date, on August 26, 1867, the State Historical and Library 
Association was incorporated in order to receive from the 
State the gift of the block of ground, now known as Haymarket 
Square. This original Historical Association held no meet- 
ings. It was superseded by the present State Historical 
Society. 

Present Governing Board 

Executive Board — Officers and Elected Members 

President, Robert Harvey, Lincoln 

1st V- President, Hamilton B. Lowry, Lincoln 

2nd V-President, Nathan P. Dodge Jr., Omaha 

Secretary, Addison E. Sheldon, Lincoln 

Treasurer, Philip L. Hall, Lincoln 

Rev. Michael A. Shine, Plattsmouth 

Don L. Love, Lincoln 

Samuel C. Bassett, Gibbon 

John F. Cordeal, McCook 

Novia Z. Snell, Lincoln 

William E. Hardy, Lincoln 

Ex Officio Members 

Samuel R. McKelvie, Governor of Nebraska 

Samuel Avery, Chancellor of University of Nebraska 

Geor,ge C. Snow, Chadron, President of Nebraska Press Association 

Howard W. Caldwell, Professor of American History, University 

of Nebraska 
Andrew M. Morrissey, Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Nebraska 
Clarence A. Davis, Attorney General of Nebraska 



NEBRASKA fi^ HISTORY 



PIONEER DAYS 



Published Quarterly by the Nebraska State Historical Society 
Addison E. Sheldon, Editor 
Subscription, $2.00 per year 



Vol. IV January-March, 1921 Number 1 

Lend this issue to your friend. After he has read it ask 
him how he likes it. Then secure his membership in the Ne- 
braska State Historical Society. 



Volume XX of our bound and illustrated reports is in the 
hands of the printer. The page proof has been read. Editor 
Albert Watkins is completing the index. It is an important 
and interesting volume — filled with fascinating "stories" of 
Nebraska which you have never seen in print. 



A sample recent day's mail to the Historical Society 
brought letters asking historical information from points as 
far away as New York City, Akron, Ohio, Tacoma, Denver and 
Beaumont, Texas, while letters from Nebraska came from 
points as separate as Omaha, Benkleman, Pawnee City and 
Alliance. 



The Nebraska State Historical Society issues three dis- 
tinct types of publications. First, the bound volumes of state 
reports, begun in 1885 ; Second, special pamphlets and volumes 
on single topics; Third, the quarterly magazine. All three 
publications will continue. All current publications are sent 
to sustaining members. 



2 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

With this number the Historical Society begins the pub- 
lication of its quarterly in regular magazine form. This form 
has long been planned for its permanent publication. It is 
believed the plan will now succeed. The magazine will be 
larger — and better — as the months go by. There is interest 
in its subject. There is demand for its information. There 
is needed only the financial means to pay for expert office help, 
printing and illustrations. 



"Saunders County in the World War" is a handsome bound 
volume of 200 pages which reflects great credit on the Wahoo 
Democrat, publisher, and W. W. Chreiman, compiler. It has 
hundreds of pictures of scenes and persons showing how 
Saunders county sustained her part in the great conflict — at 
home and abroad. The story is well told. Volumes such as 
these will be cherished and studied through the centuries to 
come. Each county in Nebraska needs such a book. 



L. T. Brodstone of Superior is a genius. No one can read 
a letter he writes, but he prints the most wonderful, successful, 
magazine in Nebraska — the Philatelic W T est. It is the organ 
of collectors and hobby riders. It circulates all over the 
world. Its advertising columns are a gold mine. It tells 
all about the rare coins, stamps, weapons, implements, relics. 
It is a great popular lecturer on human history for no one can 
be a "bug" collector without becoming a student of history. 
From the latest issue we glean that one can now buy World 
War shrapnel for $4 each ; German helmets, $3.00, French and 
German shell cases, 85 cents, German gas mask $2.50 and war 
currency at any price you please. 



From Dale P. Stough, of Grand Island, the Society ac- 
knowledges the gift of two volumes of the History of Hamilton 
and Clay counties and two volumes of the History of Dodge 
and Washington counties. Mr. Stough is editor of the Clay 
and Hamilton volumes and has done a good piece of work con- 
densing a narrative of important points in State history. 
There is need of a good county history for each county in 
Nebraska. The work ought to be done by someone familiar 
with the story, knowing the people, having training and love 
For the work and not chiefly concerned in getting paid bio- 
graphies and illustrations. 



EDITORIAL NOTES 3 

John A. Rea, Tacoma, is now president of the board of 
regents of Washington State University. Fifty years ago he 
was a newspaper reporter in Lincoln and Omaha. His recol- 
lections of that period are original and vivid, and he is now 
engaged in making a picturesque story of them. During the 
past few weeks he has kept the Nebraska State Historical 
Society busy supplying his demand for original documents. 



From Victor Rosewater, Omaha, comes a pamphlet, "A 
Curious Chapter in Constitution Changing" — reprint of an 
article by him in the Political Science Quarterly. It is a brief 
review of the efforts to make the Nebraska Constitution of 
1875 amendable. Especially condemned is the device enacted 
in 1901 for counting straight party ballots for such amend- 
ments. Mr. Rosewater points out that by inadvertence the 
constitutional convention of 1920 left the open use of the circle 
ballot on propositions for calling new constitutional conven- 
tions. He might add that another inadvertence left in our 
constitution the 1875 provision for preference vote on candi- 
dates for U. S. Senate — now nullified by adoption of the six- 
teenth amendment to the federal constitution. 



The 35th annual report of the Bureau of American 
Ethnology (Part 1) has just reached the Historical Society 
library. It contains most interesting material on the custom 
and folk lore of the Kwakiutl Indians who inhabit British 
Columbia. Their culture is kindred to that of tribes in the 
Puget Sound region. A most fascinating part of the book is 
the detailed account of how these people solved the problems 
of food and shelter, including recipes for preparing many 
dishes which ought to be good reading for teachers of domestic 
science. 



The American Commission Report on Conditions in Ire- 
land comes as a gift of the commission. This is the com- 
mittee of one hundred appointed by the New York Nation. 
Senator Norris of this State is a member. The investigation 
was held in America; witnesses came from Ireland. The 
British government declined to have part in its work. As the 
report says the viewpoint of Ulster unionists and British of- 
ficials in Ireland is not represented. The report is therefore 
one-sided. It is bad enough at any rate as a disclosure of 
conditions on the island. 



NEBRASKA HISTORY 



HISTOIRE 


i> E LA 


ILOUIStANE, 


Wk Contcr.int la Decouvcrte dc ce vafle Pays; HB 


1 Mocurs , CoCitumes 6c Religion des Nam- ' B 




r dans ie Nord du nouveau Mexique, dont 
i un jtifqu'a la Mer du Sud ; ornec de deux 

Carres & de'40 Planches en Taillc douce. 




TOME PREMJERF^^ "\ j 




4- ^sy I 




A PARIS, 




: ro« Bom, MM, forfe Q ua | «, A^rtttfj 




\.Um%Ki, .rue de h Commie- Pr.n^oije. 9 




■ M,ocCiLvni^ -: _ : 1 








8 i55"io - 1 



of Nebraska State Historical Society 
Histoire de la Louisiar 



copy of Le Page du Pratz 



OLD BOOKS OF WESTERN HISTORY 

In the library of the Nebraska State Historical Society are 
many quaint and curious old volumes of western history. Some 
of these are in Spanish, some in German, some in American 
Indian tongues, many in French, the bulk in English. Special 
students and research scholars delve in these volumes. From 
such books are gleaned the material for plays, poems, novels, 
sketches, histories. The great general public knows these 
writings only in the form given them by present day writers. 
Hundreds of themes and stories in this early literature are yet 
untouched by modern interpretation. Some of them are not 
found in English translation. 






OLD BOOKS OF WESTERN HISTORY 5 

The editor of this magazine plans a series of articles with 
the purpose of making this literature more generally known 
and enjoyed. Further — to encourage study of the volumes 
and the production of an inspiring popular literature from 
these sources. 

The first work presented is one printed at Paris in 1758 — 
History of Louisiana by LePage du Pratz, in three volumes. 
It is the original French edition. Translations have been made 
into English. The original French carries an "atmosphere" 
which the translations lack. Bound in solid leather, with two 
maps, forty wood cuts and the quaint-faced type used at Paris 
two hundred years ago, these volumes are just the handy size 
to slip into a coat pocket, and the wide outer margins are a 
challenge for making copious notes. 

The work is a description as well as a history of Louisiana 
— which then included the Nebraska region. The motive of 
the author and the time of its publication summon instantly 
before the mind scenes in the great world drama still on the 
stage — the struggle for world domination and control by the 
English speaking people. 

In 1758 the war between England and France for the 
possession of North America was in its fourth year. The 
tide of success which ran in favor of France for the first three 
years had turned. Popular opinion in France depreciated the 
vast resources of the great province of the Mississippi basin. 
The first purpose of M. du Pratz was to correct false impres- 
sions and to give the intelligent French public a true view of 
the great fertile valley of the New World. 

In his preface the author says he lived sixteen years in 
Louisiana, that he made long voyages into its interior, that he 
interviewed many French and Indians who knew points he had 
not seen, that he had made a study of its plants and animals 
and a collection of three hundred medicinal plants from the 
region and that he would give a truthful account of the riches 
of this vast region. All of this for the glory of France and 
the King. 

A learned French author, M. des Lands, about that period 
had written in a history of phibsophy that Louisiana was a 
sterile land with subterranean lakes inhabited by poisonous 
fish. M. du Pratz warmly rejoins that forty years' residence 
of French colonists proved that in fertility and climate Louis- 



6 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

iana excelled the most favored parts of Europe and that no 
one there ever heard of the poisonous fish. 

The chapters on agriculture in this work are among- the 
best early descriptions of this region. The author's vision 
sees the products of the land enter into world commerce, bring- 
ing wealth and happiness to those who cultivate the land and 
new satisfactions to consumers in Europe and elsewhere. 

He describes the bread grains grown in this region thus : 

Maiz, which in France is called Turkey-corn, is the natural product 
of this country. The kinds are flour corn, homony corn (white, yellow, 
red and blue) and small corn, called so because of its size. Maiz grows 
on a stalk six to eight feet high and each stalk bears sometimes six or 
seven ears. 

Wheat, rye, barley and oats grow extremely well in Louisiana. 
Wheat, when sown by itself, grows wonderfully, but when in flower a 
great number of drops of red water may be observed on the stalk about 
six inches from the ground which collect there during the night and dis- 
appear at sunrise. This water is of such an acid nature that in a short 
time it consumes the stalk and the ear falls before the grain is formed. 
To prevent this, which is due to the richness of the soil, the method I 
have used is to mix some rye and dry mould with the seed wheat in such 
proportion that the mould shall be equal to the rye and wheat together. 
Is this the first description of wheat rust in the Mississippi 
valley ? 




Illustration from Le Page du Pratz Rowing Indians of Northern Louisiana 
(Nebraska region) going on their winder hunt. Note absence of horses- 
dogs used for conveyance. 

Full of interest to the scientist as well as historian are the 
pictures of trees, plants and animals of Louisiana from draw- 



MORMONS IN NEBRASKA 7 

ings by M. du Pratz. In this article there is space only for a 
few sentences on the Nebraska-Kansas region. He writes : 

The Cansez is the largest known river flowing into the Missouri. 
It flows for two hundred leagues through the most beautiful land. The 
Missouri brings down cloudy water for it flows through a land rich and 
fat where there are no stones. 

M. du Pratz' map of Louisiana is fairly accurate as far as 
the present site of Kansas City. Beyond that he roughly in- 
dicates the "Pays des Panis" or Pawnee Country, with the Mis- 
souri river turning westward as though the Platte or Niobrara 
were its main stream. He says "It will be ages before we ex- 
plore the northern part of Louisiana." 

This brief review can scarcely convey the charm of these 
volumes. No history of agriculture in the Mississippi valley 
can ever be complete without careful study of them. They 
give detailed directions for the planting and cultivation of all 
kinds of crops grown here. How little could the author guess 
that the very region he so fondly describes trying to awaken 
France to realize its riches would within two centuries feed 
the French and English nations fighting side by side against 
the invader from beyond the Rhine. 



Mormons and the Mormon church have had important part 
in Nebraska history. The Mormon camps on our border, the 
picturesque trains of Mormons crossing our plains, the Mor- 
mon settlers who scattered in various unnoticed nooks of Ne- 
braska in the great migration period — all have an interest 
quite out of proportion to their total number. Only a few 
Nebraskans know that there are twenty Mormon churches with 
1,973 members in our state. These are the Reorganized 
Church, which repudiates Brigham Young, but adheres to 
Joseph Smith and his descendants. This branch publishes a 
Journal of History at Independence, Missouri, which is just 
now printing the record of the separation of the Reorganizers 
from the Salt Lake branch and a very interesting story of 
human affairs it makes. Very few people have read the Book 
of Mormon. It cannot be called easy reading. It purports — 
among other things — to give an account of the early migration 
of a branch of the Jewish people across the Atlantic to Ameri- 
ca, of their growth into a powerful people, of their destruction 
in war wherein more than two millions perished. After twice 
reading the book the editor's opinion of it as an historical 
narrative remains unchanged. Yet the establishment and 



NEBRASKA HISTORY 



growth of the Mormon church remains one of the remarkable 
social and religious phenomena of the past century. 



THE OLD SETTLERS' VIEW 

We talked about the dugout days 
The other night around a blaze 
Of chunks chopped from Nebraska trees 
We planted back in sixty-eight; — 
The twisted hay fire's smoky tease, 
The dirt floor rug beneath our feet, 
The shingled sod, the worn tin plate, 
Came back their story to repeat 
When we set out to build the state. 

A pioneer rose up and said: 

"Jest skelp fur me my old gray head 

"Ef I'd a-ever held my claim 

"Except fur my Almiry Jane; 

"She kep' the county taxes paid,— 

"She held the fort that Injin raid, — 

"She argid in the days of drouth 

"That luck would turn as sure as Fate, 

"That God would fill His children's mouths 

"And give us help to build the state." 

A homesteader (his eyes were wet,) 

Spoke next: "I never shall forget 

"The hard times that we struggled through, 

"The sickness and the mortgage, too; — 

"Nor, when the welcome children came 

"And played about our sod house claim 

"Who fought for our first district school, 

"And held her own in joint debate 

"Till neighbors said, 'That them should rule 

" 'As raised the children for the State.' " 

So first one, then the other 'greed 

That women folks had done the deed; 

Had held the homestead on the plains 

Through years of drouth and years of rains; 

Had given men the grit to stay 

When they would rather run away; 

Had planted church and public school, 

Had raised the children, strong and straight; 

So we're all headed fur Home Rule: 

Let the women vote who build the State! 



There was a Fort Atkinson in Wisconsin, one in New Mexico, one 
in northeastern Iowa, and one in Nebraska. The Nebraska Fort Atkin- 
son has by far the most important place in the history of the west. It 
was for seven years the farthest western post of the United States army. 
More important events connected with the early exploration of the west 
centered at the Nebi'aska Fort Atkinson than at any other point. An 
article in the Palimpsest, published by the Iowa Historical Society, tells 
the story of the Iowa Fort Atkinson which has now been made a State 
Historical Park. There are ten important reasons why the Nebraska 
Fort Atkinson site should be made a permanent historical park to one 
for any other Fort Atkinson. 



THE LILLIE CORN HUSKER 




W. P. Lillie demonstrating use of his corn husker— from cut used in his 
advertising literature. 

THE LILLIE CORN HUSKER 
By Samuel C Bassett 

Homesteaders in Nebraska had many new wrinkles to 
learn in methods in agriculture, few more important than 
growing- and harvesting corn. 

In the eastern states, from whence came most of the 
homesteaders, corn was not the important crop that it has 
always been in Nebraska. 

On an average farm in New York, for illustration, only 
from three to five acres were devoted to corn production. The 
corn was cut and shocked in advance of frost and later husked 
and thrown on the floor in the com crib where it was sorted, 
the soft corn separated from the mature, every husk and all 
silk removed in order to prevent the corn from moldmg and 
rotting while drying in the crib. As the corn was husked the 
corn fodder was bound in bundles and stored in the barn for 
fodder. 

In Nebraska, from the beginning to the present t ; me. the 
value of the corn crop, each year, has evceeded the total value 
of all wheat, oats, rve and barley raised on our farms. In 
the early years, and largelv even at the present, corn matures 
on the standing stalks and when dry is husked and stored in 



10 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

cribs, in many instances piled on the ground, often remaining 
in such piles during the entire winter or until shelled for 
market. In Nebraska it is the exception and not the rule that 
all husks and all silk are removed from corn when being 
husked. In New York, for illustration, a farmer would 
average to husk twenty shocks of corn, yielding twenty baskets 
of ears, (ten bushels of shelled corn) in a day. 

A homesteader who settled in Nebraska in 1871 made a 
visit to his old home in New York. It was in the fall of the 
year, in the early 80's, and eastern farmers were busy husking 
their corn. 

Traveling east from Buffalo, the homesteader visited with 
a group of farmer people on the train and naturally boasted of 
conditions in Nebraska. He stated that in Nebraska no corn 
was cut and shocked. That corn was husked from the stand- 
ing stalks and the ears thrown directly into a wagon box. That 
a good husker would husk and crib an acre of corn a day, and 
that it made little difference whether the corn yielded fifteen 
or seventy-five bushels per acre. That it made no difference 
whether all husks and all silks were removed from the corn 
or not, and that corn would keep all winter on the stalks in the 
field, or in piles on the ground. 

When the homesteader had finished his "spiel," a New 
York farmer, one of the group, took off his hat and tendered it 
to the homesteader remarking, "take the hat, it is yours and 
welcome. I have heard a good many yarns about the west but 
yours is the biggest lie of all !" 

When more than one-half of the cultivated land was, and 
is, devoted to corn production, as in Nebraska, it will be seen 
that corn husking, one ear at a time, with cracked and bleed- 
ing hands, is a well nigh never ending and unpleasant task in 
the late fall and winter months. 

The first invention used to assist in corn husking was the 
husking peg, described briefly as a small, round piece of hard 
wood sharpened at one end, some six inches in length, held in 
the hollow of the right hand. Attached to the husking peg 
was a loop of buckskin or other soft leather, the loop passing 
over the middle finger, holding the husking peg in place. The 
sharpened end of the peg was thrusted thru the husks at the 
tip end of the ear, enabling the operator to husk the ear quick- 
ly and easily and the husking peg at once came into universal 
use. 

In the year 1890 was invented the Lill ; e corn husker, or corn 
hook as it is often called, by W. F. Lillie of Rockford. Nebraska, 
the invention being: brought about in a manner described by 
Edgar Rothrock of Holmesville, Nebraska, as follows : 



THE LILLIE CORN HUSKER 



George F. Richards, (father-in-law of Mr. Lillie) lost his right thumb 
at the second joint in 1886 and lamented that he could no longer husk 
corn. To help him out Mr. Lillie cut from an old scoop shovel his first 
corn husker or corn hook. Mr. Richards found with its use he could 
husk com as well as ever. Mr. Lillie then realized the value of his con- 
trivance and cut out many more (corn hooks) of different shapes, from 
old shovels. Mr. Lillie secured his first patent on this invention Septem- 
ber 26, 1893. Mr. Lillie owned only foity acres of land and had a large 
family to support. He spent a great deal of time in working on his 
corn husker and getting it ready for market. His means were very 
limited and he sacrificed nearly everything he owned. The invention 
made him no money and he always claimed he was beaten out of his 
rights by designing partners, and old settlers think so too. 

Mr. Lillie traveled widely thru Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois and Iowa 
introducing his invention. He gave many demonstrations. His son, 
H. D. Lillie, who accompanied him part of the time tells of one method: 
Two men would hold a newspaper above Mr. Lillie's head. A third 
would hold an ear of husked corn under the paper while Mr. Lillie held 
in his left hand an ear of snapped corn. At a given signal Mr. Lillie 
would begin to husk the ear and the man to drop the ear of husked corn, 
held under the newspaper. Mr. Lillie would husk his ear (the operation 
passing it, of course, to his right hand), and catch the dropped ear as it 
reached the level of his hand and hold the ears side by side in his right 
hand. 

William F. Lillie evolved his perfected corn husker (corn hook) after 
much thought, labor and expense. A poor man, he attempted to manu- 
facture them and create a market under great difficulties. He suc- 
ceeded in every way excpt financially. A grateful posterity will see 
that he is given the credit he deserves. 

The Lillie corn husker, invented and placed on the market 
in the early 90's is still in use. A Nebraska hardware dealer 
in business in the early 70's, states that he placed his first order 
for Lillie corn huskers, September 22, 1893. His successor 
in the same line of business, continues to handle them and 
states that he sells ten times as many Lillie corn huskers as 
of husking pegs. 




The Hand tha 



12 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

Editor's Note: An important question is this: How much has the 
invention of the husking hook increased the efficiency of the com husker ? 
Mr. J. C. Morford, of Beaver Crossing, Seward County, successfully 
farms 320 acres of Blue river bottom. His three sons and himself are 
all expert huskers. They agree that the modern husking hook with 
cot and p'ate doubles the husker's production as compared with the old 
fashioned husking peg. Two motions strip the ear. The editor would 
be glad to have the estimate of other experts. 



HISTORICAL SOCIETY LIBRARY 

The following items are a few of the titles recently acquired by this 
library by gift, exchange or purchase. Most of the genealogical books 
wp"'e obtained by exchange for the Nebraska Historical Collections and 
o f he- duplicates from Mr. F^ank J. Wilder of Somerville, Mass. Mr. 
Wilder is a life member of this Society. 

Ma Tower Descendants in Cape May County, New Jersey 

O'd Famines of Salisbury and Amesbury, Mass. 

Srituate Second Church Records 

FarTy Connecticut Marriages, 7 volumes 

Memorial History of Hartford, Conn. 

Commodore Barney 

Colonia 1 Records of Rh'xle Island 

Collections of Rhode Island 

Proceedings of Rhode Island 

American Indians, Chained and Unchained 

The Great American Desert 

The World War, Saunders County 

Records of the World War, Field Orders 

Land Evidences in Rhode Island 

The Blanket Indian 

Hud's History of New Hampshire 

Hu- d's History of Ef sex County, Mass. 

History of Framingham, Mass. 

History of Middlesex County, Mass. 

History of Milford, Mass. 

History of Norfolk County, Mass. 

THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM 

Curator E. E. Blackman furnishes the following notes upon recent 
additions to our museum: 

As the years go bj' the public appreciates more and more the im- 
portance of preserving the evidences of our rapidly changing conditions 
of lifo. So our museum grows. The pressing problem is where to 
place the constant valuable gifts. 

The tractor is now turning over the sod on our western plains, and 
where once grew the curly buffalo grass, now are seen whole sections of 
ripening golden grain. The tractor has ceased to be a curiosity — but 
the l"ttle "grasshopper" breaking plow is a thing of the past. You need 
not be very old to remember when this "square cut, rod plow" was found 
on every homestead, you can remember when it was a curiosity because 
it was new and simple in construction. Now it is a curiosity because 
it is ancient. Mr. Jack Hurst of Trenton has presented a genuine 
"grasshopper." Grandchildren of the present day will look with wonder 
on this imp^ment. 

Before the days of the victrola, was occasionally seen a "Swiss 
mus'c box." You wound up a spring which rendered a number of tunes 
by the action of a brass cylinder set with steel pins. In 1885 D. E. 
Thompson, former minister to Mexico and Brazil, purchased a Swiss 
music box for $1,000 and presented it to his sister, Miss Eva Thompson 
of Lincoln. This music box is an elaborate instrument. It has six 
cylinders and each cylinder carries six tunes, with the organ accompani- 



HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM 13 

ment and a bell ringing attachment. Miss Eva Thompson has presented 
this Swiss music box to the museum, where it will teach coming genera- 
tions the process of mechanical music before the days of the victrola. 
She also presented a Mexican mill, a water jar and a huge key from 
Mexico. 

Mr. Thurlow Lieurance presented to the museum a Chinese harp made 
in a crude way by stretching shark skin over a wooden frame. Cords 
are attached and it resembles a huge banjo. 

Possibly the most interesting addition to the photograph department 
is the work of Arthur L. Anderson of Wahoo. It consists of three 
huge albums containing the full and complete World War activities of 
Saunders county in photographs, fully named and described. Mr. An- 
derson has produced a work of great artistic merit as well as a very 
valuable historical record, which should be seen to be appreciated. 

Small donations, each of which is interesting and instructive, have 
been received from time to time; a wooden "brace" used by carpenters 
when Nebraska was being built, by J. C. Hurst, of Trenton, a facsimile 
of the Seal of Nebraska by Hodge White of Beaumont, Texas, a watch 
from the Chicago fire by George Klein of Lincoln; a scabbard from 
Custer battlefield by A. N. Keith of Kaycee, Wyoming; an Indian bow 
from the McKenzie battlefield, Wyoming; a unique wooden saddle found 
on the plains and other specimens by Mr. Keith. A complete set of 
Lillie corn husker hooks from Rev. Edgar Rothrock of Holmesville; a 
number of documents and bills from the Castetter bank at Blair. 

While at Decatur, Miss Martha Turner secured for the museum an 
Omaha "Medicine Man's Cap." This cap was placed as a loan by Mrs. 
Theresa T. Milton, daughter of Mrs. Mary Fontenelle Tyndall. This 
head dress was the property of "Hetheneka" who was a Medicine Man 
in the Omaha tribe. He died in 1888. It was the property of his 
forefathers, having passed to the eldest son from generation to genera- 
tion. Henry Milton inherited it on the death of Hetheneka in 1888, but 
he has no sons, so it is placed in the Historical Society for safe keeping. 



There is no better friend of historic research in the Nebraska region 
than George J. Remsburg, now of California. Not a month goes by 
that he does not send some interesting item of early days in the Ne- 
braska region to our Society. Among the latest is a story of an in- 
cident in Richardson county in the fall of 1860. It was called "Steal- 
ing a Grist Mill" and is unique in Nebraska history. The story con- 
densed is that early in 1860 A. M. Hamby who was running a saw mill 
at Falls City induced W. C. Foster of Kansas to go into partnership. 
Mr. Foster had a grist mill consisting of a run of bearings, the frame 
supporting them and the necessary cog-wheels to run it. These he re- 
moved to Falls City and attached to Hamby's saw mill. Differences 
arose between the partners and Mr. Foster finding himself at a disad- 
vantage in a Nebraska law suit resolved to help himself to his own 
property. At night with two heavy lumber-wagons and four good 
horses his forces gathered in Falls City. After spying out the land, 
about midnight they moved into the mill yard and began action. The 
frame of the mill was bolted firmly to the sills of the building. A 
heavy wrench had been brought along and as the nut turned on the 
rusty bolt the creaking sounded like filing a saw, and caused all to start 
with the fear that they would be discovered. Industriously they worked 
and in a few minutes it was carefully lifted from its resting place and 
laid upon the saw dust. A span of horses was soon brought up and 
hitched to the mill. It was dragged over the soft ground a quarter of 
a mile or more to where the wagons had been left. In a few minutes 
it was carefully taken apart and placed in the wagons and the party 
were as anxious to get out of Nebraska as they were a few hours before 
to get in. Quietly they pursued their journey until just as the day was 
dawning, they came in sight of the timber near Mr. Foster's Kansas 



14 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

home. Then the five good singers who were in the party struck up with 
one accord, "Home, Sweet Home," and never was it sung with a more 
hearty good will. 

FIRST HAT FACTORY IN NEBRASKA 

We are indebted to Mr. Fred E. Bodie of Blair, for several 
recent important contributions to Nebraska territorial history. 
These contributions have come from examination of old docu- 
ments in the possession of the Castetter Bank of Blair. This 
bank and the business which preceded it go back to the be- 
ginnings oi Washington county. As receiver in charge Mr. 
Bodie has had occasion to go over these early documents and 
had discernment to recognize their historical value. 

The document which follows is the first record thus far 
found of a hat factory in Nebraska. The city of Desoto had 
then a population of more than 1,000 people, two newspapers, 
steamboats tying up at its river front to discharge cargo, en- 
terprising business men, real estate promoters. To-day it is 
a horse pasture, three miles from Blair. The Missouri river 
has deserted its former channel and wandered away a mile or 
more eastward. And now after more than a half century, 
comes to light these ancient articles of co-partnership with 
their most interesting figures on the cost of hats, printed ac- 
cording to copy as follows : 

Article of agreement made and entered into this 3rd day of January 
A. D. 1862 by and between Joel Ruly of the City of De Soto County of 
Washington and Territory of Nebraska and John H. Hoskinson of the 
Same place the above named parties to this article mutually agree with 
each other and by these presents do Enter into a co-partnership for the 
purpose of manufacturing Hats in the City of De Soto County Washing- 
ton & Territory of Nebraska and we the above named Joel Ruly and 
John H. Hoskinson do further agree and Bind ourselves by these pre- 
sents to Each Share alike the expences of furnishing the tools necessary 
to Manufacture Hats. And it is further agreed between us that the 
material out of which the Hats are made to be furnished by us and that 
each one of us is to pay an equal proportion for the same but in the event 
that either one of the within named parties should furnish more stock 
than the other that the said party so furnishing shall be allowed to draw 
the amount of money so furnished out of the capital stock of the firm 
before any division shall be made & after the same shall be taken out 
by the respective party entitled to the same that the balance shall be 
then equally divid between the Parties to this instrument after first 
paying for the Making of Said Hats and we further agree by and be- 
tween ourselves to each furnish an equal proportion all the material 
necessary to carry on a regular Hattery business Stock included and that 
John H. Hoskinson, one of the within firm is to manufacture Said Hats 
in a good workmanlike manner out of the material so furnished and for 
such prices as is laid down in a Schedule or Bill of prices hereto attached 
marked A and in consideration for said Labor each of us the parties 
herein name viz Joel Ruly and John H. Hoskinson are to pay and equal 
proportion of said Labor which pay is to be taken out of the Hats so 
manufactured before any division Shall be made or any disposition made 
of it other than is heretofore expressed. 



WYUKA— ORIGIN OF NAME 15 

In Witness Whereof we have hereunto set our hand and Seal this 
3rd day of January A. D. 1862. 

Joel Ruly Seal 

John H. Hoskinson Seal 

In Presence of ] 
Charles D. Davis j- 
P. W. Lecombe J 

A 
Making Caster bodies each 

napping Caster bodies with beaver, otter, or muskrat each 
making rabbit hats each 
making wool bodies each 
napping wool bodies each 
making wool hat each 
Finishing caster hats each 
Finishing rabbit hats each 
Finishing wool Bodies napped each 
coloring each hat napped 
blocking and washing out after coloring 
pulling and cutting coon skin 
pulling and cutting muskrat skin 
trimming caster hats each 
trimming wool bodies napped each 
trimming rabbit hats each 
trimming wool hats each 
scraping and cuting rabbit each 
Making roram bodies each 

The wool is to be carded equal by both parties pulling cutting 
Beaver skin each 
otter do. 
wolf do. 
Making smoth caster hat 



50 


cts 


50 


cts 


50 


cts 


35 


cts 


37% 


cts 


37% 


cts 


18% 


cts 


12% 


cts 


12.% 


cts 


12% 


cts 


5 


cts 


4 


cts 


3 


cts 


12% 


cts 


10 


cts 


10 


cts 


5 


cts 


3 


cts 


40 


cts 


25 


cts 


25 


els 


20 


cts 


75 





WYUKA CEMETERY— ORIGIN OF THE NAME 

The secretary of the Wyuka cemetery calls up to ask the 
origin of the cemetery name. This inquiry has frequently 
been made of the Historical Society. It may be well to put 
in printed form information upon this subject. 

In the Dakota or Sioux language the intransitive verb 
wanka means to rest, to lie down. To recline, kun-iwanka. 
The name of a couch is owanka. The pronunciation of wanka 
is very much as though it were spelled wong-kah. 

In the Dakota or Sioux language pronouns are incorpor- 
ated with the verb, but for the third person singular no in- 
corporate pronoun is used. In order then, to find the simplest 
form of the verb in Sioux we look to the third person singular 
instead of to the infinitive as in English. Therefore wanka 
exactly means in Dakota, he rests or he lies down. 

The Nebraska legislature in 1869 passed the act providing 
that eighty acres of land belonging to the state of Nebraska, 
not more than three miles distant from the state capitol build- 
ing, should be selected by a board of trustees and approved by 



16 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

the governor as a state cemetery. The act does not name the 
cemetery. The name was given after the site had been lo- 
cated and the tradition associated with the name is that it was 
"Indian" for resting place. This is approximately correct. 

Lincoln and Wyuka cemetery are located in what was Otoe 
territory. The Otoe language is a dialect of the Dakota or 
Sioux language. The Omaha and Ponca languages are like- 
wise dialects of the Dakota. The conversion of the Otoe 
word "wong-kah" into Wyuka is easily understood. Very 
commonly Indian words are mispronounced, due to the fact 
that the white man's ear does not correctly catch the exact 
pronunciation of the Indian tongue. There yet remains to 
be determined who of the early pioneers of Lincoln found and 
bestowed the name Wyuka on the state cemetery. 



JAMES MURIE AND THE SKIDI PAWNEE 

Murie is a familiar name to students of the Pawnee tribe 
and Indian wars on the Nebraska border. Captain James 
Murie commanded a company of Pawnee scouts during the 
Sioux-Cheyenne war. He was married to a Pawnee woman. 
In his later years he lived in the Grand Island Soldiers' Home 
where he died. He was a brave and efficient soldier, recog- 
nized by a special resolution of the Nebraska legislature in 
1870. 

James Murie, son of Captain Murie and a Pawnee mother, 
has been for many years a valuable helper in the work of col- 
lecting the history and folk lore of his tribe for publication. 
He is a graduate of Carlisle, speaks English well, knows the 
tribal traditions and is passionately devoted to their preserva- 
tion. The editor of this magazine is indebted to Mr. Murie 
for assistance in visits to the Pawnee at their home in Okla- 
homa. 

The 35th Bureau of American Ethnology report has this 
reference to Mr. Murie's present work: 

Mr. James Murie, as opportunity offered and the limita- 
tions of a small allotment made by the bureau for these studies 
allowed, continued his observations on the ceremonial organi- 
zation and rites of the Pawnee tribe, of which he is a member. 
The product of Mr. Murie's investigation of the year, which 
was practically finished but not received in manuscript form 
at the close of June, is a circumstantial account of \The Going 
After the Mother Cedar Tree by the Bear Society," an impor- 
tant ceremony which has been performed only by the Skidf 
band during the last decade. 



THE NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Made a State Institution February 27, 1883. 

An act of the Nebraska legislature, recommended by Governor 
James W. Dawes in his inaugural and signed by him, made the State 
Historical Society a State institution in the following: 

Be it Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska: 

Section 1. That the "Nebraska State Historical Society," an or- 
ganization now in existence — Robt. W. Furnas, President; James M. 
Woolworth and Elmer S. Dundy, Vice-Presidents; Samuel Aughey, 
Secretary, and W. W. Wilson, Treasurer, their associates and successors — 
be, and the same is hereby recognized as a state institution. 

Section 2. That it shall be the duty of the President and Secretary 
of said institution to make annually reports to the governor, as required 
by other state institutions. Said report to embrace the transactions and 
expenditures of the organization, together with all historical addresses, 
which have been or may hereafter be read before the Society or furnished 
it as historical matter, data of the state or adjacent western regions of 
country. 

Section 3. That said reports, addresses, and papers shall be pub- 
lished at the expense of the state, and distributed as other similar official 
reports, a reasonable number, to be decided by the state and Society, to 
be furnished said Society for its use and distribution. 

Property and Equipment 

The present State Historical Society owns in fee simple title as 
trustee of the State the half block of land opposite and east of the State 
House with the basement thereon. It occupies for offices and working 
quarters basement rooms in the University Library building at 11th and 
R streets. The basement building at 16th and H is crowded with the 
collections of the Historical Society which it can not exhibit, including 
some 15,000 volumes of Nebraska newspapers and a large part of its 
museum. Its rooms in the University Library building are likewise 
crowded with library and museum material. The annual inventory of 
its property returned to the State Auditor for the year 1920 is as follows: 

Value of Land, % block 16th and H $75,000 

Value of Buildings and permanent improvements 35,000 

Value of Furniture and Furnishings 5,000 

Value of Special Equipment, including Apparatus, 

Machinery and Tools 1,000 

Educational Specimens (Art, Museum, or other) 74,800 

Library (Books and Publications) 75,000 

Newspaper Collection 52,395 

Total Resources $318,195 

Much of this property is priceless, being the only articles of their 
kind and impossible to duplicate. 



NEBRASKA 

AJMD RECORD OF 



HISTORY 

PIONEER DAYS 




April-June, 1921 



Number 2 



CONTENTS 

Editorial Notes ____17-18 

The Major Day Military Papers. 19-20 

Further Note on Walker's Ranch ^ 20-21 

Dripping Fork Cave of the Platte 1__ 22-23 

Nebraska History Publications 24-29 

Recollections of Judge Grimison ___■ 30 

Diary of William Dunn, Freighter- 31 

Fort Atkinson Park _32 



PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY THE NEBRASKA STATE 

HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

LINCOLN 



Application made at Lincoln. Nebraska for admission to mail a* 
second class matter— under act of July 16, 1894. 



THE NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Founded September 25, 1878 

The Nebraska State Historical Society was founded Sep- 
tember 25, 1878, at a public meeting held in the Commercial 
Hotel at Lincoln. About thirty well known citizens of the 
State were present. Robert W. P'urnas was chosen president 
and Professor Samuel Aughey, secretary. Previous to this 
date, on August 26, 1867, the State Historical and Library 
Association was incorporated in order to receive from the 
State the gift of the block of ground, now known as Haymarket 
Square. This original Historical Association held no meet- 
ings. It was superseded by the present State Historical 
Society. 

Present Governing Board 

Executive Board — Officers and Elected Members 

President, Robert Harvey, Lincoln 

1st V-President, Hamilton B. Lowry, Lincoln 

2nd V-President, Nathan P. Dodge Jr., Omaha 

Secretary, Addison E. Sheldon, Lincoln 

Treasurer, Philip L. Hall, Lincoln 

Rev. Michael A. Shine, Plattsmouth 1 

Don L. Love, Lincoln 

Samuel C. Bassett, Gibbon 

John F. Cordeal, McCook 

Novia Z. Snell, Lincoln 

William E. Hardy, Lincoln 

Ex Officio Members 

Samuel R. McKelvie, Governor of Nebraska 

Samuel Avery, Chancellor of University of Nebraska 

George C. Snow, Chadron, President of Nebraska Press Association 

Howard W. Caldwell, Professor of American History, University 

of Nebraska 
Andrew M. Morrissey, Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Nebraska 
Clarence A. Davis, Attorney General of Nebraska 



NEBRASKA f?> 4- HISTORY 

AND RECORD OF ,> > PIONEER DAYS 



Published Quarterly by the Nebraska State Historical Society 



Addison E. Sheldon, Editor 



Subscription, $2.00 per year 



Vol. IV April-June, 1921 Number 2 

A. M. Brooking of Hastings, was a A'alued visitor at the Historical 
Society rooms recently. We have the promise of an early historical 
article from him on Indian sites. 



From Miss Sarka B. Hrbkova in New York City the Nebraska Histor- 
ical Society has received a number of valuable historical documents re- 
lating to the history of the Bohemians or Checho-Slovaks in America. 
Nebraska is one of the most important centers of Checho-Slovak settle- 
ment and has a large place in the history of that people. 



"Papers of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 1851" is 
the title of a volume of 900 pages published by the Academy of Pacific 
Coast History at Barkery, California. It is a most valuable and inter- 
esting document upon the time when law and order were taken into the 
hands of committees rather than legal officers. Nebraska has consider- 
able history of that kind herself. 



A. letter from Henry Wyman of Omaha says: In the summer of 
1919 I graded off the top of the ridge of the lot, which is now known as 
Lot 7 in Florence Heights,and which comprised a part of the original 
Block 147 of the City of Florence, now included in the City of Omaha. 
The bones sent you were plowed up at a depth of about one foot below 
the surface, and, from their lay, the skeletons were buried in a northerly 
and southerly direction. A farmer, who used the land some twenty years 
ago told me that he had plowed up bones and pottery, but, I am inclined 
to think, he mistook parts of skulls for pottery, although pieces of pottery 
have been unearthed in that vicinity. 



From Mr. W. R. McGeachin we have received copy of a speech de- 
livered by Judge Gaslin at Alma, April 14, 1880. The speech contains 
a great deal of early history of the Republican valley. No one was 
better qualified to give this than Judge Gaslin, who was one of the most 
original personalities in the pioneer period. The secretary of the His- 
torical Society would be glad to receive true stories concerning Judge 
Gaslin by those who knew him. He will add some of his own, for some 
of the most enjoyable hours of his life have been passed in the company 
of Judge Gaslin. A collection of Gaslin stories would make a valuable 
printed addition to our pioneer history. 



18 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

Phil R. Landon (Parson Bob) writes from Sterling: I am taking 
good care of the old Indian trail on north acre and will erect a monument 
soon for its preservation. 

Among Nebraska's historical characters Thomas H. 
Tibbies has a place which cannot be taken by anyone else. His 
range of activities covers those of frontier preacher, "editor 
of a Nebraska farm," editor, lecturer on Indians, newspaper 
correspondent, populist candidate for vice-president and many 
others. Mr. Tibbies has written so many books and pamphlets 
in his eighty years that he cannot give their titles. One of 
them printed in 1881 has just been added to the Historical 
Society library. It's title is "Hidden Power, a Secret History 
of the Indian Ring." In it are discussed in story form some 
of the wrongs of trans-Missouri Indians as Mr. Tibbies saw 
them at that date. The names (with exception of two or 
three) are fictitious, but the scene is laid in the Nebraska re- 
gion and the very evident purpose is to describe living charac- 
ters under donated names. Mr. Tibbies will be asked to furnish 
a key to this book for the benefit of future historians. The 
first sentence of the book contains an historical error which 
was very common forty years ago and still lingers in some 
places. It reads thus : 

When Lewis and Clark made their voyage up the Missouri river in 
1803, after toiling for many clays against the rugged current of that 
turbid stream they landed at a place on the eastern shore and held a 
council with the Indians. They named the place Council Bluffs and it 
is so called to this day. 

The truth that Lewis and Clark came up the Missouri 
in 1804 and that the Council Bluff where they met the Indians 
is in Nebraska, not Iowa; that it adjoins the present site of 
the charming village of Fort Calhoun, sixteen miles north of 
Omaha and that Council Bluffs, Iowa, simply appropriated the 
name about the year 1853 — as a good advertising medium— in 
gradually gaining general acceptance. It is a shock to find 
the old untruth set down in the first sentence of Mr. Tibbies' 
book. 



There is no desire for more bank failures in Nebraska by 
the State Historical Society. But if others come there is the 
hope that the persons in charge may have sense of historical 
values such as that shown by Mr. Fred E. Bodie at Blair. 
Probably all the older banks, real estate and lawyer's offices 
in the state have important documents of early days thrust 
away in pigeon holes and forgotten. 



MAJOR DAY PAPERS 19 

THE MAJOR DAY MILITARY PAPERS 

A recent letter from Carson City, Nevada, reads in part 
as follows: 

I have found among the papers belonging to my father, the 
late Major Hannibal Day, U. S. A., certain papers relating to 
the early history of the then territory of Nebraska. I am 
forwarding them to you. 

S. H. DAY. 

The documents transmitted with the letter are four in 
number, two printed and two in manuscript. They are briefly 
described as follows ; 

1. Map of Wagon Road from Platte river to Omaha Reserve, 
Dakota City and Runningwater. George L. Sites, Supt., 1858. 

This map contains names and locations of the following 
places no longer found on the map of Nebraska: Excelsior, 
Iron Bluffs, Saunte, Saline, Fairview, Eldorado, Farmer City, 
Golden Gate, Cuming City, Central Bluffs, Omadi, Logan, Wa- 
capana, Secret Grove. 

2. Map of Fort Ridgely and South Pass Road. This road 
ran from Fort Ridgely in Minnesota southwest across the Da- 
kota region to a point near the junction of the White river 
with the Missouri. Presumably it was to be extended up the 
White river toward the South Pass where the Oregon Trail 
crossed the Rocky Mountains. 1858. 

3. (Manuscript) Pen and Ink sketch map showing road 
between Fort Laramie and Fort Randall traveled by the 2nd 
Infantry and 4th Artillery in the years 1859-60. 

This original military map is a most valuable document. 
It shows the road, the camping places, the chief topographic 
features of the route used in the early marches across the then 
nearly unknown Niobrara region. The route crossed the 
North Platte on a ferry near Fort Laramie, angled northeast 
by Rawhide creek to the Niobrara near Agate Springs, followed 
the Niobrara to a point south of the present town of Cody in 
Cherry county, then crossed to the lakes near the head of Min- 
nechadusa creek, thence northeast to the head of the Keya 
Paha and down that stream and its divide to Fort Randall. The 
total distance as measured was 3651/t, miles. Twenty camps 
are marked on the route. This was one of the routes (approx- 
imate) advocated for the Pacific railroad at that time. 

4. (Manuscript). Military journal of the march of bat- 



20 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

talion of 2nd Infantry from Fort Laramie to Fort Randall 
under command of Major H. Day — May 15 — June 3, 1860. 

This record contains notes of the journey, each day's 
march, incidents, weather, Indians, characteristics of the 
country, with pen and ink pictures of some points. 

The manuscript map and journal show at least three 
thing's hitherto unknown to the editor: 

a. Eden Springs was the early military name for the 
famous Boiling Springs about eight miles southwest of Cody, 
Nebraska. 

b. The map shows Minnechadusa creek flowing northeast 
into the Keya Paha river instead of into the Niobrara below 
Valentine. 

c. Military names of creeks along the route have changed 
in later years. Bead Root Creek is now Bear Creek. Mar- 
row Bone Creek is now probably Spring Creek. There are 
several other similar cases. Antelope Creek is named and 
placed where it is today. 

It is the fortune of the editor to have homesteaded in 
1887 in the country crossed by this military march and to have 
ridden horseback over the entire region. He confesses to 
regret that the early and appropriate name of Eden Springs 
did not stick to the remarkable body of clear water which 
bursts from the foot of the high sand bluff on the Niobrara, 
where is now Boiling Springs Ranch. After a hard trip over hot 
sand hills the beautiful wooded flat with its extraordinary 
springs throwing up columns of clear water is quite enough 
to earn the title of Eden from the traveler. 



FURTHER NOTE ON WALKER'S RANCH 

Hastings, Nebraska, October 20, 1921. 

Having just received a copy of the "Nebraska History and 
Records of Pioneer Days," I have read it with much pleasure 
and especially the article entitled "The Adventure at Walker's 
Ranch." But in this article I notice some few errors that I 
believe should be corrected. In the first place Walker's Ranch 
is better located by referring to it as three miles northeast of 
Wilcox, in Kearney County, Nebraska, this being its nearest 
town. Second, the name of Mr. Ball was Daniel B. Ball and 
not David B. Ball. 

There are also some particulars of the matter in which 



WALKER'S RANCH 21 

Ball captured the two desperadoes at the ranch that vary ma- 
terially from Ball's story. Mr. Ball has told this story over 
and over again to the writer and I am very familiar with his 
version of that capture. Mr. Bengston has followed Mr. Ball's 
version of the matter and agrees fairly well with him except- 
ing how he decoyed Smith's partner into the barn and there 
captured him first. 

Ball with his assistant had come up from the south, as 
told by Mr. Bengston, where a few hundred yards from the 
ranch-house was located some haystacks. He had left his 
posse secreted behind these haystacks and when he had reach- 
ed the barn and unhitched his horses, as detailed by Mr. 
Bengston, he busied himself about the buggy until Smithes 
partner came out. He greeted him in a friendly manner, 
asked to have his horses put in the bam and gave the des- 
perado one horse to lead in. He followed close behind this 
horse chatt'ng all the time and directed his assistant to bring 
in the other horse. When Ball and the desperado had reached 
the stall the desperado removed the bridle, put on a halter, 
and was about to tie the horse to the manger when Ball threw 
himself upon the desperado and by his weight threw him to 
the ground and sought to put the hand-cuffs on him. 

The fellow was yelling at the top of his voice. Ball knew 
tli at he had but a few seconds to complete hand-cuffing the 
man cr Smith would get both him and his assistant. He called 
to his assistant and as Ball said, "It seemed as though he 
would never get there." But soon the desperado was hand- 
cuffed and Ball sprang to his feet and drew his gun on Smith 
just as Smith entered the barn door. Ball having the advan- 
tage by being behind the partition in the stall, Smith threw up 
his hands and the capture was complete before the posse was 
called from behind their haystacks. 

It seems to me that this version of the capture is more 
of a credit to the wonderful old frontiersman, Daniel B. Ball. 
It showed what risks he would take, his indomitable courage, 
his quick mind and strong will. 

I might add that one of Mr. Ball's daughters still resides 
on the old ranch. A new house has been built and the old 
ranch house in which the murder was committed is fast falling 
to decay. 

F. L. CARRICO. 



22 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

Of this issue of Nebraska History 1,800 copies are printed. 
Our mailing list includes 576 annual sustaining members, 14 
life, 14 honorary, 19 corresponding, 134 historical and scientific 
societies and 558 newspaper exchanges. We plan to have 
1,000 sustaining members before the close of 1922. 



DRIPPING FORK CAVE OF THE PLATTE 

A letter to the editor from W. M. Caldwell of the Federal 
Land Bank of Houston, Texas, raises an interesting historical 
question. The letter cites the following extract from a rare 
book commonly called Hunter's Narrative, copy of which is in 
the Nebraska Historical Society library: 

We passed the summer in hunting and roving ; and in the 
fall, ascended the La Platte several hundred miles, with a view 
more particularly to take furs. Near the place where we 
fixed our camp, which was on the Teel-te-nah, or Dripping 
Fork', a few miles above its entrance into the La Platte, is an 
extensive cave, which we visited on several occasions, and al- 
ways with great reverence and dread. 

This cave is remarkable as having been the cemetery of 
some people, who must have inhabited this neighborhood, at a 
remote period of time, as the Indians who now occasionally 
traverse this district, bury their dead in a manner altogether 
different. 

The entrance to this cavern was rather above the ground, 
and though narrow, of easy access. The floor was generally 
rocky, and much broken; though in some places, particularly 
in the ante-parts, strips of soil appeared, covered with animal 
ordure. Parts of the roof were at very unequal distances 
from the floor, in some places it appeared supported by large, 
singularly variegated, and beautiful columns ; and at others it 
supported formations resembling huge icicles, which I now 
suppose to be stalactites. 

Lighted up by our birch-bark flambeaux, the cave ex- 
hibited an astonishing and wonderful appearance; while the 
loud and distant rumbling or roar of waters through their sub- 
terranean channels filled our minds with apprehension and awe. 
We discovered two human bodies partly denuded, probably by 
the casual movements of the animals which frequent this 
abode of darkness; we inhumed and placed large stones over 
them, and then made good our retreat, half inclined to believe 
the tradition which prevails among some of the tribes, and 
which represents this cavern as the aperture through which 
the first Indian ascended from the bowels of the earth, and 
settled on its surface. 

Our camps were fixed on a high piece of ground near the 



DRIPPING FORK CAVE 23 

cave, in the vicinity of the Dripping Fork, a name which this 
stream takes from the great number of rills that drip into it 
from its rocky and abrupt banks. Near this place is a salt 
lick, to which various herds of the grazing kind resort in great 
numbers. The buffalo, deer and elk have made extraordinary 
deep and wide excavations in the banks surrounding it, where 
we used often to secrete ourselves, sometimes merely to ob- 
serve the playful gambols of the collected herds, and terrible 
conflicts of the buffaloes ; but more frequently do destroy such 
of them as were necessary to supply our wants. The beaver, 
otter, and muskrat, which find safe retreats in the cavernous 
banks of this stream, were very abundant, and our hunt was 
attended with great success. 

John D. Hunter's book entitled ''Manners and Customs of 
Several Indian Tribes located West of the Mississippi," was 
published in Philadelphia in 1823. The story of its author, as 
given by himself, is that he was captured by the Kickapoo 
tribe of Illinois when a very small child, carried away by them 
and lived with them until a young man. He learned Indian 
languages and was unable to speak English until his escape 
from them. He was, for a time, in the service of Manuel Lisa 
the noted Indian fur trader in the Nebraska country. So far 
as known neither the Dripping Fork of the Platte referred to 
by him nor the cave mentioned have been identified. From 
the description given by him they are rather more likely to be 
found in Colorado head waters of the La Platte than in Ne- 
braska. They may, indeed, be the gift of his imagination to 
posterity. We know that alleged travels in the Nebraska 
region, such as La Hontan's, are pure fabrications. 

A still later letter from Mr. Caldwell answering the reply 
made his first letter, says : 

After a very careful examination I have been unable to 
find where any of the other pathfinders of the West had men- 
tioned such a cave as that visited by Hunter, and beginning 
to feel as some historians have already branded him, — an im- 
poster. Your letter would indicate that they were not far 
wrong. 

John Dum Hunter figured in early Texas history and was 
assassinated here, his death being instigated by Chief Bowles 
of the Cherokees — or so claimed by the enemies of Bowles. 



Once a year the Pioneer Historical Society of South 
Omaha holds its reunion. The meeting held December 4, 1921. 
was a fine example. Five hundred people were present 
crowding Eagle Hall. South Omaha is a cosmopolitan city — 



24 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

hence a large part of the program was in the form of enter- 
tainment by the young people of high school age. There were 
Highland Scotch with bagpipes, Polish national dances in cos- 
tume with Polish music, plenty of Irish reminders and old 
time quadrille dancing by the real old timers. President J. J. 
Breen and Secretary Emma Talbot produced a wonderful 
printed program with gems of poetry from the best English 
poets on every page. There were present many of the first 
South Omahans who saw the city rise from a corn field. The 
annual reunions of this society are, in fact, great Americaniza- 
tion mixers — and not a word is said about Americanization. 
All the people are there and have a part. 




Shelf of Nebraska Histo 



Publications 1885-191 



NEBRASKA HISTORY PUBLICATIONS 

Interest in Nebraska history and demand for information 
in that field grows continually. From 50 to 100 specific in- 
quiries per week come to the State Historical Society. These 
range all the way from data on prehistoric man in Nebraska to 
origin of local place names. 

The publications under auspices of the Nebraska State 
Historical Society now include nineteen bound volumes, five 
pamphlets, and three years' issues of its historical magazine — 
"Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days." 

The publications began in 1885. The first series includes 
five volumes, closing with the volume published in 1893. The 
second series began in 1894 with a change in title and number- 



NEBRASKA HISTORY PUBLICATIONS 25 

ing of the volumes. In 1911 the distinction between the first 
and second series was abolished, and the volumes are now 
numbered consecutively from the first one issued in 1885. The 
list of publications with table of contents follows : 

Transactions and Reports of the Nebraska State Historical So- 
ciety. Vol. I, 1885. 8 vo. clo., 233 pp., $1.25; paper in 4 pts., $0.75. Edi- 
tor, Robert W. Furnas. 

Proceedings of the Society from January, 1879, to January, 1883; 
list of histories of counties; Historical Recollections in and about Otoe 
County; Historical Letters from Father De Smet; First White Child 
Born in Nebraska; origin of the name of Omaha; Some Historical Data 
about Washington County; relics in possession of the Society; First 
Female Suffragist Movement in Nebraska; Autobiography of Rev. 
William Hamilton; Indian names and their meaning; History of the 
Omaha Indians; Anecdotes of White Cow; fifty-seven pages of biography; 
Death of Governor Francis Burt; Annual Address of President Robt. 
W. Furnas, 1880; The Philosophy of Emigration; Admission of Ne- 
braska into the Union; Gold at Pike's Peak — Rush for; The Discovery 
of Nebraska; The Place of History in Modern Education; The Organic 
Act of the Society; constitution, by-laws and roster of the Society. 

Vol. II, 1887. 8 vo. clo., 383 pp., $1.25; paper in 4 pts., $0.75. Edi- 
tor, George E. Howard. 

The Relation of History to the Study and Practice of Law; Sketches 
from Territorial History — In the Beginning, Wildcat Banks, Sectional 
Politics, Politics Proper, Pioneer Journalism; The Capital Question in Ne- 
braska; How the Kansas-Nebraska Line was Established; Slavery in 
Nebraska; John Brown in Richardson County; A Visit to Nebraska in 
1662; Forty Years among tht Indians and on the Eastern Borders of 
Nebraska; Notes on the Early Military History of Nebraska; History of 
the Powder River Expedition of 1865; histories of Cass, Dodge, Wash- 
ington and Sarpy counties; Sketch of the First Congregational Church in 
Fremont, Nebraska; Early Fremont; Historical and Political Science 
Association of the University of Nebraska; The Discovery of Gold in 
Colorado; On the Establishment of an Arboreal Bureau; twenty-seven 
pages of biographies; annual meetings of the Society, 1885, 1886. 

Vol. Ill, 1892. 8 vo. clo., 342 pp., very rare, $3.00. Editor, Howard 
Caldwell. 

American State Legislatures; Political Science in American State 
Universities; History and Art; Salem Witchcraft; History of Education 
in Omaha; The Christening of the Platte; Development of the Free Soil 
Idea in the United States; The Beginning of Lincoln and Lancaster Coun- 
ty; Early Times and Pioneers; The Fort Pierre Expedition; The Military 
Camp on the Big Sioux River in 1855; Reminiscences of a Teacher among 
the Nebraska Indians, 1843-55; The Sioux Indian War of 1890-91; Early 
Settlers En Route; An Introduction to the History of Higher Education 
in Nebraska and a Brief account of the University of Nebraska; Asso- 
ciational Sermon; Congregational College History in Nebraska; Thirty- 
three Years Ago; The Pawnee Indian War, 1859; Early Days in Nebraska; 
Reminiscences of Early Days in Nebraska; miscellaneous correspondence; 
official proceedings of the Society, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890. 

Vol. IV, 1892. 8 vo. clo., 336 pp., $3.00. Editor. Howard W. Cald- 
well. 

From Nebraska City to Salt Creek in 1855; Old Fort Atkinson; The 
Indian Troubles and the Battle of Wounded Knee; biographies; Remi- 
niscences of Early Days in Nebraska- I he Fontenelle 
ly of St. Louis; Old Fort Calhoun; Arbor Day; What Causes Indian 
First Postmaster of Omaha; Supreme Judges of Nebraska; 
• ■ Library; Judge Lynch's Court in Nebraska; Stormy Times 
in Nebraska; County Names; Lieut. Samuel A. Cherry; Origin of the 
Name Omaha; Omaha's Early Days; Early Days in Nebraska; Personal 



26 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

Sketch of Rev. Moses Merrill; Extracts from the Diary of Rev. Moses 
Merrill, Missionary to the Otoe Indians from 1832 to 1840; Some Incidents 
in Our Early School Days in Illinois; Papers Read on the Laying of the 
Corner Stone of the Lancaster County Courthouse; Hardy Pioneers of 
Dixon County; Nebraska's First Newspaper; biographies, pp. 215-271; 
History of Butler County; Tribute to the Mothers and Wives of the 
Pioneers; annual meeting of the Society 1891; constitution and by-laws 
of the Society. 

Vol. V, 1893. 8 vo. clo., 295 pp., very rare, $5.00. Editor, Howard 
W. Caldwell. 

Records and Their Conservation; The Lincoln Public Library; The 
Arikara Conquest of 1823; Some Frenchmen of Early Days on the Mis- 
souri River; Reminiscences of Early Days in Nebraska; Admission of 
Nebraska as a State; Nebraska Silver Anniversary; Early Life in Ne- 
braska; The Political and Constitutional Development of Nebraska; A 
Brief History of the Settlement of Kearney County and Southwestern 
Nebraska; annual meecing 1892; treasurer's reports for the years ending 
January 13, 1891, and January 11, 1893; List of Members. 

Proceedings and Collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society. 

Second series, vol. I, 1894-95. 8 vo. clo., 264 pp., $1.25. Editor, 
Howard W. Caldwell. 

Part of the Making of a State; The Life of Governor Burt; Reminis- 
cences of Early Days; Freighting in 1866; Early Nebraska Currency and 
Per Capita Circulation; Municipal Government in Nebraska; The Soldiers 
Free Homestead Colony; The Effect of Early Legislation upon the Courts 
of Nebraska; notes on the Society; Wanagi Olowan Kin; Reminiscences 
of the Third Judicial District; Freighting Across the Plains in 1856; 
necrology and notes on the Society; Some Financial Fallacies among the 
Pioneers of Nebraska; Proceedings of the Society 1893-1895; list of 
members; officers of the Society 1878 to 1896; constitution and by-laws; 
appropriations 1883-1895; list of donations. 

Second series, vol. II, 1898. 8 vo. clo., 307 pp., $1.25. Editor, Howard 
W. Caldwell. 

The Poncas; A Brief Sketch of the Life of Captain P. S. Real; Belle- 
vue, Its Past and Present; Edward Morin; Travelers in Nebraska in 
1866; The Cost of Local Government — Then and Now; Underground 
Railroad in Nebraska; Biographical Sketch of Major W. W. Dennison; 
President's Communication 1897; The First Territorial Legislature of 
Nebraska; sundry reminiscences, pp. 88-161; Nebraska Women in 1855; 
The True Story of the Death of Sitting Bull; annual meetings, 1896, 1897; 
Papers and Proceedings of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences. 

Second series, vol. Ill, 1899 — The Provisional Government of Ne- 
braska Territory and The Journals of William Walker Provisional Gov- 
ernor of Nebraska Territory, 8 vo. clo., 423 pp., $3.00. Editor, William 
E. Connelley. 

The Wyandots; The Walker Family; The Provisional Government of 
Nebraska Territory; Documents Relating to the Provisional Government 
of Nebraska Territory; A Brief Sketch of Abelard Guthrie; The Journals 
of William Walker, First Book; The Journals of William Walker, Second 
Book. 

Second series, vol. IV, 1902 — Forty Years of Nebraska at Home and 
in Congress, 8 vo. clo., 570 pp., $2.00. By Thomas W. Tipton, (former 
U. S. Senator from Nebraska). Editor, Howard W. Caldwell. 

Territorial Governors; Territorial Delegates; The State Governors; 
Nebraska in the United States Senate; Members of U. S. House of Re- 
presentatives. 

Second series, vol. V, 1902. 8 vo. clo., 381 pp., $1.50. Editor, 
Howard W. Caldwell. 

Territorial Journalism; Newspapers and Newspaper Men of the 
Territorial Period; Pioneer Journalism; Communication of Hadley D. 
Johnson; Joseph L. Sharp; A. J. Hanscom; Reminiscences of Territorial 



NEBRASKA HISTORY PUBLICATIONS 27 

Days; My First Trip to Omaha; Judge Elmer S. Dundy; The Nebraska 
Constitution; History of the Incarceration of the Lincoln City Council; 
A Nebraska Episode of the Wyoming: Cattle War; Recollections of 
Omaha; Death of Logan Fontenelle; Reminiscences of the Crusade in 
Nebraska; Along the Overland Trail in Nebraska in 1852; Thomas Weston 
Tipton; Algernon Sidney Paddock; The Farmers Alliance in Nebraska; 
Reminiscences; History of the First State Capitol; Early History of 
Jefferson County Overland Route; The Indian Massacre of 1866; Bull- 
whacking Days; The Pawnee War of 1859; Early Days in the Indian 
Country; Freighting to Denver; Freighting and Staging in Early Days; 
Freighting in the '60's; The Plains War in 1865; Overland Freighting from 
Nebraska City; From Meridian to Fort Kearny; Freighting Reminis- 
cences; Mary Elizabeth Furnas; Freighting — Denver and Black Hills; 
Early Freighting and Claims Club Days in Nebraska; The Building of 
the First Capitol and Insane Hospital at Lincoln — Removal of Archives; 
Underground Railroad in Nebraska; minutes annual meetings, 1898-1900; 
minutes executive board meetings; list of members. 

Nebraska Constitutional Conventions. Three volumes. 

This series of publications was planned as a four-volume series. 
The first two volumes were issued under the editorship of Addison E. 
Sheldon. The plan of publication was then changed and the third 
volume was issued under the editorship of Albert Watkins. The fourth 
volume as planned was combined with the third volume. Therefore 
there is a gap in the numbering of the volumes of the second series, 
volume IX not being issued. 

Second series, vol. VI, 1906. 8 vo. clo., 582. pp., $1.50. Editor, Addi- 
son E. Sheldon. Official Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the 
Nebraska Constitutional Convention, 1871. 

Second series, vol. VII, 1907. 8 vo. clo., 628 pp., $1.50. Editor, Addi- 
son E. Sheldon. Official Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the 
Nebraska Constitutional Convention, 1871. 

Second series, vol. VIII, 1913. 8vo. clo., 676 pp., $1.50. Editor, Al- 
bert Watkins. Official Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the 
Nebraska Constitutional Convention, 1871, concluded; Address — to voters 
on the submission of the constitution of 1871; The Constitution of the 
State of Nebraska — 1871; Incipient Convention of 1860; Enabling Act of 
1864; The Convention of 1864; Constitution of 1866; Convention of 1871— 
history of; The Constitutional Convention of 1875 — minutes of; note; the 
vote, by counties, on the adoption of the constitution and on the separate 
article relating to the seat of the government. 

Second series, vol. X, 1907. 8 vo. clo., 422 pp., $1.50. Editor, C. S. 
Paine. 

The Mormon Settlements in the Missouri Valley; The Great Rail- 
road Migration into Northern Nebraska; Nebraska Politics and Ne- 
braska Railroads; Territorial Pioneer Days; Campaigning Against Crazy 
Horse; Personal Recollections of Early Days in Decatur, Nebraska; 
History of the. Lincoln Salt Basin; Early Days at the Salt Basin; Judicial 
Grafts; My Very First Visit to the Pawnee Village in 1855; Early Days 
on the Little Blue; Early Annals of Nebraska City; biographies; Railroad 
Taxation in Nebraska; The Work of the Union Pacific in Nebraska; Early 
Dreams of Coal in Nebraska; Unveiling of the Thayer Monument, Wyuka 
Cemetery; Proceedings of the Nebraska State Historical Society — annual 
meetings of 1901 to 1907, inclusive; museum catalogue; newspapers re- 
ceived by the Society, January 1, 1908; legislative acts affecting the 
Society; constitution and by-laws; publications of the Society. 

Collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society. 

Vol. XVI, 1911. 8 vo. clo., 296 pp., $2.00. Editor, Albert Watkins. 

Dedication of the Astorian Monument at Bellevue; Early Days in 
and About Bellevue; Kansas-Nebraska Boundary Line; Nebraska and 
Minnesota Territorial Boundary; Territorial Evolution of Nebraska; Re- 
mininiscences of the Indian Fight at Ash Hollow, 1855; The Battle Ground 



28 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

of Ash Hollow; The Last Battle of the Pawnee with the Sioux; The 
Indian Ghcst Dance; Some Side Lights on the Character of Sitting Bull; 
The Early Settlements of the Platte Valley; The First Catholic Bishop in 
Nebraska; Birth of Lincoln, Nebraska; English Settlement in Palmyra; 
History of Fort Kearny; Missionary Life Among the Pawnee. 

Vol. XVII, 1913. 8 vo. clo., 382 pp., $2.00. Editor, Albert Watkins. 

The Work of the Historical Society; Historical Sketch of South- 
western Nebraska; Nebraska, Mother of States; Nebraska Territorial 
Acquisition; Ackh'esses by James Mooney — Life Among the Indian 
Tribes of the Plains — The Indian Woman; Systematic Nebraska Ethno- 
logic Investigation; A Tragedy of the Oregon Trail; The Oregon Recruit 
Expedition; Influence of Overland Travel on the Early Settlement of 
Nebraska; Incidents of the Early Settlement of Nuckolls County; First 
Steamboat Trial Trip up the Missouri; Origin of Olatha, Nebraska; The 
Semi-Precious Stones of Webster, Nuckolls and Franklin Counties, Ne- 
braska; Historical Sketch of Cheyenne County, Nebraska; Organization 
of the Counties of Kearney, Franklin,. Harlan and Phelps; Annual Ad- 
dress of John Lee Webster, President, 1913; Adventures on the Plains, 
1865-67; An Indian Raid of 1867; How Shall the Indian Be Treated His- 
torically; Importance of the Study of Local History; History; The Path- 
finders, the Historic Background of Western Civilization; An Interesting 
Historical Document; Memorabilia — Gen. G. M. Dodge; A Study in the 
Ethnobotany of the Omaha Indians; Some Native Nebraska Plants With 
Their Uses by the Dakota. 

Vol. XVIII, 1917. 8vo. clo., 449 pp., $2.00. Editor, Albert Watkins. 

In Memoriam — Clarence Sumner Paine; proceedings of the Society, 
1908-1916; biography — James B. Kitchen, Jefferson H. Broady, Lorenzo 
Crounse; historical papers; Acknowledging God in Constitutions, Ne- 
braska Reminiscences, The Rural Carrier of 1849, Eastern Nebraska as 
an Archeological Field, Trailing Texas Long-horn Cattle Through Ne- 
braska. Special historical papers: Neapolis — Near-Capital, Controversy 
in the Senate Over the Admission of Nebraska, How Nebraska Wai 
Brought Into the Union. 

Vol. XIX. 1919. 8 vo. clo., 357 pp., $2.00. Editor, Albert Watkins. 

Incidents of the Indian Outbreak of 1864; The Beginning of Red 
Willow County; The True Logan Fontenelle; At Bellevue in the Thirties; 
Swedes in Nebraska; Clan Organization of the Winnebago; Women of 
Territorial Nebraska; First Settlement of the Scotts Bluff Country; The 
Omaha Indians Forty Years Ago; Earliest Settlers in Richardson County; 
Some Indian Place Names in Nebraska; Bohemians in Nebraska; Incident 
in the Impeachment of Governor Butler; The Mescal Society Among the 
Omaha Indians; Reminiscences of William Augustus Gwyer; Nebraska in 
the Fifties; Contested Elections in Nebraska; Proceedings of the Society, 
1917. 

Vol. XX. (In press) 8 vo. clo., pp., illustrated, $2.00. Editor, 

Albert Watkins. 

A contemporaneous, continuous history of the Nebraska Region from 
1808 to 1862; an original outline of Nebraska events taken from -the early 
newspaper file^ of St. Louis and other original sources. With many 
editorial notes. Includes such topics as Fur Trade, Missionaries, Mili- 
tary. Indians, Oregon Trail, Mormons, Politics, Trade, Agriculture, 
Social and Industrial Conditions. Very much of this material is new 
contribution to our knowledge of the period, answering questions hitherto 
unsatisfied. 

PAMPHLETS 

Outline of Nebraska History, 1910. 8 vo. paper, 45 pp., Albert 
Watkins. 

A comprehensive bibliography of Nebraska history, and a "Summary 
of Nebraska History" condensed within 22 pages. 50 cents. 

The Exercise of the Veto Power in Nebraska, 1917. 8 vo. paper, 
104 pp. Knute Emil Carlson. (Bulletin No. 12 Nebraska History and 



NEBRASKA HISTORY PUBLICATIONS 



Political Science Series) contains complete list of Governor's vetoes, a 
discussion and summary. 50 cents. 

Nebraska Constitutions of 1866, 1871 and 1875 and Proposed Amend- 
ments submitted to the People September 21, 1921. Arranged in parallel 
columns with critical notes and comparisons with Constitutions of other 
States, 1920. 8 vo. paper, 214 pp. Addison Erwin Sheldon. 75 cents. 

Genealogy of the Mohler-Garber Family. 8 vo. paper, 63 pp. with 
charts and illustrations. 1921. Published by the author, Cora Garber 
Dunning, under auspices of Nebraska Historical Society. Contains 
historical material relating to Silas Garber, Governor of Nebraska 
(1875-79) and Joseph Garber, Nebraska pioneer and member of Ne- 
braska Constitutional Convention of 1875; $2.00. 

Tuberculosis Among the Nebraska Winnebago. A Social study on 
an Indian Reservation, 1921. 8 vo. paper, 60 pp. with charts, maps and 
illustrations. Margaret W. Koenig, M. D. Contains historical sketch 
of the tribe with valuable information hitherto u published on social and 
industrial conditions. 50 cents. 

Historical Magazine (illustrated) 

"Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days" — Addison E. Shel- 
don, Editor, (Titles of leading articles ordy.) 

Vol. I. 1918. 

The First war on the Nebraska Frontier; A Hero of the Nebraska 
Frontier; The Sources of Nebraska People; Old For , Kearny; The Union 
Club in Nemaha County, 1863; The Historical Society in France; Ne- 
braska in 1864-67; Early French in Nebraska; Holt County's First Safe; 
Fort Mitchell Cemetery- $1.00. 

Vol. II. 1919. 

Editor's Visit to European Battlefields; Nebraska's Dead in the 
World War; Base Hospital 49; Ancient Pi ..vhee Medal Found; The Fort 
Atkinson Centennial Celebration; First Nebraska University Regents; 
Three Military Heroes of Nebraska; The Nebraska Food Administration 
in the World War. $1.00. 

Vol. III. 1920. 

Genesis of the Great Seal of Nebraska; Nebraska State Seal and 
Flag; George Bird Grinnell's Letter on Pawnees; The Founding of Fort 
Atkinson; The April Blizzard of 1873; Nebraska Society Daughters of 
American Revolution; The Winnebago Tribe; Walker's Ranch; Historic 
Spot in Hamilton County. $1.00. 




30 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

SOME RECOLLECTIONS OF JUDGE GRIMISON 

From a letter from Judge James A. Grimison, formerly of 
Schuyler, now of Lincoln, the following interesting extracts 
are taken : 

Volume XIX of the Historical Society Collections is to me 
a veritable "Old Settlers' Picnic." Prof. Hrbkova's Chapter 
on "Bohemians in Nebraska" seems to be a good and full ac- 
count. I knew all, or nearly all, of the first Bohemian settlers 
in Colfax county and in Butler county. 

I have known James Green, whose story opens the book, 
and his brother Simeon Green, for nearly fifty years and their 
homestead near Edholm. Quite a bunch of interesting people 
settled near the Greens and the south landing of Shinn's ferry 
in the sixties. Among them William and Reuben Butler (no 
relation to Gov. David Butler) John France and Judge Matt 
Miller, now of David City. Reuben Butler was a great lawyer 
and powerful, an all-around fighter in any court. He moved 
across the river to Schuyler in 1870, to Fremont in 1875, then 
back to Ohio. Shinn's ferry was in operation when I arrived 
there. It was the only crossing place for a long distance up 
and down the Platte River. Colfax County built a bridge a 
little east of it in 1871. 

The chapter by David M. Johnson on "Nebraska in the 
fifties" is a real "hummer," — especially, of that first session of 
the territorial legislature as told by one of the performers, who 
knew how to tell it in an amusing and interesting way. The 
old Douglas House, which at that time lodged about all the 
dignitaries of the Territory, with its big cotton wood trees in 
front, was still standing in all its primitive glory when I reach- 
ed Nebraska. 

May I be pardoned for harboring a suspicion that the con- 
tested election case between Estabrook and Dailey for delegate 
in Congress occupies a space out of proportion to its impor- 
tance. It certainly exhibits a ragged line of morality in its 
entirety ; but it must be admitted that elections were not in 
those days very sacred performances. I personally knew a 
case where an affirmative vote on an $85,000 bond issue was 
obtained by the simple device of placing the ballot box at an 
open window — not well guarded, and was not greatly sur- 
prised at finding out later that the two leading merchants of 
the town, whom their neighbor could safely trust in a business 
deal, got $1000 each of those bonds — while several good, honest 
lawyers got from $1000 to $3000 each. 

I have long held that Experience Estabrook was really one 
of the most intellectual and forcible men among the terri- 
torial pioneers. He called himself a liberal thinker, but he 
was more than that. He was big and broad in all directions 
and a very convincing public speaker when warmed up to the 



WILLIAM DUNN'S DIARY 31 

point of shedding his coat, which was usual. But he was an 
extreme radical in word and action which frightened so many 
timid souls that he was never very popular. Of course you 
know that he compiled the so-called "Revised Statutes of 
1867," with which the state began business. 



DIARY OF WILLIAM DUNN, FREIGHTER 

From Mrs. William Dunn of Syracuse the Society has a 
valuable manuscript. It is a diary of her husband who was 
a freighter between Nebraska City and Denver in 1865. The 
freight he carried on this trip was chiefly pork sausage packed 
in cans, holding about twenty-five pounds each. This was 
"home made'' sausage — product of Nebraska pigs. The 
freight train started from Nebraska City, February 18, 1865. 
Incidents on the trip include a long delay at the Blue River 
crossing in Seward county caused by high water. At Walnut 
Creek ranch (three miles east of present Beaver Crossing), 
one of the drivers got drunk and drew his gun. W. J. Thomp- 
son, the ranch keeper, took the gun away from him and he 
was discharged by the train boss. At the crossing of Beaver 
Creek, in what is now York county, the wagons got stuck in 
the mud and had to be entirely unloaded. At Millspaugh's 
ranch on the head of Beaver Creek Mr. Dunn's wagon tipped 
over on a slippery side hill, a narrow escape for the driver. 
The train arrived at Fort Kearny March 5, 19 days from Ne- 
braska City and found part of the First Nebraska and the 11th 
Kansas regiments there. At Plum Creek station March 14, 
another company of the First Nebraska was found. At Jules- 
burg March 28, Indians were making attacks. A dead Indian 
was found lying in the sage brush near the road. April 12, 
the train arrived at Denver, 56 days from Nebraska City. On 
April 17 the news of President Lincoln's death was received. 

This is an abridgment of Mr. Dunn's record which de- 
serves publication in full. It may be added that nearly all the 
freighters of that early period were steady, sober young men 
who later settled down in Nebraska and became its most sub- 
stantial and prosperous citizens. 



Editor's Note: The Nebraska City-Fort Kearny cut-off to the Oregon 
Trail was the principal freighting route to the mountains and beyond after 
1861, for the reason that it was shorter and better than the routes from 
any other Missouri river point.*** W. J. Thompson, located Walnut Creek 
Ranch in 1862. He was the father of Mrs. Addison E. Sheldon. No liquor 
was ever sold at Walnut Ranch. :: * :: Isaac N. Millspaugh was one of 



32 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

the "Characters" of the freighting days, tall, gaunt, inveterate whittler 
and story teller. He moved in the 70's from the head of Beaver Creek 
to a log house near Beaver Crossing where he whittled and related 
frontier stories until his death. 



FORT ATKINSON PARK 

Curator E. E. Blackmail visited Fort Calhoun in Novem- 
ber for the State Historical Society. He found the statue of 
the Indian on horseback, placed there at the time of the Fort 
Atkinson centennial celebration filling a prominent place in the 
village park. This statue is one of remarkable beauty, the 
work of one of America's great artists. It is made of staff 
on a wooden frame and is suffering from exposure to weather. 
The citizens of Fort Calhoun promised to take steps for its 
preservation. The panorama picture used in the Fort Atkin- 
son pageant is kept in the City Hall. It shows the first steam 
boats coming up the Missouri with the military. It was 
agreed that this should be transmitted to the Historical Society 
for safe keeping. Historian W. H. Woods, the guardian and 
defender of Fort Atkinson site, reports that the row of cellars 
on the Lewis and Clark Council Bluff are being obliterated by 
cultivation of the land. Each cellar marks the site of an im- 
portant building in Fort Atkinson. In these cellars are still 
many brick and presumably other relics of a century ago. 
There remains about nine hundred dollars from the centennial 
celebration fund of 1919. An association will be incorporated 
to receive this fund and provide for its expenditure. One of 
the proposed uses is for the erection of a museum to preserve 
relics of the old fort. The most important action which can 
be taken at the present time is that of acquiring a few acres 
of land on the Council Bluff for a historic park. Citizens of 
Fort Calhoun would find such a park, with a building to con- 
tain relics and historical accounts of the old Fort, the best 
investment that could possibly be made for the prosperity of 
their village. Hundreds of tourists would visit Old Fort 
Atkinson if its history were made known and its site preserved. 



Rev. Michael A. Shine of the Historical Society executive board 
has had his research work in western history sadly broken by several 
months' severe illness. The secretary found him the other day in St. 
Catherine's hospital at Omaha, sitting up in bed and looking fondly out 
the window where a long vista of the Missouri river i-ewarded his gaze. 
A fine historic setting for an historical scholar. Father Shine is loved 
by both Protestant and Catholic who pray for his early recovery and 
many years of labor in the fields which he has illuminated. 



THE NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Made a State Institution February 27, 1883. 

An act of the Nebraska legislature, recommended by Governor 
James W. Dawes in his inaugural and signed by him, made the State 
Historical Society a State institution in the following: 

Be it Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska: 

Section 1. That the "Nebraska State Historical Society," an or- 
ganization now in existence — Robt. W. Furnas, President; James M. 
Woolworth and Elmer S. Dundy, Vice-Presidents; Samuel Aughey, 
Secretary, and W. W. Wilson, Treasurer, their associates and successors — 
be, and the same is hereby recognized as a state institution. 

Section 2. That it shall be the duty of the President and Secretary 
of said institution to make annually reports to the governor, as required 
by other state institutions. Said report to embrace the transactions and 
expenditures of the organization, together with all historical addresses, 
which have been or may hereafter be read before the Society or furnished 
it as historical matter, data of the state or adjacent western regions of 
country. 

Section 3. That said reports, addresses, and papers shall be pub- 
lished at the expense of the state, and distributed as other similar official 
reports, a reasonable number, to be decided by the state and Society, to 
be furnished said Society for its use and distribution. 

Property and Equipment 

The present State Historical Society owns in fee simple title as 
trustee of the State the half block of land opposite and east of the State 
House with the basement thereon. It occupies for offices and working 
quarters basement rooms in the University Library building at 11th and 
R streets. The basement building at 16th and H is crowded with the 
collections of the Historical Society which it can not exhibit, including 
some 15,000 volumes of Nebraska newspapers and a large part of its 
museum. Its rooms in the University Library building are likewise 
crowded with library and museum material. The annual inventory of 
its property returned to the State Auditor for the year 1920 is as follows: 

Value of Land, % block 16th and H $76,000 

Value of Buildings and permanent improvements 35,000 

Value of Furniture and Furnishings 6,000 

Value of Special Equipment, including Apparatus, 

Machinery and Tools 1,000 

Educational Specimens (Art, Museum, or other) 74,800 

Library (Books and Publications) 75,000 

Newspaper Collection 52.895 

Total Resources $318,195 

Much of this property is priceless, being the only articles of their 
kind and impossible to duplicate. 



HI5TORV 




Vol. IV 



July-September, 1921 



No. Ill 



CONTENTS 

Editorial Notes , 33 

Early Days in Sioux County_. 34-37 

Ancient Nebraska House Sites 37-39 

Women Editors of Nebraska 39-40 

World War Records 40-41 

"Trails of Yesterday" 42-43 

Judge Gaslin Stories 43-45 

Old Time "Carrier's Address" 46-47 

How Long Ago Were Men in Nebraska 48 



PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY THE NEBRASKA STATE 

HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

LINCOLN 



Entered as second class matter February 4, 191S, at the Post Office, 
Lincoln, Nebraska, under Act August 24, 1912. 



THE NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Founded September 25, 1878 

The Nebraska State Historical Society was founded Sep- 
tember 25, 1878, at a public meeting held in the Commercial 
Hotel at Lincoln. About thirty well known citizens of the 
State were present. Robert W. Furnas was chosen president 
and Professor Samuel Aughey, secretary. Previous to this date, 
on August 26, 1867, the State Historical Society and Library 
Association was incorporated in order to receive from the State 
the gift of the block of ground, now known as Haymarket 
Square. This original Historical Association held no meet- 
ings. It was superseded by the present State Historical 
Society. 

Present Governing Board 

Executive Board — Officers and Elected Members 

President, Robert Harvey, Lincoln 

1st V- President, Hamilton B. Lowry, Lincoln 

2nd V-President, Nathan P. Dodge Jr., Omaha 

Secretary, Addison E. Sheldon, Lincoln 

Treasurer, Philip L. Hall, Lincoln 

Rev. Machael A. Shine, Plattsmouth 

Don L. Love, Lincoln 

Samuel C. Bassett, Gibbon 

John F. Cordeal, McCook 

Novia Z. Snell, Lincoln 

William E. Hardy, Lincoln 

Ex Officio Members 

Samuel R. McKelvie, Governor of Nebraska 

Samuel Avery, Chancellor of University of Nebraska 

George C. Snow, Chadron, President of Nebraska Press Association 

Howard W. Caldwell, Professor of American History, University of 

Nebraska 
Andrew M. Morrissey, Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Nebraska 
Clarence A. Davis, Attorney General of Nebraska 



NEBRASKA 

AND RECORD OF 




HISTORY 

|. A PIONEER DAYS 





p 


Liblish 


ed Quar 


erly by the Nebraska 


State Histor 


ca 


Soceity 












Addison E. Sheldon, 


Editor 
















Subscription, $2.00 


per year 








All s 


.\V1 


ning 

a ska 


members 
History 


of the Nebraska S 
and other publication 


ate Historic 

3 without fur 


he 


Society rec 
■ payment. 


eive 


Vol. 


IV 






July-September 


1921 




No. 


III 



Miss Rose Rosicky of Omaha visited the Historical Society 
rooms, recently bringing with her a most valuable contribution 
to the historical manuscripts of this society. It is a series 
of translations made by Miss Rosicky from the Bohemian week- 
ly newspaper, Osveta Amerika, published by her company at 
Omaha. Reading these manuscripts has been a fascination. 
They are first hand accounts by a number of the earliest Bo- 
hemian settlers in the State, including Mr. Joseph P. Sedivy 
of Verdigre, Mrs. Frank Jelinek of Crete, Frank Karnik of 
Dodge and many others. These stories are among the best of 
the pioneer stories written in Nebraska. They tell in a simple 
direct way the most extraordinary experiences which came to 
the settlers in a new land far from the countries of their birth 
in the formation period of Nebraska settlement. They de- 
serve a wide reading not only as records of the Bohemian 
people in Nebraska, but as real contributions to the social 
history of the early decades. We hope soon to publish selec- 
tions from them. 



A good many Women'.-- Cubs and similar societies are making the 
history of Nebraska their leading subject in the programs of the coming 
year. * The State Historical Society is glad to help with loan material. 



34 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

EARLY DAYS IN SIOUX COUNTY 

Among the strong characters remembered by the editor 
from his eight years' residence at Chadron (1888-96) is Mrs. S. 
C. D. Bassett of Harrison. At the beginning of that time the 
conflict between the free range cattlemen, whose herds had run 
on the splendid open range for a decade, and the "Grangers," 
as the homesteading settlers were called, was at its height. In 
vain the experienced ranchers told the land-hungry home- 
steaders that Sioux County was "no farming country." There 
stretched the splendid smooth sections of gramma grass. There 
was the Pine Ridge covered with pine trees for log cabins. 
There were the canyons and valleys with gushing springs and 
clear flowing streams. And there was Uncle Sam offering a 
free homestead for five years' residence. 

Nothing could stop the homesteader. He went for that 
land. And to crown his courage kindly Providence in 1889 
sent rains the summer long. Such crops of wheat and corn 
and vegetables were harvested by the homesteaders where the 
ranch men told them it never rained after the Fourth of July. 
So the homesteaders captured the county government from the 
ranchmen and drove the cattle from the free range. And then 
came the Drouth ! 

In this period the fame of Mrs. Bassett, the missionary 
merchant of Harrison, traveled far in the northwest. A letter 
written to secure certain early papers belonging to her hus- 
band's freighting experience brings the following letter from 
31 East 22nd Street, Portland, Oregon: 

I am the daughter of a Baptist minister, Rev. Gershom 
Buckley Day, who settled in Sturgis, Michigan, in the fall of 
1836, doing pioneer missionary work. 

Everybody was poor and a great deal of sickness made it 
impossible for the people to give needed aid to the missionary. 
My mother was heir according to English law, of Sir Francis 
Drake through his senior brother Joseph. She with her 
needle supported the family for 13 years except the pittance 
contributed by the people. In 1849 gold was discovered in 
California. At that time there was no machinery and only 
placer digging could be engaged in. Father said he could do 
as much good preaching to the miners as anywhere and could 
prospect for gold during the week. He decided to go to Cali- 
fornia in order to make money enough to support his family 



EARLY DAYS IN SIOUX COUNTY 35 

and educate his two daughters. There were no church build- 
ings and the California Indians saw the congregations who 
gathered in the open to hear him preach, thought him a white 
chief talking against them so they planned to watch when they 
might find him alone and killed him in 1852. 

W. H. Bassett and I were married in 1867. In 1884 he 
contracted tuberculosis and died in 1886. His life was of 
much interest as he was engaged in freighting for the govern- 
ment for many years between Nebraska City and Pacific coast 
points. His diaries were burned with all his effects in -Ne- 
braska City, thus losing the records of an eventful life. Though 
not converted until after our marriage he was a moral man 
and in hiring his men required them to sign a contract not to 
use vulgar language or profanity, nor to abuse their animals 
under penalty of discharge, which at that time would have 
been serious on the uninhabited prairie. 

Mr. Alexander Majors, of the firm, Majors, Russell and 
Waddell, with whom he was associated in the freighting busi- 
ness came to see him just before he died and the meeting was 
a touching scene like the meeting of a father and son. The 
streuous physical and nervous strain of his illness of twenty- 
three months impaired my health so that I was having night 
sweats and every indication of a permanent decline, when an 
estimable woman friend, Mrs. E. B. Graham, invited me to 
come to Nebraska and make my home with them at their ranch. 

Nebraska offered good opportunities for loaning money 
and a friend in Sturgis, Michigan, wished me to loan a thousand 
dollars for her. I deposited it in the bank at Harrison until 
a favorable opportunity offered. The bank became involved, 
so the only way I could save the deposit was to buy the store 
with wh:'ch it was connected. I secured two excellent helpers 
of ability and integrity, Mr. Conrad Lindeman and E. A. Weir, 
the latter a young man about nineteen. 

In this new town when some of the cattlemen would re- 
turn from having sold their stock in Omaha and have a spree 
they were determined that every man in town should join them. 
Those who did not drink were obliged to hide. One hid under 
the steps of the depot, another ran into my store through the 
back room, jumped out through the window and escaped 
through the darkness out on the broad prairie. If discovered 
they would be dragged to the saloon and compelled to drink. 

The store was quite large and had living rooms at the 
back which I occupied. The clerks slept in the store when all 
was quiet. But the 4th of July, or any public day, was al- 
ways an occasion for a spree. My clerks gladly consented on 
such occasions to my suggestion to sleep in my apartment and 



36 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

I would don a wrapper and sleep under the counter in the 
store. 

Whenever I think of the early Harrison days, two pictures 
persist in presenting themselves. One 5th of July morning 
one of the carousers got the hotel dinner bell and came ringing 
it vigorously to the store for my men. After he had per- 
sistently rattled the front for some time I got up and went to 
the door. When he saw me he ran as if an evil demon was 
trying to catch him. On another occasion some one came to 
the west door. The store was on a corner and had two en- 
trances. I was sleeping near the south door. I stepped out 
to inquire what was wanted. I went to the corner of the 
building and was surprised to find a man in his night attire. 
He. too, ran when he heard a woman's voice. The bitter feel- 
ing of the liquor element expressed itself in threats, so my 
friends told me never to step out doors after dark alone, that 
I was in danger of bodily harm on account of my temperance 
principles. This was in the early days of free range when 
there were no fences and cattle roamed at will over the public 
land. 

A short time prior to this a young school teacher was 
married and came to western Nebraska stopping for a little 
while at Hay Springs before settling in Harrison. Hay 
Springs if possible was then more wild than Harrison. At 
Harrison they took a claim and lived in a shack made of lum- 
ber with cracks that one could stick their fingers through, 
which was all right in nice weather. 

A little daughter came to this house and the mother en- 
dured much suffering with bealed breasts. No milk could be 
secured for the baby who died of starvation. There was no 
cemetery and the little one was buried on the claim near Har- 
rison. W 7 hen an effort was made later to have the remains 
removed to the cemetery no trace of them could be found. 
Thus the little body rests beneath the wild flowers awaiting 
the awakening trump of the resurrection morn. There was 
no doctor at Harrison at this time. Water was hauled in 
barrels for family use. A rancher from over twenty miles 
away saw the house, called for a drink and found the woman 
in this pitiful condition. He told her he had a brother who 
was a doctor and he would send him to her. The doctor re- 
lieved her greatly and a year ago the lady told me she thought 
Dr. E. B. Graham saved her life at that time. 

Having been a Bible class teacher in Michigan I organized 
a class in Harrison and conducted religious services from time 
to time in the hall. At the close of one of these services the 
only cyclone that has ever been known in Harrison seemed to 



EARLY DAYS IN SIOUX COUNTY 37 

start just west of the town. It consisted ot two columns each 
about as large as a barrel, which moved slowly eastward until 
it came to Main street, when it turned south and followed the 
fleeing citizens who were running from it at a right angle from 
where they first saw it. Afterwards one of the men said: 
"I glanced back and the thing was just following us." In its 
path stood a small house made of lumber. It was torn into 
splinters. The cook stove was carried nearly half a mile and 
the stove pipe, table and chairs, broken and carried farther. 
The chickens were killed, their feathers picked off and 
scattered. 

I had just concluded a religious service in the hall which 
was up stairs at the four corners of the town. There came a 
little dash of rain with large drops so I waited to see if there 
was going to be more rain. Everybody else had gone. I 
stood looking out of the west window when I saw it start and 
watched it progress and demolish the building above re- 
ferred to, I said to myself, "The Lord can take care of me here 
just as well as anywhere." I watched it approach, there was 
every indication that the building I was in would be wrecked. 
Then it turned south. I did not experience fear. I seemed 
to have the assurance that the Lord would take care of me 
even if the building was razed. 

Many exciting incidents occured from time to time while 
the town was so new, viz. : When* savage Indians were re- 
ported on their way to Harrison. This was a night of terror 
everybody expecting before morning the horrors of a 
massacre. The rumor proved false and the tension was re- 
lieved the following day. 

The Sioux tableland is fine. Good people have been at- 
tracted to Harrison, because of its healthful climate. The 
better element prevails and now it is a pleasant town with 
modern homes, good lawns and beautiful flowers. 



ANCIENT HOUSE SITES AT MEADOW, NEBRASKA 

By A. M. Brooking, Curator, Hastings College Museum 



On May 9, 1921, in company with J. E. Wallace I arrived 
at Meadow, Sarpy County. Nebraska. While collecting birds 
we discovered an ancient house site three quarters of a mile 
west of "Hickory Lodge," the summer home of Mrs. A. J. 
Cornish. It was located about half way up the north slope 
of a ridge somewhat over a half mile long, running north and 
south. It had evidently been located behind the ridge in order 
to conceal it from enemies passing up and down the river, as 
the stream (Platte) was about three quarters of a mile distant. 



38 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

The depression marking the location of this house site 
is about twenty feet across from rim to rim, with a depth of 
about two feet and resembled the "buffalo wallows" commonly 
found on our western prairies. 

Hickory trees were growing about the rim, one of which 
was seventeen inches in diameter. 

In order to assure ourselves of this being a house site we 
dug a hole, about four feet square, in the center of the de- 
pression, and at seven feet from the ground level a heavy bed 
of ashes was encountered; which left no doubt in our minds 
that it was the fireplace of an ancient habitation. 

The following morning we started a trench seven or eight 
feet long, running east and west, about six feet distant from 
the fireplace. We found the earth mould, which had accumu- 
lated since the roof had fallen in, to be very black. I judged 
it to have been about twenty-five inches thick before we 
reached the original roof covering. There was no exact way 
of determining this as it was of black earth resembling the 
dirt above it, the only difference being that the roof covering 
had traces of charcoal through it. 

We struck the floor level, as we did at the fireplace, about 
five feet under the surface and found it to be of yellow clay, 
packed as hard as the day the original inhabitants left it. 

On the floor at the east end of our trench a fine double- 
pointed flint knife was struck by the spade and broken. The 
layers of the floor seemed to be about four inches thick and 
bore evidence of having been in use many years. 

The only difference that we could note between this and 
the pre-historic dwellings near South Omaha was the fact that 
no stones or rocks were found in the fireplace while at Omaha 
I am told, they are almost always found. Mr. Wallace, who 
has had considerable experience in excavating there, says that 
he never found a fireplace there which did not have them. All 
other material we discovered seemed to be about the same. 

By carefully uncovering the floor we soon found evidence 
of a cache near the east end of our trench and about five feet 
from the fireplace. It had probably been used as a food cache 
as we soon began to uncover unio clam shells, and bones of 
various kinds. We were able to identify buffalo, deer and elk 
bones, also some large bird bones which we took to be Sand- 
hill crane. This cache was about eighteen inches across at 
the top, shaped like a jug, and gradually widened until at the 
bottom, five feet below the opening, it must have been fully 
five feet across. We found three sub-caches running out of 
this main one at an angle of 45 degrees downward, about a 
foot in depth. A beautiful flint celt was found on the floor 
of the main cache, pottery fragments were encountered at all 



ANCIENT HOUSE SITES IN NEBRASKA 39 

levels, some of them as large as saucers, but none of which 
would lead us to believe that they had been left whole. In 
this cache we also found six arrowshaft straighteners with 
well denned grooves, an implement of Dakota sandstone which 
may be a discoidal, four small flint scrapers, one round scrap- 
er, three arrow points, six chipped tools which may have been 
used as scrapers, one piece of red paint stone, snowing use; 
a section of an elkhorn tool, a broken pipe, some rare red pot- 
tery .and some bone which bore evidence of having been tem- 
pered. 

At the bottom of one of the lower caches we found a fine 
digging tool made from the shoulder blade of a buffalo. 
Measuring the distance to the bottom of these sub-caches we 
found that they were fully eleven feet from the ground level. 

The next day we opened another trench about four feet 
southeast of our first one, and found the opening to another 
cache filled with much softer dirt than the first one, which 
was packed as hard as the floor. Nothing was found in this 
except one perfect flint knife and some large fragments of a 
well made pot blackened by fire. We judged the depth of 
this cache to have been at least six feet from the level of 
the floor. 

Owing to our limited time we were unable to dig further. 
but some good material might be found by searching out the 
other caches at the opposite side of the fireplace, as at the 
point of the hill overlooking the river large numbers of human 
bones and flint implements have been plowed up at various 
times by farmers working the land. 

The natural supposition is that these are very evidently 
the same race of people who lived near Omaha, and that their 
settlement extended further westward than is generally sup- 
posed, as this is fully twenty miles from the main village. On 
the first ridge west of "Hickory Lodge" is a depression mark- 
ing a house site at least sixty-five feet in diameter. We dug 
down in the center of it but were not able to uncover the fire- 
place in the limited time at our disposal. We found charcoal 
scattered through the dirt to a depth of six feet. I am sat- 
isfied that it is one of the largest house sites known. It is 
located on the shoulder of the hill overlooking the river, in a 
cornfield where many bones and flint objects have been found 
during cultivation, and T am convinced that this would pay 
to excavate also. 



40 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

WOMEN EDITORS OF NEBRASKA NEWSPAPERS 

In answer to questions regarding women editors of Ne- 
braska, Miss Martha Turner, of the Historical Society, has 
compiled this list: 

Brock Bulletin, Miss F. E. Warden, editor and publisher. 

Crookston Herald, Mrs. J. E. Estle, editor and publisher. 

Dixon Journal, Rivola B. Bennette, editor and publisher. 

Banner County News, Harrisburg, Ella B. Wilson, editor 
and publisher. 

Hebron Journal, Mrs. Erasmus M. Correll, editor and pub- 
lisher. 

Nebraska State Grange Journal, Kearney, Mrs. George 
Bischel, editor and State Grange Community, publishers. 

Nebraska Legal News, Lincoln, Mrs. D. M. Butler, editor 
and publisher. 

Minden News, Miss Florence E. Reynolds, editor, News 
Publishing Company, publishers. 

Morrill Mail, Mrs. W. E. Alvis, editor. 

Norfolk Press, W. H. & Marie Weekes, editors and pub- 
lishers. 

Every Child's Magazine, Omaha, Miss Grace Sorenson. 

Tidings, Omaha, Mrs. Mary E. LaRocca, editor, Supreme 
Forest, publisher. 

Pawnee County Schools, Pawnee City, Elsie S. Hammond, 
editor and publisher. 

Rulo Star, F. W. and Mrs. B. J. Beavers, editors and pub- 
lishers. 

Stromsburg Headlight, Mrs. Chattie Coleman Westenius, 
editor and publisher. 

Upland Eagle, Mrs. J. W. Robinson, editor and publisher. 

Verdel (Knox Co.) Outlook, Kate M. Robinson, editor and 
publisher. 

York New Teller, Miss E. G. Moore, editor and publisher. 



WORLD WAR RECORDS AND MEMORIALS 

From T. S. Walmslay, chairman of the American Legion 
committee upon World War memorials and records, the His- 



WORLD WAR RECORDS AND MEMORIALS 41 

torical Society has received a most important and valuable re- 
port made to the American Legion at its meeting in Kansas 
City this year. The report is packed with definite information 
and opinion relating to the records, the history and memorials 
of the World War. These are matters which the State Histor- 
ical Societies and the American Historical Association are 
deeply interested in. In this field the American Legion and 
the Historical Societies find need of cordial cooperation. 

A few salient facts in the American Legion committee re- 
port are given for information of members of the State His- 
torical Society who may not have access to that document. 

Individual records of those in service during the World 
War are contained in the records of the Adjutant General's 
office, filling 140,000 feet of floor space and weigh over 2,000 
tons. 

Selected draft records of the Provost Marshal General's 
office contain the documents of 4.658 local draft boards and 
23,908,576 registrants in draft lists, from which names were 
drawn those subject to service. These documents weigh over 
8,000 tons. 

Besides the above records, which relate primarily to the 
individual soldier and sailor of the World War, there are the 
national records of all the other departments of military ser- 
vice and supply, making in the aggregate many more thousand 
tons. These are scattered in various buildings at Washington. 

The Adjutant General's offices in the various states have 
been supplied with cards from these national records giving 
the important facts relating to men in the service. Upon com- 
paring these cards with known sources of information in the 
service states it is found that about 10% of them contain er- 
rors. Some states which plan to publish service lists of their 
own soldiers have postponed such publications until the records 
are checked and verified. 

The American Legion has recommended Congress to ap- 
propriate money for the erection of a national archives build- 
ing at Washington in which shall be housed these historical 
records for the use of state historians and other persons in- 
terested. 

War history commissions in many of the states, composed 
of representatives of the State Historical Societies, of service 
men and others, have been formed for the purpose ol preserv- 
ing in each state material relating to the state's part in the 
World War. From this material volumes of state World War 
history are to be published. 



NEBRASKA HISTORY 




John Bratt, Nebraska Pioneer and Author. 1864-1918. 



TRAILS OF YESTERDAY 



John Bratt was born in Staffordshire, England, August 9, 
1842. He arrived in America July 9, 1864. After a remark- 
able experience in Chicago and the South he came to Nebraska 
in May, 1866 and engaged as bullwhacker at Nebraska City 
with a freighting outfit bound for Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming. 

For the next four years (1866-1870) Mr. Bratt was on the 
fighting frontier, employed as courier, ranch caretaker, team- 
ster, wood and hay contract foreman, contractor's agent and 
manager. The Union Pacific railway was under construction. 
Forts were being built. Military were moving. Indian wars 
were going on. Emigrants were migrating on the great trails. 



TRAILS OF YESTERDAY 43 

Stage lines and pony express riders were traveling night and 
day. The greatest panorama of human life stretched over the 
plains and mountains from the Missouri river to the Pacific 
ocean. Mr. Bratt's life at this period was in the midst of dan- 
gers and important events. He held places of responsibility 
handling both men and money. For one firm he disbursed 
nearly two million dollars. He grew in the confidence of his 
employers and was advanced and finally taken into partnership. 

In 1870 the cattle ranching company of John Bratt & Co. 
was founded with Mr. Bratt as manager. For the next twenty- 
eight years he was in the plains cattle business, driving herds 
from Texas, building ranches, filling beef contracts, organiz- 
ing county governments for protection, fighting Indian and 
white cattle thieves, constructing irrigation ditches for great 
meadows, quieting unruly cowboys. 

In 1898 Mr. Bratt went out of the ranching business, set- 
tled in North Platte, was member of the school board, mayor 
and devoted the remaining years of his life to business inter- 
ests, support of civic welfare and enjoyment of his friends and 
family. He died June 15, 1918, after a brief illness. 

The manuscript 'Trails of Yesterday" was written, as 

he says : 

Sometimes these were written under difficulties in tent, wagon box, 
ranch, or on the open prairie, if not on my field desk; perhaps on a 
cracker box, the cooks' bread box, the end gate or seat of a wagon, the 
skirts of my saddle, or on an ox yoke. These facts are what I have 
seen and done in years of activity, often at the risk of my life. 

He expected to publish the book himself, but left that by 
will to his wife and daughters who have discharged the duty 
with fidelity and love. 

"Trails of Yesterday" is a real contribution to Nebraska 
literature as well as Nebraska history. It is the best picture 
of Nebraska frontier conditions thus far achieved in any book. 
In simple style the author tells his story. Incidents that stir 
the blood and fire the imagination follow each other in natural, 
truthful sequence. And, through it all, the pages disclose the 
personality of a real man. 



Attorney I. D. Bradley of Attica, Kansas, writes a most interesting 
account of his early Nebraska experiencps. In April, 1867, he hauled 
3,500 pounds of shelled corn to Denver with four mules. After that he 
drove up the North Platte rive, to the old Beauvais Ranch where he had 
a narrow escape from 400 hostile Sioux. 1 here are only a few still living 
who were on the plains in the war days of 1864-67. 



NEBRASKA HISTORY 
JUDGE GASLIN STORIES 



George L. Burr, editor of the Register at Aurora, writes : 
"You ask concerning Judge Gaslin stories. I have one that 
came under my personal observation. It is not much, but 
such as it is you shall have it. I was a boy freighter from 
Smith county, Kansas, to Hastings, and when on the return 
trip, I stopped over at Hunnell's ranch between Hastings and 
Red Cloud for dinner. It was an election day and the candi- 
dates were Gaslin and Dil worth. We had a good dinner, albeit 
considerably late. While we were eating, a half dozen of us 
at table, the little daughter of the proprietor, Hunnell, a five 
or six year-old with long curls that were very beautiful, came 
to her father's arms, and said: 'They are having 'lection over 
to the schoolhouse, papa.' 'Is that so,' he replied, 'and did you 
vote?' 'Yes, I voted' said she.' 'Who did you vote for?' in- 
quired the father. 'I voted for Dilworth,' said the little girl. 
'I didn't want no old Gaslin in mine.' 

"The man eating beside me ducked his head, but said 
never a word, and after dinner the other freighters told me 
that it was Judge Gaslin himself and that he was a good judge, 
but that he was prejudiced against women, he having a wife 
that had gone wrong, and that he had to watch himself in 
cases where women were concerned to see that he did no 
injustice." 

Other Gaslin stories : 

"At one term of district court the jury released several 
bad actors that the judge considered hardened criminals. They 
convicted one young fellow on a first offense. With utmost 
severity of manner he roared out : 'Stand up and receive your 
sentence.' The prisoner struggled to his feet expecting to re- 
ceive the limit and the judge said, 'Prisoner at the bar: For 
some reason, God only knows what it was, the jury have seen 
fit to turn loose on this community several bad men, more 
guilty than you. If they can do this I can turn loose one boy, 
that I hope will know more than to be ever caught in a scrape 
like this again. The sentence of this court is that you mount 
your horse, and be out of town in less than five minutes.' " 



"When I lived in Webster county about 1884 they told the 
following yarn about Gaslin. The Cook murder trial where 
the man who committed a horrible and unprovoked murder of 
an employer was concluded and the prisoner ready for sen- 
tence. It should have been murder in the first degree but a 
mob had hanged and nearly killed him and he was very pluck- 
ily rescued by Sheriff Warren at risk of his life and as a re- 
sult the verdict was for murder in the second degree. The 



JUDGE GASLIN STORIES 45 

Judge had been greatly exasperated by several supreme court 
decisions in other cases and spit out : 'I'll tell you what I'll do. 
I'll give this man five years in the penitentiary if he and his 
attorney will agree that he take his medicine and serve the 
sentence ; or I will give him ten years in the penitentiary and 
he can appeal to the supreme court and see what they Will 
do for him.' " 



"Later at Bloomington, he was holding court, and my 
father, E. M. Burr, was one of the attorneys at the bar. As 
court got in motion it became manifest that His Honor was 
very drunk and not in fit condition to act on the bench. As 
father was bringing forward his case, the judge made a great 
effort to appear preternaturally attentive, but he as well as 
the onlookers realized that he could not conquer his indispo- 
sition. 'This court sojourned,' thickly enunciated, 'I'm not in 
condition to try a lawsuit, and I'm not going to do it.' 'To 
what date, your honor,' said father. 'To the twenty-fifth of 
Deshember,' said the judge. 'But your honor, that is a legal 
holiday' was urged. Confusedly he stared at the lawyers and 
jury. 'Whatsh holiday that comes on the twenty-fifth Deshem- 
ber?' he inquired aggressively. The great judge who was not- 
ed for short-cut justice being too drunk to know when Christ- 
mas came. 

"Everybody has heard the story where he walked out, 
measured the breaking and passed judgment on the work, those 
points being in controversy in a case on trial before him. When 
court resumed trial of the case, he ruled out further evidence 
saying the court had seen the land and knew what the facts 
were." 



STATEMENT OF THE OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT. CIRCULA- 
TION, ETC., REQUIRED BY THE ACT OF CONGRESS 
OF AUGUST 24. 1912, 

Of Nebraska History & Record of Pioneer Days published Quarterly at 
Lincoln, Nebraska, for April 1922. 

State of Nebraska, County of Lancaster, ss. 

Before me, a Notary Public in and for the State and county afore- 
said, personally appeared A. E. Sheldon who, having been duly sworn 
accoi'ding to law, deposes and says that he is the Managing Editor of the 
Nebraska History & Records of "Pioneer Days, and that the following is, 
to the best of his knowledge and belief, a true statement of the owner- 
ship, management (and if a daily paper, the circulation), etc., of the 
aforesaid publication for the date shown in the above caption, required 
by the Act of August 24, 1912, embodied in section 443, Postal Laws ami 
Regulations, printed on the reverse of this form, to wit: 

1. That the names and addresses of the publisher, editor, managing 
editor, and business managers are: 

Publisher, Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, Nebraska. 

Editor, A. E. Sheldon, Linco'n, Nebraska. 

Managing Editor, A. E. Sheldon, Lincoln, Nebraska. 



46 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

Business Managers, A. E. Sheldon, Lincoln, Nebraska. 
2 That the owners are: (Give names and addresses of individual 
owners, or, if a corporation, give its name and the names and addresses 
of stockholders owning or holding 1 per cent or more of the total amount 
of stock.) Nebraska State Historical Society. 

3. That the known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security 
holders owning or holding 1 per cent or more of total amount of bonds, 
mortgages, or other securities are: None. 

A. E. SHELDON, Editor. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 11th day of April 1922. 

(SEAL) MAX WESTERMAN. 

(My commission expires Aug. 4, 1927.) 



"What has become" of the old fashioned newspaper custom of 
printing a "Carrier's Address'' to the New Year's edition? This custom 
was well nigh universal in the 50's and 60's, it persisted in the 70's and 
lingered into the 80's. The editor of this magazine has seen no such ad- 
dress since the 90's. The stimulus for this paragraph is the receipt by 
the Historical Society from Mrs. J. M. Enochs, at the W. C. T. U. National 
Home, Kansas City, Kansas, of a very excellent copy, well preserved, of 
the 

"New Year's Address" of the Carrier. 
Of the Weekly Nebraska News. 
To the Patrons. 
January 1, 1857." 
The address is in verse, which was the universal custom of those 
good old days. It was the business of the literary talent in each printing 
office to produce a page of verse — or worse — for this New Year's edition. 
The lines were supposed to rhyme and to convey some local allusions, 
some references to news and classic literature, some high hopes and as- 
pirations for the future. They were also designed to act as a stimulus 
on the subscriber for prompt renewal of his subscription and a bonus — 
the word was not then in use as now — to the boy who delivered the paper. 
So this old document, with its dear memories of the olden days, finds an 
appropriate place among the newspaper treasures of the Historical So- 
ciety. Space may be spared for brief quotation only from its contents: 
I don't suppose you ever knew it. 
That I the "Devil" am a poet; 
But when these rhymes do you all read. 
A Poet you'll think I am indeed, 
Remember friends — I know it well, 
The secret to you, I will tell: 
"You can no more make yourself a poet, 
Than a sheep can make itself a GO-AT." 

On politics I've but little to say 
Since Democracy has carried the day. 
We've met the enemy gained the FIGHT 
And our future prospects are yet bright. 
And our brave LEADER needs no tear. 
Still enough his patriot heart to cheer. 
There is no dimness cast upon his fame 
And BUCHANAN is still an honored name. 



CARRIER'S ADDRESS— 1857 47 

I must by no means here forget, 
Nebraska City Is improving yet, 
Buildings have sprung up in splendor, 
Churches have increased in number; 
Arts and science still hold a place 
Learning still goes on apace; 
We have a railroad almost here — 
All with me join in a loud cheer. 

And now my friends and Patrons true, 
I must ask a favor of you 
Reward me with the precious dimes, 
For my low bow and simple rhymes; 
And if you choose to give a Quarter, 
I'll not complain, "you hadn't orter;" 
'Twill not decrease your wealth or joy. 
But save from want your CARRIER BOY. 
There are twenty-one other stanzas but the above samples will 
suffice. Fine old humanistic custom! Why did it not survive? 



A Los Angeles letter from Prof. H. W. Caldwell, former 
secretary of the State Historical Society, says : 

"Of course you know that this city is making wonderful growth. 
In the last 15 months they claim that about 200,000 people have moved 
in. Thousands of houses have been constructed, and now everywhere 
in the city great numbers of houses and buildings are under construc- 
tion. Last evening friends took me with them on an automobile drive 
in a rather new and hilly section, yet we saw scores of houses under 
way, most of them very small in size. Great numbers of large buildings 
also are under way. The city in the last two years has greatly increased 
its manufacturing. The increase in population has made the rates for 
house or even room rent very high. I got out fairly well by going out 
of the central city to a nice district; and by a cousin I succeeded in find- 
ing a good room for $15 a month. Dr. Howard told me — I went there 
the moment I came — that in his section rooms were about $20 to $30. 
As it is. I am about 8 miles from them, yet I can go on a street car for 
five cents. 

Have you noticed that this city is the largest in area of any city 
of the world; it has 365 square miles now in the city — the main reason 
due to the need of water for all. Now the distance north to south is 
40 miles, and it contains mountains, farms, and many named cities, now 
all part of this city. San Pedro is 20 miles away, next to Long Beach, 
and on the sea shore. I expect to go there tomorrow to visit Mrs. Jan- 
sen (Miss Fossler) in her high school. She lives within 4 blocks of me, 
and goes to her school every day, 26 miles. She has to start before 6 
in the morning and gets home by 6 or 7 in the evening. That is not 
uncommon. Two of the Fossler women teach in the two Universities. 
and they live with their mother in Pasadena. It takes them about 1* 
hours to go and to return. 

In regard to myself, just a word. 1 have gained in weightj so 
that today 1 found 1 had more weight than for t\\<> or three years. 

Judge Alpha Morgan of Broken Bow writes to secure hack vol- 
umes of the Historical Society publications. At no distant date it will be 
impossible to secure back volumes except by publication of new editions. 



NEBRASKA HISTORY 
HOW LONG AGO WERE MEN IN NEBRASKA? 



Xo questions are asked oftener of the Historical Society 
than these: 

How long ago did prehistoric men live in Nebraska? 
What proof have we of their existence here? 

Tn the 36th report of the American Bureau of Ethnology 
(just received), pages 22-24, is further discussion of the prob- 
lem raised by these questions. Gerard Fowke, expert from 
the bureau, visited southeastern Nebraska and northeastern 
Kansas several years ago. He examined many burial mounds 
and village sites in this region. His chief purpose was to deter- 
mine the age of man in the Nebraska region — so far as study 
of these remains might indicate. From his report just pub- 
lished, the following points are condensed : 

1. Remains found at old Nebraska lodge sites,except mark'ngs on 
some of the pottery, are not different from those found at sites of the 
Indian villages occupied at the time of Lewis and Clark expedition (1804- 
06). (Blackface, ours.). 

2. Fairly solid bones of animals and occasional human bones are 
found at the bottom of the lodge sites, even where these are damp most 
of the year. To say these were there "thousands of years" ago is rash. 

3. The best test of the age of these old earth lodge sites is the 
depth of dust which has accumulated above the floor and the fallen-in 
dirt roof of the old structure. In some cases this is 20 or 22 inches. 
These sites are on the tops of hills where the winds blow. An estimate 
of an inch per 100 years is too small. 

4. Any estimate is a conjecture. It is safe, however, to say that 
no earthwork, mound, lodge-site or human bones along this part of the 
Missouri river has been there 1,000 years. 

In regard to the skeletons and other remains found at Long's 
Hill. e : ght miles north of Omaha, by Dr. R. F. Gilder — about the year 
1906: Mr. Fowke says the hill has been so much dug over that no new 
evidence can be obtained there and the case must res; on what is now 
in print. 

For many years the writer has said that 1000 years was 
the safest guess on the age of man in the Nebraska region — so 
far as the evidence in sight disclosed. This opinion is con- 
firmed by Mr. Fowke — in fact it is hedged. 

Before the arrival of the horse from Europe — A. D. 1540 
and later — the western plains and prairies were a poor place 
for a prehistoric citizen. The centers of early population were 
in the woods of the Ohio and Mississippi — even in the shel- 
tered canyons of the Rio Grande and the Colorado. 

Evidences of early men in this region are abundant along 
the Missouri. The remains of their early culture in bone, and 
flint, in charred wood, fire places and kitchen refuse are fas- 
cinating, for they show a culture differing from the red Indian 
of the historic period. We shall know far more of these early 
peoples fifty years hence — for time and money will be given 
to study of their remains. 



THE NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Made a State Institution February 27, 1883. 

An act of the Nebraska legislature, recommended by Governor 
James W. Dawes in his inaugural and signed by him, made the State 
Historical Society a State institution in the following: 

Be it Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska: 

Section. 1. That the "Nebraska State Historical Society," an or- 
ganization now in existence — Robt. W. Furnas, President; James M. 
Woolworth and Elmer S. Dundy, Vice-Presidents; Samuel Aughey, Sec- 
retary, and W. W. Wilson, Treasurer, their associates and successors — 
be, and the same is hereby recognized as a state institution. 

Section 2. That is shall be the duty of the President and Secretary 
of said institution to make annually reports to the governor, as required 
by other state institutions. Said report to embrace the transactions and 
expenditures of the organization, together with all historical addresses, 
which have been or may hereafter be read before the Society or furnished 
it as historical matter, data of the state or adjacent western regions of 
country. 

Section 3. That said reports, addresses, and papers shall be pub- 
lished at the expense of the state, and distributed as other similar official 
reports, a reasonable number, to be decided by the state and Society, to 
be furnished said Society for its use and distribution. 

Property and Equipment 

The present State Historical Society owns in fee simple title as 
trustee of the State the half block of land opposite and east of the State 
House with the basement thereon. It occupies for offices and working 
quarters basement rooms in the University Library building at 11th and 
R streets. The basement building at 16th and H is crowded with the 
collections of the Historical Society which it can not exhibit, including 
some 15,000 volumes of Nebraska newspapers and a large part of : ts 
museum. Its rooms in the University Library building are likevise 
crowded with library and museum material. The annual inventory of 
its property returned to the State Auditor for the year 1920 is as follows: 

Value of Land, y 2 block 16th and H $75,000 

Value of Buildings and permanent improvements 35,000 

Value of Furniture and Furnishings 5,000 

Value of Special Equipment, including Apparatus, 

Machinery and Tools 1,000 

Educational Specimens (Art, Museum, or other) 74,800 

Library (Books and Publications) 75,000 

Newspaper Collection 52,895 



Total Resources $318,195 

Much of this property is priceless, being the only articles of their 
kind and impossible to duplicate. 



NEBRASKA 




Vol. IV 



October-December, 1921 



No. IV 



CONTENTS 

Editorial Notes 49-52 

Historical Sites in Nebraska 53-60 

Nebraska and Buffalo Bill in French 60 

A Revenant Cheyenne 61-64 



PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY THE NEBRASKA STATE 

HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

LINCOLN 



Entered as second class matter February 4, 1918, at the Post Office, 
Lincoln, Nebraska, under Act August 24, 1912. 



THE NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Founded September 25, 1878 

The Nebraska State Historical Society was founded Sep- 
tember 25, 1878, at a public meeting held in the Commercial 
Hotel at Lincoln. About thirty well known citizens of the 
State were present. Robert W. Furnas was chosen president 
and Professor Samuel Aughey, secretary. Previous to this date, 
on August 26, 1867, the State Historical Society and Library 
Association was incorporated in order to receive from the State 
the gift of the block of ground, now known as Haymarket 
Square. This original Historical Association held no meet- 
ings. It was superseded by the present State Historical 
Society. 

Present Governing Board 

Executive Board — Officers and Elected Members 

President, Robert Harvey, Lincoln 

1st V-President, Hamilton B. Lowry, Lincoln 

2nd V-President, Nathan P. Dodge Jr., Omaha 

Secretary, Addison E. Sheldon, Lincoln 

Treasurer, Philip L. Hall, Lincoln 

Rev. Machael A. Shine, Plattsmouth 

Don L. Love, Lincoln 

Samuel C. Bassett, Gibbon 

John F. Cordeal, McCook 

Novia Z. Snell, Lincoln 

William E. Hardy, Lincoln 

Ex Officio Members 

Samuel R. McKelvie, Governor of Nebraska 

Samuel Avery, Chancellor of University of Nebraska 

George C. Snow, Chadron, President of Nebraska Press Association 

Howard W. Caldwell, Professor of American History, University of 

Nebraska 
Andrew M. Morrissey, Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Nebraska 
Clarence A. Davis, Attorney General of Nebraska 



NEBRASKA (ppLHI5TORV 

AND RECORD OF W^k PIONEER DAYS 



-:?■&*& 




Published Quarterly by the Nebraska State Historical Soceity 
Addison E. Sheldon, Editor 
Subscription, $2.00 per year 



Vol. IV October-December, 1921 No. IV 



Josiah M. Ward, writer of frontier stories for the Denver Post and 
other publications asks for definite information found in our library upon 
the Fontenelle family. Mr. Ward has been doing research work on the 
men of the plains and mountains who lived in the period 1820 to 1849. 



Frank Pilger, president of the Pierce State Bank, sends check for 
Volume I of our publications, printed in 1885 and says "I desire to be 
connected with the Society permanently." Mr. Pilger's interest in Ne- 
braska history has been constant for many years. 



The Union Pacific Magazine is the title of a new Nebraska monthly 
publication, issued from headquarters at Omaha, edited by Howard Elliott. 
Besides serving as an advertiser of the Union Pacific region the magazine 
has a fine field for historical study and publication and seems likely to 
live up to its opportunity. 



A valued addition to our library is a scrap book kept by W. F. 
Cody (Buffalo Bill) in 1887 on the occasion of his first tour of England 
with his Wild West show. The book is a gift from Mrs. Julia E. Good- 
man .sister of Col. Cody, through Mrs. George G. Waite of Lincoln. The 
clippings are from many representative British periodicals and give a 
vivid picture of Col. Cody and his first triumphant European tour. 



Former Representative W. E. Thorne, of Bladen, in sending in 

irship for the coming year adds: 

"The publications of the Society are very interesting to me." 



50 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

Richard Shunatona, son of one of the prominent early Otoe chiefs, 
writes us from Pawnee, Oklahoma. He was born in Nebraska and will 
act as a representative of the Historical Society in gathering historical 
material from the Otoe, tribe. The State Historical Society is now camp- 
ed on former Otoe territory. Forty-five years ago the Otoe were familiar 
visitors at every settler's cabin in the valley of the Blues. Shunatona 
is in English, "Big Horse." 



Ezra Meeker, pioneer of the Oregon Trail, still lives. His 91st 
birthday was celebrated at Seattle, December 29, 1921. The "Borrowed 
Time Club" helped him celebrate. All Nebraskans will recall Mr. Meek- 
er, his oxen and Oregon Trail wagon, as they drove through Nebraska in 
1906-7, going on east as far as Washington and New York City. Mr. 
Meeker's first trip overland to the Pacific coast was made in 1852. His 
books and numerous photographs taken at various points on the Oregon 
and California Trails are among the valued material in the Historical 
Society rooms. He is truly a remarkable pioneer, worthy representative 
of his great era in the history of the west. 



Hector Maiben of Palmyra, responds to our invitation for opinion 
upon the value of the Lillie corn husking hook by the following: 

I notice your request for information regarding the value of the 
Lillie corn husker. 

I began using one of them when 30 years old that is in '93. Young- 
er persons probably get the hang of it better and may get more advan- 
tage. But it is absurd to claim so much benefit as is done in the note 
you publish. 

I should estimate the gain at about 5%, not more, for me, but 
perhaps more for many who did not understand corn husking till they 
learned, then using the hook. It has the mei'it that it almost compels 
its user to adopt a better way than the old fashioned one of stripping 
back first one side then the other. 



From Henry C. Richmond, former Chief Clerk of Nebraska House 
and later a member, we quote the following in a letter enclosing annual 
membership fee, from Philipsburg, Pa.: 

More perhaps as a matter of sentiment, and the fact you are run- 
ning it impels me to forward you this feeble reminder of my interest. 

For several months, I presume, I shall be engaged in the task of 
earning a livelihood hereabouts, and I am pleased to say I cannot com- 
plain, since affairs were awfully dead in Nebraska when I left, com- 
mercially speaking. I often think of you and your work, and hope that 
you will not do as did dear Dr. Wolfe, slave your life away without stop- 
ping to take a rest. 

Long since I have cast from me any desire to be a statesman 
"again." I am settled down now, in the work of separating Pennsylvan- 
ians from their money — returning it to them of course through one plan 
or another. They actually insist upon seeing it start back in this coun- 
try. But, they are very dear folks here, I assure you, and have treated 
me, as at home, perhaps far better than I deserve. 



EDITORIAL NOTES 51 

The historical library is pleased to add to its Nebraska author 
material an address by Rev. Luther M. Kuhns, of Omaha, on "Constan- 
tine the Great," — eulogy and historical oration on the Roman emperor. 



Mrs. Sarah Gilbert, now of Atlantic, Iowa, writes a fine,sympa- 
thetic letter upon the work the Historical Society is doing. Her father 
was a homesteader in the Republican valley when the land office was 
at Bloomington. Buffalo and antelope steak was then the staple diet 
in her home. She is writing some of her recollections. 



Victor Rosewater, Omaha, contributes a pamphlet copy of an arti- 
cle by him in the American Economic Review. Mr. Rosewater criti- 
cises the statement that real wages in 1918 were less than in 1915. 



A letter from Winnie Richards Durland speaks of the work of 
her husband, Senator A. J. Durland, formerly of Norfolk, who died at 
Seattle, May 28, 1921. Senator Durland was the father of the Norfolk 
hospital for insane, introducing the bill in the legislative session of 1885. 
He lived 27 years in the state and was one of the active and farsighted 
men influential in the growth of the Elkhorn valley. 



Sterling, Nebraska, 
Jan. 1, 1922. 
I am in receipt of notification of the Forty-fifth annual meeting of 
the Society. Sorry that I cannot be with you all, but my wife is very 
low (bedfast) and has been for four years. I would like to exchange ex- 
periences with some of the "cow punchers" as I have slept with my head 
on a saddle from the "Aricaree" to the "Big Horn." 

I feel stronger than I have been for over thirty years but await 
"seeing the other side of The Great Divide," with interest. 
Yours fraternally, 

"PARSON BOB," 
(Phil R. Landon.) 



From former Representative George F. Smith of the State Bank 
of Waterbury, Dixon county, we are very glad to quote the following 
letter. 

I have just received numbers one and two, Vol. IV, Nebraska His- 
tory and Record of Pioneer Days in its new form and will say that I am 
delighted with it. 

It came in my mail last night and I have read and re-i'ead every 
word in them. 

I think the magazine form for the publications is a decided im- 
provement and every old settler and pioneer of this great State should 
have it.. 

I treked across the State of Iowa from Illionis in a prairie schoon- 
er when a boy and landed here in Dixon County, Nebraska in the spring 
of 1873 and somehow I feel that I am a pioneer. 

I don't see very much in the magazine, however, from this part 
of the State, but perhaps that is due to the extreme modesty of some of 
us old fellows and our reluctance to getting into print. 

Many an interesting tale of early day occurrences might be told 
if we would just refresh our memories a little. 1 might send you a little 



52 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

skit sometime if the publication of it would not discredit the magazine. 

Tlie Old Mormon Trail made by the company of that section who 
moved from Florence to Niobrara — I fail to recall the year — and wintered 
there, passed through Dixon County. 

I have followed it for miles through the prairie grass in an early 
day. I wish we could locate it now and place a marker somewhere on it. 



From Sarka B. Hrbkova of the Foreign Language Information Ser- 
vice, 15 West 37th Street, New York City, we quote the following: 

I wish* I could be present at the meeting of the Society. I think 
I'd like to contribute some first hand information on "Nebraska and its 
Women in War Time and After." 

I trust the New Year will bring you full measure of good things 
and true — mostly the true — the others don't count for as much. 

From our office window I can look west over the Hudson to the 
Jersey shore and I often look beyond the river's mists to the plains of 
Nebraska and to those of its people who rang true. 



From Mrs. Alice E. D. Goudy, of Auburn, we quote the following 
concerning one of the noted pioneers of this State who still abides in the 
country which he has contributed so much to develop: 

My father, Major William Daily — aged 93 past, very greatly en- 
joyed Volume XIX — containing account of contested election of his broth- 
er Samuel G. Daily — of course Major Daily remembers much of the cam- 
paign in which he took part. He has had a most unusual store of re- 
membrances — incidents, etc., of all the early period in which he had very 
active part. 

The Major is well preserved physically — would be still active ex- 
cept for loss of eye sight-— almost entire, which deprived him of vigorous 
exercise. 

All matters pertaining to Nebraska History — the Historical So- 
ciety especially — are of keenest interest to me. 



Louis J. Loder settled on Salt Creek near Waverly in 1857. He is 
still hale and strong at the age of 87. He readily recalls the time — 
familiar even to the childhood recollection of the editor — when the set- 
tlers gathered their salt from Salt Basin-, when the nearest trading points 
were Plattsmouth and Nebraska City and when antelope and deer were 
seen from the log cabin door almost every day. 



On January 5, at Rock Bluffs, Cass county, a log house built by 
Robert Stafford in 1860 was consumed by fire. The Weeping Water Re- 
publican of January 12 gives a fine, sympathetic account of this building 
and of the city of Rock Bluffs which was a Missouri river town of bright 
prospects and flourishing business in the sixties. When the Burlington 
crossed the Missouri at Plattsmouth, about eight miles distant, and the 
steamboats ceased navigation of the river, Rock Bluffs. fell away. The 
editor of this magazine visited the old town about eight years ago. A 
few of the old buildings yet remained— some of them deserted. Photo- 
graphs were taken of a number of them. The log house destroyed was 
once regarded as a fine building, being two stories high with rock base- 
ment. 



JOURNEYS TO NEBRASKA HISTORICAL SITES 




Pawnee-Sioux Battlefield in Massacre Ca 

Scouts in foreground — Committee ; 

Pawnees suffered greatest loss 

October 1 



•on, Hitchcock County. Trenton Boy 
ltos in Canyon. Shows where 
Photo by A. E. Sheldon, 
1921. 



JOURNEYS TO HISTORICAL SITES IN NEBRASKA 



By Addison E. Sheldon 

This is the first (for publication in this quarterly) of a 
series of short stories upon notable historical sites in Nebras- 
ka. Each story is preceded by a personal pilgrimage to and 
study of the site and its literature. 

It is time for Nebraskans to know more of our places of 
historic interest; to mark them with worthy monuments; to 
find in them inspiration for holding in cherished memory 
noble lives and deeds of Nebraska pioneers. 



MASSACRE CANYON 
The Last Nebraska Battlefield of the Sioux-Pawnee War 

Four of us left the city of Columbus in the afternoon of 
October 13, 1921. One was a frontier soldier of fifty years 
ago, captain of Pawnee Indian scouts, rider in desperate 
charges into hostile camps — Lute H. North of Columbus. An- 



54 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

other, a veteran in the U. S. Indian service, leader in winning* 
wild men to the new, machine-agriculture, dweller with them 
on the open plain and in the earth lodge, guide and adviser in 
long marches and great crises, John W. Williamson of Gen- 
oa. The third a digger for bones and flints in old Indian vil- 
lage sites and grave yards — curator of the Historical Society 
museum — Elmer E. Blackman. The fourth held the wheel of 
the Essex car. 

Our course was southwest, following, as nearly as good 
roads permitted, the trail of the Pawnee tribe as it set out 
on its last Nebraska buffalo hunt in July, 1873. The hunt- 
ing trails of those years followed the line of least resistance, 
diagonal swells across the valleys, high ridges over the div- 
ides. They forded the streams at the shallows, and rounded 
the edge of the swamps. Vainly we tried to trace the old 
trails as we rolled over the Lincoln Highway into Columbus, 
crossed the Platte where many islands break its channel into 
a handful of silver streams, shot through the twilight across 
the vales and prairies into the city of Hastings, where our 
first night out was spent. The eye could only search the 
landscape and the imagination surmise where the ponies drag- 
ged the tepee poles in the old days. 

Early the next morning we were going thirty-five miles 
an hour over the Detroit-Lincoln-Denver highway, headed for 
the Republican valley. Some change from the old days when 
the long line of the Pawnee nation strung itself out, — warriors, 
squaws, children, dogs and ponies, — across the plains. Im- 
possible now to do more than look at the map and trace a 
rough line showing the route pursued by Williamson and his 
Pawnee in 1873 and other lines indicating where Captain 
North and the military trailed the high divide between the 
Platte and Republican in the Sioux-Cheyenne war in 1864-70. 

Like a lake bed lies the great wide bowl of corn and wheat 
land — heart of Phelps and Kearney counties. Across this our 
auto sped. Axtell, Funk, Minden, Holdrege — then the deep 
ravines which give notice of the nearing Republican — then 
down the long tongue of divide which leads into Oxford. How 
the pulse stirred while memory and imagination kindled at the 
great inland valley stretching to the west! Greatest buffalo 



JOURNEYS TO NEBRASKA HISTORICAL SITES 55 

pasture of America! Every summer the migration of bison 
herds from the Black Hills and surrounding plains southward 
to the tender gramma grass and pleasant waters of the Re- 
publican proved its attraction. Following the buffalo came the 
coyote. — then the Indian — finally the white men — each hunt- 
ing the choicest beef steak that ever graced a campfire or 
banquet hall. 

What old-time tales fell from the lips of our party as we 
turned up the valley road, perfection smooth with powdered 
dust. Many an incident of the buffalo days and early settle- 
ment, of the first quaint log-cabin pioneers who risked their 
lives in order to live "where the game was" in the great out- 
doors of the West. Each member of our party had seen the 
valley in its early years and each had his tale to tell. 

It was at the end of the tawny October afternoon when 
we crossed the Frenchman river at Culbertson and turned west 
up a long hill crowned with the high divide which separates 
the Frenchman from the Republican. Seven miles out one 
sees, from the top of this hill, the fingers of a giant's hand 
stretch from the Republican northwest toward the Frenchman. 
Each finger is a deep canyon or ravine parting the prairie with 
almost impassable chasm. It is fifty-two years since Captain 
North and his company of Pawnee scouts picked up the trail of 
Tall Bull and his band of murderers on these plains. But of 
this another time. It is forty-eight years since Williamson and 
his Pawnee had a most tragic experience in one of the Giant's 
fingers. 



In the early morning of August 5, 1873 the Pawnee nation 
broke camp on the Republican a few miles west of where Tren- 
ton now stands and started on its last day's hunt for buffalo. 
There were three hundred warriors, four hundred women and 
children, twelve hundred ponies and a thousand dogs. They 
had had successful hunts on the Beaver and the Driftwood. 
Already their ponies were well loaded with dried buffalo and 
robes. The day before three white men had come to their 
camp and told Mr. Williamson that Sioux warriors had been 
watching the Pawnee for several days and that a large party 
of them were camped close by on the Frenchman. Sky Chief, 



56 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

leader of the Pawnee, had answered, "the White men wish the 
Pawnee to leave the buffalo for them to kill. The Great Fath- 
er gave us leave to hunt for three moons. We will make one 
more drive of buffalo and then return with plenty of meat to 
our village on the Loup." 

A mile long that early August morning the Pawnee na- 
tion trailed across the divide, going northeast. Soon buffalo 
were seen coming from the northwest over the crest of the 
hill toward the Pawnee. Eagerly the Pawnee hunters rode out 
to the chase. As they approached the buffalo a transformation 
took place. Part of the buffalo became, by throwing off the 
buffalo robes which concealed them, a band of Sioux warriors 
riding in wide war circles and shooting at the Pawnee. 

"There's only a few Sioux. We can whip them" shouted 
the Pawnee chiefs as they summoned their fighting men. Near 
at hand was a deep ravine. Into it were hurried the Pawnee 
women, children, dogs and pack ponies. As they sought ref- 
uge there the skyline to the north and west swarmed with 
hostile Sioux. Round they rode in circles firing as they rode. 

There were two white men with the Pawnee camp, one a 
young man from the east who had begged to go on the hunt. 
When he saw the Sioux, he fled. Williamson, the other white 
man bore the written authority of the United States to con- 
duct the Pawnee on their hunt, and to preserve peace. The 
Sioux chiefs had signed a treaty of peace at Fort Laramie five 
years before. In their own camp at this very time was Nick 
Janis, of French descent, married to a Sioux squaw and com- 
missioned in the same manner as Williamson to conduct the 
Sioux buffalo hunt and keep the peace. 

Williamson tied a handkerchief at the end of a pole, rais- 
ed it and rode out to stop the Sioux, hoping that the U. S. com- 
mission which he held could effect this. A shower of arrows 
and bullets from the circling warriors showed how vain the 
hope. Sky Chief, leader of the Pawnee, had before the onset 
of the Sioux dashed off in pursuit of a buffalo to a ravine far 
to the northeast and there was killed and scalped without 
knowledge of the desperate situation of his people. As Will- 
iamson rode back a bullet struck his pony. The poor beast 
stumbled on a few more yards and fell at the edge of the ra- 



JOURNEYS TO NEBRASKA HISTORICAL SITES 57 

vine which sheltered the Pawnee women and children. As he 
stripped the saddle from the dying pony he swept the battle- 
field with one searching glance which forever fixed it in his 
memory : 

On either flank the Sioux warriors were rapidly advanc- 
ing to envelope the Pawnee. 

Below in the fork of the canyon, the Pawnee women were 
standing in a circle with arms uplifted chanting the ancient 
tribal song — a prayer for victory. 

Wave upon wave of Sioux warriors circled nearer and 
nearer. Arrows and bullets flew thick and fast. The plains 
filled with hundreds of Sioux. The Pawnee warriors were 
everywhere driven back. A desperate situation surely for 
Williamson and his Pawnee. 

No chanted prayer to Tirawa availed in that desperate 
hour. "Fly from the Sioux" rose the cry in the ravine, for 
their enemy was upon them. Cutting packs and tepee poles 
loose from their ponies the disastrous flight down the ravine 
began. Some, warriors and women, refused to fly. They 
sought refuge in deep holes dug by the flood torrents in the 
bottom of the ravine. Everyone of these was cut off and 
scalped. The larger part of the Pawnee who perished were 
found on this part of the battlefield. 

Three miles Massacre Canyon winds to the point where 
it opens into the Republican valley. Headlong toward this 
opening the Pawnee camp fled. All was confusion. Warriors, 
squaws, children, dogs, ponies in a mingled mass. Along the 
bluff rode the Sioux firing into the fugitives below. The bot- 
tom of the ravine where the fight began is 150 yards wide. 
Half a mile below it narrows to a gorge barely wide enough for 
a trail. Here the flood of humanity and beasts choked the 
gorge and many perished. Farther down a similar gorge was 
the cause of another slaughter. 

An incident of this flight is burned into Mr. Williamson's 
memory. A little Indian baby, two or three years old, had fall- 
en from her mother's back and stretched out her hands in 
vain to the panic-stricken rout begging to be taken with them. 
After the fight a number of partly burned bodies of Pawnee 



58 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

children were found near this place. The Sioux had evidently- 
stacked them up and tried to obliterate them. 

Probably every Pawnee would have perished had it not 
been for the appearance of a column of United States Cav- 
alry coming up the Republican Valley, bearing at its head the 
old flag. From the hilltop the Sioux warriors spied this sooner 
than the Pawnee fleeing down the ravine, and checked their 
pursuit. 

As the mob of Pawnee warriors, squaws, children, dogs 
and ponies poured out of the mouth of Massacre Canyon into 
the broad valley of the Republican the pursuing Sioux rounded 
up several hundred loose Pawnee ponies and vanished with 
them over the hills to the north. 

The army officers urged that the remaining Pawnee re- 
turn to the battlefield under cavalry escort and retake the 
abandoned food and equipage. To this they would not listen. 
They said the food would be poisoned and the equipment de- 
stroyed. The Pawnee nation suffered in this battle the most 
terrible defeat by the Sioux in its tribal history. One hun- 
dred and fifty-six had perished. Most of their ponies and 
camp outfit was lost. Nothing for them to do but to go back 
to the old home on the Loup overwhelmed with the most ter- 
rible disaster they had known. The grief of the survivors was 
heart rending. The squaws wailed the lamentation for the 
dead. The stolid warriors tore their hair while tears ran down 
their faces. In distress, hunger and humiliation those who es- 
caped turned their faces homeward, never again to return on 
their tribal hunt in the Republican Valley. 



Forty-eight years is a long time in the life of the front- 
ier. On the morning of October 15, 1921 we were on the battle- 
field. From every quarter across the divide came automobiles 
concentrating on the canyon where the battle began. Hun- 
dreds of men, women and children thronged the hillsides look- 
ing down the dark ravine where the pride of the Pawnee was 
crushed by the Sioux. A platoon of boy scouts from Trenton 
eagerly scanned the sod finding a few fragments from the far- 
off fight. Editors of newspapers from Trenton and Culbertson 
were there. A thin thread of smoke along the Republican Val- 



JOURNEYS TO NEBRASKA HISTORICAL SITES 




Pawnee- Sioux Battlefield in Massacre Canyon, Hitchcock County. J. 
Williamson (right), and Captain Lute H. North (left) in foreground. 
Photo by A. E. Sheldon, October 15, 1921. 



ley was evidence of the Burlington fast mail bound for Denver. 
At the canyon's edge stood Scout Williamson and Captain 
North, near the spot where Williamson's pony was shot from 
under him in the battle. Below were the forks of the canyon 
where the Pawnee women stood with bare heads under that 
August sun of 1873 and chanted their prayer — the old time 
Pawnee prayer for victory. Alas, not the only women who 
have prayed for victory in war, for the life of their soldiers, 
in vain! 

We gathered in eager group at the canyon's edge and lis- 
tened to Williamson tell the story of the last battle between 
the Sioux and Pawnee nations. He had told it many times 
since he saw it, but never before as he told it that October 
morning for his feet were on the battlefield, his eyes ranging 
the hills where the hostile Sioux charged and circled. Below 
in the forks of the canyon stood a fleet of automobiles. The 



60 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

sympathetic ear listened as though to catch the chant of the 
Pawnee women. The Past and the Present were blended while 
we listened to the story and renewed the recollections of the 
old Nebraska days. 

Never again on Nebraska prairies the useless feud of red 
men fighting each other for buffalo hunting ground. To the 
historian, the novelist, the poet, the dramatist belong those 
years of romance and. mystery. All too soon the last eye that 
saw them will be closed, the last witness which told their tale 
will be silent. 

Here some day shall arise a monument fit to halt the trav- 
eler's journey and claim his attention and sympathy. Upon 
its granite shoulder shall be deeply cut an inscription remind- 
ing the generations yet to be of these tribes which once found 
home upon these plains, of their customs, their religion, their 
arts, their struggles, and of this last great conflict between 
the two greatest of these Nebraska tribes — the Pawnee and 
the Sioux. 



Walking along the banks of the Seine at Paris in the closing period 
of the World War I browsed in the bookstalls which line the quays. 
Suddenly my attention was attracted to a large book with illustrated 
paper cover giving an account of Buffalo Bill, the Pawnee Indians and 
the wonderful region in America called Nebraska. It was in French, 
written (as advertised) by Col. Cody with the slight assistance of a 
French journalist. A few minutes' reading in the book told me more 
things I had never heard of concerning Nebraska than I had supposed 
possible. In free and lurid French the book informed me of wild and 
thrilling adventures in the Nebraska region not set down in any his- 
torical record. Its descriptions gave me glimpses of geography here 
which startled my fifty years' residence. In eager haste I bought the 
book and looked for more of the same kind. They were there — a whole 
brood of them. America, the land of promise, its Indians, its frontier, 
its history and romance, as pictured by Col. Cody and his French collab- 
orator. I bought them all and have them yet. In a future issue of this 
magazine its readers will be given translations showing how their be- 
loved state is presented to the reading public of France. 



Senator J. W. Robbins of Omaha was a visitor at the State His- 
torical Society rooms during the special session of the legislature. Mr. 
Robbins has the scholar's interest in the work being done by the Histor- 
ical Society. Everything published is of keen interest to him. The in- 
telligent and cordial support of men like Mr. Robbins is one of the great- 
est rewards for the work done by the Historical Society. 



A REVENANT CHEYENNE 




A REVENANT CHEYENNE 

In the afternoon of October 28, 1921, a Cheyenne chief 
came into my office in the State Historical Society rooms at 
Lincoln, Nebraska. I was startled. It was many moons since 
I had seen a Cheyenne, many more since I had seen one in the 
full panoply of war. Recollections of scenes at Pine Ridge dur- 
ing the stormy winter of 1890-91 came back in a flash. 

This Cheyenne was unmistakably fully equipped for the 
war path. It was the old time war costume — rarely seen to- 
day — that he wore. His equipment included one of the most 



62 NEBRASKA HISTORY 

complete outfits for a long and hard campaign I had seen in 
many years contact with Indians. Every article was of the 
finest workmanship, hand-sewed with sinew, in perfect condi- 
tion. His outfit included a war tepee, (three poles and buffalo 
skin covering) ; a woven willow mattress to protect the war- 
rior's body from the wet ground when he slept ; exquisite buck- 
skin beaded leggings ; two pairs of moccasins, one fur-lined for 
winter; a parfleche bag for provisions; a medicine bag with 
the old time punk, flint and steel for starting fire ; a pipe case 
for the pipe that befits a chieftain ; a mink skin charm bag with 
trinkets to protect from adverse spirits ; a raw hide quirt worn 
on the wrist ; a buffalo hoof rattle for the war dance ; a braided 
raw hide lariat for his pony with headstall and knot to guide. 
He was tall — this Cheyenne — over six feet — as tall as his 
great compatriot Roman Nose killed in Forsyth's fight at 
Beecher Island in September, 1868. He was thin. His skin 
was shrunken on his athletic frame. On his fingers and wrists 
were rings and bracelets of former days. His black hair was 
closely braided in a long queau down his back. He had both 
the new and the old Cheyenne weapons — a sixteen shooter 
Henry rifle ready for use, a five foot bow with the Cheyenne 
magical number (four) of steel tipped arrows. He was ready 
ror a winter campaign, for his outfit included six of the finest 
buffalo robes and a cavalry officer's heavy storm coat with high 
collar protecting the neck and ears. 



In the red summer of 1864 the Nebraska border ran blood 
from Fort Laramie to the eastern rapids of the Little Blue. 
The Oregon Trail was a line of smoking ranches, charred 
freight wagons, scalped settlers and freighters. Along what 
had been a great world highway traffic ceased while Cheyenne 
and Sioux warriors rioted, pillaged and murdered. 

Then followed the war for the possession of the plains. 
Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapahoe and Kiowa tribes in a league of 
wild nations to drive back the white man from the buffalo 
hunting grounds before it was too late. For four years the 
war raged, — from the banks of the Arkansas to the moun- 
tains of the Yellowstone. Then it died slowly down — only to 
flame up again, at Custer's battle field and elsewhere, from 
1875 to 1879 — then again died — giving one last expiring sput- 
ter in 1890 at Wounded Knee and the Pine Ridge campaign 
which followed. 

What is known as the Powder River Expedition was the 
second act in this western plains war drama. In May, 1865, 
General P. E. Connor marched from Fort Laramie northwest 
into the heart of the Sioux and Cheyenne country between the 
Big Horn mountains and the Black Hills. Three other strong 



A REVENANT CHEYENNE 63 

columns marching - by different routes were to meet him there 
and crush the hostiles. 

It was a campaign of miscalculation and failure for the 
United States army. A cavalry column of two thousand under 
General Cole wandered in the Bad Lands, lost nearly all its 
horses, burned its equipment and was rescued from a starving 
condition by Major Frank North and his Nebraska Pawnee 
Scouts. The other columns failed to reach the rendezvous on 
Powder river. In the fall the troops marched back to their 
bases, leaving the Sioux and Cheyenne in possession of the 
northern plains. 

In midsummer of this campaign (July 25, 1865) an attack 
was made on the stockade at Platte River Bridge, on the Over- 
land Trail, about thirty miles above where now stands the city 
of Casper, Wyoming. It was made with the usual plains In- 
dian strategem. A small body of warriors rode near the fort 
to entice the soldiers out. The main fighting force of warriors 
— near 3,000 strong — was concealed in the hills. The soldiers 
came out of the fort gate, but refused to follow the retreating 
Indians into the ambuscade. Instead they shelled the hills with 
a howitzer. 

Late in the afternoon the head chiefs sent High Backed 
Wolf, one of the leading Cheyenne — to order return of the ad- 
vance party since they could not draw the soldiers into the 
trap. One of the advance warriors spoke angrily when thus 
ordered to retreat. High Backed Wolf was stung by the re- 
mark and dared the other to swim the river with their ponies 
and attack the soldiers near the fort. Both did so. In the 
fight High Backed Wolf was shot through and fell from his 
horse at a little distance from the fort. His body was rescued 
by the Cheyenne and carried away to the hostile camp. The 
wails of mourners and barbaric splendor of the funeral in the 
Cheyenne camp may be left to the imagination. 



On July 1, 1921, Mr. Adam N. Keith, a Wyoming cattle 
rancher, was riding along the base of a high, rocky mountain 
near Powder river, about twenty miles west of the inland town 
of Kaycee, Johnson county, and about ninetv miles north of 
the old Platte River Bridge fort. Mr. Keith had come to 
the region as a cowboy thirty-two years before and had ridden 
past that point of rocks scores of times, a narrow flat between 
the stieam and mountain making a convenient passage for 
range riders. On this day his eye caught what it had never 
seen there before — the tip of an Indian tepee pole peeping from 
a ledge of rocks. He surmised at once an old time Indian bur- 
ial and, getting help, rolled the rocks away and brought to the 
light of the twentieth century the most perfect specimen of 



64 



NEBRASKA HISTORY 



nineteenth century Indian warrior and equipment discovered in 
the plains region. Every detail was complete for the long- 
journey into the Spirit land hunting grounds. For the buffalo 
hunt or the cavalry charge, for the winter's cold or the summer 
heat, this Cheyenne warrior was equipped. The Wyoming 
winds had embalmed his body and shrunk his skin upon his 
frame, leaving its original form and features undestroyed. 
After fifty years he was still recognizable by his old time fel- 
lows. An aged Sioux warrior from Pine Ridge started with 
surprise when brought to see him and eagerly brought his 
squaw and children to behold the fierce Cheyenne with whom 
he hunted on the Wyoming plains nearly sixty years ago. 

For the French word "revenant" there is no adequate Eng- 
lish translation. Even as I write this revenant of the old war 
days on the plains looks across the room with a message for 
the present time which I try vainly to translate. 




THE NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Made a State Institution February 27, 1883. 

An act of the Nebraska legislature, recommended by Governor 
James W. Dawes in his inaugural and signed by him, made the State 
Historical Society a State institution in the following: 

Be it Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Nebraska: 

Section. 1. That the "Nebraska State Historical Society," an or- 
ganization now in existence — Eobt. W. Furnas, President; James M. 
Woolworth and Elmer S. Dundy, Vice-Presidents; Samuel Aughey, Sec- 
retary, and W. W. Wilson, Treasurer, their associates and successors — 
be, and the same is hereby recognized as a state institution. 

Section 2. That is shall be the duty of the President and Secretary 
of said institution to make annually reports to the governor, as required 
by other state institutions. Said report to embrace the transactions and 
expenditures of the organization, together with all historical addresses, 
which have been or may hereafter be read before the Society or furnished 
it as historical matter, data of the state or adjacent western regions of 
country. 

Section 3. That said reports, addresses, and papers shall be pub- 
lished at the expense of the state, and distributed as other similar official 
reports, a reasonable number, to be decided by the state and Society, to 
be furnished said Society for its use and distribution. 

Property and Equipment 

The present State Historical Society owns in fee simple title as 
trustee of the State the half block of land opposite and east of the State 
House with the basement thereon. It occupies for offices and working 
quarters basement rooms in the University Library building at 11th and 
R streets. The basement building at 16th and H is crowded with the 
collections of the Historical Society which it can not exhibit, including 
some 15,000 volumes of Nebraska newspapers and a large part of its 
museum. Its rooms in the University Library building are likewise 
crowded with library and museum material. The annual inventory of 
its property returned to the State Auditor for the year 1920 is as follows: 

Value of Land, % block 16th and H $75,000 

Value of Buildings and permanent improvements 35,000 

Value of Furniture and Furnishings 5,000 

Value of Special Equipment, including Apparatus, 

Machinery and Tools 1,000 

Educational Specimens (Art, Museum, or other) 74,800 

Library (Books and Publications) 75,000 

Newspaper Collection 52,395 

Total Resources $318,195 

Much of this property is priceless, being the only articles of their 
kind and impossible to duplicate.