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Full text of "Publications of the Nebraska State Historical Society"

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Nec=:raska State Historical. 

BOC lETY, 
PUBU I CATIONS OF THE Ne&RASKA 




PUBLICATIONS 

OF THE 

NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



VOLUME XIX 




EDWARD ROSEWATER 
Founder of the Omaha Bee 



PUBLICATIONS 



OF THE 



Nebraska State Historical Society 



VOLUME XIX 




Edited by 

ALBERT WATKINS 

Historian of the Society 



PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY 
Lincoln, 1919 



PREFACE 

Volume XIX contains some of the most important his- 
torical material published by the Nebraska Society, The 
articles upon Indians and Indian wars, upon European 
elements in our Nebraska population, the reminiscences of 
earl}' Nebraskans, and not least among them, the descrip- 
tions of early Nebraska found in the testimony of the 
famous election contest of 1859, give views of social con- 
ditions and the status of early settlements not found else- 
where. 

In the footnotes will be found a remarkable collection 
of critical information acquired by extensive research and 
correspondence and which required very careful scrutiny 
and comparison. 

On April 25, 1917, the Society's board of directors au- 
thorized the publication of a historical magazine, and ac- 
cordingly the first number of "Nebraska History and Rec- 
ord of Pioneer Days'- was issued in February, 1918. The 
contents of the magazine are designedly of a more popular 
nature than the papers contained in the books, and are 
largely notes of current historical incidents not appropri- 
ate for the more expensive and less frequently issued 
bound books. It is a means also of making known to the 
public the work and aims of the Historical Society from 
time to time. Publication of bound volumes of the Society 
will be continued for the more important historical papers. 

This volume contains many apt illustrations, which 
were afforded by the very extensive collection of photo- 
graphs of that class now owned by or accessible to the His- 
torical Society. This pictorial liistory will continue to 
be an important feature of the Society's historical publi- 
cations. 

The painstaking research and careful proof reading 
of the editor of this volume and of others preceding it 
continues. 

Addison E. Sheldon, Superintendent. 



CO^^TENTS 

PAGE 

Incidents of the Indian Outbreak of 1864 

by eTames Green, CaiDtain E. B. Murphy, John 

Gilbert '. 1 

The Beginning of Red Willow County 

by Albert Watkins 29 

The True Logan Fontenelle 

by Melvin R. Gilmore — note by the Editor 64 

At Bellevue in the Thirties 

by Mrs. E. xVnderson 72 

Swedes in Nebraska 

by Joseph Alexis 78 

Clan Organization op the Winnebago 

by Oliver Lamere 86 

Women of Territorial Nebraska 

by Mrs. Kittie McGrew 95 

First Settlement of the Scotts Bluff Country 

by Grant L. Shumway — supplement by the Editor 108 
The Omaha Indians Forty Years Ago 

by Jacob Vore — addendum by the Editor 114 

Earliest Settlers in Richardson County 

by Sarah E. Wilhite 126 

Some Indian Place Names in Nebraska 

by Melvin R. Gilmore 130 

Bohemians in Nebrasiva 

by Sarka B. Hrbkova 140 

Incident in the Impeachment of Governor Butler 

by Ebenezer E. Cunningham 159 

The Mescal Society Among the Omaha Indians 

by Melvin R. Gilmore 163 

Reminiscences of William Augustus G wyer 168 

Nebraska in the Fifties 

by David M. Johnston 186 

Contested Elections in Nebraska 

by Albert Watkius 197 

Proceedings of the Society, 1917 329 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 

Edward Rosewater Frontispiece 

Parade Ground, Fort McPlierson 2 

Jauies Comstock and John Gilbert 21 

Royal Buck 30 

Massacre Canon 50 

Site of Old Oto and Missouri Indian Village 75 

<.^onjectured Site of Chief latan's Council Lodge 76 

Present Buildings of Lower P. F. Ranch 108 

Ruins of Lower P. F. Ranch House Built about 1880 110 

Bohemian Members of Nebraska Legislatures 151 

Lodge of the Omaha Indian Mescal Society, 1906. . . . 165 



OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY, 1919 

PRESIDENT 

Don L. Love Lincoln 

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT 

Nathan P. Dodge Omaha 

SECOND VICE PRESIDExNT 

Robert Harvey St. Paul 

SUPERINTENDENT AND SECRETARY 

Addison E. Sheldon Lincoln 

TREASURER 

Philip L. Hall Lincoln 

DIRECTORS, EX OFFICIO 

Samuel R. McKelvie Governor 

Clarence A. Davis Attorney-Oeneral 

Andrew M. Morrissey Chief Justice Supreme Court 

Samuel Avery Chancellor Universitv of Nebraska 

Will C. Israel .... President Nebraska Press Association 

Howard W. Caldwell 

Professor of American History, University of Nebraska 

DIRECTORS, ELECTIVE 

Samuel C. Bassett Gibbon 

John F. Cordeal McCook 

Nathan P. Dodge Omaha 

Philip L. Hall Lincoln 

William E. Hardy Lincoln 

Robert Harvey St. Paul 

Don L. Love Lincoln 

Hamilton 15. Lowry Lincoln 

Addison E. Sheldon Lincoln 

3IICHAEL A. Shine Plattsmouth 

NoviA Z. Snell Lincoln 



INCIDENTS OF THE INDIAN OUTBREAK OF 1864 

FREIGHTING ON THE PLAINS— PLUM CREEK 
MASSACRE 

By James Green 

In the spring of 1860 I went with my parents to Pike's 
Peak where I resided until January, 1862, when my 
brother — S. S. Green, now of Schuyler, Nebraska — and I, 
each with an ox team, started to Omaha after freight. 
From January to November, 1862, we made three round 
trips, traveling 3,600 miles in eleven months by "oxomo- 
bile." 

In the spring of 1863 my brother went to Montana. 
At this time I exchanged my cattle for a mule team and 
made one trip with it in the early summer. While in 
Omaha I became entangled in the famous trial of Judge 
Tator for the murder of his friend, Isaac H. Neff, and I 
think I was the most important witness in the case. The 
accused was convicted and executed sometime in the fall 
of 1863. It was, I believe, the first legal execution in the 
territory.^ 

Being well pleased with the country around Shinn's 
ferry, about seven miles west of the present city of Schuy- 
ler, I came back from Denver and squatted on a piece of 
land where the present station of Edholm now stands.' 

^ Charles H. Brown, prosecuting attorney for Douglas county, assisted 
by George B. Lake, conducted the famous case against Cyrus H, Tator, 
and he was defended by Andrew J. Poppleton and William A. Little, 
both brilliant lawyers. Further accounts of this famous trial may be 
found in Sorenson's history of Omaha, page 125; Johnson's history of 
Nebraska, page 290; history of Omaha by Savage and Bell, page 136. 
—Ed. 

' Shinn's Ferry was situated about one mile west and two miles 



2 NEBKASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

On May 30, 1864, 1 was married to Miss Elizabeth Garrett, 
who lived with her parents in Saunders county, twenty 
miles east of my claim. Not long after this, some time in 
July, I got a hankering for the old Rockys again, so we 
loaded our traps in the wagon and started across the plains, 
expecting to make our future home somewhere along the 
foot of the mountains. At the time we started there was a 
faint rumor that the Indians were going to cause trouble, 
and on arriving at Fort Kearny, 125 miles west, the officers 
there were advising the emigrants to travel in large com- 
panies for self-protection ; but, being perfectly familiar 
with the country and also with the Indians along the route, 
we proceeded as far as Cottonwood Springs, afterward 
Fort McPherson. On our arrival at this point the air was 
full of rumors of depredations farther west, and it was 
said that one man had been killed and his stock run off. 
After due consideration we concluded the best thing to do 
was to go back and wait a year, when perhaps the Indian 
troubles would be settled. 

So, early in the morning of August C, we turned our 
oxen to the east and drove twelve miles to Gilman's Ranch 
and went into camp on the bank of the river, half a mile 
beyond. The river here was full of little towheads and 
small channels, a few inches deep, trickling over the sand. 
When we had been in camp perhaps an hour and a half 
and I was sitting on the wagon tongue thinking of hooking 
up, suddenly and silently nine of the biggest, blackest war 
painted Indians I ever saw suddenly appeared out of the 
river, all riding good horses. They at once began to parley, 
some of them talking pretty good English, for a trade of 
ponies for my "squaw." While my Avife sat on the wagon 
in plain sight of them, they raised their bids from one to 
four ponies for her. All at once the whole party struck 
out for the bluffs on the full run, which for the moment 



south of the subsequent site of Schuyler and about a mile and a half 
north of the site now occupied by Edholm, Butler county. — Ed. 



INDIAN <)TTTP»11EAK OF 1864 3 

was a puzzle for nie. But the mystery was soon solved. 
Looking down the road I saw, within a mile, a troop of 
cavalry on the march from Fort Kearny to Cottonwood 
Sprino;s. The purpose of the detachment was to establish 
an outpost near where the trouble was expected. I don't 
think we would have been disturbed by these Indians at 
that time only in a badgering way; and my reason for this 
belief will be given farther on. 

From this camp we drove on a day and a half and then 
camped at what was called the Deserted Ranch, which was 
situated on a dry gulch where some one had started a ranch 
and gave it up before completion. Soon after our encamp- 
ment a mule train, consisting of ten four-mule teams, came 
from the east and went into camp on the north side of the 
road about one hundred yards from us. This was August 
7, 1864. This train, of which I shall speak again, further 
on, belonged to Frank Morton, of Sidney, Iowa. Early in 
the next morning we broke camp and made what was called 
a "breakfast drive", a very common thing in those days. 
We drove to the twenty-one-mile point and went into camp, 
about ten o'clock, for our breakfast. We had been there 
but a short time when the east-bound stagecoach passed 
us at double-quick, and the driver shouted that we had 
better get out of that as there were ten or twelve dead men 
lying in the road a little way above. I could hardly believe 
that there was anything unusual, so I drove four miles to 
the seventeen-mile point — seventeen miles from Kearny. 
While there in camp, about ten o'clock, a troop of cavalry 
came up from the fort on double-quick. The captain halted 
and asked Avhere I camped last night, and when I told him 
at the old soddy he asked if I saw any Indians. I told him 
I did not. "Well," he said, "it's damn strange, for just 
where you say you camped last night it was reported that 
ten or twelve people were killed and one woman taken 
prisoner and their mules run off and wagons burned."* 

' The site of this famous tragedy was half a mile east of Plum 
Cr«(sk station, which was situated on the California road, about a mile 



1 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

And now, my friends, comes that part of my story, that 
if there is such a thing as providence interfering or assist- 
ing any one it certainly showed its full hand in our case 
from the time we turned around at Cottonwood Springs 
until we passed on and escaped the Plum Creek massacre. 
For it is a fact that the people killed in that raid were the 
same that we camped so near the night before ; and the fact 
that we made an early drive that morning was the only 
reason that we escaped. Again, when I tell you that Mrs. 
Morton, who accompanied her husband on this trip, was 
an old schoolmate and chum of my wife, and the further 
fact that they failed to recognize each other in our re- 
spective camps, must be another act credited to providence. 
The people slain consisted of Frank Morton, owner of the 
outfit, ten men, drivers, and a colored cook. Mrs. Morton 
was taken prisoner and I believe remained with these In- 
west of the mouth of the creek, and thirty -five miles west of Fort 
Kearny. The place is now in the northwest corner of Phelps county. 
See Nebraska State Historical Society, Collections, XVII, 256 note; 
Watkins, History of Nebraska, II, 177; Executive Documents, 1864-5, 
V, 398. Perhaps Mr. Green correctly accounts for twelve killed, but 
eleven is the number commonly agreed to. Lieutenant Thomas Flana- 
gan, Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry, reports that on September 1, 1864, he 
counted eleven graves of victims at the place of the massacre. Official 
Records, first series, XLI, pt. I, p. 244. 

On the other hand, The Omaha Nebraskian of August 17, 1864, con- 
tains a letter from Lieutenant Charles F. Porter, dated Fort Kearny, 
August 9, in which he says that in the morning of that day Colonel 
Summers and Lieutenant Com stock, of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry, 
made a thorough search of the locality where the train was captured 
and found the bodies of thirteen men killed — several scalped and hor- 
ribly mutilated, nearly all stripped of clothing. Five men were sup- 
posed to be still missing, also three women and several children it was 
thought had been carried away prisoners, one of them a Mrs. Baker of 
Council Bluffs, Iowa. At eleven o'clock the same morning sixteen 
Indians attacked Fred Smith's ranch, nine miles below Plum Creek, 
killed the hired man, burned the store, and drove off all the stock but 
five head. Smith and his wife had left for Kearny City two hours 
before the attack. 

Lieutenant Bowen, Seventh Iowa Cavalary, "and others" were at 
the Thomas ranch, three-quarters of a mile west of the place of the 
Plum Creek massacre. They saw a hundred Indians attack the train, 



INDIAN OUTBREAK OF 1864 5 

dians for about five months when slie wag rescued through 
some friendly Indians, carried to Denver and was finally 
restored to her friends. 

Another remarkable escape occurred at this time. 
About four miles east of our camp was a new ranch owned 
by a German called "Dutch Smith." As we passed the 
Smith place on our drive that morning- he was seated in a 
buggy at the door, and his wife was pleading with him to 
go along, to Kearny; but he seemed to be quite anxious 
for her to remain home. However, she prevailed, for 
within half a mile they passed us on the road to Kearny, 
and the Indians that committed the murders at the Morton 
camp followed down the road as far as Smith's place, 
killed his hired man, ran off his stock and burned his 



completely encircling it. Very little resistance was made by the men 
of the train. Apparently revolvers were the only weapons they had. 
Lieutenant Bowen could not find a soul left to tell the story. All the 
wagons but three were burned. The train was well loaded with dry 
goods, clothing, and household goods, apparently the outfit of some 
well-to-do settlers going west. 

Under date of August 15, Fort Kearny, Lieutenant Porter writes 
that James and Baker of Council Bluffs were not killed at Plum Creek. 
The names of those certainly killed were Charles Iliff, Mable and boy. 
Smith and his partner, all of Council Bluffs, William Fletcher, of 
Colorado, and five others not known. "Six wagons loaded with com 
and machinery from St. Joe belonging to Michael Kelly, and the outfit 
belonging to E. F. Morton, from Sidney, were destroyed." General 
Mitchell had brought this information from Cottonwood. 

A correspondent in the Nebraska Republican of August 19, 1861, 
said that there were about twelve wagons in the Plum Creek train, 
that one hundred Indians attacked it and that thirteen men were shot 
and mutilated. The Republican savagely assailed Colonel Summers on 
the basis of a report that the operator at Plum Creek, in full view of 
the massacre, telegraphed Fort Kearny about it at seven o'clock in the 
morning, soon after its occurrence. Summers did not start until 
eleven o'clock and was on the road until ten o'clock at night — eleven 
hours for a march of thirty-two miles. He stopped two hours for din- 
ner on the way. His command was cavalry with fresh horses. 

On August 7, 1864, there were concerted attacks by Indians on set- 
tlers, travelers, and stations along the California road between the 
Little Blue River and the mountains. — Ed. 



6 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

buildings. Whether these different escapes all just hap- 
pened or whether the hand of providence was guiding us 
are things that to me are not comprehensible. 

In referring back to the episode at Oilman's Ranch with 
the nine Indians, I have come to the conclusion that they 
would not have harmed us at that time; for I consider it a 
premeditated attack. There were depredations committed 
all along the line for a distance of two hundi'ed miles, and 
thus this little squad would not have dared to start the 
scrap before the time arrived. 

On our arrival at the old home and starting point we 
concluded that Nebraska was good enough for us, and we 
have rounded out a full half century within her confines. 
We have two sons, thirteen grandchildren and five great- 
grandchildren, all bom in Nebraska and all living in the 
state to-day, without a death in the family for forty-six 
years. 

It is marvelous to stop for a moment to consider what 
has taken place in this great America of ours in half a 
century. Every mile of railroad west of Minneapolis, Fort 
Des Moines and St. Joseph has been constructed since I 
settled in the territory. Fort Des Moines, Iowa, was the 
nearest to a railroad at the time of my settling in Butler 
county. 

THE MASSACRE AT OAK GROVE RANCH 

From Memoranda of Captain Edward B. Murphy* 

Reports came to Fort Kearny that every ranch and 
stage station between Fort Kearny and Big Sandy 
Creek was burned. The commandant was ordered by his 
superior officer to investigate this report. He ordered me 
to go east on the Overland stage road to Big Sandy Creek, 

* Edward B. Murphy was captain of Company A, Seventh Iowa 
Cavalry. Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H of this regiment were 
detached to Nebraska on account of Indian hostilities, and they ar- 
rived at Omaha on September 19, 1863. The other four companies of 
the regiment had been sent northward and camped at Sioux City, 
Iowa. Ware, The Indian War of 186 J^, p. 8: Offlcial Records, first series. 



INDIAN OUTBREAK OF 1864 7 

if necessary, find out what there was in the report, and 
tight the Indians if compelled to do so. I was to take ten 
days' rations, one hundred rounds of ammunition for the 
carbines and the same for the pistols. We were also to 
take two pieces of artillery, the chests of each to be filled 
with spherical case grape and canister. We had but one 



XLI, pt. II, p. 30. On July 30, 1864, Company A was at Dakota City, C 
and F at Fort Cottonwood, B and D at Fort Kearny, E at the Pawnee 
agency, Nebraska, G at Topeka, and H at Fort Riley. Coni,pany I was 
at Sioux City and K, L, and M in Dakota with General Sully's "north- 
western Indian expedition." Companies A and D First Battalion 
Nebraska Cavalry were at Omaha; Company B at Dakota City; Com- 
pany C, under -Captain Henry Kuhl, on the march to the Pawnee 
agency. Ibid., XXXIV, pt. IV, pp. 620, 621, 628. 

On July 19 General Robert B. Mitchell, In command of the military 
district of Nebraska, and then at Fort Cottonwood, was urging General 
Samuel R. Curtis, commander of the department of Kansas, which 
Included Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Indian Territory, to send 
reenforcements. On that day the acting assistant adjutant general at 
Omaha issued the following order: 

Captain E. B. Murphy, Coni,pany A, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, is re- 
lieved from command at Dakota City, Nebr. Ter., and will march his 
company to Fort Kearny, Nebr. Ter., via Omaha, without a moment's 
delay. 

On the 25th the same officer telegraphed to Colonel Samuel W. 
Summers, of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry, in command at Fort Kearny, 
that Company A left Omaha for the fort on the 24th. Ibid., XLI, pt. II, 
pp. 276, 277, 347, 399. On May 3, 1864, General Mitchell ordered Cap- 
tain Murphy to establish the headquarters of his company at "Dakota 
Post", Nebraska. Ibid., XXXIV, pt. Ill, p. 425. 

On August 12 Colonel Summers sent word to Captain John Willans, 
assistant adjutant general at Fort Leavenworth, department head- 
quarters, that all the mounted men at the fort — only fifty in number 
because a part of the command were at Plum Creek — "started for the 
Blue this morning." Ibid.. XLI, pt. II, p. 673. 

In a dispatch to General Curtis, dated at Fort Kearny, August 18, 
1864, General Mitchell described the battle of August 15, on Elk Creek, 
between Captain Murphy's command and the Indians as follows: 

Captain Murphy has just returned from the Blue. Undertook to go 
from the Blue to the Republican. Got as far as Elk Creek. Met 500 
well-armed Indians; had a fight; killed 10 Indians and lost 2 soldiers. 
Was compelled to fall back after driving Indians ten miles. Indians 
followed him thirty miles on his retreat. Things look blue all around 
this morning. Ibid., p. 765. 

Captain Murphy enlisted from Ottumwa, Iowa, September 12, 1862; 
mustered in April 27, 1863; promoted to captaincy July 8, 1863; after- 



8 NEBRASKA STATE HISTOIIICAL SOCIETY 

wagon with us. I got ready, and told the colonel that 1 
would return by way of the Republican River. He said 
"Do not do that." 

I started immediate]}' after dinner, and had one hun- 
dred and twenty-five men when I left the fort. About eight 
miles east of the fort I met Lieutenant Giger,^ selected 
twenty of his best men, and took them along with mc. 
When the lieutenant arrived at the fort he reported to the 
colonel that I had taken twenty of his best men. This was 
more than the officer wanted to spare, as he feared an 
attack on the fort. He sent a courier after me. The citi- 
zens who were camped on the reservation were anxious to 
know what devilment had been done east of the fort by the 
Indians, and no one was more interested than Benjamin 
Holladay, owner of the stage line, who was on the ground. 
So they raised a purse of twenty-five dollars to bribe this 
courier, and sent a man after him mounted on a swift 
horse. He Avas to give the courier the twenty-five dollars, 

ward transferred to Company A. of the reorganized Seventh Cavalry; 
resigned December 23, 1865. He was in very active service on the 
Nebi-aska plains during the campaigns of 1864 and 1865; was at Plum 
Creek, August 31, 1864; on the Republican River, just below Medicine 
Lake Creek, September 13; early in October he established and took 
command of Alkali post, thirty-five miles west of O'Fallon's Bluff, and 
was there, chasing Indians, in the spring of 1865. Roster and Record 
of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion, IV, 1263, 1336, 1397, 1456. 
Official Records, first series, XLI, pt. I, pp. 245, 826, 830; ibid., pt. II, 
pp. 734, 765; ibid., XLVIII, pt. I, pp. 90, 91, 399, 1040; pt. II, pp. 274, 
1251. 

After retiring from the military service Captain Murphy settled at 
Plattsmouth. In 1871 he joined a company which founded the town of 
Ara,pahoe, Furnas county, of which he became a resident and where 
he died in the year 1900. Nebraska State Historical Society, Proceed- 
ings and Collections, second series, V, 302; Andreas, History of Ne- 
braska, p. 888. — Ed. 

'Benjamin F. Giger enlisted in the Fourth Iowa Cavalry, October 
14, 1861; discharged July 22, 1862, at St. Helena, Arkansas; enlisted in 
Company E, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, as third sergeant, November 14, 
1862; regimental commissary July 23, 1863; transferred to field and 
staff of the reorganized regiment; mustered out May 17, 1866. Roster 
and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the RebeUinn, IV, 722, 1262, 
1303, 1396. 



1N1>1AN ()UTJniP:AK OF 1864 9 

and he was not to deliver any order to nie, but to come 
back and tell the colonel that the Indians drove him back, 
and that he conld go no further. This worked all right for 
the citizens, and the courier did not follow me; so I went 
on my way, making fifteen miles that afternoon, and 
twenty-five miles the next day. 

The Indian spies were watching us. We put out strong 
guards at night, slept on our arms, started before break- 
fast and arrived at the dining station of the stage company, 
where we took breakfast. The stage people and the pas- 
sengers had sat down to breakfast. The stage was waiting 
at the door. Mounted men came from the nearest ranch 
and told the passengers to fly for their lives — that the In- 
dians had killed three men five miles south of this eating 
station. They left the table without touching their coffee. 
The ham was cooked and on the table and the bread on the 
plate. The ladies of the ranch put a few things into the 
stage, the driver put on his whip, and they struck out for 
the fort. 

That was the condition in which I found that eating 
station. The Indians did not molest the passengers on 
their way to the fort. We fed our horses, had breakfast, 
and started about ten o'clock. 

We soon came t6 a place where eight wagons had been 
camped. They had formed no corral, and as they were 
hitching up in the morning the Indians came upon them. 
One team started out one way and the others in opposite 
directions. The savages killed the eight men, owners of 
the wagons, and took their stock, arms and ammunition. 
Their wagons were standing there on the prairie, their 
bodies lying in the hot sun with no one to bury them. They 
had been scalped and had then been dead five or six days. 
We gave them as decent a burial as was possible, and 
started for Pawnee Ranch to stay over night. 

We arrived at Pawnee Ranch quite late, and found that 
ranch all pierced with bullets,*' Several wagon loads of 

* Pawnee Ranch was built by Jefferson B. Weston in 1857, at the 



10 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

goods were scattered around on the ground. The ranch 
looked as if it had been besieged. We put out a strong 
guard for the night and divided the command, half of them 
sleeping at the house and half at the stable. Indians were 
watching us all night and firing at our guards, who re- 
turned the fire. We had everything arranged in case of a 
night attack. There was a war party sent out from the 
main body to harass us. Several parties of this kind were 
kept out all the time, and relieved by others when they 
were worn out. That is their custom in spying and guard- 
ing, and posting the main body as to the whereabouts of 
the enemy. We found some hay near this ranch and hauled 
in two loads of it, and stayed at the ranch another day and 
night. 

About three o'clock in the afternoon I saw a party of 
men coming up the road. I climbed upon the stable, and 
discovered that they were white men. They halted, as they 
were uncertain as to who we were. I sent out a mounted 
man with a guidon. (A guidon is a V-shaped flag on a 
long staff.) When they discovered it was "Old Glory", 
they were wild, and came on a run for the ranch. They 
were a company of militia from Beatrice, Nebraska. One 
of them, the captain, was sheriff of Gage county, Nebraska, 
and the lieutenant was the deputy sheriff. 1 welcomed 
them, and made inquiries about the Indians. They told me 
about a big train of wagons that were all stripped of their 
covers. The wagon master of this train was along with 
the company. He was a very wild man, owing to the loss 
of his cattle and mules, and would like something to hap- 

mouth of Pawnee Creek, now in the southwest quarter of section 16, 
township 5, range 8, west, in the southwestern corner of Clay county. 
It was on the principal highway from the Missouri River to California, 
Oregon, Utah and Colorado, the line of the original Oregon Trail. 54 
miles southeast of Fort Kearny and 26 miles west of Little Blue sta- 
tion. Johnson, History of Nebraska, p. 265; John Gilbert, seq., p. 22; 
Offlcial Records, first series, XLI, pt. I, p. 825. The ranch was unsuc- 
cessfully attacked by Indians late in the afternoon of August 9. Wells, 
A Frontier Life, pp. 81-89. — Eu. 



INDIAN OUTBIIEAK OF 1861 11 

pen to the Indians. His name was Geoi'i?e Constable. I 
asked him how many wagons there were, and he said about 
two hundred. I asked him what kind of stock was used in 
propelling his train, and he said c-attle and mules, prin- 
cipally cattle. He told me that the big Indian camp was 
about eight miles south of the Little Blue, that the Indians 
had plenty of other cattle, and were having a big feast in 
eating them, I asked him if he would like to go along, and 
he said he would. I then told him I would try and recover 
his cattle for him, but as to his mules I could not say, as 
they were in all probability fettered out or closely corralled 
in the Indian camp. He said most of this train was 
owned by men in St. Joseph, Missouri, but he had ten 
wagons of his own in the train. He informed me that even 
if he could recover the stock, the loss to the owners in 
goods, freight and money would be great. 

That company of militia numbered about thirty men. 
They told me that they had left their families in Gage 
county, Nebraska, without protection, and were willing to 
help to drive the Indians out of the country. I did not 
wish to take them into a battle that I knew w^ould be twenty 
to one, but if they would volunteer their services to help me 
in the fight the next day it might be the means of stopping 
those savages from going mij further east and saving a 
great many lives. They knew that the Indians were de- 
fiant and thought they could do as they pleased, go when 
and where they wanted to, and these men were willing to 
risk their lives to teach them a lesson if it could be done. 
That was the kind of material of which the early settlers 
of Nebraska w^ere made. Brave fellows they were, and to 
a man they voted to go that afternoon. I had them clean 
up their arms and look over their ammunition and other 
equipments, so as to be in shape on the third day to go for 
the red devils. 

That evening they discovered a lot of pistols of thirty- 
six caliber, with waterproof ammunition for them. They 
divided them up among themselves and my men, so that 



12 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

many of the men in the light had three revolvers at their 
belts the first days of battle. This made me feel better, and 
also those militia men, as the barrels of those pistols were 
long and six-cornered, and A^ere better than many rifles 
tliat were used in the army for short range work. 

We put everything in readiness that night for a march 
of thirty miles on the morrow. We had a strong guard 
that night, as Ave could see large bands of Indians on the 
hill south of the Pawnee Ranch. I requested the militia 
to start ahead of us, but to keep within a reasonable dis- 
tance, as they were not strong; and for them to send two 
men ahead of them — two on each flank where the country 
was broken. This they did, and we followed them, but 
were delayed in burying three bodies which we found in a 
patch of weeds near a burned ranch, scalped and badly 
decomposed. The buzzards sighted those bodies to us, as 
they were flying in the air in large numbers in the vicinity 
of the bodies. We also found where one of Ben Holladay's 
passenger coaches had been burned, and also his eating 
station was in ruin. We found four other ranches that 
had been burned. 

We watched the Indians all day. They kept up their 
smoke so as to show our location, telegraphing in this w^ay 
to the main body, so that the head warriors would under- 
stand the situation. Well indeed did these young warriors 
carry out their instructions, like trained soldiers. Some- 
times they would fire rockets of different colors into the 
air. Those signals, I suppose, gave the headmen our 
strength. 

We finally arrived in the early afternoon at the Little 
Blue Ranch, ^ where the big train had been con*alled, and 
O, such a sight ! Such destruction of property ! Boxes, bar- 
rels, sacks, boots, shoes and clothing scattered on the 
ground. There were at least two hundred packages of 
different kinds of liquors, put up in cases, bottles, kegs and 

'Little Blue station was situated four miles northwest of the site 
now occupied by the town of Oak, Nuckolls county. — Eu. 



INDIAN OUTP.KEAK OF 1864 13 

barrels. The militia boys were dry when they got there, 
and some took a little too much. I told Mr. Constable, the 
wagon master of the train, that I had better put a guard 
over the liquor, for the men might get to sampling it too 
freely. That would not [do for] the critical condition in 
which we were placed at that time, with our savage enemy 
within a mile of us, as if they were guarding us. "Captain,'' 
said he, "just spill it on the ground.-' The heads of the 
barrels and kegs were all broken in by the Indians and a 
great deal of the liquor had been taken away. I told him 
I would not do that, for it might compromise the govern- 
ment. There might be a claim and a demand made for the 
value of the liquor. "Well," said he, "I will have to spill 
it myself." He gave the hospital steward ten gallons of 
sour wine, as in case of wounds or sickness it might be 
needed. The large quantity of liquor remaining was all 
spilled and made a terrible stench. 

We moved the wagons close together and put the goods 
back into them. We did not have stable room for all the 
horses and had to tie some of them to the wagons, inside 
of the corral. We got everything in readiness for the 
night and were well prepared for anything that might hap- 
pen. I was told that at the next ranch east of where we 
were camped there were three women taken captives, and 
the husbands of two of those women were killed, also two 
other men and two children, making six persons in all that 
were killed at the ranch, and three taken into captivity. 
The women's names were Mrs. Eubanks, the lady of the 
ranch; Mrs. Julian, who was travelling with her husband, 
who was killed; Miss Koper, whose father was with the 
militia. He was nearly crazy about her captivity. 

I sent Captain Henry Kuhl * of the Black Horse Cav- 

' Henry Kuhl enlisted from Plattsmouth, captain of Company C, 
First Battalion Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, which was organized on the 
disbandment of the Second Nebraska Cavalry, from January to Au- 
gust, 1864; commissioned June 7, 1864; transferred to Company F, First 
Regiment Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, on the consolidation of his bat- 



14 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

airy, as tliey called themselves at that time, although not 
mounted — they were afterwards consolidated with the 
First Nebraska Cavalry — to go and bury all the dead that 
he found in the vicinity of the Eubanks ranch. I gave him 
a strong guard of fifty men, as the Indians were all around 
there, but told him not to bring on any fight with them, 
only so far to carry out his instruction to bury the dead, 
and if he could not do that to come back and report the 
facts to me. 

He went to the ranch, found the Indians there in force, 
drove them across the Little Blue River, and found the 
bodies of four men and two children belonging to the Eu- 
banks family. One of the four men was the father of tht- 
children, and the mother was taken into captivity. These 
bodies were a terrible sight to behold. They were all 
scalped, their bodies naked, and their bowels cut open. 
They had been dead for several days and were badly decom- 
posed. The captain buried them as well as he could, and 
got back at dark.^ 



talion with the regiment, July 10, 1865; discliarged October 11, 1865. 
He won high praise for conduct in the Indian campaigns. Official 
Records, first series, XLVIII, pt. I, p. 90. He was in temporary com- 
mand at Fort Kearny on August 8, 1864, the next day after the con- 
certed attack by Indians. IMd., XLI, pt. II, p. 615. — Ed. 

° This is erroneous. From the best information obtained it appears, 
that the victims of the raid on August 7 at and near Oak Grove Ranch 
and Kiowa station were the elder Eubanks; his oldest son, William; 
a daughter about seventeen years old; a boy about twelve, who was with 
his father; and the youngest boy, who was at the house with William. 
William Eubanks and his little boy were killed at the Eubanks home, 
about forty rods southeast of The Narrows; W. R. Kelley and M. C. 
Butler at Oak Grove Ranch, a mile and a half southeast of the site now 
occupied by the town of Oak; the elder Eubanks and his boy, about 
twelve, three-quarters of a mile southeast of Oak; Joe Eubanks and 
his brother Fred, also brothers of William, near Kiowa station; a boy, 
Ulich, about a mile and a half northwest of Kiowa station; and 
William Bowie, a settler, about two miles below Oak Grove Ranch. 
Another man, called Nelson Oberstrander, died three weeks afterward 
of wounds received at Oak Grove Ranch. George A. Hunt, who became 
a prominent citizen of Nebraska and now resides at Crete, was wounded 



INDIAN OUTRKEAK OF 18()4 15 

Wlieu supper was over and the horses oared for, I had 
a strong guard put out around the camp. Captain Kuhl 
watched in the forepart of tlie night and myself in the lat- 
ter part. The Indians kept firing upon the guards all night. 
The guards returned the fire, and such a night as we 
passed ! The men slept on their arms. The Indians were 
posted behind trees and mounds, and were strong. Wc 
counted about four hundred of them in the morning, as 
they went south to the main body, who were having a big 
feast at the time, with all the beef they wanted to eat, 
groceries and liquor taken from the train, flour and other 
supplies that were taken from the ranches. They certainly 
had a fine location for a camp, and enjoyed life as only 
Indians with a full stomach could. They did not care to 
move away from that camp, with all those big herds of 
cattle in sight, with wagons and ranches full of groceries. 
What better layout could be found? And no one as yet to 
contest their right to them: They were happy. How, 
"Culah big Indian Me," how was it at this time with those 
poor, unfortunate captive ladies in that camp? Husbands 
and children killed, their homes destroyed, with no hope 
in sight for their release from captivity. 

One of those women could understand a little of the 
Indian language. Although there were a great many dif- 
ferent tribes represented in this big camp, and the lan- 
guage of each tribe was different, yet she understood them 
to say that there were soldiers in camp on the Little Blue 
and that the Indians were going to fight and kill the last 
one of them. She called the other women and told chem 
what she had understood them to say. This news gave 

in the thigh with a rifle ball. John Gilbert's statement {infra, p. 27) 
that Captain Kuhl did not bury any of these victims is probably cor- 
rect. Mrs. William Eubanks, her little daughter Isabella, and Laura 
Roper, aged fifteen, were carried away captives. For accounts of their 
ransom and rescue see Nebraska State Historical Society, Collections, 
XVII, 159 note; Grinnell, The Fighting CJieyennes, 181 note; Official 
Records, first series, XLI, pt. Ill, p. 243; ibid., XLVIII, pt. I, pp. 276, 
322.— Ed. 



16 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

them new heart, with some hope that they would be re- 
captured in the near future. Their hearts became brave, 
and they bore up under the horrible insults heaped upon 
them by the old withered, jealous Indian squaws and their 
murderous, lustful bucks, with a silent prayer to heaven, 
fervently asking their Maker to change their captivity to 
freedom. I gleaned the above from their conversation with 
me after their release, which I was the means of bringing 
about, through the divine permission of the almighty God, 
who had ordained it so that I should be the means through 
which those poor creatures should be released from their 
capitivity.^° 

THE BATTLE OF THE LITTLE BLUE 

Beatrice, Aug. 17^^ 1864. 
Mr. J. B. Weston" 
Sir 

We the undersigned members of a 
company, that went out in pursuit of Indians on the Little 
Blue make the following statement: 

Our Company consisted of thirty-four men. We left 
Big Sandy on the 12th August. Arrived at Pawnee Ranch 
on the 14*^ Found all the principal places between the 
Hackney Ranch^- and Pawnee burned except Little Blue 
station. Found a company of Soldiers at Pawnee Capt. 
Murphey in command. Aug. 14^^ Captain Murphey's com- 
pany with own company marched to little Blue station. 
The Capt. detailed a squad of men to burrey the dead at the 
Narrows.^" Five in number. There is an abandoned train 

'» Though there is no intimation in any of the accounts that Captain 
Murphy tool£ any part in the ransom and release of Mrs. Eubanks and 
Miss Roper, his own statement Is worthy of credence. — Ed. 

"Jefferson B. Weston, one of the founders of Beatrice and who 
afterward became a very prominent citizen of the state. — Ed. 

"^ Hackney's ranch was five miles east of Kiowa station, just west 
of the present boundary line between Thayer and Nuckolls counties. — 
Ed. 

"The Narrows is a mile and a half northwest of Oak. The place 
was so-called because a projection of the bluff on the east side of the 
Little Blue was so close to the river as to leave a very narrow space 
for the road. — Ed. 



INDIAN OUTBREAK OF 1864 17 

of about a hundred wagons at Little Blue station Bound 
west." Several have been burnt. 

Aug. 15*'' The whole command started South for the 
Republican. We came upon the Indians near where the 
Fort Riley Road crosses Elk creek 10 miles from Little 
Blue station. The Captain ordered an attack, and we 
drove them from Six to Eiglit miles. The Number engaged 
on their side was from 250 to 300, and there appeared to 
be a still larger number some distance back, they were 
moveing towards the Republican, There was one Howitzer 
in the command that was disabled after the first round. 
The command was halted & a retreat ordered. The Re- 
treat was made in good order. The Enemy followed back 
to the crossing of Elk Creek Our loss was Two. That of 
the enemy is estimated to be larger. We fell back to Little 
Blue Station 

Captain Murphey having only Three days leave from 
Kearney & Rations for the same length of time gave up 
the pursuit. W^e did not see any Indians on our march 
back to Sandy. We arrive at this place to day 

W\ H Stoner Capt 
John Gilbert Lieutenant 
Oliver Townsend Private 
David Kneeland 
Albert C. Howe 
H. M. Wickland'^ 

JOHN GILBERT'S ACCOUNT OF THE LITTLE BLUE 
TRAGEDY 

On October 23, 1917, John Gilbert, who was the lieu- 
tenant of Captain Stoner's company, now a resident of Red 

"The Constable train.— Ed. 

" The following letter to the editor was written by Mr. Hugh J. 
Dobbs of Beatrice on September 8, 1917: 

William R. Jones, of Beatrice, and his father, Samuel Jones, de- 
ceased, were both members of the company of men who went from 
this city in 1864 to repel the Indian raid on the Little Blue. His 
memory is quite accurate and reliable on most matters connected with 

3 



18 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Cloud, Nebraska, wrote the following interesting and in- 
forming letter to the editor : 

I just received your letter inquiring about a boy that was 
killed in the Indian raid on the Little Blue River, August 7, 
1864, and will tell you about as I remember it. August 7 was 
on Sunday. I was stopping at Kiowa stage station, six miles 
below what was called Comstock's ranch on the Little Blue 
River in Thayer county, on section 16, township 3, range 4, 
west. The Comstock ranch was on section 9, township 3, 
range 5, west, in Nuckolls county. This Sunday was a very hot 
day, and Theodore Ulig came down to Kiowa stage station, 
sent by his mother to get some eggs in a small tin bucket. Mr. 
James Douglas, owner of Kiowa station, wanted me to go up 

this expedition. This Is what he says about the men whose names you 
gave me and about whom you desired information: 

John Gilbert he first knew in 1860, he think;s, and says that he 
was an employee of the Butler brothers at Oak Grove Ranch when he 
first knew him and was afterward a stage driver. After the Indian 
raid he married Libbie Artist, a sister of Frank Baker's wife, at 
Dewitt, and lived there for some time, and the last he knew of him 
he was living at Red Cloud, Nebraska, and he thinks he still lives 
there. 

Captain W. H. Stoner was never sheriff of Gage county, he says; 
but the sheriff of the county, Joseph Clyne, did accompany the ex- 
pedition and took with him F. M. Colter an ex-county treasurer whom 
he held as a prisoner, charged with embezzlement. 

Oliver Townsend, Mr. Jones thinks, was not with the expedition; 
but in this he is evidently mistaken, as the report of the same was 
written by him and he signed it as a private. 

David Kneeland was not a Gage county man but joined the party 
at Big Sandy where he was in charge of the Latham ranch. 

Mr. Jones says that Albert C. Howe was a half brother of the 
late Church Howe and joined the party at Big Sandy with others. He 
says he died in Nemaha county long ago. 

H. M. Wickland should read H. M. Wickham. Mr. Wickham lived 
in this county many years and died here about eight years ago. He 
was one of the first settlers of our county and the first man to marry 
a wife in the county. 

Mr. Jones is able to recall the names of other Gage county men 
who were members of the expedition as follows: Daniel Freeman, 
Thomas and James Pethoud, Enoch Henry, Louis Graves, Ira Dixon, 
R. C. Davis, William Alexander all decea.sed; Leander Wilson, living 
near Beatrice; two of the Wells family and a man named Bagley from 
the Cub Creek neighborhood near here. 

Jones says the expedition buried Bill Canada in his log cabin where 
the Indians killed him and buried members of the Eubanks family 
where their remains were found, and Hugo Ulick a German boy. 
"Curley" Ayres of Beatrice also claims to have accompanied the ex- 
pedition. 

Captain Murphy probably confused Captain Stoner with Mr. Clyne 
in his statement (page 10) that Stoner was sheriff of Gage county. — 
Ed. 



INDIAN OUTBREAK OF 1864 19 

home with Theodore to get some sickle sections for his mowing 
machine, as I had quit driving stage and was going to help him 
hay. Otto Ulig had been to the river at Brownville, Neb., and 
had some extra sickle sections. Otto Ulig was the oldest 
brother, Hugo was next, and Theodore was the youngest. 
Theodore, I think, was about 17 years old at that time. I think 
Kiowa station was east of section 16. As I remember it, Joe 
Ubanks was on 16, a mile west of Kiowa. Theodore was riding 
an Oto Indian pony and I was on a Cheyenne pony. When I 
was saddling up my pony I told him I could beat him home, 
which was over a mile and a quarter. He started before I could 
get ready and had a quarter of a mile the start. So we went. 
I chased him up to Joe Ubanks' ranch, over half a mile, but 
could not gain on him as I could see. So I stopped at the 
Ubanks ranch to let my pony get a breathing spell. It was off 
the road about fifty steps. When I got to the house, there I 
saw John Barnes. Joe Ubanks' wife was crying. I asked what 
the matter was, and they said that the Indians had killed Fred 
Ubanks across the river, south, as he was raking hay, and 
scalped him and took the horse that he was raking hay with. 
Then I forgot that I was chasing Theodore, and we started 
back to Kjowa station. We told Mrs. Eubanks to go on. She 
was riding an old horse. I saw some Indians, I think four, 
riding up the river west on the bluffs. When these four In- 
dians came up with Theodore, the boy, they halted him about 
four hundred yards from home and held him, so Otto his 
brother said, and waited for me to come up; but I had gone 
• back. It was around a bend and out of sight of me, so I did 
not see them, nor the}' me. When they could not make him 
wait longer they shot him with an arrow and gun, took his 
pony and left, so his brother said. The Ulig place must have 
been somewhere on section 16, township 3, range 4, west. 

In regard to the spelling of Ulig and Ubanks: I think Ulig 
is correct but I am not so sure in regard to Ubanks. I may 
have spelt both names wrong sometimes.^® 

John Gilbert, 

" Most, if not all, of the people in the neighborhood of the massacre 
were illiterate and did not know the correct spelling of one another's 
names, and so they came to be spelled as they sounded when spoken. 
The military officers spelled the name of the massacred family 
Eubanks, indicating that it was pronounced with the final s sound, 
and Mr. Gilbert evidently remembers it as having been pronounced 
that way. Because he now spells it simply as he heard it, he leaves 
off the initial E. Both Eubanks and Eubank are in common use, but 
there are more of the first than of the second found in print. 

The name of the boy who was killed near Kiowa station is spelled 



20 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

I am nearly eighty-one years old, and came to Nebraska at 
what was called Oak Grove' Ranch, afterwards called Comstock 
Ranch, in April, 1859. J. G. 

When I was running after Theodore Ulig I saw Indians go- 
ing parallel with us on the bluflF. I thought they were Pawnee 
or Oto, and I suppose Theodore thought the same, as he must 
have slowed up as he got around the bend and close home or 
they could not have caught him. 

Under date of October 26 Mr. Gilbert wrote the follow- 
ing account of the tragedy which befell the Eubanks 
family : 

I will try and answer your letter of October 22. 

Will Eubanks and his family lived with his father and his 
family at what we called the Narrows, about four miles west 
of Oak Grove Ranch. Will Eubanks was the oldest son of the 
elder Eubanks. Joe, who lived west of Kiowa stage station, 
was the second son ; Fred, who was stopping with Joe, was the 
next son ; the youngest boy, who was thirteen or fourteen years 
old, lived at home with Will and the old man. Fred was killed 
west of Kiowa station, and Joe was killed just east of Kiowa 
station, in the low bottom where he was hunting a place to 
mow. We did not find him at that time. They shot him with 
an arrow and took his pony. Those two families that lived at 
the Narrows were composed of Will and his wife and one child, 
the old father and his wife, two girls, and the young boy. I. 
helped bury them that were killed at the Narrows. Will Eu- 
banks and his wife and child had gone up to the Kelley ranch 
on a visit, it seems, leaving the youngest girl at home. The 
Indians killed her accidentally, trying to take her prisoner. 
When Will and his wife came back, about three o'clock in the 
afternoon, Will was in front, and the first the others saw was 
Will running back, the Indians chasing him and shooting at 
him with arrows. They were close to the river, and he jumped 
down a bank about eight feet high and got away, as they could 

Ulig by some of those who were personally familiar with the events 
and Ulick by others, among them George A. Hunt, now a well known 
Citizen of Crete, Nebraska, and Hugh J. Dobbs. But I am not able to 
find names so spelled in any publication, while Ulich is not uncom- 
mon, and that, probably, was the boy's name. The name of one of the 
men from Beatrice who was killed at Oak Grove Ranch is spelled both 
Kelly and Kelley; the weight of opinion seems to favor the latter. 
Nelson Oberstrander's name has often been spelled Ostrander, but in a 
letter to the editor dated October 20, 1917, Mr. Hunt says, positively, 
that Oberstrander is correct. — Eo. 




JAMES COMSTOCK, JOHN GILBERT AND OREGON TRAIL MARKER 

Near site of stagecoach incident mentioned in page 23. Photograplied 
by A. E. Sheldon, June 14, 1918 



INDIAN OUTBREAK OF 18(54 21 

not follow him on horseback. He died on a sand-bar across 
the river. This information was given by Laura Roper who 
was taken prisoner at that time. As she came back with Will 
Eubanks' wife they saw the Indians chasing Will and they hid 
in a washout, but the Indians found them and took Laura 
Roper, Mrs. Will Eubanks, and her little girl prisoners, i 
helped to bury the old man Eubanks, Will Eubanks, the young- 
est boy and the girl. We buried the old man, the girl and the 
boy in one grave after they had been dead seven days. The old 
man Eubanks and the youngest [next to the youngest] boy 
had been down to Joe's place, where Joe was building his 
ranch, and were returning when they were killed. They hadi 
two yoke of cattle on a wagon and had got one mile west of the 
Comstock Ranch, or Oak Grove Ranch, where they were shot 
with arrows, and one of the oxen was shot in the side. The 
team went on up to the old man's and Will's place at the Nar- 
rows and went down in the timber southeast of there, where 
they ran the hind wheels straddle of a tree. They had been 
there seven days when we found them. We unyoked them, and 
they came out all right. Jim [James M.] Comstock, I think, 
was keeping the Little Blue stage station at that time, and 1 
think that he went up after his family after dark, as he was at 
Comstock's ranch at the time that Kelley and Butler were 
killed; but somebody took the old man Eubanks and boy up to 
their place and we found them there, where we buried them. 

In response to further inquiry Mr. Gilbert wrote as fol- 
lows on October 26 : 

Some three or four days after the raid of August 7, I found 
myself, James Douglas and several more on Big Sandy Creek 
at Jenkins' Ranch in what is now township 3, range 3, east, 
Jeiferson county. The news had spread to Beatrice, and all 
the men they could raise came up to Big Sandy, and with theni 
was Mr. Stoner. When they got there, there were some men 
around Big Sandy that wanted to go up and see what was 
done, so we organized an independent company as we called 
it. They took a vote for captain, and Stoner beat me two 
votes ; then they named me for first lieutenant. We got ready 
in a short time and came to the road on the Little Blue River. 
Sam Jones and his boy, W^ill Jones, were in the crowd from 
Beatrice. Joe Clyne, from west of old Dan Freeman's place, 
was in the bunch. He was sheriff of Gage county at the time, 
and he had a prisoner with him, as they had no jail in Gage 
count}' then. Well, we went up the Blue until we came to the 
upper Eubanks place. There we buried the Eubanks families. 
The old man was not scalped nor was the girl. I took a close 



22 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

look at the old man because his hair was white, and at the girl 
because the Indians would call them squaw-killers. Ed Wefts,*^ 
a preacher from Cub Creek, said in his little book that the girl 
was scalped. 

We went on up the stage road until we got to Pawnee 
Ranch, at the mouth of Pawnee Creek. There was camped Cap. 
Murphy's company with one small cannon. I think it shot a 
four-pound shell. We told them what had happened below, 
that the Indians had burnt part of the ranches and a train at 
Little Blue stage station. That was Constable's train of eight}"^ 
or more wagons, several trains all together, and Comstock was 
elected wagon boss of them all. One mule train of twenty 
wagons was loaded with liquor. The Indians had spilt the 
most of it, but some of the men drank too much, I think, as it 
seemed when we got up to Liberty Farm stage station, about 
thirteen or fourteen miles above Little Blue station, and one 
mile above the Kelley ranch or Ewing ranch — that place 
changed names every time it changed owners — and at the foot 
of what we called Nine Mile Ridge. From that point the Ore- 
gon Trail, or Overland Stage road, did not touch the Little 
Blue River until it got about nine miles. There was another 
ranch that changed names as the ownership changed. I think 

"This was not Edward Wells but his brother Charles W. Wells, 
author of A. Frontier Life, the book to which Mr, Gilbert refers. On 
August 7, 1864, Mr. Wells and his brother, Richard, were at Spring 
Ranch, about a mile beyond Pawnee Ranch where they spent the night 
for better protection. The Indians unsuccessfully besieged Pawnee 
Ranch the next day. It does not appear that Mr. Wells ever lived at 
Cub Creek. He tells a story of the Little Blue massacre in his book, 
chapters IV and V. The Omaha Nedraskian, of August 17, 1864, con- 
tains a letter from Lieutenant Charles F. Porter, of the Second Ne- 
braska Volunteer Cavalry, dated Fort Kearny, August 14, in which he 
gives information obtained from the Overland coach bound west from 
Atchison which supports the statement of Mr. Wells. About four miles 
west [east] of Oak Grove bodies of two young men were found dead 
and stripped of all clothing. Next, two hundred feet away from 
"Hubanks" ranch, was the body of a young woman, stripped of cloth- 
ing, scalped and horribly abused and then mutilated. She appeared to 
be about seventeen years old. The body of Mr. "Hubank" (William) 
lay on the opposite bank of the river. Mr. Wells says that the young- 
est Eubanks boy was fatally wounded at the house when his brother, 
William, was killed. These two, their father and the boy with him, 
according to Wells twelve years old, and the girl whose death is de- 
scribed by Gilbert, probably comprise the five who were buried by the 
detail of soldiers according to the statement to Mr. Weston, page 16. 
Gilbert evidently omitted the youngest boy. — Ed. 



INDIAN OUTIJKEAK OF 1864 23 

the last name was Milcgaii and Mudge ranch [Buffalo]. When 
we got to Liberty Farm station the house had been burnt, but 
the barn was not. It was raining, so we all got in the barn 
that could. There Joe Clyne, the sheriff from Gage county, 
and our captain had some trouble. Stoner could not bluff 
Clyne; so after that Stoner would not give orders. He was so 
embarrassed that the first chance he got he told me to give the 
orders. So after that time he looked to me to control the men. 
Stoner was all right but embarrassed. So that is all I know 
about Cap. Stoner. 

So it was about dark when we got to Pawnee ranch and 
met Cap. Murphy. We started down the next morning and 
got to Little Blue station and camped. It was not burnt. 
Murphy's men and some of our men commenced to drink too 
much. The sheriff of Gage got into trouble again, and Con- 
stable, the wagon boss, and Sam Jones, from Beatrice, got in 
trouble, and Cap. Murphy asked me if I could control the men. 
I went to Sam Jones and Constable — they were sitting on an 
oxyoke — told Sam Jones to get up and go away. He did so. 
Constable turned around and said. ''Who are you?" He knew 
well who I was, as we had some trouble when the Indians 
chased us back to his train which was about the place that 
Theodore Ulig was killed. We were on the coach — but that is 
another story. Bob Emery was driver. So Cap. Murphy had 
the liquor all spilled. The next morning Cap. Murphy said he 
wanted us to all go with him two days — one day south, then 
up the Eepublican Kiver one day, then he would go back to 
Kearny, and we would go back home; and he asked all that 
were in favor to step two steps forward. I stepped two steps, 
so did the most of the men; as I did not think we would see 
any Indians because I thought the raid was over. Murphy had 
about sixty men, and we had as many ; but we gave six or eight 
of the Beatrice privates leave to go back. We started south 
from the stage station. As I was well acquainted going south, 
I acted as guide. Constable was along with us, as the Indians 
had driven all the cattle he had away when they burnt the 
train. When we got four or five miles some of the men said 
they saw buffaloes or Indians. They could not tell because it 
was foggy. The men from Beatrice had a tiny spy glass, but 
they had deserted us and took the glass with them. So Cap. 
Murphy told me to pick two men from our men and send them 
to see. So I picked Joe Clyne and another man — I think it was 
Constable, the wagon boss. We were about three-quarters of a 
mile west from Elk Creek. It was so foggy they could not tell 
whether it was buffaloes or Indians, so they reported. Cap. 
Murphy said send two more men, that made four men — not to 
come back until thev found out what it was, and we waited 



24 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

until they came back. So they went to the creek and all 
stopped but Joe Clyne. He found a place to cross and went 
east. He could see something but could not tell what until he 
saw Indians running both sides of him trying to cut him off 
from getting back. He gave them a chase, threw away or lost 
his gun and lost his hat. The first we saw he was coming 
back, his horse, which was black, all white with sweat. So I 
told Cap. Murphy that he could not cross the creek there, as 
he had the cannon and two wagons, and we had a wagon. I 
took him to where the old Fort Riley wagon road crossed Elk 
Creek in going to Kearny. The bridge was gone, but the creek 
was dry there. That was three or four miles down the creek 
from Nelson, in Nuckolls county. We went up there and 
crossed the creek but had not gone far before we saw plenty of 
Indians. Cap. Murphy was afraid our men would not stand, 
so he kept all of his men in a bunch and started us independ- 
ents out in a skirmish line, two in a place, about fifty steps 
apart. The main body of the Indians started back towards 
the Republican River. There were two or three hundred of 
them in the skirmish line. The most of them had guns but not 
as good as ours. There was one boy with Murphy not over 
sixteen or eighteen. He said he did not belong to Murphy's 
company. He was with me, and Constable came over where 
the boy and I were and said he was going with me. So there 
were three of us in that bunch. We had not been out long be- 
fore Cap. Murphy shot the cannon loaded with shell. He ele- 
vated it too much, so they said, and broke the timber, so could 
not shoot any more. When the shell whistled over our heads 
it made an awful noise. We followed them in that shape until 
we could see the Republican River. The only thing that saved 
us was shootiug the cannon, and there were ten companies of 
Kansas militia coming up the road from Marshall, Kansas, and 
we did not know they were coming; but the Indians knew it 
as their scouts had seen them. We kept after them until we 
lost one man. It was Constable, the wagon boss. I and Con- 
stable and the boy got somewhat too far west, as we were 
after the biggest crowd. The skirmishers of the Indians halted, 
so we halted. I noticed that some of them started on both sides 
of us, to cut us off from the balance of our crowd, and spoke 
about it to Constable and the boy. I told them I would not stay 
longer, so I started back as fast as I could, but Constable 
stayed to get a few more shots. The boy followed me. I was 
looking for the balance of the command and never looked back. 
We went down a draw and up the other side, fast. When we 
got over the draw — the boy was always looking all around — 
he holloed me that Constable's mare was coming out of the 
draw — without Constable. So he said that Constable was on 



INDIAN OUTBKEAK OF 1864 25 

the horse just before we went down in the draw. He said let's 
go back. I had no notion of going back until he spoke about 
it. I just gave him one look and said all right, and we started 
back as fast as we could. When we came in sight of the draw, 
I saw an Indian out of the draw on the other side. He motione<l 
to the one in the draw, and he left. When we could see into 
the draw the other Indian was just getting on his pon}'. We 
shot at him as he went down the draw but missed him. The 
Indians in the skirmish line stopped then, and we commenced 
to shoot at the bunch but intended to run again if we saw them 
starting to cut us off again. We were shooting so long and so 
much that we drew them all to us. We saw the whole com- 
mand coming over the rise as fast as they could run. That 
scared the Indians, and they drew back out of gunshot. The 
soldiers saw the horse without a rider, but they did not stop. 
They asked us who that was, and we told them, Constable, 
down in the draw. He was shot with an arrow in the side, 
pretty high up. I and the bot had not got off of our horses. 
They put him in the wagon, and we all started back. When we 
got back to Elk Creek, we crossed at the same place. The can- 
non and wagons were hauled by the men with ropes. We — The 
Independents — were the rear guard. Several hundred of the 
Indians followed back to Elk Creek, and we had to do some 
pretty fast shooting. They wounded some of our horses but 
did not cripple them. It was dark when we got across the 
creek. Then we started for Little Blue stage station, where 
Constable's train was burnt. Before we started back we shot 
at the Indians until it was too dark to see them. We were not 
more than forty minutes going there. When we got there one 
regiment of Kansas militia was there. Next morning Cap. 
Murphy went back to Fort Kearny, and we went back to Big 
Sandy Creek, and some of us went to Beatrice. I went to 
Beatrice. In talking to some of the Kansas men they said they 
saw Indians the day before on the other side of the river — the 
south side. They were scouts. That helped to save us, as the 
Indians were afraid to follow us back in the dark. That 
turned them back. That was the end of the raid. The Indians 
did not bother any more for some time. 

Ou November 12, 1917, Mr. Gilbert responded to addi- 
tional inquiries as follows : 

The reason that the Indians had not attacked Kiowa was 
because there was an ox train corralled or camped about two- 
hundred yards west of the station with twenty-six wagons and 
thirty men going west, and one hundred or so yards east of the 
station were the twenty mule wagons loaded with liquor. The 



2f; NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

ox train turned their cattle south ; their herders said that they 
saw forty or fifty Indians go east on the south side of the 
river; but they went on a walk, so they thought they were 
peaceable. They went on east of Kiowa; there they met Joe 
Eubanks and shot him with an arrow, just around the bend, 
out of sight of Kiowa station. Some time after, he was buried, 
where he fell, by some train. 

In my letter of October 26 I said that at the old man 
Eubanks' house there Avere two families. The old lady Eu- 
banks and the oldest girl had gone to Missouri on a visit; so 
they were not killed. I was better acquainted with the older 
girl as she worked at Liberty stage station when I drove stage 
for the Overland Stage Company. 

Somebody told that Jim Comstock helped bury the Eubanks 
family, but that is a mistake, as Jim went with the empty 
train that came to the Comstock ranch that Sunday evening 
and went by Kiowa station Monday, and all of the Comstocks 
Avere with it. So was George Hunt who was shot in the leg 
at Oak Grove. The men with that empty train said they saw 
the old man Eubanks and the little boy lying close to the road, 
about a half or three-quarters of a mile west of the Comstock 
or Oak Grove ranch. So somebody must have moved them, as 
the two yoke of cattle hooked to the wagon went on up home. 
We found them seven days after. One of the oxen was shot 
with an arrow. We pulled it out. The old man Eubanks and 
the boy had been down to Joe's helping him on his ranch as it 
was not all completed. I think Mr. Follmer is right when he 
tells where the old man Eubanks was buried. I helped bury 
all of the Eubanks family that was buried at that place. We 
buried the old man, the young boy and the girl all in one grave, 
and we buried Bill where he fell on the sand-bank. Just dug 
out all the sand we could and covered him up. 

The old Fort Riley road crossed Elk Creek three or four 
miles down the creek from Nelson ; so I have been told by old 
settlers; but we called it ten miles from Little Blue stage sta- 
tion, which was six miles northwest of Oak Grove Ranch — 
three miles or over north and about the same distance west, 
as the river came more from the north there. We called it 
twelve miles east to Kiowa ; but the river has changed in some 
places, made cut-offs, as I found out when I went down to 
where the stagecoach turned around when we saw the Indians. 
I had said that we saAV the Indians behind some second growth 
ash timber on a spring branch that emptied into the Blue close 
to the Thayer and Nuckolls county line on the low bottom. 
When I got there the tiuiber had all been cut off and the low 
bottom had all been plowed up and the spring branch was all 
filled up. It was three or four hundred feet long, but there 



INDIAN OUTBREAK OF 1864 27 

was no sign of it, and the river had made a cut-off, and where 
the river made a short turn it was about filled up. i^o a person 
to look at it now would think it was all a dream on my part. 

Mr. Gilbert's attention having been called to the state- 
ment of Captain Murphy that he detailed Captain Kuhl 
to bury members of the Eubanks family killed by the In- 
dians and to the disagreement between that story and his 
own, he gave the following circumstantial account of the 
incident : 

After we got back to the Little Blue stage station, which 
was about eighteen miles below Pawnee Eanch, Captain Kuhl 
— I never saw his name spelled before but we called him Cap- 
tain Cool — Captain Kuhl wanted some of our party to go 
down to the Eubanks family's place and show him where they 
were buried; and so we all went. He was the only man that 
wore a uniform in the party. He never got off his horse, but 
we told him where to cross the river, and he went over to 
where Bill Eubanks was buried and rode in the brush some. 
We told where the balance were buried, or showed him. Before 
we started up on that trip we knew that they were not buried, 
as myself and James Douglas had seen them the Tuesday 
after the raid of Sunday. Tuesday w^as the day that the In- 
dians chased us in the coach back to Constable's train. 

We turned and went with the train up to Little Blue stage 
station. Some of us — myself and James Douglas of Kiowa 
Station — wanted Constable to bury the Eubankses, but he 
said it was getting late for breakfast, or dinner, and would not 
stop until he made camp, so we passed them. But when the 
train stopped at Little Blue stage station and he turned the 
cattle across the river, the Indians drove them off about a 
mile south, but the mule train of twenty wagons was left close 
to the station on the north side of the river. That was about 
one o'clock in the afternoon. After dark they unloaded all of 
the liquor and the men got in the wagons and went down the 
road, traveling all night. AVe passed the Eubanks place when 
it was real dark so did not see them. When we went up the 
road again with our company we buried the Eubankses. Ed 
Wells and his brother-in-law — Bartley, I think — was with us. 

Mr. Wells [Charles W.] was correct about the little boy. 
I did not know of him until after the Indian raid as I had 
never stopped at the Eubanks house, although I had driven the 
stage ever since they came there. That was in the spring that 
they came. I do not know whether the little boy was buried 



28 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

with the others or not, as I did not help to handle him; but 1 
helped to handle the old father and the girl and Bill. I did 
not help dig the graves. I had forgotten the small boy. Mr. 
Wells thought the girl had been scalped because they had been 
dead seven days in awful hot weather, and some of the hair 
on top of her head had fallen off, and it was bare; but I had 
Been too many that were scalped to not know the difference. 



THE BEGINNING OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 

By Albert Watkins 

Agreeably to an act of Congress passed for the purpose 
of promoting a general celebration of the centennial an- 
niversary of our national independence, Governor Garber 
issued the following proclamation :^ 

Whereas, Congress passed a joint resolution, approved 
March 13th 1876 recommending the people of the several states 
that they assemble in their several counties or towns on the 
approaching centennial anniversary of our National Inde- 
pendence and that they cause to have delivered on such day an 
historical sketch of said county or town from its formation, 
and that a copy of such sketch may be filed, in print or manu- 
script, in the clerk's office of said county and an additional 
copy in print or manuscript be filed in the office of [the] Li- 
brarian of Congress to the intent that a complete record may 
thus be obtained of the progress of our institutions during the 
first centennial of their existence. 

Therefore in compliance with such resolution I do recom- 
mend that the people of this state assemble in their several 
towns and counties on the 4th day of July, 1876 and that they 
cause to have delivered an historical sketch of said town or 
county from its formation, and that copies thereof be filed in 
the office of the County Clerk of said county and in the office 
of [the] Librarian of Congress as by said resolution requested. 

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and 
caused to be affixed the great seal of the state of Nebraska. 
Done at Lincoln, the capital, this 25th day of April A D 1876 
By the Governor 

Silas Garber 
Bruno Tzschuck, Secretary of State. 

According to this recommendation Royal Buck was 
chosen to prepare a history of Red W^illow county, which 
was read at a county celebration at Indianola on July 4, 
1876. Mr. Buck had been active in politics, was editor of 

*17. 8. statutes at Large, XIX, 211; Messages and Proclamations, 
Nebraska, 1866-1892, p. 155. 



30 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

the People's Press and Herald, Nebraska City, and register 
of the land office at that place.^ The address was printed 
in a local paper. The following nearly entire part of it 
seems to deserve preservation and further publicity in the 
publications of this Society : 

In the fall of 1871, moved by the fame which the Republican 
valley had achieved, a few citizens of Nebraska City conceived 
the idea of opening up a settlement in the valley, and the loca- 
tion of a county and town. In October of that year, a com- 
pany was organized under the laws of the state with a capital 
stock of $100,000. Books were opened, and 15,000 readily sub- 
scribed, and 5 per cent paid in and the following gentlemen 
were elected as officers : President, Royal Buck ; vice president, 
J. Sterling Morton; secretary, B. M. Davenport; treasurer, J. 
V. D. Patch; directors, Dr. J. N. Converse, W. W. W. Jones, 
John Roberts, John F. Black, Sam. Tate, J. H. Madison and 
V. C. Iltley. [Name, Republican Valley Land Company.] 

On the 4th of November the board of directors passed the 
following order: 

Ordered, That the president of this company be directed to organize 
such an exploring party from the directors and stocliholders, as will 
be necessary — not less than ten in number, with Lathrop Ellis as en- 
gineer, and proceed to the Republican valley at the earliest practicable 
day, and locate a town site, and report his doings to the board of direc- 
tors for their action. 

In accordance with this order, the party was at once organ- 
ized, as follows: Royal Buck, president; John Roberts, John 
F. Black, and W. W. W. Jones, directors, and John Long- 
necker, L. K. Sitler, Wm. By field, Frank Usher, Wra. McKin 
ney and J. M. Davis, stockholders; Lathrop Ellis, surveyor.-^ 

Two wagons were loaded with supplies for a thirty days' 
trip and were started in advance to the end of the B. & M. 

^ A biographical sketch of Mr. Buck may be found in the History of 
Netraska, II, 346. His diary, in detail, of the Red Willow Expedition 
is in the possession of the Historical Society. 

^All the officers and other stockholders named In this and a fore- 
going paragraph were residents of Nebraska City, excepting Utley, 
who lived at Syracuse, Otoe county. Francis G. Usher, who was only 
twenty years old at the time of the ex,pedition, now (1917) lives in 
Omaha, in good health. He did not settle with the colony but came 
back to Nebraska City. According to his recollection the settlers were 
Black, Sitler, Byfield, and Davis. Mr. Buck moved with his family to 
Red Willow in the spring of 1872. He acquired a large area of land 
and engaged in farming until 1889. He was the first postmaster of 
Red Willow. The records of the post office department show that he 
was appointed April 22, 1872. 




ROYAL BUCK 



BEGINNING OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 31 

railroad, then at Sutton, in charge of Messrs. Davis and Sitler. 
On the 9th the balance of our party left the city on the cars 
and joined our teams at Sutton on the evening of the 10th. 
On the morning of the 11th we were early on the road in the 
good old-fashioned emigrant style, following the grade of the 
B. & M. railroad to Fort Kearny. From here we turned south, 
crossing the divide, and reached the Republican valley at the 
present town of Orleans, where we found two settlers. At 
the present town of Melrose* we found a few Swedish settlers 
with an adobe stockade, where they had the previous winter 
fortified against Indians. On the 17th we arrived at Arapa- 
hoe,* which was then being occupied as a town site by its one 
settler, a Mr. Love and family. One or two Swedish bachelors 
were also located near. 

At this point a severe snow storm overtook us, and we 
were obliged to go into camp on west side of Muddy Creek, 
where we remained until the morning of the 20th when we 
again ventured out for some point farther west. The snow 
being deep and drifted, our progress was necessarily slow. At 
Deer Creek — Burton's Bend — we found the irrepressible Ben 

* Melrose was situated on section 17, township 2, range 19 west, 
about a mile and a half west of the present town of Orleans. In 
August, 1870, a company of about forty men, among them General 
Victor Vifquain, undertook to establish a settlement in the Republican 
valley. A majority of them, led by General Vifquain, started a town 
called Napoleon, which was situated about a mile southeast of the 
present Orleans, and the rest laid out Melrose and at once built a de- 
fensive stockade on or adjacent to the site. The Napoleon project was 
soon abandoned, but a settlement was established at Melrose in the 
spring of 1871. At the first election in Harlan county, held July 3, 
1871, Alma was chosen as the county seat by a vote of 37 against 5 
cast for Napoleon; but because no consistent organization was main- 
tained. Acting Governor James issued a call for an election of county 
officers and the choice of a county seat to be held May 20, 1872, at 
which Melrose won the contest for the county capital against Alma 
and Republican City; but after about two years of litigation the dis- 
trict court decided that Alma was the county seat by virtue of the 
first election. Thereupon Melrose, which had become a place of im- 
portance, declined rapidly, and by the end of the year 1876 it had been 
abandoned. See Centennial History of Harlan County in Harlan 
County Standard, April 25, 1879; speech by William Gaslin, at Alma, 
April 14, 1880; J. A. Piper, History of Harlan County, in The Alma 
Record, March 3, 1912; Andreas, History of Nebraska, 958-961; Ne- 
braska State Historical Society, Collections, XVII, 230. 

• See footnote 4 to Incidents of the Indian Outbreak of 186h thl;-; 
volume, for some account of the founding of Arapahoe. 



32 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

with some fine ricks of hay. Supplying our horses with what 
we could carry at two cents per pound, we pushed on. At the 
Medicine we found an Irish family by the name of Foley.® 
Heretofore we had found the streams either bridged or ford- 
able, but here, no bridge, no ford, an ice bridge lacking strength 
to carry us over. We unloaded our wagons, carrying our 
freight across on our backs, taking our wagons across by ropes 
and our horses singly. 

While we camp for the night, about twenty teams loaded 
with buffalo meat, killed near Red Willow, come in and cross 
as we did. In this party is a man by the name of Weber, badly 
frozen, having been lost in the late storm. He lived to reach 
Juniata, where he died from the effects of his injuries. On the 
afternoon of the 22d we go into camp in the grove on the bank 
of Red Willow, near the mouth. The next day we spend in 
making such an examination of the country, as the deep snow 
and cold weather will permit, and we unanimously agree that 
this is the ''Eureka." We experience much difficulty in finding 
section lines and corners owing to the fraudulent manner in 
which the public surveys have been made, and the deepness of 
the snow — it now being about twenty inches on a level. But 
go to work in earnest, make the preliminary survey of our 
town site, it being section 17, town 3, range 28 west — select our 
homestead and preemption claims, and on the evening of the 
28th of November, 1871, we gather around our bright camp fire 
of dry ash logs, and hold the first political, and first religious 
camp meeting ever held in the territory comprising Red Wil- 
low. Mr. Jones is elected chairman, and Mr. Black is secre- 
tary. We offer prayer and thanksgiving to God for His kind 
care and protection of us during our almost perilous journey, 
for the blessing of health which we so fully enjoy, and for the 
success which has so far crowned our efforts, and then we pro- 
ceed to name our town. Various names are suggested and 
discussed. On motion it was unanimously voted to call our 
town Red Willow, also that we will proceed to secure the organ- 
ization of a county 24 by 30 miles to be called Red Willow 
county. Though this was the first organized effort to form a 
settlement thus far up the Republican valley, yet it was not 
the first settlement in what is now Red Willow county. That 
honor belongs to our fellow citizen John S. King, who had 
selected the claim, which he still occupies, about a month prior 

' Muddy Creek enters the Republican River not far south of Arapa- 
hoe, Deer Creek at a point seven miles farther west, and Medicine 
Creek seven miles still farther west, about half a mile below Cam- 
bridge. These creeks flow in a southeasterly direction, and their 
mouths are all in Furnas county. 



BEGINNING OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 33 

to our coming, and had a small log house partially completed. 
While camped here we lived high. Wild turkeys, deer, ante- 
lopes and buffaloes are here in great abundance, and our nim- 
rods bring a liberal supply to camp and we take trophies home 
with us. 

It is proper to state, that while we have been here we had 
the company of three trappers, a Mr. Zink from Wisconsin, Mr, 
Wm. Proctor, now residing twelve miles up Ked Willow, and 
a Mr. White. On the morning of the 29th we break camp and 
commence our return journey, through intense cold, deep and 
drifted snow, and reach our homes on the 10th of December, 
but not until the report had reached our friends that we had 
all perished. As we crossed the then uninhabited "divide," 
between the Republican and the Platte, or between Orleans 
and Kearney, we saw abandoned wagons scattered the whole 
distance, some with loads of corn, some with loads of meat, 
some with trunks and baggage, and some empty. Some with 
wagon boxes nearly ate up by the famished and starving horses 
and mules which drew them. When the storm had subsided, 
drivers and teams had sought the nearest settlement as best 
they could. 

On our return, our company approved our work, and pub- 
lished in pamphlet form our doings, together with a descrip- 
tion of the country, followed by the publication of two or three 
numbers of the Red Willoio Gazette — several thousand copies 
— and Eed Willow became extensively known as the place 
where a colony would settle in early spring. Our state legisla- 
ture met in January following, and we prepared a bill defining 
the boundaries and naming Red Willow county. The bill fell 
into the hands of a bad general, was delayed in its passage, 
and unfortunately did not reach Governor James for his ap- 
proval, until a quarrel had sprung up between the legislature 
and that functionary, and he had prorogued them and refused 
to sign this and other bills. Thus we failed to secure the early 
organization of the county that we had planned. We were 
delayed somewhat in making our filings in the land ofiftce, then 
at Beatrice — waiting for the plates to be prepared by the sur- 
veyor general. On the 10th of January, however, we were able 
to make our filing. At the same time the first homestead en- 
tries were made by Messrs. Black, Longnecker, Jones, Wm. 
Byfield, Davis and Mrs. Shaw. Quite a number of others soon 
follow^ed, many of which were never occupied. During the 
winter a large number of persons were enrolled as members of 
the Red Willow Colony. But there was some extreme bad man- 
agement by the company, and those who should have started 
out in a body, under competent guides and help, were left to 
start alone, or in small groups, and when they arrived in the 



34 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

valley, were beset by parties interested in other towns and 
counties east of us, and no story of Indian hostilities and pro- 
spective dangers were too great to imagine and tell as facts; 
and thus a large number of Red Willow colonists are settled all 
along the valley east of us. 

Harlan and Furnas counties have reaped quite a heavy 
harvest from our sowing, notwithstanding every precaution 
possible had been taken to evade it. Anticipating not only 
the dangers, but the fear of them, as president of the company, 
I had secured from Gen. E. O. C. Ord, then in command of this 
department, the assurance that a sufficient military force 
should be thrown into camp at Red Willow as early in the 
spring as possible. Accordingly, early in May, two companies, 
one of cavalry and one of infantry, established a camp on the 
east side of Red Willow, on section 16, where they remained 
until November following. 

FIRST ARRIVALS 

The first arrivals here in the spring were Messrs. Hunter, 
Hill, Korn, H. Madison and W. Weygint and son on the 29th 
of April. A few days later, Mr. L. H. Lawton and family, Mr. 
Young and family, Henry Berger and several other single men 
arrived. In May quite a number of families came, also Mr. 
Thomas with his herd of cattle, and others continued to drop in 
during the summer. In the summer of 1872, the Red Willow 
Town Site Company sent out a surveying corps, under Prof. W. 
W. W. Jones, to survej' and make an authentic plat of the 
town. In the exploration and survey, the company expended 
about |700. In neglecting to follow up the settlement first 
made, the amount proved an entire loss, and the land is now 
occupied by preemptors and homesteaders. On the Fourth of 
July, Mr. W. M. Hinman came with his portable steam saw 
mill and made settlement where his mill has remained until 
the first of May last, when it was removed. While it remained 
it was a very great help to the county, and all regretted its 
removal. 

DANGERS FROM INDIANS 

There may have been times when our settlers have been in 
danger of Indian depredations. That many had fears, is true. 
But one fact is remarkable, that though this country has, up 
to this year, been the hunting and camping ground of the Sioux, 
yet since the first settler reached here, not a Sioux Indian has 
been seen in the settlements, no depredations of any kind have 
been made, and not a horse or any other animal has been driven 
off or stolen by them. During the summer of 1872, the Pawnees 
passed up on their annual hunt, loaded their ponies in Hitch- 



Jr. ,'ifi.- ■; :■'■ S r > ^ / -^ 

BEGINNING OF RED AVILLOW COUNTY 35 

cock county and, returning, made a camp on the banks of the 
Ilepublican just east of Ked Willow, where they remained three 
days, giving us a chance to see something of Indian camp life 
and war dance. They came and went peacefully and were only 
a brief annoyance as most intolerable beggars. 

While here there was not a herd of cattle in the settlement 
that could be kept in a corral even without being tied, so in- 
tense seemed the fear of these dumb brutes of the redskins. 

In the summer of 1873 the same tribe again passed through 
the county, and while hunting in the western part of Hitchcock 
county, were surprised by their old time enemy, the Sioux, and 
near one hundred men, women and children were massacred 
and left to bleach in the sun. Their exit from the valley was 
in frightful haste, and their visits have never been renewed. 

FIRST year's farming 

Our first year's farming was, on the whole, quite satisfac- 
tory. Very few, if any, furrows were turned before the first of 
May, 1872, and all planting had to be done on the sod, and the 
latter part of May and most of June being very dry, much of 
the planting did not germinate until about the first of July. 
But those who were fortunate enough to plant early in May 
raised very fair crops of corn, potatoes and other vegetables, 
some of the cornfields yielding from 15 to 30 bushels to the 
acre. 

SECOND year's FARMING 

Our second year's farming was more satisfactory. Only a 
few fields of small grain were sown, and they gave a very fair 
yield. Corn did reasonably well. Some damage was done by 
the grasshoppers, which came upon us about the middle of 
September. Potatoes were badly damaged by the bugs, mostly 
by the ash colored blister bug. 

THIRD year's FARMING 

1874 will long be remembered as a complete failure. The 
hot, blistering south wind commenced to blow early in June. 
Comparatively, no rain fell during June and part of July. 
Five straight weeks of drouth and burning wind. The heavens 
over our heads seemed like heated brass, and the wind like the 
breath of a furnace. All small grain and garden vegetables 
were early ruined. Corn badly damaged by the intense heat 
and drouth, and then, to add to our calamity, about the middle 
of July the locusts settled down upon our fields in clouds, and, 
in a few days, what w^as left of our cornfields from the drouth, 
was stripped and ruined, the bare and blistered stalks only 
stood up as if to mock us in our desolation, and as we stood 



36 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

still before the devouring hordes, we were made to fully realize 
how powerless is man to stay the ravages even of insects. From 
the best information that can be obtained, not a hundred 
bushels of grain of all kinds were raised in the county. 

This was a severe blow to our citizens. Nearly all had come 
with limited means, Avhich now being exhausted, it became a 
serious question to every one, What shall we eat, what shall 
we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed? It was in- 
deed a trying time. Gloom settled over almost every house- 
hold. If ample means had been at hand, nearly all would have 
left — some did leave — not only in disgust with the country, but 
with the spirit of murmuring which took possession of the chil- 
dren of Israel in the wilderness ; while others, though humbled 
and prostrated by this stroke of providence, yet turned trust- 
ingly toward the source of strength, and believed the promises 
of holy writ. "Trust in the Lord, and do good ; so shalt thou- 
dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed."^ In the latter 
part of August a meeting was held at Red Willow, at which 
representatives were present from all parts of the county. At 
this meeting our circumstances were fully discussed, and this 
conclusion reached: ''That we would make a canvass of the 
county, and ascertain the extent of actual and prospective 
needs of our people, to be reported to an adjourned meeting, 
and that we would advise our citizens to stand by their homes, 
and we would ask our eastern friends for aid." Accordingly, 
the county was divided into districts, and a canvassing com- 
mittee appointed, and the meeting adjourned to meet at In- 
dianola about the first of September. At this meeting a full 
report was made which showed that there were but few fam- 
ilies having either supplies or means of purchasing beyond 
four or six months, and many in want of immediate assistance. 
A "Relief Society" was organized, and solicitors of aid ap- 
pointed to present our needs to eastern friends. Dr. A. J. 
Shaw was appointed to represent us at Crete, where he was 
about to remove. Royal Buck at Nebraska City and other 
places. The latter place was visited late in September, and 
nearly a car load of flour, groceries, clothing, etc., secured, 
which was received late in October, it being the first aid re- 
ceived. Soon after this a "State Relief Society" was organized 
and an active canvass commenced in behalf of all devastated 
districts. Before much assistance had been afforded from this 
source, through the efforts of Dr. A. J. Shaw at Crete, much 
valuable aid was obtained and forwarded to this county. Soon 
after the war department made large donations of clothing, 
boots and shoes, and during the winter the State Aid Society 
was enabled to make large shipments to all the needy districts. 

' Psalms, XXXVII, 3. 



BEGINNING OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 37 

The legislature authorized the using of $50,000 in bonds, to 
be invested in seed, grain, etc., which, though badly managed, 
gave many farmers seed to make a new commencement, who 
could never have procured it without this help, and thus our 
people were carried safely through a long and severe winter, 
and through another seed time; and in calmly looking over 
these trying times, even skeptics and doubters were forced to 
admit that 

In some way or other the Lord will provide. 
It may not be my way, 
It may not be thy way. 
And yet, in His own way, 
The Lord will provide. 

OUR FOURTH YEARNS FARMING 

was a success. Though many plowed, planted and sowed in 
doubt and fear, though there were some partial failures in 
small grain, yet, as a whole, when the harvests were all 
gathered, it was pronounced good, very good ! Some localities 
were visited by the locust, yet their stay was short, and dam- 
age light. But from about the first of June to the middle of 
September they were flying over our heads daily in clouds, 
going north. 

So far during the present year we have had immunity from 
them, and doubtless the prayer of all is, **Good Lord deliver 
us." 

Postscript. — Between the 20th of July and 10th of August the 
grasshoppers made their appearance in greater numbers than ever 
before, and as a consequence not a field of corn in the county was 
spared; all other late crops, except sugar cane, shared a like fate. 
This, together with the extreme heat and drouth which preceded the 
grasshoppers, made the devastation more complete than any previous 
year. 

In looking back over these three years, with the exception 
of the last, there has been but little to encourage immigration, 
but much to discourage even those who were here. In fact, it 
would have been but reasonable to suppose that we would lose 
rather than gain in population. But by a reference to the 
census as taken by the assessors yearly, we have this very 
gratifying result: 1873, census not taken; 1874, population 
545, assessors' valuation of property $66,318 ; 1875, population 
602,^ assessors' valuation $70,000; 1876, population 662, assess- 
sors' valuation $60,000. 

'Late in the year 1874 Brevet Brigadier General Nathan A. M. 
Dudley, then in command of the garrison at Fort McPherson, as major 
of the Third Cavalry, investigated conditions in that part of the state, 
for the department of war. He estimated the population of Red Wil- 



38 NEBKASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

The last year's valuation of property is on a lower basis, 
which accounts for the apparent decrease in taxable property. 

COUNTY ORGANIZATION 

I come now to a subject I would gladly pass over in si- 
lence, for connected with this is so much that is not laden with 
^'pleasant memories." But history, to be true, must drop no 
facts which are vital. The people make the facts. The his- 
torian onlj' records them. So, if I relate unpleasant facts, 
blame those who made them. In looking over this subject, I 
am led to believe that the strife, envjangs and bitter feelings 
which have grown up in this connection would never have been 
but for the interference of adventurers and speculators, not 
citizens of this state. 

At the special session** of our state legislature held in 1873 
a bill was passed, after much strife and opposition, defining the 
boundaries of Eed Willow county as previously planned by the 
Nebraska City company. The bill was approved by the gover- 
nor on the 27th day of February, and on petition to the gover- 
nor an election was ordered and held on the 27th dav of May 
1873. 

There was but one poll opened in the county, and that was 
at the house of Wilburne Morris, on section 15, township 3, 
range 28 west. Together with the election of the first officers, 
was also the question of locating the county seat. A few 
weeks previous to the election, a town site, to be called In- 
dianola, had been selected by one T>. N. Smith, of Burlington, 
low^a, on section 7, township 3, range 27 west, some five miles 
east of the center of the county, and the issue at the election 
was between this and section 16, town 3, range 28 — Red Wil- 
low — for county seat. 

The opposing candidates were, on the Indianola side: For 
commissioners, W. S, Fitch, W. 15. Bradbury and W. H. Ber- 
ger; probate judge, E. S. Hill; sherifif, G. A. Hunter; county 
clerk, I. J. Starbuck ; surveyor, P. T. Francis ; county superin- 
tendent, Edward Lyon. 

On the Red Willow side was, for commissioners, Jas. H. 
Pricket, A. S. Boyer and John Longnecker; probate judge, W. 
M. Hinman; sheriff, John F. Black; county clerk, D. E. Broth- 
well; county treasurer, John G. Eaton. 

low county at 800, while the local estimate was 1,000. General Dudley 
reported that though the local agents were conscientious in their re- 
ports of the destitution, they were not accurate. Nebraska State His- 
torical Society, Collections, XVII, 40; Watkins, History of Nebraska, 
III, 325. 

*This was a regular session; the special session of 1873 did not 
convene until March 27. 



]?EGINNIN(; OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 39 

The judges of election were W. M. Hinman, L. H. Lawton 
and E. S. Hill. 

A sumptuous dinner was i)repared at Tndianola, detaining a 
large number of voters until about four o'clock in the after- 
noon; yet it is supposed that no votes were lost to that place 
in consequence, nor to any of the candidates favoring it, and 
the result of the election was a majority of from three to 
seven for Indianola and its candidates. The whole number of 
votes cast was sixty-three. 

In the canvass of votes for clerk, all, or nearly all, cast for 
Mr. Starbuck, were for clerk of district court, while those cast 
for Mr. Brothwell were for county clerk. No such elective 
office being known by our statute as clerk of district court, the 
canvassers took these to mean county clerk, and by this con- 
struction Mr. Starbuck had a majority, and so was declared 
elected county clerk. The Red Willow party claimed that 
there were men voting who had never before been known as 
citizens of the county — even the postmaster and justice of the 
peace at Melrose, in Harlan county, and his clerk in a mercan- 
tile house there, voting, gave just cause for complaint, and it 
was decided to contest the election, on the ground that a num- 
ber of votes greater than the majority had been cast for In- 
dianola and its candidates, by men not citizens of the county 
under the law. Consequently a suit was brought before Justice 
Colvin of Arapahoe, contesting the election. 

The case was a long and tedious one, lasting several days, 
and a large number of witnesses summoned. After a full hear- 
ing of the case and arguments on both sides. Justice Colvin 
sums up his finding as follows: 

Therefore, It is on this first day of August, A. D. 1873, considered 
and found by me that the said D. E. Brothwell, having received a 
majority of all the legal votes cast for county clerk in Red Willow 
county, Nebraska, at an election held in said county on the 27th day 
of May, 1873, was duly elected clerk of Red Willow county according 
to law. 

Also, That A. S. Boyer, John Longnecker and Jas. H. Pricket, hav- 
ing received a majority of all the legal votes cast for county commis- 
sioners of Red Willow county, Nebraska, at said election, were duly 
elected county commissioners of Red Willow county, according to law. 

Also, That J. F. Black, having received a majority of all the legal 
votes cast for sheriff of Red Willow county, Nebraska, was duly 
elected sheriff of said county, according to law. 

Also, That E. S. Hill having received a majority of all the legal 
votes cast for probate judge of Red Willow county, Nebraska, at said 
election was duly elected probate judge of Red Willow county, Ne- 
braska according to law. 

Also, That section sixteen (16). town three (3), range twenty-eight 
(28) west of the sixth principal meridian, having received a majority 
of all the legal votes cast for county seat of Red Willow county, Ne- 
braska, at said election was duly located as the county seat of Red 
Willow county, Nebraska, according to law. Geo. W. Coi.vin, 

Justice of the Peace, in and for Furnas county. Neb. 



40 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Following this decision the officers named proceeded to 
qualify according to law. A proclamation was made by the 
commissioners declaring section 16 the county seat, and a writ 
of attachment issued by Justice John G. Eaton for the pos- 
session of the county seal and records. This writ was executed 
by Sheriff Black, and the books and seal obtained. Then came 
a contest between officers — each set claiming to be the legal 
officers and each claiming the possession of the books and seal 
on legal papers — and for several days the books were some like 
the English charter of Connecticut, hidden during this contest. 
An appeal was taken from the decision of Justice Colvin to the 
district court, and it being the opinion of attorneys that this 
act left Indianola officers in possession of the offices until the 
case was decided, therefore the Red Willow officers delivered 
up the books and seal, and ceased to perform the functions of 
office. Thus at present writing the case stands on this appeal 
it not having reached the calendar or docket of the court hav- 
ing jurisdiction.^" 

POST OFFICES AND MAIL ROUTES 

The first post office in the county was established at Red 
Willow, and Royal Buck was appointed postmaster in April, 
1872. In the same month Congress declared the road from Mc- 
Pherson to Red Willow a post road; but no service was placed 
on it until July 1, 1873 — W. D. Wildman, contractor, with 
North Platte as the terminus, instead of McPherson.^^ By act 
,of Congress approved March 3, 1873, the road from Alma, Har- 
lan county, to Red Willow was declared a post road, and the 
first mail which reached us by a regular contractor was on this 
route, on the 7th of May, 1873. 

Previous to this we had mail when we could get it, or 
rather, when somebody happened to go where it was with au- 
thority to get it. During the summer of 1872 our mail was 
received from Fort McPherson by the soldiers' weekly supply 
train, and after the camp left here, we received our mail semi- 
occasionally at the expense of the citizens, sometimes from 
McPherson and sometimes from Arapahoe. 

The second office was Indianola, established in the summer 
of 1873, with Dr. A. J. Shaw postmaster. A little later the 
offices of Canby and Lebanon, on the Beaver, were established, 

" In 1876 the district court decided in favor of Indianola. At an 
election held August 2, 1891, the county seat was moved to McCook but 
a dispute over the vote of Coleman precinct was kept in the courts 
until 1896, so that the removal did not take place until that year. 

" May 14, 1872, "from Cottonwood Springs, via Stockville, to Red 
Willow." U. 8. Statutes at Large, XVII, 110. 



BEGINNING OF KED WILLOW COUNTY 11 

with Dr. Beiinet and N. S. West, postmasters, supplied from 
Beaver City and Wilsonville. The former office has been dis- 
continued. 

About the same time another office was established farther 
up the Beaver called Danbury, Geo. Ni Gilbert, postmaster, 
supplied from Red Willow. The first mail bag was made of 
scraped buffalo hide and locked with a string of the same ma- 
terial. 

During the summer of 1874 a mail route was established up 
the Beaver to Cedar BluflFs, in Kansas. During the same year 
a route was established from Red Willow to Valley Grange 
and Dr. C. R. Baker appointed postmaster at the latter place. 

In the winter of 1875 a route was established from Buffalo 
Station on the K. P. railroad to Red Willow, and in March, 
1876, another route was established from Red Willow via Car- 
rico to North Platte, on the U. P. railroad. These two routes 
give a direct north and south line between the two great 
thoroughfares. 

POSTMASTERS 

Indiauola has had four — A. J. Shaw, P. H. Allison, G. 
S. Bishop and O. H. Cobb; Valley Grange two — C. R. Baker 
and H. L. Randall ; Danbury also two — G. N. Gilbert (de- 
ceased) and W. S. Stilgebaur; Red Willow and Lebanon still 
retain first appointees. 

DISTRICT COURT 

The first session of district court for Red Willow county 
was held at Indianola, on the 28th and 29th days of April, 
1875, Judge Gaslin presiding. A very short docket and soon 
disposed of. The grand jury found no bills of indictment and 
the judge, in discharging the jury, said he was not aware that 
during the four years the county has been organized any crim- 
inal cases arising in the county have been tried elsewhere, and 
the fact that no persons are held on bail and the grand jury 
find no bills is a high testimonial in favor of the moral char- 
acter of this people. It is proper to add in connection that 
only two fines for violation of law have been adjudged and 
collected in the county, one for $10 and the other for f 15. 

MANUFACTURING 

So far very little has been done by way of manufacturing. 
Mr. Hinman's steam mill, while it remained, turned out all the 
rough lumber used in Red Willow and Hitchcock counties, and 
it was a great convenience and help to our people in their first 
settlement and building. 

Mr. J. F. Black has, for about two years, been doing a 



42 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

small business in the way of cheese making, and his testimony 
of the value of milk from cows fed on our prairie grasses is 
most favorable. 

On the 20th of May last Messrs. Leeland & Brown purchased 
of W. D. Wildman the northeast quarter of section 17, town 
3, range 28 west — a part of the original Red Willow town site 
— for milling purposes. A i)art of the fixtures are already on 
the ground, and a saw and grist mill will be put in operation 
soon, the Red Willow furnishing abundance of water power. 

CATTLE AND SHEEP RAISING 

SO far have proved very successful, being raised with the tri- 
fling expense of herding, as neither hay or grain are needed to- 
any great extent. 

Our principal cattle raisers are Mrs. Thomas and son, 
Messrs. Doyle & Bolls, Mr. N. T. Corey, Joseph Berger, and 
Mr. Welborn on the Republican, and Mr. Bradbury on the 
Beaver. Mr. Black and Mr. Bradbury have each a small flock 
of sheep. 

PUBLIC HEALTH 

Seldom has a newly settled country been so blessed in re- 
gard to health. It has been what physicians sometimes call 
"painfully healthy." No prevailing disease of a serious nature 
has ever visited us, and persons coming among us in feeble 
health soon become robust and strong. 

During the year 1872 there were no deaths. In 1873 there 
were two — one a child diseased before coming here. No deaths 
in 1874. In 1875 there were six. Two were children and one 
an adult. Two of the others, Mr. W. H. Berger and Mr. T. P. 
Thomas, were by lightning and the other by drowning. The 
lightning strokes were remarkable. Although the deaths were 
about four weeks apart, were yet under very similar circum- 
stances. Both were cattle raisers, both were attending their 
stock, and both killed near the same hour of the day — to- 
wards evening. 

MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE 

A German by the name of Schribel, one of the first settlers 
on Driftwood, left his home in the winter of 1874 for a trap 
ping campaign on the headwaters of the Frenchman. In June, 
following, his skeleton remains, gun, and other equipments 
were found near Culbertson, where he had perished in some of 
the severe storms that marked that winter. 

Mr. John D. Long, also a settler on Driftwood, left his home 
in May, 1875, to go up into Dundy county for a wagon left 
there during the winter and has never returned, and no tidings 
have been received of him, team or wagon, and it is feared that 
some accident has befallen him. 



BEGINNING OF KEl) WILLOW COUNTY 4a 

Postscript. — In September, 1876, the remains of Mr. Long were 
found in his wagon among the sand-hills on the headwaters of the 
Republican, in Dundy county. Nothing but the bones were left, and 
a broken skull told the tale of a brutal murder. 

SCHOOL DISTRICTS 

The first organization of school districts in the county was 
in December, 1873, Eed Willow and Indiauola, both organized 
on the same day as number one and two. Up to January 1, 
187G, thirteen districts have been organized. 

RELIGIOUS 

Very little of permanency in church organization has as yet 
been reached. The Christian denomination made a small 
organization at Ked Willow in 1873. Another has since been 
made on the Beaver. In 1875 a Congregational church was 
organized at Indianola, also one at Valley Grange, and the 
preliminary steps have been taken for organizing the Centen- 
nial Congregational church at Ked Willow. A few months 
since a Methodist Episcopal church was organized at In- 
dianola. The United Brethren has also a small class at Red 
Willow. 

SABBATH SCHOOLS 

A union Bible class and prayer meeting was organized at 
Red Willow in the summer of 1872, and early in the summer 
of 1873 a regular Sabbath school was organized at the house 
of Royal Buck, with Mr. Wm. Overacker as superintendent and 
Mr. G. B. Nettletou of Valley Grange as assistant. The ex- 
ercises were continued at the same place during the summer, 
and on Christmas eve a beautiful Christmas tree was prepared 
and over 800 persons received fruit from it. Late in the sum- 
mer a school was organized at Valley Grange, and in Septem- 
ber a picnic by the Red Willow and Valley Grange schools at 
the latter place was a very pleasant entertainment. Schools 
have since been organized at Indianola and on the Beaver. 

COMMERCIAL 

Like all new countries, commercial transactions have been 
on a small scale and attended by some changes and failures. 
The first stock of goods brought to the county was by Mr. T. P 
Thomas, late in the summer of 1872 ; but finding his cattle busi 
ness a much better investment, he soon discontinued his mer 
cantile transactions. John Byfield also opened a small stock 
on his homestead adjoining Red Willow town site, in the sum 
mer of 1872, where he continued to carry on a small business 
until last spring, when becoming embarrassed he disposed of 



44 NEBEASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

his stock of goods to O. H. Cobb aud suddenly left the state. 
Mr. Cobb removed the goods to Tndianola, where he is still 
carrying on a small trade. 

In 1873 W. S. Fitch opened a small store at Valley Grange, 
which he still continues to carry on. Mr. John Kelly has also a 
small store at the same place. A small stock of goods has been 
kept at Lebanon, on the Beaver, by Mr. B. F. Bradbury, and at 
Indianola, Allison & Wood opened a fair stock of goods in 
1873, which promised some permanence for a time, but in a 
little over a year, like a lamp without oil, it went out. 

In the summer of 1874 Brs. Shaw & Martin from Crete 
opened a drug store at Indianola, which they soon disposed of, 
and both returned to Crete in the fall. The store passed, 
through several hands and is now owned by G. S. Bishop. 

The only permanent success attained by any dealer in the 
county thus far is by Mr. J. E. Myers, who is doing an ex- 
tensive and paying business at Indianola. 

PROFESSIONS 

The legal profession is represented by Maj. R. H. Criswell, 
G. S. Bishop, and I. J. Starbuck, all at Indianola; the medical, 
by Dr. J. S. Shaw, at Indianola, and Drs. C. R. Baker and H. 
L. Randall at Valley Grange; the clerical, by Theo. Stewig 
and G. W. McElroy, both of the Christian denomination. 

COUNTY OFFICERS 

The county officers have been as follows: In 1873, May 
election, W. H. Berger, W. S. Fitch and B. F. Bradbury, com- 
missioners; G. A. Hunter, sheriff; E. S. Hill, probate judge; I. 
J. Starbuck, county clerk; J. E. Berger, treasurer; P. T. 
Francis, surveyor; Edward Lyon, county superintendent. In 
the drawing for terms of commissioners Berger drew for two 
years. Fitch one, and Bradbury the fraction of year. 

October election, 1873, B. F. Bradbury, reelected commis- 
sioner; G. N. Gilbert, sheriff; E. S. Hill, probate judge; B. B. 
Duckworth, treasurer; I. J. Starbuck, clerk; J. D. Hill, cor- 
oner; G. B. !Nettleton, county superintendent, and P. T. 
Francis, surveyor. October, 1874, W. S. Fitch, reelected com- 
missioner. During the year, Mr. Berger dying, J. R. King 
was appointed to fill the vacancy. 

In October, 1875, the following persons were elected: Elias 
Canoga, commissioner; Theodore Stewig, probate judge; Geo. 
A. Hunter, treasurer; W. H. Skinner, county superintendent; 
W. A. Springer, sheriff; P. T. Francis, surveyor, and Isaiah 
Bennett, coroner. 

In closing the record of events of the brief period of our 



BEGINNING OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 45 

existence as a county, I would f^ay, J have endeavored to col- 
lect all facts which are important as history or as springs 
from which may yet flow streams of important events and re- 
sults vast in the times which are to be. As a whole we have 
no reason to be ashamed of our record. Indeed we have much 
of which we can approve, much that is mere planting for a 
future harvest, and in the coming year let us remember that it 
is ours to plant, which, if we do wisely and well, there is an all 
wise ruler above us who doeth all things well and He will 
surely give us the increase. 

ADDENDA 

A settlement was made near the mouth of the Driftwood 
late in the summer of 1872 by Dr. C. R. Baker, John Stone and 
family and two Germans by the names of Schribel and Dietz. 
About the same time Mr. G. N. Gilbert and Mr. West made 
settlement on the Beaver at Danbury, soon followed by Mr. 
Solomon Boyer and sons, whose families came the following 
spring — 1875. The settlement at Lebanon was in the spring 
of 1874, by Mr. B. F. Bradbury, Mr. West and others. 

In connection with the county seat contest were some ex- 
citing and amusing incidents. After the Bed Willow party 
obtained possession of the county books and seal, the Indianola 
party got out a writ of replevin and a search warrant for the 
lost property, but like the Paddy's flea, when they got where 
the books and seal were they weren't there, and while searching 
one house the Indianola sheriff' was very severely hugged by 
one of the Red Willow party and carried out of the house back- 
ward at the same time calling in half uttered words on the 
bystanders, "in the name of the state of Nebraska", to assist 
him in the discharge of his duties. The other party claimed 
that while there was a law against resisting ofiQcers there was 
no law against hugging. Following this transaction came the 
Indianola sherifl" with his posse of armed men — a wagonload 
and some on horses — with a writ issued by Justice Briegel for 
the arrest of several of the Red Willow party on a charge of 
resistance of an officer. Several arrests were made and a 
change of venue taken, and the case was taken before Justice 
C. R. Baker of Driftwood. On the examination before that 
officer the parties entered into a recognizance to appear before 
the district court, but here the matter ended. The case never 
came before that court for hearing. 

A DESTRUCTIVE FIRE 

occurred on the 14th of October, 1873, at Valley Grange. A 
very strong wind from the south, amounting to almost a gale, 



46 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

was blowing, and a fire broke out on the Beaver and came 
across the divide like a tempest. Fire breaks were no barriers, 
and hayricks and sheds were swept away in a moment. The 
house of G. B. Nettleton was burned with all its contents, the 
inmates barely escaped with their lives. 

NARROW ESCAPE FROM BUFFALOES 

During the years of 1872-3 the citizens on the Beaver re- 
ceived mail at Red Willow, ''taking turns" in coming for it 
once in two weeks. In the spring of 1873, a Mr. West, living 
or camping near Danbury, started over after the mail on foot, 
carrying his carbine. After he had reached the summit be- 
tween the Republican and the Beaver, he came upon a buffalo 
cow with a young calf. The cow ran off, and he went up to 
the calf, spoke to it, patted it on the back and started on, and 
to his surprise the calf followed him. Traveling on a mile or 
more, he looked back and saw a large herd of buffaloes follow- 
ing him. They came within a hundred yards and halted. West 
turned and fired on them two or three times, killing one or two, 
when they again charged on him. He took to his heels and 
coming to the head of a draw, where there was a sort of cavern 
washed out by the water, he dodged in and the enraged buf- 
faloes passed by him. After going a short distance and missing 
the object of their pursuit, they came back and, as he says, 
passed around him three times without discovering his hiding 
place and then left. In a short time he ventured out, slipped 
down the caiion and made his way to Red Willow in safety. 

REMINISCENCES OF PAGE T. FRANCIS 

The following reminiscences of pioneer life in Red Wil- 
low county contributed by Mr. Page T. Francis, a sub- 
stantial early settler, was published in the Red Willow 
County Gazette of August 10, 1911. The contribution is a 
valuable illumination of Mr. Buck's history. It was pro- 
cured through Mr. John F. Cordeal, the indefatigable stu- 
dent of the history of southwestern Nebraska : 

STRIFE FOR COUNTY SEAT 

I was born February 12, 1843, in the town of Leeds in the 
state of Maine. In May, ISGl, I enlisted in the Third Maine 
regiment. Company A, and was discharged in December, 1862, 
for wounds received at the battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia, in 
McClellan's Penisular campaign; and, by the way, I have got 
the bullet yet in my hip. I reenlisted in 1863 and served until 



liEGINNING OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 47 

the close of the war. I was wounded in 1804 again and trans- 
ferred to the Veteran's Relief Corps, for wounds received in 

1864. I was discharged by reason of the close of the war in 

1865. I came to Nebraska in April, 1807, to Otoe county. I 
settled first in Otoe county. I went to Webster county in 1870, 
and to Red Willow county, 1872. It was my home then until 
1895. Since then my home has been in Dawes county, Craw- 
ford. 

I went to Red Willow county in June, I think, 1872. I 
don't recollect the date exactly, but I think it was the early 
part of June. I took a preemption where the town of Bartley 
now is. A part of the town is on the preemption. I was there 
during the organization of the county and the location of the 
county seat. In the fall of 1871 a colony had come out from 
Nebraska City, headed by Royal Buck, who had taken up land 
on Red Willow Creek, and went back to Nebraska City and 
issued a paper in the fall of 1871 and in 1872, called the Red 
Willow Gazette, which advertised that country extensively, 
and in 1872 a great many people went up there and were dis- 
appointed, because they didn't find things as they had been 
represented. That is, there was to be a mill built, and when 
all these men came they found there was nothing done- They 
had taken their claims and desired to have the county seat 
located on the school section near the mouth of the Willow, 
but early in the spring of 1872 a man by the name of D. N. 
Smith, who was secretary of the Republican Land Association, 
which is a corporation which was in connection with the B. & 
M. railroad, he came there and made arrangements with Hill 
[Edgar S.] and Hunter [George A.] to have them prove up on 
their preemptions and get more land on Coon Creek, near the 
present site of Indianola; and when we had our organization 
and election there were two places and two sets of officers, one 
where Indianola now is, and the other up at Red Willow. The 
election was very close, and both places claimed they had 
secured the location of the county seat. We had two county 
organizations, and the party that had located the county seat 
where Indianola is organized, got a set of books, records, seals, 
and commenced to do business. An organized party from Red 
Willow came down and claimed they were the proper officers 
and took the Indianola people by surprise and took the records 
and seals and carried them off to Red Willow. They intended 
arresting the officers of that party. It got noised around, and 
the adherents of Indianola hunted up the sheriff. Hunter, and 
we ransacked that country up there and found the records and 
seals and arrested all the parties who came down there and 
got them and brought them down to Indianola and had them 
bound over by our judge. Hill, for appearance at the district 



48 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

court; and we so continued until nearly all the people in the 
county were bound over to the district court by one county 
judge or the other. They were in court for several years. 

RELIANCE ON BUFFALOES 

Now we had rather dry years at first there, and the settlers 
were nearly all people of limited means, and the buffaloes, 
which were very plentiful at that time through the country, 
were the main source of living. The hides fetched all prices, 
from seventy-five cents to two dollars apiece, and the meat was 
good eating, and the settlers killed a few buffaloes and took 
the hides to the railroad and would buy groceries. That was a 
great help to the settlement of that country. 

MILITIA 

As ammunition was a little high and guns scarce, we or- 
ganized a company of militia to protect ourselves from the 
Indians, which were around here, though they never done any 
harm in Red Willow county that I know of; but we needed the 
guns for killing the buffaloes. We reported our dangerous 
position to the government, and we got a provision of eighty 
needle guns and a lot of ammunition, and that helped ma- 
terially in supplying the people of that county. That was a 
scare put up because ammunition was scarce and guns were 
high, and we organized and got a lot of government guns, and 
they killed a lot of buffaloes. 

GRASSHOPPERS 

Now in 1874 there got to be a good many people in there, 
and they had put out crops, as much as their means would 
allow. It was a very dry year. I can't think of the date, but 
along when we were in hopes of raising something we got a 
swarm of grasshoppers in there that cleaned up everything. So 
that in 1874 there was absolutely nothing raised. Everything 
was destroyed by drouth and grasshoppers together. In 1875 
we had a reasonable amount of rain, and we got a very fair 
crop. In 1876 we got grasshoppers again. We had a good 
prospect until the grasshoppers came in. They destroyed 
everything again in 1876, and the prospects for making a living 
there were very small. As that was about the time of the dis- 
covery of gold in the Black Hills, I went on the Union Pacific 
railroad to Sidney with teams and engaged in freighting from 
the railroad to Fort Robinson and the Black Hills, and stayed 
there until 1880. I was engaged in freighting there until 1880. 

For a person who had never seen the grasshoppers it would 
be absolutely impossible to describe them as they were, to make 



BEGINNING OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 49 

them understand it. I think in 1876 I had about 100 acres of 
corn, and in two hours after they commenced to light I believe 
they would average a depth of four inclies all over the ground, 
and as much hanging to the stalks of the corn as could find 
holding places. A person who has never seen them, you can't 
make them understand it. J had a nice crop there in 1876, at 
ten o'clock in the morning, and at four o'clock in the afternoon 
there was absolutely nothing left on the place. I had an acre 
of onions, and every place there had been an onion there was a 
hole in the ground. You couldn't walk over a corn field any 
more than nothing. They would light on anything like a corn 
field or anything that was possible for them to eat, and they 
were thicker there than other places. They would gather in 
there. 

In the summer of 1872 there was one company of soldiers 
camped on the Willow. Buck and some others represented 
they were necessary. They camped in tents. They had nothing 
permanent, and they did not stay very long. They left before 
cold weather. My recollection is there were not over fifty 
there all together. They camped right above where the old 
wagon road used to cross near where Helm lives now. It is 
quite a little ways farther north than where the railroad 
crosses — the old wagon road of the buffalo hunters. We had 
a bridge there. They camped right in the bend just above 
there." 

Here is another little thing. They organized in 1873. This 
Buck party sent a man by the name of AVildman down to Lin- 
coln to lobby the legislature to make the counties larger than 
they had been making them. Their custom had been to make 
the counties twenty-four miles square. They wanted to make 
Arapahoe and Red Willow the county seats, and so they lobbied 
the legislature to enlarge the boundaries of the counties, to 
make them thirty miles wide north and south, so it would throw 
Arapahoe and Red Willow a little nearer the center of the 
counties.^" This old man Smith, the agent of the Republican 

" The report of the adjutant-general, dated October 12, 1872, shows 
that there were then at Camp Red "Willow, near the junction of Red 
Willow Creek and the Republican River, one company each from the 
Second Cavalry, Third Cavalry and Ninth Infantry, under the command 
of Captain J. D. Devin of the company last named. Report of the Secre- 
tary of War, 1872, p. 104. 

^ Fumas, Red Willow and Hitchcock were four townships wide and 
five long, and Chase and Dundy the same width but still another 
township long, to reach the Colorado line. They were all established 
by the legislature of 1873. Phelps, established by this legislature, was 
of the regular form and size. So all the counties east of Harlan, to 
Gage, were four townships, or twenty-four miles square. 

5 



50 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Valley Land Association, that was the same as the Lincoln 
Land Company, had got hold of a lot of land right where Bart- 
ley is, expecting when the counties were organized that would 
be the center of the county, and they would get the county seat 
located there where Bartley is. They had got several quarter 
sections of land in there, so when the bill passed the legisla- 
ture changing the size of the counties from what had been 
their size, that is what started him out here to get land where 
Indianola is so as to get near the center of one of the counties. 
The B. & M. Railroad Company was expecting to come up that 
valley, and the land association had their men out to get land 
where they expected to locate a town, and he had secured a lot 
of land where Bartley is, but when the legislature changed the 
size of the counties it threw it all over to one side. 

. BATTLE OF MASSACRE CANON 

The Pawnee came out there on a buffalo hunt to secure 
some meat. They crossed to the south side of the Republican 
River, way down below Red Willow county some place, and 
went up the Beaver and Sappa. The buffalo country was cov- 
ered with them, and the Pawnee had pretty good luck, and 
they came up and went to cross from the Beaver to the Republi- 
can, near where Trenton is, and they met some buffalo hunters 
who told them their old enemies, the Sioux, were hunting on 
the divide between the Republican and the Frenchman, and 
they said that was not right, that the white men didn't want 
them to hunt, and they crossed the river and went along a long 
caiion that comes in from the north, now called Massacre 
Caiion, and went up this canon eight or ten miles to get up 
near the top of the divide; but the t^ioux had seen them and 
knew they were coming up that canon, and they hid them- 
selves back from the banks of the caiion, on both sides, until 
the Pawnee had got clear up in bj- them, and they came down 
on them from each side and just massacred them. They killed 
64 right there on the ground and killed a number of others 
that died farther down. The Pawnee were not in any position 
to help themselves, so they took right down the caiion. I was 
there the next day. The Pawnee had put up their meat, and 
they had all their horses loaded — eveiything they could pos- 
sibly cure, and it was nearly the whole tribe of Pawnee. They 
had nearly all their household goods, and they cut everything 
else from their ponies, and their meat and things was piled up 
and strung along. They even lost their dogs, hundreds of dogs 
and hides. The summer buffalo hides are no good for robes, 
but the Pawnee had taken the hides off and tanued them to do 
up their meat in and for other purposes in camp, and they had 




J3 

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o & 



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02 00 



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BEGINNING OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 51 

all those hides. A great many people weut up there and 
gathered up those hides and made leather things of them. 
Taylor made a house of them. They had killed two buffaloes 
[for meat]. The squaws had commenced to skin them when 
the Sioux attacked them. It was in the early part of the day. 
In those Cottonwood trees along the river a great many In- 
dians had been buried. They laid poles or something across, 
where there were forks, and they wrapped them [bodies] in 
hides to keep birds or animals from interfering with them. 

14 

The land here in 1872 was out of the market, that is, you 
could not make filings until the land office was open and in 
running order at Lowell, which was the 8th day of August, I 
think. The other party had gone, but w^e stayed there to go to 
the land office and make our filings, and Hill came down and 
wanted to go with us. We told him we were out of grub. He 
said he was pretty nearly out. He had a little bit of flour and 
some molasses. We told him to bring it down and come on. 
He brought his stuff down, and we told him to put it in the 
grub box. We hadn't had any grub in it for some time. We 
had found several Indian skulls, and Ave had put them in the 
grub box for safe keeping, and when we went to put his grub 
in, he said, ''My Lord, what are you fellows living on ?'' There 
was places w^here they were buried out away from the river, 
and they had put up forks and laid poles across, and they were 
buried on platforms of poles. But mostly they had put them 
up in trees there. 

We were never troubled by the Sioux. The only Indians I 
ever saw in Red Willow county were the Pawnee, the Omaha 
and the Oto, that used to come up from their reservations hunt- 
ing buffaloes. The only trouble with the Pawnee was their 
picking up and taking little things. Like one day I had been 
giving them some things, and I had a big sheath knife, and it 
was sheathed and thrown doAvn on the ground by the wagon, 
and I looked and he had stuck his foot into the belt and walked 
away right straight. I hollered at him, and he ju.st took his 
foot up and went right on. We were never in any danger from 
any Indians or anything of that kind. 

I will tell you about a buffalo hunt. They were north of 
my place on Dry Creek, on the divide. A man by the name of 
Bill Berger, county commissioner, he had lost some horses, 
and heard that a party by the name of Clifford, a squaw man 
who lived on the Medicine, had found them, and Berger wanted 
to go over there and get them. He had no horses, so I took my 

"For further accounts of this battle see Nebraska State Historical 
Society, Collections, XVI, 165; ibid., XVII, 38. 



52 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

horses to drive him over there, and when we got up on the 
divide between Dry Creek and the Medicine we ran onto an 
Indian, and he raised up and stopped us. They were surround- 
ing a herd of buffaloes and didn't want us to drive over for 
fear we would stampede them. We wanted to go on, but they 
insisted — they wanted us to go down where the camp was and 
wait until they had the hunt, and as there were too many of 
them for us, we complied with their request. They kept riding 
around this bunch of buffaloes until they got them kind of 
working in. They were on horseback and on foot too, but if 
the buffaloes would start to get outside the lines, the Indians 
would show themselves and turn them back. There was a big 
flat there, and when they got them pretty well corralled up 
there, they kept riding right around and shooting. They had 
guns and bows and arrows and things of that kind. They 
didn't have much ammunition. They shot a great lot of buf- 
faloes in there in that way and left it for the squaws to take 
care of and dress the meat. The men aimed to kill the buffaloes 
on a very hot day, and the squaws would cut it up and hang 
it up in the sun, and it would cure nice and sweet in that way. 
They never used any salt. They had ordinary canvas tents 
that had been furnished them by the government. Some of 
them had tepees made of hides and canvas. They put up a 
lot of poles and tied them together at the top, and the tent was 
sheeted over this. When they moved they took them down, and 
the poles were bunched together on the sides of the horse and 
run back, and then they just piled things on top of the poles be- 
hind and dragged them. We could always tell plainly where a 
camp of them had been moving, because there was the pony 
trail in the center, and the pole trail on each side, where they 
had been dragged. 

The following letter from William H. Berger adds in- 
terest to the foregoing sketch: 

Indianola, Nebraska, Aug. 10th 73. 
Dear Brother and Sister 

I received your kind and welcome letter yesterday and was 
glad to hear from you once more. I don't know how it is that 
I did not receive your other letters, but I did not. We are 
all well and hope these few lines may find you all the same. We 
are getting along very well — have about sixty fine head of cattle 
all looking fine and doing well. I have some 17 or 18 acres of 
ground in corn, millet and garden. Everything looks fine here, 
much better than in some of the eastern counties, so those say 
who come in. I am better pleased with the country every day, 
it is hard to beat. 



BEGINNING OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 53 

We have had quite an excitement among the settlers lately. 
The Pawnees were up here on a buffalo hunt and went on up 
the river to the mouth of the Frenchman's fork 30 miles above 
where they were attacked by the Sioux in a large body and all 
cut to pieces. There are so many conflicting reports it is hard 
to tell how many Pawnees were killed but I think some sixty 
squaws and perhaps as many bucks. Besides they lost about 
100 ponies. This happened on last Tuesday, on Wednesday 
morning they came down past our place crying and howling 
fearfully. At the time the Sioux went for them they were on 
the move having their ponies loaded down with the dried meat 
of about 1000 Buffalo. They cut the straps and lost all, meat, 
blankets, everything. There were two white men with them, 
one of which the Sioux took prisoner and let him go again. 
The Pawnees fought for two hours like devils, but the Sioux 
surprised them and were too many, completely surrounding 
the Pawnees who finally had to make a charge and cut their 
way out. Since the fight there have been quite a number of 
Pawnees come down the road on foot and alone, having been 
wounded and hid in the grass until the Sioux were gone. 

A company of soldiers came over from Cottonwood to the 
battlefield to take the Sioux back to their reserve and protect 
the settlers. Quite a number of the settlers saw the fight. 
They say they fought well. 

We organized a Grange here yesterday with 21 members. 
Welborns are all into it. Have you joined ? I think it a good 
thing. I will have to go to Lincoln to attend the meeting of 
the State Grange in December when I will come down and see 
you if possible. 

The brother to whom this letter was addressed was 
George L. Berger, who now — 1918 — lives in Elmwood, Cass 
county, Nebraska, and the sister, Mrs. J. D. Ferguson, now- 
living in Lincoln, Nebraska. They lived in Louisville, 
Nebraska, when the letter was sent to them. 

THE TWO LAND COMPANIES 

In a letter dated November 18, 1917, the secretary of 
the Lincoln Land Company, whose headquarters is now at 
Burlington, low^a, informed me that D. N. Smith and the 
Republican Valley Land Association were joint owners 
with the Lincoln Land Company of about half a dozen 
towns in the Republican valley and that Mr. Smith was a 



54 NEBEASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

joint owner with the Lincoln company of the town of Cul- 
bertson and a part of the town site of Orleans, "The Re- 
publican Valley Land Association, whose interest we af- 
terwards purchased, were equal owners with us in the 
towns of Arapahoe, Indianola, Bartley and Republican 
City, together with quite a body of farm lauds at these dif- 
ferent points." 

So the Lincoln Land Company absorbed the Republican 
Valley Land Association. 

DATA I^OM THE RECORDS 

Under date of November 9, 1917, Mr. John F. Cordeal 
wrote as follows : 

I have searched the records of this county, at least so far 
as sections 16 and 17-3-28 are concerned, and can find no refer- 
ence to the original entry of the town site. On June 4, 1890, 
George Leland, Emma Leland, J. D. Brown and Margaret 
Brown certified to the plat of East Red Willow, which was on 
the northeast quarter of 17-3-28. This plat was vacated March 
16, 1896. On June 26, 1899, the town of Red Willow was 
platted on a part of the southwest quarter of section 16 and 
the southeast quarter of section 17-3-28 by the Lincoln Land 
Company. Mr. John Helm constructed a store building on 
one lot, but no other lots, so far as we are informed, were ever 
sold, and the land has at all times been used for farming pur- 
poses and has recently been acquired by Mr. John Helm, from 
his son, A. J. Helm, who purchased it from the Lincoln Land 
Company. The railroad company has a station named Red 
Willow, at which certain local trains stop when flagged. The 
railroad company also has two side or passing tracks at Red 
Willow station. The only business institution there is the 
elevator of the Farmers Equity Union, which, in addition to 
dealing in grain, sells fence posts, agricultural implements 
and, I believe, coal, salt, and at times, potatoes, apples, onions, 
etc. 

In regard to your inquiry concerning the town site of In- 
dianola, the original town site seems to have been entered 
under the homestead land laws by a number of different per- 
sons. Mr. E. S. Hill, who, by the way, was the first county 
judge of Red Willow county, and who still resides at Indianola, 
received a receiver's receipt for the southwest quarter of the 
northwest quarter and the west half of the southwest quarter 
of 7-3-27, and the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of 



BEGINNING OF RED AVILLOW COUNTY 55 

32-3-28, on Septeiiibev 27, 187:?, from the reoeiver of the United 
States land office at Noi-th Platte, Nebraska. On September 
29, 1873, E. S. Hill and Delia S. Hill, liis wife, conveyed the 
west half of the southwest quarter of 7-3-27, to D, N. Smith. 
This instrument was filed for record September 29, 1873, and 
is recorded in Deed Record 1, at page 11. The expressed con- 
sideration for the conveyance is fiOO. 

In November, 1873, the town of Indianola was surveyed 
and platted by M. Wilsie, surveyor. Dedication certificate is 
signed by D. N. Smith and Sophia Smith, and is dated Novem- 
ber 29, 1873. The town of Indianola was orginally platted on 
part of the west half of the southwest quarter of 7-3-27, and a 
part of section 18-3-27. December 4, 1873, D. N. Smith and 
Sophia Smith conveyed to Edgar S. Hill, by deed filed July 25, 
1874, a number of lots and blocks in the town of Indianola. 
On November 18, 1874, the articles of incorporation of the Re- 
publican Valley Land Association were acknowledged in Lan- 
caster county, Nebraska, by D, N. Smith, Amasa Cobb, Allen 
M. Ghost and Myron W. "Willsie." 

On March 28, 1874, D. N. Smith and Sophia Smith, his wife, 
deeded a number of lots and blocks (apparently all that were 
not deeded to Edgar S. Hill) in the town of Indianola, to the 
Republican Valley Land Association. There seem to have been 
no conveyances made, at least in the early years of the county's 
history, of lots or blocks in Indianola to the railroad company. 
Subsequently, as I understand it, the Lincoln Land Company 
was organized, and the Republican Valley Land Association 
conveyed all of its holdings in Indianola to the Lincoln Land 
Company. 

On November 20, Mr. Cordeal wrote as follows : 

I have made an examination of the records in the office of 
the county clerk of this county so far as they pertain to the 
title to the original town site of Indianola, and find that on 
December 29, 1879, the Republican Valley Land Association 
sold to Albert E. Touzalin, trustee, for an express considera- 
tion of |5,000, an undivided one-half interest in a number of 
lots and blocks in Indianola, and on the same day executed a 
power of attorney giving A. E. Touzalin authority to sell its 
interest, being au undivided one-half interest in all of its real 
estate in Harlan, Furnas, and Red Willow counties, and the 
town lots in Republican City, Orleans, Watson, Trenton, Arap- 
ahoe, and Indianola, as well as another town, the name of 
which I am unable to make out from the record. 

On May 5, 1880, All)ert E. Touzalin, trustee, conveyed his 
undivided one-half interest in a number of lots and blocks in 



56 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Indianola, for an express consideration of f 1 to the Lincoln 
Land Company. On May 31, 1898, pursuant to a decree of the 
district court of Harlan countj^, and in conformity thereto. The 
Republican Valley Land Association, for an expressed 
consideration of |5,000, conveyed all its interest in all of its 
lots in Indianola and all its real estate wherever situated to 
the Lincoln Land Company. On May 27, 1880, the articles of 
incorporation of the Lincoln Land Company, dated March 7, 
1880, and executed by Charles E. Perkins, A. E. Touzalin, 
Turner M. Marquet, G. W. Holdrege, J. D. MacFarland, W. W. 
Peet, and R. O. Phillips were filed in the office of the county 
clerk of Red Willow county. 

A curious and interesting circumstance connected with the 
location of the county seat at Indianola on May 27, 1873, is 
that on that date D. N. Smith entered into an arrangement, 
or rather a bond in the sum of |10,000, which seems to run to 
the voters of Red Willow county, by which he bound himself, 
in consideration of the location of the county seat of Red Wil- 
low county at Indianola, to erect a building to be used by the 
county, rent free, until such time as the commissioners should 
erect a courthouse, and to convey one hundred lots to Red 
Willow county when a courthouse was erected by the county 
commissioners from the proceeds arising from the sale of such 
lots to be used for the erection of such a courthouse. 

Apparently in fulfilment of this agreement, the Republican 
Valley Land Association, on October 5, 1875, "for and in con- 
sideration of the location of the county seat at Indianola, Red 
Willow County, Nebraska," and the building of a courthouse 
at said Indianola, conveyed to Red Willow county a number of 
lots and blocks in that town. 

It appears from the record of the instruments to which I 
have called attention, that instead of the Lincoln Land Com- 
pany being the successor of the Republican Valley Land Asso- 
ciation, the two companies may have been competitors in this 
line of investment in this part of Nebraska, as the incorpora- 
tors of the two companies seem to have been different. 

In November, 1917, the clerk of Red Willow county 
wrote: "There is nothing at Red Willow but a sidetrack 
and an elevator. No population." 

FAMILY DATA FROM ROYAL BUCK'S DAUGHTER 

On December 6, 1917, Mrs. Ada Buck Martin of Denver 
wrote the following account of the fortunes of her father's 
family : 



BEGINNING OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 57 

Thaukful P. Reed, daughter of John Reed of New York, 
and Submit Joiner of Deerfield, Mass., was born in Bainbridge, 
N. Y,, January 11, 1830. She married Royal Buck in Fond du 
Lac, Wis., in 1853. The family removed to Nebraska City in 
1860 and went to Red Willow, on the frontier, in 1872, and 
again to Branchville, Md., ten miles from Washington, D. C, in 
1889, to settle the estate of Mrs. Buck's brother. Governor 
Amos Reed, which she had inherited. 

Very soon after the death of Mr. Buck, in 1890, she removed 
to Washington, D. C, where she resided till 1904, when, her 
health beginning to fail, she moved to Denver, Col. Subse- 
quently she spent four years in San Antonio and Abilene, 
Texas, but returned to Denver where she died, December 17, 
1914, interment being at Indianola, Neb., in the family plot. 

Amos Reed, Mrs. Buck's brother, was appointed by Presi- 
dent Lincoln to be secretary of the territory of Utah, in the 
60's. He made many journeys from Washington to Salt Lake 
City carrying money for the payment of the federal oflScers, 
under military escort west of the Missouri River. While in 
that office the governor of Utah died, and Secretary Reed was 
made acting governor. Returning later to his home near 
Washington among his political friends, the title clung to him. 

Both Mr. and Mrs. Buck were of old Puritan stock, their 
later ancestors being active in the colonial and revolutionary 
wars. Some of Mrs. Buck's ancestors settled at Deerfield, 
Mass., where they were victims of early Indian raids. 

One of the lineal male descendants of Mr. Buck's ancestors 
still owns the farm originally allotted to the first settlers of 
Weathersfield, Conn., and Mr. Buck's children treasure a white 
quartz arrowhead picked up on that farm. 

My husband died several years ago, and I resumed my 
maiden name in part. My brother, Amos Reed Buck, lives in 
Portland, Oregon. His family consists of his wife and three 
young sons: Royal, Amos Reed Buck, Jr., and Mahlon. My 
father was an editor in his early life, in Wisconsin and in Ne- 
braska City. In the latter place he took charge of a paper in 
order to let the owner enlist in the Civil War. That he fought 
bravely and fearlessly with his pen is proved by the fact that 
more than once armed guerrillas came to the house in the 
night, trying to entice him outside on one pretext or another. 

In the middle 80's, before her marriage, Mrs. Martin 
was a teacher in the Park school, Lincoln. Her uncle, 
Amos Reed, was appointed secretary, and James Duane 
Doty of Wisconsin, governor of Utah in June, 1863. Gov- 
ernor Doty died in June, 1865, and Secretary Reed then 



58 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

became acting governor until the arrival of Doty's suc- 
cessor. Royal Buck was buried beside bis brotber-in-law, 
at Beltsville, near Branch ville, Prince Georges county, Md. 

EECOLLECTIONS OF EDGAR S. HILL 

On December 2*0, 1917, Edgar S. Hill sent, from In- 
(lianola, NebrasJ^a, the following recollections of the early 
settlement of Red Willow county. Mr. Hill laid out the 
Hillsdale in Mills county, Iowa, mentioned in his story : 

The statements made to you by Mr. Usher and Mr. Cordeal 
are substantially correct and need no further explanation. 
The Hillsdale in Mills county, Iowa, is the one referred to by 
x\Ir. Usher. The site was located on the then line of the C. B. 
& Q. railroad, between Malvern and Glenwood; but on account 
of longer distance and heavier grade between points a section 
of the roadbed was moved about two miles north, and the 
abandonment of Hillsdale resulted. 

You are aware of the Buck party's trip up the Republican 
valley in the winter of 187.1, of their camping for three days 
at the mouth of Red Willow Creek and return to Nebraska 
City, at which time they fixed the date of their settlement. In 
the spring of 1872 G. A. Hunter, myself, L. B. Korn and Wil- 
liam Weygint and son made a trip up the Republican valley, 
arriving at Red Willow Creek on the last day of April, from 
which time we date our settlement. We had an outfit of three 
teams and wagons, with farming tools, seed wheat, corn and 
potatoes, with the intention of making a settlement if good 
locations were found. 

After prospecting the country for several days we con- 
cluded to locate claims — I, on the land on which the city of 
Indianola now stands. 

We all did some plowing on our claims, and I sowed half a 
bushel of wheat on sod ground which matured a good crop of 
spring wheat. It was harvested with a scythe and threshed 
with a flail. A sample which D. N. Smith sent in a shot bag to 
the Chicago Board of Trade was pronounced No. 1. After a 
short stay here Hunter, Korn, and Weygint returned to Iowa, 
leaving me to look after our claims till they should return. 
There being no land office having jurisdiction over that part 
of Nebraska, I waited until the land office was opened at 
Lowell, on August 12, when I filed my claim. I was one of the 
first to register. Then I went back to Iowa and with my wife 
and son returned early in September to my claim, where I 
have resided continuouslv ever since. I mention these facts in 



BEGINNING OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 59 

part proof of my claim of being the first bona fide settler in the 
county — now a resident here — if one of the Buck party Avho 
was here with him in 1871 is not entitled to that distinction by 
reason of being one of Buck's party. But enough of this. 

Royal Buck and family arrived here about throe weeks after 
the arrival of onr ])arty, as I remember the incident. Mr. 
Buck carried on farming while he lived here. Mrs. Buck, as is 
understood here, received an inheritance of land adjacent to 
Washington. D. C from a bachelor brother. This is all 1 know 
about the matter, as very little was ever said about it by the 
Bucks. Mrs. Buck died about three years ago, in Denver, and 
was buried here in the Indianola cemetery by her daughter 
Ada and son Amos, now residing in Denver. I am not aware 
that Buck and party ever laid out or i)latted a town site at the 
mouth of Red Willow Creek. John F. Helm employed me as 
county surveyor to plat and lay out a town site on a claim he 
had near the mouth of the Willow, which 1 did while Buck 
lived here. Afterward a blacksmith shop was erected on the 
site and I think one or two other buildings, which was all the 
town ever amounted to, and these were soon abandoned and 
moved away, and the matter was soon forgotten. Buck never 
had anything to do with it. There never have been, and are 
not now half a dozen buildings of any kind on the land known 
as Red Willow. The Burlington railroad company has a sid- 
ing at this point, and the Farmers Equity Union have a grain 
elevator doing business there now. 

I first became acquainted with D. N. Smith in Iowa, about 
the year 1869 or 1870. He was then, as I remember, locating 
agent for the C. B. & Q. railroad company and the B. & M. in 
Nebraska.^" I next met him in 1872 on my claim here. 

The story of the early settlement of Red Willow county 
would be an interesting one and worthy an abler pen than 
mine. If I live until the 23d day of January next I will have 
arrived at the eighty-fourth mile stone of my life — a long time 
to remember the noteworthy events which have occurred dur- 
ing this time. 

In response to further inquiry, on December 31, 1917, 
Mr. Hill wrote the following additional particulars about 
the beginning of Indianola : 

Mr. Weygint died recently at the home of his daughter, Mrs. 
I. J. Starbuck, in Salt Lake City, aged ninety-seven years. 

^^ The correct name of the company was Burlington & Missouri 
River Railroad Company in Nebraska. It was absorbed by the Chicago 
Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company. 



60 NEBEASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

His wife, at last accounts, was living at the same place, age 
ninety-five years. 

I cannot give a positive statement of the affair called a 
trial of Ked Willow vs. Indianola in the district court of Fur- 
nas county. This trial was an appeal from the decision in 
County Judge Colvin's court ^^ giving Red Willow the county 
seat. We employed Attorney-General Roberts to represent our 
case in district court. On trial day Roberts was on hand, also 
I. J. Starbuck our local attorney, G. A. Hunter, sheriff-elect, 
myself and several others whom I do not remember. The Red 
Willow party failing to appear by attorney or otherwise, we 
adjourned and went home. This ended the so-called trial of 
the controversy betwen Indianola and Red Willow. John F. 
Helm was the party who employed me to lay out ''a town site" 
at the mouth of the Red AVillow on his own land. Royal Buck 
had nothing to do with this matter nor with the laying out of 
a town site anywhere else, according to the best of my knowl- 
edge. 

My acquaintance with D. N. Smith began in Iowa in con- 
nection with the town site of Hillsdale, in Mills county. I 
think he was then in the employ of the Burlington & Missouri 
Railroad Company in Nebraska. At that time I knew nothing 
about the Republican Valley Land Association or the Lincoln 
Land Company. I next met Mr. Smith some time early in 
July, 1872, on my claim where Indianola is now situated. The 
meeting was a mutual surprise, as neither of us knew of the 
other's whereabouts. After a short talk he wanted to know 
what I was doing here. I told him I was trying to hold down 
this land as a claim until the land office would open at Lowell 
on the 12th of August, when I could file on my claim. He 
then told me that he Was prospecting for a location for a town 
site on which he believed the county seat of Red Willow county 
could be located. He had just come down from the mouth of 
the Willow, where he found the Buck party — or as many of 
them as were there — quarreling over where they could locate 
a town site for the same purpose, each one wanting it on his 
claim. He said he could do nothing with them, so he came on 
down the river until he met me. I asked him what was the 
matter with my claim for that purpose. He replied, "That's 
so." After looking it over he said it w^as just the place he was 
looking for but we would have to have deeded land for that 
purpose. I had a soldier's right and could obtain title by living 
on land for two years; but that would be too long to wait. 
I wanted him to wait until the land office opened, when I could 

"There was the office of probate judge but not of county judge at 
ihat time. Mr. Colvin was justice of the peace. 



BEGINNING OF RED WILI.OW COUNTY 61 

pay out and then go ahead; wiiicli I did. 1 afterward sold 
Smith eighty acres of my claim for ^200 with the understand- 
ing that he would lay out the town and put up three good 
frame buildings, one for a hotel, another which we would give 
the use of to the county for a courthouse, and the other for a 
store building, and deed me back a fourth of the lots. This 
was only a talk between us, no papers ever having been passed. 
This was the plan, provided the election went our way, which 
it did ; and the agreement was faithfully carried out as already 
stated. 

That is the story, related to you in a conversational way, of 
the location of the town of Indianola on ray homestead as far 
as myself and D. N. Smith were concerned. I always found Mr. 
D. N. Smith to be a man of his word and a gentleman in every 
respect. 

I have just come across volume XVIII of your publications, 
from which I have learned more of their object than I have 
ever known before, and I have no objections to the publication 
of any information I may have given and only regret that I 
could not have put it in a more readable way than I have 
been able to do. 

George L. Berger and J. B. Kilgore, his father-iu-law, 
left Cass county on October 28, 1873, with a team of 
horses and a lumber wagon. They drove to Indianola in 
Red Willow county to visit Mr. Berger's brothers, William 
H. and Joseph E. They arrived at Indianola on Novem- 
ber 4. Mr. Kilgore took an additional soldier's claim in 
Red Willow county and removed his family there in April, 
1874. A few days later the Berger brothers, Kilgore, Frank 
Welborn, John Welborn, Jesse Welborn, James Sweeney, 
and Charles Hayes, constituting the party, went on a buf- 
falo hunt. The Welborn boys and the Berger boys, with the 
exception of George L. Berger, were residents of Red Wil- 
low county. The rest of the party lived in Cass county. 

After getting all the buffalo meat they needed, it was 
packed with salt in barrels. On November 13 they were 
about ready to return home when Sweeney and Hayes 
came into camp and told of finding a battle-ground with 
many dead Indians, dogs and horses lying on it. The bat- 
tle — between Pawnee and Sioux — was fought in a wide 



62 NEBEASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

place in a canon about three acres in extent, between the 
Frenchman and Republican rivers. The party had much 
difficulty in getting down into the caiion, but finally found 
a place where they could drive through. They locked the 
wheels of the wagons and went down one at a time. They 
went over the ground carefully. It was strewed with 
buffalo meat which the Pawnee had dried. They had been 
camping in the caiion for some time, and according to the 
story told to Mr. Berger by the agent of the Pawnee there 
were two white men from the east in the Pawnee camp. 
They were taken prisoners by the Sioux. Later a detach- 
ment of soldiers chased the Sioux, and they released the 
agent and the two eastern white men. The agent told Mr. 
Berger that the Pawnee had been upon their hunt and had 
procured the best meat of about one hundred buffaloes. 
The Sioux surprised the Pawnee by covering themselves 
with buffalo robes and marching toward the camp. Al- 
though the Pawnee had secured their winter meat, on the 
morning of August 5 many of their men pursued a. herd of 
buffaloes so as to have fresh meat as they traveled. When 
they came nearer the Sioux threw off their buffalo robes, 
jumped to their feet and began shooting. The Pawnee 
were demoralized, and the entire band dropped everything 
and fled. The agent said that he tried to get them to stop 
and make a stand, but they were too frightened. Everyone 
killed was shot from behind with a forty-five calibre gun. 
Mr. Berger described an impressive incident of the battle. 
Rain had washed deep pockets on the west side of the 
caiipn ; and in one of them an entire family, consisting of a 
man, a woman, and five small children, were lying dead. 
Mr. Berger counted in ail the bodies of sixty-five Indians 
although the agent told him there were over one hundred 
and twenty-five killed. Some died along the road and some 
after they returned home. Though the battle occurred on 
August 5, on November 13 the bodies were still well pre- 
served. 

After exploring the battle-ground, Mr. Berger and his 



BEGINNING OF RED WILLOW COUNTY 63 

party followed the cailon south to its confluence with the 
Republican valley and then traveled east to the site now' 
occupied by Culbertson where they camped for the night. 
The next day, November 11, tlie party arrived at W. H. 
Berger's home in Red Willow county. After visiting here 
for a few days, George L. Berger and Mr. Kilgore returned 
home and arrived in Cass county about December 1. 

Mr. George L. Berger, having been informed that ther(^ 
is reliable evidence that tlie bodies were buried by a de- 
tachment of soldiers from Fort McPherson on August 24, 
1873, in a letter written January 26, 1918, again insisted 
that his party found them unburied on November 13, 1873. 
It seems probable that the first interment was very shallow, 
so that after the bodies had become mummified in the dry 
atmosphere they were exposed by wind and rain. Mr. 
Berger's letter, in part, follows : 

On November the 13th, 1873, when our party were there, 
the bodies of dead Indians were laying on the ground just as 
they were killed. They were not decomposed ; they were in good 
state of preservation, considering the heat and the time they 
had laid on the ground. The flesh had just dried and shrunken. 
There was no bad stink, just a little musty odor. In walking 
across the space where the bodies were laying, not to exceed 
three acres, I counted 65 dead Indians, but there were 125 
killed in all. 

As to when these bodies were buried, the historian you 
speak of is absolutely mistaken. I have not got the exact date 
but positively it was April or May, 1874. They positively laid 
on the ground where they were killed all fall and winter. When 
I started on this trip I left my home, section 29, township 12, 
range 11, Louisville precinct, Cass Co., Nebr., on October the 
28th, 1873, and got back just before Christmas. 



THE TRUE LOGAN FONTENELLE 

By Melvin Randolph Gilmore 
Curator of the State Historical Society of Nortli Dakota 

Not long ago accounts were published of the presenta- 
tion of a portrait and the placing of a tablet to the memory 
of Logan Fontenelle in the Fontenelle Hotel, Omaha. The 
spirit which prompts the commemoration of historic per- 
sons and events is commendable; but the exercise of this 
praiseworthy spirit should, of course, be governed by in- 
telligence and devotion to truth. The posthumous honor 
of an historical personage is not enhanced but rather suf- 
fers detraction by inaccurate or wholly false setting. 

Logan Fontenelle is of considerable historical impor- 
tance by virtue of his i>osition as a go-between for the two 
races; for in 1854 when seven chiefs of the Omaha tribe 
went to Washington to make the treaty of cession of their 
lands to the United States they took him with them as 
their interpreter. It appears that Louis Sanssouci was the 
official department interpreter at that time, but the chiefs 
took Logan Fontenelle with them as their own interpreter. 

It is a pity that those who are disposed to commemorate 
the name of Fontenelle ignore the real service he did per- 
form in the negotiation of the notable treaty of 1854 by 
which the United States acquired all that part of what is 
now Nebraska from the Missouri River to the Sand-hills 
and from the Niobrara to the Platte, while they claim for 
him a work he did not perform and a place which in fact 
he did not hold. Members of the Omaha tribe who were 
contemporaries of Logan Fontenelle and familiarly ac- 
quainted with him have told me that he never was a chief, 
constituted and inducted according to the ancient laws and 
usages of their nation. Tliey say that they have heard 



THE TRUE LOGAN FONTENELLE 65 

that it is commonly reported and believed among the white 
people that he was a chief of the Omaha, but they say it is 
not true and they cannot account for the story current 
among the white people. And this assertion by present 
living persons of the Omaha tribe who knew him all his life 
is in accordance with other accounts left on record by con- 
temporaries and fellow tribesmen of his who died years 
ago. 

In Contributions to North American Ethnology (VI, 
458), there is a narrative by Two Crows of a war expedi- 
tion in which he took part against the Yankton Dakota in 
1854. In this narrative he refers to the departure of the 
chiefs to Washington "to sell land" and states that Louis 
Sanssouci and Logan Fontenelle went along as interpre- 
ters. In the same volume there is a narrative by John 
Bigelk of an attack by the Dakota on the Omaha near 
Beaver Creek, north of the Loup River, during the summer 
buffalo hunt of 1855. This Bigelk was an elder in the 
Omaha Mission Church and a nephew of the Big Elk men- 
tioned by Long and other explorers. Near the end of the 
narrative (p. 464) he refers to the killing of Logan Fon- 
tenelle thus : "They killed the white man, the interpreter, 
who was with us." He calls Fontenelle a white man be- 
cause he had a white father. This was a common designa- 
tion of half-breeds by full-bloods, just as a mulatto might 
commonly be called a "nigger" by white people, although 
as much white as black by race. 

In the United States Statutes at Large (X, 1046), the 
following names appear as signatures of the treaty : Logan 
Fontenelle, Joseph La Flesche, Standing Hawk, Little 
Chief, Village Maker, Noise, Yellow Smoke. These seven 
signatories are designated in the instrument as "Omaha 
Chiefs". I have asked old men of the Omaha tribe to name 
for me the chiefs who went to Washington to make the 
treaty in 1854. In answer they have given me the follow- 
ing names : Two Grizzly Bears, Joseph La Flesche, Stand- 



66 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

ing Hawk, Little Chief, Village Maker, Noise, Yellow- 
Smoke. It will be seen that the name Two Grizzly Bears in 
this list does not appear in the official list of signers of the 
treaty. The other six names are the same as those ap- 
pended to the treaty. Again, in Two Crows' account of his 
war party of 1854 he mentions Two Grizzly Bears as one of 
the chiefs about to go to Washington "to sell land." Thus a 
discrepancy appears between the list of signers of the 
treaty given in the statutes and the list as always given by 
Omaha of their chiefs Avho went to Washington "to sell 
land." Perhaps that discrepancy is explained by the fol- 
lowing statements. It is said that when the delegation 
appeared in Washington, Logan Fontenelle being with 
them but not accounted for to Manypenny, commissioner 
of Indian affairs, he asked who this man was and what he 
was doing there, and Two Grizzly Bears answered for him 
and said "I brought him here to interpret for me." So the 
commissioner was satisfied. This may well be the reason 
why the name of Logan Fontenelle appears on the treaty 
instead of that of Chief Two Grizzly Bears. Thus it would 
seem that Fontenelle in playing Aaron to Two Grizzly 
Bears Moses has had appropriated to himself whatever 
fame and honor should properly pertain to the latter, while 
his own proper place and honor have been entirely neg- 
lected by those who in this day purpose to commemorate 
his public service. 

I have stated before that the living members of the 
Omaha tribe who by personal knowledge are qualified to 
answer the question uniformly say that Logan Fontenelle 
was never a chief. I have also shoAvn that after the death 
of Fontenelle he was spoken of by Tw o Crows as "the w^hite 
man, interpreter", and not as a chief. And if one knows 
anything about the social, political and governmental 
organization of the Omaha tribe he will see at once, on 
exercising the slightest degree of thought, that it must be 
true that he could not be a chief. The Omaha tribal organ- 
ization consisted of two half tribes; and each of these half 



THE TRUE LOGAN FONTENELLE 07 

tribes comprised five subdivisions or gentes. Each gens 
had its own duties and privileges in the tribe. The gentes 
of one half tribe shared among them the rituals pertaining 
to matters connected with the earth and earthy elements, 
while the gentes of the other half tribe were the keepers of 
the rituals pertaining to the sky and the upper world, the 
winds, clouds, rain, lightning, and all things above the 
earth's surface. Each gens had its chief and each of the 
two half tribes had its head chief, thus holding the tribe, 
while fully functioning together, in harmony with the 
greater and lesser powers of the earth and heaven. For 
the proper balance and harmony of tribal functions, oflftcial 
place, and duties thereto pertaining, were constitutionally 
hereditary. Man and wife were never of the same gens, 
and children belonged to the gens of the father. Sons 
succeeded to the duties and station of their fathers. Hence 
it plainly follows that the children of a white man have no 
proper place in the tribe to which their mother may belong, 
unless they or their father have been adopted into the tribe 
and given a place in some gens. Otherwise they stand out- 
side the scheme of things in the tribal constitution. Logan 
Fontenelle was a half-breed, the son of a white man. That 
is the reason Two Crows, in the quotation cited above, 
refers to him as a "white man." 

But, it may be asked, was there no way by Avhich a 
white man or a white man's half-breed son could attain to 
a place under the tribal constitution? Yes, there was a 
way; that was by adoption. Under the Omaha law a son 
by adoption acquired all the privileges, duties and respon- 
sibilities of a son by generation. Captives from other 
tribes at war were many times adopted to take the place of 
sons lost by death. Other considerations, as affection or 
expediency, sometimes procured adoption. But Logan 
Fontenelle was never adopted into any Omaha family. All 
his life he remained the son of his father, Lucien Fon- 
tenelle, a Frenchman. And no one has ever claimed that 
he was ever counted out of his father's family. 



68 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

But there is one notable instance of the adoption of a 
half-breed into the status of a member of a gens of the 
Omaha tribe with all the rights and duties thereto pertain- 
ing. That was the case of Joseph La Flesche, whose tribal 
name was Iron Eye. He was a Ponca half-breed, the son 
of a Frenchman by the name of Joseph La Flesche who 
married into the Ponca tribe where he was stationed in the 
fur trade. This Ponca half-breed was adopted by Big 
Elk, chief of the Wezhinshte gens of the Omaha tribe. This 
Big Elk was the one mentioned by Long and other travel- 
ers. The adoption of young Joseph La Flesche by Big Elk 
gave him by Omaha law a status such as he would have 
had if he had been born in that family, and in the course 
of time and by due process of law the young Joseph La 
Flesche, after the death of his adopted father, Big Elk, 
succeeded to his place as chief of the A¥ezhinshte gens. 

But it has never been claimed, nor would it be true to 
say, that such a process was followed in the case of Logan 
Fontenelle. It is not even claimed that any Indian, any 
member of the Omaha tribe, ever adopted him. He always 
remained in the status of a son of his own father, a white 
man. 

So it cannot be maintained that Logan Fontenelle was 
a chief of the Omaha tribe, but it is sufficient to give to 
him the proper honor due him for his service as an inter- 
mediary for both races whose blood flowed in his veins. It 
is much better to commemorate his name for the important 
place which really was his than to try to build up a 
fictitious place which cannot be logically or historically 
maintained. 

In explanation of the appearance of the name of Logan 
Fontenelle as a chief signatory to the treaty of 1854 it may 
be said that he was the only member of the delegation who 
could read or write. None of the others could know the 
nature of the instrument nor how the witness of their 
names was actually attached to it. Also the United States 



THE TRUE LOGAN FONTENELLE 69 

officers, the commissioner and others, were ignorant anfl 
indifferent to the constitution and laws of the Omaha 
tribe. They did not know nor care about these things; 
their only concern and care was for the formality of con- 
cluding the treaty. 

NOTE BY THE EDITOK 

With the scholar's sensitiveness touching congruity and 
historical consistency and truth, Mr. Gilmore was offended at 
the investiture of Logan Fontenelle by white men with a tribal 
relation and character which he was convinced the young half- 
breed did not and could not have. Always there have been 
races or nations endeavoring to subjugate other races or na- 
tions for their own uses. Unfortunately, such has been a rule 
and road of progress, and it has been an incident of this pur- 
pose to propitiate likely leaders of the subjugated people with 
honors and emoluments. The white subjugators from the first 
played off this trick of diplomacy upon the Indians. Thus the 
journal of the Lewis and Clark expedition informs us that at 
the Council Bluff ''Captain Lewis and Captain Clarke held a 
council with the Indians, who appeared well pleased with the 
change of government, and what had been done for them. Six 
of them were made chiefs, three Otos and three Missouris." 

I found in the Daily Missouri Repiihlican of November 23, 
1851, an account of the making of a chief for ''the Sioux 
Nation" at the council between eight tribes of Dakota and 
Colonel D. D. Mitchell, superintendent of Indian Affairs at St. 
Louis as special commissioner, which began September 18, 
1851, and continued eighteen days. The commissioner nomi- 
nated Frightening Bear for the office, and then the band ratified 
the choice, their ballots consisting of sections of twigs. Colonel 
A. B. Chambers, long time editor of the Republican, was secre- 
tary of the council, and in the report of its proceedings to his 
newspaper he said that the Indians could not agree upon a 
chief among themselves. Lieutenant G. K. Warren in Ex- 
plorations in Nebraska and Dakota speaks of "Matdiya (Scat- 
tering Bear), made chief of all the Dakotas by Colonel Mitchell 
of the Indian Bureau, and who was killed by Lieutenant Grat- 
tan" — which led to the famous Grattan massacre near Fort 
Laramie on August 19, 1854. "Frightening" and "Scattering", 
though differing, are nearly equivalent translations of the In- 
dian name. To frighten is commonly to scatter. 

J. Owen Dorsey in his Omaha Sociology observes that 

Some chiefs have been appointed by the United States Government, 
and so hare been recognized as chiefs by the United States agent in his 



70 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

councils with the tribe; but these are distinct from the regular chiefs. 
In 1878 the writer found three of this kind of chiefs among the Omahas. 
They had been appointed by the United States about the year 1869. — 
Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, p. 358. 

In the "comprehensive monograph of the Omaha tribe," 
which occupies nearly all of volume XXVII of the report of 
the Bureau of American Ethnology, the dispute as to whether 
Logan Fontenelle was a chief or not is accounted for. 

Contact with the traders had a disturbing Influence on the politics 
of the tribe. The traders lent aid to those chiefs and leading men who 
favored schemes for barter, and these Indians used the favors shown 
them to enhance their own importance in the tribe. The following 
narrative, compiled from stories told by old men of the tribe, illus- 
trates this state of affairs: 

The great-grandfather of a chief who was living twenty-five years 
ago visited the trading post at St. Louis, and on his return assumed 
an air of importance, saying that he had been made a great chief by 
the white men. He began to appoint "soldiers" and ambitious men 
sought his favor. He made Blackbird a "soldier" and took him to St. 
Louis. (This was the Blackbird the apocryphal story of whose burial 
on horseback on the bluffs of the Missouri is told by Lewis and Clark.) 
Blackbird was a handsome man and the white people made much of 
him, showing him more attention than they did his companion. When 
Blackbird returned to the tribe he declared he had been made a chief 
by the white people. Blackbird was an ambitious man, who loved 
power and was unscrupulous as to how he obtained it. The traders 
found him a pliant tool. They fostered his ambitions, supplied him 
with goods and reaped a harvest in trade . . . The romantic pic- 
ture of his interment on horseback must be credited to grateful tra- 
ders, as must also be the bestowal of his name on the hills and creek 
where later the Omaha built a village when they moved to their 
present reservation. It is a fact that horses were frequently strangled 
at funerals and their bodies left near the burial mound, which was 
always on a hill or at some elevation, but they were never buried alive 
or interred with the body. It is one of the humors of Indian history 
that a relic hunter should have picked up a horse's skull on one of 
the Blackbird hills and preserved it in a museum in memory of this 
fanciful entombment . . . 

The interference of the traders, and later of Government officials, in 
tribal affairs, caused two classes of chiefs to be recognized — those 
whose office was due to white influence and those who were chiefs 
according to tribal right and custom. The first were designated "paper 
chiefs", because they usually had some written document setting forth 
their claim to the office; the second class were known simply as 
"chiefs." This conflict in authority as to the making of chiefs was a 
potent factor in the disintegration of the ancient tribal life." 

Logan Fontenelle does not appear among the names of 
Omaha chiefs in the reports of the Bureau of American Eth- 
nology. Regarded as an Indian, he was not a chief, and he 
seems to have evinced no qualities by which Indians are held 
to be distinguished either among Indians themselves or among 
whites. He was a good fellow, with the full habits of his kind ; 
and he seems to have been a useful intermediary between the 



THE TRUE LOGAN FONTENELLE 71 

constantly clashinj^ races whose mixed blood vexed his veins. 
Owing to his youth, the short term of his chieftainship — about 
two years — and the weakened, dispirited condition of the 
tribe, it would have been surprising if he had numifested un- 
usual, much less heroic mettle. Much stronger qualities than 
he possessed might have I'emained undiscovered and un- 
developed in that prosaic and otherwise unpropitious environ- 
ment. The very circumstances of his death preclude his glori- 
fication or idealization as an Indian. No true Indian would 
have been caught so ingloriously napping by so ubiquitous and 
always to be expected a foe. 

It is this baseless, untrue idealization, I take it, which Mr. 
CJilmore deprecates in adverting to the Omaha incident. The 
greatest of the three Omaha chiefs called Big Elk was truly a 
chief, by, for, and of the tribe itself, and was truly an Indian 
with a character and prestige fit for commemoration or ideal- 
ization. The other two also possessed such distinguished 
qualities though not as pronounced. The name, too, would 
have been far more striking and distinguishing than Fontenelle, 
though not so attractive otherwise. 

When riper knowledge and taste demand that the picture 
of Fontenelle shall be realistically and historically true, it 
might be made over with a few bold strokes of the brush to 
represent Lucien, Logan's French father. He was a very prom- 
inent figure in the fur trade of our plains, and to accommodate 
that important business he — with Andrew Drips — erected the 
first fairly permanent business building in Nebraska — at 
Bellevue. Furthermore, his career is flavored with a real 
romance ; for he possessed the superior merit of high birth and 
social status and the moral courage to flout them. Such a 
transfer would turn historical caricature into historical truth 
and justify the retention and perpetuation of a pretty name. 

A statement of the case for Logan Fontenelle, for publica- 
tion herewith, was solicited from a member of his family, but 
the reply was confined to a stout assertion that status in the 
tribe descended through the female, as well as the male line. 



AT BELLEVUE IN THE THIRTIES 
By Mrs, E. Anderson 
^ The next most noted men that lived at Bellevue were 
the Pawnee missionaries. They were Old School Presby- 
terians — Mr. Dunbar and wife and Mr. Allis and wife. 
They never went farther west that I know of — not during 
our stay at Bellevue, at least. All I can say about them is 
they were Christian gentlemen and ladies." Mr. Curtis 
was sent by the Baptist Board of Missions to preach to the 
Omaha Indians. He moved from Bellevue to the village, 
but the Indians became insulting and made hostile demon- 
strations. Mr. Curtis wrote back east to know what he 
should do. They wrote to him to trust to the Lord and stay 
where he was. He wrote back to them that the Lord did 
not work miracles in these days and he was a going to 
leave. He came back to Bellevue and baptized the first 
person that was ever baptized in the Nebraska River. It 
took place near the Otoe village. The candidate for bap- 
tism was a black woman that belonged to Mr. Merrill. It 
was a beautiful Sabbath day and was a romantic sight to 
see a nation of wild Indians gathered together to witness 
the solemn rite of Christian baptism. Mr. Merrill gave a 
long talk to the Indians and Uncle Robert Dougherty was 
interpreter.^ 

*The first page of Mrs. Anderson's interesting story is unaccount- 
ably missing, so ttiat whiom she appraised as the most noted men of 
Bellevue may only be conjectured. — Ed. 

- These missionaries, Rev. John Dunbar and Samuel Allis, resided 
with the Pavniee at their villages on the Platte and the Loup rivers. 
See Dunbar, "Missionary Life Among the Pawnee", Nebraska State 
Historical Society, Collections, XVI, 268; Allis, "Forty Years Among 
the Indians and on the Eastern Borders of Nebraska", ibid., Transac- 
tions and Reports, II, 133; "The Pawnee Missionaries", The Christian 
Keepsake (1839), p. 25.— Ed. 

* Samuel Allis gives some account of the experience of Rev. Samuel 



BELLEVUE IN THE THIRTIES 73 

Doctor Saterlee was sent by the Presbyterian Board to 
act as doctor and surg^eon. At the Pawnee mission his 
wife died, and he went on alone. He never reached there. 
His fate is unknown. They found on tlie bank of Nebraska 
River some torn paper and human hair that they thought 
was his; but they did not know, as it was so defaced they 
could not tell.* 

A sad ending of two human lives in those young days 
during our stay at Bellevue. 

I saw Kit Carson. He stayed but a short time at the 
fort. He was on his way from Saint Louis to Santa Fe. 
He was a well formed man but rather undersized and was 
dressed in buckskin. There was a great deal of romance 
and fiction interwoven in the life of Kit Carson, that he 
never thought of. I never saw him but once. There was a 
Mr. Fontenelle that had a trading post a half mile south of 
Bellevue. His two little boys, Logan and Tecumseh, were 
attending school in Bellevue. Their mother was a Sioux 
woman, and their father was a Frenchman. He was well 
educated and appeared to be much of a gentleman ; but in 
an evil hour he listened to bad advice. They told him if he 
would take an Indian wife he would have better success 
trading with the Indians, and when he wanted to leave 
there he could leave her witli her people. He lived with her 
until their first child was born. He said he could not 
desert his child. He stayed amongst the Sioux Indians 
until they had two children. He left them and came to 
Bellevue. There was a sore trial in wait for him at 
Bellevue. One morning, shortly after school was called, 
the two Fontenelle brothers were conning over their les- 
sons, when the mother and a negro man dashed to the door 
and caught the little boys in their arms and ran out at the 



Curtis as a missionary to the Omaha in his history named in the pre 
ceding footnote, page 150. Rev. Moses Merrill, missionary to the Oto 
and Missouri. — Ed, 

* See an account of the Dr. Benedict Saterlee tragedy, by Rev. John 
Dunbar, The Christian Keepsake, p. 51. — ^Ed. 



74 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

southwest corner of the fort across the bluffs to the trading 
post. And the news in the fort was that Fontenelle's wife 
was killed by an Iowa Indian who was in the fort. There 
were a great many Iowa Indians there at that time; and 
they were for getting away from there in a hurry. 

In a short time they found it was right to the reverse. 
The woman had killed the man. The men ran out at the 
southeast corner of the fort; ran down the river road to 
the trading post ; but she got there first. She and the chil- 
dren were locked up in the upper story. That night Mr. 
Fontenelle put her and her two children aboard of a boat 
and sent them up the river to her people. She came back 
the next summer. While up there a little girl was added 
to the family. Her name was Mary. The oldest boy had 
the features of his father and genteel deportment, but the 
complexion and color of his hair was like his mother. The 
younger brother had the complexion of his father but the 
features of his mother. The little girl was an Indian in 
full — their mother said the reason she killed the Indian 
was that he joined a war party of Iowa and killed all of 
her father's family after taking him in and keeping him all 
winter and showing him a great deal of kindness. He did 
his mischief on his return home. In the spring she found 
he was in the fort, and she enticed him into the southeast 
corner of the house with whisky, and he sat down in a 
drunken stupor, when she stepped up behind him and cleft 
his skull with an ax. The thought of his children being 
half Indian preyed so on Mr. Fontenelle's mind that he 
died the death of a suicide, a sad ending of what might of 
been a noble life.^ But we should imitate his virtues and 
Khun his vices and let his name rest in peace. 

' Lucien Fontenelle was doubtless a highborn Frenchman, who pre- 
ferred the freedom of the frontier to the conventional society of New 
Orleans in which his family moved. Accordingly, at the age of fifteen 
or sixteen, he ran away to St. Louis and soon engaged in the Rocky 
Mountain fur trade. He was married to a daughter of Big Elk, a 
famous chief of the Omaha, and four children were born to them. 
According to the best accounts intemperance caused his death. See 



BELLBVUE IN THE THIRTIES 75 

Major Dougliertj*^ came up every spring and issued an- 
nuities to tile Indians. He always brought a small body of 
dragoons with him, but they never remained longer than 
a few days. The Indians met him at Fort Bellevue with 
their head chief, latan,' who was one of the noblest Indians 
I ever saw. He was a true friend to the whites, and it 
finally cost him his life. Major Dougherty distributed an- 
nuities on the public square of Bellevue. It was a dry 
time, and the wind blew pretty hard. I could gather up all 
the beads I wanted of all sizes and colors. 

The Indians picked a quarrel with latau by one of their 
number stealing his favorite wife. She w^as young and 
handsome and was greatly beloved by the old chief. It was 
death by the law of the nation for a woman to desert her 
husband, but a chief could spare her life if he chose to do 
so. She was gone some time but her condition was such 
she had to come back. Mr. Merrill went to the village to 
intercede for her life. latan promised to spare her life 
but would take the life of the child. Mr. Merrill went to 



Chittenden, History of the American Fur Trade, p. 391; ibid., Life 
Letters and Travels of Father Be Smet, pp. 1532, 1550; Nebraska State 
Historical Society, Transactions and Reports, I, 91; ibid., II, 164. 

• John Dougherty, agent of the Omaha, Oto and Missouri, and 
Pawnee. The general headquarters of the agency at this time was at 
Fort Leavenworth. Mr. Dougherty's home was at Liberty, Missouri, 
and he was a man of considerable prominence in that state. — Ed. 

' A chief of the Oto and Missouri. His name is commonly spelled 
Ilan and sometimes Jutan. Yutan, a station on the division of the 
Union Pacific railroad from Valley to Beatrice, was named after this 
chief. The Oto village was situated about a mile and a half southeast 
of Yutan until 1835 when it was moved farther down the Platte to a 
place six or seven miles south of Bellevue. The expedition of Colonel 
Henry Dodge up the Platte, in 1835, held a council with Itan and his 
headmen at the old village. The Journal of the expedition gives a 
sketch of Itan, and in Transactions and Reports of the Nebraska State 
Historical Society, V, 210, Rev. S. P. Merrill describes his characteris- 
tics. It is surprising that this distinguished chief is not mentioned in 
the Handbook of American Indians published by the Bureau of 
Ethnology. — En. 



76 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

the village when he heard of her confinement to beg latan 
to spare the life of the child. When he got there he did 
not have any trouble on that account. The child was born 
with a full set of teeth. latan said that it was born into 
the world for some wise purpose, and he would spare its 
life. latan told my mother, a month before he was killed, 
that his tribe would kill him. He said it was because he 
was a friend to the whites, and that he would sell his life 
as dear as possible. As soon as the woman got able to 
travel she ran away again with the same young chief. 
They stayed out over two months. 

One morning latan was eating his breakfast at the 
Baptist Mission, when his nephew came in and told him 
that the young chief had come in for a fight. He told him 
to go back and tell them that he would be there when he 
ate his breakfast. When he was through eating he saw 
that his firearms w^ere all right. He bid Mr. Merrill and 
wife farewell. He said he had eaten his last meal and they 
would never see him again. With a sad heart they bade 
him goodby. His rival marshaled his men on one side, 
and what of the tribe remained true to latan rallied around 
him and the fight began. There were several killed on 
both sides. latan and his rival were killed. latan had six 
balls fired into his body before he fell. Every one that 
struck him he would spring up in the air and give a yell 
of defiance. He lived three hours after he fell. The last 
shot he received was from the gun of his rival. latan gave 
him his death wound. In dying he tightened his finger on 
the trigger and shot latan as he fell. The death of latan 
was the death bloAv to the Otoe nation. He was brave and 
honest and had great respect for Major Dougherty. When 
he would meet the major at Bellevue he always wore a 
suit of military clothes and a hat with two heavy black 
plumes tipped with red and a large silver medal on his 
Oreast. The little lap of earth that contains his bones is 
near the old' Otoe village a half mile north of the Nebraska 
River. His memory is perpetuated by naming a railroad 



BELLEVUE IN THE THIRTIES 77 

station for him in Platte county, Missouri, Peace be to his 
ashes. 

The crier of the village was killed, and the nation 
showed ingi'atitude to a man that had worn himself almost 
out in their service by killing him and leaving him un- 
buried. latan's nephew came to my father after the fight 
was over for protection. Father told him he would gladly 
do so if it was in his power. He had no place to hide him. 
Mother told him if his enemy found him there they would 
kill all of us. He said he would fight until he was killed, 
but that would not save us. He concealed himself in the 
woods until dark when he stole back to the mission. They 
hid him in the cellar. I understood after we left there 
that he was killed. I witnessed the burial of one of the 
young chiefs. After the body was lowered into the grave 
they killed his favorite horse and left him by the grave. 
Father asked them why they did such a thing — it seemed 
so cruel. They said that was done in order that the chiefs 
spirit might ride the horse's spirit in the happy hunting 
ground. After the death of latan there were no chiefs of 
respectability left. There was Little Rabbit and Young- 
Crow, but they were bad Indians. When the tribe would 
go on a buffalo hunt in the fall they and a few of their 
braves would stay at the village for the purpose of thieving 
and live by plundering. The men did the hunting and the 
fighting, and the women did the work. I have seen an 
Indian woman walking under such a load that she was 
almost bent to the ground, her husband walking at his 
leisure behind her. When he is in a good humor he will be 
humming a love tune of the long ago Avhen he wooed and 
won the dusky maid that walked before him. They go 
through a form of courtship, but they have to buy their 
wives. They all practiced polygamy. The number of 
wives depended on the number of ponies the man had. I 
suppose the wild Indians of the plains are the same in their 
habits that they were sixty years ago. 



SWEDES IN NEBRASKA^ 

By Joseph Alexis 
Assistant Professor of Germanic Languages and Litera- 
tures, University of Nebraska 

Many of the pioneers who first turned the sod in our 
fertile fields are still among us; but if we let a few years 
more pass by without gathering all the information we can 
from them, we shall lose much material on which future 
generations might base the story of the settlements of the 
state of Nebraska. It would be well, therefore, if all avail- 
able material could be gathered during the next few years, 
and I hope that the State Historical Society may be able 
to extend its investigations into the work done by the 
various foreign immigrants. Nebraska has a large percent- 
age of foreign population, and it is evident that this fact 
has had an influence in the development of our common- 
wealth. 

It has fallen to my lot to say something about the 
Swedes of Nebraska. The subject calls for an incredible 
amount of time and labor, and about all one can do just 
now is to acquaint oneself with the immensity of the field. 
If there were to be found one person in each Swedish com- 
munity who has an interest in the history of the last forty- 
five years and who is willing to devote time to ascertaining 
the facts regarding the settlements of his particular com- 
munity, we might soon have a satisfactory account of the 
Swedes in Nebraska. I sincerely hope we may not lose too 
much by needless delay. 

For the following I am indebted to church reports, his- 
tories of Swedish immigration, and the Omaha-Posten, 
which four years ago devoted an extra number to the story 
of the settlements. 

* A paper read at the annual meeting of tlie Nebraska State Histori- 
cal Society. January 22, 1914. 



SWEDES IN NEBRASKA 79 

The Swedes left tlie old country for the same reason 
that their forefathers in the Viking age set out for foreign 
shores. The fatherland was not productive enough to sup- 
port a large population. Since the founding of tlie Swedish 
colony on the Delaware in April, 1638, Swedes have been 
migrating to America, though the number of immigrants 
was wellnigh insignificant until the middle of the nine- 
teenth century. The colony on the Delaware was short- 
lived, and the Swedish Lutheran churches erected there fell 
into the hands of the Episcopalians. Still it is worthy of 
note that the last minister sent out by the Lutheran state 
church of Sweden to the churches on the Delaware was 
Niklas Collin, who died in 1831. As late as 1823, Mr. Col- 
lin preached every other Sunday in the Swedish language. 
It is indeed remarkable that the language of the old coun- 
try could have maintained itself for such a long time — 
almost two hundred years. 

There have always been people of an adventurous 
spirit who struck out over the western seas for America, 
and there are traces to be found of individuals from 
Sweden who roamed about as far south as Texas and 
Mexico. These adventurers founded no settlements in the 
early years of the last century, but they doubtless inter- 
ested their friends in America. 

In the latter part of the forties immigration of Swedes 
in America increased, and families came in search of free 
land. To find such land it was necessary to continue the 
journey from New York westward. The usual course was 
by canal boat to Buffalo and then by steamer to Chicago. 
Large colonies settled in Illinois, and ere many years had 
passed that state was well filled, and then the immigrants 
found it necessary to proceed still farther to the west. 

It is not known at what time the first Swede arrived 
in Nebraska. In the sixties considerable numbers reached 
Omaha either directly from Europe or from the eastern 
states. Some remained in Omaha, while others took 



80 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

homesteads or bought cheap railway land and then settled 
down on the lonesome prairie. The building of the Union 
Pacific shops in Omaha, in 1865, afforded work for many 
newcomers, and at this time the Swedes began to come to 
Nebraska in considerable numbers. There was a great 
demand for machinists, blacksmiths, carpenters and other 
tradesmen. The building of the railroad bridge in 1871 
also called for laborers. Ever since that time there has 
been a large colony of Swedes in the metropolis of our 
state. From Omaha the stream of migration turned to 
Saunders county and Burt county. 

Rev. S. G. Larson perhaps did more than any one else 
toward settling the country east, west and south of Wahoo. 
He conducted several parties of immigrants from Omaha 
to Mead, Malmo and Swedeburg. It is said that three 
hundred obtained homesteads or railroad land through the 
aid of Mr. Larson. His work as pastor of Swedish Lu- 
theran congregations brought much opportunity to assist 
the newcomers. He had a homestead four miles south of 
Mead, and, like all the others in the community, endured 
with fortitude the hardships of pioneer life. The Swedish 
Lutheran congregation of Malmo was organized in Lars 
Peter Bruce's sod house April 25, 1870, and the Swedish 
Lutheran church of Mead was established in the same year. 

Among the first Swedes to settle in the Swedeburg 

vicinity was N. A. Aspengren. He speaks of the event as 

follows : 

When we looked over these bare hills for the first time, 
June 23, 1869, there was not a human dwelling to be found. 
We each took our homestead and at once prepared to build 
some sort of shelter against wind and rain. The usual method 
was to dig a hole in a hillside and cover it with grass and 
brush, which had been brought from a neighboring ravine. 
Jan. 22, 1870, the settleDient received its first visit by Rev. S. 
G. Larson of Omaha, and the first sermon was delivered in Olof 
Olson's home in section 6. In 1871 there were few newcomers, 
but in '72 and '73 larger numbers arrived. 

In 1875 the doctrinal questions which had vexed the 



SWEDES IN NEBRASKA 81 

Swedish churches, both in the old country and in America, 
came up in these settlements, and the result was that in a 
short time Mission churclies arose beside the Lutheran in 
Mead, Malmo and Swedeburg. On the southern edge of 
the Swedeburg settlement we find a little town by the name 
of Oeresco, and there a Mission church has been erected. 
To the southeast of Ceresco stands another Mission church, 
known as Bethlehem. 

Theodore Hessel, a Baptist minister, was the leader of 
a group of immigrants that settled at Estina, near the 
Platte. The Baptists were the first to organize a congre- 
gation in Wahoo. The settlers at Valley were Baptists, 
and that settlement now has two churches of the Baptist 
denomination. Lars Peterson and Andrew Egbert were 
the first Scandinavian settlers in Valley. They arrived in 
1873. Most of the land thereabout had fallen into the 
hands of the Union Pacific railroad company or individual 
speculators. Lars Peterson, a Dane, bought his land for 
eight dollars an acre. 

The establishment of Luther College there, in 1883, 
made Wahoo an important place for the Swedes of Ne- 
braska. A pioneer in educational work among the Swedes 
we may well call Dr. S. M. Hill, who since 1884 has been 
actively at work at the college. 

In 1871 a committee was sent out from Altona, Illinois, 
to study conditions in Nebraska, in the hope that a colony 
mi^ht be founded somewhere in the state. The committee 
came by railroad to Lincoln and then went, partly by 
wagon and partly on foot, to the vicinity where Stroms- 
burg is now situated. The land was to their liking, and 
they took homesteads and urged their friends to do like- 
wise. Stromsburg was founded in 1872, and a steady 
stream of migration to Polk county followed. The town is 
strikingly Swedish, as the number of Swedish churches 
indicates. The Lutherans, the Mission Friends, the Bap- 
tist**, the Methodists, and the Free Mission are all rep 
resented. 



82 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

A little to the northwest of Stromsburg is the large 
rural settlement of Swedehome. The railroad did not 
happen to come that way, and so the Swedehome settle- 
ment did not become a town. Settlers took land there in 
1870 and 1871. Osceola, east of Swedehome, Avas founded 
in 1871. 

At about the same time a number of Swedes settled in 
the neighborhood of York. The Sandahl brothers and Swan 
Swanson were among the first. In 1874 a Lutheran con- 
gregation was organized. 

When the branch of the Union Pacific railroad was ex- 
tended westward to Central City, the name Hordville was 
given to a Swedish settlement, where the pioneers had 
taken homesteads in the early seventies. 

In 1864 immigrants from Dalsland, Sweden, settled on 
homesteads along Logan Creek in Burt county. The town 
of Oakland was named for John Oak, not of Swedish de- 
scent, who had previously settled there. In 1867 another 
party arrived. Andrew Beckman, an early pioneer, was so 
charmed by the country that he hastened back to Illinois 
to induce his friends to come to Nebraska. There are now 
no less than six Swedish churches in the settlement: 
Lutheran, Baptist, Evangelical Lutheran Mission, Metho- 
dist, Mission and Free. About ten miles to the northwest 
of ^Yakefield is a settlement by the name of Concord. 
Wausa, situated in the southeastern corner of Knox 
county, was named in honor of the Swedish king Gustavus 
Vasa. Mr. Thorson was the pioneer of this community, 
and the post office was for a time called by his name. Rev. 
Torell of Oakland and Rev. Fogelstrom of Omaha visited 
the community and recommended to many people that they 
establisli homes there. 

Swedish people settled in and northwest of Aurora. 
August Page settled northwest of the town in 1871. 

A Swedish settlement ten miles south of Oakland is 
called Swaburg. There is a small colonv of Swedes in Fre- 



SWEDES IN NEBRASKA 83 

mont. Mr, E. P. Anderson went there to live in 1867. In 
1881 Giistus Johnson of Famiersville, Illinois, sold his 
farm and moved westward. After having seen parts of 
Iowa, he came to Oakland; but as land in that vicinity had 
already become expensive, Johnson continued his journey 
to Wayne and Dixon counties. Througli the Swedish paper 
Hemlandet the opportunities of this country were made 
known among the Swedes east of the Missouri River. In 
April, 1882, when Rev. B. M. Halland, the founder of tlie 
famous Halland settlement in Iowa, was on a visit in 
Wayne county, it was decided to organize a congregation, 
and the organization was perfected the following year. 

In 1872 Peter Matson and Bengt Olson, from Galva, 
Illinois, settled, with their families, in what is known aa 
the Looking Glass Valley, in the northwestern corner of 
Platte county. Arriving in the fall, they built their sod 
houses and prepared for the winter. Columbus, their 
nearest town, was thirty miles distant. In 1874 still more 
people came from Galva. They had belonged to the Metho- 
dist church in Illinois, and naturally they organized 
Methodist churches in their new homes. Rev. Olin Swen- 
son, who came to the valley about 1876, built two churches. 
A few miles westward a large Lutheran congregation grew 
up. Newman Grove, in the southwestern corner of Madi- 
son county, is about ten miles from the settlement just 
mentioned. In 1878 a party settled northwest of the town, 
and two years later others took land to the north. The 
first company of settlers to reach Boyd county arrived in 
1890, from Oakland. The Bonesteel branch of the North- 
western railroad was not built at this time. The nearest 
railway station was O'Neill, thirty-five miles distant. 

In 1872 several Swedes took homesteads at Stockholm, 
Fillmore county, which is situated between Shickley and 
Ong. 

To Saronville, in Clay county, came a company of nine 
"gottlandingar" (inhabitants of Gottland, Sweden) in 



84 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

1871, who for some time had lived in Illinois. In the sum- 
mer of 1873 more gottlandingar arrived, many of whom 
had been Methodists in Sweden. From Swedona, Illinois, 
came still another company of Methodists. It was natural 
that these people should begin to organize a church of 
their own denomination. There were, however, others who 
had belonged to Lutheran churches, and they organized a 
Lutheran church at Saronville in 1872. 

Minden, founded in 1879, is situated on the eastern 
border of the large Swedish settlements which stretch 
through Kearney and Phelps counties, Charles Carlson 
reached Phelps county from Galesburg, Illinois, in 1874. 
In 1875 still others came from Illinois. In 1876 Andreas 
Olson, from Jemtland, Sweden, arrived with his wife and 
took a homestead four miles north of what is now the town 
of Funk. 

When Phelps county was organized, in 1873, the num- 
ber of Swedes living there was small, but shortly thereupon 
the migration to these parts set in, and now Holdrege and 
the country roundabout has a large Swedish population. 

There are many other places that might have been men- 
tioned in connection with Swedish immigration to Ne- 
braska, but time and space forbid. I have named only the 
most important points. As time goes on our interest in 
the beginnings of our state will be all the keener, and we 
shall all be the more desirous to know who our pioneers 
were. We are yet so near the beginning that we may not 
grasp fully the significance of pioneer daj's. I hope, how- 
ever, that our state may succeed well in preserving the 
records of the past and that there may be written on the 
pages of history at least a few chapters dealing with the 
Swedish element in Nebraska. 

NOTE BY THE EDITOR 

The following data showing the number and distribution 
of Swedes in Nebraska are compiled from the U. S. census of 
1910. The counties named in the table are only those con- 
taining 300 or more persons born in Sweden : 



SWEDES IN NEBRASKA 85 

Bom In Sweden 23,219 

Bom of parents of Swedish birth 26,599 



49,81S 

Born of Parents of 
County Born in Sweden Swedish Birth 

Burt 1,160 1,251 

Cedar 353 391 

Clay 507 594 

Custer 309 368 

Dawson 470 540 

Dixon 470 576 

Dodge 327 378 

Douglas 4,692 4,460 

Hamilton 560 702 

Kearney 667 891 

Knox 778 1,010 

Lancaster 1,066 1,078 

Lincoln 330 440 

Phelps 1,861 2,419 

Platte 392 477 

Polk 1,319 1,658 

Saunders 1,502 1,856 



Total in 17 counties 16,763 19,089 



CLAN ORGANIZATION OF THE WINNEBAGO^ 
By Oliver Lamere 

In the preparation of this paper I have been greatly 
aided by the research of the Bureau of American Eth- 
nology, whose agent, Paul Radin, visited the Winnebago 
reservation and with the assistance of myself and others 
prepared a history of the general organization of the Win- 
nebago Indians and of their customs. The field he covered 
also embraced what I shall attempt to convey to you on 
the clan organization of the Winnebago. This pai>er can 
give no adequate idea of its subject, for the amount of 
material that could be obtained would probably fill a 
thousand pages such as I am about to write. I am con- 
stantly embarrassed in trying to select from this mass of 
material those features that would most interest you ; for, 
feeling as if I were a part of it myself, my interest is dif- 
ferent from yours. 

The Winnebago Indians are natives of Wisconsin, and 
about half of the tribe still remain there. So far as we 



*A paper read at the annual meeting of the Nebraska State His- 
torical Society, January 22, 1914. 

Oliver Lamere was bom at McCook, South Dakota, on February 2, 
1879. His father, Frank Lamere, was of three-quarters French blood 
and one-quarter Winnebago, and he was probably bom in Wisconsin. 
His mother, a full blood Winnebago, of the Bear clan, was bom in 
Minnesota. Mr. Lamere's home has always been on the Winnebago 
reservation. He was educated at the Indian school at Genoa, Ne- 
braska, and attended the Indian school at Carlisle for a short time. 
He has worked at farming, industrial teaching at the reservation and 
among the Lower Brul6 Indians, and as interpreter for the Bureau of 
Ethnology and in collecting data and material for that institution. 
He received an allotment of land from the Winnebago reservation. 
He has been deputy assessor of Thurston county. In 1915 he was 
appointed a member of the Food, Drug, Dairy and Oil Commission, 
and still holds that office. He has a wife and family of children. 



CLAN ORGANIZATION OF WINNEBAGO 87 

know they were first seen by white men about the year 
1639 on the eastern sliore of Green Bay, some twelve or 
or fourteen miles north of the subsequent site of the city 
of Green Bay. The Winnebago believe that, according to 
their clan stories, they originated there, at a place called 
Red Banks. This paper is based upon the stories of the 
different clans which I have heard and from personal inter- 
views with Winnebago having particular knowledge of the 
story of their clan, not upon knowledge of the clan organ- 
ization of other tribes or ethnology. This tribe has two 
exogamic divisions — the upper and the lower clans. The 
upper clans are Thunder-Being, commonly called Thunder 
Bird, the Hawk or War, Eagle, and Pigeon. The lower 
clans are Bear, Wolf, Water Spirit, Elk, Deer, Buffalo, 
Fish, and Snake. 

The Winnebago do not claim descent from the animal 
after which the clan is named, but assert that their ances- 
tors were transformed animals who met at Green Bay, and 
there were transformed into human beings. Four animals 
of each species were present, and tlie older Winnebago can 
tell you from which of these four brothers they descended. 
Their attitude toward the clan animal is in no way differ- 
ent from that toward any other animal. They hunt and 
eat at any time of the year the animal which they regard 
as their i)ersonal manito. According to the clan stories 
various clans seem to have been inspired simultaneously 
with the knowledge of a great gathering to be held at the 
Red Banks mentioned. The clans then existing in the 
spirit world in the spiritual being of their clan animal 
began to counsel together about the great meeting of trans- 
formation, and each species sent four of its finest indi- 
viduals to this meeting, as has been mentioned. One old 
man who is of the Elk clan says : 

In the beginning the Winnebago existed in the spirit world 
over towards the setting of the sun, where a place of existence 
or abode was established for them by Earth-Maker (the crea- 
tor). There they existed from time unknown, until the crea- 



88 NEBRASKiV STATE HISTOKIOAL SOCIETY 

tor spoke and said to them : "My children, you are to live on 
an earth that I have created and prepared for you. It is 
necessary that you should recognize one another there in some 
way. You should therefore select some animal, the animal 
you best love, and after which your clan shall be named and 
recognized." So the Elk clan people considered seriously this 
matter, and seeing that the P]lk was not only a beautiful ani- 
mal but clean and of good habits and temperament they de- 
cided to select the Elk as their clan animal. 

From all of the reports on clan organization it is evi- 
dent that a lodge was built, and a camp circle was formed 
where all had certain positions. This is shown from the 
fact that each clan has a particular brother or friend clan 
which is called upon, especially to assist in funeral rites. 
These friend clans speak of one another as sitting opposite 
each other in the original lodge. It is said that the Water 
Spirit clan came with the specific power to hold the posi- 
tion of chief ship in the tribe, but it so happened that when 
the original fire was about to be started the Water Spirit 
clan tried to get the fire but failed. Then the other clans 
had a trial at building this fire but the Thunder clansmen 
were the only ones who succeeded, and they therefore came 
in possession of the tribal chiefship, and have always held 
it until recent years. The United States government now 
recognizes whomever it chooses as chief of the tribe, and 
the Indians often say that the choice always falls upon 
those to whom it can most easily dictate, and with little 
regard to fitness. The Water Spirit clan, however, did not 
lose its position of chiefship which they still maintained, 
and all their names have some syllable which implies chief- 
ship. 

The chief of the tribe was always selected from the 
Thunder clan, as has been said. He stood as the exponent 
of peace at all times. He could not lead a war party, al- 
though according to some he could accompany such a party. 
If he heard of any one of his tribe about to lead a party on 
the war path, and if he thought the leader lacked in war 



CLAN ORGANIZATION OP WINNEBAGO 89 

power and generalship, the chief would take his peace pipe 
and go to the leader and ask him to stay his war venture. 
If the war leader disregarded the counsel of the chief and 
went in spite of it, the chief could follow him to the flrst 
night's camp out, and there, if he placed his pipe immedi- 
ately across the leader's path, the war leader would have 
to stop and return, for to go on would be sacrilege. The 
chief's lodge always stood in the center of the village, and 
it contained a sacred fireplace. 

The lodge was a sanctuary for all wrongdoers. No one 
could be killed there, and a prisoner of war escaping to it 
had to be spared. The Thunder clan chief always acted as 
interceSvSor between wrongdoers and their avengers. Even 
in so extreme a case as the murder of a clansman, the chief 
would always attempt a reconciliation by which the life of 
the offender might be spared. On the other hand it is said 
the Hawk or War clan also maintained a lodge in the vil- 
lage known as the war lodge, and a prisoner of war taking 
refuge in it was immediately put to death. The Hawk 
lodge was the general meeting place for tlie warriors of the 
entire tribe. The Bear clan at its origin had disciplinary 
power and would therefore maintain a sacred lodge in a 
village. The lodge would be known as the soldiers lodge 
and its members as soldiers. 

The functions of this clan consisted in the regulation 
of the hunt, general disciplinary rights, and the duty of 
carrying into effect the orders of the Thunder clan chief. 
At a tribal hunt their power was seen in its most char- 
acteristic development. Whoever disregarded the rules 
laid down by them, such as shooting too early or cutting 
up the captured animal out of turn, could be deprived of 
his bow and arrows; these would be restored to him only 
if he acquiesced in his punishment. But should he repeat 
the offence, bow and arrows would be broken. 

The general disciplinary powers were those of patrol- 
ling the village and preventing disorder. The leader of the 
clan carried an emblem symbolical of his power. The Bear 



90 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

clansmen always carried this emblem of autliority when- 
ever they patrolled the village or were on duty. They 
would make their rounds singing, and at their approach 
all noise would immediately cease. They executed all 
capital punishments. If the Thunder clan chief failed in 
his intercessions for a criminal the latter was handed over 
to the Bear lodge for punishment. 

The Elk clan, it is said, acted as usher at the original 
meeting and was preordained to act in that capacity 
through life; but this is rather vague. The Buffalo clan is 
said to have originated with the mission of a herald, and 
this, in its full meaning, has also become obscure. The 
few who give this information say that the Buffalo lodge 
should always be placed near the lodge of the chief, where 
it reports every morning to learn his desires and hear his 
announcements. The supposition that all the clans came 
possessing some mission, but that time, war, and contact 
with civilization have made it difficult to obtain full in- 
formation as to its exact nature is probably correct. All 
accounts do not agree, and some of the clans are now ex- 
tinct or have been discontinued. 

The marriage relation was regulated by strict rules and 
customs, which in olden times were never violated. An 
upper-clansman must marry a woman of the lower clan 
and vice versa. A member of an upper clan may select his 
wife from any of the lower clans. Those Winnebago who 
cared to give an explanation of their exogamy declared 
that the members of the clans of each class were closely 
related and should not therefore intermarry, and tliese 
regulations were prescribed for the purpose of producing 
a stronger race, the relationship between upper and lower 
clansmen not being so close. Descent is patrilineal, and a 
man's name generally comes from his father's clan or car- 
ries some syllable denoting his father's clan name. For- 
merly the name was always that of the father's clan, but 
this system has been largely abandoned. Certain irregulari- 
ties have crept into this tribal custom ; tlius, many Individ- 



CLAN ORGANIZATION OF WINNEBAGO 91 

uals bear names belonging to the mother's clan. Wlienever 
a person bore a name of a clan not his father's he had a 
paternal ancestor who was either a wliite man or an Indian 
of another tribe. Such individuals had of course no Win- 
nebago clan name, and consequently a name was taken 
from the wife's clan. This custom thus begun seems to 
have become a precedent, and many names were thereafter 
taken from the maternal clan. Notwithstanding this inno- 
vation descent is still reckoned in the paternal line. 

Other customs of interest are, that a married man al- 
ways lives with his wife's parents the first few years after 
marriage; he must never address his mother-in-law and 
must act as servant to his father-in-law as long as he lives 
with him. 

The relation of a man to his maternal uncle is peculiar; 
he may take liberties with him which he is expressly pro- 
hibited from taking with his paternal uncle and aunt or his 
maternal aunt. Yet, in spite of this larger freedom, there 
is particularly close relationship between them. The 
nephew must always act as servant to the uncle; on the 
warpath he is, after a fashion, an esquire; and should the 
uncle be slain or captured while warpath leader, the 
nephew should then suffer himself to be slain. 

Winnebago names are derived from the clan animals 
and their characteristics. For example, a Bear clansman 
may be named White Bear, and a Thunder clansman might 
be called Strikes-the-Tree, after a characteristic of light- 
ning. Every clan has certain objects, some materialistic 
and others invisible and immaterialistic, which are con- 
sidered as belonging especially to it. If a member of one 
clan asks for any one of these specific objects belonging to 
another, he never obtains it but receives instead the most 
valuable present that the clan addressed can give. How- 
ever, it is considered so immodest to make such a request 
that no self-respecting Indian would be likely to do so; 
for example, to ask a member of the Thunder clan for a 
brand from his fireplace or to sit on the fire logs in his 



92 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

house, to admire or criticize anything in the lodge of a Bear 
clansman or sit in his doorway, or to ask water of a Wolf 
or Water Spirit clan. Should one sit in the doorway of a 
member of the Bear clan he would not be told to get out, 
but the clansman would spread a robe or something good 
to sit upon and politely ask the visitor to be seated there, 
and it is always well to accept such hospitality. 

While the clans have numerous customs there are no 
customs or beliefs distinctive of the upper and lower clans- 
men. In addition to those mentioned, there are character- 
istic ceremonies at birth, at the naming of a child, at death, 
and at a burial and funeral wake of a clan member. In 
early days, where the tribe was concerned in any question 
touching land or other earthly affairs, the Bear clan would 
be consulted before anything definite was done. Likewise 
the Thunder clan would be consulted in regard to aerial 
things, from trees up ; and the Water Spirit clan in regard 
to things of the water. 

In this paper I can only touch brietly on the most im- 
portant features of clan organization. To fully explain 
the clan organization would require many volumes, and. I 
will conclude with a description of some few of the tribal 
customs. In olden times the Winnebago always lived in vil- 
lages. I presume this was for social intercourse as well as 
for protection and counsel. It is said that there was a cus- 
tom of counselling children incessantly; but it has nearly 
dropped into disuse. The children would be called in 
as the dusk began ; for it was believed that all bad things 
went about in darkness, having reference principally to the 
dangers of falling into temptation, possibly also to wild ani- 
mals. So when the young people, including children, were 
all in and the family circle around the fireplace was full, 
the old grandfather ( as it is usually the oldest member of 
the lodge who speaks) would begin to counsel them. He 
would tell them how they should conduct themselves 
through life — that they must learn to hold their tongues, 



CLAN ORGANIZATION OF WINNEIJAGO 93 

that they should fast and strive to obtain some blessing 
from the Great Spirit, to enable them to protect their peo- 
ple in time of trouble or that they might l>e blessed with 
power for good, to be brave and learn the way of the forest, 
and to be good huntsmen. And he would tell the young 
girls how to order their lives for happiness, of the sacred 
marriage state, and of the responsibilities of bearing chil- 
dren. When young persons asked for special stories, the 
old man would have them fast a day first, or perhaps re- 
quire them to get an especially good fire log and place it in 
the fire. This was done of course to impress the young 
mind. 

Fasting was encouraged at all times. It is said that 
oftentimes the old man would offer a young boy food and 
a piece of charcoal at the same time. Should the boy reach 
out and take the food, the old man would punish him and 
blacken his face with the charcoal and send him out. The 
object of this was to create a lowly spirit in the boy, as 
they believed the Great Spirit would not bless any one in 
a proud state of mind. The face is always blackened with 
wood charcoal when fasting. It often happens that many 
would be out fasting at the same time, and it was cus- 
tomary for all to sing a song or a chant of praise, or pray 
to the spirits. This always occurs about dusk. Fasting is 
always done in seclusion; so on a quiet evening, when all 
in the village is still, a cry from the hills of a loved one 
who perhaps has been fasting in the distance for several 
days, and whose ordeal has been so severe as to reduce his 
strength, may be heard, in a weak and pitiful voice. The 
cry of one seeking a blessing in supplication to the spirits 
might start another in a distant part of the hills, and so on 
until many are wailing together. And in the lodge when 
the parents and younger brothers and sisters at home 
heard the voice of sons and brothers calling weakly in the 
distance, the family circle would be greatly moved and the 
mother, the first to show her emotion, would allow a silent 



94 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

tear to roll down her cheek, and then the sisters; and 
finally, unable to restrain themselves, mother and sisters 
would burst out weeping in the monotone characteristic of 
Indian women. The father would bow his head in pity for 
his son, for he knew all the struggles and sorrows that 
must be endured in seeking a great blessing. It is said 
that very frequently the whole village would be aroused by 
the cry to the Great Spirit.* 



*A quite similar practice of Negroes in the blaclt belt of the South 
has come under my personal observation. It is said of these night-time, 
errant suppliants that they are "gone seekin'." Like habits among 
the Hebrews are chronicled in both testaments of the Bible. — Ed, 



WOMEN OF TERRITORIAL NEBRASKA 
By Mrs. Kittie (SAMUEii W.) McGrew 

lu accepting tlie invitation to write something of the 
pioneer women and the home life of Nebraska, I regret the 
lack of a general personal knowledge of ray subjects 
throughout the territory. However, the characteristic 
qualities of the two or three intimate friends of my child- 
hood and of later years, of whom I have chosen to write, 
may in a measure represent the courage, integrity, and in- 
tense womanliness of their class. 

Always eager and daring, the man has fared forth to 
spy out the new land, and the woman, loving, fearful, yet 
hopeful, has been at his side. How well and nobly the 
women of Nebraska have borne the tasks and burdens in- 
cident to life in a new country, is "as a tale that is told." 
Some of them had been daintily reared and well educated 
in their eastern homes; but, daring danger and privation, 
they gladly and hopefully accompanied father, husband, 
brother or lover. 

The first white woman to settle in Nemaha county or 
southeastern Nebraska was Mrs. Thomas B. Edwards, who 
came with her husband and a few men from Oregon, Holt 
county, Missouri. Richard Brown, the first settler, came 
from the same locality a few weeks prior — on August 29, 
1854. Mr. Edwards was a carpenter and a preacher of the 
Christian faith. Husband and wife were alike zealous in 
the cause of their church, and they ministered to all sorts 
and conditions. For more than a year there was no physi- 
cian in the locality or nearer than Oregon, Missouri, fifty 
miles southeast. The change of climate and water and the 
intensely cold winter weather caused much suffering, sick- 
ness, and some deaths. The skill and simple, homely reme- 



96 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

dies of Mrs. Edwards were in urgent demand, and often 
hers was the only hand to bring comfort, help or cheer in 
time of severe illness or deep sorrow. At births or deaths 
alike, her presence was sought and, at whatever personal 
inconvenience, seldom denied. With a highly sympathetic 
nature, fine physique, indomitable courage and a heart 
overflowing with love for her Master's cause, Mrs. Edwards 
was an ideal pioneer woman. Long hours of patient, 
watchful care, sleepless nights, and toilsome days were 
her lot through many years. She was the mother of seven 
children, some of them residents of Nemaha county now. 
Her mind and body well preserved until the last illness of 
a few weeks' duration, she died in 1907. 

Mr. Edwards helped to build some of the first log houses 
in Brownville. I distinctly remember the interior of one 
log cabin, built in 1855 and superior in many ways to the 
majority in the locality. My parents lived in this cabin 
for more than a year. The main room was about 14x18, 
and besides there was a lean-to or shed kitchen and a loft. 
A ladder served as stairway. The floors were of newly 
sawed cottonwood boards. At one end of the room was a 
huge fireplace made of rough stone plastered with clay. 
The walls were entirely covered with newspapers, the cor- 
ners lapped and each secured by a tack driven through a 
half-inch square of red flannel. This device not only held 
the paper more firmly in its place; the bright bits of flan- 
nel added to the attractiveness of the room. In one corner 
a big four-poster cord bedstead, with plethoric grass tick 
surmounted by a fat feather bed dressed in a hand-woven 
counterpane, or often a gay patchwork quilt, was a sight 
fearful and wonderful to behold. A little walnut stool 
stood near the head of the bed without which it would be a 
diflicult scramble to reach the top of the structure. Under- 
neath the four-poster there was a convenient trundle-bed 
that was pulled out in the evening for the children, or 
often the grown-ups would sleep there if company came. 
The floor was ga^ with braided rugs. A tall walnut 



WOMEN OF TERRITORIAL NEBRASKA 97 

bureau, a large chest of cherry wood, a few wooden rockers 
and some split-bottom hickory chairs completed the main 
furnishings, and a tall eight-day clock ticked ''merrily the 
minutes away.'' On the bureau tall candlesticks of brass 
held homemade tallow candles molded by the careful house- 
wife. The bureau, chest and candle-molds are cherished 
possessions today. 

The kitchen was a very attractive place, with a good 
stove and other conveniences not usually found in the 
pioneer cabins. Its walls were hung with strings of red 
peppers, mangoes, popcorn and some choice seed corn tied 
together with the husks and slipped on slender sticks. A 
great variety of gourds hung from wooden pegs driven into 
the walls. Some of the gourds were used for dipping 
water and some, with openings near the slender handles, 
held rice, dried corn, berries or other household necessi- 
ties and made fine receptacles. A sputtering two-lipped 
grease lamp, with cotton flannel wick, or perhaps candle 
wicking, gave a fitful and feeble light. 

Wild game was plentiful. There were turkeys, deer, 
geese, ducks, an occasional buffalo, prairie chickens, and 
quails. Wild grapes, plums, crab-apples, gooseberries, and 
other fruits gave variety to the fare. Occasionally a bee 
tree gave up a rich store of honey, and sorghum molasses 
was a not unimportant provision in the larder of the 
thrifty housewife. 

In the yard were a well with a long wooden beam, or 
sweep, from which hung a chain and the old oaken bucket, 
a gourd dipper conveniently near, and a huge excavated 
log for a watering trough. Nearby was the great ash 
leach or hopper where the lye could be run off into the log 
trough to be made into a choice brand of soft soap. Near 
the kitchen door stood a split log bench where the family 
might have the tin basin for an early morning wash. There 
were great iron or copper kettles, suspended on poles or 
forked sticks, which were used in making soap and hominy 
and for heating water for the family washing and for 



98 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

butchering. All these were considered necessary adjuncts 
to a well regulated pioneer household. 

An incident related by Mr. Henry Culwell, in a paper 
read before the Nemaha County Historical Society, Janu- 
ary 31, 1907, referring to educational advantages, or rather 
disadvantages, at an early day, may be interesting : 

There were no schools nearer than Brownville or Nemaha 
City, five miles distant from my father's claim. A man named 
Grover, on an adjoining claim, taught a subscription school in 
his log cabin during the fall and winter of 1857-8. Mr. Grover 
was a bachelor. His cabin was built over a cellar or basement, 
where he did his cooking on an old time shanghai, or step 
stove. The pupils would take pumpkin, squash, potatoes and 
sometimes meat, which could be baked in the oven and were 
a welcome addition to the oftentimes meager noon lunch. 

This log house was still standing in 1907, after fifty 
years of constant service. Some of the pupils of that long 
ago are living in Nemaha county now. The parents of Beu 
Taylor Skeen, representative in the legislature of 1911, 
were living on an adjoining claim, and their children at- 
tended this school. 

In the fifties the steamboats brought all the merchan- 
dise for settlements along the river. Some days there 
were as many as five or six boats at the landing, loading or 
unloading freight. They had wood yards all along the 
route. The officers and passengers were usually very con- 
genial and pleasant people. Many political officers, with 
their wives, came or passed on the boats, and warm friend- 
ships were formed with them. As diversion from the out- 
side world was limited to the visits of these excursionists, 
when a boat came to the landing there was rejoicing in the 
village. The elite were often asked for dinner or to a 
dance on the boat if it stopped over night. When citizens 
gave a complimentary ball, public officers and other guests 
got a taste of true western hospitality. 

One occasion of this kind in 1858, at Brownville, is 
often recalled by old-timers. There was a lively crowd of 



WOMEN OF TERRITORIAL NEBRASKA 99 

young men and women who had been royally entertained 
by officers and excursionists as they went up the river, and 
as the boats were to be tied up for the night on the return 
trip, a grand ball was given in a new building as yet un- 
occupied, sixty-five or seventy feet in length and used after- 
wards as a drug store by Henry C. Lett and William H. 
McCreery. The supper, which promised to be unusually 
good, was served in a hotel nearby, owned by A. J^ Bene- 
dict and later called the American House. All the "prom- 
inent" people were present. Several parents of children 
less than a year old, who loved to mingle with the gay 
crowd, were invited to bring the babies and be care free all 
the evening; the young people who were giving the ball 
guaranteeing that the little darlings should be properly 
cared for. 

Some of the young men in attendance were E. W. Bed- 
ford, Robert Teare, D. H. McLaughlin, John L. Carson, 
Dan L. McGarvey and W. H. Hoover. The young ladies 
were Inez Belden, Lenora Kennedy, the Brockman sisters, 
Mattie and Harriet Favorite, the latter now Mrs. W. H. 
Hoover. The babies were cared for in the little room in the 
rear of the building. The door was kept closed so that the 
noise of the band might not disturb their slumbers. This 
band was famous throughout the southeast section, the 
first and best. Its leader was J. R. Dye, who is now living 
at San Diego, California. When the hour for going home 
arrived the lights in the little room were purposely lowered. 
The tired and sleepy, yet happy mothers received the 
precious bundles from the careful and watchful attend- 
ants. 

There was great surprise and indignation among the 
mothers when, arriving at home, a lusty boy baby was 
found in place of a daughter, or perhaps a darling brunette 
was exchanged for a little red-head. There were then no 
telephones to expedite a solution of the mysteries. There 
were few sidewalks, and the process of restoration required 
hours of weary tramping. Some of the parents lived on 



100 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

claims adjoining the town, and there was great difficulty 
in reaching them. The drizzle of the early evening had 
turned to steady rain, and the tired, sleepy, disgusted and 
almost distracted parents threatened all sorts of vengeance 
upon the young folk who had played the cruel joke. Several 
of the participants in that evening's frolic are living in 
the vicinity at this time. 

Among the early arrivals was Mrs. McComas, mother 
of Dr. E. M. McComas and Mrs. Robert W. Furnas. 
Mother McComas came to the territory with the Furnas 
family in 1855. Every one soon learned to call her Grand- 
mother McComas as she daily went out among the people 
bent on kindly deeds, advising, comforting and helping any 
in sorrow or other distress. Her gentle dignity and beauti- 
ful spirit seemed always to breathe a benediction. Two- 
thirds of the children ushered into life in the vicinity of 
Brownville during the first twenty years of its existence 
were crooned over and cared for by this gracious woman. 
In later years Grandmother McComas spent some part 
of each week at the beautiful Walnut Grove Cemetery, 
where the beloved daughter and several of the grandchil- 
dren were sleeping. One day the little old-fashioned basket 
which held her knitting was left hanging on the branch of 
a stately pine which had been planted years before at the 
grave of a beloved grandson, Phillip Furnas. Perhaps she 
knew this was her last walk to the quiet place where so 
many loves and hopes were buried. A short while and the 
tired hands were folded. They had dropped unfinished the 
last piece of knitting, a pair of half hose for her friend. Dr. 
C. F. Stewart, one of the first physicians in that part of the 
country and who is still practicing. This piece of knitting 
was with a collection of Governor R. W. Furnas in the 
State Historical Society. 

As the years passed the region beyond the border of the 
river began to develop. In 1862 Rev. J. M. Young with 
some friends, who were seeking a location for colonizing, 
celebrated the Fourth of July at a point later called Lan- 



WOMEN OF TERRITORIAL NEBRASKA 101 

caster and now a part of the city of Lincoln. This party 
had with them a flag, which was unfurled, and some pa- 
triotic speeches were made. The following Sunday Mr. 
Young preached what he supposed to be the first sermon in 
the locality. A Sunday school was established, which, with 
the church service, was continued for several years. 

Mrs. Young, a zealous, devout woman, was one of the 
original crusaders led by Mrs. Lewis, mother of Dr. Dio 
Lewis. This crusade was several years earlier than the 
Hillsboro, Ohio, crusade led by Mother Thompson — the 
foundation of the W. C. T. U. work. Mrs. Young brought 
into the home in the new west the same devout spirit, 
anxious care for purity, temperance and reform that had 
led her through the trying ordeals in Ohio. She was a 
steadfast believer in the efficacy of earnest prayer. 

The Youngs had some means when they came west, but 
the new life brought much hardship, toil and privation. 
The first two winters, of 1863 and 1864, were intensely 
cold. Often for a week no communication could be held 
with neighbors. Mother Young with her large family bore 
her share of the hardships and dangers of the community. 
Frugal fare and rigid economy were necessary, and often 
they suffered cold and hunger. 

Mr. and Mrs. Young deeded alternate blocks in forty 
acres of their homestead for the establishment of a school 
in the interest of the Methodist Protestant church. The 
block which was devoted to the use of the State Historical 
Society when the city of Lincoln was platted was a part of 
this gift. I suggest that the Historical Society have a por- 
trait or place a bronze tablet in the new Historical build- 
ing in memory of this faithful pioneer couple. The old 
stone house at Eighteenth and O streets, built by the 
Youngs, was considered almost palatial. Its doors were 
hospitably open for visitors within the town and to friends 
of other days. 

In educational work Miss Eliza 0. Morgan, preceptress 



102 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

and teacher in the Normal School at Peru, Nebraska, for 
more than twenty-five years, was one of the strong pioneer 
characters. Hundreds were influenced and imbued by her 
high ideals. 

Another pioneer woman in educational work was Mrs. 
Ella Taggert Schick, who was the first woman elected to 
the office of county superintendent of public instruction. 
Mrs. Schick's election was contested by M. J. Ferm on the 
ground of ineligibility. Judge Jefferson H. Broady found 
that there was nothing in the statute prohibiting women 
from holding the office. Mrs. Schick was an efficient offi- 
cer; she raised the standard of requirement for teachers' 
certificates and demanded higher and equal wages for men 
and women doing the same work. 

Looking back to the fifties and early sixties we recog- 
nize the solid rock upon which the women of the new west 
builded, better perhaps than they then knew. The true 
home spirit born in rude cabins was fostered and developed 
at the fireside by the wives, mothers and sisters. The need 
of school and church as realized and urged by the earnest 
Christian women was the precursor of the educational and 
religious progress of the territory. 



FIRST SETTLEMENT OF THE SCOTTS BLUFF 
COUNTRY 

By Grant L. Shumway 

As far back as 1845 some Mexicans came up from 
Santa Fe and started agriculture in the North Platte val- 
ley, in the immediate vicinity of Fort Laramie, but with 
indifferent success. The climate and soil of the almost 
primitive wilderness seemed unfitted for the arts of do- 
mesticity, for the same soil and geographical location yield 
abundant return to the frugal husbandman today. 

That was forty years before Captain W. R. Akers and 
Virgil Grout came into the valley from Fort Collins and, 
settling about ten miles west of the Nebraska- Wyoming 
line, started the movement of modern irrigation. This was 
the first irrigation and successful farming in the Scotts 
Bluff country. The first irrigation of land now within 
Scotts Bluff county was begun a year later, when George 
Bouton and Ben Gentry had some small crops in along the 
Winter Creek Run, about five miles northeast of the pres- 
ent city of Scotts Bluff. Dry weather set in, and Gentry 
took a plow and ran a furrow from the running water that 
came from Winter Springs, the water following him into 
a field of small grain. 

Now concerning the first liouses. During the years of 
the Pony Express and the Overland stage, there were sev- 
eral sod structures erected along the line in this country, 
at least two of which were in the territory now embraced 
by Scotts Bluff county. Two other stations were in Mor- 
rill county, one at Mud Springs, now Simla, where Jim 
Moore started on his first ride for the Pony Express. The 
location was afterwards appropriated by him for ranch 
purposes. 



104 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

The Chimney Rock station was about ten miles west of 
the present site of Bridgeport. The Scotts Bluff station 
was about five miles east of the famous bluff or mountain. 
In 1871 this site was appropriated by ^Mark M. Coad. The 
other station referred to was on lower Horse Creek. In 
1873 John Sparks built a sod house on lower Horse Creek, 
a little northeast of the old stage station there. The Red 
Cloud agency was then situated where the "Lower P. F. 
Ranch" was afterward located, and when Mr. Sparks built 
the ranch house he was prepared to fight Indians if oc- 
casion required. This house was 21x26 feet inside, with 
walls 30 inches thick. It had three windows, with plank 
shutters, and a door of like material, all from a sawmill in 
the Laramie Mountains. This was the same mill which 
supplied so much material for the buildings of Fort Lara- 
mie. The floor and roof boards were double, and the latter 
were overlaid with several inches of dirt. There were four 
portholes in the walls, one on each side, made in the man- 
ner of an hourglass in a horizontal position, to give a wide 
range of territory in case of Indian attack. We have no 
record that the house was ever attacked. 

The old soddy is now in ruins, although some of the 
material, including a part of the lumber, is owned by L. J. 
Wyman, owner of the land on which the building was situ- 
ated. Mr. Wyman says that "at this point the trail leaves 
the bottom and heads for the Robidoux Pass."^ He refers 
to it as the "Oregon Trail." 

There was a post office called Little Moon established 
in this sod cabin, and the building was soon enlarged to 
make room for it and the ranch hands. William Lancaster 



^This name is commonly spelled both Robidou and Robidoux, 
though the better usage among authors is to leave off the x. Miss 
Stella M. Drumm, librarian of the Missouri Historical Society, has 
recently written me the following information touching the spelling 
of the name which seems conclusive: 

All members of the Robidou family here spelled their name with- 
out the X. I think one reason that you frequently find the name with 
the added x is due to the fact that the father, Joseph Robidou, his 



FIRST SCOTTS BLUFF SETTLEMENT 105 

was the first postmaster. He moved to the eastern part of 
the state in 1873 or 1874, where he went into the drug busi- 
ness. The house faced the southeast, and Mr. Sparks had 
about two acres surrounded by sod walls three feet thick 
and five feet high. He also fenced in a meadow of about 
160 acres with wire; a part of this fence still stands after 
forty years. 

The ranch was sold to W. C. Lane and Thomas Sturgis 
in 1876, Mr. Sparks moving to Nevada, where he became 
governor." While here he owned a valuable riding horse 
which he kept for his wife who loved to ride the great 
prairies. After his departure the horse was in charge of 
Jim Shaw, "Fiddler" Campbell's "buddy-', and was kept at 
the Circle Arrow east of Kimball, then called Antelope- 
ville, and at the Circle Block on the head of Pumpkin 
Creek. Once S. J. Robb, foreman of the Circle Block, was 
riding "Old Fox", as the horse was called, when he ran on 
to a bunch of wild horses. Old Fox so quickly overtook 
them that Robb did not have time to use his lariat ; but he 
seized one by the tail, hindering the beast so that another 
cowboy following on a slower horse roped and captured it. 
A little before and after Jim's trouble over the Collins 
shooting affair at Camp Clarke bridge, the horse was in 
care of Chris Streeks, and Old Fox became my wife's 
favorite riding horse. He \vas of such a fine spirit that 

sons, Joseph Jr. and Francois, used a flourish when signing their last 
name which gives one the impression of a final x. 

Miss Drumm sent the following tracing of an actual signature of 
Francois Robidou: 




*Mr. Sparks was elected governor of Nevada in 1902, as a "Silver 
Democrat", He assumed the office in January, 1903, but died in 190C, 
before the expiration of the term of four years. — Ed. 



106 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

after getting settled in Nevada Mr. Sparks had him 
shipped to that state. 

In 1882 L. J. Wyman came to this country and went to 
work for Lane & Sturgis. He made his home in the 
famous old soddy for many years. He noAV owns the place 
and lives nearby and has the distinction of being one of the 
very first of the permanent settlers of the county. Charles 
Foster came about the same time; and Perry Braziel, a 
Texan, who "met up" with old "Shanghai" Pierce at Cof- 
feyville, had drifted "up the trail to the North River" in 
■«880, and he went to work for Mark M. Coad in 1882. 
These men became permanent settlers of the county and 
are still residing here. 

I see I neglected to describe the Coad ranch house. It 
was built for the Pony Express, facing the south, was 
20x50 feet, with walls 30 inches and the sods 8 or 10 inches 
thick, cedar cross logs and ridge poles, and poles and dirt 
for the roof, which was supported by a row of posts across 
the center of the structure. It contained two rooms, the 
smaller, 12x20, being a kitchen. A large sod fireplace 
added cheer to the other room. 

R. C. ("Fiddler") Campbell, W. E. ("Sandy") Ingra- 
Jiam, and George Marsh were the next to "cut loose from 
the range" and settle down on Scotts Bluff county soil. 
They built their log cabins on the south side of the river in 
the fall of 1884, Campbell near the old Coad ranch and the 
other two in Mitchell valley near the Bay State. In the 
spring of 1885 each of them broke about ten acres, as an 
indication of good faith as claimants under the preemp- 
tion law. Ingraham was kicked to death by a colt. Marsh 
has lately removed to Montana, and Campbell yet resides 
on the original homestead, his first log cabin being a part 
of his present commodious and comfortable bungalow. 

In the spring of 1885 "Sailor Joe" Hanson built a log 
domicile in Mitchell valley and resided there until recent 
years, or until his boy met a terrible death by being 



FIRST SCOTTS BLUFF SETTLEMENT 107 

dragged over the prairie by a runaway saddle horse. Sandy 
Ingraham roped the runaway, but the boy was dead. 

In the summer of 1885 many new people came. In tlie 
latter part of August Albert W. Mills, who lately died, 
came up the river and settled on the north side, about five 
miles southeast of the present city of Scotts Bluff, when he 
immediately commenced the erection of a sod house. He 
plowed the first furrows on the north side of the river in 
Scotts Bluff county, with an old "grasshopper" breaker, 
and was the first of the granger class of citizens in the 
county. 

On September 10, Wellington Clark, C. D. Purdy, Joe 
Smith, G. W. Fairfield, and several others arrived and 
settled near the present site of Minatare, and Joseph 
Stephens in Cedar Caiion. Each selected a claim, assisted 
by Fairfield, the surveyor who planted the corners in the 
greater part of Scotts Bluff county. Smith and others 
camped at the Mills place several days, eating meals 
within the walls before the roof was on. A well was driven 
on the Wellington Clark claim, and the river being some 
distance away Mr. Purdy milked a cow for priming for the 
pump. Joe Smith's house was the first erected, and the 
claim he filed on was later platted as Tabor, which was 
the starting of Minatare. The Mills house was begun first, 
but Smith's was completed first. 

Gering was platted on March 28, 1888; Scotts Bluff, 
February 5, 1899 ; Sunflower, February 26, 1900, but the 
name was changed to Mitchell November 16, of the same 
year; the plat of Minatare was filed Februaiy 5, 1900; and 
Morrill was platted March 22, 1906. 

SUPPLEMENT BY THE EDITOR 

Mr. Shumway's mention of the situation of the Red Cloud 
agency calls for a brief explanation of the very interesting 
circumstances in which it came to be placed there and which 
especially illustrates the vicious vacillation at Washington in 
the conduct of Indian affairs. 



108 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

In 1879, soon after the final settlement of these Indians at 
the Pine Ridge agency, their agent complained that the reports 
of the last fifteen years "form bnt a continued history of re- 
movals and creation of new agencies. Since 1863, when Fort 
Laramie was the abiding place of these people, they have up to 
the present moved eight or ten times, sometimes a distance of 
three or four hundred miles.'" 

The commissioner of Indian affairs in his annual report, 
dated November 15, 1871, said: 

The Sioux of the band under the noted chief Red Cloud have for 
the time being a temporary location north of the Platte River, about 
thirty miles south [southeast] of Fort Laramie, Wyoming Territory.* 

The Indians wanted to go south of the Platte, while the 
agent tried in vain to establish them at a permanent agency 
on Rawhide Creek, about forty miles north of Fort Laramie. 

The chiefs and headmen then met In council on the 29th day of 
June, and selected the site we now occupy, thirty-two miles below 
Fort Laramie, on the north side of the Platte River, and asked that I 
occupy it as soon as possible, and resume the issue of rations.' 

A temporary agency was established here. The ruins of the 
agency buildings are on the northwest quarter of section 3, 
township 23, range 60 west, a short distance from the site of 
the Lower P. F. ranch house, and a little over a mile, nearly 
west, from the town of Henry, Nebraska, which is situated in 
the northwestern corner of section 3, township 23, range 58 
west, but range 59 is omitted on that side, which begins w4th 
section 3, range 60. 

Mr. Erie H. Reid of Torrington, Wyo., wrote the following 
information about the P. F. Ranch after making an investiga- 
tion in December, 1917: 

At the time the map of the Reclamation Service was made, 1908 I 
believe, the nearest station was Pratt, since abandoned. There is 
nothing now to mark the spot, and there was never anything more 
there than a section house and tool house. These buildings were 
moved east of the state line to Henry when It was laid out. I am* 
unable to account for the surveying trick that eliminates sections 5 
and 6 and the major portion of section 4 from range 58; all of range 
59 and sections 1, 2, and what appears to be a portion of section 3 
from range 60. I was also under the impression that the state line 
between Wyoming and Nebraska followed the 104th meridian, but 
you will note from the map that the meridian is almost three miles 
east of the line. As I think back I believe that the topographer who 
located Pratt on the south side of the track was rather arbitrary about 
it, for the section house was on the north side of the track and only 
the tool house on the other side. 

'Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1879, p. 37. 
♦7&id., 1871, p. 4. 

° Report of J. H. Wham, special agent at the Red Cloud agency, 
October 26, 1871, ihid., pp. 698, 699. 



FIRST SCOTTS BLUFF SETTLEMENT 109 

No doubt you know that the ranch In question took its name from 
the Pratt and Ferris Cattle Company who were Its one time, and, 
locally at least, its best known owners. I use the plural advisedly, 
for the company was not incorporated, as far as I can learn. Ferris 
had the controlling interest, which he sold to Levi Z. Leiter, and the 
division of this property by an action In partition established our law 
on that subject in Wyoming. The case is known as Field versus 
Leiter, the "Field" being Marshall Field of Chicago, whom Colonel 
Pratt had constituted his trustee during his life time. It established 
some law but left a cloud on the title to the land Involved, and the old 
ranch has never been cut up. 

While I said above that the ranch took its name from the name of 
the company I am rather inclined to think that it came directly from 
the brand which probably was used before the ranch was named. The 
brand Is made thus: 



I traced the enclosed map from a map made by the U. S. Reclama- 
tion Service, and it is accurate. [See next page.] 

On September 15, 1872, the agent reported that there were 
at the agency, 6,320 Teton Sioux, 1,515 Cheyenne, and 1,342 
Arapaho. These Sioux comprised all of the Oglala band of 
the Teton or prairie Sioux, excepting about thirty lodges of 
hostiles, and the Upper Brules.^ Red Cloud, chief of the 
Oglala, was a crafty and masterful leader of the large number 
of the Indians of the plains who held out against the peace 
policy persistently pursued at Washington, which involved 
also the plan of settling all the Indians on reservations. 
Spotted Tail, not much his inferior in prestige, was a prin- 
cipal chief of the Brule band of the Teton Sioux. In the clash 
of interests and attitudes toward the policy of their white 
masters, the influence and practical jurisdiction of these chiefs 
was variable and uncertain. Thus, while Spotted Tail was 
generally classed as a chief of the Upper Brules, in 1865 he 
acted as chief of the Lower Brules. The chiefs of the Brul6 
tribe signed the Sioux treaty of 1868, as such, without making 
the "Upper" and ''Lower" distinction. But these two powerful 
insurgent chiefs were alike in this: they persistently wan- 
dered, and not far apart, until they obtained the permanent 
locations they preferred from the first. In spite of Red Cloud's 
opposition, early in August, 1873, the agency was moved from 
the Platte to a place on the right bank of White River about a 
mile east of the site now occupied by Fort Robinson. This post 
was established soon after the removal, for the purpose of con- 
trolling these turbulent Indians.^ 



•Ihid., 1872, p. 267; ibid., 1873, p. 338. 
'Hid., 1873, p. 243; ibid., 1874, p. 251. 



110 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 




FIRST SCOTTS BLUFF SETTLE^IENT 111 

In 1867, 1,200 Brul<^ and Oglala, under Spotted Tail and 
Swift Bear, were ranging on the Ke})ul)Iit'an Kiver, and at that 
time the Lower Brul^'S were "fully committed to the project 
of starting a reservation at the mouth of AVhite Biver . . ." 
On November 6, 1868, the superintendent of the northern super- 
intendency reported that "Spotted Tail, Swift Bear, and their 
followers, numbering in all about 1,200 Indians, have acted in 
the utmost good faith, and in compliance with the treaty have 
moved from their hunting grounds soutli of the Platte river to 
the new reservation in Dakota."^ 

The agencj'^, called Whetstone, was established in August, 
1868, on the west bank of the Missouri River near the mouth 
of Whetstone Creek, about eighteen miles by wagon road above 
Fort Randall and now in Gregory county. South Dakota. A 
year later the Indians immediately at the agency were about 
one thousand seceders from various bands of Sioux and 
Cheyenne, called Loafers, Spotted Tail was not yet settled 
down near the agenc.y but had a roving camp from thirty to 
sixty miles distant. His people disliked the location and much 
preferred the forks of White River, about sixty miles, in a 
direct line, above its mouth, which is now on the northern 
boundary of Mellette countv. There were some Oglala with 
Spotted Tail.« 

In 1870 about 4,500 — Upper Bruits, Oglala and Loafers — 
were drawing subsistence at Whetstone agency, about half of 
them living at the agency.^** When the Red Cloud agency was 
removed from the Platte to White River, the Whetstone agency 
was situated about forty miles farther down the river, to the 
northeast. The mouth of Big AVhite Clay Creek was about 
twenty miles still farther down.^^ The agent, with the Indians 
and train of supplies, started on the journey June 1, 1871. The 
agent who conducted the removal said : "As the selection of a 
location was left to Spotted Tail and the other chiefs and head- 
men, I allowed them to guide me to the point chosen — Big 
White Clay — which was reached on June 24." The name 
Whetstone was carried over to the new location. The 
agency was originally "so-called from its former location at 
the junction of the Whetstone with the Missouri River."^^ 
The location of the agency was very undesirable, and in Feb- 

^IMd., 1867, pp. 268-9, 226; ibid., 1SQ8— Report of the Secretary of 
the Interior, 1868, p. 690. 

*Ibid., 1869, pp. 757, 758. 

"7bid., 1870, p. 670. 

^Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners, 1874, p. 65; Report 
of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1874, p. 91. 

''Ihid., 1871, p. 527; ibid., 1872, p. 45. 



112 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

ruary, 1874, the "Sioux Commission" was appointed to select 
a new one. On September 5, 1874, it chose a site "at West 
Beaver Creek, ten miles south from the present agency," and 
twelve miles south of the boundary between Nebraska and 
Dakota. According to the report of the agent, dated Septem- 
ber 20, 1875, the property was removed "last fall and winter". 
According to a census taken "after removal" the total number 
of Indians at the agency was 9,610 — 7,292 Agency Brules, 700 
Lower Brules, 429 Northern Brules, 1,189 Miniconjou and other 
northern tribes.^- The name was changed to Spotted Tail at 
the beginning of the year 1875. "Camp Sheridan was located 
at the same time, last year, as this agency, half a mile above 
us in Beaver Creek"; but it was removed to another place on 
the creek, a mile below the agency, in the summer of 1875.^* 
The post was situated in the northern part of township 33, 
range 46 west. Spotted Tail resisted removal, it was said, be- 
cause his band was comfortably situated on Bordeaux Creek 
about twelve miles west of the Beaver. The commission re- 
ported that he was inordinately conceited and selfish.^^ 

As early as 1874 the board of Indian commissioners insisted 
that the northern boundary line of Nebraska ought to be run. 
"A survey", they said, "will probably make it apparent that 
the Nebraska line runs far north of what the Indians suppose 
to be the southern boundary of their reservation. It is un- 
fortunate that the treaty of 1868 determines the southern 
limits of the reservation by an imaginary line."^® 

In a joint memorial the Nebraska legislature of 1875 re~ 
solved 

That we call upon the general government and demand that it shall 
immediately remove from within the boundaries of the State of Ne- 
braska, the Indian agencies of Red Cloud and Spotted Tail, and the 
Indians who have been brought into our state and located at and about 
said agencies without the consent of the state, and, also, that it take 
steps to abrogate the pretended hunting and other rights claimed to 
have been given said Indians in the said treaty" — of 1868." 

On October 27, 1877, about 4,600 Indians started from the 
Red Cloud agency, near Fort Robinson, to the mouth of Yel- 
low Medicine Creek (now Medicine Creek, in Lyman county, 
South Dakota), the site of the new agency, at which the 
caravan arrived on November 25. The Indians established 
their camp about sixty miles southwest of the agency, not get- 
ting any nearer to the Missouri River. The Spotted Tail 

"/bid., 1874, pp. 87, 95, 96; iUd., 1875 p. 254. 

"J6id., 1875, p. 254. 

" Report of the Board of Indian Commissioners, 1874, p. 65. 

"Ibid., pp. 64-65. 

" Laics of Nebraska, 1875, p. 338. 



FIRST SCOTTS BLUFF SP:TTLEMENT 113 

agency was removed in October. 1877, to the old Ponca 
agency.^^ 

An act of Congress of June 20, 1878, authorized the ap- 
pointment of three commissioners "to visit the Red Cloud and 
Spotted Tail Indians" and *'to confer with them about their 
permanent location . . ."^» The commission selected a site for 
the Spotted Tail agency on the western bank of Rosebud Creek, 
about two miles and a half from its confluence with the South 
Fork of White River, where the Indians wanted to go, though 
the commissioners wished to place it on Wounded Knee Creek. 
The Red Cloud agency was placed on Big White Clay Creek, in 
the southwestern part of the reservation and about a mile and 
three-quarters north of the Nebraska boundary. Spotted Tail 
moved in August, 1878, and Red Cloud in the following winter. 
The commission recommended that the names of the agencies 
be changed — Red Cloud to Pine Ridge and Spotted Tail to 
Rosebud — to avoid the confusion arising from the fact that the 
old names had been applied to many agencies.^" Whatever the 
reason for thus dropping the names of these famous chiefs, the 
incident must have added a pang to the painful surrender of 
their unrestrained freedom for the little limits of their final 
reservations. However, each died where, subject to the inex- 
orable force of events against which they had fiercely fought, 
he had chosen to live. In 1916 there were 7,288 Indians, 
classed as Oglala Sioux, at the Red Cloud agency, and 5,521, 
classed as Brule Sioux, at the Rosebud agency. The case of 
these two formidable bands of insurgent Indians is typical of 
the long struggle of the white masters of the red men to push 
them oft' their ancestral domains and confine them permanently 
to comparatively small reservations. The prosecution of this 
policy involved many bloody battles. The last of great con- 
sequence is called the Custer massacre, of 1876. The very last, 
in 1890, called the battle of Wounded Knee, was also a mas- 
sacre, but this time of, instead of by, the Indians. It might, 
very charitably perhaps, be called a blunder. 

^Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1877, p. 18; 1878, 
pp. XXIX, 36, 38, 157. 

" V. 8. Statutes at Large, XX, 80, 232. 

^Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1878, pp. xxvlii, 
38, 158, 159; ibid., 1879, p. 39; ibid., 1880, p. xxvill. For location of 
these Sioux agencies see maps ibid., 1878, p. 154; ibid., 1880, frontis- 
piece. 



THE OMAHA INDIANS FORTY YEARS AGO 
By Jacob Vore, Agent 

I was nominated by President Grant for agent of the 
Indians in December, 1875, but through the selfish politi- 
cal influences of the Nebraska senators, Hitchcock aod 
Paddock, my nomination was not confirmed until the fol- 
lowing July, I believe. I was from Indiana, and the sen- 
ators wanted the agent to be a citizen of Nebraska. I re- 
ceived my appointment in August and immediately took 
charge of the agency. At that time there were about 1,100 
Indians in the tribe. I saw at once that to produce any 
material improvement in their condition and to bring them 
to a state of comfortable self-support and the adoption of 
more civilized ideas and habits would require earnest labor 
and diligent and persevering effort, not only in the office 
but out of it and amongst the Indians, in order to encour- 
age them through my presence and advice to more active 
habits of industry and a better knowledge of their own in- 
terests. I tried to shoAV them that I felt an interest in 
working for their good, and I wanted them to be willing to, 
and to feel an interest in working with me, for by doing so 
they would be improving their condition and adding to 
their knowledge of how to do the best for themselves. 
Many of tliem appeared to understand and in some meas- 
ure appreciate my advice; but to accept it gradually in 
practice, the more intelligent were ready to adopt it. 

The chiefs appeared less inclined to adopt habits of 
civilization, for that would lessen their influence over the 
tribe, which they held to be of first importance to them, 
and whicli even then was becoming precarious. The tribe 
was divided at that time into two parties, the chiefs' party 



OMAHA INDIANS FORTY YEARS AGO 115 

and tlie yoiinjj: men's party; and they were nearly equally 
divided, but the young men claiming the preponderance in 
numbers; but as they had no offices, nor officers to nomi- 
nate or elect, nor any money in the treasury, there was no 
active strife among them. 

To show the industrial progi'ess of the Omaha: I had 
the threshing of the wheat crop of 1876 to do soon after I 
took charge at the agency. The crop of that year amounted 
to 5,000 bushels, the largest, it was said, they ever had 
raised. The next winter I had 40 harrows made for them 
against 10 the preceding year. In the spring of 1877 I 
furnished them 100 double shovel plows, against none be- 
fore, a good supply of breaking and stirring plows, harness, 
and a large number of wagons, as well as I can recollect, 
75, but it may have been 100, which gave them material en- 
couragement. And in 1878 I made them another liberal 
issue of implements and wagons. And when the wheat 
crop of 1877 was threshed it yielded a little more than 
12,000 bushels as against 5,000 the preceding year. Their 
other crops were increased, but not to the same extent. 
The wheat crop of 1878 reached 20,000 bushels of choice 
wheat, and they broke up over 350 acres of new prairie 
with their own pony teams. The agent of the Winnebago 
told me tiiat in the same year he found it difficult to get 
his Indians to break 200 acres, although he paid them one 
dollar per acre and the Indian department had issued 
them 100 horses, two years before. In 1879 the Omaha 
had an increase in acreage of wheat, but the season being 
unfavorable for ripening, the crop was about 1,000 bushels 
less than tlie preceding year. 

During the three years I was with them the Omaha 
improved so perceptibly that it became a matter of some 
notoriety, so that tlie newspapers, especially the Sioux City 
papers and tlie Omaha ReraJd, frequently remarked favor- 
ably about it, so that visitors from Omaha and other places 
in the surrounding country visited the agency to see for 
themselves, and expressed surprise at the improvements 



116 NEBKASKA STATE HISTOKICAL SOCIETY 

the Indians had made in a few years in habits of industry 
and self-dependence, with some advancement in civilized 
manner of dress. My predecessor had given them encour- 
agement by moderate supplies of implements, as he thought 
adapted to their present disposition to use them, and other- 
wise encouraged them by advice and just and honest treat- 
ment, and thereby secured their confidence. And when I 
took charge they were in a condition to improve more 
rapidly than before, but the change was mostly of gradual 
growth, and was largely dependent on judicious counsel 
and the earnestness of example set by the agent and his 
employees. Where employees are moral and industrious 
and show an interest in the service they can do much for 
the advancement of the Indians. But to accomplish suc- 
cess the agent must set and continue the example and over- 
sight. I found that the Indians were pleased when I visited 
them at their work and said encouraging words to them. 

In November, 1876, the time came for the annual an- 
nuity in money to be paid them, which had been about 
|8,000. Believing as I did that the less they depended on 
annuities the more they would strive to help themselves 
and the less they would depend on extraneous assistance, 
I estimated for |5,000, and stated my views on the sub- 
ject to the commissioner of Indian affairs, which were ap- 
proved, and I was authorized to pay them that amount. 
The chiefs and a few of their followers complained at being 
cut down in their annuity expectations, but I told them 
that was the amount the Indian department allowed me 
to pay them that year, that the commissioner thought they 
were getting able to support themselves and they ought to 
save their money for future needs. They were generally 
satisfied, or did not complain. The white trader at the 
agency appeared to be most dissatisfied. After they re- 
ceived their annuity a large number of the Indians de- 
termined to go on their annual winter hunt for buffaloes 
and would not be dissuaded from it, mostly taking their 
families and about all their subsistence with them. The 



OMAHA INDIANS FORTY YEARS AGO 117 

winter proved an unusually severe one, and the buffaloes 
were gettinjj scarce and further off on account of the more 
western tribes killing them and driving them farther west, 
so that the Omaha had very poor success in hunting. And 
the snow being unusually deep and the weather very cold 
they found returning so extremely difficult that they could 
make but little progress. Their supplies becoming ex- 
hausted, they were on the border of starvation, and their 
ponies, in but little better condition than they were them- 
selves, could help them but little. Their condition was 
such that army officers on the west interposed and induced 
the Indian department to render them relief. They came 
home late, after losing two men and two or three children, 
as I now recollect it. On their return they were impover- 
ished, as they had left nothing at home to supply their 
wants on their return, and were dependent on those who 
stayed at home, which was a serious burden to them. 
Knowing their condition I asked and received authority to 
issue |3,000 to the tribe in cash to support them until they 
could raise a crop, which was the last annuity I paid them. 
After resting a short time they went to work with a will 
that was really creditable to them, and raised much the 
largest crop they had ever raised. That experience put an 
end to their hunting expeditions. 

The Omaha were much annoyed and injured for many 
years by the Winnebago stealing their ponies. They re- 
ported 125 stolen and several were stolen afterward. The 
Omaha never retaliated in the same way, and the Winne- 
bago tantalized them with being too cowardly to steal 
from them. They resented the insinuation and said it was 
not because they were afraid but it was dishonest and 
mean, and they did not want to do like tlie Winnebago. 
But when the last raid was made on the Omaha ponies the 
Indians came to me and said the stealing must be stopped, 
that they had stood it as long as they would and if the 
agents didn't stop it they would take the matter in their 
own hands and that would make trouble between the tribes 



118 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

and likely bloodshed. I then went to see the agent to tiy 
to induce him to take nwre prompt action with his Indians 
in order to prevent a collision, but he told me as he had 
told the Omaha, that he didn't believe he could stop the 
stealing, that the ponies, when stolen, were run across the 
Missouri into Iowa, and that his policemen would not 
pursue or arrest the thieves, but would rather help them to 
escape. I then proposed, as his Indians had committed the 
depredations, that he appeal to the Indian department for 
means to employ a capable white officer to discover and 
break up their rendezvous for the sale of the stolen prop- 
erty. He replied that he thought that would be useless as 
he did not suppose the department would take any notice 
of his application. 

I then appealed to the commissioner of Indian affairs, 
myself stating the situation and the trouble likely to arise 
if the Omaha were not protected in their property and 
asked for a hundred dollars for the purpose of employing a 
competent white man to serve as a policeman, to pursue 
and break up the den of pony thieves and their confeder- 
ates. The commissioner promptly responded, allowing me 
to use tliat amount. I at once employed an energetic white 
man who traced them to the place of concealment and sale 
of ponies at or near Spirit Lake, Iowa. That broke up 
pony stealing from the Omaha while I was there, and five 
years after I visited the agency and was told by the Indians 
that there had not been a pony stolen since I left. 

I have written the above to show the more than usual 
civilized patience and forbearance of the Omaha under 
trying circumstances. 

I have written in a somewhat fragmentary manner, just 
as memory has been pleased to come to my aid, with a 
pretty clear perception of the correctness of what I have 
written. 

The Omaha are peaceable and honestly disposed, with a 
higher sense of morality, backed by industrious habits, than 



OMAHA INDIANS FOIITY YEARS AGO 119 

any of the tribes I had any acquaintance Avith, except the 
Ponca, who were formerly of the same tribe; and between 
those tAvo tribes there was kept up a friendly correspond- 
ence and interchange of presents. 

The Omaha chiefs and their tribal relations, which it 
seemed to be their object and chief purpose to maintain, 
were the most apparent obstacle to the more rapid advance- 
ment of the tribe in civilization and the adoption of the 
customs of the whites. The chiefs had long considered 
themselves the heads of their tribe and highly valued their 
tribal authority and influence and did not willingly re- 
linquish them; indeed but little more so than partisan 
politicians do their positions and influence in more civil- 
ized and intelligent forms of government. 

I understood that prior to the time that my predecessor 
was appointed agent it had been usual for Indian candi- 
dates for policemen for the tribe to appeal to the chiefs for 
their endorsement, and that the candidates who could offer 
the most liberal bonus in ponies to the chiefs generally 
secured their endorsements. Whether the aborigines 
learned that art from civilization or civilization from the 
aborigines, or whether both classes had the will and in- 
clination inherently I will not attempt to decide. 

My predecessor had exerted some influence over many 
of the Indians by showing them the disadvantages of their 
tribal habits in comparison with more civilized modes of 
living, and wherein their conditions would be materially 
improved by giving up their tribal relations and customs 
and embracing the white man's ways of living and dressing. 
And so far as I observed the chiefs did not appear to exert 
any arbitrarj^ authority over the tribe, nor any encour- 
agement to improve or progress, but by appealing to their 
ancestral lives and customs with the view of persuading 
them to maintain their standing and identity as a tribe 
among the Indian nations, which with civilized peoples 
would hardly be considered unpatriotic. 

But being surrounded by civilized life and customs and 



120 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

the evidences of plenty and comfort through moderate in- 
dustry and economy, it only requires patience, persever- 
ance and just dealing, with good example, to convince the 
tribe, young and old, that civilized life with its inviting ad- 
vantages is not only much preferable to their former lives, 
but desirable to strive for. The chiefs said they were too 
old to change, but the young men could change if they 
wanted to. But their advancement will depend much on 
their teachers, on the energy and good judgment of agents 
and those hnving the oversight of them. And that requires 
extra hibor and vigilance, and that without any extra com- 
pensation and frequently with less than thankfulness, both 
from the department and interested whites. 

In 1885, I believe, about 50,000 acres from the west 
portion of the Omaha reserve were sold, as I understood 
for near |500,000, and the proceeds annually distributed 
to the tribe, which I have been informed has not operated 
as an incentive to many of the Indians to work and provide 
for themselves, but on the contrary seems to have induced 
a return to their old habits of indolence and dependence. 

After the spring of 3877, when the Omaha returned 
from their unfortunate hunt, until the fall of 1879 when 
I gave up the agency, I paid no annuity. The first year 
the chiefs complained some, mostly through the counsel of 
one of the traders, who I learned was holding counsel with 
them late at night to induce them to believe that I could 
get them annuities if I would. When I discovered that, I 
called on the trader and told him what I had learned and 
that he was going too far and that if he did not change his 
course and correct the impressions he had tried to make on 
the chiefs it would be necessary for him to look out for 
another trading post. 

I was troubled with the chiefs but little afterwards ; in- 
deed, considering that I was as firm as I was, although I 
aimed to treat them respectfully and becomingly, I thought 
it was remarkable that I appeared to have their confidence 



OMAHA INDIANS FORTY YEARS AGO 121 

and good will as I did; but I found they respected that 

spirit. 

To illustrate their feeling I may say that when I was 

about to retire from the agency I called a council of the 

Indians at which the chiefs were all present and on my 

informing them that I was about to leave them the head 

chief addressed me about as follows : 

Major, we are sorry that you are goiug to leave us, we 
want you to stay with us because we have got to know your 
ways. For a while after you was agent we did not understand 
your ways. Your ways were different from other agents' ways, 
and we did not understand them for a good while, and we 
didn't like you very well ; but when we got to understand your 
ways we found they were good ways, and now we like them and 
want to follow your ways, and we are afraid if another agent 
comes his ways will not be like your ways and our young peo- 
ple will go back like the Winnebago. 

Several of the other chiefs expressed the same feeling. 
In conclusion, I may say that I had no trouble with the 
Indians. I never enjoyed myself more than when I was 
faithfully laboring for the improvement and the interests 
of the Indians. 

EXPLANATORY ADDENDUM BY THE EDITOR 

Mr. Vore, a member of a Society of Friends, assumed the 
office on September 21, 1876, succeeding T. T. Gillingham, also 
a Friend. How Indian agents came to be chosen from these 
particular people is related in the report of the commissioner 
of Indian affairs for 1872, as follows: 

For the year preceding the passage of the act of July 15, 1870, all 
superintendents of Indian affairs and Indian agents, with the exception 
of those for the States of Kansas and Nebraska, were officers of the 
Army assigned to duty under the orders of the Indian Office. In the 
two states named, however, the superintendents of Indian affairs and 
Indian agents had been for somewhat more than a year appointed by 
the Executive upon the recommendation of the two Societies of Friends, 
the appointees being in all cases recognized members of one or the 
other of those religious bodies, and, while duly subordinate and re- 
sponsible in all official respects to the Indian Office, maintaining close 
correspondence with committees of their respective societies appointed 
for that purpose. So fortunate were the results of this system of ap- 
pointment in Kansas and Nebraska considered, that when, under the 
provisions of the 18th section of the act of July 15, 1870, it became 
necessary to relieve officers of the Army from this service, it was de- 
cided by the Executive that all the agencies thus vacated in the re- 



122 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

maining States and the Territories should be filled by appointment 
upon the recommendation of some religious body; and to this end the 
agencies were, so to speak, apportioned among the .prominent denom- 
inational associations of the country, or the missionary societies rep- 
resenting such denominational views; and these associations or 
societies were thereupon requested to place themselves in communica- 
tion with the Department of the Interior, to make nominations to the 
position of agent whenever a vacancy should occur within the list of 
the agencies assigned them respectively, and in and through this extra- 
official relationship to assume charge of the intellectual and moral 
education of the Indians thus brought within the reach of their influ- 
ence. The reason formally announced for this somewhat anomalous 
order of appointment was the desirableness of securing harmony be- 
tween agents and missionaries, complaints having become general that, 
in the frequent change of agents, no missionary efforts could long be 
carried on at any specified agency without encountering, sooner or 
later, from some agent of different religious views or of no religious 
views, a degree of opposition or persecution which would necessarily 
extinguish such missionary enterprise and even destroy the fruits of 
past labors. When it is remembered that efforts of this kind must, 
to achieve valuable results, be continued for many years, confidence 
being a plant of slow growth in savage breasts, and the hope of the 
missionary being almost universally founded on the education of the 
rising generation, while, in fact, Indian agents were under the old 
political regime changed every few months, or every two or three years 
at the longest, it will readily be seen that the chances of missionary 
enterprises being cut off in the flower were far greater than the 
chances of continuance and success. Such indeed had been the general 
history of these efforts among the Indians of North America, and it 
may fairly be said that almost the only enterprises of this kind which 
have secured a permanent footing are those which preceded the Gov- 
ernment control of the Indians, and which had founded themselves on 
the confidence and sympathies of the natives too strongly to be shaken 
by official hostility or neglect. 

While, however, the im,portance of securing harmony of feeling and 
concert of action between the agents of the Government and the mis- 
sionaries at the several agencies, in the matter of the moral and re- 
ligious advancement of the Indians, was the single reason formally 
given for placing the nominations to Indian agencies in the hands of 
the denominational societies, it is, perhaps, not improper to say that 
the Executive was also influenced by the consideration that the general 
character of the Indian service might be distinctly improved by taking 
the nomination to the office of agent out of the domain of politics and 
placing it where no motives but those of disinterested benevolence 
could be presumed to prevail. 

The Hicksite Friends have in their charge 6 agencies, with 6,598 
Indians; Orthodox Friends, 10 agencies, with 17,724 Indians; Baptists, 
5 agencies, with 40,800 Indians; Presbyterians, 9 agencies, with 38,069 
Indians; Christians, 2 agencies, with 8,287 Indians; Methodists, 14 
agencies, with 54,473 Indians; Catholics, 7 agencies, with 17,856 In- 
dians; Reformed Dutch, 5 agencies, with 8,118 Indians; Congregational- 
ist, 3 agencies, with 14,476 Indians; Episcopalians, 8 agencies, with 
26,929 Indians; the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions, 1 agency, with 1,496 Indians; Unitarians, 2 agencies, with 
3,800 Indians; Lutherans, 1 agency, with 273 Indians.* 



* Report of the Secretary of the Interior, 1872, pp. 460, 461, 46i 



OMAHA INDIANS FORTY YEARS AGO 123 

Section 18 of the act of 1870 adverted to prohibited oflBcers 
of the army from holding any civil office." 

The commissioner of Indian affairs, in his report for 1876,' 
apologized for the shortcoming of the service as follows: 

The great want of the Indian service has always been thoroughly 
competent agents. The President has sought to secure proper persons 
for these important offices by inviting the several religious organiza- 
tions, through their constituted authorities, to nominate to him men 
for whose ability, character, and conduct they are willing to vouch. 
I believe the churches have endeavored to perform this duty faithfully, 
and to a fair degree have succeeded; but they experience great difficulty 
In Inducing persons possessed of the requisite qualifications to accept 
these positions. When it is considered that these men must take their 
families far into the wilderness, cut themselves off from civilization 
with its comforts and attractions, deprive their children of the ad- 
vantages of education, live lives of anxiety and toil, give bonds for 
great sums of money, be held responsible in some instances for the 
expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and subject 
themselves to ever-ready suspicion, detraction, and calumny, for a 
compensation less than that paid to a third-class clerk In Washington, 
or to a village postmaster, it is not strange that able, upright, thor- 
oughly competent men hesitate, and decline to accept the position of 
an Indian agent, or if they accept, resign the position after a short trial. 

Section 4 of the act of Congress of April 10, 1869, making 
appropriations for the expense of the Indian department, au- 
thorized the president to organize a board of commissioners of 
not more than ten persons, "who may, under his direction, ex- 
ercise joint control with the Secretary of the Interior over the 
disbursement of the appropriations made by this act or any 
part thereof that the President may designate. . . .''* Presi- 
dent Grant promulgated regulations for the guidance of the 
board June 3, 1869.^ This board is still in existence. It at 
once assumed authority under the act creating it to farm out 
the appointment of Indian agents to the several religious or- 
ganizations. The northern superintendency, comprising the 
six agencies in Nebraska, were allotted to the Hicksite denom- 
ination of the Society of Friends, who acted so promptly, per 
haps it should be said, with such avidity, that within a very 
few months all the Gentile agents and the superintendent had 
been superseded by their own sectaries. "^ 

But this strange recrudescence of theocracy was of course 
short-lived, and by 1881 a Gentile had succeeded to the super- 
intendency, and all of the sectarian agents but one had been 
ousted by unregenerate politicians. This notable exception 

» TJ. S. statutes at Large, XVI, p. 319. 

" Page Iv. 

* V. 8. Statutes at Large, XVI, p. 40. 

'Report of the Secretary of the Interior, 1869, p. 486. 

' Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1869, p. 5. 



124 NEBKASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

was Isaiah Lightner of the Santee agency. He successfully 
withstood Eepublican besiegers but was finally overcome soon 
after the change to a democratic administration in 1885. 

In his first report — for 1877 — Carl Schurz, secretary of the 
interior under the Hayes administration, sharply criticized 
the inefficiency and dishonesty of the sectarian organization 
of the Indian bureau, and in his second report he said : "The 
Indian service has been reorganized in several of its branches. 
It was found necessary to remove a number of agents on ac- 
count of improper practices or lack of business efficiency, and 
great care has been taken in filling their places with new 
men."" These statements by Mr. Schurz are entitled to cre- 
dence. 

In the report of the board of Indian commissioners for 
1881^ it appears that "Gen. Grant was led to ask for and to 
secure the legislation that created this board"; that without 
any special conference with the religious bodies some member 
of the board, perhaps its secretary, Vincent Colyer, proposed 
to divide up the agencies among the different denominations; 
that Colyer had much to do with the original assignment of 
agencies ; that the secretaries of some of the religious societies 
were summoned to Washington where it was agreed that the 
agents should be nominated by those bodies ; that the president 
and the secretary of the interior (Jacob D. Cox of Ohio), who 
were present at the meeting, there asked to be relieved from 
the pressure of politicians : "So it went on without any special 
rule, and since that date most of the agents have been nomi- 
nated by these religious bodies" ; that the Hayes administration 
cooled the scheme; that under Garfield's administration no 
agents were nominated by religious societies ; and that Arthur's 
administration gave the theocracy its quietus. At the Mohonk 
Lake conference of "friends of Indian civilization", in Oc- 
tober, 1885, it was sadly said that "The present system allows 
the selection of an agent with no reference to the Indian what- 
ever, but to political considerations and political rewards."® 

Local newspapers had long been charging the administra- 
tion of the Nebraska agencies with peculation and incompe- 
tency under the purely spoils system which preceded the 
Quaker regime. The change doubtless brought some improve- 
ment, and the superior capacity, both mental and moral, of 
Secretary Schurz, still more. 

By the treaty between the United States and the Omaha 
Indians, dated March 16, 1854, in consideration of the cession 

' Report of the Secretary of the Interior, 1877, p. XII; 1878, pt. I, p. 
iv. 

* Page 87. 

'Report of the Secretary of the Interior, 1885, I, 823. 



OMAHA INDIANS FORTY YEARS AGO 125 

by the Indians of all their lands in Nebraska excejjt their reser- 
vation, it was provided that they should be paid forty thousand 
dollars annually for three years, thirty thousand dollars an- 
nually for ten years next succeeding the three j-^ears, twenty 
thousand dollars annually for the fifteen years next succeeding 
the ten years, and ten thousand dollars annually for the term 
of twelve years next succeeding the fifteen years. The twenty 
thousand dollars per annum was being paid while Mr. Vore was 
agent. It was discretionary with the department of Indian 
affairs to pay these installments all in money or partly in 
goods or other benefits. 

Under the acts of Congress of August 7, 1882, and March 3, 
1885, the 50,157.27 acres lying west of the right of way of the 
Sioux City and Nebraska Railroad Company were sold in 1885. 
The appraised value of this part of the reservation so sold was 
1512,670.24. 



EARLIEST SETTLERS IN RICHARDSON COUNTY 
By SarxVh E. (Crook) Wilhite 

B. F. Leachman, the first native white child of Rich- 
ardson county, was born August 18, 1855. The first death 
in the county was that of Mrs. Purgett in February, 1855. 
The first recorded marriage was between Wilson M. Mad- 
dox and Miss Margaret Miller, which occurred in October, 
1855. Mrs. Maddox resides in Falls City. 

The first minister of the gospel. Rev. Hart (Methodist), 
came in the summer of 1855. Mrs. Samuels, a one-armed 
lady, taught the first school, in 1855, in a small log hut 
near Muddy Creek. The boys chopped the wood and built 
the fires, and the girls swept the cabin and carried water 
from a spring nearby. The school children's dinners con- 
sisted principally of corn bread and bacon. Wheat flour in 
those days was a luxury, and some biscuits, made from a 
sack of it, donated by a family in our neighborhood, was 
long remembered by us children as a great treat. The first 
physician in the county was Mrs. Sallie Dodge, as she was 
familiarly called. Uncle Jesse Crook came in August, 1854, 
and squatted on a claim. His wife and three small children, 
with a small colony from Tennessee, arrived at Muddy 
Creek on the 17th day of April, 1855, crossing the Missouri 
River at sundown, at a place known as St. Stephens. The 
Crook household goods were in a wagon drawn by oxen, and 
in driving off the ferryboat the wagon upset, throwing most 
of the goods into the river. We stopped over night at St. 
Stephens, and next day, April 17, 1855, journeyed to our 
new home, a mile and a half northeast from the place now 
occupied by Falls City. Our cabin had one door, a stick 
and clay chimney, completed only about half way up one 



SETTLERS IN RICHARDSON COUNTY 127 

end, and was without windows or other improvements. 
The men had to sleep in the wagons, and the cookinjij was 
done on the outside by a campfire. There was nothing to 
be seen but wolves, Indians and the vast prairies, and our 
only music was the howling of wolves. The Indians were 
very fond of coming to our cabin and watching us at our 
work. 

Where we crossed the Muddy to our new iiome the 
banks were so steep that it was necessary to fasten ropes to 
the end of the wagons so that by holding onto tliem the 
men kept the wagons from tipping forward on the oxen. 
The first Fourth of July celebration in Richardson county 
was held at Salem on the 3d, 1856, as the fourth came on 
Sunday, and the second was at Rulo on the 5th of the same 
month. The first Fourth of July celebration at Falls City 
was in 1857, General Jim Lane was the orator of the day, 
Major Burbank had the only confectionery stand, and the 
music of the occasion was made solely by a fife and a drum. 
The exercises, including dinner, took place under a brush 
arbor. Mrs. Jesse Crook and other pioneer women, most 
of whom have long since passed to the great beyond, pre- 
pared the dinner. The great feature of the celebration was 
a war dance by the Indians for which we gave them dinner. 

The Indians were very friendly. Their reservation was 
about three miles south of Falls City and was a very inter- 
esting place for the whites to visit. For years we had no 
church houses, and our religious services were held in the 
groves on the banks of the streams and in the cabins of the 
settlers. The people had a high regard for these services. 
I saw men, women and children attend them in their bare 
feet. The first church building (Methodist) used exclu- 
sively for church purposes in tlie county was erected in 
Falls City in 1867 and dedicated the same year. Most of 
our provisions, such as sugar, coffee, flour, etc., was hauled 
in wagons from St. Joseph, INIo., so that we were often short 
of some kind of food. I knew one family that lived for 



128 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

weeks in the winter of 1855-56 on nothing but corn bread 
and coffee made of corn meal; and another family had 
nothing to eat for weeks but parched corn. The father 
of this family went to Missouri, over twenty miles, through 
sleet and snow two or more feet deep, and returned home 
with only a ham. The town of Archer was laid out from 
public land in the summer of 1855. It was situated on the 
east side of Muddy Creek about three miles northeast of 
Falls City, near the claim of Judge Miller, who had moved 
thereon the same summer. Judge Miller's daughter, Mar- 
garet, was married to Wilson M. Maddox (now deceased) 
at her father's house in October, 1855. 

The town of Archer consisted of one hotel, owned by 
Judge Miller, two general stores, kept by Abel D. Kirk and 
John F. Welty, one blacksmith shop, four or five dwelling 
houses, and two lawyers, William Loan and Abel D. Kirk. 
The first county officers were Frank L. Goldsberry, county 

clerk; Louis Mesplais, county treasurer; Mc- 

Mullen, sheriff; Judge Miller, probate judge; and Jesse 
Crook, surveyor. The town site of Archer w^as abandoned 
in the year 1857, because the government survey in the 
allotment of land to the Indians included it inside the half- 
breed line.^ Isaac Crook, brother of Jesse Crook, settled 



^ The initials of McMuUen's Christian name are E. G., and Miller's 
Christian name was John C, Archer derived its name from its founder. 
The change of the western boundary of the half-breed tract was the 
result of a resurvey made in 1857 which left Archer about three- 
quarters of a mile within the reservation, but the original line was 
reestablished by act of Congress June 12, 1858. See Watkins, History of 
Nebraska, I, 378, and articles on Archer and the half-breed tract by 
Isham Reavis, republished in the Sunday State Joxirnal, February 7 
and February 28, 1909. 

Mrs. Wilhite, author of this paper, and her husband, Judge J. R. 
Wilhite, live at Falls City. According to Records of Nebraska Terri- 
tory, in December, 1854, Governor Cuming appointed Christian Bobst 
judge of probate of Richardson county, Robert T. Archer, for whom the 
town of Archer was named, sheriff, and Neil J. Sharp county clerk. 
In 1855 Governor Izard appointed county officers as follows: March 
16, Neil Johnson Sharp register of deeds; May 31, J. C. Lincoln 



SETTLERS IN RICHARDSON COUNTY 129 

here with his family on or about April 15, 1856, and here 
his children grew to maturity. 

Fighting prairie fires was one of the worst pioneer hard- 
ships. Very often the settlers would have to turn out for 
this purpose day and niglit; and often homes, crops and 
live stock were consumed. 

David Dorrington, wife and children settled at Falls 
City in September, 1857, where they built their dwelling 
house and made other valuable improvements. They 
lived here until death, and their children who still live 
here are William E. Dorrington, Mrs. Annie (Dorrington) 
Reavis, wife of Judge Isham Reavis, and Kittie L. (Dor- 
rington) Towle, wife of Edwin S. Towle. William E. Dor- 
rington is the oldest resident in point of time now living in 
Falls City. David Dorrington and Mother Dorrington, his 
wife, died long ago. Squire Dorrington, as he Avas famil- 
iarly called, was mayor, justice of the peace and member of 
the city council and of the school board. 

treasurer; August 3, A. D. Kirk surveyor; In November, J. C. Lincoln 
register of deeds, E. G. McMullen sheriff, John C. Miller judge of 
probate; December 27, Ambrose Shelley treasurer. On November 6, 
1855, the first election in the territory of county officers — five in num- 
ber — was held. According to the record above named, those chosen 
in Richardson county are as follows: John C. Miller judge of probate, 
Ambrose Shelley treasurer, J. C. Lincoln register of deeds, E. C. 
McMullen sheriff, Jesse Crook surveyor. Frank L. Goldsberry, county 
clerk, is omitted. According to local historians, Christian Bobst was 
the first actual judge of probate, 1854; E. G. McMullen first sheriff, 
1857; Frank L. Goldsberry first clerk, 1855; Isaac Crook first treas- 
urer, 1857; J. J. Leabo first surveyor, 1857. But pioneer records as 
well as memories are often infirm. — Ed. 



10 



SOME INDIAN PLACE NAMES IN NEBRASKA^ 
/ By Melvin R. Gilmore 

This paper briefly discusses some place names of Ne- 
braska which are derived, directly or indirectly, from the 
aboriginal inhabitants and some of doubtful origin which 
are supposed to be derived from them. Some of these 
names, either true to form or more or less mutilated, have 
been transferred to our own nomenclature — some trans- 
lated, some mistranslated, some misapplied. Some of these 
commemorative place names were given to the tribes by 
themselves, others by their white successors. Some of 
these names are nondescript, and I have found no satis- 
factory explanation for them. 

I shall not here treat in detail the place names still 
employed by the tribes which formerly occupied the region. 
It is sufficient to say that each tribe possesses an ample 
nomenclature, even providing for all the small streams. 
Their place names disclose a wealth of legendary and 
mythologic lore which research has scarcely touched. More- 
over, they indicate a world of aboriginal economics and in- 
dustries which is wholly unexplored. 

Originally all names of persons or of places in all na- 
tions had a meaning, and generally a special fitness of ap- 
plication. This statement applies equally to the nomen- 
clature of the aboriginal Americans and to that of our 
European races. Names are historic monuments, some- 
times significant and worthy, sometimes obscure, trivial or 
frivolous ; but they always have their story to tell. 

Washington Irving has so well expressed the povert}' 
of our geographic nomenclature, at the same time calling 

' A paper read before the Association of American Geographers, 
Chicago, December 29, 1914. 



INDIAN PLACE NAME« 131 

attention to a comparatively little-used but wonderfull}^ 
fertile resource for eurichint^ the same, that I shall here 
quote his words. He says, '^and here we cannot but pause 
to lament the stupid, commonplace, and often ribald names 
entailed upon the rivers and other features of the great 
west, by traders and settlers. As the aboriginal tribes of 
these magnificent regions are still in existence, the Indian 
names might easily be recovered; which, besides being in 
general more sonorous and musical, would remain memen- 
toes of the primitive lords of the soil, of whom in a little 
while scarce any traces will be left. Indeed, it is to be 
wished that the whole of our country could be rescued, as 
much as possible, from the wretched nomenclature inflicted 
upon it, by ignorant and vulgar minds ; and this might be 
done, in a great degree, by restoring the Indian names, 
wherever significant and euphonious." 

Nebraska contained, either partially or wholly within 
its borders, the following tribes: In the northwest were 
the Teton Dakota; along the lower course of the Niobrara 
River, on the north side, were the Ponca ; in the northeast, 
from the Niobrara southward to the Platte River, were the 
Omaha; south of the Platte River, in the southeast, were 
the Oto; next to these w^ere the Iowa, partly on the east 
side of the Missouri River in what is now the state of Iowa, 
and partly west of the Missouri in what is now the extreme 
southeast of Nebraska. South of the Oto were the Kansa, 
from which tribe the state of Kansas is named. The Kansa 
domain extended only a little way within what is now the 
south boundary of Nebraska. All these tribes are of the 
Siouan stock, hence their languages are cognate, although 
mutually unintelligible to each other. In the middle part 
of the state from north to south lay the domain of the 
Pawnee. This was a nation consisting of four tribes of the 
Caddoan stock. The structure of their language is dis- 
tinctly different from that of the Sioux nation. In south- 
west Nebraska and eastern Colorado were the Cheyenne 



132 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

and Arapalio tribes, of the great Algonquian liDgui title 
stock. 

The tribal names of places are usually descriptive of 
some physical feature or commemorative of some person 
or event in the tribal history, or they carry the idea of 
some legendary or mythologic relation. Each tribe had 
its own nomenclature for all the region with which it was 
acquainted. Thus any given stream, lake or hill may have 
six or seven different names among as many different 
tribes. It may be that the same notable feature is the 
motive of the name by which a place is called by two or 
more tribes, but as the languages differ the names will be 
quite different in form. 

When taken serially, and considered in relation to tra- 
ditions and other known facts, place names often show 
lines of migrations of tribes. For example, in northeast 
Nebraska there is a small stream marked on the maps as 
Iowa Creek, although when white men came into the region 
the Iowa were one hundred and fifty or two hundred miles 
farther down the Missouri River. The name of the creek 
is derived from that by which the Omaha call it, namely, 
Mah°uda-waa-i-te. Mah°uda is the Omaha name of the 
Iowa tribe, and their name of the creek means "Creek- 
where-the-Iowa-planted". According to the traditions of 
the Iowa, Omaha, and Ponca, these tribes, in the order 
named, migrated from farther up the Missouri River into 
the region where they were found at the advent of white 
men, the Iowa farthest down, and each tribe afterward 
occupying, successively, lower reaches of the river. Like- 
wise there is a place on the Dismal River, in central west- 
ern Nebraska, which the Omaha call Pado°ka-na"sa-gah°e- 
tha", The (place) where-the-Pado"ka-built-a-fort. When 
white men came into the region the Comanche, or Pado^ka 
as they are called by the Omaha, were much farther south, 
but from several sources we know that they were formerly 
in the western part of the sand-hills region. This Omaha 
place name is corroborative of the fact. 



INDIAN PLACE NAMES 133 

Names invite and reward careful study and exposition, 
for they ai-e records of the past and may throw much light 
on the manner and means of life and cast of thought of the 
people, with some indication of the time of their occupancy. 
But if this research is to be accomplished it must be done 
very soon, before the death of all the old people of the 
tribes; for they alone can give certain information. The 
young people have scanty knowledge of the tribal lore, 
because they have generally been absent all the years of 
their youth, attending schools of European culture, from 
which they return imbued with alien interests and cares. 
When the old people understand my purpose in seeking 
such information from them they often become eagerly in- 
terested and very painstakingly impart their knowledge to 
me. When they are uncertain they will make no statement 
for fear of error. An old man of the Omaha tribe said to 
me: "Kageha" (friend), "I am glad to tell you all that I 
know, for the time will come when the Omaha will be 
walking altogether in the white man's way. We old people 
shall be gone. Unless you write down these things now, 
while we can tell them to you, the knowledge will be lost, 
and our descendants will not know what sort of people 
their ancestors were, how they lived, or what they accom- 
plished." 

Among the names which have been adopted into our 
nomenclature I mention the following: A river in north- 
ern Nebraska retains its Dakota name. Key a Paha, which 
means Turtle Hill.- Leshara is a town in Saunders county, 

^The act of Congress March 2, 1861, for the organization of the ter- 
ritory of Dakota calls this stream "the Keha Paha or Turtle Hill 
River . . ." U. 8. Statutes at Large, XII. 239. An act of March 
3, 1865, provided for the construction of a road "from Niobrara to the 
mouth of Turtle Hill River," and to Virginia City, "with a branch from 
the mouth of Turtle Hill River ... to Omaha." Ibid., XIII, 516. 
As late as December 21, 1878, the Oakdale Pen and Ploio calls the 
stream Turtle Creek. Leach, History of Antelope County, p. 87. Sec- 
tion 20 of the organic act for Dakota provides, "That, the river hereto- 
fore known as the 'River Aux Jacques', or 'James River', shall here- 



134 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

situated on the site of a former Pawnee village which was 
occupied by two tribes of the Pawnee nation, namely 
Kitkehaki and Chaui. Pita Leshara (Man Chief) was 
chief of the Chaui, and a part of his name has been taken 
for the name of the present town. Minichaduza Creek, in 
northern Nebraska, carries its Dakota name, which is 
aptly descriptive of the stream; mini is tlie Dakota word 
for water, chaduza is the w^ord for swift. 

Nebraska, the name of the state, is an approximation to 
the Omaha name of its largest river, which we now call by 
the French translation of the Omaha name, Ni-bthaska ; ni, 
water; bthaska, flat. 

Niobrara, the name of a river in the northern part of the 
state, is likewise an approximation to its Omaha name, Ni- 
ubthatka, meaning spreading river. This is descriptive of 
its widening over sandbars in its lower course. Ni means 
water and bthatka, spreading. The Dakota name of this 
river, Mini-tanka Wakpa, carries the same idea. But the 
Pawnee name, Kits'kakis, means Rapid River; kitsu, 
water ; kakis, rapid or swift. Both these names. Spreading 
River and Rapid River or Running Water, are vividly de- 
scriptive of this stream. 

The city of Omaha bears the name of the tribe within 
whose former domain it is situated. Pohocco is the name 
of a precinct in Saunders county. It is a rather mutilated 
form of the Pawnee name of a prominent hill in that vi- 
cinity, on the Platte River, but outside the limits of that 
precinct. The Pawnee name of the hill is Pahuk, meaning 
headland or promontory. It is the site of the principal 
myth of the Pawnee mythology. I identified this site in 

after be called the Dakota river." But this scintillation of fine taste 
was ineffectual. In derogation of the law, this river is called "James 
or Dakota" on a map Issued from the general land otfice in 1912, and 
it is so called in the Rand & McNally Atlas. In Crane's Atlas Dakota 
is put first. Thus, with doubtful propriety, the awkward Indian name 
persisted, while there seems to have been a conspiracy to do away 
with the musical and otherwise appropriate Indian name of the Dakota 
river. — Ed. 



INDIAN PLACE NAMES 135 

the year 1914 by takinj;- an old man of the Pawnee tribe 
upon the ground and using various tests. 

Of transhited names we have the foUowing: Black Bird 
Creek, in Thurston county, Nebraska, was named for a 
chief of the Onmha tribe who died in that vicinity about 
the beginning of the nineteenth century. Birdwood, the 
name of a creek tributary to the North Platte River, is a 
literal translation of its Dakota name, which is Zi"tka-cha" 
Wakpala. Zi"tka-cha" is the Dakota name of the shrub 
Amorpha fritticosa/ which grows abundantly along the 
creek. Calamus River is a translation of the Dakota name 
Si"kpe-ta-wote Wakpa. AVakpa is the Dakota name for 
river. Si"kpe-ta-wote {food of the muskrat) is the Dakota 
name of calamus or sweet flag. Lodge Pole Creek is a 
literal translation of the Dakota name, Tushu Wakpala. 
Long Pine Creek is a translation of either its Dakota name, 
Wazi-ho"ska Wakpala, or of its Omaha name, Mazi-snede 
Wachishka. Wazi is the Dakota word and mazi the Omaha 
word for pine; ho"ska is the Dakota word and snede the 
Omaha word for long. 

Examples of what I may call mistranslated names are 
Pumpkinseed Creek and Red Willow Creek. Red Willow 
county is named from the creek. The Dakota name of 
Pumpkinseed Creek is Wagamu" AVakpala, or Wagamu"- 
pezhihuta AVakpala. Wagamu" is the Dakota word for 
pumpkin and here refers to the wild pumpkin or gourd 
which grows there. Pezhihuta means medicine. The root 
of this wild gourd is used medicinally. A correct render- 
ing of the Dakota name then would be Wild Gourd Creek, 
or Wild Gourd-medicine Creek. Red Willow Creek is a 
bungled translation of its Dakota name, which is Cha"- 
shasha Wakpala. Cha"-shasha is the Dakota name of the 
shrub, Cornus amomum, or red dog\vood, which is abun- 
dant on that stream. 



^ Commonly called indigo flower. Birdwood Creek flows into the 
North Platte River at a point in the northwestern part of Lincoln 
county directly north of the town of O'Fallon. — Ed. 



136 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

The following names of towns in Nebraska are mis- 
applied, as they belong to various tribes distant from this 
state : Cayuga, Chautauqua, and Tonawanda are Iroquois 
names from New York ; Menominee, the name of an Algon- 
quian tribe of Wisconsin; Osceola, the name of a chief of 
the Seminoles of Florida; Tecumseh, the name of a chief 
of the Shawnee of Ohio; Waco, the name of a tribe in 
Texas. 

Names of towns in the state commemorating Nebraska 
tribes by their own names for themselves are Dakota, 
Ogallala, Omaha, and Ponca. 

In the county names of Cheyenne, Otoe, Pawnee, and 
Sioux certain tribes are commemorated by our names for 
them, not their own names for themselves. Arikaree 
River,* Loup River, Missouri River, and Republican River 
also commemorate tribes by white men's names for them. 
Loup River is so called because upon it were situated the 
villages of the Skidi or Wolf tribe of the Pawnee. The 
French explorers translated the name into French when 
they mapped the country, and in that form it has persisted. 
Missouri was the name given by the French, as they learned 
it from the Illinois, to a Siouan tribe on the lower course 
of the Missouri River. This tribe called themselves Niu- 
tatshi. But the name by which the Illinois called them 
was adopted by the French and by them applied also to the 
river. But each tribe acquainted with the river has its own 
name for it. For example, the Omaha call it Smoke River. 
This is descriptive, as will appear from the following in- 
cident : I was once riding with an Omaha who was going 
in his wagon toward the Missouri River. As we ap- 
proached it, while yet invisible below the horizon of hills, 
we could see thin, trailing white clouds of fine sand, blown 
by the summer south wind from the bars. Pointing to the 
drifting sand-clouds, in appearance like wreaths of smoke, 

* The middle fork of the Republican. It unites with the south fork 
in the southeastern part of Dundy county. The name of the tribe is 
properly spelled Arikara. — Ed. 



INDIAN PLACli: NAMES 137 

my Omaha friend said: "Now you see why we call that 
river Nishiida.'' Ni is the Omaha word for water or stream 
of water, sliuda is the word for smoke. The Dakota name 
of this river, Minishoshe, is also descriptive: mini is the 
Dakota word for water, shoshe, muddy. The Pawnee name 
of this river is also descriptive, but under another aspect, 
as it impressed the Indian mind. The Pawnee name is 
Kits' Paruksti ; Kits' from kitsu, water, and paruksti, won- 
derful. 

The Republican River, in southern Nebraska, is so 
named from being the habitat of the Pawnee Republic or 
Republican Pawnee, a name applied by white men to this 
tribe because of their own form of government.^ They call 
themselves Kitkahak. 

Sioux county was so-called from the appellation given 
to the Sioux Indians by the French. It is a contraction of 
the Gallicized form of the name given to them by a tribe 
of their Algonquian enemies. 

Sometimes European names are mistakenly applied to 
places in the belief that they are Indian because they have 
been borne by Indians or mixed bloods. Such a name is 
Fontenelle. Lucien Fontenelle, a Frenchman, came to 
America, entered into the fur trade, and married into the 
Omaha tribe. Logan Fontenelle, born of this union, after- 
ward became quite prominent in the affairs of the tribe 
and was well known to white people in connection with the 
negotiation of the Omaha tribal treaty of 1854. In conse- 
quence the name Fontanelle was given to a town founded 
at that time. Recently a million dollar hotel was built in 
the city of Omaha. The managers wished to give it an 
"Indian name", so they used the name of this French half- 
breed. A great natural park near the city of Omaha has 
been projected, and although the park itself is not yet 

' There has been much speculation resulting in contradictory con- 
clusions about the origin of this name. The most plausible explanation 
I have been able to find, as yet, is that given by Dr. Gilmore. — Ed. 



138 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

established, its promoters have hastened to provide for it 
a "Nebraska Indian name", and have chosen that of the 
same French half-breed. The name of a small river in 
northeastern Nebraska also commemorates this French- 
Omaha half-breed. It is called Logan River from his given 
name. The Omaha tribe calls this river by a descriptive 
name, Ni-taspa"-bate-ke ; ni, the Omaha word for water; 
taspa^ the name of Crataegus mollis, the red hawthorn ; 
bat", the word for clump or thicket. The Omaha name, 
then, indicates the abundant growth of red haws along its 
course. 

The following list of names of towns in Nebraska I 
have called nondescript because I have found no satisfac- 
tory explanation of any of them. Some of them may be 
Indian names, but if so they are misplaced. None of them 
have any relation to any Indians of Nebraska. The list 
includes Kowanda, Monowi, Naponee, Negunda, Nantas- 
ket, Oconee, Oconto, Tekamah, Wahoo, Wauneta, Winne- 
toon. 

At present there is a lamentable dearth of certain and 
reliable information on aboriginal place names. As ex- 
amples of the futility of much of the matter which is 
offered on this subject I quote from no less a publication 
than Bulletin 258 of the U. S. Geological Survey, "The 
Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States". 
This publication says of the name Niobrara : "An Indian 
word meaning 'broad water' or 'running water.' ■' I have 
already in this paper given the true origin and etymology' 
of the name. Bulletin 258 says of the name Wahoo, a town 
in Nebraska: "An Indian word said to mean a species of 
elm." I have heretofore mentioned this name in my list of 
nondescripts. There is nothing like the word in the lan- 
guage of any tribe in Nebraska. Of the town of Wauneta 
the bulletin mentioned says: "An Indian word meaning 
winter camp." These are flagrant examples, not of inade- 
quacy only, but of utter futility of pretended explanation. 



INDIAN PLACE NAMES 139 

In the first place, the use of the expression "Indian word 
meaning thus and so" is jnst as if a Chinese ji^eographer in 
writing for his people an explanation of place names in 
Europe should say "Tipperary, Newcastle, Stockholm, 
Flanders, Hamburg, Bordeaux, Athens, Odessa, Nizhni 
Novgorod, Przemysl, Damascus, and Jerusalem are Cau- 
casian words with such and such meanings." To use the 
expression "Caucasian word" or "Caucasian language" is 
no more ridiculous than to speak of the "Indian language", 
for there are no less than two hundred Indian languages of 
more than fifty different linguistic stocks within the 
bounds of the United States. 

Here is a field of research which is most interesting in 
itself, and the need and usefulness of cultivating it are 
obvious. But the task requires serious purpose and scien- 
tific method. Work of this sort, to have any value, de- 
mands careful attention to philologic and ethnographic 
questions. 



BOHEMIANS IN NEBKASKA 

By Sarka B. Hrbkova 

Professor of Slavonic Languages, University of Nebraslia 

earliest comers to AMERICA 

In the very heart of Europe, forming a mountain-girt 
corner of northwestern Austria, lies the lovely little coun- 
try of Bohemia. Since the fifth century it has been con- 
tinuously occupied by the Czechs, named after the patri- 
arch who led them thither from the parental Slavonic 
home in western Russia. Despite the frequent misunder- 
standing of the term Bohemian by the ignorant or thought- 
less, the Czechs or Bohemians are not nomads or gypsies, 
but a simple agricultural people attached to the land which 
has been "home" to them for fifteen hundred years. The 
name Bohemia was passed over to the country from the 
Boii, a Celtic tribe, who occupied the land long before the 
coming of the Czechs. The name Boii was corrupted to 
Bojohemum and then to Bohemian — a continuous cause of 
misunderstanding, because so many know the name only as 
applied to wandering tribes or Latin Quarter experiences 
in Paris. 

It was but a short time after the Pilgrims had found 
refuge in Massachusetts that the first Bohemian came to 
America. Augustine Herman, a wealthy nobleman, was 
compelled to flee his own country because he was of Protest- 
ant faith. The outcome of the battle of White Mountain, 
in November, 1620, at the beginning of the Thirty Years' 
War, had been disastrous to the non-Catholic party. Her- 
man came first to New York, then to Maryland, where Lord 
Baltimore gave him an immense tract of land as a reward 
for surveying his own possessions and making the first map 



BOHEMIANS IN NEBRASKA 141 

of the colony. Even as early as 1633, Herman had become 
prominent in the public affairs of the new country, though 
ever loyally proud of his Bohemian origin. 

Frederick Phillips, or Filips, of Yonkers, was the 
second Bohemian to come to America. These two, Herman 
and Phillips, became the ancestors of such men as the 
Bayards, Sargents, and John Jay, the first chief justice of 
the United States supreme court. Worthy vanguards, in- 
deed, of the great peaceful army that has come since their 
time nearly three hundred years ago. 

In this "mixing bowl of nations" it will require the most 
skillful alchemy to preserve the pure gold, not alone of the 
native stock but of the stranger within our gates. It be- 
hooves us, then, to know well the character of the com- 
ponents which are daily cast into the American mixing 
bowl. 

BOHEMIAN POPULATION AND ITS DISTRIBUTION 

In 1910 the total population of Nebraska was 1,192,214. 
In the same year, the population of foreign birth and 
foreign parentage amounted to 530,015 — almost half the 
total. Of this foreign population, 62,810, or thirteen per 
cent, were either born in, or of parents who came from, 
Austria. The question is, are all, or nearly all, of these 
"Austrians" from Bohemia? 

The data of the United States census bulletins regard- 
ing the nationality of inhabitants are grievously defective. 
To merely state the country of birth and not the national- 
ity is just as illuminating as to insist that every coin you 
shake out of a toy bank is a cent even if it is a silver dime 
or a gold eagle. For instance, it appears by the bulletins 
that 24,885 residents of Nebraska were born in Russia, 
from which it is erroneously inferred that there were that 
many Russians in the state, when, in fact, the great ma- 
jority of persons who emigrated hither from Russia are 
really Germans and have no Slavic blood whatsoever. Just 
so with similar statements concerning Austria. There are 



142 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

seventeen states and more than that number of nationali- 
ties in Austria, each with wideh^ differing characteristics. 
In the general census foreigners are classified by the lan- 
guage they speak, by their nationality, a far truer descrip- 
tion. 

Of the 539,392 Bohemians according to the census of 
1910, it is probably safe to say that one-eighth reside in 
Nebraska. This estimate is based on a process of elimina- 
tion, according to the claims of each of the other more 
important Bohemian communities in this country. The 
complete census when issued will give this in detail. Every 
year from 300 to 500 Bohemian immigrants arriving at 
various ports give Nebraska as their destination. The im- 
migration figures since 1910 warrant us to regard 100,000 
as a fair estimate of Nebraska's Bohemian population.* 

^The foregoing statement of the total population of Nebraska, of 
the total foreign population and the number of Bohemians Is from the 
U. S. Census of 1910. The census, bureau estimated the population of the 
state in 1916 at 1,250,000. The total foreign population In 1910 in- 
cluded all persons of foreign birth, and those born in the United States 
one or both of whose parents were of foreign birth. The 539,392 
Bohemians, classed in the census as Bohemians and Moravians, com- 
prised 282,738 of foreign birth and 310,654 born in the United States 
but of foreign or mixed parentage. Moravia, an Austrian province, 
lies contiguous to Bohemia on the east. Its population in 1900 was 
2,435,081, 71.36 per cent of whom were Slavs and "scarcely distin- 
guishable from their Bohemian neighbors"; but the Bohemians arc 
called Czechs, while the Slavs of Moravia and West Hungary are 
called Moravians and Slovaks. So, while the Bohemians and Moravians 
are very much alike, the census does not disclose how many of each 
are comprised In the total of 539,392. They came to the United States 
from thirty-five nations and provinces of all the continents, but mainly 
as follows: from Austria, 515,183; Germany, 17,382; Hungary, 2,868; 
Russia, 1,694; Canada, 236. 

In the distribution of foreign population by states, the number of 
Bohemians and Moravians is not given, only the total number of each 
nationality. Thus Nebraska had of Austrians, 62,810; Hungarians, 
2,142; Germans, 201,713. As is shown above, there were only 17,382 
Bohemians and Moravians from Germany and 2,868 from Hungaiy to 
be distributed among all the states; and though most of the Austrians 
in Nebraska are doubtless Bohemians their total number, 62,810, falls 
far below Miss Hrbkova's estimate of 67,674, and a generous allowance 

/ 



BOHEMIANS IN NEBRASKA 143 

While every county of Nebraska has Bohemian inhabit- 
ants, the largest numbers are in Douglas, Colfax, Saline, 
Saunders, and Butler, Cities and towns whicli have a 
generous percentage of Bohemians are Omaha, South 
Omaha, Wilber, Crete, Clarkson, Milligan, Schuyler, and 
Prague. In the main, however, Bohemians in Nebraskti 
are settled on farms rather than in towns, in small com- 
munities rather than in cities, and in the eastern, rather 
than in the western part of the state. 

A large majority of the Bohemians of this state are in 
agricultural pursuits; and as farmers are the real back- 
bone of the great West, it may be said that the Bohemian 
farmers are the mainstay of the Czechs in Nebraska, de- 
spite the fact that business and the professions each year 
gain more accessions from them. 

FIRST BOHEMIANS IN NEBRASKA 

The first Bohemian who came to Nebraska, so far as 
can be learned, was Libor Alois Slesinger, Avho was born 
October 28, 1806, in Usti above the Orlice River, Bohemia. 
It is noteworthy that this first Bohemian immigrant to 
this state came to America for political liberty, which the 
absolutism prevailing in Austria after the uprising of 1848 
had stifled in his own country. Slesinger left Bohemia in 
November, 1856, and in January, 1857, arrived in Cedar 
Rapids, Iowa, which was a sort of stopping place for most 
of the Bohemian immigrants en route for the great, attrac- 
tive, beaming West beyond the Missouri. The trip from 

from Germans and Hungarians would scarcely make up the deficit. 
On the same basis — ;the census of 1910 — the estimate of 100,000 Bo- 
hemians at the present time (1917) is still more excessive. On the 
other hand, censuses are far from infallible, and Miss Hrbkova's esti- 
mates were based upon laborious investigations in various ways other 
than actual enumeration, the results of which convinced her that her 
numbers were not too high. 

The data of the census cited are from The Thirteenth Census of the 
United States, 1910, I, table 5, p. 9G5; table 8, pp. 968-70; table 22, p. 
995.— Ed. 



144 NEBRASKA STATE HISTOEICAL SOCIETY 

Cedar Rapids to Omaha, Slesinger made by wagon. A 
little later he settled near the Winnebago reservation. His 
experiences were as picturesque and adventurous as those 
of other early comers, if not more so. Joseph Horsky, who 
arrived in 1857 and also came by the Cedar Rapids route, 
was the second, and the now famous Edward Rosewater 
the third, Czech to settle in the Cornhusker state. 

The homestead act ^ attracted to the West many Bo- 
hemians who had already become citizens or were about to 
swear allegiance to the "starry flag". Saline county was 
the first to draw settlers of the Bohemian nationality. The 
three Jelineks, Nedelas F. Krten, Vac. Sestak, the Kova- 
riks, Robert Sery and John Herman were the first comers, 
all of them emigrating from the neighborhood of Manito- 
woc and Kewaunee, Wisconsin. John Herman had been a 
man of high position in Bohemia ; and was an envoy to the 
emperor of Austria during the troublous period of the 
revolution of 1848. His zeal for the cause of liberty and 
constitutional rights was incompatible with absolutist rule, 
and he was forced to fly to America in 1853. He brought 
to this country an immense fortune, but lost it through 
speculations in Wisconsin. 

The counties of Butler, Colfax, and Knox were settled 
very soon after the coming of the Czechs to Saline county. 
In 1867, the Sonka, Mares, Dostal, Masek and Gruntorad 
families settled in and around Abie, Bruno, Linwood, and 
Brainard; whereas the Foldas, Novotnjs, and Kratochvils 
came to Colfax in 1867. Knox county's settlement by 
Bohemians was arranged in Chicago and Cleveland in 
1868. Eight hundred families joined a prearranged colony 
scheme and moved from those two cities en masse to the 
shores of the Niobrara and the Missouri. 

Communities in Nebraska have been given Bohemian 
names as follows : Prague and Praha, in Saunders county, 
after the capital city of Bohemia; Shestak, in Saline 



= Passed May 20, 1862; became effective January 1, 1863.— Ed. 



BOHEMIANS IN NEBRASKA 145 

county; Jelen, in Knox county; and Tabor, in Colfax 
county . 

The first wave of Bohemian immigration to Nebraska 
consisted of men seeking political and religious freedom. 
Subsequent waves comprised men escaping enforced mili- 
tary service in the Austrian army or seeking economic bet- 
terment. Though large numbers of Bohemians came to 
America to avoid serving in the army at home, yet these 
same Bohemians, who had but just fled from enforced 
militarism, of their own will enlisted here to save the 
Union. This was true in Cleveland, Chicago, Cedar Rapids 
and other large Bohemian centers. The Czechs carried off 
many scars from the Civil War; and you will find their 
names in the G. A. R. rolls of honor in loyal percentages. 
So in the Spanish American war, almost whole companies 
of Bohemian volunteers left Nebraska for the Phillipines 
and for Cuba. One can well say with Walt Whitman, 

Lands of the wild ravine, the dusky Sioux, the lonesome stretch, the 

silence. 
Haply to-day a mournful wail, haply a trumpet-note for heroes.' 

RELIGIOUS LIFE OF CZECHS IN NEBRASKA 

From the domain of Roman Catholic Austria to un- 
pledged Nebraska is a step of many thousands of miles. 
The difference in the religious attitude of many Czechs 
who have taken that long step is as great and is likewise 
analogous. Bohemia's greatest trials and sufferings were 
a result of religious struggles, both internal and with 
neighboring states. From the introduction of Christianity 
into Bohemia in 863 by Cyril and Methodius, the nation's 
brand of religion has been different from that of her neigh- 
bors. Bohemia accepted Christianity from two Greek 
priests of Constantinople, who at once introduced the 
Slavic Bible and preaching in the mother tongue. Bo- 
hemia's neighbors received their Christian missionaries 
from Rome, which required the Latin service. 

'^ Far Dakota's Canons. — Ed. 

11 



146 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

The burning of John Huss, who preceded the German 
Luther by a decade more than a hundred years, lighted the 
way for the reformation, which would not have been pos- 
sible without the work and martyrdom of the Bohemian 
reformer. The smoldering dissensions Avhich burst again 
into flame in 1620, when the Bohemian and Moravian 
Brethren were exiled and the country was depopulated and 
plundered, have ever and anon crackled and thrust out 
gleaming tongues. But the days of crucifixions and mar- 
tyrdoms are memories of the middle ages. A clearer, 
whiter light now shines for those who think on things re- 
ligious. Perhaps no other people think or write so much 
on the various phases of religious controversies as Bo- 
hemians. And 3^et the charge of infidelism is too often 
wrongfully made against them. A people who are think- 
ing, debating, arguing on religious questions and mean- 
while trjing to live according to the golden rule are much 
nearer certain professed ideals of conduct than some of the 
Pharisaical "professors" themselves. 

The Bohemians of Nebraska may be roughly classified 
into tliree general groups — Koman Catholics, Protestants, 
and Liberal Thinkers. There are Bohemian churches and 
priests in forty-four towns and villages. The church at 
Brainard is a very fine structure, costing over |40,000, ex- 
clusive of interior decorations, and is the pride of the com- 
munity. Parochial schools are maintained in connection 
with some of the churches. For instance, there is a fine 
building in Dodge where 140 children attend the instruc- 
tion of Sisters of Our Lady. There are some twenty Bo- 
hemian Protestant churches in the state, mainly Methodist 
and Presbyterian. The Liberal Thinkers are but recently 
organized, so there are only five societies in Nebraska,, 
four of them located in Omaha, and only one of them ex- 
clusively devoted to the object of the organization. The 
others are lodges of different orders which have signified 
approval of the purposes of the Svobodna Obec or Liberal 
Thinkers League. 



BOHEMIANS IN NEBRASKA 147 

ORGANIZED LIFE OF CZECHS OF NEBRASKA 

The Bohemian people in the United States are unusu- 
ally strong on organization. Judging alone by Nebraska's 
Bohemian lodge membership one might easily believe they 
were inveterate "joiners". It is well known that as meni- 
ber«i of labor unions they are "stickers". They believe 
thoroughly in the adhesive value of organization to gain a 
point. However, it is as organizers of social and fraternal 
protective societies that the Bohemians excel. Practically 
every man of Bohemian birth or parentage belongs to one 
or more associations which have for their object insurance, 
protection in sickness and death, as well as the develop- 
ment of social life. Tliere are also a number of organiza- 
tions offering no insurance but, instead, opportunities for 
education along gymnastic, musical, literary or related 
lines. 

The lodges of the fraternal class afford clieap insur- 
ance, the assessments in nearly every instance being much 
lower than in other orders. Of the fraternal orders among 
the Bohemian people the best known and most widely sup- 
ported are, the C. S. P. S. (Cesko Slovansky Podporujici 
Spolek) or Bohemian Slavonian Protective Association, 
the oldest Bohemian organization in the United States, 
having been established in 1854 at St. Louis, Missouri, and 
which has 25,404 members, 513 of them in eleven lodges in 
Nebraska; the Z. C. B. J. (Zapadni Cesko Bratrska 
Jednota) or Western Bohemian Fraternal Order, with 
18,000 members, of whom 1,189, in sixty-seven lodges, are 
in Nebraska; the J. C. D. (Jednota Oeskych Dam) or Fed- 
eration of Bohemian Women, having over 20,000 members 
with fifteen lodges in Nebraska; the S. P. J. (Sesterska 
Podporujici Jednota) or Sisterly Protective Association, 
with five lodges in Nebraska. Several thousand Bohemians 
of the state belong to the Catholic fraternal orders. There 
are many minor organizations each with several lodges in 
Nebraska. 



148 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Among the social institutions which do not have any 
insurance feature but devote themselves directly to the 
betterment of social and educational conditions are the 
Sokol societies and the Komensky clubs. The first Kom- 
ensky educational club, whose purpose is the cultural de- 
velopment of Bohemian communities, was organized at the 
State University by Bohemian students, in 1906. Since 
then twenty-six similar clubs have been established in six 
states, thirteen of them in Nebraska. They have estab- 
lished libraries and reading rooms, organized evening 
schools, and provided good, clean entertainment for the 
community. 

The Sokol societies are chapters of a central associa- 
tion with headquarters in New York. They provide physi- 
cal training, wholesome sports, and the use of libraries for 
members. The high national ideals which characterized 
the organization of the original Sokol or Falcon societies 
in the mother country actuated all the early enthusiasts 
who plunged into the rough pioneer conditions after life in 
Bohemia where they had all the accessories of the highest 
civilization. Among the early organizers of Sokol societies 
in typical Bohemian communities was J. K. Mallat, now 
of Lincoln, who in 1875 helped to organize the first Sokol 
society in Crete, giving public gymnastic performances in 
Kovarik's hall, midway between Crete and Wilber. In 
1882 the Sokols were organized in Wilber, where Mr. 
Mallat, having had thorough gymnastic training in Bo- 
hemia, was chosen first instructor or "coach". The Sokol 
society was an immense factor in the early social life of 
Wilber. There also a very popular and typical Bohemian 
amusement, amateur theatricals, reached a high state of 
development. There was no tragedy too difficult for the 
Wilber Thespians to attempt in the palmy days when J. 
K. Schuessler, the grand old man of the Bohemian Ameri- 
can stage, directed the performers. Mr. Schuessler, who 
was the father of Mrs. Fred Herman, of Lincoln, was a pro- 



BOHEMIANS IN NEBRASKA 149 

fessional actor in Bohemia and a man of deep patriotic 
feeling who gave of his ability and strength to the artistic 
upbuilding of the community which he adopted after he 
had renounced allegiance to Austria. Under his direction 
the first successful singing societies were organized, and 
great indeed was the pride and pleasure of each community 
in the rendition of those fine Czech folk songs, whose lin- 
gering melodies haunt and charm and most appealingly 
hold united all Bohemian hearts. 

The earliest performance of a Bohemian play and con- 
cert in Saline county was in 1869, in the first log school- 
house of the district about midway between Crete and Wil- 
ber. The building belonged to John Svoboda and was 
used as a meeting place for the Bohemian Reading Society, 
which was organized in June, 1869, its first president being 
Joseph Jindra. 

It is especially significant that this oldest organization 
of Bohemians in Saline county, and which was among the 
oldest in the state, was effected for the purpose of meeting 
to read and discuss books and magazines. Even in those 
difficult times, when life was mainly a matter of preserving 
existence in the hard, rough conditions of the day, these 
recent immigrants from a foreign land to the prairies of 
Nebraska held to the social and educational ideals of the 
mother land, bringing into the sordid commonplace of ex- 
istence the rosy poetry of song, music, the dance, the 
theatre, and communion with books. 

Music, either vocal or instrumental, always had to be 
present in any gathering of Bohemians, whether it were a 
meeting of neighbors or a formal session of a lodge. The 
Czechs are not without warrant called "the nation of musi- 
cians", as the Smetanas, Dvoraks, Kubeliks, Kocians, 
Ondriceks and Destinns fully attest. If a wager were to 
be made that every Bohemian community in Nebraska to- 
day had its own band or orchestra, it is safe to say that 
the better would win. 



150 NEBEASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

The first musical organization west of Omaha was com- 
posed of Bohemians. It was the famous Crete orchestra, 
which used to drive to Lincoln in John Svoboda's wagon, 
back in Governor Butler's day, to play for dances at the 
capitol. This pioneer Bohemian orchestra consisted of 
Frank Nedela, Sr., who still lives in Crete, John Nedela, 
John Svoboda, Thomas Aron, Joseph Chyba. 

BOHEMIANS IN POLITICS 

From the earliest times Bohemians have evinced an 
earnest interest in local, state and national politics. As a 
rule, they were Democrats; but very early in Nebraska's 
political development an important group of Bohemian 
Republicans arose. This change was more rapid after the 
establishment by Edward Rosewater of a Bohemian weekly 
Republican newspaper. But in latter days partisanship 
has become weak among Bohemians, their votes going for 
men rather than for party measures. 

There have been thirty-three Bohemian-American mem- 
bers of the legislature of Nebraska."' J. J. Langer of 
Saline was a presidential elector and later U. S. consul to 
Solingen. John Bouchal, of Saline county, is now U. S. 
vice-consul in Prague, Bohemia. Edward Rosewater, who 
was the first Bohemian member of a Nebraska legislature 
— the fourth, also held other offices of honor, representing 
the United States at the Universal Postal Congress in 
Washington in 1897, promoting the Trans-Mississippi Ex- 
position at Omaha, in 1898, and being a member of the 
International Arbitration Conference in 1904. Thomas J. 
Konop, one of the charter members of the Komensky Club 
of Bohemian students at the State University, is serving 
his second term in Congress as representative from Wis- 
consin, whither he removed from this state. 

BOHEMIA IN THE WAR 

While the Bohemians are internationally known as the 
"dove-like race", being conscientious objectors to war in 
the abstract, they have never been found wanting in the 

The following table contains the names of the members and desig- 



BOHEMIANS IN NEBRASKA 



151 



military ranks when tlie cause has been just. Great num- 
bers h?ft Bohemia to escape the liarsli military tyranny of 
the Hapsburg rulers of Austria, who were ever exploiting 
their subjects and forcing them to figlit to further their 
royal purposes. It was not to the taste of the Slavs of 
Austria to be made the instrument of ac(iuiring new lands 
for the hated Hapsburgs, and so they fled to free America. 
But when those same Bohemian immigrants were con- 
fronted, in the land of their adoption, with the problem 

nates the legislature and the house in which they served, the county 
In which each resided and his party affiliations: 



Names of Members 


Year 


Branch of 
Legislature 


County 


Edward Rosewator.._ 

Frank Folda _ 


1871 
1875 
1879 
1881 
1883 
1885 
1887 
1887 
1889 
1891 
1891 
1895 
1899 
1901 
1903 
1903 
1905 
1905 
1907 
1907 
1909 
1909 
1909 
1909 
1909 

1909 
1909 
1911 
1911 
1911 
1911 
1911 

1911 

1911 

1911 
1 11 
1911 
1913 
1913 
1913 
1913 
1915 
1915 
1915 
1917 
1917 
1917 


House _ 

House _ 

House 

House 

House _ 

House _.. 
Senate — 
House — . 

House 

House 

House _ 

House 

House 

House 

House 

House 

House 

House _ 

House 

House 

House 

House 

House 

House 

House 

House 

Senate _ 

House 

House 

House 

House _. 

House ._ 

House 

House ._ 

House _ 

Senate 

Senate.- 

House 

House 

Senate 

Senate 

Senate 

House 

Hotise 

House 

House 

Senate 


Douglas 

Colfax 
Saunders... 

Saline „ 

Saline.— 


H. A. Fiser__ 

S. J. Herman 

F. J. Sa^'ilek. „ _ _ 

Jrv.«pph .Tindra 


Saline 

Saunders... 
Saline .. . 


Thomas Simanek __ 


8. J. Herman _ 

Thomas Capek 

James Havlik (born in Illinois) 

Joseph G.Dobry(bornin Nebraska) 
Vaclav Bures _ 


Saline _.. 

Douglas 

Saunders... 

Colfax _ 

Douglas 

Saunders... 

Colfax 

Douglas 

Saunders... 
Lancaster.. 
Saunders... 

Douglas 

Saunders... 

Butler 

Saline 


J. J. Vlasak 

Joseph G. Ddbry ._ _ 

Frank J. Fitle „ 

John J. Pospisil 

Frank Rejcha.. _ „.... 

Frank Vopalensky _ 

J. P. Kraus _ 

Frank Dolezal . 

Joseph Dostal _ 

John Chab _ _ 


Otto Kotouc 


Richardson 

Saline 

Richardson 

Colfax 

Butler 

Butler 

Saline 

Saline 

Saunders.... 

Douglas 

Saunders... 
Saline 


Frank W. Bartos ...._ _ 

Otto Kotouf^.. . _ . 


J. B. Sindelar 

John D Hasik. _ 


Joseph Dostal 

John A. Hospodsky _ 

Anton Sagl _ _ 

Frank Dolezal- _.. ._ 

Frank J. Riha .._ 

Emil E. Placek _ ._ 

Frank W. Bartoa 


J. B. Sindelar 

John D. Hasik.__ __... 

EmilE. Placek __ 

E. J. Spirk _. __ 


Colfax 

Butler 

Saunders ... 
Saline 


E. J. Spirk 


Saline .. 


J. B. Sindelar .. ._. 

C. F. Hynek _ _.. 

J. J. Jclen __. _ 

J. B. Sindelar 

E. J. Spirk _ _ 


Colfax 

Saline 

Douijlas 

Colfax 

Saline 



Party 



Republican 

Democrat 

Greenback 

Independent 

Antimonopoly 

Republican 

Republican 

Democrat 

Republican 

Independent 

Democrat 

People's Independent 

Fusionist 

Republican 

Fusionist 

Fusionist 

Republican 

Republican 

Republican 

Poople's Independent 

Democrat 

People's Independent 

Democrat 

Democrat 

Democrat and 

People's Independent 
Democrat 
Democrat 
Democrat 
Democrat 
Republican 
Democrat 
Democrat and 

People's Independent 
Democrat and 

People's Independent 
People's Independent 
Democrat 
Democrat 
Democrat 
Democrat 
Republican 
Democrat 
Republican 
Republican 
Democrat 
Democrat 
Democrat 
Democrat 
Republican. — Ed. 



152 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

which Lincoln faced — internal disunion, secession — they 
joined of their own will the ranks of the army that fought 
for the union of the states. The Civil War was not to the 
Czechs so much a matter of freeing the slaves, of which 
they kneAV but little, but it was a question of preserving 
the integrity, the oneness, of the United States. They had 
known too well what international strife meant, for in 
Bohemia the arrogant Teuton, strutting swaggeringly in 
the sun of the Hapsburg favor, had all too long clawed at 
the throat of the Slav, foaming impotently the blood of 
resentment made abortive by Vienna's tyranny. 

In the crisis of 1917, when the president's proclamation 
was published, at once, in every community containing 
Bohemian citizens, large numbers began to enlist. In 
counties like Saunders, Saline, Dodge, Colfax, and Doug- 
las almost entire companies were formed of Bohemian resi- 
dents. It is felicitous to note that a large number of dis- 
tricts with a ninety-five per cent Bohemian population did 
not come under the operations of the draft law. The heavy 
voluntary enlistments had made the application of the 
draft unnecessary. In no other foreign speaking district 
of the state was the same condition noted. A complete list 
of volunteers is, of course, impossible at this writing, but 
patriotic societies, working alike for the good name of Ne- 
braska and of the Czechs settled therein, are at work on 
the compilation of such a record. 

BOHEMIAN JOURNALISM 

The Bohemians, like all pioneers of western states, had 
the problem of getting a living to solve before the question 
of higher education could be wrestled with. But that the 
Czech could not long remain content without some intel- 
lectual pabulum in addition to the simple necessities is 
shown by the fact that when barely a handful of them had 
settled in the state they clamored for a newspaper printed 
in their own language. To be sure, long before this, Bo- 
) hemian newspapers from eastern states had been circu- 



BOHEMIANS IN NEBRASKA 153 

lated here, the first paper in tlie Bohemian language, 
Slovan Amerikansky (American Slav), having been issued 
January 1, 1860, at Racine, Wisconsin. 

Edward Rosewater, popularly known as Rozvaril, who 
was born in Bukovany, Bohemia, in 1811, and had come to 
the United States in 1854, a green Bohemian youth, had 
after a number of experiences settled in Omaha where he 
started the Onwha Bee, in 1871, and his Bohemian weekly, 
the Pokrok Zapadu ( Progress of the West) . The first num- 
ber of this first Bohemian newspaper in Nebraska was 
issued August 1, 1871. The motto of this paper was "Pilne 
slouzic zajmu narodnimu, hledet chci vzdy k vzdelani 
obecnemu" (While ever serving national interest let me 
give heed always to the education of all). The first edi- 
torial of the first issue insists that Austria must become a 
Slavonic state, that it stands or falls in correspondence 
with the success or failure of the Bohemian people. 

Special editorial notice is given in the issue of January 
15, 1872, of that part of President Grant's message to Con- 
gress in which he approves the union of the telegraph with 
the postal department, arguing that public ownership of 
the telegraph system along the same lines as the postal 
business will improve and extend the service as well as 
diminish its cost to individuals. After all, we progress 
very slowly. An advertisement in the first issue offers 
lands in the Platte valley at from |2.50 to |10 an acre. 

V. J. Vodicka, the first business manager of the Pokrok 
Zapadu, who died in Omaha early in 1917, worked untir- 
ingly and gratuitously to turn Bohemian immigration 
towards the virgin prairies of Nebraska and succeeded in 
establishing six colonies, all agricultural communities. In 
later days John Rosicky by his pamphlet, Jak Je v Americe 
(How Things are in America), materially aided Bohemians 
in Europe in selecting the states to which they would emi- 
grate. In November, 1872, the Pokrok Zapadu absorbed 
the Amerikan. In 1877 it passed into the possession of 



154 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

John Rosicky, who sold it twelve years later to a print com- 
pany under the direction of Mr. Vaclav Bures in whose 
management it has since remained. Many excellent jour- 
nalists have sat in the editorial cliair of the Pokrok, among 
them, Vaclav Snajdr, Fr. B. Zdrubek, V. A. Jung, Thos. 
Capek, Jan A. Oliverius, Lou W. Dongres, F. J. Kutak, O. 
Charvat. 

John Rosicky, who left Bohemia in 1860 to escape mili- 
tary service, has been an important figure in Bohemian 
journalism and the social life of the Bohemian people, not 
only in Nebraska, but throughout the middle AVest. After 
selling the Pokrok Zapadu he established other papers, 
among them the Ohzor, the Americke Kvety, and the 
Osveta, which have been combined in the present weekly, 
Osveta Americka (Enlightenment of America) which for 
a time published local editions in various communities of 
the state. In 1916 it became a literary weekly with the 
name Kvety Americke. The growth of the paper is well 
exemplified by a comparison of an early issue with the cur- 
rent number. Some twenty Bohemian papers have been 
started in this state, continuing with varying success for 
various periods. A daily was established in Omaha in 
1916. 

To-day there are eight Bohemian newspai>ers in Ne- 
braska, three of which are published in Omaha — the 
Pokrok Zapadu, daily and weekh', politics, Republican; 
Kvety Americke (American Blossoms), weekly. Demo- 
cratic; Nova Doha (New Era), semi- weekly; Rozhledy 
(Reviews), weekly, and one, the Domacl Noviny (Home 
News) in Clarkson. In addition local editions of each of 
these papers are printed for Wilber, Crete, Schuyler, 
Howells, Dodge, and other places. Four monthly maga- 
zines are issued in the state, two of tliem — the Hospoclar 
(Farmer) and the Cesko-Americky Veiikov (Bohemian 
American Country Life) — being very good agricultural 
journals. The first of these farm journals, the Hospodar, 



BOHEMIANS IN NEBRASKA 155 

has been published since March, 1891. Its growth and im- 
provement are shown by a comparison of the second issue 
with recent ones. Number il, issued April 15, 1891, ad- 
ACrtised as ''The only Bohemian Agricultural and Horti- 
cultural Journal in the U. S.'', edited by Lou W. Dongres, 
and published by the Pokrok Zapadu Publishing Company, 
has an interesting article about alfalfa, its history and 
value, and urging Bohemian farmers to cultivate it. 

The Komcn^ky is an illustrated and educational maga- 
zine published by the united Bohemian students clubs of 
the same name. It is the first and only Bohemian periodi- 
cal ever published at Lincoln. These clubs are now raising 
a fund for the erection of a statue of Komensky on the 
campus of the State University. 

The Zivot (Life) is a Methodist monthly published at 
Crete, by Rev. Charles Sladek. 

BOHEMIAN LITERATURE OP NEBRASKA 

Vaclav A. Jung, a former Nebraskan, has written a 
number of fine poems and translated Byron's "Don Juan" 
and Pushkin's Eugene Onegin into Bohemian. Mr. Jung's 
novel On the Threshold of a New World^ or the Family of 
Peter Bel (Na Prahu Noveho Sveta aneb Rodina Petra 
Bea) depicts Nebraska life and character. In the capacity 
of instructor in English in Pilsen Academy, Bohemia, 
he has recently completed an English-Bohemian diction- 
ary. Thos. Capek, one time member of the state legisla- 
ture, has written a number of books showing extensive and 
valuable research, among them Early Bohemian Immigra- 
tion (Pamatky Ceskych Emigrantu), Fifty Years of Bo- 
hemian Journalism in America (Padesat Let Ceskeho 
Tisku V Americe). In the English language he has writ- 
ten The Slovaks of Hungary, Austria-Hungary and the 
Slavonians, and Bohemian (Czech) Bibliog?'aphy. 

Rev. John Vranek, of Omaha, has published a book of 
Bohemian poems. On American Soil (Na Pude Americke). 



156 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

A. Z. Donate, of Wahoo, published the story of his trip 
around the worid under the title of Kolem Sveta o Jedne 
Noze. 

Rev. A. Klein, of Brainard, at present general vicar of 
the diocese of Lincoln, has contributed valuable articles to 
the Otto Encyclopedia. 

Rev. Father J. B. Broz, formerly of Dodge, now of 
Schuyler, in addition to frequent poetic and prose contri- 
butions to the Catholic press of this country, is at work 
upon a history of Nebraska in the Bohemian language. He 
has published Z Prerie (From the Prairies), a book of 
Nebraska lyrics. \ 

Prof. Jeffrey D. Hrbek, the first instructor in Bohe- 
mian at the State University, wrote a large number of Eng- 
lish poems which were collected and published after his 
death under the title of Linden Blossoms. 

John Habenicht, now of Chicago, has collected and 
published in Bohemian some historical data of Nebraska, 
largely concerned with the history of Catholic communi- 
ties. 

Among English books and articles by Americans deal- 
ing with the subject of the Bohemians of Nebraska, espe- 
cially notable are Our Slavic Fellow Citizens, by Emily 
Greene Balch, and Pioneers!, by Willa Sibert Cather, 
also "The Bohemian Girl," in McClure's Magazine, August, 
1912, by the same author. 

BOHEMIAN LIBRARIES 

Almost every Bohemian lodge or fraternal society in 
the state has some sort of a library, ranging from a few 
works of fiction to several hundred volumes embracing 
valuable works of reference. 

The Z. C. B. J. or Western Bohemian Fraternal Order, 
on the suggestion of John Rosicky, in 1907 purchased some 
1,000 volumes of selected Bohemian literature which were 
presented to the state library commission to send out to 



BOHEMIANS IN NEBRASKA 157 

Bohemian communities. Miss Charlotte Templeton, man- 
ager of the state traveling libraries, reports that these 
books are among the busiest in the state collection, being 
constantly loaned out to various Bohemian centers in the 
town and country districts. 

The Komensky Club of South Omaha presented the 
public librai-y of that city with a goodly number of valu- 
able Bohemian books which are in constant circulation. 
The State University's Slavonic department also has a 
growing collection of well selected reference books. Other 
collections are owned by societies or private individuals in 
the state. 

BOHEMIANS IN EDUCATION 

Ever since the great Bohemian educator, John Amos 
Komensky (Comenius), advocated universal education as 
well as many other reforms and progressive pedagogical 
ideas in his wonderful work The Great Didactic, written 
almost three hundred years ago, the Bohemian people 
have been steady advocates of education. The little coun- 
try has had compulsory education laws for over half a 
century and its people have always held a high place 
among cultured races. It is, therefore, justly proud of the 
fact that in 1348 it established the first university in 
central Europe, the University of Prague, antedating the 
first German university by over fifty years. 

An examination of the records of the United States 
commissioner of immigration will show that immigrants 
from Bohemia have a far higher rate of literacy than those 
from Germany, France, Ireland and other nations, who 
are often credited with a much better standing than they 
deserve. For instance, in the fiscal year 1912, of 65,343 
German immigrants who arrived in the United States, 
2,736 could not read or write ; of 18,382 French, 1,083 were 
illiterate; of 33,922 Irish, 390 could not read or wTite; 
whereas, of 8,439 Bohemians, only 75, or less than 1 per 
cent were illiterates. 



158 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

As a rule, the Bohemians of this state have upheld this 
record, giving their children the advantages of public 
school education, though, to be precise, it is only within 
late years that they have been able to send them on through 
the high school and then to the college or university. 

It is interesting to note that one hundred and twenty of 
the alumni of the University of Nebraska are either of 
Bohemian birth or of Bohemian parentage. Of this number 
about 40 per cent have won honors of some sort. There are 
now seventy-four Bohemian-American students enrolled in 
the University. 

In 1907 a department of Bohemian was established in 
the State University, Jeffrey D. Hrbek being called from 
the state university of Iowa to the first chair of Bohemian 
founded in any state univei*sity, advanced Bohemian in- 
struction theretofore having been given only in sectarian 
colleges. Since the establishment of the dex)artment in 
Lincoln, the state university of Iowa, Coe College in Cedar 
Rapids, Iowa, Georgetown University in Texas, German 
College in Dubuque, Iowa, and the state universities of 
Ohio and Texas have put in Bohemian departments. 

There are 290 teachers of Bohemian birth or parentage 
in public schools in some forty counties of northern and 
eastern Nebraska. Two are county superintendents — F. 
J. Vogltanc of Colfax, and Louis J. Bouchal of Saline. 



AN INCIDENT IN THE IMPEACHMENT OF GOVER- 
NOR BUTLER 

The following letter was written by Ebenezer E. Cunning- 
ham at South San Francisco, California, January 6, 1905. Mr. 
Cunningham was a conspicuous politician at the time of which 
he writes. He was president of the senate during most of the 
impeachment trial of Governor Butler. — Ed. 

I enclose a scrap of paper which has remained in my 
keeping for 34 years. It is in the well known handwriting 
of the late Judge E. S. Dundy, and was the first move 
made in proceedings which ended in the impeachment and 
removal from office of tlie state of Nebraska's first gover- 
nor. As its history has never been told and may prove of 
interest, I will relate it. 

Throughout the summer of 1870, and prior to the meet- 
ing of the Republican state convention, charges of fraud 
and speculation were made daily, by the Omaha Herald, 
and other Democratic papers, against Governor David 
Butler and his associates in the board of [capital] com- 
missioners, in connection wdth loaning school funds, and 
the sale of Lincoln lots, and contracts for erecting public 
buildings at the new state capital. These charges w^re 
believed by many citizens and by not a few Republicans, 
and of the number who feared the charges might prove 
true \%ere Judge Dundy and the writer. 

Judge Dundy and myself, with others, were chosen as 
delegates to represent Richardson county at the Republi- 
can state convention of 1870, which met in the new capitol 
at Lincoln. Governor Butler was a candidate before the 
convention for renominatiou, and his principal competitor 
was Colonel Robert W. Furnas, of Nemaha county. At 
that time the people of the adjoining counties of Richard- 
son and Nemaha were straining every nerve to secure a 



160 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

railroad. The Richardson county people were bitterly 
opposed to Furnas, believing his success would prove fatal 
to a railroad through Richardson county. 

When the state convention assembled, Dundy and I 
were the only delegates who attended, and we held the 
proxies of the other delegates from Richardson. We did 
not feel at liberty to support Furnas on account of local 
interests and feelings, and we feared to see Butler renom- 
inated; therefore we cast the vote of Richardson county 
for Samuel Maxwell of Cass county. After several ballots 
without a choice, Maxwell's strength began to fall away, 
some votes going to Furnas and some to Butler. Finally 
Dundy and I were reduced to the extremity of choosing be- 
tween the two leading candidates, and we cast Richard- 
son's vote for Butler, nominating him. When the conven- 
tion adjourned, the Judge and I returned to the Tichenor 
House filled with gloom over the victory we had helped to 
win. 

At the fall election of 1870 I was reelected to the state 
senate, and when the legislature met was chosen president 
of the senate. Butler of course was reelected governor. 

During the winter of 1870-71, I roomed with Judge 
Dundy, or rather we roomed together at the old Tichenor 
House. After the senatorial election was over, the war on 
Butler and his associates was renewed \Nith tenfold fury. 
One evening, in our rooms at the Tichenor, there being 
present, besides Dundy and myself, Tom B. Stevenson, a 
lawyer and former state senator, of Nebraska City, and S. 
B. Fulton, a young lawyer of Falls City, the Butler 
charges were discussed at length, and the four Republicans 
present were agxeed that an investigation of the charges 
was required, in the interest of the Republican party as 
well as of the state. I was the only member of the legisla- 
ture present, and I requested Dundy to draw a joint reso- 
lution providing for legislative investigation. The en- 
closed paper, with its erasures and interlineations, was the 



INCIDENT OP BUTLER'S IMPEACHMENT 161 

result. After it had been completed, it was copied (by 
either Stevenson or Fulton, my recollection is that it was 
by the latter), the Judge very naturally desirin*; not to be 
known in the matter. A copy was placed in the hands of a 
member of each house, introduced and finally adopted by 
both houses, with amendments I presume, and the result 
of the investigation was a resolution of impeachment. 

After the first copy was made, I asked Judge Dundy to 
allow me to take the original paper, which request was 
granted, and it has remained in my possession since. Now 
that the Judge is gone I see no harm to any one in making 
the facts known and giving the paper to you, that it may 
find a place among other scraps of early history in case you 
deem it of sufficient value. 

I understand Tom Stevenson is long since dead, that 
Fulton is out of the state and may be under the sod, and I 
am probably the only one living of the four who were in 
the room when and where this incident had its birth. It 
has seemed to me that there was a sort of retributive jus- 
tice in the fact that the two who gave the casting votes 
which made Butler the Republican nominee should have 
had something to do with the action which repaired in a 
measure their mistake and that of the Republican i)arty. 

COPY OP DUNDY'S RESOLUTION FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF AN 
INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE 

Concurrent Resolution providing for the appointment of a 
committee to investigate the official acts and doings of the 
Commission appointed hy the Legislature of this State fto 
locate the seat of Government and provide for the erection 
of Public Buildings and to sell the unsold lots and Mocks 
on the town site of Lincoln and to locate and erect a State 
Vniversity and State Lunatic Asylum). 

Whereas, It is currently reported throughout the State and 
publicly charged in certain prints of this State that the Com- 
missioners appointed (to locate the Seat) have violated the 
trusts reposed in them by exceeding the authority given them 
under the laws by which they were created, and by engaging 
in certain speculations and frauds. 



162 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

And Whereas, We deem it but just that if these charges 
are false the aforesaid Commission should have the opportunity 
of vindicating themselves before the Legislature and people of 
this State, therefore be it resolved bv the Legislatui-e of the 
State of Nebraska that a committee of two on the part of the 
Senate to be chosen by the Senate and three on the part of the 
House to be chosen by the House be and are hereby appointed 
to investigate the official acts and doings of the aforesaid Com- 
mission, and that said committee have power to send for per- 
sons and papers and that they be directed to make report of 
their investigation to the Legislature at its present session.^ 

*Mr. Cunningham's supposition that the foregoing preamble and 
resolution was adopted by the legislature is erroneous. The resolution 
providing for the investigation adverted to was introduced In the 
House by Mr. Galey, of Lancaster county, on February 1, 1871, and It 
was pronvptly passed by both houses the same day under suspension of 
the rules. There is no resemblance in form between this resolution and 
that written by Judge Dundy. House Journal, eighth session, pp. 221, 
222; Senate Journal, ibid., p. 123; Laws of Nebraska, eighth session, p. 
240. On January 30 Lawson Sheldon, of Cass county, offered a resolu- 
tion in the Senate, for a like purpose, whose first line closely resembles 
that of the Dundy resolution. It was adopted unanimously, a com- 
mittee of three senators was appointed by its authority, and it had 
begun an investigation before the joint committee was appointed. 
Senate Journal, Hid., p. 107. — Ed. 



THE MESCAL SOCIETY AMONG THE OMAHA 
INDIANS 

By Mblvin R. Gilmore 

In these times of "spiritual unrest", so denominated by 
a recent magazine writer, when "Christian Science", "New 
Thought", "Theosophy", "Divine Healing", "Dowieism", 
the "Emmanuel Movement", and such things claim their 
adherents among our own people, it may be of interest to 
note that from time to time movements, perhaps not sim- 
ilar but analogous, make their way among the people of 
the race which occupied this continent before us. 

Among such movements may be mentioned the "Ghost 
Dance" of near two decades ago, and the "Mescal Society", 
which has had more permanence, and which now has per- 
haps more adherents than ever before, among most of the 
tribes of Oklahoma and others of the southwest, from 
whence the cult has spread to some of the northern tribes. 
The mescal was introduced into the Oniaha tribe in the 
winter of 1906-7 by an Omaha returning from a visit to the 
Oto in Oklahoma. He had been much addicted to alco- 
holics, and was told by an Oto that this plant and the 
religious cult practised therewith would be a cure. On 
his return he sought the advice and help of the leader of 
the Mescal Society of the Winnebago, next neighbors tribe 
of the Omaha. He and a few other Omaha, who also suf- 
fered from alcoholism, formed a society which has since in- 
creased in numbers and influence against much opposition, 
till it includes about half of the tribe. 

Those who joined the society did so, as they informed 
the writer, with the purpose "to throw away all their bad 
habits — drinking, gambling, and wife desertion"; and in- 
deed a wonderful change has taken place in their lives; 



164 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

they are now sober, industrious, and intent on living in 
peace and quiet. 

The mescal plant and its cult appeal strongly to the 
Indian sense of the mysterious and occult, and his appre- 
ciation of ceremonialism and symbolism. The Indian 
mind, being in that psychic stage whicJi peoples all natural 
objects with spirits, quite naturally attributes to the mes- 
cal plant wonderful properties and powers. As the Semitic 
and Aryan minds have found it possible to conceive that 
deity may be incarnated in an animal body — a human body 
— to the Indian mind it seems just as reasonable to con- 
ceive that deity may dwell in a plant body. So the Indian 
pays it divine honors and makes prayers to it or in connec- 
tion with it, and eats it or drinks a decoction of it in order 
to appropriate the divine spirit, to induce the good and to 
exorcise the evil, making its use analogous to the Christian 
use of bread and wine in the eucharist. 

James Moouey, in "A Calendar History of the Kiowa 
Indians", says: ''The greatest of the Kiowa gods is the 
sun . . . Next to the sun the bulfalo and the '^seni' or 
peyote plant claim reverence, and these may be reduced to 
the same analysis, as the buffalo bull in his strength and 
majesty is regarded as the animal symbol of the sun, while 
the peyote, with its circular disk and its bright center, sur- 
rounded by white spots or rays, is its vegetal representa- 
tive." The same author, in an article on ''The Mescal 
Plant and Ceremony", says: "The traders call it mescal 
. . . The local name upon the Rio Grande is peyote or 
pellote, from the old Aztec name, peyotle." 

The plant is a certain small, turnip-shaped cactus, 
Lophophora williamsii Coult. The part used is the top, 
which, after being cut off with a knife, forms a disk about 
one to one and one-half inches in diameter. Surround- 
ing the center are tufts of whitish hairs. The "buttons" 
are very bitter and disagi'eeable to the taste. The physio- 
logical effect from them is a form of intoxication which 




LODGE OP OMAHA INDIAN MESCAL SOCIETY, 1906 



MESCAL SOCIETY AMONG THE OMAHA 165 

consists in an over-stimulation of the nei've center of sight, 
resulting in hallucinations of most wonderful visions, with 
remarkably beautiful kaleidoscopic changes, the character 
of the visions depending upon the temperament and mental 
content of the subject. Thus a white man, with his in- 
herited and acquired habit of thought and store of mental 
concepts, would see a different set of visions from those 
seen by an Indian, whose mental habit and concepts are 
different. The visions are also partly induced by the hyp- 
notic power of suggestion and expectancy. 

The mescal cult is a curious example of the blending of 
ideas, beliefs and customs. No doubt the fundamental 
rites antedate the coming of white men, perhaps many cen- 
turies; but since then Christian ideas have been added to- 
gether with original religious ideas of the various tribes 
to which the cult has been brought. Thus the Omaha, of 
Nebraska, have interjected the use of the wild sage, Ar- 
temisia gnaplialodes, in connection with mescal ceremonies, 
that plant having been an immemorial symbol of sacred- 
ness among the Omaha. 

The writer has been present, by invitation, at several 
mescal meetings in the Omaha tribe. The entrance of the 
tent of meeting toward the east, the fireplace, in the cen- 
ter, is usually an excavation, eight to twelve inches deep, 
and in the shape of a heart to represent the heart of Jesus. 
Quantities of artemisia plants are often gathered and 
strewn in a circle surrounding the fire, and upon these the 
people sit facing the fire. At the west side, which rep- 
resents the base of the heart, a ^'mescal button" is placed 
upon a cloth worked with symbolic figures, as upon an 
altar. Near this is placed an open bible and there is set up 
a staff' about three feet in height, decorated with beads and 
symbolic feathers. Here is seated the leader, having in one 
hand a symbolic fan made of twelve eagle feathers, rep- 
resenting the twelve apostles of Christ, and in the other 
hand a rattle made from a gourd on which are various 



166 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

carved symbolic pictures from the life of Christ, while the 
handle is decorated with beads and feathers. At the lead- 
er's left sits the officer next in rank who has a drum, made 
by stretching a piece of skin over the mouth of a crock 
which is kept partly filled with water. The drumhead is 
kept wet so that the effect of the sound from it is a low 
continuous and insistent thrumming, which does not seem 
loud, even at close range, but which can be heard at a sur- 
prising distance. The fire is lighted and kept burning by 
attendants appointed to that task. An attendant dis- 
tributes a supply of "mescal buttons'' to the circle of wor- 
shippers, beginning with the leader and going round the 
circle in the direction of the sun ; that is, from the west, by 
the north, to the east, and back by the south. The people 
eat the buttons gazing downward or into the fire. The 
leader sings a chant and the man at his left accompanies 
him with the drum. Then the drum and rattle are passed 
to the next two on the left who likewise sing a chant; and 
so round the circle, the attendant meanwhile supplying 
more of the "mescals" as required. The meetings usually 
last all night. The hypnotic effect of firelight is well 
known, and here we have several factors conducing to this 
effect : the firelight, the community of thought, abstraction 
from all extraneous affairs, the droning chant, the hissing 
of the rattle, the insistent thrumming note of the drum, 
and the mental attitude of expectancy induced by the words 
of the speakers who discourse on what they shall be priv- 
ileged to see. Having no notion at all of the chemical re- 
action of the human body to the drug, they fancy tliat they 
really see most wonderful visions of spirits. For example, 
at one meeting the leader read the account in the Old Testa- 
ment of the prophet being taken up to heaven in a chariot 
of fire. Then the singing and drumming began, and the 
physiological action of the drug having taken effect, one 
man related what he had seen. He said Jesus had come for 
him in an automobile and had taken him up to heaven 
where he had seen God in His glory, in a splendid city, and 



MESCAL SOCIETY AMONG THE OMAHA 167 

with Him many of the great men of all time, more than he 
could number. 

I have been told by a member of tlie mescal society that 
while they are under the influence of the "medicine" in the 
meeting they can "see the thoughts" of those present, so if 
anyone is not in accord, is "thinking bad thoughts" he 
would be revealed to the true worshippers. 

They habitually repeat the promise of Jesus that if He 
goes away He will not leave them orphans but will send an- 
other comforter, applying this assurance to the "medicine", 
that is the peyote, saying it is the promised comforter and 
that it will lead them into all truth. 



REMINISCENCES OF WILLIAM AUGUSTUS 
GWYER^ 

I was born in the city of New York, March 10, 1820. 
My father was an English gentleman, using tliat word in 
the English sense. My mother was a descendant of a 
Huguenot who fled from France to England to escape per- 
secution, and from thence to the colony of Massachusetts 
in 1635. He was one of the proprietors and settlers of the 
town of Norwalk, Connecticut, in 1651. His descendant* 
down to the present time have participated in all the wars 
of the colonies and of the American Revolution ; I had three 
ancestors in that war, and through their heroic services I 
am now a member of the Society of the Sons of the Ameri- 
can Revolution. My father died wlien I was three year-s of 
age, and though he left me, by will, an ample competence, 
I never received a penny of it. How it so mysteriously dis- 
appeared I never knew. I was brought up by my mother, 
who did the best she could for me through difficulties and 
hardships until I was fifteen years of age, when a situation 
was procured for me in a dry goods store. I continued in 
this business until I was twenty-one. At that time a mer- 
chant whose acquaintance I had made proposed to me to go 
into business and outlined his j)lan, which was to go to 
North Carolina in the turpentine region and open a store, 
he was to ship me all the merchandise needed. I was to 
sell the same and remit proceeds to him in cash or naval 
stores. I accepted his proposition with alacrity; it was a 
big thing for me to have an offer to enter into business on 
my own account without any capital of my own. I went 
to North Carolina and began operations. It was a success 

*For a biography of Mr. Gwyer see History of Nebraska, II, 82. — 



REMINISCENCES OF W. A. GWYER 169 

from the beginning. He sent me the goods as wanted and 
I sold them and remitted salary, and the endless chain 
worked beautifully. At the expiration of three years we 
dissolved partnership and divided the profits, which was 
satisfactory to both parties. I then removed to Wilming- 
ton, North Carolina, and began business as a commission 
merchant in cotton and naval stores. My business grew 
with great rapidity. I made money rapidly. I became 
the most extensive consignee of cotton and naval stores in 
the city. I continued in this business until 1856, when the 
demon of unrest got possession of me. I had conquered 
what I had set out to do, acquired a fortune, at the early 
age of thirty-six ; but I was not satisfied. 1 had read glow- 
ing descriptions of the great West, and had conceived an 
ambition to assist in the building of new states. These 
ideas took full possession of me, and under their inspira- 
tion I closed up my business and went north to Minne- 
sota, Iowa, and Nebraska. 

I reached Omaha in the autumn of 1856. I found here 
a population of about 1,000 inhabitants, nearly all young 
men, very few women. All had come here to grow up with 
the country and make their fortunes. They were mostly 
impecunious, but they were able and brilliant men — stu- 
dents, scholars, lawyers, surveyors. I doubt if their equals 
could be found in proportion to numbers anywhere in the 
United States. J. Sterling Morton, secretary of the terri- 
tory. Doctor George L. Miller, Andrew J. Poppleton, Wil- 
liam N. Byers, Joseph ^Y. Paddock, Jesse Lowe, Alfred D. 
Jones, William D. Brown were here at that time, and 
others whose names I cannot now remember. The Douglas 
House, corner of Harney and Eighteenth streets, was the 
only hotel, and it was filled to overflowing. Here many of 
the residents, speculators, lot owners, lawyers and adoles- 
cent statesmen congregated to talk lots and lands and to 
fire the hearts of all new arrivals with the certainty of 
future values, the fortunes to be made by buying lots on 



170 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Farnam and Douglas streets. All you had to do was to 
buy to-day and sell to-morrow. When I look back I am in- 
clined to think I was hypnotized. I began buying. I 
bought largely. I spent many thousands of dollars for city 
lots and farm lands. There was no legal title to any of 
them. The title for city lots came from the speculators 
who surveyed and laid out the city, and the title to farm 
lands came from the squatter who claimed all he could see 
about him; and it was contended that these inchoate 
titles would ripen into good and valid deeds. But I found, 
after I had made my purchases, that the best title was a 
shotgun well loaded, and that even this was not effectual 
unless you stood guard night and day. This would do very 
well if a man owned only one lot or tract. But I could not 
subdivide myself enough to be effective on all the various 
lots or tracts of land I owned; hence I was a victim. I 
learned the lesson at much cost. 

In process of time^ Congress passed an act called the 
town site act, but this act included only 320 acres, and 
Omaha included more than 1,000 acres. Here then was an 
opportunity for cunning, craft, or graft. The corporate 
authorities were authorized by the act to locate the town 
site and give valid title, but where should they locate it on 
this 1,000 or more acres. This was an important question. 
All within the 320 acres could procure a good and valid 
title and none outside the line had any title but the shot- 
gun. Thus a good deal of property was lost by those who 
had confided in the specious arguments that the title would 
be made good. It was about the same with the farm lands. 
The homestead act, the most efficient act ever placed on the 
statute book and which did so much to settle up the state 
of Nebraska, allowed 160 acres as a homestead; but every 
squatter north of the Platte river claimed everything in 
sight and sold to every victim who presented himself, tak- 
ing care to have a shanty or anything that could be called a 

'' May 23, 1844. C/. S. Statutes at Large, V. 657.— Ed. 



REMINISCENCES OF \Y. A. GWYEK 171 

house on the tract that he called his home. All the re- 
mainder that he had found a victim for was without title, 
and nobody could obtain one without settling upon the land 
and complying with the terms of the homestead law and 
other laws applicable to public lands. Tlius many thou- 
sands of dollars were lost by confiding purchasers. 

I spent part of the winter of 1856-57 at Bellevue. 
There, as at Omaha, were some able men. I recall General 
Silas A. Strickland, Judge I^avitt L. Bowen, Ex-Governor 
McComas of Virginia,^ Henry T. Clarke and others. This 
was the first settled town in Nebraska. It was founded 
by the Presbyterian board of foreign missions.* Mark you, 
foreign missions, not home missions. Way back in the 

° The habit of Investing newcomers with titles, strongest and most 
common on the frontier, is doubtless due mainly to a desire thus to 
enhance the gain to the community through its distinguished citizen- 
ship; and, naturally, the rules of the game are not very rigid. It does 
not appear that Virginia ever had a governor called McComas. — Ed. 

* It is incorrect to say that Bellevue was founded at any specific time 
or by any specific person or organization of persons. In the decade of 
1820-30 it became a popular rendezvous or stopping place for white 
traders with Indians. In, or not long before, 1830 Drips and Fon- 
tenelle, who had working relations with the American Fur Company, 
erected a permanent building there to accommodate their Rocky Moun- 
tains trade. Some time between October 1, 1831, and September 30, 
1832, Lucien Fontenelle sold his establishment to John Dougherty, 
Indian agent, for agency purposes. The agent's report of October 30, 
1832, appears to be the first agency report dated at Bellevue. Though 
the agent had visited Bellevue from time to time previous to this 
date, to attend to the business of his agency, his headquarters was at 
Cantonment Leavenworth in 1828, 1829 and 1830. Bellevue was form- 
ally founded by an act of the first legislative assembly of Nebraska, 
approved March 15, 1855, which granted a charter to the City of 
Bellevue. Bellevue became a permanent settlement some time, but 
not very long, before 1830. 

Three of the four quarter sections comprising the land of the Pres- 
byterian Board of Foreign Missions are in section 36, township 14, 
range 13 east. The other quarter is in section 1, township 13, range 
13. The date of the patent from the United States to the board is 
April 10, 1858; it was filed June 11, 1858. Walter Lowrie and others 
formed it into a plat of Bellevue which was filed June 18, 1858. A 
plat of Anderson's addition to Bellevue, comprising twelve blocks, was 
filed not long after. — Ed. 



172 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

East the good people, anxious to save the souls of th«» 
heathen, procured from our beneficent government a 
grant of 640 acres of public lands, to assist in the regen- 
eration of the pagan Indians by teaching them agricul- 
ture.° They were taught to raise corn, pumpkins, squashes, 
etc., whilst imbibing the knowledge of the white man's 
God. There is no record of how many Indians were con- 
verted, or how much it cost per soul, but I saw some spind- 
ling stalks of corn there which may have had some nub- 
bins on them. The town was growing, the town site is ex- 
ceedingly beautiful, perhaps tlie most beautiful in the 
state, the people were enthusiastic about tlieir town and 
very jealous of the growing importance of Omaha. When 
the territory was organized in 1854 and the counties were 
laid off and bounded, the county of Douglas extended 
south to the Platte River and west to the Elkhorn River. 
But the people of Bellevue and the settlers of the south end 
of Douglas county were dissatisfied with existing condi- 
tions. Jealousy was the progenitor of dissension, and the 
turbulent spirits were determined to clip the wings of 
Omaha. The best way to accomplish this object was to 
divide the county and make a way by which ambitious 
spirits could be sent to the legislative assembly. There 
was no reason whatever why Douglas county should be 

'Section 13 of the treaty of March 16, 1854, by which the Omaha 
Indians ceded to the United States all their lands in Nebraska except 
a reservation for their own use, is as follows: 

The board of foreign missions of the Presbyterian church have on 
the lands of the Omahas a manual labor boarding school, for the edu- 
cation of the Omaha, Ottoe and other Indian youth, which is now in 
successful operation, and as it will be some time before the necessary 
buildings can be erected on the reservation, and [it is] desirable that 
the school should not be suspended, it is agreed that the said board 
shall have four adjoining quarter sections of land, so as to include as 
near as may be all the improvements heretofore made by them; and 
the President is authorized to issue to the proper authority of said 
board a patent in fee simple for such four quarter sections. XJ. 8. 
Statutes at Large, X, 1043. 

In his Nebraska in 1857, page 88, James M. Woolworth, mentioning 
this incident, remarked that "those savages insisted upon the cession 
of the land occupied by the Mission to the parties in charge of it." — Ed. 



REMINISCENCES OF W. A. GWYER 173 

divided other than ambition and jealousy.* For these rea- 
sons Sarpy county sprang into existence. It was named 
Sarpy after a French trader, Peter A. Sarpy, who had a 
trading post at Bellevue years before the territory was 
organized. I had some peculiar experiences at Bellevue. 
The Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions was doing 
nothing in the line of converting pagan Indians and had 
conceived the idea of laying off a town site, issuing shares 
of stock and selling them. When I arrived they were sell- 
ing at |1,000 per share, calling for 25 lots each. I bought 
some and afterwards bought some lots of other parties 
until my holdings amounted to 150 lots. In the summer 
of 1857, anxious to build up the town, I established a brick 
plant. I had clay and wood in abundance and made two 
kilns of brick, about 200,000. I sold a moderate amount 
when sales began to slack and I concluded to erect a brick 
store. I built the store up two stories and had all the 
material on the ground — rafters, roof boards, shingles and 
flooring ready for building rapidly, when there came one 
of those gyrating, twisting, whirling devils, peculiar to 
Nebraska and Kansas. It smote that store, twisted it 
around and levelled the structure to the ground, then lifted 
up all the materials and debris to the clouds, and when it 
got tired let go and scattered everything over the prairie. 
The people seemed to think it was a special dispensation of 
providence in their favor and apijropriated the whole. 
God was good to give them so much building material for 
nothing. Some time after it was all done I was passing 
that way and found a man with a crowbar digging up the 

®The true history of the creation of Sarpy county shows that It 
was inspired by the positive wish and probably by a justifiable jeal- 
ousy of the rights and interests of the residents of the district which 
comprised the new county. For an account of the struggle over the 
establishing of Sarpy county see Nebraska State Historical Society, 
OoUections, XVI, 98-114. The cause of the strong popular feeling in 
favor of separation from Douglas county is stated in the majority re- 
port of the select committee of the council printed on page 109 of the 
volume cited. — Ed. 



174 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

foundation stones and carrying them away. I said nothing. 
Why should I object? He might as well have them as any- 
body, for some one would surely take them. 

I now have an experience to relate which is seemingly 
incredible, but it is absolutely true. I had built a well on 
the lot which was about a hundred feet deep and bricked 
up from the bottom. It was the only well on the hill, the 
people procuring their water from the numerous springs at 
the foot of the bluff. It cost about |200. All the town had 
the use of it. I had rigged it up with windlass, rope and 
buckets. It was apparently a public blessing at my ex- 
pense. Soon after the house blew down, the rope and 
buckets disappeared, then the windlass was invisible, and 
in due time the bricks began to go, and this continued until 
all of them were appropriated. I thought the thing was 
ended and there was nothing more for the appropriators. 
I passed the place a year afterward and found an enterpris- 
ing man had squatted on my lot and claimed it for his own. 
Thus was completed the stealing of the well, by stealing 
the hole in the ground. I paid taxes on my lots for many 
years, until I became exhausted and quit. The last I heard 
about them, a new speculator on others' misfortunes was 
fencing in the town for his personal use as a farm. My 
total loss on Bellevue was about |12,000. 

I occasionally drove down to the Platte, where a little 
settlement was forming, and I made the acquaintance of 
Richard Hogeboom and General Larimer.^ I had fonnerlv 



'William Larimer, Jr., came to Nebraska in 1854 and was a mem- 
ber of the House of Representatives of the second legislative assembly. 
As president of the Larimer City Town Company, General Larimer 
filed a certificate of the claim of the site of the company, comprising 
the east half of section 27, township 13, range 13 east of the first 
principal meridian, on July 20, 1857. The present town site of La 
Platte borders on the northern part of the east boimdary of the pro- 
jected Larimer City. As president of the La Platte City Company, on 
April 1, 1857, he filed a declaratory statement claiming parts of sec- 
tions 30 and 31, township 13, range 14 east, comprising 313.20 acres, 
as the site of La Platte City. This site is in the extreme corner 
formed by the junction of the Platte with the Missouri River. 



REMINISCENCES OF W. A. GWYER 175 

He was born on October 24, 1809. His birthplace is within the 
battle-field of Gettysburg. Removing to Pittsburg, he became a 
merchant, a banker, and president of a short line of railroad. He was 
also major-general of the western division of the Pennsylvania militia. 
I'a 1858 he removed from Nebraska to Leavenworth, Kansas, and m 
the fall of the same year he went to the Pike's Peak gold fields and 
assisted in starting the city of Denver. A principal street of the city 
and a county of the state bear his name. The biographies cited say 
that he built the first, house in Denver, but, like all claims of this 
"first" sort, this one is stoutly denied. Early in 1863, probably, Lari- 
mer returned to Leavenworth where on August 12 of that year he 
became captain of Company A, Fourteenth Regiment Kansas Volunteer 
Cavalry and served until the regiment was mustered out in June, 1865. 
Though his physique was stunning, he rose to no higher rank than the 
captaincy. Fort Scott, Kansas, was the headquarters of the regiment 
during Its entire career, and its colonel, Charles W. Baird, was com- 
mander of the post. The regiment was actively engaged in frontier 
warfare. Captain Larimer returned to Leavenworth at the end of the 
war and died there May 16, 1875. He was of rolling stone "advanced" 
disposition. He was a radical abolitionist before he left Pennsylvania, 
and he championed the cause of woman suffrage in Nebraska, for 
which he suffered ridicule by politicians in general and J. Sterling 
Morton in particular. He joined the Liberal Republican movement 
in 1872, and was a candidate for the office of presidential elector on the 
Greeley ticket. He was president of the board of trustees of the in- 
stitution for the blind at Wyandotte and a member of the board of 
managers of the reform school at Leavenworth. The National Cyclo- 
pedia of American Biography, IV, 390; XIII, 515; Appleton's Cyclopedia 
of American Biography, III, 618; Annuls of Kansas, pp. 356, 493, 583, 
584; Kansas Historical Collections, VI, 456; VII, 446, 452; VIII, 519, 
530; XIII. 72; Bancroft's Works, XXV, 370, 424. 

In both of the biographies here cited it is erroneously said that 
Captain Larimer was colonel of the Third Regiment Colorado Infantry. 
Under date of January 31, 1918, Mr. J. C. Smiley, Curator of the State 
Historical and Natural History Society of Colorado, wrote to the editor 
as follows: 

In reply to your inquiry in relation to the military record of 
Colonel William Larimer, I submit the following statement from our 
records : 

"Early in the autumn of 1862, Governor John Evans was author- 
ized to recruit another regiment, of which General William Larimer 
was to be Colonel under instructions from Washington, and which was 
to be Third Colorado Infantry. The difficulties in filling the ranks of 
the Second Regiment should have suggested those which attended and, 
to a great extent, negatived the Third. However, the Third was un- 
dertaken with some enthusiasm and determination. At that juncture 
General Larimer, realizing the improbability of completing the regi- 
mental organization, withdrew his connection with it." 

We have no record of General Larimer's further military service 
during our Civil War. — Ed. 



176 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

heard of General Larimer as a banker and politician of 
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He had been a disappointed 
candidate for governor and liad failed as a banker, so I was 
astonished to find him here, squatting on a magnificent 
prairie and running a sawmill. He was living with his 
family in a board shanty in apparent poverty, but with 
some evidences of former wealth about him. He was a 
magnificent, brainy man and bore his changed condition 
with fortitude. About a year after this, when the news of 
the discovery of gold at Pike's Peak stirred the whole 
country, the people of Nebraska were the first to rush for 
the new El Dorado. General Larimer hurried there and 
was one of the first settlers on Cherry Creek where he 
helped to establish Denver, and one of its streets bears his 
name. He was a prominent man in the early days of Colo- 
rado, and I presume deceased there.® 

This reference to Denver and Colorado opens a broad 
field, which is so intimately related to Nebraska that I 
feel constrained to say something about it. When the dis- 
covery of gold in the Pike's Peak field was first reported, 
there was a hegira from Omaha. All the loose and unat- 
tached men rushed there, and many of them became per- 
manent settlers. William N. Byers took out a press and 
font of type on a wagon, 600 miles across the prairie, and 
established the Rocky Mountain News and was afterwards 
postmaster of Denver and of importance in business af- 
fairs. David Moffat, a boy of about eighteen, was among 
the number. He started a newspaper stand, a stationery 
store, and progressed rapidly, became president of a bank, 
a builder of railroads and is called a millionaire. There 
was a host of just such men who assisted in building up 
Denver.® In fact Colorado is the child of Omaha. 

A man who lived at Florence, just north of Omaha, 

* See preceding footnote 7. — Ed. 

'For biographies of William Newton Byers, see History of Ne- 
braska, I, 224; also The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, 
XIII, 514; of David Halllday Moffat, ibid., VI, 441.— Ed. 



REMINISCENCES OF W. A. GWYER 177 

hitched up his team and started for Cherry Creek. His 
name was Steele. In less than a year afterward he called on 
me and in conversation informed me that he was the squat- 
ter governor of the Territory of Jefferson. The vast aggre- 
gation of people of all kinds, good and bad, made it neces- 
sary to form a government, and so, in mass convention at 
Cherry Creek, the Territory of Jefferson was organized.^" 
Officers were elected, courts established, trial by jury was 
had, and swift punishment was nieted out to all offenders. 
When all this had been done Congress acted." 

The spring of 1857 opened beautifully. The cold and 
gloom and hardships of winter passed away, and all na- 
ture smiled. There was an influx of men from the east and 
south. I can remember a few of them only — Gilbert C. 
Monell, James W. Van Nostrand, James M. Woolworth, 
John I. Redick, David D. Belden, Joseph H. Millard, 
Judge Clinton Briggs, all of whom were identified more or 
less with the early history of Nebraska. Lumber to build 
houses with was a prime necessity, and the little that could 
be obtained from St. Joseph, Missouri, brought exorbitant 
prices. I saw it all and decided to supply the demand. I 
purchased a large quantity in Chicago, sent it in barges 
through a canal, then existing, to the Mississippi River, 
floated them down the river to St. Louis, loaded two steam- 

" For an account of the attempt to establish the Territory of Jef- 
ferson and the state of Jefferson, see Bancroft's Works (history of 
Nevada, Colorado, and Wyoming) XXV, 403-413; for biographies of 
Robert W. Steele, ibid., 410, History of Nebraska, 1, 364.— Ed. 

" An act of Congress passed February 28, 1861, provided the Ter- 
ritory of Colorado with a legal government. Mr. Gwyer exaggerates 
somewhat the activities of the provisional government. Its authority 
was never generally recognized by the inhabitants, whose allegiance 
was divided between the legitimate territorial government of Kansas, 
organizations extemporized by miners, and the similar organizations 
of the Territory of Jefferson. The northern boundary line of Kansas 
ran about eighteen miles north of the first settlement, now the heart 
of Denver, and a short distance south of the southern extremity of 
Boulder whose site was therefore within Nebraska. Most, though not 
all, of the mines of the Pike's Peak gold field were south of the 
Kansas-Nebraska boundary. — Ed. 

13 



178 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

boats bound for Omaha to the water's edge and paid 
freight bills to the amount of three hundred dollars. The 
freight added to the cost in Chicago involved an expendi- 
ture of $20,000. I began selling at prices which seem as- 
tounding at the present time. Common rough boards and 
studding sold at |60 to |75 per thousand, weather-boarding 
at $100, flooring at |120, shingles and lath at |12 per M., 
and sashes and doors at correspondingly high prices. The 
profits were enormous, and everything seemed to indicate 
a grand success. Money was abundant, all brought in 
from the east; lots and lands were selling, without any 
title but "claims", to ready purchasers; all was at flood 
tide, when, suddenly, without warning, news came of the 
failure of the Ohio Life and Trust Company followed by 
the collapse of numerous banking institutions east of us. 
The speculative bubble burst wide open. The Nebraska 
banks closed. Every one who had money in them lost it, 
and every one who had money anywhere lost it; for there 
was no one to cash it. This condition was a deathblow to 
everybody in Nebraska. I was caught, not because I owed 
money, but because I could not sell anything I owned. No 
one could buy lumber, so my stock was utterly unsalable. 
I could not sell sufficient to purchase provisions for my 
family. It was the ruin of all my high ambitions. The 
question was no longer how I could best promote the state 
of Nebraska but how I, personally, could exist at all. But 
I did live through it some way,^^ and my ambition was not 

" Mr. Gwyer's black picture of financial conditions is rather too 
uniform. For example, the Platte Valley Bank, at Nebraska City, one 
of seven banks of the territory which were chartered by acts of the 
legislative assembly, was uniformly solvent and redeemed all of its 
money bills, and this was true also of the Bank of Dakota, at Dakota 
City, which was operated without legal authority. The cause of this re- 
markable condition was that there was no stable property in the ter- 
ritory as a basis for sound credit until Nebraska City became a depot 
and reshipping point for supplies for the army which was sent to 
Utah in 1857 and 1858 to suppress the Mormon rebellion. The Kountze 
brothers, who backed the Bank of Dakota, had gained credit outside 
of Nebraska. Samuel E. Rogers, who afterward became a substantial 



KEMINISCENCES OF W. A. GWYER 179 

entirely crushed. At the next election" I was chosen a 
member of the House of Representatives, and, from the 
time of my election to the beginning of the session, I pre- 
pared bills to be presented to the House. They were all for 
the benefit of the people. I spent weeks writing a revenue 
act. It was no small matter to think out the ways and 
means of providing a revenue for the territory which 
should be just and proper for all citizens. In due time this 
bill" was reported back to the House, and then was com- 

cltizen of Omaha and had a prosperous private bank there in 1856, 
said: "The panic of 1857 set in in the autumn of that year and the 
then village of Omaha was at once almost deserted. The population of 
about 2,000 was rapidly reduced to about 500 by the spring of 1858, by 
which time nearly all business was suspended." Nebraska State His- 
torical Society, Proceedings and Collections, second series, II, 116. In 
an address at the state fair on September 26, 1878, Algernon S. Pad- 
dock, then United States senator for Nebraska, said: "When I first 
arrived at Omaha, after nearly a week's journey by steamboat from 
St. Louis, the entire population . . . then sojourning there could 
not have exceeded fifteen hundred at most. And, as I soon learned, 
not one in twenty of these had any visible means of support, any faith 
in the country, or any expectation whatever other than to leave as 
soon as he could sell his lot in town or his preemption claim in the 
country, which, quite likely, he had acquired, not by an investment of 
hard earned money, but by certain circumlocutory processes, the in- 
vention of speculative genius." 

For a full account, by the present editor, of the condition of the 
banks of that period see Watkins, History of Nebraska, II, chapter I; 
also chapter VIII, by Henry W. Yates. On page 312 Mr. Yates de- 
scribes the demoralized economic conditions at this time. — Ed. 

"The election of members of this legislative assembly — the fifth — 
was held August 2, 1858.— Ed. 

"House Bill No. 6, "An act for the collection of the revenue", 
presented September 27, at the session called by Governor William A. 
Richardson to meet September 21, 1858; but inasmuch as there was no 
provision in the organic act for the payment of members for special 
sessions, an act was passed on October 2 which declared that the 
session should be deemed regular from October 4, thus merging the 
special and regular sessions into the fifth session. See further, Wat- 
kins, History of Nebraska, I, 360; House Journal, fifth legislative as- 
sembly, p, 60. Mr. Gwyer tried unsuccessfully to have his bill referred 
to the judiciary committee instead of the committee of ways and 
means, which on October 13 reported as follows: 



180 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Your committee, to whom was referred 

H. R. No. 6, "A bill for the collection of the revenue," 

Beg leave to report a new bill as a substitute. 

Your committee would submit, that to arrange a Revenue Bill, so 
as to work smoothly, without clashing, is perhaps the most difficult 
duty required in the formation of a new code of laws; and though 
your committee have used great care, they are by no means certain 
that the bill reported is without fault, and on account of its impor- 
tance, would ask of the House its most careful consideration, and to 
that end would recommend that the bill be laid on the table to be 
printed. 

On motion of Mr. Gwyer, 
The report was accepted, and the bill ordered printed. House Journal, 
fifth legislative assembly, page 98. 

After the third reading of the bill, on October 29, Mr. Gwyer asked 
that his protest against a part of section 31 be entered on the journal, 
which being denied, his request to be excused from voting was granted. 
The bill was then passed by a vote of 25 to 3. Ibid., p. 182. On the 
next day the Council made short work of the bill. It was presented on 
the 29th, taken up on the 30th and read twice, the second time by 
title under suspension of the rules; considered briefly in committee of 
the whole, read the third time and passed by a vote of 9 to 2, William 
E, Moore of Douglas county and Elmer S. Dundy of Richardson voting 
no. Council Journal, fifth legislative assembly, pp. 194, 201, 202. The 
title of the bill as passed is "A Bill For An Act to Provide for the 
Valuation and Assessment of the Real and Personal Property, and for 
the Levying and Collection of Taxes in the Territory of Nebraska." 

It ought to be improbable, at least, that the committee appropriated 
Mr. Gwyer's bill, reported it as "a new bill", without change, and 
specifically represented that it was their own creation. Following is 
the statement accompanying the bill: 

Your committee would submit, that to arrange a Revenue Bill, so 
as to work smoothly, without clashing, is perhaps the most difficult 
duty required in the formation of a new code of laws; and though 
your committee have used great care, they are by no means certain 
that the bill reported is without fault, and on account of its impor- 
tance, would ask of the House its most careful consideration, and to 
that end would recommend that the bill be laid on the table to be 
printed. S. G. Daily, Chairman, 

J. H. Seymour, 
Lewis M. Kline, 
E. P. Rankin, 
Wm. C. Fleming. 
On the other hand, a member of this selfsame assembly pleaded In 
palliation of an irregularity previously committed by himself, "You 
are aware that is the way things were done in those days"; and not 
all of the signers of the report would have balked at the trick which 
Mr. Gwyer accuses them of playing through delicacy of conscientious 
scruple. But between them time and carelessness have so dealt with 
the evidence touching this question of veracity that it may never be 
settled. — Ed. 



REMINISCENCES OP W. A. GWYEK 181 

mitted a most shameful and dastardly act which should 
meet tlie scorn and detestation of all lionorable men. My 
plain and simple title of the bill to provide revenue for the 
territory of Nebraska was struck out, and a long list of 
words to make it more imposing was substituted, and re- 
ported back as their bill. The text was not changed in any 
way. I never received a word of commendation for the 
work I had done, and the people of Nebraska never knew 
that I was the author of the revenue act, and the actorfe 
in this shameful deed smirked over it as a smart trick. 

Notwithstanding the injustice that was done me, I suc- 
ceeded in placing on the statute books an act which is im- 
mortal and which will live to tlie credit of Nebraska as 
long as the state exists. Noting that county clerks and 
recorders of deeds were charging ten cents every time a 
citizen wanted any information about the records, I 
thought this should be remedied and, sitting at my desk 
one day in the House, I wrote a short bill, "An act to au- 
thorize every citizen of Nebraska to examine the public 
records'V^ presented and passed it. It went through with- 
out a thought of its importance. I am willing to admit I 
did not myself see its far reaching results. It has saved 
many thousands of dollars in the pockets of the people: 
all records of the state, and counties, and courts come 
under this sweeping act; in fact, every record of a public 

" House Bill No. 13, "An act to authorize citizens to view the public 
records"; introduced September 29, read first and second time, re- 
ferred to committee on judiciary, Oliver P. Mason, chairman; reported 
back amended by striking out "at all seasonable hours", which was 
adopted; ordered engrossed for a third reading "on tomorrow"; Sep- 
tember 30, read third time and passed without roll call; October 1, 
reported to Council and read first time; October 2, read second time 
and "ordered engrossed and read third time tomorrow"; Monday, 
October 4, read third time, ayes and nays demanded on its passage, 
passed 6 to 2, George W. Doane of Douglas county and William H. 
Taylor of Otoe voting no. For the act see Laws of Nebraska, 4-6 Ter. 
Sessions, p. 221. It appears as section 5595 of The Revised Statutes of 
the State of Nebraska 1913, without other change than the substitution 
of "state" for territory. 



182 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

character is open to every citizen, high or low, rich or 
poor, learned and unlearned, nothing may be concealed 
from them. This act was used with great effect by At- 
torney General Estabrook in the impeachment case of 
Governor David Butler. General Estabrook walked into 
the oflSce of tlie state treasurer and demanded a "show up", 
and he got it. When the state government was organized, 
the territorial statutes were examined by a commission 
appointed for that purpnjse, and this act was incorporated 
in the statutes of the state. The people of Nebraska, law- 
yers included, seem to think they were born to it, that it is 
a sort of birthright, when the fact is it is entirely a creature 
of legislation. It was a Nebraska baby, and I am the father 
of it. The eastern states can learn a lesson from Nebraska. 
States that have existed from the time of the Mayflower 
have no similar law.^® 

" This principle of which Mr. Gwyer claims to be the origlniator had 
been long established both by the common law and by statute. Justice 
Casody of the Wisconsin supreme court stated the common law prin- 
ciple briefly, as follows: "Counsel contends that the right to inspect 
and copy public records is confined to those having some interest in the 
particular record sought to be inspected or copied, and does not extend 
to one seeking to do so from mere curiosity, or for his own private 
gain. Such seems to be substantially the rule at common law." Han- 
son vs. Eichstaedt, 69 Wis., 538. In his opinion Judge Casody quoted 
from a Michigan case cited by counsel the statement that "there is no 
common law right to make copies or abstracts of public records for 
speculative purposes . . ." 

Section 50, article 2, title 2, chapter 3, part 3 Revised Statutes of 
New York, 1852, provided that records of deeds and mortgages in all 
counties of New York "shall at all proper times be open for the in- 
spection of any person paying therefor the fees allowed by law." The 
New York court of appeals declared that 

The records are, therefore, public records which every person has 
the right to inspect, examine and copy, at all reasonable times, in a 
proper way, and the register cannot deny access to his office or to the 
books for such purposes, to any person coming there at a proper time 
and in an orderly manner. Neio York Reports, XCIX, 623. 

Section 65 of chapter 117, Revised Statutes of Wisconsin, 1858, pro- 
vided that all records in the offices of county judges "shall at all rea- 
sonable times be open to access and inspection by any person having 
any business therewith." and section 156, chapter 13, of the same 



REMINISCENCES OP W. A. GWYER 183 

I pass over the five years of the rebellion, as that may 
appear at another time, and proceed to say that I returned 
to Omaha in 1866. I was elected to the senate in 1873, 
was president of that body, and for a short period acting 
governor. I had prepared a number of bills which were 
introduced by a colleague, at my request, and some were 
enacted. I was a member of the constitutional convention 
of 1875 which framed the present organic act of the state. 
I there did a good service for the benefit of all the people. 
The state owns many millions of acres of the lands of the 
state. A beneficent government, prodigal of its lands and 
considering education as essential to good citizenship, 
placed in the enabling act of 1851 a clause donating to the 
state of Nebraska sections 16 and 36 in every township. 
This is one-eighteenth part of all the lands in the state to 
be used for educational purposes; it was a wondrous en- 
dowment, and no government heretofore had ever done 
such a thing.^^ This land might be sold, but the proceeds 

statute, provided that "All books and papers required to be kept in" 
all the county offices "shall be open for the examination of any person, 
and any person when so examining the same may take minutes there- 
from . . ." This provision, in substance, is contained in section 
137, chapter 10 of the Revised Statutes of 1849. The statutes of 1858 
provided that the records of the secretary of state should be open to 
inspection by the governor and committees of either house of the legis- 
lature. The statutes of many states had provided for general access to 
public records, in some cases free of charge and in others on payment 
of a fee, long before Mr, Gwyer wrote the foregoing pa>per. Other states 
have preferred to leave the question subject to the common law. — Ed. 

" This was the organic act, a body of law authorizing the organiza- 
tion of the territory and for its government. The enabling act, passed 
in 1864, authorized the people of the territory to adopt a constitution 
preparatory to its admission as a state into the Union. The statement 
that this grant of two sections of land from each township of Nebraska 
was the first of its kind is quite erroneous. A like provision had al- 
ready been made in the organic act of Oregon (1848), Minnesota 
(1849), New Mexico and Utah (1850), and Washington (1853); also 
in the organic act of Kansas, passed simultaneously with that of Ne- 
braska, and it is in all the subsequent organic acts — the last one for 
Oklahoma, passed in 1890 — with tue exception of Arizona, where condi- 
tions were peculiar. The enabling act for the state of Arizona, passed 



184 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

of sales must be kept perpetually for the use of future gen- 
erations. The state organized a board of public lands to 
take charge of these lands and sell the same at their dis- 
cretion. It was a sacred trust for the present and future. 
I found the board was selling some of these lands at what 
I thought was very low prices, in some instances as low as 
two or three dollars per acre. I was determined that this 
should not continue. I wrote a clause and secured its 
adoption in the organic act, prohibiting the board from 
selling any of the school lands for a less sum than the 
minimum price of seven dollars per acre. And there it 
stands to-day, beyond the reach of the legislature, or the 
chicanery of any man, the lands cannot be frittered away, 
they are saved for value now and in the future; and can 

In 1906, gave four sections of every township for the support of common 
schools. The enabling act for the state of Oklahoma (1906) provided 
a fund of five million dollars for the support of common schools, in 
lieu of the usual grant of lands for the Indian Territory which was in- 
corporated in the state. The enabling act of Utah (1894) gave an ad- 
ditional section from each township. Prior to the grant in the organic 
act for Oregon it had been the custom to give, through the enabling 
acts for states, section 16 of each township for the support of common 
schools. Indiana in 1816, Illinois in 1818, Alabama in 1819, Missouri 
in 1820, Arkansas and Michigan In 1836, Iowa in 1845, Wisconsin in 
1846 received this allowance. 

The common school system became the beneficiary of the abundance 
of public lands at an early time. Thus, the New York constitution of 
1821 appropriated the proceeds of all lands belonging to the state as a 
perpetual fund for the support of common schools; the Ohio constitu- 
tion of 1851 provided that the principal of all funds arising from the 
sale or other disposition of all lands granted or entrusted to the state 
for educational or religious purposes should forever be preserved in- 
violate and undiminished; Texas with a provision in her first constitu- 
tion that no lands then held or thereafter granted for the support of 
schools should be alienated; the first constitution of California (1849) 
constituted the proceeds of all land that might be granted by the 
United States for the support of public schools and the 500,000 acres 
granted to each new state by the act of 1841, a perpetual common 
school fund. The constitutions of the reconstructed southern states, 
such as Florida (1865), North Carolina and South Carolina (1868). 
Virginia and Tennessee (1870), alike jealously guarded the proceeds 
of land granted by Congress or otherwise acquired. — Ed. 



REMINISCENCES OF W. A. GWYER 185 

be reached only by changing or abolishing the organic act. 
When the work was all done, I was complimented by a vote 
of thanks of the convention for work well performed.'*" 

" The constitution which had been painstakingly prepared by a con- 
vention held in 1871, but which w^as rejected by a small majority of 
voters through the hostility of railroad and religious corporations, was 
used as a model by the convention of 1875. Accordingly most of the 
sections of the article on education, which was reported by Mr. Walther, 
chairman of the committee on education, school funds and lands. 
In the convention of 1875, of which committee Mr. Gwyer was a mem- 
ber, were copied verbatim from the corresponding article of the con 
stltution of 1871. The section in question — fixing a minimum price of 
seven dollars an acre for school lands — is a literal copy of the cor- 
responding section of the constitution of 1871. Constitutional Conven- 
tions, III, 456, 543, 544. It was section 7 of the article on education, 
which was reported to the convention by Experience Estabrook, as 
chairman of the committee on education, school funds and lands. 
Ibid., I, 253, 254. In the convention, Mr. Seth Robinson, a delegate from 
Lancaster county, moved to reduce the minimum price from seven 
dollars to three dollars, and the motion was rejected without debate 
by a vote of 6 ayes to 33 nays; whereupon the section was adopted 
by a vote of 28 to 12. Mr. Robinson explained his motion as follows: 

I will state my reason for this, Mr. President. I believe the legisla- 
ture raised the price of these lands to seven dollars an acre, and 1 
think they ought to be sold for that price if we can get it, but I would 
like to allow the legislature after they have sold all they can at that 
price to have the privilege of putting it down to even three dollars. I 
know that there are some of the lands in this county that will not sell 
for twenty-five cents an acre, in section sixteen and thirty-six. Con- 
stitutional Conventions, II, 263. 

Section 12 of an act of the legislature passed June 24, 1867, to pro- 
vide for the control of school lands and of the proceeds of their sale, 
contained this clause: 

Provided, That no lands shall be sold for less than seven dollars per 
acre in addition to the appraised value of the improvements on the 
land. Laws of Nebraska, third session (special), p. 40. 

Thus the seven-dollar restriction on the price of school lands had 
been incorporated in both statute and constitution long before it was 
continued in the present constitution. Moreover, the convention of 
1875 did not thank Mr. Gwyer for anything he may have had to do 
toward the protection of school lands or funds, but it did thank him for 
services as chairman of the committee on engrossment and enrollment. 
Constitutional Conventions, III, 675. — Ed. 



NEBRASKA IN THE FIFTIES 
By David M. Johnston 

Soon after Secretary of State Cuming became acting 
governor of the territory of Nebraska, he issued a procla- 
mation for an election to take place December 12, 1854, to 
elect one delegate to Congress and twenty-six members of 
the House of Representatives and thirteen members of the 
Council.^ There were four candidates who hoped to rep- 
resent the new territory in Congi*ess — Bird B. Chapman of 
Ohio, Hadley D. Johnson of Iowa, Napoleon B. Giddings 
of Missouri, and myself of St. Joseph. I procured a mule, 
saddle, bridle and a pair of spurs and thus equipped, in 
November, 1854, something after the fashion of the knights 
of old, started to seek my political fortunes in the new ter- 
ritory. Here the issue was the location of the capital. 
Two places were candidates for this honor, and the waters 
of the Platte separated the interests and votes of the con- 
testants. As but few voters were living in the territory at 
this time, the canvass, by common consent, was transferred 
to the populous settlements on the east bank of tlie Mis- 
souri River in the states of Iowa and Missouri. 

My journey along the east bank of the Missouri was a 
lonely one, but I was cheered and animated by the pleasing 
fancies of Hope that pictured in the near future the reward 
of solid greatness and congressional honors. I crossed the 



^ Thomas B. Cuming, the first secretary of the territory of Nebraska 
— ^not secretary of state — took the official oath on August 3, 1854, at 
Washington, D. C. According to a provision of the organic act estab- 
lishing the territory, the secretary became acting governor at the 
death of Governor Burt, which occurred at half past three o'clock In 
the afternoon of October 18, 1854. Governor Burt took the official oath 
at Bellevue on October 16, 1854.— Ed. 



NEBRASKA IN THE FIFTIES 187 

Missouri at a place called Bennet's Ford "^ and entered the 
new territory for the first time in November, 185-i. Around 
me spread the silent forest stripped of its foliage, and the 
dry grass at my feet bore the somber tint of decay. I had 
traveled but a short distance when I heard the sound of 
voices from a ravine a few rods away. My mind for a few 
moments tlirew off the gloom that had settled upon it, and 
the prospect for making my first stump speech was at hand. 
But imagine my surprise and disgust when I found my 
prospective audience to be a score of Indians feasting on a 
slaughtered hog. Now I discovered my mistake in not hav- 
ing acquired some knowledge of the Indian language before 
venturing into the new country. 

However, I pushed forward on my patient and jaded 
mule for old Fort Kearny, and, as I ascended the bluffs 
that overlooked the Missouri River, I saw to my surprise 
and pleasure a short distance ahead a log house, which 
proved to be the dwelling of a white man. I stopped, and 
the woman of the house invited me in, but to my surprise I 
again found about a dozen Indians who were seated on the 
floor, eying with close attention the cookstove in the center 
of the room. The cheerful fire was very comforting to my 
chilled limbs, and a frying pan full of meat sent forth an 
appetizing odor. While the woman, young and sandy 
haired, was kneading bread at a small table with her back 
to the stove, an Indian would slip up, snatch a piece of 
meat from the pan, hide it under his blanket and retire 
from the house to devour his prize. This was repeated 
several times by the Indians before the unsuspecting eye of 
the hostess caught one of them in the very act, with his 
hand on the meat. In a moment she was in a storm of 
passion, and springing toward them ordered them out of 

^ About 1854 Gideon Bennet established a ferry at Otoe City at or 
near the present site of Minersville, a station on the Burlington rail- 
road six miles south of Nebraska City. As early as 1849 Otoe City was 
an important crossing for emigrants to Utah and California. In 1857 
the traffic was sufficient to require a steam ferryboat. — Ed. 



188 NEBKASILA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

the house. This was a trying time to me, and for a few 
moments my mind was filled with horrible pictures of In- 
dian barbarities. But the brave little woman stood her 
ground with firmness, armed with a broom, and at last 
called on me to help her. I put on a brave front and, with 
as stern a look as I could assume and in a voice choked 
with fear, shouted the only Indian word I knew, when to 
my great astonishment and relief the thieves left the house 
and retired to their camp a short distance away. 

After eating dinner with my hospitable hostess 1 con- 
tinued my journey to Fort Kearny and arrived there with- 
out further adventure. I stayed all night with a Major 
Downs ^ who had been in the regular army, in the old 

* For accounts of the career of Hiram P. Dov/ns see Nebraska State 
Historical Society, Transactions and Reports, I, 38-41; Watkins, History 
of NebrasJca, I, 224; ibid., 11, 168. Downs held various military offices, 
the highest that of lieutenant colonel of the First Regiment Nebraska 
Volunteers, organized in 1861. The Nebraska City News, January 18, 
1862. August F. Harvey, editor, explains and defends the resignation 
of Lieutenant Colonel Downs in the following somewhat partisan 
fashion : 

Some anxiety having been manifested to know the reason of Lt. 
Col, Downs' resignation, we state what we know of the matter. When 
the Regiment was organized, it was upon the distinct understanding, 
expressed in a letter from Mr. Secretary Cameron, that the Regiment 
was not to be ordered out of the Territory. Many of the officers and 
men repaired to the rendezvous, leaving their private business un- 
settled, with the expectation of having an opportunity to return and 
arrange their personal affairs, before going into active service. This 
was especially the case v/ith Lt. Col. Downs. — When the order came to 
go to Missouri, (an order obtained mainly through the anxiety of Col. 
Thayer to show himself,) Lt. Col. Downs, went with the 1st battalion; 
and he did not even have time to visit his family, much less to attend 
to any business. After six months of active service in the field, during 
which the Lt. Col. did not leave the regiment scarcely a day, and 
during which he bore, in fact, the responsibilities of the reputation of 
the regiment, he asked for a leave of absence, so that he could visit 
his family and arrange his private matters. The leave was denied him, 
and the only alternative left, whereby he could save his personal busi- 
ness from ruin, was for him to resign. His resignation was tendered 
for these reasons. The Lt. Col. as a brave soldier, has not sought to 
shirk any duties towards the Territory, his country or flag; and stands 
ready as ever to answer the call of the first or defend the honor of the 
last 

His friends are endeavoring to procure for him a commission as 
Brigadier General. Through experience, and ability, he deserves It, 
and we hope the President will appoint him. We should be glad to see 
him in a position where he may have for himself all the credit which 
attaches to a faithful and able performance of a soldier's duty. 



NEBRASKA IN THE FIFTIES 189 

blockhouse which he Iiad converted into a hotel, and this, 
with the dismantled fort and five or six other buildings, 
constituted the town, which under the name of Nebraska 
City had recently been started by S. F. Nuckolls and some 
others.* Next morning I met a few friends and showed 

* The continuous occupation of what is now the site of Nebraska 
City began late in May, 1846, with the arrival of General Stephen W. 
Kearny and his command of one company of the First Dragoons and 
one of the First Infantry, with orders to establish a military post at 
the place then called Table Creek. The ground for the buildings was 
at once laid off and the plans for them decided upon. But the war 
with Mexico having been declared on the 13th of the same month, the 
dragoons left for Fort Leavenworth on the 30th, and the other com- 
pany arrived there on July 13. Furthermore, by about the first of 
June the war department had decided to abandon the enterprise al- 
together and establish a substitute post immediately on the route to 
Oregon, which was done in May, 1848. Suspension of the work at 
Table Creek was ordered on June 22, 1846. But before Captain W. E. 
Prince and his company, the First Infantry, left Table Creek they built 
the blockhouse and one or two other buildings. Captain Prince left 
these buildings in the custody of a caretaker. On September 15, 1847, 
Lieutenant Colonel Ludlow E. Powell's battalion of Missouri Mounted 
Volunteers arrived at the abandoned post and remained there until 
April 28, 1848, when it proceeded on its way to establish new Fort 
Kearny. On or about February 1, 1854, Charles H. Cowles, who be- 
came a member of the Council of the first Legislative Assembly of the 
Territory of Nebraska, and two others. Green and Johnson by name, 
agreed at Linden, Missouri, forthwith to establish a town on the 
former site of old Fort Kearny and to name it Nebraska City. Cowles 
went at once to carry out the design and, finding Sergeant Hiram P. 
Downs in custody of the fort of two or three buildings, of the old post, 
gained his permission to squat on the premises by taking him aS' a 
partner in the enterprise instead of Johnson. There had been no 
regular military reservation made, so that the proposed town site 
belonged to the Oto Indians until March 15, 1854, when they ceded to 
the United States all their lands west of the Missouri River, excepting 
a reservation on the Blue River. But the president did not confirm 
the treaty until June 21, and it took a long time for news of the rati- 
fication to reach the Indian agent. In the meantime Stephen F. 
Nuckolls had bought an interest in the proposed town, and afterward 
other partners were taken in. The city of Nebraska City was not 
legally established until the Legislative Assembly passed the act of 
Incorporation, March 2, 1855. The war department had forbidden 
settlement by whites upon the Oto lands, so the town site scheme was 
dropped; but Cowles had erected a dwelling house for himself and a 



190 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

them my letters and revealed to them the object of my 
visit. 

My next stop was at Omaha, the place selected by the 
governor for the meeting of the first legislature of the ter- 
ritory.^ Omaha was at this time simply a name; there 
were only one or two houses, but the site was beautiful and 
the town soon commenced growing rapidly. At the time of 
my first visit I stayed all night on the town site and was 
kindly entertained by one of the proprietors, a Mr. Good- 
well, at his home, a dugout, which he called "a hole in the 
ground No. 6." We played euchre and old sledge till a 
late hour. 

The next morning I started back to old Fort Kearny 
and the southern part of the territory. I found a few 

building for a store, and in June, 1854, he bought a stock of goods at 
St. Louis and soon proceeded with his business. Under instructions 
from Washington Major George Hepner, the agent of the Oto Indians, 
formally protested against his carrying on the business, but through 
dilatory tactics, including presents of money to the Indians, practical 
interference was put off until news of the confirmation of the treaty 
arrived. A new set of men afterward entered the town site. 

For the accommodation of the Oto agency, of travelers, and of 
desultory traders, a post office, called Table Creek, was established at 
the old military post, and John Boulware, who had established a ferry 
on the Missouri River there, either in 1846 or 1847, was appointed 
postmaster on December 20, 1853; but the name of the office was 
changed to Nebraska City, March 14, 1855, as soon as practicable after 
the Legislative Assembly had granted a charter to the town under 
that name, and Mr. Cowles was then appointed postmaster. It seems 
fair therefore to give Mr. Cowles credit for having started the move- 
ment to establish or organize Nebraska City and originating Its name. 
He told the story of his adventtine in Nebraska State Historical Society, 
Transactions and Reports, I, 37. Hiram P. Bennet introduced in the 
Council the bill to incorporate Nebraska City; but he came there from 
Glenwood, Iowa, only just in time to be elected councilman. Mr, 
Cowles had preceded him by nearly a year and before the passage of 
the bill for the organization of the territory. — Ed. 

° The choice was not made until December 20, 1854, when Thomas 
B. Cuming, the acting governor, issued a proclamation "convening 
said Legislative Assembly at Omaha City, Nebraska Territory, on 
Tuesday, the sixteenth day of January, next." — Ed. 



I 



NEBRASKA IN THE FIFTIES 191 

settlers on Muddy Creek, now in Richardson county. Here 
I selected a claim for my home. This was a very beautiful 
and attractive country, well watered and wooded, with a 
soil unsurpassed in fertility and supporting heavy and 
luxuriant grasses. Having seen the voters in Richardson 
county, about thirty in all, I crossed the river to try my 
hand at electioneering in Missouri and Iowa. Here I met 
with splendid success, for I had enough votes promised me 
to beat all my competitors in the race, and the voters 
promised to be on hand on the day of election. But how 
uncertain are all the affairs of human life. On my way 
back I found that the Missouri was too dangerous to cross ; 
it was full almost from bank to bank, and logs, trees, and 
ice floated down in wild confusion. No boat could be found 
to take me across; and now, standing on the east bank of 
the swollen stream, my patient mule by my side, for the 
first time I saw in the distance the horrible picture of de- 
feat. However, in a few days I was able to cross, and saw 
my Richardson county friends. Then I started for Ne- 
braska City; but again I found myself water bound by a 
freshet in the Nemaha. My long absence from Nebraska 
City was construed into a withdrawal from the race, and 
with this rumor my hopes for Congress expired. This was 
but a few days before the election, and my friends on 
Muddy Creek put me on the track for membership of the 
House of Representatives of the territory and I was elected. 
My election was celebrated, in the old-fashioned way, by a 
big dance. A boy on a fleet horse, with two empty jugs and 
fifty cents, was dispatched to Missouri and instructed to 
return with all possible haste. A log cabin twelve by fif- 
teen feet, situated on the bank of the Muddy, near a beau- 
tiful grove, was the scene of festivities. One corner of the 
room was selected by the judge of election to count the 
votes, while the remainder was devoted to the dance, and 
an old-fashiond fireplace furnished both light and heat for 
the occasion. Seven couples occupied the floor and 
marched to the music of the violin. The harmony of the 



192* NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

dance was not interrupted until our messenger returned 
with the jugs and then only long enough to give the men 
time to inspect their contents. The revelry continued until 
a late hour, and its pleasures were terminated only by the 
exhaustion of our supplies. 

The images of these gpod old days are still bright on the 
canvas of our memory, and furnish thought for amusement 
and reflection; and, though distance of over fifty years 
separates us from scenes I am describing, a faithful mem- 
ory evtjr will retain the joy I felt at my election. This dis- 
tinguished honor in a great measure healed the wounds of 
my defeat for Congress, and I cheerfully obeyed the call of 
the governor to take my seat in the first Nebraska legisla- 
ture. This met at Omaha, January 16, 1855, with a full 
House and Council, and nearly every state in the Union 
was represented in that legislative body. Our meetings 
were held in a small brick building of two stories with an 
office for the governor on the first floor. Omaha then had 
less than a dozen houses, the greater number of which 
were saloons, but new ones were going up all the time, and 
the place was a scene of bustle and activity. The hotel, the 
Douglas House — landlord, Mr. Wells — was besieged by 
impatient legislators before it was completed, and in spite 
of the cold the unplastered rooms were soon filled. Here 
Governor Cuming and his wife had rooms, the best in the 
house. 

In the legislature the great issue was the location of 
the capital of the new territory.- Nebraska City on the 
south of the Platte and Omaha on the north were contend- 
ing with great zeal for the prize, but not with equal suc- 
cess, for Omaha after a hard struggle was victorious and 
started on the road to prosperity and greatness. As very 
few of the members had been in the territory more than a 
few days prior to the election, it was amusing to hear them 
in the heat of debate address one another as "the gentleman 
from New York", "the gentleman from Iowa", or some 



NEBRASKA IN THE FIFTIES 193 

other state. Tlie governor had divided the territory along 
the river into counties and had given them names, and the 
members claimed to live in those counties and to represent 
them ; but no serious difficulty arose from this fact, for by 
general consent the question of settlement was not raised 
in any other way than what I have stated. 

Among those who came to claim their seats was J. Ster- 
ling Morton, who was then a young man. I prosecuted his 
claim before the legislature, but was unsuccessful, and Mr. 
Morton was compelled to retire, though he and his wife 
remained in Omaha during most of the session. I claimed 
that the legislature had the right to go back of the returns 
and count the votes in disputed territory, but the legisla- 
ure did not uphold my view.* 

The first lawsuit in Nebraska was before a justice of 
the peace and came about as follows : The landlord of the 
Douglas House,^ Mr. Wells, had been robbed of a half 
cheese, and two men were charged with the crime. At this 
time no courts had been legally provided for and no crim- 
inal laws been enacted. The governor had been frequently 
importuned by a political friend of his living in Iowa to 
appoint him a justice of the peace for Omaha, so, partly as 

* Mr. Johnston's statement of the case is not clear. In accordance 
with a provision of the organic act, the acting governor established 
eight counties, and apportioned members of the first Council and House 
of Representatives among them. Four councilmen and eight rep- 
resentatives were alloted to Douglas county to be voted for at two 
places, Omaha city and Belleview. The voters of the Belleview pre- 
cinct supported a set of candidates distinct from those of Omaha City. 
Acting Governor Cuming of course gave certificates of election to the 
Omaha candidates, who received more than twice as many votes as were 
cast for their rivals. With some hope that the anti-Omaha, or South 
Platte members might be numerous enough to seat them, the Belleview 
candidates contested for the seats of the Omaha candidates, but unsuc- 
cessfully. See Watkins, History of Nebraska, I, 198.— Ed. 

' The construction of this hotel, situated at the southwest corner of 
Harney and Thirteenth streets, was begun by Daniel Lindley in the 
fall of 1854, when the population of the town was about 100. It was 
for some time a general public rendezvous. Governor Cuming was one 
of its owners. — Ed. 



194 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

a joke and partly to free himself of the importunity, the 
appointment was made. Armed with his Iowa statutes, the 
justice opened an ofiflce and litigation was not long in 
coming. Wells filed a complaint against two men sus- 
pected of stealing his cheese, who were arrested and 
brought before the pretended justice for trial. They em- 
ployed me to defend them, and the owner of the cheese ap- 
peared for the territory. When the case was called for 
trial the defendants demanded a jury, and though the 
judicial mind was not clear on that point, a jury was or- 
dered by virtue of the Iowa statute. But now another 
difficulty still more serious than the first presented itself. 
There were few people in the county, and no statute had 
been passed prescribing qualifications for jurors. How- 
ever, it was agreed, finally, to select the jury from the mem- 
bers of the legislature, and accordingly they were sworn 
with all due solemnity under the laws of Iowa, and the 
trial proceeded, being held in the office of the Douglas 
House. The landlord, who was both prosecuting attorney 
and plaintiff, introduced his evidence and proved the 
charge beyond all doubt. But the defendants challenged 
the authority of the governor to appoint the justice and 
denied his right to try the case. 

The justice had maintained the dignity of his court, up 
to this time, with great propriety, but this was too much 
for him, and he flew into a most injudicial rage; but an 
apology from the defendants' counsel somewhat appeased 
his anger, the motion was overruled and jurisdiction sus- 
tained. The defendants, through their counsel, now asked 
for a subpoena for the governor. After some dispute as to 
whether a governor could be lawfully subpoenaed, he ap- 
peared and testified that he thought he had no right to 
appoint a justice of the peace; but, nevertheless, the justice 
held that he had a right to try the case and sent it to the 
jury, who, after a short time, returned a verdict of not 
guilty. Now the prosecuting witness and landlord flew 
into a rage and furiously ordered the jury out of his house. 



Nf:iIKASKA [N THE FIFTIES 195 

This was a sore turn of the trial, for most of the jurors 
were boarders at the hotel, just opened, and there was no 
other boarding house in the town large enough to accom- 
modate them. Finally, by the persuasion of friends, the 
landlord relented, and thus ended the first lawsuit in 
Nebraska. 

It was whispered that some members of the Legislative 
Assembly had no constituents in the counties which they 
claimed to represent; and a report was current that one 
member took a few men in a two-horse wagon and went 
into the territory some ten or fifteen miles and then stopped 
and held the election in the wagon, not knowing whether or 
not he was even within the county he claimed to represent. 
However, no one challenged his right to his seat, and he 
was an excellent member.* The country was full of emi- 
grants and speculators, and many members owned or had 
an interest in town sites which existed on paper and no- 
where else, but which they were exceedingly anxious to sell 
to strangers. With the purpose of expediting the sale of 
his shares in town sites one member got up a turkey roast 
and invited the governor, his wife, and myself, with a few 
other friends, to his boarding house to share the treat. He 
claimed that the turkey was killed on his town site; and 
we all agreed to praise it and boom his town site to the best 
of our ability. Accordingly, when the dinner was served, 
quite a number of strangers being seated at the long table, 

*Hascall C. Purple became a member of the House of Representa- 
tives by some such method as that indicated by Mr. Johnston. The 
story generally accepted is that Purple, who then lived at Council 
Bluffs, took a wagonload of men, nine in all, from that place, and when 
they thought they had come to Burt county, the boundary of which 
had been designated by Acting Governor Cuming, but, in fact, were in 
Washington county, they stopped and voted, that being the only elec- 
tion held for Burt county. The acting governor had designated two 
places for voting in Burt county, one of them at Tekamah, which a 
company comprising Mr. Purple had staked out on October 7, For the 
usual version of this election tale, see Nebraska State Historical So- 
ciety, Proceedings and Collections, second series, II, 126; Watkins, His- 
tory of Nehraska, 1, 187. — Ed. 



196 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

the governor said: "General, the turkey is excellent; 
where did it come from?" The general replied: "It was 
killed on the town site by one of my constituents and 
presented to me." The truth was the turkey was killed in 
Iowa and sent to him by a friend. 

There was a member of the House whose seat was neai' 
a west window which gave him a good view of what was go- 
ing on in the town. A new saloon was opened nearly every 
day, and the custom was to treat at the opening. When 
this member from his post of observation saw the proprie- 
tor of the saloon come out and hang up his signal that he 
was ready for business, this signal being usually a red 
flannel shirt, there being no signs or sign painters in 
Omaha, he would say, "Mr. Speaker, I move we adjourn for 
a recess" ; and of course the motion was seconded, and then 
most of the members would hasten to enjoy the hospital- 
ity of the new saloon. In a few minutes all resumed their 
seats and were ready for business. While a great many 
amusing things happened during the session, it passed a 
wise code of laws and laid the foundation of the future 
prosperity of a great state. 

Occasionally the legislative halls were brightened by 
women from Council Bluffs and from the nearby Presby- 
terian mission of Bellevue. Mrs. Cuming, wife of the gov- 
ernor, was a beautiful and charming woman, and I can 
recall, even at this distance of time, delightful evenings 
sx>ent with a few choice friends in her parlor at the hotel. 
A distance of over half a century has effaced from my 
memory many other incidents of those early days.® 

•Mr. Johnston sent these reminiscences from Otego, Kansas, Jan- 
uary 23, 1908. He died at Kansas City, Missouri, on February 9, 1909. — 
Ed, 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS OF DELEGATES TO 
CONGRESS FROM NEBRASKA 

By Albert Watkins 

Note. — On account of their unusual length and importance the foot- 
notes are printed in type larger than that ordinarily used and at the 
end of the main part of the paper. 

The territory of Nebraska was represented in tlie fed- 
eral Congress by five successive delegates chosen at seven 
elections. Samuel G. Daily was elected for three succes- 
sive terms; each of the other four delegates was elected 
but once. Four of the seven elections — the second, third, 
fourth, and fifth — were contested. Probably it did not 
seem worth while to contest the first election inasmuch as 
scarcely four months of the term remained; as a Demo- 
cratic governor had the authority to declare which of the 
candidates was elected; as the three leading candidates 
were all Democrats; as the House of Representatives, 
which would decide the contest, was strongly Democratic 
»o that neither of the candidates might expect partisan ad- 
vantage; and as the candidate who on the face of the re- 
turns had the most votes liad interests in Nebraska City 
which brought him the backing of the powerful Democrats 
of the metropolis of the territory.' In the meantime the 
fierce controversy over the location of the capital had es- 
tablished as fierce a feud between the North Platte and 
South Platte sections of the territory. The territorial can- 
vassers of the second territorial election were all partisans 
of the North Platte, and they manipulated the returns in 
such a manner as to exasperate the friends of Hiram P. 
Bennet, the South Platte candidate for the office of dele- 
gate. The composition of the House of Representatives of 
the thirty-fourth Congress was such as to encourage Bennet 
to appeal to it. He had been a Whig and was now classed 



198 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

as "anti-Nebraska", which meant near-Republican. One 
hundred and eight members of the House were temporarily 
tagged with that name, seventy-five were Democrats, forty 
Know Nothings, and eleven were floaters. Nathaniel P. 
Banks was the candidate of the Republicans for the office 
of speaker, and William A. Richardson, who had been 
the Douglas leader in the House in the struggle over the 
Kansas-Nebraska bill and was governor of Nebraska in 
1858, was the principal Democratic candidate. After one 
hundred and twenty-nine ballots had been taken the 
Democrats seemed so near success that they courted the 
adoption of a rule that the candidate receiving a plurality 
of votes after three more ballots should be declared elected. 
But on the one hundred and thirty-third ballot the Know 
Nothings threw enough votes to Banks to elect him — a 
hundred and three to a hundred for Aiken, Democrat. 
Alexander H. Stephens, who became famous in the contro- 
versy over secession, espoused the cause of Bird B. Chap- 
man, the North Platte and Democratic candidate, with in- 
fluence enough to permanently seat him. The two leading 
candidates for a seat in the thirty-fifth Congress were both 
Democrats, and as the House was Democratic by a clear 
majority, the contest was between sections. Chapman un- 
successfully contested the election of Tenner Ferguson who 
was the South Platte favorite. In the thirty-sixth Con- 
gress there was a plurality of Republicans which made a 
contest by Samuel G. Daily against Experience Estabrook 
easy, and with a large Republican majority in the House 
of the thirty-seventh Congress, Daily's contest against J. 
Sterling Morton was never doubtful. That was the last 
contest, because thenceforth, though Republican ascend- 
ancy was not quite safe in the territory, it had become safe 
at Washington. In 1862 Daily's majority over John F. 
Kinney, the Democratic candidate, as counted, was one 
hundred and thirty-six, and Phineas W. Hitchcock's ma- 
jority over Dr. George L. Miller was 1,087. Territorial 
government was lost in that of the state three days before 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 199 

the expiration of Hitchcock's term. Conditions were so 
unsettled that there were irregularities and frauds, more 
or less gross, at every teiTitorial election, though there was 
improvement toward the end." 

Napoleon Bonaparte Giddings, a resident of Savannah, 
Missouri,^ but an occasional squatter in Nebraska City, 
with some interest in its town site, was chosen a delegate 
to Congress at the first election, held December 12, 1854 — 
eight days after the opening of the second session of the 
thirty-third Congress — and was sworn in on the fifth of 
January, 1855.* Bird B. Chapman, a resident of Elyria, 
Ohio, though a political squatter in Nebraska,^ was elected 
a delegate at the election held November 6, 1855, in accord- 
ance with the law governing elections, passed by the first 
territorial assembly, March IG, 1855. Though Chapman's 
election occurred eight months after the commencement of 
the thirty-fourth Congress,*' it was in time for him to take 
his seat at the opening of its first session, December 3, 
1855.^ The second territorial assembly undertook to keep 
carpetbaggers out of this office by enacting that "No per- 
son shall be elected a delegate to [the] Congress of the 
United States from this territory who shall not have re- 
sided therein at least twelve months before the time of 
voting." * The organic law only required that a delegate 
should be a citizen of the United States, so that this at- 
tempted restriction probably had only a moral effect. It 
was passed too late to apply to Chapman's first term, but it 
may have had something to do with his defeat at the next 
election. An act of the second territorial assembly, passed 
January 26, 1856, changed the time for holding general 
elections to the first Monday in August. Accordingly, Fen- 
ner Ferguson was elected a delegate to Congress on the 
third of August, 1857, five months after the commencement 
of the thirty -fifth Congress. 

On the face of the returns of the election of 1859 ^ Ex- 
perience Estabrook, who had been the first territorial at- 
torney and was a resident of Wisconsin at the time of his 



200 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

appointment, received a certificate of election from the 
canvassing board and answered to the roll call at the open- 
ing of the first session of the thirty-sixth Congress on the 
fifth of December, 1859. Samuel G. Daily's contesting 
memorial was filed February 16, 1860, and the resolutions 
to unseat Estabrook and to seat Daily in his place were 
passed May 18, 1860 ; so that Estabrook served two months 
and a half more than the moiety of the term. An act of 
the sixth territorial assembly, passed January 13, 1860, 
under which Daily was chosen for a third term, provided 
"that the annual election for delegate to Congress from 
Nebraska shall be held at the annual election for 1860 and 
every two years thereafter ; that the term of office of said 
delegate shall commence on the fourth of March next after 
his election." Thenceforth the delegate from Nebraska 
was elected in time to be in at the commencement of his 
term. The act of Congress of March 3, 1817, which pro- 
vided that "such delegate shall be elected every second year 
for the same term of two years for which members of the 
House of Representatives are elected", probably sei*ved 
the purpose for which the provision that "the term of office 
of said delegate shall commence on the fourth of March 
next after his election'' was intended. 

The following excerpts from the official record of tlie 
Daily-Estabrook contest afford very useful and interesting 
information about the population of the frontier counties 
of the territory and the manner of conducting elections in 
them at a time soon after the territorial government was 
organized : 




<n ♦ 



I "^ 



200 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

appointment, received a certificate of election from the 
canvassing board and answered to the roll call at the open- 
ing of the first session of the thirty-sixth Congress on the 
fifth of December, 1859. Samuel G. Daily's contesting 
memorial was filed February 16, 1860, and the resolutions 
to unseat Estabrook and to seat Daily in his place were 
passed May 18, 1860 ; so that Estabrook served two months 
and a half more than the moiety of the term. An act of 
the sixth territorial assembly, passed January 13, 1860, 
under which Daily was chosen for a third term, provided 
"that the annual election for delegate to Congress from 
Nebraska shall be held at the annual election for 1860 and 
every two years thereafter ; that the term of office of said 
delegate shall commence on the fourth of March next after 
his election." Thenceforth the delegate from Nebraska 
was elected in time to be in at the commencement of his 
term. The act of Congress of March 3, 1817, which pro- 
vided that "such delegate shall be elected every second year 
for the same term of two years for which members of the 
House of Representatives are elected", probably sei*ved 
the purpose for which the provision that "the term of office 
of said delegate shall commence on the fourth of March 
next after his election" was intended. 

The following excerpts from the official record of the 
Daily-Estabrook contest afford very useful and interesting 
information about the population of the frontier counties 
of the territory and the manner of conducting elections in 
them at a time soon after the territorial government was 
organized : 




NEBRASKA 

•cal Socieiy PubJicaiions. 



■r 



i 



'H *^T" 



iimittmtlUi^m»mmm$ 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 201 



36th Congress. | j^.^ g^ ^p REPRESENTATIVES. | ^jf„ ^J*^'- 
1st Session. ) \ No. 12. 

NEBRASKA CONTESTED ELECTION 



MEMORIAL 

OF 

SAMUEL G. DAILY, 

Contesting 

The Election of Experience Estabrook, of Nebraska 
Territory. 



February 16, I860.— Referred to the Committee of Elec- 
tions. February 23, 1860. — Ordered to be printed. 



To the House of Representatives of the Congress of the 
United States: 

The undersigned, Samuel G. Daily, respectfully rep- 
resents: That at the election for delegate to the thirty- 
sixth Congress of the United States, held in the Territory 
of Nebraska on the 11th day of October, 1859, Experience 
Estabrook and himself were candidates in said Territory; 
that upon an abstract of returns filed with the governor of 
said Territory, the said experience Estabrook has received 
a certificate of election, and now holds a seat in your body 
by virtue thereof. 

The undersigned further represents that the returns of 
said election were not correct, and that he, and not the 
said Experience Estabrook, received, in fact, a larger num- 
ber of the votes legally cast in said Territory at that elec- 
tion than the said Experience Estabrook, and is, therefore, 
entitled to the seat now occupied by said Experience Esta- 
brook as the delegate of the Territory of Nebraska, in the 
thirty-sixth Congress. 

He also states that, in pursuance of the requirements of 
the act of February 19, 1851, regulating contested elections, 
he served duly a notice of contest upon the said Experience 



202 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Estabrook, setting forth specifically the grounds thereof; 
that answers were received and testimony taken under the 
provisions of said act; which notices, answers, and testi- 
mony, with documents relating to the contest, have been 
duly transmitted to the Clerk of the House of Representa- 
tives, and are now in his possession. 

Wherefore, referring to the notice and all other papers 
as a part of this memorial, the undersigned asks that the 
subject may be inquired into by the House according to the 
Constitution and the laws, and the usual course of pro- 
ceedings on the part of the House in like cases, and that he 
may be declared entitled and be admitted to a seat in the 
House as the delegate duly elected from the Territory of 
Nebraska to the thirty-sixth Congress. 

SAMUEL G. DAILY. 
Washington City, February 16, 1860. 

Sir: You are hereby notified that I shall, on the 16th 
day of February, 1860, between the hours of 9 a. m. and 5 
p. m., take the deposition of Charles H. Comly before 
Daniel W. Iddings, mayor of the city of Dayton, State of 
Ohio, at his office in said city; said deposition to be used 
in the matter of my right to the seat you now occupy as 
delegate from Nebraska to the thirty-sixth Congress. 

SAMUEL G. DAILY. 
Hon. Experience Estabrook. 

I hereby acknowledge service of the above notice. Feb- 
ruary 6, 1860. 

Byron G. Daniels, of the city of Washington, District 
of Columbia, being duly sworn, on oath says, that at the 
request of Samuel G. Daily he served notice on the Hon. 
Experience Estabrook, within named, on the 6th day of 
February, 1860, at the said city of Washington, and that 
the within is an exact and true copy of said notice. 

BYRON G. DANIELS. [L. S.] 

Subscribed in my presence and sworn to before me this 
7th day of February, 1860. 

JNO. T. JOHNSON, J. P. [L. S.] 

Sir: You are hereby notified that I shall, on the 16tli 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 203 

day of February, 1860, between the hours of 9 o'clock a. m. 
and 5 p. m., take the deposition of Charles H. Comly be- 
fore Daniel W. Iddings, mayor of the city of Dayton, State 
of Ohio, at his office in said city ; said deposition to be used 
in the matter of my right to the seat you now occupy as 
delegate from Nebraska to the thirty-sixth Congress. 

SAMUEL G. DAILY. 
Hon. Experience Estabrook. 

Sir : A notice, of which the above is a copy, was left at 
my room in this city on the evening of the 6th of February 
at about 7^ o'clock p. m, by a gentleman calling himself 
Daniels. This notice is defective in many particulars, 
among which I will point out specifically the following, to 
wit: 

1. It is not served "at least ten days before the day on 
which the testimony is to be taken."' 

2. The officer before whom the testimony is to be taken 
does not reside in the district w[h]ere the contested elec- 
tion was held. 

3. The place of residence of the witness is not stated in 
the notice. 

I shall therefore disregard the notice altogether. 

If testimony is taken by virtue of the notice, will you 
be pleased to annex to it this my protest. 

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your 
obedient servant. E. ESTABROOK. 

Daniel W. Iddings, Esq., 

Mayor of Dayton, Ohio. 

Evidence in the Nebraska Contested Election Case. 

Deposition of Charles H. Comly, taken in pursuance of 
the notice hereto affixed, to be used on behalf of the con- 
testant in the matter of contest pending in the thirty-sixth 
Congress between Experience Estabrook, sitting delegate 
from the Territory of Nebraska, and Samuel G. Daily, con- 
testant. 

Charles H. Comly, of lawful age, being first duly sworn, 
deposes and says: 

Interrogatory 1. What is your name, age, and place of 
residence? 

Answer. Charles H. Comly ; am twenty-three years old, 
and reside, at present, in Dayton, Ohio. 



204 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Interrogatory 2. State if you were at Fort Kearny, 
Nebraska Territory, on the 11th day of October, 1859, and, 
if so, was there an election being lield there at that time 
for delegate to Congress; and, if so, who were the candi- 
dates being voted for; how was the election conducted; 
who were the judges and clerks of election; was there any 
fraudulent voting ; and, if so, by whom and for whom, and 
how many; and state all the particulars concerning the 
voting and management of the polls on said day at that 
place. 

Answer. I arrived at Fort Kearny, on my return from 
Pike's Peak to the States, on the 10th day of October, 1859, 
and remained there until the morning of the 12th. There 
was an election held there for delegate to Congress (Ex- 
perience Estabrook and Samuel G. Daily being the can- 
didates) on the 11th of October, at which I was present. 
I remained near the polls all day. I saw early in the morn- 
ing that frauds were being committed, hence I watched the 
proceedings much closer than I otherwise would. The first 
fraud that attracted my attention was a soldier from the 
fort voting. After that I noticed, I presume, (I cannot be 
certain as to the number,) eight or ten different soldiers, 
or men clad in the United States military uniform, who 
said they were soldiers, vote in regular form. After that I 
saw two of the same men vote again, and one of the two 
voted once afterwards. Each time they changed their at- 
tire, but were poorly disguised. I further noticed quite a 
number of emigrants, who were coming from and going to 
Pike's Peak, vote; among them were James Low, Stephen 
L. Inslee, and William Harlan, all of whom voted for Ex- 
perience Estabrook, and they were all illegal voters; they 
were returning in company with me from Pike's Peak. I 
also saw a number of others vote for Experience Estabrook 
whom I know had left Denver City, Kansas Territory, but 
a short time before I did. Every emigrant that was pass- 
ing or stopping there that day was urged to vote, and the 
most of them did so. The regular order of voting was first 
to visit the trading-post known as "Jack's Ranche," take a 
drink of liquor and a ticket, then go across the road and 
vote; this programme was filled by nearly every one I saw 
vote. During the day, at intervals, I saw Dr. Henry, 
Jack^" (the proprietor of the ranche) and one of the clerks 
in the store engaged in making out lists of names. After 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 205 

writing awliile one of them would put tho list in his pocket 
and go over to the polls and go inside, and from conversa- 
tions that I subsequently heard between the parties, I am 
well satisfied in my own mind that the said lists were 
copied into the pollbooks and returned as voters. The re- 
turns, if I remember rightly, gave 288 votes, all for Ex- 
perience Estabrook. To the best of my knowledge and 
belief I do not think there were over sixty dift'erent persons 
at or around the polls during the day. About G o'clock p. m. 
the polls were declared closed, and the ballot-boxes were 
deposited at "Jack's" store. A short time after the polls 
were closed two men came in from Plum creek, I believe, 
and desired to vote; the ballot-boxes were again taken to 
the polls and the ballots were received 

I am satisfied in my own mind that one of the clerks 
was under twenty-one years of age, and that another one 
of the clerks (or probably one of the judges) was an un- 
naturalized foreigner. This I learned through conversa- 
tion with parties acquainted with them. The judges and 
clerks of the election were, in ray opinion, all of them more 
or less under the influence of liquor, and one or two of 
them were drunk and unfit for any kind of business. As 
an evidence of this, one of them (I think by the name of 
Burkh) signed his own name to one of the poll-books or 
returns, and his wife's name to the other. The error was 
corrected before me the next day, the said Burkh declaring 
that, "by God he wanted people to known that his wife 
had a finger in that election!" Of the men around the 
polls during the day I do not think that more than one- 
half of them were residents of the county or precinct, the 
balance being emigrants. 

CHARLES H. COMLY. 



Omaha City, 
Nebraska Territory, November 12th, 1859. 
Sir: Having been informed that you have received 
from the governor of this Territory a certificate of your 
election as delegate to the thirty-sixth Congress, I hereby 
give you notice that I intend to contest your election as 
such delegate before the House of Representatives of the 
United States, upon the following grounds: 

1. That an abstract of votes, to the number of two hun- 



206 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

dred and ninety -two, purporting to have been given for you 
in the county of Buffalo, was transmitted to the governor 
and unlawfully counted in your favor, although it was 
well known to the board of canvassers that the said county 
had never been organized as a county, and consequently 
that no votes could have been lawfully polled therein; that 
of these pretended votes, fifty-four, or thereabouts, in num- 
ber, were counted as having been polled at two pretended 
precincts, under the names of Nebraska Center and Cen- 
tralia precincts, in the county of Buffalo, and the residue 
at a place called Kearny city, without the bounds of the 
said county, and not included within the bounds of any 
county; that at the aforesaid two precincts many persons, 
well known not to possess the requisite qualifications to en- 
title them to vote anywhere in the Territory, were permitted 
to vote; that at Nebraska Center aforesaid, one of the pre- 
tended judges of election was a citizen and resident of the 
State of Wisconsin, and one of the clerks a minor; that a 
majority of the voters were non-residents, and known to 
be such by the judges of election ; that in one instance the 
judges waited on a non-resident confined by sickness, who 
had been in the Territory only about four days, and re- 
ceived his vote; that in Kearney city precinct there are not 
twenty-five persons having the qualifications of electors, or 
who in fact appeared as voters at the polls held therein, 
most of the votes, numbering two hundred and thirty-eight, 
pretended to have been there taken, having been fraudu- 
lently stuffed into the ballot box, and the rest having been 
deposited by soldiers and other persons attached to the 
army of the United States stationed at Fort Kearny, some 
of whom voted several times, and by transient persons 
known to the judges to be such ; that the judges and clerks, 
while acting as such, were grossly intoxicated; that an 
hour after the polls had been closed it was again opened 
and other votes received ; that other persons were permitted 
to have access to the ballot-box after the poll was finally 
closed, and to add to the poll lists fictitious names, which 
was done to the number of more than two hundred. 

2. That votes to the number of ten, purporting to have 
been taken in Saline county, and twenty-eight votes pur- 
porting to have been cast in the county of Calhoun, and 
twenty-one votes purporting to have been given in the 
county of Izard, were transmitted to the governor and un- 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 207 

lawfully counted in your favor, although it was well known 
to the canvassers that neither of the said counties had ever 
been organized as such, and consequently that no lawful 
election could have been held therein. 

3. That in fact there was no election held in either of 
the said counties of Saline, Calhoun, and Izard, and the 
returns purporting to come from the clerks of said counties 
are wholly fraudulent; that all that portion of the Terri- 
tory erected into said counties is entirely uninhabited by 
white men, and these facts also were well known to the 
canvassers. 

4. That although no more than thirty votes, or there- 
abouts, were given in the county of L'Eau Qui Court by 
pereons entitled to vote therein, no less than one hundred 
and twenty-eight votes were thence fraudlently returned 
and counted for you in the final canvass. 

5. That the precinct of Genoa, in the county of Monroe, 
is within the limits of an Indian reservation, wherein no 
poll can be lawfully held, and no resident within which 
could have been entitled to vote, and although this was 
well known to the canvassers, seventeen votes for you 
there taken were unlawfully counted in the final canvass. 

6. That the votes polled at Salt Creek precinct, in the 
county of Cass, seventeen in number, fourteen of which 
were for me and three for you, were wrongfully rejected, 
under the pretence of some irregularity in the returns of 
the judges by the board of county canvassers, and hence 
were not included in the abstract of votes sent to the gov- 
ernor; and that at Rockport precinct, in Washington 
county, votes, consisting of six for you and ten for me, 
were \sTongfully rejected by the board of county canvassers 
under the pretence that the judges were not lawfully sworn. 

7. That in Otoe county votes to the number of between 
fifty and one hundred were fraudulently given by persons 
residing out of the Territory of Nebraska. 

8. That at Brownville precinct, in the county of Ne- 
maha, gross frauds were committed in the reception of 
illegal votes and in making the returns to the clerk of the 
county, of the precise nature of which I am not yet in- 
formed. 

9. That in the county of Richardson, pei*sons known as 
half-breeds, and not i)Ossessing the qualifications of elec- 
tors, to the number of fifteen or more, were unlawfully per- 



208 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

mitted to vote and did vote for you, and that in the pre- 
cincts of St. Stephen, Rulo, and Salem, or in one or more 
of them, persons, to the number of twenty-five or more, 
residing within the limits of the half-breed reservation," 
and therefore not entitled to vote, were nevertheless unlaw- 
fully permitted to vote and did vote for you. 

10. That there was no lawful concurrence on the part 
of the district attorney of the Territory in the decision that 
you were entitled to a certificate of election. 

11. That at the late election in this Territory I received 
a greater number of legal votes than you did, and the high- 
est number cast for any one i)erson. 

Yours, respectfully, SAMUEL G. DAILY. 

Experience Estabrook, Esq, 



Omaha, N. T., December 12, 1859. 
Sir: Your communication of date November 4, 1859, 
and one of date November 8, 1859, purporting to be a 
notice to contest my seat as a delegate from Nebraska in 
the thirty-sixth Congress, were duly received by me on the 
day on which they respectively bear date. 

In answer to said notices I deny each and every allega- 
tion therein contained, and assign two reasons why I am 
entitled to and shall insist upon my right to said seat : 

I. I hold a certificate of election in the following words, 
viz: 

"Executive Chamber, 
"Nebraska Territory. 
"Samuel W. Black, Governor of said Territory, to all 
whom these presents may come, greeting : 
"Experience Estabrook, having received the largest 
number of votes cast at the general election held in this 
Territory on the eleventh day of October, A. D. 1859, for 
delegate to Congress, is hereby declared duly elected dele- 
gate from Nebraska Territory to the thirty-sixth Congress 
of the United States. This shall be and is the certificate of 
his said election as delegate to the Congress aforesaid. 

"In testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand, and 
caused to be affixed the great seal of the Territory of Ne- 
braska. Done at Omaha the 3d of November, A. D. 1859. 
[L. S.] "SAMUEL W. BIACK, 

"Governor of Nebraska Territory." 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 209 

II. At tlie election aforesaid for delegate to CongreSvS, 
I received the greatest number of legal votes cast at said 
election for delegate, and I am the legally elected delegate 
to said Congress from the Territory of Nebraska; and, as 
such, I am entitled to my seat in the Congress for which I 
was elected. 

Certain other papers have been found in my house, one 
dated the 4th day of November, A. D. 1859 ; one dated the 
12th day of November, A. D. 1859 ; and one dated the 14th 
day of November, A. D. 1859, which were found many days 
subsequent to the service of the two notices first above 
referred to, purporting to be notices of contest with addi- 
tional reasons assigned, together with a stray paper, pur- 
porting to come from you, to the effect that you withdrew 
the first two notices served upon me, and substituting the 
three last named in lieu of the former. I hereby deny your 
right to withdraw said first notices, and protest against 
your right to substitute and serve additional notices as- 
signing new and different grounds from those contained in 
the notices first served. 

I also deny that the additional papers found at my 
house as aforesaid are legal notices to me at all, or that 
service can be made in that manner under the act of Con- 
gress of 1851; and I answer the same under protest, re- 
serving my right to take advantage of such illegal notices 
and service before the officers taking depositions and the 
House of Representatives, and shall claim and insist be- 
fore the officers taking depositions, that no testimony can 
be received in support of the causes therein assigned ; and, 
if overruled in this, and testimony is taken in support of 
the same, that the same cannot be read in evidence before 
the Committee on Elections nor the House of Representa- 
tives. 

16th. That in the county of Cedar the entire votes of 
one precinct were not counted by the county clerk, in which 
I had a legal majority of nine votes. 

17th. That in Washington county, where you received 

a majority of votes, non-residents and foreigners were 

allowed to vote for you, and such votes were counted by the 
board of canvassers. 

18th. That in Dodge county ten fraudulent votes were 
cast for you, and improperly counted for you in the final 
canvass. 

16 



210 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

19th. That in Hall county some twenty-five legal votes 
cast for me were rejected by the county canvassers, and 
over thirty votes cast for you in said county, at a precinct 
comprised wholly within the military reserve in said 
county, by residents on said reserve, were improperly 
counted. 

20th. That one hundred and fourteen illegal votes were 
given for you in Nemaha county, and improperly counted 
by the board of canvassers. 

21st. That gross frauds were committed in Nemaha, 
Richardson, and Pawnee counties by the judges of elec- 
tion, by allowing non-residents, foreigners, and persons 
who were not legal electors, the privilege of voting for you. 

22d. That elections were held in precincts wholly un- 
organized, and pretended judges and clerks officiated at 
said elections without first being qualified according to law, 
in the counties of Cass, Otoe, Nemaha, Richardson, Paw- 
nee, and the pretended counties of Gage, Clay, and Lan- 
caster. 

23d. That elections were improperly held and votes 
given and counted for you in the wholly unorganized coun- 
ties of Gage, Clay, and Lancaster.^^ 

24th. That in Grand Island precinct, in Hall county, 
where a large majority of votes were received and counted 
for you, the said precinct was not legally organized, neither 
were the judges and clerks of election legally appointed 
and qualified. 

25th. That in the precincts of Syracuse, Hendrick, Mc- 
Williams, and Otoe, in Otoe county, where a large majority 
of the votes were received and counted for you, the election 
board [s] of said precincts were not organized according to 
law; neither were the judges and clerks of said election 
precincts sworn by any person authorized to administer 
oaths. 

26th. That in the precinct of Omaha nine persons re- 
siding in Illinois, but temporarily in Omaha, voted for you, 
when in fact they were not legal electors in Nebraska. 

EXPERIENCE ESTABROOK. 

The Territory of Nebraska, County of Douglas, ss: 

Be it remembered, that in pursuance of the notices 
hereunto annexed, before me, George Armstrong, judge of 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 211 

probate in and for the county of Douglas, in the Territory 
of Nebraska, on the 16th day of December, A. D. eighteen 
hundred and fifty-nine, and on the several daya following 
hereinafter specified, at my office, in the city of Omaha, in 
the county aforesaid, Robert Kittle, John M. Thayer, Eli- 
phus H. Rogers, James B. Coit, William H. James, John 
Taffee, John McConihe, Albert G. Clark, Stephen H. Wat- 
tles, Samuel W. Black, William Cook, Magnus Wallen- 
berg, William Thomas Clark, James L. Hindman, and 
John D. Neligh, were produced as witnesses, and having 
been by me severally duly sworn to answer truly all such 
questions as should be proposed to them touching the mat- 
ter of the contested election of Experience P^stabrook, as 
delegate from the Territory of Nebraska to the 36th Con- 
gress, Samuel G. Daily, contestant, then and there sever- 
ally testified as follows : 

In the matter of the contested election of Experience Esta- 
hrook, as delegate to the S6th Congress front the Ter- 
ritory of Nebraska: Samuel G. Daily, contestant. 

Testimony taken on the part of the said Samuel G. 
Daily, in pursuance of the notices hereunto annexed, at 
the city of Omaha, in the said Territory. 

Present : Mr. Conkling" and Messrs. Pease & Paddock, 
attorneys for Mr. Daily; Mr. Kinney, Messrs. Richardson 
& Kennedy, and Mr. Redick, attorneys for Mr. Estabrook. 

December 16, 1859. 

Robert Kittle, of lawful age, being first duly sworn ac- 
cording to law, makes the following answers to the ques- 
tions proposed, to wit : 

1st question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. About 37 years of age; occupation, farmer; 
place of residence, Fremont, Dodge county, Nebraska Ter- 
ritory. 

2d question. How long have you resided in this Ter- 
ritory? 

Answer. About three years and four months. 

3d question. Where were you on the 11th day of Octo- 
ber last, the day of the last general election In this Ter- 
ritory? 



212 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Answer. I went through Monroe county to the Indian 
reservation. In the latter part of the day I was at Genoa, 
on the reservation of the Pawnee Indians. 

4th question. State whether an election was held at 
Genoa on that day, and wliether you were present at the 
polls at any time during the day? 

Answer. There was an election held there, and I was at 
the polls in the latter part of the day. 

5th question. State whether you were present at the 
time the votes were canvassed? 

Answer. I was. 

6th question. State what number of votes were polled 
at that election, and for whom they were given as delegate 
to Congress? 

Answer. There were 2S votes polled for delegate to 
Congress, three for Mr. Daily, and 20 for Experience Esta- 
brook. 

7th question. State, if you know, in what part of the 
Territory Izard county is located; how far is it from the 
Missouri river, and from the town of Fremont, where you 
reside? 

Answer. From the maps which I have consulted, it 
lies about forty miles west of the Missouri river, and about 
thirty miles northwest of Fremont, where I reside, to the 
nearest point of Izard county, being the southeast corner 
of said county." 

8th question. What knowledge have you, not derived 
from the maps, of the situation and condition of the county 
of Izard? 

Answer. I have been through that county along the 
Elkhorn river where it passes through the county. I know 
of no settlement in the county. It appeared to me to be 
entirely uninhabited. It appeared to be a prairie county 
as far as I could see, except along the Elk Horn river tliere 
was some timber. I saw no road whatever excepting the 
trail of the Indians. 

9th question. State whether it is not a matter of public 
notoriety, in your section of country, that Izard county is 
wholly an uninhabited county? 

Answer. So far as my knowledge extends regarding 
that subject, it is so; and I never saw a settler of Izard 
county going to or returning from that county, or heard of 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 213 

one, and Fremont would be a natural road for them to 
come and go. 

lOtli question. State, if you know, what are the far- 
thest settlements west of the Missouri, in the direction of 
Izard county? 

Answer. The farthest, of which I am acquainted, is 
West Point, in Cuming county, the middle of the southern 
portion of said county. 

11th question. State, if you know, what county lies 
directly east and adjoining Izard county? 

Answer. Cuming county. 

12th question. State how far, and in what direction, 
Calhoun county is from the town of Fremont? 

Answer. Nearly south, across the Platte river, nearest 
point atx)ut two and a half miles. 

13th question. State whether you have any knowledge 
in regard to the settlement of Calhoun county? 

Answer. I have been in Calhoun county, up and down 
the river some eight or ten miles; there was a settlement 
there about two years ago of some ten or fifteen persons, 
close by the river, near a point which was then called. 
Neapolis,^^ about four or five miles northwest from the 
Pawnee village. I have been there several times since, and 
the houses or shanties which they had built were entirely 
torn down, and the people had left more than a year ago. 
I do not know of any other settlements now, or that have 
been made within a year in that county. 

14th question. State whether the Pawnee Indian vil- 
lage was within the limits of Calhoun county, and at what 
time the Pawnee Indians were removed by government 
from that locality? 

Answer. They had two villages, both in Calhoun 
county, about six miles apart; one about four miles south 
of Fremont, on the south bank of the Platte river; one 
about ten miles south of Fremont, on the southwesterly 
bank of the Platte river. They were removed from their 
villages the latter part of October last, and taken to their 
reservation and settled there by Judge Gillis, their agent, 
about the 1st of November. 

15th question. What knowledge have you, if any, in re- 
lation to the election, or the returns of the election, in Cal- 
houn county? ^ 

Answer. I called on the clerk of Platte county for the 



214 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

purpose of seeing those returns. He showed me the returns 
which purported to come from Calhoun county. I inquired 
of him where the precinct of Calhoun was where the elec- 
tion was purported to have been held by the return, and 
remarked, at the same time, that I supposed that it was the 
duty of Platte county to organize the precincts of Calhoun 
county. He said that the record did not show that they 
had made any precincts in that county, and that he received 
the returns in a letter from Mr. McConihe, the governor's 
private secretary.^^ 



Cross-examination. 

1st question. How long have you I'esided in Dodge 
county? 

Answer. About three years and three or four months. 

23d question. What is the probable population of 
Platte county? 

Answer. About two hundred." 

24th question. What is the probable population of 
Cuming county? 

Answer. I know less about that, but it may be about 
thirty or forty." 

25th question. Do you undertake to say that you have 
made a personal examination in Izard county with the 
view of ascertaining how many people there were in the 
county, if any? 

Answer. I have been through the county and conversed 
with those passing through with me, none of whom ap- 
peared to know anything of any inhabitants in the county. 

26th question. How many times have you been througli 
Izard county? 

Answer. Once. 

27th question. When was that, and who was with you? 

Answer. I think it was about the 10th of July, with the 
expedition against the Pawnees.^^ 

28th question. What part of the county did you pass 
through in that expedition? 

Answer. I think near the centre; we followed the 
course of the Elkhorn river, which started in the county 
about ten miles north of the southerly boundary through' 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 215 

the east line, and went out, I think, north of the middle of 
the west line.*" 

29th question. You do not pretend to say that there is 
no settlement west of West Point, in Cuming county, Ne- 
braska Territory, only that you know of no other. 

Answer. I know of settlements in the Territory far- 
ther west, but not in Izard county, or that range of coun- 
ties. 

30th question. Can you state of your own personal 
knowledge that on the 11th day of October last, there were 
not inhabitants and voters in Izard county? 

Answer. I could not state that of Izard nor any other 
part of the unsettled portion of the Territory. 



December 17, 1859. 

John M. Thayer, of lawful age, being first duly sworn 
according to law, makes the following answers to the ques- 
tions proposed, to wit: 

1st question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. Thirty-nine years — farmer — Omaha, Ne- 
braska. 

2d question. Have you had the means of becoming ac- 
quainted with Izard county, and, if so, what means? 

Answer. I have from maps, and also from having 
passed through the county. 

3d question. When did you last visit the county? 

Answer. Between the 6th and 12th of July last 

4th question. Did 3"ou discover any evidence of its be- 
ing inhabited? 

Answer. I did not. 

5th question. State, if you please, what appeared to be 
the condition of the county, and whether you observed any 
evidence of its being inhabited or otherwi^? 

Answer. It was a prairie country. I saw no sign of 
habitation through the whole extent of it. 

6th question. Through what portion of the county did 
you pass? 

Answer. We struck the county, as near as I can judge, 
near the southeastern portion of it, and then proceeded in 
a northwesterly direction nearly through its centre. 

7th question. Did you see any travelled roads, and 
what was their character? 



216 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Answer. I did not see any. I was in command of an 
expedition in pursuit of the Pawnee Indians, and we fol- 
lowed the trail of the Indians directly through the county. 

8th question. Did you see any person who seemed to be 
a resident of the county while passing through it? 

Answer. I did not. I met with no person whatever. 

9th question. How long have you resided in this Ter- 
ritory, and have you been accustomed to observe the prog- 
ress of the settlements of the Territory? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook, on the 
ground of irrelevancy. ) 

Answer. Five years last October. I have been on the 
frontier more or less every year. The first settlements were 
on the Missouri river ; then extended to the Elkhorn river, 
and up the Elkhorn as far as Fontanel le for the first three 
years. Fontanelle is about forty miles from Omaha." The 
next settlements north of Fontanelle are De AVitt " and 
West Point ; they are in Cuming county, and about twenty 
or thirty miles north of Fontanelle. These are the farther- 
most settlements in that direction. West Point is about ten 
or fifteen miles from the eastern boundary of Izard county. 
West of West Point and De AVitt there were no settle- 
ments. 

10th question. State whether it is or not a fact of 
public notoriety among the old inhabitants of this part of 
the Territory that Izard county is wholly an uninhabited 
county. 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook . . . ) 

Answer. It is especially among the inhabitants of Fon- 
tanelle, West Point, and De Witt. I made extensive in- 
quiries of them when I was on the expedition above re- 
ferred to, with the view to the protection of the settlements, 
and also to ascertain wliether further depredations had 
been committed by the Indians. 

Cross-examination [by John F. Kinney]. 

1st question. How long have you been engaged in 
farming? 

Answer. Some four years. 

2d question. Where have you been engaged in farm- 



ing? 



Answer. Douglas county. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 217 

3d question. Are you a practical operative farmer? 

Answer. Yes. 

4th question. Have you not been engaged a j>ortiou of 
the time in practicing law with George Richardson, in the 
dty of Omaha? 

Answer. I was for a while. 

5th question. Is not your profession more that of a 
politician than a farmer? 



Answer. No ; and I never was constable of Wyoming, 



23 



tsy 



either, as the counsel for the sitting member has been. 

6th question. Were you not engaged during the last 
autumn in canvassing this Territory for Mr. Daily? 

Answer. I was. 

7th question. Is that a part of the occupation of a 
farmer? 

Answer. The gentleman can answer that question for 
himself. 

8th question. How many speeches did you make in the 
last campaign for Mr. Daily, according to the best of your 
recollection ? 

Answer. I do not recollect ; I made a number. 

9th question. You state in your answer to the first 
question that you are a farmer and reside in Omaha city; 
are you engaged in practical farming in Omaha city? 

Answer. No. 



Direct examination resumed. 

1st question. In your march through Cuming county, 
did you pass through the settlement you named West 
Point? 

Answer. I did not pass through, but to the left of it. 

2d question. State whether you are quite sure that 
West Point is in Cuming county, and a considerable num- 
ber of miles from the eastern boundary of Izard county? 

Answer. I am. 

3d question. Have you been attentive to the course of 
legislation in this Territory? 

Answer. I have. 

. 4th question. Has it or not been the practice to desig- 
nate counties by metes and bounds in the parts of the Ter- 
ritorv known to be inhabited? 



218 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

(Objected to by the counsel for Mr. Estabrook, on the 
ground that you cannot prove legislative acts by parole 
evidence. ) 

Answer. It has been the practice. 

5th question. Have there been many such instances? 

( Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook, for the rea- 
son above given.) 

Answer. There have been, I think, of every session of 
the legislature. I recollect one session there were seven 
or eight counties thus laid off uninhabited.'* 

6th question. You spoke of having commanded the ex- 
pedition against the Pawnees, What military commission 
do you hold in the Territory? 

Answer. That of major general. 

7th question. Is there any direct line of travel west- 
ward from the Missouri river through Izard county? 

Answer. There is not. 



Eliphus H. Rogers, of lawful age, being first duly sworn^ 
according to law, makes the following answers to the ques- 
tions proposed, to wit : 

1st question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. Tliirty years; lawyer and farmer; residence, 
Fremont, Dodge county, Nebraska. 

2d question. How recently have you been in Columbus, 
Platte county, and what was the object of your errand 
there? 

Answer. I was in Columbus about the 20th of Novem- 
ber last. My errand there was to procure a copy of the 
return of the vote said to have been cast in Calhoun county 
at the last general election. 

4th question. State whether you have in your posses- 
sion that part of the record you copied? 

Answer, I have the copy I took. It is more a memo- 
randum than a copy of the record. 

5th question. Is your memorandum, as far as it goes, 
in accordance with the record? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook . . .) 

Answer. I believe my memorandum, so far as it goes, 
sets forth the facts contained in the record truly. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 21<> 

6th question. St-ate whether that memorandum shows 
who were the officers of the election, and at what point the 
election was held in Calhoun county. 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook on the same 
grounds as to the last preceding question.) 

Answer. It does. It states that the election was held 
at the house of James L, Smith, in Calhoun precinct, Cal 
houn county; that William P. Glover, Mather F. Brown, 
and Eldred Scott were judges of said election, and Ralph 
Hawley and J. Ross were clerks. My recollection is that 
several of the christian names on my memorandum are 
contractions of the names on the record. 

7th question. How far do you reside from Calhoun 
county? 

Answer. About a mile and a half or two miles from 
the north line of the county. 

8th question. State whether you are acquainted in Cal- 
houn county, and whether or not you have recently been 
through the county? 

Answer. I am not personally acquainted with any per- 
sons at present residing in that county. I have seen sev- 
eral persons who did reside there recently; as after I left 
Columbus, to which I before alluded, I went directly to 
Calhoun county, passed through the northern and eastern 
portions of that county. 

9th question. For what purpose did you visit Calhoun 
c-ounty, and what was the result of your examination? 

Answer. I went there for the purpose of ascertaining 
how many voters there were in the county, if any, and 
whether any election was held there on the 11th day of 
October last, I found two voters in the northwest corner 
of the county, but they knew of no election having been 
held there. I also found in the southeast portion of said 
county a few houses, and in conversation with a gentleman 
who owned one of them, he stated that he had resided there 
for some time; that he had never heard of an election being 
held in Calhoun county ; that he knew of no votei*s in said 
county except the two to which I have before alluded, and 
five, including himself who resided in that immediate 
vicinity. 

( Objections by counsel for Mr. Estabrook . . . ) 

10th question. State whether, from your examination, 
you were able to find where Calhoun precinct was located, 



220 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

or to procure any evidence whether any election was held 
there or at any other point in the county. 

Answer. I could not hear of any precinct organiza- 
tions having ever been made in Calhoun county, or of anv 
election having ever been held there, although I inquired 
of all persons with whom I came in contact while patting 
to, through, or from said county. 

l^h question. You state you made an effort to ascer- 
tain the facts inquired of in the last question. Now state 
the nature and extent of that effort. 

Answer. I crossed the Platte river at what is known as 
Shinn's ferry; proceeded down the old Indian trail to- 
wards Calhoun county; found the two voters before al- 
luded to about noon ; travelled until night without finding 
any settlements. At night I came to a place of a former 
settlement, called Powhoco, and remained there during the 
night in a deserted house.^^ There were several small 
houses about there without roof, floor, windows, or doors. 
Soon after daylight next morning I started again, and 
travelled till about three o'clock before finding any settlers 
or evidences of settlement, at which time I found the gen- 
tleman to whom I before alluded, with whom I spent an 
hour or two in conversation with reference to the settle- 
ment which had been made at Powhoco and abandoned, and 
with reference to the number of people in Calhoun county, 
about the last election. 

19th question. From your examination in Calhoun 
county, would you have been likely to find the voters and 
officers that purported to have acted and voted at the elec- 
tion at the Calhoun precinct if they had resided in that 
county? 

Answer. I think I should. 

20th question. Do you then design to be understood 
that as the result of inquiries you saw three persons and 
heard from them of four others only residing in the county? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook, as being 
leading. ) 

Answer. I perhaps committed an error of speech in 
saying that I found the two voters in the northwestern part 
of Calhoun county, for they were both absent from home 
at the time I was there, but the wife and children of one 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 221 

and the wife of the other were at their homes, and I saw no 
other person except the one I have mentioned residing 
there," 

21st question. State in what part of the Territory Izard 
county is located. 

Answer. I suppose it to be located west of Cuming 
county, north of Platte, and adjoining those two counties. 



Cross-exa jni nu tion 

18th question. You stated in your examination in chief 
that in passing through said county you followed an Indian 
trail; state now where you first struck the county line? 

Answer. Near its northwest comer, near the Platte 
river. 

19th question. Is there any bridge across the Platte 
river at that point, and which side of the Platte do you 
live? 

Answer. There was no bridge near the point where 1 
first struck the line, and I live on the north side of the 
Platte river. 

20th question. How near that point was there a bridge? 

Answer. I know of no bridge across the Platte river. 



James B. Coit, of lawful age, being first duly sworn 
according to law, makes the following answers to the ques- 
tions proposed, to wit : 

1st question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. Age twenty-three years; lawyer by profession; 
residence Omaha, Douglas county, Nebraska Territory. 

2d question. State whether you have ever been in Nio- 
brarah, in L'eau Qui Court" [county] in this Territory. 

Answer. I have. 

2d question. State at what time you were there, at 
whose instance, and for what purpose you were there. 

Answer. On Tuesday, the twenty-second of last Novem- 
ber; on Wednesday, the twenty-third, and during the early 
morning of Thursday, the twenty-fourth day of the same 
month. I was there at the request of Samuel G. Daily, of 
Nemaha county, Nebraska, the contestant in this case, to 



222 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

obtain, if possible, a copy of the poll-books of an election 
lield in that precinct on the eleventh day of last October, 
and to obtain such other information as I could respecting 
said election. 

3d question. Who went there with you? 

Answer. I went alone from Omaha city to Dakota city, 
and was accompanied from there to Niobrarah by William 
H. James,^'* of Dakota city. 

4th question. At what place in Niobrarah did you and 
Mr. James stop after your arrival there? 

Answer. I believe we first stopped for a few moments 
at the tavern. 

5th question. To what place did you go on leaving the 
tavern? 

Answer. We went to a small one-story frame building 
designated there as "the store." 

6th question. You will please describe briefly that 
building, and for what purpose it was occupied, and what 
induced you to go there. 

Answer. The building was a one-story frame building, 
divided into two rooms by a thin canvas partition. The 
room we first entered, fronting on the road, was occupied 
by a Mr. Westermond as an Indian trading store ; the back 
room was used as a cooking and sleeping room, and con- 
tained the post office, the probate judge's office, and the 
county clerk's office. Robert M. Hagaman being the county 
clerk and the postmaster, and having a letter of introduc- 
tion to Mr. Hagaman, went there to deliver it and to ob- 
tain from him, as the county clerk, a certified copy of the 
poll books of that precinct election. The two rooms I have 
just referred to are about the same size, each being about 
thirteen feet square. 

7th question. State what occurred at your first inter- 
view with Mr. Hagaman? 

Answer. We found Mr. Hagaman there; I returned to 
the tavern ; Mr. James presented the letter of introduction 
to Mr. Hagaman, and Mr. James and Mr. Hagaman walked 
to the tavern in consultation upon the object of our visit. 
This was early in the morning. After conversing a few 
moments at the tavern Mr. Hagaman, Mr. James, and my- 
self returned to the store, and Mr. Hagaman agreed to 
furnish us with a copy of the poll-b(X)ks of the Niobrarah 
precinct election. We obtained a copy of the poll-books 
from Mr. Hagaman which he certified to as correct. 



CO^S'TESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 223 

8th question. What was your purpose after obtaining 
the certified copy of the poll-books? 

Answer. We wanted to look about the place a little, 
make some personal inquiries, and return home. 

9th question. Why, tlien, as you before stated, did you 
and Mr. James remain so long at Niobrarah? 

Answer. While looking about tlie place, as stated in 
my last answer, while out of sight of our horse and buggy, 
which was hitched behind the office of one Major Gregory, 
Indian agent, our horse was removed from our buggy and 
secreted without our knowledge, and we were unable to 
find it. Not being able to find our horse that day, we were 
obliged to remain at the tavern over night. The next 
morning we resumed the search for our horse, and dis- 
covered that two wheels of our bugg}'^ had been removed. 
We spent the day in searching for the wheels and horse, 
endeavoring to get possession of them that we might return 
home, but without success. We had thus far been detained 
two days and one night. On the evening of the second day, 
at an early hour, several persons came to the tavern, of 
whom I remember one called Frank West and one called 
John H. Starr; they (West and Starr) asked Mr. James to 
see the copy of the poll-books, which they understood we 
had in our possession, stating, as a reason, that they were 
informed their names were on the list as having voted at 
the election, and that as they did not vote they would like 
to see if it was so. We thereupon produced the list, and 
they endeavored to snatch the same while I was reading 
the names, in which they did not succeed. After some 
boisterous conduct towards us, they left the tavern and 
went towards the store, threatening before they left that 
they would have the copy of the poll-lists which we had. 
Mr. James and myself, immediately after they left, held a 
consultation as to what we had better do under the cir- 
cumstances, and it was concluded that one of us had better 
escape from the place immediately with our copy of the 
I)oll-books, while the other should remain at the tavern to 
look aft^r our horse and buggy wheels which had been 
secreted. Mr. James accordingly left with the copy of the 
poll-books, with the design of going to a farm house of Mr. 
D. B. Dodson, where we had spent the night previous to 
our going into Niobrarah, and I remained at the tavern. 

10th question. State what occurred at Niobrarah after 
the departure of Mr. James. 



224 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Answer. I retired and went to bed very soon after Mr. 
James had left. I had been in bed over an hour, when I 
was aroused by noises outside of the tavern by persons de- 
manding entrance into the tavern. They gained admit- 
tance, and were soon at my chamber door, calling for me to 
open the door and let them in, stating, in answer to my in- 
quiry what they wanted, that they desired instant admis- 
sion, and unless I opened the door tliey would burst it 
open. I told them that if they were after my copy of the 
poll-lists that I had not got it, that I would let them in as 
soon as I was dressed, which I did. They examined my 
clothing and the bed-clothing, and they, the sheriff of the 
county, whose name I d(> not at present remember, and the 
Hon. Judge James Tuffts,^" sitting democratic member of 
the legislature of Nebraska, requested me to go with them, 
and the other persons who were witli them, about a dozen 
in number, and around, followed after us through the 
tavern, down stairs and out of doors. A few steps from the 
tavern the sheriff, who appeared to be spokesman for the 
gang, desired me to give them up immediately the copy of 
the poll-lists. I told them I had not got it, and that if I 
had, as I became legally possessed of it, I would not give 
it to them. The sheriff stated that they had come after it 
and would have it, peaceably if they could, forcibly if neces- 
sary; that the citizens of Niobrarah were all equally impli- 
cated in the fraud that had been committed there, and that 
the copy of the poll-books which we had they regarded as 
proof of such fraud, and since they had proceeded so far 
they might as well go a little further, and prevent the 
record from leaving that county, and they would do. This 
declaration was made in the presence and hearing of James 
Tuffts, and he did not dissent. 

(To this part of the answer the counsel for Mr. Esta- 
brook objected on the ground that it is hearsay and irrele- 
vant. ) 

The gang, appearing satisfied that I had not the poll- 
lists, started in the direction of ^Ir. Dodson's, exclaiming 
"James has them !" "James has them !" About three hours 
afterward tlie gang came back to the tavern and to my 
chamber, and informed me that they had found James and 
had got the poll-books, and the county was safe. 

(To this part of the evidence the counsel for Mr. Esta- 
brook also objected on the same ground as above stated. ) 



CONTESTED EIJECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 225 

The next morning I found the wheels replaced on m^ 
buggy, and was told Avhere to find my horse, and I immedi- 
ately started for Mr. Dodson's. 

11th question. State whether, before leaving for Dod- 
son's, you had another interview with the county clerk re- 
lating to the procurement of another^ copy of the poll- 
books; and if so, what was the result of that interview? 

Answer. I had. He informed me they had been stolen, 
and he could get no clue to their whereabouts, 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook on the 
ground that it is hearsay and not the best evidence. ) 

12th question. State whether, in that conversation, 
you asked or demanded another copy of those poll-books, 

AnsT\^er. I did, and he replied as before stated. 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook, on the 
ground as above stated. ) 

13th question. State the number of votes polled in that 
precinct, as appears by the poll-books of that election, and 
for whom they appear to have been given as delegate to 
Congress. 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook . . .) 

Answer. One hundred and twenty-one votes, all for 
Experience Estabrook. 

14th question. Now state what you saw peculiar, if 
anything, in the appearance of the names on the poll-books. 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook . . . ) 

Answer. I noticed upon said poll list, in consecutive 
order, some six or more Smiths, and I think ten names of 
McRea in consecutive order; also, I remember the names 
Howell Cobb and Aaron V. Brown ;^" also the name of N. 
Fitzgerald, whom I know to be a resident of Council Bluffs, 
Iowa; the name of Dodson, whose first name I do not re- 
member, who is a minor, and did not vote; also the name 
of William Brigham, who was at Sioux city, Iowa, at the 
time of the election. 

15th question. State what kind of a place this Nio- 
brarah appeared to be. 

Answer. It appeared to be scarcely more than an In- 
dian trading post. It contained a tavern, two or three va- 
cant frame buildings, one of which was called Major 
Gregory's store-house, Major Gregory's office, the store 
which I have described, about four log-houses, one of them 
called the "dance house,'' and a building that appeared 



226 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

to be a broken down mill, and a blacksmith's shop near by. 
On the bluffs back of the place there was a building, and 
one just under the bluffs, which I understood were occu- 
pied by one West and one Starr. I do not remember any- 
thing else. 

16th question. State what appeared to be the condition 
of the country in the neighborhood of Niobrarah. 

Answer. Four miles this side of Niobrarah there is a 
very comfortable farm-house, with out-houses, fencing, and 
other improvements, occupied by Mr. D. B. Dodson and 
family, of whom I have before spoken. Between that and 
the town of Niobrarah I do not remember any other im- 
provements or inhabitants. Between Frankfort, which is 
the last place this side of Niobrarah on my way up, and 
Niobrarah, I passed only one dwelling house, occupied by 
a person named G. Collins. Back of Niobrarah, except in 
the valley of the Running Water, I saw no country that 
appeared suitable for agricultural purposes. Up the Run- 
ning Water valley, about four miles, there was a vacant 
cabin. 

17th question. State about what distance it is from 
Frankfort to Niobrarah? 

Answer. I have no memorandum showing the distance, 
but it is a good day's ride with a horse and buggy; say 
about thirty-five miles. 

18th question. State in what part of the county Nio- 
brarah is situated? 

Answer. The buildings of the town are situated about 
two miles this side of where the Running Water empties 
into the Missouri river, and from a quarter to a half a mile 
from the Missouri river. 

19th question. State in what part of the county Frank- 
fort is situated? 

Answer. I believe the Missouri runs nearly east and 
west there. St. Helena, Cedar county, I think, is the last 
settlement going up the road to Niobrarah before you get 
to Frankfort [and] Zepeota. I think Frankfort is in the 
east portion of the county. 



Direct Examination Resumed 

3d question. Will you briefly describe Frankfort and 
Zepeota, and their relative situations? 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEIMIASKA 227 

Answer. Frankfort and Zepeota ^^ are situated on op- 
posite sides of a small creek, and opposite to each other. 
Frankfort contains one frame house and one or two small 
log houses. Zepeota contains one or two small log houses. 
These places are on the Missouri river. That is all. 

JAS. B. COIT. 

Tuesday Morning, December 20, 1859. 

William H. James, of lawful age, being first duly sworn 
according to law, makes the following answers to the ques- 
tions proposed, to wit: 

1st question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. Twenty-seven years old; occupation, lawyer; 
residence Dakota city, Nebraska. 

2d question. Are you the person referred to by Mr. 
Coit as having accompanied him to Niobrarah? 

Answer. I am. 

3d question. State whether you were present during 
the whole of his examination yesterday, and attentive to 
all he said in that examination, and, if so, state whether or 
not you fully concur in all the material statements made 
by him, relating to what transpired in Niobrarah up to the 
time he states you left for Mr. Dodson's ; and, if not, state 
in what particulars your recollection differs from his? 

Answer. I was present and attentive to what he said. 
I fully concur in all the material statements made by him, 
except in that portion which relates to the conversation 
and transaction at the hotel between Mr. Coit, myself, John 
H. Starr, and F. M. West. 

(This question and answer objected to by counsel for 
Mr. Estabrook.) 

4th question. You will please then make your own 
statement relative to what occurred while you were at Nio- 
brarah relating to the object of your visit to that place? 

Answer. We passed the preceding night at Mr. Dod- 
son's four miles east of Niobrarah. On the morning of the 
22d of November, we went into Niobrarah and as soon as 
we could get in we went to the house that we were informed 
was occupied by the county clerk. I presented a letter of 
introduction from Mr. Taffe to the county clerk, and also 
informed the county clerk as to the object of our visit, and 
told him that we wished to get a copy of the poll-books. He 
said — 



228 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

(The counsel for Mr. Estabrook here objected to the 
witness detailing any conversation between him and the 
clerk or any one else . . . ) 

The witness thereupon proceeded to state — 
He said that he wished to discharge his duty as an offi- 
cer, but doubted whether he had a right to deliver us a 
copy. I offered to show him the statute requiring that the 
public records should be open to the inspection of every 
citizen. He thereupon said that he would deliver us a 
copy if the fees were paid, which Mr. Coit agreed to do. 
He then proceeded to make a copy of the list of names of 
voters purporting to have voted at an election held in the 
Niobrarah precinct in L'Eau Qui Court county. The pa 
per of which he gave us a copy he took from his trunk. He 
read the names from the original book and Mr. Coit T^Tote 
them down. After which, the clerk compared the copy 
with the original list, and certified that it was a true 
copy. After procuring a copy of the poll-list we went 
up to the tavern and remained a short time, and 
then started for Major Gregory's office, when we dis- 
covered that our horse was gone. We were therefore 
unable to leave the place and remained until night, 
when we made an effort to get our horse, but were 
unable to do so. We then returned to the tavern and 
stayed until morning, when we discovered that the left fore 
wheel and the right hind wheel of our buggy were removed. 
We spent the day in trying to find them and without suc- 
cess ; in the evening, while at Westamond's store, John H. 
Starr and F. M. West asked me if I had a copy of the poll- 
list, and both remarked that they understood their names 
appeared upon the list as having voted, and that as they 
had not voted they wished to see the list, that they might 
see if it was true. I told them that if they would go up to 
the tavern I would show them the list. We went to the 
tavern together, when I commenced reading the list to 
them. Mr. Coit remarked that he could read it better, it 
being in his handwriting, and I handed it to him, and he 
commenced reading the names; soon after he had com- 
menced, F. M. West made an effort to snatch the list, and 
Mr. Coit handed it back to me, and I put it in my pocket. 
West then told me that he wanted the list, and told me to 
give it up, which I refused to do. He then swore that I 
never should leave the county with that list; at that time 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASIiA 229 

be had hold of me by the collar. West and Starr immedi- 
ately left the hotel, and at the same time I went out at an- 
other door and started for Dodson's, about four miles this 
aide of Niobrarah. It was then about 10 o'clock in the 
evening. Soon after arriving at Dodson's I went to bed. 
About half past one or two o'clock I was waked up by 
Mr. Dodson, who made the remark that those fellows were 
after me. At the time I awoke I could see a number of men 
at either of the two windows of my room, who immediately 
afterwards came in. James Tuffts, who was one of the 
number who came into the room, said that they had come 
after a copy of the poll-list. Mr. Dodson advised them to 
let me alone. Tuffts replied that they "had walked four 
miles for that poll-list, and, by God, we were going to have 
it" I told Mr. Dodson that I was his guest, and wished to 
involve him and his family in no difficulty, but told him 
that I should like very much to keep the copy of the poll- 
list, but if he desired it that I would give it up. He said 
he thought I had better let them have it. I thereupon got 
off of my coat, which I was sitting upon at the time, and 
told them they could take it. They took the copy of the 
poll-list from my coat and immediately burned it up. 
Either Mr. Tuffts or Mr. Callahan, the sheriff of that 
county, said that the citizens of the Niobrarah precinct 
were all implicated in the frauds perpetrated at the last 
election, and that they were all alike interested in sup- 
prei^ing the e\idences of the fraud. They said at the same 
time that they had no ill-will towards me, and that if I 
would drop the matter and say no more about it, that any 
thing that I might ask at the hands of the citizens of Nio- 
brarah would be granted, and that if ever I was again a 
candidate for office that they would give me as many votes 
as were necessary to secure my election. At this time some 
one said they would give me six hundred if necessary. 

8th question. Do you know, or have you any reliable 
information, of any settlements up the Running Water? 

Answer. I know of but two houses up the Running 
Water in a distance of four miles, both of which were un- 
occupied at the time. I am informed that the valley of the 
Running W^ater is settled the distance of ten miles above 
Niobrarah ; but at the time I was there, above alluded to, 
that the settlers were all in Niobrarah in consequence of a 



230 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

difficulty with the Indians, and that there was at that time 
but one man living up that valley. 

(Objected to by the counsel for Mr. Estabrook on the 
ground that it is hearsay.) 

9th question. You have stated that your horse was 
missing in the morning. Did you receive any information 
as to the place of his concealment? 

Answer. I was informed that he was in Major 
Gregory's stable. 

10th question. What efforts did you make, if any, for 
his recovery, and what was the result? 

Answer. I applied to Major Gregory, who said that the 
horse was in his stable, but that Jimmy had the key, and 
that I could not get him unless I could find Jimmy. We 
found Jimmy in the evening and told him we wanted our 
horse. He replied that he would have to get a lantern ; and 
I went with him to Major Gregory's office for that purpose. 
Major Gregory told him that Ids lantern was out of repair, 
and that he would have to get Westamond's. Jimmy told 
me to remain, and said that he would be back in a moment, 
and that was the last I saw of Jimmy. 

11th question. Do you know whether Major Gregory 
is an officeholder, and what office he holds? 

Answer. He is agent for the Ponca Indians. 

18th question. Who is tliis James Tuffts, the apparent 
leader of that gang of vagabonds that assaulted you at Mr. 
Dodson's, and took from you the papers as before stated? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook, on the 
ground that the question assumes facts to exist which have 
not been proven. ) 

Answer. He is the sitting member of the legislature 
from the district composed of the counties of Cedar, Dixon, 
and L'Eau Qui Court, 

19th question. What are his politics? 

Answer. Democratic. 

20th question. State with more particularity your 
knowledge of the settled or unsettled condition of L'Eau 
Qui Court county? 

Answer. L'Eau Qui Court county has but two settle- 
ments in it, one is at Zepeota and Frankfort, which is in 
the southeastern [northeastern] portion of the county, and 
the other is at or in the vicinity of Niobrarah, which is the 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 231 

most northern part of the county. Tliere is but one house 
on the road between Zepeota and Niobrarah, a distance of 
between twenty-five and thirty miles. The county gener- 
ally is unsettled. It is also the most northern county in 
the Territory. 

26th question. Of the hundred and twenty-one names 
that appeared upon the poll-list, how many did you recog- 
nize as the names of persons that you knew? 

Answer. About six or eight. 

27th question. Had you been to any extent acquainted 
with the people of L'Eau Qui Court county? 

Answer. I live in that portion of the county which is 
passed through by most of the emigrants going up there, 
and became acquainted with many of them at or before the 
time of tlieir settlement there. 

28th question. Is there not a ferry at Niobrarah? 

Answer, I do not know, but there is not except a skiflf. 

29th question. Would the emigration going from any 
considerable distance north of Dakota city cross at Dakota 
or Sioux city? 

Answer. Most all the emigration to that part of Ne- 
braska cross[es] the Missouri river either at Sioux city or 
Dakota, 

30th question. Has there been any crossing of emigrants 
at Dakota for the last six months for the northern part of 
Nebraska? 

Answer. None at all. There has been very little emi- 
gration into that part of the Territory for the last year. 

31st question. Have you been at all the crossing points, 
and do you pretend to know all the emigrants that have 
crossed into northern Nebraska during the past year? 

Answer. I have not been at all the crossings. I do not 
know all the emigrants who have passed into that part of 
Nebraska for the last year. I know of but two crossings 
by ferry on the Missouri river above Sioux city. 

32d question. Where are those crossings? 

Answer. One is [at] Ponca, and the other at Ionia. 

33d question. Would not those be the natural crossings 
for the people emigrating from the extreme northern por- 
tion of Iowa, and from Minnesota and Dakota, into the 
northern portions of Nebraska? 

Answer. They would be the natural crossings for emi- 



232 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

grants from Dakota Territory to Nebraska. The emigra- 
tion from Minnesota and Iowa would naturally cross at 
Sioux City. 

35tli question. Why is it that there has been no cross- 
ing of emigrants at Dakota City for the last six months? 
Answer. It had no regular ferry boat. 

37th question. Have yon ever been at Bonhomme City, 
in L'Eau Qui Court county? 

Answer. Not that I know of. 

38th question. Do you know the extent of that settle- 
ment? 

Answer. I do not know that there is any settlement 
there. I have heard of such a place. 

39tli question. Do you know how many settlers reside 
along the Missouri river between Frankfort and Niobrarah 
in L'Eau Qui Court county? 

Answer. No. 

40th question. Did you ever visit or hear of the town 
of Breckenridge in L'Eau Qui Court county? 

Answer. I have heard of such a place, and know it to 
be the terminus of a mail route on which E. G. Lawson was 
one of the contractors for carrying the mail from Dakota 
City. I know also that he does not carry the mail to 
Breckenridge.^- 

47th question. How many election precincts are there 
in the county, and where are they located? 

Answer. Two ; one at Frankfort and one at Niobrarah, 
and both on the Missouri river. 

48th question. Do not those precincts extend back so as 
to include the Running Water valley, Breckenridge, and 
the entire west portion of the county? 

Answer. I presume that those two precincts include 
the whole county, but I do not know anything about it. 



Direct Examination Resumed 

2d question. You were inquired of in relation to the 
emigration during the past year to the northern part of the 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBKASKA 233 

Territory; will you state whether the population of that 
part of the Territory including I/Eau Qui Court has in- 
creased or decreased during the past year ; and if decreased, 
to what extent? 

(Objected to . . . ) 

Answer. I believe that the population has decreased in 
all the counties, from the fact that the vote in all the coun- 
ties north of the reserve was not near as large this, as it 
was last year, except in L'Eau Qui Court county. 

3d question. You have been inquired of concerning Bon- 
homme and Breckenridge ; do you know of any actual set- 
tlement at either place? 

Answer. I do not. 

4th question. Have you any reason to believe, from any 
information, that there are five voters at either, or both 
places? 

( Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook . . . ) 

Answer. I have not. 

6th question. Where would the voters residing at 
Breckenridge and Bonhomme, if any, vote? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook . . . ) 
Answer. I think they would vote at Zepeota or Frank- 
fort, from the fact that Breckenridge is about sixteen miles 
from Niobrarah, and I think they are much nearer Zepeota. 



Wednesday Morning, December 21, 1859. 

John Taffe,"" of lawful age, being first duly sworn ac- 
cording to law, makes the following answers to the ques- 
tions propounded, to wit : 

1st question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. Age, 32 years; occupation, lawyer; residence, 
Omadi, Dakota county, Nebraska Territory. 

2d question. What is your present business here at the 
capital? 

Answer. I am a member of the House of Representa- 
tives. 

5th question. How long have you resided in this Ter- 
ritory, and where have you resided? 



234 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Answer. Three years; at Omadi. 

7th question. State, if you know, to what extent L'Eaw 
Qui Court county is settled. 

Answer. I should think there were from thirty to 
thirty-five voters in that county during the past fall, witli 
a small proportion of families. 

10th question. About in what direction is Niobrarah, 
and what is the character of the road, and what the settle- 
ments on the way, on the usually travelled route, and what 
are the accommodations for travellers on a winter journey? 

Answer. I think Niobrarah is about ninety-six miles 
north of this place ; the general direction being about north- 
west from this place, and the whole distance being about 
two hundred miles by the usually travelled route, as I have 
already stated. The road is generally dry and good, but 
a portion of it is very hilly. The settlements from this 
place until you reach Wacapana,^* Cedar county, are at 
reasonably convenient distances for travellers. The next 
nearest house from that point is about forty-seven miles; 
from that house it is about three miles to Niobrarah. In 
travelling the course of the river the distance between the 
houses is not so great, but the general distance is consider- 
ably increased. 

12th question. You have stated in a former answer that 
there were from thirty to thirty-five voters in L'Eau Qui 
Court county, will you now state about what portion of 
that number reside in the precinct of Frankfort and 
Zepeota? 

Answer. I should think there were about twelve. It is 
called the Zepeota precinct. 

13th question. What is the present population of the 
district you represent compared with that of one year ago, 
and what the vote at the last October election compared 
with that of the year previous? 

Answer. The population of the district is less than a 
year ago ; the vote is less in Dakota county. The vote of the 
counties of Dixon, Cedar, and L'Eau Qui Court, was not 
canvassed before the clerk of Dakota county, as the law 
requires, and therefore I do not know what the oflBcial vote 
of those counties was. I believe the voters of those coud- 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 2ii5 

ties were less in number tlian the previous year. I can- 
vassed the counties for both years. 



John McCouihe, of lawful age, being first duly sworn 
according to law, makes the following answers to the ques- 
tions proposed, to wit : 

Ist question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. Age 25 years; occupation, lawyer; residence, 
Omaha, Nebraska. 

2d question. Are you officially connected with the ex- 
ecutive branch of the government of this Territory? 

Answer. I am the governor's private secretary. 

3d question. Do you know anything of the receipt by 
the governor of the returns of the late elections from the 
counties of Calhoun and Izard ; and, if so, state what you 
know? 

Answer. I do know of the receipt of the returns from 
Izard and Calhoun counties; I think I took them from the 
post office myself. 

4th question. Whsd did you do with them? 

Answer. The returns of Izard county I think were 
placed in my safe with the other returns. The returns of 
Calhoun county I sent to the county clerk of Platte county, 
to return the same with the Platte county returns; Cal- 
houn being an election precinct attached to Platte county, 
and improperly returned to the governor from Calhoun 
county. The returns purporting to be from Platte county 
were sent to the county clerk of Douglas county, and by 
him opened and handed to me; the law requiring the re- 
turns to be made to the governor, I deemed it my duty (not 
knowing whether these were the returns of Platte county 
or not, having been handed me by the county clerk of this 
county) to send the same to the county clerk of Platte 
county, to return them according to law. I also enclosed 
with the returns of Platte county the returns of Calhoun 
county to the county clerk of Platte county, asking him to 
make return of Calhoun county in accordance to law. 

10th question. Did you afterwards receive from the 
clerk of Platte county what purported to be a return from 
Calhoun county ; and, if so, how long afterwards. 



236 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Answer. I afterward received, cannot state the length 
of time, I think about a week, from the clerk of Platte 
county, the returns of Platte, Butler, Calhoun, and I think 
Green was included as a precinct. 



Cross-examination. 

6th question. Did you ever see the purported returns 
from Hall county; and, if so, tell me where you first saw 
them? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Daily . . . ) 

Answer. I have seen them, and first saw them in a 
lager beer saloon kept by a German named Wallenburg, in 
Omaha, I think. 

7th question. Do you know where those returns were 
made out? 

Answer. I think in that saloon. 

8th question. At what time? 

Answer. I could not state definitely as to the time. 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Daily . . . ) 

9th question. Who prepared the purported returns 
from Hall county? 

Answer. I could not state as to that. Mr. Wallen- 
burg, who keeps a saloon here, came into my office on 
Farnam street, with a gentleman who was introduced to 
me as the county clerk of Hall county. They afterwards 
left the office and went back to the saloon; very soon I 
went into the saloon myself, and saw them making out 
returns of Hall county, which, when finished, were handed 
to me as the returns of Hall county, directed to the gov- 
ernor. 



Friday Morning, December 23, 1859. 

Stephen H. Wattles, of lawful age, being first duly 
sworn according to law, makes the following answers to 
the questions proposed, to wit: 

1st question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. Age 32 years; occupation, acting sheriff of 
Sarpy county; residence Bellevue, Sarpy county. 

2d question. Have you recently been at Fort Kearny, 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 2Q7 

and at Kearny city; if so, at whose instance and for what 
purpose? 

Answer. I was at Fort Kearny, and also at Kearny 
city, or Dobytown, as it is called. I went at the instance 
of Mr. Daily, for the purpose of getting a copy of the poll- 
book, and investigating the matters of the elections held 
there and at Nebraska-Centre and Centralia, in Buffalo 
county. 

3d question. Will you describe the place you call 
Kearny city, or Dobytown? 

Answer. It lies on the south side of the Platte river, 
two miles west of Fort Kearny. I judge there are not over 
eight houses — three business houses I was in ; two of them 
used as ranches, keeping groceries, liquors, &c., the other 
was a drinking house or saloon. Rankin's ranch was the 
largest of any; it is a one story sod or adobe house, also 
covered with sod; it is about twenty or twenty-two feet 
wide and sixty long. The other houses are of the same 
material and one story high, but not as large; the dram 
shop is probably sixteen by eighteen feet, and the other 
buildings are about the same size. 

4th question. State whether or not the other buildings 
are occupied as domicils? 

Answer. I think they were all occupied with the ex- 
ception of the one they call the ^'town house" or "state 
house," and I do not know whether that was occupied or 
not; I saw no signs of any one living there.*^ 

5th question. State whether or not Kearny city is on 
the direct line of thoroughfare between the Missouri river 
and the mines; and whether that is a point where they 
cross the Platte river? 

Answer. I think it is. I know of no other thorough- 
fare from a point on the Missouri north of Leavenworth. 
It is the main crossing place for those travelling west from 
the Missouri river on the north side of the Platte. 

6th question. State whether or not there has been a 
large amount of travel on the north side of the Platte river, 
over this route, during the past summer and fall, to and 
from the mines? 

Answer. There has been. 

7th question. State what is the southern boundai'y of 
Buffalo county. 

Answer. It is bounded on the south by the Platte river. 



238 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

8th question. In what direction is Buffalo county from 
Kearny city? 

Answer. Directly north on the other side of the Platte 
river ; Kearny city being on the south side of the river. 

9th question. State how many men you saw at Kearny 
city, apparently residents of the place and not connected 
with tlie army or the fort. 

(Objected to by the counsel for Mr. Estabrook . . . ) 

Answer. I saw not to exceed fifteen. I saw two parties 
from the mines driving through there, who stopped and 
made some purchases. 

10th question. State whether or not you saw any evi- 
dences of agricultural improvement about Kearny city. 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook on the 
ground of irrelevancy. ) 

Answer. I did not see one acre of cultivated land or a 
farm house. 

11th question. State whether, during your visit there, 
you were at Fort Kearny, and what number of troops there 
are there, and what other settlers connected with the 
army? 

Answer. I was at the fort, and was informed there 
were three companies; I could not say how many others, 
but suppose a considerable number, judging from the num- 
ber of teams I saw hauling wood from the island. 

16th question. How long were you at Nebraska Centre, 
and how many men did you see there apparently residents 
of that place? 

Answer. I was there above eighteen hours, and I saw 
only three persons there who appeared to be residents. 

17th question. Describe the place called Nebraska 
Centre. 

Answer. It has one dwelling-house, one storehouse, one 
barn or stable, and one warehouse.^* 

18th question. What number of votes purports to have 
been given there, according to the certified copy of the poll- 
book now in the hand of the witness, and for whom given 
for delegate to Congress? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook on the 
ground that it is not the best evidence. ) 

Answer. Thirty-eight votes were given, and all of thera 
for Experience Estabrook. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 239 

19th question. Describe the placed called Centralia. 

Answer. There is no such town as Centralia, but [that] 
is the name given to a precinct. The election purports to 
have been held at the house of Mr. Johnson, on Wood 
river.^' 

20th question. What evidence did you discover, if any, 
of settlements and improvements in the neighborhood of 
Nebraska Centre? 

Answer. I saw one farm at Nebraska Centre under 
cultivation, and one or two this side of there just opening 
for cultivation. There might have been one or tv*'o farms 
more opened, but I cannot swear there were any more. 

21st question. State whether or not Nebraska Centre 
and Centralia are on the direct line of thoroughfare from 
the Missouri river to the mines. 

Answer. They are. 

Gross-examination 

29th question. You state that you went to Centralia; 
how many houses did you see about there? 

Answer. I might have seen four, five, or six, I cannot 
say exactly. I saw no other houses than those on Wood 
river. 

30th question. Did you see any houses on the Platte 
river in Buffalo county? 

Answer. I did not. 

36th question. Of how many distinct papers did the 
copies of the returns consist, which you brought in from 
Buffalo county? 

Answer. Two from Buffalo county, and one from what 
is called the Kearny city precinct. 

37th question. In what way were the different slips of 
paper on which those copies were made connected together 
when you received them from the clerk of Buffalo county? 

Answer. By mucilage. 

40th question. Has any person written anything or 
added anything to those copies since they came into your 
hands? 

Answer. There has been on the one from the poll-books 
of Kearny city precinct. It was done by me to satisfy my- 



240 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

self as to the number of actual voters in that precinct. I 
have added to the name of M. F. Nichols the words, in pen- 
cil, "lives in Elkhorn." Opposite the name of William D. 
Thomas, I have written in pencil "Elkhorn." Opposite the 
name of L. B. Jenks, I have written with pencil the word 
"Elkhorn." Opposite the name of Samuel Armstrong, I 
have written in pencil the word "soldier." Opposite the 
name of Elisha T. Eldrin, I have written with pencil the 
word, "Omaha." Upon the other copies there is no writing. 



Re-examined hy the Counsel for Mr. Daily. 

1st question. Opposite many of the names on the copy 
of the poll-book from Kearny city I see short pencil marks. 
Explain those marks. 

Answer. I went to Mr. Talbot,^* whose name appears 
as one [of] the judges of the election, and asked him to 
point out those who were actual voters in that precinct^ 
and those who were not. He asked me to read over the 
names, and I requested him to designate those who were 
not voters in that precinct. I read them over, and when 
I came to a name he said he was not a voter, I made a 
mark or dash opposite to such name. 

2d question. Will you count those marks, and state the 
number of them? 

Answer. Having counted the marks, 1 make the num- 
ber one hundred and ninety-seven. 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook . . . ) 

3d question. State whether or not you are certain that 
you marked accurately, according to the information given 
to you by Mr. Talbot. 

Answer. I am certain. 

4th question. Did you learn from Mr. Talbot whether 
he had long been a resident of that place, and whether he 
had a general acquaintance with the settlers in that 
region ? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook . . . ) 

Answer. He told me that he had lived there and at the 
fort for the last three years, and that he was personally 
acquainted with all the settlers for twenty miles up and 
down the river. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 241 

Samuel W. Black, of lawful age, being first duly sworn 
according to law, makes the following answers to the ques- 
tions proposed, to wit : 

1st question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. Age, .42; Governor of Nebraska; and resi- 
dence, Nebraska city. 

2d question. State, if you please, whether you took any 
and what steps, and at what time, for the purpose of hav- 
ing an election held, last October, in the county of Buffalo? 

Answer. I took no steps whatever in reference to the 
October election in Buffalo county. But I wish to state 
all the connexion I had with Buffalo county, in my capac- 
ity as governor of the territory or otherwise. Some time in 
the month of May last, and shortly after my arrival in 
Omaha, which I think was my first visit subsequent to my 
appointment, I was either applied to or asked to appoint 
the county officers for Buffalo county ; at or about the same 
time, applications were received from other portions of this 
Territory, in the west, requesting me, if I had the power, 
to organize counties. My belief was that I had no such 
power; but I investigated the law fully, and was confirmed 
in my belief that I did not possess the power. I also was 
satisfied from investigation that I had not the power to 
appoint officers in an organized county. I found by the 
statutes, I think of 1855, that Buffalo county was fully 
organized by the act of the territorial legislature. In 
some of the counties the legislature has merely defined the 
boundaries; in others, they make use of the language 
"organized, or erected into a county." This is my recollec- 
tion of the language, without having recently examined the 
statute. In regard to Buffalo county, the title of the act 
is, "to organize Buffalo county ;" and, now having the act 
before me, I find the language to be, "is hereby declared 
organized into a county to be called Buffalo;" and, fur- 
ther, "the seat of justice is hereby located at Nebraska 
Centre." I declined to appoint officers for Buffalo county, 
but investigated the law, in connexion with Judge Wake- 
ley, who happened to be present when I was looking at the 
question. He and I agreed, however, about the course 
which was lawful and proper, so far as Buffalo county was 
concerned, or any other county in a like situation, which 
was, as nearly as I recollect, that the county conmiission- 

17 



242 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

ers of the nearest county on the east, and not as formerly 
the probate judge, were authorized to take the initiative 
steps on the application of the people of the county, in 
which oflScers had never been elected. I do not pretend to 
give the instructions fully, but they were given in accord- 
ance with his belief and mine as to what was the law. The 
papers were returned to me purporting to set forth the 
choice of officers by the electors of Buffalo county. I think 
they set forth that the choice was made on the 25th of 
June, 1859. I cannot recollect all that the papers con- 
tained, but there was a request that the officers should be 
commissioned by the Governor in pursuance of the choice 
of the people. There was no action taken on this request 
until after my return from the Pawnee expedition. I di- 
rected commissions to be issued without considering them 
absolutely necessary, but because I understood that it was 
the desire of the people that the commissions should come 
from the executive. I ought to state here that I observed 
in the secretary's office, a day or two ago, in the minute 
book of that office, that the word appoint is used instead 
of commission. This I think is a clerical error, and does 
not correspond with the request contained in the proceed- 
ings transmitted to me. These commissions appear to 
have been issued July 26, 1859. I wish to state further 
distinctly that my action in regard to Buffalo county had 
no reference whatever to the last October election, nor to 
any other election; but because I was led to believe, and 
did believe, that the people of the county desired in good 
faith that the county should be put into working operation, 
and I am of the opinion (and this no doubt influenced me 
in some degree to aid them so far as possible and right) 
that as many inhabited counties as possible should be 
fully organized and invested with all their rights, not only 
as an act of justice to them, but they pay their share of the 
territorial taxes, which is an act of justice to the other 
counties of the Territory. From the 26th of July last, I 
had no further connexion with Buffalo county until I re- 
ceived the returns of the election. 

3d question. Can you state, sir, whether the applica- 
tion or request of which you have spoken, in relation to 
Buffalo county, was in writing, and, if so, whether it is on 
file in the executive department? 

Answer. The first application, in May, was verbal, and 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 243 

I recollect very distinctly that I refused to have anything 
to do with it on a mere verbal representation, but stated 
to the person or persons that the proper course was for the 
people to make their application to me in A\Titin<j:, or to 
send any proceedings on which they wished me to act; and 
their proceedings, whatever they were, are, I believe, on 
file in the secretary's oflSce. 

4th question. You spoke of a retura of the selection of 
oflBcers made by the people; is that also on file? 

Answer. I believe it is, although I cannot speak posi- 
tively of these or any other papers, as my habit is to hand 
them to the secretarv or my private secretary. 

5th question. You have said, sir, that applications 
were made to you for the organization of other counties 
besides Buffalo county ; did you issue commissions for the 
officers of any of those other counties? 

Answer. I did not issue commissions, because those 
counties were not organized counties, and my judgment is 
that the legislature only can organize counties. The ap- 
plication to me, so far as Buffalo county is concerned, was 
not to organize the county, for that the legislature had 
already done. 

Saturday Morning, December 24, 1859. 

6th question. Are we to understand it to be your opin- 
ion, then, that Buffalo county became an organized county 
in virtue of the act creating it, by reason of the title of the 
act and of the use therein of the words "organized into a 
county," instead of the woids "erected into a county," or 
the words "constituted a county," used in other acts? 

Answer. I do not stop, as I have a perfect right to do, 
to take exception to this most extraordinary and illegal 
question. I have already stated why I thought it right to 
pursue the line of conduct set forth in my testimony al- 
ready given. I say the question is extraordinary and 
illegal, because the witness is asked to testify on oath as a 
witness to his present opinion of a purely legal question. 
My opinion is, that Buffalo county was organized into a 
county because the legislature said so. That passing an 
act entitled "An act to organize Buffalo county," which is 
as follows: "Section 1. Be it enacted by the council and 
house of representatives of the Territory of Nebraska, That 
all that portion of territory included in the following 



244 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

limits is hereby declared organized into a county to be 
called Buffalo : commencing at a point in the centre of the 
Platte river ten miles east from the mouth of Wood river ; 
running thence westward, up the southern channel of the 
Platte, to the mouth of Buffalo creek ; thence north thirty 
miles; thence east to a point directly north of the place of 
beginning; thence south to the place of beginning. 
The seat of justice is hereby located at Nebraska 
Centre. Section 2. This act to take effect from and 
after its passage. Approved March 14, 1855," — did mean 
all that it said, and did organize the county in law. I an- 
swer further, it is not because the word used is "organized," 
instead of the words either "constituted" or "erected" into 
a county, but because the words of organization in this act, 
to my mind, are entirely sufficient to show the intention of 
the legislature. I consider the title of the act as indicative 
of the legislative intention, when taken in connexion with 
the body of the act. Further, and I am of the opinion that 
"constituting" or "erecting" into a county might have the 
same effect, or that other words of similar import might 
convey the same idea, as for instance, Douglas county, in 
which the capital of the Territory is situated, is "hereby 
declared to be known and called by the name of Douglas 
county," although there is no other language of positive 
organization. So Otoe county, in which Nebraska City is 
situated, was organized by the following language: "is 
hereby declared and called by the name of Otoe county," 
there being no other words of positive organization as to 
that county, except those which I have quoted. I might 
say further that I think there is a manifest distinction, in 
the territorial statutes, between organizing a county by 
positive enactment and merely defining their boundaries. 

7th question. State, if you please, what, in your judg- 
ment, constitutes the essential difference between an or- 
ganized and an unorganized county? 

Answer. I answer that I decline to give any opinion on 
that subject, inasmuch as I am not able to see that it has 
any connexion whatever with the matter in hand, and is 
asking my opinion on a mere abstract question of law. 

8th question. Supposing that at the date of the pas- 
sage of the law creating the county of Buffalo, the district 
of country embraced within its limits was notoriously 
destitute of white inhabitants, would you still be of opin* 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 245 

ion that it became, in virtue of the act, de facto an organ- 
ized county? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook . . . ) 
Answer. I answer, first, tliat I know nothing about the 
condition of the Territory when this act was passed, and 
suppose that the legislature knew their own business. 
When I construe laws I endeavor to construe them by the 
well known rules laid down. And further, I have stated 
fully all that I know about the facts in this case, and have 
given my reasons for the course I thought it right to pur- 
sue; besides, I am not a law student under examination be- 
fore this commission. 

11th question. At the time you examined the laws and 
came to your final conclusion relative to Buffalo county, as 
stated by you yesterday, did you examine the act of 1855, 
at page 222, entitled "An act in relation to new counties?" 

Answer. My recollection is, that Judge Wakel[e]y 
and myself examined that act. 

12th question. On what ground was it that you came 
to the conclusion that this act was inapplicable to the case 
of Buffalo county? 

Answer. We did not come to the conclusion particu- 
larly that it was inapplicable to Buffalo county as differ- 
ing from any other county, but that the act itself was modi- 
fied by laws of a later date as to the powers of a probate 
judge. 

13th question. State, if you please, wiiat laws you now 
refer to. 

Answer. We considered that the act of JaJiuary 2<3, 
1856, pages 70, 71, and 72, taken in connexion with other 
acts which we also examined, transferred the powers of 
the probate judge, in a great many respects, to the county 
commissioners, and this was one of them. 

14th question. Mention, if you please, the other acts 
to which you have referred. 

Answer. I do not now recollect them, and it was diflS- 
cult then to find them by the indexes; but I know that we 
made a very thorough examination of the laws, and agreed 
that the power now was in the county commissioners which 
had formerly belonged to the probate judge. 

15th question. What power? 

Answer. The power to order an election, in the first 
instance, for county officers. 



246 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

16th question. Did you consider tlie act in relation to 
new counties to have been modified in any other particular 
except by the substitution of county commisioners for the 
judge of probate? 

Answer. I do not recollect that our attention was fixed 
on anything else but a modification of the powers of the 
probate judge generally. 

17th question. Your aiiswer seems to infer, then, that 
you were of opinion that the act in relation to new coun- 
ties, modified in the manner you have stated, by the sub- 
stitution of the county commissioners for the probate 
judge, was applicable to Buffalo county, in common with 
other counties; state, if you please, whether or no you 
design to be so understood. 

Answer. I did not say that in the way the question is 
put. 

18th question. How, then, do you desire to be under- 
stood upon this point? 

Answer.. I design to be understood as saying that 
whether that act applied to Buffalo county or not, the pro- 
bate judge, as the law now stands, was not the person to 
order an election in the first instance. 

19th question. I did not inquire as to that ; answer tJie 
question as put, if you please. 

Answer. I have given what I think is a suificient and 
fair answer. Other questions may have arisen then on that 
act, but I am not now able to recall them. 

20th question. Do you remember whether, in answer to 
the applications that were made to you in behalf of Buffalo 
county, you referred tlie applicants to the act in relation 
to new counties as their guide? 

Answer. I do not think that we did; but under all the 
laws then in force gave them what we, or I, supposed was 
the right course to be pursued. 

21st question. What is the course you prescribed? 

Answer. It would be very hard for me or any man to 
recollect all the details of the law, but I recollect that hav- 
ing all the laws before us we pointed out the course indi- 
cated by them, and directed the person or persons to see 
that the laws were followed. 

22d question. State, if you remember, whether the di- 
rections you gave were in any respect variant from those 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 247 

contained in the act in relation to new counties, except by 
the substitution of count]) commissioners for tlie judge of 
probate; and, if so, in what respect? 

Answer. I do not recollect. 

23d question. What is your belief on this point? 

(Objected to by the counsel for Mr. Estabrook on the 
ground that it refers to his belief and not to matters of 
fact.) 

Answer. My belief would of course depend upon my 
recollection, and I have stated my recollection as nearly as 
I am able; but I now say, by way of explanation, that the 
principal difficulty seemed to be as to whether the judge of 
probate or the county commissioners were clothed with the 
power of ordering an election in the first instance for 
county officers. 

24th question. Have you now any doubt that the "act 
in relation to new counties" was in all other respects ap- 
licable to the county of Buffalo? 

Answer. I have already answered that question, sub- 
stantially. 

25th question. Answer it now directly, if you please. 

Answer. I do not see how I can answer the question 
more directly than I have, besides you are asking me what 
is my present opinion as to a matter of law, which it is 
neither your right to ask nor my duty to give. 

26th question. State, if you remember, whether the 
return of proceedings, in pursuance of your directions, 
showed a compliance witli this act? 

Answer. I have not looked at the returns since they 
were received, and then but hastily, nor do I think they 
.showed affirmatively a compliance with the law, nor was it 
necessary that they should, nor did I, nor do I suppose 
that the returns would have been made to me at all, if it 
had not been for the expressed wish of the people that the 
officers chosen should be commissioned by the executive. A 
fact now occurs to me in this connexion which I omitted to 
state yesterday, that one reason for the desire that I should 
commission the officers was that this was a distant county 
through which a great many emigrants were passing and 
repassing, and it was feared that there might be difficulties 
and disturbances of the peace, and it was supposed that the 
officers of the law would be more respected if they had com- 
missions under the seal of the Territory. 



248 NEBRASKj^ state HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

27th question. Does the "act in relation to new coun- 
ties," or any subsequent act with which you are acquainted, 
direct or authorize the governor to issue commissions to 
county officers? 

Answer. It does not to my knowledge, but the second 
section of the original act does say, in relation to the gov- 
ernor, that "he shall commission all officers who shall be 
appointed to office under the laws of the said Territory;" 
under this clause a great many persons think that he 
should commission all officers under the laws of the Ter- 
ritory. I do not think that it is necessary, but there is 
certainly the appearance of authority for it. 

28th question. Have you in any other instance, or, so 
far as you are informed, has any one of your predecessors 
in office, issued commissions to persons chosen to office by 
the people? 

Answer. I don't know what my predecessors have done 
from personal knowledge, but my information is that they 
have, and I do know that I have in several instances. 
Apart from the territorial officers elected by the people 
who are commissioned by the governor, commissions have 
been issued to each one of the district attorneys, and if 
there is any territorial law positively authorizing or re- 
quiring it, I am not aware of it. 

28th question. The question was designed to embrace 
county officers only ; answer the question, if you please, as 
thus restricted. 

Answer. I do not know of any other commissions 
having been issued to county officers, but I would not 
hesitate to issue them if requested and I supposed it would 
answer any good purpose. 

30th question. State, if you remember, by whom the 
oral application respecting Buffalo county, made to you 
in the first instance, as you have mentioned, was made? 

Answer. I think the first application was made by Dr. 
Henry, and probably one or two others. 

31st question. Are you certain that it was made by any 
others excepting Dr. Henry? 

Answer. I am not certain as to that, but I am certain 
that at the time, I was not willing to take his word for it, 
or that of anyone else who applied verbally. 

32d question. State, if you remember, by whom the sub- 
sequent application in writing you have mentioned was 
handed or transmitted to you. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 249 

Answer. I cannot saj^ ; I found the paper in my office, 
I think, with a gi-eat many others that had accumulated 
during my absence at Nebraska city. 

33d question. Were the signatures to that paper many 
or few? and about how many, according to the best of your 
recollection? 

Answer. I know there were several, but whether manj^ 
or few I cannot tell ; for I suppose I looked over whatever 
paper was in my office in connexion with twenty other pa- 
pers that had accumulated during my absence from 
Omaha; but I wish it understood here that I took no offi- 
cial action in regard to Buffalo county until after the 
county officers were chosen by the people, or appeared to 
be chosen by the people. 

34th question. State whether the paper to which you 
have referred purported to be the returns of an election 
held in Buffalo county; and, if so, whether it contained any 
evidence on the part of the commissioners of Hall county 
of their having ordered such an election? 

(Objected to by the counsel for Mr. Estabrook for the 
reason that it is not the best evidence that the nature of 
the case admits of.) 

Answer. I think I have stated that I never looked at 
the paper but once; at all events, that I have not seen it 
since about the time it was received, and do not pretend to 
give its contents fully. I do not think it purported to be 
election returns in the usual form, but a certificate that 
certain persons named in the paper were chosen by the 
voters of the county, each i)ersou and office being set down. 
I do not think that there was anything said in that paper 
about the commissioners of Hall county or any other 
county. 

35th question. You stated, in your answer yesterday, 
that, after receiving the paper to which jon have referred, 
you ordered commissions to be issued to the officers of 
Buffalo county: do you mean to be understood as having 
authorized any person other than yourself to issue com- 
missions? 

Answer. Certainly not. I directed my private secre- 
tary to make them out, as I do in all cases. I have no 
doubt I signed them all ; at least that is my usual practice. 

36th question. Will you please to examine this paper, 
[here a paper was presented to the \vatness, purporting to 



250 NEBRASKA STATP: HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

be a commission to one of the officers of Buffalo county,] 
and state whetlier or not that is one of the commissions 
which you have referred to as having been issued by you? 

Answer. This commission is the commission to Henry 
Peck, probate judge of Buffalo county; and I recollect he 
was the person returned as probate judge for that county. 
This is one of the commissions referred to. 

37th question. State, if you please, in whose hand- 
writing that commission is filled up? 

Answer. In the handwriting of John McConihe, my 
private secretary, with the exception of the words "until 
his successor is elected and qualified." 

38th question. In whose handwriting are the words 
"until his successor is elected and qualified?" 

Answer. That I am not able to say. 

39th question. State whether you are acquainted with 
the handwriting of Charles A. Henry? 

Answer. I am not acquainted with it so as to testify 
on the subject. 

40th question. State, if you please, whether the signa- 
nature is in your own proper handwriting? 

Answer. No, sir; the signature is in Mr. McConihe's 
handwriting; but I have no doubt he signed it by my au- 
thority, although in regard to this particular paper I do 
not recollect the facts. 

41sfc question. Will you please to state whether that 
seal upon the paper is the great seal of the Territory of 
Nebraska? 

Answer. I believe it is. 

42d question. Will you please to state whether the 
signature of J. Sterling Morton is in his own proper hand- 
writing? 

Answer. It is not. I believe it is also Mr. McConihe's 
handwriting. In regard to Mr. McConihe, personally, I 
desire to make a brief explanation. I suppose there was 
probably less strictness in regard to these commissions 
than usual, because I considered them mere matters of 
form, and that they did not add anything to the right of 
the person elected to the office; Mr. McConihe, no doubt, 
signed my name by my direction and authority, and I pre- 
sume Mr. Morton's name by his authority. Mr. Morton 
and he are very intimate. Whether Mr. McConihe is in the 
habit of signing Mr. Morton's name, I cannot say; Mr. 
Luce does frequently, and by Mr. Morton's authority. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 251 

Monday Morning, December 26, 1859. 
The examination-ill-chief having closed on Saturday 
evening, I wisli to state a fact in connexion witli the Buf- 
falo county commissions brouj:;ht to ray recollection by a 
conversation I have had with Mr. McConihe since the ex- 
amination closed. On tlie 2r>th of July I wa.s called in some 
haste to Nebraska city, I think by information that Mrs. 
Black was ill. I left Mr. McConihe some of these commis- 
sions, either filled up or in blanks, with my signature at- 
tached; enough for all the offices had not been signed, and 
I directed him to sign my name to as many as might be 
necessary to complete the list of the officers returned Ufa 
having been chosen by the people; these (that is all those 
returned) included probate judge, sheriff, treasurer, jus- 
tices of the peace, and I think even constables. 

SAMUEL W. BIACK. 



Thursday Morning, December 2-9, 1859. 

William Cook, of lawful age, being first duly sworn ac- 
cording to law, makes the following answers to the ques- 
tions proposed, to wit : 

1st question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. 22 years of age; occupation, farmer; resi- 
dence, Omaha, N. T. 

2d question. State where you were on the 11th day of 
October last, the day of the late general election. 

Answer. I was on the Pawnee reserve at that time, at 
a place called Genoa. 

3d question. State whether or not you voted there at 
that election. 

Answer. I did vote at that election. 

4th question. State, if you know, how many votes were 
polled there at that election, and for whom polled as dele- 
gate to Congress? 

Answer. Twenty-three votes polled; twenty for Esta- 
brook and three for Daily. 

5th question. State whether or not you saw any person, 
and if so whom, put votes into the ballot-box for others 
than himself. 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook as leading.) 

Answer. There were no votes put into the box except 



252 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

by the judges, but there were two tickets put into the hands 
of the judges by a man by the name of Hudson, the post- 
master there, for two men who were at the ferry at the 
time, about a mile or a mile and a half from the place. 
When Hudson put them into the hands of the judges, there 
were some objections made ; the matter was discussed for a 
few minutes, when the judges put them into the box. 

6th question. About how long had you been there be- 
fore the day of the election? 

Answer. I got on to the reserve the 5th day of Sep- 
tember. 

7th question. What was your business or occupation 
there? 

Answer. I was working for James L. Gillis,** the 
agent of the Pawnees. 

Gross-examination. 

1st question. Did you understand that the men who 
sent their votes resided in that precinct? 

Answer. Yes, I believe that they both lived in that 
precinct. 

2d question. You state that Genoa, where the election 
was held, was on the reserve ; when was it ascertained that 
it was embraced within the Pawnee reserve? 

Answer. I do not know when it was ascertained. It 
was surveyed while I was there, about the first of Sep- 
tember. 

3d question. Did not that settlement at Genoa spring 
up before the lines of the reserve Avere ascertained? 

Answer. I do not know exactly when the first settlers 
went there. If the lines were not run before the survey 
was made in September, the settlement was made first. 

4th question. Were not the lines run in September, and 
was it not then first ascertained that Genoa was included 
In the reserve? 

Answer. The lines were run in September, but when 
it was first ascertained that Genoa was in the reserve I 
cannot tell; but some of the settlers had left there in the 
spring before, believing they were on the reserve. 

5th question. Did not Judge Gillis, when it was as- 
certained that Genoa was on the reserve, compensate the 
settlers for their improvements and notify them to leave? 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 253 

Answer. I do not know exactly. He bought some frame 
and log houses, some crops, and one thing or another, of the 
settlers. I do not know about his notifying them to leave. 

6th question. How long, judging from the appearance 
of the houses and improvements, liad that settlement been 
made? 

Answer. It is a little hard to tell by the appearance 
of the houses; judging from the ground they had broke I 
should think the settlements had been made about two 
years. 

7th question. How near to Genoa did the south line of 
the reservation come, by the survey which you have men- 
tioned? 

Answer. The settlement, I should think, was about 
three-quai'ters of a mile from the south line.^° 

8th question. Were not the people of the town and 
settlement considerably exasperated when they found that 
they were included within the reservation? 

Answer. The feeling was that they thought it was a 
hard case to have to leave after breaking up their land 
and laying out their town. 

9th question. The two men that you speak of as work- 
ing at the ferry did you see when you went on to the re- 
serve in September? 

Answer. Yes, they were there. One of them lived at 
the ferry and the other had lived at the settlement, but 
moved to the ferry before the election. 

10th question. At what time were the Pawnee Indians 
moved on to their reservation? 

Answer. The main body of the Indians came there a 
few days before the election, but about twenty of the head 
warriors had previously been there and selected the town 
of Genoa for their village. The agent, however, put them 
across Beaver creek and reserved Genoa for their schools 
and mechanic shops. 



Re-examined by counsel for contestant. 

1st question. State, if you know, about how far from 
Genoa is the eastern line of the reservation? 
Answer. About five miles. 
Question by counsel for Mr. Estabrook. 



2oi NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

1st question. In what county is Genoa situated, and 
what day did you enter the county? 

Answer. Monroe county. I entered the county on the 
fourth of September, 1859. 



Friday Morning, December 30, 1859. 
James L. Hindman, of lawful age, being first duly 
sworn according to law, makes the following answers to 
the questions proposed, to wit : 

1st question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. Age, twenty-five years; occupation, farming; 
and residence at Shinn's Ferry, on the Platte river. 

2d question. State whether you have ever lived in Cal- 
houn county; and, if so, when and how long have you re- 
sided there; and when did you leave the county? 

Answer. I have lived in Calhoun county; I first 
moved there in May, 1857 ; I lived there until the following 
September, when I left; but returned again in May, 1858. 
I left there for my present residence in the last of August 
of this year. 

3d question. State whether you are acquainted with 
the settlements in that county; and, if so, where they are? 

Answer. I believe I am acquainted with all the settlers 
in the county. There is one settlement of two families in 
the northwestern part. There is another settlement, known 
as the Wauhoo, in the southeast part of the county ; there 
are four families there. These are all the settlements in 
that county. 

4th question. State, if you know, how many votes there 
are in each of the two settlements you have named, and 
give the names of the votelrs? 

Answer. There are but two voters in the northwest 
settlement, named Solomon Garfield and James Blair. In 
the Wauhoo settlement there are three voters, named Stam- 
baugh, Totten, and John Aughey; besides a young man 
named Price, who, if twenty-one years of age, is also a 
voter. I am not certain that he has attained that age. 

5th question. State whether any election precincts 
have ever been established in that county, or any election 
ever been held there? 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 255 

Answer. I do not know of any precincts ever estab- 
lished there, or any election held there. 

6th question. State what other settlement there was 
ever in the county; and what is the present condition of 
that settlement? 

Answer. When I returned there in 1858, I found a 
settlement there called Neapolis, in the north part of the 
county, in range 7 and 8, and township 17. The settlement 
was entirely abandoned in the spring of 1859 — every set- 
tler left there. 

7th question. About how many did that settlement con- 
sist of? and what has become of the settlers? 

Answer. From fifteen to twenty men were there labor- 
ing and making claims; they all left that county. 

8th question. State whether Calhoun county has been 
the residence, until recently, of the Pawnee tribe of In- 
dians? 

Answer. Yes; it was at the time 1 was there. At the 
time I left the county they were there back and forth ; but 
they finally left in the fall of the present year. 

9th question. What kind of locations or residence had 
the Pawnee Indians in Calhoun county? 

Answer. They were located convenient to the Platte 
river, in two villages, about four miles apart. 



Cross-examination. 

10th question. Don't you know that during the last 
summer and autumn claims have been taken and settle- 
ments made along the Platte river by men from the east as 
well as those returning from the mines? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Daily . . . ) 

Answer. I know of few from the east, and \ery few 
who have made permanent settlement. I know of some 
that started for the mines last spring, but who did not get 
there, and turned back and started trading posts on the 
south side of the Platte river, in Butler county. 

11th question. Does not the Platte river run through a 
portion of Calhoun county, and is not the great line of 
thoroughfare west on the south side of the Platte river, 
along the Platte through a portion of Calhoun county? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Daily . . . ) 



256 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Answer. I always understood the main channel of the 
Platte river, from the third standard and upward, to be the 
line.*^ I may have been misinformed. The main travelled 
road is through a portion of the county, but not on the 
Platte. 



Tuesday Morning, January 3, 1860. 

John D. Neligh,"- of lawful age, being first duly sworn 
according to law, makes the following answers to the ques- 
tions proposed, to wit : 

1st question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. 28 years; occupation, running a saw-mill, of 
which I am part owner; residence. West Point, Cuming 
county, Nebraska. 

2d question. How long have you resided in the Terri- 
tory of Nebraska, and how long at West Point? 

Answer. I have been in the Territory two years last 
Christmas, and at West Point two years next March. 

3d question. In what direction from Cuming county 
is the county of Izard? 

Answer. So far as I know it is west. It is so under- 
stood by us up there. 

4th question. State about how far from West Point i« 
the line dividing Izard from Cuming county? 

Ans^^er. Ten miles from the centre of our town. 

5th question. State whether your town is the farthest 
settlement west from the Missouri river in that direction ; 
and, if not, what town or settlement is farther west? 

Answer. There are towns laid out near the line further 
west, but not inhabited. DeWitt is the furthest town west 
that is inhabited; this is five miles northwest of West 
Point. 

6th question. State whether you have ever been in 
Izard county, and whether you have now or ever had any 
knowledge of any settlements there? 

Answer. I have been in Izard county. I have no 
knowledge of any settlements there. 

7th question. What office do you hold in Cuming 
county? 

Answer. That of probate judge. 

8th question. State whether, if in fact there were any 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 257 

settlements or inhabitants in Izard county, you would not 
be likely to know it? 

Answer. I would be likely to know it if there were any 
there, I think. 

9th question. State if it is not notorious among the 
settlers in your part of Cuming county, that the county of 
Izard is wholly uninhabited? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Estabrook . . . ) 

Answer. It is. 

Cross-e,Tamination. 

14th question. Have you ever been in the southeast 
part of the county of Izard? 

Answer. No. 

15th question. If there had been inhabitants living in 
the southeast corner of Izard county on the day of elec- 
tion, how would you have known it? 

Answ^er. By people travelling backwards and forward, 
and stopping generally at our place, I would be likely to 
have found it out. 

16th question. Is there any road leading from your 
place to the southeast corner of Izard county? 

Answer. There is no travelled road, but people go that 
way. 

17th question. When they go that way, where do they 
go to if there are no settlements and no person living 
there? 

Answer. I have noticed them going on the surveys. 

18th question. Did you see the army that went on the 
Pawnee expedition? 

Answer. I saw Governor Black and some of the men 
at Elkhorn city going out. 



Cross-examination resumed. 

1st question. What are your politics? 
Answer. Opposition to democrats, and anti-slavery. 
2d question. Who did you vote for at the last election 
for delegate to Congress? 
Answer. Mr. Daily. 



18 



258 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Omaha, Nebraska Territory, December 5, 1859. 
Sir : In pursuance of the notice heretofore given to you 
of my intention to contest your election as the delegate of 
the Territory of Nebraska to the thirty-sixth Congress, I 
hereby notify you that I intend, on Friday, the 16th in- 
stant, at 9 o'clock a. m., before the Hon. George Armstrong, 
judge of the probate court in and for the county of Doug- 
las, in the said Territory, at his office in the city of Omaha, 
to commence the examination of the following persons 
touching my right to a seat in the said Congress as such 
delegate, namely: John M. Thayer, E. D. Webster, John 
McConihe, A. S. Paddock, James B. Coit, Charles A. 
Henry, Andrew Bidwell, residing in Omaha, Douglas 
county; E. D. [H.] Rogers, Robert Kettle, residing in Fre- 
mont, and Henry W. DePuy, residing in Fontenelle, Dodge 
county; Leander Gerrard, Monroe county; William Art- 
man, West Point, Cuming county; William S. [H.] James, 
George B. Hinsdale, of Dakota city ; John Warner, Logan, 
John Taft [Taffe], Omidi,*^ in Dakota county; Sterrett M. 
Curran, William H. Russell, Washington county; James 
Hindman, Butler county; William Stoli [Stolle], Fred- 
erick Heddi [Hedde], Grand Island City, Hall county; 
Stephen E. Wattles, Bellevue, Sarpy county ; Benjamin P. 
Rankin, Samuel W. Black, Nebraska City, Otoe county; 
John Reck, Francis Beecher, Columbus, Platte county; B. 
F. Shelly, Samuel Smith, Robert Hagaman, D. B. Dodson, 
David Benner, William Benner, Niobrarah, L'Eau Qui 
Court county; D. B. Crocker, Woodriver; and to con- 
tinue the examination from day to day at the same place 
and hour until the same is completed. 

SAMUEL G. DAILY, 
By ALFRED CONKLING, 
His Attorney. 



Omaha, Nebraska Territory, December 23, 1859. 
Sir: In pursuance of the notice heretofore given you 
of my intention to contest your election, as the delegate of 
the Territory of Nebraska, to the 36th Congress, I hereby 
notify you that I intend, on Tuesday the 3d day of January 
instant, at 9 o'clock a. m., before the Honorable George 
Armstrong, Judge of the Probate Court, in and for the 
county of Douglas in the said Territory, at his office in the 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 259 

city of Omaha, to commence the examination of the follow- 
ing persons touching my right to a seat in the said Congress 
as said delegate: R. M. Clarke, Jonathan Wise, John H. 
Hayes, Plattsmouth, Cass county; George Obest, Washing- 
ton county; G. B. Stillman, John Talcott, Kearny City; 
W. H. Fitzgerald, Council Bluffs, Iowa; J. Sterling Mor- 
ton, Nebraska City; Magnus Wallenburg, George Reese, 

Charles O'Henry, Miller, . . . and to continue 

the examination from day to day at the same place and 
hour until the same is completed. 

SAMUEL G. DAILY- 
By ALFRED CONKLING, 
His Attorney. 



NiOBRARAH, N. T., June 30, 1859. 

Dear Sir : Your favor came duly to hand. I hope to be 
able at some future time to merit your expressions of good 
will and kindness, but I am truly sorry to say that what 
you ask is entirely out of my power to give — under existing 
circumstances it is impossible. Since you left I have not 
been able to gain the least clue as to the whereabouts of 
those poll-books. They were stolen the first night you were 
here. I informed Mr. Colt of the fact the next day. It is 
impossible for me to say or to know what particular one 
took them. I think several were connected with it. I am 
strongly suspected of leaguing with you two gentlemen, 
consequently am not to be trusted at present. I can but 
regret our past conduct towards you two gentleman [sic] 
while here. I hope we can make it good next year, and that 
our next meeting will be under very different auspices. 

I am, sincerely, your obedient servant and friend, 

R. W. HAGAMAN. 
Wm. H. James, Esq. 



B. 



Having received the returns of the election held on the 
11th day of October, instant, I, to-day, the 13th day of 
October, 1859, in the presence of the following two persons, 
viz : Wm. A. Hagge and Frederick Hedde, opened the said 



260 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

returns of the election held in the precincts of Hall county, 
Nebraska Territory, viz: the Grand Island precinct and 
the Wood River precinct. 

We found the election returns of said Wood River pre- 
cinct signed by one judge of election only, and by one clerk 
only, and there was no oath, neither of the judges nor of 
the clerks of election, certified upon the poll-books of said 
precinct. 

Therefore, considering the election held on said day in 
said precinct and the votes cast at said election to be 
illegal, we, the acting county clerk, and the above named 
two householders, believed it our duty, not to count as 
legal votes the votes cast at the said illegal election of the 
said Wood River precinct; therefore we certify that, 

At an election held in Hall county, in the Territory of 

Nebraska, on the 11th day of October, 1859, the following 

named persons received the number of votes annexed to 

their respective names for the following described offices: 

For delegates to Congress. Votes 

Samuel G. Daily 31 

Experience Estabrook 3 

Territorial commissioner. 

John H. Kellom 31 

William E. Harvey 3 

Territorial treasurer. 

James Sweet 31 

William W. Wyman 8 

Territorial auditor. 

Henry W. DePuy 31 

Robert C. Jordan 3 

Territorial libj-arian. 

Oscar F. Davis 31 

Alonzo D. Luce 3 

District attorney for the first judicial district. 

Phineas W. Hitchcock 31 

James G. Chapman 3 

This is to certify that the above is a true abstract of 
the votes cast in said county at said election for delegate 
to Congress and for territorial officers. 

THEODORE F. NAGEL, 

Acting county clerk. 
FREDERICK HEDDE. 
WM. A. HAGGE. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 261 

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct 
copy of the abstract of votes cast in Hall county, Nebraska, 
as given by the county clerk of said Hall county, now on 
file in this oflSce. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my 
hand and affixed the great seal of the Territory of 
[L. S.] Nebraska, Done at Omaha (sic.) city this, 29th 
day of December, A. D. 1859. 

J. STERLING MORTON, 
Secretary of Nebraska. 



C. 

Abstract of the votes cast in the counties of Platte, Greene, 
Butler, and Calhoun, at the territorial decision [elec- 
tion] in Nebraska Territory, held on the 2d Tuesday 
in October, being the eleventh day of October, A. D. 
1859. 

Shell Creek precinct. 
Betabrook 36 Daily 7 

Centre precinct. 
Estabrook 6 Daily 6 

Buchanan precinct. 
Estabrook 13 Daily 6 

Shell Creek precinct. 
ISstabrook 13 Daily 

Butler county. 
Daily 11 Estabrook n 

Calhoun county. 

Experience Estabrook received 28 votes for delegate to 
Congress. 

Bamuel G. Daily received four votes for delegate to Con- 
grees. 

William W. Wyman received 30 votes for territorial treas- 
urer. 

Kobt. C. Jordan received 30 votes for territorial auditor. 

Alonzo D. Luce received 30 votes for territorial librarian. 

William E. Harvey received 30 votes for territorial commis- 
sioner of common schools. 



262 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Columbus, Platte county, N. T., October 14, 1859. 

We hereby certify the above to be a true abstract of the 
returns given from the several precincts in the district com- 
posed of the counties of Platte, Greene, Butler, and Cal- 



houn. 



C. 



LORIN MILLER, 

JACOB LEWIS, Householders. 



B. STILLMAN, 

Acting County Clerk. 



D. 

I, John S. Willis, clerk of the county of Izard, Ne- 
braska Territory, and we, John G. Valentine and Franklin 
Holt, disinterested [free] holders thereof, chosen by him, 
do hereby certify that the following is a correct abstract 
of the vote cast for delegate in Congress and territorial 
officers in the several precincts of the county, aforesaid, at 
the general election held on the 11th day of October, A. D. 
1859: 























a 




o 
o 


>> 


a 






43 


6 
o 


% 
P 


t 


S3 


PRECINCTS. 


-i 

CO 


P 

d 


o 

6 


P 


P 
^ 


Is 
w 

a 


3 


si 
o 




J3 




w 


ai 


tf 


W 


^ 


b3 


< 


o 


^ 


O 


Hammond 


4 


3 


4 


3 


3 


3 


4 


3 


4 


3 


Beaver Creek 


17 





16 





16 





16 





16 





Number of votes 


21 


3 


20 


3 


19 


3 


20 


3 


20 


3 



For delegate, Experience Estabrook received 21 votes, S. G. 
Daily received three votes; for territorial auditor, Robert C. 
Jordan received 20 votes, H. W. DePuy received three votes; 
for territorial treasurer, William W. Wyman received 19 votes, 
James Sweet received three votes ; for librarian, A. D. Luce re- 
ceived 20 votes, O. F. Davis received three votes; for superin- 
tendent of public schools, W. E. Harvey received 20 votes, J. H. 
Kellam [Kellom] received three votes. 

JOHN S. W^ILLIS, [L. S.] 
County Clerk of Izard County. 
Attest: 

JOHN G. VALENTINE, 
FRANKLIN HOLT. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 263 

E. 

At an election held in the town-house of Nebraska Cen- 
ter, in the precinct of Nebraska Center, county of Bufifalo, 
and Territory of Nebraska, on Tuesday, the 11th day of 
October, 1859, the following named persons received the 
number of votes annexed to their respective names for the 
following described olfices : 

Experience Estabrook had 38 votes for member of Con- 
gress. 

William W. Wyman had 38 votes for territorial treasurer. 
Robert C. Jordan had 38 votes for aiiditor. 
Alonzo D. Luce had 38 votes for librarian. 
William C. Harv[e]y had 38 votes for commissioner of com- 
mon schools. 

James G. Chapman had 37 votes for district attorney for 
first judicial district. 

Richard C. Barnard had 38 votes for member of the legisla- 
ture. 

JOHN HAMILTON, 
MORRISON M. MILLAR, 
CONSTAN B. REYNOLDS, 
Judges of Election. 
ROBERT J. JOHNSON, 
SAMUEL HOOD, 

Clerks of Election. 

I do hereby certify that this is a true copy of the poll- 
books for the precinct of Nebraska Center, in Buffalo 
county. GEORGE MILLER, 

County Clerk for Buffalo County, Nebraska Territory. 



1 Smith Kinsey 


13 R. S. Johnson 


2 P. S. Gibbs 


14 Morrison McMillen 


3 Harvy Esters 


15 Samuel Hood 


4 J. J. Lester 


16 S.R. Brown 


5 James E. Boyd " 


17 Anan Henry 


6 Charles Wilson 


18 Henry Wilson 


7 John H. Young 


19 John Haphil 


8 George Miller 


20 James Tierney 


9 C. H. Swits 


21 Carby Gooderman 


10 M. Tory 


22 James Mernane 


11 William Mixlow 


23 Alexander Givyneny 


12 John Hamilton 


24 John W. Britt 



264 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



25 Peter Kinney 

26 Milo Tourend 

27 David Narcy 

28 Jeremiah Cox 

29 J. C. Dorman 

30 John Lux 

31 T. Brown 



32 B. Norman 

33 Gustavus Stout 

34 W. L. Brinton 

35 T. J. Dorian 

36 David Anderson 

37 John Davis 

38 B. F. Brown 



F. 



At an election held at the house of J. H. Johnson, in 
the precinct of Centralia, and county of Buffalo, and Ter- 
ritory of Nebraska, on Tuesday, October 11, A. D. 1859, the 
following named persons received the number of votes an- 
nexed to their respective names for the following described 
offices : 

Experience Estabrook, 16 votes for member of Congress. 

William W. Wyman, 16 votes for territorial treasurer. 

Robert C. Jordan, 16 votes for auditor. 

Alonzo D. Luce, 16 votes for librarian. 

William E. Harv[e]y, 16 votes for commissioner of common 
schools. 

James G. Chapman, 16 votes for district attorney for firet 
judicial district. 

Richard C. Barnard, 16 votes for member of legislature. 

JOEL W. JOHNSON, 
THOMAS PAGE, 
JOHN EAMES, 

Judges of election. 
J. W. WILSON, 
JOHN THORP, 

Clerks of election. 



1 Henry Peck 


9 John B. McCal lister 


2 Thomas Page 


10 James McCallister 


3 John Ames 


11 George Gurney 


4 J. H. Johnson 


12 John Cramer 


5 J. B. Lewis 


13 Andrew Berry 


6 John Thorp 


14 Oliver M. Anderson 


7 J. W. Wilson 


15 Joseph Houfif 


8 Henry Sharp 


16 Patrick Carroll. 



I do hereby certify that this is a true copy of the poU- 
books for the precinct of Centralia, in Buffalo county. 

GEO. MILLER, 
County clerk for Buffalo county, Nebraska Territory. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 265 

G. 

At an election held in the town-house in Kearny city, 
in the Kearny city precinct of the county of Buffalo, and 
Territory of Nebraska, on the 11th day of October, A. D. 
1859, the following named persons received the number of 
Totes annexed to their respective names for the following 
described offices : 

Experience Estabrook had 238 votes for member of Con- 
gress. 

William W. Wyman had 288 votes for territorial treasurer. 

Robert C. Jordan had 238 votes for territorial auditor. 

Alonzo D. Luce had 238 votes for territorial librarian. 

William E. Harvey had 238 votes for commissioner of com- 
mon schools. 

James G. Chapman had 189 votes for district attorney of 
the first judicial district. 

Richard C. Barnard had 179 votes for member of the legis- 

JOHN TALBOT, 
GEORGE REEVES, 
GEORGE HAMMOND, 

Judges of election. 
W. L. LEARNORD, 
J. CHARLES W. BURK, 
Clerks of election. 

I do hereby certify that this is a true copy of the poll- 
books for the precinct of Kearny city precinct, in the 
county of Buffalo. GEORGE MILLER, 

County Clerk of Buffalo county, N. T. 

Poll-books of an election held in the Kearny city precinct, on 
Tuesday, October 11, A. D. 1859. 

1 Charles A. Henry 12 David Hammond 

2 George W. Reeves 13 John Dillenner 

3 George Hamond 14 Louis Clermont 

4 Charles W. Burk 15 A. J. Tinker 

5 William M. Leanord 16 John A. Morrow 

6 Claudius McGibbin 17 Joseph Johnson 

7 John Talbot 18 Hugh Morgon 

8 Sterrit M. Curran 19 M. F. Nicholls 

9 Charles Miers 20 George Obert 

10 Frank Barret 21 Joseph Duboys 

11 A. Wilson 22 John Misconare 



266 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



23 James Elliott 

24 William D. Thomas 

25 L. B. Jenks 

26 James L. Long 

27 Charles A. Connelly 

28 J. L. Ensley 

29 William H. Harford 

30 Charles Wilson 

31 Matthew Dougherty 

32 Patrick McLancy 

33 John Butler 

34 William Butler 

35 Thomas Wright 

36 Charles Yates 

37 Anthony Oulst 

38 Ernest Kebeck 

39 Wm. H. Hatly 

40 Robert Johnson 

41 John Ellis 

42 A. J. Thompson 

43 John Eby 

44 Patrick Mullally 

45 Joel Bacon 

46 John S. Rohrer 

47 Sharp Grooer 

48 Artus Stephenson 

49 Charles Provo 

50 Edward Lane 

51 Charles Miller 

52 James McKinley 

53 George Barton 

54 James Ford 

55 Charles Burket 

56 David Johnson 

57 Samuel Redman 

58 Nicholas Henry 

59 John Buell 

60 William Buchanan 

61 Samuel Black 

62 James Trobridge 

63 Franklin Rush 

64 Thomas Tutt 

65 William Qugsh 

66 James Walle 

67 Hugh Mackey 

68 William Harrison 

69 John Jackson 



70 James McLaughlin 

71 John T. Herd 

72 William S. Johnson 

73 Thomas Connell 

74 William H. Cole 

75 Hugh McLane 

76 Ley McLane 

77 Edward McGarvin 

78 M. Moreland 

79 Daniel Hacerty 

80 Edward Fitzgerald 

81 Richard Ganson 

82 John Hancock 

83 Peter Kelly 

84 C. Simpson 

85 A. J. Knight 

86 Samuel Armstrong 

87 George F. Hammond 

88 Alex McKinley 

89 Oliver Lindsley 

90 Norton McGriffin 

91 R. M. Lovejoy 

92 Jonathan Martin 

93 Henry G. Selmon 

94 Hiram Judge 

95 Robert Rocket 

96 Charles Hersey 

97 William Burke 

98 Wilson Fleming 

99 Robert Strain 

100 Thomas Logan 

101 John Beard 

102 George H. Atkins 

103 David Atcheson 

104 William Smith 

105 Samuel Haylette 

106 Robert Haylette 

107 Stewart Newell 

108 William Wilkins 

109 Robert Arnold 

110 John Wilson 

111 John Brobst 

112 Joseph Holmes 

113 William Allen 

114 Wilson Jones 

115 Daniel Deggit 

116 James Neely 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 2i'/> 



117 Lewis Redick 164 

118 Jonathan Hollam 1G5 

119 Joseph Van Kirk 166 

120 Thomas Munsey 167 

121 Robert Oliver 168 

122 Mitchal Slusher 169 

123 William F. Hayes 170 

124 Thomas Clossen 171 

125 Benjamin Sullin 172 

126 Noble Heath 173 

127 John Rockevell 174 

128 James Davidson 175 

129 Ira Lacock 176 

130 James Humphrey 177 

131 Divid Lindley 178 

132 William Carothers 179 

133 A. Mitchell 180 

134 Stern Hoyt 181 

135 Lewis Boyckwin 182 

136 Smith Mott 183 

137 Richard Colson 184 

138 Philander E. Moon 185 

139 Addison M. Mott 186 

140 Edward E. Woods 187 

141 Edward M. Woods 188 

142 William Meedye 189 

143 William K. Mursene 190 

144 Sydney M. Starr 191 

145 Seth F. Herd 192 

146 James McCormack 193 

147 Oliver O. McNary 194 

148 Eldredge L. James 195 

149 Orvill 1. Shattock 196 

150 Nathan P. Eaten 197 

151 Porter E. Snow 198 

152 Norman Russell 199 

153 Harman E. Jones 200 

154 Harvey T. Harvey 201 

155 Jeremiah O. Whaler 202 

156 Norman K. Felt 203 

157 Farran T. McTeltin 204 

158 Ely J. Cowford 205 

159 F. W. Enlewlin 206 

160 Frank A. Mason 207 

161 James R. Nye 208 

162 Ray Hammonth 209 

163 James W. Edson 210 



Thomas Mulray 
George O. Neil 
Jarvis J, Cramb 
Emery Curling 
Joel P. Owens 
David Rawson 
John Vansze 
Charles P. Barker 
Justice W. Swift 
Albert Swift 
Charles P. Nash 
Corridan Nash 
James G. Brown 
Dwyot T. Talcott 
A. J. Sweet 
Ely F. Felt 
James Morris 
Edward Jones 
William A. Barnard 
Jonas D. E. Graff 
L. A. Fay 
D. A. Richmond 
A. J. Forbs 
Thomas A. Gilbert 
William E. Gilbert 
Fay E. Van Alstine 
Henry W. Mead 
Andrew J. Cross 
John A. Brandon 
Ely S. Stephens 
R. E. Bucklan 
Henry W. Evrette 
Henry M. Butts 
W. L. Norcross 
Freland D. Ewitt 
Daniel F. While 
Alford Ritson 
Charles Sawright 
James E. Wallace 
Theodore Matthews 
Charles Pages 
William Rockland 
R. M. J. Huston 
Sylvester Cross 
Edmond Russell 
George P. Wayneright 
Christopher Nuckolls 



268 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



211 James W. Maloney 

212 Edward T. Cartwright 

213 Jones N. Bennett 

214 Joel J. Griffith 

215 Edwin L. James 

216 Marvil Pegamm 

217 Stephen McNutts 

218 Lewis L. Page 

219 Andrew J. Edwards 

220 Frank C. Anderson 

221 Amos Cartwright 

222 Jeremiah Nelson 

223 David Edmonds 

224 Watson Wheeler 



225 Thomas Jameson 

226 James E. Hitchcock 

227 Jonathan Nelson 

228 Homer Lreiner 

229 Harry Nash 

230 Gustavus Nash 

231 DAvight H. Bamming 

232 Elam Beach 

233 A. S. Babcock 

234 Alfred Bishop 

235 A. McComas 

236 Aaron Mullville 

237 Elsihia T. Eldrin 

238 Daniel Bell. 



H. 

Columbus, N. T., December 28, 1859. 
I hereby certify that the poll-books of Caliioiin county, 
Nebraska Territory, have been abstracted from my office, 
and are not in my possession. 

FRANCIS G. BEECHER, 
Cminty clerk of Platte county, Nebraska Territory. 



Copy of the proceedings of a meeting of the electoi'8 of Buf- 
falo county, upon which officers were appointed by his 
excellency Samuel W. Black, Governor of this Terri- 
tory, 

Friday, June 25, 1859. 

At a meeting of the electors of Nebraska Center, N. T., 
for the purpose of recommending suitable persons to fill 
the several oflSces of Buffalo county, on motion of Charles 
A. Henry it was moved and carried that Joel T. Mann act 
as chairman of the meeting, and George T. [F. (?)] Mead 
as secretary. 

On motion of Charles A. Henry, Henry Peck was 
chosen as a suitable person for probate judge, and Charles 
T. Lurtz as sheriff; Joseph Huff, commissioner of the cen- 
tral precinct; Patrick Care [Carl (?)], justice of the 
peace; and John Evans as constable in central precinct. 

On motion, George F. Mead was chosen as county clerk. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 2459 

On motion, James E. Boyd was chosen as a suitable per- 
son for county register. 

On motion of James E. Boyd, William Hill was chosen 
as commissioner of the eastern precinct. 

On motion of Mr. Peck, George Moore was chosen as a 
suitable person for county treasurer. 

On motion of James E. Boyd, Joel T. Mann was chosen 
as a suitable person for commissioner of Kearny precinct; 
and on motion of H. J. Stark, E. J. Stark was chosen as a 
suitable person to fill the office of justice of the peace, and 
Walter Wilson for constable in Kearny precinct. 

On motion of Mr. Peck, 

Resolved, That Dr. Henry, with men living in the east- 
em precinct, do have them recommend suitable persons to 
fill the offices of justice of the peace and constable in said 
precinct. 

Dr. Charles A. Henry offered the following resolution, 
which was adopted : 

Resolved, That we recommend the above named gentle- 
men to hold the several offices to which they have been 
nominated by this meeting, and request the governor of 
this Territory to commission them for said offices. 

There being no further business, on motion of James E. 
Boyd the meeting adjourned sine die. 

JOEL T. MANN, President. 
GEO. F. MEAD, Secretat-y. 

Having carefully compared the foregoing with the 
original now on file in my office, I hereby certify that it is 
a true and correct copy of the same. In testimony whereof, 
witness my hand and the great seal of the Territory of 
Nebraska hereunto affixed. Done at Omaha City on this 
the 20th day of January, A. D. 1860. 

[L. S.] J. STERLING MORTON, 

Secretary of Nebraska. 



Letter of Governor Samuel Black. 

Executive Chamber, Nebraska Territory, 

Omaha, July 26, 1839. 
Dear Sir : I have this day appointed the following offi- 
cers for Buffalo county, and herewith enclosed you will 



270 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

find the commissions of such officers, which you will 
please deliver to the respective officers appointed, viz : 

Henry Peck Probate Judge. 

Charles H. Surtz [Lurtz?] Sheriff. 

James E. Boyd Register. 

George F. Mead County Clerk. 

George Moore " Treasurer. 

Joseph Huff " Commissioner. 

William Hill " " 

Joel P. Mann " 

Patrick Carl Justice of the Peace. 

E. J. Stark " 

J. S. Stafford " " 

John Evans Constable. 

Walter Wilson " 

Truman Gardner " 

I am, sir, very respectfully, vour obedient servant, 

SAMUEL W. BLACK, 
Governor of Nebraska Territory. 
James E. Boyd, Esq. 

George F. Mead having resigned, George Miller was 
appointed to fill the office of county clerk. 

SAMUEL W. BLACK, 
Governor of Nebraska Territory. 

I certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of 
the original now on file in my office. 

In testimony whereof, witness my hand and the great 
seal of the Territory of Nebraska hereunto affixed. Done 
at Omaha city on this the twentieth day of January, A. D. 
1860. 

[L. S.] J. STIRLING MORTON, 

Secretary of Nebraska. 

AN ACT to organize the county of Kearny, to define its boun 
daries and to locate the county-seat thereof. 

Section 1. Be it enacted by the council and house of rep- 
resentatives of the Territory of Nebraska, That all that portion 
of the Territory of Nebraska within the following limits, viz: 
beginning at a point in the centre of the main channel of the 
Platte river fifteen miles east of the flag-staff at Fort Kearny, 
running thence due south to the dividing line between the Ter 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 271 

ritories of Kansas and Nebraska; thence in a direction due 
west one degree; thence due north to the centre of the main 
channel of the Platte river; thence, following tlie meanderings 
of said stream, to the place of beginning, is hereby declared to 
be known and called by the name of Kearny county. 

Sec. 2. The seat of justice of said Kearny county is hereby 
fixed and permanently located at Kearny city in said county, 
as surveyed, platted, and lithographed by the Kearny city com- 
pany in the spring of 1859. 

Sec. 3. The governor of the Territory is hereby authorized 
and required to appoint and commission the county officers of 
said county, who shall continue to act in their various offices 
until the next annual election in the Territory of Nebraska, 
and until their successors are elected and qualified. 

Sec. 4. Until the district of country west of said county 
is organized into counties the same is hereby attached to said 
county of Kearny for election, judicial and revenue purposes. 

Sec. 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and 
after its passage. 
Approved January 10, 1860. SAMUEL W. BLACK, 

Governor of Nebraska. 

Secretary's Office, Nebraska Territory. 
Having carefully compared the above copy, I hereby 
certify that it is a true and correct copy of the original act 
now on file in this office. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my 
[L. S.] hand and affixed the great seal of the Territory. 
Done at Omaha, January 21, 1860. 

J. STIRLING MORTON, 
Secretary of Nebraska. 

This is to certify that at a general annual election held 
in the several precincts of and to the county of Buffalo, 
and Territory of Nebraska, on Tuesday. October 11, A. D. 
1859, the following named persons received the number of 
votes annexed to their respective names for the following 
described offices: 

Experience Estabrook had 292 votes for member of Con- 
gress. 

William W. Wyman had 292 votes for territorial treasurer. 

Robert C. Jordan had 292 votes for territorial auditor. 

Alonzo D. Luce had 292 votes for territorial librarian. 

William E. Harvey had 292 votes for commissioner of com- 
mon schools. 



272 NEBKASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

James G. Chapman had 232 votes for district attorney first 
judicial district. 

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto attached my 
name for official purposes this 32th day of October, A. I). 
1859. GEO. MILLER, 

County Clerk of Buffalo county, N. T. 

Secretary's Office, 
Omaha City, January 17, 1860. 
I certify that the within is a true and correct copy of 
the returns from Buffalo county, Nebraska Territory, now 
on file in my office. 

In testimony whereof, witness my hand and the 
[L. S.] great seal of the Territory of Nebraska hereunto 
affixed. Done at Omaha on this 19th day of Jan- 
uary, A. D. 1860. 

J. STERLING MORTON, 
Secretary of Nebraska. 



EVIDENCE IN THE NEBRASKA CONTESTED 
ELECTION CASE. 



March 5, 1860. — Referred to the Committee on Elections 
and ordered to be printed. 



Territory of Nebraska, County of Douglas, ss: 

Be it remembered, that on the olst day of December, A. 
D. 1859, before me, George Armstrong, probate judge in 
and for the county of Douglas, in the Territory of Ne- 
braska, at my office in the city of Omaha, in the county 
aforesaid, George B. Graff was produced as a witness ; and 
having been by me duly sworn to answer truly all such 
questions as should be proposed to him touching the matter 
of the contested election of Experience Estabrook as dele- 
gate from the Territory of Nebraska to the 36th Congress, 
Samuel G. Daily, contestant, then and there testified as 
follows : 

In the matter of the contested election of Experience Esta- 
brook as delegate to the 36th Congress from the Ter- 
ritory of Nebraska Samuel G. Daily, contestant 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 273 

Testimony taken on the part of the aaid Experience Esta- 
brook, at the city of Omaha, in the said Territory. 

Present : Mr. Kinney, Mr. Richardson, and Mr. Redick, 
attorneys for Mr. Estabrook; Mr. Conkling, Messrs. Pease 
and Paddock,*^ attorneys for Mr. Daily. 

Saturday Morning, December 31, 1859. 

Dr. Graff, the first witness, was examined without 
previous notice by consent of counsel for Mr. Daily. 

George B. Graff, of lawful age, being first duly sworn 
according to law, makes the following answers to the 
questions proposed, to wit: 

1st question. What is your age, occupation, and place 
of residence? 

Answer. Forty-three years of age; receiver of public 
moneys at Dakota ; residence, Dakota city. 

2d question. How long have you resided at Dakota? 

Answer. About nine months. 

4th question. Have you ever been in L'Eau Qui Court 
county; and if so, when did you visit that county? 
Answ^er. I was there in September last. 

14:th question. Judging from the appearance of the 
settlements and the people you sajv, how many voters, in 
your opinion, were there in that county? 

(Objected to by counsel for Mr. Daily, on the ground 
that the object of the inquiry is not a fit subject of mere 
opinion. ) 

Answer. I had formed an opinion before the election 
as to how many votes would be polled there. A year 
previous there were polled in the county over 80 votes. I 
knew of considerable emigration to the county last sum- 
mer. I saw 15 wagons going through our place to Bon- 
homme island at one time. The impression formed on my 
mind up there was that they could poll over 100 votes in 
that county ; this is the opinion I formed up there. 

Cross-examination 

2d question. You have spoken of several settlements in 
that county, will you name those, if any, which you actu- 
ally visited? 

19 



274 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Answer. I was at Croy's Grove, Frankfort, Zepeota, 
Collins's Grove, and Niobrarah. 

3d question. Describe each of those places, specifying 
the number of inhabitants you saw in each, and their char- 
acter? 

Answer. At Croy's Grove there was a single family ; a 
Frenchman and his son were the only votes there. At 
Frankfort I saw probably half a dozen houses. At Zepeota 
there are, I think, three dwellings certain, and perhaps 
more. At Collins's Grove, one house. At Niobrarah, I 
suppose there are twenty good dwellings and a large hotel 
that could be inhabited. 

4th question. You spoke of other settlements that you 
did not visit; will you name those places again, and state 
whether you have any personal knowledge of them? 

Answer. They are Bonhomme island *® and Brecken- 
ridge ; all I know in relation to them is what I have heard. 

19th question. You stated in your examination in 
chief that you visited the settlements at Croy's Grove, 
Zepeota, Frankfort, Collins's Grove, and Niobrarah, and 
you afterwards said you knew a settlement ten miles up 
the Running Water; what knowledge have you of that set- 
tlement, if you did not visit it? 

Answer. The knowledge acquired in my office from 
persons filing their declarations of settlement and inten- 
tion to pre-empt; the plats being in the office. 

20th question. How far is Frankfort from Zepeota? 

Answer. They are contiguous; Zepeota has been 
abandoned as a town, and has been pre-empted for farm- 
ing purposes. 

21st question. What distance from Frankfort are 
Croy's Grove and Collins's Grove, and in what direction? 

Answer. Croy's Grove is about eight miles southeast 
of Frankfort, and Collins's Grove is about five or six miles 
southwest from Frankfort. 

22d question. Are not Croy's Grove and Collins's 
Grove, Bonhomme, and Breckenridge much nearer Frank- 
fort than the town of Niobrarah? 

Answer. All except Breckenridge; that I am not cer- 
tain of. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 275 

Rc-cross-examined. 

1st question. Do you reside in the Covington precinct? 

Answer. I do not. 

2d question. Were you there on the night of the elec- 
tion when they canvassed the votes? 

Answer. I was not. 

3d question. Then, why do you say there were five more 
ballots than names upon the poll-lists, and that the five 
votes were given for Daily? 

Answer. I saw the certificate and poll-list, talked with 
the judges and clerks and citizens of the Covington pre- 
cinct, who gave me the information; and knowing the 
political preferences of the votes of that precinct, I know 
that more votes were counted for Mr. Daily than were 
legally cast for him. 

4th question. You stated in your examination that 
yourself, Patrick, and Collier, urged the claims of Esta- 
brook upon local grounds only; had you no political mo- 
tive in seeking so urgently the elevation of Estabrook? 

Answer. In urging the citizens of the upper counties, 
I never compromised General Estabrook, by representing 
him as anything but a democrat, I did urge republicans 
to forget their political preferences in voting for delegate ; 
and in the success of General Estabrook, I looked for and 
expected nothing save that lie would not be unfriendly to 
the interests of the northern portion of the Territory, and 
his election a triumph for the democratic party, having 
then nor now no political favor to ask or expect for myself. 

6th question. Is it regarded by you as a part of the 
legitimate business of a federal officer in this Territory 
to assist in obtaining the greatest possible number of 
democratic votes at each election? 

Answer. I believe this question impertinent, intended 
to be offensive, and will not answer it. 

7th question. State whethei*, during the canvass for 
delegate in this Territory, at the last election, the federal 
officers residing here were required to advance money to 
aid in the election of Estabrook, and the success of the 
democratic party in the Territory? 

Answer. Since I have held office under the present ad- 
ministration, I have never been asked for nor paid one 
dollar for electioneering or other political purposes, nor do 



276 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

I know of any other officer in the Territory having been 
asked for or paid any money for like purposes. 

8th question. State at whose instance you made that 
political journey to L'Eau Qui Court county, and at whose 
expense the journey was performed. 

Answer. At my own, without consultation with any- 
body. The expense was borne about equally between 
Patrick, Collier, and myself. The whole amount was less 
than five dollars ; and as I said before I went in pursuance 
of an intention formed since my first residence in the Ter- 
ritory. 

POINTS AND ARGUMENT OF THE SITTING 
MEMBER 

Buffalo county. 

The first specification in the printed notice attacks the 
validity of the vote of Buffalo county, first, for the reason 
that the county was unorganized, and, second, on the 
ground that Fort Kearny was attached to Buffalo county 
as a precinct, and was without any county. 

The evidence relied on to support the first proposition 
is that of Governor Black, a witness on the part of the con- 
testant, and certain papers found on pages 94 and 95 of 
the printed testimony. The first fact noticeable in the tes- 
timony of Governor Black is the total negative of all fraud 
or improper design in the transaction detailed by him. 
Whatever was done was in good faith. As early as the 
month of May, and about the time the immense immigra- 
tion to Pike's Peak, Utah, California, &c., was passing 
through the country, a desire was felt by those who had 
settled and were settling there to have the county clothed 
with some form of authority for self-preservation and pro- 
tection. They made application to the governor, who, to- 
gether with Hon. E. Wakeley, one of the judges of the 
supreme court, examined the matter and advised them 
precisely what they would have to do to set the machinery 
of county government in motion. He informed them that 
his commission was needless. But the exigencies of the 
case demanded something more summary, in appearance 
at least, to protect the inhabitants against the violence of 
a disappointed and enraged throng returning from the gold 
mines. To gratify the settlers, therefore, he issued com- 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 277 

missions, or authorized his private secretary to do so, to 
such persons as had been chosen or seemed to have been 
chosen in that county for the several offices. His con- 
nexion with the affairs of the county wholly ceased on the 
26th day of July. Whether the selection referred to was 
through the ballot-box — whether it was regular or irregu- 
lar under the law, is not made to appear ; and the papers 
printed on pages 94 and 95 cannot be introduced in con- 
nexion with the matter, as they come from no authentic 
source — are, at most, private, extrajudicial, and unauthor- 
ized, and were never offered in evidence, either upon notice 
or otherwise, before any examining officer, and by their 
date do not purport to have been called for, even, until 
fourteen days after the testimony had closed. (See objec- 
tion to 34th interrogatory, p. 67. ) 

After the 26th of July until the 11th of October, when 
the election was held, seventy-seven days elapsed, a space 
of time within which, if the county was not already organ- 
ized, a perfect and complete organization could be effected. 
Now, the presumptions of law are in favor of regularity, 
and I hope it will not be asking too much when I claim the 
advantages of the rule in my behalf. Governor Black 
states what he did in the early part of the season to meet 
an emergency, (see question 26, page 66, also question 42,) 
but he does not pretend to state or know all that was done; 
and until it is shown affirmatively, in support of the affirm- 
ative allegation of the fact, that the county was not duly 
organized, the point is not before us for consideration. 
How easy, and how legitimate, would it have been to ask 
Governor Black to produce the returns from Buffalo 
county for identification, and then call on the clerk of that 
county, who was notoriously within reach of the process 
placed at the disposal of parties by the act of 1851, to know 
if they were the same transmitted by him, and if so, to 
learn of him by what authority he transmitted them, and 
to what power he was indebted for his official creation. 
This would have been seeking information at its legitimate 
source. But the proof in this instance, as in most others, 
seems strangely intended to establish only a negation, and 
leave a wide margin to be traversed by conjecture and 
suspicion. 

The second point relates to the division of Buffalo 
county into precincts, including Fort Kearny precinct, and 
the number of votes cast in each. 



278 NEBRASICA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Now, I undertake to say that there is not a word of tes- 
timony relating, proximately or remotely, to one of these 
points, which would not, if insisted on by a reputable 
lawyer, before a tribunal of reputable lawyers, degrade the 
professional standing of the one, and insult the official 
dignity of the other. The only proof is that of Wattles, 
who details the second-hand statements of certain individ- 
uals, themselves, of course, competent witnesses. And I 
am happy to be able to call to the mind of the committee 
the disclaimer of the exceedingly able gentleman who 
opened this case, to have the similar testimony of the 
clerk of Platte county regarded as evidence by the com- 
mittee. Is Kearny precinct attached to Buffalo county? 
By whom is it proved? In making the returns from Buf- 
falo county, was the vote of Kearny City embraced in it? 
What witness says so? Is Buffalo county divided into 
precincts at all? Where is the testimony? The only evi- 
dence, save that contained in the abstract on page 98, 
whose merits I have discussed, that Buffalo county ever 
cast a vote or sent a return to the governor, is found on 
page 55, in Wattles' answers to questions 12, 13, and 14. 
He states, in answer to three very leading questions, in 
substance, that he went to Fort Kearny for the poll-books, 
saw George Miller, whose name appears on the papers as 
clerk, sign the same, and helped him copy the list, and 
produces exhibits E, F, G. Now, who is George Miller? 
Is he the clerk? His own affix is the sole evidence of it. 
If he is the custodian of these lists, must he not come for 
ward and swear to them? Or, if they are claimed to be offi- 
cial, must they not have the authentication of the seal? — 
( See Blair vs. Barrett, 16, 1 7. ) The answers of Wattles to 
cross-questions 36, 37, 38, 39, and 40, on page 58, and also 
in his re-examination on page 59, forbid the idea that it 
was intended as a record, or anything else than a private 
memorandum, upon which he says he made a variety of 
annotations, and can they be official if Buffalo is not or- 
ganized? and is it not yielding the question of regularity 
of organization to claim this certificate as official? And if 
they are official or otherwise, are they the identical re- 
turns received and reckoned in by the board of canvassers? 
and what evidence is afforded by them of the location or 
limits of any particular precinct in which they purport to 
have been cast? A true solution of these questions would 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 279 

leave very little of this case, so far as the testimony of 
Wattles is concerned; but it was said by the able counsel 
for the contestant that one deposition on page 3, that of 
Conily, relating to Buffalo county, was a little out of place. 
He had reference to its position in the printed volume. I 
agree that it is not only out of place where it is found, but 
it w^ould be equally out of place whatever page of that vol- 
ume it might occupy. 

Section three of the act of 1851 provides that the officer 
authorized to issue subpoenas ^' shall reside within the con- 
gressioiml district in which such contested election was 
held." The officer before whom this deposition was taken 
resides in Dayton, Ohio, where the notice required the par- 
ties to attend, and whence this paper seems to have been 
sent to this House. 

Section six provides that the notice shall contain a 
statement of the place of residence of the witness. By 
reference to the notice on page two, it will be found that 
this requirement has been wholly disregarded. Section six 
also provides that the party ''shall, at least ten days be- 
fore the day appointed for the examination of the wit- 
nesses, give notice in writing,'' &c. This notice was served 
on the evening of the 6th of February, to be taken on the 
16th of the same month. The objection here is, first, the 
notice was not given at least ten days before the day ap- 
pointed for the examination of the witness; second, the 
testimony taken on the 16th was beyond the time limited 
by law. As to the first point, the rule of law is, that where 
ten days' notice is to be given, one day is to be reckoned in- 
clusive, and the other exclusive. But where, as in this 
case, notice is to be given ten days either before or after 
the happening of a particular event, then ten entire days 
must intervene, and both extremes be reckoned exclusive. 
— (Sec. 3, Deneo [See 3 Denio], 12; 1 Texas, 107; 1 Iowa, 
Green's, 164, 492; 10 vol. U. S. Dig., 406, sec. 7.) As to 
the second point, the sixty days within which testimony 
must be taken would expire on the 14th day of the month 
at furthest, and this testimony was taken on the 16th. It 
is proper to add that there was no appearance on my part, 
and the deposition was taken under protest. But let us, 
for the argument, admit this testimony, and also that of 
Wattles, and how do they harmonize? The young man, 
Combes [Comly], saw a variety of sad sights at a place 



280 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

which he calls "Fort Kearny;" and among them he saw 
three returned "Pike's Peakers," named James Low, 
Stephen C. Inslee, and William Karlew, all vote for Ex- 
perience Estabrook. This case now, for the first time, 
presents a point of analogy with other cases where fraudu- 
lent votes are complained of. We have found the polls 
open and men voting ; and among them three, whose names 
are mentioned, wiio are not leg^l voters, and who voted 
for a particular candidate. Let the aggregate, therefore, 
be diminished the number of votes thus fraudulently cast. 
For this purpose we turn to the list exhibited by Wattles, 
marked "C", purporting to be the Kearny City poll-books, 
in order to expurgate the offending names. After a 
thorough search, however, it is ascertained that no such 
names are to be found in the whole list. 

A novelist once introduced a liar as one of his charac- 
ters. To mitigate the public scorn of such a character, 
however, he found it necessary to invest him with unusual 
attributes. He said it required no skill to tell the truth, 
any one could do it; but a liar should be a genius, a man of 
high mental attainments. There is a philosophy in this 
which I commend to all who attempt to make the testi- 
mony of Comly harmonize with that of Wattles. "False 
in one, false in all," is the translation of a Latin law 
maxim, and if Comly made a mistake as to the three names, 
might he not as to the balance. So, if Comly is truthful, 
then is Wattles false. Another point is presented by the 
testimony of these two witnesses worthy of attention. 
Comly's statements relate to a place called "Fort Kearny." 

It was suggested by the contestant, in response to this 
palpable contradiction, that "James L. Long," No. 26, was 
intended for James Low, and that at No. 28, "J. L. Ens- 
ley," was intended for Stephen L. Inslee, and this, too, 
without adducing any proof to establish the proposition. 
As the maintenance of this contest depends so almost en- 
tirely upon inference and presumption, and requires the 
invention of the wholesome rule that all inferences and 
presumptions are in favor of regularity and integrity, it 
may not be unreasonable to demand that "Low" shall be 
interpreted "Long," and "J. L. Ensley" "Stephen L. Ins- 
lee." Constructions quite as absurd are demanded; why 
not this? 

The second interrogatory to Wattles, and the answer 



I 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 281 

thereto, reveal the fact that Keai'ny City, or Dobytown, is 
anotlier and distinct place. If the testimony of Wattles 
and his exhibit "G" prove anything, they establish the fact 
that the election to which that testimony relates was lield 
at some place called Kearny City, a precinct in Buffalo 
county, without, to be sure, identifying any particular 
spot of earth bearing that cognomen ; while the election to 
which Comly refers was at another place, and bearing an- 
other name. 

Shall the House be asked to reverse the doctrine of pre- 
sumptions, and infer some impropriety or irregularity fatal 
to my certificate, when none is shown? 

Wherever may be the location of the "Kearny City" 
visited by Wattles, and whatever may have been done 
there, it is nevertheless true that his "Kearny City" is not 
the only one ; for the history of Nebraska would show that, 
in the nomenclature of the numerous cities of that Terri- 
tory heretofore, this name had been a favorite. One of the 
most flourishing cities on the Missouri, now merged in 
Nebraska City, was incorporated by the legislature, and 
entered at the land office by that name. And other cities 
bearing that name, as is well known to all old settlers in 
Nebraska, have been projected on either side of the Platte 
river in the neighborhood of Fort Kearny. 

But suppose we take it for granted, as in the absence 
of testimony we must if we consider the proposition at all, 
that the Kearny City visited by Wattles is identical with 
Fort Kearny, and that both of these were the one place 
referred to in "exhibit G," and that the clerk whose name 
is affixed is legally such, (barring the allegation of illegal- 
ity of everything relating to Buffalo county,) and that the 
exhibit of W^attles was identical with the returns sent to 
the governor ; that the board of canvassers canvassed them, 
and that they were then placed legally in the custody of 
the secretary, and by him properly exhibited before the 
examining officer, who duly transmitted them to this 
House, and that my certificate of election rested in part 
npon them as its basis; thus, like the story of the house 
that Jack built, bringing the matter step by step from the 
polls in Kearny City to the seat here for which a contest 
is waged. Still, where is the evidence that it was "not in- 
cluded in the bounds of any county," and was improperly 
attached to Buffalo county? No witness attempts to fix 



282 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

its locality, to give its latitude and longitude, to describe 
its township and range, or its metes and bounds ; and who 
shall say, in the absence of proof, that Fort Kearny and 
Kearny City are not embraced within the limits of some 
one of the numerous counties created by the enactments of 
the Nebraska legislature? Wattles, in answer to the forty- 
tliird question, says he was told the precinct ran to the 
Rocky mountains. On page 113 of the post office directory 
of 1859 it is laid down as in ''Clackamas county." 

The next inquiry is, was it, if attached at all, im- 
properly attached to Buffalo county? The laws of Ne- 
braska provide that unorganized counties shall be attached 
to the county lying directly east for election, judicial, and 
revenue purposes. Two counties lying upon either side of 
the Platte, whether the boundary should be the centre of 
the tortuous stream or either bank, would present many 
points of contact, where a portion of one would be directly 
east of a portion of the other; and the spirit of the law 
does not demand that the inhabitants of a county whose 
boundaries are thus interlocked shall pass beyond, over a 
large space of unoccupied country, to find an organized 
county presenting a larger portion of eastern surface. 
There are many instances in Nebraska where a county is 
bounded by two or more counties directly on the east. Can 
there be a doubt that application could be made to either, 
and that the validity of the organization tlms effected 
could never be impaired by the consideration of the breadth 
of the county to which it became attached? 

Allusion is made to the large number of votes said to 
have been cast in Fort Kearny or Kearny City, and an 
inference is attempted to be drawn from it unfavorable to 
the validity of the election. 

When it is remembered that this was the midway sta- 
tion of the great contractors, Russell, Majors & Co., who 
sent to and past that point from two to four supply trains 
each week, each train consisting of twenty-five to thirty 
wagons drawn by six yokes of oxen each ; that at this point 
the trains were inspected, the repairs were made, the 
freight repacked, tlie disabled laborers and stock recruited, 
the hay and forage for present and future supply gathered ; 
that this was the great radiating point for all the thorough- 
fares crossing the Missouri from the mouth of the Kansas 
to the mouth of the Running Water, whether ^oing to 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 288 

Pike'8 Peak, California, Utah, Oregon, or Washington 
Territory; that it was a point to wliich was attracted large 
numbers of dealere in stock, supplies, and merchandise; 
that a large force of contractors is always called there in 
fall and late summer to supply the military post with 
winter's wood and hay; that the year 1859 was marked by 
the wild, maniacal rush of at least one hundred thousand 
persons to Pike's Peak and back, all passing this point; 
that an abundance of fertile land, just then surveyed and 
opened for settlement, lay spread out attractedly before 
them in tliat vicinity, the wonder is that so few attended 
the polls; and that Comly, when he intimates that no more 
than sixty voters were there, had not shared the fate of 
Ananias and Sapphira. 

But laying aside all considerations of the absence or 
insufficiency of proof relating to Buffalo county, and look- 
ing at the whole subject as would a family party or a town 
meeting, could any one be found to dispute the following 
facts, viz: 

1. That in that county the polls were opened in the 
usual manner and in good faith. 

2. That they were presided over by persons acting 
under color of office and authority, and in good faith. 

3. That actual and legal voters cast their ballots there 
in good faith. And now shall it be contended that all these, 
whatever may be their number, shall be disfranchised by 
reason of a lack of form or the omission of some technical 
duty on the part of those intrusted with the execution of 
the law? Such a rule would place the rights of whole 
communities at the mercy of a few individuals. If, then, 
the testimony should bring us to this point, and if illegal 
votes are complained of, let them be pointed out and 
stricken from the majority. This is the rule in other 
cases; why shall it not be in this? 

Calhoun county. 

The grounds upon which the votes of this county are 
sought to be rejected, contained in the second and third 
specifications of the contestant's notice, are "that, in fact, 
there was no election held in either of the said counties of 
Saline, Calhoun, and Izard, and the returns purporting to 
come from the clerks of said counties are wholly fraudu- 



284 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

lent ; that all that portion of the territory erected into said 
counties is entirely uninhabited by white men, and these 
facts also were well known to the canvassers." 

This charge is wholly abandoned as to Saline, where it 
is notorious that a colony settled just before the election, 
and most of them too late to be voters, and the grounds of 
the charge are essentially abandoned as to Calhoun. It is 
evident, from the reasoning of counsel on this subject, 
(pages 8 and 9, Thorn [p] son's argument,) that no confi- 
dence is felt in the proof to sustain the charge that "no 
votes ivere cast in Calhoun^ and that there were no inhabit- 
ants in it." But the circumstance of their transmission by 
McConihe to the clerk of Platte county is urged as a rea- 
son for rejecting them. 

The first objection to this argument is, that it was not 
charged in contestant's specification. The next is, that it 
was sent there for greater regularity under the operation 
of some law upon which he was not interrogated; and 
whether the proceeding was regular or irregular, either the 
identical return originally made to him, or one essentially 
the same, was retransmitted to him by the clerk of Platte 
county; and as no diminution or alteration reaching its 
merits is complained of, such action on the part of the 
clerk could not justify its exclusion; moreover, the irregu- 
larity is nowhere shown. The only remaining points for 
consideration are those contained in the specifications 2 
and 3. 

1. The fact of organization. 

On this point no proof is exhibited, and of course no 
doubt is raised. 

3. l^hat the county was uninhabited by white men. 

To sustain this charge "the act of 1856, page 200," 
(page 8,) the testimony of Hindman, (p. 75,) Rogers, 
(p. 21y) and Kettle, (p. 10,) are introduced. By the act 
referred to, the boundaries of the county embrace ranges 
5, 6, 7, 8, and parts of 9 and 10 east, and townships 13, 14, 
15 and 16 north. By reference to the map, as furnished by 
the Commissioner of the General Land OflQce, it will be 
seen that the county is about 32 miles in length on its 
southern boundary, and precisely 24 miles in width from 
north to south ; and that from a point some distance below 
Fremont to the western extremity of the county, a space of 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 285 

from one to six miles intervenes between the northern 
boundary of the county and the Platte river. Hindman 
swears that he moved into the county in 1857, (page 75, 
answer 2,) and settled in township 17, range 7, (cross- 
examination, p. 77, 2d question.) He is doubtless right as 
to the time and place of his settlement, but wholly wrong 
when he supposed it was embraced in Calhoun county, as 
may be seen by the reference to the act of 1856 and the 
map. 

Rogers resides in Fremont, (question 1, page 21,) one 
and a half or two miles from north line of Calhoun county, 
(question 7, page 22,) (Kettle says two and a half miles,) 
(page 11, question 12;) crossed at Shinn's Ferry, and came 
down the Indian trail, (question 12, page 23.) How far 
down the river he went he does not say, but probably to a 
point opposite Fremont, where he crossed to his home. He 
does not know exactly the area of Calhoun county, (page 
25, question 12. ) He says its greatest length east and west 
is over twenty-four miles, and about twenty-six miles north 
and south, when from the act referred to, and the maps, it 
appears that it is over thirty miles east and west, and pre- 
cisely twenty-four north and south. At all times, save the 
once when he has been into Calhoun county, he entered it 
at Fremont island, and went but a mile or two into the 
interior, of course not reaching Calhoun county, (question 
1, page 27.) Kettle says there was a settlement about two 
years ago, {i. e., in the fall of 1857,) in Calhoun county, 
close by the river, called "Neapolis," (question 13, pages 11 
and 12. ) Hindman refers to the same, and says it was in 
ranges 7 and 8, and township 17, (page 76, question 5.) 

From all this testimony we gather very clearly that 
there was a space of country between the Platte river and 
Calhoun county which was a sort of lost district, no one 
knowing precisely where it belonged, but clearly not in 
Calhoun county, and it was over this that the mousing 
parties, hired per quantum meruit, were sent roaming in 
search of frauds. Did ever mortal hear of such evidence 
to sustain such a charge! Looking at the maps, the law 
referred to, and the evidence adduced, and the inference is 
irresistible that neither Hindman, Rogers, nor Kettle 
were ever in Calhoun county at all; or if at all, in but a 
small portion at the northeast part. If evidence of this 
kind is to be resorted to, is it not a circumstance as strange 



286 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

as it is significant that nothing is revealed of the entire 
southern portion of the county? And yet from the maps 
we learn that in the southeastern portion of the county is 
the town of "Excelsior," and in the extreme corner, at the 
mouth of Salt creek, is *'Saline," which were indicated on 
the surveys as returned to the surveyor general in 1857, 
and which have appeared on all the maps since then, and 
that the southwestern corner, of which Rogers says he 
knows nothing, (page 27, 3d interrogatory,) is crossed by 
the great thoroughfare from Nebraska City to Fort Kearny, 
over which, beside the vast amount of emigration, the great 
transportation trains of Majors & Russell have been con- 
stantly passing, (see map marked ,) and that upon 
such thoroughfare, at the head of a small stream, has 
sprung up a town called "Valparaiso," as indicated upon 
the land office maps and Colton's map of 1860. All these 
appear fairly upon the maps, within tlie boundaries of Cal- 
houn county, in a portion of it which no one of the wit- 
nesses pretends ever to have visited, or of which he has any 
knowledge; and yet from such testimony you are asked to 
infer that the county is without inliabitants.^^ 

It is proper to say, in justice to the candor of the gentle- 
man who addressed the committee, (Mr. Thompson,) that 
he admitted that the hearsay of the clerk of Platte county 
was not legal evidence. This obviates all necessity of re- 
ferring to the testimony of William Thomas Clarke, (page 
79.) The admission enunciates a principle, moreover, 
which the committee will find abundant opportunity to 
apply in their examination of the case. 

Izard county. 

The tale of this county is told by Nelegh [Neligh], Ket- 
tle, and Thayer. Of these, Nelegh is the only one who has 
any knowledge of its boundaries by actual inspection. He 
went up the north or east side of the Elkhorn, and entered 
that county, where he says he did, near the northeast 
corner, (p. 81, ans. 4 and 6,) and went into the county 
between six and seven miles back, (p. 81, ans. 10 and 11.) 
This visit was in June, 1858, (ans. 8,) for the last time, 
(ans. 9.) Does not know, of his own knowledge, whether 
there are any settlers in the county of Izard or not, (p. 81, 
ans. 12.) Since this witness paid his visit, other counties 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 287 

in the Territory have been populated by comparatively 
large communities, and there is nothing to forbid the pre- 
sumption that the same may be the case here. This obser- 
vation, moreover, in the extreme corner of the county, be- 
yond the Elkhorn, affords no criterion by which to judge 
of the balance of the county, even at that period. The 
only remaining witnesses are Thayer and Kettle. Both of 
these derived their knowledge from the same source, and 
acquired it at the same time. If the object had been to find 
willing witnesses, who had been into the county, but under 
circumstances to preclude the possibility of finding white 
settlements therein, the experiment was eminently suc- 
cessful in procuring these two gentlemen. 

A band of Pawnees had visited the settlements upon the 
Elkhorn, robbing, stealing, killing cattle, and filling the 
neighborhood with alarm. They were repulsed by the set- 
tlers, with a loss of five or six of their number killed. They 
fled and were pursued by a company, of which Kettle was 
a member and Thayer an ofiQcer, (p. 16, ans. 7.) This com- 
pany hung upon their trail, without deviation, (ib.,) 
until they were overtaken and punished.** 

Whoever supposes that a band of fugitive Pawnees, 
fleeing before the face of the white man, conscious of de- 
serving the punishment they know they will receive if over- 
taken, will nevertheless lead their pursuers into the midst 
of white settlements, knows little of the character or sa- 
gacity of the Indian of the plains. 

Thayer visited the county between the 6th and 12th of 
July last, (answer 3, p. 15;) struck the county near the 
southeastern portion of it, and proceeded in a northwest- 
erly direction nearly through its centre, (answer 6, p. 15; 
answers 24 and 25, p. 18 ; ) saw no roads, and travelled the 
Indian trail all the way, (answer 7, p. 16;) travelled about 
ten or fifteen miles in Cuming county, (answer 28, p. 18;) 
river runs southeasterly through Izard, and he followed the 
river all the way, (answers 34 and 35, p. 18.) Now, upon 
an inspection of the plat furnished by the land office, upon 
which the course of the Elkhorn is traced through Cuming 
and Izard counties, showing accurately its crossing of even 
quarter-section lines, it is found that this redoubtable gen- 
eral must have travelled near twenty miles in Cuming 
county had he gone straight "as the crow flies;" but fol- 
lowing the tortuous windings of the stream, as he must 



288 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

necessarily have done, the distance was full thirty; that 
while he travelled in a northwesterly direction, supposing 
himself in Izard, he was in Cuming; that instead of enter- 
ing Izard near the southeast corner, his entrance was near 
the northeast; that instead of travelling through it from 
corner to corner in a northwesterly direction, he passed 
considerably north of its centre, and in a direction south of 
westerly. However little a traveller upon the plains may 
know of artificial lines, of one thing he may be tolerably 
certain, and that is the general direction of his journey. 
He watches the sun eagerly in its rising, at its zenith, and 
its going down. He makes it his companion, and regulates 
his movements by it. General Thayer was not mistaken in 
the direction he travelled; but his error was in supposing 
himself in Izard while he was yet in Cuming [.] And yet 
you are asked to infer that, because he saw no inhabitants 
in that part of his journey, there were none in the county. 
Will you follow these premises to the conclusion proposed, 
and reject the return from Cuming, where it is reported 
the contestant received a majority; or will you treat the 
testimony as it deserves — reject it wholly from your con- 
sideration ? 

As Kettles' testimony is essentially the same as 
Thayer's the reasoning in one case will apply to both. I for- 
bear to comment on what these witnesses "don't know," or 
what they say "folks said." "Folks" are very good wit- 
nesses when brought by the proper process before the 
proper officer and examined and cross-examined in the 
usual manner; but when detailed to us second-hand such 
testimony becomes vapid and worthless in the extreme. I 
will only remark, that while all whose names are men- 
tioned in connexion with this county, whether as party, 
witness, or lawyer, seem involved in one general oblivion as 
to its population, as well as its area, boundai'ies, or crea- 
tion, if inquiry had been set on foot as to the settlements 
on "Pebble creek" and "Maple creek," both of which run 
through the southern portion of this county, the where- 
abouts of a large and respectable population could have 
been ascertained. "Ordinary maps in circulation" (que«' 
tion 17, p. 13) are made the chief basis of the statements 
of the witnesses concerning this county. If authentic 
maps be referred to, it will appear that upon one of these 
streams in that county is the town of "Oak Dale," a name 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 289 

suggestive of a characteristic feature of the country that 
would of itself attract a population. Is it not strange, 
while the contestant has seen fit to resort to this vague and 
extraordinary testimony to substantiate a charge of fraud 
as susceptible of specific proof as any that could be made, 
that in this county, as in Calhoun, those portions which by 
the maps appear to be the only populated parts should be 
the precise regions to which no inquiry whatever is di- 
rected? 

UEau Qui Court county. 

The charge in regard to this county is in these words : 
"That although no more than thirty votes or thereabouts 
were given in the county of L'Eau Qui Court by persons 
entitled to vote therein, no less than one hundred and 
twenty-eight votes were thence fraudulently returned and 
counted for you in the final canvass.'' 

Here it is conceded that the county was duly organized, 
the election duly held, and legal votes duly cast, but the 
number returned was greater than the number cast. To 
substantiate this charge, Taffe, Colt, and James, are intro- 
duced. Taffe is introduced not to testify to any specific act 
affecting the election, but is set to guessing. After passing 
the mere formal part of his deposition and coming to the 
substantial portion of it, the following qualifying words 
appear, to wit : 

Answer 6. "I have a general acquaintance and general 
knowledge," &c. 

Answer 7. "I should think," &c. 

Answer 8. "I have some acquaintance," "and believe," 
&c. 

Answer 9. "I think," &c. 

Answer 10. "I think," &c. 

Answer 11. "There would probably," &c. ; "the proba- 
bilities are," &c. 

Answer 12. "I should think," &c. 

Answer 13. "I believe the votes were less," &c. 

And then, after the cross-examination is closed, the di- 
rect examination is resumed in one sweeping, all-pervading 
interrogatory, as follows, (page 46:) 

"State, if you please, with what degree of certainty you 
express your belief that there could not have been at most 
more than thirty-five voters in the county of L'Eau Qui 
Court at the last election." 

20 



290 NEBKASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

To which he answers: 

"From my knowledge, in ordinary conversation, I 
would say so without qualification." 

There, nothing can be clearer; now turn back to ques- 
tion 2, and learn that this was a member of the Nebraska 
legislature, and go your way and doubt no more. 

When it is seen in the cross-examination that this wit- 
ness had been but once in the county, (answer 1, p. 46;) 
that he did not know where the county line was, where he 
must have entered it, (answer 3, p. 46;) that the west line 
of the county is indefinite, (answer 4, p. 46;) that he did 
not know precisely where the south line of the county was, 
(answer 5, p. 46.) 

I think it will have to be admitted that this is the most 
brilliant piece of guessing that has ever been recorded 
since Faust invented letters. 

In answer to the last cross-interrogatory, Mr. Taffe (or 
"Taffy," as Mr. Thom[p]son calls him,) says he came from 
the south of Illinois. I think it was in that State where, a 
few years ago, they used to weigh their hogs by balancing a 
plank across the fence, putting the hog on one end, piling 
stones on the other, and guessing at the weight of the 
stones. It is there, doubtless, whence this witness derives 
his faculty. He has guessed the vote in this county down 
to 35. Does any one doubt if 35 votes would just make a 
tie, and 34 would be necessary to save his friend, that so 
magnificent a guesser could not just as well have fixed it 
there? 

Mr. Thorn [p] son, at the conclusion of his very able 
argument, exhibits a sort of India-rubber macliine, beauti- 
fully elastic, and shows you how it may expand so as to 
embrace 148 majority for the contestant, and then contract 
gracefully through various gradations down to 55. Such 
testimony as the above is indispensable in working those 
machines. 

Grafs testimony. 

To rebut the testimony of Taffe, Dr. Graff, who hap- 
pened to be present by accident, was called to the stand by 
agreement. He is able to give the boundaries of the county, 
(answer 5, p. 101;) says that over 80 votes were polled 
there the previous year;*® that he knew of considerable 
emigration to the county last summer ; that he saw fifteen 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 291 

wagons going to it at one time, and that, without seeing all 
the points, he made up his mind tliev could poll over 100 
votes, (answer 14, pp. 102, 103,) and that while he was 
there (forty-eight hours) he saw and conversed with forty 
men, voters, (answer 14, p. 105,) and knew a number 
whom he did not see, voters in the county, (p. 105, answers 
15,16,17.) 

A useful lesson may be learned by this deposition as to 
how the contestant's counsel construes the law of testi- 
mony. No leading questions, (answer 11, p. 102,) no 
opinion of the number of voters in the county, (answer 14, 
p. 102,) no leading and multifarious questions, (answer 15, 
p. 103,) were allowed to be put without (very properly, I 
think) interposing his objection. Let the rule be applied 
to both sides is all I ask. I forgot to call attention to the 
fact that Dr. Graff's position (register of the land office) 
gave him peculiar facilities for judging the population of 
that county. 

Coit (p. 27) and James (p. 34.) 

From the manner in which these two gentlemen are 
referred to in the argument of Mr. Thorn [p] son, (pp. 10, 
11,) it is evident that no reliance is placed upon their testi- 
mony. It is difficult to determine why these depositions 
were sent here except as "make- weights." If the purpose 
was to prove by them the reasons why the contestant was 
unable to prove anything, they may have made out a prima 
facie case. These gentlemen were part of the smelling com- 
mittee who were put on the scent of frauds. It was their 
duty, among other things, to get the poll-lists of L'Eau Qui 
Court, as it was that of Rogers in Platte, (answer 1, p. 21,) 
and Wattles in Buffalo, (answer 2, p. 54;) not to be used 
in evidence — it would be an impeachment of the profes- 
sional ability of the able counsel engaged in the prepara- 
tion of the case to suppose such a thing — but as a private 
memorandum, (answer 4, p. 24, answer 40, pp. 58, 59;) and 
it was because this list was flouted in their faces, and the 
taunt was thrown out that it was to become the foundation 
for an application for process to take them to Omaha, two 
hundred miles, in dead of winter, that the inhabitants of 
L'Eau Qui Court county became exasperated. The idea 
of making them evidence was an afterthought. It was not 
until after cold weather came on, the "sinews of war" were 



292 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

exhausted, and this Houf^e tens organized, that it was 
thought best to lay them before the House, and "take the 
chances." The sequel will show to what purposes the 
House may be put. 

Genoa. 

This is an old voting precinct ; when the Pawnee reser- 
vation was surveyed last summer the lines were made to 
embrace this town, or at least a portion of it.^" This, of 
itself, was an act of gross injustice and it would be a mat- 
ter of sincere regret if, in addition to this wrong, it should 
be found necessary to inflict upon them another, that of 
disfranchisement, as proposed by the contestant. Hap- 
pily no such necessity exists. It is only such of the Indian 
lands as are excluded ^'hy treaty/' which shall constitute 
no part of the Territory of Nebraska, This provision was 
made to apply to a few cases in Kansas, where the treaty 
stipulations bring them within the purview of this pro- 
vision. While the same phraseology was used in both the 
Kansas and Nebraska acts, yet there is no case in Ne- 
braska to which it applies. This is but another instance 
where the counsel has mistaken the law. 

Hall county. 

The only frauds explicitly shown in the whole case 
were those in regard to this county. John McConihe says 
he first saw them in a lager beer saloon, (6, p. 50;) were 
made out in that saloon, (7, p. 50;) saw them making out 
returns in the saloon, (answer 9, p. 50.) He identifies the 
return as the same counted in the canvass, (answer 11, p. 
51.) It was corrected for Daily by the board of canvass- 
ers, (answer 12, p. 51.) He believes the returns were an 
entire new paper, made in that saloon, (answer 6, p. 52.) 
He advised them to make return of the votes cast for Esta- 
brook, and their reasons for throwing out the same, (an- 
swer 7, p. 52. ) He thinks there was a willingness to throw 
out the Estabrook vote on a mere technicality when they 
counted all the Daily votes, subject to the same technical- 
ity. — (Answer 10, p. 52.) 

An effort is made to explain this transaction by Mr. 
Wallenburg, (p. 71.) His testimony, however, only con- 
firms, if not the fraudulent, at least the illegal character 
of the transaction. It is evident from the testimony of 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 293 

both witnesses that the returus of the whole county, com- 
prising two precincts, were brought by the person claiming 
to be the clerk on two pieces of paper ; that a large vote for 
me was revealed by them, which was carefully suppressed 
in the prepared returns, and that the two papers were al- 
tered and pasted together and words added after they were 
so altered. If it had been left in such a condition as that 
you could have told what number of votes botli parties re- 
ceived, so that you could have added those to the list which 
were rejected for mere informality, I would not ask you to 
suppress this vote, for I hold that no omission of duty on 
the part of those conducting the election should work the 
disfranchisement of the citizen. But in this instance it is 
carefully prepared, against advice which they voluntarily 
sought, so as not to reveal my vote in the county. The vote 
in this county, amounting to 24 majority for the contestant, 
must therefore be deducted from his aggregate. 

There is no prima facie case. 

It is contended in the argument that a prima facie case 
is made, and not rebutted. 

In the first place something more than a prima facie 
ease should be made. The expulsion of a member and the 
disfranchisement of a community are results too grave to 
be demanded upon a prima facie showing. This is a trial, 
not an examination for probable cause. The law presum- 
ing regularity, the possession of the certificate makes a 
prima facie case for me, and this must be overcome by a 
preponderance of testimony. 

In the next place a prima facie case is not made by the 
contestant. The notice of the closing of the testimony on 
the part of the contestant was served on my attorney on 
the 6th of January. Whatever may be thought of the reg- 
ularity of the introduction subsequently of several papers 
claimed to be records, it is not pretended that I had notice, 
or that they were brought into the case under such circum- 
stances as would enable me to rebut, counteract, or explain 
them. If I have offered no testimony to rebut these, there- 
fore, the failure to do so certainly cannot carry any pre- 
sumption against me. What, then, is the case as it stood 
on that day? 

Abstract. 

No testimony had been offered to show the number of 
votes cast, or the majority to overcome. 



294 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Buffalo county. 

Governor Black had testified that while his commis- 
sions were not deemed essential, he had given them (as it 
was supposed their authority would be the more respected 
in consequence) to such persons as seemed to have been 
chosen by the electors of that county. ''The papers were 
returned to me, pui-porting to set forth the choice of offi- 
cers by the electors of Buffalo county.'" — (Ans. 2, p. 60.) 
"I took no action," &c., "until after the county officers were 
chosen by the people." — (Ans. 33, p. 67.) Prima facie , 
then, the organization was sufficiently regular to suit the 
most fastidious. The only thing claimed to throw doubt 
upon this regularity is the paper found on page 94, not then 
introduced, and found for the first time by me here along 
with the printed testimony. 

Kearny City. 

Wattles had testified, but knew nothing of the election 
save what was told him, and what he learned by the ex- 
hibits marked E, F, and G ; that marked "G," relating to 
Fort Kearny, was found by him in Buffalo county, and he 
helped to copy it, but he knew nothing of the correctness of 
the original, nor was he questioned as to it. He used this 
exhibit especially as his private memorandum, making a 
great variety of annotations upon it. It was introduced to 
show Kearny City out of Buffalo county, while the certifi- 
cate states that it was in that county. — (Page 91.) Is here 
a prima facie case? 

Calhoun county. 

The charge as to this county is that no election was 
held in it, and the testimony to support it was that of 
Kettle, Rogers, and Hindman, wlio stated at what places 
they had visited the county, and where they had held con- 
versation with the inhabitants ; but on an exhibition of the 
law organizing it, referred to and relied on by contestant, 
and the authentic map of the country, it is found that the 
witnesses were not in the county at all, and did not know 
the boundaries, location, or area of that county. Is this a 
prima facie case? It is submitted, moreover, that such 
testimony could, in no event, be received to support such a 
charge. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 295 

Izard county. 

The charge here is the same as in Calhoun, and the wit- 
nesses are Neligh, Thayer, and Wattles. Neligh was in the 
county once, at the extreme northeast corner, north of a 
large river, and a year and a half before the election. 
Thayer and Wattles chased a band of fugitive Pawnees, 
fleeing from the face of white men, following the Elkhorne, 
and supposed themselves in Izard. They say that after 
travelling ten or fifteen miles in Cuming they entered Izard 
near the southeast corner, going transversely through, and 
going out near the northwest corner; that they never ran 
through it in a southeast direction. The map from the 
official township plats shows that they travelled near thirty 
miles in Cuming, while they supposed themselves in Izard; 
that they entered Izard near the northeast instead of the 
southeast corner ; that they went southwesterly, instead of 
northwesterly, through it. If such testimony could prove 
anything, it would prove Cuming destitute of population, 
and in Cuming the contestant is claimed to have a major- 
ity. The charge is one of gross fraud. The evidence to 
prove it is that of men who made a flying visit through it, 
at some point, they knew not where, with no other purpose 
than to overtake and punish a band of marauding Indians. 
To dignify this testimony into prima facie evidence of such 
a charge would be a grosser outrage on law, justice, and 
the rights of parties than this committee or House are 
capable of perpetrating. 

UEau Qui Court comity. 
Every presumption claimed to have been raised here 
was rebutted by G. B. Graff, who was examined on my 
part by consent. Moreover, evidence so vague to prove a 
specific charge of fraud can never be admitted before any 
tribunal. 

Genoa. 

The proposal here is to disfranchise an old settlement, 
for the reason that the town had just then been embraced 
in a survey of an Indian reservation. Happily, the law 
forbids the damaging thought even. No rebutting was re- 
quired. 

Hall county. 

The only specific act of determined illegality, not to say 



296 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

fraud, revealed in this case, was proven in regard to this 
county, where twenty-four majority was counted for the 
contestant. The testimony was that of the contestant, and 
the more he attempted to explain the more palpable the 
wrong became. When the contestant had made his case, 
therefore, I had a right, as I still have, to demand that 
this vote should be excluded, and my majority increased 
that amount. 

In conclusion, I would call the attention of the com- 
mittee and House of Representatives to the body of the 
argument and synopsis of the testimony, where all the 
points are fully discussed. 

E. ESTABROOK. 



NEBRASKA CONTESTED ELECTION. 



MEMORIAL 

OF THE 

HON. EXPERIENCE ESTABROOK 

ASKING 

Tirtie to take testimony in the Nebra^ska contested election 

case. 

To the honorable House of Representatives of the Congress 
of the United States : 
Your memorialist, Experience Estabrook, would re- 
spectfully state that he is the delegate elect from the Ter- 
ritory of Nebraska to the thirty-sixth Congress; that 
Samuel G. Daily, esq., was a candidate for the same office, 
but on the 11th day of October last the election resulted in 
favor of your memorialist ; that on the 12th day of Novem 
ber, about tlie time of leaving to take his seat as delegate, 
said Daily notified your memorialist that he should con- 
test said election, and on the 16th day of November he com- 
menced taking depositions for that purpose, your memo- 
rialist, being in Washington, having left the matter of 
contest entirely in charge of counsel. On the 3d day of 
January the last witness on the part of Mr. Daily was ex- 
amined, and on the 6th day of the same month the follow- 
ing notice was served upon my counsel by the counsel for 
contestant : 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 297 

In the matter of tJie contested election of Experience Esta- 
hrook as delegate from the Territory of Nebraska to 
the thirty-siri'th Congress, Samuel G. Daily contest- 
ant. 

January 6, 1860. 
Sir : In accordance with ray promise I lose no time in 
apprising you of the decision of the counsel for Mr. Daily 
to proceed no further for the present with the examination 
of witnesses in his behalf in pursuance of the notice hereto- 
fore given. Whether any further testimony shall be taken 
in his behalf is a question reserved for after considera- 
tion. You will, of course, understand that his right to do 
it without qualification is not intended to be hereby waived 
or impaired. Should it be deemed necessary to exercise it 
a new notice to that effect will, of course, be given. The 
particular object of this communication, as you are aware, 
is to afford an opportunity to you to take evidence on your 
part without obstruction from us. 

Yours, respectfully, ALFRED CONKLING, 

Attorney for contestant. 

J. 8. Kinney, Esq., 

Attorney for Estahrook. 



When this notice was served the contestant had not in- 
troduced any testimony tending to show the number of 
votes polled, or the majority your memorialist received 
over the vote given for Mr. Daily, and I was written to 
immediately by my counsel that, as the testimony was 
closed on the part of the contestant, omitting this proof, 
without which the contestant must fail, that it was entirely 
unnecessary to take any testimony on the part of your 
memorialist. Accordingly, relying upon this fatal defect, 
and the fact that no additional notice was '-erved to supply 
the omission, the counsel of memorialist did not take any 
testimony, save that of one witness, examined by consent 
long prior to the time the case was closed by the contest- 
ant. When the notice was served there was no necessity 
for rebutting any presumption which might arise in favor 
of Mr. Daily. There could not be any purgation of votes so 
as to prejudice the right of memorialist to hold his seat, as 
the oflScial majority had- not been established. The case 



298 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

remained in this condition, so far as your memorialist or 
his council [counsel] had any knowledge, until the testi- 
mony transmitted by the magistrate was opened by the 
clerk of your honorable body at the expiration of the 
sixty days, (after which no testimony can be taken except 
by order of the House,) and to the utter astonishment of 
your memorialist and his council [counsel], it was found 
that the important omission referred to was supplied by a 
certified copy of a certain "abstract," and that other docu- 
mentary matter, treated by the committee as evidence, had 
been interpolated into the record, injurious to the rights 
of your memorialist. Your memorialist would particularly 
refer to- that which purports to have been the proceedings 
of a public meeting in Buffalo county, p. 74 of the testi- 
mony ; and the letter of Gov. Black, p. 95, and the certified 
copy of abstract, p. 98, all made to occupy a prominent 
place as evidence in the report of the committee, and with- 
out which no report could have been made against your 
memorialist, and which neither your memorialist nor his 
council [counsel] had ever seen, or had an opportunity to 
attack, disprove, or impeach, believing, under the notice 
that the testimony was closed, that nothing intended a» 
evidence would be introduced without first giving the "new 
notice" promised. Hence, on appearing before the com- 
mittee your memorialist was taken entirely by surprise; 
but, trusting that matter introduced under such circum- 
stances would not be regarded by the committee as evi- 
dence, he went to a hearing without asking for time to ex- 
plain it, and impeach the presumptions raised by the en- 
tire evidence. 

Your memorialist, therefore, would ask for a reason- 
able time to take testimony, and would adduce as rea- 
sons — 

First, That he did not introduce witnesses, because, as 
the case stood when the notice referred to was served, it 
was unnecessary. 

Second. The evidence adduced afterwards was with- 
out notice, and in the absence of such evidence the com- 
mittee could not have done otherwise than report in favor 
of memorialist. 

Third. Memorialist would have taken testimony, and 
could have explained and overthrown the supposed j)rima 
facie case made by contestant, if his counsel had not im- 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 300 

plicitly relied upon the notice that no moi*e testimony 
would be taken, &c. 

Foui'th. If time is given, he will prove that in Gage 
county, where a majority of forty-two was counted for 
Daily, there was no organization according to law, and 
that after the election the legislature passed an act legal- 
izing the organization; and the same reason exists for 
throwing out this vote as influenced the committee in ex- 
cluding Buffalo county. 

Fifth. Your memorialist will also prove beyond cavil, 
that the vote of Buffalo county, as counted by the canvass- 
ers, including Kearny City precinct, did not exceed the 
actual legal votes in that county on the 11th day of Octo- 
ber last; and that the voters in Kearn}' City precinct were 
legally such, and should not be disfranchised. 

8U'th. That he has been informed and believes that 
there were and are settlers in Izard and Calhoun counties, 
and that he can establish the regularity of the election in 
those counties by competent testimony. 

Seventh. That he will prove that the election in FEau 
qui Court county was conducted according to law, and that 
the pei*80us whose names appear as voters were actual 
residents and entitled to vote at said election. From these 
counties the committee have deducted from the vote of 
your memorialist four hundred and eight ballots, by which 
they elect Mr. Daily ; and, if time is given for taking testi- 
mony, will be by the same committee reinstated and placed 
again to the credit of your memorialist. 

Eighth. Your memorialist will also prove that a large 
number of fraudulent votes were cast and counted for Mr. 
Daily in Nemaha, Richardson, Otoe, Douglas, Cass, Cedar, 
and other counties, and that there was gross fraud and 
illegality in making up the returns in Nemaha county, by 
which Mr. Daily received a large number of illegal votes in 
the final count. 

All of which was charged in the answer to the notice 
of contest, and could and would liave been proven, had it 
not been for the fact of the important omission in the con- 
testant's testimony, before referred to, and the notice that 
no more testimony would be taken, &c. 

In view of these facts, under the peculiar circum- 
stances of this case and to the end that justice may be 
done to your memorialist, he would respectfully pray your 



300 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

honorable body for such reasonable time as may be neces- 
sary to explain the evidence taken by Mr. Daily, to confirm 
the vote counted for memorialist, and to bring to light the 
frauds perpetrated upon the ballot box by the other side, 
by which the vote of contestant was largelv increased. 

E. ESTABROOK. 

Richard Wigginton Thompson, a prominent politician, 
of Indiana, and secretary of the navy in the administra- 
tion of President Hayes, summed up the case for Daily, but 
it is omitted, inasmuch as the report of the friendly par- 
tisan committee on elections, which follows, covers the 
same ground. 

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES 

36th Congress, [ ^^ottspi m;;' T?Ti^T>T?Tnc3i^iMT'AnrTVT^s S Report 

No. 446. 



'ist^sSon^' [ HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. j 



April 20, 1860. — Laid upon the table, and ordered to be 

printed. 



Mr. Campbell, from the Committee on Elections, sub- 



mitted the following 



REPORT. 



The Committee on Elections, to whom, was referred the 
memorial of Samuel G. Daily, contesting the right of 
Experience Estahroolc, the sitting delegate, to a seat 
in the 36th Congress, as the delegate representing the 
Territory of Nebraska, heg leave to submit the follow- 
ing report: 

The election out of which this contest has arisen took 
place on the 14th [11th] day of October, 1859. The re- 
turns filed in the office of the secretary of the Territory — 
where, by law, they were required to'^be filed — show that 
3,100 votes were counted for Mr. Estabrook and 2,800 for 
Mr. Daily. The former having, by this count, a majority of 
300, the governor of the Territory issued to him the certifi- 
cate of election, by virtue of which he is now the sitting 
delegate. 

The committee find, however, from an examination of 
the evidence before them, that in order to make for Mr. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 301 

Estabrook the aggregate of 3,100 votes, there has been 
counted for him 292 votes as polled in thyi county of Buf- 
falo, 28 votes as polled in the county of Calhoun, 21 votes 
as polled in the county of Izard, 20 votes as polled at the 
precinct of Genoa, in the county of Monroe, and, according 
to their estimate, 68 votes as polled in the county of L'Eau 
Qui Court, all of which are illegal. And they will proceed 
to state the reasons which have brought tliem to this con- 
clusion. 

1. As to the votes from Buffalo county : 

By an act passed by the legislature of Nebraska Terri- 
tory March 14, 1855, provision was made for the organiza- 
tion of this county. This is its language: "That all that 
p>ortion of territory included in the following limits is 
hereby declared organized into a county, to be called Buf- 
falo: Commencing at a point in the centre of the Platte 
river, ten miles east from the mouth of Wood river, run- 
ning thence westward up the southern channel of the 
Platte to the mouth of Buffalo creek; thence north thirty 
miles; thence east to a point directly north of the place of 
beginning; thence south to the place of beginning. The 
seat of justice is hereby located at Nebraska Centre." 

No steps were taken, under the laws of the Territory, 
for the organization of this county by the election of offi- 
cers; and it is the opinion of the committee that without 
such election there could be no organization. The act of 
the legislature does not organize a county; it merely pro- 
vides for and authorizes an organization — that is, it au- 
thorizes an election to be held for county officers, under the 
general law regulating elections. If no such election is 
held, the county, notwithstanding the act of the legisla- 
ture, cannot exercise any of the powers of an organized 
county, and cannot legally vote either for territorial offi- 
cers or delegate to Congress. 

The legislature of the Territory of Nebraska has pro- 
vided by an act "in relation to new counties :" "That when- 
ever the citizens of any unorganized county desire to have 
the same organized, they may make application by petition, 
in writing, signed by a majority of the legal voters of said 
county, to the judge of probate of the county to which such 
unorganized county is attached, whereupon said judge of 
probate shall order an election for county officers in such 
unorganized county." It then provides for a notice of the 



302 NEBEASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

election, and a return of the votes "to the organized 
county," the execution of the necessary bonds by the offi- 
cers elected, and the entire mode of consummating the 
organization. And it further provides that until this is 
done "all unorganized counties shall be attached to the 
nearest organized county directly east of them for election, 
judicial, and revenue purposes."'^ 

The committee do not suppose that the legislature in- 
tended to dispense with this mode of organization by the 
simple use of the word ^'organize-' in the act creating a 
county. To suppose that they did would be to assume that 
they designed to prevent an election by the people of the 
necessary county officers. They know of no possible mode 
of legally organizing a county except by the election of 
officers by the people — a rule which must meet with uni- 
versal assent under a popular form of government. 

It is not pretended that Buffalo county was attached 
"to the nearest organized county directly east of it for 
election purposes, for the vote is reported from Buffalo 
county directly; and hence, the only question to be in- 
quired into is, whether or not it was so organized as that a 
vote could be legally polled within it? 

It appears from the evidence that in May preceding the 
election the governor of the Territory was solicited "to ap- 
point the county officers for Buffalo county," but that find- 
ing himself possessed of "no such power," he declined to do 
it. The governor was clearly right in this determination. He 
had no power to appoint officers; not even to fill a vacancy. 
He had once possessed this latter power, but the legislature 
had taken it away, and had provided that the vacancies 
should be only filled by election. But he was as clearly 
wrong in the other conclusion to whicli he came. He says 
that he considered "that Buffalo county "was fully organ- 
ized by the act of the territorial legislature." How it was 
organized without officers^ he does not say, and the com- 
mittee have already stated that, in their opinion, such a 
thing is impossible. But, acting upon this strange as- 
sumption, he says he advised tlie course which he con- 
sidered necessary to be taken. This was, that application 
should be made to the county commissioners of the nearest 
county on the east to have the initiatory steps taken for 
the election of county officers. It is not material to in- 
quire whether he was right or wrong in this, because it 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 303 

does not appear that any such steps were ever taken. On 
the contrary, it is in proof that a few persons met together, 
without any notice, and, after the manner of a public meet- 
ing for political or other purposes, elected a president and 
secretary, and, upon mere motion and vote, chose all the 
county officers. The proceedings of the meeting were 
signed by the president and secretary, and forwarded to 
the governor; who, upon the strength of it, commissioned 
the officers so chosen, although there is no law authorizing 
him to issue commissions to county officers. And these are 
the officers who must have conducted the pretended elec- 
tion in Buffalo county, and who returned the 292 votes 
sent from that county for the sitting delegate. The com- 
mittee consider the whole of these proceedings irregular 
and void in law. 

The committee cannot omit further comment upon this 
extraordinary proceeding; for, to your committee, extra- 
ordinary it seems, in every sense of the term. The meeting 
was held on the 25th of June, 1852, at the place designated 
in the act of the legislature as the county seat, and where, 
according to the proof, there is "one dwelling-house, one 
storehouse, one barn or stable, and one warehouse/^ and 
where but "three persons" constituted the population. The 
object of the meeting was avowed to be the "recommending 
suitable persons to fill the several offices of Buffalo county." 
And this object was carried out by the simple adoption of 
the several motions put to the meeting. For example: 
Mr. Charles A. Henry moved that Henry Peck be chosen 
probate judge, Charles T. Lutz sheriff, Joseph Huff com- 
missioner of one of the precincts, Patrick Care justice of 
the peace, and John Evans constable, and they were all so 
chosen by the adoption of the motion. And so of all the 
rest. And then it was resolved "that Dr. Henry, with men 
living in the eastern precinct, do have them recommend 
suitable persons to fill the offices of justice of the peace and 
constable" in a precinct not supplied with officers at this 
meeting. And the whole proceedings closed with a resolu- 
tion to the effect that the meeting "recommend" the above- 
named gentlemen to hold the several offices to which they 
have been nominated by this meeting, and request the 
governor of this Territory to commission them for said 
offices." 

It will be seen that this meeting merely "nominated" 



304 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

these officers, and recommended them to be commissioned 
by the governor; or, in other words, that it designed that 
the governor should appoint them. It has been already 
stated that the governor had no such power — that he could 
have nothing to do with the selection or commissioning of 
officers. Yet, notwithstanding this want of power, he did 
both appoint and commission the persons recommended 
and nominated by this meeting, and several others who 
were not recommended. It needs no argument to prove 
that no authority to hold an election or to transact any 
county business was conferred upon tliese persons by his 
act, and that all their proceedings are absolutely void. It 
is of no consequence to inquire what power he considered 
himself as possessing, since the fact that he did appoint 
them appears in proof. In a letter dated July 26, 1859, and 
written from the "executive chamber," to one of the per- 
sons nominated to him, he says: "I have this day ap- 
pointed the following officers,-' &c., going on to enumerate 
those who were nominated by the meeting. All these pro- 
ceedings were in clear violation of law. 

The foregoing facts in relation to the pretended organ- 
ization of Buffalo county being made by the contestant, 
and the sitting delegate having offered no evidence of any 
other organization, it is necessarily to be inferred that 
there was no other ; since, if there had been, he would have 
had no difficulty in showing it. Indeed, he has left it to 
be inferred from his mode of cross-examining the governor, 
whose testimony has been taken, that lie did not rely upon 
any organization, but upon the legality of that made by 
the governor. The committee, therefore, conclude that 
there was no other, and have no difficulty in deciding that 
to be clearly in violation of law. 

The 292 votes which were returned from Buffalo county 
were, therefore, illegally counted by the canvassers for the 
sitting delegate, and should be deducted from his poll. 

It is apparent to the committee, from the proof in the 
case, that the parties who perpetrated this fraud were well 
aware of it. Of the 292 votes returned and counted from 
Buffalo county, 238 of them were reported as having been 
polled at a place called ^'Kearny City" and the certificate 
accompanying the returns state [s] that this place is ^Hn 
the county of Buffalo." This is not correct by the act lay- 
ing out the county, as already quoted ; the south boundary 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBKASKA 305 

is the Platte river, so that no part of it extends south of 
that river. Yet it is in proof tliat "Kearny City" lies on 
the south side of the Platte I A fact which must have been 
known to all the persons engaged in perpetrating this 
fraud. Such men would have no difficulty in contriving to 
furnish a list of votes for the whole county as easily as 
those furnislied for this place, and doubtless did the entire 
work from the same motive. 

It is scarcely possible that Buffalo county could have 
furnished so large a vote as 292; to have done so it must 
have been the sixth county, in point of population, in the 
Territory, and must have contained at least 1,500 inliabit- 
ants. The proof is, that there are "not over eight houses," 
and not "exceeding fifteen residents," and not "one acre of 
cultivated land or a farm-house," at or in the neighborhood 
of Kearny City; that at Nebraska Centre, the place named 
in the act as the county seat, there is only "one dwelling- 
house, one storehouse, one barn or stable, and one ware- 
house," one farm in cultivation, and one or two near by 
opening for cultivation; and at Central ia there was but a 
single individual. The sitting delegate does not offer to 
show any other settlements than these, and the committee 
are left no other alternative but to conclude that there are 
no others; if there had been it was his duty, after this proof 
made by the contestant, to have shown it. Hence, the 
whole of this vote of Buffalo county must be set aside as 
illegal and fraudulent in the opinion of the committee. 
II. As to the votes from Calhoun county: 
It is not pretended that Calhoun was an organized 
county, within the meaning of the statute. The act defin- 
ing its boundaries is entitled "an act to establish new 
counties, &c.," and it was, therefore, in the same condition 
precisely as Buffalo county; that is, the act authorized 
such steps to be taken, without additional legislation, as 
were necessary to its organization. Like Buffalo, it could 
have been organized by the proper application to the 
county commissioners or probate judge (no matter which) 
of the nearest county on the east. But nothing of this kind 
was done. On the contrary, it was attached to the county 
of Platte for election purposes, and constituted a voting 
precinct of that county ; and as such voting precinct it was 
the duty of those who had charge of the election there to 
return the poll-books to the clerk of Platte county, whose 

21 



306 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

duty it was, by law, to send an abstract of them to the 
governor. But this was not done. Instead of doing it 
they sent the returns directly to the governor, and they 
were taken out of the post office by his private secretary, 
who opened and examined them, and then sent them him- 
self to the clerk of Platte count}-, with directions to return 
them with the Platte county returns. This was manifestly 
a violation of law. The law of the Territory, as also of all 
the States, has pointed out a particular mode of making 
election returns, and has designated particular officers 
who shall open and inspect them. If they are opened and 
inspected by any others they are thereby vitiated; for if 
such a practice were tolerated innumerable frauds might 
be perpetrated, and the popular will defeated. By the law 
of Nebraska Territory the votes polled in Calhoun county 
could not be properly opened by any other persons than the 
probate judge and three disinterested householders of 
Platte county. Yet it is in proof that they were opened by 
the private secretary of the governor, and it is not proven or 
pretended that the probate judge, or any three household- 
ers of Platte county, ever saw them. On the contrary, it is 
proven that they were sent by the private secretary of the 
governor to the clerk of Platte county, and by him sent 
back to the governor. The clerk must have opened them 
himself; this is the necessary inference. 

In the opinion of the committee, therefore, this viola- 
tion of law vitiates the whole of the returns from Calhoun 
county. And the committee think that, for another reason, 
they should be set aside as fraudulent. 

The contestant has proven by competent witnesses that 
the entire settlements in this county consisted of two 
families in the northwestern part, and four families in the 
southeastern part of the county, and that the whole voting 
population of the county does not exceed six! Yet there 
are 32 votes returned; 28 for the sitting delegate, and 4 for 
the contestant. One witness who has resided in the county 
swears that he does not know of a voting precinct in the 
county, or of an election being held. Another swears that 
he saw the returns in the clerk's office of Platte county, 
where they were sent by the private secretary of the gover- 
nor; that he took from them the names of the persons who 
were represented as having conducted the election, and 
when these names were shown to the witness who had 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 307 

resided in that county, the latter swore that he never heard 
of such persons! From the whole of the evidence on this 
point, the committee conclude that these returns were 
forged by some person; and they are supported in this con- 
clusion by the fact that the clerk of Platte county has cer- 
tified, since this contest began, that tliey ''have been ab- 
stracted" from his office — a fact which goes to show that 
somebody had a motive for their concealment or destruc- 
tion. 

The committee think that as such proof as this has been 
made by the contestant, it was incumbent on the sitting 
delegate to show such facts as would rebut it, so as to set 
the matter right if it amounted to a misrepresentation. 
His not having done so ripens the presumptions they 
necessarily excite into convictions, and leaves the commit- 
tee no other alternative than to conclude that the whole 
vote of Calhoun county is fraudulent, and should not have 
been counted. 

The committee, in this view of the vote from Calhoun 
county, assumed it to be true, as sworn to by the private 
secretary of the governor, that this county is attached for 
election purposes to the county of Platte. But this is 
denied by the sitting delegate, who insists that it is not so 
attached, and it is in proof that the clerk of Platte county 
could find no record of a Calhoun county voting precinct 
in his office. This view of the matter leaves no doubt about 
the fraudulent character of the vote; for, if the county 
was not a voting precinct of Platte, it was evidently not 
organized, and could not legally vote at all. And besides, 
sending the return to the clerk of Platte by the private 
secretary of the governor, and its being opened by him, 
would vitiate it, as has already been shown. 

III. As to the vote from Izard county: 

The committee cannot avoid the conviction that the 
whole vote returned from this county is fraudulent. The 
vote returned and counted was 24, of which 21 were for the 
sitting delegate and 3 for the contestant. One witness, who 
resides on the main travelled road leading to this county, 
swears that he "never saw a settler of Izard county going 
to or returning from that county, or heard of one." An- 
other, who visited the county last July, swears that he saw 
no evidence of settlement, no roads, nor any person who 
appeared to reside there; and that in travelling through 



308 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

the county he neither saw nor met any person. And a 
third swears that he has no knowledge of any settlements 
in the county, and has the opportunity of knowing if there 
were any. He says he has no doubt there are none at all. 

This the committee consider to be competent proof. 
The nonsettlement of a county could be proved in no way ; 
and being competent, it so establishes the fact of their 
being no inhabitants in Izard county as to make it con- 
clusive, inasmuch as the sitting delegate has offered no 
proof to the contrary. His not doing so leaves the infer- 
ence a necessary and inevitable one, that the county was 
wholly without population. And having no population it 
could not have been an organized county, and consequently 
no election could have been legally held there. The votes 
reported from there are tlierefore fraudulent, and should 
have been rejected by the canvassers. 

IV. As to the votes from the precinct of Genoa, in the 
county of Monroe : 

It is conceded that this precinct is "in the reservation 
of the Pawnee Indians," set apart for their occupancy by 
the United States. By the act of Congress organizing tlie 
Territory it is provided that the territory occupied as an 
Indian reservation shall not be considered a part of Ne- 
hra^ka Territory, but that all such territory shall be 
excepted out of the boundaries until, by arrangement be- 
tween the United States and the Indians, the title of the 
latter shall be extinguished. No such arrangement as this 
having been made between the United States and the Paw- 
nee Indians as to this reserve, it was no part of the Ter- 
ritory, and hence there could be no voting precinct legally 
established within it. The votes returned from there were 
therefore illegal and fraudulent, and should be rejected. 

V. As to the votes from L'Eau Qui Court county : 
The entire vote of this county was counted for the sitting- 
delegate, it being 128 votes. A gentleman who represented 
the county in the legislature of the Territory swears that 
there are only from thirty to thirty-five votes in the county ; 
and the witness swears that there are but two settlements 
in it, and that it is generally unsettled. The only witness 
whose testimony has been taken by the sitting delegate 
makes a statement to some extent contradictory of these, 
and speaks of five settlements in different parts of the 
county. At one of these he says there is only "a single 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 309 

family;" at another, "probably half a dozen voters;" at 
another, "three dwellings, and muy he more;" at another, 
"one house;" and at the last, tlie county seat, "about 
twenty or twenty-live houses." He speaks also of having 
seen some emigrants going to two other portions of the 
county, but does not say whether or not they settled there ; 
and he also says that the year before the county polled 
eighty votes. The committee conclude, from all the evi- 
dence, that there cannot be over sixty votes in the county, 
and that all the vote above that number is fraudulent; that 
is, that sixty-eight votes should be deducted from the num- 
ber counted for the sitting delegate. 

The fraud in this county is abundantly proven. Two of 
the witnesses visited the county after the election to pro- 
cure a copy of the poll-book. They succeeded in obtaining 
it from the clerk, but it was taken away from them by a 
mob and destroyed before they could ^et out of the county, 
those who composed the mob declaring that they were par- 
ties to the fraud, and were resolved not to be exposed. The 
original poll-books were afterwards stolen from the clerk's 
office, and, doubtless, were also destroyed by the same men ; 
but the witnesses saw enough of them to swear that they 
contained the names of Howell Cobb, Aaron V. Brown, "ten 
names of McRea in consecutive order," and several others 
whom they knew to be non-residents of the county. 

This proof of the contents of this poll-book is entirely 
competent, since the loss of the original is shown, and 
shows such fraud as ought not to go unpunished by the 
proper territorial authorities. The committee, in view of 
them, are satisfied that they have made a liberal allowance 
for the vote of the county. 

The committee deem it due to the sitting delegate to 
^tSiia their opinion ui>on the main preliminary points made 
by him. 

He insists first: That under the act of February 19, 
1851, but one notice of contest could be served by contest- 
ant ui)on the sitting delegate, and that, having served that 
one notice, the power under the act, is exhausted; and 
whether sufficient or not, the contestant must abide by it. 

Your committee entirely dissent from this position. In 
their view more than one notice may be served under the 
act of 1851, provided they shall be served within the time 
required by that act; and they may be treated as one no- 



310 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

tice, or as supplemental notices, or the contestant may, 
with notice to the opposite party, withdraw an insufficient 
notice and serve a sufficient notice in the place thereof. All 
the act of 1851 contemplates is fair notice of the subject- 
matter of contest within the time specified by the act itself. 
As the sitting delegate has had such notice, in the opinion 
of the committee, he has no ground for complaint. 

Second. That there is no competent proof showing the 
result of the election. 

The committee think otherwise. The proof upon this 
point consists of a copy of the abstract showing the result, 
as ascertained by the governor and the other canvassers, 
and filed by the governor in the office of the secretary of the 
Territory. The law of the Territory makes it the duty of 
these canvassers to count the votes and ascertain the result 
of the election. This must necessarily consist of the put- 
ting together of the several returns, summing them up, 
and thus ascertaining the result. When the result is thus 
ascertained, the governor is required to issue a certificate 
of election to the person having the liighest number of 
votes. He, of course, files away the result or abstract 
amongst the executive records as the evidence upon which 
his certificate is based. Tlie returns of the clerks of the 
several counties would not be such evidence, wheresoever 
filed, for they show no result. They are mere abstracts of 
the poll-books returned from the precincts, and are sent 
to the governor that one general and final abstract may be 
made, showing the aggregate of votes and the result; and 
this final abstract is, from its very nature, a public record 
belonging to the executive department. 

The act for the organization of Nebraska provides that 
the secretary of the Territory shall preserve all the acts 
and proceedings of the governor which pertain to his ex- 
ecutive duties. He is, therefore, made the custodian of this 
abstract, and as the original must remain where it is, it is 
competent to prove its contents by a certified copy. Thar, 
is done in this case, and the committee think it is the best 
evidence that could be offered. 

The certificate attached to the abstract shows that the 
officers of the Territory put this construction upon the 
law ; for it states that it was filed in the office of the secre- 
tary by tJie governor, which was, of course, done in obedi- 
ence to what the governor considered his duty under the 
law. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 311 

Third. That the abstract of votes cannot be properly 
received, because the contest was closed on January 6, 
1860, by a notice from the contestant that he would take 
no further testimony, and the abstract was afterwards pro- 
cured from the secretary. 

There is, as the committee think, nothing in this objec- 
tion ; there is nothing in the facts of the case to give it 
plausibility even. On the 6th of January, 1860, the attor- 
ney of the contestant served upon the attorney for the sit- 
ting delegate a notice to the effect that the contestant 
would "proceed no further for the present with the exam- 
iiwtioii of witnesses/^ &c. ; and in the notice it was said, 
"whether any further testimony shall be taken in his be- 
half is a question reserved for further consideration;'' 
* * * "should it be deemed necessary to exercise it, a new 
notice to that effect will of course be given." 

The committee understand this as having reference 
manifestly only to the '^examination of witnesses.'' The 
whole context of the notice shows this, and its object is 
stated to be that the sitting delegate may have an oppor- 
tunity of proceeding to take his evidence. It says that if 
any further evidence is taken notice will be given. This, 
of course, refers to the taking of depositions; for no notice 
is necessary to obtain a certified copy of a record. Suppose 
the contestant had notified the sitting delegate that on a 
certain day he would apply at the office of the secretary 
and demand a certified copy of the abstract, what advan- 
tage could it be to him? The secretary, in making and 
certifying the copy, is not a witness, and could not be 
cross-examined. He performs the whole duty of making 
and certifying the copy without uttering a word; and the 
sitting delegate could not have interposed a valid objection 
to his doing so, for all citizens have a right to such copies 
of the public records. The argument that such a notice is 
necessary to obtain a record is frivolous. 

But it is said that the sitting delegate is deprived of 
the opportunity of showing that this abstract is false. He 
does not allege it to he false. If he did, the committee 
would with pleasure have given him the opportunity to 
prove it so. But this paper was sent to the House by the 
judge in Nebraska, before whom the testimony was taken, 
sealed up with the other papers, and was along with them 
referred to this committee on the 16th of February, 1860. 



312 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

The order to print was made on the 23d of February, 1860. 
The sitting delegate was bound to know, and might have 
known, (if he did not know,) with reasonable diligence, 
that this abstract was among the papers before the pro- 
bate judge and your committee all the time. If he had 
desired to allege anything against its validity or truthful- 
ness, it was his duty to have brought it to the notice of 
the committee and House, and have asked for permission 
to substantiate his accusation by proof. But he has done 
nothing of this kind, and only argues against the certificate 
that he should have had notice when it was obtained, since 
if he had had such notice he might have shown it to be 
false. The committee are unable to appreciate the force 
of this argument, but consider the paper, having reached 
the House and committee regularly, together with the 
other papers, as competent proof. They consider the seal 
of the secretary as giving his certificate the import of ab- 
solute verity, and decline to impeach it except in a direct 
mode. As the sitting delegate has made no such case as 
involves an inquiry into its validity, the committee have 
declined to prosecute a collateral one. 

Fourth. That the evidence has not been taken before 
a proper officer, within the contemplation of the act of 
1851. 

The act of 1851 provides that depositions may be taken 
before justices of the peace, notaries public, or judges of 
courts of record. In this case they were taken before a 
judge of a court of probate in Nebraska, and it is insisted 
by the sitting delegate that a court of probate is not a court 
of record. The committee think differently. Such a court 
can do nothing without a record, and from the very nature 
of its duties, it must be a court of record. But if it were 
possible to doubt about such a iwsition, the statute of Ne- 
braska Territory has, in so many words, declared courts of 
probate to be courts of record. — (Laws of Nebraska, 1855, 
page 119.) 

Other technical objections were made by the sitting 
delegate, which are so immaterial as to render any refer- 
ence to them wholly unnecessary. 

The committee consider the case of the contestant 
clearly and abundantly proven, and from the absence of 
any contrary proof on the part of the sitting delegate, are 
compelled to regard the contestant as entitled to the seat 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 313 

The frauds are palpable ; so much so as to require that they 
shall be rebuked by the House as emphatically as possible. 
If such conduct should be tolerated, it Avould most se- 
riously assail the integrity of the ballot-box. 

The result to which they have come may be summed up, 
therefore, as follows: 

Estabrook's whole vote 3,100 

Daily's whole vote 2,800 

Estabrook's majority 300 

Illegal votes counted for Estabrook: 

Buffalo county 292 

Calhoun county 28 

Izard county 21 

L'Eau Qui Court county 68 

Genoa precinct, Monroe county 20 

Total of illegal votes 429 

Illegal votes counted for Daily: 

Calhoun county 4 

Izard county 3 

Genoa precinct 3 

Total of illegal votes 10 

There should be, therefore, deducted from the 3,100 
Yotes counted for the sitting delegate, 429 illegal and 
fraudulent votes, which will reduce the whole vote cast for 
him to 2,671; and from the 2,800 votes counted for con- 
testant, there should be deducted 10 illegal and fraudulent 
votes, which will make his whole vote 2,790, and this gives 
to the contestant a majority of 119 votes. 

The committee, therefore, recommend the adoption of 
the following resolutions : 

Resolved, That Experience Estabrook is not entitled to 
the seat as delegate from the Territory of Nebraska to ihe 
thirty-sixth Congress of the United States. 

Resolved, That Samuel G. Daily is entitled to the seat 
as delegate from the Territory of Nebraska to the thirty- 
sixth Congress of the United States. 



314 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



NOTES TO CONTESTED ELECTIONS OF DELEGATES 

^ Table of votes cast at the election, History of Nebmska, I, 
190 note. 

^ The editor has given full accounts of the territorial elec- 
tions in question in the first volume of the History of Nebraska. 

3 Ibid., p. 190. 

* Congressional Globe, 2d sess. 33d Cong., XXX, 198. 

"^ History of Nebraska, I, 190; The Nebraska Advertiser, 
July 30, 1857. 

° September 13, 1788, the congress of the confederation of 
states declared, on authority conferred by the convention 
which formed the constitution of the United States, that *'the 
first Wednesday in March next'' should be ''the time for com- 
mencing proceedings under the said constitution." Accordingly, 
soon after the first Congress under the constitution assembled, 
a joint committee of the body determined that the terms of 
senators of the first class and of representatives commenced 
on that day — March 4, 1789 — and that they must necessarily 
terminate with the third of March, 1791. According to prac- 
tice, the third of March continues until noon of the fourth, and 
consequently each succeeding Congress has commenced at that 
day and hour. House Manual, 3d sess. 62d Cong., 1912-1913, p. 
4 note. An act of Congress passed February 2, 1872, pro- 
vided that in 1876 and every second year thereafter represen- 
tatives and delegates should be elected on the Tuesday next 
after the first Monday in November to the Congress commen- 
cing on the fourth day of March thereafter, t/. S. Statutes at 
Large, XVII, 28; U. 8. Compiled Statutes 1901, I, sec. 25. This 
act of course made unnecessary state or territorial legislation 
on the subject. The act of March 3, 1875, gave such states as 
were obliged to change their constitutions in order to comply 
with the general federal law an opportunity to do so. Ibid. 

' Congressional Globe, 1st sess. 34th Cong., p. 3. 

^ Laws of Nebraska, second session of the Legislative As- 
sembly, p. 79. 

" An act of the fifth territorial assembly, passed October 25, 
1858, changed the time for holding general elections to the 
second Tuesday in October; in 1859 this occurred on the 
eleventh of October. 

^^ The notorious Jack Morrow. His best known ranch o» 
hostelry was situated not far south of the forks of the Platte 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 315 

River. In The Indian War of 1864 . page 06, Eugene Ware de 
scribes the place and its proprietor. Mr. John Bratt, who was 
a resident of North Platte, Nebraska, remembered that Morrow 
conducted a road ranch at the time in question which was 
situated in the neighborhood of Kearny City. He died in 
Omaha July 14, 1876, possessed of "a handsome property." 

" Thei-e is an account, by the editor, of the controversy over 
this tract in the first volume of the history of Nebraska, pages 
378-382. 

" The statement that Gage, Clay, and Lancaster counties 
were wholly unorganized is inaccurate if not wholly untrue. 
Clay and Lancaster were included in the legislative apportion- 
ment of 1856 and Gage in that of 1857. Gage and Clay elected 
county oflScers and voted at the general election in 1857. Gage 
voted at general elections and elected county officers continu- 
ously from that time. Clay does not appear in the list of 
counties voting in 1858, though all of the three counties were 
included with Cass in a representative district, entitled to four 
members, in the election proclamation issued by Governor 
Izard, May 30, 1857. Governor Richardson, who succeeded 
Ifcard, did not assume authority to apportion membership of 
the General Assembly, and there is no mention of Clay, Lan- 
caster, or Gage county by the journals of the fifth assembly — 
1857-58 — or by the newspapers, as belonging to the Cass dis- 
trict or any other district; but in the House jownal of that 
session four members, the same number allowed to the district 
comprising four counties in the preceding assembly, were ac- 
credited to Cass county. An act of the fifth assembly, passed 
November 3, 1858, constituted Johnson, Clay, and Gage coun- 
ties a representative district, and Cass and Lancaster a rep- 
resentative district. The first delegate convention of the 
Democratic party in Nebraska, held August 18, 1859, seated a 
delegate from Lancaster county and two delegates represent- 
ing Johnson, Gage and Clay. An act of the territorial as- 
sembly, approved January 11, 18r)l, provided that thereafter 
a term of court should be held annually in Clay county; an 
act of January 9, 1862, recognized the legal existence of the 
county by legalizing its assessment for taxes of 1861, and the 
apportionment act of February 1, 1864, included it with the 
counties of Lancaster, Seward, and Saunders in a joint rep- 
resentative district, though an act of February 15, 1864, ended 
its existence by incorporating a part of it in Lancaster county 
and the remainder in Gage county. The vote of Clay county 
was accepted without question in the election of 1860, for a 
delegate to Congress, and at the election for the same purpose 
in 1862. Pierce county was changed in form and name by the 
first General Assembly. It was called Ottoe, then the local 



316 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

way of spelling the name of the tribe of Indians, who, with 
the Missouri, their amalgamated kinsmen, had immemorially 
owned the territory comprised in all of these first eight coun- 
ties which lay south of the Platte river, until they ceded it to 
the United States on the 15th of March, 1854.' The Platte 
Elver was the boundary of Cass county, as designated by 
Cuming. 

The organization of Lancaster county was authorized by 
an act of the first territorial assembly, passed March 6, 1855, 
and again by the act of the second a^ssembly, passed January 
26, 1856, though not including the same territory. By the first 
act the Platte River was its northern boundary, and its 
southern boundary was a line extending west twenty-four 
miles from the southwest corner of Cass county, as it was 
formed by the act of the first assembly by which its southern 
boundary extended twenty-four miles westward from the 
Missouri River on its original southern line. Cass and Pierce 
were two of the original eight counties whose boundaries were 
established by Acting Governor Cuming by authority of the 
organic act of the territory. These outlines were uncertain 
and indefinite, due in part to carelessness and in part to in- 
adequate knowledge of the country. The Weeping Water and 
a line running west from its headwaters to the western boun- 
dary of the territory ceded hy the Oto Indians — about seventy- 
five miles beyond the Missouri River — were designated as the 
boundary between the two counties. The southern boundary 
of Pierce county followed Camp Creek from its mouth, about 
two miles and a half below the present boundary line between 
Otoe and Nemaha counties, to a point on the creek twenty 
miles south of the northern boundary of the county, and thence 
due west to the limit of the Oto and Missouri country. The 
Missouri River was the eastern, and the limit of the Oto coun- 
try the western boundary of both counties. Green county, 
which also was bounded on the north by the Platte River and 
on the south by an extension due west of the southern boun- 
dary of Cass, formed the western boundary of Lancaster. 

The act of January 26, 1856, extended Otoe and Cass about 
eight miles farther west and pushed Lancaster that much 
farther westward, so that its western boundary fell in line 
with that of Gage. The northern boundary was brought down 
from the Platte River to its present situation to make room 
for Calhoun county, whose vote was rejected in the Daily-Esta- 
brook contest. But this new county extended only to the 
fourth standard parallel on the north, leaving the fractional 
township 17, of ranges 5, 6, 7, 8, bordering on the Platte 
River, unincorporated until the act of November 3, 1858, an- 
nexed it to Calhoun county. The first territorial assembly 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 317 

which the republicans controlled convened December 3, 1861, 
and for the name of the famous southern statesman it 
promptly substituted that of the new republican j^overnor of 
the territory, Saunders. By the act of February 12, 1866, a 
strip two miles in width from the northern side of township 
12, range 2, Cass county, Avas attached to Saunders. With this 
exception the county retains the form it took by the act of 
1858. The city of Ashland is situated near the northeast 
corner of the appended strip. With the exception of this 
transfer to Saunders, Cass county retains the form given it by 
the act of January 26, 1856. 

By the act of February 15, 1864, the northern half of Clay 
county — townships 7 and 8 — was added to Lancaster, and the 
southern half to Gage. These two counties retain the form 
they then assumed. 

In the office of the secretary of state there are full returns 
of the election in Clay county, held in 1859, for delegate to Con- 
gress and territorial officers. They are signed by H. J. Pierce, 
county clerk. There are returns also of the election held 
March 5, 1860, for the purpose of choosing a delegate to the 
constitutional convention who would represent Clay, Saline, 
Lancaster, Green, Calhoun, and Butler counties, and to vote 
for or against the proposition to hold a convention. George 
Noxon and John Cadman of Clay were the two candidates. 
The returns were signed by E. C. Austin, ''Clerk of Clay Co., 
N. T.", and were dated at Austin, Clay county, regularly or 
iri*egularly the county seat. Cadman received 26 votes in the 
three precincts and Noxon seven votes. There are returns also 
of the votes for Daily, and Judge John F. Kinney, of Otoe 
county — candidates for the office of delegate to Congress in 
1862 — from Johnson, Clay, and Gage counties. The figures 
for the several counties are given separately but all on one 
sheet of paper and signed by James S. Daily, county clerk of 
Johnson county. Clay county gave five votes for Daily and 
twenty-five for Kinney. 

Returns of the vote of Clay county for delegate to Congress 
in 1857 and for four members of the territorial assembly are 
signed by James R. Porter, deputy clerk of Cass county. 
Fenner Ferguson was the only candidate for delegate voted 
for. 

James Cardwell, T. M. Marquett, Lawson Sheldon, and 
Samuel Maxwell received votes as candidates for memberehip 
of the fourth territorial House of Representatives. James A. 
Cardwell was a member of the third territorial House of Rep- 
resentatives, and William Wiles, of Plattsmouth, stated to the 
editor, on the 25th of June, 1861, that he then lived two miles 
and a half south of that town. According to the Andreas his- 



318 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

tory of Nebraska (page 1036) James Card well settled in Lan- 
caster county, near the subsequent site of Waverly, in Novem- 
ber, 1857 — subsequent to the election of that year. James 
Cardwell and James A. Cardwell were probably identical. 

In a letter dated "Lancaster County N T March 7 1860", 
''L. J. Loder Clerk of Lancaster Co." informs '*Mr. Morton 
Esq." that Lancaster county polled eleven votes for and ten 
against state government, and asks for the books to which the 
county is entitled. Returns of the vote of Clay county in 1861, 
for territorial auditor, were signed by J. H. Butler, John Bar- 
rett, and John O. Adams, "Board of Kxamination", and E. C. 
Austin, county clerk of Clay county. 

In a letter dated "Austin, Mar. 9th 1860", addressed to J. 
S. Morton, then secretary of the territory, E. C. Austin, county 
clerk of Clay county, gives a list of the officei-s of the county, 
as follows: Judge [probate], H. W. Parker; clerk, E. C. Aus- 
tin; sheriff, C. E. Austin; register, J. H. Goodwin; commis- 
sioners, J. H. Butler, James Goodwin, James Silvernail; jus- 
tices of the peace, J. Grant, Ed. Austin, J. W. Prey, John Cad- 
man; constables, J. Butler, W. Vanclief, James Prey; superin- 
tendent of schools, Charles Barrett; treasurer, J. B. Shaw. The 
letter instructed the secretary to, "Please ship by boat and 
direct to E. C. Austin, Brownville. Care of T. Hill." 

So the metropolis of the extreme southeast part of the ter- 
ritory, about fifty-five miles distant, was the most convenient 
port of the experimental settlement whose site is now within 
Lancaster county. 

In Records Nebraska Ter.. pages 247-253, are the names of 
officers elected, "as returned by the difl'erent county clerks of 
Nebraska Territory, for election of October 11th 1859, under 
their official seals." Washington, Platte, Dodge, Johnson, Mon- 
roe, Cass, Dakota, L'Eau Qui Court, Hall, Richardson, Dixon, 
Sarpy, Gage, Burt, Douglas, Cuming, Cedar, Nemaha, Pawnee, 
and Clay comprise the list. Lancaster is omitted. In the 
same record, page 286, Clay, Gage, and Lancaster are in- 
cluded in a copy of a certificate by J. Sterling Morton, secre- 
tary and acting governor, and Augustus Hall, chief justice of 
the territorial supreme court, of the territorial board of can- 
vassers, of the vote on the proposition for state government. 

In this record (page 300) the certificate of the territorial 
canvassers, of the election of 1860, for a delegate to Congress, 
includes the counties of Clay, Gage, and Lancaster. The cer- 
tificate was signed by Samuel W. Black, governor; Augustus 
Hall, chief justice; and Robert A. Howard, district attorney. 
All of the three counties gave small republican majorities. 
The vote of Lancaster was 12 to 10. This county has been 
republican, and very much more so, ever since. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 319 

In the territorial record book called Messages and Procla- 
mations (page 90) it appears that taxes for the general fund 
were levied upon Clay county for the yeai-s 1861, 18(52, and 
18()3, and payments were made in 1862 and 1863. It appears 
also (page 96) that Gage county paid that kind of taxes in 
18()0, 1861, and 1862, and that a levy was made for 1863. In a 
military proclamation by Acting Governor Paddock, dated 
September 16, 1862, which is copied in this book, it is "ordered" 
that the several counties furnish their quota "to fill the ranks'' 
of the "First Nebraska Regiment." The quota of Clay was 2; 
of Gage, 5; of Lancaster, 2. In a statement of sinking funds 
(page 114) received and disbursed from January 1, 1862, to 
December 31, 1862, Clay county is credited with f25.80, and 
the county is recognized in the financial account for 1863 
(page 115). In a statement of the general fund prior to 1802, 
Gage is included. 

An act of the General Assembly, December 27, 1859, legal- 
ized the first organization of Gage county — in 1857, the loca- 
tion of the county seat at Beatrice, and the acts of the county 
officers. The act of March 16, 1855, "to define the boundaries 
and locate the Seat of Justice of Gage County", appointed 
William D. Gage, John B. Robertson, and Isaac L. Gibbs as 
commissioners to locate the county seat; but nothing appears 
to have been done toward organizing the county until a colony 
of settlers undertook the enterprise and designated Beatrice 
as the county seat without formal legal authority, in July, 
1857. The act of July 26, 1856, reformed the original boun- 
daries, which have not been changed except by the addition of 
two tiers of townships on the north, taken from Clay county 
by the act of 1864. Surveys were first begun in the southeast 
corner of the territory, and the lands comprised within Rich- 
ardson county had been surveyed before the act of March 7, 
1855, defining its boundaries, was passed, so they were de- 
scribed in terms of townships and ranges, while the descrip- 
tions of all the other counties, whose boundaries were defined 
by the first Legislative Assembly, were by metes and bounds. 
But inasmuch as Pawnee county extended twenty-four miles — 
equal to the width of four townships — westward from the west- 
ern boundary of Richardson, and Gage county extended the 
same distance westward from the western boundary of Pawnee, 
by the terms of the acts of the same general assembly estab- 
lishing their boundaries, the eastern and western boundary 
lines of these two counties coincided with the range lines of 
the subsequent surveys, and they remain as they were first 
fixed. 

" Alfred, father of Roscoe Conkling, the famous United 



320 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

States senator. Alfred Conkling came to Omaha from New 
York with the purpose of practicing law, but he remained only 
a short time. 

^^ The boundaries of Izard county were first defined by the 
act of the first General Assembly, March 6, 1855. The northern 
boundary line was a short distance north of the present line 
between townships 30 and 31 north ; the eastern boundar-y was 
approximately identical with the present boundary between 
ranges 4 and 5 east ; the southern boundary line ran about two 
miles south of the sixth standard parallel; the western was 
nearly identical with the line between ranges 2 and 3 west. The 
county included all of that part of the present Cedar county 
lying south of a line running east and west a little north of 
Hartington, the county seat; all of the present area of Wayne 
county except its tAvo eastern fractional townships; and four 
townships and a small fraction of another on the west of Dixon, 
from the southern boundary north; a strip about two miles 
wide of the northwest township of Cuming, of the northern 
tier of townships of Stanton, and of the two northeast town- 
ships of Madison ; the east half of Pierce ; and two of the east- 
ern townships of Knox, running from south to north. By the 
act of January 2G, 1856, the territory comprised in Izard 
county, except the strip south of the sixth standard parallel, 
was incorporated in the two new counties of Dixon and Pierce, 
and the name was transferred to new territory, contiguous to 
it on the south and now comprising all of Stanton county and 
Cuming's western tier of townships. The strip of the original 
Izard county south of the sixth standard parallel, except the 
western end now included in Madison county, was incorpo- 
rated in the new Izard county. This was the county involved 
in the contest. It was named for Mark W. Izard, of Arkansas, 
who was the first marshal and the second governor of Nebraska 
territory, and afterward became a soldier in the Confederate 
army. The eighth Legislative Assembly was the first terri- 
torial legislature which the Republican party controlled, and 
by the act of January 10, 1862, that body changed the name 
of the county to Stanton, in honor of the secretary of war in 
Abraham Lincoln's administration. An act of the eleventh 
territorial assembly, approved February 12, 1866, transferred 
the tier of townships in range four to Cuming county. This 
depletion of Stanton county's territory was not formally rec- 
ognized until the corrected boundary was incorporated in the 
compilation of 1873 called the General Statutes. The descrip- 
tion of Cuming county in this compilation includes the south- 
west corner of the Omaha Indian reservation which is excepted 
in the description of 1866. The acts of March 28, 1873, de- 
scribing the boundaries of Burt and Dakota counties, contigu- 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 321 

ous to the reservation on the north and the south, respectively, 
do not include any part of it. These acts are also incorporated 
in the General Statutes. The description of Burt county in 
the laws of 1879 (p. 77) includes a strip of the reservation 
contiguous to the county nearly eight miles wide. By the act 
of March 28, 1889, the boundary of Burt county was changed 
so as to relinquish the part included in the reservation, except 
sections 21, 22, 27 and 28, of township 24, range 10, and the 
fractional sections lying between them and the Missouri River. 

The southern boundary of the reservation runs five chains — 
one-sixteenth of a mile — south of the north boundary of the 
southern tier of sections of township 24. The remainder of 
that part of the reservation which had been included in Burt 
county was incorporated in Thurston county, which was estab- 
lished by an act of the same date. The boundaries established 
by these two acts remain unchanged. Wayne county, as first 
established in 1871, was bounded on the east by the reservation. 
An act of the legislature, March 1, 1881, undertook to add a 
strip of the reservation five miles wide and twelve miles long, 
north and south, to that county; but the supreme court of the 
state, at its September term, 1892 {Nebraska Reports, XXXV, 
231), declared the act invalid. In its opinion the court er- 
roneously says that this strip was four miles wide and four- 
teen miles long. This tract had been included in Thurston 
county when it was originally formed. 

It was thirty miles, in a direct line, from Fremont to the 
nearest point of Izard county — the southeastern corner, which 
was then, and now is also the northwestern corner of Dodge 
county. That Izard county made only this one venture in the 
exercise of the rights and duties of civic organization is sug- 
gestive of a consciousness of its imperfection. There were no 
returns from the county in the census of 1860. 

^^ See the article Neapolis, Near-Capital, volume XVIII of 
the Society's publications. 

^^ Under the law governing elections it was the duty of the 
clerks of the counties comprising the several council and rep- 
resentative districts which contained more than one county to 
meet at the office of the clerk of the county first named in the 
act creating the district, which in this case was Platte county, 
and there canvass the votes cast in the several counties, where- 
upon the clerk of the county first named was required to issue 
a certificate of election to the candidate entitled to it. Laws of 
Nebraska, second session of the Legislative Assembly, p. 52. 
The amending act of February 13, 1857, required county 
clerks to transmit abstracts of votes cast for territorial officers 
and delegate to Congress to the governor, instead of the audi- 
tor as the law of 1856 ordered. 

22 



322 NEBEASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

" In the United States census of 1860 the population of 
Platte county is not given separately, but that of Platte and 
Madison is 782 — nearly all of it in Platte county. Though the 
organization of Madison county was authorized by an act of 
the second legislative assembly, in 1856, it was not accom- 
plished until 1868. 

*^ Sixty by the census of 1860. 

^' For histories of this expedition consult House Journal of 
the sixth Legislative Assembly, page 250 ; Nebraska State His- 
torical Society, Proceedings and Collections, v. 5, second series, 
p. 231 ; History of Nebraska, v. 2, p. 155. 

2' The Elkhorn entered Izard county at a point about eight 
miles south of the northern boundary and left it about a mile 
farther north, at the west boundary. 

2* Thirty-two miles in a direct line. In 1860 Fontanelle had 
175 inhabitants. The first settlement at Fontanelle was made 
in the fall of 1854 by a colony of about thirty persons from 
Quincy, Illinois. Nebraska Palladium, Dec. 20, 1854. The 
census enumeration probably included the total settlement 
at that time — June 1, I860. Every census since that of 1860 
has enumerated the inhabitants of Fontanelle precinct all to- 
gether. There is a mere hamlet at the place. Fourteen votes 
were cast by the settlement at the first territorial election held 
December 12, 1854. These were all the votes cast in Dodge 
county. In his directions for the organization of the first eight 
counties preparatory to the first territorial election. Acting 
Governor Cuming designated "the house of Dr. M. H. Clark in 
Fontanelle precinct" as the only place for voting in Dodge 
county, and the first Legislative Assembly named Fontanelle 
"the place of justice in and for said county." An act of the 
Legislative Asembly, January 12, 1860, attached that part of 
Dodge county lying east of the Elkhorn River, including Fon- 
tanelle, to Washington county. An act of January 13 ordered 
an election to be held in Dodge county on the first Monday of 
February at which the voters should choose a location for the 
county seat and accordingly Fremont was chosen. Unfortu- 
nately the name Fontanelle was misspelled — with an a instead 
of an e in the second syllable — in the governor's proclamation 
and the act of the assembly adverted to, though it was correctly 
spelled in other acts of the same assembly and also in acts of 
the second assembly; and the error has been perpetuated by 
usage. 

^' According to the United States census of 1860, Dewitt, 
where a settlement was started in March, 1857, had fourteen 
inhabitants June 1, 1860, and by the census of 1870 it was 
reported as having no population. It was situated in the 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 323 

southwest quarter of section 4, township 22, range 6 east, 
about a mile and a half east of the Elkhorn River and about 
five miles west of north from West Point. These two places 
became rivals for the location of the county seat when the 
county was organized in 1858, and the choice of West Point by 
a popular vote emasculated Dewitt. A sectional map published 
in 1885 appropriately designated the site ''Cemetery." 

*^ A village in Otoe county, about five miles from Nebraska 
City, where Judge Kinney resided. 

'* Eight counties with very few if any inhabitants were 
"established" by the first Legislative Assembly and eight or 
nine by the second assembly. 

" Shinn's ferry, an important crossing of the Platte River, 
was about fifteen miles below the confluence of the Loup and 
eighteen miles east of Columbus. For a description of the 
ferry see Nebraska State Historical Society, Proceedings and 
Collections, II, second series, p. 55. Powhoco is a corruption 
of Pahuk, which means headland. It is the Pawnee name of 
their sacred hill, situated on the south side of the Platte River 
about two miles north of the town of Cedar Bluflr, which is the 
name given to the hill by white people. The Chicago & North- 
western railroad, from Lincoln to Fremont, runs along the 
western base of the bluff as it approaches the Platte. 

^" There is no note or record of a vote of Calhoun county 
after that of 1859; but in the apportionment of November 3, 
1858, the county was assigned to a representative district with 
Platte, Green, and Butler, though only the three counties last 
named were mentioned in the House Journal of the sixth Legis- 
lative Assembly which convened December 5, 1859; it was not 
included in the apportionment of delegates to the proposed 
constitutional convention of 1860. It was allowed two votes 
in the Republican territorial convention, held August 1, 1860, 
but was not recognized in the credentials of the Democratic 
convention of that year. It was included with the other three 
counties in the assignment of members in the House Journal of 
the seventh Legislative Assembly which convened December 3, 
1860. According to the United States census the population of 
Calhoun county, June 1, 1860, was 41. No towns, villages or 
other subdivisions were designated in the enumeration. 

*' The name of this county was changed to Knox by act of 
the state legislature, February 21, 1873. For an account of 
changes of its boundaries see Nebraska Constitutional Conven- 
tions, III, p. 486. According to the United States census of 
1860 the population of the county was only 152. 

*^Mr. James was secretary of state when Governor David 



324 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Butler was removed from oflQce by impeachment in 1871, and 
by a provision of the constitution he then became acting gover- 
nor. In the anarchical proceedings which followed Butler's 
removal Acting Governor James opposed the Butler, or Lin- 
coln, faction and prorogued the legislature to circumvent its 
attempt to gain control. He left the state and became a resi- 
dent of Colfax, Washington, in 1877. 

-® So-called because he was chosen for probate judge at the 
first election in L'Eau Qui Court county, in 1857. At the elec- 
tion of 1859 he was chosen a representative in the sixth Legis- 
lative Assembly, which convened December 5, 1859. R. M. 
Hagaman was elected county clerk and T. G. Hullihen (erro- 
neously called Callahan, page 229) sheriff at the same time. 

^° Howell Cobb, of Georgia, was a very prominent politician 
and secretary of the treasury during James Buchanan's ad- 
ministration. Aaron Venable Brown, of Tennessee, was also 
a very prominent politician and was postmaster-general under 
Buchanan's administration. Both men were extreme partisans 
of the slavery cause. 

^^ Frankfort was recognized in only one United States 
census, that of 1870, when it was credited with a population of 
63. Its post-office was discontinued in 1881. Zepeota is not 
named in any census. There is now no post-office called by 
either of these names. According to Coltou's map of Nebraska^ 
1869, Frankfort was situated near the Missouri River, four 
miles and a half west of the eastern boundary of the county. 
A road named "St. James to Frankfort" runs diagonally 
through the plat of township 33, range 2 west of the sixth 
principal meridian, and terminates in the southwest corner of 
section 8, near the Missouri River. This terminal corresponds 
approximately with the map's placing of Frankfort. Another 
road marked "St. James to Topaota" nearly parallels the 
Frankfort road at a short distance from it and terminates at 
"Topaota House", in the northwest quarter of section 18, near 
the river and about one mile west of Frankfort. Topaota is 
doubtless the Zepeota spoken of by the witnesses. The survey 
was made September 4 to 8, 1858. By the survey of October 21 
to 23, 1858, Croy's Grove extended northeast and southwest 
across the middle of section 1, township 32, range 2 west. It 
was not a town site, but apparently a grove about one mile in 
width. "Town of Nebrarah" is printed across the middle of 
the south half of section 10, township 32, range 6 west, from 
a quarter to half a mile distant from the Missouri River. The 
mouth of the Niobrara River is placed about a mile and a half 
from the northwest corner of the site. Surveyed March 15 to 
20, 1859. 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 325 

^* A settlement was started at "Breckenridge, where the San- 
tee agency is now situated, in 1857, but not long after the in- 
habitants were attracted to Niobrara by its superior promise, 
and Breckenridge became a deserted village. 

8s jip Taffe was a member of the House of Representatives 
of the tifth Legislative Assembly, which convened on the 5th of 
December, 1859, of the Council of the sixth assembly, of the 
40th, 41st, and 42d Congresses; and in 1873, following his 
career in Congress, he was editor of the Omaha Republican. 

^* The population at this place was not numerous enough to 
receive recognition by the census enumerator of 1860, and it 
does not appear on the maps of that time. 

" For additional information about Kearny City see Ne- 
braska State Historical Society, Collections, XVII, 228. 

"■' In Colton's map of Nebraska, published in 1869, Ne- 
braska Center is erroneously placed near the northwest corner 
of section 5, township 9, range 14 west — about five miles north- 
west of the site now occupied by Gibbon. Through settlers of 
the early sixties in Buffalo county, Mr. Samuel C. Bassett has 
been able — in January, 1016 — to identify four of the men 
whose names appear on the tally sheets of the election of 1859 
at Nebraska Center and Wood River Center, namely, Charles 
Wilson, Henry Wilson, John W. Britt, and Henry Peck. Ac- 
cording to this testimony all of them lived either in Nebraska 
Center precinct or in Centralia precinct. Peck alone voted at 
Wood River Center, the polling place of Centralia precinct. 
Joseph Owen, who has been a resident of Buffalo county ever 
since 1863, now says: "I have always known that the J. E. 
Boyd place, when I came here in 1863, was known as Nebraska 
Center." Boyd established a road ranch, general trading post 
and stock farm there in December, 1858. It was situated on 
the southwest quarter of section 14, township 9, range 14 west, 
about two miles directly west from the site now occupied by 
Gibbon. 

The accommodating and enterprising spirit in which elec- 
tion laws were administered is illustrated in the fact that 
David Anderson appears as a voter on the tally sheet of the 
election at Nebraska Center in 1859. In his account of the 
early settlements of the Platte valley, published in volume 
XVI, Collections, Nebraska State Historical Society, he says, 
at page 195 : *'0n arrival at the old i3oyd ranch, eleven miles 
east of the fort, our team was so fatigued that we were com- 
pelled to rest for three days."' Though he notes that an elec- 
tion was held while he tarried, he says nothing about voting 
himself. According to the recollection of the early settlers 
adverted to, only three of the voters at Nebraska Center in 



326 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

1859 were residents in that vicinity. If the testimony of theee 
witnesses is correct, then the other thirty-five names which 
appear on the tally sheet were either borrowed or purely 
fictitious. It would be interesting to knoAV whether Mr. An- 
derson's name was used without his consent or whether he 
actually voted; but he has passed beyond reach of human com- 
munication. 

For an account of the process of organizing Buffalo county 
see Nebraska State Historical Society, Collections, XVII, p. 
152, note 4. 

'^Joseph E. Johnson settled at this place, known as Wood 
River Center, and now within the site of Shelton, in 1859. He 
was of the Mormon sect and in 1848 established himself at the 
Mormon settlement called Kane, now Council Bluffs, Iowa, 
There he published the Council Bluffs Bugle, and in 1854 
started the Omaha Arrow, the first newspaper published at 
Omaha. At Wood River Center he conducted a road ranch 
and began the publication of a weekly newspaper called The 
Huntsman's Echo. On the fifth of July, 1861, he abandoned 
his varied activities at Wood River Center and moved on to 
join his sectarians in Utah where he finished a very unique 
career. 

*^ Probably Major John Talbot, who became the first pro 
bate judge of Kearney county on its organization in 1860. See 
Nebraska State Historical Society, Collections, XVII, 228 note. 

^" Gillis was the first agent of the Pawnee tribe separately, 
and though he was in charge of them as a special agent in the 
fall of 1859, the separate agency was first authorized by an act 
of Congress June 25, 1860, Messages and Documents 1859-60, 
pt. I, 380; U. 8. Statutes at Large, XII, 113. Until that time 
they had been in an agency with the Oto and Missouri. The 
Omaha were also included in this agency until 1855. The 
act also provided an agent for the Ponca tribe alone. 

*° About one mile from the eastern boundary and five miles 
from the northern. 

" See footnote 12. 

" Mr. Neligh, one of the principal founders of West Pointy 
had a very active and prominent career both in business and 
politics. The town of Neligh, Antelope county, was named for 
John D. Neligh who led in establishing it. 

*^ The usual spelling was Omadi. The village was situated 
on Omaha Creek, in Dakota county, upwards of one mile north 
of the northern boundary of the Winnebago Indian reservation. 
Its population in 1860 was 46, according to the United States 
census, but it did not appear in the enumeration of 1870. It 
has disappeared from the maps and there is no post-ofiice of 



CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN NEBRASKA 327 

that name. Omadi was started by residents of Omaha in 1856, 
and it was incorporated as a town by an act of the legislative 
assembly, December 31, 1857. 

** Mr. Boyd subsequently became a very prominent citizen 
of Omaha and governor of Nebraska. 

** John F. Kinney, of Nebraska City, Origen D. Richardson, 
John 1. Redick, Alfred Conkling, Samuel Pease, Algernon S. 
Paddock, all of Omaha. 

** The settlement called Bonhomme Island was situated 
opposite the island which is southeast of the town of that name 
in South Dakota. It has not a post office or a place on the 
maps. The town of Bon Homme City was incorporated by an 
act of the Legislative Assembly, November 4, 1858, and the 
same act authorized Bon Homme City Town Company to 
operate a ferry across the Missouri River anywhere between a 
point a mile and a half below and opposite the head of Bon 
Homme island and a point a like distance above and opposite 
it. 

*^ Mr. Estabrook overlooked the fact that the strip between 
the fourth standard parallel, which was the original northern 
boundary of Calhoun county, and the Platte River had been 
attached to the county by act of the Legislative Assembly of 
1858. According to Colton's map of 1869, Saline was situated 
on Salt Creek, about four miles southwest of Ashland. The 
map site of Excelsior was on the Platte River, nearly east of 
the subsequent site of Mead. Neither Excelsior nor Saline 
now has a place on the maps. If this Valparaiso was situated 
on the Nebraska City and Fort Kearny road, it must have 
been about three miles farther north than the present town of 
that name. The survey of October 1, 1857, shows ''Town Site 
of Valparaiso" on the east half of section 22, township 13, 
range 5 east. 

** The Pawnee were not "punished" in this encounter — 
of July 13, 1859 — beyond being scared by the military demon- 
stration. There was no firing of guns or other physical con- 
flict. The most practical result of the expedition was a promise 
by the Indians to be good thereafter, which was kept in the 
Indian way; that is, they were a little better. In four months 
from this event they were removed to their final reservation in 
Nebraska where it was practicable to keep them under strict 
control. Near the end of June there was a collision between 
a band of Pawnee marauders, not far from West Point, and a 
volunteer band of citizens of Fontanelle, in which at least four 
Indians were killed. 

*^ Votes polled in L'Eau Qui Court in 1858. 

'"The boundaries of the reservation were survej'ed in Sep- 



328 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

tember and October, 1859. The agency buildings were placed 
on the northwest quarter of section 13, township 17, range 4 
west, the site of the present town of Genoa. 

'^ Laws of Nebraska, first session of the Legislative As- 
sembly, p. 222. It is at least doubtful whether section 8 of this 
act contemplated that under it residents of unorganized ter- 
ritory might vote at all elections, in the manner designated, or 
that they might so vote only in the process of organizing the 
county by the choice of county officers after the Legislative 
Assembly had established the county boundaries. Mr. Esta- 
brook, in his foregoing argument (p. 282), interprets the au- 
thorization as general ; but those who controlled the elections 
of Buffalo county and Kearney City evidently took the op- 
posite attitude, otherwise they might have conducted the elec- 
tion at Kearney City in accordance with the law, or at least 
within the color of the law. 

The peculiar spelling of words in the parts of this paper 
which are taken from the official record is according to the rule 
of following copy strictly in such cases. The fact that the 
name of the most consjucuous soldier in the history of "the 
Nebraska country" is spelled without an e in the final syllable 
throughout Estabrook's argument is of more than passing in- 
terest. This correct spelling was common as late as the early 
seventies when the rape was accomplished. It is practicable to 
repair the mischief and atone for the outrage by dropping the e 
from the second syllable of the name of the county and the 
city into which it was wrongfully obtruded. 



PROCBEDIKGS OF THE SOCIETY, 1917 



THIRTY-NINTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE 
NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

The thirty-ninth annual meeting of the Nebraska State 
Historical Society was called to order at the Temple Theatre, 
Lincoln, January 11, 1917, at two o'clock in the afternoon, 
John L. Webster, president, presiding. Reports of the secre- 
tary, the treasurer, and of Wiggins-Babcock Company, auditors 
of the Society's accounts, were received and approved. 

The secretary made a brief report of the routine of the 
Society for the year 1916. 

The treasurer's report showed a balance on hand January 
1, 1917, $42.75; receipts during the year, $1,192.15; total 
$1,234.90 ; expenditures for the year, $831.83 ; balance on hand 
December 31, 1916, $403.07. 

FINANCIAL STATEMENT 

Wiggins-Babcock Company's statement of the Society's 
financial transactions for the year follows: 

Current Receipts and Expenses^ 1916 
Balance from Dec. 31, 1916: 

P. L. Hall, treasurer $11.22 

Crounse fund 5.53 

Building fund 26.00 

Cash in hands of secretary 27.00 

Secretary's contingent fund 100.00 

Total cash $169.75 

Appropriation balances: 

Incidentals $2,949.97 

Regular salaries 8,150.02 

Traveling expenses 234.30 

Extra office help 187.50 

Paving tax 211.21 

Printing proceedings, etc 2,000.00 

Janitress 320.00 

Total appropriation balances 14,053.00 

Total cash and appropriations $14,222.75 



33S NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Receipts 

Membership fees $747.50* 

Sales of books 23.15 

Sale of badges 4.25 

Miscellaneous receipts 392.25 

Total receipts 1,167.15 

Total to be accounted for |15,389.90 

Expenses, 1916 

Salaries 16,926.52 

Postage 173.00 

Express 6.05 

Freight and drayage 52.36 

Telephone and telegraph . ., 78.82 

Traveling expenses 130.49 

Extra labor 154.10 

Books purchased 202.11 

Printing 58.50 

Binding books 4.50 

Advertising 5.25 

Photography 44.45 

Stationery and oflSce supplies 248.57 

Annual and board meetings * 70.00 

Furniture and fixtures 177.67 

Miscellaneous expenses 166.96 

Paving taxes 179.87 

Maintenance of grounds and buildings. . . . 65.10 

Badges 119.00 

Total expenses 8,863.32 

Balance 16,526.58 

Consisting of : 

Cash in hands of secretary. . . |4.00 

Secretary's contingent fund. . 100.00 

Cash in hands of treasurer. . 403.07 



Total cash $507.07 



M have classified these fees as follows: Initial inembership, 30 at 
$2, ?60; annual membership 291 at |2, one 50c, $582.50; life member- 
ship. Hector Maiben |50, James Hazen Hyde ?50, George W. Hansen, 
balance, |5. — Ed. 



PROCEEDINGS, 1917 3:^3 

Appropriatiou balances: 

Incidentals |tl,S20.53 

Regular salaries 1,896.73 

Traveling expenses 105.41 

Extra office help 85.50 

Paving tax 31.34 

Printing proceedings 2,000.00 

Janitor's salary 80.00 

Total appropriations available 6,019.51 

Total cash and appropriations |6,526.58 

We have examined all vouchere for funds disbursed and 
found them correct in form and detail and charged to the ap 
propriate accounts. 

We have made a detailed audit of the annual report of the 
treasurer of the Society', Dr. P. L. Hall, and find the same cor- 
rect; have also checked the appropriation balances with the 
records of the auditor of public accounts. 
Respectfully submitted, 

Wiggins-Babcock (Company, 
Public Accountants. 
By B. H. Wiggins. 

OBITUARY REPORT 

Dr. Hamilton B. Lowry, for the obituary committee, re- 
ported deaths of members during the year 1916 as follows : 

Arthur D. Brandeis, New York, N. Y., October 4, 1916. 
Daniel F. Davis, Silver Creek, Nebr., September 26, 1915. 
Oscar E. Gaeckler, Lincoln, Nebr., January 14, 1916. 
Edwin N. Grenell, Fort Calhoun, Nebr., April 1, 1916. 
Charles M. Hall, Lincoln, Nebr., December 20, 1915. 
Frank J. Kelly, Lincoln, Nebr., March 27, 1916. 
Benjamin E. B. Kennedy, Omaha, Nebr., August 21, 1916. 
Clarence S. Paine, Lincoln, Nebr., June 14, 1916. 
Gary S. Polk, Boise City, Idaho, March 11, 1916. 
Edward H. Marshall, Lincoln, Nebr., February 7, 1916. 
William A. Wagner, Oak Grove, Oregon, August 3, 1916. 
John C. Watson, Nebraska City, Nebr., February 2, 1916. 
Edmund P. Weatherby, Norfolk, Nebr., September 4, 1915. 

ELECTION OF OFFICERS 

For the office of president of the Society for the ensuing 
year Mr. Novia Z. Snell nominated Samuel C. Bassett and Mr. 



334 NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Horace S. Wiggins nominated Mr. Webster, the incumbent; 
whereupon Mr. Webster said: '*I feel that under the circum- 
stances I cannot permit my name to be used in the selection. 
I think I must decline the nomination." 

Thereupon a motion that the secretary cast the ballot of the 
Society for Mr. Bassett was carried unanimously. 

For members of the board of directors Messrs. William E. 
Hardy and Novia Z. Snell were opposed by Messrs. William A. 
Lindly and Horace S. Wiggins. Mr. Hardy received 57 votes, 
Mr. Snell 47, Mr. Lindly 20, and Mr. Wiggins 24; whereupon 
Mr. Hardy and Mr. Snell were declared elected. 

Don L. Love for vice president ; Robert Harvey, second vice 
president; Addison E. Sheldon, secretary; Dr. Philip L. Hall, 
treasurer, were elected unanimously. 

A resolution of thanks for Mr. Webster's services as presi- 
dent of the Society, and a resolution that he continue to pre- 
side over the further ceremonies of the semicentennial celebra- 
tion, at Lincoln, were unanimously adopted. Thereupon the 
business session adjourned. 

The final session of the annual meeting was held in the 
evening at St. Paul's church, at which Governor Neville gave 
an address of welcome, Mr. John L. Webster responding. Gen- 
eral Nelson A. Miles then delivered the principal address of 
this session. His remarks were mainly about the pending war. 

DIRECTORS' MEETINGS 

At a special meeting of the board of directors held Janu- 
ai*y 17, 1917, Attorney-General Reed was asked whether, in his 
opinion, the Society should deposit moneys received as mem- 
bership fees and from miscellaneous sources in the state treas- 
urer's office. The attorney general replied in the negative 
Regular quarterly meetings of the directors for the year 1917 
were held on January 11, April 25, July 10, and October 10. 

At the April meeting seventeen persons were elected sus- 
taining members of the Society, and James Hazen Hyde of 
Paris, France, was chosen a life member. The names and ad- 
dresses of the sustaining members follow: Ralph D. Currier, 
University Place; Charles E. Chowins, F. E. Schaflf, Harry R. 
FolJmer, Robert W. Devoe, Lincoln; Charles Dawson, P. W. 



PROCEEDINGS, 1917 335 

Judson, Omaha; F. W. Johnson, Fnllerton; [retns W. Jacoby, 
Havelock; T. J. Nolan, Snyder; Frank A. Peterson, College 
View; Edwin E. Squires, Broken Bow; Luke Roberts, Douglas; 
A. R. Honnold, Scottsbluff; Burnell Colson, Fremont; H. M. 
Davis, Ord — all residents of Nebraska; and O. G. Boisseau. 
Holden, Mo. 

The publication of a monthly paper by the Society, the 
cost not to exceed fifty dollars for each issue, was authorized. 

At the July meeting eighteen new members were elected, all 
sustaining and all residents of Nebraska, as follows: R. H, 
Pember, Trenton ; C. G. Barns, Albion ; John M. McAllister, W. 
L. McAllister, Neligh; Lee W. Edwards, Omaha; Walter F. 
Crinklaw, Wahoo; Rachel Stander, Louisville; Alfred L. Swan- 
son, Ong; Lucian C. Johnston, Seward; James V. Wood, Uni- 
versity Place; Mrs. R. C. Maiben, Benjamin Maiben, Palmyra; 
George L. Berger, Elmwood; Gus G. Becher, Columbus; Mrs. 
J. F. Vanscoyoc, Maria Canfield McCrillis, George L. Towne, 
and Malcolm G. Wyer, Lincoln. 

At the October meeting the superintendent was authorized 
to donate sets of the Society's publications to the libraries of 
the several military camps where Nebraska soldiers are located 
in considerable numbers«. 



INDEX 



Abie, Bohemian settlers in, 144 

Abstracts of votes for territorial of- 
ficers in 1859, 260-265, 271; to 
whom delivered, 321 

Adoption, law of among Omaha In- 
dians, 67 

Akers, Capt. W. R., pioneer irriga- 
tionist, 103 

Alcoholism, mescal plant used by 
Indians as cure of, 163 

Alexander, William, member of Be- 
atrice expedition to Little Blue, 
18 note 

Alexis, Joseph, paper by, 78 

Algonqulan Indian names, 136, 137 

Alkali post, 8 note 

AUis, Samuel, on Rev. Samuel Cur- 
tis, missionary to Omaha Indi- 
ans, 72 note 

Allison, P. H., postmaster at In- 
dianola, 41 

Allison & Wood, storekeepers in 
Indianola, 44 

Anderson, David, nonresident vo- 
ter at Nebraska Center, 264, 325 

Anderson, Mrs. E., paper by, 72 

Annual meeting of State Historical 
Society, Thirty-ninth (Jan. 11, 
1917), 331; report of secretary, 
and of treasurer, 331; financial 
statement, 331-333; obituary re- 
port, 333; election of oflBcers, 
333; addresses, 334; meetings of 
board of directors 1917, 334; new 
members elected, 334, 335 

Anti-Nebraska party, 198 

Arapaho Indians, 109, 132 

Arapahoe, town of founded, 8 note; 
early settlers in, 31 note; propri- 
etors of town site, 54-55 

Archer, Robert T., 128 note 



Archer, town in Richardson county, 
128 

Arikara, 136 note 

Arikaree River, 136 

Armstrong, Judge George, 258; 
takes testimony of sundry wit- 
nesses in Daily-Estabrook con- 
test, 210-257, 272-276 

Arthur, President Chester A., abol- 
ishes theocratic appointment of 
Indian agents, 124 

Aspengren, N. A., Swedish pioneer 
quoted, 80 

Aughey, John, voter in Wauhoo set- 
tlement, Calhoun county, in 1853, 
254 

Aurora, Swedish settlements iu 
and near, 82 

Austrians in Nebraska, 141, 142 
note 

Ayres, "Curley", member Beatrice 
expedition to Little Blue, 18 note 

Baird, Colonel Charles W., com- 
mander at Fort Scott in Civil 
War, 175 note 

Baker, Dr. C. R., pioneer postmas- 
ter and physician in Red Willow 
county, 41, 44, 45 

Baker, Mrs., captured at Plum 
Creek massacre, 4 note 

Balch, Emily Greene, 156 

Banks, Nathaniel P., elected speak- 
er of House of Representatives, 
198 

Baptism, first in Nebraska River, 
72 

Baptist Board of Missions, work in 
Nebraska, 72 

Baptist Swedes in Nebraska, 81, 82 



23 



338 



INDEX 



Baptists, in charge of Indian Agen- 
cies, 122 

Barnard, Richard C, received votes 
in Buffalo county, 1859, for mem- 
ber of territorial House of Repre- 
sentatives, 263, 264, 265 

Barnes, John, at Joe Eubanks' 
ranch Indian outbreak 1864, 19 

Bartley, first ownership of town- 
site. 47, 50, 54 

Bassett, Samuel C, 325, 334 

Battle of the Little Blue, The, 16 

Beatrice, designated county seat of 
Gage county, 319; militia com- 
pany in Indian outbreak of 1864, 
10, 11, 13, 16, 17, 21, 23 

Beckman, Andrew, induced Swedes 
to settle in Nebraska, 82 

Beecher, Francis, named for a wit- 
ness in Daily-Estabrook contest, 
258; county clerk of Platte county 
in 1859, 268 

Beginning of Red Willow County, 
The, 29 

Belden, David D., pioneer resident 
of Omaha, 177 

Bellevue, earliest events at, and 
starting of the town, 171-174 

Bellevue in the Thirties, At, 72 

Bennet, Dr., first postmaster at 
Canby, Red Willow county, 41 

Bennet's Ford, ferry at Otoe City 
established by Gideon Bennet, 
187 

Bennet, Hiram P., introduced in 
the Council the bill to incorpo- 
rate Nebraska City, 190 note; 
candidate for delegate to Con- 
gress, 197 

Berger, George L., 53, 335; account 
by of Pawnee-Sioux battle, 61-63 

Berger, Joseph E., 42, 61; first 
treasurer Red Willow county, 44 

Berger, William H., 38, 51, 61; 
killed by lightning, 42; county 
commissioner Red Willow county, 
44; letter, 52 

Bible class at Red Willow. 43 



Bidwell, Andrew, 258 

Big Elk, Omaha chief, 65, 71; bis 
daughter, wife of Lucien Fonte- 
nelle, 74 note 

Bigelk, John, 65 

Big Sandy Creek, Indian hostilities 
near, 6 

Bird wood Creek, 135 and note 

Bishop, G. S., pioneer postmaster 
and druggist at Indianola, 41, 44 

Black, John F., 32, 33, 42; director 
of the Buck Red Willow colony, 
30; first sheriff of Red Willow 
county, 38-40; pioneer cheese 
maker, 41 

Black, Governor Samuel W,, In 
Daily-Bstabrook contest, 208, 211, 
241-251, 258, 269, 270. 276, 294, 
298; with expedition against 
Pawnee, 242, 257; in election of 
1860, 318 

Black Bird Creek, origin of name, 
135 

Black Horse Cavalry, 13 

Blackbird, illegitimate title to 
chieftaincy, 70; story of burial 
on horseback false, 70 

Blair, James, voter in Calhoxm 
county in 1859, 254 

Bohemian, population in Nebraska, 
142; community names in Ne- 
braska, 144; place names in Ne- 
braska, 144; Slavonian Protec- 
tive Association, 147; Reading 
Society, 149; Orchestra at Crete, 
150; newspapers, 150, 152-155; 
libraries, 156 

Bohemians, first in America. 140; 
first in Nebraska, 143; in Ne- 
braska cities, 143; in Spanish- 
American war, 145; reasons for 
emigration, 145; religious life of 
in Nebraska, 145, 146; exiled, 
146; benevolent orders, 147; or- 
ganized life of in Nebraska. 147- 
150; folk songs, 149; in politics, 
150; in war — coerced into at 
home — , 150; in Spanish-Ameri- 



INDEX 



can war, 145; In American Civil 
War, 145, 151; in world war, 152; 
in journalism, 152; literature of, 
155; In education, 157 

Bohemians in Nebraska, 140 

Bonhomme City, 232; situation, 
233, 327; when incorporated, 327; 
ferry across Missouri River, 327 

Bonhomme Island, situation of set- 
tlement, 274, 327 

Bouchal. John, 150 

Bouchal, Louis J., 158 

Boulware, John, ferryman and 
postmaster at Table Creek, 190 
note 

Bouton, George, pioneer irrigator, 
103 

Bowen, Judge Leavitt L., 171 

Bowen, Lieutenant [Glenn], 4 note 

Bowie, William, killed In Indian 
raid at Oak Grove, 14 note 

Boyd, James E., votes in Buffalo 
county in 1859, 263; appointed 
register and commissioner of 
Buffalo county, 269, 270; propri- 
etor of Nebraska Center ranch, 
325; governor of Nebraska, 327 

Boyd county, Swedes settled in, 83 

Boyer, A- S., pioneer in Red Willow 
county, 38, 39 

Bradbury, B. F„ pioneer sheep rais- 
er and storekeeper on Beaver 
Creek, 42, 44, 45; one of first 
three commissioners of Red Wil- 
low county, 44 

Bralnard, Bohemian settlers at, 144 

Brandeis, Arthur D., death of, 333 

Bratt, John, 315 

"Breakfast drive", 3 

Breckenridge, settlement In L'Eau 
Qui Court county, 232, 283, 274, 
325 note 32 

Brlggs, Judge Clinton, 177 

Brigham, William, 225 

Britt, John W., voter at Nebraska 
Center, 1859, 263, 325 

Broady, Judge Jefferson H., 102 



Brothwell, D. E., first clerk of Red 
Willow county, 38, 39 

Brown, Aaron Venable, fictitious 
voter in L'Eau Qui Court county, 
1859, 225, 309, 324 

Brown, Charles H., prosecuting at- 
torney in Tator trial, 1 note 

Brown, J. D., 54 

Brown, Margaret, 54 

Brown, Mather F., in election of 
1859, Calhoun county, 219 

Brown, Richard, 95 

Brown, William D., 169 

Brownville, baby exchange prank 
in 1858, 99; election frauds in 
1859, 207 

Broz, Rev. Father J. S., 156 

Bruce, Lars Peter, 80 

Brul§ Indians, 109, 111, 112, 113; 
Upper and Lower, 109, 111, 112 

Bruno, Bohemian settlers at, 144 

Buchanan precinct (Platte county), 
votes in, 261 

Buck, Amos Reed, 57 

Buck, Royal, 36, 47, 49; historian 
of Red Willow county, editor, 
and receiver of land office at Ne- 
braska City, 29; president of Re- 
publican Valley Land Company, 
30; his centennial history of Red 
Willow county, 30-46; first post- 
master of Red Willow, 30 note, 
40; family data, 56, 57, 58; leads 
expedition, 58, 60; settles in Red 
Willow county, 59 

Buffalo county, in election of 1859, 
206, 239, 240, 263-265, 271, 276-283. 
294, 301-305, 313; method of or- 
ganization, 241, 247, 268, 298, 302- 
304, 326 

Buffalo hunting, 51, 61 

Buffaloes in Red Willow county, 
46, 48 

B. & M. railroad, terminus at Sut- 
ton in 1871, 30; grade to Fort 
Kearny, 31 

B. & M. Railroad Company, in Re- 
publican valley, 50 



340 



INDEX 



Burlington & Missouri River Rail- 
road Company in Nebraslca, 59, 
60 

Burt, Governor, death of, 186 note 

Burt county, Swedish settlements 
In, 82; Swedish population, 85; 
first election, repeating system, 
195 note; in election of 1859, 318; 
and the Omaha reservation, 320- 
821 

Butler, Governor David, impeach- 
ment proceedings against, 159; 
opposition to nomination in Re- 
publican convention of 1870, 160 

Butler, M. C, killed by Indians at 
Oak Grove Ranch, 14 note, 21 

Butler county, Bohemians in, 143, 
144; election returns 1859, 236, 
and 1860, 317; trading posts on 
Platte River, 255; abstract of 
votes. 1859, 261 

Byers, William N„ 169, 176 note 

Byfield, John, first storekeeper at 
Red Willow, 43 

Byfield, William, director Republi- 
can Valley Land Company, 30 
and note; one of first homestead- 
ers in Red Willow county, 33 

Caddoan Indian stock, 131 

Cadman, John, delegate to consti- 
tutional convention of 1860, 317; 
justice of the peace in original 
Clay county, 318 

Calamus River, derivation of name, 
135 

Calhoun county, in election of 1859, 
206, 213, 218, 219, 235, 236, 268, 
283-286, 294, 299, 301, 305-307, 
313; election precincts, 214, 254; 
Pawnee villages, 213, 255; first 
settlements, 213, 219, 254, 299; 
number of voters, 219, 220; de- 
scription and boundaries, 284, 
294; formation of, 316; name 
changed to Saunders, 317; elec- 
tion of 1860, 317; assigned to 
representative district, 323; pop- 



ulation in 1860, 323; new terri- 
tory attached, 327 

Calhoun precinct in 1859, location, 
219; election and election officers 
in, 219 

Callahan, see Hullihen, T. G. 

Campaign contributions, by federal 
officers, 275 

Campbell, Mr., report of committee 
on elections on contest by, 300 

Canada, Bill, killed by Indians, IS 

Canby post office, 40 

Capek, Thomas, 151, 155 

Capital of the Territory of Nebras- 
ka, strife over location, 192, 197 

Cardwell, James, 317, 318 

Carlson, Charles, 84 

Carpetbaggers, in Nebraska, 199 

Carson, John L., 99 

Carson, Kit, 73 

Cass county, in election of 1859, 
207, 210, 299, 318; members of 
House of Representatives 1857 
and 1858, 315; boundaries 
changed, 316; part attached to 
Saunders county, 317 

Cather, Willa Sibert, writes about 
Bohemians, 156 

Catholics, Indian agencies i n 
charge of, 122 

Cayuga, Indian place name, 136 

Cedar county, Swedish population 
in, 85; in election of 1859, 209, 
234, 299, 318; Wacapana settle- 
ment, 234 and note; part of taken 
from Izard county, 320 

Centennial Congregational church 
at Red Willow, 43 

Centralia precinct, election In 1859, 
206, 237, 239, 264. 325 

Centre precinct, abstract of votes 
from, 261 

Chambers, Colonel A. B., secretary 
of the council with Indians, near 
Fort Laramie in 1851, 69 

Chapman, Bird B., candidate for 
territorial delegate to Congress, 
186, 198, 199 



INDEX 



341 



Chapman, James G., candidate for 
district attorney In 1859, 260, 263, 
264, 265. 272 

Chase county, shape of, 49 

Chautauqua, misapplied place 
name, 136 

Cheyenne Indians, 111; number at 
Red Cloud agency on Platte Riv- 
er, 109 

Chicago, Burlington & Qulncy rail- 
road, 58, 59 note 

Christian denomination In Red 
Willow county, 43 

Clackamas county, guessing local- 
ity of, 282 

Clan Organization of the Winneba- 
go, 86 

Clark, Dr. M. H., his house voting 
place for Fontanelle precinct, 322 

Clarke, Henry T., 171 

Clarke, R. M., 259 

Clarkson, Bohemians in, 143 

Clay county — original — , question 
of legal organization, 210, 315; 
divided between Gage and Lan- 
caster, 317; elections in 1857, 
1859. 1860, 1862, 317-318; county 
officers. 1860, 318; military quota, 
319; taxation, 319 

Clyne, Joseph, sheriff of Gage coun- 
ty and member of expedition 
from Beatrice to Little Blue, 18 
note, 21, 23, 24 

Coad, Mark M., his ranch house 
near Scotts Bluff, 104, 106 

Cobb, Amasa, 55 

Cobb, Howell, fictitious name of 
voter at Niobrarah, 225 and note, 
309, 324 

Cobb, O. H., pioneer postmaster 
and storekeeper at Indianola, 41, 
44 

Colt, James B., 211, 228, 258, 259, 
289; testimony In Daily-Esta- 
brook contest, 221-227 

Colfax county, Bohemians In, 143, 
144-152 

Collin, Niklas. 79 



Collins' Grove, settlement of, 274 

Colorado, territorial government 
of, 177 and note 

Colter, F. M., 18 note 

Colvln, George W., pioneer Justice 
of the peace at Arapahoe, 39, 40, 
60 

Colyer, Vincent, and denomination- 
al Indian agents, 124 

Comanche Indians, 132 

Comly. Charles H., witness in 
Dally-Estabrook contest, 202, 203- 
205, 279, 283 

Commissioners, Capital, resolution 
to investigate acts of passed by 
legislature, 162 

Comstock, Lieutenant [Francis J.], 
4 note 

Comstock, James, and Indian raid 
on Little Blue, 21, 26 

Comstock's ranch, 18, 21; see Oak 
Grove Ranch 

Concord, Swede settlement, 82 

Congregational churches, pioneer 
in Red Willow county, 43 

Congress, election of delegates to 
from Nebraska, 199, see Dally- 
Estabrook contest; beginning 
and expiration of each, 314; 
designates time for election of 
members, 200, 314 

Conkllng, Alfred, counsel for Sam- 
uel G. Dally, 211, 258, 259, 273 
and note, 297, 320; Roscoe Conk- 
ling's father, 319 

Constable, George, master of wagon 
train burned by Indians, 11, 13, 
16, 22; in battle on Elk Creek, 
23, 24, 25 

Constitution, of 1871 model for 
1875. 185 

Contested Elections of Delegates to 
Congress from Nebraska, 197 

Converse. Dr. J. N., 30 

Cook, William, witness In Dally- 
Estabrook contest, 211, 251-254 

Cordeal, John F., furnishes hlstorl- 



342 



INDEX 



cal data of Red Willow county, 
46, 54, 58 

Cottonwood Springs, 2, 3, 4 

Counties, with Indian names, 136, 
137; first eight established by 
governor of territory, 193 note; 
formed of uninhabited territory, 
217, 218 and note; commissioners 
succeed to administrative powers 
of probate judges, 241, 245, 246, 
247; unorganized, how treated 
for election and other purposes, 
302, 328 

County clerks, duties In elections, 
321 

Covington precinct, Irregular vo- 
ting In 1859, 275 

Cowles, Charles H., namer and a 
founder of Nebraska City, 189 
note 

Cox, Jacob D., 124 

Creeks with Indian names, 132, 135 

Crete, Bohemians In, 143 

Crete orchestra, 150 

Criswell, Major R. H., 44 

Crook, Isaac, 128, 129 note 

Crook, Jesse, pioneer settler in 
Richardson county, 126, 127, 128 

Croy's Grove, early settlement in 
L'Eau Qui Court county, 274 

Culbertson, 54 

Cuming, Thomas B., acting govern- 
or of the Territory of Nebraska, 
186, 190, 193 note, 195, 316, 322 

Cuming county, in election of 1859, 
213, 216, 217, 256, 287, 288, 318; 
population in 1859, 214; bound- 
ary changed in 1866, 320 

Cunningham, Ebenezer E., relates 
political incidents of Nebraska, 
159 

Curran, Sterrett M., 265; witness 
in Daily-Estabrook contest, 258 

Curtis, Rev. Samuel, missionary to 
Omaha Indians, 72 

Curtis, General Samuel R., 7 

Custer county, Swedish population 
in, 85 



Custer massacre, 113 
Czechs, derivation of name, 140; 
see Bohemians 

Daily, Samuel G., 180, 317; delegate 
to Congress, 197; contests elec- 
tion of J. Sterling Morton, 198; 
majority over John P. Kinney, 
198; contest against Estabrook, 
200-328; abstracts of votes for, 
260, 261, 262; vote for in 1862. 
317 

Daily-Estabrook contest, 198, 200; 
excerpts from official record of, 
201-313; Daily's memorial to Con- 
gress, 201; grounds of contest^ 
205-208; Estabrook's answer, 208- 
210; Daily's witnesses and testi- 
mony of, 210-257; and notice to 
examine witnesses, 258; alleged 
theft of NIobrarah poll books. 
259; abstracts of votes and poll 
lists of the counties of Hail„ 
Platte, Green, Butler, Calhoun, 
Izard and Buffalo, 260-268, 271; 
charge of theft of poll books of 
Calhoun county, 268; Irregular 
organization of Buffalo county, 
268-270; Estabrook's witnesses 
and testimony of, 272-276; hie 
argument, 276-296; his memorial 
asking for time to take testi- 
mony, 296-300; report of the com- 
mittee on elections, 300-313; edi- 
torial notes, 314-328 

Dakota county, in the election of 
1859, 234, 318; and the Omaha, 
reservation, 320 

Dakota Indian place names, 133, 
134, 135, 136 

Dakota Indians, hostile to the Oma- 
ha, 65; election of a chief Ijy, 69 

Danbury, first two postmasters, 41 

Davenport, B. M., treasurer Repul^ 
lican Valley Land Company, 30 

Davis, Daniel F., death noted, 333 

Davis, J. M., member Republican 
Valley Land Company, 30, 33 



INDEX 



343 



Davis, Oscar F., 260, 262 

Davis, R. C, member of expedition 
from Beatrice to Little Blue, 18 

Dawson county, Swedish popula- 
tion in, 85 

Deer Creek, 32 

De Puy, Henry W., witness In 
Daily-Estabrook contest, 258; 
votes for, 260, 262 

Descent, patrilineal among Winne* 
bago Indians, 90 

Deserted Ranch, 3 

Devin, Captain J. D., commandant 
at Red Willow, 49 

DeWitt, settlement at, 216 and 
note. 256 

District attorney first judicial dis- 
trict, votes for in 1859, 260, 263, 
264, 265, 272 

Dixon, Ira, member of Beatrice ex- 
pedition to Little Blue, IS 

Dixon county, Swedish population 
in, 85; in election of 1859, 234, 
318; part taken from first Izard 
county, 320 

Doane, George W., 181 

Dobbs, Hugh J., 17, 20 

Dobytown, see Kearny City 

Dodge, Mrs. Sallie, 126 

Dodge county, Swedish population 
in, 85; in election of 1859, 209, 
318; first voting place in, 322; 
part attached to Washington 
county, 322; change of county 
seat, 322 

Dodson. D. B., in election of 1859, 
223-227; witness In Daily-Esta- 
brook contest, 258 

Donate, A. Z., 156 

Dorrington, David, pioneer settler 
at Falls City, 129 

Dorrington, William E., 129 

Dorsey, J. Owen, 69 

Dougherty, Major John, agent for 
Nebraska Indians, 75, 76, 171 
note 

Dougherty, Robert, interpreter to 
Indians, 72 



Douglas, James, owner of Kiowa 
station, 18, 21, 27 

Douglas county, Swedish popula- 
tion in, 85; Bohemians in, 143, 
152; Sarpy county taken from, 
172; election of 1859 in, 235, 299, 
318 

Douglas House, Omaha, early Inci- 
dents at, 192-195 

Downs, Major Hiram P., pioneer 
resident of Nebraska City, 188 

Drips and Fontenelle, at Bellevue, 
171 

Dudley, General Nathan A. M., at 
Fort McPherson, 37 

Dunbar, Rev. John, missionary to 
Pawnee, 72 * 

Dundy, Judge Elmer S., active in 
impeachment of Governor But- 
ler, 159-162 

Dundy county, shape of, 49 

"Dutch Smith", ranch raided by In- 
dians in 1864, 5 

Dye, J. R., leader of pioneer Brown- 
ville band, 99 

Earliest Settlers in Richardson 
County, 126 

Eaton, John G., treasurer and jus- 
tice of peace. Red Willow county, 
38, 40 

Edholm, 1 

Edwards, Thomas B., pioneer in 
Brownville, 95 

Edwards, Mrs. Thomas B., pioneer 
philanthropist in Brownville, 95 

Egbert, Andrew, 81 

Elections, territorial, frauds and Ir- 
regularities, 195; see Daily-Esta- 
brook contest 

Elk Creek, battle with Indians on, 
7 note, 17, 23 

Elkhorn River, 212, 214, 287; 
course through Izard county, 322 

Ellis, Lathrop, surveyor of Buck 
expedition to Red Willow, 30 

Emery, Bob, 23 

Emigrants, fraudulent voting by, 



344 



INDEX 



204; Missouri River crossings 
used by, 231 

Episcopalians, in charge of Indian 
agencies, 122 

Estabrook, Ej^perience, chairman of 
committee on education, school 
funds and lands in constitutional 
convention 1871, 185; first terri- 
torial attorney, 199; election con- 
tested by Samuel G. Dally, 198, 
200-328; his certificate of elec- 
tion, 208; abstracts of votes for, 
260-265, 271; see Daily-Estabrook 
contest 

Eubanks family, members of killed 
by Indians, 13, 14, 19, 20, 22 note; 
burial of, 14 and note, 16, 21, 22 
note, 26, 27; spelling of name, 19 
note 

Eubanks, Father, residence of, 20 

Eubanks, Fred, killed by Indians, 
19, 20 

Eubanks, Joe, situation of his 
ranch, 19; killed by Indians, 20, 
21 

Eubanks, Mrs. Joe, 19 

Eubanks, Theodore, killed by In- 
dians, 19 

Eubanks, William, place of resi- 
dence, 20; killed by Indians, 20, 
• 21 

Eubanks, Mrs. William, captured 
by Indians, 13, 15 note, 21 

Eubanks ranch, 13, 14, 20 

Excelsior, settlement in Calhoun 
county, 286, 327 note 47 

Falls City, early settlers of, 126, 
127, 128, 129 

Farming in Red Willow county, 
1872-75, 35-38 

Ferguson, Fenner, delegate to Con- 
gress, 198, 199, 317 

Field, Marshall, 109 

Filips, Frederick, 141 

First Settlement of the Scotts Bluff 
Country, 103 

Fitch, W. S., 38, 44 



Fitzgerald, N., 225 

Fitzgerald, W. H., 259 

Flanagan, Lieutenant Thomas, 4 

Fletcher. William, killed In Plum 
Creek massacre, 5 

Follmer, George D., 26 

Fontanelle, why so named, 137, 
322; settlement at, 216, 322 

Fontenelle, Logan, question of his 
chieftaincy, 64-71, 137; interpret- 
er at the making of the Omaha 
Indian treaty of 1854, 64, 65, 66; 
signs treaty, 65; boyhood In 
Bellevue, 73 

Fontenelle, Lucien, 67, 71, 73, 74 
note, 137; his Indian wife and 
children, 73; death of, 74; sells 
trading house at Bellevue for In- 
dian agency, 171 

Fontenelle, Tecumseh, 73 

Fontenelle Hotel, 64; not an Indian 
name, 137 

Fort Kearny, new, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 
188, 189, 204, 236, 294; garrison 
at in 1859, 238 

Fort Kearny, old, established at 
Table Creek, 189 ^ 

Fort Laramie, early, 108; Mexican 
settlement near, 103; Sioux Indi- 
ans at, 108 

Fort McPh^-son, 2, 40 

Fort Robinson, 109 

Francis, Page T., first county sur- 
veyor of Red Willow county, 38, 
44; reminiscences of, 46 

Frankfort, settlement in L'Eau 
Qui Court county, 226, 233, 234, 
274, 324 

Fraternal organizations among Bo- 
hemians, 147 

Free Mission churches among Bo- 
hemians, 81, 82 

Freeman, Daniel, member of Be^ 
atrice expedition to Little Blue, 
18 

Freighting, Omaha to Pike's Peak, 
1 

Fremont, 285; Swedish colony in. 



INDEX 



346 



82; made county seat, 322 note 

21 
Fremont Island, 285 
Friends, Society of, Indian agents 

chosen from, 121, 122, 123, 124 
Frightening Bear, chief of the Sioux 

nation, 69 
Fulton, S. B., 160, 161 
Furnas, Robert W., candidate for 

governor In 1870, 159 
Furnas county, angling for early 

settlers, 34; extra length ex- 
plained, 49 

Gaeckler, Oscar E., death noted, 333 

Gage, William D., 319 

Gage county, election In 1857, 315, 
317; and 1859, 210, 315, 318; and 
1860, 317, 318; and 1862, 317; or- 
ganization of 1857 legalized by 
legislature, 299, 319; north half 
of Clay county attached to, 317; 
early tax levies, 319; commission 
to locate county seat, 319 

Galey, [S. B.], 162 

Garber, Governor Silas, issues cen- 
tennial proclamation, 29 

Garfield, President James A., 124 

Garfield, Solomon, voter in Cal- 
houn county in 1859, 254 

Gaslin, Judge "William, presides at 
first session of district court in 
Red Willow county, 41 

Genoa precinct, in Monroe county, 
207; and Pawnee reservation, 
207, 251, 252, 253, 292; election of 
1859 in, 212, 251, 252, 292, 295, 
301, 308, 313 

Gentry, Ben, pioneer irrigator, 103 

Gering, platted, 107 

Germans, number of in Nebraska, 
142 note 

Gerrard, Leander, 258 

Ghost, Allen M., 55 

Ghost dance, 163 

Gibbs, Isaac L., 319 

Giddings, Na,poleon B., first dele- 



gate to Congress from Nebraska, 

186, 199 

Giger, Lieutenant Benjamin F., In 
Indian war of 1864 on Little 
Blue, 8 

Gilbert, George N., pioneer settler 
and officeholder in Red Willow 
county, 41, 44, 45 

Gilbert, John, account of attack by 
Indians on Little Blue settle- 
ments, 15, 17-28 

Gillingham, T. T., 121 

Gilman's ranch, 2, 6 

Gillls, James L., Pawnee Indian 
agent, 252, 326 

Gilmore, Melvin Randolph, papers 
by, 64, 130, 163 

Glover, William P., in election of 
1859, Calhoun county, 219 

Goldsberry, Frank L., first clerk of 
Richardson county, 128 

Grand Island precinct, in election 
of 1859, 210, 260 

Graff, Dr. George B., in Daily-Esta- 
brook contest, 272, 273-276, 290, 
291, 295; receiver of public mon- 
eys, 273; register of land office, 
291 

Grange, organized at Indlanola, 53 

Grant, President U. S., 114; origi- 
nated plan of nominating Indian 
agents by religious sects, 123, 
124; recommends uniting tele- 
graph and postal business, 153 

Grasshoppers, damage crops in Red 
Willow county, 35, 36, 37, 48 

Grattan massacre, 69 

Graves, Louis, In Beatrice expedi- 
tion to Little Blue, 18 

Green, James, paper by. 1 

Green, S. S., 1 

Green county, election of 1859 in, 
236, 261; boundary of, 316; elec- 
tion in 1860, 317 

Gregory, Major, Ponca Indian 
agent, 223, 225, 228, 230 

Grenell, Edwin N., death of noted, 
333 



24 



346 



INDEX 



Grist mill on Red Willow Creek, 42 
Grout, Virgil, first irrigator in 

Scotts Bluff region, 103 
Gwyer, William Augustus, remi- 
niscences of, 168 

Hackney's Ranch, 16 

Hagaman, Robert M., L'Eau Qui 
Court county clerk and postmas- 
ter, 222; in Daily-Estabrook con- 
test, 222, 227, 258, 259 

Hagge, William A., 259, 260 

Half-breed tract, 128 note, 208 note, 
315 

Hall, Augustus, chief justice terri- 
torial supreme court, 318 

Hall, Charles M., death of noted, 
333 

Hall, Dr. P. L., treasurer of State 
Historical Society, 331-333, 334 

Hall county, election of 1859, 210- 
236, 259, 260, 292, 295 

Halland, Swedish settlement in 
Iowa, 83 

Hardy, William E., elected director 
of State Historical Society, 334 

Harlan county, notes of early his- 
tory, 31, 34, 39 

Hart, Rev., pioneer preacher in 
Richardson county, 126 

Harvey, Robert, second vice presi- 
dent of State Historical Society, 
334 

Harvey, William E., elected terri- 
torial commissioner of common 
schools. 260-265, 271 

Hawley, Ralph, in election of 1859, 
Calhoun county, 219 

Hayes, John H., 259 

Hayes, President Rutherford B., 
124 

Hedde, Frederick, 258, 259, 260 

Helm, A. J., 54 

Helm, John P., a founder of Red 
Willow, 49, 54, 59, 60 

Hendrick precinct, Otoe county, 
election of 1859, 210 

Henry, Dr. Charles A., active in 



election of 1859 in Buffalo coun- 
ty, 204, 248, 250, 258, 265, 268, 303 

Henry, Enoch, in Beatrice expedi- 
tion to Little Blue, 10 

Hepner, Major George, Oto Indian 
agent, 190 

Herman, Augustine, alleged first 
Bohemian in America, 140 

Herman, John, important Bohemi- 
an settler, 144 

Hessel, Theodore, pioneer Swedish 
Baptist preacher, 81 

Hlckslte Friends, in charge of In- 
dian agencies, 122, 123 

Hill, Edgar S., 34, 38, 39, 44, 47; 
first probate judge Red Willow 
county, 54; a founder of Indian- 
ola, 55, 60, 61; recollections of, 
58-61 

Hill, Dr. S. M., and Luther College, 
81 

Hinman, W. M., 38, 39; sawmill at 
Red Willow, 34, 41 

Historical Society, see Annual 
Meeting of State Historical Soci- 
ety 

Hitchcock, Phlneas W„ elected 
delegate to Congress, 198; candi- 
date for district attorney, 260 

Hitchcock county, shape of ex- 
plained, 49 

Holdrege, G. W., member of Lin- 
coln Land Company, 56 

Holdrege, Swedish population In, 
84 

HoUaday, Benjamin, damage to his 
stage line by Indians, 8, 12 

Holt, Franklin, settler In first 
Izard county, 262 

Homestead act, attracted Bohe- 
mian settlers, 144; and others, 
170 

Hordville, settled by Swedes, 82 

Horsky, Joseph, pioneer Bohemian 
settler, 144 

Howard, Robert A., district attor- 
ney in 1860, 318 



INDEX 



847 



Howe, Albert C, In Beatrice expe- 
dition to Little Blue, 17, 18 

Hrbek, Prof. Jeffrey D., 156, 158 

Hrbkova, Sarka B., paper by, 140 

Hudson, [Henry J.], postmaster at 
Genoa, 1859, 252 

Hulllhen, T. G., sheriff of L'Eau 
Qui Court county, 324 note 29 

Hungarians, number In Nebraska, 
142 note 

Hunt, George A., at Oak Grove 
Ranch during Indian raid of 1864, 
14. 20, 26 

Hunter, George A., pioneer settler 
and first sheriff Red Willow 
county, 34, 38, 44, 47, 58, 60 

latan, chief of Oto and Missouri 
Indians, 75-77; tragical death, 76 

niff, Charles, killed In Plum Creek 
znasBacre. 5 

Incident in the Impeachment of 
Governor Butler, An, 159 

Indian agencies, list of religious 
denominations In charge of, 122 

Indian agents, chosen from reli- 
gious denominations, 121-124 

Indian burial place, 51 

Indian chiefs, how chosen, 66-70 

Indian commissioners, board of, 
procured by President U. S. 
Grant, 123, 124 

Indian Outbreak of 1864, Incidents 
of the, 1 

Indian Place Names in Nebraska, 
130 

Indian trading store at Nlobrarah, 
222 

Indianola, town site, 38, 54-56, 58, 
60; county seat of Red Willow 
county, 40; first post ofllce, 40; 
postmasters, 41; first school dis- 
trict, 43; first courthouse, 56, 61 

Iowa Indians, 74; location of, 131, 
132 

Irrigation, beginning of, in Scotts 
Blufi region, 103 



Irving, Washington, on place 
names. 130 

Izard. Mark W.. 320 

Izard county, in election of 1859, 
206. 235, 262, 283, 295. 299, 301, 
307, 313; unsettled, 212, 215, 250, 
257. 299; location of, 212, 213, 
221. 283. 286-289, 296. 320; divid- 
ed among other counties, 320; 
name transferred to other terri- 
tory, 320; and Stanton substi- 
tuted for, 320; course of Elkhom 
river through, 322 

"Jack's Ranche", 204 

James, William H., acting govern- 
or, 33, 324; in Daily-Estabrook 
contest, 211, 222, 227-233, 258, 259, 
289, 291; secretary of state, 323 

Jefferson, Territory of, 177 

Jenkins' Ranch, 21 

Jlndra. Joseph, 149, 151 

Johnson. Hadley D., 186 

Johnson, J. H., In election of 1859 
at Centralia, 264 

Johnson, Joel W., 264 

Johnson, Joseph E., election of 1859 
in his house, 239; biographical 
sketch, 326 note 

Johnson county, included in repre- 
sentative district in 1858, 315; 
in election of 1862, 317; and of 
1859, 318 

Johnston, David M., paper by, 186; 
in 1854 selected claim for a home 
in Richardson county, 191; mem- 
ber of first Territorial Assembly, 
191; death of, 196 note 

Jones, Samuel, in Beatrice expedi- 
tion to Little Blue, 17, 21, 23 

Jones, W. W. W., in Buck Red Wil- 
low colony, SO, 32, 33, 34 

Jones, William R,, in Beatrice ex- 
pedition to Little Blue. 17. 21 

Jung, Vaclav A., 155 

Kansa Indians, location of, 121 



348 



INDEX 



Kansas militia, at battle on Elk 
Creek, 24, 25 

Kearny, see Fort Kearny 

Kearny, General Stephen W., es- 
tablishes first Fort Kearny, 189 

Kearny City, situation and descrip- 
tion, 237, 294; county seat of 
Kearny county, 271; other places 
so-called, 281; number of votes at 
in 1859, 282 

Kearny City precinct, election of 
1859, 206, 237, 239, 240, 277-282, 
299, 304, 305; number of votes in, 
206; poll list, 265-268 

Kearney county, Swedish popula- 
tion in, 85; act for organizing, 
270 

Kelley, W. R., killed at Oak Grove 
Ranch, 14, 21 

Kelly, Frank J., death noted, 333 

Kelly, Michael, wagons destroyed 
at Plum Creek massacre, 5 

Kennedy, Benjamin E. B., death 
noted, 333 

Kettle, Robert, see Kittle 

Keya Paha, Indian meaning of, 133 

Kilgore, J. B., pioneer settler Red 
Willow county, 61, 63 

King, John S., reputed first settler 
In Red Willow county, 32 

Kinney, Judge John F., candidate 
for delegate to Congress, 198, 
317; counsel for Experience Es- 
tabrook, 211, 273, 297, 327 

Kiowa station, 14, 18, 25 

Kittle, Robert, 211-125, 258, 284-288, 
294 

Klein, Rev. A., 156 

Kneeland, David, in Beatrice expe- 
dition to Little Blue, 17, 18 

Knox county, Swedish population 
in, 85; Bohemians in, 144; for- 
mation of, 320, 323 note 27; name 
changed from L'Eau Qui Court, 
323; population in 1860, 323 

Know Nothing party, in election of 
speaker of thirty-fourth Con- 
gress, 198 



Komensky, John Amos, 157 
Komensky clubs, 148, 155, 157 
Konop, Thomas, 150 
Kountze Brothers, pioneer bankers, 

178 note 
Kuhl, Captain Henry, in Indian 

outbreak of 1864, 13, 14, 15, 27 

La Flesche, Joseph, 65 

Lake, George B., attorney in Tator- 
Neff trial, 1 

Lamere, Oliver, paper by, 86 

Lancaster county, Swedish popula- 
tion in, 85; organization and 
elections, 1859 and 1860, 210, 316- 
318; military quota 1862, 319 

Lane, General Jim, in Richardson 
county in 1857, 127 

Langer, J. J., 150 

Larimer, General William, Jr., 
career of 174-176 

Larson, Rev. S. G., promotes Swe- 
dish immigration, 80 

Latham ranch, 18 

Lawson, E. G., pioneer mail car- 
rier, 232 

Lawsuit, reputed first in Nebraska, 
193 

Leachman, B. F., 126 

L'Eau Qui Court county, election 
of 1859 in, 207, 222-230; 273, 275, 
289, 291, 295, 318; settlements 
and population, 229-234, 273-324; 
niunber of votes in 1858, 290, 
327; report of committee on elec- 
tions, 301, 308, 313; name 
changed to Knox, 323 

Lebanon, post office established, 40; 
postmasters, 41 

Leiter, Levi Z., owner of P. F. 
ranch, 109 

Leshara, Pawnee meaning of, 133 

Lett, Henry C, 99 

Lewis and Clark expedition, 69, 70; 
created Indian chiefs, 69 

Liberal Thinkers, Bohemian sect, 
146 

Liberty Farm stage station, 22, 23 



INDEX 



349 



Lightner, Isaiah, Santee Indian 
agent, 124 

Lincoln county, Swedish popula- 
tion In, 85 

Lincoln Land Company, In the Re- 
publican valley, 50, 53-56, 60 

Llndley, Daniel, builder of Douglas 
House, Omaha, 193 

LInwood, Bohemian settlers in, 144 

Little, William A., attorney in Ta- 
tor-Ne£E trial, 1 

Little Blue Ranch, pillage of, see 
Little Blue station, 22 

Little Blue station, 16, 17, 22; sit- 
uation of, 12 

Little Chief, signed Omaha Indian 
treaty of 1854, 65, 66 

Little Rabbit, Oto chief, 77 

Loafers, band of seceders from 
Cheyenne and Sioux, 111 

Loan, William, pioneer resident of 
Archer, 128 

Locusts, see grasshoppers 

Loder, L. J., clerk Lancaster coun- 
ty In 1860, 318 

Lodge Pole Creek, derivation of 
name, 135 

Log houses, of pioneers, described, 
96, 97 

Long, John D., murder of, 42, 43 

Long Pine Creek, derivation of 
name, 135 

Longnecker, John, in Buck's Red 
Willow colony, 30, 33, 38, 39 

Looking Glass Valley, Swedish set- 
tlement in, 83 

Loup River, derivation of name, 
136 

Love, Don L., elected first vice pres- 
ident of State Historical Society, 
334 

Lowe, Jesse, 169 

Lowrie, Walter, plat of Bellevue 
made by, 171 

Lowry, Dr. Hamilton B., 333 

Luther College, 81 

Lutheran (SAvedish) churches, 79- 
84; doctrinal divisions, 80 



Lutherans, In charge of Indian 
agency, 122 

Lyon, Edward, first county superin- 
tendent of public instruction, 
Red Willow county, 38, 44 

McComas, Ex-Governor, 171 

McComas, Mrs., 100 

McConihe, John, Governor Black's 

private secretary, 214; In Daily- 

Estabrook contest, 211, 235, 250, 

258, 284, 292 
McCook, when made county seat of 

Red Willow county, 40 
McCreery, William H., 99 
McGrew, Mrs. Samuel W., paper by, 

95; describes a pioneer family 

home, 96 
McKinney, William, 30 
McMullen, E. G., first sheriff of 

Richardson county, 128 
McWilliams precinct, Otoe county. 

In election of 1859, 210 

Mable, Mr., killed in Plum Creek 
massacre, 5 

Macfarland, J. D., incorporator of 
Lincoln Land Company, 56 

Madison, J. H., director Republican 
Valley Land Company, 30; one of 
first settlers of Red Willow coun- 
ty, 34 

Madison county, part taken from 
first Izard county, 320; when or- 
ganized, 322 

Majors & Russell, route of freight 
transportation, 282, 286 

Mallat, J. K., 148 

Marquett, Turner M„ 317; Incor- 
porator of Lincoln Land Com- 
pany, 56 

Marshall, Edward H., death noted, 
333 

Martin, Mrs. Ada Buck, account of 
the Royal Buck family by, 56 

Mason, Oliver P., 181 note 

Massacre at Oak Grove Ranch, The, 
6 



350 



INDEX 



Massacre Cafion, battle of, 50 
Maxwell, Samuel, 160, 317 
Medicine Creek, 32 
Melrose, 39; historical sketcli of, 31 
Merrill, Rev. Moses, 72, 73 note, 

75, 76 
Merrill, Rev. S. P., 75 note 
Mescal Society Among the Omaha 

Indians, The, 163 
Mesplais, Louis, 128 
Methodist church, first in Richard- 
son county, 127; Bohemian, 146 
Methodist Episcopal church, first 

at Indianola, 43 
Methodist Protestant church, 
school for on the site of the city 
of Lincoln, 101 
Methodists, Swedish, 81-84; Indian 

agencies in charge of, 122 
Miles, General Nelson A., address 

to State Historical Society, 334 
Militia, organized in Red Willow 

county, 48 
Millard, Joseph H., 177 
Miller, George, clerk Buffalo coun- 
ty, 263-272, 278 
Miller, Dr. George L., 169, 198 
Miller, Judge John C, 128 
Miller, Lorin, 262 
Mills, Albert W., 107 
Minatare, earliest settlers near, 107 
Minden, Swedish settlers in vicin- 
ity of, 84 
Minichaduza Creek, meaning of 

name, 134 
Miniconjou Indians, 112 
Mission churches in Swedish set- 
tlements, 81, 82 
Mission Friends, Swedish religious 

sect, 81, 82 
Missions, American Board of Com- 
missioners of Foreign, 122 
Missions, Presbyterian Board of 
Foreign, 122; at Bellevue, 171, 
172 
Missouri River, derivation of name, 
136 



Mitchell, Colonel D. D., superin- 
tendent Indian affairs, 69 

Mitchell, General Robert B., In In- 
dian war, 1864, 7 

Mitchell, when platted, 107 

Moffat, David Halliday, 176 

Monell, Gilbert C, 177 

Monroe county, in election of 1859, 
207, 254, 301, 308, 313, 318 

Mooney, James, 164 

Moore, Jim, rider for Pony Ex- 
press, 103 

Moravians, in Nebraska, 142 

Morgan, Eliza C, 101 

Morrill, when platted, 107 

Morris, Wilbume, 38 

Morrow, Jack, ranch at Kearny 
City, 204, 205; road ranch near 
forks of Platte, 314 note; death 
of, 315 note 10 

Morton, E. F., killed and wagon 
train destroyed at Plum Creek 
massacre, 3, 5 note 

Morton, Frank, see E. F. Morton 

Morton, Mrs. E. F., 4; captured at 
Plum Creek massacre, 5 

Morton, J. Sterling, 169, 193, 250, 
318; vice president of Republi- 
can Valley Land Company, 30; 
election contested by Samuel G. 
Daily, 198; in Daily-Estabrook 
contest, 259, 261-272 
Muddy Creek, 31, 32 note 
Murphy, Captain Edward B., auto- 
biographic history of expedition 
against Indians on Little Blue 
River, 6-16; further incidents of 
the expedition, 22-25, 27; bio- 
graphical sketch of, 7 note 
Myers, J. R., pioneer merchant at 
Indianola, 44 

Nagel, Theodore F., 260 
Narrows, The, 20; burial at, !• 
Neapolis, settlement in Calhoun 

county, 213, 255, 285, 321 note 
Nebraska, Indian meaning of name, 

134; panic of 1857, 178 



INDEX 



351 



Nebraska Center, In election of 
1859, 206. 237, 263, 325; descrip- 
tion of, 238, 239, 325; part taken 
In organizing Buffalo county, 
268-270 

Nebraska City, beginning of, 189; 
In first election for delegate to 
Congress, 197 

Nebraska in the Fifties, 186 

Nebraska-Wyoming line, map, 110 

Neff, Isaac H., 1 

Neligh, John D., 256, 326; in Daily- 
Estabrook contest, 211, 256, 286, 
295; led in founding towns of 
Neligh and West Point, 326 

Nemaha county, struggles to pro- 
cure railroad, 159; in election of 
1859, 207, 299, 318 

Nettleton, G. B., 44, 46 

Neville, Governor Keith, 334 

Niobrara, 325 note 32; meaning of 
name, 134 

Nlobrarah, in election of 1859, 221 
228; description of precinct, 225, 
226, 234, 274 

Noise, Omaha chief, signed treaty 
of 1854, 65, 66 

Noxon, George, 317 

Nuckolls, Stephen F,, 189 

Oak, John, Oakland named for, 82 
Oak Grove Ranch, massacre at, 6- 

16, 18, 20, 21, 22 note, 26 
Oakland, Swedish settlers and 

churches at, 82 
Oberstrander, Nelson, 20; mortally 

wounded at Oak Grove Ranch, 14 
Obituary committee, report of, 333 
Ogallala, Indian place name, 136 
Oglala, band of Dakota Indians, 

109, 111; number in 1916, 113 
Omadi, historical sketch, 326 note 

43 
Omaha, city, 134, 143; in 1856, 169 
Omaha Indian reservation, parts 

sold, 120, 124; parts included in 

Burt, Cuming and Thurston 

counties, 320, 321 



Omaha Indians, cession of lands, 
64, 65, 124, 137; organization of 
tribe, 66; practice of adoption 
among, 67, 68; how chieftainship 
was acquired, 67, 69-70; divided 
Into parties, 114; as farmers, 
115; annuities, 116, 125; bad ef- 
fect of buffalo hunting, 116; 
character of, 118; evil Influence 
of chiefs, 119; effect of mescal 
society among, 163 

Omaha Indians Forty Years Ago, 
The, 114 

Omaha-Posten, 78 

Ord, General E, O. C, 34 

Orleans, 31, 54 

Orthodox Friends, Indian agencies 
in charge of, 122 

Osceola, when founded, 82; deriva- 
tion of name, 136 

Oto Indians, 20, 51, 75, 163, 189 
note 

Oto and Missouri Indians, western 
boundary and cession of domain; 
316 

Otoe county, fraudulent voting In 
1859, 207, 210; when named, 315; 
boundaries changed, 315 

Overland stage, 103 

Overland Stage Company, 26 

Owen, Joseph, 325 

Paddock, Algernon S., 179; witness 
In Daily-Estabrook contest, 258; 
counsel for Samuel G. Dally, 211. 
273, 327 note 45 

Paddock, Joseph W., 169 

Paine, Clarence S., death noted, 338 

Panic of 1857, 178 

Patch, J. V. D., treasurer Republi- 
can Valley Land Company. 30 

Pawnee county, in election of 1859, 
210, 318; western bondary, 319 

Pawnee Indians, 20; massacred by 
Sioux, 35, 50, 61; hunt buffalo In 
Republican valley, 34, 51, 53; 
missionaries to, 72; location and 
language, 131; mythology, 134; 



352 



INDEX 



place names, 134, 136, 137; vil- 
lages in Calhoun county, 213, 
255; military expedition against 
In 1859, 214, 216, 218, 287, 322 
note 19, 327 note 48; first agency 
for, 252, 326 note 39; reservation 
of, 252, 253, 292, 327 note 50; 
moved to reservation, 253 

Pawnee Ranch, 12, 16; described, 
9; Indian assault on, 22, 23 

Pease & Paddock, counsel for Sam- 
uel G. Daily, 211, 273 

Peet, W. W., Incorporator of Lin- 
coln Land Company, 56 

Peterson, Lars, Danish settler, 81 

Pethoud, James, in Beatrice expe- 
dition to Little Blue, 18 

Pethoud, Thomas, in Beatrice expe- 
dition to Little Blue, 18 

Peyote, or mescal plant, 164 

P. F. Ranch, Lower, 104, 108; map 
showing location, 110 

Phelps county, when established, 
49; Swedish settlers in, 84 

Phillips, R. O., incorporator of Lin- 
coln Land Company, 56 

Pierce, H. J., clerk Clay county in 
1859, 317 

Pierce county, first, form and name 
changed, 315; one of original 
eight counties, 316 

Pierce county, present, when 
formed, 320 

Pike's Peak, rush of emigrants 
from Nebraska to, 176 

Pine Ridge agency, 108; name sub- 
stituted for Red Cloud, 113 

Pita Leshara, 134 

Platte county, Swedish population, 
85; population in 1859 and 1860, 
214, 322 note 17; in election of 
1859, 235, 261, 318; in representa- 
tive district in 1859, 323 

Plum Creek massacre, 1, 3, 4 

Plum Creek station, situation, 3 

Pohocco, Indian derivative, 134; 
see Powhoco 



Pokrok Za,padu, first Bohemian 
newspaper, 153, 154 

Polk, Cary S., death noted, 333 

Polk county, Swedish population 
in, 85 

Polygamy, among Indians, 77 

Ponca, place name, 136 

Ponca Indian agency, first sepa- 
rate, 326 

Ponca Indians, location, 131, 132 

Pony Express stations, 103, 104 

Poppleton, Andrew J., 169; attor- 
ney in Tator-Neff trial, 1 

Porter, Lieutenant Charles F., on 
Plum Creek massacre, 5 note; on 
Little Blue massacre, 22 

Porter, James R., 317 

Powell, Colonel Ludlow E., 189 

Powhoco, pioneer settlement in Cal- 
houn county, 220; corruption of 
Pahuk, 326, see Pohocco 

Prairie fires, 128 

Presbyterian, missionaries to Paw- 
nee Indians, 72; churches among 
Bohemians, 146; see missions 

Presbyterians, Indian agencies in 
charge of, 122 

Price, Mr., voter in Wauhoo settle- 
ment in 1859, 254 

Pricket, James H., 38, 39 

Prince, Captain W. E., built the 
first Fort Kearny, 189 

Probate judge, powers of in 1859, 
242, 245, 246, 247 

Public records, right of inspection, 
181-183 

Publications of State Historical So- 
ciety, 335; sets may be donated 
to military camps, 335 

Pumpkinseed Creek, misnomer, 135 

Purgett, Mrs. 126 

Purple, Hascall C, traveling elec- 
tion device of, 195 note 

Randall, Dr. H. L., 41, 44 
Rankin, Benjamin P., 258 
Reavis, Isham, 128 note, 129 
Reavis, Mrs. Annie Dorrington, 129 



INDEX 



353 



Red Cloud, characterized, 109 
Red Cloud agency, 107; near North 
Platte River, 104; removal to 
White River, 111; subsequent re- 
movals, 112, 113 
Red Willow county, 29; the Royal 
Buck expedition to, 30-32; selec- 
tion of site for town of Red Wil- 
low, 32, 42, 54, 59, 60; first po- 
litical and first religious meet- 
ings, 32; name proposed, 32; un- 
usual shape and size of county, 
32, 49; first settlements, 32, 34, 
45, 58; first homesteaders, 33; 
colonists diverted to other coun- 
ties, 33; military protection, 34, 
48, 49; first sawmill, 34; Indians a 
menace, 34; first farming, 35; pop- 
ulation and property, 37; county 
organization and incidental tur- 
bulence, 38-40; post offices and 
mall routes, 40; postmasters, 41; 
first district court, 41; manufac- 
turing. Including cheese making, 
41; cattle and sheep raising, 42; 
public health, 42; first school dis- 
tricts, 43; religious organiza- 
tions, 43; storekeeping, 43; pro- 
fessions, 44; first county oflacers, 
44; county seat contest, 45, 47, 
56, 60; buffaloes, 46, 48; remi- 
niscences of Page T. Francis, 46; 
militia, 48; grasshoppers, dam- 
age by, 36, 48; battle of Massa- 
cre Canon, 50, 53, 62; Relief So- 
ciety, 36; principal land com- 
panies, 53; Indlanola established 
55, 60; Buck family, 56; name of 
county misnomer, 135 
Red Willow Creek, 32, 47, 49, 135 
Red Willow Gazette, 33, 47 
Red Willow, town, present status, 

54, 56, 59 
Redick, John I., 177; counsel for 
Experience Estabrook, 211, 273, 
827 note 45 
Reed. Amos, 57 



Reid, Erie H., on situation of P. F. 
Ranch, 108 

Reminiscences of William Augus- 
tus Owyer, 168 

Republican City, early ownership, 
54 

Republican River, derivation of 
name, 137 

Republican valley, early settle- 
ments in, 30-33 

Republican Valley Land Company, 
30 

Republican Valley Land Associa- 
tion, 47, 49, 53, 55, 56, 60 

Revenue bill, territorial, of 1858, 
179 

Richardson, Orlgen D., counsel for 
Experience Estabrook, 211, 273, 
327 note 45 

Richardson, Governor William A., 
179, 198, 315 

Richardson county, earliest settlers 
in, 126; first native white child, 
126; first death, 126; first mar- 
riage, 126; half-breed Indian res- 
ervation, 127; outdoor religious 
services, 127; first meeting house, 
127; first county officers, 128 and 
note; prairie fires, 128; struggle 
to procure a railroad, 159; In the 
election of 1859, 207, 210, 299, 818 

Richardson & Kennedy, counsel for 
Experience Estabrook, 211 

Roberts, Attorney-General, 60 

Roberts, John, director Republican 
Valley Land Company, 30 

Robertson, John B.; 319 

Robidou Pass, 104; signature of 
Francois Robidou, 105 note 

Robinson, Seth, on minimum price 
of school lands, 185 

Rogers, Eliphus H., in Daily-Esta- 
brook contest, 211, 218-221, 258, 
284, 285, 286, 291, 294 

Rogers, Samuel E., on early Oma- 
ha, 178 

Roper, Laura, captured by Indians, 
13, 21 



354 



INDEX 



Rosebud agency, number of Indi- 
ans at, 113 

Rosewater, Edward, 144; estab- 
lished Bohemian weelily Republi- 
can newspaper, 150, 153; member 
House of Representatives in 1871, 
151 

Rosicky, John, 153, 154, 156 

Ross, J., in election of 1859, Cal- 
houn county, 219 

Rulo precinct, in election of 1859, 
208 

Russell, Majors & Co., freighters, 
station at Keamy City, 282; 
route across Calhoun county, 286 

Salem, precinct, in election of 1859, 
208 

Saline, settlement in Calhoun coun- 
ty, situation, 286, 327 note 47 

Saline county, Bohemians in, 143, 
144, 152; in election of 1859, 206, 
207, 283, 284; election of 1860, 
317 

Saloons, in Omaha in 1855, 196 

Samuels, Mrs., 126 

Sanctuary, in Winnebago lodge, 89 

Sandahl Brothers, 82 

Sanssouci, Louis, Indian Interpret- 
er, 64 

Santee agency, on former site of 
Breckenridge, 325 note 32 

Saronville, settled by Swedes, 83 

Sarpy, Peter A., 173 

Sarpy county, creation of, 173; in 
election of 1859, 318 

Saterlee, Dr. Benedict, tragic death 
of, 73 

Saunders county, 315, 317; Swedish 
population, 85; Bohemians In, 
143, 152; included in representa- 
tive district, 315; name changed 
from Calhoun, 317 

Scattering Bear, chosen chief of 
Sioux nation, 69 

Schick, Mrs. Ella Taggert, 102 

School lands, grants of, 183, 184: 



minimum price fixed by law, 184, 
185 

Schools, subscription in Nemaha 
county, 98; common, territorial 
commissioner of, votes for 1859. 
260-265, 271 

Schribel, Mr., 42, 45 

Schurz, Carl, criticised sectarian 
Indian bureau, 124 

Schuessler, J. K., 148 

Scott, Eldred, in election of 1859. 
Calhoun county, 219 

Scotts Bluff county, first settlers. 
103-107; beginning of irrigation, 
103; stage and express stations, 
103, 104; first postmaster, 105: 
towns platted, 107 

Scotts Bluff, town platted, 107 

Seward county, 315 

Shaw, Dr. A. J., 36, 40, 44 

Sheldon, Addison E., elected secre- 
tary of State Historical Society, 
334 

Sheldon, Lawson, 317; his senate 
resolution to investigate alleged, 
frauds by Governor Butler and 
other state officers, 162 

Shinn's Ferry, 220, 254, 285; situa- 
tion of, 1, 323 note 25 

Shumway, Grant L., paper by, 103 

Signals, Indian device, 12 

Sioux Indians, in Republican val- 
ley, 34; not hostile to settlers^ 
51; battle against Pawnee at 
Massacre Canon, 35, 50, 53, 61; 
manner of choosing a chief, 69; 
frequent removals, 108-113 

Sitler, L. K., director Republican 
Valley Land Company, 30 

Sleslnger, Libor Alois, reputed first 
Bohemian in Nebraska, 143 

Smith, D. N., and the town site ol 
Indianola, 38, 47, 55, 56, 59, 60, 
61; and the Republican Valley 
Land Association, 47, 49, 63 

Smith, Dutch, in the Indian out- 
break of 1864, 5 



INDEX 



355 



Smltli, James L., in election of 
1869, Calhoun precinct, 219 

Smith, Fred, Indians attack his 
ranch, 4 

Smith, Joe, 107 

Snell, Novia Z., 333; elected mem- 
ber board of directors, 334 

Sokol societies, Bohemian, 14S 

Some Indian Place Names in Ne- 
Iraska, 130 

South Omaha, 143 

Sparks, John, pioneer settler in 
Scott's Bluff region, 104, 105; 
governor of Nevada, 105 note 

Spotted Tail, as chief of Brul6 
band of Teton Dakota or Sioux, 
109, 111 

Spotted Tail agencies, 111, 112, 113 

Spring Ranch, situation, 22 

St. Stephen precinct, in election of 
1859, 208 

Stambaugh, Mr., voter in "Wau= 
hoo" settlement in 1859, 254 

Standing Hawk, signer of Omaha 
treaty, 65 

Stanton county, composed of parts 
of first and second Izard coun- 
ties, 320; why so named, 320 

Starbuck, I. J., 60; first clerk Red 
Willow county, 38, 39, 44 

State Relief Society, 36 

Steamboats, carried supplies to 
early settlements, 98 

Steele, Robert W., squatter govern- 
or of Territory of Jefferson, 177 

Stephens, Alexander H., and Bird 
B. Chapman, 198 

Stevenson, Tom B., 160, 161 

Stewart, Dr. C. F., 100 

Stockholm, Swedish settlers at, 83 

Stoner, Captain W. H., 17, 18, 21 

Strickland, General Silas A., 171 

Stromsburg, settled by Swedes, 81 

Summers, Colonel Samuel W., 4 
note, 6 note, 7 note 

Swabnrg, Swedish settlement, 82 

Swedehome, settled by Swedes, 82 
Bv>€d€s in Nebraska, 78 



Swedish, immigration, 79, 84; Lu- 
theran churches in Nebraska, 79, 
80; homesteaders, 80; religious 
denominations, 81, 82; towns, 
79-84; population and distribu- 
tion, 84, 85 

Sweet, James, 260, 262 

Swift Bear, 111 

Swoboda, John, 149, 150 

Syracuse precinct, Otoe county, in 
election of 1859, 210 

Table Creek, 190; historical sketch 
of, 189 note 

Taffe, John, In Daily-Estabrook 
contest, 211, 233-235, 258, 289, 290 

Talbot, John, in election of 1859, 
240, 265; first probate Judge of 
Kearney county, 326 note 38 

Tate, Sam, director Republican Val- 
ley Land Company, 30 

Tator-Neff trial, 1 

Taylor, William H., 181 note 

Teton Dakota Indians, location in 
Nebraska, 131 

Thayer, John M,, in Daily-Esta- 
brook contest, 211, 215-218, 258, 
286-288, 295 

The True Logan Fontenelle, 64 

Thomas, T. P., 34, 42, 43 

Thomas ranch, 4 

Thompson, Richard Wigglnton, 
counsel for Samuel G. Daily, 284, 
286, 290, 291, 300 

Thurston county, established, 321; 
part of Omaha reservation in, 321 

Topaota, see Zepeota 

"Topaota House", 324 

Totten, Mr., voter in "Wauhoo" set- 
tlement in 1859, 254 

Touzalin, Albert E., bought lots in 
Indianola, 55; incorporator of 
Lincoln Land Company, 56 

Towle, Mrs, Kittle L, Dorrlngton, 
129 

Town site act of Congress, opera- 
tion of, 170 



356 



INDEX 



Town sites, for speculative pur- 
poses, 195 

Townsend, Oliver, In Beatrice mi- 
litia company, 17, 18 

Tufts, Judge James, in election of 
1859, 224, 229, 230; sketch of, 324 
note 29 

Two Crows, 65, 66, 67 

Two Grizzly Bears, Omaha chief, 
part in treaty of 1854, 65, 66 

Tzschuck, Bruno, 29 

Ubanks, see Eubanks 

Ulich, 14 note, 19 note; see Ulig 

Ulig, Hugo, 18 note, 19 note 

Ulig, Otto, 19 

Ulig, Theodore, killed by Indians 
in outbreak of 1864, 14, 18, 19, 20, 
23 

Union Pacific Railroad, 80, 81, 82 

Unitarians, Indian agencies in 
charge of, 122 

United Brethren, pioneer organiza- 
tion in Red Willow county, 43 

Usher, Frank, 58; member of the 
Royal Buck Red Willow expedi- 
tion, 30 

Utley, V. C, director Republican 
Valley Land Company, 30 

Valentine, John G., settler In first 
Izard county, 262 

Valley Grange, first two postmas- 
ters, 41 

Valparaiso, town, origin and situa- 
tion, 286, 327 note 47 

Van Nostrand, James W., 177 

Village Maker, signed Omaha Indi- 
an treaty of 1854, 65, 66 

Vodicka, V. J., 153 

Vogltanc, F. J., 158 

Vore, Jacob, Quaker agent for 
Omaha Indians, paper by, 114 

Vranek, Rev. John, 155 

W. C. T. U., pioneer work, 101 
Wacapana, settlement in Cedar 
county, 234, 325 note 34 



Waco, misapplied Indian place 

name, 136 
Wagner, William A., death noted, 

333 
Wakeley, Judge Eleazer, In Daily- 

Estabrook contest, 241, 245, 276 
Wallenburg, Magnus, in Daily-Esta- 

brook contest, 211, 236, 259, 292 
Walther, [Charles F.], 185 
Ware, Eugene, 315 
Warren, Lieutenant G. K., 69 
Washington county, in election of 

1859, 207, 209, 318 
Watkins, Albert, historical articles 

by, 29, 197 
Watson, John C, death noted, 333 
Wattles, Stephen H., in Dally-Esta- 

brook contest, 211, 236-240, 258, 

278, 280, 281, 291, 295 
Wauhoo settlement in Calhoun 

county, 254; voters in 1859, 254 
Wausa, settled by Swedes, 82 
Wayne county, part taken from 

first Izard county, 320; estab- 
lished, 321 
Weatherby, Edmund P., death no- 
ted, 333 
Webster, E. D., named for witness 

in Daily-Estabrook contest, 258 
Webster, John L., president of 

State Historical Society, 331, 334 
Wells, Charles W., writes account 

of Indian outbreak on Little 

Blue, 22, 27 
Wells, Edward, see Charles W. 

Wells 
Wells, landlord of Douglas House, 

Omaha, 192; brings reputed first 

lawsuit in Nebraska, 193 
Welty, John F., 128 
West, Frank M., in election of 

1859, at Niobrarah, 223, 226, 227, 

228, 229 
West, N. S., pioneer settler on Bea- 
ver Creek, 41, 45; attacked by 

buffaloes, 46 
West Point, situation and first set- 



INDEX 



357 



tlement, 216, 256; made county 
seat, 323 

Westamond, Mr., keeper of Indian 
trading store at Niobrarah, 222, 
228 

Western Bohemian Fraternal Or- 
der, 147, 156 

Weston, Jefferson B., 9, 16 

Weygint, William, 58, 59 

Whetstone agency, situation. 111 

Wickham, H. M., in Beatrice expe- 
dition to Little Blue, 17, 18 

Wickland, H. M., see H. M. Wick- 
ham 

Wiggins, Horace S., 334 

Wiggins-Babcock Company, 331-333 

Wilber, Bohemians in, 143 

Wildman, W. D., part proprietor of 
Red Willow town site, 40, 42, 49 

Wiles, William, 317 

Wilhite, J. R., 128 note 

Wilhite, Sarah E. Crook, paper by, 
126; residence, 128 note 

Willis, John S., clerk of first Izard 
county, 262 

Willsie, Myron W., 55 

Wilsie, M., see Myron W. Willsie 

Wilson, Charles, voter at Nebraska 
Center, 263, 325; and Kearny 
City, 266 

Wilson, Henry, voter at Nebraska 
Center, 263, 325 

Wilson, Leander, member Beatrice 
expedition to Little Blue, 18 



Winnebago Indians, clan organiza- 
tion, 86; original habitat, 86; up- 
per and lower clans, 87; clan 
characteristics, 87-88; chiefs cho- 
sen from Thunder Clan, 88; 
lodge discipline, 89; respective 
functions of clans, 90; marriage 
customs, 90; derivation of Win- 
nebago names, 91; general cus- 
toms, 92; fasting encouraged, 93; 
mescal society among, 163 

Wise, Jonathan, named for witness 
in Daily-Estabrook contest, 259 

Women of Territorial Nebraska, 95 

Wood River Center, in election of 
1859, 239, 260, 325 

Woolworth, James M., 177 

Wyman, L, J., 104, 106 

Wyman, William W., candidate for 
territorial treasurer in 1859, 260- 
265, 271 

Wyoming, 217; situation, 323 note 
23 

Yates, Henry W., 179 note 

Yellow Smoke, signed Omaha In- 
dian treaty of 1854, 65, 66 

Young, Rev. J. M., 100 

Young, Mrs. J. M., 101 

Young, Mr., among first settlers in 
Red Willow country, 34 

Yutan, derivation of name, 75 

Zepeota, pioneer settlement in 
L'Eau Qui Court county, 226, 227, 
233, 234, 274, 324