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I 3 1833 02595 0517 

(Gc 978.2 N27p v. 7, Ser. 2, v. 2 
Nebraska State Historical. 


V State Historical. Society 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 





State Historical Society 







Lincoln, Nebraska, June 1, 1898. 
To the Hon. Silas A. Ilolcomb, Governor of Nebraska : 

Sir — In accordance with the provisions of law, we herewith sub- 
mit our report of the proceedings of the State Historical Society 
for the past year. 

Very respectfully, 

J. Sterling Morton, 


HoAVARD W. Caldwell, 




J. Sterling Morton, President, . . . Nebraska City. 

Robert W. Furnas, First Vice-President, . . Brownville. 

G. M. Lambertson, Second Vice-President, . Lincoln. 

Charles H. Gere, Treasurer, .... Lincoln. 

HoAVARD W. Caldwell, Secretary, . . . Lincoln. 


Publication — The Secretary, S. L. Geisthardt, S. D. Cox. 
Obituaries — R. W. Furnas, Geo. L. Miller, W. H. Eller. 
Program — The Secretary, J. L. Webster, J. M. Woolworth. 
Library — Jay Amos Barrett, Mrs. S. B. Pound, Prof. F. M. Fling. 










Presenteti at the session of the State Historical Society, .Tannarv 10, 1895, In Jay 

Amos Barrett. 

Few people, perhaps, notice that the eeiisiis reports of l.SSO and 
1890 do not agree about the area ot Nebraska. Inde(?d the small 
difference of about GOO S(iuare miles mij^ht easily be supj)osed to 
be due to correction of estimates, in the case of a state having 
nearly SO, 000 square miles within its borders. There is, how- 
even', a long story to tell about that nmtter, and a simple state- 
ment of it 1 now offer you. 

In ISS'J, a law* of the Fnited States gave to Nebraska the land 
north of the Niobrara river that had previously belonged to 
Dakota. Our northern boundary follows the forty-third parallel 
eastward to the Missouri l iver. Before 1882, it followed this 
parallel only to the Keya Paha branch of the Niobrara, and these 
two streams constituted tlie r(unainder of the nortluM u boundary 
to the Missouri. In and about the corner of lowland, prairie, and 
hills between the Niobrara and the Missouri, the earliest white 
explorers found a tribe of simple Indian folk, living by the chase 
and by primitive horticulture, unassuming, generous, and brave. 
The re])()rt of the expedition of Lewis and (Jlark to the northwest, 
which reached the confluence of these rivers in September, 1S04. 
has this item : 

''The two men whom we dis])atched to the village of the same 
name, leturned with information that they had found it on the 
lower side of the creek; but as this is the hunting season, the 
town was so completely deserted that they had killed a buff alo in 
the village itself. This tribe of Poncaras, who are said to have 
once numbered 400 men, are now reduced to about fifty, and have 
associated for mutual protection with the Mahas, who are about 

*47tl) Congress, 1st sess., chap. 52: U. S. Statutes, vol. 22, pp. 85. 3fi. 




200 iu number. These two nations are allied by a similarity of 
misfortune; they were once both numerous, both resided in vil- 
lages and cultivated Indian corn; their common enemies, Sioux 
and small-pox, drove them from their towns, which they visit 
only occasionally for the purpose of trade; and they now wander 
over the plains on the sources of the Wolf and Quicurre rivers.''* 

The numbers given by travelers concerning tribes of Indians 
are rarely accurate. Between the beginning of this century and 
the time of accurate statistics in recent years, the number of 
Indians under the care of the government has been variously 
estimated. In fact, even the Secretary of War and the Indian 
Commissioners varied 340,000. Samuel Parker, in an account of 
his travels from 1835 to 1837, came nearer the truth when he 
said: ''The Ponca Indians * * * number six or eight hun- 
dred and speak the same language as the Omahas."t While 
explorers, traders, hunters, and missionaries followed the Mis- 
souri to its source, or traveled the plains through which the 
Platte slowly makes its way to the sandy bottoms at its mouth, 
the Poncas attracted little notice. Chance paragraphs now and 
then said there w^as such a tribe; that they were related to the 
Omahas and spoke the same dialect; and that they occupied "all 
the territory between the Wliite Earth river and the Mobrara." 

The United States came into treaty relations with them first in 
1817. Perpetual peace and friendship were declared, every 
injury was to be forgot, and the Poncas acknowledged the 
supremacy of the United States. French traders had been much 
up and down the river and across the country in the early years 
of ihm century, and when the Louisiana country came under the 
laws of the rising western republic the agents of this new power 
gradually found their way up the Missouri from St. Louis. At 
first, one general agent dealt with the tribes. Then division of 
labor began with a second agent for "the tribes on the Missouri 
above the Kansas." Even he resided at St. Louis. During the 
war of 1812, the axe which the agents had to grind, under the 

*Lewis and Clarke's Travels (London, 1815), T, 91. 
* t Journal of an Exploring Tour, 18^5, '36, '37 (Ithaca, 1842), p. 45. 


superintendeiicy of Mr. (Maikc, ^overiioi- of MisHouri territory, 
was the prevention of British infiuence from the north. An 
Indian Report says of Manuel Lisa, who was agent and interpre- 
ter in 1815 at a salary of |548: '^He has been of great service in 
preventing British influence the last year."* Presents were made 
to the Missouri tribes in 1814, ^'by order of William Clarke," to 
the amount of |11,847.58, "to counteract British influence, and set 
them at war."t A few years later, the agent of the Missouri 
tribes was located at Council Bluffs, a height of land overlooking 
the Missouri from the Nebraska side, where the brave and hardy 
explorers of 1804 entertained some Indian chiefs in council. On 
the heels of the movement of the military up the river came the 
Ponca treaty of 1825.$ Mutual concessions were made. The 
government agreed to protect the Poncas, and the tribe in turn 
agreed not to supply the enemies of the United States with nec- 
essaries. They again acknowledged the supremacy of the United 
States, guaranteed protection to authorized agents of the gov- 
ernment, and it was agreed that all trade should be at some 
designated point. The question that presented itself to the au- 
thorities at that time was almost wholly one of trade. Reports 
are full of it. Members of congress tried their minds upon the 
utility of the so-called "factory system," and their acts make a 
long story of the rise and fall of trading houses. Meanwhile the 
tribes went on their semi-annual buffalo hunt, to secure robes and 
furs for trade, and subsistence for themselves. The years be- 
tween the treaty of 1825 and the opening of the lands west of the 
Missouri to the rising tide of fortune hunters and settlers, were 
not eventful for these Indians, but they were big with promises 
of what the pale-face would bring with him and of what he would 
take away from them. The curse of strong drink came with 
the stranger; but fortunately, the chapters of awful misdeeds 
that may and will be recorded about that need not be written of 
the Poncas. This same stranger took from them their lands. 

*Amer. State Papers, Indian Affairs, II, 76. 
t Amer. State Papers, Indian Affairs, II, 75. 

+ Amer. State Papers, Indian Affairs, II, 595-596. U. S. Statutes at Large, VII. 


Witli the Kansas-Nehraska Bill in 1854, the so-called "Indian 
Country'' of our western plains passed into history. Immigra- 
tion set in from the well populated east and the half occupied 
Mississippi valley, until there was left in the vicinity of the Mis- 
souri hai-dly a section of land across which the settler had not 
passed. The reports of Indian oflQcials from 1850 to 1856 make 
almost no reference to the Poncas. The agent for this section of 
country had a score of tribes to deal with during a portion of 
this tim(\ and he could not he expected to pay any attention to 
such an insignificant and harmless tribe as the Poncas. A 
chance reference to them in the report of 1855, however, says that 
the Pawnees and the I*oncas, who with the Omahas, Otoes, and 
Missouris constituted the Council Bluffs agency, were in an "un- 
settled state.''*' The superintendent writes: "The Poncas have 
also been guilty of depredations, and have the character of law- 
less Indians." It is "very desirable that the Pawnees and Pon- 
cas should be brought under some restraint." "It is understood 
that tlie Poncas are anxious to make some treaty arrangements." 
The report of the next year gives a clue to the cause of this un- 
usual restlessness. Writing from St. Louis in Sej)t ember, 1856, 
the superintendent thus alludes to the Poncas: 

''The Ponca Indians have no existing treaty with the United 
States, and such is also the case now with the Pawnees. The 
former tribe inhabits the valley of the I'Eau qui Court, and the 
adjacent country below that river. They plant corn to some ex- 
tent, but pass much of their time on the roads leading to the 
Platte. Their lands are being settled upon by squatters.''t The 
commissioner of Indian affairs, too, remarks: "From the uncer- 
tainty of reaping the fruit of their labors," the Pawnees and the 
Poncas "seem to be depressed."! 

The circumstances leading up to the treaty of 1858 seem to be 
clear. The Indians on their part were anxious to have some sort 

*Mess. and Docs, of U. S., 1855-'56, I, 325. 
tMess. and Docs., 1856-'57, I, 619. 
.tMess. and Docs., 1856-'57, I, 559. 

riii: I'oNcAs, 


of a salV^iiai'd aj^ainsl I lie tide of |K)|)ii la I ioii lliai was Ix'^^iiiiiiii;^ 
to (Mici'oacli upon llicii- lands. I say **tli<'ii- lands." foi- IIk'v li\'(Ml 
by wlial tlioii' disli'ici sn|)j)lio(l IIhmii. 'Plicii- idea of jjosscssion 
was vcvy unlike onrs. 'I'hry did nol concciNC of inili\ idual own- 
erslii}) of tlic soil, and Ihcir claim lo occiiitaiicy of a disti'icl 
ceased as soon as lUoro failed lo be anyliiin;^ l(» siippoil lliein. 
They then emigrated. 

On tlu^ part of llu^ govei nment and I he Indian ( 'ommissioner 
th(M'e was a desii-e lo systematize dealinj^s with the Indians, and 
to confine the tribes within certain bounds. NN'lien ])oth })ar(ies 
were willing to have a treaty it was not long in forthcoming. 

On 1h(^ twelfth day of ^larch. 1858, in the city of Washington, 
six chiefs of the Ponca nation concluded a treaty with the gov- 
ernment of the United States, by which they gave nj) all the 
lands that had 8n])ported them, except a small reserve about 
twenty miles long and six miles wide, lying between the Niobrara 
and l/onca rivers. Under the second article of this treaty the 
United States agreed: First, "to protect the Toncas" in the ijos- 
session of this tract of land, "during good behavior on their 
part," and to protect '^their persons and their property thereon." 
Secondly, to pay them or to expend for their benefit certain an- 
nuities described in the treaty. Thirdly, to expend |2(), ()()() in 
subsisting the tribe during the tirst year, while they should be 
accommodating themselves to their new location and adapting 
themselves to an agricultural life. Fourthly, to establish and to 
maintain for ten years a manual labor school, or schools, for the 
education and training of the Ponca youth in letters, agriculture, 
the mechanic arts, and housewifery. Fifthly, to provide the 
Poncas with a mill suitable for grinding grain and sawing lum- 
ber. And finally, to expend |20,000 in liquidating the existing 
obligations of the Poncas. The right of eminent domain was 
asserted by the government, the same as for any other land under 
the laws of tlie United States. 

As the government agreed to protect the tribe, they in their 
turn agreed not to enter into hostilities with other tribes. 

Treaties of U. S. (Boston, 1860), pp. 65, 60. 



Such was the agreement under which this little tribe of Indians 
commenced their struggle towards a realization of the happi- 
ness which they supposed the whites enjoyed. Perhaps the most 
remarkable provision, everything considered, is the article touch- 
ing intemperance, which reads as follows: 

"To aid in preventing the evils of intemperance, it is hereby 
stipulated that if any of the Poncas shall drink, or procure for 
others, intoxicating liquor, their proportion of the tribal annui- 
ties shall be withheld from them for at least one year; and for a 
violation of any of the stipulations of this agreement on the part 
of the Poncas, they shall be liable to have their annuities with- 
held, in whole or in part, and for such length of time as the Presi- 
dent of the United States shall direct." Whatever may be said 
of its severity, the effect was certainly wholesome. I question if 
there has been a more exemplary set of Indians west of the 
Mississippi than these have been since that treaty. 

In 1865 a supplemental treaty was made. In place of a portion 
of the other reserve, — ^the greater portion be it said, — ^they were 
given somewhat more land farther down between the Ponca and 
Niobrara rivers and the greater portion of six fractional town- 
ships south of the Niobrara. They then held the land on either 
side of the Mobrara for four or five miles immediately above its 
mouth, with some frontage upon the Missouri. The government 
did this, in the words of the treaty itself, "by way of rewarding 
them for their constant fidelity to the government and citizens 
thereof, and with a view of returning to the said tribe of Ponca 
Indians their old burying grounds and cornfields." 

Here was the basis, in these two treaties, of a permanent settle- 
ment of all questions that arise between the government and its 
v/ards, as far as the Poncas were concerned. They had given up 
their old life, except that they sometimes got permission to hunt 
buffalo, when reduced to starvation; they had settled down to an 
agricultural life; they adhered to the letter of their agreement, 
in their relations with the other Indians; and there is not a single 
report of the Indian agents from 1858 to the time of the third act 
in his drama, in 1877, that does not speak in the highest terms 



of this little baud. During tliis period tlie^ir average number wa« 
809. Their interest in improvement and their real succesHes you 
may gather from the paragraphs found here and there in the 
reports of the officials. 

In 1866 it was said:* ''There are, however, two tribes in thin 
superintendency (Poncas and Yankton Sioux) who hav(- for a 
number of years been settled upon reservations adjacent to the 
white settlements, and who have generally taken the first steps 
toward improvement and civilization and it is believed they are 
prepared to make another advance. * * * It is believed to 
be proper at this time to olfer encouragement for a second step," 
the opening of schools. The Commissioner said in 1869 :t ''The 
Poncas are the most peaceable and law-abiding of any of the 
tribes of Indians. They are warm friends of the whites and truly 
loyal to the government, and they fully deserve its consideration 
and protection." 

In 1873J the agent, Mr. Birkett, commenced the plan of dis- 
tributing the supplies to families, instead of putting the supplies 
into the hands of the chiefs, to be allotted to the families at- 
tached to them according to fancy or favor. There were at this 
time three villages, located within two miles of each other: 
Agency Town, Fish Village, and Point Village. The govern- 
ment had kept its promise to erect a sawmill, and in the winter 
time, when ice covered the rivers, logs were brought from the 
islands. In 1862, almost entirely by the work of Indians, 35,000 
feet of lumber were cut. From 1868 to 1876 very nearly half a 
million feet were reported cut, of which 150,000 were cut in 1871. 

The system, or lack of system, of distributing rations gratui- 
tously among the families or heads of families, was abolished in 
1873 also. The plan must work greatly to the prejudice of close 
application and industrious habits generally. In place of that, 
they substituted the rule that each Indian, in order to get his 
share of supplies, must do his part of the daily work in the field 

^Rept. Sec. Interior, 1866-'67: Letter of Gov. Newton Edmunds, Sept. 22, 1866, 
tRept. Ind. Com., 1869, p. 753. 
JRept. Tnd. Com., 1873, p. 240. 



or at the mill or iu the shops. The old and the sick were ex- 
cepted. The innovation worked to a charm; for soon the head 
chief of the full-bloods, White Eagle, the very last to adopt the 
plan, before the year was over, guided both a reaper and a mower. 
They were said in the years 1874 and 1875 to be ^'peaceable, agri- 
culturally disposed, provided with good lands and ])lenty of farm- 
ing implements, and not utterly averse and unaccustomed to 

The story about the farming implements does not tally Avith a 
report a year or two later, which says: ''They 'are peaceable and 
well-behaved, and have worked faitlifully during the past five 
months, considering the many difficulties they have had to con- 
tend with — the repeated attacks by the hostile Sioux, the scarcity 
of farming implements, etc. Many of the Indians were obliged 
to cut their wheat with butcher knives, owing to the fact that we 
have only one reaping machine and could not get around in time 
to harvest it; consequently much of the wheat crop was lost.''* 

The misfortunes that came to these well-deserving ])eople were 
many. The fact that there was no game whatever upon their 
reserve would not have disheartened such sturdy fellows if their 
crops had been successful. But with the exception of two or 
three seasons, crops failed successively. Sometimes grasshop- 
pers came and the crop departed with them. Infrequently, the 
Missouri flooded the bottom lands where their farms were, and 
left no hope of sulficient subsistence. When these evils came 
not, perchance they saw a fair harvest shrivel at the touch of 
thirsty winds. But all these together worked much less injury 
to their cause than the Sioux. From earliest years scarcely a 
report fails to mention the ''hostile Sioux.'' These Dakotas 
were many tribes, and added to superiority of numbers was an 
aggressive temperament that made them a terror to all the 
Indians in the Platte valley. Only the Pawnees seemed to con- 
tend successfully with them. 

The Dakota tribes situated nearest to the Poncas crossed the 
latter's reserve on their way to hunt in the Platte valley, and 
*Rept. Ind. Cora., 1876, p. 32. 

I'lll'; I'ONCAS. 

never failed to rxiJi-ess in an liKliarfs \n a v llirii- roiiicmpi Toi 
"■treaty Indians." In liieir daily or weekly \ isils lliey stele I he 
luM'ses of the Poncas, killed (h(Mr oxen, and sonietinu'S in I he 
skii'inishes that (^isued killed niendxMS of Ihe Irihe. The aj^cnt 
was powerh^ss (o do more than |)lace in a defensixc altitude the 
Indians under his charge: They liad <>iv(Mi up their arms to the 
government; but there were a few guns on llu' i-eservation 
that eould be used. The agent called u])on the army olhcials to 
station sohliers at the ai>'ency. Half a dozen wer<' hnally })laced 
there. Later, as many as tifteen were aUowed foi' piotection 
against bands of Sioux numbering 200 to 300. 

The Poncas became so terrorized that they could be removed 
scarcely far enough from the agency buildings to do the farm 
work. The hostile Indians frequently sIiowxhI themselves at the 
tops of the bluffs in sight of the agency and shot at anything in 
sight. Some feeble effort was made by the commissioner to se- 
cure protection. In 1871, this small paragraph found its way 
into the Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs: "The gov- 
ernment owes them (/. c, the partially civilized tribes) the pro- 
tection of their rights, to which it is solemnly pledged by treaty, 
and which it cannot fail to give without dishonor."* 

How^ did the Indians themselves behave under these circum- 
stances? I will read you for answer tw^o excerpts from the re- 
ports. The agent in 1868, referring to the failure of crops and 
the destitution of the Indians^ says if 

"The Poncas have behaved well; quite as well, if not better 
than, under like circumstances, the same number of whites would 
have done. I have known whole families to live for days to- 
gether on nothing but half-dried cornstalks, and this when there 
were cattle and sheep within their sight. If I had given them 
what beef they could have consumed, the fifty head at this 
agency would not have lasted them ten days. * * * if there 
are any Indians who deserve the charity of the government, the 
Poncas do." 

*P. 17. ~" " 

tRept. Sec. Interior, 1863-~'t>4, p. 279. 



Governor Newton Edmunds, of Dakota territory, wrote in 
1866:* '^Since my acquaintance with this tribe for a period of up- 
wards of five years, they have remained faithful to their treaty 
obligations in every particular, under circumstances that would 
have palliated, if not excused, a hostile attitude on their part." 

Here, then, was a problem : A tribe of Indians willing to work, 
placed where they were unable to gain a living by the chase, and 
where by a fortuitous combination of circumstances they were 
unable to raise enough to subsist themselves from year to year. 
Their annual appropriations, while apparently large, afforded 
very insufficient means of living when expended upon various 
kinds of things: the school, the two mills, the agricultural ma- 
chinery, clothing, labor of government blacksmith, physician, 
and farmer, — every separate item of this kind drew upon their 
funds until an appropriation of |20,000 went but a small part of 
the long way to a tolerable condition of life. 

From the Indians' own standpoint a solution could be had in 
this way: They might go down to their cousins, the Omahas, 
where there was apparently subsistence enough, and certainly 
land enough, for both. At the failure of their crop in 1863, in 
fact, they did go there and the Omahas shared their own corn 
with the Poncas. The secretary of the interior suggested in his 
report for that year that the Poncas perhaps could be settled 
upon the Omaha reserve. Several times this was suggested, and 
in one report it was declared that both tribes desired it and that 
there was nothing lacking except funds for purchasing lands 
of the Omahas and for expenses of removal. 

Meanwhile the government had greatly complicated matters 
by a treaty with the Sioux tribes, in which all the Ponca lands 
were included within the territory granted to the Sioux. It may 
be true that the Ponca language is properl}' classified as a 
^^Siouan dialect." But it is very clear that the Sioux did not 
regard the Poncas ais one of their kind. The Brule Sioux, from 
whom the Poncas seem to have suffered most, told them long be- 
fore this treaty that the country where the Poncas hunted was 
*Rept. Sec. Interior, 1866-'67, p. 178. 

Till-: 1»()N(!AS. 


Sioux territory. At'tei- tho unfortunate treaty of 18G8, the con- 
tinuance of the Poncas within the Sioux reservation was con- 
strued by the Sioux as a breach of the treaty by the wliites. 
From more distrust came more hostility towards both Poncas 
and whites. Instead of correcting the mistake of extending the 
Sioux reserve over the Touca kinds; instead of affording sufficient 
protection to these defenseless Indians at their original estab- 
lishment upon the very border of hostile territory, the slow ma- 
chinery of our government found another way. There appears 
no evidence in the reports through which I have looked that the 
Indian commissioner seriously considered the proposition to 
locate the Poncas and Omahas together. It was determined 
to locate the Poncas in Indian Territory, nominally with their 
consent, really without it.* By 1876, when money was appro- 
priated for the purpose of relocating them, ''with their consent," 
better times had come. The Sioux had quite ceased to trouble 
them ; crops were better ; and they were much more contented 
to remain in their native land than go to others they knew 
not of. Said the agent sent out from Washington: "An order 
has been issued to take the tribe to Indian Territory." In the 
<?ouncil of his tribe, assembled to hear this, Chief Standing Bear 
replied :t "This land is ours. We never sold it. We have our 
houses and our homes here. Our fathers and some of our chil- 
dren are buried here. Here we wish to live and die. We have 
harmed no man. We have kept our treaty. We have learned 
to work. We can make a good living here. We do not wish to 
mil our land, and we think no man has a right to take it from us. 
Here we will live and here we will die." 

"The Indian Territory is a very much better country," was the 
answer. "You can raise more grain and not work near so hard. 
If you once see it you will not want to stay in Dakota. Let the 
chiefs go down and look at the land and if they do not like it the 
Poncas may stay where they are. And if they want to sell the 
Great Father in Washington will buy your Dakota lands and give 
jou all the land you need in Indian Territory." 

*Rept. of Com., 1876, p. xvii. 
f The Ponca Chiefs, pp. 2, 3. 



The tribe chose ten of the leading men to look at the country. 
The}' came, they saw, but they did not choose. They preferred 
their own lands in Dakota. The officials of the goyernnient now 
began to use shall instead of may. 

Upon repeated refusal of the chiefs to consider the matter, the 
the commissioners lost their temper. "Then stay here and 
starve,'' they said; and they left the Indians to be arbiters of 
their own fate. The ten Poncas saw sickness there, and stony 
ground, and they said: "It is better for ten of us to die than that 
the Avhole tribe, all the women and little children, should be 
brought there to die.'' Eight of the ten commenced the journey 
home on foot, two being old men, too feeble for such exertion. In 
fifty days they reached the Otoe agency in southern Nebraska. 
With the help they obtained of the Otoes, the rest of the journey 
was made more rapidly. Again at the Ponca agency, they found 
those same agents and (officials. Standing Bear's temper now 
got the better of him, and he said: 

"IMuit are you here for? What business have you to eome 
here at all? I never sent for yon. I don't want anything to do 
with you. '^'ou ar(^ all liai s. Vou are all bad men. You have 
no autliority from the (Ireat Father. You came out here to 
clieat and steal. You can read and write and I can't and you 
tliink you know eyerything and 1 know nothing. If some man 
should take you a thousand miles from home, as you did me, and 
leave you in a strange country without one cent of money, where 
you did not know the language and could not speak a word, you 
would never have got liome in the world. You don't know 
enough. I want you to go off this reservation. You have no 
business liere, and don't come ba<'k until you bring a k-tter from 
the Great Father. Then if you want to buy my land, bring the 
money with you so I cau see it. If I want to sell, I will talk with 
you. If I don't, I won't. This is my land. The (ireat Father 
did not give it to me. My ])eople were here and owned this land 
before th(M-e was any (U-vi\t Father. We sold him some land, 
but we iiev(M- sold this. This is mine. God gave it to me. When 
I want to sell it. I will let you know. You are a rascal and a liar. 


and I want von lo j;^! ott my land. If \<mi ^^<M•(* trcatiii;^ a vvhit<* 
man way you arc hcatin*' nu* lu^ would kill you and cvciy- 
body would say he did i ij»iit. I will not do that. 1 will harm no 
white man, but this is my land, and I intend to stay iR^re and 
make a good living for my wife and children. Von can go."* 

The half-breeds were the only part of the tinb(^ that wanted to 
go. The Poncas refused. On the ITtli of April, 1877, 170 mem- 
bers of the tribe, mostly half-breeds, accompanied the agent 
across the Niobrara river and began the journey on foot towards 
the Indian Territory. Mr. E. A. Howard, just appointed their 
new agent, reached Columbus in time to meet this detachment 
there. He left this advance guard w^ith the former agent, and 
made his way to the Tonca reservation. Several councils were 
called without avail. Finally, when the United States soldiers 
had been sent for, and it was represented to the Indians that the 
soldiers were coming to light with them, they sorrow^fnlly chose 
the other alternative. 

This journey was also b}^ foot, at a time when rains detained 
them and swollen streams lengthened their long w^ay, and the 
slippery path made home-leaving doubly hard. With heavy 
hearts the tribe moved their baggage across the Niobrara on the 
Kith of May, and traveled fifty-four days before they reached 
the new^ location in Indian Territory, tired and sick. The first 
part of the tribe had occupied tw^o days longer than this in their 
trip. A last word from the agent, taken from his report for that 
year, will be sufficient to show the lack of foresight, the delib- 
erate stupidity, the brutal neglect, of the government in the last 
act. After reporting the details of this injustice, Mr. HoAvard 
writes :t 

''I am of the opinion that the removal of the Poncas from the 
northern climate of Dakota to the southern climate of the Indian 
Territory, at the season of the year it was done, w^ll prove a mis- 
take, and that a great mortality will surely follow among the 
people when they shall have been here for a time and become 

*The Ponca Chiefs, 7, 8. 

tRept. Indian Commis., 1877, p. 100. 



poisoned with the malaria of the climate. Already the effect of 
the climate may be seen upon them in the ennui that seems to 
have settled upon each, and in the large number now sick. 

"It is a matter of astonishment to me that the government 
should have ordered the removal of the Ponca Indians from Da- 
%kota to the Indian Territory, without having first made some 
provision for their settlement and comfort. Before their re- 
moval was carried into elfect an appropriation should have been 
made by congress sufiicient to have located them in their new 
home, by building a comfortable house for the occupancy of every 
family of the tribe. As the case now is, no appropriation has 
been made by congress except of a sum but little more than suf- 
ficient to remove them; no houses have been built for their use, 
and the result is that these people have been placed on an unculti- 
vated reservation to live in their tents as best they may, and 
await further legislative action." 

The trials of this brave and patient people during the years 
that have intervened between that sad day and the present may 
?4ometime be told as a sequel. Only one other chapter remains 
to be written of them, in their relation to Nebraska, and that may 
not here be given. It is the attempt of a number of the Poncas 
to return to their native place, known in law as the Ponca Haheas 
Oorjms Case. 

This very small and insignificant tribe of Indians has cost the 
government of the United States, in appropriations, about |1,280,- 
©00. Its members are perhaps no happier to-day than they were 
100 years ago, and much of the time during which the United 
states has act^d as their guardian, the Poncas have been in ac- 
tual distress. 

If a small tribe costs a million and a quarter, what does a large 
tribe cost? A single instance will suffice to show how it some- 
times costs. In 1877, the same law which set apart |15,000 for 
removal of the Poncas, appropriated outright, in one lump sum, 
11,125,000 "for subsistence, [for the Sioux] including the Yank- 
ton Sioux, * * * and for other purposes of their civiliza- 
tion." The same act also appropriates, besides this, in several 

rilK I'O.NCAS. 

small siinis, |411), ()()(). The ^ovcriniH'iil lind lo be moi-c lilicial in 
dealin}^ with the Sioux, for I hey vvcrc^ crafty fellows. 

WhtM-e two j>(Mi(Mal ions jij^o the INmcM chiefs led Hhmi- vvarrioi s 
in th(* chase, and vvluMe later Ihese tried as best they could to 
learn the white uian's ways and endured untold hardships to 
keep unbroken the word of i)roniise which they held sacred, white 
farmers now follow the plow, unconscious of the ]:)itiful story 
act«Hl out upon that soil. 



Bead before the State Historical Society, Jauuarv 14. 1890, by Father William 

Murphy, of Seward. 

Captain Patrick Sarstield Real, by birtli an Irishman, ratholic 
in religion, in political affiliations republican, at the age of six- 
teen, immigrated in 1851, \N ith his parents to Peoria county, Illi- 
nois. The months of the year not occupied with the labors of the 
farm he spent in assiduous application to the studies afforded 
him in our public schools at that time, and thereby developed and 
rendered more perfect the qualities of a mind which nature had 
already made more than ordinarily strong. By the training thus 
received, a training admirably calculated to mature and in- 
vigorate the qualities of mind, heart, and body, for the reason 
that the influences of home and the school and the farm com- 
bined, like so many potent forces, in exerting all their power at 
the same time on the same individual at the formative period of 
life, he became well fitted for the duties which patriotism after- 
wards called upon him to perform in that great contest which 
was forever to decide whether free institutions were to continue 
to exist, or be forever supplanted by the political serfdom which 
before the declaration of independence had claimed that man 
was made for the government, and not government for the man. 

About the time the first shot was filled on the flag at Fort 
^^umter, Captain Real was detained by sickness in a hospital 
in the city of Xew Orleans, Louisiana. One day, feeling better 
than usual, he took a short walk to a neighboring park, wliere, 
sitting in the midst of a group of men, he listened for a short tim;' 
with feelings of growing indignation to their intemperate and dis- 
loyal conversation. At length, with that calm, determined, reso- 
lute manner characteristic of him, he interrupted the conversa- 
tion by declaring that the Union had a claim on his loyalty, not 
only because he had sworn to defend it, but also because it was 

MFK OK ( Al'TAl.N \'. UKAL, 

the hvHi jioverumeut on (*ai'tli, and 1)*s.s(h1, ni()r<M>v<*r. iJh- al) 
solute aft'ections of his heart. He called upon those present to 
point out a single wron": (^ver done to any citizen by that j^overn- 
nient. Such lan«j;uage seems simple and easy in 1S!)(;, but in isfJl. 
in the city of New Orleans, alone and fai- from loyal citizens, it 
i*e(|uired soniethin*; of the heroic to jiive utterance to it. llavinj' 
been immediately informed that a longer residence in that city 
would endanger his safety, he set out in a day or two for St. 
lA)uis, w^here, responding to the tirst call of Abraham Lin< <»lii 
in 1861, he enlisted as a private in comi)any E, Seventh regiment 
of Missouri volunteers, from which he was transferred one year 
later to company K, Ninetieth regiment of Illinois A'oluuteei-s. 

Right here he again manifested one of his remarkable charac- 
teristics. His soldierly and civic virtues attracted to him the 
attention of his comrades, and won their contidence to such an 
extent that in the election of officers he was chosen captain, to 
the exclusion of him who had enlisted and formed the company. 
While Mr, Real ardently desired that office on account of the 
honor and greater opportunities it gave him of performing mor(^ 
effective deeds for his country, he nevertheless refused to accept 
it, and informed his comrades that justice and honor required 
them to elect for their captain him who had labored so patriotic- 
ally to enlist the company, and that he himself was determined 
for the present not to wield the sword, but to shoulder the mus- 
ket. The other was accordingly elected captain, but after a short 
experience in the field had to retire, because he wanted those 
qualities which alone can win the contidence of men in actual 
warfare. Mr. Real was immediately elected to the vacancy and 
was distinguished by his soldierly virtues to the end of the war. 
in which he participated in twenty-five general engagements, 
among which may be mentioned Lookout Mountain, Missionary 
Ridge, and all through the Atlanta campaign. To have been a 
soldier of that army in such a campaign, familiarly known as 
Sherman's march to the sea. to have shared the hardships, to 
have overcome the dangers, to have won every battle in obtaining 
the objective of a campaign so unique in the history of warfare. 


either ancient or modern, to have followed a commander so dis- 
tinguished for extraordinary military genius and success that he 
stands out alone in all lii story, is glory enough for any man, how 
exalted soever may have been his rank. It is enough for Cap- 
tain Real to have performed well the duties that devolved upon 
him as a captain in that magnificent array of wonderful men, 
and thus with theirs to have his name written upon the scroll of 

I will now narrate some of those actions which portray a few 
of his special characteristics. He took special pleasure in speak- 
ing in the highest terms of his commander, General Sherman, 
and of the absolute confidence reposed in him by the soldiers. 
Nothing, how small soever it apparently might be. was beneath 
the attention of that general. On one occasion Captain Real 
wished to mail a letter he had written to the young lady who 
afterward became his wife. It happened that he inquired or 
some soldiers marching by about the mail agent. General Sher- 
man, who had not been noticed, was close by on lioresback, and 
hearing the captain's inquiry, said to him: "Captain, I will take 
cliarge of your mail and see that it will be forwarded." It was 
by such courtesies and attentions, seemingly small, as well as by 
his transcendent abilities, that General Sherman won the hearts 
of liis soldiers and fused them into one with his own. 

Although engaged in the terrible business of waging war, Cap- 
tain Real did not deem it necessary to become sullied with any 
vices. He looked upon war as the supreme effort of man to ad- 
minister justice. He revered justice as one of the four cardinal 
virtues. In the exercise of virtue he could not see why vice 
should be contracted. While striking heavy and deadly blows 
in the midst of battle, the lips of his heart often invoked the God 
of justice and of armies. He fought for pure love of country and 
of right, not from hatred of his fellow man in the form of an 
enemy. When the battle was ended he extended to his subdued 
antagonist the right hand of fellowship and all the sympathies 
of the human heart. For him the war was ended with submis- 
sion to the supreme law of the land. He was thus in truth a man 


of virtue and of grout huinaiiity, altli()uj;li he liad the j;iizzl\ ap- 
IK'araiice of that cold, grim determination which was so i-emarlva- 
ble in that great commander, (Jeneijil (Jiaiil, and which ron- 
ceah^d beneath it all the gentleness of a little girl and all liic 
suavity of the most sensitives It will no\N' be easily admitted 
that he would not be afraid to observe the jjrecepts of virtue in 
any circumstan(!es. To illustrate this I will narrate the follow- 
ing fact. In a battle, the name of which I cannot now recall, 
some stimulants were olfered to the soldiers of his company just 
as they w ere about to be ordered to make a terrible charge. The 
captain i^eplied for himself and his men in the following language, 
as nearly as I can now remember his words: ''^^'e do not need this 
artilicial bracing up of our courage. When we enlisted we knew 
that war was death. We are now ready to face death for this 
government, but at the same time we want to meet our (lod in a 
state of sobriety. We will not take these stimulants." That 
charge was made and those soldiers were not defeated. 

To me it seems beyond doubt that if Captain Real had had in 
his youth the benefit of a scientific and military training he would 
have taken a place in the history of the war among those generals 
who have attained to high distinction. While he was a strict dis- 
ciplinarian, as far as the enforcement of discipline belonged to 
his rank, his intuition of the characters of men enabled him to 
enforce it in ways unknowm to men of less intuitive minds. The 
following incident will explain this characteristic of him. One 
of his men w^as condemned, for some act I do not now recall, but 
w^hich from the punishment would seem to have been an act of 
cowardice or of desertion, to be placed with hands tied behind 
his back in front of the army in the next battle. Coming on the 
field Captain Real stepped forward, untied the man's hands, gave 
him a musket, and ordering him to look at the flag addressed him 
as follows: "Now defend that flag and win back your life and 
honor.'' The commanding officer, observing the action of the 
captain, rode up and asked why he had untied that man's hands. 
The captain, cool and calm, replied that he required all his men 
to use the musket in battle. The captain often told this incident 



to friends and used to say that until the end of the war no truer 
or braver soldier ever defended the steirs and stripes than was 
that man. In severe engagements, when hard pressed, the cap- 
tain often used a musket and allowed the sword to hang loosely 
by his side. He used to say that on such occasions he would feel 
the need of something in his hands besides the sword, whicli 
seemed more for ornament than for usefulness. _ 

Sinking beneath the surface of the great conflict he often made 
an effort to comprehend its causes and grasp its consequences. 
The army having on one occasion marched all day in a drenching 
rain, bivouacked at nightfall in deep mud. Captain Real hap- 
pened to be near a small shed, or rather four erect poles with two 
or three boards on them, beneath which he arranged a couple of 
sticks found there, upon which he stretched so as to be out of the 
mud, while the boards overhead shed some of the rain from him. 
The lightning was blinding and the thunder like the roaring of 
many battles. In this position he was both unable and unwilling 
to sleep, for the reason that he imagined himself to be one of the 
happiest of men for possessing such a luxurious lodging. He 
passed that night in soliloquizing on what the war meant for the 
present and for future generations ; soliloquizing on all that was 
contained in the idea of home, the cradle of man, of civilization, of 
refinement, of morality, of religion; soliloquizing on what part 
a government acts in creating, diffusing, perfecting, preserving 
all those manifold and ineffable blessings, and just before the 
reveille concluded that to suffer and even to die for a government 
that conferred on its citizens more of such blessings than any 
other that had ever existed was one of the highest and holiest 
of duties, and rose from that luxurious couch, if possible, a more 
resolute and determined soldier of the Union. 

While he gloried in the army and used to say that nothing in 
all history, nothing on earth, equaled the perfection and irresisti- 
bility of the volunteer army in defending a government the roots 
of which were entwined around every ligament of the heart, while 
he still clung to the associations formed and friends made in time 
of war, nevertheless, like all his comrades, when the final victory 

lAVK i)V CAI'TAI.N I'. S. 

wuhs W(m he converted Iiis sword inio a plowshare, turned from 
the field of blood and carnage to the beautiful undulating prairies 
of Nc^braska, adorned with every Hower and resonant with llie 
song of birds. The eyes that had so long feasted on scenes of 
destruction wen^ charmed with the peacefulness of this new 
panorama. Having been mustered out of service, he married 
Miss Ellen Purcell, of Henry county, Illinois, came to Nebraska 
in 1871, and took a homestead claim in Fillmore county. He 
often used to say that he came as far west as the Burlington and 
Missouri River railroad could carry him, for it put him olf at the 
end of its tracks. In Fillmore county he acquired 2,000 acres of 
land, and later purchased some in Kansas. Besides utilizing his 
lands he engaged in various kinds of business. He built and con- 
ducted stores, elevators, hotels, managed lumber and hardware 
and implement businesses. He was chiefly instrumental in lay- 
ing out and building the town of Grafton. Later on in life he 
retired from all other business and devoted all his attention to 
the management of his lands. He built a beautiful home on the 
edge of the village, rej^lenished it with comforts and attractions 
that made his children become home loving, generously enter- 
tained friends and acquaintances, and even strangers ever found 
there hospitality and cheerfulness. He led all his children to 
desire higher education and furnished to each as he attained the 
proper age the means of attaining it. Idleness he never allowed 
to enter his home. During vacation he allotted to each certain 
employments on the farm and during the rest of the year those 
who were not in college had to labor some morning and evening. 
He never cut off from his children the pleasures proper for their 
age, but he prevented excess and took cognizance of those per- 
mitted. When visited by friends he would often call all the 
children around the piano and have them sing while one of them 
played the accompaniment. He often joined in with them; but 
he was not a musician and only supplied the discord. His favor- 
ite was ''Way Down Upon the Swanee Bibber." Sometimes 
when he would like to have the children sing this he would say: 
^'WeD. call up the colored troupe.'' Then the little ones would 



gather around and he himself would become a child again with 
them. Captain Real's idea of domestic government is worthy 
of notice. In the miniature republic of his home there never was 
a rebellion, never even a divided government. Neither did he 
absorb the whole government in himself, so as to be an abvsolute 
despot. In the management of family affairs neither the chil- 
dren nor friends were ever witnesses to any differences of opinion 
between him and his wife. They always consulted together in 
the privacy of their room, agreed upon a course to be pursued, and 
in the carrying of it out acted as one. In that domestic republic 
no child ever learned the habit of appealing to one parent when 
refused by the other, thus dividing the house against itself. As 
the children grew up he gave them an insight into his affairs and 
consulted with them. This made them something more than 
mere stayers at home, and gave range to their growing energies 
and ambitions. He taught them to respect not only ecclesiasti- 
cal, but civil holidays also, and how to profit by the sentiment 

As to his humanity and charity, Captain Real gave proofs of 
them on proper occasions. To the poor renter he often supplied a 
complete farming outfit and waited for pay until the renter could 
spare it from the production of his labor. During the years of 
drouth, and hot winds, and hail, and grasshoppers, he furnished 
many with necessaries, remitted rents and written obligations 
to debtors, and to those who fell not into despair, but remained 
and hoped for a better day, donated seed, accompanied with 
words of encouragement. In all such works he never considered 
the recipient's political or religious convictions, or ethnic rela- 
tions. He was as broad as the brotherhood of man, and did not 
exclude even those who had oft'ended him. From this, however, 
it must not be inferred that he was a man without fault, for he 
was human; but he labored to minimize them and to prevent 
others from suft'ering from them. One day, sitting and chatting 
with comrades of the G. A. R. in front of the i:)ostoffice, he said: 
^'Well, my friends, when you bury me, bury my faults with me." 
One of the comrades remarked in a joking way: "I don't know, 


Caphiiii, tluit would lake a, prct (;> larj^c j^ravc." It can Im- sjiid of 
liiin that he iicvci- brought sorrow to aiiv liouic, l)ul (y\'\c\\ dis- 
ju'IUhI tlKM'louds and made (he sun lo sliinc and wijM'd aw;i\ llh- 

When the catholics of (hat phice were buildin<» a house ot wor- 
ship he aUowed them to take the lumber from his yards and kept 
little, if any, record of it. Respecting the religious eonvicl ions 
of his felkm men, lie did not refuse them assistance wIh'h they 
wished to build for the same puriwse. He laid out and donated 
to the catholics a beautiful cemetery about a mile fr(mi town. 
Kighft beside it he donated a similar oiie to the protestants. lie 
always respected the dead and wished to see their remains laid 
away dei^ently and reverently. 

The following incidents will show^ some of the characteristic;^ 
for which he was noted in ordinary life, and especially his su- 
preme fearlessness. On one occasion, during those years of crop 
failures, a priest came to minister to the people of that county 
and was entertained by "Captain Real. On the day when re- 
ligious serAices w^ere held the people, being very much impov- 
erished, contributed bnt very little to meet the priest's expenses. 
When about to take his departure Captain Real asked him if he 
had received sufficient to meet expenses at least. He thought- 
lessly replied that perhaps he had received enough to get him 
"the cigars.'' In his grim, freezing way the captain said: ''Can 
you devote the money spared to you by a religious but impover- 
ished people to such needless purposes?'' The rebuke was severe, 
but well timed and proper. It taught a view of Christianity 
sometimes forgotten even by ministers of the Lowly Nazarene. 

^Vnother time a rector was appointed to that mission who was 
in many ways incompetent. The captain called upon the bishop 
to remonstrate, but to no purpose. Departing dissatisfied lie 
said to the bishop: "You seem to have sent him there for revenue 
only," alluding to political doctrines agitated at that time. 

Memorial union services on the occasion of the death of Gen- 
eral Grant w^ere held in one of the churches. Many speakers, 
clerical and lay, made addresses, and among them Captain Real. 


Almost ail profusely referred to the cablegram of condolence 
sent bj England's queen. It impressed Captain Real that so 
much profusion, amounting to obsequiousness, ill became the dig- 
nity of citizens of so great a republic, or the well-known character 
of the dead hero. In his turn to speak he arose like the blizzard 
from the northwest and pointedly remarked that the bullets 
which stretched thousands of his comrades on many bloody bat- 
tlefields were moulded b^^ subjects of England's queen. While 
such remarks chilled they threw another light on the scene. 
Such manners are sometimes called blunt, but they are bluntly 
honest and bluntly instructive. 

Finally, for the last few years of his life he began to be troub- 
led severely with infirmities contracted during his armj^ life, from 
which he sought relief by si)ending the winter seasons either in 
California or Florida. The last winter of his life he spent in 
Eureka Springs, Arkansas. There he continued to decline. On 
the Kith of May, 1893, he wrote me a letter that he would soon 
start for home, and would, on reaching Kansas City, send me a 
telegram to meet him at the depot when he would pass through 
my town. From this letter I will quote the following words, 
which are worth3', like the Metonic Cycle, to be engraved in let- 
ters of gold on pillars of marble: ''I am about ready to retire from 
the stage. I have tried to do my duty to the best of my ability, 
both to my God and to my country. I hope for an eternal reward. 
Pray for me that I may not be disappointed and that God will 
have mercy and compassion on me." I met him at the railway 
station at Tecumseh as he passed through it on his way home. 
On that occasion, too, he manifested his indomitable will power; 
for, though acttially dying, he walked out of the passenger coach 
to meet me, spoke calmly and deliberately about the end, which, 
he said, was at hand. He was accompanied by his wife, ever 
faithful and worthy companion. He was anxious to reach his 
home that his children might surround his dying couch. A few 
days afterward. May 23d, 1893, with all the members of his family 
by his bedside, patiently and meekly bearing his sufferings, 'hav- 
ing received the sacraments for the dying, he calmly breathed 

\M<'\>: <)|- CAI'IAIN I'. S. I{|;AI,. .*{') 

bis laHt. The rinicial services, condiK^tcd iiikIim- the aiisj)i((*s of 
th(* (}. A. K., James Shield's Post No. of \vhi< h lie liad Ixmmi 
for many years coiuiiiaiider, were held in the Catholic church of 
Cirafton, tuid his i-eniains, pr<^ceded by the flaj;- he liad foUowcnl 
and upbeld on so many biittleti(dds, were born(^ away by his com- 
rades and buried in tbe cemetery close by the villajj^c, theie lo 
await the archangel's reveille. 



Read before the State Historical Society, January 14, 1896, by J. Q. Goss, of 

Belle vue. 

A poet once sang in simple yet toucliing strains that 

"Little drops of water, 

Little grains of sand, 
Make the mighty ocean 
And the beauteous land." 

Simple as these lines are, they contain a truism and a principle 
that is fully exemplified in all the business relations, conditions, 
and operations of life — in the increase of population and the 
growth of villages, cities, states, and nations. In the matter of 
history, it is the little grains thereof, gathered here a little and 
there a little, that go to make up the sum total of nations and o^ 
peoples. The timely and constant gathering and garnering of 
those grains by individuals in their respective localities will, in 
the end, render more complete and perfect the accumulated 
whole. Nebraska is as yet comparatively in her infancy. The 
bulk of her history has yet to be written. The foundations of 
that history have been laid, and it devolves upon her citizens of 
this and succeeding generations to contribute both materials and 
labor toward the building and completion of a grand and glorious 
hisitorical monument to, of, and for our state, that will be its 
pride and glory. 

On the west side of the Missouri river, about ten miles above 
the mouth of the Platte, on a beautiful plateau, there stands a 
village that is not altogether unknown to history. Small though 
it is, it has nevertheless occupied somewhat of a prominent posi- 
iion in Nebraska's prehistoric times and in its early history. In 
fact, this unostentatious village can, with truth, say, "Before Ne- 
braska was, I am." What is somewhat remarkable about it i& 
that it had a name selected for it long before it came into exist- 

iii'ii.LMN ri;~i rs i'asi- and imm;si;.n r. 

ciKM'. W'liili' (he sloncs, bricUs, jiiid liiiibcis of w hicli ils hiiild- 
inji^s wore composed wi^re yel in tlu^ (iiian.v, (he enrlh, and tin* 
forest, tlitMianie b,v vvliicli i( has since been designated and known 
was ajjplied to (lie locality and spol on which the villajj;:e is now 
located. In ISOf) a Spaniard named Mannel Lisa, on ascendinj- 
the bhift'at this point and viewin«»- ( he bean(ifnl j)latean on which 
he stood, with its baclvgronnd of grand slopinj; hills, before liini 
the valley of the Missouri, with its tnrbid stream rolling onward 
and ever onward to the gulf, and beycmd this stream and valley 
the picturesque bluffs of Iowa spread out like a A'ast panorama, 
was compelled by the grandeur of the scene to exclaim '^Belle- 
vue," — a foreign term, which, when translated into our language, 
means ^'beautiful view^" This nanu^ was indelibly stamped upon 
these beautiful bluff's and plateau and remains there to this day. 

The glowing reports of this region by the Lewis and Clarke 
expedition in 1804-() as to the nature of the country, the facilities 
here offered for intercourse with the Indians for trading pur- 
poses, undoubtedly had its influence on the American Fur Com- 
pany and induced them to establish an agency at this point and 
appoint agents to take care of their interests. This in its turn 
had its influence on the establishment of other enterprises — each 
tending to the final culmination in what is now our village of 
Bellevue. In 1823 this company built a large two-story log house 
on the bank of the river in which to keep its stores and for the 
purposes of barter with the Indians. In this year also the 
Omaha, Otoe, and Pawnee Indian agency was established at this 
point. The trading post was torn down in 1870, and now graces 
a barnyard about three miles from BelleA^ie. As an historical 
reminiscence it should have been preserved as one of the land- 
marks of '^ye olden time,'' but progress has no predilections for 
the past, civilization no sympathy with that wiiich apparently 
has been contaminated with the touch of barbarism, only so far 
as the same may be utilized for speculative purposes. In 1848 
was completed a Mission House, as it was then called, — to-day 
such an institution would undoubtedly be dubbed a college. 

But to retrace a little, let us go back to the year 1835. In July 



of that year Samuel P. Merrill was born somewhere within the 
limits of what is iioav Bellevue.* When he was about four yeai^ 
old his father, who Avas a missionary to the Indians in the vi- 
cinity, more especially to the Otoes, die^, and was buried on the 
east side of the Missouri river, near a sawmill, probably about 
half way between Bellevue and Council Bluffs. This Samuel 
P. Merrill came from the east a few yeaTs ago for the pui-pose of 
endeavoring to find the location of his father's grave, but his 
efforts in that direction were futile. While at Bellevue he was 
the guest of the writer of this article and related many little 
incidents of the latter part of his early life in Nebraska, some of 
which were indelibly iini>ressed on his memory. He remembered 
especially the period of leaving Nebraska on the steamboat and 
the trip to the far east to the old home of his mother. Every 
day of that trip seemed to open to his youthful mind scenes more 
bright and fascinating, and when, a day or two after arriving at 
the old homestead, he went to play with some of the children 
there, he was so enraptured that he rushed into the house ex- 
claiming, "O, Mamma! Ain't we in heaven?'' — his only play- 
mates theretofore having been papooses. While at my house 
he exhibited to me a contract, which was executed in duplicate^ 
between John Doug^herty, Indian agent, on behalf of the United 
States, and Moses Merrill — a copy of which I here submit. It 
speaks for itself as to its object, date, etc. I endeavored to pro- 
cure the original for this society, but failed, as it was too highly 
valued and prized by the Merrill family. 


^^Article of agreement, made and concluded at Bellevue the 1st 
day of April, 1835, by and between John Dougherty, Indian 
agent, of the first part, and Moses Merrill of the second part, wit- 
nesseth : 

"First— ThSit said Moses Merrill of the 2nd f^t, for and in con- 
sideration of the covenants and agreements hereinafter stipu- 
lated, promises and agrees by these presents to perform the 

* July 13, 1835. Mr. Merrill still lives at Rochester, N. Y., one of the very old- 
est living Nebraska-born whites. 


(lu(i(*s of ScIioolinasU'i' foi- \ \w youth o\' Ixitli s<*X('S ot tin- Olloc 
and Missouri trilx^s of Indians dilij^cnl ly and faitlifully, and to 
transmit, previous to lln^ 2()th (^f OctolxM- of <'a( h year during 
tlie iK^niKl he shall be so employcMl, a (i<Maih'(l r<']HM't of th<* nHUi- 
ber of pupils under his instruction, i\n'\v aj'cs, sexes, Htu<li<'s and 
progress, accompanied by an account, with vouchers for the ex- 
penditure of the moneys reccnved by him fK)m th(* government. 

^^Secmid — And that the said John Doughcn-ty of the first jmrt, 
for and in behalf of the United States, guarantees to the said 
Moses Merrill, of the second part, as a full compensation for his 
services the sum of |500 pr annum, commencing this day and 
date, to be paid quarter yearl}^, or as funds niay be on hand for 
that purpose, by one of the military disbursing agents of the De- 
partment, with the St. Louis Superintendency, on the ceiiificate 
as requested of the agent or sub-agent, setting forth the due per- 
formance of the first article of this agreement. It is mutually 
agreed upon, that the right is reserved to the agent to dismiss the 
part}^ of the first part for disobedience of orders, intempei-ance, 
or lack of diligence in the discharge of his duties, and that the 
party shall have no claim to compensation after the period of 
such di^misisal. 

'^In testimony whereof the parts have hereunto affixed their 
hands and seals the day and year first above written. 

^'JoHN Dougherty, Agent, [seal.] 
''Moses Merrill. [seal.] 

"H. Dougherty, MHtness.''^ 

The above agreement was probably made for a tliree-fold pur- 
pose: First, with a view of assisting the missionary in a pecuni- 
ary manner; second, of giving him governmental autliority and 
support; and third, to benefit the Indians in an educational point 
of view. The interest of Nebraska in educational matters was 
displayed even at this early day, and has been fully keT)t alive 
to the present. 

That this place was quite a favorite place of resort and of resi- 
dence with the Indians is clearly demonstrated, both by tradi- 
tion's current among the Omahias, Pawnees, Otoes, and others 



even to this day, and also by the evidences of warfare, burial, etc., 
which surround us on every hand. In excavations made for cel- 
lars and other purposes the bones of those aboriginal settlers 
and trinkets of various kinds that were buried with them are 
often found. The highest points of the bluffs and of the sur- 
rounding hills were selected by the Indians as burial places for 
their dead. One of the highest of these ijoints is one which in 
all the past years has been known as "J]lk Hill." At the top of 
this hill, about two hundred and twenty feet above the level of 
the Missouri river, in the year 1846 was buried ''Big Elk," a 
prominent chief of the Omahas, since which the hill has always 
been known as ''Elk Hill." A few years since the Presbyterians 
built a college on this hill and are trying to change the name to 
"College Hill." The Omahas, for years after the white settlement 
here, came yearly to visit the spot where lay the mortal remains 
of their loved chief. On their behalf and in the name of the pio- 
neers and founders of Bellevue, I here enter a solemn protest 
against the change in name of that ancient landmark. The grave 
of Logan Eontanelle, another of their loved and honored chiefs, 
is in the northern part of the village, as is also their former coun- 
cil chamber — a large excavation in the bluffs, with an entrance 
which has undoubtedly been filled up, as it cannot, or at least 
has not so far, been found by the whites who have sought it. 

In the southern part of the village there exist to this day traces 
of what might be termed a fortification or breastwork — a ridge 
of earth, evidently Thrown up for purposes of offense and defense. 
This ridge is very regular in shape, excepting on the east side, 
where it follows the conformation of the bluffs. Its outlines are 
of an oval charact(^r — longer from north to sonth, or, owing to 
the conformation of the bluffs, they may probably be more cor- 
rectly described as two ovals joined. The distance around the 
outside is about 1,250 feet, its longest diameter about 490 feet, 
or dividing the figure into the two ovals the long diameter of 
each would be about 350 feet. On the land side, or rather the 
side farthest from the bluffs, are tWo wings or bastions, one each 
at what might be termed the northwest and southwest points of 



the oval. On the farm of the Hon. B. R. Stouft'er, and about oik? 
hundred rods southwest of this earthwork, at a time prior to tlic 
settlement of this region by the whites, was fought a battle be- 
tween the Osage tribe and the Omahas. About two years since, 
Mr. Stouffer, in excavating for cellar, drains, etc., for a new hous(i 
which he was erecting, unearthed quite a number of skeletons, 
which had evidently been thrown into a trench or gully and cov- 
ered with earth. About fifty or sixty were so unearthed — the ex- 
act number could not be definitely determined — with evidences of 
a great many others being left unmolested. A short distance from 
this spot was found the remains of a lone Indian who evidently 
had received more decent interment, a^the skeleton was in a 
sitting posture, surrounded by numerous trinkets. Among these 
trinkets was a flat piece of cedar wood, about three inches wide, 
eight inches long, three-eighths to one-half inch thick, and in a 
good state of preservation, with a piece of glass attached thereto, 
or lying on it in such la manner as to indicate that it had been 
so attached. There is a legend that the tribe long years ago, 
on leaving the hunting grounds they formerly occupied, cut down 
a cedar tree which had been held by them as saered, separated 
it into pieces, and distributed these among the members of the 
tribe. May not the piece here brought to light have been a part 
of that tree ? 

In those early days, no doubt, many amusing incidents trans- 
pired, a record of which would make very interesting reading at 
the present day, but no trace of them can be found save in the 
memories of the actors in the seenes, and they are fast passing 
away. It is often said that society is now fast becoming graded, 
and that the grade depends on the quantity of the bank stock 
owned. Comparisons are made between the then and the now 
of soeial equality, with the scale turning much in favor of the 
then. This is to a great extent true, yet caste did sometimes creep 
into the society of those days. The writer has in his mind's eye a 
hotel in Bellevue of that ancient time, where travelers and quite 
a number of citizens sat down on either side of a long table three 
times a day to satisfy the wants of the inner man. The current 



report was that at the head of the table the sugar was quite 
white, about like the highest grade of Oxnaird's celebrated beet 
extract, but that at the other end of the table its whiteness had 
disappeared. It may be pertinent here to remark that the same 
set of boarders always occupied the upper end of the table. 
Among the early settlers it was not considered an unpardonable 
sin for a man to indulge in the use of ardent spirits. I do not 
believe, however, that the use was indulged in so universally and 
to such an extent as it is at the present day. The ardent used 
was not always of the combative kind. Wit and wine were often 
compounded and sometimes confounded. In the fall of 1859 a 
gentleman at the west ^nd of Sarpy county was elected a justice 
of the peace, and, as there were none in that vicinity who could 
administer to him the oath of office, he walked to Bellevue — a 
distance of twenty-four miles — to have that oath administered to 
him by the county clerk. That functionary was about this time 
suffering from an overdose of ague antidote, and lay on his bed 
^^Jiors de combat.^' The would-be "Squire" was inexorable, and, 
after walking twenty-four miles, would not suffer the sun to set 
ere he was made a full-fledged "Joostice av the Pace." He was 
finally ushered into the presence "av hizzoner," the clerk, where 
the following dialogue ensued: "Justice: "Are yez Misther 
Bangs?" Clerk: "You bet I am." J.: "My name is William J. 
Fogarty. Oi've been elected Joostice av the Pace av Far est City 
precinct, an' Oi've come all the way in to be qualified." C. (rising 
on his elbow and gazing for a moment): "I k-ken swar you in, 
b-but all h — 11 c-couldn't qualify ye." 

In the fall of 1855-56, there appeared in Bellevue a suave and 
polished gentleman named Kirby, from the "hub of the universe." 
He was on an exploring expedition through this western country, 
looking for a location to start a |40,000 store. Bellevue suited 
him, as did also several of its citizens, who generously donated 
of their means (as loans, as a matter of course) to tide him over 
until his "ship came in." C. D. Kellar was to be his confidential 
clerk, Bangs was to hold some important position, and every- 


thiiij; WJia projj;i'('ssin«; tiiicl.v, until tiiially Ihit bubble burst, and 
our exiHH'lanl citizens became wiser if not better men. 

A court-nnirtial was held, the culprit was adjudged j^uilty of 
obtaining money under false pretenses, and (condemned to receive 
forty stripes, but the sentence was afterwards ccmimuted to ban- 
ishment to Iowa. 

The ohl loj»' cabins of that day have given way, if not to marble 
palaces, to commodious brick and frame buildings, wliere our 
citizens live comfortably, but probably not more happily than did 
those pioneers in their cabins of log, plastered with mud. The- 
worthy president of this society doubtless remembers his 16x18, 
one-room log mansion, with its much smaller bedroom addition. 
The outw^ard appearance of these rooms was about on a par with 
that of the other pioneers, but when we glance into the bedroom 
I am afraid our ideas of exact equality will end; for there we be- 
hold it papered with buffalo robes, purchased for the occupant 
by Peter A. Sarpy and Stephen Decatur at |2 apiece from the 
Indians. There wais no i)rot:ective tairiit' on buffalo hides in 
Nebraska at that day, or our honored jjresident would probably 
have bought them himself without the aid of middle men. 
Probably, while reposing in that comfortable log bedroom, vis- 
ions of a comfortable cabinet position may have unfolded them- 
selves to his gaze, or it may be that these were reserved for that 
time, on New Year's day, 1S5G, when in his shirt sleeves, down 
near the mouth of Papillion creek, he sat wondering "w hy people 
came west, whether others would come in sutHcient numbers to 
form a village, city, county, and a state," and amid these cogita- 
tions starting homeward, leaving a valuable and highly prized 
gun behind to take care of itself. But Wau-niush-pa-Shinga took 
care of the gun and returned it to its owner, who, whether these 
visions then confronted him or not, has since attained that posi- 
tion and is now filling it with honor to himself and the state 
he represents. 

The establishment of government agency and works connected 
therewith, of a missionary station, postofifice, etc., has been told 
by others, whose papers form a part of the records of this so- 



cietj. Therefore I will refrain from commenting thereon. At 
the organization of the territory by the Organic Act of May 30, 
1854, Bellevue cherished what Charles Dickens in one of his 
works has so aptly termed ''great expectations." A territorial 
organization meant the location of a capitol ; following this the 
expenditure of thousands of dollars, a horde of ofiflcials, the busy 
hum of business activity, and many other and various et ceteras. 
These spread out, like a vast panorama, before the minds of the 
few settlers of that day, and each fancied himself, at no distant 
period, a governor, judge. United States senator, congressman, 
or millionaire — mostly preferring the latter title. But while 
these few settlers proposed, others disposed, and the result was 
that Omaha obtained the capitol, — another illustration of the 
inevitable result when cuj^idity is arrayed against stupidity. 
In the fall of 1853, citizens of the vast territory known then as 
Nebraska, but who for convenience lived in Council Bluffs and 
other places on the east side of the river, to-wit, Iowa and Mis- 
souri, held an election at Bellevue and old Ft. Kearne.y — which 
is now Nebraska City — and elected a prominent lawyer and citi- 
zen of Nebraska, to-wit, of the city of Council Bluffs, as their 
delegate to congress. It is said that by his importunities with 
the committee on territories at Washington he succeeded in 
procuring an amendment to the bill that had been already intro- 
duced in congress for the organization of the territory, which 
amendment provided for the formation of two territories — Kan- 
sas and Nebraska — instead of one, as before contemplated, — an 
amendment which I deem it was not very difficult to obtain, as it 
would provide double the number of paying positions to be filled 
by patriotic politicians. 

During the summer of 1854, the officials appointed under the 
provisions of the Organic Act came to Nebraska, most of them 
locating for the time being at Bellevue. Many others came, 
some locating in Bellevue, others on lands adjoining, with a 
view of making thereof farms, or possibly town lots. • As the 
kinds were not yet surveyed, trouble often arose over the posses- 
sion of those claims and the boundaries thereof. In order to 



settle those dilliculties a claiiu club was organized, wJiosc prov- 
ince it was to "lieai* and detenuine" tlie rij^iits of parties. From 
its decision there was no appeal. A perusal of the records of 
this ''l^eUevue Settlers' ('lub'' will disclose the fact that about 
125 })ersous IxMinne uieiubers thereof, or at least were members 
thereof in the fall of 1854. Amou^- the names there rej^istered 
we find judges, lawyers, ministers, and otlier officials, to-wit, 
Kev. VVni. llamilton, Judge Fenner Ferguson, Gov. M. W. Izard, 
0. T. Holloway, 8ilas A. Strickland, Joim M. Thayer, L. B. Kin- 
ney, A. W. Trumbl(\ Reuben Lovejoy, Stephen Decatur, and 
otliei-s. In their rules, they claimed the right to hold three liiin- 
dred and twenty acres of land each against all comers. 

The first Masonic lodge organized on the west of the Missouri 
river was in the "Old Trading Post" liere, in ^larch, 1S54. The 
Hon. H. T. Clarke w^as the first person made a master ^lason in 
the toH'ritory. The lodge has since been removed to Omaha, but 
it still bears its old name and number, "Nebraska, No. 1." l^'or 
a few days in 1854 the blighting curse of slavery desecrated our 
fair soil, but it found no safe place u])on which to j)lant its feet 
and soon fled to other parts. Judge Edward K. Hardin, appointed 
as on(^ of the United States judges for the territory, arrived here 
with his "colored body servant," — a mild term for "slave." — and 
remained hert^ but a short time, when he went to Nebraska City. 
What is now Sarpy county was at that time a part of the county 
of Douglas. A strong rivalry existed between Omaha and IJelle- 
vue as to the location of the caj>itol. Tliis antagonism (^ntered 
into the election that fall for members of the legislature. In 
the Bellevue district the Hon. J. Sterling ^lorton, Stephen Deca- 
tur, and Silas A. Strickland w(^re unanimously elected, but the 
Omaha interest Avas too powerful and these embryonic lawmak- 
ers, for reasons of state, were at that time denied the opportunity 
of feathering out into full-fledged statesmen. Omaha was ap- 
parently afraid of Bellevue, and I believe that I may truthfully 
add that this fear had not entirely disappeared until after the 
location of the terminus of the Union Pacific railway and the 



filial location and completion of the bridge over the river at that 

In 1856, the legislature granted a charter incorporating the 
^'City of Bellevue,-' and until 1874 a city government was car- 
ried on, with its paraphernalia of mayor, aldermen, etc. The 
last election for these officials was in 1874, when S. D. Bangs was 
elected mayor. As his successor was never elected, it may be 
that he is holding down that seat to the present day. For the 
past twelve years Bellevue, as an incorporation, has been acting 
under the state law for the government of ^'cities of the second 
class and villages," and its municipal affairs are managed and 
directed by a board of five trustees, elected annually. Its plat 
is the same as that of the former city, as it was oiriginally sur- 
veyed and platted by Hamilton and Schimousky — the latter be- 
ing an exile from Poland, an excellent surveyor, and an expert 
draughtsman. Both of these died some years since. In the 
same year — 1856 — a large log building was erected for hotel 
1 purposes and stands alone in the line of buildings erected for 
that specific purpose. It was destroyed by fire in 1858. It was 
named the "Benton House," in honor of Thomas H. Benton, 
Jr., a nephew of Thomas H. Benton of senatorial fame. The 
"Register", of this hotel is in the public library at Omaha, and 
this connection I may add that I believe that the old desk 
used by D. E. Reed, the first postmaster, is at the Blackbird mis- 
sion. The legitimate^ home for both these articles is in the ar- 
chives of the State Historical Society, and I would suggest that 
negotiations should at once be opened to secure them for that 
purpose. At the organization of the county of Sarpy, in 1857, 
Bellevue was designated as the county seat, and so remained 
until New Year's day, 1876, when in obedience to the mandate 
of the people the county seat was removed to Papillion. In 188*i 
the Presbyterians located a college at Bellevue, the Hon. H. T. 
Clarke having made a donation of 240 acres of land for that pur- 
pose, and has since erected thereon a commodious brick edifice 
for college purposes. The building is known as Clarke Hall. 
Just outside of the village limits the United States government 

BELi:iovin<: — lis i'Asi' and imikkicnt. 


has located wlial is known as Fort (^rook, and (Tccted 1 Ii<m<* a 
larj»(' nunilxM' of lino, substantial, and coniinodioiis bnildinj^s, 
expended a vast amount of money, and when fully completed 
and equi])ped will here have one of the best forts in the Knited 

Many other incidents mi«»ht hav(^ be(Mi added, but this paper 
has alrt^ady bcnni extended to too great a len<»th. Vet I will here 
reiterate my foirmer statement, tliiat the history of Belhnue, 
wlien fully written and understood will stand out prominently 
in the history of Nebraska. Peniiit me, in closing, to briefly 
state a few of its prominent features. 

Here the American Fur Company early established an impor- 
tant trading post. 

Here was erected the first building on Nebraska soil. 

Here was organized the first Masonic lodge. 

Here the lirst white child born on Nebraska soil first beheld 
the light of day. 

The first native born Nebraskan that represented any portion 
of Nebraska in our state senate was born here — Hon. Harry F. 

Here was held the first teachers' institute organized west of 
the Missouri river. 

I here acknowledge valuable hints from Hon. J. Sterling Mor- 
ton, Hon. B. R. Stouffer, Mr. Henry Fontanelle, Mrs. Louis Neals, 
and Miss M. E. Hamilton. 



Read before the State Historical Society, January 14, 1896, by I. A. Fort. 

Edward Morin was born in Montreal, Canada, on the 28tli day 
of September, 1818, of Frencli-Oanadian parentage. In the year 
1835 he left the city of his birth, and following the course of the 
setting sun moved westward. The spring of 1836 found him 
on his way southward to the leading metropolis of the south, 
New Orleans. Remaining a few months in this city, he took 
passage o^n the Mississippi river packet United States for St. 
Louis. Here he remained a few momths, making the acquaint- 
ance of the French-American residents of that city. While 
here he decided to enter the employ of the American Fur Com- 
pany as a voyageur. The work to be performed was that of a 
packer, carrier, and boatman, conveying the articles sold to the 
different trading points that had been established by the com- 
pany and bringing back in return the articles that they had ob- 
tained from these stations to one of the central trading posts on 
the Missouri river. The goods obtained were principally robes 
and furs. These were afterwards, when suflScient quantities had 
been collected, packed away in Mackinaw boats that the com- 
pany had constructed, and then a fleet was made up and the 
boats were floated down to St. Louis, or sometimes a steamboat 
would take them down. The principal points where this com- 
pany carried on their business were at Fort Pierre, Fort Union at 
the mouth of the Yellowstone, and one with Mandans, or old 
Fort Lookout, Fort Benton being one of the highest points on 
the Missouri river where their posts were established. The 
Indians that he traded with were the Poncas, Omahas, Pawnees, 
Sioux, Mandans, Cheyennes, Black Feet, and Crows. In that 
early day the difl'erent tribes carried on a war with one another. 
All the Indians with whom he came in contact were possessed 

KDWAlll) MOlll.N. 


of a liberal quantity of firearms, although, as to day, th(?y car- 
ried their bows and arrows. One of the sta])le articles that was 
traded to the Indians was packages of strap or hoop iron. 
These were exchanged for furs and meat. From these bundles 
of strap iron the Indians fashioned their lances and arrow heads. 
The fur company supplied them with firearms, mostly flint-lock, 
smooth-bore guns. These they continued to use until the advent 
of the breach-loaders. The company also furnished the Indians 
with swords that the company obtained from the sale of aban- 
doned military equipments sold by the United States and other 
nations. Among the other staple articles handled by the com- 
pany and exchanged with the Indians were sugar, molasses, 
flour, tea, coffee, hominy, and anything that the Indians in their 
contact with the whites had learned to want. Powder, lead, 
flints, and knives were in great demand. 

The first buffaloes sighted by Mr. Morin, in 1836, were seen on 
about what is now the site of 8ionx City, as he, with other voy- 
ageurs, worked his way further up the river. The number of buf- 
faloes increased on either bank. Many bands were seen on this 
voyage up. Numbers were crossing the river and many w^ere 
shot from the boat. 

Mr. Morin continued in the employ of the American Fur Com- 
pany five years, also with Rabbit & Cotton six years, and Avith 
Harvey, Premo & Co. about the same time. Altogether he was 
engaged in working and trading for these three companies about 
seventeen years. At that time no whites were in the trans-Mis- 
souri country except those engaged in the fur business. No per- 
manent settlements were found except along the Missouri river. 
He remembers that about 1850 a few whites co'mmenced to settle 
along the Missouri. BacI^ from the river the country was inhab- 
ited solely by Indians. Bands of hardy trappers and traders were 
continually coming in and trading with the company. On the ar- 
rival of any of these bauds at the past the agents made them an 
offer on their loads and if a, trade was closed the trappers re- 
ceived an order or check on their principal house in St. Louis. 
This order was good at anv of the company stores. Money was 



also obtained on these orders. The principal nationalities who 
were engaged in this work were French-Canadians and Ameri- 
cans. The trappers were called free men, as they worked entirely 
free of any control, and what they earned was their own. Mr. 
Morln remembers the Mandan Indians, who, he states, were tall, 
powerful-built Indians, with blue eyes, and some of them had fair 
hair. These, he states, were considered the bravest Indians of 
the plains. History records their almost entire destruction by 
that dread disease, the small-pox. 

In 1844 Mr. Morin crossed over the Kocky mountains to the 
Pacific coast under the guidance of Jim Bridger, from whom 
Fort Bridger, Wyoming, was afterwards named. On this trip the 
party had several fights with the Indians. One man, by the 
name of Lambert, was dangerously wounded on this trip. The 
first white man's residence that they reached, in what is now the 
state of California, was Sutter's Fort, where gold was first dis- 
covered in 1849. Mr. Sutter had a grist mill at that time, run by 
water power. Here the wounded trapper, Lambert, had the In- 
dian arrow extracted from his back by a Dr. White. The follow- 
ing year, 1845, Mr. Morin returned to the Missouri river. On this 
trip, going and returning, the only white resident seen was at 
Fort Bridger, on Green river, Wyoming. The country was inhab- 
ited only by Indians. When he first crossed the continent to Cali- 
fornia, buffalo, antelope, deer, and other g^ame were more plenti- 
ful than domestic animals are to-day. West of Green river, no 
buffalo were seen, although deer and antelope were plentiful. 
During these seventeen years when in the employ of these com- 
panies, he was often in great danger from hostile bands of In- 
dians, who, while not engaged in war upon the whites directly, 
were on raiding or war excursions to attack some other bands 
or tribes of the plains or mountains. Mr. Morin bears on his 
person the marks of two arrow wounds, one on his side, and one 
on his knee. Mr. Morin, although seventy-eight years of age, is 
still active and vigorous. He is now residing at the home of one 
of his daughters, Mrs Fillion, of North Platte, Nebraska. Mr. 
Morin credits his good health and vigor at his advanced age to 


the fact lliat ho m^vev dissipnlcd nor ('iif»ay;(Ml in the (aioiiHcs 
i'Oinmon to tlie men of Uic front ici- in lliosc early days. In 11S48 
ho maiTiod Miss Valentino Potors, of SI. I^onis. Miss IN'lors' 
fatlier was a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi river, h^ij^ht 
<hildren are the result of tliis union. All are alive to-day. In 
Mr. Morin established a. trading post at the mouth of Box 
Elder canyon. This canyon is about two miles west of where 
Foirt Mcl*h(M*s(m, Nebraska, was afterwards located. A few 
years after this he built a very commodious and substantial trad- 
ing ranch and post at the mouth of what is now known as 
Morin's Oanyon. This ranch he occupied until 1868, when on the 
decline of travel he built a small house, or ranch, near the old 
Jack Morrow ranch, where for a short time he resided. He after- 
wards built and lived in a house five miles west of the fort. 
From 1802 until 1872 he was in the employ of the government as 
Indian interpreter. 

Mr. Morin lost his wife on the 28th day of August, 1875, by the 
accidental discharge of a gun. While she was journeying along 
the road on a trip to gather wild grapes an emigrant, in pulling 
his gun from his wagon, accidentally discharged the same, the 
contents striking Mrs. Morin in the breast. From this death 
(►ccurred the next day. 

Of some of the Indian tribes he remembers that the Mandans 
and Rees cultivated the ground, raised corn, pumpkins, and a 
few other vegetables. The Sioux were always at war with all 
other tribes. 

Mr. Morin's father first inspired him with a desire to visit the 
mountains and plains of the west, as he had been a fur trader 
and trapper on Lake Superior before those waters became a part 
of the American possession. 

During the first twenty years of his life on the plains Mr. 
Morin lived quite a good proportion of his time in the camps of 
the Indians with whom he traded. He was always welcomes, 
and when in their camps was alw^ays well treated. In those 
early days the only danger to the whites was from maurauding 
bands that were engaged in plundering opposing tribes or from 



some Indian outlaw who desired to acquire his property without 
trading or recompense. 

Mr. Morin states that there are as many variations of character 
among the Indians as among the whites; the good and the bad^ 
the lazy and the thrifty, the improvident and reckless, the intel- 
ligent and the imbeciles, the industrious and the careless, some 
who have a natural inclination to acquire property and some 
who are always in want and distress. 

For nearly twenty-eight years the writer has been acquainted 
with Mr. Morin and his family. He remembers seeing Mr. Morin 
engaged in trading with the Sioux and other Indians who twenty- 
five years ago would often pass through North Platte on their 
trips north and south. Mr. Morin is to-day in all probability one 
of the oldest pioneers of the plains now living. He, as a man, 
never aspired to become a scout or Indian tighter. 

The writer remembers that the statement was general that in 
early days, before the whites were numerous, Mr. Morin was 
one of the members of the Ponca Indian tribe, and whether he 
was a married member of that tribe or not the writer does not 
know, but it was a fashion in those early days for traders to take 
to themselves Indian waves. Whether he adopted this plan of 
one of the prohibition candidates for president who hailed from 
California he does not know or care to know. Mr. Morin was a 
fair business man, as he could buy and sell in a way that showed 
that if he had been trained for a mercantile life he would have 
made a good merchant or salesman. 

Despite Mr. Morin's years and the terrible hardships he has 
undergone, lie walks the streets of our city with quick, active 
steps and indicates that he has many years of life yet before 
him. His mind and recollections are yet clear and strong. 
When he passes away he will be the last of that hardy band of 
early pioneers w^ho have seen the trans-Missouri country become 
converted from a barren and savage wilderness into a land of 
civilization and of homes. 



Diary kept by J. P. Dunlap, of Dwight, Nebr., and read by him before the iState 
Historical Society January 15, 1806. 

On Tlie eighth day of June, 1866, we had come eight miles, 
across a hillj^ prairie without any road, and were camped for 
dinner near the south line of Nebraska. There was plenty of 
good water and grass, but no timber. The party consisted of 
two surveying parties from Leavenworth, Kansas. The one 
that I was with consisted of fourteen men under Henry H. Hack- 
bush, and two wagons loaded with outfits and provisions, drawn 
by two yoke of oxen to each wagon. We were going to survey 
into sections Buffalo and Hall counties. The other party was 
to keep with us until we crossed the Platte river. After noon 
we came ten miles to a little settlement called Pawnee City, that 
being the name of a postoffice there. It looked as if they were 
going to build a village. We liked the looks of the country much 
better. There were good water, some timber, and an abundance 
of wild strawberries where we camped for the night. 

June 9. We traveled twenty-five miles to-day without a road, 
nothing happening worthy of note. We camped for the night on 
Yankee creek. Plenty of good water and wood. 

June 10. Sunday. This rainy morning we stayed in camp 
until noon. After noon we traveled ten miles, passing two set- 
tlers' cabins. We camped for the night near a small creek, 
where there was plenty of water and wood. 

June 11. A rainy day. We all took a hunt, found and killed 
a wild cat near our camp. W^e hitched up at four o'clock p. m., 
traveled four miles, broke a wagon tongue, and camped. 

June 12. We fixed the wagon tongue in the forenoon. In the 
afternoon we came tw^elve miles, passing a few farms. After 
killing a big rattlesnake, got rained on, and camped. 

June 13. Got out of sight of timber. Got in a wagon road, 



came twenty miles and camped for the night within five mileB 
of Salt creek. 

June 14. Passed Salt Creek crossing. There was a house 
near the crossing. We followed down the valley to the north. 
TlKH'e were a few settlers along the creek, (damped for dinner 
near the creek. After noon passed Lancaster, seat of Lancaster 
county. The town consists of one small store, two dwelliuij 
houses, and a blacksmith shop. This is now Lincoln. Passed 
the Salt basin. We saw where they had been making salt. 
Camped for the night near the salt basin and one mile from Salt 
Creek. We are told that it is twenty miles to where we will find 
wood and water again. Plenty of wild grass everywhere. We 
filled a keg with water, wet the keg, and laid it out in the grass 
and left it there until morning to take with us. The water was 
much colder next morning than when we dipped it from the 

June 15. We saw the first antelope. We found that it was 
full twenty miles to wood and water. xVfter traveling about 
twenty-five miles we camped on a small creek called Oak creek, 
near a trapper's cabin. He had two elk calves in a pen and a 
small cabin about half full of skins of wild animals of different 
kinds. We shot our first elk near here. 

June 10. We built a bridge so as to cross the creek. The 
timber is about twenty rods wide. We traveled eight miles and 
camped for dinner on the prairie near where Dwight is now. 
One of our party found a prairie hen's nest and we had eggs for 
dinner. The cook is known by the name of Michigan, that being 
the state that he is from. The kettles, except for bread, are 
made of sheet iron. Our coffee is quite black from the etfec'ts 
of the kettle. Tliey answer well for other victuals. Bread is 
baked in thick iron skillets with legs. Cups and plates are made 
of tin. Every one furnishes his own knife, and fingers take thr 
place of forks. The fire is built in a hole in the ground, dug for 
the purpose. After noon we saw a small party of Indians. 
They were on the ground when first seen, but soon got on their 
ponies and rode away towards the west. We came to the old 



Calif ()rnia Rond and I'ol lowed i( about live iiiil<*s (o the I'lattx- 
mouth Road. There is a house where they keej) Iraveleis over 
nij»ht. It is oalled a ranch. The ranchman's name is David 
Ji(?ed. He had just kiHed an anteUipe. There an^ phnity of wild 
strawberries here. We eani[) for the nij^ht near tlie ranch. 

fJune 17. Sunday. The nioiiiiu*^- is very cold for the season. 
We were none too warm by the camp-fire with our overcoats on. 
We traveled sixteen miles and camped for noon at Shinns' F(trvy 
on l*latte river. Weather quite warm. Big change since morn- 
ing. The boat is run by David Gardner and Dennis Hookstra. 
The boat is a flat bottom and will carry one wagon at a time. 
The river is about eighty rods wide. They have a huge cable 
rope stretched across the river and tied at on(^ end to a tree 
and the other end to a stout post set in the ground for the pur- 
pose. In each end of the boat is rope and windlass, with the 
ends of th(^ rope attached to pulleys on the large cable rope. The 
water in the river is swift, and when they want to go to the north 
they turn the north end up toward the cable and lower the south 
end. The force of the water forces the boat across the stream 
to near the shore and then with poles they shove it to the shore. 
When they want to go back to the south, they wind up the wind- 
lass to raise the south end and lower the north end, and the force 
of the water forces the boat back to the other shore. 

After crossing the main channel of the river on the boat, we 
were fording a narrow channel about two hundred feet wide, 
when one wagon loaded with flour in sacks got stuck in the 
quicksand about half way across. In our hurry to unload we 
carried the flour to the bank from wliicli we came and did not 
notice that we were just as near the other bank until we had 
most of the flour unloaded. When we got the wagon out we 
had tO' wade the channel and carry the flour over on our shoul- 
ders. We thought that did pretty well for a set of engineers. 
After going one mile we camped for the night. Very little wood 
land, very sandy, and great numbers of mosquitoes. They 
made the oxen roar with pain. We protected ourselves with 
thick clothing and built smokes for the cattle and ourselves. 



The cattle would stand near the fires and -hold their heads in the 

June 18. We came eighteen miles and camped for the noon 
on Loup river at Columbus, where the wagon road from Omaha 
to the mountains crosses that stream on a pontoon bridge. A 
great number of freight teams crosses here. The Union Pacific 
railroad also crosses here. The track was laid through here a 
few days ago. Perhaps there are thirty or forty houses all told. 
There is neither a white woman nor a white child in sight. Hun- 
dreds of Indians of both sexes and all ages, some nearly naked 
and striped with paint, and carrying war clubs, others with bows 
and arrows, others rolled in buffalo robes and lounging about. 
We saw one old Indian beat his squaw because she let the ponies 
get away. She put her blanket over her head and went around 
making a blubbering cry for fifteen or twenty minutes, and then 
was as quiet as the rest. She was herding the ponies on the 
wild grass when they started to play and run past her and ran 
perhaps one mile down the valley, and went to grazing again. 
They were still in plain sight from where we were. We will get 
our turn to cross the river soon after noon. We have to take 
our turn in rotation. 

We did not get across until nearly four o'clock p. m. The 
bridge is made by laying it on flat boats stood side by side. The 
boasts are fastened to a big cable rope and the rope tied to posts 
on each bank. An Indian skull decorates the top of one of the 
posts. We came two miles and camped for the night. 

June 19. We traveled along the Platte River valley. It is 
level and sparsely settled. The houses are mo'stly of either logs 
or sods and covered with dirt. There are many hands at work 
building the IT. P. railroad. They are making about three miles 
per day. There are also many Indians. They are of a friendly 
tribe called Pawnees. They live by their aid from the govern- 
ment, begging and eating the offals of the railroad camps. We 
camped for the night near the laid track of the railroad. Beds 
are made in this country by spreading one pair of woolen blan- 
kets or a buffalo robe on the ground, and covering with another 



pair of blankets. If Hie ground is wetlhoy lirsL spioad si rul)l)(*r 
blanket, and if it is raining, they spread another rubber bhink(?t 
over the top. The Indians can roll themselv(^s in on(^ bulla lo 
robe so as to cover their 'heads and feet too, and lay and sh'ep in 
that manner. 

June 20. A cloudy day and the mosquitoes are very bad. 

June 21. Camped for noon near the O K store and saw (Jeu- 
eral Curtis' block houise. It is made of red cedar posts like 
railroad ties, but longer. They are set on end in the ground and 
project up about ten feet above the ground. It is built in a 
square about 30Q feet long on each side and each corner is made 
with a projection or a small square built the same as the other, 
only about fifteen feet square each way. They were joined to- 
gether in just such a shape as if the corner had been cut off of 
the large square and the two openings set together. These small 
squares had poirt holes so as to give free range of each wall of 
the large square. After noon we got to and crossed Wood river 
and camped near it for the night. 

June 22 and 23 was spent in reaching Fort Kearney Military 
Reservation and in getting ready to begin the survey. 

June 24 we began the survey from the northwest coirner of the 
reservation to the north, and in a few hours were out of sight 
of the line of travel, and here over a dry and sandy country, with 
no sign that any white person had ever been here before, with 
only the pranks of the wild animals to break the monotony of the 
scene, we worked day after day. On the morning of the fourth 
of July we fired off our guns, and then the same old routine, but 
soon after I got sick land quit the work. The people, though 
strangers, were as kind as they could well be under the circum- 
stances. It is not a good country to be sick in; but after lying 
in a tent foir a long time I got better, but did not make much. 
I came back and took a district school near Lancaster, and soon 
got stout and ready to try the west again. 




Read at the Annual Meeting, January 15, 1896. Written by Hon. J. Sterling Morton. 

The organic act of the territory of Nebraska became law in 
May, 1854. A proclamation was issued by Acting Governor 
Cuming in December of that year, convening the territorial leg- 
islative assembly on the Omaha townsite, in January, 1855. 
That session of the territorial legislative assembly was the in- 
auguration of local civil government in Nebraska. Counties 
were instituted and their boundaries described and established. 
All the machinery for neighborhood government was set up 
ready for use. Under it each community, as a corporation, en- 
tered upon civil life penniless. No county, city, or town cor- 
poration came into being as the heir of anything more than the 
right to govern itself. The power, however, to levy taxes was 
vested in each communal corporation. The county and the 
city had each the power to levy taxes only for public purposes. 
The savages, whom that small settlement of frontiersmen, as 
proprietors, succeeded, had no such thing as legislation or taxa- 
tion. They had not emerged from barbarism and tribal rela- 
tions. The pioneers had, however, in their own race history 
recorded the fact that, while in a barbaric state each individual 
for himself had to protect his person, its earnings, and its liberty, 
and that civilization began when humanity emerged from its 
primitive condition and declared that each person was entitled 
to life, liberty, and its own earnings, and that therefore all must 
be combined for the defense and preservation of the rights of 
each. This was the best aim and duty of civilization. In fact, 
up to this date the principal business of civilization and its laws 
is to protect, by the power of all, the natural rights of each. To 
accomi>lish this, the power to tax has been evolved and vested 
in governments. 


Taxation in the territory of Nebraska was never oppressive. 
To it the United States appropriated each year |2(),()()(), out of 
which sum the territorial legislative assembly was paid its per 
diem and the printing of its journals and its statutes j)rovided 
for, together with the postages and mileages and all other inci- 
dental expenses of that body. And to show how frugal and eco- 
nomical the management of federal finances in Nebraska wa« 
in those days, it is only necessary to point to the fact that after 
thirteen years of territorial existence, with an annual appropria- 
tion of the sum named, and without any debts, and all expenses 
paid to date, Nebraska territory, in March, 1867, became a state 
of the American Union and had |40,000 of unexpended balances 
remaining to her credit in the United States treasury out of that 
yearly appropriation, which to-day would be considered quite 
insuflScient to meet the annual expenses of an ordinary board 
of county commissioners in one of the smallest eastern counties 
of the state. That annual appropriation of |20,000, however, 
paid the legislating and printing expenses of a territory which at 
that time embraced, for purposes of government and protection, 
all that vast area w^hich is now the two Dakotas, Wyoming, and 
a part of Colorado. By the census of 1860 the territory con- 
tained between 128,000 and 129,000 population. This number 
of people was scattered in sparsely settled counties from north 
to south and east to west over an area of 75,000 square miles. 
Nevertheless, protection to life, liberty, and property was almost 
as satisfactory then as it is now. County organizations along 
the river were fully as well managed then as they are now. The 
counties of Richardson, Nemaha, Otoe, Cass, Sarpy, Douglas, 
Washington, Burt, and Dakota boasted then as reputable boards 
of commissioners, as honest and as well qualified and efiicient 
sheriffs, judges, treasurers, and clerks as they have to-day. In 
1865, two years before the admission of the state, taxes in Rich- 
ardson county were twelve mills on the dollar. Ten years later, 
notwithstanding a promise made everywhere of lower taxes by 
the advocates of statehood, in the same county they were sixteen 
mills on the dollar. In 1885 — twenty years later — they were 



Iwentj-five mills on the dollar, and in 1895 were still twenty-four 
mills upon the dollar. But the government of Richardson 
county is no more satisfactory to-day, as far as the protection of 
the life, liberty, and property of its citizens is concerned, than 
it was in 1855, when taxes were still lower than in 1865, though 
the actual amount of levy for the former year I have been unable 
to ascertain. 

The average annual taxation from 1865 to 1895 in the county 
of Richardson has been 19J mills on a dollar's valuation. Why 
is it that a county which by nature — taking into consideration 
timber, water, and rock for building purposes — is, perhaps, by 
far the best county in the whole commonwealth, should have 
Ihus increased its taxation without materially or perceptibly im- 
proving its means of protecting property and citizens? 

Nemaha county, on the north of Richardson, likewise on the 
Missouri river, began, in 1865, with a taxation of llf mills on the 
dollar, ran up to 17|^ mills in 1885, and declined to 15 mills in 
1895. But this county has scaled down (in some of its precincts) 
vast sums of indebtedness unwisely incurred by the voting of 
the public funds to private enterprises, like railroads. This 
misuse of the power to tax, which has raised funds out of all 
of the people for the purpose of bestowing them upon a feiv of 
the i)eople who have projected and constructed for themselves 
railroads and other enterprises, has created for taxpayers in the 
state of Nebraska millions of dollars of unlawful and burden- 
some indebtedness. The town of Brownville, formerly the 
county seat of Nemaha, has, in its career, its life and death, illus- 
trated the truth of the statement of Chief Justice Marshall that 
^'the power to tax is the power to destroy." That thrifty and 
attractive little village was originally one of the most prosperous 
communities in the whole territory. In fact, it was the first 
point whence grain and other farm products were shipped from 
Nebraska to an eastern or southern market, via Missouri river 
steamboats and St. Louis. But in economic blindness its citi- 
zens voted 140,000 for the purpose of paying for grading a rail- 
road from Phelps, in the state of Missouri, down to the river 


landing opposite Ui-ovn nvillo. This sum was j;iven in (lie bonds 
of Brownvilh^ precinct, said bonds drawinj^- 10 ])cr cent, interest. 
The grade was c<)ni])leted, and wliil(^ the i)eoi)le were tied to this 
debt and for some years regularly paid the interest, there never 
were any ties placed upon the grade nor any cars run thereujion, 
for the reason that no railroad was ever constinicted from Phelps 
to Brownville. During many years the people of Brownville 
precinct continued to pay for that folly and fallacy. ^Neverthe- 
less, even after this lesson, the people of Brownvilk were in- 
duced again to vote a large subsidy to the Brownville & Fort 
Kearney railroad. This line was graded, tied and ironed for 
about nine miles. Over it, with some considerable timidity and 
no less difficulty, an engine and a few cars several times care- 
fully made trips. The bonds were issued, the interest began to 
gnaw upon the property of Brownville and to depress the s])irit 
of enterprise which had characterized it; and then, to further 
illustrate the fallacy of taxing all for the purpose of raising 
money to give to the few^ who compose a corporation, and to 
emphasize its wickedness, the owners of the Brownville cK: Fort 
Kearney railroad tore up its tracks and abandoned the project. 
But they did not abandon the bonds nor relinquish their claim 
upon the right to use the taxing power in that precinct for the 
purpose of raising money to meet the coupons as they annually 
matured.* The result w^as that taxes in Brownville ran up to 17 
cents on the dollar. Brownville property was undesirable. No 
one demanded it. Its value declined with great velocity. A 
beautiful home, like that of ex-United States Senator Thomas 
W. Tipton, consisting of a, pretty, substantial two-story brick 
house, honestly built, well finished, with all modern conven- 
iences, and twelve lots, beautifully located and adorned with 
trees, w^as sold for something less than one thousand dolhirs. 
The county seat w^as removed, mercantile houses and banks 
deserted the townsite, until in some of the best buildings on the 
main street bats and owls found their most secluded and com- 
fortable roosting places. Grass grew in streets that had been 
resonant with the rumble of farm w^agons and brisk w-ith the 
traffic of a rich and prosperous county. 



Brownville is an instance of communal suicide. It destroyed 
itself by tlie mismanagement and extravagance of its local gov- 
ernment. From prosperity, thrift, and contentment it was 
transformed into tliriftlessness, discontent, and a corporate 
cadaver. The fate of this pioneer business center is recorded 
as an admonition to all the new villages in the new counties 
of the commonwealth. It shows that an overdose of taxation 
is as fatal to corporate health and life as an overdose of mor- 
phine is to the individual organism. 

Leaving Nemaha county, going northward along the west 
bank of the Missouri, we come into the county of Otoe, where, 
upon the same half mile square of fer-tile land the writer hereof 
has lived more than forty years. The first tax paid upon that 
northeast quarter of section 7, town 8, range 14 east, long known 
as Arbor Lodge, was in 1855. It amounted to the sum of |5. 
That included county, precinct, and territorial taxes all told. 
In 1865 taxes in Otoe county were 9 mills upon the dollar's valua- 
tion. In 1875, 19-1 mills. In 1885, 22 mills. In 1895, 23 mills. 
And now this same home, adorned with beautiful trees and 
flowering shrubs and made valuable by the charm and grace of 
association and felicitous recollections, instead of paying five 
dollars a year to government for the service of protection, as 
it did when the domicile was a log cabin and its grounds were 
treeless prairie, must be taxed each year between two hundred 
and three hundred dollars. 

The cost of that land, when the pre-emptor's title came from 
the government, on April 23, 1857, was |1.25 per acre, making an 
aggregate of |200 for the quarter section. And now each year 
its possessor is compelled to pay more for the cost of local gov- 
ernment than the original price of the land. What for? For 
the protection of life, liberty, and property? Not altogether. 
But to meet the demands of a sometime extravagant and mis- 
managed county organization. Primarily the county was in- 
volved in debt by voting subsidies to railroads — 1150,000 to the 
Midland Pacific, with 10 per cent, interest, twenty years to run; 
1150,000 more to the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Com- 


pauy, 8 per cent, interest, widi twenty yenrs to run; and |4(),0()0 
more to the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Missouri River Railroad 

This voting of subsidies has been always, the writer thinks, 
contrary to law construed properly and to justice properly de- 
lined. It is guaranteed to the American citizen that neitlier his 
property, his liberty, nor his life shall be taken from him, except 
by due process of law. Money is property. Taxes take money 
from the citizen, and when it is taken by taxation to be bestowed 
in subsidies upon corporations, forcibly by a vote of a majority, 
it seems to me plain enough that it is not taken by due process 
of law. If it be lawful to take the property known as money, 
in the form of taxes, merely by the sheer force of a majority vote, 
what objection can there be to taking liberty or life by the same 
power? If it is legal to take one's money by the strength of a 
majority vote, without any recognized legal process, is it not 
equally constitutional and equally just to likewise so take liberty 
and life? 

What is a tax? Whether laid for a local, state, or national 
government, a tax is simply payment for the service which that 
government renders to the citizen. And the service which gov- 
ernment was instituted to give is the protection of life, liberty, 
and property. Never, in all the ballots which have been cast 
in Otoe county for bonds to be used for subsidizing corporations, 
has the writer of this paper given any other than a negative vote. 
At no time in his life has he for a moment believed that it was 
either righteous, just, or expedient for a community to burden 
itself with debt for the purpose of hastening, before their time, 
the building of railroads or any other alleged public improve- 
ment for the immediate "booming" of a town or county. This 
system of voting subsidies has prevailed in the state of Nebraska 
to such an extent as to have involved several counties and pre- 
cincts in an indebtedness aggregating betw^een ten millions and 
twenty millions of dollars. A result of such unwisely incurrred 
debts is a tremendous levy upon various precincts, cities, and 
counties for "sinking funds" with which to meet the annual in- 



terest account. And so far as observation goes up to this time, 
a sinking fund sufficient to meet bonded obligations upon their 
maturity in any city, precinct, or county has never yet been 
formed. On the contrary, new bonds are issued when old ones 
fall due, and the cancerous taxation is thus perpetuated from 
year to year and sinking funds made a chronic, hereditary bur- 
den and taint, seemingly, for all time to come. 

Aside from subsidy taxes which are common to nearly all the 
counties, there are generally extravagant county current ex- 
penses. The county of Otoe is eighteen miles wide ^nd thirty- 
six miles long, and the annual levy upon its real and personal 
property is for the purpose of raising somewhere between |90,000 
and |100,000. The larger sum oftener than the lesser sum is the 
tribute wrung during each year from the people and property of 
that county, which contains, in round numbers, 400,000 acres of 
land. Bridges, road improvements, court expenses, and various 
other disbursements are, as a rule, unnecessarily of a recklessly 
extravagant character. Under an ancient statute, the County 
Agricultural Society draws |500 each year to encourage it more 
as a horse show and racing institution than anything else, just 
as though all ought to be taxed for the pleasure and amusement 
of the few who make up the county society and enjoy the races, 
the betting, and the excitement thereunto appertaining. Among 
abuses in the courts of justice, none is more palpable and obvious 
than the custom which some judges have of lucratively appoint- 
ing clientless attorneys to defend attorney less criminals, who, 
with vaulting alacrity, are so often ready to swear to their own 
impecuniosity. The sums sometimes paid the aforesaid callow 
pleaders amount to the fees paid in similar cases to the best 
lawyers. These fees, fixed by a kind and generous judge, come 
out of a popular pocket. It is suggested that each county should 
elect and salary a public defender as well as a public prosecutor. 
It would prove a cheaper system than the present one, and de- 
prive the courts of a baleful patronage. 

From an experience as a taxpayer in Otoe county that now 
reaches out towards half a century, I must frankly say that the 


cost of government in that particular county is far more tliau it 
ouglit to be, and that the character of government has not im- 
l)roved proportionally with tlu^ increase of its taxation. On 
the other hand, conscientiously 1 aver that from 1855 to 1S()5 we 
had, as a rule, a better and more economical administiation of 
county affairs than we have had since that date. 

Oto-e county has, in round numbers, a population of 33, (XM). 
And yet its annual appropriation to meet the demands of its 
county commissioners, which liold to it the same relation that 
the legislative assembly did to the territory of Nebraska, is some- 
thing like 1100,000; while the territory of Nebraska's legislative 
expenses were annually less than |20,000, and provided legisla- 
tion for more than 100,000 people who scatteringly inhabited 
an area of 75,000 square miles. 

The excessive cost of local governments and the consequent 
high rate of taxation which it imposes, repels from some of the 
best portions of our commonwealth the highest cliaract(M- of 
thrifty and intelligent immigraticm and the most desirable cap- 
ital and enterprise. 

Cass county makes a better showing for inexpensive local 
government than any of the older counties of the territory and 
state, as her annual levy has averaged only 1 per cent, from 1865 
to 1895, and in the latter year is only a little over 1 cent on the 

Douglas county has averaged over 14 mills on the dollar dur- 
ing the same thirty years. But Washington county, which be- 
gan with 14J mills in 1865, has now a tax of 23f mills, and makes 
an average of annual taxation for thirty years of 21.19^ mills. 

Burt county began with 10 mills on the dollar in 1865 and 
closes with 14.4 mills in 1895, making an average of 12.294, in- 
cluding and between the two dates. 

In 1865 Dakota county had a tax of 13 mills, and in 1895 of 19 
mills on the dollar's valuation, and shows an annual average 
during thirty years of 204 mills. 

Throughout the state, during the ''boom'' period, and for the 
purpose of continuing an artiheial energy of development in 



most of the largw cities, the fallacy of making public improve- 
ments, merely for the alleged purpose of giving employment to 
the idle, quite largely prevailed. Many big sewers which were 
unnecessary, and miles of expensive pavements in streets which 
needed no pavement at all, have been levied for, with the 
avowed purpose of raising funds with which to employ idle 
muscle. It has been deemed a duty of government by a majority 
of the voters in many localities to furnish compensating employ- 
ment to all seeking it. Following out this economic fallacy, 
those who have been temperate, industrious, self-denying, and 
acquisitive have been compelled, by the power to tax, to furnish 
the means of livelihood to those who have been largely during 
their whole lives intemperate, improvident, and indolent. Paved 
streets — vehicleless, traflficless, and almost peopleless — running 
out from Lincoln, from Omaha, and from other metropolitan 
points towards impossible additions, attest the futility and folly 
of such expenditures. The transitory and almost vagrant popu- 
lation in behalf of which such alleged public works were under- 
taken left each one of those towns so soon as the artificial 
excitement and unnecessary expenditure of public moneys sub- 
sided, or, by force of depleted exchequers, finally came to an end. 

It is not the business of governments to furnish employment 
to citizens. But it is their business to protect the lives, liberties, 
and properties of citizens within the areas which they cover. 
Having afforded this protection, they may righteously tax for the 
service thus rendered, and a tax for any other than such a public 
purpose is licensed larceny. 

The question arises now: How shall the good people in the 
various precincts, cities, and counties of the commonwealth of 
Nebraska hereafter avoid unnecessary extravagance and bur- 
densome taxation in local government? 

This is a very serious problem. It must be answered, there- 
fore, with careful, thoughtful deliberation. There is one abso- 
lutely certain method of correcting the evil of extravagant ad- 
ministration in local affairs, and that is, to recognize, respect, 
and exalt individual merit and personal worth in selecting public 


servants. P]ulogize good character and denonnce bad; choose 
for official places only those citizens who are peculiarly qualified, 
fitted, and adapted to tliose i)laces. The best method to a(!(;oni- 
plisli the selection of that class of (ntizens, and thereby ])ut a 
premium upon acknowledged ability and clean character, is to 
repeal every statute in the state of Nebraska which requires any 
officer to give bonds for the faithful performance of his duty or 
for the proper care of public funds. 

The theory of democratic government is that a majority of the 
people are always right, and, therefore, perfectly competent to 
govern themselves. In fact, this government is one of com- 
mittees. In the county of Lancaster the whole people desire a 
treasurer, a sheriff, a county judge, and county commissioners, 
together with a county clerk. By a vote of the whole these offi- 
cers are selected, as a mere committee, to attend to business 
which the people in their primary capacity cannot look after. 
To these officers are committed all the functions appertaining 
to their respective places. They have been chosen by a majority 
of the legal voters. If any one of them is inefficient or dishon- 
est, those who elected them should suffer the consequences. The 
whole community should be bondsmen for the electees of the 
majority. The community should not plead the "baby act," and 
after, by a majority of ten to one, having elected A. B. treas- 
urer, ask eight, ten, or a dozen good citizens who, by thrift, tem- 
perance, industry, and frugality, have acquired competencies, to 
come forward and sign a bond by which they shall risk all their 
lives' earnings (which, by natural rights, in part belong to their 
wives and children) in order to indemnify the community against 
loss by its own choice of an officer. 

Up to date, the bond-giving system, which is contrary to a 
democratic form of government, has resulted, as a rule, in fruit- 
less litigation when bondsmen have been sued. 

That which is true as to the non-bonding of county and city 
officers is likewise true of the bonded state officials in Nebraska. 
The state treasurer of this commonwealth is required to give a 
bond in the sum of something like a million of dollars. That is 



to say, two hiindied thousand voters, having advocated or per- 
mitted the election of a citizen to the responsible position of 
state treasurer, then ask that they may be protected from their 
own selectee and guaranteed that he will not rob those who have 
chosen him to take care of the public funds. The best type of 
citizenship is then asked to jeopardize its earnings and the edu- 
cation and happiness of its households to protect a majestic 
majority from the possible consequences of its own votes. 

Events too recent in the state are ample in potency to prove 
the fallacy of the bond-giving system when it comes to state 
treasurers. It, too, results only in litigation and loss. 

But let the laws requiring these official bonds be repealed, so 
that neither city, county, nor state officers — whether they handle 
money or perform other duties — can be required to give any 
financial guaranty as to their capability, efficiency, or honesty. 
AVhen these laws shall have been rei>ealed, who will dare say 
that the republican party, the' democratic party, the populist 
party, or the prohibition party of this state will nominate in 
any city or county a treasurer, or name for a state treasurer, a 
man w hose character for ability as an accountant and for hon- 
esty and sobriety as a citizen is not above and beyond reproach? 
The repeal of these laws, which have in practice been almost 
a complete failure, would put a premium upon ability and hon 
esty in public life. No political organization would dare name 
for public place a man intellectually or morally disqualified for 
the performance of the duties which that position demands. 
There would be no further pleading of the "baby act" by vast 
majorities. The whole people would soon understand and fully 
realize that whenever a dishonest or inefficient official was 
elected, they themselves were his sureties. The vote of every 
property holder would then be given after due reflection as to 
the probabilities of the candidate being able to satisfactorily 
do the work of the office sought. No longer would men be 
named for county treasurers simply because small bankers fur- 
nished bonds for them, in consideration of their furnishing back 
the small bankers deposits of public funds out of which petty 


money- mougers may, by devious methodH, (evolve sui r<*j»( ii ions 
and unlicensed gains. 

Until offices are recognized as having been created for i)ubli(; 
utility and not exclusively for party purposes, and until salaries 
are paid only for services faithfully, honorably, and wisely given 
for the common weal, these ills, which are grievous to be bornc^, 
will probably remain uncured and become more malignant. 

Until no bonds are required, extravagance in local govern- 
ments can and probably will be continued. Until there be a 
premium upon personal integrity and upon fitness and adapta 
tion for given positions, rascality and mediocrity may perpetuate 
dishonest and extravagant management and taxes may continue 
to be more now than they were then. 



By Alice A. Minick. Read at the Annual Meeting, January 15, 1896. 

Human slavery, 'tis the one blot on the 

Escutcheons of cur country's fame, that time 

Cannot obliterate. Memory calls 

Back those days as a child shudders in the dark, 

After hearing vague tales of witches. 

Slavery, a daub made by the hand of greed. 

And ignorance, or novice statesmen, whose 

Souls were untouched by human sympathy; 

Other stains streak our nation's splendor to-day, 

And the black mask shall be as effectually 

Torn asunder, e'en though it tries the souls of men. 

Conscience coerced, by wrong codes may slumber. 

While slumbering, seem to approve the law, — 

Others of action, like the heroic John Brown, 

Never sleep; they are talesmen for Freedom's immortal day. 

Mention of the Underground Railroad (U. G. R. R.) in Ne- 
braska, or in any other state, immediately suggests to the mind 
the thought of Captain John Brown, whose name is inscribed on 
every historic record which pertains to the great national wrong 
of slavery, up to the time of his "public murder" at Harper's 
Ferry, December 19, 1859. John Brown was the inspiration of 
the abolition party. He clasped the hand of oppression, and 
united it with freedom, — his life was the prophecy of freedom, 
and his death its benediction. 

The IJ. G. R. R. was humane in its object, was created from a 
deep abstraet principle, which rests in patriotism in govern- 
mental affairs, and is the moral element in human and diAdne 
rights. In reviewing carefully the movement of the abolition 
party reformers who put their souls and lives into the move- 
ment, I can see no place where the true governmental principle 
of justice and the divine principle of personal liberty crossed, 



thou^^h to an iins.ympatliizer, or careless obse^rviM', i( ini^dii uj) 
pear to the contrary. 

The prime object of the movers along th(^ line of tlic* 11. (\. U. 
11., both north and south, east and west, was the <Hnancipat ion of 
the slaves from an unholy bondages to assist them to their (lod- 
given rights, in defiance of the human authority that overshad- 
owed them; this assistance to be rendered when necessary, at all 
hazard, and at any and all times. The bravest and most loyal 
blood flowed in the veins of those abolition forerunners; lik(^ all 
reformers, they were dubbed as fanatics and lunatics, when, in 
fact, they were radical enthusiasts upon the subject of patriot- 
ism. Who could doubt the loyalty of men as brave as John 
Brown, Lovejoy, or Gerrit Smith, or Fred Douglass, or Wendell 
Phillips, and scores of other reformers whose souls were enlisted 
in the work, — that struck the key note, that sounded the death 
knell of human slavery? 

John Brown was a Christian gentleman, not a rough, as he is 
understood to be by many who have not studied , his biography. 
He was educated for the ministry, was a tanner by trade. He 
was at one time a large wool dealer, then a farmer; his methods 
were practical in every respect. In person he was a tall, well 
developed specimen of, manhood, five feet eleven inches in height, 
with keen black eyes, and when I saw him in 1859 he wore a 
heavy beard, which was streaked with grey; he impressed one as 
a man of strength. He represented a line of sturdy and noted 
ancestry; he is described as the seventh John Brown along the 
genealogical line. He was married twice and became the father 
of twenty children ; he possessed the will to do what others knew 
should be done but had not the moral courage to do, for he de- 
clared he had been engaged in railroad business on a somewhat 
extended scale, and said: "I have been connected with the busi- 
ness from my boyhood and never let an opportunity slip." This 
line of work was carried on more extensively than was generally 
understood at the time, or is yet understood, — since it was con- 
ducted under various names. It was known in some sections as 
The Subterranian Pass Way (S. P. W.), "Free State League," 



and ^^League of Freedom," all of which implied one and the same 
thing, known in the west as the Underground Railroad (U. G. 
R. R.) I am to deal more directly with the IT. G. R. R. in Ne- 
braska — which was a short line, comparatively, both in distance 
and time of operation. The Nebraska line was directly under 
the management and leadership of John Brown, whose home was 
temporarily in Kansas. He often passed over the route, person 
ally accompanying the fugitives as far as Springdale, the 
Quaker settlement in Cedar county, Iowa, which was one of the 
stations on their way to Canada. 

It is authoritatively stated that seventy-five thousand fugitives 
were in Canada West at the time of the Chatham gathering, 
which was an abolition convention called by John Brown in 1858. 
One colored woman, Mrs. Tubman, is reported to have assisted 
several thousand fugitives to escape, she having been a refugee, 
and one Wm. Lambert is reported to have helped within a period 
of thirty years, thirty thousand slaves to freedom. It is reported 
that the Ohio-Kentucky route served more fugitives than others 
in the north. I make mention of these facts to show something 
of the -magnitude of the U. G. R. R. and its functions in the ful- 
fillment of the prophecy which declared that this should be the 
land of the free and the home of the brave. 

The original name of the Nebraska line was known as the 
Kansas-Nebraska and Iowa Underground Railroad. It was a 
continuation of the Missouri and Kansas line. Its terminus was 
Springdale, Iowa, the center of the Quaker community above 
mentioned. Falls City, in Richardson county, was the first sta- 
tion in Nebraska. Nemaha City, Nemaha county, and Nebraska 
City, Otoe county, the main crossing of the Missouri river, — these 
comprised the Nebraska stations, and extended from them to 
Tabor, Iowa, then to Springdale. The Kansas, Nebraska, and 
Iowa line was well organized. It was later known as the Ne- 
braska U. G. R. R. The money used was raised by subscription, 
mostly among its members, and the road was worked by its mem- 
bers, who were abolitionists. The members took their turns, 
and used their own methods of transportation from one station 



to another. Sometimes they were annoyed and their plans frus- 
trated by some disloyal members, who could be tempted to try 
and make money by returning the slaves to their masters and 
obtaining the reward. If they succeeded they crossed the river 
at Kulo, in Richardson county, Nebraska, opposite Missouri. 
Between bloody Kansas on the south and the border ruffians, 
and Missouri, a rank slave state, on the east, there was immi- 
nent danger and risk connected with the undertaking, but a 
goodly number of abolitionists at each of these points influenced 
public sentiment far enough to prevent outbreaks ^or serious dis- 
turbance, more than the occasional occurrence of disloyalty of 
some of its members, which Judge Reavis, of Falls City, de- 
scribes by an incident which took place, in which he says: ''As 
I now remember, there were about one-half dozen operators on 
that road in and about Falls City, having a station about a mile 
north of town, at the house of a man by the name of W. W. 
Buchanan. This man Buchanan got into some trouble with the 
fraternity and was dismissed from their service. Charles 
Strong, of Nemaha City, and some two or three others, whose 
names I do not recall, came into Falls City some time during the 
year 1859 or -60, and, among other things, charged him with 
slipping runaway darkies over into Missouri for the purpose of 
getting the reward offered for their recapture. There was some 
foundation for the charge, and it came pretty near costing Bu- 
chanan his life, as Strong, Chamberlain, Jamieson, and some 
others, whose names I have forgotten, were not only indignant 
at the conduct of Buchanan, but they distinctly told him that a 
repetition of it would bring about his personal destruction. 
There was one ridiculous circumstance connected with this that 
might as well be told, and I think the circumstance led to the 
suspicion that Buchanan was not all right. One of the runaway 
slaves had been lodged at Buchanan's house, to be forwarded 
on his course to Mt. Tabor, la., and was a little above the average 
negro in point of ilitelligence. This negro became suspicious 
that everything was not all right and broke away from the men 
who had him and escaped south across the Nemaha river int© 



an Indian reservation. The Indians, of course, had the notion 
that a black man was property among the white men and the 
next day they came to town driving the negro before them and 
wanted to sell him for flour. In the meantime one of the men 
who had been trying to ship the negro into Missouri came into 
town and charged that the fellow was a runaway slave and that 
he must be returned to his master. There were more abolition- 
ists in town than pro-slavery men, and the darkey was kept in a 
blacksmith's shop and was eventually dressed up in blankets 
belonging to Judge Dundy, the late United States district judge 
of the district of Nebraska, and was finally smuggled out of town 
and sent on his way to Canada. There was not the slightest 
danger that the negro would be returned to slavery, as there 
were too many abolitionists in town who would have engaged 
in conflict rather than allow it. IJut the difficulty was gotten 
over by the ingenious device of making the negro appear like 
an Indian, and he passed out of the shop close to a pro-slavery 
man, who never knew the difference. 

Sewel Jamieson, of Falls City, long since gone to his rest, was 
an active member; also John Burbank and his brother Joseph, 
Judge Dundy, and Wm. McFarland, to whom I am indebted for 
items of interest and who assisted companies to escape on three 
different occasions. Nemaha City was the central point, where 
were several stations; one just north of town on the farm of 
Houstin Russel. Although a Missourian, he was a radical abo- 
litionist. He took care of more fugitives than any other agent 
at Nemaha. It was there I received my initiation into the order 
under promise to keep still. I had gone to the Russel home to 
visit a daughter; she was going to the cave to get vegetables for 
the meal and invited me to go with her. On entering the cave, 
I found myself in the midst of colored people of all sizes, men, 
women, and children. All I could see was red lips, white teeth, 
eyes, and black faces; frightened is no name for the sensation I 
experienced. Should I run, scream, or fall down? The more 
frightened I became the more they showed their white teeth. 
I begged the girl to help me away, for I could not rise on my feet. 



These were the first colored people 1 had ever met, and to a 
northern child it was an experience. This was early in the op- 
eration of the Nebraska line, for in the next two years I over- 
came all my fears of colored people. Hezekiah B. Strong, of 
Nemaha City, was a member and he often helped the fugitives 
on their way. My father, David Lockwood, kept a station just 
west of town. There was also a vacant house in town where 
they were housed when there was a large number together. I 
remember waking one morning and smelled cooking at an un- 
seasonable hour, and on investigation found my mother prepar- 
ing an early breakfast for three fugitives. One of the number 
was a tall, stalwart darkey, Napoleon by name. He was more 
intelligent than the average slave. He said he intended to re- 
turn for his family as soon as he could earn some money. My 
father warned him against it, and advised him to leave his 
family in the hands of Providence, at least while so much dan- 
ger threatened. After the three had been warmed and fed they 
retired to the attic for the day. Napoleon tied two brooms for 
my mother that day out of some broomcorn that had been stored 
there. The next night my brother, Eugene V. Lockwood, took 
the colored gentlemen in an emigrant wagon to Nebraska City. 
Some months after this Napoleon did return to Missouri with 
his heart full of love for his family, and determined to take them 
to Canada with him. He went to the farm house of his wife^s 
owner and under curtain of night stole close to the house with 
the hope that his wife might come to the door; then he crept 
close to the well curb where she might come to pump water and 
breathlessly waited. How his great heart must have beaten, 
and every moment an hour, while undergoing this suspense. 
Then there came the sharp crack of a pistol — a flash — and a bul- 
let had pierced Napoleon's heart, and he was dead. Many pa- 
thetic incidents were enacted during the two years that the U. 
G. K. R. was in operation in Nebraska, but none of them touched 
ray heart as did this one. 

John Brown's last appearance in Nebraska was early in Feb- 
ruary, 1859, and in fact, as far as I am able to find out, these were 



the last refugees he assisted to escape, for soon after he made^ 
his way from Springdale (where his men had been drilling and 
his guns and ammunition were stored) to Harper's Ferry. This 
trip has been described by George B. Gill (who was Brown's 
faithful friend and adviser, as reported in the American Re- 
former by Carlos Martyn.) He appeared in Nemaha about Feb^ 
ruary 3, 1859, with thirteen fugitives in emigrant wagons. They 
camped at the station house in Nemaha, which was furnished 
with a stove and benches; a colored cook prepared their meal. 
It was no secret then that John Brown with fugitives was in 
town, where they remained two or three days. His company 
consisted of men, women, and children. George B. Gill accom- 
panied him and several other white men. This must have been 
the camp that Mr. Gill alludes to as being on the Otoe reserva- 
tion, since it was just across the line, and there were no stations 
on the reservation. The weather was cold, roads rough and 
hubby. I can now see that group as they surround the wagons 
preparatory to starting. A number of citizens had assembled, 
some out of curiosity, others to assist them out of sympathy. 
They left Nemaha peaceably and without molestation, with the 
best wishes of many people. These were the last fugitives that 
I ever saw, for soon the battle cry sounded and the attention of 
loyal citizens was turned in another direction. 

Mr. Gill says : ^^It is not generally known, but it is a fact, that 
there were from 1856 to 1858 more slaves in Nebraska than in 
Kansas. Most of the Kansas slaves were conveyed to the North 
Star section soon after. The first attempt to cross the Missouri 
river by the new route was made by the Massachusetts party, 
under the charge of Martyn Stowell, of which I was a member. 
We were the advance guard in July, 1856, of Jim Lane's hastily 
gathered command. The Nebraska City ferry was a flat boat 
worked by a southern settler named Nuckolls, who had brought 
slaves there and who declared we should not cross. Three of 
us, who were mounted, rode down, called, and got the ferry over 
on the Iowa or eastern side of the river with Nuckolls himself in 
charge, and we held him there until our little company of sixty- 



five young men, with three wagons, wene ferried ov(^r. These 
incidents are only mentioned to show the nature of the obstacles. 
Mr. Nuckolls yielded to our persuasive force, aided by that of his 
neighbors, many of whom were free state in sympathy, and per- 
haps even more by the profit he found by the large ferriage tolls 
we promptly paid." 

I cannot close this chapter without making especial mention 
of James H. Lane, who was active in those days. He must have 
been out on one of his recruiting trips when I first met him in 
June, 1856, camped on the bank opposite Nebraska City three 
days with two or three hundred other people, who were waiting 
for the high waters caused by the June freshets to recede, suffi- 
ciently for safe crossing in a rickety flat boat and by the aid of 
careless, half -drunken seamen. Mr. Lane was one of the high 
water-bound party held there nearly one week. He frequently 
visited our camp, for he found my father's family in sympathy 
with his work. I scrutinized him in childish curiosity, for to see 
Jim Lane was to see a noted personage, who had been read and 
talked about in our New York home, his name being always asso- 
ciated with the Kansas troubles. He was socially a pleasant, 
congenial gentleman. He was tall, slender in build, with a 
smooth face, and blind in one eye. I could not pronounce him 
handsome; he was of a restless, nervous temperament. We 
crossed the river on the same boat, only part of our family going 
at the same time. My father met Mr. Lane many times after 
this. He believed that Lane would be the colored people's 
Moses, for up to this time little had been heard of John Brown 
in the west, as he was actively engaged in the rescue work in 
the east. Lane was organizing against the border ruffians in 
Kansas, while John Brown's work from beginning to end was 
the emancipation of the slaves. Aaron Dewight Stevens was 
known as the fighting free state leader at Topeka, and to him 
was also intrusted the defense of the open road to Nebraska. 
John Brown carried on a dual duty after his appearance in the 
west, that of collecting arms, drilling his men at Tabor and 



Springdale, at the same time engineering Ms U. G. R. R. lines in 
Tarious places in the country east and west. 

There is no way of arriving at a correct estimate of the number 
of slaves that were assisted over the Nebraska line, but it is safe 
to say that there were several hundred. The work taught those 
who were held as slaves in Nebraska territory that they were 
on free soil, of which they soon took advantage. 

One of John Brown's principles was loyalty to government, 
while he believed there was no wrong in helping the slaves to 
what naturally belonged to them — freedom. He believed in pre- 
serving the Union, and was opposed to taking of life and destruc- 
tion of property at all times, save only in self defense. The«e 
principles stood for those of every true abolitionist. They be- 
lieved that a government fostering and protecting a wrong of so 
great magnitude would go down in filth, or it would extricate 
itself through great loss; and they were right. Nebraska has a 
clear record. KShe is free from the blot of legalized slavery. This 
was done by the heroic acts of the few who bore aloft in the time 
of danger freedom's banner. Although bills were introduced into 
the legislature by Marquett and Taylor in 1860 to abolish slavery 
in the territory of Nebraska, these were political methods intro- 
duced to test party strength. Legalized slavery did not exist; 
however, the bills passed over the governor's veto and went into 
effect May 1, 1860. 

I will add here that these were stormy times in Nebraska. 
Those who have come here of more recent date and enjoyed the 
fruits of those days can scarcely understand all that the IT. G. 
R. R. implies. The country sparsely settled, no comfort, very 
little to eat, and that plain food, and money scarce. Cold win- 
ters followed by droughts, ague and fever, which accompany 
new countries, were of frequent occurrence. Means of transpor- 
tation were limited to Indian ponies or ox teams; all strangers, 
and they many times homesick and discouraged; war threaten- 
ing, and harder times, if possible; blood-thirsty ruffians on our 
borders; with all of these surroundings and many more discour- 
agements, the thought of carrying on a systematic assistance for 


the deliverance of thousands of slaves required, first, patriotism, 
then nerve and energy, such as only great emergencies can com- 

These reminiscences have been carefully collected together 
with my own recollections extending back to my twelfth year 
of age. 



By I. A. Fort. 

William Wallace Dennison was born at Saybrook, Conn., April 
20, 1822, and received bis education at Yale. He was descended 
from a noble English family, a branch of which, emigrating from 
the parent country, settled in Connecticut about the beginning 
of the last century. The greater part of his life was spent in 
government service, particularly that branch of it known as the 
Indian department. In 1857 he was appointed by President 
Pierce United States agent to the Pawnee, Otoe, and Missouri 
tribes of Indians, with headquarters at Nebraska City, which 
was then in its infancy. Enterprising and public spirited, Major 
Dennison, together with other kindred spirits, did all in his 
power to invite immigration into the territory and to further in 
every way the interests of the growing colony at Nebraska City. 

Through his instrumentality the Indians under his control and 
over whom he exercised a most beneficent influence were in- 
structed in the useful arts of civilization and also taught how to 
live on friendly terms with other Indian tribes, as also with their 
white neighbors. Treaties greatly to their advantage were, 
through Major Dennison's influence, concluded with the govern- 
ment, the articles of which were rigidly enforced by him, to the 
great advancement of the Indians. 

In 1859 his friends induced him to stand as democratic nom- 
inee for congress, but he was defeated by the republican candi- 
date. During the fall of 1860, his health failing notably, he was 
advised to try a southern climate for its restoration, in pursu- 
ance of which advice he sent in to the Indian department his 
resignation as agent, and was preparing to proceed with his 
family to Virginia when the civil war broke upon the country. 

Certain unscrupulous persons hearing of Major Dennison's 


intentions, got together a mob of low white men and a f<^vv (h;- 
luded Indians, who, presenting themselves at the major's dw(ill- 
ing, demanded him to deliver up the government money whicli he 
then held in trust for the payment of Indian annuities, assigning 
as a reason for this lawless conduct that Major Dennison was 
about to go south, being a. southern sympathizer, taking witli 
him said public funds. A base and groundless calumny, as after 
events clearly proved. These lawless men further threatened to 
burn the dwelling of the agent, and even the whole of Nebraska 
City, if their demands were not complied with — which threat 
so intimidated some property holders in the city that they ap- 
pointed a committee to wait upon him and request that he give 
up the government money then on deposit in Mr. Ware's bank. 
This request was, of course, indignantly refused. Finally these 
miscreants, threatening death to the intrepid defender of his 
trust, seized and bound him, making him a prisoner in his own 
house, around which they placed a guard of unprincipled men. 
To all these threats of violence and death Major Dennison re- 
plied, with an undaunted courage born of stern integrity and 
npright principles, "I prefer death before dishonor." 

All the available troops at Fort Leavenworth, the nearest gar- 
rison, having been called to Washington to assist at the inaugu- 
ration of President Lincoln, none could be obtained to quell 
these disorders, and the governor's authority proved powerless 
to stay the lawless proceedings. Under these circumstances, 
his friends urging upon the major the duty he owed to his family 
and himself to protect his life and honor, advised him to leave 
the territory, which he did early in 1861, proceeding to Rich- 
mond, Va., where he was joined by his family some months later. 

The government funds remained in the bank until after the 
arrival of a newly appointed agent, to whom the boxes of specie 
were delivered with their seals unbroken and their contents in- 

This incident is given as an illustration of the moral strength 
and force of character possessed by Major Dennison. At no 
period of his life did he show more magnanimity of soul and 



heroic courage tlian when, almost alone, he defied the threats 
and violence of an unprincipled mob. 

He took no part in the civil war, his physical condition proving 
a sufficient exemption from military duties, but through the 
influence of friends and in recognition of his personal merits, he 
was given a position in the Confederate treasury department at 
Richmond, thus securing to himself and family a necessary main- 
tenance until such time as they fondly hoped to return to their 
western home. But, alas for human hopes and expectations' 
death claimed his wife in 1862, and his own health rapidly declin- 
ing, he died in Richmond, on the 16th of July, 186e3, at the early 
age of forty, leaving behind him two orphan daughters to mourn 
their irreparable loss. 

Major Dennison was a man of sterling worth, of spotless in- 
tegrity, a loyal citizen, and a polished and courtly gentleman, 
whose untimely death was lamented by hosts of friends north 
and south, and whose memory is held in benediction by those 
who loved him. 

president' 8 COM M IJ N I ( ; ATI (J N . 

Read before the Society at the opening of the Twentieth Session, January 12, 1897. 

United States Department of Agriculture, 
Office of the Secretary, 

Washington, D. C, January 8, 1897. 
Mr. Jay Amos Barrett, Librarian i^tate Historical Society, Lincoln, 

My Dear Sir: I very much regret my inability to be present 
at the coming session of the State Historical Society. But par 
ticularly do I lament the fact that I shall not be there to meet 
the surviving members of the first territorial legislative assem- 
bly who will at that time convene within our lecture room. It 
will be very appropriate, it seems to me, on that interesting oc- 
casion to see what sort of history has been made during the last 
fifty years in regard to class legislation. 

It has been recently declared that under the gold standard the 
poor are invariably oppressed and made poorer and the rich fa- 
vored and made richer. It has been declared with wonderful 
effrontery that the American people have been crushed in their 
enterprises and industries by the single gold standard. Even 
from citizens in high positions have come utterances like the 

"The promulgation of the gold standard is an attack upon 
your homes and your firesides and you have as much right to 
resist it as to resist an army marching to take your children 
captive and burn the roof over your head." 

In view of these wild and false statements, why not look over 
the economic and social improvements which have come about 
under this terrible gold standard during the last fifty years? 

In that time has not imprisonment for debt been abolished? 
, In that time have not laws been passed exempting homesteads 



and large values in personal property from execution against 
debtors who are the heads of families? 

Have not liens been provided for mechanics and laborers by 
which their wages may be secured upon the property in which 
they have put forth their efforts? 

Have not poor persons been permitted to sue in the courts, 
state and national, without the payment of costs or the giving of 
security for costs? 

Have not laws been passed providing for the appointment of 
attorneys to defend, without compensation, poor persons in the 
criminal courts and, in some instances, in the civil courts? 

Have not laws been so constructed that courts are directed to 
enter judgment in favor of the laborer who has to bring suit to 
recover his wages or enforce his rights against a corporation 
for a stated sum to recover his attorney's fees? 

Have not the hours of labor to make up a day been declared 
by law as to the public service and on public works? 

Have not the wages of labor been made preferred claims in the 
administration of estates, and in some cases are not wages made 
preferred claims generally? 

Have not laws regulating passenger and freight rates on rail- 
roads and other lines of transportation, and also the charges 
of public warehouses and elevators been instituted during the 
last fifty years? 

In the same time have not national and state commissions 
been created to supervise railway traffic by which charges are 
supposed to have been reduced two-thirds or more? 

Have not statutes reduced the rates of interest in nearly all 
the states and extended the time for the redemption of prop- 
erty after the foreclosure of mortgages or deeds of trust? 

In that half century have not railroads been required to fence 
their line« or pay double damages resulting from failure to 

Have not railroads in that period been also required to fur- 
nish safe places and appliances for their workmen? 

Have not manufacturers and mine owners been required to 

president's communication. 


provide places and machinery for the safety and comfort of their 
employes ? 

Has not the incorporation of labor organizations been author- 
ized in that time by law and Labor Day been made a national 

Have not commissioners of labor, state and national, been ap- 
pointed to gather statistics and as far as possible to ameliorate 
the condition of the working classes? 

Have not the laws provided against poor men being black- 
listed or threatened by postal cards, as to the collection of debts 
alleged against them? 

Have not the public mails and post routes been relieved by law 
from the carrying of lottery schemes and other fraudulent meth- 
ods of getting money from the unsophisticated? 

Have not the postages been reduced so that, under the opera- 
tion of the present laws, the people get the county newspapers 
free of any carrying cost? 

Has not slavery been abolished in that time? 

Has not the condition of labor been elevated and improved? 

Have not foreign laborers been forbidden to come into the 
United States under contract, and Chinese emigrants shut out? 

Have not boards of arbitration, state and national, for the set- 
tlement of labor disputes, been created? 

In that half century have not homesteads aggregating more 
than three millions in number been given gratuitously to those 
who would enter upon them and cultivate them? 

In the same time have we not given away a million or more 
of farms in the United States under the operation of the timber 
culture law? 

Have not free public libraries been established by statute in 
nearly every state and county of the east and north and in many 
of the western and southern states? 

Have not institutions for the blind, feeble minded, the insane, 
and deaf and dumb multiplied in every commonwealth of the 
United States? 

Have not institutions for caring for the sick, the aged, and 


the distressed been improved and increased in numbers a tliou- 
sand-fold during the last fifty years? 

During what other half century has any nation shown a pen 
sion list running to |160,000,000 a year to provide for its veteran 

In what other country have so many millions of dollars been 
expended for free public schools and universities in the last fifty 

And who brought about these beneflc(mt institutions which 
look after and care for those who are unable to care for them- 

Were they not the higher class of citizens — the intelligent, 
the wealthy — who conceived and constructed these homes for 
those who otherwise might have no homes? 

Are not these evidences of a bountiful, abundant, and a gen 
erous charity visible in every state and county and city of the 
American Union? And, this being the case, with what truth, 
with what good common sense, and with what justice can any 
public man endeavor to array the poorer against the richer citi- 
*zens of the republic? How can anyone declare, in the face of all 
these gigantic facts, that the gold standard has cursed and 
shrunken the civilization of the last half century in the great 
republic of the western continent? 

In the records of all the centuries since man began a historic 
career where can fifty years be found during which the cost of 
production of staple foods for the human race has been so much 

What other half century can vie with the last half of this in 
bringing to the great ruass of mankind increased comforts and 
luxuries at constantly lessening cost? 

During these fifty years have not the dynamos of most of these 
power agents, which before the beginning of 1850 had bejen pon- 
cealed from human vision, been developed and made to work for 
the advantage and benefit of the American people? 

And under the gold standard, since 1850, has not the popula^ 
tion of the United States more than trebled and its wealth multi- 
plied itself nine times? 


If the preceding 200 jears liad recorded on ji phoiio^nipti all 
of the inveDtioiis, improvements, and labor-saving machines for 
production and distribution, v^^ould they have equalled tin- kIiow- 
ing which the last twenty-hve yeai^s can make? 

Uut leaving the United States east of the Mississippi river, how 
has Nebraska been shriveled and tortured under the gold stand- 
ard since civil government was first established within its 

Who present of the members of the first legislative assembly 
of the territory of Nebraska can recall the physical conditions 
by which that deliberative body was environed in January, 1855? 

Was it not more than three hundred miles to a railroad? 
Were there more than two thousand men, women, and children 
resident in all the seventy-six thousand square miles which 
make up the area of this commonwealth? 

And yet in forty-two years have not the material, mental, and 
social conditions — under the gold standard of value — advanced 
from the crudities, discomforts, and discouragements of the 
furthermost frontiers to the environments, comforts, convenien- 
cies, and luxuries of modern civilization in all the older settle- 
ments of Nebraska? 

And will not the acre of land which would buy but a dollar 
and a quarter in gold in 1856 now purchase from ten to a hun- 
dred dollars of the same coin? 

And cannot money, which in 1856, '57, '58, '59, and '60, and 
even down to 1867, which loaned in Nebraska upon farm mort- 
gages for 12 per cent, per annum, now be borrowed for 8, not- 
withstanding the alleged appreciation of the dollar? 

And cannot railroad bonds, issued upon lines in Nebraska 
which originally bore 8 per cent., now be floated at 4? 

And are not wages more now than forty-two years ago? 

And with interest lower, wages higher, and the values of all 
real property -enhanced ten-fold during the forty-two years, how 
can a truthful man, a sincere lover of big facts, declare that the 
gold standard has been and will continue to be a blighting curse 
upon the people. J. Sterling Morton. 




Denver, Colo., September 15, 1896. 

To the Nebraska Historical Society: At the earnest solicitation 
of your assistant secretary and librarian, I will attempt to ex- 
press what I can remember of the first territorial legislative 
assembly of Nebraska. Forty years is a long time to retain in 
one's memory anything of interest concerning the assembly not 
found in the journal of its proceedings, so you need not expe<;t 
a very extended statement. I might, indeed, draw upon my im- 
agination for embellishments; but such you would not want. 
Nor would I like to give you anything but the plain truth of the 
matter so far as I can, even though it be not so strange as fiction. 

At the date of the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, in 
May, 1854, 1 resided at Glenwood, la. My oldest brother, Isaiah 
H. Bennet, was in the employ of the government in the Indian 
service, and located at Bellevue. He and I were among the very 
first to loeate claims in Nebraska after the passage of the bill. 
We made our locations on the Papillion, without, however, mov- 
ing our families to the ground. 

Late in the fall of 1854, S. F. Nuckolls, who had located at old 
Ft. Kearney (Nebraska City), persuaded me to move from Glen- 
wood, la., and join him at Nebraska City. This I did, taking my 
little family with me in a buggy, and leaving all my household 
and other effects behind. We boarded at the Downs house, the 
only public house in the city, for some few weeks before the first 
election in the territory. At that election I was a candidate for 
the territorial council from Otoe county, which was entitled to* 
two councilmen, and I was elected, together with Captain Brad- 
ford, long since deceased. As I remember the matter, I owed my 
honorable position as a member of the first session of the Ne- 


biaskii legisla(iir(^ more to Slepheii F. Nuckolls than to Wu^ fact 
of any lonj>' or well-known I'osidcmcc in Nobraska prior to the 

I was elected as a South Platte man, which meant that I was 
in favor of the location of the capital at Nebraska City. In 
other words to remove the capital from Omaha, where Thomas 
B. Cuming, the secretary, haid established it, to a ]K)int soutHi 
of the Platte, where I and my South Platte colleagues and con- 
stituents had more corner lots than in Omaha. The corner lot 
question was the great political question at stake between the 
two Nebraska parties — "North Platte" and "South Platte'' — of 
that early period. Party spirit, of course, ran high, as it nat- 
urally does when, as in this case, a great principle is involved in 
the issue. Just consider how many 

"City lots were staked for sale 
Above old Indian graves" 

north of the Platte, at Omaha, and south of the Platte, at Ne- 
braska City. In such trials the issue cannot be found by proofs 
of the right beyond a reasonable doubt, as in criminal cases, but 
only by a preponderance of corner lots. And it w^as so found in 
this case, in favor of Omaha. 

However, I must ask you to pardon these reflections, as I am 
not writing an essay on the righteousness of mankind, but only 
a few reminiscences of the early and half-forgotten days of the 
great state of Nebraska. 

The legislature met at Omaha a few weeks after the election. 
It assembled in the old capitol building situate on the bluff near- 
the Hemden house. All the parliamentary law I knew I had 
gained from study of Jelferson's Manual, which I had borrowed 
after my election. Notwithstanding my meagre knowledge of 
the subject, I was considered by my South Platte colleagues to 
be the most capable and best equipped member to put into the 
chair as pro tempo president of the council. 

On the day the legislature met feeling between the parties was 
very hot in regard to the organization of the two bodies. I know 
that most of the members of the council were very much worked 



up, and the greater portion of the crowded lobby was near the 
fighting pitch. So far as the council was concerned, the South 
Platte men had the advantage in nerve and fighting quality, and 
could have bullied the other side successfully. But the lobby 
was made up of the friends of Omaha. Some of them were 
armed, and quite as ready and willing as were our side to have 
the council organized their way peacefully, even if the^^ had to 
fight for it. 

The North Platte members had a further advantage in having 
several men of brains and experience. O. D. Richardson, of 
Omaha, knew more of what the matter in hand was about and 
how to accomplish it than the entire delegation from South 
Platte. Besides him on the Omaha side there were B. R. Folsom 
and Goodell and other cool, able, and experienced men. 

Secretary Cuming, after "swearing in" the members of the 
house, came up to swear us in. We all stood up and he pro- 
ceeded to swear us to support the constitution of the United 
States and the organic act of Nebraska, and was proceeding to 
swear us that we were all citizens of Nebraska and over twenty 
years of age, when I dropped into my seat, pulling Laf e Nuckolls, 
the "member from Cass," down with me, thereby declining the 
oath. This I did because of doubts as to my own or Lafe 
Nuckolls' residence in the territory, and for the further reason 
that I knew Lafe was not yet twenty. So I kept him company, 
and afterwards Judge Ferguson came in and administered to 
us the proper oath, omitting the matter of age and residence. 
Lafe was a bright and ready fellow. Some one, pending the 
arrival of Judge F. to sw^ear' us in, asked him his age. Lafe an- 
swered at once: "Ask my constituents, as Henry Clay once said." 

This by-play on my part in regard to the oath I suppose fur- 
thered my being selected to occupy the chair during the organi- 
zation of the council. This position I filled as best I could for 
about an hour, in the midst of great excitement on the part of 
the members, the lobby, and everybody else in the chambei'. 
What occurred during the short time I presided, or pretended 
to preside, I cannot remember, except that I most a^^suredly did 


not know 'Vliero I was at." I was put into tlu? chair \)y a 
majority of one; but on the vote for permanent president, tlie 
Omaha side, having won over one of our South Platte members 
by offering him the presidency, elected J. L. Sliarp, of Richard- 
son county, and I stepped down and out. 

Frank Welch was an enrolling clerk of that session, and a good 
man. He could sketch with his pen almost as well as Thos. 
Nast, and during the session he made many caricatures of the 
ridiculous things that occurred. I remember one on the com- 
mittee of the whole; and another on ^'the final departure of thee 
gentleman from Cass," as Lafe Nuckolls was called. The latter 
represented the council in session and Lafe at the door, his right 
hand extended in farewell to the members, while in his left, 
rather back of him, he carried his carpet bag, gorged to over- 
flowing with stationery and other accumulated perquisites of 

J. Waldo Thompson (son of the Widow Thompson who after- 
wards married Steven Decatur) was our only page that session. 

I cannot now recall to mind that I had any pet measure at that 
session, other than the location of the capitol, nor that I intro- 
duced a bill for any purpose whatever, unless it was for a toll- 
road bridge or ferry charter. There were hundreds of such bills 
introduced, and all passed, covering every buffalo and Indian 
trail to and from watering places and fords on the Platte and 
every other known river or stream in the territory too wide to 
step across. In respect to private charters this first legislature 
did all that was necessary so far as they knew at the time. 
Future legislatures, I am pleased to hear, followed the prece- 
dent set by the first upon the discovery of fresh trails and dry 
creeks in the then unexplored regions of that part of "the great 
American desert." 

But I must cease this gossip about the great state of Nebraska. 
It is all right now, however crude and uncouth in its beginnings. 
It has grown many men of ability, quite a number of whom will 
compare favorably with the average statesmen of our land. And 


now she can proudly point to one masterful son, who, in some 
respects at least, may well be compared to the immortal Lincoln. 

Written by his brother, J. M. Whitted, of Florence, Nebr. 

Kobert Bates Whitted, who was a member of the first legisla- 
ture, territory of Nebraska, was born April 26, 1822, in Maury 
county, Tennessee. His foreparents were of Welsh descent, who 
came over as disciples of William Penn and settled in Orange 
county. North Carolina, about 1685. He is of revolutionary 
stock; both his grandfathers were at the battle of Guilford, North 
Carolina, and fought under General Green. His father was 
under Jackson in the war of 1812. Robert's early life was spent 
on a farm. When he was fifteen years of age his parents moved 
to Park county, Indiana, where they purchased and settled on a 
farm. Not making a success of farming, his father tried the 
occupation of a boatman. He lost his life at Vicksburg, Miss., 
about 1837, and left Robert's mother with but very little means 
to support the large family. They struggled on in poverty, Rob- 
ert going to school in winter and working in summer, until he 
was twenty years of age, when he apprenticed himself to a 
tanner and currier until he learned the trade. He then started 
in business for himself and moved to Keokuk county, Iowa, in 
1846. He married Lucindy Hurley in 1847. They had four chil- 
dren. In 1852 he came to Council Bluffs, la., and when Ne- 
braska was organized, he located his claim in the present site 
of Omaha. His wife died in 1856. In 1857 he moved to Gray- 
son county, Texas. His two sons, Simeon and Pinckney 
Whitted, now live in Sherman, Grayson county, Texas. He was 
thoroughly democratic in his political views. He died in 1864. 

Written by John C. Thompson, Omaha, Nebr. 

Joseph D. N. Thompson, the member of the first legislature of 
Nebraska from Kanosha, was born in White county, Tennessee, 
December 22, 1809. While a young man he learned the harness- 


maker's trade. That, however, did not suit liis tastes, so hr' n ad 
law and became an attorney. He was married early in the thir- 
ties to Miss Martha Baker, a woman of strong character and 
maidenly virtues, with whom he lived happily for more than a 
third of a century — until the day of his death. Tlu^ (^arly years 
of their married life were spent in Missouri, and it was while 
they lived in that state that most of their children were born. 
The early history of Missouri, if properly and correctly written, 
would probably show J. D. N. Thompson in his most natural 
role — that of a soldier — for he was captain of the Fifth Missouri 
militia, and, after that company disbanded, became a m(^mber 
of one of the twelve-month regiments of militia. His daughter, 
Mrs. Mary Marsh, says her father served in the Black Hawk, 
the Seminole, the Mexican, and the civil wars; that he was in 
Colonel Gentry's regiment and was present and participated in 
the great battle fought Christmas day, 18-37, when Old Rough 
and Ready so severely chastised the Indians, and when Colonel 
Gentry was killed. Mr. Thompson's record in the Mexican war 
was that of a daring, courageous, and loyal soldier. It cannot 
be stated in language any more appropriate than that employed 
in the obituary notice published in the Nebraska Advertiser at 
the time of his death. It said: "He was with Colonel Doni- 
phan's regiment, and participated in a series of marches and 
hard-fought battles which terminated in the capture of the prin- 
cipal cities of the north of Mexico." After his return from the 
Mexican battlefields he was not contented in Missouri. He re- 
moved from there to Iowa, then to Nebraska, loeating in Kano- 
sha, from which point he was elected as a member of the first 
house of representatives of Nebraska. This was the only official 
position, aside from justice of the peace, which he ever filled. 
After the expiration of his term of office as a representative, in 
1855, he removed with his family to Glenw^ood, la. The follow- 
ing year found him on the move again and that time he located 
in Brownville, Neb. At the breaking out of the civil war he was 
postmaster of that town, but resigned in order to accept a com- 
mission as captain of the First Nebraska under Colonel Thos, J. 



Majors. After that regiment was discharged lie again enlisted, 
this time as a private in company K, Forty-eighth Missouri Vol- 
unteer Infantry, with Geo. Vandaventer as captain, being mus- 
tered in the 1st day of September, 1864, and being mustered out 
the 29th day of June, 1865. His four sons all fought under the 
stars and stripes for the preservation of the Union, and his wife 
and daughters — those remaining unmarried — were at the front, 
and often acted as nurses, during a portion of the time that he 
was in active service. After the spirit of state rights had been 
crushed he returned again to Nebraska, living in Nemaha and 
Richardson counties alternately until the date of his death, June 
2, 1871. He was survived by his wife and six children. He was 
buried in Walnut Grove cemetery in Brownville. 


Written b}- Hon. James M. Woolworth and William S. Poppleton. 

The subject of this brief sketch comes of a family which may 
be traced to an early day. An English officer of the name was 
in Cromweirs army which overran Ireland in 1649-50. When 
the subjugation of the island was complete he remained there. 
It is said that Samuel Poppleton was his grandson. Samuel 
Poppleton was born in Ireland in 1710 and was married to 
Eosanna Whaley, by whom he had four sons, Ebenezer, Benja- 
min, William, and Samuel, the youngest of whom, Samuel, was 
born in New Jersey on Christmas day, 1750. Soon after the 
birth of this child the family settled at Pownall, in the territory 
which now forms a part of the state of Vermont. At the out- 
break of the revolution the elder Samuel adhered to the British 
crown and returned to Ireland, where he died, but his four sons 
enlisted in the Continental army and were all actively engaged 
in the war. Samuel, the youngest, was with Ethan Allen at 
the taking of Ticonderoga, served under Benedict Arnold in the 
expedition against Quebec and at the battle of Saratoga, and 
participated in a number of engagements until the close of the 

I'liisr I'lOiiiM roiM AL i.K<;isi,A ri Ki; oi m;i51iaska. *.>.*) 

wiir. lie was accustomed to say llial he had been in seven 
pitclied battles. 

hi nSl) Samuel Poppletou was married iu Povvuall, Vi., lo 
Caroline Osborne, by whom lie had eight cliildren, of whom 
William Poppleton, the father of Andrew J. Poi)pleton, was 
born in Poultney, Vt., in 1705. 

In 1811 Samuel Popph^ton with his family removed to Rich- 
mond, Ontario county, New York, and in 1822 again emigrated 
and settled at Belleville, in Richland county, Ohio, where he 
died in 1833. His wife died at the same place on the 7th of No- 
vember, 1842. In 1814 William Poppleton was married at Ricli- 
mond, in New York, to Zada Crooks, the granddaughter of David 
Crooks, a Scotchman, who came to Blandford, in Massachusetts, 
prior to 1769, and afterwards removed to Richmond, in New- 
York, w^here he died in 1820. His son, David, the father of Zada 
Crooks Poppleton, was born in Blandford, Mass., on the 2d day 
of December, 1769, and afterwards removed to Richmond, in 
New York, where he was engaged as a saw and grist miller until 
his death in 1812. The mother of Mrs. Poppleton was Eunice 
Knox Crooks, a granddaughter of William Knox, who was born 
in Ireland of Scotch descent in 1690, and came to America in 
1735. She was born on the 30th of May, 1772, and died in Troy, 
Oakland county, Michigan, in 1863, at the great age of ninety-one. 
In 1825 William Poppleton and his family removed to Troy town- 
ship, in Oakland county, Michigan. He had seven children, of 
whom Andrew J. Poppleton was the sixth, born in Troy town- 
ship, Oakland county, Michigan, on the 24th day of July, 1830. 
It is worthy of note that each generation of Mr. Poppleton' s 
family, including himself, have been pioneers in a new country. 

From Samuel Poppleton and his four sons, who came to this 
country from Ireland and made new homes in what is now Ver- 
mont, to the subject of this sketch, all were farmers, tilling the 
soil with their own hands. The education of the father of An- 
drew J. Poppleton was limited. By his own reading, study, and 
thought he became a man of large intelligence, and as such, and 
for sterling virtues, was held in the highest esteem in the county 



of Oakland. He was several times elected to local officer and 
once to the Michigan state legislature. 

The life of a new comer to a western home in the early days 
of the settlement of Michigan was very severe. Clearing the 
forests, planting a farm, and building a home was a work of 
great privation and unremitting toil. William Poppleton pasged 
through these days and their labors, and in his later manhood 
saw the state of his adoption a prosperous commonwealth and 
accumulated an ample competency, living and dying on the farm 
which his own hands had redeemed from a state of nature. 

He greatly valued the education which had been denied him, 
and gave to his children all the advantages in that way which 
the circumstances permitted. He died in May, 1869. 

The boyhood of Andrew J. Poppleton was passed upon his 
father's farm. He inherited a love of the pursuits and associa- 
tions of rural life. The hay and harvest field, the ride to the 
mill, the orchard, the care and love of animals, the common 
sports of such a home came to him as natural and enjoyable ex- 
ercises, and from their pleasures he was never alienated. One 
of his favorite recreations in later life was the development of 
agriculture and the breeding, raising, and training of standard 
bred trotting horses at his Oakland farm of some 1,200 acres, 
near Elkhorn, Neb. He contributed a strong impulse toward 
the advancement of the trotting stock interests of the state. 

Until 1844 he went to 'the county district schools, and at that 
time entered an academy at Romeo, a little town near his home, 
where he prepared for college. In 1847 he entered Michigan 
University: but in the fall of 1850 he withdrew and entered 
Union College at Schenectady. While he was at the latter insti- 
tution the venerable Dr. Nott was its president, and Dr. Tayler 
Lewis its professor of Greek. Other members of the faculty left 
an influence upon his mind, but these two men deeply impressed 
themselves upon his character. As an instructor of young men, 
instilling into them the highest principles and at the same time 
teaching them the precepts which conduct to practical success 
in life, Dr. Nott has been unsurpassed in this country. The 


nature of the country boy was opeu to such inllueuce.s, and Ik- 
has carried through life what he received from the lips and from 
the personality of that j^reat man. Dr. Lewis inilu(?nced tin- 
young student in another direction. A Grecian of learning and 
culture unsurpassed, perhaps, by any other in this country, he 
not only taught his pupils the language, but inspired in them a 
love of the literature of the Attic race. Mr. roi)pleton gradu- 
ated in July, 1851. He returned to the school at Komeo, where 
he taught Latin and Greek until iVpril of the next year. During 
the last years of his college life, and while engaged in teaching, 
it was his ambition to be a professor of Greek in a college, which 
seemed to him the very highest position to which he could attain. 
Upon leaving Romeo he entered the law office of Messrs, O. I. 
and E. 0. Walker, at Detroit, Mich., then leaders of the bar of 
the state. He continued his studies with them until October 
22, 1852, when, after a public examination by the judges of the 
supreme court of Michigan, he was admitted to the bar. Di- 
rectly afterwards he became a student in the law school of John 
W. Fowler, at that time located at Balston, in New York, and 
afterwards removed to Poughkeepsie in that state. He enjoyed 
at this school the special advantages of the instruction w^hich 
Mr. Fowler gave in elocution and in the related exercises. With 
very great gifts in public speech, and trained in all of the ways 
of a popular orator, this gentleman was one of the most useful 
and successful teachers. He not only gave instruction in the 
exercises of declamation, but taught his pupils to think upon 
their feet; to prepare themselves by abundant study, and then 
express themselves at a moment's notice in the presence of 
others and under the direction of his critical skill. Timid, hesi- 
tating, ineffective, and disconnected speech was, under his train- 
ing, developed into direct, strong, vigorous, and impressive de- 
livery, not after the pattern of his own style, but according to 
the natural modes of the pupil, w^hen trained and cultivated. 
He never had a more apt and enthusiastic scholar than Mr. Pop- 

In April, 1853, the young man returned to Detroit, and became 



a partner in a law firm whicli was mostly engaged in a collection 
business, and remained there until the first of October, 1854. At 
thi^ time California held out many promises to young men, and 
Mr. Poppleton listened to them. He turned his face to the west^ 
and on his way reached Omaha October 13, 1854, just about the 
time government was being set up in Nebraska. Omaha was 
just being settled; its resident population was very small; most 
of those who claimed citizenship really lived at Council Bluffs 
and in other towns in low^a along the Missouri river. There was 
something interesting to the young man in the work of planting 
homes and in the institution of social and political order in a 
new country which disposed him to remain for the winter, think- 
ing at first that when he had seen the work completed he would 
continue his way to the Pacific or turn his steps in some other 
direction. One thing and another afterward fell out, which 
determined him to remain and make his home for life in the new 
territory. In 1855 he married Caroline L. Sears, by whom he 
had three children. 

The different acts of the executive in organizing the govern- 
ment followed one another in rapid succession. On the 21st day 
of October, 1854, preliminary to the election of a delegate to 
congress and a territorial legislature, the acting governor, T. B. 
Cuming, issued his proclamation for an enumeration of the in- 
habitants. On the 26th of the same month he issued instruc- 
tions to deputy marshals directing them in their duties of taking 
the census. On the 21st of November he sent out a set of rules 
for conducting the election, and on the 23d issued a further proc- 
lamation dividing the territory into counties, apportioning the 
councilmen and representatives among them, and ordering the 
election. On the 20th of December he constituted the three 
judicial districts, assigned the judges of the supreme court 
thereto, and appointed terms for the courts; and on the same 
day issued another proclamation convening the legislature at 
Omaha on the 16th of January, 1855. 

Mr. Poppleton had known and been a friend of the governor 
in Michigan, and naturally was called to take part in advising 


the executive in these several political acts, lie was electcMl a 
member of the house of representatives of the lef^islatuic The 
training which lie had enjoyed fitted him for these new duties. 
He had acquaintance with the methods and rules governing de- 
liberative bodies; he was able toi deliver himself of his views of 
every question, no matter how unexpectedly it was jjresented, 
and he had a keen enjoyment of the excitements and conten- 
tions of the unorganized conditions of the new society. The first 
motion ever made in any legislative body in Nebraska was made 
by Mr. Poppleton in the first house of representatives for the 
temporary organization of the house. There was a good deal 
for the legislature to do. The whole system of law^s common in 
an American state were to be enacted, save such as had been in 
outline provided by the act of congress organizing the territory. 
In all this work he had a large part. Besides this, another mat- 
ter deepl.y concerned every one: that w^as the permanent loca- 
tion of the capital, which by the organic act was committed to 
the first legislature. Whether such a matter be considered 
trivial or not in a mature and settled state, it was thought to 
be of the first consequence at this time, because it was supposed 
that to the seat of government would be drawn the attention 
and interest of persons seeking homes in the region now first 
open for settlement. We cannot enter minutely into the plans, 
methods, and influences which finally secured the location of the 
capital at Omaha, but in them all Mr. Poppleton engaged with 
all the power of his nature; and it is not too much to say that 
as much as any man he contributed to the result. 

From this time almost until he was stricken down by a severe 
sickness he gave his first attention to the upbuilding of Ne- 
braska. Judicial business in the courts was limited. There 
were not many controversies carried into them, and the judges 
were not very diligent in holding their terms, but there sprang 
up at Omaha, as elsewhere in the territory, a popular tribunal 
in which there were many contentions of great interest. The 
public lands had not been surveyed and no land office of the gov- 
ernment had been opened at which titles could be secured. This 



state of things continued until the spring of 1857, except that 
gOYernment surveys of the lands along the Missouri river were 
prosecuted to some extent. Almost everybody made a settle- 
ment upon a parcel of the public lands and alleged a claim tO' it. 
For a variety of reasons it was impracticable for many of the 
settlers to remain continuously upon their claims, so that they 
were exposed to the settlement of a second or third comer. To 
protect themselves against this, they organized what were called 
Claim Clubs. These popular tribunals have always been found 
in new settlements. It naturally resulted that the owners of 
adjoining claims sometimes disagreed as to their dividing lines, 
and disputes arose between the first and subsequent claims. 
Such controversies were dealt with before a, meeting of all the 
members of the club, who were su]3i>osed to listen to the evidence 
and the arguments of the parties, and decide according to the 
justice of the case. A good many controversies of this sort came 
before the Omaha Claim Club, and were tried in this way. They 
gave opportunit}' for the gifts of the young citizen, his powers of 
persuasion and reasoning, and all that goes to make up a popular 
orator. Mr. Poppleton threw himself into the controversies in 
which he was engaged with all the zeal, energy, and power of 
which he was capable. There was much that was amusing and 
much that was serious. The whole thing was a school in which 
the skill and the power of the orator and lawyer were trained. 

In 1857 Mr. Poppleton was a miember of the state legislature 
which divided, a portion of the members setting up a pretended 
legislature at Florence. Mr. Poppleton remained at Omaha 
with the division recognized by the governor, and was elected 
speaker and served in that capacitj^ during the balance of the 

In 1858 Mr. Poppleton was mayor of the city of Omaha, being 
the second person to hold that office. In the following spring, 
after exposure in a severe storm, he suffered an attack of facial 
paralysis, which Was followed by a protracted and dangerous 
illness. Upon his recovery the use of one of his limbs was 
greatly impaired, and he never recovered its strength. He was 

VIM^T ri':illMT()lll AL LI':(nSLAT(JIM<; or MMUtASKA. 


absent liom (lie life oi the cit.y for about cij^lileeii uiontlis, and 
l eturnod to it with a vigor greatly reduced. Oi-adually he recov- 
( red his position at tlie bar and enjoyed for many years a large 
measure of healtli and slrenj^th. He was, however, always 
obliged to expi'oise the gr(^atest care of liiniself, and liis liabits 
largely npon that account have been very abstemious. Durinjn 
the time his strength was impaired he cultivated his love of 
literature and engaged in the study of the best political and 
philosophical works. AVhen, in 1867, the state was admitted 
into the Union, he received the entire vote of tlu^ democrats in 
the legislature for United States senator; and but for methods 
on the part of the adverse party which his friends have never 
been able to reconcile with fairness and justice, he would have 
been elected. In the following year he was the democratic can- 
didate for congress, but w- as defeated. He has never since taken 
any part in politics as a candidate for office. Mr. Poppleton 
inherited from his father an uncompromising faith in the prin- 
ciples of the democratic party. This faith strengthened with 
his strength and became a part of himself. During the war all 
of his sympathies, hopes, and convictions were on the side of 
the Union, and he believed that no measure was beyond the com- 
petency of those charged with the administration which con- 
duced to the preservation of the country. He held that the prin- 
ciples in which he was reared and with which he was thoroughly 
imbued called every citizen to the support and maintenance of 
that Union which Andrew Jackson, in another exigency, had 
declared "must be preserved." The conflict once over, he be- 
lieved in burying all animosity. Soon after the war he obtained 
from an ex-Union soldier possession of a military land w^arrant 
issued to JefPerson Davis for services in the Mexican war. He 
returned the same to Davis at a time when the north generally 
was disposed to give the fallen chieftain very different treat- 
ment, receiving in return a letter of thanks, signed by all the 
members of the Davis family, including the infant children, 
whose fingers were guided to make their signatures. 

It has been one of the great doctrines of Mr. Poppleton's faith 



that it is not the province of government to nurse by subsidies 
or other like aids the interests of the individual; that it was far 
better for every citizen to rely upon his own efforts, and as an 
indiscriminate charity leads its objects to depend thereon rather 
than upon their own industry and thrift, that the government^ 
in dispensing favors in aid of its citizens, only helped in the end 
to bring them into a dependent and impoverished condition. 
This w^as the fundamental principle of his political faith, and he 
applied it to all questions of public policy, however they arose. 
During this period of his life, extending from 1862 to 1878, he 
was devoted with all his heart and soul and strength to his pro- 
fession. He loved it for its own sake, and for the good it ren- 
dered to society. He held before his eye a high ideal of the 
lawyer and yielded to no man in his devotion to the law. The 
period which has been indicated was probably the best part of 
his professional life. In December, 1863, he was retained by the 
Union Pacific Railway Company and continued in its service 
until 1888. Most of his time after 1869 was given to the com 
pany in whose official list he bore the title of general attorney, 
having in his charge all its western business ; that is to say, in 
the states of Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, Nevada, and 
Oregon, and the territories of Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and 
Idaho. He conducted its important controversies in the courts 
personally, giving to them his best strength. After 1878 his 
duties became so arduous that he was obliged largely to with- 
draw from the courts and confine himself to the general direc- 
tion of the legal business of the company. 

He argued many important cases in the supreme court of the 
United States and arrested the attention and held the highest 
esteem of the judges of that tribunal. His reputation was ad- 
vanced to a high point, not only in the west, but through the 
country. One of his best efforts was the writing of "Tlie de- 
fense of Oakes Ames against the charge of selling to mem- 
bers of congress shares of the capital stock of the Credit 
Mobilier of America with intent to bribe said members," which 
was read in the house of representatives by the clerk. It pro- 

Klusr 'iM-:i{i{rr()i{i Ai- i.k<jisla rr in-; ok nioiu; ask a. 

(liic.etl a strong impression and disposed the iiieirihers to look 
upon the offenses charged against Mr. Ames in a new light. 
Th(^ exigency seemed, however, to call for a victim, and the re- 
snlt was the censure of the accused. This, however, was a la 
vorable modification of the report of the investigating <;om 
mittee, which recommended expulsion. 

The writer of these lines has recently read that paper and has 
been greatly impressed by the clearness of the statement, the 
cogency of the reasoning, and the persuasiveness of the appeal. 
Not long after its delivery he was told by Mr. Sidney Bartlett, 
the leader of the bar of this country, that he considered it one 
of the best pieces of modern advocacy. 

Mr. Poppleton's official connection with the Union I*acitie 
Railway Company and his good standing and influence with the 
magnates in the east who controlled the destiny of that corpora 
tion made it possible for him to continue to render the most im- 
portant service to the city of which in 1854 he was one of the 
founders. By 1873 the fixing of the Union Pacific Company's 
terminal plant, offices, and equipment at Omaha was finally 
decided upon and settled. In regard to Mr. Poppleton's share 
in this result, the most beneficial to Omaha of any event in its 
history, the following words from the Omaha Herald of that 
time speak: 

^' While w^e rejoice it is but proper that a few words should be 
said in behalf of the citizen to whom this people owe much for 
his intelligent, steady, and well directed efforts to bring about 
the results over which every man in Omaha is rejoicing. 

'^Andrew J. Poppleton is the one man who, more than any 
other, has piloted the people through these railroad complica- 
tions to their present final settlement and security. We say 
this as a matter of sheer justice to Mr. Poppleton, without going 
into details to show^ how richly he deserved it." 

Mr. Poppleton was from time to time called upon to deliver 
addresses upon many interesting occasions. Among them may 
be mentioned a maiden address delivered before the Agricultural 
Society of Oakland County, Michigan, at the age of twenty-two ; 



a lecture ou Edmund Burke; an address before the general con- 
vention of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Indianapolis, Septem- 
ber 5, 1878, on the Unsolved Problem, having reference to the 
unequal distribution of property; an address on Character, de- 
livered before the Nebraska State University at commencement, 
June 27, 1877; an address before the Nebraska State Bar Asso- 
ciation on the Lawyer in Politics, and addresses on the occasion 
of breaking ground in Omaha for the construction of the Union 
Pacific Kailway; the presentation of colors to the contingent 
supplied by Omaha to the army of the Union; the laying of the 
corner stone of the present Douglas county court house; the 
memorial meeting of citizens after the death of the Right Rev. 
Robert H. Clarkson, Episcopal bishop of Nebraska, besides a. 
large number of other addresses and speeches delivered on oc- 
casions of public or social interest. Many old residents will 
remember his appeal at a mass meeting of citizens for aid for 
those rendered destitute and homeless by the great Chicago^ fire. 
He possessed a full vocabulary, a glowing style, and elevated 
sentiments, as a perusal of those addresses will attest. 

Mr. Poppleton retained his connection with the Union Pacific 
Railway Company until February, 1888, when he was obliged to 
resign on account of failing health, carrying with him from the 
officers and directors warm and recorded expressions of their 
confidence, esteem, and appreciation of his long and faithful 

During the spring following his resignation he sought recrea- 
tion in travel, visiting the City of Mexico, where he was accorded 
the privilege of meeting the judges of the supreme court of that 
republic. Returning to Omaha he again took up the practice 
of law, intending to engage only in the more important cases. 

In 1890, at the earnest solicitation of Mayor R. C. Cashing, 
he accepted the office of city attorney of Omaha, serving therein 
for two years. In advising the city authorities Mr. Poppleton 
gave free access to all who desired his counsel and applied to all 
questions democratic principles of economy and strict observ- 
ance of law. During the greater part of his term he was without 



an official assistant, bnt succeeded in brinj^inj; to a final disimsi- 
tion in the courts 19G cases brought against the city, besides 
performing- all the advisory duties of the oftice. 

In 1891 and 1892 Mr. Poppleton was engaged as one of the 
leading counsel in behalf of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, 
and Chicago, Milwaukee <& St. Paul Kailway (Companies in liti- 
gation before the. United States courts with the Union Pacific 
Railway Company, the result of which was to break down the 
Union Pacific bridge barrier and secure to the companies named 
the right to use the bridge and tracks of the Union Pacific at 
Omaha on reasonable terms for the purpose of bringing in and 
through the city their freight and passenger traffic. 

On June 12, 1878, he received the degree of Doctor of Laws 
from the University of Nebraska. In June, 1895, he received 
the degree of Master of Arts from Michigan University. 

He was one of the organizers and the first president of the 
Omaha board of trade and the present Omaha Bar Association. 
He was an organizer and a president of the Law Library Asso- 
ciation, and also one of the organizers, a president, and long a 
director of the Omaha Public Library. 

In 1879, Mr. Poppleton, in connection with Mr. J. L. Webster, 
made an earnest effort to secure the release on a writ of habeas 
corpus of Standing Bear, a Ponca chief, and his tribe, who had 
been unlawfully dispossessed by the government of their homes 
in Nebraska and were being transferred to Indian Territory 
under military custody. This case was exhaustively argued and 
is a ^^cause celebre" in the history of our Indian affairs, and was 
the first instance in the judicial history of the United States in 
which the writ of habeas corpus was invoked and obtained on 
behalf of a tribal Indian. 

In 1890 Mr. Poppleton was elected a trustee of Union College, 
Schenectady, N. Y. 

In 1891, in his dual capacity of director of the Omaha Public 
Library and city attorney, he aided in securing the acceptance 
by the city of the Byron Reed bequest for public library pur- 
poses, and the voting of bonds to carry out its provisions. 
S • ' 



Mr. Poppleton served in many citizens' associations and com- 
mittees. He has always been especially interested in questions 
involving the Omaha, city charter and the status and future of 
Omaha as a railway center and manufacturing and distributing 
point. A firm believer in the future of Omaha, his surplus earn- 
ings were invested almost without exception in Omaha and 
Douglas county real estate, and the erection of buildings therein,^^ 
resulting in the accumulation of a large fortune. 

In 1871 he was one of the original promoters of the building 
of the Grand Central hotel, the first large hotel built in Omaha^ 
and later joined with Edward Creighton and others in loaning 
1100,000 to the hotel company for the purpose of completing the 

Mr. Poppleton was one of the original incorporators of the 
Pacific Express Company and Interstate Bridge and Street Rail- 
way Company, and at the time of his death was a stockholder 
and director of the First National Bank of Omaha. 

About the first of January, 1892, his eyesight began to fail, 
and in a few months was completely lost. This misfortune was 
accompanied during the summer by general illness. Later he 
recovered his general health and engaged in affairs as far as. 
was possible for one suffering his affliction. 

Mr. Poppleton possessed literary tastes and derived a great 
consolation from their indulgence. He was the owner of a large 
and valuable private library, especially rich in histoiical works. 

He was never a member of any church. He contributed, how- 
ever, to the support of church organizations and has always 
possessed warm friends among clergymen. 

Mr. Poppleton died at his home in Omaha on Thursday, Sep- 
tember 24, 1896. His illness was of short duration and his death 
was most unexpected when it occurred. 

The following is from the tribute paid to the memory of Mr. 
Poppleton by the Hon. James M. Woolworth at a meeting of 
the Douglas county bar held September 28, 1896 : 

'^A long, useful, and honorable life has come to an end; it was 
a happy life, barring some of the pains and troubles which are 

I'M us r TKIMirroitl AI. LIOCMSI.A'n'ltK Ol' MOIJU ASK A. lO? 

more or less the lot of all — even the most fortunjite. W t aji 
not suppress our sorrow; it is i)art of our luinianity to grieve 
when one is taken from us who has had part in our lives; but in 
the end of a career of good report that we ourselves have seen 
in its whole course there is rejoicing in the midst of mourning," 
In closing Mr Woolworth said: ^^Mr. Poppleton's pride was his 
profession. His great motive was to contribute to its fame. 
His desire was to live to a great age and give his years to tlie 
last to its exercise and service. He had no other ambition. 
When he saw his end drawing near and he and I were about to 
separate never to meet again on this earth, prostrate as he was, 
his voice, strong as ever, gave me his high command, 'Hold up 
the standard.' If I have ever done anything for the profession 
to which he and I have given forty years of life together, the 
most I now can do is to keep on our way and pass on to you, my 
brethren of a younger generation, his great words, 'hold up the 

"Four years ago last April he called me to him to tell me of 
his impending calamity of blindness. No one of all his friends, 
except his wife and children, knew what was upon him. Per- 
haps he remembered the sympathy of the days when, after his 
first great sickness, he was struggling back into strength and 
professional success. It was not long before the darkness came. 
As with Milton, from his natural eye the beauties of the earth 
and the heavens were excluded. To him returned not 

" 'Day or the sweet approach of ev'n or morn 
Or sight of vernal bloom or summer's rose, 
Or flocks or herds or human face divine.' 

"A long season of great distress followed; but when it was 
passed he composed himself to his new conditions with a calm 
and serene spirit. They were four years of happy life. He con- 
soled himself with the pleasures of literature, communing with 
the great spirits of the past, bent on high thoughts, and reason- 
ing of the great problem of life and history. He dwelt in the 
high places where the light first comes and shines the longest, 
not in the valleys, where common men hold their way among 
common things. 



"1 must say one word of another great happiness. In the 
home were his treasures. God keep them now. 

'^Mr. Poppleton held strong opinions upon all subjects of 
social and political order and the conduct of life. Reared by his 
father in the school of Jefferson, he believed that the true func- 
tion of the government was limited; and that as far as is con- 
sistent with the equal rights of others, every man should be left 
to the exercise of his powers, capacities, and faculties in such 
ways and measures as he in his judgment believes will give them 
their highest enjoyment. And he held in abhorrence the con- 
trivances and assiduities of those who by statutes seek to create 
wealth and make private gain of official opportunity. In pri- 
vate life he believed that it is much the best for men to avoid 
ostentation and hold a simple, frugal, and sincere way among 
their fellows. For vice he had no tolerance. Good men he held 
in reverence. Chief among his friends were Bishop Garrett, 
when that great man lived among us, and Dr. Sherrill, who, at 
his request, committed his body to the ground, earth to earth, 
dust to dust, ashes to ashes. If I were to sum up his character 
I would take the injunction of the apostle, who wrote to his peo- 
ple: 'Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever 
things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things 
are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of 
good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, 
think on these things.' 

"With these virtues he clothed himself as with a garment; and 
in such covering I verily believe he presented himself before the 
Judge of all the earth." 

By Hon. J. Sterling Morton. 

Thirty-eight years ago a democrat, just in the sunrise of a 
strenuous and manly career, began with others in the first ses- 
sion of the legislative assembly of the territory of Nebraska to 
lay the foundations in Nebraska of civil government. 

With other able and temperate, frugal and industrous pioneers 


bo sought to establish on these pbiins an educated and prosper- 
ous commonwealth. No man ever hibored more faitlifuUy in the 
cause of democracy and good government; and Omaha and 
Doughis county often lionored themselves by honoring him, call- 
ing him frequently to the highest i)ositions of trust and respon- 
sibility, and always with beneficent results to the community. 
And in 1806, when the first state legislatures selectted United 
States senators — without a caucus, and without solicitation on 
his part — the democrats, twenty-seven in number and only seven 
in minority, with hearty spontaneity gave every vote to Andrew 
Jackson Poppleton. Again, in 1868, Mr. Poppleton was called 
by the democracy of the state of Nebraska to make a campaign 
for congress against Hon. John Taffe; and no one who heard Mr. 
Poppleton in that series of speeches will ever forget his elo- 
quence. His well-trained mind, his vast natural ability, his tre- 
mendous acquirements, his glowing earnestness which warmed 
every word, and a presence which inspired confidence, made him 
a master; and the majesty of his oratory at that time has never 
been surpassed in the state. Truthfully, ably, conscientiously, 
for more than thirty j^ears Mr. Poppleton advocated the prin- 
ciples and policies of a genuine democracy. As a propagandist 
of the true economic and civic faith which can alone save popu- 
lar government from overthrow and destruction, for nearly forty 
years Mr. Poppleton has stood pre-eminent in the northwest, 
and. intellectnallv thp -not^v nf amr iowxr^« — x-i- ^ 

.^^xxx wcais up ana steers " " 

Right onward." 



Therefore to Andrew J. Poppleton — shut out from the dear 
light of day — this convention of democracy sends greetings of 
grateful remembrance, acknowledgement of his valuable and 
long services, and the assurance that the light of his labors for 
justice, truth, and popular government, like an unclouded sun, 
illumines our path towards the overthrow of class legislation 
and monopoly. 


By Hon. J. Sterling Morton, for the January Meeting, 1897, of the State Historical 

Society of Nebraska. 

Almost everyone remembers some time in youth when he had 
the privilege of handling and looking through an old-fashioned 
spy-glass, and recalls how the lenses were fixed in tubes that 
shut one into another, and with what difficulty they were drawn 
out and adjusted so as to extend the vision and make things 
plainly visible which to the naked eye were mere shadows in the 
far distance. And now^, when I attempt to recall the personali- 
ties and characters of the early days of the territory, the years 
that have come between this time and that are so many lenses 
which must be deftly steadied and arranged so that I can look 
through them calmly and unweariedly at a given object upon 
which I endeavor to fix the eye of memory. 

Among the stronger and more rugged individualities of 1855 
none was more prominent for its well-defined angles and its posi- 
tive and granite-like unyieldingness than that of the chief clerk 
of the house of representatives of the first legislative assembly 
of the territory of Nebraska, which convened at Omaha in Janu- 
ary, 1855. His norae was Joseph Williamson Paddock. He was 
one of the first pioneers to arrive upon the Omaha townsite in 
the early autumn of 1854. He came from St. Lawrence county. 
New York. Prior to leaving his native state he had engaged in 
mercantile and manufacturing pursuits. He was a. man of 
sound intellect and great self-reliance. Upon his own convic- 
tions and in harmony with his own judgment, he was always 

I'lliS'l" I'lOUIM'I'OIII A L l,l';(;iSLAI I op MiUliASKA. 

ready to avt with promptness and (Iccisioii. Never hav(t I 
known a human beinj» who was more* honest with himself in all 
his mental processes than was Major Paddock. His positivism 
was frequcMitly facetiously called "muleishness" by his more in- 
timate friends, though everyone respected tluj integrity with 
which he adhered to, and was willin«>- to triumpli by, or suffer 
for, any conclusion which he had arrived at ux)on any question 
Whatsoever, whether financial, political, or theological. 

In the early days Major l*addock w^as possessed of a greater 
number of readable l)ooks than most of the pioneers, and conse- 
quently he passed a great portion of his leisure time in study. 
The equipoise and coolness of Major Paddock was seldom dis- 
turbed. During the session of the house whereof he acted as 
chief clerk there w^ere sometimes quite turbulent and dramatic 
situations. Among the most exciting and exasperating Avas a 
debate between the Hon. A. J. Poppleton, of Douglas county, 
and the Rev. J. M. Woods, of Nemaha county. In the course 
of the discussion Mr. Poppleton declared that he could prove an 
assertion which he made by the Hon. A. J. Hanscom, who was 
the speaker of that honorable body. To this utterance the Rev- 
erend Woods replied that he had no doubt as to the ability of 
Mr. I^oppleton to secure the affidavit of Mr. Hanscom to the 
state of facts alleged, but that that testimony, although sworn 
to, would not change his (Woods') views in the case. For a 
moment there was an evident disposition on the part of the more 
timid people to escape from possible consequences of this clerical 
inuendo as to the veracity of the honorable the speaker of the 
house of representatives. But the chief clerk smilingly sat in 
his place and really beamed so placidly upon the lawmakers that 
like rays of sunshine his silent laughter quieted and soothed the 
angry passions which were turaultuously raging in the breasts 
€f members. 

Major Paddock seldom made an enemy; he never betrayed a 
friend. He never maliciously told an untruth. He never failed 
to maintain and defend that which he believed to be the truth, 
even at the risk of his own life. His genuineness was so univer- 



sally acknowledged, his honesty of intention so generally ad- 
mitted, that his so-called obstinacy in maintaining his views 
upon all questions became a great delight to his most intimate 
friends. He was an optimist in the broadest and best sense of 
that term. When, in the autumn of 1854, there were only three 
or four small shanties and a few tents on the townsite of Omaha, 
Major Paddock looked into the future and saw clearly, with the 
eyes of hope and faith, the city which you now behold material- 
ized in great blocks of buildings, long avenues paved with 
asphalt, and environed with all the concomitants and means and 
methods of modern manufacture, commerce, comfort, and 
luxury. He never doubted the ultimate development and thrift 
of Omaha, of Douglas county, and the state of Nebraska. No 
man by his works ever showed a more sincere belief in the possi- 
bilities — agricultural and commercial — of this commonwealth. 

After his service as chief clerk of the house of representa- 
tives, he was made the first clerk of the United States district 
court for Nebraska. He served in that capacity from April, 
1855, to July, 1858, discharging his duties with that precision, 
promptness, and fidelity which distinguished him in all positions, 
public and private, during all the years of his life. When the 
civil war between the states began. Major Paddock at once of- 
fered his services to the country. He became a captain in the 
first regiment of Nebraska volunteers and went to the front in 
the early summer of 1861. His habits of accuracy, facility of 
expression, and the legibility and uniformity of his handwriting 
caused him to be detailed to the oflflce of the adjutant general. 
He was very soon made adjutant general on the staff of Major 
General Fred Steele. In that capacity he served during the 
greater portion of the war. Many a time however, promotion 
was offered to him, but his characteristic adhesiveness and his 
wonderful fidelity to friends compelled him to deny himself 
higher rank in order that he might remain faithful to the inter- 
ests and fortunes of General Steele. Nothing could tempt him 
to leave the immediate service of that distinguished and most 
gallant officer. Few men made a more consistent and enviable 


oflScial record in the adjutiiiit generaPs corps or showed so much 
real altruism. 

Reverting" to ante-bellum times, it is perhaps well enough to 
recall the fact that Major Paddock was a representative in th(i 
territorial legislature of Douglas county and also a member of 
the house of representatives of the first state legislature elected 
in 1866, and that he likewise served as a member of the city 
council of Omaha during the years 1869 and 1870. In this latter 
service he was chairman of the finance and fire department com- 
mittees. He originated the plan of a special cash fund out of 
which supplies and equipment for the fire department were pur- 
chased. He, in fact, laid the foundation of the splendid fire- 
fighting force of the city of Omaha, which has been so long noted 
for its efficiency. He did excellent work for the public weal, 
likewise, as a commissioner of Douglas county. 

Major Paddock also held a very confidential and important 
position in the Union Pacific Railroad Company, and finally was 
made government director by President Cleveland, and in this 
latter capacity developed more strongly than ever his power to 
grasp and understand large and far-reaching affairs. 

Major Paddock was born and reared at Massena Springs, in 
the sta^e of New York. His family, during nearly a century pre- 
ceding his birih, had been distinguished in the Empire state 
for its ability and prominence. His father. Dr. William S. Pad- 
dock, was a distinguished physician and likewise for several 
terms a state senator from St. Lawrence county. He was the 
associate and intimate friend of William L. Marcy and Silas 
Wright. Therefore, in his youth and at his father's house. Major 
Paddock was brought in contact with the best intellectual forces 
of the Empire state. In social life he was constantly in touch 
with the cultivated and highest type of the citizenship of his 
immediate neighborhood. Thus it is obvious that by heredity, 
by nature, by nur-ture, and by environment, and by acquirements 
and labors. Major Paddock was entitled to be ranked among the 
best citizens, not only of our own state, but of the republic. His 
love of locality, his devotion to a single place to be called 



^'home/' was beautifully and faithfully illustrated by the fact 
that he took up, as a pre-emptor, a piece of wild land nine miles 
from Omaha. This claim had for his youthful eyes an irresistible 
charm. It was wild, wooded, and well watered. There were 
slopes, miniature s^alleys, and mimic hills covered with an under- 
growth of straggling oaks and hazlenut brush and adorned here 
and there with a fairly well-grown elm or hickory tree. Early in 
1855 the major determined to make this tract of land his per- 
manent home. It became to him a sort of fetish. There was 
nothing which could tempt him to give it up, to abandon its im- 
provement, or to relinquish the idea that he was finally to settle 
down upon that particular tract of land as a practical and con- 
tented farmer. This was the dream of his life. His estimable 
wife, — formerly Miss Susie Mack, also of St. Lawrence county, 
New York, — vied with him in his love of rural life. His affec- 
tionate regard for his family and his fidelity to them and to this 
dream-home by the Papillion, are indices of his steadfastness in 
all things. No sum of money could have purchased the farm. 
Perhaps no other character in the early history of Nebraska bet- 
ter illuminates the fact that a man who strongly and intensely 
loves his home is necessarily an ardent lover of his country. The 
home is the unit of the republic; the republic is the concrete of 
the home. Therefore, when the war between the states began, 
the homes of the country furnished the best material for the 
preservation and maintenance of the flag and its honor and the 
constitution and its protection. 

Next after his love of family and home, Major Paddock's 
strongest, most active, intense, and dominant characteristic was 
patriotism. There is no prominent member of the Grand Army 
of the Republic or of the military Order of the Loyal Legion who 
has been at its gatherings in various states in company with 
Major Paddock who will ever forget the fire of his eye, the flu- 
ency of his voice, the strength of his utterances upon those occa- 
sions of reunions between veterans of the war. Without osten- 
tation. Major Paddock was an accomplished, an honest, and an 
attractive gentleman. Without effusion or protestation he was 
a firm and unyielding friend. 

FlllST JIOUKM'l'OlilAI. l.l'XaSI.A'I'l IM') <U' MOli l{ ASK A . 

T\w siirviviiij; moiubers of his family are Mrs. William K. 
Aimin, of Washington, D. O. — wife of the famous correspondent 
of the Daily Ledger of Philadelphia, Daily Tribune of Salt Lake, 
and the Daily Journal of Lincoln, Neb. — his widoAV, and his son, 
Ben Paddoek, of Chicago. He left to his true and loving wife, 
the competent mother of his children, and to his son and 
daughter a name and a memory fragrant of good deeds and gen- 
erous impulses. 

His record for ability, fidelity, and integrity in civil, and his 
( areer of self-sacrifice and courageous patriotism in military life, 
are a legacy which in all time to come will be valued beyond 
price by his descendants and his countrymen. 

By Hon. Samuel E. Rogers. 

Omaha, January 12, 1897. 

Mr. Jay Amos Barrett, 

Dear Sir: I had fully made up my mind to attend the meet- 
ing of the Nebraska State Historical Society this evening, but 
owing to the snowstorm now prevailing have changed my mind. 
I herewith present recollections, briefly stated, of each member 
of the legislative council of 1855, hoping that this may in some 
measure make up for my absence. I also enclose, in compli- 
ance with your request, a statement in regard to F. Davidson, 
of the house of 1855. Yours truly, Sam'l E. Rogers. 

Samuel E. Rogers was born February 11, 1822, in Fleming 
County, Ky. Married October 14, 1841. Graduated July, 1848, 
at W^abash College. Was licensed to practice law in supreme 
court of Illinois in 1853. Was a member of the city council of 
Havanna, HI., in 1853 and 1854. Also postmaster under Presi- 
dent Pierce at Havanna, 111. Visited the townsite of Omaha 
August 27, 1854, went back to Illinois for his family, and crossed 
Iowa with wagons and teams and arrived in Omaha October 28, 
1854. W^^s twice elected to territorial council, in which he 



served in 1855, 1856, 1857, and 1858. Was one of the original 
proprietors of Brown ville, in which he had a one-fourth interest. 
He went to Cincinnati in the spring of 1855 and had a sawmill 
built for Brownville by Hallabird & Co., which he shipped by 
steamer on May 3, 1855. 

George Ferguson and wife and two children, in company with 
Eogers and his wife, took passage on the same steamer. Fer- 
guson was a competent engineer and mechanic, who was em- 
ployed to set up and run the mill at Brownville, where the mill 
and two families landed in June, 1855. Eogers opened up a 
private bank on Douglas street in 1856, which was well patron- 
ized, deposits running up to |125,000, and otherwise proisperous. 
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. 

From this time on until the State Bank of Nebraska was or- 
ganized, he was engaged in handling real estate and in mercan- 
tile business. Becoming one of the principal stockholders of 
the State Bank, he succeeded Enos Lowe as its vice president, 
which position he filled until the State Bank corporation was 
succeeded by the Merchants' National Bank in the year 1882, of 
which he is now and has been its vice president since the date 
of its organization. 

J. C. Mitchell, a blonde, small in stature, all fire and tow, was 
erratic, impulsive, fiery in speech, hot-headed, and aggressive. 
His dear Florence was his only hobby. He was ready to trade, 
buy, sell, or swap, if he could thereby get advantageous legisla- 
tion for his Florence townsite. He was eloquent in the descrip- 
tion of his townsite, its happy location as a future railroad town. 
He declared with emphasis that when railroads from the east 
should seek connection with a future Pacific road up the Platte 
valley. Pigeon creek was the most feasible route through which 
railroads from the east could approach the Missoun river. 


A. D. Jones was a fearless speaker on all questions. He was 
not given to diplomacy, but spoke riglit out whatever was on his 
mind boldly, without fear or favor. In argument he was force- 
ful and often eloquent. He w^as not a schemer, a wire puller, 
but always oxjen-handed and candid; you could always know jusi 
where to find him on all questions. There was not a bit of in- 
trigue in him. Partisan feeling ran high as between north of 
the Platte and south of the Platte interests, but he manifested 
no sectional feeling; at the same time he was a strong supporter 
of Omaha on the question of the location of the capital. 

M. H. Clark was a man of no mean ability, quiet in his deport- 
ment, a plain but effective speaker; he seldom took the floor in 
debate, but was, nevertheless, a busy worker for the interests 
of his constituents. In appearance he would have been taken 
for a good, plain farmer. When the question of capital location 
was before the legislature many members were wrought up to 
an intense degree of excitement. Not so with M. H. Clark; he 
was as cool and deliberate as if a very ordinary question was 
before that body. 

Richard Brown was a hard worker in his quiet way, a good 
conversationalist, but a debater of only ordinary ability. He 
was a true and candid man, a perfect gentleman, but had not the 
cheek to push himself to the front. As the proprietor of Brown- 
ville, Nemaha county, in order to get such legislation as he de- 
sired he several times cast votes with his north of the Platte 
friends, notably on the capital question, as did others from the 
extreme southern part of the territory. Bellevue, Omaha, Flor- 
ence, Plattsmouth, and Nebraska City were each candidates for 
the location of the capital, hence members from the extreme 
north and south of the territory were often found voting with 
members from the north Platte. 

H. P. Bennet, active, impulsive, a ready off-hand speaker, 
commanded the respect of his colleagues and the good will of 



all members of the council. He was of medium stature, light 
hair, his complexion varying from pale to florid to fit the state of 
his varying intensity of feeling in debate. He was pleasant^ 
sociable, and affable with his associates. He was a strong 
worker for south of the Platte and for the best interests of his 
constituents. . 

H. Bradford, rotund in habit, with a w^holesome farmer kH>k, 
was an active member of the council, a man of good sound com- 
mon sense; his squeaky voice was peculiar, sharp, and without 
compass; at the same time he was a good debater, intensely sec- 
tional, so much so that he seemed to have but little care for any 
other part of the territory than Otoe county, Nebraska City, and 
the south of the Platte. This feeling, I must say, however, was 
by no means confined to any one member of the body. 

T. G. Goodwill: Never a better man set foot on Nebraska 
soil; honorable, refined, and genial in his deportment; no man in 
the legislative council had more influence than he. He was tol- 
erant, broad-minded, and generous. He was not a gifted public 
speaker, but he had the power to make impressive arguments, 
and statements so clear that he at once had a following; open 
and candid, he despised small intrigue; he was cool and dispas- 
sionate in times of greatest excitement over the capital location 
and other questions. 

Benjamin R. Folsom was a plain, honest man, brusque in his 
manners, full of energy and tact, strong in his likes and dislikes^ 
one of the very best workers in the council, a strong north Platte 
partisan. His strength was not in speech-making, but rather in 
laying plans and wire pulling. In order that Burt county might 
be represented in the first legislature, with wagons and teams 
he took with him voters to his favorite county of Burt, which 
was then destitute of voters, and at the first territorial election 
had himself elected by a unanimous vote to the first legislative 

FiRsr riouKi roKi Ai. i;K(Jisi.ATrui': of nkijkaska. Ill) 

O. H. CowLES was a very active ineinber, a strong partisan, a 
hard worker in behalf of the local interests of his constituents 
and of the south of the Platte. He possessed much force of char- 
acter; a fairly good debater. He was a practical man and a 
good judge of human nature. Unobtrusive, but kind and social, 
he commanded the respect of everyone. 

Lafayette Nuckolls, a young man of nineteen years, tall^ 
lank, smooth faced; the expression of his countenance was unim- 
passioned. He seldom attempted to make a speech. To look 
upon him, you would make up your mind that he was a clerk in 
some dry goods store. He was of the very kindest disposition, 
was a true friend, a perfect gentleman. He claimed citizenship 
in Nebraska, but lived in Glenwood, la. He was not at all pug- 
nacious, at the same time, when hot discussion was going on as 
to location of the capital he kept in the drawer of his desk a 
good-sized brick-bat ready for either attack or defense. 

J. L. Sharp impressed me as being a keen, foxy man, am- 
biticms to carry out his designs, one of which was to locate the 
capital at Plattsmouth. In this he was defeated for the lack of 
one vote. For a man of his age he was lithe and active physically ; 
in disposition he was cheerful and sociable; a little inclined to 
be slovenly in dress. Toi one who was not acquainted with him 
his pock-marked visage gave him a sinister look. He was a 
busy, active worker. He presided over the legislative council 
with dignity and impartiality. 

O. D. Richardson, the noblest Roman of them all; for a man 
sixty years of age he was well preserved and youthful in appear- 
ance. He was noble in stature, with a fine, dignified bearing, 
classical and exact in speech; he was an attorney of large experi- 
ence and good ability; was an ex-lieutenant governor of Mich- 
igan; he was a diligent worker, and no other man had gi^eater 
influence in the legislative council than he. * 



Fleming Davidson, member of the first house, was a Virginian 
by birth; he stood six feet high in his stocking feet, was portly, 
with a fine, well-developed physique; he was remarkably social 
in his disposition and made friends wherever he went. He was 
married on the 1st day of June, 1854, to Mary A. Brown, and on 
the 5th day of October following, by wagon and team, he, with 
liis family, left for the town site of Omaha, where he landed 
October 28th. He was elected to the house of representatives of 
1855, in which he served with ability and credit to himself. He 
was the first man to engage in the ice business in Omaha, and 
was a silent partner in the wholesale and retail mercantile house 
of Hileman, Blair & Co. He was born July 27, 1827, near Wheel- 
ing, Va. Three years thereafter his parents moved to Vermillion 
< ounty, Indiana, where he was brought up as a farmer. In the 
sixties he removed to California, where he engaged in farming. 
He remained in California until the autumn of 1876, at which 
date he, with his family, removed to Wichita, I<:an., where they 
remained until his death, July 6, 1891. His widow and five 
children who surv^ive him still reside in Wichita. 

HioGHAi'irv OK n n. riiOM pson. 


Written b}^ John C. Thompson, Omaha, Nebr. 

Benjamin Baker Thompson, the door-keeper of the first house 

of Fepresentatives of Nebraska, was born in Calloway County, 


Blissouri, February 5, 18.34. He was the oldest son of Joseph D. 
N. and Martha Baker Thompson, wlio came to Nebraska in 1854, 
locating in Kanosha, now Rock Bluff, Cass County. Soon after 
settling in that community an election was held, and his father 
was chosen a member of the house of representatives. When 
that body convened, and its list of officers was decided upon, 
Benjamin Thompson's name appeared on the roll as door keeper. 
This was the first political office he ever filled, but it has been re- 
lated that the duties were ]}erformed satisfactorily. In August 
&f the following year there was an Indian scare and Gen. John M. 
Thayer went to the front with several hundred men to repel the 
Sioux, who were reported on the war path. Under him was 
Captain Fifield with a company of young fellows who were 
spoiling for a brush with the red-skins. Among the number was 
Ben Thompson, and as he was known personally to almost every 
man in the company, it was but natural that he should be chosen 
to fill some minor position. The first day's march brought them 
to the banks of the Elkhorn, where a halt was ordered. The 
next thing was to place pickets, a duty which Mr. Thompson was 
detailed to perform. It was while in the discharge of this duty 
that he received a wound that ultimately resulted in his death. 
He had placed all the sentinels and was returning to camp, when 
one of his own men challenged him. He stopped, advanced and 
gave the countersign, and was turning to resume his march to 
camp, when the sentinel's gun was accidentally discharged, in- 
flicting an ugly wound in his shoulder. He was carried into the 



camp and a surgeon was summoned. Through some oversight 
that gentleman had not taken his instruments to the front. He, 
however, volunteered to extract the bullet with an ordinary 
butcher's knife, an offer which Mr. Thompson refused to accept, 
and which necessitated his carrying an ounce of lead in his shoul- 
der the rest of his days. In the meantime, Mr. Thompson's pa- 
rents had removed from Kanosha and had located in Browmville, 
a town everybody believed was destined to be the metropolis of 
Nebraska, and it was to that town he was removed after being 
wounded. Upon his recovery, he was appointed to the office of 
deputy sheriff, and it was while filling that position that his 
courage was often put to the test, and as often vindicated. In 
February of 1858 he married Elizabeth Thompson. One thing 
worth mentioning in connection with their marriage was the 
fact that the groom was a member of the Know^-nothing party, 
which was opposed to the introduction of foreigners into this 
country, while the bride was a late arrival from England. 
Nevertheless, their union was a happy one. Before the outbreak 
of the civil war, a baby girl and boy had come to bless their 
union. Then Lincoln's call for volunteers was heard throughout 
the' land, and Ben Thompson went home and told his wife his 
country needed him to help maintain this Union one and indi- 
Adsible. She could not let him go. Their boy was yet a babe in 
arms. If she consented to his going, who would provide for her 
and for their children? He plead with her, and she, as thou- 
sands of other wives had done, besought him to remain at home. 
Finally the company was organized, citizens bade its every mem- 
ber a fervent good-bye, and he turned homeward, the saddest 
of the number left behind. Within a month, news of the battle 
reached that little town. Sometimes they told of victories for 
the North, at others for the South. Then came another call for 
troops. .Vgain he sought his wife and told her the president was 
needing men. She hesitated at first, then told him yes, to go, 
and that if she were a inan she would accompany him. 

On the 20th day of November, 1861, his name was on an enlist- 
ment blank and he was mustered to the service of the United 

liI()(3RAl»H Y OF n. It. 1 IIOM I'SON. 

States in company (1, Second Kansas cavalry, as a privates. H(^ 
served in that capacity but a short time. On the 7th of January,. 
1862, he was promoted to the office of sergeant, and on the 9th 
of March, 1862, was promoted by the president to the office of 
first lieutenant of company G, Eleventh IT. S. colored troops. He 
served in that capacity until the 111th, 112th, and 113th U. S. 
infantry were consolidated, whereupon he became a supernum- 
erary, and as such was honorably discharged April 1st, 1865. 
He was in action at Newtonia, Mo., October 4, 1862; at Cross 
Hollow, Ark.. October 18, 1862 ; in the battle of Old Fort Wayne, 
October 22, 1862, and other battles. After the close of the war, 
he lived two years in Argenta, Ark., and then returned to Brown- 
ville, Nebr., where he lived until the time of his death. He held 
several official positions in Brownville. He was elected treas- 
urer twice, and was deputy postmaster for about eight years 
under T. C. Hacker and D. O. Cross. Mr. Thompson died at his 
home in Brownville, December 1, 1887, and was survived by his 
wife and three children. He was universally loved and re- 
spected by his neighbors, as was plainly attested by the members 
of the G. A. R., who named their post ''Ben Thompson Post, No. 
309,'' in his honor. 



By Jay Amos Barrett. Read before the Society January 12, 1897. 

Those of us who have been born in modern times are not sup- 
posed to know much about tht^ details of the session of 1855. 
We must depend upon the journals of that legislature, and upon 
the written accounts in books and newspapers. It may be said, 
too, that the annals of the meetings, as told by the secretaries, is 
not uninteresting reading, and the newspaper accounts are even 
lively. I suspect that the secretaries knew right well how to 
leave out what did not belong to a strict and unbiased chronicle. 
For example, the account in the Council Journal of the pro- 
ceedings of the first day is a very sober tale of assembling at 
ten o'clock, in accordance with the proclamation -of Acting 
Governor Cuming; of the election of H. P. Bennet as presi- 
dent pro tern., and Isaac R. Alden clerk pro tern. A proclamation 
of the governor telling who were elected members is barely men- 
tioned, as is also the appointment of a committee to look at cre- 
dentials and adjournment to 2 p. m. In the afternoon session 
there are a motion to appoint Mr. Folsom temporary presiding 
officer; withdrawal of the motion; report of the committee on 
credentials; invitation from the house to attend joint convention 
in order to hear the governor's message; the ceremony of admin- 
istering the oath by the governor, at which Messrs. Bennet, Brad- 
ford, and Nuckolls declined to be sworn; the message; the return 
of the senators to their own hall; the request of Mr. Bennet to be 
excused from the duty of presiding officer, and the election of 
Mr. Folsom. Of course this account doesn't explain motives, 
and one is led to wonder what made Mr. Bennet resign, and why 
those members wouldn't take the oath from the governor. A 
communication from Mr. Bennet himself to you, which I shall 

liEGISI.ATOUH OK 1855: Bl()(;K,ArHJ(;AI. FItAGMF.N'rs. 


read shortly, throws some lij>ht on th(' scene. The s(?cr(4Mri(^s 
left out of their descriptions tlu^ touches that would have given 
the reader a picture of the scene. Here is an account of the first 
day's proceedings that is nothing if not lively. It is from tln^ 
Washington National Era of February 8, 1855. You observe^ 
from the interval of time between January 10 and February 8, 
that the news had to go overland in those days, without elec- 
tricity or steam. 

"The first territorial legislature of Nebraska assembled at 
Omaha on the 16th ultimo, and after a good deal of excitement 
both houses were organized. Some seven members of the coun- 
cil assembled early in the day and elected Judge Bennet speakei". 
Governor Cuming appeared in the hall to make some communi- 
cation to the council, and was called to order. His proclamation 
declaring who were members was laid on the table. At two 
o'cloek another speaker was elected, Mr. Folsom, but the first 
would not vacate. After some contention, the last named gentle- 
man gave up the place to the judge. In the house, Mr. Latham 
was elected speaker. At three o'clock both houses assembled in 
joint convention and the members were sworn into office by the 
governor, after which he delivered his message." 

Add to this the following paragraph from a letter of N. R. 
Folsom, son of B. R. Folsom. The former was a young man of 
20, serving as doorkeeper of the council for the session. He 
writes : 

At the first session my father "was elected temporary presi- 
dent of the council. The South Platte members wanted a South 
Platte man, and when father took the chair there was rather an 
exciting time. Mr. Lafe Nuckolls, a young member from South 
Platte, pulled the butt of his revolver into sight, but did not fully 
draw the weapon." 

Mr. Nuckolls, I may say here, was only 19. Mr. Richardson 
was 60, the average age of the members of the council being 
about 40. In the house the average age was 32. 

At this point T may read you the communication from Judge 
Bennet, who hoped very much to be here. For fear that he might 



not, he wrote a few things that came to his mind about that ses- 
sion. In a letter of July 17, he says : "Now there may have been 
much that occurred at that session which I have forgotten all 
about, and perhaps some things that I would not like to tell, even 
if I could remember. Forty-one years is a long time to keep 
things in memory. However, I will try to overhaul the old things 
in my garret and write your society what I can rake up. I would 
like ever so much to meet with as many of the old boys of that 
long-ago session as are yet spared, and will endeavor to be with 
you, if possible, in January next." And at the end of a letter 
written in September, he says : ''If I can conveniently do so, I will 
be with your society at its next meeting in January, in person as 
well as in spirit, — in spirit surely." [Here the paper of Judge 
Bennet was read. It is found in this volume on p. 88.] 

Far be it from me to raise the question of the circumstances 
which surrounded the election of members to that pioneer ses- 
sion. In that connection, however, it will be in point to cite the 
following from a letter written last May (1896) by W. W. Watson, 
of Fairbury. ''I note with interest the subject of the next an- 
nual meeting of the society. The Douglas county members of. 
the legislative session of 1855 * * * were all of what were 
know^n as the Omaha interest, opposed to the Bellevue claims for 
the location of the state capital, the ticket put forth by the south 
part of the county, now Sarpy county, having been 'snowed un- 
der' at the polls. The south end candidates always attributed 
their defeat to the Mills county, Iowa, vote being divided between 
Plattsmouth and Bellevue, while Council Bluffs and Pottawata- 
mie county voted solidly for Omaha, except one wagon load of 
electors who were detailed to hold an election in Washington 
county, Nebraska. If the crossing of the Platte river had been 
more feasible, the Mills county electors might have been able to 
vote at Bellevue as well as Plattsmouth, and the result have 
been different." 

Judge James, of Council Bluffs, now as well as then, was one 
of that wagon load of people who went from Council Bluffs to- 
ward the north star, until they had reached, as they supposed, the 



iroutiues of Kurt county. H. C. rui i)l(', who was elected iiKiiu- 
ber of tlie house from Burt, was also ol the sauie number. It 
apj>eiired, after they had lield th(^ election, that they had not 
reached Burt county at all. 

Concerning Henry Bradford, or A. H. Bradford, member of 
the upper house from Pierce (*ounty, along with H. P. Benuet and 
€. H. Cowles, I learned little. A. D. Jones, known to you all as 
^'Alf'^ Jones, whose infirmity alone keeps him from being with us 
on this occasion, tells how Bradford got after him on the bank 
question. Mr. Jones did not believe in the banks and claims to 
have been the only one who consistently opposed them through- 
out that session. "In that exciting session," says Mr. Jones, 
^'all members kept in fighting trim, and Bradford kept a brickbat 
in his desk." He adds that Mr. Bradford was the only one who 
did so. However, there is other evidence on that subject. Mr. 
S. E. Rogers, now vice president of the Merchants' National Bank 
of Omaha, said when I asked him about Mr. Nuckolls: "Oh, yes! 
I remember him well. His desk was next to mine. He kept a 
brickbat in his desk all the time." My own impression is that 
there were more brickbats in hiding than any one member knew 

Richard Brown, or "Dick" Brown, as he was familiarly called, 
is said to have been the first settler in the present Nemaha 
county, after the extinguishment of the Indian title. A native 
of Tennessee, he came to the territory directly from Holt cotinty, 
Missouri, August 29, 1854, and settled where now a village bears 
his name, as a witness to his enterprise. Further, except for 
his age, occupation, and politics, my record breaks off abruptly. 

The following is the obituary notice of Benjamin R. Folsom, 
that was printed in the Buffalo Courier of November 21, 1882 : 

"Many readers of the Courier in Wyoming county will be 
pained to learn of the death of the Hon. B. R. Folsom, which oc- 
curred at Tekamah, Nebr., at an early hour yesterday morning. 
Mr. Folsom was born at Tunbridge, Vt., February 23, 1809, and 
was for many years one of the best known citizens of Attica, 



N, Y. He was several times elected as president of tlie village, 
once without opposition, during liis absence. He represented the 
town of Bennington in tlie board of supervisors of Wyoming 
county for a number of successive terms. In the year 1854. he 
removed to Nebraska, and assisted in organizing the territorial 
government. He was elected to the state senate twice and t© 
the assembly once, and was chosen tO' preside over the former 
body at its second session. He was, at the time of his death, the 
oddest settler in the state of Nebraska north of Omaha. Al- 
though identified with the west since 1854, he had until recently 
maintained a homestead in the village of Attica. In politics Mr. 
Folsom was a staunch, unswerving democrat, never an office- 
seeker, but always ready to do all in his power for the good of the 
party to which he belonged. He leaves a family consisting of 
a wife and daughter, Mrs. C. E. Ferris, of Omaha, and two sons, 
N. R. Folsom, of Omaha, and Benjamin R. Folsom, of this city. 
Silas Folsom, of Attica, N. Y.. and Col. John B. Folsom are 
brothers of the deceased." 

T. G. Goodwill was a Bay State man by birth, but he also came 
to Nebraska from Attica, N. Y. In an obituary of him written 
by Dr. Miller, of Omaha, occurs the following paragraph: 

^'He was one of the leading members of the first territorial 
council, and by his experience and sound sense, as well as his 
unflagging energy, contributed largely to the successful organi- 
zation of the territorial government. He was also treasurer of 
Douglas county, adjutant general of the militia, and an alderman 
of the city of Omaha. In the decease of Colonel Goodwill oar 
community has sustained * * the loss of a high-minded 
gentleman, an accomplished and able man of business, foremost 
in all public enterprises, an energetic, manly, kind, and benevo- 
lent citizen." 

What fitting tribute can be paid to the genial Alf D. Jones? 
It was my privilege last autumn to hear from his own lips the 
story of his varied career. Born in 1813, three miles from Phiia- 



(ielpllia, he has lived to find that great city grown all about the 
farm hous(^ of his early days. November 15, 1S5:>, lu^ crossed into 
this countr}^ before it was Nebraska, after long servic(i as a civil 
engineer in Iowa. He had, indeed, laid out a number of cities, 
including Burlington and Council Bluffs, and to his hands fell 
the work of laying off the future metropolis of Nebraska. When 
a member of the council in the first assembly, Mr. Jones was in 
his 42d year, so that now you would find him as you would expect 
to find him, with snow-white locks of his fifth score. It shall 
be left for some comrade of his to write his biography ere long, 
in a manner befitting his long and active career. 

Another member of the council, J. C. Mitchell, seems to be 
known principally as the one who was made sole commissioner 
to locate the capitol buildings. This was a very complex deal in 
the location of the site of the territorial edifice, and Mr. Mitchell 
was perhaps made the one commissioner because he could be used 
better than a committee of more than one. The town of Flor- 
ence is said to have been named by him in honor of his niece, 
Florence Kilbourn, and there he is buried, together with his wife 
and adopted daughter. I have been unable to find anything 

Origen D. Richardson, member of the council from Douglas, 
was very efiicient in the work of legislation, having been lieuten- 
ant governor of Michigan previous to coming west. He was a na- 
tive of that state, and shares with J. B. Robertson the distinction 
of having been born in the eighteenth centurj^ In the Michigan 
Pioneer Collections occur very many ref erences to him, in connec- 
tion with early Michigan history. He figured in Oakland county 
affairs, and in connection with the town of Pontiac, he w^as re- 
corded as one of the contributors toward the building of one of 
the first churches in that town. He was lieutenant governor 
during the presidency of the elder Harrison, and was member 
of the convention of 1836, during the excitement of the Toledo 
War, as it was called. It is a curious circumstance that one of 



the defeated candidates in that campaign was the father of An- 
drew tT. Poppleton. 

Concerning Joseph L. Sharp, I know as yet very little. Two 
sons and a daughter now live in Idaho, and from them I have rea- I 
son to believe a biography is being prepared. Mr. Hanscom, of , 
Omaha, who was speaker of the house, is able to narrate much 
more graphically than T how Colonel Sharp came to be elected 
president of the council. He was in western Iowa early enough 
to take part in sending Hadley D. Johnson to congress in 1853. 

In addition to what Mr. Bennet has written concerning Frank 
Welch. I may add that he was a member of the council at its 
/ ninth session, and was not only member, but also president of 
our first state senate. 

Mr. John Evans, of Omaha, and Henry Sprick, of Fontenelle, 
have given some information about J. W. Richardson, member 
of the house. He lived but three years after the close of the ses- 
sion, and was buried at Fontenelle. His wife lived until 1893. 

William I>. Hail, member of the house, was re-elected four 
times in succession. He was killed in a railway accident a few 
years ago. 

Of W. N. Byers, one of the most respected and well-to-do citi- 
zens of Denver, I need say little. He was listed as a surveyor 
in 1855 ; but there is a story of how he moved a printing press to 
Denver in a very early day, by ox-team, and how under his care 
there developed a great newspaper, now called the Rocky Moun- 
tain News. I am told that it is only recently that he has ceased 
to edit it. 

Permit me to quote from a letter or two recently received from 
him. Under date of November 17, 1896, he writes: ''I fear that 
I will not be able to attend your annual meeting in January 
next, much as I would like to. Nor can I think of anything remi- 
niscf^nt of the first legislative assembly of Nebraska that would 


likely bo interest ii)<;-. It was a large assembly for the first in a 
new territory, and it seems to me now that it was a very wasteful 
and extravaj^ant one. This extravagance ran especially in the 
line of printing, and before it adjourned the country surrounding 
the capitol building was literally ^snowed under' with waste 
paper in the form of printed bills, journals, roll calls, reports, 
and such like documents, for which there never had been any use 
in the world. Some of the members, it was alleged, had not well 
established residence in Nebraska, but were actually residents of 
Iowa and Missouri. They crossed the river, held elections, and 
went back to the above named states to sleep. However, that 
assembly laid a good, broad foundation for what has become 
the great state of Nebraska.'' 

Further, under date of December 31, he writes: ''The copy of 
the program for your annual convention is very interesting, and 
the roll call of the first legislative assembly is like an echo from 
the long ago. I value it especially. It would afford me great 
pleasure to attend your annual, but I am still of the opinion that 
I will be unable to do so. * * * Perhaps another year I 
may be able to enjoy a reunion with the Nebraska pioneers — than 
whom there are none more patriotic, manly, and noble on earth. 
Wishing one and all a most interesting, harmonious, and profita- 
ble gathering, I beg to remain, yours most truly, 

''William N. Byers." 

William Clancy, mentioned in Judge Bennet's letter, was a 
young man of 25 from Council Bluffs, a merchant, it is said. Mr. 
Jones' summary characterization of him is, that "he didn't 
amount to much." He kept a saloon, eating house, and general 
combination known as "The Big Six." During the gold excite- 
ment he went to "Cherry Creek," near by which Denver very 
shortly sprang into being. One of the streets of that city is 
named for him. Thence he went to Montana. Whether he died 
there, as Judge Bennet heard, or whether he may still be living 
somewhere, as Mr. Grennell thinks, seems impossible to deter- 
miij<^ An incident is told of him, jolly Irishman that he was. 



f^liat with an eye to the fancy prices of oddities in the East, he 
trained six elk to the harness and drove them from Denver to 
New York, only to find that the market was already overstocked 
with them. He seems to have had more or less of a political 
bent, for he was the only member of the lower house who was 
afterwards elected to the upper. In both the third and fourth 
sessions he was member of the council. 

The last one of the members of that pioneer assembly of whom 
I wish to speak was the first to die. He had not, however, out- 
lived his usefulness here, and now, after the lapse of forty-two 
years, he still has an unusual claim wpon our interest. The legis- 
lature adjourned March 10, 1855. In the Council Bluffs Ghrouo- 
type of April 17 following, I chanced u]30ii the following para- 
graph : 

'^Dr. M. H. Clark departed this life yesterday morning at about 
7 o'clock, at St. Mary's. The disease which has terminated thus 
fatally was pneumonia. * * * xhe deceased has long been a 
resident of this western frontier, and w^as a member of the upper 
house of the Nebraska legislature last winter from Dodge county. 
We understand that the funeral services will take place in this 
city to-day." 

The intervening years have made it impossible to discover, thus 
far, where there are relatives of Mr. Clark who can furnish the 
facts of his life. My knowledge of him is confined to a few hints 
gathered from sketches of early life on the banks of the Missouri, 
and from the journals of the first assembly. The history of this 
man is closely connected with the first election held in the coun- 
try that was afterw\ard called Nebraska. Mr. Hadley D. John- 
son mentions this election especially, in his article entitled "'How 
the Kansas-Nehraska Line Was EsfaUished.'' The election oc- 
curred October 11, 1853, at Bellevue. Mr. Johnson calls the vot- 
ers "impromptu emigrants" from the east bank of the river. The 
sole object of the election w^as the praiseworthy one of selecting 
a delegate to congress who should try to secure the organization 
of the country west of the Missouri. Besides the election of a 
delegate, who proved to be, in fact, Mr. Johnson himself, the 

LE(ilSLA'IX)liS OK 1855: IJKXJUAI'HICAI, K l{ A( i M lONTS. 

offices of tonitorial j>oveni()r, scci elary, and treasurer were filled. 
To the office of secretary. Dr. Miinson H. Clark was elected.* 

Thus it appears that Mi-. Chirk was active in securing the oi*- 
ganization of the country west of the Missouri, and h(^ was en- 
titled as much as anyone to a place in the first assc^nibly of the 
new territory when congress had created it. Mr. Johnson tells 
us that this election in the autumn of 1853 was followed by public 
meetings in Iowa and Missouri, and mentions Judge Bennet and 
Dr. Clark in connection with '^eloquent speeches" and ^^eading 
citizens." To some of the oldest residents of western Iowa, when 
the right ones have been found, we may look for an account of the 
previous life of Dr. Clark, in the Missouri country. His record 
In the council shows him to have been an able member. I cite 
but one or two things to show the ability of the man and his faith 
in the western country. 

Only six days after the opening of the session, Mr. Clark gave 
notice of a bill to incorporate the Platte V alle}^ and Pacific Rail- 
road j and three weeks later this prime mover in the matter, as 
chairman of the committee on corporations, submitted a report 
that covers four pages of the printed journal. | The report is 
an exceedingly interesting document indeed, and were there 
time, it would command great attention as a paper read to the 
society. Its great argument is the practicability of the Platte 
valley as a route for a line of railroad between the East and the 
West. He states that Colonel Leavenworth called attention to 
the ^^importance, practicability, and expediency of constructing 
a railroad by way of the Platte valley to the Pacific." Rev. J. 
Parker, J. Plumber, Colonel Fremont, Mr. Whitney, Captain 
Stansbury, and a thousand others, he says, have urged the same 
thing. The report gives statistics to show how important this 
railroad would be. I am sure you will be interested in the last 
two short paragraphs of the report, because they go far to show 
the mind of the man. 

extra volume is soon to be issued by the State Hist'^rical Society which will deal 
with the years 1852 and 1853, and incidently with this e.ection. The election at Belle- 
vue comprised only one precinct of a general election in an unauthorized Nebraska 
Territory centering in Wyandotte. 

t 16, C. Journal. t PP- 65-69. 



"Tliis gross income could only be secured after several years of 
business; but it is easy to see that tlie vast amount of trade and 
travel, which does not follow the tedious route by the ocean, 
would immediately pass through this new, safe, and speedy chan- 
nel of commerce. The millions of Europe would be brought into 
contact with the hundreds of millions of Asia, and their line for 
quick transit would be, to a great extent, across our continent. 
Their mails, their ministers, their most costly and interesting 
travel and trade would take this route, and augment our business 
and multij)ly onr resources. 

''In view of the comparative cost, to the wonderful changes 
that will result, your committee cannot believe the period remote 
when this work will be accomplished; and with liberal encour- 
agement to capital which your committee are disposed to grant, 
it is their belief that before fifteen years have transpired, the 
route to India will be opened, and the way across this continent 
will be the common way of the world." (68-69.) 

Two months from the morning on which this prophecy was 
made, the man who made it ceased his labors here. In fourteen 
and one-quarter years, on May 10, 1869, the last spike was driven 
in the great transcontinental railway, and the East and West 
were united by the bands of steel for which that primitive rail- 
road company had sought. 

The indistinct and fragmentary picture that comes to nae from 
that remote scene '^-^r history, presents him to me as a sort of 
embodiment of the restless, energetic, progressive spirit of the 
early makers of the middle West, the actual development of 
which has far exceeded their brightest fancy. 



By Hon. M. B. Reese. Read before the Society January 8, 1807. 

It is decreed by the powers that be that the subject of this 
paper must be ^'The Results of the Pioneer Session from a Legal 
Point of View.'^ From all appearances we should say that the 
first session of the territorial legislature was a busy one. That 
session convened at the city of Omaha, the then capital, on the 
16th day of January, 1855, and so far as I have been able to learn, 
the last date of the approval of laws was on the 16th day of 
March of the same year. The method adopted for the enactment 
of laws was in some respects unusual, and shows that that body 
of statesmen, upon whose shoulders rested the burden of laying 
the foundation stone upon which to erect the structure of the 
state of Nebraska, was not averse to rest and probably having a 
good time, so that many of their laws were enacted by wholesale, 
and doubtless at wholesale rates. A s an illustration of this we 
need but notice the act which first appears in the volume of laws 
issued as the result of that session. This act is entitled ^^An Act 
Adopting Certain Parts of the Code of Iowa." The act consists 
of two sections. The first section is "That the following chapters 
of the Code of Iowa, passed at the session of the general assembly 
of the state of Iowa in 1850 and 1851 and approved the 5th of 
February, 1851, be and are hereby adopted and declared to be in 
force as law in the territory of Nebraska, so far as the same are 
applicable and not inconsistent with any laws passed at the pres- 
ent session or with the organic law of said territory, to- wit:" 
Here follows an enumeration of the chapters which are adopted, 
but few of which need be here copied. They run as follows : 
Chapter 3, section 26, entitled ''Constructions of Statutes;" ditto 
58;'ditto "Notes and Bills," etc. Section 2 is as follows: "Sec. 2. 



This act to take effect from aud after its passage." The whole 
matter of preparing the chapters referred to and publishing them 
as a part of the law of the territory devolved upon some func- 
tionary of the government, and they were copied into the terri- 
torial laws, occupying one hundred pages of that publication. 
Who did this, or by what authority it was done, it is not necessary 
now to inquire. It is quite plain, however, that the legislature 
spent none of its valuable time in trimming up and otherwise em- 
bellishing the laws of Iowa in order to render them applicable to 
territorial conditions. The territory then consisted of the coun- 
ties of Burt, Washington, Dodge, Douglas, Cass, Pierce, Forney, 
Richardson, and probably Jones. However, it appears that on 
the 10th day of December, 1854, Jesse Lowe, deputy United 
States marshal, in obedience to a commission issued by Acting 
Governor T. B. Cuming, made a report that no person lived in the 
county of Jones, "unless a few living in the neighborhood of Be- 
lews precinct in Richardson county, and who would naturally 
vote at said iDrecinct," and therefore he was of the opinion that 
no apportionment should be made to Jones county. With Jones 
county lost, or otherwise not accounted for, the council consisted 
of thirteen members, one from each of the counties, excepting 
Douglas, which had four, and Pierce, which had three. The 
house of representatives was composed of twenty-six members, 
two from each of the counties, excepting the counties of Douglas, 
which had eight, Cass, which had three, and Pierce, which had 
five. The legal effect of this enactment can only be considered 
with reference to the results desired, as we know this whole 
body of law, thus enacted, constituted a part of the law of the 
territory until the year of 1857. In this collection we find some 
provisions which to our minds have never been improved upon, 
and are much better and more reasonable than the laws enacted 
in their stead. The widow's dower in the real estate of her de- 
ceased husband was declared to be one-third in fee simple. This 
law was repealed by the act of 1857, and we now have a dower 
of one-third during the life of the widow. No improvement. 
We notice in that law the qualification for jurors which has 


been lost by the carelessness or ignoranc(^ of subsequent legis- 
latures and the efflux of time, which we would do well to recap- 
ture. It was provided by section 211 of that act that "All quali- 
fied electors of the state of good moral character, sound judg- 
ment, and in full possession of the senses of hearing and seeing, 
are competent." Just think of it! Twelve men rounded up irt 
one body, all of whom were of good moral character and sound 
judgment. Evidently, by the provisions of that act none else 
would do. "Sound judgment" was an essential element. Were 
it not that we are fully persuaded that the judges of those days 
were composed of an excellent quality of clay, we would be com- 
pelled to say that the jurors filling the measure of that sectio,n 
were upon a higher plane than the judges, for experience has 
taught those of us who have acted in judicial capacities, as well 
as those who have not, that "sound judgment" is not always at- 
tained, even upon the bench. However, let us be glad that in 
those days their juries were sound, — take courage and press on. 
By the act referred to the legislature adopted that portion of the 
Civil Code of Iowa which prescribed the manner of commencing 
actions or suits, and for one year, at least, the territory of Ne- 
braska had a sensible law upon that subject. It has never had 
one since. 

The process or writ by which jurisdiction over the individual 
was obtained was called an original notice. It was prepared by 
the party plaintiff or his attorney, and served upon the defendant 
either within or without the limits of the territory by reading it 
to the defendant and giving him a copy if demanded, or if not 
found by leaving a copy at his usual place of residence with some 
member of his faniily over fourteen years of age. It could be 
served by any person not a party to the suit. By it the defendant 
was informed that on or before a day named therein a petition 
would be filed in the court containing a prayer for the relief de- 

. Whether we can say that our present law upon that subject is 
the "Kesults of the Pioneer Session" may be a matter of doubt, 
but certain it is that if it is, the results have been bad. By our 



present law, in order to commence an action in the district courts 
a petition must first be prepared. Then it must be sworn to. 
The clerk must then be found at his office and it must be filed. 
If a precipe accomi}anies the petition and there is money enough 
upon the person of the attorney to pay the fees for filing the peti- 
tion a summons may be issued by the clerk. The next step is to 
find the sherifi", for no other person can serve that precious bit 
of paper excepting that functionary or some one duly appointed 
to do so under his hand and endorsed upon the summons. This 
all being done, we are ready for the service, but if the proposed 
defendant has conceived the idea of absconding he is perhaps a 
hundred miles away before this cumbrous machine can be put in 
motion. In this the wisdom of the present day is not made 

The law^ of the foreclosure of real estate mortgages as con- 
tained in that wonderful bill provided no other proceeding than 
simple notice and sale, all procedure in courts of justice being 
entirely omitted. Upon this we have made "valuable," and it 
is to be hoped, "lasting'' improvements by requiring a procedure 
in court and giving the unlucky mortgagor something of a chance 
for the redemption of his property. 

The law as to the competency of witnesses in judicial proceed- 
ings was made after the good old democratic plan, and "an 
Indian, a negro, a mulatto, or black person'' was not allowed to 
give testimony in any case wherein a white jDerson was a party. 
This was a shadow of the American Dark Age, which was cast 
upon our fair territory. 

The prohibitionist would say that the law enacted by that legis- 
lature upon the subject of manufacturing and selling intoxicating 
liquors was about right, for a very stringent prohibitory law of 
but few sections was enacted. By that act the manufacture, 
giving away, or by any manner of subterfuge trafficking, trading, 
exchanging, or otherwise disposing of intoxicating liquors within 
the territory, to be used as a beverage, was prohibited under se- 
vere penalties. 

Among other things enacted by that legislature was a law for 


the admission of attorneys to practice at the bar of courts. The 
principal requirement was 21 years of age, satisfactory evidence 
of a good moral character, and passing an examination, in what 
is not stated, before a judge. Those essential elements being 
present, the lawyer was made. The ^'results" of this legislation 
was the immediate immigration from adjoining states and terri 
tories of those without other preparation than the requisite age 
and moral character to this territory. They were admitted to 
the bar and returned to their homes fully prepared to aid the 
courts in those states and territories in the administration of 

The enterprise of that body was further manifested by the 
adoption of a criminal code. The act by which the criminal 
code was adopted was entitled '^An Act Relative to Criminal 
Laws." The body of the act provided that "The fourth part of 
the Code of Iowa, given on page 349, as published in the author- 
ized edition of said Code, so far as practicable and not inconsist- 
ent with the laws of this territory, be and the same is hereby de- 
clared to be in full force and effect in this territory." Thus 
by the enactment of this short section Nebraska became pos- 
sessed of a criminal code of 803 sections, providing punishment 
for all the crimes known to the law of Iowa. This act was ap- 
proved March 15, 1855. This immense body of criminal law rC; 
mained in force until probably about the 13th of February, 1857, 
when it transpired that an unlucky member of the human race 
had committed the- crime of willful and deliberate murder and 
employed a wideawake, enterprising, and vigorous attorney to 
conduct his defense. This attorney, upon an examination of his 
client's case, discovered that the evidence of guilt was conclusive 
and the presumption against his client great. There was no 
help nor hope of escape with that Iowa law staring him in the 
face. He turned his attention to politics, became a candidate 
for legislative honors, was elected, and in the conscientious dis- 
charge of his duties as a legislator he introduced a bill entitled 
"An act to repeal certain acts of the legislative assembly of Ne- 
braska passed at the first session of the said assembly." This 



act was short. Its provisions were as follows: "An act entitled 
'An act adopting certain parts of the code of Iowa/ approved 
March 16, 1855, and also an act entitled 'An act relative to crimi- 
nal laws,' approved March 15, 1855, be and the same are hereby 
repealed." The second section of this law simply provided that 
the repealing act ''should take effect and be in force from and 
after its passage." This is called an emergency clause. You 
see, an emergency existed. The bill was promptly passed and the 
whole of both civil and criminal codes of the territory were swept 
out of existence. In justice to the memory of the then governor, 
it should be here said that he vetoed the bill, but that the neces- 
sary two-thirds vote was forthcoming, and his veto did not count. 
For one year it is said that the territory of Nebraska was without 
either a civil or a criminal code; and tradition informs us that 
during that period of one year civil rights were duly respected 
and less crime was committed in proportion to the population 
than during any other year in the history of the territory or state. 
Of course, the luckless defendant who had taken the life of his 
fellow man was promptly discharged and permitted to return east 
to visit his friends or "go west and grow up with the country," 
as might suit his fancy. The enterprise of his counsel was fully 
rewarded. A civil code copied after the code of Ohio was subse- 
quently adopted and this code with its many imperfections is 
with us yet. Our lawmakers not being satisfied with Iowa rules 
in criminal cases, afterwards adopted the criminal code of Illi- 
nois, but Ohio had been heard from. The home of statesmen had 
sent her sons into Nebraska, and in 1873 the Illinois code was re- 
pealed and the Ohio code adopted. In regard to the criminal 
code, this Ohio code was an improvement upon the one we had 
previously enjoyed. We w^ill probably retain it as the result of 
the perfection of human wisdom in criminal matters. 

Referring to the laws passed by the pioneer session, aside from 
the two codes mentioned, but little of those enactments remains 
with us. The legislature seems to have been very busy in pro- 
viding and creating corporations and naming towns and cities 
which existed alone upon paper, and giving them a system of 


municipal goveriimeut. Indeed, we are informed that so str(jng- 
was the desire to incorporate cities and towns that it became^ 
necessary for one of the members to introduce a bill setting aside 
certain portions of the state for agricultural purposes and on(^ 
section in each township was decbu ed to be free from the blight- 
ing hand of the townsite boomers. It is interesting, indeed, to 
peruse the acts referred to and know that of the many cities thus 
created, but very few, if any, have a geographical location. 
The cities of Carlisle, Margaretta, Chester, Lawrence, Elizabeth, 
and many others were born to bloom unseen, etc. 

A number of counties were duly and properly bounded and 
made ready for business, some of which have entirely disapp ared 
from the map of the state. Among this latter class might be 
mentioned the county of Greene, with no county seat nor town 
lots. The county of Black Bird, with Black Bird city for a county 
seat, but no town lots. The countj^ of Clay, with a provision that 
the seat of justice "shall be called Clayton." This embryo city 
seems not to have had a permanent habitation and therefore no 
city lots were demanded. The county of McNeale was duly 
created and Manitou was decreed to be its seat of justice and 
fifty city lots were required "for the purpose of building a court 
house and other necessary county buildings." Jackson county 
was also born and with it the requirement that its county seat 
"shall be called Jacksonville," and the requisite fifty city lots 
were demanded for building purposes. Johnston county was de- 
clared to lie west of Forney county and its legal existence duly 
decreed, and it was said the seat of justice "shall be called 
Frances," with fifty city lots. Izard county closes the list, with 
Hunton for the county seat and fift}^ lots reserved. "From a 
legal point of view," we conclude that these efforts were not pro- 
ductive of great results. It is evident that the antimonopolist 
had not then grown to his present magnificent dimensions, for, 
if there was any subject upon which that legislature might be 
said to be orthodox, it was that of the creation of corporations 
and monopolies. If there was any one enterprise or line of busi- 
ness which did not demand the right to the exclusive exercise of 



^^corporate power," they failed to make the exception. Every- 
thing, from the magnificent railroad company, with its millions 
of dollars of capital stock, to the bridge and ferry company, with 
its few dollars and pocket ferry-boat for crossing the spring- 
branches and wet weather drains with which the territor-y at 
that time abounded, was provided for. 

The Western Exchange and Marine Insurance Company, with 
its capital stock of |50,000, and R. W. Latham, William Kempton, 
James S. Izard, J. McNeale Latham, W. E. Moore, Thomas H. 
Benton, Jr., and their associates, not to exceed thirteen in num- 
ber, their heirs and assigns as incorporators, was duly incor- 
porated and the necessary plans and specifications provided, 
ready for business. It has never been my pleasure to form the 
acquaintance of that artificial individual, and whether ^^the legal 
results" of that laAv have ever been manifested, I am at this mo- 
ment unable to say. I think, however, its life was short, owing, 
possibly, to the inexcusable blunder of the legislature in selecting 
the unlucky number — 13 — as the maximum number of incor- 
porators. This was a bad break and one for which we can im- 
agine no valid excuse. I think it "killed the bill." Had that 
organization survived we would have had some legal results right 
there, for by the terms of the bill the "heirs" of the incorporators 
were not forgotten, and, though unborn when the law was passed 
they were "by act of law" made a part of that corporation, 
whether agreeable to them or not. It is quite probable that the 
"object of the bill" was to change the rule for the classification 
of property and make the capital stock of that corporation real 
estate, descendable to heirs by the law of inheritance. These 
things are "hard to find out." 

Competition and the law of the " survival of the fittest" were 
not forgotten and so "The Franklin Insurance Company" was 
also set upon its feet with a capital stock of |10,000, with Pad- 
dock, Hathaway, Ellsworth, Kempton, Estabrook, Corfield, and 
Richardson as incorporators, evidently for the purpose of hold- 
ing its larger brother in line. While this company had less 
money, it had some advantages over the big brother, — for in- 


stance, instead of having the unlucky number ''thirteen" for the 
number of its incorporators, it was blessed with the scriptual 
number "seven," — the perfect number. This more than out- 
weighed the more money and incorporators. It is supposed this 
latter <:ompany lived fully as long as the former one. 

The Platte Valley and Pacific Railroad Company was started 
on the road to future greatness with its |5,000,000 capital one 
day before the Missouri River and Platte Valley Railroad Com- 
pany, with a like capital, became its rival. 

We should also notice the fact that salt was not forgotten. 
Two corporations w^ere created in order that the industry known 
as the manufacture of salt should keep fully up with the pro- 

The educational interests of the territory received the fostering 
care of the "Pioneer." The "Nebraska University," with capital 
stock of 1150,000 and fifteen incorporators, was created and that 
great institution was given permission to live. Its location 
seems to have been at "Fontenelle, in Dodge county." Its per- 
petuity and safety were doubtless intended to be secured by the 
fourteenth section of its charter. It was as follows: "The said 
institution and its preparatory departments shall be open to all 
denominations of christians, and the profession of any particu- 
lar faith shall not be required of those who become students. 
All persons, however, who are idle or vicious, or whose charac- 
ters are immoral, may be suspended or expelled." You thus see 
it was in no sense a reformatory institution. The Jew could 
stay away and the idle, vicious, and immoral could "travel." I 
more than half suspect that our present "University of Ne- 
braska" — the pride of every patriotic Nebraskan — is not the re- 
sult of that bill. 

Simpson University, with |150,000 capital stock, was turned 
loose about the same time, but the fatal "thirteen" mistake was 
again made, and there are no results "from a legal point of view" 
in sight. 

"The Nebraska City Collegiate and Preparatory Institute," 
with an equal volume of capital stock, w^as given permission to 



compete with tlie others named for public favor and patronage, 
but ^^results" not being visible from our ^'point of view, "we are 
compelled to abandon the search. 

Before closing this hastily written paper we should notice 
another act of the 'Tioneers" in the educational line, which we 
are persuaded has furnished its ^'results" and borne abundant 
fruit. The title of that act was, "An act to establish a common 
school system." The bill contained seventy-three sections, was 
evidently prepared with care, and provided for territorial, county, 
and school district officers, specifying their several duties with 
considerable minuteness. From it has probably grown up our 
now complete common school system. The librarian of the terri- 
tory was made the superintendent of public instruction, with a 
yearly salary of |200. In some respects the bill was crude when 
surveyed from a "legal point of view," but in no sense to be de- 
spised. That act alone should give the "Pioneer Session'' a 
lasting hold upon the affections of the Nebraskan of to-day and 
of the future. 

View of Judge J. H. Broady. Delivered ])efore the Society January 13. 18'.»7. 

Ladies and Gentlemen: There are two kinds of titles, the 
original kind and the artificial kind. The artificial are always 
in a large majority, but the longer they are in our country the 
smaller that majority. They are brought suddenly into contact 
with nature. They deal with natural things rather than arti- 
ficial things, with substance rather than form. They are put 
upon their individuality, and their individuality crops out 
continually in a new country more on the average than in an 
old one. As to the work of the first legislature of the territory 
of Nebraska, I can only say that I became a citizen of this state 
about a dozen years after that took place, and I have not given 
it any careful attention for the x)urposes of this talk here to- 
night. Yesterday I did run through it some, and I had some 
knowledge of it before. Its great characteristics, it strikes me, 
are these: The clearness and penetration of the minds of the 

LFXiAi. iiKsiJi/i's oi-' rni<: imonkioii skssion. 


men who were in thai; legislatine, indicating- superior meiai ov(fr 
the average legislature in the older states; and the less amount 
of illogical verbosity that is so usually fonnd among pmfessional 
men in law courts and the procedure of legislatures in general. 
Looking over those acts calls to mind what I heard some one say 
not long ago. It was the old and general proposition that the 
less a man knows the longer it takes him to say it. How much 
more apt those law-makers w^ere to sift out the words that were 
not necessary, and how w^ell they covered the subject for the 
purpose they had in view, with a few words, even more effect- 
ively than longer acts passed by other legislatures? I am not 
here eulogizing that legislature. I will leave that to you men 
who were members of it, as w^e all like to talk about how much 
nicer things used to be than they are now. But I will give you 
a sample of it. And w^e know, too, that they Avere not careful 
about repealing these acts, and did repeal most of what they did 
at the next legislature. This happened at a time when the 
demoicratic party was in power in Washington, and that crops 
out here the very first thing. That good governor whose image 
we see here was a good Jacksonian. In those days I believe 
they were all straight party men. Being a good Jacksonian, 
and looking for a time when this body should meet, he put it 
just the right time, the best time in the year: '^The said legis- 
lature will convene on the 8th day of January, 1855.'^ 

And they were clear and penetrating, as yon see when you read 
the words they put in their acts, though you must concede that 
the main questions lay deeper down in a great matter than it 
appears many times. Secretary Morton has indicated in his let- 
ter something about this prohibition being a recent thing. This 
legislature made the best prohibition law anybody ever made. 
Let me just read it, and notice the wording, and notice how they 
.shut up the loopholes through which lawyers might evade the 
law. (Laws of 1855, p. 158.) 

"Section 1. Be it enacted by the council and house of repre- 
sentatives of the Territory of Nebraska, that from and after the 
first day of April, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five^ 



it shall not be lawful for any person to manufacture, or give 
away, sell, or in any way, or by any manner of subterfuge, traffic, 
tradCj exchange, or otherwise dispose of any intoxicating liquors 
within this territory, to be used as a beverage. 

''Sec. 2. The places commonly known as ^dram shops' are 
hereby prohibited and declared public nuisances, and their es- 
tablishment shall be presumptive evidence of a sale of intoxicat- 
ing liquor within the provisions of the foregoing section.'- 

Just look at those words! You can't restrain it; it is a public 
nuisance and they understood it, and left no escape through the 
door of a jury trial. And it goes on with the presumption, and 
they acknowledge it, then and there, that the sale of liquor is a 
nuisance and can be prevented. The proclamation continues: 

''Sec. 3. The establishment or keeping of a place of any descrip- 
tion whatever, and whether within or without a building, coming 
wdthin the spirit and intent of this act, and the establishment, or 
the keeping a place of any description where other persons are 
accustomed to resort, providing their own liquors, of the prohibi- 
tory character purchased elsewhere and drinking the same there, 
shall be taken to be within the meaning of this act. 

"Sec. 4. Every person engaged in any of the acts above pro- 
hibited, or in any way aiding or assisting in such illegal acts, 
whether as principal or clerk, bar keeper, or otherwise, shall be 
subject to'the penalties herein provided. 

"Sec. 5. Courts and juries are required to construe this act 
so as to prevent evasion and subterfuge and so as to cover the act 
of giving, as well as of selling in the places above prohibited. 

"Sec. 6. Whoever is guilty of violating any of the provisions 
of this act, on conviction thereof, shall be fined in a sum not less 
than ten dollars, nor more than one hundred dollars, or be im- 
prisoned in the county jail not more than ninety days, or both, 
in the discretion of the court, and may be prosecuted therefor, 
either by indictment or by information before a justice of the 
peace, the punishment shall be fine only. 

"Sec. 7. Any person being convicted for a second, or any sub- 
sequent violation of this act, shall be fined in a sum not less than 
one hundred dollars or be imprisoned not more than one year." 

i:ec;aj. results of thjo i'ionkkk session. 


It provides a less penalty the first time. That is a feature that 
is very meritorious in it. This act provides for an information. 
Kead this act and see the clearness and penetration of the minds 
of these men who enacted it. 

This was a great legislature for granting agencies. A great 
variety is found in its acts, and here is another feature, which 
is very brief, viz., to authorize the governor to appoint emi- 
grant agents. ''That the governor shall be autliorized to ap- 
point and commission for one year, one or more traveling or 
local emigrant agent or agents, to reside at any point, or to travel 
upon any of the thoroughfares in the United States. 

"It shall be the duty of each agent or agents to disseminate 
correct intelligence among emigrants coming to the Territory of 
IsTebraska, to give necessary directions as to the proper routes 
and modes of travel, and to use all proper exertions to induce 
emigration to said territory." 

Those are sections one and two. Section three is a very wise 
provision as to the compensation of such emigrant agents: "The 
services of such emigrant agent or agents shall constitute no 
c^harge against the territory of Nebraska or the government of 
the United States." (Laws of 1855, p. 179.) 

These legislators struck away out as far as we have gone, in 
most things in which we have been thinking we had shown so 
much sense. I have just alluded to the prohibition law. That 
is in advance of anything I have ever seen anywhere else. And 
here is a herd law. We have one now, and a week or two ago I 
w^as down on the Missouri river, where a man was complaining 
of the herd law. There was an old fellow down there on the bot- 
toms with a lot of old horses. The way horses are now, they 
were not worth anything, and he took them down on the bot- 
toms and turned them loose, and let them go around in the corn- 
fields. One man in whose com the horses had been feeding, 
talked with me, and he said: "What am I to do? The horses are 
there feeding and I can't take them up under the herd law, be- 
cause they are not worth keeping. What am I going to do about 
it?'- I advised him to kill them. And he said he was not an- 



thorized to kill them, and lie might get into trouble, and then I 
didn't know what to tell him to do. There m no law^ against 
malicious mischief, and I didn't know what to tell him to do. 
But here is their act, and they say it covered it like a top. Here 
it is: 

^^Section 3. If any such animal be found running at large, 
and it be found impossible or dangerous to take up and secure 
the same, it shall be lawful for any person to kill said animal, 
and the owner thereof shall sustain no action against such per- 
son for so doing." (Laws of 1855, p. 206.) 

Another is the impeachment law. We have had some of that 
in this state, and some in congress. The question is to know 
whether you can impeach a man not in office, and another ques- 
tion that has been discussed here and at \Yashington is whether 
after a man is impeached, he shall exercise the functions of the 
office until he is convicted. Law\yers and judges have worried 
their brains about it, but these men had penetration enough to 
settle it. And another thing we used to discuss among the law- 
yers is, what is meant by "removal from office and disqualifica- 
tion to hold any other office of honor, trust, and profit," — whether 
they could make such a law or whether our constitution and the 
federal constitution did not settle that, and which should be first 
OP which second, and all that. That is what has caused such 
a myriad of words, and books and books and myriad words, until 
it would make a man di^zy to hear them, and then not know 
as much when he got through as he did when he commenced. 
Here is what they say upon these points : '^^Luy civil officer of this 
territory, except county or township officers, may be impeached 
for corrui>tion or other malconduct in office, as well as for high 
crimes and misdemeanors. Upon conviction the judgment shall 
be removal from office. It may also attach a disqualification to 
hold any office of trust, honor, or profit under the laws of this 
territory. Every officer impeached shall be suspended from the 
exercise of his official duties until his acquittal. Conviction on 
an impeachment does not exempt the olfender from a private ac- 
tion or public prosecution for the same act or offense.'' (Ibid, 



Tlim^ men went at tliat in not exactly an artistic way; they 
didn't pay so much attention to the .way a word was si)elled as to 
the use of the same, you know. They seklom spelled a name 
twice alike. It was the substance they were after. They can't 
spell the name right, perhaps, but they get in the meaning. But 
this was when they started the state, and they started in a good 
way. They started by enacting the common law of England, 
subject to the constitution of the United States and the organic 
act of the Territory of Nebraska. There they had a code in one 
section with five or six lines, and they had a code of laws to pro- 
ceed under right there, if they hadn't done anything else, and 
even if they did enact laws and then repeal them. Some legis- 
latures would repeal anything others did, but they had this gov- 
erning system that has governed for ages in England, with the 
modification of the constitution of the United States. And not- 
withstanding that they did soon after repeal the civil and crimi- 
nal code, they had a code here. Some people think that if legis- 
lators didn't know so many words, and couldn't use so many 
words, they wouldn't pass so many acts and the public would 
be better off. 

Here is another instance: A law ''To make a road from Pawnee 
to Nebraska Center." I don't know where Nebraska Center is, 
but just look at the brevity of this: ''Section 1. Be it enacted," 
and so forth, "that Lorin Miller, D. C. Oakes, and John B. Ben- 
nett, or a majority of them, be appointed commissioners to^ lo- 
cate and establish a territorial road from Pawnee to Nebraska 
Center. Section 2. The said commissioners shall meet at Paw- 
nee on the first Monday in June next, or within six months there- 
after, and proceed to lay out and establish a territorial road ac- 
cording to the true intent and meaning of this act, and after lo- 
cating the same, shall deposit a certified plat of same for record 
in the register's office at Pawnee." (Laws of 1855, p. 331.) 

If that act had been drawn in the modern way you could get 
up a lawsuit on the subject, with the probability of an awful 
scrap among the attorneys as to when it was located and whether 
it was located at all or not, until that map was filed, but under 



the language of this act they couldn't have any point on that, 
because it was located before that is filed, and then after it was 
located they filed a map of it. It doesn't say how^ the commis- 
sioners shall be paid. I don't suppose they cared whether they 
were paid at all or not, but when they got the map out and had 
the road staked out, there was the road. 

Then here is a city charter of the city of Brownville, in five 
sections. They got together and said, '^We have all the ofiices 
we want"; and the assembly said, "You don't have to have any- 
thing unless you want it, and if you want anything you can have 
all you want." (Laws of 1855, p. 406.) 

They were great on joint memorials to congress, and there 
wasn't anything small about them either. South Pass, as I un- 
derstand it, was over on the other side of the mountains. There 
must have been a good many Indians around here about that 
time and they were making a good deal of trouble. And the 
people memorialized the legislative assembly of the territory of 
Nebraska, representing that the interests of this territory and 
the nation at large would be greatly advanced by the construc- 
tion of a railroad running from the town of Plattsmouth, in Cass 
county, immediately on the Missouri river, via Fort Kearney 
and Fort Laramie to the South Pass, with a branch ^starting at 
or near the mouth of the Nemaha river, and intersecting the main 
trunk at Fort Kearney or Grand Island. And they memorialized 
congress, and they go on to tell congress what a great country 
this is. You can see there is nothing small about them. They 
propose to start two tracks, one in the south part of the state, 
at the Missouri river, and the other in the north part, and run 
on out to Denver and to the mountains and South Pass. There 
is nothing small about them. They memorialized congress to 
grant a right of way and to grant land, and then they told their 
delegate in congress to get that through. (Laws of 1855, p. 451.) 

Then here is another joint resolution. It shows that they are 
all in line with what they thought w^as the trend of the demo- 
cratic party at that time. There wasn't any trouble about demo- 
crats then; they were all right. "Resolved, that we herewith 



endorse the principles enun(;i«iled in tlie bill organizing the KT i i 
tory of Nebraska and Kansas; that rejoice that the geogra})hi- 
cal line between the Northern and Southern states has been 
erased, leaving the people of every state and territory free to 
control their domestic institutions, and that we commend the 
firm and patriotic course of the men, without distinction of party, 
who have aided in establishing the sound constitutional prin- 
ciples of the compromise of 1850. And resolved, furthermore^ 
that we pledge ourselves to oppose any unfair discriminations, 
such as those of the late Missouri oompromise, but to protect and 
defend the rights of the states, and the union of the states, and 
to advance and to perpetuate the doctrine of popular sov- 

Then there was the mail route, the Overland Route. There 
was nothing small about that either. It extends from the At- 
lantic to the Pacific. ''Concerning the protection of settlers and 
emigrants between the Mississippi valley and thei Pacific oceaii, 
including the establishment of postal and telegraphic corre- 
spondence across the American continent." 

I will not weary the audience, but I wanted to read this much 
to show that an examination of these acts passed by that body 
of men only corroborates what a little thought and a little his- 
tory will prove, — that when men are put so much upon their in- . 
dividuality anything that comes up in which actions and words 
reach down in a great matter, they are the kind of men whose 
words are gilded w^ords and carry a thought with them, and 
their actions the same. That is impressed upon us largely 
in the acts passed in the first legislative assembly in the Terri- 
tory of Nebraska, far more so than we can discover in any of the 
older states. That is only in harmony with what was heard in 
parliament when Chatham declared that in his opinion and judg- 
ment no body of legislators, ever assembled in the wwld, was 
greater than the Continental congress which assembled in Phila- 
delphia. And so they used words with more far-seeing and 
penetrating minds than now. In those days, when they were 
brought so continually into great struggles, they impress them- 



selves on the mind and make their acts strike deeper into their 
minds, and they were more careful to use words that would mean 
something; and secondly, they were freer from verbosity, and 
there was less than now of what we might call "s. wilderness 
of words." 

View of Hon. J. R. Webster. Delivered before the Society January 13, 189*7. 

Ladies and Gentlemen: In studying for the first time the re- 
suits, from a legal point of view, of the first legislative assembly 
of Nebraska, it seemed to me that the best thing to say of it, in a 
general way, was that epitaph of a child that died very young: 
^'Oh, what did I come for, to be so soon done for?" for most of its 
work remained a very short time. There is, however, a little to 
be noticed in its work whicli lias remained. I notice in the presi- 
dent's paper that was read here to-night, he speaks of the me- 
chanic's lien for the laboring man's protection as a development 
of the last fifty years. Of course, so far as Nebraska is con- 
cerned that is a fact, but the mechanic's lien law, as a separate 
chapter in the part of this code that was so soon repealed, was 
one of the things passed and adopted, probably, from some other 
state at that legislative assembly. 

Another thing I noticed was that the law for the protection 
of a married woman in her property rights was in every respect 
as liberal. It fully emancipated her, and gave her as complete 
control of that which was her own as the recently much lauded 
act of 1873, and I was surprised that as long ago as 1855, in the 
legislature of Nebraska, so liberal a view as that prevailed. 

I also noticed that there was another action, that the owners 
of the salt manufactured goods incorporated, and that the cor- 
poration was granted more than ordinary powers; this was a 
manufacturing corporation to manufacture salt at some of the 
salt springs. It was made a governmental corporation, like a 
city. It was to build a town and the town was to be named 
Nesuma, and that corporation was given all corporate power of 
legislation that Nebraska City had, as a part of its charter of 


incorporation. That certainly was not anti -municipal legisla- 

Seventy-seven pages were given to the bridge and toll charters. 
Nearly every stream you could think of in Nebraska was provided 
with a toll bridge or a toll ferry, and 114 of these were private 
corporations. Yet you cannot say that the results to Nebraska 
of that first legislative assembly, in a judicial or legal point of 
view, were very marked. 

Not much of it can now be traced. Most of the work was soon 
stricken down. Its most effective part, probably, was in the 
direction of education, and that remains. As I saw this picture 
of Governor Cuming here, I thought that the society ought to 
have, — I may be out of order, but I will take a moment or two to 
say that you ought to have, — a picture of John M. Young, who 
used to live here in Lincoln, who was a man in whose heart no 
guile ever came. He reached the strength of manhood in intel- 
lectual thought, with the love and sincerity of a child. He led 
here a clan of men devoted to education, coming for the purpose 
of establishing here a center of education. That is the motive 
that brought him here, and the impress upon that elan of men 
through his spirit was shown in the fact that even after his death 
it has remained here. If there was any pioneer of Nebraska, in 
the early day, who more controlled, without knowing it and 
without knowing that he was a remarkable man, and who made 
his impress more plainly upon the state and the spirit that leads 
to its progress in liberal education, I never heard of him. I think 
perhaps some old photographs or pictures might be obtained 
from some of his relatives, and if the secretary of this society was 
instructed to collect two or three I would take it upon myself to 
get a good crayon made from those pictures, and I believe I could 
succeed. He is worthy to be honored by a portrait in the hall 
of this society, and I hope the society at the proper time and in 
the proper way will take this suggestion and work it out. 

As to the repeal of this code, I think our president this evening 
may say something. When this repeal was made, as Judge 
Eeese says, the governor vetoed it, and modestly suggested that 



he doubted the expediency of taking away all the civil and all 
the criminal law of Nebraska and substituting nothing for it 
except that we would have to fall back upon the common law. 
I was very much surprised in reading the legislative assembly 
pro>ceedings to find that Governor Furnas voted to override the 
veto. I see that the very next day, however, he moved to recon- 
sider the vote. So doubtless that was the reason he voted to 
override the veto, in order that he might be in a position of ad 
vantage to move reconsideration, and on that vote he voted right, 
and doubtless intended to all the time. George L. Miller was 
the only member of the council who voted against the bill on its 
original passage, and evidently the bill was not well considered, 
and from its title you would see that it was introduced by an 
editor by the name of Bradford, who also was chairman of the 
judiciary committee. It seems not to have been read at length, 
so it appears probable that they did not understand it, but when 
it came to the governor's veto there were five men for reconsid- 
eration and seven against reconsideration, so of course reconsid- 
eration did not carry. So, having merely in a jocose way called 
attention to the fact that Governor Furnas voted for that meas- 
ure, I think I have taken back the charge when I say he voted 
for reconsideration. 

View of Judge S. B. Pound. Delivered before the Society January 13, 1897. 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen : I assume that this is a 
discussion to the jury rather than to the court, and infer that 
you will not expect radical argument, but rather a few discurs- 
ive remarks. I will say I am not prepared to agree with the 
gentlemen who have just preceded me in estimating the ability 
of the members of the first session of the legislature of Nebraska, 
in 1855. They have placed a very high estimate upon them. 
They claim they were original creatures, able to express them- 
selves in strong, terse language, and in every way proved them- 
selves very able men. Well, that might be. I am hardly 
disposed to say anything that would detract from their credit in 


any way. When you consider that a hirge portion of the lej>ishL- 
tion of that session consisted in adoptinj:^ in bulk the code of 
another state, both tlie civil and criminal code, and that they 
lacked the knowledge and ability to frame laws of their own 
and express them in their own language, I think there is ground 
for suspicion that a large part of their legislation was bor- 
rowed. It has been said that the adoption of the criminal code 
was in this way: Be it enacted that one-fonrth of the criminal 
code of Iowa, beginning on such a page, shall constitute the 
criminal law of the territory of Nebraska. I should say that is 
pretty crude legislation. I believe they made a party chief clerk 
to copy that portion of the code. But they did not say that the 
^^VJy <>r a certified copy, should be evidence of the law at all. In 
trying a lawsuit, how are w^e to* know what the law was? Take 
the criminal law, and how were the people to know what it 
was and how could they find out? The law did not say that the 
certified copy of the clerk should be evidence of it at all. 

To illustrate my meaning somewhat, I heard a lamented mem- 
ber of this society say that he was attorney in a case arising un- 
der that law, which was tried before a very dignified magistrate, 
and after the case had been proved, as it was supposed, by the 
attorney on the other side, he made the point that the law itself 
had to be proved; that there was nothing in the statute as en- 
acted by the legislature making the copy proof of the law at all. 
He insisted that the clerk should be produced as a witness to 
prove that the copy- was a true copy of the act of Iowa, and he 
stated that that was the only way to prove it and that they must 
prove not only the facts of the case, but must prove the law, be- 
cause the statute did not make the copy evidence of that fact, 
and he won his point before the magistrate. So much for that. 
That was queer legislation. Nothing more nor less could be 
said of it. 

T have said this because we have been disposed to laud these 
men as superior to the men of the present time. I presume they 
were men of more than ordinary ability. Men who would come 
out in this western country at that early day and try to build 



up a state, we might presume, were men of more than ordinary 
energy and enterprise. 

I think it may fairly be claimed as one of the results of the 
legislation of the first session, in 1855, that we never have had 
any small towns or villages in this state. Our municipalities 
have all been cities. At that session there were some fifteen or 
Twenty cities incorporated. That legislation has been explained 
on this theory: That the early inhabitants of this state were, 
at least one-third of them, distinguished and titled persons; they 
were majors, colonels, generals, judges, and governors, w^ho pre- 
ferred to live in cities rather than in small towns and villages, 
and the result was that the ratio between titled and untitled 
persons has been pretty faithfully maintained from that time to 
This. If you remember, a large per cent of our citizens to-day are 
TiTled persons; we are all colonels, or judges, or something of 
that sort, so that this may fairly be claimed as one of the results 
of this legislature. We all live in cities. We have the cities of 
Brownville, Nemaha City, Nebraska City, the city of Platts- 
mouth, Dakota City, the city of Carlisle, the city of Fontanelle, 
Republican City, — all these are cities. 

It is not unlikely that the legislation of that session also gave 
point and trend to the public mind on the question of municipal 
corporations. At that session there were some thirty ferry com- 
panies incorporated, giving them exclusive privileges to ferry 
passengers over, and to charge a toll therefor. This, too, at a 
time when there was little or no travel, and when inhabitants 
were so few there were hardly enough to make a respectable 
town meeting; and then there were the incorporated banks, and 
railroads, and emigration societies, and seminaries, and insur- 
ance companieis, and all sorts of corporations of that kind. This 
^hows one thing, and that is that people at that time seem to 
have thought that the great source of wealth and prosperity was 
in legislation; that in order to obtain money all that was neces- 
sary was to incorporate banks; if they wanted a railroad, to in- 
corporate a railroad; if they wanted salt, to incorporate a manu- 
facturing company for salt. That is the way tlis^y seem to have 



tlioinght to the way to g(^t on in the woi-ld; that a private? 
individual could accomplish nothing toward di^veloping the re- 
sources of the state, but to carry on the grc'at industrial (inter- 
prises of tlie state tliere must a concentration and coinbina- 
tion of skill and capital and enterj>rise. Tlmt seems to have been 
their idea. Legislation was a useful and necessary thing, and 
therefore they incorporated compani(^s for everything they could 
think of. Nothing could be carried on by individual effort. I 
am afraid that sentiment is too much abroad in the country to- 
day. Whether we can trace this present sentiment to the impe- 
tus that was given to it at that time and in that session, I cannot 
gay. But the fact is, that there is a prevailing .sentiment of that 
kind abroad at the present time, in the minds of people, that 
individual effort cannot accomplish much; that in order to. get 
on in the world and to develop the resources of our state it is 
necessary to fomi corporations, to concentrate, to combine. I 
think it is a false opinion — a false idea. Legislation can do 
something, but not much. Very much depends on the individual 
and very little on the legislation. 

View of Hon. Samuel Maxwell. Presented at Annual Meeting January 13, 1897. 

The impression prevails in some of the older states that a large 
proportion of the settlers of a new state have but little respect 
for law and order, and hence neither life nor property are secure. 
This may be true in some new mining camps and like places, 
where gamblers and prostitutes form the larger part of the popu- 
lation, but as a rule has no application to an agricultural com- 
munity. And this is particularly true of the people of this state, 
who from the first have shown a desire for equal and just laws 
and a disposition to obey the same. 

Nearly all of the first settlers were young in years, but full of 
enterprise, hope, and ambition, not only to succeed themselves, 
but to lay the foundation of a great state. The territory of Ne- 
braska then was bounded on the north by British America, on 



the east by Minnesota, Iowa, and the Missouri river, on the south 
by the 40th parallel, and on the west by the dividing ridge of the 
Rooky mountains. 

The tirst session of the territorial legislature met in Omaha in 
January, 1855. The bill organizing the territory passed con- 
gress in May, 1854, and from that time until the close of the 1855 
session, there was practically no statute law^ in force in the terri- 
tory. The legislature of 1855 appointed Origen I). Richardson, 
of Omahaj a member of the council, and, I think, J. D. N. Thomp- 
son, of Falls City, a member of the house, as special commis- 
sioners to prepare a code of laws, civil and criminal, to submit 
to the legislature. 

Mr. Richardson had been lieutenant governor of Michigan and 
was a capable lawyer and an honorable, upright, worthy gentle- 
man. Mr. Thompson was also a capable lawyer and every way 
worthy as an associate of Mr. Richardson. The statutes reported 
by these gentlemen w^ere necessarily borrowed from other states. 
The Code of Civil Procedure was almost wholly copied from that 
of Iowa. I think the Criminal Code was also taken from the 
Cr-iminal Code of that state. 

The law^s passed at that session, including those borrowed 
from low^a, cover almost every question relating to rights and 
remedies in civil actions; and the Criminal Code provided for 
l>uuishing almost every species of crime. In considering the 
general laws then passed, the student will be impressed with 
their simplicity, fairness, directness, and brevity. 

The laws copied from Iowa continued in force until February, 
1857, when, without providing any legislation to take their 
place, the legislature of that year, in its closing hours, repealed 
both the Civil and Criminal, and left the territory for more than 
a year without either a Civil or Criminal Code. In addition to 
this the legislature elected in iiugust, 1857, when in regular ses- 
sion in December of that year, split on the capital removal ques- 
tion, — a jiart going to Florence, — hence nothing was done until a 
called session in the fall of 1858. 

Our ])resent Code of Civil Procedure, so far as it relates to ac- 



tions at law, was passed in November, and took oAUvcA April 

1, 1859. 

The distinction between actions at law and suits in equity, 
however, was not abolished until 1867. The credit of this 
change, w^hich is so important in the administration of justice, 
is due to the efforts of Hon. W. F. Chapin, then of Cass county, 
speaker of the house in the second session of the state legislature. 
The 1858 session of the legislature also passed a Criminal Code, 
which, in deference apparently to Governor W. A. Richardson, 
of Illinois, was copied from the laws of that state and continued 
in force until 1873. 

The legislature of 1855 also created a number of counties and 
described their boundaries as accurately as possible, as but a 
small part of the territory had been surveyed at that time. It 
also granted charters to educational institutions like "Simpson 
University'^ and other like schools. 

It granted special charters to railways, cities, ferries, bridges, 
etc. These laws indicate the spirit of progress which pervaded 
the early settlers and their determination to make Nebraska one 
of the leading states in the nation. 

But few persons who have not had actual experience know the 
hardships and obstacles encountered by the pioneers of a new 
country, but these difficulties were met bravely and with a deter- 
mination to overcome them. The new settler on the prair-ie, it 
is true, has a claim upon the land he has settled upon, but, as a 
rule, every pound of fuel must be purchased, as well as all lum- 
ber, brick, and lime for his house, etc., and in most cases he must 
hire it erected. He must provide suitable out-buildings for his 
stock. If he has sufficient means to pay for all these things and 
crops are reasonably good, ordinarily he will soon be on the high 
road to prosperity. But if crops fail, or severe illness affects him 
or his family, the probabilities are that it will require a great 
deal of courage and self-denial of both himself and wife to suc- 
ceed. Such people, however, possess the necessary brain and 
brawn to found a new state upon the foundations of justice and 
equal rights, and to protect and uphold the rights and duties of 
the state and nation. 



Forty-three years ago western Iowa from Marshalltown to the 
Missouri river was very sparsely settled. A large part of the 
public lauds of the western part of that state had been entered 
by speculators with land warrants. These warrants were worth 
about one dollar per acre in cash. In May, 1856, a land grant of 
alternate sections of public lands across Iowa was made by con- 
gress to form lines of railway in that state. This caused a with 
drawal for a time of the public lands of Iowa from pre-emption 
or private entry, hence in the fall of 1856 and spring of 1857 there 
was quite an influx of settlers into this then territory. Most of 
these were worthy people and good citizens with but little means. 
They settled at various points, usually near streams and timber. 
They were not required to prove up until just before a public sale. 
In the latter part of 1857, the owners of land warrants induced 
the president to order a public sale of lands in the territory. 
This caused the settlers to complete their pre-emptions. Many 
had to borrow 160 acre land warrants to enter their land, and 
secured the same by a mortgage thereon. The usual price of war- 
rants on credit was |280, due in one year. 

The result in every case, so far as I know, was that the mort- 
gagee obtained the land. With the passage of the homestead 
law a new policy was inaugurated in favor of actual settlers, 
which has done so much to add to the population and wealth of 
the state. 

There have been but few cases of mob violence in the territory 
or state — the sentiment of the great mass of people being that the 
law furnishes an adequate remedy and that mob violence should 
be deprecated. 

The character of our people from the first is exemplified in our 
schools and churches. These are found side by side in every city 
and village. The large amounts voluntarily paid each year for 
the support of the churches and religious institutions is more 
than equalled by the taxes levied to make our schools free, and 
bring them to the highest degree of efficiency. 

In some of the western states there has been a tendency to 
squander the public lands granted by the general government 



for educational purposes, but not so in tliis state. The fraiiK^rH 
of the constitution of 1866 desir(Hl io prevent these lands from 
passing into the hands of speculators, therefore the first consti- 
tution fixed the maximum price at |5 per acre, although there 
were not 1,000 acres in the state that could then be sold at that 
price. The constitutional convention of 1875 increased the mini- 
mum to |7, and in all cases the lands were not to be sold b(ilow 
the appraised value. The effect has been to lay the foundation 
for a magnificent school fund that will soon provide free schools 
for every school district in the state. 

I do not think the first session of the legislature had any par- 
ticular influence in shaping public sentiment, but public senti- 
ment, — the general desire of the people, — controlled the legis- 
lature, and we have to-day the same desire of the people of the 
state for fair, equal, and just laws. 



By Harriet S. MacMurphy. Read before the Society January 12, 1897. 

"The women of 1855," said Mr. John Evans, "why, the women 
in Nebraska in 1855 were Pawnee squaws." 

Thougli joking, Mr. Evans was right, if majority in numbers 
be considered, and we of the Caucasian race are so prone to 
ignore the prior rights of our dusky sisters on this western con- 
tinent that he was the only one found even to hint of their exist- 
ence when asked about the women of Nebraska. 

Let me, therefore, inspired by his example, speak of those who, 
by right of occupancy, as well as of numbers, should justly be 
given first place among the women of 1855. 

Who that lived among them in those early days does not carry 
a vivid mind picture of the silent, noiseless beings whose moc- 
casined feet trod the narrow trails or the grassy prairies, bearing 
upon their backs always a burden; for they were the burden-car- 
riers, the workers, the slaves. And such various burdens! A 
broad band of tanned skin around their foreheads, and extend- 
ing down their backs, held sometimes a large bundle of wood, 
sometimes a sack of meal or flour, traded for with fruits or skins 
or moccasins at the nearest trading post; sometimes a blanket 
full of "squaw" corn, and sometimes a board to which was 
tightly strapped a papoose, wrapped in calico and blanket until 
it looked like a mummy, but for its ever-moving, bright black 

Ah, the skins they tanned, the meats they dried or jerked, the 
moccasins they made, the corn they planted and gathered, the 
journeys they took following their chase-loving lords, of which 
no record remains! They are almost gone, but let us stop and 
recall for a moment their share, so great and yet so unacknowl- 
edged, in the era of aboriginal Nebraska life. 



Sometimes one amonj;- tliem attracts passing- notice, and of 
sucli in Nebraska was N(^koma, daughter of an Ay(^owaj (Iowa) 
chief, who b(»came hist the wife of Dr. Oayk^, and hiter of l*eter 
A. Sarpy, and whose only (;hild, Mary, was tlu^ mother of the 
La Fh^sclies, women of more than ordinary ability in the Omaha 
tribe. A stately woman sh(% as {\w early settlers tell of her, 
(|niet and dignified, able to command respect of even such a fiery- 
tongned despot as Sarpy, the then ruler of Indian and white man 
alike, through the mysterious power oif the Great American Fur 
Company. And well she might, for it was reported of her that 
she once carried him, when sick with the mountain fever, many 
miles on her back to a place of aid and safety. 

There are two other classes of women who have silently la- 
bored and ertdured on these great western plains, and passing 
away have left scarcely a trace; the women of that strange 
French-Canadian or Creole race that came down the lakes from 
Canada, or uj) the rivers from the Gulf, following tbeir water- 
loving lords, who built rude cabins beside the streams and con- 
structed tlat boats on which they crossed from shore to shore, 
westward bound; and the wives of that still stranger people, the 
Mormons, who wearily trod the w^estward trail which they had 
been taught to believe led to the land of promise. If we could 
but embody them how strangely thej would appear at this day, 
following behind the two-wheeled cart, often, which bore all 
their worldly wealth, and at eventide stopping beside the sun- 
flower-lined roadside to cook the meal of bacon and bread over 
the tiny tire made from rosin weed and buffalo chips. 

While they were silently doing their part in this beginning 
of the settlement of a new country, the pioneers w^ho should take 
flnal possession of the land and build lasting records of their 
presence, wi^ve advancing from the east, and in this westward 
march women again were taking a place. 

First in the procession were the missionaries; and the names 
of Merrill, Dunbar, Allis, Gaston, Piatt, Hamilton, and others 
are conspicuous in the r&cords of thoise early days. It is note- 
worthy, too, that the missionary women are oftener mentioned 



in the annals of that time than other women, probably because 
their duties as teachers brought them into public notice. Sev- 
eral admirable articles from the pen of one of them, Mrs. Alvira 
Gaston Piatt, appear in the records of this society. 

As, owing to the location of the Presbyterian mission and the 
trading post of the American Fur Company at Bellevue, it was 
the scene of the first gathering of any considerable number of 
white people, we must look here first for the women who made 
the history of that period. 

Rev. Mr. Hamilton was in charge of the Presbyterian Mission, 
and Mrs. Hamilton and the Misses Amanda, Maria, Elsie, and 
Mary Hamilton bore most prominent parts in the home and 
social life of that period. The mission house, in which they re- 
sided, was the one building of any size and degr/Be of comfort 
for some time, and within its walls Father Hamilton received 
and Mrs. Hamilton entertained many and varied guests. Here 
came the first Governor of the territory, Francis Burt, stricken 
with disease even before his arrival, and was cared for by these 
pioneer women, who assumed cheerfully every duty presented to 
them, until he succumbed to the burden of anxiety which, en- 
feebled by the hardships of his journey from South Carolina, 
he was not strong enough to endure. 

From Judge A. N. Ferguson have been obtained some interest- 
ing reminiscences of his mother's participation in those early 
events. Judge Fenner Ferguson, who had been appointed the 
first chief justice of the territory, left Albion, Mich., accompanied 
by his wife and three sons, in October, 1854, and coming up the 
river from St, Louis on the steamer Admiral, arrived at Bethle- 
hem, a little town in Iowa opposite Plattsmouth, in November. 
They were obliged to land there on account of the low water and 
go thence by wagon to Kanesville, some miles further up. Their 
destination was Bellevue, but until the old agency building could 
be fitted up for them they boarded at the Pacific House in Kanes- 
ville. The agency building had one room below, an attic abov«N 
and porches in front and rear. Just beyond them lived Isaiah 
and Rachel Bennett, who kept an eating house, and there meals 



were obiaiiied until they could set up their own household floods 
41 nd provide for themselves. 

One of the j^ood results of the mission school was already ap- 
I>arent in the educiition of quite a number of Indian girls, who 
were glad to furth(^r obtain the benefits of association with white 
people by living with them, and Mrs. Ferguson obtained the 
services of Susan Fontenelle, who had been educated at the mis- 
sion schools there and further south. Susan Fontenelle's 
mother was the daughter of an Omaha chief, and her father, 
Lucian Fontenelle, was the grandson of a French marquis. Her 
relatives in N(^w Oi'leans were among the most patrician of the 
patrician residents of that old city, but Susan's father, imbued 
with a spirit of adventure, had wandered away and become a 
famous trader among the Indians, married among them, and 
flying, left his children with their strange heredity to make of 
themselves what they could. About the time she lived with 
Mrs. Ferguson, her brother, Logan Fontenelle, the last chief of 
the Omahas, a man of much more than ordinary ability and in- 
telligence, while on a hunt was killed by the Sioux. His body 
was brought home to Bellevue and buried as near as possible 
to the site of the building which had been his father's trading 
post. Mrs. Ferguson and several other women attended this 
funeral, and were she alive she might tell a most interesting 
story of this strange mingling of civilized and savage ceremonies. 
It was the custom of the relatives of deceased Indians, particu- 
larly of women, to make loud outcries over the body from the 
time of the death until several days after the burial, and also to 
cut their flesh until the blood flowed. These wierd cries and 
bodily sacrifices were greater in proportion to the rank of the de- 
ceased, and as Fontenelle was the chief, the whole tribe united in 
the ceremony. Then, as he was possessed of white blood and had 
been a great friend of the white people, they attempted to show 
their respect by participating in the last rites. Commodore 
Stephen Decatur read the burial service of the Episcopal church 
as the body was lowered into the grave, and Mrs. Sloan, a Paw- 
nee half-breed, vehemently protested that it was a most un- 



seemly t'hinj>' for him to do. What were the thoughts of these 
women who had but lately come from pleasant homes where 
the beloved dead were decorously laid away to rest, as they 
watched this strange sight? 

When Susan Fontenelle's father lay on his deathbed he ex- 
acted a promise from the famous Father de Smet, who was with 
him and who had married him, to go to his sister in New Orleans 
with his last request that she take his only daughter and educate 
her; but she refused, and Susan was left in the care of the mis- 
sion schools. She married Louis Neal, and after a life of strange 
vicissitudes has returned to Bellevue to spend her last days, her 
daughter attending Bellevue College. To the writer she said a 
couple of years ago: '^When I was about sixteen and living at 
St. Joseph with some white people who had been very good to 
me, a steamboat came up the river and on it was a cousin of mine 
from New Orleans. They told her I was there and wanted her 
to come and see me, but she refused, and said slighting things of 
me and of my mother. W^hen I was told of it I wished that she 
might sometime be worse olf than I was, and I think my worst 
wishes were realized, for they did lose all their property and suf- 
fer very much, I heard long after." Mrs. Neal shows even yet 
traces of the gentle breeding of her ancestry in her quiet grace of 
manner and ready tact. 

Mrs. Ferguson was the target of much curiosity on the pait 
of the Indians. Often the daylight would be suddenly obscured, 
and she would look up to see the dusky faces flattened against 
the window panes curiously regarding her. The shoes she wore 
were a great curiosity to them. One day a stalwart Indian, with 
his blanket wrapped around him, came up on the back porch and 
taking one of the pans which lay on a bench put it under his 
blanket and started off. Mrs. Ferguson saw him, and going out 
demanded it and finally .took it from him. He started off, but 
suddenly turned and strode back rapidly. She ran in and 
slammed the door to in great fright. A crash, a shaking of the 
door, and then — quiet. When at last someone ventured out the 
mark of the Indian's tomahawk was found where he had hurled 
it into the door. 



A beautiful little kitten was ^iven Mrs. Ferguson, and as cats 
were scarce it was greatly pi ized. It suddenly disappeared and 
no search could find it. Sonic time after an Indian walked in 
wearing the remains of kitty in the form of a toba<!(!0 pouch, 
the head ornamenting the front. 

Mrs. Ferguson was the only woman present at the issuing of 
the first paper in Nebraska, the Palladium, but there is no record 
of a woman's column in it. 

Just about the game time that Judge Ferguson's family arrived 
came also from Michigan Mr. and Mrs. J. Sterling Morton. They 
were married in Detroit and started westward the same day to 
make for themselves a home in the new territory. Their first 
one was a log cabin of two rooms situated just beyond that oc- 
cupied by the Fergusons. Here the young bride assumed the 
duties of her household with a gay heart and boundless hope. 
Judge Ferguson tells how she used to feed the Indians, but in 
sisted on adding her quota to their education by obliging them 
to use the knife and fork which she always placed with the plate 
set out on the porch for them. A lady also tells of the interest 
and admiration Mrs. Morton excited when she appeared at a 
ball at the Douglas House in Omaha. ^^She was so bright and 
beautiful in her pink silk dress; every one fell in love with her." 

When it was decided to make Omaha the capital Mr. and Mrs. 
Morton went from Bellevue to Nebraska City and there began 
in truth the home which they had purposed to make before they 
left the more luxurious ones of their youthful days. Arbor 
Lodge was the result, and a more beautiful object lesson could 
not have been given to the women of later Nebraska than this. 
She made not only the interior of the four walls she called home 
beautiful, but she widened home to embrace beautiful yard and 
trees and shrubs, vines and flowers. She loved nature and 
taught her children to love it with her. She spent days in the 
woods with them, and the trees that beautified their home bore 
pet names that commemorated familiar household events. 
When more mothers teach these simple, natural pursuits to their 
children, and share them with them; when the beauty of tree 



and grass and flower and the delight of making them grow is 
learned hj women, we shall begin to escape from the unhealthy 
environment which dwarfs us physically and mentally, we shall 
have strong bodies and healthy minds and a broader outlook 

into life. 

Mrs. Morton has left behind her a better monument than even 
the beautiful one which surmounts her last resting place, in the 
lesson which she taught of collaborating with Mother Nature in 
making a bit of earth beautiful and abiding in it with love. 

As we have journeyed with Mrs. Morton to Nebraska City we 
will take a glance at some of the women who assisted in plant- 
ing homes there in those days. Mrs. John McMechan, whose 
husband laid out Kearney City, which afterward became Ne- 
braska City, was one, and Mrs. Geo. H. Benton had the honor 
of giving birth to the first child, a boy. Sarah Kennedy was the 
first bride, becoming Mrs. Geo. W. Nuckolls. Mrs. John Boul- 
ware was one of the very oldest settlers, and one the memory 
of whose good deeds many a settler still cherishes. Mrs. James 
Fitch endured the hardships of pioneer life, and there were quite 
a number of others, as Nebraska City was among the first and 
most numerously settled of the towns which sprang up along the 
Missouri river. 

Plattsmouth, lying between Nebraska City and Bellevue, was 
also settled very early, and Mrs. Wheatly Mickelwait, Mrs. Wiles, 
Mrs. Walker, Mrs. O'Neill, Mrs. F. M. Young, Mrs. Wm. Gilmour, 
Mrs. J. McF. Hagood, Mrs. Todd, Mrs. Kirkpatrick were among 
the first. Miss Sarah Morris was the first bride, becoming Mrs. 
Elza Martin. 

Omaha, although not first among the river towns in point of 
settlement, was destined soon to surpass them all, as it became 
the capital of the territory, and here we find in the person of 
Mrs. Marguerite C. Cuming 


the wife of Thos. B. Cuming, first acting governor of the ter- 



Only about six mouths marned, Secretary Cuming, for such 
he had been appointed by President Pierce, with his bride left 
Keokuk late in September, 1854, in a li^ht covered wagon con- 
taining a supply of provisions and a man and wife in his employ. 
Mrs. Cuming was only eighteen, and with the enthusiasm of 
youth she regarded the trip as a pleasant adventure, as, indeed, 
«he seems to have done the whole of those first years in Ne- 
braska. And with reason, for, surrounded by the watchful care 
of her energetic and brilliant lover-husband, with her mother, 
her brothers, and her sister beside her, occupying a position 
which afforded much of the pleasure of life and the responsibili- 
ties of which were rendered easy tO' bear by the joint co-operation 
of her family, those first years were a pleasant dream, rudely 
dissipated by the death of the idol of her youth, whose too lav- 
ish giving of himself to his work had sapped his life forces before 
anyone was aware of the strain upon him. 

Arrived at Council Bluffs they were obliged to remain there 
until better quarters could be provided within the limits of the 
territory, and they boarded at the LaClede House, Governor 
Cuming, as he shortly became, going back and forth to Bellevue, 
where Governor Burt was located. 

"I well remember one trip over to Omaha while still at Coun- 
cil Bluff's,'- said Mrs. Cuming. "I had been persuaded to drive 
over with some friends, the Misses Eockwood, Judge Larrimer, 
and a newspaper man, Mr. Pattison, I believe, and getting caught 
on this side in one of those severe windstorms which we used to 
have. They said it was not safe to try to cross the river, and we 
took refuge in a house by crawling through the window. The 
house had just been built by General Thayer, who was still in 
Council Bluffs. I waited very patiently, for I felt certain when 
my husband returned from Bellevue he would come for me. 
Some provisions had been stored in the house, as General and 
Mrs. Thayer were expecting to move in in a few days, and we 
appropriated some of them and prepared supper. The rest of 
the party were groaning over the necessity of staying there all 
night when we heiard a shouting, and looking out saw three or 



four forms approaching, illiiiniiiated by pitch torches which they 
were carrying. It was in^' husband, my broither, and our man. 
Mr. Cuming insisted on starting back immediately, notwith- 
standing the protests of our male companions, and we were soon 
off, jumping quickly over the treacherous quicksands until we 
reached our boats, and crossing in the face of the wind under 
their vigorous rowing. Thovse who had told Mr. Cuming on the 
other side that he couldn't get across were soon astonished to> 
see us walking in." 

Mrs. Cuming tells the following story of their inexperience as 
cooks: "One of our number, who had just gone to housekeeping, 
invited us to spend the day with her. She had obtained some 
beans and consulted her cook book as to the way to cook them, 
but unfortunately these were bake beans and she got the receipt 
for Lhmi beans, which said boil about lialf an hour. She put 
on the beans according to directions, but they refused to be ten- 
der as they should at the expiraticm of the half hour, so we all 
sat and waited for those beans until we were so hungry! We 
were still patiently watching them bubbling up and down in the 
water when our carriage arrived with word from Mr. Cuming 
that there was an alarm of Indians and for all to come imme- 
diately to the Douglas House, so we left our dinner still boiling 
and drove into town. The proprietor of the Douglas House 
had a hungry crowd to feed, none of whom, it was very evident, 
came from Massachusetts, the land of baked beans." 

In 1855 Governor Cuming built the house on Dodge street, 
near Nineteenth, which, with some additions, remained the home 
of Mrs. Cuming until about ten years ago. It was a palace for 
those days, and Governor and Mrs. Cuming set out trees and 
shrubbery and made a garden, so the grounds also were soon 
conspicuous for their beauty. The gradual slope, with the out- 
look upon the river and the hills in the distance, made it a lovely 
location, and the generous hospitality of the governor and his 
family made many a pleasant occasion, upon which th(^ settlers 
of those times look back with affection. ^Mlen, a few years ago, 
the old house was torn down and the grounds graded, removing 



the trees and obliteratinji- the old hindinark, there was niaiiy 
an expression of regret. 

"1 well remember/' said one gentleman, ''New Year's day, 1856. 
Several of us called upoii Mi s. Cuming and her mother and sister 
Fanny, afterwards Mrs. C. W. Hamilton, who were keeping open 
house. Mrs. Murphy had made a delicious egg-nog, the first 
tasted since we came to the territoiy, and we had a merry time.'^ 

Mrs. Cuming, in speaking of the privations of those early days, 
said: "I did not realize them then as I have done since, for I 
personally had so few of them to endure. I remember being- 
complimented on our delicious coffee, and I took it as a tribute 
to my skill, when the fact was the most delicious Mocha and Java 
came to us from Mr. Cuming's uncle in New York by the sack, 
such as is hard to get even now. Thirty dozen eggs came in one 
day, and when I asked my husband why he bought so many he 
said we might not have another opportunity to get more during 
the winter. I afterwards found he paid a dollar a dozen for 
them." Probably those eggs went to the making of that egg-nog. 

There were many social functions in those days; receptions, 
balls, dances, given at the Douglas House, or the state house, 
which was down on Ninth street, between Farnam and Douglas, 
or upo^n the steamboats, which always made the occasion of 
their landing the opportunity for a ball in their spacious saloons. 
The majority of those w^ho participated in them had been accus- 
tomed to all the elegancies of social life in the east, and while 
they laughed at the unavoidable crudenesses of house and ban- 
quet table and orchestra, they imparted after all an atmosphere 
of ease and elegance that was noticeable even then, and with it 
all was that hearty comradeship which is one of the delights of 
a new country, and which once participated in is never forgotten. 
The universal statement to the writer was, "There has never been 
such hearty sociability since in Nebraska as in those early days." 

Many of the women who came were brides, and wedding gowns 
and delicate silks adorned these occasions, and from the first 
lady of the territory through the list they graced their silken at- 



Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Cuming's mother, ended her days in Ne 
braska in the same house that she and her daughter had dedi- 
cated to a governor's hospitality, and Mrs. Cuming has always, 
been and still is a resident of the city which her husband first 
called into prominence. Although the affliction of his death 
and the blindness of her mother withdrew her much from soci- 
ciety, she is nevertheless identified even in later days with some 
of the most delightful hospitality of the metropolis of the state. 

Another official of the first territorial staff was Hon. Experi 
ence Estabrook, who was appointed attorney general. He came 
from Geneva Lake, Wis., in 1855, and was followed by his wife 
and two children a few months later. They first occupied a 
house belonging to Dr. Miller, who, with his wife, was absent 
on a trip up the Missouri- in a government steamboat to give his 
professional services to the soldiers in an epidemic of cholera. 
Like a true pioneer, his wife had gone with him. 

With all possible haste General Estabrook built a house on his 
own lots at the corner of Tenth and Capitol avenue, that they 
might get away before Dr. Miller and wife returned. Jt»was 
built of Cottonwood boards nailed up and down to the frame- 
work, had one room, with brush and hay roof, and no floor. Dry 
hay was scattered over the ground and carpets laid over that, 
and when the rain penetrated the primitive roof and dripped on 
the carpets and hay they were carried out and hung up, and dry 
hay substituted. Partitions were made by hanging up other 
carpets. In this house they lived until a more comfortable one 
could be erected. At that time Henry Estabrook, since become 
an orator whose silvery eloquence does honor to Nebraska, was 
a baby. 

Within these primitiA-e surroundings Mrs. Estabrook became 
famous for her generous aid to every one who needed help. ''I 
hope," said Mrs. Poppleton, another of those pioneer women who 
has left her impress upon those times, "that you will tell of Mrs. 
Estabrook that she was always helping someone. She was fa- 
mious for her cookery, and everyone was made welcome to her 


Thus do the women of those times bear testimcmy to the j^ood 
deeds of each other. 

Mrs. Estabrook still lives and still is known as sh(^ always was 
for the (juiet unostentatious doing of good. 

From Mrs. Lyman llichardson comes the following most in- 
teresting sketch, and although she with her family did not come 
until just after the period prescribed for this article, their experi- 
ences as portrayed by her are so interesting a picture of those 
times that I give them entire. Mrs. llichardson was a daughter 
of John T. Clark, and the three sisters si)oken of were Miss Imo- 
gene, who still resides in Omaha; Miss Dora, who married Rev. 
Algernon Batte; and Miss , who became Mrs. King, 

'^We arrived in Omaha early in May, -56, after a trip of twelve 
days on a steamboat, from St. Louis. The trip was a very pleas- 
ant one, though at times a little monotonous, as we traveled up 
stream, and were frequently on a sand bar several hours at a 
time. We had lovely days and beautiful moonlight nights, and 
to four young girls, without a thought or a care, life seemed full 
of joy and pleasure. When we landed there were a number of 
young men at the landing to see for themselves if it was really 
true that four young ladies were to be added to the few already 

"My father had succeeded in renting a hous(^ of four small 
rooms, with a lean-to for a kitchen, from Mr. L Redick, and it 
stood where the Millard Hotel now stands. The ladies all called 
on us after a few days. Mrs. Cuming, with her sister Fanny, 
now Mrs. C. W. Hamilton, Mrs. Hanscom, Mrs. Peck, wife of our 
physician, Mrs. John McCormick, Miss Lide. Patrick, now Mrs. 
Joseph Barker, and others. We had brought a servant girl with 
us from St. Louis, who had promised to stay with us one year, 
but she married in less than three weeks, so we had to coolc, wash, 
iron, and do the housework. As we Avere novices in it all, it 
<^ame pretty hard on our dear mother, who, of course, had a gen- 
eral oversight of the work. Later in the season we were able 
to procure ^help' by going up to Florence and persuading a very 
incompetent girl to remain over a trip; the Mormons were start- 



ing their trains three times a year from that point. She did the 
rough work, which was a great help, and in that way we had 
more time on our hands. Our piano was still boxed at the ware- 
house, and after much persuading and many pleadings we were 
allowed to have it, though it necessitated the removal of every 
piece of furniture in the warehouse. As it was a large, old-fash- 
ioned, square piano and occupied two-thirds of our room, it 
barely left space enough at one end to open and close the only 
window in the room. I can't tell whether I looked oftener at the 
notes or the window, ais there was very frequently a dusky face 
flattened on the window pane, and there was no escape, as every 
one in the house was so darkened. All we could do was to lock 
every door and call out, 'puck agee,' which meant 'go away,' but 
they seemed to enjoy our fright and great discomfort, especially 
the squaws, with the little papooses strapped to their backs. 
One day a pane was broken, and I think the only glazier in the 
town was sent over to replace it. He came in barefooted, and 
entered into conversation with much interest, and as he was 
leaving he said: 'If you're going to the party to-night, I'd like to 
dance the first set with you.' I replied I had not yet made up my 
mind whether I would go or not, but sure enough, he was there. 
Of course I was engaged for every dance, so had not the pleasure 
of his society. A few days after we had another dance, given 
by Armstrong & Clarke in their new furniture warehouse that 
stood where the Dewey Stone Company now is. It was 
a house-warming, and I remember I danced a 'hoe-down' with 
Governor Cuming, who dared me to do it. That night we took 
two of the girls home with us to stay all night. We were limited 
as to bed accommodation, and so had to occupy the floor and 
sleep under the piano. As I was the slimmer of the two, I had 
to sleep back of the pedals, and iny friend in front. But for all 
the discomforts we slept soundly, and w^ere read}' for the evening. 
Knowing a boat was looked for, we were discussing what we 
should wear, when we heard the whistle. Oh, the cove-oyster 
soup, steamboat sandwiches (much like railroad 'tid bits' of the 
same name), and the canned peaches, were a suppei- for the gods, 
to say nothing of the goddesses! 



*'Our house, wliich was prepared in HI. J^oiiis, and still stands 
at Capitol avenue and 17th street, was finished, and we moved 
in, thinking- and feeling* as if w(^ were in another place, with su<*h 
palatial surroundinj^s. Father had a hij>h board fenee around 
three sides of the place, so it was calh^d 'The Fort/ Such j»-oiod 
times we have never had before or since. Three daughters were 
married in the old house, and 1 recall numy lovely morning walks 
there while it was building, and the beautiful wild flowers })icked 
on the grounds. 

^God bless us every one,' says Tiny Tim, 'and may we live long 
and prosper,' we and our families.'' 

Mrs. Geo. L. Miller was one of the band of cultured young 
women who, with their husbands, cast their lot in a new country, 
and lived to see the land of the Mahas become Omaha, the only 
city of its name on the continent. Mrs. Miller has passed 
through all the vicissitudes of life in a new land from the little 
house on the open prairie to the great stone castle which will be 
her home for the remainder of her life, probably, and she has 
many a pleasant reminiscence of those passing years. 

Mrs. Joseph W. Paddock came in 1854, and she, too, has been 
identified with all the years of Omaha's growth. 

Mrs. Jno. M. Thayer was another of the pioneer women in this 
new territory and state, where she lived to share with her hus- 
band the responsibilities and dignities of his career as a general, 
a governor, and a United States senator. 

Mrs. A. J. Hanscom was among the first women to occupy a 
home of her own in the new land. She came with her husiband 
from Detroit to Council Bluffs in 1849, and in 1854 they built a 
home on their pre-emption claim near where Fort Omaha for- 
merly was. 

At a very early day Miss Sears came with her family to Coun- 
cil Bluffs, where she met the young attorney, Mr. Andrew J. Pop- 
pleton, and in 1855 they were married and went to housekeeping 
in a few rooms in the brick building on the site where the United 
States National Bank now stands. They at once proceeded to 
the building of a home of their own on the block at Fifteenth and 



Capital aveiiue, where they resided until the encroachments of 
business necessitated the removal to a site further northward, 
w^here a lovely home was built that will be doubtless for Mrs. 
Poppleton, as it has been for Mr. Poppleton, her last earthly 
abode. But she yet reverts with pleasure to their first home and 
the enjoyment of planting the trees and vines which for years 
adorned it. 

Mrs. George Mills and her daughter Maggie, who afterwards 
became Mrs. Dick McCormick, were among those who came in 

Mrs. Alf. D. Jones came with her husband to Omaha in 1854^ 
and endured the hardships as she also enjoyed the pleasures of 
those early days. Mr. and Mrs. Jones are still residents of 
Omaha, and upon the walls of their luxurious home is a picture 
of the first log cabin erected by Mr. Jones at a place called Park 
Idlewild, not far from the present home of Mr. Herman Kountze. 
Mrs. Jones was the first of the gentler sex to visit the first session 
of the territorial legislature, held in Omaha. She had arranged 
to go with Mrs. Thayer, who was detained by callers. Her pres- 
ence called forth from Dr. Bradford, a member from Nebraska 
City, the following lines which he indited on the spot and pre- 
sented to her: 

"Though, man is called creation's lord. 

And proudly steps in lofty style. 
The earth was but a desert broad 

Till cheered by lovely woman's smile. 
So in this hall of stem-faced' men. 

With passions roused by fierce debate, 
The entrance of dear woman's form 

Smooths softly down those looks of hate." 

The first woman to settle permanently in Omaha was Mrs. Wm. 
P. Snowden, who came with her husband from Council Bluffs for 
the purpose of boarding the men who were burning the kiln of 
brick that went into the first buildings of the town. A house 
had been built on what is now Jackson and Twelfth streets by 
the Town and Ferry Company, and called the St. ^Nicholas, and 
this they occupied. Mrs. Snowden came to stay, as events 



proved, for she is still a resident of Omaha, and with her In is 
band celebrated her goldeii wedding in this year 1897, sur- 
rounded by their children and grandchildren, most of whonii 
were born and reared in Omaha. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Reeves, later the wife of William S. Cannon, 
a merchant of Elkhorn, was the mother of the first child born in 
Omaha, William Nebraska Reeves, at present residing in Valley 
county, this state. The first girl born in Omaha was Mar- 
garet Ferry, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Ferry, and she first 
saw the light of day in a tent on the valley of a creek known then 
as "Paradise Lost," about where Krug's brewery now stands. 
In the flight of years she has forsaken her birthplace for a home 
beyond the Rocky mountains. 

Mrs. E. Reeves, Sen., was the first doctor in Omaha, and not 
only did successful professional work, but was most kind and 
benevolent to everyone needing it, and endured many hardships 
in aiding others. 

Miss Adelaide Goodwill, now Mrs. Allen Root, was the first 
school teacher. 

The first bride was Miss Caroline Mosier, who became Mrs. 
John Logan, and still resides in Omaha, a widow. 

The first public speaker among women was Mrs. Amelia 
Bloomer, of Council Bluffs, who later become famous as the 
originator of the bloomer costume. 

Among the very earliest settlers was Mrs. Wm. D. Brown, 
whose husband ran the first ferry between Council Bluffs and 
what is now Omaha, the land then being in the possession of the 
Indians. Mr. Brown made a claim to land which comprised 
about what is now the entire site of Omaha in 1853, the greater 
portion of which he sold out to a ferry company. He died in 
the sixties, but Mrs. Brown lived some time after him, and still 
has descendants who are residents of Nebraska, one daughter 
having married Mr. Alfred Sorenson, who compiled a most ex- 
cellent history of the early days of Omaha. Another daughter, 
Miss Nellie Brown, became a writer of some note and left some 
beautiful poems that were pen pictures of her native state. Mrs. 



McKenzie is tlie only daughter of the family now resident in Ne- 
braska, and tells many interesting reminiscences of the early 

Mrs, Thomas Davis and Miss Davis, daughter of Mr. John 
Davis, who afterwards became Mrs. Hermann Kountze, were 
among the residents of those days, Miss Davis being among the 
few young ladies who were the centers of attraction to the many 
young bachelors who had come west to seek their fortunes. 

The first woman to succumb to the hardships of the new land 
was Mrs. Collins, wife of Rev. Mr. Collins, the first Methodist 
minister to be stationed in Omaha. 

It would have been a pleasant task, were life only long enough 
and not so full of other duties, to gather into this article 
the stories which these pioneers have to tell of those early days, 
to see the smiles and tears chase each other across their faces 
as the pleasures and paing of those most eventful days of their 
lives were recalled, but to others I must delegate the continu- 
ance of this pleasant duty, which I have only begun, hoping 
that future pages of the records of the State Historical Society 
will contain many a pleasant reminiscence of those women who 
helped to lay the foundations of the commonwealth of Nebraska. 

Some of them, who came in their youth with glowing anticipa- 
tions, to build a home in the new, strange land, have gone ahead, 
but they lived to see much of the growth of a country marvelous 
in its rapidity, and many are yet spared to watch still further its 
development and prosperity. As their century draws to its close 
may its rapidly hastening events foretell to their senses, sharp- 
ened by the wisdom of years, the greater future which is coming 
to this land they .have helped to give to the generation suc- 

This is woman's century, and thus do the women of 1855 send 
greeting to the women of almost 1900. 



By Major E. G. Fechet, Sixth Cavalry, U. S. A. Read before the Society, January 
15, 1896; })cinted in the Cosmopolitan, XX, 493-501, March, 1896. 

More tlian five years have passed since the most famous Indian 
warrior of hiss time lost his life while resisting arrest by lawful 
authority, and as yet the general public has never been given the 
true story of the eventsi which led up to and which culminated 
in the death of Sitting Bull and some of his most devoted ad- 
herents. Many accounts have been written, few of which had 
more than a faint color of truth. The ditferent versions were 
many, and nearly all simply absurdities. 

During the Sioux oiitbreak of 1890-91 the writer, then a cap- 
tain of the Eighth Cavalry, was stationed at Fort Yates, North 
Dakota. The post wais commanded by Lieut.-Col. William F. 
Drum, Twelfth Infantry. The garrison consisted of two com- 
panies of the Twelfth Infantry and two troops of the Eighth 
Cavalry. The Standing Rock agency is on the north side of the 
post and only a few hundred yards away. Maj. James McLaugh- 
lin was the agent and had held the position during the eight or 
nine previous years. During the summer of 1890 it became 
apparent that the Indians were becoming imbued' with the Mes- 
siah craze. Major McLaughlin, aided by his wife and seconded 
by the well-known warrior. Gall, and other loyally disposed 
chiefs, used his utmost efforts to stem the tide of fanaticism. 
Sitting Bull, who had proclaimed himself "high priest,'- was 
thus in direct opposition to his agent. The exertions of the 
latter confined the "disease'' to the settlememts on the Upper 
Grand River, which were largely composed of Sitting Bull's old 

In a letter to Mr. Herbert Welsh, of Philadelphia, Major Mc- 



Laughlin says: '^Sitting Bull always exerted a baneful influ- 
ence over his followers, and in this craze they fell easy victims 
to his subtlety, believing blindly in the absurdities he preached 
of the Indian millennium- He promised them the return of 
their dead ancestors, and restoration of their old Indian life, 
together with the removal of the white race; that the white 
man's gunpowder should not throw a bullet with sufficient force 
in future to injure true believers; and even if Indians should 
be killed while obeying this call of the Messiah, they would only 
be the sooner united with their dead relatives, who were now 
all upon earth (having returned from the clouds), as the living 
and the dead would be united in the flesh next spring." Those 
whom Sitting Bull had converted to his views gave up all indus- 
trial pursuits, abandoned their homes, gathered around him, 
and raised their tepees near his house, which was on the Upper 
Grand Kiver and about forty-two miles from Fort Yates. Here 
they passed the time in dancing the gliost-dance and in purifi- 
cation baths. 

Rations were issued at the agency every second Saturday,. 
Previous to October, Sitting Bull seldom failed to come in per- 
son and draw his share. From that time on he sent some mem- 
ber of his family to procure his rations, and no inducement of 
the agent could tempt him to appear at th&i agency. This deter- 
mination of Sitting Bull frustrated one of the schemes to get 
him into safe-keeping. In the event of his coming in, Colonel 
Drum had intended quietly to surround the agency with the 
troops. Each company and troop, had its position designated 
and on signal were to move up quickly. Sitting Bull, by re- 
maining at liome, declined to walk into the trap laid for him. 

On the 14th of November, 1890, Major McLaughlin was ad- 
vised by telegram ''that the president had directed the secretary 
of war to assume a military responsibility for the suppression 
of any threatened outbreak among the Sioux Indians," and on 
December 1, 1890, he was instructed "that as to all operations 
intended to suppress any outbreak by force, the agent should 
co-operate with and obey the orders of the military officers com- 


mandirig on tlie reservation." These orders practically placed 
the whole conduct of affairs in the hands of Colonel Drum, and 
he and Major McLaughlin were at all times in perfect accord. 
Throughout the entire civil and military services, two men bet- 
teir fitted for the trying and delicate duty to come could not have 
been found. 

Asi each day passed it became more and more apparent that 
the sooner Sitting Bull could be removed from among the In- 
dians of the Standing Rock agency, the fewer hostiles there 
would be to encounter when the "outbreak by force" came. In 
the meantime everything had been put in shape for a sharp and 
quick movement of the cavalry squadron, the troopers and 
horses designated for duty (fifty from each troop), gun detach- 
ments for the Gatling and Hotchkiss guns told off and drilled, 
one day's supply of rations and grain, buffalo overcoats and 
horse covers, extra ammunition — all packed ready to be loaded. 
The transportation selected was one spring escort wagon, drawn 
by four horses, and one E/ed Cross ambulance. 

Meanwhile Major McLaughlin had sent his company of In- 
dian police by small parties to points on the Grand River above 
and below Sitting Bull's house. They were scattered for some 
miles, ostensibly cutting timber, but as a matter of fact keeping 
close watch on the actions of Sitting Bull and his partisans. 

With the coming of December, McLaughlin was all anxiety 
TO have the arrest made without delay, and arranged with 
Colonel Drum that the event should take place on the 6th. 
McLaughlin selected that date as it was the next issue day, and 
as the greater number of his Indians would be in at the agency, 
he believed that the arrest could be effected with the least 
trouble and alarm. As the 6th drew near McLaughlin became 
doubtful of his authority to make the arrest, inasmuch as it 
might be in conflict with the instructions referred to before as 
received on November 14, and December 1, 1890. To settle 
doubts he referred the matter by telegraph to the commissioner 
of Indian affairs, receiving a. reply on the evening of the 5th to^ 
the effect that no arrest whatever should be made, except on 



orders from tlie military or order of the secretary of the interior. 
Colonel Drum, not having orders from ^'higher authority,-' felt 
that he could not take the responsibility of ordering the arrest; 
consequently no movement w^as made. Both Drum and Mc- 
Laughlin chafed under the delay, as they felt that each day of 
the v^^aiting only added to the difficulties of the situation. Their 
anxiety w^as quieted by the receipt of the following telegram 
on the afternoon of the 12th. It will be remembered that ( Jen. 
Nelson A. Miles was at this time division commander: 

^'Headquarters Department op Dakota, 

"St. Paul, Minn., Dec. 12, 1890. 
"To the Commanding Officer, Fort Yates, North Dakota : The 
division commander has directed that you make it your esjjecial 
duty to secure the person of Sitting Bull. Call on the Indian 
agent to co-operate and render such assistance as will best pro- 
mote the purpose in view. Acknowledge receipt, and if not 
perfectly clear, report back. 

"By command of General Ruger. 

•"[Signed] M. Barber, 

"Assistant Adjutant General.'' 

After consulting Major McLaughlin, who adhered to his idea 
that it was best to make the arrest on an issue day, Colonel 
Drum consented to wait until the 20th, winch was the next 
ration-drawing. Early on the morning of the 13th Colonel 
Drum imparted to me his orders and plans for their execution. 
As I was to command the force intended to co-operate with 
the Indian police, he directed me to make the necessary prepara- 
tions quietly, in order not to attract attention, as he felt confi- 
dent that Sitting Bull had his spie's watching both post and 
agency. There was but little to do, everything having been 
previously attended to. 

But an event came which caused us to act before the 20th, 
as the sequel will show. On the 14th, about 6 p. m., as we were 
enjoying the usual after-dinner Cigars beside our comfortable 
firesides, "officers' call" rang out lond and shrill on the clear 


frosty ail'. In a. few miiiules all tlu? ofScers of Uie post were 
assembled in (>>loiiel Drum's office. He informed us briefly 
that the attempt to arrest Sitting- Bull would be made thkt 
night; then turning, lie said that charge of tlu^ troo])s going 
out would be given to me, thai my ordersi would be made out 
in a short time, and that my command would move at midnight. 
Orders wei'e at once given to load the wagon. A hot supper 
was served to the men at 11 o'clock. Then, after seeing that 
my orders were in process of execution, I went over to the 
colonel's house for final instructions and to ascertain the cause 
of the change of program. With Colonel Drum I found Major 
McLaughlin, and learned that Henry Bull Head, the lieutenant 
of police in charge of a company on Grand river, had written 
to the agent that Sitting Bull was evidently making prepara- 
tions to leave the reservation, as ''he had fitted his horses for a 
long and hard ride." Couriers had started at 6 p. m. with orders 
to Lieutenant Bull Head to concentrate his men near Sitting- 
Bull's house, to arrest him at daybreak, place him in a light 
wagon, move witli all speed to Oak Creek, where my force would 
be found, and transfer the prisoner to my custody. The lieu- 
tenant of police had been instructed tO' send a courier to await 
my arrival at Oak Creek, to let me know that the police had re- 
ceived their orders, and to give me any other information that 
might be for my intei'est to know. By this time my written 
order had been handed to me. I found it directed me to proceed 
to Oak Creek and there await the arrival of the Indian police 
with Sitting Bull. This seemed faulty to me, as Oak Creek 
was eighteen miles from Grand River, and my force would not 
be within supporting distance of the police if there should be a 
fight. Moreover, if he should succeed in escaping from the 
}>olice, it was the intention to pursue him toi the utmost, and in 
the race for the Bad Lands which would ensue he would have 
a start of at least thirty miles. 

After some discussion with Colonel Drum and Major Mc- 
l^aughlin it was agreed that I should go some ten or twelve 
miles beyond Oak Creek toward Grand River, 



The squadron moved out promptly at midnight. When I 
was bidding Colonel Drum good-bye he said to me: ^'Captain, 
after you leave here use your ow^n discretion. You know the 
object of the movement; do your best to make it a success." 

The command consisted of troop ^'F/' Eighth Cavalry, Lieuten- 
ants S. L. H. Slocum and M. F. Steele and forty-eight enlisted 
men; troop "G," Eighth Cavalry, Captain E. G. Fechet, Lieuten- 
ants E. H. Crowder and E. C. Brooks and fifty-one enlisted men; 
Captain A. R. Chapin, medical officer, and Hospital Steward 
August Nickel, two Indian scouts, Smell-the-Bear and Iron-Dog, 
Louis Primeau, guide and interpreter. The artillery, consisting 
of one Gatling gun with "G" troop, and one Hotchkiss breach- 
loading steel rifie, with "F" troop, was under the immediate 
command of Lieutenant Brooks. Transportation, one four-horse 
spring wagon and one Red Cross ambulance. 

For the first four miles the squadron moved at a quick walk. 
A halt was then made and the men were then told to fix their 
saddles and arms securely, as I intended to make a rapid ride to 
Oak Creek. 

The ride to Oak Creek was taken at a brisk trot. Two or 
three short halts were made in order to tighten girths and to 
change the troop leading the column. On reaching the creek, 
at about 4:30 a. m., I was greatly surprised and concerned to 
find that the scout whom Bull Head had been directed to send 
to meet me at that point had not arrived. Although bewildered 
by this event, I realized that there was but one thing to be done, 
to push my command to Grand River as rapidly as possible and 
act according to the situation found. The gallop was the gait 
from this time on. I was pushing the animals, but still not too 
fast to impair pursuit beyond Grand River should I find that 
Sitting Bull had escaped. 

Just in the gray of the dawn a mounted man was discovered 
approaching rapidly. He proved to be one of the police, who 
reported that all the other police had been killed. I forwarded 
to Colonel Drum the substance of his report, with the additional 
statement that I would move in rapidly and endeavor to relieve 


m\y of the police' who might be alive. This courier (Hawkmaii), 
by the way, was luoiinted on the fainoiis white horse given to 
Sitting Bull by Buffalo Bill. 

The men at once prepared for action by removing and stow- 
ing away their overcoats and fur gloves. While they were 
doing this 1 rode along the line, taking a good look at each man. 
Their bearing was such as to inspire me with the fullest confi- 
dence that they would do their duty. The squadron was ad- 
vancing in two columns, the artillery between the heads, ready 
for deployment. The line had just commenced the forward 
movement when another of the police came in and reported 
that Sitting Bull's people had a number of the police penned 
up in his house; that they were nearly out of ammunition and 
could not hold out much longer. At this time we could hear 
some firing. In a few minutes we were in position on the 
highlands overlooking the valley of Grand River, with Sitting 
Bull's house, surrounded by the camp of the ghost-dancers, 
immediately in front and some twelve hundred yards distant. 
The firing continued and seemed to be from three different and 
widely separated points — ^from the house, from a clump of 
timber beyond the house, and from a party, apparently forty or 
fifty, on our right front and some eight or nine hundred yards 
away. At first there was nothing to indicate the position of the 
police. Our approach had apparently not been noticed by either 
party, so intent were they on the business on hand. The pre- 
arranged signal (a white flag) was displayed, but was not an- 
swered. I then ordered Brooks to drop a shell between the 
house and the clump of timber just beyond. It may be as well 
to state here that the Hotchkiss gun would not have been up on 
the line at this time but for the courage and presence of mind 
of Hospital Steward Nickel. In going into position over some 
very rough ground the gun was overturned and the harness 
broken, so that the animal drawing it became detached. Stew- 
ard Nickel, a man of exceptional physical strength, coming up 
with the Red Cross ambulance, seeing the plight the gun was in, 
seated himself on the bottom of the ambulance, bracing his feet 



against the tail gate, took a good grip with his hands on the 
shafts, told his, driver to go ahead, and in this way dragged the 
gun up to the line. 

The shell from the gun had the desired effect and a white fisLg 
was seen displayed from the house. Slocum and Steele, with 
their men dismounted, advanced directly on the house. Crow- 
der, with "G" troop, was ordered to move along the crest and 
protect the right flank of the dismounted line. Brooks threw a 
few shells into the timber, also against the party which had 
been on our right front, but was now moving rapidly into the 
valley. As Slocum's line approached the house the police came 
out and joined it. The line was pushed into the timber, dis- 
lodging the few hostiles who remained. I now caused the dis- 
mounted line to fall back to the vicinity of the house, pickets 
being left at the farthest point gained by the advance. All the 
liostiles having disappeared, Crowder was recalled. 

I had moved with the dismounted line and in passing the 
house had noticed Sitting Bull's body lying on the ground. On 
returning, when the advance fell back, I saw the evidences of a 
most desperate encounter. In front of the house, and within a 
radius of fifty yards, were the bodies of eight dead Indians, 
including that of Sitting Bull, and two dead horses. In the 
house were four dead policemen and three wounded, two mor- 
tally. To add to the horror of the scene the squaws of Sitting 
Bull, who were in a small house near by, kept up a great wailing. 
I at once began to investigate the causes which brought about 
the tragedy. The inquiry showed that the police entered the 
house about 5:50 a. m. and arrested Sitting Bull. He occupied 
considerable time in dressing and at first accepted his arrest 
quietly; but while he was dressing his son, Crowfoot, com- 
menced upbraiding him for going with the police. On this 
Sitting Bull became obstinate and refused to go. After some 
parleying the police removed him from the house and found 
themselves and priso^ner in the midst of the whole crowd of 
ghost dancers, frenzied with rage. As to the occurrences out- 
side the house, I will again quote from Major McLaughlin's 


letter, the details of which are more complete than my notes 
and were distinctly corroborated by investigations on the sxjot 
made within three hours after the fight: 

"The policemen reasoned with the crowd, gradually forcing 
them back, thus increasing the circle considerably; but Sitting 
Bull kept calling upon his followers to rescue him from the 
police; that if the two principal men, Bull Head and Shave 
Head, were killed the others would run away; and he finally 
called out to them to commence the attack, whereupon Catch- 
the-Bear and Strike-the-Kettle, two of Sitting Bull's men, 
dashed through the crowd and fired. Lieutenant Bull Head 
was standing on one side of Sitting Bull and Sergeant Shave 
Head on the other, with Sergeant Bed Tomahawk behind, to 
prevent his escaping. Catch-the-Bear's shot struck Bull Head 
on the right side and he instantly wheeled and shot Sitting Bull, 
hitting him in the left side, between the tenth and eleventh ribs, 
and Strike-the-Kettle's shot having passed through Shave 
Head's abdomen, all three fell together. Catch-the-Bear, who 
fired the first shot, was immediately shot down by Private Lone 

The fight now became general. The police, gaining posses- 
sion of the house and stables, drove the ghost-dancers to cover 
in the timber near by. From these positions the fight was kept 
up until the arrival of my command. 

While I was engaged in the investigation breakfast had been 
prepared for the men and grain given to the horses. Going to 
tlie cook-fire for a cup of coffee, which I had just raised to my 
lips, I was startled by the exclamations of the police, and on 
looking up the road to where they pointed saw one of the ghost- 
dancers in full war array, including the ghost-shirt, on his horse, 
not to exceed eighty yards away. In a flash the police opened 
fire on him; at this he turned his horse and in an instant was 
out of sight in the willows. Coming into view again some four 
hundred yards further on, another volley was sent after him. 
Still further on he passed between two of my picket posts, both 
of which fired on him. From all this fire he escaped unharmed, 
only to fall at Wounded Knee two weeks afterward. 



It was ascertained that this Indian had deliberately ridden up 
to our line to draw the fire, to test the invulnerability of the 
ghost-shirt, as he had been told by Sitting Bull that the ghost- 
shirt worn, in battle, would be a perfect shield against the bul- 
lets of the white man. He, with some others of the most fanati- 
cal of the party, fled south, joining Big Foot's band. He was 
one of the most impetuous of those urging that chief not to sur- 
render to Colonel Sumner, but to go south and unite with the 
Indians in the Bad Lands, backing up his arguments by the story 
of the trial of his shirt. Who can tell but that the sanguinary 
conflict at Wounded Knee, December 28, would have been 
averted if the Indian police had been better marksmen and had 
brought down that daring Indian; and that Captain Wallace and 
his gallant comrades of the Seventh Cavalry, who gave up their 
lives that day, would be still among us? 

The excitement over the bold act of the ghost-dancer had 
hardly died away when another commotion was raised by the 
discovery of two young boys concealed in the house where the 
squaws were. They were found under a pile of buffalo robes 
and blankets, on which several squaws were seated. These 
hoys were taken to the agency and turned over to Major Mc- 
Laughlin, not murdered before the eyes of the women, as one 
newspaper account stated. 

About 1 p. M. the squadron commenced the return march. 
Before leaving, the bodies of the hostiles were laid away in one 
of the houses and the squaws of Sitting Bull released, they hav- 
ing been under guard during our stay. Well knowing that they 
would communicate with their friends on the withdrawal of 
the troops, I sent a message to the hostiles to the effect that if 
they would return and stay peaceably in their homes they would 
not be molested. 

The dead and wounded Indian police and the remains of Sit- 
ting Bull were taken with the command to the post. On arriv- 
ing at Oak creek, about 5 p. m., a courier wasj met with a mes 
sage from Colonel Drum to the effect that he would join me some 
time in the night with the infantry. About midnight Colonel 



Drum, with th(* eouipauies of (Japtaiiis Oiaigie and Hask(*ll, 
inarclied in, bringing with tlieni food, forage, and tents, all of 
which we needed sadly. The cold was intense and fuel so 
scarce that only very small fires could be made. Our stomachs 
wer*e in a state of collapse, as we had had but one light meal 
since leaving the p'ost, twenty-four hours before, during the 
first seventeen of which the entire co^mmand had ridden over 
sixty miles, and part of it nearly seventy miles. Supper was 
cooked in short order^ and the infantry generously sharing their 
blankets with us, the balance of the night was passed com- 

After a long and anxious conference with Colonel Drum as to 
further operations, it was decided that pursuit might possibly 
do much harm, by causing many Indians to flee into the Bad 
Lands. Accordingly Colonel Drum ordered the command to 
Fort Yates, the movement to commence at daylight. Subse- 
quent events proved the wisdoim of Colonel Drum's decision, 
as, in response to the messages sent by Major McLaughlin by 
runners to those who had left the reservation, one hundred and 
sixty returned in a few days, and two weeks later eighty-eight 
more were added to the one hundred and sixty. Of those that 
had held their way to the south, one hundred and sixty-eight 
men, women, and children surrendered to Lieut. Harry E. Hale, 
Twelfth Infantry, on the 21st, near the mouth of Cherry Creek, 
a tributary of the Cheyenne River. Only about thirty-eight 
men, women, and children went to Big Foot's camp. Had pur- 
suit been made, all the Indians of Sitting Bull's faction would 
undoubtedly have been forced into the band of Big Foot, thus 
swelling the force Tvhich met Colonel Forsyth at Wounded Knee. 

The dead policemen were buried with military honors in the 
agency cemetery. The Indian police and their friends objected 
m strenuously to the interment of Sitting Bull among their 
dead that he was buried in the cemetery of the post. 

In this account of the events which led up to and resulted in 
the death of Sitting Bull, I have in some cases merely alluded 
to incidents which were actually important, and which I would 



have preferred to describe in greater detail. The principal of 
these is the courage and devotion to duty manifested by the 
Indian police while attempting to make the arrest; and I am 
forced to express all the admiration which I feel for these well- 
nigh unknown heroes. The service which they rendered was 
of the highest value and importance, and it has not, in my opin- 
ion, met with, adequate appreciation. Liberal pensions are paid 
to the widows and orphans of those who lost their lives or were 
disabled in the civil war. I trust a similar liberality will be 
shown to the widows and orphans of Bull Head, Shave Head, 
Little Eagle, Afraid-of-Soldiers, John Armstrong, Hawkman, 
and Middle. 







University Chapel, Lincoln, Nebr., 

January 14, 1896. 
The society was called to order by Hon. R. W. Furnas, in the 
enforced absence of the president of the society. After roll call, 
which disclosed a quorum present, the minutes of the meetings 
of January 15 and 16, 1895, were read by the secretary and ap- 
proved. The first paper of the evening was read by Rev, Will- 
iam Murphy, of Tecumseh, entitled "A Brief Sketch of the Life 
of Captain P. S. Real, of Sherman's Army." Hon. J, Q. Goss, 
of Bellevue, then gave a graphic account of *'Bellevue : Its Past 
and Present;" after which Mr. I. xV. Fort presented a carefully 
prepared paper on "Edward Morin, One of the Early Settlers of 
the Trans-Missouri Country." This ending the papers for the 
evening, the society went into business session, A telegram 
to ex-Governor Furnas, first vice-president of the society, from 
the president of the society, Hon. J. Sterling Morton, was read,, 
as follows: 

"Washington, D. C, January 10, 1896. 
^'Robert W. Furnas, Brownville, Nebr.: 

"Impossible for me to attend Historical Society meeting this 
year, but hope they will not condemn me for my absence. Have 
sent a paper to Mrs. Sawyer to be read. 

"J. Sterling Morton." 

The annual report of the secretary, containing some summa- 
ries from the librarian's report, was then read. An offer was 
made by Mr. Furnas, Mr. Stolley, and Mr. Harwood to con- 
tribute |5 each to purchase a bust of Hon. J. Sterling Morton^ 
to be presented to the society. 



The report of the librarian was read and approved, as was also 
the report of the treasurer, Hon. C. H. Gere. Mr. J. Q. Goss 
presented a skull of an Indian chief found at Kellevue on the 
farm of Hon. B. R. Stouffer. Mr. W. H. Woods gave to the 
society a gavel made from wood taken from old Fort Calhoun, 
or Fort Atkinson, as it was also called. The thanks of the 
society were extended to both of these gentlemen for their 
presents and thoughtful recognition of the society. The fol- 
lowing names were then presented for membership in the society 
and received by unanimous ballot : Hon. H. C. Lindsey, Pawnee 
CouGty; John W. Dixon, Nebraska City; W. B. Patrick, Belle- 
vue; L. J. Abbott, Lincoln. 

The following oflScers were then elected for the ensuing year: 
J. Sterling Morton, president; Robert W. Furnas, first vice- 
president; W. S. Summers, second vice-president; C. H. Gere, 
treasurer; H. W. Caldwell, secretary. 

H. W. Caldwell, Secretary. 

R. W. Furnas, First T ice-President. 

University Chapel, Lincoln, Neb., 

January 15, 1896. 

The society was called to order by Hon. Robert W. Furnas, 
first vice-president. Papers were then presented as follows: 
Rev. C. S. Harrison, on the "Ethics of Horticulture"; by the Hon. 
J. Sterling Morton, on "Taxation Then and Now," read by Mrs. 
A. J. Sawyer in the absence of Mr. Morton. Mrs. Minick dis- 
cussed from her own recollections the subject of "The Under- 
ground Railway in Nebraska." After this the society was fa- 
vored with a very able paper by Major Fechet, on "The True 
Story of the Death of Sitting Bull." Mr. J. P. Dunlap, of Dwight, 
discussed, under the title of "Reminiscences," his recollections 
of early days in Nebraska. 

On motion of the secretary the thanks of the society were 
extended to all those who had prepared papers, and a request 
was made that copies of the same be furnished the society for 
publication, which was carried unanimously. The following 



X>em)iis were then elected to membership in the society: ('hau- 
<;ellor G. E. MacLe'an, Hon. FMward Morin, Major E. G. Fec^het, 
Judge M. B. Reese, and Mr. A. S. Godfrey. As there was no 
more business, the society then adjourned. 

H. W. Caldwell, l^ecretary. 
R. W. Furnas, First Vice-President. 


University Chapel, Lincoln, 

January 12, 1897. 

In the absence of the president, Hon. J. Sterling Morton, the 
society was called to order by Hon. R. W. Furnas, first vice- 
president. The call of the roll disclosed the presence of a quo- 
rum, but only a small minority of the active members of the 
society. The program of the evening was devoted to the gen- 
eral subject of the first territorial legislature, that of 1855. 

The opening paper was by the president of the society, and 
in his absence was read by Mrs. A. J. Sawyer. Then Mrs. Har- 
riet S. MacMurphy, of Omaha, presented a paper on "The 
Women of 1855." Both of these papers were able, and shed 
much light on the conditions in Nebraska at that date. A 
biography of Hon. A. J. Poppleton, in the absence of its author, 
was read by Mr. A. S. Harding. Mr. Barrett then presented 
a very interesting general sketch of the men who composed the 
Nebraska legislature of 1855. After some general announce- 
ments, the society adjourned to meet at 7 :30 p. m., January 13, 
for the election of ofiicers and the transaction of such other 
general business as should come before the society. 

H. W. Caldwell, Secretary. 

R. W. Furnas, First Vice-President. 

University Chapel, January 13, 1897. 
The secretary's report for the last annual meeting was read 
and approved. Mr. Barrett then presented his report as libra- 



rian, which was received and placed on file. The report of tlie 
treasurer, Hon. 0. H. Gere, was presented, audited, and ap 
proved. It showed a total balance on hand January 12, 1897, 
of |1,14G.14. 

The following communication, presented by Prof. 0. E. Bes- 
sey, was received from the Nebraska Academy of Sciences : 

1. That Professor Bessey be requested to lay before the State 
Historical Society a plan to incorporate the proceedings of the 
Nebraska Academy of Sciences with the publications of the 

2. That the Historical Society be requested to give the matter 
immediate attention. 

8. In case this proposition is accepted, the Academy hereby 
pledges itself to use its best endeavors to further the several 
undertakings of the Historical Society. 

Adopted by the executive committee, jointly with the legis 
lative committee, January 13, 1897. G. D. Swezey, 

Sec. Nehr. Acad, of Sciences. 

After some discussion by Professor Bessey, Mr. Hartley, and 
Hon. R. W. Furnas, the request was acceded to and the secre 
tary empowered to arrange details for a joint publication. Under 
this plan the forthcoming volume of the Historical Society will 
contain some seventy-five or eighty pages of matter furnished 
by the Acadeniiy of Sciences. 

The following names were presented for membership: Frank 

E. White, Plattsmouth; A. E. Pope, Red Cloud; Mrs. Laura N. 
Dickey, Palmyra; Thomas P. Morgan, Palmyra; H. B. Ward, 
Lincoln; E. H. Barbour, Lincoln; Dr. P. L. Hall, Mead; Dr. 

F. Steward, Auburn; E. F. Stephens, Crete; Dr. G. W. W^ilkin 
son, 1704 Washington street, Lincoln; W. E. Stewart, Lincoln; 
F. W. Taylor, Lincoln. 

The rules were suspended and the secretary instructed to cast 
the unanimous ballot for those above named, which was done, 
and they were declared duly elected. 

The election of officers resulted as follows: Hon. J. Sterling 

piuk;ioio[)i N(;s of the society. 


Morton, }>resident; Hon. K. VV. Furnas, first vice-president; Hon. 
W. S. Summers, second vice-president; Hon. C. H. Gere, treas- 
urer; Prof. H. W, Caldwell, secretary. 

The first paper of the evening was by Mr. Koscoe Pound, on 
the '^Organization of the Sons and Daughters of Nebraska." 
This was followed by a paper by Hon. J. Sterling Morton, on 
''Then and Now: 1855 and 1897." The latter paper was read 
by the secretary. 

At this point an interesting discussion took place concerning 
early territorial legislation, participated in by Judges S. B. 
Pound, M. B. Reese, J. R. Webster, and J. H. Broady. 

A vote of thanks was extended by the society to those who 
had presented papers and taken part in the discussions, and a 
request was also made for their papers for publication. It was 
suggested that a picture of Elder J. M. Young ought to be pro- 
cured by the society, and the secretary was instrficted to see 
what could be done in regard to the matter. 

There being no other business to come before the society, an 
adjournment took place until the next annual meeting. 

H. W. Caldwell, Secretary. 

R. W. Ftirnas, First Vice- President. 




Lincoln, January 12, 1897. 
Hon. J. sterling Morton, President of the Nebraska State Historical 
Society y 

Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the 
receipts and disbursements of the society for the year ending 
January 12, 1897: 


Balance on hand in First National Bank 
of Lincoln, subject to check, on January 

14, 1896 1433 24 

Received membership fees 4 00 

Interest on deposits from Jan. 14, 1896. ... 12 96 

Balance on deposit this day |450 20 

auditor's account. 

Balance on hand January 14, 1896 |2,263 66 

Warrants drawn for salaries and sun- 
dries 1,567 72 

Balance in state treasury 695 94 

Total balance on hand |1,146 14 

Very respectfully, 0. H. Gere, Treasurer. 






Abbott, Dr. J. L., 194. 

Abolitiou, 70-79. 

Academy of Sciences, 196. 

Actions at law, 159. 

Adoption of Iowa code, 135. 

Afraid-of- Soldiers, Indian, 190. 

Agencies for land, 1855, 147. 

Agricultural Society, Oakland, Mich. , 103. 

Agricultural Society, Otoe County, 64. 

Albion, Mich., 164. 

Alden, Isaac R., 124. 

American Fur Company, 37, 47, 48, 163. 

Ames, Oakes, 102. 

Annin, W. E., 115. 

Annin, Mrs. William E., 115. 

Antelope, 54. 

Area of Nebraska, change in 1882, 11. 
Argenta, Ark., 123. 
Armstrong and Clark, Omaha, 174. 
Attica, N. Y., 128. 
Atkinson, Fort, 194. 
Attorneys, qualifications in 1855, 139. 
Baker, Martha (Mrs. J. D. N. Thompson), 

Bangs, S. D., 46. 

Barber, M., 182. 

Barbour, Prof. E. H., 196. 

Barrett, Jay Amos : Article on Ponca 
Indian?, 11-25 ; biographies of mem- 
bers of 'first legislature, 124-134; 195. 

Bartlett, Sidney, 103. 

Bellville, Ohio, 95. 

Bellevue, city, 36-47, 117. 

Bellevue precinct, election of 1853, 133, 

Bennet, H. P., reminiscences, 88-92, 117, 

124, 127. 
Bennet, Isaiah H., 88, 164. 


Bennett, John B., 149. 
Bennett, Rachel, 164. 
Ben Thompson Post, 309. 
Benton, Fort, 48. 
Benton, Mrs. George H., 168. 
Benton, T. H., Jr., 46, 142. 
Bessey, Prof. C. E., 196. 
Bethlehem, la., 164. 
Big Foot's band, 188. 
''Big Six," 131. 
Birkett, Indian agent, 17. 
Blackbird Mission, 46. 
Blackfeet, 48. 
Black Hawk War, 93. 
Bloomer, Mrs. Amelia, 177. 
Boulware, Mrs. John, 168. 
Boundary of Nebraska, Northeastern, 

Bond system, 67-69. 
Box Elder canyon, 51. 
Bradford, A. H., 88, 118, 124, 127, 176. 
Bridger, Fort, 50. 
Bridger, Jim, 50. 
British influence on Indians, 13. 
Broady, Judge J. H., address, 144-152, 

Brooks, E. C, 184. 

Brown, Miss (Mrs. Alfred Sorenson), 177. 
Brown, John, 70-79. 
Brown, Mary A. (Mrs. Fleming David- 
son), 120. 
Brown, Miss Nellie, 177. 
Brown, Richard, 117, 127. 
Brown, Mrs. William D., 177. 
Brown, William D., 177. 
Browuville, 60, 93, 117, 122, 123, 150. 
Brownville & Fort Kearney R. R., 61. 
Brule Sioux, 26. 



Buchanan, W. W , 73. 

Buffalo County, survey, 53. 

Buffalo Courier, quoted, 127. 

Buffaloes, 49. 

Burbank, John, 74. 

Burbank, Joseph, 74. 

Burials, Indian, 41. 

B. & M. R. R., 62. 

Burlington, la., 129. 

Burt County, 65, 117. 

Burt, Gov. Francis, 164. 
Bull Head, Indian, 183-190. 
Byers, W. N., 130, 131. 
Caldwell, H. W., 194-197. 
California road, 55. 
Calloway County, Missouri, 121. 
Carlisle, city, 141. 
Canada West, 72. 
Cannon, Mrs. W. S., 177. 
Cannon, William S., 177. 
Cass County, 65. 
Caste, social, 41, 42. 
Catch-the-Bear, Indian, 187. 
Chapin, Capt. A. R., 184. 
Chapin, Hon. W. F., 159. 
Chatham gathering, 72. 
Chester, city of 1855, 141. 
Cheyennes, 48. 

Cities, number of in Nebraska, 156 

Civil War, 93. 

Claim Clubs, 100. 

Claim Club, Bellevue, 45. 

Clancy, William, 131. 

Clark, Imogen, 173. 

Clark, John T., 173. 

Clark, M. H., 117, 132-134. 

Clark, Miss (Mrs. King), 173. 

Clark, Dora (Mrs. Algernon Batte), 173. 

Clarke, Governor, of Mo. Territory, 13. 

Clarke, Hon. Harry H., 47. 

Clarke, Hon. H T.,45, 46. 

Clarkson, Bishop R. H., 104. 

Clayton, city, 141. 

Code of Iowa, 135, 139. 

Code of Illinois, 140. 

Code of Ohio, 140. 

Codes, early, 158. 

Collins, Mrs., 178 

Columbus, city, 23, 56. 

Cooking, camp, 54. 

Corporations, 1855, 156. 

Cosmopolitan^ article on Sitting Bull, 179. 

Cost of Indians, 24. 

Cost of local government, 58-69. 

Council Bluff, 13. 

Council Bluffs, la., 92, 129. 

Counties, original, 136. 

County expenses, 58-69. 

Cowles, C. H., 119, 127. 

Credit Mobilier, 102. 

Creighton, Edward, 108. 

Creole women, 163. 

Criminal Code of 1855, 139. 

Crook, Fort, 47. 

Crooks, Zada (Mrs. William Poppleton), 

Crops of Ponca Indians, 18, 19. 
Cross, D. C, 123. 
Cross Hollow, Ark., 123. 
Crowder, E. H., 184. 
Crowfoot, son of Sitting Bull, 186. 
Crow Indians, 48. 

Cuming, Mrs. Margaret C, 168-171. 
Cuming, Act. Gov. T. B., 58, 89, 90, 98, 

136, 169, 170, 174. 
Curtis, General, 57. 
Gushing, Mayor R. C, 104. 
Dakota county, 65. 
Dakota Indians, 18. See Siovx. 
Davidson, Fleming, 120. 
Davis, Miss (Mrs. Herman Kountze), 178. 
Davis, Jefferson, 101. 
Davis, John, 178. 
Davis, Mrs. Thomas, 178. 
Death of P. S. Real, 34. 
Decatur, Commodore Stephen, 43,45, 91, 


Democratic government, 67. 
Dennison, Major W. W., 80-82. 
Diary of J. P. Dunlap, 53-57. 
Dickey, Laura N., 196. 
Dixon, J. W., 194. 
Doniphan's Regiment, 93. 
Dougherty, John, 38. 



Douglas County, 45, G5, 113. 
Douglas House, Omaha, 107, 170. 
Downs House, 88. 
Drum, Lieut. -Col. W. F., 179-190. 
Dundy, Judge E. S., 74. 
Diinlap, J. P., diary, 53-57, 194. 
Economic improvements, 1855-1897, 83- 

Edmunds, Gov. Newton, quoted, 20. 

Eighth Cavalry, 179. 

Election, first, in the territory, 126. 

Eleventh U. S. colored troops, 123. 

Elizabeth, city, 141. 

Elk, 54. 

Elk Hill, Bellevue, 40. 
Elkhorn, 96. 

Estabrook, Experience, 172. 

Estabrook, Henry, 172. 

Eureka Springs, Ark., 34. 

Evans, John, 130 ; quoted, 162. 

Expense of government, 58-69. 

Factory system, 13. 

Falls City, 72. 

Farming, Poncas, 18. 

Fechet, Major E. G-, paper on death of 

Sitting Bull, 178-190 ; 194, 195. 
Ferguson, Judge A. N., 164. 
Ferguson, Judge Fenner, 45, 90, 164. 
Ferguson, George, 116. 
Ferris, Mrs. C. E. (Miss Folsom), 128. 
Ferry, Mr. and Mrs. James, 177. 
Ferry, Margaret, 177. 
Ferry, Platte, 55. 
Fifield, Captain, 121. 
Fiith Missouri Militia, 93. 
Pillion, Mrs., North Platte, 50. 
Fillmore county. Neb., 31. 
First Nebraska Volunteers, 112. 
First territorial legislature of Nebraska, 

Fitch, Mrs. James, 168. 
Florence, city, 116, 117. 
Florence, city, origin of name, 129. 
Florence legislature, 100. 
Folsom, B. R., 90,118, 124,' 125, 127-8. 
Folsom, Col. John B., 128. 
Folsom, N. R., 125, 128. 

Folsom, Silas, 128. 

Fontenelle, 143. 

Fontenelle, Henry, 47. 

Fontenelle, Logan, 40, 165. 

Fontenelle, Lucien, 165. 

Fontenelle, Susan, 165, 166. 

Fording the Platte, 55. 

Foreclosure law, 1855, 138. 

Fort, I. A., articles by, 48-52, 80-82; 193. 

Fort Benton, 48. 

Fort Bridger, 50. 

Fort Kearney, 57. 

Fort Kearney, original, 44, 88. 

Fort Leavenworth, 81. 

Fort Lookout, 48. 

Fort McPherson, 51. 

Fort Pierre, 48. 

Fort, Sutter's, 50. 

Fort Union, 48. 

Forty-eighth Missouri Vo'unteer Infan- 
try, 94. 

Fowler, John W., 97. 

Frances, city, 141. 

Franklin Insurance Co., 142. 

Free State League, 71. 

Fremont, Col, 33. 

Furnas, Hon. R. W., 154, 193-197. 

Gall, Indian, 179. 

Game, 1844, 50. 

Gardner, David, 55. 

Garrett, Bishop, 108. 

Gayle, Mary (Mrs. Joe La Flesch), 163. 

Gayle, Dr., 163. 

Geneva Lake, Wis., 172. 

Gentry's Regiment, Colonel, 93. 

Gere, Hon. C. H., 195-198. 

Gill, George B., 76. 

Gilmour, Mrs. William, 168. 

Glenwood, la., 88, 93, 119. 

Godfrey, A. S., 195. 

Goodwill, Miss Adelaide (Mrs. Allen 
Root, 177. 

Goodwill, T. G., 118, 128. 

Goss, Hon. J. Q., 193, 194 ; article on 
Bellevue, 36-47. 

Government, local, 58-69. 

Grafton, town, 31. 



G. A. R., James Shields Post No. 33, 36. 

Grand Central Hotel, Omaha, 106. 

Grand River, 181-190. 

Grant, General U. S., 29, 33. 

Grayson County, Texas, 92. 

Greene County, 1*41. 

Habeas Corpus Case, 24. 

Hacker, T. C, 123. 

Hackbush, Henry H., 53. 

Hagood, Mrs. J. McF., 168. 

Hail, William B.,130. 

Hale, Harry E., 189. 

Hall County, survey, 53. 

Hali, P. L., 196. 

Hamilton, Amanda, 164. 

Hamilton, Elsie, 164. 

Hamilton, Maria, 164. 

Hamilton, Mary, 164. 

Hamilton, Miss M. E., 47. 

Hamilton, Mrs. C. W., 17l. 

Hamilton, Mrs. William, 164. 

Hamilton, Rev. William, 45, 46, 164 

Hanscom, Mrs. A. J., 173, 175. 

Hanscom, Hon. A. J., Ill, 130. 

Harding, A. S., 195. 

Harlan, Edward R., 45. 

Harper's Ferry, 70. 

Harrison, Rev. C. S., 194. 

Hartley, Prof. E. T., 196. 

Harvey, Premo & Co., 49. 

Harwood, N. S., 193. 

Hawkman (Indian), 185. 

Henry County, 111., 31. 

Herd law, 147. 

Hileman, Blair & Co., 120. 

Holloway, C. T., 45. 

Hookstra, Dennis, 55. 

Howard, A. E., Indian agent, 23. 

Hunton, city, 141, 

Hurley, Lucinda (Mrs. R. B. Whitied,) 

Illinois code, 140. 
Immigration into Nebraska, 14. 
Impeachment law of 1855, 148. 
Improvements since 1855, 83-87. 
Indians, 48 ; character, 52 ; country, 14 ; 
curiosity, 166 ; Mandans, 51 ; Missou- 

ri?, 14 ; number, 12 ; Omahas, 12, 14, 
20, 37, 41 ; Osages, 41 ; Otoes, 14, 37 ; 
Pawnees, 14, 37, 56 ; Poncas, 11-25, 
52 ; presents to, 13 ; Rees, 51 ; Sioux, 
51, 52 ; Territory, 21, 23 ; women, 162. 

Intemperance, Ponca treaty of 1858, 156. 

Iowa code, 135. n 

Iowa, settlements in western, 1854, 160. 

Iron- Dog, Indian, 184. 

Izard County, 141. 

Izard, James S., 142. 

Izard, Gov. M. W., 45. 

Jack Morrow ranch, 51. 

Jackson County, 141. 

Jacksonian element in the first legisla- 
ture, 145. 

Jacksonville, city of Nebraska Territory, 

James, Judge, Council Bluffs, 126. 

Johnson, Hon. Ha Iley D., 132. 

Jones County, 136. 

Jones, Mrs. Alf D., 176. 

Jones, Hon. A. D., 117, 127, 128. 

Jurors, 1855, 137. 

Kanesville, la., 164. 

Kanosha, Nebr., 92, 93, 121. 

K. C, St. Joe& M. R. R. Co., 63. 

Kansas-Nebraska Bill, 14. 

Kearney, Fort, 44, 57. 

Kearney, Old Fort, 88. 

Kellar, C. D., 42. 

Kempton, Hon. William, 142. 

Kennedy, Sarah, 163. 

Keokuk, 169. 

Keokuk County, la., 92. 

Kilbourne, Florence, 129. 

Kinney, L. B., 45. 

Kirby, Mr., 42. 

Kountzp, Mrs. Hermann, 178. 

La Clede House, 169. 

La Flesch, Mrs. Joe, 163. 

Lambert, William, 72. 

Lancaster, town, 54, 57. 

Land, prices, 161. 

Lane, James H., 77. 

Lauds, western Iowa, 1856-7, 160. 

Larrimer, Judge, 169. 



Latham, J. McNcale, 142. 

Latham, R. W., 142. 

Lawrence, city, 141. 

Laws of 1855, clarity and directness, 149. 

Leavenworth, 53. 

League of Freedom, 72. 

Leavenworth, Colonel, 133. 

Legislature, 1855, 88-161. 

Lewis and Clarke's Expedition, 11, 37. 

Lindsey, H. C, 194. 

Lisa, Manuel, 13, 37. 

Little Eagle, 189. 

Lockwood, David, 75. 

Lockwood, Eugene V., 75. 

Logan, Mrs. John, 177. 

Log cabins of '55, 43. 

Loneman, Indian, 187. 

Lookout, Fort, 48. 

Lost cities, 141. 

Lovejoy, Reuben, 45. 

Lowe, Enos, 116. 

Lowe, Jesse, 136. 

Lumber cut by Poncas, 17. 

McCormick, Mrs. John, 173. 

McFarland, William, 74. 

McKenzie, Mrs., 178. 

McLaughlin, Maj. James, 179-190. 

McMechan, Mrs. John, 168. 

McMechan, John, 168. 

McNeal County, 141. 

Mack, Susie (Mrs. J. W. Paddock), 114. 

Mackinaw boats, 48, 49. 

MacLean, Chancellor G. E , 195. 

MacMurphy, Harriet S., article on the 

women of 1855, 162-178, 195. 
Mail route proposed 1855, 151. 
Majors, Col. Thomas J., 93-94. 
Mandans, 48, 50, 51. 
Manitou, Nebr., 141. 
Marcy, William L., 113. 
Margaretta, city, 141. 
Marquette, Hon. T. M., 78. 
Married women's rights in law, 152. 
Marsh, Mrs. Mary (Mary Thompson), 93. 
Martin, Mrs. Elza (Sarah Morris), 168. 
Martyn, Carlos, 76. 
Masonic lodge, first, 45. 

Massena Springs, N. Y., 113. 

Maxwell, Hon. Samuel, article on laws, 

Mechanics' liens, 84. 
Merchants' National Bank, Omaha, 116. 
Merrill, Rev. Moses, death and burial, 

38; contract as missionary. 38-39. 
Merrill, Rev. Samuel P., 38. 
Messiah craze, 180. 
Mexican War, 93. 
Mickelwait, Mrs. Wheatly, 168. 
Middle, Indian, 189. 
Midland Pacific R. R., 62. 
Miles, Gen. Nelson A., 182. 
Mill, Ponca treaty, 15. 
Millard Hotel, Omaha, 173. 
Miller, Dr. G. L., 128, 172. 
Miller, Mrs. G. L., 172, 175. 
Miller, Lorin, 149. 
Mills County, la., 126. 
Mills, Maggie (Mrs. Dick McCormick), 


Mills, Mrs. George, 176. 

Minick, Mrs. Alice A. , article on Under- 
ground R. R., 70, 194. 

Missionaries, 163. 

Mission house, Bellevue, 37. 

Missouri, Fifth Militia, 93. 

Missouri Indians, 14. 

Missouri, 48th Volunteer Infantry, 94. 

Missouri Volunteers, Seventh Regiment, 

Mitchell, J. C, 116, 129. 

Money, value, 83, 87. 

Moore, W. E., 142. 

Morin, Edward, Life of, 48-52, 195. 

Morgan, Thomas P., 196. 

Mormon women, 163. 

Morris, Miss Sarah, 168. 

Morrow, ranch, 51. 

Morton, Mrs. J. Sterling, 167. 

Morton, Hon. J. Sterling, 43, 45, 145, 
193-197 ; article on Local Govern- 
ment, 58-69 ; article on Progress since 
1855, 83-87 ; tribute to A. J. Popple- 
ton, 108-110; Sketch of Major Pad- 
dock, 110-115. 



Hosier, Miss Caroline (Mrs. John Logan), 

Mounds and earthworks of Indians, 40. 
Mt. Tabor, la., 73. 

Murphy, Fannie (Mrs. C. W. Hamilton), 

Murphy, Rev. William, ai tide, 26-35, 1 93. 
N dional Era^ Washington, quoted, 125. 
Neal, Mrs. Louis, 47, 166. 
Nebraska Academy of Sciences, 196. 
Nebraska City, 72, 117. 
Nebraska City Collegiate and Prepara- 
tory Institute, 143. 
Nebraska University, 1855, 143. 
Nebraska Women of 1855, 162-178. 
Nekoma, 163. 
Nemaha City, 72. 
Nemaha County, 60. 
Nesuma, 152. 
Newtonia, Mo., 123. 
Nickel, August, 184. 
Nineteenth annual meeting, 193. 
North and South Platte parties, 89, 117. 
Nott, Dr., 96. 

Nuckolls, S. F., 77, 88, 89, 90, 91, 119, 
124, 125. 

Oak Creek, S. D., 183-190. 

Oakes, D. C, 149. 

Oakland County, Mich., 129. 

Ohio code, 140. 

Old Fort Wayne, 123. 

Omaha, 45, 98 117 ; Bar Association, 
105 ; board of trade, 105 ; claim club, 
100 ; mayor, 1858, 100 ; public library, 
105 ; women of 1855, 168-178. 

Omaha Indians, 12, 14, 20, 37, 41, 48. 

Orange County, N. C, 92. 

Osage Indians, 41. 

Osborne, Caroline (Mrs. Samuel Popple- 
ton, Jr. ), 95. 
Otoe Agency, 37. 
Otoe County, 62, 64, 65, 118. 
Otoes, 14, 37. 

Pacific House, Kanesville, 164. 
Paddock, Ben, 115. 
Paddock, Mrs. J. W., 114, 175. 
Paddock, Major J. W., 110-115. 

Paddock, William S., 113. 
Palladium, The, 167. 
Papillion, 46. 
Park County, Indiana, 92. 
Parker, Rev. J., 133. 
Parker, Samuel, quoted, 12. 
Patrick, W. R., 194. 

Patrick, MissLide (Mrs. Joseph Barker), 

Pawnee City, 53. 

Pawnee Indians, 14, 37, 48. 

Peters, Miss Valentine (Mrs. Morin), 51. 

Pierre, Fort, 48. 

Pigeon Creek, 116. 

Piatt, Mrs. Alvira Oaston, 164. 

Platte Valley and Pacific R. R. Co., 143. 

Plattsmouth, 117. 

Plattsmouth road, 55 ; women of, 168. 

Plumber, J., 133. 

Ponca Indians, 11-25, 48, 52. 

Ponca Habeas Corpus case, 24, 105. 

Pontiac, Mich., 129. 

Pope, A. E., 193. 

Poppleton, Andrew Jackson, biography, 

94-110, 111, 130. 
Poppleton, Mrs. A. J., 98, 172, 175. 
Poppleton, Benjamin, 94. 
Poppleton, Ebenezer, 94. 
Poppleton, Mrs. Samuel, Jr., 95 
Poppleton, Samuel, Jr., 94, 95. 
Poppleton, Samuel, 94. 
Poppleton, William (son of Samuel), 94. 
Poppleton, William (father of A. J.), 95. 
Poppleton, Mrs. William, 95. 
Poppleton, William S., 94. 
Poultney, Vt., 95. 
Pound, Dr. Roscoe, 197. 
Pound, Judge S. B., 197; article by, 154- 


Pownall, Vt., 94. 

Presbyterian College, Bellevue, 40, 46. 
Presbyterian Mission, 164. 
Presents to Indians by agents, 13. 
President's communication, 1897, 83-87. 
Primeau, Louis, 184. 
Proceedings of the Society, 1896, 1897, 



Prohibtion law, 1855, 138, 145-147. 

Proof of the law, 1855, 155. 

Public lands of Iowa, 1856, 1857, 160. 

Purcell, Ellen (Mrs. Real), 31. 

Purple, H. C, 127. 

Rabbit & Cotton, 49. 

Railroad legislation of 1855, 150. 

Railroad, Nemaha Co., 60, 61. 

Railroads, taxation for, 60-69. 

Rations, Poncas, 17. 

Real, Captain P. S., 26-35. 

Reavis, Judge, 73. 

Red Tomahawk, Indian, 187. 

Redick, Mr. J. I., 173. 

Ree Indians, 51. 

Reed, Byron, collection, 105. 

Reed, D. E., 46. 

Reed, David, 55. 

Reese, M. B., 195, 197 ; article by, 135- 

Reeves, Mrs. Elizabeth (later Mrs. Will- 
iam S. Cannon), 177. 

Reeves, William Nebraska, 177. 

Repeal of the Iowa-code law, 1857, 139, 
154, 158. 

Report of treasurer, 1897, 198. 

Reservation, Ponca, 15. 

Results of the Pioneer Session, 135-161. 

Richardson County, 59, 60. 

Richardson, J. W., 130. 

Richardson, Mrs. Lyman, 173. 

Richardson, Hon. 0. D., 90, 119, 125, 
129, 158. 

Richardson, Gov. W. A., 159. 

Richmond, N. Y., 95. 

Richmond, Va., 81. 

Robertson, J. B., 129. 

Rock Bluff, 121. 

Rockwood, Misses, 169. 

Rocky Mountain News, 130. 

Rogers, Samuel E., 115, 127; sketch of 
legislature of 1855, 115-120. 

Romeo, Mich., 96. 

Root, Mrs. Allen, 177. 

Ruger, General, 182. 

Rulo, 73. 

Russel, Houstin, 74. 

Salt basin, 54. 
Salt Creek, 54. 

Salt manufacturing corporations, 143. 

Sarpy County, 45. 

Sarpy, Peter A., 43, 163. 

Sawmill, Brownville, 116 ; Ponca Res- 
ervation, 17. 

Sawyer, Mrs. A. J., 194. 

Schimousky, Mr., 46. 

Schools for Indians, 15. 

Sears, Caroline (Mrs. A. J. Poppleton), 

Second Kansas Cavalry, 123. 
Seminole War, 93. 
Settlements, 49. 

Settlers, character of first, 157, 159. 
Settlers' Club, Bellevue, 45. 
Sharp, J. L., Plattsmouth, 119, 130. 
Shave Head, Indian, 187. 
Sherman, General, 28. 
SherriU, Dr., 108. 
Shinn's Ferry, 55. 
Simpson University, 143. 
Sioux Ci4y, 49. 

Sioux Indians, 12, 17, 18, 48, 51, 52 ; cost 

of, 24 ; outbreak of 1890-1891, 179. 
Sitting Bull's death, 179-190. 
Slavery in Nebraska, 45, 78. 
Slaves, escape of, 70-79. 
Sloan, Mrs., Pawnee, 165. 
Slocum, S. L. H., 184. 
Smell-the-Bear, 184. 
Snowden, Mrs. William P., 176-177. 
Sorenson, Mrs. Alfred, 177. 
South Platte party, 89. 
Sprick, Henry, 130. 
Springdale, la., 72, 76. 
Squatter settlers, 14. 
St. Lawrence County, N. Y., 110. 
St. Mary's, 132. 
Standing Bear, 21, 22, 105. 
Standing Rock Agency, 179. 
Stansbury, Captain, 133. 
Steele, General Fred, 112. 
Steele, M. F., 184. 
Stevens, Aaron Dewight, 77. 
Stephens, E F., 196 



Steward, C. F., 196. 
Stewart, W. E., 196. 
Stolley, William, 193. 
Stouffer, Hon. B. R., 41, 191. 
Stowell, Marty n, 76. 
Strickland, Silas A., 45. 
Strike-the-Kettle, 187. 
Strong, Charles, 73. 
Strong, Hezekiah B., 75. 
Subterranean Pass Way, 71. 
Suits in equity, 159. 

Survey of Buffalo and Hall counties, 53. 
Sutter's Fort, 50. 
Swezey, Prof. G. D.. 196. 
Taffe, John, 109. 
Taxation, local, 58-39. 
Taylor, member Nebr. legislature, 1860, 

Taylor, F. W., 196. 

Teachers' institute, first, 47. 

Tecumseh, city, 34. 

Thayer, Mrs. J. M., 169, 175. 

Thayer, Gen. John M., 45, 121, 169. 

Thompson, B. B., 121-123; Elizabeth 
(Mrs. B. B.), 122 ; John C, 121 ; biog- 
raphy by, 92-94 ; J. D. N., 92-94, 121, 
158; J. Waldo, 91. 

Tipton, Hon. Thomas W., 61. 

''Toledo War," 129. 

Toll and bridge charters, 153. 

Towns, absence of in Nebraska, 156. 

Trade, article of Indian, 49. 

Traders, 12, 37, 49, 50. 

Trappers, 54. 

Travels in Nebraska in 1866, 53-57. 
Treasurer's report, 1897, 198. 
Treaty with Sioux Indians, 20. 
Treaty with the Poncas, 12, 15. 
Trumble, A. W., 45. 
Tubman, Mrs., 72. 
Turnbridge, Vt., 127. 
Twelfth Infantry, 179. 
Underground Railroad in Nebr., 70-79. 
Union College, N. Y., 96, 105. 
Union, Fort, 48. 

Union Pacific R. R., 45, 56, 102, 103, 
104, 113; bridge controversy, 1891, 105. 

United States packet. Mo. river, 48. 
Vandaventer, George, 94. 
Vermillion County, Ind., 120. 
Voting, at first election, 126. 
Walker, C. I., 97. 
Walker, E. C, 97. 

Wallace, Capt. (Wounded Knee), 188. 

Walnut Grove Cemetery, Brownville, 94. 

Ward, Prof. H. B., 196. 

Watson, W. W., 126. 

Webster, Gen. J. R., 152-1-54, 197. 

Welch, Frank, 91, 130. 

Welsh, Herbert, 179. 

Western Exchange and Marine Insur- 
ance Co., 142. 

Whaley, Rosanna (Mrs. Samuel Popple- 
ton), 94. 

Wheeling, Va., 120. 

White county, Tenn., 92. 

White, Dr., 1844, 50. 

White Eagle, 18. 

White Earth River, 12. 

White, Frank E., 196. 

Whitted, J. M., biography by, 92. 

Whitted, father of R. B., 92. 

Whitted, Hon. Robert Bates, biog., 92. 

Whitted, Pinckney, 92.. 

Whitted, Simeon, 92. 

Wichita, Kan., 120. 

Widow's dower, 136. 

Wilkinson, Dr. G. W., 196. 

Witnesses in trials, 1855, 138. 

Women, Indian, 162 ; French-Canadian, 
163 ; laws regarding, 152 ; Nebraska 
City, 168; missionaries, 163; Mormon, 
163; of 1855, 162-178; Omaha, 168- 

Wood River, 57. 

Woods, W. H., 194. 

Woods, Rev. J. M., 111. 

Woolworth, Hon. J. M., 94; tribute to 

A. J. Poppleton, 106-108. 
Wounded Knee, 187. 
Wright, Silas, 113. 
Yankee Creek, 53. 
Young, Mrs. F., 168. 
Young, Elder J. M., 153, 197. 


Steward, C. F., IP' 

Stewart, W. E. 

Stolley, Will- 

StoufFer, F 






Nebraska Academy of Sciences 


Issued April, 1898. 
lincoln, nebr., u. s. a. 

The incorporation of the proceedings of the Academy of Sci- 
ences with the Historical Society ^Troceedings and Collections/' 
begun in this volume, is in accordance with a resolution of the 
Historical Society at its annual meeting January 13, 1897, The 
minutes of that meeting are found on page 196 of this volume, 



List of Officers and Members 215 

Minutes of the Annual Meeting 219 

Treasurer's Report 226 

Papers — 

The Nomenclature of the Nebraska Forest Trees, C. E. Bessey 229 

A Comparison of Fossil Diatoms from Nebraska, C. J. Elmore 238 

An Observation on Annual Rings, F. W. Card 243 

Internal Temperature of Tree-Trunks, R. A. Emerson 245 

Wind-Distribution of Seeds, E. M. Hussong 253 

Collecting, Preparing, and Mounting Fossils, C. A. Barbour 258 

Barites of Nebraska and the Bad Lands, E. H. Barbour 265 

Chalcedony-Lime Nuts from the Bad Lands, E. H. Barbour 272 

Discovery of Meteoric Iron in Nebraska, E, H. Barbour 275 

What is Mathematics? E. W. Davis 280 

A Family of Quartic Surfaces, R. E. Moritz 283 

A Form of Weir Notch, 0. V. P. Stout 285 

Notes on Phyllopod Crustacea, H. A. Lafler and A. S. Pearse 287 

Continued Biological Observations, H. B. Ward 290 

A New Plankton Pump, Ch. Fordyce 293 

Parasites of Nebraska Dogs and Cats, H. B. Ward 297 







PRESIDENT— A. S. von Mansfelde Ashland 

VICE PRESIDENT— E. H. Barbour Lincoln 


CUSTODIAN — Laavrence Bruner Lincoln 

f H. B. DuNCANSON Peru 

rkTTJTrnT'rkrK:! I C. J. Elmore Crete 

DIRECTORS- i jj Hapeman Minden 

[ H. B. Ward Lincoln 

{Directors, ex-^fficiis. 

E. T. Hartley Lincoln 

C. E. Bessey Lincoln 

{ H. B. Ward Lincoln 

EDITORIAL COMMITTEE— j E. H.Barbour Lincoln 

(C. E. Bessey Lincoln 


(Names of Charter Members are Starred.) 

Edward John Angle, B. S., M.D., Lincoln— Zoology. 

Carrie Adeline Barbour, Lincoln; Assistant Curator, State Museum — Palaeontology. 
Erwin Hinckley Barbour, A. B., Ph.D., Lincoln; Professor of Geology in the 

University of Nebraska, Acting State Geologist, and Curator State Museum — 


Harris Millar Benedict, B. S., A. M., Instructor in Natural Science in the High 
School, Lincoln — Zoology. 

* Charles Edwin Bessey, B. S., Ph.D., Lincoln; Professor of Botany in the Uni- 
versity of Nebraska and Acting State Botanist— Botany. 

Ernst Athearn Bessey, Lincoln — Botany. 

*Rosa Bouton, B. S., A.M., Lincoln; Instructor in Chemistry in the University of 

Nebraska — Chemistry. 
Robert J. Boyd 

H. Brownell, B. S., Peru; Professor of Chemistry and Physics in the Nebraska 
State Normal School — Chemistry. 



* Lawrence Brunei', B. S,, Lincoln; Professor of Entomology in the University of 

Nebraska — Zoology. 
Lyman Ray Brush, Ashland. 

Fred Wallace Card, M. S., Lincoln; Associate Professor of Horticulture in the Uni- 
versity of Nebraska — Horticulture. 

William Arthur Clark, A. M., Ped. D., Professor of Pedagogy and Psychology in 
the Nebraska State Normal, Peru — Psychology. 

William Cleburne, Drawer 20, Omaha — Botany, Geology. 

George Evert Condra, B. S., Lincoln; Instructor in Science in the High School — 
Geology, Zoology. 

James William Crabtree, Inspector of Accredited High Schools at the University 
of Nebraska, Lincoln. 

H. D. Crawford, York; Field Manager of York College — Mineralogy. 

*J. Stuart Dales, M. Ph., Lincoln; Secretary-Treasurer of the University of Ne- 
braska — Biology. 

Ellery Williams Davis, B. S., Ph.D., Lincoln; Professor of Mathematics in the 

University of Nebraska — Mathematics. 
John Wirt Dinsmore, Lincoln — Child Study. 

Thomas Eaton Doubt, B. S., A. M., Instructor in Physics in the University of Wash- 
ington, Seattle — Physics, Mathematics. 

^' Henry B. Duncanson, B. S., Peru; Professor of Geology and Natural History in 
the Nebraska State Normal School — Botany. 

Clarence Jerome Elmore, A. M., Crete; Instructor in Science in the High School — 

Rollins Adams Emerson, B. S., Lincoln; Horticulturist in the office of Experiment 

Stations, Washington, D. C. — Horticulture. 
Milton H. Everett, M. D., 630 So. Seventeenth St., Lincoln— Geology. 
Cassius Asa Fisher, Assistant in Geology in the University of Nebraska, Lincoln — 


Charles Fordyce, A. B., A. M., University Place; Professor of Biology in Wesleyan 

University — Biology. 
Harold Gifford, M. D., 1404 Farnham St., Omaha — Bacteriology. 
H. Hapeman, M. D., Minden ; Assistant Surgeon of the Union Pacific Railroad — 


John Milton Hardy, M. D., Cairo — Microscopy. 

* Ellis T. Hartley, 441 No. Tenth St., Lincoln— Microscopy. 

William W. Hastings, A. M., Ph. D., Adjunct Professor of Hygiene and Director 

of the Gymnasium at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln — Anthropology. 
Herbert E. Hershey, Nebraska City — Zoology. 

A. Ross Hill, A. B., Ph. D., Associate Professor of Philosophy in the University 
of Nebraska, Lincoln — Philosophy. 

Walter David Hunter, B. S., A. M., Lincoln; Assistant in Entomology in the Uni- 
versity of Nebraska — Entomology. 

Edward Marston Hussong, B. S., Franklin; Superintendent of Schools — Economic 

Walter M. Kern, Superintendent of Schools, David City — Botany. 

Henry Anderson Lafler, De Witt — Entomology and Invertebrate Zoology. 

membp:rs of ac^ademy of scienckk. 


George Andrew Loveland, B. S., Lincoln; Observer and Section Director of the 
United States Weather Bureau — Meteorology. 

George W. A. Luckey, A. B., Professor of Pedagogy in the University of Ne- 
braska, Lincoln — Child Study. 

George Edwin MacLean, A. B., Ph. D., LL. D., Chancellor of the University of 
Nebraska, Lincoln. 

* Alexander S. von Mansfelde, M. D., Ashland — Pathology and Histology. 

J. Ellis Maxwell, York; Professor of Natural Science in York College — Biology. 
Robert Edward Moritz, Ph. M., Hastings; Professor of Mathematics in Hastings 
College — Mathematics. 

A. W. Norton, A. M., Warrensburg, Mo. — Psychology. 

Bayard H. Payne, B. S., Grand Island ; Instructor in Science in the High School 
— Zoology. 

Arthur Sperry Pearse, De "Witt — Mammalogy, Herpetology, and Ornithology. 

Albert T. Peters, D. V. M., Investigator of Animal Diseases at the U. S. Experi- 
ment Station, Lincoln — Bacteriology. 

*Roscoe Pound, A. B., Ph. D., 126 Burr Block, Lincoln; Director of the Botanical 
Survey of Nebraska — Botany. 

Joseph Horace Powers, A. B., Ph. D., Professor of Natural Science in Doane Col- 
lege, Crete — Psychology. 

Albert A. Reed, A. B., Superintendent of Schools, Crete — Botany. 

Charles F. Rogers, Beatrice ; Instructor in Science in the High School — Chemistry. 

Jesse Perry Rowe, B. S., Lincoln — Geology. 

B. L. Seawell, A. B., Hastings; Professor of Natural Science in Hastings College — 


* Wells Hawks Skinner, A. B., Nebraska City ; Superintendent of Schools — Botany. 
T. F. Staulfer, Box 806, Lincoln; Clergyman — Psychology. 

* Andrew B. Stephens, Holdrege; Superintendent of Schools — Botany. 
A. P. S. Stuart, 380 No. Eleventh St., Lincoln— Chemistry. 

Oscar Van Pelt Stout, B. C. E., Lincoln; Associate Professor of Civil Engineering 
in the University of Nebraska — Civil Engineering. 

* Goodwin Deloss Swezey, A. B., A. M., Lincoln; Professor of Meterology and in 

charge of Astronomy in the University of Nebraska — Meteorology and As- 

Isador S. Trostler, 4246 Farnham St., Omaha — Ornithology. 
Elza Edward Tyler, Lincoln — Geology and Botany. 

Henry Baldwin Ward, A. M., Ph. D., Lincoln; Professor of Zoology in the Uni- 
versity of Nebraska, and Acting State Zoologist — Zoology. 

Robert Henry Wolcott, B. S., M. D., Instructor in Zoology in the University of 
Nebraska, Lincoln — Zoology. 




The University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 

December 29, 1896. 

The seventh annual meeting of the Nebraska Academy of 
Sciences was called to order at 2 p. m. in room 15, Nebraska 
Hall. In the absence of the president the vice president, H. B. 
Duncanson, presided. 

In accordance with the provision in the constitution, the chair 
appointed as a nominating committee C. E. Bessey, H. Brownell, 
and E. M. Hussong. 

The report of the secretary, including the minutes of the last 
annual meeting was read, together with the report of the cus- 
todian, and the following recommendations of the executive com- 
mittee were submitted: 

First — The appointment of a committee, to consist of the 
executive committee together with two other members of the 
Academy, to consider and act in the matter of having the pro- 
ceedings published by the state. 

Second — That the following by-laws be proposed at the an- 
nual meeting for adoption by the Academy : 

1. Volumes of the proceedings of the Academy shall be sent 
only to members whose dues are paid. 

2. Papers may be read before the Academy by members only, 
except on order of the executive committee. 

3. In order to be published in the proceedings, papers must 
be in the hands of the secretary within thirty days from the 
date of reading. 



4. All titles of papers to be read at the annual meeting mAst 
be in the hands of the secretary two weeks before the annual 

Third — That the following amendments to the constitution be 
proposed and recommended: 

Amendment to article 3, section 3: Instead of "two directors," 
to read "four directors." 

Amendment to article 4, section 1: "The annual meeting shall 
be held in the city of Lincoln, on the afternoon and evening of 
the day before Charter day, and on Charter day, unless other- 
wise ordered by the executive committee." 

It was further recommended that the treasurer be authorized 
to sell back numbers of publications III. and IV. together for 25 
cents, and that the price of 50 cents be placed on the last issue; 
that the secretary be authorized to secure other publications in 
exchange for those of the Academy, and that the library of the 
University of Nebraska be officially designated as depository 
for the exchanges and library of the Academy. 

The report of the secretary, the minutes of the last meeting, 
and the general recommendations of the executive committee 
were adopted by successive motions, as were also the amend- 
ments to the by-laws as proposed by the executive committee, 
together with the first amendment to the constitution, changing 
the number of directors from two to four. 

The proposed change in the date of the annual meeting was 
discussed at some length. An informal vote showed ten mem- 
bers and visitors in favor of the present date, eleven in favor of 
Charter day, and twelve in favor of a date about Thanksgiving 
time. Voted that for next year the annual meeting be held on 
the Friday and Saturday following Thanksgiving day. 

The treasurer's report was referred, without being read, to an 
auditing committee to be appointed. 

The annual address by the retiring president, E. H. Barbour, 
who had been unexpectedly called to- Washington to read a 
paper before the Geological Society of America, was by permis- 
sion of the academy read by H. B. Ward for the author. The 



subject of the address was "Academies of Science: Their Eco- 
nomic and Educational Value.''* 

Two connected papers, '^Continued Biological Observations,'' 
by Henry B. Ward, and "A New Plankton Pump," by Henry B. 
Waird and Charles Fordyce, were then read. Following these 
came a short "Keport of Progress in the Study of the Fauna of 
the State," by Laurence Bruner: 

"This state is exceedingly rich in forms of life. I can call to 
your attention a few examples of this. Our birds in Nebraska 
number 416 species, as against 364 species for Kansas. I have 
found in the state 280 to 290 species of grasshoppers. In the 
study of our butterflies we have ascertained that upwards of 
125 distinct forms occur in the state of Nebraska, and each year 
we add new forms to these. In the collection of tiger beetles 
in this state we succeeded in bringing together 40 different 
forms. In like manner, in the study of our wild bees, during 
the last two years we have gathered about 300 distinct species, 
collecting only during three months in the year at two places in 
the state. Nebraska is well adapted for these forms, as well as 
plants. I have been surprised that there is so little done in the 
collection of different forms. If we eliminate species after spe- 
cies, we would eliminate more titles than species — 150 to 200 
titles would include all that has been written on the animal life 
in this state. We have in the state something like 40 species of 
worms collected. In Arkansas there are something like 30 spe- 
cies recorded. We have of insects about 7,000 species in the 
collection of the university. The spiders, etc., which have beea 
collected show that our fauna is very rich in these forms also. 
We have in the university a collection which numbers about 150 
species, and 15 or 20 have been counted as not known. When 
we come down to the Crustacea, there has been little done. Of 
fishes we know a little through the work carried out by the state 
fish commission. But we undoubtedly have a larger number 
of fishes that the fish commission knows nothing about. I re- 

* Since the studies were not yet brought to full completion, the author expressed a 
desire to withdraw the article from publication for the present. It is accordingly not 
printed in this volume of the Publications of the Academy. 



member of taking from 50 to 60 species from the Elkhorn river 
alone. Again, the reptiles of Nebraska are quite numerous. We 
have a paper by Taylor on the snakes of the state, but aside from 
this I know of no record of the reptiles. The birds have been 
pretty thoroughly studied, as we have working in the state 
about twenty-five good observers. The notes of most of these 
were brought together before the State Horticultural Society 
last year, and since then no additional forms have occurred, so 
the list is about completed. As to mammals, we know practi- 
cally nothing in this state. In the early days we know that the 
buffalo, the antelope, two species of deer, the gray wolf, the 
brown bear, foxes, and panthers used to be found here. Thus 
far, then, we see that there has been little done in the way of 
studying the animal life of the state. The botanists have made 
a fair beginning in the study of the plants of the state, but the 
animals are much more numerous than the plants. I might say, 
in conclusion, that the reasons for a larger fauna in the state 
are these: Nebraska is located midway between the north and 
south; the southeastern corner of the state is barely 800 feet 
above the sea level, while the western part is almost 6,000. We 
have two large water courses and the variation of the surface 
is great. Therefore the variation in the animal life must be 
great. The time will come when a number of the forms that 
are now living in the state will be extinct, due to various changes 
brought about by civilization." 

''The Nomenclature of Nebraska Forest Trees" was the title 
of a paper by C. E. Bessey, and "Reflections on the Genus Kibes" 
were presented by F. W. Card. Papers on "Chalcedony-Lime 
Nuts from the Bad Lands of Nebraska," by E. H. Barbour, "A 
Comparison Between Nebraska Diatomaceous Earth with that 
from Neighboring States," by C. J. Elmore, "What is Mathe- 
matics?" by Ellery W. Davis, and "A Family of Quartic Sur- 
faces," by R. E. Moritz, were read and discussed. 

The nominating committee reported the following list of 
officers for the coming year, and by vote the secretary was 
instructed to cast the ballot of the Academy for the same: 



President, A. S. von Mansfelde, Ashland; vice x)r(isident, E. H. 
Barbour, Lincoln; secretary-treasurer, G. D. Swezey, Lincoln; 
custodian, Laurence Bruner, Lincoln; directors, H. B. Ward, 
Lincoln, H. B. Duncanson, Peru, C. J. Elmore, Crete, H. Hape- 
man, Minden. 

On motion the Academy then adjourned until 8 p. m. 

December 29, 1896, 8 p. m. 

In the absence of the president and vice president, the meeting 
was called to order by the secretary and L. Bruner was elected 
chairman pro tern. 

Voted that the directors of the Academy be an auditing com- 
mittee to examine the books of the treasurer. 

Voted that the committee to arrange for the publication of 
the proceedings by the state be the new executive committee, 
with two others chosen by the president. A. S. v. Mansfelde* 
and E. T. Hartley were appointed on this committee. 

A paper on "Some Methods of Collecting, Preserving, and 
Mounting Fossils,' by Carrie A. Barbour, was read and then 
commented upon by C. E. Bessey as follows: "I want to ex- 
press my gratification on this address. I have not heard of it 
myself, before. The one thing that it seems to me all this 
teaches us is that apparently destroyed remains may be pre- 
served if we know how to take care of the material. It calls to 
my mind a number of cases a year ago. I found bones, tusks, 
etc., which I thought were entirely too decayed for use at all. 
The one thing that we must see that the people of the state know 
is that even a most thoroughly decayed specimen of a bone, if 
it is covered over and kept from the air until some expert can 
come and dig it out, may turn out to be of scientific value. 
These things can be saved long after a point where they seem to 
be beyond redemption." 

A paper entitled "An Observation Upon Annual Rings in Tree 
Growth" was then read by Fred W. Card and discussed as fol- 
lows by C. E. Bessey: "I should like to see this repeated a num- 

* As Dr. V. Mansfelde was an ex-officio member of the committee the chair later sub- 
stituted the name of Dr. Bessey. 



ber of times. I doubt whether we get any other results. I 
was a surveyor many years ago in a wooded country. Now in a 
wooded country, when a line is run from one section to another, 
they ^blaze' the line. When they come to the quarter posts they 
have what they call ^witness' trees. Now it happens that these 
Vitness' trees many times stand twenty-five and forty years, 
and over and over again it occurs that these 'blazes' are over- 
grown and we never found that the account was mis-written. 
For the government survey was thirty-two years before our sur- 
vey, and when we cut in we could count just thirty-two rings from 
that time. I do think that a tree may form occasionally a sec- 
ond ring. Governor Furnas has a number of trees of which he 
knows the date when he set them out, and he finds that some- 
times they have more rings than they should have. On the 
plains here I do not see why a tree, being isolated, might not go 
into the summer rest and start again in the fall. But in the 
forests this cannot occur, so I doubt whether a second ring ever 
happens in a great forest, because the ground is moist all the 
time. So I take it that if we make experiments here long 
enough, we could get a second ring. Again, if you go into the 
south far enough you will not find rest with the growth. There 
are blocks of wood in some of the cases here on which you can- 
not make ont any line where one growth begins and another 

K. A. Emerson read a paper on the ^'Internal Temperature of 
Trees," which was discussed as follows: 

The importance of this may be shown in regard to orchard 
trees. Trees sometimes get sick on the southwest side; this is 
called "sun-scald." The tree usually dies. There is a belief 
among horticulturists that a rapid change in the winter affects 
the vitality of the bark. There is a great deal of injury done 
to trees in this way. 

Professor Oondra: "Did you perform any experiments in re- 
gard to the growth of trees?" 

Mr. Emerson: "I think it would be hard to obtain such re- 
sults. Eesults have been obtained, however, in regard to this, 
and have been published." 



Dr. Bessey: "We have no means of accurately obtaining these 
results. We do not know yet of any way by which we can tell 
th^ temperature of the cambium layer. When we bore a hole in 
a tree and destroy the layer of cells and have an air cavity in 
there instead of the solid mass of wood, we put in at once a con- 
dition which brings about an error. It is to be hoped that the 
electricians will give us an instrument by which we can measure 
the temperature of leaves without destroying them. We have 
no thermometer small enough to really determine the tempera- 
ture of the limb accurately. All this, while it tells us some- 
thing, is telling it to us about as crudely as the illustration I 
have suggested. We must have some thermometer of an en- 
tirely different kind. Something which will not make it neces- 
sary to break the tissue at all. I am quite strongly of the opin- 
ion that when we learn how hot the cambium layer becomes, 
we will find it gets very hot in the summer.'' 

Professor Swezey: "I think it is possible to get such an elec- 
trical device." 

Owing to the lateness of the hour, the following papers were 
read by title only: "The Barites of Nebraska and the Bad Lands," 
by E. H. Barbour; "Some Data as to Wind Distribution of 
Seeds," by E. M. Hussong; "Parasites of Nebraska Dogs and 
Cats," by H. B. Ward; "The Study of Botany in the School for 
the Blind," by 0. E. Bessey; "Discovery of Meteoric Iron in Ne- 
braska," by E. H. Barbour; "Notes on the Phyllopoda of Ne- 
braska," by H. A. Lafler and A. S. Pearse. 

The Academy then adjourned. G. D. Swezey, 



G. D. Swezey, treasurer, in account with the Nebraska Acad- 

emy of Sciences: 

Jan. 1, Balance from last year |5 64 

Received dues for 1895 3 00 

Received dues for 1896 31 00 

Feb. 1, Paid for printing programs and circu- 
lars 18 75 

April 16, Paid for cuts for transactions 1 25 

Ajfril 16, Paid for exchange 03 

October 23, Paid for rubber stamp 30 

December 1, Paid for postage 2 10 

Balance on hand 27 21 

|39 64 139 64 

Approved : 


C. J. Elmore, 
H. Hapeman, 
Henry B. Ward, 




At a meeting of the publication committee of the Nebraska 
Academy of Sciences, December 14, 1897, the following rules 
were adopted: 

I. All papers intended for publication must be in the hands 
of the publication committee, ready for printing, within thirty 
days after official notice has been sent to the authors. 

II. No corrections will be allowed after a paper is set up, 
save at the expense of the author. To avoid the necessity of 
correction, as far as may be possible, the committee earnestly 
recommends that all manuscript be prepared with the utmost 
care, and, if possible, type-written. 

ni. All necessary drawings must accompany the manuscript 
and must be made in India ink. 

IV. Illustrations used in the Proceedings will ordinarily be 
zinc etchings. Only in rare cases, and then by a special vote of 
the editorial committee, will photographs be reproduced as half- 
tone engravings. 

V. When the request is made on the manuscript, an author 
will be furnished, gratis, twenty unbound copies of his paper. 
Additional unbound copies will be furnished at cost if so re- 
quested on manuscript. 

VI. Papers read before the Academy, but printed elsewhere, 
will regularly be noticed in the Proceedings, but may be ab- 
stracted, and only very exceptionally printed in full. 

VII. Papers read before the Academy, but not in condition for 
publication, shall be presented as notes or preliminary reports. 

Ellery W. Davis, 
Secretary of the Committee. 

Note. — In accordance with the decision of the editorial committee papers are grouped 
according to subjects into botanical, geological, mathematical, and zoological ; and under 
each topic are arranged alphabetically according to authors, except in the case of those 
papers so closely connected in subject-matter as to necessitate another order. All papers 
included in the progi-am of the last meeting of the Academy are printed here so far as 
they have been received from the authors, and have not been published elsewhere. 



The many changes in the nomenclature of the forest trees of 
Nebraska make it necessary that an authentic list should be 
giyen in which the names now generally accepted take the place 
of those which have become antiquated. I find that of the' sixty- 
seven trees admitted to the following list no less than twenty-six 
have suffered some changes in nomenclature. 


Order Ooniferae. Family Pinaceae. 

1. Pinus ponderosa Douglas, in Lawson's Manual, 354 (1836). 
The citation of Loudon as the the authority for this species 
is an error. Douglas's name was used in Companion of the 
Botanical Magazine in 1836, and in Lawson's Agriculturist's 
Manual of the same year, but (Sudworth says) he did not de- 
scribe it. Loudon described it (in Arboretum et Fructice- 
tum Britannicum, vol. IV., crediting the name to Douglas, 
as appears to have been done also in Lawson's Manual. Our 
tree is what Engelmann separated as the variety scopulorum 
in the Botany of California, vol. IL, p. 126 (1880). It is 


doubtful whether this is entitled to varietal rank, since our 
trees are but little different from those on the Pacific coast, 
which are regarded as typical. If this variety is to be 
deemed valid our tree will then be named P. ponderosa scopu- 
lorum Engelmann, otherwise it will be P. ponderosa Douglas. 

2. Juniper us virginiana L. Sp. PI. 1039 (1753). 


Order Thalamiflorae. Sub-order Ranales. 
Family Anonaceae. 

3. Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal, Monographic dc la Famille des 

Anonacees, 83 (1817). This was named Anona triloba by 
Linne, in the first edition of his Species Plantarum, 537, but 
since Dunal's work there has been no doubt as to its proper 

Sub-order Caryophyllales. Family Salicaceae. 

4. Salioo nigra Marshall, Arbustum Americanum, 139 (1785). 

5. Salix amygdaloides Andersson, Ofversigt af Kongliga Veten- 

skaps Akademiens Forhandlingar (1858). This tree was 
originally confused with ^. nigra, from which it was sepa- 
rated by Andersson in 1858. 

6. Balix lucida Muehlenberg, Neue Schriften der Gesellschaft 

Naturforschender Freunde zu Berlin, IV. (1803). 

7. Salix fluviatilis Nuttal, Sylva of North America (1842). This 

has hitherto borne the name of S. longifolia Muehlenberg, 
Neue Schrift. Gessel. Nat. Fr. Berlin (1803), and was so 
named in my previous lists, but, as Professor Sargent points 
out in Garden and Forest, vol. VIII., November (1895), 
Muehlenberg's name is not available, having been used in 
1778 by Lamarck in his Flora Francais, vol 2, 232. The 
name longifolia is still used in Gray's and Coulter's 

8. Salix hehUana Sargent, Garden and Forest VIII., November 

(1895). This has hitherto borne the name of ^. rostrata Rich- 



ardson in the appendix to Franklin's Narrative of a Journey 
from the Shores of Hudson Bay and the Polar Sea, 753 
(1823), and was so named in my previous lists, but, as Pro- 
fessor Sargent pointed out in Garden and Forest, cited above, 
this name had already been used by Thuillier in his Flore des 
Environs de Paris in 1799. In consequence it became nec- 
essary for Professor Sargent to give it a new name, as above. 
This still bears the name of S. rostrata in Gray's and Coul- 
ter's Manuals. 

9. Salix cordata Muehlenberg, Neue Schrift. Gesel. Nat. Fr. Ber- 

lin (1803). The tree here referred to is the one tO' which the 
common name of Diamond Willow has been applied. For 
some years it was suppoised that the variety vestita of An- 
dersson was this tree, and it was so named in my previous 
lists, but that has been been determined by Sargent to be 
an error. For the present we can do no' more than call it a 
form of this species. In the Illustrated Flora (Britton and 
Brown) our plant appears to be confused with S. missouri- 
ensis Bebb. 

10. Populus tremuloides Michaux, Flora Boreali-Americana, 11 

11. Populus halsamifera L. Sp. PI. 1034 (1753). In previous lists 
this has been given as the variety candicans of Gray (more 
properly of (Aiton) Gray), or canadensis (Moench) Sudworth, 
but I am oonfident now that our tree is the species proper 
and not the variety. 

12. Populus augustifolia James, Long's Expedition, 1, 497 (1823). 

13. Populus acuminata Rydberg, Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical 
Club, 20:50 (1893). This interesting tree is conceded by 
Professor Sargent as ''probably a distinct species." (Sylva, 
IX., 172.) 

14. Populus deltoidea Marshall, Arbustum Americanum, 106 
(1785). This has borne the name of P. monilifera Aiton in 
previous lists and in Gray's Manual. In Coulter's Manual 
it is P. angulata Aiton, while in De Candolle's Prodromus 


XVI., 2 (1868), it is P. canadensis Moencli. In the Illustrated 
Flora a variation of the spelling is used, as P. deltoides. 

Sub-order Malvales. Family Tiliaceae. 

15. Tilia americana L. Sp. PI. 514 (1753). 

Family Urtieaceae. 

16. Ulmus americana L. Sp. PI. 226 (1753). 

17. Ulmus racemosa Thomas, American Journal of Science, 19 :170 

18. Ulmus fulva Michaux, Flora Boreali-Americana, 1:172 (1803). 
In some recent lists this bears the name U. puhescens Walter, 
Flora Caroliniana (1788), and there is reason to believe that 
this may be the prior name. 

19. Geltis occidentalis L. Sp. PI. 1044 (1753). 

20. Morus rubra L. Sp. PI. 986 (1753). 

Order Bicarpellatae. Sub-order Gentianales. 
Family Oleaceae. 

21. Fraxinus americana L. Sp. PI. 1057 (1753). 

22. Fraxinus pennsylvanica MdiVi^^^W, Arbustum Americanum, 51 
(1785). This is the F, puhescens Lamarck (1786), which name 
it bears in Gray's and Coulter's Manuals. 

23. Fraxinus pennsylvanica lanceolata (Borkh.) Sargent, Silva of 
North America, VI., 50 (1894). This was first named F. 
lanceolata by Borkhausen (Handbook Forst. Bot., 1800). It 
received the name of F. viridis by Michaux Alius in Histoire 
des Arbres in 1813, and the latter name has been very gen- 
erally adopted by American botanists, and is still used in 
Gray's and Coulter's Manuals. 

Order Calyciflorae. Sub-order Rosales. 
Family Rosaceae. 

24. Pirus coronaria ioensis Wood, Class-book, 333 (1870). This 
is the P. iowensis (Wood) Bailey of the ''Check List." 

25. Crataegus tomentosa L. Sp. PI. 476 (1753). 



26. Crataegus mollis (Torrey & Gray) Scheele, Linnaea 2i:,jG9 
(1848). This is the 0. coccinea mollis T. & G. of the sixth edi- 
tion of Gray's Manual, and the G. subvillosa Schrader of some 

27. Crataegus coccinea L. Sp. PI. 476 (1753). 

28. Crataegus coccinea macracantha (Lodd.) Dudley, Bulletin of 
Cornell University, 2:33 (1886). In the ^^Oheck List" this is 
considered to be a distinct species under Loddige's original 
name C. macracantha. 

29. AmelancMer canadensis (L.) Medicus, Geschichte der Botanik- 
unserer Zeiten, 79 (1793). 

30. Prunus virginiana L. Sp. PI. 473 (1753). 

31. Prunus serotina Ehrhart, Beltraege zur Naturkunde, 3:20 

32. Prunus americana Marshall, Arbustum Americanum, 111 
• (1785). 

Family Caesalpiniaceae. 

33. Gymnocladus dioicus (L.) Koch, Dendrologie, 1:5 (1869). 
This is G. canadensis Lamarck (1783), and of the ordinary 
manuals. It was first named Guilandina dioica by Linne in 
Sp. PI. 381 (1753). 

34. Gleditsia triacanthos L. Sp. PI'. 1056 (1753). In nearly all 
publications the generic name is given as Gleditschia in spite 
of the fact that Linne spelled Gleditsia, evidently from Gle- 
ditsius. Latinized from the German Gleditsch. 

35. Cercis canadensis L. Sp. PI. 374 (1753). 

Family Platanaceae. 

36. Platanus occidentalis L. Sp. PI. 999 (1753). 

SuB-ORDER Celastralbs. Family Rhamnaceae. 

37. Rhamnus lanceolata Pursh, Flora Americae Septentrionalis, 
166 (1814). 

38. Rhamnus caroUniana Walter, Flora Caroliniana, 101 (1788). 



Family Elaeagnaceae. 

39. Lepargyraea argentea (Pursh) Greene, Pittonia 2:122 (1890). 
This small tree was first named Elaeagnus argentea by Nuttall 
in Fraser's Catalogue in 1813; but this being a name only, 
with no description whatever, it cannot be considered valid. 
In 1814 Pursh in his Flora Americae Septentrionalis, 1:115, 
described it as Hippopliae argentea, giving no credit whatever 
to Nuttall for the specific name. In 1817 Rafinesque, in the 
American Monthly Magazine, separated it and erected the 
genus Lepargyraea, and about a year later Nnttall independ- 
ently erected the genus Shepherclia (Genera of North Ameri- 
can Plants, 2:240, 1818). Nuttall's name was generally ac- 
cepted and is still used in Gray's and Coulter's Manuals. 

Sub-order Sapindales. Family Sapindaceae. 

40. Aeseiilus glabra Willdenow, Enumeratio Plantarum Horti 
Regii Botanici Berolinensis, 405 (1809). 

41. Acer glahrum Torrey, Annals of the Lyceum of New York, 
2:172 (1826). 

42. Acer saccharinum L. Sp. PI. 1055 (1753). This tree is com- 
monly given the name A. dasycarpuni Ehrhart, Beitraege zur 
Naturkunde, 4:24 (1789), but the name given by Linne cer- 
tainly belongs to this tree, since the specimens in his her- 
barium with this name attached, as well as the original de- 
scription, agree fully with our tree. Dr. Gray long ago 
(1839), in a letter to Dr. Torrey (Letters of Asa Gray, l:150j, 
called his attention to the fact that Linne referred to the 
tree subsequently described b}^ Michaux (Flor. Bor.-Am., 
2:253, 1803) as A. eriocarpum, which is identical with Ehr- 
hart's A. dasycarpum. For some reason, not now regarded 
as valid, no effort was made to restore this name, and so we 
find that in all the editions of Gray's Manual, down to the 
present, the error has been permitted to stand. 

43. Acer harhatum Michaux, Flora Boreali-Americana, 2:252 
(1803). There has been much confusion as to the names of 



this and the preceding species. It appears that this tree 
was not separated from the preceding species for half a 
century after Linne had bestowed the name A. saccharinum 
upon one of our sugar-producing maples. Wangenheim in 
1787 (Beytrag zur teutschen holzgerechten Forstwissen- 
schaft die Anpflanzung Nordameiicanischer Holzarten, page 
26), supposing that Linne's description referred to the maple 
from which most of the sugar is made, described and figured 
it under the name A. saccharinimi. Thus we have had two 
trees bearing the same name. In 1803 Mic'haux described 
this as distinct from A. saccharinum, and his name Is there- 
fore the earliest available one. In Gray's Manual this is 
still given the name A. saccharinum. 

44. Acer negundo L. Sp. PL 1056 (1753). This is the Negundo 
aceroides Moench (Methodus Plantas Horti Botanici et Agri 
Marburgensis, 1794), and this name has been generally 
adopted in American manuals. In Gray's and Coulter's 
Manuals this name is used. In some lists the name appears 
as Negundo negundo (L.) Sudworth, while in still others, as 
Rulac negundo (L.) Hitchcock. Since, however, this tree is 
really a maple, there is no good reason for abandoning the 
name originally given by Linne. 

Family Anacardiaceae. 

45. Rhus copallina L. Sp. PI. 266 (1753). 

Family Juglandaceae. 

46. Juglans cinerea L. Sp. PL, ed. 2, 1415 (1763). 

47. Juglans nigra L. Sp . PL 997 (1753). 

48. Hicoria ovata (Mill.) Britton, Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical 
Club, 15:283 (1888). This was first called Juglans ovata 
by Miller in the Gardener's Dictionary, edition 8 (1768). In 
1808 Rafinesque separated the hickories generically from the 
walnuts under the name Hicoria (by a typographical error 
printed "Scoria^^), but Nuttall, in ignorance of this, made a 
genus with the same limitations, but with the name Carya 



(Genera of North American Plants, 2:220, 1818). Nuttall's 
name was taken up by botanists generally, that of Rafinesque 
being allowed to remain in obscurity until it was revived by 
Britton in 1888. Through a mistake by Michaux (Flora 
Boreali- Americana, 2:193, 1803) this was called by him 
Juglans alba, but it is not the J. alba of Linne (Sp. PL 997, 
1753). Nuttall transferred this mistake, calling this tree 
Gary a alba, the name by which it has generally been known. 
In Gray-s Manual, even in the latest edition, Nuttall's name 
is used. 

49. Hicoria laciniosa (Michaux) Sargent, Silva of North America, 

VII. , 157 (1895). This is the E. sulcata (Nutt.) Britton of 
previous lists, and is the Carya sulcata of Gray's Manual. 

50. Hicoria alba (L.) Britton, Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical 
Club, 15:283 (1888). This is the Carya tomentosa of Gray's 

51. Hicoria glabra (Mill.) Britton, Bulletin of the Torrey Botani- 
cal Club, 15:283 (1888). This is the Carya porcina of Gray's 

52. Hicoria minima (Marshall) Britton, Bulletin of the Torrey 

Botanical Club, 15:283 (1888). This is the Carya amara of 
: Gray's Manual. 

Family Cupuliferae. 

53. Quercus alba L. Sp. PI. 996 (1753). 

54. Quercus 7ninor (Marshall) Sargent, Garden and Forest, II., 
471 (1889). 

55. Quercus macrocarpa Michaux, Histoire des Chenes de 
TAmerique, 2 (1801). 

56. Quercus acuminata (Michx.) Sargent, Garden and Forest, 

VIII. , 93 (1895). This is the Q. prinus, var. acuminata of the 
fifth edition of Gray's Manual, and the Q. mulilenbergii of the 
sixth edition. This last name was used in the later lists is- 
sued by the botanical department of the University. 

57. Quercus prinoides Willdenow, Neue Schrift. Gesell. Nat. Fr. 



Berlin, 3:397 (1801). In the fifth edition of Gray's Manual 
this bore the name of Q. prinus, var. humilis. 

58. Quercus rubra L. Sp. PI. 996 (1753). 

59. Quercus coccinea Muenchhausen, Der Hausvater, V.,254 (1770). 
This species has commonly been attributed to Wangenheim 
(1787), but Muenchhausen antedates him by seventeen years. 

60. Quercus velutina Lamarck, Dictionnaire de Botanique, 721 
(1783). This is the Q. discolor of Alton (1789), the Q. tinctoria 
of Michaux (1803), and the Q. coccinea tinctoria of De Candolle 
(1864), which name it still bears in Gray's Manual. 

61. Quercus marilandica Muenchhausen, Der Hausvater, V : 253 

(1770). By a mistake in determination Wangenheim de- 
scribed this tree (1781) under the name Q. nigra, which Linne 
had applied to another tree, an error which has been con- 
tinued to the present, still occurring in the latest edition of 
Gray's Manual. 

62. Quercus irnbricaria Michaux, Histoire des Chenes de 
I'Amerique, 9 (1801). 

63. Ostrya virginiana (Miller) Willdenow, Species Plantarum, 
4:469 (1805). 

64. Carpinus caroliniana Walter, Flora Caroliniana, 236 (1788). 
This is the C americana of the fifth edition of Gray's Manual, 
and the C. virginiana of some previous lists. 

65. Betula papyrifera Marshall, Arbustum Americanum, 19 (1785). 

66. Betula occidentalis Hooker, Flora Boreali-Americana, 2:155 

67. Betula nigra L. Sp. PI. 982 (1753). 




About a year ago Professor Barbour furnished me some dia- 
tomaceous earth from various deposits in Nebraska, and the re- 
sults of my study on them were brought before this Academy at 
its last meeting. These deposits were located in Wheeler county, 
Greeley county, at Thedford, and at Mullen. From the same 
source I recently obtained material from a deposit at St. Joseph, 
Mo., and one at Denver, Colo. 

The diatoms from the two latter deposits show a striking simi- 
larity to each other, and all of the species in both are represented 
in Nebraska deposits. 

The deposit at St. Joseph differs from any Nebraska deposit 
in being made up of comparatively few species. In all of the 
material examined only fifteen species were found; and of these, 
three composed the bulk of the deposit, the others being of infre- 
quent occurrence. These three species are Cymhella cymhiformis 
(Kuetz.) Breb., Cystopleura turgida (Ehr.) Kuntze, and Cymhella 
gastroides Kuetz. 

The following is a list of the species found: 

Coccofieis placentula Ehr. Rather common, but not forming any 
considerable part of the deposit. Occurs about as fre- 
quently as in Nebraska deposits. 

Gymatopleiira elliptica (Breb.) W. Sm. Rare; only one specimen 
found. Also very rare in Nebraska deposits, being found 
only at Mullen, and only a single fragment there. 

Cymhella cymhlformis (Kuetz.) Breb. Forais a considerable por- 



tion of the deposit, tlioiigli not so abun(Liut as Ci/mhella (jas- 
troides Kuetz., or CystopUyura turgidu (Elir.) Kiiritze. Also 
common in Nebraska deposits. 
Cymhella gasfroides Kuetz. Very common, and next to Cysto- 
pleiira turgida (Ehr.). Kuntze, the most important species in 
the deposit. Common in the Nebraska deposits at Mullen, 
Thedford, and Greeley county. 

Cymhella levis Naeg. Very rare. Occurs only rarely in the de- 
posit at Mullen. 

Cystopleura occellata (Ehr.) Kuntze. Rare. Rather common in 

the top layer of the Mullen deposit. 
Cystopleura turgida (Ehr.) Kuntze. The most abundant species in 

the deposit. Varies greatly. A very common species in th^ 

Nebraska deposits. 

Cystopleura zebra (Ehr.) Kuntze. Rather common. About as 

common in Nebraska deposits. 
Encyonema caespitosum Kuetz. Rare. Found in Nebraska only 

in the Mullen deposit. 
Gomphonema intricatum Kuetz. Rare. Common in the Greeley 

county deposit. 

GompJionema montanum Schum. The form called var. suhclava- 
tum Grun. is rather common. Found in Nebraska only in 
the Wheeler county deposit. 

Navicula cuspidata Kuetz. Rare. Not very common in Ne- 
braska deposits. 

Navicula oUonga Kuetz. Rare. Rather common in deposits at 

Thedford and in Wheeler county. 
Stauroneis phoenicenteron Kuetz. Only one specimen was found. 

Rather common in Nebraska deposits. 
Synedra sp. Only a fragment was found, and this was too small 

to identify. 

The material from the Denver deposit was taken from a rail- 
road cut. The leading species in this deposit are the same avS 



those in the St. Joseph deposit, but there are differences in the 
less frequent species. 

The following species were found in it: 

Cocconeis placentula Ehr. Common, but forming a very small 
portion of the deposit. About equally common in Nebraska 

Cymhella cuspidata Kuetz. Kare. Rather common in Nebraska 

Gymbella gastroides Kuetz. Common. 

Gystopleura gihha (Ehr.) Kuntze. Rather common, as is also the 

form called var. ventricosa (Ehr.) Grun. 
Gystopleura turgida (Ehr.) Kuntze. Very common. 
Gystopleura zehra (Ehr.) Kuntze. Rather more common than in 

Nebraska deposits. 

Encyonema caespitosum Kuetz. More common than in Nebraska 

Fragilaria construens (Ehr.) Grun. The form called var. venter 
Grun. is more common that the type forming a considerable 
portion of the deposit. 

Fragilaria elliptica Schum. Common, but less abundant than in 
some Nebraska deposits. 

Gomplionema acuminatum Ehr. Rare. 

Gomplionema constrictum Ehr. Less common than in Nebraska 

Gomplionema lierculeanum Ehr. Rare. Also rare in Nebraska 

Melosira distans (Ehr.) Kuetz. Common, but not so abundant 

as in Nebraska deposits. 
Navicula radiosa K:uetz. Rare. Not very common in Nebraska 


Synedra capitata Ehr. Not very common. About equally com- 
mon in Nebraska deposits. 
Synedra ulna (Nitz.) Ehr. Not very common. 



Besides the diatoms, both of these dejxisits contain a large 
number of sponge spicules of at least two distinct forms. Al- 
though all of the region in which these deposits occur was at one 
time covered by salt water, none of them were made at that time, 
for all of the diatoms found belong to fresh-water species. So it 
is evident that these deposits were made after the land of this 
region had risen out of the ocean, but when there were still fresh- 
water lakes covering part of the region. These deposits must 
have been made in lakes rather than in rivers, for river condi- 
tions are too changeable to allow the forming of a large deposit. 
Diatoms live in rivers as well as in lakes and ponds, but the for- 
mation of a large deposit requires quiet water and practically 
constant conditions. So these diatom deposits tell us that dur- 
ing Tertiary times there were lakes in Missouri, Nebraska, and 
Colorado. They also tell us that the conditions were practically 
alike in all of these places, for the species in all of the deposits 
show a great similarity, a large number of them being identical. 
The most abundant genus is Cystopleura, and this grows attached 
to some filamentous algae. So we also have evidence that other 
algae than diatoms lived in these Tertiary lakes. 

The number of diatoms in these deposits is enormous. Ehren- 
berg calcuated that there were 41,000,000,000 individuals in a cu- 
bic inch of diatomaceous earth. Taking the largest specimen of 
Stauroneis phoenicenteron that I ever found, and which is larger 
than any of the fossils in these deposits, we would have only 
about 230,000,000 individuals per cubic inch. As this number is 
based on the largest diatoms, it is farther from the truth than 
Ehrenberg's. But Ehrenberg's estimate allows a cube of only 
about 7 micromillimeters for each specimen, and this is probably 
too small for our deposits. But even taking the number ob- 
tained in using the largest diatoms, a cubic inch contains enough 
to give three tO' every person in the United States. 

The time required for making these deposits is impossible to 
determine. If the diatoms multiplied at their most rapid rate, 
it would take an incredibly short time; but practically, such de- 
posits are made rather slowly. If we started with a single dia- 



torn, and lliis diatom should divide every hour for a week, there 
would be 168 divisions, but for convenience we may take two 
hour>s more than a week, making 170 divisions. At the end of 
this time the number of diatoms would be one doubled 170 
times, or about 512,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,- 
000,000,000,000,000. Now taking Ehrenberg's estimate, which 
is based on very small specimens, this number of diatoms would 
make 12,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic 
inches of diatomaceous earth, the product of a single diatom in 
a week's time. Now if on every square inch we had one diatom 
to start with, so that these cubic inches could be placed one 
above another, they would make a deposit 1,000,000,000,000,000,- 
000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 feet deep; or 200,000,000,000,000,- 
000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles deep; or, to bring it nearer to 
our Gomprehension, 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times the 
distance from the earth to the sun. At this rate, the progeny of 
half a dozen diatoms would in a few days fill all the space occu- 
pied by the solar system, with diatomaceous earth, enough to sat- 
isfy fully the most ardent diatom collectors. It is hardly neces- 
sary, however, to mention that diatoms do not ordinarily repro- 
duce at this rate. This will serve as a warning to scientists to 
make mathematics their servant and not their master. It is quite 
evident that the supposition tliat diatoms do divide at this rate 
is entirely hypothetical. The "struggle for existe-nce" kept dia- 
toms within bounds as Avell in ancient as in modern times, and 
it is likely that the formation of these deposits occupied several, 
or even many years. 




The question often arises as to whether the rings of growth 
observed in trees are strictly annual rings. The opinion appears 
to be generally prevalent that they represent rather periods of 
growth. Even if that be true they will still be in most cases 
annual, as that is the normal period of growth in temperate cli- 
mates. It may then be asked whether depredations of insects 
which defoliate the tree, or periods of drought which check its 
growth, will cause the formation of another ring for that year. 

In order to throw some possible light on this subject a simple 
expenment was made in the summer of 1894. On May 1.9 a piece 
of bark about ©ne and one-half inch square was removed fromi 
the north side of an ash tree about four inches in diameter and 
from a maple about three inches in diameter. Both trees were in 
full growth at the time and the bark lifted readily. 

July 10 the leaves were stripped from both these trees, with 
the exception of a very few which were purposely left. By the 
end of the month both trees were leaving out again. 

On the lOtli of November both trees were cut down. A cross 
section cut through the points from which the bark was removed 
showed no evidence of the treatment which the trees had re- 
ceived. The ring of growth for that year was apparently as uni- 
form as for other years. 

This experiment, it should be noted, does not contradict the 
general opinion that there may be more than one ring formed in 
one year, but it does seem to indicate that a greater interference 
with the normal conditions of growth is needed to produce that 
effect than has often been supposed. It is quite possible, to be 
sure, that at some other part of the season the effect might have 



been different. It may also be that if the leaves had been 
kept from forming for a short time the result would have been 
different. In general it seems fair to presume that the number 
of rings found represent with a fair degree of certainty the age 
of that part of the tree. To get the full age of the tree it should 
be remembered that the count should be made at a point low 
enough to get the sapling produced from the seed in the first year 
of growth. 




Observations on the internal temperature of trees were begun 
by the writer in the summer of 1894. The object of the work was 
to determine if possible whether the temperature of trunks and 
limbs exposed to the direct rays of the sun does not at times be- 
come injuriously high. Observations were made on several 
apple trees, a maple, and a cottonwood. Some of the apple limbs 
were shaded by their foliage, some by boards, and somie were 
in direct sunlight. Half inch holes were bored in the limbs, some 
on the north side, some on the south, and some on the west. 
Each hole was bored so that a radius of the circle formed by a 
cross section of the limb was cut at right angles near its periphe- 
ral end. Each hole extended a little over half-way through the 
tree and left approximately one-half inch of new wood between 
it and the bark. For taking internal temperatures an accurate 
thermometer was used. Its stem was fitted in a cork which fitted 
snugly the hole in the limb, so that, when the thermometer was in 
place the hole was closed tightly. At each reading the ther- 
mometer was left in the hole two or three minutes and so indi- 
cated fairly accurately the temperature of the wood. Between 
readings the hole was kept closed with a cork. Readings were 
taken at the same times every day. In some cases they were 
taken in the morning, in some at noon, in others at night, in some 
both morning and noon, in others both morning and night. The 
temperature of the air was taken at the same times. For this 
cheap thermometers were used. They were first compared with 
the better thermometer and their scales corrected. They were 
hung on the limbs, one on the side in which the hole was bored, 
the other on the opposite side. Readings were taken continu- 
ously from July 4 to September 5, with but few interruptions. 



Now as to results. In the first place the real object of the 
work, to determine whether the temperature of exposed trunks 
and limbs does not at times rise injuriously high, can hardlj- be 
said to have been accomplished. The highest temperature re- 
corded was 119° F. Though this is probably above the optimum ' 
temperature for growth, it would be difficult to say whether it 
is particularly injurious or not. Of course the maximum tem- 
perature of the wood one-half inch in from the cambium layer 
may have been much less than that of the cambium itself. A few 
interesting points came out, however, that lead to a further study 
of tree temperatures. Some of the things shown by this first 
summer's work are: (1.) The temperature of the tree trunks fol- 
lows closely that of the outside air. (2.) One side of a small limb 
may have a temperature much higher than that of the other 
side. (3.) The maximum daily temperature of a limb expo'sed to 
direct sunlight is often much higher than that of the outside air. 
(4.) The maximum daily temperature of the shaded limbs is below 
that of the air. (5.) Limbs exposed to direct sunlight show a 
greater daily variation in temperature than shaded limbs. As 
one illustration of the above points, a part of the readings taken 
from four apple trees on July 26, 1894, are given in the table 
below. Hole No. 3 was in a limb shaded by a board, No. 4 in 
a limb shaded by foliage, and Nos. 1, 2, and 5 in limbs exposed 
to the sun. 


Side of 

Time of 

of tree. 

Temperature of air. 

Near hole. 

Opposite hole. 














7 a. m 

12 m 

12 m 

12 m 

12 m 

7 a. m 

6 p. m 

79.2° F. 


85.5° F. 


83.2° F. 


From this summer's work it became apparent that very little 
could be learned of tree-temperatures by making observations 
only once or twice daily. Therefore during a number of days in 



the spring and summer of 181)5, hourly observations were 1ak(^ii. 
This time a box-elder tree was used. Holes were bored about as 
before. A number of good thermometers were placed in the 
holes and remained there throughout the test, the holes being 
sealed by putting wax about the thermometer stems. The 
thermometers were arranged to study the following points: 
(1.) The temperature of the air, as indicated by a thermometer 
in the shade. (2.) The same, as shown by a thermometer in di- 
rect sunlight. (3.) The temperature of the northeast side of a 
live limb. (4.) That of the southwest side of the same limb ex- 
posed to direct sunlight. (5.) That of the southwest side of the 
same limb shaded from the sun. (6.) That of the southwest side 
of a dead limb exposed to direct sunlight. 

In addition to the points brought out before, the following 
were noted: (1.) The temperature of tree-limbs rises and falls 
more slow^ly than that of the air. (2.) The temperature of a dead 
limb rises and falls more quickly than that of a live limb. (3.) 
The extreme daily variations of temperature are greater in a 
dead limb than in a live one. 

In July the same thermometers were placed in limbs of an 
apple tree and the same points compared. The results were 
identical to those obtained in the box-elder tree. 

In September the thermometers were moved to another apple 
tree. Eesults were the same again with one exception. The 
temperature of the live limb followed that of the air more rap- 
idly than did the temperature of the dead limb, just the opposite 
of what had occurred in both the previous cases. The dead limbs 
used before had been alive the previous summer and their wood 
was sound, while the limb used in the last case had been dead 
longer and its wood was soft and slightly decayed. It would be 
difficult, however, to account for the difference observed in the 
two cases on this ground alone. 

It was this difference in behavior that led to a continuation of 
the w^ork another year. Up to this time no accurate measure- 
ments of the thickness of wood between the hole and the bark 
had been made. The limbs, having been left in their original 



positions on the trees, received the sun's rays at somewhat differ- 
ent angles. This might haw had something to do with the 
difference between the temperatures of the live and dead limbs. 

In August oi this year, 1896, the thermometers were again 
placed in limbs of an apple tree. The thermometers were the 
same ones used before. They were compared with a thermome- 
ter loaned for that purpose by the meteorological department of 
the university and were found to be sufficiently accurate. A 
live limb about 10 centimeters in diameter and with fairly smooth 
bark was chosen. It leaned slightly to the north. All limbs to 
the south of it were removed, so that the sun's rays might fall 
directly upon it through the greater part of the day. A dead 
limb about the size of the live one, with sound wood and fairly 
smooth bark, was then obtained and a section of it about a meter 
and a half long was hung up parallel to the live limb and about 
a half meter from it. The sawed ends of this limb were covered 
with wax to prevent, as far as possible, a loss or gain of water. 
Holes sixteen millimeters in diameter, just large enough to admit 
the thermometer bulbs, were bored in these limbs about two and 
one-half meters from the ground. They were so bored that the 
thermometer tubes placed in them were perpendicular to the 
sun's rays at about 1 :30 p. m. One hole in the live limb and one 
in the dead one were bored as in all cases before. In both cases 
the wood between the hole and the bark was 10 m.m. thick. The 
bark on the live limb was 3.5 m.m. thick, on the dead limb 4 m.m. 
thick. In addition to these tangentially bored holes, another 
was bored radially in each limb about 30 cm. below the first. 
These were bored as near the center of the limb as possible. 
Each was 40 m.m. from the outside of the bark on the south side 
of the limb. All the holes were carefully sealed with wax. A 
heavy cloth screen was made to shade the limbs or protect them 
from the wind as might be desired. 

With these arrangements for accurate comparison between the 
dead and live limb, the reisults of the first two trials made in 1895 
were confirmed. The temperature of the dead limb changed 
more rapidly than that of the live one. It was also noticed that, 



(1) Ihe temperature of the center of the limbs changed much more 
slowly than that of the surface, and (2) the extreme daily varia- 
tions were less. These points and also those brought out be- 
fore are shown in the diagram of observations made September 
1), 1896. (Fig. 1.) The limbs were shaded until 1:15 p. m., when 
the screen was removed. Just before 2 p. m. the sky became 

The ditference in temperature between the center and the sur- 
face of a' limb can be explained by the fact that wood is a poor 
conductor of heat. The difference between the dead and live 
limbs can be accounted ton almost entirely by the fact that the 
live limb contains much more water than the dead one. Water, 
having a high specific heat, varies in temperature much less rap- 
idly than wood. 

Thus far nothing has been said of the behavior of dead and live 
limbs when their temperatures approach the freezing point of 
water. Many observations were made on this point and all in- 
dicate the following conclusions: (1) The temperature of the 
air and of both the center and surface of a dead limb passes the 
freezing point of water without appreciable acceleration or re- 
tardation in its rise or fall. (2.) Tlie temperature of the surface 
and center of a live limb remains near the freezing point for some 
time, but, having once got above this point, it rises nearly as 
fast as that of a dead limb. These points are shown in the dia- 
gram of readings for December 12, 1896. (Fig. 2.) The limbs 
were shaded all day. 

This behavior is also to be explained, probably, by the pres- 
ence of considerable water in a live limb and the comparative 
absence of it in a dead one. The ^'latent" heat of fusion must 
play an important part in retarding the melting of ice. 

(Added since the above was read.) 

Since the reading of the above paper a further study was made 
of the effect of water in controlling temperature changes in live 
and dead limbs. The dead limb and a section of the live one, 
containing the thermometers and corresponding in length to the 
dead one, were removed from the tree to the university green- 



house. The temperature changes in the two limbs, on their being 
moved in and out of the greenhouse, were noted for several days. 
The behavior was practically the same as when the limbs were 
attached to the tree. The dead limb was then soaked in water 
for some time and the temperature changes of the two limbs 
again observed during both rising and falling temperatures. 

These observations show that the rise and fall of temperature 
of a dead limb is very appreciably checked on approaching the 
freezing point. In short, a soaked dead limb behaves like a live 
one, as far as temperature changes are concerned. There seemed 
also to be' some indication that the temperature of the soaked 
dead limb, after having once passed below the freezing point, 
falls faster than that of the live limb below the same point. The 
later comparisons of the temperature changes of a live limb and 
a dead one not soaked are illustrated by the diagram for January 
26, 1897. (Fig. 3.) A like comparison of a live limb and a soaked 
dead one is given by the diagram for Februar3' 26, 1897. (Fig 4.) 
In both these cases the limbs were placed out doors at 9 a. m., 
after having first acquired a uniform temperature in the green- 

(Fig. 1.) Sept. 9, 1896. 
Curve No. 1 shows the changes in the temperature of a thermometer in air. 
No. 2. — Temperature near surface of dead limb. 
No. 3. — Same at center of dead limb. 
No. 4. — Temperature near surface of live limb. 
No. 5. — Same at center of live limb. 

Limbs shaded till 1:15 p. m., in sunshine till 2 p. m. Sky cloudy remainder of 

(Fig. 2.) Dec. 12, 1896. 
No. 1 shows the temperature of air. 
No. 2 shows the temperature of surface of dead limb. 
No. 3 shows the temperature of center of dead limb. 
No. 4 shows the temperature of surface of live limb. 
No. 5 shows the temperature of center of live limb. 
Limbs shaded by a screen. 

(Fig. 3.) Jan. 26, 1897. 
No. 1 shows the temperature of air. 
No. 2 shows the temperature of surface of dead limb. 
No. 3 shows the temperature of center of dead limb. 



No. 4 shows the tempcratui-e of surface of" live limb. 
No. 5 shows the teinpeniture of" center of" live limb. 
Liinbs placed outdoors at 1) a. m. 

(Fig. 4.) Feb. 2G, 1897. 
No. 1 shows the temperature of air. 

No. 2 shows the temperature of surface of soaked dead limb. 
No. 3 shows the temperature of center of soaked dead limb. 
No. 4 shows the temperature of surface of live limb. 
No. 5 shows the temperature of center of live limb. 
Limbs placed outdoors at 9 a, m. 

\VlND-l)lWTRlBUTl()i\ OF HEEDH. 



Few matters are of greater economic importance than that of 
how and to what extent the seeds of flowering plants are distrib- 
uted by winds. To the ecologist and phyto-geographer it is one 
of no moderate interest, as geographical distribution, though 
local, is in each of these lines of modern research no inconspicu- 
ous part; to the student of local florae it accounts partially for 
the unexpected appearance of species whose natural habitat has 
been assigned remote from his district of special work; while to> 
the agriculturist it affects vitally his success or failure on the 

No available data touching directly upon the subject have been 
tabulated; perhaps none have been collected. Under my direc- 
tion the students of the Franklin High School have carried for- 
ward for the past three years a series of field collections and 
laboratory cultures that have opened the problem at least to^ 
wider investigation. Our work briefly is thus : 

We have made exposures of collecting traps in the various 
situations afforded us on the high school campus, around the 
homes of the students, and in the open prairies and fields. Lee- 
ward and windward positipns were selected when previous indi- 
cations foretold the directiom of the wind; the value of these 
different positions is apparent from the widely different results 
obtained thus from the same period of observation. The differ- 
ent situations, as campus, barnyard, prairie, ravine, field, etc., 
give lawful variations which the observer can easiiy account for. 

The traps used were deep tin cans, anchored fast by means of 
stout stakes to which the cans were securely wired in a manner 
allowing of easy detachment to remove the contents. Winds 
were grossly classified into four groups: breezyes, local winds. 



high winds, and continued gales ; such grouping being based upon 
the force and continuance of atmospheric movement. The trash 
and dust were carefully removed from the cans and labeled as to 
location, date, length and strength of wind. A specimen label 
is as follows: 

"Harry Davis; open pasture south of Franklin, one-half mile 
from tilled soil; continued gale, two days; Oct. 10-11, 1894." 

In many instances dates were not recorded, but the general 
season-period is known. These omissions have so affected the 
calculations that no definite dates can be given in the tabulation; 
the early or late season-period, however, is fairly accurate. 

Vegetable mould, calorized to prevent extraneous growths, 
was added to the collections and under fair conditions the seeds 
contained therein were germinated. Many of the plants grew 
to maturity, others developed sufficiently to reveal their identity, 
a few were classed "unknown." The tabulation of results is not 
as satisfactory as could be wished, but it suffices to show the 
general trend of the investigation. 

The following table shows calculations obtained from forty- 
eight collections, 1893-4-5-6, taken during 
Late Summer, September . 


1. Portulacacese . . 

2. Compositae .... 

3. Amarantaceae . . 

4. Chenopodiacete 

5. Plantaginacete . 

6. Asclepeidace?e . 

7. Graminese 

8. Solanaceas 

9. Cyperacese .... 

10. Onagraceas .... 

11. Cruciferse ..... 

12. Leguminosa^. . . 
18. Polygonacefe . . 
14. Convolvulacea? . 

Unknown , 









7 ■ 


I gales. 






Per cents, by winds 







26 . 6 






A single series of expeiiments can give no well- ton ndc^d re- 
snlts, and may vary widely fpom the truth; however, in general 
it is noticed that breezes and local ivinds do not distribute ordi- 
nary plant seeds over very gr-^eat areas, while oppositely, Mf/h 
ivincls and continued gales scatter the seeds widely over pasture 
and meadow, hill, ravine, field, and prairie alike. 

It is at once noticed in the above table that the comose seeds 
and the pappose and chaffy seed-bearing fruits are dislodged and 
scattered by the early fall breezes, the seeds of the Gompositw 
and the Asclepeidacew predominating in numbers. The local 
winds bear, besides comose and pappose seeds, those of the 
Cheopodiacece and Amarantacece, whose presence is very undesira- 
ble economically. Higli winds do not, as many may suppose, 
bear the lighter comose, pappose, and membranaceous seeds in 
greater numbers than does it of those of denser structure. 
Though the liigli tvinds are, far more than any others, the seed 
carriers, they are also the atmospheric agents that loosen and 
drift forward many seeds that are; too heavy to' be borne within 
itself above the soil surface. The cultures of material collected 
during continued gales gave very disappointing results. Our ad- 
ventive, newly introduced, and "out-of-range" species have come 
within our boundaries by the steady monsonic gales so prevalent 
from the north and south, over the plain district of Nebraska, 
Kansas, and the Dakotas. The alarming invasion of the ''Rus- 
sian thistle," Salsola tragus L., in 1894-5, the appearance of carr 
pet weed, Mollugo verticillata L., throughout the entire county 
(Franklin) in 1892, and the occasional growths of wild carrot, 
Daucus carrota L., are to be attributed to these continued gales. 

A ref erence to each of the other tables in the series may not be 
amiss : 

1. The October collections gave 20 fc more of Composites, Sfo 
more of Asclepeidacew, and a considerable gain generally in the 
lighter seeds, especially those adapted to aerial carriage ; arous- 
ing a strong suspicion, which other conditions tend to verify, 
that October is predominantly the month of local distribution. 



Graminew, Amarantacece, and Chenopodiacece each gain from 1 to 
3fc when dynamic data are unchanged. 

2. The November collections were notable for a great increase 
in the Chenopods and Amaranths. These grow mainly in fields 
and ripen early and late. The increase of distribution of seeds 
is probably accounted for by this being the month of corn-gath- 
ering and stalk-pasturing on the farms. Ofttimes steady winds 
prevail during the entire month. These two conditions uniting, 
the tendency is toward a wider and easier dispersion and dis- 
semination than during any other month of the year. 

3. December and January show very light movements of 
seeds, these being buried beneath snow and frozen fast to the 
surface. Hence these months are periods of little* importance 
in the matter under discussion. Lower latitudes would give 
data of interest. 

4. February and March are also inactive periods. Collections 
were abundant in debris, but careful cultures showed that very 
few seeds likely to germinate were contained therein. The rea- 
sons are too obvious to necessitate mention. 

5. April is the month of active spring work and coupled with 
it are our spring monsoons. Operating together, no light effect 
in distribution is noticed. In fact, all things loose tend to fly 
to the uttermost parts of the earth. iVmong the commoner 
ones, seeds of Garden Purslane, Portulaca oleracea L., Tansy Mus- 
tard, Sisymbrium canescens Nutt., Black Mustard, Brassica nigra 
(L.) Koch., Wild Pea, Astragalus gracilis Nutt., and Winged Dock, 
Rumex venosus Pursh., were unexpectedly present and their 
prominence in the culture growths showed them to be in prime 
condition. A few early cottonwoods and willows appeared also. 

It will be noticed that these data and compilations are in ref- 
erence to horizontal variations only. Though it may prove an er- 
ror, still it is the popular belief that the wind distribution of 
seeds takes place within that stratum of air that lies about thirty 
or forty feet from the earth's surface. Let us hope that investi- 
gations may soon give us data as to vertical variation, that we may 
know more fully the importance and service of fences, wind- 



breaks, weather-growths,, and hedges toward hiudrauce and jxis- 
sible barriers of seed dispersion and dissemination. The ohl 
adage: "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure'' 
is pertinent to this matter. 

[Note. — The term "seed" in this paper applies to the general 
non-technical use of the word rather than in a strictly botanical 
sense. It often implies those organs technically called fruit- 
cluster and fruit. E. M. H.] 




Since 1891 our University has sent out annual geological ex- 
peditions — the Morrill Geological Expeditions. Three have gone 
to the Corkscrew beds of Sioux county, two to the Big Bad Lands 
of Dakota, and one to the rich fossil fields of Long Island, Kan. 
As Nebraskans, the Corkscrew beds and their contents have a 
particular interest for us, for this state alone seems to furnish 
these new and strange fossils. They are embedded in soft sand- 
stone, but it does not seem so soft to the student who works them 
out with pick and spade, digging through yards of this sandstone. 
However, after these spirals are secured and carefully packed, 
and finally reach the tables of our workroom, the sandstone is 
very dry and readily gives way before the toothed chisel and 
the whisk broom. Though it may seem funny, the whisk broom 
is one of our most elficient tools in cleaning Daemonelix. AVhere 
breaks and fractures occur in these sandy specimens, it is im- 
possible to glue them together. Accordingly, it is necessary to 
dig out large cavities and dowel them together, as it were, with 
plaster of Paris. 

The Bad Lands, which are old lake deposits, consist of clays 
alternating occasionally with beds of sand. Now if these clays 
were not so plastic and so easily aft'ected by frost-cracks, sun- 
cracks, and all oscillatory movements, the work of collecting, 
cleaning, and mounting afterwards would be much easier. As 
it is, fossil bones are often badly faulted. Sandstone packs sol- 
idly, preserving the bones in a much better condition, making, 
however, anything but play for the collector, and the task of dig- 
ging them out of the sand matrix is accomplished only by careful 
and patient work. 

COLLKCTIKC;, I'Rh:i'AllIN(J, AND M()lJNTIiV( i K()SSII>S. 251) 

111 the tic'ld, the j^eologiwt scrulinizes evei'y inch of lliese sands 
and clays, and upon finding so much as a tooth exposed to view it 
is carefully examined and if there are signs of a skull or mandi- 
ble, (^ither in whole or in part, or any other good bone, the picks, 
spades, and drills are set to work digging out a large block of 
the matrix in which the specim'^n is embedded, the matrix being 
the best i>acking material in which to ship a specimen. If much 
of the fossil is exposed, paper, or sometimes cloth, is pasted over 
it, and if it is a very heavy bone, and unusually choice, paper, 
cloth, and burlap are successively pasted upom it. Care is used 
not to cook the paste, but to make a very thick batter of flour 
and water. The whole, when dry, is stiff as a board, and the fos- 
sil is ready for a journey of any distance. Sometimes a thin 
coating of plaster of Paris may be added over all to advantage. 

When beginning work on these specimens in the laboratory, 
the paper or cloth is soaked and pulled off, then the task of re- 
uioving the matrix b^egins. This matrix or sandstone is of all 
degrees of coherence, varying from the friable' to that of flinty 
hardness. As the matrix varies from soft to hard, so the fos- 
sils incased will vary in hardness. 

The chisel and mallet are among the most useful tools in this 
work, with awls of different kinds for the more delicate bones; 
trowels, chisels, scrapers, and penknife for the larger bones. 
The sand bag, upon which the matrix rests while we dig out 
the specimen, and the sand box, in which one part of the speci- 
men can be firmly supported while the other parts are attached, 
are indispensable to the workroom. 

We will suppose the matrix removed and all ready for joining 
the parts cracked by frost, or broken while removing the hard 
sandstone. The very small bones can be safely united with glue. 
The next larger sized bones can be satisfactorily fastened to- 
gether with plaster of Paris, using gum-water instead of water 
for making the plaster. The plaster made with gum acacia, dis- 
solved in water, has many advantages over the ordinary plaster, 
as it does not harden so soon, and more time and care can be used 
in joining the breaks; and when this plaster is once set it is much 



harder and more lasting than the ordinary kind. True, the gum 
acacia is expensiA^e, but if used with care, a little will last a long- 
time, and it has many useful qualities. Glue water has much the 
same effect, but is not quite so satisfactory, and, if used freely, 
causes the plaster to crack. 

And now come the large bones of the large animals. These are 
much more difficult to join than the small and medium-sized 
bones which we hai^e just been considering. In the hollow limb 
bones, the outer portions are often hard and durable, while the 
cavities are filled with calcareous material which can easily be 
bored. Taking care that the holes in the pieces to be joined 
correspond, insert long screws or wire and fill In with plas- 
ter of Paris, thus making a strong joint. Again, the cavities 
may be filled with material so hard that hydrochloric acid is 
used to eat out the holes. 

The Loup Fork Tertiary, which extends through the western 
part of this state and down into Kansas, is a more recent deposit 
than the Bad Lands, so the bones found at Long Island, Kan., 
where the Morrill Geological Expedition collected one summer, 
are very brittle, as the organic matter has been removed and the 
cavities have not been filled. Hence exposure to the air often 
causes such bones to crumble. At best they are very delicate 
specimens to handle, but the^^ can be hardened by soaking in 
gum water or glue water and drying. 

In the loess, which is our most extensive deposit and a very 
recent one, many fossils are found, which must be treated in a 
similar manner. 

Although western Nebraska is in the distinctly sub-arid and 
*^arid" regions, yet there is no part of the state so arid that tuft 
grass instead of prairie grass grows. This tuft grass is a distinct 
characteristic of the extreme arid region. In such regions it is 
rather a simple matter to find exposed on the surface between the 
tufts of grass such bones as may be washed out by storms and 
freshets; however, in Nebraska it is a much more complex matter 
to find such remains, because of the covering of grass which prac- 
tically grows over the whole state, save in the very bad lands 


themselves. However, if such fragile bones as those of the mas- 
todon and mammoth — which have been so recently buried thai 
they are rendered brittle by the loss of their organic matter, 
without replacement by calcium carbonate or silica — were ex- 
posed on the surface they would perish immediately. Accord- 
ingly those preserved have generally been brought to light by the 
plow and scraper in preparing some cut or fill for the railroad or 
public highway or for an irrigating ditch. In other cases the 
farmers notice around the prairie dog holes stray bits of bones, 
•Which, from their very texture, show that they are of organic ori- 
gin, and so arouse attention. By following the holes a sufficient 
distance, the bones through which they burrowed can be rescued. 
In this way, by following the windings of a prairie dog burrow 
for nearly forty feet through the loess formation in Buffalo 
county, one of the tusks in the State Museum was recovered, 
together with fragments of other bones. The particularly fine 
pair of tusks, which are scarcely rivalled by any better represen- 
tatives in any museum, were found in a railroad cut along the 
Burlington and Missouri River railroad in Gosper county. 

At this particular spot the loess is very thick, and being sub- 
ject to considerable surface erosion, it is cut in all directions by 
various drainage lines, so that the whole region is crossed by 
rather sharp draws, bordered by hills of yellow bluff soil. The 
railroad made a cut through one of these hills amounting to sev- 
eral hundred yards in length, and from fifty to sixty feet in depth. 
The material excavated in the cut was shipped forward a dis- 
tance of a mile or two to make an extensive fill. The workmen 
said that ^'they had never plowed and scraped through such re- 
markable bones." The scraper and plow cut through thigh, 
bones, vertebrae, ribs, scapula, and skull, bringing them to the 
surface where they were much admired for their size and beauty, 
but for all that they were carried to the dump and forever de- 
stroyed. The plow and scraper went mercilessly and merrily on, 
until it had entirely destroyed the skeleton, the skull, and two 
to three feet of the great tusks. But the work of destruction was 
not to end there, for the workmen after that amused themselves 



by reaching in at the side of the bank and pulling out liandsful 
of the friable bony matter of the tusk. This being incompletely 
fossilized, and having been subject to the action of frost and the 
force of growing rootlets, was shattered into innumerable small 
bits, so that the once hard ivory could now be picked aw^ay by the 
handful. Every scrap of tusk was entirely picked aw^ay as far in 
as the arm could reach. The work of destruction w^ould have 
gone still farther if it had not involved some labor. The rail- 
road men reported this specimen to a local doctor, who immedi- 
ately decided to rescue the tusks for his private collection; ac- 
cordingly he dug quite a ditch in such a way that it would cross 
about the middle of the left tusk. It may be explained here that 
the two tusks laid quite as they did in life. At this point he cut 
out as much as he could without broadening his ditch; finding 
it was simply so many fragments in his hands, it occurred to him 
that very likely the tusk was more solid at the tip. Accordingly 
he dug a second trench near the tip, and there destroyed nearly 
three feet more of this excellent specimen. Fortunately, 
while he dug away everything else, he did leave the hole where 
the tusk laid; accordingly it was not a very difficult matter to 
fill in these places with plaster of Paris, and so preserve with 
actual fidelity the shape, size, sweep, and length of the tusk. 
The holes in the bank where they had reached in and dragged out 
handsf ul of the ivory had suffered very little from several months 
of the weathering; these were likewise filled with the plaster of 
Paris and then the work of excavation began. They were over- 
laid by about five or six feet of the loess, which is soft and ex- 
tremely easy to dig with the spade or shovel. However, during 
the entire time of excavation a fierce gale of wind was blowing, 
which carried so much fine sand that it was with extreme diffi- 
cult}' that the work could be carried on. As soon as a surface 
was laid bare on the tusk the wind immediately carried away 
pieces of the ivory — which was arranged in concentric layers; 
accordingly it was necessary not to expose more than two to 
three square inches at a time and to promptly paste over this a 
layer of paper, then expose a few inches more and paste that with 


paper. In this way both tusks werc^ dug out and laid bare to the 
action of the sun and wind. This done, it was found necessary to 
paste cloth over the tusks and around them in all directions, so as 
to give it sufficient ''body" to hold the fragile parts in place until 
it could be shipped. Bo'th tusks were allowed to stand on stilts 
of the original clay in which they w(M (^ imbedded, but these had 
to be replaced by wooden stilts, in order that all of the surface 
might be pasted with paper, cloth, and burlap. The next thing 
was to pull up large masses of stiff grass, which grew in a marshy 
spot near by. These tufts of grass were arranged longitudinally 
along the tusks and wrapped and tied very securely in place by 
means of binding twine. On top of all was bound a heavy layer 
of stout willow sprouts in order to give it additional stiffness 
and strength. However, in spite of all these precautions, it w^as 
found to be entirely impracticable to lift or move these tusks in 
any way. The only possible means of rescuing them was to build 
a large crate about them as they lay in position and to suspend 
each tusk by means of rope and twine. In this position, when 
sufficiently roped, it was an easy matter to pick up crates and 
specimens and carry them down the hill and deliver them at the 
nearest station, some nine or ten miles distant. The boxes when 
done were so large that it was found impossible to get them in- 
side of an ordinary wagon and considerable embarrassment w as 
experienced for a time. Finally, however, they were roped on 
top of the wagon, extending across it, and in this way were 
transported safely to their destination. The tusks were driven 
across a very rough prairie, part of it w^ithout roads or trails, 
a distance of nine or ten miles, then shipped by railroad from 
Gosper county to Lincoln, and delivered at the museum still 
swinging by cords and ropes and without breakage or injury. 
Then began the work of unpacking and preparing the specimen 
in some permanent way. The burlap, cloth, and paper were re- 
moved, a few inches at a time, and a mixture of paraffine, beeswax, 
and resin was melted and poured over the exposed part. This 
melted mixture sank into every crack and upon cooling hardened 
and united the parts completely. Finally, holes were bored 



along the sides, about four inches apart and as deep as the center 
of the tusks. In these hot wax was poured. This strengthened 
the tusks to such an extent that they could be handled with 
safety preparatory to mounting them upon permanent bases of 
plaster of Paris, such as they now stand upon. 


Two tusks of the mammoth or primitive elephant partly uncovered. Found in 
the loess of Gosper county, Nebraska, on the face of an extensive cut on the Bur- 
lington & Missouri River railroad. Length of tusk along the curve, 11 feet; diam- 
eter at base, 7 inches. From a photograph by Erwin H. Barbour, Morrill Geological 
Expedition, 1893. 




During the past two years there have been several additions 
to the list of Nebraska minerals. Chief among them are the 
closely related minerals Barite and Celestite. Because of the 
larger collections and the better knowledge of the barites they 
will be made the subject of this paper. 

Our barites occur in three' rather distinct forms, the flat or 
tabular crystals of southeastern Nebraska; the superb prismatic 
crystals of the ^^Bad Lands," and the fibrous dike barite fonnd 
in the Hat Creek basin of the Little Bad Lands in Sioux county. 
In southeastern Nebraska, in the Permian of Cage county, near 
Odell, Wymoire, and Beatrice, barites are fonnd quite abundantly 
in the clays. Because of their shape and frequent occurrence 
these beds have become known locally as the "Diamond Fields." 

The barite group belongs crystographically to the orthorhom- 
bic system, that is, the three axes are all at right angles, but are 
each of different length, accordingly the prism may be developed 
along different axes, making ever varying forms of crystals. 
The common form of crystal is flat and tabular, sometimes, how- 
ever, they are long and needle like, at other times thick, strong 
prisms. The form found in Cage county is a flat, diamond- 
shaped crystal from one to three millimeters in thickness. The 
largest of these will scarcely measure more than ten to fifteen 
millimeters (three-eighths to one-half inch) in length. It is a 
common feature of these crystals to show alternating bands of 
white, brown, or yellow color, parallel to the edges of the crystal ; 
also a dark cross imitating axes is often present. The yellow 
portion, according' to Dana, is the less pure barite, being, in fact, 
a pretty nearly equal mixture of barium sulphate and calcium 



cai-bouate. In addition to these it is not unconinion for barite 
to contain impurities in the way of silica, clay, and bituminous 
or carbonaceous substances. The more transparent crystals 
show phantom figures to perfection. 

Tliese are all the moi-e interesting- to the Nebraska mineralo- 
gist frpin the fact that they are undescribed for the state. 

In the Bad J^ands there are thin dikes running in all direc- 
tions, over the hills. These are generally dikes of chalcedony, 
and stand but little above the bare clays of the region. In other 
{•ases tliere is a filling of calcite with selvages of chalcedony. 
Tliere are besides, occasionally dikes of sandstone a half meter 
thick, and even dikes of clay. 

On the last expedition sent out by the State I^niversity, — the 
.Morrill (Teolo'gical Expedition of 1S!)5,— the students found un- 
common and altogether unexpected dikes of fibrous barite of a 
liuish color. The dike was scarcely more than fifteen to 
twenty millimeters (a half to three-cpiarters of an inch) thick, 
yet it could be traced for some distance^ across the Bad Land 
marls. The dike was vertical, the fibers at right angles to its 
} lane. This is the first known occurrence of Barite in any f ^rin 
in this locality. 

Further north in the l>ig Bad Lands a magnificent array of 
barites is found in the Fort Pierre shale. These are occasion- 
ally of striking size and of great superiority of color and crystal- 
lization. The prevailing type is a long, tapering, prismatic crys- 
tal of a fine amber color. There are occasional crystals found 
which are almost pure and transparent. Some are less distinct ly 
ci-ystallized and are ari^anged in conspicuously radiated bunches. 
The mode of occurrence is an interesting feature. \\ here\ er tlie 
country is cut into hills by recent drainage lines, one can trace 
along the hillsides a band made conspicuous by its nodules or 
concretions. These vary in size from the diameter of the fist 
to those exceeding that of the outstretched arms. These are 
exposed along the Cheyenne river and its many tributaries. 
The concretions are of that peculiar type* known as sei)taria. 
There is a well recognized tendency of matter in solution, — hence 



fi'ce to arrauge itself molecularly, — to beeoiiie sej»rej4al(Ml, or 
a^j»i'egaiteid together around a center, making more oi- less s])li(M'i- 
cal masses. Tlins it is that we tind in the shales of the Fort 
IMerre Cretaceons gi-eat concrittions of the same matei-ial, 
though ] end(M"ed hard and dense. These clay balls when di ying 
from the original plasticity, harden first on the surface. Natu- 
rally then, as th^e . interior dried there would be all sorts of 
shrinkage cracks and irregular cjivities left within. Here we 

Figure 2. — A group of amber-colored barite crystals from the Bad Lands, show- 
ing etched and doubly terminated forms. The natural etching of these crystals is 
often rather remarkable. Doubly terminated crystals are rare. Natural size. 

have formed a beautiful receptacle for the magnificent crystals 
which are to be formed within these drying mud-balls. Socm 
water with calcium carbonate in solution coats all the surfaces 
with a layer of impure and discolored calcite. Succeeding lay- 
ers are of better color and crystallization. Generally the cavi- 
ties are lined with small crystals of dog-tooth spar of an orange 
color; upon these rest clear, sharp crystals of nail-head calcite. 



and also the fine tapering barite crystals. In breaking open 
these tlinty clay balls it is a difficult matter to avoid jarring 
and breaking the slender crystals within. There are hundreds 
of tiiese concretions in sight, although but few contain the barite, 
and the matter of collecting barites is reduced to faithfulness in 
()]>pnhig numerous concretions. Sometimes these septaria are 
so h How and bristling with crystals that the whole is very g-eode- 

( )nt of many hundred crystals but few doubly terminated ones 
secured. The crystals are often etched in a remarkably 
cleap-cut and beautiful manner, the etchings all pointing in a 
given direction and with definite and unvarying relation to the 

It was the author's good foirtune to have visited this region 
before it became known to collectors, and in this way he secured 
lirst choice of these beautiful crystals. A more technical study 
of our western Barites has been begun and will be ready for pub- 
lication at another time. 
December 18, 1896. 

Pla-TE II, Figs. 1 to G. — A group of barite crystals from the Bad Lands, sketched 
natural size. The radiated form shown in Fig. 5 is occasionally met. Fig. G, the 
form of crystal found in the white and transparent l)arite of the region, which is 
rather rare. The others are of the amber-colored type. The superficial characters 
are apparent without descriptions. 

PiATE III. — A group ot bar!te crystals from the Diamond Fields'" of Gage 
county, Nel)raska, magnified about three diameters. All viewed by reflected light. 

Plate IV. — A group of barite crystals from Gage couniy, Nebraska, magnlMed 
about three diameters. k\\ viewed l)y tran.^mitted light. 




Archihicoria siouxensis gen. eft sp. nov. 


During the summer of 1895, while in charge of the Morrill Ceo- 
logical Expedition, the author secured a number of the inter- 
esting chalcedony lime nuts found frequently in the miocene 
formation of the Bad Lands of the Hat Creek basin, Sioux 
county, Nebraska. These are closely related to the genus 
Hicoria. However, an examination of twenty-five to thirty speci- 
mens makes it apparent that they have characters sufficiently 
constant and distinct to constitute a new genus — ArcMhicoria. 
Although seen on former expeditions, this was the first time 
that specimens could be procured. Their color is light lavender, 
and their translucency and semi-transparency make them showy 
and attractive specimens. Besides, they are admirably pre- 
served, and show half kernels, whole kernels, and even ^'double'' 
parts. Tlie last were veritable petrified philopenas. The ker- 
nels consist of lime and chalcedony so intimately related and 
associated together as to be indiscernible to the eye. How^- 
ever, by treating with hydrochloric acid the lime is dissolved, 
leaving a sponge of chalcedony preserving the shape of the 
kernel. It is probable that when these nuts were dropped in 
the water of the miocene lake, the kernel rotted away, but the 
shell, being tough and hard, would last for years under favora- 
ble conditions. Throughout the marls and clays of the Bad 
Lands there is a large amount of potash. This is dissolved 
by water, and then acts upon quartz, carrying it away in solu- 
tion. This could find its way by infiltration into the interior of 
the nut. At the same time with this process the infiltration of 
water, carrying lime carbonate in solution, was going on, so that 


(ioubtless the stone kernels consisting of pretty nearly (M|ual 
parts of lime and silica, were deposited within the nuts. These 
kernels, of course, became hard and flinty in time and capable of 
resisting almost any amount of weathering. Not so the organic 
ishell; this eventually would rot away, and so leave the tilling, 
av kernel of chalcedony and lime. The author has already se- 

FiGURE 3. — A section of a chalcedony-lime nut, Archihicoria siouxensis^ magni- 
fied three and one-half diameters, showing b}^ the parallel lines chalcedony enclos- 
ing calcite. 

cured six or eight of these; has examined some twenty-five or 
thirty in all; and has the promise of a large number besides. 
The finest specimens of this kind wiiich he has yet seen showed 
each half of the kernel doubled and crumpled together, some- 
what as one sometimes finds a double part in the modern 
hickory nut. Study will show that the so-called double part 
is a constant characteristic. Examination of section under the 
petro'graphic microscope shows beautifully the arrangement of 
the lime and chalcedony. 
December 26, 1896. 

Plate V. — A group of chalcedony nuts, showing in the four vertical columns, 
four different aspects of each. Column 1 (to the left), front view of the embryo : 
2, side view ; 3, top view ; 4, bottom view. Apparently the double part is the nor- 
mal condition of all. 




Dining the author's residence in Nebraska for the past tive 
years he has been on the alert for any specimens of meteoric 
origin in Nebraska. Until recently, however, he has entirely 
failed, although ''genuine'' meteo^rites have been repeatedly of- 
fered foi- sale at exorbitant prices. One large stone weighing 
about sixty pounds was offered at a price exceeding |1,000, yet 
it ^^as nothing more or less than a glacial boulder of Sioux 
quartzite. The compact and glassy texture of the quartzite 
bouldei s, coupled with their purplish color, have led many to at- 
tribute their origin to every cause but the correct one. These 
boulders are neither volcanic bombs, semi-fused and reddened by 
heat, nor are they meteorites. Though insisting that he ought in 
all justi<-e to receive |1,()()0, the owner' of the drift boulder in a 
paroxysm of generosity olfered to donate |5()() worth of his 
meteorite to th(^ State Museum providing the State Museum 
raise the other f 500 and donate it to him. Not wishing to carry 
it with him he left it with the curator of the museum, and it is 
here still. 

The coinnionest form of meteorite which has been brought to 
t]ie department for determination is that found in burnt hay and 
straw stacks. It is very common for a sort of glass to be pro- 
duced by such combustion and the appearance is not unlike what 
the inexperienced might take for a meteoric stone. Finding 
such in the ash of a burnt stack, and believing that meteorites 
are superheated, the popular inference is that the stack was fired 
by a shooting star and that the solid glassy substance is a real 

Ai>other fruitful source of meteorites is the concretionary 



layer in the Dakota Cretaoeous. Our Cretaceous is so charged 
with iron that in many places it has the appearance of a clay 
semi-fused, or melted into nearly pure iron. Such, at least, is the ♦ 
popular impression of it. It is very common to find throughout 
this stratum nodules filled with colored sand; sometimes, how- 
ever, they are solid and ring under the hammer and break like 
cast iron. These are a source of constant concern to many who 
think they have found a bed of meteorites. They are repeatedly 
brought to the department for determination. 

At last, however, a genuine meteorite has been found in Ne- 
braska. This is of the pure iron type known as the siderite 
and weighs exactly 835.2 grams. This was found in 1878 on the 
farm of Mr. Robt. M. Lytle, near York, Nebr., having been turned 
up by the plow. 

It was found eight inches below the surface in virgin prairie 
soil and would naturally attract attention from the fact that as 
far as the author knows no glacial drift or boulders occur in this 
region. The ground is practically a fine black loamy soil without 
boulders or gravel. It also attracted Mr. Lytle's attention from 
the fact that, though small, it was extremely heavy, and on 
pounding it with a hammer he immediately discovered it was iron 
throughout, and at once suspected its extra-terrestrial origin. 
This was kept in the possession of Mr. Lytle until the past sum- 
mer, when the author secured it while investigating wells in the 
region of York, in York County. Every indication showed that it 
was a pure iron meteorite, the dark oxidized surface, the con- 
choidal depressions, and the absence of angles and edges led 
plainly to its real identity. Its final determination was easy. 
After planing and burnishing one small portion of the meteorite, 
there appeared upon the burnished surface what may be called 
natural Widmanstatten figures. 

There were two sets of lines, the one set dark, rather irregular, 
and very distinct, the other running at an angle of 80 degrees, 
fine, but quite visible to the eye. This alone was sufficient deter- 
mination. However, upon etching the burnished surface with 
dilute nitric acid, very pronounced Widmanstatten figures were 



biought out, exactly coinciding in direction and nearly in posi- 
tion with the lines which naturally occurred there, making it 
perfectly certain that the first lines noticed were plainly linen 
of crystallization visible without the iuterv(nition of artiftcinl 
means. The bold lines represented a particular zone, which 
passed directly through the regularly formed Widmanstiitten 

Fia. 4. — Natural Widmanstatten Fio. •'. — The same when etchec 

figures brought out by burnishing. York county meteorite. 

Fig. 6. — A burnished surface of Fig. 7. — The same when etched, 

a meteorite found in western Ne- 

region. In all of this zone the lines were completely parallel or 
nearly parallel to one another, and without any cross lines look- 
ing as though there had been some peculiar fault or re-arrange- 
ment of the parts at some previous time. Above this zone and 
below it the Widmanstatten figures were nearly of the ordinary 
type. See Figs. 4 and 5. 

By the courtesy of Mr. Gieorge F. Kunz, the writer is able to 
publish the following analysis of the above meteorite: 

Iron 87.96^ 

Nickel 7.38^ 

Cobalt 0.74f^ 

In Huntington's catalogue of the recorded meteorites, brought 
down to 1887, there is reported from Fort Pierre, in Nebraska, a 
meteorite which fell in 1856, consisting of two fragments, w^eigh- 
ing respectfully thirty-five and twenty-eight grams, which he 



nninbeied in his catalogue 225. This is probably a mistake, for 
Fort Pierre is in South Dakota, which will leave the Lytle 
meteorite as the first recoded in the state. 

AYhile this notice was going- to press a second meteorite, also 
turned up by the j)low, was procured by the author from south- 
w("stern Nebraska. This, too, is a pure iron meteorite weighing 
2,783.3 grams (().13 ]K)unds). When etched the Widnianstatten 
figures appeared but feebly, due possibly to some derangement 
<'Onsequent to the rough handling to w^hich this excellent speci- 
men has been subjected, it haying been pounded and battered 
by a heayy hammer. See Figs. 6 and 7. 

The Uaiversif)/ of Nebraska, 

December J6, 1806. ^ 

Pi.ATK VI. Four views of the York count}', Nebr , meteorite. 





Tiie delinition, "Mathematics is the science of quantity/' will' 
not stand in the Wghi of modern developments. For example: 
Let f = teacher, p — pupil. 
Then t : p = the relation of teacher to pupil. 
= teacher of. 
t : t = colleague of. 
p :t = pupil of. 
p :p = playmate of. 
We have the follow^ing multiplication table, where the relations 
at the left ave 









t : 












supposed multiplied into those at the top. We read 

t:p X p'.t =t :t, 
teacher of pupil of is colleague of; while 

p:tXp:t=zO , 

is pupil of pupil of does not exist. The rule of combination is 
that two relations give a new relation, that of antecedent of 
first to consequent of second, if consequent of first is antecedent 
of second; otherwise they give zero. 

Using the same rule of multiplication consider the expressions, 
— never mind their meaning, — 

1 = a:a -\- b :h -r c : c -\- d : d 

i = a : h — b : a -i c : d ~ d : c 

j — c : a — a : (' b : d ^ d : b 

]{ — a : nf - r? : a + b : c — c : b 



it will be found that the multiplication table is 

1 i j k 


















precisely that of the quaternion units. 

Is all this mathematics? Has the idea of quantity for a mo- 
ment entered in? The example is from Charles Pierce's Logic 
of Relatives. He has among other algebras expressed all of the 
two hundred odd of his father's ''Linear Associative Algebra" in 
this notation. 

Take another example, this time from the theory of groups. 

Let (Ih) denote the operation that changes love to hate and 
hate to love, while (ivp) similairly interchanges wealth and 

Then (Ih)'^ = 1, /. e., leaves all as it was. 
Likewise {wpy = 1. 

While (Ih) (tvp) gives both transformations at once. 
Call (Ih), {wp), (Ih) (ivp) , 

a, h, and c respectively. 
The multiplication table is 

























The similarity to the quaternion table is manifest. In fact, 
the quaternion units are identity and three quarter-rotations, 
while here we could take for units identity and three half-rota- 

Any meanings whatsoever may be given to our symbols that 
are consistent with the purely formal laws of combination. It 
is not the subject-matter, but the character of the reasoning and 
the method of carrying it on, that makes the science rather ah- 



stract. The reasoning is deductive, rather intricate, and (jeneraUij 
carried on hij an elaborate symbolism. Wherever this is so, whether 
in ph^'Sics, chemistry, or biology, economics, logic, or philosophy, 
we recognize it as mathematics and we know that only the 
mathematical mind can successfully grapple with it. 

I plead, then, that all who have, in any degree, mathematical 
power should, no matter what their chosen line of work, develop 
that power. At any time an occasion demanding the use of that 
power is liable to arise. I would that a large proportion of sci- 
entific men, especially, could have what Darwin has called their 
"sixth sense'' developed. I would, too, that all mathematicians 
could take at least a master's course in some non-mathematical 
science. It seems to me that no one science can so well serve to 
co-ordinate and, as it were, bind together all of the sciences as 
that queen of them all, mathematics. 




The principal surface in this family was discovered during an 
attempt to construct the locus of a point so moving that the sum 
or difference of its distances from two intersecting straight lines 
is constant. 

Setting up the equation of condition, using rectangular Car- 
tesian co-ordinates, taking the line bisecting the angle between, 
the directrices for the a?-axis, a line perpendicular to their plane 
at their point of intersection for the ^^-axis, calling 2k the sum 
or difference of the distances of the running point to the direc- 
trices, and 2<if the angle between the directrices, we obtain, after 
proper reductions, 

If now we put /^^^ = a , ^^^.^ =rr b , and = e\ 

the equation assumes the symmetrical form 

This quartic surface possesses the following remarkable fea- 

(1.) Two of the parallel systems of sections of this surface are 
coaxal systems of conies. 

(2.) The sections parallel to the third co-ordinate plane are 
curves of the fourth degree, having in general four infinite 
branches, and, near the principal section, an oval besides. The 
principal section consists of two pairs of parallel lines. 

(3.) The locus of the asymptotes to either system of coaxal 
conies forms a companion surface w^hich is also of the fourt i 
order. These two companion surfaces intersect in two plane 



(4.) Each of the companion surfaces contains, among all the 
possible systems of parallel sections, one system of coaxal hyper- 
bolas. The locus of the asymptotes of these hyperbolas form 
two hyperbolic paraboloids, intersecting each other in two 
straight lines. 

(5.) These two hyperbolic paraboloids have each a pair of 
asymptotic surfaces, whose equation is 

xy = o 

Features (1), (2), and (3) are represented in Plate VII. 

If now we consider a^, 6-, and as arbitrary constants, capable 
of assuming all values from + oo through to — oo we get seven 
other surfaces, six of which are real, one imaginary, but all 
closely related to the principal surface. The remarkable rela- 
tions existing between corresponding cross-sections of each pair 
of surfaces is brought out in the following exhibit of results. 
The following abbreviations are used: E. for ellipses, L. for lines, 
I. E. for imaginary ellipses, H. for hyperbolas, and C. H. for hy- 
perbolas lying along the 2;-axis. 









L. E. 




L. : H. 




C. H. 

L. \ 1. E. 



E. . 

I. E. 

L. C. H. 

C. H. 


1. E. 




z'=: a'-^][/ f5-'] 

1. E. 


C. H. 




z^= c\x'-{d'^l,f^W^ 1 

C. H. 

C. H. 

C. H. 

C. H 

C. H. 

C. H. 

I. E. 

I. E. 

1. E. 

I. E. 

I. E. 

I. E. 

The study of the form and curvatures of these surfaces leads to 
I he following results : 

(1.) Surfaces I, II, VII, and VIII have regions of both elliptic 



;nul hyperbolic curvature and these regions are separated by 
lines of parabolic curvature. 

(2.) Surfaces III and V have hyperbolic curvature only. 

(3.) Surfaces IV and VI have elliptic curvature only. 

The paper, of which this is an abstract, is accompanied by ten 
tigures and eight plates, representing the several surfaces in 
parallel perspective. The paper will be published in full else- 

Hastings College, Hastings, Nehr., 
February, 1897. 



(Printed in full in the Transactions of the Nebraska Engineer- 
ing Society, Vol. I, No. 1, pp. 13-16.) 




ri is greatly to be regretted that so interesting a sub-order as 
the Phyllopoda, a group characteristic of the plains region, one 
lis being peculiar toi it, has been so completely neglected by 
our western naturalists. These creatures possess very singular 
means of adaptation to changed environment and the greatest 
vitality of species, although weak and delicate as individuals. 
Their method of reproduction is so bizarre as to excite the great- 
est interest in the student. Their broad, leaf-like feet are the 
cliaracteristics from which the sub-o-rder derives its name, Phyllo- 
poda. The carapace of the higher genera consists of a broad, 
thin plate, which covers the anterior portion of the body. In 
tlie low^er forms it is bent dow^nward, forming two valves similar 
in appearance to those of somie small mollusks. These enclose 
the entire body. 

Our Phyllopods are found in puddles such as are left after 
rains, in buffalo wallows, in slight hollows made by excavations 
for lailway embankments, in draws w^hich dry up during tlie 
summer months, and in places of similar nature. The eggs, after 
being carried for a time in the egg sacs, are allowed to drop to 
the bottom of the puddles. The water evaporates during the 
summer and leaves the eggs in the dry mud exposed to the heat 
of summer and the cold of winter until the hollows fill again and 
conditions are favorable to their development. The eggs then 
hatch out and the cycle of life is again begun. 

Apus lucasamis. 

At De Witt, Nebr., where most of our specimens were taken, 
A pus lucasamis was one of the most common species. It was first 



observed on June 16, 1895, occurring abundantly in pools by the 
side of railway tracks. It was also abundant in a draw about 
one mile north of that place. Some specimens were secured and 
placed in a large jar, but they lived only a few hours. One or 
two of the more vigorous individuals were observed sucking the 
blood of their weaker companions. The bodies of the latter were 
pale and almost devoid of blood, while those of the former were 
gorged and of a dark red color. The same thing was noted at a 
later date of two specimens in a pool. This fact is of peculiar 
interest, as Dr. Merrill, of the Smithsonian Institute, w^rites us 
that he finds no mention of such ^^cannabalistic" tendencies in 
this species. They decreased steadily in numbers until the 27th 
of June, when the^^ disappeared. In the latter part of Septem- 
ber, however, two specimens believed to be of this species were 
taken, but we found no others, although the pool was carefully 
dredged. In May of the present year (1896), the pools being 
again filled, Apus lucasanus was taken again in the same places. 
Some specimens not yet identified, but probably of this species, 
were secured near Hudson, Colo., in the latter part of August. 
Three specimens of a si:>ecies of Apus somewhat larger than luca- 
sanus have also been taken, one of them in September, 1895, and 
the other two in June, 1896. 

Estlieria morsel. 

In September, 1895, we found this species in several pools 
which were scattered for some distance along the draw men- 
tioned above. So numerous were they that every cow track 
along the edges of the pools yielded eight or ten specimens. 
Two pairs were found in copulation. Specimens apparently of 
this species were taken on May 23 of this year in the same draw. 
These were probably young forms, for at a subsequent visit they 
were found to have increased in size. These specimens taken 
this 3^ear were of a bright red color, but faded badly when placed 
in alcohol. If individuals of this species are touched when 
swimming they immediately close their shells and drop to the 



Eulimnadia texana. 

In June, 1895, when Apiis was first observed, some of tliis sjx^- 
ries were also seen, but none taken. Upon a subsequent visit 
they were found to have disappeared. In 1896 they occurred 
\ literally by millions in the pool north of De Witt, and quite a. 
ji number were taken. Subsequently they were found in various 
ll grassy pools some distance north, but not a single one was taken 
jj in the draw previously mentioned. Egg sacs were observed in 
j this and the above named species. 

i Branch hiecta Undahli. 

\ One species of Branchinecta was also taken. These have no 
carapace and are quite different in appearance from the preced- 
i ing. Out of the hundreds of Apus and large numbers of Eulim- 
■ nadia and Esthcria only five or six individuals of this variety were 
found, although diligently searched for. These were, in life, of 
a pale green color with carmine gonopoda, but fade quickly when 
placed in preservative. 

None of the species of Phyllopoda which occur in the west 
have been exhaustively studied, and those belonging to the 
Eulimnadia it is difficult to get identified with certainty. There 
is an opportunity, therefore, to find out many things about these 
short-lived and interesting creatures and discover facts pertain- 
ing to their life history, still obscure, which would be of great 
scientific interest. 

The writers will be pleased to receive any information con- 
cerning the occurrence of Phyllopoda in other parts of the state. 






The wonderful advance given to scientific investigation by the 
work of the first naturalist who brought system and order into 
animal study was so great that students were long turned in the 
same direction and many of them were content to go no further. 
To most of them the mere discovery of some new animal was a 
matter of great importance, while its life, habits, and environ- 
ment received little or no attention. The organism required sim- 
ply a label before it should be laid away on the shelf of some mu- 
seum as known. Nor was the mere study of anatomical detail 
much advance upon this standpoint. The information gained 
was isolated and unconnected with other facts that had been 
observed, and in the amassing of detail unity was lost sight of. 

Within the last few decades, however, there has been growing 
a desire to do more than to merely label a specimen or describe 
the details of its structure from some alcoholic material. It has 
come to have importance as a living thing, standing in clo^se re- 
lations to other living things, influencing them and influenced 
by tlieni; in other words, as a x^art of a whole which of itself must 
be studied. 

There are two ways in which tlie student may attack the prob- 
lem of biological relations just suggested. He may investigate 
the sum of all the relations which pertain to a specific animal 
or those which are connected with a specific location with its sum 
of living things. The first problem is usually beyond the ])Ossi- 
bilities of the observer who does not possess considerable means 
for traveling or collecting through the medium of others, and the 
second, so far as it concerns a larger area, requires equally exten- 
sive collecting and an amount of literature which is not accessi- 



blc lo I he lujijoril v of st udents. It is my desire Ijere to call a1 
ten lion lo a 1 v|)e (d* biological study which can be (tarried on in 
any locality and by any student with some hopes of b(Mn«; able 
to attain valuable results. 

Sonn^ years ago Forbes called attention to the fact that within 
a small lake we haA^e a microcosm, a world dependent upon itself. 
Within tlnsar(^a. is produced the entire amount of the food which 
is consumed by the animal life that inhabits the lake. The 
changes that take place are constant and yet constitute but a 
nari'ow circle. No area of land could be found of at all the same 
size, whicli would present equal possibilities for life, and at the 
same time so closely circumscribed that the problem would be 
confined to the area itself. 

The disti'ibution of life within larger bodies of water has been 
the object of f«tudy to numerous investigators in the Old World, 
and in this country has been successfully prosecuted by Birge 
and Marsh in Wisconsin, Reighard in Michigan, Forbes in Illi- 
nois, and inany others. Thanks to their researches we have 
learned much concerning the distribution of aquatic life from 
year to year, and from place to place. Into this subject, however, 
it is not my purpose to go in detail. The information already 
gained will be of great value in attacking anotiier aspect of the 
(luestion. In the smaller areas of land and water the conditions 
are less variable and the problem in so far simpler. From the 
study of these limited environments, we must hope to attain to a 
better understanding of the biological laws which govern the 
change of material from the inorganic to the organic through its 
long sc^ries of steps. Ever}^ observer can find within easy reach a 
small pond which will serve as the object of his study. To it he 
mui-'t devote his undivided attention, and if he would succeed it 
must V)e mastered. The mere examination of the life it contains 
at the single time affords little information of value; hardly more 
us(^ful are sporadic oibservations. The student must collect sys- 
tematically and regularly throughout the entire year, keeping 
such record of conditions that he may be able to compare time 
with time. These collections must also be brought together in 



such a way that they represent accurately the amount of life con- 
tained in a given amount of water under the observed conditions. 
From these data the student may determine the total quantity 
of living matter in the water at that time, and the relative 
amount of each different species. As the observaTions are ex- 
tended he will be able to trace the rise and fall of a particular 
species, noting its first appearance and tracing it to its final dis- 
appearance. As thus gradually he records the history of the life 
in this microcosm it is evident that, continued long enough and 
carefully enough, he is recording the conditions which modify, 
which control the life itself. 

Evidently, then, from what has been said, such studies have 
need of special apparatus, which must be at once permanent, 
portable, and precise. Hitherto in collecting material the in- 
vestigator has made use of nets drawn vertically, horizontally, 
or obliquely through the water. They are, however, far from ful- 
filling any of the conditions satisfactorily, which have been set 
by investigators for such work. It was some years ago that in 
connection with more extended biological investigations on the 
Great Lakes the idea of a pump as a means of obtaining, from a 
specific point, an accurate quantity of water together with the 
life it contained, was first suggested to my mind and discussed 
with others. Since then the same idea has been carried intO' 
execution by others and the results obtained have been satis- 
factory. But of the apparatus thus far devised, it may be fairly 
«aid that its excessive weight and considerable cost renders it 
rather inaccessible to the ordinary investigator. 

In view of this fact, when suggesting to one of my more ad- 
vanced students a topic along this line for investigation, I out- 
lined to him a plan for a smaller pump which w^ould be at once 
inexpensive and easily portable and which I hoped would give 
results satisfactory in precision as well. The plan which was 
submitted to him was carried out with some modification of de- 
tail and has proved its value in actual work, as he will ex]>lain 
to you in the next pa]3er. 




No field of research is more inviting to the student of science 
than the one offered by the waters teeming with minute animal 
and plant life. Work in this interesting line of investigation has 
progressed slowly because of a want of adequate collecting appa- 
ratus, which, until quite recently, has been limited to two simple 
types, the net working vertically through the water and the one 
working horizontally or obliquely, both of which present serious 
disadvantages, prominent among which is the liability to dam- 
age and loss. These nets are of necessity made of very delicate 
fabric and must be operated in water where there are many obsta- 
cles to tear and destroy them. The finer qualities of bolting 
cloth, of which the better nets are made, cost from |6 to |8 per 
yard. To spend this amount for material, a day or two in con- 
structing the net, and then in the first haul to catch a huge snag 
that destroys the net is neither a delightful nor an uncommon 

Secondly, it is impossible to determine with any degree of ac- 
curacy the volume of organisms actually present in a given quan- 
tity of water. This difficulty arises from two causes : First, the 
manipulation of the net is attended with such disturbance as 
frightens away many of the organisms; secondly, it is impossible 
with the net to measure the water filtered. It is evident that if 
we wish to ascertain the number of Crustacea, for instance, that 
exist in a cubic foot of a certain water, we must first be able to 
get a cubic foot of the water; with the net we cannot do this, 
for even though we know the area of the net opening it is so con- 
structed and operated as to push aside some of the water, so that 
the net does not filter the entire column of water through which 



it passes. Thirdly, the plankton is nnequally distribnted in the 
vaiious vertical zones or strata of the water; for instance, certain 
gTOups are characteristic of the surface stratum, others of the 
bottom stratum, and still others of the various Intermediate 
strata. The determination of the various groups characteristic 
of these ditferent strata constitutes one of the most important 
features of the collector's efforts. It is evident that with the 
net we cannot collect the plankton of one stratum without mix- 
ing- it with others. Fourth, ice precludes the use of the net dur- 
ing the winter months, which, in fact, represent the best season 
for plankton work. 

These, together with other difficulties, have led students to 
seek other means of collecting. Among other forms of apparatus 
in recent use is the plankton puni]), a machine very similar to the 
force pump. While the pumping method cannot be said to elim- 
inate all the disadvantages mentioned, yet we may say that it 
reduces these difhculties to a minimum. The writer determined 
last fall to attempt the construction of a light plankton pump 
that might be carried about and operated by one person; a simple 
] Ian of construction was suggested by Dr. H. H. Ward. This 
plan, with some modifications, finds embodiment in the ])ump 
as it now stands.* 

The instrument is practically a force-pump, whose form and 
mode of operation are indicated in the accompanying ])laies. 
The cylinder of the pump is 11x3^ inches and has a, capacity- of 
347^ cubic inches per stroke. The stroke of the piston is definite 
in length and is regulated by a lock-nut as shown in the plate. 
The valves used are finely ground check-valves, to which, it is 
believed, the accuracy of the working of the apparatus is lai gely 
due. The pump is connected with the water by a hose 1^ inches 
in diameter, whose lower end is adjusted to the various vertical 
zones of water by means of attachment to a floating block. 

The net was constructed primarily for collecting Crustacea. 
Tt consists of a tin cylinder {g, Fig. 9) 6x6 inches, to which is 

-■• The writer is greatly indebted to Prof. C. D. Rose for valuable hints in the cou-tnu - 
tion of the apparatus. 



soldered a tiiiucated cone; to Uie lovver end of the conical part 
is attached the filtering apparatus (h), which is a cylinder 4x1^ 
inches, made of fine wire gauze containing eighty-three meshes 
to the linear inch. The upper ))ortion of the tin cylinder has 
fitted to it a detachable rim, by means of which a net cover 
may be attached to the apparatus for the purpose of preventing 

current as the piston rises. 

the entrance of objectionable matter. To the rim mentioned 
are attached the supports (f) as shown in the figure. The filter- 
ing apparatus is so constructed that a net of bolting cloth may 
be attached outside of the gauze filter, thus adapting tiie in- 
sti ument (which may be used separately) for the various work 



of the ordinary net. Most gratifying results have attended 
the use of this pumping apparatus during the last few weeks. 
It is possible with it to measure with almost absolute accuracy 
the amount of water filtered. The average amount of water 
thrown at each stroke is 347^ cubic inches. Careful tests show 
that the greatest variation above this average is 1.9 fo, and below 
only 1.3 fc, thus making the extremes between the least and the) 
greatest amount thrown but 3.2;/. The collecting can be car- 
ried on without Sinj disturbance to the water, and the water can 
be drawn from any stratum, thus enabling one to get the verti- 
cal distribution of the plankton. 

Material has been collected from the midst of debris and also 
during the winter months when the water was covered by a thick 
coat of ice. 

Explanation of Figure 9. 

c, Cylinder of pump ; e, handle of piston rod ; d, lock-nut ; b, check valves; k, 
attachment of hose ; ?, distal end of hose ; g, cylinder of net; h, filtering appara- 
tus ; /, support. 




From a biological standpoint parasites constitute a group of 
great importance. The forms included under the term are mem- 
bers of widely separated families which have acquired similar 
habits and by virtue of like conditions in their environment have 
manifested convergent variation, departing at times so widely 
from the primitive type that their relationship was long misun- 
derstood and in numerous instances is even yet a matter of doubt. 

These forms are, however, of no less economic importance since 
they are responsible for some of the serious ailments which fail 
upon man and his closest allies, the domesticated animals. From 
both standpoints, then, the group of parasites deserves the closest 
study, and yet, despite its importance, but little has been accu- 
vsitelj determined concerning the distribution and frequence of 
these forms in our own country. 

The intimate relations in which the domestic animals stand to 
man have always made the transfer of parasites from one to the 
other a matter of much greater probability than exists betweeii 
man and other forms of animal life. It is but natural that the 
most common species of human tapeworm come to man from his 
two chief sources of animal food, beef and pork. The chances of 
accidental infection, however, are evidently much greater in the 
case of those forms that are intimately associated with man, and 
hence clearly greatest in those which he holds as household pets, 
— the dog and the cat. It is also evident that the chances of 
parasitic infection are greatest in the case of those peoples or 
individuals who live on terms of closest intimacy with these 
domesticated forms. Thus, the Icelander, who is known to per- 
mit his dog to occupy, not only the same room, but even the same 



bed with himself, is most seriously troubled with the ])arasites 
coriimou to dogs and man, and the infant or child is more likely 
to be infected than persons of maturer years. It becomes, then, 
a matter of great importance to determine in any region or com- 
munity what is the average percentage of these animals infected 
with parasites, since, as will be evident later, the percentage of 
infection varies widely in different regions. It is, however, by no 
means a matter of inditference what parasites occur in the dogs 
or cats of a specific locality, for certain of the species are entirely 
foreign to the human race, not being known to be at home in man 
at any stage of his existence, and certain species are compara- 
tively harmless, even when jjresent, while certain others are the 
causes of grave disorders, among them the most serious parasitic 
disease which is known. In a paper on the prevalence of Entozoa 
in the dog, and their relation to public health, published in 18()7 
by Dr. Cobbold, of London, perhaps the most eminent helmin- 
thologist that England has ever produced, the author emphasizes 
again and again the importance of helminthological studies on 
this animal, and the necessity of extended knowledge concerning 
the number and kinds of its parasites. It seems, then, of impor- 
tance to ascertain for Lincoln the extent to which its canine ])opu- 
lation is infected as well as the species of parasites which occur 
in dogs here. The cat, although not so closely associated with 
man and not furnishing him with so many species of parasites, 
has also been included within the limits of this investigation. 
During the last three years a large number of animals of both 
species have been carefully examined for ]>arasites and the re- 
sults of the examination recorded. For kindly assistance in 
this work I am indebted to a considerable number of students, 
who have been connected with the University during this time. 
The final examination and determination of the parasites, as well 
as the tabulation and discussion of the same, are the results of 
my own study. Many other animals of these species have l^een 
examined in part, or, owing to circumstances, with less care; they 
have not been considered in the tabular results given, altliougii 
no facts have been observed which do not beai- out the conclii- 



sious reached. All of the animals included in the statistical re- 
sults came fi-om the city of Lincoln, although it is evidently im- 
possible to say that all of them had long been residents of this 
place. Among the animals which were examined were represent- 
atives of all the varied conditions of life under which these forms 
are found, from the half-wild strays of city streets and alleys to 
the pets accustomed to the luxury of a home. 1 shall consider 
first the results from the study of the dog, and later those which 
bear on the parasites of the cat. Table A indicates the degree of 
infection of the dogs examined, and table B the kind of parasites, 


Total number 

Free from 

With one 
kind of 

With two 
kinds of 

With three 
kinds of 

Slightly in- ' 


Badly in- 


Actual number 



















! Uncinaria 
i trigono- 

chus sp. ? 

Percentage infected. . . 
Slightly infected . . . 















Infected with 

Small number of 
parasites ( 1-9 ) . . 
With medium num- 
ber {10-25) 








With large number 

With very large 
number ( 100-500) 


Average number of para- 
sites in each animal in- 
fected with the species 










together with the frequence of each. For comparison with this I 
have records of only two dogs from any other piwt of the state. 
These were examined at Table Rock by one of my students. One 
indiyidual contained a dozen specimens of Taenia serrata, and the 
other harbored one hundred tifty-two of the same species, but no 
other parasites were found in either. To compare the results of 
similar examinations that haye been made in other parts of the 
world I haye compiled a table, giyen by Deft'ke, with the addition 
of recent inyestigatioiis made in A\ ashington, D. C, and in 


Hemistoma alatum. 

Taenia serrata. 

Taenia marginata. 





Taenia serialis. 

Taenia echinococcus. 



Bothriocephalus latus. 

1 I'othriocephalus fuscus. 






1 Echinococcus polymorphus. 

Mesocestoides lineatus. 

Asearis mystax. 

i i 

1 1 

§ i-2 

.1 11' 
1 oS 

•£ \t 

•c 12 
















Fly larvae. 1 

No. of animals examined. 

Percentage infected. 









20.. 54 






































South Australia,.. 









Leipzig or Saxony 













Berlin. Germany. 

! .0 















Wa-hington, D. C. 









! .. 


Lincoln, Neb 












It is interesting to examine critically the results shown by the 
table; among the parasites the following grou])s are represented: 

Trematodes by one species in adult condition. 

Cestodes by nine species in adult condition, and also t\Yo spe- 
cies in larval condition. 

Nematodes by five spt cics in adult condition. 

Acanthocephala by one species in adult condition. 


Linguatulida by one species in adult condition. 

Insecta by one species in larval condition. 

We may dismiss at once the first and last three groups, sin( (^ 
the occurrence of the parasite is occasional at most and not 
productive of serious results to its host and since, furthermore, 
the species are not transmitted to man or to any important do 
mesticated animal so as to occasion disease or death. The 
• larval Oestodes may also be set aside for similar reasons; their 
presence in the dog is certainly accidental. 

Among the Nematodes, however, are forms of considerable 
importance. Ascaris mystax, the most abundant and most 
widely distributed species, occurring in about one-quarter of all 
the dogs examined, is the common ^'stomach w^orm" of dogs and 
cats. It occurs rarely also in man, where its accidental intro- 
duction is undoubtedly due to the presence of infected dogs or 
cats in the house. Uncinaria Mgonocephala is neither so widely 
distributed nor so abundant as the foregoing species. When 
present in large numbers it is the cause of a serious disease 
among hunting dogs, but cannot be transmitted to man. The 
other nematode parasites listed are of minor importance. 

Both in number of species an.d of individuals the Oestodes far 
outweigli all other canine parasites. They include also the dan- 
gerous forms, and hence deserve particular attention in the pres- 
ent discussion. Of the nine species of adult tapeworm listed as 
found in the dog it may be said that Taenia serrata does not occur 
either as adult or as larva (Cystercercus) in the human system. 
Taenia marginata has been said to occur in man in its larval con- 
dition {Cysticercus tenuicoUis), but the weig'ht of the authority 
seems to disprove this statement and to demonstrate that these 
are cases of incorrect determination of the species of parasite 
found. Taenia coenurus is also foreign to man; it is, however, of 
great hygienic importance, since it is the cause of the so-called 
"gid" of sheep, a disease v^hich in some parts of the world entails 
a serious loss to sheep raisers. It will be noticed that the species 
is not known to exist in America as yet. Taenia serialis is a rare 
form at most; it has been met in Europe and in Washington, 



thoiijili not included in the lists tabulated. It is not known to 
be of pathological importance. Dipylidium caninum is found in 
man rarely, and usually only in children of immature years, 
among whom it soems to be not very uncommon. The inter- 
mediate host is the dog-flea and the infection comes through the 
accidental swallowing of some of these parasites, which have 
come from a pet dog of the house. This, of itself, is sufficient 
reason for training children to avoid fondling household pets, 
at least in such an intimate way as is frequently seen. 

There remains to be considered, then, merely the single species 
Taenia ecJiinococcus. The adult form, which lives in the intestine 
of the dog, is an insignificant tapeworm, consisting of only three 
or four segments and having a total length of not more than 5 
mm. Its larval form, however, the hydatid, known as the Echi- 
iiococi-us, which in its various forms has received something like 
a dozen different specific names, is the most insidious and dan- 
gerous parasite which inhabits the human system. It will easily 
be seen how serious an evil the presence of the adult in the dog 
must be regarded, since the eggs thus set free from the canine 
intestine would be scattered here and there with the dust of the 
dwelling or its immediate surrounding^s, and would thus easily 
by cliance reach iu the intestine of a human host and there be 
hatched out; the larva would pass to some point in the ab- 
dominal cavity, there to attain gradually its enormous develop- 
ment with probable fatal results to the host. It is certainly for- 
tunate that this form is so rare in America as not to have been 
found in the course of the systematic investigations quoted here. 
It does, however, occur, since the adult has been found in Wash- 
ington on at least one occasion. Sumner has also listed 100 
cases of the occurrence of the Echinocoecus disease, which are 
recounted in the various medical publications of the country for 
tlie last fifty years. 

Having thus considered the characteristics of each species of 
the more important dog parasites, let us review a few facts with 
reference to the frequency of these forms in our ow^n country. 
It will be noticed that Iceland and Australia are the only locali- 



ties tor which investigations have Innm made, that show a hir^er 
jiercentage of (l()j»s infected than was fonnd in J^incoln, wliih^ 
the number infected in Denmark, Prussia, and Saxony is de- 
cidedly less. A closer study of the table also shows, however, 
that the hig'h percentage of dogs infected in Lincoln is due to 
the extraordinarily large number of hosts that harbored Taenia 
serrafa and Dipi/lidiuni caninuni. With reference to the first 
of the^e, Lincoln dogs were three times as frequently infected as 
those from any other part of tbe world and very many times 
more than those from most regions listed. With reference to 
DipijUdiurn it will also be noticed that it is present in a somewhat 
larger per cent, than is found anywhere in the world, and in a de- 
cidedly greater percentage of dogs than is shown for almost all 
places. So far as the other species of parasites are concerned, 
there is, in the first place, at least as small a percentage a-s in 
others, and the species which have already been designated as 
jjeculiarlj^ dangerous to the health of man, or of some of the do- 
mestic animals are entirely lacking, so far as the limits of the 
investigation go. In other words, though the total percentage 
of dogs infected is larger than has been found in most places, yet 
the most dangerous parasites seem to be entirely lacking, and 
the excessive total percentage is due to an unusual number of 
two si>ecies in particular, which are not to be regarded as dan- 
gerous parasites. So far as the Washington dogs are concerned, 
the total percentage is again very much greater than in most 
places. This is due, not to the presence of the more dangerous 
forms, but to large numbers, of forms which, in themselves, are 
comparatively harmless. Regarding only the more recent, and 
presumably more careful examinations, those listed in the last 
four lines of the table, it may be said that the number of kinds 
of the jiarasites found in the various parts of this country is only 
about iwo-thirds as great as the number of varieties reported 
from (lermany. If it be asked, then, what are the causes which 
giv(* us, on the one hand, a large percentage of harmless para- 
sites, and on the other, excessive rarity or entire lack of the 
more dangerous forms, I believe that some part of the answer 



at least may be given at once. The recent settlement of this part 
of ttie country, and the uncontaminated condition of fields and 
pasture lands is undoubtedly a reason for the existence of a less 
number of parasites than are found in the longer settled portions 
of the world. But in addition to this, and — I am inclined to 
think — of even more importance, is the general prevalence, in 
this western country at least, of the large slaughter-houses. 

According to the primitive method of slaughtering which was 
in general vogue throughout the country a few years ago, and 
which is still practiced in many of the more conservative por- 
tions of the country, animals were slaughtered on the farm, or in 
some temporary slaughtering house, and the remains were 
thrown to dogs or hogs as the easiest way of getting rid of them. 
In this way the larval forms reached their final host and the 
number of parasites was unquestionably augmented. 

Under present conditions the various parts of the animal are 
utilized to such an extent that, as the packers say, *'The only 
part of the hog which goes to waste is the squeal." By this 
means all of the larval stages, particularly of the tapeworms, 
which are present as bladder-worms in the omentum or in the 
connective tissue of various parts, are destroyed and never reach 
their ultimate host. 

Thus it is that T. marginata, T. coenurus, and T. echhtoeoccus 
are so rare here as to be almost lacking. It is evident also that 
with the more perfect methods of slaughtering and more complete 
utilization of the fragments, the number of stages of larval tape- 
worms which reach the final host will be still further diminished, 
and the danger from such parasites proportionately removed. 
In Berlin, Germany, it has been shown by Deffke that a reduc- 
tion in the number of canine parasites has taken place since the 
introduction of compulsory meat examination, and the destruc- 
tion of infected portions of all animals slaughtered. 

A further support to this opinion seems to be found in the 
abundance of Taenia serrata in dogs obtained in Lincoln. The 
larva of this parasite is a bladder-worm {Ct/sticercus pisiform is) 
found abundantly in the rabbit; the latter is not only extremely 



eommon in this region, and frequently hunted by dogs as a mat- 
ter of mere sport, but also if used as human food, dressed at home 
or in smaller butcher shops, where the refuse easily falls in Ihe 
way of dogs of all kinds. Thus not only the natural hunting |)ro- 
clivity of the dog, but the element of chance as well, favors the 
increase of this particular species of parasite. 

It may, then, be properly affirmed that although the dogs in 
this country are apparently more seriously affected with para- 
sites than their relatives of modern Europe, they are yet not 
suc'h a menace to public health, since the parasitic species pe- 
culiarly dangerous to the human family at least are either want- 
ing or extremely rare. This, however, does not mean that inti- 
mate association with the dog tribe is more worthy of encour- 
agement here. If for no other reason than the extreme abun- 
dance of Dipylidium caninum it would be best to limit the asso- 
ciation of dogs and children, since this form is a comparatively 
frequent parasite of man in his earlier years. 

The records which have been kept of parasites of cats, includ- 
ing those that have been subject to a complete examination during 
the past three years, are also given in the two following tables 
(C, D). As compared with the dogs it will be seen in the first 
place that fewer cats are free from infection, and in the second, 
that a smaller number of species of parasites has been taken 
from the cat than from the dogs of this region. Again, the total 
number of parasites present in any one individual falls far short 
of that found in some of the dogs. Thus the largest total num- 
ber of parasites taken from any cat was less than sixty, whereas 





Free froua 

With one 

With two 

With three 

With four