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Brown County, Nebraska-----A few facts worth noting.
AREA: 1,214 square miles
Distance East and West-26 miles
Distance North and South along east county line-44 miles
Distance North and South along west county line-52 miles
Population in 1990-3,657 residents. County Seat-Ainsworth, Nebraska
Towns and Population: Ainsworth-1,870. Johnstown-48.
Long Pine-396. This breakdown was according to the 1990 census.
The first child born in Ainsworth was a son to Leroy Hall and his wife on December 4, 1882.
The first pair of twins were Lee and Lou Magill, born to the W.H. Magill's August 24, 1882 on Pine Creek.
The first marriage license was issued to L.D. Bates and Miss Columbia L. Mills on September 8, 1883.
Charles N. Swett was grated the first patent for land now included in this county. His patent was dated August 3, 1883.
C.H. (Chas) Moore, a colored man had a barber shop in Ainsworth in 1885.
The first term of court was held November 27, 1883 with F.B. Tiffany presiding.
Dr. Alfred Lewis was the first doctor to locate in the county. He came to Long Pine in 1881.
Martha A. Leonard, the first and only woman doctor, files for practice in Ainsworth, November 1, 1883. Her office was one door east of the postoffice on 2nd St.
Amos Harris, the colored cowboy who used to make things lively in the early days, spent a few day s in his old stomping ground during July, 1894.
The first woman denist was Cora L. Eichar, whose certificate was registered January 10, 1902.
Brown county was organized in 1883 from unorganized territory lying west of Holt County. Ath that time the County also consisted of present day counties Keya Paha and Rock. Keya Paha was organized in 1884 and Rock in 1888.
Although no records were kept the early settlers in this area said the reains were plentiful and that harvests were abundant, especially wheat which was of excellant quality. Garden products grew with almost no cultivation and were of excellent quality also, during 1884 and as late as 1888.
By 1890 crops were starting to fail and many families failed to raise enough to feed their stock and families. They applied to the county for relief. The county, in turn, appealed to the state. Small amounts of money received afforded some relief for the needy, but there was need for very rigid economy everywhere.
The dry seasons continued and each year more families were obliged to ask for relief. Farms were deserted , stock sold at low prices, given away or turned loose.
Banks failed. Some businesses were forced to close their doors. By 1895 the population had dwindled to about one half of what it had been before the dry years.
No one starved, but there would have been great suffering had it not been for the aid from outside the drought-stricken counties.
Supplies of food and clothing in car load lots were distributed in "Relief Stores" to all who would accept them. These were sent by the people of the eastern states.
The rains begain to return but I have not seen any date mentioned. The area west of here was also hit by the drought but closer to O'Neill and that area it was not as bad.This information is taken from a booklet written by Lillian L. Jones.