MJH, Buffalo County NEGenWeb Project © 2001

A word From A. L. Fitch, an Old Pioneer, Now Engaged in the Real Estate Business at Watertown

The presant [sic] time calls to us to look back and consider what has been done to achieve our presant [sic] prosperty, socially intellectually and financially. Turning back Forty-five years we remember that these fertile praires [sic] was the home of the buffalo and the sod house and the frisky coyote with his ever memorable sardonic evening serenade. I can hear him yet. The buffalo was a very important factor in settlement of Nebraska, I remember families that lived on buffalo meat and corn bread with an occasional piece of bacon and cup of coffee for Sunday (not every Sunday), there being no limit to buffalo steak. We soon had our sod houses occupied by hearty robust cheerful plainsman, whose barefooted decendants [sic] roamed the prairies without fear of cactus or rattlesnake.
     The buffalo and rattlesnakes are gone. The sod house has disappeared and have been replaced with fine large beautiful attractive residences. Large commodious well firnished [sic] barns have taken the place of the straw sheds that we used to protect our horses and cattle from the storm. Our people have changed from hunters and trapers [sic] to prosperous farmers. Small garages are to be


seen on many of our farms. The automobile has passed its luxury stage and is now a neccesity [sic] and our farmers have them. Made possible for the reason that we have the best farming land in the world. We believe in an over ruling power and a just God but his wisdom passes our


understanding why he should put all the best land in one place and call it Nebraska is more than I can explain. It has made other states jealous of us. They have called us the "Great American Desert." They call us bug eaters. But we don't care. We have the jackrabbit, cotton tail and prairie chickens with many other useful things and we are happy.

     Does your temper give way under the annoyances and vexations of life? Then stop -- back up -- get a fresh grip on yourself.
    Remember, anger never conquers any but the heart that harbors it.

S.C. Bassett
A Dream Land Complete

Dreaming, I pictured a wonderful valley.
A home-making valley few known
    could compare,
When Lo! from the bluffs over-looking
    Wood River
I saw my dream-picture, my valley
    lies there. --

S. C. Bassett
Gibbon, Nebr.

Miller, The Town With a Punch.

    Miller is located on the Kearney and Black Hills branch of the Union Pacific, and is in the extreme northern part of Buffalo county.
    The town has a population of about 400 and is a thriving little city. While fire swept more than half of the business portion of the town some time ago, new brick buildings have been completed and are now occupied.
    The number of churches in the town are adequate to look after the spiritual welfare of the people.

    In secret societies the Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen of America, and Royal Neighbors are represented,
    The town also has two banks, one being presided over by F. D. Brown and Ross Brown and the other by Nels Maddox . and C. E. Milhouse. The conbined [sic] deposits of the two banks in their last report August 1, 1917, amounted in round numbers to $250.985.54, thus showing that the citizens of the community have faith in their home institutions.
     One of the big industries of Miller is the chicken ranch owned and conducted by A. C. Andrews and Mrs. Andrews. They specialize in the Buff and White Orpington and have gained much notoriety among: the breeders of this strain all over the country. They have shipped chickens and eggs to practically every state in the union as well as in Canada, thus advertising the little town of Miller in a way all over the world. Mr. Andrews is secretary of the National Orpington Club, and the work attached to this, as well as looking after his flocks, make him a busy man.
    The people of Miller are congenial in every sense of the word and do all in their power to make it pleasant for the visiting stranger. The business men are a live up to-date bunch of congenial fellows

who are making rapid strides in the work of making a bigger and better Miller.
    Farm lands can be bought for $20 and up and town property is increasing in value very rapidly. Homeseekers would do well to investigate the territory around Miller before they make any permanent arrangement.

37 Years Ago There Was no Miller.
Thirty seven years ago the writer came to Buffalo County located on a farm three miles east of where Miller now stands. There were but few settlers on woodriver [sic] at that time. Back in the hills there were no settlement as all thought the country to [sic] rough for farming but today it is all settled with thriving and prosperous people with good farms and fine improvements.
    Frame houses have taken the place of the old sod house and all who remain of those that were here at that time are John Abel, Tip Smith and Jack Mercer.
    Our market was Kearney or Elm- Creek but in a few:years the K & B. H. built a railroad as far as Callaway, Miller was started. Armada a town that had started moved over to where Miller now stands and the town soon became one of the best towns on the line. It is true Miller became a dull town at one time and lost the life she once had but today she has taken on new life and is again one of the best towns on the road.
    Though the last year Miller has met

with a great loss by fire, six brick store buildings have gone up. A $10,000 water plant has been put in.
    After breaking 50 acres on my place I broke 60 acres where Miller is located with no thought that a town would ever be built here. We old settlers used to go to the Dismal river after cedar posts 100 miles west. It took 8 or 10 days to make

The Backbone of the Buffalo County
The Backbone of Buffalo County.

the trip, but as Dr. Harbaugh used to say, "such is life in the far west and the farther west you go the sucher." Prairie dogs and rattle snakes were the first settlers here, but now there are no snakes and no snake medicine to be had. I suppose that is the reason the snakes have left.
     Editors note: -- Grandpa Jones is one of Buffalo counties oldest settlers had claims the distinction of being the oldest man in Miller. He was close to 90 years old at the time this was written. He has 12 living children, 68 grand children and 33 great grand children.


The Spirit of Buffalo County.

Somebody; said that it could'nt be done,
     But he, with a chuckle, replied,
That "maybe it could'nt; but he would be one
     Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the Trace of a grin
     On his face; if he worried he hid it. He started to sing as he tackled the thing
     That couldn't be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed, "Oh, you'll never bo [sic] that;
     At least nobody ever has done it." But he took off his coat, and he took off his hat,
     And the first thing he knew he'd begun it. With the lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
     If any doubt rose he forbade it. He started to sing as he tackled the thing
     That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
     There are thousands to prophesy failure, There are thousands to point out to you one by one
     The dangers that wait to assail you, But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,

A prize winner, owned by A.C. Andrews, Miller, Neb.
A prize winner, owned by
A. C. Andrews, Miller, Neb.

     Then take off your coat and go to it; Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
     That cannot be done, and you'll do it. --Selected.

Pleasanton a Live One.

    On the north edge of the county in the beautiful and fertile Pleasant Valley there lies a little town on the banks of the loup that is noted for its beauty and prosperity.
    Pleasanton is it's [sic] name and the name fits well. Pleasant people, pleasant surroundings and pleasant conditions.
    Pleasanton has a population of


about 400 and is in an extremly [sic] productive territory. The people are all prosperous and have nice homes.
     The business firms are progressive and up-to-date in their methods. They are of the friendly "good fellow" sort who never fail to make strangers feel that they are at home and among friends. In short Pleasanton is an ideal location for the homeseeker.

Good Roads a Personal Responsibility

    Perhaps no other feature of civic reform or improvements of recent years has attracted so much attention as has that of road building. All over our broad land, from ocean to ocean, from the lakes to the gulf the waves of enthusiasm is rolling. The people are realizing that they


must have better roads, and the machinery of government, in its taxing capacity is being ever more and more strained to meet this demand.
     But while there is a certain responsibility resting upon the state in the maintenance of our highways we are in danger of forgetting that an even greater responsibility rests upon us, individually, as citizens. The reason why we sometimes lose sight of this responsibility is that we Americans have gotten into the habit of working out all such matters through the medium of taxation. If we want a new road opened, we levy a tax. If we want an old road macadamized, we tax some more. Is a bridge to be built? We impose another tax. We tax and we keep on taxing and this regardless of the fact that we all know that the hardest money to

Wood-Lawn Poultry Farm
Another view of the Yards at Wood-lawn Poultry Farm, Miller, Nebr.

A.C. Andrews
A. C. Andrews, the Progressive Orpington specialist, Miller, Nebraska. He is Secretary of The National S. C. Buff Orpington club and is a very busy man.

give up is that which is paid in taxes. Many a man will come to town and spend in a day enough to pay his yearly taxes and think nothing of it. But he will sweat drops of blood as it were, when the tax gatherer rounds him up. We depend too much upon taxes.
     We should depend more upon individual and personal effort. A lively neighborhood interest in good roads is worth all of the taxes you can wring from unwilling pocket-books. A determination by a united citizenship of a county that their roads shall excel is worth more than all of the road commissioners in existence. Road commissioners work through devious ways to reach their


object. The united sentiment of a people works direct to the object. It determines what is wanted and then takes the most direct route to accomplish its ends.
     Do you favor better roads in this community? Then go to work and arouse a healthy community sentiment that will demand them. When that is accomplished good roads will be the result.
     And just a few words more. Realize your OWN responsibility. Say to yourself, "the roads of this community belong partly to Me, and I owe a duty to them." Don't depend upon a benevolent government, national, state, county or township, but shoulder your own responsibility.

Echo Farm
One of the drives at Echo Farm, home of S. C. Bassett, Gibbon, Neb.


Nebraska, O Nebraska,
    Thee we obey!
Jewelled with the Night, Nebraska,
    Diademed with Day!
Nebraska, O Nebraska,
    Land with promise blest,
Brighest of the stars emblazoned,
    Queen of the West!

Here the splendors of the prairies
    Greet the splendors of the skies,
And the green of Earth immingles
    With the blue of Paradise!
ttere the dance of dewy cornfields
    Flashes welcome to the sun,
And the singing winds make music
    When the toil of day is done!

Nebraska, O Nebraska,
    Mother of States!
Golden hope shall greet, Nebraska,
    All who seek thy gates!
Nebraska, O Nebraska.
    Home shall be thy sod
While thy prairies yield in fruitage
    Bounty of God!


Ma was reading out loud from her magazine.
When she says to me "The best I've seen
For all the things that must be had
Is this here low price mail house ad.

Here's Cross Grained Oats, 9 cents--no more-
'Gainst 10 they're charting at the store.
And if all the rest that's advertised
Is just as cheap I'd not be s'prised
That we'd save money in the end
By trading with our low price friend."

I shot an order into the mail--
It carried my name, it carried my kale.
I ordered a lamp and a rocking chair.
A pail of prunes and some underwear.
My wife, she ordered two petticoats.
A new false puff and some Cross Grained oats;

A Buffalo County prize winner
A Buffalo County prize winner

A Noah's Ark for baby's toy,
A pair of boots for Bub, the boy;
Stockings for Nell, a waist for Lizzie -
Just writing that order kept me busy.

Well, we shot the order into the mail-
'Twas all of a thirty dollar sale;
We figured out three days was enough
To fetch us that dodblasted stuff.

They got my coin, but not a peep
Did I hear from the firm of Grab & Keep,
'Twas all of two weeks--maybe three-
Before them goods arrived for me.

I got a notice, hitched the ma'ar
And drove three miles to the railroad car.

I found a whacking big box there--
Some smashed up, but I didn't care.
When you've honed for prunes until it hurts
And your back is cold for lack of shirts,
When the goods in front of you's labeled "Must,"
You grab 'em-if the box is bust!

So I heaved the wreckage into the cart
And headed for home, feeling pretty smart.
My goods had come from a town that's real,
And I'd saved four dollars on the deal!

We soon got home and opened the case
And looked at our purchases, face to face
Well, sir, 'twas an eye opener, you can bet,
And one that I shan't soon forget!

The parcel of oats was torn to rags--
But we'd saved twelve cents on dozen bags!

The prunes seemed good and the baby's toy--
Before it broke he had one day's joy!

My wife's false puffs was some horsehair stuff,
And her petticoats wasn't half large enough.
The stockings for Nell looked thin and frail,
The waist was ruined by a rusty nail.

The lamp was as lurid as a three weeks boil
And held 'bout a tea cup full of oil.
The boots for Bub cost the same, no more,
Than Hoskins asks at the village store.

But the rocking chair, "built of solid oak"
Was the funniest part of this wholesale joke.
Oh, 'twas just like the picture, rod and rung
But the size of the thing's where we got stung.

Ma tried it and found 'twas a false alarm--
'Twas a foot too narrow from arm to arm!
Nell had more luck: she wedged right in--
But we pried her out with the rolling pin!
Then I set right down and figured the sale
That "ad" had made through the U. S. mail.

  I figgered an hour, and then some more,
And found we had nothing on the village store!
I'd sent thirty dollars to Chicago, Ill.
And saved twelve cents on the total bill!
Then I seen at once 'twas them nine cent oats
Had taken our dollars and made us goats!

So I swore by all that was holy and pure
I'd read no ads with a low price lure.
I stopped ma's magazine on the spot.
Will I take it again? I reckon not;
Leastwise not till they put a ban
On that "come-on" stuff of the mail house man!

That fly on your plate didn't wipe his feet when he came in.
    The chances are his last walk was in the filth of the street or the garbage pail.
    Pleasant, isn't it?
    Then why put up with flies?
    Keep flies out of your home.
    Don't trade at stores that tolerate flies.
    Don't eat at restaurants in which there are flies.

Kearney's Best Clothing Store, and Wood-lawn Poultry
Top: Entrance to Kearney's Best Clothing Store
Bottom: A Group of Prize Winners of the Wood-lawn Poultry Farm, Miller, Neb.

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