Postcard of the Dawson County Courthouse in Lexington, NE. Courtesy of Ginger Cisewski.
According to Perkey's Nebraska Place Names, by Elton A. Perkey, J&L Lee Co, © NSHS 1995, Dawson County, Nebraska was "named for a Nebraska pioneer, presumably Jacob Dawson, first postmaster of Lancaster (now the state capital at Lincoln). County formed on June 26, 1871, by proclamation of Acting Governor William H. James. Boundaries were defined by the Legislature January 11, 1860, and redefined June 6, 1871."
Andreas' 1882 History | Johnson's_History | Semi-Centennial History of Nebraska, 1904
1890_Gazetteer | 1917_Gazetteer | 1920 Livestock Directory | 30 Mile Canal
John J. Cozad/Robert Henri | Nebraska_Ancestree | Military | 1940_Who's_Who
First_Settlers | Pioneers | Schools | Ethnic_Groups | Photos
Other_Dawson_County_history_links, including some family webpages
The "History of the State of Nebraska" (1882), A. T. Andreas, publisher, is a part of KanColl, and is still being worked on. The Dawson County chapter has been completed and is an excellent resource for the history of the county. It includes biographical sketches on some of the leading citizens in 1882.
Andreas' History of Nebraska (1882) - Dawson County Chapter
Johnson's History of Nebraska (1880) - from the NEGenweb Project Online Library.
Dawson County Section
Semi-Centennial History of Nebraska, 1904
by A. E. Sheldon, Dawson County Chapter
Found in the Mardos Memorial Library in the NEGenweb Project Online Library.
"Nebraska State Gazetteer"
Business Directory and Farmer list
J.M. Wolfe & Co., Publishers, 1890.
This is a list of the businesses and farmers in the various towns in Dawson County in 1890-91. Please be aware that the list may not be complete, and has some obvious typos. In the Farmer's list, the towns listed are the actual post office addresses for the farmers. I've tried to catch those towns that are not in Dawson County. You may want to check the neighboring NEGenWeb county sites for more information on those towns. (Note: The town named Congdon later became known as Eddyville.
State index found in the Nebraska Online Library
List of Dawson County newspapers as found in the Gazetteer from 1890:
Platte Valley News Vessells & Scott, props. Cozad
Gothenburg Independent Grant & McKnight, eds. Gothenburg
Gothenburg News J. N. Converse, ed. Gothenburg
Dawson Co. Herald M. A. Leftwich, ed.; Lexington
M.E. Leftwich prop
Dawson Co. Pioneer B.F. Krier, ed. & prop. Lexington
Lexington Gazette Signor & Wickizer, pubs. Lexington
Overton Clipper R. D. V. Carr, pub. Overton
"Nebraska State Gazetteer and Business Directory"
Business Directory for 1917
POLK-McAvoy Directory Co., Omaha, Nebraska.
1920 Purebred Livestock Directory
This directory is presented as part of the MARDOS Memorial Library Collection. Special thanks go to Pam Rietsch for supplying this resource for us to transcribe and post to our pages.
30 Mile Canal
This program from the 1928 dedication of the 30 Mile Canal is presented as part of the MARDOS Memorial Library Collection. Special thanks go to Pam Rietsch for supplying this resource for us to transcribe and post to our pages.
Reveal True Story of John J. Cozad
Transcription of newspaper handed out by The Robert Henri Museum & Historic Walkway and the Cozad Chamber of Commerce.
NSGS Nebraska Ancestree Articles
We have special permission to post Dawson County articles that were posted in the NSGS newsletter more than five years ago from the Nebraska State Genealogical Society.
Who's Who in Nebraska, 1940
Published by the Nebraska Press Association, Lincoln, NE
Printed by State Journal Printing Co., Lincoln, NE
Thanks to Mr. Alan Beermann, Executive Director of the Nebraska Press Association and American Press Advertising Service for permission to reproduce this publication.
Dawson County Section
Main Index - in the NEGenWeb Project Online Library.
Obituary and story about Eliza Freeman, wife of Daniel Freeman, as found in the Journals of the Nebraska State Historical Society, Vol. I, no. 8, 1918. The Freemans were regarded as the very first settlers in what is now Phelps county, and among the very first in Dawson county. The Journals of the Nebraska State Historical Society are being prepared and hosted by Ted & Carole Miller.
DEATH OF A NOTABLE PIONEER - Eliza Freeman
Journals of the Nebraska State Historical Society - main page
Other Articles of interest for Dawson County:
Commerce Catches the Coyote
Obituary for Charles A. Morell, Gothenburg
Historical Material Found
Obituary - John B. Colton, Buzzard's Roost Ranch
Site of Plum Creek Massacre
"Nebraska Pioneer Reminiscences"
-- A collection issued by the Nebraska D. A. R. in 1916
transcribed by Ted & Carole Miller and available in the NEGenWeb Online Library, a part of the NEGenWeb Resource Center
Dawson County entries:
- Life on the Frontier by James Ayres
- Plum Creek (Lexington), Nebraska by Wm. M. Bancroft, M.D
- Early Recollections by C. Chabot
- Recollections of the First Settler of Dawson County by Mrs. Daniel Freeman
- Early Days in Dawson County by Lucy R. Hewitt
- Pioneer Justice by B. F. Krier
- A Good Indian by Mrs. Clifford Whittaker
- From Missouri to Dawson County in 1872 by A. J. Porter
- The Erickson Family by Mrs. W. M. Stebbins
- Nebraska's Negro Homesteaders
Article from the 1969 Nebraskaland Magazine. Posted with permission on the Cherry County NEGenWeb site. At one time there was a negro settlement near Overton in Dawson County. As we find more information about this settlement we will post it here. If you have any information that you would like to share, please contact us.
- The Colored Settlement
Section found in "Early History of Cherry County, Nebraska". This community was first started by families from Dawson County. Special thanks go to Pam Rietsch for putting this history on line.
Other Dawson County History links
- The 1891 Grain Dealers and Shippers Gazette
This Gazette covered 45 states and 3 Canadian Provinces, and includes Nebraska and Dawson County. Since it is done by town and not by county or state, try the search engine to search for your surnames. A special Thank-You goes to Pam Rietsch for transcribing and presenting this on her web site!
- Himmelright Genealogy
Sheila Himmelright-Cave Homepage. Follow the Himmelright webpage link for more information on this surname. Sheila has several pictures, including one of the farm that was located in Dawson County.
- Selk & Berryman Family Photos
Marvin's family pages
Site maintained by Marvin Berryman, Cozad class of 1954: "What I would really like to find is more Berryman photos ca 1860 - 1920 similiar to the ones in my webshots album. I would
particularly like one of my gg grandmother Zarilda Berryman who is buried in the Cottonwood (Bethel) cemetery northeast of Cozad."
- Kathy's pages are missing! Please let me know of the new address!
The 1889 Diary of Horace Clayton Peck (1861-1939)
Kathy Hall's transcription of Clayton Peck's diary on her site. Clayton Peck lived 9 miles north of Cozad. It includes names of other people who lived in the area at the time. If you would like to contact Kathy, her email address is email@example.com
She also has the 1898-99 school photo for Hazel Dell School, Dawson County district 53 (found 5-1/2 miles north of Cozad). With the help of Glenda France of the Cozad Historical Society, the students in the picture have been identified. The teacher was Horace Gardner.
Update! Kathy has updated her diary with information from her recent trip to Dawson County. She has a map of the 1899 land ownership in the Level and Walnut Grove communities, and a downloadable PDF version of the diary.
The surnames included in the diary are:
Adle, Ballinger, Bankson, Barron, Benneson, Blackmer, Block , Blowers, Bolin, Bourgman, Carter, Childs, Donolson, Durland, Edwards, Fleming, Foresman, Freeman, Fulton , Gardner, Grove, Hanna, Hill, Hilligas, Hislock, Hodson, Holway, Hover, Jouett, Junker (sp?), Kirkpatrick, Lalmage, Landon, Lanning, Larmon, Lemon (Lemmon?), Lincoln, Locke, Love, McGrew, McNeal, Moline (Maline?), Morrow, Nichols, Oman, Paris, Peck, Reaser, Ristine, Rowan, Savin, Schreiber, Shaulis, Shingler, Smith, Stevens, Stimpson, Teachout, Thurber, Torie (?), Totton (Toten?), Van De Bogart, Vasey,Wagoner (Wagner?), Wake, Wehr, Wells, York.
- Two autograph books found on Kathy Hall's site:
- Gracia Levina Peck 1904.
- Sylvia Larmon 1883-1886.
- Autograph Book - kept by Josie(Josephine)Dorram who lived in Cozad covering the years 1881-1889.
The above link takes you to Sandra Sanchez' site where the autograph book can be found. Sandra's main genealogy page can be found at http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Valley/7259/ - Be sure to look for these Dawson County families: Stanford, Newman, Dorram, Derrickson, Westfall
Sandra also has an account of the Marrs Tabor wagontrain from Missouri to Nebraska in 1886 as well as an account of their early years in nebraska, written by Johnny Marrs. Actually they first arrived in Arnold but a few eventually settled in Lexington.
- Virtual Nebraska has a page dedicated to Dawson County Historical pictures and information.
- American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940, from the Library of Congress American Memories Site. There are a few WPA stories that have some mention of Dawson County:
Rufas Mowery Miller
Roy A. Morse
E. S. Gardner
- Other Dawson County items from the Library of Congress American Memory Site:
Cattle gate, Dawson County, Nebraska.
Barn and windmill. Dawson County, Nebraska.
Using a power rake in the alfalfa fields, Dawson County, Nebraska.
Cowboy. Dawson County, Nebraska.
Alfalfa field in Dawson County, Nebraska, greatest alfalfa producing center in the world.
Cowboys and cattle. Dawson County, Nebraska
Cowboy driving cattle to grazing land. Dawson County, Nebraska.
County supervisor helping rehabilitation family with account book. Dawson County, Nebraska.
Cooperatively owned stallion bought with an Farm Security Administration loan.
Girl playing among tombstones, Lexington, Nebraska.
House built of bales of hay, Lexington, Nebraska.
Panoramic Photos - Lexington, Nebr.
- Nebraska National Register Sites in Dawson County - From the NSHS site.
- From the Robert Henri Collection on the
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden web site:
Robert Henri's Portrait of John Cozad
Robert Henri's Portrait of Mrs. R. H. Lee (Theresa Gatewood Cozad) Mother of Robert Henri
Portrait of Frank L. Southrn, M.D. - (John Cozad) brother of Robert Henri.
Essay about Robert Henri's life.
- Index of Dawson County photos on this site, and found on other sites.