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"Taking a Look Back"
Newspaper Clippings of
Franklin, Nebraska History





October 27, 1899:
Bloomington: Prices at Feigley's Department Store: 19 lbs. granulated sugar, $1.00; 12 bars of good laundry soap, 25c; 7 lbs of beans, 25c; 1 gallon of vinegar, 17c, 4 cans of corn, 25c; 1 lb. of smoking tobacco, 19c.

May 18, 1900:
Franklin: Franklin now has a full-fledged every-day dentist. Charles Cross has located here to stay.

We hear Mr. Jones is trying to buy the Commercial Hotel for $1,500 or $1,600. The property cost $4,000 and is a fine property in a splendid location. (Editor's Note: the Commercial Hotel was located in the same location as the Lincoln Hotel and was torn down when the new $50,000 hotel was built in 1917.)

Franklin: Eight wagons loaded with stone from the Lookout Mountain district south of the river, passed through Franklin in a group recently enroute for the Macon Prairie. Hippe Jelkin was among the number. Bloomington: A funnelshaped cloud was plainly seen last weekend in the sky northeast of town. Our people could see it move on and finally dissolve into the air. It did not touch the ground.

On Decoration Day, the post of this city will meet and march to the cemetery and decorate the graves of their dead comrades. No speaker program has been reported to us.

June 16, 1900:
Franklin: Last Saturday was not an unusual day for Franklin. Neither were there any special attractions, yet at one teim we counted 107 teams on our streets, and others were constantly coming and going.

July 20, 1900:
Bloomington: I.V. Smith is now shipping corn. It retails for 45 cents a bushel.

John Schegg has been awarded the contract to build the addition to the courthouse. Work on the same will begi at once.

On account of a lack of a fall corn crop this year, a large number of hogs and cattle are being poured into market.

August 10, 1900:
Franklin: The seventh reunion of the Franklin County old soldiers was held at Rose's Grove at Franklin on August 7, 8 9. The event was attended by over 2,000 people. The Franklin Coronet band entertained the audience, and the boys of the Spanish-American War were recognized for the service to their country. Eighty-nine veterans registered and represented 14 states.

For the first time in five years, citizens were aroused by the word "fire!" Last Saturday evening, around 9:00 p.m. the Academy's Stuart Hall (boys dormitory) burned down,. The fire began between the first and second floor at the northwest corner. A two-story frame building (20 ft x 50 ft) the first story was dedicated in 1881 by Rev. Amos Dresser. The second story was added several years later and was named after Mrs. Stuart of Massachusetts, who conributed financially to the building. Perhaps the fire will getr the community to now provide the means to provide beter fire protection for its residents.

September 21, 1900:
County: Farmers are busy putting in fall grain since the rain. The rainfuall in Franklin las week was nearly five inches, and it went mostly into the ground.

October 27, 1900:
County: The Census Bureau has released its 1900 population of the United States: 76,295,220. More than 13 1/4 million persons have been added since the last decade, an increase of 21%. As was natural, the largest gain was in the western states. Oklahoma had an increase of nearly 400,000, an increase of 542%. The collapse of the boom in Kansas accounts for a growth of only 3%, and less than 1% in Nebraska. In 1870, there were only 38 milion people in the country. During the past centruy, the population has increased 15 fold and has doubled in the last 30 years.

November 30, 1900:
Franklin: There was a spirited scrape in 'town this week twixt W.H. Ryan and H. Whitmore on one side and Professor Short and J. M. on the other. Mr. Short was victorious. It is said Mr. Ryan's boy got impudent and saucy in school and that Mr. Short used severe corporal punishment. The boy's father had Short arrested before Davis's court, but Short took a change of venue to Greenwood's sanctum. A jury of five declared Mr. Short was justified in using severe measures. Public sentiment sustains the jury.

The numerous parties in town who think perhaps Professor Short was a little severe in trouncing young Ryan, but yet insist that public policy and good government in school, county, state, and nation demand imperatively that order and discipline must be maintained, else we should have no schools and no government. The modest, retiring, studious, gentlemanly boys never have trouble with their teachers, and they are the boys that make leaders and fill places of honor in manhood's ripened years. Noble boys make noble men.

January 11, 1901:
Bloomington: Proprietor Perry Hildreth is selling boys winter caps, winter underwear and bed blankets at 20% discount for cash for the next 30 days.

Cole & Company would liek everyone to try them for their ability to compete with the mail order catalogs. The local business offers their knowledge about their products and can match any catalog price. They ask area people to "treat your home merchant as well as you treat the catalog house and we think you will get better results."

January 18, 1901:
Franklin: Bloomington has a town well, Franklin has none. What is the matter with our town dads? Why doesn't Franklin have some fire protection? Wake up.

January 4, 1901:
County: The smallpox scare has reached this county, and it is reported Hildreth is quarantined tight as a drum. The daily papers say the schools in Campbell have been closed to guard against the disease. Our doctors last week vaccinated nearly 85 people, and it would be a good idea if every person in the land would go to a physician and be vaccinated.

Bloomington: The fourth quarterly convention of the Republican Valley Holiness Association was held in the Presbyterian church last week.

Franklin: Happy new century to everybody.

January 26, 1901:
Franklin: A large pile of brick and a large pile of dimension stuff is on the ground for a new school.

February 1, 1901:
County: Population counts are in for the communities of the county. They are: Bloomington, 488; Campbell 368; Franklin 756; Hildreth 249; Riverton 327; Upland 281; Naponee: Not listed.
The Burlington Railroad is offering the following costs to the West and Northwest: To Salt Lake City, $23; to Spokane and Seattle, $28.

June 6, 1902:
Franklin: FRANKLIN IN ASHES! The expected has happened and several of our best citizens are poorer, if not wiser. At about 10:45 Tuesday evening, after nearly the whole population had retired for the night, and the town was clothed in darkness, fire was discovered in the building known as the W.O.W. Hall, and by the time a hundred startled citizens were awake the whole block was in flames.
A strong breeze was blowing from the south, which fanned the flames beyond all human control. In less than an hour, the Gettle and Austin buildings had fallen and the Exchange Bank and several other buildings on the west side of the street were ablaze.
It then looked as if the whole town was doomed. Brave men and boys drenched the post office building with water brought by others in buckets, and when it seemed that their splendid work was in vain and they were driven by the intense heat to a place of safety, the wind suddenly changed to the north, and the fire was driven back.
On the east side of the street the flames attacked and soon licked up Maude Peery's Millinery Store and the two-story office building of Zediker & Dill, threatening McMaster's lumber yard.
While scores of men were flighting here, others were removing goods and furniture from the buildings on the west side of the street, which one after another caught fire and collapsed until the feed store of B.C. Gorham was reached which was literally torn down and pulled into the street. Thirteen business blocks went up in smoke, with the loss totaling over $30,000.00.

August 15, 1902:
Franklin: A. G. Hunt of Franklin announces that on September 1, 1902, his books will be closed and his business will be done stricly for cash.

Riverton: A large delgation attended the Hopkins funeral at Riverton Sunday. O. F. Hayden says it was the most largely attended funeral he ever attended in the west.

August 27, 1902:
County: Chas. W. Gishwiller, the presetn member of Nebraska legislature, Franklin county, remaned by the fusionist, and his devotion to the people's interests presages his triumphant re-election.
The ticket completed by the nomination of W.A. Deary, for county attorney and E.M. Hussong for surveyor, both of Bloomington, whom are excellent capable men.

County: The US Census Bureau's 1999 population estimate of Franklin County was 3,677. The county's population in 1910 was 10,303.

November 6, 1924:
Franklin: The Lincoln Hotel is being newly decorated in t he latest up-to-date manner. The lobby and dining room are complete. Messers. Geroge Scott and son are leaving nother undone to put the hotel in line with other hotels of the better class

November 27, 1924:
Naponee: The Lincoln Daily Star understands the manager of a telephone company wants the State Railway Commission to make the Naponee postmaster answer his phone. "When said postmaster is at work, claims the manager, he not only refuses to respond to a call, but disconnects his instrument so the bell won't ring," the newspaper said.

February 25, 1925:
Franklin: The hounds of Clarence Mitchell hunted down their 15th coyote this winter. Mitch will soon depart for Florida where he will go to training for the coming season. The Philadelphia player has signed for a sizable bonus.

Riverton: The Wagon Bridge was closed because of the large chunks of ice blocks floating down the river. Folks caught on the north side of river had to use the east bridge to cross.

April 2, 1925:
County: The county supervisors met on March 19 and approved the new courthouse construction plans, which have been prepared by Architect George A. Berlinghoff.


April 23, 1925:
County: TheCounty Board of Supervisors have let the contract for the new courthouse. Varna Brothers of Omaha secured the job for $87,365. The heating and plumbing contract went to Hart Plumbing of University Place for $11,645, and the electrical contract went to Frank C. Sutton of Beneva for $990, for a total of $100,000. "The hopes and desires of the people of Franklin County for the erection of a suitable courthouse for the many valuable records seem about to be realized."

May 21, 1925:
Franklin: Senter Park has opened for another season with the Kearney Glee Club performing the "H.M.S. Pinafore." The swimming pool has been equipped with two slides and has been filled with water.

June 4, 1925:
Franklin: Mr. Brumbaugh began work the first of the week on the fine gateway, which is being erected at the entrance to the park by the Girls Community Club. Mr. Joy donated the rock from the old Academy buildings. The Franklin Academy monument being erected by teh Franklin Academy Association has had its foundation put down and the petrified tree stump has been cemented down.

June 18, 1925:
Franklin: Last Friday afternoon, June 12 at 2:00 p.m., the members of the Franklin Academy Alumni and friends gathered at the city park to take part in the dedication of the monument erected as a memorial to the Academy.

June 25, 1925:
Franklin: On July 4, at the Franklin Speedway mile dirt track, one of the biggest events of the season will take place. Purses of $1,575 will be up for grabs at the races.

July 27, 1927:
Rock Creek: Little Ralph Minnick was hurt quite badly one day last week when his pony fell on him.

Macon: Last Sunday morning the members of the M.E. Church were greatly surprised when coming to church, to see Mr. and Mrs. Wilken and three of their children there, who last spring, had just moved to Kansas, and with them they had brought Mrs. John Gruessing, who moved away from here 25 years ago and had never been back since.

June 27, 1950:
County: District 4-H camp will be held at the fiargrounds July 17, 18, 19. The Spring Valley Community Club will do the cooking. After the July 11 cleanup, members will enjoy roller skating at Hansen Roller Skating Rink in Franklin.

August 7, 1925:
County: The laying of the cornerstone of the $100,000 courthouse will take palce on August 12. The building will be four stories high. It is built of light colored pressed brick and trimmed in Bedford stone. The building will be 68 ft x 96 ft in size and will provide 6,528 square feet in floor space, which should be ample for many years to come. The new courthouse is located in a square block of ground one block north of the Lincoln Hotel, and was sold by the City of Franklin for $5.00, after the county seat was moved to Franklin five years ago. This block of ground was formerly the city park and has a fine set of American elm trees, which were planted in 1890, and now completely shade the ground. Old timers said the block of ground was originally planted iwth the idea that a courthouse would eventually be placed in Franklin, and now their dreams had come true.

September 10, 1925:
County: Ten men have been arrested and fined for violation of the 18th Amendment (Prohibition), due to the efforts the county's sheriff, attorney, and judge.
Don't forget to come to the Franklin County Fiar September 14-18.
Franklin: Kings Kids will play for dances at Senter Park September 14-15.

October 15, 1925:
County: That Franklin County land is not cheap was fully demonstracted, when 720 acres in three tracts sold for upward to $75,000.
Franklin: The football team was outclassed by Nelson, 0-74.

November 19, 1925:
County: The work on Franklin County's new courthouse has progressed rapidly the past few weeks. All the cement floors have been run and lathing was started today.

December 4, 1925:
Riverton: The building formerly occupied by Republican Valley Bank was fitted up last week for a club room.
The Cline Theater, under the auspices of the Ladies' Community Club, will show the 8-reel "Drusilla With A Million," as well as teh 2-reel "Pace Maker" comedy. Admission is 40 cents and 20 cents.

December 31, 1925:
Franklin: Milo Mallory, some friends, and five hound dogs came back from a coon hunt with a 26 pound coon. Milo had to stick and twist some barb wire down a hole and snag the coon in a hole in the creek bank. Its hide now hangs on Milo's barn door.

November 24, 1949:
Franklin: More than 600 people visited Shineman's Ford on Friday and Saturday to veiw the new 1950 model Fords.
Naponee: The Hicks-Siegel American Legion Post No. 364 was recently organized.

February 9, 1950:
Naponee: The Third Annual Farmers Day will be held February 21. Included will be a talk by Norma Edwards, regional home economist, whose presentation will be, "What's New in Electrial Appliances?"

March 2, 1950:
Naponee: At a Republican City special election, community residents have voted to sell the city auditorium to the federal government for $50,000. It was the first transaction of many that will be required of the selling of buildings and their replacement to the northwest of the crest at Harlan County Reservoir. Others sales will include utilities, church buildings, streets, businesses, and residential structures.

March 30, 1950:
Franklin: Due to a lack of interest, the Franklin P.T.A. voted to disband indefinitely.

January 11, 1951:
County: Harmie Kleen, Franklin County campaign director for the year's polio drive, is completing plans for teh drive, which begins January 15-31.
Six Franklin County boys have enlisted in the Air Corps: Keith Steinkruger and Myron Kersenbrock of Upland, Wendell Lynch and Earl DeJonge of Macon, Wayne Albers and Don Hager of Bloomington.
Franklin: The new recreation building is now open. It is located just east of Gartin's Grocery and measures 60 ft x 120 ft. Owners Mr. and Mrs. Perry Hansen say it will be used primarily for roller skating.

May 25, 1950:
County: State and Federal agencies have approved the plans and specifications for the Franklin County6 Memorial Hospital. Bids will soon be taken, and it is hoped to have the hospital in operation by early 1951.
The 1950 census indicates the county lost almost 700 people during the last decade. Such is the trend throughout the state. The 1950 population of Franklin County was 7,070. The compares to 7.740 in 1940. Franklin and Naponee gained population because of the construction of the Harlan County Reservoir. The 1950 population of each community (and 1940 census) is as follows: Bloomington 272 (340); Campbell 398 (478); Franklin 1,604 (1,270); Hildreth 373 (361); Naponee 388 (272); Riverton 347 (390); Upland 251 (317).

June 22, 1950:
County: The hospital is $20,000 chosr of the required amount needed to build, furnish, equip, and complete. This increase is due to the rise in the cost of materials.
Opening bids for the construction, plumbing, ventilation, and electrical work on Franklin County Memorial Hospital proceeded before the county board. It was decided to take the low bid of $168,375.
Riverton: Riverton's baseball team has the best team in the county. It is leading the Tri-County League with a 5-0 record.

September 5, 1950:
County: Work is progressing rapidly on teh foundation of the Franklin County Memorial Hospital this week. The street directly north of the museum and swimming pool has been opened and graded. The approches to the road at the north edge of town have not yet been constructed.

September 24, 1950:
Naponee: The Harlan Construction Company has donated all the equipment necessary to have lighting at the athletic field. This makes it possible to have night football games. The eight poles will have 32 reflectors and 1,500 watt bulbs.
Ash Grove: The Ash Grove Our Redeemer Lutheran Church will celebrate its silver anniversary on October 1.
Riverton: The school has its first football team in history. Eighteen boys are out for practice.

October 15, 1950:
County: A report on the school districts of Franklin County has been made. There are 71 original districts in the county, and two are fractional districts. Eight and one-quarter sections of land in the northwest corner of the county are in Wilcox Consolidated District C-12. Twelve sections of school land are leased. Thirty-one of 72 districts are operating htis year: 24 are rural, and 7 are in towns. Thirty-seven rural districts are contracting their students and 3 rural districts have no elementary studetns. The total county enrollment is 1,432: 237 rural, 791 town and 404 high school students. Eighty-six teachers are employed in the county.

November 23, 1950:
County: Several carloads of brick have been received for the hospital building. A shipment of steel has come in, and another is on its way. On donations, one group, the Franklin Academy Alumni, is doing well, and is nearing the $1,000 mark.
Wilcox: More than a dozen mechanical pickers took part in a mechanical husking bee for George Myers on November 9th. GEorge has been confined to the house by order of the doctor. Numerous tractors were used to haul corn during the chilling cold and windy day. The women folk prepared the noon meal and had hot piping coffee, pie and cake for coffee time at 4:00 p.m.

December 7, 1950:
Upland: The Upland Community Hall was severly damaged by fire last week. The fire departments of Hildreth and Wilcox were also called to fight the three hour blaze. School children and residetns helped mop up the auditorium floor after the fire. There was only slight damage to the basket ball floor. It wa estimated the damage could coast from $4,000 to $5,000 to repair.

December 21, 1950:
Bloomington: An oil test site is being drilled 2 miels southa nd .5 miles east of Bloomington on lad owned by Allen and Jess Malick.
Naponee: Residential and business lots at the new site of Republican City went on sale last week to only residents of the town. After January 1, the remaining sites are for sale to any investors.

January 18, 1951:
Franklin: Residents were saddened to hear of the sudden death of E.W. Agnew, 89 former Chief of Police for 27 years. Mr. Agnew was in law enforcement in SMith County, KS and Franklin County for more than 63 years. He probably had the nation's record for serving the longest period in law enforcement. E.W. began his law enforcement career in 1888 at the age of 26 in Smith County, KS. Mr. Agnew was sweeping the sidewalk at city hall when he died.

January 4, 1951:
County: A mild oil boom is taking place in Harlan County, and it is hoped the strike will extend beyond the development south and west of Naponee and on across Franklin County. The test well south of Bloomington on the Malick land is down more than 3,000 feet, and drillers expect to finish the operation by the weekend.

January 25, 1951:
Bloomington: Ernie Monie and C.E. James got 11 coyotes within two weeks of a three mile area by using their Human Coyote Getter. It is a simple device the involves using a potent smelling bait with a .38 Special cartridge of cyanide gas saturated with the bait, which is then placed on a gun. When the coyote tries to pull the bait of, the gun fires the cartridge of deadly gas that quickly kills the coyote in less than 70 steps form the bait.
Hildreth: Schwartz Brothers Implement Company will hold its John Deere Day at the Hildreth Teatre. The feature film "One Happy Family" is a top-notch production.

November 21, 1974:
County: Deer season ended with a total of 84 deer being checked into the sheriff.
Bloomington: The Riverside Extension Club celebrated its 60th anniversary. Thirty-four members were presetn,a nd Eltha Scheuneman of Frnaklin was honored as the only livig charter member. Eltha organized the club in her home in 1914.

May 15, 1975:
Franklin: The Franklin Country Club will observe its 10th anniversary with a covered dish dinner on May 18.

October 2, 1975:
Naponee: An estimated 2,500 people attended the community's bicentennial celebration on September 27. Over 60 entries were in the parade and began with teh Franklin High School Band and finished with the Alma High School Band.

October 16, 1975:
Hildreth: A Bicentennial Flag of Recognition has been presented to Hildreth. The guest speaker was Congresswomen Virginia Smith. The flag was raised at the park by Boy Scout Troop 184.

January 1, 1976:
Franklin: Alice Schriner was recently honored for her 45-year teaching career. She has taught at rural schools in Franklin County, Bloomington, Minden, and Hyannis, Alice (Grube) graduated from Franklin High School in 1927.

July 28, 1977:
Naponee: Sunday Rodney, Lorene and Steven Richter; Joey Graf; Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Kammerer and Kyle went down the river in inner tubes, then returned to the richter's home for a carry-in dinner.

June 6, 2000:
County: The US Census Bureau's 1999 population estimate of Franklin County was 3,677. The county's population in 1910 was 10,303.

Return to Franklin County NEGENWEB page HERE.

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Posted 2002 & Re-Posted 2008