(Note: Only Hamilton County is available here)
(See the Hall County section on the Hall County NEGenWeb Project site.)
Many ventures have been made on the field of journalism in this county, but only a very few have been successful.
In the spring of 1873 J. M. Sechler began the publication of a newspaper, called the Hamiltonian, at Orville. The paper was non-political, being devoted to "booming" the new county. It was published in the county clerk's office in the court-house - the building now occupied by Mrs. Rudd as a residence. The paper was issued for about three months and was then moved to Sutton, Clay County. The second paper started in the county was the Aurora Republican, owned by F. M. Ellsworth and Thomas Darnall, but edited by Mr. Fox. Soon after D. T. Sherman bought Mr. Darnall's interest and took personal charge of the paper. In 1874 Mr. L. W. Hastings, the present editor and proprietor, bought the interest of F. M. Ellsworth, taking personal charge of the paper in 1876, and in 1878 buying out the entire plant, since which time he has been the sole owner and editor. In 1879 he erected a fine two-story and basement brick building on the south side of the square, the first floor and basement being occupied as stores and offices, and the second floor bing devoted to editorial and publishing rooms. The office is well equipped with steam power and heating apparatus, and all the machinery, presses and appliances of a first-class newspaper and job-printing office. The paper has always been Repbublican in politics.
The Hamilton County News was established in July, 1873, by George W. Bailey and E. J. Lewis at Orville. They were succeeded by Bailey & Hickox, who moved the plant to Hamilton in the spring of 1874, where it was edited by Mr. Bailey until the fall of 1875, when it suspended. In March, 1876, Mr. C. P. Whitesides revived it, conducting it till August,
1877, when Mr. Bailey again became interested in the enterprise, and he and Mr. Whitesides conducted it until August, 1878. Mr. Bailey then became the sole owner and moved the office to Aurora in the winter of 1878-79, where he continued its publication till August, 1884, when he sold it to W. R. Rarcliff, under whose management it remained until August, 1885, at which date William P. Hellings and Jeff Stone became its proprietors.
Up to this date the politics of the paper had been anti-Republican, supporting the various combinations of the Greenback, anti-Monopoly and Democratic parties, in their efforts to defeat the Republican party. Upon its change of ownership in 1885 it underwent a radical change in politics, Mr. Hellings becoming the editor and converting it into a straight-out red-hot Republican journal. During this management it was one of the best county papers ever published west of the Missouri River, being of a high literary character and pure in tone and expression. In June, 1886, Mr. Hellings became the sole owner, and continued as such until August, 1886, when he sold the outfit to W. T. Hastings, who published it for about a year and then sold to L. W. Hastings, when it became merged in the Republican.
The next venture on the attractive, but uncertain sea, was in 1877 by J. W. Shepherd, who published the Aurora Telegraph, a Republican paper, for about a year, and was succeeded by Shepherd & Fritz in 1878. A few months later the outfit was sold to parties in Harvard, Clay County. The Aurora Weekly Journal, another Republican paper edited by Agee & Callegan, at about the same time as the Telegraph, or probably a little earlier, had an ephemeral existence - five or six months - and suffered the fate of the Hamiltonian and Telegraph.
The Western Nebraska Land Register was the name of a five-column folio, issued quarterly in 1882-83, by William P. Hellings. It was devoted to the interests of immigration and advertising the county, and had a free circulation o 5,000 copies.
The Hampton Herald was started in the town of Hampton in 1884 by H. L. Hellen. He was succeeded at his death in 1885 by Mrs. Hellen and her sister, Miss Smith, who continued its publication for about a year, when they sold it to Whitmore & Addis. After four months' experience in the newspaper business Mr. Whitmore retired, and Mr. Addis conducted it alone for about a year, when it expired. Politics, Republican.
The Marquette Independent was published at Marquette in 1884-85 by Dr. T. H. Line, but discontinued after a brief existence. The Stockham Reporter was established at Stockham in August, 1888, by T. P. Corrick. It is Republican in politics. The present editor is J. S. Lounsbury.
The Hampton Independent, published at Hampton during the fall of 1889, was devoted to the independent candidate for county treasurer.
The Hamilton County Leader, edited at Marquette in 1889 by Mr. Barngrover, and the Bromfield News, published at Bromfield in 1888-89, had a small local circulation, but have departed to seek a more appreciative public.
Among the men who have contributed most largely to the advancement of journalism and who, through that medium, have exerted the greatest influence in moulding public opinion in the county, George W. Bailey, L. W. Hastings, William P. Hellings and E. W. Hurlbut occupy a font rank. Mr. Bailey is now and has been for several years engaged in farming in Hitchcock County, this State; Mr. Hellings occupies the position of clerk of the district court in this county, while Messrs. Hastings and Hurlbut continue to ply the editorial sheares, the former as chief of the Aurora Republican, and the latter of the Aurora Sun.
The county having been settled soon after the close of the Rebellion a very large percentage of the early settlers were old soldiers.
Six G. A. R. posts have been organized in the county; Zach Chandler Post No. 44, at Aurora, April 16, 1880; Baldwin Post No. 167, at St. Joe, Augst 21, 1883; Putnam Post No. 142, at Marquette, March 12, 1883; Star Post No. 71, at Bromfield, August 6, 1881; Griffin Post No. 87, at Stockham, March 29, 1882, and Stephen A. Hulburt Post No. 93 at Hampton, May 8, 1882. The great crowd which annually convenes at Aurora on
Memorial Day attests with what profound respect the memory of the fallen heroes is regarded, not alone by the old soldier, but by the entire community. Following is a list of the veterans of the Mexican, Black Hawk and Civil Wars.
[Transcriber's note: The book makes no mention of what war each man was involved in]
|Abbott, Benj., 6th Cal. Inf.||Hastings, L. W., 6th Ia. Inf.||Petzke, W., 37th Wis. Inf.|
|Albright, J. W., 97th Ohio Inf.||Hawkins, M., 121st Ohio Inf.||Pierce, J., 1st W. Va. Inf.|
|Ames, Laban, 8th Wis. Inf.||Henderson, Uriah, 46th Ill. Inf.||Pierce, S. D., 154th N. Y. Inf.|
|Anderson, J., 31st Wis. Inf.||Henderson, W., 56th Ill. Inf.||Pinkerton, J., 105th Penn. Cav.|
|Ansley, G. W., 26th N. Y. Bat.||Hewitt, J. M., 19th Ia. Cav.||Pinnell, W. H., 150th Ill. Inf.|
|Baartz, A., 146th Ill. Inf.||Hiatt, D. A., 19th Ky. Inf.||Potts, A. W., 56th Ohio Inf.|
|Barnes, F. M., 37th Ill. Inf.||Hiatt, G. W., Halls Gap (Ky.) Bat.||Pratt, J., Hatches (Minn.) Bat. Cav.|
|Barnett, Wm., 89th Ind. Inf.||Hickman, A. J., 7th Ia. Inf.||Preston, E. D., 36th Wis. Inf.|
|Barrick, E., 92d Ill. Inf.||Hickman, H. W., 36th Ia. Inf.||Pritchard, John R., 6th Ia. Cav.|
|Barton, E. B., 98th Ohio Inf.||Hileman, E., 18th Wis. Inf.||Pugh, S. B., 17th W. Va. Inf.|
|Batman, P., 84th Penn. Inf.||Hilliar, J. L., 131st Penn. Inf.||Purdy, S. A., 71st Ill. Inf.|
|Bebb, S. E., 4th Ia. Cav.||Hilligas, Frank, 11th Ind. Inf.||Putnam, C. C., 1st Wis. Inf.|
|Beeman, L. P., 137th N. Y. Inf.||Hilligas, Jas., 97th Ind. Inf.||Putnam, G. W., 48th Ohio Inf.|
|Bellany, E. E., 4th Vt.||Hiscock, H. P., 12th N. Y. Inf.||Quigley, G. W., 7 and 13 O. Inf.|
|Bennett, G. W., 72d Ill. Inf.||Hobbs, John W., 2d Ia. Cav.||Reber, L. M., 46th Ill. Inf.|
|Bird, E. E., 45th Ia. Inf.||Hockenbary, J., 77th Ill. Inf.||Reyner, Samuel, 2d Ia. Inf.|
|Boyer, Wm. M., 36th Ia. Inf.||Holmes, S. W., 100th Ia. V. V.||Robbins, W. G., 10th Ill. Cav.|
|Brigham, C. P., 4th N. H. Inf.||Houseman, J. F., 4th Ia. Cav.||Rodgers, Alex, 4th Ia. Cav.|
|Brock, J. N., 33d Wis. Inf.||Howard, T., 6th Wis. Inf.||Rollo, J., 13th Wis. Inf.|
|Bush, Andrew, 97th Ind. Inf.||Howe, G., 101st Ill. Inf.||Ruby, J. A., 7th Ill. Cav.|
|Bush, James, 15th Ind. Bat.||Hulen, W. B., 84th Ill. Inf.||Sauls, J. H., 133d Ill. Inf.|
|Cain, G. W., 36th Ohio Inf.||Huling, E., 164th Ohio Inf.||Sayles, W., 6th Mich. Cav.|
|Campbell, Wm., 31st Ia. Inf.||Hummelright, T. J., 20th Ind. Inf.||Scanlon, J., 2d Ohio Cav.|
|Carriker, J. W., 126th Ill. Inf.||Hunnel, Jas., 46th Ia. Inf.||Scott, M. M., 68th Ohio Inf.|
|Case, Thos. D., 6th Ind. Cav.||Hunt, L. M., 34th Ia. Inf.||Scovill, D. A., 46th Ill. Inf.|
|Cassell, J. N., 20th Ohio Inf.||Hurford, J. R., 130th Penn. Inf.||Shaffer, Peter, 153d Ill. Inf.|
|Cavett, J. A., 38th Ill. Inf.||Hutsel, J., 61st Penn. Inf.||Shankland, O. D., 10th Ind. Inf.|
|Chaffee, J., 46th Wis. Inf.||Ingalls, R. A., 2d Minn.||Shaw, Lemiah, 55th Ind. Inf.|
|Champe, J. M., 10th Ill. Cav.||Isaman, B. F., 14th Ia. Inf.||Shenberger, W. W., 20th Penn. Cav.|
|Chesholm, W., 20th Wis. Inf.||Isaman, Lafayette, 14 Ia. Inf.||Short, C., 104th Ill. Inf.|
|Childer, Wm., 10th Ind. Inf.||James, M. W., 7th Ill. Cav.||Shrader, A., Wis. Heavy Art.|
|Clark, F. H., 9th Vt. Vol.||Jeffers, J. C., 100th Ohio Inf.||Sides, J. D., 126th Ill. Inf.|
|Clark, W., 78th Penn. Inf.||Jennings, H., 20th Mich. Inf.||Skaggs, Harden E., 12th Ill. Cav.|
|Coats, C. A., 18th Ill. Cav.||Jewett, Chas. M., 4th Ia. Cav.||Skelton, J. W., 7th Ind. Cav.|
|Coleman, Alex, 3d Ia. Cav.||Johnson, T. B., 11th Mo. Inf.||Smith, E. E., 6 Mich. Inf. & 9 Cav.|
|Condon, C. B., 18th Wis. Inf.||Jones, I. N., 64th Ill. Inf.||Smith, F. D., 18th Wis. Inf.|
|Cox, Joel, 112th Ill. Inf.||Jones, J. O., 65th Ill. Inf.||Smith, J. M., 86th Ill. Inf.|
|Crow, C. E., 148th N. G. Ohio Vol.||Jones, John, 4th Ind. Bat.||Smith, Martin, 21st Ia. Cav.|
|Crumrine, Geo., 16th Ia. Inf.||Keller, W. F., 1st Wis. Cav.||Smith, Thomas, 69th Ill. Inf.|
|Curtus, Amos, 45th Ia. Inf.||Kimball, C. H., 1st Ia. Inf.||Snyder, D. D., 43d Wis. Inf.|
|Dangler, Dan, 80th Ind. Inf.||Kimball, J. N., 11th N. H. Inf.||Spellman, J. T., 9th Ia. Inf.|
|Danhauer, J. E., 115th Ind. Inf.||Kinkaid, I., 93d Ill. Inf.||Stagerman, Chris, 91st Ind. Inf.|
|Danhauer, J. E., 150th Ill. Inf.||Kirkpatrick, Jas., 9th Ill. Cav.||Stewart, C. V., 13th Mich. Inf.|
|Dannnels, E., 5th Penn. Inf.||Klumb, T. C., 46th Wis. Inf.||Stewart, R., 82d Penn. Inf.|
|Davis, John, 5th N. Y. Inf.||Lakin, Wm., 38th Ind. Inf.||Stillson, Sam E., 4th Ill. Cav.|
|Dawley, H. G., 154th Ill. Inf.||Lancaster, C., 144th N. Y. Inf.||Stockham, J., 33d Ohio Inf.|
|Decker, E., 183d Ohio Inf.||Land, J., 3d Wis. Inf.||Strauss, A., 99th Ill. Inf.|
|Deehart, J. W., 60th Ill. Inf.||Land, Joseph, 3d Wis. Inf.||Streeter, D. C., N. Y. Bat.|
|Dickson, G. A., 39th Ohio Inf.||Lane, N. F., 13th Ill. Inf.||Streeter, W. H., 1st Wis. Cav.|
|Douglas, J. J., 8th Ind. Inf.||Latham, G., 19th Kas. Inf.||Swearingen, J. W., 113th Ill. Inf.|
|Dresback, A., 42d Wis. Inf.||Lehman, G., 148th N. Y. Inf.||Taulbee, L., 126th Ill. Inf.|
|Duncan, O. P., 46th Ill. Inf.||Levee, Geo. L., 4th Ia. Cav.||Thomas, Alex H., 73d Ind. Inf.|
|Duncanson, J., 175th Ohio Inf.||Lewis, A., 4th Mich. Inf.||Thomas, G.W., 8th Tenn. Cav.|
|Dunki, Mechoir, 40th Mo. Inf.||Liebhart, Geo., 22d Ill. Inf.||Thomas, Wm. M., 16th Ind. Inf.|
|Dunlap, Chas. H., 43d Ill. Inf.||Liebhart, Michael, 26th Ill. Inf.||Thomas, Wm., 46th Ill. Inf.|
|Dunn, Daniel, 61st Ind. Inf.||Long, G. W., 37th Ill. Inf.||Toland, A., 1st Ohio V., H. A.|
|Eastman, Chas. R., 120th Ind. Inf.||Lounsbury, S. R., 19th Conn. Inf.||Townsley, T., Knapp's Penn. Bat.|
|Eckerson, C. W., 16th Wis. Inf.||Lowder, J. M., 30th Ia. Inf.||Townsley, W., 101st Penn. Inf.|
|Elarton, J. W., 15th Ia. Inf.||Loydon, E. G., 13th Mich. Inf.||Trobee, W. W., 14 Ia. Inf.|
|Ellsworth, L. D., 98th N. Y. Cav.||Lyon, Jason, 73d Ill. Inf.||Turner, A., 118th Ohio Inf.|
|Evans, C. H., 2d Ia. Inf.||Madison, James, 2d Ia. Cav.||Turner, B. F., 133d Ill. Inf.|
|Evans, D. T., 47th Penn. Inf.||Marks, J. A., 12th Penn. Reserves||Tweedy, John, 18th Ind. Inf.|
|Evans, John W., 48th Ill. Inf.||Marvell, Geo., 2d Ill. Cav.||Vancleave, Henry, 15th Ia. Inf.|
|Ewalt, J., 37th Penn. Inf.||Matlock, Samuel T., 29th Ind. Inf.||VanDusen, J. B., 67th Ill. Inf.|
|Failing, H. O., 160th N. Y. Inf.||May, H., 141st Ohio Inf.||Vosburg, J., 1st N. Y. Inf.|
|Farr, Elias, 4th Minn. Inf.||May, J. D., 141st Ohio Inf.||Wagner, J. A., 19th Penn. Cav.|
|Fenster, C., 12th Wis. Inf.||McBray, N., 18th Wis. Inf.||Walker, C. R., 42d Wis. Inf.|
|Ferris, chas. E., 11th Ind. Inf.||McBride, J. W., 57th Ill. Inf.||Walker, Landy D., 15 Ind. Bat.|
|Fields, E. P., 6th Wis. Inf.||McCarty, J., 82d Ohio Inf.||Washburn, G. H., 25th Wis.|
|Fightmaster, Alex, 115th Ind. Inf.||McClay, J., 99th Penn. Inf.||Watson, B. C., 138th Ill. Inf.|
|Fink, Uriah, 1st Penn. Cav.||McConaughey, A. J., 45th Ia. Inf.||Weatherly, E. J., 11th Ind. Inf.|
|Fiss, T. J., 46th Ill. Inf.||McCord, J. C., 6th Kas. Inf.||Welliver, Christ, 31st Ia. Inf.|
|Flanagan, J. H., 146th Ill. Inf.||McKay, T. A., 12th Mich. Inf.||Wellman, A., 105th Ohio Inf.|
|Floyd, L. C., 12th W. Va. Inf.||McKibben, C., 75th Ohio Inf.||Wert, A., 51st Penn. Inf.|
|Forsyth, E., 31st Ohio Inf.||Melvin, H. T., 11th Wis. Inf.||Western, Geo. 100th Ill. Inf.|
|Foster, J. A., 47th Ia. Inf.||Mendenhall, T. W., 75th Ohio Inf.||White, D. M., 161st N. Y. Inf.|
|Foster, J., 49th Ill. Inf.||Meyers, E. W., 22d Ia. Inf.||Wilcox, Stephen, 40th Ia. Inf.|
|Foster, M. W., 61st Ill. Inf.||Miller, R., 62d Penn. Inf.||Wilcoxen, Jos., 147th Ind. Inf.|
|Franklin, L. A., 5th Ia. Cav.||Miller, Richard, 9th Ill. Cav.||Wildman, Ira H., 1st Ia. Cav.|
|Fuller, James, 10th N. Y. H. Art.||Miller, W., 14th Ohio Inf.||Wiles, Chas., 1st Colo. Cav.|
|Fye, D. F., 67th Ill. Inf.||Mills, G. H., 102d Ill. Inf.||Wilkins, J. H., 14th Ill. Inf.|
|Fye, Daniel, 26th Ill. Inf.||Misner, H., 142d Ill. Inf.||Williams, J., 126th Ill. Inf.|
|Fye, J. D., 142d Ill. Inf.||Mitchell, Marvin, 34th Ia. Inf.||Williams, John Z., 2d Ia. Inf.|
|Fye, J., 147th Penn. Inf.||Moore, G. W., 46th Ill. Inf.||Williamson, H. F., 112th Ill. Inf.|
|Garber, J., 18th Wis. Inf.||Moore, James, 34th Ia. Inf.||Williamson, W. S., 65th Ill. Inf.|
|Gardner, W., 116th Ill. Inf.||Munn, F. L., 11th & 40th Wis. Inf.||Willis, H. J., 90th Ohio Inf.|
|Gebhart, S. B., 184th Ohio Inf.||Myers, E. W., 47th Ia. Inf.||Willis, P., 90th Ohio Inf.|
|Gillmore, R. H., 36th Ill. Inf.||Neihardt, W. C., 87th Ind.||Wilsey, A., 147th Ill. Inf.|
|Gion, Frank, 35th Wis. Inf.||Noble, D. R., 11th Penn. Cav.||Wilson, John, 5th Ill. Inf.|
|Glover, J. F., 121st Ohio Inf.||Nugent, E., 107th Ill. Inf.||Woods, Henry, 34 Ia. Inf.|
|Gooden, Wm. F., 142d Ind. Inf.||Ocker, Curry, 141st Ind. Inf.||Woods, J. W., 99th Ill. Inf.|
|Grafe, J. F., 48th Ia. Inf.||Owens, T., 31st Wis. Inf.||Woods, Jas. A., 10th Ill. Cav.|
|Graham, R. W., 73d Ind. Inf.||Payne, H. J., 49th Wis. Inf.||Woolsey, A. A., 125th Ill. Inf.|
|Gray, Robert, 26th Ill. Inf.||Peck, A. V. B., 46th Ill. Inf.||Wright, C., 33d Wis. Inf.|
|Green, John J., 25th Ia. Inf.||Pelen, Chas. Sr., 13th Ill. Inf.||Wright, Geo. D., 47th Ia. Inf.|
|Grisby, Samuel, 46th Ill. Inf.||Pelen, J., Sr., 14 Penn. Inf.||Yeoman, Gilbert, 30th Ia. Inf.|
|Grosvenor, G. W., 3d Ia. Cav.||Perry, J. C., 138th Ill. Inf.||Youngquist, John, 64th Ill. Shrpshtrs|
|Harter, J., 184th Penn. Inf.||Peterson, M. J., 74th Ill. Inf.||Youst, S. B., 15, Ia. Inf.|
|Zook, D. M., 57th Ill. Inf.|
Isaacs, J., 14th Pioneer Brig.
Reuber, A., 18th Reg. Inf.
Sweatlank, W. P.
Bates, D., U. S. Vol.
Strong, J. D.
Jamison, O. P.
The first secret society organized in the county was Hamilton Grange, at Aurora, on July 28, 1873, with C. P. Dick, master; John Tweedy, J. C. Ratcliff, H. W. King, P. C. Culver, Rev. William Biggart, J. H. Faris, W. A. Epla, William Strain, Mrs. T. W. Pierce, Mrs. Amanda Hagerman, Miss Maggie E. Faris and Miss Susan J. Culver, as members. It continued in existence throughout the "grasshopper years," but in 1876 the members ceased to take an interest in it, and it was disbanded.
The first attempt made to organize an agricultural society in the county was in the fall of 1871, in the store of David Stone at Aurora. Preliminary steps were taken at this date, but the organization was perfected at Orville City July 3, 1872. Joseph Glover was elected president; James Rollo, vice-president; George F. Dickson, secretary; E. J. Lewis, assistant secretary; John Laurie, treasurer.
The first fair was held in October, 1872, on the public square at Orville City. The court-house was used as a floral hall, and for the display of the different exhibits, and the prairie as a race course. Among the attractions of this first meeting was a bareback equestiran race, in which the young ladies of the county participated, and Miss Nellie Henderson won the race and premium. An annual fair has been held since the organization of the society, but no grounds were laid out until 1879.
During that year the present fair grounds, comprising a tract of forty acres, situated on the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 9, Town 10, Range 6, were purchased and a half-mile track laid.
The buildings include a substantial frame dwelling, two exhibition halls, grand stand erected in 1889, and ample stable accommodations for stock. The standing of the society will rank well with those of adjoining counties. The property of the society represents a value of $12,000 to $15,000. Following are the names of the presidents and secretaries from 1878 to the present time:
In 1878, president, J. H. Bell, secretary, H. G. Cass; 1879, president, J. H. Faris, secretary, F. M. Timblin; 1880, president, J. H. Faris, secretary, W. D. Pemberton; 1881, president, J. H. Faris, secretary, J. N. Cassell; 1882, president, W. A. Johnson, secretary, E. S. Phelps; 1883, president, W. A. Johnson, secretary, E. S. Phelps; 1884, president, George Wildish, secretary, Harvey Cole; 1885, president, George Wildish, secretary, Harvey Cole; 1886, president, T. A. McKay, secretary, Harvey Cole; 1887, president, T. A. McKay, secretary, D. A. Scovill; 1888, president, J. H. Faris, secretary, D. A. Scovill; 1889, pres-
ident, T. A. McKay, secretary, R. H. Peard; 1890, president, T. A. McKay, secretary, D. A. Scovill.
In the fall of 1888, L. C. Floyd organized an "Alliance" in the southwest part of the county, subordinate to the Nebraska State Farmers' Alliance. The movement became very popular and by the middle of 1889, eighteen subordinate Alliances had been organized throughout the county by that gentleman. He then appointed W. H. Fall and James A. Wilson as "deputy organizers." there are now a total of some thirty organizations of this society in the county, with a total membership of about 1,000, and applications are now on file for the organization of four additional Alliances. One of the objects of the association is the establishment of business organizations for the purpose of securing better prices for farm products. Any person, male or female, over the age of sixteen, engaged in farming or farm labor, and country mechanics, doctors and preachers are eligible to membership.
In June, 1889, a County Alliance was organized at Aurora, which meets the second Saturday of each month, subordinate Alliances holding their meetings once each week.
The County Alliance is composed of delegates from the subordinate Alliances, each being entitled to one delegate for every ten members. The present officers of the County Alliance are: Valentine Horn, president (Mr. Horn is also vice-president of the State Alliance); L. Fye, vice-president; H. M. Severy, secretary.
Four business associations have been organized in the county, at Phillips, Bromfield, Aurora and Hampton, and are engaged in buying and selling grain, coal, flour, etc.
A valuable and pleasing feature was introduced last year by James A. Wilson, deputy organizer. The deputy is entitled to receive $3 for expenses and compensation from each Alliance which he organizes. Mr. Wilson donated this fee to the society for the purpose of books, to form the nucleus of a library, the Alliance donating $5 or more, according to membership, for the same purpose. Members of the organization are permitted the use of the books, by paying a trifling amount, merely sufficient to make up for "wear and tear."
The organization is the most important ever effected in the county, and if dessensions are only avoided in its own ranks, can undoubtedly be made the means of accomplishing much good for the farmers, and may become an important element in politics.
In this connection it may not be out of place to present statistical reference to the valuation of Hamilton County, as indicating something of its agricultural and commercial importance as compared with other sister counties.
The assessed real estate valuation of the cities and towns of the county for the year 1889, was as follows:
Stockham, improved lots 60, value $2,433; unimproved 167, value $1,402. Huntington, improved lots 43, value $2,940; unimproved 147, value $1,720. Aurora, improved lots 835, value $113,502; unimproved 686, value $14,948. Hampton, improved lots 270, value $14,575. Thomas's Sub-division, improved lots 21, value $813. Phillips, improved lots 337, value $7,043. Marquette, improved lots 54, value $7,870; unimproved 114, value $2,656. Total number of improved lots 1,620, value $150,176; total unimproved 1,114, value $20,7265.
The valuation of precincts appears as below.
Farmers' Valley Precinct, number of acres improved 13,962, value $41,849; number unimproved 8,010, value $18,693; number fruit trees 4,534; number forest trees 94,650; number grapevines 1,078.
Orville Precinct, number of acres improved 17,085, value $51,072; number unimproved 4,130, value $10,048; number fruit trees 4,752; number forest trees 262,800; number grapevines 510.
Union Precinct, number of acres improved 20,868, value $59,245; number unimproved 1,124, value $2,813; number fruit trees 5,471; number forest trees 288,570; number grapevines 1,269.
Scoville Precinct, number of acres improved 14,885, value $43,365.50; number unimproved 6,794, value $17,235; number fruit trees 455; forest trees 195,220; grapevines 460.
Deepwell Precinct, number of acres improved 16,520, value $50,235; number unimproved 4,607, value $9,726; number fruit trees 8,417; number forest trees 136,555; number grapevines 2,297.
Hamilton Precinct, number of acres improved 18,950, value $60,040; number unimproved 2,190, value $4,695; number fruit trees 7,240; number forest trees 229,280; number grapevines 1,462.
Aurora Precinct, number of acres improved 21,367, value $82,580; number unimproved 237, value $4,103; number fruit trees 8,080; number grapevines 1,259.
Beaver Precinct, number of acres improved 17,006, value $54,054; number unimproved 5,160, value $12,705; number fruit trees 3,155; number forest trees 77,240; number grapevines 785.
Valley Precinct, number of acres improved 13,026, value $43,485; number unimproved 8,519, value $23,640; number fruit trees5,283; number forest trees 480,700; number grapevines 2,577.
Grant Precinct, number of acres improved 17,800, value $60,015; number unimproved 3,307, value $7,673; number fruit trees 8,314; number forest trees 402,575; number grapevines 16,760.
Monroe Precinct, number of acres improved 15,984, value $46,740; number unimproved 8,698, value $20,480; number fruit trees 6,670; number forest trees 203,250; number grapevines 1,200.
Phillips Precinct, number of acres improved 18, 677, value $44,306; number unimproved 1,371, value $2,046; number fruit trees 1,518; number forest trees 77,550; number grapevines 325.
South Platte Precinct, number of acres improved 12,616, value $43981; number unimproved 7,438, value $14,128; number fruit trees 3,572; number forest trees 39,500; number grapevines 232.
Otis Precinct, number of acres improved 18,451, value $60,561; number unimproved 3,385, value $6,424; number fruit trees 4,472; number forest trees 133,575; number grapevines 1,540.
Bluff Precinct, number of acres improved 11,339, value $32,477; number unimproved 5,827, value $11,163; number fruit trees 4,018; number forest trees 114,200; number grapevines 568.
Cedar Valley Precinct, number of acres improved 1,340, value $4,980; number unimproved 3,310, value $5,905; number fruit trees 358; number forest trees 9,100; number grapevines 102.
Total number of acres improved 74,107, value $778,955.50; total number unimproved 74,107, value $117,477; total number fruit trees, 76,579; total number forest trees, 2,744,566; total number grapevines, 32,424.
Total number valuation of personal property in Hamilton County for the year 1889, was as follows:
Farmers' Valley Precinct, number of horses 622, value $11,195; number of cattle 2,143, value $11,720; number of mules and asses 24, value $545; number of sheep 14, value $15; number of hogs 1,378, value $1,755; merchandise, $240; agricultural tools, $1,985; household and office furniture, $630; other property required to be listed, $3,060; total, $31,145.
Orville Precinct, number of horses 723, value $12,312; number of cattle 2,594, value $14,950; number of mules and asses 53, value $1,018; number of sheep 506, value $303; number of hogs 1,514, value $1,544; merchandise, $5,085; agricultural tools, $1,032; money of banks, $2,625; household and office furniture, $670; other property required to be listed, $5,263; total, $44,802.
Union Precinct, number of horses 527, value $9,200; number of cattle 2,207, value $11,363; number of mules and asses 61, value $1,255; number of hogs 1,869, value $1,819; merchandise, $7,215; agricultural tools, $578; household and office furniture, $732; other property requried to be listed, $6,599; total, $38,761.
Scoville Precinct, number of horses 464, value $9,025; number of cattle 1,461, value $9,138; number of mules and ases 78, value $1,570; number of hogs 1,634, value $1,535; household and office furniture, $245; other property required to be listed, $2,350; total, $23,863.
Deepwell Precinct, number of horses 621, value $11,470; number of cattle, 1,859; value $11,507; number of mules and asses 76, value $1,810; num-
ber of hogs, 1,686, value $2,178; agricultural tools, $1,605; household and office furniture, $630; other property required to be listed, $2,513; total, $31,713.
Hamilton Precinct, number of horses 605, value $10,720; number of cattle 2,399, value $15,480; number of mules and asses 58, value $1,310; number of hogs 2,384, value $2,731; agricultural tools, $801; household and office furniture, $951; other property required to be listed, $2,147; total $34,140.
Aurora Precinct, number of horses 974, value $19,038; number of cattle 2,128, value $14,335; number of mules and asses 70, value $1,545; number of sheep 150, value $105; number of hogs 2,175, value $2,934; merchandise, $28,353; agricultural tools, $3,110; money of banks, $24,143; household and office furniture, $5,972; other property required to be listed, $22,482; total, $122,017.
Beaver Precinct, number of horses 670, value $12,667; number of cattle 2,421, value $13,432; number of mules and asses 66, value $1,530; number of sheep 6, value $3; number of hogs 2,630, value $2,925; agricultural tools, $1,844; household and office furniture, $863; other property required to be listed, $3,088; total, $36, 352.
Valley Precinct, number of horses 610, value $12,158; number of cattle 2,703, value $16,825; number of mules and asses 48, value $1,131; number of sheep 9, value $15; number of hogs 2,490, value $2,645; merchandise, $11,950; agricultural tools, $1,365; money of banks, $7,204; household and office furniture, $1,960; other property required to be listed, $6,575; total, $61,828.
Grant Precinct, number of horses 732, value $12,908; number of cattle 2,985, value $18,825; number of mules and asses 44, value $869; number of sheep 21, value $18; number of hogs, 2,063, value $2,251.55; agricultural tools, $1,342.50; household and office furniture, $604; other property required to be listed, $3,755.50; total, $40,573.55.
Monroe Precinct, number of horses 655, value $12,835; number of cattle 2,375, value $15,055; number of mules and asses 54, value $1,303; number of hogs 1,757, value $2,330; merchandise, $100; agricultural tools, $2,830; household and office furniture, $655; other property required to be listed, $5,545; total, $40,653.
Phillips Precinct, number of horses 335, value $5,830; number of cattle 1,504, value $9,109; number of mules and asses 38, value $768; number of hogs 756, value $812; merchandise, $3,825; agricultural tools, $1,660; money of banks, $2,626; household and office furniture, $35; other property required to be listed, $2,891; total, $27,556.
South Platte Precinct, number of horses 681, value $12,310; number of cattle 1,180, value $6,166; number of mules and asses 58, value $1,195; number of sheep 5, value $5; number of hogs 2,008, value $2,471; merchandise, $3,559; agricultural tools, $3,075; money of banks, $5,197; household and office furniture, $1,235; other property required to be listed, $10,563; total, $45,766.
Otis Precinct, number of horses 625, value $12,496; number of cattle 1,504, value $7,436; number of mules and asses 63, value $1,496; number of sheep 49, value $27; number of hogs 2,061, value $2,465; merchandise, $40; agricultural tools, $2,066; household and office furniture, $944; other property required to be listed, $3,070; total, $30,040.
Bluff Prenicnt, number of horses 451, volue $8,931; number of cattle 1,564, value $9,631; number of mules and asses 57, value $1,377; number of sheep 16, value $12; number of hogs 1,974, value $2,576; merchandise, $225; agricultural tools, $1,734; other property required to be listed, $5,172; total, $29,658.
Cedar Valley Precinct, number of horses 101, value $1,760; number of cattle 618, value $3,010; number of mules and asses 6, value $120; number of hogs 490, value $614; agricultural tools, $355; other property required to be listed, $681; total, $6,540.
Total number of horses 9,402, value $174,855; total number of cattle 31,645, value $187,982; total number of mules and asses 854, value $18,842; total number of sheep 776, value $503; total num-
748ber of hogs 28,869, value $33,585.55; total merchandise, $60,592; total agricultural tools, $25,382.50; total money of banks, $41,795; total household and office furniture, $16,126; total other property required to be listed, $85,754.50; grand total, $645,417.55.
Hamilton County Medical Society was organized at the office of Dr. W. G. Gooden, in Aurora, June 20, 1888. The following officers were elected: President, C. E. Brown, Bromfield; vice-president, A. R. Ray, Marquette; treasurer, W. F. Gooden, Aurora; secretary, F. J. Bricker, Aurora.
The physicians of York, Hamilton, Clay and Fillmore Counties had organized in 1880, but as the number of physicians in each county increased, they withdrew from the old organization and formed separate societies. The Hamilton County Society is chartered by the Nebraska State Medical Society, and holds regular meetings on the first Tuesday of January, April, July and October of each year.
The following is a list of the present officers and members: President, W. F. Gooden, M. D.; vice-president, E. A. Steenburg, M. D.; secretary, F. J. Bricker, M. D.; treasurer, T. J. Case, M. D.; C. E. Brown, M. D.; A. R. Ray, M. D.; D. S. Woodard, M. D.; T. H. Line, M. D. and C. B. Coleman, M. D.
The progress of educational interests in Hamilton County has been sure and permanent in character. In none of its sister counties has more rapid advancement been made in the efficiency of the schools, or the number and character of its school buildings. They are the pride of the people, and ample provision is made for their annual support and the maintenance of the firm enduring basis upon which they have been placed. The citizens contribute liberally in matters of educational work, and for a county so young as Hamilton its institutions of learning will compare favorably with many of the older counties in the State.
In some of the outlying districts a few rudely constructed school buildings are still to be found - relics of the pioneer days, but nearly all are furnished with large comfortable frame buildings, well furnished with patent seats and desks in a manner that would do honor to a more thickly populated State than Nebraska. The school lands are of the most valuable kind, and furnish a handsome yearly revenue, increasing with each succeeding year.
School District No. 1, the first organized in the county, included all the territory lying in Town 9, Range 5 west. Notice of the first meeting was given to James Waddle, by County Superintendent of Public Instruction John Laurie, which was held at the house of James Waddle September 27,1870. Joseph Stockham was elected director. There were thirty-nine children of school age in the district. A subscription school was opened in this district in a log school house, built by the settler, in the fall of 1870, by Miss Jennie Laurie.
District No. 2 was organized at a meeting held in the dug-out of Joseph Stockham June 20, 1871. Byron D., Brown was chosen director, and the district included the east one-quarter of Town 9, Range 5, except the east one-half of the east tier of sections on the east line. District No. 3 comprised all of Town 10, Range 5, and was organized at the house of R. M. Hunt March 3, 1870, with S. B. Chapman as director. District No. 4 was organized Febrary 14, 1872, at the house of C. H. Kimball, and included the south one-half of Town 11, Range 6; S. W. Spafford, director. District No. 5 was organized at the house of M. Lewis February 20, 1872, and E. J. Lewis elected director. District No. 6 was organized Febrary 14, 1872, at the house of John Matthews, notice being issued to J. E. McBride, and included the east one-half of Town 10, Range 6, which was extended March 27, 1872, to include all of that township; first director, L. W. Hastings.
District No. 7 was organized at the house of William Werth April 27, 1872. The first notice was issued to Robert Lamont and re-issued to William Werth April 16, 1872. William Werth was chosen first director, and the territory included the southeast one-quarter of Town 11, Range 5. In District No. 8 notice of formation was issued to Noah Brotherton March 12, 1872, and the first meeting organizing the district was held at the house of George Haner. The original territory comprised the southwest one-quarter of Town 11,
Range 5, and extended March 26 to include all of Range 5 north, of Town 10; first director elected, James M. Fodge. District No. 9 was organized April 9, 1872, at the house of David Stone, in Aurora, the notice of the first meeting being issued to Darius Wilcox. The territory covered by this district included all of Town 10 west, of Range 6 except the east one-half of Town 10, Range 6. District No. 10 was organized at the house of Charles Pelan June 22, 1872 - boundaries, northwest one-quarter of Town 9, Range 5 west. District No. 11 included the northeast one-quarter of Town 9, Range 6, and was organized November 9, 1872.
The organization of District No. 12 includes all the districts formed up to the year 1873. It was organized at the house of L. A. Franklin, November 30, 1872, and comprised all of Town 9, Range 7. During the year 1873, 21 districts were organized, making a total of 33, and at the close of the year 1874 the number of districts had increased to 71, in 1875 to 78, in 1885 to 95, and there are now 98 organized districts in the county. There are now three graded schools in the county, located at Aurora, Hamilton and Marquette. The school at Stockham has recently adopted a course of study, preparatory to establishing a graded school at that place. The office of superintendent has successively been filled by John Laurie 1870-71; Byron D. Brown, 1872-73; John T. Price, 1874-75; Delevan Bates, 1876-77; E. B. Barton, 1878-83; J. A. Kirk, 1884-85; E. B. Barton, 1886-89, and M. T. Stanley, the present superintendent, who was elected November 5, 1889.
Number of districts, 98; number of school houses, 97; number of children of school age, 5,061; average number in each district, 51; number of teachers, 160; total number of days taught, 15,927; average number of days by each, 298; number of disticts having six months school or more, 91; number of disticts four months school or more, and less than six, 6; number of districts having less than four months school, 1; average number of days school in all districts, 162; number of districts having no school, none; average blackboard surface, 100 square feet; number of school houses, well furnished with patent desks, 90; number of school houses built within a year, 4; number of schools having some apparatus, globes, maps, etc., 92; total value of school houses, $59,095; total value of school house sites, $5,445; total value of apparatus, $4,958.50; amount paid during year for teachers, $29,928.47; amount paid during year for buildings and repairs, $10,854.59; total cost of schools, $55,509.01; compensation of superintendent, $1,200; bonded indebtedness, $21,066.72; floating indebtedness, $5,105.97.