The County Seat of Harlan County - on the Burlington & Missouri Railroad - One Hundred and Eighty-Nine Miles from Lincoln - Population One Thousand Five Hundred.
Alma, the county seat of Harlan county, is romantically and advantageously located in a succession of ridges and plateaus that slope gradually southward to the rapidly flowing Republican river and commands a fine view of the entire valley for miles both up an down the river, s well as the bluffs and gently rounded hills beyond. A belt of timber ridges the river banks the entire length, and the view from the residence portion of the town is one of the finest in the west.
Although the town is of comparatively recent growth, having been laid out long after several other towns in the county had attained almost their present growth, Alma already has a population of 1,500 people mostly, Americans and is the largest and best town, by all odds, in the county.
The town was not really started until about 1879, and yet it is now incorporated as a city of the second class, with a mayor and council, clerk, marshal, assessor, supervisor, and other city officers. The affairs of the town are in a prosperous and satisfactory condition, while numerous and extensive improvements are contemplated.
The Denver and Kansas City branch of the Burlington & Missouri river railroad runs through Alma, thus giving direct connection by rail with the Pacific coast, as well as with Kansas City, Omaha., Chicago and the east. The Kansas City & Omaha, a branch of the Union Pacific railway, has been surveyed to this point and is now in course of construction. There is assurance that the road will be completed to Alma by next September. Alma has already been made a division station on the Denver extension of the new line, and may be the terminus for some moths. The site for the roundhouse and a $5,000 deport has been selected, as the building s will soon be commence Property has already experienced a decided advance, and the inquiry for residence and business lots is greater than has ever been know before.
The business men of Alma are nearly all young men and the marvelous progress made by the town is largely due to their energy, perseverance, experience and ability. Many of them came here without a dollar, but most of them are now comfortably well to do, and are enjoying a profitable and rapidly growing business. They are ever ready to secure and assist any worthy enterprise, and extend a cordial welcome and encouragement to strangers who come here to look up a location. There are no factional fights or petty jealousies among us, but every man works for the interests of his town, and all is harmony.
Alma has a board of trade, or improvement committee the object of which is to encourage immigration and the location of worthy enterprises.
All obstacles have been overcome as fast as they have been encountered and today Alma cannot only challenge comparison with any town of its size in the state, but can also flatter itself that it is about entering upon a new era of prosperity, the like of which it has never seen before.
There is nothing about Alma indicative of the "wild west" character which eastern people have read so much about. Society here will compare favorably with any town in the east. The people are orderly, law abiding, courteous and intelligent. There are churches, schools, societies of all kinds and we know how to make strangers feel at home among us. The people live in comfortable houses, wear good clothes as a general thing, and live reasonably well. None go armed and were anyone to appear upon our streets with a belt full of pistols and a bowie knife in his boot leg it would throw this peaceful community into a state of the wildest excitement at once.
Situated in Harlan County on the Burlington & Missouri Railroad - Two Hundred and One Miles From Lincoln - Population Nine Hundred.
Oxford, Neb. is a town of 900 inhabitants, on the main line of the Burlington & Missouri railroad, midway between the Missouri river and Denver, Col., also where the Kansas City branch intersects the mail line midway between Kansas City and Denver making it the natural location for the central machine shops of this popular railroad system. The town is situated on a beautiful plateau sloping gradually from the Republican river to a high and sightly eminence, where one can plainly see the town of Arapahoe fifteen miles up the valley. Then turning in the opposite direction one plainly beholds the beautiful town of Orleans, in Harlan county, fifteen miles distant. The town is having a substantial growth, being well supported by the magnificent farming country surround it. There is no branch of business overdone, but plenty of room for more. There are new four general stores, amount of business transacted by each being from $8,000 to $13,500; two grocery stores; three drug stores; two banks; two lumber yards, which sold last year $60,000 worth of lumber; two elevators; one boot and shoe store; one newspaper, the Oxford Standard; one brick yard; one hotel; three restaurants, the Burlington & Missouri railroad has one of its large and popular eating houses at this point.
A $6,000 school house is now in course of erection. There is three church organizations, Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian; two church buildings, Baptist and Presbyterian. The following societies have organizations: A.F. & A.M., G.A.R., and A.O.U.W.
The Republican river is a very rapid stream and affords splendid water power for all kinds of manufacturing and Oxford would be an excellent location for a flouring mill. Town property can be bought reasonable and land is cheap. Some well improved farms near town can be bought at a bargain; and all enterprising citizens from the east meet with a hearty welcome when settling among us.
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