Randall Fuller, founder of the City of Fullerton, Nebraska, was born in Shaftsbury, Vermont, on June 16, 1823. He believed his ancestors, Samuel and Edward Fuller, were among the passengers on the Mayflower, landing in 1620. Among the artifacts on display at Plymouth Hall is the Fuller cradle and the names of his ancestors are engraved on the monument to the pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts. Fuller's grandfathers on both paternal and maternal sides participated in the Revolutionary War.
When Randall Fuller was three years old, being the fifth child in a family of 12, his parents moved from Vermont to Ohio, and he first went to school there in a little log school house. They lived in Ohio for two years before they moved to Michigan, near White Pigeon, where Fuller again attended the common school. In 1837, the family decided to move farther west and made a settlement on land that is now the site of Waukesha, Wisconsin.
There for a short time, Fuller attended school and worked to assist in supporting his family. By working morning and night for his board he was able to attend Waukesha Academy for a few terms. He quit school to organize an expedition to the California gold fields, and in March, 1849, his party left Waukesha, passing through Illinois and Iowa, and on May 1, reached Council Bluffs, Iowa, then a major Mormon settlement.
At Council Bluffs, a number of people joined the party and new supplies were obtained. The company of 25 people began the long march across the plains. They crossed the Missouri River where Omaha is now located. There were few white settlers west of the
Home of Randall Fuller. Used as Wesleyan University.
river, and the Indians were plentiful, giving the travelers much trouble by stampeding their cattle. In Nebraska, other companies bound for the same destination swelled the party to about 150 men, women and children. The party was organized in military style, officers and guards appointed, and the journey was continued without trouble until the Loup River was reached. Here a day was consumed in crossing. Some wanted to rest for a day on the west side, others were opposed to delay. The party split into two halves each going their separate ways.
A direct quote from Randall Fuller's diary and daily log book gives his account of his first view of the territory which was destined to become Nance County. The portions of the diary are the entries for May 15, 16 and 17, 1849, approximately two weeks after leaving Omaha. Their progress was about 20 miles per day. The words, (and the spelling) are his own.May the 15th we went 19 miles. Thare was six horse teems in our company and they got a head of us and we did not cetch them and they camped alone and about midnight they were atacked by the Pawnees indians. The indians shot their arrers at the yard and at the wagons. Thair was men asleep in the wagons and the arrer and bolletes went threw the wagon covers and box. And the yard give the alarm to the company and as soon as they got up and fired at them they dispersed and their was no one hurt. They found fore arrers, one sticking in the fely of the wagon wheel and one bollet in the end board of the box. The arrers had steel in the end of them and fethers in the other end to make them go strate. After these men were attacted they returned back to us. We went today to Looking Glass Creek. We found wood and good water.
On the 16th we went from Looking Glass Creek to the old Pawnee Village and their camped beside the river. This village was destroid by the Sews. Here we found wood. This river is the Seder River. The river is seven rods wide, one foot deep. The old Pawnee Village is situated on the north side of the river and it has ben a large vilage in its day. We saw today two misionary houses partly down and no one liven in them. The distance that we performed today is 22 miles.
And on the 17th we went to the Loup fork and camped. We found wood here. And in the morning on the 18th we crosed it. We drove into it above the old ford and went up stream and cept on the sand bars. We raised up the boxes of the wagons about fore inches and the water did not come into the boxes. A wagon dros (draws) vary hard on the quick sand. The sand runs out from the wheels and the wheels settles down. The river here is about three quarters of amile wide. Before crosing this river go in and
find where the sand bars run. They change every year. And we laid over here the rest of this day.
The Fuller party reached Weaverville, California, on August 12, 1849. He was offered jobs but decided to try his hand at mining, finding moderate success with his gold mining, and making between $25 and $75. He found this inadequate because of such expenses as eggs, potatoes and flour at $1 per pound. He made an unsuccessful try at ranching, but due to Indian problems decided to return to the East. He listed such adventures as "lassoing an elk among a drove, and running off a big grizzly bear that came one night to my camp".
To return home, he took passage on a steamer at San Francisco going by way of Central America, the Nicaragua route, 31 days to New York, then to Niagara Falls, New York, and from there to Detroit in the dead of winter. Railroads were few in those days, none west of Milwaukee.
After visiting his parents, Fuller decided to form another wagon train for California. In his own words he gives an account of this and four other such trips.In the spring of 1852, I formed another train of passengers and cattle for California. On this trip, had several fights and narrow escapes with the Indians up the Platte River, at one time they running me back to camp while I was ahead looking for a camping place. They followed me and crossing the road in front of the camp would not allow us to go on. We had to fight and killed several. They then made peace with us, showing us a medal given them by Andrew Jackson (a medal with Jackson's picture given to indians by the government on various occasions) and allowed us to go on, arriving in California in the month of August where I put my cattle onto the ranch. Saw also on the Platte River thousands of buffalo, country black with them. After this they all went north. The fall of 1853 returned again to Wisconsin where in the Spring of 1854 I piloted another large company of passengers at $100 dollars apiece to the gold fields of California. Returned in the summer of 1855, where in the fall of that year I was married at Mayville, Wisconsin, to Esther W. Reed. We then moved to the almost unsettled territory of Minnesota to begin life and settle down. But the old love of travel and adventure asserted itself and I yielded to the urgent requests of parties who wished me to pilot them to the glittering fields of gold whose wealth still seemed inexhaustible, and in the spring of 1859 I made my fourth trip. Returned that fall to home and family, Faribault, Minnesota, but in the spring of 1860 made my last and most dangerous trip to California going with passengers to those gold fields at Denver, just opened, but finding them
Randall Fuller Mrs. Randall Fuller
disappointing we went to California Gulch where Leadville now stands. Then I came back to Denver, advertised for passengers and left the place in June. Returning home in the fall and quietly settled down for a few years.
In Minnesota at that time the Indians were quite troublesome, and killed many of the settlers. Mr. Fuller organized a company, and was commissioned captain by the Governor, to fight the Sioux at the time of the massacre near Faribault. Afterward, he saw 38 of the "red troublemakers" hanged at Mankato.
During his many trips over the plains he was attracted to the site of Fullerton, then part of the Pawnee Indian Lands. The old Overland Trail passed near by this point, and in 1876 he moved there and settled on the land where Fullerton now stands, and started a cattle ranch. In 1877 he platted the town, and named it after himself. Its growth was small until the building of the Union Pacific branch line, when it became an important point, and upon the organization of Nance County, was made the county seat.
Fuller bought 2,200 acres of land when it was sold by the government in 1880. The townsite he platted contained 80 acres. At first he gave away business and residence lots to those who would build. When the location of the county seat was made at Fullerton, Mr. Fuller gave 60 acres, which were sold and the money used to build the court house and he also furnished the site for the building. He also furnished all the sites for the churches.
On the land which Mr. Fuller purchased at first was located a 40-acre tract of oak undergrowth. He watched this tract carefully and with care the underbrush grew into a stand of fine oak trees. The bluff above the trees had a drop of 283 feet and in the early days was known as Buffalo Leap and later as Loon's Leap, the latter name coming from an Indian legend concerning a Pawnee chief and his
sweetheart, who jumped to death at that point. In 1897, Mr. Fuller gave the use of these grounds for the purpose of holding chautauquas, and this grew to be one of the most popular and largely attended of any of these events in the state, lasting from 10 days to two weeks and advertised widely as the "Fullerton Chautauqua" featuring such attractions as William Jennings Bryan, Billy Sunday and a full three-ring troop of the Barnum and Bailey Circus.
The town was always a source of much pride to its founder, who built his home on a hill overlooking the country for many miles, naming it "Fuller Heights". There he lived his declining days, socializing with friends and relating his pioneer days. He was always fond of travel, and visited many parts of the world. He accumulated a comfortable fortune, and was able to live at ease in his old age. He was a Republican, always liberal in his views, and an extensive reader. He never joined a club or a society, but attended the Baptist Church. He raised a family of three children.
Mr. Randall Fuller died on February 26, 1901, and is buried in the Fullerton Cemetery.
- Written by Rodger Bassett.
THE KU KLUX KLAN IN FULLERTON
As Fullerton enters the decade of the 1980's it seems difficult to envision a time in the past when the town was a center for a fraternal organization which had historically been one of the most-bigoted groups the U.S. had known. In an era of pre-depression politics the Ku Klux Klan became a well-organized part of the lives of some of Fullerton's citizens. The W.A.S.P. (White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant) values of the Klan were not nearly so pronounced in small rural Nebraska settings as they were in the South, but their very presence stands as a reminder that there is no immunity of time or place to the elements of hatred and bigotry which surface from time to time across the nation.
The following "history of the Fullerton Klan" appeared in the July 21, 1928, issue of The Fellowship Forum, the National Fraternal Weekly of the Ku Klux Klan. It was a special "Nebraska Edition" filled with Klan happenings around the state. The paper billed itself as "A National Weekly Newspaper Devoted to the Fraternal Interpretation of the World's Current Events". The current event they were focusing on in this issue was the 1928 Presidential elections in which the Democratic Candidate Al Smith was running against the Republican Candidate Herbert Hoover. Why all the fuss???? Al Smith was Catholic and thus the enemy of the W.A.S.P. ideals of the Klan.From: The Fellowship Forum (National Fraternal Weekly of the Ku Klux Klan), July 21, 1928.
Fullerton, Nebraska - The Fullerton Klan was
organized early in 1924 with a large membership as a result of out-door meetings attended by hundreds of men. It has steadily grown from then until the present. It became a chartered Klan in September of 1926. It is now the home of Nance County klansmen with its large membership from every section of the county.
Its officers are men whose moral and Christian standards are of the highest type, men of education and splendid judgment who hold sacredly their responsibility to their country and their God. The membership is very largely made up of men who are church members and are regular in their attendance at Divine worship. Scores of these klansmen have been converted and joined the church. They are also active in other social, patriotic, civic and fraternal groups, where their influence for good is felt.
The Fullerton Klan has experienced no friction, has distributed charity on several occasions, both inside and outside the membership. It has a large 16-foot electric cross that has been taken to other towns adding to the attractiveness of klan meetings. This cross was shown to good advantage on occasion of the visit of the Imperial Wizard to Nebraska.
The Fullerton Klan has never failed to be represented at all province and realm meetings. From its membership a realm keeper has been elected as a delegate to an Imperial Klonvocation. One of its officers is often invited to make addresses at other klan meetings. He has gone to over 50 cities and towns for this purpose in the last few years, always preaching the klan doctrine of Americanism and Protestantism.
Last February one of the Fullerton members while in Washington, D.C., visited The Fellowship Forum and was shown through the plant by James S. Vance, who was very kind and courteous. This member also visited Senator J. Thomas Heflin and gave him a written message of sincere appreciation and endorsement of his splendid and heroic work he is doing for Americanism and Protestant Christianity. The senator sent letters of appreciation and good will to each signer of the message.
The Fullerton Klan has gone through severe and unfair persecution. Members who have been suspected of being klansmen have been blackballed and boycotted, meetings spied upon, its purposes knowingly misrepresented, its work grossly misjudged and other members denounced in signed articles in the local press.
A so-called Protestant minister has used his pulpit and the radio to denounce and misrepresent citizens who make up the klan here and elsewhere, all to no avail. One professional man on a visit to Europe writing a letter to
the local paper told of an outbreak among the Communists and bolsheviks and likened it to the Ku Klux Klan of America. This sort of false propaganda is letting up some now. The klan has gone on ignoring such attacks, and devoting its efforts at creating an American mind, proving the righteousness and sincerity of its cause and adding to its manpower from month to month.
The W.K.K.K. (Women's Ku Klux Klan) has a very strong organization here, meeting each week. It is well-officered by intelligent women of this place. They have won silver cup prizes at realm and province meetings with their patriotic programs.
The Fullerton Klan owns its own klavern, has a roomy auditorium, hall, lockers, office and rest rooms completely equipped. The inside walls are adorned with portraits of great Americans; the flag and the cross have prominent positions. The women gave a new piano and Old Glory floats from a flag staff in front of the building.
Since the nomination of Al Smith many are coming to the klan here and saying: "Now you klansmen do your stuff and we to a man will do our utmost to keep this Roman, this nullifier and booze Tammanyite out of the American White House".
The article was almost certainly written in Washington, D.C., where the paper was published. News items were regularly sent in by many local Klans. It might be of interest to note the membership requirements for the Klan.1. Knights of the Ku Klux Klan -
For male, white, Protestant, native-born Americans of good moral character over 18 years old.
2. Women of the Ku Klux Klan -
For white, Protestant, native-born American women of good character over 18 years old.
3. Junior Ku Klux Klan -
For white, Protestant, native-born American boys from 12 to 18 years old.
4. Tri-K Girls -
For white, Protestant, native-born American girls from 12 to 18 years old.
5. American Krusaders -
For white, Protestant, naturalized American citizens of foreign birth.
- Written by Rodger Bassett.
Legends, myths, and romantic accounts of a bygone era surround a very special place that looms large in any glance backward at Fullerton's historic past. "The Leap" has played a significant role in the growing up of generation after generation of Fullerton's children.
It was prominent in Indian lore. It was the backdrop and the setting for three decades of spirited summer Chautauqua shows. It provided a cool green shelter from hot summer winds while the old Chautauqua grounds served the spiritual needs of participants in the Baptist Bible Camp activities for several years. Although now privately owned and known as "Quiet Oaks," it still furnishes opportunities for social gatherings and a chance to walk under the majestic oaks and enjoy the beauty . . . and just maybe to contemplate the rich history that seems to emanate from the very earth itself.
One early reference to this place used the name "Buffalo Leap". It was not uncommon for Indians to drive small herds of buffalo off such cliffs as a highly effective hunting technique. The name "Loon's Leap" was also a common name, coming from an Indian legend concerning a Pawnee chief and his sweetheart who supposedly leaped to their deaths from the highest point on the rim of the formation. "The Leap" was also known for a time as Cedar Bluff, and under that name played a noteworthy part in the history of Fullerton and of the State of Nebraska. The earliest recorded history of this area was written by Mrs. Elvira Gaston Platte, and published by the Nebraska State Historical Society in 1892. Mrs. Platte was an old-time missionary pioneer who, along with a tiny group of family and like-minded companions, first "set foot on Nebraska soil" on June 24, 1843. They settled along Plum Creek and seemed to develop a good relationship with the Indians. This group held the first formal 4th of July celebration known to have been held in the state at the bluff overlooking the Cedar River, then known as the Willow Creek.
Her words best describe the event."We of Plum Creek were off very early in the morning (of July 4, 1844) for a ride to Willow Creek settlement, five miles away, where we were to breakfast with our friends the Mathers. Five children belonging to the different mission families were my pupils for that season. These were fitted with regalia, and Henry M. Allis was banner bearer for the occasion. Our point of rendezvous was Cedar Bluff, a height overlooking the Willow (Cedar) where Fullerton, Nance County, now stands. The young men of our party, with the aid of two Indian boys who accompanied us, built a bower of cedar branches from
Lover's Leap.the trees near by. Our banner was planted on the edge of the precipice 200 feet from the water below, and our little company gave themselves up to the enjoyments of the hour, feasting our eyes on the wondrous beauty of the landscape before us. Blessed above most county seats is that of Nance County for views of delight. After leaving that region my heart always turned to that spot as the most desirable for making a home."
"After an hour or two spent in rambling and chatting our company was called to seat under the bower, where was spread a collation very inviting to hungry wanderers. Before eating we had a short exercise, and though I do not find it recorded in my journal, I have the impression that L. W. Platte read the 'Declaration of Independence' and Mr. James Mathers gave a short oration. During the exercises 'America' and an original poem were sung, prayer was offered, and before partaking of the feast the blessing of the Almighty God upon us was invoked by Mr. Allis. On our return home the large residue of our feast was left at the Indian village for the old and infirm who were unable to go on the hunt".
The more recent title of "Lover's Leap" had its beginnings in 1857 when a small party of five people camped beneath the Leap
while on their way west. The party had come from Illinois and consisted of John Edgington, his wife, and daughter Nellie, accompanied by two brothers, Frank and John Wickland.
Frank and Nellie were engaged, and would have married earlier if Mr. Edgington hadn't insisted that Frank achieve "a start in life" first. The prospect of a homestead and the "challenge of the west" brought them to where they camped that night.
The oxen were unhitched from the two wagons and the men caught fish from the Cedar River which then ran almost directly beneath "The Leap". While they were eating they watched a small herd of deer become suddenly spooked and run wildly away from the river where they'd been drinking. A dog ran from the bushes and looked behind him as if to see his master follow.
The little party was sure Indians had discovered them and prepared to stay on guard all night. About two in the morning a single Indian sneaked into camp to scout the situation and, being revealed by a cloud moving away from the moon, hurried back into the bushes.
Shortly thereafter the Indians attacked and captured the five pioneers. The livestock was killed, the wagons were burned and the Indians indicated their intentions of killing the people. The chief indicated that Nellie was to be spared, presumably as "His Squaw".
Frank Wickland offered a frenzied protest to the chief and Nellie herself requested death with the rest of the prisoners. Angry at this, the chief derisively said that if the young man was so brave and wanted to take such good care of the woman he could have her if he would ride "down the bank". The "bank" (Leap) had a drop of 283 feet around the turn of the century, and the constant cutting of the Cedar River kept it steep and sharp.
Frank astounded the Chief by agreeing to the bargain with little hesitation. He extracted a promise that the rest of the party would not be harmed and climbed on an Indian pony. His hands were freed, and among cries and tears from his companions he was led to the top of the hill. He rode over the brink and fell to his death in full view of the rest of the party. The Indians silently released the party and left. Frank was buried near where he fell and the party left when morning came.
Early settlers perpetuated this story and it was reportedly confirmed by some of the survivors who returned some years later.
"Lover's Leap" and the land around it was purchased by Randall Fuller in 1878 during the sale of the Indian lands when the Pawnee were sent to Oklahoma. Fuller cared for oak undergrowth and eventually a 40-acre forest of fine oak timber was the result. In 1897, Mr. Fuller gave the use of these grounds for the purpose of holding Chautauquas. For years thereafter, it was known as Fuller's Park and was open to the public nearly all year-round.
A Chautauqua is a festival-like gathering of people to socialize and to be entertained by traveling musicians, actors, lecturers, evangelists, politicians and circuses. The event lasted from 10 days to
The big tent at Chautauqua.
two weeks and featured afternoon and evening shows of great variety.
The camp grounds were alive with people each paying about $2.50 for "season tickets" or 50¢ for a single admission. Many people built summer cabins in the cool shady area, but most people just rented a tent for the two weeks ($4.50). The price was $8.50 if one wanted a board floor. Meals were served from a big circus tent and there was all morning to relax, or take a leisurely boat ride down the placidly lazy Cedar River. (One could rent a rowboat for 50¢ or get a ride on a bit larger boat for 25¢.) Forty to 50 tents were usually erected at first, with dozens added as necessary. Campers, along with the local daily admissions, created crowds in the hundreds to watch the performances or hear the debates echo off the curved walls of "Lover's Leap". One could even take a dip in the "swimming pool" provided for the campers or even play tennis on the temporary courts.
Chautauquas were held all over the U.S., and the Chautauqua circuit lined up a certain number of very famous people along with entertainment acts to increase crowds and further the educational as well as the entertainment goals of the organization.
Fullerton hosted such celebrities as Billy Sunday (the Billy Graham of his day); William Jennings Bryan, three-time presidential candidate and Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson; the Hon. Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy during WW I; and Lillian Gish, the silent movie queen who stared in the first full-length silent movie "Birth of a Nation". Ringling Brothers circus did two performances here, as did off-Broadway plays and touring vaudeville acts.
By 1917, the Fullerton Chautauqua Association had purchased another 90 acres of land to expand its facilities. They had acquired ownership of the original site from the Randall Fuller estate and had put themselves into excellent financial shape. Excursion trains had nearly been replaced by auto transportation and more participants meant greater needs.
WW I brought a patriotic theme to the program for 1918. Soldiers and veterans in uniform were admitted free. A spur-of-the-moment demonstration of patriotism was displayed by placing
..Official Chautauqua Song..
Boat landing near Chautauqua grounds.
dummy figures of Kaiser Wilhelm and General Von Hindenberg in a seven-passenger touring car and setting it to run off "The Leap" at a high speed. The event seemed to please on-lookers greatly.
People from several states came to spend their vacations at this, the largest Chautauqua in Nebraska, and "the best one between Omaha and Denver". Excursion trains arrived three times daily during the Chautauquas of the 1912-1920 era. They came from nearly every direction. Round trip fare from Columbus, for example, cost $1.40 and took 1 l/2 hours one way. The town furnished cars to take participants to the camp. The three hotels filled quickly as all the tents were rented. Rooms were $2 per day.
Restaurants were packed, and town kids sold lemonade and "other refreshments" to the thirsty and impatient people who walked from downtown to the camp for the afternoon show. Literally thousands of people attended during each Chautauqua season. The atmosphere was one of excitement and anticipation. Friendly people greeted friendly people and enjoyed the beauty, each other, and life in general.
The three-decade span of the Fullerton Chautauqua Association (1898-1929) gave much to Fullerton. Besides bringing tourism and an element of fame, it reflected the admirable character of the people of the community. The non-profit organization provided much more than entertainment to the people. Any surplus money left over each year was donated for the building of roads and public works to bring improvements.
The automobile, which was such a help in swelling attendance of the yearly festivals at first, became the eventual instrument of its decline. The better and more reliable cars of the late 1920's permitted longer trips and the prospect of a vacation trip to the mountains, "back east", or even the coast was within nearly everyone's grasp. The luster of the once-great Chautauqua shows slowly dimmed. They became shorter and less well-attended. They began to incur financial losses and finally faded away into history; tucked neatly away in the treasured memories of those who knew and loved them.
- Written by Rodger Bassett.
(Reprinted from the October 8, 1953, issue of the Nance County Journal)
Bruin, the court house bear, after startling strangers for many years from his position on a stair landing at the Nance county court house in Fullerton, is about to become an open-air bear again. He will be a roadside attraction on a highway near Norfolk, where tourists can take photographs of each other in his company.
Bruin came to Nance County some time in the late 1890's after he was bagged by a party of local hunters in Wyoming. The party, Theo Kock, John and Joe Edgington and John Hardwood, had the skin stuffed and Bruin, posed in an erect and life-like attitude, was a fixture in the lobby of the former Farmers State Bank for many years. The closing of the bank left the bear without a home, and he was adopted by the county board at that time and set up on a stairway landing at the courthouse. Moths worked on the once luxurious coat and Bruin began looking a little more threadbare year by year.
He was removed some time back and stored in a local barn. He was transported to Merril Park to add a natural touch to the scenery. He was gradually becoming the bear nobody wanted and abandoned at a roadside, was secured by Bud and Marvin Furby and spent a few weeks at Bud's place.
Recently Oswald Reiche of Norfolk heard about the homeless bear and came last week to examine it because he thought he would have a good home for it. Mr. Reiche and Bruin left together, both looking happy.
Nance County's first court house.
New Nance County Court house with old one partially visible in the rear.
The Nance County Journal was the first newspaper started in this section of the country. The first number was issued in October of 1879, by A. E. Verity, and was six column folio.
In the fall of 1880, J. K. Calkins bought a half-interest in the newspaper, and in January of 1881, J. F. Bixby bought the remaining interest. The firm name then became Calkins and Bixby. In September of 1881, the name of the newspaper was changed to The Lariat, but after two months the old name was resumed. The newspaper also changed to a seven column format. It was Republican in politics. In 1882, A. L. (Doe) Bixby purchased Calkins' interest, and the firm became Bixby Brothers. Later the Bixby's sold to M. H. Barber, who ran the newspaper until about 1896, when it was sold to a stock company. The stock company had several men as editors for the newspaper, one being H. Burtman, who after several years bought the newspaper. It was later sold to W. L. Dunten. During Dunten's ownership of the newspaper the name was changed to the Fullerton News-Journal.
The Nance County Republican was first issued in Fullerton on October 22, 1881, by J. N. Reynolds. After an existence of about three months, it was sold to John C. Thompson and apparently
suspended publication a short time later.
Another competing newspaper in the community, The Telescope, was edited by J. S. Shurk from March 14, 1884, to February 25, 1887, then discontinued.
The first Democratic newspaper in Nance county, the Fullerton Post, was begun by J. W. Tanner. The first issue appeared on June 8, 1888. Mr. Tanner sold his interest in the Post in 1902, and the newspaper was operated under the management of Dopf and Taylor. Later it was sold to Wolfgang Schmidt.
In 1924, W. H. Plourd purchased the News-Journal from W. L. Dunten. In September of 1928, Mr. Plourd purchased the Fullerton Post from Wolfgang Schmidt, and consolidated the two publications to again form the Nance County Journal. It has since operated under that name.
In September of 1945, the Belgrade Herald suspended publication and the subscription list was acquired by the Nance County Journal. The newspaper yet today carries a Belgrade News section.
The present plant of the Nance County Journal, located on 4th Street, was built in July of 1946. Oldtimers in the community have stated that the first newspaper office in Fullerton, shown in the photo on the preceding page, was situated very near this same location.
On April 1, 1961, Mr. Plourd sold the Nance County Journal to Mr. and Mrs. Clarence S. Hebda, who are still co-publishers of the newspaper. Mr. Hebda had been employed by the newspaper for 15 years prior to purchasing it.
The 100th anniversary of the newspaper was observed during 1979 by the co-publishers through a number of activities. A special logo was designed and used in issues published throughout the year as well as on all of the firm's printed stationery. A coloring contest was held for elementary school children at Easter, and prizes were awarded. An essay contest with the topic, "What The Journal Means To Me or My Family", was sponsored with $100 in cash prizes being awarded to three winners. A float, displaying an early day printing press and depicting printing procedures at the turn of the century, was a first place divisional winner in Fullerton's Centennial parade. A special souvenir publication of "Pages From The Past" was distributed from the float. Copies of the publication also were mailed to all subscribers. Throughout the anniversary year, a page from early day files of the newspaper was featured each month.
Since early files of the newspaper printed in Fullerton are not complete, it was not possible for the Centennial Book committee to do research for historical highlights. However, since 1924 when the Journal came under the ownership of fewer individuals, files are more complete and the following is a resume of events which made history to the present day.
Fullerton Mill on the Cedar River after turn of the century.
1917 paving of Main Street.
Red Cross Hospital.
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