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Fullerton's First 100 Years (1879-1979)

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The Fullerton Centennial Book Committee spent many hours in research to compile, within the pages of this volume, a record of some of the early history of Fullerton and the surrounding rural community. We view this Centennial manuscript as a small contribution to the preservation of our town. Hopefully future generations, from time to time, will amend and add to this historical collection.

This book represents more than two years of research and production. It is our hope that this booklet will serve as a preservation of those virtues our forefathers held most dear - love of God, our country and our fellow man.

We wish to express our appreciation to the many individuals who supplied information and especially those residents and friends for the loan of cherished old photographs for use in this book. We could not use everything that was submitted, but endeavored to edit and compile a substantial amount of the material to cover as many aspects of the first 100 years of the community as possible.



Mrs. Norman (Betty) Mapes, Chairman
Rodger Bassett
Mrs. John M. (Marguerite) Brower
Mrs. Helen Fehrs
Mrs. Mike (Lana) Gonsior
C.S. Hebda
Mrs. Ina Williams
Permission to Publish granted by the committee
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Fullerton's First 100 Years - 1879-1979


Biography of Randall Fuller, Founder of Fullerton


The Ku Klux Klan in Fullerton


The Leap


Homeless Court House Bear Finds A Home


Newspapers In Fullerton - 1879-1979


Events Through The Years


History of Churches


History of Fullerton Cemetery Association


Fullerton P.E.O. Chapter


Nance County Post Offices


Fullerton Lions Club


Fullerton Produces A Master Criminal


The Horse Creek Murder Mystery


Family Histories

List of Illustrations (by producer)

Index to the Family Histories Articles (by the producer)

Every Name Index (by the producer)Working on it

Produced for NEGenWeb by Ted & Carole Miller, with the generous permission of the officers of the Nance Co. Historical Society and four members of the original book committee

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Discovery of Nebraska

   Nebraska remained unnoticed until the Lewis-Clark Expedition came up the Missouri River in 1804. They barely ventured west before declaring the land unproductive. Lieutenant Zubulon M. Pike exploring through southern Nebraska along the Republican River in 1806 predicted the plains would be compared to the deserts of Africa. Trappers and fur traders from St. Louis were the first to explore the Platte Valley. Major Long, Captain Bonneville and General Fremont led their forces through the state. A part of Missouri Territory, Nebraska was a part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1812, Nebraska was designated Indian Territory.
   In 1820, soldiers were sent to the frontier town of Council Bluffs to build Fort Atkinson as part of a plan to protect the fast growing fur trade and protect adventurous frontiersmen daring to penetrate the Far West.
   The soldiers turned farmers and in the next five years proved that the "Great American Desert" could bloom.
   In 1846, a group of Mormons moving west from Nauvoo, Illinois, paused on the west side of the Missouri River and built winter quarters about six miles upstream from the present site of Omaha. The Mormons, like the Pawnee and Nebraska Indian tribes turned to bricks of sod, and jokingly called them "Nebraska Marble".
   The dugout variety was the most satisfactory of soddies, constructed on a ravine or hill usually facing south away from the wind. Hardly luxurious, soddies provided shelter, until the end of the era, about 1900. However, sod houses still exist and are occupied in some parts of Nebraska.
   Nebraska was organized as a territory in 1854 with boundaries from the Missouri to the Rocky Mountains, including portions of the present states of Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.
   The geographic boundaries of Nebraska were reduced before it became a state in 1867. It lies on the west bank of the Missouri River between the 40th and 43rd parallels of north latitude. The extreme western boundary is near meridian 104. The state's width, from north to south is 208 1/2 miles, and its length from east to west is 413 miles. The state has an area of 76,840 square miles. The elevation in the extreme southeastern part of the state is 842 feet above sea level. The Wild Car Mountains in Banner County, the highest elevation in the state, rises 5,038 feet above sea level.
   The Mormons eventually moved on to establish the famous Mormon Trail, running north of the Platte River. This trail carried

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most of the Mormons west to Utah. It was also to acquire the deep grooves of wagon trains heading for Oregon and the Gold Rush of California. Emigrants used the route and many settled throughout Nebraska territory and established many of the communities that exist today. Through the Platte Valley the Pony Express galloped its way to fame in 1860-61.
   Indian trouble, disastrous blizzards, famine and disease took their toll as the wagons pushed across Nebraska during those years before statehood. But the "highway" to the West remained open and with it the social and economic structure of Nebraska unfolded.
   It wasn't until the long-awaited transcontinental railroad became a reality two years before statehood that much of the uncertainty of life was removed.
   The railroad, and the Homestead Act of 1862, allowing citizens to file for public lands, provided the final momentum to statehood. On March 1, 1867, Nebraska became our 37th state.
   Within its new borders a stubborn land was yet to be conquered and some of the most important and bloody Indian wars were yet to be fought. Long after the West was settled, Nebraska remained a frontier, but its future was ensured.
   The prairie would eventually give away to productive farmlands. Soddies would be replaced by durable, comfortable and modern homes, the dusty, rutted wagon trails would be paved and expanded to handle the ever-flowing traffic.
   The healthy, prosperous state of Nebraska today is a tribute to its pioneer spirit.
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