NEGenWeb Project
Nance County

 

in the hands of the white settlers. On, their return they all congregated at the village at the mouth of the Cedar, and the four tribes of the famous Pawnees became united in one.

     The missionaries and government employes made many pleasant friends with the people, and though so far removed from civilization as not to be able to hear from the outside world oftener than once in three months -- their nearest postoffice being at Savanna, Mo., 200 miles distant -- they had some very profitable and pleasant social and public gatherings. In 1844 the Fourth of July was celebrated on the "point" of the bluff beyond the site where the seminary building at Fullerton now stands, known then as Cedar Bluff -- it being covered with cedar trees when the whites first arrived. An arbor was constructed from the boughs of the fragrant wood, under which a small but merry company listened to the reading of the Declaration of Independence and an oration by Mr. Platt, husband of the present matron of the Indian Industrial School at Genoa. They sang "America" and a hymn composed by one of the party for the occasion, while the stars and stripes floated on the breeze from a pole set in the very verge of the precipitous bluff now known as Buffalo Leap. After these exercises the assembly sat down to a luxurious dinner, placed on the whitest of damask, which was spread on Mother Earth in the center of the bower. This was, without doubt, the first time the 4th of July was regularly celebrated in what is now known as the State of Nebraska.

     The Sioux still continued to make their war visits, and as they showed themselves hostile to the whites so they could not cultivate their fields or store hay for their herds,

 

Photograph
GRADE SCHOOL HOUSE
in 1846 the missionaries and government employes left for Bellevue, then the seat of the Council Bluffs agency for the Otoes, Omahas and Pawnees. Farmers were afterward sent to the Pawnees for two or three years, but in '48 and '49, the Sioux still continuing their hostilities, they removed to their little village on the south side of the Platte near Fremont, where they continued to reside till the "Pawnee War." In 1857 the Pawnees made a new treaty, in which they ceded all their lands from the Niobrara on the north to the Platte on the south, and from Shell creek on the east to the Rocky Mountains on the west -- with the exception of the territory comprising Nance county -- for a consideration of a yearly annuity of $22,000 in cash, for a stated period of time. The tract of land retained by the Indians was, until 1879, familiarly known as the "Pawnee Reserve," and was always considered by these Indians the very cream of their broad possessions.

     Let us now return to our Mormon settlement and see how they are flourishing on the Reserve. In 1869, the summer of the "Pawnee War," we find the Mormon colony in a very prosperous condition. They had named their town Genoa, and a government postoffice had been established, with H. J. Hudson as postmaster. Bountiful crops had blessed their efforts the previous year and the future seemed to give promise of better things to come. But late in the summer of this year, the Pawnees having finished their annual hunt, after the celebrated "war" on the Elkhorn, decided to locate on their reservation, and accordingly a government agent was appointed to plan with the Pawnees in providing suitable winter quarters. In September, 1859, 3,100 Indians, all that was left of the once celebrated Pawnee tribe arrived at Genoa with the agent and other employes of the government. H. J. Hudson at once made overtures of peace to the Indians through their agent. His idea was

(Continued)

 

J. W. MYERS

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J. W. MYERS   ::   FULLERTON, NEBR.

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© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 by Ted & Carole Miller