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Nance County


his prospects of wealth from the sale of his town property would go glimmering. The residents of the village were unanimously in favor of making the reservation into a county itself. In the latter part of December, George Willard canvassed the Reserve for the purpose of raising funds to engage Loran Clark to lobby in the interests of a bill for a new county. Over one hundred dollars was subscribed by the citizens. We neglected to state that the location of the Central Normal at Genoa caused quite a boom for that place. Every vacant house was rented. John Travis concluded the town would support a blacksmith shop, and accordingly opened one in the building he now occupies. Jerome Howard rented the National House and enjoyed a lucrative hash trade. Fred Daggett wielded the paint brush, and other mechanics found employment repairing the weather-worn government buildings.

     With the beginning of the new year, 1879, M. K. Steinbeck became postmaster, and to supplement the honors of a position under Uncle Sam with something more lucrative, he opened a flour, feed and grocery store in connection with the postoffice.

     Among those who visited the reservation in the fall of 1878 were Brad D. Slaughter and J. H. Edgington. Mr. Slaughter was living at Lincoln at the time, and came out to look the Reserve over with a view to locating. He was very favorably impressed with the "lay of the land," and fully decided to become a resident in case the territory was organized into a county, instead of being sliced up and divided among the neighboring counties.

     J. D. Edgington, who at that time owned a large farm not far from Council Bluffs, came out partly to view the country, and largely to spread death among the deer, which at that time could be found in large numbers on Timber creek and its branches. He was very successful in his hunt for deer, killing a wagon load of them in a few days, and was so impressed with the many advantages the county offered for farming and stock-raising, the beautiful scenery and remarkable fine wagon roads for so new a country, that he decided to sell his Iowa possessions at the earliest opportunity and strike a bee-line for "God's country," the Pawnee Reserve.

     In view of the prospect that a new county might be organized from the reservation, the Willard brothers, in January, 1879, circulated a petition in and about Genoa to the governor, asking that the temporary county seat be located at Genoa, that C. D. Rakestraw be appointed temporary clerk,

and that the new county be named Delane, in honor of D. A. Willard, chief owner of the town site of Genoa.

     About this time Randall Fuller arrived from Minnesota, and having been appraised of the status of affairs, circulated a petition in the Cedar and Loupe valley asking that the temporary county seat be located on the northeast quarter of section, 14, township 16, range 6; that A. L. Bixby be appointed clerk, George W. Chesney, Orson E. Stearns and Andrew Thompson be appointed commissioners pro tem, and that the county be called "Nance," in honor of His Excellency. The Idea of naming the county after the governor was suggested to Mr. Fuller by Alfred Bixby the previous summer. O. E. Stearns, accompanied by Mr. Fuller, carried the petition to the governor in person, and Mr. Stearns, who was acquainted with the governor, presented the case in so plausible a manner to him that he was left in little doubt as to what the result would be in case the county was organized. B. D. Slaughter, who was chief clerk of the house at this time, drew up the bill for the new county, arid realizing the popularity of the governor, inserted a clause in the bill that the county be named after him, thinking thereby to capture votes for the measure, and his expectations were realized, for the bill passed on February 4th with but one dissenting vote.

     To return to the reservation: Late in February, George H. Haskins rented the Bixby farm and took immediate possession.

     About the first of March the wife of Elmer Crow was taken suddenly and violently ill with puerpural convulsions, and in a few days passed away, leaving a husband and one small child. She was a noble woman, and her death, the first of any white woman on the reservation, was universally lamented.

     Some time during the winter the Tekonsha postoffice was established, with Frank Hodges as postmaster, and later on, on April 15th, Frank S. Gay received his commission as Nasby of the Redwing postoffice.

     In March, W. A. Thomas and Geo. Scarlett bought land in the Loupe valley.

     In April, Thos. F. Miller, who for some years had been engaged in stock-raising in the Elkhorn valley, came over on a prospecting tour, and was so impressed with the natural advantages of the country that he purchased 2,000 acres of land near the mouth of Horse creek, and at once began making preparations for stock-raising on a large scale. His brother, Elwood, accompanied him to the reservation, but returned in a few weeks to his eastern home.

     About this time J. M. Kennedy and sons, and Wm. Borgardus and Robert Wilson located ranches just above Genoa, in the Beaver valley, and began permanent improvements at once. Olof Netsel, from Galva, Ill., opened a general merchandise store at Genoa in the spring of that year, and other business enterprises began to take shape in the then only village in the county.

     A little later on in the season L. H. Faucett and R. J. Morrison came out on a land hunt, and each secured a quarter-section in Loupe valley, six or seven miles above the town site.


PhotographSpacerFullerton Electric Light & Power Co.

     One of the evidences of the progress of the present day is the public conveniences that the people of a community enjoy, and the kind of service that the companies operating them are able to give. One of the enterprising and necessary factors in our modern ideas of comfort is the lighting system, and in this respect Fullerton is the most progressive town in the state.
     The Fullerton Electric Light and Power Company was organized and began operations in 1903. They first built a power plant on the river below the town, but in 1910 acquired the power plant of the Fullerton Milling Company. The equipment consists of two 45-inch Leffel turbines, capable of furnishing all the power that the city may require. In addition to the water plant, it now has an up-town auxiliary station in which there will soon be installed new equipment of modern design of a size capable of handling a large increase in load continuously. The water power plant will also be rebuilt throughout
     The secretary and manager, C. N. Philbrick, is a practical man of large experience in the field of electric lighting, and under his management the plant is being rapidly modernized and brought to greater efficiency. The service, which was formerly discontinued at midnight, he has made continuous, which means that the light and power is at the convenience of patrons at all hours of the day and night. The treasurer, W. P. Hatten, cashier of the Fullerton National Bank, is largely interested, and has been associated with the company as an official almost since its inception, and has been very active in its development. Chas. E. Peterson, the president, has been prominently identified with this institution since his residence in Fullerton, and to his energy and constant interest in the plant is due, to a great measure, its success. E. P. Preston is the assistant secretary and assistant manager.

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