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HISTORY

OF

Platte County, Nebraska.


By I. N. TAYLOR.



COLUMBUS REPUBLICAN PRINT.
COLUMBUS, NEB.,
1876.

HISTORY OF PLATTE COUNTY, NEBRASKA.


  In obedience to a joint resolution of Congress and the proclamations of the President of the United States and Governor of Nebraska, and in compliance with the request of the Executive Committee of the Platte County Centennial Jubilee, the following sketch is respectfully presented:
  The county of Platte, in the State of Nebraska, as originally defined by an Act of the Territorial Legislature in 1855, was composed of the 24 miles square, or 576 square miles included in Townships 17, 18, 19 and 20, north, of Range 1, 2, 3 and 4, east of the 6th Principal Merdian.
  In 1858 it was made to include, in addition, all of Monroe county on the west which was not comprised within the Pawnee Indian Reservation.
  In 1868, the County of Colfax was created by an Act of the State Legislature taking from Platte all of the East three Ranges.
  After several changes made at different times, the southern boundary has been fixed, and it now remains at the south side of the south channel of the Platte river, from the 6th Prin. Mer. eastward, and at the south side of the north channel of the river westward from said line.
  The geographical features, geological composition and topographical relations of the county all denote, what experience is already proving, an eminently good agricultural and pastoral country, with superior advantages of internal commerce.
  One sixth of the entire surface across the southern portion consists of the magnificent bottoms of the two principal interior rivers of the state--the Platte and Loup. Next to this belt is one of similar width, composed of low, undulating table lands and the winding valley of Shell creek, which, taken together and in front of the more elevated and rolling plain beyond, present a picture of simple beauty, as nearly perfect in its order, as Nature ever offers to human eyes. The north two-thirds of the area includes, with its outward slopes, the out spread water-shed between the channels of Shell and Union creeks, or looking farther off, between the greater currents of the Loup and Elkhorn rivers.
  This variegated surface is, geologically, the same throughout, consisting nearly everywhere of that rare combination of clay, sand, phosphate of lime, ashen salts and vegetable mold, which is properly called loam, and which science prescribes for the production of the best quality of cereals and fruits.
  Topographically, the county enjoys an enviable position, being on the great highway of the state and of the nation--the Union Pacific Railroad--and Central in central Nebraska, justifying the prediction here recorded and laid up, against all the future, even unto the Centennial of 1976, that it will become and remain the gravital centre of Nebraska's population, locomotion,


2 HISTORY OF PLATTE COUNTY, NEBRASKA.
business and wealth, where the Capital of the State ought, of right, to be.
  Previous to the year 1856, just 20 years ago, all this fair prairie world had been in the undisputed possession of wild beasts and savage tribes. Some white man's foot may indeed have marked the margin of the streams in the capacity of hunter and trapper, and certain it is that honorable footprints had been made by government surveyor and topographical engineer far beyond. But not until the sweet spring morning of 1856 did the pioneers of our westward civilization scent from afar the odors of these northern plains, rising at the touch of the morning sun of that new day of progress, whose first hour is not yet past, and whose red rays are just beginning to chase the shadows of the desert through the gates of a golden paradise beyond, whose treasures have slept there throughout the night of ages, beside the mountain streams, beneath the dark pines, within their beds of sand and rock.
  The Sixth Principal Meridian--a line passing across the state from south to north, and cutting the valleys of the Platte and Loup, within their junction, had been located, and the Fourth Standard Parallel which lies near the Platte for so long a distance west of the Elkhorn had been extended, so that the character of this locality had been noised abroad. The founding of a city within this junction, where the through travel would naturally cross the Loup on its way to the mountains and the coast, was a sensible thought occurring to those only, however, who are given to such reflections. But whoever would afterwards enjoy the honors and rewards of such an enterprise must first take its risks and endure its hardships.
  Manifestly, I come now to a point in my story where names, dates and special events must be recited. I beg
therefore to request, in advance, that if, despite my intention to tell a truthful story, there shall be any mis-statements, they may be pardoned. Furthermore, if the lines of grave history should be here and there shaded with a tinge of innocent humor at any one's expense, as part of the social joys of the day, I beg the subjects of it to be duly goodnatured. And finally, as we must evidently soon come to a point in the narrative where the population and the affairs of the county will be found so numerous and outspreading that all history of individual persons will be out of the question in this brief document, let us all, unenviously, concede this distinction to the old settlers, who drove down their stakes pervious to 1860.
THE OLD SETTLERS AND THEIR DOINGS.
  To begin then, fix your eye on Fred. Gotteschalk, Jacob Lewis and George Roush. Panting for the glory of being the first to discover the city site on the banks of the far-famed Loup, this trio set out, and on they pressed, out they ventured, gazing into the blue depths of the infinite West. At North Bend they passed the confines of the civilized earth, and thenceforth trod the field of infinite desolation. But at last they rested on the brink of the fabled waters. They found the Loup, marked the city site and hastened back to Omaha to report. Nor can the others deny the animating power of that unofficial rendering. The Columbus Company was organized and a committee of exploration was designated, with authority to locate, consisting of Vincent Kummer, in charge; Charles Turner, surveyor; John C. Wolfel, carpenter; Fred. Gotteschalk, Jacob Lewis, Jacob Guter, Carl Rienke, Henry Lusche, Michael Smith, Adam Denk, and John Held.
  A little in advance of them, however, were on their way the pioneers of an-

THE LOCATION OF BUCHANAN AND COLUMBUS.
other company, who, not intending to go so far, halted on the east bank of Shell creek a little above its entrance into the Platte, in Range 4 east, and there, on April 27th 1856, Isaac Albertson and E. W. Toncray became the first settlers of Platte county. Worthily of the memory of the event and worthily of their personal character, both these gentlemen, as we shall presently see, have since had honorable position in the county.
  Together with associates, among them Gen. Eastbrook, Col. Miller, father of the Omaha Herald Editor, and others, they thought to found a city and true to their political instincts, they called the place Buchanan, in honor of the Sage of Wheatland then chief Magistrate of the Nation and the head of the American Democracy.
  Our Columbus party passed this spot a month later and pressed on to their destination on the Loup. Of course, Gotteschalk and Lewis could point out the spot, for they had been there. The others too would readily recognize it, for the river had been described as a clear and placid stream, deep but narrow and abounding with fish. They halted at noon on the enchanting shore and gazed with delight at the great fish lying far down in the quiet water. Wolfel, as boss carpenter, was enthusiastic and could scarcely wait 'till dinner was finished before commencing the Loup bridge and thus sealing the destiny of the new city against all rivals. Only Kummer was somewhat incredulous about that thing being a river, and he strayed away along the bank. Having rounded one end of the river, legend saith not which end, suddenly he confronted the camp from the opposite bank, at which surprising event the original explorers subsided and the bridge builder withdrew his proposition: and what is now known as
"McAlister's Slough" was left alone in its glory. Proceeding westward eight or nine miles they came upon the veritable Loup whose rushing tide and boiling quicksand put to shame the pretensions of McAlister's pond. Here they wisely located, neither too far east nor too far west as the whole sequel has proved, for the true crossing of the river on the permanent line of transportation over the plains.
  A letter of Mr. Kummer to his old home Columbus Ohio, describing the new world, aroused the spirit of adventure in many, among them John Rickly who immediately dropped all and left for the west, Michael Weaver and others.
  Meantime, the preliminary work went on here. On the 28th day of May 1856, the outlines of the town were determined and the whole was soon blocked out. A rough log building was extemporized and roofed with grass. It answered all their purposes of dwelling, storage and fortification and was long known as the "Old Company House." Rickly and perhaps others visited the place in the summer, but October 7th, 1856 is put down as the date of settlement of the second installment consisting of J. Rickly, J. P. Becker, John Browner, Anthony Voll, Charles Bremer, John H. Green, Wm Distlehorst, Jedediah Mills, Geo. Berni, Martin Heintz, the Quinns and Haneys and Mrs. Wolfel. To Mrs. Wolfel, as the first lady adventurer, the Company afterwards gave, for a testimonial, one share in the capital stock of the Company, equal to ten average lots in the town. In December came J. M. Becker, and thus was completed the invoice of Buchanan and Columbus and by adding one lone man and his little boy--D. Hashberger who that year drove his stake where he yet lives, now Schuyler--was completed the

5HISTORY OF PLATTE COUNTY, NEBRASKA.
immigration to Platte county in 1856--twenty-five souls all told.
  During the autumn a change was made in the town plat. A Messrs Burtch and Mitchell, who had established a ferry on the Loup, in connection with others in Omaha, laid out a town extending from the ferry and interfering with the other. Finally a compromise was effected, Pawnee City Burtch and Mitchell's town--was abandoned and Rickly was appointed as assistant to Kummer in laying out the new plat. Under this superintendence Col. Millar a surveyor of Omaha surveyed the town of which we still have the lithographed and recorded plat.
  With these town affairs and with building their cheap abodes, the colonists were chiefly but not exclusively employed. The government surveys had not yet been made; but conforming as nearly as possible to the 6th Principal Meridian squatters pre-emption claims were staked out on all sides. Some of the parties yet occupy their original premises. Of these are Gotteschalk and his wife then Mrs. Denk, Lewis, Guter, and Distlehorst near town; Reinke and Lusche on Shell creek. Held had that now owned by Mr. Stenger, but relinquished to John Reck and settled on Shell creek. Rickley had what is now Gerrard's Addition, but Charles Curtis jumped him and he retired to the bluff. As for Kummer, his was a jumping history. First, he was jumped out of what Lewis now has, then cried out of what Stenger now has; then coaxed out of what the Held estate now has, and finally, aided by the whole town in a body, vi et armis, he drove Dr. Stillman from a tract at the bluff which he afterwards, abandoned to I. N. Taylor for $1.00 cash money, and Kummer, alone of all the old settlers, failed to make a land claim. At this date he rather concludes not to pre-empt,
homestead or timber claim any of Uncle Sam's farms.
  The winter of 1856-7 was memorable for its deep snow. The memory of Pawnee runneth not back to another such snow, nor hath white man's eye beheld it since. The whole plain was covered all winter to the average depth of three feet while the drifts in low ground varied from ten to thirty feet. The situation of the little colony was not only trying, it was perilous. In December a few of them went to Omaha and purchased ox teams and provisions. At the Elkhorn, on their return, the snow stopped them.
  But their friends were 75 miles away at Columbus waiting on the ragged edge of anxiety and hunger: so equipping themselves with snow shoes they piled a portion of their load on a hand sled and hauled it the entire distance. All transportation by teams being impossible, Wolfel, Bremr and Hashberger made a second trip to Omaha and back with a hand sled, bringing provisions. They followed the frozen channel of the Platte river and made the round trip in ten days.
  Only once during this first year were the colonists disturbed by the Redman whose village was then below and opposite Fremont. A number of these savages came one day when all the men were away from the premises. They broke into Jacob Lewis' house and stole all he had which was chiefly tobacco. They then went to the Town House whose contents they doubtless considered quite tempting. But the brave Mrs. Wolfel kept them at bay until the men returned, when, from policy, the Reds were admitted to the hospitalities of the house. The guests quickly devoured what food was prepared and as quickly emptied the Town House quart bottle of whiskey. Demanding more and being refused, they required pay

THE IMMIGRATION OF 1857. 5
ment in money for all the broad undefined country hereabout. The officials of the occasion gave them an order on Gen. Harney, of wholesome Ash Hollow memory, then commanding at Fort Kearney, for the money. The order was squarely validated by a significant glance, by way of endorsing Gen. H. at a box of muskets and bayonets in the room. Harney and bayonet fixed muskets!--the best antidote of Indian deviltry ever prescribed on the plains!

THE IMMIGRATION OF 1857

  The immigration of the following year was opened by the advent at Columbus of Dr. Charles B. Stillman and Geo. W. Hewett, coming from Omaha on foot through the snow three feet deep in the month of March. Next came, early in April, another pair of footpads--Patrick Murray and Patrick McDonald, walking from Iowa City. Pat squatted where he now is and is likely to be forever; McDonald on the adjoining tract now owned by Esquire Millett. Pat, having spied out the land and foreseen how his little $1,000 of gold which he brought might grow on the banks of the Loup to $100,000 during the 19th century, sent back to Pennsylvania for his two sisters Kate and Maggie the latter being afterwards Mrs. Adam Smith and now Mrs. Brady, and, better to him than both, his faithful Bridget whom he met and married at Omaha.
  This heralding of the Irish element which has since figured well in the county annals, was soon followed by the first instalment on Shell Creek west of the Meridian. Michael Kelly, Thom. Lynch, Patrick Gleason and John Denean led the way. From Omaha out they had constant battle with the rear guard of that big snow. At Rawhide below Fremont that rear guard literally closed around and captured them.

But the Irish outwitted their captor. There they were without shelter, cooked food or wood to make a fire and bound in snow-fetters. But the Irish had not been "after venthuring to the frontair widout a barl or so of good whishky." From the mysteries of the barrel, as from the magazines of war, they proved that Irish fire, as well as Greek fire, is effective in battle; the fetters of their captivity dissolved and they held the field.
  On the first day of May 1857, Leander Gerrard in behalf of himself and his father's family stuck his stakes on the Looking Glass near the centre of Monroe county, (now a part of Platte, as I have said) having a sharp eye, no doubt financially and politically speaking, to county seat if not also to state capital considerations. Gerrard made quick, timely tracks--the only kind he ever makes--back toward the U. S. Land office. While on his way down, his claims were jumped by Whaley, Pierce and Baty--a party from New York--then by Ray, Swicker and Henderson. They came the Mormons and jumped them all. But Gerrard, Whaley and Ray ousted the Mormons establishing their claims by the tenth of the month, and the Mormons moved up higher and commenced settlement at Genoa on the Beaver. This ground is just beyond the limits of our county, but I must say in passing, that three separate but cooperative colonies of these people--called respectively the Alton, Florence and St. Louis, comprising together over one hundred families, commenced improvement under all the embarrassment of extreme poverty but in religious hope of an auspicious future, on that enchanting spot. They inclosed with ditch and sod fence 2,000 acres of the richest land in Nebraska and broke and planted 1,200 acres: and a Nebraska sod crop saved them from starvation.

6THE HISTORY OF PLATTE COUNTY, NEBRASKA.
Such a sod crop never grew before nor since on the plains. Many a single potato was as large as a common man's foot, solid and good, and was a full meal for one. Before the crop was at all ready for use, the people were on the verge of famishing, living some of the time on nothing but cucumbers and parsley.
  It is said of Mrs. Freston who is well known and respected in Columbus and whose good husband was killed here a few years ago, in a wind storm, by the falling timbers of Will B. Dale's new store, that her first child was born in a hut without a roof, during a drenching rain and that she lived and nursed her infant, for three weeks on such diet alone. And yet the little chap Erasmus thus born and thus nursed on cucumbers, goes around among us to this day as if nothing of the kind had happened.
  But in the year 1852, the United States Government surveyed and confirmed by a treaty to the Pawnee tribes of Indians a Reservation 15x30 miles area, commencing at the mouth of the Beaver and extending westward along the Loup. This of course displaced the colonies, and they scattered, some east some west. A few however, remained in the country and they still remain. Of these are Henry J. Hudson, Charles Brindley, James Warner, Moses Welsh, the heirs of Peter Murie, Mrs. Carl Reinke, Mrs. Freston and the families of each and all these.
  How often the thread of a long and interesting prospective history is snapped at the first turn or two of the reel! And how over and over again from the Atlantic rocks to the Pacific sands, during more than three centuries past, the Aborigine, by virtue of the baseless theory of his tribal rights to the soil, has been the friction lock on the chariot of civilization, the dead earthen
rampart unscalable before the army of the world's workers! The Pawnee Reservation annulled Monroe county, scattered the most promising colonies, turned the tide of travel from one of the finest valleys the sun shines on, invited and facilitated the incursions of hostile savages from the immense Northwest of Nebraska, and for 18 years has been a wall turning back the wave of immigration or hindering its flow around by its tremendous friction. And all for what? Echo answers--WHAT?

THE CLEVELAND MOVEMENT.

  Two and a half to three miles northwest of Columbus was laid out, in 1857, on a magnificent scale, the town of Cleveland. George W. Stevens, William H. Stevens and Michael Sweeny were the active workers, and for awhile occupied the premises. The project was plausible, for the site was, in itself, and in its surroundings, more beautiful than any other in this region. The instincts of common sense and the powers of human reason operated in those days very much as they do now-a-days, and Cleveland like Columbus had "Capital on the brain." To show how the common sense and reason of that day have since been endorsed by high authority, be it remembered that in 1866, George Francis Train--the greatest financial and political prophet of the age (?)--united the two localities in his grand scheme, by purchasing all between, and merging Cleveland into Columbus. For he bought all movable Cleveland, put her on wheels, rolled her down to the centre of the United States, into the exact heart of the Universe, and in a written contract with the to-be proprieter of the Credit Foncier of America Hotel, remembering that he himself was then "Next President America," had it expressly stipulated that a certain room there-


THE SUNKEN CITIES--MORE OLD SETTLERS--THE GLADDENITES.7
in should be forever at the command of the President of the United States, and another room subject to the order of the President of the Union Pacific Railroad! Such are the honorable antecedents of the present Hammond House, and Capt. Hammond and his lady can afford to be held to these conditions, world without end.
  So sank the boat of Cleveland on the sea of adventure, but not until the Arnolds and Norths--old settlers all--had first enjoyed its fading glories and pre-empted the earth on which it stood, and leaving Stevens, undrowned, perched on a little Ararat of his own, saved alive to be the pioneer school-master of the day.
  So also faded the glories of Zigzag, yielding to the trading post and beautiful farm of our lamented L. W. Platte, how, in 1875, passed over to the next life, leaving all to the care of his wife--the time-honored teacher of the Pawnee nation. These premises, thus notable in various ways, have received, by interpretation of their faithful friend's name into the Pawnee language, the title of Keatskatoos.
  So sank also Monroe, the home of our Father Gerrard and our Brother Whaley, who have passed on before to the better land. So went down also Neenah, the far-known ranche of Joseph Russel, and since the possession of the departed Mrs. Wells. And thus, too, sank Buchanan, as in the grave of the aged and worn-down civil chieftain. All the old cities of these plains, except Columbus, sunk, not as those of the plains of Sodom, nor for such a cause, we trust, into a sea of fire and brimstone, but sunk in a sea of--Chance. Yet all these died in faith, not having received the promise, that they might obtain the better inheritance of-- good farm land--and their proprietors sought a city which hath foundations, even
Columbus.
  But while cities faded out of sight, farms came into view. For during this year and the next two, 1858-9, valuable accessions were made to all the neighborhoods.
  To the German settlement came Held, Erb. Marohn, Will, Wetterer, Rickert, Ahrens, Henggeller, Matthis and the Losekes. To the Irish came Hays, Doody and the Carrigs. To the Eastern end came Nelson Toncray, William Davis, Robert Corson, and farther up, Rolfer, Russell, Skinner, Kemp, Clough, Spaulding and Fayls. In September, 1859, came the Salt Lake emigrants--Father James Galley and his three sons, Geo. W., James H. and Samuel, and his two sons-in-law William Draper and John Barrow. Later came McAllister and Anderson.
  Beyond the Loup an interesting community of Yankees, we might call them, commenced in our Platte county Mesopotamia--Barnum, Clother, the Beebe brothers, Stevens, Morse, Perry, Clark, Cushing and Witchie. Of this Trans-Loupic brotherhood only two--Barnum and Witchie--stick to and reside on their original premises. Yet that Mesopotamia is perhaps the most densely occupied and best improved portion of the county, partly, no doubt, on account of the superior quality of the soil, but chiefly on account of the gregarious habit of the Europeans.
  In 1860 a new element was added to the north side of the Loup above Monroe. A white-haired old man, tall, straight, long-visaged and sanctimonious, appeared on the theatre of progress. His name was Gladden--a name given him by his mother before he was born, because he should gladden the heart of the world, as said a message from heaven to her, as the keeper and displayer of the Flying Roll of Prophecy. He had been with the Mormons in

8THE HISTORY OF PLATTE COUNTY, NEBRASKA.
Nauvoo. Brigham Young had discredited the credentials of his divine mission to mankind, and he had retired with a few followers, intending to fly the roll first on the frontier parapet of the world. Therefore he visited, in 1859, the colonies of Genoa, but Elder Hudson shook his head. Still he hoped, no doubt, to draw them all into his fold by settling near them. Probably also he had his eye on Gerrard for a disciple. So he came with his followers, Platts, Stowe, Sellars, Gallup, Coon and Hoagland. They established a kind of commune, and seemed for a time a happy one, having all things common. But in 1862 or 1863 Gerrard's cross-examinations in a lawsuit of their's about a steer bursted the brotherhood, and thus flew on its final flight the "flying roll." They had, however, been somewhat useful to the heathen, and had baptized a number of Pawnees into the Gladdenite faith. How much of divine influence there may have been in these conversions, Rogers, one of the converts--whom some of you may remember as Major North's Commissary Sargeant in the Pawnee Scouts, could not say; but he ascribed the power chiefly to a kind of holy feast that followed the baptism. That was indeed a potent appeal to a Pawnee conscience, coming, as it did, to the soul through his stomach. But even that got "too thin;" for the feast itself got thin and the water got cold in winter. Rogers thought it might do in summer, but considered that to be baptized in ice-cold water for four slapjacks did not pay, and so the Gladdenite net ceased to drag any more in Pawnee waters.
  During this year, 1860, the line of ranchmen that filed out on the military road was much extended. Some persons who did a thriving business beyond our county limits afterwards
returned eastward and are still with us. Among them is Joseph A. Baker.
  Now came a long, deep lull in the noise of immigration. There was no motive for any more to settle down on the valleys, for there was no living at all except on the surging tide of emigration and through travel to and from Colorado, Utah and California. This gave a chance for life to a limited number, and that number was now full. All shared it to some extent. Except only in Columbus where Mrs. Baker's hotel nearly monopolized the business,--every house was a ranche, every floor a lodging, every table a cake and pie stand. Moreover, there were hindering causes abroad. The war of the Rebellion was on the hands of the nation. The frightful Minnesota massacre had transpired, and the murderers had gone west probably to new fields of rapine. From all causes combined the fountains of actual growth were sealed up and Platte county stood still. We have no authentic census of those years, but Geo. W. Stevens was around here and the enumeration of school youth was regularly taken twice a year. It shows a sliding scale, though slowly rising in general. 207 in the year 1866 against 154 in the year 1860 shows a slow progress, while 1,677 in the year 1876 against 207 in the year 1866 indicates a very rapid increase for an almost purely inland agricultural district. This was in fact the actual increase of school youth in Platte county in the years from '66 to '76.
  It is remarkable that even so powerful an incentive as the free homestead law, which took effect Jan. 1, 1863, gave so slight an impulse to our immigration. But the true reasons have been given. Not until the Rebellion had collapsed and the fear of a general Indian war had subsided and Nebraska had become connected by rail with the

NATIONALITIES AND RELIGIONS. 9
East and South, and not until the Platte Valley was made to tremble beneath the rattling heels of the U. P. Iron Horse, did the homestead law have any meaning to persons at a distance. But thenceforth free homesteads, preemptions and even railroad lands at $5.00 per acre were as the hot cakes of the griddle on a winter morning, and now scarcely a homestead is left unclaimed in Platte county. In the month of May, 1866, the construction trains of the Casement Brothers entered our eastern borders, and on the first day of June the track was laid through the town of Columbus. The whole city--men, women and children--went out to witness the wonderful spectacle of a live engine slowly creeping along as the rails were laid, a pair at a time, by a gang of disciplined workmen, all moving with the harmony of a clock, and completing the track-laying at the rate of 10 feet per minute. This event was to Columbus and Platte county the beginning of a new life, and we are therefore to-day just 10 years, 1 month and 4 days old.
  To trace the rapid steps of our progress in all the paths of physical, social, political and moral development, with names, dates and events in detail, is manifestly impracticable in this brief paper. It must suffice to say that in the settlement of our county, "the birds of a feather have flocked together." There are some exceptions: it would be better perhaps if there were more: but as a rule, we see on swinging around the circle from southeast to southwest, that the sons of Johnny Bull whether English or Scotch have the lower Platte Valley, and the Mormons lead. The Germans possess the lower Shell Creek Valley with all its tributaries and are mostly Lutherans. The northeast and Tracy Valley are Yankees and are largely Presbyterians.
The Irish have got the upper Shell Creek Valley and the lower north shore of the Loup and are Catholics. The Scandinavians possess the upper Lookingglass and Lost Creek and are mostly Lutheran. The Indian policy of President Grant has resulted in giving us in the upper north shore Loup Valley a planting of the seed of Wm Penn, who we hope are be-Trothed to the county and will live and be-Coffined Truemen. In our Mesopotamia--that garden of beauty--the Germans have gradually squeezed out the Yankees: they are mostly Lutheran. Stearns prairie in the centre, like Columbus, is a mixture of everything under the sun, Jew and Gentile, Catholic and Protestant. Christian and Skeptic. But the whole county is at length dotted over with human abodes and everywhere, on this glad day, the dark green corn blade, the darker grove bough and the golden wheat stem are nodding on the breeze to the flag of our Union.

THE CIVIL HISTORY OF PLATTE COUNTY

  In August 1857, the counties of Platte and Monroe were organized. By what authority does not appear, but Judge Smith of Fremont issued a proclamation calling elections for county officers and the location of county seats. In Platte county the result was as follows:
  Probate Judge, Isaac Albertson; Clerk, Geo. W. Hewett; Recorder, J. P. Becker; Treasurer, V. Kummer; Sheriff, Cyrus Tollman; J. P., C. B. Stillman; Constable, J. Guter; County Commissioners, Gustavus Becher, Geo. Spaulding, and Abram Root.
  And in Monroe county:
  Probate Judge, Charles H. Whaley; Clerk, Geo. W. Stevens; Recorder, G. E. Yeaton; Treasurer, C. Whaley; Sheriff, N. Davis; Representative, Leander Gerrard; Surveyor, P. Kim-


10HISTORY OF PLATTE COUNTY, NEBRASKA.
ball; County Commissioners, H. Peck, C. H. Peirce and H. J. Hudson.
  The candidates for Territorial Delegate in Congress were Bird B. Chapman of (Ohio?) and Judge Fenner Furguson, of Bellevue. At this early date commenced in Central Nebraska the quiet working of a power in proposing and afterward carrying nominations and public measures, which has maintained its prestige without much remission to this day, the responsibility of which thing may be laid at the doors of such chaps as the Gerrard boys, Ed. Arnold, Pete Becker and so on. In this case, Furguson was the choice of Monroe county, then quite strong at the polls, and a ballance power in the election. Furguson was elected, and the remembrance of what he owed for it and to whom he owed it, was at the bottom of the first mail and stage line of any importance ever granted to Northern Nebraska. For Leander Gerrard went down the valley on foot with a petition in hand which everybody signed, and in a surprisingly short time the mail coaches were running three times a week from Omaha to Columbus, and once a week from Columbus to Genoa.
  The first election in Monroe county was also the last that was practically availing for in the winter session of the territorial legislature 1858-9, a joint petition of the two counties, headed in double column accordingly by J. Rickly of Platte and G. W. Stevens of Monroe, for the consolidation of the two counties, was largely signed by the people and the whole area of the two was thenceforth Platte county, and the offices of the county have since been filled successively as follows:

	   PROBATE JUDGES.
Isaac Albertson,	1858 to 1867.
E. W. Toncray,		1867    1869.
I. N. Taylor,		1859    1871.
J. G. Higgins,		1871    1877.

	   COUNTY CLERKS.
F. G. Becher,		1858    1861.
C. B. Stillman,		1861    1867.
H. J. Hudson,		1867    1872.
F. G. Becher,		1873    1877.

	     RECORDER.
C. B. Stillman,		1858    1861.
When the Clerk became Records by law.

	     TREASURER.
V. Kummer,		1858    1877.

	  	SHERIFF.
E. W. Toncray,		1858    1860.
J. Rickly,		1860    1861.
J. E. North,		1861    1863.
L. M. Beebe,		1863    1865.
J. Browner,		1865    1867.
C. D. Clother,		1867    1869.
A. J. Arnold,		1869    1871.
Geo. Lehman,		1871    1873.
Benj. Speilman,		1873    1877.

		CORONER.
J. C. Wolfel,		1861    1865.
L. M. Beebe,		1865    1867.
J. H. Galley,		1867    1869.
S. A. Bonesteel,	1869    1871.
C. B. Stillman,		1871    1875.
A. Heintz,		1875    1877.

	   COUNTY SURVEYOR.
Lorin Miller,		1858    1890.
Alex Albertson,		1860    1861.
R. P. Kimball,		1861    1862.
I. N. Taylor,		1862    1863.
J. E. North,		1863    1869.
R. Kummer,		1869    1871.
J. G. Routson,		1871    1877.

	  COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT.
M. Weaver,		1858    1867.
C. A. Speice,		1867    1869.

Continue with Part II
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© August 1998 Sherri Brakenhoff