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Immigrant Issue - Crete

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CRETE, SALINE Co NEBRASKA
Immigrant Issue 
Lincoln State Journal
Sunday 5 June 1887

Situated in Saline County on the Burlington and Missouri and Missouri Pacific Railroads-Twenty Miles South West of Lincoln-Population Three Thousand.

Crete, Saline County, Nebraska, is situated on the Big Blue river, a deep rapid stream with high banks, affording very large water power the year round. The city has a population of 3000 and the educational institution, which has grown up with the city, has drawn in a class of citizens, which make very desirable society. The business portion of the city is situated on a level plateau about thirty feet above the river. The residential portion rises gradually on either side of the river to an elevation of about 120 feet, giving very fine sewerage, and making healthful and attractive residence places.

Crete City has an well-organized system of public schools, with competent teachers and superintendent. The German Congregationalists of Nebraska have a seminary here, and Doane college, under the auspices of the Congregationalists of Crete, Nebraska, but non-sectarian in all its teachings, is well equipped and provides excellent collegiate opportunities. It has two large three story brick structures, one used for class rooms, library and dormitory for the young men, the other the other, built three years ago at a cost of $35,000, is a ladies hall with a chapel in connection, built with all the modern improvements. There is also a well equipped observatory and signal service, with a United States signal officer in attendance. 

Its curriculum compares favorably with eastern colleges. The Nebraska Chautauqua, comprising 100 acres of shaded ground lying in a most convenient locality, on the west side of the Blue river, connected with city and railroad platform by sidewalk and pontoon bridge, is permanently located here. Its annual sessions are of two and three week's duration and command an average daily attendance of from two to three thousand people. The very best lecturers have been secured for the Command Assembly. Last year the B and M Railroad ran two excursions per day from Lincoln and others during the sessions, from Omaha, Plattsmouth, Beatrice and Hastings. In all probability this is the most instructive and popular summer gathering in the state, and in a few years will be equal to the "Eastern Chautauqua" in attendance, which are visited during a "camping out" session by more than 100,000 people.

One of the principal inducements we have to offer to eastern capitalists is our most excellent waterpower. The Big Blue flows through the eastern side of the county from north to south, a distance of twenty-four miles, and has tributaries the West Blue river, Turkey creek and Swan creek, flowing the entire length of the county from east to west. Each of these is turning the wheels of one or more flouring mills, yet not one-tenth of the waterpower is utilized.

Two large, flourmills at Crete, only half a mile apart, with a capacity of 200 barrels of flour per day are running night and day. They ship in the bulk of the wheat, and send out many cars of  flour and feed during the year. At the mills, from 5 to 10 cents more than the Chicago market will bear, is paid for No. two wheat. The freight bills paid by these mills to the B and M company last year amounted to over $50,000. The waterpower will be further utilized, during the present month, by lighting the city by means of electric light. The city council having just closed a contract with the Brush company to put in a plant for fifteen arc and 150 incandescent lights for lighting the streets and business houses.

The business houses are substantial brick structures and the business interests represented, are up to the usual, live western town of three or four thousand inhabitants. The businessmen are energetic, push-ahead men who are bound to make the town come to the front and will do it. Crete shipped, in 1888, 763 cars of grain and seed, 665 cars of livestock and 380 cars of ice. This year Crete has shipped over 400 cars of ice and has 375 carloads more to ship. The freight paid to the Burlington and Missouri Railroad Company last year, besides passenger traffic, was $327,000.

Crete is on the direct line of the Chicago Burlington and Quincy railroad from Omaha to Denver, with a branch south to Kansas City, giving it a direct Chicago, Kansas City and Denver market. The Missouri Pacific railroad is now building into town, and will go out in two ways, making Crete a division station with round house and repair shops. One branch will go to the northwestern part of the state, the other branch will go southwest to make the Denver connection. This will be a main line of the Missouri Pacific from Omaha to Denver. When connection is made with the Wabash railroad, which is being rapidly pushed to completion, it will give Crete two competing lines to Denver and Kansas City and a through line to New Orleans, St. Louis or any point in Texas.

Among the other interests here, are the Crete nurseries, started in 1887. They have such substantial growth that they now operate 580 acres and employ from 75 to 80 hands, paying over $20,000 a year for labor. A large creamery is running to its full capacity and making weekly shipments to New York City. Crete has six strong churches, the Congregational, Methodist, Catholic, Episcopal, United Brethren and Bethel. The Methodist people are now building a fine new church that will cost $8,000.

There are two banks, the State and the First National. There is no point in the west, which affords such inducements for capitalists to locate manufacturing interests as in Crete. The exceptional facilities for shipment, together with the waterpower, make it a desirable point for any kind of manufacturing industries. 

A Branch of the large Rochester seed house has been established here and has 150 acres planted this year. The city will, this summer, put in a complete system of water works. Those who contemplate locating in the west and value first class church and educational facilities, together with an enterprising, go-ahead business community, where capital invested will be sure to bring a good remuneration, should visit Crete before locating.