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Saline County
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Immigrant Issue - DeWitt

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Saline Co.,  NEGenWeb Project 


Immigrant Issue
Lincoln State Journal
Sunday 5 June 1887
Located in Saline County, on the Burlington and Missouri Railroad, Thirty Five-Miles Southwest of Lincoln, Population Seven Hundred. DeWitt is an incorporated village of about seven hundred inhabitants, situated in the southeastern part of Saline County, on the west bank of the Big Blue river, The country around is all occupied by resident owners, there being no vacant or speculators land near it. The soil is deep, dark, rich loam, producing fine corn, small grain, vegetables, grass and fruits. It is noted for the number of cattle fed near it every year. The most prominent feeders being J. R. Watts, Wm. Plucknett, M. Bullion and Jas. Plucknett. 

All kinds of business are fairly well represented, though the town is not as large as it should be, according to the territory it draws trade from. There are three general stores, one exclusive grocery, two good drugstores, three hardware, two butchers, three banks, one real estate firm, one bakery, two restaurants, one harness shop, two blacksmiths, four agricultural implement dealers, four sewing machine dealers representing seven different machines, two jewelers, three physicians, one newspaper, one flour and feed store, one dentist, two barbers, one lawyer, one photographer, two livery barns, two elevators, one millenary, one furniture, two hotels, three saloons and two lumber yards. 

Most of the buildings are of wood but there are two stone and seven brick store buildings, with the prospect of more brick buildings this year. The high school also the prettiest in the county for design, finish and appearance, is a two story brick. In the way of churches, DeWitt has Methodist, Congregational, and German Lutheran congregations with commodious church edifices, and resident pastors. The majority of the town is Methodist in religion and republican in politics. The population is chiefly American, but there is a large and prosperous colony of English and also German-Canadian settlers near town. 

DeWitt is well represented by secrete societies, there being good lodges of A.F. and A.M. Harry Millie, W. M., I.O.O.F., C. Rogers, N. G., A.O.U.W., G.A.R., I.O.G.T., W.C.T.U. The town was located by the Burlington and Missouri railroad, that line running through it. DeWitt is also the junction for the Burlington and Missouri extension from DeWitt to Superior, and the possibilities are that in a few years the Rock Island, Missouri Pacific, Kansas City and Northwestern and two or three other railroads will pass through the town, giving transportation facilities in every desirable direction. The waterpower of DeWitt is its most valuable factor, and yet is comparatively neglected. 

On the east side is the Big Blue river, with a good strong dam, mill site and power, and a good iron bridge crossing the river, but the owner of the site has not the means to put up a large mill and utilize the power and is simply running a few hours to grind corn. A little capital invested in this site on the Blue river would easily furnish 500 horsepower, and the citizens of DeWitt will gladly give pecuniary aid to any person who will invest there. South and West are Turkey and Swan Creeks, but only one of these is used. Wm. H. Mann having a good roller mill on Swan Creek, with all the modern machinery and a capacity of 100 barrels a day.