Search billions of records on

Saline County
NEGenWeb Project

Immigrant Issue - Tobias

Copyright 2011 
Saline Co.,  NEGenWeb Project 


Immigrant Issue - Lincoln State Journal, Sunday 5 June 1887

Located in Saline County on the Burlington & Missouri Railroad, sixty miles southwest of Lincoln. Population 0ne thousand. Tobias is located in the southwestern corner of Saline County. It is situated in the midst of the finest and most fertile region to be found in the South Platte country. While we can't boast of our waterpower, yet we can, with truth, assert that a finer location for a town is not to be found on the face of the globe. Or one that affords better opportunities for industries to locate in, such as a grist and flouring mill, canning factory, foundry or farm implement manufacturing or other manufacturing industries.

On May first 1884, Tobias was placed in direct communication with the outside world, through the medium of the Nebraska & Colorado railroad, a part of the world-renowned Burlington system. Prior to the above date, merchandise consigned for Tobias was left some two and one half miles east of here, or else shipped to Friend or Alexandria thence freighted here by teams. But on that beautiful May Day the inhabitants of our booming town gave a right royal welcome to the iron horse and cargo of human freight and merchandise to our progressive town. From that red-letter day in the history of Tobias we were connected to the great commercial marts, not only America but of the World. 

For two and one half years Tobias was the terminal of the Burlington & Missouri railroad. In the spring of 1886 this stub was extended westward to Edgar and thence south to Superior. After October first of that same year, we have luxuriated on two passenger and two freight trains daily each way between DeWitt and Superior. On March 5,1886, Tobias and Olive precinct voted aid to the Kansas City & Omaha railroad. A line of track starts from Stromsburg, in Polk County, and runs to York, thence to Fairmont, thence, southeasterly across Fillmore County to Tobias and from here to Fairbury, Jefferson County. The work is rapidly approaching completion. Other lines are heading this way, via: the Kansas City, Wyandotte, & Northwestern railroad. We have every reason to believe the Missouri Pacific railroad will, someday, build from Crete to Tobias and thence to Warwick, Kansas and connect with the line from that point to Superior and Hastings, giving us two outlets to Kansas City, one north and the other south. The citizens will do all that lays in their power to secure these two roads and thus give metropolitan solidity to our railroad facilities.

Tobias was incorporated and vested with municipal and civil authority early in June 1884, with a population of a little over 200. It has grown, since then, into a town of over 700 inhabitants. It was incorporated as Tobias because the post office was of that name, it having been successively changed from Atlanta to Castor and from Castor to Tobias. The present government of the village of Tobias is invested in the hands of the following gentleman, viz: J. N. Bishop, chairman, S. R. Nunemaker, F. P. Jones, J. F. Lippincot, S. G. Empey, Dr. Thomas Butterfield and R. R. Brown.

The commercial industries of Tobias are represented by over sixty different business houses, which may be briefly summarized as follows: Two banks the First National and the Peoples bank, representing a capital of $100,000. The former is the outcome of the bank of Tobias, which a few months ago, enlarged into a state bank, and a few days ago, organized as the First National. Both institutions are doing an extensive and safe business. Two elevators, of the most approved kind, handle all the grain brought to this market. Of course with the advent of the K. C. and O. railroad another if not two elevators will be erected and draw their share of the grain patronage of the farmers marketing their grain at this point. The National Lumber Company has a large yard here and enjoy a large patronage as does Messrs. Howard & Lyman. The companies also handle coal in connection with their lumber yards.

Five general merchandise stores. They carry stocks aggregating about $100,000. Two hardware stores, one owned by S. G. Empey and the other by Messrs. McDougal, Callahan & Sanders who have three other stores. One at Friend another at Dorchester and the third at Beaver Crossing, in Seward County. Tobias has two drug, sundries and other related items. Three millinery stores, two meat markets, the hotels are the Commercial run by Albion White and the Olive owned by Col. W. H. Siep.

Three blacksmith shops, a brickyard now in full running order, a livery and feed stable, Aukney & Butler livery men, Reid & Kissell tonsorial artists. The Wm. Becker bakery and confectionery, will open June 6 and fill a long felt want in our business houses. Two wagon makers, a flour and feed exchange, a shoemaker who pegs away for dear life to keep our soles from wearing out, a confectionery and fruit dealer and a stock dealer are all part of the community. 

Real estate has three representatives viz: Adam Bener, Stanley Larson and M. Paugh who is also an attorney. Three physicians Drs. Carter, Gundermann and Leproleau attend to the health of our citizens. Two farm machinery and agricultural implement dealers Messrs: Babcock & Moore and Denny & Pelur. The latter firm has a branch in Scranton, in this county, take care of the wants of the farmers. Three saloons dispense tangle foot to quench the thirsty and cheer up the weary ones.

The annual amount of business done in Tobias, as near as your correspondent can estimate it to be approximately correct is about $500,000. Tobias has a large frame school, costing about $3,500 to erect. Enrolled scholars number 194. Prof. S. S. Hull is the principal and Ms. Morris assistant. The average daily attendance is 130 pupils.

The Tobias Tribune is the great and only religious and moral dispenser of news and general educator published in Tobias. It has upwards of 1000 circulation and is run by F. H. Gilmore and edited by Dr. Thomas Butterfield. The subscription rates are $1.50 per year. A creamery and cheese factory is already built and will be in running order very soon. It is as large again as the one at Crete.

The board of trade is a young institution but is actively at work looking up new industries and enterprises and trying to induce them to come and locate at this point. It holds regular monthly meetings on the first Thursday in each month.

There are three religious denominations who hold regular services here, the Baptists, Methodists and the Presbyterians. The Baptists have already built a fine new church and seated it with chairs. It will be dedicated some time this month. They offer the free use of the church to other denominations for two years and the Presbyterians have accepted the offer. The peoples Sunday School will also hold forth in the Baptist church. The Pastors are Rev. S. M. Homey, Baptist, Rev. W. R. Pierce, Methodist and Rev. Cooper, of Alexandria, Presbyterian. 

There is the Jewell Lodge of A. F. and A. M. with a strong lodge, the I.O.O.F. also a strong lodge. Daughters of Rebecca, J. W. Moorehouse post No.188 G. A. R., Woman's Christian Temperance Union and Young Peoples Christian Association are several organizations active in Tobias.

Freight shipments, in carload lots, from April 1, 1886 to April 1, 1887 for various products of the area. These include Corn, Wheat, Hogs, Barley, Cattle, Oats, Brick, Rye, Household goods, Apples, and miscellaneous goods, total to 914 rail cars. Freight received, in carload lots, for that same period, include many products such as Lumber, Coal, Rock, Flour, Soft wood, Salt, Implements, Lime, Barbed wire, Steel wire, Beer, Steers, Sand, Brick, Apples, Emigrant goods, and Miscellaneous goods total to 251 rail cars. 

Way freight (estimated) averages one and one half car per week or seventy-eight cars for the year, ending April 1, 1887. These total to 1243 carloads handled through Tobias in the one year. In new industries we want a gristmill, canning factory or any other branch we can induce to come and join us in one of the best towns in the state.