Saunders County NEGenWeb Project
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Topography and Geology | County Organization | County Progress
Early Settlers | Early Business Houses of Ashland | Wahoo
St. Wenceslaus Church | Valparaiso | Weston | Douglas Precinct
Bohemia Precinct | Rock Creek Precinct | Yutan | Pohocco Precinct
1868 | Chester Precinct | Prague | Mead | Elk Precinct | Ceresco
Swedish Mission Church | Early Days | Center Precinct | Cedar Bluffs
Newman Precinct | Memphis | Forty Years Ago | Malmo


   Saunders County is included in the second tier of counties west of the Missouri River, and is bounded on the North and East by the Platte River, South by Cass and Lancaster Counties, and West by Butler County. It embraces 483,840 acres of deep rich loamy soil divided into bottom, plain and rolling land.

   A marked feature is the high and abrupt coast line which decends in Township 15, Range 9 east, to the level of the ancient lake bed, which in a former geological age covered about one third of the area of the County.

   Its water courses, ten in number, are quite evenly extended over the County.


   The organization of Saunders County was accomplished by a general election held October 8, 1867. The first general election of the county, however, was held October 8, 1866, when a full set of County Officers were elected and the County Seat located at Ashland. A dispute arising immediately afterward as to the illegality of the election, an act to quiet all doubts was passed at the next session of the legislature, and the organization of Saunders County, Nebraska Territory, legalized. It will be seen by the above statement, that though the election was legalized the County was not permanently established until October 8, 1867. At the first session of the Commissioners Court, held at the County Seat November 10, 1866, there were present Thompson Bissell, Austin Smith and William Reed, Commissioners, and Hobert Brush, Clerk. The only business transacted was to instruct the Clerk to procure all blanks and blank books necessary for his office, that of the probate judge, the District Court and Commissioners Court, and pay for the same out of the first money collected.


   The progress of Saunders County in population and wealth previous to the spring of 1869, was very slow, there was no census report but it is known that the population was very light. The total vote polled October 8, 1868, was 383, and the total assessment of property for that year amounted to $180,412. Since that date Saunders County has become one of the best developed and wealthiest Counties in the State. The assessed valuation of Real Estate, at the last assessment, amounted to $8,312,422.10 and $1,047,525.82 on personal property. The actual valuation, therefore, on real estate and personal property in Saunders County to-day, amounts to about $50,000,000.


   Prior to 1856 the territory now included within the borders of Saunders County had not been visited for the purpose of settlement by the white man. In the early history of Ashland begins the history of the County. The old Government trail from Plattsmouth to Nebraska City via Ft. Kearney, Ft. Laramie, and Ft. Bridger passed through the present site of Ashland, crossing Salt Creek at this point. In those days it was called Saline Ford and enjoyed the fame of being the only rock bottom ford on the Creek, and the only available point at which freight teams could cross. Many emigrants had crossed this ford, and for many years it was an ordinary sight to see the canvas covered wagons of freighters and emigrants as their trains slowly plodded their weary way over the ridge that now hems in the present city of Ashland.

   Some speculators realizing the natural advantages the ford presented for the future city, had made claims, staked out a town site, and erected a frame building on either side of the creek near the ford. These, however, were abandoned and never reclaimed.

   June 10th, 1856, Reuben Warbritton left Williamsport, Ind., to find a home in Nebraska. He was accompanied by his wife, and in the latter days of August, they crossed the Missouri River at Plattsmouth, intending to push on to Saline Ford, but instead of doing this, they remained at Cedar Island for the winter.

   About the middle of August, 1856, Joseph Stambaugh and family, with all their earthly possessions in a farm wagon, drawn by a single pair of horses, set out to find a home in the then far West. They reached this rock bottom ford on the evening of September 6th. The following morning they crossed, and camped in the deserted building erected by the speculators. They remained but a short time while Mr. Stambaugh explored the County, and after selecting a favorable spot they returned to Plattsmouth.

   In March, 1857, accompanied by Mr. Warbritton, Mr. Stambaugh with his hired man, John Aughe, left Plattsmouth for their claim. Mr. Warbritton took a claim on Section 34. Mr. Stambaugh and Mr. Aughe made claims upon Section 35, all in what is now Clear Creek Precinct. Other settlers that came in the same year, were Harrison Ramsey, Samuel Hahn, Thomas K. Chamberlin, a man named Bryan, and a few others.

   The early settlers were more or less disturbed by the marauding bands of Pawnee Indians, who were a constant source of annoyance to the settlers, as they were obliged to leave their homes and families to do their marketing. The nearest store or blacksmith shop was at Plattsmouth, 30 miles away. With the numerous unbridged streams and their conveyance, an ox team and heavy wagon, it usually took days to make the trip, besides the worry regarding their families left behind.

   On one occasion it is said Mrs. Warbritton provoked beyond endurance by the theft and insolence of a Pawnee brave seized a good ox goad and thrashed him into obedience, to the pleasure and delight of his companions. The lady at once became a heroine in their eves and was considered a "much brave squaw."

   In 1857, Archibald Wiggin settled at Saline Ford and constructed a brush dam across the creek. Later his claim and interests passed into the hands of Denis Dean, who came to Ashland in the fall of 1863, and the following summer erected a mill.

   During the years of 1858 and 1859, Ashland was a well known point. Great quantities of freight was shipped from, and through this place, by Government contractors, which included the supplies to Colonel Sidney Johnston's command, engaged in the Mormon War. Ashland became quite a depot for supplies, by the freighters and emigrants, consequently the stock and produce of the settlers, found a ready market at high prices, until the Union Pacific Railroad superseded this pioneer way of moving freight.


   Messrs. Fuller & Moe opened a general Merchandise Store which was probably the first Merchandise Stock in Ashland. Dr. McClung was the pioneer physician. Humes & Warbritton put a Saw Mill in operation; M. K. Hall opened a Blacksmith Shop and Mr. Howe a Wagon Shop.

   In 1863, William Warbritton opened a General Store in Ashland which was probably the second business house established in Saunders County. After the establishment of the Mill by Denis Dean in 1864 Ashland became a noted milling point, and formed a nucleus around which gathered the future city.

   To-day the stocks of goods carried in Ashland would compare favorably with many a city much larger, and nearly all lines of trade are well represented. It is a town of beautiful streets, pleasant homes, and an enterprising up-to-date class of business men.

   Quality Hill, a retreat for the cure of diseases peculiar to women, is owned and conducted by A. S. Mansfelde, M. D. The retreat is situated upon one of the highest points in the city, a position well adapted to the purpose; the building is large and commodious with an air of solid and home-like comfort about it. Among the business houses that should receive prominent mention in this connection are the following:

   The National Bank of Ashland,
   The Farmers and Merchants Bank,
   H. H. Parkhurst,
   W. N. Becker,
   J. H. Snell,
   J. B. La Chapelle,
   Railsbach Bros.,
   S. L. Sears,
   C. C. Whisler,
   Jeff Smith,
   G. W. Meredith,
   Chas. F. Kirkpatrick,
   A. S. Mansfelde,
   Dr. J. M. Moss.

   In 1906 Ashland became the junction point of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy and the Sioux City and Northwestern Railway, the latter road being built from Ashland to Sioux City that year.


   Wahoo is situated at the junction of the Schuyler branch of the C. B. & Q. Railroad, the Omaha and Republican Valley Division of the Union Pacific Railway, and the Lincoln and Fremont Division of the Chicago and Northwestern Railway, fifty miles west from Omaha. It is a city of about 2,000 inhabitants and a substantial well built city. Its people are up-to-date in their business methods and the town enjoys the trade for miles around.

   Since 1873, it has been the County Seat of Saunders County. The large new Court House erected in 1905 will be a lasting monument to the enterprising citizens of the County.

   The streets of Wahoo are regularly laid out, crossing each other at right angles. They are of a good width, and provided with substantial sidewalks. The buildings erected in its earlier days, have largely been replaced with solid and more commodious blocks, and the spirit of improvement and thrift is everywhere manifest. The various branches of business, that make up the commercial rank of every town of its size to-day, are well represented here, and are of unquestioned reliability. The following firms should be mentioned in this connection.

   J. C. Hamilton,
   W. T. Mauck,
   T. J. Pickett & Co.,
   Saunders County Bank.
   Simpson & Good.
   First National Bank,
   N. J. Ludi,
   Eric Johnson,
   S. P. Wahlstrom,
   Chas. Slama,
   Marion Newman,
   E. E. Placek,
   John H. Barry,
   John L. Sundean,
   O. M. Tharp,
   Franklin Dean,
   Elmer Johnson,
   N. J. Anderson,
   Alfred Johnson,
   D. R. Phelps,
   Updike Grain Co.,
   H. Gilkeson,
   Anderson & Thorson,
   R. A. Heaton,
   G. F. Rockafella,
   J. R. Webster,
   Acker & Tilgman,
   J. M. Lindquist,
   J. F. Nordstom,
   Chas. Youngsteadt,
   The Wahoo Land Co.,
   F. G. Karlson,
   F. R. Scheel,

   In the early days the sight of the village of Wahoo was a favorite camping ground of the Otoe Indians, a tribe once the owners of all the land south of the Platte River. It derives its name from a shrub, which grows along the creek which was largely used by this tribe as a medicine plant.

   The first settlement in what is now Stocking Precinct was made by Moses Stocking in 1865. In 1869, J. M. and J. R. Lee located upon what is now the original town site. The following year a company composed of J. M. Lee, J. R. Lee, William B. Lee, H. Dorsey, E. H. Barnard, J. J. Hawthorn, and a Mr. Miner made claim to the town site of the present city of Wahoo, surveyed the town, and became the original proprietors. The first house was erected by J. M. Lee in 1869, who also opened the first store of General Merchandise. John Stevens erected the first Hotel in 1869, the Wahoo House. John Bracken opened a Blacksmith Shop the same year. Dr R. B. Morton settled upon his homestead in 1870. He was the first physician and opened a Drug Store in 1874. The first justice of the peace was Dayton Andrews. Frank Dean and N. H. Bell were the first to represent the Legal Profession.


   The occasion,of the organization of St. Wenceslaus Church was the arrival of the first Bohemian Settlers in Wahoo in August, 1874. They were W. Simodynes, Jacob Novotny, Thomas Zimola, Frank Konecky and Frank Noha who came from Moravia. They were not as poor as the majority of emigrants usually are, but brought a considerable wealth with them, with which they bought their present farms. The following year the number of Bohemian families were increased to ten. July 9, 1877, Father Sulak of Chicago came and said the first Mass in Wahoo, Saturday and Sunday in the School-house, and Monday in the Court-house. That day the first Bohemian wedding took place: John Simodynes to Tonie Svoboda.

   November 17, 1877, Rev. Joseph Hovorka from Abie, Ne braska, said Mass in the Court-house and married John Trokes and Annie Simodynes, now living at Schnyler, Nebraska. As the Catholics were increasing month after month the necessity of a Church and regular services was evident. The first meeting of Catholics was called March 29, 1877, and the plan of buying a large store building at Cedar Hill, Nehraska, to be used for a church, was discussed but later on, they thought it would be too distant for those who live close to Wahoo; they then decided to build a church at Wahoo. Work on the new church was commenced in July, 1878, and finished the same year.

   The first Mass in the new church was celebrated by Rev. W. Kocarnik in the latter part of 1878. The building was 50x30 feet wide. The stout hearts of these sturdy Bohemian settlers swelled with pride, now that they could gather in a house of worship they could call their own.

   From September 28, 1884, Rev. Jordan Stutz visited the young Congregation every third Sunday in the month until October 4, 1885, when Rev. William Choka of Omaha was assigned to the Wahoo Charge. On that day Frank Koutny and Josephine Cech were married by him.

   Rev. Mathias Bor, the present pastor of St. Wenceslaus Church, first came to the congregation March 9, 1889, having also the charges at Weston and Brainard with his residence at Colon. Two months later he moved to Wahoo, where a residence was built at a cost of $1,000. The house was finished September 27, 1889.

   October 9, 1889, Rev. M. Bor was transferred to Wilber and was succeeded by Rev. Alois Klein, who remained until November, 1891. During his administration the congregation built a new church 36x70 feet just three blocks from the center of town, erected at a cost of $4,000. Rev. Mathias Bor became its pastor again in February, 1892.

   In the spring of 1893 the parsonage was moved from the old place to the new church and enlarged at a cost of $525.

   Over sixty families belong to the congregation.


   Valparaiso is situated in Oak Creek Precinct; the southwest corner township of Saunders County, at the junction of the Lincoln and Central City Branch, and the Omaha and Lincoln Branch, of the Union Pacific Railroad. It has good shipping facilities, is in the center of a fine agricultural district, and draws its trade from a part of four different counties. The surrounding country is well settled by a prosperous class of farmers.

   Nearly all branches of business are included in its various enterprises. The banking facilities are good and the Merchants carry well selected stocks.

   Probably the first white settler in Oak Creek Precinct was Andrew Johnson and family, which included his son R. K. Johnson now a prominent man in that section of the county. They located on Section 22 in 1865, just west of the present site of Valparaiso.

   Prominent among the business firms in Valparaiso to-day should be mentioned:

   H. Blakeley,
   Jule Petermichel,
   W. J. Collier,
   William Bays,
   M. B. Giffin,
   John Oeschger.


   The village of Weston is situated in Chapman Precinct, on the Omaha and Lincoln Division of the U. P. Railroad, about seven miles west of Wahoo. It is surrounded by a good farming country, settled by a thrifty class of farmers.

   The first settlers of Chapman Precinct were Isaac M. Goodspeed and Peter Campbell who took up claims in 1867. The following year, Thomas P. Chapman made settlement and from him the township derives its name.

   The first marriage was James P. Dunlap to Christiana Campbell, in March, 1871.

   The first death was that of Daniel Campbell in October 1868.

   The first Post Office was established in 1874, under the name of Troy, W. B. Hill, Postmaster.

   The first store in Weston was established by R. H. Thomas, who opened a General Merchandise Stock.

   Prominent among the business firms to day should be mentioned:

   The Weston Mercantile Co.--Frank Hakel, one of the proprietors, has been in the Mercantile Business in Weston since 1881, and has devoted all of his energies to make the business a success. April 10, 1905, Joseph Jish became a member of the firm and the Weston Mercantile Co. was established. They are doing a cash business, and by thus conducting their business, they can extend kind treatment to all of their customers, and are dividing their profits with those who trade with them.

   Among the other business firms in Weston are:

   J. J. Pospisil,
   John Walla,
   J. W. Gorder,
   Joseph F. Pop,
   Joseph Hausner,
   Joseph Woita,
   L. J. Kavanda,
   Nels A. Tuveson,
   Chas. Wondra,


   In the spring of 1869, R. Flemming settled on Section 10. The following summer he was followed by Chas. Day, W. D. Farris, H. O. Connor, J. TePoel and a Mr. Griffin.

   The first school district was formed in 1870 with John Wikell as the first teacher.

   The first birth was a son to J. TePoel in 1870.


   M. H. Noteware and T. Killian settled in Bohemia Precinct in 1869.

   The first minister was Rev. Kuypers in 1873, who preached in Cedar Hill School House. This was the first school house erected in the Precinct.

   A Catholic Mission was formed in 1875.


   W. L. Ingram located upon section 20 in what was afterwards known as Ingram's Grove in about 1863. G. W. Marshall and James Kelly settled in 1868, and John, William, and Samuel Scott in 1869. The same year a Sod School house was built on section 26, and in 1870, the first term of schol was taught.

   In 1870, Rev. Mr. Davis, was the first minister to visit the Precinct. He organized a class of the Methodist Episcopal Church and during the winter months services were held in the different settlers dug-outs.


   This town is at the junction of the Union Pacific and the Sioux City & Northwestern Railroads. The land for miles around is as good as Saunders County affords. Farming and stock raising forms the principal industry of the surrounding country. Yutan is a good grain and stock market, and enjoys its share of the farmers trade.

   The Bank of Yutan,
   Miller & Mengel,
   R. W. Parmeter,
   The Zuagg Lumber & Coal Co.,
are prominent firms doing business in this town.


   In 1861, Chas. Richart settled on the Platte Bottom in Township 17, Range 6, and in the fall of the same year John Garrett and a Mr. Anderson settled near him. In 1863, W. H. McCowan and Dr. Wood located upon the table land, just above the Pohocco Headland, and Perry Reed on the Headland Bluff, in 1865. This point deserves a brief notice in this connection, having in a former geological period occupied the position of an island, in the midst of a lake that covered a portion of Saunders and adjoining Counties. It now stands a bold bluff, against which the waters of the Platte rush with violence 150 feet below its crest. Across it, the red man laid his trail, and from its summit, stood and gazed over the beautiful landscape.

   Near the close of 1856, this spot was selected by some speculators of Nebraska City, Plattsmouth and Glenwood, Iowa, as the site of a town to become the Capital of the future State. It was laid off with imposing and magnificent proportions, broad avenues and wide streets crossing each other at right angles. Public squares and parks were numerous. But alas! Neopolis the great city was never built.

By Mrs. W. A. Esty.

   In 1868, when we located in Saunders County, the neighbors houses were few and far between. Our nearest post office was 12 miles away, from which we usually received our mail once each week when the weather was good. Our first house was built of sod, and we were right in fashion as all of the rest of the houses in this section were of the same material. They made very comfortable quarters, but occasionally a rattle snake would attempt to take up his abode in the same quarters, at which time a peculiar chilly feeling would come over us which was hard to overcome, notwithstanding our comfortable quarters.

   The prairie wolf was much in evidence in those days and furnished most of the music for the settlers.

   In the fall of 1868 W. A. Esty erected the first school house in the neighborhood. It was constructed of logs, cut on the banks of the Platte River, and was 12x14 feet in size.


   In 1870 B. U. Traverse settled on section 14 in what is now Chester Precinct. During the same year Johnathan Crisp, David Wilson and Clayton Troth, made settlement. In 1871, M. M. Runyan, Charles Riggs, H. L. Stowitts, D. O. Elliott, Jesse Burbank, Gilbert Fleming and J. S. Williams made settlement.

   The first birth was a son to C. J. Bogardus, February 1, 1872.

   The first marriage was Adam Wikel to Miss Martha Crisp.

   In the early part of 1872, a school was organized and a sod School-house erected.

   The first sermon was preached by Rev. Gregory, May 5, 1872, who organized a class of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


   Prague is a prosperous business point on the C. B. & Q. Railroad, located on section 36, Chester Precinct. It is in the heart of a prosperous Bohemian Settlement, and is one of the busiest trading points in Saunders County. It has two Banks, City Water-works, a large Flouring Mill and Electric Light Plant, and its business people carry large and well selected stocks, in their various lines of business.

   Prominent among the business firms are the following:

   The Farmers & Merchants Bank,
   Polak Bros.,
   J. W. Kudrna,
   Cyril Svoboda,
   Joseph Safranek,
   Joseph A. Ubl,
   V. Caspar & Son,
   Anton Kaspar,
   John Bures,
   John Tomek,
   F. Kubik,
   Joseph F. Mach,
   J. J. Kaspar,
   Dr. M. J. Ruzicka,
   John Pabion,
   John Soukup,
   J. J. Vlasak & Co.


   Mead is a thrifty town located on the Union Pacific Railroad, midway between Wahoo and Yutan, in Marietta Precinct. It is a good stock and grain market, and is in the heart of a wealthy farming district. It has a substantial class of business men, among whom are the following:

   George A. Bysne,
   C. P. Thorsen,
   Orlando Adams,
   Robinson Bros.,
   W. F. Primley,
   Fred Lange,
   J. E. Johnson,
   A. G. Carlson,
   D. W. Edgar,
   O. Flodman,
   G. H. Gilhorse,
   C. H. Gustafson,
   Charles A. A. Challquist,

   In 1867 T. L. Adams, J. Elliott and J. Ellison made settlement in what is now Marietta Precinct.


   In June, 1867, Peter Kastl made settlement in what is now Elk Precinct. He was followed in 1868 by Michel Petrzilka, John Wanons, James Reap and Joseph Simanek.

   The first school district was organized in the fall of 1869, and a sod school-house erected. J. P. Dunlap taught the first term of school.

   Rev. Spulat preached the first sermon in this locality at the house of Joseph Simanek, in 1870.

   The first church in the township was the Catholic Church, erected on Section 15.


   The village of Ceresco is situated on Sections 29 and 32, Richland Precinct, on the Chicago Northwestern Railroad, about one-half mile from the south line of Saunders County. It is a good trading point and a good grain and stock market.

   Among the substantial business firms of the town are the following:

   Dr. Torgney Anderson,
   The State Bank of Ceresco,
   R. D. Bush,
   F. Harkson,
   Winter Bros.,
   D. H. Kelly,
   Andrew Oakeson.

   Probably the first settlement in what is now Richland Precinct was made on the southwest quarter of Section 32 by H. A. and E. Andrews in July, 1868. Soon after W. J. Gibbs and J. Nelson located on the same section. They named the new settlement Ceresco.

   The first school-house was erected on Section 32 in the summer of 1872.

   The first store in Ceresco was opened by T. W. Riddle in 1870.

   The first sermon was preached at the home of Mr. Riddle in 1872, by Rev. Lathrop, who organized a Methodist Episcopal Class the following year.


   August 30, 1876, the Swedish Evangelical Mission Congregation of Swedeburg was organized. Those who then became members of the congregation had all come from Sweden during the years of 1869 and 1870. They were young and vigorous, and, with few exceptions, were poor working people. A few, however, had owned farms in the old country and therefore had some means. Nearly all were Christians before coming to America, and wishing to serve God in their own way organized the above named church instead of uniting with the Lutheran Augustana, which already existed in Swedeburg.

   Rev. A. Hallner, now of Turlock, California, was the first pastor of the church, serving until the year 1886.

   In 1887 the congregation built its first church, which was 24x36 feet, at a cost of $300. The congregation then consisted of 53 communicants, most of them living in sod houses. Rev. Hallner was succeeded by Rev. J. E. Swanson, who served the congregation until the fall of 1896, at which time Rev. P. F. Mostrom was called from Minnesota to take the charge.

   April 28, 1896, the church building was struck by lightning and burned. This was replaced the same year with a new church edifice, erected on the old site, 34x60 feet, with an addition on one side 16x20 feet, the total cost of which, furnished, was about $3,000. The congregation owns 40 acres of land, on which is located the pastor's residence and other necessary buildings.

   The present membership of the congregation is 300, with 198 communicants.

By C. Carlson.

   In the '60's the emigration from Europe to America was very large, and especially so in 1869, when there was a large emigration from southern Sweden to Saunders County, Nebraska. In the spring of that year some of my friends, with others, made settlement here, among whom were Martin Gibson, N. A. Aspingren, Truls Person, Nels Johnson, John Erickson, John and Lars Martinson, Nels Eliason, Samuel Peterson, John Nelson, H. Olson, Olof Person, T. and H. Hakenson and some others. A friend of mine filed on a piece of land for me and then wrote for me to come.

   On the fourth 4 day of May, 1870, I purchased my ticket at Malmo, Sweden, and with a lot of my friends started for America, leaving my wife and oldest son, then a baby, in the old country. In October; 1871, they joined me at Plattsmouth, Nebraska, where I had gone to meet them. We then proceeded to Swedeburg. Their first meal here was in a sod house, then the home of Bengt Swanson.

   The early settlers had but very little ready cash, and as they had no treasury to draw upon, they were obliged to rely upon their muscle to earn their living. The country was new, only one place between Swedeburg and Ashland where a good drink of water could be secured. There were no roads, no bridges, and nothing to build bridges with, as most of the timber had been destroyed by prairie fires. The Indians never gave us any trouble, but there was no shortage of wolves, snakes and mosquitoes.

   In August, 1874, we were visited by the black-headed grasshoppers. They staid just 24 hours, but during that time they had succeeded in devouring nearly all of the garden stuff, as well as the green leaves and grass.

   In 1875, and for four years thereafter, we were more or less troubled with a less destructive grasshopper, and during these years we usually succeeded in raising about half a crop. Breadstuffs and other provisions were high in those days, 28 cents per pound for salted meat, and 30 cents per pound for butter. At one time Mr. Nels Gibson took a load of ear corn to Ashland, and succeeded in getting 96 pounds of flour and 10 cents in cash for the load.


   Among the first settlers in Center Precinct were C. S. Copp, James Hapgood, A. J. Seaman, B. Johnson, J. and O. Trexell. In 1869 F. M. Stratton and L. D. Copp made settlement.

   A school district was organized in 1869 and a school-house erected on Section 16.

   The first sermon was preached in the above named school-house by Rev. Gregory, who formed a class of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the winter of 1869.

   The thriving little village of Colon is located on Section 3 of this precinct, and is surrounded by a very wealthy farming country.


   Cedar Bluffs is a pretty town, located in the northern part of Cedar Township, on the Chicago Northwestern Railway. It is a busy business center, situated in one of the richest sections of Saunders County, everywhere it gives evidence of its thrift and the enterprise of its people. Among the business firms that should receive favorable mention are:

   I. S. Boulier,
   F. B. Napp,
   Henry Wehner,
   J. D. Martin,
   J. M. McMahon,
   A. E. Buchanan,
   W. A. Brokaw,
   E. F. Peck,
   A. F. Bockemuele & Co.,
   E. H. Ridsdale.


   In about the year 1863 a Mr. Barnhill established the old Barnhill ranch, but in 1865 he sold his claim to A. J. Jameson.

   In 1867 George Newman, from whom the precinct takes its name, James Dunlap and M. B. Giffin made settlement here. In 1868 J. Worley and Joseph Kastle settled.

   In the winter 1868 and 1869 a school-house was built upon Section 29, now District Number 17.

   The first sermon was preached by Rev. George Worley in 1868.

   The first marriage was T. E. Cook to Miss Martha J. Jameson, in the fall of 1865.


   Memphis is a small town, located on Section 17, Clear Creek Precinct, on the C. B. & Q. Railroad. It has a bank, several good stores, a good lumber yard, and is quite a trading point.

   Winter Bros., Dealers in General Merchandise, are located here, and have extended their business to Ceresco and Yutan.
   Anderson & Frank handle a large stock of Hardware and Lumber.
   Dr. W. S. Payne is the Physician and Surgeon,
   Joseph Eyer, Livery.

   The Swift Packing Co. have large ice houses located here, and during the ice harvest keep a large force of men at work which adds very materially to the business of the town.

   On Section 35 of this precinct the Armour Packing Co. also have large ice houses, the location of which adds something to the business of Ashland.

   In Clear Creek and Ashland Precincts the first settlement of the county was made, and many are the interesting stories that can be told by some of the pioneers.

By Addison Carr.

   How rapidly have those years passed away when we look back to the time we first made settlement in Clear Creek Precinct, which was in the fall of 1866. This country was then known as a part of the Great American Desert.

   After having crossed the plains 28 times from 1858, hauling freight into the Rocky Mountains, I located here on the Bluff overlooking the great Platte Valley. My first house was constructed along lines that might now puzzle the modern architect to fashion. It consisted of one room, dug back into the bluff, in which we had a fireplace with a sod chimney, one door and one small window, and mother earth for the floor. The winter of '66 and '67 was quite severe, notwithstanding the fact that we were very comfortable in our winter quarters, as far as warmth was concerned, dreary indeed were many of the cold winter nights, with the snow drifted over our apartments and the wolves howling apparently upon our very house top. In the spring of the year we have counted as high as 50 deer at one time on the Platte bottom in sight of our then rude home.

   We lived on the Pawnee Indian Trail and suffered no little inconvenience from them, as they went to and fro to visit the Otoe Tribes.


   Malmo is a prosperous business town situated on the Schuyler branch of the C. B. & O. Railroad, nine miles by wagon road from Wahoo northwest.

   Its business houses control their share of the trade with well selected stocks, nearly all lines of business being well represented. Among the prominent business firms are the following that are now engaged in different lines:

   The Farmers & Merchants Bank,
   Bowen & Bredenberg,
   Jos. Bredenberg,
   Chicago Lumber Co., H. F. McGlaughlin, Mgr.,
   A. F. Hawkinson.
   J. P. Standinger,
   J. H. Holtorf,
   K. A. Jackson.


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