Saunders County NEGenWeb Project
Past and Present of Saunders County Nebraska, 1915
THE ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT OF SAUNDERS COUNTYTHE QUESTION OF BOUNDARIES
By an act approved on the 6th of March, 1855, which had for its purpose the bounding of the County of Lancaster, all of the County of Saunders which lay east of range 5 east, was included within the designated boundaries, the remainder of the present territory being included within the boundaries of Green County. In January, 1856, when the Legislature again assembled, it was proposed to rebound and define, by surveyed lines and water-courses, the several counties which had been bounded by the previous Legislature. So by an act approved January 26, 1856, the boundaries of Green and Lancaster counties were so modified as not to include any portion of the territory now known as Saunders County. Section 19 of this act read as follows:
"Section 19. Calhoun-Beginning at the southwest corner of township 13, north of range 5 east, thence east to the main channel of the Platte River; thence up said channel until it intersects the fourth standard parallel; thence west to the northwest corner of township 16 north of range 5 east; thence south to the place of beginning, shall be named and hereafter known as Calhoun County."
As none of township 17, in ranges 5, 6 and 7, which lies south of the Platte River, was included within the boundaries of Dodge County, it is understood that that strip of territory was omitted, and not being included within the boundaries of any county. By section 1 of an act approved November 3, 1858, Calhoun County was rebounded as follows: Beginning at the southwest corner of township 13, of range 5 east of sixth principal meridian, thence east to the main channel of the Platte River; thence up said main
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channel until it intersects the line dividing ranges 4 and 5; thence south along said dividing line to the place of beginning. By an act approved December 22, 1859, for the purpose of redefining the southern boundaries of Platte and Dodge counties, the south bank of the Platte River was declared to be the southern boundary of these counties, but did not affect the former boundary of Calhoun County east of range 7.
An act of the Legislature, approved January 8, 1862, contained the following clause: "That the name of Calhoun County be and is hereby changed and shall be hereafter known by the name of Saunders." The name was given in honor of the last territorial governor of Nebraska, Mr. Alvin Saunders.
This change in the name of the county was due to a feeling of dislike for political graft and the surveyor-general of Nebraska and Kansas which spread over these two states. The name of Calhoun was very unpopular. Many charges of dishonesty were brought in those days; in fact, corruption was rife throughout the administration.
Saunders County was destined to have other changes and reformations before stepping into the line of organized counties. By an act approved February 8, 1865, Saunders County was attached to Cass County for judicial, election and revenue purposes, but two years later (act approved February 8, 1867) Saunders was again detached from Cass and provision was made for the holding of court in the former county. Section 1 of this last act repeals the attaching act. Section 2 commands the commissioners to petition the judge of the District Court to hold a term of court therein. Section 3 requires the commissioners to give notice of said petition. Section 4 attaches Saunders to the Second Judicial District. Section 5 requires the commissioners to select forty names to serve as grand and petit jurors. Section 6 requires the clerk and sheriff to draw sixteen of those names to serve as grand jurors and twelve names to serve as petit jurors. Section 7 requires the clerk to issue venires.
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By an act approved February 12, 1866, the boundaries of Saunders County were again changed. The change is described by the following: A strip of land from the north side of township 12, north of range 9 east, of the sixth principal meridian, and bounded as follows, viz.: commencing at the northeast corner of said township, and running south two miles; thence west six miles; thence north two miles; thence east six miles to the place of beginning, is hereby detached from Cass County and attached to Saunders County.
The first general election held in Saunders County was on the 8th of October, 1866, when a full list of county officers was chosen and the county seat located at the Town of Ashland. The definite organization of the county was not accomplished, however, until the general election held on the 8th day of October, 1867.
Immediately after the election of 1866, a dispute arose over the legality of the same, and quite a bit of trouble was incurred. At the next session of the Legislature an act was passed which settled the muss and quieted the doubts in the minds of the people. Section 1 of this act stated that the organization of Saunders County, Neb., was legalized. Section 2 declared that the officers of the county elected at the general election of 1866 were legal officers from the time of their election until a year had passed, or until their successors were elected and qualified. This act was approved January 31, 1867. In spite of this, though, as stated above, the county was not permanently organized until October 8, 1867.
The following appears on the records of the Cass County Commissioners' Court record; "B. P. 53, May Term, 1866. The following petition for a voting precinct in Saunders County was presented, to wit: We, the citizens of the north side of Saunders County, do hereby earnestly entreat the proper authority of Cass County to appoint and establish a voting precinct, to be within the following boundaries: Commencing at the northeast corner of town 15, range 9; thence running west to the west side of the county; thence north to the Platte River; said precinct to be known as Pohocco. The undersigned give as their reasons for
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presenting the above as follows: We do not purpose to go from twenty to fifty miles for the purpose of voting, all of which is respectfully submitted. Signed, E. B. Critten and twenty-eight others. The board granted the said petition as prayed for.
The year 1866 in the history of Nebraska was a notable one; it was also an important one in the life of Saunders County. In this year the Territorial Legislature prepared a constitution of the state and submitted the question of its adoption or rejection to a vote of the people, the election for this purpose being ordered for the 2d day of June, 1866. At this election Saunders County polled the following vote:
For the constitution, 21 votes; against it, 21 votes also. For governor: David Butler, 24; J. S. Morton, 14. For secretary: T. P. Kennard, 24; Charles W. Sturges, 14. For auditor: John Gillespie, 24; Guy C. Barnum, 14. For treasurer: Aug. Hountz, 24; St. John Goodrich, 14. For representative in Congress: T. M. Marquette, 20; John Brooks, 12. For chief justice: O. P. Mason, 24; William A. Little, 14. For associate justice: L. Crounse, 24; George B. Lake, 24; G. W. Thomas, 14; B. E. B. Kennedy, 14. For state senator: T. K, Hanna, 16; S. F. Cooper, 14; John Cadman, 6. For representatives: W. F. Chapin, 17; Samuel Maxwell, 19; II. D. Hathaway, 19; A. Hinckley, 26; Jacob Vallery, 14; Thomas Paterson, 14; John Mutz, 14; L. H. Bell, 3.
At the general election held October 8, 1867, a full congressional, state and county ticket was voted upon, together with the location of the county seat and the county organization. The total number of votes polled in the two precincts of the county was 95. The congressional ticket received 80 votes; the state ticket an average of about 53 votes; the comity ticket, 90; for county organization, 78; for county seat at Ashland 78 votes were cast; for county seat on northwest quarter of section 2, town 16, range 7 east, 16 votes were cast. William Reed and Austin Smith were elected county commissioners by 76 votes, and Thompson Bissell by 78 votes. Hobart Brush received 82 votes for the office of county clerk; J. Richardson, 82 votes for county treasurer;
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Loomis Wickwire, 86. votes for county sheriff; Andrew Marble, 85 votes for probate judge; S. E. Wilson, 90 votes for county surveyor; Marcus Brush, 80 votes for prosecuting attorney. All of these officers appear to have been chosen without opposition. Pohocco Precinct did not vote upon the question of county organization, but gave 16 of her 17 votes for a county seat at a point immediately west of the farm then owned by James Kilbourn and south of John Staats. Saline Ford, the other precinct, gave 78 votes for the location of the county seat at Ashland.
The first regular meeting of the Saunders County Board of Commissioners was held upon November 10, 1866. There were present Thompson Bissell, Austin Smith and William Reed, commissioners, and Hobart Brush, county clerk. The only business transacted at this meeting was the authorization of the clerk to buy books, blanks and all supplies necessary for the offices of clerk, probate judge. District Court and Commissioners' Court, and to pay for the same out of the first money collected by the county.
At a second term, held on December 3, 1866, the same commissioners being present, it was ordered that Saunders County be divided into three commissioners' districts, Nos. 1, 2 and 3. No. 1 included all lands in the county east of range 8 and south of the north line of town 14; No. 2 included all lands north of the north line of town 14 in the county; and No. 3 included all lands south of the north line of town 14 and east of range 9.
At the same meeting the county was divided into three precincts, namely: Pohocco, Douglas and Union. Pohocco Precinct then included all lands east of the range line between ranges 6 and 7 and north of the north line of town 15. Douglas Precinct included all lands west of the range line between ranges 6 and 7 and north of the north line of town 15. Union Precinct included all of the lands south of the north line in town 15.
At the meeting of April 1, 1867, there occurred the first activities in regard to county roads when Perry Reed was appointed to view a road named in petition presented by William A. Saunders. Reed had shortly prior to this time been appointed
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road supervisor of Pohocco Precinct. At this meeting A. B. Fuller was appointed county superintendent of schools.
On April 16, 1867, the first liquor license was granted in the county to William J. Riddle. He was licensed to sell spirituous and intoxicating liquors in Union Precinct for one year, for which license he paid the sum of $25. It has been erroneously stated that the first liquor license in the county was issued in April, 1868. It was April 16, 1867.
The first tax levy was made July 8, 1867, namely: For state purposes, as directed by state board, state general fund, 2 1/2 mills on the dollar; state sinking fund, 1/2 mills on the dollar; state school fund, 2 mills on the dollar; county general fund, 6 mills on the dollar; county sinking fund, 2 mills on the dollar. The first appraisement of school lands was made by S. E. Wilson, William Webster and Jacob Sanders, under an order issued November 4, 1867, appointing and directing the above named men to appraise the school lands of Saunders County. At the December term it was ordered "that Dennis Dean be instructed to receive all moneys in the hands of the treasurer of Cass County belonging to Saunders County."
At the meeting of April 6, 1868, town 15 in ranges 5 and 6 was set off and attached to Douglas. Also the petition of certain citizens asking for the setting off and establishing of towns 13 and 14 in ranges 5 and 6 into a new precinct called Oak Creek Precinct was granted.
On April 21, 1868, towns 13 and 14 in range 7 and 8 were set off in one precinct and called Wahoo Precinct. The first election here was held at the home of Thompson Bissell.
The first recorded settlement with the county treasurer was made May 4,1868, and was as follows:
To state general fund on hand...........$163.47
To state sinking fund on hand........... 88.74
To state school fund on hand............ 141.45
To county general fund collected........ 426.08
To county sinking fund collected........138.78
To county land, road, collected.......... 48.41
To Union Precinct, land, road and poll... 96.18
To Pohocco Precinct, land, road and poll. 14.18
To Pohocco school house................30.14
To county district school fund...........189.10
To county dog fund.....................31.68
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On orders ............................... ...... 115.00
Supervisor................................. .... 57.75
The tax assessment for 1868 was as follows:
For state general fund, 21/2 mills, amount realized. $451.02
Sinking fund, 1% mills................... 270.61
School fund ..................................360.82
County general fund ........................ 1,082.46
County sinking fund .............. .. 360.82
Total levy on county..................$2,525.73
On August 17, 1868, the following order was recorded: All moneys in the hands of the county treasurer be applied to the interest bearing orders of H. D. Hathaway and St. A. D. Balcombe. Second, Ordered, That the sinking fund of 1867-68, which is collected, be consolidated with the general fund and orders drawn thereon. Further, ordered that townships 14, range l, and 15, ranges 6, 7 and 8, be attached to Wahoo Precinct. During these meetings, before and after this date, something of the character of the country is noted by the fact that from two to ten wolf scalps and a less number of wild-cat scalps were always reported and bounty paid.
At the meeting of August 24, 1869, the county was divided into the voting precincts of Chapman, Marietta, Wahoo, Oak Creek and Douglas. Chapman included towns 14 and 15 in ranges 5 and 6; elections held at the home of Thomas P. Chapman, from whom the precinct took its name. Marietta included town 15, ranges 7 and 8; elections held at the home of J. A. Eldred. Wahoo included towns 13 and 14, ranges 7 and 8. Oak Creek included town 13, ranges 5 and 6. Douglas included towns 16 and 17, ranges 5 and 6. The road supervisors were appointed as follows: Moses Stocking, Wahoo; J. A. Eldred, Marietta; S. M. Walker, Pohocco; E. S. Ballou, Union. Mariposa Precinct was formed about this time also.
On January 4, 1870, it was ordered that the south half of town 14, ranges 5 and 6 be attached to Oak Creek Precinct. It was also ordered that town 15, range 9 be detached from Union and attached to Marietta. The order was given to set off as much of town 12, range 9 as belonged to Saunders County, or sections
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31, 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36, town 13, range 9, and call it Ashland Precinct.
On February 1, 1871, it was ordered that sections 1 to 12 inclusive of town 12, range 9, be called Ashland Precinct. At the same time the following precincts were established and defined: Town 13, range - and fraction of 10 was to be Clear Creek Precinct; town 13, range 8, was to be Green Precinct; town 13, range 7 was to be Richland Precinct; town 13, range 6 was to be Rock Creek Precinct; town 13, range 5 was to be Oak Creek Precinct; town 14, range 5 was to be Newman Precinct; town 14, range 6 was to be Chapman Precinct; town 14, range 7 was to be Stocking Precinct; town 14, range 8 was to be Wahoo Precinct; town 14, range 9 was to be Marble Precinct; town 15, range 9 was to be Union Precinct; town 15, range 8 was to be Marietta Precinct; town 15, range 7 was to be Center Precinct; town 15, range 6 was to be Mariposa Precinct; town 15, range 5 was to be Elk Precinct; town 16 and fraction of 17, range 5 was to be Bohemia Precinct; town 16 fraction 17, range 6 was to be Douglas Precinct; town 16 fraction 17, range 7 was to be Cedar Precinct; town 16 fraction 17, range 8, and a fraction of 9 was to be Pohocco Precinct. Thus the precincts stand today with the following exceptions: The southern half of Bohemia Precinct is now Chester Precinct; the northern part of Douglas has been made into Morse Bluff Precinct; and Leshara Precinct has been formed out of a part of each of Union, Pohocco and Marietta. The latter was formed but seven years ago. There are, according to this arrangement, twenty-three voting precincts in Saunders County. It was also ordered at the above meeting that each voting precinct should constitute a road district.
Another distinct feature of the first years' meetings of the board of county commissioners was the number of road and bridge matters discussed and passed upon. Numerous roads were petitioned for and granted and the streams were spanned with many wooden and iron bridges.
On September 6, 1871, the commissioners' districts were reformed, or re-established. All east of the range line between ranges 7 and 8 and south of town line between towns 15 and 16 was formed into District No. 1. All north of town line between towns 15 and 16 was made into No. 2, and all remaining territory in the county was called No. 3.
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On April 8, 1874, an election was ordered for Wahoo on May 23, the same year, on the proposition of erecting a court-house in Wahoo with the $5,000 received from the proprietors of the town; also on issuing $10,000 in bonds for the same purpose; also for selling the town lots in Wahoo belonging to the county to the highest bidder.
On June 2, 1874, the voters of Bohemia Precinct presented a petition for the division of the precinct. All south of a line running west on the south side of the north tier of sections in town 16 was made to comprise Chester Precinct.
On September 10, 1875, the election for aiding the Atchison and Nebraska Railroad Company to the extent of $150,000 was ordered. This was held October 16th of the same year.
On March 8, 1877, the commissioners bought the interest of George W. Chase, being the east half of section 27, town 15, north of range 7 east for $1,000, the same to be used as a poor farm. Hitherto the paupers, inebriates and degenerates had been farmed out to different settlers and the county paid for their board and keep. Jeremiah Perry was the first to be placed in charge of this new farm for the poor. On June 6, 1877, the commissioners opened bids for the erection of a poor house. J. K. Vandermark was the lowest and therefore successful bidder, asking the sum of $1,785.
These various actions of the board of commissioners in the first years of their existence are presented solely to give an insight into the progress of the county in the time mentioned, which is indicative of the growth since. Almost every matter brought before the board in the first ten years was vitally important to the county, for these men were placing the foundation upon which the stability of Saunders County would in later years depend. That they did their work well, goes without saying.
The men who have served on the board of county commissioners from the first to the present day are: Thompson Bissell, Austin Smith and William Reed, 1866; Elias Beasley, 1868; Moses Stocking, 1869; J. R. Haywood, 1871; Andrew Johnson, Peter Lansing and W. H. Harvey, 1872; D. A. March, 1873; A. Nelson, 1874; J. A. Te Poel, 1875; C. D. Smith, 1876; John H. Clauson, 1877; John Fleming, 1878; John D. Lehmkuhl, 1879; S. K. Bryan, 1880; W. H. Mead, 1881; M. S. Hill, 1882;
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John Peters, 1883; Walter Fleming, 1884; John Scott, 1885; J. B. Russell, 1886; M. C. Fisher, 1887; John Scott, 1888; W. J. Lehr, 1889; M. C. Fisher, 1890; J. Cunningham, 1891; W. J. Lehr, 1892; M. A. Malloy, 1893; Lars Martinson, 1894; H. K. Marcy, 1895; Hans P. Thompson, 1896; L. Martinson, 1897; H. K. Marcy, 1898; William O'Connor, 1899; C. T. Johnson, 1900; Joseph Mays, 1901; W. M. O'Connor, 1902; C. T. Johnson, 1903; Joseph Mays, 1904; Claus H. Lubker, 1905; Peter Campbell, 1906; Aug. Eichmeier, 1907; C. H. Lubker, 1908; Peter Campbell, 1909; George Heldt, 1910; Soren Miller, 1911; Emil Helsing, 1912; George Heldt, 1913; Soren Miller and Emil Helsing, 1914. There was a commissioner chosen at each general election in the county until the year 1914, each one to serve a term of three years. Now, as the general elections are held every second-year, two commissioners are chosen each time. The dates given are those of the first years they were active.
The records of the Saunders County elections prior to October 10, 1871, are apparently not in existence. A diligent search by the county clerk and others has been unsuccessful. The county officers before this date are, however, known. These are summarized as follows:
Treasurers-Jasper Richardson, 1867; Dennis Dean, 1868-69; -. Chapman, 1870-71; O. M. Carter, 1872-73.
Probate Judges-Jacob Saunders, Andrew Marble, 1867-69; A. L. Sprague, 1870-71.
Prosecuting Attorneys-Marcus Brush, 1867; John C. Cowan, 1868-72; W. J. Connell, 1873-75; M. B. Hoxie, 1876; M. B. Reese, 1877-82.
County Clerks-Hobart Brush, 1867; Reuben L. Warbritton, 1868-69; Charles A. Walker, 1870-71.
Sheriffs-Loomis Wickwire, 1867: Henry Reasoner, 1868-69; John Whitelock, 1870-71.
Surveyors- Seth Wilson, 1867; C. F. Talcott, 1868-73.
School Superintendents-A. B. Fuller, 1867, by appointment; A. S. Pancoast, 1869; Walter Fleming, 1871.
Beginning with the election of October 10, 1871, the result of the different elections held in the county is presented:
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October 10, 1871-John Mosher, probate judge; F. M. Stratton, county clerk; 0. M. Carter, treasurer; L. B. Reno, sheriff; L. S. Smith, coroner; Walter Fleming, county school superintendent; C. F. Talcott, surveyor.
October 8, 1872-W. H. Dech, representative; for governor, Robert W. Furnas received 744 votes, and Henry C. Lett 275; W. J. Connell, district attorney; S. W. Hayes, senator Eighth District.
October 14, 1873-R. H. Knapp, treasurer; C. M. Whitney, school superintendent; J. A. Allman, surveyor; L. B. Reno, sheriff; L. R. Menzel, probate judge; M. Youngstedt, coroner; F. M. Stratton, clerk; for county seat, Eldred, 549, Wahoo, 617, Alvin, 294, Ashland, 238.
October 13, 1874-For Governor: Silas Garber received 484 votes; J. F. Gardener, 658; Albert Tuxbury, 14, and Jarvis Church, 82; C. Thompson, district attorney; H. D. Perky, senator; C. Smith, representative; J. F. Roll, representative. Ninth District; Thompson Bissell, treasurer.
October 12, 1875-G. W. Post, district judge; R. H. Knapp, treasurer; F. M. Stratton, clerk; J. W. Moore, sheriff; L. R. Mengel, judge probate court; S. H. Knepper, superintendent of schools; William H. Dickinson, surveyor; G. W. Dane, coroner; W. H. Simene, representative.
October 16, 1875-For bonds and tax to aid the Atchison and Nebraska Railroad Company and assigns: Yes, 1,325; No, 272.
October 10, 1876-For 6. & R. V. Railroad bonds and tax: Yes, 2,033; No, 498.
November 7, 1876-For Governor: Silas Garber received 1,092 votes; J. F. Gardner, 335, and Parren Englane, 496; senator, Abner M. Bryant; Jacob A. Jurg, representative Sixteenth District; Samuel Barber, representative Fiftieth District; Manoah B. Reese, district attorney.
November 6, 1877-Henry Anderson, treasurer; Isaac Coberly, clerk; Henry Johnson, sheriff; J. R. Mengel, county judge; W. H. Dickinson, surveyor; J. A. Smith, school superintendent: George W. Dane, coroner; for township organization: Yes, 1,055; No, 86. November 5, 1878- For Governor: Albinus Nance, 817 votes; W. H. Webster, 402; L. G. Todd, 989; John Mosher,
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district attorney; T. A. Bunnell, senator; Fred E. Davis, representative; for sale of town lots in Wahoo: Yes, 535; No, 147. For sale of old courthouse and grounds in the Town of Ashland; Yes, 691; No, 16.
September 15, 1879-For railroad bonds and tax. in Oak Creek Precinct to aid the Omaha and Republican Valley Railroad : Yes, 92; No, 7.
November 4, 1879-Judge of Fourth District, George W. Post; district court clerk, S. G. Chaney; D. C. Hall, county judge; Henry Johnson, sheriff; I. C. Stevens, coroner; Henry Anderson, treasurer; E. E. Lyle, clerk; William E. Rogers, surveyor; James A. Smith, county school superintendent; H. C. Brown, senator.
November 2, 1880-For Governor: O. T. B. Williams had 704 votes; Albinus Nance, 1,719; T. W. Tipton, 544; Albert Nelson, 1; M. B. Reese, district attorney; C. C. White, senator Sixteenth; Benjamin Johnson, representative Eighth; William Hardin, surveyor; James H. McKinnon, representative Fiftieth; for sale of town lots in Wahoo: Yes, 608; No, 238. For bounties: Yes, 746; No, 91.
November 10, 1881-Charles Perky, treasurer; C. E. Lillibridge, sheriff; C. L. Mielenz, clerk; H. Gilkeson, county judge; A. W. Vandeman, County school superintendent; William Hardin, surveyor; C. L. Sturdevant, coroner.
November 8, 1882-For Governor: James W. Dawes had 1,227 votes; J. Sterling Morton, 668; E. P. Ingersoll, 839; W. W. Westover, district attorney; W. H. Dech, senator Fifteenth; J. C. Homer, representative Twenty-ninth.
November 6, 1883-William Marshall, district attorney Fourth; A. M. Post, district judge Fourth; Charles Perky, treasurer; B. R. B. Weber, district court clerk; O. A. Pierce, sheriff; George I. Wright, county judge: A. W. Vandeman, county school superintendent; William Hardin, surveyor; I. C. Stephens, coroner; for township organization: Yes, 1,165; No, 1.012. W. C. Kirchman, county clerk.
November 4, 1884-For Governor: James W. Dawes, 1,598; J. Sterling Morton, 1,709; J. G. Miller, 346; William Marshall, district attorney Fourth; C. A. Day, senator Fifteenth; P. J. Hall, representative Twenty-ninth.
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November 3, 1885-W. C. Kirchman, clerk; Otto Steen, register of deeds; C. C. Turney, treasurer; George I. Wright, county judge; John W. O'Kane, sheriff; 0. Dooley, county school superintendent; W. W. Alt, surveyor; Peter Marsh, coroner.
November 2, 1886-For Governor: John M. Thayer, 1,535; James E. North, 1,613; H. W. Hardy, 243; J. H. Walkup, 1; J. K. Van Demark, senator Fifteenth; Charles J. Harrison, representative Twenty-ninth; J. R. Gilkeson, county attorney.
November 8, 1887-George A. Buck, treasurer; D. K. Wilson, sheriff; Horace M. Clark, clerk; N. Rosengren, register of deeds; O. C. Tarpenning, county judge; O. Dooley, county school superintendent; W. W. Alt, surveyor; Ira G. Stone, coroner.
November 8, 1888-For Governor: John M. Thayer, 2,103; John A. McShane, 1,880; George E. Bigelow, 361; David Butler, 35; T. J. Pickett, Jr., senator Fifth; B. R. B. Weber, representative Twenty-ninth; G. W. Simpson, county attorney; for township organization: Yes, 1,251; No, 1,886.
November 5, 1889-Jonas Bender, representative Twenty-seventh, vacancy; John D. Ryan, sheriff; S. H. Jones, treasurer; Horace M. dark, clerk; N. Rosengren, register of deeds; O. C. Tarpenning, county judge; R. H. Watson, county school superintendent; William Hardin, surveyor; R. D. Bush, coroner.
November 4, 1890-For Governor: L. D. Richards, 1,092; J. E. Boyd, 1,286; J. H. Powers, 2,433; B. L. Paine, 67; William Sanders, senator Fifth; P. B. Olson, representative Twenty-ninth; B. F. Hines, county attorney.
November 3, 1891-P. J. Carey, clerk of District Court; W. O. Rand, county clerk; S. H. Jones, treasurer; M. Newman, county judge; Joseph Bartek, sheriff; William Rogers, surveyor; F.. E. Way, coroner; R. H. Watson, county school superintendent.
July 26, 1892-For proposed levy of 7 1/2 mills for the courthouse: Yes, 514; No, 2,105.
November 8, 1892-For Governor: C. E. Bentley, 193; Lorenzo Crounse, 1,252; J. Sterling Morton, 830; Charles H. Van Wyck, 1.791; William A Sanders, senator Fifth; P. B. Olson, representative Twenty-seventh; S. H. Sornberger, county attorney.
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November 7, 1898-W. O. Rand, clerk; M. J. Wickard, register of deeds; P. B. Olson, treasurer; M. Newman, county judge; George A. Buck, sheriff; W. W. Alt, surveyor; F. E. Way, coroner; S. E. dark, county school superintendent.
November 6, 1894-For Governor: E. A. Gerrard, 91; Silas A. Holcomb, 2,592; Thomas J. Majors, 1,703; Phelps D. Sturdevant, 93; W. J. Lehr, senator Fifth; Rainsford C. Brownell, representative Twenty-seventh; Edward E. Good. county attorney.
November 5, 1895-Charles A. Wenstrand, county clerk; P. B. Olson, treasurer; Charles W. Fuller, county judge; George A. Buck, sheriff; W. W. Alt, surveyor; T. Anderson, coroner; S. E. dark, county school superintendent.
November 3, 1896-For Governor: Robert S. Bibbs, 84; Richard A. Hawley, 23; Silas A. Holcomb, 2,769; John H. McCall, 1,850; Charles Sadilek, 8; Joel Warner, 32; William D. Shawl, senator Fifth; O. M. Lemar, representative Twenty-seventh; H. Gilkeson, county attorney. November 2, 1897-J. L. Coleman, treasurer; W. D. Farris, sheriff; Anton B. Chapek, clerk; John H. Barry, county judge: B. F. Whitney, register of deeds; J. M. Galloway, county school superintendent; W. W. Alt, surveyor; Ira G. Stone, coroner.
November 8, 1898-For Governor: Monroe L. Hayward. 778; H. S. Aley, 2; R. V. Muir, 32; William A. Poynter, 2,309; William D. Schaal, senator Fifth; C. M. Lemar, representative Twenty-seventh; H. Gilkeson, county attorney.
November 7, 1899-J. L. Coleman, treasurer: Anton B. Chapek, clerk; T. W. Fan-is, sheriff; John H. Barry, county Judge; Jesse M. Galloway, county school superintendent: Thomas S. Perry, surveyor; J. E. Hadley, coroner.
November 6, 1900-For Governor: Charles H. Dietrich, 2,106; William A. Poynter, 2,804; Lucius O. Jones, 89; Taylor Flick, 5; Theodore Kharas, 9; George W. Meredith, senator Fifth; Alex Boulier, representative Twenty-seventh; John L. Sundean, county attorney; J. E. Lamb, coroner.
November 5, 1901-Oscar Hanson, treasurer; Carl R. Goucher, clerk; J. R. Webster, sheriff; Charles H. Slama, county Judge; Will T. Mauck, register of deeds; J. W. Mengel, county
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school superintendent; J. M. Doyle, surveyor; C. O. Fletcher, coroner; L. D. Glassburn, assessor.
November 4, 1902-For Governor; John H. Mickey, 1,962; William H. Thompson, 2,063; Samuel T. Davis, 119; George E. Bigelow, 26; Willard H. Davidson and George Meredith each received 1,910 votes for senator from Fifth District; W. J. Harmon and John J. Vlasak, representatives. Twenty-seventh; John L. Sundean, county attorney.
November 3, 1903-Oscar Hanson, treasurer; Carl R. Goucher, clerk; J. R. Webster, sheriff; Charles H. Slama, county judge; J. W. Mengel, county school superintendent; J. H. Crawford, clerk of district court; Henry Johnson, assessor; W. I. Carlisle, surveyor; Frank Janda, coroner; for courthouse bonds, also tax, 3,339, against, 1,020.
November 8, 1904-For Governor: John H. Mickey, 2,290; George W. Berge, 2,294; Clarence F, Iwander, 160; Benjamin H. Vail, 43; Alex Laverty, senator Fifth; William J. Harmon, John J. Pospisil, representatives Twenty-seventh; B. E. Hendricks, county attorney; Theodore St. Martin, coroner (vacancy) ; J. M. Doyle, surveyor (vacancy).
November 7, 1905-Gust E. Bredenberg, treasurer; E. E. Placek, county judge; J. W. Mengel, county school superintendent; Arthur N. Elmelund, clerk; Byron F. Whitney, register of deeds; Frank R. Scheel, coroner; J. M. Doyle, surveyor; Jerry Dailey, sheriff.
November 6, 1906-For Governor: George L. Sheldon, 1,859; A. C. Shallenberger, 1,980; Henry T. Sutton, 121; Elisha Taylor, 28; Alex Laverty, senator Fifth; W. Polak, F. Vopalensky, representatives Twenty-seventh; J. M. Galloway, county attorney.
November 5, 1907-C. J. Ficenec, treasurer; A. N. Elmelund, clerk; E. E. Placek, county judge; Jerry Dailey, Jr., sheriff; J. W. Mengel, county school superintendent; H. W. Miller, district court clerk; George H. Cornell, assessor; Ed I. Biggerstaff, coroner; George W. Temple, surveyor.
November 3, 1908-For Governor: George L. Sheldon, 2,303; A. C. Shallenberger, 2,685; Roy R. Teeter, 87; C. H. Harbaugh, 23; Alex Laverty, senator Fifth; Fred L. Hadsell,
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Frank Dolezal, representatives Twenty-seventh; J. M. Galloway, county attorney.
November 2, 1909-J. D. Frahm, clerk; Sam D. Mauck, register of deeds; C. J. Ficenec, treasurer; Jerry Dailey, Jr., sheriff; Charles H. Slama, county judge; Ed I. Biggerstaff, coroner; Mrs. E. B. Williams, county school superintendent; George W. Temple, surveyor.
November 8, 1910-For Governor: Chester H. Aldrich, 2,374; James C. Dahlman, 2,268; Clyde J. Wright, 60; E. E. Placek, senator Fifth; C. H. Gustafson, Frank Dolezal, representatives Twenty-seventh; Joseph F. Berggren, county attorney.
November 7, 1911-J. D. Frahm, county clerk; Henry Pickett, District Court clerk; Frank J. Polak, treasurer; P. P. White, county judge; Jerry Dailey, Jr., sheriff; Mrs. E. B. Williams, county school superintendent; George W. Temple, surveyor; E. I. Biggerstaff, coroner.
November 5, 1912-For Governor: Chester H. Aldrich, 2,179; John H. Morehead, 2,384.; Clyde J. Wright, 70; Nathan Wilson, 36; James K. Goodfellow, senator Third; C. H. Gustafson, W. C. Elmelund, representatives Twenty-ninth; Joe F. Berggren, county attorney; J. B. Hines, assessor.
Note--In the year 1913 the general election was not held, owing to the fact that the elections for the county are to be held every second year instead of every year as heretofore.
November 3, 1914-On the proposition of equal suffrage: For, 1,430; against, 1,985. For Governor: John H. Morehead, 2,368; H. E. Mockett, 102; R. B. Howell, 1,822; George C. Porter, 49; Nathan Wilson, 55; R. A. Miller, senator Third; W. C. Elmelund, George W. Meredith, representatives Twenty-ninth; John D. Frahm, clerk; William J. Dolezal, register of deeds; Frank J. Polak, treasurer; Jerry Dailey, Jr., sheriff; Mrs. E. B. Williams, county school superintendent; W. W. Wenstrand, county attorney; George W. Temple, surveyor; Charles A. Swanson, coroner; A. Z. Donato, county judge.
Note-The names of the representatives and senators given in the above lists are those who received the majority of votes cast in Saunders County, and not in every case elected from the
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whole district. A list of legislators from the Saunders County district is given elsewhere.
The site of the first county seat in Saunders County was decided at the general election of October 8, 1867. There were two sites in question; one at Ashland and the other on the northwest quarter of section 1 and northeast quarter of section 2, town 16, range 7 east. The former site received a total of seventy-eight votes and the latter received only sixteen. Thus, Ashland became the first county seat. The courthouse there was constructed in the summer of 1870.
In 1873 the proposition to move the county seat from Ashland to Wahoo was agitated. Naturally a great amount of opposition was forthcoming from the southeast corner of the county and quite a spirited contest resulted. The election to decide the location of the new county seat was held on October 14th of that year, Eldred and Alvin also appearing upon the ballot for county seat. The result of the vote was: Wahoo, 617; Eldred, 549; Alvin, 294; Ashland, 238. In December of the same year the records were brought to Wahoo and the county seat officially established there.
On April 5, 1874, the first steps were taken toward erecting a suitable building at Wahoo for the accommodation of the various county offices and court, in other words, a courthouse. The first idea was to use $5,000 from the Wahoo Town Company and bonds for $10,000. This was submitted May 23, 1874. It appears that the bond proposition must have failed for on July 20, 1874, I. E. Phelps was given the contract to build a court-house for $4,635, the building to be twenty-eight feet high instead of twenty-four feet as originally planned. The building was to be completed by October 1st, but it was not ready for acceptance until November 14th and then the chimneys were not completed. The other bidders, the unsuccessful ones, for this first courthouse, were John Beermaker and L. A. McDonald.
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The old courthouse building becoming inadequate, but one thing could result. That was a new structure. In 1903 the issue became a live one and on August 13th the county, by a vote of 1,967 to 524, declared its assent to the issuing of bonds and the construction of a proper kind of building for county purposes. Every precinct in the county voted in favor of the proposition with the exception of West and East Ashland. The vote in West Ashland was 71 to 38 against, and in East Ashland 59 to 20 against.
However, the state auditor did not approve the bond issue, because the time between the election notice and the day of election lacked one day of being the twenty-eight days required by law, according to Section 27, Article I, Chapter 18, Statutes of Nebraska, 1901. This state of affairs necessitated another election; this election was held November 3, 1903, and resulted 3,339 votes to 1,020 in favor of the bond issue and the construction of the courthouse. The cornerstone of the structure was laid on June 2, 1904, at 1 o'clock in the afternoon. Addresses were made by J. L. Sundean, H. Gilkeson and S. H. Sornberger.
The courthouse as it now stands is one of the finest in Nebraska. The building is of brick and stone and is strictly modern in every particular. Located high above the town the building is the first object to be seen when entering Wahoo. The interior is furnished with regard to the best comfort of the county offices; the rooms are large and well ventilated; the system of steam heating is installed, also electricity; mural paintings decorate the stair spaces and the floors of the corridors are laid with tile. The building complete represents an expenditure of about $87,000.
The 1903 movement towards the construction of the court-house was not the first between that year and 1874. A plan was inaugurated in 1890 for the construction of a new county building, but the opposition springing up caused it to be dropped. This opposition was thought by some to have been for the reason that the plan was launched in Wahoo, but such was not the case. The main reason was the railroad bonds, amounting to $180,000, with annual interest, hanging over the tax payers. The old courthouse
Saunders County Courthouse, Wahoo
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had been built by the Wahoo Town Site Company and had not cost the tax payers a cent. The deed conveying the first courthouse site at Ashland was dated June 7, 1871. The deed conveying the present site to the county was dated April 8, 1874. At the election of November 5, 1878, by a vote of 691 to 16, it was decided to sell the old court-house and grounds in Ashland.
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