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   Green Precinct was organized on Feb. 1, 1871.

   Precinct Officers 1983-87: Chairman -- Ervin Manske, Clerk -- Jerry L. Newsham, Treas. -- Robert L. Bonow.


   This Precinct lays near the southeast corner of Saunders County. The legal description is Township 13 North, Range 8 East of the 6th Principal Meridian. It has 30 full sections of land with 6 fractions of Sections laying along the west side.

   Located at one time in its boundaries were four churches, four public schools, two cemeteries, and two Pony Express Post Offices. There are no villages or cities. The C.B.& Q. Railroad cuts across the northeast corner.

   The two Pony Express Post Offices were probably the first established Public places. According to a 1885 State Atlas, the Milton Post Office was located in Section 8 on the half-mile road running east and west thru it. The Veda Post Office was located in the southwest corner of Section 33.

   The four schools merged with other schools. District 16 in section 11 was deeded for Educational purposes by William and Nellie Agnew on Nov.24, 1888. It was dissolved June 12, 1970, and most was consolidated with the Mead School. It was sold and remodeled and now is the home of Richard Shooks. District 41 located on the north edge of Section 31 was established in 1889 and dissolved April 6, 1964, and joined the Memphis District. It was sold for $20 and dismantled. District 52 was built on the East edge of Section 29. It was deeded by A.J. Gustafson in 1890 and dissolved July 8, 1970. It was also torn down. The latest one, District 102, to be established was given by John and Rosa Schneider Sept.22, 1892, located on the east side of Section 8. It was closed July 29, 1970, and absorbed by Ithaca and Mead. It was used as the polling place for political election until it was dissolved and then it was built over into a home and is occupied by Dick Crosby.

   There were originally four churches in the Precinct. A Free Methodist Episcopal Church was built early on the south edge of the fractional Section 18. No history with definite dates were found. Some early members were the Boydston's and Saathoff's. The church is now a barn across the road west in Richland Precinct.

   The New Hope Christian Church was built and established in 1882 on the southwest corner of Section 26. It closed in 1914-15 and the members joined the Cedaar Hill church in Lancaster County. Early members were VanHorn's, Bryan's, and Russel's. The church stood empty for many years before being torn down.

   The Zion Evangelic Church was located on the south center of Section 4. Julius Hass donated the land for the church. They started to build the church in October 1883 and the first sermon was delivered in it December 23, 1883. The cost was $2000 and was paid off by dedication January 20, 1884. The first wedding in the spring of 1884 was of Alvina Hanke and Carl Kanselbach. Early names in the church were Schroeder, Schmidt, Hass, Scheuneman, Radenslaben, Hanke, and Meiners. The last wedding was 1948 of Grace Noerenberg and William Seiser. The church was closed and dismantled in 1948 and the members joined the Ebenezer Evangelic church in Ithaca.

   The cemetery next to this church is called the Zion Cemetery and the land was donated by August Schmidt. It was founded in 1879. The first grave is that of Charlotte Schroeder 1879. She is the great, great, grandmother of Don and Marvin Hass of Ithaca.

   Zion Lutheran Church, the only church now in the Precinct, is located in the northeast corner of Section 20.

   The Zion Lutheran Cemetery is located away from the church on the east side of Section 3. It was established in 1887.

   Green Precinct now has no schools left and only one church and two cemeteries.

Zion Evangelical Church
Zion Evangelical Church


   Zion congregation was founded June 14th, 1886. Five laymen, Albert Thoms, William Otto, Dietrich Radensleben, Dietrich Meyer, and Franz Oldenburg, and a young missionary of the Iowa Synod, the Rev. J. Deguisne, were present at the organizational meeting. These laymen also constituted the first council of the church.

   In 1887, a Sunday School (13 members) and a confirmation class (7 members) were organized. From 1887 until 1894 the pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church, Malmo, Ne., served Zion part time. In 1895 Zion called their own pastor, who lived in a home rented by the congragation, two miles east and one half mile north of the present (1982) church building.

   Up until 1900 services were held in the District 102 schoolhouse. In 1898, a parcel of land was obtained by perpetual lease and a five room parsonage was built, as well as a house of worship (the location was the same as the present location, viz. Sec. 20-13-8, Saunders County). In 1912 an addition was made to the parsonage. When automobiles became more common (the early '20's) a garage was built.

   Services were conducted in German until July 1918; services have been in English since then

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Zion Lutheran Church
Zion Lutheran Church

   In 1931 a Women's Missionary Society was formed, and there has been a women's organization at the church ever since (the present organization is a local branch of the American Lutheran Church Women).

   Further improvements to the property have been made up until the present: electricity was introduced in 1938 (thus eliminating the need to pump water by hand); in 1942 the interior of the church was remodeled (both of these improvements were made despite the financial hardships of the depression years); a building was moved from the Mead ordinance plant in 1946 to be used for a Sunday school and for other church gatherings, social events etc.; also in 1946 the parsonage was remodeled and an indoor bathroom installed; in 1962 the church chancel was remodeled and a sacristy added; in 1977 a basement was built immediately southwest of the church, and the church moved onto it, the narthex was enlarged, as was the sacristy, and a large kitchen and restrooms installed; in 1980 siding was added and a P.A. system installed.

   Zion congregation has been served by 18 pastors, and two former members have been ordained into the ministry. On its 50th anniversary, Zion had 132 baptized members and 76 confirmed; on its 75th, 122 baptized and 97 confirmed, and on its 90th, 121 baptized and 105 confirmed. Zion is presently part of a dual parish, the other half of which is Bethlehem Lutheran of Davey, Nebraska.


   "I was an ordinary hammer that was being used in building the Zion Evangelical Church southeast of Ithaca in 1881. Somehow I was going down inside the wall of the church. For 64 years I lay there almost forgotten. The church was completed Jan. 6, 1884. Most people forgot I was there. Not until the church was torn down in 1948 was I discovered.

   I learned that the church had been organized by a group of twenty people in 1873. The first meetings were held in the Milton Post Office area southeast of Ithaca and were known as the Ithaca Class. The first parsonage was built across the section south of the Zion Cemetery at a cost of $400. Rev. Althouse and family occupied the parsonage.

   Now that the membership had reached 72, plans were made to build. The church was begun Oct.30, 1883. Its cost was $1793. Julius Hass gave the land for the church, and August Smith donated the land for the cemetery. Red sandstone from a nearby quarry and lumber from Ashland were hauled by team and wagon to the build site.

   The people came regularly to worship every Sun. On Dec.23, 1883, Rev. Neitzel gave the first sermon in the German language, and the following evening the first Christmas program was presented. The resourceful women found a satisfactory cottonwood branch that served very well for the Christmas tree. Branches were wrapped with bits of green and red scraps of calico. Sacks of candy, nuts, and a big red apple were distributed to those who ordered them. This lovely Christmas custom was observed for 99 years. Kerosene hanging lamps provided light in early years.

   The church was formally dedicated on Jan. 6, 1884. In spite of difficult times, the final debt was paid in 1887. How the people rejoiced! A pump organ was purchased.

   In 1892 the Annual Conference was held in the new church at which time Albert Hanke, Sr. entered the ministry. Two Noerenberg brothers entered the ministry (William, the grandfather of Dale Noerenberg) in 1898 and (Albert, the father of the late Ben Noerenberg) in 1899. A young peoples organization "Jugend Bund" was formed.

   Troubled times came to the United States. Young men were drafted for World War I. They all came home safely.

   New homes were established, and another generation of young people were going away to universities.

   The time came when the "Prairie Church" was no longer used. It was to be torn down. A strange noise was heard. Then sunlight was penetrating the years of darkness. I was picked up and passed from hand to hand. Now I was not a prisoner but a celebrity. I heard talk of young people going into the service of Christ. I hoped they would not be imprisoned as I had been.

   Today as people drive by they remark, "That is where I attended church." Submitted by Charlotte Hageman


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   Leshara Precinct was created in 1905 out of a part of each of Union, Pohocco, and Marietta. It was the last precinct to be formed.

   In 1908, Leshara was a thriving town, having a large hotel, saloon, blacksmith shop, a general store, lumber yard, elevator, a drug store, a bank, school system and newspaper.

   A fire in 1906 destroyed the hardware store; and in 1914 the lumber yard, owned by the Zaugg brothers of Yutan, burned. On Feb.24, 1922, Sam Lipp's general merchandise store burned, and May 29, 1926, lightning struck and burned the farmers' Co-operative Elevator.

   Several floods, one on June 15, 1937, another on Aug. 2, 1959, ravaged the town. Lesser amounts of damage occurred at various later dates, due to flooding of Otoe Creek, south of town.

   The LongBranch Caffe, owned by Donna Lorenz, is now the only business left in the town.

   Precinct Officers 1983-87: Chairman -- Wayne J. Widman, Clerk -- James Snyder, Treas. -- John J. Larson.

   The population in 1910 was 384, in 1980 the figure was 556. Leshara precinct includes the village of Leshara and the Woodcliff subdivision at the north end along the Platte River. Submitted by Orlinda Karloff

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   Leshara is the youngest town in Saunders County, having been platted on June 5, 1905. It lies in the northeast quarter of section 29, township 16, and range 9. Leshara is the only town in the precinct of the same name and is on the Burlington Railroad, 18 miles northeast of Wahoo. The town was named after a chief of the Pawnee Indians who formerly lived in the area. His name was Pita (man) Lesharu (chief). Judged by his name to be descended from a French leader who joined the tribe, Leshara was the "big shot" of his time. He kept his braves in order and many of our early pioneers knew and respected him. He had the reputation of being a peace loving man. A professed Christian, his views on marriage were evidently derived from the Old Testament. His political views were those of rugged individualism.

   The Pawnees had one of their principal towns near the place where Leshara is now located. They built no flimsy teepees but real houses constructed of timber with prairie sod facing the roof.

Looking from East to West in Leshara
Looking from East to West in Leshara when it was just a new town.

   The white men knew the village in pioneering days and reported that several hundred Indians lived there. It was in existence at the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition and is mentioned in their reports as having been visited by one of their scouting parties. The known history of the places stretches well over a period of a century.

   Many Indian relics have been found in the vicinity and are still encountered from time to time in the grading of roads and the plowing of fields. A monument to the Pawnee has been erected on the McClean farm.

Top: Looking towards town from the northwest corner of town.
Bottom: Elevator which later burned.

   The Great Northern Railroad helped establish the town and ran special trains for those wanting to take part in the event. The road was later sold to the Burlington Company.

   There were many businesses in Leshara when the town was new: Gross & Nelson Hardware, The Leshara Meat Market operated by W.C. Williams, The Leshara State Bank, by J.C. Foster, Rutt & Zaugg Lumber Co., a tavern, The Leshara Drug Store operated by O.S. Strain, Feuersteins Shoes for Men. There were two grocery stores. There was also a newspaper, "The Leshara Chief," owned by Fassett Publishing Co., and sold to O.S. Strain in 1908. Also a blacksmith shop which was operated by August Barth for many years before its closing. Later, when automobiles came onto the scene, there was a service station. The town also had a doctor by the name of Stiers. There was also a dentist. A Burlington Railroad Depot building was one of the first buildings built.

   Norman Stevens, light-heavyweight from Leshara, won a decision over Knowles of Lincoln in the Golden Gloves contest in January of 1940. Submitted by Mary Ann Cernin


   What was probably the first Leshara Post Office was located at the home of William A. Estey, who resided at the farm now known as the Eugene Feist place. The post office was named Estina and established October 20,1889. Mrs. Estey was the postmaster, and mail was brought by stage which ran twice a week between Ashland and Linwood in Butler County. On June 22, 1883, the office was discontinued. A ferry went into operation over the river at Fremont, and the people were served by that office.

   The Leshara Post Office was established February 27, 1906. Ray S. Estey was the first postmaster, and a son of the pioneer postmaster at the office Estina. Mr. Estey served until June 17, 1907, when he resigned and moved away.

   Mrs. Penney was postmaster for a number of years. In 1934, Muriel Bishop Witte became postmaster and remained in the office until 1969. From that time until the present, Betty Mueller has been the postmaster. When she became poastmaster, the post office was moved to her home. Submitted by Mary Ann Cernin


   The alfalfa dehydration plant, operating presently under the name of Brown and Brown, Inc., is located south of Leshara on Highway #64 just west of the Platte River bridge. (Legal description: NE¼ of NW¼ of 33-16-9.)

   The mill was built in 1947 and began operating under the name of Platte View Alfalfa Co. Charles F. Kuncl, Jr. was its first president. In November, 1954, the plant was sold to Rhea Alfalfa Co.

   On April 10, 1966, Ralph I. Brown, a native of Kansas, bought the operation and changed the name to Skyline Mills, Inc. In September of 1968 Ralph and his son Larry formed a corporation called Brown and Brown, Inc. At this time Larry became president of the company and Ralph diverted his attention to their related farm operation, Centennial Farms, Inc.

   Each year the mill cuts approximately 1,700 acres of alfalfa in the surrounding area. This alfalfa is converted to between 6,000 and 7,000 tons of alfalfa dehy pellets and sold to animal feed processors throughout the country.

   The plant employs approximately twelve people at the peak of the season. Long-time employees Harold Tweedy, Gaylord Linden and John Hoover remain employed the year round. Glenn Bovill of Wahoo has worked for the company on a seasonal basis for 26 years.

   After Ralph Brown's death in June of 1979, Larry became sole owner of the company. The mill continues to produce alfalfa dehy pellets and is a member of the American Dehydrator's Association. Submitted by Mary Brown

Alfalfa Mill
Alfalfa Mill


   The Leshara Community Club was organized in 1913 by Mrs. Grace Williams, Mrs. Hazel Wolfe, Mrs. Bertha Anderson, and Mrs. Emma Cords. Other early members were Mamie Feist, Lizzie Feist, Fannie Kammerer, Lillie Lamuel, Ceil Green, Alice Winkelman, Maud Feist and Vida Williams.

   The club aims were community betterment and sociability. Meetings were held every two weeks. Around 1950, this was changed to once a month.

   The first members all lived in Leshara, but was soon changed to include the women of the community.

   A lesson was conducted at each meeting. The executive committee members selected the lesson topics, which were items of current interest. This committee also appointed the lesson leaders.

   Once a year a tour was taken to some place of interest and an annual picnic was held.

   The club disbanded in 1979, after being active for sixty-six years. Submitted by Mary Ann Cernin


   The Leshara State Bank had its beginning on June 5, 1905. On this day lots were being sold at auction for $40 and $50. John Foster purchased a plot and immediately had Henry Barnhardt and Bert Hollenbeck build a two-story white frame building, which was called the Leshara State Bank.

   No early history of the bank is known except that under Foster, the bank nearly went broke. He asked the original share owners to pay as much as their

Leshara State Bank Building
Leshara State Bank Building to the left was a hardware store.

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