Sheridan County AND
By Mrs. Fred (Betty E.) Evans, Hay Springs, Nebraska
from "Recollections of Sheridan County, Nebraska"
Sheridan County gets its name from the Civil
War general Philip
H. Sheridan. Principal Indian tribes at that time
were the Sioux,
Pawnee, and Cheyenne. A band of the Sioux, known as
the Brule (Broo-la)
Indians, lived on Beaver Creek. Here in 1871 was
Spotted Tail Agency named for the Indian Chief
Spotted Tail. Spotted
Tail disappeared after a few years and in 1874 Fort
established on Beaver Creek not far from the
location. In 1881 Fort Sheridan was discontinued.
Sheridan County was originally a part of Sioux
County. Sioux County was
a great block of unorganized territory with no
judicial, or tax set-up. Because it had no
organization "set-up" it was
attached to Cheyenne County to carry out any
etc. This vast territory extended from Holt County
to the Wyoming line.
The first white settlement was made on White Clay
twenty miles northwest of the present site of
Rushville. Most of the
first settlers took "squatter's rights" upon the
land, filing later at
Valentine after the U.S. land office was established
The homes of the early settlers were tents, dugouts
and sod houses.
James Garfield Brooks and
(Frost) Brooks with family outside their
sod house in Gordon, Sheridan County, Nebraska.
Children: Beatrice, Kathryn Elaine,
Pearl, Lorin, Robert Emmett. Photograph taken
On July 1, 1885, Gov. James W. Dawes
new County of Sheridan, the same being a strip 69
miles long and 36
miles wide off the east edge of Sioux County.
The towns soon became incorporated after the county
Rushville was first on October 9, 1885, with Gordon
and Hay Springs
incorporating on November 19, 1885. The first
trustees of the village
of Hay Springs were William Waterman, A. McKinney,
George Ballet, and J. E. Brown.
At Hay Springs the early doctors were Dr. Anderson,
Dr. A. N. Sheffner,
Dr. Stanley Clements, and Dr. Albert J. Molzahn and
The railroad was first built only to Valentine. The
travel this far by train but from there on they had
to travel by team.
The very first church was organized and the first
services held in
Sheridan County near Gorgon by the Rev. Scamahorn.
This took place in
front of his home, a tent, in May 1884. This was the
Church west of Valentine.
In those days every vicinity tried to bring in new
did quite a bit of boasting -- their best boast was
the one about the
climate being so good that they had to shoot a man
in order to start a
[For a more detailed history of Sheridan County,
please read the full
text written by Mrs. Betty E.
Evans and Ms. Mae Manion]
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Our Sincere THANK
YOU to Emmett
did such a wonderful job as
the previous Sheridan County
All of Emmett's
hard work has
on these pages, and can be seen in
many valuable research records.
Halsey-Brooks & Eireann
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updated October 4, 2013.
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