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York County, Nebraska York Homepage

History of the State of Nebraska
Chicago: The Western Historical Company
A. T. Andreas, Proprietor

Page 1490

Burtch, David Doan (1876), William B. Cummins, Probate Judge; L. J. Gandy, Treasurer; F. W. Liedke, Clerk; James P. Miller, Sheriff; J. E. Cochran, Superintendent Public Instruction; Francis Brooks, Coroner; A. B. Codding, Surveyor; W. M. Knapp (1876), Senator; S. V. Moore and Lee Love (1876), Representatives.

1877-78. Commissioners—H. S. Burtch, David Doan, Benjamin Woolman, Thomas Gray (1878), W. B. Cummins, County Judge; E. S. Connelly, appointed February 4, 1878; L. J. Gandy, Treasurer; F. W. Liedke, Clerk; J. P. Miller, Sheriff; J. E. Cochran, Superintendent Public Instruction; William H. Keckley, Coroner; A. W. Codding [A. B. Codding], Surveyor; W. T. Scott (1878), W. H. Keckley (1878), Representatives.

1879-80. Commissioners—Benjamin Woolman, Thomas Gray, A. C. Eberhart, Charles Wullbrandt (1880), W. B. Cummins, County Judge; L. J. Gandy; Treasurer; John A. Eatherly, Clerk; A. J. Bell, District Clerk; J. P. Miller, Sheriff; E. E. Armor, Superintendent Public Instruction; Charles Lee Count [Le Count], Coroner; A. B. Codding, Surveyor; Martin Burns (1880), Senator; Albert Wilsey (1880), S. V. Moore (1880), Representatives.

1881-82. Commissioners—C. Wullbrandt, Jesse Love, S. H. Myers.


The Agricultural Society of York County was organized at the office of F. M. Bidwell [F. A. Bidwell], in the month of June, 1872. N. W. Groves was elected President, F. W. Liedke, Secretary, and L. D. Stillson [Stilson], General Superintendent. The first fair was held in October, 1873, upon the present grounds of the society. The half mile track had been surveyed and laid out during the summer of 1872. There was a fair representation of trotting stock. The exhibits of cattle, sheep and farm produce were limited, for it will be remembered the county was then enjoying the days of its tutelage. However, there was a good representation of all classes of entries, and an interest manifested by the farmers of York County that was highly encouraging to the founders of the society. The premium list for this year aggregated $500. Since its organization, the society has enjoyed a steady progress, and is now one of the more important in the State. The grounds are furnished with a good number of roomy stables. The present officers are: W. E. McCloud, President; J. C. Kilner, Secretary; J. P. Miller, Treasurer; G. W. Butterfield, General Superintendent.


York Precinct occupies the geographical centre of the county, and lies in the valley of Beaver Creek. On the 3d of August, 1864, David Baker pitched his tent on the banks of Beaver Creek, under the spreading branches of a friendly old elm, that stood on Section 10, Town 10, Range 3. Mr. Baker and his family made this their home for a period of three months, during which he erected the first frame house in the precinct, hauling the lumber from Nebraska City. His settlement is the first it is our pleasure to record. The next settlers who arrived, are Isaac Crable, Ex-Sheriff J. P. Miller, Isaac Baker, Thomas Myers and Edward Bates. Messrs. Crable, Baker and Bates took up claims on Section 8, Sheriff Miller on Section 12, Thomas Myers on Section 2. In 1870 a large number of settlers came into the precinct, and nearly all of the valuable claims were taken up, and before the close of 1871 all the Government land was exhausted. Among the first who came in 1870, Lorenzo D. Brakeman, F. M. Connelly and D. A. Ritner made settlements on Section 4, Town 10, Range 2. Charles F. Day and A. J. Day on Section 18, Nathan Johnson on Section 20, Thomas Porter, Section 24, David Graham, J. S. Shawl also on Section 24. H. M. Detrick, J. W. Andrews on Section 30, and R. C. Shipman and John Murphy on Section 10.


The site of York was taken as a pre-emption claim by Messrs. Ghost and Sherwood for the South Platte Land Co., in the spring of 1869. They erected a small frame building which was situated just south of the public square, near the Central Hotel stables. In October, 1869, the city of York was surveyed and platted, and when the spring of 1870 opened it was represented by one sod house and the frame building referred to above. In the fall of 1870, two brothers by the name of Elwood inaugurated the first store in York County in the old pre-emption house, which they maintained until the following spring, when they packed up their little stock and went sadly away, believing with all sincerity that the future city was only a phantom and unworthy to be courted. A few weeks after their premature departure, F. O. and J. H. Bell came out from Lincoln with a wagon load of general merchandise and opened the second store where the Elwood's had vacated.

During the summer and fall of this year the city began to develop by the presence of a few frame buildings that were put up. In the summer of 1871 Dr. A. B. Tutton started the first drug store in York County, on the northwest corner of the public square, and during the month of September J. E. Carter built a second store on the west side of the square, stocking it with general merchandise. A short time after, Brahmstadt & Kleinschmidt built their store, and W. A. Reed built the first hotel, which was a part of the present Central Hotel. In November L. J. Gandy opened the first hardware and implement house, and in January, 1872, Charles Le Count offered his services to the citizens of York as a tinsmith. Thomas Gray began

Commercial Hotel

pounding iron in a sod blacksmith shop in the fall of 1871, and William H. Gould opened the first wagon shop in the spring of 1872. Some of the buildings erected during this year are, the millinery store of Mrs. E. Wilson, Dr. Thomas L. Myers' drug store, the furniture store of D. A. Stonecypher and the store of F. M. Connelly, occupied by Wyman & Buckmaster as an implement house. In 1871 F. A. Bidwell was appointed Land Agent of the B. & M. R. R., and opened his office at York, and in 1872 the court house was erected. All of these improvements gave the new city the appearance of active business life and a promise of becoming, in the near future, a prominent city of the State. The success of its founders led others to cast their lines in it, until it began to acquire a growing fame and demand considerable attention from the outside world. In August, 1877, when the first train of the B. & M. R. R. made its triumphal entry into the city, it found a town of 600 inhabitants to offer it a hearty welcome.


At a session of the Board of County Commissioners, held September 7, 1875, York was incorporated as a town, and the following Board of Trustees appointed: Hon. George W. Post, F. A. Bidwell, F. M. Connelly, W. A. Reed. The first meeting of the Board took place September 25. F. M. Connelly was elected Chairman, and W. S. Scott,

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