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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 1491

Clerk. The first regular meeting was held December 6. S. M. Wells received the first appointment as Marshal, and F. M. Connelly, as Assessor. The Town Attorney was instructed to draft suitable ordinances for the government of the town and the maintenance of peace and quiet to its citizens. The election of 1876 brought into office the following gentlemen: Trustees-Charles Le Count, Chairman, J. A. Eatherly, J. A. McKillip, J. F. Green and H. C. Kleinschmidt J. A. McKillip, Treasurer; Edward S. Connelly, Clerk, and M. J. Shackleford, Marshall.

In 1877 J. P. Miller was chosen Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and his colleagues were: W. T. Scott, C. Le Count and A. B. Codding. J. P. Gandy was appointed Marshal, Joseph Massison, Treasurer and Assessor, C. M. Scott, Clerk.

On the 5th of September, 1877, York was formally organized as a city of the second class and divided into two wards. W. T. Scott was honored with the mayoralty of the new city; Lee, Love and George Butterfield as Councilmen of the First Ward, and C. Le Count and A. B. Codding as Councilmen of the Second Ward. The remaining offices were distributed as follows: City Clerk, C. M. Scott; City Treasurer, D. C. Sayer; City Marshal, Charles Penn; Police Judge, S. M. Wells, Engineer, D. C. Evans.

At the election of 1878 all of the city officials were re-elected, except City Engineer Evans, who was succeeded by A. B. Codding. In the Council, the Messrs. George Butterfield and T. C. Evans were returned from the First Ward, and Messrs. G. B. France and R. H. Tuttle from the Second Ward. In the fall of 1878, His Honor Mayor Scott, was called to the higher position of serving the people of York County as member of the State Legislature, and resigned the mayoralty of the city. Mr. France, who had been chosen President of the Council, acted as Mayor during the balance of the term.

The election of 1879 gave the city the following officials: Mayor, Col. B. Crabb; City Clerk, C. M. Scott; City Treasurer, W. W. Giffen; City Marshal, W. H. Gibbs; City Engineer, A. B. Codding; Police Judge, S. M. Wells. In the Council, Jesse Love succeeded George Butterfield in the First Ward, and T. D. Knapp came in as the successor of G. B. France in the Second Ward.

In the spring of 1880 N. V. Harlan was elected Mayor, T. E. Sedgwick, Councilman in the First Ward; George Butterfield, Councilman, in the Second Ward; C. B. Allen, City Clerk; W. W. Giffen, City Treasurer; A. C. Montgomery, Police Judge; A. B. Codding, City Engineer.

The year 1881, Messrs. Harlan, Allen, Montgomery and Codding, were re-elected and E. L. Hatch, City Treasurer. T. D. Knapp was re-elected in the Second Ward, and James McKillip as Councilman for the First Ward. The present efficient incumbents of the City Government are: Thomas F. Stevens, Mayor; C. B. Allen, City Clerk; Charles Beck, City Treasurer; A. C. Montgomery, Police Judge; A. B. Codding, City Engineer. James McKillip and E. M. Cheeney, Councilmen, First Ward; T. D. Knapp and D. P. Temple, Councilmen, Second Ward.


The Congregational Church Academy was erected in 1874, and completed in 1876. It was originally designed for school purposes, but was also used by the society as a church. For a long time it was the only available place for holding the public meetings and entertainments. The next building of any importance was the City Hall, built by Messrs. Reed and Brandhoefer in the spring of 1877, and the following summer, the York County Bank was completed, in which C. S. Langworthy established the first bank of the city. Bell's Block was erected in 1880, and in 1881 Mr. Langworthy erected the First National Bank.

The school district was organized June 14, 1871. It included at this date a territory five miles square in which the city occupied about the central position. Notice of the formation of this district was served upon the entire voting population, residing in its limits. In the school records the names of the male residents of the district are entered, which will give the reader an idea of how sparsely the county was settled at this period, and also the names of the early settlers of the now prosperous city. The total number claiming a residence in the above territory which included the city of York, is only twenty-two and were the following persons: H. M. Detrick, G. W. Dixon, W. L. Draper, Thomas Myers, Gottleib Hofer, J. H. Bell, F. O. Bell, A. B. Tutton, J. S. Tutton, A. E. Hendricks, G. P. Miller, James J. Holley, Ichabod Cook, M. B. Noel, A. J. Day, Isaac Crable, C. F. Day, Edward Bates, S. D. Brakeman [L. D. Brakeman], D. A. Ritner, R. Charlton, August Bonge.

A. B. Tutton was elected director, A. C. Montgomery, moderator, and Thomas Myers, treasurer. No farther steps were made towards perfecting the organization until January 15, 1872. At a meeting held at this date, the district voted to issue bonds to the amount of $2,000 for the purpose of purchasing a building site and erecting a schoolhouse. This building was completed in season for a summer school, which was taught by Miss M. A. Hill. During the winter session of this year J. Cochran was employed as teacher. The first school established in York was taught by A. C. Montgomery, in the winter of 1870-71. The old pre-emption house served as a schoolhouse, and twenty-two pupils were in attendance, some coming a distance of eight miles. It was maintained by subscription and was of two months' duration. Mr. Montgomery received his wages in wood, grain, cash, or whatever the settlers could best give from an individual standpoint.

At the annual meeting of the Board in 1879, it was decided to call a special election, and submit a proposition to the citizens of York, for issuing the bonds of the district to the amount of $58,000, for the purpose of erecting a new school building, the old house having become too small to accommodate the fast growing school population. This election took place May 16, and was universally favored. The present building was commenced immediately and it was completed in 1881.

Prominent among the names of the officers of the district during the past are those of H. M. Detrick, W. A. Reed, F. A. Bidwell, T. D. Knapp, H. C. Kleinschmidt, Judge D. T. Moore, C. Le Count, J. A. Eatherly, and among the names of teachers who carried away with them the benedictions of their pupils and patrons may be mentioned; J. E. Cochran, E. J. Wiswell, Mrs. Coiner, Miss Beecher, Miss Effie Cutter, nee Mrs. C. B. Allen, T. A. Parkinson, ex-Mayor; N. V. Harlan, Mrs. Pound, Miss Hart, Miss Gunnel, Miss Hayes, Miss Kate Keckley.


The first term of the District Court in York County was held at York, in the fall of 1872. His Honor, Chief Justice G. B. Lake, presided, and Hon. G. W. Post served as District Attorney. Court sat one-half day and transacted the entire business that the docket called for. The only case of any importance called was the injunction suit, to restrain the county from issuing bonds in the sum of $150,000, to the Midland Pacific Railroad Company. After hearing the case, His Honor decided in favor of the plaintiffs and made the injunction perpetual. Edward Bates opened the first law office, and a short time after he was joined by Hon. G. W. Post. During the first year of his professional life at York, while sitting one morning in the door of his office anxiously waiting for a client, Judge Post saw a herd of antelope cross the town site, passing over the ground now occupied by the high school building.


The advent of the B. & M. R. R. and the location of their depot at York, about thirty rods north of the north end of Lincoln avenue, and consequently outside of the city limits, induced Mr. Wooley, the owner of the land adjoining, to survey and plat a town, which he named in honor of the great metropolis, New York. It was incorporated as a town in 1880, and from its favorable location has assumed a prominent place as a business town. It is in reality a part of the city of York, and the heavy business of the city is here carried on. The four grain elevators, foundry and machine shop, lumber yard and two large general merchandise stores occupy positions near to the station.


York occupies a prominent position at the geographical center of the county. The site is a series of elevations, a portion of a high commanding plain perfectly arranged by Nature gradually sloping to the south, forming one of the most natural and beautiful town sites in the State.

Beaver Creek, one of the important tributaries of the Blue River, winds its way through a picturesque and gentle valley bordering the southern limits of the city, furnishing a splendid water power, which might be made a valuable source of wealth if utilized as the motor power in manufacturing industries.

It is an important shipping point, and one of the principal stations of the Nebraska Railway Division of the B. & M. R. R. in Nebraska, between Lincoln and Central City, fifty-two miles distant from the former city, and fifty miles from the latter, and equi-distant from Aurora, the county seat of Hamilton County, and Seward, the county seat of Seward County.

It is the principal commercial center for a radius of twenty-five miles of its surrounding country, and holds out to the business man and manufacturer a tributary trade of adjacent portions of all the adjoining counties. This territory includes the best and most tillable lands in Nebraska, the far-famed Blue Valley, and is peopled by an honest, industrious and intelligent class of inhabitants.

It offers superior advantages not only in commercial life and agricultural pursuits, but to those who are in search of a pleasant and desirable country home.

Its population, at present reaching 2,000, is made up of a people possessing more than the average in moral and intellectual culture, who have become well known in their true temperance and prohibition principles.

To those who are in search of educational opportunities, its advantages are unsurpassed in any city of its age. In addition to a systematic graded school, under the supervision of the City Board of Education, it also enjoys the more advanced instruction furnished by the Nebraska Methodist Episcopal Conference Seminary, which was located at this point in 1879.

The town of New York joins the city on the north so closely as to become a portion of it in every particular but its name.

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