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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 1492

The city is yet in its infancy, but to-day, it presents itself with an enterprising and thorough business appearance, well and handsomely laid out, with broad avenues and streets crossing each other at right angles, a large public square adorning the center upon which the county buildings are situated. They are well planted with rapidly growing shade trees and furnished with good substantial sidewalks.

The majority of the buildings are frame structures, but are fast being replaced with solid brick blocks and business houses, and primitive York is rapidly disappearing.

The magnitude and importance of its business enterprises are in advance of the typical prairie city, and operated by men possessing a loyal confidence of the public, and of good financial standing.

The more important of these are grain and stock shipments, as evidenced by two large elevators and extensive stock yards.

Banking is well represented.

Agricultural implements and farm machinery, general merchandise, dry goods, hardware and drugs are among the many features of its general business character.

It enjoys the facilities of two good hotels and several restaurants, furnishing good and ample accommodation to the traveling public.

A growing and important industry worthy of mention is the York Nursery, comprising several acres of choice land devoted to the propagation of fruit and ornamental trees and shrubs.


The largest elevator located at York is owned by Messrs. Chessman & Davidson, erected in the spring of 1878. It is operated by a twelve horse power engine, and has a capacity of handling fifteen thousand bushels of grain per annum. Messrs. S. W. Little & Co., of Lincoln, own and operate a steam power elevator erected in the summer of 1879. The motor power is furnished by a six horse power engine, and it is fitted for handling ten thousand bushels per annum.

Messrs. Chessman and Davidson are also proprietors of a second elevator, having shipping facilities of ten thousand bushels in a year. It is operated by David Fisher, and was erected in 1878 by J. Conner.

The elevator of Sanford Richards was erected in the summer of 1877 by the Richards Bros. It is operated by a six horse power engine, and has a capacity for shipping seven thousand bushels per year.

They are all substantial well built structures, and together form the important business of the city.


The First National Bank of York was incorporated July 1, 1882, with a capital stock of $50,000, and the following complement of officials: R. C. Outcalt, president; W. A. Sharrar, vice-president; R. C. Outcalt, C. W. Mosher, E. W. Mosher, W. A. Sharrar, directors; E. W. Mosher, cashier. The bank building is a large two-story brick, with stone trimmings, just completed, with all modern conveniences for transacting business, and containing a large fire and burglar proof vault, making encroachments in this way impossible.

Commercial State Bank.—This bank was founded in 1875 by William McWhister, and operated by him until the time of his death, which took place in 1879. At this date the present proprietors, Messrs. Sayer and Atkins took charge, and continued it as a private banking house until 1880, when it was incorporated under the State law, with a capital of $50,000. At the present time it has a paid up capital of $33,500, and its functions comprise a general banking business. A fine brick block is in process of erection that will be occupied by the bank as soon as completed. Present officers: D. E. Sayre, president; F. Baldwin, vice-president; D. E. Sayre, F. O. Bell, F. B. Daggy, F. Baldwin, F. K. Atkins, directors; F. K. Atkins, cashier.


This institution was established by the Nebraska Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church at its session in October, in 1879, and the first term was opened in Academy Hall on the morning of January 7, 1880. This school has therefore risen to its present position of importance in about two and a half years. During the first year there was an enrollment of ninety-five students, and during the second of 137. At the close of the first year an endowment fund of $4,000 was secured; now it amounts to $13,000. The total assets of the institution now amount to $28,000. The campus of ten acres is located on a beautiful hill overlooking the town and the country for many miles in the distance. One wing of the building, represented above, is finished and occupied. The other parts of the structure will be erected as they seem to be needed: The policy of the trustees will be to push things forward as fast as their means will permit. It is expected that at no distant day, as soon as the Methodist Conference of the State demand a college, that this seminary will become one, and from that grow into a university with all its proper departments. This institution offers superior opportunities for acquiring a good education. A faculty of experienced and college-bred teachers of Eastern education and specialists in their respective departments are employed to give instruction in the studies of the different courses.

York is about the center of population in the State. It is the county seat of York County, and a city of 1,500 inhabitants. It is a strong temperance place, no saloons being allowed to exist therein. This is also a decidedly religious community, nearly all branches of the Christian church having societies here, and all laboring together to make a public sentiment in favor of religious principles. York is on the Nebraska Railroad, fifty miles west of Lincoln. This road runs through the most populous and one of the most rapidly growing portions of the State. It makes connection with other roads at Nebraska City, Lincoln, Seward and Central City. No more healthy location can be found in the State than this. The government of the institution is paternal. The utmost kindness, united with the greatest firmness, is exercised. All the students are made to feel that they are at home, and to realize that the seminary is to them an alma mater. Ladies are not permitted to receive the attentions of young gentlemen without permission of the preceptress.

Two flourishing literary societies are in existence; one for the young men, the Zetomathean, and the other for the young ladies, the Philopheeman, and attention is given by the teachers of rhetoric and elocution to the various kinds of literary performance. The faculty of the institution claim that a very important part of an education is the development of the ability to tell what we know, and to tell it well. The museum has about 1,000 specimens for illustrating zoology, geology, chemistry and mineralogy. There is a library of 200 volumes of choice books, which can be loaned to students without any kind of fee. Also a reading room is supplied with secular and religious papers from various parts of the country. The methods are the latest and best. The following are the curricula:

I. A preparatory course of one year, embracing a thorough drill in the common English branches—arithmetic, English grammar, geography, reading, writing and orthography.

II. A business course of one year, embracing all the branches required for a good business education, such as book-keeping, single and double entry, practical arithmetic, commercial arithmetic, geography, English grammar, commercial law and international law.

III. A normal course of two years, embracing all the studies required for a first class certificate before the State Superintendent, as well as lectures on the art of teaching, etc.

IV. A fine art course, including drawing, crayoning, landscape and portrait painting, in oil and water colors. The course requires one or two years, according to the aptness of the pupil.

V. A musical course, requiring three years for its completion, including solfeggio, harmony, and instruction on organ and piano.

VI. A scientific course of three years, embracing all the sciences, but no languages except the English, the completion of which will secure the degree of Bachelor of Science.

VII. A philosophical course of four years, equal to the highest seminary course of the east, the completion of which will entitle the student to the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy.


The schools of York are under the able and efficient tutorship of Prof. R. M. Bridges, who has been in charge for the past two years. At the beginning of the present school year, an entirely new course of study was adopted, and the work systematized so that coordinate grades are upon the same subjects at the same time, making a plan of work for the scholar that will fit him for the Nebraska M. E. Seminary or the State University. The total number of pupils in attendance at the present time is 523.

The schools are divided into seven departments, and presided over as follows: In the High School, Prof. R. M. Bridges; First and Second Grammar, Miss Alice Crownover; First Intermediate, Miss Annie Knapp; Second Intermediate, Miss Flora Blackburn; First Primary, Miss Carrie Moffitt; Second Primary, Miss Lucy Gould; New York Primary, Miss Laura Weed. They have the hearty support of the City Board of Education, and the utmost harmony prevails between teacher and scholar. Their progress during the past three years, though gradual, has been marked, and is manifest in the growth of the school population, the increased efficiency of an able corps of teachers, and in the earnest application, liberal attainments and high character of the pupils.

The aim and purpose is to prepare pupils for the State University, and although many difficulties are yet to be encountered, it is hoped ultimately to raise the standard of graduation so high that its diplomas will be a sufficient passport. To this end, the course of study includes English grammar and composition, United States, English and general history, the elementary sciences, such as physiology, physical geography, botany, zoology, natural philosophy, chemistry, the higher mathematics, and the Latin language, and all of the higher branches will be introduced, as the wants of the pupils demand.

The intention is to build a sound foundation for usefulness, and prepare the graduate for practical business life, or a better preparation for a professional or business education. The High School building is a solid, substantial brick, erected at a cost of $7,000, built for convenience and sanitary properties more than architectural beauty, and is one of the bright features of the city.

The City Board of Education include the following officers and mem-

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