Dakota County History

Dakota City has the first Lutheran church building built in Nebraska, the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, a Greek Revival style structure built in 1860. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The first pastor was the Reverend Henry W. Kuhns, who was a missionary sent by the Allegheny Synod to Nebraska Territory. Rev. Kuhns first preached in the front room of Bates House, a hotel, in November of 1850. The church was formally organized July 22, 1859. Plans were started for the building of the church, but their idea of moving an abandoned store from the abandoned town of Pacific City came to an end when a prairie fire destroyed the building as it was being moved to Dakota City. The present church was designed and built by Augustus T. Haase, a local carpenter and a member of the Emmanuel Lutheran congregation, at a total cost of $2,000. The building also served periodically as a Territorial courthouse, and religious services were still held on Sunday as usual. The church stands today as a proud monument to the tenacity and strengh of purpose of the early Dakota County settlers.


Dakota County Historical Society
Historical Land Mark Council
US 73-77, Dakota City
Dakota County
Marker 23


 

The oldest school building in Dakota County and one of the oldest in Nebraska, is Combs School. It was built in early 1857 at Omadi, four miles south of Dakota City. When the Missouri River began to undermine the entire area, it was moved to Thomas Smith's claim, about two miles south of Homer, and a new school district was formed. When construction began on the Burlington Railroad between Sioux City and Lincoln, it was discovered that the school was on railroad land. The building was moved again, this time to its present location near the old Combs mill. School redistricting and consolidation eliminated the need for the old Combs School, and its doors were closed for the last time on May 22, 1964. Realizing its historical importance, the Board of Education of the new district donated the school to the Dakota County Historical Society, who set it aside as a monument.


Dakota County Historical Society
Historical Land Mark Council
US 73-77, south of Homer
Dakota County
Marker 33


 

Two miles east of Homer is the O'Connor House. In 1875, Captain Cornelius O'Connor built this 14-room mansion on a foundation of stone slabs which were carefully shaved down and fitted together. The walls are comprised of a double layer of brick. The double-door entrance opens to a hall which is dominated by a beautiful, curved staircase which was hand made by Captain O'Connor. Cornelius O'Connor was a carpenter and the native walnut woodwork throughout the house is his creation, including the carved walnut built-in sideboard in the dining room. The huge marble fireplace was imported from Italy, and the mirror which hangs above it was brought from New York when the O'Connor family came to Nebraska in the 1850's.


 

Photos of the original Methodist Church in Homer, Nebraska may be seen here.  Use your browser's "back" key to return to Dakota County.




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