Our judges, like our laws, were rude and plain.-Cowley.
As established by the act of November 4, 1858, Hall County extended from the northeast corner of Township 16 north, Range 9 west, south to the southern bank of Platte River; west along the river to the west line of Range 12 west, north with that line to the northwest corner of Township 16, Range 12, and east with the line of the fourth parallel to the beginning. The act did not consider the county seat or its location. On February 24, 1864, the boundaries were re-difined, but the act was repealed on February 15 following. On March 1, 1871, a third act received approval, which established the territory comprised in Townships 9, 10, 11 and 12 north, in Ranges 9, 10, 11 and 12 west, as a county under the title of Hall.
Under date, Omaha City, Neb., December 9, 1858, Sec. and Acting-Gov. J. Sterling Morton advised Hon. Richard Barnard of the appoitment of officers for Hall County, under the act of November 4, 1858. Such appointments were Richard C. Barnard, *county judge; Herman Vasold, sheriff;
The first reference of elections is made under date November 8, 1862, when Johannes Wallichs, elected justice of the peace October 14, 1862, Joachim Selken, chosen constable and Theodore F. Nagel, commissioner, qualified before Frederick Hedde, justice of the peace. The first pages of Book A, commissioners' record, are occupied by Frederick Hedde's docket. The first case in his court is entitled Philip Feldman vs. John Windolph, the former demanding $75 from Windolph for opening a letter belonging to plaintiff and failing to forward it. On July 10, 1863, Jacob Weidig charged Charles Peterson with threatening to kill, but witnesses failing to prove such charge, the defendant was set at liberty. In October, 1863, Charles Boehl sued John Verges for $48.25, consideration for mowing and raking hay as employ of Verges. This was the great law case of the period, the hearing of which occupied the attention of the court for three days, and resulted in a judgment for plaintiff in the sum of $39.20 and costs. On Obtober 30, 1863, Henry Giese was asked to deliver to Charles Walker a wagon, which the latter had sold to the former. Justice Hedde ordered that
the contract be carried out or $15 damages be paid. Justice Hedde was engaged in more public affairs than common law covers, for on November 12, 1863, he solemnized marriage in the case of James Harrison and Lucinda Shoemaker on a license issued by the county clerk. On March 1, 1864, Henry Schoel and Mary Becker were united in matrimonial bonds by Justice Hedde, who is found, a few days later, engaged in hearing a second charge against Charles Peterson for threatening to kill John Windolph. Peterson made an abject apology, which was accepted, and furthur proceedings were stopped. On March 20, John H. Staats and Sophia Wilson were joined in the bonds of marriage. William Wasmer and Fred. Bohnsan complained that their fences were destroyed and posts carried away by certain unknown parties. Several suits for small debts were tried in 1869. On May 15, 1864, the pioneer justice is found at Mr. Knapp's house on Wood River, engaged in giving legal countenance to the marriage agreement between Corneluis Hurley and Mrs. Elizabeth Owens. On November 4 he performed the ceremony in the case of Johannes A. Wallichs ad Gretje Sahn, and soon after signs his name for the last time as justice of the peace in this record book. In April, 1865, W. Behrens performed the marriage ceremony in the case of Hascall Skinner and Mary J. Mitchell, and on May 26, in that of Marx Stelk and Antje Ruger.
The first record of the commissioners is dated Grand Island, January 7, 1867, when the county was divided into three precincts. William Hagge was appointed assessor for precinct No. 1; John Wallichs for No. 2 and William Eldredge for No. 3; Dr. Joseph Rease was appointed county attorney at $100 per annum; a license fee of $25 for every dealer in liquors was ordered to be collected and the proceeds applied to the school funds. Licenses were issued to seven persons for the sale of liquor and an eighth dealer ordered to take out one. The commissiners at this time were: Hans Wrage, Dr. A. Thorspecken and Chris. Wasmer, with Fred. Evans, clerk and W. H. Platt, deputy clerk. In July the total valuation of the county was $144,793, on which a county tax of 6 mills was ordered to be levied, and an equal tax on the value of Buffalo County, then only $21,520. Augustus Scheineckau was appointed commissioner to locate a road running east and west through the county, and one from Grand Island Station to Grand Island. In October, 1867, W. H. Platt was appointed probate judge, vice William H. Mitchell, who failed to qualify. In January, 1868, Commissioner Wasmer resigned, Enos Beall was appointed school examiner; James Jackson, Hans Wrage, commissioners, with Fred A. Wiebe, the commissioner, elected vice Wasmer, formed the board. John Wallichs succeeded Evans as clerk. In July a tax of 6 mills on the total valuation, $172,467, was levied for general county purposes, 3 mills for sinking fund and 5 mills for road fund. In August, 1868, and offer, made through S. C. House, by the Union Pacific Railroad Company, was receive. This offer was substantially as follows: "To take in exchange that portion of School Section 16, Town 1 north, Range 9 west, which is now occupied and laid out as the town of Grand Island Station, the nearest railroad land to the said town of Grand Island Station; that is, so many acres as said company has laid out at the above town site." In September the elections of the county seat question and the 2 mill tax for jail building purposes were ordered, and in October Judge Crounse was petitioned to hold a term of the district court in Hall County, and record books for such court were ordered procured. The vote on county seat resulted in favor of Grand Island Station, and the clerk ordered to give notice of such fact.
Buffalo County was set off as Buffalo Precinct and Dawson County as Dawson Precinct of Hall County. On November 16, 1869, the following named officers qualified: Enos Beall, probate judge; Hugo Hald, sheriff; John A. Wallichs, clerk; Henry A. Koenig, treasurer; Robert Mitchell, justice of First precinct and Claus Holdenberg, road supervisor of Second precinct. E. Hooper took Commissioner Weibe's place. In January, 1870, Allen Cousins presented fifty-three wolf scalps, George Williamson eight, and George Stierle eight. For some years prior to this the county clerk acknowledged receipt of several wolf
scalps, but the names of the hunters were not given. At this time the question of issuing $15,000 bonds, bearing 10 per cent, to be expended in bridging the Platte, was ordered to be submitted to vote in May, when a majority of twenty-seven votes was recorded in favor of the question, and H. P. Handy commissioned to make an examination of the river, and on July 5, 1870, he was authorized to contract for the building of a bridge 1,900 feet in length on the line between Ranges 9 and 10. The contract was awarded to Wells, French & Co., of Chicago, who agreed to have the work completed on or before February 15, 1871, the consideration being $10,000 worth of bonds on arrival of material, and $5,000 on completion of work. A contract for the Wood River bridge was sold to H. P.. Handy at this time, the consideration being $420, and the temporary building for jail purposes was reported complete in December, 1870. Treasurer Koenig resigened at this time and Frederick A. Weibe was appointed to fill that position. In March, 1871, the new portion of Hall County south of the Platte was districted, the territory in Range 9 being attached to the First precinct, in Range 10 to the Second, and in Ranges 11 and 12 to the Third precinct. The sum of $200 was appropriated to combat the Omaha & Northwestern Railroad in their proceedings for injuction against the Platte River bridge bill and H. P. Handy.
In July, 1871, the tax levy on the assessment of $695,071.86, was 5 mills, general fund; 4 mills land road tax, and 2½ mills, sinking fund. In November of this year the first rugular statement of revenue and expenditure was presented by Frederick A. Weibe. He reported $6,193.01 collected in 1868-69 and 1870 for the general fund; $6,448.50 for sinking fund; $975.66 for jail fund; $3,650.44 for land and road fund; $1,306.98 for bridge fund. Of all this sum, $7,430.43 remained in the treasury November 14, 1871. On November 23, 1871, a petition signed by L. W. Rollins and 200 tax-payers of the county asked the board to order an election on the question of issuing 10 per cent bonds for $25,000, the proceeds to be expended in erecting a court-house at Grand Island Station. In granting this petition, the commissioners named January 9, 1872, as the date for such election, but on January 2, the question was presented in another form and an election ordered for February 15, to vote $15,000 for building a court-house. A majority of 150 votes was given to the proposition and the result acquiesced in by the commissioners on February 22 of that year. In February, Abbott & Thummel were appointed agents for Hall County to adjust all matters connected with the collection of taxes and adjusting same in Adams & Hamilton Counties. On March 22 the clerk was authorized to ask fo rbids for the erection of a brick building on stone foundation. In May and election on the proposition to issue bonds for $90,000 to the Grand Ialdn & Northwestern Railroad company was ordered to be held June 15, 1872. George Cornelius and Edward Hooper were the commissioners present at this session, Jackson being absent. The proposition was carried by a majority of 180. At this time the assessed value of the county was $949,473.12, and on this assessed value a general State tax of 2½ mills; sinking fund, 2 mills; school, 2 mills, and University tax of ¼ mill were levied; while for county general tax, 6 mills were levied; for sinking fund, 1½ mills, road and bridge fund, 1 mill, land and road tax, $4 on every 160 acres, and court-house tax, 2 mills per $1. School Districts 6 to 13, inclusive, were assessed 10 mills per $1 for school purposes; District 2, 13 mills; District 3, 4 mills; Districts 1 and 4, eight mills, and District 5, 5 mills. The contract for building court-house was sold to John W. Graham, July 3, 1872, for $15,750, but for some reason a new contract was entered July 17, with Christian Anderson, D. Plunster and James Tout, for $16,500 and Edward Hooper appointed superintendent of construction. This house was finished and accepted June 28, 1873. In November, 1872, the issue of $5,000 in 10 per cent bonds was ordered to be submitted to vote, the proceeds to be applied to completion of court-house. This proposition was carried by thirteen majority. William Hagge was appointed treasurer to fill vacancy occasioned by the absconding of the former treasurer, Charles Ruelbert, for
whose arrest and return to the sheriff of Hall County a reward of $500 was offered. On December 10 a petition from the residents of Grand Island asking for incorporation as a town was granted, and R. C. Jordan, John Wallichs, A. Thorspecken, H. N. Chapman and Christian Wasmer were named as trustees. On April 1, 1873, the question of issuing 10 per cent bonds to aid in the construction of a mill on Wood River, within two miles of the Union Pacific Railroad bridge, was ordered to be submitted, but it does not appear from the record that the proposition was favorably received. O. A. Abbott resigned the office of superintendent of schools on this date, John D. Hayes being appointed the same day. The assessed valuation in July, 1873, was $1,276,955. On this valuation a tax levy was made of 6¼ mills for State purposes, and 15 mills for county purposes, wih a land road tax of $4 per 160 acres. The twenty-nine school districts were taxed according to improvements in each-30 mills in District 16 and 29; 20 mills in Dictricts 7, 12 and 17; 18 mills in Districts 8 and 18; 16 mills in District 25; 13 in District 6; 10 in District 22, and lower rates in the other taxed districts. Districts 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21 and 26 were not taxed directly for school purposes over the State 2 mill tax. In July, 1878, the work of erecting three bridges over Wood River was undertaken and many new roads advertised.
Squire S. Lamb was appointed assessor of damages, under the law declaring section lines county roads, vice Richard Moore formerly appointed. In August the board endorsed the resolutions passed at Columbus, in the matter of injunction proceedings by the Union Pacific Railroad Company, against county treasurers along their line, and agreed to pay pro rata costs of defending the counties against the railroad company. The election on the issue of $90,000 on 10 per cent bonds, to aid in the building of the St. Joseph & Grand Island Railroad, was held December 4, 1873, when a majority vote of 214 was recorded in favor of such issue. On January 6, 1874, Commissioner Peter Harrison took Jackson's place on the board. During this session there were seven voting precincts established, namely: Grand Island, Prairie Creek, Alda, South Loup, Wood River, Martinsville and Souith Platte. On April 8, bonds for $90,000 were ordered to be transferred to the officers of the St. Joseph & Grand Island Railroad. The rates of taxation agreed upon in July, 1874, were 6¼ state, and 16¼ county, with a $4 quarter section tax. The assessed valuation was $1,554,955. Of the forty-four school districts in existence this year, only four escaped direct taxation, which reached 40 mills in District 24, 48 mills in No. 34, 35 mills in No. 32, and 25 mills in Districts 33 and 38. The treasurer's report on revenue from 1869 to September 30, 1874, is very minute in detail. In 1875 Commissioner Jackson was returned a member of the board vice Cornelius. The assessed valuation was placed at $1,528,155, on which a State tax of 7 ³/10 mills, and a county tax of 11¼ mills were levied. There were fifty-three schooldistricts in existence at this time, all of which were directly taxed-District 45 paying 80 mills; Disticts 24, 32 and 40 about 40 mills; Districts 46 nd 50, 30 mills; District 28, 28 mills. In 1876 George Cornelius was returned a member of the board vice Hooper, and with Peter Harrison and James Jackson formed the board. The question of issuing $15,000 in 8 per cent bonds (to be known as the Hall County Canal Bonds, and the proceeds to be expended on the construction of a canal between the Platte and Wood Rivers) was submitted May 20, 1876, and rejected by a vote of 330 contra, 140 pro. In July the assessment of the county showed a valuation of $1,379,909, on which a State tax of 7 ³/10 mills, and a county tax of 16¼ mills were levied. There were fifty-five school districts established, of which No. 45 paid a 70 mill tax, and No. 50 a 61 mill tax. B. B. Partridge, James Jackson and George Cornelius formed the board in December, 1876. In May, 1877, the commissioners took steps to tax lands on which title was not proved, although the time had passed when title should issue. The object of the board was to force such "escapers" from tax-paying to show their hands. The assessed value in July, 1877, was $1,608.23 (sic), on which a State tax of
6 ¹/8 mills and a county tax of 15 mills were levied. There were fifty-six school districts listed, all of which except nine were taxed directly. At this time the people of Grand Island authorized the issue of $8,000 in 8 per cent bonds, to be expended on building a bridge over the Platte, in conjunction with Hamilton County. The vote was 197 for, and ninety-three contra. In August, 1877, O. D. M. Washburn took the place of George Cornelius, and in November J. W. West was elected commissioner with P. Nevills. In November the vote on "Township Organization" gave a majority in favor of the change of 478, and on the 24th of that month the county was divided into fifteen municipal townships, namely: Washington, Lake, Prairie Creek, Mayfield, South Loup, Lee, Zurich, Sheridan, Alda, Wood River, Union, Martinsville, Grant, South Platte and Douglass. The law was declared unconstitutional and the subject slept for years. In December, 1877, Caswell T. Poe was appointed county physician and in January, 1878, Messrs. Partridge, West and Nevills were commissioners.
In May, 1878, Surveyor L. E. Reaugh resigned, and Charles Rief was appointed. In July, 1878, the assessed valuation was $1,712,733. On this total a State tax of 6 ³/8 mills and a county tax of 12 mills were levied, while the fifty-eight school districts then organized were all taxed except eight. In no case was the rate over 25 mills. During this month the board appropriated $8,000 toward building a bridge over the Platte at the east line of Hall County. This was completed in January, 1879. A sum of $200 was appropriated to the Agricultural Society to be expended in improving fair grounds. The proposition to issue bonds for $75,000 to the Hastings & Grand Island Railroad was presented in April, 1879. In May 1,108 votes were cast in its favor and 470 against it. The valuation of the county in 1879 was placed at $1,815,280, on which a State tax of 5¾ mills and a county tax of 18 mills were levied. Sixty school districts were reported organized, of which fifty-three paid direct tax. The Mrs. Willoughby chastity matter was presented in August, but the wily commissioners transferred the ones of investigation to Judge Harrison's court. In October the proposition to issue $50,000 in 6 per cent bonds (to aid the building of the Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad) was ordered to be submitted to the people of Grand Island. On November 8 there were 509 votes cast for and 122 against the proposition. On October 9 the Grand Island Railroad was reported complete and $75,000 in bonds transferred to the proper officers. Work on the railroad shops at Grand Island was begun in September, 1880. Charles Rief succeeded John Wallichs in January, 1880, as county clerk. The assessed valuation of the county was placed at $1,919,069.70, on which a county tax of 17½ mills was levied. Grand Island precinct was taxed 5 mills for sinking fund, and the city 10 mills for general fund and 2½ for sinking fund. There were sixty-four school districts in existence that year; but, unlike former years, a direct school tax of 25 mills was the highest levied and that only in thirteen districts. In October, 1880, the question of expending $1,000 on a building for the poor was ordered to be voted on.
Z. B. Partridge and W. H. West, old members of the board, continued their membership in 1881 with Joel P. Goodrich, who replaced Commissioner Nevills. In March was established the cemetery on the poor farm. The tax levy ordered in July was 16 mills for county, general, sinking, bridge and road fund; 2 mills to pay interest on bonds of Grand Island precinct, and 9 mills for sinking fund of Grand Island City. There were sixty-five schoold districts reported, but the direct tax only reached 25 mills in a few instances. The subdivision of the county into voting precincts was accomplished July 28, 1881, when the following divisions were established: Lake, Town 12, Range 9; Prairie Creek, Town 12, Range 10; Mayfield, Town 12, Range 11; South Loup, Town 12, Range 12; Cameron, Town 11, Range 12; Harrison, Town 11, Range 11; Alda, sections in Range 10 and 11, Town 11 and 10; North Grand Island, parts of Town 11, Range 9 and 10; East Grand Island, parts of Twon 11 and 10, Range 9; West Grand Island, parts of Town 10 and 11, Range 9; Wood River, Town 10, Range 11, and that portion of Town 9 in Range 9, north of north bank of south
channel of Platte; Jackson, Town 10, Range 12, and all of Town 9, Range 12, north of above mentioned bank of the Platte; Martinsville, Town 9, Range 12, and all of Town 9, Range 11, south of north bank of south channel of Platte; South Platte, all of Town 9, Range 10, and the south angle of Town 10, Range 10, south of the south channel of the Platte; Doniphan, all of Town 9 and 10 in Range 9, south of the north bank of south channel of the Platte. Each precinct was established as a road district, the numerical order of Townships 1 to 15 being retained as the numbers of such districts outside of Grand Island City. The contract for county printing was awarded for the year to Seth P. Mobley for $97. In October, Commissioner Partridge tendered his resignation, to take effect January 4, 1882. This was not accepted. In November Dr. H. B. Lashlee was employed as county physician, the annual money consideration being $85. In January, 1882, Frank Sears signs the records as county clerk, Z. B. Partridge and J. P. Goodrich are members of the board, with S. S. Shultz new commissioner, vice West. The estimate of county expenditures for 1882 was placed at $43,000 and of the Grand Island sinking fund at $3,000. In June, 1882, the tax levy was ordered as follows: County general fund, 8 mills; sinking fund, 3 mills; sinking fund to pay indebtedness prior to adoption of new constitution, 2 mills; bridge fund, 2 mills; road fund, 2 mills; Grand Island precinct fund, 4 mills; Grand Island City, for general revenue purposes, 10 mills. Sixty-six school districts were reported existing, the direct tax on which ranged from 3 to 25 mills. The contract for county printing was awarded to James Ewing in September for $100. Dr. Lashlee resigned, the county was divided into twenty-seven road districts and Dr. Janss was appointed county physician at $139.95 per annum. On October 10, 1882, the following resolution was adopted: "Whereas it has come to our knowledge, through the agency of the Hon. J. Sterling Morton, that the organization of Hall County has never been recoreded in the records of said county, and Whereas Mr. Morton, who as acting governor of the Territory of Nebraska, at the time of the organization of said county, has furnished a copy of the record of said orgainzation, it is therefore resolved that the clerk of Hall County is ordered to spread the proceedings of said organization upon the records of the county." A petition from the inhabitants of Wood River, asking that all the territory in Section 19, Town 10, Range 11, be incorporated as a town, was presented October 14, 1882, and granted. James Jackson, W. L. G. Trapp, N. T. Britton, J. B. Furman and James Ewing were named as trustees.
In May, 1883, the court-house was subjected to repairs by Contractor J. W. Lamb. The price was $170, plus 35 cents per yard for plastering. The tax levy was fixed at 12 mills in additin to 3 mills for Grand Island precinct fund. No new school districts were reported, and the levy in the sixty-six existing districts was generally kept below the 25 mill limit except in seven districts where the 25 mill tax was ordered. Charles Guenther was awarded the contract for building an addition, 24x34 feet to house on poor-farm for $1,060. In January, 1883, Commissioner W. W. Mitchell took the place of Commissioner Partridge; C. T. Poe was county physician. On November 20, 1883, this board approved the official bonds of Jahn Allan, clerk of the district court; James Cannon, sheriff; D. H> Vantine, sperintendent of public instruction, and Edward Hooper, county treasurer, and the work of the last board of county commissioners was completed.
The first meeting of the board of supervisors was held November 21, 183, with Z. Avery temporary president, and Frank Sears, clerk. The townships were represented by E. C. Walker of Lake Towndhip; Peter Mohr, Sr., Prairie Creek; Henry Rosswick, Mayfield; Frank M. Stanley, South Loup; Haydn Strong, Cameron; Jasper Eggers, Harrison; George Elfus, Alda; Stephen Jones, Wood River; Z. Avery, Martinsbille; J. H. Powers, South Platte, Samuel S. Shultz, Doniphan; John Fonner, East Grand Island; James Cleary, West Grand Island; G. H. Bush (W. B. Larrabee in December, 1883), North Grand Island, and Patrick Nevills, of Jackson. Haydn
Strong was elected permanent president over J. H. Powers. A committee on the formation of townships was then appointed: Messrs. Powers, Shultz, Jones, Fonner and Elfus. This committee reported as follows, and the report was accepted: Lake Township, Town 12, Range 9; Prairie Creek, Town 12, Range 10; Mayfield, Town 12, Range 11; South Loup, Town 12, Range 12; Cameron, Town 11, Range 12; Harrison, Town 11, Range 11; Centre, Town 11, Range 10; Alda, Town 10, Range 10 north of north main channel of Platte; Wood River, all of Town 10, Range 11 and Town 9, Range 11 north of north main channel of Platte; Jackson, Town 10, Range 12 and part of Town 9, Range 12 north of said channel; Martin, all of Ranges 11 and 12 south of north bank of main channel of that river; South Platte, all of Town 9, Range 10 and Town 10, Range 10 southe of north bank of main channel; Doniphanm, Town 9, Range 9, and part of Town 10, Range 9 south of channel; Washington, Town 10, Range 9 north of channel, and all of Towns 11 and 9 except Grand Island City and the Town of Grand Island.
On December 11, committees on claims, finance, roads and bridges, official books, assessments, boundaries and rules were appointed, and the new board settled down to business. A petition to the governor asking for the commutation of the death sentence of George W. Hart to imprisonment for life met with opposition. Dr. Poe was re-appointed county physician, and the Wood River Gazette Company, printers. On January 9, 1884, the sum of $1,000 was granted to the Agricultural Society; the proposition to build a front or wing to the court-house was favorably received, and the salary of county clerk placed at $1,500, including $400 as clerk of the board, but exclusive of $700 for deputy and $600 for other assistants in the office.
On February 26, 1884, and examination of Treasurer Cornelius' books showed $32,506.67 to the credit of all funds at the close of his term, and this sum was turned over to Treasurer Hooper. On October 4 a petition by James Cleary, C. B. Lewis, W. B. Larrabee, E. C. Walker and John Fonner asked for an election on the question of issuing $8,000 bonds to be expended on the construction of two bridges over the Platte near Wood River. The proposition received 1,746 votes, and was opposed by 670, so that the supervisors in November, 1884, gave their authoritative sanction to the measure. The unjunction issued by the United States District Court to restrain the collection of taxes from the Union Pacific Railroad Compnay was discussed, and a resolution calling upon the clerk to correspond with teh clerks of other counties interested with a view of taking steps to set aside the injuction was passed.
On January 13, 1885, the board organized with J. H. Powers, president; Z. Avery, T. M. Crittenden, R. H. Dodd, M.S. Drennan, G. elfus, L. J. Hanchett, W. H. Harrison, C. B. Lewis, W. B. Larrabee, E. S. Lee, John Mullen, J. T. Mehaffie, J. H. Powers, J. H. Scudder, C. Stoltenberg, J. G. Shaupp, O. U. Westcott and C. W. Thomas (the last-named failed to qualify, and James Cleary was appointed) were the supervisors. An appropriation of $1,000 to the Agricultural Society, for the purpose of erecting permanent buildings, was made, and a resolution urging the collection of delinquent personal taxes adopted. In June President E. A. Barnes, of the Agricultural Society, asked that the appropriation of the sum of $1,000 to his society be withdrawn, and the vote was reconsidered and the appropriation confirmed, omitting the article binding the society to build at Grand Ialdn. At this time a 14 mill tax for county, sinking and bridge fund was ordered, a 3 mill tax for Grand Island precinct interest on shop bonds, 14 mills for Grand Island City, 10 mills for Wood River village, and 6 mills for Doniphan village. There were also direct taxes on township levied this year of general, road and bridge purposes in each township. This tax ranged from 4½ mills in South Platte to 11 mills in Mayfield. In the seventy school districts existing in 1885 a 32 mill tax was levied in No. 67; but, with the exception of four other districts, the levy was under 25 mills, and in one district as low as 3 mills. In August, 1885, on petition of Lyon Post, G. A. R., a committee comprising one representative from each town was appointed to
attend to the burial of indigent deceased soldiers. The men appointed are named as follows: N. H. Hurford, Grand Island; H. E. Kent, Lake; W. B. Larrabee, Washington; C. B. Lewis, Prairie Creek; Henry Rosswick, Mayfield; H. Strong, Cameron; J. T. Mehaffie, South Loup; J. B. Stevens, Jackson; Stephen Jones, Wood River; W. W. Mitchell, Alda; W. N. Gillett, Center; G. C. Humphrey, South Platte; Martin Ennis, Doniphan; O. F. Foote, Martin, and F. P. Cowee, of Harrison. In October, 1885, a statement of expenses of old county commissioners' board was asked for. This pointed out that during the year 1883 J. P. Goodrich received for time and mileage, $262.20; S.S. Shultz, $234.10, and W. W. Mitchell, $205.50, a total of $701.80 up to October 20, 1883. For the year ending October 7, 1885, the board of supervisors received $636.95, or $37.41 each, to which $88.90 expenses of session then adjourned must be added. On October 24 a special meeting was called to consider charges made in the columns of the Grand Island Times against Sheriff Cannon. The investigation commenced October 27, when the six charges were presented. Supervisor Lewis moved: "We find that the sheriff has received $646, more or less, for guarding jail, and that said service has not been truly rendered or performed, and that if it had been performed as claimed it would not have been by the authority of this board." The investigation ended October 29, with the sheriff's resignation, his reason for resigning being "that the compensation of the office had been so reduced by the action of the board he did not desire to hold the office longer." E. A. Wedgwood succeeded him. J. December, the school superindentent, was ordered to remove to rented rooms in the Michelson building, and the district clerk to move into the vacated rooms in county building. On January 12, 1886, the third organization of the supervisors' board was perfected, with Charles Rief, president; James Cleary represented Grand Island; W. J. Burger, Doniphan; T. M. Crittenden, Martin; A. H. Denman, Alda; W. H. Harrison, Harrison; Stephen Jones, Wood River; Frank Jacobs, Grand Island; E. S. Lee, Cameron; J. T. Mehaffie, South Loup; John Moore, Jackson; H. C. Moeller, Lake; J. H. Powers, South Platte; Charles Rief, Grand Island; G. L. Rouse, Center; Fred Robey, Washington; C. W. Scarff, Grand Island; John Shuman, Mayfield; S. M. Schisler, Prairie Creek, and Monroe Taylor, Grand Island; D. Ackerman entered on the duties of county clerk; the Thompson Brothers were appointed county attorneys. The tax levy ordered aggregated 15 mills for general, sinking, bridge and insane funds; 3 mills for Grand Island interest on bonds; Grand Island City, 17 mills; Wood River village 10 mills, and Doniphan village 6 mills. The direct levy on township for general, road and bridge purposes range from 3 to 15 mills, while the levy for school purposes in each of the seventy districts was kept below the average of former years, reaching 25 mills in only three disticts. In July the question of guaranteed strength of the steel jail cells furnished by Mosler, Bahman & Co. was considered, when their representative Dewey charged the officials with criminal carelessness in allowing a piece of broken hinge to remain in cell, and thus place in the hands of prisoners a much desired weapon with which to break the doors and render escape easy. Power's celebrated motion declaring the case useless and ordering its removal by the manufacturers was carried.
Mosler, Bahman & Co. carried the question before the courts, and in the fall of 1889 secured judgment for amount of original bill, cost, etc., aggregating about $4,000.
In August, 1886, a committee appointed to locate the sources of a stream running northeast through Lake Township, reported such source in Section 1, Center Township, and recommended that it be named Moore's Creek.
The fourth board of supervisors organized January 11, 1887, with Z. H. Denman, president. The new board comprised the following named township representatives: David T. Jamieson, Gustave Koehler, George Loan, John T. Connell and Monroe Taylor, Grand Island City; Marcus R. Abbott, Wood River; W. J. Burger, Doniphan; Thomas B. Coulter, South Platte; Z. H. Denman, Alda; Alvin E. Eager, Prairie Creek;
Oscar F. Foote, Martin; L. J. Hanchett, Lake; J. H. Leonard, Harrison; John Moore, Jackson; Fred. Roby, Washington; George L. Rouse, Center; Seymour Veeder, South Loup; P. S. Wingert, Mayfield; Ervin Whitehead, Cameron.
On petition of Post No. 65, G. A. R., of Doniphan, Martin Marsh was appointed to see that indigent deceased soldiers of that township were decently interred. The Grand Island Herald was designated as the official journal of the county for 1887, and the estimated expenditures placed at $47,500. On January 12 the proposition of Sister Mary Magdalene, of St. Francis Hospital, was received and adopted. This provided for medical and surgical attendance on sick persons, and their nursing and care for $4 per week, and if needing constant care, $5 per week. The lower rate was also applicable to sick children, while a rate of $2.50 per week was made for the care and maintenance of healthy children under the age of twelve years. The poor farm was rented to A. K. Dunkel.
The tax levy ordered in June, 1887, was 15 mills for general, sinking, bridge and insane funds; 3 mills, Grand Island precinct; 10 mills general, 1 mill interest, ¾ sinking, 4¼ sinking fund and interest on water works bonds, and 1 mill library for Grand Island City, or a total of 17 mills; 10 mills, Wood River village; 6 mills, Doniphan village, and from 3 to 7 mills to provide for local township expenditures. Seventy-two school districts were in existence, the levy on which ranged from 1 to 25 mills.
The fifth board of supervisors organized January 10, 1888, with George L. Rouse, president. The members were: G. D. Boyce, Thomas B. Coulter, A. C. Denman, A. DeWitte, A. Z. Eager, O. F. Foote, J. W. Freeman, Richard Goehring, L. H. Hancett, Jr. R. Jewett, M. D. Nickles, Patrick Nevills, G. L. Rouse, Fred. Roby, F. M. Stanley, Charles A. Wiebe, P.S. Wingert, Ervin Whitehead and W. F. McLaughlin. A resolution to obtain estimates from Der Herold for pulishing the proceedings of the board, was lost on being presented. A. K. Dunkel was confirmed as superintendent of the poor farm for ensuing year. At this time the county attorney informed the board that the United States district court decided for the Union Pacific Railroad Co., and would not recommend an appeal to the supreme court.
In April, 1888, Julius C. Bishop was appointed representative of Mayfild Township on the board, to fill vacancy (the county clerk, judge and treasurer having the appointive power), and H. C. Moeller was appointed to represent Lake Township. In July a 15 mill tax was authorized-8 4/10 mills general, 2 mills bridge, 2 ²/10 mills, interest and sinking fund, St. Joseph & Grand Island Railroad bonds, 8/10 mills, ²/10 principle on John L. Mean's bonds and 4/10 mill for insane hospital fund. The levy for Grand Island precinct was placed at 3 mills-interest and sinking fund for Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad bonds; the levy on Grand Island City, for general and special funds, was placed at 18 mills, together with a $3 poll-tax; on Wood River, 10 mills, and on Doniphan, 2 ²/10 mills, while the tax for general, road and bridge fund of the townships averaged about 5 mills on each, which would equal 5 mills on the total assessed valuation of the townships. The aggregated levy in the seventy-four school districts was 1,088 mills, averaging a little over 14½ mills on each. The total valuation of the seventy-four districts multiplied by 14½ would, therefore, give the proceeds of this tax. John W. Harrison was appointed supervisor of Harrison in June, 1888, to fill vacancy. The issue of $25,000 in bonds, to be known as the "Hall County (Neb.) Jail Bonds," was recommended, in September, by a committee of the board, comprising J. R. Jewett, E. Whitehead, M. D. Nickles, J. W. Freeman and O. F. Foote.
The sixth board of supervisors organize January 8, 1889, with George L. Rouse, president. The supervisors elected were A. Avery, J.C. Biship, John Creason, A. DeWitte, Charles Ewing, C. S. Haines, William Haldeman, J. R. Jewett, W. F. McLaughlin, John F. Mader, H. C. Moeller, Charles Moritz, M. V. Powers, G. L. Rouse, T. Robinson, Theodore sievers, E. Whitehead, P.S. Wingert, George P. Dean (vice Edward Hooper). In March J. W. Harrison was appointed supervisor of Harrison Township.
Nicholaus Lahann was appointed superintendent of poor-farm. The estimate of expenditures for 1889 was $49,500 in addition to $6,000 to provide interest and sinking fund for Grand Island precinct bonds to Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad. The tax levy ordered in July, 1889, was 11 4/10 mills for general, bridge, insane and interest-sinking funds, and 2 mills interest on Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad bonds of Grand Island precinct. The levy for Grand Island City was 8 mills, general; 2 mills interest on funding bonds; 7 mills interest on water-works bonds, first, second and third series; ¾ mill, library fund; 5 mills interest on sewer bonds, and 2½ mills interest on city hall bonds, together with a $3 poll-tax on all male citizens between the ages of twenty-one and fifty years. The levy on Wood River village was placed at 10 mills and on Doniphan village at 2 mills. The average levy for township, general, bridge and road funds was 4 mills on the aggregate assessed value of the fourteen townships, while a rate of 13 mills was established for school district No. 29 to meet bonds. The propostioin to vote $25,000 6 per cent bonds, proceeds to be expended on the erection of a jail and an addition to the court house was brought before the board by Z. Avery, A. DeWitte and Theodore Sievers, members thereof, with the result as shown in the election returns. In August the townships were numbered one to fourteen in accordance with Section 7, Chapter 22, laws of 1889.
The supervisors chosen to represent the several townships in November, 1889, are elsewhere named. In January, 1890, Chairman Rouse was reappointed, being the beginning of his third term as chairman. In his address to the board he speaks of the bonded indebtedness of the county, thus:
"We have bonded indebtedness of $151,000, including Grand Island precinct, which mature and bear rate of interest as indicated. Court-house bonds, 10 per cent, due in August, 1892, $15,000; court-house and jail bonds, 10 per cent, due May 1, 1893, $5,000; refunded bridge bonds, 6 per cent, due January 1, 1896, $6,000; Hastings & Grand Island Railroad bonds, 6 per cent, due July 1, 1899, $75,000; Grand Island precinct bonds, 6 per cent, due July 1, 1900, $50,000. Excluding Grand Island precinct bonds we have a bonded debt of the county of $101,000, a part of which it is the duty of this board to levy a tax to pay."
He also referred to the ³/10 mill tax under the new law, providing for the soldiers' relief fund.
The county has a financial reputation second to none in this State. The recent sale of bonds at 4½ per cent premium is a historical fact.
In 1870 Hall County cast off her political swaddling clothes and won recognition from the older counties of the commonwealth. The political beginnings of the county were, in a measure, crude. Uncertainty marked the transactions of the old board and not until 1867 did the little republic of which Grand Island is the center arrive at that point, where true local government begins. Only a few years before the Indians threatened to make a clearance where the simple homes of the pioneers stood. The forts then erected were still in existence, and nine-tenths of the inhabitants entertained peculiar doubts regarding American methods and manners. Another few years and a change is wrought in sentiment and habits, and the people of Hall, now cosmopolitan, make their voices heard throughout the State-an old resident is nominated for the office of State treasurer, and the county is looked upon as a leading factor in deciding questions of moment to the State.
In October, 1870, David Butler (R) received a majority for Governor in Hall County; Henry A. Koenig (R) for State treasurer; John Taffe (R) for Congress; Leander Gerard (R) and his Demogratic opponent for the senatorship received a tie vote; Enos Beal (R) a majority for representative, and James Jackson (R) for commissioner. This last-named office was the only vacancy in the county offices.
The elections of October, 1871, resulted as follows: For senator, O. A. Abbott (R), 251; I. N. Taylor, 12; for clerk, John Wallichs, 225; William Stolley, 72; for treasurer, C. Ruelberg (R), 292; for sheriff, W. M. Spiker (R), 146; A. Thorspecken (D), 144; A. Thorspecken received 162 and B. B. Kelley 119 for coroner; O. A. Abbott, 288 for superintendent of schools; Hugo Hald, 283 for sur-
veyor; William H. Platt 205 and Robert Mitchell 75 for probate judge, and George Cornelius 290 for commissioner.
The vote of Hall County on the adoption of the constitution of 1871 was 90 for and 91 contra .
Ed. Parker represented Hall, Merrick, Greeley, Howard, Boone and Antelope in 1872. The county officers elected this year are previously named.
The elections of 1873 show 328 votes for O. A. Abbott (R), and 416 for William H. Platt (P *ticket), for probate judge; J. E. White (R) received 313, and W. A. Hagge (P), 356, for clerk; William Spiker (P), 193, and W. A. Deuel (R), 358, for sheriff; Odell, 185, and J. D. Hayes (R), 595, for superintendent of schools; Dr. Kinkle (R), 305, and A. Tholrspecken (P), 411, for coroner; J. S. Smith (R), 353, and A. J. Wilgocki (P), 386, for surveyor; James Jackson (P), 383, and P. Harrison (R), 411, for commissioner.
Rev. John Lyon, one of the first preachers of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was nominated for the office of superintendent of schools, but refused to be a candidate.
The elections of 1874 show 302 votes cast in Grand Island precinct, 140 in Alda, 67 in south Loup, 48 in South Platte, 56 in Prairie Creek and 133 in Wood River. Messrs. Crounse (R and P Ind.), Savage (D) and Davis were candidates for Congress, Crounse receiving 516 votes against 194 for Savage and 35 for Davis. G. C. Barton (R), nd J. E. North (D), were candidates for senator; W. H. Platt (D), and Loren Clark (R), for representative; James Jackson (D) and James White (R), for commmissioner; B. R. Kelley (D) and Patterson (R), for coroner. There were seven bogus tickets in the field.
The elections of October, 1875, show a majority of 335 for George W. Post (R), district judge; 215 for John D. Hayes (R), county judge; 126 for W. A. Deuel (Ind), treasurer; 47 for John Wallichs (Ind), clerk; 40 for Cornelius (Ind), commissioner; 104 for Nunn (Ind), superentendent of schools, and 45 for A. F. Wilgocki (R), surveyor.
The elections of November, 1876, resulted in 341 votes being cast for S. B. Mobley (Ind R), 515 for George Thummel (R), and 192 for Hirst (D), candidates for senator. The vote for W.W. Mitchell (Ind R), Peter Harrison (R), and W. H. Platt (D), was about the same for representative, while Humphrey, Partridge and Barnes were the respective party candidates for commissioner; 855 votes were cast for T. O. C. Harrison (R), candidate for county judge; 432 for W. Hagge and 420 for Wiseman, treasurer; 485 for Joseph Killian (Ind), 213 for Ware and 163 for Andrews, sheriff; 461 for John Wallichs (R), and 403 for C. Rief, clerk; 297 for H. Nunn (R), and 564 for Ewing, school superintendent; 509 for S. E. Reaugh (R), and 357 for Babcock, surveyor; 854 for Dr. Bruhns (R), coroner; 415 for J. H. Powers (R), 291 for E. C. Lee (R), 444 for West and 548 for Nevills, commissioners. There were 628 votes for and 157 against township organization.
The supervisors appointed December 6, 1877, under the law for township organization, as adopted by Hall County, were Patrick Nevills, Union Township; N. T. Britton, Wood River; W. H. Harrison, Zurich; William Partridge, Mayfield; J. F. Proctor, Prairie Creek; Ira M. Ware, Sheridan; William Powell, Alda; J. E. Locke, South Loup; S.E. Benton, Cameron; Seth W. Wilson, Martinsville; J. M. Powers, Grant; J. W. Smith, South Platte; H. C. Denman, Douglass; William Larrabee, Washington; E. C. Walker, Lake; H. P. Makely, C. E. Jerome, James Cleary and C. E. Lykke, Grand Island City. The supreme court handed down a decision before this board qualified, declaring the act unconstitutional.
The elections of November, 1878, show 948 votes for M. B. Reese (R), district attorney; 1,051 for E. W. Arnold (R), State senator; 482 for G. H. Lamont (R), 454 for West (D), and 391 for Burger (Ind), candidates for commissioner. The officers chosen in 1879 are elsewhere named.
The official vote of Hall County, as recorded in
November, 1880, is as follows: Presidential electors--G. W. Collins, 1,150; James E. Boyd, 547, and W. W. Connor, 14. Congress--E. K. Valentine, 1,143; James E. North, 547, and Allen Root, 22. Governor--Albinus Nance, 1,149; T. W. Tipton, 546, and O. T. B. Williams, 14. Auditor--John Wallichs, 1,275; D. C. Patterson, 413, and James R. Cleary, 22. Attorney Fourth District--M. B. Reese, 1,153; George L. Loomis, 549. Representative--Fred. A. Sears, 1,232 and A. L. Stevenson, 564. Senator--W. R. Morse, 1,051 and Rovert C. Jordan, 651. District court clerk--Jay E. White, no opposition. Commissioner--Jowl P. Goodrich, 904 and Patrick Nevills, 803. Surveyor--C. E. Hart, no opposition. The proposition to appropriate $1,000 for the erection of a poor house was defeated by 1,092 contra, 337 for. The precinct assessors chosen this year were Frederick Roby, Grand Island; Z. H. Denman, Alda; Stephen Jones, Wood River; S. S. Shultz, South Platte; W. Thompson, South Loup; G. W. Miller, Cameron; Z. Avery, Martinsville; N. M. Depue, Prairie Creek; Fred. Suehlsen, Lake.
The justices chosen were: F. P. Cowee, Alda; J. H. Bliss, Wood River; John Powers, South Platte; D. Whittacker, South Loup; John H. Leanard, Cameron; C. B. Lewis, Prairie Creek.
The election of November, 1881, resulted as follows: County clerk--Frank Sears, 818, and Charles Rief, 749; treasurer--George Cornlius, 1,212, and G. H. La Monte, 378; sheriff--Henry C. Denman, 862, and Joseph Killian 732; judge--George H. Caldwell, 1,355, and J. W. West, 251; superintendent of schools--D. H. Vantine, 1,202, and George W. Trefrew, 389; commissioner First district--S. S. Shultz, 1,023, and John Fonner, 502; commissioner Second district--Chauncy Wiltse, 20; surveyor--Hugo Hald, 712; coroner--David Ackerman, 1,181, J. T. White, 391, and Z. H. Denman, 85. The proposition to issue bridge bonds received 559 votes, while 624 were recorded against such issue. There were 69 votes cast for and 433 against the erection of a poor house. The assessors elected were M. Murphy, A. H. Wilhelm and F. M. Claflin, for East, West and North Grand Island; W. C. Mullen, Alda; John O'Connor, Wood River; J. Demary, South Platte; S. Veeder, South Loup; T. W. Dodd, Cameron; Z. Avery, Martinsville; N. M. De Pue, Praire Creek; Frederick Suehlsen, Lake; W. H. Harrison, Harrison; C. L. Alford, Mayfield; Patrick Nevills, Jackson, and M. V. Marsh, Doniphan.
In 1882 James W. Dawes received 770 votes, J. S. Morton 704 and E. P. Ingersoll 319 votes for Governor; E. K. Valentine 790, W. H. Munger 728 and M. K. Turner 273 for Congress; John Wallichs 876, Charles Leash 591 and John Beatty 318 for State auditor; Thomas Darnell 1,265 for district attorney; Irving M. Cole 802, Jasper F. Walker 696, Z. H. Denman, Sr., 1,030, John H. Powers 343 and Joseph Killian 702 for representative of Forty-fifth district; Thomas O. C. Harrison 828; Enoch R. Wiseman, 593 and E. J. Carder 372 for senator Twenty-fifth district; W. M. Mitchell 701, Peter Mohr 531 and Patrick Dunphy 553 for commissioner; constitutional amendment relating to right of suffrage 489, contra, 1,189.
The assessors elected were: S. J. Bateman, George Bellamy and Fred. Roby for the three Grand Islands; a tie in Alda; Stephen Jones, Wood River; J. Scudder, South Platte; Irvine Herrick, South Loup; L. Houghton, Cameron; F. Suehlsen, Lake; Patrick Nevills, Jackson; J. Eggers, Harrison; Joseph Ball, Mayfield; and L. Orcutt, Doniphan.
The justices of the peace elected in 1882 were William Stolley for West and O. C. Hall for North Grand Island; George Elfus, Alda; J. T. Mehaffie, South Loup; W. B. King, Harrison; J. M. Weldon, Jackson; John Shuman, Mayfield and M. B. Walsh, Doniphan.
Transcribed by Kaylynn