To the Mormons must be accorded the honor of establishing the first newspaper in Hall County. In the spring of 1858 a number of farms were opened on Wood River by them, and there the first newspaper in Hall or adjoining counties was established by them. It was named the Banner, and it was owned by Peck and edited by Joe E. Johnson. This journal was published under several names, one of which was the Huntsman's Echo. In the spring of 1863 the Mormons moved to Salt Lake, and there Johnson re-established the Banner under the title-The Mountain Bugle. The Saints, or bigamists, or voluptuaries, or adulterers, or whatever name may be conferred upon them by persons of other religious societies, could never be called drones. Wherever they settled the wilderness was converted into a garden spot, and their organ, the saintly newspaper, made music for the workers. The Banner was the evangelist of the tribe on the Wood River, and however base its teachings in the eyes of some, it pointed out to the impure a religious system which would recognize impurity and thus abolish the spiritual and legal punishment imposed by the old time Christians. It is simply Mohammedanism revived. A few miles east-ward a colony of German Christians settled. they knew little of the great land in which they made their homes, and less of the rude language of this section. to them a paper printed in the rough language, which Americans adopted, was useless, if it was not actually unwelcomed, and therefore, for over a decade their news was supplied by German papers, published at Chicago or in the faraway Fatherland, so that up to July, 1870, there was no gentile local press here, unless the itinerant newspaper, which accompanied the graders on the Union Pacific, may be considered a local paper. A great change was impending. A newspaper established in the Far West sought out the more hospitable island for a home and was welcomed by the people. The time arrived
and the era of enterprise was introduced. The
ideas of the editor were in accord with the spirit of the times.
The Platte Valley Independent was issued at North Platte, January 1, 1870, by Mrs. M.T.G. Eberhart and Seth P. Mobley. In their salutatory they claimed that the new journal would prove precisely what its name indicated. On the editorial page are given good descriptions of North Platte and Grand Island. As it was the only paper of the whole western and north and south central sections of the State west of Fremont, its pages were filled with advertisements and the news columns were very replete. On June 11 the editorial attack on J.P. Marston was made. This led to an action for libel, which suggested the sale of the Independent to Barton & Park on June 25, but ultimately to the withdrawal of the suit and the dismissal of Marston as foreman of the Union Pacific shops. Mr. Mobley, however, remained at North Platte as editor for some time, and the name was changed tot he Advertiser. The first issue of this paper at Grand Island is dated July 2, 1870, Mrs. Eberhart being resident editor, with an office in the two story brown frame building near the depot. The tone of the new paper was decidedly Republican when political affairs were under discussion, and the news columns were very replete. It was the advertising medium for all this section of the Stare, and gained a foothold which has since been maintained. On December 9, 1871, Mrs. Eberhart married Seth P. Mobley, who was editor of the Fort Kearney Herald, in 1865. Mrs. Mobley was born in Limerick City, Ireland, and came with her parents to the United States in 1849, where her father died in 1851. She attended St. Mary's convent at South Bend, Ind., in 1852, and in 1864 was engaged to teach school at Peoria, Ill. In 1867 she removed to Omaha, and in 1869 presided over the school at North Platte, where, with Mr. Mobley as partner, she established the Independent. Mrs. Mobley, like her husband, was very prominent in the Grange movement. Her Fourth-of-July addresses and lectures on statesmen and agriculture received a good deal of attention. The Platte Valley Daily Independent was issued October 2, 1873. From the salutatory the following paragraph was taken: "It will appear at sun-up each morning, and in order that there may be no fears in regard to the permanency of its financial basis, we make both subscription and advertising rates payable weekly." In reality this was a campaign issue, and ceased with the political battle of the year. The Daily Fair Bulletin was issued September 18, 1878, from the Independent office. The present daily issue was subsequently commenced. J. W. Liveringhouse was proprietor of the Independent in January, 1884. On July 19, that year, Fred Hedde became the owner and editor, and Mr. Liveringhouse issued his valedictory.
The war on the Independent by a faction of the White Cross League waxed earnest during the cold weather of March, 1888. The journal called it "the purity circus," and in advertising, it introduced the names of Sanders, Merrill & Co. Of the first-named the editor speaks thus: "Sanders, the head manager will perform the great feats of squeezing himself through the eye of a needle, and of curing the blindness with which his won mental eye is troubled. Standing on his head he will give a lesson in decent language, one of his most difficult performances--and deliver an oration on the terrible life led by all people who have no children. Finally he will show the wonderful trick of changing in the twinkling of one of his blind eyes a barbarian (by which he means a person not born in this country) into a civilized person * * * and initiating him into the mysteries of the purity paralyzers' school for scandal."
The Grand Island Weekly Times was established July 16, 1873, by Charles P. R. Williams as a Republican journal. In January, 1882, the semi-weekly Times was issued, and a few months later the office became the property of W. H. Michael. After Mr. Michael's term of ownership Mr. Liveringhouse had an interest in the Times. Messrs. Byner, now in California, and Rice, now in Kansas, became owners. After a short time Mr. Ryner became sole proprietor and continued so until the office was sold to J. S. (now in New Mexico) and C. W. (now in Denver) Stidger, who sold in September, 1888, to Bion Cole, formerly of the Des
Moines Mail and Times, and W. H. Scarff, of the Newspaper Union of Des Moines. M. A. Lunn, now assistant editor, has been for years engaged in land affairs in Iowa and other States, and was connected with the National Real Estate Directory. the proposition to establish a daily edition of the Times is under consideration, but the proprietors will not make the venture until the citizens guarantee sufficient support to warrant the issue of a bona fide daily journal with full press dispatches.
The Orchard and Vineyard was issued in 1871 from the Independent office, but B. L. Easley, the nurseryman, was interested with Mr. Mobley in this agricultural journal. This journal continued publication for about one year.
The Mirror, a temperance journal, called also the Rechabite, was founded at Grand Island in August, 1874, by J. I. Wylie and Miss M. V. Huston. In October Miss May Van Pelt took the place of Miss Houston. This Wylie was a painter by trade and was only a short time engaged in temperance newspaper work when he was cow-hided by Mrs. Mobley for an editorial assault upon her as a newspaper woman. This chastisement was inflicted on Wylie in the Grange Hall.
The Anti-Monopolist was issued January 3, 1883, by the Grand Island Publishing Company, P. P. Ingalls, editor. The Anti-Monopoly party's platform, as adopted September 27, 1883, was printed in full. Fred Hedde is said to be the active spirit and owner of this journal.
The Hall County Democrat. The old Democrat was established here fifteen years ago by George W. Treffern, from whom the office passed to Lee and thence to W. H. Weeks, under whom publication ceased.
Der Herold, the German newspaper, was founded October 29, 1880, by Henry Garn and Charles Boehl. Henry Garn settled at Grand Island in 1866, and taught school in the village until 1879. In 1883 Mr. Boehl sold his interest to Garn. G. M. Hein is the present owner and editor, purchasing the office April 9, 1889. The circulation is about 1,200.
Weltblat, another German weekly newspaper, is also controlled by Mr. Hein. It was established by him January 1, 1889, and is one of the Low Dutch magazines published in the world, and now has a circulation of about 1, 100 copies.
The Democrat is edited by E. J. Hall.
The Grand Island Workman was issued August 10, 1889, by F. G. Lockwood. In January, 1890, the editor proclaimed his principles thus: "The Workman believes our tariff system, our land system, our financial system and our ballot system to be wrong, some in part and some in whole. The Workman will labor for commercial freedom, the single tax on land values, the Australian ballot system, and honest money. The Workman believes that the late confederation of the Farmers' Alliance and Knights of Labor to be a grand step in the cause of human happiness, and shall sustain, to the best of our ability, this union of forces, believing that it will result in a perfect union of action, which will be for good government."
The Herald (American) was established August 2, 1885, and issued from Henry Garn's office, then publisher of Der Harold.
In May 1888, Mr. Ed. J. Hall took charge of the Grand Island Herald (American) for Henry Garn, then publisher of the two Heralds. In January, 1889, Mr. Garn sold the Grand Island Herald to Mr. Hall, and in July the German Herold to Mr. Hein, and the office of the American Herald was moved to the Bartenbach Opera House, where it is now published. The circulation is about 800. Mr. Hall, the editor, has been in the Nebraska newspaper field for eighteen years, fifteen of which were passe in publishing the Sanders County Times.
Charles Rief, whose letters from Europe and Palestine claimed much attention in 1889, may be included with the journalists of the county. He contributed the following verse to the Independent, in August, 1888, on the death of Sheridan:
The Wood River Gazette was issued September 9, 1881, by R. H. Miller, who sold the office to James Ewing, March 2, 1882 (vide history of Wood River).
The Doniphan Index was established April 1, 1888, by Charles Kelsey, who in 1879 came to Hastings, and worked at the case there until his removal to Doniphan. The Leader is now published there (vide history of Doniphan).
Prior to January 1, 1870, there was nothing accomplished toward the organization of agriculturists in the county. The pioneers were too much engrossed in providing for daily wants to let their thoughts wander far away from home, and the chances of forming any sort of a society were as poor as those which were presented to the man who would reconstruct something intangible.
The Hall County Immigration Board was formed March 22, 1871, with Henry A. Koenig, president; S. P. Mobley, secretary; W. H. Platt, H. P. Handy, John Wallich, Fred A. Weibe, Peter Peterson, W. M. Spiker, H. Wrage and E. W. Arnold, members. Later that month, the J. N. Paul colony of twenty-nine families arrived here en route to Howard County.
The Orchard and Vineyard was issued at the County seat and the Independent was used by the board as an advertising medium for the county.
During the year 1873, there were 39, 280 acres proved up in the Grand Island Land District of the 269,352 1/3 acres entered.
The Grange movement commenced here in 1872, and, like the bashful maiden who has to be led to the piano, and once there plays the guests out of patience, the Patrons of Husbandry carried out their peculiar notions, until the country acknowledged them.
Grand Island Grange No. 6 was organized in April, 1872, with S. P. Mobley, master, and Robert Mitchell, secretary. The State Grange was organized August 2, 1872, with W. B. Porter, master, and William McCaig, secretary. Central State Grange No. 518 was established in April, 1874, with S. P. Mobley, master, and N. A. Lord, secretary. In 1875 it was in fact consolidated with Grange No. 6. The Co-operative Association of Patrons of Husbandry was organized in April, 1874, with D. C. Smith, president; S. P. Mobley, secretary and agent. In 1876 there were nine granges in Hall County, comprising 500 members. Peter Harrison was president of the association; E. S. Searson, secretary, and William Stolley, agent.
Wood River Grange was organized March 31, 1873, with Rufus Mitchell. F. Walker, C. E. Towne, James White, J. Osbon, Isaac King, B. F. Odell, F. P. Welch, Miss Ella Warner, Miss A. Odell, Mrs. E. Mitchell and Mrs. L. Osbon, members.
Alda Grange was formed July 18, 1873, with F. B. Stoddard, E. W. Brown, John Leckenby, William Powell, L. Powell, Mrs. Stoddard, Mrs. Sweet, Mrs. L. Brown, and Mrs. L. Powell, officials.
Platte Valley Grange was organized in April, 1873, at the house of Charles Dufford, south of the river, with M. Stump, Henry Denman, W. J. Burger, D. O. Grice, A. J. Price, A. R. Thorn, S. S. Shultz, D. Beidelman, Charles Dufford, Mrs. Thorn, Mrs. Robb and Miss Creason, officials.
Advance Grange was organized in school district No. 23, west of Alda, February 7, 1874, with the following named members: P. Harrison, D. C. Smith, Sarah Smith, A. V. Smith, Mrs. R. E. Smith, W. H. Norton, M. E. Norton, C. E. Harrison, Kate Harrison, J. S. Donaldson, Delia Donaldson, H. M. Jones, Mrs. B. M. Jones, J. H. Andrews, J. L. Gray, Stephen Jones, Maggie Jones, G. F. Dodge, Annie Trout, J. M. Cummings, J. A. Conner, J. M. Howe, Clara Trout, Charles Streeter, Alice Streeter, M. B. Heitman, T. E. Harrison, T. H. Trout, Amelia Trout and Mary
Jones. Prairie Creek was organized about this time.
Highland Grange was organized at Union Chapel, March 7, 1874, with the following-named members: Wesley, Lucinda, George and Phoebe Dempster, John and James Creason, James A. and Lizzie Williams. Lineback, Miles, Martha and Laura Humphrey, French, Mary J. Linsacum, Mrs. S. B. Poe, C. J. Rhodes and S. Brooks.
Elm Island Grange was organized at the Union school, March 6, 1874, with the following-named members: W. H. Austin, E. J. Morse, Charles Watson, T. J. and Mary Peck, S. Uhrig, William E. Tyler, R. G. Hackett, G. H. and Orilla E. Wilcox, O. F. and Malinda Foote, Ira and Mary A. Wilson, S. W. and Hattie Wilson, George H. and Mary E. Wilcox, J. A. and Mary Mattick, William Lehrich, E. N. and Mary A. Adams, Ira Wilson, Walter and Sarah Miller, James H. and H. M. Sweeting.
South Loup Grange was organized March 12, 1874. The members were S. A., G. A. and Ella and Mrs. G. A. Pease, S. and A. H. Holman, J. P. and E. A. Gordon, W. W., George, Mrs. H. and Mrs. G. Kendall. Hirst, B. F. Manuel, C. M. and Elizabeth Robinson, Walter and Mrs. W. A. Hill, L. Fleming, John and Mr. K. Marigold, C. O. and Mrs. Woodruff and Lawrence Mitchell.
True Blue Grange was organized at Prairie Creek school-house, March 16, 1874, with the following-named members: Lester and a. A. Houghton, W. W. Dubbs, S. D. and A. Deyoe, A. S. Donaldson, O. A. Hoyt, F. M. and Sarah Adams, N. P. and Harriet Dickenson, George Smith, James E. Peebles, James Ewing, I. W. White, M. Burkerd S. Towne, J. H. Newton, J. W. Honold, Cyrus Miner and G. E. Crawford.
Mount Moriah Grange, south of Platte, was organized in July, 1874, with Martin Ennis, master, and William Whitecar, secretary. There were twenty-two members enrolled.
Alda Grange No. 7, was presided over in 1872 by John Leckenby. True Blue Grange of South Loup Precinct was organized in April, 1875, with J. E. Peebles, master.
The County Council, P. of H., was organized in April, 1874, with A. V. Potter, master; S. P. Mobley, secretary; William Stolley, treasurer; Mrs. Mobley, lady assistant steward; Mrs. Levitt, Flora and Mrs. Gilbert, pomona.
The State Grange met in convention here in December, 1887.
The advisory committee of the Hall County Association, appointed at organization in November, 1874, comprised William Stolley, W; H. Platt, Henry Garn, Claus Stoltenburg, James Jackson, Squire Lamb, E. C. Walker, S. M. Walker, G. G. Warner, D. O. Grice, N. S. Dempster, W. W. Mitchell, H. Newton, Henry Streator, J. H. Leonard Varney, George J. Spencer, W. E. Tyler, G. H. Wilcox, W. H. Austin, O, H. Taylor, Martin Skinner, F. E. Smith, D. E. Smith, W. J. Burger, James M. Ply, Theodore Sherzburg, A. J. Leckenby, L. E. Frink, Z. B. Partridge, J. C. Moore, H. Bliss, J. A. Williams, Thomas J. Peck, C. L. Alford, E. A. Edwards, Edward Searson, E. Harris, Martin Ennis, Thomas Francis, R. H. Newcomb, James McCleary, Henry Bonson, M. M. Foote, John H. Powers and B.F. Odell. The appointments were made in the order of school districts, or from No. 1 to No. 47 inclusive.
William Stolley, the agent and pilot of the Grand River colony, located his homestead on Sections 28-29, Township 11, Range 9. the first colony comprised thirty-five persons, all of whom located southwest and southeast of Grand Island City. After the grasshopper plague he was chosen by the State Grange to solicit Congress for aid and succeeded in having an appropriation of $150,000 made for the relief of the sufferers. He also urged on the railroad companies the property of free transportation of goods intended for the relief of the settlers, and won this point also. Frederick Hedde was a member of this colony with the others named in the pioneer history.
The Hall County Agricultural Society was organized in the summer of 1874, when a call was made by Peter Harrison, and an organization completed, with Mr. Harrison, president. Hon. William Platt was the author of the constitution and by-laws. The first two fairs were held in the court-
room. The proposition to hold a fair in 1875 was scarcely noticed, as the grasshoppers destroyed the crops, and thus left nothing to exhibit in the agricultural department. In 1876 a committee of three was appointed-Seth P. Mobley, W. B. Larrabee and Eli A. Barnes-to locate fair grounds. The northwest quarter of Section 16, at $16 per acre, was purchased from Daniel Morgan, administrator of the Chapman estate. Ten acres of this tract were fenced in and otherwise improved, and in the fall a successful fair rewarded the energy of the officers of the society. Prior to the fall of 1889 Hall County sent seven exhibits to the State Fair, the two first exhibits being taken from the county fair by Peter Harrison and Seth P. Mobley. For the tree succeeding years the county took first prize at Omaha, and won the champion medal, now held by the Hall County society. The only exhibit made at the State Fair, in the five years ending September, 1889, * was that at Lincoln in 1887, when the first premiums fell once more to Hall County. In 1889 the society sold forty acres of their purchase of 1876 to Marsh & Lannigan, for $22,750.35, and then purchased 160 acres adjoining the city, on the west, from Patrick Touhy, paying him $16,000 thereafter.
The roll of life-members is made up as follows: Othman A. Abbott, William Anyan, John Allen, John Appledorn, Joel H. Andres, James Allen, I. R. Alter, S. J. Bateman, Eli A. Barnes, James Baldwin, F. P. Barks, L. M. Bryan, W. J. Burger, Patrick Britt, S. Benson, Giles H. Bush, James Bly, Fred Beeker, A. D. Burrows, A. E. Blunk, Benjamin Berry, W. R. Bacon, C. F. Bentley, Henry Beorson, Daniel Baker, T. B. Bush, Henry D. Boyden, Thomas J. Brownfield, J. H. Bliss, L. Bruce, W. Bonson, H. Beaford, John Creason, George Cornelius, James Cleary, George Clark, George Chesebro, W. B. Coggeshall, A. J. Clement, George H. Caldwell, Frank Corkins, H. C. Denman, W. C. Denman, A. C. Denman, Z. H. Denman & Son, W. H. Denman, Patrick Dunphy, N. M. Depue, J. L. Donaldson, W. A. Deuel, G. W. Dennison, C. H. Duennerman, George P. Dean, Martin Ennis, C. S. Elison, William Eldridge, John Eggers, Claus Ewoldt, Cay Ewoldt, H. A. Edwards, Joseph Fox, George W. Frey, Jon Flusher, S. H. Ferguson, A. B. Fraker, M. C. Fuller, John Fonner, Charles Fuller, Henry Giese, William H. Gillet, M. J. Gahan, Jerry L. Gray, Henry Garn, H. H. Glover, Frank Gardner, Philo Green, H. A. Gallup, O. F. Groves, Edward Hooper, T. J. Hurford, William Hagge, W. H. Harrison, C. H. Horth, J. D. P. Hutchins, Richard Harrison, T. O. C. Harrison, James Heesch, H. W. High, C. J. Jansen, N. H. Hurford, B. C. Howard, C. L. Howell, Casper Hines, Fred Hedde, W. H. Hurley, James Hall, W. H. Houser, F. E. Howe, Jonathan Halstead, George P. Honnold, Robert C. Jordan, C. E. Jerome, James Jackson, E. F. Jonte, John L. Johnson, D. F. Jamieson, Joseph Killian, John Kraft, Henry A. Koenig, B. Knox, H. E. Kent, John Kramer, W. C. King, Isaiah Lewton, W. B. Larrabee, A. J. Leckenby, George Loan, C. E. Lykke, John B. Lowerey, Ira Lewis, W. H. Lamb, Squire Lamb, E. S. Lamon, J. S. Lamb, J. W. Liveringhouse, A. C. Lederman, Seth P. Mobley, J. E. Meth, W. R. McAllister, H. P, Makely, W. W. Mitchell, Archie Murdock, John D. Moore, J. H. Murphy, James Michelson, Eugene Miller, John L. Means, Robert S. Mitchell, D. W. Millhollen, D. Morgan, Patrick Moore, John S. Mullen, Lafayette Myers, N. McCombs, Charles Melisen, J. T. Mehaffie, Fred McIntire, Isaac Messeraul, Al. McAllister, R. H. McAllister, Detlif Matheson, M. Murphy, Jacob F. Miller, J. R. Moeller, W. R. McMaster, P. O. Marquise, Patrick Nevels, W. P. Nicholson, N. P. Nelson, Edmund O'Brien, Clause Obermiller, Hugo Oehlrich, James O'Keefe, William H. Platt, William Powell, Z. B. Partridge, Charles F. Peterson, Hans Paustian, I. T. Paine, J. F. Proctor, Peter Pehrs, Charles Pierce, C. F. Peterson, S. M. Pederson, E. A. Park, A. S. Patrick, H. J. Palmer, M. V. Powers, Henry Rosswick, Fred Roby, Joseph Roach, V. S. Runnels, Emerson Rogers, Charles Rief, John Riss, John G.
Raine, G. L. Rouse, C. P. Rathburn, George F. Tyan, D. S. Roush, Otto L. Rice, T. O. Russell, N. W. Richards, H. A. Kose, William Stolley, J. D. Schuller, Fred Sears, Jacob Shoemaker, E. Searson, Martin Schimmer, Charles Scherzberg, G. W. Stevens, George J. Spencer, Samuel Smith, Gilbert Slater, R. H. Stuart, C. Stoltenberg, Henry Schoel, William Sherman, G. W. Sherbondy, W. M. Spiker, P. Scheschinger, Mrs. P. Smith, William A. Shields, D. Sass, Arthur Sears, Thomas E. Smith, Frank Sears, Hayden Strong, J. G. Schaupp, H. B. Skeels, C. W. Scarff, Lafayette Smith, George H. Thummel, W. W. Thompson, Peter S. Thompson, C. W. Thomas, Claus Tagge, Patrick Touhy, John Thompson, D. H. Vieths, Edgar Varney, D. H. Vantine, C. H. Van Allan, C. D. M. Washburn, Robert Waugh, James Wear, John Wallichs, Jay E. White, W. H. West, E. C. Walker, George L. Warner, Fred Wingart, S. N. Wolback, W. F. Watkins, L. O. Watson, H. S. Winn, Christian Wasmer, C. P. R. Williams, Charles Wasmer, Fritz Wiese, J. H. Watts, W. F. Whitecar, Isaac Waldron, John E. White and Robert W. Watson. Of all the above named only one, W. M. Spiker, died prior to September 20, 1889.
The office of president has been filled by Peter Harrison, 1874-78; Fred Roby, 1879-80; Eli A. Barnes, 1881-85; Martin Ennis, 1886; H. J. Palmer, 1887, and G. H. Denman, 1888-89. The latter was re-elected in October, 1889, with J. D. Moore and D. F. Jamieson, vice-presidents; H. J. Palmer, W. H. Harrison, W. B. Knox, H. H. Glover, Joseph Roach, T. O. Russell and T. J. Mehaffie, executive committee. The president died in November, and D. F. Jamieson was chosen. The treasurers are names as follows: William Stolley, James Baldwin, George Cornelius, Ed Searson, Ed Hooper, Z. H. Denman and S. J. Bateman.
The office of secretary has been filled by Seth P. Mobley, Eli A. Barnes, now of the United States land office, Frank Sears, D. H. Vantine, H. A. Edwards and D. H. Vantine in the order given up to September, 1889. Ed Searson is the present incumbent.
A summary of the financial report of the agricultural society, published on October 26, 1889, shows the total receipts to be $26,059.65, and the total disbursements $26,045.38. the indebtedness of the society is $998.40.
Early in September, 1889, Mayor Platt called attention to the fact that the State board of agriculture advertised, at large, for the selection of a location for the State Fair, during the ensuing five years, and he appointed a committee of fifty-four to take measures to secure to Grand Island such fair. A deputation from the committee attended the meeting of the State board at Lincoln January 21, 1890.
On January 21, 1890, Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, Kearney, Columbus, Long Pine and Hastings bid for the State Fair for the ensuing five years. The different bids were received with marked attention. Grand Island offered to construct the art and memorial halls of stone and brick, while Columbus offered to provide buildings which would accommodate 50,000 persons. On the first ballot Lincoln led, and on the second ballot received a majority of the votes. Hastings and Grand Island made a strong and brilliant fight, but the prestige and diplomacy of the capital won the prize.
The old fair ground is now surveyed into building lots for J. M. Marsh, the owner.
The State Farmers' Alliance held the ninth annual meeting at Grand Island in January, 1890. Eight hundred delegates represented every county in the State. Although the Alliance was organized eight years ago, but little attention was given to it by the farmers until last year, when a permanent organization was effected. At this time there wre but sixty-nine Alliances in the State, with a membership of only 381. The report of the secretary this year shows 501 Alliances with a membership of over 20,000. From this some idea may be had of the marvelous growth of the organization during the year just closed. It is non-political and its chief objects are to protect the interests of the farmers. Only actual farmers are allowed to become members. In many localities where they are strong they control and own stored, ship their own grain and buy their own fuel at the mines. One of the leading members in Hall
County stated that three new Alliances ere to be organized at once in this county-at Wood River, Shaupp's Mills and one just west of Alda. One of the most interesting features of the convention's work was the appointing and report of committee to start a farmer's insurance company in the State. It was decided to establish this at once, and the State executive committee and three others were appointed as the officers.
The enterprise of the citizens of Grand Island promises to give to the prairie States a new industry, which will dwarf the primitive grain industry of the past and present. This is the growing of sugar beets, and their conversion into sugar; it is well to examine the history of this industry.
Margraff demonstrated 140 years ago that there was sugar in the beets; and the total product of France and Germany in the last half century alone demonstrates its value. The reflecting reader who sees nothing in Napoleon save that of the great military leader, has failed to note the early, substantial encouragement he gave the beet sugar industry in France, which in turn gave it greater impetus and success in Germany, albeit there were three factories in Germany as early as 1805, but the war-like situation was not favorable for such an enterprise. Very soon, however, Napoleon issued his famous decrees shutting out all English goods and material, which, if the effect was to raise the price of sugar, ruined the French wine trade and compelled the French to look for ways and means to dispose profitably of their grape crops and obtain a supply of sugar. In 1810 he gave two experimenters $28,000 for discovering grape sugar; the amount to be expended in the erection of factories. Soon after this Napoleon gave $40,000 to twelve grape sugar factories by way of bounty or special encouragement. In 1811 he decreed that 79,000 acres should be planted to beets, and he established six experimental stations to give instruction in the beet sugar industry, ordering that all farmers who desired to attend lectures given there might do so free of charge, and the sum of $200,000 was set apart to pay the expense. In 1812 he established four special beet-root sugar schools, directing that 100 students be attached thereto. In addition and by way of special encouragement, he ordered to be granted 500 licenses for beet sugar production, to run to proprietors of factories and to manufacturers of sugar from beets; and those who made a ton of raw sugar were to be exempt from tax on their product for four years. In 1812 he directed the erection of four imperial beet sugar factories to produce 2,100 tons. During this time Germany was not idle. The king of Prussia gave Archard, a pupil of Margraff, a good sum of money to establish a school or factory for instruction in beet sugar production, and from this school Russia drew her practical knowledge of the work, and the Czar gave $39,000 and exempted all land of those who built beet sugar factories from tax. At least one great discoverer and experimenter in this field, in Germany and France, was offered $100,000 if he would declare that his supposed discovery was a failure, but it did not attract him. The Napoleonic wars destroyed this great industry in Russian, Germany, and finally in France-after Napoleon had appropriated millions of dollars to give it a substantial footing. It did not rise again in France until 1825-26, nor in Germany until 1835. From that time forward both France and Germany, as well as Russia, Austria and Belgium, have put forth great efforts to extend the production of beet sugar, both by bounties and by drawbacks on exported sugar from beets, as well as a tariff on imported sugar. The stimulants offered resulted in such a measure of success in France, that, in 1839, a special tax of 15 francs on every 220 pounds of raw sugar was imposed. this operated harshly, and the product fell off over one-half. New laws more liberal were passed from time to time, a tax going hand in hand generally with bounties and drawbacks, until, in 1878, France collected as tax, on sugar made in that country, upward of $22,000,000. This, in brief, is only a part of the early history of beet sugar production in France; and Germany as a matter of economic policy, followed in swift pursuit. Such was the development of the industry that in 1883-84 there were 2,000,000 acres devoted to the production of the sugar beet in France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Poland, Belgium and Holland; and the aggregate
beet sugar product, leaving out Russia and Holland, was 1,485,000 tons with 1,242 factories. At that time Germany had outstripped her great rival, France, because of her liberally and superior knowledge of the subject. So great was the quantity of beet sugar produced in 1883, that there was a temporary glut of it in the English market, inducing some farmers to ask a change in the laws, while others resorted to less acreage to reduce the surplus; meantime our people are paying from 6 to 9 cents for their sugar, entailing an expense to our population annually of over $75,000,000, the great part of the raw material of which goes abroad for refineries from Cuba; 240,000,000 of pounds imported by us in 1887 coming from England, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. Consul-General Walker says on the point: "It is to be noted that the sugar production of Germany had been stimulated by heavy protective duties and by bounties on export sugar, and the French tariff act of 1884 was a step toward adopting the policy which her great rival, France, had found so effective."
To show the effect of these laws, it seems only necessary to say that while the acreage in beets in Germany, in 1879, was 282,500, in 1883 it was 352,100, and tons of sugar produced in 1879 was 2,850,000, while in 1883 it was 4,205,000 tons.
It must not be assumed that Germany has been offering her bounties and drawbacks at the expense of her treasury. Her revenue from tax on un-manufactured beets in 1883-84 was 33,960,000; duties, $330,000; total $34,290,000; she paid in bounties and drawbacks, $22,919,000; leaving a net revenue of $11,374,000.
These few figures, therefore, our legislators can well study with possible profit to the country. A great industry abroad has been built up under the beneficent policy of "bounties," with a net revenue flowing therefrom of several millions annually, the farmer and manufacturer getting rich and millions saved to the German nation, which but for the beet sugar industry must have gone abroad to pay for a product.
In 1887 H. A. Koenig and many members of the Agricultural Society took steps to establish beet culture on a firm basis here, and to provide a market of the growers. At the close of 1889 the project took practical shape, and in December of that year the Oxnard beet sugar factory was established in the county, as related in the history of Grand Island.
The record of mortgages, it is apparent, in this as in other counties unfortunately is not a credit to Hall. A few years ago the era of booms swept over the West like the great glaciers of old, and the moneyed men of the East shipped their millions hither to be invested in loans on real estate. The agents of the capitalists realized large profits from this great transaction; but the people obtained money at a much lower price than it was ever offered before in a new country. When the bottom fell out of this unnatural booming the flow of Easter capital almost ceased, and local money agents were again enabled to raise the rate of interest to their old standard. Politicians and others uttered an alarm against this action, and even preachers denounced the usury, some going so far as to state that the whole country was mortgaged for more than it was worth. They never halted to consider that day by day the lands were growing in value, and that, while the greater number of farmers had met interest and installment of principal, the amount of the original loan still appeared upon the record, or, to simplify it, a man who borrowed $1,000 four years ago for five years has now paid up four-fifths of principal with all interested, this leaving one-fifth due, although the record shows the original $1,000 outstanding. Two-thirds of the mortgages are fixed in this way, so that the record is far from showing the true condition of farm mortgages.
In 1867 the primitive schools of the settlements may be said to have given way to the common-school system. The transactions of the old commissioners show this to be the case, for in the pages devoted to such transactions reference after reference to the newly formed school districts occur. Superintendent H. A. Edwards' report, published in December, 1888, points out that at the beginning of the year the balances in hands of district treasurers amounted to $18,777. 99, to which the following
sums were added: $11,307.09 from State school fund; $26,658.30 from direct tax; $3,100.41 from school bonds; $140.60 from non-resident pupils; $20,736.71 from fines and licenses, or a total of $80,722.10. Of this total $14,040.21 was paid male teachers, and $24,657.27 female teachers. There were 4,326 pupils enrolled of the 5,250 enumerated, and 3,964 attended school regularly. The average cost per pupil was $6.38.
The enumeration of children of school age in Hall County, made in May, 1889, shows a total of 5,342 in the seventy-five districts, distributed as follows:
District No. No. of Children District No. No. of Children 1 64 37 28 2 2,058 38 26 3 26 39 41 4 95 40 32 5 75 41 21 6 33 42 49 7 72 43 1 8 263 44 56 9 11 45 21 10 43 46 44 11 44 47 47 12 74 48 50 13 37 49 52 14 58 50 28 15 29 51 33 16 69 52 20 17 61 53 45 18 37 54 54 19 33 55 18 20 16 56 28 21 10 57 21 22 45 58 8 23 67 59 15 24 85 60 25 25 76 61 38 26 185 62 21 27 52 63 24 28 68 64 31 29 66 65 17 30 32 66 25 31 49 67 15 32 35 68 18 33 47 69 11 34 49 70 31 35 51 71 53 36 10 72 48
In District 73 there were four children; in No. 74, seventy-six children, and in No. 75, twenty-seven children of school age.
The first teachers' institute was organized June 27, 1874, with John D. Hayes, president; Henry Nunn, principle, and J. F. Cummings, vice-president; Miss Minnie Wood, secretary; Miss Evelyn Smith and L. C. Harrison, correspondents, and James Ewing, treasurer. The teachers' institute held in January, 1885, was presided over by Superintendent D. H. Vantine, the names of F. L. Morris, Nettie Broderick, J. E. Marshall, May I. O'Neil and numerous other appearing on the roll.
The County Reading Circle, a society of teachers, was organized November 21, 1885, with Prof. H. A. Edwards, president; R. J. Barr, J. H. Thompson, Mrs. Anna Budenberg and H. A. Goodrich, vice-presidents; Charles A. Teeters, secretary; H. H. Bock, treasurer, and E. E. Cole and A. D. Tilley, managers. Superintendent Vantin presided. The teachers continue to meet annually.
The register of physicians in possession of County Clerk Ackerman dates back to May, 1881. The following names and dates of graduation are recorded, together with their alma mater.
William A. Carter, practice, 1837 E. Christiansen, Germany, 1872 Caswell T. Poe, Cincinnati, 1853 A. S. Fishblatt, New York, 1879 Mary J. Breckenridge, Chicago, 1882 Francis M. Osborn, practice, 1858 Peter Janss, Keokuk, 1877 Emanuel Stingfellow, Chicago, 1883 A. L. Stevenson, Keokuk, 1875 J. C. Brubaker, Philadelphia, 1858 John T. White, Chicago, 1875 Ira N. Barker, New York City, 1874 Henry A. Krick, Austria, 1874 Martin L. Carter, practice, 1870 A. J. Sanders, Brooklyn, 1863 John Janss, Philadelphia, 1884 J. M. Fitch, practice, 1863 Henry J. Smith, Philadelphia, 1865 C. D. W. Gibson, practice, 1863 James N. Harrison, Philadelphia, 1883 M. J. Gahan, Dublin, 1867 Thomas J. Eaton, Cleveland, 1847 Henry J. Brickett, N. Hampshire, 1875 Wm. Tanner, St. Louis, 1884 Louise Buns, Germany, 1869 Frank J. Wright, Keokuk, 1883 Margaretha Kennedy, Missouri, 1867 G. J. Puhek, Austria, 1873 Horace Lashlee, St. Louis, 1876 John S. Curtis, Ohio, 1878 Nicholas Child, practice, 1836 Francis M. Smyley, Chicago, 1879 George W. Whipple, Kansas City, 1836 Rosa Day, Germany, 1885 M. H. Street, Ohio, 1873 Edward D. Barrett, practice, 1861 Sarah E. Whipple, practice, 1877 P. J. Scallon, Detroit, Mich., 1885 G. M. Dixon, New York, 1871 Milo Leonard Kinsington, Joplin, 1882 Benjamin M. Shockey, practice, 1854 J. E. Andersen, Ohio, 1877 Hogan J. Ring, Chicago, 1877 S. E. Delhorbe, Chicago, 1884 C. G. Hurford, Keokuk, 1882 A. J. Coffman, Nebraska, 1886 William T. Royce, Columbus, Ohio, 1882 Anna D. Jackson, Chicago, 1884 Welcome Smith, practice, 1854 H. S. Aley, Chicago, 1885 John H. Galligan, St. Louis, 1882 W. B. Kern, St. Louis--- Alfred F. Naulteus, Baltimore, 182 Edwin L. Smith, Chicago, 1884 James McLean, Fort Wayne, 1877 Joseph Weyerhorst, French Frontier, 1884
The State Medical Association assembled at Grand Island in May, 1885, Fr. M. J. Gahan, presiding. W. H. Lyman, A. L. Stevenson, A. H. Keller, M. W. Wilcox and F. J. Bricker were present from this section of the State. Among the physicians admitted were T. R. Clark, of Sutton, and J. M. Barker, Grand Island.
The State Dental Association, is session at Hastings in May, 1887, elected Dr. King, of Fremont, president; Dr. H. C. Miller, of Grand Island, vice-president; Dr. Funk, secretary, and Dr. Striker (both of Beatrice), treasurer.
The main line of the Union Pacific road was constructed to Grand
Island in July, 1866, and the village was made the terminus of the
first division of that road. Here are located the largest and best
shops on the Union Pacific line. The shops and yards cover over
thirty-five acres, but have never been used to anything like their
capacity. The buildings, three in number, are magnificent structures
built of stone, in 1880 and 1881, at a cost of $350,000. The company
construct their own locomotives and utilize the shops in Omaha for
that purpose, while the repair work and car building are carried on in
the shops here. The company also erected a round house with a
capacity of forty-five engines. These changes increased the number of
men employed from 200 to nearly 700, and the pay roll from $150,000
per annum to over $500,000, making the total amount paid out to
employees of railroads at this point nearly $700,000 per annum. The
Union Pacific rail mill, costing $80,000 and employing thirty-six men,
is also located at this point, and now all old rails of the main line
and branches are worked over.
In the fall of 1889 the Chicago & Northwestern entered into a traffic
arrangement with the Union Pacific by which through trains from
Chicago to Denver and other points on the Union Pacific system might
The Loup Branch, or Grand Island & Ord Railroad, runs north from the
city. The Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad and the Grand Island
Wyoming Central Railroad terminals are at Grand Island City.
The St. Joseph & Grand Island Railroad Company was incorporated
October 25, 1873, with F. A. Wiebe, E. W. Arnold, W. A. Platt, R. C.
Jordan, H. N. Chapman, James Michelson, W. R. McAllister and William
Hagge, members. On December 4, 1873, the question of issuing bonds to
aid this company was carried by a majority of 212 in Grand Island.
Work began by Contractor Andrew Sheridan, May 9, 1874. On May 2,
1874, ground was broken, the ceremony being witnessed by a large
concourse of people. H. N. Chapman was marshal, with W. A. Deuel and
W. H. Platt, assistant marshals. A grand ball was given at
Liederkranz Hall. H. P. Handy was credited with being the prime mover
in obtaining this road.
The Burlington & Missouri River Railroad, part of the great Chicago,
Burlington & Quincy system, gives another direct means of
communication with Chicago and the East.
In February, 1884, contracts for the building of the Aurora & Grand
Island branch of the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad were sold to
S. M. Mallory.
The above are railroads which are actually in Hall County, and the
value of their property in Grand Island is over $1,200,000. The
prospective roads are the Chicago & Northwestern, which has surveyed a
line into that city and recently purchased $25,000 worth of property,
and the Chicago & Rock Island system, which has also surveyed a line
into the city.
To enumerate all the accidents which occurred here (Hall County,
Nebr.) even from July 8, 1866, when the road was completed as far as
Grand Island, to January 1, 1890, would indeed be a difficult task.
From 1870, when the first newspaper (other than the old Mormon
magazine, of Wood River) was established, there is a partial record,
and from the files the following memoranda are taken:
The first accident recorded is that of John Hamann, who was killed
prior to 1876, while riding his wagon across the railroad. Charles E.
Van Pelt, a brakeman on the Union Pacific, was killed near Shelton, in
November, 1876. During the work of repairing the railroad bridge over
the Platte, in March, 1884, some timbers gave way and engine, derrick
and pile-driver fell into the river. James Dennon was killed and two
men injured. Eleven of the 180 horses belonging to Palmer & Talmage,
which broke through the corral just north of the city, in September,
1885, were killed by the Denver Union Pacific train, and several
animals injured. John C. W. Longnecker, of Steelton, Pa., was killed
by a St. Joseph & Grand Island train, in September, 1885. Dick Hughes
and George Donaldson, brakemen on this road, were killed in November.
D. B. Thompson, of the Union Pacific, was killed March 27, 1886. The
Union Pacific passenger, No. 1, was wrecked at Grand Island in
September, 1886. An unknown man was run over and killed by a Union
Pacific locomotive (No. 743) at the coal house, April 7, 1887. Other
deaths on the rail are referred to, but the dates have not been
ascertained. Trains have been ditched in many instances, and
snow-bound inside the lines of this county more than once.
Other accidents have occurred in Hall County, reference to which may properly be made at this point. A most deplorable occurrence was that of 1872, which resulted in the death of Jesse Turner, of the United States land office. Hans Barnholt was caught in the machinery of Koenig & Wiebe's steam grist-mill and killed in January, 1873. Mrs. E. V. Clark was fatally burned, through the explosion of a kerosene lamp, in 1878.
In April, 1884, John W. Sanders shot and killed himself. John Cubic, who resided near the old school building, shot and killed his wife and cut his own throat, May 30, 1884. Julius Kopski, of the Omaha House, Grand Island, shot and killed himself September 2, 1885. Other suicides have been recorded, such as that of Fred Vatge, prior to 1876, other deaths at railroad crossings have been described, but of all of them authentic information could only be obtained in the cases named, enough to satisfy the reader that danger lurks everywhere, and that too many or too radical precautions can not be taken.
Transcribed by Kaylynn