FOUNDATION OF GRAND ISLAND CITY-FIRST EVENTS-ORIGINAL PLAT-MEETING TO ORGANIZE A VILLIAGE GOV-
ERNMENT-ORGANIZATION-TOWN AND CITY ELICTIONS 1873 TO 1889-PIONEERS OF THE CITY-BUILDING
AND GENERAL ADVANCEMENT-SOLDIERS' HOME-PUBLIC LIBRARY-MERCHANTS' CLUB-BOARD OF TRADE
TRADE-POST OFFICE-BANKS AND LOAN ASSOCIATIONS-FIRE DEPARTMENT AND FIRES
MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES-BEET SUGAR FACTORY AND IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIA-
TION-TRADE STATISTICS-HOTELS-UNITED STATES LAND OFFICE-CHURCH
ORGANIZATIONS-CITY SCHOOLS-SECRET SOCIETIES-MILITARY SO-
CIETIES-TEMPERANCE SOCIETIES-MUSICAL ASSOCIATIONS
AND OLD BASE BALL TEAMS.
Grand Island takes its name rom the older settlement opposite the Grand Island of the Platte. Here is the seat of justice for the county and the center of commercial and manufacturing enterprise. Its location on one of the prairie ridges affords natural drainage; while its elevation of 1,860 feet above sea level renders it free from malarial influences and denies it the rigorous winters of higher altitudes. The population is estimated at 12,000, but without the census returns of this year it is impossible to estimate closely. The directory, published September 1, 1889, credits 14,958 inhabitants. The city is one of the great railroad centers of the State, and holds substantial claims to recognition as a city of the first calss which go unchallenged. Many of the graces of culture give a charm to social life and a spirit of hospitality and friendliness mark distinctly the character of the citizens. The most amiable relations exist between merchants and manufacturers, agricultuists and bankers, the trades and the profession and the religious elements. It is a great community, grown up on the free prairies of the State, and, like the land, broad in everything. A thousand happy homes, modern in equipment, bear testimony to what future years will bring-the signs are brightening with the colors of a fair destiny.
Dr. J. P. Patterson, in his Centennial sketch, stated that the city, as it now stands, was located by the Union Pacific Railroad Company, in the spring of 1866, and received its name from a large tract of land of the same name located south of the city, and surrounded by the channels of the Platte River. The first track of the Union Pacific Railroad was laid here July 8 of the same year, and the first constructin train run in. This train was drawn by the locomotive Oseola, in charge of George Loomis. The engine was captured in 1868 by the Indians, six miles west of Plum Creek. The first building was erected by W. Stephens, on
Locust and Front Streets. During the fall the railroad house was erected, which was used until the completion of the present rairoad house in December, 1875, when part of the old building was purchased by Fred Hedde and removed to the southwest corner of Locust and Third Strrets, while another part was converted into a dwelling by P. Touhy, and occupied in 1876 by C. W. Thomas. The post-office was established in November, 1866, with D. Shuller, postmaster, and about this time the store of M. S. Hall, a railroad contractor, was opened, and the O. K. Store was moved into the new town early in 1867, by Koenig & Wiebe, who also established the State Central Flouring Mills, and the pioneer lumber yard. William R. McAllister and C. W. Thomas opened their stores the same year. The United States land office was opened here Decembr 6, 1869, and on January 1, 1870, the Platte Valley Independent was founded by Mrs. M. T. G. Eberhart and Seth P. Mobley. The State Central Bank was established in 1871 by H. A. Koenig, with Dorr Heffleman, cashire. The capital stock was placed at $45,000. The first church was the Catholic. The building was blown down during the storm of 1870. In 1869 the Prsbyterians organized. The Protestant Episcopal society completed a building in the fall of 1871, at a cost of $2,5000; while the Baptists, who organized in 1870, erected a house at a cost of $2,8000. In 1874 the Methodist Church was erected, but the class was organized in 1872; and on July 2, 1876, the United Brethren didicated their house of worship. In October, 1870, the furst Masonic lodge was organized; i 1871 the A. & A. S. Lodge of Perfection; in 1872 Deuel Chapter; in April, 1872, Grange No. 6 was organized with S. P. Mobley, master, and on August 2, 1872, the State Grange was organized in the Independent Building. In November, 1870, the Liederkranz was organized; Protection Fire Company on June 8, 1874, and he Ladies' Society in Septembr, 1875. In 1876 there was but one brick dwelling, that of R. C. Jordan, on the corner of Second and Locust Streets. Contemporary with settlement was the school house. The old building is now a part of Windolph's tenement house. In 1876 there were three teachers employed. the court-house was erected in 1872-73, as told in the transactions of the commissioners, and completed June 28, 1873, the brick being freighted from the East.
The original plat of Grand Island was filed for record Septembr 29, 1866, and recorded in Book B, page 13, by Clerk Fred T. Evans. The document was found by Abstractor William Frank, at Omaha. Prior to this time Grand Island had nothing to show title to streets and alleys, beyond twenty-one years' possession of same, the county records showing title only in the Union Pacific Railroad Company.
In 1872 several meetings were held to discuss matters relative to town organization. A final meeting to consider the question was held November 25, 1872, when the committee previously appointed reported in favor of presenting a petition to the commissioners. George H. Thummel, O. A. Abbott, A. thorspecken and Henry A. Koenig were the members. The persons appointed to curculte the petition were W. A. Platt, A. Thorspecken and W. C. Buderus. On December 10, 1872, the petition for imcorporation was granted, and John Wallichs, R. C. Jordan, A. Thorspecken, H. N. Chapman and Christian Wasmer named as the first board of trustees. The elections of 1873 resulted in the choice of John Wallichs for mayor; W. H. Platt, police judge; J. O. Adams, marshal; Jay E. White, clerk; H. N. Chapman, L. Engel, H. P. Handy and J. C. Cornelius, councilman, and J. C. Cornelius was elected school director, vice F. A. Wiebe resigned.
In April, 1874, W. A. Platt was niminated for mayor; W. H. Platt for police judge; W. A. Deuel for marshal; N. P. Kelley for marshal; James Cleary for tresurer and N. Harris and R. S. Van Wie for councilmen. Republican and Democratic tickets were also in the field, and the contest was one of the warmest known in the early days of the city.
The elections of April, 1876, show 115 votes for Ed Hooper and 72 for T. J. Hurford, candidates for mayor; 112 for W. H. Platt and 71 for William Kelley, for the office of police judge; William A. Deuel was chosen marshal; John Wallichs,
clerk; William Hagge, treasurer; Joseph Killiam and W. C. King, councilman. The members of the board of education then elected were H. A. Koenig, E. R. Wiseman, R. C. Jordan and Joseph Fox.
In April, 1876, James Cleary was elected mayor by 125 votes, against 114 recorded for Ed Hooper; William Hagge was chosen treasurer; John Wallichs, clerk; John D. Hayes, chief of police; Joe Jenneman, marshal; chrled Rief, engineer; W. C. King and P. Dunphy, councilmen; R. C. Jordan, Joseph Fox, T. J. Hurford and W. C. King were chosen school trustees; W. H. Platt was director. The two notorious ordinances of this year were met by strong protests.
The city officials chosen in April, 1877, were: W. H. Platt, mayor; John Wallichs, clerk; William Hagge, treasurer, T. O. G. Harrison, judge; P. D. thomsen, marshal; William Wasmer, assessor; Charles Rief, engineer; P. Dunphy, George E. Wilson, D. Morgan and Chris Wasmer, councilmen.
C. D. M. Washburn was chosen mayor in 1878; T. O. C. Harrison, pokice judge; G. H. Bush and Chris Wasmer, councilmen; William Hagge, treasurer; John Wallichs, clerk; P. D. Thomsen, marshal, William Wasmer, assessor, and Charles Rief, surveyor.
In April, 1879, C. D. M. Washburn was elected mayor; Georger E. Wilson and Ed Hooper, councilmen; T. O. C. Harriosn, judge; C. W. Thomas, treasurer; Christian Schlotfield, clerk; C. L. Howell, marshal, and S. E. reaugh, engineer. A vote of thanks to John Wallichs for efficient service as clerk was adopted.
In 1880 Messrs. Washburn, Harrison and Schlotfield were re-elected; Charles Rief was chosen engineer; C. Wiltse, councilman to fill vacancy in First ward, and P. Dunphy and James Michelson for the First and Second wards.
The elections of 181 resulted in the choice of John L. Means for mayor; Charles Milisen and Ed Hooper, councilmen; C. F. Bentley, treasurer; Joseph H. Mullin, clerk; T. O. C. Harrison, judge, and C. E. Hart, engineer. The board of education then elected comprised S. H. Wolbach, B. C. Howard, C. P. Handy, J. P. Kernohan, O. A. Abbott and T. J. Hurford.
In 1882 Michael Murphy was chosen mayor; D. Ackerman, clerk; C. F. Bently, trasurer; H. Hald, engineer; James Cleary and O. A. Abbott, councilmen.
The elections of April, 1883, show 393 votes for M. Murphy and 7 for John Fonner, candidates for mayor; 414 votes for David Ackerman, clerk; 414 for Jay E. White, treasurer; 368 for John W. West and 40 for George H. CAldwell, candidates for police judge; 368 for H. Hald and 43 for Charles Rief, for city engineer; Charles Milisen, Eli A. Barnes, C. L. Howell and W. R. McAllsiter were elected councilmen, and C. J. Fetherstonhaugh, C. F. Bentley, H. C. Held and J. P. Kernohan, members of the board of education.
The city election of 1884 was a civil war between the people's and the opposition's tickets. J. E. White (P.) was elected mayor; Lederman (P.), treasurer; D. Ackerman (P.), clerk; Bogden (P.), Vieregg (P.), Jordan (P.) and Veiths (P.) were elected councilmen; Platt (P.), Murphy (P.), Howard (O.) and Bush, members of the school board.
The election of April, 1885, resulted in he defeat of J. W. West, for mayor, by J. L. Means; N. T. Estes was elected to the council from Ward 1, James Heisch from Ward 2, John Fonner and S. H. Veiths from Ward 3, and M. Taylor and C. Milisen from Ward 4; H. E. Clifford was chosen city clerk; H. B. Wilson, police judge; A. C. Lederman, treasurer, and Messrs. Murphy, Ball and Martin, members of the school board.
In September, 1886, Water Commissioner wilhelm and Councilman McAllister reported on the several water-works systems examined by them. A resolution endorsing A.A. Richardson as a competent engineer, and pointing out that the works gotten up for this city by him were satisfactory, was carried. A. L. Strang & Co., the contractors for the water-works system, made a final settlement with the council, on report of W. R. McAllister, F. W. Talmage and Henry Vieregg, a committee of he council who reported the works complete*. In December the question of voting on
*The stand-pipe was completed September 17, 1886. This pipe is
116 feet high, with a capacity of 85,000 gallons. The pumps are
capable of filling it nine times per day, thus giving 765,000 gal-
lons. The pipe was constructed by Mohr & Sons, of Chicago.
the matter of granting a franchise to the street railroad company was presented. An election was called for January 15, 1887. Of 497 votes cast, 482 favored the proposition, and City Clerk H. E. Clifford was instructed to give official information to the company.
In February a petition was presented by the saloon keepers remonstrating against the issue of druggists' permits for 1887. The protest entered by B. C. Howard, president of the school board, against the proposition of the council to levy an occupation tax of $500 on liquor dealers, was considered. Mr. Howard stated "so large a tax would decrease the number of saloons and deplete the school fund. He considered that a deficiency of $5,000 would result. Several liquor dealers also protested against the tax.
The election of April, 1887, shows 650 votes for W. H. Platt and 354 for Ed. Hooper, candidates for mayor; 1,002 votes for C.W. Brininger, clerk; 991 for J. W. West, treasurer; 701 for Henry Garn and 298 for George J. Spencer, candidates for police judge; 215 for Charles Wasmer,* 216 for H. J. Palmer,* 186 for J. W. Liveringhouse,* 186 for Charles Jervins, 119 for J. Y. Alexandr* and 71 for E. Sarenson. The members of the school board chosen wre Nathan Platt and George A. Mohrensticher. R. P. O'Niel was appointed chief of police; C A. Leake, Jacob Barnett and Peter Braised, policemen; John A. Matthews, chief of fire department; Ralph Horth, attorney; George Loan, Sr., water commissioner; D. Morgan, weigh master; George Clark, street commissioner; W. C. Van Pelt, engineer of water-works, and W. Ensign, city engineer.
In May, 1887, the questions of extending the water-works system and building a city hass were presented, and Messrs. Wasmer, Vieregg and Liveringhouse appointed a committee to learn the opinion of the people on the subjects. This committee reported in June, showing that $22,000 would be required to extend the water-works and $18,000 to erect a city hall. At this time Messrs. T. O. C. Harrison, J. P. Kernohan, H. E. Clifford and W. H. Michael ended their terms as directors of the city library. Mrs. Harrison was reappointed, with George B. Bell, D. H. Vastine and Charles Rief to fill vacancies. Teh revenue for the year ending July, 1887, was $8,265, while that for the ensuing years was placed at $20,000. August 12 there wre 231 votes cast in favor of issuing water-works bonds, third series, while 80 were cast against the proposition. In April $3,409 was received as proceeds of sale of such bonds. The order to place flagmen at several street crossings of the Union Pacific Railroad was issued in October, and in December of that year C. W. Scarff and others were permitted to construct a system of sewerage through Blocks 68, 69, 70 and 71. In April, 1888, W. F. McLaughlin, W. M. Geddes, W. R. McAllister and W. F. Banks were elected councilmen. Charles Rief and G. H. Geddes were elected members of the board of education; Chief O'Niel and Peter Braisted were retained on the police force, and Henry Cook, Joseph St. Germain and Joel Andrews appointed members of the force. The other city officers appointed in 1887 were re-appointed. The total receipts of the city for the year ending April 30, 1888, were $71,348.59, and the expenditures, $50,546. The bonds and interest then due amounted to $86,742.50, including $1,250 10 per cent water-works bonds of 1874, $2,500 10 per cent water-works bonds in 1879, $40,000 6 per cent water-works bonds in 1885, $8,000 refunding 6 per cent bonds in 1885, and $3,000 6 per cent water-works bonds in 1887.
At the beginning of 1890 W. H. Platt was mayor; C. W. Brininger, clerk; J. W. West, treasurer; William Ensign, engineer; George P. Dean, marshal; R. R. Horth, attorney; J. H. Mullin, judge; George Loan, Sr., water commissioner; John A. Matthews, chief of fire department; W. F. McLaughlin, James F. Rourke, William M. Geddes, George Bartenbach, W. R. McAllister, Charles Rief, Thomas A. Oakes and George Reaugh, coumcilmen. The board of education comprosed Nathan Platt, president; G. A. Mohrenstechr, secretary; Charles Rief, vice-president, and Robert J. Barr, superintendent. What changes subsequent elections will effect in the personel of the board must be imagined; but no one will deny the fact
that, in addition to the improvements completed under the present council and authorized by them, other improvements could be easily effected, and what is now immoral in the city removed or regulated, even though it may be thought that hypocrites are the principle sinners.
In the pages of the general history and in this chapter, partucularly, very many names connected with the settlement and progress of the old and new towns of Grand Island find mention. the progressive spirits of the city of 1881-82, however, should be especially noticed, and thus, largely from contemporary newspaper reports and the valuable personal sketches published in the State histoy of 1882, the following brief notices are abstrated: O. A. Abbott came here late in 1867, and was State senator in 1872, having previously been a member of the convention of 1871; he was elected lieutenant-governor in 1876. He was born in Quebec, Canada, in 1842; in 1857 moved to Ilinois with his parents, enlisting in 1861 in the Union service. He was one of he first members of the Hall County bar, and is said to have taught the first school at Grand Island.
William L. Arnold established his livery and sale stables in October, 1881. He settled in Nebraska about 1861.
Eli A. Barnes may be considered among the pioneers, as he participated in many if not all of those affairs connected with the city's growth. F. M. Bacon established his lumber yards in September, 1878. Early in 1873 he purchased lands near the city. Grover E. Barber, who was superintendent of city schools in 1881, reported ten schools, eleven teachers and 900 pupils. He came to Grand Island that year. Adam Blunk, who erected the Platte Valley Grist-mill in 1877, came from Germany to Hall County, in 1871. Hnery D. Boyden establishedd his drug and paint store here in 1881. He settled in Nebraska in 1879. H. L. Burket established a funiture store in 1878, and continued in this business until 1882, when he established a stock ranch in Howard County.
George H. Caldwell came to Grand Island in May, 1877, and in partnership with O. A. Abbott opened a law office. In 1881 he was first elected county judge. James Cleary established his hardward house here in 1870. He came from Ireland in 1859, served in the Union army and after the war settled in Hall County. F. D. Collins established his clothing house in September, 1881, and with King & Kerkenbuel owned the brick yars near the city at that time. George Cornelius came to Hall County in 1864 and entered upon farming. In January, 1880, he qualified as county trasurer, and was elected that fall. A. J. Cushman opened a furniture store here in December, 1880. H. C. Denman, who settled in the State in 1859, located ten miles south of Grand Island in 1871, and in 1881 was elected sheriff. John Eggers & Bro. opened a meat market in the fall of 1874.
Henry Elsner (Conley & Elsner) came from Germany to Grand Island in December, 1881, and opened a grocery, tobacco and crockery store. James Ewing, who lacated at Wood River in May, 1871, taught school there until 1877, when he was chosen superintendent of schools for this county, was re-elected in 1879, and in 1881 was appointed deputy-trasurer. He issued the first number of the Wood River Gazette in March, 1882. Dr. M. J. Gahan, born in Ireland, came to Grand Island in March, 1875, and has practiced medicine here to the present time. Henry Giese settled at Grand Island in 1860, and H. H. Glover, of Wiebe & Glover, opened a dry goods house in 1879. Charles Guenther came in 1869, and in 1876 established his building office. William A. Hagge appered in 1857; was appointed treasurer in the fall of 1871 and elected in 1872 and 1874. In 1881-82 he was collecting agent for the State Central Bank.
T. O. C. Harrison settled at Grand Island in March, 1873, taught scool a few terms, and was admitted to teh br that year. In the history of the county and city Judge Harrison's dealings in public affairs are related.
Fred Hedde, the present owner of the Independent, came with the pioneers in 1857. He was engaged in farming until 1869, when he went to Hamburg, Germany, as immigration agent of this State. In 1873 he opened a general store at Grand Island, added a lumber yard in 1874, but in 1880 gave his sole attention to the agricultural imple-
ment trade and real estate. About six years ago he purchased the Independent.
H. C. Held established his jewelry store in September, 1872. Henry W. High, who lacated at Alda in 1873, was engaged in farming there until 1878, when he engaged in the live-stock trade. Edward Hooper opened a blacksmith shop on the bank of the Platte in 1861, moved to the new town in 1866, and engaged in selling agricultural implements until 1879, when he aided in establishing a foundry here. John L. Houck was foreman of the blacksmith department of the Union Pacific shops in 1881. M. B. Hoxie was appointed register of the United States land office her in Septembr, 1878. He secured the division of Platte County in 1868-69, and organized Colfax County. Christian Ipsem established his drug business here in March, 1882. Charles Ivers came to Grand Island in 1871, opened a grocery store in June, 1881, and completed a store building in May, 1882. G. T. Jordan opened a hardware store in March, 1880, in partnership with E. W. Justice.
James P. Hernohan, who, on October 1, 1878, opened a bank at Edgar, Clay County, in partnership with C. P. Packer, moved to Grand Island in 1880, and in 1882 suggested the building of the Grand Island Banking Company's brick office. Henry A. Koenig located here in 1862, and at once became the founder of many or the city's principal industries and business enterprises. Dr. H. B. Lashlee settled here in June, 1881, and A. C. Lederman established his hardware business in May, 1879. W. R. McAllister opened a general store in 1867. In 1858 he located two miles west of Fort Kearney, was freighting for a time, and later worked on the Union Pacific Railroad. From 1868 to 1878 he was the postmaster at Grand Island. Henry P. Makely was foreman of the car repair shops in 1881-82. In December, 1866, he settled at Grand Island. James Martin, who settled at Grand Island in 1877, opened a meat market here in 1880. James Michelson came in 1860, and kept a ranch for travelers, as well as a wagon shop on the old California trail. In 1866 he moved into the new town, built the Nebraska House (the first hotel), and in 1872 entered the mercantile circle.
Dr. Howard C. Miller may be called the pioneer dentist of the city, having located here in October, 1881. Seth P. Mobley is noticed in the chapter on journalism. John D. Moore was agent of the Union Pacific Railroad service in 1868. M. Murphy settled here in 1877 and established a photograph gallery. James B. Murray & Co. established their grocry house in March, 1882. Mr. Murray opened a store at Edgar in 1879. James C. Pederson opened his grocery store August 1, 1879. Rev. Richard Phelan had charge of St. Mary's Church at Grand Island and the missions attached to it. W. H. Platt came early in 1866, opened a drug store and law office, and continued the former business until 1870, when he was admitted to the bar. He assisted in building the first business house on the town site in July, 1866. John G. Raine opened a jewelry store in 1877. Matthew Riefers opened the State Central Brick yards in May, 1878. James R. Reniff came in December, 1881, and took charge of the car department of the Union Pacific shops.
Charles Rief settled here early in 1868, and taught school until 1874. He served as justice for five years, was appointed city engineer repeatedly, was county surveyor, and in 1879 was elected county clerk. D. H. J. Ring, who located at Hastings in 1879, moved to Grand Island in December, 1881. George F. Ryan moved from Merrick County to Grand Island in 1877. In 1881-82 he was a member of the produce firm of Thomas & Co. A. A. Sawyer opened his grocery house December 1, 1878. Frank Sears, who was clerk of Hall County in 1882, was land agent for the Union Pacific Railroad Company here, at Kearney, Hastings and other localities. Fred A. Sears was he owner of the grain warehouse and elevator at Grand Island, and representative of the county in the Legislature.
Dr. A. L. Stevenson became a citizen early in 1877. William Stolley, one of the pioneers and leading farmers of Hall County, is referred to in other pages. Gen. John M. Thayer was one of the pioneers of Omaha in 1854. In 1855 he raised the volunteers who were sent against the Indians at
Fontanelle, and inn 1859 was commissioned to raise another force to subdue the Pawnees. In 1859-60 he was a member of the State Senate, and of the convention of 1860. In 1861 he organized the First Nebraska Volunteers, and as colonel commanded this regiment in Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee. He was elected United States Senator in 1866; appointed Governor of Wyoming in 1875, and afterward located at Grand Island.
C. W. thomas established his grocer and boot and shoe house here January 1, 1868, but sold to W. R. McAllister, September 1, 1869. On October 19 that year he purhased the Koenig & Wiebe grocery house and erected a store-house in 1871. He purchased a stock of dry goods and clothing from R. C. Jordan, agent, and Peterson & Ruelberg, but sold this department to H. H. Glover in 1879. In August of that year he, with Gregg Bros. and F. A. Sears, erected the grain elevator, but the latter purchased his interest therein in 1880. H. Thomas came her in 1871 and a few years later, with Hall, established a meat market. Later he established a grocery store at Alda and in 1880 joined his brother in the produce trade. Patrick Yuohy located here in 1868. Later he was road master of the second division of the Union Pacific including the St. Paul branch road.
D. H. Vantine located at Alda, Hall County, in 1880. He taught school five terms and was elected county superintendent in 1881. In 1882 he reported seventy school buildings in the county. O. U. Wescoatt opened his livery stable in December, 1878. J. W. West established a grocery store in March, 1874, in company with his brother. IN 1877 he was elected justice and held that office in 1882. Charles A Wiebe came with his parnets in 1862, and located on the O. K. farm, one-half mile south of Grand Island. His father, Fred A. Wiebe, established the first lumber yard htere, and for him Charles A. worked for some time. In January, 1882, he joined H. H. Glover in business. A. W. Wilhelm purchased Burkett's furniture store in April, 1882. In May, 1871, he opened a grocery store at Alda. In 1876 he engaged in the agricultural implement business at Grand Island. Chauncey Wiltse, an old-time surveyor, came in 1874 and leased the Grand Island House. E. R. Wiseman opened his grain and lumber business in 1873. James H. Woolley establsied his law office here in September, 1878, having been admitted to the bar June 3, that year.
A few of the individuals mentioned have disappeared under the stormy waves of life, but the majority still reside here and many who left the young village returned after a little while to find the place a pretentious little city.
During the fall of 1870 the following improvements were made: Dwelling houses--H. P. Handy, $3,500; E. W. Arnold, $1,500; Mrs. Brewster, $1,300; C. W. Thomas (2), $1,600; Peter Petersen, $1,500; William Spiker, $1,200; J. D. Moore, $1,200; H. Bauman, $1,000, and J. Heeb, $500. Business houses--Koenig & Wiebe's wardhouse, $3,600; school-house, District 2, adn furniture, $4,000; Baptist Chrch, $3,000; the Platte bridge, $15,000; Nelson & Hooper's blacksmith shops, John Kraft's ice-house, H. N. Chapman & Co's meat, slaughter and ice-houses, Tout & Baylor's carpenter shop, Spiker & Petersen's improvements on store, Walther's barber shop, and "Independent" office improvements. In 1872 work on the court-house, the first brick building in the county, was commenced, adn the building era was introduced. The panic of 1873 stopped the wheels of progress for a time, but Grand Island not only held the position reached before the panic, but improved that position during the years of disaster. The business circle of the place in 1876 comprised those citizens whose substantial character left no doubtful incertainty as to Grand Island's future. Among the lawyers then were O. A. Abott, W. H. Platt, Henry Nunn, John D. Hayes, W. C. Buderus and Loring GAffey; and the phsicians, J. R. Laine, M. J. Gahan, J. P. Patterson, Henry Bruhns and A. T. Thorspecken. the population at this time was 1,204. In 1878 the shadows of the panic began to disperse and people from the East fled to the prairies to avoid a repetition of such troubles. In 1880 steps were taken to build the Union Pacific shops at this point, and work was entered upon. The opera house block was erected in 1882 by George Bartenbach. Prior to
this time music and the drama held court in the Liederkranz or Berth Halls. In 1889 the opera house proper was refitted and refurnished. In October of that year it was opend by Keene. by May, 1884, there were six dwellings completed, each costing over $2,000; the Koenig brick block, $15,00; the Cleary, Berth, Berkenbuel & Conner block, $30,000; Mayor White's dwelling, $3,500, and Lamkin's dwelling, $2,000. There were no less than 110 other buildings in course of construction. The Jamieson building on the Sass corner, front Street, was commenced in August, 1885. The cost was estimated at $12,000. During the week ending August 2, 1885, the following business houses were completed: Meyer Bros.' liquor store, F. Pahl's saloon, Adam Windolph's livery, James Michelson's jewelry store, H. D. Boyden's drug store, Harrison & Rief's law and real-estate office, W. H. Michael's store, Prof. Berth's music hall and two stories, D. Jamieson's building and the Sister's hospital. Five frame business houses were also completed. The Scarff building and the Kurka block onThir Street were commenced later. Late in the fall of 1885, Brewster Bros. and P. Touhy's mercantile buildings, the Curtis Laundry and the Hall County umber Company's office were erected. Gus Koehler's fish pond, a novel industry in the southern part of the city, was stocked with German carp in 1885. This pond covers about three acres and is six feet in depth. Ott's ice house and fish and ice pond embraces ten acres near the Lehman Brewery; the brewery and the Wasmer ice pond were constructed in 1886.
In August, 1886, the Independent block was commenced for Fred Hedde, and the William & Kerr building commenced. The buildings and improvements of 1886 were valued at $640,000, while in 1887 the estimated value of buildings and improvements was placed at $855,000. The hospital of the Sisters of St. Francis was opened this year, and many old forms and methods of the "wild and woolly West" gave place to modern forms and methods. Free letter delivery was established October 1, and during the month ending November 1 the carriers delivered 29,904 pieces of mail.
The corner-stone of the Soldiers' Home was placed October 20, 1887. John D. Moore was president of the day; Gov. John M. Thayer presided over the ceremony of placing the corner-stone; the Germania band and the drum corps furnished the music. A most attractive procession was had. The improvements under way or projected for 1888 amounted to over $1,000,000. The greater number were brought into existence. In 1889-90 there were erected the following named large buildings: City hall, three-story, stone front, $40,000; A. O. U. W. Temple and John Wallichs' block, brick $35,000; Bockovern & Connell's block, wholesale fruits, three stories, $20,000; Security State Bank, five stories, $35,000; additions to school-houses, $35,000; State Soldiers and Sailors' Home improvements, $125,000. In addition to these a system of sewerage, seven miles in length, was constructed, and the street railroad system doubled in mileage. In December work on the sugar factory was commenced and ushed forward without intermission during the winter.
In 1884 the bill providing for the establishment of a soldiers' home was passed. the first meeting to secure the location of the home for Grand Island was held in September, 1884, George Cornelius presiding, with S. P. Mobley secretary. J. O. West and Rev. P. C. Johnson, with Col. Leib and Rev. Williams as alternates, were appointed a committee to wait upon the locating comissioners at Dayton, Ohio, and Gen. John M. Thayer was invited to accompany them. They were authorized to offer 320 acres for a site. In April, 1887, the home was located three miles north of Grand Island on lands purchased by the citizens. The sum of $22,000 of the $25,600 paid for such lands was contributed within thirty-six hours. The State appropriated $30,000. Charles Rief, then Prepresentative, was one of the leading workers in securing the location for this city. The corner-stone was placed October 20, 1887, by Gov. Thayer, as related in subsequent pages, and the building was dedicated June 26, 1888. The first visiting and examining board of
the Soldiers' Home was appointed in April, 1887: Samuel B. Jones, Omaha; Ezra S. Howard, Edgar; W. S. Webster, Central City; Mrs. B. P. Cook, of Lincoln, and Mrs. L. A. Bates, of Aurora. John Hammond, of Columbus, was appointed commandant.
For the past eight years Grand Island had enjoyed the advantages of a free public library, with a large number of well-selected books. the library is supported by a tax levied upon city property. As in most cities the use of books is open to all, and the records show that the citizens july appreciate and patronize the public library. In August, 1885, C. F. Bentley was elected president of the library board. During the year then ended $895.98 was received from the 1-mill tax, and 649 volumes were on the shelves. The officers controlling this useful city department are named in the transactions of the city council.
In the records of county and city many references are made to that excellent Christian institution, St. Francis Hospital. The Sisters of St. Francis purchased two acres from Charles Wasmer in May, 1885, in he western part of the city, and located their hospital there. The work of building was at once entered upon, and on August 22 Messrs. Hedde and Cleary reported $422 received for the hospital fund, which was paid over to Sister Mary Magdalena. Early in 1887 a present of drugs and medicines was made by Parke, Davis & Co., of Detroit, to this hospital. Dr. Gahan and Dr. Poe attended the patients without charge, and C. W. New superintended the construction of a laboratory. In May there were twenty-eight patients in the house. The new hospital building was dedicated June 29.
In the early years of the town, the local Grange or the immigration society of 1871-72 carried out many of the objects of a board of trade, and did much topoint out the resources of the county and the opportunities of the town. The merchants club was organized in February, 1876, with Fred Hedde, president; R. C. Jordan, vice-president; H. A. Koenig, treasurer; and T. J. Hurford, secretary. A mercantile association, in one form or another, had existed here since centennial year-the board of trade being the present name of the organized merchants and traders. This board elected the following-named officers in January, 1885: C. W. Thomas, president; Fred Hedde, J. P. Kernohan and J. W. West, vice-presidents; Chris Schlotfeldt, correspondent; Frank Sears, recorder; James Cleary, treasurer; H. A. Koenig, C. F. Bentley, John G. Schaupp and S. N. Wolback were chosen directors, while Edward Hooper was appointed to the vacancy in the vice-presidency, caused by the death of E. R. Wiseman.
At this time (1885) twenty-one through trains on the Union Pacific, four on the Grand Island & North Loup, six on the St. Joseph & Grand Island, and four on the Burlington & Missouri River-a total of thirty-five trains, arrived and departed daily; 328 railroad employes receiving $19,934 per month resided here, and of this number 121 men were employed in the car and machine shops. In 1886 there were 3,384 cars shipped, and 7,071 cars received over the Union Pacific and St. Joseph & Grand Island Railroads. There were 389 cars of coal, lumber and cattle, and 1,185 cars of miscellaneous goods received over the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad, while 201 cars of grain, 138 of live stock, and 1,139 of miscellaneous goods were shipped over the same road.
The total tonnage reported for the year ending October, 1888, was 455,456,780, of which the Union Pacific carried 422,717,761 tons and the St. Joseph & Grand Island 32,039,019 tons. This tonnage was largely increased in 1889, and will, it is thought, be doubled in 1890.
The officers of the board of trade in 1887-88 were J. W. West, president; H. A. Koenig, Charled Wasmer, Edward Hooper and J. D. Moore, vice-presidents; C. W. Scarff, secretary; Charles A. Wiebe, treasurer; M. Murphy, S. N. Wolbach, L. A. Pease and C. P. R. Williams, directors.
The Grand Island Improvement Company, referred to in other pages, is a branch of the board of trade.
The first post-office was established in 1866, with D. Schuller, master. W. R. McAllister,
who in 1867 established his business at Grand Island, was appointed postmaster in 1868 at a salary of $1 per month. When he resigned the office in 1878 it was paying him $1,400 per annum.
C. P. R. Williams succeeded Mr. McAllister July 1, 1879, followed by C. L. Howell April 1, 1883, and he in turn was succeeded by Lafayette Myers May 1, 1887. Mr. Myers brought the office to a high state of efficiency. On October 1, 1887, the free letter delivery system was introduced. During the last three months of that year there were 98,378 pieces delivered and 19,191 pieces of mail matter collected. The revenue for the year was $11,260.82, and the expenses of the office $4,167.03. Four carriers were employed, making three deliveries of mail each day in the business portion of the city and two in the residence part.
In January, 1890, M. Murphy succeeded Mr. Myers. His bond for $24,000 was signed by S. N. Wolbach, J. M. Marsh, george H. Thummel, J. D. Moore, Patrick Dunphy and C. W. Thomas.
The assistants in the office in January, 1890, were F. O. Roeser, assitant postmaster; Chris Woelz, mailing clerk, and Miss tonie wasmer, delivery clerk. The letter carriers are G. A. McConnell, Levi Matchet, William Ivers and B. F. Gardner.
The pioneer banking house of this section of Nebraska was the State Central Bank, the hisoty of which is given on other pages. Henry A. Koenig, the founder, settled here in 1862, and in 1867 erected the State Central Flouring Mills, opened the first lumber yare in the village, and in 1871 established this bank. The Citizen's National Bank is the new name of this old institution. Henry A. Koenig is president; George A. Mohrenstecher, cashier; William A. Hagge, vice-president, and W. M. Geddes, assistant cashier. They, with John L. Means, O. W. Abbott, Gustave Koehler and A. H. Baker, form the board of directors. The capital is $60,000.
The Grand Island Banking Company was organized in 1879 and incorporated in January, 1880, with S. A. Peterson, G. A. Parker, C. P. Parker, J. P. Kernohan, J. G. Glazier and J. E. Hopper, stockholders. C. P. Parker was succeeded as president of the company by S. A. Peterson, and J. P. Kernohan, the first cahier, by George B. Bell. The present number of members is twenty-seven. The cash capital is $110,000.
The private banking house of C. F. Bentley was established early in 1880.
The First National Bank was founded in 1882, articles of association executed July 14, and a United States charter issued September 23, 1882, with S. N. Wolbach, president; C. F. Bentley, cashier, and D. H. Vieths, assistant cashier. The capital was placed at $100,000. The directors are John Reimers, Patrick Dunphy, Hiram J. Palmer, William J. Burger, C. W. Thomas, Samuel N. Wolbach, Charles F. Bentley.
The original stockholders were S. N. Wolbach,* Patrick Dunphy,* Fred Hedde, John L. Means, Patrick Touhey, Henry Mayer, W. J. Burger,* C. F. Bentley,* Richard Phelan, G. H. Andrew, J. N. Murphy, J. D. P. Hutchins, N. J. Palmer, C. W. Thomas,* Charles Milisen, A. Stewart, H. C. Held, J. R. Thompson, A. L. Stevenson, M. Horn, A. D. Dears and James Hall.
J. M. Marsh returned in February, 1890, from Chicago, Omaha and Kansas City, where he had been securing bank stock for the American National Bank to be erected here within the next four months. It will consist of an iron front, and be built of sandstone from Colorado. It will be located on the corner of Locust and Third Streets, now occupied by Tucker & Brown's drug store.
The first meeting of the Grand Island Building & Loan Association, August 29, 1881, was held at the office of Jay E. White. At this meeting a committee was appointed to draft a constitution for the association, which was adopted. The first regular meeting was held January 9, 1882, when the following officers and board of directors were elected: J. D. Moore, president; B. C. Holward, vice-president; J. E. White, secretary; M. Murphy, treasurer; M. J. Gahan, L. M. Bryan, C. L. Howell, D. Ackerman, William Anyan, H. L. McMeans and Frank Guenther, directors. The original members were L. M. Bryan, W. W. Smith, M. J. Gahan, B.
C. Howard, Frank Sears, Clara A. Sears, A. A. Sawyer, A. D. Sears, C. L. Howell, M. Murphy, A. H. Wilhelm, A. Humphrey, C. B. Handy, D. Ackerman, John Ris, C. E. Schanlan, P. D. thompson, Frncis Lang, Frank Guenther, Jay E. White, H. L. McMeans, J. D. Moore, William Anyanm, B. Berry, O. A. Abbott, H. O. Brown, H. D. Boyden, E. W. McAllister, John Henderson, Emiline Henderson, Peer Janss, G. H. Thummel, F. C. Collins, E. F. Kerr, G. H. Caldwell, C. E. Lykke, J. H. Wilsey, Monroe Taylor, Jacob Giese, E. A. Richardson, S. B. Reynard, H. L. Burket, F. M. Bacon and C. P. R. Williams.
The profits reported in the first annual statement, January 6, 1883, amount to $7,123.23; in the second, $7,538.50; in the third, $7,620.20; in the fourth, $7043.80; in the fifth, $8,070.05; in the sixth, $11,044.30; in the seventh, $9,240.80, and in the eighth, published January 1, 1890, $13,602.15. The total receipts for 1889 amounted to $33,723.20, and the total expense to $398.30, including secretary's salary. B. C. Howard was president in 1886, and W. E. Robinson, secretary. In 1888 S. D. Ross was secretary. In 1889 Frank Sears succeeded M. Murphy as treasurer, and on January 13, 1890, Henry A. Koenig succeeded M. Murphy. The directory comprises D. Ackerman, C. W. brininger, W. B. Carey, C. B. Handy, G. H. Geddes, James Cleary and A. C. Lederman.
The Security State Bank ranks among the first financial houses of the city. H. A. Pike, of Boston, is president; F. W. Barber, vice-president and acting president, and O. B. Thompson, cashier. They, woth T. R. White, Jr., of New York, W. R. Bacon, P. Janss and J. F. Zediker, are directors. The new building erected in the winter of 1889-90 for this company is metropolitan in character. The estimated cost in $35,000.
The People's Building & Loan Association was organized in June, 1885, with W. R. McAllister, J. G. Raine, J. H. Mullin, J. Withers, W. H. Thompson, E. W. McAllister, W. T. Chapin, J. C. Pederson and George E. Winn, directors.
The Bank of Cemmerce was incorporated April 1, 1887, with a capital stock of $50,000. T. P. Lanigan was elected president; J. D. Moore, vice-president; J. M. Marsh, cashier, who has held that position to the present. The corner room in the Scarff building was leased for the purpose of the business, and he bank was opened May 4 that year. J. D. Moore was chosen president to secceed Mr. Lanigan, and he was succeeded by E. L. Dodder, Sr. F. B. Tiffany is one of the directors. The Scarff building was subsequently purchased by the banking company. the present number of stockholders is fifty-two, comprising a number of the best citizens. The capital is $150,000.
The Grand Island Savings & Loan Association, the Union Investment Company, the St. Joseph Loan & Trust Company, the National Building, Loan and Protective Union, the American Investment Company of New Hampshire (J. F. Zediker, agent), the American Investment Company of Emmettsburg, Iowa (R. C. Glenville, agent), and the Anglo American Loan & Trust Company (D. C. Zink, agent) all do a large business here.
The United States Investment Company was incorporated April 18, 1887, with H. A. Koenig, A. H. Baker, O. B. Thompson, William Hagge, O. A. Abbott, C. A. Van Wasmer and Gustave Koehler, stockholders. The capital stock was placed at $250,000.
H. E. Clifford, Dill & Huston, W. R. Bacon, Ross & Brininger, W. A. Heimberger, J. H. Wilsey, Thummel & Platt, Dings & Reaugh, Charles Rief, thompson Brothers, T. A. Hathaway, Frank & Williams, W. S. Hayman, L. J. Traynor, W. A. Whitney, C. H. Baily and others are engaged in the money-loaning trade.
Protection Fire Company No. 1 was organized June 8, 1874, with C. P. Henderson, foreman; N. P. Kelly and T. C. McCoy, assistants; E. Tomlinson, secretary, and James Cleary and J. B. Davis, with the officers named, were chosen trustees. the constitution was signed by thirty-three members. The Hook and Ladder Company was organized August 1, 1874, with W. J. Cuddy, foreman; P. Dunphy and H. Bauman, assistants; W. F. Dering, treasurer; Joseph Jeneman, secretary. In 1876 there were twenty-five members, with John Kraft, chief. The voluntary system was carried
on for some years until the city exercised control. In March, 1884, Ch. Nielson, W. Cornelius, Ch. Guenther, Th. Zimmerman, H. Henk and F. Kruse were elected officers of the Hook and Ladder Company. John Riss was capain, succeeding Millisen. The fire department was then presided over by Nabel, with C. L.Howard, assistant. W. R. McAllister and A. C. Lederman were members of Pacific Hose Company. The Fireman's Tournament was held here in August, 1885. The Fitzgeralds, of Lincoln, almost won the prize, as they did in Omaha in 1884, but the Fremonts carried it.
The officers of the fire department elected in March, 1886, were John Matthews, chief; A. C. Lederman, assistant; J. H. Mullin, secretary, and John P. Voitle, treasurer.
Protection Hose Company No. 2 completed orgaization in June, 1886, with E. C. McCashland, president; W. F. McLaughlin, forman; D. C. Zink, H. B. Groff, assistant foremen; C. Milisen, secretary; S. Elliot, treasurer; E. Dawson, George Hunter and G. H. Geddes, trustees. In March, 1887, H. C. Miller was chosen president of the ire department; John A. Matthews, chief; William McLaughlin, assistant; John Voitle, second assistant; J. W. Bartholomew, secretary, viceCharles L. Haux, and David Zink, treasurer. In 1889 W. R. McAllister was president; D. C. Zink, secretary; J. A. Matthews, chief. Pacific Hose Company No. 1 was presided over by Geoge Furstenhofer; Protection Engine Company by D. C. Zink; Protection Hose Company by John Randolph; Ott Hose Company by William Cornelius, and Hook and Ladder Company by Fred Bohan.
The first destruction of property by fire was that of the old Grand Island settlement, referred to in the chapter on pioneers. Engel & siegmund's pearl barley mill was erected in 1875 at a cost of $5,000. With the exception of the Union Pacific Railroad water tank structure, this was the first conflagration since the town was founded in 1866. An attempt to burn West's store and the Grange Hall at this time was frustrated by James Cleary. The fire of December 11, 1884, originated in the basement of James Cleary's store. the thorough work of he fire department saved the blockowned by Cleary and the Grand Island Banking Company. schaupp's mil was burned to the ground June 3, 1886. Wilsey's barn and five blooded horses, the property of George Cudney, were destroyed by fire in November, 1887. A fire at the car shops was controlled. The fire of March, 1888, originated in the Wiebe store. the fire apparatus of the Independent building was brought into action, with the result of saving much property. The Touhy building on West Third Street, occupied by I. H. Waldron, was destroyed by fire April 29, 1888. Rollins' feed-mill, built in July, 1888, was destroyed by fire July 29, that year. The creamery building was struck by lightning and destroyed. With the exception of the Sass Hotel, Englel's mil, Schaupp's mill, Rollins' mill, and the creamery, Grand Islnd may be said to be free from fires. The Douglass & Cass lumber yard was burned September 29, 1888. Four horses and other property with $7,000 worth of lumber were reduced to ashes.
The city now boast of the car and machine shops with a pay roll of between $20,000 and $30,000 per month, a canning factory built entirely of brick and employing from 300 to 400 hands during the season, and consuming the products of about 2,500 acres of ground, three flouring-mills, one brewery, five cigar factories, employing about sixty hands the year round, a foundry, the capacity of which is just now being doubled, two gas works, electric light works, one of the finest creameries in the state with permanent brick buildings, sash and blind factory, a broom factory, two soda water factories and bottling establishments, three of the finest ice lakes in the State, two machine shops and a number of smaller manufacturing institutions, supplemented by the most extensive beet sugar manufactory and refinery in the United States.
The pioneer milling industry west of Fort Calhoun (except the old water-mill) was the State Central Flouring Mill, established in 1867, by H. A. Koenig, which in Febrary, 1884, became the property of Henry Glade.
In 1870 the Hurley & Jones brick yards, on Prairie Creek, five miles north of the city, were
opened and the poor brick produced sold at $15 per 1,000. The yards do not apper to have been in existence when the court-house was built, for the brick used in that structure were freighted from Omaha.
In October, 1878, a wagon shop and foundry were established by Hooper & Ferguson, and purchased by the former in 1881.
In 1880 the Union Pcific shops were located at this point, and the work of building at once entered upon. By the close of 1881 the machine, blacksmith and car shops were finished. These shops are the most valuable and extensive in the State. The three buildings, together with their machinery, cost $350,000. In them about 400 men are employed. A description of the shops is as follows: Car shop-Material, stone; roof, slate; size main building, 100x162 feet; size of L, 100x127 feet; size of engine room, 50x50 feet; height, 22 feet; tank, 7x12 feet and an eighty-horse-power engine. Machine shop-Main building, 100x150 feet; engine room, 50x50 feet; height, 22 feet; tank, 7x12 feet and an eighty-horse-power engine. Blacksmith shop-Size, 75x150 feet; height, 22 feet; 24 forges. The Union Pacific rail mill, located in this city, works over damaged steel rails. It has two stationary boilers, with a combined capacity of 211-horse-power and an 80-horse-power duplex Corliss engine. This plant cost $80,000, employs from twenty-four to thirty-six men, and is he only mill of the kind in the State of Nebraska. Here are fitted up all the rails for the branc lines of the Union Pacific system.
The Grand Island Creamery Company was organized in March, 1884, with J. W. Liveringhouse, president; J. P. Kernohan, vice-president; J. E. Jewett, secretary, and J. H. Wethers, treasurer.
The Gas and Electric Light Company was organized in July, 1884, with George H. Thummel, president; H. A. Koenig, vice-president; Dr. M. J. Gahan, secretary, and Chris Wasmer, treasurer. Henry Miller is now superintendent.
The manufacturing industries employing steam-power in 1885 were Schaupp's Planet Roller Mills, Glade's mill, Peterson's mill, Gardner's feed-mill, Merrill's feed-mill, Union Pacific rail mill, Union Pacific machine shops, Union Pacific car shops, sash factory, Hooper's foundry and State Central Brewery. In Wasmer's and in Wiseman's elevators steam=ower was also used as well as in the electric light works, bottling works, Independent office, Week's job office and the city laundry. Blunk's flour and meal mills, south of the city, were operated by water-power.
Boehm's State Central brewery is operated by Andrew Ott. It is one of the leading industries of this class in the State.
The Grand Island Canning Company filed articles of incorporation March 14, 1887. the subscribers were O. B. Thompson, C. W. Scarff, William A. Hagge, C. A. Van Wasmer, T. J. Hurford, Charles Wasmer and J. D. Moore.
The corporations of the Street Railroad Company were O. A. Abbott, I. R. Alter, Henry A. Koenig, William Hagge, A. H. Baker, O. B. thompson and c. W. Scarff.
The Grand Island Gas Company was incorporated March 21, 1887, with A. S. Maxwell, Samuel N. Wolbach adn John L. Means, stockholders. Mr. Maxwell is managing director.
The Grand Island Light and Fuel Company also manufacture gas.
In the line of manufacturing industries Grand Island had he following named industries in 1887:
____________________________________________________________ Cost No. of Industries of Men Plant Empl'd ____________________________________________________________ Union Pacific car shops...............$350,000............500 Union Pacific steel rail mill...........80,000.............36 Canning factory.........................30,000............250 Two roller flour-mills..................60,000.............40 Creamery................................25,000.............16 Brewery.................................50,000.............16 Blank book making, printing, etc........60,000.............21 Funiture factory.........................5,000.............11 Steam dye works..........................2,000..............6 Soap Factory and rendering...............2,500..............5 Bottling works..........................10,000.............10 Two brickyards..........................30,000............100 ____________________________________________________________
twenty acres of spring lakes give a capacity of 100,000 tons annually.
The namufacturing industries proposed comprise a glucose factory, a starch factory, a paper mill, a chewing gum factgory and a mammoth distilery and packing house.
For some years past the few citizens of Hall County acquainted with the seccess of the beet sugar industry in Europe considered the question of establishing such and industry here. In February, 1873, there was published in the Independent a description of the beet sugar industry in Europe, and some reference to the growth of beets in Nebraska was made, but not until 1887 was there any practical action taken in the matter. The leading citizens at that time went about it in a sensible way to fuly, thoroughly and satisfactorily test the feasibility of the undertaking. They had he soil of various sections fo this and adjoining counties analyzed, and the analysis demonstrated its adaptability to the culture of sugar beets in various section of the county, in the season of 1888, and had these beets carefully analyzed at Lincoln, at Washington and at other points, which tests were very satisfactory. thinking the season of 1888 might have been an excetionally favorable season, seed was again imported and planted upon a still more extensive scale in 1889, and an expert chemist, familiar with the culture and manufacture, as well as with analysis of he sugar beet, was brought here from Germany, to oversee the planting, culture and growth of the beets, as well as to examine the character of the soik and attend to the analysis of he beets, etc. These tests showed still more satisfactory results, the percentage of saccharine matter reaching eighteen per cent.
The subject of the location of a beet-sugar factory at Grand Island was considered, practically, in November, 1889, when the leading citizens decided to raise $100,000, and did raise about $60,000, before the question was formally submitted to the people. The subscriptions were voluntary, and ranged from $100 to $1,000 each, and in the aggregate amount to $100,000, while the capital stock of the beet-sugar company is as stated, $1,000,000, and will no doubt at an early day be increased to double that amount.
During the time that the experiments were being made negotiations were also in progress to enlist gentlemen with the necessary capital and experience to take hold ofthe enterprise and build and operate the factory, which, when it is understood that half a million dollars are required for buildings and machinery alone, and as much more for land to make the company independent of individual farmers who might not choose to funish a regular supply adequate to keep the factory in operation, was no easy task. Difficult as it was, howevr, the energy and stick-to-it-iveness of the Grand Island gentlemen who had the matter in charge proved equal to the emergency and their efforts were at last crowned with success,a dn n Friday, December 7, 1889, the site for the fatory buildings was selected, and on Monday, December 9, ground was broken and work commenced. The dimensions of the principle factory building, the concrete foundations of which were completed by January 19, 1890, and upon the brick walls of which all the masons that can be had in the city were at work, are as follows: Length, 292 feet; width, eighty-five feet; height, four stories, fifty feet. The structure is being built of stone, iron and brick, in such a substantial manner that it will stand for hundreds of years. This does not include the boiler house nor the engine house, which will be separate and apart from teh principal factory building. There are to be a lime house, beet sheds and a system of smaller buildings extending north from the principal building to the stock-yards, a distnce of nearly half a mile.
The site selected for the factory buildings comprises fifty acres, and is taken off the east ends of two tracts of land, one belonging to the United States Investment Company nd the other to
Messrs. Thummel & Platt, situated along the west side of the St. Joseph & Grand Island Railroad, and extending north to the Union Pacific stock-yards, thus touching both the union Pacific and St. Joseph & Grand Island tracks, and also to be reached by the beet-sugar factory belt line, to be built at once by the Burlinton & Missouri River, for which the right of way has already been secured. The northeast corner of the site is within a stone's throw of the new fair grounds, and the south line of the Packer & Barr, Shoemaker and Wasmer additins, so that within a few years the factory will be in the heart of the city, as it were.
The situation is an admirable one, the drainage being excellent, and the location both beautiful and convenient, and as to railroad facilties unsurpassed.
During the week ending January 20, 1890, the street-car line was etende to the factory grounds, and the St. Joseph & Grand Island Railway company's track extended along the principal factory building, from which about sixty cars of brick and other material are unloaded each week, and will be until the entire system of buildings is completed.
The machinery for he manufactory and sugar refinery is already on the way from Germany, France and Australia, and will be all placed and in percect running order for the most advanced portion of the crop of the season of 1890.
H. F. Oxnard, at the head of the syndicate who has his manufacturing industy in charge, and at the head of which he will be resident manager, is a man of rare business qualifications, and is possessed of thorough knowledge of the manufature of beet-sugar; associated with him is M. Disprez, an expert in the raising of sugar beets and beet-sugar seed.
Continued on "page 2 of chapter XXVI"
Transcribed by Kaylynn