The City of York
State of Nebraska
Prominent Business and Professional Men
Before entering upon the detail of a descriptive article on York we will ask the indulgence of our reader while we cast an eye over the state of Nebraska that claims York as one of its family. The state of Nebraska in area has 16,800 more square miles than England and Wales combined; 15,000 square miles more than the total area of all the New England states and is nearly double the size of the state of Ohio; its area is 76,895 square miles, and it can be truly said that there is not a mile of it but what is fit for cultivation and can be cultivated at one half the expense of eastern farm lands. Without dipping too deeply into mathematical problems a fair conception of the resources and extent of the state may be gleaned from the fact that the whole population of the United States couId be located in Nebraska and still not be crowded as much as the population of. England is today. While the surface of the state is varied it contains no abrupt canons nor rugged peaks, there is less waste land in Nebraska than any state in the union. The land is easily broken there being no roots nor stamps nor craggy rocks to interfere with the tilling of the land, such as are usually found in opening up countries. The elevation of the state is such as to almost totally exclude fever epidemics. The eastern portion along the line of the Union Pacific railroad averages 1,700 feet. The western 3,525 feet, or a mean average of 2,612 feet. York county of which the city of York is the county seat, has an elevation of 1, 700 feet. The altitude of the city of York is 1,602 feet. The contrast between the fever and ague stricken complexions of thickly settled eastern towns and the hue of health and glow of spirits that you meet on all sides here is so strong that a
pleasure trip to this locality is always productive of a new settler. The soil throughout the entire county is rich and productive and a complete failure has yet to be chronicled. Corn is the staple product. Wheat, oats, small grain and alfalfa are being raised more extensively now than a few years. ago and agriculturists claim that Nebraska will eventually be the great wheat state of the union. There are four streams coursing through this county: the West Blue and Blue Rivers Beaver Creek, and Lincoln Creek.
COUNTY COURT HOUSE
York County Court House situated in the public square in the center of our city, is, with one exception, the finest structure of the kind in the state of Nebraska. The cost of erecting this building in round numbers was $60,000, one-half of which was raised from the sale of county lots and the balance provided for in the tax levies of 1886 and '87, so that not a dollars worth of bonded indebtedness was incurred by the operation. The building as completed is a structure that any city or county in the United States might well feel proud of. The building faces on all sides of the square and has a ground area of 70x100; the tower that surmounts the main entrance is finished with a statue of Justice. The county court room and offices, jail, jurors room, county superintendent's office, clerk's, recorder's and sheriff's offices are provided for, and the building which is of pressed brick with stone cappings is beautifully furnished and trimmed inside with red oak. The construction began in 1886.
A. B. Taylor is a western
man, having been born in Washington County, Iowa, in 1856. During
the early years of his life he worked on a farm during the summer
season, and attended school in the winter.
In 1873 he moved to Saline County, Nebraska, and taught school there for ten years with marked success. In 1885 he was admitted to the bar, after a thorough study of the law, and has ever since been in active practice. For seven years he was a member of the firm of Harlan & Taylor, of this city
C. C. BOSLAW
A. B. TAYLOR
E. C. BISHOP
and established a reputation, as an energetic,
careful and conscientious lawyer.
Judge Taylor has taken an especial interest in probate law, and his practice in that department has been very successful. In the fall of 1901 he was elected County Judge of York County on the Republican ticket and has served the people acceptably in that position since January, 1902.
As an officer he is painstaking, courteous and conscientious. As a citizen, upright and respected by all.
C. C. Boslaw was born in
Hardin County, Ohio, February 12, 1855 and moved with his parents
to Greene County, Wis., in 1857. He was educated in the common
schools of Wis., and in the spring of 1872 came to Nebraska and
settled in Farmers Valley Precinct in Hamilton County. Mr. Boslaw
is a graduate of New York Stenographic College of New York City
where he completed his course in 1886. He was appointed at
Henderson by President Harrison and reappointed by President
McKinley having been removed by Pres. Cleveland. He resigned this
position in 1899 to accept the nomination for County Clerk which
he received at the hands of the republican party.
Mr. Boslaw has occupied important positions in the public service and has always acquitted himself with great credit He posesses (sic) the esteem and confidence of all who have come in contact with him in his official position.
Robert Henderson was born in Rock County, Wisconsin in 1849 and has lived all his life on the farm. Mr. Henderson was one of the earliest settlers of York County, having come here with his parents in 1866 and settled in Henderson Co. Mr. Henderson has been a member of the County Board of Supervisors for seven years and has won the confidence and respect of all who came in contact with him. Those who have been members of the Board with him are unaminous (sic) in declaring him one of the strongest and most conscientious supervisors the county has ever had. In 1897 he was elected to the State Legislature. Mr. Henderson is thoroughly competent to perform the duties of County Treasurer and his integrity is beyond question.
Chas. F. Stroman was born in Indiana, in 1872. He received his early training on a farm in Seward and Butler Counties. He is one of the oldest settlers in this part of the state, having resided around here thirty years. He graduated at the Ulysses High School in 1889. He then entered the University of Nebraska, taking the classical course, and graduated in 1893. He then decided to study law, and enter the University of Nebr. Law School and graduated from there in 1895. Admitted to the bar in 1895, practiced in Omaha one year, then moved to York and practiced until elected County Attorney of York Co. in 1902.
Henry W. Brott was born in Appanoose County Iowa, March 17, 1861. His father was a farmer, and enlisted in the 36th Iowa Co., F. 1862. He was killed at the battle of Martin Hill in Arkansas. The subject of this sketch worked on a farm and attended the district school in winter until 21 years of age, at which time he came west and settled in Osborne County, Kansas where he resided six years and was married. He came to York in November 1887 and has since resided here. Mr. Brott is a highly respected citizen and a 'man of strict integrity. He was elected sheriff in 1902.
Ed. C. Bishop was born on a farm, near Springfield, Ill., September 29, 1870. When he was five years of age his parents moved west. Mr. Bishop's education began in the country school. He continued his studies in high schools and graduated from Lincoln Normal University receiving the degree B. S. from the college. Since his graduation his life has been a very busy one and has been confined to school work entirely. He has spent nine months of each year in the school room, and his vacations have been devoted to summer normals and teachers institutes in this state. He taught school in Lancaster and York Co., with remarkable success everywhere. He was serving his third term as principal of the Bradshaw schools when elected County Superintendent. Since his election he has succeeded in raising the standard of our common schools. He is highly respected and his
opinions are treated with great consideration by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction who unhesitatingly gave him a most cordial and earnest endorsement.
N. P. Lundeen was born on a farm in Southern Sweden April 22, 1850. He worked on his fathers farm in the summer and got a few months education in the country school in the winter until he was fourteen years of age. He immigrated to the United States in the fall of 1870. A short time after he worked in the C. B. & Q. land office in Burlington, Iowa from, 1872-1878 and then came to York in 1878 as B. & M. land agent. For the last few years has worked in the Court House as Register of Deeds, during this time he has served very faithfully and is very competent for this office.
I. A. Baker was born in Springfield Ohio 1855. He received his early education in Belfountain Ohio, from there he came with his parents to Champain County, Illinois and lived on a farm for a number of years during which time he finished his schooling. In 1880 he published a newspaper in Homer, Ills. and has been connected with the paper since he came to Nebr. in 1888. In 1896 he was elected City Clerk and in 1899 Clerk of the District Court which office he now holds. Mr. Baker is well and favorably known to all and as Clerk of the District Court be makes a courteous and painstaking official.
Occupies the geographical center of the county and is within a few miles of the geographical center of the United States. The town was located originally on pre-emption claims, taken by Margaret Andrews, Isaiah White, A. M. Ghost and E. C. Ghost, in the year 1868 and transferred to D. N. Smith in 1869, who in June of the same year commenced the survey of the now beautiful city, which contained in the original platting 262 acres. D. N. Smith soon after the survey sold to Messrs. Brooks, Forbes & Dennison, who in turn sold to the South Platte Land Company. One year thereafter two brothers named Elwood opened a
general store in a frame structure opposite the Blodgett hotel. A
winter's bad trade satisfied them that York's future was a myth
and they bundled up and fled farther west. A few weeks later F. O.
and J. H. Bell arrived from Lincoln, and restocking the old store
remained, their wisdom and foresight, in so doing having been
fully attested to since. In 1877 the B. & M. R. R. having
completed its track, sent the first train of cars in and gave the
little commonwealth a push that it has ever since benefitted by.
September 5,1875 the town of York was incorporated and the
following trustees appointed: Hon. Geo. W. Post, F. A. Bidwell, F.
M. Connely and W. A. Reed. On or about the second anniversary of
that date, (September 5, 1877), the town was formerly organized as
a city of the second class, and the following officials elected:
Hon. W. T. Scott, Mayor; Messrs. Lee Love, George Butterfield, C.
LeCount and A. B. Codding, Councilmen; C. M. Scott, City Clerk; D.
E. Sayre, City Treasurer; Charles Penn, City Marshal; S. M. Wells,
Police Judge, and T. C. Evans, City Surveyor.
One of the most important stops in assuring a city's future on a solid business and financial basis after it has been platted, is the erection of substantial business blocks and residences. The year 1889 was the inauguration of that movement in York, when F. O. Bell finished his brick store room on Lincoln avenue and the York County Bank building, on the corner of Sixth street, was completed by Messrs. Mosher & Sharer and others. In 1882 C. J. Nobes built the Opera House block and the. Commercial State bank erected their brick structure on the opposite corner from the York County Bank building, which eventually merged into the First National. This impetus did not apply to brick structures alone, as several of the palatial frame residences were began and completed. Prosperity seemed to mark every effort that was made for the advancement and beautifying of the "Banner City" of Nebraska. Business men and capitalists began to grow interested and the number of new citizens that were being added to the population became easily apparent, until to day we have between 6,000 and 7,000 population.
Manufactures have started up and more are in contemplation. We have two banks, two foundries and engine
works, two flour mills, cigar manufactories, broom factory, brick
manufactories, marble works, medicine company, chemical and
bottling works, two artificial stone works. The Blodgett, LeGrand
and other hotels; two lumber yards and four elevators, so that the
visitor to York who comes expecting to find a primitive city is
usually set back at our size and importance and another thing,
this great growth has not been the result of any boom, it has been
a steady growth to meet the incoming demand. There has never been
a fictitious surface value placed upon York real estate and with
an active, enterprising Board of Trade, comprised of the men who
have made the city what it is, there is not likely to be in the
The Railroad accomodations (sic) are extra good, the two most important being the B. & M, and F. E. & M. V. R. R.
The recent improvements in
the city of York have followed each other with such rapidity that
no sooner had one become perfected than another one was in
project, and it is only by a retrospective review that even the
residents of the city can realize the vast amount in this line
that has been done in the past few years. Our people never do
anything in a shabby or stingy style, what we have is the best of
its kind and neither money nor time is spared in securing
WATER WORKS. Almost the first glimpse you get of York as the city is approached on either of the lines of rail roads centering here is the tall stand-pipe on the summit of an elevation in the northern part of the city; it measures 100 feet from top to bottom and is supplied by driven wells so that for domestic use there is no fear of sewer contamination or surface filth. Hydrants are distributed through the city and many miles of mains are utilized, so that with the direct pressures from the pumping engine and stand-pipe, the city has facilities for protection and supply for double the present population.
TELEPHONES. The York Telephone Exchange of the Nebraska Telephone Company is one of the best patronized offices in the state. It has connection with Omaha, Lincoln, Hastings and all important cities in the state. The Independ-
ent Telephone Company are making rapid progress.
ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANY. The York Electric Light and Power House is one of the best equipped in the state, running night and day, having six to seven thousand incandescent and about thirty-five are lights.
CITY PARK. The city has one of the most beautiful little parks to be found in the state. The City bought thirteen acres on the Beaver to be utilized as a park, in 1891. It was immediately laid out and is now under rapid headway. The success, in no small degree, is due to the Committe (sic), -- C. Page, M. Sovereign and N. P. Lundeen.
CITY HALL. In July 1888 a petition was circulated, asking the city council to submit to the people for a vote, a proposition to issue bonds for $7,000 to erect a city hall, for the use of the City Council, Fire Department and jail. The petition was granted and a proposition submitted and the drawings prepared. The building is 26 1/2 x 100 feet deep, two stories high, having a bell tower on front at an altitude of fifty feet from the street.
An appropriation has been made by Congress, granting York a $10,000 site for a new Post Office building, and we hope to get the appropriation for a building in the near future. This is the latest additional feature of the city. York is today one of the leading cities in Nebr. and as a residence city it has no equal.
The recent prominent buildings are the Fraternal Hall, Library, two churches and one of the best Auditoriums in the state. The new Y. M. C. A. is to be begun in about two months.
C. A. McCloud was born May 14, 1860 in Appanoose Co. Iowa. He was educated at the Moravia High School and Wesleyan University at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. After he received his schooling he came to York Co. and went into the County Treasurer's office served therefor a number of years. After this he went into the Real Estate and Grain business. He is to-day the largest individual property owner in York and is an honest and trustworthy business man. In 1900 he was
elected mayor of this city and now holds that office. Under his management the city of York has prospered wonderfully.
Chief of Police.
J. S. Ilgenfritz was born in Fairfield, Jefferson County, Iowa in 1853. He came to Nebraska in 1873 and for the last ten years has been on the police force as Chief of Police and Marshall. He has served in this capacity very faithfully and has made one of the best Police this city has ever had. During the time he has made friends with nearly every one and is respected by all who have the honor of his acquaintance.
J. D. Miller was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, August 18, 1850, he moved from there to Ohio in 1856 while yet young, and from there he went with his parents to Ind., in 1865 thence to Nebraska, first moving to Polk County in 1873 and then to York County in 1900 to take the office of Street Commissioner which he now holds. Since he has been in office he has been very faithful in performing his duties and has the respect of every one.
Geo. S. Cook was born June 4, 1842 at Provincetown, Mass. He received his education in the common schools. He came to York when a young man after serving in the 47th Mass., during the Civil War. He was elected City Treasurer and has served very earnestly in this capacity for a number of years.
Geo. S. Newman, City Clerk and Pension Attorney, was born in Harrison County, Ind., August 16,1839. He received his education in the Corydon Seminary and High School also the Laconia High School, after he obtained this schooling he was engaged in the dry goods business as a clerk in Corydon, he left this position to serve in the war. He went in the 38th Ind. regiment and came out as captain of this company. In 1877 he came to York and worked a few years in a dry goods store. He served ten years in the District Court
W. W. Wyckoff, Attorney at Law and City Attorney, has been a resident of York for the past twenty-two years. He is now serving his fifth year as City Attorney, is a bonded abstractor, and owns a complete set of abstract books of this County. Mr. Wyckoff is one of our most progressive and public, spirited citizens and has been identified with many of the enterprises that have made our city what it is. He is at present secretary of the Commercial Club and a member of the board of directors of the York Mutual Building & Loan Association having been treasurer of that organization for ten years, declining a re-election for this year.