NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center, On-Line Library



$645; swine, 1,417, value, $1,179; vehicles, 364, value, $6,800; moneys and credits, $2,425; mortgages, $2.698; furniture, $1,353; libraries, $50; property not enumerated, $9,528; total, $319,119.

     The County is divided into six voting precincts. The following is the name and population of each, in 1879: Center, 599; Twin Grove, 467; Elm Grove, 341; Cedar, 372; Mills, 282; Sherman, 117; total population of County, 2,178.

     There is yet some Government land in this County subject to homestead and pre-emption, but it is being rapidly taken up, and in a year or two more none will be left. The Burlington& Missouri River Railroad Company also owns between 80,000 and 90,000 acres, for which they ask from $1.50 to $6.00 per acre.

     There is an unlimited supply of nutritious prairie grass in Antelope County, both for pasturage and hay, and the raising of cattle and sheep must become, and is fast becoming, one of the leading industries in this part of the country. At the present time there is not stock enough in the County and adjacent territory to consume one hundredth part of the grass during the grazing season, nor one tenth of the hay that could be put up for winter use.

     Two railroads are projected through this County, and the surveys and preliminary work is already accomplished. The Fremont and Elkhorn Valley R. R., now in running order to Stanton, in Stanton County, will more than likely be extended to and through Antelope before the close of another year.

     There are two saw mills in the County, also two good flouring mills that are kept running to their full capacity, the settlers coming fifty to one hundred miles to mill.


     The County Seat, has a fine location on the Elkhorn River, in the southeastern part of the County. It is favorablely [sic] situated for business, and enjoys a large trade from the country adjacent. The town is keeping pace with the growth of the County, and to-day has a population of 300; has a number of good stores, a hotel and other business establishments; a fine school house, and several church organizations. The Pen and Plow, a weekly newspaper, established here in 1876, continues to prosper, and has done, and is doing excellent service for the County.




One of the brightest little towns in the valley, is located on the Elkhorn, five miles above the County Seat. Its present population is about 450, and it is growing very rapidly. Churches, schools and business have been established on a firm basis, and all are prospering wonderfully. The Republican, a weekly newspaper, is issued here and is well patronized.

     Several young towns, with a postoffice, general store, school, blacksmith shop, etc., have been started in different parts of the County.


     The first settlements in Boone County were made early in the Spring of 1871 by people chiefly from Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Minnesota, among the more prominent of whom were S. P. Bollman, Harvey Maricle, L. H. Baldwin, N. G. Myers, Albert Dresser, Richard Evans, T. T. Wilkenson, John Hammond, Stephen D. Avery and Elias Atwood, senior, who settled mostly in the valley of the Beaver.

     The County was organized by a special Act of the Legislature, approved March 28, 1871. It is located in the northeastern part of the State, and is bounded on the north by Antelope, east by Madison and Platte, south by Nance, and west by Greeley and Wheeler Counties, and embraces about 672 square miles or 430,080 acres.

     The surface of the country consists mainly of high rolling and gently undulating prairie, almost every portion of which is susceptible [sic] of easy tillage. The valley of Beaver Creek, extending from northwest to southeast through the central portion of the County, is exceedingly beautiful and fertile, the bottoms ranging from one to two miles in width. The valley of Cedar Creek on the west, and running parallel with the Beaver, is also very fine, and nearly as extensive. Plum, Timber, Shell and the smaller creeks, each afford considerable excellent bottom land. The soil throughout the County is uniformly good and well adapted to the growth of all the cereals, vegetables and fruits. On the table land



wheat will average twenty bushels to the acre. The natural grasses are abundant, affording fine advantages for the rearing of cattle or sheep. On the uplands a constant supply of fresh water can always be had at the light expense of boring wells for windmills.

     Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Loup, is the principal stream of the County. It is a beautiful creek, affording sufficient water power for mills, and flows in a southeasterly course through the central portion of the County, supported by a number of creeks and brooks.

     Cedar Creek, the next stream in point of size, waters the southwestern townships, flowing in the same general direction of the Beaver, Timber Creek being its principal support.

     Plum Creek flows in a southeasterly course about midway between the Beaver and Cedar. Shell Creek and a number of small streams flowing into it, water the upper portions of the County, and flows into the Platte River.

     Native timber is scarce in the County and is confined to the margins of the streams and ravines. Small quantities of Cedar are found in occasional places along the creek bearing that name.

     Tree planting has been generally well attended to. The first plantings were greatly injured by the grasshoppers, but through the perseverence [sic] of the settlers many thrifty young groves may now be seen.

     The number of acres of timber reported under cultivation in the County in 1879, was 450, and the number of trees planted, 424,360.

     The number of fruit trees reported under cultivation, was pear, thirty-three; peach, 521; plum, 478; cherry, 185; and grape vines, 509.

     The organization of the County was effected by commissioners appointed for that purpose by the Probate Judge of Platte County, in accordance with the provisions of a special Act of the Legislature, approved March 28,1871. The Commissioners were: S. P. Bollman, John Hammond, and Harvey Maricle.

     The valuation of taxable property in the County, as reported for 1879, is as follows: Number of acres of land, 220,110; average value per acre, $1.06; value of town lots, $8,583.00; money used




in merchandise, $3,813.00; number of horses, 1,276, value, $35,004.00; number of mules and asses, 105, value, $3,687.00; cattle, 2,223, value, $17,017.09; sheep, 583, value, $583.00; swine, 1,630, value, $764.00 vehicles, 529, value, $8,680.00; moneys and credits; $3,281.00 mortgages, $1,349.00, furniture $3,325.00; property not enumerated, $16,557; total, $330,054.00.

     The school interests of Boone County are in a flourishing condition. The number of school districts in 1879, was thirty-one; school houses, seventeen; children of school age, 926; males, 504; females, 422; number of qualified teachers employed--males, six; females, nineteen; amount paid male teachers, $235.40; paid female teachers, $1,405.87; value of school houses, $3,897.50; value of school house sites, $140.

     The Government land in this County has all been taken up, with the exception of a few odd parcels or small tracts, not desirable for farming purposes. The Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company, however, owns a large amount of very fine land hereabout 150,000 acres-for which two to six dollars per acre is asked.

     At present the nearest railroad point to Boone County is on the Union Pacific, about twenty-five miles distant. A railway has been projected through this County and the grading has already been made. In a few years' time all this country will be opened to railway travel and traffic. Silver Creek, on the Union Pacific, is connected with Albion and other towns in Boone County, by a graded, air-line wagon road, built by Adam Smith, Esq., and other citizens interested in the welfare of the County.

     The County is divided into nine precincts, the following being the population of each: Manchester, 421; Cedar, 396; Shell Creek, 376; Plum Creek, 240; Boone, 307; Ashland, 122; Oakland, 266; Beaver, 381; Dublin, 117. Total population of the County in 1879, 2,626. Of the above 1,462 are males, and 1,164 females.

     According to the crop returns made in March, 1879, Boone County had 65,549 acres under cultivation. The number of acres Planted and yield of the principal crops, is as follows: Winter wheat, 390 acres, 5,080 bushels; rye, 1,643 acres, 24,619 bushels; spring wheat, 36,901 acres, 448,326 bushels; corn, 21,371 acres, 689,780 bushels; barley 1,943 acres, 34,408 bushels; oats, 5,324 acres, 175,048 bushels, and potatoes 105 acres, 10,327 bushels.




The County Seat, is a very promising town of 300 inhabitants. It was laid out in 1871, and was the first town platted and recorded in the County. It is centrally located on the west bank of the Beaver, on the S. one-half, N. W. one-fourth, Sec. twenty-two, town twenty north, range six west. The business of the place is represented by three grocery and dry goods stores, a drug store, two harness shops, an extensive wagonmaker's and blacksmith shop, a hotel, livery stable, grain warehouses, lumber, feed, implement and other stores. It has a neat frame Court House 22x3O feet, a large frame school house, and a weekly newspaper--The Argus. A substantial bridge spans the creek in front of the town, and an excellent flouring mill is close at hand. Several of the religious societies have organizations and hold regular services.


On the graded road, in the southeastern part of the County, has recently been laid out and is fast assuming the importance of :a town, having at present about 150 inhabitants, several stores and other places of business.


On the Beaver, a few miles southeast of the County Seat, has a fine new flouring mill, good assortment stores, a hotel, blacksmith shops, school house, &c.

     DAYTON, DUBLIN, MYRA, RAVILLE, OXFORD, ROSELMA, BOONE and COON PRAIRIE are names of postoffices throughout the County, at some of which are located a general store and school house.


     Adjoining Washington County on the north, flanked on the vast by the Missouri River, on the south by the Omaha Indian reservation, and on the west by Dodge and Cuming Counties, is situated Burt County, containing about 441 square miles, or 282,240 acres.

     It was named in honor of Francis Burt, Nebraska's first




Governor, and was organized by an Act of the Territorial Legislature, approved February 18, 1855, the present boundaries of the County being defined by an Act of the Legislature of 1872-3. Outside of the valleys flanking the different water courses, the surface of the County is rolling, the soil, with a few exceptions, being a dark loam, easily tilled and of great productiveness for all descriptions of grain, vegetables and fruits. The higher hills in many portions of the County are most admirably adapted to the cultivation of grapes and other small fruits. The average yield of wheat in this County for some years past has ranged from fifteen to twenty-three bushels per acre, the estimated average yield for the present year, 1879, being fifteen bushels. Spring varieties of wheat are usually cultivated, although, by deep drilling in, large yields of winter varieties are produced.

     The second bottom lands, as they are called, succeeding the narrow flood plains along the Missouri, rise in gentle undulations towards the high table lands, which range from three to eight miles distant from the river. As a rule, this beautiful stretch of prairie bottom is dry, extremely fertile, and especially adapted to the culture of corn and vegetables. In some instances quite extensive sloughs intervine [sic], as is the case between Tekamah and the river; yet, by a proper system of ditching, these wet lands can be entirely redeemed and converted into the most productive corn lands. The bluffs, as they are commonly termed, are generally low and sloping, and, as a rule, susceptible of tillage; those not adapted to grain, as before stated, being excellent for grapes, small fruits and sheep raising. It is estimated that about one-eighth of the land in Burt County is under cultivation, the larger portion of the uncultivated being held by non-residents and speculators. Unimproved land ranges from four to twelve dollars per acre, according to quality and location, while improved farms are valued all the way from fifteen to forty-five dollars per acre, improvements, railway and market facilities governing values.

     Traversing the western portion of the County, from north to south, is the wide, fertile and beautiful valley of Logan Creek. Here one sees on every hand large, well improved farms with neat farm houses and well-constructed barns and other outbuildings. The beauty and richness of the valley has earned for it the name of



the Gennesee Valley of Nebraska, and certainly it is to northern Nebraska what the famed Gennesee Valley is to the State of New York. A few miles to the east of Logan Valley, and running nearly parallel with it, is the Valley of Bell Creek, much smaller than the Logan, yet equally fertile and beautiful. Valleys varying in width and importance border nearly every water course to be found in the County.

     WATER COURSES.--It may be stated in the outset that Burt County is abundantly watered; the Missouri flowing, along its eastern border, while Logan Creek, a swift running, beautiful stream with bold banks, passes through the western tier of townships, from north to south. This stream is fed by brooks and springs on either side, thus affording a volume of water entirely sufficient for driving any amount of milling and other manufacturing machinery during all seasons of the year.

     Bell Creek has its source in the northern portion of the County, and flowing in a southeasterly direction empties into the Elkhorn River, in Washington County. The northeastern part of the County is watered by Blackbird, and several other creeks which empty into the Missouri River while the more central sections of the County are drained by Elm, Silver, Tekamah and several smaller streams which have their source within the borders of the County, their flow being generally in a southeasterly direction, to a lake or lagoon, about five miles long by half mile in width, situated in the southeastern portion of the County, some four or five miles from the Missouri River.

     Besides these creeks, there are many fine springs in the County, prominent among which may be mentioned Golden Spring, situated about eight miles north of Tekamah. This spring flows from a rock, and for the purity of its waters and the beauty of its surroundings it is unequalled [sic] in the State.

     TIMBER--While the Missouri bottoms, as also the banks of the different streams in the County, furnish an abundance of natural timber for fuel, there is little or none suitable for lumber, and very little that could be converted into building timber. The varieties found are chiefly cottonwood, ash, elm, oak, hickory, walnut, box elder, and coffee bean.

     Farmers have usually turned their attention to the cultivation




of timber, and as a result, a large number of fine groves are to be seen in the settled portions of the County. Even at this time, these groves are sufficiently developed to supply their owners with fuel.

     FRUIT.--The soil and climate of Burt County are well adapted to all descriptions of fruit growing in northern latitudes, as the large number of bearing orchards in the County attest. At the present time there is an abundance of wild fruits, along the streams and especially on the Missouri bottoms, such as grapes, plums, gooseberries and raspberries. The number of fruit trees under cultivation in the County in 1879, is as follows: Apple, 61,617; pear, 643; peach, 1,638; plum, 9,559; cherry, 2,919.

     BUILDING MATERIAL.--As before stated there is an absence of building timber. and a large per cent. of the lumber used in the County is procured at other points to the East and North. There is, however, an abundance of good sand-stone in the bluffs along the Missouri River, and also an abundance of fine clay from which a good quality of brick are manufactured.

     POPULATION.--This County is divided into eight precincts, the population in each in 1879 being as follows: Arizona, 618; Decatur, 804; Oakland, 954; Silver Creek, 409; Bell Creek, 50; Everett, 576; Riverside, 260; Tekamah, 1,033. Total population of the County 5,165, of which 2,865 are males, and 2,300 females.


The County Seat, located in the southeastern part of the County, is a prosperous and well laid out city of 800 inhabitants. Being situated on the Omaha & Northern Nebraska Railway gives it fine commercial advantages, and it is the chief shipping point and business center of the County. Elevators, warehouses and stock yards have been erected to facilitate the extensive shipments of grain and stock.

     The town contains many fine stores and business establishments of various kinds; good hotel accommodations, a commodious Court House, beautiful High School building, several Church organizations and neat houses of worship, and two old established weekly newspapers--Burtonian and Advocate.

     Tekamah is located in the midst of a prosperous, well settled country, and is consequently a thriving, busy town, one of the largest and most enterprising in Northern Nebraska.



Map or sketch



On the Missouri River, in the northeast corner of the County, was located in the Fall of 1855, by the "Decatur Town and Ferry Company," the principal members of which were Stephen Decatur, Peter A. Sarpy, B. R. Folsom and W. B. Beck. During the Summer of 1856, Mr. Decatur, assisted by Mr. Schemousky, surveyed and platted the townsite. In 1857 town shares were valued at $1,000 each. The first hotel erected was known as the Porter House.



     The mercantile interests in 1857 were represented by Col. P. A. Sarpy, C. Lambert, John Chase, Dr. Horner, and Brown & Co., their stock consisting principally in Indian goods, whiskey and tobacco. The Congregationalists organized the first Church Society in the town. The Episcopal Church was next organized and soon after erected a house of worship. The first birth in the town was that of Margueretta Decatur, daughter of O. F. Wilson, born in the Fall of 1857. The first death occured [sic] the same Fall, and was that of John Gardner. The first physician was Dr. McDougall, the next, Dr. Whittacre. Capt. S. T. Leaming was the first Mayor, and Hon. Frank Welch. (afterwards Member of Congress from. Nebraska, and now deceased,) the first City Clerk. C. Lambert, of Kit Karson fame, and Rev. J. F. Mason, were among the first settlers.

     At the present time Decatur has about 500 inhabitants. It has an elegant large, new school house, and the business of the. town is represented by half a dozen general merchandise stores, two drug, two hardware, several grocery, feed, and boot and shoe stores, lumber yards, carpenters', wagon-makers', and blacksmith shops, etc. A weekly newspaper--the Vindicator--is also published here.



Situated on the east bank of Logan Creek, in the northwestern part of the County, is a pretty little village of some seventy-five inhabitants, containing several stores, a church, carpenter shop, wagon and blacksmith shop, an excellent flouring mill, and a fine school building, costing about $1,900. Josiah Everett, the pioneer of this part of the County, located here with his family in 1867. Mr. Waldo Lyon built a small house and barn in the summer of 1868, and in the following fall brought his family here. Warner & Freeland put up a store building, and stocked it with goods, in 1869. In the summer of 1870 a grist mill and the Presbyterian Church was completed. The Methodists and several other denominations have organized Societies and hold services regularly. Some of the best farmers in the county are in the vicinity of Lyons, and the extension of the Omaha and Northern Nebraska Railroad has given a new impetus to business, which will add largely to its inhabitants.

Prior pageTOCNext page

© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by Pam Rietsch, T&C Miller