Herald, and continued it till it passed into the hands of the present publisher, John A. MacMurphy.
In November, 1870, Fox & Fullilove issued the Cass County Democrat, which was succeeded by the Nebraska Watchman, F. M. MacDonough, editor.
The Deutsche Wacht was started in the fall of 1875, but after a few months was sold out to John A. MacMurphy.
For short periods some of these papers have appeared as dailies, but the support has not justified a long continuance.
The Methodist Episcopal Church organized June 29, 1857, with twenty members, and the Rev. Hiram Birch, as first pastor.
The Congregational Church was organized in 1870, with five members and Rev. Frederick Alley, pastor. A Church was erected and finished clear of debt.
The Protestant Episcopal Church erected a Rectory in 1865, and a church in 1866 and 1867. The first Church services held in the building were on May 12, 1867.
The Presbyterian Church, Rev. Mr. King, in the summer of 1857, preached the first sermon. Rev. Mr. Hughes succeeded in an organization of the Society in May, 1858, with sixteen members.
The Catholic Church. The first Church building was erected in 1861, but there was no regular Priest or services until 1862, when Father Teckachet came and remained until 1864. In the fall and winter of 1875-6, the new church building was erected.
The Baptist Church was constituted October 17th, 1856, with ten members. The Society owns a Church building, erected in 1872, at a cost of $1,800.
The Christian Church was organized in May, 1859, by Elder T. J. Todd, with fourteen members.
The first session of District Court held in the city was in April, 1856, by Judge Edward Harden; A. C. Towner, Sheriff, and M. W. Kidder, Clerk.
The first birth in the city was Fred Mickelwait, on March 9, 1855.
Company "A" of the First Nebraska Volunteers was raised in Plattsmouth.
The Company was mustered into the United States service,
June 11, 1861, Robt. R. Livingston, Captain; A. F. McKinney, First Lieutenant; N. J. Sharp, Second Lieutenant; and J. G. Whitelock, First Sergeant.
Is located on a stream of that name twenty miles west from Plattsmouth. It was laid out in December, 1870, and in 1879 its, population was 350, mostly Americans of high culture and refinement. With the exception of a tract from five to eight miles wide, south of the town, that is held by speculators, the country surrounding Weeping Water is well settled and very productive. Along the river west of the town at a distance of ten or twelve miles, are some of the finest limestone quarries to be found in the West. The following includes some of the business industries of the place: Two general merchandise stores, two hardware stores, one millinery store, two drug stores, three flouring mills, one in the town, and one above, and the other below the town, one mile distant; one hotel, one livery stable, one harness shop, two blacksmith shops, two shoe shops, one wagon shop, one fine school house, one Methodist and one Congregational organization, each occupying a good stone Church. In brief, it is a pleasant, thriving little town.
Eighteen miles northwest from Plattsmouth, on the B. & M road, is located the thrifty little town of Louisville. Organized and settled on March 1, 1872, its population in 1879 being about 300. The different industries are represented as follows: Four general merchandise stores, one grocery, two drug, one furniture, one agricultural implement depot, three hotels, two wagon and blacksmith shops, two harness shops, two livery and feed stables, one millinery store, one steam flouring mill, one extensive pottery works, one fire-brick factory, one brick yard, Shipping stock yards, two grain warehouses, one elevator, one lumber yard, one butcher shop, two doctors, and two lawyers, three religious organizations, viz., one Methodist, one Baptist, one Congregational, all of which hold there meetings in the school house. To the south of Louisville, the farmers are chiefly intelligent, thrifty and well to do Germans.
Near the town there is a large deposit of kaolin, which will some day afford the material for a large manufacture of pottery. The depot and a large freight train was totally destroyed by fire on the night of August 20, 1879. The depot has been rebuilt.
Twenty-three miles west of Plattsmouth on the B. & M. Road, in the heart of a well-cultivated, rich farming country, is South Bend, which was laid out in 1870 by a company consisting of B. M. Smith, Thomas Doane and others. But little improvement was made, however, until 1876, when it became quite a little business centre. The Platte River at this point has been spanned by a good pile wagon bridge, built by a stock company. The country to the South is well settled by enterprising and thrifty farmers, chiefly Americans and Germans. Two miles to the South of the town is James Romne's Fishery, one of the largest and most complete enterprises of the kind in the State. Fine salmon, trout, pickeril [sic] and many other choice varieties of the finny family are raised there in abundance. The town has one good school, one Methodist and one Baptist Church, two grain elevators, one warehouse, three hotels, two general merchandise stores, two drug stores, two blacksmith shops, one wagon shop, one lumber yard, one livery and feed stable and four boarding houses.
In the Southeastern portion of the County is Rock Bluff and Liberty Precincts, in which there is a large belt of fine timber, and also an abundance of fine lime stone. A very good quality of bituminous coal has been discovered at seven different points in that part of the country, and it is more than probable that extensive coal beds will be developed in that section in the immediate future.
The following is a statement of the cities and towns in Cass County, the date of their organization and their population in 1879:
Plattsmouth, August 15, 1855, 3,300; Rock Bluffs, June 10, 1856, 150; Weeping Water, December 19, 1870, 350; Louisville, March 1, 1872, 250; South Bend, August 17, 1870, 200; Greenwood, October 7, 1870, 300.
Besides the above there were nearly or quite a dozen towns
laid out and platted and afterwards abandoned. We note the following:
Cedar Creek City, date of filing, July 20; platted, 1871; Elgin, October 27, 1857; Clay City, November 18, 1856; Avoca, November 10, 1857; Troy, January 1, 1857; Saline, March 10, 1857; Cladonia, June 22, 1857; Capital City, August 3, 1857; Carlisle, October 21, 1856; Bluffdale, March 9, 1857; Centerville,. February 27, 1857; Kanosha, August 11, 1858; Eldorado, January. 8, 1857.
Cedar County was organized by an Act of the Territorial legislature, approved February 12, 1857. It lies on the Northern border of the State, and is bounded on the North by the Missouri River, East by Dixon, South by Wayne and Pierce, and West by Pierce and Knox Counties, embracing an area of about 792 squarer miles.
WATER.--The Missouri River washes the entire Northern boundary, flowing in a general Southeasterly direction. Its principal tributaries in this county are East, Middle and West Bow, and Beaver Creeks. The water runs over gravel and is very pure. The main Bow is an excellent mill stream, and has three first-class flouring mills on its banks, aggregating ten run of burrs.
Logan and Middle Creeks and several branches of the north fork of the Elkhorn River water the Southern portion of the County. There are numerous springs. Well water is obtained at a depth of from twelve to seventy feet.
TIMBER AND FRUIT.--In the Missouri Bottoms elm, bass, hackberry, box elder, soft maple, ash, hickory, black walnut, coffee tree, red cedar and red and white willow are to be found. All the creeks are tolerably well skirted with timber, and occasionally fine groves are to be met with. Wild grapes and plums grow luxuriantly on the banks of all the streams. Of late years much attention has been given to forest tree planting, especially on the upland, and all the choice varieties of fruit trees have been tried and found to thrive well. In 1879 851,437 forest trees, 1,310,
apple, twenty-six pear, 159 peach, 130 plum, sixty-one cherry, three acres of grape vines and five and three eighth miles of hedging were reported under cultivation in the County.
STONE.--A soft chalk rock is abundant in the bluffs of the Missouri. It hardens some by exposure, and is used to a considerable extent for building purposes and making lime.
CHARACTER OF THE LAND, ETC.--In the Southern part of the County the land is exceedingly fine, being nearly as level as a house floor, and yet well drained, in consequence of the peculiar nature of the soil. In the Northern part the surface of the upland is more rolling and somewhat hilly, yet very little of it too much so for cultivation.
The soil is rich and highly productive almost everywhere. About forty per cent. is valley and bottom land. The valleys of the Bows and Beaver Creeks are exceedingly rich and beautiful, and splendid crops are always gathered.
FIRST SETTLEMENTS.--During the year 1857 the first settlers arrived in the County and located in the neighborhood of the present town of St. James, among whom were C. C. Van, James Hay, O. D. Smith, Saby Strahm, Hanson Wiseman, John Andres and Henry, Ernest, Gustavus and Herman Ferber, with their venerable father, Paul Ferber, who still reside in the County. This colony emigrated from Harrison County, Iowa.
In the Spring of 1858 the settlements of Waucapona and St. Helena were commenced. Among the first settlers of Waucapona, who are still residents of the County, are Warren Saunders, George A. Hall and Amos S. Parker. L. E. Jones, surveyed and platted the town site of St. Helena, in July. C. B. Evens and Sons, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, located there that Summer, and in the Spring of 1859, Henry Felber and sons, Henry, Jacob and William, Peter Jenal, Sr., Peter Jenal, Jr., and Mr. Jones and family arrived by boat from St. Louis.
Immediately after the settlement of St. Helena, Saby Strahm and a few others began the present prosperous settlement of Strahmburg, in the northwest corner of the County, nearly opposite the now flourishing town of Yankton, the Capital of Dakota.
The first meeting of the County Commissioners took place at St. James, October 4, 1858.
The first County Clerk was George L. Roberts; the first Treasurer, George A. Hall.
In the Spring of 1858, L. E. Jones commenced publishing a weekly newspaper called the St. Helena Gazette, the first nine numbers of which were printed at St. Louis, and dated ten days later than the day of publication, as it usually took that length of time for the mail to reach St. Helena. After the removal of the publishing office from St. Louis to St. Helena, in July, it was conducted for a few months by A. Nette, when it died a natural death for want of support.
The first saw mill in the County was a steam mill brought by the colonists who located at St. James in 1857. By the same power they also run a small corn grinder, which was highly appreciated by the settlers, as corn bread was their main sustenance in those days. Wheat flour could not be got nearer than Sioux City.
In the Summer of 1858 L. E. Jones located another steam saw mill at St. Helena. In the Spring of 1860 this mill was nearly destroyed by fire, but it was rebuilt at once, and has been running ever since.
There are at present one water and four steam saw mills, and three flouring mills in the County.
Three chartered ferries are in operation between this County and Dakota Territory. The steam ferry between Strahmburg and Yankton does a large and lucrative business.
In 1872 the County authorities purchased a pile driver and up to the present time about two hundred pile bridges have been constructed over the numerous streams at all the principal crossings,
At a general election held on the 8th of April, 1876, the citizens of the County voted bonds to the amount of $150,000 to aid in the construction of the Covington, Columbus & Black Hills Railroad through the County. Work on the road is being pushed with vigor, and it is now completed to within a few miles of the east line of this County.
Educational matters were almost entirely neglected by the early settlers, and it was not until 1867 that the first public schools were opened--one at St. Helena, and one at St. James. Private schools, however, had been taught at both of these places in 1860-61, by George L. Roberts, T. C. Bunting and P. Clark. In 1879 the num-
ber of school districts in the County was twenty-nine; number of school houses, twenty-eight; children of school age, 1,096--males, 569; females, 527; whole number of children that attended school during the year, 727; number of qualified teachers employed, forty-three--males, twenty-seven; females, sixteen; amount of wages paid male teachers, $4,763.24; paid female, $1,480; value of school houses and sites, $15,824.75; of books and apparatus, $779.
The number of acres of land under cultivation in the County, reported in 1879, was 13,568. The acreage in cultivation and yield of the leading crops was as follows: Winter wheat, 283 3/4 acres, 6,432 bushels; rye, 2,677 acres, 35,453 bushels; spring wheat, 36,235 acres, 375,943 bushels; corn, 72,133 acres, 2,826,259 bushels; barley, 6,384 acres, 181,260 bushels; oats, 19,028 acres, 163,582 bushels; buckwheat, forty-five and three-fourths acres, 339 bushels; flax, sixty-one acres, 400 bushels; broom corn, fifty acres, eighteen and one-half tons; potatoes, 1481 acres, 19,163 bushels; onions, eight and seven-eights acres, 2,636 bushels.
The taxable property of the County as reported by the Assessors for 1879, is as follows: Number of acres of land, 329,946; average value per acre, $2.26; value of town lots, $17,547.00; money used in merchandise, $11,530.00; money used in manufacture, 11,500.00; number of horses, 1,201, value, $38.992; mules and asses, 63, value, $1,935.00; neat cattle, 6,245, value, $48,301.00; sheep, 2452, value, $1,937.00; swine, 1,412, value, $1016.00; vehicles, 544, value, $7,948.00; moneys and credits; $14,265.00; mortgages, $2,000.00; furniture, $2,654.00; libraries, $45; property not enumerated, $8,791; total valuation, $912,469.00.
The voting precincts is numbered from one to eleven, inclusive, the population of each in 1879 being as follows: No. 1, 335; No. 2, 611; No. 3, 478; No. 4, 194; No. 5, 348; No. 6, 101; No. 7, 143; No. 8, 117; No. 9, 67; No. 10, 131; No. 11, 260.
Total population of County, 2,775, 1517 being males, and 1,258 females.
the County Seat, is situated on the banks of the Missouri in the center of the County from east to west. The County Seat was removed to this place from St. James, by vote of the citizens, in the fall of 1869. It has a population of 300, and is gradually improving
in size and importance as a business point, being now the center of trade for the County. Business is represented by a weekly newspaper--the Bulletin, a bank, dry goods, clothing, grocery, boot and shoe, drug, implement, and several general stores, a lumber yard, carpenter and blacksmith shops, lawyer and doctors' offices, etc. It has a convenient Court House and good school and church advantages.
Located on the Missouri, six miles east of St. Helena, was the first County Seat and while it remained such was a very promising town. Latterly its progress has been slow. It contains about two hundred inhabitants, a Methodist Church, school house, hotel, several stores, etc.
Is situated about eight miles west of the County Seat, on the banks of the Missouri, opposite the city of Yankton. An excellent steam ferry connects it with the latter place and attracts to it a large trade. It is a prosperous village and now numbers 200 inhabitants.
SMITHLAND, LOGAN VALLEY, ST. PETERS, CENTER BOW, BOW VALLEY and MENOMINEE are Postoffices in the County having a store, school, etc.
Colfax County was organized by Act of the Legislature, in February, 1869, and was named in honor of Schuyler Colfax, at that time Vice President of the United States. It is located in the middle-eastern part of the State, in the third tier of Counties west of the Missouri River, and is bounded on the north by Stanton and Cuming Counties, east by Dodge County, south by the Platte River which separates it from Butler County, and west by Platte County and contains about 414 square miles, or 264,960 acres, at an average elevation of 1,335 feet above the sea level.
WATER COURSES.--The Platte River washes the entire southern border of the County, flowing in a general northeasterly direction.
Shell Creek, a large beautiful tributary of the Platte, and a splendid mill stream, flows from west to east across the southern portion of the County. It already furnishes power for three very large first class flouring mills, and has available sites for dozens more. North and South Maple Creeks are fine, clear streams, having numerous branches, which meander through and drain the central and northern townships. There is not a township in the County without running water, and springs are abundant.
TIMBER AND FRUIT.--At the time of the first settlement of the County the streams were all tolerably well wooded, and there is yet considerable cottonwood, box elder, ash, elm, etc., along the Platte Bottom, and on Shell and Maple Creeks. The artificial timber is far advanced, and as every farmer planted more or less at an early day, beautiful groves now dot the country in every direction. Fuel is no longer a scarcity. Of late years many orchards of choice fruit trees have been planted also, and are promising finely. In 1879 there were 961 acres of forest trees under cultivation in the County; also 4,683 apple, ninety-five pear, 788 peach, 444 plum, and 868 cherry trees, besides 1,053 grape vines and eight miles of hedging.
PHYSICAL FEATURES.--The uplands are gently rolling, with but few breaks or untillable places. The southern portion of the County is embraced within the famous Platte Bottom, which reaches to the northward in fine undulations for a width of several miles; then comes the beautiful Valley of Shell Creek, and to the north and east a few miles further, the smaller valleys of the Maples. The bottoms of Shell Creek have an average width of two miles, with a gentle slope toward the stream; and those of the Maples, though narrower, are very fine.
SOIL.--The soil of the upland is a deep, black, rich loam, and of the bottoms a deep alluvial. All crops common to the latitude are grown to perfection. Large quantities of hay are annually put up on the meadows and prairies, and finds a ready market at the railroad towns.
HISTORY.--Isaac Albertson has the honor of being the first settler within the present limits of the County, locating, where he still resides, near the mouth of Shell Creek, on the 26th of April, 1856. Daniel Hashburger was the next permanent settler. For
the next year or two very few settlements were made, but in 1859 and 1860, when the Pike's Peak excitement was at its height, the travel through the County was very great; ranches were established along the Platte Bottom, and many claims were taken in the northeastern part of the County, especially along and near the mouth of Shell Creek. It was in these palmy days that Col. Loren Miller, General Estabrook, a Mr. McField and several other gentlemen from Omaha, established a town near the mouth of Shell Creek, which they named Buchanan, in honor of the then Chief Magistrate of the nation, but its existence was brief, and soon no trace of it remained.
For many years Omaha, over seventy five miles away, was the nearest point for obtaining supplies, and Fort Calhoun, on the Missouri, the nearest mill. The settlers who passed the memorable winter of 1856-7 on their claims were reduced to the severest trials, the whole country being covered with snow to the depth of three feet on the level for over two months and the weather keeping intensely cold. Their flour, and in fact, provisions of all kinds, were exhausted long before the snow melted; but fortunately game was abundant, and by that means they were saved from starving.
Daniel Harshburger was the first Postmaster in the County.
The first general election was held on the 12th of October, 1859, at which time a full board of County officers were elected, and the County Seat permanently located.
In 1871 a substantial bridge was built over the Platte, at Schuyler, costing $65,000. At present good bridges span all the streams at the principal crossings.
The Schuyler Register, the first newspaper in the County, was established on the 30th of September, 1871. The name has since been changed to the Schuyler Sun.
The Western Union Telegraph was built through the County in 1860, and the Union Pacific Railroad in 1868.--Length of road in the County, eighteen miles.
There are three flouring mills in the County, located on Shell Creek, which do a large amount of business.
LAND.--The government land is all taken, but the Union Pacific Railroad Company owns 20,000 acres in this County, for which from $3.00 to $10.00 an acre is asked.
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