lard, of Omaha, after whom it is called. It contains several neat dwellings, an excellent school house, a blacksmith shop, two general stores, two hotels, a grain warehouse, large corn cribs, and a large water power grist mill, on Little Papillion Creek, which runs past the town. Millard is twelve miles southwest of Omaha, by wagon road.
On the Union Pacific Railroad in the western part of the County, is a flourishing village, pleasantly located on the high ground about two miles east of the Elkhorn River. It contains a Catholic Church, school house, two general stores, a hotel, blacksmith shop, and large grain warehouses. The surrounding country is a well-settled excellent farming. section, making this an extensive shipping point for grain and stock.
Is a small town in the western part of the County, situated on the west bank of the Elkhorn River, and on the line of the Union Pacific Railroad. It contains a hotel, two stores, a school house, blacksmith shop, and one of the best water-power flouring mills in the County. An excellent wagon bridge spans the Elkhorn here, also.
At the junction of the Omaha & Republican Valley with the Union Pacific Railroad, in the northwestern part of the County, is situated on the fertile bottoms, midway between the Platte and Elkhorn Rivers, about three miles from each. Since the Omaha & Republican Valley road commenced operation in 1876, Valley Station has improved very rapidly, and it now bids fair to become an important business center. It has a school house, hotel, good general store, grain warehouses, etc., and the surrounding country is admirably adapted to farming and stock raising.
On the old Military Road, twenty-five miles northwest of Omaha, was a flourishing village in the early days of the County, but is almost entirely deserted. It was surveyed and platted in the
spring of 1856, and while staging and freighting across the plain lasted, it was a lively business point. The largest cheese factory in the County is located here.
Is a small village on the Military Road, eight miles west of Omaha. It has a general store and school house. The Congregationalists have erected a neat Church here, and hold regular services.
Dodge County, named in honor of Augustus Caesar Dodge, a United States Senator from Iowa, was organized by an Act of the first Territorial Legislature, approved March 6, 1855, which also fixed the County Seat at Fontenelle.
The Legislature, March 2, 1858, re-defined the eastern boundary of the County, and December 22, 1859, the southern boundary was changed to where it still remains, on the south bank of the Platte River. In January, 1860, the eastern boundary was again changed and placed upon the Elkhorn River, which cut off Fontenelle, the County Seat, and left Dodge County without a Capital. In February, 1867, a portion of the territory lost by the Act of 1860, known as Logan Creek, was re-annexed to Dodge. In March, 1873, some slight changes were made in the boundaries, and in February, 1875, the Legislature described the limits of the County as they exist at present.
Dodge County is located in the middle-eastern part of the State, in the second tier of Counties west of the Missouri River, and is bounded on the north by Cuming and Burt Counties, east by Burt and Washington Counties, and the Elkhorn River, which is the, dividing line about one-half the distance; south by Douglas County and the Platte River, which separates it from Saunders County, and west by Colfax County, containing 540 square miles, or 345,600 acres, at an average elevation of 1,176 feet above the sea level.
WATER COURSES.--The Platte River washes nearly the entire southern border of the County. The Elkhorn River, affording magnificent manufacturing advantages, flows in a southeasterly,
direction through the eastern portion of the County, being joined in the northeastern part by Logan Creek, also a fine mill stream. Maple Creek, a clear, beautiful stream, and tributary of the Elkhorn, flows from west to east through the central portion of the County. Pebble and Cuming Creeks water the northern townships, and Rawhide Creek, a sluggish stream, with low banks, flows from west to east through the southern portion of the County, all being tributaries of the Elkhorn. There is not a township without running water.
TIMBER.--There is considerable native timber in the valleys and skirting all the streams. Well developed artificial groves now adorn almost every farm, and furnish plenty of fuel. In 1879 there were 2,152 acres, or 59,457 forest trees, and 124 miles of hedging under cultivation in the County.
FRUIT.--The number of fruit trees under cultivation in 1879, was reported as follows: Apple, 20,082; pear, 544; peach, 10,359; plum, 11,271; cherry, 2,696, and grape vines, 1,310.
PHYSICAL CULTURE.--At least one-third of the area is valley, and the balance gently rolling upland. Extending across the southern portion of the County are the wide bottoms of the Platte; in the eastern portion are the fertile valleys of the Elkhorn and Logan, here from four to seven miles in width; and through the central portion extends the beautiful Valley of the Maple. The Rawhide, Pebble and Cuming Creeks, each have fine reaches of dry bottom The surface is almost everywhere tillable, the only exception being in occasional places on the ridge dividing the valley and upland.
CROPS.--The following is a statement of the crops reported in 1879: Acres under cultivation, 102,195; winter wheat, 209 acres, 3,701 bushels; rye, 4,825 acres, 66,324 bushels; spring wheat, 39,070 acres, 467,923 bushels; corn, 39,726 acres, 1,415,538 bushels; barley, 2,094 acres, 46,989 bushels; oats, 8,962 acres, 271,351 bushels; buckwheat, thirty-one acres, 529 bushels; sorghum, thirteen acres, 621 gallons; flax, seventy acres, 406 bushels; broom corn, six acres, one ton; millet and Hungarian, fourteen acres, twenty-five tons; potatoes, 393 acres, 37,206 bushels.
HISTORICAL.--The first election in the County was held on the 12th day of December, 1854, at Fontenelle, at which Dr. M. H.
Clark was elected to the Territorial Council, and J. W. Richardson and Col. E. R. Doyle to the House of Representatives. Only eight votes were polled at this election.
Dr. Clark, on the 16th of February, 1855, made a most exhaustive report to the Legislature upon the subject of a Pacific Railroad, advocating the Platte Valley route as the one most practicable, and predicting "that before fifteen years have transpired, the route to India will be opened, and the way across this continent will be the common way of the world." Viewed in the light of to-day, it seems almost prophetic, and indicates largely what must have been the character of the man.
Arthur Bloomer, of Platte precinct, is the oldest settler of continuous residence, in the present County of Dodge. There are others, such as J. H. Peters, John Batie, and John Cramer, of Maple, and Samuel Whittier, of Fremont, who came to Fontenelle previous to Mr. Bloomer coming into Dodge, but none who have lived so many years continuously, in this County, as he. J. H. Peters, Samuel Francis, John Evans, Thos. Gibson and several others made claims in 1855, near Fontenelle, and did some plowing during that year. John and Arthur Bloomer made their claims, near the mouth of Maple Creek, early in April, 1856, and broke on the first of May following, twenty-five acres of prairie.
Mrs. Wealthy Beebe, with her minor children, and her son-in-law, Abram McNeal, and family, located in the Platte Valley, two miles west of where Feemont [sic] now stands, on the 25th of May, 1856. Twin daughters born to Mr. and Mrs. McNeal on August 8, 1856, were the first children born in the County.
George Emerson made the first settlement west of the Beebe's, in the following month.
On the 4th of July, 1856, the settlement at North Bend was begun by a colony of ten adults and ten children, viz; Geo. Young and wife, Robert Miller and wife, John Miller and wife, Miss Ezra Miller (now Mrs. W. H. Ely), William and Alexander Miller and George McNaughton. Their numbers increased very rapidly, and soon North Bend was a flourishing town. A steam saw mill was brought here from Cleveland, Ohio, in July, 1857, by M. S. Coterell, J. M. Smith, Jas. Humphries and Alex. Morrison. Beth Young, son of Geo. Young, born November 30, 1856, was
the first birth at the Bend, and his mother dying a few days after, was the first death. Rev. J. Adriance, of the Methodist Church, organized a class here in September, 1858.
On the 23d of August, 1856, E. H. Barnard and John A. Kountz located claims on the site of the present city of Fremont, setting their claim stakes on the swell ground near what is now "D" and First streets, after which they proceeded to the cabin of Seth P. Marvin, about two miles off, on the California road, where they were hospitably entertained. Three days later--the 26th--a Town Company was organized under the name of Pinney, Bernard & Co., which consisted of E. H. Bernard, John A. Kountz, Seth P. Marvin, George M. Pinney, James G. Smith, Robert Kittle and Robert Moreland, the last named four having arrived immediately after Messrs. Bernard and Kountz.
James G. Smith was elected President of the Company, Robert Kittle, Vice President, John A. Kountz, Secretary, Geo. M. Pinney, Treasurer and E. H. Bernard, Surveyor. A plot of ground one mile square was immediately laid off for a town site, and on the 3d of September the company adopted the name of Fremont, for their new town, in honor of Gen. John O. Fremont, who was at that time the candidate of the Republican party for the Presidency of the United States.
On the evening of the organization of the Town Company the Platte Claim Club was organized, with Seth P. Marvin as President, J. W. Peck, Vice President, E. H. Barnard, Secretary and George M. Pinney, Recorder.
All the members of the Town Company, except Mr. Pinney, either remained or soon returned, and by their united efforts contributed to form the nucleus of the future city.
The first shanty erected was upon the lot now owned and occupied by the Congregational Church, which was completed and used for the first time by its owners, Messrs. Bernard & Kountz, on the 10th day of September, 1856; Robert Kittle, James G. Smith and Wm. E. Lee were the boarders, and Leander Gerard, now banker at Columbus, cook of the establishment.
That cabin, insignificant as it was, broke the solitude of the wilderness; it was a station upon the Great American Desert, a hotel, boarding house, and a wonder to the Pawnees, whose village,
1400 strong, was upon the high bank of the Platte, three miles, south.
In October., 1856, the Pawnees notified the settlers that they must leave within three days or they would kill them and destroy their property. A council of the settlers was called, and James G. Smith dispatched to Governor Izard for assistance. The Governor gave him a box of muskets and some ammunition, and re-enforced the settlers with eight men, which, added to the inhabitants of Fremont and surrounding country, made a total grand army of twenty-five, who, by marching and counter-marching, by bon-fires and torch-light processions and the burning of hay stacks, produced the impression upon the Pawnees that it was a vast army, and had the effect of over-awing them, and at the end of three days they sent a flag of truce, saying that the chiefs had re-considered the matter and concluded to let them go unmolested fort he present. The Pawnees, however, continued to be a great annoyance to, the settlers during the succeeding winter, demanding pay for the timber that had been cut upon their lands, and making all sorts of threats to compel payment; but the settlers pursued a pacific policy toward them, which resulted, finally, in a lasting peace. In the Summer of 1859, when the Pawnees started on the war-path, against the whites of the Elkhorn Valley, they made no hostile demonstrations until several miles beyond Fremont, although the war party passed through the town on their way out.
It is a mooted question as to who built the first permanent house in Fremont, that honor lying between Robert Kittle and Wm. G. Bowman; but there were but a few days' interval between the completion of each. Rev. Isaac E. Heaton's was the first family in the place, and he was the first clergyman. The first blacksmith was John Homel, who was induced to remain by the offer of a town share (nine lots) and material for a shop. James G. Smith was the first merchant, John C. Flor the first hotel keeper, and S. B. Colson the first shoemaker. E. H. Rogers and William Cartney made the first brick. The first male child born in the town was Fred Kittle, and the first female child, Alice Flor. The first post office in the County was established here in the Summer of 1857, with James G. Smith, P. M. The first marriage in the town
and County was that of Luther Wilson to Eliza Turner, August 25, 1858.
A re-organization of the County took place in accordance with an Act of the Legislature, approved January 13, 1860, which provided for an election to be held on the first Monday in February, following. At this election Fremont was made the County Seat, and the following County officers elected, viz: E. H. Barnard, Probate Judge; Wm. S. Wilson, sheriff; H. C. Cambell, Treasurer; J. Reynolds, Clerk, and George Twiner, George Tutton, and Thomas Fitzsimmons, Commissioners.
The County, at this time, was divided into the three precincts of Fremont, North Bend and Maple Creek.
The Western Union Telegraph was built through the County in 1860.
The Union Pacific Railroad was built through the County in 1866. Length of road in the County, twenty-five miles.
The Sioux City & Pacific Railroad made a junction with the Union Pacific, at Fremont, on the 12th of February, 1869. Length of road in the County, seven and three-sixths miles.
The Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad had the first ten miles of their road completed by December 31, 1869. Length of road in the County, twenty-nine miles.
Henry J. Robinson is the proprietor and builder of the three water-power flouring mills in the County, viz: one on Maple Creek, erected in the summer of 1859; one on Logan Creek, built in 1863, and one on Pebble Creek, built in 1867-68. There are now several mills running in the County.
Dodge County out of a total population of less than four hundred furnished twenty-five volunteers, during the rebellion, for frontier protection.
RELIGIOUS MATTERS.--The first sermon preached in the County was by Rev. I. E. Heaton, November 2, 1856, at Fremont; text, Psalms, 111, 10--"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." On the following Sabbath, services were held at the house of Robert Kittle, and from that time onward public worship was continued regularly at Fremont. A Congregational Society was organized at Fremont on the 2d of August, 1857, with Rev. F. E. Heaton as pastor.
The second minister in the County was Rev. Mr. Cooley, a. Baptist, who located near Timberville, in February, 1857.
In September, 1858, Rev. J. Adriance, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, organized Societies in Fremont and North Bend.
The first Church building was fitted up by the Congregationalists, in Fremont, in 1861. They dedicated a second and larger one on the 2d of August, 1868, and enlarged it in the spring of 1874. Until 1875, this Church contained the only bell in Fremont, 1,118 pounds, which was used for Church, school, public meetings, fire alarms, and for all purposes of a general public nature.
The St. James P. E. Church, of Fremont, was erected during the summer of 1867, and consecrated on the 15th of September, of same year, by Bishop Clarkson.
The Methodist Episcopal Church, of Fremont, was erected in the summer of 1866, and dedicated in December following.
Rev. Father Ryan, of the Roman Catholic Church, held services in Fremont in 1868. Their Church building was erected and dedicated in 1869.
The Baptist Church, of Fremont, was dedicated in December, 1871.
The Evangelical German Church, of Fremont, was erected and dedicated, in 1872.
The Presbyterian Church, of Fremont, was organized in 1873, and their Church building dedicated January 3, 1875.
The United Presbyterians organized two Societies in the County early in its history--one at Fremont and the other at North Bend, and erected a Church at the latter place.
The Universalists have had occasional services at Fremont, by different ministers, for years past.
SCHOOLS.--Miss Charity Colson taught a private school at Fremont in the summer of 1858, which was the first school opened in the County. In the summer of 1859 a public school was opened at Fremont, Miss McNeal, teacher, and at North Bend, Miss Mary E. Heaton, teacher.
The number of school districts in the County in 1879, was sixty-seven; School houses, sixty-five; number of children of school age, 3,278--males, 1,548; females, 1,730; whole number of children
that attended school during the year, 2,383; number of qualified teachers employed, 123--males, forty-three; females, eighty; wages paid male teachers for the year, $6,770.75; female, $12,676.87; total, $19,447.62; value of school houses, $42,615; value of sites, $3,138; value of books. and apparatus $2,827.97.
TAXABLE PROPERTY.--The following statement will show the taxable property of the County, as returned for 1879: Acres of land, 315,299; average value per acre, $3.30; value of town lots, $298,249; money invested in merchandise, $95,527; money used in manufacture, $14,761; number of horses, 4,350, value, $125,784; mules, 377, value, $12,399; cattle, 11,552, value, $104,000; Sheep, 3,424, value, $3,424; swine, 14,927, value, $13,025; vehicles, 1,426, value, $21.330 [sic]; moneys and credits, $11,402; mortgages, $25,246; stocks, etc., $25,000; furniture, $30,051; libraries, $2,602; other personalty [sic], $42,248; railroads, $390,262.06; telegraph, $3,925; total, $2,261,010.06.
LANDS.--There are no vacant Government lands in the County. Those of the Union Pacific Railroad Company amount to 15,000 acres, and are offered at prices ranging from $5 to $10 per acre.
In the summer of 1877 the wife of Dr. St. Louis, a physician of Fremont, died after a brief illness and was buried. Friends of the deceased suspicioned foul play and had the remains disinterred for post mortem examination. Portions of the stomach and bowels were submitted to chemical tests in Chicago, and were found to contain arsenic in large quantities. Dr. St. Louis was thereupon arrested upon the charge of poisoning his wife, and lodged in the Fremont jail. At his trial in the District Court in Fremont, he was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. A new trial, however, was granted and a change of venue taken to Saunders County, where he was again convicted and sentenced to death. The case was then taken to the Supreme Court of the State, which sustained the decisions of the lower courts, Dr. St. Louis was to have been executed at Wahoo in April, 1879, but on the morning of the day set for his execution, he committed suicide in the jail at Fremont, where he had beed [sic] incarcerated, by shooting himself through the head with a small pocket pistol.
POPULATION.--In 1879 the population of the County was 11,579; in 1875 it was 7,534; increase in four years, 4,045.
The County Seat, is on the Union Pacific Railroad, forty-six miles west of Omaha, at the junction of the Sioux City & Pacific and Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroads. It is located on a beautiful site at the junction of the Platte and Elkhorn Valleys, which are here nearly ten miles wide. The population of the city in 1879 was 3,000. A fine wagon bridge across the Platte River connects Fremont with Saunders County, from which a large trade is drawn.
It has two banks, agricultural implement, furniture and wagon manufactories, large elevators for the large shipping trade, brick yards, lumber and coal yards, and a good assortment of stores, some of the houses doing a wholesale business amounting to over a million dollars a year. It has three newspapers, the Tribune, weekly, established July 24, 1868, the Herald, daily and weekly, established August 2, 1871, and the Bulletin, a monthly; a $12,000 brick Court House, a $15,000 jail, an $18,000 school house, and several handsome Church buildings. Three well organized fire companies furnish protection against the devouring element. Elegant private residences grace the suburbs, and a large park set in blue grass and adorned with shade trees, is the fashionable resort in pleasant weather. Close to the city are the Fair Grounds, with a splendid mile track.
On the Union Pacific Railroad, sixteen miles west of Fremont, is situated on a bend in the Platte River, from which it takes its name. Within the past two years the town has greatly improved, and several new stores and other business houses have been opened. It contains 300 inhabitants, an excellent weekly newspaper, the North Bend Independent, two Churches, a good school, two hotels, lumber yard, large grain elevator, and immense corn cribs, just erected this season. A wagon bridge over the Platte makes it a convenient shipping point for the farmers of Saunders County.
On the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroads, in the middle-eastern part of the County, is the second town of size,
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