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obtaining immediate employment was better, and but few of them ever returned to their claims. The few who returned and succeeded in tiding over the difficulties of their situation, are to-day the possessors of fine, well-stocked farms.

     The first election for County officers took place on the second Monday in December, 1868. The following officers were elected Commissioners, H. A. Fuller, John Cavanaugh, and John Messinger; Probate Judge, J. B. Denton; Clerk, Edward Arnold; Sheriff, C. F. Putnam.

     The first flouring mill in the County was erected on Ayoway Creek, in 1859, by Stough Brothers; but owing to the non-arrival of the machinery, it did not begin operations until 1860.

     The first death in the County was that of Mrs. Robert McKenna, in January, 1857.

     The first marriage was celebrated in the winter of 1856-7, and was that of Charles Buckman.

     The first birth took place in June, 1857--a son to Mrs. Burcham Buson.

     The first term of the District Court was held at the County Seat on the 16th day of May, 1859; Hon. Eleazer Wakeley, presiding Judge.

     There are five Churches in the County, viz: one Presbyterian, two Roman Catholic, one Lutheran and one Methodist.

     Three grist mills and five saw mills are now in operation in the County.

     The Covington, Columbus and Black Hills Railroad is now in running order to the County Seat, and soon will be extended westward.

     It is estimated that at least 25,000 acres in this County am enclosed by substantial post and rail fences.

     LAND.--The Burlington and Missouri River Railroad Company owns 12,000 acres of land in this County, the price ranging from $1.25 to $6.00 per acre; and there are, besides, several thousand acres of desirable Government land yet untaken.

     TAXABLE PROPERTY.--The amount and valuation of all taxable property of the County, returned for 1879, was as follows: Acres of land, 235,538; average value per acre, $2.41; value of town lots, $51,677; money invested in merchandise, $15,341; money used in



manufactures, $9,521; number of horses 2,122, value, $44,974; mules 72, value, $1,587; neat cattle, 6,782, value, $43,323; sheep, 158, value, $153; swine, 2,496, value, $2,372.75; vehicles, 646, value, $7,102; moneys and credits, $8,755; stocks, etc., $3,000; furniture, $3,019; property not enumerated, $11,722; railroads, $11,107; total, $782,388.84

     POPULATION.--The following is the population of the County 1879, by Precincts: Logan, ninety-nine; North Bend, 118; Hookers, 320; Spring Bank, 389; New Castle, 441; Otter Creek, 177; Summer Hill, 201; Galena, 177; Ponca, 1,170; Daily, 299; Ionia, 241; Silver Creek, 414; Clark, eighty-five; South Creek, 130. Total, 4,061.--males, 2,129; females, 1,832.

     PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--In 1879, the County had fifty-four school districts, forty-nine school houses and 1,643 children of school age, 832 being males, and 811 females; number of qualified teachers employed, eighty-two-males, thirty-two, females, fifty; total wagespaid teachers for the year, $7,127.30; value of school houses, $16,030; value of sites, $525; value of books and apparatus, $471.


     The County Seat, is situated at the confluence of the west and south branches of Ayoway Creek, in the northeastern part of the County, and is at present the terminus of the Covington, Columbus and Black Hills Railroad. It derives its name from the Ponca Indians, who, in recent years, roamed over the hills and plains in this vicinity. Since the advent of the railroad, in 1877, the town has made wonderful improvement, and its business has more than doubled. Three years ago it was a village of three or four hundred inhabitants; to-day it has eight hundred, and is the largest and most flourishing town in this part of the State. It has two good weekly newspapers, the Courier and Journal, a commodious, Court House, excellent school and Church advantages, and business, houses representing the various lines of trade.


     On the west branch, and


     On the south branch of Ayoway Creek, are flourishing villages, with stores, postoffice, schools, etc.




     Are bright villages, on the Missouri, besides which there are a number of other close settlements in the County, having a general assortment store, postoffice, etc.


     Dakota County was created by the first Territorial Legislature, in 1855. It is located on the northeastern border of the state, and is bounded on the north by Dixon County and the Missouri River, east by the Missouri River, south by the Omaha Indian Reserve, and west by Dixon County, containing about 250 square miles, or 160,000 acres.

     It is well watered by the Missouri River, Omaha, Elk, and Pigeon Creeks. Omaha Creek is a fine mill stream, with numerous branches, and waters the southeastern portion of the County. Elk Creek, a tributary of the Missouri, waters the western townShips and furnishes sufficient power for mills. Pigeon Creek waters the central portion of the County. Every township has running water, and the majority of the streams are well timbered. No returns have been made of the number of forest and Fruit trees under cultivation, or of crops.

     The bluffs of the Missouri are here very bold. About ten per cent. of the area is bluff, twenty per cent. bottoms, and seventy per cent. rolling prairie. The soil is deep and rich almost everywhere, and is well adapted to the growth of cereals.

     Building stone is abundant in this County, and on Elk Creek there are extensive peat beds.

     PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--The present number of school districts in the County is thirty-three, school houses, thirty, and children of School age 1,304, of whom 637 are males, and 667 females; qualified teachers employed, fifty-one,--males, twenty-six, females, twenty-five; total wages paid teachers for the year, $2,378.60; value of school houses, $19,375.00; value of sites, $1,655.00; value of books and apparatus, $540.

     TAXABLE PROPERTY.--The amount and valuation of the tax-



able property of the County is as follows,: Acres of land, 140,010, average value per acre, $3.33; value of town lots, $47,000; money invested in merchandise, $8,066; money used in manufactures, $3,501; number of horses, 2,140, value $34,095; mules, ninety-two, value, $2,061; neat cattle, 8,520, value, $59,686; sheep, 123, value, $123; swine, 4,411, value, $2,581; vehicles, 522, value, $4,926; moneys and credits, $2,734; mortgages, $13,879; stocks, $204; furniture, $1,753; libraries, $50; property not enumerated, $7,954; railroads, $65,904.50; total, $720,780.50.

     LAND.--Tbere is a small amount of Government land remaining untaken, and the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company owns 5,000 acres here, the price ranging from $1.25 to $6.00 per acre.

     RAILROADS.--The Covington, Columbus & Black Hills Railroad traverses the northern portion of this County from east to west, a distance of twenty miles.

     POPULATION.--The County is at present divided into six Precincts, the population of each in 1879, being as follows: Omadi, 873; St. Johns, 696; Covington, 805; Summit, 297; Dakota, 262; Pigeon Creek, 295; total population of County, 3,208, of whom 1,717 are males, and 1,491 females.


The County Seat, is situated on a fine plateau overlooking the Missouri, and is also on the line of the Covington, Columbus & Black Hills Railroad. It is a prosperous town of several hundred inhabitants, and commands the shipping trade of an extensive, well-settled agricultural country to the south and west. The Eagle, a weekly newspaper, is published here. The Court House is a commodious building, the schools excellent, Church facilities, good, and stores and other business places axe increasing rapidly.


On the Covington, Columbus & Black Hills Railroad, situated several miles west of the County Seat, is the second town of size and importance in the County. It supports a weekly newspaper, the Herald, has good schools, neat Churches, a number of fine stores, grain warehouses, etc. The town has grown very rapidly since the



railroad reached it three yews ago, and the improvements are substantial and permanent.


Situated on the banks of the Missouri, opposite Sioux City, Iowa, is at the head of the Covington, Columbus & Black Hills Railroad, and is improving very rapidly under the patronage of that corporation. It already enjoys a large trade from the surrounding country, and through its advantageous location, promises to become the leading city and business center of the County.


Is a small village and shipping station on the railroad in the northeastern part of the County.


Is an old settled and flourishing town, situated on Omaha Creek, in the southeastern part of the County. It is a prosperous, growing town, located in the midst of an excellent farming section, the Precinct having a population of 873.

     HOMER, RANDOLPH, LODI, and ELK VALLEY are Postoffices in the County.


     Dundy County was created by an Act of the Legislature, in 1873. It is located on the southwestern border of the State, bounded on the north by Chase, and east by Hitchcock County, south by Kansas and west by Colorado, containing 936 square miles, or 599,040 acres.

     It is watered by the Republican River and several large tributaries.

     County unorganized and sparsely settled. It lies in the great grazing range of the State, and is admirably adapted to stock-raising. It is nearly all Government land.

     No report of property, crops, schools, or population.




     Fillmore County was created in 1855 and organized in the spring of 1871. It is located in the southeastern part of the State, in the fifth tier of Counties west of the Missouri River, and is bounded on the north by York, east by Saline, south by Thayer, and west by, Clay County, containing 576 square miles, or 368,640 acres, at an average elevation of 1,600 feet above the sea level.

     WATER COURSES.--The West Blue River and its fine tributary, School Creek, water the northwestern townships of the County, the Blue being an excellent mill stream. The north fork of Turkey Creek flows from west to east through the central portion of the County, being supported on either side by numerous rivulets and never-failing springs. Indian Creek waters the northeastern townships, and Little Sandy, South Turkey and Walnut Creeks flow through the southern portion of the County.

     TIMBER.--There is a moderate amount of native timber along the streams, the varieties consisting of cottonwood, maple, elm, willow, ash, walnut and oak. Though the early settlers cut down much wood, there are now more timber in the County than on the day when the first white man set foot within its borders. There are now 2,822 acres, or 1,181,134 forest trees under cultivation, besides 108 miles of hedging.

     FRUIT.--Small fruits are being successfully grown here, answering the largest anticipations. In 1879, there were 14,037 apple, 509 pear, 24,954 peach, 11,727 plum, and 5,372 cherry trees, and 2,932 grape vines reported under cultivation.

     PHYSICAL FEATURES.--The surface of the country consists mostly of gently rolling table lands, having a gradual rise to the westward, the elevation above sea level on the eastern border being 1,550, and on the western border 1,570 feet. There are no sloughs and scarcely any waste land. Along the West Blue River and Turkey Creek there is fine valley lands.

     SOIL AND CROPS.--The soil produces all the grains which grow anywhere in the same latitude, and produces them in great abundance. In 1879 there were 98,372 acres reported under cultivation in the County, the yield of the principal crops being as follows:



Winter wheat, 205 acres, 3,205 bushels; rye 2,144 acres, 31,363 bushels; spring wheat, 49,677 acres, 617,048 bushels; corn, 25,865 acres, 870,244 bushels; barley, 6,062 acres, 160,881 bushels; oats, 4,980 acres, 168,973 bushels; sorghum, thirty-one acres, 410 gallons; flax, 326 acres, 3,301 bushels; hungarian, 470 acres, ninetyfour tons, and potatoes 470 acres, 53,391 bushels.

     HISTORICAL.--William Bussard and William Whitaker located homesteads in this County as early as June, 1866, several months in advance of any other settlers. In the autumn of this year Nimrod Dixon, J. A. Werts, James Whitaker, and J. H. Malick arrived and secured claims, but Werts and Malick were the only ones who stuck to their claims during the succeeding winter, the others returning to the older settlements in hopes of finding employment while waiting for spring to permit them to commence work upon their claims. They all returned early in the spring, bringing with them the pioneer lady settler of the County, Mrs. E. A. Whitaker, a lady over seventy years of age, who also took a homestead. The first land was broken in May, 1867, by N. G. Dixon. In the spring of 1868 this settlement was strengthened by the arrival of several others, among whom was H. L. Badger, the pioneer surveyor; and during the summer and fall, D. H. Dillon, and a number of others settled on Turkey Creek, in the eastern part of the County. In the spring and summer of 1869, Charles Eberstine, J. F. Snow and others, located in the southeastern part of the County, and in 1870, E. L. Martin settled on the West Blue, in the northwestern part, where he laid off the town of Fillmore, the first town started. Here the first stock of dry-goods and groceries were opened by J. E. Porter, and the first Postoffice in the County was established here in March, 1871, with E. L. Martin as postmaster. In April, 1871, Elder E. R. Spear, of the Methodist Church, settled on Turkey Creek, and he was for a long time the only regular minister in the County. His first sermon was preached at the residence of Colonel McCalla, on the second Sabbath in May, 1871. During the year 1871, C. H. Bane and J. W. Eller, the first attorneys, and Dr. H. F. King, the first physician, settled in the County, and before the close of that year settlements had been made so rapidly that all the valuable claims were taken, and much of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad land sold.



Franklin Precinct, in the southeastern part of the County, not being covered by a railroad land grant, settled up more rapidly, than any other precinct, and at the organic election it was found to contain more voters than all the remainder of the County; yet, strange as it may appear, the citizens of that precinct voted the seat of justice at the center of the County.

     The organic election was held at the residence of N. McCalla, on the 21st day of April, 1871, at which time the seat of justice was established at the geographical center of the County, and the following County officers were elected) viz: Commissioners, E. L. Martin, C. H. Bassett, and Jesse Lee; Clerk, H. L. Badger; Treasurer, Wilber Duel; Sheriff, J. F. Snow; Judge, William H. Blain; Superintendent Public Instruction, G. R. Wolfe; Surveyor, H. L. Badger; Coroner, T. E. Burnett.

     PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--Number of school districts in the County in 1879, seventy-seven; number of school houses, seventy-four; number of male children of school age, 1,649; female 1,440; total 3,089; total number that attended school during the year, 2,138; number of qualified teachers employed, 115--males, forty, females seventy-five; wages of male teachers for the year, $5,021.66; wages of female teachers, $7,376.30; total, $12,397.96; value of school houses, $36,733.00; value of sites, $1,311.25; value of books, etc., $921.50.

     TAXABLE PROPERTY.--The following is a statement of the taxable property of the County as returned for 1879: Acres of land, 314,285, average value per acre, $3.02; value of town lots, $77,750; money invested in merchandise, $67,885; money used in manufactures, $2,185; number of horses, 4,329, value, $113,895; mules, 465, value, $14,373; neat cattle, 5,429, value, $49,489; sheep, 2,765, value, $2,064; swine, 18,162, value, $7,213; vehicles, 1,615, value, $23,629; moneys and credits, $15,121; mortgages, $23,634; stock, $300; furniture, $14,356; libraries, $1,894; property not enumerated, $47,528; railroad property, $193,169.60; total, $1,603,470.60.

     RAILROADS AND LANDS.--The only railroad at present traversing this County is the Burlington & Missouri River, which passes from east to west through the upper tier of townships, and was constructed in 1871. The Burlington & Missouri Company owns




5,000 acres of land here, its price ranging from $5 to $9 per acre. Government land all occupied.

     POPULATION.--The County is divided into sixteen voting Precincts, the population of each in 1879 being as follows: Exeter, 728; Glengary, 474; Fairmount, 1,126; Chelsea, 427; West Blue, 575; Stanton, 367; Grafton, 612; Momence, 396; Bennett, 443; Bryant, 369; Geneva, 855; Hamilton, 399; Madison, 497; Belle Prairie, 355; Liberty, 622; Franklin, 515; total, 8,760--males, 1,766, females, 3,094. The population of the County in 1870, was 238; in 1875, 4,731; increase in last four years, 4,029.

     IMPROVEMENTS.--The following is a statement of the value of buildings erected and other improvements made in each Precinct during the year 1878: Exeter, $42,986; Glengary, $10,057; Fairmount, $43,838; Chelsea, $10,880; West Blue, $10,275; Stanton, $11,970; Grafton, 23,050; Momence, $10,675; Bennett, $16,775; Bryant, $8,975; Geneva, $24,285; Hamilton, $8,270; Madison, $10,950; Belle Prairie, $6,170; Liberty, $17,030; Franklin, $5,630; grand total for the County, $261,816; total number of buildings reported for 1878, 682.

     It will be seen from the above that building has been general all over the County. Four and five hundred dollar houses comprise the bulk of the buildings, and very comfortable dwellings can be erected, at the present low price of building material, for either of these given amounts.


The County Seat, within a mile of Turkey Creek, occupies one of the prettiest sites for a town in this part of the State. It now has 700 inhabitants. In 1873 a neat frame Court House and jail, combined, was erected at a cost of $4,000. During the past year the town has grown amazingly, and now has some of the largest and most costly buildings in the County, over $7,000 having been expended here in improvements in 1878, and for the present year the increase will be much greater. A railroad to run through this town is now in prospect, and as soon as the same assumes a more definite shape, building will be more rapid and brisk than ever. The Review, published here by M. M. Neeves, has been the principal factor in the development of the town, always



the leader in every enterprise, always public-spirited, and always the last to desert any scheme calculated to be of importance to Geneva.


Situated on the line of the Burlington & Missouri R. R., about the center of the County, from east to west, is the largest town in the County, having at present 1,000 inhabitants. It is surrounded by a fine country, and all branches of industry are represented. There are large grain houses, a steam elevator, flouring mills, machine shops, lumber yards, good hotels, merchandise stores, a bank, etc., and an excellent paper, the Fairmont Bulletin, published by Mr. L. D. Calkins. It has a graded school, well patronized by town and country, and there are several Church organizations and comfortable houses of worship. Fairmont is one of the most promising towns in south-central Nebraska, and is growing rapidly, the buildings and other improvements made in 1878 amounting to nearly $26,000.


On the line of the Burlington & Missouri, seven miles east of Fairmont, was laid out in November, 1871, and has 500 inhabitants. Dr. H. G. Smith brought the first stock of goods to Exeter in December, 1871. There are now a number of general merchandise stores, lumber yards, grain warehouses, a fine school house, and several Church organizations. The town has prospered during the year beyond measure. The Enterprise, a weekly paper, is published here, by Mr. W. J. Waite.


On the Burlington & Missouri, eight miles west of Fairmont, was laid out in 1875, and now has 400 inhabitants. The first building erected in the town was a large warehouse, by C. M. Northrop. During the past year new business houses, new residences and new public buildings have been erected, giving the town a busy air, and making it one of the best trading and shipping points, for its size, on the road. It has excellent Church and school privileges, several flourishing Societies, and all its town appointments are first class.

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