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or; J. G. Kellog, Superintendent Public Instruction; George Hillman, Probate Judge; G. W. Babcock, Sheriff; C. Wellman, Coroner.

     PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--Number of school districts, thirteen; school houses, four; children of school age--males 129, females 141; total, 270; whole number of children that attended school during the year, 139; number of qualified teachers employed--males four, females ten; total, fourteen; wages paid teachers for the year--males $176.75, females $796; total, $972.75; total value of school property, $1,865.

     TAXABLE PROPERTY.--Acres of land, 184,673; average value per acre, $0.83. Value of town lots, $910. Money invested in merchandise, $605; money used in manufactures, $720; number of horses 307, value $11,821; number of mules 33, value $1,461; neat cattle 1272, value $11,237; sheep. 78, value $98; swine 395, value $617; vehicles 160, value $3,641; moneys and credits, $745; mortgages, $406; furniture, $1,763; libraries, $140; property not enumerated, $6,028. Total valuation, $194,866.

     LANDS.--There is considerable fine government land in this County subject to entry under the homestead and pre-emption laws. The value of improved lands ranges from $4 to $12 per acre. The Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company owns 135,000 acres here, for which they ask from $1 to $5 per acre.

     POPULATION.--The following is the population of the County by Precincts: Scotia, 282; Adel], 79; Cedar Valley, 146; Spring Creek, 146; O'Connor, 140. Total 753, of whom 436 were males and 317 females. The population of the County in 1878 was 473; increase in last year, 280.


On the Loup, in the southwestern part of the County, was one of the first points settled. It contains a couple of dozen dwellings, a hotel, two general merchandise stores, a blacksmith shop, school house, etc., and is surrounded by a fertile farming country. The streams in the vicinity are spanned by substantial bridges. On Davis Creek, close at hand, there is a good flouring mill.


On the Loup, four miles north of Lamartine, is the largest town in



the County, having about 250 inhabitants. It contains a hotel, blacksmith shop, several stores and other business houses, and a weekly newspaper, the Tribune.


Is a thriving young village on the Cedar, in the northeastern part of the County. It has a good general merchandise store, hotel, school house, etc.


Is a flourishing young town recently laid out near the geographical center of the County. It was made the County Seat at the general election held in the spring of 1879. The town was settled by an Irish colony, and is improving very rapidly, having at present over 100 inhabitants. A large amount of land has been purchased from the B. & M. R. R. this year, for another Irish colony, who are expected in the early spring of next year.


     Gosper County was organized in 1873. It is located in the southwestern part of the State, on the divide between the Platte and Republican Rivers, and is bounded on the north by Frontier and Dawson, east by Phelps, South by Furnas, and west by Frontier County, containing 468 square miles, or 299,520 acres.

     WATER COURSES.--The Platte River touches the northeast corner of the County. Plum Creek, a tributary of the Platte, and the most important stream in the County, being large enough for mill purposes, flows from west to east entirely across the northern tier of townships. Stinking Water, Muddy, Elk, Wild Turkey and a number of smaller Creeks, have their rise in the central part of this County, and flow in a southerly course into the Republican.

     TIMBER.--There is very little native timber in the County. Plum Creek and a few of the other streams have a light sprinkling of cottonwood, box elder, ash, elm, etc., along their banks, but no large groves. Young and thrifty artificial groves adorn many farms. No report of the number of forest trees under cultivation.



     PHYSICAL FEATURES.--The surface of the country consists mainly of undulating upland, with about ten per cent. bottom and five per cent. bluff. Plum Creek has a very fine valley, and there are wide reaches of beautiful bottom land along the streams in the. southern part of the County.

     SOIL AND CROPS.--With the exception of a narrow sandy strip along the Platte bottom, the soil throughout the County is generally rich and productive, especially for small grain. The area reported under cultivation for 1879 was 1,735 acres. The yield of the principal crops was as follows: Winter wheat, forty-six acres, 726 bushels; rye, 341 acres, 4,861 bushels; spring wheat, 586 acres, 7,768 bushels; corn, 488 acres, 8,186 bushels; barley, 194 acres, 3,713 bushels; oats, seventy-four acres, 2,642 bushels; potatoes, six acres, 900 bushels.

     HISTORICAL.--Otto Renze made the first permanent settlement in the County, in the fall of 1871. He was followed slowly by others, who, leaving the great thoroughfares along the Platte and Republican Valleys, selected choice claims along Plum Creek, in northern part of the County, and on Muddy, Elk, and Turkey Creeks, in the southern part.

     The first religious meetings were held at the residence of Rev. T. G. Davis, a Baptist Minister, on Elk Creek.

     The organic election was held on the open prairie, near the geographical center of the County, in May, 1873, and resulted in the election of the following officers: Commissioners--G. H. Jones, H. A. Millard, E. G. Vaughan; Clerk, R. G. Gordon; Daviesville, in the southwestern part of the County, was selected as the County Seat.

     The first Postoffice was established at Daviesville, in 1874, and a comfortable school house was also erected there the same year.

     PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--There are at present eight school districts in the County, six school houses, and 119 children of school age, of whom sixty-six are males and fifty-three females; number of qualified teachers employed, four; wages paid teachers for the year, $138.88; value of school property, $170.

     TAXABLE PROPERTY.--Acres of land, 83,318; average value per acre, $1.27. Number of horses, 275, value, $5,616; number of mules, thirty-one, value $879; number of neat cattle, 819, value,



$6,685; number of sheep, 2,313, value, $1,388: number of swine, 234, value, $183; vehicles, 182, value, $1,599; moneys and credits, $225; furniture, $515; property not enumerated, $552.30. Total valuation, $126,131.95.

     LAND.--There is a large, amount of both railroad and government land in this County. The price of wild lands here ranges from $1 to $5 per acre. The prairies and meadows produce an abundance of the finest grasses, and cattle and sheep thrive well here with but little attention. The Platte River is spanned by substantial bridges, giving the settlers of the County easy access to the shipping stations on the Union Pacific Railroad.

     POPULATION.--The County is divided into five voting Precincts, the population of each, in 1879, being as follows: Turkey Creek, 165; Elk Creek, 164: East Muddy, 118; West Muddy, 155; Robb, twenty-two.

     Total population 622, of whom 354 were males and 268 females.


The County Seat, is the only town in the County. It is situated on Muddy Creek, in the southwestern part of the County, and has a couple of good general merchandise stores, a hotel, school house, blacksmith shop, etc.

     PLUM CREEK, VAUGHAN'S and JUDSON'S Ranches have each a Postoffice, general store, school house, blacksmith shop, and good accommodations for travelers.


     Hall County was established by an Act of the Legislature, in 1855, and organized in 1859. It is located in the south-central part of the State, and is bounded on the north by Howard, east by Merrick and Hamilton, south by Adams, and West by Buffalo Counties, containing 576 square miles, or 368,640 acres, at an average elevation of 1,850 feet above the sea level.

     WATER COURSES.--The County is finely watered by the Platte and Wood Rivers, Prairie Creek, and numerous smaller streams.



     The Platte enters the County at the southwest corner, and flows in a northeasterly course, passing out at the middle of the eastern boundary line. Wood River waters the central portion of the County, and joins the Platte near the eastern line. Prairie Creek, with its numerous branches, waters the northern portion of the County. Mill privileges are abundant, and could be utilized at light expense.

     TIMBER.--The islands of the Platte are covered with a thick growth of natural timber, and the banks of the stream are also well skirted. Wood River and some of the smaller streams are well wooded. The amount of timber under cultivation in the County is 1,557 acres, or 1,262,294 trees, besides twelve miles of hedging.

     The first fruit trees were planted in the spring of 1863. The first cherries were produced in 1867, the first peaches in 1871, and the first apples and pears in 1872.

     FRUIT.--The amount of fruit trees reported under cultivation in 1879 was as follows: Apple, 6,266; pear, 169; peach, 4,559; plum, 10,165; cherry, 1,427; and grape vines, ten acre.

     CHARACTER OF THE LAND.--Fully forty per cent of the area is valley, and the balance undulating prairie. South of the Platte, there are no bluffs dividing the bottom and upland, but instead, a succession of plateaus or gentle undulations, terminating in broad tables one hundred feet above the level of the river. The. valley on the north side of the Platte is very wide, the first three miles being fine, rich bottom. Wood River has wide bottoms and rich undulating prairie on either side. Northward from this, a fertile, low upland prevails for ten or fifteen miles, in the middle of which is the beautiful little valley of Prairie Creek.

     CROPS.--The soil is a deep, black sandy loam, and very productive for all kinds of crops. The area reported under cultivation in the County for 1879, was 49,648 acres. The yield of the principal crops was as follows: Winter wheat, thirty-six acres, 329 bushels; spring wheat, 28,390 acres, 278,202 bushels; rye, 1,994 acres, 27,288 bushels; corn, 10,672 acres, 261,179 bushels; barley, 1,247 acres, 24,872 bushels; oats, 4,879 acres, 122,802 bushels; potatoes, 575 acres, 42,584 bushels; onions, 1 1/4 acres, 200 bushels.

     HISTORICAL.--The first permanent settlements were made in,



the summer of 1857, by a colony from Davenport, Iowa, sent out under the auspices of a Town Company consisting of A. H. Barrows, W. H. F. Gurley and B. B. Woodward. The object of this Company was to locate a town site somewhere in Central Nebraska,. in the great Platte Valley, with the expectation that sooner or later a railroad would be built across the Continent, running through the Platte Valley, and that eventually the National Capital would have to be removed from Washington City to a centrally located point somewhere in the Northwest.

     This colony consisted of five Americans, twenty-five Germans, six married women, one single woman, and one child four years old, as follows, viz.: R. C. Barnard, Surveyor; Joshua Smith,. David P. Morgan, William Seymour, L. Barnard, Henry Shaaf, Matthias Gries, Fred. Landmann, Theodore Nagel, Hermann Vasold, Christian Anderson and wife, Henry Johnk and wife, Mary Stelk, Henry Schoel and wife, Fred. Doll and wife, W. A. Hagge, William Stolley, George Shuls, Fred. Varge, Johan Hamann, Fred. Heddle, Ditlef Saas, William Steir and wife, Peter Stuhr, Hans Wrage, Nicholas Thede and wife, Cornelius Axelson, Anna Stier, Henry Egge, Christ. Menck, and Cay Ewoldt. The Surveyor's party, consisting of R. C. Barnard, all the Americans, Fred. Heddle, and Chr. Menck, left Davenport a few days ahead of the main party, with one mule team. William Hagge and Theodore Nagel were detailed to proceed by river to St. Louis and purchase a supply of provisions, fire-arms, ammunition, blacksmith's tools, etc., and have them shipped up the river to Omaha, in time for the arrival of the main party there.

     On the 28th of May, 1857, live heavy-loaded teams, drawn by sixteen yoke of work oxen, and with the remainder of the parties named, left Davenport in charge of William Stolley. This train arrived at Omaha on the 18th of June following; passed through Fremont on the 23d, which town had then only ten log houses; arrived at Columbus, which had then only eighteen log houses, on the 26th; crossed the Loup River, at Genoa, on the 27th of June; and on July 2d Wood River was reached. After reconnoitering the County in the vicinity for one day, the Surveyor selected a place on the 4th day of July, and on the 5th stakes were driven for a town site and adjoining claims.



     The location selected covered only partly the present town site of Grand Island, the greater part lying south and southwest from the present town. At a meeting of the settlers it was resolved that four log houses should be first built, each 14x33 feet. At the same time the breaking of prairie had to be attended to, as the season was already far advanced. Only about fifty acres were broken, all told, the first season. On July 12, the work began in earnest. Some chopped logs, others hauled them out, and a few prepared wood for the burning of charcoal to start the blacksmith shop.

     Saturday, August 15, some of the settlers could already move into their new houses, and on the 27th of the same month all the houses were occupied. These houses were built on the south half of the northwest quarter of section fourteen, town eleven, range nine.

     During the winter months of 1857-58, the settlers underwent many privations and hardships. There were neither candles nor soap in the settlement for a long time, and the washing of clothes was done with home-made lye. Want of food compelled them to kill several work oxen. There was plenty of flour, but everything else was wanting; and so passed the first winter in the first settlement of Hall County.

     In June, 1858, the supply of provisions again failing, the settlers had to live for some time on half rations, besides being compelled to work very hard, as the spring season demanded. However, on Thursday, June 24, fresh and ample supplies arrived from Omaha, which ended the trouble.

     July 2, 1858, more settlers arrived from Davenport, Iowa, with a train of ten teams, bringing in addition about twenty persons and twenty yoke of work oxen, besides a number of milch cows and young stock, and matters began to look brighter.

     On the 27th of August, about 1,500 Pawnee Indians passed through the settlement, and committed trifling depredations by stealing green corn and potatoes, but were otherwise friendly.

     Tuesday, January 19, 1859, was a terrible day for the young settlement. Three men, on their return from the gold fields of Colorado, recklessly set fire to the tall, dry prairie grass in the vicinity; and the wind at the time blowing a perfect gale, the fire soon attacked the settlement, destroying, in an hour's time, eight



houses and a number of hay and grain stacks. This happening in the midst of a severe winter, was a terrible blow. The citizens of Omaha made up a purse for the sufferers, but the party to whom the money was intrusted [sic] for delivery ran away with it.

     Colonel May, then in command of Fort Kearney, was a true friend to the settler, and gave many of them remunerative employment at the Fort when their presence on the farm was not needed.

     During the year 1859, difficulties arose between the Town Company and settlers, and the result was that the Company soon gave up the idea of carrying the speculation any further. R. C. Barnard, L. Barnard, Joshua Smith, David P. Morgan and William Seymour left the settlement soon after this. Of the first settlers, G. Schulz died a natural death, Fred. Vatge committed suicide, and, J. Hamann was killed on the railroad. Twelve of the pioneer settlers remain in the County, and are owners of fine farms.

     Of the pioneer women, Mrs. Henry Schoel died many years ago; Mrs. Fred. Doll removed with her husband to Howard County; Mrs. Joehnk and Mrs. Andresen are yet living in this County, with their families; Mrs. Stier returned with her husband years ago, to Davenport, Iowa. Anna Stier, the only unmarried lady who participated in the first Settlement of the County, is married to John Thompson, a well-to-do farmer in this County. The first child born in the County was Nellie Stier, daughter of Win. Stier, on March 3d, 1858.

     In the spring of 1858, a lot of Mormons settled on Wood River, and opened up quite a number of farms.

     The first newspaper in the County was published by them, and was called the Banner. In the spring of 1863, this Mormon colony removed to Salt Lake City, Utah, taking with them the Banner.

     The-first Postoffice was established in the spring of 1859, with R. C. Barnard as postmaster.

     The first weekly stage was put on the road from Omaha to Ft. Kearney, October 1, 1858. It was changed to tri-weekly in 1860, and became a daily mail in 1864.

     The County was organized in the year 1859, and the first officers elected were as follows: Probate Judge, Fred. Hedde; County Clerk, Theodore Nagel; County Commissioners, Hans Wrage, Jas.



Vieregg, Henry Egge; Justices of the Peace, R. C. Barnard, William Stolley; Sheriff, H. Vasold; Treasurer, Christian Andreson; Assessor, Frederick Doll; Constables, Christian Menck and Mathias Gries.

     During the first years of the existence of the settlement, there was no trouble with the Indians.

     This friendly state of affairs did not last long, however, and on February 5, 1862, occurred the first massacre of whites by the Indians in this County. Joseph P. Smith and Anderson, his son-in-law, farmers on Wood River, living about twelve miles west of Grand Island, went after some building logs to the north channel of the Platte River, about two and a half miles south of their claims, accompanied by two of Mr. Smith's sons--William, eleven years of age, and Charles, aged nine, and his grandchild, Alexander Anderson, about fourteen years of age. Anderson, who took a load of logs home in the morning, returned to the woods where he had left his father-in-law, Smith, with the above named boys, and two teams (the property of Smith), about 9 a. m., and found them all brutally massacred by a band of Sioux Indians. Mr. Smith had seven arrows in his body, and was lying on the ice with his face down, holding each of his boys by the hand. His son William was still alive when found; he was shot with an arrow, and one of his cheeks was cut open from the mouth to the ear. He soon bled to death after he had been carried home. The other son, Charles, had his skull smashed in and his neck broken, probably with a war club. Young Anderson was found some distance off in the woods with his skull broken. The four horses were taken away by the Indians. A number of the settlers followed in pursuit of the Indians, and captured some, but these proved not to have been implicated in the massacre.

     During the summer of 1864, the Sioux were noticed on the bluffs not far from George Martin's ranche, about eighteen miles southwest of Grand Island City, on the south side of the Platte River. Two sons of Mr. Martin, Nat and Robert, at once hurried with a pony to drive the cattle home. While thus engaged, the Indians--about one hundred in number--approached so rapidly that the boys saw they would be unable to secure the cattle, so jumping on the pony, they made for the ranche as fast as possible.



     The Indians were soon within shooting distance of them, however, and showered balls and arrows after them, till finally an arrow struck the hindmost boy, and passed through the bodies of both, pinning them together. Notwithstanding being thus badly wounded, the boys stuck to their pony and succeeded in reaching the ranche, when they fell to the ground exhausted, just outside of the inclosure [sic]. An Indian approached, knife in band, to take their scalps, when another of the party remarked, in plain English, "Let those boys alone," which order was heeded. The boys were carried into the ranche, the arrow drawn out; and, after careful nursing, both fully recovered, and are still residents of the County.

     On July 24, 1867, the Sioux attacked the ranche owned by Peter Campbell, a Scotchman, on the south side of the Platte, about ten miles from Grand Island. No men being at home to protect the family, the ranche was easily taken. A lady by the name of Mrs. Thurston Warren was killed by a rifle shot, and her little son with an arrow. Two girls, nieces of Mr. Campbell, aged respectively seventeen and nineteen years, and also two little twin boys four years old, were carried away captives. At the same time a German by the name of Henry Dose was killed near the same place. Months afterwards, the government bought the two girls and the two little boys from the Indians, paying for them $4,000.

     In August and September, 1864, all sorts of rumors about the hostile Indians were afloat. It was reported that they were coming in great force to take Fort Kearney, and devastate the settlements below; and for a time the wildest panic prevailed. From far up the Platte Valley down to Columbus, the settlers, with very few exceptions, left their homes, and even east of Columbus many abandoned their claims and fled. For a distance of twenty miles, the main traveled road along the Platte River was covered with fugitives on the 13th and 14th days of August, 1864. Heavy-loaded wagons, with household goods and provisions, bedding, droves of cattle and horses, people on foot and on horseback, hurried along in the greatest confusion.

     But the Settlement at Grand Island was not deserted; here the people made a stand, and resolved to give the Indians a warm reception should they venture to attack them. A fortified log house twenty-four feet square, provided with port-holes, had been built


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