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sons, Dr. J. McKesson, Luke Lavender, F. W. Warnes, and J. M. Riddle, located here permanently, and J. and D. Bennet entered claims in the vicinity. The next arrivals to this settlement were Phillip Humerick, E. T. Hudson, C. Aiken, Robert Monteith, and sons, John and William; William and John Guy, O. F. Bridges, Cyrus Carter, P. Billows, W. Porter, Milton Langdon and others. Luke Lavender built the first residence on the new town site,--a log house. Elder Young located his dwelling, near his present stone house in the eastern part of Lincoln.

     In 1864, Silas Pratt, the Crawfords, Mrs. White and daughters, C. C. White and John Moore, settled on Oak Creek, about twelve miles northwest of the Lancaster settlement.

     In September, 1864, during the great Indian insurrection, the majority of the settlers abandoned their claims, and sought refuge nearer the Missouri. However, a few stuck to their chances and remained, among whom were Capt. Donavan, J. S. Gregory and E. W. Warnes, in the neighborhood of Lincoln, Richard Wallingford at Saltillo, James Moran and John P. Loder on "Lower Salt," and Aaron Wood on Stevens Creek. Many of the settlers from the Big Blue River, under the leadership of J. J. Davidson, of Seward County, made a stand at the house of Capt. Donavan; but the Indians did not come further east than the Big Blue.

     In 1865, Ezra Tuttle, lawyer, located on Oak Creek, and in 1866, S. B. Galey and S. B. Pound settled at Lancaster. In the latter year, the Hardenburghs and Lindermans took possession of the Salt Works in the Big Basin, and erected a portable saw-mill, which was of great use to the settlement. They also erected, this year, in Lancaster, a large stone house, which was used for a hotel, and a frame building, in which they opened a general merchandise store. In 1867, John Monteith and sons erected a building in Lancaster, in which they engaged in the boot and shoe business. Dr. McKesson built a residence in the north part of town, and Jacob Dawson commenced the erection of an elegant stone mansion, in which he afterwards resided and kept the Postoffice.

     Ever since the discovery of the Salt Basins near Lincoln, by the government surveyors in 1856, they have attracted much attention as the probable source of great wealth. Capt. W. T. Donavan, when he pitched his cabin near the basin, in 1857, represented the



"Crescent Company," which had been organized previously at Plattsmouth, Nebraska. William Norman and Alexander Robinson, who next arrived and located near the Big Basin, represented another Company; but they soon left the County, and a year later, Donavan abandoned the enterprise also. In 1862, J. S. Gregory, Jr., laid siege to the Basin. Two years later, he had some boilers and solar vats erected, and made salt enough to supply the settlers and overland travel. The place was called "Gregory's Basin," and in 1863, a Postoffice was established there by that name, with J. S. Gregory as postmaster, which was the pioneer letter delivery of the County.

     In 1866, E. H. and T. F. George, Jacob Hardenberg, and S. B. and W. Linderman, representing a New Jersey Company, bought out Gregory's claim, and established the "Nebraska Salt Company." They expended several thousand dollars on the enterprise.

     All this time there had been entries made on the most valuable of the Basins, and these claims had passed into the hands of J. Sterling Morton and Col. Manners, one of the government surveyors who had made the discovery of the basins. Soon after Nebraska became a State, the Governor leased the Big Basin for twenty years to A. C. Tichenor and J. T. Green, and they expended about $12,000. About this time, however, Messrs. Morton and Manners got their claim into the courts by writ of ejectment, and the work of building ceased. After years of litigation, the State made good its claim to the land, and her title was made perfect by a decision of the U. S. Supreme Court, in 1875.

     In 1870, Isaac Cahn obtained a lease of land adjacent to the Big Basin, and sank an artesian well to the depth of 600 feet, striking a vein of saline; but the Legislature refusing to grant the franchises he asked for, he abandoned the enterprise. The artesian well sunk by the City of Lincoln, on the block occupied by the U. S. Government building, pours out a steady stream of salt water, highly impregnated with other minerals, and powerfully magnetic. But at the Big Basin, the supply of water flowing up from the numerous springs is inexhaustible, and it is not difficult to utilize it without sinking wells. Considerable salt of an excellent quality is at present made at the Basin, with the appliances already provided.



     Upon the admission of the State into the Union, in March, 1867, the Legislature appointed a commission to select a site for the new Capitol. The commission, consisting of the Governor, David Butler, Secretary of State, T. P. Kennard, and the Auditor, John Gillespie, were directed and empowered by law to select a site from lands belonging to the State within certain boundaries prescribed, which embraced the Counties of Lancaster and Seward, and a part of Butler, Saunders and Saline. The general government had set apart twelve salt springs, and with each six sections of land, for the use and benefit of the new State, and these springs were immediately selected by the Governor, and the lands located. Most of this land was located within a radius of twenty miles of the Great Salt Basin, principally in the County of Lancaster. In July, the Commission selected about a section and a half of land, which embraced within its limits the old town of Lancaster, as a site for the Capitol. Prior to the formal location, the proprietors of the land and lots embraced in the site made deeds of the same to the State, either by way of a gift or in exchange for State lands in the vicinity.

     According to the provisions of the Act, the Commission was directed to lay out the new site into lots and blocks, and to sell the alternate blocks at public sale to the highest bidder, and to use the proceeds for the erection of a State House. A. B. Smith, of Plattsmouth, and Hon. Aug. F. Harvey, of Nebraska City, were employed by the Commission to survey and lay out the new city. The streets running north and south, commencing on the west side, were numbered, and the streets running east and west, commencing at the south boundary, were named from the alphabet. "A" and "U" were the boundary streets on the south and north, the First and Seventeenth on the west and east; making thirty-seven streets, with an average length of over one and a quarter miles. The site was, however, cut into by a reservation on the northwest corner of about twenty acres for the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad, and another on the northeast corner, penetrating as far as O street to the south, and Fourteenth to the west. The blocks were 300 feet square, and laid out in twenty-four business, or twelve resident lots each, with a frontage of twenty-five and fifty feet. The streets were 100 feet wide, with the exception of D, J, O, S,



Seventh, Eleventh and Fifteenth, which were called avenues and were laid out with a width of 120 feet. A reservation of four blocks, bounded by H and K and Fifteenth and Sixteenth streets, was made for the Capitol, another of the same size, bounded by R and T and Tenth and Twelfth, for the State University, and another of the same size, bounded by D and F and Sixth and Eighth streets, for a park. Reservations of one block each were made for a Court House, a State Horticultural Society, a market square, and for ward and High Schools. All Churches applying had reservations set out to them of three lots each. Forty acres, three miles south of Lincoln, were given to the State by Messrs. Donovan and Hilton for the site of a Penitentiary, and afterwards eighty acres were received on Yankee Hill, a mile and a-half south of the city, for an Insane Asylum.

     In October, 1867, the survey was completed, and the even numbered blocks offered for sale to the highest bidder, a minimum price having been first set upon each lot. At the close of the sale on the site, at which $34,000 was realized, two other sales were held, one at Nebraska City, and the other at Omaha, and as $53,000 had been realized and only a comparatively small portion of the alternate blocks disposed of, the State still owns a large number of these lots, the Commissioners proceeded to advertise for plans and specification for a Capitol building.

     THE CAPITOL.--The plans and specifications for the Capitol were opened at Omaha on the 10th of October, 1867, and those of Mr. John Morris, of Chicago, were selected. Mr. Morris was also appointed superintendent, and at once proceeded to procure material for the foundation of the building, the first ground for same being broken November tenth.

     January 11, 1868, the contract for erecting the building was awarded to Joseph Wood, of Chicago, for $49,000. The walls of the building were constructed of magnesian limestone, from the Beatrice quarries in Gage County. The building, as it now stands, except the cupalo, was completed sufficiently for occupation before the close of the year, and on December 3d, the Governor issued a proclamation announcing the removal of the Seat of Government to Lincoln, and ordered the transfer of the archives of the State to the new Capitol.



     OTHER STATE BUILDINGS.--By the Act of June 14, 1867, for locating the Seat of Government, the State University and Agricultural College were consolidated, and a reservation for a site for the buildings for the same, also the seventy-two sections of land for the University, and the 90,000 acres for the Agricultural College, were located by the Commissioners, under the direction of the Governor. The Legislature of 1869, that met in January in the new State House, passed an Act organizing the "University of Nebraska," vesting its government in a Board of Regents, to be appointed in the first instance by the Governor, who was ex-officio chairman; the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Chancellor of the University being also ex-officio members of the Board. Under the new Constitution there are only six Regents, who are elected by the people.

     By an Act, approved, February 15, 1869, the Governor, Secretary of State, and Auditor, were appointed Commissioners to sell the unsold lots and blocks in Lincoln, and to locate and erect a " State University and Agricultural College, and a State Lunatic Asylum." From the proceeds of the sales, $16,000 were appropriated for the completion of the dome of the Capitol, $50,000 for the erection of the Insane Asylum, and $100,000 for the erection of the State University and Agricultural College building. Fearing that the proceeds of the sales of lots would not amount to the aggregate of these appropriations, the Commissioners were authorized to sell not to exceed forty sections of the Saline land grant to meet any deficiency that might arise.

     In pursuance of this Act, the Commissioners advertised on February 24, for plans and specifications for these two buildings. On June 1st following, the plans and specifications received were examined and the designs submitted by M. J. McBird, of Logansport, Indiana, were accepted for the University and Agricultural College building, and those of Prof. John K. Winchell, of Chicago, for the Lunatic Asylum.

     The Commissioners let the contract for the excavation of the basement of the University on the third of June, 1869, to Messrs. D. J. Silver & Son, of Logansport, Indiana, for the sum of $23,520, and for the same work on the Lunatic Asylum to Joseph Ward, of Lincoln, for $18,055.



     The work on the Lunatic Asylum was shortly afterwards commenced, and on the University, about the 15th of July; but the walls of the latter were ready for the laying of the corner stone on the 23d of September, and it was put in place on that day with Masonic ceremonies. During the first week of September, the basement was completed. In the meantime the architect had made alterations in the plans for the super-structure, suggested by the Regents, which necessarily increased the expense of the building. The Commissioners, feeling that considerations of public policy demanded that the building should be such as the present and prospective needs of the State indicated, decided to take the responsibility of exceeding the appropriation.

     In pursuance of advertisements published July 15th, the contract for completing the University was awarded on the 18th of August, to D. J. Silver & Son, for $128,480, making the total cost of the building $152,000. The contract for the completion of the Lunatic Asylum, was let September 18, to Joseph Ward, for $119,300, making it cost $137,550.

     Prior to the commencement of the work on the superstructures, the Legislature, at a call session, passed a joint resolution, March 4, 1870, approving the action of the Commissioners in exceeding the appropriation and letting the contracts, and also passed an Act, approved March 4, providing for the care and custody of State prisoners, and for the erection of a Penitentiary on the site selected by the Commissioners, in 1867. Three Prison Inspectors were elected, who were to act as a Commission in the erection of the Penitentiary, and to sell the 34,000 acres of Penitentiary land granted by the general government for that purpose.

     The Inspectors, Messrs. W. W. Abbey, W. W. Wilson, and F. Templin, proceeded to advertise for plans and specifications for a State Penitentiary, to be opened on the sixth of June following; also proposals for the erection of a temporary prison, for which the Legislature had appropriated $5,000, to be opened April 28th. Perkins & Hallowell were awarded the contract for the temporary prison, and the designs of Wm. H. Foster, of Des Moines, Iowa, for the Penitentiary, were adopted, and the proposal of W. H. B. Stout, of Washington County, Nebraska, and J. M. Jamison, of



Des Moines, Iowa, for building the same, was accepted, and the contract awarded to them for $312,000.

     The brick work on the University was commenced April 7th, 1870, and the walls were up and the roof nearly completed by the 9th of August following. The Asylum was pushed forward at the same rapid pace, and the buildings were completed and accepted by the Commissioners on the 29th of November, of the same year.

     The University was formally opened and dedicated on Wednesday, September 6, 1871, and Chancellor Benton inducted into office by Acting Governor James.

     Shortly before the Asylum was completed, it was set on fire in the wood work of the roof, by some unknown person, but the flames were extinguished before any serious damage was done. Dr. Larsh, of Nebraska City, was appointed Superintendent, and the insane of the State were placed there in his charge. On the night of April 18, 1871, it was set on fire again in the roof, and this time it was totally consumed, and two of the patients perished in the flames.

     The building had been insured in various Companies for $96,000, but the State received only $72,000. After the usual preliminaries, the diagrams of Wm. H. Foster, of Des Moines, Iowa, for a new building, were accepted, and the contract awarded to Robert D. Silver, for the construction of the main building and one wing. According to the design, the exterior walls were to be faced with limestone ashlar, rough finish, but this was afterwards changed, and Carrol County, Missouri, sandstone, with ruble work finish, with rustic joints, substituted. The building was completed by October 1, 1872, and is a credit to the State.

     The Asylum was filled with inmates almost as soon as finished, and the Legislature of 1875, appropriated $25,000 for the building of the second wing, which was completed under the supervision of the trustees.

     The Penitentiary was completed in the fall of 1876, under the contract made by the State, and is a substantial structure, well ventilated and heated, and is regarded as perfectly secure. Its walls are built of a hard magnesian limestone taken from the quarries near Saltello, about twelve miles south of Lincoln. With the



addition of cells it is large enough to hold all the criminals likely to be sent there for years to come.

     RAILROADS.--There are five railroads in the County, as follows:

     The Burlington & Missouri River, running from Omaha and Plattsmouth, via Lincoln, to a connection with the U. P., at Kearney, Buffalo County.

     The Nebraska Railway, running from Nemaha City, on the Missouri River, via Lincoln, to a connection with the U. P., at Central City, in Merrick County.

     The Atchison & Nebraska, from Atchison, Kansas, to Lincoln.

     The Lincoln & Northwestern, now being rapidly constructed to a connection with the U. P., at Columbus, Platte County.

     The Omaha & Republican Valley, which has now about completed a branch line from Valparaiso, Saunders County, to Lincoln, a distance of twenty miles.

     LANDS.--Improved lands sell from $8 to $30 per acre. The B. & M. Railroad lands, of which there are about 75,000 acres here, sell from $4 to $10 per acre.

     TAXABLE PROPERTY.--Acres of land, 475,449, average value per acre, $3.55; value of town lots, $771,919; money invested in merchandise, $110,303; money used in manufactures, $30,752; number of horses, 7,390, value, $181,339; mules and asses, 695, value, $21,311; neat cattle, 15,330, value, $127,698; sheep, 5,406, value, $5,880; swine, 31,487, value, $24,984; vehicles, 2,633, value $41,392; moneys and credits, $24,771; mortgages, $19,477; stocks, etc., $77,145; libraries, $251; property not enumerated, $85,283; railroads, $508,192.45; telegraph, $1,467.45; total valuation for 18799 $3,762,039.90.

     PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--Number of districts, 104; school houses, 97; children of school age, males, 3,187, females, 3,090, total, 6,277; whole number of children that attended school during the year, 4,372; number of qualified teachers employed, males, sixty-eight, females, 113; wages paid teachers for the year, males, $8,858.26, females, $15,764.15, total, $24,622.41; value of school houses, $69,720; value of sites, $6,286.50; value of books and apparatus, $1,309.92.

     POPULATION.--The following are the names of the Precincts, and population of each in 1879: Olive Branch, 726; Highland, 472; Denton, 219; Middle Creek, 353; Elk, 387; West Oak, 240;



Buda, 427; Centerville, 535; Yankee Hill, 734; Lincoln, 2,285; Midland, 2,221; Capital, 2,813; Oak, 482; Little Salt, 436; South Pass, 819; Saltillo, 648; Grant, 473; Lancaster, 519; North Bluff, 307; Rock Creek, 552; Panama, 442; Nemaha, 832; Stockton, 150; Stevens Creek, 266; Waverly, 520; Mill, 509.

     Total population of County, 18,675--males, 10,092; females, 8,583. Population of County in 1878, 15,658; increase in past year, 3,017.


The Capital of Nebraska, and the County Seat of Lancaster County, is a very remarkable and progressive city of some 10,000 inhabitants, and is situated about three miles from the geographical center of the County. It is emphatically "beautiful for situation." The view from the heights of the exquisitely rounded, bluffs can scarcely be surpassed. The Capitol Building, which is undergoing extensive repairs and additions, occupies the highest point, and from this the prairie shapes off on all sides, for miles, in gentle waves and undulations, encircled by low, rounded hills, which plainly mark the shore line of an ancient lake, in the basin of which, upon this beautiful elevation, stands the city.

     No place can afford a scene of quiet beauty that surpasses this view, when all the hills are covered with the emerald green of the summer months. The slope is dotted all over in every direction with groves and farm-houses that lie nestled in the valleys or crown the gently swelling bluffs that rise on every side and form a landscape of which the eye never tires. To the northwest, a mile or two distant, the Salt Springs come boiling up from the depths below, and yield an inexhaustible supply of pure salt; to the southwest are seen the commodious buildings of the Insane Asylum, with the extensive and attractive grounds surrounding them--an institution fully ranking with the very best in the country; on Yankee Hill, and further to the south, is the State Penitentiary, a model institution. In the northern part of the city, in a large square adorned with shade trees and evergreens, stands the State University and Agricultural College--a fine building of the Italian style. The college grounds are surrounded with elegant residences, handsome Churches, and fine public buildings, among



which are the new United States Postoffice and Court House and the City High School building. The latter cost over $40,000, and the former fully $150,000.

     There are other buildings of note in the city, including fine business blocks noticeable for solidity and capacity, and showing the confidence of business men and capitalists in the future of the city, and the enterprise and ability to erect structures that are not only ornamental to the city, but profitable to those who seek investment. The Opera House is the finest structure of the kind in the State.

     Among the places of business represented in the city are the U. S. land office, the First National, State National and the Lancaster County Banks; the Lincoln Foundry and machine shops; the State Journal Company, printers, lithographers and blank book manufacturers, employing fifty hands; two steam flouring mills, two breweries, two marble cutting establishments, a carriage manufactory, etc. The newspapers are the State Journal, the Globe and the Democrat, published daily and weekly, besides three or four monthly publications.

     The first Church erected in the city was by the Methodist Episcopal denomination; there are now twelve Churches, some of them very fine structures.

     From small beginnings Lincoln has grown rapidly, in ten years, to its present large proportions. This has been due to several combined agencies, among which are the location there of the Capitol and the public institutions of the State, and the push, energy and enterprise of its citizens. Its excellent social and educational surroundings, its pleasant and central location, its broad agricultural country Stretching without limit from its center, with the most fertile soil and delightful climate; and above all, its marked railroad facilities, making it with its present and proposed railroad connections, that will be completed in the near future, the Indianapolis of Nebraska.

     It is now the second city of importance in the State, and with the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad crossing its bridge over the Missouri at Plattsmouth, and stretching through the State to the Union Pacific at Kearney, the Atchison and Nebraska running south to Kansas and St. Louis, the Nebraska Railroad


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