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connecting it with Nebraska City, and other projected railroads to span and gridiron the State and join important connections East to the Atlantic, and West to the Pacific, South to the Gulf and North to the British Possessions, it cannot fail to have a magnificent future. It must be our inland central city of wealth, immense agricultural and other resources, and as the Capital, will be as it now is, the pride of the State.

     Lincoln illustrates the boundless capacity of the Great West. Little more than a decade since the antelope and deer and wolf, and the retiring red man held full sway over the open prairie where are now all the appliances of comfort, civilization, education and commercial enterprises of a great city. It has no water-courses, no outside influences nor resources, except the railroads and the broad fertile prairies stretching from the Missouri to the Mountains, and yet it is destined to number its tens of thousands in the near future, and become a central power in a great State.

     WAVERLY and NEWTON, promising towns on the B. & M. Railroad, east of Lincoln, each have about 200 inhabitants, good school and Church advantages, several stores and mechanics' shops, shipping facilities, etc.

     BERKSHIRE, DENTON and HIGHLAND, are fine young towns on the B. & M. Railroad, west of Lincoln.

     FIRTH, HICKMAN and SALTILLO, located on the A. & N. Railroad, are rapidly growing into prominence as business centers.


On the Nebraska Railway, sixteen miles southeast of Lincoln, has about 300 inhabitants. It contains two Churches, an elegant school house, several stores, elevator, mechanics' shops, etc., and is surrounded by an excellent grain and stock producing country.


     Madison County was created in 1856, and organized in January, 1868, by proclamation of Governor Butler. It is located in the northeastern part of the State, bounded on the north by Pierce, east by Stanton, south by Platte, and west by Boone and Antelope Counties, containing 576 square miles, or 368,640 acres.



     WATER COURSES.--The Elkhorn River flows from west to east through the northern portion of the County, a distance of over twenty-five miles. The North Fork enters the Elkhorn in the northeast corner of the County. Dry, Buffalo, Deer, Battle, Taylor, and Big and Little Union Creeks, tributaries of the Elkhorn, water the central and southeastern portions of the County. Shell Creek, a tributary of the Platte River, waters the southwestern townships. The Elkhorn, Shell, Union and Taylor Creeks afford excellent mill privileges. Well water can be obtained on the uplands at a depth of from thirty to sixty-five feet, and in the valleys, from ten to twenty-five feet.

     TIMBER.--There is considerable timber along the banks of the Elkhorn, and on several of its tributaries. On Shell Creek, there is a beautiful natural grove. 1,658 acres, or 1,547,551 forest trees, and twenty-two miles of hedging, are under cultivation. Many of the artificial groves are sufficiently grown to furnish the farmer with all the fuel needed.

     FRUIT.--2,718 apple, thirty-three pear, 267 peach, and 758 cherry trees, and thirty-eight acres of grape vines, are reported under cultivation and in promising condition.

     THE SURFACE OF THE COUNTRY.--The north half of the County lies in the fertile Valley of the Elkhorn, which here varies in width from three to six miles. Union and Battle Creek Valleys are from one to two miles wide. The uplands are gently undulating prairies, and comprise about forty-five per cent. of the area. There are few steep bluffs, and the surface is rarely too broken for tillage.

     SOIL AND CROPS.--The soil is a black vegetable mould, from two to three feet deep on the uplands, and three to six feet deep in the valleys.

     The number of acres under cultivation was 39,356. The yield of the principal crops was as follows: Winter wheat, sixty-five acres, 869 bushels; spring wheat, 17,869 acres, 185,045 bushels; rye, 1,871 acres, 30,229 bushels; corn, 12,301 acres, 309,877 bushels; barley, 601 acres, 12,161 bushels; sorghum, fourteen acres, 857 gallons; potatoes, 266 acres, 26,944 bushels.

     HISTORICAL.--The first settlements were made in June, 1866, by a small party from Illinois, consisting of L. D. Barnes, Wm. H. Bradshaw, D. L. Allen, Mathias Carr and Wm. A. Barnes, who




located near the mouth of the North Fork of the Elkhorn, on the ground now occupied by the town of Norfolk. In the following month, a large German colony from Wisconsin settled in the vicinity of Norfolk. In October of this year, Nicholas Paul surveyed the County. Erastus Jones, of Norfolk, was the pioneer merchant of the County. He was followed by Barney Barnes and a Dane by the name of Nelson, who kept an Indian trading post in the fall of 1866.

     May 3, 1867, a settlement was established on Union Creek, near the present town of Madison, by H. M. Barnes, P. J. Barnes, W. J. Barnes and F. W. Barnes. Shortly afterward, Henry Platts and Charles Huylar and family located on this stream; and before the close of the year, Henry J. Severance and a number of others, settled in the vicinity. A substantial bridge was erected over Union Creek in 1867.

     S. H. Thatch, A. J. Thatch and many others, settled on the Elkhorn, near Norfolk, during the summer of 1867.

     Captain O. O. Austin built a house on Shell Creek, in June, 1866, but did not occupy it. John Bloomfield arrived in 1868, and was the first bona fide settler on this stream. He was soon followed by Lewis Warren, George Whitcher and William Meniece.

     In 1869, the Sioux Indians made a raid on the Shell Creek settlements, killed some stock belonging to Lewis Warren and others, and shot a Mrs. Nelson, who afterwards recovered.

     January 21, 1868, the first election for County Officers was held, which resulted as follows: Henry M. Barnes, August Raasch, Herman Braasch, Commissioners; Samuel H. Thatch, Clerk; Frederick Wegner, Probate Judge; Fred. Heckendorf, Treasurer; Fielding Bradshaw, Sheriff; August Lentz, Surveyor; Fred. Boche, Assessor; John Allison and William Bickley, Justices of the Peace; Thomas Bickley and Fred. Haase, Constables.

     Said election was held at a small frame house located on Taylor Creek. The County was named Madison at the suggestion of the Germans of the Norfolk settlement, who came from Madison County, Wisconsin.

     In the summer of 1869, the Commissioners divided the County into two Precincts, designating the north half Norfolk and the south half Union Creek Precinct.



     In 1869, L. D. Barnes, John Teigden, John Leucke, A. Eyl and J. W. Risk, settled on Battle Creek. The Hales came in 1870, and settled on Upper Battle Creek. Battle Creek derived its name from the bloodless battle which occurred on its banks between the Territorial militia and Pawnee Indians during the first Pawnee war.

     During the summer of 1871, a settler named Fuller was murdered in a field, near Shell Creek. Two cattle dealers, strangers in the County, were arrested on suspicion of being the murderers, but after an examination were released. The mystery of the murder has never been solved.

     The first marriage in the County was that of Mr. Frederick Spawn to Miss Frederica Waggener, May 3, 1868. The first. natural death was that of Mrs. Carr, in March, 1867.

     The first term of the District Court was held in August, 1871 Hon. Lorenzo Crounse, Presiding Judge.

     PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--Number of districts, forty-eight; school houses, forty; children of school age, males, 863, females, 761, total, 1,624; total number of children that attended school during the year, 940; qualified teachers employed, males, twenty-four, females, thirty-three; total wages paid teachers for the year, $5,298.56; value of school houses, $11,533; value of sites, $231; value of books, etc., $223.50.

     TAXABLE PROPERTY.--Acres of land, 222,967; average value per acre, $1.24. Value of town lots, $26,257. Money used in merchandise, $24,925; money invested in manufactures, $12,132; horses, 2,707, value $59,782; mules, 116, value, $4,193; neat cattle, 5,156, value $41,820; sheep, 789, value, $910; swine, 6,316, value, $5,331; vehicles, 695, value, $9,704; moneys and credits, $8,525; mortgages, $13,325; stocks, etc., $2,000; furniture, $3,109; Libraries, $750; property not enumerated, $24,431; total valuation for 1879, $524,710.

     RAILROADS AND LANDS.--The Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri, Valley Railroad has been constructed through the County the present year, and is now in running order to Norfolk. The Omaha, Niobrara and Black Hills Railroad, is now in running order from Jackson, on the U. P., to Norfolk.



     The Burlington and Missouri River Railroad Company owns 60,000 acres of land here, the price ranging from $2 to $6 per acre. All the desirable Government land is taken. Improved farms are worth from $5 to $20 per acre.

     POPULATION.--The County is divided into nine Precincts, the population of each in 1879, being as follows: Center, 414, Fairman, 272; Emerick, 143; Deer Creek, 478; Shell Creek, 254; Schoalcraft, 432; Norfolk, 957; Union Creek, 874; Jefferson, 456.

     Total population of County, 4,280,--males, 2,288, females, 1,992.


The County Seat, is a beautiful village of 400 inhabitants. It is located on Union Creek, in the southeastern part of the County; was laid out as a town in January, 1870, and made the County Seat at the general election in 1875. It has just been reached by the 0. N. & B. H. R. R., and new buildings are being erected very fast. The Chronicle, a weekly newspaper, is published here, and it contains, besides the County offices, two Churches, two hotels, a fine school house, a large flouring mill with three run of burrs, a bank, four dry goods and grocery stores, one drug store, one harness shop, one jewelry store, a lumber yard, broom factory, etc.


Located on the North Fork of the Elkhorn River, in the northeastern part of the County, contains 500 inhabitants. It was laid out in December, 1869, and is the oldest and largest town in the County. The United States Land Office for this district, is located here. It has a good weekly paper, the Journal, three Churches, the Methodist, Congregational, and German Lutheran, five general stores, two hotels, a bank, two drug and one hardware store, two furniture and one shoe store, blacksmith and wagon shops, lumber yard, livery stables, a fine flouring mill, large school house, real estate offices, etc. It is also the present terminus of two railroads, the 0. N. & B. H. and the F. E. & M. V., and is rapidly becoming a prominent business center.


Located on a creek of the same name, in the central part of the County, contains about 150 inhabitants. The townsite was survey-



ed in 1873, by J. D. Hoover, who erected houses and opened a store here the following year. At present it has two general stores, one drug store, two blacksmith, wagon and carriage shops, one hotel, harness and shoe shops, and a grist mill with two run of burrs.

Situated on Shell Creek, in the southwestern part of the County, contains two stores, a fine school house, two blacksmith and one wagon shop, drug store, etc. Excellent water-power for a flouring mill, is close at hand. There is also a fine natural grove of timber on the creek, near the town.


     Nemaha, in the first organization of the Territory, was called Forney County. It was re-organized by the First Territorial Legislature, under its present name. It lies in the southeastern part of the State, bounded on the north by Otoe County, east by the Missouri River, south by Richardson and Pawnee, and west by Johnson County, containing about 400 square miles, or 256,000 acres.

     WATER COURSES.--The County is watered by the Missouri River--which washes the entire eastern boundary--the Little Nemaha River and numerous smaller streams. The Little Nemaha flows diagonally through the central portion of the County from northwest to southeast, and empties into the Missouri near Nemaha City. Muddy Creek, a large tributary of the Great Nemaha River, waters the southwestern portion of the County. Long Branch, Plum and many smaller creeks meander through the County, leaving not a single township without running water. Water-power abundant.

     CHARACTER OF THE LAND.--Fifteen per cent. of the area is valley, about five per cent. bluff, and the remainder gently rolling prairie. The valley of the Little Nemaha varies from two to five miles in width. Wide sloping bottoms are also found on Muddy



and other streams. The bluffs of the Missouri are here quite prominent, and frequently cut through with deep ravines. The soil everywhere is of an excellent quality and magnificent crops are raised. No returns for 1879.

     TIMBER.--There is plenty of timber in the County. Numerous large artificial groves dot the hillside and plain, and there are, besides, many fine natural groves in the valleys and along the bottoms of the Missouri.

     FRUIT.--No returns have been made of fruit trees under cultivation, yet this is one of the very best fruit growing Counties in the State, many of the apple orchards returning their owners a yearly revenue of $500 to $2,500. In 1878 the orchard of Ex-Governor Furnas, near Brownville, yielded several thousand bushels of peaches.

     COAL.--An excellent quality of coal is mined at Aspinwall, in this County. The seams vary from eighteen inches to two feet in thickness.

     BUILDING STONE.--Along the bluffs of the Missouri, limestone of a superior quality for building is abundant.

     HISTORICAL.--Richard Brown has the honor of being the first settler in the County. He crossed the Missouri in a canoe August 29, 1854, and laid the foundation of a claim cabin on the land now occupied by the town of Brownville. A number of pioneers quickly followed Mr. Brown, among whom were Rev. Joel M. Wood, Jesse Cole, Newton Kelley, Henry Emerson, Elder Thomas B. Edwards, Talbot Edwards, Josiah Edwards, B. B. Frazer, Houston Russell, James W. Coleman, Allen L. Coate, Israel R. Cuming, Stephen Sloan, A. J. Benedict, Henry W. Lake, O. F. Lake, W. A. Finney, Hiram Alderman, W. H. Hoover, Homer Johnson, R. J. Whitney, Mat. Alderman, Eli Fishburn, B. B. Chapman, Hudson Clayton, Thomas Heady, Sr., Mr. Christian, J. N. Knight, Dr. Hoover, Wm. Hall, Wm. Hawk, Thomas Jeffries, Wm. Hays, Arch Handley, and others.

     The first officers of the County were appointed by Governor Cuming, and are recorded as follows: A. J. Benedict, Probate Judge; H. W. Lake, Register of Deeds and County Clerk; Thomas B. Edwards, Sheriff.



     The first election for County Officers, held December 12,1855, resulted as follows: A. J. Benedict, Probate Judge; W. H. Hoover, Register of Deeds and County Clerk; J. W. Coleman, Sheriff; W. Hobbitzelle, Treasurer, and Allen L. Coate, County Surveyor.

     Richard Brown was elected to the Council, and Wm. A. Finney and Joel A. Wood, to the House, of the First Territorial Legislature.

     Mrs. Thomas B. Edwards was the first white woman to settler in the County. Talbot Edwards erected the first house in Brownville. A daughter was born to Thomas and Mary Fitzgerald, at Brownville, October 20,1854, this being the first birth in the County. Shortly after this event Mr. Samuel Stiers and Miss Nancy Swift were married by Rev. J. M. Wood. The first death in the County was that of an infant daughter of John Mullis, Jr., near Brownville, in September, 1854.

     A. L. Coates surveyed the townsite of Brownville during the spring and summer of 1855. Messrs. I. T. Whyte and Wm. Hobbitszille opened the first stock of goods at Brownville in March, this year. In March, W. A. Finney built for R. Brown, the first, flat-boat, to be used as a ferry across the Missouri River at Brownville. During this spring R. Brown, Henry Emerson and S. E. Rogers, built the first steam sawmill in the County. The Christian Church organized a society at Brownville, in January, 1855, Rev. Joel M. Wood, Pastor. H. S. Thorpe, on July 10, opened the first school at Brownville, with a dozen or so of scholars. Dr. A. S. Halliday located at Brownville November 2, 1855, and was the first physician in the County. Richard Brown was the first Postmaster at Brownville, receiving his appointment in the summer of 1855.

     Brownville was incorporated and made the County Seat by the first Legislature, in March, 1855. About the same time, and by the same authority, Thos. B. Edwards, W. A. Finney, and H. W. Lake, were appointed Commissioners to locate the first Territorial Road in the County, commencing at Brownville and ending at Marshall's Trading Point, on the Big Blue River.

     Daniel L. McGary, the first lawyer in the County, located at Brownville, in February, 1856.



     In June, 1856, the first military company was formed in the County, at Brownville, called the" Home Guards;" O. F. Lake, Captain.

     The first number of the Nebraska Advertiser was issued on the 7th day of June, 1856; R. W. Furnas, publisher and editor.

     William Thurbur was the first County Superintendent of Common Schools. The first school district was organized at Brownville, June 21, 1856, with A. J. Benedict, President; R. W. Furnas, Secretary; and Homer Johnson, Treasurer.

     The first Fourth of July celebration was held in 1856, at Brownville. Nearly every inhabitant in the County attended. R. J. Whitney was President of the day; Capt. Thurbur, Marshal;. and N. Meyers, Assistant. Henry W. Lake read the Declaration of Independence; and R. W. Furnas delivered the oration.

     Nemaha Valley Bank was established during the summer of 1856; A. Hallam, Cashier; S. H. Riddle, President.

     The town site of Brownville was entered at the Land Office at Omaha, in February, 1857, by the Mayor, A. S. Holliday. At the. same time and place, William Ferguson entered the land now known as South Brownville, being the first claim entry in the County.

     The Brownville Stone and Stone Coal Company was organized in March, 1857. John Jackey was the first adult to die in Brownville, which occurred March 25, 1857.

     In the spring of 1857, the U. S. Land Office for Nemaha District was located at Brownville, and commenced business in September following.

     The first school house in the County was erected at Brownville, and was used for several years as a Church also.

     The first apple orchard to bear fruit was in 1857, and belonged to John W. Hall, on Honey Creek.

     The Nemaha County Agricultural Society was organized in 1857. Its first Officers were: J. S. Minick, President; J. W. Coleman, Vice-President; R. W. Furnas, Secretary; and Jesse Cole, Treasurer.

     In October, 1857, the first steam ferry-boat, the "Nemaha," arrived at Brownville. The event was hailed with loud rejoicing, and in the evening a cotillion party was held on board the boat.

     Brownville Union Sabbath School was organized November 15, 1857.

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