WEST'S MILL, GERMANTOWN, GLENDALE, STAPLEHURST, ORTON, MARYSVILLE, BATESVILLE, and OAK GROVES, are Postoffices in the County.
There are eight flouring mills in the County and ten Churches.
Sherman County was organized by proclamation of Governor Furnas, January 13, 1873. It is located in the central part of the State, in the seventh tier of Counties west of the Missouri River, and is bounded on the north by Valley, east by Howard, south by Buffalo, and west by Custer County, containing 576 square miles, or 368,648 acres.
WATER COURSES.--The Middle Loup River, from four to five hundred feet wide, flows through the central portion of the County, from northwest to southeast. Its tributaries are Brown, Cobb, Moon, Coal, Chapman, Wiggle, Cook, Hays, Dead Horse, Davis, Oak and Turkey Creeks. The Sweetwater and tributaries, Dry, Clear and Red Run Creeks, water the southern portion of the County. Mill privileges are numerous.
TIMBER.--Small quantities of native timber are found along the streams and in the ravines and gulches. 183 acres, or 106,300 forest trees are reported under cultivation.
FRUIT.--Various wild fruits grow in profusion along the streams. During the present year a large number of fruit trees have been planted.
CHARACTER OF THE LAND.--Twenty-five per cent. of the County is Valley and bottom; forty-five per cent. is made up of tables, parks, and undulating prairie; and the balance is considerably broken, but admirably adapted to grazing. The Valley of the Loup averages about three miles in width. The tables are from three to ten miles in extent, and are as level as a plain. The, broken districts are coursed by hundreds of gulches and canons, affording perfect winter shelter for herds. The buffalo and mesquite grasses cover the bills and plains. The soil on the uplands is a vegetable mould, and ranges from fifteen to thirty inches in depth.
CROPS.--Area under cultivation reported for 1879, 6,535 acres. Winter wheat, forty acres, 423 bushels; spring wheat, 2,422 acres, 34,643 bushels; rye, 318 acres, 3,356 bushels; corn, 1,633 acres, 34,781 bushels; barley, 195 acres, 4,812 bushels; sorghum, eleven acres, 803 gallons; potatoes, sixty-four acres, 8,091 bushels; tobacco, one-fourth acre, 220 pounds.
HISTORICAL.--The first permanent settlements in the County were made on the Middle Loup, near the County Seat, in 1872. Among the first to take claims were O. S. Brown, Ed. Neilson, M. W. Benschoter, H. W. Humes, T. N. Johnson, P. Carlton, C. E. Webster, and Wm. Young, who nearly all arrived early in 1872, and taking their choice of lands in the fertile Valley of the Loup, at once began the erection of houses for themselves and shelter for their stock. Before the close of the year, many additional settlers had arrived, some taking claims lower down on the Loup, others on Oak Creek, while a few pushed still further west, to the fertile bottoms of the Beaver, in the southwestern part of the County. By the following spring the settlements were numerous.
The first election for the organization of the County was held on April 1st, 1873, and resulted in the selection of Loup City as the County Seat, and the election of the following Board of County Officers: Commissioners, M. W. Benschoter, Ed. Neilson, Matt. Coleman; Probate Judge, R. W. Russell; County Clerk, W. Walt; Sheriff, M. A. Hartley; Treasurer, C. E. Rosseter; Superintendent of Public Instruction, T. N. Johnston; Coroner, Peter Keitges.
Good school houses were among the first improvements made in the County. Wherever the settlements came closely together, a comfortable school house was erected for the education of the children and the educational interests of the County have since kept par with its growth. At present, the number of school districts is twenty-one; number of school buildings, eleven; number of children of school age, 438. Total value of school property, $3,965.
Religious services have been regularly held in the County since its organization. Various Church Societies have been organized, representing the several denominations, the majority of which hold regular weekly meetings and Sunday schools in the different36
school houses. There are at present six flourishing Sunday schools in the County, and two Church buildings--the Methodist Episcopal and United Brethren.
Indians from the Agencies in the northwestern and northern parts of the State, were in the habit of roaming through this country in bands, and about the time of the first settlement of the County, committing depredations and annoying the settlers greatly, but seldom doing any serious mischief. In 1872, E. Neilson was shot in the face, and seriously, though not fatally injured, by some Indians on the Loup River, near the present location of Loup city.
The first death in the County was the infant son of William Davis, in July, 1873.
The first birth was Alexander Dewooddy, son of Nelson Dewooddy, in November, 1873.
The first marriage was Mr. Frank Ingram to Miss Fannie I. Taylor, December 18, 1873.
The first term of the District Court held in the County, was commenced on March 3d, 1876.
TAXABLE PROPERTY.--Acres of land, 151,865; average value per acre, $2.96. Value of town lots, $9,159. Money invested in merchandise, $5,840; money used in manufactures, $100; horses, 382, value $17,082; mules, sixty-five, value, $3,957; neat cattle, 1,283, value $16,282; sheep 169, value $253; swine 658, value $1,127; vehicles 181, value $4,883; moneys and credits, $2,708; mortgages, $430; furniture, $3,431.50; libraries, $37; property not enumerated, $4,819.50; total valuation for 1879, $156,903.75.
LANDS.--There is still a large amount of good Government land in this County. The Burlington and Missouri Railroad Company owns 80,000 acres here, for which they ask from $1 to $5 per acre.
POPULATION.--The following are the Precincts and population of each in 1879: Upper Loup, 456; Lower Loup, 187; Oak Creek, 129; Hayestown, 145; Clear Creek, 203.
Total, 1,120,--males, 652, females, 468.
The County Seat, is situated on the cast bank of the Middle Loup, near the geographical center of the County. It contains about 250
inhabitants, has a weekly paper--the Times, an excellent hotel, Court House, school house, two Churches and several business houses. A good bridge crosses the river here.
ROCKVILLE, HAYESTOWN, CEDARVILLE, FITZALON, and AUSTIN are new towns, each having a Postoffice, general store, blacksmith shop and school house.
Stanton County was created in 1861 and organized in 1866. It is located in the northeastern part of the State, in the third tier of Counties west of the Missouri River, bounded on the north by Wayne, east by Cuming, south by Colfax and Platte, and west by Madison County, containing 432 square miles, or 276,480 acres.
WATER COURSES.--The Elkhorn River enters the County on its western border, about seven miles from its north line, and flows in a southeasterly direction several miles when it bends to the northeast and passes out of the County, almost due east from where it enters; or in other words, its course through the County resembles in shape the letter V. Tributary to the Elkhorn on the north are Humbug, Indian, Muskatine and Pleasant Run Creeks, while on the south are the Union, Cedar and Butterfly Creeks, having their source from a system of springs mostly within the borders of the County. There are several excellent water-powers.
TIMBER.--Along the Elkhorn and its tributaries there are considerable belts of timber embracing the cottonwood, elm, ash, oak, box-elder and hackberry varieties. There are 754 acres, or 1,100,500 forest trees, and twelve miles of hedge fence reported under cultivation.
FRUIT.--Very little has been done as yet in the way of fruit culture. 468 apple, three pear, thirty-four peach, twenty-one plum, thirty-five cherry trees, and seven acres of grape vines, are returned.
CHARACTER OF THE LAND.--Thirty per cent. of the County is valley and bottom, and the balance gently rolling prairie, with occasional bluff along the river. The Valley of the Elkhorn at this
point ranges from three to five miles in width. The larger tributaries also have fine bottoms. The south half of the County consists chiefly of undulating prairie, possessing a rich soil, well adapted to the growth of the different cereals, vegetables and fruits.
CROPS.--The area under cultivation reported for 1879 was, 14,976 acres. Winter wheat, ten acres, sixty bushels; spring wheat, 7,745 acres, 88,828 bushels; rye, 363 acres, 4,935 bushels; corn, 4,756 acres, 136,730 bushels; barley, 424 acres, 9,747 bushels; oats, 1,571 acres, 13,888 bushels; sorghum, four and three-eighth acres, 437 gallons; potatoes, seventy-nine acres, 6,715 bushels.
HISTORICAL.--Among the first permanent settlers of the County, were C. F. Sharp, M. B. Sharp, F. M. Scott, and Jacob Hoffman, who, in September, 186.5, located homesteads on Humbug Creek, near the present town of Stanton. After selecting their claims, the Sharps returned to their former homes, where they remained until the spring following, when they returned with their families. Scott and Hoffman remained on their claims, and employed their time, during the winter of 1865-6, in building log houses for their families, and in making other preparations for improving their lands.
At the first election for County Officers, held in the fall of 1866, Paul Heyse was elected Clerk; Jacob Hoffman, Treasurer; Joshua Maltby, Probate Judge; M. B. Sharp, Sheriff; arid F. M. Scott, J. R. Layton, and W. D. Whalen, Commissioners; the number of votes cast being seventeen.
From its organization till the close of 1870, Stanton County received its share of the immigration into the State. Since then, there has been very little increase in its population, owing to the fact that a very large portion of the land not being taken at the public land sales prior to 1870, were subject to private sale, and being very desirable, they were rapidly secured by speculators arid railway companies, who at the present time own nearly or quite three-fourths of all the land in the County. These lands being held at prices considerably above the views of buyers, served to divert immigration in other directions; and as a result, actual settlers turned their attention to the Counties adjoining, where homesteads were secured at more advantageous terms.
RAILROADS.--The Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley road runs through this County from east to west, while the Omaha, Niobrara & Black Hills road runs from south to north, near its west line.
LANDS.--Improved lands are held at $5 to $25 per acre, while unimproved range at $2.50 to $10.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--The number of districts is twenty-two; school houses, twenty-one; children of school age--males 309, females 290; total, 599; qualified teachers employed--males, twenty, females, nine; total wages paid teachers for the year, $4,064.86; value of school houses, $10,631.08; value of sites, $405; value of books, etc., $700.50.
TAXABLE PROPERTY.--Acres of land, 250,951, average value per acre, $2.11; value of town lots, $6,915; money invested in merchandise, $3,925; money used in manufactures, $1,279; horses, 775, value, $18,703; mules, twenty-seven, value, $825; neat cattle, 1,833, value, $15,671; sheep, 2,440, value, $2,510; swine, 1,830, value, $1,074; vehicles, 280, value, $2,245; moneys and credits, $1,425; mortgages, $3,135; stocks, $700; furniture, $1,582; libraries, $95; property not enumerated, $2,994; total valuation for 1879, $608,320.
POPULATION.--The following are the Precincts into which the County is divided, and the population of each in 1879: Stanton, 1,106; Humbug, 217; Kingsberry, 163.
Total, 1,486--males, 788; females, 698.
The County Seat, is situated on the banks of the Elkhorn River, upon a beautiful elevation commanding a fine view of the surrounding country, and is nearly in the center of the County. It was laid out in September, 1870, and now contains a thrifty and intelligent population of 300; and its industries are expanding--as the country developes through the influences of immigration.
The industries represented consist of one banking house, three general merchandise stores, one hardware, one drug, one millinery, and one furniture store, three carpenter shops, one harness, two blacksmiths', one carriage and one wagon shop, two hotels, one livery stable, three real estate offices, one weekly newspaper--the Register--three physicians, four attorneys, etc.
The different religious denominations are well represented, although at the present time., there are but two Church buildings here--Methodist and German Lutheran. The Baptists, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians also hold services in the two Churches mentioned, and in a public hall built for that purpose.
CLINTON, KINGSBERRY, CANTON, DONAP, ORION, and SCHWEDT, are villages having only a Postoffice, store, etc.
Sioux County was created by an Act of the Legislature, approved February 19, 1877. It is located in the northwest corner of the State, bounded on the north by Dakota Territory, east by unorganized territory, south by Cheyenne County, and west by Wyoming Territory, and contains about 7,344 square miles.
Sioux County is as yet unorganized and unsurveyed. Its population in 1879 is estimated at 550. A stage road from Sidney, on the Union Pacific Railroad to the Black Hills in Dakota, traverses this County from south to north, on the line of which, in this County, situated on White River, is Camp Robinson, garrisoned by United States troops.
Thayer County was created in 1856 and organized in the fall of 1871. It is located on the southern border of the State, in the fifth tier of Counties west of the Missouri River, bounded on the north by Fillmore and east by Jefferson County, south by the State of Kansas, and west by Nuckolls County, containing 576 square miles, or 368,640 acres.
WATER COURSES.--The Little Blue River, affording numerous fine mill advantages, flows from west to east through the central portion of the County. Big Sandy Creek, also a good mill stream, enters the County at the northwest corner, flows southeasterly, and joins the Little Blue near the middle of the eastern line of the County. Rose Creek and branches water the southeastern portion of the County, besides which there are Little Sandy, Spring and a
dozen smaller creeks tributary to the above mentioned streams There is not a township in the County without running water.
TIMBER.--Along the Blue and tributaries there is a very considerable amount of native timber, a large per cent. of it being hardwood. 21,798 forest trees and twenty-two miles of hedge fencing are reported under cultivation.
BUILDING MATERIAL.--Limestone of an excellent quality is extensively quarried in various portions of the County. Potters, brick and fire clays are abundant.
FRUIT.--5,996 apple, seventy-two pear, 13,930 peach, 1,690 plum, and 2,494 cherry trees, and 1,641 grape vines are returned.
CHARACTER OF THE LAND.--Ten per cent. of the County is valley, and the remainder mostly rolling prairie with bluffs in occasional places along the river. The beautiful valley of the Blue varies from two to four miles in width in this County, and the valleys of the Little Sandy, Rose and spring Creeks, from one to three miles. The soil is everywhere rich and mellow.
CROPS.--The area returned as under cultivation in 1879, was 32,285 acres. Winter wheat, 264 acres, 6,126 bushels; spring wheat, 11,124 acres, 146,634 bushels; rye, 2,026 acres, 16,960 bushels; corn, 8,006 acres, 317,432 bushels; barley, 2,740 acres, 76,709 bushels; sorghum, eighteen acres, 854 gallons; tobacco, three and three-fourths acres, 262 pounds; potatoes, 143 acres, 16,572 bushels.
HISTORICAL.--The first permanent settlements in the County were made along the Little Blue River, in 1869. Among the earliest to take up claims were Isaac Alexander, A. T. Hobbs, Amasa Stevens, and J. Ball, who, however, did not remain long alone--other settlers flocking in so rapidly that in the next two years, the best locations along the Blue and most of its tributaries were taken.
The first County election was held in October, 1871, and resulted in the election of the following Officers: Commissioners, W. P. Wilson, J. C. Pluss, and G. D. Proctor; Clerk, Ed. S. Past; Treasurer, James B. Smith; Probate Judge, Newton Clarke; Sheriff, Tracy E. Ross; Superintendent of Public Instruction, B. F. Young; Surveyor, C. E. Barton; Coroner, James Knox.
The first term of the District Court for Thayer County was held in June, 1873; Judge Gantt presiding.
The Methodist, Christian, United Brethren, Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, and Universalist denominations, have organized Societies and hold regular services. At present, there are five Church buildings in the County.
There are also six flouring mills, several saw-mills, and two cheese factories in operation in the County.
The St. Joe & Denver City Railroad traverses the County from east to west, following the Valley of the Big Sandy Creek, a distance of 25.55 miles.
Wild lands vary in price from $3 to $7 per acre; improved, from $6 to $25.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--Number of school districts, fifty-two; school houses, forty-six; children of school age--males, 755, females, 710, total, 1,465; whole number of children that attended school during the year, 937; qualified teachers employed--males, thirty-four females, thirty-five; total wages paid teachers for the year, $8,675.33; value of school houses, $23,748; value of sites, $987.75; value of books and apparatus, $2,281.65.
TAXABLE PROPERTY.--Acres of land, 327,908; average value per acre, $2.10. Value of town lots, $39,182. Money used in merchandise, $51,821; money invested in manufactures, $11,700; horses 2,076, value $54,928; mules and asses 186, value $6,169; neat cattle 3,733, value $33,182; sheep 3,156, value $4,308; swine 8,921, value $10,984; vehicles 806, value $11,722; moneys and credits, $10,531; mortgages, $8,861; furniture, $4,286; property not enumerated, $29,222; railroad, $110,708.15; total valuation for 1879, $1,074,905.15.
The population of the County in 1874, was 1,781; in 1875, 2,139; in 1876, 2,410; in 1878, 3,391; and in 1879, 4,535.
The County Seat, is located in the Valley of the Little Blue, near the center of the County, and about seven miles south of the St. Joe & Denver Railroad. It contains a $6,000 Court House, a fine brick school building, costing $8,000, a $20,000 stone flouring mill, a fine stone Church, two newspapers--the Journal and Sentinel--
a cheese factory, plow factory, wagon and carriage shops, etc., and several well-stocked stores. Large quantities of grain from the southern part of the County and northern Kansas pass through Hebron to the railway stations, the farmers on their return purchasing most of their supplies at this point.
ALEXANDRIA, BELVIDERE, and CARLETON, are thriving towns of about 200 inhabitants each, situated on the St. Joe & Denver Railroad. Alexandria has a good weekly paper--the News.
DAVENPORT, SICKLER MILL, DRYDEN, FRIEDENSAU, KIOWA, GAZELLE, and PRAIRIE STAR, are Postoffices in the County.
Valley County was organized in 1871. It is located in the central part of the State, bounded on the north by Wheeler, east by Greeley, south by Sherman, and west by Custer County, containing 576 square miles, or 368,640 acres.
WATER COURSES.--The North Loup River flows southeasterly through the northeastern portion of the County, its principal tributaries being the Myra, Haskels, Ireland, Weaver, Terrapin, Clear, Davis, Dane, Shepherd, Messenger, Spring, Elm and Hawthorn Creeks. The Middle Loup River and branches water the South,western portion of the County. There are several good mill privileges in the County.
TIMBER.--A limited supply of timber is found on the streams and in the canyons, embracing the cottonwood, ash, elm, cedar and Oak varieties. Three hundred and sixty-one acres, or 165,985 forest trees, and two and a half miles of hedging are returned.
FRUIT.--627 apple, 575 peach, 211 plum, and fifty-four cherry trees are reported under cultivation.
CHARACTER OF THE LAND.--About thirty per cent. of the County is valley and bottom, fifty per cent. rolling prairie, and the balance broken and bluffy. The Loup Valleys range from three to seven miles in width, and the smaller valleys from one-half to two miles. Through the broken region run deep gulches and canyons in which water and the finest pasturage are usually found.
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