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causing him to bleed to death in a few minutes. Jones was tried in June, 1870, when the jury disagreed, standing eleven to one. At the second trial he was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment, and was pardoned at the end of two years.

     On the 8th of February, 1875, Mrs. Phillip Kleinburg, living on the Brainard farm, a mile north of Fontenelle, was brutally murdered by having her throat cut, while her husband was absent, hauling wheat. Willard Randall, a young man, nineteen years of age, who occupied a house alone about a half mile distant, was arrested on suspicion of being the murderer. He was tried at Blair, in November, 1875, and the jury disagreeing, a change of venue to Douglas County was obtained. At the second trial, in March, 1876, a verdict of murder in the second degree was returned by the jury, and the prisoner was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.

     In May, 1876, Henry Koing, a German, was killed by Minor Milton. It was the result of a feud which existed between Milton and two Swedes, named respectively, John Christian, and Jans Jensen, on the one side, and Henry and Edward Koing, brothers, on the other. The parties all lived in the same neighborhood, some, ten miles south of Blair. On the day of the killing, the Koing brothers were overtaken on their return home from Blair, by Milton and the two Swedes, who immediately commenced an assault. The Koings jumped out of their wagon and started too run into a farm house. Henry was pursued by Milton, who struck him over the bead with a heavy club, breaking his skull, and knocking him senseless to the ground. Edward Koing was also knocked down by either Milton or Christian, while Jensen held the team. Henry Koing died from the effects of his injuries, but his brother recovered. Milton was found guilty of murder in the first degree at the special term of court held by Judge Savage, in the latter part of May, and was sentenced to be hanged, September 22, 1876. Christian was tried and acquitted, and a nolle was entered by the State in the case of Jensen. The case of Milton was appealed to the Supreme Court, which granted him a new trial. At the second trial lie was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.

     PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--The number of school districts in the County is forty-five; school houses, forty-six; number of children



of school age; males, 1,481, females, 1,402, total, 2,883; qualified teachers employed, males, twenty-three, females, fifty-six; value of school houses, $43,470; value of sites, $2,935, value of books and apparatus, $2,355.

     RAILROADS.--The Omaha & Northern Nebraska Railroad runs through the County from south to north, passing up the Missouri Valley. Length of road in the County, 24.47 miles.

     The Sioux City & Pacific Railroad, connecting with the Union Pacific at Fremont, in Dodge County, runs through the central portion of this County, from east to west, a distance of 19.60 miles.

     LANDS.--Improved lands range in price from $7 to $35 per acre. The Union Pacific R. R. Company owns 5,000 acres in this County, the price ranging from $5 to $10 per acre.

     TAXABLE PROPERTY.--Land, 231,834 acres, average value per acre, $3.66; value of town lots, $136,271; money used in merchandise, $27,960; money used in manufactures, $3,690; number of horses, 3,666, value $85,154; mules and asses, 469, value $14,317; neat cattle, 10,656, value, $84,363; sheep, 1,313, value $1,323; swine, 18,408, value, $1,8153 [sic]; carriages and wagons, 1,311, value, $14,710; moneys and credits, $16,209; mortgages, $11,799; furniture, $26,045; libraries, $1,050; other personalty, $26,976; railroad property, $167,902.89; telegraph property, $855; total valuation for 1879, $1,481,733.89.

     POPULATION.--The population of the County in 1855 was 207; in 1860, 1,249; in 1870, 4,452; in 1875, 6,114; in 1878, 7,116; and in 1879, 8,361.


Thirty miles to the north of Omaha, about three miles west of the Missouri River, on a beautiful plateau in the Missouri Valley, at the junction of the Omaha & Northwestern and Sioux City and Pacific Railways, is situated the thriving little town of Blair--the County Seat--containing a population of 1,589. The town was surveyed and laid out in 1869, and on the 10th of March in that year, town lots to the amount of over $100,000 were disposed of at auction.



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     Few towns in the State have developed more rapidly, or present a more inviting appearance, or offer larger inducements to business industries, than this. Possessing ample railroad advantages, and surrounded by a well-cultivated, rich farming country.



     Blair offers inducements to commercial and manufacturing industries that may be looked for in vain in many other sections of the West. The buildings, including both business houses and residences, are as a rule commodious, substantial, and attractive. The streets are wide, and outside of the immediate business center, shade trees have been planted to a large extent, while the public squares are supplied with fine and well-developed groves of maple, cottonwood, and other favorite varieties. To the south and southwest, the city is flanked by a crescent-shaped range of hills, all under a high state of cultivation, and from which a most charming view of the town is obtained. Having direct rail communication with all the prominent market centers at the East and South, it is an important shipping point for grain, live stock, and other farm products.

     The first business house established there, was that of Herman Bros., dry goods, and the next, that of Clark & Donavan, dealers in general merchandise. In 1879, there were six stores that handled dry goods and groceries, three hardware, three drug, two that handled groceries exclusively, three agricultural implement depots, two millinery stores, one boot and shoe store, two confectionery stores, two meat markets, four blacksmith shops, four livery stables, one foundry, two elevators, one large flouring mill (steam), two lumber yards, three hotels, and two excellent weekly papers--Pilot and Times.

     Religious and educational interests are also well represented, there being several fine Churches, a number of common school buildings, and one very attractive high school structure that was erected in 1872, at a cost of $15,000. Except the jail, which is a fine structure, the County buildings are rather modest in their appearance. The town also has one bank, several loan agents, and a full complement of lawyers, doctors, and insurance agents. In brief, Blair is a pleasant, thriving city, and its geographical position insures for it a prosperous future.


Is a flourishing town of 550 inhabitants, situated on the Sioux City and Pacific Railroad, and near the mouth of Bell Creek, in the southeastern part of the County. It was laid out in 1869.



     The first improvements on the town site were made by the railroad Company, by the erection of a fine depot and store building, which were soon followed by several dwellings, a lumberyard, by Samuel Francis, a grain warehouse, by L. H. Jones, and a general merchandise store, by A. C. Mansfield. At present all branches of business are well represented. A good water-power grist mill is located near the town. In the fall of 1876, a fine school house

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was erected at a Cost of $5,000, and in the following year a neat Methodist Episcopal Church was erected. The surrounding country is most beautiful and fertile.




Located on the Omaha and Northwestern Railway, in the northern part of the County, was laid out in 1870. It contains about 150 inhabitants, has two grain elevators, and transacts a large grain and stock business, being the principal shipping station between Blair and Tekamah.


     Webster County was organized in the spring of 1871. It is located on the southern border of the State, in the seventh tier of Counties west of the Missouri River, and is bounded on the north by Adams and east by Nuckolls County, south by the State of Kansas, and west by Franklin County, containing 576 square miles or 368,640 acres.

     WATER COURSES.--The Republican River flows from west to east entirely through the southern portion of the County, its principal tributaries on the north being Beaver, Guide Rock, Willow, Elm, Crooked, Indian and Farmer Creeks; on the south, Runakin, Hake, Cedar, Penny, State and Walnut Creeks. The northern townships of the County are watered by branches of the Little Blue River. Several of the creeks are fine mill streams.

     CHARACTER OF THE LAND.--Fifteen per cent. of the County is valley, five per cent. broken and bluffy, and the balance rolling prairie. The prairies have a gradual rise west by north of about eight feet to the mile, the eastern border of the County being about 1,800 feet and the western border 1,990 feet above the sea level. The fertile valley of the Republican is from two to six miles wide. South of the river the land rises into low hills, and sinks into little valleys, each with its stream. The buffalo grass grows on the uplands and the blue stem in the valleys. The surface soil is from one-and-a-half to three feet in depth. Corn and wheat and all the small grains grow to perfection.

     CROPS.--The returns for 1879 show the number of acres under cultivation to be 52,277. Winter wheat, 205 1/2 acres, 2,128 bushels; spring wheat, 17,680 acres, 157,934: bushels; rye, 513 1/2 acres, 4,805



bushels; corn, 11,843 acres, 377,122 bushels; barley, 1,370 acres, 18,920 bushels; oats, 1,870 acres, 15,526 bushels; buckwheat, four acres, fifty-seven bushels; sorghum, 79 3/8 acres, 5,983 gallons; flax, twelve acres, sixty-eight and a half bushels; broom corn, 886 acres., 173 1-6 tons [sic]; potatoes, 281 acres, 32,525 bushels; tobacco, 2 1/4 acres, 158 pounds.

     TIMBER.--Ash, elm, oak, walnut, box elder, cottonwood, cedar, and other varieties of natural timber are found along the streams. 1,519 3/4 acres, or 860,609 forest trees and ten miles of hedging are returned.

     FRUIT.--8,369 apple, 112 pear, 10,083 peach, 693 plum, and 1,034 cherry trees have been planted up to 1879. Many of the orchards are in bearing. Wild fruits are abundant.

     LIME STONE of a fair quality is found in various parts of the County.

     HISTORICAL.--The first settlements within the present limits of Webster County were made in the fall of 1870, by a small colony under the leadership of Capt. Silas Garber, (ex-Governor of Nebraska.) The party at once erected a stockade on the banks of Clear Creek, near its confluence with the Republican, for their protection against roving bands of hostile Indians. It was named the Guide Rock Stockade, from a bold rock bluff on the river, which had long been a land mark for hunters and trappers. In this stockade the colonists spent the winter in safety, and some of them located permanently in its vicinity.

     In the spring of 1871, Captain Garber, with a part of the colonists from the stockade, and a few others who had arrived in the meantime, ascended the Republican till they came to Crooked Creek, near the mouth of which they selected a townsite, which was Surveyed by Capt. Garber, and the name of Red Cloud given to it, after the illustrious Sioux Chief from whom they daily expected a visit.

     In April, this year, the County was formally organized, a full board of officers elected, and the seat of justice located at Red Cloud.

     During the summer the mail was brought from Hebron by private carrier whom the settlers paid five dollars per trip; and in the fall the government established offices at Guide Rock and Red



Cloud, Andrew Talbut being the first postmaster at the former, and Wm. E. Jackson at the latter place.

     RAILROADS.--The Republican Valley Railroad runs south through the center of the County to Red Cloud, on the Republican River, and thence along the valley of the river, west through the County. Other lines also have been surveyed through the County.

     LANDS.--Improved lands are held at from five to twenty dollars per acre. The B. & M. Railroad Company own about 10,000 acres here, the price ranging from two to five dollars per acre.

     PUBLIC SCHOOLS.--The number of districts is seventy; school houses, forty-eight; children of school age--males, 1,207, females, 1,011, total, 2,218; whole number of children that attended school during the year, 1,523; qualified teachers employed--males, thirty-four, females, forty-two; wages paid teachers for the year--males, $1,717.05, females, $1,304.00; total, $3,021.05; value of school houses, $11,857; value of sites, $902.50; value of books $95.

     TAXABLE PROPERTY.--Acres of land, 198,895; average value per acre, $1.51; value of town lots, $42,027; money invested in merchandise, $56,725; money used in manufactures, $6,581; horses, 2,681, value $61,840; mules 413, value $11,660; neat cattle 5,032, value $36,166; sheep 3,922, value $2,732; swine 12,450, value $9,174.85; vehicles 1,074, value $13,683; moneys and credits, $12,968.60; mortgages, $16,807; furniture, $15,286.35; libraries, $712; property not enumerated, $37,658.95; railroads, $123,302.61; total valuation for 1879, $774,669.09.

     POPULATION.--The following are the Precincts and population of each in 1879: Oak Creek, 403; Glenwood, 335; Stillwater, 451; Batin, 249; Harmony, 449; Walnut Creek, 333; Elm Creek, 331; Inavale, 430; Guide Rock, 721; Pleasant Hill, 287; Potsdam, 345; Red Cloud, 1,613. Total, 5,947-- males, 3,233, females, 2,714.


The County Seat, is situated on Crooked Creek, near the Republican River, in the south-central part of the County. It was located in April, 1871, and at present contains 900 inhabitants. The Republican River is here spanned by a fine bridge. Four miles east, on Elm Creek, there is a good water-power flouring mill, and an



other is located south of the town, on the Republican, to which a sawmill is attached. The Republican Valley Railroad was completed to Red Cloud during 1879, and has made it a considerable trade center, not only for this County, but for the northern Counties of Kansas also. Two newspapers are published here--the Chief and Argus; the mercantile interests are well represented, and the school and Church privileges excellent.


Is an old village situated on the north side of the Republican, in the southeastern part of the County. It contains about 200 inhabitants, has three or four large general merchandise stores, and enjoys a fine trade from a wide scope of country.



     Wheeler County was created by an Act of the Legislature, approved February 17, 1877, and is as yet unorganized. It is located in the north-central part of the State, bounded on the north by unorganized territory, cast by Antelope and Boone Counties, south by Greeley and Valley Counties, and west by unorganized territory, containing 1,152 square miles, or 737,280 acres.

     Cedar Creek flows southeasterly through the central portion of the County. Beaver Creek, and branches of the Elkhorn River, water the northeastern portions, and the North Loup and branches, the Southwestern portions of the County. No report of schools or crops.

     The estimated population of the County in 1879 was 700.


     York County was organized early in the spring of 1870. It is located in the southeastern part of the State, in the fourth tier of Counties west of the Missouri River, and is bounded on the north by Polk, east by Seward, south by Fillmore, and west by



Hamilton County, containing 576 square miles, or 368,640 acres, at an average elevation of 1,600 feet above the sea level.

     WATER COURSES.--The County is finely watered by the West Blue River, Beaver, and Lincoln Creeks, all of which flow from west to east through the County, and are fine mill streams. Three flouring mills are located upon the West Blue, one on the Beaver, and one on Lincoln Creek, with many excellent sites remaining unimproved. Besides the above streams there are numerous creeks, and rivulets in the County. Well water is obtainable anywhere at a depth varying from twenty to sixty feet.

     CHARACTER OF THE LAND.--Ten per cent. of the County is valley, and the balance mostly undulating prairie. There is scarcely any land too rough for tillage. The table lands of the County are fine, and drained by gentle draws or ravines. The larger streams have wide, fertile valleys through their entire length. The soil is a black vegetable mould, everywhere deep, rich and productive.

     CROPS.--The area in cultivation, reported for 1879, was 103,208 acres. Winter wheat, 152 acres, 2,428 bushels; spring wheat, 60,025 acres, 708,599 bushels; rye, 2,995 acres, 46,970 bushels; corn, 26,535 acres, 739,516 bushels; barley, 5,153 acres, 132,931 bushels; oats, 5,323 acres, 176,482 bushels; sorghum, seventeen acres, 938 gallons; flax, 311 acres, 2,953 bushels; broom corn, forty acres, eight tons; potatoes, forty-two acres, 5,612 bushels.

     TIMBER.--One thousand nine hundred and fourteen acres of forest trees have been planted in the County, and the groves are now sufficiently grown to furnish fuel. There is a light growth of natural timber along the streams.

     FRUIT.--13,692 apple, 402 pear, 8,720 peach, 1,642, plum, 3,180 cherry trees, and 3,068 acres of grape vines are reported in a thrifty condition.

     BUILDING STONE in fair supply.

     HISTORICAL.--Among the pioneers of the County, some of whom located homesteads as early as in 1863, are Elias Gilmore, John H. Parker, James H. Stewart. and Edward Bates. These were followed by others in such rapid succession that anything like a correct list could not well be given.

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