AND RECORD OF PIONEER DAYS
Published Monthly by the Nebraska State Historical Society
Editor, ADDISON E. SHELDON
The Staffs of the Nebraska State Historical Society and
Legislative Reference Bureau
Subscription $2.00 Per Year
q All sustaining members of the Nebraska State Historical
Society receive Nebraska History without further payment.
q Entered as second class mail matter, under act of July 16,
1894, at Lincoln, Nebraska, April 2,1918.
The Nebraska State Historical Society
made its usual exhibit at the state fair this year. The
walls of the booth were covered with photographs of Nebraska
soldiers and other war workers. The pictures on the swinging
frame attracted much attention. This frame carries numerous
photographs of pioneer days as well as many others of
historical interest selected from our collection. The
traveling museum case, which contains some valuable and
curious museum specimens mounted for use in schools and
libraries, helped to make the display attractive.
Mrs. John T. Borland, of Exeter, Nebraska, has given to the Historical Society a medal of Lincoln and Hamlin which was struck for the campaign of 1860. This medal is about the size of our twenty-five cent piece and contains a tintype of Abraham Lincoln on one side and of Hannibal Hamlin on the reverse. John T. Borland, who died June 19, 1916, settled on a homestead near Exeter in 1870. Mrs. Borland has lived there since 1871. Mr. Borland presented to the Society The Montana Post, printed at "City of Virginia," Montana, April 29, 1865, and containing an account of the assassination of President Lincoln.
On September 11, M. E. Smith & Company, of Omaha, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of their business, which was started in Council Bluffs in 1868 and removed to Omaha in 1869, with a style show in which past and present styles of clothes were exhibited. Among the interesting gowns was one which has been worn at the inauguration of Governor Saunders fifty-one years ago; others worn at the opening of the Grand Central hotel, and at the governor's ball. There were Paisley shawls in the exhibit ranging in value from 1,000 to $3,000.
By the way, the Grand Central was the pride of Omaha because it was the first hotel there which in style and dimension satisfied the cosmopolitan aspiration of the still somewhat mushroom town. The name indicates the feeling toward the pretentious edifice. It was built upon the lagging proceeds of public subscription - started in 1871 - opened in October, 1873, and, after a successful, but short career of five years, was destroyed by fire on September 24, 1878. The Paxton Hotel succeeded to its site.
AN OLD BATTLE-FIELD NEAR BROKEN BOW
On August 18 the secretary and curator of the Historical Society, with a party of about twenty people of Broken Bow, including several old settlers in the vicinity, visited what is known as the old battle-
field situated in Custer county about seventeen miles
northeast of the town.
A CUSTER COUNTY CAMP SITE
On August 20 of this year the curator of the museum of the Historical Society, in company with Augustus G. Humphrey, of Broken Bow, inspected an old Indian site some four miles northeast of Sargent. About a mile back from the low crown of bluffs which skirts the Middle Loup on the north, is a hill-encircled valley containing about two hundred acres of level, fertile land. Immediately west of this valley, on the bluffs which encircle it, they found fragments of pottery, and chips of flint, indicating that Indians once inhabited the vicinity.
From inspection of the surrounding country, it appears that at some date prior to the time when Indians of the plains trafficked with white men some tribe used this secluded valley as a hunting camp. Here perhaps they came, year after year, to procure their winter supply of meat and hides. Some of their headmen died while the company sojourned in this summer camp, and they were laid to rest on the hill which towered above it to the west.
This was the former domain of the Pawnee, and the curator thinks that the texture and appearance of the potsherds found indicate that the site was occupied by them at an early date and that the chipped flints and arrowheads which have been found on the plowed fields of the level valley indicate that their tepees were pitched there for the summer hunt. There is an easy route in a southeasterly direction to the banks of the Middle Loup, and along it potsherds were found.
This trail is about five miles due east of Sargent and about a mile southeast of the site of the camp. Chips of flint which originally came from Texas were found along this route and also at the camp; so perhaps the material for making implements was brought by Pawnee on their northern migration.
GRAVE OF A SETTLER ON THE OREGON TRAIL
Reminder of Nebraska's Troubled Beginning
The recent visit to the headquarters of
the Historical Society of Mr. J. H. Sweet, editor of the
Nebraska Daily Press, in company with Mr. George H. Heinke,
also of Nebraska City, recalls incidents of the rough-house
days of the later sixties and early seventies. Mr. Sweet is
a grand-nephew of James Sweet, the second state treasurer of
Nebraska. At the preliminary election held on June 2, 1866,
were chosen the four executive officers which the
constitution provided for, a representative in congress,
members of the first state legislature, and three justices
of the supreme court. Augustus Kountze, afterward a very
prominent banker at Omaha, and New York, was the first
treasurer. He was treasurer of the territory from January 1,
1862, until he became state treasurer when the territory was
admitted into the union on March 1, 1867. James Sweet was
elected treasurer at the regular election of 1868 and held
the office from January 21, 1869, to January 11, 1871. At
the election of October 11, 1859, he was a candidate on the
republican ticket for the office of territorial treasurer
and received 2,644 votes against 3,683 cast for William W.
Wyman, his democratic opponent. He was a resident of
Nebraska City, continuously, from May, 1857 to May,
ly, as Mr. Sweet asserted, a bill was passed requiring
the, treasurer to keep on hand the identical funds deposited
in the treasury, thus depriving him of the opportunity or
using them to his own profit and continuing his compensation
to the beggarly salary. Soon afterward the legislature
changed the law so as to permit loaning the School funds to
private persons on their own security. Consequently some
twenty- five needy next friends of the administration
procured loans, many or them on worthless or inadequate
security, resulting in a great scandal and much loss to the
state. One of these lame duck loans, $10,000, was to A. 0.
Tichenor, nominal proprietor of the Tichenor House, in
Lincoln, afterward called the Oriental Hotel, with only a
third mortgage on the property for security. The state
brought suit against Sweet for the face of the loan and
interest, whereupon he agreed to pay the principal and part
of the interest. He made the last payment in 1879.
The territorial pioneers, some of whom had moved on many times before they settled permanently in Nebraska, are rapidly passing to their very last resting place. Nebraska History Magazine will record the deaths of these pioneers month by month, beginning with August 15. Territorial pioneers comprise those who settled in Nebraska within its territorial period - prior to March 1, 1867. The data of these records are accredited to the newspapers in which they are found.
Deaths Since August 15.
life. - (From The Humboldt Leader. September 26.)
years. She was a native of Ireland: came to America at
the age of sixteen years; a year later, 1855, married in
Minnesota to Bernard J. Ottens; they came immediately to
Nebraska and settled on a homestead in what is now known as
the Hickory Grove neighborhood, in Nemaha county. - (From
the Nemaha County Herald, September 6.)
The principal founders of St. Louis were an adventurous
group of Frenchmen whos principal business was trading with
the Indians of "the Nebraska Country", exchanging
merchandise or money for furs and peltries. The profits of
this trade were a very important factor in the growth of the
city for more than half a century. Thus St. Louis and
Nebraska mutually started each other. The names of these
traders were applied to many settlements, towns and other
geographical features in the valleys of the Missouri and the
Platte - though not as numerously, I think, as they ought to
An intelligent biographical sketch of
Mr. Didier, written by Mr. L. C. Edwards, is printed in The
Falls City News of October 4, 1918. Mr. Didier was born in
France on Christmas day, 1827, and he died on September 27,
1918, at the residence of his daughter, in Barada precinct,
Richardson county. He settled on a claim, now in Barada
precinct, in 1854 and lived there continuously until his
death. It is said that he was the first permanent settler in
Richardson county, but claims of that kind are nearly always
disputed, as this one is, and it is usually impossible to
settle such disputes.
the Blue Water, in which eighty-six men, women and
childreen were killed. This event was also commonly called a
massacre. Dr. George L. Miller so denounced it in his
newspaper, The Omaha Herald. While both catastrophes might
have been avoided by due wisdom and justice on the part of
the whiles, in the circumstances the punishment inflicted by
General Harney was perhaps necessary.
twenties to trade with Indians at Bellevue, and was one
of the most famous operators in the Northwest.
Return to NE History & Record of Pioneer Days
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 for NEGenWeb Project by Ted & Carole Miller