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NE History & Record of Pioneer Days
Vol II, no 3 (part 2)

Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days


of high standing who in his report of January 15, 1842, maintained at length that the most practicable route lay through the pass in the Black Hills at about latitude 44° 30', thence between the Hills and Big Horn Mountain, proceeding across the Three Forks of the Missouri, down the Bitter Root River to its junction with Salmon or Lewis's river, and down that river to the Columbia. The point of departure from the river, the engineer said, should be somewhere between the mouth of White River and the great bend - both now in Dyman county, South Dakota.
   President Tyler approved the secretary's recommendation and gave the same reasons for the enterprise as Monroe and Calhoun had given some twenty-five years before for constructing the chain of posts east of the mountains treating the Oregon feature of it in diplomatic phrase - "establishing the means of safe intercourse between the American settlements at the mouth of the Columbia River and those on this side of the Rocky Mountains . . . " In 1842 the president repeated the recommendations and said that while he would propose nothing inconsistent with friendly negotiations to settle the extent of our claims in that region, yet prudent forecast points out the necessity of such measures as may enable us to maintain our rights.
   But while science proposed the emigrant's instinct for moving along the line of least resistance disposed. In 1843 the great Oregon colony demonstrated the practicability of taking loaded wagons from Fort Hall to the Columbia, which ended the projected higher line and also Colonel Abert's incidental plan of putting back Fort Leavenworth to the original site at the Council Bluff.
   The first Fort Kearny was established at Table Creek, now Nebraska City, on May 23, 1846; for the ostensible reasons that it would probably become the starting point from the Missouri River for Oregon emigration and that it was in a dangerous Indian country; but the selection turned out to have been ill-considered, and at the end of about ten months the post was removed to the site on the Platte, the first of the chain on the Oregon Trail. It afterward became necessary to cover the region west of the line between the first principal posts on the border - Fort Snelling and Fort Atkinson - with many military posts for the protection of settlers and travelers from hostile Indians.
   Through scandalous mismanagement the Yellowstone Expedition, which ought to have started from its rendezvous near the mouth of the Missouri in early June at the latest, did not leave until July 4th and 5th. Consequently it did not arrive at the Council Bluff until September 29th, too late to proceed any farther. So the plan was changed and on the first of October the site was chosen for a post at the Council Bluff and it was occupied on the second. On that day Colonel Atkinson issued the following order:
   "A military post is to be established at this place and is to be called and officially known as soon as barracks are erected, by the name of Cantonment Missouri." On January 5th, 1821, the name was changed to Fort Atkinson by order of the secretary of war.
   Fort Snelling is situated at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. Lieutenant Colonel Henry Leavenworth arrived there with the Fifth Regiment Infantry, comprising 414 men, of which he was commander, on the 24th of August, 1819, and he selected the site on that day. Temporary barracks were immediately erected. That the importance of the location had been appreciated for many years is shown by the fact that Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike, the famous military explorer, purchased the site from the Indians on September 23rd, 1805. Colonel Leavenworth named the post Fort St. Anthony, but General Winfield Scott visited it in 1824 and soon afterward recommended that the name be changed to Fort Snelling in honor of Colonel Josiah Snelling, who was in command at that time. The order for changing the name was issued January 7, 1825. Fort Snelling was an important training camp in the world war.
   For many years the name Fort Calhoun has been applied to the military post, but quite erroneously. From the day it was established until January 5th, 1821, its official name was Cantonment Missouri and thenceforth until it was abandoned its official and only name was Fort Atkinson. In his proclamation of November 23, 1854, Acting Governor Cuming described the boundaries of the eight counties in which the first elections should be held and in outlining Washington county he mentioned a place called Fort Calhoun, but when a company platted a town site by that name early in the year 1855, the settlement comprised on two or three cabins. The act of the first legislative assembly establishing Washington county, approved February 22, 1855, designated Fort Calhoun as the county seat, and it soon became the most important town in the county. The county capital was removed to Blair in 1869.

   The site of 1855 was claimed under the preemption act of 1841 amended by the act of July 22,1854, which permitted settlement on unsurveyed lands. Lands in this district were not surveyed until 1856. The Omaha Indians had ceded this territory to the United States on March 16, 1854. This first site comprised approximately the east two-thirds of the northeast quarter and the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter, the northwest quarter and the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter, the northeast quarter and the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 11; the northwest quarter, the southwest quarter and the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 12, and the part west of a line running diagonally from southeast to northwest across the centers of the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter and the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 12, all in township 17, range 12 east of the sixth principal meridian. The extreme length of the site on the south side was about a mile and 5" -12'; of the north side about half a mile less; the width was half a mile, excepting the part affected by the diagonal eastern boundary.
   The town of Fort Calhoun was first incorporated by an act of the fifth legislative assembly, approved November 4, 1858. The site comprised the east half of section 11 and the west half of section 12, so that its northeastern corner boundary was approximately the same as that of the original site, while its southeastern corner was more than a quarter of a mile west of the original corner.
   There is no reliable information touching the reason for applying the name to the town, but possibly someone among its promoters knew that the famous statesman of the south had been instrumental in establishing the abandoned military post and sought to commemorate the event in this way.
   The Santa Fe trail, which at first started from Franklin, Mo., and soon after from the same point as the beginning of the Oregon Trail, leaving it about forty miles beyond, was protected by Fort Gibson and Fort Towson, both established in 1824. Fort Gibson was situated on the east bank of the Neosho River, two miles and a half from its confluence with the Arkansas. The site is about five miles northeast of the city of Muskogee, Okla. Fort Towson was situated six miles west of Red River and the same distance south and east of the Kamichi, now in the southern part of Choctaw county, Oklahoma. The town of Fort Towson is situated about five miles north of the confluence of the rivers, on the St. Louis & San Francisco railroad. Fort Gibson was named for Colonel George Gibson, who was commissary general of subsistence at the time the post was established, and Fort Townson for Colonel Nathan Towson, who was paymaster-general at the same time.

   The following books, through purchase, gift or exchange, have been received by this library during the past three months:
   Welsh Settlement of Pennsylvania.
   Adam and Anne Mott, Their Ancestors and Their Descendants.
   History of Hillsborough County, N. H.
   History of Temple, N. H.
   Year Books of the Holland Dutch Society for the Years 1887, 1888, 1889, 1918.
   Records of the Reformed Dutch Church of New Platz,
N. Y.
   The Kinnears and Their Kin, 1165-1916.
   Chronicles of Pennsylvania.
   The George Catlin Indian Gallery.
   Catlin's Ojibbeway and Iowa Indians.
   Civilization Among the Sioux Indians.
   Report of Visit to the Great Sioux Reserve.
   Sioux and Ponca Indians.
   The Cheyenne.
   The Hawk Chief and a Tale of the Indian Country.
   The Rescue of Kansas from Slavery.
   Harman's Station.
   Violette's History of Missouri.
   The Story of General Pershing.
   From Vauquois Hill to Exermont.
   With the Yankee Division in France.
   Col. Benjamin W. Atkinson of New York has presented to this Society a handsome photograph of his grandfather, General Henry Atkinson.
   Dr. M. E. Vance has given this library a number of program pamphlets and badges relating to the proceedings of the Nebraska State Dental Society.
   Miss Ida Robins recently turned over to the Nebraska State Historical Society library a number of books, some of which were a part of the collection of the late Mrs. Mary A. Gibson.


Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days


A Long List of Men and Women Who Have Made Nebraska and
Their Reward. --- Gleaned from Nebraska History Exchanges.

   Mrs. Elizabeth O'Neill Herold, a resident of Plattsmouth for sixty-five years, died July 14 at the age of 78. Her father, James O'Neill, Samuel Martin and Joseph L. Sharp built a trading house on the site now occupied by Plattsmouth in 1853, which was probably the first settlement by white men, though it is said that such an establishment was placed there in 1851.
   Henry Stanford, pioneer of Cass county, died in Elmwood on July 19, born in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, February 2, 1852; settled in Nebraska in 1860.
   John W. Patterson, Peru, Nebraska, born in Davies county, Indiana, April 10, 1838, died July 3. He married Lucy Ann Grubwell February 11, 1857, and settled in Richardson county, where he resided until 1913.
   Hans Behrens, a resident of Hall county since 1865, born February 15, 1836, died July 3, age 83 years.
   Mary Harris Cox, Nebraska pioneer, born in Nodaway county, Missouri, December 15, 1843, died July 4 in St. Louis; married Edmund Cox in 1858 and settled in Richardson county, Nebraska. In 1903 they moved to Fairbury, where Mr. Cox died in 1910. Mrs. Cox was the mother of sixteen children, nine of whom are living.
   Mortimer N. Kress, Hastings, died July 4, having homesteaded in Adams county in 1871. He passed through Nebraska in 1865 on his way to Colorado but did not become a permanent settler until six years later. Mr. Kress, generally known as "Wild Bill," was a frontiersman, Indian fighter and scout and was associated in the early days with Buffalo Bill and other well known plainsmen. He was a veteran of the Civil War.
   Dempsey C. West, Wyoming, Nebraska, died July 5; born in Ohio May 31, 1844; settled in Otoe county in 1857, where he lived until his death.
   John E. Douglass, Madison, died July 5; was born at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, October 19, 1838; enlisted in the Fifth Battery Indiana Volunteers for service in the Civil War, was in the battles of Perryville, Stone River, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga, and took part in the siege of Atlanta. He reenlisted in Hancock's Veteran Corps and was stationed at Washington when Lincoln was assassinated and was on duty during the trial of the conspirators. Mr. Douglass settled in Nebraska in 1866 and had been a farmer, merchant and banker.
   Jefferson Brawner, Fairbury, born in Atchison county, Kansas, February 20 1863, died July 6. He came with his parents to Jefferson county, Nebraska, in August, 1863; married Alice McVey in 1887 and became the father of six children.
   Mrs. Elizabeth Stukenholtz, Julian, Nebraska, died July 9; was born in Germany, December 24, 1831; came to New York in 1852; married Frederick Stukenholtz; settled in Nebraska in 1859, where she lived until her death.
   John Robert Hall, pioneer of Nemaha county, born in Rutherford county, Tennessee, July 9, 1836; died July 13 at the Soldiers Home in Milford; came with his parents to Nebraska in 1855 and settled near Brownville; freighted across the plains both before and after the Civil War; enlisted in the Second Regiment Missouri Infantry and participated in several engagements with Quantrell's guerillas near Westport; reenlisted in the Second Kansas Battery and took part in the Red River campaign; in 1868 married Luisa Whitlow and became the father of twelve children, all of whom survive.
   Marion Baker, Brownville, born in Rockport, Missouri, January 8, 1862, died July 20; came with his parents to Nemaha county in 1863 and with the exception of a few years spent most of his life in Brownville; he was mayor of the town in 1916.
   Joseph W. Ponn, Brownville, born in Lorraine, Virginia, May 31, 1844; died July 31; served in the confederate army; settled in Nemaha county at the close of the Civil War.
   James Emory Neal, pioneer of Nemaha county, died in Boise, Idaho, August 12; born near Urbana, Ohio, October 26, 1831; homesteaded near Peru in 1863.
   Jesse Jeffries, Nebraska City, born in Andrew county, Missouri, April 29, 1850, died August 13; moved to Nebraska City in 1865, where he became a cabinet maker and wheelwright.
   Mrs. John Lee Webster, Omaha, died August 20; before marriage was Josephine Watson of Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania. They settled in Omaha in 1869. Mr. Webster was president of the Nebraska State Historical Society for six years.
   Mrs. G. Fred Elsasser died August 14; born in Omaha in 1857; is survived by her husband, who was twice county treasurer of Douglas county, and nine of her fourteen children.
   Mrs. Mahala Pearl Graves died August 27 in Peru aged 98 years and 11 month; born in Knox county, Tennessee, September 24, 1820; married to William Graves in 1837; settled in Plattsmouth, Nebraska in 1863; a few years later removed to Rock Bluffs. She was the mother of eleven children.

   Mrs. Mary Garvey died august 28; resident of Omaha since 1857.
   F. M. Scoggin, Beatrice, died August 29; resided in Nebraska over sixty years, most of that time in Gage county; for some years carried mail between Beatrice and Lincoln before the railroads were built.
   Thomas Weatherhogg, born in England, May 2, 1829, died in Douglas, Nebraska, August 31; emigrated to America in 1857; settled in Nebraska in 1865 and lived an extremely active life until only a few weeks before his death at the age of 90 years.
   Mrs. Orpha Hoschour, wife of Abraham Hoschour, of Friend, Nebraska, died September 2; born in Girard township, Branch county, Michigan, February 3, 1842; settled in Saline county in 1863 and became the mother of thirteen children.
   Charles Perky, Wahoo, born in Georgetown, Ohio, December 17, 1841, died September 5; served fifteen months in Company H, Seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, reenlisted in Company A, 104th Regiment; mustered out at close of war with rank of lieutenant; came to De Soto, Nebraska, in 1866; in 1868 moved to Saunders county, where he continued to reside; deputy county treasurer and county treasurer for several terms; also mayor of Wahoo.
   Edward Oliver died in Shelton, Nebraska, September 6; born in Manchester, England, June 3 1836, in 1860 settled in Buffalo county at Wood River Center, now Shelton, and remained during the Indian trouble of 1864 when almost all settlers were driven out; county treasurer in 1879-1881, also held public offices in Shelton at various times.
   Jacob Hunzeker, pioneer of Richardson county since 1857, died in Falls City, September 9. He was the father of ten children.
   Mary Frances Carter Brunton died in Blair September 10; born August 12, 1853, in Adams county, Ohio; came with her parents to Nebraska in 1856. She was the mother of fifteen children. Her mother, Mrs. Jacob Carter, 91 years old, is living in Blair.
   Mrs. Juliane D. Sierk, a resident of Washington county since 1865, died September 17.
   Lewis Wladter, of Wymore, killed by a train September 18; settled in Brownville, Nebraska, in 1854; moved to Humboldt, later to Wymore. He was a soldier in the Civil War.
   Lucinda Billis Loomis, pioneer teacher in Nebraska schools, died September 18, age 76; daughter of Israel Loomis, who settled in Nebraska City in 1856. Miss Loomis began teaching in that city, later was instructor in Brownell Hall of Omaha. She taught continuously in Nebraska for sixty years.
   Robert Emmett Countryman, for sixty years a resident of Cass county, died in Weeping Water September 24, aged 86 years.
   Henderson W. Ward, Cass county pioneer, died in weeping Water, September 24; born near Plattsmouth, January 16, 1862.
   William Frederick Malchow, pioneer Cuming county since 1864, died September 24, aged 86.
   Hiram S. Barnum, resident of Gage county since 1859, died in Beatrice, September 30, aged 82; he was a veteran of the Civil War.

   Heman Conoman Smith, general historian of the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints, Lamoni, Iowa, died at Independence, Missouri, April 17, 1919. Though born in the South, in Gillespie county, Texas, on September 27, 1860, he was of New England stock and Mayflower ancestry.
   Heman C. Smith was a recognized authority upon the history of the Mormons, having been identified with the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints from the age of twelve. He devoted his life to the work of the church and of recent years to its history, as editor of the Journal of History. He was the author of the Church History, Truth Defended, The True Succession in Church Presidency, also many articles of general historical interest. Since the history of the Mormon church is closely connected with the early history of Nebraska, Mr. Smith's work was of value outside of his own denomination.

   On the wall of the public library in the city of Kearney is a beautiful case with folding leaves, containing the photographs of 387 of the early settlers of Buffalo county and attached to the case for reference is a brief biographical sketch of each person whose photograph is in the case, these arranged in alphabetical order. This collection of photographs of early settlers of the county was made by Robert Haines, who settled in the county in 1872, both the case and collection being presented to the library by Mr. Haines. This is an exceedingly valuable historical collection and Mr. Haines is entitled to great credit for this public spirited effort on his part.

Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days



   The act of the legislature which established the University of Nebraska provided that the board of regents should comprise twelve members, three of them ex officio and the others to be chosen by the two houses of the legislature in joint session - except the first nine, who should be appointed by the governor. They were apportioned equally among the three judicial districts of the state. Incidental to the pending celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the starting of the university, I have taken much pains to ascertain the sort of men these first regents were, all that was practicable about their careers, and the present whereabouts of the few who are still living. One of the results of this inquiry is the following very interesting autobiography of Rev. John C. Elliott, the short term - two years - member from the first judicial district.


Seville, Ohio, March 27, 1919.

Mr. Albert Watkins, Historian.
   My Dear Sir. Your letter of the 10th inst. is received in which you requested my record before I was a regent of the State University, my conduct, while a regent and how I have occupied myself since. I shall comply with your request so far as I can recall, but I have lived a long time and memory is treacherous and I have no written notes to assist me.
   I was born on a farm in Wayne county, Ohio, July 18, 1839, of Scotch-Irish stock and my parents' religious faith may be ____ from the fact that they named me after the great reformer John Calvin. I went to the country school and sat on the slab bench supported by four round legs inserted in four augur holes. I was promoted to teacher of that school when I was only 18 years old, for one year. I went immediately to Vermillion Institute at Hayesville, Ohio, to prepare for college. I finished my course in Western Reserve College (then at Hudson, but now Western Reserve University in Cleveland) in the class of 1863. During the year 1862 the whole college went into the Civil war for about five months. I was a private in the Eighty-fifth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, discharged in October, 1862.
   Having decided while in college to enter the Presbyterian ministry, I went, directly after graduation, to the theological seminary at Princeton, New Jersey. In April, 1865, I was licensed by the presbytery to preach. In March, 1866, I received a call by telegram to become pastor of the church in Nebraska City. None of my sixty-two classmates had thought of going so far west, and to arrange such a matter by telegram was unusual at that time.
   I graduated from the theological seminary in April, 1866 and was married, on May 24, to Miss Marie Antoinette Stanley. I have taken good care of her for fifty-three years; so she is yet living and in a good state of preservation. We arrived in Nebraska City by boat in June and at once began our work. It was then a great freighting point with corrals of oxen and mules and covered wagons. There were forty saloons on one street leading straight west from the river. The good people gave us a hearty welcome.

   (1) This was a "three months" regiment, organized in June. It was kept for guard duty within the state. Delay in mustering out was caused by lack of money to pay the troops. - Official Records, third series, II, pp. 145, 549. - W.

   When Nebraska became a state the governor appointed me visitor to the state normal school at Peru. I do not recall the date, but I had no associate in this service. I reported my own findings and work. Neither do I recall the date of appointment as regent of the university. My appointment as regent was a surprise to me as I had no personal acquaintance with the governor. Afterward I learned that my good friend Howard Kennedy had suggested and commended me. This was a great gratification for he was an accomplished scholar and gentleman, a graduate of Williams, and Nebraska had no worthier citien [sic]. I cannot recall the number nor dates of the meetings I attended and I only recall vaguely the proceedings. The plan and organization were copied from the University of Michigan, the most successful of our state universities at that time. They were carefully prepared by Mr. Gus Harvey, an editor, who was made clerk of the board of regents, and we later made him librarian of the university for the careful work he had done. (2)
   The governor received plans for the first building from competing architects; he made his selection and promised the architect to award him the contract for construction. He presented the competing plans for our inspection and approval. The regents found they could not approve of the governor's preference, nor were they willing to endorse his promise of construction. This was the first difficulty and struggle with the governor. I recall this so distinctly because I was made the spokesman in the disagreeable duty of informing the governor that we did not approve his selection and had selected another. The most of the irritations between the regents and the governor arose from the fact that being appointed by

(2) The records of the university do not show that Mr. Harvey was named as librarian. The plan of government was adapted from the State University of Iowa, so that only the working organization could have been copied from the University of Michigan. - W.

the governor, the regents were suspicious that the governor expected them unfailingly to agree with him and approve his plans.
   I do not recall that there were any suggestions made as to the religious character of the university. The regents were a genial and agreeable company of gentlemen but religion did not come under discussion. Language was not always reverent, but never profane. I was the only clergyman in the bunch, and they rallied me

on the use of terms they said marked me a sport. My association with the board was pleasant and profitable to me, and I greatly regretted it was so short. I was called out of the state by the lingering fatal sickness of my father and never returned.
   While pastor in Nebraska City I organized the First Presbyterian church in Lincoln and was associated with Sheldon Jackson and T. H. Cleland in the great aggressive work for the church at the time that the Presbyterian general assembly, in 1900, authorized the erection of a memorial monument on Prospect Hill, Sioux City. The city gave the lot, the monument was erected, our three names were engraved upon it, and it was unveiled in 1912.
   I am grateful for this appreciation of my early church enterprise and work. I have continued my church work through my long life, mostly in Ohio and Oregon. My last was as supply in the Metropolitan-Presbyterian church, Washington, D. C., two summers ago, and my very last in the Eckington church, also in the District of Columbia, last summer. You see I have preached from ocean to ocean. Moreover I was with my son for a time while he was a chaplain on the canal zone during the building of the canal. I preached back and forth across the Isthmus several times. I have preached on the Pacific in the morning and on the Atlantic in the evening. Many men have preached across the continent but not many are privileged to preach on the tide water of the Pacific and the tide water of the Atlantic on the same day.
   While in Nebraska City I was active in organizing a school which we called Otoe University. We secured for it an experienced educator from the east, but after a few years he became discouraged and resigned. Hoping to save it, I took charge one year; but without funds it was impossible to continue, and the school was closed. In Ohio I was for fifteen years a trustee of Wooster University and attended every meeting. I was the committee on the medical department and prepared and delivered lectures on medical ethics. While in Oregon I was a trustee of Albany College, which is owned and controlled by the Presbyterian synod of Oregon. I have managed to send all my children, four boys and two girls, to college.
   I am sending you a small book which I wrote on the demonitization of silver. I was pastor in Akron, Ohio, in 1893. Akron was a hive of industry, everybody had a job and was _______ within three days, all was changed. Practically all the shops and factories closed and five thousand idle men were walking the streets. They held a meeting in a hall every day to discuss the situation and to discover, if possible, what was wrong. They sent a request to the ministerial association to meet with them and help them solve the mysterious problem. I was appointed on a committee and I met with them and bent all my powers to solving the puzzle. The result was this little book which I called "These Hard Times." It had a wide circulation from Maine to California but its largest distribution was in Colorado. This book was written before silver became a political party question. The editor of the Republican paper and I agreed perfectly and he gave me full publicity. William McKinley, then governor of Ohio, sent me a letter in agreement. Mark Hanna had not yet cracked his whip.
   I am sending you also a larger book, "Usury," which in a manner is a sequence of "These Hard Times." Thoughtful friends and coworkers suggested there must be some wrong deeper than the silver crime, for if coinage of silver was restored the domination and oppressions of wealth would remain. The restoration of silver would only be a temporary check. . . . I was only encouraged to go on and demonstrate its wrong when I found that all good ____ since Moses up through seventeen hundred years of the Christian era had regarded it a sin, condemning and avoiding it. . . .
   Excuse me if I have written more than you care to know, but when I got wound up and started I could not stop until my story was told.    Sincerely yours,


   When in Scotts Bluff county last summer the editor of this magazine received from Grant L. Shumway two very highly valued relics for the museum of the Historical Society. They are a pick and shovel used by Nels Christensen for more than thirty years in digging wells on the high table lands between the Lodge Pole and the Niobrara. The first of these wells is 300 feet deep on the farm of Charles Lundin about seven miles north of Potter. It was finished in January, 1889, and is still in use. Mr. Christensen dug more than two miles of wells, perpendicular measure, with these implements. This magazine has heretofore commented upon the moral heroism of the men who dug the deep wells in Nebraska - a heroism fully equal to that of any soldier in any war. These wells were absolutely necessary for the settlement of the high divides. The editor of this department has dug at the bottom of a hundred foot well. That was deep enough for him. When it comes to 300 feet he takes off his hat to the man with the pick and shovel. Mr. Christensen had two narrow escapes from death in these deep wells. Once he was 280 feet down when the rope broke with a bucket of dirt nearly at the top and the loaded bucket fell. Mr. Christensen heard the noise, straightened up close to the wall, and the falling bucket shaved the skin from his nose, tore the clothing and skin from his chest and landed with a mighty thud at his feet. The man at the top was sure Christensen was killed. He left the windlass and went to a neighbor to secure help to get the dead body out. When he returned with help he was amazed to hear Christensen calling from the bottom. Many of these brave diggers in Nebraska have been smothered to death by caving walls. A man can think more serious thoughts (if he stops digging to think them) at the bottom of a deep well than any other place in Nebraska.


Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days


   The Historical Society has received a copy of a poster printed in England in 1871. At that time the Burlington road had completed its track from Plattsmouth to Kearney. Its land department was carrying a big advertising program in Europe as well as in America to induce people to visit Nebraska. One of the inducements was this poster designed to bring wealthy people from England to the Nebraska plains. The poster reads as follows:
   "A grand buffalo hunt will be held in September next on the prairies of Nebraska and Colorado, U. S. A., and through the magnificent valley of the Republican river, the rich alluvial feeding grounds of the buffalo.
   "The Burlington & Missouri River Railroad company owns millions of acres, is one of the most wealthy corporations in the western states of America, and will assist this hunting party in every way in order that the sportsmen of England may see the western country, and on their return be able to corroborate the statements as to climate, resources and the gigantic advancement made in so new a country.
   "There are no hostile Indians in Nebraska whatever; friendly chiefs of the Otoes, Pawnees and other tribes will accompany the party.
   "Sportsmen will be provided with army tents and beds during the hunt. There will be servants to take care of the horses, and in fact all arrangements have been made to give the hunting party the greatest amount of pleasure with the least possible trouble.
   "Wagons will be provided for the conveyance of any trophies of the chase, such as buffalo skins, elk horns and antlers in limited quantity.
   "The sportsman has there a field of nature's own planting on which to roam in pursuit of his healthy and invigorating pleasures; and where can the lover of scenery find greater, grander, lovelier view than are to be found on the continent of America?
   "Fare for the round trip of about seven weeks, including every expense except wines, liquors, cigars, guns, rifles and ammunition, 90 guineas.
   "The arrangements will be such as to admit of ladies joining the party, but the charge for ladies will be 100 guineas each."

   Howard R. Peterson, former member of the A. E. F., brought in sixty-one coins which have been mounted in one of the oak cases and placed in the museum. Most of these were gathered overseas and represent many European mints.
   Ben Terry, of Alexandria, has donated some interesting photographs of historic spots near his home.
   Sergeant John A. Ejnau?, of Omaha, contributed an interesting collection which he gathered overseas, while serving in A. E. F.
   Mrs. Howard J. Hill, of Lincoln, contributed a collection of heirlooms and other interesting articles, among which is a fine collection of horns.
   Mrs. Cather, of 1525 H Street, Lincoln, has loaned the suit worn by her brother, C. W. Kaley, of Red Cloud, when he was on the staff of Governor Mickey.
   Mrs. Peter Mortensen, of Ord, has given a large portrait of her husband, Peter Mortensen, one of the pioneers of Valley county and twice elected state treasurer.
   A leaf from the metal wreath on the tomb of General LaFayette was brought by Secretary Sheldon from overseas and deposited in the museum.
   A. H. Ware, of Lincoln, Nebr., has presented to the Society a number of interesting curios.
   Dr. Miles J. Breuer has presented a number of maps and photographs.
   A. M. Roberts, of 1700 No. 31st St., presented some ancient telephone instruments and other relics.
   The Fort Atkinson centennial celebration resulted in a large number of photographs which have been added to the museum.
   The fact that exhibit room in the museum is no longer available prevents many large and valuable collections from being deposited here. Every new article added must crowd out some specimen of less interest, into storage. Even storage room is at a premium, and little advancement in the growth of our museum can be expected until adequate expansion room is provided by the state.

   Editor A. F. Buechler, of the Grand Island Independent, sends this magazine the following note concerning one of Hall county's pioneers.
   Word has just been received of the death of Hall county's first sheriff, Herman E. Vasold, at his home in Saginaw, Mich., at the age of 84 years. He was one of the first colony of twenty-five Americans of German birth that located and developed Hall county and was appointed its first sheriff by acting governor for the territory, J. Sterling Morton. The colony was located on July 4th, 1857, the appointment as sheriff came in 1859 and Mr. Vasold has the record of serving a full term without making an arrest. He left in 1860 with a team of oxen and covered wagon for Pike's Peak and then to California, later returning to his former home in Saginaw. He was a nephew of Fred Hedde, founder of the Daily Independent and one of the three men to plant the American flag on Hall county soil, and aided in building one of the first log houses in the county, for his uncle. His jurisdiction as sheriff, at the time, extended as far east as Columbus. He has made three visits to the colony he assisted in locating, in 1882, when the twenty-fifth anniversary was celebrated; in 1907, at the time of the semicentennial anniversary, and in 1912.

By E. E. Blackman.
The calm and placid waters of the river's muddy flow
Bore up the boats which brought them to the land of sunset glow.
Their spirits rose in rapture at the scenes which they beheld -
The home thoughts of their loved ones in a rapturous chorus swelled.
The sun, in golden splendor, sank behind the western hills
And the rolling prairie's verdure was a posy pot of thrills,
The scented air of autumn like a tonic shook their frame
As the toil worn soldier climbed the bluff which still remains the same.
The bison fled before them and the dust cloud hid the sky,
As back beyond the hilltops the bellowing thunders die.
The speckled deer with antlers and the mild-eyed dapper fawn
Drank by the crystal lakeside - hid by the mist of dawn.
The eagle screamed above them and left his dead tree perch
Which towered above the forest like the spire of an ancient church.
The turtle dove in the distance mourned forth his doleful lay
As the evening shadows lengthened on that eventful day.
The coyote barked his welcome, and the whippoorwill's delight
Broke forth to greet the soldiers through the mantle of the night.
The sleepy stars peeped forth as now and twinkled out their glee;
The katydid chimed in a song from shrubs beneath the tree;
The tree toad sang his glad refrain, the crickets caught their notes,
While bullfrogs near the river bank all nearly split their throats.
So, who could ask a welcome with more of hearty show
Than the soldiers met a Atkinson a hundred years ago?
The council bluff, that autumn day, sublime in green and gold,
Beheld the scene the pageant grand a century later told,
Beheld the coming millions which rolled the century by,
Beheld the red man perish, the deer and bison die;
Beheld the church spire rising above the school and shop,
The fields of corn, and golden grain which reached its very top;
Beheld the green sward waving in splendor to and fro,
When soldiers came to Atkinson one hundred years ago.
Through another hundred summers what scenes will it behold?
Through another hundred winters what pageant will unfold?
Ah! poets with your pictures and artists with your brush
Can you now paint the splendor on coming with a rush?
Can you now catch the tracings of pageantry sublime?
Record for us the vision to be produced by time,
Or see the future changes as years flit to and fro
As soldiers did at Atkinson a hundred years ago.

   A very interesting letter has recently been received from Mrs. Mary Colter McAllister, regent of Platte Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Columbus, Nebraska. Mrs. McAllister is descended from the Colters, a Scotch-Irish family who were among the first settlers of Virginia. Members of the family served in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Her grandfather was a brother of John Colter, who was with the Lewis and Clark Expedition, joining them at St. Louis. He left the party on the return trip to hunt and trap in the Yellowstone region. He and a companion by the name of Potts were captured by the Blackfeet Indians. Potts was killed but Colter had a miraculous escape, returned to St. Louis and told of the beauty and wonders of the Yellowstone. Some of his stories of spouting geysers and sulphurous gases were so uncanny that the place was familiarly spoken of as "Colter's Hell."

   The Nebraska Women's Relief Corps and Grand Army of the Republic presented ambulances to General John J. Pershing for use overseas. The presentation plates attached to these ambulances were returned by General Pershing to Mrs. Jennie Rodgers of the Women's Relief Corps and will find a resting place in the Historical Society museum.

   On July 27 rededication services of the First Methodist church were held in Brownville. The building was erected for a college more than sixty years ago. The college project failed and the building was purchased by the Methodists. Thomas Weston Tipton, United States senator for Nebraska, 1867-75, was the first minister.

   Of Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days, published quarterly, at Lincoln, Nebraska, for April 1, 1919
State of Nebraska, County of Lancaster, as.
   Before me, a notary public in and for the state and county aforesaid, personally appeared Addison E. Sheldon, who, having been duly sworn according to law, deposes and says that he is the editor of the Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days and that the following is, to the best of his knowledge and belief, a true statement of the ownership, management, etc., of the aforesaid publication for the date shown in the above caption, required by the Act of August 24, 1912, embodied in section 443, Postal laws and Regulations, printed on the reverse side of this form, to-wit:
   1. That the names and addresses of the publisher, editor, managing editor and business managers are:
   Publisher, Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, Nebr.
   Editor, Addison E. Sheldon, Lincoln, Nebr.
   Managing Editor, None.
   Business Managers, None.
   2. That the owner is the Nebraska State Historical Society.
   3. That the known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding 1 per cent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities are:


Sworn to and subscribed before me this 28th day of March, 1919.

(SEAL)        MAX WESTERMAN, Notary Public.

   (My commission expires August 4, 1921.)

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