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April-June, 1922


   In the September number of the Wisconsin Magazine of History, in a history of Platteville, in that state, is the following paragraph of interest to Nebraska readers:
   One of our oldest living residents at Platteville is Mr. Frank Rowe, who came here in the forties and who crossed the plains to California with an ox team in 1852, leaving Platteville on the last day of March. There were five ox teams in the company. Close to the mouth of Shell Creek, Nebraska, the company was attacked by Indians, but fortunately at that moment another company bound for California came in sight. A corral was quickly made of the wagons, and the oxen, horses, and noncombatants were put in the center. The battle lasted for a considerable time, and finally the Indians withdrew leaving nine of their number dead.

   William J. Holladay was buried in North Loup cemetery June 18. He was one of the early settlers in that region, conducting a sutler's store at Fort Hartsuff, the frontier post guarding the early settlements on the Loup rivers. Later he was sheriff of Valley County.



Picture or sketch

Sept. 23, 1839
July 27, 1841
March 9, 1922
July 18, 1921

The Paul Brothers of
St. Paul




By Robert Harvey
President Nebraska Historical Society

   During the past twelve months Nebraska has lost two pioneers identified with Nebraska territory and state for nearly sixty years. Howard county has lost two citizens, James N. Paul and Nicholas J. Paul, the sponsors for its position on the map of the state, first to give to the world its advantages of location, fertile soil and healthful climate; who initiated, induced and gave direction to the first tide of a peaceable and thrifty emigration into the Loup country, thus giving Howard county character, dignity and an enviable standing among the counties of the state. Together they secured the severance of sixteen townships from the north part of Hall county and the passage of a bill in the legislature of 1871 defining the boundaries of Howard county. They promoted its speedy organization. They showed their faith in the country by more than fifty years of continuous residence within its boundaries and by constant, harmonious labor for the betterment of its citizenship, educational and financial interests. They opened to the world's toilers the door of that great agricultural region drained by the Loup rivers, comprising the counties of Howard, Greeley, Sherman, Valley, Garfield and Loup.
   St. Paul, the county seat of Howard County, was named by U. S. Senator Phineas W. Hitchcock in their honor.
   James N. Paul, the older brother, was born in Beaver County, Pa., September 25, 1839, and soon after the family moved to Meigs County, Ohio. He served in Company H, 140th Regiment Ohio Infantry, in the Civil war, after which he came west and for six or seven years was engaged in government surveying. In the winter, and spring of 1871, with his brother, he was interested in founding a colony in the Loup river country in Howard County and took a homestead adjoining St. Paul which he still owned at the time of his death.
   At the permanent organization of the county he was elected county commissioner for the long term and was the central figure in piloting the organization through its infancy to a stable financial basis which had marked influence in the future management of its finances.
   In the fall of 1873 he succeeded Seth P. Mobley as proprietor and editor of the Howard County Advocate which he ably conducted until 1878, when the plant was sold to Robert Harvey. He then entered upon the practice of law to which he gave all his time and energy and soon became one of the leading trial lawyers in central Nebraska. He was a member of the senate in the legislature of 1885 and was chairman of the judiciary committee.



   In 1901 he became judge of the 11th judicial district, which place he filled with great ability until the expiration of his term in 1917 when he voluntarily retired on account of failing health.
   He was positive and firm in his convictions, wise in his counsels and honorable in business transactions.
   As pioneer, home builder, lawyer, statesman and jurist he made a firm and lasting impression upon the people and the institutions of central Nebraska.
   He died at his home in St. Paul March 9th, 1922, at the age of 82 years, five months and sixteen days.

   Nicholas Jay Paul, the younger brother of Judge Paul, was born in Meigs County, Ohio, July 27, 1841. Receiving an academic education at Ewington, Ohio, for a time he taught district school. In the fall of 1862, he moved to Leavenworth and the following years was engaged in government surveying in southern Nebraska. He was also a trusted employe of the Union Pacific land department.
   He was associated with Judge Paul in founding a colony in the Loup country and filed a homestead entry on a quarter-section of fine land adjacent to St. Paul where he continued to live until his death. Mr. Paul was one of the commissioners appointed to effect the temporary organization of Howard county and at the fall election of 1871 was chosen probate judge which office he held for four years. in 1876 he was elected the first representative to the legislature from the county. In 1879 he was elected county treasurer and reelected in 1881. After the expiration of his second term he declined further to be a candidate for any office, excepting that of school director which he held for forty-eight years, always manifesting a great interest in educational matters.
   In 1884 he purchased the stock of the Howard county bank and soon after organized the St. Paul National Bank, and in later years changed to the St. Paul State Bank to which he gave his undivided attention for remainder of his life. It was during the dark financial days of the nineties that the rugged honesty of the man was displayed when in despair of being able to weather the storm of national financial depression he said he would rather give up all his property and begin over again, than that any of his depositors should suffer. His bank was considered one of the substantial institutions of central Nebraska.
   He had kept a diary since 1866 in which he briefly recorded his business transactions and those who have been permitted to examine his books have been surprised at the great number of money loans during the first few years of the colony's early life and the repayment of the same amount apparently without interest. During those few years, which included the years of the grasshopper scourge, there was great destitution and many families would have suffered great hardships had they not known where they could go for aid and sympathy. It falls to the lot of few men in private life to be so generally known and to possess so man true friends.
   He died of apoplexy at his desk at the noon hour, July 18, 1921, the age of 79 years, 11 months and 21 days.




   One of the rare volumes upon Western history is circular No. 8, issued from the Surgeon-General's office, War Department, May 1, 1875. It is a report on the hygiene of the United States army with a description of all military posts and a map. It is a volume of 570 pages and is now quite out of print and difficult to find. The volume recently secured by the Nebraska State Historical Society was through the kindness of General Wm. H. Carter, whose letter is printed elsewhere in this magazine.
   The volume contains complete descriptions of all western army posts, with an account of the surrounding country, tabulation of all buildings, an account of the health of soldiers at each post and hygienic conditions, diagrams of each fort and its buildings and a weather record during the history of the fort.
   The forts and camps in Nebraska described in this volume are Camp Hartsuff, in the North Loup valley, located in 1874; Fort McPherson, in Lincoln county, Located in 1866; North Platte station, Lincoln county established in August 1867: Omaha Barracks, Douglas County, established November 20, 1868; Camp Robinson, Sioux county, established in February, 1874; Camp Sherman (Spotted Tail Agency) Sheridan county, located September 9, 1874; Sidney Barracks, Cheyenne county, located in 1867.
   In addition to these there is a chapter each upon these forts inseparably connected with the history of Nebraska: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Fort Laramie, Wyoming; Fort Randall, South Dakota.
   Most interesting detailed information is given of living conditions for the population of these forts. This includes such details as the number of cubic feet for each person in living rooms, the kinds of diseases and number of cases at each post, the methods of heating, water and ice supply, bathrooms, garden products, libraries and scientific observations upon conditions which could be made only by trained medical observers.
   Fort Kearny, the most important military post in Nebraska during the frontier period, was abandoned in 1871 and therefore does not appear in this report. Fort McPherson in 1875 was still a post of importance and the description of the buildings and conveniences there are of interest:
   The buildings are arranged about a quadrangle 844 by 560 feet. Two sides are formed by five barracks, three log and two frame; one (log, shingled-roof) 145 by 27 feet, with wings of 87 by 20 feet; one (frame, shingle-roof, unoccupied, and out of repair) 108 feet by 27 feet, with a wing of 69 by 20 feet; one (log, shingle-roof, unoccupied) 114 by 27 feet,



with wing 69 by 20 feet; one (frame, shingle-roof) 147 by 27 feet, with wing of 69 by 20 feet, and another (log, shingle-: roof) 132 by 30 feet, with no wing. Each building contains eighteen windows, and compartments used as dormitories, orderly-rooms, dining and cooking rooms. The dormitories are ceiled. Average air-space per man in two buildings occupied at present is 698 cubic feet. Single iron bedsteads are used. Ventilation is by windows and roof-ventilators.
   One side is occupied by officers' quarters-frame, lathed and plastered, with shingle-roofs--in good repair. Three single buildings, 42 by 20 feet; four double 54 by 20 feet; one commanding officer's, 65 by 24 feet. Two single buildings, 40 by 20 feet, are on a line with hospital, in the rear of the main line of officers' quarters. All have kitchens 24 by 15 feet.
   The fourth side is occupied by the adjutant's office, (new) 41 by 30 feet; quartermaster's office, (new) 36 by 30 feet; the commissary storehouse, (new), 96 by 25 feet; and the band quarters, (new) 52 by 22 feet; with wing 90 by 19 feet.
   In the rear of the barracks are the quartermaster's warehouse, (log) 132 by 30 feet; the forage building, (log), 130 by 27 feet, and six laundresses' houses, (five log and one in an account of the construction of the building, says, "Three frame;) two, 40 by 21 feet; one 20 by 15 feet one, 40 by 18 feet, with wing 24 by 15 feet; one 60 by 18 feet; one, 30 by 15 feet, with wing 12 by 15 feet; also cavalry stables, log with shingle-roofs; four, 200 by 30 feet, and one, 235 by 30 feet.
   A new guard-house was erected in 1874. It is built of logs, 42 by 18 feet, and 9 feet high from floor to ceiling, and contains, besides a guard room, ten single cells, each 6 by 3 feet, and one double cell, 6 by 6 feet. There is no general prison-room. Ventilation is sufficient.
   The post-bakery (log) is 45 by 30 feet, with large oven.
   The hospital is a log building, well chinked and plastered, with lathed and plastered ceilings and shingle-roof. It consists of a main building 69 by 20 feet, and a wing 56 by 20 feet, forming an "L".
   The two ward-rooms, respectively 20 by 38 feet and 20 by 20 feet will accommodate twenty-four patients, giving to each 466 cubic feet air-space. The dispensary is 20 by 12 feet, the steward's room 10 by 20 feet, and the dining room and store room are each 20 feet square. The washroom 8 1/2 by 15 feet, adjoins the larger ward. The steward's quarters have a kitchen 14 by 20 feet, adjoining. The hospital kitchen, 16 by 20 feet, communicates with the dining room in the wing of the building. An addition of a post-mortem room has been made.
   There is no post library; but two company libraries, on containing 362 volumes, the other 26 volumes.



   The bathing facilities are good in company quarters; the river, however is preferable in summer. No post or company order for compulsory and systematic bathing has been issued.


   Whereas many questions, and sometimes troublesome suites grow betwixt men, about horses running together in the woods unmarked, It is ordered, That each plantation in this jurisdiction shall have a marking iron, or flesh-brand, for themselves in particular, to distinguish the horses of one plantation from another; namely, New-haven an iron made to set on the impression of an H, as a brand-mark, Milford an M, Guilford a G, Stamford an S, Southold an S with an 0 in the middle of it, Brainford a T. Which plantation brandmark, is to be visibly and as sufficiently as may be, set upon the near buttock of each horse, mare, and colt, belonging to that plantation. Beside which, every owner is to have, and marke his horse or horses. with his own particular flesh-brand having some letter, or letters of his name, or such distinguishing mark, that one man's horses may be known from another's. And that in each plantation there be an officer appointed, to record each particular man's mark, and to see each particular man's horse, mare, and colt, branded, and to take notice, and record the age of each of them, as near as be can, with the colour, and all observable marks, whether natural or artificial; and what artificial marks it had before the branding, whether on the ear or elsewhere, with the year and day of the month when branded. And in each plantation, the officer for his care and pains, to have six pence of the owner, for each horse, mare, or colt branded and recorded. And that after the publishing hereof, every one who hath any horse or horses, of what age or kind so ever, doe duly attend this order, at his perill; the officer also is to require as satisfying evidence of his right, who presents any such horse, etc. as may be had, or to record any defect of due evidence, that a way may be open to other claims.
   New Haven Code (pub. 1655.) probably 1643 in use, Trumbull-Blue Laws, p. 227.

From Phil. R. Landon, "North Acre Seedsman," at Sterling, Nebraska.
   The statement in "Nebraska History" that "no earthwork, mound, lodge site or human bones, along this part of the Missouri river has been there 1,000 years," is correct so far as my examination and observation go. In fact, bones and stonework that I have dug up in Nebraska in the past forty years have proved to me that they were not more than a century old. One instance was in my digging on North Acre. I came upon the bones of an Indian and white man buried together, and among the bones was a belt buckle with the letters U. S. A. upon it. If there were any "pre-historic" men in Nebraska I will have to be shown."

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