nected with the Algonquains of the Great Lakes region and possibly one of the earliest races to inhabit this part of Nebraska. The communial (sic) or mass burial of the "Algonkians," the effigy mounds, the type of pottery, the large heads and faces, the souls departing to the far west, prompting them to place the dead facing the west all fit in to the communial (sic) burial at Nehawka and would classify this prehistoric people as the "Algonkan" culture of the Great Lakes.
SOME BEGINNINGS--PERTAINING TO WEEPING WATER AND THE SCHOOLS
By CLARA STREET WESCOTT
"In the beginning GOD created the heavens and earth"--and then in fancy I see Him smile and place His finger on the earth and say--"Here shall be a state called Nebraska, meaning Flat Water--so called because of the great flat river which shall water its thirsty soil.
It shall be the center state of a great nation of states.
It shall be the "White Spot" and the people of this Nebraska shall be a God-Fearing people, a cultured people, a prosperous people, a happy people."
In 1541 Francisco Vasques Coronado with thirty Spanish horsemen came to the "kingdom of Quiviera" forty degrees latitude and found that "the land was flat and black,"
1704 to 1716 French explorers sailing up the "muddy water" not known as the mighty Missouri river wrote "It is the most beautiful country in the world."
1804, April 30th, the Louisiana Purchase, The treaty was signed in Paris and the area became a part of the United States of America. The consideration was $15,500,000.
1804, July. Lewis and Clark were at the mouth of the Weeping Water creek, where they killed a big yellow wolf. They held their first councel (sic) with the Indians at Fort Atkinson.
1810, Major Stephen Long explored Nebraska and reported "it is uninhabitable for subsistence, depending upon agricultur (sic) for subsistence." 1819-1827, Fort Atkinson, now Fort Calhound (sic), was founded, later abandoned. It was here that
The first school was held
The first library was established
The first sawmill built
The first' experimental farm operated
The first dairy promoted
The first weather records kept.
1830-1831. Oregon trail. The first wagon tracks across Nebraska south of the Platte river.
1844. First offical (sic) use of the name NEBRASKA by the Secretary of War, Wilkins.
1846-1847. The first wagon up the north side of the Platte river-the Mormon Trail.
1854. May 3rd. Nebraska became a territory created by President Franklin Pierce by signing the Nebraska-
1855-1856. The first settler at Weeping Water.
It was Elam L. Flower who had trekked his way across the frontier states. He could rot help being a pioneer--it was in his blood. A venerable line of ancestry that trails thru the past for several hundred years reveals a family of distinction who were courageous and fond of adventure. The first of the family to come to the new world was Lemrock Flower, third son of Sir Wm. Flower. He arrived in Connecticut In 1658. He was the son of Capt. Wm. Flower. Should we cross the seas we would find the ancestors of Elam L. Flower, Weeping Water's first settler, occupying places of prominence for 600 years before the family's first representative came to America.
They occupied places of responsibility in borough and parliament. They were defenders of their country and two of the familly (sic) received titles of nobility for their services in Fox' "History of Martyrs" the family is listed, and one Wm. Flower was burned at the stake because he refused to forsake his religion.
In America the family ran true to form, and were prominent in civic affairs, serving in local, state and national offices. They were not found wanting where their country needed them to carry a gun. Several served in the War of the Revolution.
Elam L. Flower, our first resident of Weeping Water was born in Claytonia, Jefferson county, New York, April 11, 1819.
He attended the Academy at Watertown, New York and followed the profession of teacher and farmer. On April 27, 1841, at Watertown, he married Sarah Fisher. In 1848 he migrated to Illinois.
In 1850 he took residence at Brighton, Iowa, where he farmed and taught school. In February 1856, he sold his land and journeyed westward across Iowa and on March 20, 1856, crossed the Missouri river at Kanosha, and entered the territory of Nebraska. Kanosha was a thriving steamboat town of five or six log cabins. After tarrying for a rest a few days the travelers accompanied a lad, Durell Reed, pushed westward to a settlement at Mt. Pleasant, the western outpost for white man in what is now Cass county. The lure of the setting sun called and again they traveled thru an uncharted country. Twas spring time. Even today one can almost travel with these pioneers thru the beautiful valley of the Weeping Water. It takes no great imagination to see the trees bursting into bloom and the flower decked meadows, to hear the songs of the birds, the gurgle of the water in the creek.
When the travelers came to the Falls of the Weeping Water, known in the language of the Indians as "Keetso-tee-cutt," they knew they had arrived at the spot they wanted to call "home"--and so, they rested there.
As Elam L. Flowers or Flower and family tarried at the falls of the Weeping Water river they were charmed by the primitive beauty of the forests--the richness of the soil and the rock formation of the surrounding hills, reminded them of the far away home in New York from which they had migrated.
A shelter for the family was the first necessity so a log cabin was erected. Thru succeeding years it served as a dwelling, a school house,
a church, a warehouse, again as a dwelling and a stable. It was demolished in 1885 or '80 (authorities differ on the date.) In 1857-58 many imigrants (sic) came to Cass county, attracted by the soil and abundance of water. Most of these people were ambitious and desirous of creating in this new country a civilization with the best cultural and religious advantages.
Miss Celesta Bellows taught the first school within the city limits of Weeping Water in 1857. She received $12.00 a month for her services. She came from Ohio and was a lady of culture and refinement. A private home was used for the school until 1856 and then a stone school house was erected by donations of labor and money by the citizens. This building was across the street south of the present Congregational church. In 1874 a larger frame building was erected. George Parley, county commissioner, attended school in these buildings and recalls the names of some of the teachers - Principal Pete, Prof. Loofborough, Prof. D. D. Martindale, who afterwards became County Superintendent; Prof. George Mitchell; Prof. J. H. Philbert; Prof. Foote.
In 1882 Prof. J. H. Bellows was in charge of the school and had two female assistants with an enrollment of 150 pupils.
Some of the other teachers were Mrs. Loofborough and her sister, Mamie Logan, Josie McCoy, Edith Shryoch, Lillian Parmelee, Edith Clizbe recalles (sic) that Prof. Wilson and Mrs. Wilson, Anna Calkins, Ella Thorngate, and Grace Clizbe also taught in the schools. Prof. Hoskins closed his work in 1888
Mr. E. E. Day was president of the school hoard in 1888 and the need of a new building and a graded school seemed imperative. So a fine two-story biulding (sic) was erected on what is called the "South Side" of the town.
The task of selecting a principal to bring order out of chaos was no simple one. After much deliberation Mr. A. H. Waterhouse was elected and he soon demonstrated his ability. He remained as head of the schools until 1895.
Fifty years! Educators have come and gone--but the power of his personality lives on.
The 1938 Golden Wigwam, official High School publication is dedicated to him with these words:
"A stalwart leader, who set an example of good teaching--true friendship, fine thinking and fine living--Proffessor (sic) A. H. Waterhouse."
At the time of his death at Fremont, Nebr., March 12, 1938, he held the title of "Dean of Nebraska School Men". This had been conferred on him May 3, 1937 at the Horace Mann dinner at Lincoln. He was also given the golden key of Phi Beta Kappa honorary fraternity in recognition for his half century of service in the teaching profession.
Since the year of 1895 others have served in the capacity of superintendents:
A. V. Landerback--1835-1897.
H. L. Rouse--1897-1902.
D. K. Luthy--1902-1903.
S. M. Moss--1903-1904.
W. T. Pourher--1904-1906.
I. N. Clark--1906-1912.
H. H. Reimund--1912-1914.
Elton E. Etone
G. S. Hopple.
H. B. Tibbles--1918-1920.
George B. Oberlander--1920-1921.
L. E. Mohler--1921-1923.
E. L. Witte--1923-1924.
J. W. Shagool--1924-1928.
O. T. Hunt--1928-1931.
W. L. Armstrong--1931-1933.
L. H. Behrends--1934---.
In 1915 bonds were voted for an adesuate (sic) building to care for the ever increasing number of pupils of the rural schools desiring a high school education. This building consisted of three stories and a gymnasium, modern in every detail. The State Fire Marshall has recently condemned the further use of the building erected in 1888. Many graduates from this old building will regret the necessity for its demolishment. Forty-seven classes of graduates have gone forth from these two buildings to become a part of the activities in some community. The scope of influence of these boys and girls encircles the globe.
On May 20, 1938, in response to an invitation of the Alumni committee "old grads" gathered from near and far to renew their youth, clasp the hands of friends whom they had not met in years, and to reaffirm their loyalty to their Alma Mater.. The banquet was presided over by Jean O. Jones '95. The class of 1938 were honor guests and entertained the group assembled in a delightful manner. Over 250 were served. The motif was that of a ship on a voyage. The menu--
Submarine Salad Buoys
High School Orchestra Group
Admiral Jean O Jones, '95 Toastmaster.
"Red Sails in the Sunset,'' Kenneth Wallace, '34, Nebraska City.
Welcome, Stewardess Eda Leonard. '13, Marshall.
Response, Commander Ira Johnson, '38
Presentation of Crew of 1938, Capt. Lloyd A. Behrends.
In Memoriam Supt. A. H. Waterhouse, Dr. Allen R. Congdon, '93.
Girls Sextette, Weeping Water High School,
Messages, Marvin Hunt.
Waiter's Dance, Neil Munkres and Richard Powers.
S--Scan System--Miss Edith Clizbe, 1891, Weeping Water.
H--Hospitality--Mr. Richard P. Hobson, 1925, Weeping Water.
I--I's Have It--Mrs. Clara Street Wescott, 1893, Plattsmouth.
P--Power--Mr. Elwin Hunter, 1913, Fort Collins. Colo
Harbor Lights--Mrs. Raymond Lawritzen, 1910, Lincoln.
Boy's Small Group, Weeping Water High School.
Thus ends 79 years of Progress.
events that are past.. Hope is the minds of prophecy of events that are to come--These two--hope and memory are the chief sources of delight."
History and Stories of Nebraska, by Addison E. Sheldon 1913,
History of Nebraska: Western Historical Co., 1882.
History of Cass and Otoe Counties: Chapman Bros., 1889.
The Nebraska Farmer, Lincoln, Nebraska.
ERECTED EARLY BUILDINGS IN CASS COUNTY
By W. R. SPERRY
My father, Reuben Sperry, brought his family to Weeping Water, Nebr., in the year 1875 and settled upon the Jess Morton place east of Weeping Water. He died there one month later. The following spring, my mother, together with the younger children, went back to Iowa to live. My eldest brother, James W. Sperry, who came here in 1873, and myself, remaining here, were joined by two younger brothers.
James W. Sperry opened up a sand bank two miles east of Weeping Water in 1880. In 1882 he started a brick yard there and moulded brick by hand for two years and then put in machinery for making pressed bricks. He burned most of the bricks for the brick buildings in Weeping Water. He also was a mason by trade and I contracted and built many of the buildings in Weeping Water. We built the first bank that was built in Weeping Water out of the first bricks that J W. Sperry burned here. We built a bank in Nehawka and also a large brick house in the north edge of Nehawka for Mr. A. P. Weston and many other brick and stone foundations around here.
As far as I konw (sic), Dr. M. U. Thomas, Mrs. Belle Jones and myself are the only three people living here today who were here in 1875.
Eugene and Luesius Reed ran a general merchandise store and Fleming & Race were selling general merchandise at that time. Mr. Marshall, Spencer Marshall's grandfather, ran a shoe shop in the kitchen part of his home, and from grandfather to grandson, that business has been carried on continuously upon the same corner of the block.
George Lambine was the blacksmith when I came to Weeping Water, and a man by the name of Bunday ran a wagon shop in the back of the other blacksmith shop. Mrs. Dunn ran a hotel in the building where Arthur Jones' barber shop now stands. Dan Johnson ran the ghrist (sic) mill and that is all the business houses that were here at that time, as I recollect them. Mr. Hunter, Ike Hunter's father, ran the stage from Weeping Water to Plattsmouth, carrying the mail and passengers. I rode with him from Plattsmouth to Weeping Water the day I landed in Nebraska.
HISTORY OF FAIRVIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT
By MISS ETTE JAMES
This school is in Stove Creek precinct, Cass county, Nebraska, and located two miles south and one mile east of Elmwood.
The pioneers of this district, even before means were provided for the building of a school house, were so desirous of having educational advantages for their children that school was held in some of their homes.
The first school, in the fall of 1870, was held for a few weeks in the home of Mrs. Sayre, the first teacher. She was a widow, homesteading the south eighty of the quarter now owned by George Lena. Her pupils were William Delles Dernier, Harry Smith, Anna James Stacey, Hattie Clements, Sarah Stokes, Margaret Stokes, Will Stokes, Nettie, Fred and Henry Saaford, Alice and Etta Powell and Will Spears. Later in the same year, Spicer Ella taught in the "front room" of the Hiram Stanford home. He had the same pupils as above mentioned.
The third teacher was A. L. Upham, who taught in the C. C. Cowell home in 1871 using an upstairs room for the school room. He finished his term in the temporary school house built in 1872 on the present site of Fairview. Other names of pupils added to the ones mentioned in the first school are Johnnie (Jack) James, John Powell, Rosewall Powell, Etta James Stacey, Ivy Williamson, Byron Clements and Alpha Hart. Seats for the pupils consisted of chairs, boxes, trunks or what ever else could be found that would answer the purpose of seat while they were attending school in the homes. In this temporary school house there were benches without backs. The first books were just any school book the pioneer families happened to bring with them from their old homes.
The name "Fairview" was given to this school at the time the this school was organized there were no trees to obscure the view.
The first school board was William James, Hiram Stanford and Jack Schlanker.
The first school house came very near being a dugout. The excavation for such a school room was begun on the present Fairview school grounds, but was never finished, for upon further consideration by the board and those interested this plan was abandoned and a frame structure built. This temporary school house was 14 by 20 feet in size. The walls were 12-inch boards placed vertically. The work was donated so there was no carpenter bill.
School in the early days did not consist of nine months, but usually three or four months a year. The teachers were paid by subscription and boarded around if they did not live in the district.
Flora Kenaston, Lizzie Foote and Sam Shirley taught in the temporary school house. The need of a better school building became apparent so the district voted $1,000.00 bond for the new building. With team and wagon Mr. Shirley made the trip to Plattsmouth where the officials of the bonding company personally delivered the money to him. As there were no banks in this locality the money was deposited in Eli Lane's safe. Mr. Lane was a merchant in Elmwood. This new school house was built in 1874. The temporary school building was purchased by Mr. Shirley who used it for a dwelling. It is still a part of the house now owned and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Howard Capwell.
The building of the new school house progressed rapidly, but there was no money left to pay for plastering it. To raise money to pay for the plastering a public dance and supper
was held. The women of the district furnished, prepared and served the supper. Sile Greenslate was the fiddler. A large crowd was present. Families came for miles in their lumber wagons. The dancing was in the unfinished building, but the supper was served in the temporary school house. With the receipts of the evening the new school house was plastered. To aid in drying the plaster Sue Greenslate kept a fire burning, staying in the building at night. School opened before real cold weather in 1874 with Sam Shirley at teacher.
This school house still stands just as it was built, with the exception of an addition of a small entryway on the east end. The plastering has been repaired but not wholly replaced. The building has always been kept in good repair and has been used not only for school purposes, but for other activities. In the early day church services were held here--no denomination being barred. Years, ago, too, Fairview was the center of literary societies, exhibitions, singing school, spelling bees and ciphering matches.
In these first years the school was not graded. A pupil's place was determined by the reader he studied. The pupils had to furnish their own hooks. Teachers wages were nothing to brag about. Usually the salary started at $25 per month and worked up slowly, very slowly. Some times there were as many as three different teachers in one school year. Usually a lady teacher for fall and spring and a man for the winter term when the large boys were in school, for in the early days pupils went to school until they were of age or nearly so.
This has all passed and Fairview as all other rural schools, is graded with books and equipment furnished by the district. The painted black boards have given way to slate, the backless benches and double seats have been replaced by single seats, the slate and slate pencils, too, have been discarded. Individual drinking cups have taken the place of the dipper and water pail. No longer do the children of Fairview school have to carry water from some nearby farm year well, but a well is now on the school grounds with a windmill to pump the water.
Following are the names of those who homesteaded: Hiram Stanford, 1866; William Deles Dernier, 1867: Jake Schlanker, 1807; George Lacey, 1867; Henry Stege, Sr., 1868; Henry Stege Jr., 1868: John Clements, 1868: Wm. Stokes, 1868: C. C. Powell, 1868: Mrs. Sayre, 1868; Wm. Speers, 1868: A. L. Upham. 1868; Sam Tuttle, 1868: Spicer Ells, 1862; Sile Greenslate, 1869: A. B. Dickson, 1869: Ephriam Clements, 1869: Wm. Grosbeck, 1869; F. A. Smith, 1870: William James, 1870; La Fayette Sutphin, 1869; Doc. Crane, 1869: and Wm. Miller, 1869. In 1871, Dan Mendenhall bought railroad land in this district. In 1875 P. A. Williams, W. B. Williams and James Turk also settled on railroad land. In 1877, James Christensen bought the homestead homesteaded by Wm. Miller.
Imagine, if you will, conditions at the time these pioneers came to this part of Nebraska. Land that was all unbroken sod, no trees except those along the streams, no roads, no fences, no railroad nearer than Nebraska City no nearby markets, no conveniences of any kind, a few small frame
houses, others of sod, and some just dugouts. Compare this picture with that of today and you will have some idea what the pioneers, not only of District No. 59, but all other pioneers, did for this country through their faith, courage, industry and perseverance.
Prairie fires were a continual source of danger. Every home had its bit of plowed ground surrounding the buildings as a protection from fire.
Pests, drouths and blizzards tested the faith, courage and endurance of the pioneers almost to the breaking point. Some did sell out and return to their homes from which they came, but the majority persevered and in the end, won out.
What is known as the grasshopper years--1874, 1875 and 1876, caused much hardship and privatation (sic) but the staying powers of these noble men and women proved equal even to this severe test of their faith and courage.
The first year the grasshoppers came the wheat was in the shock so was not completely destroyed as was the corn and all other vegetation. The second year the grasshoppers left nothing but the soil and the third year when they left it was too late to raise a crop. Some corn was planted but the frost didn't let it mature.
Jack James well remembers how heartbroken he was over the loss of his nine ducks. The first day when the grasshoppers began to arrive his ducks about ran their legs off chasing them, but it wasnt (sic) long until the hoppers were so thick the ducks just squatted down and ate and ate. The following morning when he went out to let his ducks out of their pen every one was dead.
We sometimes wonder how the pioneers lived through these trying times. There was for one thing plenty of wild game such as geese, ducks, quail and prairie chickens. Then, too, some had relatives who sent them barrels of provisions and clothing. Then there were others who had no one to help them.
The winters were long, cold and severe. There were no trees to break the cold, wintry blasts and the houses were far from being as warmly built as now.
The pioneers of District No. 59 got their trees for planting from the tiny reedlings found in the timber along the Weeping Water creek and other creeks. Some of the brush from these timber places was used for fuel. Some times where a pile of wood had been, a few seedlings would come up. These tiny trees were carefully cared for and transplanted. The cedar trees in the early day came from the Platte river sandbars, not far from where South Bend is now situated. Several homes in School District No. 59 still have cedars in their yards that came from there.
The lumber for the early buildings in the district came from McKesick Island in the Missouri river, a short distance below Nebraska City. There was a saw mill on this island.
The pioneers who came here in the late sixties and early seventies had as their nearest town, Nebraska City. That is where they had to go for their household supplies and where they hauled their grain. Small loads, too, had to be hauled as there were no bridges and streams had to be forded. Prices of corn ranged from 12 to 16 cents per bushel. Then when South Bend came into existance (sic) the market place seemed quite near. Unadilla
was the third market place.
James Christensen is the only one of the early pioneers of District No. 59 still living and he is living on the homestead he bought in 1877, with his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Will Strabel.
John Stokes is living on the farm homesteaded by his parents in 1868.
Jack, Ed and Etta James also are living on the farm homesteaded by their parents in 1870.
School District No. 59 is not now as large as it was in the beginning. A strip one-half mile wide and three miles long was taken off of the east end of the district and transferred to Cottage Hill District.
In closing this review of the past. I'm using a few lines from a poem, "The Pioneer," by Will Maupin:
But not alone in their strength they wrought
Thru weary days of their hopes and fears,
For the God, whose help and strength they sought
Marched side by side with the pioneers.
With sturdy blows and with purpose true
They built their homes out of prairie sod
Giving the nation a great state new
Giving their hearts to home and God.
And ever we'll sing while eternity rolls Unceasing cycles of gathering years
Our songs of rejoicing for these great souls
Who builded Nebraska, The Pioneers.
HISTORY OF AN EARLY DAY SEMINARY
By CLARA STREET WESCOTT
At a session of the Nebraska Legislature held in October and November, 1858 a charter was granted to certain individuals to establish a seminary in Cass county. The trustees appointed by this act, met and organized on June 1, 1859, and resolved to take immediate action to procure a location of ten acres of ground upon which to erect a building and procure funds and material necessary for a building.
Particularly worthy of note are these contributions, because the promotion of this seminary was the first of its kind in the Territory of Nebraska.
The Oreopolis Town Company donated 10 acres of land, 100 average town lots in the town and $500.00 in money.
Mr. Loudin Miller, $5,000; Dr. John Evans, $500.00; Rev. George Loomis, $500 00; Dr. H. Smith, $500.00; E. D. Hand, $500.00; A. W. Carpenter, $500.00; Sundry Persons, $500.00.
On June 28th the building contract was let to Loudin Miller to erect and enclose a good substantial three-story brick building 30x80 feet, capable of accomodating (sic) 250 students. The building was completed externally December 1, 1859, and finished in 1861. It was a basement building with two
stories above the ground. It was built on the side of a hill.
Oreopolis was a town of a few hundred people and the community was largely composed of Methodists. Prof. Miller was president of the Seminary and lived in a large house near the seminary called "The Brown House."
Not so long ago Mr. A. S. Wills owned the land and raised the Brown house and used some of it in erecting a bungalow not far from the old house for his son and family to occupy.
The Plattsmouth Herald on December 18, 1861, carried this notice relative to some of the activities of the school:
Free Lecture--We are requested to announce that the Rev. D. L. Hughes of Pacific City will deliver the opening lecture of a lecture course at Academy Hall in Seminary Building, Oreopolis, Nebraska Territory, on Tuesday evening next week, December 23. Free for all who wish to attend. The lecture will doubtless be interesting. In addition to this, however, the efforts of our friends at Oreapolis to advance the educational interests of the Territory should be at least countenanced and encouraged, especially when the can be done "without money and without price." We trust the Hall will be filled to the utmost capacity."
Due to lack of support the school was closed and Mr. Van Armand wrecked the seminary building a few years later. Some of the brick was used in the construction of the "Tutt Home" in South Park (Plattsmouth) and some was used in the construction of the Bill Porter home north of Mynard.
In the ''I Remember When" group. Mr. Oliver Dovey whose parents came to Plattsmouth in 1862, recalls seeing the names of Jonathan Wise and Miss Francis Wright scrawled on the walls of the seminary. They were teachers in the school. This couple afterward married and became charter members of The First Presbyterian Church of Plattsmouth.
Mrs. Val Burkel, nee Nannie Sampson of Plattsmouth recalls that her cousin, Agnes Sampson was married in the "Brown House" in 1888 to Sam Chapman, who later became District Judge. Mrs. Chapman lives in McCook and was 77 years old in August 1938.
Ella Kennedy recalls that there was also a large hotel at Oreapolis which was later demolished and the material used in building the house on the southeast corner of 9th and Pearl St., in Plattsmouth, commonly called the Vondron place.
The old Dovey homestead on Oak St., was built from material from this hotel as well as the Calvin place south of the Missouri Pacific station.
No enrollment of the students at the seminary has been found but it is hoped when letters are answered that there will be more interesting facts relative to the Seminary at Oreapolis.
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