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This county was
named for James A. Garfield (1831-1881), president of the United
States, 1881. It was formed from Wheeler county by vote on November
- Ballagh. The town of Ballagh was named in honor of its
first settler, Robert A. Ballagh.
- Blake. Blake was named after Blake Maher who was a
business partner on the ranch of L. B. Fenner, the first
- Burwell. This town, the county seat of Garfield county,
was platted by Frank Webster in 1883 on his home farm and for many
years was called "Webster's town." It was named after a Miss
Burwell who was the fiancée of Mr. Webster's brother but
died before marriage.
- Deverre. This post office was named for Deverre Cass
who was instrumental in procuring its establishment.
- Dumas. The town of Dumas was named for the French
author, Alexandre Dumas, and is in Erina precinct.
- Erina. In the spring of 1880 a colony of Irish
emigrants settled in this vicinity. Erin was the name chosen for
the post office, after Erin, the Irish name for Ireland. As there
was at the time another office of the same name in Nebraska, Erin
was transformed to Erina. The post office has been discontinued.
The township also has the name Erina.
- Gables. This town was so named because the house in
which the post office was first established had a very high gabled
roof. It is in Roosevelt precinct.
- Rosevale. This locality is situated in Rose Valley
which was so named because of the profusion of wild roses.
Rosevale was named after Rose Valley by contracting the name. The
post office has been discontinued.
- Sheridan. This town was named in honor of General
Philip H. Sheridan (1831-1888), the Civil War hero. The post
office has been moved into Wheeler county.
Gosper county was
named in honor of John J. Gosper who was secretary of state in
Nebraska at the time when the county was organized, August 29, 1873.
The organization was legalized and the boundaries defined by an act
approved March 2, 1881.
- Ceryl. This place is inland, near the center of the
county, in Turkey Creek precinct, and was probably named for a
local resident. The post office has been discontinued.
- Elwood. Ewood, the county seat of Gosper county,
received its name in honor of Elwood Thomas, a farmer who lived
near by at the time the railroad was built through the county. The
precinct has the same name.
- Gosper. This is an inland village in East Muddy
precinct, and received its name from John J. Gosper after whom the
county was named. The post office has been discontinued.
- Smithfield. The quarter section on which this town is
located was at one time owned by E. B. Smith, now of Lexington,
Nebraska. The site was located in the midst of Mr. Smith's field;
hence the name Smithfield
Grant county was
named after General U. S. Grant (1822-1885). Its boundaries were
defined by an act of the legislature approved March 31, 1887.
- Ashby. This village is a station on the Chicago,
Burlington, and Quincy railroad in Hyannis township and was named
by an official of the railway company after Ashby,
- Duluth. This place is a station on the Chicago,
Burlington, and Quincy railroad in Whitman precinct. It was named
by the officials of the railroad, probably after Duluth,
Minnesota, which in turn was named for Grecylon Du Luth, an early
French explorer in the vicinity.
- Elva. An inland place in the southeastern part of Grant
county, in Collins precinct. It was probably named for a local
- Hyannis. The site of Hyannis was owned by John S.
Dellinger. The citizens of the community wished to name the future
post office Dellinger, for Henry R. Dellinger, an early local
settler, the father of J. S. Dellinger. This place was named by an
official of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy railroad after
Hyannis, Massachusetts. A local tradition says that when the
railroad was being built through the vicinity, some of the men
working for the road were from Hyannis, Massachusetts, and that
they named the new town-site after their former home. Hyannis is
the county seat of Grant county and is in Hyannis precinct.
Hyannis, Massachusetts, was named for the Indian chief, Hianna,
and is situated in Barnstable county, Cape Cod region.
- Lucky Valley. A vicinity located near the southeastern
corner of Whitman township. It was so named because of its
fortunate situation. The post office has been discontinued.
- Whitman. This town was named by the railroad company
after Whitman, Plymouth county, Massachusetts. It is situated in
Greeley county was
named in honor of Horace Greeley (1811-1872) to whom is accredited
the saying: "Go west young man and grow up with the country." The
first settlements in this county were made in 1871-1872. It was
organized and the boundaries defined by an act approved March 1,
- Belfast. A station on the Chicago, Burlington, and
Quincy railroad in Mount Pleasant precinct, doubtless named for
- Brayton. This village is on the Chicago, Burlington,
and Quincy railroad in Brayton precinct. Both were probably named
for a local resident.
- Greeley Center. This town was so named because it is
located in almost the exact center of Greeley county. The post
office here is named Greeley, but the town itself is named Greeley
Center. It is the county seat of Greeley county. The precinct is
- Horace. This town is named in honor of Horace Greeley,
the noted editor of the New York Tribune and candidate in 1872 for
president of the United States.
- Homestead. A former post office near the northwest
corner of Greeley county in Homestead precinct. Both derive their
names because the settlers located on homesteads.
- Parnell. A village in Parnell precinct both probably
named for Charles S. Parnell, the Irish, home-rule leader.
- Scotia. The settlement of Scotia antedates 1874. The
town was named by an early settler in honor of Scotland, his
former country. Scotia is the poetic name for Scotland.
- Spalding. The town of Spalding was located by an Irish
Catholic association and was named in honor of Bishop Spalding who
was president of the association at that time.
- Wolbach. This town was named for S. N. Wolbach of Grand
Island, Nebraska. Mr. Wolbach at one time owned a great deal of
land around what is now the site of Wolbach.
Hall county was
organized and its boundaries defined by an act of the legislature
approved November 4, 1858. Its boundaries were re-defined February 1,
1864, and again March 1, 1871. It was named in honor of Augustus Hall
(1814-1861), chief justice of the territory of Nebraska, 1858, and a
former congressman from Iowa.
- Abbott. This town was named in honor of Othman Ali
Abbott of Grand Island, the first lieutenant governor of Nebraska,
elected in the fall of 1876.
- Alda. The first settlement was made in this vicinity in
May, 1859. The town was first named Pawnee, but was renamed Alda
in honor of the first white child born in the town, the daughter
of a section boss.
- Cairo. The town of Cairo originated in the spring of
1886. It was named by the Lincoln Land Company, presumably after
Cairo, Egypt. Some of the streets in the town have Egyptian
- Doniphan. This town was named in honor of Colonel John
Doniphan, of Saint Joseph, Missouri, who was then attorney for the
railroad on which it is located. The town was surveyed in 1879.
Gannett's work on place names states that it was named for Colonel
Alexander William Doniphan, a distinguished western soldier.
- Grand Island. The present city of Grand Island was laid
out by the Union Pacific Railroad Company in the spring of 1866
just opposite the old Grand Island settlement. It was named Grand
Island after the large island in the Platte river and also after
the original settlement by that name. Grand Island is the county
seat of Hall county.
- Schauppsville. This town was founded about 1880 by a
Mr. Schaupp for whom it was named.
- Spencer. A post office was established here in July,
1878. George J. Spencer was the first postmaster and the town is
named for him.
- Underwood. This town was established on January 16,
1885. It was named for Mrs. Cleanthe A. Underwood, postmistress,
who established the post office on the farm of B. G.
- Wood River. The town of Wood River is named after the
famous Wood River valley in which it is located. It was first laid
out in 1869, but did not exist in its present location until 1871.
The town is situated on the banks of Wood river.
was named for Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), secretary of the
treasury in George Washington's cabinet. Its boundaries were defined
by an act approved February 16, 1867.
- Aurora. This town was surveyed and platted in 1882. Its
name was suggested by David Stone, an early settler, as a
compliment to his wife who was a native of Aurora, Illinois. Mr.
Robert Miller has the distinction of having named the town because
he cast the two votes that determined the selection of the name.
Aurora is the county seat of Hamilton county.
- Giltner. Glitner was named in honor of the Reverend Mr.
Henry M. Giltner, a Presbyterian minister and missionary of the
early days in Nebraska and in this vicinity in particular. It was
surveyed and platted in the spring of 1886 and was originally
- Hampton. The town of Hampton was surveyed and platted
in October, 1879, on land owned by Joshua Cox. Mr. Cox wished it
to be named Plano because that was the name of his home in
Illinois; but since there was another town by that name on the
railroad, it was given the name Murray. Later the name was changed
to Hampton, because there was a town on the Burlington and
Missouri railroad named Murray and this caused confusion in
- Hordville. This town was named in honor of T. B. Hord
who formerly owned a great deal of land in the vicinity. It was
settled in 1907.
- Marquette. Marquette was surveyed and platted by the
Lincoln Land Company in 1882. Thomas M. Marquette of Lincoln, a
member of the company, was then general attorney for the
Burlington railroad and the town was named for him.
- Orville City. This town was named in honor of Orville
Wescott, the son of C. O. Wescott. It was surveyed and platted in
- Phillips. Captain R. O. Phillips of Lincoln at one time
had charge of establishing town-sites for the Lincoln Land
Company. The town of Phillips was named in his honor.
- Stockham. This town was named for Joseph Stockham who
was a member of the town board of trustees. It was surveyed and
platted in 1887.
Harlan county was
originally a part of Lincoln county and was separated from it by an
act of the legislature approved June 3, 1871. It was named for a
nephew of Senator James Harlan of Iowa. This nephew was at one time a
revenue collector and lived near Republican City, Nebraska. Gannett
states the county was named for James Harlan, secretary of the
- Alma. The town-site of Alma was selected by Mark Coad,
N. P. Cook, and Thomas Murrin, members of the Cheyenne Colony, in
the spring of 1871. It was named in honor of a daughter of N. P.
Cook. Alma is the county seat of Harlan county. The precinct is
also named Alma.
- Carter. A village on the Chicago, Burlington, and
Quincy railroad in Emerson precinct. It was named probably for a
- Huntley. This town was named in honor of a Mr. Huntley,
a railroad official who was very influential in getting bonds
voted and in securing the right-of-way for the new railroad.
- Mascot. The town of Mascot was originally called Rouse,
but because there was another town in the state by that name it
was changed to Mascot. The latter name was given to the town by
- Orleans. Originally the town was called Melrose and it
was located a short distance from the present site. It was laid
out and platted by D. N. Smith, the noted site locater for the
Burlington and Missouri River railroad in 1872. It was probably
named for Orleans, Massachusetts, though Gannett claims in his
work on United States place names that it was named for Orleans,
France. The precinct has the same name.
- Oxford Junction. A junction point for the Chicago,
Burlington, and Quincy railroad in Emerson precinct. It is located
a short distance from Oxford, Furnas county, after which it takes
- Republican City. The first settlement was made in this
vicinity by H. M. Luce in 1871. The town was given its name
because of its location on the Republican river. Republican river
was so named because it was the habitat of the Pawnee Republic or
Republican Pawnee, this name being applied by white men to the
tribe because of their form of government.
- Stamford. The original town was named Carisbrook. When
the railroad was built through the valley, the Lincoln Land
Company relocated the town and named the new town Stamford,
probably after Stamford, Connecticut.
Hayes county was
named in honor of President Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893). Its
boundaries were defined by an act of the legislature approved
February 19, 1877.
- Hamlet. The town of Hamlet was originally named Hudson
in honor of its founder. When a post office was established,
however, it was necessary to change the name because there was
already a Hudson post office in the state. The name Hamlet, which
means "a small town," was chosen by the citizens.
- Hayes Center. This town is the county seat of Hayes
county. It was so named because it is located almost in the center
of the county. A post office was established here in 1885.
- Marengo. This post office was established in 1889. The
petitioners proposed the name Suttler, after an old settler named
Suttler, and after Suttler's canyon; but the United States post
office department gave the office the name Marengo.
- Norris. This post office was named in honor of Senator
George W Norris, through whose influence both the office and
Norris route were established.
- Rain. Rain post office in Highridge precinct, was
established in 1895 This was during the dry seasons in western
Nebraska and religious and other organizations were holding weekly
prayer meetings to pray for rain. C. B. French, a minister of the
Church of Christ was the first postmaster here. It was his idea
that the new office should be called Rain, in order that the
patrons might remember the famine in western Nebraska. This office
was discontinued rn 1920.
- Robert. An inland post office in Fairfield precinct. It
was probably named for a local resident.
- Strickland. An inland post office in Deerfield
precinct. It was probably named for some local settler.
- Thornburg. This post office in Thornburg precinct, was
esblished in 1878 or near this time. It is thought the post office
was named after another one in another state.
- White. This town was named in honor of Arthur White, a
homesteader in the locality. Mr. White is at present living in
was named in honor of Phineas Warrener Hitchcock (1831-1881) who was
a United States senator from Nebraska at the time of its organization
in 1873. Its boundaries were defined by an act approved February 27,
- Beverly. A village on. a branch of the Chicago,
Burlington, and Quincy railroad in Beverly precinct. It was
probably named for Beverly, Essex county, Massachusetts.
- Cornell. A former, inland post office in Cornell
precinct. The name is probably local in origin.
- Culbertson. This town was named in honor of the
well-known Indian agent, Culbertson, and is in Culbertson
- Meeker. A station on the branch line of the Chicago,
Burlington, and Quincy railroad near the line between Riverside
and Pleasant Hill precincts. The name apparently has reference to
a local settler.
- Palisade. This name was given by Samuel True because of
the breaks, resembling palisades, around the town. Palisade is in
- Poe. A station on the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy
railroad in Pleasantview precinct.
- Rupert. A station on the Chicago, Burlington, and
Quincy railroad in Riverside precinct. The name is probably for a
- Stratton. The town of Stratton, in Stratton precinct,
was founded in 1883 and named in honor of a Mrs. Stratton, one of
the first settlers in the vicinity.
- Trenton. The Lincoln Land Company laid out and named
the town at the time when the Burlington railroad was extended
through the vicinity to Denver. Trenton is the county seat of
Hitchcock county. A neighboring precinct has the same name.
Trenton was probably named for Trenton, New Jersey.
Holt county was
named in honor of Joseph Holt of Kentucky who was a member of
President Buchanan's cabinet, being postmaster-general and secretary
of war. Later he was judge-advocate of the army under President
Lincoln. Its boundaries were defined by an act of the legislature
approved January 9, 1862.
- Agee. An inland place in Paddock precinct, established
in 1882. It was named for A. W. Agee, lieutenant governor of
Nebraska for 1883-1884.
- Amelia. The village of Amelia was named in honor of
Amelia A. Bliss.
- Anncar. Anncar post office was named for Mrs. Ann
Carroll O'Neill at whose home the office was established. The last
syllable of Carroll was omitted because there already was a
Carroll post office in the state.
- Atkinson. John Carberry made the first settlement here
in 1876. The town was named in honor of Colonel John Atkinson of
Detroit, Michigan, who had large landed interests in the vicinity.
The precinct has the same name.
- Badger. This place is situated on the Niobrara river,
near Big Sandy creek, in Sand Creek precinct. Apparently it was so
named from the presence of the badger, once common in the
vicinity. The post office has been discontinued.
- Biscuit. A local name for an inland locality in the
northern part of Paddock precinct.
- Blackbird. Blackbird is the English translation of the
name of an Indian chief of the Omahas who lived and died in the
vicinity of Blackbird, Nebraska. Gannett gives the word as
Washingasahba, meaning, "blackbird," in his book on place
names. The town of Blackbird was named for the Blackbird river
which in turn receives its name from that of the Indian chief.
Blackbird is the first Omaha chief of whom there is definite
knowledge. He died in 1800, according to Lewis and Clark, who
visited his grave in 1804.
- Bliss. An inland post office in Lake precinct. It was
probably named for a local resident.
- Brodie. An inland village in the northwestern part of
Holt county in Cleveland precinct. The name is probably for a
- Catalpa. When this post office was established it was
named Catalpa for the reason that there is a group of catalpa
trees in the vicinity.
- Celia. An inland village and a former post office in
Sand Creek precinct, named probably for a local settler.
- Chambers. In 1883 R. C. Wray homesteaded on the land
which is now the site of Chambers, Nebraska. Mr. Wray built a post
office in which he also kept a store, and also marked out a few
town lots. W. D. Matthews of the Frontier office at
O'Neill, Nebraska, named the new town in honor of his friend B. F.
Chambers, register of the land office at Niobrara.
- Chelsea. A locality on the Niobrara river in Spencer
precinct. Many places in the United States have this name, the
most important one being Chelsea, Suffolk county, Massachusetts.
All are named directly or indirectly for Chelsea, Middlesex,
- Cleveland. The post office at Cleveland was established
in 1878. It was named in honor of L. M. Cleveland, the first
postmaster and one of the early settlers.
- Deloit. An inland village and a former post office in
the southern part of Deloit precinct, southeastern part of Holt
county. It was probably named for Deloit, Crawford county,
- Dorsey. The pioneer name of this place was Mineral. It
was given its present name in honor of George W. E. Dorsey, member
of the U. S. House of Representatives, 1885-1891.
- Doty. The first settlements were made here in May,
1879. The town was named for E. H. Doty on account of the interest
taken by him in the establishment of the post roads.
- Dustin. An inland post office in Sand Creek precinct,
probably named for a local resident.
- Emmet. This town was named in honor of the Irish
patriot, Robert Emmet, (1778-1803).
- Emporia. A station on the Chicago, Burlington, and
Quincy railroad in the southern part of Verdigns precinct. The
Verdigris river rises in the precinct. The name Emporia is from
the Latin emporium, meaning a commercial place, a mart, a
place of trade, or a center of trade. The most important town in
the United States with this name is Emporia, Lyon county, Kansas,
which may have suggested the name for the Nebraska place.
- Ewing. On January 22, 1874, the post office at Ewing
was established and named in honor of James Ewing, the first
postmaster. The town was platted by the Pioneer Town-Site Company
- Grand Rapids. A locality near the northwest corner of
Sand Creek precinct, on the Niobrara river. The name has reference
to the rapids in the river. Grand Rapids, Kent county, Michigan,
on the rapids of Grand river, may have suggested the name.
- Gravel Pit. A locally descriptive name for a station on
the Chicago and Northwestern railroad in Atkinson precinct.
- Greenvalley. An inland village in Green Valley
precinct, a locally descriptive name for both the village and the
- Hainesville. This town was named in honor of S. S.
Haines, who, with D. S. Ludwig, made the first settlement here in
- Harold. An inland locality and a former post office in
Conley precinct, probably named for a local resident.
- Hay Point. A locally descriptive name for a station on
the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy railroad in the northeastern
part of Inman precinct.
- Inez. An inland post office in Francis precinct,
probably named for a local resident.
- Inglis. The name of an inland village near the
southwest corner of Sand Creek precinct, apparently local in
- Inman. The post office at Inman was named in honor of
W. H. Inman, a pioneer store keeper, one of the earliest settlers
in Holt county. It was established on September 16, 1881. The
precinct has the same name.
- Josie. An inland locality and a post office in Swan
precinct, probably named for a local resident.
- Joy. Originally established in 1886, about thirteen
miles north of O'Neill, with C. W. Hagensick as postmaster. The
locality was then being settled and the name was chosen as
expressive of the feelings of the settlers over the prospect of
having a post office. The location of the post office has changed
several times but it has been in its present location about thirty
- Kola. The name of an inland locality and a post office
near the center of Swan precinct, apparently local in origin.
- Laura. J. A. Estep made the first settlement in this
vicinity on June 20, 1880. He was made postmaster of the office
which was established on March 20, 1881, and named in honor of his
wife, Mrs. Laura Estep.
- Lavinia. This post office was named in honor of Mrs.
Lavinia Smith, wife of J. L. Smith, who was the first woman in the
settlement. The office was established in June, 1878.
- Leonie. I. R. Smith was the first postmaster here and
he named the office in honor of his first wife. The office has
- Little. The post office at Little was established in
June, 1881, and named in honor of L. B. Little, one of the early
- Lucerne. An inland locality in Fairview precinct. The
name derives from Lucerne, Switzerland.
- Maple Grove. An inland locality and a post office in
the southeastern part of Saratoga precinct. The name has reference
to a grove of maples in the vicinity.
- Martha. This office was established in 1904 and it was
named after Mrs. Martha Rollin Porter, a pioneer of the vicinity
and mother-in-law of the first postmaster.
- Meek. This town was named in honor of Samuel Meek who
was at one time a butter maker in the vicinity. At present Mr.
Meek lives in South Norfolk, Nebraska, and is engaged in truck
- Middlebranch. Middlebranch is a country post office and
store in Iowa precinct, twelve miles from the railroad. It is
situated on the middle branch of Verdigre creek from which it
derives its name.
- Mineola. An inland locality and a former post office in
the southeastern part of Scott precinct. Probably named for
Mineola, Queens county, New York. There is also a Mineola, Woods
county, Texas, as well as a Mineola, Mills county, Iowa.
- O'Neill. The original town-site of O'Neill was platted
by Thomas I. Atwood in May, 1874. An addition was platted in 1875
by General John J. O'Neill who brought a colony of Irishmen from
Scranton, Pennsylvania. General O'Neill was the first settler on
May 12, 1874, and the town was named in his honor. O'Neill is the
county seat of Holt county.
- Opportunity. The founders of this town thought they
would "take an opportunity to make good" if they started a little
store and post office on one corner of a big ranch in this
vicinity. Hence the town was named Opportunity.
- Paddock. This town was originally named Troy. The name
was changed to Paddock in 1875 in honor of Algernon S. Paddock,
United States senator from Nebraska, 1875-1881. The precinct has
the same name.
- Page. In 1883 a family named Page took up a homestead
in this vicinity and when the railroad was built a portion of the
town site was located on their land. When the post office was
established Mrs. Selinda Page was the first postmistress and the
office was named in honor of the Page family. Later the railroad
station was given the same name.
- Phoenix. The post office at Phoenix was originally
called Greeley, but this office was discontinued because there was
an older Greeley post office in the state. When an office was
reestablished here it was named Phoenix by the settlers, because,
like the Phoenix of the Egyptian myth, it had risen again from its
ashes, young and beautiful. The office was originally named for
- Ray. Ray post office was named for the oldest son of N.
T. Hoxie, one of the eariy settlers in the vicinity. The office
was established about 1880 or 1881 but was later discontinued.
- Redbird. The town of Redbird was named after Red Bird
creek on which it is located.
- Saratoga. A post office was established at Saratoga in
1879 and named after the Saratoga precinct in which it is
- Scottville. This place was named after a local pioneer,
Barrett Scott, who later was treasurer of Holt county. The post
office has been discontinued.
- Stafford. This town was named in honor of Michael
Stafford who was the first road master of the Chicago and
Northwestern railroad at the time when it was known as the
Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley railroad. He also had a land
claim in the vicinity.
- Star. C. E. Downey of O'Neill, Nebraska, suggested the
name Star for this post office. Mr. Downey says that in selecting
the name he considered only the fact that it was short and
- Stuart. This town was named in honor of Peter Stuart,
one of the early settlers who owned the land on which the village
is located. The first settlement was made here in 1879.
- Swan. Swan post office was named after Swan lake which
is located in the immediate vicinity. Swan lake was so named
because of its shape. It has an oblong body with rather a long
neck. There is also a Swan township which received its name from
the same source.
- Tonawanda. The post office at Tonawanda was named in
honor of an Indian girl by that name, the Indian form being
Tonawando or Tonawanta. It has also been suggested, in all
probability correctly, that this place took its name from
Tonawanda, New York, which in turn is said to be an Iroquois
Indian word meaning "swift water." Tonawanda ('confluent stream')
is a Seneca settlement on Tonawanda creek, in Niagara county, New
- Tonic. An inland village and a former post office in
the southwestern part of Deloit precinct.
- Turner. William Knollkampire named this post office in
honor of a Mr. Turner, his partner in a grist mill. Mr. Turner was
also a merchant at Niobrara and Springfield, Nebraska.
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