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| Otoe |
| Pierce |
was organized on June 27, 1871. It was named in honor of Stephen F.
Nuckolls (1825-1879), a prominent pioneer. The boundanes of the
county were defined by an act of the legislature approved January 13,
- Abdal. A village on the Missouri Pacific railroad in
Highland precinct. The word is Arabic in origin, meaning a good or
a religious man.
- Angus. This town was named for J. B. Angus, a former
official of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy railroad.
- Bostwick. No one seems to know why Bostwick is so
named. Probably it was for an official of the Chicago, Burlington,
and Quincy railroad. There is a Bostwick, Georgia. The precinct
has the same name.
- Cadams. The Pioneer Town-Site Company platted this town
in 1901. The citizens wished to name the town for C. Adams, a
banker of Superior, Nebraska. They decided on the name "C. Adams"
which the department at Washington changed to the present form of
- Hardy. The town of Hardy was named for a Burlington
official by that name who at that time lived in Massachusetts. The
precinct has the same name.
- Lawrence. Lawrence was named for one of the officials
of this division of the Burlington railroad.
- Mount Clare. This town received its name from two
sources. Mount was derived from the fact that the town is located
on a ridge between the Blue and the Republican rivers. Clare was
taken from the name of the Honorable Captain Clare Adams of Omaha,
Nebraska, who was an official in the Land, Loan, and Town-Site
Company that promoted this town. The first settler in Mount Clare
was a Mr. Connor who came to the vicinity in 1888.
- Nelson. The site of Nelson was surveyed k the winter of
1873 on land owned by C. Nelson Wheeler of Illinois. The town was
named in his honor. It is the county seat of Nuckolls county. The
precinct has the same name.
- Nora. The Nora post office was first established on a
farm owned by a Mr. Whiting, and three-fourths of a mile east of
the present location of the office. Mr. Whiting was requested to
give the office a name. In looking over the post office lists of
other states he found a Nora, Illinois, and named the new office
- Oak. The village of Oak derived its name from the oak
tree. In 1856 E. S. Comstock established the first stage station
on the Oregon Trail in this county, about two miles east of where
the present site of Oak is located. Just back of this station on
the Little Blue river was a fine grove of oak trees, and on this
account the name Oak was given to the stage station and post
office. When the Chicago and Northwestern railroad was built
through the settlement it also took the name Oak for the station.
A near-by creek is called Oak.
- Ruskin. The post office at Ruskin was named for the
famous English author and art critic, John Ruskin (1819-1900).
- Sedan. The station here was named by the railroad and
has always been known as Sedan. When the post office was
established, however, it was named Coy, because there was already
a Sedan post office in the northeastern part of Nebraska. The
latter office was finally discontinued and Coy post office was
renamed Sedan. The name derives from Sedan, Ardennes, France.
There is a Sedan in Iowa and in Kansas.
- Smyrna. A village on the Chicago, Burlington, and
Quincy railroad in Highland precinct. It was named for Smyrna, a
seaport city of Asia Minor.
- Superior. This town was so named because of the
superior quality of the land in the vicinity as compared with
other land along the railroad.
Otoe county was
named after the Otoe tribe of Indians. The boundaries were defined by
an act of the legislature approved March 2, 1855, and redefined by an
act approved January 26, 1856.
- Burr. Originally named Burr Oak because there was a bur
oak grove near the town-site. The name was shortened to Burr
because there was a town in Kansas called Burr Oak and this led to
confusion of mail.
- Douglas. When the post office at Douglas was a star
route it was called Hendricks after a pioneer who lived in the
vicinity. Before the town was platted, a man by the name of
Douglas owned the eighty-acre town-site. Later, Simpson McKibbon
married a Douglas girl and bought the eighty acres. When the town
was platted, it took the name Douglas from Mrs. McKibbon's maiden
- Dunbar. Originally named Wilson, then Dennison, and
shortly after, Dunbar. The last name was given the town in honor
of Thomas Dunbar, the oldest resident in the immediate vicinity.
The town-site was laid out by the old Midland Pacific railroad.
Gannett's treatise on place names states that this town was named
for John Dunbar, a large land owner.
- Lorton. In 1881 the town of Delta was platted on the
present town-site of Lorton. Later, the Missouri Pacific railroad
passed through the place and refused to use the name Delta,
because there was a station by that name in Kansas. The name Cio
was then given to the station, but the post office retained the
name Delta. This readily caused great confusion, so the post
office department and the railroad company asked the citizens to
choose one name for both the station and the post office. At that
time, 1892, Robert Lorton was in the wholesale grocery business in
Nebraska City and often visited the present town of Lorton and
sold goods to the merchants His name was listed among others and
finally agreed upon as a suitable name for the town. Mr. Lorton
later moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he died in 1921.
- Minersville. The town of Minersville was so named
because of the coal veins found in the bluffs near the town-site.
These veins vary from four to eighteen inches in thickness, but
are mined very little because they dip down into the bluffs and
are not easily worked. According to borings made in the past fifty
years, a coal bed underlies all of this section, but it is not of
sufficient thickness to be worked profitably.
- Nebraska City. This town was incorporated on March 2,
1855, amended March 16, 1855, and is one of the oldest in the
state; it was reincorporated December 31, 1857. It was named after
the state, which in turn had its name from the Indian name for the
Platte river. Nebraska City was founded by Stephen F. Nuckolls,
for whom Nuckolls county was named. It is the county seat of Otoe
- Otoe. Originally called Berlin. The name was changed to
Otoe during the World War in honor of the county. The precinct
still retains the name Berlin which name was given with reference
to local German settlers.
- Palmyra. The Reverend Mr. John W. Taggert was the
founder of this town which was laid out on his homestead in 1870.
His daughter, Mrs. Jeanette Taggert White, named the town after
the ancient city of Palmyra, Asia Minor. The precinct is known as
North Palmyra; the precinct south of Palmyra is called South
- Paul. The land on which Paul is located was owned by
Paulinus Kuwitzky. Mr. Kuwitzky wished the town to be named in his
honor and suggested Paul as short. This name was accepted by the
- Syracuse. The town of Syracuse was named after Syracuse
precinct in which it is located. The precinct was named by Mr.
George Warner after his former home in Syracuse, New York.
- Talmage. This town was platted in 1881 by Clark Puffer.
Mr. Puffer wrote to Thomas DeWitt Talmage (1832-1902) who was at
that time superintendent of the division of the Missouri Pacific
railroad and asked permission to name the town in his honor. Mr.
Talmage consented on condition that Mr. Puffer should see to the
development of a good town. In the early spring of 1882, Mr.
Talmage visited the town-site. He later became one of the foremost
Presbyterian clergymen in this country.
- Unadilla. The land on which this town is located was at
one time owned by I. N. White. Mr. White named the locality in
honor of his former home in Unadilla, New York. Unadilla is an
Iroquois Indian word meaning "place of meeting."
- Wyoming. The original town was located a short distance
northeast of the present site and was a freighting point on the
Missouri river. The town was incorporated by an act of the
legislature approved March 15, 1855, and reincorporated and
approved February 13, 1857. During the latter part of the Mormon
migration as many as three thousand emigrants wintered in the
town. The original founders of the town named the place after
Wyoming, Pennsylvania, their former home. The old town-site is now
farm land. The name Wyoming derives from a corrupted Delaware
Indian word meaning "large plains" or "extensive meadows." The
precinct has the same name.
Pawnee county was
named after the Pawnee tribe of Indians. The boundaries were defined
by an act of the legislature approved March 6, 1855; January 26,
1856; and reapproved January 8, 1862. Counties in Kansas and Oklahoma
have the same name for the same reason.
- Armour. This town was platted by J. M. Cravens some
time after 1893. A post office had been previously established in
the vicinity and the village took the name of the local post
office. It does not seem to be known why the office had this name
but it may have been for the Armour brothers of Chicago, bankers
and pork packers.
- Bookwalter. The town was named in honor of W. J.
Bookwalter who formerly owned the land on which it is
- Burchard. This town was named in honor of a local
minister by the name of Burchard.
- Du Bois. Du Bois was the name of the chief engineer of
the first railroad built through this town. He was given the
right-of-way by John Mallory and G. W. Miner, who later named the
town in his honor.
- Lewiston. A village on the Chicago, Rock Island, and
Pacific railroad in Turkey Creek precinct. It was probably
directly or indirectly named for Lewiston, Maine, though possibly
for a local resident.
- Mayberry. The town was originally located one and a
half miles north of the present site. It was named after Charles
N. Mayberry, a pioneer of the vicinity. In 1887 the Chicago, Rock
Island, and Pacific railway was built through Pawnee county and
the town was located on its present site on the railroad.
- Pawnee City. The county seat of Pawnee county. The town
was supposedly named after the Pawnee Indians (though in the Otoe
country) who according to tradition, once camped on Turkey creek
near the present site of Pawnee City. The county seat was
established by an act of the legislature approved March 6, 1855,
and incorporated by an act of the legislature approved November 4,
1858. Many maps give the name as Pawnee, the U. S. postal guide
retains the name Pawnee City. The precinct has the name Pawnee
- Steinauer. The town of Steinauer was named in honor of
Joseph A. Steinauer who located in the vicinity in September,
1856. Mr. Steinauer was also the first postmaster and held this
office from the time it was established in the late fifties until
1893 when he resigned. The precinct has the same name.
- Table Rock. Table Rock was named after a peculiar,
large, flat-topped rock, shaped like a table, which is located on
the Nemaha river a short distance east of the village.* It was
incorporated by an act of the legislature approved January 4,
1860. A station on the Union Pacific railroad in Wyoming has this
name for a like reason. The precinct also has the name Table
* ( See Edwards, History of Richardson County,
Nebraska, pp. 691-622. )
- Tate. A village in Turkey Creek precinct, probably
named for a local resident.
- Violet. This town was originally named Butler in honor
of the first state governor of Nebraska, David Butler, who grazed
large herds of cattle on the ground that was afterwards laid out
into town lots. Later the name of the town was changed to Violet
in honor of Governor Butler's only daughter.
Perkins county was
named in 1888 in honor of Charles E. Perkins, president of the
Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy railway system. The first settlement
of the county began in 1885. Local tradition is to the effect that
the county was named after Joseph Perkins, a former resident of
Grant, Nebraska. Perkins county was formed from Keith county by vote
November 8, 1887.
- Brandon. A station on the Chicago, Burlington, and
Quincy railroad in Lisbon precinct. The name is probably for a
railroad man or for Brandon, Ohio.
- Elsie. This town, in Yankee precinct, was named in
honor of Elsie Perkins, a daughter of Charles F. Perkins for whom
the county was named. The story of the naming is traditional in
the Perkins family. According to a local account the town was
named after a daughter of Joseph Perkins who was a merchant of
- Grant. The town of Grant, in Liberty precinct, was
named in 1887 in honor of President U. S. Grant. It is the county
seat of Perkins county.
- Madrid. The first settler was John McKenzie, now of
Highlands, California. He located a bank here and called the
embryo city Trail City. Later the site was platted and promoted by
the Lincoln Land Co. and renamed Madrid, after Madrid, Spain. The
precinct has the same name.
- Pearl. The name for a former post office and a locality
near the southeast corner of Valley precinct, local in origin. A
neighboring precinct in Chase county has the same name for the
- Phebe. Mrs. Phoebe Jack was the first postmistress for
the Phebe post office, and it was named in her honor. Mrs. Jack
now resides at Evans, Colorado.
- Venango. This place is near the west line of Perkins
county on the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy railroad in Grace
precinct. It was probably named after Venango, a city and county
in Pennsylvania. According to Gannett, The Origin of Certain
Place Names in the United States, Venango is "from the Indian
innungah, in reference to a figure found on a tree, carved
by the Eries."
Phelps county was
organized and its boundaries defined by an act approved February 11,
1873, and was named in honor of Captain William Phelps, an early
settler in this part of Nebraska, and whose son-in-law, C. J.
Dilworth, served a term as attorney general of the state. Mr. Phelps
was born in 1808 in New York state and for many years was captain of
a steamboat on the Missouri river.
- Atlanta. This town, in Industry precinct, was organized
in 1888. It was probably named after Atlanta, Georgia, or perhaps
after Atlanta, Illinois, which was named after the city in
- Bertrand. This town was organized in December, 1885. It
was named after an official of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy
- Funk. The town of Funk began its history in 1887. It
was named in honor of Mr. P. C. Funk, one of the oldest settlers
in the county who is at present a resident of the town. Mr. Funk
is one of the few Grand Army of the Republic veterans left in this
- Haydon. An inland locality in Anderson precinct. The
name is probably local in origin.
- Holcomb. An inland locality in Center precinct,
probably named for a local resident.
- Holdrege. Hoidrege was named in honor of George W.
Holdrege, superintendent of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy
railroad. The town was established in 1883, just after the
railroad was built through the vicinity. It is the county seat of
- Loomis. This town was named for N. H. Loomis who was
associated with the Burlington railroad in the fall of 1885, when
the town was organized.
- Sacramento. This place was probably named after
Sacramento, California. The name is from the Spanish language and
- Westmark. An inland locality in Westmark precinct,
probably named for a local settler.
- Williamsburg. This inland town was formerly the county
seat of Phelps county. It was named for William Dilworth, a son of
C. J. Dilworth. Mrs. C. J. Dilworth was a daughter of Captain
William Phelps for whom Phelps county was named. The precinct is
also named Williamsburg.
Pierce county was
named for President Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) It was established in
1859. The county was officially established and its boundaries
defined by an act approved January 26, 1856.
- Breslau. This town was probably named for Breslau, a
city in Silesia, Prussia. The surrounding country is heavily
settled by Germans.
- Foster. This town was named in honor of George Foster
who for a long time was station agent for the railroad and who
owned land surrounding this town.
- Hadar. The name Hadar is taken from the German
(Hader) and means a misunderstanding or a wordy argument.
It was given to the town after the settlement of a dispute between
two early settlers with the intention of perpetuating the memory
of the dispute.
- Lucas Siding. A station on the Chicago and Northwestern
railroad, northwest of Pierce, in Clover Valley precinct. The name
is local in origin, being for a Mr. Lucas, a landowner.
- McLean. This town is in the northeastern part of Pierce
county, in Eastern precinct, on the Chicago, Burlington, and
Quincy railroad. It was probably named after McLean, Ohio.
- Osmond. This town is a station on the Chicago,
Burlington, and Quincy railroad and was probably named for a
railway official. The precinct has the local descriptive name of
- Pierce. The town of Pierce, like the county, was named
for President Franklin Pierce. The first settlement in the town
was made in 1870. Pierce is the county seat of Pierce county. The
precinct has the same name.
- Plainview. This town was platted on October 30, 1880,
and was originally named Roseville for Charles Rose, the first
postmaster. Later it was thought that this gave too much honor to
one man, so a meeting of the settlers was called for the purpose
of selecting another name. During the discussion of various names,
some one suggested Plainview, saying that not long before he had
passed through a pleasant little town in Minnesota of that name.
He considered the name appropriate to the Nebraska town on account
of the surrounding country. The citizens agreed upon the name and
it was adopted. The locality is the first high land after leaving
the Elkhorn valley. By analogy the precinct has the locally
descriptive name of Dry Creek.
Platte county took
its name from the Platte river. Its boundaries were defined and the
county established by an act of the legislature approved January 26,
1856. The boundaries were redefined by an act approved December 22,
1859. The Platte river is characteristically flat or shallow, and it
takes its name from the French word for flat or shallow, applied to
it by early French missionaries or explorers in Nebraska.
- Columbus. The Columbus Company, made up of a body of
men who had lived in Columbus, Ohio, laid out this town-site in
the summer of 1856. It was incorporated by an act of the
legislature approved October 2, 1858. Columbus is the county seat
of Platte county. The precinct has the same name.
- Cornlea. The name Cornlea is compounded of corn
and lea and means cornland or the land of corn. The town
was laid out on September 30, 1886.
- Creston. The town of Creston was laid out on August 23,
1886. It was so named because it was located on the top of a hill
from which the waters flowed eastward to the Elkhorn river and
westward to the Platte river. Towns in Illinois, Iowa, and
California have the same name for a like reason.
- Duncan. This town was laid out on October 24, 1871, and
was originally named Jackson. It was probably named for a local
resident or for Duncan, Illinois, which was named for James Henry
Duncan, congressman from Massachusetts, 1849-1853.
- Humphrey. Humphrey was laid out and platted on November
25, 1880. Mrs. Leach, the first postmistress of this village,
named it after Humphrey, New York, the town from which she came.
The precinct has the same name.
- Lindsay. The town of Lindsay was named by its first
settler, John Walker, after Lindsay, Ontario, Canada. It was laid
out on November 8, 1886.
- Monroe. Leander Gerrard of Columbus named the town in
commemoration of President James Monroe. Mr. Gerrard and his
brother, E. A. Gerrard, founded the town which was laid out in
1889. At that time, he recalled that no town in the United States
had been named for President Monroe and on this account Mr.
Gerrard named the new town for him. The precinct has the same
- Oconee. This town was first platted on February 5,
1880, and was replatted on May 21, 1883. It was originally named
Lost Creek on account of a small stream of water north of the
town, which at intervals appeared and disappeared, and at one time
overflowed the immediate territory. The post office, however, was
known as Dorrance, and this caused a great deal of inconvenience
because mail was constantly missent to Dorrance, Kansas. When it
was decided to change the name of the office, Mr. F. A. Baldwin,
now of Omaha, Nebraska, suggested the name Oconee, because it was
unlike that of any other post office in Nebraska or the
surrounding states. This name was accepted by both the post office
department and the railroad. Oconee, Nebraska, was doubtless named
for Oconee, Shelby county, Illinois. According to Gannett's
treatise on place names Oconee is an Indian word and was the name
of an old Creek town. The precinct has the same name.
- Platte Center. Platte Center is so named because of its
central location in Platte county. It was laid out and platted on
January 22, 1880.
- Tarnov. This town was originally called Burrows and was
founded and incorporated on November 13, 1889. It was probably
named after Tarnow (pronounced Taar'-nov), Galicia. The precinct
is still called Burrows.
Polk county was
organized following an election held August 6, 1870. It was named in
honor of ex-president of the United States, James K. Polk
(1795-1849). Its boundaries were defined and the county established
by an act of the legislature approved January 26, 1856.
- Osceola. This town, in Osceola precinct was named for
Osceola, a chief of the Seminole Indian tribe in Florida. It was
located temporarily in August, 1870, and permanently October 10,
1871, surveyed and platted in June, 1872. Osceola is the county
seat of Polk county. According to Gannett's account of place names
the name "Osceola" refers to a medicine drink used by the tribe in
- Polk. The town of Polk was named for Polk county. A
post office was established here in February, 1907.
- Shelby. Shelby was laid out by the Union Pacific
railroad in 1879, and was at that time called Arcade. The post
office department, however, objected to this name because of its
similarity to Arcadia in Valley county, Nebraska. The railroad
then communicated with the post office department and the name
Shelby was given to the town in honor of an official on the Union
- Stromsburg. The town of Stromsburg, in Stromsburg
precinct, was located and surveyed in June, 1872. It was named
Stromsburg by some of the first Swedish settlers, who purchased
the land for the town-site, after a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden.
Another fairly well authenticated account is to the effect that
the town was located about 1870 by L. Headstrom from Illin6is who
moved his family to this place in 1872. He was agent for the Union
Pacific Land Company, the first merchant, and the first postmaster
at Stromsburg. When the town was organized it was named in honor
of L. Headstrom, a leading citizen, by taking the last syllable of
his name and adding "burg", that is "Strom's burg".
- Swedehome. This place is so named because of a large,
pioneer settlement of Swedish Lutherans in the vicinity.
RED WILLOW COUNTY
Red Willow county
takes its name from Red Willow creek. This name is a mistranslation
of the Dakota Indian name Chan-shasha Wakpala, literally, Red
Dogwood creek, this shrub being abundant along the stream. The
boundaries were defined by an act approved February 27, 1873.
- Banksville. An inland location in Grant precinct. It
was named for Edward Banks who at the time was the popular sheriff
of Red Willow county.
- Bartley. Bartley was organized and platted on July 3,
1886. It was named after the Rev. Allen Bartley, a Methodist
Episcopal minister, who homesteaded the land on which Bartley
stands. It was the intention to make Bartley a school town and
establish a Methodist college. The first story of a building was
erected and several terms of school were held, but the needed
support did not materialize and the project was abandoned.
- Boxelder. An inland location in Elder precinct, both so
named because of the presence of much box elder timber in the
- Danbury. George Gilbert, the first postmaster of
Danbury, came here from Danbury, Connecticut, and named the town
after his former home. The neighboring precinct has the same
- Indianola. This town was named by I. Starbuck after
Indianola, Iowa, his former home. It was laid out in May, 1873, by
the Republican Valley Land Association and located by D. N. Smith
who had charge of locating the town-sites for the company. A
neighboring precinct has the same name.
- Lebanon. Lebanon was named after the cedars of Lebanon
mentioned in the Bible. A man by the name of Bradbury, who was the
first postmaster here, sent three names to the post office
department. Of these the name Lebanon was chosen. The precinct has
the same name. The village on the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy
railroad is known as Lebanon Station.
- McCook. This town was named for Alexander McDowell
McCook, major general in the Civil War. General McCook came from
an unusual family of which eight brothers and the father all
served as officers in the Federal army during the Civil War. The
town of McCook was laid out by the Lincoln Land Company in June,
1882, and was originally known as Fairview. It is the county seat
of Red Willow county.
- Marion. This town was named by the Burlington and
Missouri railroad officials in honor of Marion Powell. At that
time Mr. Powell owned a large track of land and was a heavy
operator in the stock and feed business of the town. The town-site
was platted and organized in September, 1901.
- Perry. This place is located in Perry precinct. It and
the precinct were named for W. S. Perry, who at the time was
superintendent of bridges on the McCook division of the Chicago,
Burlington, and Quincy railroad. When the station or siding was
located it was named Campbell after A. Campbell who was then
superintendent of the McCook division. Later the name was changed
to Perry when another town was located in Franklin county and
- Red Willow. The post office here has been discontinued
but the town was named alter Red Willow creek. The post office was
located near where the creek empties into the Republican river.
The precinct is called Red Willow.
- Shippee. This place is a station on the Chicago,
Burlington, and Quincy railroad. It was named for Leonard Shippee,
a local resident and property owner.
© 2001 for the NEGenWeb Project by Connie Snyder