was given to the place. The resettlement and rebuilding of the town began early in the spring of 1854, the first settlers coming largely from Council Bluffs. Under the new order of things the town once more became a prosperous and busy point. The Mormons, from 1854 to 1865, started

     [Ex-Senator Alvin Saunders was born in Fleming county, Kentucky, July 12, 1817. In 1829 his parents removed to Illinois, near Springfield, where, as in Kentucky, he worked upon a farm, and had only the meagre education which a new and sparsely settled country could give. In 1836, desiring to begin life for himself, his parents reluctantly consented to his going West, and he went to the Territory of Wisconsin, halting at the little settlement of Mount Pleasant, now in the State of Iowa. Here he worked for a time again on a farm, then got a place in a country store, and by attending a night school, and diligent study at all spare moments, he supplied much of the deficiency in his early education, and was later taken into a business partnership with an elder brother. He was appointed the first Postmaster of Mount Pleasant by President Van Buren in 1837, although raised a Whig, because no one else would have the office. In 1846 he was removed by Polk, which led to his candidacy for and election to the Constitutional Convention in that year, and thus he assisted in framing the Constitution under which Iowa became a State. In 1854 he was elected, and in 1858 re-elected, to the Iowa State Senate. He was a delegate to the first Iowa State Republican Convention, and also to the Chicago Convention which nominated Lincoln, for whom he voted, and in whose election he aided much during the campaign. In 1861 President Lincoln appointed Mr. Saunders Governor of the Territory of Nebraska, and in 1865, on the day of the

evening on which he was assassinated, signed the Governor's commission for another term. In 1867, when Nebraska was admitted to the Union as a State, Governor Saunders retired from public life, and engaged extensively in banking and other business. In 1868 he was a delegate to the Chicago National Convention, when Grant and Colfax were nominated. In 1875 he met with severe financial reverses, which led to his return to public life by his election to the United States Senate in January, 1877. Since the expiration of his term, in 1883, the Senator has been assiduously laboring to restore his broken fortunes, and with marked success. At the time of his failure he could have relieved himself of a great debt through the Bankrupt Law, but he refused to do so, declaring that in time he would pay in full; and his



purpose has nearly been accomplished, to the great gratification of his many admirers and sympathetic friends. As Governor of the Territory, Mr. Saunders had a double duty to perform; he had to raise troops for service against the South, and others to suppress the Indian depredations on the western border. For these purposes the Territory had neither money nor credit, and yet by his energy and executive ability he succeeded in sending into the field over three thousand men for service against the South, beside a large number sent to the frontier. Senator Saunders, since coming to Nebraska, has been actively interested in and a promoter of everything calculated to benefit the State and its chief city- Omaha. He labored zealously to secure the proper location of the Union Pacific Railroad, and when a strong effort

was made by Eastern railroads, Council Bluffs and the State of Iowa, to locate the Bridge several miles south of Omaha, the Senator, as Chairman of a Bridge Committee of citizens, gave his time, private means and influence unstintedly to defeat it, and he succeeded. He took a lively interest in the building of the Omaha & Southwestern Railroad, of which he was at one time Vice-President. He largely promoted our present fine school system throughout the State, and as President of the Board of Regents of the High School, secured the erection of our splendid High School Building, The City Gas Works, the Street Railways and other enterprises for the city's benefit and the people's comfort and convenience, have found in him a willing and efficient helper. He was also an original promoter and stockholder in the Omaha Smelting Works, which have proved to be one of the most successful business enterprises in the city. As a Senator of the United States, Mr. Saunders was not so conspicuous in debate as in the Committee Room, and there, it is conceded, is where a strong and business-like man is most felt. He secured to Nebraska six hundred thousand acres of land, by the rectification of the northern boundary line of the State, adjoining Dakota, an achievement only equaled in our history by Thomas H. Benton's success in attaching the Platte Purchase to Missouri. He secured the establishment of a Labor School for Indians on the Pawnee Reservation, and while Governor of the Territory secured the passage of the Grazing Law, an act of inestimable benefit to Nebraska farmers, since it compelled the fencing in or control of grazing herds, rather than fencing them out. There is probably no citizen of Nebraska, past or present, to whom the State and the city of Omaha owe so much as to Alvin Saunders, and to the credit of the people, both of city and State, it can be said that the obligation is fully recognized, their respect for and confidence in him being unqualified.]

all their emigrant trains from Florence, thus giving to the merchants of Omaha a very profitable outfitting trade. At one time it was thought that Florence would become a large city, but it went down with the financial crash of 1857-58, and with the final departure of the Mormons it sank into



     [Byron Reed was born at Darien, Genesee county, New York, March 12, 1829. He attended the Alexander Classical School, but left before graduating because of the removal of his family to the then territory of Wisconsin, where a new Darien, in Walworth county, was founded. Mr. Reed entered business life as a telegraph operator, the lines having then been extended from the large eastern cities as far west as Cleveland. From 1849 to the beginning Of 1855 Mr. Reed worked on the Cleveland and Pittsburg line, most of the time at Warren, Ohio. He was one of the first to adopt the system of receiving by sound, which is now in universal use, although at first received with doubt and hesitation, and even condemned and ordered abandoned after a year's trial by most of the lines then in operation. Mr. Reed came to Omaha November 10, 1855, and a few weeks later went to Kansas and passed the winter at Leavenworth, Lawrence, Kansas City and other places, as correspondent of the New York Tribune. At that time the "Border Ruffian War" was at its height, and Tribune correspondents at Leavenworth and other pro-slavery places were in great danger. After a time Mr. Reed's connection with the Tribune was discovered and his arrest ordered, but he narrowly escaped from Leavenworth at night. Another correspondent, Mr. Phillips, was also discovered, and a few months later killed. After four months spent amid the dangers of Kansas, Mr. Reed returned to Omaha, having decided to make it his future home. He opened an office in the old State House building, and established the real estate and conveyancing business, which he has conducted up to the present time



with marked success. The Byron Reed Company is now a corporation with a paid up capital of $200,000, and probably does a business as large as some of our National banks. In 1860 Mr. Reed was elected City Clerk, the office being then without emoluments. He served as such continuously for seven years, being succeeded by William L. May in 1867. From 1861 to 1863 he was deputy County Clerk, and personally recorded all the instruments and documents that were filed. In 1863 he was elected County Clerk for two years. In 1871 he was a member of the City Council, and president of that body in 1872. Mr. Reed gave to the public fourteen acres of land on Prospect Hill, now of great value, for a cemetery; and, contrary to the usual custom, there is no clause of reversion in the deed of gift, which provides that should the cemetery be discontinued or removed, the land shall go to the city in trust for other uses beneficial to the public, such as a park, or for the erection of public buildings; and the city is restrained from ever alienating or leasing any part for a valuable consideration. In addition to his generous gift, Mr. Reed undertook the management of the cemetery when no one else could he found to do it, and under his care it soon became the finest and best appointed cemetery in the West. The Forest Lawn Cemetery Association was also formed through the efforts of Mr. Reed and the late John H. Brackin, with the understanding that Prospect Hill should be turned over to it when organized, and this was done in 1885. Mr. Reed is a corresponding member of the American Numismatic and Archaeological Society of New York, and has been for many years an industrious collector of rare books, manuscripts, autographs and coins. In his library, a view of which is presented on this page, can be found, in addition to all that is of historical value concerning Omaha, many volumes of great value, the work of patient monks in the middle ages, one of which is a missal of the fifteenth century, illuminated in colors, curiously bound in vellum and studded with large iron rivets. His numismatic collection is one of the most complete in the country, being especially rich in Jewish and Roman coins, and is almost perfect in the coinage of this country from colonial times to the present day.]



an insignificance from which it has never emerged. This much has been said in reference to Florence, because it is intimately associated with the early history of Omaha, whose powerful rival it was for a time.


   Among the thousands of gold-seekers who started for California in 1849, was William D. Brown, of Mount



Pleasant, Henry county, Iowa. Upon reaching Council Bluffs, he saw that there was money to be made in carrying on a ferry across the Missouri river, to accommodate the California Mormon emigration. Convinced that there more sure profit in such an enterprise than there in the uncertainty of gold-hunting in a far-off region, he abandoned his California trip, and established the Lone Tree Ferry-so called from a solitary tree at which his boat landed on the Nebraska side of the



river. He operated his ferry under a charter obtained from the commissioners of Pottawatamie county, Iowa. The undertaking, as he had anticipated, proved very profitable to Mr. Brown during the period from 1850 to 1854. At the same time he engaged in the hotel business in Council Bluffs, being for some time a half partner in the Bluff City House.
     The beautiful and commanding position of the future site of Omaha, particularly the plateau with the

hills in the background, impressed Mr. Brown with the belief that it would be a fine location for a town, which some day might develop into a large and prosperous city. The tide of travel was westward, and this point was the head of navigation at that time. He had frequently been over the ground and had made careful observations. Other residents of Council Bluffs had also visited the spot, and coincided with Mr. Brown's views as to its being a splendid site for a town. He suggested to some of his friends an enterprise of this character, and finally Dr. Enos Lowe, Jesse Lowe, Jesse Williams and Joseph H. D. Street,


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