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postponed until the next meeting of the board, the contractor, J. P. Becker, being absent.
On the 1st day of June, 1868, at the meeting of the board; F. G. Becher moved that the location of the courthouse be changed from the center to the southeast quarter of said Columbia Square. The motion carried. At the meeting of the board held on the 13th of July, 1868, the contract and bond of the contractor for the building of the courthouse was read and approved. The bond and deed from the Town of Columbus to the County of Platte was approved and deed ordered to be recorded.
At a regular meeting of the board held on the 7th day of September, 1868, the motion of S. C. Smith to front courthouse west was called up and carried and the county clerk reported courthouse bonds ready. The motion of S. C. Smith that $25 be allowed for superintending the foundations of the courthouse and that James Brown and John Browner be appointed to inspect the same, was carried.
The board met in regular session on the 2d day of November, 1868, with F. G. Becher in the chair. The other members were S. C. Smith and Fred Stevens; H. J. Hudson clerk.
On January 26, 1869, at a called meeting, the chairman, F. G. Becher suggested that "there be some action with reference to our county boundaries as an effort was being made to detach the eastern portion." Thereupon Commissioner Stevens moved that the clerk be ordered to instruct the county attorney in regard to the interests of Platte County and to defeat any project to divide the county if any such measure should be presented to the Legislature.
March 1, 1869, it was moved by S. C. Smith that the store room of H. J. Hudson be rented from the 1st day of March for the use of the commissioners and the county clerk, at a rental of $15 per month. It was also moved by S. C. Smith that the clerk procure a suitable desk for his office, also three ballot boxes for the use of the precincts.
A communication from Judge Albertson accepting the appointment of superintendent of the courthouse was placed on file.
On March 17th, F. G. Becher moved that F. A. Huffman be authorized to use his discretion in purchasing the safes and desks to be sold at public auction in Omaha by the secretary of state on the 24th inst., that said purchase must not exceed $600, being the amount in the county sinking fund. As compensation for his trouble his fare to and from Omaha to be defrayed by the county.
The commission then redistricted the county as follows: First district -- Beginning at the northeast corner of the county, following
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY101
the north line nine miles to the center of range 1 west, thence south to the bank of the Loup Fork, following the south bank of the Loup and Platte rivers to its intersection of the east boundary. Second district -- All the territory lying in the west half of range 1 west, also ranges 2 and 3 west to the Pawnee Reservation, bounded on the north by the north line of the county and on the south by the south bank of the Loup Fork River. Third district -- All the land belonging to Platte County lying between the Platte and the Loup Fork rivers from their east to their west boundaries.
The board met in regular session May 3, 1869, at which time Guy C. Barnum presented his credentials as the newly elected county commissioner from the third district and took his seat with his fellow member, S. C. Smith; F. G. Becher in the chair.
Judge Albertson having failed to meet the requirements of the board as superintendent of the construction of the courthouse, E. W. Toncray was appointed in his place and gave bond for the faithful performance of his duties at the May meeting of the board.
At the July meeting of the board the compensation of the superintendent of schools was, upon motion of F. G. Becher, placed at $3 per day, with mileage to and from the schoolhouses in the respective districts and that each district be visited twice in each year.
The board met on July 13, 1869, and among other things consummated a contract for building the Loup Fork Bridge, with A. J. Arnold and F. Reimer contractors.
The motion of S. C. Smith that 'that the call for issuing railroad bonds at the last meeting was rescinded and the following motion was substituted and that a special election be called thirty days from issuing notice for the following proposition: To empower the county commissioner to issue bonds to the amount of $80,000, redeemable in twenty years, be given to the first railroad running into the corporate limits of the Town of Columbus and constructing and equipping ten miles of road running out from said town. It was also ordered that the county attorney prepare notice of said election.
This action called forth the following motion from S. C. Smith: That all persons and all previous actions by the board relative to issuing railroad bonds by Platte County, the same be and is hereby rescinded and made null and void; and that the following resolutions be spread upon the records:
Resolved, That whereas it is proposed that the County of Platte do issue $80,000 in county bonds to aid in the construction of the Sioux City and Columbus Railroad, that said bonds be payable twenty years
102PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY
from their date and bear interest at 6 per cent per annum from date of bond, interest payable annually on the 1st day of July each year and, whereas it is proposed to levy a special tax of one-half mill on the dollar valuation on all taxable property in said county for the purpose of paying the interest on said bonds and to be levied and collected for the term of twenty years next after the issuing of said bonds and it is further proposed to levy a special tax to be levied and collected for the term of ten years to commence ten years from the date of issuing said bonds and to continue till said bonds are due, said money so raised to be a special fund to be used only in the manner and for the purpose as herein set forth, and said bonds when issued to be tendered by Platte County to the Sioux City and Columbus Railroad Company.
Provided, the said Sioux City and Columbus Railroad Company shall within one year from this date construct ten miles of railroad in Platte County, connecting with the Union Pacific Railroad within the corporate limits of the Town of Columbus and run out ten miles from said town, and provided further that said road shall be constructed in accordance with section 1 of an act entitled "An act to dispose of the public lands granted to the State of Nebraska for works of public improvements," approved February 15, 1869, and that said bonds be issued and dated on the 1st day of July next succeeding the completion of said ten miles of railroad, and whereas it is required by law that all proposals to issue bonds and levy a special tax for the payment of said bonds as above proposed be submitted to a vote of the legal voters of the county.
Therefore, It is ordered that a special election be held in Platte County at the usual place for holding elections in said county for the purpose of voting for or against said proposition as above set forth; that the polls of said election be opened at 9 o'clock said day and closed at 6 P. M. said day. The manner of submitting and voting on said question shall be as follows: Those voting in favor of issuing bonds and levying special tax for the purpose as above set forth shall write or print on their ballots "For the special railroad bond tax." Those voting against said proposition to issue bonds and levy special tax shall write or print on their ballots "Against the special railroad bond tax."
And it is further ordered that the county clerk of said county issue a call for said special election and attach a copy of this resolution and order thereto and post the same according to law at Columbus, Nebraska, August 2, 1869.
September 6, 1869, H. J. Hudson, county clerk, reported that
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 103
upon making a canvass of the returns of said election held August 31, 1869, for the proposition and voting upon special railroad bond tax, he found the following results: For the special railroad bond tax, 128 votes; against special railroad bond tax, 2 votes.
The resignation of F. G. Becher as county commissioner was accepted, to take effect after the proceedings of this session. Thus ended Mr. Becher's long service as one of the county's business agents, as he had been a member of the board from the organization of the county up to that time -- a period of about twelve years.
The new board of county commissioners held its first session on the 26th day of December, 1869. It was composed of Samuel C. Smith, Guy C. Barnum and George W. Galley. Samuel C. Smith, chairman and H. J. Hudson, county clerk.
It appears by the county clerk's minutes of date February 1, 1870, that the first meeting of the board of commissioners held in the new courthouse, was on the date just mentioned. S. C. Smith was in the chair. His colleagues were Guy C. Barnum and George W. Galley; H. J. Hudson, clerk.
At an adjourned meeting on February 2d the clerk was ordered to request the state treasurer to pay no funds to Colfax County until he was informed that a settlement had been made with Platte County assuming their share of indebtedness incurred by the disjunction of Colfax from Platte County.
At this session Commissioner Galley moved that A. Mathias be allowed $25 for the use of his bridge by the settlers.
On motion of G. W. Galley, the clerk was authorized to procure a suitable copying press for the clerk's office
A petition for the formation of a new precinct was granted to be known as the Lost Creek precinct, with the boundaries as follows: To commence at the point of the township line between ranges 2 and 3 west, where it strikes the Loup Fork of the Platte, thence north on said township line between ranges 2 and 3 west, to the county line; thence east on the county line to the sixth principal meridian; thence south on said meridian to the north line of township 17, range 1 west; thence west on said township line to where said line intersects with the township line between ranges 1 and 2 west; thence south on said line to the Loup Fork; thence by the north bank of said Loup Fork to the place of beginning. Said precinct to be known as Lost Creek precinct.
Report of courthouse superintendent recommending the painting of the courthouse on its outside was placed on file.
The commissioners met pursuant to adjournment March 8, 1870,
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and the commissioners "held interviews with the contractor of the courthouse and the superintendent upon the necessity of substituting grating of iron over the cell doors instead of transoms as set forth in the specifications; also as to the necessity of painting the outside brick work on the courthouse; but no action was taken."
On June 22,1870, the report of the superintendent of construction that the courthouse was ready, the commissioners proceeded to examine and inspect the courthouse and on motion of Guy C. Barnum the courthouse was received of the contractor, he having complied with the plans and specifications.
On motion of Guy C. Barnum, J. P. Becker's bill of $225 for extra labor on the courthouse, building staircase, putting on roof, balustrade and flagstaff, was allowed and ordered paid out of courthouse funds; but another item of $100, which was money alleged to have been paid by the contractor, J. P. Becker, to obtain opinion as to the legality of courthouse bonds, was not allowed.
Commissioner Galley moved that the clerk procure a pump and sink for above hall for the use of the courthouse, also a grating over the door of entrance to the above and have a draft drawn for fitting up the interior of the court room for court purposes.
To the present day reader, the acts of the early legislators of the county are very interesting, as portrayed by the minutes of the county clerk. The county was in its formative stage and almost every detail of the board's proceedings had a lasting effect and influence upon the future of this growing and important subdivision of the state. The old records, kept by the various county clerks, detailing the acts of Platte County's business agents, or boards of county commissioners and boards of township supervisors, would make valuable and entertaining reading if given in their entirety, but that would involve too much time of the writer and consume space allotted to this volume for other subjects. Hence, but excerpts of the minutes follow, as heretofore:
At a meeting of the board of county commissioners, held September 21,1870, the clerk was authorized to issue $25,000 of the county's bonds to secure money for a bridge fund.
By act of the Legislature, passed and approved in 1869, the counties of Platte and Colfax were separated and Colfax County perfected its organization. At this session of the board a settlement was reached between the two counties and their associate financial affairs adjusted.
At a meeting of the board held October 4, 1870, the town council of Columbus requested permission of the commissioners for the use of
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the court room for council purposes, which was granted. On December 5th, the proper committee reported to the board that the Platte River Bridge was completed at a cost of $17,820. At the same meeting the use of the court room was granted to the Columbus Debating Society, on motion of Commissioner G. W. Galley. Ten cords of wood "ready for the stove," was ordered to be purchased for the courthouse at the January meeting of 1871. The price to be paid was $10 a cord. Dampers were also ordered to be placed in the stoves. At this same meeting Pastor L. Olmstead, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was granted leave to use the court room for religious exercises.
At a session of the board held August 1, 1871, Bismarck precinct, consisting of towns 18, 19, 20, range 1 east, was created. Andrew Mathias, Henry Lusche and C. Reinke were appointed judges; Henry Rickert and Benjamin Speilman, clerks. The scalps of 49 wolves and 8 wildcats were counted and destroyed, for which bounties were paid. On the next day 23 wolf scalps and 2 wildcat scalps were destroyed.
PREMIUMS ON TREE PLANTING
Most of the venturesome men and women who came to Nebraska and braved the rigors and hardships of this wild, open prairie country, found but little timber and that little along the streams. They had been accustomed to living in localities where timber was plenty, both for building and fuel purposes. It was a very necessary article and to induce settlers to overcome that which an otherwise beneficent Creator had failed to provide, a territorial law had been enacted offering inducements to settlers to plant forest and fruit trees. A certain amount in taxes was exempted for all persons who took advantage of the law. Of this no better example can be given than the following: At the April meeting of the board of township commissioners, held on the 19th of the month, in the year 1871, "the following persons were ordered to be exempted for timber planted in the several amounts to their names credited :"
A. J. Arnold, forest.
G. C. Barnum, forest
G. C. Barnum, fruit.
Henry Bean, forest.
Alson Benson, forest
John Brauner, forest
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John B. Becker, forest.
G. W. Galley, forest.
Joseph Gardner, forest.
Franz Henggler, forest.
James Jones, forest
V. Kummer, forest
Jacob Lewis, forest
A. Mathias, forest
P. Murie, forest
Patrick Murray, forest
P. J. Martz, forest.
John Rickly, forest
Gunther Rosenberger, forest
J. B. Senecal, forest
J. W. Witchey, forest
J. W. Witchey, forest
W. S. Abbott, forest
Chris Abbott, forest
Jacob Ernst, forest
On the 3d day of July, 1871, the treasurer was authorized to procure a safe for his office. The safe in the county clerk's office was bought and transferred from Omaha to Columbus, and is still doing service. It is said that the safe was purchased by the territorial government and was the first piece of office furniture of the kind brought west of the Missouri River. It was placed in the territorial secretary's office from whom it was purchased by the Platte County Board of Commissioners. At this same session of the board the clerk was ordered "to enlarge the attorneys' enclosure in the court room, remove seats from the jurors' box and substitute chairs."
At the session of the board held August 1, 1871, the commissioners offered $50 reward "for the apprehension and conviction of persons who maliciously destroyed farm implements of Richard Brown, John Brauner, and John Wolfel, on the nights of July 11th and 24th, amounting in damages to $825."
On petition of John Walker and forty-five others, Walker precinct was set off and created. It comprised the north half of township 19, ranges 3 and 4 west and all of township 20, ranges 3 and 4 the election to be held at James Walker's. The following judges of election were appointed: John M. Walker, Matt Farrell, and James
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Collin; clerks, Pat Ducey and M. Murray. At this same session, which was on August 1, 1871, the clerk was ordered "to have the courthouse square cleaned up and holes filled at an expense not to exceed twenty-five dollars."
On December 19, 1871, the agricultural society was granted permission to use the court room for its meetings, which were to begin December 23d. On motion of Commissioner Early, the bill of I. N. Taylor, amounting to $150 "for immigration pamphlets," was carried. The clerk was ordered by the board "to procure lumber for laying sidewalks on the west front of the courthouse square and have the ground ready for planting trees on Arbor Day, April 10, 1872."
These were the halcyon days of the lightning rod man, who found a field to his liking in the county seat. Agents early were here portraying the merits of their individual brands as witness the following item in the county clerk's minutes of date May 7, 1872: "A lengthy and general discussion on the relative merits of Star and Cable lightning rods, with a view to protect courthouse, and a motion of Commissioner Early that the Star rod be adopted for the courthouse, was part of the day's proceedings." At this meeting the clerk was ordered "to subscribe for the Platte Journal, to be filed in the county clerk's office." This paper recently had been established and since the year 1872 bound files of the Journal tentatively have yearly been made a part of the county records, so that complete files of the county's first newspaper can be found in the office of the county clerk; also files of the Telegram.
On May 7, 1872, agreeably to a motion of Commissioner Early, Humphrey precinct was organized, consisting of town 20, range 1 east, and town 20, ranges 1 and 2 west, the election to be held at Walter Mead's. Stearns' precinct was also organized at this session. It was comprised of township 19, range 1 west and the east half of township 19, range 2 west, election to be held at the "half way house."
The clerk was instructed to make inquiries and take measures to secure a reward for the apprehension of the murderers of Sidney Feller and Andrew Egli.
On the 5th day of August, 1873, Lookingglass precinct was established on petition of B. J. H. Yerion and others. The territory included in the new subdivision was township 19, range 3 west, election at the house of Robert Jones; for Walker precinct, at the house of Bennett Olson; Pleasant Valley precinct, house of Charles Acton; Burrows precinct, at the house of John Greisen; Richard Bashel and George W. Lamb were appointed justice of the peace and constable
108PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY
respectively, of Burrows Township; Peter Bockshaken and John Moriarity, judges, Richard Bashel and Joseph Burrows, clerks of election; for Humphrey precinct, the judges of election appointed were Walter Mead, L. D. Leach, L. C. LaBarre; clerks, C. E. Roscoe, B. S. Dayton. Stearns' precinct, Robert Gentleman, John Brown, William Gentleman, judges; O. E. Stearns, John P. Brown, clerks.
On November 18, 1873, all that part of the north half of township 18, and south half of township 19, range 4 west, was set apart to be known as Woodville precinct; judges, B. F. Baird, Sam Picken, H. Sanders; clerks, Alonzo Getchel, Joseph Apgar. Job Fitzgerald was appointed justice of the peace; John Harkins, constable; Joseph Apgar, assessor; H. A. Sanders, road supervisor.
Sherman precinct was established December 2, 1873, at which time J. Staab, Herman Bakenhus and Norman Small were appointed judges; John Riley, constable; Herman Small, assessor; Herman G. Luschen, road supervisor.
All territory south of the Loup Fork and North Platte rivers in township 17, range 3, townships 16 and 17, range 2, and the west half of townships 16 and 17, was set apart as a new precinct, to be known as Butler.
The board met on the 13th of October, 1874, and among other things, changed the name of Stearns' Precinct to Grand Prairie. And at the same time ordered the clerk to record the following
CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
The following is self-explanatory: "Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska. This is to certify that Jacob Ernst, Sr. planted on the morning of July 4, 1876, two cedar trees at the west entrance to the courthouse yard, one to the right and one to the left after passing the entrance.
To carry out the intention of the testimonial as given above, it here should be stated that the trees referred to are still standing and if not disturbed, bid fair to live many years to come.
March 2, 1875, the board passed resolutions for the calling of an election to be held on the 12th day of the month, to pass upon the question of issuing $10,000 in bonds to assist Platte County farmers
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 109
in purchasing seed. This resolution was brought forth by the hardships entailed by the farmers of that day, whose crops had been totally destroyed by grasshoppers.
At a meeting held June 16, 1875, the commissioners discussed the propriety of purchasing a poor farm and several offers were made to commissioners by persons owning tracts of land who felt certain that what they had to sell was exactly suitable for the county's purpose. Several places were viewed by the commissioners, but no action was taken at this time reaching a final conclusion.
From Pleasant Valley Precinct, Arlington Precinct was created September 7, 1875, and on October 19th the name was changed to Creston. It was understood that the order creating the precinct was not to take effect until January 1, 1876. From Pleasant Valley also was set off territory, which was made into a new precinct to be known as Granville. For the latter precinct H. H. Potter was appointed assessor; W. H. Selser, C. McAlpin, justices of the peace; P. L. Baker, S. C. Morgan, constables; G. W. Clark, road supervisor; A. G. Quinn, Riley Leach, Andrew O'Donnell, judges of election; Abraham Rowe, clerk; election to be held at district schoolhouse No. 38. Election in Creston Precinct at house of William Longwith.
At the September meeting of the board the clerk was instructed to notify the sheriff to show cause why he should not move with his family out of the courthouse and forfeit his claim to perquisites, such as fuel, etc., at the expense of the county; whereupon, that officer appeared by his counsel, J. G. Higgins, who evidently made a good impression for Commissioner Rose moved, "that the sheriff be notified to vacate and move out of the courthouse, and the clerk instructed to rent a suitable house or rooms for the sheriff as his residence for the term of one year, on the best terms possible."
On November 11, 1876, the board passed resolutions of respect on the death of Francis G. Becher, for many years an efficient county clerk. At the same session the question of township organization came before the board by Henry T. Spoerry and others. A vote was ordered to be taken on the proposition at the general election to be held in the fall of 1878, at which time 1,071 votes were cast, only 477 of which were in favor of the change, and as a consequence the county government remained as theretofore.
At the time the county selected part of Columbia Square as a site for the courthouse, the incorporated Village of Columbus assumed the obligation of paying $3,700 of the contract price for building the temple of justice. No part of the money had been handed
110PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY
over to the county but an arrangement had been consummated whereby the Village of Columbus was enabled to liquidate its debt. To this end, on July 16, 1878, "the city alienated to the county that part of Columbia Square, to which it had title, and all money in the treasury due city in liquidation of $3,700 courthouse funds which the city assumed."
At a special meeting of the board held July 26, 1879, by resolution it was concluded to establish a poor farm, and persons having farms of not less than one hundred and sixty acres for sale were instructed to notify the clerk, all places offered not to be nearer than six miles to Columbus, nor more than twelve miles.
May 26, 1879, an election for the issue of $100,000 bonds to help in building the L. & N. W. Railroad was held and carried. The road was built into Columbus in 1880. At the session of the board held on June 10, 1880, the clerk was ordered to deliver to the Burlington & Missouri Railroad Company, lessee of the L. & N. W. Railroad, $100,000 in bonds which had been in escrow.
September 7, 1880, Loup Precinct was created, its boundaries to commence on the south bank of the Loup Fork River where the east line of section 24, town 17, range 2 west, joins said river; thence south on the section line to the southeast corner of section 36, town 17, range 2 west; thence west on the section line to the west line of Platte County; thence north along the west line of Platte County to the Loup River, the election to be held at district schoolhouse No. 37: judges of election, John C. Whitaker, John Graham, John Jaisli; clerks, John B. Kyle, J. G. Kummer.
The first official indication of a census of the county having been taken by precincts, occurs in a minute of the county clerk of date March 30, 1881.
TOWNSHIP SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT ADOPTED
The careful reader will have noticed that as early as the year 1878 the question of changing the form of government of the county from that of the commissioner system to the township system was submitted to the electorate of the county and lost by a large majority. The question of township organization was again submitted on the 6th day of November, 1883, at which time the full number of votes cast was 1,793. The result indicated a great change in the views of those voting, for this time the proposition carried by a large majority. There were 1,793 votes cast, of which 1,584 were in favor of town
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 111
ship organization and only 209 against it. The board of county commissioners then canvassed the vote and declared that the new system had been adopted. On the 4th day of December, 1883, the last meeting of the board of commissioners of Platte County was held.
The minutes of the preceding meeting were read and approved, when the board adjourned, and the board of commissioners took their final exit. However, it seems that there had been a sufficient number of voters in the county not satisfied with the new system, for an election was held on the 3d day of November, 1886, on the question of continuing township organization. There were 2,012 votes cast, of which 1,274 were for the system and 738 against.
The first board of supervisors under the new dispensation met on Wednesday, November 21, 1883, and organized by electing J. E. North temporary chairman. The roll was called by John Stauffer, county clerk, who found the following supervisors present:
Columbus Corporation, J. E. North; Columbus Township, Jacob Ernst; Bismarck, J. C. Swartsley; Creston, Nils Olson; Lost Creek, F. H. Gerrard; Shell Creek, John Burke; Stearns (Grand Prairie), William Hoefelman ; Humphrey, Joseph Braun; Burrows, Peter Noonan; Granville, J. A. Maag; Lookingglass (Joliet), Joseph Rivet; Pleasant Valley, Michael Lehnarz; Monroe, Robert Wiley; Woodville, William J. Irwin; Walker, John Blomquist; Butler, C. S. Webster.
William J. Newman was the supervisor elected for Sherman Precinct. He was present at the next meeting.
M. Whitmoyer, the present nestor of the Platte County bar, was made attorney for the board and then that body adjourned to 7 P. M., when Supervisor North moved that the county be divided into towns as follows:
Towns 16 and 17, range 1 east, to be known as Columbus Township; town 18, range 1 east, Bismarck; town 19, range 1 east, Sherman; town 20, range 1 east, Creston; town 18, range 1 west, Shell Creek; town 19, range 1 west, Grand Prairie; town 20, range 1 west, Humphrey; town 18, range 2 west, and town 17, range 2 west, Lost Creek; town 19, range 2 west, Burrows; town 20 range 2 west, Granville; town 18, range 8 west, and part of town 17, range 3 west, Monroe; town 19, range 3 west, Joliet; town 20, range 3 west, St. Bernard; the north half of town 18, and south half of town 19, range 4 west, Woodville; the north half of town 19, range 4 west, and town 20, range 4 west, Walker; part of town 17, range 2 west, and town 17, range 3 west, lying 3 west, lying south of the center of the main channel of the
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Loup River, Loup; the west half of township 16, range 1 west, and the west half of town 17, range 1 west, also all of town 16, range 2 west, lying north of the south bank of Platte River, Butler. Some years later Oconee Township was created out of the southern portions of Monroe and Lost Creek.
On Tuesday, January 8, 1884, J. E. North was elected permanent chairman by a vote of la to 2. N. Blaser was appointed supervisor of Loup Township to fill vacancy.
The board of supervisors upon entering office found an altogether different state of affairs from that which confronted its predecessor, the board of county commissioners. When the county was organized there was probably not one hundred people within its confines. There were practically no improvements, the settlers were poor, but few crops had been raised and the resources of the new body politic were to all intents and purposes nil. The men elected to the various county offices, although possessed of sterling qualities and some education, were wholly without experience in the duties of their several offices and were entirely lacking of the paraphernalia of their offices. They had no specified meeting place and for some time were without any available funds with which to procure records and other necessaries; so that, it may be said the Platte County government was started with but little machinery and no oil. It kept moving, however, and when turned over to the board of supervisors Platte County had made a wonderful growth in the short period of its existence which, in years, measured a space in the cycle of time of but a quarter of a century. At the time the new body of business agents assumed its official duties, it was estimated by the committee on ways and means, appointed by the board, that the following detailed sums of money would be necessary to defray the county expenses for the ensuing financial year:
For ordinary county revenue, including support of poor ........
County bridge fund ..................................................
Funding bond .........................................................
General bridge fund ..................................................
Payment of interest on $100,000 L. & N. W. R. R. bonds .....
County bond sinking fund ...........................................
Interest and 5% of principal on $15,000 of Butler Precinct bridge bonds ..........................................................
Payment of interest on $25,000 Columbus Precinct railroad bonds ..................................................................
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This estimate is given so that a comparison may be made with one of the early reports of Vincent Kummer, first county treasurer. It shows the remarkable strides toward wealth and prosperity which the county had made even during its youthful years. The estimates above given of the needs of the county for 1884 were made upon the almost absolute certainty that every dollar could be provided when called for. When one remembers that but twenty-five years previous to this the county treasurer in his report, after enumerating a list of expenses, added thereto "receipts none," it becomes apparent that the affairs of Platte County had been in good hands and that its course on the road to prosperity and prominence among its sister counties of the state had been clearly and definitely mapped out.
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