Granville Township lies in the lower tier and has for its northern boundary line, Madison County; on the west is St. Bernard; south, Burrows, and east, Humphrey townships. It was erected in September, 1875, the date of its organization to take effect on the 1st of January, 1876. The South Fork and Union Creeks water the western portion of its territory and along its eastern border is Tracy Creek. The Sioux City branch of the Union Pacific traverses the western border of the township and is crossed by the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad, just south of the Town of Humphrey. Cornlea is a station on the last named road and is situated on section 29.
Among the early settlers here were William Eimers, William Ripp, Thomas Ottis, Sr., G. W. Clark, Carl Brandt, Herman Wendt, C. H. Graham, James A. Sloan, D. F. Dickinson, T. D. Robison, J. N. Wilson, Walter Mead, L. C. La Barre, L. B. Leach, R. P. Drake, Robert Uhlig, Herman F. Prange, Edward Steinhaus, H. C. Bender, L. S. Martin, John Ternus.
Most of these men first settled on farms and then turned their attention to town building, some establishing Humphrey on a firm foundation, and others giving Cornlea impetus toward future greatness. They all builded well and their names are identified with the schools, the churches, banking institutions, mercantile houses and various other activities.
At a meeting of the members of the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Tracy Valley, of Platte County, duly called a meeting at the schoolhouse in district No. 19, on the 26th of December, 1875, for the purpose of electing a board of trustees for said Presbyterian Church, J. N. Wilson acting as chairman and Walter Mead clerk, the following named persons were unanimously elected: L. C. La Barre, L. B. Leach and Walter Mead. The latter was elected clerk.
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 331
The progressive and thriving little City of Humphrey was laid out and platted November 25, 1880, by James E. North, county surveyor, for the Omaha, Niobrara and Black Hills Railroad Company, per S. H. H. Clark, proprietor of the town site.
Soon after the town was established it had two drug stores, under the management of A. H. Potter and Joseph Ansline. Theodore Helmig & Co. later had an establishment of the same kind, opposite the postoffice. Two grain elevators were erected to take care of the incoming grain, and Chris Kersch had a cigar factory, giving employment to several men. There were two blacksmith shops, run by F. M. Cookingham and W. A. Hampton. Dr. W. M. Condon, dentist, soon got a foothold in the town. William Eimers had a dry goods establishment, and William Duesman was in the undertaking and furniture business. In the spring of 1881 the town had a grocery in full blast, and one dwelling. In 1885 Clark & Tate opened a new store, stocked with groceries. There was also a shoe store opened that year and Doctor Gear put up a building on Main Street, half of which was for his own use and half for the collecting firm of Cookingham & Bender. Henry Lemmer that year was in the stock business and William Eimers opened a photographic establishment. Newell South put up a store building, Louis Schroeder doing the carpenter work. G. D. Murphy finished an office building and William Eimers, M. C. Bloedorn, Philip Bender, Louis Schroeder, Henry Eimers, Ira Briggle, J. I. Robison and others built residences.
That part of Humphrey and Granville townships in and surrounding the Town of Humphrey was settled about 1870, few being here prior to that time. Columbus was the marketing and trading place. In 1879 the Union Pacific constructed the railroad running north and south from Columbus to Norfolk, making an outlet for the rich country lying between the two towns.
T. D. Robison was one of the original owners of part of the site on which Humphrey now stands. He came to Platte County in 1876 from New York, and homesteaded the north side of the town, where he built a little frame shanty. Mr. Robison became prominently connected with local public affairs and served the county as probate judge.
The depot was built in 1879 and the first business buildings were a warehouse and a store frame structures erected by William Eimers in 1880. He was the first merchant in the town. About this time a
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saloon building was put up by V. Eisebacher, and a drug store by Doctor Norwood.
The Commercial Hotel, still in operation and well conducted, was built by W. H. Tieskoetter, a saloon building and residence by Jacob Ripp, and Sherwood's livery barn; all built in 1880.
Thomas Ottis put up the second store building in the town in 1881 and later established a lumber yard and elevator. About the same time Newell South started a hardware store. From this time on the town grew rapidly, and in 1884 a newspaper, the Independent, later merged in the Humphrey Democrat, was established by James Robison.
In 1886 the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley, now a part of the Northwestern Railroad system, was built through the town, running east and west.
Soon after the town was laid out, a schoolhouse -- a frame building -- was erected and fulfilled its purposes until 1889, when it was cast aside and a two-story pressed brick and stone structure was erected at a cost of $8,000. This is one of the best educational institutions in Platte County and one of its well conducted graded schools. There are now over five hundred children of school age in the district.
M. C. Bloedorn was the first blacksmith and wagon maker. He located in Humphrey in 1880, coming from Platte Center that year. Mr. Bloedorn served the county as sheriff from 1880 until 1890.
E. H. Leach was one of the pioneers of this section of Platte County, coming when a boy in 1872. He was the pioneer stock dealer of Humphrey.
William Duesman was the pioneer furniture dealer and undertaker of Humphrey, establishing that line of business in 1882.
F. M. Cookingham was the pioneer lawyer of Humphrey, coming from New York and locating here in 1882.
R. P. Drake came. here from Iowa in 1888 and opened a law office. Since then he has maintained a good practice and is one of the influential men of the community.
Dr. W. M. Condon opened a dental office here in 1885.
P. H. Bender engaged in a general merchandise and creamery business in 1886.
Robert Lewis was the first barber. He opened a shop in 1886.
A creamery was built in the town by the Harding Creamery Company of Norfolk in 1894.
The Humphrey Rolling Mill was erected in 1899, by G. W. Con-
PUBLIC SCHOOL AND GROUNDS, HUMPHREY
ST. FRANCIS SCHOOL, HUMPHREY
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 333
red. It has all the latest improved machinery and maintains a capacity of from seventy-five to one hundred barrels per day.
Humphrey Cemetery was laid out February 5, 1898, for G. W. Clark and R. P. Drake, president and secretary, respectively, of Humphrey Cemetery Association.
On the 14th day of August, 1883, a petition of William Eimers and other taxable inhabitants of Humphrey was presented to the Board of County Commissioners of Platte County, praying that said town be incorporated as the Village of Humphrey. The board being fully satisfied that the territory embraced in said petition contained a population of 200 inhabitants, and that a majority of the taxable inhabitants of said village signed said-petition, the board declared the Town of Humphrey incorporated and comprising the following territory, to wit: The southeast quarter of the northeast quarter, and the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter, and a strip of land twenty rods wide on the north side of the southeast quarter, of the southeast quarter, containing ten acres of land, in section 24, township 20, range 1 west; and the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter, and the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 19, township 20, range 1 west.
The following five persons were thereupon duly appointed as trustees of said Village of Humphrey: William Ripp, William Eimers, Thomas Ottis, Sr., G. W. Clark and Philip Hohl.
Humphrey had no specially built city building until 1902, when the best structure for the purpose in Platte County was erected. It is a two-story brick building with stone trimmings. The ground floor is given over entirely to the fire department for its apparatus, consisting of hose carts and hook and ladder wagon, with several hundred feet of hose. There are two entrances, one on each side of the stairway to the second floor. In the rear of the engine room is an apartment in which is a steel cage, with cells for malefactors. This is the city jail. The most of the upper floor is consumed by a large hall. A vestibule separates the hall from two office rooms in front of the building and facing the street. One is used by the council and the other is for the mayor and city clerk. The building cost $7,200.
In 1902 John E. Hugg, P. E. McKillip and H. D. Breunig and others were granted a franchise for the Humphrey Electric Light &
334PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY
Telephone Company, having a capital of $30,000, for the erection and maintenance of a telephone and electric light plant. In the year mentioned, a two-story building was erected by the company at the south end of the street, the upper story of which was given over to the telephone company, which engaged in business, and the lower floor was arranged for the electric light plant, in which was installed machinery for the purpose. The original company controlled the electric light industry until 1909, when the plant was sold to the present proprietor and operator, Frank Huthmacher, who added new machinery and is furnishing a satisfactory service to a large list of patrons.
On the 3d day of April, 1894, an ordinance was passed by the city council to submit to the electorate of Humphrey the proposition of issuing $8,000 in bonds for the purpose of building a system of waterworks. The election was held on the day specified and was carried for the project. The ordinance not having been properly drawn, all further action in the matter was deferred until December, 1899, when, having been empowered again by the electorate to issue $6,000 in bonds, work was commenced on the construction of the improvement and the system was completed and in operation by the first of the year 1900. Martin Onkels was appointed waterworks commissioner. The Humphrey system of waterworks is a very good one indeed The best of water is secured from wells, which is pumped into a steel standpipe 100 feet in height, by the electric light company. The service is well patronized and has reached a paying basis.
The little City of Humphrey, while it does not maintain a municipal fire department, is blessed with that spirit initiative among its citizens, which brings forth at the first alarm of danger practically every able-bodied man in the town, to fight the fire fiend when it attacks property in the community. There are three independent organizations whose aims and objects are centered in the determination to use their best efforts to respond immediately at the call for their services in case of fire. The first one to come into existence was
ENGINE COMPANY NO. I.
This organization dates from December 10, 1896. The names of its members follow: John F. Hugg, F. B. Eimers, Joseph Anselm,
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 335
George Savidge, John W. Maher, Jacob Fisher, Gerald Graham, F. C. Graves, George M. Smith, Joseph F. Zerline, K. F. Bay, M. C. Bloedorn, C. H. Swallow, Chris Schoenig, Harry Bones, G. W. Conrad, John Steffes, Robert Lewis, F. G. Marek, Joseph Lachnit, Henry Raabe, John F. Schmit, William Dougherty, A. Bethschneider, F. H. Howey, Martin Illiohan, Fred Van Ackern, Al Marks, H. F. Breunig, Jacob Bodewig, Charles Schroeder, A. R. T. Anselm, Frank Solt, Jerome Pflaum, Henry Unger, Fred Grenbemer, Frank Huettner, John A. Unger, Thomas Solt.
Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 was organized April 29, 1897, with the following named as members: William Dougherty, A. Bethschneider, John Sherman, F. M. Cookingham, Peter Bodewig, Leslie Myers, John Weidner, Henry Kersch, Robert F. Noackler, John H. Eggers, William Schneider, Charles Tingle, John B. Heintz, Frank F. Herbes, Philip H. Metz, C. G. Howey, T. F. Tieskoetter, John O'Neil, I. K. James, Valentine Gehr, Thomas Dickenson, M. F. Schneider, John B. Weber, Mat F. Henry, John Schroeder, Frank Tieskoetter, Caspar Herbes, Charles O'Neill, Henry C. Steffes, Joseph Nienaber, Ed Schroeder, John B. Gietzen, Joseph Gilsdorf, Ferd Lachnit, Nic Steffes, John P. Dunkel, John F. Gilsdorf, Philip Weidner.
Hose Company No. 1 was organized January 3, 190O, with the following members: P. F. McKillip, Hugo W. Krewz, Joseph N. Smith, Ellis G. Brown, Anton Fangman, I. H. Mausberger, Joseph P. Mueller, C. U. McNeill, Joseph C. Thille, John W. Maher, John T. Steffes, John Fimers, T. W. Maher, I. A. Ewing, O. M. Orwig, Scott S. Pace, John Hockenschneider, Fred T. Meyer, Sam Westfall, T. F. Veik, Sain Lang, George M. Van Akern, James A. Pittard, Fred V. Lohans, A. C. Buttler, A. J. Van Akern, William Lang, Fred M. Meyer, Fred F. Wagner, Frank Thelin, L. D. Diers, D. Zerline.
The Catholic families in this neighborhood were first identified with St. Mary's Church, four and a half miles southeast of Humphrey and St. Bernard's, nine miles northwest of town. St. Francis congregation was organized in 1882, with the following charter members: Joseph Braun, Gerhard Brockhaus, Frank Brockhaus, Gerhard Biedinger, John Bruckner, Roger Brihenny, William Duesman, W. Dietrich, William Eimers, William Eschelbacher, John Feik,
336PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY
Jacob Fischer, Michael Fischer, Matthias Fischer, Joseph Froemel, B. Freericks, Joseph Gehr, Thomas Currin, Nicholas Fuchs, Henry Gebeke, John Haschke, Cornelius Heesicker, John Heiner, Ferdinand Huettner, Anton Huettner, Fritz Edrer, Florian Yilk, Aloys Kosch, Mrs. Kirkland, Richard Olmer, Thomas O'Neil, Anton Osterhoff, A. O'Donald, Thomas Ottis, Thomas K. Ottis, John Feifer, Anton Feifer, Leopold Feifer, Anton Pelle, A. M. Feifer, Jacob Ripp, William Ripp, John Rollman, W. Sassen, Franz Schmied, Erhard Schneider, Ignatz Steiner, Jacob Steffes, Hammond Tieskoetter, William Tieskoetter, Henry Tonyon, Nicholas Thille, William Uphoff, Bernard Uphoff, Nicholas Van Dike, H. Vanderwellen, Leonard Widhalm, Joseph Widhalm, Ignatz Werner, Bernhard Wilde, Reinhard Wehn, Daniel Wehn, Mrs. White, Franz Zach, Henry Lohans, J. McDermott, A. Schmidt, Thomas Loftus, Anton Heitkamper, John Lang, Peter Mart, John Rausch, Franz Maier, Anton Fischer, Anton Dauven, Anton Maaj, Joseph Hoffman, C. D. Murphy.
The first church was opened July 10, 1883, and at that time the congregation numbered eighty families. This was a small frame building, which stood on the site of the present church. The cornerstone of the present structure, a large brick building, was laid in 1893 and the church edifice was dedicated September 20, 1894, by Bishop Richard Scannell, of Omaha. Thomas Ottis donated eight acres of land for the erection of the buildings. The communicants now number 250 families.
The organizing pastor of this church was Father Theodor Arentz, who remained in charge until July, 1888. He was followed by father Jacob Nolte, who remained until March, 1892. His successor was Father Rudolph Horstmann, who had charge until July, 1896, when he in turn was followed by Father Angelus Bill, who had charge until December, 1898. Then came Father Florentius Kurzer, who was here from 1898 until August, 1909, when he was succeeded by Father Hildebrand Fuchs, who remained with the church until January, 1911, when Father Kurzer returned and has been pastor of the church from that time to the present.
The first monastery was built when the first church was erected and the present one, which is attached to the church, was commenced in 1912 and completed and ready for occupancy in February, 1913. It is a modern two-story brick with basement.
St. Francis School was dedicated November 2, 1884, and at the opening there were 100 pupils. The teachers were the Sisters of St.
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 337
Francis, from the mother house in Lafayette, Indiana. Plans for a new school building were laid in 1904, and the building commenced in the spring of 1905. The structure was dedicated May 17, 1906. The building, a two-story brick, with basement, is 110 feet long and 70 feet wide, with a wing to the east, 24X42 feet. There are eight schoolrooms, with six teachers in charge. There are eight grades and a commercial department. There are 250 pupils in attendance. On the second floor of the building is a large hall for entertainments, which has a seating capacity of 600. The old school building was converted into a residence for the sisters. The value of the church property is $125,000.
This society was organized in 1872 by Rev. S. P. Vandoozer, with six members. The first resident pastor was Rev. R. W. Estep, who took charge in 1881. Some of the early members of the church were Mr. and Mrs. George Clark, Mrs. William Selser, Miss Mary Clark, Mr. and Mrs. Loman Porter and Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Brooks.
Tentatively it is connected with the Creston charge and occasionally Rev. K. O. Pearson of the latter place preaches to the Humphrey congregation. Services are held on Sunday evenings by Rev. Boelter of the German Baptist Church at Humphrey.
Some of the early pastors were Revs. Calder, Tucker, Gearhart, Crews, Cheseman, Burch, St. Louis, Antrim and Fowler. In 1884 the society erected a frame church edifice at a cost of $2,000 and purchased a parsonage. The society has now dwindled down to only three or four families.
The Presbyterians formed a society in Humphrey in 1883, Rev. D. K. Pangborn being the organizing pastor. T. D. Robinson donated a lot for the parsonage and he, D. T. Dickinson and James H. Sloan constituted the first board of trustees. Reverend Wilson was the next pastor in charge, but the society only existed some eight or ten years.
This society was organized in the year 1892 and Rev. B. Matzke was the first pastor, coming to the charge in 1893. The church was incorporated May 5, 1894. First trustees were Edward Steinhaus, H. Peters, August Rahlke, Herman F. Prange, clerk. Reverend
338PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY
Matzke resigned in 1897 and the pulpit was then vacant for two years, when G. Peitsch took charge. Other pastors who have served the congregation were Revs. George Ehrhorn and A. Trenschel. Rev. A. Boelter is now serving his third year as pastor of this congregation. Among the first members of this church may be mentioned Mr. and Mrs. F. Rahlke, Ed. Steinhaus, H. Peters, A. Prange, John Wright arid Mr. and Mrs. A. Rahlke.
The banking house of Ottis & Murphy, which has its home in a modern brick structure, was the pioneer of financial concerns in Humphrey, having been organized in 1883 as a private institution, under state supervision, by C. D. Murphy and Thomas K. Ottis, with a capital of $25,000. This bank has always maintained a firm footing in the confidence of the men who compose the bulk of the farming community and local business circles.
The First National Bank is the outgrowth of the Citizens Bank, founded in 1886. The First National was established in 1900 and commenced business in May of that year, starting with a capital of $15,000, which was later increased to $25,000.
The First National Bank has its headquarters in a handsome brick building erected in 1904. The officials of this solid institution are as follows: President, Henry Hunker; vice president, J. W. Bender; cashier, J. E. Hugg; assistant cashiers, M. C. Hugg and Charles Pfeifer. Capital, $25,000; surplus and undivided profits, $8,500; deposits, $278,000.
The postoffice was established at Humphrey, August 28, 1871, and Nancy D. Leach was appointed postmistress. Her successors in this office were the following persons, namely: C. E. Roscoe, February 5, 1873; Walter Mead, August 25, 1873; George W. Norwood, June 7, 1880; D. J. Drebert, October 31, 1881; William H. Springer, January 28, 1884; D. T. Dickinson, August 11,1885; J. I. Robison, March 13, 1889; R. P. Drake, November 24, 1891; Ferdinand Bering, December 22, 1893; William H. Illian, June 9, 1897; Henry Dietzen, June 24, 1901; John Boyer, January 27, 1914.
OLD SETTLER RECOUNTS SOME REMINISCENCES OF EARLY DAYS
We arrived in Columbus the week of the great Chicago fire; that was in 1871. At that time it took 7 1/2 cents to pay for one mile ride
METHODIST CHURCH, HUMPHREY
BAPTIST CHURCH, HUMPHREY
ST. FRANCIS CHURCH AND MONASTERY, HUMPHREY
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 339
on the Union Pacific. Columbus looked to me then nearly as big as now. We stopped over night at "Pap" Clother's. Next morning we met a young Presbyterian minister named Joseph Wilson. Joe was coming out to Madison County on horseback to see the man Madison was named after -- Henry Madison Barns. So we hired a horse and buggy of one of the Gerrards and we came out together. Joe was quite a good talker and when we reached the top of the Shell Creek Hill, Joe said we were on the highest point in Nebraska.
Some farther on, O. E. Stearns kept a half-way house on Grand Prairie, called Stearns' Prairie then. Two miles further north was another half-way house, kept by Mr. Braun, Sr., father of Joe.
Madison had a schoolhouse and a small store. There were a few settlers in Humphrey Township and possibly a couple in Granville, but in a couple of years they had quite a settlement. Ed Graham outranked any of us at that time, as he does yet, in this world's goods. He brought a small bunch of cattle with him from Wisconsin. For several years we poor mortals would go three, five and more miles to hire Ed's hay rake.
And when Uncle Porter bought a new wagon, with a spring seat, it was the talk of the neighborhood; there were several old wagons in the neighborhood, but a spring seat was a luxury, and it was no uncommon thing for him to lend this spring seat to the neighbor boys to go to Madison to the Fourth of July celebration and to parties nearer home.
In course of time Uncle Loman bought a horse corn planter, partly to plant corn with, and mostly to rent in planting season. That planter would run eight days a week. I have known that planter to go eight miles northeast of Madison, and mind you, it had to be back on a certain morning whether they were through or not.
I cannot go into detail and tell things as I would like to. It would take too much time and fill your whole paper, but I want to tell you there was no such thing as the silk stocking or four hundred in those days out here, yet we had more social gatherings, more good times than now. While we had scarcely no money and no "vine or fig trees" to worship under, we had religious services as often as we do now. One of our first preachers was Jerry Long. He used to come down from Madison and preach to us in some of the family houses; some claimed that Jerry was the best educated man in Madison County. He surely was a very interesting preacher -- always wearing his pants in his boots while he preached. Jerry fell from grace the year the grasshoppers ate our corn, but still talks at Grand
340PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY
Army reunions, raises big watermelons and votes our ticket. He is now renowned as the poet of "Pilot Knob."
For the benefit of the boys I wish to say a word about the old settlers that won wealth and fame. For instance, I will take our G. W. Clark in the '70s. George used to chase a reaper barefooted, keeping up his station with as much complacency as when he wears a stand-up collar now. Young George in those days was perhaps more fastidious than most of us. I remember he wanted a team to work instead of buying a yoke of oxen that would make the most beef when he wanted to dispose of them. He bought a fine pair of wild Texas cattle that were fleet footed and wore long and elegant pairs of horns. And when he would hitch to a farm wagon to go to Tracy Valley to church there was nothing that could pass him, not even McAlpine's sorrels. How the girls used to like to ride with George, when he looked like he enjoyed it too. We often wished our oxen were white and we had the white cattle and George would not travel so long in one spot.
And there is the Hon. Jim North, who has been candidate for governor of this great state and who has been on the committee to draft the democratic national platform -- I understand in the early days he broke prairie with oxen, barefooted, with the legs of his pants rolled up like the rest of us. Jim has just sold a part of his old Humphrey land holdings for $50 an acre.
There is E. T. McGehee, who lives in a fine mansion in the suburbs of Madison and can count his cattle by the hundred. It was work that did it -- not smoking five-cent cigars. At one time Mac owned the fastest running horses in this part of Nebraska, but he worked oxen first. He did not own the horses until he was able. At one time there was a small race track on the flat land east of Tracy Valley Church. B. S. Dayton lived out there at that time. He was a great lover of fast horses, so the boys would meet at his place to speed their horses and enjoy his company. Dayton is postmaster now at Middletown, New York, and gets a fat salary, and McGehee has taken to wearing shoes the year round.
Hardly any of the settlers live on the claims they took from Uncle Samuel. A few own their homesteads yet, but live in town. Ed Graham, Ad Alderson and Charley Moore each live on homesteads. Ed has had bad luck in the hog line this spring and summer. He lost 800 pigs. Ad is building the finest house in Humphrey Township. Charley has not made much headway in getting rich; we asked him how it was; he said he didn't have anything when he came to
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 341
Nebraska and had held his own. We remarked that we guessed he could keep the wolf from his door. He gave a couple of whistles and inside of two minutes there were at least a dozen fox terrier dogs prancing around him. Then he said, "I'd like to see any d--d wolf monkey around our door" -- guess he didn't catch the idea I had.
R. N. Leach lives on the place his mother, Mrs. Wanzer, homesteaded and gave him. There the first postoffice in these parts was located. It was called Humphrey, after a town in New York, where Mrs. Wanzer lived at one time. It was moved after a while to Walter Mead's farm in Tracy Valley, now owned by Ben Harper. Mr. Mead's house was where the first election was held in Humphrey Township. It was a big township then. L. B. Leach was the oldest man there -- so cast the first vote. Neils Olson, S. J. Wheeler and W. M. White came over from east of Creston to vote. For a few years L. B. Leach, a brother of Rufus, and C. O. Moore were the only democratic voters in Humphrey Precinct. It is different now. School District No. 19, the one near Harper's, for several years took in Granville Precinct and a few of the Humphrey kids went out there to school; some of Eimers and Eiselbachers and perhaps others.
Walter Mead was the general purpose, all around man of the valley. Cripple as he was, having only one leg that he could use, he was farmer, postmaster, justice of the peace and blacksmith all at the same time. Often I have seen him stand on one leg and one crutch and sharpen plowshares. It took lots of grit and will power -- and sure we would have given up the ghost, kicked the bucket and died.
E. H. Leach was a leader at that time with the young men, which partly accounted for the good morals of the whole community. Rastus had a cousin, a young man that was at Rastus' home at meal time. Of course they asked him in to eat and the reason that cousin gave for not eating still rattles in our ears. There were several at Rastus' house and only one at his house and he had been warned not to eat there. We all have cousins that we are not proud of.
Cornlea was laid out by the Western Town Lot Company, September 30, 1886, on section 29. This is a station on the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad.
On the 28th day of October, 1902, a petition signed by Jacob Olk and thirty-eight others was presented to the board of county commissioners, praying that the Town of Cornlea be incorporated as the
342PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY
Village of Cornlea, with boundaries as follows: To be bounded on the east by the east line of sections 21, 28 and 33; on the north line by the north line of sections 19, 20 and 21; on the west by the west line of sections 19, 30 and 31; and on the south by the south line of sections 31, 32 and 33. All of the above sections being in township 20, range 2 west.
On the 29th day of October, 1902, the board found that the petition "contains a majority of the taxable inhabitants included and embraced within the territory of said proposed corporation, described above, and that from the affidavit of George H. Bender and taxable inhabitants of said proposed corporation, we find that the territory embraced therein contains no less than two hundred nor more than fifteen hundred inhabitants."
The board appointed as trustees Jacob Olk, William Berg, H. C. Bender, John Ternus and L. S. Martin, to serve until the election and qualification of their successors.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church was organized and erected in 1907 but prior to that year the people attended St. Bernard Parish. The congregation now numbers about fifty families. There is also a parochial school in connection, which is attended by about forty-five children. The church and school buildings are of frame construction. The congregation is attended by Father Simeon Freitag, of Humphrey.
Located four and a half miles southeast of Humphrey is St. Mary's Catholic Church, which is the oldest Catholic organization in this section of the county. It was first attended by priests from Omaha in the '70s, services being held in private homes. The first resident priest was Father Frederick Uhing and Father Anselm Puetz was another early priest who had charge. The present church building, a frame, with brick veneering, was erected in 1894, and the congregation numbers about fifty families, attended by the priest from Humphrey. In 1908 the present school building was erected and there are forty pupils in the school.
A postoffice was established at Cornlea on the 1st day of June; 1887, and the appointee to the office was F. W. Delsman. He was succeeded by the following named persons: John Albracht, November 30, 1888; William F. Berg, February 8, 1895; Albert Edwards, April 10, 1906; John Koza, August 2, 1906; J. R. Smithheisler,
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 343
March 9, 1907; J. J. Gilsdorf, June 27, 1907; Fred H. Ripp, December 19, 1908; J. G. Mueting, February 8, 1910.
The Cornlea State Bank was organized January 13, 1905, by Melchoir Brugger and Howard A. Clarke, of Columbus, and Peter Bender, of Cornlea, with a capital stock of $25,000.
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