It is presumed, no record to the contrary appearing, that upon, the organization of the county on the township system, on the 6th day of November, 1883, St. Bernard was organized by separating its territory comprised of town 20, range 3 west, from Walker Township. St. Bernard is in the northern tier of townships and is bounded on: the east by Granville, south by Joliet, west by Walker townships, and on the north by Madison County. The Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad crosses the township from northwest to southeast and has a station on sections 17 and 20, known as Lindsay. Shell Creek affords plenty of water and drainage to the southwestern part of this section of the county, and the south fork of Union Creek, with its tributaries, drains the southeastern portion.
The topography of this locality shows a fine, level upland, with soil of a rich black loam. As in the rest of the county, the people here are well-to-do and prospering, as shown by the excellent farms, with their well-kept modern buildings. General farming and stockraising are the principal industries of this community.
The Town of St. Bernard, a German settlement, was laid off in June, 1878, by R. L. Rossiter, county surveyor, on section 11, for Bernard Schroeder and the Franciscan Brotherhood of Nebraska, by Rev. Ambrose Janssen, president, and Cyrillus Augustinski, secretary of the Brotherhood, original owners. The Franciscan fathers at this time owned a quarter section of land adjoining the townsite. Bernard Schroeder at once put up a good-sized hotel, which was followed by a blacksmith shop and a store. In the fall the Franciscans built a schoolhouse and church. The town now has a population of a little over a hundred people, but it is a busy little place, affording good trading facilities, schools and churches to a large area of country.
PUBLIC SCHOOL, LINDSAY BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF LINDSAY
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 345
St. Bernard's Catholic Church was organized in 1880, and incorporated by Bishop Richard Scannell, Rt. Rev. Augustine M. Colanari, vicar general; Rev. Stanislaus Riemann, pastor of St. Bernard's, and two laymen, Fred Sueper and Henry Biermann, on the 27th day of February, 1906.
St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in the '80s at St. Bernard, and was incorporated January 10, 1889, at which time the following were named as the board of trustees: Adam Roemhild, Brader Boysen and Otto Born; Ernest Nathan, clerk; W. Westphale, treasurer.
The Town of Lindsay was laid out by the Western Town Lot Company, Albert Keep, president, and J. B. Redfield, secretary, November 8, 1886. It is located on sections 17 and 20, in St. Bernard Township.
On the 7th day of March, 1888, the board of supervisors of Platte County passed favorably upon a petition for the incorporation of Lindsay as a village. The petition for incorporation stated that there were inhabitants to the number of two hundred or more within the territory to be circumscribed, which territory was described as follows: Commencing at the northwest corner of section 18, town 20, range 3 west; running thence south three miles to the southwest corner of section 30, town 20, range 3 west; running thence east three miles to the southeast corner of section 28, town 20, range 3 west; running thence three miles north to the northeast corner of section 16, town 20, range 3 west; running thence three miles west, to the place of beginning. The following names were attached to the petition: Miles Cannon, Fred J. Smith, Charles E. Fields, Henry Ehlers, William M. Connelly, Max A. Jaenash, Patrick Regan, John Gogan, Julius Hanowz, Patrick Galligan, Samuel Connelly, Martin Mogan, John McAuliff, Aloys Hanch, James Fay, Samuel K. Painter. J. P. Morrison, J. H. Rausch, J. P. Mathius, John Bunelman, J. W. Caldwell, J. H. Gogan, Antone Loeffler, J. E. Tibbals, John Shanahan, John Eggers, Peter Galligan, James Ducey, Jr., Bernard Hawk, E. T. Hayward, Mathias Adams, John C. Fuschauf, W. E. Acker, F. A. Connelly, John Wachter, M. J. Griffin, Jr., William Connelly, John Galligan, James Connelly, J. H. Milslagle, John Walker, John Mason, James Ducey, John P. Retterrath, Joseph Ottis.
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The board after duly considering the petition and all preliminaries relating thereto, adjudged and declared that "The Village of Lindsay, of Platte County, Nebraska, be and is hereby duly incorporated; that pursuant to the request of said citizens of the Village of Lindsay this board do hereby appoint J. P. Morrison, James Ducey, Sr., Patrick Galligan, Sam Connelly and L. K. Painter as a board of trustees for said village."
J. P. Morrison was the pioneer merchant of Lindsay, commencing business in a frame building he had erected in 1887.
F. J. Smith and Simon Brown were the first furniture dealers and they commenced operations under the firm name of Smith & Brown, in February, 1887, in a frame building. At this time the business houses were one block west of the present business street.
Doctor Ayars opened the first drug store. He was also the first physician in Lindsay. About the time of his arrival, however, Doctor Stevens located here and remained some little time.
The first to engage in the hardware business in Lindsay was Samuel Painter.
The pioneer hostelry was known as the New England Hotel. It was built in 1894 and before it was finished the Catholics rented it for the space of ten months and held their first services. The owner and builder of the property was J. H. Rausch, who was the first hotel keeper. The building was eventually cut in two, part being remodeled into a dwelling and the other part is now a meat market. The present hotel, standing opposite the depot, was opened by D. B. Kochenderfer.
The first and only depot in the town is the present one, which was built in 1887.
The first blacksmith was John Busselman. Soon after starting in business he took as a partner John Eggers.
The first lumber yard opened here was by Nye & Morehouse, of Fremont. Then soon came the Crowell Lumber & Grain Company, who put up an elevator. It was not long before Peter Galligan and Thomas Howard had built an elevator. All these enterprises were in operation the first two or three years after the town was laid out.
The school was early established in a frame building and later the present schoolhouse, a large two-story frame with facing of brick, was erected.
The Lindsay Post, in its issue of January 14, 1915, published a view of Lindsay in 1893. With the picture the paper gave the fol-
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 347
lowing detailed description of the persons in business at Lindsay at that time.
F. W. Edwards, proprietor of the electric light works, was engaged, so says the Post, in building the Methodist Episcopal Church in the year we referred to.
Sullivan & Schroeder were in the implement business at the north end of the street. The Lindsay State Bank was in the north store room of the double building now occupied by F. J. Smith. Mr. Smith conducted his furniture business in the south half of the building.
William Reeber conducted a general merchandise store where the Farmers' Union Store now is.
John Purtzer was in the harness shop now conducted by M. J. Lebens.
P. A. Paulson was in the general merchandise business where Doctor Tobkins is now located.
S. K. Painter was in the hardware business where M. J. Weidner is. South of the hardware store John Busselman had his blacksmith shop.
A residence was on the next lot and at that time was occupied by Sam Worth.
W. H. Deegan was postmaster and had the postoffice in the building where he now conducts his hardware business.
Peter Riede and Hugh Williams had a carpenter shop in the building now occupied by the Poellot jewelry store.
Connelly & Mogan were in the general merchandise business on the corner, now occupied by the Vrzal saloon.
Henry Ehlers lived in the residence occupied by Joe Beller, and Griffin & Winkler conducted the livery barn.
Swan Johnson's residence was located north of the hotel and his implement business was across the street.
The Lindsay Hotel was conducted by D. B. Kochenderfer.
J. C. Carrot was station agent. George Billings was agent for the Nye-Schneider-Fowler Company, George Marshall for the Crowell Company and Galligan & Howard bought grain where the Farmers' Elevator now is.
Peter Schad, Sr., conducted a saloon on the lot south of where Freschauf's barber shop and pool hall now is. J. H. Conly had a hardware store on the corner.
Doctor Ayars had his drug store in the building now occupied by the Lindsay State Bank.
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Henry Ehler's general store was in the building now occupied by the J. J. Connelly produce business.
John Rausch's meat market was in the same location, where it has stood since being moved over from the other street.
R. H. Woods had a small store in the building now occupied by Mrs. Christensen.
S. R. Acker was in the livery business and the barn was located on the lot now occupied by the Hough garage.
The school board in 1893 was composed of Fred Smith, E. A. Brodball and G. P. Billups. J. E. Paul and Lizzie Sheehan were employed as teachers.
M. J. Raemaekers came from HoIland in 1880 and arrived in Columbus on the 4th day of July. He was penniless, but prevailed on a liveryman to take him to St. Bernard Township, where his father, mother, sisters and brothers had been living since 1879, or rather, just across the line in Madison County. Mr. Raemaekers located on section 5 in St. Bernard Township in 1890, where he farmed until 1899. He then came to Lindsay and engaged in banking.
The Lindsay postoffice was established December 14, 1874, with Terrence Brady in charge. His successors follow: John Walker, December 23, 1879; John Plumb, April 21, 1884; Peter Galligan, November 10,1885; William H. Gray, June 22, 1887; C. E. Fields, September 28, 1887; H. E. Ayars, June 29, 1888; R. H. Wood, July 12, 1889; S. K. Painter, September 16, 1889; Patrick Deegan, September 14, 1893; William H. Deegan, April 24, 1895; Lee Pryer, March 11, 1898; Iloff E. Wemple, February 2, 1900; John Purtzer, March 17, 1911; J. W. Connelly, August 21, 1914.
Lindsay has no town hall and its only public building is a frame structure on top of the hill at the foot of a cross street, where its fire apparatus is sheltered. There is also a little office room in the back part of the building. The apparatus consists of two hose carts and a hook and ladder wagon, all in excellent condition. There are also several hundred feet of hose. The fire department is a volunteer organization and is composed of most of the able-bodied men of the town.
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 349
The citizens of Lindsay first voted on the proposition of issuing bonds for the erection of waterworks, amount $5,000, in 1904, but owing to a technicality in the ordinance, or publication of the notices, no action was taken and the matter was deferred until April 2, 1907, when the electorate again voted in favor of the improvement. At this election fifty-five votes were cast for waterworks and nineteen against, and bonds-to the amount of $8,000 were sold at par, with accrued interest. The system was constructed and completed in 1907 and in operation by the first of the year 1908. A 100 foot well, eight inches in diameter, furnishes an excellent quality of water, which is pumped by the electric light company into a 100-foot steel tower, which has a capacity of 60,000 gallons and furnishes a mean pressure of fifty pounds.
The municipal corporation does not own the lighting plant. This is a private affair, built by Paul Van Ackern, who had secured a franchise for the purpose, just a short time before the waterworks was constructed. The power house stands on the front part of a lot, the rear of which belongs to the city, and where the well is located. The electric light company furnishes power to the Lindsay corporation for pumping its water. This improvement went into the hands of F. W. Edwards about 1912. It is a small plant and probably cost about five thousand dollars.
Lindsay has two busy and well fortified banking institutions. The first one to be started was the Lindsay State Bank, organized August 29, 1889, with a capital of $10,000. The incorporators were Edward A. Brodball, E. A. Stockslager, W. A. McAllister, Andrew Anderson and Otto Roen. The first officials were: W. A. McAllister, president; E. A. Stockslager, vice president; and Edward A. Brodball, cashier. The bank began doing business in a one-story frame building, erected in block 7, where it remained until 1901. In that year a one-story frame structure was purchased, of Peter Johnson and occupied.
The present officials of the State Bank are: F. J. Svoboda, president; Andrew Hansen, vice president; J. W. Svoboda, cashier; J. J.
350PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY
Muck, assistant cashier. The original capital of the bank was $10,000. This was increased in 1904 to $20,000. The surplus and profits as shown by the last statement were $6,000; deposits, $173,000.
FARMERS AND MERCHANTS BANK
This bank was organized in June, 1901, by George Hau, president; P. E. McKillip, vice president; M. J. Raemaekers, cashier. Capital stock, $10,000. The bank began doing business in a one-story brick on the west side of Main Street, its present home.
On the 20th day of January, 1909, the capital stock of this bank was increased from $10,000 to $25,000, and the business of the institution has been keeping pace with the times. The present officials are: President, H. B. Miller; vice president, M. Gaspers; cashier, A. H. Niebur; assistant cashier, L. C. Ruzicka. Capital, $25,000; surplus and profits, $5,000; deposits, $141,000.
The Methodists were quite strong in the township and Lindsay early in its history and at one time had from forty to fifty members, but just when the church was organized has been impossible to learn, as no records were kept prior to the building of the church edifice in 1893, and even since then they have been loosely kept. However, this society was organized and held meetings at private homes and in the schoolhouse in the '80s, and in 1893 put up a good frame building. Since then various ministers have presided over this charge, but for several months past the Methodists have been without a pastor, as their resources both in membership and finances have become very much weakened.
HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC CHURCH
The first conversations relating to the establishment of a Catholic Church in Lindsay took place in 1892, but no definite plans other than the selection of Lindsay as the place were developed until 1894. Crops were poor, the grasshoppers were ravenous and nothing was done until in the fall of 1895, when Heribert Stotter was commanded by his superiors to read holy mass once a month in Lindsay. This took place at the house of John Freschauf, and was attended by 118 people. The priest held forth here eight times and the attendance
HOLY FAMILY CHURCH AND SCHOOL, AND SISTERS' HOME, LINDSAY
HOLY FAMILY SCHOOL, LINDSAY
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 351
increased largely. Then the New England Hotel, not yet finished, and built by John Rausch, was rented for ten months, and on February 3, 1895, the office and dining room of the building were blessed by the priest.
In August, 1895, the railroad company donated a lot 60x140 feet for church purposes, but this was not large enough. The congregation, which had been organized, bought two more lots and on the 3d of September, 1895, broke ground for the foundation of the church edifice. The foundation was built by Bernard Hauk and John Freschauf free of charge and the latter also did the plastering work at his own expense.
On the 28th day of November, 1895, the uncompleted church was blessed by the Dean of Columbus, Anastatius Czeck, assisted by P. Rembert Stanowski, of Humphrey, and P. Heribert, the pastor. High mass was sung by Florentius Kurzer, of Humphrey. The sermon in English was discussed by Rev. Jerome Hellhacke, and in German by Anastatius Czeck, of Columbus. Sponsors by the laity, William Connelly, Sr., Bernard Hauk, Daniel Holloran, Michael Gaspers, Peter Backes, Mrs. Rivot, Mrs. Peter Schad, Mrs. John Gogan, Mrs. Thomas Howard and Mrs. Fred Smith.
The next pastor was Philemon Toepfler, who was followed by Walfred Rompe. Then came Sabinus Mollitor, during whose pastorate the present church was built, ground for which was broken June 19, 1896. The first mass was read in the new church, August 4, 1900. The old church was remodeled for school purposes and the Franciscan Sisters took charge on the first Monday in September. The church was finished in December, 1900.
Father Lullus succeeded Father Mollitor in 1901; then came Rev. Marion Glahn, May 5, 1901, and in August of that year, Rayburn Thill, who remained until 1909, when he was followed by Raymond Holte. His successor, who came in February, 1911, was Clement Moorman. Ewald Soland occupied the pulpit for the first time here in February, 1914. His pastorate covered but five months and then came the present priest, Columben Valentine, July, 1914.
In 1905, a handsome, modern, two-story brick schoolhouse was built near the church and occupied in January, 1906. To this school come 170 children, who are presided over by four teachers, sisters of the Franciscan organization. The building has a large hall constructed for dramatic purposes. The church membership now consists of 130 families and Father Valentine declares both church and
352PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY
school buildings are too small to comfortably accommodate the attendance.
The Holy Family School and Building Society was organized July 30, 1895, and elected George Hall, president; Paul Van Acken, treasurer; William Lewejohann, banner bearer; William Raemaeker, Jacob Borer, Fred Smith, consulters; P. Rabanus, director. This society was reorganized January 3, 1915, and its name changed to Sacred Heart Men's Society. One of the prominent societies connected with the church is St. Leo Dramatic Club, organized September, 1914. The members of this society stage monthly literary and dramatic programs, which are rehearsed and witnessed by large audiences in Dramatic Hall.
On February 2, 1870, a petition for the formation of Lost Creek Precinct was granted, with 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 of 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 of 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 south to the north bank of the North Loup Fork to the place of beginning of said precinct, to be known as Lost Creek Precinct.
When the Township of Oconee was established, Lost Creek lost that part of its territory which lay in town 17, and its boundaries are now as follows: On the south is Oconee Township; on the east Shell Creek Township; on the north Burrows Township; and on the west Monroe Township.
The soil, as in all parts of the county, is adapted to farming. Here one will find many tracts of land highly improved and well cultivated. Both Shell and Lost creeks drain its soil and make conditions excellent for the raising of stock. Cherry Creek drains a part of sections 30 and 31. On section 13 is located the sprightly little city of Platte Center.
It is not just known who was the first settler in this township, but E. D. Fitzpatrick was here as early as 1870. He served in the Civil war, enlisting in an Ohio regiment of infantry. After the close of that great conflict, Fitzpatrick taught school and then came west, locating on a farm in this township, where he remained two years. After a sojourn in California of a few months, he returned to Lost Creek and taught a three months' term of school. He then removed to Columbus, and soon thereafter became a merchant in the sale of
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books, stationery and toys. It was not long before he had one of the largest establishments in the city. He served as a member of the city council and in the spring of 1898 was elected mayor.
C. H. W. Dietrichs, a native of Germany, settled in Lost Creek Township in 1868, where he and his family endured many hardships and privations during the first four years of their residence on the prairie. The first year the family lived on cornmeal and shorts, having no meat except at long intervals a prairie chicken or rabbit. He succeeded in getting two acres of land plowed and the next year exchanged the labor of his hands and body for two milk cows. He made a yoke and with the cows as a draft team he plowed and cultivated a strip of land, being assisted by his faithful wife. The same year Mr. Platte gave him a pair of ponies and a crude set of harness. He then obtained a tree, out of which he sawed four wheels and constructed a very primitive wagon. With this he managed to do his hauling. Mr. Dietrich lived on his farm five years and then moved to Columbus, where he went into business as a general merchant.
Rev. John Flood, a Catholic priest, became a resident of this township in 1878, and remained here a number of years as pastor of the parish, which at the time comprised the northwestern part of Platte County and the County of Boone.
Patrick Carey was a native of Ireland and came to America in 1852. He took up a homestead in Lost Creek Township in 1870 and moved to Platte Center in 1890, where he died in 1912.
This township was not settled as early as some of the others, and John W. Early, in a communication to the Journal of date December 20, 1871, in part has the following to say: "For some reason, the northwestern portion of Platte County has not been settled. I think the principal reason is that there does not appear in the columns of our country paper the least item regarding her grazing and agricultural advantages.
"There is yet on Lost Creek, in the vicinity of J. H. Watts', some of the finest table and other land, with lakes of living water, and in the Valley of Cherry Creek is some of the finest land that our great fertile state abounds in. The table lands extend west and northwest from Cherry and Lost creeks, in township 18, range 3 west, to the Lookingglass Valley. We find these lands a broad, even prairie, where at least forty families could find as good homes as could be found in the state. Unlike some of our bluff land, we find some splendid hay land on these tablelands. These are not all the advantages of the land. The soil is equal, if not superior, to the bottom
VIEW OF PLATTE CENTER IN 1888
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 355
lands of the Loup and Platte valleys. The soil of these tablelands is especially adapted to the raising of small grain. As for corn, there is this season as fine a crop on the tablelands as I have seen in the valley."
James E. Moncrief, one of the early county superintendents of schools, came to Lost Creek Precinct in 1875, where he taught school and farmed.
The German Evangelical Lutheran Zion Church has for some time been organized, and a house of worship built on section 8. The society held a meeting July 9, 1911, presided over by C. L. Martensen. A board of trustees was elected at this time, consisting of C. L. Martensen, C. Peterson, Jr., and Gust Tessendorf; Gerhard Harms, clerk. Others who took part in the proceedings were the following named: Edward Arnt, C. Petersen, Sr., A. Tessendorf, Henry C. Martensen, A. Loseke, Joseph Hoerle, Adam Hoerle, E. Hinrichs, Con. Filbert, Joseph Hueschen, and Frederick Gripentrog.
The Village of Platte Center was laid out and platted January 22,1880, by the Omaha, Niobrara & Black Hills Railroad Company, original owners, through its agents, Sidney Dillon, vice president, and I. W. Gammett, secretary.
On the 28th day of September, 1880, the Village of Platte Center was incorporated by the board of supervisors, which body at the same time, upon recommendation of certain of the citizens, appointed the following board of trustees to act until their successors should be elected under the law: James W. Lynch, Hamilton Mead, William Bloedorn, J. J. Macken and R. W. Perkinson. A petition was signed by the following named persons: C. C. Carrig, A. J. Williams, J. A. Kehoe. G. H. Smith, J. W. Lynch, S. B. Hanson, D. H. Carrig, John Timothy, William Bloedorn, A. G. Quinn, T. W. Edwards, R. W. Perkinson, John Duggan, S. E. Phillips, J. J. Macken, J. G. Shea, H. H. Home, Patrick Murphy, Michael Doody, J. B. Jones, J. H. Cooney, I. C. Niemoller, William Schelp, Dan Spellecy, John Spellecy, Albert Field, W. G. Evans, Dan Macken, Joseph Sobus, H. Mead, J. W. Roberts.
The territory included in the corporate limits was as follows: Commencing at the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of section 1, township 18, range 2 west, and running thence west one mile to the northwest corner of the southwest quarter of said section
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1; thence south three miles to the southwest corner of the northwest quarter of section 24, town 18, range 2 west; thence east two miles to the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 19, town 18, range 1 west; thence north three miles to the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of section 6, town 18, range 1 west; thence west one mile to the place of beginning.
The first persons to engage in business in Platte Center were George Scheidle and Frank Stracke, who opened a saloon in the fore part of 1880. Soon thereafter T. C. Ryan opened a general store. Not long afterwards Doctor Edwards settled in the town and with his practice conducted a drug store. The building in which he had his office and stock of goods was moved in from Silver Creek and is now used by the Myers Restaurant. T. C. Ryan, first grocer, died some years ago, and left his business to his widow, who conducted the store a while and then sold to Mr. Michael Hallen.
William Bloedorn first had his blacksmith shop on his farm, six miles northwest of town. He then moved to Platte Center and was the first one to open a forge in the town. He erected a good two-story brick building, which is still standing, one of the best in Platte Center. He also had a wagon shop and conducted a hardware store.
The firm of Carrig & Fox had a hardware store at this time; John J. Macken a saloon; and John A. Kehoe was engaged in the grain and implement business. Kehoe died twenty or more years ago, after which his widow managed the store a while, and for some time past has operated a drug store here.
D. P. Mahoney came to the township with his father, Edward Mahoney, in 1876. He lived on section 12, 1 1/2 miles northwest of town. When Platte Center was new, D. P. Mahoney clerked in the general store of Carrig & Lynch.
R. L. Rossiter, for many years county surveyor, lived in Platte Center and bought grain here. He died at Columbus.
Among the first residences erected was that of William Bloedorn.
Albert Fields had the first hotel. The building stands on Main Street and is still open for business. There was another hotel conducted by John Duggan, which stood near the present Clother House. Mahlon Clother was its first landlord and then Duggan took it. Clother returned from Columbus and again took charge of the house, and was the landlord ten years. The building now belongs to a son of Mahlon Clother and is under the management of Ed Lousinski.
Charles F. Herrguth came to Platte Center from Hillsboro, Ill., in 1886, and engaged in wagon making, which occupied his time
HIGH SCHOOL, PLATTE CENTER
BIRD'S-EYE VIEW 0F PLATTE CENTER
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 357
Among the first carpenters in Platte Center were William Rogers, Paul Nelson, Levi Harman, Thomas Pinson, Michael Doody, and George Harman. Levi Harman, William Rogers and Paul Nelson also were among the first to put up dwellings.
Joe Tasker was early in the lumber business in Platte Center; also Henry Seidel.
In 1884 George N. Hopkins came here and opened a harness business. James Maher, who was raised three-fourths of a mile south of Platte Center, has been in the harness business here a number of years.
Others among the business men in the early days were Isaac Neimoeller, general merchant; Matthews & Norton, harness; Dorr Brothers and Lynch & Carrig, banking business. John Rush had the first meat market and he sold to H. N. Zingg, who is now retired in the town.
George Scheidle, Jr., and Charles Bloedorn were the first children born in Platte Center and made their appearance close together.
Shortly after the railroad was built through here, or on December 8, 1879, the Platte Center postoffice was established. Thomas A. Crugh was the first postmaster. His successors were as follows: F. G. Leisenring, March 30, 1880; T. C. Ryan, September 1, 1881; I. L. Shaffer, January 31, 1882; L. J. Neimoeller, October 19, 1883; R. L. Rossiter, August 11, 1885; John Moffett, April 24, 1889; Robert Pinson, February 13, 1890; M. E. Clother, February 2, 1894; Robert Pinson, January 11, 1898; Anton J. Glodowski, December 3, 1914.
The Platte Center waterworks system was established in 1901. It has been enlarged and extended on two occasions. Two years ago about four thousand dollars were spent in placing a new well and pump, also an air pressure tank. The city voted $2,100 in bonds for the construction of the works and in all about eight thousand dollars has been expended in bringing the improvement up to its present high standard. The water is supplied by a well 100 feet in depth, which is one-half mile from the tank, in a frame building, and is vertical in design. The water is pumped into this reservoir by the electric light company, which has a contract with the municipal corporation for that purpose. Emergency pressure is secured by compressed air.
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Platte Center has a good lighting system, built and owned by Siems Brothers, who secured a franchise in 1913. The plant is installed with its machinery in a small-cement building, and about four thousand dollars is invested in the enterprise. The owners give to the town and private consumers an all-night service, which up to this time has proven quite satisfactory.
A volunteer fire company was organized. in 1908, by C. G. Sanberg, F. G. Riley, P. J. Riley, T. J. Cronin, Robert Wilson, John Siems, Lou Hoare, P. F. Luchsinger, Ed Carrig, John C. Burns. George Scheidle, James Sullivan, Pat Cronin, John Kipp, Robert Nay, Ed Lousinski, W. T. Ripp, A. M. Duester, William Bacon. The first chief was Robert Wilson, who served seven years. His successor, lately installed, is T. J. Cronin. The paraphernalia consists of a cart with 600 feet of hose, and a hook and ladder wagon. The headquarters is at the city hall, where the air pressure vertical tank, 8x36 feet in dimensions, is built in the twelve-foot-high brick basement.
The Platte County Bank was organized in 1899, with a capital of $10,000. The first officials were: R. S. Dickinson, president; David Thomas, vice president; C. M. Gruenther, cashier.
In January, 1910, the capital stock was increased to $25,000, and H. A. Clarke succeeded Dickinson as president. Those who have occupied the position of cashier are B. H. Schroeder, P. F. Luchsinger and E. T. Hughes. W. P. Schelp is the incumbent at this time. The deposits of this bank, as shown by the last statement, were $159,300; surplus, $3,800.
The building in which this bank does business was erected in 1901, at a cost of $3,500; with the fixtures and furniture the investment amounts in all to $6,000. The first home of the bank was a frame building which stood on the site of the new one.
The Platte County Bank was the victim of a bold daylight robbery; or attempted robbery, which took place on November 22, 1904. A bandit entered the bank during business hours on the day mentioned, and passing around the counter ordered Schroeder to throw
FARMERS STATE BANK, PLATTE CENTER
STREET SCENE IN PLATTE CENTER
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 359
up his hands. The cashier failed to comply and was shot. He was sent to the hospital and it took three weeks for his wound to heal. The robber was caught at Oconee, was tried by a jury and sentenced to the penitentiary.
The Farmers State Bank was organized in July, 1910, with a capital of $20,000. The names of the incorporators follow: John Moffett, T. F. Lynch, J. A. Hauser, D. W. Killeen, John Mark, D. D. Roberts, E. W. Hoare, O. D. Oltmans, T. P. Chaplin, Rev. Otto Klatt, Bernard Kuhlen, Hans Robinson, F. G. Reiley, John Erickson, Matt Schumacher, William Loseke, Gerhard Gronenthal, George J. Busch. The first president was John Moffett.
In the same year the bank was organized it commenced business in a new brick structure, which with the fixtures cost $6,700.
The present officials are G. W. Killeen, president; John Mark; vice president; J. A. Hauser, cashier.
The schools of Platte Center are graded and under good management. The building, a two-story brick, with high basement, is modern in style and arrangement. It was built about ten years ago and took the place of one that had been destroyed by fire.
St. Joseph's Catholic Church is a partial outgrowth of the church established in Shell Creek in the early days. The first Catholic families in that neighborhood were those of Patrick Gleason, Michael Kelley, Thomas Lynch and John Dineen, who came in March, 1857. They were joined the next year by Michael Dineen and James Conway. In 1859 came Edward Hays, Henry Carrig, David Carrig, James Carrig, Michael Doody and Pat Murray. These families organized St. Patrick's Church in Shell Creek and the first priest to minister to them was Father Fourmont, in 1863. His successors were Father Smith and Father T. Kelley, who came in 1864. Then Father Ryan, from Sioux City, and Fathers Erlach and Uhlig, from West Point, who built a church in 1871. The first resident priest was Father John Bernard. This church was built on ground donated by Mrs. Cleary and Pat Gleason, located 4 1/2 miles southeast of Platte Center, and was called St. Patrick's. The next priest was Father J. Smith, who came in October, 1877. Father
360PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY
Flood was in charge from 1880 to 1884. In the latter year the Franciscan Fathers began their ministrations.
In January, 1885, the church was built in town, Father Depman Boniface having organized the congregation, February 3, 1884. On May 4th following, $1,500 was subscribed for a church building. Pat Murphy donated two acres of land and Edmond Roberts two acres, for the site. First mass was said at Platte Center, in St. Joseph's Church, on Christmas Day following, and services were held in the building until it was discarded. It stood just north of the present building. The first floor was used for school purposes and upper part for religious services.
The first building having become inadequate, the present building was erected in 1899, the cornerstone having been laid on August 17th of that year. The structure is of frame, 64x36 feet. In the rear is the rectory, 32x16 feet, making the total length of the building ninety feet. The church was dedicated October 12, 1899, by Father Marcelinus Kollmeyer, of Columbus. The priests following Father Boniface were as follows: Rudolph Horstmann, July, 1886; Ignatius Reinkemeyer, 1887; Gottfried Hoelters, 1888; Titus Hugger, 1891; Salvator Lehmann, 1893; Jerome Hellhake, 1897; Salvator Lehmann, a second time, for a short while in 1901; he was followed by Hyacinth Schroeder the same year; Liborius Breitenstein, 1906; Angelus Bill, 1909; Cyriac Stempel, 1911; Marcelinus Kollmeyer, 1912; Liborius Breitenstein, 1914.
This church has a parochial school building, of brick construction, with two stories and a basement, erected in 1912. It stands on the lot just south of the church. South of the school is a good frame hall, belonging to the society, where entertainments are given and which is sometimes rented for the same purposes. The attendance at the school is about 110. There are ten grades and many of the pupils complete their high school course here. The children are members of the 100 families connected with the church. To the rear of the school building is the sisters' house.
The German Baptist Society of Platte Center was organized March 24, 1890. Rev. A. Heinrich was elected moderator; Mrs. M. Bloedorn, clerk; William Bloedorn, Ferdinand Seefeld and Henry Loswer, trustees. Soon after the organization the society bought the church building formerly used by the Methodists. This is a neat frame structure, which has served the Baptist people to the present time. The first pastor of the church was Rev. A. Heinrich, who was followed by Reverend Armbruster, who remained one year.
ST.JOSEPH'S CHURCH, PLATTE CENTER
ST. JOSEPH'S SCHOOL, PLATTE CENTER
PAST AND PRESENT OF PLATTE COUNTY 361
The next to take charge was Rev. E. Heide. Rev. Henry Hilsinger has had charge of the congregation for the past 9 1/2 years, but in the spring of 1915 severed his connection with the charge and moved to Colorado. As yet the society has not called a pastor as the society is weak in active members, although there are sixty names on the church rolls. The Sunday school has an enrollment of fifty. The society owns it's parsonage and also a burial ground. The value of the church property is estimated at $2,000, and the parsonage at $1,600.
The Catholic Foresters have been organized about five years and have a membership of twenty-five.
The Modern Woodmen also have an organization in Platte Center but seldom hold meetings, although there is a fair membership.
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