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Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume I

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  Some time prior to the year 1873, Pleasant Valley Precinct was created, from which other townships were carved and the original Pleasant Valley Township lost its identity. One of the precincts created was Arlington, on September 7, 1875, but the organization was not to take effect until January 1, 1876, when an election was to be held at the house of William Longwith. Later the name was changed to Creston. It is comprised of town 20, range 1 east, and is the northwest corner township of the county. On the north is Stanton County, on the east Colfax County, on the south Sherman Township, and west, Humphrey Township. Branches of Elk Creek water the southern half of the land, and tributaries of Tracy Creek and other streams are in the northern half. The Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad crosses the township from east to west. On section 8 is the Town of Creston, a station on the railroad, and a short distance to the east in Colfax County is the Town of Leigh, another railroad point. Here is to be found fine, level upland, with a rich black loam, upon which are numerous rural homes of a modern character, with good buildings and fences. The people are frugal, industrious and prosperous and enjoy the advantages of well-ordered schools and churches. Two good trading points, with railroad facilities, afford a convenient outlet for the abundant products of the soil garnered here yearly.

  Among the earliest settlers in this township were John Drake, Arthur Miles, W. B. Williams, N. McCandlish, R. C. Moran, Nils Olson, John Carstensen, Soren Anderson, Anders C. Anderson, Andrew Iverson, O. E. Engler, P. E. McKillip, H. P. and C. F. Buhlmann, Gerhard Husman, Wilhelm Brunken, Herman Schulte.

  Nils Olson and his brother-in-law, Andrew Iverson, were the first white men to come to this township, and gain a permanent residence here. Olson attained prominence in the township and county and for




many years was a faithful and valuable member of the board of supervisors.

  The First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Creston was organized at the schoolhouse in District No. 43, April 10, 1899. Nils Olson was chairman of the meeting and John Carstensen, clerk. Nils Olson, Andrew Iverson and Soren Anderson were elected first trustees; Anders C. Anderson, clerk.


  The Town of Creston was laid out by the Western Town Lot Company, August 23, 1886, on section 18, and is an important station on the line of the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad.

  A petition was presented to the board of supervisors, March 20, 1890, praying for the incorporation of the Village of Creston, the land to be embraced within the following metes and bounds: Beginning at the southeast corner of section 17, town 20 north, range 1 east, running thence north two and a half miles to the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of section 5, township 20, range 1 east, thence west on the half section line two miles to the northwest corner of the southwest quarter of section 6, town 20, range 1 east, thence south on the meridian line to the southwest corner of the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 7, town 20, range 1 east, thence west twenty chains, thence south twenty chains, thence east twenty chains, thence south on the meridian line to the southwest corner of the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 18, thence west twenty chains, thence south forty chains, thence east twenty chains, thence north of the meridian line twenty chains to the southwest corner of section 18, town 20, range 1 east; thence east two miles to the place of beginning, embracing sections 7, 8, 17 and 18, and the south half of sections 5 and 6, township 20 north, range 1 east, and the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 12, the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 13, and the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of section 24, in township 20 north, range 1 west.

  The petition was signed by the following named persons: Ephraim Pilling, F. Steiner, J. L. Brown, J. T. Morris, Job Hook, S. T. Fleming, Theodore Wolf, G. F. Early, Olin Trine, John R. Galey, D. I. Clark, C. H. McNeal, T. H. Thomsen, John Wagner, W. J. Belknap, C. F. Miller, John Mueller, A. J. Zeller, M. L. Claton, George Hook, Ira Potter. F. I. Ball, H. L. Leach. Joseph Horn,



Sam Schneider, R. H. Wood, J. P. Kirkland, J. P. McMillen, F. M. Calkin, W. Y. Smith, W. F. Guiseker, Michael Felter, Dennis Rice, Guy D. Clark, J. E. Eggleston, Ross Harbert, Jacob Reiss, E. T. Graham, Franz Rotter, Fritz Koester, Aaron Oyen.

  On the 15th day of March, 1890, the board adjudged and declared the Village of Creston to be duly incorporated under and by the name of the Village of Creston, and appointed Samuel T. Fleming, J. L. Brown, J. T. Morris, D. I. Clark and C. H. McNeal as a board of trustees.

  S. T. Fleming located here in the fall of 1881. At the time he drove a herd of cattle through from Ringgold County, Iowa -- 250 miles away -- and settled 1 1/2 miles southeast of Creston, where he stayed the winter of that year with W. J. Belknap. In 1882 Mr. Fleming bought 200 acres of school land on section 16, where he built a house and farmed five years. He was then in an unmarried state. In a very pleasant interview accorded the writer by Mr. Fleming, he had the following to say in relation to the time he became a citizen of Platte County, and his observations of later years: "In the neighborhood where I lived were G. W. Kibler, W. C. Jackson, William Barrett and Charles Heitsman. When I came to Creston I went in with Theodore Wolf, in 1887, and organized the Bank of Creston. We had no capital, but borrowed the money, on which the institution was founded, for which we paid 10 per cent in advance every six months. Our business was established in a little frame building, on Main Street, which was destroyed by fire a few years ago. Charles Graham put up the first building in Creston, in which he had a drug store. In a frame building on Main Street Singleton Cain had a general store; also E. T. Graham; the Sterner Brothers -- Ignatz and Ferdinand -- had a blacksmith shop. Ferdinand now lives on a farm near Creston, and the last heard of Ignatz he was living in South Dakota. These were the business houses when I came to town. Doctor Huffman was the physician, but only stayed a short time. Doctor Barron came ten years later and remained quite a while. The present local physician is Dr. H. S. Morris, a native born product, who has been in practice five years. Job Hook was the first liveryman in town. The first Sunday school was held in a country schoolhouse the year after I came. This building stood just at the edge of town. The year the town was established the United Brethren Church was organized and a house of worship was built soon thereafter. The membership of this society was quite strong in an early day, but the United Brethren have been out of existence



here as an organization for fifteen years. The Presbyterians and Methodists were next to organize in the township and the Presbyterians moved their building in from the country. I think the Methodist Episcopal Church was built about 1892. Reverend Burch was here when the edifice was dedicated and at that time the church was made a separate charge, it having formerly been attended from Leigh. Rev. St. Louis was one of the early pastors. He remained here four years.

  "Singleton Cain and Charles Graham lived in the back part of their stores. Ross Harbert, the carpenter, had a residence, and I think his was the only residence in the town. It stood a block south of the business district. Those who built residences during the year I came to Creston were W. J. Belknap, who came in from the farm; one Miller built the first hotel and became its landlord. The building was moved in the country ten years ago. D. R. Clark erected the present frame hotel, which is now presided over by H. O. Studley.

  "The north side of Main Street was destroyed by fire about eighteen years ago, and those who lost their property were A. M. Peterson, general merchant; Curt Ely, harness maker; Jacob Reiss, boots and shoes; Mary Jackson, dressmaker; Fred Zeller, restaurant; S. Ingram, saloon; T. Wolf, drugs. The drug store, harness shop and saloon were all immediately rebuilt, but most of the others left town. The railroad was built through here in 1886. And today Creston is a well put up little town."


  The Creston postoffice was established April 12, 1875, and William N. McCandlish was appointed postmaster. His successors were the following named persons: Arthur Miles, March 30, 1876; William N. McCandlish, June 3, 1879; John Drake, February 15, 1882; C. H. Graham, April 27, 1887; John R. Galey, December 8, 1890; C. D. Campbell, April 19, 1893; George L. Wagner, February 13, 1896; E. M. White, March 1, 1898; J. H. Evens, November 28, 1902; J. L. Brown, February 28, 1905; Anna Roberts, December 7, 1914.


  The first school at Creston, a frame structure, was built in the edge of town on land donated by E. T. Graham. The building was erected about forty years ago and long since was converted into a



dwelling. The present building, a rather rickety affair, has been standing a number of years. The school has ten grades and gives employment to four teachers. All preliminary arrangements have been perfected for the erection, in the summer of 1915, of a modern brick school building, the estimated cost of which will be $20,000.


  This financial institution was chartered in October, 1898, by H. P. and Fred Buhmann, with a capital of $6,000. Fred Buhmann became president, and H. P. Buhmann, cashier. In July, 1901, the Buhmanns sold out to P. E. McKillip and O. E. Engler, who operated the concern until July, 1903, when they sold to the present stockholders. In the meantime, S. T. Fleming had sold his interests in the Bank of Creston, to his partner, Theodore Wolf, who unsuccessfully endeavored to continue the business in rivalry with the new bank, but gave up in despair within three or four years after the Citizens State Bank had commenced operations.

  When the present management took over the bank the capital stock was increased to $35,000, and continues at that figure at this time. When the last statement was rendered, the bank had a surplus of $4,000 and deposits amounting to $190,000.

  Under the present organization C. M. Williams was first made president and S. T. Fleming cashier. Williams later sold his interest in the bank and E. R. Gurney, of Fremont, was elected president. He was succeeded in June, 1912, by S. T. Fleming, at which time H. W. Luedtke became cashier.

  This bank has been installed in a one-story brick building, erected in 1902, at a cost of $4,000. The fixtures and equipment, including a burglar proof vault and safe, are of the best.


  Creston has not as yet advanced very far in the way of its public buildings. What may be considered the town hall is a little old frame building, where the city fathers meet and where the fire department also gathers. The latter was organized a few years ago, or when the waterworks was established. P. F. Plagemann is the chief. The apparatus consists of 500 feet of hose, two hose carts, ladders and buckets. Practically every able bodied man in town is a member.




  Creston has a good and satisfactory system of waterworks, which was built in 1910, after the electorate had voted upon the question of issuing $10,000 in bonds. A good quality of water is secured from a well 80 feet deep, which is pumped to a tank on top of the tower, 100 feet high. The tank is 14 by 20 feet, with a capacity of 40,000 gallons. More than sufficient pressure is afforded for any case of emergency the system may be called upon to meet.


  S. T. Fleming's memory has it that the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized here about thirty-five years ago, and the building was erected about 1892. Prior to that time a little frame Presbyterian Church building had been moved in from the country, in which both societies held services, the Methodists being attended from Leigh, of which charge it was a part. The separation took place when the Creston Church was built, about 1892. The records of the church do not show who the early pastors were. All that can be given in that regard commences with 1906, when C. E. Carroll was here. He remained until 1908, and in October of that year was followed by C. H. Moore. Then came J. H. Smith, in September, 1911. He filled the pulpit until September, 1912. The next was C. E. Powell, who was the pastor from September, 1912, to November, 1913. Following the latter date and continuing six months, the church was without a pastor. This inconvenience was relieved when the present pastor, K. Otto Pearson, took up his duties May 24, 1914.

  The church building now in use is a frame structure, which cost about $2,000. The society owns a parsonage, which was built for $1,600. The present membership numbers 48; attendance in the Sabbath school averages about 60. In connection with the church are the auxiliary societies of the Ladies' Aid, Epworth League and Junior League.


  By appointment of the committee on church organization, of the Omaha Presbytery, Revs. William McCandlish and Joseph M. Wilson visited Creston February 3, 1878, and proceeded to form a church society known as the Presbyterian Church of Creston. The following named were enrolled as members: John and Rachel Drake, Arthur



and Maria J. Miles, Mary A. Miles, Eliza M. and W. B. Williams, N. McCandlish, F. McCandlish, Mary and Margaret Steel. The chairman of the meeting was Rev. William McCandlish; A. Miles, secretary.

  In answer to call of session, public notice having been given, the congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Creston, met at the house of John Drake at 6 o'clock, July 5, 1878. A majority of the members being present, the meeting was organized by calling John Drake to preside. The following named persons were then elected a board of trustees for said church to serve for a term of two years: John Drake, W. B. Williams, R. C. Moran; Arthur Miles was elected clerk of the board.

  The first minister of this church was Rev. Joseph M. Wilson, of Madison, who supplied the pulpit about one year. Rev. William E. Kimball began as a supply in December, 1879, and was here a little over three years. Rev. D. K. Pangburn arrived in September, 1882, and was the pastor nearly three years. The church was then shepherdless nearly four years, when Rev. J. M. Wilson was recalled in 1889, and this time remained about two years.

  The church was then supplied by different ministers at irregular intervals. Rev. T. L. Sexton, synodical superintendent of Home Missions; Rev. J. B. Griswall, Rev. John W. Little, Rev. R. N. L. Braden, D. D., Presbyterial missionary for Omaha Presbytery, then Rev. Joel Warner, came to the field and remained with the church nearly four years. He was followed by Rev. R. L. Purdy, who was here nearly two years. Rev. John R. Bennett began his pastorate here in 1906, and stayed until 1908, after which the church was without a regular pastor until the coming of Rev. C. M. Whetzel, who arrived in 1912. During the vacancy, however, between 1909 and 1912, the pulpit was supplied for a period of about one year by Rev. B. F. Fye. The church at this time has about seventy members enrolled

  The little old frame church building just missed being remodeled and was cast aside for a new and more modern structure, a handsome modern temple of worship, erected in 1914. This handsome church was dedicated January 24, 1915, by Rev. A. B. Marshall, D. D., president of Omaha Presbyterian Theological Seminary.


  The First Baptist Church of Creston was organized in July and incorporated August 7, 1910, at which time Gerhard Huesmann,



Frederick Settje, William Brunken were elected trustees. Rev. August Transchel; Herman Schulte, secretary. The first members were: G. Huesmann and family, Frederick Settje and wife, Herman Schulte and wife, Julius Strelow and wife, Leopold Bitter and wife, Fred Huesmann and wife, Henry Huesmann, Rev. August Transchel and wife, Mrs. C. Behrens, Mrs. Martha Reitz, William Brunken and wife.

  The society had not long been organized before it bought the small frame building which had been erected by the United Brethren Society. This building had been used by the United Brethren Society and was purchased by the Baptists of two persons who owned it. The present membership of the church is 51, and attendance in the Sabbath school 50. The organizing pastor, Reverend Transchel, still occupies the pulpit of this church.

  As above inferred, the United Brethren had an organization here in earlier years and erected a church, which was dedicated November 13, 1887, by Reverend Bardshare, president of Toledo (Iowa) College. At that time the society numbered twenty-five members.


  Creston Lodge, No. 271, Ancient Order of United Workmen, was organized January 23, 1893. The first officials were: Otto S. Moran, P. M. W.; James L. Brown, M. W.; William C. Jackson, F.; John T. Morris, recorder; Darwin I. Clark, financier; Ira G. Alyea, receiver; John R. Cookus, C.; Jacob E. Ludwig, I. W.; John N. Hudson, O. W. The society meets twice a month in a hall, which is owned by the A. O. U. W. Hall Company, a frame structure, which is rented to the other lodge societies and for entertainments, etc. The present membership of the lodge is fifty-eight.

  Creston Lodge, No. 69, Degree of Honor, an auxiliary to the A. O. U. W. lodge, was chartered October 19, 1893, with the following as its first members and first officers: Mrs. Lois Brown, P. C. of H.; Mrs. W. A. Schmidt, L. of H.; Miss Rena Morris, recorder; Mrs. L. B. Graham, receiver; Mrs. Effa Brown, I. W.; Mrs. M. J. Morris, C. of H.; Mrs. Frances Smith, C. of C.; Mrs. Mary Webster, financier; Mrs. J. L. Sharrar, S. U.; Mrs. Ira Smith, O. W. The society meets twice a month.

  Galloway Castle, No. 128, Royal Highlanders, was organized with the following charter members: C. F. Buhmann, G. M. Fraser, Frank Parks, C. J. Ely, A. M. Peterson, W. T. Parks, Ernest W.



Viner, Frank Grabel, C. A. Nash, Frank Palmateer, Arthur Palmateer, R. E. Nichols, P. L. Buhmann, Sherman Dixon.

  The first officers were: C. F. Buhmann, Frank Parks and A. M. Peterson, prudential chiefs; Frank Grabel, examining physician. This society has a strong membership and meets twice a month.

  Clipper Lodge, No. 108, Knights of Pythias, was organized February 28, 1901, and was chartered October 9, 1901, with the following named as first officials: H. P. Buhmann, C. C.; J. Frank Parks, P.; E. E. Eggleston, K. R. &S.; C. F. Buhmann, M. E.; James Riley, I. G.; Curtis J. Ely, V. C.; J. H. Evens, M. W.; William Wenk, M. F.; Perry M. Brown, M. of A.; Fritz Venz, O. G. In addition to the above named were the following charter members: L. S. Baker, F. E. Davis, E. Hake, D. A. Steenis, L. H. Koresky, C. E. Reynolds, F. H. Burgess, G. E. Davis, G. S. Sutton, Oscar J. Luschen, C. J. Luedtke. It has a membership of sixty-two.

  Roesacca Post, No. 322, Grand Army of the Republic, was chartered October 24,1881, with the following named comrades as charter members: D. G. Clark, C. W. Nyhoff, B. S. Morris, C. H. Statten, J. E. Ludwick, John Mallory, G. Henry, F. M. Calkins, Job Reiss, John Steens, A. Ogan, J. L. Brown, John Wagoner, Shnowden Wernk, W. H. H. Pruitt, Herman G. Luschen, Richard Hart.

  Meetings have been discontinued for the past eight years on account of the thinning of the ranks of the members. Their meetings now may be said to be annual affairs and occur on Memorial Day.

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Past & Present of Platte County, Nebraska - Volume I

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  The first minute book of the County Commissioners' Court does not clearly show when Butler Precinct was established, but some reliance may be placed upon the assumption that this subdivision was defined and made a separate organization in 1867, for in the minutes of the clerk regarding the proceedings of the court for the January session of the following year, a notation was made of certain territory being attached to Butler Precinct, and the house of Michael Smith was designated as the polling place. This township has for its southern boundary the Platte River, which flows in a southwesterly direction and cuts the sections along its borders into irregular proportions. Parts of sections 7 and 8 left intact and sections 6, 5, 4, 33, 32, 31, 30, 29, 28, 21, 20, 19 and a small strip of the southern part of 17 extends from the Platte to the Loup and this part of the township is in town 17, range 1 west. The rest of the township is in town 16, range 2 west, and has for its western boundary line Merrick County. On the north of that part of Butler lying in town 16 is Loup Township, and that part lying in town 17 is bounded on the north and east by the Loup River and Columbus Township. It is not necessary to remark that this part of the county has splendid drainage facilities and is well adapted both for general farming and stock-raising purposes. The main line of the Union Pacific enters this domain on section 28, and taking a diagonal course through the township in a southwesterly direction, makes its exit on section 19.

  Duncan, situate on section 1, is a station on this trans-continental line. There is a schoolhouse on section 8 and one on section 19.

  One of the prominent men who early settled in this county was Guy C. Barnum, who was a Vermonter by birth. He was born in 1825, and at the age of seventeen he came west with his parents, in a covered wagon, from Vermont to Nauvoo, Ill., reaching the latter place in 1844. After three years' residence at Nauvoo the Barnum family crossed the Missouri River into Nebraska, taking up their resi-




dence at "Winter Quarters," a Mormon settlement. Here young Barnum was employed in breaking prairie and such other work as he could procure from the settlers. After some years spent in Iowa the Barnums took up a permanent residence in Nebraska, Guy C. Barnum coming to Platte County with his family in 1860, where he pre-empted 160 acres of land south of the Loup River and there resided many years. His father died on the farm in 1861 and his mother in 1877. Guy C. Barnum passed through every phase of western life. He was a successful farmer of this county over thirty years, and always identified himself with the best interests of his adopted home. He was an active and enthusiastic member of one of the first Farmers Alliances organized in the county, and was its first president. His home alliance acknowledged his leadership by taking his name. Being a large shipper of live stock, Barnum concluded that the railroads were charging excessive rates on stock from Omaha. So he was the first to make an effort to have freight rates reduced by filing a complaint before the state board of transportation. Mr. Barnum was a member of the Territorial Legislature in 1866 and in the Senate in 1869, being the only democrat in that body. He was county commissioner of Platte County six years, first taking office in 1870.

  Other settlers of note coming here in an early day were William Brown, Robert McPherson, James Haney, Charles Rickly, John Eisemann, John Schmocker, Christ Wuertherich.

  It was the habit of M. K. Turner, while young and enthusiastic over the accomplishments of the Journal, to visit the different sections of the county and give the deserving settler "a jolly" in his paper. Mr. Turner was a close observer, had a splendid nose for news, wielded a facile and trenchant pen and withal, was apparently impartial in his "write-ups" of the places he visited and the owners thereof. Once in a while, however, a disgruntled subscriber, who was very apt to become a correspondent on occasions, would bob up and take the editor to task for certain sins of omission or commission, charged to his account. The following is a specimen, selected from the school items of district No. 5, published in the Journal of issue January 13, 1875:

  "We notice in the last issue of your paper a brief description of the comfortable home and outbuildings of our friend Jacob Ernst, who lives north of Columbus, and the only objection we can make to it is that you did not enter more into detail. We have seen Mr. Ernst's home and know that he is fixed very comfortably. We hope you will continue to visit the farms of this and adjoining counties



and to note their improvements, to offer suggestions as to the best methods of rearing and feeding stock, the kinds that pay best, the best time to plant trees, the varieties suited to this climate, methods of planting cereals, and in fact everything pertaining to farming.

  "Henry C. Bean is the owner of about two hundred acres, ninety under cultivation, forty of which is enclosed by five rows of trees, of five years' growth. His residence is a frame. The main building is a two-story, 32 by 18, and contains a parlor, dining room and hall downstairs; a family bedroom, two smaller bedrooms and hall upstairs. The kitchen is an addition to the main building and is 16 by 12 in size. The main building is well plastered and is quite comfortable. Cost $1,300.

  "The barn is 30 by 24 in size and has a mow that will contain ten tons of hay. In the north end below is a granary for small grains. In the south end is the stable, which will accommodate six horses, cost $600. North of the barn and adjoining it is his shed for farm implements. South of the barn and adjoining it is a shed for young calves, which is very warm in winter and cool and pleasant in summer. On the north side of his corral is the main shed for cattle, which far excels Mr. Ernst's or any other that I have seen in the county."

  Another item appearing in the same paper on March 23, 1881, may be of interest to the people of this locality of the present day. It was in the following words: "The flood of the last few days has been quite inconvenient to many of our citizens living on the low lands. At Schuyler a fleet was improvised and Mr. Clarkson was elected admiral, but not having any experience on the water, he was superseded by William Brown. Coming westward, Robert McPherson's house was found under three feet of water and several small farms in the neighborhood were entirely submerged. Jacob Maple, although living within a quarter of a mile of plenty of submerged hay, offered $100 for four tons of hay for his stock. James Haney had at his place 150 head of stock driven into his barnyard by endangered neighbors. Charles Rickly has a cattle ranch between the Loup and Platte, near their confluence. On Thursday evening something came against his door and it was found that his wagon had floated. The bottom between the Loup and the Platte River wagon bridge was covered Monday with three to four feet of slush ice. Mr. Barnum's family moved out, as did others, at 2 o'clock in the morning, coming to Jackson."




  The Town of Jackson was laid out October 24, 1871, by Elisha Atkins, vice president, and E. H. Rollins, secretary, of the Union Pacific Railroad Company. Later the name was changed to Duncan.

  Duncan is located on the Union Pacific Railroad, 100 miles west of Omaha, in the fertile valley of the Platte River. It is six miles west of Columbus and is quite a stirring little business center. The farms between Columbus and Jackson are all highly improved, with first class dwellings and barns. In 1878 John Ernst had a grove of trees containing ten acres on his farm, which had been planted in 1868, furnishing more wood than he could use. Mr. Ehler, Henry C. Bean's, the North brothers, Charles Morse, A. J. Arnold and Guy Barnum's places were in this section of the country and showed thrift and business enterprise on the part of the proprietors.

  A local to the Journal, dated November 20, 1878, says: "Twelve horses were recently stolen from the ranch of North Brothers on the Loup, supposed to be the work of Sioux Indians. The Indians passed the camp of some neighboring ranchmen on the Dismal, the following morning, three of whose horses they had stolen and had with them. But they were armed to the teeth and were not attacked. In fact, no attempt was made to recover the horses." Here is another item, published in the Journal December 4, 1878, from the Prairie Creek correspondent: "P. Deafenbach, who purchased land here last spring, coming from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is building a new dwelling house. A. Benson is also building a dwelling. Tasker Brothers have made numerous improvements on their farm north of Prairie Creek. It is talked that a flour mill will be erected on Prairie Creek, where it empties into the Platte River. This is something greatly needed and would prove a success."

  In 1881 the Baptist Church was organized at Duncan, by Rev. Franklin Pierce, pastor of the Columbus Baptist Church. Services first were held in the German Reformed Church by Rev. Franklin Pierce.

  St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at Duncan on the 19th day of September, 1883, by John Ernst, John Eisemann, Christ Wuertherich, Julius Rudat and John Schmocker.

  St. Stanislaus Church was organized about 1886. Rt. Rev. James O'Connor, bishop of Omaha (being the chief officer of the Roman Catholic Church for the State of Nebraska and having spiritual jurisdiction extending over the whole thereof), on the 21st day of



July, 1887, convened a meeting in the City of Omaha, consisting of himself, Very Rev. R. A. Shaffel, vicar general; Rev. Anastatius Czeck, then pastor of the church known as St. Stanislaus, located at Duncan, and Martin Borowiak and Stanislaus Thomaszervic, two lay members of St. Stanislaus. Anastatius Czeck was elected secretary of the meeting, the object of which was to prepare articles of incorporation for the church and perfect its organization as a body corporate.

  In 1885, the firm of Jaeggi & Schupbach, of Columbus, erected an elevator with a capacity of 30,000 bushels at this place. At this time C. S. Webster was in the general merchandise business and Martin Borowiak had a dry goods and grocery establishment. One Maler was proprietor of the Commercial Hotel. Naylor and Snyder each had a blacksmith shop and Weissenfluh was the jeweler.

  In addition to its public school building, which is a very good one, plans have been perfected by Charles Wurdeman, a Columbus architect, for a parochial school building, to be erected in the spring of 1915, at a cost of $25,000. This building will be of brick construction, with ground dimensions 50 by 100 feet, and will have two stories and a basement. Under the same roof with the school proper will be comfortable dormitory quarters for the boys and girls. All the funds needed for erecting and equipping the institution have been raised by popular subscription among members of the parish. When completed, the new school building will probably be the most sightly institution in Duncan and will compare very favorably with any of the parochial school buildings in other parts of the county.


  A petition signed by Henry Misek and twenty others was presented to the board of supervisors on March 4, 1913, praying that the town be incorporated as the Village of Duncan, and that W. C. Butts, Fred Cyphers, D. H. Harrington, Frank Schultz and Albert Kurth be appointed as trustees. The petition was acted upon March 7, 1913, and all the requests granted. The territory embraced is as follows: Commencing at the northeast corner of the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 1, township 16, range 2 west, thence to the northwest corner of the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of said section; thence south to the southwest corner of the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of said section; thence east to the southeast corner of the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of said section; thence north to the point of beginning.




  A postoffice was established here June 17, 1869, and named Cherry Hill. Alonzo Shepard was placed in charge. He was succeeded by the following named persons: John Strasser, February 23, 1872; William Treitschke, March 30,1874; John Strasser, April 20, 1874; George W. Barnhart, August 29,1879. On the 2d day of January, 1880, the name was changed to Duncan, and George W. Barnhart appointed postmaster. He was followed by C. S. Webster, July 6, 1883; J. P. Borowiak, November 19,1886; S. M. Slawinski, January 11, 1888; Peter Kozlowski, August 5, 1890; Mike A. Iwardowski, November 26, 1897.

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