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tor C. B. Stiliman were, appointed to act as judges of the election.

The township is extremely irregular in shape and is bounded on the north by Shell Creek and Bismark Townships, on the east Colfax County, and on the south, the Platte River. On the west, it is adjacent to Oconee Township and, in part, to Butler Township. The Loup Fork empties into the Platte in Section 33, making that part of the township between the two streams into a perfect peninsula.

Columbus Precinct includes school District 1 in the city of Columbus and outlying Districts 3, 71, 44, 9, 5, 80 and 82.


In addition to the county seat of Platte County at Columbus, nine other towns and some inland villages are scattered across the townships of Platte County. Some of these are business centers and railroad stopping points. Their history, in general, is rooted in the ethnic development and the economic fortunes of their particular rural area.


Creston was laid out by the Western Town Lot Company on August 23, 1886, and a petition was presented to the county board of supervisors in March, 1890, praying for its incorporation. The petition was granted and Samuel T. Fleming, J. L. Brown, J. T. Morris, D. I. Clark and C. H. McNeal were named as the board of trustees.

The Creston post office was first established on April 12, 1875, with William N. McCandlish as postmaster. Religious services were begun early in the town's history. The same year that Creston was established, the United Brethren Church was organized and a house of worship built soon thereafter.

Creston was so named because it was located on the crest of a hill from which the waters flowed eastward to the Elkhorn and westward to the Platte River. Three other states have towns with this name for a like reason.


The town of Platte Center, located on the boundary line between Lost Creek and Shell Creek Townships, was laid out and platted January 22, 1880, by the Omaha, Niobrara and Black Hills Railroad Company. Their agents, Sidney Dillon and J. W. Gammet, platted it. This railroad was a part of the Union Pacific.

The village was incorporated on September 8, 1885, by the county board of supervisors.

The following men were named to the board of trustees: James W. Lynch, Hamilton Mead, William Bloedorn, J. J. Macken and R. W. Perkinson. Other settlers prominent in early affairs were: George Scheidel and Frank Stracke, John A, Kehoe, who was engaged in the grain and implement business; and Albert Fields, who started the first hotel in the town. Other hotels were run by John Dugan and M. E. Clother. R. L. Rossiter, for many years, was the county surveyor.


Main Street, in Platte Center

In the first years, T. C. Ryan opened a general store. Doctor Edwards was the first doctor of medicine. William Bloedorn, the first blacksmith; Carrig and Fox were early hardware dealers; Carrig and Lynch had a general store, and Dorr Brothers, Lynch and Carrig were bankers. The first school was built in 1886, and burned down in 1904. Platte Center Water Works was established in 1901 and enlarged in 1913. The Siernz brothers had the franchise for a lighting system at one time.

Today, Platte Center is served by the Consumers Public Power District. The first Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 1908. Other business firms not mentioned and listed in the Platte Center Directory of 1896-1897 were: Brucker and Greisen as general merchants; Miss Annie Busch, millinery; the Considine Hotel, managed by J. C. Considine; the Henry Opera House, with Frank Hughes as manager; Don C. H. McNeil, drug store; Henry Zingg, meat market; John Moffett, real estate and loans; A. J. Moakier, publisher of the Platte Center Signal; Carrig and Gentleman, livery and livestock; David H. Carrig Saloon; C. C. Carrig, manager of the Omaha Elevator Company, and W. E. Kent, manager of the Chicago Lumber and Coal Company.

Soon after the railroad was built through Platte Center in 1879, the post office was established. Thomas A. Cruch became the first postmaster in December, 1879. The plat of the town was completed in January, 1880.

The History of Platte County Nebraska

Two years later, the Platte County Bank was organized with R. S. Dickinson as president; David Thomas, vice-president; and C. M. Gruenther, cashier. The Farmer's State Bank was organized in 1910 and closed in December, 1930. The first church in the town was St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 1884-1885. It was an outgrowth of the early Shell Creek St. Patrick's Catholic Church. An early school, destroyed by fire, was replaced with a modern, two-story brick structure about 1905. The town also has St. Joseph's Parochial School.

Platte Center has an active unit of the Lion's Club, the Modern Woodmen, and is the home of the Viergutz Lumber Company and the Bruckner Mercantile Company, named for Max Bruckner, Sr., who founded the concern in 1887, shortly after he came to this country from Germany. Mr. Bruckner was a councilman in Platte Center for many years and also served as chairman of the Village Board. Doctor A. A. Bald, a doctor of medicine, has practiced in Platte Center since September, 1912.

The town of Platte Center was so named because of its central location in Platte County.


The village of Oconee, located in Oconee Township, was first platted in the name of Lost Creek, on February 5, 1880. It was later vacated and replatted in 1883, as a station of the Omaha, Niobrara and Black Hills line.

Oconee has the advantage of excellent facilities as a result of its location at the junction of the Spalding and Albion and the Norfolk branches of the Union Pacific. Only nine miles from Columbus, it was convenient to the surrounding farmers, and was the home of two grain elevators and a lumber yard.

The post office at Oconee was first established in May, 1879. Joseph Watts was the first postmaster and others who held this office were: N. B. Olds, George F. Benedict, E. H. Gerrard, James Weatherbee, Mary A. Crookham, William D. Wilson, W. H. Murdock, Fannie S. Murdock, A. .J. McDougal]., Otto T. Weber, Daniel Murdock and Emma Souther.

Oconee also had a business center patronized by Platte County residents throughout that part of the Loup River country.


James E. North, county surveyor for the Omaha, Niobrara and Black Hills Railroad Company, was responsible with others for the location and establishment of the town of Humphrey on November 25, 1880. Prominent early settlers who aided in the development of the city were: A. H. Potter and Joseph Ansline, William Eimers, William Duesman, T. D. Robinson and William Tieskoetter, one of the original owners of the site on which Humphrey flow stands.

Humphrey is governed by a mayor and clerk, with offices in a modern, two-story city hall' whose cost to the city when built was over seventy-two hundred dollars. A fire department, post office and four churches; St. Francis Catholic, the Baptist, the Methodist and Lutheran Churches are part of its community life.

Located twenty-five miles north and a short distance west of Columbus, it is a station on the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad, now a part of the North Western Railroad. The town was originally settled by a colony of German immigrants and grew as the farmers in the surrounding vicinity moved into town in 1880-1881 to go into business in the rapidly developing settlements.

Early Humphrey from "Reminiscences" of T. D. Robinson

In February, 1881, T. D. Robinson went to Humphrey and made a final proof on his homestead. After that, he received his patent and platted his first addition. That year, Leopold Jaeggi started a lumber yard for a Columbus firm. Thomas Ottis was building his store. William Eimers had built his store. Herman Tieskoetter was building his hotel. Doctor Norwood was postmaster and had the drug store. In 1881, Thomas Ottis bought forty acres from William Tieskoetter. He platted a part of it, and sold a number of building lots on Main Street. By this time, all kinds of businesses were represented. In addition to his store, Thomas Ottis had a scoop house and bought grain. William Eimers had a store and a grain and lumber business. William Rippard and Chancy Samport bought grain and hogs.

Doctor Trout built a drug store north of Norwood's facing the depot. He later sold out to the Herman Brothers, and the building was moved to Main Street, east of the hotel. Newell South had a hardware store and an implement business; Joseph Gehr had the butcher shop; Chancy Graham had a grocery store; Martin Bloedorn had an implement store and blacksmith shop and Arlt was the wagon maker. T. j. Sherwood had a livery barn. He later formed a partnership with Joseph Lachnit. Jacob Steffes built a hotel and a saloon; George Clark was in the Insurance and Real Estate business; Dan Drebert was postmaster. The District 67


school was east of the railroad depot and was taught by Master Coleman.

The William Duesman Furniture Store was east of Tieskoetter's Hotel. Wendel Echelbacher had a hardware store and was in partnership with Jacob Ripp in a saloon.

At that time, the value of land around Humphrey was ten to fifteen dollars an acre. Corn was selling for thirty cents a bushel and eggs were ten cents a dozen. Hogs were three dollars a hundredweight, and a chicken sold for fifteen cents.

In 1881, Dan Drebert and Ira Briggs started the first banking business.

In 1882, E. A. Stockslager bought the Drebert interest and with Ira Briggs organized the Citizens Bank. That year, the Catholic Church was built on ground donated by Thomas Ottis. F. H. Baker had a harness shop and was justice of the peace. Doctor W. Condon was an early dentist. F. M. Cookingham was working for Newell South and studying law. He was later admitted to the bar and practiced in Humphrey. In the spring, John Partsch of St. Mary's started a brickyard.

Humphrey in 1949 had an active community life and scheduled its own regular weekly band concerts in the summer season. It had a large complete business center, with lawyers, two doctors, and a newspaper. It also had many beautiful residences.


Locted (sic) in Granville Township, the village of Cornlea was named for the area's greatest product -- corn, and the leas or meadows which surround it. An early settler by the name of Edwards was the first to call the village this.

Originally established by the Western Town Lot Company, Cornlea was created as a village on October 28, 1902, after a petition had been presented by Jacob Olk and thirty-eight other residents. Olk, along with William Berg, H. C. Bender, John Ternus and L. S. Martin, were appointed to the original board of trustees. Today, Cornlea has a general market, garage, post office, school, church and eating house.

In 1886, the Fremont, Elkhorn and Valley Railroad was built through Cornlea. The first bank was established in 1905, and the post office has been in operation since June, 1887.


The inland town of St. Bernard was first located in June, 1878, by R. L. Rossiter, a county surveyor. Bernard Schroeder and the Franciscan Monks of Nebraska were the original incorporators and the Franciscans at that time owned a quarter section of land adjoining the inland townsite.

Predominantly a German settlement, the community now offers schools, churches and a civic group, in addition to a small business center. A hostelry was built in St. Bernard in the 1880's by Bernard Schroeder. St. Bernard also had its own telephone company, which was organized in 1904.


Platted by the Western Town Lot Company, the village of Lindsay was originally laid out in November, 1886, and incorporated as a village on March 7, 1888. Three grain elevators were established at the site within the next few years and the Scribner and Oakdale branch of the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley Railroad (later incorporated into the Northwestern line) went through the town.

In 1917, a community hall was erected in Lindsay containing facilities for a stage and auditorium, and in the basement, a council meeting room and garage for the town's fire engine. The cost of the hall was seventeen thousand dollars.

Some of the oldest settlers in Lindsay were: Johnny Smoker, John Walker, William Connelly, Patrick Ducey, Peter Galligan and Daniel Holloran. John Walker gave the village its name after the town of Lindsay in Ontario, Canada. The town has its own government officers, newspaper -- The Lindsay Post -- schools and churches.


Originally known as Cherry Hill, and later laid out as the Town of Jackson, on October 24, 1871, Duncan was officially named after General Wood B. Duncan, at one time a prominent resident of the locality.

Polish and Swiss settlers settled the town which was incorporated in 1913 with the following named trustees: F. W. Scholz, W. C. Butts, Louis Tryba, Albert Kurth, D. H. Harrington and A. J. Lindsley. Peter Koslowski was made police judge.

Located on the Union Pacific main line and United States Highway 30, the town has a population exceeding three hundred and fifty. St. Stanislaus Church, established in 1876, and St. Stanislaus School, which opened its doors in 1889, pioneered in both the religious and educational affairs of Duncan. It also has a Methodist Church.


The present town of Tarnov was originally known as Burrows and laid out by the Union Land Company, on July 25, 1889. Settled by a

The History of Platte County Nebraska

colony of Polish immigrants, it was named for Tarnov, Galicia, former home of most of its residents.

The year 1891 marked the establishment of the Tarnov post office, with A. C. Leas in charge. St. Michael's and St. Anthony's Churches were both founded in the 1880's, and on June 12, 1905, a petition signed by A. Volz and twenty-nine others was the prelude to Tarnov's incorporation under its own government.

The first school was opened in 1873, and the polling place that year (the first in which a vote is recorded) was at the home of John Greisen. The village is located in Burrows Township, named after John and Joseph Burrows, who first moved to this part of Platte County in the late 1860's and started to farm.


A scene of early day Monroe


Charles H. Whaley and Leander Gerrard, later of Columbus, named the town of Monroe in honor of President James Monroe when they founded it. Established about 1857, it was laid out in its present site in 1889, with the help of E. A. Gerrard.

At one time, the regular California stage coach line passed through there, and Monroe was formerly the county seat of Monroe County, but when the latter merged with Platte County in 1859, it lost its identity. For years the first settlement in the town -- the log cabin belonging to Joseph Gerrard, first postmaster was on the route of both Mormon and Indian trails. Many a pioneer traveler stopped off there.

Edward A. Gerrard, who returned from Columbus to lay out the town in 1889, was an active prohibitionist and did much to shape the community life of Monroe by writing antiliquor clauses into every land contract he made.

The town has a nationally known newspaper The Monroe Booster, edited by Dan Ziegler, a coal company and numerous other business establishments, in addition to some of the county's most modern church and school buildings.

It has been said that at the time most of the towns and townships in Platte County were established, every other man was a land agent and, to a certain extent, this is true. It was an era in which men could live up to their dreams of building cities and conquering nature. Many fortunes were made in those days.

However, the outstanding effect of this activity in land development was the establishment of a strong rural life, a community organization, which has proved itself in times of peace and in war, of prosperity and depression, and which continues to remain the nucleus of America's Great Agricultural Empire.



"Outside of Columbus are several stations on the line of railroad which do quite a flourishing business. Humphrey Station is situated about twenty-one miles above Columbus on Omaha, Niobrara and Black Hills Branch. It contains about one hundred people, its business consisting of two grain elevators, two lumber yards, two general stores, two saloons, one drug store, a blacksmith shop, a shoe shop, and a hotel owned by Herman Tieskoetter. Humphrey is situated in the midst of a rich hay country, and has a press in full operation. Both Humphrey Station and Platte Center do a flourishing business in grain.

"Platte Center is located twelve miles from Columbus, on the same railroad branch, and contains about one hundred people. Platte Center contains two grain ele-


vators, a grist mill operated by Mr. Welch, three groceries, one livery and feed store, one lumber yard, a blacksmith and wagon shop, an agricultural depot, and 0e hotel, whose proprietor is Albert Fields.

"Lost Creek is a station at the junction of the two branches of the Omaha and Niobrara and Black Hills goad, and is becoming quite a brisk place. It contains about forty people, having a grain elevator, a hotel, general store, livery and feed store, blacksmith shop, hay press, church and school house.

"Jackson, now called Duncan, was platted by the Union Pacific Railroad Company in October, 1871. If anything with the growth of Columbus, the village has retrograded and now consists of only about fifty people. Two hotels are, however, patronized, one grain elevator, one store, and one hay press. One district school is in successful operation.

"The above are all of the stations of the county outside of Columbus, and the only points of any business importance."



COLUMBUS TOWNSHIP: Edward Engel, Columbus, Clerk; Chas. B. Galley, Columbus, Treasurer; John H. Zipper, Columbus, Justice of the Peace; John Inselman, Columbus, Assessor.

BISMARK TOWNSHIP: Arthur Heibel, Columbus, Clerk; Wm. Wurdeman, Columbus, Treasurer; Ernst Lusche, Columbus, Justice of the Peace; Harold Zimmer, Columbus, Assessor.

SHERMAN TOWNSHIP: Otto Muth, Columbus, Clerk; Walter Cattau, Columbus, Treasurer; Otto A. Korte, Columbus, Justice of the Peace; Ernest Groteluschen, Columbus, Assessor.

CRESTON TOWNSHIP: Louis Boning, Creston, Clerk; Art Scheffler, Creston, Treasurer; Harvey Sander, Creston, Justice of the Peace; Andrew Jenny, Leigh, Assessor.

SHELL CREEK TOWNSHIP: Otto Arndt, Columbus, Clerk; Arden Mark, Platte Center, Treasurer; Henry L. Behle, Columbus, Justice of the Peace; Theodore Claymon, Platte Center, Assessor.

GRAND PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP: Edward J. Mark, Platte Center, Clerk; William Hoeffelman, Platte Center, Treasurer; Gerhard Janssen, Platte Center, Justice of the Peace; Albert Wemhoff, Humphrey, Assessor.

HUMPHREY TOWNSHIP: Gerhard Kapels, Creston, Clerk; Wade Pruitt, Humphrey, Treasurer; Carl Schwarz, Humphrey, Justice of the Peace; Nick Steffes, Humphrey, Assessor.

BUTLER TOWNSHIP: Steve Lassek Jr., Duncan, Clerk; Edward Liss, Silver Creek, Treasurer; John Bandur, Duncan, Justice of the Peace; Ernst Nyffeler, Columbus, Assessor.

LOUP TOWNSHIP: Andrew Danielski, Columbus, Clerk; Quentin Blaser, Columbus, Treasurer; Milton Meedel, Columbus, Justice of the Peace; John Kummer, Columbus, Assessor.

OCONEE TOWNSHIP: Ernest Schacher, Monroe, Clerk; Chris Christensen, Columbus, Treasurer; Albert Fleming, Monroe, Justice of the Peace; A. E. Schram, Monroe, Assessor.

LOST CREEK TOWNSHIP: Chris. Peterson, Platte Center, Clerk; Adolph Liebig, Jr., Platte Center, Treasurer; Albert Miksch, Platte Center, Justice of the Peace; Mildred Schilz, Platte Center, Assessor.

BURROWS TOWNSHIP: Mark Eisenmenger, Humphrey, Clerk; Felix Barnas, Tarnov, Treasurer; Jim Torczon, Humphrey, Justice of the Peace; Andrew A. Jaworski, Tarnov, Assessor.

GRANVILLE TOWNSHIP: J. A. Zavadil, Humphrey, Clerk; Bernard Bohaus, Humphrey, Treasurer; Chas. Pfeifer, Humphrey, Justice of the Peace; Henry Lachnit, Humphrey, Assessor.

MONROE TOWNSHIP: L. A. Hill, Monroe, Clerk; Albert Spuitt, Genoa, Treasurer; August Burke, Genoa, Justice of the Peace; Theo. Ericson, Genoa, Assessor.

JOLIET TOWNSHIP: David Parry, Monroe, Clerk; C. A. Pearson, Genoa, Treasurer; Anton C. Peterson, Lindsay, Justice of the Peace; William E. Lloyd, Lindsay, Assessor.

ST. BERNARD TOWNSHIP: Charles Korth, Lindsay, Clerk; L. G. Winkler, Lindsay, Treasurer; Frank Pfeifer, Lindsay, Justice of the Peace; Jos. A. Diederich, Lindsay, Assessor.

WOODVILLE TOWNSHIP: Fred Nelson, Genoa, Clerk; Jay Crosier, St. Edward, Treasurer; M. E. Karnes, St. Edward, Justice of the Peace; Emil Palme, St. Edward, Assessor.

WALKER TOWNSHIP: Melvin Nygren, St. Edward, Clerk; Harry Gustafson, Newman Grove, Treasurer; F. A. Jenson, Newman Grove, Justice of the Peace; W. E. Frederickson, Lindsay, Assessor.

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