12-3-28, on September 27, 1873, from the receiver of the United States land office at North Platte, Nebraska. On September 29, 1873, E. S. Hill and Delia S. Hill, his wife, conveyed the west half of the southwest quarter of 7-3-27, to D. N. Smith. This instrument was filed for record September 29, 1873, and is recorded in Deed Record 1, at page 11. The expressed consideration for the conveyance is $400.
In November, 1873, the town of Indianola was surveyed and platted by M. Wilsie, surveyor. Dedication certificate is signed by D. N. Smith and Sophia Smith, and is dated November 29, 1873. The town of Indianola was orginally platted on part of the west half of the southwest quarter of 7-3-27, and a part of section 18-3-27. December 4, 1873, D. N. Smith and Sophia Smith conveyed to Edgar S. Hill, by deed filed July 25, 1874, a number of lots and blocks in the town of Indianola. On November 18, 1874, the articles of incorporation of the Republican Valley Land Association were acknowledged in Lancaster county, Nebraska, by D. N. Smith, Amasa Cobb, Allen M. Ghost and Myron W. "Willsie."
On March 28,1874, D. N. Smith and Sophia Smith, his wife, deeded a number of lots and blocks (apparently all that were not deeded to Edgar S. Hill) in the town of Indianola, to the Republican Valley Land Association. There seem to have been no conveyances made, at least in the early years of the county's history, of lots or blocks in Indianola to the railroad company. Subsequently, as I understand it, the Lincoln Land Company was organized, and the Republican Valley Land Association conveyed all of its holdings in Indianola to the Lincoln Land Company.
On November 20, Mr. Cordeal wrote as follows:
I have made an examination of the records in the office of the county clerk of this county so far as they pertain to the title to the original town site of Indianola, and find that on December 29, 1879, the Republican Valley Land Association sold to Albert E. Touzalin, trustee, for an express consideration of $5,000, an undivided one-half interest in a number of lots and blocks in Indianola, and on the same day executed a power of attorney giving A. E. Tonzalin authority to sell its interest, being an undivided one-half interest in all of its real estate in Harlan, Furnas, and Red Willow counties, and the town lots in Republican City, Orleans, Watson, Trenton, Arapahoe, and Indianola, as well as another town, the name of which I am unable to make out from the record.
On May 5, 1880, Albert E. Touzalin, trustee, conveyed his undivided one-half interest in a number of lots and blocks in
Indianola, for an express consideration of $1 to the Lincoln Land Company. On May 1898, pursuant to a decree of the district court of Harlan county, and in conformity thereto, The Republican Valley Land Association, for all expressed consideration of $5,000, conveyed all its interest in all of its lots in Indianola and all its real estate wherever situated to the Lincoln Land Company. On May 27, 1880, the articles of incorporation of the Lincoln Land Company, dated March 7, 1880, and executed by Charles E. Perkins, A. E. Touzalin, Turner M. Marquet, G. W. Holdrege, J. D. MacFarland, W. W. Peet, and R. O. Phillips were filed in the office of the county clerk of Red Willow county.
A curious and interesting circumstance connected with the location of the county seat at Indianola on May 27, 1873, is that on that date D. N. Smith entered into an arrangement, or rather a bond in the sum of $10,000, which seems to run to the voters of Red Willow county, by which he bound himself in consideration of the location of the county seat of Red Willow county at Indianola, to erect a building to be used by the county, rent free, until such time as the commissioners should erect a courthouse, and to convey one hundred lots to Red Willow county when a courthouse was erected by the county commissioners from the proceeds arising from the sale of such lots to be used for the erection of such a courthouse.
Apparently in fulfilment of this agreement, the Republican Valley Land Association, on October 5, 1875, "for and in consideration of the location of the county seat at Indianola, Red Willow County, Nebraska," and the building of a courthouse at said Indianola, conveyed to Red Willow county a number of lots and blocks in that town.
It appears from the record of the instruments to which I have called attention, that instead of the Lincoln Land Company being the successor of the Republican Valley Land Association, the two companies may have been competitors in this line of investment in this part of Nebraska, as the incorporators of the two companies seem to have been different.
In November, 1917, the clerk of Red Willow county wrote: "There is nothing at Red Willow but a sidetrack and an elevator. No population."
On December 6, 1917, Mrs. Ada Buck
Martin of Denver wrote the following account of the fortunes
of her father's family:
Thankful P. Reed, (laughter of John Reed of New York, and Submit Joiner of Deerfield, Mass., was born in Bainbridge, N. Y., January 11, 1830. She married Royal Buck in Fond du Lac, Wis., in 1853. The family removed to Nebraska City in 1860 and went to Red Willow, on the frontier, in 1872, and again to Branchville, Md., ten miles from Washington, D. C., in 1889, to settle the estate of Mrs. Buck's brother. Governor Amos Reed, which she had inherited.
Very soon after the death of Mr. Buck, in 1890, she removed to Washington, D. C., where she resided till 1904, when, her health beginning to fail, she moved to Denver, Col. Subsequently she spent four years in San Antonio and Abilene, Texas, but returned to Denver where she died, December 17, 1914, interment being at Indianola, Neb., in the family plot.
Amos Reed, Mrs. Buck's brother, was appointed by President Lincoln to be secretary of the territory of Utah, in the 60's. He made many journeys from Washington to Salt Lake City carrying money for the payment of the federal officers, under military escort west of the Missouri River. While in that office the governor of Utah died, and Secretary Reed was made acting governor. Returning later to his home near Washington among his political friends, the title clung to him.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Buck were of old Puritan stock, their later ancestors being active in the colonial and revolutionary wars. Some of Mrs. Buck's ancestors settled at Deerfield, Mass., where they were victims of early Indian raids.
One of the lineal male descendants of Mr. Buck's ancestors still owns the farm originally allotted to the first settlers of Weathersfield, Conn., and Mr. Buck's children treasure a white quartz arrowhead picked up on that farm.
My husband died several years ago, and I resumed my maiden name in part. My brother. Amos Reed Buck, lives in Portland, Oregon. His family consists of his wife and three young sons: Royal, Amos Reed Buck, Jr., and Mahlon. My father was an editor in his early life, in Wisconsin and in Nebraska City. In the latter place he took charge of a paper in order to let the owner enlist in the Civil War. That he fought bravely and fearlessly with his pen is proved by the fact that more than once armed guerrillas came to the house in the night, trying to entice him outside on one pretext or another.
In the middle 80's, before her marriage, Mrs. Martin was a teacher in the Park school, Lincoln. Her uncle, Amos Reed, was appointed secretary, and James Duane Doty of Wisconsin, governor of Utah in June, 1863. Governor Doty died in June, 1865, and Secretary Reed then
became acting governor until the arrival of Doty's successor. Royal Buck was buried beside his brother-in-law, at Beltsville, near Branchville, Prince Georges county, Md.
On December 20, 1917, Edgar S. Hill
sent, from Indianola, Nebraska, the following recollections
of the early settlement of Red Willow county. Mr. Hill laid
out the Hillsdale in Mills county, Iowa, mentioned in his
part proof of my claim of being the first bona fide settler in the county--now a resident here--if one of the Buck party who was here with him in 1871 is not entitled to that distinction by reason of being one of Buck's party. But enough of this.
Royal Buck and family arrived here about three weeks after the arrival of our party, as I remember the incident. Mr. Buck carried on farming while he lived here. Mrs. Buck, as is understood here, received an inheritance of land adjacent to Washington, D. C., from a bachelor brother. This is all I know about the matter, as very little was ever said about it by the Bucks. Mrs. Buck died about three years ago, in Denver, and was buried here in the Indianola cemetery by her daughter Ada and son Amos, now residing in Denver. I am not aware that Buck and party ever laid out or platted a town site at the mouth of Red Willow Creek. John F. Helm employed me as county surveyor to plat and lay out a town site on a claim he had near the mouth of the Willow, which I did while Buck lived here. Afterward a blacksmith shop was erected on the site and I think one or two other buildings, which was all the town ever amounted to, and these were soon abandoned and moved away, and the matter was soon forgotten. Buck never had anything to do with it. There never have been, and are not now half a dozen buildings of any kind on the land known as Red Willow. The Burlington railroad company has a siding at this point, and the Farmers Equity Union have a grain elevator doing business there now.
I first became acquainted with D. N. Smith in Iowa, about the year 1869 or 1870. He was then, as I remember, locating agent for the C. B. & Q. railroad company and the B. & M. in Nebraska.15 I next met him in 1872 on my claim here.
The story of the early settlement of Red Willow county would be an interesting one and worthy an abler pen than mine. If I live until the 23d day of January next I will have arrived at the eighty-fourth mile stone of my life--a long time to remember the noteworthy events which have occurred during this time.
In response to further inquiry, on December 31, 1917, Mr. Hill wrote the following additional particulars about the beginning of Indianola:
Mr. Weygint died recently at the home of his daughter, Mrs. J. Starbuck, in Salt Lake City, aged ninety- seven years.
15 The correct name of the company was Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company in Nebraska. It was absorbed by the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company.
His wife, at last accounts, was living at the same place, age ninety-five years.
I cannot give a positive statement of the affair called a trial of Red Willow vs. Indianola in the district court of Furnas county. This trial was an appeal from the decision in County Judge Colvin's court16 giving Red Willow the county seat. We employed Attorney-General Roberts to represent our case in district court. On trial day Roberts was on hand, also I. J. Starbuck our local attorney, G. A. Hunter, sheriff-elect, myself and several others whom I do not remember. The Red Willow party failing to appear by attorney or otherwise, we adjourned and went home. This ended the so-called trial of the controversy betwen (sic) Indianola and Red Willow. John F. Helm was the party who employed me to lay out "a town site" at the mouth of the Red Willow on his own land. Royal Buck had nothing to do with this matter nor with the laying out of a town site anywhere else, according to the best of my know]edge.
My acquaintance with D. N. Smith began in Iowa in connection with the town site of Hillsdale, in Mills county. I think he was then in the employ of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad Company in Nebraska. At that time I knew nothing about the Republican Valley Land Association or the Lincoln Land Company. I next met Mr. Smith some time early in July, 1872, on my claim where Indianola is now situated. The meeting was a mutual surprise, as neither of us knew of the other's whereabouts. After a short talk he wanted to know what I was doing here. I told him I was trying to hold down this land as a claim until the land office would open at Lowell on the 12th of August, when I could file on my claim. He then told me that he was prospecting for a location for a town site on which he believed the county seat of Red Willow county could be located. He had just come down from the mouth of the Willow, where he found the Buck party--or as many of them as were there--quarreling over where they could locate a town site for the same purpose, each one wanting it on his claim. He said he could do nothing with them, so he came on down the river until he met me. I asked him what was the matter with my claim for that purpose. He replied, "That's so." After looking it over he said it was just the place he was looking for but we would have to have deeded land for that purpose. I had a soldier's right and could obtain title by living on land for two years; but that would be too long to wait. I wanted him to wait until the land office opened, when I could
16 There was the office of probate judge but not of county judge at that time. Mr. Colvin was justice of the peace.
pay out and then go ahead; which I did. I afterward sold Smith eighty acres of my claim for $200 with the understanding that he would lay out the town and put up three good frame buildings, one for a hotel, another which we would give the use of to the county for a courthouse, and the other for a store building, and deed me back a fourth of the lots. This was only a talk between us, no papers ever having been passed. This was the plan, provided the election went our way, which it did; and the agreement was faithfully carried out as already stated.
That is the story, related to you in a conversational way, of the location of the town of Indianola on my homestead as far as myself and D. N. Smith were concerned. I always found Mr. D. N. Smith to be a man of his word and a gentleman in every respect.
I have just come across volume XVIII of your publications, from which I have learned more of their object than I have ever known before, and I have no objections to the publication of any information I may have given and only regret that I could not have put it in a more readable way than I have been able to do.
George L. Berger and J. B. Kilgore, his fattier-in-law, left Cass county on October 28, 1873, with a team of horses, and a lumber wagon. They drove to Indianola in Red Willow county to visit Mr. Berger's brothers, William H. and Joseph E. They arrived at Indianola on November 4. Mr. Kilgore took an additional soldier's claim in Red Willow county and removed his family there in April, 1874. A few days later the Berger brothers, Kilgore, Frank Welborn, John Welborn, Jesse Welborn, James Sweeney, and Charles Hayes, constituting the party, went on a buffalo hunt. The Welborn boys and the Berger boys, with the exception of George L. Berger, were residents of Red Willow county. The rest of the party lived in Cass county.
After getting all the buffalo meat they needed, it was packed with salt in barrels. On November 13 they were about ready to return home when Sweeney and Hayes came into camp and told of finding a battle-ground with many dead Indians, dogs and horses lying on it. The battle--between Pawnee and Sioux-- was fought in a wide
place in a cañon about three acres in extent, between the Frenchman and Republican rivers. The party had much difficulty in getting down into the cañon, but finally found a place where they could drive through. They locked the wheels of the wagons and went down one at a time. They went over the ground carefully. It was strewed with buffalo meat which the Pawnee had dried. They had been camping in the cañon for some time, and according to the story told to Mr. Berger by the agent of the Pawnee there were two white men from the east in the Pawnee camp. They were taken prisoners by the Sioux. Later a detachment of soldiers chased the Sioux, and they released the agent and the two eastern white men. The agent told Mr. Berger that the Pawnee had been upon their hunt and had procured the best meat of about one hundred buffaloes. The Sioux surprised the Pawnee by covering themselves with buffalo robes and marching toward the camp. Although the Pawnee had secured their winter meat, on the morning of August 5 many of their men pursued a herd of buffaloes so as to have fresh meat as they traveled. When they came nearer the Sioux threw off their buffalo robes, jumped to their feet and began shooting. The Pawnee were demoralized, and the entire band dropped everything and fled. The agent said that he tried to get them to stop and make a stand, but they were too frightened. Everyone killed was shot from behind with a forty-five calibre gun. Mr. Berger described an impressive incident of the battle. Rain had washed deep pockets on the west side of the cañon; and in one of them an entire family, consisting of a man, a woman, and five small children, were lying dead. Mr. Berger counted in all the bodies of sixty-five Indians although the agent told him there were over one hundred and twenty-five killed. Some died along the road and some after they returned home. Though the battle occurred on August 5, on November 13 the bodies were still well preserved.
After exploring the battle-ground, Mr. Berger and his
party followed the cañon south to its confluence with the Republican valley and then traveled east to the site now occupied by Culbertson where they camped for the night. The next day, November 14, the party arrived at W. H. Berger's home in Red Willow county. After visiting here for a few days, George L. Berger and Mr. Kilgore returned home and arrived in Cass county about December 1.
Mr. George L. Berger, having been informed that there is reliable evidence that the bodies were buried by a detachment of soldiers from Fort McPherson on August 24, 1873, in a letter written January 26, 1918, again insisted that his party found them unburied on November 13, 1873. It seems probable that the first interment was very shallow, so that after the bodies had become mummified in the dry atmosphere they were exposed by wind and rain. Mr. Berger's letter, in part, follows:
On November the 13th, 1873, when our party were there, the bodies of dead Indians were laying on the ground just as they were killed. They were not decomposed; they were in good state of preservation, considering the heat and the time they had laid on the ground. The flesh had just dried and shrunken. There was no bad stink, just a little musty odor. In walking across the space where the bodies were laying, not to exceed three acres, I counted 65 dead Indians, but there were 125 killed in all.
As to when these bodies were buried, the historian you speak of is absolutely mistaken. I have not got the exact date but positively it was April or May, 1874. They positively laid on the ground where they were killed all fall and winter. When I started on this trip I left my home, section 29, township 12, range 11, Louisville precinct, Cass Co., Nebr., on October the 28th, 1873, and got back just before Christmas.
© 1999, 2000, 2001 for the NEGenWeb by T&C Miller