NEBRASKA'S ENTERPRISING CITIES.
the same time, of brick made in a kiln in the vicinity of the town. In the fall of 1882, the First National Bank building was erected. But the building fever struck with force in 1885, and most of the best blocks were erected in that year. Today there is not an empty store room in Schuyler, and it is very difficult to find a vacant dwelling.
The town has a very efficient fire department, in which the people take great pride and justly boast of. The first company was organized in 1875. In 1879 another company was organized, and the town purchased two engines, a chemical and a water engine, at a cost of $2,800. A hook and ladder company was organized in 1885, and also a hose company. The combined membership is 105, and the city maintains fourteen hydrants. The railroads also have a steam pump which will throw water over the business portion of the town. Members of the fire department are exempt from poll tax and jury service.
Schuyler dates its foundation to the erection of the depot here in 1868, this being followed by the house of the agent and telegraph operator. The town was platted April 6, 1869, by engineers of the railroad and the county surveyor. The next year the site passed into the hands of a private investment company. In 1873 a municipal form of government was adopted.
The first brewery was built in Schuyler in 1875. The first newspaper was started in 1871. The court house was built in 1872. A post office was opened in 1869.
The youth of Schuyler have the best advantages to avail themselves of a first-class education. There are four graded and two ungraded schools. There is a school attendance of 925, and an average daily attendance of 600. There are seventeen teachers and a high school principal. At the exhibition of the State Teachers' Association, of maps, drawings, etc., the Schuyler schools have carried off first prize, and the second several times, Omaha standing first on these occasions.
Of which Schuyler is the county seat, is a rich county, situated in the great valley of Platte River. The county is forty-one degrees and thirty minutes north latitude, and lies in the exact geographical center of the United States About 1,000 feet above sea level, the atmosphere is dry, pure and invigorating. The general surface consists of undulating prairie highlands, not broken or abrupt, but stretching out in long reaches. The farming lands, which he principally outside of the valleys, yield plentifully of corn. The valleys yield prolifically of grasses, so that the raising of cattle is an easy industry. The principal breed raised is the Short Horn; of horses, Normans and Clydesdale; and of sheep, Merino and Cotswold. The county contains 276,480 acres--about 167,009 improved and 58,000 unimproved.
Colfax County was organized May 15, 1869, being, before that, a part of Platte. County. It received its name after the then vice-president. Schuyler Colfax. By a supplementary act, Schuyler was at the same time made the county seat.
The County Agricultural Society, organized in 1872, has had most successful (sic) exhibitions. Ever since 1879, each year has shown a wonderful improvement over the former. Its grounds, located two miles north of Schuyler, cover twenty-three acres, and have all the necessary buildings required for a first-class exhibit.
SCHUYLER NATIONAL BANK.--In reviewing the commercial resources of any city, a position of first prominence should be accorded its banks as the great medium of exchange. The Schuyler National Bank was established as a private bank in 1874, as Sumner & Co., being reorganized as a National bank in 1884. Capital, $50,000; surplus, $10,000. W. H. Sumner, president, is a native of Maine, and is one of our oldest settlers. He is a Mason and has been banking since 1874. J. S. Johnson, cashier, was born in New York. He is an I. O. O. F. and formerly was, here and elsewhere, in the drug business. As cashier, he has shown much enterprise and good management. The officers are gentlemen long prominent in commercial circles, where they are recognized as possessing eminent financial integrity, enterprise and executive ability.
THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK.--In compiling a review of this progressive and prosperous city, a prominent position is accorded the First National Bank, organized in 1882. Capital and surplus. $75.000. A general and highly prosperous banking business is done, and the patronage received is drawn from the best custom of the vicinity. Thomas Bryant, president, is a native of England. N. W. Wells, vice-president, born in New York, is
well-known here in the milling business. Morris Palmer, cashier, born in Pennsylvania, has been cashier since the bank was started, in the organization of which he was instrumental. He formerly was banking ten years in Madison Wisconsin. As cashier he has shown himself entirely worthy of the responsible position, and that he understands banking in all its details. The officers are gentlemen of established financial ability and enterprise, whose names are synonymous with the highest principles of commercial probity and honor.
THE NEBRASKA STATE BANK.--The prosperity of banking concerns of any city is indicative of an era of commercial progress. The Nebraska State Bank was organized April 1888, capital $100,000. E. F. Kenny, president, is a native of England. J. M. Simmons, cashier, born in Maine, has lived in the county most of the time since 1869. They are both prominently identified with the Masonic Order. With such officers it is no wonder the institution has made such a successful record. In conclusion it is needless for us to say that the Nebraska State Bank ranks with the leading banking institutions of the West, and affords a remarkable instance of success.
CHICAGO LUMBER CO., J. W. Stewart, Agent.--Among the prominent business enterprises to be found in Schuyler, is the Chicago Lumber Company, who rank among the heaviest lumber dealers in the world. Also sole agents for Marble Head concentrated white lime. The facilities this company have for successfully conducting the large business are of an unusually complete character, whereby they are enabled to offer customers advantages difficult, if not impossible, to duplicae (sic). Headquarters at Omaha. F. Colpetzer, manager, Omaha; C. H. Guiou, assistant manager, Omaha; H. F. Cady, manager branch yards, Omaha. J. W. Stewart, agent at Schuyler, is a native of Illinois. He has had twenty-five years' experience in the business and has lived four years in Nebraska. He is a Mason and G. A. R., having served in the 139th Illinois Volunteers. He is a clear headed man, and to his judicious management is due much of the success which the company has achieved in this section.
CODE & INNES, General Merchants.--Occupying a leading position in Schuyler is the house of Code & Innes, who were established here in July, 1891. The commodious premises are 25x60 feet in extent and two salesmen are employed. A large stock of general merchandise is carried and everything usually found under this heading is to be had here, best in quality and moderate in price. Mr. Code is a native of Canada and is a Mason. Mr. Innes was born in Scotland and has been in this country since 1883. They have won esteem in mercantile circles and are popularly numbered among Schuyler's representative and deservedly successful merchants.
SCHUSTER & KOLM, Confectioners, Pence Block.--Among the prosperous mercantile establishments to be found in Schuyler is that of Schuster & Kolm's, founded the 20th of May, 1891. The premises occupied are 22x60 feet, with shop and kitchen in rear. They employ five hands and do an excellent business as bakers and confectioners, all goods sold here being of very superior quality and sold at prices entirely consistent with fair dealing. Messrs. Schuster & Kolm are natives of Wisconsin and are I. O. O. F's; the latter also being a K. of P., A. O. U. W., M. W. A. They have secured a large share of public favor and enjoy the patronage of the best known residents of the city and section.
JAMES GADSDEN, Real Estate and Loans, Opposite Post Office.--One of the representative city enterprises in its important branch of commercial activity is James Gadsden's, established in 1883. From the start it has had a rapid growth. All descriptions of city and suburban property are bought, sold or rented. Money to any amount is loaned on real estate or personal property, and the fair and equitable terms offered have drawn to the office a large and desirable patronage. Mr. Gadsden is a native of England and has lived in America nineteen years. He was formerly in a bank here for five years. He is identified with the Masons.
PHELPS & SABIN, Lawyers.--This firm lends eminent strength to the Schuyler bar and is considered one of the safest and most reliable combinations in the county. C. J. Phelps, born in Connecticut, studied law with Reuben Butler of New Lexington, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar in this county in spring of 1873, since which time he has practised (sic) here. C. O. Sabin, born in Ohio. studied with Mr. Phelps and was admitted in spring of 1887. They are prominent Masons. Messrs. Phelps & Sabin are the possessors of a fine library and prosecute their cases in a manner that deservedly commands for them the respect of the profession and the confidence of the people.
F. FOLDA, Banking House.--One of the substantial private banking houses in the West is that of F. Folda, founded five years. Capital, $25,000; surplus, $7,500. All branches of legitimate banking transacted. Accounts received on the most favorable terms. Interest allowed on time deposits. They make a specialty of collections, and give same prompt, prudent and obedient attention, remitting for same on day of payment at lowest rates. Correspondence solicited. F. Folda, a native Bohemian, has lived twenty-two years here, previous to which he resided many years in Wisconsin. G. F. Folda cashier, is a native Nebraskan and has shown tact and enterprise in the important capacity of cashier.
S. B. ALLEN. County Judge.--A gentleman who has largely contributed to make Schuyler what she is, is S. B. Allen, the county judge. He is a native of Wisconsin, and is serving his second term as county judge. The judge is well-known as a newspaper man, having been in that business since the year 1861, until he
NEBRASKA'S ENTERPRISING CITIES.
was elected to his present office on January 1, 1890. He has lived in the county fifteen years. His administration has been characterized by carefulness and a display of a first-class knowledge of law.
HENRY BOLTON, Dry Goods, Carpets, Shoes and Boots.--A well conducted mercantile establishment is Henry Bolton's, established in 1878. The premises occupied are 22x75 feet, two stories. Mr. Bolton carries a full assortment of staple and fancy dry goods of imported and domestic manufacture, carpets, shoes and boots. He employs three salesmen. Mr. Bolton was born in Illinois. His trade is of an extensive and liberal character. and every worthy effort is made to supply all classes of customers with satisfactory goods.
PALACE HOTEL, J. L. Kinney proprietor. The popular Palace Hotel has maintained its good trade since Mr. J. L. Kinney came with the management. Free bus to and from all trains; all trunks and baggage conveyed; hot and cold baths; unexcelled furnished rooms; unsurpassed meals; most attentive service; all for two dollars; all transient rooms heated by furnace: hot and cold bath rooms on second floor; fine sample room; elegant ladies' parlor. Eight hands are employed in the prosecution of the first-class business. The meals at the Palace are excellent, the tables being spread with all the substantials and delicacies. Mr. Kinney is a native of Illinois, and has lived in Nebraska twenty-one years. He has had twelve years' experience in the hotel business. He is worthy of the large measure of success achieved, and of the respect entertained for him by his numerous patrons.
J. J. GAETH, Harness.--One of the leading city establishments in its important branch of skilled industry is that of J. J. Gaeth, founded in 1891. The premises are 20x50 feet, and are supplied with all requisite facilities for turning out the finest work. An extensive city and country trade is enjoyed. Two hands are employed. Mr. Gaeth was born in Germany, and has lived in our county fifteen years. He has reared a business which distinguishes him as one of the leading men of Schuyler.
C. H. CHASE BAKERY, Flour at Wholesale and Retail--in reviewing the various commercial enterprises which contribute to the business prosperity and importance of this city, we note C. H. Chase's, established twelve years. The premises occupied are 22x60 feet. Three and four hands are employed. Mr. Chase conducts an extensive bakery business, all of his food products having become famous for their excellent quality and superior make. He is also wholesale and retail dealer in flour. Mr. Chase is a native of Maine and is an I. O. O. F. and G. A. R. He was only fifteen years of age when he enlisted, and served in the 1st, 10th and 32d Maine Infantry.
J. A. PENCE. Hardware and Tinware.--Has been established five years. The premises are 22x90 feet and three hands are employed. Mr. Pence deals in hardware, tinware, New Process gasoline stoves, etc. The trade is of a decidedly voluminous character. The general appointment of the store embraces all requisite facilities for the advantageous conduct of business. Mr. Pence was born in Virginia. He has lived in our county eleven years, and is a Mason,
DR. JAMES WOODS.--A talented physician of Schuyler is Dr. James Woods. He is a native of Pennsylvania and has been practising (sic) here for nineteen years. He was raised in Ohio and graduated in 1870 from the Cleveland Medical College. Ohio. The doctor is a member of the G. A. R., having served in the 2nd Ohio Heavy Artillery.
FOGG HOUSE--This hotel has been in successful operation seventeen years and its reputation as a model house has extended far and near. It is admirably located in the center of the city. The sleeping apartments are thirty-two in number. The dining-room has a seating capacity of fifty; while the cuisine is first-class, the tables being always supplied with the best the market affords, and the manner of service is all that epicurean taste could desire. Fourteen hands are required. Reading and sample rooms on first floor. J. L. Fogg, proprietor, is a native of Maine, but has been a resident of our county for twenty-one years. He is a K. of P.
Aurora is the county seat of Hamilton County. located near the geographical center of one of the best agricultural counties in the State. It is tastefully and regularly laid out, with a fine public square in the center of the town, in which are now growing large forest trees, giving ample shade for picnics and all outdoor entertainments Around the public square are situated the various business houses, compactly and substantially built, many of them of brick and stone, as fine as will be found in any city in the State.
Aurora has a population of over 3.000, and the county has a population of over 16,000.
Aurora enjoys a large and growing trade, and here business men are getting rich, as may be seen by a view of the many fine and elegant residences that have been erected in the past few years, and the beautiful lawns, brick sidewalks and well-kept and clean streets. Here will be found as fine a system of schools as can be found anywhere in older and larger cities. There are already three large, fine school buildings in the city, and the citizens are now planning to erect a normal school on a sixty-acre tract adjoining town, which tract will be laid off into school grounds, parks and for residences. The city has one of the finest
opera houses in the State, four large, commodious bank buildings, seven fine church buildings, a large machine shop, a foundry, three brick yards, three grain elevators, and one of the finest stock yards in the State. The town is situated seventy-five miles west of Lincoln, on the B. & M. Railroad running to the Black Hills and Wyoming, and is a division station on that road, being the junction of the Harting, or southern, branch and the Arcadia, or northern, branch with the main line. The county has about fifty-five miles of railroad tracks belonging to the B. & M., and an effort is being made, which no doubt will prove successful, to get the U. P. to build to Aurora from some one of its points along the northern boundary of the county.
It was from this county that the first train of cattle was ever shipped to Liverpool, England, by private individuals. Hon. Joshua Cox conceived the idea about two years ago. and successfully carried it out, with financial success to himself and those who joined with him in the enterprise, since which time two other train loads have been made up in this county and shipped direct to Liverpool.
Aurora has the name of doing more business over the several lines of railroads, to and from the city, than any other place on this line of the B. & M. system in Nebraska. Here is located the B. & M. feed and stock yards for all of the cattle that come east over the B. & M. Even the stock trains that come east over the Denver line leave that line at Harting and come up to Aurora, where they are unloaded, watered and fed and re-shipped, which gives a good market here for much feed and grain, and furnishes employment for a large number of men the year around.
Aurora also has three newspapers, which are classed among the best weekly papers in the State. The Aurora Republican, L. W. Hastings, editor and proprietor, is one of the first papers established in this part of Nebraska. and has never missed an issue since June, 1873, when it was first issued from an old Washington hand press, the first printing press ever brought to Nebraska. The Sun, edited by E. W. Hurlbut, is the Democratic paper, and the Reporter, by George L. Burr, dishes up the independent politics of the county.
REPRESENTATIVE BUSINESS FIRMS AND MEN OF AURORA.
THE AURORA ARCHITECTURAL IRON WORKS AND FOUNDRY--E W. Wilson, Manager. Prominent among the important industrial concerns of Aurora is the above, which was founded June 1st, 1886. Mr. E. W. Wilson, manager, is the manufacturer of cast iron building work, iron fronts, columns, lintels, sill plates. pilasters, roof cresting and general foundry work. Agents are wanted in every town in the State to handle the best feed cooker manufactured. Large profits are made by parties who are handling them. Write for particulars. Six to eight hands are employed the year through who are thoroughly skilled in manufacturing the product for which the foundry has become celebrated. The facilities Mr. Wilson has for successfully handling the numerous orders which are constantly coming in, are of an unusually complete character. He is a native of Iowa. By active and able management he has reared an eminently prosperous enterprise.
L. W. SHUMAN County Clerk.-- is a native Pennsylvanian, and is serving his first term as county clerk, although he has been known for many years in the court house, having been deputy county clerk from the 14th of September, 1884, to the 7th of January, 1892; also having been clerk of the district court. He has lived thirteen years in the county, where he formerly taught. Mr. Shuman affiliates with the K. P's, I. O. O. F's., and M. W. A's. Mr. Shuman has held the position of deputy county clerk as a Democrat, which is conclusive that politics have had nothing to do in the way of keeping him in the place, but his ability to do the work required in the office. He refused the unanimous nomination for county clerk in 1889 at the hands of the Democrats, although a staunch Democrat himself, because he looked at the principle of running against a man who had favored him with a second place for a number of years; but in 1891 the party again gave him the nomination, showing by that act that they had not lost confidence in Mr. Shuman as an officer, and notwithstanding the county being strongly independent, Mr. Shuman was elected, through his popularity, by sixty-nine plurality.
A. J. McCONAUGHEY, Sheriff--In writing upon the leading things of the City of Aurora, we note A. J. McConaughey. the popular county sheriff. He is a native of Ohio and is serving his first term as sheriff. Mr. McConaughey has lived in the county twenty years, where he formerly farmed, He is an A. O. U. W. and an I. O. O. F. and served gallantly during the late war in the 40th Iowa Infantry. During the period he has been sheriff, he has shown to all that he is quite cut out for the post.
W. L. STARK, Judge.--Judge W. L. Stark is a native of Connecticut and graduate of the Mystic Valley Institute, Connecticut, and is serving his fourth term as county judge. He is an attorney by profession and he formerly practised here, having been admitted to the bar in Illinois. January, 1878, since which date he has lived in this county. He was also admitted in this State in 1881. He formerly was superintendent of the city school.
JOHN S. MUSSER, Attorney-at-Law, Real Estate. Loans and Insurance.--One of the conscientious and hard-working members of the Aurora bar is Mr. John S. Musser, who was admitted in 1891. Real estate also is bought, sold and exchanged. Money loaned on real estate or personal property also, and the fair and equitable terms offered have drawn to the office a desirable patronage. In the insurance department, numerous standard companies are represented. Mr. Musser is also stenographer and notary public. He is an I. O. O. F. and a Knight of the Mystic Chain.
NEBRASKA'S ENTERPRISING CITIES.
ALFRED W. AGEE, Attorney-at-Law, Opera House Block.--This gentleman, by common consent, is conceded to stand in the front rank of the Nebraska bar. Hon. Alfred W. Agee is a native of Tennessee and has been practising (sic) here seventeen years, since he was admitted in 1875. He studied law in Oakland City, Indiana and in Illinois. Mr. Agee is identified with the 1, O. O. Fs., being charter member of (Aurora) City Lodge No. 16. He was formerly lieutenant-governor of the State for two years and represented Hamilton County.
W. C. WENTZ, Real Estate, Loans, Insurance, Abstracts--Has been established here fourteen years. He handles all descriptions of city and suburban realty. Money to any amount is loaned on real estate or personal property also, and the fair and equitable terms offered have drawn to the office a large and most desirable patronage. Mr. Wentz is a native of New York. He formerly banked here, and was instrumental in organizing the First National Bank. He also was deputy county clerk for two years. He is well liked in trade circles, and numbered among the representative business men of the city.
WHITMORE & CARR, Lawyers.--These lawyers are active members of the bar and have made important use of the many opportunities which they have had in making themselves cultured gentlemen and successful lawyers. Mr. Whitmore is a native of Illinois and has been practising here six years. He graduated from the Northern Indiana Normal University Law Department. Valparaiso, in 1879 and is a K. of P. Mr. Carr is a native of Iowa, a graduate of the State University of Iowa's law department, 1881. He is a Mason. With their combined experience, knowledge and ability, the firm of Whitmore & Carr has ever proven a decided acquisition to Aurora.
HANKE BROTHERS, Dry Goods, Etc.--Foremost among the city's merchants should be mentioned Hanke Bothers (sic), established two years. Their spacious premises are 23x100 feet in extent; and three to five assistants are required. Hanks Brothers are heavy dealers in dry goods, cloaks, boots, shoes, hats and caps, ladies' and gents' furnishings. All goods sold here are of the best quality, while the stock carried is large and comprehensive. Hanke Brothers were born in Illinois, and they are generally esteemed as deservedly successful merchants in their line.
THE AURORA REPUBLICAN, L. W. Hastings, Editor, in Opera House Block. Established June, 1873, Fancy Job and Book Printing, Stereotyping done to order, Subscription $1.50 per year, Official Paper of Hamilton County.--This is the oldest paper is the county and has 1,000 circulation. Mr. Hastings is from Massachusetts and has been eighteen years in the business.
W. R. SMITH, Dry Goods.--A representative city establishment is that of W. R. Smith, the leader of low prices, and also, we may add, of superior goods. He has been founded eight years. The ample premises are 22 1/2x80 feet in extent and four hands are employed, besides two dressmakers. Mr. Smith deals in imported and domestic dry goods, notions, hosiery, boots, shoes, clothing, hats, caps. carpets, cloaks, dresses, etc., trunks and White's sewing machine. He is a native of Iowa, a man of tact and judgment.
F. J. SHARP & BRO., Hardware, Tinware, Stoves.--Have been founded seven years. and occupy premises 25x110 feet in extent, amply suited to the transaction of the first-class business constantly done in hardware, tinware, stoves. Two hands are employed. The proprietors are natives of Pennsylvania and are regarded as men of sterling social and business qualities.
JOHN TWEEDY, Postmaster.--Our pen sketches of Aurora and Hamilton County would be incomplete without due reference to John Tweedy, city postmaster. He is a native of Ohio and has been fourteen years postmaster, having always done his duty in a strictly conscientious manner towards the government and the people. Mr. John Tweedy has lived twenty years in our county, where he formerly farmed. He is prominently identified with the Masons and G. A. R., having served in the 18th Indiana Infantry.
KELLOGG & GRAYBILL. Attorneys.--The gentlemen composing this firm have a large influence for Aurora's welfare and progress. Mr. Kellogg is a native of Vermont and graduated in 1876 from the Iowa Law School, when he was admitted. Mr. Graybill is a native of Pennsylvania and was admitted here in 1888. They prosecute their cases with a care and assiduity which deservedly command for them the respect of the fraternity and the confidence of the people.
AURORA HOUSE M. B. Jones, Proprietor--Has been established twelve years. There are thirty-five sleeping apartments in the hotel, which consists of a substantial brick structure owned by Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones is a native of New York. He formerly lived in Nebraska City from 1868 to 1880. He is assisted by his two sons in the hotel, who are popular young men.
CHAS. J. McKEE & CO., Druggists and Pharmacists,--In reviewing the commercial enterprises of this city, we note especially that of Chas. J. McKee & Co., founded four years. The premises are 18x60 feet. A large stock is carried. Mr. Chas. McKee is a native of Pennsylvania, and is a Mason. He is a skillful exponent of his trade, and has long been numbered among the representative city merchants.
THE TUTTLE HOUSE, W. F. Maddox.--This well-conducted hostelry is undoubtedly one of the best in the State of Nebraska, considering the accommodations given and the moderate charge of $l.50 per diem. This house has been cleaned and renovated and put in first-class style. The commercial trade given special attention and accommodtaions (sic). The Tuttle House contains eighteen nice bedrooms, while the dining-room will seat thirty-six persons at one time. Mr. W. F. Maddox, proprietor, is a native of Tennessee and has lived five years in the county.
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