"Immigrant Issue" of
Lincoln State Journal
Sunday 5 June 1887, pages 15 & 16
This special edition was intended to PROMOTE Nebraska as a state and provide the towns with an opportunity to advertise their status, attract new residents.
Towns on page 15: ALMA - BEAVER CROSSING - COLERIDGE - HICKMAN - MASON CITY -
ONG - SEWARD - STAPLEHURST - WAHOO - WEST POINT
Towns on page 16: BROMFIELD - EXETER - FAIRFIELD - GRAFTON - SYRACUSE
The County Seat of Harlan County - On the Burlington & Missouri Railroad - One Hundred and Eighty-Nine Miles From Lincoln - Population One Thousand Five Hundred.
Alma, the county seat of Harlan county, is romantically and advantageously located in a succession of ridges and plateaus that slope gradually southward to the rapidly flowing Republican river, and commands a fine view of the entire valley for miles both up and down the river, as well as the bluffs and gently rounded hills beyond. A belt of timber fringes the river banks the entire length, and the view from the residence portion of the town is one of the finest in the west.
Although the town is of comparatively recent growth, having been laid out long after several other towns in the county had attained almost their present growth, Alma already has a population of 1,500 people, mostly Americans, and is the largest and best town, by all odds, in the county.
The town was not really started until about 1879, and yet it is now incorporated as a city of the second class, with a mayor and council, clerk, marshal, assessor, supervisor and other city officers. The affairs of the town are in a prosperous and satisfactory condition, while numerous and extensive improvements are contemplated.
The Denver and Kansas City branch of the Burlington & Missouri river railroad runs through Alma, thus giving direct connection by rail with the Pacific coast, as well as with Kansas City, Omaha, Chicago and the east. The Kansas City & Omaha, a branch of the Union Pacific railway, has been surveyed to this point and is now in course of construction. There is assurance that the road will be completed to Alma by next September. Alma has already been made a division station on the Denver extension of the new line, and may be the terminus for some months. The site for the roundhouse and a $5,000 depot has been selected, and the building will soon be commenced. Property has already experienced a decided advance, and the inquiry for residence and business lots is greater than has ever been known before.
The business men of alma are nearly all young men, and the marveleous (sic) progress made by the town is largely due to their energy, perseverance, experience and ability. Many of them came here without a dollar, but most of them are now comfortably well to do, and are enjoying a profitable and rapidly growing business. They are ever ready to secure and assist any worthy enterprise, and extend a cordial welcome and encouragement to strangers who come here to look up a location. There are no factional fights or petty jealousies among us, but every man works for the interest of his town, and all is harmony.
Alma has a board of trade, or improvement committee, the object of which is to encourage immigration and the location of worthy enterprises.
All obstacles have been overcome as fast as they have been encountered, and today Alma cannot only challenge comparison with any town of its size in the state, but can also flatter itself that it is about entering upon a new era of prosperity, the like of which it has never seen before.
There is nothing about Alma indicative of the "wild west" character which eastern people have read so much about. Society here will compare favorably with any town in the east. The people are orderly, law-abiding, courteous and intelligent. There are churches, schools, societies of all kinds, and we know how to make strangers feel at home among us. The people live in comfortable houses, wear good clothes as a general thing, and live reasonably well. None go armed, and were anyone to appear upon our streets with a belt full of pistols, and a bowie knife in his boot leg, it would throw this peaceful community into a state of the wildest excitement at once.
Located in Seward County - On the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad - Thirty miles from Lincoln - Population: Two hundred
Few if any towns in Nebraska have better prospects for a rapid growth than Beaver Crossing in the southwest part of Seward county. About the time the first settlers built their dug-outs where Lincoln now stands, other pioneers were preparing to develop this part of the state. Since that time the country surrounding Beaver Crossing has kept pace in settlement with other farming communities. A mill, two stores and a postoffice have always drawn some trade here, but now the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley railroad is grading into the town, and because of the fact that the farming country is already developed, it is expected that Beaver Crossing will within two years make a town of from 700 to 1,300. The depot was not located until May 10, but not withstanding the risk and uncertainity in the delay, two general stores, a real estate office, bank building, billiard hall and printing office were erected, and two lumber yards moved in. Now two livery stables. furniture store, a large hotel, implement house, meat market, two elevators, and a bank are building or preparing to build.
With a territory nearly ten miles in every direction to trade from, there is no reason why Beaver Crossing should not make a lively town. It is splendidly located, has good unused water power, and one railroad will be through this summer and the citizens firmly believe the Missouri Pacific will surely strike it when it concludes to build from Lincoln to Hastings. There is business here for almost every enterprise usually successful in Nebraska towns. Within the limits of a short descriptive article there is not room to enumerate the businesses that would do well here, but all who desire to strike a booming country town, whether to engage in local business or invest capital, should come and see Beaver Crossing. There is room for all and money to be made by the enterprising. There is a fine opportunity for a miller with capital to purchase the mill here and put in the roller process. Three weeks ago the first number of the Beaver Crossing Bugle was issued, and its editor will send sample copies to all who desire to know more of the fastest growing town in Nebraska.
Situated in Cedar County - One Hundred and Fifty-Six Miles From Lincoln - Population Four Hundred
Coleridge is situated about five miles south of the center of Cedar county, midway between the Logan and Bow valleys and is consequently tributary to both. To the north and west of the town sweeps the great Bow valley, and to the south and east lie respectively the two branches of the Logan. Wile the beautiful prairie lands immediately surrounding this town are unsurpassed by any of the prairies of the west. Three valleys are equally unsurpassed in the fertility of their soil, in the luxuriousness of their grasses, in the purity and abundance of their waters, and in the beauty of their landscapes. Thus Coleridge is surrounded by a country that with cultivation will make its owners prosperous and happy, and make Coleridge the greatest produce, grain and stock markets in Cedar county if not in northeastern Nebraska. The town at present has 400 inhabitants and is steadily increasing by immigration, principally for Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, all of whom are amiable, energetic and active business men.
There are five general merchandise stores, all of which carries a complete line of dry goods, groceries and provisions, also five implement and machinery dealers, who have already unloaded this season upwards of fifteen car loads of farm machinery, which in itself is conclusive evidence of the rapid development of the surrounding country. Besides these there are two commodious and will furnished hotels, two restaurants, one drug store, one bank, one hardware store, one meat market, one creamery, two extensive lumber yards, two livery, feed and sale stables, three real estate offices, two live stock dealers, two grain elevators, three coal dealers, one newspaper, one physician and surgeon, two law offices, three blacksmith shops, one barber shop, one harness shop, two dray lines, six carpenter, contractors and builders, stonemasons and plasterers. While it is evident that in some few branches of business there is enough to supply the wants of the community, still there are other branches in which men with a little capital and enterprise could do well.
Coleridge certainly has a great advantage as a location for a general grain and produce market, and is bound eventually to be the largest town in the county. The building boom has struck it, and at present writing there are no less than fifteen houses in course of construction. The Methodist and Catholic denominations have completed two fine church edifices that would be an honor to a larger town. The present school building is shortly to be replaced by a large and handsome structure, which is to be ??? with all the necessary apparatus.
Situated in Lancaster County - On the Atchison & Nebraska Railroad, Fifteen Miles From Lincoln - Population Three Hundred and Fifty
Hickman was located upon the completion of the Atchison & Nebraska railroad in the year 1872. At that time there were but three building; one put up by P. Sloe for a hotel and another small building by a Mr. Flaker & Egger for a grocery store, the one now occupied by Mr. Theidman as a residence.
Owing to the panic in money matters and the grasshopper raid about 1874, business of all kids was quiet. About the year 1878 Hon. H. J. Liesweld and uncle Jacob Kuister erected and started a butcher shop. About the same time the German Presbyterian church and parsonage were built. There was but very little building done after that until about 1884, when two store building, two grain elevator and the M. E. church were put up. In fact, more than half of the buildings in town were built in 1885. Since then but few buildings have been erected.
There are three general merchandise stores, one hardware, one drug store, one shoe store, one saloon, three blacksmith shops, two implement stores, one hotel, one livery stable, one millinery store, one insurance office, one printing office, two elevators, two churches and one commodious school building.
Situated in Custer County on the Burlington & Missouri River Railroad - One Hundred and Forty-eight Miles From Lincoln - Population Three Hundred
Mason City is a thriving village on the Grand Island extension of the Burlington & Missouri railway. The town site was surveyed in April, 1886. The first building (the People's Bank) was began May 3, and opened for business June 5. The track reached here July 28, and on August 11 passenger trains began running, people began locating, and soon several business houses were in course of construction.
In December the village was incorporated and at this writing there is a population of about 300. Nearly every business is represented. There are three hardware and agricultural implement stores, two drug stores, one grocery, one dry goods and clothing store, two dry goods and groceries, one harness shop, one jeweler, one cigar and confectionery store, one bank, one attorney, three loan and insurance agents, four notaries, two dray lines, two lumber yards, four contractors, two hotels, one restaurant, one boarding house, two stock dealers, one grain buyer, one meat market, two newspapers, one barber shop, two livery stables, two wagon & blacksmith shops and one billiard hall. The school district has been changed to better accommodate the town and a good school is now in progress. It is almost impossible to give an idea of the annual business done here, but all are having a share of success. Three religious denominations are represented here and a Sunday school is carried on by the Baptists.
Situated in Southeast Corner Clay County - On Burlington & Missouri Railroad - Eighty-Seven Miles from Lincoln - Population One Hundred
Ong is situated on the DeWitt branch of the Burlington & Missouri railroad in the extreme eastern part of Clay county. It is eighteen miles south of Sutton, eight miles north of Davenport, nine miles east of Edgar and seven miles west of Shickley. There is about one hundred population. The business firms are distributed as follows: Two grain and stock buyers, one grocery and boot and shoe store, one grocery and dry goods store, one hardware store, one drug store, two lumber yards, two blacksmith shops, one livery barn, one hotel and one elevator.
There has been shipped from this place 282 cars of grain, eighteen cars of hogs, and two cars of sheep, representing to the farming people of this vicinity in round figures $72,000
The readers of THE JOURNAL will see that Ong is a good grain and stock market, as the above item of shipments commenced last September. While our town has a small population, our merchants have drawn considerable trade from the surrounding towns. In many instances grain has been drawn through the streets of other towns to our market. While we do not expect Ong will be Chicago, or an Omaha, or a Lincoln, we do expect it will be one of the best trading points between Edgar and Dewitt. The large and fertile territory surrounding Ong and the fair dealing of our merchants will eventually build up a trade second to none on this line of road.
The county seat of Seward County, on the Burlington & Missouri Railroad, twenty-nine miles from Lincoln - Population: Two thousand five hundred
Seward, the county seat and principal town of Seward county, is situated nineteen miles west and six miles north of government square, Lincoln, at the confluence of Lincoln and Plum creeks with the Blue River and at the crossing of the Nebraska railroad by the Lincoln & Northwestern ; also on the new line of the Chicago & Northwestern road leading from Fremont to the southwest. The city occupies a high and sightly position overlooking vast stretches of delightful scenery. The meandering river with its long line of timber reaching northward and southward, Plum creek coming from the northeast, adding a charm as it winds its way through the fields and meadows, with its beautiful groves and varied landscapes. From the northwest comes rolling down the grand stream bearing the name "Immortal" (Lincoln creek) through "verdant fields" a very paradise. The surroundings are grandly beautiful. The city sits a "very queen" upon this throne of beauty commanding this vast expanse of fertile land. Lands rich in verdure, rich in all things that are necessary to make happy homes - orchards, meadows and fruitful fields; rich in cattle, hogs and horses, rich in pure sweet water; rich in running streams whose every ripple is a song of invitation to the manufacturer to come hither.
The city was platted in the spring of 1868, and the first building was erected for a store in June of that year. County seat was permanently located in 1871. First railroad was completed in March, 1873; the second in the fall of 1879, the third is expected in August, 1887. The city now contains twenty-five hundred people, and an assessible value of $250,000, which represents less than one-fourth of the actual value. It maintains a first class graded school with twelve departments occupying five school houses. It has also seven very creditable church edifices; and another in contemplation, the means being already subscribed for it. Many of the congregations are very large and in a flourishing condition, maintaining excellent Sabbath schools and thoroughly in earnest in all church work. Fraternal and charitable organizations are numerous, and all of them prosperous and progressive. The Odd Fellows have a fine hall of their own. The Masons contemplate building at an early date. The Grand Army boys have a large and growing membership. The Woman's Christian Temerance Union are doing a good work.
The principal business of the city is represented by three hotels; four banks with an aggregate capital of over $500,000; six general merchandise stores, representing over $100,000 in stock and doing a business of immense proportions; six grocery and provision stores, carrying large stocks and doing a thriving trade; six restaurants; four very fine drug houses; three meat markets; one book and stationery house, one very large exclusive clothing house; three lumber yards, two brick yards; two grain elevators; one foundry; one machine shop; one canning factory; one creamery; three agricultural implement houses, two furniture stores, three hardware store, three livery stables, two carriage factories, three millinery stores; three barber shops, two dentist offices, three newspapers, Blade, Reporter and Democrat; one grist and flouring mill; four coal yards, one wire fence factory, two photograph galleries, two jewelry stores, two music stores; one broom factory; one cigar factory; three blacksmith shops; two large harness shops; one gun shop, the finest poultry yard in the west; one tailor shop and one green house.
Forty substantial brick business houses grace our streets and many of them would be a credit to the large cities. Seward is not booming but it is pre-eminently a city of substantial wealth, and reliable business men. Within the last year $3,500 have been expended in improvements upon the streets and they are in excellent condition. The city is adorned with an abundance of shade trees, giving it a homelike appearance. There are many fine residences and beautiful yards. In fact Seward is just as handsome as a picture. It is also well situated for trade and manufacturing; has plenty of good water power, one of the very best farming counties in the state; railroads sreaching out in six directions and is sure in the near future of having two more; The Union Pacific and the Missouri Pacific, which will make it a railroad centre. It is a very desirable place of residence fo commercial travelers. Good lots are very cheap; societey is of the best; schools good; means of getting out in all directions ample and right in the centre of a great field of traffic.
A lot can be bought and a commodious house built for the money that a lot would cost in the larger cities. There is a good prospect of a system of water works, electric light and street railroads in the near future. Peopole of enterprise will find a warm welcome here. There is plenty of room. Seward is in its infancy. There are grand possibilities before her. Come, help develop these resosurces and assist in working out our high destiny.
Situated in Seward County - On the Atchison & Nebraska Railroad - Thirty miles from Lincoln
Population: Three Hundred and Fifty
The village of Staplehurst is situated upon the Big Blue River in Seward County, six miles northwest from Seward and thirty miles from Lincoln. The Atchison and Nebraska railroad, on whcih there are four trains every day, passes through the village. Staplehurst is a new town, only being organized as a village a little over two years ago and contains a population of 350 people of a good, enterprising thrifty class. The surrounding country tributary to this village is one of the most fertile and well improved regions to be found in Nebraska and contains many well improved, pleasant and profitable farms owned by intelligent, industrious and thrifty farmers and stock growers. The majority of people in this vicinity are American born; next to them in number are Germans, with a few Danes and Irish.
For this town and surrounding country there is not claimed or expected any especial "boom," but there is claimed a permanent, healthy growth and improvement, and one that puts money in the public treasury and in the pockets of every business man and farmer, and with every assurance of a continuance of the same far into the future. Like every other place in the western states, there are always some persons who will sell either town or farm property at reasonable figures thus affording a fine opportunity for those seeking good investments to make sure of reasonable profits. To any person or company wishing to engage in almost any kind of manufacturing, this place could offer a splendid opening, having an excellent water power, entirely unoccupied.
For a place of its size and wealth, Staplehurst does an immense business which the following brief summary of facts collected from our business men will show and which we feel confident are not exaggerated in the least. The business statement is for one year past and as is well known the crops were not good, prices have been low and consequently all branches of business dull.
There were, however, shipped from this place: 1,000 carloads of grain and seventytwo cars of livestock. The receipts of loaded cars amounted to eighty. Besides this there are two grain elevators with a capacity of 57,000 bushels and cost $9,000. They have bought 400,000 bushels of grain. Also three stock dealers who have handled 4,000 head of stock. In other lines there is one private bank, with a capital of $50,000--have had on deposit $250,000, and two coal dealers who have sold $2,500 worth of fuel. Also one harness maker, sales $5,000; one lumber yard, sales $16,000; one shoe store, sales $1,500; four general stores, sales $75,000, two groceries, $4,000; one meat market $2,000, two hardware stores, $20,000, one furniture store, $3,000; two saloons, $2,000; two blacksmith shops, $4,000; also one drug store, one hotel, one church, one public hall, one livery stable, one fine stock breeder, two good schools, two doctors, several carpenters, one newspaper, the Staplehurst News, a spicy local paper of six columns, neutral in politics.
The County Seat of Saunders County - On the Union Pacific, Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri River and Burlington & Missouri Railroads -
Thirty-eight Miles From Lincoln - Population Three Thousand.
Wahoo is situated in Saunders county Neb., and was made the county seat in the fall of 1873. It is regularly laid out on the slopes or two hills or divides between Wahoo and Sand creek, and affords some of the most beautiful building sites in the state. In 1876, according to Moses Stocking's Centennial history, it had 300 inhabitants. The first railroad reached the town, the Omaha & Republican Valley branch of the Union Pacific railway, in December, 1876, and the census of 1885 gave Wahoo 2,050 inhabitants actual count. Stocking precinct, including Wahoo, had 2,921 inhabitants. The school census this spring, 1886, enrolled 725 children of school age, so that the town at this writing at the very lowest estimate must have three thousand people within its borders. It is nearly in the geographical center of one of the most productive and richest counties in the state, containing 480,000 acres of land, almost every foot of which is susceptible of cultivation. In 1885 it had 3,035 improved farms. It may be a matter of history to state that in the early territorial days this county was known as Calhoun county, but was changed to Saunders, in compliment to Gov. Alvin Saunders in Jauary, 1862.
Either creek at Wahoo will furnish a fair water power for manufacturing purposes, and all the place needs now is the capital to develop the great natural resources, in order to become one of the cities of the plains.
The U. P. branch spoken of before, and for a long time the only railroad here, was followed in the fall of 1880 by the Fremont & Elkhorn Valley road, a branch of the Chicago & Northwestern system, and this May of 1887 sees the Burlington & Missouri railroad in Nebraska in full operation to Wahoo and extending westward to Schuyler and the still greater northwest, being part of a main line of that road extending from Omaha to Wyoming and Montana territories. Having the advantage of three railroads, all different corporations, running east, west, north, south, its shipping facilities are unequalled by any town in the state of Nebraska. It is just the place for factories, packing houses or machine shops. Land is comparatively cheap yet, living must be cheap, surrounded as the town is by the richest farming land ever known, and the inter-state commerce law, if fairly carried out, giving the smaller towns equal advantages with larger ons - this is just the spot, and now is the time for some syndicate, some aggregation of eastern capital to seize the opportunity, and secure a "plant" or two, for future operations in almost any kind of manufacturing business.
But Wahoo has not sat idly down and squealed for some one else to come in and help her, while she supinely hoarded what little wealth there was in the town. The bankers, merchants, and those with a little money have pitched in as far as they were able. There is a creamery in excellent operation turning out golden butter balls every day; two most excellent flouring mills - which can be increased to any capacity, all it wants is capital; a carriage manufactory, fair machine shops - needing further development, a brewery, a new broom factory, which by fall will utilize the broom corn raised in large quantites in the vicinity, and a number of smaller institutions of like kind.
All this has been done by home industry, and some capital. We are open now for larger and more varied industries, requiring more money than we can put up, and no better field for investments can be found in the United States.
The town has nine churches well built and furnished. In some, the best of church music, instrumental and vocal, may be heard every Sunday. A large three story brick high school building adorns a public square and three ward buildings of fair size.
A good sized court house and jail attached stands on the hill. Two new depots, and one that soon will be new, add to the town considerably. Two good newspapers and two hotels help to feed both mind and body suitably, while half a dozen restaurants and smaller feeding places help out when the big hotels are full; Four banks, three livery stables, six feed stables, three lumber yards, three elevators, a cigar factory, a sash and door factory, and eighty open places of business of some sort by actual count, show just what this town is in a money point of view.
A plan for water works is about to be submitted, which undoubtedly will be put through this season. There is already an electric light system. A number of fine additions have been laid out this season, and the best of all is the prices of lots are as yet, low. We want more people, more money, more employment for folks.
County Seat of Cuming County - On the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad - Eighty-eight Miles From Lincoln - Population Two Thousand One Hundred
West Point, the county seat of Cuming county, is beautifully located on the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley railroad near the Elkhorn river and contains a population of 2,100. It is surrounded by a well settled and exceedingly fertile agricultural district and is numbered among the most prosperous and promising towns in the Elkhorn valley. Its retail trade is probably not exceeded by that of any town in the valley. It has manufacturing plants in which upwards of #325,000 are invested - these industrial enterprises consisting of a paper mill, a flour mill, a creamery and foundry. It contains large and sightly school houses, six churches, a brick court house and jail (constructed at a cost of $40,000) the grounds surrounding which are now being improved at a cost of $800. It has also many sightly residences, beautiful homes and substantial business blocks and houses, may of which are constructed of brick. While West Point is not what might be called a "booming" town it is a solid one which has a prosperous present and a bright future. Its magnificent water power and established manufacturing interest gives West Point prominence over many other interior towns and insures for it a steady and permanent growth. It is a good town to invest money in, and careful, energetic men who establish here are sure to succeed in any of the commercial enterprises incidental to the west.
"Immigrant Issue" of
Lincoln State Journal
Sunday 5 June 1887, page 16
This special edition was intended to PROMOTE Nebraska as a state and provide the towns with an opportunity to advertise their status, attract new residents.
Located in Hamilton County on the Burlington & Missouri Railroad - Eighty-Five Miles From Lincoln - Population Two Hundred and Fifty
Bromfield is situated on the Burlington & Missouri railroad, ten miles from Aurora in the southwestern part of Hamilton county, Nebraska. The surrounding country is very beautiful, fertile and rich and is indeed the garden spot of Nebraska. Every class of grain known to the farm is cultivated with success, although corn is the principal crop raised. Stock raising also engages the attention of a large number of the farming population. Bromfield is a booming ten months old and has a population of 250 represented by the following business houses. One bank, two hardware stores, two hotels and restaurants, two lumber yards, two livery barns, two elevators, two stock buyers, two billiard halls, one grocery, one general store, one drug store, one millinery, one meat market, one shoe shop, one harness shop, one implement house, one land loan and insurance agent, two doctors, postoffice and no saloons. The shipments of grain from the two elevators in the town amounted during the past year to 565 carloads; also thirty-five cars of live stock. The receipts of lumber amount to eighty-eight carloads, the sales of one company footing $30,000. The general store came last August and has done business to the amount of $20,000. Quite a building boom is expected this summer and fall, together with another railroad.
Situated in Filmore (sic) County on the Burlington & Missouri Railroad, Ninety-Six Miles From Lincoln - Population One Thousand
Exeter is located on the Burlington & Missouri railroad midway between Lincoln and Hastings and has a population of about one thousand. It has never had an extra boom until this season, but a steady healthy growth. Situated in as fine a farming region as there is on earth, it is no wonder it has for years been one of the best grain markets in southern Nebraska, shipping from twelve to fifteen hundred cars a year. A large number of cattle and hogs are fed and shipped from Exeter also.
It has one of the finest brick schoolhouses along the line of the B. & M. railroad, and one of the very best of schools, and five neat, commodious churches. Three large elevators, one very fine roller flour mill, one large canning factory, one creamery, one brick yard, making the best of brick; one hotel, six boarding houses, two barber shops, one tailor, one bakery, two harness shops, three livery stables, three blacksmith shops, two shoe shops, two restaurants, two jewelry stores, two millinery stores, one flour and feed store, one furniture store, one lawyer, two insurance offices, four physicians, three real estate agents, one opera house, three halls, I. O. O. F., A. O. U. W. and First National; one newspaper the Enterprise; two hardware and implement stores, doing a yearly business of from $40,000 to $50,000 capital each and expecting to double their stock soon; five general stores carrying dry goods, boots and shoes, clothing and groceries, doing a yearly business of over $125,000; two drug stores with a yearly trade of from $10,000 to $12,000; three grocery stores with a trade of over $15,000 a year. The Chicago & Northwestern railroad is building through Exeter, has purchased the right of way through the city and will be completed by September 1, 1887.
With such a beautiful, rich country around it, settled by intelligent and successful farmers, and with two of the largest railroads in the United States running through the city, it cannot help but boom. In no other portion of the west are the farms better improved, with fine houses, barns, groves and fences and well stocked.
The boom is coming - why shouldn't it? Lots are still cheap, but are increasing in value daily, much town property having doubled in value in the last thirty days, and the boom has just begun. Every day brings new comers, and they come to settle. The city is remarkable for the large number of neat residences, and equally so for its entire absence of shabby houses. With excellent society, enterprising business men and the very best of railroad facilities its future prospects are assured.
The people generally are enterprising, moral and refined. No saloon, no drunkenness nor rioting, there is as much vim, push, enterprise and public spirit. In Exeter as in any other town of 1,000 inhabitants in the west. They have given more to build up the institutions of public benefit in the midst in the last two years than many cities of 10,000 inhabitants.
No branch of business is overdone, splendid opening in any branch, very many departments of business or the professions are not represented at all.
For further information, address either C. P. Baker, real estate agent, First National Bank, Exeter National Bank, H. G. Smith.
Situated in Clay County - On the Kansas City & Omaha and St. Joe & Grand Islands Railroads - One Hundred and Sixteen Miles from Lincoln - Population One Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty-seven
Fairfield is situated in the southern part of Clay county, seven miles from the county seat, and is connected by telephone. It is naturally beautifully situated, the north part being on a mound of no inconsiderable altitude, from which the ground gradually slopes southward. Being the junction of the Kansas City & Omaha and St. Joe & Grand Island railroads Fairfield as a rail road town is of considerable importance. The St. Joe and Grand Island railroad company are at present repairing their road bed, putting in steel rails, etc., making this one of the best roads in the west. The Kansas City & Omaha being a new company are putting in steel rails on all their new roads, thus making their line as fast as completed at once secure and of the best. This road is at present built, north as far as Sutton, and in running order. connection will soon be made with Omaha via Stromsburg, and during the coming summer this line will be built south from Fairfield to connect with Kansas City via Hardy, making Fairfield the end of the division. Work is now progressing on the extention (sic) west from Fairfield to Denver. Thus, Fairfield, being the general headquarters from which these extensions are being pushed, assumes a place in the front rank of the western railroad towns. At present there is material sufficient stored here to build 120 miles of track, and more is arriving everyday. The company recently purchased ten acres of ground outside the city limits to be used as store room for materials to arrive immediately, the twenty acres purchased last fall being already occupied with engine house, tank, pumping apparatus and building material.
The population of Fairfield, according to the latest census taken, is 1,587. The schools are noted in this part of the state for their proficiency. The high school building stands on a hill in the northern part of the city and although a frame building it is large and one of the best in the county; besides this there is another public school building outside the city limits.
These are under the control of an able corps of instructors and the graduates of these schools are winning success both in business and teaching. East of the high school building on another hill, separated from high school hill by a slight valley, stands the college building. This is a solid brick structure, one of the best of its kind in the state. The institution under whose management this building was erected, the Fairfield Normal and Collegiate Institute is one of the things of which we are especially proud. The number of students in attendance has been doubled each year since the establishment of the institution here. Fairfield is absolutely a temperance town and this influence is largely considered by those who are selecting a place to educate. There are three departments in the institute, biblical, collegiate and normal, each presided over by able teachers. Already the influence of this school is manifested in the public schools of this part of the state through the medium of the many excellent teachers turned out from the normal department. The college is amply endowed with funds invested in large tracts of town lots, both here and in other young towns in the west. These lots owned by the college here are the most desirable in town and are being sold very rapidly to those desiring resident property. The college campus proper consists of twelve acres of land which slopes in all directions, the college building being in the center, and has been planted with all varieties of shade trees, thus insuring within a few years a pleasant resort for all lovers of the beautiful.
Fairfield has five churches, viz: Christian, Baptist, Methodist, Congregationalist and Roman Catholic, all of which are presided over by ministers who are earnest and faithful in the callings, and who address large congregations each Sabbath. Beside the churches we have numerous societies working for great and good ends. First among these is the W. C. T. U., which, although organized but a short time, has accomplished wonders. The Y. M. C. A. is doing good work in its line. We also have societies of the A. F. & A. M.; L. O. O. F.; I. O. G. T.; P. E. O.; A. D. U. W.; G. A. R. and other societies of like nature, all of which have large membership.
Among Fairfield's recent acquisitions is the infirmary for the treatment of chronic diseases. In connections with the treatment Turkish and electric baths are used, also the compound oxygen treatment for consumption.
Fairfield's blessed with business men who believe that their interest and that of the town to be common, and by their readiness to help new enterprises they have made Fairfield on of the best cities in southern Nebraska. We have two exclusive dry goods stores, which do an annual business amounting to $40,000; two grocery stores that do a $50,000 business; three dry goods and grocery stores that do a business worth $95,000 per annum; two hardware stores, business $40,000; three bakery and restaurant houses with a $15,000 business; two confectionery shops, each doing a business of $5,000 per year; two $50,000 coal and lumber yards; two meat markets, with a $52,000; three drug stores doing a business of $21,000 annually; three furniture stores, with a $20.000 business, and a $5,000 jewelry store. Besides these, we have three blacksmith shops, six carpenter shops, four livery, feed and sale stables, and three firms dealing in agricultural implements, all of which are doing well. Our two grain elevators are large building, with all the latest improved machinery for handling grain.
Fairfield's hotel accommodations are insufficient although there are two, besides numerous boarding houses and restaurants. In the line of manufactories the town has a creamery and cheese factory, the product of which are the best that skill and the latest improved machinery can produce. The pork packing establishment, although not large, does a good business, and the sorghum and sugar factory is in a flourishing condition.
Fairfield is surrounded with an element of enterprising farmers, characteristic of Nebraska. Many of the neighboring farmers are turning their attention to fine stock and the change from the broncho ponies and Cherokee cattle that were the standard varieties ten years ago to the Norman and Clydesdale horses and Shorthorn and Holstein cattle of today is almost marvelous. What is now needed is a first class hotel and to secure a good house well kept the enterprising business men have put up $2,000 as a bonus. Then there is a demand for a new union depot and assurance is given by the railroad companies that they will immediately build a depot of which the town will have reason to be proud.
Located in Fillmore County on the Burlington & Missouri Railroad - Sixty Miles from Lincoln - Population Nine Hundred
Grafton is on the Burlington & Missouri railroad, sixty miles west of LIncoln, in one of the richest farming district in the state. The land is all under a high state of cultivation. The people are mostly native Americans, and an industrious well to do people. Grafton has a population of over 900; a splendid graded school employing four teachers, a Methodist, Congregational and Catholic church, all with good membership. Every branch of mercantile trade is represented. The business men are active and prospering. It requires three elevators to handle the vast amount of grain shipped from this point last year. George H. Warren & Co., shipped 785 cars of grain or about 500,000 bushels and paid out to the farmers for the same $125,000; also seventy-five cars of stock valued at $50,000, and have no less than 40,000 bushels of ear corn in crib. Eight of the merchants report sales last year to the amount of $245,000. This does not include the minor branches of business. The banks are among the solid institutions of the town. The People's bank was opened about a year ago, and commands a fair share of the banking business; J. H. Welsh is president, W. A. Keeler, cashier. The Bank of Grafton, one of the oldest institutions of the town, was established in 1881. The stockholders have never declared a dividend, but all the profits have helped to swell the surplus fund; R. C. Price is cashier, J. W. Price, president. The bank has now under construction a three story brick building 44x80 feet with basement. It will be one of the largest and finest in the county, and a credit to the town and owner. Mr. E. A. Cushing will also erect a fine brick building, and Mr. C. M. Barnett has already completed a large two story building, while many others are in contemplation. It is quite certain that we will have a splendid system of water works in this place before autumn. We have two excellent hotels, the Commercial and the LaCleda.
Many new business enterprises are being started at this time.
Grafton is minus all saloons and drug store permits. Last year we had whisky sufficient for all time to come. There are two K. of P. lodges, with a membership of about eighty, and a G. A. R. Post. A lodge of Free Masons will probably be organized. There are good openings here for many more ranches of trade. Parties in the east who may desire to invest in the town or in farms adjoining, cannot do better than to invest in this place. The people are an industrous (sic) sober and intelligent class throughout. Our farms are the finest and best improved in this section of the state, while the town site is the finest and most beautiful ever chosen from the prairies. The Saturday morning Leader, owned by R. C. Price, is one of the best equipped offices outside of the large cities. A new Potter power press has just been put in to meet the requirements of the office.
Located in Otoe County on the Burlington & Missouri Railroad - Thirty-five Miles from Lincoln - Population Six Hundred
Beautifully situated in the centre of one of the most fertile and productive counties in the state, surrounded on all sides by a rolling prairie, whose bosom is dotted with stock and grain farms, lies the village of Syracuse, the largest and best business and shipping point between Nebraska City and Lincoln. The town is located on the Burlington & Missouri railroad, twenty-two miles from the former city and thrity-five miles from Lincoln. The village itself is surrounded by hills on all sides, with many beautiful residences and substantial business blocks along its wide and regularly laid out streets. its people worship in four church edifices, and its graded schools under the superintendency of Prof.. R. N. Scofield, assisted by an able and particular corps of teachers, require two building to accommodate the pupils.
Among the business avocations represented in the village may be mentioned two banks, both in commodious brick buildings; four hotels, two exclusive boot and shoe and two exclusive grocery houses, four general merchandise and clothing establishments, two hardware and two drug stores; two bakeries, one furniture and two millinery stores, one harness and a number of blacksmithing, wagon and repair shops, three agricultural implement warerooms, two paint and a number of carpenter shops, two extensive lumber yards and a number of other industries and professions add to the material wealth of the town.
There are two thriving newspapers in Syracuse, the Journal, published by G. S. Alexander & Co., is republican in politics, and the Herald, a democratic paper published by Joseph Worrell. Both sheets are excellent representatives of the town, and are liberally patronized. The Journal has just added a steam engine to its plant, and has in connection with the paper the most complete job printing outfit in the county.
Messrs. C. L. Putnam and A. Wait are just starting into operation the Syracuse creamery with fair prospects of success.
Fish culture is being experimented with by several of our citizens, but as yet no market progress has been made.
The most prominent of the industrial features of this section of the county is the breeding, and raising of fine blooded stock, in which branch of industry Otoe county is noted as the foremost in the state, an acknowledged rival of the famous blue grass region of Kentucky Horses, cattle swine, and sheep all receive attention, and almost every prominent breed of these animals is represented. Chief in importance among the stock farms with which the county abounds is the famous Turlington Estate, five miles from the village, owned by the Hon. T. W. Harvey of Chicago, who has invested several hundred thousand dollars in this enterprise. His farm, consisting of about 2,000 acres, is divided into field meadow and pasture, with parks, drives and groves, springs and mills, both steam and wind, and has the finest building for the care of stock on any farm in this land, and the equal of any in the world. The leading feature of the farm is the breeding of Polled Aberdeen Angus cattle, of which no finer specimens are to be seen even in their native Scottish hills. Attention is also given to some extent to ??? and Southdown sheep in each of which ?? choicest breeds and animals are selected and kept.
To enumerate at length all the varied stock farms of the section is just description of any one of which would fill the space of this article, is not the purpose of the writer.
Aside from its vast stock interests the country around Syracuse is second to none in grain and agricultural pursuits, two large elevators in the village being kept busy handling and shipping to eastern markets. The farmers pay much attention to the cultivation of fruits, for which the soil is well adapted. William B. Buxton & Son, two miles and a half northeast of the village, have the oldest and most extensive nursery in this portion of the country. Their specialty is the cultivation of small fruits, and they have probably the largest and most productive strawberry patch in the state, if not in the west. Their shipments of trees, ??? and plants are to every portion of this and adjoining states.
The Otoe county fair grounds are located a half mile south of the depot, and the annual fairs given by the agricultural society compare favorably with those of any other section of the country, both in variety and merits of the exhibits and financial success.
Syracuse is have no boom, but enjoys a steady and healthy growth, and from the nature of her surroundings must always continue to be an important shipping and commercial point. Property in the village brings fair prices, the tendency of which is steadily upward, making an investment here surely, if not speedily, profitable.
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