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Kansas Collection Books

Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska
Produced by Diana Busing.

Part 4


The following shows the names of those who have held official positions in the village government since its incorporation up to the present time, with the dates of service:

1873--Trustees, E. H. Birdsall, E. P. Burnett, J. D. Bain, W. A. Farmer, G. W. Howard; Chairman of Board, E. H. Birdsall; Clerk, E. P. Burnett; Treasurer, William Mulliken; Marshal, C. W. Gardner; Assessor, W. F. Gue; Pound Master, S. M. Risley. Howard resigned Aug. 20, and Rev. B. F. Haviland was appointed and took the oath of office as member of the board June 7, 1874. S. M. Risley failed to take the oath of office as Pound Master, and the office being declared vacant, E. P. Davison was appointed.

1874--Trustees, W. H. Hammond, W. A. Mulliken, C. W. Gardner, E. P. Burnett; Chairman, W. H. Hammond; Clerk, W. R. Mulliken; Treasurer, J. F. Sawtell; Assessor, C. K. Morrill; Pound Master, E. P. Davison; Marshal, L. Webster. At the regular election for the choosing of a Board of Trustees, only four men were elected, the vote on the fifth man being a tie. Accordingly an election was called to take place May 19, at which time W. A. Farmer was elected as the fifth member of the board. L. Webster resigned the position of Marshal and Joe Spotts was appointed July 1. C. K. Morrill also resigned, and on July 16 E. C. Morse was appointed to fill the vacancy.

1875--Trustees, W. H. Hammond, M. Estes, L. Stein, C. D. Moore, T. J. Dowd; Chairman, W. H. Hammond; Clerk, T. J. Dowd; Marshal, Joe Spotts; Assessor, E. C. Morse. Afterward Dowd resigned the Clerkship on the board, and O. W. Birmingham was appointed. T. A. Barbour was appointed Treasurer June 9, and W. A. Farmer was appointed Attorney. T. A. Barbour was appointed Assessor in place of E. C. Morse, who moved away.

1876--Trustees, M. Estes, M. D. Kellogg, C. D. Moore, L. Stein and G. W. Howard; Chairman, M. Estes; Clerk, G. W. Howard; W. H. Hammond, appointed Treasurer; Marshal, Joseph Spotts; Assessor, T. A. Barbour. W. H. Hammond resigned the position of Treasurer November 15, and on December 21st, C. D. Moore was appointed.

1877--Trustees, T. A. Barbour, C. D. Moore, P. M. Culvard, L. C. Howard and L. G. Hurd; Chairman, T. A. Barbour; Clerk, L. G. Hurd; Treasurer, H. R. Wheeler; Marshal, Joseph Spotts.

1878--Trustees, W. J. Turner, L. G. Hurd, A. D. Davidson, E. J. Moger and W. H. Disbrow; Chairman, E. J. Moger; Clerk, L. G. Hurd; Marshal, Joseph Spotts.

1879--It was during this year that the organization as a city of the second class took place, with the following officers: Mayor, W. J. Turner; Clerk, T. R. Hall; Treasurer, L. A. Payne; Police Judge, T. A. Barbour; Engineer, J. T. Fleming; Councilmen of the First Ward, W. H. Hammond and Ezra Brown; Councilmen of the Second Ward, C. J. Scott and P. B. Lyons. On July 7, D. T. Phillips was appointed Police Judge, vice T. A. Barbour, resigned. City Clerk T. R. Hall removed outside of the city, and the office of Clerk being declared vacant, L. A. Varner was appointed.

1880--During this year, after the existence as a city of the second class, and the place again became a village, the following officers were elected: Trustees, W. J. Turner, Ezra Brown, H. G. Starkey, H. R. Wheeler and J. A. Swope; Chairman, W. J. Turner; Clerk, I. B. Littler; Treasurer, L. A. Payne; Attorney, L. A. Varner; Marshal, C. W. Gardner. July 19, Gardner resigned, and Joseph Spotts filled the office of Marshal, and William Gallap held the position of Night Patrolman.

1881--Trustees, W. T. Perry, L. G. Hurd, B. C. Oyler, L. A. Varner and O. M. Gilchrist, Chairman, W. T. Perry; Clerk, F. W. Burdick; Treasurer, L. A. Payne; Attorney, L. A. Varner.


The educational advantages of Harvard are of a very superior character. The people, realizing the value of such institutions, are liberal and generous in their support. Excellent buildings are provided and teachers of the highest standard are employed, and who are thoroughly qualified to impart valuable instruction.

The first school was taught in the winter of 1872-73 by Mrs. C. K. Morrill, and was kept in Morrill's residence. There were about thirty-nine pupils in attendance during that winter. The contract for building a schoolhouse was given to O. G. Peck and A. Meston, and work began upon it in the winter of 1872-73, with J. W. Massey as foreman upon the building. During the year 1873, the building was completed, at a cost of about $5,000. Bonds to the full amount had been voted by the district for building purposes, but which have since been nearly all discharged.

The building is a large two-story frame, with a main building forty-seven feet long by twenty-seven feet wide, to which are built a front and rear wing, each twenty-four feet wide by twelve feet in length, and two stories high. The house contains three large recitation rooms, with suitable cloak and ante-rooms, and is furnished throughout with patent seats and desks and is provided with the latest improved apparatus, maps, charts, etc.

The organization of the district was effected in July, 1872, and embraces a territory six miles square. The design in making the district of so large size was to accommodate the then sparsely settled country districts with school advantages. The territory is now divided into five subordinate districts, four of which are comprised of the surrounding country and one made up of the village, and all under the same management.

The first school board, consisting of three members, was E. J. Moger, Alexander Meston and M. L. Latham, who, as now, acted in conjunction in the management of the affairs of all the districts. The size of the board has since been increased, and now contains a membership of six persons. The following are the names of those on the present School Board: H. C. Brown, M. Estes, Ezra Brown, E. J. Stone, T. R. Wyckoff and William Newton. H. C. Brown is Moderator, M. Estes, Treasurer, and Ezra Brown, Director.

The schools in Harvard were graded, and are made to comprise the primary, intermediate and grammar or high school grades. There are at present nearly two hundred pupils in the village schools, who are under the management of a Principal and three assistant teachers. Those at present in control of the village school are F. L. Forman, Principal; Ella McBride, assistant; L. A. Varner, teacher of the intermediate department; and Clarey Geary, teacher of the primary school.

In the entire district, including the country districts, and known as District No. 11, the enrollment for the year 1881 was 471, under the management of eight teachers.


The spirit of religious principle was not without its many adherents among the early settlers of the town. At a very early date in the period of its existence, religion received attention and found liberal support. By no means, as is too frequently misjudged of these new towns, was Harvard filled with that class of ruffians and boors who spurn things sacred with basest contempt, and look upon Christian teaching with eyes blinded to its importance and feelings hardened against its benign influences. On the other hand, the character of its people from its earliest existence was of the best, which has not only remained so, but also has witnessed material advancement. Even as early as August, 1871, was established the practice of religious worship in the place. The exercises took place under the more especial direction of the Rev. Numan Brass, a Methodist, and were conducted in his shanty on the claim which he pre-empted.

This was the germ--the beginning of that practice of spiritual teaching, which, with the progress of settlement, has since grown to such wide extension, wielding a mighty influence in giving the character and tone to the place which it at present maintains. Following this, services were held in private dwellings, and for a time they were conducted in a railroad passenger coach, after which they were held in the school building upon its completion, where they were continued until the erection of a regular church edifice.

The establishment of a regular church organization took place among the Methodists in July of 1871, with Numan Brass as pastor. The congregation at that time comprised ten members. The organization took place in the pastor's residence, and it was following this that services were held in the railroad coach, then at the residence of Alexander Meston, after that in the school building. This denomination has continued to advance slowly, and at present numbers about sixty members and is under the charge of Rev. Mr. Wilkinson. Two other church organizations were effected in the following year in the month of July, and near about the same time, by the Baptists and Congregationalists. The Baptist Church became organized at the residence of Charles H. Warner, under the direction of Rev. J. N. Webb. Services were held during the day, following which a conference was held by those present, and a number expressed a desire to have a regular church established. Accordingly, pledges of faith were drawn up and signed by about ten persons, which completed the organization. The first service held as a church body was on the 26th day of January, 1873, at which time the Rev. J. D. Newell officiated. By a vote of the church, Mr. Newell was retained as their regular pastor. This body as yet have no church house of their own, and conduct their services in the other churches and in the school building.

The Congregationalists, headed by Prof. D. B. Perry, of Crete, Neb., established a church body with about twenty-five members. The place where the organization took place was in the residence of Alexander Meston, where meetings were afterward held for some time. The congregation began upon the erection of a church building in the early part of the year 1882. The building is a large frame, thirty-four feet wide by forty feet long, and cost about $2,500. The architecture is handsome and showy, and the house is surmounted with a belfry and steeple. The house is supplied with a large bell, and is comfortably furnished with all needful appliances for the conducting of services. Until the completion of the building, the congregation used the chapel belonging to the Presbyterians, in which they held meetings in the afternoons of Sundays.

The Presbyterian body in Harvard became established on January 13, 1878, with a membership of fourteen. The work of organizing took place in the schoolhouse and was led by Alvin M. Dickson, D. D., of Edgar, and H. M. Giltner, of Aurora. Edwin H. Nye, was elected Elder. The first Board of Trustees that was elected failed to serve, and in the fall of 1878 a new board, consisting of H. R. Wheeler, T. A. Barbour, C. H. De Groff, L. A. Campbell and W. H. Chadwick were elected.

Services were held in the schoolhouse up to September 1, 1878, when they were conducted in Phillips' Hall for one year. The building of a chapel began in the summer of 1879, and was completed in the fall, and dedicated in November of the same year. The building is a small frame, and cost about $600. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. G. L. Little, of Omaha. The church was established by the Rev. J. L. Lower, whose labors ever since have been confined to this field.

The present officials of the church are Edwin Updyke and D. M. Waggoner, Elders; C. H. De Groff, L. J. Titus, D. J. Hume, N. H. Pontius and J. Gardner, Trustees.

The present membership is forty-three. The total of those who have been identified with the church since it started is about seventy, including those who have moved away, died, discharged and present members.

The Catholics also have recently effected an organization, but as yet the body is weak, and are ministered to by priests from other places. They have no church building.

The Episcopalians established themselves as a body on the 20th of September, 1881. At that time, the St. John's Episcopal Church was organized with Rev. John Greenwood, of Hastings, Pastor, and had a membership of fourteen. The officers elected were John D. Hayes, Senior Warden; and D. Nichols, Junior Warden; N. H. Lewis, F. L. Forman, William Newton, Vestryman. W. H. Canfield, Treasurer, and W. E. Orwin, Secretary. The congregation has a present membership of twenty-five, and is in all respects in a healthy condition as a body. The congregation is without a building, and uses the Presbyterian Church.

The first attempt at church building in the town occurred in the fall of 1878. The plan upon which the building was to be effected was, that all denominations were to contribute, and that the one which gave the largest amount toward the enterprise was to hold the deed to the property. The title fell to the Congregationalists, who gave the largest amount. There was yet, however, considerable indebtedness on the church for lumber, etc., and the congregation being unable to pay it off, the building was suffered to be sold at sheriff's sale to satisfy the liens of those who furnished the material for its construction. The building was bid in by the Methodists at a reduced figure, and is now occupied by that body.

As an aid in the propagation of the spirit of religion among the people, it was thought judicious to sow the seed in early years in the minds of the youth, so that in after time it might yield its fruits in abundance. To this end a Sunday school became organized at a very early date. In the fall of 1872, a Union Sunday school was instituted, in which all denominations participated. The organization of the school took place at the residence of Alexander Meston, and for the first year was kept in Sawtell's Hall, and then in the schoolhouse. For a period of about eight years the institution flourished in this united capacity, and in the year 1880, when the strength of the various church bodies became sufficient, the school broke up and was superseded by schools, established and supported by the various church societies.

The Presbyterians were the first to break off from the Union School and institute one of their own. This took place in January, 1879. The school began with eighty members, which has since increased to one hundred, and is under the superintendence of D. M. Waggoner. The school has also a library of one hundred and thirty volumes, and is in a flourishing condition. Following this in January of 1881, the Methodists also established a school of their own, which has continues successfully ever since.


The history of journalism in Harvard is but a repetition of several unsuccessful and short-lived attempts in the publication of newspapers.

Some four efforts have been made to publish a newspaper at different times since the establishment of the town, but only a solitary one has held out to the present time.

The first undertaking of this kind was made in the spring of 1873, by Webster Eaton, who established a paper called the Harvard Leader.

This institution, however, was of short duration, and, after running about seven months, suspended issue, and the editor and proprietor, whose sense of manhood and honor seems not to have been the highest order among the citizens of the community, quietly "fled the country."

In the spring of the following year, a second attempt was made toward the editorial work, by W. A. Connell, in the publication of a paper called the Harvard Advocate. But Connell seems not to have met with much better success than his predecessor.

Although a man of some ability as an editor, yet he, like many of his craft, had his signal failure in the love of ardent drink, and spent too much of his time within the dominion and reign of spirits to be successful. Losing his patronage mainly on account of his intemperate habits, his paper, after an existence of about two years, "passed in its types," and the editor emigrated to other fields of labor.

After Connell had taken up his departure, he was succeeded in the enterprise of journalism by D. T. Sherman, who established a paper in the fall of 1876, called the Harvard Sentinel. This sheet, however, like all the others, had a somewhat limited existence, but enjoyed a reasonable share of prosperity. After running for about two years, it was sold to G. W. Limbocker. Limbocker, previous to his purchasing the Sentinel, had already begun the publication of the Clay County Journal. After the exchange of the Sentinel was made, it was joined with the Journal, which gave the latter sheet a reasonable patronage.

The Journal has already had an existence of over three years, and is now in successful operation, and promises to maintain prolonged continuance, being liberally patronized and supported by an intelligent and reading public.

The paper is Republican in politics, as were also each of the others that preceded it, that being the almost universal sentiment of the community.

In justice to the people of Harvard and vicinity, it may be added, that, in no instance can it be imputed that the cause of the failure of so many attempts at journalism in their midst, is due to a want of encouragement or support on their part. On the contrary, it is due altogether to the character, both of the editors and papers themselves, to which alone belongs the stigma.


A post office was established at Harvard in December, 1871, and E. J. Stone was appointed to the position of Postmaster.

Upon its first establishment, the office was kept in a storeroom erected by M. Estes, and occupied also by C. K. Morrill with a stock of drugs.

The office at first was somewhat migratory, and the location depended largely upon the whereabouts of the Postmaster, since he was accustomed to carry the mail in his plug hat.

Previous to the establishment of the office at this place, settlers usually got their mail at Grand Island, at a distance of about thirty miles.

Stone held the position of Postmaster until June 1, 1872, and was succeeded by M. Estes, whose appointment lasted till the winter of 1876-77, when the commission was given to S. C. Sloat, the present incumbent. The office was made a money order office in July, 1875.


Until comparatively a recent date, the village has escaped the destructive influence of the flames.

Not until the spring of 1880 did the all-consuming conflagration arouse the people to the cry of fire! At that time, a building occupied by P. Lyons and J. W. Wigman as a hardware store, was burned. Having no means by which to extinguish the fire, all the people could do was to stand aside and watch the darting flames as they fitfully played through the frail timbers of the wooden structure.

During the same spring, a residence belonging to Henry Disbrow was burned.

Again in the month of January, 1882, the fiery demon set about the work of destruction, and a large frame grain elevator, belonging to W. J. Turner, was completely consumed.

With these three instances terminate the losses the town has sustained from burnings. The lack of a well-regulated fire department or other means with which to extinguish fire, and prevent its spreading, leaves the village in a very unsafe situation. The continuous lines of frame buildings, together with the gales of wind characteristic of the country, add vastly to the unsafe condition of the place, and, in case the occurrence of fire, would render its extinguishment almost impossible, even with proper means, and much more so without any such conveniences.

The people, however, are fully awake to the unsafe condition of the town in emergencies of this sort, and steps have already been taken to establish a fire department.

Bonds to the amount of $3,000 have already been voted for this purpose, with which water cisterns are to be constructed, and an improved hand fire engine procured.

The organization also of a well-regulated fire company is to be made in the near future.


The spirit of fraternal and social feeling nowhere finds more liberal or better cultivation than among the citizens of Harvard.

No better illustration of this truth can be given than to point to the existence and condition of her social and fraternal institutions. Chief among these are those of the Odd Fellows and Masons, while more particularly for the benefits than as a social body is also the existence of the society of Good Templars. The social and hospitable character of the people is of the highest and most praiseworthy type.

Harvard Lodge, No. 44, A., F., & A. M., was the first of the secret orders to become established here.

This lodge was instituted in October, 1873, under a dispensation from the Grand Lodge.

The officers chosen for its management were:

A. J. McPeak, Worshipful Master; F. M. Davis, Senior Warden; Ezra Brown, Junior Warden; W. C. Massey, Secretary; S. C. Sloat, Treasurer; L. B. Munger, Senior Deacon; A. P. Davidson, Tiler.

The lodge became chartered in October of 1874, with the same officers as under the dispensation.

The first meetings were held in Sawtell's Hall, and afterward the society moved into their present quarters in Sloat's Hall, and now occupy rooms in conjunction with the Odd Fellows. The present officers are:

L. B. Munger, Worshipful Master; J. H. Washburn, Senior Warden; J. D. Hayes, Junior Warden; O. W. Birmingham, Secretary; J. D. Bain, Treasurer; G. W. Limbocker, Senior Deacon; N. H. Lewis, Junior Deacon; C. D. Moore, Tiler.

Harvard Lodge, No. 70, I. O. O. F., was established November 8, 1878, in Phillip's Hall, by Special Deputy D. M. McElhinney, of Hastings, assisted by about ten members from Hastings and about twenty from Sutton.

The charter members were D. W. Dalton, J. S. Filler, J. D. Hayes, W. H. Hammond, J. H. Jordon, B. F. Hockett, D. T. Phillips, E. Austin, T. H. Matters and F. W. Burdick.

The first officers elected were: J. S. Filler, Noble Grand; D. W. Dalton, Vice Grand; F. W. Burdick, Recording and Permanent Secretary; William H. Hammond, Treasurer.

On the night of the first initiation, eight members were admitted into the order. The lodge has grown steadily, handling its finances carefully, and now numbers forty-five members, and is in possession of a fine regalia, and the rooms in Sloat's Hall into which the society moved, from that in which it was instituted, are nicely furnished, with all the appliances for the use and comfort of the lodge.

The lodge has lost W. A. Farmer, one of its members, by death.

In 1879, the lodge was represented in the Grand Lodge by D. W. Dalton; in 1880, by F. W. Burdick; and, in 1881, by W. H. Hammond.

In the year 1880, the west half of the county was made to comprise District No. 12, and F. W. Burdick was appointed District Deputy Grand Master for this district. The present officers of the lodge are: W. T. Shackelford, Noble Grand; N. H. Lewis, Vice Grand; T. H. Matters, Recording Secretary; B. F. Hockett, Permanent Secretary; J. H. Jordon, Treasurer.

The Olive Branch Lodge, No. 16, of the Degree of Rebekah, of the Order of Odd Fellows, was instituted March 18, 1881, by the District Deputy Grand Master, F. W. Burdick.

The charter members were N. H. Lewis, J. D. Hayes, B. F. Hockett, W. T. Shackelford, F. W. Burdick, W. H. Hammond, G. H. Washburn, W. H. Wade, E. Austin, J. H. Jordon, E. D. Moore.

The officers elected for this branch of the order were: E. Austin, Noble Grand; Mrs. N. H. Lewis, Vice Grand; Mrs. Lydia A. Hayes, Secretary; J. H. Jordon, Permanent Secretary; Mrs. J. H. Jordon, Treasurer. The lodge, since its establishment, has continued to work harmoniously, and is now in a flourishing condition with a membership of forty-five. The present officers are Mrs. N. H. Lewis, Noble Grand; Mrs. Lydia A. Hayes, Vice Grand; Mrs. Kate Shackelford, Secretary; Mrs. J. H. Jordon, Permanent Secretary; Mrs. E. Austin, Treasurer.

Good Templars.-- For the suppression of the scourge of intemperance in the town, which, to an extent, had taken fast hold upon it, and for the purpose of harmonizing efforts in this direction, a number of the more law-abiding and peaceable people formed themselves into a society of Good Templars, called Harvard Lodge, No. 92, of the Independent Order of Good Templars. The following persons were chosen to exercise official control over the lodge: C. P. Baldwin, Worthy Chief Templar; Mrs. J. D. Moore, Worthy Vice Templar; W. H. Chadwick, Worthy Chaplain; E. P. Burnett, Worthy Secretary; B. R. Sloat, Worthy Financial Secretary; T. A. Barbour, Worthy Treasurer; J. J. Starbuck, Worthy Marshal; Mrs. S. Backus, Worthy Deputy Marshal; Mrs. B. R. Sloat, Worthy Inside Guard; M. L. Latham, Worthy Outside Guard; Mrs. L. B. Legrant, Worthy Right Hand Support; Mrs. E. H. Manchester, Worthy Left Hand Support; Ezra Brown, Past Worthy Chief Templar.

Much faithful work has emanated from this lodge, which has been attended with the most gratifying results. There is yet, however, very much before it calling for further efforts in the same direction, for, although much good has been done, much more remains to be done.

The lodge is still in operation, with about twenty-five members. The society has not provided any regular hall or rooms in which to hold its meetings, but has continued to meet in the residence of Mrs. Sadie Likens.

The present officers of the lodge are: George Nye, Worthy Chief Templar; Miss Emma Keebler, Worthy Vice Templar; Miss Mary Burdick, Worthy Secretary; Mrs. Rilla Gattis, Worthy Financial Secretary; V. L. Carr, Worthy Treasurer; L. Gattis, Worthy Marshal; Ella Jordan, Worthy Deputy Marshal; George Moore, Worthy Inside Guard; Miss Kate McKenzie, Left Hand Support; Miss Laura Barber, Right Hand Support; Mrs. Sadie Likens, Lodge Deputy.

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