NEGenWeb Project
Kansas Collection Books

Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska
Dodge County
Produced by Karen Elliott.


Location and Natural Features | Water Powers
Grain and Fruit Raising | Early History

PART 2: Early History of Fremont | A Reminiscence

Organization | Means of Communication
County Schools--County Poor
The County Agricultural Society


Fremont:   Corporate History | Schools | City Park


Fremont (cont.): The Press | Fire Department | Fires
The First and The Last Murder | Societies
Business of Fremont | Banks | Shed's Opera House


Fremont (cont.): Hotels | Board of Trade
Manufactories | Biographical Sketches

Fremont (cont.): Biographical Sketches (cont.)
Fremont (cont.): Biographical Sketches (cont.)
Fremont (cont.): Biographical Sketches (cont.)
PART 10:
Fremont (cont.): Biographical Sketches (cont.)
PART 11:

North Bend:  Early History | The North Bend of Today
Biographical Sketches

PART 12:
North Bend (cont.): Biographical Sketches (cont.)
PART 13:

Scribner:  Biographical Sketches
Pebble:  Biographical Sketches

PART 14:

Hooper:  Biographical Sketches
Cuming Precinct:   (Biographical Sketches)

PART 15:

Biographical Sketches:
Everett Precinct | Maple Precinct

PART 16:

Biographical Sketches:
Union Precinct | Webster Precinct | Elkhorn Precinct

List of Illustrations in Dodge County Chapter



The Fremont Tribune, the first paper in the county, made its bow to the public July 24, 1868. The features of its first number may be summed up in this wise: It was a seven-column folio, nearly ten columns being filled with "ads." The paper hoisted the Republican ticket at the head of its editorial columns, Ulysses S. Grant heading the ticket. Besides miscellaneous reading matter and editorials, articles appeared on the business and agricultural advantages of Fremont and Dodge County. Notices of the first meeting of the Dodge County Agricultural Society and of the proposed dedication of the Congregational Church, will serve to fix those dates. The Tribune has, in fact, from the first, supplied a want which before July, 1868, had been severely felt.

J. Newt. Hays, who founded the Tribune, was born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1839, and learned his trade in a printing office at Greenfield, Ohio, whither his parents had moved. In 1856, his father became a resident of Cass County, Neb.., and the son soon followed. Upon the breaking-out of the rebellion, the latter went from his native State in the service of his country, and returned as First Lieutenant. He next worked "at the case" in the Dayton (Ohio) Journal office and the Plattsmouth (Nebraska) Herald. Subsequently, Mr. Hays was appointed head clerk in the Surveyor General's office. In July, as stated, he removed to Fremont and established the Tribune. After four years of unremitting labors, prosecuted with vigor and efficiency, his naturally weak constitution yielded to the strain, and he was obliged to relinquish the management. Mr. Hays was ambitious and able, and left his mark. His death, which occurred at Cheyenne, July 20, 1874, was a blow to his friends and a loss which the entire community deeply felt. During this latter year, Fred Nye, now of the Omaha Republican, became editor and proprietor of the Tribune, Frank Parcell having acted in this capacity for the two previous years--from 1872 to 1874. The journal continued under Mr. Nye's management until 1876, when Messrs. Michael & Nye assumed control, remaining its editors and proprietors for three years. At this time the establishment was purchased by Messrs. Browne & Hammond. The former remained a partner but a short time, George Hammond purchasing his interest. Mr. Hammond associated with himself his son, Frank, the style of the firm being George Hammond & Son. In January, 1882, Mr. Hammond withdrew, and the Tribune came under the management of Frank and Ross L. Hammond, who are its present proprietors. The latter has the editorial management. The Tribune is a nine-column folio weekly journal, Republican in politics, one-half home print, of home ambitions--Fremont and the county first, the world afterward. It is finely supported and deserves all its patronage.

The Tribune building is situated corner of Fifth & F streets, fronting on the former thoroughfare. It is 44x88 feet, brick, two stories and basement, presenting such a substantial and tasteful appearance as to earn for it the right to be classed among the finest structures of Fremont. In the basement which is large, light and airy, are the printing press and other components of a first-class job office. In the upper story are the composing and editorial rooms. An elevator connects the two. In every convenience which goes to make up a metropolitan newspaper establishment the Tribune has no equal in the interior of the State. The proprietors were fairly in possession of their new building by January, 1882.

The Fremont Herald was established by William T. Shaffer in 1870. The journal passed into the control of Z. Shed in about a year, R. D. Kelly purchasing the establishment in 1872. Under his management the Herald entered such a renewed career of prosperity, that on March 1, of that year, Mr. Kelly inaugurated the enterprise of a daily edition. It was supported from the start. Mr. Kelly continued to publish both editions for three years, when, in 1875, the Herald passed into the hands of N. W. Smails, its present editor and publisher. The weekly is a forty-eight-column quarto, and the daily a six-column folio. The daily has been regularly issued for more than nine years, which speaks volumes for the enterprise of the town, as well as attesting the energy of the publisher. Its circulation is mainly confined to home--there being scarcely a family in the city where it is not read. It is also supported to some extent in the towns along the Elkhorn Valley, whose interests are closely allied with Fremont.

There is also issued from the same office a Danish paper, the Luthersk Kirk-Blad, the organ of the Lutheran Church for the Western States.

The Herald will soon occupy larger and better quarters, demanded by its increasing business, when steam and new presses and material will be added, making it really a creditable representative of what has well been called "the prettiest town in the State."


In 1868, the first efforts were made toward establishing an efficient fire department for the city, and in November of that year the Frontier Hook and Ladder Company was organized. Since that time, two other companies have been formed, all acting together under the one department. The officers of the department are: President, C. H. May; Secretary, Arthur Gibson; Treasurer, H. J. Lee; Chief Engineer, J. C. Cleland; Assistant Engineer, John F. Haman.

The officers of the Frontier Hook and Ladder Company, which was organized November 27, 1868, are: President, G. L. Loomis; Foreman, J. D. Markey, and Secretary, George S. Tremaine. This company has twenty-five members, and owns a hook and ladder truck valued at $600. It occupies a building furnished by the city at an expense of $600.

Fremont Fire Engine Company No 1 was organized February 17, 1872. Its officers are: President, Thomas Frahm, Foreman, R. Mikkelson; Secretary, Emil Hoffmeister. The company now consists of fifty active members and uses a Button hand engine, worth $1,000, which is owned by the city; also two hose carts, worth $250, and 800 feet of new hose, $600. Its rooms are in the first story of the City Hall.

The Red Jacket Engine Company was organized November 27, 1874. Its officers are: President, C. H. May; Foreman, E. N. Morse; Secretary, H. K. Middlekauff. It has an active membership of twenty-two, and an honorary enrollment of fifty. Its No. 3 Champion chemical engine cost $2,000.

The water for the fire engine is drawn from six cisterns, built expressly by the city and located in convenient localities. They contain an average amount of 50,000 gallons of water.


The Fremont Fire Department was established as the third regular organization in the State.

August 9, 1869, occurred the first serious fire after the department had been organized. It originated in the furniture store of William G. Alexander & Son, at the south end of E street. Mr. Alexander lost $5,000. T. S. Cole, hardware merchant, and others suffered. The total loss was $12,000.

August 17, 1870, a fire destroyed the Omaha House, its large barn with horses, and adjoining buildings on E street between Third and Fourth streets. Loss, $20,000.

June 27, 1871, the Sioux City & Pacific Railroad depot was burned; loss $4,000.

In July, 1871, the Fremont House on Broad street, was burned to the ground. While it was burning, several members of the department were on the roof, when there was a loud explosion, the roof lifted two or three feet, and the escape to terra firma was hasty and difficult, it being via a rope fastened to the top of the pillars supporting the porch in front. The building was owned and occupied by A. W. Tennant. Total loss, $26,000, upon which there was an insurance of but $12,000.


The first "civilized" murder which occurred in Fremont took place on November 15, 1869, at the St. Charles Hotel. Four men who live in West Point came to the city, and two brothers named Gallon put up their horse in the barn connected with the hotel. After remaining in the bar-room a short time, George Gallon returned to the barn to hitch up again. The landlord, John H. Smith, followed him, and the two got into a dispute about the price of feed When the other brother, Daniel, came out to see what caused the disturbance, Smith was chasing George with a neck yoke upraised and apparently in a great passion. He quieted the two for a time, but the old dispute came up again, and Smith suddenly rushed upon the deceased and dealt him a terrible blow on the head. This threw George upon his knees and before the other brother could interfere, Smith had dealt him another blow, which crushed his skull. Assistance was at once obtained, and everything done to make the unfortunate man comfortable, but he died the next morning, and his assailant was arrested for murder. He was tried at the next regular term of the Criminal Court, and sentenced to ten years in the penitentiary. The next night the murderer escaped from jail, and no further trace of him was ever discovered.

One of the most singular cases which has ever agitated the community was the St. Louis murder, or as the convicted husband claimed to the day when he committed suicide, "the death of Mrs. St. Louis." In May of 1877, Mrs. St. Louis, the wife of Dr. St. Louis, a physician of Fremont, was taken sick with what appeared to be inflammation of the bowels. Without going into details, it is sufficient to state that she died two weeks afterward. It is stated that after preparing the medicine for his wife, he left her in her dangerous state to others, and gave most of his time to a Mrs. Bloomer, his suspected paramour. Even on the morning after the death of his wife, he was seen going up the steps which led to her room. His strange conduct induced the citizens of the town to have the stomach of the dead woman analyzed. In it were found nine grains of arsenic. Dr. St. Louis was tried in the District Court in Fremont, and the jury disagreed. A change of venue was taken to Saunders County, where he was found guilty. The case was then taken to the Supreme Court, and the decisions of the lower courts were sustained. What may be called his dying confession was made to a Catholic priest shortly before he committed suicide. He disclaimed ever having had any guilty connection with Mrs. Bloomer (who, however, disappeared during the first trial); claimed that his marriage relations had always been happy, and that his wife had repeatedly testified to as much; held that one of his bitter enemies, from whom he had received repeated threats, had been allowed to handle the viscera during the autopsy, and thus introduced poison; asserted that the one and a half grains of arsenic produced in court might have been obtained from many patients who take arsenic medicinally; that the jury was biased, being personal friends of the District Attorney; that in fact, an innocent man had been condemned to die the death of a felon. Dr. St. Louis was to have been executed in April, 1879. On the morning of the day set for his execution, he shot himself through the head with a small pocket pistol. He breathed his last April 20, 1879, early in the afternoon, dying without a struggle or apparent pang. His family, then at the East, consisted of two little girls.


Fremont, following the general disposition of other growing young cities, boasts a large number of social, secret and benevolent societies, some of which are in a very flourishing condition. What the exhibit is in this line is indicated from the sketches which follow:

Fremont Lodge, No. 15, A., F. & M., was organized under a dispensation granted by the Grand Lodge of Nebraska July 24, 1866, with the following charter members: S. W. Hayes, Master; J. H. Crabbs, Senior Warden; Robert Kittle; Junior Warden; E. H. Rogers, Secretary; Thomas Wilkinson, Treasurer; C. S. Curtis, William G. Bowman, Joseph Lamberton and O. C. Dake. The present membership is 100, with the following officers: J. B. Meredith, Master; C. Driscoll, S. W.; Arthur Gibson, Secretary; Allen Marshall, Treasurer. The lodge has pleasant rooms, richly furnished, and is prosperous in every way.

Centennial Lodge, No. 59, I. O. O. F., was instituted April 19, 1876, with the following charter members: W. L. Higgins, A. B. Dawson, M. G. Cook, John McCarn, John Steen, C. E. Mitchell. W. H. Durkee, J. C. Lee, Morris Davidson, W. F. Roseman and George N. Ruggles. The following were received by initiation: R. L. Albertson, S. M. Blakesley, J. W. Perkins, Arthur Gibson, K. Barothy, Otto F. Wilke, Charles Balduff, D. T. Newton, William Gibson, Rev. George Porter, Rev. A. S. Foster. First officers: John Steen, Noble Grand; J. C. Lee, Vice Grand; Arthur Gibson, Recording Secretary; M. G. Cook, Permanent Secretary; A. B. Dawson, Treasurer. The lodge at present numbers 100 members, the officers being George L. Loomis, N. G.; H. H. Pratt, V. G.; Otto Huette, Secretary; John McCarn, Treasurer. The lodge has a new hall, rented for a term of years, in course of furnishings in handsome style, at a cost of $1,200. The Odd Fellows are proud of their organization in Fremont and have reason to be.

Signet Chapter, No. 8, Royal Arch Masons, was first organized in June, 1872. There were seventeen charter members: J. V. N. Biles, Samuel Bullock, H. Fuhrman, E. F. Gray, F. W. Hayes, S. W. Hayes, M. H. Hinman, A. C. Hull, F. Jenewein, L. M. Keene, James H. Moe, W. H. Munger, H. Baxter Nicodemus, J. S. Shaw, W. D. Thomas, A. Townsend, E. Van Buren. The first officers elected were: H. Baxter Nicodemus, High Priest; J. S. Shaw, King, and L. S. Moe, Scribe. The society has now eighty members and holds its meetings on the second Monday of each month. Its present officers are: A. C. Hull, High Priest; L. D. Richards, King; J. H. Crabbs, Scribe; M. H. Hinman, Treasurer; B. Davidson, Secretary.

Fremont Lodge, No. 859, Knights of Honor, was organized January 24, 1878. There wee nine charter members: J. H. Crabbs, D. M. Welty, W. E. Lee, W. H. Turner, L. D. Richards, J. C. Cleland, G. W. D. Reynolds, C. A. Fried and A. C. Hull. Its membership at present is fifty-six. It's meetings are held on the second and fourth Thursday evenings of each month. Its officers are E. N. Morse, P. D.; C. J. Chubbuck, Dictator; J. C. Cleland, Reporter; Thomas Frahm, Guide; A. C. Hull, Treasurer.

McPherson Post, No. 4, G. A. R., was organized in 1876 under the command of Samuel Bloomer. There are a present fifty members, all of whom have at some time been regular soldiers. Its present officers are: H. O. Paine, Commander; F. G. Parcell, Senior Vice Commander; N. M. Pilsbury, Junior Vice Commander; Dr. G. O. Schettler, Surgeon; W. A. G. Cobb, Adjutant; G. W. E. Dorsey, Quartermaster; H. G. Wolcott, Officer of the Day; W. G. Froshle, Officer of the Guard; S. S. Pollock, Inner Guard.

Mount Tabor Commandery, No. 9, G. A. R., was organized May 19, 1880, with H. Baxter Nicodemus, Eminent Commander, and William Fried, Recorder. Its charter members were H. Baxter Nicodemus, L. M. Keene, C. Driscoll, E. F. Gray, W. H. Munger, W. D. Thomas, M. H. Hinman, William Fried, L. D. Richards, A. Thompson, J. A. Green, E. Van Buren and L. B. Shepherd. There has been no change of officers since its organization. Its membership at present is forty, and its meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month.

The Royal Arcanum was organized July 15, 1879. The first officers elected were: W. A. Marlow, Regent; Arthur Gibson, Secretary, and L. E. Chubbuck, Treasurer. There are twenty-three members in the organization at present. Its meetings are held on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. Its present officers are: E. C. Usher, Regent; J. C. Cleland, Secretary; C. J. Chubbuck, Treasurer.

Women's Christian Temperance Union.--This organization was formed in 1877, with Mrs. J. F. Griswold, as President; Mesdames G. De La Matyr and I. E. Heaton, Vice Presidents; Mrs. Henry De La Matyr, Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. E. H. Rogers, Recording Secretary. The charter members were: Mesdames, J. F. Griswold, G. W. E. Dorsey, E. H. Rogers, Jacob Adriance, F. Rogers, Louisa Benton, G. Lumbard, G. De La Matyr, A. R. Wightman, J. V. N. Biles, E. Heaton and others. The union has now a membership of sixty with the following officers: President, Mrs. E. H. Rogers; Treasurer, Mrs. James Balding; Recording Secretary, Mrs. N. H. Bell; Corresponding Secretary. Mrs. G. W. E. Dorsey. Besides doing a lasting amount of good in its chosen field of reform, the union has been the means of establishing a pleasant library and reading-room, which is an especial favor to strangers in the city. The rooms are situated on the main business thoroughfare--Sixth street--and are open to all from 9 A.M. to 10 P.M. In addition to State papers and popular periodicals, the ladies have gathered a library of 400 volumes. The project, started as an enterprise, is now an established success.

The financial status of the union is seen from the following figures, taken from the Treasurer's books: Paid for building, $700; $152 raised toward paying for the lot; $200 for furniture; $240 for fuel and lights; $690 for books and periodicals, and $532 for keeping room.

The Young Men's Christian Association of Fremont was organized in December, 1869. Its work thus far has been chiefly in the line of a lecture association, in which capacity it has introduced to the people some of the finest lecturers and entertainments which travel in the West. Its officers are: W. A. Pepoon, President; A. P. Hopkins, Vice President; D. A. Lumbard, Secretary; L. C. Sweet, Treasurer.

The Fremont Shakespeare Club was organized in February, 1878, by some of the leading citizens, as a means of literary entertainment, and has since been maintained with great success. It has thirty-five members and meets every Tuesday evening a private residences. The officers at present are: President, H. G. Wolcott; Treasurer, W. L. May; Secretary, Miss E. Hicks.

The Germania Singing Society was organized February 22, 1879, with thirteen members, under the leadership of C. F. Herre, for the purpose of cultivating German music and giving occasional concerts. Its meetings have been held regularly once a month and its regular membership is eighteen. Its present officers are: President, H. Koehler; Secretary, J. T. Hairhouse; Treasurer, O. Mueller.

Baldwin's Cornet Band.--Until October, 1881, Fremont has been the possessor of a cornet band. It was organized in May, 1879, by Bela Baldwin. In addition to $100 subscribed by the members, the city has furnished $160 for the purchase of instruments, which are still held in the city. It is probable that a new organization will soon be effected.

Fremont Sportsmen's Club.--In June, 1874, a club was organized, whose principal object was the enforcement of the game laws. Incidental to that were the other objects of amusement and preservation of specimens for a historical collection. Its meetings are held monthly, and its hunting excursions semi-annually. There are fourteen members. Its officers are: President, W. L. May; Secretary, Arthur Gibson; Treasurer, D. M. Welty.

Fremont Social Club was organized January 9, 1882. Its meetings are held every two weeks, and are intended for social games, dancing and general amusement. Its membership is thirty-five. President, Charles May.


As has been previously stated, Fremont's prosperity rests principally on its unrivalled position as a shipping and distributing point for grain and live stock. Accompanying this constant rush of activity is a splendid general trade; and to supply the wants of a growing, stirring people, quite a reputation is being built up by Fremont as a manufacturing city. Quite a business is also done in the pressing of hay.

Among the oldest and most substantial business firms which have dealt largely in grain, lumber, etc. for many years is Nye, Colson & Co., composed of Theron Nye, S. B. Colson, J. T. Smith and William Fried. This firm was organized in 1865. William Fried was admitted to partnership in 1872. James G. Smith was interested in the business at first and until recently. They handle grain, lumber and agricultural implements, doing a business of over $250,000 per annum. They sell some lumber at wholesale, but theirs is chiefly a retail business. George F. Blanchard established the first hardware store. James G. Smith, the pioneer merchant, now proprietor of one of the leading dry goods stores, commenced business as an Indian trader in 1856. H. Fuhrman has been in business since 1866, and is at the head of a splendid dry goods establishments. In 1869, Otto Magenau established his drug store, and the same year H. J. Lee commenced business as a hardware merchant. Z. Shed's clothing house opened its doors for business in 1876. These are but a few of the more prominent firms engaged in general trade, who are helping themselves and helping Fremont on to wealth and decided commercial stability.


First National Bank.--In July, 1867, E. H. and L. H. Rogers established a private bank, under the firm name of E. H. Rogers & Co. In April, 1872, the First National Bank was formed, with Theron Nye as President; H. J. Lee, Vice President; E. H. Rogers, Cashier; L. H. Rogers, Assistant Cashier; H. J. Lee, J. G. Smith, T. Nye, L. H. Rogers and E. H. Rogers, Directors. At the time the bank was organized, the capital stock was $50,000. In June, 1873, this was increased to $75,000, the deposits being $100,000. The present officers are: President, Theron Nye; Vice President, L. H. Rogers; Cashier, Manley Rogers; Directors, Theron Nye, S. B. Colson, L. H. Rogers, Manley Rogers, H. J. Lee, E. H. Barnard and C. A. Smith. Its financial condition is shown by the following items: Surplus and net profits, over $30,000; loans and discounts, $220,000; deposits, $250,000.

Hopkins & Millard's Bank is a fine brick building, situated corner of Main and Sixth streets. It was erected by Wilson & Hopkins in 1873, two years after their partnership had been formed and business begun. On February 22, 1878, A. P. Hopkins became sole proprietor, and in September, 1879, again entered into partnership with Mr. Millard, under the firm name of Hopkins & Millard. The bank is private and does a large business.

George W. E. Dorsey's Bank was established in December, 1879, and has continued under his charge, doing an extensive banking business. It will occupy rooms in the fine new block to be built by Mr. Dorsey, upon which work has already been begun.

Richard & Keene's Bank was opened for business January 30, 1882. It occupies the front room of the Tribune building. Both members of the firm (L. D. Richards and L. M. Keene) are old and well known business men in Fremont.


The only public hall in the city is the opera house, built by E. O. Crosby. It afterward passed into the hands of a joint-stock company, and being purchased by Z. Shed, became known as Shed's Opera House. It is now managed by Charles D. Marr. The building is situated on Fourth street, near Main, and has a seating capacity of 750.

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