Surface and Natural Products | Early Settlement | Events and Items|
War Record | County Organization | County Roster|
Court House and Jail | Railroads | Ferry and Transfer Companies|
Otoe County Fair Association | Otoe County Medical Society
The Old Settlers' Association | Assessments for Taxation
Nebraska City: Early Settlement | Selling Town Lots | A Judicial Joke|
An Incident of the Panic | An Era of Speculation
Nebraska City (cont.): Transportation and Telegraphs | Incorporation|
Official Roster | Criminal | Education
Nebraska City (cont.): Religion|
Nebraska City (cont.): The Press | Government Offices|
Fire Department | Fires | Societies | Wyuka Cemetery
Nebraska City (cont.): Public Buildings | Hotels | Banks|
Board of Trade | Elevators | Nebraska City Gaslight Company
9 - 14:
** Nebraska City Biographical Sketches **|
| ADLE~DILLON | DRAKE~KEES | KINNEY | KOHN~NEILSON |
| NORTHCUTT~SCHMITZ | SEYMOUR~ZIMMERS |
Syracuse: Education | Religion | Societies | Railroad Interests|
The Press | Biographical Sketches
Syracuse (cont.): Biographical Sketches (cont.)|
Palmyra: Education | Societies | Religion | Business|
Dunbar: Events and Items | Education | Religion | Societies|
Railroad Interests | Delaware Precinct (biographical sketches)
Unadilla: Religion | Societies | The Press | Events and Items|
Wyoming | Camp Creek | Other Towns|
Biographical Sketches: North Branch Precinct | Hendricks Precinct
Osage Precinct | McWilliams Precinct | Berlin Precinct | Minersville
List of Illustrations in Otoe County Chapter
The first few terms of the District Court for Otoe County were held in a log cabin owned by H. P. Downs, and situated near Fifth street between Main and Otoe. The second place used for county purposes, was the second story of the Platte Valley Bank, corner of Main and Sixth streets, where Robert Hawke's store building now stands. From thence, after two years. the court was removed to a building opposite the Seymour House, on Main street. After remaining at this place for a year and one-half, the county offices were located in Dewie's Hall, corner of Main and Ninth streets, and subsequently in McLennan's Hall on Sixth street, between Main and Larimie. This location was retained until the completion of the county court house in 1865. This substantial edifice was constructed under the direction of W. R. Craig and F. W. Wood, at an expense to the county of $22,500, the contract for its building being made August 13, 1864, and the first term of court held therein in the fall of 1865. It is located on Tenth street, between Main and Otoe, occupying what is undoubtedly the finest public square in the State. The basement of the structure has, from the first, been used as a county jail, the first floor being divided into comfortable and commodious offices for the Sheriff, District and County Clerks, County Judge and Treasurer; the second floor being used as a court room. In addition to the contract price as given, the additional sum of $2,000 was subsequently paid for the construction of a stone wall around the court house square, and $1,500 for grading, tree planting and the erection of out buildings, the total expense to the county being $26,000; the county, it is said by all parties, receiving value received for every dollar of the investment.
It may be noted that previous to the construction of the present jail, in the basement of the court house, several places were used for the confinement of criminals, the first one being the old block house, erected in 1848, and torn down in 1865.
Very early in the history of Otoe County, railroad talk was the order of the day and various fruitless schemes were devised for securing the desideratum uniting its inhabitants with those of the Eastern States, Nebraska City being at one time seriously considered as the probable eastern terminus of the Union Pacific, Omaha being finally determined upon as the place at which this road was to cross the Missouri River, and the extensive shipping of supplies to Colorado and other Rocky Mountain Territories, which immediately followed the discovery of gold at Pike's Peak and other localities, bringing to all the towns on the Missouri, above Kansas City, an unparalleled growth and prosperity, turning the attention of them all in the direction of the new mines, an effort was at once made to reach and connect with this road, so highly favored by Congress, by rail at some favorable point.
This struggle on the part of Nebraska City, as representing Otoe County, culminated in 1866 in the organization of the Midland Pacific Railway Company, afterwards known as the Nebraska Railway Company, composed entirely of citizens of Nebraska City.
Beginning without a dollar of surplus capital to invest, they were compelled to draw upon private business for the first $50,000, which they spent the following spring on the grade of the first ten miles of road; they called upon the county at the same time for a donation of $150,000, a request responded to at an election held March 1, 1868, by the issue of bonds to the amount named, payable in twenty years and bearing interest at the rate of 10 per cent per annum.
In the winter of 1868-69, the Legislature of Nebraska passed an act providing that the 500,000 acres of internal improvement land accruing to Nebraska in pursuance of the pre-emption law of 1841, should be given as aid to railroad companies by whom ten miles of road should be constructed within the State prior to February 15, 1870, at the rate of 2,000 acres per mile to the extent of 100,000 acres.
With these advantages gained and a fair prospect of congressional land grant, the company was able in the spring of 1869, to make a contract with a company of ten capitalists and railroad men of Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania, to build immediately the first fifty-eight miles of the road, connecting Nebraska City and Lincoln--the new State Capital.
In June, 1869, Dr. J. N. Converse, of this contracting company, arrived in Nebraska City and proceeded at once to survey the line and let the contracts for surveying the road bed. Notwithstanding some unforeseen delays and embarrassments in the work, the road was completed, equipped and put into operation in April, 1871.
As has been said, Otoe County voted $150,000 in aid of the Midland Pacific. In addition to this, Nebraska City voted $30,000 in bonds, the interest on both issues of which has been paid regularly.
Prior to this indebtedness being incurred, the county voted $42,000 in November, 1866, for the benefit of the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs Railroad, said bonds to become due in 1887. After discharging the interest upon them for four years, the county refused to continue payment, and the matter being contested, the courts decided the issue to be illegal.
The road, however, was built, the depot being situated about one mile from the river, on the Iowa side, removed directly opposite the city about 1870, this and other changes reducing the cost of transferring merchandise across the river about one-half.
The county having voted $200,000 in aid of a more direct Eastern railway connection, the Burlington & Missouri Railroad Company proposed, in 1869, to build a railroad from Red Oak, Iowa, making Nebraska City its terminus, and a contract was entered into in May, of that year, Otoe County paying $150,000 in bonds, payable in twenty years and drawing eight per cent annual interest, payable semi-annually from January 1, 1870, for the building of the said road from Red Oak. Work was begun in November, 1868, and finished the following year.
Almost immediately after the issue of these bonds a murmur arose as to the legality of such an issue, to build a railroad in another State. In consequence of the doubt the interest on the bonds remained unpaid until 1875, when the railroad authorities appealed to the courts and the bonds were declared legal. It then became necessary to secure means to pay back interest, and $60,000 in eight per cent twenty year bonds were issued.
In 1874, Nebraska City voted and issued $75,000 in bonds, to aid in the extension of the Midland Pacific from Nebraska City to Brownville, since which time it has further extended to Tecumseh, in Johnson County.
At the regular election in November, 1880, Otoe County decided, by a vote of 1,736 to 390, to fund its entire railroad indebtedness, in order to secure a six per cent rate of interest, in place of the ten per cent rate upon the bonds of the Midland Pacific, and eight per cent upon those of the Burlington & Missouri. The holders of the former bonds acquiesced in the refunding scheme, but those of the latter protesting, the question, in all probability, will go before the courts for settlement.
The first steam ferry boat brought to this vicinity was the Nebraska No. 2, the property of William and Kennett McLennan, which reached Nebraska City in June, 1854. The boat was operated about a year by George Boulware, the charter subsequently passing into the hands of William Beebout, who in time, sold it to Wells & Dressler. About this time Monroe & Dillon and D. J. McCann put on a line of omnibuses, but sold out soon after to Messrs. Beebout, Dressier & Wells, the firm afterwards changing to Beebout, Ashton & Tate. Subsequently the Nebraska City Ferry Company, consisting of T. K. Bradley, G. T. Lincoln, Dominick Laboo, J. H. Tomlin and J. H. Talbot, purchased the charter and boat, the transfer line passing into the hands of the company, then consisting of William Payne, G. T. Lincoln and T. K. Bradley, in 1869; the firm name being at the same time changed to the Nebraska Transfer Company. In 1872 the James F. Joy transfer boat was built, being sold to the C., B. & Q. R. R. in 1881. This corporation have also on the river at Nebraska City the transfer boat Vice President, built for, and used at Plattsmouth, for some years, and brought here in May, 1881. The transfer company, have now in use three omnibuses and two transfer wagons, the firm, for it has never been a corporation, comprising William and Robert Payne, J. R. Sousley and R. F. McComas.
Several attempts were made to organize a county fair association from the time of the admission of the State until 1861. In September, 1859, on petition of J. H. Croxton and John Bennett, members of the Otoe County Agricultural Society, the County Commissioners voted the sum of $1,000 to aid in purchasing grounds. An eligible ten acre tract was bought in the south part of the city, and quite a sum expended in preparing the grounds for a fair meeting. After expending the donation received from the Commissioners, the managers were compelled to mortgage the property, and after a struggle the grounds were sold to private parties. In 1861, the society was reorganized, under the name of the Otoe County Fair Association, and in September of the same year, J. Sterling Morton, R. M. Kirkham and Peleg Redfield arranged a large and liberal premium list, and appointed suitable judges. Hon. O. H. Irish delivered a practical and admirable address; J. H. Gregg served as Treasurer, and H. K. Raymond, Secretary. The meeting was in all respects a success--the number of entries, considering the sparseness of population, was large, and the display of stock, and agricultural implements very encouraging. Since that meeting, the society has maintained an existence under varying fortunes, until it has passed its twenty-first birthday. The history of the organization shows the importance of zeal and energy in advancing a public enterprise. In years when it had the "right men in the right place," the association prospered. The premiums were large, the exhibits of stock, products, implements, etc., creditable, and the people of the county attended in large numbers, the premiums were promptly paid, and the organization helped materially those for whose benefit it was designed. On the other hand, when officers were chosen rather as ornament than for their business capacity, the annual meetings have been unsuccessful. There was a total failure in "grass hopper year," and in the autumn of 1881. Ample preparations had been made for the last meeting, but when arrangements were almost perfected, a violent storm swept over the fair grounds, and destroyed fences, stands, stables, in fact left a barren waste. It was too late to repair the damage for that year, and no meeting was held. But though discouraged, the members of the fair association have determined to go forward. They own beautiful, and valuable grounds within the limits of Nebraska City, on the west, and the "Otoe Fair Association" will soon take the rank that properly belongs to a first-class agricultural county. Another drawback to the prosperity of the society has been the establishment of another fair organization at Syracuse, at the center of the county; but with nearly 16,000 population, located on lands of rare fertility, there is no good reason why either association should languish. No county in Nebraska has made a better record in the exhibition of cattle, fruit and farming products than Otoe. In a card "To the Public," the board of managers set an example that should be imitated by every similar association in the West: "The public can rest assured that no gambling, wheel of fortune, or games of chance will be allowed on the grounds, or any intoxicating liquors sold or disposed of within the enclosure." The officers of the association for the current year are: William E. Hill, president; H. F. Cady, vice-president; C. W. Phillips, secretary; William Hawke, treasurer; William E. Hill, M. L. Hayward. S. J. Faris, Lewis Kregel, H. F. Cady, F. W. Rottman, William Hawke, C. W. Phillips, board of directors.
This society was organized June 8, 1868, with the following constituent members: Daniel Whitinger, M. D., president; John C. Campbell, M. D., vice-president; W. H. H. Hess, M. D., secretary ; James W. Parker, M. D., treasurer; David W. Hershey, M. D., librarian; N. B. Larsh, M. D.; Frederick Renner, M. D.; W. M. Line, M. D.; S. L. Gant, M. D.; Aurelius Bowen, M. D. The regular meetings of the society are semi-annual; on the first Tuesdays in June and January. Practitioners of members, who have received diplomas from regular medical colleges, and who live in obedience to the "Code of Ethics" of the American Medical Association. Physicians in Otoe or the adjoining counties are invited to become members, and several outside of Nebraska City and Otoe County have joined it. The second president of the society was J. C. Campbell, M. D.; A. Bowen, M. D.; the third, F. M. Whitten, M. D.; the fourth, S. L. Gant, M. D.; the fifth, George W. Brinker, M. D.; the sixth, N. B. Larsh; the seventh, A. Woolsey, M. D.; the eighth, Frank S. Howard ; the ninth, A. Bowen, M. D.; the tenth. W. M. Line, M. D.; the eleventh, D. W. Hershey, M. D.; the twelfth, D. W. Hershey, M. D. The present officers are : R. B. Wallace, M. D., president; W. B. Swisher, M. D., vice-president ; J. C. Campbell, M. D., treasurer; A. Bowen, secretary.
The list of physicians who have signed the constitution embrace the following names: Aurelius Bowen, John C. Campbell, David Whitinger, William H. Hess, N. B. Larsh, David W. Hershey, F. Reuner, James W. Parker, George Kerr, E. M. Whitten, Charles Heintze, S. L. Gant, W. M. Line, George W. Brinker, R. B. Wallace, W. H. Martin, W. S. White, A. Woolsey, Frank S. Howard, W. B. Swisher, J. C. Schminke, H. C. Fitzgerald.
The first meeting held for the organization of an "Old Settlers' Club " was held at the house of William R. Craig, corner of Twelfth and Laramie streets, on the evening of December 26, 1867. A full organization was perfected.
The records of this association were unfortunately destroyed when W. K. Craig's dwelling was burned in 1869. In 1874, N. S. Harding, treasurer of the first organization attended the second annual meeting of the Old Settlers' Association, January 8, 1874, and stated that he was ready to turn over the funds remaining in his hands to the new organization (which did not at that time admit those who came to the State later than 1855), if provision was made to refund the money paid in by those not now eligible to membership. Therefore, it was
Resolved, That the treasurer of the Old Settlers' Association is hereby instructed to refund to any settler of 1856 any money he may have paid into the treasury, that appears on the books of the old organization, whenever he makes application for it.
Both societies, by the passage of this resolution, were merged into one organization.
The first meeting of the Old Settlers' Association was held at the house of William R. Craig, on Friday evening, February 14, 1873. T. E. Thompson was chosen chairman, and N. S. Harding, secretary. A resolution was unanimously adopted declaring that only persons who settled in Otoe County prior to January 1, 1856, "and their companions, if since married," should be eligible to membership. The following officers were then elected: William B. Hail, president; Mrs. W. R. Craig, vice-president; T. E. Thompson, secretary; Mrs. Margaret Jessen, treasurer. It was also resolved. to hold the annual meetings for the election of officers and other regular business, the first week in January, and the semi-annual meeting for summer picnics during the first week in June, the officers to fix the days in each and to give four weeks' public notice of the same. The membership was fixed at one dollar for gentlemen ; lady admitted to membership free of charge. A rule was adopted to give public notice of the death of a member, and to attend the funeral of the deceased. A resolution was passed instructing the officers to procure a cane to be made from the timber of the old block house, to be presented to the president of the association, and by each one delivered to his successor from year to year. Messrs. J. W. Pearman, G. W. Sroat and Thomas Morton were appointed a committee to collect and preserve relics, reminiscences and historic records of the early days of Nebraska City and Otoe County. At the June meeting following, Dr. Campbell delivered an oration, Mrs. O. P. Mason read an original poem, W. W. W. Jones, Miss Ella Jackson and others sang "John Anderson, my Jo." A cane made from old block house wood was presented to the president, Hon. O. P. Mason, making the presentation speech. The key of the old block house was presented to the society and it was voted that a suitable inscription be carved upon it, and that it should be attached to the president's cane. On motion of George W. Sroat it was
Resolved, That as the Nebraska City News is the original pioneer "Old Settler" newspaper of Nebraska, therefore its editors in perpetual succession shall be ex-officio honorary members of this association.
The secretary was instructed to procure a suitable album and the members were requested to furnish him their photographs to be placed therein for preservation.
At the annual meeting held January 8, 1874, J. W. Pearman was chosen president; Mrs. A. Jessen, vice-president; D. F. Jackson, secretary; George W. Sroat, treasurer. A resolution was adopted instructing the treasurer to refund to any settler of 1856 any money he may have paid into the treasury, appearing on the books of the old organization when applied for. This made a practical union of the old and new organizations. as noted elsewhere.
The third annual meeting was held January 5, 1875. Prayer was made by Rev. W. D. Gage, who preached the first sermon ever heard in Otoe County. Pres. Pearman delivered the annual address, and a letter and poem from Hon. S. F. Nuckols of Salt Lake, were read by Hon. J. Sterling Morton. Dr. H. A. Reid recited two original poems, one written by himself, the other entitled "Squatters' Rights," written by W. C. Foulks. Dr. J. C. Campbell was elected president, J. Sterling Morton, vice-president; S. D. Fitchie, secretary; and George W. Sroat, treasurer. On motion of J. Sterling Morton, all persons who settled in Otoe County, prior to or during the year 1856, were declared eligible to membership. The time of holding annual meetings was changed from January to September. A committee was appointed to procure a photograph of Mrs. O. P. Mason, in the position and dress, as near as possible, in which she read her poem at the meeting in June, 1873. At the semi-annual meeting held in Hail's grove, June 21, 1876, it was resolved to hold a centennial meeting in Nebraska City on July 4, 1876, a procession to be formed corner of Sixth and Laramie streets. Dr. Campbell was chosen as marshal of the day. It was resolved to hold the annual meetings in January of each year. After dinner two original poems were recited and David Martin delivered an appropriate address. Messrs. Pearman, David Martin and James Fitchie were chosen to prepare suitable resolutions on the deceased members of the association to report at the next meeting of the association.
The sixth annual meeting took place December 29, 1877. An hour was spent socially, after which the election was held with the following result: Dr. M. K. Kay, president; Dr. W. C. Foulks, vice-president: S. D. Fitchie, secretary; Thomas Morton, treasurer. After the election a pipe of peace was presented to the society by an Otoe Indian named Big Soldier Joe, who was one of the first persons born on Nebraska soil. A donation of five dollars was voted to the Indian in return for his gift. At the summer or picnic meeting, J. W. Pearman reported the names of members who had departed from this life since the organization of the Old Settlers' Association, to wit: Mesdames J. Boulware, J. Boulware Hall, O. P. Mason, J. H. Masters, G. Blunt, J. Deneen. J. F. Canon, E. Boulware, H. H. Harding. George Boulware, George Boughton, S. P. Sibley, John Lorton, A. Tiblon, G. W. Boulware, William Halin, Ann Sheckler, J. C. Campbell, W. M. Maddux, J. Hamlin, W. D. Gage, S. Hollister, W. P. Birchfield, C. W. Pierce, W. M. Lenan, G. H. Hail, F. Pearman, --- Acord, Mary C. Foulks, Mary Taylor, J. O. Davis, W. Anderson, S. Redfields, --- Belcher, Nancy Bounds, --- Riggan, Caroline Yates, Elizabeth Taylor, G. Benton, Julia Girardet, Sarah G. Hall, S. F. Nuckolls, Miss Parmelea Boulware, Messrs. John Lorton, S. F. Hail, Andrew Jasson, Gideon Bennett, Peleg Redfield, Clark Allen, H. W. Pearman, P. F. Grossjohn, J. G. Graves, J. H. Lacy, John Bounds, Noah Clark, M. Halland, William Roberts, Robert Stratton, S. Wigginton, H. Nuckolls, C. A. Corsaw, David Wooley. H. Daily, George Allen, H. P. Downs. A. B. Mayhew, Thomas Doyle, J. C. Alexander, Michael Donahoo, Joel Halvey, M. Reese, E. Frazier, Thomes Lorton, George McNamara, J. Raily, William Anderson, S. Redfield, S. Dunklin, Albert Allen, John Kagy, S. Martin, M. Bowen, Master John Gilman.
After the recitation of a poem by Dr. Fowlks, music by Miss Nora Hail. and a visit to the Institution for the Blind, the annual meeting closed.
The seventh annual meeting was held on the evening of January 15, 1878, was opened with prayer by Dr. Bowen. At the annual election, Mr. Frank Sim was chosen president; W. P. Birchfield. vice-president; S. D. Fitchie, secretary; A. F. Molling, treasurer. An elegant supper was served to the members at the Institution for the Blind.
At the picnic meeting in June, "Auld Lang Syne" was rendered with fine effect by a quartette. The old settlers then signed their names to a record book as follows: Those who came to Nebraska in the year 1854, W. B. Hail, L. F. Cornutt, Thomas Morton, C. H. Cowles, J. W. Cowles, J. W. Pearman, J. C. Campbell, A. Donahoo. T. E. Thompson, W. E. Fowlkes, A. M. Rose, C. C. Hail, E. Taylor Hail, W. J. Spry, Heath Nuckolls, Mrs. J. Martin, Mrs. A. Jesson, George North, James McTomes, W. P. Bushnell, C. H. Campbell, Celia Miller, Nancy Bowman, Mrs., R. S. Craig, * Mrs. C. Boulware, S. F. Hail, S. A. Hail (native), Scott Hail, C. W. Pierce, L.C. Davenport, B. Y. Morse, J. H. Masters, O. F. Clifford, C. K. Cowles. * Mrs. Ann Sheckler, H. Donnelly, W. B. Hargus. Those who came in 1855, W. H. Lowe, Robert Wright, N. S. Harding. G. W. Sroat, M. W. Gibson, William Buchanan, James Fitchie, O. P. Mason, D. F. Jackson, D. M. Martin, S. D. Fitchie, John B. Bennett, H. N. Cornell, J. H. Martin, Robert Wetzel, * Mrs. O. P. Mason, Mrs. J. Gilman, Mrs. M. Miller, Mrs. M. Brown, M. S. Campbell, Susan Fuller, N. K. Kay, O. C. May, McHaybrook, Anna McMillan; Mrs. E. Clerland, Mrs. M. Maguire, Nancy Ann Roberts, Flora Huckins, J. W. Masters, Rachel I. Welsh, F. W. Hall, S. M. Jessen, Mrs. J. C. Gilman. J. H. Martin, Mrs. W. Campbell. Those who arrived in 1856, * Mrs. W. P. Birchfield, Wilson McFarren, F. W. Robb, W. P. Redfield, W. E. Kennicott, B. J. Kalkman. Those who arrived since 1856: A. J. Worrall, 1857; J. H. McMechan (no date given), A. F. Mollring, 1856: H. A. Reid, 1869, editor Daily News. Several addresses were delivered and letters of regret from Dr. Miller and others read.
The eighth annual meeting was held at the Institution for the Blind, on the 2d of January, 1879, Pres. Sim in the chair. Letters of regret were sent by several absent members. The following officers were chosen: Henry Pendleton, president; Henry Brown, vice-president; J. W. Pearman, secretary; Thomas Morton, treasurer. J. W. Pearman was appointed to compile a history of Otoe County up to 1860. Justice was then done to an ample supper served at the Cincinnati House. Letters of regret were read from Hon. J. Sterling Morton, A. A. Bradford, A. D. Jones and M. S. Reeves.
A meeting of the officers of the association was held at the Cincinnati House December 1, 1880, and on motion, it was ordered that the members of the Old Settlers' Associations of Nemaha, Cass, Douglas, Sarpy, and Richardson counties, Neb., and Fremont County, Iowa, were invited to attend the next regular meeting of the Otoe Society, the meeting to be held January, 1880.
The ninth annual meeting was held at the Cincinnati House January 8, 1880. This was the largest annual meeting ever held. A sumptuous repast was furnished at the Cincinnati House, and large numbers were present. The following persons were elected officers: C. W. Cowles, president; Dr. A. Bowen. vice-president; J. W. Pearman, secretary ; Thomas Morton, treasurer. Resolutions expressing regret, on account of the death of S. F. Nuckolls, and his wife Lucinda, H. H. Petring and his wife, Catharine; Mrs. Wilson McFerran, and Mr. James Toms, were adopted. Interesting letters were read from A. A. Bradford, M. S. Reeves, A. J. Harding, H. M. Giltner, Gen. Grant, Gov. Nance, John H. Maxon, C. M. Hubner.
The annual picnic was held on the 10th day of June, in the grove of the Sixteenth District schoolhouse. There was a large attendance. An abundant dinner was discussed. At 2 o'clock, p. m., Rev, Mr. Cleland addressed the throne of grace. Messrs. J. Sterling Morton, N. S. Harding and J. W. Pearman were chosen as a committee to prepare an abstract of the Old Settler records for publication, and filing in the archives of the State Historical Society. The secretary reported the names of the following members of the association who had died since the January meeting: W. C. Fowlkes, A. Donahoo, Joel Draper, J. H. Kennicutt, Mrs. Frances Sim, J. F. C. Welch. J. Sterling Morton paid a feeling tribute to the memory of the departed. It was resolved to hold the next annual meeting at the Cincinnati House.
The tenth annual meeting was held at the Cincinnati House, January 4, pursuant to notice, and was largely attended. William Bischof, A. Zimmerer, J. D. Carmichael and George Adams were enrolled as members. The election of officers resulted as follows: James Fitchie, president; John M. Hamlin, vice-president; William Bischof, secretary; Thomas Morton, treasurer. The large company then adjourned to the dining hall, where a hearty dinner was served. After the meal, Messrs. Iverson, Neihart, Buhler and Frank Brown, entertained the company with some excellent music. The retiring president, Mr. Cowles, made a brief address, followed by the newly elected president in a humorous vein. Vocal music closed the entertainment
The semi-annual or picnic meeting was held at Moore's grove June 25, 1881. President Fitchie in the chair. A poem on the death of Dr. William Fowlkes was recited by president Fitchie. Essays were also read by Hon. H. C. Cowles, Mrs. Cowles, A. T. McCartney. After music, the meeting adjourned.
No annual meeting of the association was held in January of the present year, the officers elected in 1881 holding over until January, 1883.
In order to show the remarkable progress of the county in material things, the assessments for taxation, representing about a third of the actual value of the property, is given for the past twenty-one years: 1860, $1,056,341; 1861, $1,204,569; 1862, $2,100,964; 1863, $1,132,784; 1864, $1,578,960; 1865, $2,555,462; 1866, $3,248,014; 1867, $2,692,237; 1868, $3,191,822; 1869, $3,209,900; 1870, $4,218,272; 1871, $5,538,000; 1872, $5,176,789; 1873, $5,437,995; 1874, $4,940,206; 1875, $4,344,971; 1876, $4,276,283; 1877, $3,927, 912; 1878, $3,249,024; 1879, $3,379,104; 1880, $3,595,639; 1881, $3,521,512.
In 1855, the county is accredited with a population of 1,188; in 1860, with 4,211; in 1870, with 12,345; in 1880, with 15,698; in 1881, with 15,862.