Natural Resources | Early History | Stephen Story | A Severe Winter|
Pioneer Hunters | Lynch Law for Horse-Thieves
The Half-Breed Line | The County Seat Troubles
The Killing of Davis and Meek | County Roster | the Epidemic of 1860
Claim Jumping | The Jayhawkers of '62 | The Underground Railway|
The Grasshopper Scourge | Defunct Towns | War Record
Milling Interests | Railroads
Falls City: First Permanent Residents | City Officials|
Postal Business | The Press | Fire Record | Societies
Falls City (conts.): Banks | Manufacturing Interests|
The Grain Business | Pork Packing | Falls City Hotels
Hinton's Driving Park | Public Schools | The Public School Building
5 ~ 9:
ADAMS ~ FRY | GALLAGHER ~ KREKER | LEE ~ POWELL
RANDALL ~ STRETCH | TARPLEY ~ YUTZY
Humboldt: Early Events | Railway Interests | The Public School|
Churches | The Press | Societies | Hotels | Banks and Bankers
Manufacturing Interests, Etc.
Humboldt: Biographical Sketches|
Rulo: Charles Rouleau | Elie Bedard|
Early Events | The Press | Business Interests | Churches
Societies | Biographical Sketches
Dawson: Early History | The Cyclone | Societies | Churches|
Business Interests | The Old Mill | Biographical Sketches
Salem: Early History | Hotels | The Public Schools|
Churches | Societies | Business Interests | Biographical Sketches
Arago: Biographical Sketches|
Porter Precinct | Ohio Precinct | Franklin Precinct | Liberty Precinct
Speiser Precinct | Barada Precinct | Preston
List of Illustrations in Richardson County Chapter
[View of Falls City.]
Falls City was incorporated on May 17, 1858, in response to the petition of John A. Burbank, Isaac L. Hamsby, J. Edward Burbank and others. The act incorporating it as a city was approved by the Legislature on January 13, 1860. Losing its city charter by an act approved February 13, 1865, the city was again incorporated by an act approved February 12, 1867. Starting just before the war, and remaining almost stationary during those four eventful years, the city had, in 1870, but little more than thirty buildings, and six persons in mercantile business. To-day, with the growth of a dozen superadded years, she boasts a population of more than two thousand, a court house erected at a cost of $25,000, and a schoolhouse which cost but little less, while innumerable sightly edifices of business and private use ornament the constantly lengthening system of streets.
David Dorrington, his wife and his son, William E. Dorrington, were the first permanent residents of Falls City, although many others undoubtedly came here at about the same time, and remained for a greater or less length of time. Several of the old settlers who are now residents have migrated for long periods in the search of new homes, and have finally returned with the conviction that no better location can be found. Judge Dorrington entered upon his residence here September 7, 1857, and has never, in the quarter of a century which has seen gradual growth of the city, sought anything better.
The year following his arrival was signalized by "the great flood," which occurred in July. On July 12, rain commenced to fall, and continued for about ten days without any signs of clearing of the sky from its somber, dun-colored clouds. The Nemaha, which runs a mile and a half below the town, scourged by incessant rain-drops and turgid with the flood from smaller streams, broadened out into a veritable lake. For miles in every direction, not a bridge remained, and farm lands of all descriptions were submerged, while their owners, in many cases, caught by surprise, struggled, half naked, to the high ground of Falls City. Here were congregated a throng which soon consumed all the provisions of the modest village and threatened a famine. In these straits, a committee, consisting of David Dorrington and James Buchanan, was sent to endeavor to communicate with Archer, then the chief town of the county, and procure supplies. Proceeding toward the town through a mud which can only be imagined by citizens familiar with the alluvial prairie soil, they reached the bank of the Muddy and found that the bridge had been swept away. On the other side of the stream was a man, whom they hailed, and upon his approach, recognized as Judge Elmer S. Dundy. It was decided to furnish the Judge with money and let him proceed to Archer and return with the provisions. Accordingly, he made a rough raft, and attempted the ferriage of the swollen stream. Rafts are proverbially poor sailors, and that of Mr. Dundy, after much labor, carried him over the falls and left him to swim ashore, which he did incontinently. The supplies were secured and the isolated villagers were enabled to hold out until other means of supply were secured.
At this time, the river bottoms were flooded for several months, and Sewell R. Jemison and others ran canoes from Falls City to the Nemaha Bluffs, at a place occupied by the Indians and called Sauktown, for the purpose of getting supplies. This was known as the Sauktown Express.
The first mayor of Falls City was John A. Burbank, who served from 1859 to 1860. He was followed by Sewall R. Jemison and David Dorrington, the latter of whom held the office until the rescinding of the city charter in 1863. Upon the granting of a second charter, or perhaps more exactly, the reinstating of the old one in 1868, William Bradford was elected and held the position one year. He was followed by J. J. Marvin, 1869-71; E. S. Towle, 1871-72; A. Schoenheit, 1872-74; C. L. Keim, 1874-75; J. G. Good, 1875-76; George P. Uhl, 1876-1878; Robert Clegg, 1878-80; Thomas Brannen, 1880-82.
The following is a list of those who have served as City Clerks from the time of the incorporation, as far as shown by the records. For a long time the minutes of the City Clerk, were, in the language of a recent incumbent, "carried in his hat." It is noticeable that many of the first Clerks did not hold office for a full year; S. A. Fulton, 1871; J. R. Cain, 1871; L. C. Uhl, 1872; J. R. Cain, 1872; L. M. May, 1874; M. W. Musselman, 1875; J. N. Rickards, 1877; E. R. Fulton, 1878; Charles Loree, 1879; A. C. Jennings, 1880, and to the present time.
The first Postmaster of Falls City was J. H. Burbank, who was duly succeeded by C. Norris. Since Mr. Norris, William Watts, N. O. Pierce, J. J. Marvin, John Wilson, George Van Deventer and M. A. Frank have filled this responsible position, the last-named taking the office in 1873 and still holding it. The first post office was on Lot 21, in Block 70, near the public square, and none of the later places of holding the office have been more than a square from the same place. The second location was on Lot 22, in Block 68, the third in the old printing office where Tarpley & Co.'s store now stands, and the fourth in the store of Reavis & Cameron, Lot 12, in Block 9. Its subsequent locations have been in Judge J. J. Marvin's house, Lot 20, in Block 91; Lot 11, Block 58, and Lot 22, in Block 70, where it now occupies a small brick building of its own.
One of the most racy stories of the early bar of the southeastern part of the State is that of the mock duel between U. C. Johnson, District Attorney, and Judge Mason. Like most affairs of this kind, it grew out of the desire of legal brethren who practiced upon the circuit to satirize the odd or eccentric points of their fellows. The affair came off at the lower Indian town, just across the Nemaha from Falls City. Pistols were carefully prepared by the seconds of the murderous pair, and at the word both discharged their shots. As the smoke cleared away, Johnson was seen unharmed, while Mason reeled and fell heavily to the ground. Without waiting for the careful examination of the dead body, Johnson was hurried to Falls City and hidden in the house of Wilson M. Maddox. Meantime Mason had picked himself up, nearly exhausted with repressed laughter, and more than enough plastered externally, and had returned to the city, where after a short time the joke was explained to its victim. Johnson never recovered from the effects of this deception, and shortly afterward removed to Chicago, where some years later he died.
The Broad Axe--In the fall of 1858, the Broad Axe, owned by Maj. J. E. Burbank and edited by Sewall Jemison, made its appearance in Falls City. This was the successor of a paper of the same name which had been published at Richmond, Ind., in 1855, by the same parties. It bore as its motto, "Hew to the mark, let the chips fall where they will"--"There is a destiny which shapes our ends, rough hew them as we will," and was a very spicy sheet of the society order. After several years of publication, this paper (then the property of L. B. Prouty & Co.) was sold to J. J. Marvin, and by him run as the Southern Nebraskian. It was next purchased by the town of Arago, or rather the town lot company, and published by N. O. Pierce. About this time, a Mr. Saxe used the material of the paper in getting out a paper in both German and English. Newspaper work was not very remunerative at this time, and the rapid succession of editors, some of whom published not more than three issues, is a striking commentary on the fact. C. L. Mather, G. A. Hill, E. L. Martin, Mettz & Sanderson and H. A. Buell, all had a brief tussle with the publication problem, and in turn sat down to rest and let some other aspirant become rich. Mettz & Sanderson had purchased the English type of the town company, and, in 1871, this material passed to F. Barrett, who removed it to Falls City, where he published the Times. After a brief and flavored existence, this paper was sold to Scott & Webster, who finally merged their material in Mr. Ed. Howe's Little Globe.
The Little Globe, "a small journal with great aims," was established in 1873, with a flaming prospectus, of which the following extract gives a pretty fair idea: "Little, but Oh Lord! Prospectus of the Globe (the little), a journal of the third class, to be published every Saturday, at Falls City, Neb. The Little Globe will be intensely local, and as independent as a hog on ice. * * * We hope to bless this town." This modest announcement was signed, "the meekest of men, Ed. W. Howe." After about a year of fierce existence, the Little Globe was discontinued, but in August 1875, came out again with the same motto and general appearance, and, after a short time, was consolidated with the Nemaha Valley Journal under the title of the Globe-Journal.
The Nemaha Valley Journal--In December, 1868, Mr. W. S. Blackburn started the Journal, at Brownville, Nemaha Co. After running the paper one year at this point, he removed it to Falls City, where he began its publication under the name of the Nemaha Valley Journal. In April, 1869, W. S. Stretch purchased a half-interest in the paper, and the same fall obtained full possession. In March, 1870, E. E. Cunningham entered into partnership with Mr. Stretch and continued in active work upon the paper until the spring of 1871, when he leased his share of the business to Mr. Stretch. In June, 1872, the paper passed into the hands of Weaver & Fulton, but only a month later, Stretch leased Weaver's interest and purchased that of Fulton, thus practically getting complete control of the paper once more. Under this management the paper was conducted until September, 1874, when it was sold to Rich & Hamlin, who in 1875 sold it to Ed. W. Howe, who incorporated it with his Little Globe under the title of Globe-Journal. In the spring of 1877, Howe sold the paper to Jacob Baily, who in turn sold the paper to May & Davis, the latter of whom sold out to L. M. May in June, 1880. After publishing the paper up to September 5, 1881, May sold a one-half interest to T. W. Pepoon, who assumed the editorial, Mr. May retaining the business management. This paper started as an eight-column folio, and ran as such until February, 1882, when on the discontinuance of the daily edition, which had been published for one year, it became a six-column quarto. An edition of nine hundred copies is now printed. In politics, the Journal is stalwart, or radical Republican, and urges its views on all subjects of county, State or national interest with force and ability.
The Falls City Press was started on February 1, 1875, by Spurlock & Martin, who published it for five months and then sold it to Davis & Marvin, who took possession July 1. After continuing the publication a year and a half, these gentlemen conveyed the paper to Mr. S. B. Miles, who employed J. F. Gardner as editor and general manager. Under this management, the paper was issued six months, and then was leased for one year to Davis & Ford. At the expiration of their lease, these gentlemen resigned, and the paper as sold to Mr. A. J. Read, who published it until May 3, 1880, when Mr. Read having failed to comply with the terms of the purchase, the material in use reverted to Mr. Miles. Mr. Read then effected the organization of a joint-stock company which purchased new material, and still holding the number and subscription books of the Press, started the new-old paper as the News. On November 27, 1880, Mr. Read died, and Elder T. W. Pinkerton filled the editorial chair up to January 1, 1881, hen the office was purchased by H. Clay Davis, who now owns it, and publishes one of the best local sheets in the State. The paper is now an eight-column quarto. Its circulation has increased from an edition of four hundred in January, 1881, to one of over seven hundred and fifty in February, 1882.
Henry Clay Davis, the present editor and proprietor of the News was born in Glasgow, Mo., on April 5, 1850. At the age of fourteen, he began the energetic life which he has always pursued, as helper in a blacksmith shop. A few years later, he set himself at work at the printers' trade, and after he had served his time, worked successively in Cincinnati, St. Louis and other places. In 1868-69, he for a time forsook printing, and was engaged in a dry goods store in Hamburg, Iowa. On December 27, 1870, he married Miss Frances L. Dalbey, and shortly afterward, in connection with Mr. J. M. Waterman, took charge of the Fremont Times, of Hamburg. Closing his connection with this paper in December, 1871, Davis came to Falls City, reaching the town January 1, 1872, and at once going to work on the Press. After being with the Press about a year, Davis sold out, and a little later was engaged on the Globe-Journal with Mr. May, where he remained until July, 1880, when he started a job office. This he still runs in connection with the News which he purchased January 1, 1881.
The Richardson County Registerwas established in August, 1881, at Rulo. It was published by Mrs. Susan F. Holton, and had a fair amount of success. In November, 1881, the office was moved to Falls City, and the management transferred to Mr. G. H. Holton, who continued to publish it until it reached its twenty-ninth number, on the last week in February, 1882, when it suspended. Mr. Holton is a vigorous and graceful writer, and will probably re-engage in the newspaper business before much time elapses.
Falls City has been exempt from the ravages of fire to a remarkable degree. In tons built largely, or in many cases entirely of wood, as are those of the New West, such exemption has been exceedingly rare. Nearly every town of a dozen years' standing, has chronicled some "great fire" which swept away a large share of her buildings, but this city has but one conflagration of any magnitude. On the night of April 12, 1877, flames were discovered shortly after 11 P. M. issuing from the rear of a frame building owned by Mrs. I. Reavis, and occupied on the ground floor as a flour and feed store by D. Muir, and above for private purposes. In a very short time, the combustible building was a mass of fire, and the flames had communicated to six other buildings which all blazed fiercely. As the town possessed no fire engine, and no other apparatus than a supply of ladders and buckets, the main efforts of the crowd that had gathered were devoted to saving goods, while they looked at doomed buildings, powerless to save them. Many buildings at various points were set blazing by flying embers, and with difficulty saved, and the Press office was only saved by the use of ladders and the bravery of the bucket brigade.
In an hour from the breaking-out of the fire, the seven buildings were level with the ground. The losses by the fire aggregated $15,000, distributed as follows: Mrs. I. Reavis, $900; D. Muir, $300; Saylor & Lehman, $11,000; L. A. Ryan, $600; J. T. Ralston, $250; Richard Smith, $600; John King, $200; T. C. Coleman, $600; F. C. Fischer, $200; George Kaiser, $300.
The aggregate loss of such an amount is trivial in light of the daily reports of losses from the same cause of from $50,000 to more than ten time that amount, but it as a very serious affair in a place like Falls City. Yet the citizens with the pluck that was the characteristic of early settlement, set themselves at once to replace the destroyed buildings with others of a more substantial character, which to-day grace the streets of the city, and prove the truth of the old adage of an ill wind blowing good to some one.
The Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company of Falls City was organized on April 7, 1873, with the following officers: George E. Powell, foreman; L. C. Gore, Assistant Foreman; George H. Gedultig, Second Assistant; George Vandeventer, President; C. H. Rickards, Vice President; O. W. Brown, Secretary; J. R. Cain, Treasurer. The property of the company consists of a truck, six ladders of various lengths, forty rubber buckets, and a good supply of picks and hooks, the whole purchased at a cost of about $400. The present officers of the company are as follows: L. Schoenheit, Foreman; A. W. Southard, Assistant Foreman; C. Hershey, Second Assistant; J. R. Cain, President; J. Whitmore, Vice President; James Slocum, Permanent Secretary; L. M. Korner, Secretary; George Powell, Treasurer. The apparatus is kept in a small building near the public square.
Falls City Lodge, No 13, I. O. O. F., was organized under a dispensation issued, September 28, 1869, to George P. Uhl, David Dorrington, George Faulkner, L. Van Deusen, John Loree and Bennett Sperry. Its officers appointed at this time were: John Loree, N. G.; Bennett Sperry, V. G.; George Faulkner, Treasurer; L. Van Deusen, Secretary; George P. Uhl, W.; Nelson Snyder, Conductor; David Dorrington, I. G.; On December 9, 1869, a charter was received and the lodge regularly organized with nine charter members. Up to February, 1882, 141 names had been enrolled on the record book of the lodge. The present officers are as follows: F. A. Stock, N. G.; John Cohn, V. G.; Charles Loree, Secretary; W. E. Dorrington, P. S.; Alexander Kerr, Treasurer. The order occupies a fine lodge room, which is its own property, and, with its furniture and regalia, cost $1,500. This hall was erected in 1876. Upon its front is a large marble tablet, bearing the symbolical three links and the name of the lodge, and below these the date of erection.
Nemaha Valley Lodge, No. 36, I. O. O. F., was organized under a charter granted to John D. Spragins. R. Nelson, T. C. Cunningham, L. M. May, W. H. Keeling, G. P. Marvin, George P. Uhl, J. W. Minnick, S. A. Fulton, A. J. Weaver and David C. Barnes. This organization was affected under the supervision of St. John Goodrich, G. M., Assisted by William Beatty, D. G. M., and W. S. Stretch, District D. G. M. The first officers of the lodge were: J. D. Spragins, N. G.; W. R. Nelson, V. G.; L. M. May, R. S.; J. W. Minnick , Treasurer; W. H. Keeling, W.; S. A. Fulton, Conductor; D. C. Brown, I. G. The lodge now has a membership of forty-seven and the following officers: J. C. Yutzy, N. G.; S. S. Stump, V. G.; M. W. Musselman, Conductor; Joseph Culp, W.; B. C. Simonton, R. S.; W. M. Wilson, Treasurer; J. T. Delaware, P. S.; S. C. Syster, I. G.
The first lodge of Good Templars organized in Falls City was Rescue Lodge, No 106, I. O. G. T., which received its charter in the fall of 1873. At this date, it has nine members and the following officers: D. F. Rodabaugh, W. C. T.; W. T. Chadwick, V. C.; J. P. Holt, Secretary; E. D. Ford, Treasurer; J. A. Whitmore, Marshal. The society, after an existence of nearly two years, discontinued its meetings, which had been held in the hall of the Knights of Pythias.
Falls City Lodge, No. 106, I. O. G. T., was organized on February 7, 1877, by S. D. Hastings, of Madison Wis., assisted by Barton C. Mettz, of Falls City. The Lodge had the following officers: B. C. Mettz, W. C. T.; Miss Ella Earl, V. C.; B. C. Zumbrum, Secretary; Z. Zumbrum, Marshal; Rev. E. M. Lewis, Chaplain; Miss Mary Zumbrum, Treasurer; Mrs. Elizabeth Zumbrum, I. G.; Mrs. R. Henderson, O. G.; Rev. E. M. Lewis, Lodge Deputy. There were nine charter members. The present officers of the lodge are as follows: T. W. Pinkerton, W. C. T.; Mrs. I. Reavis, V. C.; Dr. E. A. Vaughn, R. S.; W. E. Neal, F. S.; Mrs. Hershey, Treasurer; Rev. John Gallagher, Chaplain; William McKenzie, Marshal; Mrs. S. Gilbert, I. G.; B. C. Mettz, O. G.
Richardson County District Lodge, No. 1, I. O. G. T., was chartered April 2, 1879, the charter being granted to the following: B. C. Mettz, G. W. Smith, T. R. Davis, S. H. Hayfield, Lizzie Snaddy, William T. Kirk, Cora Davis, J. W. Battreal, H. Arnold, F. H. Crouch, T. W. Wait, H. W. Walker, L. Bowers, H. R. Koon, T. E. Smith, O. W. Ball, T. B. Stratton, J. Van Devort, J. A. Kersteller, Jessie L. Hall, K. Grable, I. S. Goble, Charles Oathout, John Heise, James K. Jellison, W. H. Arnold, Levi L. Kinsey, Ida Beaver, Hattie Cutler and James Randall. The charter is signed by F. G. Keens, G. W. S., and Ada Van Pelt, G. W. C. T., but bears no record of the officers at the time the charter went into effect. This district lodge embraces five other lodges, with a membership of 241 at the time of the last report, February, 1882. The present Executive Committee consists of O. J. Bacon, .E. Neal, L. E. Kinsey, with the District C. T. and the Secretary. Meetings are held quarterly.
Falls City Temple of Honor, No. 14, was chartered December 19, 1877, with fifty-seven members, but held meetings only a short time, and is now practically defunct. Its officers were J. W. May, W. C. T.; Mrs. W. M. Wilson, V. T.; S. A. Fulton, P. C. T.; J. P. Holt, R. S.; J. J. Marvin, I. G.; J. Lindsey, O. G.
Falls City Lodge, No. 18, Knights of Pythias, was organized in June, 1874. At this date the lodge had twelve members among whom were: Judge A .J. Weaver, D. R. Holt, G. R. Summers, George E. Powell, John F. Lyon, T. C. Cunningham, George A. Merrill and F. W. Miller. After continuing in good standing for several years, the society gradually fell apart, and failing to keep up its reports and dues to the Grand Lodge of the State, was formally disbanded in June, 1877. At the time of the revocation of its charter the following names were on the roll as officers of the lodge: E. R. Lippold, C. C.; W. R. Nelson, V. C.; J. B. Ayres, Prelate; J. A. Whitmore, K. R. S. & M. S.; James Cameron, M. E.; G. T. Webster, M. S. Shortly afterward a petition for a re-establishment of the lodge under a dispensation from the Grand Lodge was prepared, but for some reason as never presented. The society still has a large amount of regalia and may be revived.
The Women's Christian Temperance Union was organized in September 24, 1880. At the time of organization about forty persons became members of the union, and the following officers were elected: Mrs. Henderson, President; Mrs. Street, of the Presbyterian Church, Mrs. Neal, of the Christian Church, and Mrs. Rummell, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Vice Presidents. Miss Frankie Kingman was elected Secretary. The Gospel Temperance meetings held every second Sunday afternoon under the auspices of this society, are largely attended. The present officers are: Mrs. T. W. Pinkerton, of the Christian Church, President; Mrs. S. J. Gilbert, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Vice President. The number of names enrolled on the register of the society is thirty-seven.
The Falls City Literary Association was organized in February, 1882, with the following officers: Rev. Mr. Carey, President; T. W. Pepoon, Vice President; Miss Anna Schuckman, Secretary, and Mrs. Sanderson, Treasurer. This society meets each Friday evening, and has exercises consisting of the reading of essays, recitations and discussion of assigned topics of the day, interspersed with vocal and instrumental music. Its members are among the most cultured and influential citizens.
The Q. A. T. is a dancing society organized in December, 1881, and has about thirty members. Charles W. Loree is Secretary of the club.
Die Deutsche Gesellschaft.--The Germans of Falls City, Neb., have organized an association under the title or name as "Die Deutsche Gesellschaft of Falls City, Neb." It began on the 17th day of December, 1877, with a membership of forty persons--all Germans. The association now numbers about fifty members and owns real estate in the city 100 x 120 feet, with a commodious brick building thereon for the use of the association. The main object of the association is to cultivate, develope and propagate the pure German language, philosophy and character; conducive to make themselves and their countrymen fit patriots of their adopted country, and to know and uphold justice and liberty.
Veteran Post, No 84, Department of Nebraska, G. A. R., was organized January 19, 1882, and has fifty-five members on its roster. The officers of the society are: John C. Yutzy, Commander; Robert A. Wherry, S. V. C.; Thomas C. Shelly, J. V. C.; .S. Stretch, Adjutant; Henry H. Bowers, Quartermaster; Hiram L. Randall, Surgeon; Barton C. Mettz, Chaplain; William Mayer, O. of D.; John F. Elliott, O. of Guard; Theodore W. Pepoon, Sergeant Major; William R. Nelson, Q. S.; Wilson S. Korner, Sentinel.
Eureka Chapter, No. 5, R. A. M. was organized under a dispensation August 1, 1868, with ten members and the following officers: J. F. Gardner, H. P.; H. O. Hanna, K.; J. V. Hollebaugh, S.; J. E. Clifford, C. H.; William R. Cain, P .S.; A. Williams, R. A. C.; J. W. Huntington, Third Vail; W. S. Sargent, Second Vail; John Loree, First Vail; George W. Morris, Treasurer. The society was organized under the charter October 24, 1869, with sixty-nine members and the following officers: H. O. Hanna, H. P.; J. F. Gardner, K.; W. R. Cain, S.; J. R. Cain, C. H.; George Faulkner, R. A. C.; John W. Holt, Third Vail; John Loree, Second Vail; W. M. Maddock, First Vail; C. B. Scott, Treasurer; W. H. Mann, Secretary; B. Hani, Guard. The present officers of the chapter were elected December 5, 1881, and are as follows: W. M. Maddock, H. P.; T. C. Shelly, K.; G. H. Pearson, S.; R. A. Wherry, Treasurer; W. S. Stretch, Secretary; L. N. Korner, C. H.; W. A. Gardner, P. S.; Ed. J. Holdbrook, R. A. C.; H. Q. Staver, Third Vail; C. H. Rickards, Second Vail; W. E. Dorrington, First Vail; E. R. L. Stoughton, Tiler. The chapter now has forty-seven members in good standing.
Falls City Lodge, No. 9, A., F. & A. M., was organized under a dispensation on October 13, 1864, and the following officers were appointed: H. O. Hanna, W. M.; Nelson Snyder, S. W.; W. H. Mann, J. W.; Isham Reavis, Secretary; W. R. Cain, S. D.; W. T. Stout, J. D.; E. C. Sherer, Treasurer; J. R. Dowty, Tiler. On June 22, 1865, the lodge was organized under a charter. At this date there were nine members and the following officers: H. O. Hanna, W. M.; N. Snyder, S. W.; W. H. Mann, J. W.; Isham Reavis, Secretary; E. C. Sherer, Treasurer; Charles B. Scott, S. D.; W. T. Stout, J. D.; E. C. Cooley, Tiler. The organization now has seventy-nine members. Its present officers are: W. S. Stretch, W. M.; M. W. Musselman, S. W.; B. C. Mettz, J. W.; A. F. Hollebaugh, Secretary; George W. Holland, Treasurer; R. N. Watts, S. D.; H. Terryl, J. D.; E. R. L. Stoughton, Tiler.
Mt. Sinai Commandery, No. 8, Knights Templar, was first established under a dispensation November 5, 1877. Its officers were: R. A. Wherry, C.; W. S. Stretch, Gen.; Charles L. Mettz, C. G.; J. R. Cain, Prelate; E. E. Mettz, S. W.; J. R. Dowty, J. W.; George E. Powell, Treasurer; E. R. L. Stoughton, Recorder; J. L. Slocum, S. W. B. A charter was granted May 1, 1878, and the organization under it effected July 12, 1878, the lodge then having twelve members. The new officers were: R. A. Wherry, E. C.; W. S. Stretch, Gen.; C. L. Mettz, C. G.; J. R. Cain, Prelate; George E. Powell, Treasurer; George M. Neikirk, Recorder; E. E. Mettz, S. W.; A. J. Weaver, J. W.; F. W. Miller, St. B.; J. L. Slocum, S. W. B.; J. W. Holt, Warder; J. R. Dowty, C. Guard. The present membership is twenty-nine, and the officers are as follows: A. B. Smith, E. C.; T. C. Shelly, Gen.; Robert Clegg, C. G.; J. P. Tarpley, Prelate; J. R. Reynolds, S. W.; R. A. Wherry, J. W.; E. E. Mettz, Treasurer, George E. Powell, Secretary; George H. Pearson, St. B.; L. N. Korner, SW. B.; A. Deckerson, Warder; E. R. L. Stoughton, Guard.
These bodies meet in an elegantly fitted hall on Main street--Mt. Sinai, on Saturday evening preceding full moon; Falls City No. 9, on Saturday evening on or after full moon, And Eureka No. 5, R. A. M., on Monday evening on or after full moon. The fitting up of this lodge room entailed an expense of over $1,500.
Evening Star No. 12, a woman's branch of the Masonic order, was organized March 11, 1874, with sixty-seven members, but after a short time was allowed to fall to pieces, and is now disbanded and unknown. The records of this lodge were never fully completed.
The first court house erected for that sole use was built in 1863, at a cost of $3,000. It occupied the center of the public square, the site of the new court house which is now in use. This building was about forty by thirty feet, and for ten years supplied ample facilities for all county business. It is now located at the southeast corner of the public square and used as a dwelling.
On April 20, 1872, a proposition for the issuing of $25,000 of coupon bonds to be used in the building of a new court house, was submitted to the County Commissioners in due form. The provisions of the proposal were that a building of brick and stone, two stories high, not less than thirty-six by sixty-six feet on the ground floor, and containing two fire-proof vaults, should be erected. The bonds issued were to bear 10 per cent interest, and this was to be met by an annual special tax. The principal was to be paid in ten years' time, the county retaining the right to make payment at an earlier date if it seemed preferable. In accordance with this proposition, the Commissioners authorized an election to take place on May 13, 1872, in the several precincts. At this election the measure failed to secure a majority, and was lost.
On February 14, 1873, the Legislature passed an act enabling the precinct of Falls City to issue bonds for the building of a court house of stone and brick, not less than forty by seventy-five feet on the ground floor, nor more than forty-seven by eighty-five feet, and containing fire-proof vaults for the safe keeping of the county records.
In accordance with this act, a proposition was submitted to the County Commissioners, who by the provisions of the act were duly authorized, and by them an election was ordered for May 13, 1873. These bonds were to be in the sum of $15,000, to be payable on or before the expiration of ten years, and to draw ten per cent interest, which was to be paid by a special tax, to be levied on the 1st of May of each year. The precinct decided on the issuing of the bonds by a vote of 288 to 114. Shortly after the election the work of removing the old court house and erecting the new structure was commenced, under the charge of H. E. Mortz, President of the Board of County Commissioners, and pushed to completion.
The $15,000 in bonds were sold for between 80 and 90 cents on the dollar, and proceeds used for the new building. The sale of the bonds did not, however, supply sufficient means to complete the building, and appropriations from the general fund have been made from time to time to the extent of nearly $10,000. In the months of February and March, 1882, extensive improvements were made in the arrangement of the county offices, and the building is now as comfortable in its interior as it is imposing in an exterior view.
The Jail.--The county jail is a solid stone structure about 16 feet square, and is located in the northeast corner of the public square. It has all the appliances for the comfort of the incarcerated criminals, although it must be said for the credit of the county, that it is seldom tenanted. It was erected in 1871, by J. Burbank, and is valued at $3,500.