KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS


Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska

Cass County
Produced by
Connie Snyder.



PART 1:

Topography and General Features | Produce | Early Settlement
Indian Troubles | Club Law | Early Schools

PART 2:



Organization | County Seat Troubles | Official Roster | War History
Court House and Jail | Railroads | Ferries
Cass County Agricultural Society | Cass County Medical Society
Pioneer Association of Cass County | Hard Winters and Storms

PART 3:

Plattsmouth:  Early Settlement | City Government | Educational
Religious | The Press

PART 4:


Plattsmouth (cont.):   The Medical Profession | The Bar
Government Offices | Missouri River Improvement | Societies | Banks
Hotels | Public Halls | Manufactories | General Business Interests

PARTS
 5 ~ 8:

Biographical Sketches:
ADAMS ~ GUTHMANN | HARTIGAN ~ MERTENS
MILLER ~ SHAFER | SHANNON ~ YOUNG

PART 9:


Weeping Water:  Early Settlement | Organization | Educational
Religious | Societies | The Press | Business Interests | Railroads
Biographical Sketches

PART 10:



Louisville:  Religious | Educational | Manufactories | Business Houses
Railroads | Biographical Sketches
Greenwood:  Religious | General Matters
Rock Bluff City

PART 11:

Biographical Sketches:  Rock Bluff Precinct
South Bend:  Religious | Educational | Biographical Sketches

PART 12:



Factoryville:  Biographical Sketches
Avoca:  Biographical Sketches
Other Towns
Biographical Sketches:  Eight-Mile Grove Precinct

PART 13:



Biographical Sketches:  
Mt. Pleasant Precinct | Elmwood Precinct | Center Precinct

List of Illustrations in Cass County Chapter


Part 4


THE MEDICAL PROFESSION.

   The first regular physicians to settle in Plattsmouth were Drs. E. A. and W. E. Donelan, who opened an office on Main street in the fall of 1856. After a few years, the former of these removed to St. Joe, Mo., the latter remaining in Plattsmouth until his death, which occurred in 1878. They both were gentlemen of high standing and good ability. Two years after their arrival, Dr. R. R. Livingston opened an office, practicing until June, 1861, when he entered the service of the United States as Captain of Company A, First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry. At the close of the war, he returned to his chosen field of practice where he has remained in active professional service since. In 1861, Dr. G. H. Black; in 1862, Dr. W. H. Schildknect, and, in 1863, Dr. John Black located in Plattsmouth, since which latter date a goodly number of others have followed their example. The present number of practicing physicians in the city is nine. Most of these gentlemen are members of the Cass County Medical Society, to which reference has been elsewhere made.

THE BAR.

   The history of the legal profession in any county is of special interest as bearing upon the advent and comparative purity of justice. With the lawyer comes law and with law comes order, something altogether inconsistent with the rulings of the vigilants and the verdicts of claim club courts. Moreover, while it may be said that the record of the bar belongs more properly in the sketch of the county rather than in that of the county seat, it is so far true that the intelligence and industry of the profession are among the most important factors in the upbuilding and prosperity of the place, distinct, in a sense, from the prosperity of the county at large; that it is thought best to refer to it in this place rather than in another.

   The first lawyer located in Plattsmouth in 1855, not only preceding the first session of the District Court, but also, it is probable, the first Justices of the Peace, who assumed their positions in September of that year. This was J. H. Brown, who constituted the entire "Bar Association" for about a year, A. H. Townsend arriving in the summer of 1856, prepared to take the other side of any case in the courts. Willett Pottenger, who yet remains, and T. M. Marquette, now of Lincoln, followed during the succeeding fall, the last two forming a partnership in 1857. In the spring of 1857, came S. H. Elbert, afterward of the Government Land Department, located at Washington, and subsequently Secretary of Colorado Territory. The firm of Maxwell & Chapman commenced business in 1865; the former, too, afterward became Chief Justice of Nebraska and the latter senior member in the firm of Chapman, Beeson & McLennan, the firm being changed to Chapman & Beeson in 1882. The present number of attorneys now practicing in Plattsmouth is nineteen.

GOVERNMENT OFFICES.

   The Post Office.--As has been said, the first Postmaster at Plattsmouth was Wheatley Mickelwait, who received his commission in June, 1855. Until the erection of Slaughter & Worley's building, a year later, there cannot be said to have been a post office, except in name, the mails being so light that they were usually carried in the pockets of the official recipient until delivered. In 1857, Wheatley Mickelwait was succeeded by O. F. Johnson, who retained the position until 1861, when he was superseded by the present Postmaster, Capt. J. W. Marshall. Since its institution, the location of the office has been changed no less than ten times, being at no time, however, off of Main street.

   Surveyor General's Office.--In 1867, Plattsmouth received the location of the office of the United States Surveyor General for the States of Iowa and Nebraska, removed at that time from Nebraska City. The first chief of the department subsequent to the removal was P. W. Hitchcock, succeeded in May, 1869, by R. R. Livingston, who gave way to E. E. Cunningham, on May 5, 1871, who in his turn was superseded by John R. Clark, on December 26, 1875. The present incumbent, George S. Smith, assumed the duties of the position April 14, 1879.

MISSOURI RIVER IMPROVEMENT.

   It may be questioned whether the subject of river improvement properly belongs in a sketch of Plattsmouth, but at least so far as it concerns local interests, and, as regards the improvement of the Missouri in the immediate vicinity of the city, the argument against the insertion of a few notes in this place upon the subject may be waived. An office was established in Plattsmouth February 1, 1881, under the immediate supervision of W. H. McKnew, United States Assistant Engineer, having in direct charge the improvement of the Missouri River from a point fifteen miles above the city to a point the same distance below. A low-water survey was immediately commenced south of the city and extending to Jones' Point, followed, as soon as practicable after ice blockades and damaging floods, by the construction of barges, skiffs, wire net machines, buildings. and the collection of all material requisite to the prosecution of the work. The labor of placing screen dykes in position was begun July 5, 1881, 2,050 linear feet of dyke being put in place between that date and August 3, 1881, when the work was necessarily discontinued, on account of extremely low water. During the fall of this year, borings for the purpose of ascertaining depth of bed-rock and the position of various strata were made, the result of which was entirely satisfactory, showing bed-rock in line of the proposed channel directly above the mouth of the Platte River, not less than ninety feet below the surface. Later in the fall, a low-water survey was made for the purpose of accurately locating channel lines, shore lines, islands and sand-bars. The appropriations of Congress for the purpose indicated have, up to this date, been small, but it is expected that work will be actively resumed early in 1882 under more favorable auspices.

SOCIETIES.

   During the month of October, 1857, a notice was circulated among the residents in the vicinity of Plattsmouth who claimed to be Masons, calling upon them to meet at the city hall on Tuesday evening, October 22 of the year mentioned. But little of importance appears to have been done at this meeting, but, from this time until the 1st of January, 1858, efforts were made by some of those interested to secure the co-operation of all other members of the order, and finally, upon this last date, eleven of them met and addressed a petition to the M. W. Grand Master of the Territory of Nebraska, praying for a warrant of dispensation to empower them to assemble as a legal lodge to discharge the duties of Masonry, according to the ancient forms of the fraternity. Under date of January 18, 1858, a letter of dispensation was received from the M. W. Grand Master, constituting the said petitioners into a regular lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, to be known as Plattsmouth Lodge, No. 6. These charter members were as follows: E. A. Donelan, D. H. Wheeler, J. W. Marshall, Thomas K. Hanna, J. Harper, J. C. Cummins, William B. Porter, J. Minchell, Sr., William H. Bassett, Enos Williams and William M. Slaughter. On February 20, 1858, these persons assembled and opened the lodge in due and ancient form--Past Grand Master, W. D. McCord, who had previously been appointed Deputy Grand Master for the occasion, authorizing the following officers to discharge their several duties in a regular manner: E. A. Donelan, W. M.; D. H. Wheeler, S. W.; J. W. Marshall, J. W.; Thomas K. Hanna, Treasurer; J. C. Cummins, Secretary; William B. Porter, S. D.; Joseph Harper, J. D.; George W. Colvin, Tiler. The officers for 1882 are: V. V. Leonard, W. M.; A. O. Ashley, S. W.; Robert Ballance, J. W.; L. D. Bennett, Treasurer; Frank H. Wilson, Secretary. The membership is 102, and the lodge is in a flourishing condition.

   Nebraska Chapter, R. A. M. No. 3, was organized July 24, 1865, with the following officers: Harry P. Duell, H. P.; W. D. Gage, K.; R. G. Doom, Scribe; T. K. Hanna, Treasurer; J. C Cummins, Secretary. The present officers are: F. E. White, H. P.; R. R. Livingston, K.; Robert Ballance, Scribe; J. W. Marshall, Treasurer; E. B. Lewis, Secretary.

   Mt. Zion Commandery, No. 5, K. T., was organized March 4, 1874, the dispensation being granted November 12, 1873. The first officers of the institution were: D. H. Wheeler, E. C.; R. R. Livingston, Gen.; E. T. Duke, C. G.; Robert Ballance, S. W.; F. E. White, Jr. W.; H. Newman, Treasurer; J. N. Wise, Recorder. The officers for 1882 are as follows: R. R. Livingston, E. C.; J. N. Wise, Gen.; Robert Ballance, C. G.; F. E. White, S. W.; E. B. Lewis, J. W.; J W. Marshall, Treasurer; D. H. Wheeler, Recorder.

   Independent Order of Odd Fellows.--Plattsmouth Lodge, No. 7, was instituted under a charter granted August 24, 1862, with the following officers: R. M. Clark, N. G.; E. P. Bemarden, V. G.; Burwell Spurlock, Secretary; Charles H. Woodcot, Treasurer. The officers for 1882 are: J. H. Heffner, N. G.; Simon D. Mayer, V. G.; P. P. Gass, Secretary; J. M. Schnellbacher, Treasurer. The lodge is in a prosperous condition, with an enrollment of sixty-four members in good standing.

   Plattsmouth Encampment, No. 3, was instituted September 7, 1870.

   Knights of Honor.--Plattsmouth Lodge, No. 1,043, was organized April 24, 1878. Its first officers were: D. H. Wheeler, Dictator; J. W. Jennings, V. D.; W. L. Wells, A. D.; E. D. Stone, Reporter; A. W. McLaughlin, Treasurer; Richard O'Neil, Guide. The officers for the term beginning January 1, 1882, are: P. B. Murphy, Dictator; J. P. Young, V. D.; J. B. Strode, A. D.; W. N. Laman, Reporter; J. W. Marshall, Treasurer; J. A. Conner, Guide. The membership of the lodge is thirty-eight.

   Grand Army of the Republic.--John McConihie, Post No. 45, commemorates by its name the services of a brave Nebraska volunteer, the Captain of Company G, First Nebraska Infantry, who was severely wounded at Shiloh; was afterward commissioned Colonel of a New York Regiment, at the head of which he was shot while charging the works at Petersburg. The post was organized April 26, 1880, with R. R. Livingston, First Commander; John O'Rourke, Sr. V. C.; S. M. Chapman, Jr. V. C.; John A. MacMurphy, Quartermaster. The following officers were elected in January, 1882; J. B. Strode, First Commander; G. W. Clutter, S. V. C.; J W. Woodrie, J. V. C.; Peter Merges, Quartermaster; R. R. Livingston, Surgeon, W. H. Worden, Chaplain.

   Equitable Aid Union.--Plattsmouth Lodge, No. 235, was organized February 9, 1881, with D. H. Wheeler, Chancellor; John W. Jennings, President; Mrs. Frances E. White, Vice President; Mrs. Edna E. Young, Auxiliary; J. B. Strode, Ad.; William H. Pickens, Accountant; Frank Carruth, Treasurer. The officers for 1882 are: J. W. Jennings, Chancellor; Mrs. Edna E. Young, President; George A. Ashmun, Vice President; Mrs. Julia A. Ashley, Auxiliary; J. N. Wise, Ad.; J. P. Young, Accountant; Frank Carnith, Treasurer.

   Temple of Honor and Temperance.---Plattsmouth T. H. & T., No. 15, was organized December 28, 1877, with the following officers: D. H. Wheeler, W. C. T.; William J. Agnew, W. V. T.; G. E. Dovey, W. R.; J. A. Connor, W. F. R.; Thomas Pollock, W. Treasurer. The incumbents elected in January, 1882, are John Wayman, W. C. T.; H. F. Wilson, W. V. T.; P. P. Gass, W. R.; M. Schlegle, W. F. R.; J. S. Duke, Treasurer.

   Independent Order of Good Templars.--Plattsmouth Lodge, No. 2, I. O. G. T., was organized January 2, 1878. The first officers were: R. B. Windham, W. C. T.; Mrs. Ella Chapman, W. V. T.; William J. Wise, W. R. S.; W. J. Blackburn, W. C.; James E. Morrison, W. F. S.; John Leesley, W. T.; R. O. Fellows, W. M.; Thomas W. Shryock, P. W. C. T. The officers elected for the quarter beginning February 1, 1882, are as follows: A. C. Eastman, W. C. T.; Amanda Porter, W. V. T.; Mrs. D. B. Smith, W. R. S.; Mrs. Frank Squires, W. C.; Frederick Ramsey, W. F. S.; Samuel Harris, W. T.; Charles Rankine, W. M.; J. A. McWilliams, P. W. C. T.

   Plattsmouth Driving Park Association.--On April 25, 1879, an organization under the name and title of the Cass County Fair Ground Association was effected, with John Fitzgerald, President; J. Vallery, V. P.; John A. MacMurphy, Secretary, and A. W. McLaughlin, Treasurer. On January 28, 1880, the name of the society was changed to that of the Plattsmouth Driving Park Association, in order to prevent misapprehension as to its object and its confusion in the public mind with the County Agricultural Society. Immediately upon this change being effected, the association was duly incorporated. under the laws of the State, said incorporation to continue for twenty-one years unless sooner dissolved by a two-thirds vote of the members. An issue of stock was immediately made to the amount of $25,000, in shares of $5 each, and soon after, the association purchased, for $2,000, the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 13, Township 12, Range 13 east--a magnificent tract of level land about a mile and a half from the center of the city, with one of the finest natural groves in the State. These grounds have since been improved, by being properly fenced and by the erection of stables and a Judge's stand. The officers for 1882 are as follows: U. V. Matthews, President; J. V. Weckbach, Vice President; J. A. MacMurphy, Secretary; A. W. McLaughlin, Treasurer.

   Fire Department.--Plattsmouth has had during the past ten years two fire departments, both being volunteer organizations. The first of these, known as the "Union Fire Company," grew out of a movement inaugurated February 8, 1873, its first officers being elected on February 22, as follows: President, J. A. MacMurphy; Secretary, A. d'Allemand; Treasurer, H. Newman; Foreman, R. R. Livingston; Assistants, Joseph Connor and Frank Stadter. The company did good work for several years, when it went out of existence through lack of public support. On February 11, 1880, the "Plattsmouth Fire Department" was organized with fifty members, thirty five of these being active and fifteen honorary. The present officers are: President, J. V. Weckbach; Vice President, J. M. Schnellbacher; Secretary, Charles J. Pettee; Treasurer, F. R. Guthmann; Chief Engineer, F. E. White; Assistant Engineers, A. O. Ashley and C. Koehnke. The department. at a meeting held in January, 1882, made arrangements for the purchase of a Babcock chemical engine, the municipality and the public being appealed to for the requisite funds. It is well provided with ladders and other apparatus necessary to the control of fire, and has done very efficient service in the few cases where such has been called for since its organization.

   Board of Trade.--The organization of the Plattsmouth Board of Trade was effected in February. 1880, by the election of the following officers: A. W. McLaughlin, President; J. V. Weckbach, Vice President; Frank Carruth, Second Vice President; D. H. Wheeler, Secretary; John O'Rourke, Treasurer, and a Board of Directors, consisting of M. L. White, J. W. Johnson. F. E. White, Frederick Gorder, F. R. Guthmann, A. W. McLaughlin and J. A. Connor. The object of the organization was to devise ways and means to build up the town, encourage public enterprise and secure for the city a nu,ber of improvements long needed and essential to its permanent prosperity. The board soon after it was constituted, raised the sum of $2,500, which they offered as a bonus to any one who would build a first class hotel--something that the city had needed for years, and more especially since the destruction of the Saunders House, on January 29, 1880. This offer was accepted by Guthmann Bros., a firm of enterprising citizens, in the spring of 1881, the result being a substantial three story brick building, designed by Thompson & Driscoll, and erected on the southeast corner of Third and Main streets, at a cost of nearly $30,000. The formal opening of this hotel occurred December 8, with a banquet, given by the Board of Trade, many distinguished guests from abroad being present. To the efforts of this organization is also due, to a great extent, the recent enlargement of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad shops, the board donating to the corporation the land necessary for the extension. The officers of the board for 1881 were: D. H. Wheeler, President; J. V. Weckbach and Frank Carruth, Vice Presidents; J. B. Strode, Secretary; John O'Rourke, Treasurer, J. M. Patterson succeeding J. A. Connor on the Board of Directors, the only change that was made. The election of 1882 resulted as follows: A. W. McLaughlin, President; Frank Carruth and J. V. Weckbach, Vice Presidents; J. B. Strode, Secretary; John O'Rourke, Treasurer; J. W. Johnson, J. M. Patterson. F. E. White, George S. Smith, F. R. Guthmann, J. A. Connor ind George E. Dovey, Directors.

BANKS.

   The first bank in Plattsmouth was a private concern opened in 1859, by Tootle & Hanna. In 1866, John R. Clark was admitted into partnership, the firm name continuing as Tootle, Hanna & Clark until the business was closed up, in 1872.

   The First National Bank was organized in January, 1872, with John Fitzgerald, President; C. H. Parmele, Vice President; John R. Clark, Cashier; these three, with E. G. Dovey, R. C. Cushing and others constituting the Board of Directors. Business was commenced January 8 in the present location, Fitzgerald's Block. The capital stock of the concern is $50,000; the average deposits, during the first year of its existence, were $60,000, the amount being increased to $120,000 during 1881. The officers for 1882 are as follows: John Fitzgerald, President; F. E. White, Vice President; A. W. McLaughlin, Cashier; John O'Rourke, Assistant Cashier; John Fitzgerald, A. W. McLaughlin, A. E. Touzalin, J. R. Clark, R. C. Cushing, G. E. Dovey and F. E. White, Directors.

   The Bank of Cass County was instituted December 30, 1880, by A. E. Touzalin, H. W. Yates, John Black and D. H. Wheeler, the following being the list of officers: John Black, President; E. M. Yates, Cashier; A. E. Touzalin, H. W. Yates, John Black, F. R. Guthmann and E. M. Yates constituting the Board of Directors. They began business in February, 1881, with a capital stock of $50,000. During the year ending February, 1882, the average deposits have been equal to the capital stock. The officers last elected are: John Black, President; C. H. Parmele, Vice President; J. M. Patterson, Cashier, the board consisting of these three and Frederick Gorder, A. B. Smith and J. Morrisey.

HOTELS.

   The first hotel in Plattsmouth was the Nebraska House, or City Hotel, built for the town company, by Wheatley Mickelwait, during the summer of 1856, and destroyed by fire January 2, 1882. It was situated on the corner of Main and Third streets, and, at the time of its destruction, was the property of Fred Goos. For many years this was the only hotel of any importance in the city.

   In 1869, the Saunders House was erected on Upper Main street, taking its place as a first class hotel immediately upon its opening. This building was entirely destroyed by fire after ten years of service--on January 29, 1880--the loss being $27,000. From the time of this loss to the city, Plattsmouth was in sad need of a hotel until the organization of a Board of Trade, in 1880, the board soon after it was constituted offering the sum of $2,500 as a bonus to any one who would build a first-class hotel; this offer was almost immediately accepted by F. F. Guthmann & Bro., the firm commencing the erection of the building in the spring of 1881. It is a substantial three-story brick building, situated on the corner of Main and Third streets, and completed at a total cost of $30,000. It was opened for business on August 23, 1881, under the name of the Perkins House, being named in honor of C. E. Perkins, of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad Company. Its lessee is John McKeever, late of Minonk, Ill.

   Upon the destruction of the City Hotel, on January 2, 1882, its owner, Fred Goos, immediately commenced the erection of a fine three-story building, 44x70 feet in size, and to be used for hotel purposes.

PUBLIC HALLS.

   Fitzgerald's block, a fine three-story building, erected in 1867 by John Fitzgerald, of Lincoln, was adapted as to the third story, for a public hall; a use to which it has been put ever since. As the city has increased in size and importance, the necessity of something more in keeping with its pretensions has been keenly felt, not necessarily to take the place of the hall, but to satisfy a want created within recent years. This want is about to be satisfied.

   The Waterman Opera House.--This will, perhaps, be the finest and largest building yet erected in Plattsmouth. The plans are those of a local architect, G. H. Thompson. The building itself, at the time of writing, in the last stages of completion, occupies a space of 66x110 feet, on the corner of Main and Fourth streets. The elevations are of cut stone, pressed brick and iron. The first floor of the building is divided into three large and fine storerooms, with plate glass in the entire front. The opera house proper has a seating capacity of 1,500 people. The stage is the largest of any building in the State, being 25x48 feet, with four dressing rooms, each 10x10 feet in size. The main entrance is on the corner of the block, and there is a back entrance on the alley way where the baggage elevator will be situated. The entire building will be lighted with gas. The owners are H. A. Waterman & Son, the firm expecting to invest in the property not less than $40,000 by the time it is entirely completed.

MANUFACTORIES.

   Plattsmouth, while not pre-eminent as a manufacturing city, except as regards the shops of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad, has always had her full share of those producing interests that go to make a locality self-reliant.

   The history of the Plattsmouth Mills has already been given, erected in 1856 by Heisel & Rauth, Conrad Heisel subsequently assuming exclusive proprietorship. The mill building is constructed of oak and cottonwood, and is located on the corner of Washington avenue and Eleventh street. It has two run of stone, a capacity of twenty-five barrels of flour per day, in addition to feed; has an engine of thirty-five horse-power and employs four men.

View
[CASS COUNTY IRON WORKS.]

   The Cass County Iron Works commenced business in 1869, a good brick building being erected upon Washington avenue, near Tenth street. During 1881, John Wayman, the original and present proprietor, used twenty-three tons of pig and scrap iron, manufacturing three tons of sash weight, three cane mills, a four-horse engine and boiler and several store fronts.

   There are three wagon manufactories in the city, the oldest being that of J. M. Schnellbacher's, whose establishment is located on Fifth street, between Main and Vine. During 1881, he manufactured fifty lumber wagons, three carriages, four buggies and eight spring wagons. He employs five blacksmiths, two wagon-makers and two painters.

   Five brick yards represent that industry, that of J. Hartman, established during 1879, produced, during 1881, 500,000 brick; Reuland Bros., who commenced business in 1880, burned the same amount; J. Bons & Son, 530,000 brick; Guthmann & Rauen, 600,000 brick; Lehnhoff & Speck opened a new yard on a larger scale in the spring of 1882.

   The first cigar factory in Plattsmouth was established in 1869, by Julius Pepperburg, who now employs five men, using, during 1881, 12,301 pounds of leaf tobacco, and manufactured 300,850 cigars. C. Schlegel employs three cigar makers; used, during 1881, 3,251 pounds of leaf tobacco and produced 75,000 cigars. Frank Nieman employs two men.

   The Burlington & Missouri Railroad shops are the largest single industry of Plattsmouth. Upon the incorporation of Plattsmouth, a number of lots were reserved and set aside by the city government for depot grounds and general railroad purposes, in anticipation of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad in Nebraska, then already talked of. Six of these lots were subsequently voted, on February 5, 1859, to Dr. R. R. Livingston, "as compensation for services previously rendered the city, solely for the benefit of the city, inasmuch as he had no property therein," and, on the 19th of the same month, this gentleman was deputized to go to Burlington to use his best endeavors toward securing the road. From this time, for a period extending over ten years, constant efforts were made by public spirited citizens, resulting in a special election, upon April 24, 1869, at which $50,000 in bonds, as has been said, was voted by the city, donations also being made of additional lots to the Burlington & Missouri Railroad, on condition that it should erect and permanently maintain a depot and shops in Plattsmouth, making and continuing it the headquarters of the company in Nebraska, it being further stipulated that the road was to be put through to the west end of the county in good running order and actual operation within sixteen months from June 3, 1869. A contract to this effect was closed and duly signed by Mr. W. Thielson, the authorized agent of the company, and by the City Council, June 15, 1869, ground being broken at the foot of Main street by Hon. D. H. Wheeler, then Mayor of Plattsmouth, early in July. In September, 1869, the first locomotive, the "American Eagle," was landed, and from this time the work progressed rapidly, the exact terms of the contract as to the completion of the road as prescribed being complied with. The principal offices of the company being subsequently removed to Omaha, however, a compromise was effected, the city ultimately paying but $25,000 to the company, in addition to the lots mentioned. The first shops, of frame, were destroyed by fire very shortly after their erection, as were the ones replacing them, the disaster being occasioned by sparks from passing locomotives. The present shops, erected at various times between 1874 and 1881, are located upon fourteen acres of ground belonging to the company, inclosed in a tight board fence, ten feet in height. All the buildings are of brick and stone. The principal machine shop, a substantial structure, 45x140 feet, is where the iron work used for building and repairing locomotives, is gotten out, and, in fact, most of the work for the entire line of road. It is provided with all tools and appliances necessary, in the way of lathes, planers, etc., of the latest and most improved patterns, having in connection with it a tool shop, twenty feet square, in which all of the smaller tools used in the shops are stored and kept in order. The blacksmith shop, 65x200 feet, is devoted to all blacksmith work necessary to the repair of the company's rolling stock, as well as to the making of frogs for switches, for the entire road. This shop has a capacity for forty working forges, and has in use two 1,500 pound steam hammers, a heavy drilling machine and a bolt heading machine that heads all the bolts for the road. It has also a separate engine from which the power is derived for the operation of its massive machinery. The wood-working shop is 60x120 feet, with an engine room separate, the engine being of sixty horse power and of the company's own manufacture. The shop is fitted up with all kinds of wood-working machinery, including an exhaust fan used to blow the shavings to the boiler-room, to be used as fuel. The boiler shop is 60x60 feet, and is used for the manufacture of all boilers and tanks used by the road. The building incloses eight tracks for engines being built or repaired, and thirteen stalls for freight cars. The dry-house is of brick, 20x70 feet, built under the patent of Curran & Wolf. It contains three tubular boilers, with fifty-six-inch shell and with locomotive fire-boxes and smoke-stacks eighty-four feet in height. These furnish steam for the hammers and stationary engines and are also used in heating the various shops, the pipes through which the steam is transmitted being underground. The general storehouse is three stories in height, 50x175 feet. The first floor is devoted to the offices of the company and to a storeroom 30x50 feet. The second floor is used for patterns and light material and for the storage of records. The basement is designed for the storage of castings and other heavy supplies. The building is amply provided with steam elevators and is very complete. The oil-house, used for the storage of lubricating oils, has a capacity of two carloads. The company have erected as supplementary to their works, a reservoir, holding 100,000 gallons of water, situated immediately south of the machine shop. The water pressure is about 450 pounds, the water being brought down from the reservoir to the yards by two six- inch pipes, being distributed to the hydrants by four-inch pipes, the hydrants each being provided with an attachment permitting the use of two hose. The round-houses are three in number, including one twenty-stall round-house for engines, sixty feet deep, one twenty-stall round-house for the manufacture and repair of coaches, eighty feet deep, and one ten-stall round-house, sixty feet deep, with an addition of like capacity used as a freight car shop. In addition to these are a paint-shop and a storeroom for lumber, south of which is a lumber yard covering four acres. The freight house is 30x100 feet, and the passenger depot 30x120 feet. The employes of the company at Plattsmouth number about 500, an aggregate of $30,000 being paid monthly in salaries.

   The Missouri & Nebraska Coal Mining Company was organized in September, 1878, with B. Lange as President; Gustav Beneke, as Treasurer, and D. C. Sutphen, as Secretary. The mining property is located on the bank of the Missouri River, at a point familiarly known as Jones' Landing. In 1878 and 1879, the shaft was sunk to a depth of fifty feet, the excavation being 7x14 feet in size at the opening. The product was light and porous, and, being in insufficient quantities to pay for mining under the present methods, the effort was practically abandoned in 1879, although the company still has a legal existence.

GENERAL BUSINESS INTERESTS.

   The first express office in Plattsmouth was that of the United States Express Company, established in 1857, under the charge of T. K. Hanna, who retained the position until 1865, being succeeded by J. D. Simpson. In 1864, an office of the American Merchants Union Express Company was opened, with D. H. Wheeler in control, the agency being removed a year later. In 1870, the American Express Company entered the field, with J. D. Simpson as agent, having charge of both this and the United States Company for some months, when the latter withdrew, leaving the American as the only express company in Plattsmouth. No change has ever been made in the agency, J. D. Simpson being the present incumbent.

   In October, 1880, Morrisey Bros. moved their grain elevator from Columbus, Neb., locating it on the west side of Second, between Vine and Oak streets. The original cost of the building was $7,500, but since its removal, improvements, including a fifty-horse-power engine have been added, to the extent of $15,000, the elevator now having a capacity of thirty to forty carloads a day. In addition to this, Plattsmouth has a large grain warehouse, erected and owned by J. A. Connor.

   As early as 1868, E. G. Dovey & Son commenced packing pork for the local market, their facilities being exceedingly limited until 1880, when they erected a substantial brick packing-house in the rear of their store building, on Main street. During 1881, the firm cut up 1,100 hogs, weighing in the aggregate 275,000 pounds.

   Plattsmouth's star is now in the ascendency. Given a population of 4,180 by the census of 1880, she fairly claims an increase of nearly, or quite, one-half as much, on January 1, 1882. Her people are enterprising and wide-awake, her natural location good, and there is no reason why the hill city should not retain the place of prominence which she has acquired, and add unto her honors greater yet.




Top of Page   First Page   Back   Next

County Index