Part 2: Indian Scares | Grasshoppers | Organization
Progress and Present Condition of the County
Criminal | Storms and Floods
Part 3: Plum Creek: Early History | Churches | Societies
The Press and Schools | Biographical Sketches
Overton | Cozad | Willow Island
This town is located on the north side of the Platte River, on the Union Pacific Railroad. Its location is on the level lands of the Platte, though it is at some distance. To the north the land gently rises. The town is situated about 230 miles west from Omaha and only about twelve miles from the center of Dawson County, of which it is the county seat. The town is well laid off. The business houses, though not large, are neat structures and so built as to add much to the general appearance of the town. There is also the same careful yet plain taste displayed in the many residences erected here. Plum Creek is the center of a heavy trade. No towns of any commercial importance being nearer than Kearney on the east and North Platte on the west, it draws the trade from an immense scope of country. Favorably located as it is, it is a great shipping point of live stock. This is the market for the exports from the Loup Valley in Custer County.
Previous to the organization of the county in the summer of 1871, Daniel Freeman, Patrick Delahunty and Anton Abell, a cattle dealer, had settled here. Daniel Freeman had started a little store, and Delahunty looked after the Union Pacific Railroad interests. No town was laid out and but few additions were made to the settlement in the immediate vicinity of the present village until the arrival of the Pennsylvania Colony, April 9, 1872.
The town and railroad stations were named from the stream of Plum Creek, which empties into the Platte on the south side and some miles further east. The settlement of the county was going on rapidly during the year 1872, and as Plum Creek Station was the center of the new settlements, preparations were made to start a town.
The first post office was established in the spring, and James McDonald, the station agent, was the first Postmaster.
The first Fourth of July celebration was held here in 1872. All enjoyed a pleasant time and celebrated enthusiastically.
At the time of the first settlements much fear was entertained that they would be attacked by the Indians. There was never any real danger, but to guard against any surprise, a militia company was organized and called the Dawson Guards. The officers of this company were: J. H. McColl, Captain; C. W. McNamar, First Lieutenant; Anton Abell, Second Lieutenant, and B. F. Krier, First Sergeant.
By the latter part of the year churches and Sabbath schools had been organized and it was determined to build a village. Hence Plum Creek was laid out in 1873, after which its growth was very rapid. The first house was built late in the spring of 1873, and by November of the same year there were sixty dwellings, two wholesale stores and several retail stores. Several churches had organized and Sunday schools had been established; a bridge had been completed across the Platte River south of town, drawing the trade from a long distance, and the trade of the town was already very large. In the village improvements were continually going on, and for months the sound of hammers and saws were heard every day.
The first dwelling erected after the laying out of Plum Creek was by Judge R. B. Pierce. The first business house by J. W. Ayres and the first hotel was built soon after by T. Martin.
So rapidly did the town grow, that by the first of the next year there were about 100 dwellings, twenty-two business firms, one newspaper, two hotels, two lumber yards, one bank, three church organizations and a good public school building. All was life, push and energy. With the heavy trade of more than fifty miles distant both from the north and south, the business firms were all doing well.
The first newspaper, the Dawson County Pioneer, was established November 20, 1873. Daniel Freeman, was proprietor, and T. W. Smith, editor.
During, the early years of the settlement of the county, and in the period when it was a point of interest to strangers seeking a home on the western prairies, and Plum Creek was therefore continually crowded with them, a gang of lawless three-card monte men, gamblers, blacklegs and cutthroats on general principles, sought to establish foothold here. For some time they overran the town, and law and order were set at defiance. This town, then on the extreme frontier, was a specially desirable point for them to make a rendezvous. From here they could go either east or west at will on the great thoroughfare of the nation, operate on the railroad trains, seeking their victims at will, practice their swindling operations on them there, or seduce them off at some way-station where they could be plundered. From here they could work to the large cities of the East or to the mining camps of the West, and if liable to get into trouble, they could return to their headquarters here in a short time. But their principal field of operations was on the heavily laden immigrant trains, along the line of the Union Pacific Railroad, and among the strangers stopping off at Plum Creek. From the first the moral and law-loving citizens of the village sought to rid themselves of these vicious and degraded characters; but whenever remonstrated with they were impudent and defiant. Their numbers were so great, and so thoroughly were they organized and banded together, that it was impossible to mete out to them the legal punishment deserved. Therefore, after the citizens had exhausted every possible manner trying to get them to leave peaceably, they resolutely formed themselves into a vigilance committee, waited upon these desperadoes and gave them twenty-four hours to leave the town never to return. Being satisfied that the citizens were in earnest, and that if they were so foolhardy as to remain, their lives would certainly be the penalty, they left at once, never to venture to return again.
On the 7th day of March, 1874, Plum Creek was incorporated as a village. The same year the post office became a money order office. The court house was completed and improvements went on quite rapidly.
Other than the lynching of Hallowell in June, 1876, the particulars of which have been given on another page of the history of Dawson County, there have been but few events of historical importance except the account of the steady growth of the village.
Great excitement was created here in December of 1878 and early in 1879 over the atrocious murder and burning of Mitchell and Ketchum, in Custer County, by the Olive gang. A complete account of this murder is to be found in the history of that county.
Considering the fact that the town is almost on the frontier, it is remarkable to how great an extent religion has established a foothold here. Churches were early established and have a large membership, besides which the greater number of the citizens are church-going people. All moral and religious institutions receive encouragement in Plum Creek..
As early as 1867, Father Ryan, of the Catholic Church, who resided at Columbus, came to Plum Creek and held services at the railroad section-house. Ever after Catholic services were held here from time to time, and in the very earliest history of the town a substantial organization was formed, and at the present time services are held each month by Rev. Father Conway, of North Platte.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in the fall of 1872 by Rev. William Wilson. Ever since that time services have been regularly kept up, and the society is now in a flourishing condition, with Rev. G. S. Miner, pastor.
In 1873. the Presbyterian Church was organized by Rev. S. N. Robinson. The organization has since been kept, and is now in a thriving condition, with Rev. John Branch, Pastor.
In April, 1874, the Rt. Rev. Bishop Clarkson organized the Plum Creek Parish. Much interest was manifested by the members, and by April, 1875, a church was built. This was done chiefly through the untiring perseverance of W. T. Tucker and his family. This is a very neat and pretty edifice, and was consecrated St. Peter's Church. This was the first church edifice erected in Dawson County. Services have been held here regularly since the building of the church. Rev. W. V. Whitten is now the Rector.
In 1874, a Baptist Church was organized here, and has been kept up ever since.
The Old-School Baptists also have an organization.
The Evangelical Church has a large and flourishing organization. with Rev. H. M. Leiphart, Pastor.
The above churches nearly all have a Sabbath school organization, besides which is a large Union Sunday school, with T. W. Smith, superintendent.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is represented by Dawson. Lodge No. 93. This lodge was organized in 1875, and is now in a flourishing condition. A. J. McCann is Noble Grand, and C. H. Nixon, Secretary.
The only Masonic institution is Thistle Lodge, No. 61, A. F. & A. M., and was chartered in June. 1874. The affairs of this institution are in a good condition. There is a good working membership. F. H. Young is Master, and A. S. Baldwin, Secretary.
As early as September, 1873, a lodge of Sons of Temperance was formed here, and contributed much to the social pleasures in those earlier days.
The "Dawson County Pioneer" is the oldest established newspaper in the county. It was founded November 20, 1873, with Daniel Freeman, publisher; and T. W. Smith, editor. February 12, l874, it was purchased by F. J. Pearson, who, with A. H. S. Perkins, published it until February 8, 1877, when it was sold to a joint stock company formed at Plum Creek, consisting of J. S;. Stuckey, R F. James, C. W. McNamar and Benj. F. Krier. C. W. McNamar was editor. On January 17, 1878, B. F. Krier purchased the office and has since continued to edit and publish the Pioneer. This paper is a large one, Republican in politics, has a large circulation, and is doing well. The material of the office comprises a large and well assorted stock;.
The Dawson County Press, is a large and well printed weekly newspaper and was established May 26, 1881, by Hon. T. L. Warrington and W. J. Lamma, who continue to edit it in an able manner.
The press of the village is moral and elevating in its tone, ably conducted, fully up to the times on all topics of general interest, and well patronized by the intelligent and reading citizens of the village and County.
The citizens are a wide-wake and intelligent class of people and everything that tends to the moral or intellectual advancement of the town is encouraged. As upon the first settlement, among the first things was the starting of a public school and the establishment of a Sunday school; so since that time all educational plans have been fostered here.
At the present time the village of Plum Creek has a population of about 600. The population is constantly increasing. A number of business houses and residences have been erected during the past year, and improvements are constantly going on. A bank was established during the spring of 1882. There is a good schoolhouse, and two good hotels. The railroad company have a good depot building and stock yards. Plum Creek may be said to be one of the most prosperous villages of Western Nebraska.
The present officers of the village are: Trustees--C. W. Krier, Dorn, Chairman; J. Edgar Mellinger, Clerk; C. L. Ervin, Treas.; D. C. Van Dorn, William J. Flemming. Attorney--T. L. Warrington.
ANTON ABEL, farmer, stock-raiser and dealer. Came to Plum Creek, Neb., in the fall of 1870. Coming to hunt buffalo and pass the winter in sporting, he returned in February, 1871, to his native country (Denmark) to bring his family. He returned to America and to Plum Creek. Neb. in the fall of 1871, and took a preemption claim of land in the spring of 1872, which now joins the village limits on northeast side, and he now owns 720 acres of fine land, all in one body as last described: has it all fenced and 150 acres under plow, and the balance to pasture. He owns 130 head of cattle. 300 sheep and 100 hogs; he also owns 600 head of sheep which he lets on shares to his neighbors. He was born in Denmark, March 16. 1837; came alone to America in 1859, and worked in the Southern and Northern States, followed a sea-faring life, etc.; was also engaged for our Government during the Rebellion as ship calker and carpenter on U. S. gunboats two years. He farmed two years in Illinois; was in the wood business on the Missouri River two years, making Omaha his headquarters; kept store in Plum Creek two years. He was married in Denmark, in 1859, to Miss Fredericka Shultz, a native of Denmark. They have two children, Ferdinand and Anna C. Mr. Abel has been County Commissioner of Dawson County and a member of the State Militia. He is also a member of Thistle Lodge, No. 61, A., F. & A. M.
A. S. BALDWIN attorney and counsellor at law settled in Lincoln, Neb. In the fall of 1870, and practiced law until fall of 1873. Moved to Williamsburg, Phelps County, and practiced until January 1, 1879, when he located in Plum Creek, where has since practiced his profession. He was elected to the House of Representatives of State Legislature in fall of 1880, and was appointed County Attorney in January 1882. Was County Commissioner of Phelps County for five years. He was born in Portage County, Ohio, February 6, 1844. He entered the Miami University, of Oxford Ohio, in 1858, and remained until the spring of 1861. Then attended Garfield's College, of Hiram, Ohio, and returned to the Miami University, September 1, 1866, and left at the close of the Junior year in 1868, and entered the law office of Gen. John C. Lee, of Toledo, Ohio, and remained two years. Was admitted to the bar in June, 1870, and came to Nebraska the following fall. He was married in Tiffin, Ohio, September, 1870, to Miss Eva M. Phillips, of the latter place. He is a member of the Thistle Lodge, No. 61. A., F. & A. M,. and secretary of the same. He is also a member of Dawson Lodge No. 93. I. O. O. F.
DR WILLIAM M. BANCROFT, physician and surgeon; located in practice of his profession in Plum Creek in 1873. He was born in Dover, Del., November 11, 1849. He began the study of medicine in 1869, in Philadelphia, Pa., entering the medical department and surgery of the University of the latter city at nineteen years of age, and graduated in March, 1871. He then practiced his chosen profession and became proprietor of a drug store in his native city until he came to Nebraska. In his youth he attended Reynold's Seminary, of Dover, Del.; afterward attended Mount Vernon Grammar School, of his native State, completing the course of the Senior class. He was married in Philadelphia, Pa., May 29, 1872, to Miss Florence May Mather, of the latter city. They have one son Jesse S. The Doctor has been County Coroner for the past eight years, and County Physician, also Physician to the Commission of the Insane Asylum. He is also a member of the State Medical Association of Nebraska. He is widely known as a very successful physician and surgeon in his vicinity
F. L. BRADLEY. firm of Thomas & Bradley, dealers in a general stock of hardware, stoves and tinware, and agricultural implements; opened business February 1, 1882. He first located on a homestead four miles southwest of Overton, and lived there a year; then moved to Plum Creek and engaged in the livery business until October, 1881, after which he engaged in the meat business some time, then into his present business. He was born in McConnelsville, Morgan Co., Ohio. December 6, 1853; lived on a farm in his native State until he moved to Nebraska. He was married in Kenton, Ind., September, 1881 to Miss Dora Frankinburger, of the latter city.
JAMES P. CARR, firm of J. Carr & Co., dealers in groceries and provisions; opened business in the spring of 1880, and carry a stock of $2,000 to supply their trade. He first located in Plum Creek in the spring of 1873; kept a billiard hall about three years; then went into the stock business and farming, which he still carries on. He was born in Bradford County, Pa., March 8, 1854; was raised on a farm, and lived in his native place until two years previous to coming to Nebraska. He was married in Plum Creek, August, 1875 to Miss Ada M. Martin, of Ohio. They have three children, James M., Claude J., and Freddy E. He is a member of Thistle Lodge, No. 61, A., F. & A. M.
DR. A. T. GATEWOOD, Dentist and druggist, located in Cozad, Neb., in 1873 and engaged in the practice of his chosen profession seven years, after which he came to Plum Creek, bought an interest in the drug store, which is now operated under the firm name of Gatewood & O'Brien and they carry a stock worth $1,400. Mr. G., was born in Malden, W. Va. December 12, 1850. He began the study of dentistry in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1868, attended lectures and was employed in a dental office five years, one of the leading dental offices in the city. He then moved to Half Way, Polk Co., Mo. and practiced dentistry three years, after which he immigrated to Nebraska, edited the 100th Meridian in 1879-80 at Cozad, Neb., and established the Dawson County Press published at Plum Creek, Neb. He is a member of Cozad Lodge No. 55, I. O. O. F. He has the reputation of being a first class dentist, and one of the live business men of his village.
S. O. HALL, dealer in a general line of household furniture, fancy goods and undertaker, opened the business June 1, 1879, and carries a stock of $700 worth of goods. He located in Plum Creek in September, 1878, coming for his health. He was born in Sweden, February 4, 1845. Came to America in 1852, Locating in Kane County, Ill., where he lived until the beginning of the Rebellion, and enlisted in December, 1863, in the Seventeenth Regiment Illinois Cavalry, and served on the frontier in bushwhacking, etc. He was discharged in April 1865, in Macon City, Mo. He returned to Kane County, Ill., and farmed until 1866, when he moved to Fairfield, Jefferson Co., Iowa and engaged in various occupations. He next moved to Grundy Co., Ill. and worked at carpenter trade two years. He then moved to Corning, Iowa, and followed building and contracting until 1872, when he moved to Clark County, Iowa and followed the same business until 1878, when he moved to Nebraska. He was married in Clark County, Iowa in 1872 to Amanda J. Gustin, a native of Marion County, Iowa. They have three children, Jennie A., born November, 1873, Blanche R., born January 1876 and Freddie, born July, 1879. He is a member of Instruction Lodge No. 275 of Corning, Iowa, A., F. & A. M.
H. T. HEDGES, Postmaster, located in Schuyler, Neb., in 1873, and engaged in the drug business eighteen months. Then moved to Plum Creek, opened a drug store which he continued up to April 1, 1882 and sold out. His was the first drug store opened in the village of Plum Creek. He was born in Long Island, N. Y., October 17, 1847, and was raised on a farm. He attended a preparatory school in East Hampton, Mass., and entered the Sophomore class in Yale College in 1866, from which college he graduated in 1869 with high honors. His father, Harvey Hedges, was also a graduate of Yale College and a thoroughly educated man. His father was the Suffolk County Delegate to the State Convention that nominated delegates to the National Convention in '56 that nominated John C. Fremont, and was well known as a free soil Democrat of the Dix school, and a prominent supporter of our Government. The grandfather was a captain of a company in the war of 1812, After H. T. Hedges graduated from Yale College he went to Brooklyn, N. Y., and engaged in the coasting trade from December, 1869, to the spring of 1873, and removed to Nebraska in July of the same year. He was appointed Postmaster in Plum Creek October 1, 1875 and has held the office since, having just received an appointment for four years. He was married in New York City April 26, 1876, to Miss Helen Brinckerhoff of the latter city. Mr. H. is a member of Thistle Lodge No. 61 A. F., & A. M. Mr. H., is a thorough western man and fully alive to the interests of his village.
JOHN HERON, dealer in general merchandise. Firm of Mr. Heron opened business in fall of 1873. Carries $7,000 worth of stock in general merchandise and among the most extensive establishments in the village and now the oldest established business place. He was born in Lower Canada, December 20,1837. His father belonged to the Hudson Bay Fur Company and was an extensive dealer in furs. Mr. John Heron deals largely with furs in Nebraska. He lived in Canada until 1856 and moved to Ohio. Soon drifted to Missouri, then to Illinois, afterward to Indiana and finally located in Nebraska and has been engaged in various kinds of business. He enlisted in Company H, Twenty-sixth Regiment, Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in 1864. Was in battle of Nashville and at the taking of Fort Anderson, on Cape Fear River, and battle of Sugar Loaf Hill, N. C. Was mustered out in Louisville, Ky., in 1865. He was married in Clarke County, Ind., in 1859 to Miss Marion Boyer of the latter county, Indiana.
THOMAS J. HEWITT, attorney at law and farmer. Located in Plum Creek June, 1873, and engaged in stock raising and the practice of law, which he has since followed. His farm located five miles northwest of Plum Creek, in Precinct No. 1, Section 12, Town 10, Range 22, and contains 320 acres seventy five of which is improved. Makes a specialty of the stock business. Mr. H. was born in Franklin County, Pa., December 5, 1837. He lived on a farm until he was eighteen years of age. Then took charge of his father's business, who owned a large farm in Ogle County, Ill., moving there in 1855. He began the study of law in 1857 and entered the law office of Campbell & Carpenter, of Polo, Ogle Co., Ill., and entered the law department of the Chicago University, Ill., and graduated in July 1860, and was admitted to the bar. He began the practice of law at Forreston, Ogle Co., Ill., and continued until 1873, when he settled in Plum Creek. He enlisted, in the spring of 1861, in Company H, Fifteenth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry and was elected First Lieutenant at the organization of the company. Was in battle of Shilo, there being wounded in the left foot and right limb and was obliged to resign in September 1862. He was married in Belvidere, Boone Co., Ill., December 31, 1862, to Miss Fannie A. Rockwood, of Owego, N. Y., They have eight children, named, Anna M., deceased, Lucy R., George W., Samuel K., Philo J., Thomas Miner, J. Theodore, and Ireneaus P. Mr. H. is a member of Thistle Lodge No. 61, A. F. & A. M., and a member of the higher orders of Masonry including thirty-second degree. He was a member of the Illinois Legislature from Ogle, County, in 1866 and 1867, and is now notary public of his county.
DR. HOSEA HUDSON, physician and surgeon. Located in Plum Creek in 1874 and continued practice. He took up a soldier's homestead of 160 acres and lived on the same some time previous to moving into the village. He was born in Columbia County, N. Y., October, 1829. He began the study of medicine at the age of nineteen years. Also taught a number of terms of school. He entered the medical department of the University of New York in the city, attending lectures etc., and practiced medicine in the country. He went to Bedford County, PA., in 1857 and practiced medicine until he enlisted, in August 1862, in the nine months' service. He was elected Second Lieutenant of Company D, One Hundred and Thirty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and participated in the battles of Fredericksburg, Antietam and Chancellorsville., He afterward practiced in Bedford, County, Pa., and re-enlisted in Company C, Two Hundred and Tenth Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, as First Lieutenant, having charge of his company, and participated in battle of Hatches Run, and was mustered out on Arlington Heights, June 1, 1865. He turned his attention to the practice of dentistry, in Bridgeport, until he came to Nebraska. He was married in Bedford County, Pa., in January, 1861, to Miss M. E. Oliver of the latter county. They have five children, Josephine, Frances E., Ada M., Ellen, and Florence. He is United States Examining Surgeon for Dawson County, Neb.
R. F. JAMES of the firm of H. O. Smith & Co., located in Plum Creek in 1873, and honorably filled the office of Sheriff of Dawson County seven years and made many important arrests during his term of office, after which he became interested as a partner in the above firm. He owns a sheep ranch seventeen miles northeast from Plum Creek, controls about six sections of land. He sold about $7,000 worth of sheep in 1881. He now owns some fine blooded merino sheep and has about 1,200 head of all kinds on hand. His sheep paid seventy percent on the investment in 1881. Mr. J was born in Zanesville, Ohio, August 7, 1847. He left home at the age of nine years, went to California and followed various kinds of business in the latter state, Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon, until 1872, and in the winter of that year he settled in Nebraska, was married in Scotchville, Nev., in July 1872, to Miss Jennie L. Hogue, of Oskaloosa, Iowa. They have three children, Gilbert, George E., and Richard F., Jr. Mr. James is a member of Thistle Lodge, No. 61 A., F., & A., M., also I. O. O. F., Dawson Lodge, No. 91.
BENJAMIN F. KRIER, proprietor and publisher of Dawson County Pioneer. He located in Plum Creek in 1872, and farmed until 1876, then began connected with the above newspaper. He was born in Montgomery County, Pa., August 15, 1855, attended school until he was fifteen, and enlisted in Company D. Third Regiment, New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, in the Third Missouri service; re-enlisted in 1862, in Company G, Tenth New Jersey Volunteer Infantry; served two years; re-enlisted in same company and regiment and participated in all the engagements of U. S. Grant's campaigns from Beaver Dam Station, May 4 1864, Wilderness, Spottsylvania C. H., and was wounded at Gault House in the face and was discharged November 22, 1864, returned home and learned the printer's trade at which he worked until the spring of 1872, in Trenton and Newark N. J. He then came to Nebraska with the Philadelphia Colony; was married in Trenton, N. J. in 1871, to Miss Mary E. Hibbert of the latter place. They have four children, Josephine, Samuel T., Clara H., and Hibbert T. Mr. K. is a member of Thistle Lodge, No. 61 A., F. & A. M.
JOHN F. KUTZ, manager of the dry goods house for Wolbach Bros., dealers in general dry goods, etc. The business was opened in 1878 and is one of the most extensive establishments in the village. Mr. Kutz located in Grand Island in 1877 and engaged with the above firm and continued there until he came to Plum Creek, in charge of store. He was born in Prussia, Germany, November 8, 1854, came to America in 1864 and located in Fort Atkinson, Wis., and clerked in a dry goods store three years, then went to Milwaukee, Wis., and attended Bryant & Stratton's Commercial College six months, after which he clerked about the same length of time in a large store in Chicago, Ill., then moved to Nebraska. He was married in Plum Creek , in 1881, to Miss Leah Cornet, of Brussels, France. He is a member of Thistle Lodge No. 61, A., F. & A. M.
GEORGE LITTLE, firm of Carr & Co., dealer in general line groceries and provisions, etc. Came to Nebraska in 1872, lived in Kearney Buffalo County, a year, engaged in various occupations. Came to Plum Creek in 1873, and clerked in a lumber yard three years; then into general merchandise until he engaged in the above business. He was born in Hennepin, Putnam County, Ill., December 30, 1849. Was engaged in farming and stock raising in Buchanan County for a number of years, previous to moving to Nebraska. Was married in Mahaska Co., Iowa, in 1876 to Miss Clara A. Boyles, of the latter county. They have three children, Dell Flora and Georgia. He is a member Thistle Lodge No. 61, A., F. & A. M.
C. L. LONG, firm of Long & Warrington, dealers in drugs, medicines, paint, oils, etc. Opened business April 1, 1882, and carry a stock of $3,500 worth to supply their trade. Mr. Long is a real estate dealer, having been extensively engaged in the latter business. He located in Plum Creek in the spring of 1873, began loaning money, discounting notes, etc., which he still follows. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., March 29, 1829. He lived in his native city and on a farm near by with his parents until 1836, when they moved to Galesburg, Ill., and there followed farming until he came to Nebraska. He enlisted August 8, 1862, in Company G, Eighty-third Regiment Illinois Volunteers and participated in the battles of Fort Donelson, Nashville, Franklin and many skirmishes; was mustered out in Nashville, Tenn., July 8, 1865, after which he returned to Galesburg and lived engaged as before stated until he moved West. He was engaged in real estate in York, Neb., for some time. He was married in Plum Creek, Neb., May 8, 1881 to Miss Jessie Hill of the later village.
HUGH MACLEAN, Sheriff of Dawson County, Neb. He settled in the above county, four miles north of Plum Creek, in August 1872, on a homestead and has since carried on his farm and stock-raising. He owns 960 acres of land all in one body. He also owns thirty acres of the finest cultivated timber on his land to be found in the county. One hundred acres of his land is improved. He also has a stock ranch in the hills eighteen miles north of Plum Creek, on which he now has 100 head of cattle. He was elected Sheriff of Dawson County, in the fall of 1879, re-elected in the fall of 1881. He was born in Scotland, November 12. 1847. came to America in 1855 and settled in Canada West, where he lived until 1866. and In that year made a trip across the great Western plains to California and remained one winter, then went to Utah, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, where he followed the occupation of miner and prospector in the gold and silver regions in the aforesaid Territories until 1872, at which time he located in Nebraska. He was married in Scotland, in 1872, to Miss Christy MacLean. Names of family are Christy, Mary, Marion Jessie, Donald N., and John. He is a member of Thistle Lodge, No. 61, A. F. & A. M.
R. B. PEIRCE, County Judge, Dawson County, located in Plum Creek, Neb., in April, 1873. He was obliged to live in a car on the side track of the U. P. R. R. six weeks, at the end of which time he has erected a small house and moved his family in the same. His family were the first to locate in the place. The Judge therefore erected the first dwelling house in the place. The Judge was born in Cecil County, Md., January 30, 1822, was raised on a farm until twenty-seven years of age, then engaged in merchandising in Queen Anne County, Md., four years. Again engaged in farming until 1873, starting for Nebraska, and arrived April 6, 1873. He was elected Probate Judge in the fall of 1873, and by the re-elections has held the office since. . He is a member of Thistle Lodge, No. 61, A., F. & A. M. Was married in Queen Anne County, Md., January 30, 1855, to Miss Sarah C. Fogwell, of Sudlersville, Md. They have five children living, John F., Carrie C., Edward H., Susan G., and William E. Carrie C. is now married to Mr. Geo. B. Mullin, and living thirty-five miles northeast of Plum Creek on a stock ranch located on the South Loop River.
H. O. SMITH. dealer in hardware and agricultural implements. Opened the former business in 1875, under the firm name of H. O. Smith & Co., R. F. James being the Co., They carry a stock equal to $12,000 to supply their trade, including agricultural implements. H. O. Smith settled in Plum Creek in 1870, clerked in a general store until 1872, was appointed Postmaster in 1873, and continued in the same capacity until December, 1875. Then became interested in the present business. He was born in Ansonia, Conn., April 10, 1849, left home at the age of sixteen and clerked in a wholesale brush store three years, then went to Nebraska. Engaged in the summer of 1871, surveying public lands on the Niobrara River. He is now County Coroner. He is a member of the Thistle Lodge No. 61, A, F. & A. M. Was married in 1875, in Plum Creek to Harriet L. McCain of Philadelphia, Penn. They have four children, Hanford D., Laura L., Edna J., and W. Rollin. Mr. Smith is a Senior Warden of St. Peter's Episcopal Church.
T. W. SMITH, dealer in general merchandise. carries $6,000 in stock to supply his trade, one of the most extensive stores in village. Opened business April, 1880. He was born in Scotland, September 26, 1830, came to America in 1857 and located in St. Louis. Mo., where he worked as clerk several years, clerked in Pekin Ill., three years, then to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and clerked some time, after which he came to Nebraska. He enlisted in the 100-day service during the rebellion served his time and re-enlisted in Company I Forty-seventh Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry as Company Clerk. Was mustered out in Demopolis, Ala., in December, 1865. He was the first publisher of any paper in the county, beginning the publication of the Dawson County Pioneer, in November 1873.
JOHN S. STUCKEY, dealer in real estate and live stock, located on a homestead two miles north of Plum Creek, in 1872. He lived there two years. He was appointed County Treasurer in the spring of 1873, and was elected to the same office the following fall. By re-election he has held the office three terms. He is also engaged in the stock raising and farming. He was born in Bedford, Pa., April 24, 1834. Lived in his native country until he came to Nebraska. He enlisted in August, 1862 in Company D., One Hundred and Thirty-eighth Regiment, Pennsylvania, Volunteer Infantry. He was made Captain of the same. He participated in the battles of Brandy Station, in 1863 and Mine Run, same year, Wilderness, Spottsylvania C. H., Cold Harbor, Monocacy Junc., in July, 1864, Halltown, Fisher Hill, and Winchester, September 19, 1864, and lost his right limb in the latter battle. Was discharged in 1865.
J. S. THOMAS, firm of Thomas & Bradley, dealers in a general line of hardware and agricultural implements, opened the business February 1, 1882. He first located in Plum Creek in 1880, and engaged in various occupations until he could learn by experience what he could best do in Nebraska. He was born in South Wales, April 20, 1854. Came to America December 31, 1879, visited various portions of our country, and finally located in Plum Creek, Neb. He is a member of Dawson Lodge No. 93, I. O. O. F.
J. M. TIPTON, County Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dawson County, located in Plum Creek, Neb., in June, 1874 and engaged in teaching, which he has since followed. He was elected County Superintendent in the fall of 1881. Was born in Muskingum County, Ohio, February 1, 1846--parents' names, Thomas Tipton and Julia A. Tipton. Was raised on a farm; moved to vicinity of Mattoon, Ill., in 1862. After attending district schools for some time, he attended the High School one year at Mattoon, after which he taught one year in the district schools, then went to Indiana and taught four years in the district schools of Rush and Newton counties. Entered the State Normal University, at Normal. Ill., and after one term spent there, taught three years in the graded schools of Kentland, Newton Co.. Ind. He was married in Kentland, Ind., in 1874, to Miss Sarah E. Frankenberger, daughter of Charles and Mary Frankenberger. Then came to Nebraska in June, 1874. They have one child, a son--Ernest Holmes Tipton. Since coming to Plum Creek, Mr. Tipton has been principal Of the Plum Creek schools; now holding this position and that of County Superintendent.
T. L. WARRINGTON. druggist and dealer in all goods found in a general drug store, under the firm name of Long & Warrington. Mr. Warrington is also attorney and counsellor-at-law. He located in Plum Creek in 1873, and engaged in the practice of law. Taught the village school six months. He is at present associate editor of Dawson County Press. He was born in Nauvoo, Ill., August 2, 1849; lived in his native place until he was fifteen years of age. He enlisted in December, 1863 in Company M, Twelfth Regiment Illinois Cavalry, and participated in Gen. Bank's campaign on the Red River, and was engaged in scouting in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Was mustered out in Springfield, Ill., June 1866. He began to read law in Bloomfield, Iowa, in 1871, entering the law office of Traverse & Eichelberger, where he remained six months, and was admitted to the bar of the District Court. He began the practice of law in York, Neb., in 1872. He was married in Plum Creek, Neb., in November 1873--that being the first marriage in Dawson County. His wife's maiden name was Mary A. Smith of Long Island, N. Y. They have three children living--Florence L., Carrie L. (deceased), James A., and Francina L. He is a member of Dawson Lodge No. 93, I. O. O. F. He was a member of the State Constitutional Convention in 1875, and a member of State Legislature in 1889-80.
This is the first station on the line of the Union Pacific Railroad in this county, and is ten miles east of Plum Creek. This is one of the very finest locations for a town. It was first settled in June, 1873, by James N. Patton and his family, who built the first house. George Slocum built the next house the same year.
The first church organized here was of the Presbyterian denomination, organized in 1873, by Rev. N. Gould, of Kearney.
A large schoolhouse, costing, $2,100 has been erected. Town lots have since been surveyed. There is one store, a number of residences, and a railroad stationhouse. This place is surrounded by some of the very finest farms in the county.
This town is on the Union Pacific Railroad, about fourteen miles west from Plum Creek. The location is an excellent one for a town. There are four stores, one lumber yard here. The buildings are substantial and quite large
Though small, Cozad has had something of a history. During the year 1873, John J. Cozad came out from Ohio and bought of the Union Pacific Railroad Company, a tract of 40,000 acres of land, and made arrangements with the company to establish a depot here. He then returned to Ohio and organized a colony to come here and locate. In December of that year about thirty men, from that colony, located here. Among these were Samuel Atkinson, and A. T. Gatewood. Land was selected and a town started. Arrangements were made for a colony of 100 families. In the spring of 1873 this colony received many.: additions, and John J. Cozad was enthusiastic. He took pride in his new town, and at once made arrangements for a large brick yard, and contracted for 500 cords of wood to burn them. He was anxious that the business houses of his town be generally of brick. But this fond hope of his was blasted. The building of the town, however, went on, and during the year a good little village had sprung up that already excited the envy of its rival, Plum Creek. The settlement of the lands adjoining the town went on rapidly. It must be remembered that each alternate section was Government land, and subject to homestead entry.
For the first two years after this settlement was commenced, the grasshoppers seriously damaged the crops, and a great many of the settlers having come out with the expectation of accumulating a fortune without labor, and others having but little means, and losing still more of their crops from not understanding farming in a prairie country, a great number of the first settlers left the country from time to time, discouraged with their prospects here. At the present time the population has so dwindled away that there are now only about seventy-five persons living in the village.
What at one time was a thriving little village, with many prosperous business houses, and a good weekly newspaper published here, thus through discouragement of its citizens, and from dissensions arising between them and J. J. Cozad, the founder of the town, was almost depopulated. Some two years ago, Cozad, thinking he had not been fairly treated, left the town to its fate. But the present time finds those who remained enjoying prosperity. The town is surrounded by some of the richest farming lands in the county, which are now fast being settled up by farmers from almost all States and nationalities, and Cozad is regaining some part of its former prosperity, and this time they have a large community of prosperous farmers to depend upon for the support of the town.
Immediately after the location of the town a post office was established, with A. T. Gatewood the first Postmaster.
There is a good flouring mill here, located in the south part of town, where it was built in 1881, by Claypool & Winchell, who are still the proprietors.
Among the very first settlers who remained here are Robert Gatewood, D. Claypool, Samuel Atkinson, A. J. Arnold, Charles Smith, and Henry Drew.
Early in the year 1882, the name of the railroad station and the post office here has been changed to Gould, but to the citizens of Dawson County and in history, it will retain the name of Cozad.
At the present time, though small, the town may be said to be in a prosperous condition.
This is yet nothing but a station on the Union Pacific Railroad. There are but few houses, and no town laid out, though here is the nucleus of a good town, as it is well situated, and surrounded by a prospering class of farmers. The first settler here was Josiah Huffman, who located here in April, 1873.