KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS


Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska
Holt County
Produced by Susan Martin-Rott .



PART 1:


Topography and Geology | Natural Productions | The Indians
The Pony Boys | The "Cow Boys" | Crimes and Casualties
Taxable Property | Public Schools | Organization | County Seat

PART 2:
O'Neill:  Biographical Sketches
PART 3:


Stuart:  Biographical Sketches
Paddock | Ford | Atkinson | Keya Paha | Long Pine | Other Towns
Unorganized Territory


Part 3


STUART.

Stuart is situated on the level prairie, thirty miles northwest of O'Neill, and one-fourth of a mile north of the Elkhorn, in a fine grazing country. It was named after Peter Stuart, one of the early settlers in this part of the county.

John Carberry was the first settler at Stuart, having moved here from Atkinson February 15, 1879. He was followed by Fred. Hartman in March, John Hoffman and family in May, and Orange Halleck in October of the same year.

The first child born was Anna Carberry, December 27 1881. The first marriage was that of Martin Devine to Miss Ella Nightingale, in October, 1881.

Miss Hannah Hayes taught the first school in October, 1880, in a sod schoolhouse just outside the limits of the town. In October 1881, Father J. T. Smith of O'Neill, preached the first sermon at the house of John Carberry. The post office was established in October, 1879, Peter Stuart being appointed first Postmaster.

There is considerable fine farming country around Stuart and in the Upper Elkhorn a variety of fine blue-joint grass which makes excellent hay.

Stuart has four general stores, one agricultural implement depot, one lumber yard, two blacksmiths, one hotel and about sixty inhabitants.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

JOHN AGERTER, farmer and stock-raiser, residence, Stuart, Holt County. Was born in Switzerland, August 4, 1842, emigrating to the United States in 1870, and coming immediately to Seward County, Neb., where he took up a homestead on Section 24, Town 11, Range 1 east, E Precinct, being one of the first settlers there, and lived in the county until March, 1882. Then removed to Stuart, Holt County, where he has a stock ranch comprising over two hundred head of cattle. Was married in 1877 to Miss Louise Hartmann, who was born in Iowa, and by whom he has two children, Johnnie and Rosa. Mr. Agerter is a member of the Lutheran Church.

N. B. BISBEE, farmer and stock-raiser, formerly of Johnson County, is a native of New York State, and came to Nebraska in 1865 and has successfully carried on this present industry since. In 1869, he was married to Mrs. Margaret Scott, formerly Tucker, who was born and raised in Ohio, and who came to Nebraska in 1867. They have a family of two sons, Thomas J. and E. C. Scott, and Luella A .Bisbee.

PADDOCK.

Paddock is situated in the northern part of the county on the south side of Niobrara River, forty miles above its junction with the Missouri. On the bottom lands there is considerable timber and on the uplands a fertile farming country. Paddock is on the line of the proposed Central Pacific Railroad, and eighteen miles north of O'Neill. It was at first named Troy, but in 1875 its name was changed to Paddock in honor of A. S. Paddock, United States Senator from Nebraska. The first settlement was made here in June, 1874, by William T. Berry, and he was followed in the fall of 1874 by T. H. and J. B. Berry, the former being single, the latter bringing his family. Emery Baltezure moved his family here from Iowa in 1875; Ryland Parker was also one of the early settlers, and Clement Lamorceaux came in, in 1878. The post office was established in 1878, with James Rosse first Postmaster. The first school taught here was by Miss Phoebe Berry in a log school house in 1878. The first marriage in Paddock was that of T. H. Berry to Sarah Smith in 1878; the first birth that of Cora A. Berry, March 28, 1875, and the first death that of William T. Berry, November 24, 1874. The first sermon was preached by Elder Wolf, a Methodist minister, in 1877. William Nolkemper opened the first store in 1880. In Paddock Precinct there are about 400 inhabitants. Paddock was made the county seat in 1876, but at the November election of 1879 it was moved to O'Neill, the latter city being more centrally located.

FORD.

This post office is situated on the north bank of the Elkhorn, about forty miles below the mouth of South Fork. It is surrounded by a beautiful and fertile farming and stock-raising country. It was named in honor of Mr. Ford, the earliest settler in the vicinity and probably in the county, having come here in 1870 and lived alone. In May of this year James Ewing, C. Gunter, J. M. Davidson and S. Clemmens. The first child born in Ford was Guy Davidson, February 21, 1872. The first marriage that of Charles Bridge to Miss Mahaley Chapin in 1874.

Mr. Ford's was the first death, occurring in the fall of 1871. The first school was taught by Mrs. Mills in her house in 1879, a schoolhouse not having been built until 1881. The first sermon was preached in 1874 or 1875, by Elder Webb in C. Gunter's house.

The post office was established January 22, 1874, with James Ewing for Postmaster. E. Stringer opened the first store in 1881, at the railroad station named "Ewing," after James Ewing, one of the earliest settlers. The S. C. & P. R. R. Company completed their line to this point and built their depot in the summer of 1881, locating the latter a mile and a half southwest of Ford.

ATKINSON.

General O'Neill's second colony in Holt County was located about twenty miles northwestward from O'Neill on the south side of the Elkhorn, the first settlers here being John O'Connell, William Charles, James Donnelly and Charles Donnelly, in 1875. A rival settlement was soon made on the north side of the river, and having the railroad through it, is the town of that part of the county. The first settler on the present town site was John Carberry in 1876. The first birth was that of Maggie Carberry, the first marriage that of J. J. Robinson to Ellen L. Hovey, July 10, 1881, and the first death was that of M. M. Wheeler. The first school was taught in the summer of 1878 by Miss Ellen L. Hovey in Frank Bitney's house, and the first sermon was preached at the same place in the spring of 1881 by Rev. Mr. Williams from Niobrara. In the succeeding fall the Catholics built a church. The Methodists are organized but have no church building yet erected. They also have a Sunday School which was started in the spring of 1881. The post office was established here in 1876 with John Carberry for Postmaster. The first store was opened by D. P. Shultz in 1877 in a store building erected for the purpose.

Atkinson is on level prairie which is well adapted to stock-raising. It contains three general stores, one drug store, one hardware store, one furniture, one agricultural implement depot, two wagon shops, three blacksmith shops, two hotels, a town hall, and nearly one hundred inhabitants.

KEYA PAHA.

Keya Paha is a post road center at the mouth of the Keya Paha River. The meaning of the Keya Paha is "Turtle Hills." About four miles north of this settlement are some hills, named Keya Paha by the Indians. This place is situated in a valley about 200 feet above and overlooking the Niobrara, and is surrounded by scenery beautiful and picturesque. The soil is a sandy loam.

The first settlement was made in January, 1877, by H. Day and J. S. Axtell. On May 12, 1878, E. H. Doty moved in from Iowa. Hiram Wilson, son of Hiram and Mary Wilson, was the first child born here, in September, 1878. The first marriage was that of H. Day to Rosa B. Doty on the 15th of November, 1880, and the first death was that of Marion Henry Lasater, from Texas, who was shot and killed by C. S. Blanchard on January 24, 1881. The first natural death was that of Jacob Neiger, February 14, 1881.

Eugene F. Clark taught the first school here in the winter of 1879-80 at the house of J. S. Axtell. Rev Addison Monroe preached the first sermon in September, 1880, at the residence of H. Day. The post office was established in the fall of 1877, Dr. E. A. Reeves being the first Postmaster. In May, 1880, N. J. Carpenter opened the first store, and a steam saw mill was built at the mouth of the Keya Paha on the north side of the Niobrara in January, 1882.

LONG PINE.

Long Pine is the present terminus of the Sioux City & Pacific R. R., fifty-eight miles west of O'Neill, Holt County. It was so named on account of its location on Long Pine Creek, which in its turn was named from the large amount of pine timber growing along its bluffs. Long Pine Creek is a clear, rapid stream of water, affording excellent water power facilities and runs through a fine grazing region. H. M. Uttley went to Long Pine from Wisner with a steam saw mill, May 13, 1878 and was the first settler there. Dennis Sullivan shortly afterward followed and had not been there long when he was killed by a saw-log rolling over him. A. N. Bassett settled on the creek three miles above. A post office was established at Bone Creek in August or September, 1878, but in 1881 it was discontinued there and established at Long Pine. This town is quite an active one for its age, having been built up within a year and having three general stores, one hardware store and five saloons. There are about 250 inhabitants, one hundred being permanent settlers, the remainder living here incidently to its being the terminus of the railroad.

There are a number of trading posts in the unorganized territory, Fort Niobrara being the principal one. The fort is 120 miles west of O'Neill, on the Niobrara River at the mouth of Minnecadusa Creek. At the fort are a number of buildings for the accommodation of the officers and men stationed at the post; two large frame store houses, one for the quartermaster's department, the other for the commissary's department; four barracks, three for the cavalry, one for the infantry; a large dwelling house for the commandant; five double houses for the other officers; a guardhouse and bakery; a hospital; stables, and an executive building containing a chapel, schoolroom and offices for the transaction of the business of the fort.

Some little distance above the fort a dam has been thrown across a ravine where the streams from two large springs meet; a windmill has been erected which pumps the water into a large tank, whence through iron pipes it is distributed to all the houses and quarters. The Sioux City & Pacific Railroad Company contemplate completing their road to Fort Niobrara during the year 1882.

OTHER TOWNS.

Lavinia.-- This post office was established in June, 1878, H. Gordon being appointed first Postmaster. The first settlement was made here on the 16th of April, 1877, by J. L. Smith and H. Gordon. Samuel Spear and his son came here December 28, 1878.

The first child born was Herbert Smith, October 17, 1877. The first marriage was on the 20th of March, 1880, Fred. Spear to Miss Mary J. Anderson; and the first death was that of Saddie Huhn, January 1, 1880.

The first school taught was in September, 1879, by Mary A. Hudson at the house of J. L. Smith. The first sermon was preached at the same place in 1881 by Rev. Mr. Smith. The post office was named Lavinia after Mrs. Lavinia Smith, wife of J. L. Smith, she being the first woman in the settlement. The surrounding country is for the most part level, and is part timber land, part prairie, well adapted to both farming and grazing.

Cleveland post office was established in 1878 and named after L. M. Cleveland, the first Postmaster and one of the early settlers. The first settler was C. Hudson in the fall of 1877. In the spring of 1878 John Casey, W. H. Hammond, C. H. Wixsom and L. M. Cleveland moved in

The first child born here was Rose Hollister in May 1879, the first marriage was that of E. A. Thompson to Mary A. Hudson, in June, 1880; and the first death that of Mrs. E. Cleveland in the following fall.

During the winter of 1878-1880 Miss Mary A. Hudson taught the first school at C. Hudson's residence. In the summer of 1880 a schoolhouse was built. In the year 1881 Jacques & Bostedo built a flouring mill on Beaver Creek. C. H. Wixson opened the first store in the spring of 1881. Rev. Frank Barnett preached the first sermon in September, 1879, at John Casey's house. Cleveland is situated on rolling prairie partly open, partly timbered, about thirty miles northwest of O'Neill.

Chelsea is situated on the level prairie. The post office was established in 1879; J. Blackmore first Postmaster, who with a Mr. Hartland, settled here in 1877. Other early settlers were F. Ellis, I. M. Hunt and M. Coleman. Alice Coleman's was the first death, March 15, 1880. The first school was taught by M. M. Childs in 1879.

Hainesville.--Hainesville is situated on the north branch of the Verdigris River. The country surrounding it is rolling prairie. It was named after S. S. Haines, who, with D. S. Ludwig, arrived here in February 1879. In the succeeding May they were followed by Charles Diell, and in June by Israel, Alfred and Peter Mohr. Allen Mohr was the first born child born in the settlement, and Charles Briggs was the first who died. During the winter of 1881-2 John Wertz taught the first school at the "Wertz" house, there being no schoolhouse yet built. Rev. George Williams preached the first sermon in August, 1881, at the post office, which had been established in November, 1879, with D. S. Ludwig first Postmaster. Hainesville is surrounded by fine farming country, settled principally by Americans.

Deloit.--This post office is in the southeast corner of the county on Clearwater Creek on somewhat elevated rolling prairie. The first settler here was A. W. Hunt, in May, 1876. In April, 1877, D. E. Hart moved in. The first birth was a son of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Hunt, October 31, 1878. The first death was of a little boy, Joseph Kohler, who was drowned May 20, 1881. Miss Minnie Van Ostrand taught the first school in 1881 in a sod school house built in the spring of that year.

The post office was established in October, 1879; A. W. Hunt first Postmaster, who also opened the first store, in 1879. Rev. T. J. Eisley preached the first sermon in a sod house, in 1880.

Saratoga post office was established in 1879; B. S. Gillespie first Postmaster; and was named after the precinct in which it is located. It is situated near the source of Oak Creek, a tributary of Eagle Creek, nearly midway between the east and west boundaries of the county. Oak Creek furnishes excellent water power, and the valley is well timbered. The settlers are principally Americans. The first store was opened here in 1880 by Peter Greeley.

Leonie.--This post office is situated on Red Bird Creek, about fifteen miles northeast of O'Neill. It is on the level prairie, and is surrounded by an excellent grazing country. The first settler was John McClellan, in June, 1877, with his four sons. Michael Flannigan moved here in July, and James P. Weekes came soon after from Iowa. The first child born was Florence Smith, in the spring of 1878; the first marriage was that of Donald McClellan to Miss Mary Ernst, November 16, 1881, and the first death that of W. Hodgkin, in September, 1881. The post office was established in the fall of 1879, I. R. Smith being appointed first Postmaster. This portion of the county is being rapidly settled up, and the land is nearly all taken.

Grand Rapids is located on the Niobrara River in the northwest part of Holt County, about forty miles from O'Neill. The first settlement was made here by John B. Drew, who selected as a claim the present location of the village of Grand Rapids in 1876, and settled with his family March 17, 1877. In April, 1879, S. P. Blake came with his family, and in May, 1879, Addison Monroe came with his family, and was the first settler on Buffalo Flats.

The first sermon preached here was by Rev. Addison Monroe, in April, 1878, at a camp of emigrants on Beaver Creek, a few settlers being gathered around.

On the 26th of May, 1878, the post office was established; Mrs. M. S. Blake first Postmaster.

The first death was that of Ira J. Puckett, which occurred February 24, 1880, a little child 3 years and 5 months old.

The first school was taught by S. G. Sparks, in John B. Drew's house, commencing in January, 1881.

The first marriage was that of E. A. Thompson to Mary Hudson, in June, 1881.

The first store was opened by William Dustin, February 15, 1882.

There are now thirty-nine families in the vicinity of Grand Rapids, and this section of the county is rapidly settling up. The post office received its name from the rapids in the Niobrara River.

Brewer.--The first settlement made here was by John Kuhn, April 25, 1879. P. A. Morris followed in March, and E. A. Cramter in July, 1880.

The first child born here was Elsy T. Newell, October 13, 1881: the first marriage that of Andrew Newell to Miss Lucinda E. Kuhn, November 24, 1880.

The first school taught was by Mrs. Mary Guyman, in John Lute's residence, during the winter of 1881-2. Rev. John L. Newell preached the first sermon during the same winter.

The post office was established October 1, 1879, and named Brewer by the Postoffice Department, Elsy E. Kuhn being first Postmaster.

Brewer is located in the valley of the Keya Paha, and surrounded by timbered prairie, which is rapidly being taken up by settlers.

Menlo post office was established in the fall of 1879; D. Childs first Postmaster. It is situated on the bank of the Niobrara River, between two groves. The first settlement was made by R. W. Turpin, D. Childs, and Henry Hoffman, in April, 1878.

The first child born was Susan Turpin, February 25, 1879; the first marriage that of William Keith to Miss Lettie Childs, October 15, 1879; and the first death that of Eddie Huffman, son of Henry Huffman. The first school taught here was in the winter of 1880-1, by S. V. Sparks, in a private house.

Little.--This post office was established in June, 1881, and named Little, after L. B. Little, one of the early settlers. The first settler was M. F. Norton, in April, 1879. Other early settlers were George Eckels, M. C. Remington, B. F. Cleaveland, first Postmaster, H. Cole, and Grovesnor Rust. B. F. Cleavland opened a store in July, 1881.

Lambert is situated in the eastern part of the county, about fifteen miles from O'Neill. It is on level prairie. The first settler was George W. Jones, November 19, 1879. Other early settlers were H. Foster, G. L. Foster, James A. Cronk, and John Wise. The post office was established September 27, 1880; L. M. Foster first Postmaster.

The first death was that of H. Foster, which occurred August 3, 1880; the first birth was that of Fred R. Jones, February 3, 1881; and the first marriage that of Amos Drum to Miss Alice Tracey, November 1, 1881. The first school taught was by Miss Alice Tracey in the winter of 1880-1, "all over the district." The schoolhouse was completed October 1, 1881. The first sermon was preached by Rev. B. Blain, at the house of George W. Jones, in June, 1881. The religious people in the vicinity of Lambert are mostly Methodists.

Doty.--This post office is in the northwest corner of the county, on and about fourteen miles above the mouth of the Keya Paha River. It is situated on second bottom or table land, the soil of which is a fine quality of heavy clay. The post office was named after E. H. Doty, on account of the interest taken by him in the establishment of postroads.

The first settlers were Homer Wilson, J. M. Rhodes, and Samuel Rhodes, May 2, 1879, John Munt in June, and and L. O. Schie in the fall. The first child born was John C. Munt, October 10, 1880; the first marriage that of A. O. Oakland to Miss Anna Schie, October 18, 1881, and the first death that of Elling Schie, November 1, 1880. The first sermon preached was by Rev. Mr. Reeves, in January, 1881, at Frank Munt's residence.

The post office was established June 21, 1881, J. E. Roberts, who had just come, being appointed first Postmaster.

In July, 1879, Samuel Rhodes had his horses stolen by parties supposed to belong to "Middleton's Gang," which, as Mr. Rhodes was a poor man, made life in the new country much more burdensome.

Laura.--This post office is located on Big Sandy Creek, and is surrounded by a country in which there is considerable timber. The first settlement was made June 20, 1880, by J. A. Estep, after whose wife, Mrs. Laura Estep, the post office was named. It was established March 20, 1881, J. A. Estep for Postmaster. Other settlers in this vicinity were John Wait, William Smith, and Jessie Eaton, who moved in, in the autumn of 1880. Rev. E. Smith preached the first sermon, at a private house, October 13, 1881.

Inman is a station on the Sioux City & Pacific Railroad, about six miles east of O'Neill. It was named after W. H. Inman, one of the earliest settlers in the county. It is surrounded by level prairie, and for the most part good grazing land. The first settlers in the vicinity of Inman were, besides Mr. Inman, H. W. Haynes, G. Grenough, W. Judd, C. Troth, D. M. Arnold, and J. Laney. The first school taught here was by Isaac Baldwin, in the year 1881, in a small schoolhouse built the same year. Rev. J. De Los Wilson preached the first sermon in this schoolhouse. The post office was established September 16, 1881, with C. Troth for first Postmaster, who also opened the first store, in August.

Ray.--Ray is situated in the northern part of Holt County, on Eagle Creek. It is surrounded by a country well adapted to both grazing and farming; no better country for both purposes can be found in the northern part of the State. The soil varies from sand in places to clay; all kinds of grain do well in it, and garden vegetables especially luxuriate. This portion of the county is being very rapidly settled.

Austin Hines was the first settler, in 1875, and soon afterwards N. T. Hoxsie, J. S. Collins, and J. A. Swift moved in. The first marriage was that of Peter L. Dutcher to Linda Daly, in December, 1880, and the first death that of Estella Storts, July 20, 1880. The first school taught here was by W. D. O'Brien, during the winter of 1880-1, in a private house. Rev. Mr. Smith preached the first sermon in 1880.

Greeley.--This post office is in Saratoga Precinct, and was named after Peter Greeley. The first settlements were made in the summer of 1880. Besides the post office there is here a schoolhouse, store, blacksmith shop, and wagon shop. Many settlements are being made in the fine country which surrounds Greeley.

Clifton Grove is about twenty-four miles northwest of O'Neill, and ten miles southeast of Keya Paha. Here are to be found an abundance of water, plenty of timber, variety of scenery, and excellent water power facilities. Besides the post office there is a blacksmith shop and wagon shop.

Red Bird is situated in the northern part of the county, on the Niobrara River, about thirty miles from its mouth. It has one general store and two hotels. It is surrounded by an excellent country, and has plenty of good water.

Cache Creek is located in the southern part of the county, in the valley of Cache Creek, in a good country for raising stock.

Apple Creek is in the northeastern part of Holt County, midway between O'Neill and Niobrara, on Apple or Steele Creek, a rapid and beautiful stream. The surrounding country is well adapted to both farming and grazing, and the inhabitants are mostly enterprising Americans. Besides the post office there is here a hotel, blacksmith shop, and store.

Carns, Emmet, Mimeola, and Turner are post offices in the county. Blackbird has been discontinued.

Sunnyside is situated on the banks of the Keya Paha River, in unorganized territory, north of Holt County, on rolling prairie. The first settlement here was made by A. Willson and H. Y. Willson, who was the first and is the present Postmaster. Other settlers were W. B. Willson, April 24, 1879, and Frank Morse, June, 1879. The post office was established June 10, 1879. The first white child born on the Niobrara was Fanny Keya Paha Willson, a daughter of H. Y. Willson, on August 14, 1878.

McLean post office is situated in Township 34, Range 17, west, in unorganized territory, near the Keya Paha River. Homer Willson settled here in May, 1879, at which time there was but one family west of the line in Range 19. The first school taught here was by Mrs. Mary H. Rhodes, in the winter of 1881-2. Most of the settlers are Americans, but there are a few Scandinavians. Homer Willson was the first postmaster.

UNORGANIZED TERRITORY.

A large portion of Northwestern Nebraska, the eastern boundary of which is Holt and Wheeler Counties, is still unorganized. Very little of the land is cultivated, there being in that portion lying west of Holt County and which is attached to that county for elective, judicial, and revenue purposes, only 1,400 acres of land on the tax list, assessed at $3,500, while the personal property similarly assessed amounts to $158,101, consisting principally of cattle. The cattle are mainly owned by ranchmen, and herded by "cow boys." The personal property of one of the ranchmen is listed at over $31,000.

The territory attached to Holt County is about sixty miles wide from north to south, and about 170 long from east to west. It is steadily improving in fertility as civilization advances towards the West, and as the annual rainfall increases; but for many years it will be valuable mainly for grazing purposes.




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