Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska

Nance County
Produced by
Connie Snyder.


Natural Features and Products | Extent and Resources
Early Settlement | Organization | Schools | Means of Communication


Fullerton:  Schools and Churches | Societies and Newspapers
Business Interests | Biographical Sketches


Genoa:   Schools, Churches, etc. | Business Interests
Biographical Sketches

Part 2


   For some time before the lands of the reserve were sold, Randall Fuller had brought his herds into Nance County; remained summers, maintaining his ranch near the mouth of the Cedar, where the town now stands. When, in 1878, the sale took place at Central City, he secured two sections, and later, when the talk was of organizing the county, platted the present town site. The record was filed at Central City November 8, 1879, and afterward a copy was filed in Nance County, April 15, 1880. The survey of the land was made by J. C. Kapp, and the streets were made eighty feet wide, with the exception of Broadway, which was 100. The residence lots were 66x165 feet, and the business, 25 5/13x120 feet. Governor Nance designated Fullerton as the temporary county seat, at which time it consisted of a row of stakes, marking what were destined to become streets. As has been seen, the location of the county seat was made permanent. The first building in the town was the present law office of Slaughter & Lindsey, which Mr. Fuller built as an office for the County Commissioners. This was in June, 1879, and for some months it stood alone. The county seat question being unsettled, but few were willing to build. However, Mr. Smith, during the summer, erected his building, as did also Tiffany & Dresser, N. C. Judson and Brad D. Slaughter. Such was the extent of the town in October, 1879. The Nance County Journal then appeared on the field of action, and by advertising assisted in the boom which the town received in the following year. During the winter, buildings were erected by H. F. Snyder & Co., George Rogers, N. B. Odell, H. M. Wilson, J. N. Reynolds, S. Roberts and others. The spring following was the occasion of a great rush of immigration, and Fullerton filled in rapidly. Many business houses and residences were erected, and many business men settled in the town. Since that time, the growth has been rapid--more so than even the most sanguine have anticipated.

   Reynolds' Addition to Fullerton was recorded July 27, 1880, J. O. Shannon, surveyor; and Fuller & Slaughter's Addition in March, 1881, Frank M. Crowell, surveyor. In July, 1880, as has been stated, the county received sixty acres adjoining the town from Randall Fuller, which has also been platted, and is known as the County Addition.

   The first post office which was ever established in the Fullerton neighborhood was the Cedar Rapids office, which was held by O. E. Stearns, east of town. In August, 1879, it was moved to Fullerton, and called the Fullerton office, when N. C. Judson became Postmaster. In January, 1882, N. B. Odell became Postmaster, and now holds the office.

   Fullerton is a prosperous town of 350 inhabitants, located near the center of Nance County, at the junction of the Cedar and Loup Rivers. It is fifteen miles from Genoa, on the branch of the Union Pacific Railroad, and about the same from Central City, on the Burlington & Missouri Railroad. It was incorporated March 1, 1881, by act of the County Commissioners, and the following officers appointed: B. D. Slaughter, Chairman; S. L. Sturtevant, J. K. Calkins, William Roberts and F. J. Brown, members of the Board. Their term of office has not yet expired. The beauty of Fullerton's location is a subject of constant remark. Placed as it is upon the incline which leads from the valley of the Loup to the precipitous bluffs of the Cedar, it presents a striking appearance to the traveler approaching from below or gazing over it from the summit of the encircling ridge. About twenty minutes' walk brings one to a place of great natural beauty and some historical interest, known as Buffalo Leap.

   It is said that the Indians were in the habit of stampeding herds of buffalo and forcing them over the ridge at this place, and thus the perpendicular bluff of the Cedar, which rises to the height of 160 feet, received its name.


   The settlements near Fullerton had not been made long before the desire for a school began to show itself. The first effort put forth was by H. F. Judson, who, in 1879, erected a building, and during that winter his daughter, Miss Cora Judson, taught a private school. Since that time, the town has always had a school, although, as yet, it is without a building. This deficiency will be supplied during the summer. At present, the attendance of the school is eighty-four. Of these, forty-three attend the Grammar Department, which is taught by J. K. Calkins, and forty-one the Primary, of which Miss H. M. Spackman is teacher. The Board consists of three members: E. B. Spackman, Director; H. Vogle, Moderator, and Fred Fuller, Treasurer.

   Prominent among the educational institutions of the West is the Nebraska Wesleyan University, located at Fullerton. This institution was organized at Osceola in 1879, and for some time maintained at that place. But with Fullerton's growth, also arose a desire to possess the school, and negotiations were early begun to obtain it. In June, 1881, J. K. Calkins was sent by the citizens to Osceola to make a proposition that they would erect a building and raise an endowment fund of $5,000, if the Board would remove the school. June 30, a meeting was held in Osceola, and the proposition was accepted. On July 14, a meeting was held at Fullerton, at which $1,000 was subscribed for the erection of the building, and E. B. Spackman, J. N. Reynolds, B. D. Slaughter, S. L. Sturtevant, Fred Fuller, O. D. Fitch, N. C. Judson and S. J. Harmon bound themselves to procure $500 more. At the same meeting, the following Board of Trustees was appointed: Rev. R. G. Adams, L. H. Faucett, W. R. Morse, J. N. Reynolds, Fred Fuller, W. H. Luce, Norris Davis, Mrs. L. A . Phillips, Mrs. B. D. Slaughter, S. L. Sturtevant, Robert Baxter, Rev. R. B. Wilson. Randall Fuller donated ten acres of ground on which the university was to be located. The Board of Trustees met shortly afterward and elected a Faculty for the institution, of which Rev. J. J. Fleharty, A. M., was made President. Mr. Fleharty had been connected with the school at Osceola, and came to Fullerton with it. On Tuesday, August 2, the cornerstone of the college building was laid with appropriate ceremonies. The address of the day was delivered by Weston Gage Miller, D. D., who also laid the stone. On the 13th day of October, the building was opened. It is a commodious modern structure, beautifully located on the bluffs north of town, and from its eminence overlooks not only Fullerton, but the vast extent of country which stretches away through the Loup and Cedar Valleys. When completed, it will cost in the neighborhood of $3,000. A full college curriculum is advertised, and scholars are in attendance of all the various courses, of which there are eight--Classical, Latin Scientific, Scientific, Academic, Teachers', Commercial, Musical and Non-resident.

   The faculty of the institution consists at present of ten instructors. Rev. J. J. Fleharty is President, and also Instructor in Mental and Moral Science. Miss Lilian M. White is Professor of Greek, Latin and Elocution; George W. Crozier, of Mathematics and German; George B. Hoit, of the Commercial Department; W. J. Pyle, Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Miss Josie Newman, Instrumental Music; O. D. Fitch, Vocal Music; Mrs. M. E. Denison, Painting and Drawing; Mrs. Martha Reynolds, Waxwork, etc., and Mrs. A. B. Fleharty, of Kindergarten. Regular degrees are conferred by the university on all finishing the prescribed courses of study. In connection with the school are two societies, the Newtonian, a literary organization, and the Fine Art Society, an aesthetic organization, whose birth preceded Oscar Wilde's arrival by a month. The officers of the Newtonian are Frank Knapp, President, and Clara Fleharty, Secretary. Meetings are held every Tuesday evening in the college chapel, and are largely attended. The President of the Fine Art Society is the President of the University. Mrs. Judge Lindsey is Vice President, and Mrs. M. E. Denison, Secretary. Monthly meetings are held, and public exhibitions are given every three months. Thus far, the school has been very prosperous. At a fair estimate, the attendance for 1881-82 will not fall below seventy-five, and the prospects are that a few years will see the institution fully established, a credit to the managers and also to Fullerton, which has so heartily sustained it.

   The Methodist Church was organized in 1879 by Rev. R. G. Adams. It was the first church society of any kind ever attempted at Fullerton, and Rev. Mr. Adams was the first pastor who ever held services in this region. Among those who organized the society were: Mrs. B. D. Slaughter, Mrs. Martha Reynolds, Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. O. E. Stearns, Will Phillips and Mrs. R. G. Adams. Rev. Mr. Adams preached one year, and was followed by Rev. R. B. Wilson. After Mr. Wilson, Rev. J. J. Fleharty became pastor, and still remains. Services are held in the college chapel. A fine Sunday school is also maintained, and is attended by fifty scholars. The present membership of the church, which is the only one at Fullerton, is thirty-eight.


   Cedar River Lodge, A., F. & A. M., was organized January 19, 1882, with the following members: Brad. D. Slaughter, James W. Zuik, James W. Zibbell, Robert Warn, Benjamin F. Younkin, Daniel W. Randolph, Orison E. Stearns, Olof Netsell, Peter Meiklejohn, Isaac O. Jones, S. L. Sturtevant, Cyrus H. Gilmore and J. S. Kiff. The terms of the officers appointed by the Grand Lodge have not yet expired. Brad. D. Slaughter was appointed M.; Sanford L. Sturtevant, S. W.; Olof Netsell, J. D. This is the only society in Fullerton, and promises to grow into a strong organization.

   A club for social amusement is also in existence, known as the Social Home Club. It is maintained by the young people, and has been very successful.

   The Fullerton Cornet Band was organized in February, 1882. There are fifteen members, and Webb Wheeler is Leader. The instruments were purchased by subscription, and were listed at $500. The officers of the band are J. K. Calkins, President; G. D. Meiklejohn, Secretary; and O. D. Fitch, Treasurer.

   The Nance County Journal was the first paper which was started in this section of the country. The first number was issued in October, 1879, by A. E. Verity, and was a six-column folio. In the fall of 1880, J. K. Calkins bought a half-interest, and, in January, 1881, J. F. Bixby bought the remaining interest, since which time the firm name has been Calkins & Bixby. In September, 1881, the name of the paper was changed to the Lariat, but after two months, the proprietors resumed their old name. The paper is now a seven-column folio, is Republican in politics, and free in expressing its opinions on questions affecting the county or State. Its patronage is large and its list of readers numerous. A fine job office is connected with the paper.

   The Nance County Republican was first issued October 22, 1881, by J. N. Reynolds. After it had been in existence about three months, it was purchased by John C. Thompson, who now edits it. It is a newsy seven-column folio, and is issued every Friday. Its politics are Republican, and its opinions are freely expressed. In connection with the paper is a small job office.


   Although Fullerton's business importance is largely curtailed by the lack of railroad facilities, yet an extensive trade is maintained, and a large section of country depends upon it for a market. Two newspapers, well supported, testify that business is not stagnant, and $200,000 would not be an over-estimate of the transactions of a year. This is divided among numerous firms, and all the different branches are represented. Besides blacksmith shops, butcher shops, millinery stores, carpenter shops, barber shops, etc., there is one general store, three grocery stores, one dry goods store, two drug stores, two hardware stores, one furniture store, three agricultural implement dealers, two livery stables, two banks, one boot and shoe store, and beside these a hotel, restaurant, flouring-mill, etc. The newspapers are the Nance County Journal and Nance County Republican.

   Nance County Bank.--The private bank of Slaughter & Lindsey was opened in November, 1879. In 1881, it became desirable to increase the stock, and Chauncy Wiltse came into the firm, and the bank was incorporated, with $20,000 capital, October 1. The officers of the bank are C. Wiltse, President; Brad. D. Slaughter, Cashier; M. S. Lindsay, Assistant Cashier. Slaughter & Lindsay are also agents for the Government lands in the county.

   The Fullerton State Bank, of Fullerton, Nance Co., Neb., was incorporated June 1, 1882, with a capital stock of $25,000. This banking corporation is a domestic institution, incorporated by some of the wealthiest and most influential men in the county. The first meeting of the stockholders was held June 1, 1882. The bank is under the entire control and management of eleven Directors. The present officers and Directors, who were elected for the ensuing year, are as follows: Asahel Edgington, President; John Paton, Vice President; John N. Reynolds, Cashier; George D. Meiklejohn, Solicitor; James W. Zibbell, Robert Baxter, George W. Rogers, Brafford Johnston, O. E. Stearns, Samuel J. Carman and John Prowett, Directors. The building to be occupied at present by this corporation is now undergoing repairs, and a large vault is being constructed, which will make it one of the finest banking houses west of Omaha. Exchange will be drawn on Omaha, Chicago and New York.

   Fullerton Flouring-Mill was erected in the fall of 1880, by Tiffany & Bentley, who ran it until the spring of 1881. Bentley then sold his interest to W. H. Burr, and the firm has since been Tiffany & Burr. The building is 20x40 feet, two stories high, and contains two runs of stone--one for feed and one for flour. The race is thirty rods long, and in that distance a natural fall of seven and a half feet is obtained. This is increased to nine and a half feet by a dam. The power at this point is estimated to be 200-horse-power, and gives an idea of what advantages the Cedar furnishes for milling. This is the only mill in the county, and is valued at $10,000.

   The Cedar Valley Hotel is the only hotel in town. It was built in the fall of 1879 by George Rogers, and run by him until the fall of 1881. At that time it was rented to L. H. Webb, who at present runs the house. There are accommodations for twenty guests, and the management gives general satisfaction to the traveling public.

   Fred Fuller's Lumber-yard is the only one in town, and was opened in 1880. A large business is done. Mr. Fuller also deals in agricultural implements.


   FRIEND J. BROWN, of the firm of Brown & Hippach, general merchandise, is a native of Warrick county, Ind. He came to Tama County, Iowa, in 1862, with his mother, and there assisted on the farm. In the fall of 1872, he came to Boone County, Neb., took a homestead claim, which he improved. There he resided seven years. In the fall of 1879, he came to Fullerton and opened a small store. There were but four buildings here at that time. He has since been engaged in merchandising.

   THEA F. ELLIOTT, County Judge, was born in Guernsey County, Ohio, where he was raised. At the breaking-out of the war, he enlisted in Company A, Ninth Indiana Infantry; served to the end of the war. He participated in the battles of Cheat Mountain, Greenbrier and Buffalo Mountain, Va., and all of the engagements of the Army of the Ohio and Cumberland; was mustered out in Texas at the end of the war. He soon after came to Illinois, where he took up the study of law; was admitted to the bar in Rock Island County, in 1872; practiced in Illinois about eight years. In March, 1880, he came to Genoa, Neb., and there practiced law. In the fall of 1881, he was elected County Judge. He then removed to Fullerton, where he has since been engaged in the practice of his profession.

   O. D. FITCH, was born in Tioga County, N. Y., where he was raised, and engaged in farming. In March, 1868, he came to Jones County, Iowa, bought a farm and lived there until the spring of 1872, when he came to Hamilton County, Neb., took a homestead claim, and there followed farming. In October, 1879, he came to Fullerton and established this business, this being the first hardware store started in Fullerton. It is now managed under the firm name of Fitch Bros.

   I. R. FULLER, attorney at law, was born in Faribault Minn.; was raised there and received his early education. He then went to New Hampshire, took a literary course of studies, where he graduated in 1877. He then returned to Minnesota and entered the Law Department of the State University, graduating in 1879. Soon after he came to Nance County with cattle to place on his fathers ranch. He is now attending to his father's interests, which are quite extensive in this county. He owns over 2,000 acres of choice land, and over 400 head of cattle.

   S. J. HARMON, druggist, was born in Adams County, Penn. When a boy he came to Ohio, where he lived twelve years. In 1834, he removed to Indiana, where he learned the blacksmith trade, which he followed till 1874, when he removed to Illinois, there engaged in farming. In March, 1880, he came to Fullerton, where he has since been engaged in the drug business.

   N. C. JUDSON, groceries and provisions, was born in Waukesha County, Wis., where he was raised. He enlisted in 1862, in Company A, Twenty-eighth Wisconsin Infantry, and served to the end of the war; returned to Wisconsin and engaged in farming. In the spring of 1879, he came to Fullerton and opened this store, which he has since carried on. He is the oldest merchant in Fullerton; was Postmaster from 1879 to January, 1882.

   M. S. LINDSAY, attorney and Assistant Cashier Nance County Bank, is a native of Kane County, Ill. When a boy, he came to Waupaca County, Wis., and afterward settled at Oshkosh; commenced the study of law there with Moses Hooper; was admitted to the bar September 17, 1878; the following year he came to Nebraska and opened a law office in Fullerton, July 5, 1879; has since been engaged in the practice of his profession. He is the oldest practicing attorney in this county. He was elected County Judge in the fall of 1879, and served two years. He is also the attorney for the Nance County Bank. B. D. Slaughter, Cashier of this bank, is a native of Wayne County, N. Y., and came to Chicago in 1854. At the breaking-out of the war he entered the service. After serving two years he went to Colorado, and was commissioned by Gov. Evans to raise a company to assist in quelling the Indians. In 1865, ha came to Nebraska City and engaged in the commission business. In 1867, he came to Omaha; in 1874, came to Lincoln; was reporter on the daily papers. June, 1879, came to Fullerton, bought a half interest in the town site from R. Fuller, and laid out the town. This bank was incorporated October 18, 1881. Mr. Slaughter has been for the past six years Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of Nebraska. During 1880, he was the United States Census Supervisor for District No. 1, of Nebraska.

   GEORGE D. MEIKLEJOHN, attorney at law, was born at Weyauwega, Waupaca Co., Wis. After receiving his literary education at the State Normal School, at Oshkosh, Wis., he went to Ann Arbor, Mich., and there attended the Law Department of the Michigan University, where he graduated and was admitted to the Supreme Court of Michigan in the spring of 1880. He then returned to Wisconsin, where he practiced a a short time. In the spring of 1880, he came to Fullerton, and has since been engaged in the practice of his profession.

   J. N. REYNOLDS, County Clerk, and Cashier Fullerton State Bank, was born in Coles County, Ill. At the age of six years, came with his parents to Warren County, Iowa, where he was raised, and assisted on their farm. In 1877, came to Columbus, Neb. Was agent for the sale of North Platte lands for the Burlington & Missouri Railway. Came to Fullerton in the fall of 1879, where he was elected County Clerk and Clerk of the District Court. This bank was established July, 1881. He there became Cashier. Mr. Reynolds is largely engaged in live stock and farming; has recently imported a fine selection of Short-Horn cattle and Poland-China and Berkshire pigs. His farm consists of about one section of land, adjoining the town of Fullerton.

   S. L. STURTEVANT, County Treasurer, is a native of St. Lawrence County, N. Y. There he was raised. At the breaking-out of the war, he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Forty-second New York Infantry; served to the end of the war. In 1866, he was employed as a commercial traveler for a wholesale grocery house of New York City; continued in their employ till 1879, when he came to Fullerton; was elected County Treasurer by a majority of one; he was again elected in the fall of 1881, by a majority of thirty-four.

   JAMES W. ZIBBELL, livery and sale stable, was born in Monroe County, Mich., where he was raised. He has always been, since a boy, engaged in the livery business and training trotters. In 1877, came to Mechanicsville, Iowa; there ran a livery stable. In 1880, came to Fullerton, where he has since carried on this business.

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