Sarpy County: Reminiscences of Sarpy | The Story of the Diamond|
Early Settlements | The Claim Club | Early Towns | Early Events
County Roster | Moving the County Seat | Education
Bellevue: Early History | Gov. Burt | Education | The Press|
Religious | Societies | Brick Maufacturing | Biographical Sketches
Papillion: Early Settlement | The County Court House | Churches|
Education | Societies | The Press | Hotels | Business Interests
Papillion (cont.): Biographical Sketches|
Springfield: Biographical Sketches|
Plattsford Precinct | Richland Precinct | Forest City | La Platte
List of Illustrations in Sarpy County Chapter
Bellevue was known in 1848 as Council Bluffs, or, as some old residents claim, Council Point. The former name is given in a lecture by C. C. Goss, delivered in 1857, at Bellevue. In support of the authenticity of this name, Mr. Goss cites the fact that all letters mailed here by the gold seekers bound to California were dated from "Council Bluffs." The Council Bluffs Indian Agency was located at this point, and the place is so designated in the report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the Agency on the Iowa side being known as the Council Bluffs Sub-Agency.
Nowhere in all of beautiful Nebraska is there a prettier spot for a town than that of the now half-deserted Bellevue. At this point the river bottoms are from one-quarter to one-half a mile in width. Back of them rise the bluffs at an elevation of about thirty feet above the river level, and upon these bluffs lies a broad plateau almost as level as a floor. To the north and west rise higher bluffs and hills, which drop to the south as they approach the Platte River, and melt in the lowlands on its north bank. From the windows of the old Mission could be seen the glittering Missouri hurrying to the great cities of the South, and beyond the woods of the Iowa shore, somber in the faint beams of the departing sun, or thrown into bold relief as the day broke beyond them in the east.
In 1852, Barrows, Decatur and others organized a town company at Bellevue, but the organization was all that was effected, and no officers were elected.
On July 4, 1854, a grand celebration was made of the national holiday. An immense arbor was erected near the agency buildings, and salutes in honor of each State and Territory were fired. Speeches were made and a plentiful supply of liquid inspiration indulged in by the hardy pioneers. D. E. Reed, editor of the Paladium, was Chairman of the occasion and also Toastmaster. Among the toasts offered were the following: "Bellevue, the Pride of the West, the Center of our Union," by L. B. Kinney; "Nebraska--the Future Keystone of the Federal Arch," by Col. Decatur.
In 1854, the Bellevue Town Company was organized with P. A. Sarpy, Stephen Decatur, Hiram P. Bennett, George Hepner, James M. Gatewood, George F. Turner, P. J. McMahon, A. W. Hollister and A. C. Ford as proprietors.
In January, 1856, the Mission Reserve, occupying a section of land, was incorporated. The same year, the Fontenelle Bank was opened and continued to do business until 1857, when it fell a victim to the financial crisis.
Bellevue was organized as a city in 1856, and a full corps of city officials, including a Mayor, Clerk, Council and City Marshal. The first incumbent in the Mayor's chair was Reuben Lovejoy, who was ably assisted by Alderman W. D. Rowles, J. T. Allan, and A. H. Burch. Lovejoy was succeeded by George Jennings, C. T. Holloway, Peter A. Sarpy's private Secretary, James Gow, afterward for many years County or Probate Judge; John Q Goss, H. Rogers, David Leach, H. T. Clarke, W. Robinson and Stephen D. Bangs, the first County Clerk of Sarpy County, now a prominent real estate man of Omaha. The election of Mr. Bangs occurred in 1873, and, in 1874, he was re-elected, thus holding office until 1875. In this latter year, the election was quietly dropped, and there has never since been any attempt to hold one, which leaves the last official as perpetual incumbent--the Mayor of a defunct city.
The first Nebraska Post Office was established at Bellevue in 1849, largely through the efforts of Col. Peter A. Sarpy. The first regular appointment at this place came, however, six years later, and was subsequent to the opening of the Territory. D. E. Reed was appointed Postmaster, and transacted the duties of his office in the old Mission House, where, at the same time, Mrs. Reed taught the first white school opened in the Territory. L. B. Kinney succeeded Mr. Reed as Postmaster and was followed by David Leach, Mrs. A. H. Burtch, A. W. Clarke and Robert R. Hamilton, the present incumbent.
The first marriage in Bellevue took place in 1849, and was that of Lewis Saunsausee, a half-breed, and a Mormon woman. Rev. Mr. Kinney for some reason refused to tie the nuptials, and Orson Hyde, then Elder of the Mormon Church, at Kainesville, was applied to and promised to perform the ceremony. For some reason he failed to appear and another Mormon, named Smith, living on the Iowa side, was substituted. This match could hardly have been registered in heaven, for, in 1857, Saunsaunsee was living in the Blackbird Hills, and his fair Rebecca had become one of Brigham Young's numerous wives.
The first hotel built in Bellevue was the Benton House, which stood on the central portion of the plateau. It was opened by George Jennings, Mayor of the city. At the same time, the large Mission House was converted to hotel purposes and kept by J. T. Allan, now arboriculturist of the Union Pacific Railway Company. The latter building, which could tell the tale of many a wild orgie, when the hardy pioneers followed the example of the great Miles Standish, and "drank as t'were his mother's milk, and ne'er a man afraid," has totally disappeared.
In 1823, the agency of the Omahas, Otoes and Pottawatomies and Pawnees, was removed from Fort Calhoun to Bellevue where it remained for a number of years. In 1834, a mission house was erected among the Otoes by Rev. Moses Merrill, who died only a year after the completion of the building. In the fall of the same year, Samuel Allis and Rev. John Dunbar were sent to this point by the Presbyterian Board of Missions, and opened a school at Council Point near the site of La Platte. This departure from the shelter of the town was found to be premature, and, after suffering continual annoyance from the Sioux, the missionaries returned to Bellevue and taught the Indians at the agency. John Daugherty, Indian Agent, arrived at Bellevue the same fall.
In 1843, Gen. John C. Fremont, returning from his exploring tour through the unknown West, followed the Platte to its mouth and reached Bellevue, where he sold his overland outfit and took passage down the river. Three years later, Rev. Edward Kinney, of the Presbyterian Board of Missions, selected a site for a Pawnee mission on the southeast of the town. A building was begun here a year later and finished in 1848.
Those who have seen half a century remember with distinctness the Nauvoo troubles of the prophet, Joseph Smith,, and his deluded followers, and the final crash of his overweening ambition, with the exodus which followed in 1846-47. Driven from Nauvoo to seek a home as far as possible from the scene of their former troubles, the pilgrims to the New Jerusalem reached the Missouri late in the fall in a pitiable condition, worn out and out of provisions. Mormonism was in a fair way to die with its advocates, when Peter A. Sarpy's great heart opened to them, and his hearty welcome to food and shelter re-established them. Not only did he cross over free of charge the whole of the long train, but throughout the bitter winter he fed and partly clothed them, and, in the spring, sent them on their way well fitted for the trials and hardships of the dreary march.
At half past 3 o'clock on the morning of October 18,1854, Gov. Francis Burt died. Of him it may well be said that dying he exerted a greater influence on the future of Nebraska than could have fallen to his lot had he lived. In the latter event Bellevue would, in all probability, have retained the capital, and the long line of events stretching from that location have made a totally different history.
Early in 1854, Gov. Burt received his appointment, and started with his friends for the newly opened Territory. Reaching the limestone region of Tennessee in his overland journey to Louisville, Ky., he was taken seriously ill, and, on reaching Bellevue, was confined to his bed from which he never rose. About an hour before his death he called to his side his intimate friend, Mr. Doyle, who had accompanied him from South Carolina, and intrusted to him the directions for the management of his private affairs, and then, after a brief conference with Rev. William Hamilton, passed quietly away.
Gov. Burt was born in Pendleton, S. C. and was at the time of his death about forty-five years of age. In many points he was the type of the Southern gentleman, affable and unostentatious in manner, affectionate in disposition, a friend to his friends. He left a wife, two sons and four daughters. Of theses, only one son, Armstead, was with him at the time of his death. The remains were conveyed to South Carolina in charge of his son and four pall-bearers, leaving Bellevue on October 20, 1854.
J. Sterling Morton, formerly associate editor of the Detroit Free Press, arrived in Bellevue with his wife on November 30, 1854. The Palladium thus gave a pen portrait of the new arrival: "Mr. Morton is a young man of ability, and a popular writer, and having had the good sense to select one of the most beautiful locations for his residence as well as one of the most strongly fortified points--in a political view--he will no doubt be an important acquisition to the Territory and to this community."
On December 4, 1854, Hon. Edward R. Hardin arrived in Bellevue, accompanied by M. W. Riden, Clerk of the Court, and J. D. White, of Georgia. The Palladium thus describes Mr. Hardin: "The Judge is a middle-aged man, spare in person, and to appearance, quite feeble in constitution, his manners, dress and equipage all bear the stamp of Democratic simplicity and economy. He is courteous in manner, agreeable and affable in conversation. He countenance indicates frankness, sincerity and honesty, intelligence and virtue, and at once recommends him to the confidence and friendship of the stranger."
The public school building at Bellevue was erected in 1869, at a cost of $10,000. This sum was raised by taxes levied two successive years. The size of the building is 42x42 feet, and it has ample room for three separate departments. It is located on the west part of the section laid out by the Town Company. During the school year of 1881-82, two departments were in use, and were taught respectively by E. T. Simons and Miss M. E. Miller.
The Nebraska Palladium.-- The first newspaper published in Bellevue, was also the first paper in the State. This early candidate for public favor was the Nebraska Palladium, which after issuing fifteen numbers at St. Mary's on the Iowa shore, opposite Bellevue, crossed to the latter place, and then issued No. 16 The full title of the new-comer was the Nebraska Palladium and Platte Valley Advocate. It was published by Thomas Morton, D. E. Reed & Company, editors and proprietors. The first number contained two poems, one of which was "The Seer," by Whittier, a New York letter; a chapter on females, and an extract from the "Reveries of a Bachelor." There were also articles entitled "Newspapers," "Support your Local Paper," "The Newspaper Press,' "Know-Nothing." There was also an article on the "Location of the Capital," and a notice of "Bellevue Claim Meeting." On the first column of the last page is the following announcement: "This is the first column of reading matter set up in the Territory of Nebraska. This was put in type on the 14th of November, 1854, by Thomas Morton." There were also several local advertisements or paid reading notices. Thus we see that: "I. H. Bennett has opened a boarding-house at Bellevue for the accommodation of regular boarders and occasional visitors, who he will take pleasure in making as comfortable as lies in his power." This is followed by an advertisement of "W. R. English, collector, general land agent, counselor at law, etc., etc., Bellevue, Neb. Having an experience of seventeen years in the Territory, will pay prompt attention to all communications in regard to the Territory etc., etc. Office near the Government building, and in rear of P.A. Sarpy's banking house." This first issue also contained advertisements of C. E. Watson, land agent and surveyor, and of Peter A. Sarpy's ferry boat Nebraska, running between St. Mary's and Bellevue, and St. Mary's, Council Bluffs and Glenwood advertisements.
On the second page in an editorial entitled "The Newspaper Press in Bellevue," occurs the following passage; "The Palladium office was the first newspaper establishment put in operation in Nebraska, and the present number, the first ever issued from the Territory. The first printers in our office and who have set up the present number, are natives of three different States--Ohio, Virginia and Massachusetts, namely: Thomas Morton, foreman, Columbus, Ohio; A. D. Long, compositor, Virginia; Henry M. Reed, apprentice, Massachusetts.
"At the very time our foreman had the press ready for operation, the following persons were--not by invitation--but providentially present, to witness its first operation, namely:
"His Excellency, T. B. Cuming, Governor of Nebraska, and Mrs. T. B. Cuming; Hon. Fenner Ferguson, Chief Justice of Nebraska; Mrs. F. Ferguson; Rev. William Hamilton, of the Otoe and Omaha Mission, and Mrs. Hamilton; Maj. James M. Gatewood, of Missouri; Bird B. Chapman, candidate for Congress from Nebraska Territory; George W. Hollister, Esq., of Bellevue; A. Vandergrift, Esq., of Missouri; W. A. Griffin, of Bellevue; Arthur Ferguson, of Bellevue; Theodore S. Gillmore, Chicago, Ill; Miss Mary Hamilton and Miss Amanda Hamilton, of Bellevue. The first proof sheet was taken by His Excellency, Gov. Cuming, which was taken from the press and read by his Honor, Chief Justice Ferguson.
"Thus quietly and unceremoniously was the birth-time of printing in Bellevue, Neb., celebrated. Thus was the Nebraska Palladium inaugurated into the public service. This event, although to some it may seem unimportant now, will form an epoch in history which will be remembered ages after those present on this interesting occasion are no more.
"The Palladium is issued from Bellevue, a beautiful spot amid the far-off wilds of Nebraska, issued in the very wake of heathen darkness, and we might almost say in its midst. We have taken joint possession with the aboriginal occupants of the soil. Our office is frequently visited by the dark children of the forest and prairie, whose curiosity prompts them to witness the operation of the--to them--incomprehensible art by which thought is symbolized and repeated in ever-during forms on the printed page. As the Indian disappears before the light of civilization, so may the darkness and error of the human mind flee before the light of the press of Nebraska."
On April 11, 1885, the Palladium discontinued publication and issued the following pungent manifesto of the cause of such action: "To subscribers and friends--We have against our own desires and that of many ardent friends made up our mind to suspend the issue of the Palladium until a sufficient amount of town pride springs up in Bellevue to pay the expense of its publication."
The Gazette.--The Bellevue Gazette, a six-column folio was started in 1856 by Silas A. Stickland & Co., the company including David Leach and others. This ambitious sheet seemed, like its jovial and well-known editor, to desire to please everybody. In its first number it unburdens itself of its intentions in a salutatory, promising the publication of all the newest inventions for the benefit of the mechanic; of the latest news from St. Louis papers, and of letters from the farmers. In the same issue are set forth the excellences of the Bellevue House, and the readiness of various individuals to barter good for cash or land for either. There is also a brotherly pat on the back for the Nebraska Democrat, then a novelty in Omaha journalism, published by H. T. Johnson. The Gazette was short-lived.
The Platte Valley Times.-- The Platte Valley Times was started on July 31, 1862, by H. T. Clarke & Co. The Times was a five-column folio, and contained besides full accounts of the war, then raging, notices of favorite packets bound up or down the river, and also a poem by "Professor" Longfellow. This was the last attempt to establish a local paper in the town, and the new-comer shared very shortly the fate of its older brethren.
The Presbyterian Church of Bellevue was organized in 1855, in the Mission Building, by Rev. William Hamilton. The following year the church, which still is in use, was built. This building, which stands in an inclosure and is surrounded by a little thicket of its own, strikes the observer, as of the English style, and, in its solitariness, has gained, in a quarter of a century, the appearance due ten times the period in the mother country.
Following Mr. Hamilton is a long line of pastors--Hughes, Little, Payson, Brown and Riale, who was the last to be the resident pastor. At the present time, services are performed by Rev. Alpha Wright, the synodical missionary.
A Sabbath school was organized at the same time as the church, and has been conducted with fluctuating numbers each year since that date. Its Superintendent is Mr. Joseph C. Smith.
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.-- In 1861, the St. James Episcopal Church of Bellevue was organized by Rev. I. A. Hager. Services were held at different points until 1867, when the work of erecting a church structure was begun. At the same time, the name of the society was changed from St. James to Holy Trinity, and, upon the completion of the church in 1868, at a cost of $2,000, the latter name was applied to it. With the first organization of the church, J. Q. Goss become Senior Warden and Stephen D. Bangs, Junior Warden, positions which they held for eleven years thereafter. Following the first pastor, I. A. Hager, were O. C. Dake, J. A. Rippey, Samuel Hermann, H. B. Burgess and H. W. Meek, who was the last rector, and was in office until 1881. Since his departure, lay services have been held with a degree of regularity.
The first Masonic lodge in the State, as well as the first in this town, was Nebraska Lodge, No. 1, A., F. & A. M., organized in March, 1854. There had been meetings of members of the society prior to this time, but no regular organization. Of this lodge. L. B. Kinney was Worthy Master. The present officers of the lodge are: F. E. Caldwell, W. M.; W. F. Martin, Secretary.
Knights of Pythias.--Bellevue Lodge, No.3, Knights of Pythias, was organized on July 31, 1869, with twenty-five members and the following officers: Gustavus Stevenson, V. P.; John Q. Goss, W. C.; David Leach, V. C.; Henry McComas, R. S.; William D. Rowles, F. S.; Joseph M. Whitted, B.; Samuel P. Martin, G.; Robert Moscript, I. S.; Walter Nelson, O. S. In 1877, the lodge was moved to Papillion, where it finally fell into decay, and passed out of practical existence. Its last officers were J. Q. Goss, C. C.; I. D. Cornish, K. R. S.; J. Slothower, M. E.
Brick manufacture was begun in Bellevue, or rather on land adjacent to the depot of the Burlington & Missouri River Railway, in April 7, 1882. The parties undertaking the work are known as the Omaha Brick Company, and except the manager of the yard, Mr. Davis, are residents of Omaha. At the present time the works are too new to give a fair idea of their future capacity. Primitive machines are in use, and, "sand brick" to the number of 5,500 per day are manufactured, but by June 1, 1882, improved machinery will be put at work, and the capacity will be increased to 30,000 pressed brick per day. The location of the yard at the foot of the hill and beside the railway track, and the presence of an abundant supply of fine river sand within 300 feet of the clay bank offers a very flattering business prospect for the new company.
HON. HENRY T. CLARKE, wholesale hardware dealer in Omaha, investment securities and real estate and contractor, is a descendant of John Clarke, who settled in Rhode Island with Roger Williams. He was born in Greenwich, N.Y., April 26, 1834, and came to Nebraska in May, 1855, locating in Bellevue, staying there but a short time that season. He traveled extensively through Kansas, making a careful study of the geography and topography of the country, anticipating that a railroad to the Pacific would pass up the Platte River, and that the eastern terminus might be at Bellevue, and in the later years, when a road was likely to be consummated, worked earnestly with that end in view, and for a time with a promise of success. Mr. C. has always been extensively engaged in contracting and building railroad and county bridges. In 1876, he projected and built the bridge across the North Platte, between Sidney and Deadwood, opening up the Sidney Short Route. The same season, he projected and put into execution the Centennial Pony Express, furnishing all the mountain districts with mail, having, through the Government, charge of the entire line. He was also extensively engaged in mercantile business in Deadwood, and is now engaged in the wholesale hardware trade in Omaha, and in real estate in Sarpy and other counties, owning many well-improved farms and dealing largely in county securities. Mr. C. was a member of the Territorial Legislature in 1864, and the Territorial Council in 1865. Projected the Omaha & Southwestern Railroad in 1869. Notwithstanding his very active life and hard work, Mr. C. is well preserved in body, and appears very much younger than he is. He is a faithful representative of a large class of active business men, who, with limited means, cast their lot with the early settlement of the Territory. He became actively engaged in the development, and accumulated wealth. Mr. C. married Miss Martha Fielding, at Middle Falls, N.Y., September 28,1858. They have seven children--Harry F., John Tefft, Gertrude L., William E., Charles Hughes, Henry T., Jr. and Maurice Gordon.
JOHN Q. GOSS, attorney, office southeast corner Fifteenth and Douglas streets, Omaha, residence Twenty-fourth and Franklin streets, Bellevue, was born March 8, 1827 , in Somersetshire, England, and came to America June 2, 1844. Lived in the counties of Trumbull and Richland, Ohio, till the spring of 1859, when he removed to Bellevue, Neb., where he has since resided. He was married, May 16, 1850, in Mercer County Penn., to Miss Mary J. Taylor, of said county. She died in Bellevue, Neb., January 30, 1873. He was married again, November 17, 1874, to Miss Rebecca J. Reed, of Clearfield County, Penn. He was admitted to the bar, in Mansfield, Ohio, in 1857, and has since been engaged in the active practice of the law. In October, 1860, he was elected a member of the Upper House of the Legislative Assembly from the counties of Sarpy, Washington, Burt and Cuming, serving two years. In 1862, he was appointed Quartermaster General of the Territory by Gov. A. Saunders. In October of the same year, he enlisted as private in Company D, Second Nebraska Cavalry, serving as such until April 5, 1863, when he received the appointment of Commissary of the regiment with the rank of First Lieutenant. Served under Gen. Sully in the Indian campaign in Dakota, and was honorably discharged from the service in December, 1863, the term of service of the regiment having expired. In the spring of 1864, he was elected a member of the Constitutional Convention, which met in Omaha, but adjourned without framing a constitution, a majority of the members having been elected in opposition to that measure. In October, 1864, he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of the county, which office he held for two years. In 1867, he was elected County Clerk, and served two years. He has served several terms as Mayor of Bellevue. He has always been closely allied with the educational interest of his town and county. In 1859, he was appointed a member of the Board of School Examiners of the county, which office he held ten years. In politics he is, and always has been, a Democrat. He has two children living--Emma S., who was born in Belleville, Ohio, July 31, 1856, and married at Bellevue, Neb., August 2, 1875, to D. E. Thompson, who is now Superintendent of the East Division of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad in Nebraska; John Q., Jr., born in Bellevue November 5, 1861, and now Station Agent of the above railroad at Bellevue. He had another son, Charles C., who died October 5, 1880, aged twenty-one years.
AUGUSTUS HALL (deceased) was born at Batavia, in New York, on the 29th of April, 1814. His academical studies were prosecuted at Middlebury Academy in that State. Having completed them in 1834, he commenced the study of law in the office of the Hon. Phineas L. Tracy, in Batavia, but soon after removed with his father and his family to Mount Vernon, Ohio, where he prosecuted his studies, farther completing them, and being admitted to the bar in 1836. In the prosecution of his professional studies, he was distinguished for the most intense application. Far into the hours of night he protracted the exhausting studies of the day, and far beyond the range of ordinary elementary studies he extended his reading. It was doubtless in those early years he stored his mind so richly with the great principles of law, which he ever after held ready at command to apply to every exigency. Practicing his profession in Mount Vernon for a year, he removed to Marysville, Ohio, where he continued to practice for seven years. His character and standing at the bar are shown by the fact that after acting as Assistant United States Marshal, he was, in 1840, elected, and in 1842, re-elected Prosecuting Attorney of his county. Always a Democrat of strong, positive views, actively participating in the struggles of politics, he was still able to carry his county against large Whig majorities. In 1844, he removed to Iowa, settling at Keosauqua, at that time a small and now not a large inland town. Here he devoted himself anew to his profession. He had for competitors in his own town such men as the Hon. George W. Wright, Chief Justice, and the Hon. M. Knapp, United States District Attorney of Iowa. His practice was mostly on the circuit. His business before the Supreme Court he intrusted mostly to his brother, the Hon. J. C. Hall He preferred the excitement of jury trials to the cold, dry arguments of abstract legal questions. He loved most to deal with men, their prejudices, their feelings, their passions, and here he was a master. He was employed in almost every important jury case in his own and two neighboring districts, the circuits of which he traveled regularly twice a year. In a large number of the counties composing those districts, he tried the first cause. He was especially skilled in criminal trials, and in every one of considerable importance, he was the first to be retained. In 1852, he was one of the Presidential Electors, receiving the highest vote polled in the State. In 1854, he was elected from the first district in Iowa to the Thirty-fourth Congress. He was a laborious, active member, devoting his attention with great zeal in furthering the passage of laws of great interest to his state. He rendered signal service in procuring the immense land grants to aid in the construction of railroads, which must one day make Iowa a great railroad state. On the 23d of December, 1857, he was admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court, and in December, 1858, he was appointed Chief Justice of Nebraska. He died at his residence near Bellevue, February 1, 1861. Of his efficiency, purity, and ability as a Judge, there has never been but one opinion.
As a man, Judge Hall possessed many attractive qualities. His sympathies were warm and easily enlisted. His heart was true His social qualities were remarkable. For hours he could entertain a circle of his friends, and neither he nor they know weariness. Those who were admitted to his friendship will carry in their hearts many a fond memory of hours enlivened by his conversation.
At a special meeting of the Douglas County Bar, February 2, 1861, the following resolutions were unanimously passed:
"WHEREAS, It having been announced to us that the Honorable AUGUSTUS HALL, Chief Justice of the Territory of Nebraska, died at his residence near Bellevue, February 1, 1861.
Concerning Judge Hall's record in his profession, Hon. J. M. Woolworth said: "He was not a case lawyer. He was a learned and an able lawyer, and a wise judge. During the time he was on the bench, he must have decided fifteen hundred cases; not more than a dozen of which were ever carried to the Supreme Court, and none were ever there reversed. When we suffered defeat at his hands, we hardly thought of the appellate court, so satisfactory were his opinions, and so uniformly correct his decisions. The litigation before him has often been of a severe, difficult kind. Large interests have been involved; difficult questions have been raised. Great zeal and ability have been employed. Had he not been great, truly great, those fifteen hundred decisions would not have remained universal. His best epitaph is written in his judicial determinations."
The following eulogy was pronounced by Hon. R. A. Howard, of the Douglas County bar, one of the Judge's most intimate friends:
"Judge Hall was a representative man. He possessed all the qualities requisite to success among Western men. He was bold, self-reliant, cool in all circumstances. He met the perils and endured the privations of border life with perfect unconcern. Honorable in all his dealings, frank and generous in his intercourse with those around him, paying no more regard to the conventionalities of society than was necessary; with kind words and genial smiles for his friends, and hard knocks for his foes--practical, persevering, manly--he pressed forward with rapid steps to the proud positions which he occupied. We have only to look at the history of our Territory and the neighboring State of Iowa, to see the evidences of his influence and worth. Upon all our institutions may be seen the marks of his hand; and there is, perhaps, within our borders, no man who has contributed so much to shape our destinies.
"Dignified in his bearing upon the bench, courteous and forbearing to all members of the bar, impartial and just to all suitors, unswayed by prejudice, unmoved by flattery or menace, Chief Justice Hall was a model Judge. The chief characteristic of his mind was its directness. Stripping off the folds in which learned and ingenious counsel had enveloped a cause, by a few rapid. straight strokes, he would lay bare the issue to be determined, and then, by the application of the broad principles of law, show the rights so plainly and conclusively that few remained unconvinced. He wrote no elaborate legal essays--no profound arguments to prove the truth of his conclusions. He listened patiently and attentively to the arguments of counsel, but was not blinded by any subtlety, no matter how ingeniously contrived. By great flashes of light which illumined a whole subject at once, and disclosed it at a glance, rather than by the feebler light of the candle which enabled us to see it in all its minuteness, did he show us anything. It was his custom to pick up the papers in a cause and examine the pleadings before argument, and with great acuteness and ability, would often direct counsel to the real issue from which they had wandered. The great evidence of his power was, that he seldom failed to convince those who had earnestly and ably believed and supported entirely different positions.
"In the social circle, Judge Hall was remarkable. His mind was richly stored with the choicest thoughts. He had read much and wisely. He had made the masters of English prose and poetry his study. His memory was wonderful; he would repeat whole pages from the choicest works of the authors in our language. His reading had been varied and extended. Politics, history, theology and science had all received his attention, and there were few subjects of conversation which he did not adorn by the originality and grace of his conversation.
"Such a man have we lost. Truly, sir, we have no heart to gauge his strength. Each of us may say, "He was my friend, faithful and just to me:' and he has gone never to return; he was my father and guide--the wise counselor, upon whom I leaned; the righteous judge, in whom I trusted; and he has left me alone. We can say no more--no less, than
"His life was gentle; and the elements So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up And say to all the world-- `This was a MAN.'"
OTTO H. MEYER, farmer and stock-raiser, Section 8, Town 13, Range 13. He was born in Germany, June 28, 1844; with his parents, he emigrated to America when seven years of age. His Parents, Herman and Natalie Meyer, located in Iowa, near Davenport, in 1851, where they lived two years; then moved to Mills County, where they lived till 1859, the father dying that year at the age of forty-five years. In 1860, Otto, with his mother, moved to Sarpy County, Neb., and went to farming, and two years later, purchased their present home. His mother died in 1867, aged forty-six years. Mr. Meyer is also largely engaged in bee culture, and is a member of the Nebraska State Beekeepers' Association. He was married in Sarpy County, February 22, 1870, to Miss Ella Kingman, who was born in Kendall, N. Y., March 25, 1853. They have two children--Paul Arthur, born November 22, 1870, and Bertha E., born February 19, 1874.
PROF. EDWIN T. SIMONS was born in Albany, N. Y., March 14, 1850. He attended the city schools till the age of fourteen, when he entered Knoxville Academy, from which he graduated three years subsequent. Entering Rutgers College, he graduated in the classical course in 1871, receiving the degree of A. M., after which he taught in Albany for five years. Receiving a call to the Principalship of Plattsmouth (Neb.) High School, he came into the West; but the chair of Latin and Greek in Nebraska City College being offered him, he accepted the same, which position he held for two years. Part of the year following he spent in traveling in the West, visiting the different Indian agencies. He is now Principal of the High School in Bellevue, Neb.