Topography and Geology | First Settlers and Early History|
A Reminiscence | Creeks of Saunders County | Political History
County Organization | County Progress | Education|
Wahoo: Early History | Political History | Religious | Schools | Societies | Manufacturing|
Ashland: Business Interests | Schools | Societies | Religious|
Ashland: Biographical Sketches|
Valparaiso: Biographical Sketches|
Chapman Precinct: Biographical Sketches|
Douglas Precinct: | Biographical Sketch
Rock Creek Precinct
Clear Creek: Biographical Sketches
Chester Precinct | Marietta Precinct
Alvin (Mead P. O.): Biographical Sketches
Elk Precinct: Biographical Sketch
Richland Precinct | Center Precinct | Newman Precinct
List of Illustrations in Saunders County Chapter
The first settlers of Chapman Precinct were Isaac M. Goodspeed and Peter Campbell, who took up claims in 1867. The following year Thomas P. Chapman arrived, from whom the precinct takes its name, and J. D. Lehmkuhl. In 1869, R. H. Thomas and John Thomas. The early settlers had to undergo the usual amount of hardships and trials of the pioneer. The nearest point for obtaining supplies was Ashland, a distance of thirty miles, as was also the nearest blacksmith shop. A little incident is related by John Campbell, showing the inconveniences of pioneer life. He was compelled to carry plowshares on his shoulder, on foot to Ashland, returning the same way. The first school district was organized in 1869, at a meeting held at the house of Thomas P. Chapman, at which the following officers were elected: T. P. Chapman, Director; J. D. Lehmkuhl, Treasurer, and in 1870 the first schoolhouse was completed, and a school taught by H. N. Rodgers, which was located on Section 11. Rev. Robert Kendall preached the first sermon in 1871. Rev. I. Willis preached at Campbell's Grove in 1872. James P. Dunlap and Miss Christena Campbell were the first parties to join their fortunes in marriage in March, 1871, and death came first to Daniel Campbell in October, 1868. In 1874, a post office was established in the precinct under the name of Troy, with W. E. Hill as Postmaster. R. H. Thomas was the first to embark in business enterprise, opening a store with a stock of general merchandise at Weston, after the completion of the Omaha & R. V. R. R.
After the advent of the railroad, Weston began to put on the appearance of a thriving business town, and has constantly increased in population and importance. It is a well known shipping point for grain and stock, which is the principal business of the town, but all business is well represented. Its citizens do not expect it to become a great city, but that it will grow into a thriving and prosperous village is a certainty.
JOHN BARTEK, family grocery store and farmer, Weston, came to Nebraska in 1870 and took up a homestead, where he continued to reside up to 1880 then he moved to Weston and started a store, which he now runs in connection with his farm. Was born in Bohemia, December 23, 1832. Emigrated to America the same year he came to Nebraska. Was married in Bohemia, in 1853, to Miss Veronika Plucnar. They have seven children. They are both members of the Bohemia Catholic Church.
PETER CAMPBELL, deceased, came to Nebraska in the fall of 1865, with his family, and located at Fort Kearney, on Platte River and started a ranch, which he ran till the 24th of July, 1867, at which time the Indians came to his house while all the men were out at work and captured his four children, one of the larger ones making her escape. Those that were captured were two girls and two boys, viz: Christina, Jessie, Peter and Dan, the oldest girl, Christina, being nineteen years of age, and the youngest boy being only four years of age. They remained in captivity about three months, when they were released by Peace Commissioner of the United States upon the payment of $2,000. After his children were restored to him he moved to Saunders County, and settled in Chapman Precinct, in the spring of 1868, being the first settler in that locality, where he remained up to the time of his death, which was November 15, 1875. Deceased was a native of Scotland; was born September 22, 1822. Emigrated to the United States in 1865, the same year he came to Nebraska. He was married in his native country to Miss Agnes Rintoul, who died at Fort Kearney, Neb., in February, 1866. Their family consists of seven children, viz: Christina, Jessie, John R., Agnes, Peter, Daniel and Elizabeth. All were born in Scotland.
JOSEPH M. CHAPMAN, farmer, Section 4, Chapman Precinct, P. O. Weston. This gentleman came to Nebraska in fall of 1869, and homesteaded the place where he now lives in spring of 1870, in Chapman Precinct, which was named for him and his brother, T. P. Chapman. Joseph was born in Pennsylvania. He enlisted in late war of rebellion in 1864, in the Forty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company G, and served until the close.
ROBERT A. HEATON, Jr., member of the firm of Clark, Heaton & Co., grain and lumber dealers, Weston. This firm was established in the spring of 1877, under the firm name of Clark & Son, Mr. Heaton becoming a partner in fall of 1878. This firm erected the first elevator at Weston in November, 1880. Their shipment for the year 1881 was 400 cars of grain, etc., and December of this year they shipped over 106 cars of grain and live stock, etc. They receive about seventy-five carloads of lumber at this station per annum. Mr. Heaton was born in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., May 3, 1850. Was married at Weston, Neb., in 1878, to Miss Ellen Maber, of Washington County, Neb. Fred R. Clark of the above firm and book-keeper, was born at Fort Calhoun, Washington County, Neb., March 14, 1860. Is a son of Elam Clark, whose present residence is at Waterloo, Neb., and was one of the first settlers in that State.
JAMES KEAY, general merchandise, Weston. Came to Nebraska in Fall of 1869, and located in Butler County, where he took up a homestead on Section 14, Linwood, Butler County, and started a store, which was the third store in that place. Here he continued business till fall of 1877; then moved to Weston and started where he now is, which was the second general merchandise store at that place. He was born in Scotland, March 21, 1843. Emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1822, who first settled in the State of Illinois. He was married in 1874, in Nebraska, to Miss Katie M. Rumins, of Iowa. Their family consists of four children.
HENRY C. STEVENS, blacksmith Weston. Came to Nebraska in 1872, and bought a farm three miles east of Wahoo, where he resided until 1879, when he moved to Weston, and started a blacksmith shop, which was the first shop at that place. Was born in Warrick County, Ind., December 9, 1846. Was married in 1869 to Miss Charlotte Davis. They have three children.
RICHARD H. THOMAS, general merchandise, Weston, came to Nebraska in 1869 and took up a homestead two miles west of the present village of Weston and resided there until the summer of 1877 when he moved to Weston and opened the first general merchandise store at that place. Mr. T. was born in Wales, March 10, 1848. Emigrated to the United States with his brother, John T., in 1868, who took up a claim with him at the same time in Saunders County. He was married in 1873 to Miss Barbara Marr, who is also a native of Scotland. They have three children, two sons and one daughter.
In the spring of 1869, R. Flemming settled on the Sand Creek at Section 10, and the following summer he was followed by Charles Day, W. D. Farris, H. O. Connor, J. Te Poel and a Mr. Griffin, all locating in Douglas Precinct. At the close of the season James Kuypers, Oliver Scow, Edward Scow and C. O. Scow, all located near or upon Duck Creek, the South Branch of Sand Creek. James Kuypers preached the first sermon in his dugout during the winter of 1869-70, and in the spring of 1870, Rev. Mr. Purson, an ordained minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, visited this vicinity and organized the first class. After this Father Gregory labored here and ministered to the spiritual wants of the settlers. In 1872, James Kuypers organized a Sunday school, which met at the schoolhouse, and in 1875 Rev J. Amlong organized a Presbyterian Church.
The first school district was formed in the fall of 1870, and during the following winter John Wikell taught school. The district officials were: Abram Lees, Moderator; John Wilcox, Director; Mr. Simpson, Treasurer. The first birth in the precinct was a son to J. Te Poel, in the year 1870.
Bohemia Precinct was settled in 1869, by M. H. Noteware and T. Killian. Rev. Mr. Kuypers was the first missionary to visit this locality in 1873, preaching in the schoolhouse at Cedar Hill. A school district was organized and a schoolhouse erected at this point in the early part of 1873, and Arthur Brownell has the honor of being the first teacher.
A Catholic mission was formed in 1875. The first post office established in this section of the county was at Sand Creek in 1870, with R. Fleming as Postmaster.
JOHN FLEMING, farmer and stock-raiser, Douglas Precinct, P. O. Sand Creek, was born in Canada April 15, 1847. In the year 1869, he emigrated to the United States, and came to Nebraska the same year, locating on the farm where he now lives, which he ran in connection with his father up to 1880, and now owns 240 acres of land. He served as Assessor of Douglas three years, and was elected one of the County Board of Commissioners in the fall of 1877, and served three years. He is a son of Robert and Christina, Robert, his father, being the first Postmaster at Sand Creek.
W. L. Ingram located upon Section 20, at the point known as Ingram's Grove, in Rock Creek Precinct, one of the finest groves of black walnut and oak timber in the county, about the year 1863. He also took up a claim on Section 2, through which the old trail passed, which he maintained as a "ranch." G. W. Marshall and James Kelly settled in 1868, and John Scott, William Scott and Samuel Scott, in 1869. In 1869, the township was divided into four districts. A sod schoolhouse was built on Section 26, on the land of James Kelly. In 1870, a school was opened with John McGee as teacher, which was the first school established in the precinct. In 1871, a second sod schoolhouse was erected on Section 10, and during the winter a school was maintained with David Murch, afterward County Commissioner, as teacher. In 1872, the township issued its bonds and built four frame schoolhouses. The first school officers after the organization of the districts were: S. G. Chaney, Director; John Harrell, Moderator, and B. F. Omdorff, Treasurer.
Rev. Mr. Davis was the first minister to visit the precinct in 1870, and continued to preach at intervals until 1873. He organized a class of the Methodist Church in 1870. During the winter months services were held in the dug-outs and sod houses of the settlers, and in summer at Ingram's Grove. A Baptist Church was organized in the latter part of 1870, and in 1871 Rev. Mr. Colts organized a class of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Up to the winter of 1871, the deer were very plenty, but they disappeared shortly after.
This town is on the O. & R. V. branch of the U. P. R. R., about thirty-five miles west of Omaha. The village is located on rising ground and just to the eastward at the base of the hill. Clear, once known as Squaw Creek, flows sluggishly along, receiving the surplus water of the surrounding country and furnishing water for the thirsty stock that graze on its grassy flats. Two miles east of the village the Platte river contributes to the attractiveness of the scenery as it rushes pell-mell on its impetuous course to mingle its waters with the Big Muddy. The land for miles around is productive as any in Saunders County and stock raising and agricultural pursuits form the principal industry of its people. The town has a population of perhaps 130 and is well represented in the stock and grain, grocery, dry goods, hardware, millinery and hotel business.
One and one-half miles east of the village the waters of the Otoe Creek turn the machinery of Brown's mill and also of another three miles northward, known as the Platte Valley Mill, owned by W. C. Walter. They are important industries of Saunders County and well furnished.
Clear Creek has two church edifices erected in 1879, Methodist Episcopal and Lutheran, valued at $1,600, and is provided with a good, comfortable, frame school house.
JOHN M. FRANCE, Postmaster and druggist, Clear Creek, came to Nebraska in 1872 and located at Omaha and engaged with Thomas Martin, the pioneer druggist of that city. He afterwards engaged as traveling agent for Martin's successor, which he followed four years. He located at Clear Creek in August, 1881, and was appointed Postmaster at that place in October, 1881. He was appointed apothecary in the United States Navy in 1866, and served in that position, doing six years sea service. Is a native of New York State, being born April 30, 1852. Participating in the war in China in 1870 between the Corean Government and the United States, was discharged for physical disability.
JOHN M. HEDGE. of the firm of Howes & Hodge, lumber dealers, Clear Creek, came to Nebraska in July, 1876, and located at Blair, Washington County, where he worked for C. C. Crowell & Co., in lumber and grain business, till January, 1879, when he moved to Clear Creek and bought out David Dean, lumber yard. Is also agent for Rock Spring Coal Company. The above firm sells about forty car loads of lumber per annum and fifteen car loads of coal. Was born August 3, 1857.
WILLIAM A. KNAPP, blacksmith, Clear Creek, came to Nebraska in 1867 and that year went to Cheyenne and engaged to work for the U. P. R. R. Co., and in 1868 went to work for the Government at Fort Kearney where he remained but a short time and then came to Saunders County and took up a homestead in Marble Precinct, three miles south of Clear Creek. He soon afterward started a blacksmith shop on his farm, which he continued to run up to 1879. Then started a shop at Clear Creek which he now runs in connection with his farm. Was born in Colesville, Boone Co., N. Y., June 11, 1837. Enlisted in the war of the Rebellion August 13, 1861, in the First Pennsylvania Rifles, Company I, generally known as the Bucktail Regiment, and served three years. Was married in Pennsylvania in 1865 to Miss Elizabeth A. Fisk. They have seven children.
PETER R. McCOY, farmer, Section 26, Union Precinct, P. O. Clear Creek. Was born in Cambria County, Pa., March 29, 1838. He engaged at farming and boating on the Philadelphia and Erie Canal, a number of years, and in 1862, in the month of October, enlisted in the war of the Rebellion, in the Eighteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company I, and served until the close, after which he returned to his native State and remained until 1869, when he came to Nebraska. Was married in Pennsylvania, in 1867, to Miss Mary E. Rogers, of Pennsylvania, she was born in 1845. They are both members of the Christian Church at Clear Creek, and was among the first members to form that society, at Clear Creek.
SAMUEL NAYLOR, real estate agent, came to Nebraska, January 1, 1869, and first located one-half mile south of the present village of Clear Creek, where he took up a homestead, and resided till 1879, when he moved to Clear Creek. Was born in Lancaster County, Pa., October 7, 1825. Was married in Iowa, January 22, 1861, to Miss Amanda J. Bradford, who was born in the State of Ohio. They have two children. Ellwood M. and Cora B.
JOHN PETERS, general merchandise, Clear Creek, came to Nebraska, in 1870, and bought a farm which he still owns at Clear Creek, and continued to run up to 1875, when he started his store. Mr. Peters was among the first settlers at Clear Creek. Was born in Germany, August 29, 1833, emigrated to the United States in 1852, and first settled in Illinois. Was married in the State of Illinois, in 1854, to Miss Mary Deerson. He is a member of the Reformed Lutheran Church and was one of the organizing number of that society at Clear Creek, which was formed with a membership of twenty-three in 1873. The society has now a comfortable church building at Clear Creek.
CHARLES W. PHELPS, of the firm of Phelps & Co., grain buyers, Clear Creek, came to Nebraska in November, 1878, and located at Clear Creek, and bought out James Nelson, grain buyer. Mr. Phelps erected the elevator at Clear Creek, in 1879, and now ships over 600 car loads of grain per annum. He was born in Crawford County, Pa., August 26, 1835. Enlisted in war of the Rebellion August 13, 1862, in the One Hundred and Thirteenth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company K, at Kankakee City, Ill., and served until the close of the war. Was married in Indiana at Lowell, Lake Co., to Miss Annie E. Drake. They have four children.
MILTON M. RUNYON, station agent for U. P. R. R. Company at Clear Creek. Came to Nebraska in 1871, and located in northern part of Saunders County, where he took up a homestead. Here he resided until July 1, 1877, when he moved to Clear Creek and took his present position and was the second station agent at Clear Creek. Was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, December 23, 1844. Was elected to the Legislature from Saunders County, in 1876. Enlisted in war of the Rebellion, November 2, 1862, in the Thirteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company I, and was discharged on account of disability, after one year and six months' service, and in 1864, he re-enlisted in the one hundred days service, Forty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company B, and served four months, or the close of the war. Was married in Iowa, in 1865, to Miss S. E. Blanchard.
In the year 1870, B. U. Traverse settled upon Section 14, Chester Precinct, on the farm now owned by W. W. Hall. During this year, Jonathan Crisp, David Wilson and Clayton Troth, located here.
In the vicinity of Iowa Ridge, J. J. Miller and James Graham were the first settlers, in 1871, followed soon after by M. M. Runyan, Charles Riggs, H. L. Stowitts, D. O. Elliot, Jesse Burbank, Gilbert Fleming and J. S. Williams, who settled at this point early in the spring of 1872. The first birth in the precinct was a son to C. J. Bogardus, February 1, 1872. The first persons joined in marriage were Adam Wikel and Miss Martha Crisp, and the first death was a child of B. U. Traverse, who was buried on the farm of W. W. Hall. In the early part of 1872, a school was organized at Willow Creek, and a sod schoolhouse erected. On May 5, Rev. Mr. Gregory preached the first sermon, and organized a class of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The next day the district school was opened with a Miss Wheeler as teacher. At Iowa Ridge a union Sabbath school was organized at the house of Charles Riggs, June 16, 1872, and on July 7, 1872, Rev. William Worley preached the first sermon in the dug-out of H. L. Stowitts. The Sabbath school was maintained for two years, being held alternately in the houses of the settlers, transporting the library in a basket. On the 10th of July, 1872, Messrs. M. M. Runyan and H. L. Stowitts made application to the County Superintendent of Schools to organize a school district, and the following August the organization was effected with M. M. Runyan as Moderator; H. L. Stowitts, Director; D. C. Hall, Treasurer. The first school of the district was held at the house of J. J. Miller, with Mrs. E. E. Miller as teacher, during the following winter. The schoolhouse was built in October, 1873, by C. Riggs. On the 23d of November, 1873, Rev. Mr. Drefsee commenced a series of sermons, preaching every two weeks at the schoolhouse, and organized a Congregational Church with nine members September 10, 1876. The United Brethren also organized a class under the ministration of Rev. Mr. Verner, May 24, 1874. Many misfortunes came to the settlers during the first few years; a great prairie fire swept over the precinct in October, 1871, and again in October, 1872, burning hay, stables, stock and much farm machinery. In April, 1873, from the 12th to the 15th, they experienced a terrible snow storm, with severe cold freezing; stock and some of the settlers were frozen to death.
August 4, 1873, the grasshoppers made their first incursion, and in July 24, 1874, began their memorable visitation, which is still vividly remembered. Notwithstanding these disasters, the comforts that prosperity is sure to bring are now enjoyed by these pioneers, and present happiness is almost a sufficient recompense for past misfortune.
T. L. Adams, J. Elliott and J. Ellison settled in Marietta Precinct in 1867. Adams upon Section 22; Elliott and Ellison upon Section 20. In 1868, J. Gillchrist located on Section 20, and J. F. Gregory on Section 14. William Ellison arrived in 1870, and made his claim on Section 21. Marietta Precinct was formerly connected with Center, and was named in honor of Mrs. Marietta Copp, wife of C. S. Copp. The Union Pacific Railroad passes through the precinct near its southern boundary, and has established a station by the name of Mead, where all branches of business are represented. Since the completion of the railroad, the population has increased to fifty, and it bids fair to become a good business town, being one of the important shipping points for grain.
Mead was formerly included in the Platteville Circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was established in 1872, including all the northern part of Saunders County, known as the Gregory Mission, and a class of this church was organized at an early date at Mead. In 1880, this old circuit was divided, and a second established, called the Mead Circuit, with the principal station at this point. The church numbers ninety-two members, and is the largest on the new circuit. At present, it has no house of worship, using the schoolhouse as a place of meeting.
In 1872, Rev. M. P. Ormsby, a missionary sent out by the Illinois Presbytery, organized a Presbyterian Church in the north part of the precinct. This society owns a fine church, recently erected, situated on Section 5, valued at $1,500. W. D. McCord organized it in 1874, and has held the office as its Superintendent since the date of its organization.
Alvin is a thrifty little town of about one hundred inhabitants located on the line of the Omaha & Republican Valley Railroad, midway between Wahoo and Cedar Creek, in the southeast corner of Marietta Precinct. It is represented by four business houses, including lumber, grain and general merchandise in its complement of business.
It is a good shipping point for stock and grain, and is fast growing to be one of the more important stations of this line of railway.
REV. EDMUND J. BIRD, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Mead, was born in New Jersey, August 2, 1839. Was educated at Pennington, N. J.; graduated there in 1867. Was ordained deacon in 1869 by Bishop Ames and Elder by Bishop Simpson, in January, 1871. Was transferred to Nebraska, in 1880, and took charge of his present circuit. Enlisted in the United States Navy, in 1861, and served until November, 1863, and afterward enlisted in the Thirty-seventh New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, Company B, in 1864, in the one hundred day call, after which he returned to New York and worked in Jacobs patent wheel factory, where he lost his right arm. Was married in November, 1869, to Miss Mary Wood of Surrey County, N. C. They have three children.
CYRUS T. CONDIT, of the firm of Ostenberg, Condit & Co., grain and lumber dealers, came to Nebraska in December, 1868, and located at Fremont, where he worked at carpentering, and in February, 1877, moved to Mead, and started this present business. He was born in Ohio, October 15, 1843. Was married February, 1876, to Miss Jeannette Williams, who was born in Iowa County, Wis. They have one daughter, Delia. The above firm ships over 600 car loads of grain per year, and in 1881, sold over forty car loads of lumber.
CHARLES OSTENBERG, dealer in general merchandise, Mead, came to Nebraska in 1876 and located at Schuyler, where he remained till March, 1877, when he came to Mead and opened the store where he now is. He was born in Germany, June 1, 1821, and emigrated to the United States in 1849. He was married in his native country to Miss Carolina Jully--her father was born in France and her mother in Germany. She was born in Germany. They have ten children.
MOSES PARDIS, proprietor Mead Hotel, came to Nebraska in 1876, and built his present hotel in the fall of 1879, which was the first hotel erected in that village. He was born in Montreal, Canada, January 24, 1858; came to the United States and to Nebraska the same year. He was married in the spring of 1877 to Miss Emma Robare, who was born in Minnesota. They are both members of the Catholic Church.
In June, 1867, Peter Kastl made a settlement in Elk Precinct, and in 1868, he was followed by Micheal Petrzeska, John Wanons, James Reap, and Joseph Simanek.
The first school district was organized in the fall of 1869, and a sod schoolhouse erected. J. P. Dunlap taught the first term of school the following winter.
Rev. Mr. Spulat preached the first sermon in this locality in October, 1870, at the house of Joseph Simanek.
The Catholic Church was the first church erected, and is situated on Section 15.
Stephen Crawford opened a store with a stock of general merchandise upon Section 30, in 1874.
Peter Kastl entered the first land in June, 1867, the tract being Section 20, Town 15, Range 5 east.
PETER KASTL, farmer. Section 20, P. O. Pilzen, was born in Bohemia, November 1, 1827. He emigrated to America in 1866, and located at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he resided until June, 1867, when he came to Nebraska, and located on the place where he now lives. He was the first settler in Elk Precinct, and the first Bohemian settler in Saunders County. He and wife were among the original members of the Catholic Church in that precinct, now the largest Catholic Church society in the county, which was organized in 1872 with a class of sixty-five members and at the same time took up a subscription to build a church, which fund reached $120 in cash, with which they bought forty acres of land for church building and cemetery, said piece of land being plowed in one day by sixty men voluntarily with their teams. In 1878 they erected their present church, a fine, large building, well furnished, with a capacity of seating 300 persons--size, 72x40. The church is also furnished with a large bell that can be heard many miles around. They also have a parsonage adjacent to the church, occupied by the Rev. Vencelce Kocarnik, their present pastor. The society at present numbers 120 members, and is all out of debt. The subject of this sketch was married in Bohemia, January, 1859, to Miss Annie Frokner, who was born in Bohemia, June 21, 1838, by whom he has eight children, seven of whom are now living. He now owns 1,040 acres of land in Butler and Saunders Counties, and started with only $1,000.
In the month of July, 1868, E. and H. A. Andrews settled on Rock Creek, at the southwest quarter of Section 32, Town 13, Richland Precinct, and at the close of the season W. J. Gibbs and J. Nelson located on the west half of the same section. They named the new settlement Ceresco, which now has a population of about twenty-five inhabitants and contains one store of general merchandise and a blacksmith shop.
T. W. Riddle settled on Section 6, in the northwest corner of the precinct, but removed to Ceresco in 1870, and opened the first store in this section of the county.
J. Erickson, N. Johnson and P. Person settled at Swedeburg in 1869, and J. I. Grever in 1870, and about this time a Mr. Miller located at Lone Valley and the Fullsom brothers at Milton. Hiram Chudd settled on Section 23, at Bradford, in 1870, and a Mr. Conkling at Rose Hill.
The first schoolhouse was erected on Section 32, in the summer of 1872, and the following winter Miss Bella Riddle taught the first school established in this vicinity.
Rev. Mr. Lathrop, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, preached the first sermon, in the house of B. W. Riddle, in the spring of 1872, and organized a class of Methodist Episcopal communicants, and the following year Rev. Mr. Clark visited the settlement of Ceresco, preaching at intervals, during which time the organization of a Methodist Episcopal Sabbath school was effected.
At Swedeburg, a Lutheran Church was founded in 1872. In 1876, this church divided, and a second church was established.
Rev. Mr. Amlong organized a Presbyterian Church at Ceresco in 1875.
A postal route was established in 1870 between Fremont and Ceresco, passing through Swedeburg, Wahoo and Cedar Bluffs, which was the first mail route established in the county. T. W. Riddle was Postmaster at Ceresco and J. M. Lee at Wahoo. The mail was carried on a stage coach twice each week. This stage line offered the only facilities for reaching the interior of Saunders County, with the exception of the old Government trail, which passed through the southwest corner of it. In 1874, a post office was established at Bradford and another at Lone Valley, and a short time after at Rose Hill.
C. S. Copp. James Hapgood, A. J. Seaman, B. Johnson, J. and O. Trexell are the first settlers in Center Precinct. F. M. Stratton and L. D. Copp made settlements in 1869.
A school district was organized in 1869 and a schoolhouse erected upon Section 16. The following winter a school was opened, with a small attendance.
In this house Father Gregory preached the first sermon in the new settlement and formed a class of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the winter of 1869.
Mr. Stratton removed to Wahoo, engaging in the lumber business, and Messrs. C. S. and L. D. Copp opened a law office at Wahoo.
The Saunders County poor farm is situated on Section 27. A home is provided for the county's poor, but the number of paupers are few indeed.
About the year 1863, a Mr. Barnhill established the old Barnhill Ranch, and maintained it until the year 1865, at which date he sold his claim to A. J. Jemison who carried on the "ranch" until the "old trail," the best of natural roads, was abandoned for the "iron horse."
George Newman from whom the precinct takes its name, James Dunlap and M. B. Giffin settled here in 1867, J. Worley and Joseph Kastle, in 1868; Barnhill settled upon Section 32, Giffin and Worley upon Section 30, and Newman upon Section 29. In the winter of 1868-69, a schoolhouse was built upon Section 29, now District No. 17, and a school taught by J. Worley. A second schoolhouse was built upon Section 14 in 1872, and during the winter, Miss Ellen Moran taught the first school held in it. A third schoolhouse was erected on Section 8 in 1873.
Rev. George Worley preached the first sermon at the schoolhouse in 1868, and a class of Methodist Episcopal Church communicants was organized in 1869. The Government established a post office at this point in 1868. I. J. Newman was appointed the first Postmaster, acting until 1870.
Mr. T. E. Cook and Miss Martha J. Jemison were the first persons joined in marriage during the latter part of 1865. The service was performed by Rev. Mr. Webb, a minister of the Baptist Church, who was traveling through the country over the old trail. It was the one important event, socially, of the year, and is still fresh in the memory of those who were fortunate enough to be bidden to the wedding, and make one of the party on this joyous occasion.
JOSEPH S. COLLINS, farmer, Section 32, Pohocco Precinct, was born in Vermont, December 22, 1842. He enlisted in the war of the Rebellion in the town of Stowe, Vt., in 1862, in the Thirteenth Vermont Volunteer Infantry, Company E, and served nine months, after which he returned to Vermont. In the spring of 1869 he moved to Nebraska, and homesteaded the farm where he now lives. He was married at Fremont, Neb., in 1876, to Miss Isabel Cameron, who was born in Canada. They have two children. William W. and Joseph R.
AUGUST MIELENZ, merchant, Ithaca, came to Nebraska in 1869, first locating at Omaha, where he engaged to work for the U. P. R. R. Co., constructing bridges. In 1873 he came to Ithaca and started in his present business. He was appointed Postmaster in 1877. He is a native of Wisconsin, being born in Dodge County, August 30, 1849; was married in 1873 to Miss Mary Krebs of Wisconsin. His store was the first store started in Ithaca.
JOHN F. ROLL, P. O. Ithaca, miller and stock raiser, was born in Germany, March 15, 1840. He emigrated to the United States in 1856 and settled in Dodge County. He enlisted in the war of the Rebellion at Horicon, Wis., in the First Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Company C., in the three months' call. He re-enlisted in the fall of 1861 in the Twenty-ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company C, and was discharged on account of disability. He came to Nebraska in 1866, located at Omaha, and worked on the U. P. R. R., constructing bridges, etc. In 1871 he moved to Ithaca and erected the mill which he still runs. He was married in 1868 in Dodge County, Wis., to Miss Louisa Schoultz. They have four children.
ISAAC N. PHELPS, farmer, Section 14, Cedar Precinct, P. O. Wahoo, came to Nebraska in the spring of 1869, and bought the farm where he now lives, which he has devoted his attention, to improving, and now owns one of the best farms in Saunders County. Mr. Phelps was born in Washington County, N. Y., February 22, 1810; was married in the year 1832, in the month of February, in New York, to Miss Mary Perkins. He was one of the first men to start a school in Colon District. His family consists of three sons and one daughter. Mr. Phelps is perhaps the best informed man in Saunders County, in regard to its agricultural advantages, and has done more work in aiding settlers to locate in Nebraska than any other man. He has traveled about 75,000 miles in the last three years, to New York and through the Eastern States, soliciting men to come west. He was appointed agent of Saunders County Emigration Society, in which capacity he serves with such qualified ability as few men possess.
WILLIAM H. MEAD, farmer, Section 15, Pohocco Precinct, P. O. Fremont, was born in Wake County, N. C., June 14, 1844. In 1855 moved to Brooklyn, N. Y., with his parents, where they resided two years, and from there moved to Loda, Ill., and from there moved to Kankakee City, Ill., and in the year 1871, the subject of this sketch moved to Saunders County, Neb., and located on the farm, where he now lives and now owns 320 acres of as good farm land as there is in the County. Was elected a member of the County Board of Commissioners in fall of 1880, for the term of three years. Was married in Illinois, January 8, 1867, to Miss Frances E Eggleston, who is a native of Connecticut. They have four children, viz.: Katie E., Ida E., Mary C., and William H. He is a member of I. O. O. F., Centennial Lodge, No. 58, at Fremont.