General history of Seward county, Nebraska
In writing history of Seward County it has been my desire to produce a work of interest to the public and value to the county. All matters of history have been truthfully portrayed so far as 1 have been able to present them. I have not aimed to make it a high grade scholarly production, touching only the high places in the public attainments and official life of the past, but endeavored to give an unadorned narration of the real modes of life and progression of the county from its infancy to full growth and maturity. Trusting the worth of the work to stand upon its merits rather than upon its flattery of popular sentiment, no church, society, political party or enterprise has received advertising reading space in it, while all have been fairly and impartially dealt with.
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The historical "Steam Wagon Road" was established in 1864. It was roughly worked and prepared for the passage of the "steam wagon" which was to cross the great plains, conveying a forty horse load of merchandise. But misfortune seemed pre-eminent in the career of this first iron horse for Nebraska and on its trial trip it was wrecked in the ditch by the side of the road a short distance west of Nebraska City, its starting point, where it was abandoned, being later desected for the metal there was in it. And although the said iron horse, which had caused the building of so many groundless hopes and expectations "sleeps the sleep that knows no waking," the road that bore his name lives and will continue to live in history as long as historians write and people read history, as one of the great highways across the western plains. But in reality the steam wagon road was not an independent and distinct route or road. With the exception of a very few miles through Seward county it can- not be called by any other name than the original freight route or road. It followed the i860 freight route west from Nebraska city to near the Seward county line where it left the route and made a cut-off of a few miles by crossing the North Blue river where the city of Milford was shortly after located, instead of continuing south to the bridge at Camden. It forded the river at this place, continuing west ten miles to the Walnut creek crossing where it again united with the freight route, continuing as a part of the same, or as might properly be said, lost its name. It has never been known as the "steam wagon road" west of the Walnut creek cross- ing in Seward county.