History of Richardson County, Nebraska
All life and achievement is evolution: present wisdom comes from past experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from past exertion and sacrifice. The deeds and motives of the men who have gone before have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of later communities and states. The development of a new country was at once a task and a privileges. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the present conditions of the people of Richardson county. Nebraska, with what they were sixty years ago. From a trackless wilderness and virgin land, the county has come to be a center of prosperity and civilization, with millions of wealth, systems of railways, educational and religious institutions, varied industries and immense agricultural and dairy interests. Can any thinking person be insensible to the fascination of the study which discloses the aspirations and efforts of the early pioneers who so strongly laid the foundation upon which has been reared the magnificent prosperity of later days? To perpetuate the story of these people and to trace and record the social, religious, educational, political and industrial progress of the community from its first inception, is the function of the local historian. A sincere purpose to preserve facts and personal memoirs that are deserving of perpetuation, and which unite the present to the past, is the motive for the present publication. The publishers desire to extend their thanks to those who have so faithfully labored to this end. Thanks are also due to the citizens of Richardson county, for the uni- form kindness with which they have regarded this undertaking, and for their many services rendered in the gaining of necessary information.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER I — TOPOGRAPHY, GEOLOGY, ETC., OF RICHARDSON
CHAPTER II — INDIAN HISTORY AND PREHISTORIC TIMES 63
CHAPTER III — -SPANISH EXPLORATIONS 85
CHAPTER IV — EARLY SETTLEMENT AND EARLY SURVEYS 99
CHAPTER V — ORGANIZATION OF RICHARDSON COUNTY 133
CHAPTER VI — LOCATION OF COUNTY SEAT 154
CHAPTER VII — ROSTER OF COUNTY OFFICERS 171
CHAPTER VIII — ORGANIZATION OF TOWNSHIPS AND PRECINCTS 190
CHAPTER IX — INCORPORATION OF TOWNS AND PRECINCTS 215
CHAPTER X — SERIES OF FIRST EVENTS 245
CHAPTER XI — AGRICULTURE AND STOCKRAISING 253
CHAPTER XII — EARLY TRANSPORTATION, NAVIGATION AND RAILROADS 292
CHAPTER XIII — SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION 326
CHAPTER XIV — CHURCHES OF RICHARDSON COUNTY 373
CHAPTER XV — NEWSPAPERS OF RICHARDSON COUNTY 404
CHAPTER XVI — PHYSICIANS OF RICHARDSON COUNTY 428
CHAPTER XVII — THE BENCH AND THE BAR 449
CHAPTER XVIII — BANKS AND BANKING 472
CHAPTER XIX — MILITARY HISTORY 487
CHAPTER XX — FALLS CITY, THE COUNTY SEAT 501
CHAPTER XXI — THE CITY OF HUMBOLDT 538
CHAPTER XXII — HISTORICAL SKETCH OF DAWSON 561
CHAPTER XXIII — DEFUNCT TOWNS OF RICHARDSON COUNTY 575
CHAPTER XXIV — SIDELIGHTS ON COUNTY HISTORY 603
CHAPTER XXV — SOME PROMINENT PIONEERS 665
CHAPTER XXVI — REMINISCENCES OF A WAYFARER 681
CHAPTER XXVII — HISTORICAL SKETCHES 711
CHAPTER XXVIII - MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS OF INTEREST 735
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Extensive efforts have been made fur years by archaeologists and ethnologists in an effort to recover and preserve for our general information everything that it has been possible to discover of other races of peoples who have inhabited this earth. In this great work the scientific men of all countries have been engaged, expending much money, time and energy in tracing the history of races with whom we sustain no kinship or direct relationship.
We think it equally laudable of us in a more local wa\ to want to know and try to preserve what little is possible of the story of those who have gone directly before us, not only for our own pleasure and benefit but for those who will follow.
It was for this reason that the work of preparing the present volume was undertaken and it was not begun a day out of season, for but few of the pioneers are still among us and in a short time they too may have moved onward.
There are yet among us those who saw Richardson county as an unpeopled wilderness and who were so charmed with its natural beauty as a land to live in that they would go no further in search of homes.
They have remained through all the years and have contributed much toward the steady march of progress which has so changed the land that but little remains to remind them of the country they once knew as a part of the Great Plains.
The story of the settlement, growth and development of Richardson county is set forth in the succeeding pages. Every effort was made to ascertain the facts in so far as it has been able to cover the ground.