Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska

Merrick County
Produced by
Connie Snyder.


Location and Natural Features | Early History | Crimes and Casualties
First Events | County Organization | Political History
First Case in Court | General County Topics
Means of Communication | Schools


Central City:  Churches | The Press | Societies | Banks | Flour Mills
Public Buildings | Biographical Sketches


Clark's:   Churches | Biographical Sketches
Silver Creek:   Biographical Sketches
Chapman:   Biographical Sketches

List of Illustrations in Merrick County Chapter

Part 3


   This is a thriving station on the Union Pacific Railroad, situated about twelve miles west of Central City. The settlement, which is not incorporated as a town, has a population of about 300 people. It contains a good district school, attended by 100 pupils, divided into two grades. The Principal is Dr. Robinson. The building, a substantial two-story frame structure, was erected in 1880, at a cost of $3,000.

   The early settlement of Clark's and vicinity dates back to April 1, 1865, when C. B. Hartwell located three miles east of the present station and opened a ranch. It was on the old military road, and was called the Junction Ranch. Mr. Hartwell had resided at Elkhorn since 1862. The town was platted in the fall of 1866, and named in honor of S. H. H. Clark, Superintendent of the Union Pacific Railroad. John McLean settled during the same year, and, in 1867, John F. McLean, his son, was born, the first natural increase to the population of Clark's. F. Coyle also came in 1866, and, in 1868, A. Kerr and Thomas Tague. In December, 1866, John McLean and Mary E. Hartwell were united in marriage, this being the first ceremony of the kind which ever occurred in Clark's. The first death was that of Jennie Hartwell, in March, 1868. A post office was established at Clark's in 1869, A. Kerr being Postmaster. During this same year, he accidentally shot himself while on a visit to Central City. In September, 1871, Mary Walkey taught the first school in a sod shanty which had been erected on Mr. Hartwell's land. During the same year the first store was opened by L. B. McIntyre, on North Millard street. He lately removed to Maine.


   There are four Churches in Clark's--the Catholic, under Father Geary, of Central City, and noticed elsewhere; the Episcopal, Rev. Samuel Goodale, of Columbus, in Charge; the Congregational, Rev. George S. Biscoe, pastor; and the Methodist Episcopal Church, in charge of Rev. Joseph B. Buckley.

   First M. E. Church.--The Clarksville Mission was formed at the Nebraski Conference, held at Nebraska City, in April, 1873. Previous to this time, the territory included in the charge was embraced in the Columbus and Grand Island charges. Rev. David Marquette was the first itinerant preacher, the first class forming at the house of C. B. Hartwell, the first settler in the vicinity of Clark's, in 1868. For part of the following year, Rev. Mr. Whitehead, of Columbus, attended to the work. When the mission was formed, in 1873, the pulpit was supplied for a time by Rev. Messrs. Walch and M. A. Fairchild, the territory being included in the Grand Island work. Rev. Edwin Buck became the first settled pastor in 1874; Rev. J. M. Dressler served 1875 and 1876, and Rev. J. S. Donaldson, 1877. In May, 1878, Mr. Donaldson died from injuries received by a fall. Mr. Dressler again assumed charge, and was succeeded by Rev. J. Marsh, in 1879, and Rev. B. R. Turner, in 1880. In July, 1881, Rev. Joseph B. Buckley, the present incumbent, commenced his pastorate. The society numbers 100 members, the church edifice being erected in 1879.

   St. Paul's (Episcopal)--An organization was effected in 1871, and a church building erected in 1873, the first in town. The membership is about fifty, the value of the church property being $2,000. Rev. Samuel Goodale, of Columbus, has charge of the society.

   Congregational Church.--A union church building was erected in 1873, also, which has passed into the hands of the Congregationalists. A society was organized in 1877, Rev. Benjamin A. Dean serving as pastor one year. Rev. George S. Biscoe, the present incumbent, commenced his pastorate. The society has a membership of about thirty, the church property being valued at $2,500.

   Clark's business directory is composed of two grain elevators and a lumber yard, three general stores, one furniture store, one hardware, one drug, one harness shop, one butcher shop, three blacksmith shops and a real estate and land office. Having a good wagon bridge and a large extent of territory in all directions tributary to it, Clark's is quite a business center. It has one hotel, the Douglas House, built eight years ago. The place has also a post office, and last, but not least, a flourishing lodge of Knights of Honor, formed in 1878, and a Legion of Honor lodge, organized in 1881.


   GEORGE C. AGNEW, of the firm of Agnew & Rowland, general merchandise, was born in Parke County, Ind., in 1852; came to Cedar County, Iowa, with his parents; there assisted on their farm. In the spring of 1873, came to Victor, Iowa, and there engaged in the drug business. In the fall of 1879, came to Clark's. He, with J. P. Morrison, established this business. This partnership continued about two years. February, 1882, Mr. Rowland became a member of this firm. Their trade is rapidly increasing, doing a business of about $25,000 a year.

   GEORGE FOSTER, general merchandising, is a native of England. In 1852, he came to Du Page County, Ill.; worked for the old Galena & Chicago Union Railway, now the Galena Division of the Chicago & North-Western Railway, as Section Foreman; continued in the employ of this company about seventeen years, excepting four years which he spent in the service of the army. He then removed to Kane County, Ill.; engaged in farming. February, 1871, came to Merrick County, Neb., and took a homestead claim, which he improved. He was also employed by the Union Pacific Railroad, on construction from 1871 to 1878. He then opened a general store, which he has since carried on. He enlisted in 1861, in Company E, Eighth Illinois Cavalry, and served to the end of the war.

   F. GEORGE, SR., general merchandise, grain and country produce, was born in England; came to Canada when a boy; remained there a short time; then came to Indiana. Afterward removed to Springfield Ill.; there he engaged in merchandising. He was also engaged in the same business Indianapolis, Ind. Mr. G. has also been a resident of Boston, Mass., where he owned property. In 1870, came to Clark's; he built two mills which he operated for a time; sold out and has been engaged in the grain and lumber business most of the time since he has been there, since 1880. He has been engaged in merchandising. Mr. George is one of the oldest settlers in the locality.

   A. A. HONEY, agent Union Pacific Railroad, was born in Worcester County, Mass.; came to Two Rivers, Wis., in 1856, with his parents; there raised and educated. In 1869, came to Ottawa, Ill.; learned telegraphing; worked for the Western Union Telegraph Company, and Atlantic & Pacific; was manager of this office in Salt Lake about two years. October 4, 1877, came to Clark's where he has since been agent of this station.

   R. T. MAXWELL, hardware, was born in Syracuse, N. Y.; was raised in Michigan, where he engaged in farming; in 1872, came to Plattsmouth, Neb.; also followed farming. In 1880, he removed to Wayne, Neb.; there opened a hardware store, which he his recently sold, and is now opening a general hardware store at Clark's.

   HON. W. R. MORSE, lumber, grain and implements, is a native of Sagadahoc County, Me., where he was raised. At the age of twenty-one, he came to Champaign, Ill.; was employed there as clerk in a store in 1872; came to Clark's and opened a general store, which business he continued until 1880; since this time he has been engaged in his present business. He held the office of Postmaster from 1872 to 1880. In the fall of 1880, he was elected State Senator, representing Merrick, Hall, Howard and Greeley Counties, comprising a larger population than any other district in the State. Mr. Morse is about completing a residence at a cost of about $3,000, the finest in the county.

   DAVIS RICHARDSON, farmer and live stock, is a native of Frederick, Md. In 1872, he came, with his parents, to Merrick County, Neb. They settled on this farm; consisting of 180 acres, well improved They also own about three thousand acres of land in this county. In 1876, he returned to Maryland, entered Frederick College, where he remained a part of three years; then returned to Merrick County, and has since had full charge and management of this farm. He has recently imported a number of Short-Horn cattle, and Oxford Downs Sheep, and is otherwise largely engaged in live stock. His father died in the spring of 1876, when on a visit East.

   E. A. RICHARDSON, druggist and Postmaster, was born in Wyoming County, N. Y., in 1871; came to Grand Island, Neb.; there engaged in the drug business; sold out this business in 1877; came to Clark's and established this business; July, 1880, he was appointed Postmaster. Mr. R. is Treasurer of the School Board.

   M. T. ROWLAND, of the firm of Agnew & Rowland, general merchandise, is a native of Hagerstown, Md. At about the age of thirteen, he came, with his parents, to Victor, Iowa; there he was raised; was employed as clerk in a store about two years. He then went to Colorado, where he remained about one year; then returned to Victor. Came to Clark's February, 1882, when he became a member of this firm.

   MAJ. F. SWEET, farmer and live stock, was born in Cumberland County, Penn. At about the age of ten, his father removed to Indiana County; afterward to Armstrong County, Penn. He enlisted July, 1861, in Company E, Sixty-second Pennsylvania Infantry, as First Sergeant; was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg; confined at York General Hospital about three months. During this time he was promoted to Captain; returned to his regiment; served to the expiration of his enlistment; then returned to Pennsylvania, engaged in farming a short time; then went to Cincinnati; was clerk in the County Recorder's office three years. In the spring of 1871, came to Merrick County, took a homestead of 160 acres on Section 12, Town 15, Range 5, where he now resides, He owns in all 320 acres, and is largely engaged in live stock. He has been Deputy County Clerk three years, and one year County Commissioner. He organized what is known as Company K, First Regiment National Guard of the State; was commissioned Captain, afterward promoted to Inspector General, with the rank of Major, on the Governor's Staff, which position he still holds. He has always taken an active part in organizing and furthering the interest of the Republican ticket.


   Eleven miles west of Clark's on the Union Pacific Railroad is the station of Silver Creek. It contains about 150 people, and is the center of a good country. A fine wagon bridge across the Platte, noted elsewhere, brings it into communication with the counties to the south. The town was platted by the Union Pacific Railroad Company in November, 1866. The first building erected after the section house, was built by B. F. Hobart during the early part of 1870. In September, 1870, Cyrus Lee erected a hotel called the "Lee House," which is at present unoccupied. Silver Creek has, however, one public house for the accommodation of travelers. Soon after the erection of the Lee House, Thomas Lee built a dwelling house, and located also at Silver Creek.

   Among the earliest settlers in and around Silver Creek were the Shaw brothers, Mr. Lathrop (who kept a ranch two miles below the town), J. and Ed. Howland (who located one-half a mile north), and James Brown (who built a house in the spring of 1871). It was during the year 1870 that Rev. H. C. Shaw, one of the pioneer Episcopalian ministers of this region, organized the society which has remained in his charge up to the present time. It now has a membership of about twenty. A district school was organised in 1871, which is now under the superintendency of Dr. E. L. Robinson. The attendance is about thirty. The first marriage occurred July 4, 1871, Thomas Gannon and Mary Foster being united in the holy bonds. Soon afterward, D. C. Kelley and Ella Lee were united in marriage.

   The Congregational Church was formed in March, 1874, with the following charter members: Asa Nichols, Thomas W. Lee, Mrs. Thomas W. Lee, C. H. Lee, Mrs. C. H. Lee, James A. Brown, Mrs. J. A. Brown, Joseph Gardner, Isaac Brown and Mrs. I. Brown. Rev. L. H. Jones was the first regular pastor. Between 1875 and 1878, no regular services were held. Rev. C. C. Starbuck next took charge of the society, and after one year's service was succeeded by Rev. J. P. Dyas, the last pastor. There is no settled pastor at present. The church building was erected in 1879, at a cost of $2,000. The membership of the society is about fifteen.

   Silver Creek derived its name from the clearness, sparkle and color of the little stream which meanders over the prairie near the town. The first post office was established at Lathrop's ranch, two miles below Silver Creek. It was called "Silver Glen," but after Silver Creek was platted, the post office was removed to that point.

   The business houses of Silver Creek consist of two grain elevators, a flour mill one half mile east of town, lumber yard, two general stores, two blacksmith shops, one harness shop, one drug store, a butcher shop, etc., etc.

   The flour mill is operated by Crawford & James, has three run of stone and was built in 1879.

   Silver Creek is in the midst of a rich stock-raising country, and does a large business in the pressing of hay.


   CRAWFORD & JAMES, proprietors Silver Creek Mills. Alonzo Crawford was born in Huron County, Ohio; there he was raised and learned the milling business, which he followed there about four years. In the fall of 1870, he went to Kansas; ran a portable mill about four years; returned to Bryan, Ohio, engaged in the foundry and machine business about three years. In 1877, came to Silver Creek; ran a lumber yard about one year. In 1878, he, with D. C. Place. built this mill, which is run by water-power; has four run of buhrs, and is supplied with all the late improved machinery for the manufacture of flour. J. H. James was born in Hartford County, Md. When a child, came to Indiana. At the age of thirteen, he commenced to learn the milling business, which he has since followed. In 1878, came to Clark's; October, 1879, he bought Mr. Place's interest in this mill. Has since been one of the members of this firm.

   L. K. HILLS, farmer, Section 34, P. O. Silver Creek. is a native of Auburn, N. Y. At about the age of eleven, he came to Janesville, Wis.; assisted on a farm. In 1848, he returned East and married Miss E. F. Miller, of Massachusetts. In 1854, they came to Freeport, Ill.; clerked in a store there about four years. In 1858, came to Galena; also clerked in a store. He enlisted, in 1863, in Company K, Ninety-sixth Illinois Infantry; served to the end of the war; then returned to Massachusetts. In 1868, came to Merrick County, Neb.; made a claim of 160 acres, where he now resides, and has one of the best improved farms in the county. He owns in all 310 acres, and is largely engaged in live stock. He was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad about five years, running a stationary engine in Wyoming Territory. Mr. H. is now Deputy Sheriff, and has held about all the local offices in the precinct; he is probably the oldest resident here.


   This thriving little village of some sixty inhabitants is located about eleven miles west of Central City on the Union Pacific Railroad. When the road passed through that section in 1866, there were no signs of a town, and but little settlement in that part of the county. James Vieregg had located at Lone Tree in the fall of 1859, and in 1861 John L. Martin stopped where he now resides, one and a half miles from town. The first man at the station was John Donavon, who was sent as section boss. The first building except these owned by the railroad was erected in 1871 by Lincoln Reed and C. A Leake, and occupied by them for a store and general trading depot. The first real store was opened two years after by J. I Walker, who sold out to W. H. Morris in 1877. The real importance of the town dates from 1878, when the bridge across the Platte was completed. This bridge is one of the finest on the river. It is 2,800 feet in length and cost $14,000. It connected the northern part of Hamilton County with the railroad at Chapman, and the town grew to almost its present size during that year. With the building of the Burlington & Missouri Railroad into Hamilton County, the trade was largely cut off, and Chapman remained at a standstill. In 1881, it arose to the dignity of possessing a newspaper, the Chapman Journal, edited by D. Dye; but this enterprise soon fell through. Services are held in the schoolhouse by both the Methodists and Congregationalists, but there are no resident ministers. The first school was taught by Mrs. Aurand, at her dwelling, in 1871. During the next year the present schoolhouse was erected, the district placing itself under $1,800 bonds. The teacher during the last term was T. T. Bell. The average attendance was 56. The post office was opened here soon after the railroad passed through, with C. Washburn as Postmaster. After him, C. L. Leake held the position, and was followed by H. A. Bruno. The next incumbent was W. L. Morris, and following him was A. B. Cady, the present Postmaster.

   The business of Chapman is represented by four general stores, a hardware store, a drug store, three grain depots and a hotel. The Chapman House was built by C. C. Dodson, in 1877. It was afterward sold to Mr. Fetterplace, and is now run by J. Kennedy. G. H. Griswold & Co.'s elevator was built, in 1877, by E. Hanson & Co., and sold to Griswold in 1880. It has a capacity of 4,000 bushels. In 1878 James Vieregg built the elevator now owned by D. L. Greiner. E. Hanson & Co., also owned this building, but sold to Mr. Greiner in 1881. Besides those two firms, Stout & Thomas also buy and own a small building, erected in 1881.


   J. J. GALLOGLY, general merchandise, was born in Muskingum County, Ohio; there he was raised. In 1876, came to Walnut Station, Pottawattamie County, Iowa; there opened a restaurant; there he remained till December, 1880, when he came to Chapman and established this business.

   D. L. GREINER, of the firm of E. Hanson & Co., grain and coal, was born in Virginia, and brought up there. At the age of twenty, came to Ohio; followed farming and wagon-making. He enlisted in 1861, in Company G, Seventy-third Ohio Infantry; served about twenty months; was discharged on account of physical disability. In the spring of 1871, came to Chapman, took a homestead claim of 160 acres, which he improved; followed farming about ten years. August 1881, he became a member of this firm; has since been engaged in this business; he has served as County Commissioner one term.

   A. L. HAVENS, Agent Union Pacific Railroad, is a native of Lorain County, Ohio. At about the age of twelve, he came with his parents, to New York. In the spring of 1876, came to Omaha; there learned telegraphing in the office of J. J. Dickey, Superintendent of Telegraph of the Union Pacific Railroad. He was then appointed operator with the construction gang for the O. R. V. Railroad; afterward returned to Omaha; was operator at the Missouri Bridge Junction, and two and one-half years Assistant Agent at the Valley. He then came to Fremont, where he was operator one year. In the fall of 1880, came to Chapman; has been agent at this station since; also agent for the Union Pacific Railroad lands. He was married, January 1, 1881, to Miss Nettie C. Sturtevant, of Fullerton, Neb.

   H. H. GOODWIN, general merchandise, is a native of Tolland County, Conn.; there worked on a farm and learned the wagon-making trade, which he followed about three years. In 1872, he came to Hamilton County and took a homestead claim of eighty acres. There he remained, engaged in farming, till 1879, when he removed to Chapman and established this business, which he has successfully conducted.

   JOHN L. MARTIN, farmer, Section 20, P. O. Chapman, was born May12, 1813, in Lancaster county, Penn. At the age of sixteen he came to Stark County, Ohio, and there commenced to learn the blacksmith trade, which he followed several years. In 1849, he went to California; remained there three years and returned to Ohio; there commenced the study of law with Leiter & Pool. In 1859, he came to Nebraska and located in Platte County (now Colfax County). In 1860, he came to his present farm. He owns 480 acres, largely improved. He is one of the oldest settlers of the county. He has been Register of Voters, Justice of the Peace and County Judge.

   DR J. E. MORRILL, druggist and physician, is a native or New Hampshire; there raised and received his preparatory education. He took up the study of medicine there and graduated at Castleton in 1862; then removed to Keene, N. H., where he practiced medicine. In the fall of 1864, he came to Janesville, Wis., and engaged in practice. In 1871, he came to Chapman and took a homestead claim of eighty acres, and engaged in farming five years. In 1876, he removed to Central City and engaged in the drug business, firm of Whittaker & Morrill. This partnership continued one year. In 1877, he came to Chapman, where he has since carried on the drug business and actively engaged in the practice of his profession.

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