Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska
Nuckolls County
Produced by Vicky Drake and Loreta J Walker (nee Coe).


Early History | First Things | Pioneer Reminiscences
Indian Troubles

Organization | County Affairs | Railroads, etc.
Superior:  Local Matters | Mills | Biographical Sketches
Nelson:  Churches | Biographical Sketches

Hardy:   Biographical Sketches
Biographical Sketches: Elk Precinct

Biographical Sketches: Sherman Precinct | Liberty Precinct
Bohnart Precinct | Alban Precinct | Nora Precinct



This town, situated in the southeastern part of Nuckolls, on the Burlington & Missouri Railroad, was laid out in July, 1880, on the Lincoln Land Company's land. It was started with the ruins of Big Bend City, started about ten years previous, across the line in Kansas. During its two years' existence, it has reached a population of about two hundred and twenty-five, and is in a flourishing condition. The country surrounding the town is as good as any in the county, excepting the valley of the Little Blue. Five miles north are quarries of an excellent quality of limestone, but timber is scarce. The Republican River lies about one mile south of town, but the banks are quite too low for a good mill privilege.

The banking-house of Ensworth & Leigh was established in June, 1881, and is doing a fair banking and farm loan business.

The Hardy Herald, a weekly paper was established in June, 1882, by R. K. Hill. It is a well-edited five column folio, a credit to the town. The Hardy Clipper, a semi-monthly publication, is a real estate publication.

The schools are graded and in good condition. The design is to soon erect a large and better arranged school building.

The Lutheran Church was organized in April, 1881, by Rev. August Low. There are about twenty members, and they are taking steps toward erecting a house of worship during the summer of 1882.

The Methodists effected an organization in July, 1881, Rev. C. B. Linfest being their first pastor. The present is Rev. A. G. Blackwell. They have no church.

The prospects for a prosperous village are good. The Republican is spanned by a substantial bridge, which draws trade from Kansas. The Burlington & Missouri is one of the best roads in the State, and the Central Branch, now about a mile distant, will soon be extended to the town, and likely extended through the county.

St. Stephen's; Ox Bow, at which place there is a large flouring-mill; Oak, where one is being built; Nora and Henrietta, are additional post offices in the county.


SAMUEL A. CYR, dealer in sewing machines and organs, Hardy, Neb., was born near Champlain, Clinton Co., N. Y., in 1849, this being his home for thirteen years. He then took a two-years course at Columbia College, Washington, D. C. Returning North, in 1864, he served an apprenticeship at the jeweler's trade with W. F. Leavitt, Brandon, Vt. He then determined to try his fortune in the West, and went to Iowa, remaining there a year, then came to Nebraska, remaining a short time in this State; he went to Denver in the fall of 1869, and the next spring he took a trip to the Wet Mountain Valley with an exploring party. He "staked out" a claim in the valley, but concluded not to remain. The claim has since proved to be very valuable, being rich in silver ore. A city of over seven thousand inhabitants now occupy the spot. Returning to New York State, he engaged in the jeweler's business for five years; he then paid a short visit to his father, Prof. N. Cyr, of Boston, editor of the French paper, Le Republicain, and Professor of French. Afterward came to Nebraska, and located in Superior in 1877 and engaged in the sewing-machine business. Then went to Jewett County, Kan., and a took a homestead and timber claim, and bought 160 acres adjoining, so that he has three-quarters of a section in a body. He has 150 acres under cultivation, planted 27,000 forest trees and put up good buildings. Mr. Cyr has worked up a good business in sewing-machines, also corresponds for some of the Eastern papers, and is also very fond of the stage; he has dramatic talent of a high order, and would have been very successful had he made that his profession. He was married, in 1878 to Miss Amanda M. Ellis, of Superior, Neb. They have one daughter--Nellie. Mr. Cyr has been the means of getting thirty families to locate here in the West.

D. GRIFFITHS, merchant, was born in Wales in 1842. In 1864, emigrated to America and located in Ohio, where he engaged in mining until 1870. He then came to Nebraska, and located in Fillmore County, where he took a homestead which he improved, and lived there until 1880. The county was not organized at that time, and Mr. G. was one of the first settlers in the county. In 1880, he sold the homestead, and bought a farm near the town of Geneva. He then came to Nuckolls County, and, in company with Mr. Clark, opened the first general store at Hardy. At the end of six months, he sold his interest to Mr. Clark and bought a building adjoining, 16X30 feet, two stories high, and filled it with a choice stock of groceries--the first exclusive stock in the place. His trade has increased 300 per cent, and bids fair to enlarge as the country develops. He was married, in 1865, at Nelsonville, Ohio, to Miss Martha H. Mothena, of that place. They have two children--Alpha May and William F. Is a member of Fairmont Lodge, A., F. & A. M.

THOMAS L. HALL was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, in 1844. In 1853, emigrated to Iowa with his parents, locating in Louisa County. In 1862, he enlisted in the Thirty-fifty Iowa Infantry, serving six months, and was discharged on account of disability. In 1863, enlisted in the Seventh Iowa Infantry, receiving his discharge in 1865. At the end of the war, he received a severe wound at the battle of Resaca, Ga., and is still carrying the ball in his right lung. After coming out of the army, he located in Henry County, Iowa, and engaged in the harness trade. At the end of four years, moved to Taylor County, where he was in the same business until 1876. From there he came to Nebraska, and located in Steele City, Jefferson County, and was in the real estate business for about eight months, then opened a restaurant at Fairbury, and was burned out at the end of a year. He then put up a building on the site of Hardy, on the B. & M. R. R., and kept an eating-house for one year, doing an immense business. Soon after the town was surveyed, and he put up a large store building, 20x50 feet, and two stories high. He was married in 1869, at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, to Miss E. Bennett, of that place. They have one son--Lennie. Mr. H. is a member of the Beadle Post, No 72, G. A. R., and at the present time is an auctioneer by profession.

J. B. SKINNER, merchant, was born in Miami County, Ohio, in 1840. In 1844, his parents located in Elkhart County, Ind., where he remained until 1860, and , in 1866, went to Warsaw and began reading law with Judge Carpenter two years: after he was admitted to the bar, and remained there in the practice of law until 1871. From there he went to Nebraska, and took a homestead in Thayer County, one-half mile from Carleton. He improved the place by planting 50,000 forest trees and 2,000 fruit trees. In 1875, he opened a hardware store in Carleton. At that time there were but two in the county. The railroad company contested Mr. Skinner's claim, but after a three years' fight, he succeeded in getting his certificate of entry and in time a patent. In 1879 his store was burned out, and he sold his place and came to Hardy, Nuckolls County, in 1881, and bought out a stock of general merchandise. Mr. Skinner has been publishing the Hardy Clipper since October, 1881. He was connected with the Hebron Journal with Mr. Hill two years, and published the Carleton Advertiser one year. In 1875, was appointed Judge of Thayer County, and served one year. He was then elected to fill the office one term. He was married in 1860, to Miss Sarah Richardson of Noble County, Ind. They have one son--Morris. Mr. S. is a member of the Hebron Lodge, No. 43, A., F. & A. M., and of the I. O. O. F.


JOSEPH CARLON, farmer and stock-raiser, P. O. Elkton, was born in Mercer County, Penn., in 1830. In 1864, he emigrated to Iowa, locating in Jones County, and engaged in farming. In 1871, came to Nebraska, and stopped in Saline County until the spring of 1872, when he took a homestead on Section 2, Town 3, Range 6, Nuckolls County; has added to this, and now has 200 acres, which are nearly all under plow; also owns a farm on Section 15, Town 3, Range 6, consisting of 160 acres; this lies on Elk Creek, and there are about forty acres in timber on this place; he is extensively engaged in raising cattle and hogs. In 1876, he was elected County Commissioner, serving three years. In July 1879, was appointed Postmaster of Elkton Post Office, which he still holds. Was married in 1854, in Lawrence County, Penn., to Miss Margaret Orr of that place. They have nine children--Viola D., Fannie E., James C., George M. C., Emma M., William W., Mary A., Joseph L and Grace O. Mr. C. is a charter member of Nelson Lodge, No. 77, A., F. & A. M., and helped organize the lodges at Hebron and Edgar.

E. S. COMSTOCK, farmer, P. O. Oak, was born in New London County, Conn., in 1809, where he lived until eight years of age. In 1817, his parents removed to Monroe County, N. Y., where he remained until the spring of 1842. He received the benefit of a common school education, and then took a course at the Brockport Academy. In 1842, went to Wisconsin and located in Milwaukee County, where he remained until 1849; from there he went to Ohio, and after stopping for a short time, went into St. Joseph County, Mich., living there four years; thence to Texas, where he remained for two years engaged in teaching, and then back to Illinois, and in 1858, came to Nebraska and settled in Johnson County; in the spring of 1861, located his present farm on Section 15, in Elk Precinct, consisting of 160 acres; also kept the Government Mail Station on the Overland Route to California, and was appointed Postmaster soon after of Oak Grove, since changed to Oak; in 1863, opened a ranch, and carried a stock of goods to supply the overland travel. In August, 1864, the Indians drove him from the place, burned his buildings together with the goods, ran off his horses, killed his cattle and hogs, killed two men and wounded three more, two of whom died of their wounds at Seneca, in Kansas. He returned to the farm in 1865, and rebuilt his ranch, and stayed there until May, 1867; the stage line was moved , in 1866, south onto the Smokey Hill Route, and the Union Pacific Railroad was completed to Fort Kearney, spoiling the ranch business between Leavenworth and Kearney. He then left the ranch and went into the Black Hills in Wyoming. He lost by the Indians about $20,000. He worked on the Union Pacific Railroad from Cheyenne to Ogden. He then went to the Red River of the North and worked on the Northern Pacific from Fargo to James River in Dakota, and, in November, 1872, returned to his farm in Nuckolls County. In the following year, he was elected County Commissioner for three years; subsequently, was elected for a second time. He is highly respected. Was married near Brockport, N. Y. to Miss Lucinda Cady, daughter of Col. Cady of that place. He has five children, viz.: George, James, Ansel, H. I., and Sarah. Mr. Comstock is fond of relating early anecdotes of Nebraska. While in the State the first time, a noted painter, Bierstadt by name, and Fitzhugh Ludlow, a correspondent of the New York Post, came out on a buffalo hunt. Mr. Comstock and son, and Mr. Munger, the mail agent, in company with the New Yorkers, started out for a hunt. the artist, of course, taking his painting materials along; he got his arrangements ready for making a sketch while the others started out to wound the buffalo and get it to run by the artist so he could make the sketch, but, instead of his running by, he took a bee-line for Mr. Painter and scattered his painting materials to the winds, and would have finished the artist but a shot from one of the party finished Mr. Buffalo; he then painted a scene as it then appeared to him, which he has sold for a fabulous price since.

G. D. FOLLMER, Farmer, P. O. Elkton, was born in Montour County, Penn., in 1844, and, when old enough, entered a store until 1868, When he went to Iowa, locating at Red Oak, and, in company with his brother and Mr. Montgomery, engaged in the mercantile business. In 1871, came to Nebraska and located in Elk Precinct, taking up a homestead, and has since added to his land until he now owns 830 Acres in one farm and about 1,600 acres in other parts of the county. The county was organized in June, 1871, and the County Treasurer elected served four months and resigned, and Mr. Follmer was appointed to fill the vacancy, serving the balance of the term, and was elected for three terms, holding the office until January 8, 1880. Mr. Follmer was also engaged in the real estate business with Mr. Montgomery from 1872 until December, 1881, when they sold the business to O. A. Follmer, and he and Mr. Montgomery are engaged in farming and stock-raising. They have a farm comprising 1,870 acres in one body; they have 640 acres fenced, the place being very finely adapted to stock-raising, as they have plenty of timber and running water. At the time of their settlement in the county the nearest post office was thirty-two miles and eighty miles to mill. He was married in Milford, Iowa, in 1873, to Miss Eva M. Smith. They have three sons, viz., Clarence S., Harny R, and Eugene A. He is a member of the Nelson Lodge, No. 77, A., F. & A. M.; also a member of the Presbyterian Church.

SPRINGER GALLEY, farmer, P. O. Nelson, was born in Fayette County, Penn., in 1836; at the age of eighteen, he emigrated to Illinois and engaged in farming. Enlisted in June, 1861, in the Nineteenth Illinois Infantry, serving three years in Company B as Corporal. Re-enlisted in the Forty-second Illinois Infantry, serving one year. In 1875, emigrated to Nebraska and bought a farm on Section 20, Town 3 Range 6, 160 acres, on Elk Creek. There are thirty-five acres of heavy timber, and the balance of the land is under cultivation. In 1876-77, built a dam across the creek and put in a saw-mill, with a sawing capacity of 500 to 1,000 feet per day, which he ran about three years. In 1881, he put in a steam saw-mill, which will cut from 2,000 to 5,000 feet per day, with twenty-horse-power engine. He has sold 600 cords of wood and seems to have as much trade as when he settled there. The mill is a necessity in the vicinity, as there is no other in the county and they are a long ways from market. Was married, in 1867, in Lafayette County, Penn., to Miss Martha J. Stoner. Their children are as follows: Marion, Bertha, Emma. He is a member of the G. H. Thomas Post, No. 15, G. A. R. Past Commander of the same.

SAMUEL JOHNSTON, stock-raiser and dealer, P. O. Edgar, born in Venango Co., Penn., in 1834; at the age of eighteen years he started for Ohio, going afoot; then went to Indiana with the same conveyance and worked getting out logs for about fourteen months; thence to Logan County, Ill., landing there with 26 cents, and commenced business and worked into handling stock, and was then the most of the time buying, raising and shipping stock until 1878. In 1862, he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Sixth Illinois Infantry, as a private; soon after was promoted, and when he had served eighteen months, was commissioned Second Lieutenant and was detailed to serve on Gen. Shaler's staff; was mustered out in 1865. In 1872, he came to Nebraska and bought 400 acres of land on Sections 12 and 13, Town 3, Range 6, which he converted into a stock farm and put in about 100 cows (but did not move to the State until 1878). His business in stock-raising has steadily grown until he has 1,120 acres of land, 1,000 of which are fenced, the balance improved; has four miles of hedge and other improvements; has from 1,000 to 1,100 head of cattle, besides some 700 head of hogs. It takes 2,800 acres of land to graze this stock, besides his farm of 1,120 acres, making 3,920 acres of land necessary to raise, feed and furnish pasture for the amount of stock he handles. He does a great deal of shipping. Last year shipped over fifty cars of stock. His children are heirs to 427 acres of land in the county which Mr. Johnston is working. Besides this, is interested in several farms with other parties in the county, and also owns some more stock in the county with others; is the largest stock-raiser in the county and one of the largest in the State. There are but few men who commenced with so small a capital that have built up so large a business in the same length of time. Was married, in 1855, to Miss Rebecca Chenoweth, of Logan County, Ill.; they have been blessed with six children, viz., Harriet E., Clara A., Charles H., Bertha G., Murtie May and Roy C. Is a member of Edgar Lodge, No. 67, A., F. & A. M. and of Edgar Chapter, No. 22.

D. W. MONTGOMERY, farmer, P. O. Elkton, was born in Montour County, Penn., in 1828, and was raised there on a farm, receiving a common-school education, and he took a course in the Wyoming Seminary, graduating in 1847. In 1855, went to Michigan and located in Cass County, remaining there two years; then back to Pennsylvania, and, in 1858, settled in Wisconsin, locating in Pepin County; remained there nine years, engaged in farming and merchandising. In 1867, he went to Iowa and put in a stock of goods at Red Oak, remaining there until 1870; then came to Nebraska and located in the Blue River, pre-empting 160 acres of land in Elkton Precinct, where he has since lived. He has added to his land and now owns about 1,200 acres; has made extensive improvements, and, in company with Mr. Follmer, is extensively engaged in stock-raising. In the winter of 1870-71, got up a petition and sent to the Governor, to have an election called to organize the county and elect officers. They did not hear from him, so Mr. Montgomery went to Lincoln and called on the Governor, in company with Col. Cropsey, the Senator for that portion of the State. The Governor asked Mr. Montgomery how they were getting along in Nuckolls County, and was surprised when told that they had not heard anything in regard to the proclamation of the Governor, and arrangements were made and the election was called for in June. Mr. Montgomery went to Omaha to see about getting some lands, and made arrangements with the Omaha & Northwestern, who owned the timber lands in Nuckolls County, and other parties of the South Platte country, and was appointed Land Commissioner of the South Platte country. Was elected County Surveyor and was Deputy Clerk for a time. The business of the county was all done at his place for some time. He then established the first real estate office in the county and continued in the business until 1880. Was married, in 1854, in Montour County, Penn., to Miss Catherine Follmer, of that place, who died in 1872. They had four children, viz., Mamie Caddie, Clifton and May T. In 1873, he was married again, to Miss Florence Follmer, of Montour County, Penn., by whom he has two children--Robert and Grace. He is a member of the Nelson Lodge, No. 77, A., F. & A. M.

CAPT. W. A. SCOTT, farmer, P. O. Nelson, was born in Mount Vernon County, Ohio, in 1842. In 1852, his parents emigrated to Iowa, locating in Marion County. Mr. Scott remained at home until August, 1862, when he enlisted in the Twentieth Iowa Infantry as a private, in Company H. Soon after was promoted to Fourth Sergeant, then to First Sergeant, then was given a Second Lieutenant commission, and then promoted to First Lieutenant, and came out of the army in command of the company; he then learned the jeweler's trade, which he worked at until 1869, and then located at Red Oak, Iowa, and opened a jewelry store, carrying on the business until 1872, when his health failed, and he came to Nebraska and took a timber claim in Nuckolls County, in Elk Precinct, the next year to a homestead on the same section, and has in all 240 acres; has planted 15,000 forest trees of various kinds, besides all kinds of fruit trees. In 1876, was employed as Deputy Postmaster, and salesman in a store at Nelson, where he remained until 1879, when he was elected Sheriff of Nuckolls County, serving one term; was then appointed Deputy, but in the spring of 1882, went back on his farm; is a member of the G. H. Thomas Post, No. 15, G. A. R.; member of the Nelson Lodge, No. 77, A., F. & A. M. and Edgar Lodge, Royal Arch.

A. SIMONTON, farmer, P. O. Edgar, was born in Warren County, Ohio, 1839, remaining there until twenty-five years of age, engaged in farming. In 1864, went to Logan County, Ill., and engaged in farming until 1870, emigrating from there to Nebraska, taking a homestead on Section 17, Town 3, Range 5, Nuckolls County, which he has improved, and has added 160 acres to his farm; has 230 acres under the plow, with plenty of timber and running water, and is quite extensively engaged in stock-raising. Mr. Simonton was one of the first settlers in the county, and in 1871 was elected County Commissioner at the first county election; was married in 1861, to Miss Hannah Walker, of Warren County, Ohio. They had seven children, viz., Samuel W., Horace S., William A., Rosetta, Ella, Ida, Elwin. In 1874, his wife died, and he was married again in 1880, to Martha Thompson, of Fillmore County, Neb. They have one child, Elizabeth. Mr. and Mrs. Simonton are members of the Presbyterian Church.

L. A. SPURCK, farmer, P. O. Nelson, was born in Zanesville, Ohio, in 1841. In 1847, he went to Illinois, and located at Peoria, and at the age of sixteen commenced business for himself, dealing in grain and stock, following this business most of the time until he came to Nebraska in 1877, settling in Butler County, where he engaged in farming near David City. In 1879, came to Nuckolls County, and bought a farm on Section 20, Town 3, Range 6, consisting of 480 acres, which he commenced to improve. He has 200 acres under the plow, and is engaged in stock-raising; has 200 head of hogs, and quite a herd of horses and cattle, and one of the largest farms in the county, with orchard, windmill, and large house, running water and timber. There are few farms that have been settled ten years that have so many improvements. He was married in 1879, to Miss Clara Knapp, of Nuckolls County.

Top of Page   First Page   Back   Next

County Index