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He came here early in the fall of the year 1854 and took up a claim where John Sheperd's orchard now stands. The Doctor was a live man then as he is now among the old settlers. And I believe he claims the honor of being the first one in the county afflicted with the "Missouri scratches or Illinoy Mange."
Rev. W. D. Gage preached the first sermon in August, 1854. Nearly all the citizens were present and listened attentively to what he said, while a lot of Indians played "moccasin" behind the block house.
The first watermill was built by Henry C. Cowles and D. N. Martin on Walnut creek. The same property is now owned by U. S. Simpson.
E. Wilhelm established the first steam sawmill in the bottom below town.
Jacob Jameson established a tri-weekly sawmill about the same time on Camp creek. The saw went up one day and down the next, making three strokes a week.
Sam Carson was among the first scientific ox drivers. Miss Maggie Martin was the first school teacher. Henry Bradford & Co. opened the first drug store and did the first house painting.
The first postoffice was established early in 1854 and called "Table Creek Postoffice," with H. P. Downs as postmaster. The office was first opened in Charlie Cowles's store, Mr. Cowles acting as deputy. But little mail matter was received or sent off, as there was no service, and the people generally depended on the Sidney office for their mail. In 1855 C. W. Pierce became Downs's successor and kept the mail in his house near where the Press office stands.
The Nebraska City News is among the oldest settlers in the state, having issued the first paper November 14, 1854. Henry Bradford was editor, Giles N. Freeman and Hal. A. Houston printers. The News belonged to the town company until 1855, when its present owner, Thomas Morton, purchased the whole concern and continued the paper with J. Sterling Morton as editor.
S. F. Nuckolls was the first man to suggest the idea of purchasing grounds for a cemetery, and at a citizens' meeting a committee was appointed to select a place for burying purposes. The committee selected the present Wyuka cemetery, and John Clemens was the first person buried in it. He died on the island above the city and was buried about the middle of January, 1855. C. C. Hail, Laura and Celia Hail, J. W. Pearman, and a few others were present at the grave.
The first whisky shop was established by the writer in the fall of 1854, which "busted up" in just one month, to the entire satisfaction of the proprietor.
J. W. Pearman was the first store clerk in C. H. Cowles's store.
H. W. Cornell established the first harness shop.
Hon. Edward R. Harden, of Georgia, was the first district judge, and held the first term of court in January, 1855, in the dancing room of the Downs House. All that was done at that term of court was to admit H. P. Bennett, A. A. Bradford, William McLennan, and Dr. William C. Fowlkes to practice. Dr. Fowlkes passed the best examination, and was highly complimented by the court. M. W. Riden was the first district clerk, and issued the license to the above attorney.
George W. Nuckolls and Sarah Kennedy were the first couple married.
The first lodge of Good Templars was organized in the old log house occupied then by Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Craig directly in the rear of the Seymour House. Early in the year 1855, Hon. T. B. Cuming, acting governor of the territory, appointed the following county officers: M. W. Brown, probate judge; Thomas Donahoo, sheriff; T. E. Thompson, deputy; C. C. Hail, recorder; W. D. Gage, treasurer; William Anderson, justice of the peace. Mr. Gage never qualified, and at an election soon thereafter J. W. Pearman was elected.
John B. Boulware paid the first money into the county treasury, a ferry license required of him annually, amounting to $30.
J. H. Decker and William Hurst had the first lawsuit before Squire Anderson, about the proprietorship of a claim upon the public lands near Wyoming. H. P. Bennett and J. Sterling Morton were Decker's attorneys, and Jacob Dawson, Hurst's attorney.. The trial lasted for several weeks until the court dismissed the case for want of time to hear the evidence and pleading through.
Lewis Hax established the first cabinet shop and sold furniture at a large profit.
William McLennan ran the first steam ferry boat. The steamer, Banner State, was the first landed here after the town was established.
John Nash was the first well-digger and dug the first well for S. F. Nuckolls on lot 12, block 6, where the transfer company is now located.
George North opened the first jewelry store in a small frame building on Main street, opposite the court house.
J. Dan Lauer rode the first balky mule in the city. Dan came from Squaw creek on the said mule to purchase groceries for his father's family, and after laying in a supply of "fine cut" and a side of bacon started for home. His muleship would not move a step until Sam Carson assisted him with his ox whip, upon which the mule started on the double quick, leaving Dan and his groceries lying in the street. A. B. Mayhew owned the first Shanghai rooster. The first election occurred in May, 1855. Henry Bradford was elected mayor; William B. Hail, W. R. Craig, and J. W. Pearman, alderman; M. W. Riden, clerk; J. W. Stull, marshal. The same officers were reelected in 1856 except Mr. Craig. At the close of the second year the council passed an ordinance allowing themselves $50 each for their services. This was about all they did in the two years.
Under the territorial laws, William B. Hail was elected probate judge and issued the first county orders. William P. Birchfield was the first sheriff elected, and collected the first county taxes.
By an act of the legislature in the winter of 1854, introduced by J. H. Decker, the name of the county was changed from Pierce to Otoe-the acting governor having first named it Pierce county in honor of Franklin Pierce, then President of the United States.
The first grand jury was John B. Boulware foreman.
impaneled in the fall of 1855, Nearly every man in the county,
including the jury itself, was indicted for gambling and was fined by the court in sums ranging from five to ten dollars each.
James H. Masters came here in 1855 and established the first nursery, where he now lives.
Hugh Pearman planted apple trees in the same year on lot 1, block 26, where they are still growing.
Martin V. Boutton was the first one afflicted with measles. J. Sterling Morton, who moved here early in 1855 and took charge of the editorial columns of the News, owned the first jack, which he named Henry Ward Beecher.
The M. E. church was the first to organize and erected the first house of worship. William R. Craig was made one of the trustees at the first organization.
T. E. Thompson, deputy sheriff, made the first assessment of the county.
Henry Bradford, mayor of the city, entered the town site and obtained the land officer's receipt for the entrance fee, March 31, 1857.
John Nash, the well-digger, received the first certificate of entry from the U. S. land office that appears on record.
Elijah Yates was the first boot and shoe maker. Opened up a shop upstairs over Henry Bradford & Company's drug store, December, 1855.
Conrad Mullis was the first blacksmith. Opened his shop in the old soldiers' quarters, June, 1854, near where R. M. Rolfe's house now stands.
Joel Helvey established the first bakery and baked the first bread. He located his bakery near the west end of the present Otoe street bridge, in the spring of 1855.
D. F. Jackson had the first wagon "smash up." He hired James Fitchey to repair the same.
H. P. Bennett planted the first shade trees around his residence, now owned and occupied by William Fulton.
S. F. Nuckolls, agent for the town company, made the first quit-claim deed, transferring lot 6 in block 3 in Nebraska City to William Bennett.
W. J. Armstrong was the first milk pedler.
Nebraska City, February 14, 1873.
J. W. PEARMAN.
DR. JOHN MCPHERSON.
PREPARED BY GOV. ROBERT W. FURNAS.
It was my good fortune to have known Dr. McPherson intimately and continuously from the year 1839 to the day of his death.
My first acquaintance with him was in the winter of 183940. He was then preparing himself for the medical profession. To aid in defraying the expense of his pursuit he taught school during the winter season. The winter named. he taught a country school in Miami county, Ohio. While a boy of sixteen, then on a farm, I was one of his pupils.
In the year 1855 he came west, through Illinois and Iowa to Nebraska. After looking-over the Missouri river counties in Nebraska he concluded to locate at Brownville, Nebraska. Returning to Ohio, he had immediate conference with me. was a practical printer and had been publisher and editor of a newspaper in the county in which we both resided. The Doctor, through the result of some "bad debts," had fallen heir to a well-equipped printing office, in Tippecanoe, Miami county, Ohio. He proposed to give me one-half of the office if I would go with him to Brownville and publish a weekly paper for one year. I accepted. Thus it was I came to Nebraska in the spring of 1856. The paper, Nebraska Adver