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(meaning the western prairies). To abbreviate the interview, the chief proceeded to relate that, after wandering on the prairies for long time, they became discouraged. Dissensions and differences of opinion prevailed, but all agreed to go back to the Ne-shu-da river. The tribe divided into four bands, as indicated by Father Hamilton, and started eastward to the river. What is now the Omaha tribetheir band reached the river farther north than either of the other three bands and for this reason were called the Ma-has. The interpretation of the word "Ma-ha," given me by Noise, was "farthest up the river," "up yonder," " up above the others."
As proof of the original name, "Ma-ha,” I have now in my possession original documents, credentials of chiefship, given to the "Ma-ha Indians;" one, in Spanish, given in 1794 to "Wa-ging-asa-by, head chief nation Ma-has;" two given by "James Wilkinson, Commander-in-chief of the Army of the U. S., and Governor of the Territory of Louisiana, and Supt. Indian affairs," given on July, 1806, to Wa-ga-sa-by; one to Wash-co-ma-ni, chief of the Ma-has; and one to Wa-ho-ra-ka, a soldier of the Ma-ha nation.
Lewis and Clarke, in the narrative of their expedition in 1804-5-6, speak of the "Ma-ha nation" and "Ma-ha village."
ROBT. W. FURNAS.
SOME HISTORICAL DATA ABOUT WASHINGTON COUNTY.
W. H. Woods, of Fort Calhoun, Washington county, furnishes me with following data:
Hon. R. W. Furnas, President Nebraska Historical Society:
DEAR SIR-Agreeable to our promise to continue our investigations, we, last Tuesday, visited the site of the old village mentioned in Bell's History of Washington County, page 39, as the site of an old Mormon settlement of 1845; but thought by Mr. Grenell and others to have been of much older date, and probably a farm station or outpost of either Fort Atkinson, which lay about one mile east, or Fort Calhoun, four miles south.
The location is but a few rods north of the present De Soto P. O.,
near Mills station, in a cultivated field belonging to the Hon. T. M. Carter. The buildings were in two rows, running north and south, and the foundations were so well laid as to be a continual annoyance to the plowman yet. Here in company with Mr. C. we scratched around in the frozen earth with our feet, and were rewarded by finding an old butcher knife, a piece of a glass dish of an antique pattern, and a portion of a tombstone, with the letters O and N in perfect condition and an S partly gone, making the word "son," the same being the end of the name. The top was neatly chiseled and ornamented, and of a species of reddish sandstone. Four kinds of brick were found, from a very small variety almost as hard as granite to a very large one, each differing in hardness, yet all keeping good condition. The small ones are covered on one side with a species of cement, and we understand of these kind were made the floors in the houses of Fort Calhoun and then covered with a thin coating of this material to form a smooth even surface.
We next visited the cave of the De Soto "Light Horse Brigade," Bell's History, page 38. The entrance was too much closed by the caving in of the bank and a stream of melted snow water to obtain an entrance. We will try again. The boys in the neighborhood who were inside last summer think they passed about forty feet, when they found a depression in the floor, probably a magazine or rifle pit, and as the entrance was nearly closed and they had no torches, they did not investigate further. Mr. C. also kindly presented us for the Society the lock and key to the door of the old Waubeek Bank, of De Soto, 1857, A. Castetter, now of Blair, teller. See Bell, page 38. The lock is a formidable affair, and apparently as good as new, and cost, Mr. Grenell says, twelve dollars and a half. The lock of the safe is in the possession of Mr. Grenell.
Mr. Carter has a five dollar bill of the old bank of De Soto that a few years ago could have been purchased for a few cents, now considered of more than face value.
This portion of Nebraska promises to open up a rich field for the antiquary, the dry-a-dust of those particularly interested in the early days of our now wonderfully prosperous state of Nebraska. Brick that have been buried in foundation and cellars for over half a century are being constantly exhumed and used, and they are in just as perfect condition as they were when first laid. Fire-brick, also in the
most perfect order, are also still here, the last remaining monuments of the old hearthstones, many of them, no doubt, as bright and beautiful in their surroundings as the joy and cheer that may pass around the hearthstones of to-day. They have left behind them also specimens of their handicraft, their arms, coins, metals, etc., many of which are now in the hands of our citizens. The site of the old blacksmith shop under the bluff has been established and a careful digging may reveal many things. A portion of the old 'dairy house still remains just west of town; the old spring still running, surrounded by the same stones, quarried and brought from Rockport hills probably more than sixty years ago.
The old grave-yard, too, on the highest point of the bluff west of the fort, may yet bring forth some treasures in names, dates, etc., as it is but a few years, I understand, since the last stone fell.
We have now added to our collection in addition brick, fire-brick, fragments of cement, a barrel of a flint-lock musket, a cannon axle weighing about fifteen pounds, of charcoal iron, hand-forged, the points turned in a lathe, but of inferior workmanship; also specimens of hand-made nails, used in the construction of their buildings, and three varieties of delf, all varying in color, design, and thickness, one with a green figure and the other blue.
For many years there has been a legend current here that two lieutenants from the South, stationed at Fort Calhoun, fought a duel here upon the point of the bluff about a half mile north of the fort, and that both were killed and buried where they fell. Mr. A. P. Allen reported a few years ago that a portion of one of the grave stones had been plowed up and thrown over against the timber, and in conversation with Mr. Frahm we learned that the stone was in the possession of his little seven-year-old son Otto, and that the other one had been for some time on the premises, but now mislaid, and that it bore the word "Hanson." The one in the possession of little Otto he kindly presented to the Society. It is of triangular form, evidently from the center of the monument, is six by twelve inches in size, two and onequarter inches in thickness, of limestone, and bears the following part of the inscription complete, except the letter C, here noted, and other marks not strictly legible, C-eniber, 30 years.
Mr. Frahm's son, Freddie, also permitted us to examine and measure the head of the femur and also a section of vertebræ of a mam
moth found upon Mr. Frahm's farm. The former originally measured thirty and the latter fifteen inches in circumference.
W. H. WOODS.
To Hon. R. W. Furnas, President Nebraska State Historical Society: Mr. Craig having called our attention to certain discoveries made at the dairy house and spring, already mentioned, while building his fish ponds, we again visited it, and found that after the stone had been removed that the extreme diameter of the well was about eight feet, of octagon form, a curb having first beeu made of three sided cottonwood posts with two-inch cottonwood boards, spiked upon the outside of these with a peculiar form of hand-made nails of various length and thickness, and so well preserved was the wood that we had hard work to secure good specimens of the spikes, although the latter were as good as though but recently driven. About two rods east of this, where some charred timbers had been exhumed, we found a portion of an oak framing timber 8x8, with the tenon and oak pin in good shape, also three-inch oak plank measuring about fourteen inches in width and mortised across the end to make a smooth joint. These were evidently a portion of the milk room, and by placing on edge on the outside of a frame and placing the earth back they would require no nails; no marks of nails could be found upon them, and they came from out of the side of a high bank. Mr. Grenell and others expressed doubts about the age of the well, and cited us to Mr. Daniel Franklin for information, but in conversation with the latter gentleman we think we are in the main correct.
Our attention has also been called to a ditch and earthwork half a mile south of the fort. But as it runs across a bend in the prairie with steep banks and timber on three sides, it was probably a sod fence for garden or corral purposes.
W. H. W.
Mr. E. H. Clark, now of Blair, in 1856, probably planted the first orchard in Washington county, which is now a portion of the residence property of Hon. L. Crounse. The next year two or three others were planted, and three or four years after the well known Stevens or Grenell orchard was planted. They have all made a good growth, and been more than ordinarily fruitful. We, to-day, measured one of the neatest, smooth-trunked apple trees it has ever been our
pleasure to examine, and found it to measure four feet and nine inches in circumference two feet above the ground. We also examined the deciduous trees planted by the roadside at the same time, and give the result with the same kind of measurement: White elm, 5 feet and 10 inches; hackberry, 5 feet 7 inches; black walnut, 4 feet 3 inches; coffee bean, 3 feet 6 inches; black locust, 5 feet 8 inches; while cottonwood planted by the late Col. Stevens at the present resi dence of S. N. Pennell in 1863 measures 6 feet 6 inches.
Mr. Hiram Craig thinks he has the largest transcendent crab tree in the state, three feet ten inches, while a Scotch pine planted by our venerable horticulturist, Dr. J. P. Andrew, measures thirty-two inches And it may be a matter of surprise to many to know that by close observation of a number of years we can find less than a dozen trees now standing upon this plateau that were here at the time of the evacuation of the fort. At that time, said a trader at Fort Randall in 1853 to Mr. Chester Bannister, of this place, I was a soldier at Fort Calhoun, and the river ran where is now the old slough, and the timber on the other side of the stream was not larger than a man's thigh. This then is the hundreds of acres of large cottonwoods cut by the settlers during the past twenty-five years. The channel of the river would have been about seven-eighths of a mile from the present depot of the St. P. & O. R. R. The channel now lies, by recent government survey, a fraction over three and a quarter miles from the above building. This is from the surveyor's note book the day the line was run.
In 1856-7 the steamboat landing was about half or three-quarters of a mile west of the present channel, supposed to be the exact spot where stands the cabin near the still water, known as Nichol's shanty.
For the benefit of travelers by railroad we would state that the camp of Lewis and Clarke was supposed to have been nearly east of the first railroad bridge north of Calhoun. This may have been the reason why this spot was chosen by the two unfortunate young men spoken of in a previous issue.
Mr. Woods, in a subsequent letter, referring to his previous communication, adds the following notes:
And here also remain the younger scions of the old black locust grove (probably the first artificial grove planted in Neb.), from which