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where we now stand. From where I lived at the outside it now takes about three hours; it then took three days.


I don't wish to occupy your time, and I don't know but what I have said now more than I should, but I wish to bring up these facts to show you, as every man knows, if he stops to think what we have done in the past thirty years, what still we may do in the next thirty years. Nebraska is the best agricultural state in the Union, and I don't leave out any The wealth of this country is in its soil. What is its gold, its iron, its silver, its copper worth if there was not something to feed the man who works in the mine? It all depends upon the agricultural resources of the country to make it great and prosperous. There was not a state in this Union after the storm of 1893 and 1894 that swept over this country from ocean to ocean, and from the Lakes to the Gulf, that recuperated as quickly and rapidly and thoroughly as the state of Nebraska. I think it is the verdict of every thinking man, simply because we are an agricultural country, the men and women, too, and the boys that went out and dug the wealth out of the soil and fed the other people and operated in that way to pay our debts. [Applause.]

PRESIDENT FURNAS: He spoke of Grand Island as being on the outskirts of this country at that time. I remember it well; I remember the men who were pioneers in and about Grand Island. We have one of them here this afternoon, William Stolley, who was one of the first men to make that region of country what it is today.

WILLIAM STOLLEY:1 I know you very seldom make mistakes, but this time I guess you have. I am not accustomed to addressing an audience and I will be very brief. I

1 William Stolley, Grand Island, Nebraska, was born in Warder, Segeberg, Germany, April 6, 1831. He acquired his education in his native country, where he also saw army service as a sharpshooter. In 1849 he emigrated to America, landing at New Orleans. From there he went by steamboat to Davenport, Iowa. After traveling for three years, collecting natural history specimens, he engaged in the mercantile business in Davenport. In 1857 he led a German colony into the Platte valley of Nebraska, and settled near the site of the present town of Grand Island, where he has since resided. He has served as a school director in district No. 1, of Hall county, for about forty years.

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guess I have to ask your pardon at the start, at the same time I will attempt to say a few words. Mr. Kennard he made one remark about nubbins of corn. A little before he got to Grand Island civilization stopped. In what year was that, Mr. Kennard? He says 1867. Now it was in the year 1857, ten years earlier, that I organized the colony of thirty-five men and three women in Davenport, Iowa, to pilot thein through the state of Iowa. These thirty-five men were to be started by a town site company, which expected to make big money there. They agreed to furnish the money and buy 320 acres of land under the territorial law at that time, but later on found that they could not do it, and so the settlers had to get it themselves, but they sunk about $6,500 there in that settlement, and everybody had to go on his own hook. Now that was in 1857. The next year we had ten teams, one wagon with two yoke of oxen, and the next year I took out ten teams from Davenport, Iowa, in 1858, and we went right to work digging into the ground. I made the first landmark in Hall county, and I live on the same 160 acres today, and I propose to die right there. That was ten years before Mr. Kennard was there.


The second year after we came there I contracted with the quartermaster at Ft. Kearney for 2,000 bushels of corn to be delivered in shelled corn at $2 per bushel. In those days the government had to pay $3.75 and get it from Ft. Leavenworth, so it was quite a saving to the government, and it was fine for us. Many a load of corn I have taken myself up the Platte river into Ft. Kearney and got my $2. Now that was seven years before Mr. Kennard was there. By that time I had a grove of six acres of cottonwood trees growing. I now have a park of about thirty-five acres, and I don't believe there is a nicer park in the state of Nebraska for different kind of trees. I have been inviting our president, Governor Furnas, and Mr. Morton, but I can not get them to go. I would enjoy it to take them around and have them take a glass of my own wine. But they don't come! Why don't you?


Now we had a pretty hard road to travel, that is so, but then we have got a nice city now, of which I am proud. I guess I was the cause of it. There was a fight about our city. They wanted to call it New Kiel; I thought it wasn't just right. Grand Island was suggested. It is named after the large island over there, but Grand Island holds its own pretty well, I think, and going into instances, there are quite a number of them, but it would look too egotistical to go into that.

I will relate one incident that happened after we had been there three years, the first run we made out to the Loup. We met two men there from Des Moines, who set the prairie afire and burned out, and they had only one part of their wagon. All their guns were burned. It was a trapping party, and we met them twelve miles above Kearney on Wood river. The fire jumped Wood river and went to Kearney and destroyed 400 tons of hay for the government. Before we met them we thought they were buffaloes, and we watched for the buffalo coming over a hill, and when they crossed over that hill I saw horses against the sky and, though it was getting dark, saw their horses' ears. I says, "Boys, don't shoot." We took them in, nearly starved, and gave them something to eat. We went on to the Loup and killed lots of buffalo and caught an Indian pony, and then it turned very cold, and then we came down to about ten or twelve miles above where Grand Island was. There was a Mormon settler located there. He had a dugout 14 x 24 and took the dirt and put it into the river, and only kept enough to cover his dugout, so you could hardly see it, but you could drive over it. When we got there and had been in the wind all day, and as tired as possibly could be (you know how that is), when one gets into warm air on an occasion like this, he will go to sleep nearly instantly.

We had to have our supper. He was a Mormon and he had a wife and seven children, and they were only a year apart, and one looked just exactly like the other, just about the same, it seemed to be, so that the father got mistaken in their


When we got up to the table the young ones were ranged all around, and he prayed as a Mormon to the Heavenly Father and blessed and thanked Him for the blessings of the day. There was a crash above us just then. I had gone pretty nearly to sleep, and instead of going on with his prayer, the dirt came down onto our tables, and he says, "God," right in the middle of his prayer, and then I came very nearly running my fork into my nose. It was a big ox that tried to cross over the dugout; the ox came down with all four legs on the table. We had to get out, and we could not get the ox at all except by putting a chain around his neck and hauling him out. There is more of that kind, but I guess this will do. Now please excuse me, I can not speak off-hand. [Applause.]

GOVERNOR FURNAS: We have with us today a young man who has had a conspicuous part in the development of this commonwealth. In 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska act passed, and this young man in the state of Michigan embraced the first opportunity to cast his lot in this then untried region of country. I have known him intimately since the following year. He has been a pioneer, trying to advance the interests and promote the good of this country we now enjoy. That gentleman is J. Sterling Morton, who is with us this afternoon. I call on him.

HON. J. STERLING MORTON: I don't know that I can add anything to this reunion. As I came in I heard, this remark from my long-time friend relative to the times in this state, how public sentiment had changed-our senators changed their minds. It was suggested by him that this resolution should pass, and a legislature--not the people of the state— should ignore the word "white" in the constitution. That was a very remarkable statement and it suggested to me that there were other changes. He insisted upon this legislative act in the state of Nebraska as an additional precedent to its admission into the Union, declining to admit Kansas because it had done the same thing. So there were a great many things, it was a pretty good thing in Nebraska to make a

constitution without submitting that question to the people, and it was a very wrong thing to do the same thing in Kansas. The secretary and acting governor and I1 organized Hall county in 1858 and appointed Stolley one of the commissioners-we appointed the whole thing from Omaha. Already they had begun the cultivation of corn, and they had sent in specimens to show what they could do, that there were no nubbins, so I repudiate that intimation that they only grew small corn there. As early as the Pawnee War, you remember it, gentlemen, there was a very successful and prosperous settlement at Grand Island. I remember we sent a man by the name of Thomas Johnson, who was an agent of the stage line at Omaha, to notify Colonel May for troops to protect our people on the Elkhorn against assaults of the Indians, and Grand Island was a station. I think he made the trip to Kearney in three days, and through him we secured a company of cavalry under W. H. Robinson, who came down to the assistance of General Thayer and the governor of the territory. Grand Island was then a source of supply. Now, Mr. President, as to this invitation that Mr. Stolley has extended to you and me, I remember that is true, I wish to go, but he never said anything to me, and I presume not to you, about the wine. I presume you would have gone out, I am not sure about myself.

The settlement at Grand Island was, as Mr. Kennard suggested, the pioneer settlement, and it was instituted there by the Germans, and I question whether any other people would have stood what they did for four or five years-raising corn when it will not pay. While you had $2 a bushel it was not so very bad employment for any one. But beyond that, afterwards and a long time before Kennard's subdivision, there was quite a large farm on the north side of the Platte from Kearney. J. E. Boyd raised quite a good deal of corn; I think he raised enough to run a brewery there. (I can not

1It should be said here that Mr. Morton was acting-governor by virtue of his position as secretary of the territory when Hall county was organized, which explains his statement that "the Secretary, and ActingGovernor and I organized Hall county in 1858."

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