Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση
[ocr errors]

pieces of land. It would astonish you to know their names, some of the principal men and lawyers that probably live in Omaha. We really heard that they had thrown one man into the river because he had jumped one claim, but we did not want to run any risk, and so we started down the river, understanding that there was a ferry down about half way between there and the mouth of the river where we could cross

x terior. We found that ferry had been washed out. We went on to Bellevue, and the next morning was the 4th of July. We made a very early start and went up to Omaha. We arrived in Omaha a little before noon that day, and I recollect one circumstance that I shall never forget. They told us that a man had ridden a horse upstairs on the second story where a saloon was kept, and we got there just as the horse was half down the stairs. We saw that. I think that man was Dr. Henry. We stayed there a day or two and went across to Council Bluff's and down the opposite side to nearly opposite Plattsmouth to a small little town called Jacobs. There we crossed over into Nebraska. We heard of Weeping Water falls, a very fine locality for a flouring mill. We drove out there and we found that everything there was claimed for a long distance.

We found a party there that were going to Nebraska for the same purpose we were, so we agreed together, about eight wagons in all, that we would go up to the Big Blue. As near as I can tell we crossed not very far from where Lincoln now stands on our way to the Blue. We suffered for water on the road. We struck the Big Blue in Saline county. We did not find anything like the timber we expected to find nor the rich bottom land, so we made up our minds to go into Kansas. In Gage county we found a company there from Nebraska City. They urged us to stay. We kept on down the river, and when we got to Beatrice we found another company there, located about six weeks before we got there. They urged us to stop. I think there were some forty members in this party; they formed a company to locate that town. We commenced looking around to find a claim.

found there were no improvements. They said every settler was entitled to a quarter-section of timberland and a prairie quarter-section. When we investigated we found that some of these were several miles from Beatrice. We finally decided to locate there for good. Finally we got land within about a mile and a half of the city, and we stayed there. My brother died about three years ago, and I am still living there. At the time we located there we had to go to Brownville to trade, sixty miles away. There were very few settlements between our place and Brownville, but the people of Brownville insisted that we leave that country and locate in Nemaha. They said, “You will be sorry that you stayed there, our land is good.” We paid no particular attention to that advice, and I am very glad to say that I have been there since 1857 and expect to stay there as much longer as I can.

MR. W. W. Cox:1 Mr. President-I am a sort of a tenderfoot as compared with many of these speakers here, but still I was here some time ago. Very little has been said about this city and its immediate surroundings. You were all on the ground so long before Lincoln was thought of, that it has escaped your notice to tell the folks anything about how people located here once. On the 2d of July, 1861, I think, in company with one of the young settlers of the Dee family, I made a two-wheeled cart propelled by oxen, Buck and Bright, I guess they were called. We came down from the Dee home, which was five miles south of here, and came up here. At that time there were two blind tracks across this town site, and the wild inhabitants, so far as I know of, were a beautiful drove of antelopes about where the government

William Wallace Cox was born in Versailles, New York, November 12, 1832, son of Mordecai and Catherine Peters Cox. The family moved to Sangamon county, Illinois, where the father died, and the mother with her children went to Green county, Wisconsin. In his young manhood Mr. Cox was a school teacher in Wisconsin and Illinois. In 1858 he removed to Iowa, and in February, 1860, settled at Nebraska City. In 1864 he moved to Seward county, where he resided during most of his later years. In 1888 he edited a “History of Seward County,” which he revised and published in a second edition in 1905. Mr. Cox died February 25, 1907.

square was; they were the only inhabitants of the city of Lincoln so far as I know.

Now, I want to tell you in regard to the first settlement of this town site. On the following 4th of July, wife and I were living over here at the basin. We concluded to gather some gooseberries. Along about eleven o'clock we heard a cheer at the little cabin. When we came in sight, we beheld that the stars and stripes fluttered over our cabin; and how came it there? Had it fallen from heaven or where did it come from? But we heard some male voices there and we went over to the cabin, and there they were, Uncle Dr. McKesson, that splendid specimen of manhood Elder Young, Peter Shamp, and Jacob Dawson, Luke Lavender, and Edward Warnes. They had come and they had brought the blessed flag and we had a 4th of July celebration in '62 there at the Salt Basin, and a jolly good time. They were looking for a place to found a colony and they looked all around, but they located right here on this quarter-section, and they named it the town of Lancaster, and in a year and a half after that they held a county seat election, and it was held at my cabin, and we voted the county seat of Lancaster county here at the town of Lancaster, and I understand the records of Lancaster show nothing of the kind, but it is a fact just the same. have rolled by. When the capital was located I was one of those peculiarly sanguine creatures, and I predicted in my wild imagination that it would not be twenty-five years until We had a population of 5,000 in the city of Lincoln. Just think how wild we all were. I was perhaps the oldest of the lot and yet how far short of the reality. It seems like awakening from a Rip Van Winkle sleep every time I come into this city and behold its grandeur and development. [Applause.]

DR. RENNER: My best hold is the pen. It is rather unfair to expect a pump to give water both at the spout and pump

The years

1 Dr. Frederick Renner, Omaha, Nebraska, was born in 1830 at Spires, in Rhenish Bavaria. He emigrated to America, and shortly afterward joined a party of friends, with the intention of traveling overland to California. Reaching Nebraska City in May, 1856, he was persuaded to join I says,

handle, but since you were kind enough to call on me I will simply relate that perhaps I have killed as many rabbits as anybody in this assembly, because I was one of the surveyors when the surveyor general's office was located in Leavenworth to run the base line along the 40° parallel from the Missouri river, and going on that line straight west to the summit of the Rocky mountains, then on to the western boundary of Utah. Of course no Colorado was thought of until after we returned from our two-years trip. We took nothing but a blind trail. Basing it on the imaginary line between Kansas and Nebraska we struck the Republican, crossing the base line seven times, I think, in Nuckolls county. I was often ahead to make a diagram of the country in order that we might tell where to locate our camp for the next night, to find water and perhaps wood, and also rock because we had to set mile stones and half-mile stones wherever possible with rock; otherwise we had to erect “niggerheads.” On the Republican river we saw the first prairie-dog villages, one after another. The fellow that was with me on horseback was an habitual smoker, and he had his tobacco, which was the kinnikinic made from the sumac leaves found on the road. When we first struck that prairie-dog village, we saw snakes and any number of them. “Let us go to work and get the rættles off the snakes, then we can show the fellows at the camp." We took the steel ramrod of a gun that we had; we had some revolvers, but as a usual thing we carried these old army muskets. We killed a snake, and one fellow cut off the rattles and put the rattles into a salt bag, and lo and behold, you would not believe it today. It is a fact we filled that salt bag before we finished, and we went back to camp to show them. They asked us

the surveying party of Col. Charles A. Manners, then engaged in establishing the boundary line between Kansas and Nebraska. He later practiced medicine at Nebraska City until 1861, and then established the Nebraska Staats-Zeitung, which he continued to publish until 1876. From 1867 to 1870 he was assessor of internal revenue of Nebraska. In 1875 he was appointed revenue agent for Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Indian Territory, and Colorado, with headquarters at St. Louis. but resigned one year later and returned to Nebraska City. During his later years Dr. Renner has resided in Omaha,

what kind of mineral we had there. It was nothing but the rattles of rattlesnakes. You tell that today to any man living in Nebraska only ten years, and he would say that is a snake story, but it is an actual fact, and J. Sterling Morton has seen them.

CAMPAIGNING AGAINST CRAZY HORSE.

READ BEFORE THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE NEBRASKA STATE

HISTORICAL SOCIETY, JANUARY 14, 1903.

BY DAVID T. MEARS, CHADRON, NEBRASKA. In 1875-76 I was in Washington, D. C. In January I received a letter from General Crook, who was then in command of the Department of the Platte, to report to him at Cheyenne, Wyoming, as soon as possible to organize his transportation for a summer campaign against the Sioux and other Indians who were then on the war-path, killing settlers and committing all kinds of depredations. I landed in (heyenne in due time and went to work at once. My particular business was to organize pack-trains. Right here is a goo:1 place to describe a pack-train. It consists of a lot of medium sized mules on which to carry supplies for the army when we cut loose from the wagon trains.

We could then keep up with the command, let the soldiers go when and where they

David Young Mears, Chadron, Nebraska, was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, December 13, 1833, son of John Blair and Martha Young Mears. At the age of fifteen years he went to Pittsburg, and for several years was employed on the steamboats plying the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. In 1856 he went to the Pacific coast, where he engaged in mining and freighting. He later went to Idaho, and thence to Montana, and in 1869 to White Pine, Nevada. Mr. Mears was with General Crook, as transportation manager, during the campaigns against the Indians from 1874 to 1879. In the spring of 1880 he went to Ft. Niobrara. He was the original settler on the land that now embraces the site of Valentine, county seat of Cherry county, and was one of the commissioners appointed to organize that county. He served as county commissioner there, and as postmaster at Valentine. He later located at Chadron, and became one of the first county commissioners of Dawes · county and the first mayor of Chadron. He served subsequently as justice of the peace, police judge, water commissioner, and member of the city council.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »