The Alliance herald. (Alliance, Box Butte County, Neb.) 1902-1922, April 08, 1904, Image 1

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Publication of
the City and
Circulation of
any Alliance
k -m
ti iiiylft WWBiii'ii By Li1 niiii Jar i JPn'Mfitftir
Alliance is situated 3G0 miles north
west of Lincoln and 238 miles north
east of Denver, and is the headquar
ters of one of the longest, if not the
longest, railroad divisions in the
United States. It is on the Billings
line of the Burlington, nnd is the
junction of tho Denver and Guernsey
Nowhere in the West is there a more
important town for its size than Al
liance. While yet in its Infancy, a
mere child, so to speak, for its birth
was but sixteen years ago, it is the
marvel of all who have witnessed it
spring up from an 8x12 depot station
in 1S8S to a city of its present size.
The appellation "Queen City of the
1'lnins" is no misnomer, as tho pano
ramic views of this "Celestial City
of the West" will go to prove.
The first intimation that a town
was to bo built on the present site
of Alliance was in June, 1SS7, when
the Lincoln Land company, who are
closely associated with tho B. & M.
railroad company, purchased all of sec
tion 3C, township 25, range 47, and
platted a townslte. The reason for tho
selection of this particular locality
was because of the proximity of the
large ranching and farming industries
and also to establish a division point
for the Burlington road, where a
round house, machine and repair
shops could be established.
The advent of the new mccca was
widely promulgated by the land com
pany, and on February 28, 1888, a
public sale of lots took place, which
netted the company in the neighbor
hood of $50,000, Tho future metrop
olis of Northwestern Nebraska was
Mecca of the Potato Industry Cattle Growing Haven of Nebraska.
The first settlement in Box Butte
county was made by John S. Hughes
in 1S79, on tho Niobrara river, in sec
tion 0, township 28, range 57. Prior
to that time, however, there had been
a number of cattle ranches located
along Snnke creek, tho first ono be
ing established by tho Ogalalla Cattlo
company, and by Paxton & Hosier.
None of tho land embraced in theso
ranches was ever patented to any one
connected with either of tho ranches
and upon the advent of tho settlers
Into what is now Box Butto county,
tho herds and tho movable personal
property belonging to the cattle com
panies were transferred farther west.
Between tho years 1879 and 1884 this
county wns just one largo cattlo range,
and In 1SS5 and 18SC settlers poured
in and nearly every quarter section
of available land was taken.
In November, 1S8C, n petition was
presented to the county commission
ers of Dawes county praying that
townships 24, 25, 20, 27 nnd 2S, in
ranges 47, 48, 49. 50, 51 and 52, be
separated from Dawes county and or
ganized into another county, to be
called Box Butte county. Tho prayer
of tho petition wns granted, and A. S.
Iteed, James Barry and L. C. Dc
Coudress were appointed commission
ers. Attho first election held the above
named men were elected county com
missioners; Georgo W. Clark, county
clerk; Fred Shonquist, sheriff; Eli
Gerbor. treasurer; C. A. Barney, sur
veyor; Nathan F. Simpson, county
superintendent; James II. Danskin,
county attorney; A. L. Field, county
judge; nnd Dr. John Blood, coroner.
The first mooting of tho county com
missioners was held March 23, 1887.
At the date of tho organization of the
county tho population of tho county
was approximately 5,000. Tho boun-
Metropolis of Northwestern Nebraska Young, Enterprising, Strenuous Always Growing and Advancing Center of
Immense Ranches Exports Best Potatoes on Earth Unlimited Hope in the Future Energetic, Prosperous Citizens.
then launched, buildings sprang up in
rapid succession, settlers swarmed in,
nnd in eight weeks Alliance was a
nourishing village of over seven hun
dred Inhabitants. It was a wonder
ful transformation scene. Buildings
were moved from other localities
and tho spirit of enterprise was re
markable to a degree beyond concep
tion. On March 2S, 188S, tho board of
county commissioners met and incor
porated tho village of Alliance, naming
Nelson Fletcher, Aquilla Triplett, F.
M. Sands, Otto Ketelsen nnd W. G.
Slmonson as trustees; F. M. Devore,
attorney and clerk; nnd Jacob Stuts
man marshal.
In 1S03 tho population of Alliance
had reached a point when it could be
advanced to a city of tho second clnss,
and this was consumated April 8 of
that year. F. W. Smith was elected
mayor; It. C. Nolcman, clerk; It. M.
Hampton, treasurer; E. Cotton, city
engineer; James II. II. Hewett, at
torney; John Snner, marshal and
street commissioner; Thomas Beck,
J. R. Sexton, George L. Mllllken, It.
B. Hamilton, councilmen.
In 1890 tho population of the village
of Alliance numbered nearly 900 peo
daries of tho county havo never been
changed since tho (Into of its organi
zation. In 1SS0 what is known as the Pan
handle of Nebraska, being that por
tion of tho state which extends west
on the north of Colorado, was em
braced In two counties, Sioux nnd
Cheyenne. Sioux county, In tho early
'80s, was subdivided into three coun
ties, ono of which retained the orig
inal name, the balance of tho terri
tory being divided Into Dawes and
Sheridan counties, Box Butto being
subsequently carved out of Dawes,
as heretofore stated. The county de
rives its nnmo from a largo grass
covered butto located in tho north
east part of tho county nnd which tow
ers about 150 feet above tho surround
ing territory, and which, on account
of its peculiar shape, has always been
called "Box Butte." Who first gave
It this namo is not known, as it has
been called that ever since Buffalo
Bill hunted tho buffalo on the plains
surrounding tho butto.
The county is destitute of lakes of
any size or Importance, except Bron
cho lake, which covers nearly a sec
tion of land and lies nbout two miles
west of Alliance. The Niobrara river
just touches tho northwest corner
of the county. Snake creek, winds a
serpentine course through the south
ern part of tho county. A good deal
of water (lows down this stream In
tho spring. It dries up in tho sum
mer months, but whon autumn ap
proaches, from some mystorious, it Is ngaln filled with wator,
.and that, too, in tho absonco of any
Tho county Is ono vast platoau, In
area 30 x 30 miles, with its surfaco
gently undulating. About 95 per cont
of the land In this county is per-
ALLIANCE IN 1904. Bird's
ple, nnd six years later had increased
numerically to 2,200. It was n rapid
stride for this fair young city, but
tho Incoming tide of home-seekers had
by no means abated. Onward it
marched until to-dny Alliance enn
boast of 4,500 population, and a city in
structural appearance second to none
in tho state.
The city Is supplied with all mod
ern conveniences, prominent among
which nro Its electric light plant and
telephone- system, both of which are
of ample capacity and managed on
economical basis, both for tho owners
and the patrons.
Its importance as a stock feeding
point is known everywhere, having
stock yards of 125 car loads capacity
tho laigest between Lincoln and Bil
lings. A thoroughly equipped flro depart
ment second to none in the state
attends to tho protection of nil prop
erty from destruction.
The Alliance Land District, which
comprises the counties of Sheridan,
Dawes, Sioux, Box Butte, Deuel,
Cheyenne and Scotts Bluff, has its
sent, or United States Iand Office,
in Alliance, and is still transacting
a largo amount of business.
fectly level, and water is obtained
only from wells that furnish an
abundance of water at an nverage
depth of 50 feet.
Good brick is manufactured In tho
vicinity of Alliance in considerable
The soil is principally a black,
sandy loam, rich In phosphates, and
where irrigation Is possible immense
crops of cerenls and roots can bo
raised. The rainfall Is very uncer
tain. The- average altitude being
over 4,000 feet, tho nights are always
cool. Taking one year with another
there nro at least 300 days of sun
shine in each year.
In no county in the state is there
a greater per cent of its total area
adapted to agriculture than in this
county, and when there Is sufficient
rainfall most abundant crops of
grain and vegetables aro raised.
Thero has never been a year since tho
nrrival of tho first settlers In which
tho farmers have fallt to raise a fair
crop of potatoes without Irrigation,
nnd in favorable years tho yield has
been enormous. Box Butto county po
tatoes havo established a reputation
for excellence that extends over sev
ral states.
Whllo at tho present time more roll
anco Is placed In tho business of stock
raising than in fanning, it is certnln
that as moro and more of the
country Is put Into cultivation tho rain
fall will incroase and In time It is be
lieved that sufilcient annual rainfall
will bo had to Insure abundnnt crops.
Where any attention hns been paid
to raising small fruits, plums and chor
rlos, tho offort oxpendod has boon
abundantly rewarded.
Whllo no grent portion of tho county
Is susceptlblo of irrigation, because
of tho lack of sulllclont running
- Eye View Looking South.
The city erected, in 1S90. a beauti
fully appointed brick school building
at a cost of $25,000, and to which
a substantial nddltion was added two
years later. In 1903, another largo,
two-story, brick school building, to
cost about $10,000, was commenced,
and Is now Hearing completion. Both of
these buildings are two-stories and
basement, commodious, well-lighted
and modern in every respect.
A splendid nnd adequate water sys
tem Is ono of tho proud features of
our city's institutions. It was in
stalled In 1894 at a cost of $18,000,
but since that time many Improve
ments have taken place by extend
ing tho water mains nearly two miles,
erecting a largo power house, con
structing throe Immense wells nnd
equipping same with two of the most
modern pumps that could bo pur
chased, so that at this timo tho wnter
system Is worth fully $50,000. Tho
water is elevated Into a stand-plpo to a
height of 110 feet, which gives It suf
ficient force to throw a stream a
great distance, thus furnishing ample
lire protection.
A year and two years previous, how
over, to the construction of our water
system, two dovasting fires visited
Its Yaricd Industries, Fine Climate, Soil, Towns, Schools, Churches, Etc.
streams for a water supply, yet some
ditches havo been tnken out along
Snnke creek and tho Nlobrnra river,
and tho results produced are suf
ficient to enable us to safely say that
were tho surfaco of tho county so situ
nted that It could be irrigated no
country on eartli could excel It in the"
production of crops ndapted to this
in the enrly settlement of this part
of tho state, and In the organization
of most of tho counties, it was thought
best to at once issuo tho bonds of tho
county and erect expensive public
buildings. However this county has
never assumed a bonded Indebted
ness for such purpose. Wo havo a
court house sufilcient for the needs
of tho county for years yet to come.
A new jail Is nearly completed, and
when done wo havo tho money with
which to pay for it. Our county war
rants nro a cash item In tho hands
of tho holder and are paid dollar for
dollar upon presentation to the county
A good, commodious brick houso,
for tho accommodation of the poor.
Is located about six miles northwest
of Alliance on a farm of 320 acres
belonging to tho county. It has only
two inmates.
The assessed valuation, based on
one-fourth nctual valuo, of all classes
of property In tho county in tho year
of 1903 waB $044.00(5. In nddltion to
this amount tho distributive share of
tho railroad valuation apportioned to
this county waa $170,250. Innsmuch
ns there aro 1,080 square mllos of
territory In tho county it can bo readi
ly soon that tho taxos imposed on
tho pooplo aro vory light. The rato
of taxation for county nnd stato pur
poses Is only 21 mills on ouch dollar
of assessed valuation. Tho county
our growing young city. Tho first oc
curred on August 7, 1892, which com
pletely laid bare tho south Bide of
Wyoming avenue, destroying an en
tire business block, nnd entailing n
Iosb of $25,000. The second ilro oc
curred Jnnunry 11, 1893, when a greater
loss was sustained, tho best business
blocks In tho city thou going up In
finnios. The loss from this fire wns
estimated at $50,000, and at least 25
business houses and dwellings were
consumed in this contlngratlon.
All this, however, is now buried
with tho past and lingers only in tho
memory of those with retcntlvo minds.
Phoenix like. Alliance rose again
fairer and grander than over.
Tho future of tho city at tho pres
ent timo is fnr more promising than
at any other period of Its enrccr. If
tho "writing on tho wall" signifies any
thing, it means a progressive and
substantial advancement.
Among the possibilities could be
mentioned several factories, which, If
sufilcient inducement could be brought
to bear to persuade them to locate
here, would undoubtedly prove profita
ble Investments. Among which we
might mention a starch factory to util
ize tho Immense potato crop, so suc
has no Moating Indebtedness nnd but
two or three school districts owo nny
bonded indebtedness. Tho school dis
trict of Alliance hns property worth,
at a conservative estimate, $40,000,
and only owo $12,000 of bonded in
debtedness. The bonded indebted
ness outstanding of nil other school
districts in tho county will not exceed
What Is now known aa Northwest
Nebraska 1b that portion of the state
lying north of Colorado, or, in other
words, tho Panhandle of Nebraska.
This vast expanso of country, of
which Alliance is tho metropolis, Id
composed of the counties of Sheridan,
Dawes, Sioux, Box Butte, Deuel, Chey
enne, Scotta Bluff, Banner and Kim
ball, comprising an area of about 13,
500 square miles.
Several important streams traverse
this exceedingly fertllo region, name
ly: The North Platte, tho Niobrara
nnd tho White rivers, besides numer
ous creeks, each of which makes Its
possible to Irrigate thousands of ncres
along Its course, thus assuring tho
production of abundant crops of all
klndB of cereals and vegetables.
Not near all the Panhandle Is sus
ceptlblo to Irrigation, but tho non
irrigable portions aro not tho leaBt
valuable by any moans. All over the
high tables and tho snnd hills may
bo scon thousands nnd hundreds of
thousands of cattle, sheep and horses
tho sleekost In tho land, except
those that are fed corn, or beets, or
other choice food. Indeod, connois
seurs pronounco this soctlon the host
cattlo country In tho Wost, and to con
vince tho roador of this fact It is only
necessary to stato that stock graze
cessfully grown here, and thus furnisl
a homo market for this product. Othe
Industries of a llko character coul
thrive and prosper here, tho unlimltc
field to draw upon being ono of th
Inducements for tho location of fat
torlcs at this point.
Tho location of Alliance ns a dh
trlbuting point for tho groat nortl
west Is not surpassed by nny othe
city In Western Nebraska. This fac
was recently recognized by the Intel
national Harvesting compnny, win
have recently established headquai
ters hero for Western Nebraska, Soutl
Dakota, Wyoming and a part of Cole
rado, and at this timo thero are whole!
Bnlo grocery firms looking over thl
field with a view of establlshlnt
branch houses here. ItB railroad fa
cllltles givo .quick servlco to tho west
ern portion of South Dakota, and Mon
tana, Wyoming nnd tho whole north
western country.
Alliance Is a division point on tlu
Burlington & Missouri Hlver railroad
which mulntnins a largo round hous
nnd mnchlnoshops.nnd which gives em
ployment to a grent number of work
mon. Tho pay roll for theso shops am
tho trainmen nnd office forces exceed
$10,000 a month, which Is a very im
portant factor to tho city's welfare
Tho total vnluation of the rallroat
property In Alliance is said to b
about $100,000.
Thero aro seven churches In thil
city, tho denominations of which anl
as follows: Episcopal, First Preaby
terlau, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist!
Lutheran and United Presbyterian, all
of which havo largo congregations!
nnd commodious houses of worship.
tho wild pralrlea tho year round ami
keep fnt winter and summer on tht
native grass, which cures on foot, cx
cept when tho ground 1b covered wltt
sovoral Inches of snow.
Tho climate Is all that can be de
sired, for either health or comfort.
Taking one season with another, tlu
sun shines fully 80 per cent of the
time, which Is surpassed by very few
sections of the United States.
Each county in tho Panhandle of
Nebraska supports ono or moro goodj
live towns, most of theso situated onl
one of the three great lines of railroad!
traversing It the Burlington, tho ElkJ
horn and tho Union Pacific. Sheridan
county has the towns of Rushvllle,
Gordon, Hay Springs and Lakeside;
Dawes Chadron, Crawford, MarB-
land, Whitney and Dunlap; Sioux
Harrison; Box Butte Alliance and
Hemingford; Deuel Lodge Polo and
Big Springs; Cheyenne Sidney,
Bridgeport and Bayard; Scotts Bluff -
Gerlng, Scotts Bluff and Mitchell;!
Banner Hnrrisburg; Kimball Kim
ball. All these are prosperous audi
growing towns, situated either in fer
tile valleys or in great cattle centers,!
nnd afford good markets for whatever
the surrounding country produces.
The soil, on tho tables or divides,!
is very much tho same as in Box I
Butte county, which is described inj
another article. Tho valleys that are!
irrigated produce anything and every
thing adapted to this latitude, while!
tho sand hills, which are everywhere!
dotted with fertile meadows of vari
ous sizes, produce an abundance of!
hay, of which thousands of tons are!
shipped away evory season.
Northwest Nobraska holds out I
many Inducements to men of energy!
nnd capital, with promises of large