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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (July 11, 1909)
Harlan County the
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REBIDENCX OF E C SMITH
T WAk th buffalo and mIler
(ur-brlng anlmala that led
both th Indian and tha whlta
man to Harlan county. Bcfor
tha coming of th homaataadar
and (or long afterward th an-
tlr county waa ooverad with graaaea and
forage planta In no other locality on tha
waatarn praliiea wara tha buffalo ao nu
mrou aa In what la now Harlan county.
Hera waa avcry natural advantaga. Har
waa tha richest of wild graaaea and many
streams of clear, swift-running water. No
country tha Indian found In all hie wan
derings suited him and waa made for htm
Ilka this. Not only ware the buffalo
abundant, but also all tha fur-bearing anl-'
mals and wild game common to tha plains.
The little beavar led discoverers from the
8t. Lawrence to the Mississippi and from
the Mississippi to the Rockies. It la an
Industry that haa led to the pathflndlng of
half tha world.
It may astonish most readers to be told
that on the American side of the line tha
volume of the fur trade la the largest ever
known In the United, Staten-greater than
In tha ffays when the buffalo and beaver
had the whole oountry as a stamping
ground. More money goes to the trappers
today for skunk and muskrat and fox
than waa aver made out of beaver, aea
otter and th rare fur. The demand for
tkunkskin la so much greater than the
supply that men in tha weat era running
akunk farms, and for th akin receive th
same price aa used to be paid for th
beaver, all the way from 2 to 3. A sli
ver foxskln brings from 1260 to 1680.
Fashion is as capricious aa tha wind.
Trade doesn't creau fashion; It la fashion
that create trad. In 1871 twenty-one
g gfy wolves were poisoned In one
night at Mark Coad's bomeatead in Harlan
Th cattleman was next to Inhabit Har-
lan eounty after tha trapper and fur-
trader. Though bia herds might and did
roam over great tract, of country, hi.
actual land poaseaalon. might amount to
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fur!?!, rr,A'P ?'
ful aye on th stock, driving them to water
eouraea in dry weather and pulling them
out of the mud In th wet season. Much
of Nf during the summer was delightful,
Tha sklea ware blue, tha work easy. The
larder low, but an exciting chase after the
Inquisitive antelope brought recreation and
a change of diet from th perpetual bacon
and beans. The early cowboy of Harlan
county became almost aa resourceful as an
Indian, fearleaa, open-hearted, loan of
body, quick of mind, self-reliant and faith
ful, a good fighter, and yet often tender
a. a woman. His morals were generally
good, for his visits to tha settlement were
rar. and even than ha waa not aa th
dim novel would lead on to believe, tha
bold, bad man, ready to shoot on eight.
His virtues were of th manly, positive
sort, and his vices of tha aama open char
acter. Tha first explorer of Harlan eounty
wMh view of making a permanent eettle
ment, cam from tha eastern part of th
state n August. 1870. As lata as Ufi Buck's
party of United States surveyors were at
tacked by tha Indians In this county and
all killed. Whenever the huntera returned
to the eastern settlement their praise of
tha fertility and grandeur ot Hie Republi
can valley created a strung denire on the
part of many who proposed going west to
make thla their future home. A stockade
wag built two miles west nf Orleans, and
about fifteen people remained here during
th winter of U70 and UT1. The winter of
in and 1S7I was very severe. The flrat
storm cs,ma on the 18th of November, and
the bad weather continued until the latter
part of February. One band of cattle of
Pictures Showing- Features
TOWN BOLT BT GOTEBNMKVT FOR FMFLOTF3 AT THTE RIVIR PORTlTj
Or THE TUN! .WttlCki HVKB TkLRQUQU JUM MOUNTAIN
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AND CHARLES BLODORN. ORLEANS.
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FARM OF E.
7B0 were reduced to 125, and out of a herd
of t, In tha eastern part of the county
but 460 survived tha bad storm. At that
time, however, buffalo, wild .turkey and
other wild game were plentiful and the
timber that skirted the stream furnished
abundance of fuel, so there waa no danger
of actual etarvation or of perishing from
the cold. Wild animals suffering from
lack of food penetrated Into the settle-
ment. and w.r aslly killed.
On June I, 1871. an election Was held at
officers and locating a county seat Forty-
two votee were cast for eounty aeat, thirty.
seven for Alma and five for Napoleon. Th
tint meeting of the county commissioners
wa hel1 t th borne of N. P. Cook. Tha
,llst unty business transacted by the
commissioners was while seated on a log.
I1rlan county has been no exception to
th r-t ot tto" "ut0 ta lu ufUoulUM
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GEHRINO. ORLEANS. NEB.
locating tha county seat In early days. For
many years ther was a bitter feeling over
thla question, and much needlesa atrife waa
engendered and energy expended. Alma
finally designated aa the permanent
county aeat and It Is one of tha good towna
of tn Republican valley. In the matter
f publl Improvements the county haa
w1th ot,her" 'V1)' RepU!I!Can
At a" "T Prt tn ,h"tory
bridge-were built when moat needed acrosa
the principal creek, and the Republican
river. Tha courthouse at Alma 1, a good
,ubgtantlaI ,tructure and fully ade-
ouate for the needs of the county,
Harlan county has 823.000 acrea In farma.
cf which 190,000 are under cultivation. Like
most other counties in thla part of the
state its principal producta are wheat,
corn. beef and pork. A large part of the
corn crop, however. Is marketed In the
form 0f ft stock. Last year the farmers
sold and shipped out of the county 486,000
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of Gunnison Tunnel Createst Irrigation Enterprise Ever Undertaken
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the cwaiia Sunday bees jult
ORLEANS ROLLER MILLS
bushels of corn and 15.000 bushels of wheat,
but this is but a small part of their In
come, aa compared to the large amount of
beef and pork shipped out. Laat year tha
farmers of Harlan county fattened, sold
and shipped out 20,400 head of beef cattle,
40,800 fat hogs, 600 horses and 3,000 mutton
sheep. But few counties In the state of Its
else have a record like this, for It must be
remembered that this county la but twenty
four miles square, yet its property valuation
amounts to $20,000,000.
Tha present population of tha county is
12,000. Its railroad facilities are among the
best in the Republican valley. It haa
eighty-five miles of railroad, with nln
live, progressive, thrifty railroad stations.
Besides thla tha county has about 600 miles
of public highway, with eleven free rural
delivery routes scattered over the eounty.
Nearly 400 miles of then highways are
covered, each day by tha rural carrier.
As a dairy county it ranks among the
best In th Republican valley and second
to but few of the entire state. The farm
era are adapting modern methods and tak
ing more interest In thla Induatry aa the
years roll by. Last year these farmers
kept 7.S30 cows on their farms and had In
use over 400 hand separators. These farm
ers sold and shipped out of the county
last year 77,000 pounds of butter and 93,000
gallons of cream. The reason for this
county making such rapid progress in the
dairy industry comes largely from its be
ing a natural alfalfa country. There are
but few counttea In tha atate that can com
pare with It In thla product. At the cloae
of 1908 the farmers of this county had 14,321
acres seeded to alfalfa, which was bring
ing them a better profit than any other
crop produced on the farm. It I. hard for
tha people to realls the fact, but the poul
try Industry ranks among one of th
largest Industries, not only of Nebraska,
but of the entire natton. Last year Harlan
county sold and shipped out 223,700 dosen of
eggs and I76.O00 pounds of dressed poul
try. Soma counties In the state produce
mora winter wheat than Harlan, but few
counties of its sis produce as large an
acreage of corn. In 1908 the farmer of thla
county had 106, M0 acres of corn and 64,800
acres of wheat.
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cmw ttkts as a. Ttra.Ts, cacsm fa
11, 1909. v
the Fertile Republican Valley)
FARM OF H. ELMERS, , ORLEANS. NEB.
Th Cudahy silica mine, located close to
Orleans, promises to be one of the big
Industries of th county. A three mile raU-
road track haa been built to tha mine and
preparations are oeing maae to worn nou
an extensive scale. This product 1. used for
so many purposes that as a commodity, it
I. almost unlimited. It has every appear-
ance of returning a good income to its
wners. and - of being much benefU to
Orleans and the entire county.
Harlan county has many rioh farms, with
excellent farm ' buildings and improved
breeds of stock. It has thrifty towns, with
prosperous mercnanta ana moaorn uujmms
facilities, but its public achoola are it
pride. Every cltlxen of the county seems
to take a great growing lntereat in both
th district and th city schools. At th
present time ther are eighty-one school
dietricta In the county, with eighty-two
aohool buildings, nearly all of which are in
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v V CUT All T B!UJCA MINE3 NEAR ORLEANS.
W IIHJP II ! HHtlH
excellent repair. Around these school build-
,nCT uj An th ,chool grounds there were
, M planted In 1908. 80 per cent ot
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ona J chi VpT.dedW.1
ry. IT " "'
cr. twenty of whom are mala teachers,
There are six high achoola, that compar
favorably with anything in the state. For
wagea to teaohera $36,713 was paid out. P.
P. Bentley la eervlng hla fifth term as
county superintendent of schools and ha
has started a movement that means much
iw uj uuki
tha conaolldatlon of tha precinct or town-
snip scnooia. Mnjs memoo. u in june
oral tia In Ohio and Indiana and la prov-
Ing entirely practical.
In ths spring of 1371. a colony of men
from Wyoming wandered down the Repub-
ucan valley in search of a suitable place
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fawn PflRTAU f' THE GREAT OUNNIBON TUNNEL. WHICH SDNI
rO TWENTT.TWft' Mll.ES THROUGH TH13 MOUNTAIN 4'H K imiMlT
slS&S I TWO A3JD, A HALF MILES UICUii.K' TliAJi yua RTVK.X
to locate. After careful Investigation these
pioneers cam to where Alma is now located
and th beauty of tha river seen and th
natural advantages at this sit stayed their
steps and tha atakea of settlement were
driven here. At thla timet although early
In tha spring, the grass was green, th
weaaher pleasant, and wild turkey, buffalo,
deer, antelope and other gam was abun
dant. Th townatt of Alma was selected
In the spring of 1871 by Mark Coad, N. P.
Cook and others, and waa) called Alma in
honor of a young daughter of N. T. Cook.
Soon after tha aettlement of Alma a post
office waa established, with J. H, Painter
as postmaster. The first sermon preaohed
her waa July 4. 187L In Foatec's grove, by
Rev. John Whiting. When th eounty aeat
was removed to Melrose from Alma, Alma
was put entirely out of business. In 1875
Frank Shaffer moved a little hone from
hie homestead near by. which waa th first
building in tha town after Its resurrection.
Th aecood building la Alma, was Ouyefs
Sr hotel, built In U7S. Th only build
is at Alma, In th spring of 1879 war
time very small houses, a store, tha small,
onewntory building with on little room,
uaed. aa a court house and a sod blacksmith
shop. On th 11th day of April, 187. a new,
paper waa established by Borden & Llv
lnpston, and called tbe Alma Standard. This
paper did more than anything els to at
tract attention to Alma aa a favorable
point for th building up of a town. Early
in th apiing of that year emigration turned
its course toward th republican valley,
and Alma began life anew and made quit
a growth. In th winter ot 1871 and 1880,
tha Burlington railroad reached. Alma,
which added much to its growth. Thus cam
Alma from tbe unturned pralrla sod In tha
Pc of about thirty years to a city ot
happy, contented, yet rigorous and aggra.
Th laat herd of buffalo to pasrtrr on
the present townslt of Alma waa In
August, 1878, and were chased by J. C.
Mitchell and George Cove, who succeeded
In killing ona of th animals. Th herd
numbered thlrtr-flve. Th laat large gam
seen In th vicinity of Alma was a deer,
which waa killed by Thomas Neff. on mil
louth of AW m 1883- Xb, w,hed
0rlean, jted on fh north aide ot
th Republican river. Situated aa it Is on
th crest of a sloping wave-like terrace,
and extending towards th river, down the
slops a more pleasant location could not
hava been found. It is not very tar from
th center of the county and haa a lo
cation that for business pursuits Is ex.
celled by no town in th Republican valley
in Its natural adaptability. It Is situated
opposite tha point where th Sappa creek
enters the river on th other side. There
for the broad and fertile valleys of th
, Bappa. and Beaver are natural tributaries
to this town. On tha weat and northwest
la th Republican valley Itself. Again south
of tha river is but a short distance to th
fertll Prairie Dog valley. Thla gives
Orleans a farming territory sufficient to
maintain a thrifty city, to say nothing of
Its natural advantages for manufacturing.
Th Burlington railroad runa through th
southern part of Orleans. Its depot, grain
levators and flouring mill are only about
one-quarter of a mil from th business
portion of tha city.
Th flrat settlement ta th ooutrty waa
In tha vicinity of Orleans. Tha Old
atookad built by 7. A. Bleyon and his as
sociates In tha fall of 1870 was located not
vary far from where th Orleans depot
now stands. In December, 187L Warren M.
Fletcher, a young man, entered a home
stead wher Orleans now stands. Fletcher
sold hi claim in 1872 to D. M. Smith,
noted townslte locator for th Burlington,
and tha town of Orleans was at one laid
out and platted. Tha first sermon
(Continued on Fag Thr4
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