Addison Erwin Sheldon.

History and stories of Nebraska online

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cultivation spread from farm to farm and from county to
county. Since then they have brought millions of dollars
to the people of the state, and have greatly changed methods
of farming. Their influence has only just begun.

The Cream Separator. Another great change which
has come into Nebraska farming, in the past twenty years,
has been brought about largely by the cream separator, by
which the milk fresh from the cows is separated into cream
and skimmed milk, the cream going to butter factories,
while the milk is fed upon the farm. Dairy farming,
which was almost unknown in the early years of Nebraska
settlement, is thus becoming one of the chief industries of
Nebraska farming.

Rise in Price of Land. During this period, land has
risen very rapidly in price, in eastern Nebraska from $25
and $30 an acre to $100 and $150 an acre, and in western
Nebraska from $1.25 an acre to $10, $20 and even $50 an
acre. Towns everywhere have grown rapidly. New rail-
roads have been built and for the first time in Nebraska
history, there has been a large and constant development
of factories.

Irrigation and Dry Farming. Two new methods of
farming were followed which greatly helped the state.
These were irrigation and dry farming, or summer tillage
as the latter is sometimes called. Under the former, ditches
were dug to carry the water from the streams and spread it
out upon the fields. Under this system the waters of the
Platte, the Republican, the Loups, the Niobrara and other
streams were led out upon the land, making great fields of
grass and grain where before little had been raised. By
the dry farming method it was found that plowing and



Butcher collection.)

cultivating the land without a crop one year would insure

a fair crop the next year, even though the seasons were dry.

The Kinkaid Homestead Act. On June 29, 1904, a new

homestead act took effect in Nebraska, called the Kinkaid

act from Congressman
Kinkaid of O'Neill who
introduced it in Con-
gress. This act gave
settlers on certain parts
of the remaining public
land in Nebraska, a
homestead of 640 acres
by living on the same
for five years and plac-
ing improvements to the
extent of $1,000 upon it.
About 8,000,000 acres of sandy and rough land remained to
be taken under this act. At many land-offices, there was a
great rush for this last United States land in Nebraska,
and in 1912 there were only 832,750 acres to be taken.

Reclamation Act. In 1906 the Reclamation Act, cham-
pioned by President Roosevelt, made an important change
affecting western Nebraska. Under this act, a dam was
built across the rocky canyon of the North Platte River near
Casper, Wyoming, making a great lake. The surplus water
from this lake is brought down across the tablelands of
western Nebraska. Already over 100,000 acres have been
placed under irrigation by settlers under this act.

Taxes and State Expenses. For many years, the state
of Nebraska had been running in debt to pay its expenses.
This was because state expenses were constantly growing
larger and the grand assessment roll was becoming smaller.
(The grand assessment roll is the list of all the property
in the state made by the assessors on which taxes are levied) .
During the hard times, after the panic of 1893, the value
of property went down. Many people, in order to avoid



paying taxes, did not give in to the assessor all that they
had. Many taxes were unpaid. To pay its expenses, the
state had issued more than a mil-
lion dollars in warrants beyond its
income from taxes. To provide,
more money, the legislature of 1903
passed a new revenue law the aim
of which was to compel everyone
to give in all his property for taxa-
tion and to raise more money for
state expenses. In 1905 the legis-
lature passed another act, laying a
special tax to pay off the million
dollars of warrants which the state
owed. This has now all been paid.
Governor George L. Sheldon.

Railroad Regulation. Direct Pri- GOV. GEORGE L. SHELDON.
maries. George L. Sheldon, Re- (From Clements collection.)

publican, of Nehawka, was elected
governor in 1906, and held the office
two years. During his term, the
thirty years' railroad struggle in
Nebraska reached some definite
results. Free passes on the rail-
roads were abolished, passenger fare
reduced to two cents a mile, and a
commission of three persons created
to regulate the relations of the peo-
ple to the railroads in the state.
A direct primary law was also
passed, under which candidates for
office must be named by all the
voters instead of being selected by
delegates in conventions.
Governor Ashton C. Shallenberger. Bank Guaranty.
Daylight Saloons. In 1908 Ashton C. Shallenberger,


(From Clements collection.)


Democrat, of Alma, was elected governor. During his two-
year term, the legislature passed an act providing for a
bank guaranty fund to insure people depositing money in

banks from losses by bank failure.
An act called the ''Daylight Saloon
Act," requiring liquor sellers to
close their places from 8 p. m. to 7
a. m., an act requiring corporations
to pay an annual tax, an act to
value all the railroad property in
the state and an act providing for
the election of the peoples' choice
for United States Senator, were also

County Option. The question
of county option, or permitting all
the voters of each county to deter-
mine whether they would have
(From Clements collection.) saloons in that county or not,
became the exciting political issue at this time.

Governor Chester H. Aldrich. In 1910 Chester H.
Aldrich, Republican, of David City, was elected governor.
County option was the battleground of the campaign and the
result was the election of a governor in favor of county
option and a legislature opposed to it.

Initiative and Referendum. Among the important acts
of the legislature of 1911 were the following: An act pro-
viding for the initiative and referendum permitting the
voters to adopt or reject laws; an act providing for the
commission form of government of cities; an act to forbid
the selling of seed of any kind having weed seeds therein;
an act stopping the taxation of real estate mortgages; an
act to protect the water in Nebraska rivers and lakes; and
an act to secure libraries for the country districts.

Governor John H. Morehead. The Campaign of 1912.
At the election November 5, 1912, John H. Morehead,




Democrat, of Falls City, was chosen governor. The chief
feature of the campaign was the spectacular split in the
Republican party between the supporters of President Taft
and of Ex-president Roosevelt. A
new party, named the Progressive
party, was organized, which sup-
ported Mr. Roosevelt. In Nebras-
ka the Progressive party and the
Republican party united on most
of their candidates, but there was
much strife and contention in bring-
ing this about and Woodrow Wil-
son, Democratic candidate for
president, carried the state by a
plurality of 37,000 over Theodore
Roosevelt and a still larger plu-
rality over President Taft. The
new legislature chosen, which met
January 6, 1913, had 55 Demo-
crats and 45 Republicans in the House, 18 Republicans
and 15 Democrats in the Senate. At this election five
important amendments were made to the state consti-
tution, making the greatest changes in that document since
it was framed in 1875. The new amendments provide
for enactment of laws by the people through the initiative
and referendum, for elections once in two years instead of
every year, for a board of control to manage the state
prison, asylums and other institutions, for home rule by
cities, for increasing the salaries of members of the legisla-
ture from $300 to $600 and limiting the time for introducing
bills to the first twenty days of each session.

The Nebraska Indians To-day. There have been great
changes in the Indian tribes which once called Nebraska
their home. The Pawnees, reduced in number to 653,
live on their reservation in Oklahoma. Next to the Pawnees
on the west is the reserve of the Otoes and Missouris, living



together as one tribe now numbering only 411. They have
a beautiful rich prairie bordered with timber for their home.
Joining the Otoe reserve on the north is the land of the
Poncas. Here live the part of the Poncas, 583 in number,
who did not return to Nebraska. Thus side by side in the
heart of Oklahoma live three tribes of Nebraska Indians.
They visit each other and keep alive the memory of the
land in the north where they once lived. They still think
of Nebraska as their old home and their children grow up
hearing, from the lips of the older men and women, many
wonderful stories of the old times. The former Nebraska
Sioux, who number about 12,000 people, live on their great
reservation in South Dakota. They are often seen in the
Nebraska towns along the border. Part of the Cheyennes
and Arapahoes who once roamed western Nebraska are
now in Oklahoma and number about 2,000. The remainder
are in Wyoming.

There are at the present time 3,784 Indians in Nebraska.
Of these the Omaha and Ponca are the only native Nebraska
tribes. The Omaha number 1,276 and live in Thurston
County. The Nebraska band of the Poncas has about 290
members and lives at its old home near the mouth of the
Niobrara River. The Indians now living in Nebraska who
were moved here by the United States are as follows : The
Winnebagos, 1,063 in number, live neighbors to the Omahas.
Their former home was in Wisconsin and Minnesota. They
came to Nebraska in 1865. The Santee Sioux were moved
from Minnesota in 1864, and settled in Knox County along
the Missouri River. There are 1,155 of them. The Sauk
and Fox Indians of Missouri were located in 1861 on a
reserve in southeast Nebraska and northeast Kansas. They
number about 100.

Rights of Indians. All the Indians now living in
Nebraska are citizens and have the same right to vote and
to hold office that white people have. They own some of
the very best land in the state, much of it rented to white

Citiea with over 100,000:

Cities with 25,000 to 100,000:...

Cities with r.,000 to 2i,000:

Cities with 1,000 to 5,000: .Alliance

Smaller Places: Stuart

_ Count; Seats with les than 1,000:. Rushvllle
Stale Capital thus: County Seats thus:



l renton 1:


The Matthews- Nortlirup Works, Buffalo, N. Y. j


Scale of inllrs

i ;n 3n 40 :.o i;i> ;o m

i i i 1 i ' '


farmers. Some of these Indians work hard and are learning
the white man's way of living, while others cling to the old
life and love to spend their time visiting each other and
telling stories of the days before the white men came. Their
children go to school and learn the English language,
although the Indian languages are still spoken in their homes.

Passing of the Old Life. In a few years the old lan-
guages and the old Indian ways will be gone forever and
nothing will remain of Indian life in Nebraska but its story.

Shipping Nebraska Grain. In recent years, a great
change has come in the route over which Nebraska grain
is shipped to market. In the early years nearly all Nebraska
products were shipped east over the railroads to Chicago
and the Atlantic ocean. With the building of north and
south railroads, a large part is now shipped to the southern
states and another large part is sent to the mountain states
over the western lines of road.

Free Libraries. About 1899 there began in Nebraska a
movement to secure free public libraries and reading rooms.
In a few of our towns and cities these had been established
for many years. The new effort was to make at least one
strong library in each county. This movement is still going
on and acts of the legislature of 1911 are expected to bring
good libraries well cared for within reach of every citizen.

The Women's Clubs. In the period between 1890 and
1900 the woman's club movement in Nebraska took an
active form. A number of clubs had been organized in
earlier years. In 1894 these were brought together in a
state federation, new clubs .were organized and state con-
ventions held with great interest and enthusiasm. These
women's clubs aim to inspire and promote the interests of
women and to bring their influence to bear for better schools,
better books, better home-making, better government, and
a happier and more beautiful state.

Retrospect. This story of Nebraska as a state closes with
the year 1912. It is one hundred and one years since the


Astorians and Manuel Lisa ran their famous boat race for
a thousand miles up the Missouri River past our shores. It
is fifty-one years since the outbreak of the great civil war
between the North and the South, starting from the contest
between slavery and freedom in the Nebraska country.
The story of our state extends backward and reaches
forward and in either direction a child of Nebraska finds it
filled with interest and inspiration.

Nebraska a Century Ago. Wonderful is the story
of the world in these last one hundred years and nowhere
more wonderful than here in Nebraska. A hundred years
ago, our state was an unknown wilderness called a desert.
Upon it roamed 40,000 Indians and millions of buffalo, elk,
and deer. Wild geese, swans, ducks and other waterfowl
made their nests undisturbed. The wild grass grew every-
where, the sod unbroken by the plow. The waters of its
streams ran unchecked to the sea.

The mind and hand of man have transformed Nebraska
in the past fifty years. A million and a quarter of white
people live in a land which supported only one thirtieth
as many Indians. Nearly 10,000,000 domestic animals
find their food where once were herds of buffalo, elk and

Nebraska To-day. If a boy should spend one day only
of his life in visiting each Nebraska farm, he would need to
live more than five hundred years before he had seen them
all. A thousand cities and villages in our own state are
fed from these farms, and the surplus food which we ship
to the people of other states and countries every year would
fill a million farm wagons or make a railroad train of freight
cars long enough to reach from Chicago to Denver.

Nebraska Herds. Our herds of horses, cattle, sheep
and swine, if driven as fast as a man can walk across a
bridge over the Platte River, would make a column 10,000
miles long and be four months in crossing the bridge without
stopping to feed or water.


Nebraska Crops. Men and women are still living in
Nebraska who have seen all these changes. They have
seen all the counties, cities, villages and farms of Nebraska
created. They have seen the number of bushels of wheat
grown in this state increase from 147,000 in 1859, when we
shipped our first surplus, to 55,000,000 in 1910, and the
number of bushels of corn from about 1,000,000 in 1859 to
over 200,000,000 in 1910. Nebraska to-day could give
every man, woman and child in the United States two
bushels of corn and one half bushel of wheat and still have
enough for bread and seed for the people within our state.

The Old Way of Travel and the New. Instead of the
Indian squaw leading a pony over a dim trail across the
sunbaked plains one hundred years ago, with the poles of her
tepee dragging at the pony's side; instead of the slowly
crawling freight wagon with its twelve yoke of oxen of fifty
years ago; we now travel daily in Nebraska by means of a
thousand passenger trains, thirty thousand automobiles
and, still unsatisfied, are just learning to spread our wings
and fly through the air faster than even automobile or
express train can travel.

The Telephone. When our fathers, the pioneers, settled
these prairies, to talk five minutes with the nearest neighbor
meant sometimes a day's drive with the fastest team. Now
their children and grandchildren sit in their homes and
talk with their friends in every county of the state, and if
they wish, with friends far away by the lakes or the shore of
either great ocean, knowing their voices and even feeling
their presence.

Nebraska Schools. The schools of Nebraska are famed
around the world, for our state has had for many years the
largest percentage of any state in the Union of its people
able to read and write, and is thus the most intelligent
state of the most intelligent nation in the world.

Most of the progress in the Nebraska schools has been
made in the past forty years. In that tune the number of


schoolhouses in the state has grown from about 300 to 7,000
and the number of children in school from 12,000 to 300,000.
The rough logs and sod walls of the schoolhouses forty
years ago have nearly all been replaced by neat wooden and
brick buildings. Instead of the split log seats of the earliest
schoolhouses with their home-made desks there are con-
venient desks of polished wood and metal. In place of
the few school books of many different kinds bought by the
parents in many different states and brought to Nebraska,
each child in the Nebraska schools to-day has free books
furnished by the district in which he lives, with maps and
charts and apparatus for making experiments never dreamed
of by those other children who attended the Nebraska
schools in the early days.

Besides these great improvements in the common
schools, our state has resolved that her people shall, in the
future, excel even more than in the past. For their training
in all the arts and trades of life she has added free normal
schools for training the teachers, and a free university and
agricultural college where a boy or girl may study and
practice the best that may be learned for the life of a farmer
or engineer or mechanic or any of the callings by which men
and women may hope to earn their living and make them-
selves useful to the state in which they dwell.

How Nebraska Shall be Prosperous and Free. Nebras-
ka is a rich, great and beautiful state. She cannot stop
where she now is. It is the law of life that states must
grow stronger and wiser and better, or they must decay.
It is the people who make a state, and the children to-day
make the people of to-morrow. Our fathers first of all made
this state free. Then they made it prosperous. They
made it thus with labor of muscle and of brain. They
did the rough work, they built the bridges, dug the wells
and broke the sod. They did not ask an easy time. If
they had, Nebraska would never have been built. For us
is left to do the finer work, to use the improved ways, to


develop the better knowledge. This requires greater skill
and finer training and persistent labor.

Hard work and neighborly kindness made life happy for
our fathers even in the sod houses and dugouts of the early

NEBRASKA, 1912. (Courtesy of Roy Hindmarsh, Lincoln, bebrask.

days. As they grew strong, the state grew strong with them
because every man earned his living. No one lived in
idleness upon the work of his neighbor. Their children
will make a richer and better and greater Nebraska by prac-


tice of the two chief virtues which have made the Nebraska
of to-day honest labor and neighborly kindness.


1. Why was the new capital located where it now is and how did it get

its name?

2. Which would you prefer for a home, a dobie or a dugout, and why?

3. Why were railroads built so rapidly in Nebraska?

4. What were the results of the grange movement in Nebraska?

5. Why was a new constitution made?

6. What caused hard times and good times in Nebraska between 1873 and


7. Was it better for each settler to have 160 or 480 acres under the land

laws? Why?

8. What difference in the action of farmers and of railroad men when they

wished more pay for their work? Why?

9. Why are fewer horses stolen now than in 1880-90?

10. Did the Farmers' Alliance do wisely in starting a new political party?

11. Is it better for the state to rent or sell the school lands? Why?

12. What made Nebraska prominent in national affairs in 1854? In 1869?

In 1896? To-day?

13. Ought the state to pay its expenses or go in debt? Why?

14. What is needed to enable the state to pay its expenses?

15. What do you think is the most important thing to be done in order to

make Nebraska a better state?


(NOTE: The spelling of certain names connected with Nebraska has

varied in different periods. In some cases the spelling used in this book
varies according to the period; e.g., Kanzas, Kanzes, Kansas.)

Acaanibas ah-kan-nee'-bas

Apaches ay-pach'-ees

Arkansas ar'-kan-saw

Bourgmont . boor-mon'

Brul6 broo-lay'

Cabann6 kah-ban-nay'

Charlevoix shar-lay-vwah'

Chaui chow-ee'

Cibola see-bo'-lah

Comanche . ko-man'-chee

Coronado, Francisco Vasquez de . . kor-oh-nah'-do vass'-keth

De Smet day-smett'

Escanzaque ess-kan-zak'

Essanapes ess-san-ah'-pes

Gnascitares nas-si-tah'-rees

Harahey hay-ray'-hay

Hopi ho'-pee

Isopete ee-so'-pee-tee

Itan Sometimes spelled letan. This word is not found in any of
the pronouncing dictionaries. It seems to have been pro-
nounced it'tan or yit'tan, from which we get the name of the
present village of Yutan.

La Hontan la-on-ton'

LaJoie lah-zhwa'

LeClerc lay-cler'

Lisa lee'-sa

Mallet, Pierre . mal-lay' pee-air

Mitain me-tan'

Nicomi nee-ko'-mee

Pawnee pah-nee'

Pekatanoui pek-a-tan'-oo-ee

Penalosa, don Diego de .... pen-ya-lo-sa dee-ay-go

Petahauerat pee-tah-how'-erat

Pitalesharu pee-tah-lee-shar'-roo

Pizarro pi-zar'-ro

Pueblo pu-eb'-lo

Quivira ke-vee'-rah

Sagean, Mathieu sa-zhan' mah-tee-you

Santa F6 sahn-ta-fay'

Sarpy sar-pee'

Shoshone sho-sho'-nee

Skidi skee-dee'

Tatarrax tah-tar-rash'

Tirawa tee-rah-wah'

Valee, Andri val-lay' an-dree'

Voyageurs vwa-ya-zher'

Zuhi zoo'-nyee



Acaanibas, 10.

Adams County, 85.

Aldrich, Governor Chester H., 288.

Alfalfa, 285.

Algonquin Indians, 228.

Allis, Rev. Samuel, 242, 243.

Alma, 288.

American Fur Company, 41, 167.

American Horse, 152.

Antelope County, 187, 266.

Antelope Creek, 261.

Apache Indians, 6.

Arapahoe Indians, 43, 117. 131, 228,


Arbor Day, 206.
Ankara Indians, 37, 41.
Arikaree, 51.
Arickaree Fork, 131.
Ash Hollow, 149, 246.
Ashland, 7.

Assessment Grand Roll, 286.
Astor, John Jacob, 41.
Astoria, 41.

Astorians, 41, 55, 85, 292.
Atchison, 90.
Aunt Manuel, 38.
Aurora, 263.
Australian ballot, 277.

Bad Face Band, 146.

Bad Lands, 216.

Bandelier, Adolf T., 12.

Bank Guaranty, 287.

Baptist Missionary Union, 70.

Bartley, J. S., 279, 282.

Bassett, 273.

Battle Creek, 255.

Beal, Senator C. W., 197.

Bear, The, 98, 149.

Beatrice, 110,. 257.

Beaver Creek, 47, 152.

Beecher, Frederick H., 133.

Beecher Island, 131.

Bellefontaine Cemetery, 40.

Bellevue, 52, 55, 59, 65, 88, 96, 1 18,

175, 238, 239, 243, 246.
Benton, Senator, 136.

Bienville, 219.

Big Elk, 46, 52.

Big Foot, 278.

Big Horn Mountains, 41, 146.

Big Horse, 25.

Big Sandy Station, 139.

Big Springs, 85.

Bjlls, Col. C. J., 281.

Birds, Early Nebraska, 64, 65.

Black, Gov. S. W., 253, 256.

Black Bear, 123.

Black Hills, 41, 79, 146, 152, 171, 265

Black Moon, 80.

Black Republicans, 252.

Black Robe, 79.

Blackbird, 18, 26, 60, 226.

Blackbird Hill, 22, 26, 36, 59.

Blackbird Hills, 181.

Blackfoot Indians, 31, 42.

Blair, 264.

Blue Creek, 146.

Blue Rivers, 226.

Bonneville, Capt., 86.

Boone County, 95, 281.

Bourgmont, 13.

Bow River, 18.

Boyd County, 19, 169.

Boyd, Governor Jas. E., 276.

Branding Cattle, 271.

Bridgeport, 43, 120.

Bright Eyes, 175.

Broken Bow, 190, 193, 278.

Brown, John, 100.

Brownville, 111, 208, 246, 256, 264.

Brule Sioux, 97, 146.

Bryan, Wm. J., 280, 281.

Buchanan, President James, 110, 251.

Buck, Nelson, 108.

Buffalo Bill, 128.

Buffalo County, 89.

Buffalo, First Mention of, 3.

Bugeaters, 210.

Bull Bear, 147.

Burlington Railroad, 263, 269.

Burlington Strike, 273.

Burt, Governor Francis, 238.

Burt County, 159, 266.




Butler, Governor David, 129, 180,

260, 262.
Butler County, 89, 104, 118, 261.

Cabanne's Trading Post, 65.

California Trail, 42, 88.

Calumet Bluff, 27.

Camp Clark Bridge, 265.

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Online LibraryAddison Erwin SheldonHistory and stories of Nebraska → online text (page 19 of 20)