Elm Creek First Established
UP Railroad was completed across Buffalo County (1866-67)
A siding was put in. Nearby was a creek lined with red elms
which the railroad crew called Elm Creek. So the siding was
The name was one word until World War II
Station established, named Elm Creek. D. C. Bond, agent. He
was also the first postmaster.
U P Depot D. C. Bond, agent
Eating place & saloon
20 min stop to put on wood & eat
Also at Elm Creek was located an eating house, Charles
Davis proprietor, and the emigrant train, carrying
passengers, was scheduled to stop twenty minutes for meals
at this point. Mr. Davis also kept a saloon
few and far between on the railroad in the early days and
travelers who indulged in strong drink embraced every
opportunity offered to lay in a supply in bottles and jugs.
The presence of liquors on the emigrant train made much
trouble for the trainmen, and it is related that the
following plan of lessening the evil was adopted at Elm
Creek in co-operation between the trainmen and Mr. Davis the
On the arrival of the emigrant train refusal was made to
sell liquors in bottles and jugs on the plea that the
trainmen objected, but the would be purchasers were informed
that if they would quietly wait until the train was due to
leave and the trainmen elsewhere employed, they could have
all the bottles and jugs of liquors they desired.
Hence it was at the last moment those who wished loaded up
with wet goods. After the train had left for the West it was
discovered that the wet goods consisted of cold tea and for
a mile or more west of the station the roadside was lined
with broken jugs and bottles.
First homesteaders in Elm Creek before 1880
187214 including Fannie Nevius, H. B. Steele, John Tyler, D.
C. Bond, D.
1874-- 11 including J. T. Shufflebarger
18757 including Sarah Calkins & A. Shufflebarger and J.
18771 (drought & grasshoppers)
18784 including W. C. Shufflebarger.
187914 including N. O. Calkins
First mention in Bassett:
John Oliver had been appointed both sheriff and assessor
Later James Oliver was appointed assessor and served as the
first assessor in the county.
It is related that in the western part of the county there
were a few settlers who boasted that they had never been
assessed and would not be and they would make it warm for
anyone who attempted to assess their property.
(Four homesteaded in 1871, possibly the ones who were not
going to be assessed.)
On this official trip the assessor was accompanied by his
brother, John, the sheriff. When they arrived the few
settlers at Elmcreek began making threats and firing their
guns, but the Oliver brothers were not easily bluffed and
replied that they had guns and could shoot if necessary, but
that the assessment must be made and there was no use making
a fuss about it. After a long parley the assessor was
permitted to perform his official duty.
1 mile west of present location
Elm Creek Station
Eating house and saloon
3 houses, at least 2 were sod
Second Location 1 mile east, 1883, railroad built a depot
Incorporation of Village January 12, 1887
First village board being N. O. Calkins, H. D. Beecroft, E.
O. Carpenter, H. Nantker, D. C. Bond
Newspaper Elm Creek Sun was first first issue June 2,
1886. Then there was the Pilot in the 1890s. In about 1900
E. C. Krewson bought the Beacon (Gibbon) and moved it to Elm
Flour mill 1897 to before 1915
Fire July 1 1906, burned 14 buildings a better Elm Creek,
with larger and more durable buildings has risen in its
place. Early pictures of business section are dated by
whether there are wood or brick buildings.
Churches Christian 1910; Methodist, Dec. 1872 (funeral
service); Catholic, 1871 or 2, (met in section house, no
other meeting place)
Streets named for early settlers.
School district No. 9 was organized June 19, 1872. 40
children of school age in district.
UP shipped lumber from Omaha free to build it. (not sod!)
Then moved into town. When a larger building was built in
1890, the old one was used as an Episcopal Church and then
(by 1916) as a chapel by an undertaker.
10 grade school became 12 grade in 1913 and had 7 teachers
A Community Survey of Elm Creek, Nebraska
By the Division of Nebraska Resources, 1962
1960 population 778
Trade area 10 miles radius
Vacant buildings 3 brick, two were single story, one was
Existing industry 2 alfalfa mills and a roofing company
Employment: Utilities 6; wholesale & retail trade 75;
finance-insur-real estate 7; services (TV, restaurants,
Unemployed: 20 male; 10 female
Average Wages Common labor $1.40; semi-skilled 1.75;
carpenters, electricians, plumbers 2.00; truck drivers 2.00;
bulldozer operators 2.50
Average Office male clerks $1.25; female clerks &
secretaries $1.00 ($.50-1.75)
Miscellaneous female labor waitress $0.90; cook $1.00
Railroad section (male) 1.90
Sugar beet crop Piled up outside for shipment by rail
Elm Creek Gets New Business ground breaking for Chevyland
Collection owned by M/M Mort Hollertz of Holdrege, son Allen
did/does restoration started as hobby in early 1960s
Originally located on west edge of Minden.
Elm Creek Pilot 1897
....Tuesday morning people doing business of Front Street
found loaded pistol cartridges stuck into the keyholes in
their doors, and were somewhat mystified as to where they
came from or what it all was intended for. George WILHELMY
is one of our "early risers" and was able to cast some light
on the mystery as he had seen Gen. MOORE, the Cuban
recruiting officer, place the cartridges in the keyholes
early in the morning, which were to give signal for the
general march against the Spaniards. MOORE is in bad shape
mentally and James LAYCOCK has been detailed to keep guard
over him. He is fitfully active and insists on being around
the depot every time a train pulls in and signals wildly,
much to the annoyance of the crews. All in all he is the
craziest man outside the state asylum.
Morning Times, May 4, 1910
It begins to look as though Elm Creek was going to be dry
this year in spite of the vote a short time ago. The trouble
all comes over the amount of cost of license. Former years
it has been $1000. But the village board raised it to $1500
this year. Before the raise there were 2 applications but
now they have taken wings and flown.
Elm Creek - 1923
A good time was enjoyed by all at the Fairview basket dinner
Thursday evening. Each lady took her name in a walnut shell,
the walnut shell being sold instead of the baskets. A set of
scales were handy, each lady being weighed. Their partners
paid one cent per pound. This was a new way of buying
suppers and it aroused great excitement.
[I'll bet! Was each supper paid for twice... once for the
name and again by the weight of the lady who prepared it?]
Elm Creek book 2 envelopes of clippings, etc. in file
cabinet Card file boxes.