could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers


Today is:

Kearney, the Early Years


March 19, 1935


Interesting Data on Early History


Article which Elmcreek Beacon recently republished from an early issue of the Hub about a social gathering (date unknown) of ladies, early pioneers. 


Louisa Collins arrived in 1871

Mrs. Basten arrived Feb. 13, 1873

Mrs. Henry C. Andrews arrived in October 1873

Mrs. Flora Dildine came on September 4, 1874

Mrs. Green came on January 5, 1875

Mrs. Charles Hull came a few months after Mrs. Green

Mrs. Joseph Black came in 1875

Mrs. Bodinson came in 1879

Mrs. Charles Burke came as a bride in 1879

Mrs. Charles O. Swan came in 1882

Mrs. Julian Boyle came in 1883


Some of their memories:

First church social, given my Mrs. Judge Hemiup, purpose was to organize a Unitarian church society but nothing came of it.


First dancing party given b Mr. Perkins (of Perkins & Harford addition in nw Kearney)


First 4th of July celebration in a building at corner of 24th & B


When Louisa Collins arrived in 1871 there was one house, 16x16, built of sheathing lumber


Collins home “down on the trail about a block west of the present Platte River bridge.”

Methodist Church organized there.

Asbury performed first wedding there, for Sol Patterson & Miss Giddings.


Mrs. Norris came in 1872 and lived on homestead three miles west

Fear of Indians – gave a hungry papoose a biscuit but its mother took it and at it.


George E. Smith arrived in 1871, wife arrived in 1872 after the Norrises.

Homesteaded north of town.  Thought wells could not be dug in hills so paid 50˘ a barrel for water from town.

One day large band Indians came, flattened noses against window pane to see who was home. Came to door and she handed out dipper after dipper of water until they drank it all.


Platte River bridge opened September 29, 1874.  Big community picnic to celebrate.


Prairie fires would roll down on the town from the north and west.  Brooms, mops & gunny sacks were used to fight the fire.


Texas cowboys – “Sober they were all right, but drunk, they committed all sorts of excesses and proceeded to shoot up the town and terrorize the citizens on several occasions.” 


Captain & Mrs. Black wanted to get away from the rush and noise of town so they built a house at what is now 21st St. and 4th Ave.


In 1879 there were no laid out streets, just trails.  One ran so close to the Burke residence that wagons gradually tore off the siding from a corner of the house.


Early homes had no cellars, except the Strong’s near St. Luke’s Episcopal church.  At the threat of a storm the whole neighborhood went to the Strong’s cellar.



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