(Sources: Kieth Buss’ BT article, Winona Snell’s book, Rod Stover’s Website
[go to <rootsweb.com/~nebuffal/> links], Chick Tillson)
Poole is located south of
Ravenna, three miles north and one east of the Majors cemetery. It was once
incorporated as a village, but has dropped that incorporation. It also went
by the name Pool’s Siding because a branch of the railroad passed through
there and a lot of cattle were shipped to market from there.
Now a few houses remain that, with
the surrounding farms, make up the Poole community. The railroad is gone, as
is the post office. The school district has consolidated with Ravenna
although the school building, once a 12-grade school, still stands and is
now a private home. The bank is the only business building left.
In the Beginning
Brothers - A.H. and William W. Pool & W.C. and W.Z. Tillson. Connected by
marriage of Gertrude Tillson to A.H. Pool.
1876 –Came to Buffalo Co. Took adjoining land on Cedar Creek
1883 – W.W. Pool and eastern investors organized the Nebraska Land
and Cattle Company which lasted some 10 years
Pool/Tillson partnership broke up but they remained friends. The other 3
thought WW was too much of a “boomer”.
W.W. Pool continued to operate the
cattle company which was reorganized to drop some easterners & add a couple
of Kearney men including R. L. Downing. Eventually had some ten thousand
acres of land around Poole; about thirty-five hundred acres in mixed crops,
A.H. Pool sold out in 1883 and moved
to the Prairie Center area where he lived for the remainder of his life. He
died in 1893, at the age of 63.
W.C. Tillson went back to Kearney,
had worked in More’s bank in 1876; in 1882 he returned to Kearney and
organized the Kearney National Bank. His house, Tower Hill, stood where the
Kearney Country Club is today
W.Z. Tillson went into ranching on
his own and eventually settled northwest of Poole, where his descendants
Union Pacific built track from Nantasket to Pleasanton. Went through Pool
land. Put in a siding so he could ship his cattle.
1889 – started as a village with one store and a grain elevator
1891 – called Pool’s siding, town site development began
1892 – organized as a village
1898 – WW Pool – health began to fail, business faced bankruptcy, son
died, learned his wife would not live through her current pregnancy. Went to
cemetery and shot himself at the graves of two children. Wife died two weeks
1898 – George Duncan – Postmaster [Snell p. 35]
1900 – Land ownership problems [Snell p 38]
News article from early 1900’s (before 1905) –
The large department store managed by Walter Tillson, 2 clerks.
Daughter was postmaster.
Hotel erected by T.J. McConnell
Grain elevator owned by J.P. Gibbons & Co. of Kearney, managed by Mr.
McConnell. The power for the elevator is furnished by a large gasoline
Grain elevator owned by Wort Bros. They sell farm machinery and Deering
Gilcrest Lumber Company with headquarters at Kearney, carrying lumber, coal,
farm implements and machinery, etc.
Contractor and builder, B.F. Moore
Stock buyer George Duncan, feeding two hundred head of cattle at this point.
He had bought and fed over 15,000 bushels of corn this past Winter, which
has made the Siding one of the best grain markets in the country.
‘Village blacksmith,’ Mr. Goodby
No RR station yet
Destined to be one of the best little towns inside of Buffalo County
1905 – (added the E to Pool) Union Pacific Railroad Company completed
a depot and installed an agent. First and only agent [up to 1916] was J.C.
1932 – State Bank of Poole [Snell p. 90]