could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

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Rusco Township and Peake

Rusco Township

Location - Second tier from top of Buffalo County, 3rd from west
                North of Riverdale,
                South of Loup Township which has Pleasanton in the southeast corner.
                Prairie Hills Golf and Ski Club is located in the southeast corner of Rusco Twp.
                Highway 10 runs up the first section line west of the east boundary.

Description - The Loup River goes through the northern part of the township and three creeks feed into it from the south.

                   Rural agricultural & pasture land.

Early settlers

          Settlement began in 1873 – E. M. Holly
           1875 – Several including A. H. & Jennie Peake
           1876 – Several including Warren Rusco
           25 by 1880

Organized – April 1, 1884
           Named for Warren Rusco
           Hub reported in Nov 1890 all elected township officers. Rusco Twp included A. H. Peake, assessor.

What was there – No towns
           3 post offices
           3 school districts
           2 churches
           2 cemeteries

Post Offices: South Loup, Riverview, and Peake.

South Loup, 1874

Northeast corner of township, south side of the Loup.
Couple miles southwest of present day Pleasanton
Discontinued in 1877 and later restarted as Riverview.

Riverview, started in 1884

South side of the Loup, moved to the north side.
Predecessor of the Pleasanton post office.



Post office opened in 1884

Jennie Peake was first postmaster.

Located on north edge of township, 4-4 ½ miles west of Pleasanton; 10 miles north and ½ mile west of Riverdale.

On mail route from Prairie Center to Loup City. Mail arrived two times a week.

Originally a sod structure, serving 40 families.

1891 William Newell became postmaster, moved the post office to his home about 3 miles south of original site.

1897 Ludwig Mueller became postmaster, moved it to his home, about a mile west of Newell

Mail to Peake was delivered by horse and buggy (according to the April 1900 Hub)

Closed in 1907 when mail route went from Amherst to Pleasanton.

School Districts:

        Dist. 32 - Peake
        Dist. 67 - Mt. Zion or Vest
        Dist. 100 - King.
        All are now part of Pleasanton’s R-105.

Churches & Cemeteries:
       Church of Christ – located in the SE ¼ of Section 34. Active as early as 1893

       Fairmont Cemetery – In May 1893, 2 acres was purchased for $25.00 for use as a cemetery.

               Still owned by the Church of Christ.

       Peake Lutheran Church - officially “St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod”

Also called Peake Lutheran and St. Paul’s of Riverdale.
Organized in 1892.
First services and Sunday School were held in Dist. 55 school. (in Riverdale twp)
Services were in German.
The congregation split and part joined the Iowa Synod, stayed at Dist. 55.
The other part met in John Zwiener’s home

Reorganized in Nov. 1904 at the Dist. 100, King, schoolhouse.
Built in Section 30 in 1906.
        Church had two chandeliers with each holding four kerosene lamps

         Heat by pot-bellied stove

         Seating for 100

1932 the worship service was held in English followed by one in German while the children had Sunday School in the parsonage.

German dropped in the late 1940’s.

Peak & Poole congregations declining in numbers, decided to join.

1955 the church from Poole and the Parsonage from the Peake church were moved to a site on the south side of the Loup at Pleasanton and became Grace Lutheran.

       Peake Lutheran Cemetery – Beside the church

Rusco Township Stories –

       Post offices closed, schools consolidated, no rural churches left, just 2 cemeteries remain

       Stringtown area was a neighborhood where several farm houses were close together.

      An early settler claimed his 160 in the center of a section. No one would want the 40 acre strips around it so he had a buffer with no close neighbors and space to let his cattle graze.

[The 1889 plat map of Buffalo County shows what appears to be property lines for a claim in the center of Section 4 of Rusco Township. The South Loup River goes through the property west to east. There are, however, other land owners named on all sides of him in that section.]



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Revised: 05/03/2018