Cherry Creek Township
Location & Features –
Northeast corner of county
South Loup River crosses the township west to east in the top 1-1 ˝ mile
sections. A couple other streams, the one in the east flowing toward the
Loup, the one in the west flowing southwest.
Highway 2 goes east from Ravenna to the county line through the exact middle
of the township.
Union Pacific Railroad came out of Howard County, angled southwest to
Nantasket, Poole, and Pleasanton [was supposed to go on to Sartoria but
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad [now Burlington Northern] came out of
Hall county, through St. Michael to Ravenna, Sweetwater and on into Sherman
Year Formed –
After 1880 from Gardner Twp. (Residents are in Gardiner Twp in census)
Before 1885 (It’s in 1885 Atlas of Nebraska)
First settlers –
E. Locke – First homesteader - 1876 [Nothing more about him, maybe moved on]
R. J. Hodson - filed in 1878; A.
J. Hodson filed the following year.
Hudson, Richard, 40, from England [1880 census]
R. J. Hodson (P O St. Michael) Road Overseer elected in 1890 - One of two
for the township
Hankins, G. M., wife Martha, son age 2 born in Iowa, daughter age 1 born in
Hankins, Wilber, wife, two sons ages 4 and 1, one daughter age 2.
Youngest son born in Nebr., other two in Iowa [census]
Varney, Egbert, born in New York [census]
Varney, James, wife and 11 year old daughter, also from New York [census]
Kyne, Michael, Mary and baby daughter born in March 1880 and now 3 months
Both adults were ill with “ague” on 29 June when the census taker visited
[Ague: A fever (such as from malaria) that is marked by paroxysms of chills,
fever, and sweating recurring regular intervals. Also a fit of shivering, a
chill. Hence, ague can refer to both chills and fevers.]
Saint Michael –
Established by the Lincoln Land Company in 1886 when the Burlington Railroad
was being built. [Genealogy Request – for a family who had lived at St.
Michael where the husband worked for the railroad.]
Mike Kyne owned the land on which the
town is located and he told the company he would sell it to them cheap if
they would name the town Saint Michael.
The village of St. Michael was a
shipping point on the railroad for livestock,
alfalfa hay and grain over the years.
Mike retired to Ravenna.
Kyne, Anthony, Bridget, & two sons,
ages 1 & 2, both born in Nebr. [census]
The Anthony Kyne family were charter members of the first Catholic Church
established in Ravenna; there being none in St. Michael.
The Kyne home on the west edge of the
village was operated as a hotel for a time. Anthony is buried in the Ravenna
O'Connor, Mary Elizabeth Kyne, sister
of Michael and Anthony, came to the area in 1884 with her husband, Michael
O'Connor, and six children.
They located south of the Anthony
Kyne farm, one mile from the village when it
Through pre-emption, a homestead, a
tree claim and purchase, O'Connor came to own much of the pasture land south
of the village.
Michael O'Connor became St. Michael's
first postmaster and also served as mayor
for many years.
Sheep raising was the largest industry in the area at the time.
The meadow lands along the South Platte [Loup?] River were ideal for this
activity and were much like the home land of the Kynes and O'Connors in
Later, cattle raising was predominant.
Sodtown, a cluster of hastily
erected, crudely fashioned sod buildings at the crossroads of four section
corners in Cherry Creek Township, became the first thriving settlement in
the northeast corner of Buffalo County. It was a promising site for a new
town in the late 1870's. At the crossroads of Sections 28, 29, 32 and 33,
and on the trail between Grand Island and Broken Bow, it was an ideal place
for wagon trains and freighting outfits to put up for the night and to feed
and rest their horses and oxen.
Railroad went through farther north,
too far to move, did not develop into a town.
Active community – Sodtown
band, Sodtown Telephone Company