could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

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 didn’t

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad [now Burlington Northern] came out of Hall county, through St. Michael to Ravenna, Sweetwater and on into Sherman County

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 Nebr. [census]

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 old. 

        Both adults were ill with “ague” on 29 June when the census taker visited them. 

[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 cemetery

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
was established. 
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 Ireland
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

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Revised: 05/03/2018