could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

Garfield Township

Location: Fourth in the top tier of townships, going from west to east.
                Bounded on the north by Sherman County

                              on the south by Schneider Township

                              on the west by Loup Township

                             on the east by Cherry Creek Township

Formation: After 1880 [census includes settlers in Schneider Township]
                Before 1885 [on 1885 atlas of Nebr. Map]
                Apparently Schneider was formed first and Garfield separated from it.

Rivers & Streams:
        South Loup River enters the township about a mile north of the southwest corner of the township and winds northeast, finally turning east to exit into Cherry Creek Township a mile south of the Sherman County line.
        Beaver Creek (Muddy) enters the township about 2 miles from the north boundary and winds basically east to empty into the South Loup about at south side of present day Ravenna.

        Nantasket – two miles east of Ravenna
        Ravenna – two miles into the township, a mile from the Sherman County line.

Transportation Routes
        Highways – Highway 2 crosses east/west

                            Coming from Sweetwater goes on south side of Ravenna
                            Drops a mile south as it continues east.
                            Only east/west road going completely through township

                    – Highway 68 comes out of Sherman County into Ravenna.
                            Continues south as Ravenna Road
                            Only north/south road going completely through township

        Railroads – Burlington Northern – G I through Ravenna
                            formerly Chicago, Burlington & Quincy
                            formerly Burlington & Missouri River

                    –  Union Pacific – Gone now
                            Howard County & Boleus through Nantasket to Poole & Pleasanton

Railroads – race
        Winner’s town would grow.

Freighting in Buffalo County ended with construction of Burlington.
Equipment & supplies shipped to Kearney, taken north by freight wagons
        Jan 7 – 2 train loads of tents & camping equipment arrived in Kearney
        End of Feb – hauling goods daily
        Mid-March - Freighting all those supplies was not easy and working with the mules must have been a strain on the temper at times. In May it was reported that "One of the railroad teamsters, hauling iron pipe from Kearney to the B. & M. railroad, north, was arrested on Saturday for unmercifully beating one of his mules."

Early Visitors:
            Pawnee, maybe a village and burial ground in Ravenna area
        Ft. Kearny
            Trees to build fort came from Islands in the Loup
        Ft. Banishment
            Established on South Loup in 1866 to protect UPRR construction
            Post South Loup Fort, aka Ft. Desolation
            [last October radio]
            UP cut wood for ties
        Gibbon Homestead Colony
            Looked around when exploring for claims
        Early settlers – cut logs for house beams & firewood

Early homesteaders – 18 before 1880.

Stark, Fritz – 1878

New York – June 16, 1864
Davenport, Iowa, 3 years, Miller
Omaha, NE, Feb-May 1867
Grand Island – 3 years
Fremont – Oct. 1870
Council Bluffs – Elevator hand
Grand Island – Apr. 1871 – Started a saw mill on Oak Creek
Gibbon 1873 – milling business
Garfield Township homestead – 1876, filed on it in 1878
    Loup valley at Nantasket
Married in 1877 in Grand Island – Wilhelmina Gaden, a native of Germany
    Two children – William & Anna

Smith, Erastus – first in 1874

First to homestead in Garfield Township
Born in Indiana in 1830, in his 40’s when he came here
        Father from Vermont, mother from Maine
        English – came here before the Revolutionary War
Educated as a civil engineer
Des Moines, Iowa – 1854 – 400 acre farm, sold it
Omaha, NE – 1856 – Real Estate
                    1858 – Commercial Traveler (traveling salesman?)
Burning Springs, West Va – 1861 – oil wells but business ended with war
Polk County, Iowa – taught school & farmed
Garfield Township, Buffalo County – 1874
        Household goods, 6 horses & feed, family provisions for 1 year
        Family in Kearney, floor collapsed, John McGee at Sweetwater
        Household goods, stove, 3 horses lost in Beaver near claim
        Homesteaded 1/4
        Lost 1st & 3rd year crops to grasshoppers
        Timber claim & bought 540 acres R R land
        Farming & cattle raising
Appointed first postmaster of Beaver Creek Post office – Dec. 11, 1878

Jan. 1, 1886 – Burlington & Missouri River RR started building
Sold 2/3 interest in a section of land to Lincoln Land Company
        Platted a town, Smith kept every third lot.
Retired to town, looked after his property & buildings
        Biographer – engineering background, looked where RR would build

Began recording weather in 1878 till death in 1909.
        3 temp readings, 7 a.m., 2 p.m. & 9 p.m.


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Revised: 04/29/2018