could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

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Earliest Settlement in Buffalo County

Imagine 1806 – from present Dairy Queen parking lot in Kearney
        Animals – antelope – buffalo – prairie dogs
        Silver ribbon to the south (Platte in distance)

Trappers – from west
        Using flood waters to carry furs

Wagon Trains on Mormon Trail

        Brigham Young’s first train – 1847

        1854 Wagon Train

            Randall Diary – Buffalo County portion
            Enter at Shelton
            Night at Buda – water & fuel
            Sight buffalo at base of bluff (30th Ave & Highway 30)
            Prairie dogs

Ft. Kearny – 1848
        Begin to have temporary squatters along Wood & Platte – no names

Joseph Johnson – Road ranch at Wood River Center (Shelton)
        Mormon – moved to Kirtland, Ohio, Nauvoo, Kanesville (Council Bluffs)
        Newspaper editor – went to Utah and intended to move there
        Wood River Center – 1859
                Newspaper editor – blacksmith – wagon repair – general store
        (two wives and several children)
        Moved to Utah – 1861 – died 1882 of pneumonia
                Sold store to Ed Oliver

The Oliver family
        English - Converted to Mormon faith
        Edward Oliver, Sr.,
        Sarah, his wife
        seven children – (one source says they had 11, apparently 4 died)
                Ed, Jr. (28)
                James (21)
                Sarah Ann (13)
                John (12)
                Eliza (9)
                Ephriam, called Bob (8)
                Jane (baby)
        one daughter-in-law (James wife)
        one grandson - Harry
        maid, (22), may have been related

1860 - Left England – Arrived in US in April

Arrived in Florence, bought outfit – wagon, 2 yoke of oxen, 2 cows

Wood River Center (ca. July 4)- front axle broke - halt for repairs,

Mr. Johnson wagon shop - no seasoned wood - Wood River - ash

10 miles - green axle began to bend –

        Father - try to arrange with other emigrants to carry their movables and continue the journey.

        Mother - return to the vicinity of Wood River Center and arrange to spend the winter.

        Children – agreed with Mother
Returned to about a mile west of Wood River Center and on the bank of Wood River
Constructed a log hut with a sod and dirt roof
Spent the winter – 12 people in one cabin

Spring (1861) –
        Father, zealous in the Mormon faith, urged that they continue the journey to Utah.
        Mother & children chose to stay

        Father and maid went to Utah
                Married the maid
                Had 7 more children
                Wrote (1862) for Sarah to come join him
                Lived there for the rest of his life.

Rumors came of Indians on the warpath (1864)
        Children took turns on the housetop as lookout
        Female members of family went to Iowa for a year in 1864 during Indian uprising
        Men stayed to harvest crops

Sarah Oliver –
Ministered to the sick early settlers, travelers on the trail, and to many at or near Fort Kearney.
        Often traveled by stagecoach, seated beside the driver
        Raised corn & vegetables – sold to Ft. Kearny & travelers
        Saw the building and completion of the Union Pacific Railroad near her home in 1866
        Saw Nebraska become a state in 1867
        Died in 1871 – buried on homestead [site not marked]


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Revised: 04/30/2018