could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

Divide Township


        3rd tier from top (north edge) of Buffalo County, 3rd from the west
        7 sections wide, has that adjustment column; sections in western column are 2 miles east to west.

        North – Pole Line Road
        South – 115th Rd
        West – Evergreen Rd
        East – Hawk Rd.
        North & northwest of Kearney
Physical features:

        Mixed crop and pasture land, mostly cropland – Corn, wheat, flax
        Wood River enters Sec. 30 about 3 Ό mile from southern border, runs through slightly south in eastern path, exits south in Sec. 31about half way.
        Small amount of Wood River valley, mostly upland, streams flow south to the Wood (in Wood River watershed)
Transportation Routes

Kearney & Black Hills Railroad
        entered in center of Sec. 31, goes northwest to exit in Sec. 30 at point where Wood River enters. 
        Railroad is on south side of Wood but appears to cross over to north side at the Divide/Grant border.
Highway 40 follows and replaced the railroad.
Highway 10 from Kearney runs on the section lines 1 mile west of the eastern edge.
Towns – 1/2
        Riverdale is half in Divide Township and half in Riverdale Township
Schools, Churches & Cemeteries
        What Divide Township has is people
        Fairly close to Kearney – destination of many early homesteaders
Schools:  5 in 1919
            Pleasant Hill, Dist 16
            Dist. 36
            Morning Star School
            Bishop’s School
            Fair Oaks, Dist. 77
            At least one of the schools had a Sunday School meeting in it
Churches & Cemeteries
A church in Section 4 – north edge of township
            Lutheran church – Evangelical St. Paul’s, then Evangelical Lutheran Christ Church
            Disbanded about 1922, church sold and converted into a barn.
Cemetery was the Lutheran Church Cemetery, now called the Divide Pioneer Cemetery
            Has about 40 graves
            Last burial was in 1969
People living there now: 
Early homesteaders:
1872 – 6 filed
1873 – 28 filed including

Alfred E. Thomas – arrived in March from Ohio via Missouri in time to experience the April blizzard

4 Spry families, 3 left by 1880

Milton J. Spry – the first Spry to arrive in March from Ohio via Iowa.  Hunted deer, antelope and some elk on his 160.  Pawnee hunted on Wood and Loup stopping at his place for food.  Settled in Sec. 24 (same sec. as Moo Feedlot)

1874- 18 filed including John Swenson who moved north to Sartoria Township a year or so later
1875 – 15 filed including a Cudabach
1876 – 6 filed (grasshoppers & drought)  

Alexander A. Brucker (Bruker) – Born in France, came to US at 12 in 1854. 
In Burlington, Iowa, worked in hotel and printing office,
Acquired 11 acres of land where he raised fruit and operated a winery. 
Arrived in Divide Township in Oct. 1875 and
Homesteaded on Sec. 16 in center of township.
Married. 5 daughters & 1 son, all born in Iowa      

            Two brothers lived there also.  One brother married and had two sons and a daughter, all born in Iowa
1877- 2 filed
1878 - 6 filed
1879- 12 filed

         including J. W. Lalone  – homesteaded in 1879 – paint & paper store in Kearney –
                Built Freighters Hotel on Loup River in 1888-1889
          And a Homesteader who was  murdered by his son
Cemetery record – Father died Apr. 1889 at age 69 of gunshot, plot purchased by youngest daughter
Father, William, filed on a homestead on west side of Divide Township.  Accumulated  more land
William & Julia had 4 sons, 2 daughters
        William, Jr. (Willie) homesteaded  – divorced in 1887, remarried in 1889
         Daughter married to farmer in neighborhood
        George  farming in Riverdale Township
        Frank farming near father
        Carrie recently married
        Washington (Wash), single, lived at home and worked the family farm
 April 15, 1889 -
        Youngest son comes in from field, plans to put horses in barn
        Father in barn will not let son enter, argument follows
        Apparently Mother hears and comes out to barn
Sept. 11, 1889 –

        [The wife] was arrested as an accessory and put in the same cell as her son.  She was not jailed earlier because of her age, 65, but she has been watched by her neighbors and if she had tried to leave the county she would have been arrested.  “The surmise of the prosecution was that if she was allowed her liberty that all suspicion would be lulled, and that woman-like she would blab about her family relations to her neighbors.  The surmise proved correct and a chain of testimony will be presented at the trial next week that will surprise the accused.
        Released on bail two days later.
Oct. 9-14 in Opera House – Court room was too small
        County attorney took the position that it was premeditated murder.
        Defense counsel said it was justifiable homicide & spent some time describing the mean disposition of the deceased.
        Detailed description of witness testimony in paper
        Convicted of manslaughter – Judge reamed him out and sentenced him to 10 years hard labor.

Four years later -  paroled from the penitentiary.  First case under the new system.

Wife’s case was continued until the next term of court.  
        Released until next term of court under  $5,000 bail.
        Nothing more reported

Probate Record
            Youngest daughter was named executrix.
            Will, handwritten, dated two days before shooting
            Each child gets $1
            Wife gets $5
            Youngest daughter gets all real and personal property


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Revised: 02/11/2018