could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

Valley Township

Location –

Third Row from north boundary of the county, fifth township from west
Schneider township to north, Thornton to west
4 mi North & 5 mi east of Kearney to the southwest corner
East edge is 2 mi north of Gibbon

Organization –

1883 when state law was passed
Two petitions in archives
No info on name

Geography –

Watershed divide runs east-west about 1 ½ to 2 miles from north line.
        Drainage to north goes to South Loup River,
        Drainage to south goes to Wood River

All prairie, of course, when first settled
        March 25, 1905 HUB
            Large prairie fire in Valley Township caused damage on 6 farms and burned one schoolhouse.

            High winds and dry grass made fighting the fire difficult. [March winds]

Tilled land, esp. in southwest quarter of the township – lot of center pivots
More grassland in rolling hills of northeast

Cemeteries – None

Churches –

        A schoolhouse was built in 1880 in which Methodist church services and Sabbath School classes were also held until a church could be constructed
        HUB Oct 9, 1899 - Methodist church was located in Section 20 [in upper Buckeye Valley]

United Brethren
        Organized in Buckeye Valley in 1884 [south of Methodist]
        Erected a church building also.
        Disbanded in mid-1920’s

Towns/communities – Butler [mid 1890’s – 1920’s]

1895 map of Nebraska shows Butler

See also Buffalo Tales articles "RECOLLECTIONS OF BUCKEYE VALLEY SCHOOL" by Ruth Gitchel Anderson and "BUCKEYE VALLEY AND THE HAMLET OF BUTLER" by Laura Vohland Brady

Consisted of
        3 homes about 1916
        Methodist and United Brethren churches
        A blacksmith shop (Henry Vohland)
        A grocery store
        A post office located in the store.
                July 31, 1884 – Benjamin Gitchel first postmaster
                Named for Benjamin Butler, presidential candidate on Greenback ticket
                Mail came once a week, later twice a week from Gibbon
                Discontinued in 1905 – Rural Free Delivery

Schools –

Dist. 49 – Upper Buckeye
        In April 1880 there was school being taught but no school house.
        Within a year a schoolhouse had been built
                There was a small pond near the schoolhouse where the children would slide on the ice.

In 1885 the district was divided and Dist. 97 (Lower Buckeye Valley) was formed.

Dist. 97 – Lower Buckeye
        Building constructed in 1886
        School so crowded the children sat 3 to a seat in double desks.
        In 1898 there were 60 students enrolled [well populated area – 20 or so families]

(Ann [Gitchel]’s story)
There was open prairie all about the school and in spring, clumps of wild garlic.
One recess the children took to digging and eating.
When the bell rang and the children re-assembled in the school house,
Their combined breath was overwhelming.
The teacher flung open door and windows
        forbade any more gourmet foraging.

Old District 97 school house was purchased by Valley Township
        Used as a township hall.
[district probably consolidated with Gibbon by then]

Grange –

Buckeye Valley’s claim to fame –
First organized in Buffalo County in 1875
This one was one of the first
Met in schoolhouse first
        In 1896 the Grange built its own hall.
        Had an agricultural fair to raise funds
        Built temporary building for fair exhibits + big circus tent
        Tore those down & built the grange hall
Sold the hall in 1900, moved south of the Methodist church and used as a grocery store

The grange had a revival in Nebraska about 1912.
“Some fifteen years after their first hall was sold, the Butler Grange bought the church building of the disbanded United Brethren Church for use as a grange hall.”



Comparison of Gibbon Homestead colonists with early homesteaders –
        No names match
Gibbon Homestead colonists must have purchased railroad land – makes sense since they came as a group on the railroad and the railroad let them use some of their cars for a while until they got houses built

1871— 2
N. W. Short –
        1880 - N.W., Wife Nancy, sons Clarence, Gilbert, Frank, & Vernon
        1900 - Gibbon Village
                Gilbert & Mary & 3 children
                 Maria & sons Frank, Vernon, & Archie 18 (1881)
        1910 - White Water, McPhearson Co., NE
                        Gilbert & Mary, 6 children
                - North Platte, Lincoln Co
                        Frank & Francis & 3 children
                - Omaha, Douglas Co.
                        Vernon & Jessie & a daughter
                        Archie & Maria & a daughter

M. Gray
        1870 – 2 M. Grays in Otoe Co.
        1880 – No M. Gray in Buffalo Co.
                Joseph, Mary, & 3 sons in Kearney

1872— 3
1873— 8
1874— 3
Drought & grasshoppers
1875— 1

(Aug. 17, 1903)
Archbishop of Syrian Orthodox Church from Toledo, Ohio visited Kearney.
Services were held in the West Kearney schoolhouse twice.

Archbishop met with the people and they were given permission to select a priest.
N. E. Yanney, one of the Yanney brothers living in Valley Township, was selected.
He was examined by the archbishop
Went east to study for several months.
Returned to Kearney and assumed control of the church.

The Syrian congregation purchased the West Kearney building
Move to 14th St. between 1st and 2nd to use as their church.

And Also:
Oct 15, 1901 - At a meeting of the County Board of Supervisors
        “Roe made a report on disappearance of Mike Murphy from poor farm August 13 and subsequent search by himself and Sheriff Funk, but nothing had been heard from him since last seen immediately afterward when passing the Snavely place on Wood River."


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