could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

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Elm Creek Township


Location – Bottom row, 1st on west border
        115 Road north border
        Platte River south border
        Apache Road (Dawson Co.) west border
        No road on east border (mile east of Cessna Road; a mile west of Dunbar Road)

        More than the 6 section x 6 section township because of the river which extends the section roughly 2 miles south

        One of three remaining townships to still maintain some of its roads


Towns – Elm Creek only town or community – in middle of township, east/west

Name of Township –
        1. Western Precinct – April 9, 1877 tax assessor’s report
        2. Elm Creek Township [probably in 1883 when township system was established]
                Probably named for town

Elm Creek name –
        Named for red elms along shore;

                Trees used for fuel for the trains

Geography – Platte River is south border.

All streams flow south and empty into the Platte
Buffalo Creek flows west to east, joins Elm Creek to empty into the Platte
        Parallel to Platte a mile or so north
Elm Creek a ½ mile west of present town site’s west edge
Turkey Creek comes out of hills, crosses north side of town as it flows east, then south to Platte

Platte valley on south, rolling hills to north out of valley

Transportation Routes


Mormon Trail
Union Pacific Railroad - 1866-67 – Railroad completed through county
        Station at Elm Creek – D. C. Bond, agent
        Eating house – Charles Davis, proprietor
        20 minute stop for meals - Tea story
Lincoln Highway/Highway 30


183 goes north to Miller & south to I-80 and beyond to Texas
Interesting road north/south parallel to 183 about Ό mile west on the other side of Turkey Creek,
winds through hills.

Kearney Canal – Head gates of Kearney Canal are located in Elm Creek Township
        First proposed by George Milbourn [settled in 1871]
        “About 1875 Mr. D. T. Hood [his neighbor] and myself went before the County Commissioners

        and advocated the building of an irrigation ditch to Kearney from West, and from that the project

        was finally put through."


Homesteaders – [more settled here, bought railroad land]
1871— 4
1872— 14 including Fanny Nevius
1873— 5 including D. C. Bond, station agent
1874— 11 including Charles Davis, eating house proprietor [more below]
1875— 7 including George Miller [more below]
1876— 2
1878— 4
1879— 14


1877 Tax Assessment

        11 land owners listed – 8 homesteaded, 3 purchased their land
                43 had filed for homesteads from 1871-76
        Grouped around Elm Creek
Land & Personal Property – items of note including a total of 10 dogs

John Daul           287 acres south of Elm Creek , 70 cattle [later owned up to 500 acres]

Charles Davis     1 section total land in east half of present town
                         Merchandise - $50; 9 horses; 33 cattle; 17 swine;
                         Household furniture - $150; 1 dog


George Miller     3 quarter sections south of town, north of Daul, 85cattle                        

                            Came in 1871, started by purchasing a timber claim
                            [later owned 1784 acres of land, 1054 in Elm Creek Township,

                             rest north in Logan Township]                                                  
                            4 sons grew to adulthood, all working on father’s land

W. C. T. Kurth     No land but merchandise - $250
                            [did he have a general store? Listed as a gardener in 1880]

U.P.R.R.             Depot, Section house, tank - $800


Elm Creek (the town)

Elm Creek original location one mile west on bank of Elm Creek
1872 – June 10 – Dist. 9 organized
1872 – June 19, Post Office

Moved to present site in 1883 because that’s where the depot was
1-12-1887 – Incorporated

1906 – Fire on Front Street burned 14 buildings
1907 – Elm Creek Volunteer Fire Department

1907 – water works in Elm Creek
            Steel 40,000 gal. tank 120 feet up, supplied by 5 wells, 35 feet deep,

                20 blocks of mains with 65 hook ups and 16 hydrants

Elmcreek was one word until 1947

1975 – Chevyland started


4 country schools – 2 north, 1 east, 1 southeast
Dist. 9 in Elm Creek

1872 – June 10, District 9 organized
1873 – School census, 40 school age children in Dist. 9

Frame schoolhouse built 1 mile west of present city.
UP hauled lumber from Omaha free
Later moved into the village.
When a larger one was built, the old one was bought by the Episcopal Church.
That church did not last long. By 1916 it was used as a chapel by A. Reeves, undertaker

High School - Typing added to curriculum 1923 – 2 typewriters

Churches – in Elm Creek

Catholic Church – first service in station house 1871 or 1872.

        Built a small church in 1878.

        First, or one of first priests came once a month from Lexington.

Methodist Church – Dec. 1872 funeral the first service.
        Revival meetings & then a class organized Feb. 1873.
        Met in schoolhouse till 1883
        Asbury Collins served this church at one time.

Christian Church – 1910

Cemeteries -
        Elm Creek & Elm Creek Catholic on northwest edge of town

Newspapers –
        1888, June 2 (or 1886) – 1st newspaper – Elm Creek Sun
        Other newspapers
            Elm Creek Pilot
            Elm Creek Times
began 1897, March –
            Elm Creek Beacon, 1906 – Former Buffalo County Beacon at Gibbon


Elm Creek Township in the News


May 25, 1894 – O Hawkinson of Galesburg, Illinois, was in town to pay property taxes on the thousand acres of land he owns in Elm Creek Township.

July 2, 1894 – Board of Supervisors gave permission for the township to hold a special election on Aug 14 for approval of $10,000 bond to irrigation in the township.

Oct. 17, 1895 – 12 miles of irrigation ditch had been constructed and there was interest in extending it to 20 miles long to end north of Odessa. It would irrigate 20,000 acres of land.


Frequent news about events in Daul Hall in Elm Creek

Daul road south and mostly east of Elm Creek. John Daul lived southeast of town.

June 12, 1899 – [another building moved] W. E. Jakeway, Kearney businessman, bough a building in Elm Creek and was moving it to Odessa to use as a general store.

June 6, 1902 – Ernest Bearse from north of Kearney was moving Daul Hall from Elmcreek to Odessa to use as a general store.

Story –1932 news clipping – Going for Rhubarb

Mr. Reeves was going to get rhubarb from a farm near Elmcreek
Accompanied by wife of man who worked for his brother

Car stalled when crossing the track 2 miles west of town
No. 9 train was coming

He tried to push it off
Either the brakes had locked or perhaps he left it in gear

Lady finally persuaded him to stop trying to push the car off the tracks
They were still running away from the tracks when the train hit the car

Train hit the car with such force it carried the car ½ mile or more down the track.
They had to hook a chain to the car and the track, then the train backed up to get the car off

There was some damage to the locomotive
The car went to the junk pile

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Revised: 02/08/2018