could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

Shelton Township


Last township on the east in the bottom row
    – Platte Township in the river is south of it.

South boundary is the north bank of the north channel of the Platte
    Only parts of three west sections in the bottom row
    Rest are lost in the river
    In second row from the bottom –
        Curve of the river takes the southeast corner of sec 27
        About half of sections 26 and 25 are left

North boundary is 115 Road

West boundary is Pawnee Road on east side of Gibbon

East boundary is Wiseman road on east side of Shelton
    [Now we know how far apart Gibbon and Shelton are

        Gibbon is 2 miles south as well as six miles west]

Physical Features

Platte River valley
Row of hills

Wood River in valley – Very curving, Ό to ½ mile loops north/south as it flows east
Second stream parallels the Wood on the north [call me with its name]

More hills

Transportation routes

Roads within the township –
    Highway 30


Shelton Road - Road runs on section line a mile west of county line
    Along west edge of Shelton all the way north to Highway 2 at St. Michael
    South to the Shelton interchange and across the Shelton bridge over the Platte.
        Then the name changes to Denman road.

Railroads –
Union Pacific

Gibbon Cutoff 
    Leaves the main UP track about Ύ mile east of Gibbon
    Puts it in Shelton Township.
    Angles south east to go under the Interstate at the Shelton interchange.

Dist. 1 – south of highway and railroad, one mile west of Shelton
Dist. 8 – Riverside
        – 2 miles west of Dist. 1, north side of highway, north side of Wood River.
        On Sodtown Road – Nutter property here
Dist. 18 – Sharon or Moffett – Down by the north channel of the Platte, north side of I-80
        Gone by 1919
Dist. 19 – Shelton – the town district
Dist. 22 – in middle of township (near the Gibbon Cutoff route)
        On George Strearley farm

Church – ½ mile south of Dist. 22
United Brethren - Organized in Dist. 22 school in 1873
        Church building constructed in 1897
        Called the Zimmerman Church – Zimmermans & Stearleys charter members
        Stearley was licensed preacher

First preaching service in the county – in Dist. 1 school –
By Rev. D. Marquette, a Methodist missionary, in winter 1869-70

        "The weather being cold, the people who crowded the house laid down buffalo robes on the floor and hung shawls up at the sides of the house to keep out the cutting winter wind and make the room endurable."
        Present …was a very pious German by the name of George Stearley
        …could not preach in English but was the only one who could lead in public prayer.  When called upon to do so he would usually, in deference to his English-speaking brethren, begin his prayer in English, but would soon cut loose and pass over into German and make an excellent impression by his earnestness and sincerity, although no one could understand a word he said.

Class meeting in Dist. 1 school in 1871-2 evolved into the Methodist Church in Shelton

Other churches in Shelton:
        Seventh Day Adventists (1885)
        Evangelical (1896)
        Catholic (1908)

Cemeteries -

Shelton Cemetery is 1 mile east across the county line in Hall County

        First burials (in days when this was Wood River Center) apparently south of town –where the high school is now located.

1883 – Constitution and by-laws for the present cemetery were drawn up
        People buried in the old cemetery were moved to the new one.

1899 – R. Fieldgrove & JW Weaver went to Merrick County brought back two wagon loads of cedar trees.

Cemetery has 544 lots which are divided into 7,000 plots. (in late 1970’s half used)


Wood River Center

Joseph E. Johnson settled here on the Mormon Trail (Bassett says he came in 1839)
        Established a store

             a blacksmith and wagon repair shop

             a tintype gallery

             a bakery and place where meals might be had


1860 – Name Wood River Center appeared on maps and publications of that date
        Good reason for believing that an even earlier date there was here a hamlet, a way station,
        - for travelers over the Overland Trail,
        - doubtless dating from the establishment of Fort Kearney in 1848.

1860, April to February 3, 1873, the name was officially and otherwise Wood River Center.
        - newspaper (The Huntsman's Echo) published, as announced in its columns, at Wood River Center, Nebraska Territory

1860, August 20 – first post office in the county was established, Joseph E. Johnson, postmaster

1860 Fall, - election for county officers - forty-two votes were cast –
        [But county business was done in Hall County]

first school district was organized, the first schoolhouse provided, the first terms of school held.

Changing the name Wood River Center to Shelton

A post office at Wood River Center was established October 11, 1872 [again??]
        Patrick Walsh was postmaster
        Kept in Walsh’s home, a log house
            Later moved to the Oliver store, with E. Oliver as deputy postmaster.

February 3, 1873 – date of letter informing P O Dept. of name change

Mr. Postmaster General,
"Washington, D. C.
You are hereby notified that the name of this postoffice has been changed from Wood River Center to Shelton and you will govern yourself accordingly."

Said to be named in honor of N. Shelton, an auditor in the land department of the U P

1876 - the Union Pacific established a station.

1879 - Patrick Walsh had a town site surveyed on his homestead farm

        Additions were soon after surveyed by the Union Pacific Railway Company

        and by Michael Coady, who had a claim on an adjoining section.

The Village of Shelton was incorporated January 6, 1882

Events in Shelton Township
Buffalo County –
1869 - Citizens of Wood River Center petitioned Governor David Butler to reorganize Buffalo County

January 20, 1870 - Done in the Dist. 1 schoolhouse
        Wood River Centre was the county seat.

First fourth of July picnic, 1872
-- held in Dugdale grove
-- Sunday Schools from Buffalo and Hall counties participate
        -- 500 children in attendance
Children’s exercises in morning
Picnic dinner
Orators and group music all afternoon

Squatters at first (Dugdale, Nutter, Oliver)
Families in the immediate vicinity in the early '60s
    Mrs. Sarah Oliver, James Oliver [next door west(?)]
    James Owen (also came from England)
    (Henry) Dugdale,
    Patrick Walsh,
    Martin Slattery – Section foreman for UP, first lived at Kearney for a few months in 1860
    George Stearley
    August Meyer - Great Western Stage Company, extending as far west as Fort Kearney,
                            established a stage station, with August Meyer in charge.

August, 1864 – Indian threat
Settlers north of the Platte gathered at Wood River Center
August Meyer, had served in US army, in command
Barricaded themselves in an unfinished log building
Later all journeyed to Omaha and Iowa
        -- except August Meyer and "Ted" Oliver [Edward, Jr.], who remained to care for the stage company horses.

Claims filed
1870 – 2
1871 – 34 (includes Soldiers Free Homestead settlers)
        Includes - S. C. Bassett, James Oliver (Sarah’s married son), M. Stearley,
        Includes - Edward Oliver, Ephriam Oliver (oldest and youngest sons of Sarah)
        Henry Dugdale, John Haug, Fred Haug, (Rev.) George Stearley, A. W. Zimmerman,
        Includes Joseph Owen (married one of the Oliver girls)
        Includes Patrick Walsh,
        One being Wm. Nutter
        Includes - L. Vohland and 2 Winchesters

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Revised: 02/08/2018