The south boundary of Buffalo County is the
south shore of the Platte River.
Gibbon and Shelton townships are bounded on the south by the north channel
of the river.
Platte Township occupies the space between.
Created in 1878
Apparently when Ft. Kearney Military
Reservation was opened for settlement
Pre-1878 Not open to filing squatters moved in 1877 or earlier ready
Homestead filings begin in 1878
Half below Gibbon township was part of Ft. Kearny military reservation
Half below Shelton township was part of Shelton township
Homesteaders recorded in Shelton records
Reservation included the Platte which Ft. Kearny used for fire wood and
logs for building
Not a 6 x 6 mile square
Long and narrow running from southwest to northeast as the river curves
12 miles long and 2 to 3 Ό miles wide sort of.
Bordered by the north and south channels of the Platte, Hall Co on east
& Highway 10 on west
Divided lengthwise by the main channel of the Platte
Little bit of the northwest corner is north of the north channel
I-80 cuts through here as it follows the north bank of the Platte
Fort Farm Island on the north aka Kilgore Island?
Grand Island begins in about the middle of the township
Other Islands Clarks Island, Kingsley Island, Drovers Island
Elm Island on the south between the middle and south channels
[Rowe Sanctuary is on this island]
I-80 in 5 miles of west end
Kilgore Road and Elm Road - Two roads run the length of the township,
more or less
Neither runs in a straight line but
go northeast to southwest, just as the township does
Gibbon Road south across the river, passing through at about the
midpoint of the township
Shelton Road from the west edge of Shelton to Platte Township name
Denman Road - Goes south one mile to Coal Chute Road, turns east a
mile to Denman, at of edge of county, turns south.
Hastings & Northwestern Railroad (Gibbon Cutoff)
Built about 1912
Platted - May 1913
Planned for north side of tracks but Hall Co. refused to
build bridge on county line.
Moved south and Shelton built bridge
1 mile in (west of county line)
channel a mile in from the border]
Named for Francis Denman who owned the land
(originally homesteaded by Thomas
Purchased land from US Land office in 1860 [according to one source]
1890 biography came to NE in 1873 to Hall Co., 1876 to Buffalo Co,
Family comes from PA, Thomas came to NE via Iowa.
Younger brother, Samuel, lived in Platte Township also
Enlisted in Union army in 1861 (17 years old)
22 months later mother had him removed by habeas corpus since he was
Enlisted again in 1864 when he turned 21
Left home for Iowa shortly after returning home from the war
Location Southeast corner of county,
on Elm Island in Platte
Four Corners Can walk in a couple
of minutes into Hall, Adams or Kearney county
First depot box car with wheels removed. Set up on -10° day
Grain doors used to make telegraph
Second box car for living quarters
but Denman had a good hotel so he stayed there
Depot agents from 1916 to 1942
Post Office Last one opened in county July 1914
Dist. 40 Kilgore Island Evergreen at
west end of township
Dist. 41 Denman first located a mile west of where the town was
Dist. 42 no name located north of main channel in sec. 6 east
Dist. 72 Elm Island located south of main channel in sec. 7 east
Town meeting, chaired by founders son, Albert Denman
Voted to ask school board to consolidate 41 with adjoining Hall Co.
Dispose of both buildings & build new
school in Denman
Brick 2-story structure built in 1914
9th Grade 1914
10th grade 1916
11th grade 1917 1924 [7 years]
10th grade 1925 1946 [19 years]
K-8th grade until 1961
K-6th grade through 1973-74 one pupil, David Stade
Closed in 1975
Alumni Association became owners; keep building up and hold annual
( at least through 1994.)
Denman Freewill Baptist Church
possibly first building in Denman
On railroad right-of-way in 1912
Francis Denman donated a lot and building was moved in 1913
1962 3 members left, father Marcus Morse, and 2 sons, George and Fred
Sold property to American Sunday School Union
Marcus Morse 1st baby born
on Elm Island, 2 miles east of Denman [Hall Co.] 1872
Mother died when he was 3
Cared for by a Miller family but then sent to aunt in New York
Traveled by rail with a tag for identification
As adult returned to family farm
At its peak Denman had
the general store,
an implement dealer,
UP section crew of 12.
Section crews lived in Denman until
When they left, most of population
Complicated business history
Buildings held multiple businesses
Businessmen in more recent years who stand out
Mike Anderson village blacksmith from early 1920s until his death,
Also saw mill operator, thrasher,
Married but had no children but loved
He was a lover of fishing and
enjoyed every moment of it.
Frank Wiese came to town in 1921
Operated a grocery-general
merchandise store until retiring in 1961.
Needed ice. Harvested ice from a pond
nearby, stored in building across the street.
Did this for some 10 years in the 1930s until Denman got electricity.
Ice house was moved across the bridge north for use as a garage on a farm
Moved in houses:
Originally built Lowell.
Sold in 1905 & moved to Pulver Ranch.
Purchased by elevator and moved to
Denman for help to live in.
elevator manager 1918-1935, lived there.
Howard, managed elevator
Eldon, then managed the elevator
Last business in Denman
Eldon bought a house and moved it
from rural Kenesaw in 1951
Bought a 2-car garage and moved it in
Frank Eddy-Kenneth Blue
Moved 4-room house in from Hayland,
Hayland is 7-8 miles down the railroad line in Adams county, between Kenesaw
People in the Township
Nelson Jaco & Jacob Miller both came from Preston County West Virginia in
1878 and filed on land in the former Ft. Kearny Military Reservation in
Jacob Miller settled on homestead in March, 1878
born in New York City; family moved
to Preston county West Virginia
apprenticed to the shoemaker's trade,
learned it, and followed it till the war
stayed in the regular service for
more than a year
frontier mostly along the stage lines.
May 22, 1866, at Ft. Leavenworth
returned home in West Virginia till
coming to Nebraska in 1878.
served locally as moderator of his
Nelson Jaco - Moved to Buffalo County in November, 1878
born in Preston county, (now West)
Virginia, June, 1848
Lived on his homestead continuously
except for 4 years when he was back East - from 1882 to 1886.
served as director of his school
Sources Besides the usual ones
Book Elm Island: School Districts 41 and 68 [Denman School
(no publication date, possibly
shortly after the ending poem about sandhill cranes was written in 1988 -
donated to Archives in August, 1993)
Traces ownership of most of the
farmsteads here using their abstracts as the sources.