could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

Buffalo County Courthouse

A. Building the First Courthouse in Kearney

County records were moved to Kearney in October 1874 with the promise that the railroads would build a courthouse building.

But it was not an easy process.

In 1875:

        6 July – County Commissioner decisions after 6 months of discussion and debates:

Webster Eaton, newspaper publisher, was to receive proposals for court house location

It was to be within 5 blocks of UP railroad

It was to be located on Wyoming Ave (now Central Ave)

It was to include at least one block of lots.

Commissioner Walsh protested (probably Patrick Walsh representing Shelton Township)

        17 July – Eaton’s reports on proposals was deferred

        31 July – Proposal for courthouse site made by
                 the UP Town Site Company
                 the South Platte Land Company
                 and the B&RR.

                 The block bounded by Wyoming on east (Central)
                 Colorado on west (1st Ave)
                 4th St (15th St) and 5th St (16th St)

                 (That's the current location of the courthouse)

        18 Sept – UPRR & South Platte Land Company offered the block (described above) as site of court house & jail

                Also offered one other block on south side with sale of lots to be used to erect courthouse

                They would erect a court house worth $1,500

(Compared to the over $5,000 for the jail, it's no wonder one source called this first courthouse a “cheap building.”)

        26 Oct – Commissioners agreed to pay rent for 10 months 24 days, for use of Chandler Building as the clerk’s office

(So they did decide to pay the rent for the 10 months the county’s records were kept in the Chandler Building before moving to the Dart Building.)

                Also agreed to pay D Westervelt rent 12 months, for probate office space

        6 Dec – Accepted the building erected by B&M and UP, which was being completed.

In 1876: (a couple items of interest)


        Started the year in the courthouse; construction on the jail had begun


        July 5 – William H Scott was paid $11.33 for taking out and bringing to Kearney the vault door from the Gibbon courthouse


                D(avid) Anderson paid for teaming [hauling] for the County, moving County. records, for cleaning the court house & for cutting hitching posts.

B. What to do with the Gibbon Courthouse


        16 Jan – Discussion by Commissioners of what to do with Gibbon court house

        27 Feb – Committee reported Gibbon court house was worth $5,000

$ 800 to take it down
$4,200 worth of material worth

Would cost only $350 to repair

Commissioners preferred to make it house a high school

        20 April – Decided to advertise sale of Gibbon court house

        29 May - No bids were received on Gibbon court house

        31 July - School District 2 leased Gibbon court house from the county

Only high school in central & western Nebraska
Farmers institutes held in the building 1874-1880

1882 – Building used by the Nebraska Baptist College
                Moved to Grand Island in 1885

1885 – Building used by the United Brethren college
                Moved to York in 1888

1888 – 1904 – Building used for Commercial colleges under three different professors

Sometime in the 1890’s the building was sold by the county to the Gibbon school dist. of $1.

1908 – building was torn down and Gibbon high school built on that site

C. Some Other Events in 1876

Jan 19, 1876 – Jack Winterbottom, drunk on a little whiskey, threatened Metz Hurely, stabbed horse, jailed by Marshal Keys.


        Keys had trouble making arrest.  His clothing torn.  He had to use handcuffs

Sept 14, 1876 – Newspaper reported it was dangerous to be on streets on south side, so many buildings moving

        There were complaints of loose stock in town

        About 11 o’clock last night screams were heard on the south side.  A hired girl was drunk.  Her master horsewhipped her


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Revised: 02/05/2018