could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

                           Buffalo County 150 Years Ago

This year we are celebrating our 150th year of statehood
Buffalo County is older – 162 years

I. Establishing the County

Buffalo County was created by the Territorial Legislature’s second session, December 1855

    beginning " a point in the center of the Platte River, ten miles east of the mouth of Wood River, running
    thence westward up the southern channel of the Platte, to the mouth of Buffalo Creek, thence north thirty miles
    thence east to a point directly north of the place of beginning, thence south to the place of beginning.
    The seat of justice is hereby located at Nebraska Centre."

Platte River the only line that remains the same

East line began at a point approximately south of the present City of Grand Island

West line was near present day Overton

North line about 4 miles farther north than present line

In later surveys the boundaries were changed to conform to the present boundaries

Present boundaries were set by a law passed by State Legislature which took effect on March 3, 1873

II. Why Put a County Here? What Was Here in 1854?

        A. 1836 – Mormons moved west - established the Mormon Trail on the north side of the Platte

            Road Ranches built & operated by Mormons to provide assistance to travelers
            Wood River Center established by Mormon, Joseph Johnson

        B. 1848 – Ft. Kearny established on South side of the Platte
            Boyd Ranche established on Mormon Trail across river from fort
                Provided supplies (whiskey) to fort as well as fresh horses & oxen to travelers

        C. A few settlers – squatters because Homestead Act not passed yet
            Some were former soldiers at Ft. Kearny

III. County Seat

        A. Nebraska Center designated in act establishing county
                Not a population center, just more or less the center of the county

        B. An election held in Nebraska Centre, on October 11, 1859, for Territorial officers.
                Appears to have been 38 men casting ballots

        C. Hall County in Grand Island handled what county business there was

        D. Railroad built through the county
                Brought more settlers

        E. Homestead Act (1862)
            1867 – First filing – Boyd Ranche
            1870 – Two more filings, in Shelton area
            1871 – 165 filings Kearney Junction & Gibbon Homestead Colony
            1872 – 177 filings

IV. 1870– First Buffalo County Board

    Held in Dist. 1 school house

        A. Special election to organize Buffalo County’s own local government, held on January 20, 1870

        B. First meeting of County Commissioners on 26 February 1870
            3 commissioners (Edward Oliver was one), all present

            1. Set 3 voting precincts – divided county in thirds north/south
                One from Hall/Buffalo line to east edge of Kearney
                Second from east edge of Kearney to Stevenson Siding (Odessa)
                    Third from Stevenson Siding (Odessa) to Dawson/Buffalo line

            2. Set Dist. 1 schoolhouse as meeting place at least until after the next election

            3. Passed a resolution that “all horney cattle, be valued at these rates as taxable property:
                    From 1 to 2 years old at $10 per head; and from 2 years old and upward at $30 per head.”

            4. Passed a resolution “that all whisky saloonkeepers shall pay $25 per annum plus $25 per
                annum for each billiard table”

            5. Appointed John Oliver as sheriff and assessor.

Copyright ©   All rights reserved


You may use content from this web site for your personal, not-for-profit purposes only. 


 Search Our Site

Please send Mardi Anderson your comments/feedback

Revised: 02/04/2018