could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

Today is:

                    First Families in Buffalo County, Part II

Miller –

1870 Sartoria

John Mercer - born in 1844 in Atlanta, GA

Parents immigrated to Canada and then came to the US
Came to Buffalo county, to Miller area, in 1870; lived at Sartoria
Married Pauline Stewart

Example of what was done before many nursing homes were established:
Dec. 5, 1910 – a complaint was filed in district court against Mrs. Pauline Mercer, of Miller, by her husband, alleging insanity. Probably taken to Hastings home for insane

Pauline died in 1916 [today she might have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s]

1881 Armada/Miller

Wm. Craven -  a soldier in the Civil war and a native of North Carolina

1881 – Purchased ten acres of land, built a sod house; with capital of $9 set up a store.

Post office had been established about 3 miles away; a petition circulated; post office moved to Craven’s store & he was named postmaster

Armada was name given to this embryo commercial center.

When the Kearney and Black Hills Railroad was built into the township, the village was moved to the railroad and named Miller.

Miller was incorporated in the year 1890

Elm Creek – 1871
George Miller – Born in New York February, 1841
His family moved to Iowa and then Missouri, then back to Iowa before the Civil War

1857 – At age 16 started freighting across the plains, making several trips to Mexico and Wyoming.

August, 1871 - Came to Buffalo County and purchased a timber claim of 160 in Elm Creek township.
        For the first year he lived in a dugout

1875 – Filed on a 160 acre homestead
        As soon as he had accumulated sufficient capital he invested in more land
        Gradually added to his holdings until he owned 1,784 in Elm Creek & Logan townships

Ravenna – 1874
Erastus Smith - 1830 - Born in Indiana, raised on a farm until seventeen years of age.
        Studied civil engineering, following this as a profession for many years, and helping to locate and build a number
        of railroads.

1854 – At age 24 Smith went to Iowa where he bought 400 acres of land near Des Moines

1856 – Sold out and came to Omaha, where he was engaged in real estate business

1858 – He then became a commercial traveler [traveling salesman]

1861 - When the war broke out he was in West Virginia in the interest of oil wells.
His business brought to an end, he went to Polk county, Iowa, and for several years taught school, and farmed for 10

1874 - Came back to Nebraska and took a homestead in the northeast corner of the county,
        just in time for 2 years of crop failure due to drought and grasshoppers in 1874 & 1876

        He also took a timber claim, and bought 540 acres of railroad land

1886, January 1 – Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company began to build out from Grand Island
        Smith sold to the Land Company a 2/3 interest in a section of land for a town site, keeping every third lot.
        The town of Ravenna was laid out in June, 1886
        The sale of lots and land by Mr. Smith placed him in most comfortable circumstances

Riverdale – 1872

Jabe Bunnel – filed in 1872 40 years old
Isaac Bunnel – filed in 1873 66 years old
        Both in south half of section about a mile south of Riverdale

Isaac Bunnell homestead file includes:

June 23, 1873 – Filed affidavit affirming he was a U.S. citizen over 21.
        Filed at County Clerk’s office in Gibbon because of distance to land office in Grand Island

November 12, 1873 – Filed application for homestead at land office in Grand Island, Nebraska

July 3, 1880 – Wrote a letter explaining that because grasshoppers destroyed his crop of 10 acres of corn he had to
        leave his homestead from December 1876 to August 1877 but had lived continuously on the homestead since.

Isaac Bunnel died in 1896 at age 89 of old age and is buried in Kearney Cemetery

(see Jabe Bunnel next month)


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Revised: 02/04/2018