Cuming Township, Dodge County, Nebraska

In the northern tier of civil townships of Dodge County is Cuming, which constitutes all of Congressional Township 20, range 7, east, hence is six miles square. It is south of the Cuming County line; west from Logan, north from Everett and east from Pebble Township. In 1890 this township had a population of 715; in 1900 it had 1,514, including the Village of Scribner; in 1910 it was placed by the United States census as only 1,488, including Scribner. The figures for the present (1920) census have not yet been made public. This subdivision of Dodge County is highly developed by a thrifty set of people, many of whom are foreign born. Many of the early homesteaders laid well the foundations for the present prosperity. They came to a wild, prairie land where nothing had been done to make the scene attractive, save that which Nature had bestowed in the way of wild grass and sweet-scented flowers. It took many years of hard toil upon the part of this band of sturdy pioneers to bring about the scenes and intrinsic value found in the domain today. The Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railway crosses the southwest corner of the township, Scribner being the enterprising station point. Cuming Creek and the Elkhorn River course through the township, affording an excellent drainage and water system.

The only town or village within its borders is the Village of Scribner, of which more is given later.

First Settlement

There were no such things as a government homestead until 1864, hence the earliest to locate within Cuming Township could not avail themselves of such free lands, but had to purchase at government price. The first man to brave the dangers and hardships of frontier life here was B. B. Moore, who with his family came in 1856, locating near Dead Timber. Among the next to settle was James B. Robinson, who claimed land at first in section 21. Subsequently, he became the proprietor of Pebble Creek Roller Mills. Still later he was connected with the Scribner State Bank. His settlement dated from 1859. His brother, William Robinson, came the same year, and remained until 1869, when he moved to Pebble Township and there made an excellent farm home, which today is worth hundreds of dollars per acre.

Thomas Parks and his son, S. B. Parks, came in from Galena, Illinois, prior to the Civil war. Thomas remained two years, moved away, but in 1870 returned again. S. B. Parks entered lands amounting to over 1,000 acres, with College scrip which he possessed.

Before the year 1870, these elected a settlement in this township: E. C. Burns (who later served as postmaster at Scribner) came in 1869, locating in the west half of the northeast quarter of section 28, where he farmed until 1888, then moved to Scribner to educate his children.

W. L. Golder also came in 1869, settling in section 16, but later availed himself of the Homestead Act, as applied to returned Civil war soldiers. His claim was in section 30. After a number of years there he retired at Scribner.

James Booth, section 20, came in 1868, as did George Romberg, both entering land in section 22.

J. G. Meyer settled in section 26 in 1869; he was from Germany and came to the country without means and by utilizing the chances given to foreigners, he became wealthy in a few years.

Section 10 was settled and developed largely by Germans who immigrated here in 1869. This colony included such stalwart pioneers as Fred Lucking, A. Van Seggan and A. Gross, all locating on good lands in sections 10 and 3.

J. C. Seeley, who had lived near Fontanelle since 1856, at the close of the Civil war, settled in section 9 of this township.

Sometime during the '60s William Meyer located in section 30. His father and family came at the same time and all took homesteads. In 1868 Christian F. Miller settled on the northwest of section 34. About this time other immigrants came to this township as follows:

Christian Matwick, section 32; Cleister Kow, section 32; Louis Swartz, section 18; Wesley A. Conley, section 18; Edward Conley, George Conley. A. H. Briggs, John C. Briggs, William Matson, A. Wilkinson, Newton Pitzer, Hal Christy, Lawrence Skibowsky, John Drengus, Joseph Beck, G. W. French, Henry Munke, Otto Pribno, William E. Gammage.

D. Maynard, of section 6, made his settlement in April, 1872, when he became a homesteader.

Frank Brezina homesteaded land in this township in 1876. Later he conducted a hotel at both Scribner and Fremont.

Thomas Hall, deceased many years ago, was among the homesteaders of 1870 and died on his farm in 1887.

Herman Suhr, who later engaged in the farm implement business at the Village of Scribner, became a permanent resident of Cuming Township in the autumn of 1871-year of the Chicago fire.

John Romberg and Christ M. Sasse located in the township in 1868. Among the settlers recalled as having arrived in 1869, was Gerhard H. Heyne, who located in section 25, but later went to section 24. A German settler named Gerhard Rastede took land in section 27 of this township about that date too.

First and Early Events

Galena post office was established at the house of J. B. Robinson late in the '60s. S. B. Parks was commissioned postmaster and held the office many years and was succeeded by Mrs. Mary S. Dentler, who conducted it until it was discontinued when the railroad was completed through the country.

The first settler was B. B. Moore and family in 1856.

The first child born was J. H. Robinson in 1868.

The first death in the township was J. B. Robinson in 1864.

The earliest marriage was that of S. B. Parks and Mary E. Robinson in 1864.

The first religious services were conducted by the Methodist people in 1870-71.

The pioneer school was taught by Mrs. Mary E. Parks, wife of S. B. Parks, at her own house in the summer of 1871. A schoolhouse was erected in 1873 in the northeast quarter of section 28.

The Village of Scribner

Scribner Business Street

This incorporated place is centrally located in Dodge County, is an important station-point on the former Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley system of railway (now Chicago & Northwestern), twenty-four miles northwest of Fremont. It is also a junction point of the main line and the Albion branch of this railroad; is situated in section 30, township 20, range 7, east.

Pebble was platted in September, 1870, in section 36, of the same Congressional township with the view of securing the coveted railroad, but its proprietors were unsuccessful in their attempt. Scribner was platted in December, 1870, by John I. Blair, president of the Railroad Company.

The population of Scribner in 1890 was 664; in 1900 it was 827; in 1910 it had increased to 891 and its present population is 1,100. Its population is a mixed one, but largely German. Of its excellent schools, churches and lodges other special topics in this volume will treat at length under their respective headings.

The first building on the town site was raised in the autumn of 1873 by John Rochford. It was a frame building 22 by 40 feet and was at first used as a residence, but later as a barber shop.

Of the pioneer hotel of Scribner let it be stated that it was known as the Clifton House: was built in the summer of 1874 by George Horton. He soon sold to Mrs. Culver, who a year later sold to August English. Early in the '90s it was closed, another better planned hotel having been erected.

The first store in Scribner was the general merchandise stock carried by Gustaf C. Kerkow, later a worthy county clerk of Dodge County.

The harness business was first represented in Scribner by L. H. Nef about one year after the town was started. He continued until 1885 when he sold to F. A. Schulz.

Among other "first events" should be the recording of the birth of Emma Spear, daughter of Lewis Spear and wife, of Scribner. In 1883 one of the largest flouring mills in Dodge County was put in operation, the same having a capacity of 100 barrels per day. This was built by John M. Diels.

Business Interests of 1892

From a publication known as the "History of the Elkhorn Valley," published in 1892, the manuscript of which was submitted to competent local committees and by them approved, gives the following as the business interests at Scribner the summer of that year:

Agricultural Implements-Schnack & Suhr, Sullivan & Boll.
Attorneys- A. H. Briggs.
Banks-Scribner State Bank, Merchants & Farmers Bank.
Blacksmiths-Solomon Spangler, C. White.
Creamery-By a stock company.
Drugs-A. Lendnicky, Herbenthall & Priess.
Furniture- C. T. Horton.
General Stores-G. J. Milligan, W. Drucker & Co., Gus Martens, F. A. Huston, K. A. Horwich.
Hardware-William Gardanier, C. W. Marquedt.
Harness Shops-F. A. Schulz and E. A. Nason.
Hotels-Clifton, Windsor.
Jewelers-J. A. Nason.
Lumber-Crowell Lumber Company, J. W. Diels.
Livery-W. A. King, William Becker.
Millinery-Mrs. W. E. Royce.
Meat Markets-Ehler Brothers.
Milling -J. M. Diels, Steam Roller Mill.
Photographic Studio-Fritz & Good.
Physician-Dr. Charles Inches.
Newspaper-Scribner News.
Societies -Modem Woodmen, Masonic and Grand Army of the Republic.

The Present (1920) Commercial Affairs

Agricultural Implements-J. O. Milligan, Jr., John Therness, Sol Spangler.
Auto Garages-Service Garage, Nast & Themes, Scribner Garage, White Front.
Auto Dealers-August Shellenberg.
Banks-First National, Scribner State Bank and Farmers State Bank.
Barber Shops-A. B. Roberston, C. H. Reimers.
Bakeries-Ed Shornshor.
Blacksmith Shops-Henry Polster, Fred Harmel.
Clothing (Exclusive)-John Moller.
Cream Stations-Produce and cream by Emil Follgner, E. Hubler.
Cement Blocks-Gus Koplin.
Drugs-Peterson Drug Store, Guy L. Thompson.
Dentists-Dr. B. Davis, Dr. B. Krajicek.
Elevators-Farmers' Co-operative Company, Mercantile Company and the Crowell Grain and Lumber Company. Furniture-Arthur Furniture Company.
Flouring Mills-Farmers' Co-operative Milling Company.
General Stores-J. O. Milligan, Jr., Peoples' Co-operative Store, J. F. Drenguis Company.
Hotel-The Miller.
Picture Shows-"Crystal" Theater.
Hardware-F. H. Ranslem & Son, Fred E. Romberg.
Jewelry-Fred Dietz.
Lumber-Same as grain dealers.
Meat Markets-Ferdinand Sievers, John Ehlers.
Milling-Co-operative Farmers' Company.
Newspaper-The Rustler.
Opera House-L. L. Soils.
Physicians-Drs. G. Bartlett, E. L. Hustead.
Photographic Studio-William Fahk.
Plumbing-Scribner Plumbing and Heating Company.
Restaurant-Mrs. Margaret Kunce, Ed Shomshor.
Shoe Repairs-Fred Meyer.
Veterinary-Dr. Behnard Witt.
Ice Dealer-Scribner Ice and Light Company.
Harness-William Baits.
Wagon Shop-George Stockamp.

Municipal History

In 1882 Scribner was incorporated as a village and down to and including the year 1891, the following were elected as its municipal officers:

1882-John M. Diels, Daniel McBain, Will Hassen, trustees; L. H. Neff, clerk.
1883-J. L. Baker (chairman), J. A. Nason, C. T. Horton, William Kerkow, James Booth, trustees; L. H. Neff, clerk.
1884-J. A. Nason (chairman), R. C. Hassen, Ernest Borkenhagen, E. Kerkow, A. Berry, trustees : L. H. Neff, clerk.
1885-J. L. Baker, J. O. Milligan, James Booth (chairman), G. A. Diels, R. Dirshaus, trustees: L. H. Neff, clerk.
1886-Henry Schnack, John C. Seeley, W. B. Gardanier (chairman), R. Drishaus, N. A. Hagenstine, trustees; L. H. Neff, clerk. 1887-A. H. Briggs, H. Schnack, N. A. Hagenstine, August J. Albers, R. Drishaus, trustees; F. A. Schulz, clerk.
1888-C. L. Horton (chairman), S. B. Parks, H. Schnack, F. A. Schulz, Peter Bowen, trustees; W. B. Gardanier, clerk.
1889-E. F. Blumer, S. B. Parks, Henry Schnack, C. W. Marquedt, E. C. Burns (chairman), trustees; W. K. Fowler. Jr., clerk. 1890-E. F. Blumer, S. B. Parks, H. Schnack, J. P. Smith (chairman), H. Suhr, trustees; L. A. Seeley, clerk.
1891-James Booth, J. H. Clausen (chairman), J. M. Diels, John H. Jones, Peter Preiss, trustees; W. H. Weeks, clerk.

From 1891 to the present time the chairmen or mayors have been:
1892-Hal Christy
1893-Hal Christy
1894-Hal Christy
1895 to 1906, ____ ____
1907-Alex Ross
1908-Alex Ross
1909-Alex Ross
1910-1917-Fred Volpp
1917-18-Charles Arnot
Henry Nast, present mayor.

The Clerks have been since 1891
W. K. Fowler, Jr., to 1894
Frank Diels from 1894 to 1895
Hal Christy from 1895 to 1917
Henry Buehring was elected and is still serving as village clerk.

The present (1920) village officers are as follows:
Mayor-Henry Nast
Clerk-Henry Buehring
Treasurer-Hal Christy; Marshal
G. M. Mass; Trustee
Henry Nast (chairman), J. O. Milligan, Jr., Ernest Dau, Fred Volpp, Hans Bowl.

The vote on waterworks and city building propositions was in 1906, when it was carried and such improvements were instituted. At first the improvements included a gas plant, which was conducted till the present private corporation was organized by home capital, and now electric light and a "municipal" ice plant are in successful operation.

The water wells for the waterworks system are four in number and run from 67 to 72 feet deep and land in the strata of gravel, which gives a superior quality of water.

Here also finds a beautiful park, though only partly improved as yet. The public library of the place is supported by state and county tax.

Farm lands in the neighborhood of Scribner range from $275 to $400.

Post Office History

A post office was established at Scribner in the fall of 1874, with William B. Gardanier as postmaster. He was succeeded November 25, 1885, by Jesse A. Nason and he by Edward C. Burns. Since then the postmasters have included the following: Gus Martens, R. H. Schurman, James M. Beaver and present postmaster, Arthur G. Schoeneck, who was appointed June, 1914. It is now a third-class office and has five rural routes, ranging from twenty-five to thirty miles in length. In August, 1880, Scribner became a money order office, the first order being issued to Alvira Barge, August 2, 1880, in favor of Doyle & Adolph, of New York.

Dodge County | Nebraska AHGP

Source: History of Dodge and Washington Counties, Nebraska, Rev. William H. Buss and Thomas T. Osterman, Volume 1, The American Historical Society, Chicago, 1921.

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