Pebble Township, Dodge County, Nebraska

On the northern boundary line of the county and the second from the west, is Pebble Township, comprising all of Congressional township 20, range 6, east. It is bounded on the north by Cuming County, on the east by Cuming Township, Dodge County, on the south by Ridgeley Township and on the west by Webster Township. The two villages within this township are Crowell and Snyder. The railroads are the main line and Albion branch of the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley (Northwestern system), which run diagonally through the township.

United States Census for Three Periods

The United States census returns for the periods of 1890, 1900 and 1910, show the following figures on this township: In 1890 it had 871 population; in 1900 it was 973 and in 1910 it was 990; the returns for the 1920 census have not yet been compiled and made public.

First Settlement of the Township

Pebble Township is settled by a thrifty class of people of a mixed nationality. The first to locate and make a permanent home was Daniel Beckwith in 1868. Alexander V. Rich took land in section 14, township 20, range 6, east. He homesteaded an "eighty" and was forced to farm a few seasons with no team but oxen and he was thankful to have a good yoke of faithful cattle with which to turn over the virgin sod.

Another 1868 settler was W. T. Cohee, of section 2. He also drove an ox team and owned a few head of cattle. He lived in a sod house for two years and saw all the early-day hardships.

Frederick Molle came to the township in March, 1868, and in May located on his homestead and lived in a dug-out. Subsequently, he engaged in brick-making at the Village of Snyder.

John Herder, section 6, came in 1868, as did Fred G. Becker and Ferdinand Helgenberger.

During 1869 came John N. Sommers to section 30; he filed on eighty acres of government land and within a dozen years became a well-to-do farmer.

Charles C. Sievers, section 20, came to the county in October, 1869, remained one winter at his brother's in Ridgeley Township, and the following March located in Pebble Township. He was a homesteader but later bought other lands.

Casper Gutt, section 28, made settlement here on a homestead in 1869.

Frederick Pilgrim, section 30, also came in 1869 and took a homestead.

Fred Zarmsdorf, section, 20, homesteaded here in October, 1869. To the list already given should be added the following settlers who came in the 70s and '80s: Peter J. Flanagan, 1869-70; Herman Wolsleger, section 21; Henry C. Martens, section 20; Charles Moehring, M. C. Blake, August Schilling, Fred Mewis, M. Lehman, M. Fisher, John Meyer, M. Covett, L. Kratz, L. Brunke, J. Yunck, Henry Holl, J. Durst, J. Werblow, Charles Grovier, August Zahn, C. Bilke, Frank Otterman, August Kingbaum, Fred Kingbaum, Christ Wendorf, Ludwig Englebrecht, A. Bauman, Peter Wise, C. Dammus, H. Conrad, Carl Metschke, John Gordon, Henry Swigar, Frank Laird, L. D. Richards, August Schultz, Wilborn Metschke, T. W. Putnam, Fred Steinhofel, John Seeley. Conrad Schneider came in 1880, and soon erected a mill.

The first persons married in the township were J. Burns and Mary Wright.

Schools and Churches

In 1891 this township had seven schools, besides the village school of Snyder.

The first churches here were the Lutheran and Roman Catholic-see Church chapter elsewhere in this work.

An Early Milling Plant

In 1869 a flouring mill was placed in operation by J. B. Robinson and Harvey J. Robinson on Pebble Creek and the waters of that stream propelled the machinery. It was built a mile and one-fourth from Scribner and for years was owned by Joseph Preininger. At first it only had one run of stone; in 1871 a second pair of stones were placed in working order and these served until 1886, when a new milling plant was placed on the site of the old original mill. Ten thousand dollars' worth of machinery was purchased and the mill had a capacity of fifty barrels per day. As the years went by this mill went out of commission, with many others in this county.

Village of Pebble-Defunct

What was originally known as Pebble Village was platted September 6, 1870, in section 36, township 20, range 6, east. Its proprietors attempted to induce the railroad officials to construct the railway through that point of the county, but Scribner finally succeeded in securing the railroad. In the '60s there had been a post office established at Pebble, but it was discontinued as soon as the railroad was completed. A general merchandise store was about all the business interests this village ever amounted to.

Village of Snyder

Snyder is situated in section 18, township 20, range 6, east, and was platted August 5, 1886, and is a station on the Albion branch of the Northwestern (Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley line) seven miles from the Village of Scribner. It was legally incorporated in 1890 and then, according to the United States census, contained about two hundred people. At this point a grist mill was built in 1880 by Conrad Schneider. In 1881 a few dwellings were erected. In 1886 the grain and lumber business was represented by Conrad Schneider and the Crowell Grain and Lumber Company. The first general merchandise store was kept by John Bolte in 1883. The hardware business was first represented here by Kammiec Brothers in 1887. They sold to H. Wolslager. The first lumber yard was established by James Jones. Mrs. Katie McGraw established the first inn or hotel at Snyder in 1886. In 1887 Ferdinand Knowsky started a livery business. The first to deal in drugs was William Millenz in 1886. Conrad Schneider was first in the farm implement business. Carl Schinkel opened a beer saloon in 1886. A meat market was started in 1889 by Conrad Nolte.

A post office was established at Snyder sometime in the '80s, with Conrad Schneider as postmaster. In 1888 John Kemnitz succeeded him. A roller flour mill was in operation there in the '90s; fifty barrels was the daily capacity of the mill.

The State Bank of Snyder was formed in 1892, commenced operations August 17, 1892, with Conrad Schneider as its president and John Looschen, cashier.

A good public school building was erected here in 1891 at a cost of $3,000.

Commercial Interests in 1920

Auto Garages-Seebeck Brothers, W. A. Schoeneck.
Banks-Snyder State, Farmers and Merchants.
Barbers-Bettus Siems.
Blacksmiths-Thomas Wyant.
Bakery-James Pateil.
Cream Station-Otto Blyhl.
Drugs-John Godel.
Dray and Truck Lines-Adams & Wolfe, Otto Dollmann, Jo Hall.
Elevators-Farmers Union Milling and Grain Company, Crowell Lumber-Farmers Union Milling and Grain Company.
Lumber and Grain Company.
Furniture--Stephen Ehrenberger.
General Dealers-C. J. Schneider, John Bolte & Son.
Farm Implements-C. J. Lennemann.
Hardware-William J. Wolslager.
Harness-George Stengel.
Hotel-Mrs. Prenzlow.
Ice-William Pateil.
Meat Market-William Pateil.
Milling-The Farmers Union Milling and Grain Company.
Newspaper-The Snyder Banner.
Opera Hall-The "Schneider," W. A. Schoeneck, pool hall.
Restaurant-George Stockman.
Stock Buyer-Henry Bleyhl.
Shoe Repairs-John Moench.
Tailor Shop-Kovarick & Son.
Plumber-John W. Bentz.
Painter-Ernest Roberts.
Contractor and Builder-Gottleib Hoffmann, W. C. Bohne, August Finke.
Physicians-Dr. George Byers and Dr. Kinyoun.

Lodges, Churches, Etc.

Special general county chapters treat on the churches, lodges, etc. The churches include the Roman Catholic, Emanuel Lutheran and Saint Peter's Lutheran denominations.

The civic societies include the Knights of Columbus, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and Modern Woodmen of America. The postmasters at the Village of Snyder have been as follows: Conrad Schneider, one of the founders of the village; Herman Wolslager, John Cusack, Doctor Pachen, John Zeman and present postmaster, John Bolte, Jr., since 1915.

Municipal History of the Village

Snyder was legally incorporated July 30, 1886, and the mayors have included Conrad Schneider and John Bolte, Sr., who have usually been in charge of the affairs of the sprightly village.

In 1912 the council published a revised ordinance book, and at that date the village officers were: John Bolte, Sr., mayor ; Robert Frahm, clerk: J. R. Bolte, treasurer; Albert Wolfe, marshal. Trustees: J. H. Seebeck, Henry Schooner, William J. Wolslager and Battus Siems. The 1920 village officers are as follows: Mayor, John Bolte. Sr.; clerk, Robert Frahm ; treasurer, John Bolte, Jr. ; marshal, Herman Seidel, who also acts as street commissioner and water commissioner.

Village of Crowell

This is a small village on the line of the old Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad (now Chicago & Northwestern system), in Pebble Township. It was laid out December 22, 1883, by the Elkhorn Land Company in sections 2 and 11, township 20, range 6, east. Before this platted village was known, there was established to the southwest of this point, what was styled "Oak Springs." In 1873 an office was established three-quarters of a mile to the east of where now stands the Village of Crowell, and its name was Crowell. The postmaster was Hamilton McClintock, and he was succeeded by W. T. Cohee, who was postmaster until January, 1884, and was followed by J. J. King. As soon as a station was established and a depot erected it was named "Crowell," and the post office was moved there from the Cohee farm.

The first move to developing the place was in the autumn of 1883, when J. J. King came from Fremont and erected a frame store building and placed on sale a stock of general merchandise.

The same fall (1883) J. L. Baker built a grain warehouse which he continued to run until it was purchased in the spring of 1892 by the Nye, Schneider Company.

In the fall of 1884 C. T. Pulsifer engaged in the grain trade here. Later on he was murdered. The business changed hands several times and in 1893 was in the hands of the Crowell Grain & Lumber Company. A general store was opened by Fred Mundt in 1884. He was followed by John Mundt, and he by Herman Diers, who continued in trade many years.

Herman Diers built a hotel known as the City Hotel in the autumn of 1884. A livery barn was established in Crowell in 1884 by James Cusick. A hardware store was built and conducted by John B. Taylor in 1884.

A blacksmith shop was started by John Harmal in the spring of 1884.

A schoolhouse was moved in from the country east of Crowell in 1886. It was first erected in 1873, north of the farmhouse of pioneer Cohee, in the northeast quarter of section 2.

Business Interests in 1920

Crowell now has only about a hundred population and its business is no more extensive than it was a quarter of a century ago. General merchandise stores, a few small shops, etc., is all the commercial interests amount to at present time. It affords a small trading point for the surrounding farming community, but the heavier trading goes to larger places not far distant.

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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