Webster Township, Dodge County, Nebraska

In the extreme northwestern corner of Dodge County is Webster Township, comprising Congressional township 20, range 5, east, containing 23,040 acres of land. It is bounded on the north by Cuming County, on the east by Pebble Township, on the south by Pleasant Valley Township and on the west by Colfax County. The Albion branch of the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad traverses its territory, with a station in the northwest corner of the township known as the Village of Dodge.


The United States census reports for three enumeration periods gave the population of the township as follows: In 1890 it was 1,227, inclusive of the Village of Dodge, which at that time had a population of 338. The 1900 census, 1,393, and in 1910 it was given as only 1,342. The present census is not yet reported.


The township was organized as a district precinct by the County Board of Commissioners in 1870, but its present boundary lines were not fixed until 1886, when its territory was cut down to conform to the township plan of surveys-six miles square.

Early Settlement

As bounded now, the first settlement in Webster Township was effected by a few Bohemians, Polanders and Germans, in the northern part of the township.

D. C. Westfall came from Illinois in 1871 and took a homestead in section 34 and lived there until 1889, then moved to the "Dodge Farm" in Pleasant Valley Township. Henry Hensel came in at the same date.

J. B. Imsieke located in 1869. Another pioneer of that date was V. Wensel in section 34. Henry Kopitschka, section 20, settled in 1869 and about the same time came John Schodenick, V. Herman, Patrick Delaney, John Schwanke, M. Militz, H. Vakenir, Ernest Busch, James Glenn and others.

Anton Bartosh was among the very earliest pioneers to make a home within the township.

Joseph Brodhun came in 1870, and located in section 6. Later he was associated with the Farmers State Bank at Dodge. Andrew R. Hasson first located in Pleasant Valley where he homesteaded, but later moved to this township and was postmaster at the Village of Dodge.

Charles G. Williams, of section 22, came to this county in 1879 and purchased eighty acres of wild prairie land where he made a comfortable home. James B. Vickery in section 31, came to the township in 1881, and the following season came his neighbors, John Forney and James M. Atkinson.

The first term of school was taught in a sod house belonging to Andrew Derick, in section 26. (See Educational chapter for further school history.)

The first church in the township was the Lutheran Church in section 14.

Glencoe post office was the first established in Webster Township, the date being 1871 and the location section 34. It was named for the early settler, James Glenn, who was its postmaster for twenty-one years, and conducted a general store for a like period.

Ogan post office was established in 1887 in section 30. This office was discontinued in 1891; its postmaster was George Whitmore.

Village of Dodge

The Village of Dodge is situated in section 8, township 20, range 5, east, and was platted August 10, 1886. This is an enterprising little station point of the Albion branch of the Fremont, Elkhorn & Missouri Valley Railroad. The place is surrounded by a handsome, fertile farming district, the original population of which were German and Bohemian. In 1900 the place had a population of 338, in 1905 it was 554, and in 1910 it was placed at 661. As early as 1892 it was an excellent trading point, had a fine roller flouring mill, and handled much grain, livestock and lumber.

A post office was established at Dodge more than a mile to the east, in 1872, with Antone Bartosch as postmaster. When the railroad was completed the office was re-established at the new village platting. The first to hold the post office-Antone Bartosch-held the office until 1889, when he was succeeded by R. Hasson. The office was made a money order office in April, 1892. Other postmasters have been as follows: The present postmaster, O. A. Stemkraus, was appointed January 1, 1920. There are three rural routes ranging from twenty-six to twenty-nine miles each. This is now a third-class post office.

Village Incorporation History

Dodge became an incorporated village April 19, 1887. The following were members of the village board until 1892:

1887-Charles Woodruff (chairman), Fred Schreiber, G. M. Williams, A. Steufer, Charles Hrabak, trustees; W. Hatton, clerk.
1888-Fred Schreiber (chairman), A. Steufer, W. C. Gorman, Charles Woodruff, Charles Hrabak, trustees ; S. Lant, clerk.
1889-W. B. Gardanier (chairman), Charles Hrabak, V. J. Yunek, August Kurz, A. F. Steufer, trustees; Charles Woodruff, clerk.
1890-Charles Hrabak, A. F. Steufer (chairman), Herman Holstein, August Kruz, Charles Woodruff, trustees; G. W. Roas, clerk.
1891-A. R. Hasson (chairman), August Kurz, Joseph Brodhun, L. W; Schlote, H. Quesner, trustees; G. W. Roas, clerk.
1891-L. J. Roubinek, A. R. Hasson, C. A. Manville, W. Hatton, W. A. Blynn, trustees.

(The records are missing from 1892 to 1898.)

1898-L. J. Roubinek, mayor; A. J. Hasson, clerk.
1899-L. J. Roubinek, chairman; Robert Reed, clerk.
1900-L. J. Roubinek, chairman; Robert Reed, clerk.
1901-L. J. Roubinek, chairman; Robert Reed, clerk.
1902-Herman Holstein, chairman; Robert Reed, clerk.
1903 L. J. Roubinek, chairman; Robert Reed, clerk.
1904--Robert Reed, chairman; E. P. Popelar, clerk.
1905-F. G. Kloke, chairman; E. P. Popelar, clerk.
1906-F. G. Kloke, chairman; F. R. Beebe, clerk.
1907-1912 -C. W. Hepburn served as chairman
1912 F. J. Srb was elected chairman and served one year.
1913 A. Schloser,
1917 Thomas Vogtlane
1920 by J. F. Reznicek.

In 1905 the village voted on a proposition to bond for water works and electric lights. The proposition was carried and bonds for $8,000 were issued and bonds for $2,000 issued for an electric light plant, since which time the village has had these modern improvements.

In 1895 it appears from an ordinance book that the chairman was Henry Starmer and the village clerk was then C. C. Whipps.

First and Early Business Interests

The first business house to open its doors in the Village of Dodge was that of Hilligan & Hrabak, the same being a fair-sized general store. In 1891 this firm built a fine two-story block and continued their business in that.

The first hotel was the Commercial House, built in September, 1886, by W. Krull.

The earliest drug store was that of Dr. Edward Persons.

G. M. Armbruster opened the first hardware of Dodge and George Woytcke was the first blacksmith.

A livery barn was opened for business by A. F. Steufer. The Crowell Lumber and Grain Company was first to operate in Dodge.

The Congregational denomination was the first to build a church edifice in the village.

In 1887 a large frame hall was erected by Charles Gohr, known as Bohemian Hall.

Grand Army of the Republic was organized here as Post 326, April 12, 1892, by seventeen ex-Civil war soldiers as charter members. They kept the camp-fires burning as long as they had a quorum.

For an account of the banks and newspapers, the lodges, etc., see special chapters for the entire county on these topics.

Dodge Village Conditions in 1920

In the summer of 1920 the following were the business factors of the Village of Dodge:

Agricultural Implements (with furniture)-J. F. Yunek.
Auto Garages-D. M. Hook, H. Parr, J. G. Vosacek.
Banking-First National, and State Bank.
Barbers-F. J. Stener and J. W. Ralston.
Blacksmiths- G. W. Hormel.
Bakery-J. F. Mlnarik.
Cream dealers -Farmers Union, A. Kurtz, J. M. Patterson.
Drugs-J. W. Bobisud, V. C. Johnson.
Elevators-Nye, Schneider. Fowler Company, Crowell Lumber and Grain Company, Farmers Union Grain and Lumber Company.
Furniture-F. J. Srb. General dealers-Ryan & Co., Farmers Union Company, and J. F. Reznicek.
Hardware-J. C. Nitz, Musil & Weidner.
Harness-Ben Leham.
Ice Dealers-(see Meat Markets).
Millinery-Mrs. W. S. Derr.
Jeweler-A. Schlosser.
Meat Markets-R. J. Zaloudek and Fred Dramel.
Newspaper-The Criterion, McFarland & Son.
Restaurant-William Parr, F. J. Steiner, V. J. Yunek, Jo Bicak, J. F. Mlnarik.
Stock Dealer-William Schulte.
Veterinary Surgeon Dr. J. S. Karnik.
Physicians-Doctors Guidinger, F. B. Patterson.
Photographer-C. Brazda.


The churches include the German Catholic, German Lutheran, the Baptist and Congregational denominations.

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.

Nebraska Links

Hosted Free

Please stop by again!!

This page was last updated

Copyright August © 2011 -  AHGP The American History and Genealogy Project.
Enjoy the work of our webmasters, provide a link, do not copy their work.


Back to AHGP