History of Norfolk, Madison County, Nebraska

Norfolk is located on the North Fork of the Elkhorn, in the northeastern part of the county, about four miles above its junction with the main branch of that river. The valley surrounding it is level, and the town is occasionally flooded. This might be, and probably will be, prevented.

The first store-keeper here, and the pioneer store-keeper of the county, was Evan Jones, who kept a small store in a dug-out, near the present site of the “Norfolk Mills,” in November, 1866. These mills were built by Col. Charles Mathewson, being completed in February, 1870, and they determined the location of the town, which was laid out in 1869, by Col. Mathewson. The first store in the town was also built by him in the spring of 1869. He also built the first frame house in the town, which stands at the corner of Main and State streets. Col. Mathewson died in May, 1880.

The first child born in the town was a son of Fred. Haase, in the fall of 1866, which lived only a few weeks, it being the first natural death in the county. Mrs. Carr died in the following March. The first marriage was that of Fred. Dagner to Miss Wilhelmina Zastrow, July 24, 1869.

The post office was established in 1869 and named Norfolk, because it was on the North Fork of the Elkhorn, and August Raasch was first Postmaster.

The first church building was erected in the fall of 1867, by the German Lutherans, John Heckendorf preaching the first sermon in it soon after its completion. It was constructed of logs, Herman Braasch paying $40 for the logs. This church erected a neat frame church edifice in 1878, which was dedicated August 23, 1878. A second German Lutheran was built at Norfolk during the same year. The Congregationalists erected a neat frame building in the year 1872, Rev. J. W. Kidder being their first minister. The Methodists and Episcopalians also have church organizations, but no buildings. The Catholics completed their church in the spring of 1882.

Maps, Photographs and Postcards of Norfolk Nebraska


1 thought on “History of Norfolk, Madison County, Nebraska”

  1. Don’t know if you know this, but the postcard of the Oxnard Hotel that you have here was published by the Norfolk Book Store, owned by the three Hall brothers, who later went on to form the Hallmark Card Company. As in Hallmark movies and Hallmark cards. Pretty neat.

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