Nebraska Territorial Officials 1857-1859

On December 8, 1857, the fourth session began, with no change in the roll of the council members from the foregoing session.

Hon. George L. Miller, of Omaha, was elected president;
Washburn Safford, chief clerk
S. H. Elbert, assistant clerk
George A. Graves, enrolling and engrossing clerk
John Reck, sergeant-at-arms
Jacob R. Cromwell, doorkeeper.

The house chose
Hon. J. H. Decker, of Otoe County, speaker
S. M. Curran, chief clerk
R. A. Howard, assistant clerk
Albert Mathias, sergeant-at-arms
Isaac Fisher, doorkeeper

The roll of the house showed:
Richardson and Pawnee counties, A. F. Cromwell, Wingate King
Nemaha and Johnson counties, A. J. Benedict, J. S. Miniek, S. A. Chambers
Otoe County, J. Sterling Morton, J. C. Campbell, J. G. Abbey, D. B. Robb, W. B. Hail, J. H. Decker
Cass County, E. A. Donelan, T. M. Marquette, L. Sheldon
Sarpy County, S. A. Strickland, C. T. Holloway, James Davidson, Amos Gates
Douglas County, George Armstrong, J. Steinberger, George Clayes, J. S. Stewart, M. Murphy, A. J. Poppleton, W. R. Thrall, J. W. Paddock
Washington County, J. A. Stewart, P. C. Sullivan, P. G. Cooper
Burt and Cuming Counties, William B. Beck
Dakota and Cedar counties, W. G. Crawford, E. C. Jones
Dodge and Platte Counties, J. M. Taggart

On September 21, 1858, the fifth session of the legislature began. The following members composed the council:

Richardson and Pawnee counties, Charles McDonald, whose seat was contested by E. S. Dundy;
Nemaha County, R. W. Furnas
Otoe County, Mills S. Reeves, W. H. Taylor
Otoe, Cass and Dodge counties, John H. Cheever
Sarpy County, L. L. Bowen
Douglas County, G. L. Miller, W. E. Moore, John H. Porter
Washington County, George B. Scott; Burt, Washington and Sarpy counties, George W. Doan Dakota County, W. G. Crawford.

Hon. L. L. Bowen was elected president;
S. M. Curran, chief clerk
John G. Tredway, assistant clerk
John McA. Campbell, sergeant-at-arms
John Reck, doorkeeper.

In the house the roll stood:
Richardson and Pawnee counties, William C. Fleming, A. C. Dean;
Nemaha and Johnson counties, M. F. Clark, Jesse Noel, S. G. Daily;
Otoe County, John Cassell, O. P. Mason, H. P. Bennett, George F. Lee, W. B. Hall;
Cass County, William A. Davis; William J Young, T. M. Marquette, R. G. Doom;
Sarpy County, Charles C. Norwood, Stephen H. Watties;
Douglas County, James H. Seymour, Clinton Briggs, Augustus Roeder, James Stewart, William A. Gwyer, R. W. Steele, John A. Steinberger, George Clayes;
Dodge and Platte counties, Henry W. DePuy;
Washington County, C. D. Davis, P. G. Cooper, L. W. Kline; Burt County, David L. Collier; Dakota, Cedar and L’eau Qui Court counties, John Taffe, D. T. Bramble.

The officers of the house were:
H. P. Bennett, speaker;
E. G. McNeely, chief clerk;
Hugh McNeely, assistant clerk;
J. D. N. Thompson, sergeant-at-arms;
F. H. Rogers, doorkeeper.

On the 1st of November, 1858, Representative S. G. Daily introduced a bill “to abolish slavery in the Territory of Nebraska.” This bill, with various changes and amendments, occupied a great deal of the time of the various sessions of the legislature until January 1, 1861, when a bill prohibiting slavery was passed over the veto of Governor Black. This matter is treated at length in another part of this work.

Governor Richardson’s term extended only from January 12, 1858, to the 5th of December of the same year. Secretary J. Sterling Morton assumed the functions of executive at that date, continuing as acting governor until the arrival of Governor Samuel W. Black May 2, 1859.

On December 5, 1859, the sixth session of the territorial legislature convened at Omaha. The only changes in the council were:

Thomas J. Boykin, of Sarpy County
Thomas T. Collier, of Dakota County
W. A. Little, of Douglas County, who succeeded Messrs. Bowen, Crawford and Moore respectively

The officers of the council were:
F. A. Donelan, president
S. M. Curran, chief clerk
E. A. Allen, assistant clerk
J. F. Coffman, sergeant-at-arms
R. R. Kirkpatrick, doorkeeper.

The house roll was:

Richardson County, Houston Nuckolls, J. F. Burbank, Nathan Myers
Nemaha County, George Crowe, W. W. Keeling, Jesse Noel, John P. Parker
Otoe County, John C. Campbell, Alex Bain, Truman H. Adams, Stephen H. Nuckolls, Milton W. Reynolds, William H. Broadhead
Cass and Lancaster counties, J. N. Stephenson, William S. Latta, William R. Davis, Samuel Maxwell, T. M. Marquette
Sarpy County, Matthew J. Shields, Silas A. Strickland
Douglas County, A. J. Hanscom, D. D. Belden, Harrison Johnson, George F. Kennedy, George B. Lake, A. B. Malcomb
Washington County, James S. Stewart, J. S. Bowen
Burt and Cuming counties, David S. Collier
Dakota County, George A. Hinsdale, Barnabas Bates
Dixon, Cedar and L’eau Qui Court counties, James Tufts

The officers were:
Silas A. Strickland, speaker
James W. Moore, chief clerk
George W. Rust assistant clerk
J. W. Coleman, sergeant-at-arms
N. J. Sharp, doorkeeper

Among the most important legislation of the sixth session was “an act to frame a constitution and state government for the State of Nebraska.” The proposition was submitted to the people March 5, 1860, and decided adversely by a vote of 2,372 against it and 2,094 for it.


Compendium of History Reminiscence & Biography of Western Nebraska, Alden Publishing Company, Chicago, 1912.

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