Herman Township, Washington County, Nebraska

Herman is a "T" shaped township in Washington County. It is bounded on its north by Burt County, on the east by the Missouri River and part way by Cuming City Township, on the south by Cuming City and Grant townships, on the west by Grant and Sheridan townships. Its streams include New York Creek, Hill Creek, and numerous lesser water courses. Tysons Lake and another smaller lake are found in the eastern portion of the township. The Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad line runs through it from north to south, with an enterprising station point at the Town of Herman of which see history in this chapter. One of the county's largest drainage ditches, the Cameron, runs through Herman Township, taking about the same course as the railway right-of-way does, between Herman and to a point east of Blair.

Fletcher is an inland village in section 32.


The United States census gives Herman Township in 1890 as having a population of 827; in 1900 it was placed at 996, and in 1910 it had fallen to 978, including the Village of Herman which at that date was 345. There was not much settlement in this part of the country until the building of the "Omaha" railway running from Sioux City to Omaha, after which immigrants flocked in at a lively rate.

Hudson, The Famous "Paper Town"

A "town" better advertised and more generally known in the Eastern States than here in Washington County, was known as "Hudson." It was supposed to be situated in the extreme northeastern part of this county, on the Missouri River and just on the Iowa side opposite was a town platted as "Melrose," both of which were great early day schemes for taking money from lot owners in the far off eastern country. Concerning this town of Hudson, Bell in his Centennial history of this county has the following:

"There are a great many residents of Washington County who never knew and probably would have gone down to the silent tomb without the knowledge, but for this veracious chronicle of the past, that in 1856 a very enterprising citizen of Connecticut, one W; E. Walker, was the sole owner and proprietor of a town site in a swamp in the extreme northeast corner of this county, which he christened Hudson. More than this: he platted another town site in a like eligible locality immediately opposite on the Iowa side of the Missouri, called it Melrose, published beautiful lithographs by the hundreds representing the two towns with busy steamers plying between them and endeavoring to supply transportation for enormous traffic constantly carried on between the two towns. Armed with these, aided and abetted by a tongue remarkable for the oily rapidity with which it could be manipulated. Walker meandered up and down the Eastern states engaged in lecturing and at the close of each lecture would sell off lots in Hudson or Melrose at the rate of one dollar each with astonishing rapidity. A plat of Hudson can be seen at the county clerk's office and this plat shows that the town was comprised of 8,720 lots, consisting of fifty blocks, 2,000 feet long by 200 feet wide. The streets were from forty-five to sixty feet wide and there was not an alley in the town. The sale of lots in Hudson was so great for the first few years after its location that the county clerks accumulated considerable wealth by recording the deeds therefor at the rate of one dollar each. The deeds were printed, the name of Walker being also printed so when lots were sold all he had to do was to insert the name of the purchaser and the number of lots purchased. The deeds poured into the county clerk's office from all over the East and it is estimated that Walker made at least $5,000. To this day (1876) county officials are bothered with letters from eastern suckers inquiring as to present prices in Hudson and the writer was recently shown a batch of thirteen deeds which had been sent in one envelope from Chicago to be recorded."

This "paper city" has long since been drained out and used for farming purposes, such parts as have not been washed away by the uncertain waters of the Missouri River.

Hamlet of Fletcher

Fletcher was platted in section 32 a number of years since and now has a country store and a shop, but has never grown to much importance, yet a useful hamlet for the community about it.

Village of Herman

Herman is situated in southeast quarter of section 30, township 20, range 11, east, within a half mile of the northern line of Dodge County. It was platted in 1871, by the railroad officials of the old Omaha & 'Northwestern Railroad Company, and is a prominent station point on the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha division of the Northwestern railway system. In 1910 the population according to the United States census reports was 328, but since then it has greatly increased, but the present-year census reports have not as yet been made public, hence cannot be quoted here.


The only clear and available village records begin with 1905 and show the following to have served as chairmen and clerks of the village to the present date:

1905-Chairman, Dr. A. J. Cameron; clerk, F. Van Volin.
1908-Chairman, Ross Harper; clerk, F. Van Volin.
1909-Chairman, Dr. A. J. Cameron; clerk, O. H. Godsey.
1910-Chairman, Dr. A. J. Cameron: clerk, O. H. Godsey.
1910-11-Chairman, William Meadors: clerk, O. H. Godsey.
1911-Chairman, E. P. Hanson; clerk, R. G. Allen.
1912-Chairman, C. J. Kruse: clerk, R. G. Allen.
1913-Chairman, C. J. Kruse; clerk, R. G. Allen.
1913-14-Chairman, Wm. Shafersman: clerk, L. B. Hugelman.
1914-Chairman, Wm. Shafersman: clerk, L. B. Hugelman.
1915-Chairman, Wm. Shafersman; clerk, Henry Truhlsen.
1916-Chairman, Wm. Shafersman; clerk, Henry Truhlsen.
1917-Chairman, Henry Truhlsen; clerk, E. C. Burdic.
1918-Chairman, Henry Truhlsen; clerk, E. C. Burdic.
1919-Chairman, L. V. Ackerman; clerk, E. C. Burdic.
1920-Chairman, R. P. Rasmussen; clerk, E. C. Burdic.

The 1920 village officers are as follows: Chairman, R. P. Rasmussen; clerk, E. C. Burdic; with trustees, Messrs. Waldo, Hancock, and C. E. Johnson.

The village first installed a system of water works in 1889, just before the terrible cyclone swept through the village and nearly wiped it from the face of the earth. The standpipe was blown down and other material damage done by the storm. The system is now excellent. The village has a block of ground really a park-on which the pumping plant and fire department buildings are situated. From the center of this high elevated city park the steel water tower or standpipe stands, while shaded trees ornament the grounds and the surroundings can be made a place "beautiful."

Herman High School

1920 Business Interests

In the month of June, 1920, the commercial and professional affairs in Herman was made up as follows:

Banking-Herman State Bank, Plateau State Bank.
Cement Contractor-R. P. Rasmussen.
Clothing-A. H. Smith.
Cream Buyers-David Cole Creamery Company, Fairmont Creamery
Company, Farmers Union Co-operative Company.
Drayage-O. L. Hilsinger.
Drugs-The Johnson Drug Company.
Elevators-Crowell Grain & Lumber Company, Holmquist Grain &
Lumber Company, Latta Grain Company, Roberts & Rose, Woods-Updike Grain Co.
Garages-Ed Olson, Louis Rasmussen, R. J. Schenck, West Brothers.
General Merchandise-L. V. Ackerman, H. P. Dulaney (Fletcher), Gray & Gossard, Nels Rasmussen (Spiker), Mrs. E. A. Wachter.
Hardware-Truhlsen Brothers.
Hog Breeders-W. C. Cameron, H. O. Williamson.
Hotel-The West Hotel.
Implement Dealers-C. H. Blanchard, Hancock Implement Company.
Jewelry-O. H. Godsey.
Lumber Dealers-Herzog Lumber Company.
Meat Market-J. B. Jensen.
Newspaper-The Herman Record
Oil Dealers-C. H. Blanchard, C. W. Ford, Hancock Implement
Company, Standard Oil Company.
Physician-Dr. A. J. Cameron.
Pantatorium-Fern West, proprietor.
Plumbing-Frank J. Kastl.
Restaurant-L. E, Nelson.
Schools-Broderson School, Herman Schools, Hillcreek School, New
England School.
Stock Buyers-Burdic Brothers.
Veterinary Surgeon-Dr. C. V. Weeces.

The village is surrounded by a very fertile country and its farmers are a thrifty, intelligent class of people, of many nationalities, but generally speaking, are truly thoroughgoing American citizens, who are good citizens and great home builders and appreciate the country in which they reside.

Nebraska AHGP

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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