Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Stories: Sutherland Rodeo History

Early accounts tell of celebrating the 4th of July with a little “red fire water” in 1842, and an annual 4th ofJuly celebration complete with an open air dance in the park until daylight in1899, the history book records July 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 1938, as the date when the first annual Sutherland Rodeo was held. Arch Combs, one of the founders, was the arena director, and the entry fee was $5.00.Admission for adults was $.50 and for children ages seven through fourteen was $.25.

Men with names such as Salty Wells and Doc Faust, even Deadwood Slim, competed for the prize money, ranging from $10 to $20. The all-around cowboy was Sam Brunner from Sterling, Colorado. Placing first all three days was Doc Faust of Maxwell. Rain eliminated the steer riding on Saturday July 2nd and consequently that day’s attendance was the lowest of the three days.

Some extra attractions for the rodeo were Trick Riding, Fancy Roping, and Educated Horses. A parade was also held at 2:00 p.m. with three generations of cattlemen, cowboys, clowns, and a band participating.

Serving on the Rodeo committee were: Fay Coates, Jim Guffey, Harlan Guffey and Pete N. McKinley.

In 1939, reserved parking spaces for cars were sold rapidly and the main street was to be left free for visitor parking. Top money winners were Harry Daves of Westwood, New Jersey and George Green of Hershey. A new event was added for those who were daring in the milking field. Wild Brahma Cow milking found winners in Guy Combs, George Winters, Waldo Haythorn and Verle Jones.

Serving on the Rodeo Committee in 1939 were: Dr. Harlan M. Guffey, Fay Coates, E. J. Meyers, Harold P. Wiig, Dr. James P. Guffey and Pete N. McKinley.

The year 1940 showed to be a record breaking year in crowd attendance. Prize money was up to $25 for the top winner plus additional prizes. Hirschfeld’s donated a Stetson hat, O’Connor Department Store donated a traveling bag, Cowboy boots were from Montgomery Ward, fishing tackle from Woolworth’s, and a bridle.

The outstanding performer for a very successful rodeo was Lester Lewis of Maple City, Kansas, who was a calf roper as well as a school teacher. All-around cowboy was Vic Blackstone, hailing from Midland, Texas.

In 1941, new bleachers were installed and there still weren’t enough seats. The number of tickets sold that year were 2,468 adults and 494 children.

Thirteen entered Bronc Riding while there were twenty-one for the calf roping. A total of forty two cowboys entered, with all-around honors going to George Winters.

Of special interest that year was a horsemanship exhibition by Waldo Haythorn when he rode his horse without a bridle and roped and tied a calf in 23.7 seconds. Also there were showings of trick roping talents by the Wever Brothers, Floyd and Francis Jr. Francis Jr. age four at the time did rope spinning. Also the Cook children, a sister and brother act, did rope spinning.

Judges were Arch Combs, Guy Combs, Kenneth Tetro, and Henry Snivley. Arch Combs and Guy Combs were also involved in the only accidents, a broken leg and a broken ankle respectively.
The fifth Annual Rodeo in 1942 enjoyed a concert by the Sutherland and Paxton bands before the Grand Entry. The Grand Entry itself was led by Mrs. Mose Trego, with forty horsemen following. Stock was provided by J. L. Case for the fifth year in a row. Mose Trego was arena director, Dr. Harlan M. Guffey was chairman and a total of fifty-two cowboys entered.

In 1943, due to the shortage of gasoline and food, both of which were rationed, the rodeo was called off by Lee Case. There was no further information available until 1947.

The year 1947 saw lots of changes in the rodeo. It was CPA approved and sponsored by the Volunteer Fire Department. Livestock was supplied by Guy Combs, Clarence Johnson, and George Kramer. The chutes had been rebuilt and Melvin Dikeman was the arena director. The price of admission was now $1.50 for adults and $.75 for children. Capacity crowds and nearly all local cowboys made it a success. A dance following the rodeo was held at Wiigs Hall with music provided by the Arensdorf-Nicholson band. Admission was $1.00 for men and $.35 for women.

1948 saw attendance down due to extremely hot weather. A carnival was held on Front Street and the dance was in Gummere’s Hall with Don Mathers and his Westerner’s and Nick’s Hillbilly Band.

In 1949, Guy Combs was in charge of the rodeo. It was RCA (Rodeo Cowboy Association) approved. Sutherland businessmen donated Belt Buckles to winners in each event. The first Rodeo Queen Contest was held this year with Joyce Leonhardt being crowned Queen.
The first Sutherland Courier pictures of the Rodeo winners were taken in 1950. A new event was added that year in the form of Wild Burrow roping, which was won by Ted Long. Glen Nutter won the calf roping event and LeMoyne Kenton took first in Bareback riding. Silver Spurs were given to the “hardluck” cowboy, Walt Chamberlain. Lawrence Shaw received a Valentine hat for placing third in Wild Burrow roping.

Special entertainment for the 5,000 people attending was Jay Sisler and his trained Australian Shepherds, plus Jerry and his Model-T-Ford – trained bulls. Joe Cavanaugh was the announcer and the music for the dance was provided by Hadley Barrett.

In 1952, 3,000 people attended the rodeo. Stock was furnished by Bill O’Connor and his son from Elsie.

1953 saw 2,000 in attendance and 100 contestants. Junior Calf Roping was introduced for the first time for boys under sixteen. Harrison Halligan, Marvin Armstrong and Jim Haugland were among those placing. Also mentioned was Girls Barrel Racing with Joyce Leonhardt placing. The Wild Horse race was also introduced and was a real crowd pleaser. Hadley Barrett played at the Community Hall for the Rodeo dance.

The 1954 rodeo had the Ladies Barrels on July 3rd only and the Wild Horse race was on July 4th only. Bob Farrar was the clown and Ed Padra had a horse and dog act. Sandra Shoup was crowned Rodeo Queen.
1955 was the first year the Rodeo Queen, Dallas Hunt of Lincoln was given any publicity. A special trained horse act “The Hit and Two Misses”, with Shirleen and Deanna Hill came from North Platte to perform.
Night performances under new floodlights and new grandstands to seat an additional 500 people were the highlights in 1956. New rules governing the Queen Contest designated the Queen contestant had to be between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one. Cecilia Boyle of North Platte was crowned Queen and Gary Trego took all-around Cowboy honors.

The Lions Club was in charge of the parade for the first time in 1957.

In 1958, the rodeo was attended by 3,000 persons and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Posse appeared for the first time in the parade.

In 1960, another change was added in the Queen contest. Jane Carlson of Sutherland was crowned the first Junior Queen, a competition for girls under the age of sixteen.

In 1962 the admission was $1.50 for adults and $.50 for children. Stock was furnished by Hudson Brothers from Leota, Kansas. The Junior Queen was Linda Gummere of Sutherland.

The 25th annual Rodeo was the first year for the Jackpot Barrel Race for Junior girls under sixteen years of age. Prize money in 1963 of $1350 was awarded to winning contestants.

1966 recorded a record number of 200 contestants competing for prizes.

In 1970, all the bleachers were positioned to the south side of the arena and the bucking chutes were moved to the north side. Art Watson furnished the horses for the Wild Horse Race for the seventeenth consecutive year. A total of 316 cowboys and 7 cowgirls were entrants.

In 1971, due to daylight saving time, the floodlights were not needed. This was a first in the history of the rodeo. The rode was conducted with 75% of the arena under water and a steady rainfall.
In 1972, Art Daly was the announcer for the first time and his band also played for the dance following.

The festivities of 1975 were recorded as the best ever. C Bar D Rodeo Company provided the stock.
In 1976, the NSRA (Nebraska State Rodeo Association) voted the Sutherland Rodeo “Rodeo of the Year”. A special Patriotic celebration was held.

1978 rang in the 40th annual rodeo with a capacity crowd paying $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for ages six through twelve. A record $12,000 was paid to those competing in the rodeo.

IN 1981, the rodeo was one of twenty to receive part of a $10,000 awards program. The program was sponsored by the Nebraska State Rodeo Association and five Coors Beer Distributors in West Central Nebraska.

In 1982, a special tribute was made in honor of John Beveridge, with Art Daly reading the “Cowboys Prayer”.

In 1983, a fireworks display following the rodeo was enjoyed. It was sponsored by the Sutherland Optimist Club. A special treat in the Grand Entry, was Buffalo Bill, portrayed by Charlie Evans of North Platte.

By 1985, Art Daly had been announcing the Sutherland Rodeo for sixteen years. The Hudson Brothers had supplied the stock for twenty-five years and a relatively new event, team roping, came onto the scene.

The 49th annual rodeo began with Dawn Wisdom of Sutherland singing the National Anthem. The finale of the rodeo was a newly revived event – the Wild Horse Race. Five teams competed.

1988 celebrated the “Golden” anniversary of the annual event. A four day celebration netted various cowboys a total of $17,950, with first place finishers taking home a commemorative belt buckle also. Fifty four teams entered the team roping competition, thirteen competed in bareback riding, twenty-one entered saddlebronc and twenty-nine entered the Brahma Bull riding. Only three out of the twenty-nine were able to complete their ride.

When the “Golden” celebration was held, Arch Combs, who had been instrumental in starting the first rodeo was in attendance. His son Vernon served as toastmaster, Jim Haugland and Don Fleecs were honored for their twenty years and 32nd years, respectively, of work with the rodeo committee and were given spurs.

In 1990, the Mutton Bustin’ was introduced for children six and under. Dan Kalin and Aaron Carter were the winners of the first two races. Special awards were presented to Melvin Eckhoff and Bob Fleecs for their “Behind the Scenes” work for the past thirty years.

1991 saw an estimated crowd of over 3900 people attend the two day performance of the Sutherland Amateur Open Rodeo for the 53rd performance during the Centennial Celebration.

Connie and Deone Hudson were recognized for their contributions to the rodeo during the past thirty years. The Hudsons under the name of Hudson Rodeo Company of Sharon Springs, Kansas, have provided the stock for those years.

Events staged and prizes awarded to the winners were Mutton Bustin’ – a belt buckle; team calf roping, $928 each; Brahma Bull riding - $551; Wild Horse Race, Steer Wrestling, Ladies Barrel race (winning time 17.4 seconds) - $565.50; Calf Roping (winning time 10.4 seconds), $628; new event this year was Ladies Breakaway Roping (winning time 3.4 seconds) $301 each; and Saddle Bronc Riding - $460. Rodeo clowns, Gary Lewis, Terry Tinney, and Larry Deges provided crowd entertainment as well as protection for the participants in the dangerous Bull Riding and Saddle and Bareback Bronc events.

Dawn Wisdom led the singing of the National Anthem, accompanied by rodeo organist Ruth Ann VanVleet. Rodeo announcer was Greg McGreer. Those serving on the Rodeo Committee were James Haugland, Lloyd Farmer, Rick Parr, Marlin White, Jim Copeland, Mike Troxel and Don Fleecs.

Rodeo Queens
1949      Joyce Leonhardt, Sutherland
1954      Sandra Shoup, Sutherland
1955      Dallas Hunt, Lincoln
1956      Cecelia Boyle, North Platte
1957      Janice Butts, Burwell
1958      Jacque Prather, North Platte
1959      Susan Stafford, North Platte
1960      Jane Carlson (Jr. Rodeo Queen), Sutherland
1961      Susan Scott, North Platte
1962      Linda Gummere, Sutherland
1963      Penny Abegg, North Platte
1964      Deanna Rogers, Dickens
1965      Barbi Scott, North Platte
1966      Julie Busnell, Bryon
1967      Mary Dailey, North Platte
1968      Kathy Dailey, North Platte
1969      Barbara Fear, Sutherland
1970      Jeanne Hunt, Arthur
1971      Karma Miller, Hershey
1972      Erin Boyle, Hershey
1973      Trudy Swedberg, Hershey
1974      Sheryl Daly, Sutherland
1975      Julie Michael, Maxwell
1976      Cindy Kleewein, North Platte
1977      Tracy Trego, North Platte
1978      Johna Klug, Maxwell
1979      Lesa Boggs, Sutherland
1980      Diane Beckman, North Platte
1981      Kelli Evans, Curtis
1982      Shelly Derra, Farnam
1983      Kelly Michaels, Maxwell
1984      Leigh Anne Parr, North Platte
1985      Kyleen McFadden, Paxton
1986      Jodie Smeltzer, North Platte
1987      Bridget Long, Tryon

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Know Nebraska: Anne Marie's in Paxton

It took nearly half a year for Leah Fote to transform the dilapidated Paxton Union Pacific Depot from an unused relic into Anne Marie's, a vibrant local gathering place.
Railroad buffs who stop for a delicious latte and pastry will be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Union Pacific Railroad right outside the front door.
Inside, you'll appreciate all of the dedication it took to restore the interior into a beautiful coffee shop and home made goods store.
Anne Marie's carries floral arrangements from Paxton’s florist, pencil drawings by Britt Kuenning and flour mixes from the Wauneta Flour Mill.
Her coffee is from the country’s oldest coffee merchant, Gillies Coffee in Brooklyn.
Historical Photo on the wall snowing Chinese immigrants working on the railroad.
Outside is an annex where Anne Marie's has already needed to expand to house her antiques that are for sale.

Anne Marie's is located directly south of the Union Pacific railroad tracks in Paxton, about a half-mile north of Interstate 80. If you're stopping for a meal at the iconic Ole's Big Game Lounge, or local favorite Windy Gap Saloon, it's worth a stop at this quaint coffee/gift/craft/antique shop.

If you're overnighting at the Days Inn of Paxton at I-80, be sure to make the quick trip into town for experiences you won't want to miss.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday Stories: Hardin's Store

Homer Hardin was to recall: “Carpenters were scarce those days, so were building materials. Settlers having business at the railroad, and men hauling cedar posts from the Dismal to sell at Cozad were depended upon to bring back lumber and other supplies on the return trip. These trips took three days, and were on no regular schedule. As a result, shortages of material would occur for some buildings under construction, and when this happened, the carpenters would help on jobs that did have lumber. Any man handy with a saw could get a job. Skilled workers earned $.25 an hour, helpers, $12 1/2 . Room and board was about three dollars a week, extra meals $.20 each. In the rear of each building lot would be sod chicken houses, pig pens, corn cribs, and most important of all, privies. These people planned to be self-sufficient by having their own meat, butter and eggs.”

Ben and Edner Hardin and their young son, Homer, had come from Coal Run, Ohio to Plum Creek in early spring of ’84. They hired a livery team and a driver who was accurate in his directions and departed to the South Loup in search of a new home. There were no roads or settlers to guide them, only a faint wagon trail. The Roten sheep ranch, about 24 miles out of Plum Creek, was at that time the only place water could be found for horses or people until the South Loup river was reached, twenty miles further on.

A. H. Needham helped Hardin secure a tree claim a mile south of the new town site. Adjoining this claim was a preemption (present Don Hardin place) that Hardin acquired by paying for the relinquishment of the man occupying it, a Mr. Case, possibly Solomon Case, the father of Andrew and Alex. The improvements were a sod house with two windows and two doors and a board roof covered with sod, a dug well, and a sod stable. Ten acres were already broken out. The deal was made and the Hardins moved in. One of the young Homer’s earliest recollections was the leaking roof in this house with his mother holding an umbrella over him and a precious sack of flour. (A daughter, Leora, was born in 1892.)

The family was no more than settled when Richard Allen offered Hardin two fine lots on a good location (present bank corner) if he would go into business. Construction began on a story and a half general store building. Hauling lumber from Cozad for the new store, Hardin would take a ten-gallon keg of water for himself and his horses, feed for the team and bedding and food for himself. He made many trips and on nights when he was expected home, his wife hung a lantern in the soddy window to guide him over the dim trail.

The store was enclosed by December 22, 1884, and the town’s first Christmas program was held there. There was singing, speaking and music. Ben Hardin played the violin, with Mrs. Hardin accompanying him on the organ. At the playing of “Home, Sweet Home” many wept from the homesickness. In spite of ten inches of snow and a temperature of ten below, twenty-five – almost the entire population, attended; the families of Richard Allen, Ben Hardin, Stephen Leland, William Ray, and R. A. Probert. Without their famiklies were: John Owen, Morgan Parks, Dr. Joseph Murray, Joe and Dave Blum, Charlie Long and Charles Hughey. One not attending was carpenter Joe Tiday, who had arrived in town that very day. He would marry William Ray’s daughter, Dora.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Scenic Nebraska: Winter Road Trip

Saturday dawned drizzly, foggy and COLD! What better combination for a road trip?
We took off north out of Sutherland, and the frost on the trees was spectacular! Too bad there wasn't any good light to make the photos "pop".
Just north of the Birdwood Creek, the hoar frost on the Yucca plants was very pretty.
Farther along, the wind-driven hoar frost made the fences quite spectacular.

We came back on the Paxton road, not knowing if the Sarben road would have been passable or not, then detoured through Sarben, where we found some Bald Eagles in the trees at the North Platte River.
There is one more Bald Eagle way down the river on the bottom left of the photo. He must smell bad or something.

We drove around through Sarben, which, admittedly, doesn't take very long. This building, back in the day was the General Store. We found the site of the hotel, which had been torn down in the '80's, but couldn't locate where the Depot had stood.
 Farther on we encountered some cold, but friendly cows. As we stopped on the road, it seemed they thought we might have treats for them, but they were disappointed.

Nearly home, we were trying to figure out what the big white lumps in the corn field were.
 It turns out they were swans, accompanied by a few geese.
 All told, there were about ten swans, and innumerable geese.
Three hours and 60 or so miles later, and we were back home, in time to stoke the fire and spend a cozy evening in the house.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday Stories: Arnold in the spring of 1884

A spirit of optimism prevailed that spring of 1884. Almost everybody was young, impatient and full of high hopes – Arnold was destined to be a fine city – some said with a population of 1500 in just a few years – the railroad was sure to come soon. Little did they know they would wait twenty-five years for that road.

Word spread of the new little town on the South Loup, in need of those with a trade. William Ray, a blacksmith, came from Missouri in April – walked from North Platte to Arnold in a day and a half. As he approached the “outskirts” he met “Uncle” Charles Hughey riding Redbird and inquired, “How far is it to Arnold?” The answer was, “See that little soddy? That’s Arnold.” Ray built a story and a half sod house, facing south (east of Spargo corner),and across the road to the south, a sod blacksmith shop, facing north, where he would be for the next eighteen years. Here he built the first “Go-devil” used in this part of the country.

A 24 x 36 frame hardware store, built by Richard A. Probert, went up across the street from Allen’s Pioneer Store (Jameson and Hotel Custer corner).

Sylvester Edwards, a widower from New York, who had come to Arnold in ’83 and was living in a small house near the old Henry Brothers headquarters (Ray Koubek place), built an unusually ornate story and one-half business building for Dave and Joe Blum’s clothing store, to be operated by Dave Blum. The brothers had a similar store in Broken Bow. They, too, were from New York and had some connections with a New York based clothing store interest. The building, originally located on the present Forrester’s garage corner, was moved in ’86 to where the Model Café now is. It faced the west and served as the town’s bank until 1905.

John Owens, a land agent, built a 20 x 38 farm machinery building (Spargo corner), and R. H. Miller, a printer, established a print shop for his short-lived “Arnold Standard” on the lot across the road north of the Pioneer Store (Finch Drug corner).

Marion Nycum hauled lumber from Cozad for a livery barn, located east of Leland’s mill (Masonic Temple site), complete with corrals and a small office. Nycum hired his nephew, young Will Beltz, to help around the barn. Farmers bringing corn or wheat to the mill could park their wagons and camp on the open place between the two establishments. For most this was a two day trip, and although it ran day and night, each man had to wait his turn at the mill. Drivers slept in the livery’s hay mow.
Flour was made at both Arnold and Milldale until 1894, when drought years cut the wheat crop, but even when crops picked up, the making of flour was not resumed until a brief period about 1919. Feed was ground at both mills until about 1910.

At the time the mill was built, Sam Leland put up a small frame house across the river west of it, and in 1884, sold his interest in the mill to John F. Koch.

Koch built a sod house east of the mill (about a block south of the post office). He had worked for the Lelands and Harrises when they had a mill at Alexandria, Nebraska, and knew the business. They ground with old-fashioned stone burrs and he was an expert at sharpening them, patiently chipping away with a steel chisel set in a wooden handle. These chisels were about ten inches long, both ends sharpened, with a square shank in the middle for attaching the handle. The burrs were set in a metal housing so one could be raised or lowered to grind fine or course. Three of the original burrs were used as stepping stones by Stephen Leland’s son, Alonzo, when he moved into his father’s house about 1919, and one has survived intact to the present time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Winter Storm Kayla

Brrr! Last week's winter storm dumped a record amount of snow in our area, and something we just aren't used to. Road crews struggled in the high winds to keep the roads open, but lost the battle and many stretches were closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Thankfully temperatures in the mid 30's created a crust on the snow as the high winds of the past couple of days would have caused more trouble. As it was, some Sandhill roads were treacherous once again. The good news is... Spring is coming up on March 20!

As the storm was beginning on Monday, it was a beautiful snowfall. Large fluffy flakes falling peacefully.

That had changed by Monday night when the flakes were tiny and driven by a hard wind.

On Tuesday, at the height of the storm, the drifts were starting to mount up.
By Wednesday morning, the day dawned bright and sunny... and still.

Thankfully Mark was able to deal with the 4' drift in front of the garage.

The wind-driven snow made beautiful sculptures.

Thankfully Wednesday was Mark's rest day, and he played on his tractor for most of the day, scooping out family, friends and neighbors.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Stories: Arnold

The little store could no longer provide for the needs of the settlers, it was time for a town. There was town-building fever in the country in the early 1880s – Broken Bow in ’82 – Callaway and Gandy in ’85 – Merna and Anselmo in ’86 – but unlike her sister villages, platted by townsite companies, Arnold was established by one man, Richard Allen. It was September of 1883 when Allen called County Surveyor Bishop over from Broken Bow to plat six square blocks of his homestead for a townsite to be called “Arnold” after the post office by that name. His main street he called “Walnut” for the trees at his home.

Probably there was not much done on the new site that fall. Reports to the County paper told of fifteen inches of snow on the ground by late October and bitterly cold weather. In a November Storm, Oscar Howe was caught between Arnold and North Platte and had to leave his team and wagon and walk home. When he returned, he found the horses dead – frozen to death. The Kilmers, caught in the same storm while on a trip to the Dismal after cedars, lost four of their horses. A party in camp nine miles north lost eleven horses.

After a town is laid out, residents, and at least a few businesses, must be attracted. One way to do this was to give away lots and this Allen did. He offered free lots to those who would come, settle, and go into business. A residence lot would be included. But he was choosy, “Only good, honest “square-toed” men of family are solicited,” he wrote.

Another way was to have the new town boosted in an area paper. It is known Allen made several trips to the office of the County Republican in the spring and summer of ’84, and from time to time this paper published such items as: “Arnold is booming! 180 acres of prairie are broken out, the surrounding hills and valleys are dotted with houses, there are prairie chickens by the thousands and deer abound!”

Other articles praising the country appeared – J. W. Brewer, up in Powell canyon, raised eight-pound turnips on ground from which the sod had been stripped for a house – deer were so plentiful Jeremiah Howe had killed two with one shot from the doorway of his house – one settler had already sold a claim for $500 – the railroad was coming, maybe before the year was out – Arnold was almost certain to be the county seat of a new county that would be formed when Custer was divided. (Division had first been voted on in 1879, just two years after organization. Other elections on the matter were held in ’86, ’87, ’88, ’90, ’92, ’97, 1909 and 1910. The last division convention was held in 1916, but it did not come to a vote. With the advent of cars and passable roads, agitation ceased and residents became resigned to their giant county.)

Petitions were being circulated for a good road between Arnold and Broken Bow, suitable for teams pulling a loaded wagon. Travelers on this road were assured of food and lodging at the home of Samuel High, the half-way point. Mr. High promised plenty of water for teams from the two cisterns he would keep filled with lagoon water.

Spiritual needs of new townspeople would be met by Elder Correll of the Christian faith, Nathan English of the Methodists and Charles Kilmer of the Winebrenerians.

And they came. That spring of 1884, wagons coming up the trail along the Loup carried not only land seekers but those with a vocation – blacksmith, printer, butcher, carpenter, lawyer, merchant, harness maker, doctor.

Building began almost as soon as the snow had melted enough to find the stakes in the buffalo grass.

First to go up was Richard Allen’s Pioneer Store on a choice corner (Arnold Café site), and he moved the supplies and the post office from the soddy into it. He hired Milldale homesteaders Abner Brown and Josiah Wilcher, to haul the lumber and do the carpenter work. As a clerk in his store, Allen hired Swain Finch’s young nephew, John Finch, newly married to May Kelley from Cozad, where John had been postmaster and operator of a general store for two years.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Know Nebraska: Lincoln Highway, Lodgepole, Nebraska

The village of Lodgepole has a long association with transcontinental transportation history. Early on, the area hosted the “Pole Creek No.2 Pony Express Station”. The Union Pacific Railroad came through in 1867 and the community was formally founded.
Pony Express historian Joe Nardone donated this vehicle to the Lodgepole Depot Museum. It traveled 761,327 miles to document Pony Express history.
Lodgepole’s main street moved three different times in the early years, and the route of the Lincoln Highway through town crosses the railroad tracks,
Replica concrete marker in the Lodgepole City Park.
Continuing on the south side of the tracks through town and on county roads. Still standing on the south side are an early grocery store with its accompanying ice house,
Lodgepole Ice House
One of the most enduring icons of the historic Lincoln Highway in western Nebraska is the Lodgepole Opera House.
Lodgepole Opera House Today

Lodgepole Opera House today

Ghost Sign on Lodgepole Opera House

Historical Photo Lodgepole Opera House

Historical photo - Lodgepole Opera House - Note sign on building
Tourist cabins were once an integral part of nearly every small town along the Lincoln Highway.
Lodgepole Tourist Cabins Today

Lodgepole Tourist Cabins Today

Lodgepole Tourist Cabins Today
Lodgepole Tourist Cabins during the Blizzard of 1949
Lodgepole's long association with Union Pacific Railroad history is commemorated in their depot museum.
Lodgepole Depot Museum
Lodgepole Depot in History
Kitchen in the living quarters of the Lodgepole Depot Museum
The Air Force uniform of local resident Lillian Sullivan in the Depot Museum. Lillian joined the United States Air Force and was stationed at several Bases in the United States, including Gunter Air Force Base in Alabama where she received training at the Air University School of Aviation Medicine in 1954. She was then transferred to Rhein Main Air Base in Germany from 1955-1957, and was selected to be the first Aero Med Evac Flight Nurse.
Lodgepole Light and Water Plant and Village Offices today

Lodgepole Light and Water Plant in history
Kripal Garage today

Kripal Garage in History
Interior of the Kripal Garage

Showroom of the Kripal Garage
Historic Lincoln Highway Sign in the window of the Kripal Garage
Lodgepole Lincoln Highway frontage today
Repurposed historic bank building used as Adams Bank and Trust today.
If you're ever in western Nebraska, roadtripping along the Lincoln Highway, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore the little towns you'll drive through. It will be well worth the visit.