History of Armada Township, Buffalo County, NE
From: Buffalo County, Nebraska and its people
BY: Samuel Clay Bassett
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago 1916


The first settlement in Armada Township appears to have been by H. C. Harbaugh, A. J. Pannell, Wm. Carr, R. Burney and Thomas Jeffry in 1873; John Mercer, J. H. Brown, Robert Miller and Oscar Hamilton in 1874.; I. Lamb and J. F. Mackey in 1875; A. L. Armstrong in 1877; Wm. M. White, G. A. Roach and H. Zarrs in 1878; J. L. Abel, R. F. Simpson, F. B. Craps, A. F. Burt and H. T. West in 1879.

In the year 1881, Wm. Craven, a soldier in the Civil war and a native of North Carolina, purchased ten acres of land, built a sod house in which on a capital of $9 he began the keeping of a store. A postoffice had been established about three miles distant, a petition was circulated and the postoffice moved to that point, William Craven named postmaster, and the name of Armada given to the embryo commercial center. When the K. and B. H. Railroad was built into the township the village was moved to the railroad and named Miller. Miller was incorporated in the year 1890, with J. Millspaugh, M. O. Polter, A. B. Cherry, H. S. Pease and Dr. E. W. Northrup as its first board of village trustees. The names of the present board of trustees are: Dr. J. P. Norcross, chairman; J. W. Miller, A. E. Rappel, Ray Cox and J. M. Robinson; Ross Brown, village clerk.

Miller has three grain elevators with a grain storage capacity of 160,000 bushels.

A postoffice was established in 1890 and the names of those who have served as postmasters are in the following order: A. B. Cherry, H. S. Pease, B. F. Harbaugh, H. S. Pease, L. W. Hall, L. K. King.

The names of the physicians who have served the people of the locality are: Dr. E. W. Northrup, Dr. J. P. Norcross, Dr. C. R. Watson.

The first newspaper was edited by Charles M. Houston, 1891-1893.

The Miller Sun. edited by F. W. Pace since 1915.

The Miller Independent Telephone Company was organized in 1906 with a capital stock of $2,500. Its first officers: J. P. Norcross, president; L. W. Hall, manager; F. D. Brown, treasurer. The names of those most active in promoting the company were J. P. Norcross, L. W. Hall, F. D. Brown, L. P. Wells, N. Maddox, C. M. Huston, R. M. Pierce. This company began business with forty phones in operation. In the year 1915 the company had a capital stock of $4,500 and 150 phones in use. Its officers: J. C. Power, president; P. M. Jacobson, vice president; L. W. Hall, manager; F. D. Brown, treasurer.

The First Bank of Miller was organized in 1889 with a capital stock of $40,000. Its officers: J. E. Dickerman, president; W. C. Tilison, vice president; F. D. Brown, cashier.

In the year 1915 the bank had a capital stock of $25,000; surplus and undivided profits, $25,000; deposits, $100,000. Its officers: K. Dickerman, president; K. H. Dickerman, vice president; F. D. Brown, cashier; Ross Brown, assistant cashier.

The bank occupied its present (1915) quarters in 1909.

The Bank of Miller was organized in 1889 with a capital stock of $40,000; the first officers, Mathew Maddox, president, W. L. Maddox, cashier. In the year 1915 the bank had a capital stock of $40,000; surplus, $7,000; deposits, $40,000.

The banking quarters were destroyed by fire November 9, 1915, the bank occupying its new quarters early in the year 1916.

School District No. 54, Miller, was organized in 1890, the first district officers, H. S. Peace, P. L. Anderson, C. H. Aron. At an expense of approximately three thousand five hundred hundred dollars a school building was erected in 1893.

The Miller School has ten grades and employs four teachers; the present (1915) district officers are Charles Aron, C. M. Houston, L. W. Hall.

The United Brethren Church was organized at Miller in 1890 with a charter membership of some twenty five or thirty; among the names which can be recalled are Henry C. Green, J. W. Wylie, W. F. Triplett, J. W. Stevens, Wallace Pierce and A. Boyd.

The first pastor was Rev. A. Boyd. A church building was erected in the year 1893 at an approximate cost of fifteen hundred dollars. The membership of the church in 1915 is forty six; its pastor, Rev. William Buswell.

Church of Christ of Miller was organized in 1913 with a charter membership of fifteen; H. Ehreman and J. P. Norcross were chosen elders, and Wm. Fisher, deacon. The first pastor was Paul Young, evangelist.

A church building was purchased in 1914 at a cost of $1,500.

The membership in 1915 was twenty; the church has no regular pastor, A. T. O'Neal serving as resident evangelist.

A Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at Miller in 1890, with a charter membership of twenty five; the first pastor, Rev. S. J. Medlin. A church building was erected in 1893 at an approximate cost of two thousand dollars.

This church organization disbanded and sold their church edifice to the Church of Christ.

The Christian Church at Miller was organized in 1905 with a charter membership of thirty five; the elders were J. P. Norcross and H. Ehrenian; the deacons, D. F. White and Ray Cox. The first pastor, Rev. J. W. Walker. A church building erected in 1907 cost approximately sixteen hundred dollars. The present membership is forty. Rev. Charles J. Shook was pastor up to 1913, since that date the church has been without a resident pastor.

In the year 1910 there was instituted at Miller an organization of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union with a charter membership of about twenty. Among those most active in this movement, as called to mind, were Mesdames L. W. Hall, F. D. Brown, J. G. King, Ray Cox, A. E. Kappel, H. W. Fox, Win. Fisher, C. A. Sea and Miss Ruby Aron.

The members of the union have a library of about two hundred volumes, a club room for meetings and support and care for a rest room for ladies.

Jewett Post No. 228, Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Nebraska, was instituted at Miller in 1885 with thirty five charter members. In 1915 the post had a membership of eleven, J. W. Stevens, post commander.

A. F. & A. M.

Square and Compass Lodge No. 213, A. F. & A. M. of Nebraska. Organized in 1888 as Armada Lodge U. D., moved to Miller in 1890 and chartered as Square and Compass Lodge No. 213, December 14, 1891. Charter membership, eighteen: Peter L. Anderson, Henry R. Berkheimer, Frank D. Brown, Oliver IC Bryan, Arthur F. Burt, Willard J. Clark, William M. Craven, Henry C. Green, Howard C. Harbaugh, Nathaniel H. Hawk, Frank J. Himmelwright, Darius B. Jones, Isaac IC Kidd, Erie W. Northrup, Thurston W. Sibley, Samuel Veal, Cyrus W. Wright, James W. Wylie. First officers: William M. Craven, W. M.; Howard C. Harbaugh, Sec'y. Present membership, forty. Present officers: Ross Brown, W. M.; C. R. Watson, S. W.; D. W. Friend, J. W.; F. D. Brown, Treas.; L. W. Hall, Sec'y.

Miller Camp No. 973 M. W. A. was instituted with a charter membership of thirteen: Mark Aspinwall, Frank D. Brown, Wm. Lamina, Mark O. Petter, Peter L. Anderson; David Cummins, M. J. McNally, Joseph W. Stevens, L. B. Irwin, Harvey Brown, John W. King, Erie W. Northrup, Edward Wilson.

The first officers were: L. B. Irwin, V. C., Edward Wilson, Mark Aspinwall, clerk. In 1915 the membership was eighty five. A. N. Bliss, V. C., A. E. Scranton, clerk.

Logan Lodge, Knights of Pythias, No. 125, was instituted March 12, 1890, with officers and charter members as follows: W. L. Maddox, P. C.; M. B. Potter, C. C.; H. C. Green, V. C.; Charles Porter, P.; Jos. Milispaugh, M. E.; C. M. Huston, M. F.; J. W. King, K. R. & S.; A. B. Cherry, M. A.; Thomas Walker, I. G.; F. C. Potter, O. G.; G. E. Tarbox, W. A. Hackett, E. C. Wilson, E. B. McElhinney, Allen Bush, Edward Bush, Thomas Cook, Edward Moore, H. S. Pease. In 1915 the lodge had a membership of forty two. Its officers: A. N. Bliss, C. C.; J. W. Larson, V. C.; Ross Brown, P.; A. C. Andrews, M. W.; J. J. Norcross, K. R. & S.; H. M. Cnisinberry, M. A.; L. W. Hall, M. E.; George Comstock, M. F.; C. M. Houston, I. G.; L. S. Baker, O. G.

Miller Lodge No. 303, I. O. O. F., was instituted May r, 1905. The charter members being: A. W. Osborn, N. G.; S. B. Montgomery, V. G.; Wm. Tiede, Secy.; E. E. Cole, Treas.; L. A. Hazzard, J. E. Elmore, E. F. Wagner, C. W. Draper, James Sennett, J. G. Hall.

In 1915 the lodge had a membership of twenty five. H. M. Crusinberry, N. a; H. Reir, V. G.; A. E. Scranton, Secy.; E. E. Cole, Treas.


Watertown, a station on the branch line of the Union Pacific extending north from Kearney, was established in the year 1890.

A postofice was established in 1890 with J. S. Veal as postmaster.

In the year 1886 a school district, No. tot, was established; in the year 1915 there were thirty nine pupils enrolled, two teachers employed and ten grades taught in the school.

In the year 1891 a Methodist Church was organized with fourteen members. The pastor in 1915, Reverend Mr. Thurber.

At this point is a grain elevator with a capacity of 10,000 bushels, and twenty five cars of hay, grain and live stock were shipped in the year 1914.


The Village of Amherst was incorporated in the year 1894. Its first village officers were O. G. Cobleigh, John Schnoor, Frank Outson, J. V. Jones, Stanley Wysoki.

It is a thriving village, with two banks, a telephone exchange, two grain elevators, a feeding point for large numbers of sheep, and is a thriving commercial center having the patronage and support of a prosperous rural community.

Notwithstanding every reasonable effort has been made by written communications to obtain data and information as to the local history of the village, its churches, its fraternal organizations, its telephone company and other features of the history and activities of its people, the result has been disappointing.

School District No. 119 (Amherst) was organized in 1893, with Herman Kapedsky as director. In 1892 a church building had been erected and this building was purchased by the school district and used as a schoolhouse; the cost of the building was approximately six hundred dollars. A high school was established in 1908. In 1915 ten grades were taught and four teachers employed. The school district officers were: James I. Vest, F. M. Kenney, W. W. Johnson.

The Commercial State Bank of Amherst was organized June 10, 1908. The incorporators, Henry Menke, T. B. Garrison. Sr., H. H. Sinclair. The capital stock, $10,000. The first officers, T. B. Garrison, Sr., president, Henry Menke, cashier.

In 1915 the bank had a capital stock of $10,000; surplus, $3,499; deposits. $46,242. W. M. Ross. president, S. E. Smith, cashier.

First National Bank of Amherst - In the year 1915 its officers, A. U. Dann, president, A. T. Reynolds, cashier. Capital stock, $25,000; surplus. $5,000; deposits, $195,000.

Amherst Lodge No. 324, I. O. O. F., was instituted March 25, 1907, with a charter membership of forty. Its first Noble Grand being E. F. Wagner.

In 1915 the membership was thirty three. The present officers are: A. R. Green, N. G.; J. H. Hoagland, V. G.; W. W. Johnson, Sec'y; T. R. Curd, Treas.; Frank Long, Warden; L. Tumble, Conductor; Bert Jones, O. G.; J. M. Johnson, 1. G.; Jas. Jameson, R. S. N. G.; Roy Curd, L. S. N. G.; S. Y. Harris, R. S. G.; C. T. Grimes, L. S. V. G.; M. E. Parker, R. S. S.; Win. Buettner, L. S. S.4 Milton King, Chaplain.

The Past Grandy of the lodge have been L. Trumble, F. Harris, W. W. Johnson, F. H. Belsclmer, C. Blois, T. R. Curd, G. Veal.


The unincorporated Village of Riverdale had its beginning in the fall of 1890 when August Raymond built the first dwelling house.

In 1915 there were three general stores, two grain elevators with a storage capacity of 20,000 bushels each, one bank, a telephone exchange, two churches and three fraternal lodges.

Riverdale is most appropriately named, located as it is in the beautiful and charming, fertile and fruitful Wood River Valley of the Platte.

School District No. 15 was organized by Dan A. Crowell, county superintendent, May 3, 1873. The territory embraced was four miles from east to west, extending to the north line of the county, twenty two miles, embracing eighty eight square miles of territory.

Official notification of the formation of the district was delivered to J. R. King, directing that the first meeting be held at the house of said King, on Saturday, the loth day of May, 1873, at 7 P. M. 'The records seem to disclose that J. R. King was elected director of the district, that on the loth day of July, 1873, there were in the district seventeen children of school age and that the district had been apportioned $37.29 of the state school fund.

At a cost of $1,200 a schoolhouse was erected in 1873.

In 1911 the number of grades taught was increased to ten, and in 1912 the school building was enlarged and improved at an expense of $1,200. Three teachers are employed. The present (1915) district officers are: O. G. Knox, director; C. H. Pratt, treasurer; John Farrell, moderator. O. G. Knox has served as director since 1895.

The State Bank of Riverdale was organized in July, 1907, with a capital stock of $5,000. Its incorporators were: A. T. Reynolds, Fred Bargmann, W. H. Swartsley, C. H. Pratt, Thomas Pratt.

The officers of the bank: Fred Bargmann, president; A. T. Reynolds, vice president; C. H. Pratt, cashier.

In 1915 the bank had as capital stock, $5,000; surplus, $5,000; deposits, $50.000. Its officers: Fred Bargmann, president; Thomas Pratt, vice president; C. H. Pratt, cashier.

The Riverdale Christian Church was organized January I, 1898, with the following charter members: William Knox, Emma Knox, J. C. Burnell, Belle Burnell, W. A. Whitney, Hattie Whitney, Charles Larsen, Henrietta Larsen, T. Keyes, Flora Keyes, Homer R. Knox, Jacob Flury, Catherine Flury. The first pastor was Rev. J. W. Walker.

A church building was erected in 1894 at an approximate cost of twelve hundred dollars. In 1915 the church had a membership of seventy. It was without a pastor.

Riverdale Lodge No. -, I. O. O. F., was organized April 5, 1910, with charter members and officers as follows: W. H. Grassmeyer, N. G.; John Farrell, V. G.; C. S. Hubbard, Sec.; A. E. Waiters, Treas.; Thomas Pratt, Fred Schirneker, W. O. Stephens, Sanford Merrill, W. H. Cottrell, Howard Wimberly.

In 1915 the lodge had a membership of sixty nine. Its officers: E. W. Pratt, N. G.; J. E. Nelson, V. G.; R. L. Prascher, Sec.; C. H. Pratt, Treas.

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