History of the Burt County, NE Court House
From: A History of Burt County, Nebraska
From 1803 to 1929
The Ludi Printing Co.
Wahoo, Nebraska - 1929


During the early years following the first settlement in ]854 and the founding of Tekamah in 1855, the county officials transacted the business in their homes. Terms of court were held in the Block House. W. G. Olinger, who was elected clerk in 1867, was the first officer to have an office "down town". It was located in a frame building, which stood about where the J. C. Penny store now is located. It had been erected by G. P. Thomas. In 1869 the first floor was used for offices and the second floor for a court room. Prisoners were taken to West Point and later to Blair. After the coming of the railroad in 1876 the citizens began the agitation for a court house. Four thousand dollars was raised for that purpose by Tekamah citizens. When the time to build it arrived, dissention arose as to its location, one group with B. R. Folsom as its leader wished it on the north side of Tekamah creek; the second group with G. P. Thomas, wanted it on the south side. The contract was let for the construction of a frame building upon the site of the 'present court house on the north side of the creek. G. P. Thomas went ahead and at his own expense erected a two story brick building now occupied by the H. & H. store and Willert & Miller harness shop, with the Modern Woodman lodge on the second floor. When this brick building was completed the county officers moved in and accepted it in December, 1878, by a vote of the county commissioners. The frame building on the north side had been completed, but remained vacant. The following month, January, 1879, a new member of the county commissioners took his seat. He favored the north side group, so when the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting came up for approval he voted against the acceptance of the brick building. His vote was enough to change the result and another vote was immediately taken accepting the frame building for which the four thousand dollars had been raised by popular subscription. The commissioners immediately authorized J. R. Sutherland, who was a contractor, to secure help and move the records and furniture and safes at once. This was accomplished before midnight and before the opposition had time to get out a restraining order. Here the county continued to conduct the business of the county until 1916, when as the result of a county election a four story building of brick, stone and concrete, costing $100,000, was completed on the historic site of the old Block House and the little frame court house.

The county offices have been occupied by the following men - County Clerk: Peter Peterson, 1858; J. R. Hyde, 1858; John J. Groves, 1858; J. R. Conkling, 1859; Thomas Ginn, 1861; Thomas H. Smith, 1863; Z. B. Wilder, 1864; J. R. Hyde, 1866; W. G. Olinger, 1868; A. T. Conkling, 1870; W. B. Roberts, 1876; A. A. Thomas, 1882; L. J. Malmstein, 1886; M. G. Mennell, 1890; A. M. Anderson, 1894; W. A. Moyer, 1898; Chas. G. Clark, 1902; John 0. Larson, 1906; H. W. Whitaker, 1910; F. 0. Lundstrom, 1914; C. L. Holland, 1923.

Treasurer: Jesse Spielman, 1858; J. R. Conkling, 1861; Michael Olinger, 1863; J. B. Cox, 1864; George P. Thomas, 1867; W. G. Olinger, 1870; W. B. White, 1874; G. P. Brookings, 1876; W. B. White, 1878; A. Palmquist, 1880; C. T. Griffin, 1886; W. M. Nesbit, 1888; John L. Wilson, 1892; John F. Piper, 1896; A. G. Ashley, 1900; E. I. Ellis, 1904; V. I. Fried, 1908; Henry Tunberg, 1911; F. L. Cook, 1915; F. E. Ericson, 1919; G. A. Ireland, 1927.

Attorney: T. L. Lewis, 1887; E. W. Peterson, 1889; N. J. Sheckell, 1891; Ira Thomas, 1893; W. G. Sears, 1895; A. N. Corbin, Jr., 1901; P. E. Taylor, 1905; J. A. Singhaus, 1907; J. A. Clark, 1909; E. D. Wigton, 1913; Herbert Rhoades, 1915; J. A. Clark, 1923; Herbert Rhoades, 1924; R. M. Anderson, 1927.

Surveyor: Wm. B. Beck, 1859; Thos. H. Whitare, 1863; Sybrant Hall, 1867; S. T. Learning, 1876; Sybrant Hall, 1878; J. J. Stubbs, 1880; Sybrant Hall, 1882; Geo. Tyler, 1883;
A. E. Pratt, 1888; Wm. Connealy, 1912; W. E. Pratt, 1919; R. B. Cutler, 1926.

County Judge: Wm. Bates, 1864; Josiah F. Mason, 1868; David Laughlin, 1872; C. Blanchard, 1878; Thos. D. Hamilton, 1882; R. B. Dailey, 1886; H. Wade Gillis, 1890; Chas. T. Dickinson, 1892; F. E. Ward, 1896; W. H. Bassman, 1900; H. H. Basler, 1904; G. A. Ireland, 1910; J. A. Singhaus, 1918; Orville Chatt, 1921; B. C. Enyart, 1928.

Clerk of District Court: John Palmquist, 1884; G. G. Gates, 1888; F. E. Ward, 1889; F. L. Cook, 1896; G. A. Ireland, 1905; W. H. VanCleve, 1910; F. 0. Lundstrom, 1926.

Sheriff: John D. Fee, 1858; J. E. Wilson, 1859; J. S. Gibson, 1859; Wellington Harrington, 1861; Geo. P. Thomas, 1863; Elisha Crowell, 1868; W. Harrington, 1872; C. B. Telyea, 1876; W. Harrington, 1878; A. E. Thomas, 1880; Andrew Beckman, 1882; Al. Crowell, 1884; S. S. Skinner, 1886; F. F. Parker, 1888; Henry Monroe, 1890; M. S. McGrew, 1892; J. A. Clark, 1896; W. R. Langford, 1898; T. W. Lusk, 1900; L. D. Phipps, 1904; Ran Stanfield, 1915; W. D. Smith, 1923; L. D. Phipps, 1927.

Assessor: E. F. Sisson, 1904; Frank Hanson, 1908; T. T. Plummer, 1913; C. A. Darling, 1917; J. C. McElhenney, 1921; T. T. Plummer, 1922; D. H. Struthers, 1927.

County Superintendent: W. G. Olinger, 1869; J. M. Pebbles, 1870; G. Preston, 1871; D. C. Reed, 1874; W. T. Berry, 1875; W. E. Drury, 1876; George G. Gates, 1880; E. B. Atkinson, 1886; E. A. Sears, 1892; C. F. Beck, 1894; C. S. Laughlin, 1898; Eugene Brookings, 1902; Eda C. Nelson, 1906; Nettie C. Nelson, 1911; W. T. Poucher, 1912.

A board of seven members known as the Board of Supervisors, manage the affairs of the county. For several years the commissioner system of three members was used but as the population increased and more representation was needed to care for all parts of the county, the supervisor plan was adopted by popular. vote.

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