Notes on the History of Ashland, Nebraska
From: Past and Present Saunders County, Nebraska
A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement
Charles Perky Supervising Editor
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chiago 1915



The Ashland Electric Light Company was started in the year 1889.

The postmasters of Ashland have been, in the order of their service: Jahn P. Palmerton,' T. W. Valentine, Mr. Young, Mr. Weber, A. B. Chamberlain, T. J. Pickett, R. M. Scott, Alex Laverty, T. J. Pickett, Mrs. Catherine Du Boise, S. B. Hall and J. H. Oliver.

The Swift Ice Plant has the largest storage capacity in the world of similar character. This plant was started in 1890. The total storage capacity is more than 100,000 tons; there are twenty four rooms of 5,000 tons capacity.

The City of Ashland is fortunate in having an excellent public library. The modern city is coming to recognize the necessity of a library, where the public, particularly the people who have never had the advantage of a library, may have the privilege of keeping themselves informed. The idea originated in Ashland in 1910-11. The Woman's Club of the town, Reverend Clark, and E. C. Wiggenhorn were largely responsible for its inception. The sum of $5,500 was secured from the great philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, and the total cost of the building was $7,000. Ernest A. Wiggenhorn, Jr., donated the ground on which the building stands and H. A. Wiggenhorn put on a $500 roof. Numerous other citizens donated various sums to aid in the construction. Ground was broken for the building in October, 1911, and the building was opened the last of March, 1912, with Jessie Scott as librarian. The contract for the erection of the library was given to W. R. Shankland of Lincoln, Neb.

In 1881 a fair association was organized at Ashland, called the Eastern District Fair Association. H. H. Shedd was the president, and D. D. Cooley the secretary. Ground was rented on what is now the Decker farm, a track laid out, sheds and stalls built, and a large circus tent bought to serve as an art hall. This fair never was successful.

The Salt, Wahoo, Clear, and other creeks, with the Platte River about two miles from town, are splendid sources of water supply. The Platte River, at a point near the new rifle range, is spanned by one of the best steel toll bridges in the state. It was erected in 1911 at a cost of $17,000 and is 960 feet in length. It was opened for business in December of that year. During the high water of 1911 the Ashland wagon bridge was the only one on the Platte which withstood the flood, even a span of the Burlington bridge, just below it, going out under the force of the water.

The Town of Ashland is located in the southwest corner of the county, on the main line of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, thirty miles west of Omaha, and twenty five miles northeast of Lincoln. It also has the southern terminal for the Great Northern Railroad to Sioux City, Ia., reaching points in the Dakotas and Minnesota. The Schuyler branch of the Burlington, connecting with the main line at Oreopolis, near Plattsmouth in Cass County, is also located here.

The United States Government recently purchased the site for a permanent rifle range, just north of town, where the state militia and the United States regulars will soon hold annual rifle practice. A rapid fire gun club was organized in Ashland by the adjutant general of the state.

The Bob McCook Post No. 31, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized at Ashland in 1880 with the following fifteen charter members: H. C. Brown, John Clark, T. E. Margrave, J. A. Jury, S. Crane, W. W. Crane, B. S. Clark, E. J. Whipple, J. Dech, O. A. Pierce, J. S. Tyler, S. P. Hall, R. D. Pine, P. J. Hall, K. Hoffman, R. Gray, J. P. Brook, H. Wakefield and R. H. Dexter.

Joseph Arnold, lawyer, came to Nebraska in 1864, and took up a homestead four miles south of the present town. Here he remained a year, then moved into the town and engaged at burning lime, the first burnt in the county. In 1867 he returned to the farm and stayed there until 1872, returned to Ashland and was appointed justice of the peace. Upon taking this office he began reading law and was admitted to the practice before Hon. George B. Lake in September, 1874. Was elected to State Legislature from Cass County in 1865 and was one of the framers of the first constitution in Nebraska, under which it was admitted as a state. He was born in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., September 11, 1833.

John P. Aughe was born in Clinton County, Ind., January 8, 1834, came to Nebraska in September, 1856, and located on Four Mile Creek in Cass County, Plattsmouth Precinct, and in February, 1857, came to Saunders County and made a claim on Wahoo Creek, where he resided until April, 1864, except during the time spent in freighting across the plans. His wife was the first school teacher in the county.

Lyman R. Brush was born in Waterloo, Wis., May 8, 1854, and came to Nebraska in 1864, with his parents, who located on a farm six miles north of the present Town of Ashland. He came to the town in '69 and started to clerk with Dr. William M. McClurg. Here he remained about two years, then engaging with this firm, until the spring of 1877, when he bought out Mr. Marble and then ran the store himself until 1879, when his brother, Hobart, went into partnership with him. Hobart Brush was born in Buffalo, N. Y., June 25, 1839, came to Nebraska in 1863, one year before his parents, located at Omaha, and came to Saunders County in 1867, and took up a homestead in section 2 in Clear Clerk Precinct, where he remained untitl 1873, when he came to Ashland and opened a drug store. He was the first county clerk of Saunders County.

Albert B. Chamberlain came to Nebraska in the spring of 1869, first locating at Omaha and Plattsmouth for the winter of 1869. In August, 1870, he moved to Ashland and took charge of a store for the firm of Doom Brothers. This position he held until 1873, when he was appointed postmaster. He was born in Massachusetts on December 4, 1841. He was a soldier in the Civil war.

Benjamin S Clark came to Nebraska in the spring of 1873 and located at Ashland, starting to clerk in a hardware store. In March, 1877, he opened a store for himself. He was a native of Ohio and was born there in 1845; he served in an Illinois regiment during the war, and was mayor of Ashland during the years it first held city government.

Capt. John K. Clark, a brother of the above, came to Nebraska in August, 1879, and located at Ashland, engaging with his brother in the hardware business He was a member of the same company and regiment as his brother and for meritorious service in the army won the captain's rank. He was also born in Ohio, in the year 1841.

Daniel D. Cooley came to Nebraska in September, 1870, located at Ashland, and clerked for Lunninger & Reynolds. In the spring of 1871 he opened a general store in company with a Mr. Coburn near the present site of Yahoo, which he operated until January, 1875, then sold out and moved back to Ashland, formed a partnership with O. E. Reynolds, which he continued one year. In 1879 he formed another partnership, with A. B. Fuller, in the real estate business; they were also land agents for the Union Pacific and the Burlington railroads.

Henry W. Curtis came to Nebraska in 1869 and located on a farm three miles south of Ashland. Here he resided until 1872, when he moved to Ashland and started a general merchandise store, which he managed one year, then moved to Seward and Sutton, Neb., returning to Ashland in 1874 to deal in agricultural implements. He was born in Wyoming County, N. Y., September 23, 1839.

James Danley, live stock dealer, came to Nebraska in July, 1865, and located at Plattsmouth, where he engaged in freighting across the plains, out as far as Fort Hills, or the foot of Medicine Bow Mountain, in Wyoming Territory, usually taking about three months to make the trip. In 1872 he went into the live stock business at Ashland.

Josiah J. Deck was a prominent early farmer of Ashland and adjacent territory. He came to the state in October, 1868, and took up a homestead. He served in the war with an Illinois regiment.

Col. Rodney Dexter came to Nebraska in January, 1868, and located at Ashland, and took up a claim. He was born in Ontario County, N. Y., on December 25, 1833.

Abel B. Fuller, the present oldest living white settler in the county, came to Nebraska in 1862 and located at Ashland in 1863, opened a general merchandise store and engaged in overland freighting from Plattsmouth to the mountains. This he followed until 1867, when he took up the real estate business and was appointed land agent for the Burlington and Union Pacific railroads. He was a member of the Legislature from Nebraska Territory in 1865-66 and from the state in 1867. Mr. Fuller is still living in Ashland at the age of seventy eight years, having been born in Michigan on November 26, 1837.

Henry M. Flanders came to Nebraska in 1869 and started the second blacksmith shop at Ashland, which he ran until 1872. He was born in Maine in December, 1845.

Richard Gray, M. D., came to Nebraska in May, 1871, and started the practice of his profession in Ashland. He was a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio in 1853.

Samuel B. Hall located in Ashland in 1868. He was born in New Hampshire in 1841.

James R. Hayward came to Nebraska in 1860, while passing through to the State of Colorado, and while here concluded to return, which he did in 1866, and located on section 18, Clear Creek Precinct. He was born in Ashtabula County, Ohio, on August 20, 1838.

Alex E. Jenks, born in New York State in 1815, came to Ashland in 1872 and started the first nursery in the county.

Jacob A. Jury located at Ashland in 1871 and engaged with the firm of Dean & Sons. He was born in Licking County, Ohio, February 23, 1840. Mr. Jury filled many official positions while living in Saunders County.

A. S. Mansfelde, M. D., came to Nebraska March 9, 1875, and located at Lincoln and on May 1, 1878, he moved to Ashland. He was born in Prussia on December 21, 1845, and received his early education in his native country. He emigrated to the United States in 1861 and graduated with the Rush Medical College class of 1872. He is still practicing his profession at Ashland and is the city physician and health inspector. Doctor Mansfelde has been honored with several county and state positions among his fraternity.

Frank W. McIntyre came to Nebraska in 1868 and located seven miles northwest of Ashland on a farm which he homedsteadied on section 18, Clear Creek Precinct. He stayed here until September, 1881, and then came into Ashland and started a general store.

Silas H. Nichols came to Nebraska in 1869 and remained at Ashland, where he opened the first furniture store in Saunders County. He was born in Onondaga County, N. Y., November 7, 1822, and during his life gained much prominence.

Hiram J. Paddock came to Nebraska in April, 1868, and located at Omaha, where he engaged with the Union Pacific and contracted for their wood sawing all along the line. This he continued until 1870, when he moved to Ashland and built and opened the first store where the business part of the city is now located. He brought the lumber by team from Omaha. Mr. Paddock was born in Utica, N. Y., July 30, 1815.

William C. Patton came to Ashland in the fall of 1873 and in the fall of 1874 started the store which was, after his death, managed by his sons, W. H. and George M. He was born in Orange County, N. Y., August 14, 1827.

Elwin M. Park came to the state in 1872 and started to practice his profession. He graduated at the Chicago Medical College in 1868. He was born in Vermont, March 22, 1847.

Orion A. Pierce came to Nebraska in 1868 from Vermont in company with six other men, and all settled near Ashland and began farming. Pierce settled on section 26, Greene Precinct, and resided there seven years, when he moved into Ashland. He was born in Vermont, August 28, 1841.

Lorean M. Putney came here in 1866 and located in Greene Precinct, on section 13. He was one of the earliest justices of the peace in the county. He was born in Ohio in 1831.

Jacob Saunders came to Nebraska in the autumn of 1863 and located on a farm on section 26, Clear Creek Precinct. His brother, William, came with him and located a short distance north of his land They were among the first settlers in that vicinity. They were Pennsylvanians.

William P. Snell came to the state in March, 1865. He located on a farm four miles east of Ashland, in Cass County. He lived there until the following August and then moved to Ashland, which was then called Saline Ford. He entered into partnership with his brother, J. H., in the general merchandise business, which store was the second in the village. He was born in Mississippi on July 8, 1835.

Joseph Stambaugh, the first settler in the county, was born in York County, Penn., March 12, 1823. He was a son of John and Catherine Stambaugh, who were old settlers of Pennsylvania. His mother died in 1858 at an old age and his father died at the age of eighty seven years. In 1842, when nineteen years old, Joseph Stambaugh left home and came to Darke, Ohio, where he started to work at the carpenter trade. Here he stayed until 1845, when he went to Berrien County, Mich., continued his carpenter work and wagon making, until the fall of 1855, then moved to Fulton County, Ill., where he remained until August, 1856, then came with his family to Nebraska and landed at Salt Creek Ford September 6, 1856. Here he lived but one month and then moved his family back to Cedar Island and there stayed all winter and returned in April, 1857, and made improvements on his claim which he made the previous fall. During May of the same year he brought his family back here. His claim was the first in Saunders County. He was married April 14, 1850, in Berrien County, Mich., to Catherine Zimmerman, who was born in Schuylkill County, Penn., September 30, 1832. They had over ten children.

Alexander Taylor, M. D., came to Nebraska in 1873 and located at Weeping Water, Cass County, where he practiced his profession until June, 1877, then came to Ashland and went into partnership with Dr. T. A. Bunnell. He was born in Ohio in 1823.

James Thomas located at Ashland in 1869 and opened a wagon shop and later went into partnership with Col. R. Dexter. He was born in England in 1834.

Reuben L. Warbritton came to the state in August, 1856, and located at Cedar Island, Cass County. Here he resided until the spring of 1857, then moved to Saunders County and settled on section 27, Clear Creek Precinct, about the 1st of March, 1857: he was the first white settler to move his family to Saunders County, bringing them from Cedar Island about the 1st of April, 1857. He was born in Indiana on October 6, 1828. He was the second county clerk in Saunders County. He was married at Frankfort, Ind., December 5, 1833, to Hannah J. Aughe, who was born in Ohio in 1832. Three children were born to them: Sarah J., William J., and James L.

Theodore B. Wilson, attorney, came to Nebraska in 1869 and opened a law office at Ashland the same year. He received his education at Oskaloosa College, Iowa, and graduated from the Des Moines Law School in 1867. He was born in Ohio, October 17, 1842. He was admitted to the practice in Nebraska at the first term of court in Saunders County before Judge Lake. He was county attorney for a number of years and was a member of the first board of trustees of the Town of Ashland. He was married at Terre Haute, Ind., in 1874, to Amanda M. Ellis, a native of Ohio. Mr. Wilson practiced law in Saunders County for more than forty five years, and for a number of years was the only lawyer in Ashland.

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