History of Ithaca, 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 first settler upon the site of the present Town of Ithaca was William Dech. He located on the northwest corner of section 20 in April, 1866, having just served in the Rebellion. His trip to this country was in search of health, following a physical breakdown resulting from a wound received in battle. Mr. Dech recovered his health and is still living at Ithaca, enjoying a comfortable old age. Mr. Dech's first home in Saunders County was part dugout and part log, the timber being cut from along the banks of the river at Ashland. This was the first home on the Wahoo Creek above Thompson Bissell's place. William Lucas, who located on section 20, came in the same year, 1866. Next came William Dech, Sr., Elijah Dech and William E. Dech. Fred Talcott from New York State located farther in the country from the Dech settlement and was the one to name the Town of Ithaca in honor of his home town, Ithaca, New York. The first postmaster in Ithaca was Elijah Dech and his daughter, Martha, taught the first school in a house which W. H. Dech had constructed on section 20. In 1868-69 Russell Roberts and W. H. Dech built a home on the northwest corner of section 28 for Elijah Dech and this structure is still standing. The first store in the village was conducted by August Wagner; he carried a stock of general merchandise. In 1871 James Jardine and a Mr. Eberhart built a flouring mill, but sold out soon after to J. F. Roll and C. L. Meilenz.

The town was visited by a destructive fire on November 14, 1894, and the entire mercantile section was destroyed. The estimated loss amounted to fully $25,000. Ithaca has been built up again in better condition than previous to the fire.

The Farmers State Bank of Ithaca was organized in September, 1902. J. F. Wagner is the president; F. C. Hanke is the vice president; J. M. Hall the cashier; and Nora Walter the bookkeeper. The capital stock is $5,000; the surplus $8,000; and the deposits $120,000.

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