History of Firth, Lancaster County, Nebraska
From: Lincoln the Capitol City and
Lancaster County, Nebraska
BY: Andrew J. Sawyer
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois 1916


The Town of Firth is located on section 35. South Pass Precinct, near the headwaters of the Nemaha River. The town was laid out by the railroad and the plat filed for record July 28, 1873. The name was given in honor of Superintendent Firth of the A. & N. Railroad. In the early '80s Firth was the third largest grain market on the railroad, between Atchison. Kan., and Lincoln, Neb., shipping about seven hundred cars of grain and stock in 1881.

Firth was organized as a village in 1879. The first chairman of the board of trustees was G. G. Beams, the clerk at the same time being W. H. Moore. Others on the board were: C. Bailey, F. S. Fielding, Dr. G. A. Pogue, and Robert Hay. F. Fleckinger was the treasurer of the village. These men were among the most prominent of the citizens at that time.

Early in her existence Firth had a number of successful stores, two elevators, a steam grist mill and two hotels. One elevator was operated by Worl & Beams and Schmidt Brothers, the grist mill by Kilbourne & Cooper. The Firth Mills were completed in September, 1881, by the Kilbourne Brothers. The brand of flour made by the mill was known as Golden Crown.

The Kent House, the first hotel in Firth, was erected by H. W. Gable in 1873-74. Another hotel was constructed in 1879 and was owned by Mrs. Kate Morrison.

The Firth Bank was organized in August, 1891, with $40,000 capital stock. The principal men in the organization were: E. R. Spencer, Charles F. Collins, J. J. Harms, G. O. Adams, E. Harms, William Kramer; S. H. Heckman, H. Southblin and H. J. Pebmuke. The present officers are: H. H. Kramer, president; H. Sachtleben, vice president; and C. E. Groves, cashier. The present capital. stock of the bank is $15,000; the surplus, $5,000; and the deposits amount to $175,000.

The Presbyterian Church of Firth was organized in 1881 by Rev. E. M. Lewis of Lincoln, who later became its pastor. The first church building of this society was erected in 1881, costing the sum of $2,000. The First Reformed Church was organized in July, 189o, prominent among the early members being: H. J. Leselle, Shutte, G. J. TeKolste, J. W. Tempulzen, D. DeBoer, D. Wessink, G. W. Tempulzen and J. Wessink. At a meeting held March 16, 1899, the Church of Christ was organized. Among the early members of this society were: James M. Murphy, W. F. Deitz, Edward Rogers, Jacob Groves, Edward D. Champion.

The first newspaper in Firth was the Times, the first number appearing December 3, 1880; it was founded and published by H. Snyder. This paper has passed away and in 1915 the publication of the Advocate was begun by J. H. Curry. The sheet is independent in politics and is issued weekly.

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