SOUTH BEND HISTORY

This historical information has been submitted by Dan Kurtenbach

South Bend is located on the Burlington & Missouri Railroad twenty-three miles northwest of Plattsmouth and on the south bank of the Platte River. The first settlers in the vicinity were T. W. Fountain and W. D. Hill, who settled in Cass County about half a mile from the present town site in 1856. A town was laid out by speculators in 1857, nothing, however, being done in the way of improvement at that time. The first house was erected by Henry Keyes, in 1860, the next building being a grain house erected by the railroad company in 1870, and leased to T. W. Fountain for a time, being subsequently used for depot purposes. It may be well to state that the frame house built by George D. Mattison, in 1865, was and is just outside of the town limits.

In 1871, an elevator, 24x32 feet, was erected by T. W. Fountain, who sold it to C. H. Pinkham, in 1873, succeeded by E. E. Day in 1881.

The first store was opened with a stock of general merchandise, in 1872, by C. H. Pinkham, who was about the same time commissioned Postmaster of the newly-established office, being succeeded in the position by R. G. McFarland in 1881. In 1873, a lumber yard was established by T. W. Fountain, who disposed of the same to D. Dean & Son, in 1879. In 1875, J. Streight & Son, afterward H. J. Streight & Co., opened a stock of general merchandise, and, about the same time, James G. Romine started a drug store, which he subsequently sold to Greenslate & Co. In 1876, the first hotel--the Grand Central--was built, still remaining under the original proprietorship, that of Dr. William Kirk, and a year later, the American House was opened by George H. McCain.


General Store, 1880


General Store, 1980


General Store, 2003

RELIGIOUS

The First Congregational Church was organized in February, 1881, in Dill's Hall, with a membership of seventeen. After holding a few meetings in that place, they removed to the schoolhouse which had just been finished, where they continued to worship under the ministration of Rev. D. F. Diffenbacher, of Sarpy Center.

The Methodists, of which there are a number in the vicinity, hold irregular meetings, but have effected no organization.

EDUCATIONAL

South Bend never having been incorporated, depends upon the regular district schools as regards educational facilities. A schoolhouse was erected in 1874, within the town limits, and another in 1881, the two buildings being placed under the charge of J. M. Campbell, as Principal, and Anna Lykes, as assistant, the schools being graded at the time, in November, 1881. The average attendance is 100.

In 1879, a good wagon bridge was constructed across the Platte River by a joint-stock company, connecting Cass with Sarpy County and materially assisting in the growth and prosperity of the town. Previous to this, the only means of crossing the river had been by skiff or upon a flat-boat ferry, run by Decker, under an old charter of 1857. This bridge was swept away by the high waters of the Platte, in the spring of 1881, having been less than two years in existence, a company of citizens at once establishing another ferry to supply the want of the two counties, and measures are now being taken toward the erection of a new bridge.

South Bend has now in the way of business houses two grain elevators, one lumber yard, three general stores, one clothing and dry goods store, one furniture and agricultural implement warehouse, one hardware store, three drug stores, one shoe shop, one meat market, two blacksmith shops, one machine shop, two hotels and one restaurant; also two practicing physicians and one attorney. Its shipments upon the Burlington & Missouri Railroad during 1881, have been as follows; Corn, 353 cars; wheat, thirty-three cars; barley, four cars; rye, two cars; cattle, one car; hogs, fifty-seven cars. The population of the town, in 1880, was 250; in January, 1882, 300, estimated.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

JAMES CRAWFORD, farmer, was born in Orange, Richland County, Ohio, January 8, 1833, and moved with his parents to Knox County, Ill., when quite young, residing there until he went to California some years later, where he was engaged in placer mining up to 1861. He then enlisted in the Second California Cavalry and served some thirty-seven months, principally engaged in garrison duty and Indian campaigns. He returned to Illinois in 1865, and came to Nebraska in the spring of 186, locating on his present farm in South Bend Precinct, Cass Co., and has been engaged in conducting the same since. Mr. Crawford has been a member of South Bend District School Board since 1868, and Justice of the Peace since 1869; he was elected a Commissioner of Cass County in 1877, and is still filling that office. He was married in Knox County, Ill., in January, 1866, to Melissa Crawford, a native of Illinois. They have four children--Robert, aged sixteen years; Diana, aged nine years; James, aged seven years; and Mattie, born in 1881.

CHARLES N. FOLSOM, agent for D. Dean & Son, lumber, coal and lime, Louisville, P. O. South Bend. He was born in Montpelier, Vt., August 19, 1848. He attended the public schools of his town until 1867, when he entered the Empire Commercial College of Newburg, N. Y., where he attended one year, when he returned to Montpelier in March, 1869; came West to Ashland, Neb., and entered eighty acres of land, twelve miles northwest of Ashland, subsequently making additions to his original purchase, and now owns 480 acres of land, mostly under improvement, with an orchard of 200 apple trees, besides a large bearing vineyard, also several acres of forest trees. In the fall of 1869, he engaged as salesman in the general merchandise house of Volentine & Hain, where he remained a few months. He then engaged as book-keeper in the real estate office of Fuller, Willsie & Barr, where he remained a little over two years. In 1872, Willsie & Barr retired from the firm, and Mr. Folsom became the junior of the firm of Fuller & Folsom, and continued until 1874. In 1875, he received a Government appointment as Transcribing Clerk in the Surveyor General's office at Plattsmouth, remaining there a little less than a year. He then returned to Ashland, and went into the banking house of I. L. Simington & Son, as book-keeper and cashier. In July, 1877, he went into the employ of Dean & Son, and has remained in their employ since, taking charge of their yard in Clear Creek. In 1879, was sent to Greenwood, Neb., and, in July the same year, he was sent to Gaylord, Kan., where he stayed only a few months, the company disposing of their business, when he returned to South Bend. Mr. F. was married in Omaha, March 25, 1878, to Miss Pearl A. Davis, daughter of Capt. William Davis, of Weston, Neb. She was born in Indiana August 26, 1858. His father and mother, David W. and Maria D. Folsom, live in South Bend.

JAMES G. ROMINE, farmer and Superintendent of the State Fish Hatchery, Section 25, Town 12, Range 10, South Bend Precinct. Mr. Romine was born in Culpeper, Virginia, April 30, 1825; he left Virginia in the spring of 1852 and moved to Andrew County, Missouri, where he lived until the fall of that year, when he moved to Montgomery County, Iowa, September, 1855; he moved to Cass County, Neb., in the year 1854, but returning to Iowa in 1855, he bought a claim which he pre-empted and enlarged when it came into the market in 1857; in 1861, he crossed the plains and engaged in freighting to Denver, and then went into partnership with G. D. Connelley and E. D. Buren until 1863, when they opened a cattle ranch at Julesburg, which they successfully prosecuted till January, 1865, being stocked with 200 head of young cattle, eighty yoke of oxen, several horses and fifteen wagons. In 1864, the Indian outbreak occurred to the west of them, when murder and plunder was the order of the day; during that time, the ranchmen lost their stock and many of them their lives, In January, 1865, the Indians attacked Romine & Co. and ran off with all their stock, Messrs. Romine and Buren escaping each with a pony and their scalp-locks--Mr. C. being in Nebraska with $300, being all that was saved, losing fully $30,000. On the morning of January 7 the stage driver of the overland mail, west bound, gave the Indian alarm; he had been attacked and an arrow was sticking in his clothes; he refused to proceed a mile farther to the station. Two men were sent to Ft. Sedgwick, two miles from the ranch, to notify the garrison and get help. The commander at the fort treated their demand as an insult, and roughly informed them that they need not come there with any of their Indian stories, and that he would take care of the Indians. Early in the forenoon, four men of a train that had stopped at the ranch, well mounted, rode back to reconnoiter for Indians and were attacked and driven back; two of the party were killed and another wounded. The garrison was then informed; the commander got out his force of about forty soldiers, which was joined by a force of twenty citizens, and went out to meet the Indians; they were deluded for a time into a trap, and obliged to retreat; about nineteen of the soldiers were killed, and seven of the citizens. Mr. R. returned to Cass County in February, and with the same company fitted out four mule teams and engaged in freighting, which business they successfully followed until the Union Pacific Railway was opened, when freighting became an institution of the past; Mr. Romine then bought land and went into farming. In 1877, he projected and engaged in fish culture successfully; in addition to his private venture, hatching German carp and California salmon for the State. The fishery that he was proprietor of has since been sold to the State, and he has since been Superintendent of the State Fish Hatchery.

DANIEL SWEENY, farmer and stock-grower, dealer in lime and quarry stone, Section 22, Town 10, Range 12, P. O. South Bend. Mr. Sweeny was born in Point Albert, Vermont, March 25, 1822. When he arrived at fourteen years of age, his parents moved to the State of New York, where they resided two years, in 1846, moving to Michigan, where they resided till the spring of 1851, when Daniel moved to Livingston County, Ill., where he lived until the spring of 1863, when he moved to Cass County, purchasing his present farm, now owning 400 acres of land, well improved, all fenced and good buildings, an orchard of 1,000 apple trees, 300 cherry trees, grapes and other small fruit. Mr. Sweeny bought 320 acres of his land for $1.25 per acre, a portion of it--160 acres--having been sold for $1,000 before the freighting era; Mr. Sweeny originally purchased 1,200 acres, but by sales reduced his farm to 400 acres; on his farm there are inexhaustible quarries of brown sandstone, limestone, magnesia limestone, of white and various shades of yellow, which are quarried and extensively used for finishing stone; also extensive beds of very rich and pure iron ore. Mr. Sweeny also manufactures large quantities of excellent lime. He lived in a tent the first summer; on moving to his place, and immediately set about building a house; he went to Iowa and purchased green cottonwood lumber, of which he built his house; the house shrank and warped until it scarcely resembled a habitation; he then went to work, quarried red sandstone and erected a stone house two stories in height, burned his own lime and performed his own carpenter labor, finishing up his house in good shape. Mr. Sweeny was married in Michigan, December 23, 1843, to Miss Mary Grout, who was born in Jamestown, N. Y., October 22, 1829. They have seven children--James F., born February 9, 1845; Sophia A., born April 7, 1851; Gustavus, born September 27, 1854; Edward Solomon, born December 16, 1857; Mary Alice, born May 21, 1861; Rosa Addie, born July 7, 1864; and Jessie Daniel, born March 28, 1867; Mary Lucinda was born March 27, 1845, and died September 9, 1846.

BUSINESS

SOUTH BEND is in the northwestern part of Cass county, on the B. & M. R. R., 23 miles west of Plattsmouth, the county seat. A wagon bridge across the Platte river facilitates communication with the country north of the river. The South Bend quarries are among the best in the state although none are now in operation. The stone for the capital was quarried here. The place is also an extensive grain depot. There are two grain elevators and a flour mill. There is a Methodist church here. Population, 200.

American House, Mrs. M. A. Streight, prop.
Babbitt & Evans, grain elevator, agl implts.
Bank of South Bend, David Dean pres, Frank P. Folsum, cashier.
Barbee C. A. & Bro, genl mdse.
Childers Frederick, blacksmith.
Commercial Hotel, Dr. William Kirk, prop.
Coon Henry, blacksmith.
Evan Hampton S. agt. B. & M. R. R. and Wells, Fargo & Co. Ex.
Folsom Frank P, cashier Bank of South Bend, mgr South Platte Lumber Co.
Grace J. M. , saloon.
Kirk H Mrs., drugs, crockery.
Kirk W. Dr. , prop Commerical Hotel.
McKee Clara Miss, dressmaker.
Nebraska Telephone Co., Miss F. May Patterson, mgr.
O'Brien Charles, livery.
O'Brien Charles L., meat market.
Patterson Silas C., genl mdse.
Smith Thomas H, barber.
South Platte Lumber Co., F P. Folsom, mgr.
Sturzenegger Emil, genl mdse, postmaster.
Wacker Christian F., meat market.
Wells Wm. L., atty, justice.
White Francis E., grain elevator.

 

Home Page