Historical and Biographical Sketches of Nemaha
Extracted from the Andreas History of
Nebraska – 1882.
Here on CD in Microsoft Word format. – 197 pages.
Covers the early years to early 1880’s.
First settlers, etc.
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When the master of the wounded negro was notified of the affair, and came to Brownville and saw how his chattel had
been mutilated, he swore terribly, and wished the men who had shot the negro were in a terribly hot place, and did not seem
to be gratified that the negro had been molested on his journey to the North. It so happened that on the day the excitement
ran highest, John Brown, of Ossawattomie, was encamped in South Brownville, with about thirty men whom he was taking over
to Kansas, and if the pro-slavery men had attacked the Free State men, he would probably have made it lively for the Missourians.
On the afternoon of November 2, 1856, a furious snow storm prevailed in Brownville. Hugh Baker,
one of the ferrymen, crossed a passenger in a skiff to the Missouri shore. Attempting to return, the wind being in the north,
and the cold becoming intense, he struggled against the floating ice and current until his strength was exhausted; he drifted
on the head of a sand-bar in the middle of the river opposite the foot of Main street. His shouts for help were not heard
until dark. A canoe was carried up from the lower island, shoved over the bar, and Baker rescued without serious damage, although
he had been for four hours exposed to the most terrible snow storm that had ever prevailed in Southeastern Nebraska. March
16, 1855, the Territorial Legislature passed an act to prevent the manufacture and sale of liquors for even medicinal purposes.
The winter of 1856-57, was the coldest ever known in Nebraska. Sunday, January 18, 1857, the thermometer indicated 32° below
zero. An incident will illustrate the severity of the weather: During this month, some Brownville invalids, feeling the need
of a tonic or stimulant, crossed the Missouri River to a point known as Cook's Landing, bought liquor by the pound, carried
it home in sacks and pocket handkerchiefs, thawed it out and drank it. The early settlers experienced many privations, and
submitted to many inconveniences; besides, the attainment of tonics was surrounded with peculiar difficulties, unknown to
subsequent generations. Such a mixture might answer as a refrigerant when the mercury indicates a hundred in the shade, but
it must have been quite chilly at such a season.
SURVEYS AND ADDITIONS.
From the official records, it appears that Brownville was surveyed by Allen L. Coate on the 30th of April, 1856. Richard
Brown and Benjamin B. Frazier were the proprietors. The location was on fractional Section 18, Town 5, Range 16. West Brownville
was surveyed July 10, 1857; T. W. Bedford, surveyor; J. M. Chapel, Augustus and Herman Kountz and William Ruth, proprietors;
located on the northeast quarter of southeast quarter of Section 13, Town 5, Range 16. North Brownville was surveyed January
15, 1858; Hudson George, surveyor; Richard