Colfax County - Genealogy Trails





Who Wouldn’t Live in Nebraska?





Richland, Colfax County, Nebraska, November 26, 1888 -  I will tell you what Nebraska has done for a poor German boy, I started from Germany in 1864, went to Wisconsin where I had a brother living.  I had just $64, debts to pay and an old mother to support.  My father died when I was 13 years old.  After going to Wisconsin I worked ten years steady at farming.  I saved $2,150. 


In the year 1874 on August 23, I married.  On September 7, I started with my young bride in a prairie schooner on a lumber wagon for Nebraska on our honeymoon.


We got to Omaha September 23, 1874.  On October 2, I bought of the Union Pacific Railroad Company 160 acres of land on section 9, Richland precinct, Colfax County, Nebraska.  I paid for eighty acres and eighty acres I bought on ten years’ time.  The price for this land was $8 per acre.  We built us a little house and stable, bought a cow, a few chickens, a pig and we went to housekeeping.  We paid cash for everything until we raised some of our new crop, bought some farming tools and our money was about all gone.


You must remember in 1874 to 1878 were grasshopper years and we didn’t raise much.  Our first harvest in Nebraska was a bountiful one.  We had good wheat, good oats and splendid corn, and prices for grain were good.  My wife and I bound our grain by hand and we made money the first year.  I bought another forty acres, for which I paid $20 acre in 1878.  We had good crops and good prices and my wife and I made money and loaned some money to my neighbors on interest. 


In 1884 I bought another eighty acres of land for which I paid $1,000 cash.  By this time was getting some $3,000 out on interest.  In 1887 I bought another eighty acres of land; paid cash for this, $1,000.  Bought a self- binder.


By this time our two older boys wee coming on fast to help us.  We kept a few cows, made butter, raised hogs, and things went on good. 


God blessed everything that my wife and I put our hands to.  We had about $6,000 on interest and were young and hearty in 1892.  At this date I bought 200 acres more of land, paid $1,200 for the same.  Also in 1893 I bought eighty acres of land and paid $1,600 for the same.  In 1894 we had a failure of crops.  In 1895 we bought sixty acres more land and paid $1,550 cash for it.  In 1898 we bought 160 acres more land and paid for it $4,000, and have just signed a contract for forty acres more when party can give a clear title to the land.


In 1882 we build a big house.  We have now good improvements on our first 160 acres of land; have five tenants who rent some of our land.  I get two-fifths of all the crops they raise.  I have this year 5,800 bushels of good oats, 1,260 bushels wheat, 600 bushels rye and 5,000 bushels of corn for our 1898 harvest.  Oats are worth 22 cents per bushel, wheat 52 cents per bushel, rye 40 cents per bushel, corn 25 cents per bushel, butter 20 cents per pound, eggs 18 cents per dozen, hogs $3 per hundred, live weight.  We have twelve horses, seventy head of hogs, 160 head of cattle.  Our main farming has been grain raising.  We have now 980 acres of land paid for, which at a low estimate, $30 per acre would be the snug little sum of $29,400.


All our crops that we raised this year are in the granaries and a nice little sum of money out at interest.  I often talk with my wife where we could have gone and done better.  She says
 “Nowhere, only in Nebraska.”


Oh, yes, I forgot to say, we have eight healthy, strong children.  My wife is 41 and I will be 50 years old next January.  What my wife and I have done any young man and good wife can do.  Here is plenty of good, improved land for sale at from $25 to $35 per acre. 


We live well and are happy and we are glad that we came to Nebraska. 


We have good schools, good churches, good neighbors, a healthy climate and excellent roads, and who wouldn’t live in Nebraska?


J. Gustave Kluck


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Omaha World Herald – February 3, 1899