Deuel County - Genealogy Trails







    Chapell, the county seat of Deuel county, came into existence with the building of the Union Pacific railroad, when it was first merely a station on the road.


    It is located in the west central part of the county, on the main line of the Union Pacific.


    John O’Neil, who was station agent here about 1880 to 1885, located in the old improvised depot, was so far as is known, the first operator and agent, of the railroad at this point, and the fist permanent resident.


    The depot was partly dug out and partly old railroad ties, while the rest was constructed from the wreck of an old freight car.


    Soon after the building of the railroad a few people came to the site of Chappell, and there were children, so Mr. O’Neil, realizing the need of instruction for them, taught the first school in the depot, the first school in what is now Deuel county, territory. He had neither certificate, district or authority to do so and had no taxes to support him but the school was established and did a good work.


    The section boss at Chappell was a man named Wolf, from North Platte, who had two boys, Ed. and Frank. Another section hand, Mr. Meituer, lived in a shack southwest of the station and also had two boys; these four boys consisted of the pupils of this pioneer school.  In this section house on January 10, 1881, Dora Wolf was born, the first white child born in what is now Deuel county. She married Cyrus Brown, a native of Mercer county, Illinois.   She contracted lung trouble in the flu epidemic of 1918 and died in 1920.


    In 1884, J. B. and M. A. Carmichael surveyed a tract of ground for the town site of Chappell which was filed at Sidney, August 27, 1884. On September 19, they sold a number of lots:


            George W. McCluskey

            nine lots - $120.00

            in block seventeen


            Tim McCluskey built the little building in which he ran the first store in Ohappel.

            He also had a postoffice established and became the first postmaster of Chappell.


            John O’Neil

            eight lots  -0 $160.00

            block 18


            Mr. O' Neil was one of the first men to handle real estate in the town and county and though fifteen years passed after the establishment of the station at Chappell, there was little or no town of consequence.


            H. A. Simpson

            bought a number of lots - $175.00

            block 18


            Thomas Farmer was also a purchaser of lots on that eventful day.


            Henry W. Wiemer

            lot 11 - $20.00

            block 12


    Later in the year, in November and December, other sales were made in Chappell, but the business of the town did not grow. There was no activity and the sales were in the way of a speculation.




    By the autumn of 1887 all lines of business was represented in Chappell.  


Fred Sudman's General Mercantile

E. Fishand Company - Drug Store

W. D. Post - Lumber

B. D. K. Wentz - Hardware

McEldowney & Wentz - Livery Stable

C.C. Reynolds - Farm Implements

A. P. Wilcox - Pump and Windmills & Wells



    On September 10, 1907, the county commissioners of Deuel county made the necessary record for bringing into

    existence the first corporate village of Deuel county.


    They named the first trustees of Chappell: 

    Fred Sudman

    H. I. Babacock

    Oran B. Bower

    John Wertz, an

    Charles Soeton.


    Chappell's first village board members:


    August Neuman

    M. B. Patty

    Ed C. Wolf

    Frank Burling

    Walter Steward




    Source:  History of Western Nebraska