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
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.
eight lots -0 $160.00
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
Thomas Farmer was also a purchaser of lots on that eventful day.
Henry W. Wiemer
lot 11 - $20.00
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
By the autumn of 1887 all
lines of business was represented in
Sudman's General Mercantile
Fishand Company - Drug Store
D. Post - Lumber
D. K. Wentz - Hardware
& Wentz - Livery Stable
Reynolds - Farm Implements
P. Wilcox - Pump and Windmills & Wells
September 10, 1907, the county commissioners
of Deuel county made the necessary record
for bringing into
the first corporate village of Deuel
named the first trustees of Chappell:
first village board members:
History of Western Nebraska