Gosper County - Genealogy Trails




County History





Gosper County is in the western part of the state, four tiers east of the western Colorado edge, and in the second tier north of Kansas line.   It contains 464 square miles.   Otto Renze made the first permanent settlement in the county, in the fall of 1871.   Others soon followed and left the Republican and Platte Valleys on either side, and came to Plum Creek, or to Muddy, Elk or Turkey Creeks in the southern part.   The organic election was held, near the geographical center of the county, in May, 1873.   The county was named Gosper in honor of John J. Gosper, then Secretary of State.   Daviesville, in the southwest part of the county was the early town, and county scat.   Plum Creek, Yaughan's and Judson's ranches secured post offices and stores before 1880.   Those places have all disappeared from the modern map, and upon the advent of the Burlington line from Holdrege, Nebraska, to Sterling, Colorado. Smithfield and Elwood, the latter now the county seat of the county, sprang up.   Gosper and Ceryl are now inland points. The activities of the county, agriculturally, are a combination of crop and stock raising. Much of the trade of the southern section of the county goes to the Furnas County towns of Holbrook, Arapahoe, Edison and Oxford, which are nearer to southern Gosper County farms than Elwood and Smithfield.



Gosper County has a 320-acre poor farm, valued at $12,800, but no one to occupy it, as there are no indigent in that county.   Ellwood is the county seat. 



History of Hamilton and Clay Counties, Nebraska, by William H Buss; Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1921

Transcribed and Contributed by:  Kim Torp