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
and Contributed by: Kim Torp