Hitchcock County - Genealogy Trails



News Articles





Celebrate Famous Battle

Semi-Centennial Being Held at Fremont

Several Pioneers Attend the Celebration


Trenton, Nebraska, August 8. – Half a century ago last Sunday the Pawnee Indians of Nebraska engaged in their final battle with the Sioux Indians from the north, and in commemoration a semi-centennial celebration is being held here and at Culbertson, Nebraska about eight miles east of Trenton.


A feature of the celebration of the pioneers of the state and older residents among whom is J. W. Williamson of  Genoa, Nebraska, who was with the Pawnees and took part in the fight.


Mr. Williamsons account of the battle he gave here today follows:


On the second day of July 1873 the Pawnees to the number of 700, left Genoa for the hunting grounds of this number 350 were men, the balance women and children.  Most of the men were armed with bows and arrows old fashioned muzzle loading rifles a few had seven shot Spencer Carbines, and some carried Colts powder and ball pistols.


All were mounted, and in addition took with them some 800 extra ponies to pack home the meats and hides.”


The speaker told of his selections as trail agents and representative of the Indian office to accompany the Pawnees.  He told of how the band hunted buffalo and packed the skins and meat on ponies to take it back to the agency at Genoa.


Then he told of how the rumors of the Sioux were spread thru the camp and finally came to the battle itself.


The following morning, August 5, we broke camp and started north up the divide between the Republican and the Frenchman Rivers.  Soon after leaving camp Sky Chief rode up to me and extending his hand said, “Shake brother.”


He recalled out little unpleasantness of the night previous and said he did not believe there was cause for alarm and was so impressed with the belief that he had not taken precaution to throw out scouts in the directions of the Sioux were reported to be.


A few minutes later a buffalo scout signaled that buffalo had been sighted in the distance and Sky Chief rode on to engage the hunt.  I never say him again.  He had killed a buffalo and was skinning it when the advance guard of the Sioux shot and wounded him.  The chief attempted to reach his horse, but several of the enemy surrounded him.  He died fighting.  A Pawnee who was skinning a buffalo a short distance away but managed to escape, told me how Sky Chief died.


“We had not proceeded more than a mile after the departure of Sky Chief when I noticed a commotion at the head of the procession which had suddenly stopped.  I started to ride up where three of the chiefs were talking when a boy sixteen rode up and stopped me.   Dismounting, he tied a strip of red flannel to the bridle of my horse, and after remounting told me that the Sioux were coming.  What significance was attached to the red flannel on the bridle I was never able to learn.


We were only about a hundred yards from the head of the canyon or draw that extended down to the river when the Sioux were reported coming and orders were shouted down the line for the squaws, children and pack ponies to take refuge in the canyon. 


The warriors were preparing to ride forth to meet the enemy.  Coming to Chief Terra Recekons, who was surrounded by several leading men of the Skeede Band, I suggested that we fall back down the canyon about two miles where there was a small grove of timber and make a stand. 


The  chief was in favor of the suggestion but Fighting Bear, of the Kitahos rebelled.  He had fought the Sioux before and said we could whip them in and open fight.


It seemed but a short time when the first Sioux appeared in the distance.  As the Sioux cam over the hill it was apparent that they outnumbered the fighting men of the Pawnees four to one.


I afterwards learned that there were between 1,200 and 1,500 in the band under command of Chief Snow Flake a Brule Sioux.


The Lincoln State Journal – Thursday, August 9, 1923


Coal In Hitchcock County   


One of the greatest economical problems of Nebraska has been, and still is, the fuel problem.  Coal has been the bugbear of the poor man.  He has known what it is to pay $14 a ton for it, and still, as he pays $7 to $10 for it, shudders as he hears it shoveled into his stove or furnace, and grudges the warmth dispensed by his glowing grate.


The state has offered a reward to the man who will find this precious commodity in mining quantities within the limits of Nebraska, and great is the number of men who have delved in the bowels of the earth, only to meet with disappointment.  Very recently, however, bituminous coal has been discovered in a river bed of Hitchcock County.  Both in appearance and its combustible qualities it resembles cannel coal.  How deep the vein may be remains to be developed.  But at any rate the matter is worth immediate investigation.


Nothing has hurt Nebraska more than the reports which have gone out year after year concerning the burning of corn by the western farmers.  These reports, though often grossly exaggerated, have had too much truth in them.  Therefore, if the state should be discovered to have a fine and paying bed of coal, it would be a greater advertisement of resources of the state then anything that could be devised.


But not as an advertisement should the matter be investigated. That is, of course, a secondary matter.  The vein should be investigated, and, if possible, worked for the advantage of the Nebraska settler who has already endured so many hardships, and upon whose improved condition depends the future prosperity of this state.


Omaha World Herald - March 26, 1891

The Border Counties   

Where Political Crooks and Tax Shirkers Thrive Luxuriantly

Hitchcock and Dundy Counties Thickly Settled With Both

The Remarkable Valuation of the B. & M. Road Bed and Materials

Correspondence of The Bee.

Culbertson, Nebraska, December 18. – Hitchcock County people feel that they have not been dealt fairly with in the matter of railroad assessment, and from what I can learn the people of the state at large have just cause for complaint.

In Hitchcock County there was in operation on January 1st, 1882, seventy two and sixty seven one hundredth miles of railroad, upon which the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska were running trains and collecting passenger fare and freight rates, and in addition to that, the said railroad company had in Dundy precinct at Binkleman Station, in Dundy County, a large amount of property consisting of tiles, rails, telegraph poles, bridge piles, etc., worth at least $150,000, as estimated by railroad contractors.

But when the state board of equalization met in Lincoln several months later they found that there was in Hitchcock County only three and thirty seven on hundredths miles in the entire county, and that the rest of the road was assessed as material at about on half the price of the road in other sections of the valley.

The $150,000 worth of property before spoken located at Binkleman Station was not returned at all, and will not pay a cent of tax, the railroad company claiming that this property was in transit and could not be assessed in Nebraska, notwithstanding that this property has been piled up where it now is for about one year.

One might as well say that a man with a herd of cattle could stay in this country for a year or two and claim that his tock should be exempt from taxation because he expected to take them over into the Platte Valley.

It would seem that this kind of an assessment was not exactly right, and it will take a large amount of railroad passes to convince the voters of Hitchcock “Count that it is just as it should be.

In looking over the records this county I found that there are only thirty five pieces of land subject to taxation in all Hitchcock and Dundy Counties, exclusive of town lots. The total value of all the real property assessable in these two counties, town property and all, will not reach $15,000, and the personal property, including the B. and M. Railroad, will reach about $320,000.

Omaha Daily Bee
December 21, 1882,   Image 2

The Contest of Taylor and Chambers for a Legislative Seat  

There has been considerable excitement in this place over the contest between W. Z. Taylor and B. L. Chambers for a seat in the legislature from Fifth sixth Representative District.

Mr. Taylor was the certificate with a majority on the face of the returns of 48 votes.

Mr. Chambers claims that there were at least 80 fraudulent votes cast in Dundy County, which would entitle him to the seat.

The following is a copy of the notice served by Mr. Chambers upon Mr. Taylor. I produce it here for the purpose of showing the ruling of the officers appointed to take the depositions:

Notice of Contest

State of Nebraska, Hitchcock County

T. W. Z. Taylor: You are hereby notified that I, B. L. Chambers, an elector Gosper County, Nebraska, one of the counties of the 56th Representative District, comprising Frontier, Hitchcock, Hayes, Chase and Dundy Counties, will contest your right to  a seat in the representative chambers as a representative of said 56th district in this state to convene on the 2nd day of January, 1883, upon the following grounds:

1.  Because a sufficient number of illegal votes were cast for you in Binkleman and Haigler precincts in Dundy County, Nebraska, and Culbertson, and Palisade precincts in Hitchcock, Nebraska, on the 7th day of Nov ember, 1882, to change result and secure a majority in your favor.

2. For malconduct on the part of the judges and clerks of election in charging the polling place at Biunkelman, Dundy County, Nebraska, contrary to election notice issued by county clerk, by order of county commissioners, October 9th, 1822.

3. For malconduct on part of Frontier County board of canvassers in throwing out the vote of Esteli, Hayes County, Nebraska. I claim to have received at said election a majority of all the legal votes cast for said office in said Fifty sixth district on the 7th day of November 1882, and am therefore legally entitled to represent the electors of said counties as representative of the Fifty sixth district of Nebraska.

I have selected J. M. Williams, County Judge of Hitchcock, Nebraska, to take depositions, and such depositions will be taken on the 12th day of December, 1882, at 10 o’clock a. m., at the office of the County Judge in Culbertson, Hitchcock County, Nebraska, with authority to adjourn from ay to day until all of said testimony shall have been taken.

You are also notified that I demand an inspection of the pool books and ballots of Binkleman and Haigler precincts, Dundy County, Nebraska, and Culbertson and Palisade precincts, Hitchcock County Nebraska.

B. L. Chambers

Culbertson, Nebraska, November 21, 1882

The contestee selected as his officer to assist in taking depositions G. V. Hunter, a Justice of the Peace of this place. Among the first moves was to have the poll books and ballots of Binkleman and Haigler precincts, Dundy County, ordered sent to the secretary of state, as provided by law.

This order was denied by the officers on the ground that the motion was insufficient, and the prospect now is that the ballots will not go to the capital unless they are ordered there by the speaker of the house.

The contestant also asked that a subpoena e issued for the County Clerks of Hitchcock and Frontier Counties, the county clerk of Frontier Count to bring abstract of votes cast in the 56th representative district, and the count clerk of Hitchcock Count to bring the abstract of votes cast in Dundy and Hitchcock County’s. These subpoenas were denied.

Any person who imagines that a contest in this count is a funny thing, only needs to try the experiment:

There is not a officer in Dundy County empowered to administer an oath, and nearly all of the witnesses required live at a distance of fifty to seventy five miles, and are not anxious to testify.

Judge Maxwell will undoubtedly recognize the above notice as a copy from his work of forms, but he may not take it as a compliment to learn that the officers selected to take these depositions have decided that he is not good authority in Hitchcock County, where the jurisdiction of the probate court commences at the east line of said county and goes to the setting sun.

Omaha Daily Bee
December 21, 1882,  Image 2

Junior Normal Enrollment   

Following we print the names of those enrolled on the record of the McCook Junior Normal, which opened its summer session in our city on Monday morning, listing the names under the several counties in which same are enrolled to teach:

Hitchcock County:

Edith Burke,Stratton
Lizzie Bright, Beverly
Pearl Boyd, Trenton
May Baker, Trenton
Ada B. Besack, Stratton
< Emma Crews, Culbertson
Florence Carse, Palisade
Chas. F. Conner, Stratton
Roy Conner, Stratton
Mabel Conway, Culbertson
Willie C. Dolinke, Stratton
Hazel Fellows, Culbertson
Lela French, Trenton
Dollie Gibson, Trenton
Tiola Gaarder, Culbertson
Delia Graham, Stratton
Dora Graham, Stratton
Amanda Grovert, Trenton
R. V. Hawkins, Stratton
Rose Hill, Culbertson
Mamie Haith, Trenton
Mary Herenden, Stratton
Mary Johnson, Stratton
Gladys Jones, Trenton
Robert Knowles, Culbertson
Zita Keller, Culbertson
Mary Kent, Trenton
Carrie Martin, Culbertson
Una J. Mohr, Culbertson
Ola Ratcliffe, Stratton
Florence Runyon, Trenton
Lora Rogers, Trenton
Nettie Southwell, Culbertson
Cora Schooner, Trenton
Ruby Siglinger, Beverly
Roscoe Vance, Trenton
Marian Vanderhoof, Culbertson
Pearl Walther, Trenton
Bertha Wittwer, Culbertson
Jennie Wood, Stratton

The McCook Tribune
June 22, 1908