State Historical Society
Brownville, Nebraska, Jan. 1st, 1885
To the Hon. James W. Dawes, Governor of Nebraska:
In accordance with the requirements of "An act to aid and encourage the Nebraska State
Historical Society," approved February 27th, 1883,
I hereby submit this the first report of
Robert. W. Furnas
The preparation of this first report of the Nebraska State Historical Society for publication, while
entered upon with much interest and pleasure, has been surrounded with many disadvantageous
Principal among which has been want of time, owing to other pressing duties, since the work came
into my hands.
The Secretary left the state a year or more ago. Since then I have performed the duties of both
President and Secretary. The books and papers of the Society came into my hands in a confused
condition, requiring much time to digest and arrange.
While not as much as I desired has been accomplished, I feel that a good work has been commenced,
and now can be followed up under more favorable conditions.
I find it quite difficult to obtain existing desirable data and matter by correspondence. To be entirely
successful requires personal visits and attention. This has not been possible heretofore, but will be
resorted to more in the future.
In this report, in matter of biographies, I have, with a single exception, confined myself to those early
pioneers who have died. The autobiography of Father Hamilton, the oldest of all, is so full of interesting
history that I present it in this volume.
I have on file the autobiographies of many of the old and prominent citizens, still living, for future use.
As to future collections and reports, I feel I cannot too strongly urge the people of the state to make
contributions. The importance of such work requires no argument. A moment's thought will convince
all. Only let thoughts be followed by acts and an invaluable work is easily and quickly accomplished.
Robert W. Furnas,
Robert W. Furnas, President, Brownville.
J. M. Woolworth, 1st Vice-President, Omaha.
E. S. Dundy, 2d Vice-President, Omaha.
W. W. Wilson, Treasurer, Lincoln.
Samuel Aughey, Recording Secretary, Lincoln.
Mrs. C. B. Colby, Corresponding Secretary, Beatrice.
BOARD OF MANAGERS.
Silas Garber, Red Cloud.
J. Sterling Morton, Nebraska City.
H. T. Clarke, Bellevue.
Lorenzo Crounse, Fort Calhoun.
C. D. Wilber, Wilber.
The present historical society was organized at the time, date, and under circumstances as hereinafter
Some thirty or more days prior to Sept. 25th, 1878, the following circular was signed and generally
published in state papers:
Nebraska State Historical Society
The undersigned, impressed with the importance of collecting and preserving, in particular, such
historical material as shall serve to illustrate the settlement and growth of the state of Nebraska, and
knowing that much valuable to that end can now be obtained from living tongues and pens of those
familiar from organization, and which may be lost by further procrastination, adopt this method of
securing the organization of a state historical society.
We call on friends of the object in view throughout the state to meet at the Commercial Hotel in the
city of Lincoln, on the evening of Wednesday, September twenty-fifth, 1878, for the purpose herein
Geo. L. Miller
A. S. Paddock
R. R. Livingston
J. L. Edwards
El am Clark
John L. Carson
E. B. Fairfield
G. C. Barton
E. H. Rogers
Robert. W. Furnas
Thos. W. Tipto.
The above circular letter was obtained by addressing the following letter to the parties:
Brownville, Neb., Aug. 12th, 1878.
My Dear Sir:
Feeling, as I presume every citizen of this state does, the necessity for a state historical association,
after some consultation with persons in several parts of the state, it is thought advisable to call a
meeting at Lincoln on some day of the State Fair to effect the organization of a "State Historical
Would like your views, and, if favorably entertained, to use your name to such call.
advise me at your earliest convenience.
Verv truly yours,
Robert. W. Furnas
In pursuance of this call the following meetings were held, and the organization perfected:
Lincoln, Neb., Sept. 25th, 1878.
Pursuant to a call heretofore published, the following named gentlemen convened at the
Commercial Hotel, Lincoln, Neb.:
Dr. George L. Miller, Chris. Hartman, and J. T. Allan, Douglas county;
Gov. Silas Garber and H. S. Kaley, Webster County;
S. R. Thompson, T. P. Kennard, W. W. Wilson, and Samuel Aughey, Lancaster County;
Rev. J. M. Taggart and J. H. Croxton, Otoe County;
C. H. Walker, Franklin County;
Hon. L. Crounse and E. N. Grennell, Washington County;
Prof. C. D. Wilbur, Saline County;
J. Q. Goss, Sarpy County;
D. H. Wheeler and Wm. Gilmore, Cass County;
O. T. B. Williams, Seward County;
L. B. Fifield, Buffalo County;
Rev. L. B. W. Shryock and E. Shugart, Gage County;
Wm. Adair, Dakota County;
Robert. W. Furnas, Nemaha County.
Robert. W. Furnas called the meeting to order, and on his nomination Dr. George L. Miller was
elected temporary chairman. R. W. Furnas was elected Secretary on motion of D. H. Wheeler.
Dr. Miller on taking the chair delivered a short, appropriate, and pressing address on the importance
of forming a historical society, and regretting that it had not been done before.
On motion of S. R. Thompson, the Chair appointed the following gentlemen Committee on
Organization: S. R. Thompson, J. Q. Goss, D. H. Wheeler, J. M. Taggart, and Lorenzo Crounse.
Transactions and Reports of The Nebraska State
Historical Society - 1885