Nemaha County - Genealogy Trails




County Mills



    In the early days, from 1854 to 1860, there were magnificent forests along the Missouri River. McKissock's

    Island, in the northeast corner or the county, Sonora Island, above Brownville, Morgan Island, below, near

    Hillsdale, and on the mainland, where there are now only scraggy, scattering trees, was covered with a splendid

    growth of large, tall, straight trees.


    There were thousands of them, some six feet in diameter at the butt, and towering up fifty and sixty feet in height,

    below the limbs. There was black walnut, cottonwood, sycamore, and other kinds of wood, but during several

    years prior to 1860, saw-mills planted on every hundred acres of the timber, and at the present day, there are

    few trees left.


    In the spring of 1855, R. Brown, S. E. Rogers and Henry Emerson erected the first steam saw-mill in the

    county in Brownville, located on the southeast corner of Levee and Water streets.


    In October, 1856, Noel, Lake & Emerson erected a large saw-mill in the lower part of the town, and the

    following February it was capable of cutting more lumber than any mill in the county.


    During the years 1857 and 1858, nearly a score of mills were started at different points on and near the Missouri

    River and the Islands before mentioned, and an abundant supply of lumber was secured, not only for home supply,

    but for sending off in all directions.


    The first grist-mill erected in the county was built two miles west of Nemaha City, in the spring of 1856, by

    Henry and Jerome Hoover. It is now known as the Rowe Mill.


    A water-mill was erected by Henry and Jerome Hoover, on the Nemaha, in 1855.


    A little prior to this time, a small mill was started on Honey Creek, in Peru Precinct, but was soon after swept

    away by a flood in the Missouri.


    In 1857, Samuel G. Dailey, a man who made his mark in Territorial politics, having served three terms as

    Delegate to Congress from Nebraska Territory, brought to Peru a steam saw and grist mill, and ran it successfully

    for a year or two.  But the encroachments of the river compelled its removal up town, and it was sold to

    Green & Co.


    After several years, the machinery was sold and taken to St. Louis. Since those early days, numberless mills have

    been erected, and at the present time there are enough to supply their customers with certain kinds of lumber and

    flour and meal.


    Source:  Andreas History of Nebraska