Under the date of November 12, 1854, Govenor Cuming, in a proclamation calling
for an election, announced
the boundaries of Forney County to be as follows:
"Commencing at the mouth of Camp Creek, thence to the headwaters of the same,
west to a point sixty miles from the Missouri River, thence due south
twenty miles, thence east to
the headwaters of the little Nemaha River, thence
along the north bank of said river to the Missouri
River, and thence along the
Missouri River to the place of the beginning."
It further stipulated that there should be one precinct or place of voting in
said county. At the place known as
Brownville, at the house of Richard
Brown; Richard Brown, Allen L. Coate and Israel Cuming to be Judges
election, and A. J. Benedict and Stephen Sloan Clerks of said election.
be noticed that by the Governor's proclamation, the country lying south and
southwest of the Little
Nemaha was not then embraced in the original county.
This was because of the fact of the creation of certain
Indian reservations by
the Kansas-Nebraska act. A portion of one of these reservations was included
region. These boundaries remained intact until 1855, when the Legislature
changed the line on the north from
sixty to twenty four miles, and also changed
the south and west line so that the most valuable portion of the
included within the boundaries of Nemaha County.
The act of March 7, 1855, gave
Nemaha County the following boundaries:
Beginning at the northeast corner of
Richardson County, thence west up the main channel of the
Missouri River to the
southeast corner of Otoe County, thence west along the south line of Otoe
twenty-four miles, thence south to a point due west from the place of
At a subsequent session of the Legislature, held in the winter of 1857-58,
the western boundary line of
Nemaha County was changed, taking off half a
township and adding it to the then sparsely settled county
The act proclaiming Brownville as the county seat of Nemaha County was passed
at the same session of the
legislature. What is now Nemaha County (says ex-Governor.
Furnas, from whom many facts of early history
have been obtained, and whose
valuable assistance is hereby acknowledged), was a portion of the land
by the Otoe Indians, and was originally designated as the "Otoe Country."
Ne-ma-ha is also an Indian word or name, Ne signifying water in the Otoe
dialect, and ma-ha
being originally the name of the tribe of Indians yet in the
northern part of the State, and known as
The signification of the word Maha
is furthest up, or up yonder, alluding to the fact that a portion of
had remained up the river. Nemaha, the name of the important stream that flows
some of the best portions of this section, was adopted as the name of
Nemaha County is divided into thirteen precincts:
The first six are the
eastern or river precincts, Glen Rock, Douglas and Bedford the middle, and the
three the western.
The Little Nemaha River extends from the northwestern to
the southwestern part of the county, dividing
Lafayette, Glen Rock, Douglas and
Nemaha City Precincts.
The river is of great value, especially to persons whose
farms extend along its banks, as it furnishes the
needed water for successful