Outlaws and Native Americans in Brown County, Nebraska

Another class of men sometimes came into this wild, new country. They planned their travels carefully that they might leave no trails for others to follow. They were outlaws who lived by stealing horses from farmers in Iowa and eastern Nebraska. The stolen stock was brought to this lonely country and hid until a safe



Courts and Law and Order in Brown County, Nebraska

Courts were soon organized; law and order prevailed with but a small amount of crime and lawlessness. Vigilance committees were active in some sections and several lynchings took place, but the greater portion of the people felt secure in their new homes. They had faith in this country, believing that the good crops would continue.



Establishing a New County called Brown County, Nebraska

In December, 1882, Frank Sellors and Merritt Griffiths circulated a petition asking that the coming legislature pass an act establishing a new county from unorganized territory lying west of Holt county. The boundaries as set forth in the petition included what is now the three counties, Brown, Rock and Keya Paha, and was a tract



Newcomers to Brown County, Nebraska

The newcomers who followed the cattle men were mostly farmers with a few doctors, lawyers, preachers and merchants, all seeking the free land that could be obtained under the homestead law. The head of a family or any citizen twenty-one years of age could obtain one hundred sixty acres of land by living on it



1880-1881 Hard Winter in Brown County, Nebraska

The winter of 1880-’81 has gone into history as one of the most severe that was ever known. The prairies were covered with snow so deep that the cattle could not graze on the buffalo grass on which the ranchers relied for their winter feed. The snow came early in the fall and laid on



Railroads and Cattlemen of Brown County, Nebraska

The Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley railroad began building westward in the late 70’s. Each year it pushed farther into the new farming regions. To supply the needs of the new settlers the railroad carried freight, mail, express and passengers to its western terminus, Oakdale, then Neligh which it reached in 1880. In the late



Fort Hartsuff

Fort Hartsuff near Ord, Nebraska, was built in 1874 to protect settlers of the Loup Valley from Indians and outlaws, but it was too far away to afford any protection to the country along the Niobrara. Congress decided to locate the Sioux on reservations where they could be kept from wandering and committing depredations on



Fort Niobrara

In 1879 General Crook of the United States army, commanding the department of the Platte was ordered to select a suitable place for a new fort. He made a visit to the region, and recommended a point on the Niobrara River south of the Rosebud agency. The post was established April 22 1880 by Major



Cattle Ranchers and Native Americans of Brown County, Nebraska

Cattle ranches were the first settlements made in northwest Nebraska. The surplus stock from these ranches was bought by the United States government at good prices, so the business was a profitable one for a few years. To the west of Brown county several large outfits were found very early, previous to 1880: Boiling Springs



Historic Trails of Brown County, Nebraska

The “Calamus Trail” entered Brown County near the southeast corner. Its eastern terminus was Fort Hartsuff (near Ord). It followed up the North Loup River, then the Calamus River to its source in Moon Lake, then on west through the sand hills to the forts in the western part of the state. It was used



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