Orison E. Stearns [RG1430.AM]


RG1430.AM:  Orison E. Stearns, 1843-1921

Diaries:  1866-1871
Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska:  Farmer
Size:  One folder


Born in New York in 1843, Orison E. Stearns served four years in Company B, Eighth Wisconsin Volunteer infantry.  Coming to Nebraska in 1868, Stearns and his wife, Julia, first settled near North Platte, where he built the first settlement house at what was then known as Fort McPherson.  Moving near Columbus, Nebraska, in 1869, the family settled on a government homestead that later became known as “Stearns’ Prairie.”  He then bought 400 acres of land near Fullerton that was originally part of the Pawnee Indian Reservation.  He opened the first post office in the area.  The family eventually moved to Omaha, where Orison worked as a watchman at the Union Pacific storehouse.  Orison E. Stearns died in Omaha on January 13, 1921.  He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Omaha, Nebraska.


This collection consists of three pocket diaries kept by Orison E. Stearns.  The first diary from 1866 records his time at Stockbridge, Calumet County, Wisconsin.  The second diary, 1869-1870, dates from his time working at McPherson station, Nebraska, for the Union Pacific Railroad.  The last diary, 1870-1871, dates from Stearns’ time at Columbus, Nebraska.  Also included is a partial typescript of the second diary from McPherson station dating from January to March, 1869.  The diaries describe farm life, daily events, local news, etc.



  1. Diary, 1866
  2. Diary, 1869-1870
  3. Diary, 1870-1871
  4. Typescript, 1869, Jan. 1-Mar. 16

Subject headings:

Farm life — Nebraska
Platte County (Neb.) — History
Stearns, Orison E., 1843-1921
Union Pacific Railroad

Revised TMM      01-28-2020


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