publications

Cherry County Divided

A map published by the Cody Cow Boy on November 3, 1911, depicted a proposed division of the present Cherry County into five sections: a new, smaller Cherry County to the east; two new counties, Lake and Green, in the north; and the remaining territory on the south to be added to Grant and Hooker counties. The Cow Boy said: “On next Tuesday the voters of Cherry county will say by their votes whether or not they wish to have the county remain the same unwieldy shape as at present or have it divided in a way that will place its citizens within easy reach of a county seat and will have a tendency to decrease the taxes.”

The Cow Boy maintained that a smaller county could be administered more cheaply than a larger one. “The most tangible proof of this can be found in comparing the county levies which shows that the taxes for county purposes are almost invariably less in the smaller counties than in the large ones. Cherry county is now and for a number of years has been paying the largest county levy that the law will allow, and how could it be any larger in a smaller county?”

The Cow Boy also maintained that property values in the western two-thirds of the present Cherry County would be enhanced if county division was approved. “One man with whom we have talked estimates that it will about double the price of the land near the two [new] county seats [in the proposed Green and Lake counties].” Residents would save travel time and money in visiting closer county seat towns. The paper asked, “How much is it worth to the average voter and property owner to have a county seat from forty to sixty-five miles closer to him than it is at present?”

Election results on the county division question were not what the Cody Cow Boy had desired. On November 10, the paper said: “County Division lost out by a large majority, and Cherry County will, for the present, remain as before, the largest county east of the Rocky Mountains with the county seat [Valentine] at one corner.”

The Valentine Democrat several weeks later, on November 23, 1911, ascribed the Cow Boy‘s support of the failed county division plan to self interest: “The Cow Boy had everything its own way this fall and unchallenged went about its great and noble work of moulding [sic] public opinion in order that it might get all the countv printing in and for ‘Lake county.’ We believe that in such matters it is the people and the tax payers who must mold public opinion according to their own welfare and not a newspaper which would hugely profit by the location of a county seat within its jurisdiction.”

 

One factor behind a proposed division of Cherry County in 1911 was the distance of isolated ranches, such as that of Charles S. Hoyt (above) near Pullman, from the county seat at Valentine. NSHS RG2608-3297

 

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

Other Publications

The Bachelors’ Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, ...

U.S. Weather Bureau in 1890s Nebraska

The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890. It took over the weather service that had been established in the office of the Chief ...

Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to ...

The Shoemaker’s Ashes

"Edward Kuehl, one of the most peculiar characters that ever lived in Omaha, or anywhere else, was found dead in his bed last night in the back room of his place of ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society RG2955.ph).   In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast.

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.