Cuming City

Cuming City was an early Washington County town named for Thomas B. Cuming, acting governor of Nebraska Territory from 1854 to 1855 and from 1857 to 1858. The site was claimed by P. G. Cooper and two others in September 1854, but no settlement was made until the next spring, when a site was mapped and surveyed.

Cuming City, like many other western towns, had lofty ambitions. A ferry charter was granted to Cooper in January 1856, and in the same month the territorial legislature incorporated Washington College, located it at Cuming City, and appointed a board of eight trustees: B. R. Folsom, James C. Mitchell, T. B. Cuming, Mark W. Izard, P. G. Cooper, William B. Hail, John C. Campbell, and J. B. Radford. Two newspapers, the Nebraska Pioneer and the Cuming City Star, both Democratic, were published.

Samuel Warrick, an early settler in the Cuming City area, first reached the town on April 15, 1857. Warrick and his father, originally from Indiana, started from Indianapolis and then proceeded by rail, steamboat, stage, and on foot toward their goal in Nebraska Territory. Warrick later recalled that he did little farming for the first year after he settled in the Cuming City vicinity. “We planted a little sod corn, some potatoes, and made much preparation for the coming year, getting out logs from along the river for house and barn, and hunted with muzzle loading rifles and shot guns, also doing some fishing. . . . In the spring of ’58 I sowed the first wheat here. It was sown on the Lippincott farm, then owned by P. G. Cooper, and helped to harvest the same. All this kind of work was done without any machinery except the plow until the year of 1861 . . . .

“The season of ’59 I commenced farming for myself on a small scale and working for others when I could, our population having more than doubled by 1860. March 21, 1861, I was married to Amanda Stewart, having my farm improved to the extent of twenty acres plowed, a little log house, one horse, one cow, a hoe, spade and single shovel plow.” Warrick concluded his reminiscences by stating, “Owing to this healthful climate I have been able to each year farm from one acre to 200, and eat three square meals a day, providing I was where I could get them­and today I hold the championship for wood chopping among those of my age, being 73 years young.”

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   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.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

Education Digital Learning Resources

Find games, lists, and more to enhance your history education curriculum.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

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.

History Nebraska Services

Digital Resources

Find all of our digital resources, files, videos, and more, all in one easy-to-search page!

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.